Thursday, October 21, 2010

Translation

"You, as a woman and a writer, have to translate this" BillyTheKid says pushing a piece of paper over the table to me.

BillyTheKid and I are in a pub post La Boheme (there seemed something strangely apt on the day the Arts Council had its budget cut by 30% of going to see an opera about starving artists who have to burn their plays and suchlike in order to keep warm. There's something for us all to look forward to.)

I look at what is now in front of me. It reads:

Would you like to come for a drink? I'm not a sexual predator but it wouldn't be just as friends, you know ;-)

The words are out of my mouth before I can stop them: "You can't send her that!"

BillyTheKid is animated in his response: "I know! That's why you have to translate it!"

This, as far as I can see, is a lot of pressure. On this one text could lie the future of BillyTheKid and Alice Cooper's relationship. I know of Alice Cooper only by reputation and thus - the margin for error is quite high even though I am, as noted, both a woman and a writer.

"The problem with it is that there's no subtext. And as a Playwright I'd write 'would you like to go for a drink?' and then the actor would play the subtext".

BillyTheKid may be at the centre of the romantic quandry but he remains an actor on his second pint.

"Would you like to come for a drink?".

He is all wide-eyed. I laugh.

"See, I was playing the subtext with my eyes. But I can't do that by text".

I sense this might be a conversation destined to go round in circles. And even with my capacity for linguistic over-analysis I might not be able to keep up with it.

It's my last hope. "Maybe just text her about something that has nothing to do with this?"

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