32 feet per second per second, AE (George W. Russell), Grandfather Tatanka Iyotanka, Holocaust, Jagannath, James Joyce, Lizzie Twigg, Nothing, Saints, Sister Mary Peter, Sitting Bull, St. Agatha, Standing Rock, Theatre, Tranquilla Convent, Ulysses
Scene: [Tranquilla convent, infirmary. Lizzie Twigg is unconscious and lying on a tinseled oak bed. The shading she has painted with loving pencil on her eyes, bosom, and shame is badly smeared. Sister Mary Peter lifts her from the secondbest bed while St. Agatha straightens the warm impress of her warm form.]
St. Agatha: Don’t jostle her like that.
Sister Mary Peter: I should drop her for what she’s done. She has sinned. We have suffered!
St. Agatha: Sister. Our Sister. Shh! Just look at her. Classic curves: a thing of beauty. Here, put her down on her stomach, we can take the powderpuff to the spot where her back changes name.
Sister Mary Peter: No, please I beg you. What must my eyes look down on. [Nearly drops Lizzie Twigg but catches her with her leg.]
St. Agatha: Nekum! Remember your wounded knee! Come on, let’s see if she has hair there.
[Sister Mary Peter returns Lizzie Twigg to the bed, facing up.]
Lizzie Twigg: [Talking in her sleep] Where dreamy creamy gull waves o’er the waters dull.
Sister Mary Peter: Oh that’s it. [Gives Lizzie Twigg a hard shove with both hands. She rolls a dummymummy in the sheet off of the bed and onto the floor.
St. Agatha: Mary Peter!
Lizzie Twigg: Bbbbblllllblblblblobschb! What’s happening? I feel like I fell from a cliff!
St. Agatha: You fell out of bed. Sister Mary Peter help her up! [St Agatha rushes to kiss Lizzie Twigg in four places as she crawls jellily forward from under the bed, with dignity].
Lizzie Twigg: [Returning to bed] I’m fine. What happened? Mnemo? I don’t think I’m in full possession of my faculties. I feel like I’ve been run over.
Sister Mary Peter: You were run over, and me too trying to save you. I think I have a concussion.
St. Agatha: Ssh! She is right, our sister. Don’t you remember, dear? You tried to perform a solo ghost dance and then you threw yourself under Jagannath.
Lizzie Twigg: [Covers her face with her hands looking through parting fingers] Oh God. Where’s AE?
Sister Mary Peter: Where’s AE? Sacrilege! Who cares about AE? He’s nothing! What are you doing trying to re-kill yourself over a man? Your crucifix not thick enough? What do you lack within our barbed wire?
St. Agatha: Ssh! Lizzie, you can’t kill yourself again. We immortals have no word for that in our dictionary. I know AE’s return was difficult for you.
Sister Mary Peter: Difficult!
St. Agatha: Ssh, sister yes, it was difficult. Lizzie, you fell 32 feet per second per second for him all over again. But here at Tranquilla we are brides of Christ. You must have no more desire. We are only the ethereal.
Lizzie Twigg: Only ethereal! Then how do you account for that large moist stain on Mary Peter’s robe? And Mother Agatha, I can smell the cloud of stench escaping from your crack.
St. Agatha: [A button pops off of her sackcloth habit; she’s lost a charm] Listen sister, we know where we’d all be if we were only ethereal, but we won’t turn your strength into our weakness. Where do you think you were going to end up, after Jagannath squashed you? Where? Where was that ghost dance going to take you? To Sitting Bull floating in the ether? Rise up all you want, go ahead, but you’ll come back down. You think you were going to ghost dance yourself up to some cloudy waiting lounge, then sit around wondering when the vorex will open under AE’s feet? Circumstances alter cases, have you learned nothing from your time here? Don’t you understand anything? Our convent is built on buffalo holocausts. The skull mountains: we’ve shaped them into cathedrals. You think we don’t bleed? We are the sisters of the last straw and Grandfather Tatanka Iyotanka is our patron saint. [Looking toward Standing Rock] Father I come! Father give us back our arrows! [Looks at Lizzie Twigg with features hardening] You say you are done with AE then you try this? Fool someone else sister, not me.