WORK 003 (2017)

Work 003

Installation, Performance, 2017

Inspired by Some Rain Must Fall by Michel Faber




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Some Rain Must Fall

The key turning in the lock, Nick got home after work.

Frances Strathairn, working in front of her computer, glanced at the computer’s top right corner. 7:20, he’s on time. 

“Hello!” Nick shouted while changing his shoes. 

“Hello!” Frances went on with her work on computer. 

“How was your day?” Nick came into the study and kissed her on the lips.

My relationship with this man is in crisis, Frances reminded herself, kissing him on the lips. There is no doubt about it.

But of course there was doubt.

“What’s for dinner?”

“I’m exhausted. Maybe fish and chips.”

“Oh, again. ” Frances suddenly felt oppressive, as if the room was to burst.   

“Sorry, I didn’t quite get it. Can we? ”


Exhausted, she collapsed on the sofa and ate her meal. It was a variety show on TV, with cans’ laugh now and then. Nick was in the next room. 

They needed life to go on, with a maximum of fuss.

“Where is the exhibition catalouge? I’ve put it on the end table. Don’t clear away my stuff anymore! It feels terrible when something is missing.” She shouted at the next door. “Also”, she added,“Stop collecting these bottles. They are rubbish. Our rooms are too packed. It is irritating. They are binding me and dragging me to the floor. It’s too much! I will throw them away one day! Every piece of them!”

“What’s up? Dear?” Mike asked calmly, taking off his ear phones. “Anything I can for you? ”

Rather, she wanted him to change.

“Let’s go to bed,”she sighed.

The next night, though, she stayed up.

“How long, do you think?’” he asked, just to make sure whether he could be roused during the sleep.  

“As long as it takes,” she replied.

As with everything, he was fine about having to sleep on his own; well-behaved, well-behaved, well-behaved. She wished he would haul her up to the bedroom and fuck her. It would be inconsiderate and inconvenient, God yes: she had no time for sex tonight. She needed some sleep, of course. And yet she longed for him to knock her off course, or at least dare to try.

Don’t you realise our relationship is in crisis! She felt like yelling to him, which was such an absurd impulse that she laughed out loud.

He stood there, naked above the waist, a spray of glistening water-drops across his ribcage, a glow cast over his contours by her reading lamp. Her breath caught with the pain of soon not being with him anymore, because she would push him away, make sure he would never come back.

“Come here,” she murmured. He obeyed.

She would make love to him fast, here on the couch, then get on with her work. Undressing, she told herself that the exhibition proposal had to be ready by tomorrow. But she still could not make up her mind what color to use for the wall, pink, powder-blue or just white. She slid her rear over the edge of the couch to let Nick get inside her from where he was kneeling. Right now Frances had to admit that her clitoris wasn’t getting enough friction, and her back was being repeatedly stabbed by a metal zip on one of the cushions.

“Let’s go to the bedroom,” she said.

After orgasm, drunk with endomorphins, she drifted off to sleep, nestled against his arm, without briefs.

At breakfast, Frances hugged Nick from behind. In a bath robe after shower, he was making a coffee. She leant against his back, reading for his private parts. Nick turned his head, smiling at her. Looking into each other, they were in the most intimacy these days.      

How come I felt asleep last night, like those trashy men? Lots of women complained about men in the sentiment column.  

Three days passed. Then four days. Nothing happened on the fifth day, it’s incredible.    Only that It was raining. 

As the rain dimmed the skies outside, the fluorescent strip-light took over. The rain was thrashing down absurdly now, as if in fury, raging violently at the window and the broken flowerpots. Luckily there was no wind. 

Frances loved wind. 

“I want to divorce, Nick,” Frances rehearsed in her mind, imagining her tone and intonation, and, to have a better and real taste of pain, pictured herself to be everyone she knew who had divorced, including those celebrities. In her mind she tried to make everything clear and specific, ignoring no detail, like the furniture, the smiling faces in the photos on the mantel over the fireplace, the thickness of the carpet, and whether they crossed their arms or refused to look in the eye when they held their head in hands… It’s all despair. What had put the two that could not have been more intimate into such a hopeless situation? What kind of separate life would they have after   brokeup? Nothing mattered. The rain softened now with lingering pain.   

All she wanted was a clean start.

Nick was mad at the mess in the kitchen. On the saucepan for the salmon yesterday    were plates for the hamburgers the day before, with blood-red ketchup and almost transparent mayonnaise. There were also three or four glasses with knives, forks and tea spoons inside.

Mesmerised by his violent display, she followed the sweep of his big hands, longing for him to hit her, batter her to the floor. But even in anger he was hopelessly, infuriatingly safe, like the routine supper. 

“Zip your damned lip!” Frances yelled her her sharp woe. 

After they’d finished arguing, they stripped the bed, turned up the central heating and went out to Rotherey’s only restaurant, a combination hotel and snooker hall which also did Indian.

The pair by the window, observing others around without talking to or looking at each other, must have been married for over five or even ten years. The couple to the left of the bar counter, holding each other’s hands over the table and talking endlessly, might be young love, for not more than three months. For Frances and Nick, this classification game is an effective weapon to kill the silence before their order arrived.   

The restaurant was busier on a Friday evening. Their order was not ready yet when they have covered all the tables in their game. Frances began to fiddle with the candles on the table. 

“I want to die, Nick.”

She cried and cried, keeping sobbing. 

The lamb korma arrived. Frances took away her hands. Clearing her throat, she asked, “ What will we have for supper tomorrow?”

“Into each life some rain must fall, some days must be dark and dreary.”

—Zhu Tian

adapted from Some Rain Must Fall by Michel Faber 
















































Into each life some rain must fall, some days must be dark and dreary.