A Play byGunnhildur Hauksdóttir, Kristín Ómarsdóttir, Translated by Birna Bjarnadóttir
The entire dramatic text. Please contact Kristín Ómarsdóttir (firstname.lastname@example.org) for rights to perform, publish or use this text in any form.
Written in Reykjavík and Ledig House, Hudson, New York, in 2008.
Audition was first produced as a part of the exhibition Audition, in The Ace-Art Gallery, Winnipeg, Canada, in May 2008.
SCENES AND CHARACTERS
#1 A Memory of a Summer Evening
Characters: Girl, Boy
#2 By The Fallen Head
Characters: A young woman, Her father’s beheaded head, A friend who sings and plays the guitar
#3 Eternal Love
Characters: Ghost 1, Ghost 2, Death
#4 Flowers for a Young Man
Characters: A young man, A girl
#5 The Knight-Girl (monologue)
Character: A female knight of armor
#6 The Savior of Humanity (monologue)
Character: A girl
#7 My gift, Your Excellency (monologue)
Character: An elderly gentleman
#8 Exploitation in the name of love (monologue)
Characters: A pregnant girl
#9 The Ferryman (monologue)
Characters: An elderly pregnant lady
#10 The Conqueror of Death
Characters: A warrior girl, Her mother, Death
Characters: Two dancers
Characters: An executioner, A young girl
Characters: A woman, A man
Characters: Woman 1, Woman 2, A silent servant
Characters: Man 1, Man 2
#16 Sweeping Leaves
Characters: The leaf-man
The stage, which is on wheels, resembles a gallows, a carousel, a fortress, a gigantic oil barrel, placed upside down, a battlefield, a shower, castle ruins, etc.
Props: a shower-head, a tree, lianas, roses, light bulbs, a light socket, a blanket, a rope, a dovecot’s net, sticks, timber, a bicycle, barbed wire, projectors, a loudspeaker (like they use in prisons, for example), used to project announcements and singing. Several additional items.
NB: Four monologues are performed by characters in swings (“The Savior of Humanity”, “My Gift, Your Excellency”, “Use in the Name of Love”, “The Ferryman”.) The four characters may be present on stage at the same time. They perform their monologue, one character after the other, and then step down from the stage.
“A Memory of a Summer Evening”
Two characters, a GIRL and a BOY, stand and wait at a bus stop, a gas station, and a train station, without a promise of anything happening except for the approaching night. They have nothing to do apart from being idle, leaning on two separate poles, lightly dressed; it was hot today. We can imagine the sunset close by – trees, a small shack, and mountains – the buzzing of flies. A lake is not far off.
I dreamt we made love.
And was it good?
It’s better to make love in a dream.
And more enjoyable.
I dreamt the summer vacation was over.
That was a bad dream.
I should have invited you into mine.
Some people are so articulate. But we’re not.
Say something so the silence won’t last too long.
What should I say?
Something about emotions?
It seems to bleed out whenever I speak.
It’s tormenting to be quiet, but more painful to talk.
It’s better to talk in a dream.
You’re right. Much better.
Let’s sit down and say nothing for a while.
It could become embarrassing.
Let’s not do it, then.
It’s slippery to set a date in the world of dreams.
Should we walk down to the lake and fence off the ghostly anguish, the one I sense coming?
A good idea.
“By The Fallen Head”
A YOUNG WOMAN sits and gazes at her reflection in a mirror. She combs her hair. She cools herself down with water, and a fan. The text she’s reciting is written on the mirror she is holding. Her hair is long; she’s wearing a beautiful, light feminine dress. A FRIEND is sitting, naked above the waist, barefoot, playing a string instrument and singing. The disembodied head of the girl’s FATHER, bloody around the neck, is positioned near by. It’s staring at the girl, who pretends not to see it and doesn’t want to see it, although occasionally, she utters a reply. While the father and daughter speak, the friend sings with a soft voice.
Be good to me – at least, I’m your dad. No one loves you as much as I do. Those who say they do are lying; they are willing to forego their love for what ever else comes their way. I will never let go of my love for you. Every cubic-centimeter of your body is marked with my love. Did you know that, girl?
At last, she talked to her dad.
No one replaces me. Just remember that. Out of sheer generosity, I gave you life.
