Sasha: Look down.
Shura: I’m scared of falling.
Sasha: God would catch you.
Shura: Don’t be mean.
Sasha: No, he would, you know.
Shura: You scare me a bit when you’re like that.
Sasha: Aren’t you a believer?
Shura: To be honest, God’s the last thing I want to talk about just now.
Sasha: Why not? What’s he done to you?
Shura: Not a lot. That’s the trouble.
Sasha: I see.
Sasha: Oh, all right then. I’m not a believer either. Not in anything really. Sorry. (she giggles)
I don’t believe in decay. Not even now. I sit here, looking down and don’t believe in it. Just like I don’t believe in Mother Mary or the Pope or any of the popes before him or Jesus—no way do I believe in him—or Buddha or whatever they’re all called. And God—well, it’s tricky, I don’t exactly believe in God, but I’m scared of the consequences, as they say, and to be honest with you, when I look up, I feel no humility—no shame or awe or whatever you’re supposed to feel when you look up into God’s arse—but I do sort of think of him as being there. I can’t help it. Does that surprise you?
I don’t believe in the poor or sick or needy. I don’t believe in hatred or envy and I don’t believe in eternal damnation. I don’t believe in Sodom and Gomorrah, because I don’t believe in guilt. I don’t believe that anyone comes down to punish us for our sins—not those fucking angels with swords and three pairs of wings, and not the old man himself. I don’t believe that Noah really got it right; he was bloody lucky, that was all, and he’d built himself that massive ship. So what? Plenty around like that today.
I don’t believe in the end of the world. I don’t believe it’s over. People have always thought that and life’s always gone on. People will think anything, given half a chance, but they always survive and a few of us will survive this time too—survive and carry on, as if nothing’s happened, making babies and money and building cars and having nose jobs and being happy. Who am I to begrudge them that—dead or alive? I mean, let’s be honest, I want a bit of life’s glitter too, a bit of its glow, and I don’t want anyone envying me for it; I certainly won’t be envying anyone—go forth and multiply, wear nice clothes, cry over TV shows, dance till your feet bleed, dance till your legs break in those ridiculously high heels of yours, laugh yourselves to death, kiss each other, love each other—and, fuck it, yes, I think life’s a gift, and I’m sorry to say this as if I was a thirteen-year-old cult member or something, but this is a fucking good alternative, even now; compared with non-existence, it’s still the better option. I don’t think it’s over, I can’t, my brain refuses. I can’t believe it. Won’t believe it.
(They look at each other)
(There’s a knock at the door)
Sasha: I’ll get it.
(She gets up, hobbles to the door and opens up. Shura is standing outside.
It starts over.)
Tr. Imogen Taylor