EACH TO THEIR OWN - PART TWO
"What inspires you Syde?" Nietzlawe's question was sudden and unexpected. Syde had to think about it for a few seconds.
Syde: "Change. What we do puts a lot of smiles on people's faces. Theatre is my whole life, you know that Nie. Making people laugh in an otherwise miserable world. If it weren't for that, I wouldn't want to wake up in the mornings."
*Sigh* "I know, I know, but sometimes I have to try and remind myself 'why' we do it, why we torture ourselves like this. I feel old, so worn, my energy is not what it used to be Syde. It feels like we've been running a hamster wheel for years and years. There has to be a time when we say enough is enough, life is too short to waste it here, I'm getting too old Syde!"
"Pfft! 'You' feel old? What about me? I've been doing this job for close to 65 years, it's all I've ever known, I eat, breathe and sleep this place. You ever hear me demand a rest, or even a measly day off?" Then the realisation hit home. "Wait a minute! I know what this conversation is all about, yeah... you've had the hump ever since that nurse came."
"Ur.. Yeah.. Um.... Well! And with good reason, what the hell was she doing here anyway? Rooting through stuff that didn't belong to her. She could have been a thief, or even a sp..." Syde interrupted.
"She wasn't a spy, she was merely testing the integrity of the stage, making sure that the foundation underneath was safe. We haven't had it checked in over 30 years. Hasn't enough bad things already happened on this stage without another tragedy occuring. We just don't need it Nie and thanks to her, everything is hunky dory."
"So why was she dressed in a nurse's uniform then?"
"It was a precautionary measure."
"A precaution against what?"
"Come on... you know what it's like outside Nie, and if you think about it, nobody would dare murder a nurse. Not now, not in these dire circumstances. She's a good woman, she's on our side."
"How long has she been interested in construction work?"
"No idea, does it really matter? She practically solved a mini-crisis under there, although it does make me feel insecure watching a woman do a man's job. It's this place, it stifles a man's creativity and ability to take care of the simplest of tasks... And now th..." Nietzlawe butted in.
"We should go outside Syde.... We need to!"
"Um, we can't do that, you know the rules, the boundaries."
"But its depressing inside, the only thing keeping me sane is this book. How long can we keep talking through sock puppets and performing to fucking mannequins Syde? How long? We have done our time in the doldrums, how about we just pack up a couple of damn suitcases and just get the hell out of here!"
"You're losing it big time Nie... You don't realise what you're sayi..."
"Of course I'm fucking losing it! And yes, I do realise what I'm saying. where's the freethought? I'm tired Syde, I'm sick with insomnia, we've put every last drop of apocrine and blood into making this place work. How long can we keep flogging a dead horse before we realise that it's dead! It's just not working here, every little thing is falling to pieces around us. We're bloody cursed! I'm convinced we are! Aren't you fed up? fed up with this notion that everything is alright, wearing the same pair of overalls for God knows how long!"
"Yeah, but these are my lucky overalls."
"Hah, luck? Are you having a laugh? We haven't tasted a slice of good fortune since that nurse turned up in her tasty uniform. We haven't known what it feels like to experience euphoria, bliss. Face it, we've never been lucky."
"Acquiring this place was fortunate, especiallly at the time we acquired it."
"Yeah, but looking back, the alternative would have been more appertising now."
"Don't say that Nie, you are like a brother to me, everytime you say something like that, it just gives me another reason to feel sad. And I don't want to feel sad. You just need to keep plugging away, don't give up on yourself, I need you to keep me going... Here's something that might brighten your mood up, how about we rebuild the church?"
"It's not really much of a church though is it?"
"True... But what do you say Nie? How about it? You and me crack our heads together and we'll build the finest damn theatre that the world has ever seen. People will flock from all over the world to come here. All I see when I look outside is the same old cycle. one that never ever changes from one day to the next. But we can revolutionise.. make evolution rise."
"Okay Syde, I'll do this.. But only because it's you. I suppose we have to do something to keep ourselves occupied and what better way than sprucing up this dingy little rat-infested hellhole."
"That's the spirit Nie, I knew you had it in you. We'll be okay."
"I want it done properly, professionally constructed, no shortcuts, no cowboys.. I mean it Syde. I don't want us cutting any corners on this. For example, this green sludge shit that's got all around the church. The stuff is getting under my skin, it's evenunder my fingernails, look."
"Don't worry brother, it's not poisonous, look how long we've worked around it and it's never done either of us any harm at all. Anyway, forget about that for now, I'm getting old Nie, this will more than likely be the last project that I ever work on. Let's leave them with something to be proud of, something that can be passed down. The worst part of this place is that it smells bloody awful. Too much like death for my liking, it needs to see life, not these stupid wooden statues and tubs of greasepaint all over."
"All that matters now is the junk in the storage room, we will need to have a mass clearout, see what we want to keep and what shit we need to get rid of."