I know. Thank you for creating me.
It’s my pleasure. I know that many fathers would demand compensation for giving life to a child. I’ve heard crude stories on how some fathers go about collecting what’s theirs. Yes, when they show up, sooner or later, to set the record straight with their children.
Yes, dad, thank you for not charging me for my birth.
Who said I wasn’t going to charge you – I – want you to look at me, and say
dear dad, hi dear daddy, you’re a good dad, dad.
I can’t look at you, dad, I’m sorry, I’m terrified of ghosts –
Be kind to good, old daddy. Look at the state he’s in!
I don’t want to see it, dad.
But what about your friend – (turns his head with difficulty towards the friend) – can he face a pathetic father, who was thrown out of this sweet, earthly existence, who loves his daughter more than anyone?
(Silence, apart from the guitar-playing and the singing of the friend.)
FATHER turning his head
Daughter, be kind to old daddy.
Turn to me, look at me – no one loves you as much as I do.
Yes, dear dad, I know.
If I’d known how it turned out, I’d have prepared myself better. Daughter, be kind to me, for you’re not kind to me. What kind of a dad was I?
You were all right dad.
How jolly good to hear. It’s my sacred duty to love you beyond the grave, and it’s also my unconditional right. Everyone may leave you, but my love cannot perish, no matter how well or badly you will serve life or how many mistakes you might make.
Yes dad, what a relief.
It’s better to be on my good side.
Thank you for answering me.
It’s my pleasure. I feel as if I’m the most important thing created on this earth. And it’s partly because of you. Thank you, dad.
(Tears fall from the father’s eyes.)
While the conversation between the two takes place, the friend plays the guitar, sings and hums -
THE SONG OF THE FRIEND:
I dreamt I loved a girl
However my love harmed her
So I took off, as far as I could
Grieving my love at unfamiliar bosoms
I dreamt I had a daughter
Poisoned by my presence
And so I took off to a graveyard
For those who drown their wounded sorrows
I dreamt the world itself
Was threatened by my presence
I ought take off to where the sun heals death
With herbs and wild tumbling weed
Like a sow-man seeds,
I spread disaster
My life destroyed myself
And wrecked my mothers womb
I dreamt God crafted me a trap
He sits on his throne
In a fit of laughter
At the fool that is I
TWO GHOSTS water and keep a skeleton flowerbed. The water can is rime-white and purple-colored water runs from it. They’re using a little shovel and a scraper, made from bones. DEATH is there, like a lifeguard, a prison guard, an overseer, watches, listens occasionally, and is proud of his souls, who are carefully tending to the flowers of death. Death is content – that’s the feeling shining through – he must be well fed, hasn’t overeaten – he has precisely the feeling that follows a good meal. Whenever Death speaks, the ghosts turn to Death with an expressionless visage. Death lights a skeleton cigarette, inhales and blows colored ghost smoke. He may give his souls a drag or two. The ghosts’ gender is irrelevant – or cannot be made out, most likely they’re wearing hoods.
It’s lovely to be dead with you.
Same here, I cannot imagine a better dead person to be with. And nothing can set us a part, not even death.
(Ghost 2 turns to Death, who smiles lavishly, nodding, full of shallow understanding.)
You’ll never desert me. Therein lies the difference, to be free of that damned fear of separation.
DEATH sighs, smokes
That’s the spirit, gringos, that’s the spirit. Now, you’re at it, kiddos.
How I constantly dreaded that everyone would leave me. Well, some did, others did not. But you never know who’ll stay. It’s impossible to figure it out. It’s scary, really ghastly. There’s no guarantee.
Yes my lads, now, you’re at it. Keep up the good work.
It’s true, I abandoned some, and I regret many things, but not all. I befriended people I shouldn’t have!
I also abandoned many, and many abandoned me, that’s the way life goes, but now we’re secure, landed in a safe harbor.
And we will travel together eternally. I cannot imagine a better companion! We’ll stay together until the end of time.
Yes, that’s the spirit, now you’re at it, that’s right ─ that’s the right way to it lads.
I sincerely do hope you’ll not start wishing for the end of time and thereby our companionship in this realm of death.
