Sing to Me O Muse

EXTRACT: The Swell

An extract from the new play by Genna Gardini

MARIE:                     People have a strange idea about what it means to be a mermaid, wouldn’t you agree, Mr. Fawls?

 

HOWARD:                Oh, Ms. Walters, I beg of you, please –

 

MARIE:                     Because what is a mermaid to most men, really, except a Walt Disney-sanctioned wet dream? Tits covered by clams, slit secreted under scales. Why do you think there’s so much literature about the song of the siren?

 

HOWARD:                …Ms. Walters, I couldn’t even begin to speculate –

 

MARIE:                     Oh, come on, just try.

 

HOWARD:                ….Because of, I don’t know, because of, uh, longing? (under his breath) An emotion which I’m quite familiar with at this point.

 

MARIE:                     (Mimicking him again) Because of, uh, longing for a blow job, sure.

 

HOWARD:                Oh, Ms. Walters, really –

 

MARIE:                     It’s true! The mouth that sings is the only visible orifice on a mermaid. Think of all that speculation about how a mermaid can be fucked but not a moment’s thought for how they shit.

 

HOWARD:                Well. We have strayed quite off topic –

 

MARIE:                     One thing becomes attractive because of the absence of the other. Because of the lesser-spotted mermaid vagina, the creature’s mouth becomes the fixture of focus. The siren sings to the sailor, enticing him towards the rocks, making him wreck his boat, foam frothing everywhere, waves erupting off the collision. Waves are inherently pornographic, don’t you agree Mr. Fawls? That’s why I prefer the ocean’s swells. They rise up gently, a wet curve with no edge, no crash, no end. No end. I suppose some men might say ‘like a woman complaining’ but you’re not particularly interested in women, are you Mr. Fawls, if you don’t mind me speculating?

 

HOWARD:                …. Good heavens. Well, uh, I’d agree that typically my interests have lain, uh, elsewhere, yes.

 

MARIE:                     Oh, you don’t have to get so uptight about it, I wasn’t propositioning you. Traditionally my, er interests have also lain elsewhere, you can calm down. Anyway, it’s funny how mermaid stories are always about the relationship between some straight man and the creature, don’t you think? (Adopting a stereotypical masculine voice) I heard her belting out a choon, hey, so I thought she’d give me a go in her nice wet fish hole but all she wanted was to crash my canoe, what a cunt.

 

I mean, really, do you ever wonder why they call them ‘sirens’, Mr. Fawls? I think it’s because men believe that they deserve to be forewarned, that we should come with alarms.

The Swell runs at Alexander Bar from 24 to 26 November and 2 to 6 December 2014. Click here to book.

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