Water Cycle by Lita Doolan
Lou – a journalist
Fritz – a young sculptor
A fiction set in the work room of a young sculptor. A journalist tries to get his secrets.
(Fritz sits alone upstage right reading a letter. He hunts for a CD on his person and tries to put it into a personal CD player. The sound quality is poor)
Enter Lou, the female Journalist
Lou Why do you sit alone? The sun is coming right through your conservatory at the back. Perfect for your work.
Fritz And what work is that?
Lou I just thought you could work in peace there. The heat is driving away the crickets
Fritz I need music for peace. My sister needs money but I don’t know how I can give it to her she won’t take money from my art. The air is too silent since I heard from my sister. (folds away letter)
Lou You have natural light flooding in from out there. It lifts the spirit. It’s a waste to be on a mountain top and sitting under a lamp.
Fritz I prefer shadow since my family left.
Lou But it’s lighter in this corner. You could see the photos clearer. Can I stand my bouquet, in the light.
(Lou takes off her coat and starts to get her note book ready)
Fritz I didn’t know the May leaves had started growing again? It’s been a decade.
Lou I picked them myself. The water passing through the moved boulder is making the soil boggy. They outcompete with weeds. Are the leaves important?
Fritz The people will come and tourists will flood my mountain if the plant thrives.
Lou The leaves are important? I climbed high to pick these, they are beautiful.
Fritz I’ve read your newspaper before. You gave a bad review of Marcel Duchamp. You know nothing.
(Fritz folds the letter again to fit it into his pocket)
Lou It’s too dark to do the interview with you over there.
Fritz You have to excuse me, I don’t sit by windows. It makes me look too close at my art in the courtyard. The tiny details remind me of my mistakes.
Lou Tell me about those.
Fritz No. Finish your drink and go. I poured it for you now it’s cold. My assistant left some notes, you can use those.
Lou I didn’t climb that silly mountain for a cup of cold coffee. I’m here for you Mr Josephson and if I find the right information for my article I will print it online tonight. I want to stop the unsolicited attacks on your sculptures as much as you do. I’m on your side Mr Josephson.
Fritz Fritz. Please. What do you want to know?
Lou Hm. Good question. OK. Fritz. Women leave this village to go into the forest right? With the old priory behind your yard, that is their compass and then they don’t come out. Why is that?
Fritz I don’t know. Maybe they are lost.
Lou They are never seen again.
Fritz This is a mountain. The fresh water dissolves the weakness in people. It is from a glacier it is powerful. Truth does that. It changes reality.
Lou Your work is what my story is about. Mr Josephson I am being paid to cover your work.
Fritz Then someone needs their fee returned. Goodbye.
Lou I have a story to write.
Fritz I understand. As an artist that’s my job too and you are taking up my time.
Lou I don’t think you do understand. You can’t cut yourself off and avoid gossip and speculation. This is why people attack your work. They don’t understand it. You are a hermit am I right? You live alone and now you want to be accepted so people respect your work. You need to give me something so I can help you out. Please!
Fritz You just need to ask the thugs to stop destroying the faces on my work. What is their problem
Lou There is a problem with the water flow it is eroding the stone surface on the sculptures you have placed in the forest. Haven’t you read this in your newspaper? You have them delivered. I checked.
Fritz I don’t read them. I use them to cover the floor when I am sculpting. They catch loose clay. I only read newspapers dated from before the war. Everyone was walking mindlessly into their own destruction then. It was like people climbing this mountain. You are too young to know this but there are no answers to the questions you have.
Lou It is because you have no internet here.
Fritz No. Just a priory filled with my work that tells the real truth of who people are here.
Lou And people are fascinated by it. Tell me more.
Fritz No. This is all I have. It fills an empty life. Just tell me where these people are who attack my sculptures. Have you interviewed them?
Fritz But you know where they live?
Lou Yes and they will attack your sculptures with pick axes. Smash the faces you love. If you don’t help.
Fritz They are all I have. What do you want?
Lou I am an artist too. I struggle to succeed or to get paid at least. The internet makes displaying my work easy but it also makes everything free. No one pays for art any more. I can’t make a living like you do.
