Duffer (1971) - full transcript

An intense and bizarre study of obsession that is by turns lyrical and disconcerting, Duffer tells the deranged story of a teenage boy torn between the womanly charms of a kindly prostitute, and the relentless, sadistic attentions of an older man.

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BUFFER. It was like something quiet,
peaceful and mystical,

being down there by the river.

Helped you to get away from things,

if things got to be
too difficult, you know.

If Louis Jack was being too hard on me

or if Your Gracie asked
too many questions,

or if I was just needing a rest.

So I'd go down to Hammersmith,
near the bridge,

or maybe take a bus to Richmond
and just read my book,

or maybe think
or just do nothing at all.

Sure, I heard the traffic
roaring around the bridge.



Sure, there was some smoke and stuff
in the air and bits of litter around,

but it was all beautiful
and tranquil country to me.

You and nobody else
can tell me otherwise yet.

I could be just lazy and peaceful

and look at the river
without a care in the world.

There was even a tree or two
on the other side.

I had to go back, sure.

But being down there from time to time
was good for me.

I figure it maybe even saved me.

When I was down there,
Louis Jack was only a dream,

not a reality at all.

And Your Gracie hardly even existed
for me when I was down there.

I imagine my troubles first started

that day I went around
looking tor Your Gracie



and found her there in the laundromat,
trying to pick up some other duffer.

YOUR GRACE: I wasn't trying
to pick up anybody, Duffer, love.

He was just a sweet boy
who reminded me of you.

BUFFER: Oh, I'm not criticising you,
Your Gracie. I don't mind.

YOUR GRACIE: I liked
his gap-toothed face.

And with that old windbag he had there
who kept on screaming at him

to get away from me
as if I had the plague or something,

well, I couldn't do naught
but call her stupid bluff, now, could I?

DU FFER: She called you names,
if I remember.

YOUR GRACE: That she did,
though it don't affect me.

I never let names affect me, love.

Take this advice.
Never let them affect you, neither.

He was a lovely boy in his way,
just like you.

And I thought, since it had been
such a long time since I'd seen you,

maybe I'd remember you if he came home

and had a little jelly of me,
you understand.

I always loved boys, understand?

Having, as I do,
this affliction of mine,

having more jelly than I can cope with,
you do understand.

And my clients being
mostly old men, well...

BUFFER: Well, I'd never hardly
blame you, now, could I?

'(OUR GRACE: I would like to see you
more often, sweet love, I would.

BUFFER". So would I, Your Gracie.

YOUR GRACE: If only you'd leave
that terrible man.

Then you could come and stay
in my flouncy bed forever.

BUFFER. Well, she gave me
a royal welcome,

'cause I hadn't seen her for some time
and was I glad to see her.

Louis Jack had been kind of rough on me,
and I wanted to forget it.

Nothing better than a little jelly
to forget with,

so I thought.

Well, we just sat there chatting away

and she said I could come along
to her place for a treat, if I liked.

She was always like that with me,

let me come and go
with never a question.

But this date, she looked at me hard and
suddenly, she started asking questions,

like, “What's the matter, Duffer, love?“

And, “You don't seem
the same, Duffer, love,“ and so on.

Well, when I told her Louis Jack
had been rough on me,

she said I should leave him,
once and for all.

Well, that hit me where it hurt

because I knew I'd have to leave her,
then, for a while.

I couldn't leave him. He needed me.

But I wanted her, and there she was
crossing over the line.

Crossing over the line.

I was feeling terrible, just awful.

I had nowhere to go,
except back to Louis Jack.

If only Your Gracie hadn't got bossy
and asked questions,

then I wouldn't have been there, then.

I'd have been ploughing at her
and having a real fine time.

I was in the mood for her.

I didn't want to be back home,
putting up with him.

It wasn't like her to ask questions
and not understand me,

but there she'd been,

not understanding me
and asking questions.

And now there I was, calling Louis Jack.

You never knew what he was going to do.

One minute he'd be real nice,

and the next minute, he'd be at me
with some kind of torture or other.

But he really wasn't as bad
as people like you might think.

He was really intelligent
and could be really pleasant,

although grotty, too.

But he needed me.

I knew that it was important
to have human sympathy for other people.

I had to let him do what he liked to me,
you see,

because it gave him so much pleasure.

Who was I to deny him
his little pleasures?

He never had much of life,

so anything I could give him
was really very little, wasn't it?

Still, sometimes it wasn't easy.

(LOUIS JACK LAUGHING)

LOUIS JACK: What a bloody business.
Louis Jack.

(GIGGLING) Does anyone know, but,

you are in an arm of...

Animal! Manimal! Womanimal! Womanimal!

