—(in BSL) Reasons for suffocation: a confined space and insufficient oxygen in the air.
—Okay. Listen. A magic cloak and a coat of lies were sitting together on the branch of a tree. The magic cloak fell out of the tree and the coat of lies said: ‘That would never have happened to me; my dad has an air-bed factory.’
—Just as death always involves cardiac arrest, the final stages of suffocation always involve respiratory arrest. But it doesn’t follow that respiratory arrest necessarily leads to suffocation.
—(in BSL) What we’re trying to do here is establish what everyday life means to them. Driving without a driving licence involves a fine. Everyone knows that. We’ve established that. We’re writing lives.
—Death by oxygen deprivation, death by stinking feet, someone breathing all my air, gill-less under water, lost my nose, can’t breathe!
—(in BSL) What are we doing here? We’re making laws!
Laws aren’t dangerous. What’s dangerous is a fear of laws.
Strong leadership isn’t a problem.
You’re the problem.
—What chokes you first? Bad air? Files of papers? Dust? The pungent perfume of the lady next to you? The ground coffee spilt on the table? Holding your breath?
—(in BSL) Suffocatio—a medical term meaning little oxygen and possibly death.
—You see, there are different kinds of kicks. A kick from a shod foot is an armed attack, while a kick aimed at a passing dog is damage to third party property. It’s important to make the distinction.
—We’re people with a sense of humour. There are a lot of jokes about us. We made them up. We tell them and retell them. We affectionately refer to a judge’s robes as a magic cloak, while our colleagues on the defence team call their gowns coats of lies. We are alert. We are self-critical. And we don’t do magic.
—(in BSL) I can’t breathe. Stones up my nose, fish mouth opening and closing. No air. And then death.
—The airways are constricted when the tongue collapses. Or by foreign bodies—such as water, in cases of drowning—and also, of course, by genetic mutations, allergic reactions and acts of violence. The most painful moment comes when you realise that gasping for air is pointless. It’s all up then. You never breathe again. Heaps of gravel in at your nostrils and your fish mouth opening, opening, opening, closing, closing, closing, opening—and that’s it. No more air. Just a sharp pain somewhere inside you. Then it’s over.
—When you’ve been here a while, you begin to understand what kind of a place this is. It might—at first—be hard to grasp. But you get a feel for it in the end, believe me. Every story—including everything I’m telling you now—is hovering above us, waiting to enter your lungs. Now.
(Note: BSL—British Sign Language)
The texts are to be performed in spoken and sign language.
following ghosts is a music play for the deaf, hard of hearing and hearing.
Tr. Imogen Taylor