The Violet, Day 18

Ilonka. If you please. She begins again, singing the first strophe with the composer’s accompaniment. As the song goes on she leans toward the composer, puts her hand on his shoulder, then even around his neck. The composer is visibly succumbs to this, and rests his head on the woman’s bosom.

Composer after the song. Bravo, dear, congratulations! Feverishly. You will not only get small roles. You will get enormous parts! You will make a career with us! Seizing her hand and drawing her to him. You have such a warm voice, truly, it flies to my heart. And fresh, like a hand-bell. And this soft little hand … And how fragrant …

The director watches this in horror.

Ilonka. Oh, I am so happy!

Composer drawing his head beside her, passionately. And how it throbbed … your little heart, while you sang … and how fragrant your little heart is … and how this little hand burns with passion …

Ilonka in raptures of pleasure. Dear, enchanting man … I swear before God I am in Heaven.

Director ringing the telephone. Halló, Heaven here. Pardon, the director’s office. Excuse me, Mr. Composer, but this is already bordering on scandal, these proceedings.

Composer. What did you say?

Director gesturing at the phone. I told him my opinion.

Composer. But perhaps you shouldn’t speak with the composer that way.

Director. He is a clever man, that will not offend him. To the telephone. Halló! Give my regards to your lovely wife. Puts down the phone.

Long pause, the composer is embarrassed.

Ilonka. Look darling, now hold the other hand a little while, this one is going numb.

Composer. Whichever you want, you darling.

Long, awkward pause.

Composer stands, embarrassed. Skultéti, if you please.

Director stands. At your service.

Composer. Please … bring me a glass of water.

Almost six pages today. I’d hoped to push on, but what I meant to be a brief nap insisted on prolonging itself. Even so, a very good pace.

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