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Woman and Jack enter, semi-dressed and canoodling in a tipsy fashion. Very early morning.




WOMAN          You said you paint?


JACK                                          Yes.


WOMAN          Italians are good at painting, aren't they? They're famous for it.


JACK                                          They were. The really famous ones are dead..


WOMAN          Ah but their memory lives on. They never die. Of course in one sense they are dead, like Leonardo do Vinci and Botticelli-


JACK                                          You like Botticelli?


WOMAN          Don't be so surprised.. He is a beautiful painter.


She kisses Jack, who in turn becomes keen


WOMAN          No.. Yes, I want to, but I like this... Getting to know you a little.


JACK                                          There's not much to know.


He tries to kiss her more


WOMAN          Stop it Romeo-


JACK                                          Stop what?


WOMAN          Be real for a moment.


JACK                                          I am being real.


WOMAN          No you're not. I want to know a little about you.


JACK                                          Here's a little more.


He physically shows her a little more




WOMAN          No. I know you have a cock already. Surprise surprise. Most guys do. And I do want to see him again. They kiss But... When I asked Martina  who was coming to the party she said Spike and Josh and Joanna and Phil and all the others, and then this nice, sensitive Italian she'd met through work at the rehab centre thingy-


JACK                                          Martina's very good with Billy, the man I take care of-


WOMAN          There you were! For one second-


JACK                                          I don't understan-


WOMAN          I was interested, when she described you-


JACK                                          I was surprised to be invited-


WOMAN          Shhhh. I was interested, and when you showed your interest in me, I liked that and wanted that, but it's being..I love sex, I do, but you're not, you understand me? You haven't being talking to me. Not really.


JACK                                          I pay you attention. We have talked.


WOMAN          My aunt used to say that a person can talk a lot but say nothing. You've talked a lot of crap all night and O.K. so I listened and here we are, but now I'm talking and I want you to do the same.


JACK                                          We don't need to talk.


He advances sexually


WOMAN          Please Jack, I love that, but I already have a sex man... He says nothing, but, there you go. I know you can say something but you're not saying it.


JACK                                          Say what?


WOMAN          I don't know. We were in bed for an hour and you didn't come. Is it a problem? Because I think it is something else.


JACK                                          Is it a problem for you?


WOMAN          Yes and no. You said that you came to England with a girl but it didn't work out. What was her name?


JACK                                          I don't remember. She doesn't matter anymore.


WOMAN          But I'm curious.

JACK                                          It is all in the past.


WOMAN          Yes, like all the da Vinci's and Botticelli's and your temples and those big buildings in ruins. They're all in the past too, and yet you get so many tourists, still interested.


JACK                                          Taking photographs.


WOMAN          Was her name Nell?


Pause. Jack nods


WOMAN          You called me that in bed.


JACK                                          I'm sor-


WOMAN          I was enjoying myself, I didn't bother.


JACK                                          It was a mistake, I-


WOMAN          Ashpeti, ashpeti, Senor Jack.


JACK                                          What?


WOMAN          Ashpeti? Asssphetti?


JACK                                          Ahh, aspetti! You speak some Italian?

WOMAN          Not as well as I thought.


JACK                                          You had an Italian boyfriend before. Now I understand it all. You're playing games too-

WOMAN          Too?


JACK                                          I didn't mean it like that.


WOMAN          You did. Maybe you're right.




JACK                                          Was he Italian?


WOMAN          Sort of. He was from Newcastle... Michael. He wanted to be a singer, something he was afraid to tell me in case I would laugh. You understand? He wanted to sing opera.


JACK                                          Ahhh.


WOMAN          It was an unusual interest, or in his case, a passion, for a bloke his age and his circumstances; family, the lads... He took me to the opera once. La Boheme?

JACK                                          La Boheme, Puccini.


WOMAN          It was his favourite. Before we went, the whole week before, when we'd meet, he'd sing to me, softly, something from La Boheme, all in Italian, and he'd explain what it all meant. I thought the story was very, well, boring, but when we went to see the show, it was magical. I'd never seen a man cry before... I bought the CD and play it sometimes, and I think of that evening.

JACK                                          Where is he now?

WOMAN          He died.

JACK                                          Oh, I am sorry.


WOMAN          Nah, he's not dead. I'm sorry, I don't know why I said that. I don't know where he is. It didn't work out, but we had that evening. We have that evening and always will. Aspetti Signorina. For some reason that line stuck in my brain all these years.


JACK                                          It comes from the Che Gelida Manina aria. It is quite famous.


WOMAN          They were kneeling on the floor?


JACK                                          Yes. Mimi and Rodolfo are on the floor looking for her keys, and Rodolfo blows out the candle, leaving them in the dark,and in the darkness he finds her hand, Che Gelida Manina, her cold hand, Si la lasci riscaldar, let me warm your cold hand, he takes her cold hand and warms it in his...


 Jack does likewise


WOMAN          Gently Stop... You're not Michael.

JACK                                          No. And you're not Nell.


WOMAN          No... When did you break up?


JACK                                          She broke up with me. About two months ago... And four days.

WOMAN          You still love her?

Jack nods


JACK                                          Sorry.


WOMAN          There's nothing to be sorry about.


JACK                                          Do you want me to leave?


WOMAN          What time is it... Almost five.


JACK                                          Maybe I can sleep on the sofa?


WOMAN          She dies in the end? La Boheme?


JACK                                          Mimi? Yes, she dies in the end. Very sad.

WOMAN          Yes, very sad... No, stay with me. We don't have to, you know... I mean we can just lie together. We can do that, can't we?


JACK                                          That would be nice.


WOMAN          My hands are cold. You can warm them.


JACK                                          Che Gelida Manina.


WOMAN          Come back to bed Michael.


JACK                                          Alright Nell.


They exit


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