Conversations in the Dining Room
Emma Knytleigh: In an attempt to record the current history of Stoney Grove a number of interviews and conversations will be recorded with some of the people who have connections with the estate. Accordingly the Dining Room has been supplied with hidden microphones and recording equipment to allow the process to take place in as natural a setting as possible. Participants are, of course, aware that conversations are being recorded.
Morning, 25 August, 1999
Ann: I think we need to talk. It's been awhile.
Ann: You did great at the cricket. I'm sorry I missed the beginning.
Simon: Thanks. (pause). Ann, I just don't get it still. Why are we fighting?
Ann: I feel like...I feel like we want different things. I feel like you don't know what you want.
Simon: Well then, what do you want?
Ann: I want to be committed to something important. You, this house, this place, it's all connected. I want to build something lasting here. And then you...you keep changing direction. With me, with the house, I can't keep up.
Simon: What do you mean?
Ann: We're together but you're trying to connect with your old girlfriend. I want to put the house back to the way it was, and you're cutting down trees and putting up satellite dishes. I want to buy the painting and you...
Simon: That bloody painting again. Why is it so damned important?
Ann: It belongs here. It's meaningful. I guess I want to do something meaningful.
Simon: Why is this painting meaningful, but my Harley is not?
Ann: The Harley, the cigars, the "Wine Online." It's...frivolous. You keep spending all this money on stuff that doesn't matter. Maybe I've spent too much time studying St. Clare. Maybe I envy her and her followers their poverty.
Simon: You hypocrite. You talk about poverty and fundraise for the church like some tweedy society matron. Is there some switch in your brain that gets stuck so that you can't make the connection that's so bleeding obvious to the rest of the world?
Simon: How can you study this woman and not get it? She didn't see some virtue in poverty. It was the freedom she was after. By giving it all up--money and marriage and stuff--she was free. Do you even have a clue what freedom is?
Ann: Of course I "get it." In case you don't remember, I made my living by "getting it," or at least as far as St. Clare is concerned. And for your information, I do understand what freedom is. I'm free now. I can choose how to spend my time, and who to spend it with. I can choose my research...
Simon: That's it? That's freedom for you? Christ, you live in a narrow little world! This house has us by the balls Ann. Wake up.
(sound of door slamming)
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