Womanimal! Animal! Manimal!
Womanimal! Womanimal!

Womanima/! Duffer!

BUFFER". Yes, yes, Louis Jack!

You'd say that what Louis Jack
liked best was hurting me.

I didn't like it,
but he liked it so much,

I couldn't say no, now, could I?

LOUIS JACK: You will find me black.
You will find me where ladies sing,

a song that's...

BUFFER. But he didn't always hurt me.
Oh, sometimes just a little.

He'd play around real nice sometimes,

and just do this and that,
pretending mostly.

I'd sit and try to enjoy it.

Sometimes I'd play at a piggy puzzle
he gave me, kind of watch him.

I had to be ready.

LOUIS JACK: The wonders apricots
can yield,

leather, or black street of death.

Monocle, debacle, gaybacle, staybacle.

And you won't take the tiniest rebuke.
What else can I do?

You can go to confession
and know it yourself.

Make out a will, commit suicide,
force yourself onto people.

BUFFER. I hope you don't get
the wrong idea.

Louis Jack was one of the best,
one of the nicest.

Even now I think well of him.

It's just that he shouldn't have done
what he did, you see.

Still, even if you don't understand
why he had to do those things to me,

I hope you try. You can try.

Though I liked Louis Jack a lot,
he was just like my own blood,

like a cousin or something,

I couldn't be with him ail the time.

You see, he got too strong
if you let him.

So I had to go away every now and then
and see Your Gracie.

It'd been a long time since I saw her

that day when she asked
too many questions.

So I thought maybe I could go
and have a real good lay with her

in her flouncy bed and all.

It was so clean there.

And it would get Louis Jack off my mind.

He made me do so many things
I really do not like doing.

It was good to go to her
and do what I really liked doing,

like diving into her and all that,
you know.

So I'd go along through the streets

and all these characters
I'd keep meeting up with

kept me going, I can tell you.

But it was all good, ordinary,
down-to-earth people,

though sometimes they got
out of hand a little,

and some of them would as soon
stick you with a knife as with a needle,

(CHUCKLES) if you know what I mean.

Your Gracie!

Your Gracie! Your Gracie!

LOUIS JACK: What's going on here now?
The street is dark.

BUFFER". I've come
to see Your Gracie, officer.

LOUIS JACK: Your Gracie? What is
your relationship with this woman?

Are you a murderer?

What, the anointing power
of the fallen angel?

BUFFER". Why,
we're friends, officer, sir.

LOUIS JACK: Friends?

What is your relationship
with this woman?

If I were the police...

BUFFER". Yeah, I like her,
and she likes me, you see.

LOWS JACK". Oh, what does that mean?

Do you know what I am?

Or I must wait for you?
Are you now betraying me, funk?

Duffer, love, is that you?

Yes, it's me, Your Gracie.

Who is that with you?

It's, uh... It's Sir.
He wants to know...

Sir who? Sir Seize?

What is your relationship with this lad?

We're friends, officer. Come on, love.
Push the gate hard.

(LAUGHING)

OFFICER: Here now, what's going on?

I won't let it happen again, sir.

(YOUR GRACIE LAUGHING)

LOUIS JACK: What? What does this mean?

Duffer, don't go to that diseased,
disgusting creature.

(YOUR GRACIE LAUGHING)

BUFFER". I won't let it
happen again, Louis Jack.

Your Gracie was one of your solid
kind of females.

She had breasts like jelly,
only firm jelly.

And, boy, was she built.

Strawberry jelly's my favourite,
and she was like that.

Although she was years and years
older than me,

she was so full of life, she reminded me
of my poor old mum a little,

who's dead and all.

But my mum and I never had sex together.
It never entered our heads.

You, with your psychology books,
might think we wanted to

because we liked each other a lot.

But you're wrong. We didn't want to.

You might say it was unconscious,
an unconscious desire,

but it wasn't even unconscious.

You see, you don't know,
'cause you didn't know Mum.

And you weren't there either, were you?

You might say that
because I had no father,

it made her want me,
her oldest offspring, as I was.

But I say I must have had a father,
even though I never met him.

Otherwise, I'd be Jesus
and Mum 'd be the Virgin Mary.

I can tell you that Mum was no virgin.
I know it for a fact.

And I'm probably not Jesus either.

There was this monkey on a stick
that Your Gracie had,

and when I piled into her,
she'd start it.

The idea was that the monkey should get
to the bottom before I was finished.

But I never could somehow
last long enough.

I tried, God knows.

(LOUIS JACK SCREAMING)

LOUIS JACK: You are cruel.
A cruel puppy.

BUFFER: Louis Jack liked
to make up little tortures for me,

and I did my best
to act like I enjoyed them.

You see, he was in my blood.