Hold your horses; don’t throw bugs in a rose garden – for I simply love to be dead with you! (Shouts, gazes up to the sky and makes a fist) I simply adore it! I love every single moment of it, each moment and the eternity embedded in every single moment. P.s. I love you!
Yes, that’s the way to go, absolutely right – this is it, chaps, that’s the way to handle it, Carry on!
(Death is walking away, smoking.)
Very good, I just wanted to be certain, absolutely certain.
Death brings certainty, my love. Uncertainty belongs to life. No need to despair ever again. We’re happily dead together.
We are lucky, fortunate indeed. Our love will last forever.
(The ghosts continue working in silence.)
“Flowers for A Young Man”
A GIRL picks flowers she gives to A YOUNG MAN, who’s lying down and crying.
Flowers for a sad, young man.
Thank you, girl. What beautiful flowers you’re laying at my heart. Why do I cry when there is such a lovely girl, why do I cry?
You’re sorrow is deeper than the roots of these flowers.
(She hands him more flowers.)
Yes, thank you, my sorrow is deep. Why live when one realizes it will all come to an end and I foresee my constant, inevitable decay, at least as long as I remain conscious.
GIRL hands him a flower
Now, you’re in the blossoming prime of your life.
It’s true, I’ve reached the peak and I’m not sure I would like to…
GIRL interrupts and hands him a flower
Go on? Perhaps you’re not a man to go on…
Perhaps I’m not a man to go on. For how many flues am I going to catch before I die? How many times do you think I’m going to vomit? How many chickens am I going to stuff myself with? How many bottles of red wine? My life is such a threat to earth’s supplies that I cannot even begin to think about it. How many baskets of grapes does the worker in the valley need to carry in order to quench my thirst? How many tons of sugar will mark my life? All these coffee beans I’m still to get hold off in the store without ever respecting where they came from. I’m still to eat twenty thousand eggs. Shouldn’t I liberate the earth of my presence?
GIRL hands him a flower
The hens might not be able to live without you.
Thank you. And how many women is my penis going to enter? It feels like I’m imposing myself upon them, only for me to gasp and shout like a fool
“bliss, bliss, heavenly bliss, oh, what a delightful lovely bliss, more, more, mm, mm… “ How many dark streets will I thread, searching for a woman to penetrate?
The women wait for you to fill them up with pleasure, with your shivering stuffing, allowing the soft herbs to tickle through their veins. And afterwards, they’ll smile for an entire day.
To wander through bleak streets, searching and waiting for a soft bosom and a sentence that has never been uttered before, be it in the middle of the night or early morning light; I’m hopeless.
GIRL hands a flower over to him
Then you’ll have a son who aspires to you and cries when you leave and smiles upon your return.
Then I’ll have a son who is dependent on me and because he cannot cope without me, I will hurt him again and again, until he decides for him to live without me.
GIRL offers him a flower
No, it won’t be like that. You’ll take good care of your son, young man.
And the hens will lay even more eggs!
GIRL offers him a flower
And you’ll meet a woman who will take your mind of the mundane side of life.
Only for love and sex to delude me and have me close my eyes to the facts, to the facts, girl, the f a c t s.
GIRL pushes a flower to him
Hens, please, lay more eggs so that his wife will be satisfied and happy!
Hang on my friend! I’ll not be deluded into participating in this worn-out, human life, I’m not going to waist the earth’s resources, driven by an egoistical purpose in order for me to blossom and swell up and… and… to scatter my seed all over the place, like a, like a cheap hotel chain… (A boyish and innocent laughter.)
GIRL hands him a flower
Allow me to kiss you, my friend.
(The girl bows over the young man and kisses him. But the kiss is fatal, and he dies with a smile on his face. She waters the corps and a flower grows where his penis used to be and it stirs like a straw in the wind.)
A KNIGHT-GIRL holds a grail and a skull, dressed in a knight’s outfit, and pours dark syrupy liquid from a bottle into the grail; the liquid taints. Up her sleeve, she keeps several handkerchiefs, which she pulls out, one at a time, dries her with them and blows her nose, then she throws them to the floor, dips them into the dark liquid, and wipes her face.
