THE GLORIFIED WALKING STICK

September 29, 2020

The Glorified Walking Stick is a forty second play by Bill Drummond.

The Glorified Walking Stick is set on a blue skied Monday morning sometime between the spring of 1968 and the autumn of 2020.

The Glorified Walking Stick features two characters, Tenzing Scott Brown and Kristina Bruuk.

Tenzing Scott Brown is one of Bill Drummond’s other selves trying to break free.

Kristina Bruuk is an imagined poet and artist. She has been imagined by several generations of loner women scattered across Europe.

Kristina Bruuk is originally from Helsinki in Finland.

Each of these loner women are unaware that there are other loner women imagining her.

Kristina Bruuk and Tenzing Scott Brown have been friends over several decades and various continents. But they have never been lovers.

Kristina Bruuk once recorded an album of her own songs. It was titled Between Heaven & Helsinki. The record company never released it.

Some say that Kristina Bruuk ended her life with an overdose of heroin. Others think she is now an aged lady living out her life in a two-roomed apartment in Naples.

But for the purposes of this play, she is of an uncertain age and is walking down a tree-lined boulevard in Paris, taking in what the day has to offer. And wondering why she burnt the hand written memoir she had spent the past seven months writing.

As for Tenzing Scott Brown, he is sitting at one of the outside tables of a street café, taking the last sip from his second café-au-lait of the morning. There is a white plate on the table. On the plate is a scattering of crumbs. The crumbs are those of a fresh croissant that Tenzing has just eaten. As usual he had spread the freshly baked croissant with Normandy butter and blackcurrant jam. This is what he has every morning, at the same table, at the same café, on the same street, in the same French city. Or has done since…

There are some pigeons on the ground close by, hoping for these crumbs to fall to the ground. There is a lone crow flying across the Parisian sky, surveying the scene. Tenzing is also imagining a lone red balloon drifting across the same Parisian sky – but there isn’t. He imagines this most mornings.

In his hand Tenzing is holding a copy of Should We Meet At The Crossroads, Keep Walking by someone calling himself The Perambulator. It had arrived in the post earlier this morning, it was addressed to him personally. There was no covering note inside the package – thus no explanation why this book had been sent to him. The postage stamps on the package were Finnish, the postmark said Helsinki.

Tenzing Scott Brown has been reading it without a break for over two hours at his table at this street café in Paris. He is captivated by the words, the flow, the atmosphere. It’s as if the book had been written for him. He had just read the last sentence of page 211, the one that reads “I catch Rena’s eye and look down to my feet” when he stops to look up at the sky to see if there might be a red balloon floating across it – there isn’t.

But…

Instead he sees Kristina Bruuk approaching.

Kristina Bruuk is always approaching even when she is almost disappearing.

Thus…

This is where the actual Forty Second Play begins.

Kristina Bruuk:

Hey Tenzing, what are you reading?

Tenzing Scott Brown:

I think it is a novel, but maybe a memoir.

Hard to tell these days.

Set in Helsinki and it seems to feature you.

Kristina Bruuk sits down on one of the chairs across the table from Tenzing Scott Brown

Kristina Bruuk:

They all feature me, even when they don’t know it.

Any good?

Tenzing Scott Brown:

Twisted.

Kristina Bruuk:

Twisted?

Tenzing Scott Brown:

Yeah, like any great book set in Helsinki should be.

Kristina Bruuk:

And the walking stick?

Kristina Bruuk is referring to the hazel walking stick with the honeysuckle spiral, leaning against the table.

Tenzing Scott Brown:

It is my version of The Glorified Walking Stick.

Kristina Bruuk:

Is that supposed to mean something?

Tenzing Scott Brown:

If you read the book…

Anyway, any news on the release of your Between Heaven & Helsinki album.

Kristina Bruuk:

Not until after I am dead. 

The End

Although that is the official end of this Forty Second Play called The Glorified Walking Stick, Kristina Bruuk orders a café-au-lait from an unseen waiter

Picks up the copy of Should We Meet At The Crossroads, Keep Walking

Flicks through the pages

Puts it down

Picks up the glorified walking stick

Admires its honeysuckle spiral.

And while this is happening we the audience – whoever and wherever we are – hear Pleasant Valley Sunday as performed and recorded by Kristina Bruuk playing on a Spotify playlist for the lost and the lonely.

Fade to grey…

Post Script:

Should We Meet At The Crossroads, Keep Walking by The Perambulator is to be published by Hesterglock Press in late 2020.

Between Heaven & Helsinki by Kristina Bruuk was recorded in Helsinki in 1997 for Kalevala Recordings, it might never be released.