Eight is a group of monologues forming a portrait of contemporary British culture. The play was inspired by a survey that asked twenty-somethings what defined their generation, and the general response was: apathy. In this speech, Astrid describes the exhilaration and aliveness that fills her when she cheats on her partner…
People talk about guilt as if it’s an instinct.
That the second you do something wrong, you feel guilty. I don’t; what I’m feeling is power. You always join the story at the bit where they’re sorry, when they’re desperately begging for forgiveness; but there’s something before that, there’s now. In the space after the act and before the consequences, when you’ve got away with it; when you’re walking out of an unknown door, back down unknown streets and it’s still thumping in you – dawn’s breaking, dew’s settling and you’re skipping back home, flying on the thrill of it, you can taste it. Even back here, the quiet click of the door, the tiptoe in – the alcohol’s wearing off too quickly, I want it back – our bed and all the stuff that makes up life, our life – and – I don’t feel like a traitor; I can lie here while another man’s saliva dries off my lips and I can remember another man’s face bearing over me – and I enjoy it, I enjoy that all this seems new again.
His alarm’s going off in ten minutes. He’ll roll over and grunt, curl himself round me like a monkey with its bloody mum. Just like every morning. He won’t notice that anything’s different – he won’t see that I have mascara down my face or that my hair is wet, because I’ve been running in the rain to get back before he wakes up, he won’t notice that I haven’t been here, that I’m drunk no – for him, I became invisible a long time ago.