I couldn't say no to him if he wanted
to hurt me a little, could I?

Sometimes he'd hurt me a little too much
and then I'd...

I'd get mad, and have to resist.

I expect you think I'm crazy
for doing this,

but when I think how little pleasure
people seem to get out of life,

I can hardly deny somebody
a little pleasure

at my expense now and then,
now, could I?

Once, when he almost
smothered me to death

but putting cotton and wool up my nose,
I offered some resistance.

But I soon realised my mistake.

You see, if you're going to be kind
to somebody,

and I'd decided to be kind to him,

you don't always get off light.

Sometimes you have to suffer for it.

That's part of the game.

And even if it killed you,
that's part of the game.

It was cowardly of me to object
to what he was doing to me.

After all, gee whiz,
what had I to lose, anyway?

What's just one insignificant life?

And that was all I had, really.

LOUIS JACK: ...no more of humanity,
singing in the darkness on the /awn.

(WHEEZING)

(PANTING)

Bad boy! Bad sailor,
you will meet death! Death!

When you come back, there is nothing,
nothing, nothing, nothing but dust.

Combs all dusty, ladies gone, murdered,
nothing but dust, raped!

Torn up from the worms inside,
the worm life within.

You're no worm, all just...
Just ungrateful.

Ungrateful, unkind, ingratitude.

(GASPING)

The wound is black over your body.

The sailors on the seas, look out,
you're only...

(GASPING)

Your cruelty, it's considerate,
not considerate,

unkind, unhuman.

The wound is black over your body.

The sailors on the seas look out
and hear on it...

(GASPING)

Beauty of your movement,
black streets will tell you the truth.

(GASPING)

Your youth means nothing,
nothing, nothing!

Nothing! Nothing! Nothing!

(MOANING)

Nothing!

Nothing! Nothing!

(WHIMPERING)

Nothing!

BUFFER". Louis Jack had made blue films
with me in them before, you know,

dress-ups and such.

And I didn't mind much.

He'd stolen the camera somewhere

and had a way of developing
and printing the film.

And he'd even stolen a projector,
amongst a lot of other stuff.

But I didn't let on to him that I really
liked artistic films, not blue ones.

But life with Louis Jack
sometimes went quiet,

and I'd get bored and want to get away.

Sometimes I'd just sit
and he was like somebody dead.

I wished he was dead,
so I'd be free of him once and for all.

To get relief, Pd go down to
the embankment at Hammersmith,

or maybe Richmond,

and I'd read at my book, Beware oi PM
by Stefan Zweig or somebody.

Do you know it?
It's all about this man

that got himself in trouble with a girl
by being too sorry for her.

I didn't know then that you could be
too sorry tor other males, too.

I don't know why the author
didn't warn us about that, too,

and not only about being
too sorry for girls.

There were all kinds of people around

that seemed to have problems
and troubles

and didn't get along
it they were together.

And if they were alone,
they just seemed dead or lonely,

so lonely, they maybe could die.

Was it for me to help everybody?
Of course not.

I wasn't a charitable institution.

Gee whiz, when you think
of all the grotty things

and miserableness in the lives
of most people

and having no really interesting friends
like Louis Jack, with all his talents...

PH wager your friends can't make films
as well as Louis Jack,

and no money,
and having to steal everything

and use the sit-down bath
to develop film

and hardly made mistakes except
when he got a little too excited.

No, I count myself lucky
to this very day,

even though it... Well, it did go wrong,

in the end.

Oh, I know it was my fault.

But I didn't mean it. I didn't mean it.

LOUIS JACK: Flickering lights, screens,
images,

it's a wonderful thing to look at,
nothing to see,

everything is a message,
a message of Hell,

fantasy and naturalism,
and panning and tilting,

and dissolving and fading in and out...

BUFFER: Louis Jack was really proud
when he showed me the film.

It was awfully embarrassing, but I tried
for a while to pretend I liked it.

He was so proud of these movies.

But that time, I think it was worse
than any film he'd ever made before

because, well, he didn't attend
to details the way he usually did.

I think he got carried away
with the subject matter,

with those worms that seemed
to grow inside of him

and come out of him once in a while
when he got excited about an idea.

I can't explain it.

It doesn't make sense.

But there those worms were
on the screen.

Can you explain it?

It was as if he was terrible,
terrible inside of himself.

I've got nothing against worms.

They're good enough creatures,
I imagine.

But I don't really like them
put all over me,

even if they do come out of somebody
I'm committed to, like Louis Jack.

LOUIS JACK: The worms come singing
on your body in multilingual tongues,

in strange tongues, they'd lick
their tongues as in their blind mouths.

Yes, and all is there upon the body,
and yet not there at all.

