ALL FLESH IS GLASS
scene: polystyrene balls
City Street - Justine, Arabel
JUSTINE HAS BEEN WEEPING. SHE WIPES HER EYES WITH A TISSUE. SHE TAKES A KOOL MINT FROM A FRESH BOX AND EATS IT.
SHE IS STANDING BEFORE A SHOP FRONT WINDOW, STARING INTENSELY AT ITS CONTENTS: A FLAWLESS, SYMMETRICAL FEMALE MANNEQUIN WEARING LUXURIANT WHITE FURS OVER A WHITE SUIT IN A SKI-TABLEAU LIT WITH COOL NEON. THE SHOP WINDOW DISPLAY PROVIDES A STARK CONTRAST TO THE DUSTY, SWEATY CITYSCAPE WHICH JUSTINE INHABITS.
ARABEL, NEAT AND WELL-DRESSED, CARRYING A CLIPBOARD, REGARDS JUSTINE FROM A DISTANCE. SHE COMES TO STAND BESIDE HER. THERE IS SOMETHING OFFICIAL ABOUT ARABEL AND THIS UNSETTLES JUSTINE, WHO ATTEMPTS TO IGNORE THE PRYING STRANGER.
ARA: Excuse me.
ARA: I hope I'm not bothering you...
JUSTINE TAKES A LITTLE STEP AWAY
ARA: I just wanted to say...
ARA: It's your tattoo
JUS: What about it?
ARA: I like it. I like the flower. What kind is it?
USTINE HIDES THE TATTOO ON HER SHOULDER.
ARA: Oh, no. I don't think you should hide it.
JUSTINE STARES AT THE DISPLAY, PAINFULLY AWARE OF ARABEL.
ARA: It's beautiful.
JUS: It's just a flower.
SHE WAITS FOR ARABEL TO LEAVE.
ARA: It's just an ordinary flower. But when you look closely, it's not ordinary at all.
JUS: SHRUGS: Thanks.
ARA: I'd love a tattoo. One like yours. But I don't think I'd have the courage.
JUS: It's really nothing special.
ARA: Oh, but it is.
JUSTINE TURNS TO ARABEL.
JUS: Look, do you mind?
ARA: I beg your pardon?
JUS: Do you mind not standing next to me?
ARA: I don't mean to disturb you.
JUS: Then don't talk to me.
PAUSE. JUSTINE TURNS BACK TO THE WINDOW. THEY REGARD ITS CONTENTS.
ARA: Nice clothes?
ARA: I rather like them.
ARA: But then I couldn't see myself wearing them.
ARA: Could you?
JUS: I don't know.
ARA: They're far too... something. I don't know what.
JUSTINE WALKS AWAY. ARABEL FOLLOWS HER.
ARA: Perfect. That's the word. I mean, they look nice enough there in the window, but judging by what you're wearing now, I'd say you wouldn't consider wearing them because they were just too... perfect.
JUSTINE STOPS, ANNOYED THAT ARABEL IS WALKING WITH HER.
JUS: Please. Leave me alone.
ARA: You're not in a hurry, are you?
JUS: Yes. I am, actually.
ARA: So, you've got something to do right now?
ARA: I don't think you have.
JUS: How would you know?
ARA: You were casually standing in the street. Not the behaviour of a busy woman.
JUS: I'm sorry to disappoint you...
ARA: You were staring in a shop window; if you were in a hurry...
JUSTINE WALKS. ARABEL ACCOMPANIES HER
ARA: You're only walking to get rid of me.
JUS: Oh, Jesus! Are you deaf or something?
ARA: NODS: You're unhappy.
JUS: Listen, if you're really that concerned, leave me alone and let me do what I have to do.
ARA: A little tense.
JUS: LOUDLY: Only because of you!
ARA: A little anxious. Are you going to light a cigarette?
ARA: Do you want a cigarette?
JUS: I've given up.
ARA: Have you?
ARA: I don't think so.
