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Miniopera – Housewife’s Choice

Housewife’s Choice

A Miniopera by Gina Hills

The main characters are ‘Wife’ and ‘Husband’, both in their late thirties, early forties.

The chorus is all female to represent the many roles of Wife.

The scene is a kitchen.

Wife is alone.

 

WIFE                                                                                      

The time’s nine oh five and the children are gone

It’s all very quiet now. I am alone

Gone is the hustle and bustle, the rush

To get them all ready, make them all hush

Their incessant noise, the permanent row.

I stand all alone, hear kinder sounds now:

A whispering wind outside in the trees,

A bark in the distance, the hum of the bees.

The clock and the fridge and the drip of the tap

I really should call out the plumber. Oh crap!

Then there’s washing to do and mess on the stairs,

Dust on the shelves and who bloody cares

If my house isn’t clean, if the loo needs a wipe?

I won’t get arrested, it’s middle class hype.

And now I am falling into the pit

Of pettiness, meaningless worries and shit.

And nobody listens, nobody hears

The noise in my head, constant ring in my ears

As I scream

And I scream

And I scream

And I scream

Enter husband

WIFE                                            HUSBAND                   

First he needs a shirt then his wallet and keys

Are not where he put them. He said:

Will you please

Just stop what you’re doing and help me to get

Ready for work.

I must never forget

That his job is much more important than me,

And life as we know it would stop sans I.T.

Thanks, love, where were they? Under my bag?

You must’ve tidied, you funny old nag.

A term of affection. Don’t like it at all

I tried to tell him it made me feel small.

You make me feel/

Rubbish! It’s only a name.

You know I love you. it’s our little game.

I’ll see you later, and maybe tonight…

Then he winked, squeezed my arse, a little too tight.

Oh God, I forgot, it’s Wednesday today

And that is what passes as married foreplay.

And nobody listens, nobody hears

The noise in my head, constant ring in my ears

As I scream

Need your time

And I scream

Need your life

And I scream

Need your love

And I scream

You’re my wife

The Chorus drifts in during this verse

WIFE                                                 HUSBAND                                CHORUS

Once I was young and my dreams felt so real,

My wishes so close I could reach out, reveal

All of them glittering like jewels in a chest

Waiting for me to choose which was best.

But I got distracted by something more fun

In a tight pair of jeans with a pert juicy bum.

We talked and we laughed, wanted love at first sight,

Then went back to mine and we fucked through the night.

And my dreams were so easy to put on a shelf:

‘They’ll be safe there till later’ I said to myself.

But later soon came and:

I need to intern

And later than that:

Now we both need to earn

A tiny bit later:

We need a new car,

But possibly next year when finances are…

Shit, I was late! Had to pee on that stick,

Got the second blue line then I really felt sick.

And nobody listens, nobody hears

The noise in my head, constant ring in my ears

As I scream

Need your time.                      Where’s my time?

And I scream

Need your life.                        Where’s my life?

And I scream

Need your love.                       Where’s my love?

And I scream

You’re my wife.                       I am wife

I spend all my time with the kids and their noise.

Their fussing and fighting and cheap, plastic toys.

Each day is spent shouting and cleaning and then

Go to bed, and get up. Start all over again.

You can’t wear that and your teeth are not clean.

Where is your homework, your lunch, my routine?

My routine? My routine? What have I become?

A nag or a monster or – oh no, my mum!

How did this happen? Where did I go?

And when, why and how? It’s not fair you know!

And the noise just gets louder, I feel myself sink

In that pit of despair. Quiet! Please let me think

How to rescue my self, how to rip up this life.

Cut out this hell with the blade of a knife.

This isn’t how I dreamed it could be.

Block my ears to the screams. Set myself free.

They all need to listen, all need to hear

The noise in my head constant ring in my ears

As I scream

It’s my time!                                        Need your time.                      Where’s my time?

And I scream

It’s my life!                                          Need your life.                        Where’s my life?

And I scream

It’s not love!                                        Need your love.                       Where’s my love?

And I scream

No more wife!                                      You’re my wife.                       I am wife.

And I scream and I scream and I scream and I scream

ENOUGH!

The time’s nine oh five and the children are gone.

It’s all very quiet now. I am alone

Gone is the hustle, the bustle, the row.

I stand on my own, hear kinder sounds now:

The whispering breeze that ruffles my hair

Fills the sails of my boat with Bahamian air

As I glide to the dock where people will pay

To share in my dream, if just for one day.

When I cut all my ties with the knife that I took

To the house in my rage, I had a good look

At myself and the bars of the cage I had made

By forgetting to dream, by being afraid.

And my kids like to come, it’s their holiday home,

But when they’re not here I am happy. Alone.

Well, apart from the Helmsman who’s known to some

As that Plumber from home with the pert juicy bum.

And I dream,

And I dream,

And I dream,

And I dream.

END

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