From the circle seats, aged and worn through to the horsehair that sticks out to spear the sitter, Laura watches her husband preform the scene The Garden and the Castle. The lighting is set so that the shadows elongate, stretching far across the stage, pointing finger-like towards Laura.
‘Shall I deny you? No. Farewell, my lord.’
‘Farewell, my Desdemona. I’ll come to thee straight.’
His dark-skinned hand travels across the smooth pallor of her arm as she passes.
‘But wait, what was that?’ Laura questions as Desdemona disappears from view with Emila. What is wrong with that scene? The lead character’s fingertips touching. Then, static for a second before all bodily contact is broken.
‘It is the green-eyed monster which doth mock.’ Iago says from the stage, knowing full well that the lady in question is unblemished in her allegiance to his lord Othello.
She shifts from one buttock to the other, telling herself that she must not listen to the voices in her head. She should learn to trust. Her husband loves her. Why else would he marry her and want to honeymoon in Barbados with her? Damn her paranoia. When will it ever end?
The rustling skirts signify that Desdemona, played by her husband’s ex-girlfriend, is returning to the stage. It becomes the clapper board noise that transports Laura back to the wedding day.
In the doorway of the grand hall, she had seen them pass each other, neither one of them aware of her presence. And there it is, in freeze frame, their fingers, the fingertips touching, lingering a little too long before his ‘one-time lover’, wearing an eight–gore skirt, heads towards the bathroom, her net petticoats crackling with unspoken electricity.
Copyright©Talia Hardy 2012.