Into the Vortex
Every moment with Roy and Hayley on Tuesday was perfect. Roy learns to accept another’s choice or, as he sees it, to lie. At Jane’s funeral, he learns that her husband didn’t like her choices for the service or share her religious faith. But he did exactly as she wished Because that’s what she wanted and it was her death after all, and sometimes lying is the best thing to do, he told Roy.
Roy frets over those words and finally tells Hayley he supports her and understands her decision. It’s hard. He doesn’t accept it and he cannot will himself to feel comfortable with a lie. But he tries.
In an earlier argument, Roy had enumerated things on which they disagree so Hayley wants to explore them. One was how to poach eggs. Roy is of the free-form school; create a vortex in a pot of boiling water and pour the egg into it, allowing the movement to create the shape. Hayley uses an aid to ensure the ideal shape, a metal ring that holds the egg while the water cooks it. To show her willingness to throw off her preferences, she tosses the poaching ring into the thrift shop bag. (Note: neither of them would ever throw something usable into the garbage.)
He goes out for something, just to busy himself away from a very happy Hayley. Anna sees him and they talk. He tells her his decision and, hallelujah, she says the right things. She recognizes how hard it is for him to understand Hayley’s choice and to pretend that he supports her. Without knowing what Jane’s husband said, she reinforces his message: sometimes you have to suck it up and do something you don’t like for someone else’s sake – and this is that time.
He returns home to find Hayley surrounded by music albums, listening to Bach’s Air on the G String. She struggles to see the appeal. You can’t dance or sing along to it. She asks Roy to explain and she listens to him and the music. Maybe if she keeps listening, she will feel its peace and beauty. They move to another of Roy’s choices – Deep Purple with the London Philharmonic. Roy discusses how and why that album moved him when he first heard it as a teenager. I hope, should the album be reissued, that his words are included in a cover ‘blurb’ or review of it. It made me want to hear it.
Hayley then gives her picks; songs that make you want to dance. She illustrates with the music of Queen. The death of Freddie Mercury looms over her joy in the music. But she vividly explains why it makes her feel alive and happy. Even Roy is unable to keep his body parts still, bobbing his head as he listens – which was exactly Hayley’s point.
The music, Freddie Mercury and Roy’s apparent acceptance of her choice to end her life allow her to express her own fears and doubts. She cries for her life and death. Poor Roy doesn’t know what to do. Fortunately, he doesn’t do anything but hold her while she sobs.