I drink darkness as wine, I gulp down the lukewarm dark ink so it can fill my body and travel with my blood through the veins, and darken the intestines and my thoughts
darkness ─ darkness ─ more darkness ─ it’s you I worship and I drink your toast ─ to you, darkness! (She drinks, and streams of dark liquid run down the corners of her mouth, she dries her mouth, pours more into the grail.) Don’t exhaust me with your wish to encounter an alternative me – and I don’t even know who I am! So I may not threaten you. Excuse me; I’ve no desire to pose threats. (Drinks.) What am I? My great grandmother’s substitute, she, who left behind my grandmother, who gave birth to my mother, who gave birth to me – a doll from a doll from a doll from a doll’s stomach, an extra in an urban scene, a supporting actor in a well-made play, a sidekick for my friends in their leisure time, a witness; should cars run into each other. To be there, and answer should the telephone ring, for otherwise, nobody answers, and who’s to gain from that. (Throws a telephone she pulls out of her pocket to the floor.) A constituent, so someone can mark the ballots, which were printed for a fortune, so the printer receives his earnings, to feed his hungry children. Otherwise, his children would not get their filling and the ballots would become melancholic and sad. So the people who give speeches can continue to give speeches. A consumer so the shops don’t suffer. Oh! who am I? (Belches.) A student so the classroom is filled with new life and warmth. The sister of my brother, a woman’s daughter who woke up pregnant one morning and jumped out of bed to congratulate the morning hour, and a daughter of a man’s who once held me in his loving arms. A friend and a future in-law-something or nothing. (Pours ink into grail.) Dear father, adore me. Dear mother, love me. My kind brother, aspire to me. Sister, enjoy my limited wisdom – (burps) – toast! Grandmother, imagine me as a dark wall and not as a windowpane. And uncles, admire how light my coffin will be – toast! Aunts, you too admire how light my coffin will be. My son to be, remember I was here for you, but I left for another place before you would abandon me; you didn’t have the choice. Daughter, remember I would have loved you through and through, more than anyone, had you been born. (Drinks.) Friends, find a new yardstick. Toast! (Burps.) My friend, you love me in some milieus, but now, I’m heading for a place, where you do not love me. Calm down, relax, you’ll find a new friend who’ll respect the precinct of your affection.
(She puts down the grail, wipes her mouth, and makes a solider formation with one hand on her heart and the other on her forehead in a salute, looks to the air with a visionary gaze and clomps her heals together.)
Death, at your service!
(She marches off the stage.)
“The Savior of Humanity”
A GIRL sits in a swing and swings gently. It becomes clear that she’s wearing a kind of a superman’s mantle.
I was just saying to my mom, and she said it does make sense, that other aliens – completely invisible, as of yet, at least – are taking care of the task of murdering humanity. That’s how aliens practice genocide on the earth’s inhabitants, and hinder eternal life on earth. That they are fiends of God Almighty. They pit mankind against itself, in order for mankind to take care of the task for them, like they do in wars. They inject people with old age and forgetfulness, which stimulates a slow progressive decay and people die in misery, completely helpless like barbarians in their own homes. They are practicing genocide on humanity. They are the number one enemy of humanity. They’re sending plagues, mysterious insects in order to weaken us and to hinder the evolution of the species. Mom said, that this made sense. Here it is, the explanation of the unknown forces constantly at work behind the scenes. And if a human being, of flesh and blood, approaches the truth about life on earth, the aliens block her way to the truth; weaken her with diseases such as brain decay. (Whispers:) And mom, don’t tell anyone what I’m telling you, you see, because I’m aware of this, my life is in danger and your daughter wouldn’t like to endanger your life too – if they find out we know… (Stops whispering, stands up from the swing and salutes:) “Mom, I’d like to go off into space to save humanity,” I said. My mom replied
“You concentrate on being young, my dear, but remember how awfully fast time passes, my dearest child.” – “I don’t care if I burn out, everyone does sooner or later, thanks to these aliens. I’m at least going to do what ever I can to save my brothers and sisters here on earth! (Shouts like young human beings shout down authority:) If it were not for these invisible aliens – death in its fleshless image – we would live forever! Stop talking to me about the dangers of life, stop warning me! Stop it! (Stamps down her feet, she seems to be flying off.) I’m off into space to fight! Someone has to save humanity. I volunteer! Infantry number one! And mom! Bye! Don’t keep the supper warm!
