The man Laura is singing to doesn’t quite get it, and how could he? We live our lives independently, cut off irrevocably from one another since the day they snipped the umbilical cord. The most empathetic of us still don’t know one percent of what is going on in our closest loved one’s head. This is the defining struggle of human relations.
("The Beast" by Laura Marling - Spotify link, YouTube link)
What Laura has been exposed to, as we arrive on the scene, is something he does not yet understand. Something foreign to him. Flashes of it in the mirror that he thinks are just tricks of the eye. Because he has not lived through what she has, he can not comprehend the change that has come over her. His context is not her inner reality, it is his daily, normal life. The changes confound him. What comes next he is wholly unprepared for.
To be fair, she tried to prevent this. For hours in anticipation of this moment, she has been scouring her insides for something different. She has rifled through her DNA for a certain power, for the strength of her ancestors. She tried to call on the might of the goddess who predates measured time. She sunk a line for her, in hope, but that baited hook plunged so deep didn’t pull up what she was looking for. It pulled up what she got instead.
She got the Beast. She is no longer the angler in control of the situation. Laura is the one bound by the nylon string, and it is the monster that pulls her in.
Her blood boils in a rising crescendo. She lies with the Beast, it gets inside her. Her eyes glow red, the change comes over her. She sees visions of destruction: asteroids crashing, fires raging, bombs exploding, the fall of man. What that must do to a person, to fill up with all that is evil. Her lover - the mortal one, not the one she conjured up - looks at Laura puzzled. There is little sympathy in her hot eyes. The waning humanity in her urges him to be alert to the danger. To look in the mirror for more than a second, to comprehend and be thankful he is alive at all. This bed is not yours tonight, sir. Turn away, avert your eyes, run away until the Beast is done with your old lady.
At 3 a.m. Laura comes to. She is exhausted, but will not be falling asleep so soon. Whatever has come over her has gone. She can no longer recall what she went through, who or what the Beast was. But she feels changed. She feels vulnerable, and she searches for her mortal lover. The familiarity of her need for him, brings him back to her. A chance after all that furor to be the man again. A chance to make her feel safe once again.