YOUR GRACIE: The illusion of love,
Duffer, love.

The illusion.

LOUIS JACK: You,
what are you but your image?

YOUR GRACIE: Look and see me.

See through me, dearest love.

See through me.

I'm opening wide, my dearest.

And you may dig a hole in me
and lay your body into me,

and I shall cover you over,
and you can die, Duffer, love.

And keep your soul.

LOUIS JACK: The dark angel builds.
YOUR GRACE". Keep your soul.

LOWS JACK. The song you hear is dead.

The worms singing telled untold stories.

You will be the denial,
the end of your soul.

The embracement of darkness.

And you, what are you but your image?

And your image is without soul,
the way you must be.

Only the worms are for certain,

and waiting for the explosion of hatred
in you, in you, in you,

where they belong.

The reality beyond which does not exist,
but exists, exists, exists.

Some more than arms and legs...

BUFFER. My landlady was so suspicious

you couldn't get away with
hardly anything in that house.

But I was so glad to get away.

All I wanted was to get to Your Gracie 's
and have a good old roll in the hay.

But it's funny, like I said,
everywhere I went

people were having trouble
with their relationships.

I couldn't understand it,
and I still don't understand it.

After all, we're all made the same way,
aren't we?

It made me realise
and count my blessings.

I loved Your Gracie and she loved me,

and, well, Louis Jack
wasn't really very awful

when you stopped to think about it.

He hadn't killed anybody, had he?

(VOICE BREAKING) Now... Now I wished
you hadn't made me remember that.

I really wished you hadn't.

'(OUR GRACE: Are you hungry,
Duffer, love?

Are you warm, love?

DU FFER: This time at Your Gracie's
she really put on a spread for me,

wine and candles lit and music
and she got all dressed up,

and just like in the flicks, she was,
and I got a little drunk on the wine,

and it was all so grand,

and she gave me some bangers and mash
to eat, just what I like best.

'(OUR GRACE: Are you hungry,
Duffer, love?

(DUFFER LAUGHING)

Y OUR GRACE: Are you warm, love?

Like what I'm wondering about you,
Duffer, me love?

BUFFER. Oh, Your Gracie,
don't you look great, doll,

in one of your flouncy dresses?

That's a new flouncy dress now,
isn't it?

Isn't it? I mean, it looks new.

I can almost see you through your dress
with my X-ray type eyes, I can.

What I see is a good thing,
the golden lady.

YOUR GRACE: Oh, you bad boy,
you do carry on so.

Oh, but I ain't seen you
in so long now, I swear.

Have you been going to some
other Gracie than me?

(LAUGHING)

BUFFER. We had strawberry jelly cake

and made it into a race,
just to see who'd win.

We both knew we both would win
because that's the way we were,

even and equal,
even though she was so big.

Well, I'm telling you,
you might not understand this,

but she seemed to me to be the nicest,
best, the most powerful and softest,

and, well, that's what she was,

a strawberry jelly lady,
through and through.

Y OUR GRACE: What can I do
to ease your weakness, love?

Wouldn't you like to come over
and practise your old exercises?

BUFFER". Oh, I'm just worn out,
Your Gracie.

You know that any time
I'd love nothing better

than to take the dive
in your flouncy bed,

but, oh, Swanella, I'm wrecked.

(DOG BARKING)

But it couldn't last. I knew that.

Sometimes it was hard,
having to go back to Louis Jack.

I knew I could have stayed with her
for always.

But I had my responsibilities, didn't I?

What would happen to him without me?

I didn't want to go back, but I had to.

What?

Oh, do I have to tell you about that?

(SPUTTERING)

How can I say it?

I hope I haven't made you think

that Louis Jack wasn't maybe
the best person who ever lived,

because he was.

He may have seemed selfish
and even sometimes rough,

and it's true that he was
selfish and rough,

but, you see, I knew him.

He was my own.

He felt about me
the way you feel about your dog.

And who was I not to feel about him
the way your dog feels about you?

It might be that too many people want
everybody to feel like a dog to them.

If more than half the world wanted
the other half to be their dogs,

and the dog halt didn't want to be
the dog half and please the master half,

even if the dog half wasn't a masochist,
well, there'd be hell to pay, I bet.

So I decided that, since Louis Jack
wanted me to be his dog,

the least I could do was obey
his every whim.

So, you see, the hardest thing
I ever had to do was...

Was let him father a child.

I didn't think he could
do anything to me

because, well, he just wasn't able to.

You see, there was something
the matter with him.

But I didn't know at first that he'd
caught some aphrodisiac or something,

and that made a difference.

He'd got it into his head
that we'd have a baby,

even if I wasn't a girl.

Some people like sodomy I suppose,

because some people do it.

But I just have a blank spot there.

