Alf Bergan, Banba, Cassandra, Holy Mother Public Relations Inc., James Joyce, Jupiter, Lizzie Twigg, Mars, Mary, Mirror, Māyā, Paddy Dignam, Patrick Aloysius Dignam, St. Matthew in the City, Theatre, Ulysses
[Scene: Just after hours at the offices of Holy Mother Public Relations, Empyrean Building, Conference room whatsits. You know the one. Near whatdoyoucallhim. Around the ideal form of a conference room table sit Cassandra, Lizzy Twigg, Māyā, Banba, Jupiter, Mars, and Paddy Dignam. Mary, known to the world as the Holy Mother of God, Holy Virgin of virgins, Mother of Christ, Mother of the Church, Mother of divine grace, Mother most pure, Mother most chaste, Mother inviolate, Mother undefiled, Mother most amiable, Mother most admirable, Mother of good counsel, Mother of our Creator, Mother of our Savior, Virgin most prudent, Virgin most venerable, Virgin most renowned, Virgin most powerful, Virgin most merciful, Virgin most faithful, Mirror of justice, Seat of wisdom, Cause of our joy, Spiritual vessel, Vessel of honor, Singular vessel of devotion, Mystical rose, Tower of David, Tower of ivory, House of gold, Ark of the covenant, Gate of heaven, Morning star, Health of the sick, Refuge of sinners, Comforter of the afflicted, Help of Christians, Queen of angels, Queen of patriarchs, Queen of prophets, Queen of apostles, Queen of martyrs, Queen of confessors, Queen of virgins, Queen of all saints, Queen conceived without original sin, Queen assumed into heaven, Queen of the most holy Rosary, Queen of families, Queen of peace, and CEO of Holy Mother Public Relations Inc., is standing at the door irritated as it is enough already with the honorifics so just shut up for the love of Christ and let her call it a day already.]
Mary: Ok, so.
Lizzie Twigg: [Effusively] Holy Mary, Mother of God, Blessed art thou among
Mary: Yes, Yes. Well. If you have all that you need I’ll just be
Lizzie Twig: Yes I think so. Would be nice if the light was a bit more ruby in color, but can’t have
Mary: Oh please, there are bigger disappointments to contend with. Believe me, I know all too well. Lighting is nothing. Thy will be done.
[Increasing luminosity of ruby light becomes gradually visible]
Lizzie Twigg: Thanks! That’s wonderful, thank you so much, blessed art thou among women, and blessed is the fruit of thy
Mary: [Exiting] Yes, great. Leaving. If I have to hear again about my fruitful womb I’ll rip it out myself and slap somebody with it, I swear to Christ I will.
Cassandra: Thank Jupiter she’s gone!
Jupiter: You’re welcome.
Cassandra: I’ve been dying to vent about her idiot son, thank Jupiter you thought of borrowing this room Lizzie, I don’t think I could stand another séance with Jesus as Stage Manager.
Jupiter: You’re welcome. Assistant Stage Manager. Is that why we aren’t on God’s stage?
Lizzie Twigg: Amen Cassandra. And Jupiter, well, that whole issue is better left unsaid for now. So, let’s get on with it then. We might need to change our placement around the table. Mars, Jupiter, you are sitting on the wrong side of Māyā.
Cassandra: Agreed. They are making mischief with the vibrations.
Māyā: मय सोन इस अन एक्ष्केल्लेन्त स्तगे मनगेर.
Mars: [Combative] But Buddha’s not Equity.
Cassandra: Banba, that’s really unhelpful. Not that it matters, this séance isn’t going to work. Can you please return to human form so we can get on with it.
Banba: [Shedding black feathers everywhere and reappearing as a hag in a red cloak with red eyebrows and wailing.] Fine. But when you need somebody to fly through mirrors or some other nonsense don’t come flapping to me.
Paddy Dignam: [Only partially aware of his surroundings] Who are you people? What the hell is this? Did that bloody bird just turn into a woman?
Cassandra: Relax honey, you’re dead. It will be ok.
Paddy Dignam: Who’s dead? I’m no more dead than you are.
Cassandra: Oh sweetheart, believe me, you’ve kicked the bucket. You’re dead. You have ceased to be. You have shuffled off this mortal coil. You’re gone. Bereft of life. Resting in peace. Defunct. Deceased. Belly up. Worm food. Pushing up daisies. History. Passed over, on, and away. Expired. Croaked. Departed. Snuffed it. Bit it. Met your maker. Crossed over. Bought the farm. Checked out. Perished. Cut off. Extinct. Lifeless. Liquidated. Honey, they took the liberty of burying your body about six feet under and it’s currently being eaten by rats.
Banba: Decomposing nicely, I gather.
Māyā: हे इस सुफ़्फ़ेरिन्ग उन्देर अन इल्लुसिओन्. मय्बे गिवे हिं सोमेथिन्ग तो द्रिन्क ?
Cassandra: Would you like something to drink?
Paddy Dignam: Buttermilk
Mars: [Producing buttermilk] Here you go, you pansy.
Lizzie Twigg: Ok, people, can we get on with it. Banba, you can be a raven if you want, I don’t think it will disrupt the séance.
Lizzie Twigg: Right. So we are making another attempt to bring back AE. He resurrected himself too long ago now for anybody’s comfort and he must be decomposing badly by now. Also, knowing him, he has plans to disrupt the great divide between the living and, well, us.
Cassandra: The dead.
Paddy Dignam: [Flabbergasted] I beg your parsnips, I’m not dead.
Cassandra: Yes, you are dead.
Paddy Dignam: I’m not!
Cassandra: Fine, don’t believe me. Whatever. Om Mani Padme Hum.
Lizzie Twigg: So the idea is to develop a window to the other side, so we might see AE as if in a mirror dimly, and perhaps persuade him to come back. Mr. Dignam here being newly deceased
Paddy Dignam: I’m not dead!
Lizzie Twigg: Being newly deceased Mr. Dignam will have a particularly lifelike etheric double, so he might be able to speak most clearly to AE and relay a message from us. Ideally we would need the finest man, with the finest purest character, the noblest, the truest.
Cassandra: But Dignam will have to do.
Lizzie Twigg: Well, yes. So, Cassandra, are you ready?
Cassandra: [While fluttering her hands] Oh AE, returned falsely to mortal haunts, sun of our morning, fleet be your foot on the bracken: AE of the beamy brow. Wail Banba with the wind.
Māyā: लूक, अ दिं मिर्रोर, इ सी हिं !
Lizzie Twigg: AE! Ok, Mr. Dignam, stick your head in there and tell him to come back!
Cassandra: We call upon the etheric double of Paddy Dignam to speak his message to the living.
Paddy Dignam: [Inserting his head into the mirror] Alf! Alf Bergan! If you see my son tell him my boots are behind the commode!
Cassandra: Oh Christ, haul him back in. I told you this wouldn’t work.