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"Couldn't be more direct or less obscure... with virtually every speech and scene ringing painfully, bitterly true."


"That was over twenty years ago. I never got back—never will now. It's like Terry says: I'm just another English Paddy."

 

locating the plant | pearldivers | eve's barette | the judas ballot | the cleric | the naz

the english crew | the tradition

An Excerpt from Eve's Barrette, by Tim Marks

© 2001 Tim Marks. All rights reserved.

Act II, Scene Ten

(The next morning. Tony knocks on the front door. He has been drinking. He has a bottle in a brown bag. Eve's face is bruised on the right side.)

Tony

Good morning, Eve. I just saw your husband pull away.

Eve

My God, Tony, have you been drinking?

Tony

All night long, been celebrating. Oh, don't worry, I'm not going to work. I just came by to pick up my draw. He did leave a check, right?

Eve

No.

Tony

He was supposed to have left a check for me, for the work I've completed. Maybe you could call him, and ask if you can write me one. Otherwise I guess I'll have to come back later on, after I've had a nap.

Eve

I'm sorry, Tony, I can't call him. He's gone out of town, and I can't write you a check.

Tony

What do you mean, he's out of town? When's he get back?

Eve

In three days.

Tony

Three fucking days! I'll be dead in three fucking days. Pardon my French there, Eve, but I did the work. I'm supposed to get a draw!

Eve

He left you a list.

Tony

Another fucking list. Is that all this guy does? Writes lists and busts my balls? (He breaks the cap on the bottle and takes a swig.) Sorry about drinking on the job, Eve. Hell, tell your husband. He can write me a list about it.

Eve

Maybe you should come back later, Tony?

Tony

Oh you think so, do you? After dark, maybe? You would like that, wouldn't you, Eve? Me and you, alone in the dark. You've thought about what it would be like? You and me with the lights out?

Eve

Please go.

Tony

Not yet, I have to do my list. Where is it? Come on Eve, where's the list?. (Eve hesitatingly pulls it from the pocket of her trousers.) Let me see here.

Eve

Why don't you read it later on, when you've sobered up? You could read it at home. And call Jimmy when he gets back.

Tony

Shit, you really do want me to go. That's a change. Is our soap on yet? We should sit down and watch TV, but Hubby and Sonny boy wouldn't like that. (He grabs Eve's hand and pulls her toward the sofa easily resisting her attempts to get away.) Come on Eve, have a drink, lighten up. (He offers her the bag. She shakes her head.) Please yourself. It's more for me. Why don't we just take a minute before we turn the TV on to read old Jimmy-boy's list? Let me see. Ah! Retile the kitchen floor, because the lines aren't straight. That's imported Terrazzo, it's very expensive, and he wants me to rip it up and start again? Okay, let's start with that.

(He stands and makes his way to the kitchen. Sound of a hammer hitting tile. Eve crosses to kitchen and gasps in horror.)

Eve

Tony! Stop! Please stop!

Tony

Can't stop now, Eve, got to complete the list!

(Eve watches, horrified, as the sound continues. She moves hurriedly away from the door as Tony lurches through it. He is carrying a hammer which he uses to punctuate his sentences.)

Tony

I'll get one of my guys to finish that up. Oh! That's right, I don't have any guys! I can't afford guys! Can you keep a secret Eve? I can't afford to replace the floor.

Eve

What do you mean?

Tony

My financial future looks a little bleak.

Eve

They didn't pay you?

Tony

Who?

Eve

The people who owed you money!

Tony

Oh, those people! No, Eve. they didn't come through, but then again, neither did your husband. He let me down. So did the number three horse at Aqueduct Park. So did the Eagles and the Wizards. Seems like everyone is letting old Tony down. Did I tell you I got the permits? I did everything I said I would do, but that bastard husband of yours still finds fault.

Eve

Tony, what happened to my money?

