AE (George W. Russell), Agenbite of Inwit, James Joyce, Lizzie Twigg, Martha, Milton: A poem, Raoul, Saints, Sister Mary Peter, St. Agatha, St. Patricia, Sweets of Sin, The Sisters of Perpetual Indulgence, Theatre, Tranquilla Convent, Ulysses, William Blake
Scene [Tranquilla convent, in the back garden. The sisters are preparing to receive a novice for initiation into the order. St. Agatha and Sister Mary Peter wait with ten fingers locked for her to arrive. ]
St. Agatha: Sister Mary Peter, have you seen my breasts?
Sister Mary Peter: You left them in the rectory Reverend Mother, shall I retrieve them for you?
St. Agatha: No, no. No. Nuisance they are anyway, really, although I do feel like I lose a charm every time I take them off. Still, we have a new novice coming and it would be a waste of this whitewashed face and cool coif not to long to appear, well, complete.
Sister Mary Peter: It is a natural craving, Reverend Mother, but you’re looking splendid. Dressed up to the nines.
St. Agatha. Never mind, no time. I can see her coming with my dexter optic! O look who it is for the love of God! I thought they were dumping Martha on us and instead it’s Lizzie Twigg! How are you at all? What have you been doing with yourself? [kiss] and delighted to [kiss] see you!
Lizzie Twigg: Hello Agatha. I would have been here sooner but there was all that barbed wire.
St. Agatha: We do like to cloister ourselves here! But never mind never mind. No hurry, my dear sister soul. I’m just so happy you’re not Martha! So vindictive for what she can’t get. Oh my child! So, here you are, giving up your desire to aid gentlemen in literary work.
Lizzie Twigg: Yes, I’m done with men. I loved an Aeon and that ended badly. Felt like I was drowning half the time. Now I want to dedicate myself to somebody more, I don’t know, along the straight and narrow. Linear minded. Gets us from then to when.
St. Agatha: Well as a fellow bride of Christ you will have that, even the calendar starts with him, to some end point. So, let’s have a look at you. Nice well-filled hose, though they are a bit down around the ankle.
Sister Mary Peter: Voice like a pick axe, no good for the choir. Are you lame?
Lizzie Twigg: No. My boots are a bit tight though.
St. Agatha: You might have a high arched instep.
Lizzie Twigg: Um. I have a question. I’ve heard things about the sisters here. That some of you get a bit, well, odd. I’ve heard about some sisters licking pennies all the time, and wanting to smell rock oil, and all kinds of. Is this, is this true?
St. Agatha: It’s only the virgins who go mad in the end. I take it you’re?
Lizzie Twigg: Not. No.
St. Agatha. I thought not. You have that I’m all clean come dirty me look. Now, when was the start of your last menstrual period? Must have been within the past couple of days.
Lizzie Twigg: Today. And it’s awful. Feels a ton weight. How did you know?
St Agatha: The plants are withering. And the fiddle strings have all snapped.
Sister Mary Peter: The milk is turning too.
St. Agatha: Sister Mary Peter, go get St. Patricia, she can coagulate Miss Twigg’s blood. Now Miss Twigg, we’ll stop your menstruation for now, but you’ll have to get into step with the rest of us. We all bleed together according to the moon.
Lizzie Twigg: I’m sorry. I mean, I don’t mean to be rude or question is it all a fake or anything but, none of you look like, well, like the menstruating type. No offense. How many women?
St. Agatha: Listen sister, we feel it ourselves too, ok, all of us together. We can be a pack of devils when it’s coming on, I can tell you, especially Sister Mary Peter!
Lizzie Twigg: She’s a hot little devil all the same. We were girlfriends at school you know.
St. Agatha: Oh were you? And how do you find her now?
Lizzie Twigg: Well back then she was yours for the asking! And not to pick holes in her appearance or anything, but she does have fewer teeth than before.
St. Agatha: Never you mind that now. We all have bodies, we all have curves inside our deshabillé, but if you are to undertake a novitiate with us you’ll find within our walls sanctity and corporeality intermingle. Bring your agenbite of inwit, but don’t forget your frillies for Raoul, honey, He likes them both. Now come with me child, that’s a lovely shirt shining beneath your what? But we must get on with dressing each other for the sacrifice.