“My Gift, Your Excellency”
AN OLDER GENTLEMAN sits in a swing, swinging gently back and forth. He could be hooked up with all kinds of tubes, an IV and an oxygen cask.
My mother and I sat in her sofa. She had become an older woman. I leaned towards her and said in a soft voice
“You’re the only one in this world that acknowledges my strength and my weakness, without condemning me for either. Some said
You’re too clever for this world. Some said
You’re too weak-minded for this world. But not you, dear mother. You acknowledge the man I am, my superiority and my flaws, without embarrassment or condemnation. For that, I will always be grateful, dear mother.” – “Think nothing of it, son”, the dearest replied. – “How can you accept those traits in your son, mom, which can only resemble a monster?” I asked, spurred by a naïve of malice. – “Son, your superiority could only have bloomed if everyone in the world was just like me. The hatred of others brought your downfall, for your only fuel is love. And I thought I would perish, but when I witnessed your downfall, I discovered inner freedom. The downfall of my son.” – “Thank you, mother, I’m a good monster in your presence, but a bad one in the presence of others. For a monster, it’s essential to have a place where he feels like a good being without any bad notes on the check list.” – She smiled as if she was aware of something that would escape my mind forever. After my mother died, I searched for peace in nature, far away from the inhabited regions, in order to be good for a while, and then, I returned to humans, fulfilling my role – of the monster! And to enjoy my superiority within the limited range society had provided for me. But I did miss her and her refuge. I even contemplated to change my habits, to embark upon charity, to do the right thing, get to know my children, show the women in my life some human interest and respect, to approach human life without abuse. But the assignment was too difficult for a man like myself, and I waited until I got sick. My children and my women nursed me and crushed this predator, who’d nestled within me. Finally, I became a flawless man. High on victory, they held my hand, these merciful, female characters, and waited for me to die. Who’s the executioner, I asked myself, silently. What’s the purpose of life? Is it for ornament’s sake? To veil an already lost game? Nothing matters. My sickness made me aware that all the while I made the best of what little I had. My mother’s delusions about “the son” gave her the strength to endure this longwinded chapter, before the exhaustion becomes a permanent condition – and that’s when a person has nothing more to wish for. When I die, I will show no gratitude. My mother and I should be thanked; for our sacrifice; for our tireless charity in the name of nothing.
“Exploitation in The Name of Love”
A PREGNANT GIRL sits in a swing, and swings gently back and forth.
I know I’m being used. It’s reproduction, its purpose being social efficiency. My race is not to go extinct, and my blond curls are to stay within the tribe. I’m being used and I know it. They keep hammering on, filling my eyes with dust
In the future, the child cannot rely on anyone but me; the child will love no one as much as me; I’ll be the gravitating force of love in the child’s life. All this they say, in order to give my life a greater purpose while I am being used for free. Despite my lack of love for this hitchhiker in my womb, the one sucking nourishment from my shallow bones, they say the infant will melt my heart the moment I look into its eyes. That’s what they’re saying, so they can sublime the use of an innocent lass. I know, I’m perfectly aware I’m being used. And I play along because if I don’t I’m less than nothing.
(She begins swinging faster and faster. Darkness.)
A PREGNANT LADY in a swing, swinging gently back and forth, she is long past childbearing age.
I was used in my time, and I still allow myself to be used, good God! I offer myself to ferry the nestlings into this world. Someone has to do it – why not me? I have nothing better to do during my retiring days and my experience as a ferryman was so far good and prosperous; I’ve brought a few over without them being marked with a single scratch. During the first months, years, and decades, everything looked fine. But gradually, the flaws became visible
there’s a hidden flaw in all of my children – or what I call
the contraband. This one, however – (she caresses her belly) - will not sustain the human tragedy. I’m hopeful for mankind, yes, finally, he will arrive – or she! (Laughs.) But who will take a female character seriously? (Laughs.) Let’s hope it´s a boy, for with him the odds of a succsessfull birth and a triumphant aftermath are greater. My flaw
c r e d u l o u s n e s s. My husband’s flaw
lack of f a i t h. Flaw. Flaw. Flaw… There will allways be something that gives us away – something within us that keeps us down. This lad’s only merit is love, the one I’ve now offered to ferry into the world. The light in the darkness.