I'm prejudiced, you see.

There are some things
a fool can never learn,

and that's one with me.

But, you know, it's funny how,
even with a thing like that,

you get some good out of it.

Take me, for instance.

It helped me to understand Your Gracie,
in a way.

Not, of course, her enjoyment of me,
but I felt afterwards, and even during,

that Your Gracie was in my place,
in a way,

though not exactly.

I just thought of all the hours, days,
months and years

when this wasn't happening to me,

and I was thankful to God,
to the world and to Louis Jack

for not having had me all the time
and making me sick and all,

and upsetting me
till I was a nervous wreck.

So I thought then, mainly, of what
real pleasure I got out of Your Gracie,

and resolved that the first chance,
the very first chance I got,

I'd see her and I'd restore
my manhood, thereby.

First chance.

I restored my manhood, all right.

But did I? Did I, really?

Something was wrong.

Even down at the river,
it didn't make me feel better.

I was in a real depression,
and all the good offices of Your Gracie

and the best will in the world
from Louis Jack

couldn't seem to shake me out of it.

Even strangers, when they were friendly,
which was not often,

could hardly get me out of
what I was thinking.

You see, I had the blackest thoughts,
I did.

It was like I was out of my mind.

I don't know,
I didn't know the difference

between waking and sleeping, like.

Once I imagined myself going down
this strange street.

Or did I imagine it?

There was a person there,
a person who seemed to want me,

someone there, drawing me forward.
I had to go to him.

But who was he?

And I could hear
that funny song in the distance.

What did it mean? Where was I?
Who was I?

For the first time in my life, I felt
I was getting confused about everything.

Something, ever since Louis Jack
had tried to have a baby with me,

something... Something had gone wrong.

LOWS JACK: I'm worried.
The blood test was negative.

And so was the breath test, and so was
the standing on your head for an hour.

If this fails, then I have no way
of guarding against despondency.

BUFFER". Oh, don't be desperate,
Louis Jack.

To please you, I will.

It was about that time that Louis Jack
got it into his head

to try his pregnancy tests on me.

He took blood samples
and watched for morning sickness.

I didn't even try to tell him
it was no use.

“Boys did not have infants,“
said I to myself.

But I knew he wouldn't listen.
So I went along with the games.

The craziest test was the apricots one.

He read in an old book that
if the hopeful mother ate apricots

and got sick,
then she was going to breed.

So he made sure,
and he gave me so many apricots

that I had to be sick, didn't I?

It was funny. But I didn't think so.

LOUIS JACK: # Back in Black Street

# You will find me there #

BUFFER". That's beautiful,
really beautiful, Louis Jack.

Sing some more.

LOWS JACK. No!
You must want it, Duffer!

I must have an offspring.

Mere women! If a woman can do it,
a man can do it every time.

Women are inferior to us, Duffer.

BUFFER". Yes, Louis Jack.

LOUIS JACK: We have the tilt of tongues.
We can bear children.

We are superior.
Women are men without manhood, Duffer.

Animal. Manimal. Womanimal. Womanimal!
Womanimal! Get sick, Duffer!

BUFFER". Yes, yes, Louis Jack.

(GASPING)

(RETCHING)

(LOUIS JACK LAUGHING)

LOWS JACK. That's right!

(LOUIS JACK LAUGHING)

DU FFER: I was beginning to get fat
around the middle.

Louis Jack called my tummy a clitellum.

I couldn't understand it,
and I didn't feel good.

You know,
I felt sickly most of the time.

I thought of going to a doctor
on the National Health,

but I was too scared to, so I just
went around and did nothing much.

One day, I wanted to eat dirt,
but didn't.

Another day, I stole a book from Smiths.

I was going to steal an artistic book
by Henry James or Henry Miller,

but instead, I found myself with a book

on baby care, of all things,
by a Dr Spock.

You know, the one who was disobedient.

LOUIS JACK: I have within me
the power to create.

To create and to destroy.

The power to assuage or to annoy.

I have within my hands
a bottle of power,

enough to create humanity
or to destroy it.

I have the power of hatred in me,

and a pill to take
to make me grow so great,

and the power to kill all love
and kindle hatred, and kindle hatred...

BUFFER". It got worse and worse,
the way I was feeling.

I tried not to go home.

I couldn't stand Louis Jack
forever talking about babies

and being so happy over something
that could never be.

I almost began to hope
I would have an infant,

just to content him.

I couldn't go to Your Gracie
in my condition, could I?

And I held off for a long time.

But at last I was so desperate,
I thought I'd better see her anyway,

and tell all and get her expert advice.

She'd know all about these things
'cause she was a woman, wasn't she?

