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Rosebud

 

(Pretty Boy is sprinkling spices

in a glass of warm wine

as he sings)

 

The Christmas wine is in the pot,

The Christmas coals are red.

I’ll spend my day

The lover’s way

Unwrapping all my gifts in bed.

Someone’s goose,

is about to be cooked – – –

 

(He senses someone behind him;

turns and sees Eli)

 

No one else is caroling.

It might as well be Lent.

When I was little,

Christmas was a time of great confusion to me.

The Holy Land had two Gods…

Jesus and my naughty uncle.

I never knew whose birthday we were celebrating.

 

Peter isn’t here.

 

Good,

we can talk behind his back.

 

What happened?

 

Don’t you know?

There was a scene with anterooms

and executive washrooms,

and many things got said.

 

Spiced wine.

I’d forgotten Peter liked it.

May I stay?

 

It’s your home just as much as mine:

we seem to be sharing everything.

 

Packed in, like the poor,

three to a bed.

 

Did you love Peter… ever?

 

Ever?

Back before the Second World War?

 

As long ago as Rosebud.

 

Ah, that’s pre-history, lamb.

There are no written records – – –

or survivors.

 

There are photos.

He was prettier than you.

 

Oh, much. His eyes, in certain light, were violet,

and all his teeth were even.

That’s a rare, fair feature… even teeth.

He smiled to excess, and – – –

he spoke with a flare.

 

And you hate him even now?

 

No, but I did.

Peter put him in my place, you see,

and that was very hard.

Like you, he slept in Peter’s bed.

 

That was my place.

 

And so you had him poisoned?

 

No, I never poisoned Rosebud.

Oh, I prayed for him to die…

and smiled a little when he did.

 

Why aren’t you happy?

Peter’s keeping you.

You must be cleverer than I am.

 

I’ve tried feeling pity for you,

but it keeps on turning

into something else.

 

Why pity?

 

You love Peter,

but you love his corporation, too.

You look at him, and you see

corporate headquarters, real estate,

Atlantic City, and profits.

 

All I see is Peter.

Leave him to me, can’t you?

 

I left him years ago.

 

And I thought I could move you.

Were you always like this?

When I was younger – – –

I admired you,

is this what you were like?

 

 

Most likely.

Deary, I’m finished fighting,

and I’ve come to give him

anything he asks for.

 

Do you know what I would like

for Christmas?

I would like to see

you suffer.

 

Sweety – – –

just for you.

 

(Pretty Boy throws himself

into Eli’s arms)

 

Oh you poor little soul!

 

I’m so afraid

for my future.

 

Now, now.

There, there.

 

(Eli sings softly)

 

Have yourself a merry little Christmas

Let your heart be light

In the future

our troubles will be out of sight

Have yourself a merry little Christmas

Make the Yule-tide gay

From now on

our troubles will be far away

Here were are as in olden days

miserable golden days of yore

Faithful enemies who are dear to us

gather near to us once more

 

In future years this will all be over

If Peter’s sons allow

Hang your hopes upon the highest bough

And have yourself a merry little Christmas now

 

 

Tomorrow Next Post:  PETER ENTERS

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