(She laughs, swings for a moment, sings – )
THE PREGNANT LADY´S SONG:
My children in the morning
My kids in the evenings
My children in the morning
My kids in the evenings
My children in the morning
My kids in the evenings…
(The stage grows dark.)
“The Conqueror of Death”
A WARRIOR-GIRL, wearing a vibrant mantle, fences with DEATH, who’s also wearing a mantle. This is an exciting battle for life and death, at least for one of them.
I swear it, thou wretched world’s taxidermist, riding on icy gust, ─ with my victory, with me conquering thy, humanity will be able to live F O R E V E R!
Ah, you cute little girl… what do you think you can accomplish? A suck-up to teachers, a mother’s improver, husky and crunching dry from your own bragging.
Thou, global mass murderer, hunted down by mankind from the beginning of time, my honor is the award for thy head, I will t e r m i n a t e thee and mutilate, and free the earth from the grips of thy ice-cold hands.
Oh, wouldn’t it be serving a good cause, you arrogant girl mat, also for the future prospects of the planet, nota bene, only not for your CV – if I were to terminate all of you, you stomach-sick angels. That way the earth’s wounds, created by your ancestors, would finally have time to heal.
Shut up, thou master of darkness, thou ice-cold china maker.
(Death laughs coarsely.)
The reaper, the ice-cold, ceramic puppet-maker! That was a good one, not bad at all, coming from a member of the bourgeoisie peasant. The corpse-collector prefers playing with the sweet skeletons in the universe without being distracted by high-strung activists like you, parasites and dried up apple kernels. However – (laughs) – China-maker! – The girl is a potential demagogue, an opponent worth fighting, would she perhaps like to play doll with skulls and bones, or basketball with eyeballs. (Laughs.)
We’ll see who’ll be laughing in the end.
(At this moment, the warrior-girl stabs Death to death and Death falls down. She perches one foot on the corpse, draws the sword out of the wound and lifts the bloody sword above her head. The blood of Death is transparent slime.)
I conquered Death! I conquered Death! I conquered D E A T H!
(Through the loudspeakers, we hear the sound of a standing ovation. The warrior-girl bows.
Without her seeing it, Death smiles condescendingly, and without her noticing, he blinks one of his eyes.
The girl screams, high on victory.
As if approaching through invisible crowd near by,
the girl’s MOTHER appears.
She’s mundane, traveling from a mundane world, proudly, with her arms open; she prepares to embrace her daughter.
The applause fades out.)
My dearest girl, my heroine. You have turned the world into a better place; you’ve saved humanity! Mummy is so proud…
(The warrior-girl wasn’t prepared for her mother’s arrival, not to this place, not at this moment ─ at the moment of victory. She takes offence and as if by coincidence, she runs the sword through her mother that falls to the ground. She watches her mother collapse, looks at the sword and throws it away as if it’s poisoned.
A moment later, Death rises up, bows for an imaginary crowd, walks towards the corps of the mother, jerks the sword out of it and lays it on the floor. The mother opens her eyes.
Death extends his hand to her and pulls her to her feet. Darkness.)
Two dancers, A WOMAN and A MAN, are dancing Jitterbug or Charleston, to an old rock song. They are possibly wearing black caps, and dressed in light and colorful summer clothes, a wide summer dress, and beautiful summer shoes.
AN EXECUTIONER leads A YOUNG WOMAN onto the stage. The young woman is barefooted, wearing childlike pajamas and she’s pregnant but not very far-gone. However, the pregnancy stands out on the executioner, who must be due any day now. The young woman is carrying a small teddy bear.
Young woman, you have sinned.
You have broken the holy laws that God Almighty has laid out for us and we are to obey.
You’ve used your body in an egoistical way, spoiled it with greedy lust. You’ve perverted the holy gift, which God and your parents gave you, without repentance.
God gave you life to pass it on, not for you to play with it at your mischievous will. You’ve been recklessly playing around with other people’s feelings and bodies, accepting money for inviting others into your temple, turning it into a shed.
