Collectig

 

 

 

 

 

 

(SERBIA)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Characters:

Woman 1, Grandma, 58
Woman 2, Tamara, 30
Woman 3, Tamara’s sister or Teta, 35
Child, 5
Man 1, Old Wolf, 62
Man 2, Dad, 40
Man 3, Man, 35
Barman, 29

 

 

 

 

 

 

I
Scene 1

 

CHILD: Are we going to see Grandma?
TAMARA: Dress up.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scene 2

 

Grandma’s flat. Simple furniture from the 60s. Spacious living room in green and brownish tones.
GRANDMA: (Talking to her dog): Here, I’ll get you some food. Be good, Tamara is coming.
CHILD: Hi, Grandma.
TAMARA: Mum… (to herself) Good, the dog’s here. Mum…
(To the child)): Take your shoes off, please.
GRANDMA: Where have you been, darling. I’ve prepared something nice for you…Uh, that child of hers…
CHILD: Grandma, Grandma, Grand-ma! Grand-ma!
(The Child is spinning around trying to get everyone’s attention. Grandma doesn’t notice. The dog livens up).
TAMARA: You are perfect, Mum. (Calms the child by stroking its hair. To herself): My painful room.
GRANDMA: Thanks, darling. Maybe the Child wants to watch TV in the room while we drink our coffee? Why are you so skinny? Do you give everything to the Child?
TAMARA: Lilies…put them somewhere. Is everything the same THERE? Please, don’t let the dog in. Though, it’s my friend too, isn’t it? The hair is still fluffy. Touch it. Touch it.
CHILD: Mum! Mum! Mum! Mum! (The Child sits in the armchair and rocks by hitting the back of the chair with full force.)
GRANDMA: This is my home now. And my dog. He is cleaner and smarter than many people. Your friend? When was the last time you took it for a walk? He pined for you. Calm down, Child, please!
TAMARA: (Puts on Smoke Gets in Your Eyes by The Platters. Dances with her mother): You smell nice. I am not flattering. Don’t smile like that, ah, guilt. (The Child comes closer. All three dance. Then Tamara and the Child separate and dance away).
CHILD: (Breaks free from the mother’s embrace and chases the dog while yelling at it and scaring it). Woof, woof! I am gonna eat you! Grrrrrr!
GRANDMA: Tamara! Sort that Child out! Lock it in the TV room! Here, dog. Poor dog. (Lights a cigarette. Receives a text message at that moment. Reads. Exhales through her nostrils. Smiles.) I’ll put the coffee on.
TAMARA: My child…I only have you…left. I’ll try writing music again, Mum. Some emptiness…I know I am pale…I am not wrinkled…The Child is fine. Don’t pull its fur.
CHILD: Mum, this dog is very stupid. And this Grandma is not much better. I am pulling its fur in self-defence.
TAMARA: You’d better attack, then. That position… Always miniature and inspirational food. Mum, the dog is ready to spring. Control it. Child, next to me! Come here so I can stroke your fluffy hair.
GRANDMA: Well, then, because you insist on your position, fine then. I’ve never known how to handle you. I’ve given it my all, I tried – maybe I buried you in this long sunny room, with my overwhelming effort. Perhaps I should have tried less. Then both of us would have been free. My love could be interpreted as a dependence on closeness, which always slipped away. I have overcome it and now, if you insist, I’ll say fine and I’ll lock the dog up. I am used to my hours. You aren’t yet.
TAMARA: Drama…dog…the Child…torn.
CHILD: Mum, I am bored.
TAMARA: Well, do I have to entertain you? It’s so hard. You are a difficult child. You pull me away. Come, here, come, I’ll scratch you. Mum, I am hungry. Suddenly some fatigue. It’s hard. It’s hard.
The dog comes out of the room where it was locked. Slowly approaches Tamara. She is not aware of its presence. With one hand she’s stroking the Child, with the other the Dog. Both are calm. She does it absentmindedly, mechanically. She is thoughtful. Eases into the chair.
GRANDMA: It’s hard for me too. It’s been hard since the beginning. I was afraid of you. And I was afraid to be next to you too. I never believed in happy women without children. Sometimes I thought I had you just so I could tell you my stories. Maybe stories about cruelty, loneliness. Now you are strong, cruel and quiet. Do you know that you are bothering me?
TAMARA: My only demand was his vengefulness. My only demand. I am your fruit. I am your daughter.
CHILD: Mum, I am hungry.
GRANDMA: I hated it when I had my period. I thought he would love me less. It seems that from an early age I developed the idea that nobody loves a woman. Especially herself. She loves herself least of all. My fruit…
TAMARA: I loved the act of bleeding. That separated me a little. From you. I used to smoke, secretly. I led a double life in order to survive. I am typical. And pleasant. I’d love to be able to squeeze into tight clothes again. Leave me alone.
Tamara goes to the bathroom. Starts filling the bath. Looks at herself in the mirror.
GRANDMA: The female body, an ugliness made up of some fleshy deformed growths. “Never too skinny, never too rich.” (Pours herself a screwdriver). A quiet woman’s drama of internal burning. Typical. Those typical and practical ones have always convinced me that they are nothing but typical tyrants. I wish to smear that cute little face.
TAMARA: You know. I don’t have a woman’s body. I am your sickly daughter and you are taking me to the hospital. I love you. I was the happiest when I had no body.
Tamara closes the bathroom door and gets into the bath. Submerges her body and head. Releases bubbles.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scene 3

