C’est la Vie

Slide6

Play 15, Day 15 – C’est La Vie 

A Parisian art studio. LAUTREC stumbles in, elegant bowler, and natty checked pants, but without shirt and vest, drunk. HELENE appears behind him, naked, donning a silk rob.

                                                            HELENE:

Henri, are you alright?

                                                            LAUTREC:

Yes, Helene. Just a little too much to drink.

                                                            HELENE:

Oh, Henri! That can’t be true. No one can drink like you. And still, you know.

 (she indicates get it up” and giggles)

                                                            LAUTREC:

No, it’s my head, dear.

                                                            HELENE:

Oh, what’s wrong, Teapot?

                                                            LAUTREC:

Don’t call me that.

                                                            HELENE:

But Monsuier…

                                                            LAUTREC:

Don’t call me that. I want you to call me… call me….  Something tall.

                                                            HELENE:

Tall?

                                                            LAUTREC:

My cousin, nearly two meters tall. Seriously, damn near two meters.        And me, a dwarf!

                                                            HELENE:

Like in Fairy Tales! I loved them as a kid.

                                                            LAUTREC:

Mon Dieu! I’m not some cursed character in a Fairy Tale, Damn it all!

                                                            HELENE:

It’s genetic anachondroplasty, then? What, you think you’re the first dwarf I been with?

                                                            LAUTREC:

No. I fell and broke both my legs as an adolescent, They never healed right.

                                                            HELENE:

C’est la Vie. It might as well be genetic. People come in all shapes and sizes. If it’s not race, it’s breed, or papers. To me, it’s like Poodles and Pinshcers and Boxers and Wolfhounds. I like all dogs. But I like small dogs.

                                                            LAUTREC:

I’m not a small dog! Merde! Can’t you see I’m—

                                                            HELENE:

Hey, treat me like a lady. Don’t bark at me.

                                                            LAUTREC: (“Elephant Man”)

“I am not an animal.”

                                                            HELENE:

Neither am I.

                                                            LAUTREC:

Granted. I… Sorry.

                                                            HELENE:

I’m Helene.

                                                            LAUTREC:

Henri.

                                                            HELENE:

All the girls call you “Teapot.” I didn’t mean anything by it. You should take it as a compliment.

                                                            LAUTREC:

It’s a compliment?

                                                            HELENE:

I think: Little teapot, big spout?

                                                            LAUTREC:

I’m sure you say that to a lot of men.

                                                            HELENE:

Yeah, but the truth is, yours is big, Dad.

                                                            LAUTREC:

Really?

                                                            HELENE:

I know at least a couple of men who would gladly trade being six-foot two, eyes of blue, to have

your equipment in bedroom.

                                                            LAUTREC:

I’m also quite an accomplished painter.

                                                            HELENE:

I’ve heard of you, Monsieur Lautrec.

                                                            LAUTREC:

My cousin has a position with the French Department of the Interior.       He makes a good living.

                                                            HELENE:

I’m sure.

                                                            LAUTEC:

C’est La Vie.

LAUTREC notices HELENE, perhaps for the first time.

Tell me, Helene, how did you come to… this life? I suppose that’s rather stereotyped.

                                                            HELENE:

Doesn’t keep men from asking it. A hundred times a month. It’s always the same story, isn’t it? You’ve heard it before. C’est La Vie.

 C’est La Vie / C’est la Guerre  / C’est soulement du pomme du terre.

 

                                                            LAUTREC:

“This is Life. This is War. This is the only potato.” Where’d you come up with that?

 

                                                            HELENE:

Oh, that’s not mine. A bloke who comes in here, he says it. He’s a poet,    he is.

                                                            LAUTREC:

Is Helene even your true name?

                                                            HELENE:

Rachel. Look, “Teapot…”

LAUTREC goes to an easel, takes up a crayon.

                                                            LAUTREC:

Rachel.

                                                            HELENE:

Yes.

                                                            LAUTREC:

I want to paint you, Rachel.

                                                            HELENE:

Why not?

HELENE opens up her robe as LIGHTS FADE TO BLACK.

END OF PLAY.

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