Bird (by Catherine Comfort)



John: 30s, down to earth, builder;      Philip: 50s, university lecturer.

SCENE: Clinic in Switzerland. Waiting room.


JOHN              I’ve never done this before.

PHILIP           It’s not exactly something one does more than once.

JOHN              Stupid thing to say.  Nerves, that’s all. Wish it was over.  No…that’s   not what I mean… Can’t believe I just said that.

PHILIP           Loved one?

JOHN              My mother. Had enough. Cancer. Can’t blame her.

PHILIP           What’s there to blame?

JOHN              Just don’t like her feeling bad about it.

PHILIP           Blame’s a funny word. Suggests she’s doing something wrong.

JOHN              Many people wouldn’t like it and Mother’s religious…. Makes her conflicted you see.

PHILIP           It’s not exactly something one does lightly.

JOHN              I’m not sure I’d want to do it, to be honest. Wouldn’t be so bad if they came to the house, but coming all this way and all the expense. But now she’s made the decision, after all the heart searching, we have to go through with it. It’s her decision, mind you. Nothing to do with me.

PHILIP           My wife’s having second thoughts. She’s with the doctor now. Thinks she’s come too soon. It was the bird.

JOHN              Bird?

PHILIP           There was a bird flying over the water… so free…. Beautiful. Made her cry.  She can’t move, quality of life zero… she wants to go. Really wants it. We made the decision months ago.

JOHN              Timing’s tricky…. Got to be well enough to get here, but ill enough not to want to go on.

PHILIP           It’s been such a big thing, gearing up for it…

JOHN              You have to be a hundred percent sure.

PHILIP           She was sure.  And then this bird…