 

TAMARA’S SISTER OR TETA: Hello, here I am. Where are you? How are you? Depressed? Classic female melancholy? The horrors of middle age and mature years? I can’t stay long. I have no capacity to hang around with you. You, mother, what kind of hairstyle is that? Lipstick? Ha, ha. You are incredible. You won’t give up. You won’t give up. You are going to outlive all of us!
GRANDMA: Oh, it’s you. Try not to do anything foolish, just like all the other times you come unannounced. Be polite. Sit down. I’ll add another plate.
Tamara has changed into a baggy white tunic. Her mascara is a bit smudged, she is holding the Child in her arms. She uses it as a shield. She observes the scene from the side.
CHILD: Mu-um.
TAMARA: Chi-ild. (Speaks clearly)
CHILD (To Mum.): Hey, Teta’s here. Has she brought any toys? Teta, Teta, have you got any chocolate?
TAMARA’S SISTER OR TETA: Yes I have, my sunshine. The way those two feed you, you are lucky to be this big.
GRANDMA: I prepared your favourite dish, Tamara: plum dumplings.
TAMARA: Children grow. That’s what they do. Unstoppably and fast. I don’t notice it. But others do. It sticks out. Chocolate is not allowed. If you have stuffed animals… Thank you. (Shines the silver).
CHILD: Mum, I don’t want animals. I’ve got them already. I want a machine gun and a He-Man. Teta, will you buy me a machine gun?
TAMARA’S SISTER OR TETA: I will, don’t worry, I will, sunshine.
TAMARA (Gestures to the Child to calm down): Tell us about yourself, dear. Mum, come and hear this!
Grandma raises her eyebrows.
TAMARA’S SISTER OR TETA: So, a machine gun. Two of them. For the Child’s fun and entertainment. For you two just in case.
TAMARA: You are a great provoker. Bring a pair of pistols a la Bogart…Can I leave Casablanca? He was a tough one. That’s attractive. You are a tough man, sister.
TAMARA’S SISTER OR TETA: Tough, tough (whispers), but unfortunately your child won’t be, considering how you are bringing him up. You treat him like a mirror. He’s a boy. Can’t you see he wants a machine gun? He misses his father. He misses the company of other children. He misses visits to the zoo and the park. You keep him locked up like some animal. It’s a miracle he isn’t even more naughty, wild and scared.
TAMARA: You speak the language of reason. Your openness pulsates in my temples…Yes, I am not a perfect mother. Have I ever said so? A finely tuned instrument which requires fine, gentle handling…
Pauses. She is considering the accusations calmly, as if none of this concerns her.
TAMARA: My Child is not a son. Why do you insist? Anyway, I think that biological essence and physiological samples are not the beginning of human behaviour. Do you really believe, my dear sister, in the torture of social conditioning? I fulfil desires. It does not learn a role. I am not a force. Only I know how much my Child and I enjoy listening to opera.
She smiles while recalling memories. Suddenly, she snarls.
TAMARA: Don’t you dare mention the father of my Child in this house, otherwise I am going to sink into an impenetrable doze from which nobody, NOBODY (yells), will wake me. Sorry I am yelling.
TAMARA’S SISTER OR TETA: Lucky Child…You don’t even know its sex, not to mention understanding the Child and considering the fact that the Child is not your accessory. Unfortunately, I’ll have to leave soon.
