Academic journal article Hecate

Three Little Pieces

Academic journal article Hecate

Three Little Pieces

Article excerpt

The Actress

She is old now, and tired and worn out, she says. She lies with her eyes shut. They say every time she opens her eyes she is a new character. She is re-living all the old movies. They call her by one stage name or another. Since radio and television began she was in them--playing soapies. 'What were you in real life. Just a housewife?' asks the male nurse. The sister comes to the ward door. 'Did you hear that, ladies?' she asks menacingly. 'Just a housewife. Did you hear that?' 'The backbone of the country', says the male nurse. 'Now I'm in hot water really having to crawl!'

'Fisherman's daughter', says the actress. 'On the West Coast. We had all this wonderful fish, Tommy Ruff, whiting, snapper, callop, you don't get all that now. And the sea was so foaming and beautiful'. Her creased face smiles. She is eighty-eight.

The Singer

She sings the same tune day and night. You wake up at midnight and hear her: endlessly, ad infinitum, a high-pitched humming. Perhaps she is just a figment of the air-conditioning, part of the noise from the turbulent winds about the building, or just an undertone of equipment being wheeled around. But no, she's an old choir soprano who lies in bed and sings to herself. One day she will remember that last phrase.

The Grandmother

They found all sorts of pieces of old food in her locker after she left. …

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