Before you are made to pay for your sins with your own life ─ this life you’ve anyway perverted and misused and indeed, forgone you’re right to keep on living ─ before I shall grant you absolution from your sins, you may speak for one minute. (Keeps an eye on the clock.) Go ahead, orgy master.
(The young woman sings – )
THE YOUNG WOMAN´S SONG
Thank you, sun
For shining on my cold shoulders
That heavy overcoats did not hid
They only wanted light dresses
To the store, down to the pub
And back home again
Thank you sky
For the beauty and the sweet rain
That washed my muddy shoes
When I’d lost track
And touched me softly
With the smell of growth
Thank you, good people
For telling me stories
And soothing me with songs
And consoling me with instruments
The long winter nights
The voices caressed
Better than velvet
Thank you, earth
For showing me the way
Into hollows and streets
For showing me forbidden things
That never lay eyes
Never mix color with
The light of day
Thank you, children
For being peculiar
Strange perplexing animals
And thank you, sweet cows
For giving a hungry girl
Some milk and eggs
EXECUTIONER before the song is over puts a cap over the young woman’s head
Enough! ─ enough of this sinner’s deranged absolution.
(The executioner places a noose around the girl’s neck, the girl continues to sing. The executioner performs the hanging.
As soon as the girl is hanging up in the noose, AN INFANT, A DOLL, falls out of her, a birth takes place at the moment of the hanging
the mother moves upwards, and the child comes down, caught by the executioner who lays the newborn in a cardboard box, like a kitten.
The girl hangs in the noose and sings for a few more moments, until she’s silent.)
I’m so happy. Victory is mine
My team, my religion, and my lifestyle. (Strokes her belly.) I mature enormously each time I take a life, each life that has gone astray. For people should pay attention to what someone like myself has to say! For we know. We understand… Divinity! We preserve the heritage and do not confuse right with wrong, thanks to the age-old experience of those who’ve been here before us. It’s because ─ it’s because, it’s because ─ it’s because of nothing.
(Bows, picks up the cardboard box, and leaves.)
A WOMAN and A MAN hold hands under two trees. The branches of the trees are about to coil around each other and form a curved gate. While walking, they talk as if directing their words to a camera. The sound effect could be the music of a TV-commercial.
My mother was the executioner of her mother.
It’s true. His mother executed my mother. The two of us combined form a heavenly treaty.
Enemies merge with us.
It’s true. We’ll prevent the end of the world. We’ll create history. We’ll rewrite the final chapter from scratch.
We will elevate the middle-class to a new level of respect and prestige. We’ll preserve the future.
We’ll leave a deep mark, thoroughly printed in humanity’s history.
We will restore our glorious middle-class.
I know the world and I’ll listen to you. I’ll protect your interests and fight for you ─ upon life and death ─ every single day. I’ll never cease fighting for you. Each day I will be attentive to your needs. Trust in me.
This is the day we’ve all been waiting for. We’ve dreamt this day. Now, everything will come true.
We have forgiven. Now, it’s time to implement.
TWO WOMEN sit in their nightgown. They are going to bed. A SILENT SERVANT combs their hair.
Thank you for coming over.
I´m honored if I can be of any help. Of any help. Be it what ever.
The nightmares attack me, the invisible enemy. My husband used to kill the nightmares with his presence; without him I cannot fight for myself.
Together we´ll fight, two are stronger than one.
But we are unarmed.
We fight peacefully against nightmares.
So many people die while they safely sleep as an infant. Not suspecting anything, not sensing the presence of their invincible enemy – what can we do?
Let´s make a prayer.
But praying is for poor people. We are not poor.
Our spirit is poor, my friends, let´s say a prayer.
Pray for a world without nightmares. If I gain a good night sleep tonight and if I do not die I will thank you my friend for saving my life.
(Woman 1 kisses Woman 2 on her chin.)
We are such a good friends.
MAN 1 and MAN 2 are sitting opposite each other at a table, resembling an interrogation-table. They’re dressed in dark-blue overalls, or striped prison-clothes, wearing pink socks. Their speech is projected through loudspeakers, or coming out of loudspeakers, as used in prison-courtyards.
You’re a good man, I can see that.
Thanks for the praise.
I’m also a good man.
I wouldn’t doubt it.
I’ve done some bad things, but if I hadn’t, I would be dead.