JUS: I know what I've given up and what I haven't.
ARABEL LIGHTS JUSTINE A CIGARETTE. PAUSE. ANGRILY, JUSTINE ACCEPTS IT.
ARA: Why were you looking in the window? Was it really the clothes?
JUS: What else would it be?
ARA: The woman in the clothes. The manikin. Was it her?
JUS: Please stop asking me questions.
ARA: Tell me.
JUS: Why should I?
ARA: Why shouldn't you?
JUS: I don't know you.
ARA: Should that really be a problem?
JUS: I don't trust you.
ARA: Why not?
JUS: Because... I don't know you!
JUS: Why should I confide in a perfect stranger?
ARA: You don't trust strangers?
ARA: Bitter experience?
ARA: Advice from people you respect? And trust.
JUS: Yes, but...
ARA: It's a sensible strategy to employ in a city like this?
ARA: You feel vulnerable.
JUS: Well, yes.
ARA: To assault. Robbery
JUS: It happens, doesn't it?
PAUSE. JUSTINE CANNOT FIND WORDS.
ARA: You're alone. Out in the street. At night. Defenceless. Are you frightened now?
JUS: More annoyed than frightened.
ARABEL PRODUCES A KNIFE. INSTANTLY, JUSTINE RECOILS. SHE IS HORRIFIED BY THE WEAPON.
ARA: CALMLY: Do you carry one of these?
JUS: I'm not frightened of you.
ARA: But you don't trust me.
JUS: What do you want?
ARA: To talk to you.
JUS: Then put that away.
PAUSE. ARABEL PUTS AWAY THE WEAPON. JUSTINE RELAXES FRACTIONALLY. ARABEL FOLLOWS JUSTINE AS SHE WALKS.
ARA: I saw how long you stood. On the spot. With that box of Koolmints.
JUS: What business is it of yours?
ARA: I saw you cry.
JUS: You were watching me. Why?
ARA: What was on your mind?
JUS: I was just looking at the clothes.
JUS: Can't I just look at them? Just for the sake of it?
ARA: Was it their colour? Was it because they were white?
JUS: DREAMILY: I like white.
THEY ARE BACK AT THE STOREFRONT WINDOW. THEY STOP.
ARA: She looks cool in there, doesn't she?
JUS: She's lucky.
ARA: Luckier than you've been?
JUS: You can't get clean in this heat. The sweat...
ARA: The sun. Withering your skin.
JUS: The air. Full of grit. Sharp and dry.
ARA: But she's clean in there, isn't she? She's beautiful.
JUS: I like her...
JUS: Her smooth skin. Her contours...
ARA: Her seamlessness? I believe you.
JUS: Her flawlessness... LAUGHS: But she's not real.
ARA: Where is she, do you think?
JUS: Can't you see the snow? She's on a mountain somewhere. Outside a chalet.
ARA: That stuff on the floor. It's supposed to be snow, is it?
JUS: I think so.
ARA: Those little white balls. They use them for packing, don't they?
JUS: Yes, but you're supposed to think of them as snowballs.
ARA: Very poor snowballs.
JUS: Who cares. I love the snow.
ARA: You must be desperate for the snow.
JUSTINE IS A LITTLE OVERCOME. SHE MAY WEEP
ARA: Would you like to sit down?
ARA: Would you like to go for a drink?
ARA: I think you need one.
JUSTINE NODS. ARABEL BEGINS TO ESCORT HER AWAY, BUT THEN PAUSES.
ARA: Oh, I forgot! You have things to do.
ARA: You said you were in a hurry.
JUS: It's alright. It doesnąt matter.
ARA: Because, if you are...
JUS: I'm not.
ARA: You said before...
JUS: I'm not. I was lying. I've nothing to do. I'm not in a hurry.
TOGETHER THEY WALK.
ARA: I read about those little balls the other day... Those white polystyrene balls...
ARA: Would you believe. They give you cancer.