January 3, 2014: My Boy Builds Coffins

“My Boy Builds Coffins” by Florence + the Machine from Lungs

Listen to it here

  Things are getting weird.... (picture from youqueen.com)

Things are getting weird.... (picture from youqueen.com)

Cocktail party. Ms. Martine has a visibly anxious to get away Natalie trapped in a corner of the room.

MS. MARTINE (sounding a bit annoyed)

I just don’t think you have an appreciation for what I’m saying.

 

NATALIE (equally, if not more, annoyed)

No, no. I certainly get it.

 

MS. MARTINE

It’s about—

 

NATALIE

Yes, job security. Job security and the ability to name a price. I got it.

 

MS. MARTINE

Exactly right. And my boy, my Jerry has it. Sure, there are boom and bust times…sometimes a few weeks’ll go by without customers. But the customers—

 

NATALIE

Are guaranteed to come eventually. Like I said, I understand.

 

MS. MARTINE

Guaranteed! Inevitably. A fact of life, it is. Feast and famine, but when it is feast…well, you’d have to be a special kind of impractical not to be able to sock some away for the slow times.

 

NATALIE

I suppose so.

 

MS. MARTINE (almost shocked)

You suppose? You sup-POSE?! Believe me, I know.

 

NATALIE

Well…

 

MS. MARTINE

So you say you get it. What’s the problem then?

 

NATALIE

I’ve never met him, for one.

 

MS. MARTINE

Which is what I’ve been saying. Let him take you out. Some place nice. I know he’d love to. I mean…look at you. Smart as a whip I hear and…well, I’m not the take to speak of someone else’s body, but…everything seems top of the line. Very high, proud, and tight. I don’t imagine you get a lot of guys looking away when you walk by.

 

NATALIE (blushing)

Ms. Martine, please, this is—

 

MS. MARTINE (giggling)

Oh come on now. It’s just us gals. It’s not like I don’t know what men think about it, now is it?

 

NATALIE

Re—regardless. Can we just…not, please?

 

MS. MARTINE

Of course, of course. But a lady needn’t be ashamed that she has the best set on the block. Nothing wrong with a little accurate assessment of one’s physical charms, you know.

Pause

So, when should I have Jerry call you?

 

NATALIE (exasperated)

Ms. Martine, please—

 

MS. MARTINE

What?! You get it about the job security and I’m not saying you have to marry him after the first date. Why not?

 

NATALIE (pausing, shrugging, getting a little quieter)

Well, it is all a bit morbid, isn’t it?

 

MS. MARTINE

Oh, honestly, dear, how reductive.

 

NATALIE

Look, I’m sorry, but it is. He doesn’t make anything else, even as a hobby. Not tables or chairs or jewelry boxes. Just coffins! All the time! I don’t think he has a job, I think he has an obsession there’s a market for!

 

MS. MARTINE

My goodness. That’s a bit rude, now isn’t it. A simple “no thanks,” would’ve sufficed. I mean, honestly. Today’s youth.

 

NATALIE (storming off)

Whatever! I’m going to get cremated anyway.

 

MS. MARTINE (horrified)

Don’t you…don’t you ever say that!