Although one hardly ever admits to it, right?
Correct, but I find it’s more important to talk about the bad deeds rather than the good ones. Or else one might create ambiguity, and I’m not one to brag.
I agree with you there.
I can think of nothing better to do than sit with other men, sharing and regretting our wrong doings, taking turns telling tails of our evildoings, revealing our sins in the still of the night. What weighs down on your conscience, kind stranger?
I forgot about loved ones. Thought only of myself, did not pay my debts on time, did not see about members of my family when they fell ill, and they passed away with out my presence, – and still they died! I surrendered to vanity, sold my soul for prestige and small change. Then I faltered and fell on my ass, found myself alone and deserted – and then finally, I felt like a man and not a beast.
Oh! Unfamiliar friend, it is as if you have spoken right out of my insignificant heart. (Laughs, both pretentiously and sincerely.) When my child cried on the phone, when I called to say I wasn’t coming, one of numerous times, I enjoyed the crying like a prelude by Chopin. I made love to my kid’s longing. What can be more beautiful than a child crying? If my wife accused me of something, it was as wind under my wings. She filled me with valor, and that is no small gift – as my nature was, and still is, cowardly. She filled me, knowingly or unknowingly, with lust for other women, her scolding was my euphoric well. I let her carry on; I had no intention of closing this wondrous pharmacy despite the occasional headache.
How pleasant to reminisce, to think back on old adventures and observe at the same time, the young men of today, waking up to life, repeating the same blunders. It gives a warm peace of heart. Thankfully, life is short.
MAN 1 stands up
Let me embrace you chum. A failed man like myself? Feel, despite the occasional idiocy and hopelessness, the despair, the hard times, the mockup; we harbor an inner strength, demonic and divine. Embrace me buddy.
MAN 2 stands up
With pleasure. An unforgettable time we have shared.
(They embrace for a while, interrupted by the prison sirens, sounding through the loud-speakers. They turn their backs on each other and walk towards the table, self-possessed and a bit heavy in the shoulders. They sit down, both of them have cried.
A moment passes, then darkness, the sirens fade out.)
“Sweeping The Leaves”
THE LEAF-MAN is sweeping, naked above waist, and the upper part of his body is covered in leaves, barefoot, in sandals or wearing clogs, he is wearing a pair of glasses made from branches with leaves.
Leaves fall on the sidewalk and they blow up to the balcony, I sweep them together, lift them up and take the bundle to the garbage. Then I start thinking about my father and his father, about the fathers of my grandfathers, when I wisp the leaves into the garbage. We’re so lucky, that the growth whirls around us and covers us up. The climber climbs up the body, all the way from the toes and upwards, and this tuft grows straight out of our heads, and the roots hide within the veins. This is the growth-plot
I. Look at me. The growth-plot me. You may call me the leaf man. (Sweeps some leaf.) I’m pretty much as good in sweeping the leaves as my father was, and my grandfather. The strength in my hands is similar to theirs, and the sound coming from the broom is more or less the same. When I walk inside, I leave the broom at the door, take off my clogs, and my soles touch the stone in the floor
How splendid it is to be a walking plant, touching the floor. My grandfather was familiar with this feeling, when a sole touches stone, either hot or cold. We’re all great men, my grandfathers, my father and I, for we have the opportunity to touch the ground with our bare feet; to undress and bare this foundation we build our lives upon
the body. To bow under the water, flowing from the showerhead, and water this lovely bulk, which is blessed with several qualities and handy equipment. Like for example these strange and useless nipples can proof. These strange feet, which carry us from one house to another, also bear witness. Whom may I pay a subscription for my eyesight? Perhaps my grandson? Its funny, this mouth we stuff like a grinder. We force down the food and pour in the drinks, and its here where everything gets automatically mixed, without anyone asking. Incomprehensible. When I fart, it’s comparable to the smoke coming out of a factory’s chimney. And my piss gushes out like from of a fountain, the beautifully gold-colored water I’m extremely proud of every single morning I let it flow, like pushing a button on a washing machine. Rhythmically, I sweep the leaves on the balcony and perceive that I’m a part of the world. That I do belong here, that I am allowed to belong here. No one prohibits that. (He bows.) Thank you.
~ END ~