(YOUR GRACIE LAUGHING)

RADIO: # I know that it will never,
ever last

# But I ask the sun at noon

# Will i1' be like old... #

BUFFER". After that,
I decided to stay home.

I wouldn't go out any more, ever.

Not till there was a change.

And the longer I stayed home,

the more I felt that what Louis Jack
said about me,

that I was really going
to drop an infant,

I began to feel
that it probably was true.

RAND: it The heat of the night
drives me out of my mind

# But till the moon is on time
My madness is you, is you

# I know that I will never, ever love

it What of romance in June?

# It will be like all the others
Over too soon #

MAN: The great majority
of those who admit

that their first reaction to pregnancy
was predominantly one of dismay,

well, there are plenty of good people
who feel this way,

are reassured to find that
their acceptance of the pregnancy

and their fondness for the baby
reaches a comfortable level

before he is born.

But even when the anticipation
is all that can be desired,

there's often a letdown
for the inexperienced mother

when the baby actually arrives.

She expects to recognise him immediately
as her own flesh and blood,

to respond to him with an
overwhelming rush of maternal feeling.

But in many cases,
this doesn't happen the first day,

or even the first week.

Instead, it is a gradual process
that isn't completed

till she has been home with him
for a little while.

Most of us have been taught
that it's not fair to a coming baby

to hope and expect
that it will be a girl or a boy,

in case it turns out to be the opposite.

I wouldn't take this too seriously.

We can't really begin to imagine
and love a future baby

without picturing it
as being one sex or the other.

That's the very first step.

I think that all expectant parents
have a preference for a boy or a girl

during each pregnancy,

even though most of them
will be quite ready

to love a baby who turns out
to be the opposite.

So, enjoy your imaginary baby,

and don't feel guilty
if another kind arrives.

(BABY CRYING)

In the second half of the first year,

you could begin adding or substituting
other raw fruits besides bananas,

scraped apple, pear, avocado...

BUFFER. The birth pains had come.

MAN: ...till the baby
is two years of age.

Strained boiled vegetables are commonly
added to a baby's diet

two to four weeks after he's
gotten used to cereal or fruit or both.

The ones usually offered
are string beans,

peas, spinach, tomatoes, squash,
carrots, beets, sweet potatoes...

BUFFER". Louis Jack played doctor
and really helped it along,

whatever it was.

It was the awfullest thing
that ever happened to me, that was.

(INAUDIBLE)

BUFFER. Louis Jack was upset
because there was no baby.

There was nothing.
The baby was a phantom.

It just came and went at the same time.
He was heartbroken.

I got out of the place
as soon as I could

and was I changed!

I was thin again.
I could run around, just like I used to.

No more pains.
Freedom, that's what it was.

You don't understand.

You have to realise how great it is
for a person to be free

and not have babies all the time,
especially men and boys.

It's good, I found, not to have babies
if you're a man or a boy.

Well, Louis Jack was unhappy,
but I was so happy I had to be selfish,

so I got out, first thing, I ran down
to the river at Richmond, I did.

Was fife a breeze now!

I'd never worry again, never.

Or so I thought.

And right after that,
I went back to her.

Your Gracie seemed like
she'd been waiting for me for months,

for years, forever.

Like she didn't live without me.

She was changed, but I didn't care.

I just wanted her again.

And she was good to me,
just like always,

and with no questions asked about
all the months I hadn't been around.

But what about poor Louis Jack?
He was really in the dumps.

I kept away as much as possible,

but I had to go back
to him sometimes, didn't I?

He was listless.
He just sat around like a dead person.

Or if he talked, he'd fret about
there being no baby, or nothing.

I tried saying that there was a baby,
if only he saw it.

I even pretended
there really was one there.

But he didn't believe it,
though he tried sometimes to believe it.

At last, I got the idea
of stealing a doll maybe,

and he could pretend it was a real baby
and carry on with it

and get off my back a little.

LOUIS JACK: (WHISPERING)
...with the world or the heavens.

Worm light singing in five tongues.

The gift of tongues is within you.

BUFFER: So when I saw this little girl
going along with her pram,

I thought I could just run up
and take it,

and she'd probably get over it.

This is where I might have
made my mistake.

You see, was it a little girl
with a doll in her pram?

Or was it a lady with a real baby?

I never could know for sure.

Though, when I took it,
I could have swore

that it was a little girl only,
with a toy doll,

and not a real lady, with a real infant.

LOUIS JACK. Mummy's darling little baby,

coming, as you do,
from the world of ideals.

Ideals! Pure beauty. Beauty.

Truth. Darling, truth, honey lambkins,
you want to go potty?

The beautiful little baby goes potty.

Insanity! Born within the fibres
of the brain.

Torn there into shreds.

