The flat is cast by night and nicotine. Its furnishings appear in silhouette. Its occupants—two—at first, form three-dimensional shadows. A cigarette glows... its haze pervades the sultry atmosphere (visibility, if anything, getting worse), the butt-end like some fiery, irritated Cyclops.

A lump-shape, naked as coal, in the background stirs... sighs.


The butt-end draws an arc, transported from lips to ashtray. Except for this, its host remains inert.

The lump-shape, with a restless toss, sets bedsprings creaking, groaning. An arm spills over the mattress... followed by a leg.

"Oscar, sweetie?"

Oscar's stubborn silence hangs unbroken.

The bedsprings groan again, as the lump-shape shifts.

"Oscar, sweetie, wanna rub some coooool on Lena's booty?"

Helene's black finger pokes into an open jar of cold cream. She scoops a milk-white clot and smears it on her bum.

"Come on, sweetie, do me... Oscar? Oscar?"

The arc retraces itself back-and-forth methodically. Twin gray snakes emerge from a wide-set vent.

Illumined like a moth, the gob of cold-cream slowly rises... flutters through the darkness... comes, at length, to a restless rest; Lena's upturned buttocks beg consideration.

"Wha'sa matter, baby; you too tuckered?"

Meant to woo, her tender words are reinforced by touches. Two-tone hands alight, embrace, massage his thickset frame, cling to it like a poultice of unfulfilled desire.

"Feel goooood, baby? Feel better? Ooooo, you gots nice muscles. What you do wiff aw dis pen'-up stren'th?... You pokin' someun else's, Oscar?" Rippling flesh repels her, like withers tries to shake her off; Helene renews her grip. "Gettin' yo'self some extra, baby? Gettin' it on da sly?"

Cleaved to brawny shoulders, fingers curl, embed their nails, then rake... draw blood... though fail to faze; their object does not flinch.

The white gob flutters back to bed; the lump-shape lies down, sobbing... midnight licks its wounds; the Cyclops glowers.



Music shouts...

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