Tony

I invested it a trifle unwisely, but not to worry, I borrowed enough to cover it from a loan shark named Lonnie. Reasonable at 20% a week interest. That's when the story gets really sad. It sort of involves the horse I mentioned.

Eve

I trusted you!

Tony

And I'm sorry about that, but when it comes to gambling I'm a degenerate.

Eve

Sebastian!

Tony

Where?

Eve

I promised Sebastian I would give him the money for his prom!

Tony

How much is it?

Eve

Five hundred dollars.

Tony

Ooops! Hold on, what are we worried about? I'll just give you your money when Jimmy gives me my draw!

Eve

There's not going to be any draw, don't you understand that? He'll go insane when he sees what you've done to the kitchen!

Tony

I'm only doing what he asked! I've fucked it up big time Eve. It's the gambling, I'm a prisoner to it. Do you know what it's like being a prisoner to something? How could you. Look at the life you have - surrounded by money, hubby provides all you need. Shit, Eve, you don't even have a job to go to. You just sit home all day watching soaps and planning meals in your brand new kitchen... by the way, it don't look good for that getting finished any time soon. Now what's Jimmy-boy going to do?

Eve

Probably kill me!

(For the first time Tony notices Eve's bruised face.)

Tony

What happened to your face?

Eve

You!

Tony

I never touched you!

Eve

No you never did, did you?

Tony

I can't believe he abused you!

Eve

Why not? You did.

Tony

I never hit you!

Eve

You did worse, you abused my trust! You have no idea what you've done, do you? Do you think Jimmy will batter you because the kitchen is a mess? No! You will just get a visit from a high priced attorney. I am responsible for the kitchen! You and Jimmy lacked the courage to face each other, so you put me in the middle.

Tony

I didn't know he was hitting you.

Eve

But you suspected?

Tony

Maybe, but I don't get involved in other peoples' domestics. No, that's wrong, I would have gotten involved. He doesn't scare me. A man who hits a woman is the lowest form of scum!

Act II, Scene Eleven

(Tony is asleep on the sofa. Eve is calmly watching TV. He wakes groggily)

Tony

Oh God! What time is it?

Eve

About 2 o'clock. I'm glad you're awake - Sebastian will be home soon, and I would rather he did not see you.

Tony

I am so sorry, Eve. How can you ever forgive me? I should never have come here drunk. Your face! My God, what happened to your face? Please tell me I never did that!

Eve

You don't remember?

Tony

I don't remember doing that. I don't remember much, but I'm sure I never did that.

Eve

Do you remember the kitchen?

Tony

Not really, why?

Eve

Go and look.

(Tony crosses to kitchen.)

Tony

Sweet Jesus! Who did that?

Eve

You did.

Tony

No way!

Eve

I think it's best you leave.

Tony

I did that? But why? I only came here to pick up a check and explain about your money.

Eve

You already did that. Something about a horse.

Tony

So I explained it, right?

Eve

It was a little confusing. Why not explain it again?

Tony

It's like this. The guys who owed me never came through. I put my last bit of money on a horse race to see if I could win your money back. I got so upset when it lost, I hooked up with a buddy and I got drunk. I am so sorry, Eve. Just wait a day or two and I will have it back.

Eve

I'll manage without the money Tony, but I do think it's time you leave.

Tony

Eve, you have got to believe me.

Eve

Will it make it better for you if I do?

Tony

Why are you turning against me, Eve? I thought we were friends.

Eve

It's a little dangerous for me to make friends, Tony. My husband frowns on them.

Tony

I'm not afraid of him, Eve. I'll wait for him to come home and I'll face him. It's not right what he did to you.

Eve

Tony, I have some things to do before my son gets home. I suggest if you want to see Jimmy, you come back in a few days. It's time the two of you had a talk.

Tony

Eve, I want to fix this! Tell me what I can do to fix this! Please Eve, don't turn your back on me, I'm desperate!

Eve

No Tony, you're afraid! You have no idea what it's like to be desperate.