Fritz At least show me your work.
Lou That’s the problem. I was trying to find a connection. There was a brief one out there. Maybe under this window.
(Lou walks up stage left with small laptop)
Lou It’s flickering. It’s moving. Look it’s the flicking figure of either her legendary bouquet made. You have picked the flowers that belonged once to Saint Dynwen, in the legend.
Fritz Let me see.
(Fritz walks up stage left to look)
(Fritz looks at the laptop with Lou’s work on it)
Fritz The prints you have sketched are of Saint Dwynwen’s bouquet. The May leaves are moving me to tears. It is the same leaves you have picked. The fresh water that now flows had allowed them to flourish.
Lou I read about her. Did she live here as a hermit like you?
Fritz She gave up her right to a free life. The leaves were her last bouquet she was the patron saint of love. When she lost her lover after an accident her father forbade her to see him. She prayed to god she could enter a convent and never be able to marry again.
Lou The love must have been strong.
Fritz The flowers of the mountain are potent. Her bouquet she held from her wedding day was left close to the well here. Behind it is the castle so many of my visitors have been lost inside. Never wanting to be found by families who would drag them back to real life and second rate love.
Lou It flickers and it fades. Just like her love. The interview is on the laptop so it’s safe. I will take it to my editor tonight. One more question though. Where are your family?
Fritz They emigrated the country after the first interview I gave revealed the truth of my family life. When I die they will come out of the woodwork. The value of my work increases when no one else is around. My family is depending on it. I need my art. There is space and there’s time too it’s why I make the faces last forever in bronze sculptures. We are immortal on this mountain. (starts sketching) Don’t move I will capture you in pencil first like the others. I will say you are lost. It’s true, you are until you want to come out.
Lou But the castle is where all your old work stands. It is ready for your family.
Fritz (sketching her, discovers flowers in her bag) You picked flowers to make a wish, what was that?
Lou I don’t know who my father is. I just want a surname or a family name I can connect with.
Fritz Look out onto the courtyard at the sculptures. Find a face that looks like you. A name will come to you. I have sculpted everyone. I have a record of all the families that have gone here people will know the value when it is too late and all are destroyed. It’s why your article is important. The thugs must understand before they tear my last piece that is standing outside to shreds
Lou The internet connection is better now. The photographs are paler but they will understand your images from the outline. Oh god. It sent the address of the castle with it.
Fritz They will know where I am
Lou I can’t stay now either. I won’t be safe
Fritz How will you find your father?
Lou I don’t know. In this time talking to you, showing you my work, I am everything I was meant to be. I have never done that before. The sky did not fall in (folds up laptop put it on table near Fritz) and I can fight the people who call me nothing telling me my talents don’t count because my parents left me. My skills tell me who I am because they have never left me and they tell me about my father.
Fritz He would have been an artist too, it’s carried in the blood. My sister writes music.
Lou He must have been like me. He enjoyed making things happen, building things and solving problems liked I do. He would have revelled in joy at design, structure and growth
Fritz What is it to be an artist today? It is to live with old newspaper on the floor that will never get read. You write this and I rip it up. (tears up newspaper from the ground)
Lou What’s the CD?
Fritz It’s a piano duet my sister and I played (Fritz gets letter out of pocket)
(Fritz starts preparing to do another sculpture – he plays the CD)
Lou But you can make more. For the future.
Fritz If you listen to the noise my tools make on the sculpture there is rhythm to the carving. (has a self aware revelation) I just wanted to make music. Put that in your article.
Lou It doesn’t sound like much.
Fritz It has a name.
(Lou has her coat on ready to go)
Lou Go on. I’m ready. I will print it. I promise.
Fritz It is Dynwen’s last symphony.
Lou Your sister will come back. She has the love for it I will leave the bouquet here your sister will take it.
Fritz And what should I do while I wait?
Lou Sit outside to catch the light. You will see support for you in the people who love you here. You are not so alone. Open your eyes you will be surprised.
Fritz You have the face for it.
Lou I will leave the bouquet here your sister there. Tell her come back for it. She has the love for it.