Episode 3: Needle (Libretto) | KCET
Episode 3: Needle (Libretto)
Vireo escapes from her room, but is caught by her mother, the doctor, and his assistant Raphael.
Vijay Gupta, violin; Bridget Kibbey, harp; Joshua Roman, cello
(Lights up, and Vireo is running along an iron fence. Mother, and the Doctor dressed as a Priest are in pursuit. All run in the stutter of shadows thrown by the bars. The Doctor carries a torch.)
Come home, Vireo. Don’t be afraid.
(Vireo is cornered; she grips the fence tightly. The doctor pulls the mother aside.)
Let me talk to her alone.
Read more Vireo Librettos
Let’s both – As you see fit.
(The Doctor approaches her carefully.)
Why are you trying to hide?
You are hurting me more than you know.
It’s all been worked out carefully. We have it all worked out. Wee wee wee, all the way home.
(Pulling her fingers from the bars.)
Resign – Why are you frightened? I’ve never been as scared as you are now. Candy Your mouth will be full of candy any shape you want it poured. Keep a peppermint under your tongue. Your mother will be right there too.
(He is working her down the fence, one bar at a time.)
I said the words. I prayed.
We have it all worked out.
Don’t explain. You lose me.
I said the name of Jesus –
Your mother will be right there. Your mother will be right there.
Your mother will be right there. Your mother will be right there too.
900 times – And here I am now.
You are home now.
(The scene repeats as a more formal song. The Doctor, Vireo, and Mother overlap.)
What can I do
What can be done
What can you do
What have you done
Put a peppermint under your tongue
Go a little further
I’ll see you when I get there
The birds are crying bloody murder
They suture empty air
Come a little further
You’re very nearly there
Your hurt is crying for a suture
You concentrate on empty air
Help me understand your impossibles
When you make the impossible
Something that can be done
You wound it. I want to know
What you’ve done
What the savor of this new language is
Delicious on your tongue
It’s all been worked out carefully
We have it all worked out
Wee wee wee all the way home
I am right here with you
I said the words
I said the name of Jesus 900 times
And here I am now
You are here now.
(The fence is gone, but Vireo stands face forward with her hands in fists, as if she were still holding on. Pernette appears, only a face.)
The bars are gone but the rigor remains.
(He loosens Vireo’s dress.)
The doctor has a long silver needle inside his jacket. When he takes it out, it sings:
To find the mark of Satan
You test her skin with needles
For a spot that feels Nothing
(There is a needle, but it isn’t literally represented. Each touch of the doctor’s fingertips is a piercing. Pernette disappears and the process of examination begins; Vireo’s speech is conditioned by the peppermint under her tongue.)
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