I’d like to briefly outline a short (and vaguely autobiographical) play I’m writing. Your feedback would be most welcome.
Vicky Katerina Madrid (2010)
A bitter and tragic, suspense-driven rendering of Woody Allen’s chippy Spanish summer jaunt.
A dashing English gentleman arrives in Madrid on business, high hopes and a quest for suitable lodgings. After many unsuccessful hours searching the maze of cobbled streets in old town Madrid he arrives at what appears to be a happy, friendly homestead. The occupants are Vicky, a charming and pretty French-Canadian, and Katerina, a sultry but altogether agreeable Russian. He moves in. Wine flows and jubilant, if brief, times are had.
But something isn’t quite right. Perhaps its the encroaching heat of Madrid’s scalding summer. Perhaps its petty remarks left carelessly hanging, their meanings twisted in translation. Or could it be something to do with the distasteful glut of household chore rotas adorning the noticeboard, tasks enough between them to keep Cinderella working double-time right through Debrett’s Social Calendar.
The atmosphere sullies and the bright, welcoming smiles withdraw. Bedroom doors are bolted, windows shuttered and the apartment is kept in infuriating silence and perpetual gloom. The somewhat perplexed English gentleman knuckles down and resolves not to lose his patience, his lodging or their favour. Alas, his efforts are in vain. The grim truth dawns on him that he is destined to be pussy-whipped; and that like a rented mule. After the chore rotas come snide, craven letters bubbling unspoken rebukes and steaming with thinly veiled bitterness. They detail yet more unnecessary chores that “we usually” do, and cleaning products “you might like” to procure. And, “Can you turn that down please?” and “No. Guests aren’t allowed to visit.”
So he excuses his French, bids them a hearty, “Fuck you.” And moves out. Then, in a final act of righteous fury, he installs (in order to fulfill the remaining rental contract) the filthiest, most repulsive tramp in all of Madrid. She looks like Edward Teach, breeds cats and makes children cry.
A month later all three women catch rabies from the cats and die of acute encephalitis.
Morals of the story? Never judge a girl by her smile. A happy home is not born out of rules and regulations, but of openness, care and respect. And get your flippin’ cats vaccinated.
Love, with just a hint of despair,