Miren is a lovely woman in her seventies who is preparing to give the speech of her life. She is not a politician though her story is wrapped up in the politics that plagues Northern Ireland for decades coming to a climax on January 30, 1972 with an event that came to be known as Bloody Sunday. On the anniversary of the event she has been asked to speak as one of the only wives that is still alive from the 14 men that died that day in peaceful protest for the civil rights they believed they deserved. Miren goes back and forth in time talking to the audience at the event and to the events leading up to that deadly day. She was a simple Irish Catholic girl that wanted a simple life but that is not the life that she got. Her husband joined the resistance and on this day, he didn’t come. Miren made the decision not to bury him as a part of the resistance but rather keep that private though the survivors knew. For her, he was her husband, the man she’d hoped would be the father of her children- she lost all of that on that day. It was a day that she will never soon forget but on this day she will do as she has been challenged to do, “Tell us what happened from your perspective on this day. It doesn’t have to be pretty, just honest.” Miren breaks her silence and tells the truth of that day for her. The activist her husband was, the organization he joined to make their life better, the government soldiers who took his life, and the reason she kept his position a secret. A love story of sorts, she never forgets him, never loves another like him, and holds his memory with her daily.
Female-For the Love of Ireland
(Scene opens with Miren, a woman in her early seventies standing in front of a mirror. She is getting dressed, earrings, necklace, then she sees something that brings her great joy. She reaches for it, holds it in her hands as if it is giving her strength. She feels it, smells it then speaks.)
I keep smelling this as if I can somehow bring you back through the threads of this old tie. (Smells it again)I know this is so silly but when I smell it, it reminds my nose of you. The cologne you use to bath in. (Laughs)And I mean bathe in. I would often tell you, “Callum I can smell you coming. Better wash that off they’ll smell you coming miles maybe even days before you actually get there. (Laughs again, looks at it and begins to put it on.)You tried for many years to teach me how to tie the perfect tie. (She continues to try over and over)Was it over the top or under then over and then- under and through and then- (She gives up and rests it on her chest.) If you couldn’t figure it out, then why in the world would I think I could figure it out now? You were always so patient with me, with everyone. (Smiles)Listen to me talking to a ghost like you’re in the next room…I wish that you were in the next room. Shining your nice shoes, brushing your hair or making skirts and kidneys with flatbread to celebrate a win for the North or our anniversary (Beat) I miss you Callum. (Takes a deep breath)They have decided to celebrate you, all of you. Reading the newspapers and seeing them call you all heroes. I have to speak today. How I got assigned this task is beyond me, but Marie next door said that I am one of the only widows left, and my experience was “so different” and they wanted a true account, how could I say no? (Beat)They want to know how I felt that day…how I felt when everything happened, when I kissed you goodbye for the last time. I don’t know that I ever thought about it in those terms. (Beat)How I felt… I’ll just be honest, I’m good at that. I know this isn’t what you wanted, you wanted to stay a ghost but… They said they don’t want it to be pretty- I immediately said, “There was nothing pretty about that day, those times, the years before and after. Nothing pretty.” I’ll do it, I’ll make it through. January 30, 1972… Bloody Sunday.