Little baby Jesus, little baby Jesus,

little baby Jesus will not love you
if you don't go potty.

BUFFER. Anyway, I had got something,
real or not, for Louis Jack.

And he was very happy mothering it

and fussing about
with all that junk he'd got

when I was gestating around.

I was sure it was only a doll.

Every time I looked at it,
it was a doll.

LOUIS JACK: Damn!
Goddamn, stupid, little...

Be a good little baby now,

or big mama Louis Jack
will be sending you off destroyed,

to the outer reaches. Yeah! He will!

(LAUGHING)

Lay him, and darling,
and breathe a little darling,

mummy Louis Jack's darling.

“Give Daddy or Mummy your...“

No squawking now, babykins.

If you're not a good little baby,
Louis Jaok'll send you to heaven.

He will!

Baby love!

Maybe big man William Wordsworth
will come and eat you up

if you ain't good and shit a little
for Mama now,

and eat your shit,
like a good little junkie baby, eh?

Little babykins going to get his bib
all wet now.

Is that a tittle little?

I think so, yeah.

Yeah, fairs and such.

Beautiful, pure,
beautiful midsummer babe mouth,

which I ain't never seen
in all my newborn days.

Newborn days. Yeah!

(LAUGHING)

Likest of which.

What art thou? What art thou, now?

(MIMICKING BLACK SPIRITUAL)
# A child of de Lord

# A child of de devil
A child... #

Yeah! Louis Jack,
and that bad, bad boy, Duffer.

Two daddies, yes, and two mummies,

and a two-headed little
motherfucking puppy dog, yes!

BUFFER. But sometimes,
I seemed to hear it crying.

In fact, I heard it crying
almost all the time.

And I thought there was something
wrong with my ears, maybe,

until the time when it stopped crying.

(BABY'S SCREAMING STOPS)

Then I thought I'd better find out
once and for all.

Louis Jack was asleep
and the doll looked like it was dead

after Louis Jack had thrown it down
on the floor, you see,

so I bundled it up in newspapers
and went off with it.

There was this Mrs Rundall,
the tobacconist lady.

She had lots of kids go in there.
She knew all about them.

She'd tell me the truth.

Was it real or not? And then I'd know.

I can tell you, I was that scared
to go in there with it,

in case it really was real.

What kind of person am I?

MRS RUNDALL: It's murder, all right.
It's looking very poorly.

Can you tell me, Mrs Rundall,
is this baby real?

MRS RUNDALL". It's real enough,
but it's looking poorly.

BUFFER". Can you tell me, Mrs Rundall,
is this a real baby?

MRS RUNDALL". It's real, all right,
but it don't look good.

BUFFER". Can you tell me...
Oh, is it really real?

MRS RUNDALL: It's real, all right.
But are you? What's happened to it?

BUFFER". Can you tell me...
Oh, don't tell me.

MRS RUNDALL". It's real enough,
but it's looking poorly.

What did you do to it?

BUFFER: Is it murder?
Oh, is it murder? Oh, is it?

MRS RUNDALL: It's murder, all right.
It's real enough.

It's looking very, very poorly.

BUFFER: What kind of a person am I?

MRS RUNDALL: It's murder, all right.
It's looking very poorly.

DUFFER: (CRYING) What could I do?
I had to get rid of it.

She said it was real. She did.

I never had anything against babies
or kids, never.

But I had to get rid of that one,
didn't I?

(SOBBING)

MRS RUNDALL". It's real enough,
but it's looking poorly.

It's real, all right, but it don't...

BUFFER: I felt like I was really lost.

How could I tell the difference
between what was true and what wasn't?

I'd thought the infant was a doll,
of course I did.

But Mrs Rundall wouldn't lie.

I knew that.

She wouldn't.

She had no reason to.

I wanted to die.

I did.

So I went down to the river
to try to figure out what to do.

MRS RUNDALL: It's real enough.

It's real enough.

It's murder, all right.

What did you do to it?

It's looking very poorly.

BUFFER: But wherever I went,
I couldn't ever be alone.

It seemed that way.

Who were these people?

Who were these people?

Were they all after me?

All I could think of was to run.

But you can't run forever.

When I got back to Louis Jack,
he was in a dead sleep.

I didn't know what he would say
about the baby being gone.

All I could think of was maybe
to kill him.

I was a murderer already, wasn't I?

Well, one more didn't matter.

And wasn't it all his fault?

Well, almost all his fault?

But I had to think it out better.

I'd go and tell Your Gracie everything,
and she'd know what to do, she'd know.

(CONSTRUCTION NOISE)

Everywhere I went,
the world seemed out of its head.

Everybody hated everybody else.

And it was weird, I can tell you,
to see and hear them.