TAMARA: My dear, I am shocked, though I expected it. Please, stop this flowery rhetoric of paranoia. I am blind. Or rather with gently unfocused sight. Through blinking. The Child is the one that watches. She finds ways. Watches through the spy hole. The Child is the one that absorbs. It’s out of my control. I am perfectly static, even absent. You? Where are you off to? Are you afraid we’ll find something out about you? You’ve always been autistic. Do you have a child? Or are you suddenly longing for one? Judging from your stories you are still a virgin, for which, I admit, I envy you a bit. It won’t happen again. Say something interesting. Mum probably fell asleep. Or jumped through the window.
She gets up and looks for the rest of the family.
TAMARA’S SISTER OR TETA: (Deep sigh): Uhhh…so many accusations in one place. Here, let me answer them in order. Rhetoric of paranoia! Where did you dig that one out? Autism? Yes, I am autistic, but no more or less than you. We got the same pattern of autism and fake peace from the same mother. The only difference is that you remained in her pseudonormality and shell of fake peace, while I permitted myself to go mad and become a renegade of this gloomy and dark family. Of this graveyard which keeps everything alive in us, everything that showed even the weakest impulse to laugh, to like anything, not to accuse himself or others, not to live mechanically, not to take revenge, not to mourn, preach, talk nonsense, attack, break balls, not to use depression as an excuse for cowardice when it comes to living. Even if we managed all of this, only then would we be able to, after all that has happened to us, be able to die peacefully. Then, to die, not this! Dead, but alive, they walk, but they are buried. Horror! Horror! Horror!!! Innocent, innocent with bloodied hands up to the elbows. If you see it that way, yes I am, yes I am, sister, innocent, pale, chaste and innocent. Desire to have a child? Who would be its mother? This shell of me that remains? This darkness and despair? Do you think that I could infuse life’s happiness into someone, to explain that living makes sense, that it’s worth trying, that we should smile regardless of everything…Do you think I could…Thanks for believing in my capacities. I am not sure that everything I’ve shared with you is interesting enough. Somehow, my interesting and your interesting belong to opposite worlds.
CHILD: Mum, I am afraid…and I don’t have a machine gun.
TAMARA (Takes the Child in her arms and rocks it. She is silent and thinks for a while, and then whispers and speaks gentle words): You’ve blown me away. I say this without any cynicism. My intention was not to insult you, just to tease you, thus to keep you, so you could tell your story. Don’t you want that? You are not angry at me, are you? We believe we are masters of our goodness, and slaves of unspoilt softness. It’s time you stopped cursing. Your curses fall empty. Your curses are not healing. They are malicious. I am afraid of you sometimes. In a way. Sometimes I go completely deaf and I all I can see is your face twisted in anger and your lips opening wider and wider, threatening. Maybe I know your horror? Maybe it’s time you removed the dead cells from your body. Tell us how you became a shell. And about the cemetery you stubbornly return to. Just like myself. And my Child with me. Would you like some alcohol? Or a kiss?
Gets up and exits with the Child in her arms.

