The people? Marko and Sean.
The night before. A clay discussion in the “gîte du Gua” in Figeac. Sean, badly burnt by the sun, especially on his legs, is operating on dangerously low levels of energy and stress. This night he will sleep in the corridor because of Marko’s snoring and, in retrospect, this perhaps proves to be the straw that breaks the camel’s back on the following day. Perhaps.
Marko, also but not quite as badly burnt, is trying to hold onto the project … to get to the end. He thinks to himself, tonight all the clay – the weight, the fucking weight – will be out of our bag, but, he thinks, will it be out of our mind?
He gets his answer the next day.
The next day, approximately 8:27am.
Marko, as usual, is talking, talking, talking to people. Sean can’t take it anymore and leaves to go to the laundry to dry his clothes that Marko had negligently left on the line (subconsciously as punishment?) the night before. He can’t find the laundry and is too burnt to walk a long distance.
Marko, enjoying his conversation, finds himself in a deep conversation with a woman who had suffered a personal tragedy. He thinks about how the sadness of this woman matches the sadness he feels is present in this gîte.
He suddenly wonders where Sean has gone? He’s left without me again?! The clay from the workshop the night before, despite several requests for people to take their clay piece, still remains untaken on the table.Why don’t people take their weight with them, thinks Marko. Marko, feeling guilty about leaving the weight behind when this woman had just declared her personal tragedy, feels impelled to collect the clay and take it with him to not further add to the woman’s burden.
Where is Sean? Marko wonders. He goes to the laundry. Surely Sean is there waiting for me too.
There is no message from Sean. Sean is not there. Sean has gone.
Where the fuck is Sean?! Why can’t he send me a message even!
Marko dries his clothes. He is too proud to send Sean a message asking where he is. Sean is too annoyed to message Marko to tell him where he is. Marko eventually sends a message via two methods (Signal and Imessage) and this leads to much confusion. Sean doesn’t respond to both, only one. Marko reads the one Sean didn’t respond to. Did he read the message?! Marko grows increasingly irate.
There is a further botched attempt at communication …
Sean, who has just bought a baguette, which in some subconsciously loaded gesture he intends to share with Marko, walks out of the bakery. He sees Marko walking down the street.
Fresh from his trip to the laundrette and with the bag full of unwanted clay in his right hand, shakes his head despondently at Sean, who is carrying a half eaten cheese and ham baguette.
“What do you want to do about the clay?” Marko says exasperated, opening the bag in Sean’s face with some mild passive aggressivity.
Sean looks into the bag. He feels totally disdainful towards it and that he has no part in what is being shown to him.
“What do you want to do with it?” Sean responds.
“Why aren’t you more involved!?”
“Why aren’t I more involved?!”
“Because you don’t give a shit about the clay?!”
“Right. Because I don’t give a shot about the clay!”
“You know what Sean, I need you to be more present”
“I am so fucking present, man! You have no idea how present I am!”
Marko walks off, furious, clay bag in hand. He turns his head back.
“You need to take a look at yourself!” shouts Sean, barely audible at a distance.
“It’s not only about you, you know?!” shouts Marko, barely audible at a distance.
The residents of Figeac pass them, oblivious.
Where does Sean go? To sit and eat his sandwich.
Marko? He goes to the river. He puts the clay next to the water – he wants to wash away the dirt! He looks at the clay. He is disgusted by the colour of the clay. It has, he thinks, no link to the earth.
“WHAT ARE YOU DOING HERE?!” A voice shouts at Marko.
He turns and an angry man stands before Marko. Marko, hanging onto the last threads of his patience, says to the man that he can answer him but could he please calm down. The man furiously walks off, stomping away from the river bank. Marko, takes a deep breath. Privately he thinks the spirit of Sean is now in the body of this violent man of the river! Even here!
He takes a deep breath. He lets it go.
He sends Sean a message.
They meet, eat the sandwich and walk to the river.