I knew his face. He was frightening.

I knew his face.

He was from somewhere.
I'd seen him before.

Maybe in a dream.

(RADIO PLAYING LIGHT POP MUSIC)

(TOILET FLUSHING)

(RADIO STOPPING)

(DUFFER SOBBING)

YOUR GRACIE: Duffer, love,
whatever's the matter?

- You're alone?
- Why, yes, of course.

(DUFFER SOBBING)

Duffer, love!

Duffer, love!

Whatevefs the matter?

DUFFER: You... You're alone?

YOUR GRACIE: Why, yes, of course.

But, Duffer, love...

Now, tell me all about it, love.
You can tell me.

BUFFER". It's... It's Louis Jack,
what he's done,

what he's doing to me.

I can't let him go,
but he's destroying me.

I love you, I do.

But I can't get rid of him, Your Gracie.
I just can't.

It's pity. That's what did it.

Tell me what to do.

He's killed it. He's killed the baby.
It's dead.

I killed it.
I had to put it in the dustbin.

Mrs Rundal/ said it was real. She did.

I don't know if it was real.
Maybe it wasn't.

Maybe I made it all up.

Maybe I didn't ever take it
to Mrs Runda/Vs, even.

Maybe I'm not really even here.

(GASPING)

Oh, Your Gracie! Oh...

YOUR GRACIE: There, there, Duffer, love.
I'll piece it all out.

HI figure it all out.
You can trust me.

PH fix everything up for you,
everything.

Everything will be all right.
I'll see to it.

BUFFER. Really? Really?

YOUR GRACE: Yes, really, love.
It's all right.

I will look after you from now on.

BUFFER". I did just as she said.

I could just relax, forget everything.

I was like I was in a seventh heaven
or something.

I suppose I was like putty in her hands.

She'd put me in
one of her own nightgowns.

She had me bedded down.
She was going to manage everything.

Everything, forever.

She'd gone.

And it was wonderful at first,
to be so looked after.

But then it gradually came over me.

Gradually.

I had done wrong.

I shouldn't have told her. It was wrong.

I shouldn't have been there.

She shouldn't be with Louis Jack.

I shouldn't put
those two together, ever.

What had made me do it? I'd forgotten.

All I knew was that I had to get back
to Louis Jack as fast as I could.

(KNOCKING AT DOOR)

What kind of a person was I
to do all these things?

(KNOCKING AT DOOR)

YOUR GRACIE: Come on, open up.

(KNOCKING AT DOOR)

I know you're there.

(KNOCKING AT DOOR)

Come on, open up, you!

(POUNDING ON DOOR)

You, I know you're there!

(POUNDING ON DOOR)

If you don't open up, I'll break in.

(BANGING ON DOOR)

DUFFER: Stay away.

(BANGING ON DOOR)

YOUR GRACIE: It's not even locked.

So, you! You are the one
who's been taking him away from me!

Well, we'll see about that.

LOUIS JACK: Give me back my baby!
Give me back my baby!

You womanimal! Womanimal!
Give me back my baby!

If you don't give me back my baby,
womanimal, I'll kill you!

YOUR GRACE". You stay away from me!
Stay away...

(YOUR GRACIE SCREAMING)

(LOUIS JACK YELLING)

(CHUCKLING)

(INAUDIBLE)

(LOUIS JACK GRUNTING)

LOUIS JACK: It's just a f-fire.

Female guts!

(LOUIS JACK GIGGLING)

Sewer, filthy rats, I'll...

(LOUIS JACK LAUGHING)

Absolutely nothing. Nothing now.

(LOUIS JACK GIGGLING)

I have her in my...

(LOUIS JACK LAUGHING)

Poke her myself.

You thought you could get him from me.
You thought you could get him from me.

No woman could ever get him
away from me.

Ever!

YOUR GRACIE: He was
a lovely boy in his way.

Just like you.

And I thought, since it had been so long
since I'd seen you...

I've always loved boys.

I'd never hardly blame you,
now, could I?

LOUIS JACK: It's clear.
Now our fighting's gone.

Of course you would.
There are spies afoot.

Females floating in the universe.

You will find me black.

You will find me where ladies sing.

What is your relationship
with this woman?

You do not know me, you cow!

YOUR GRACE: Arms and legs
that disappear in the half-light,

and one woman in the night
that tells you someone is near,

sentient, ready to warm your body,

even though your body is disappeared
into where?

Some infinity of disgrace.

LOUIS JACK: You know yourself.
You do not be.

I am thou, and thou art l.

YOUR GRACIE: I am thou, and thou an' I.

LOUIS JACK: In the shadows,
the folds of time, I appear.

YOUR GRACIE: I disappear.

The reality beyond which does not exist.