 

 

 

 

 

 

II

 

Grandma sits in the middle of a semi-dark room in a high chair and brushes her grey hair, which falls to the floor and shines as if in moonlight. The dog is motionless, looking like a teddy bear with buttons for eyes. She is brushing her hair in a trance while listening to The Girl From Ipanema.
GRANDMA: Come, join me, let’s tell stories, nobody knows anybody, stories won’t help us get to know each other, but they can create a world where we exist in parallel, one next to the other. Me on the throne of mother, Tamara who’s a mother, but still hasn’t taken over the throne of mother, Tamara’s sister who doesn’t want it, and on top of that is not my daughter. The Child who’s a child and who will enjoy the stories just like any child until the moment it feels like telling its own story. Let’s call more characters, let’s deflower this sterile space, let’s take a bit of a socio-political position, that’s modern now, a must. Come on, it’ll be fun, let us each tell a story in which we’ll be characters along, of course, with the other characters, if there are any. I like this turn of events.
TAMARA: Mum, it’s very tempting… very.
That moment Tamara loosens her hair, shakes it, swings her head and runs her fingers through it. Then sits at her mother’s feet and puts her chin on her mother’s knee.
TAMARA: Stories are terrifying. Horribly exciting. Horrible and exciting. Some questions and answers. Am I going to be able to confess? How can I translate these hieroglyphs. I stutter. These are nails that I drive into a stream of hyperbolic and hyper-atrophied forms, depending on my current utopian ideas. I get satiated fast. And that grows. Swells and blooms. There is no return. How plastic can I become? To leave naked steel would be rude, almost brutal, but promising.
Lights a cigarette. Takes a long drag and exhales through her nostrils. Then she takes some enormous scissors and cuts off the glowing end.
TAMARA: There should be a clear cut. To cancel the ember with a sharp move. Maybe that’s the beginning of my story. A tiny, dangling ember. Perhaps that’s the beginning of my story. But with whom? With whom? How to interpret such an inaccessible reality? Help me, Mum. Give me your hand. You are here. All these emotions you nurture for me. I am your peacock, your beautiful bird.
Suddenly she mimics a peacock. Makes bird call sounds. Snuggles up to her mother.
TAMARA: You feed me from your palm, and I peck your skin. Gently. I shouldn’t. I am not evil. You content me, and I suck up to you. I’ve always wanted you to love me in that way. Exactly like that. Do you know that you can love? You ring and echo in my head.
GRANDMA (She pulls a bottle of wine out of her long hair and drinks): Hmmm, I am not sure I can love…I can desire, mercilessly desire. But, unfortunately, only a desire echoes in my head… only a desire whose object slips away rings (To herself): A girl reaches for the red balloon, crawls across the sky, little hands and the big bright balloon, becomes smaller and smaller and the little hands are clenched. Love does not echo, we don’t know what to do with love, we don’t know how to live it, how to feel it, tame it or ride it…we know we love only when we cry, when we clench our hands and weep… Alright, not all of us…
Gets up and walks around as far as her hair, on which Tamara is sitting, allows her, and drinks from the bottle…
Those without vices have very few virtues…trust me…
GRANDMA: I present: summer and winter holidays, lunches with checked tablecloths, angled light, orange and slippery and, of course, we laugh: but I only see myself and you, not your father, maybe sometimes when I force myself I can see a man who left me because I didn’t know how to control him…I see only you and myself and a man at the bar on the beach we visit every year… An old friend, the Old Wolf, an old bloke whom I wish to lose, but I can’t. I come closer, conquered, you are entangled in my skirt, you are just beginning to sprout, all legs and hair, you don’t know what to do with your hands.
The Old Wolf enters the scene and he looks younger than Grandma; in the moment of the past, when everything was happening, he was older than Grandma. He sits at the bar which has been in darkness until this point, and is now lit. Voices and seagulls become audible. Grandma approaches the bar, her hair is gathered in a long grey ponytail, she has ripped off her old clothes and is now wearing a knee-length, sleeveless red dress.
OLD WOLF: Hello, hello… long time no see (He kisses Grandma’s hand). Boy, one, I mean, two Camparis for the ladies (to Tamara) It’s time you started drinking – those without vice have very few virtues, trust me…
Grandma can’t make up her mind whether to look at Tamara or the Old Wolf.
OLD WOLF: Allow me to be that snake with the red apple of knowledge, the red Campari of knowledge… Though I don’t care, that’s why they love me and I am perfect for this role…it’s better she knows than not.
GRANDMA: Ok, maybe just the one, it’s a holiday. How I hate you, both of you!
OLD WOLF: No, no, those are strong words…Anyway, that is not true, otherwise why are you here?…And where did you find that stupid dress…why don’t you dress like a normal person?
GRANDMA: Everybody has told me I look great today. The sellers at the market, and the hotel owner, and the people on the promenade all commented and I felt beautiful (Her voice starts to shake) BEAUTIFUL, until now, you stupid pig…(She cries, at that moment the drinks arrive, Grandma calms down and takes a big swig).
OLD WOLF: We are sensitive at the passing of your final product? (He laughs). Women! Come on, cheers, don’t be angry, everything’s fine! Eternal insecurity and worry…
Shakes the dust from one shoulder of his blue jacket. Tamara, who’s 13 (played by the same actress that plays the 30-year old Tamara), wipes her mother’s tears with a white hanky and looks at the man wearing cat-like sunglasses with contempt.
TAMARA (Whispers into her mother’s ear): Get rid of this growth. He is huge and stinks of smoke. I’ll have a strawberry frappé!
OLD WOLF: Don’t be rude, girl. Whispering is for private places. You are in the way. Your presence crumples. Thus, it disturbs me. Tamara slurps her frappé.
TAMARA: What a menace. I’ll take a dip.
She leaves, waving at them.
TAMARA: Mum, look at me. Look at me! (Then to herself) Who is this man? I don’t remember him. This is not my Dad. What does he want from us? We always depend on the goodness of strangers. I want to scratch his face so it leaves marks. Marks of a thief across his cheeks.
She sings Por Que Te Vas. She is a bit confused and spacy. Later these two characteristics will completely take over. She takes off her clothes piece by piece and leaves them on the sand. Finally she gets into the water.
GRANDMA (Hurriedly) Go on, have a swim, he’s nobody, he is not your father, not even a stranger…you can have your Campari later, if you insist, you are in an in-between world anyway…
OLD WOLF: She looks like you when I first saw you…you didn’t need this red dress then, nor did you need me or I you…but you were accessible, you wouldn’t have chosen a frappé… (Laughs) you would…
GRANDMA (Cuts him off). What do you know! Leave Tamara alone…anyway, it doesn’t matter… (Drinks up her first glass and looks for the Barman… The Barman is watching Tamara, who’s coming back, wet in her bikini.) How are you? Have you found somebody yet? No, don’t tell me…some information is not necessary…I watch your body, the curve from your strong neck to your shoulders and that middle-age spread on your belly and I want you…I am selfish when I want…I love somebody else and you probably…but simply, I want and I am disgusted because I want you…I don’t know what I want.
Old Wolf strokes her body with a strong hand, grabs her bottom, lifts her skirt, she is succumbing…they stop suddenly when they hear Tamara coming back. Old Wolf enjoys the sight of her young body, the Barman too.
TAMARA: Still…the water is beautiful…cool, and yet warm. Won’t you come for a swim with me? And you? Why are you still here? Why are you standing here and spoiling the scene? Don’t you have to be somewhere else? Anywhere… The sun is going down. Do you know that your minutes are numbered?
OLD WOLF: Your limits are defined with a fruit frappé. Unfortunately. Your mother and I have a plan. That’s something that precedes you.
TAMARA: Pleasures from horror. Horrors from pleasure.
OLD WOLF: Your girl is hallucinating. Why did you feed her curiosity so much?
TAMARA: Let’s run away, dear Mum. Tell him to go away. Abracadabra. You are under the spell and now leave. Just walk, mister.
Tamara snaps her fingers and squints a few moments. Then she opens her eyes: nobody has moved.
TAMARA: He’s really resistant.
GRANDMA (Tired): Ok, let’s go swimming, to clear my thoughts, though, no matter how much I clear them, the result is always going to be the same and I know it…Ah, my Tamara, you are such a nice girl…Mum has only you in this world…you make me feel clean, your existence justifies mine…don’t ever change, always be mine and forgive that I’m going to imprison you, but we’ll both be safe…you and I. (Hugs her and Tamara leaves a wet spot on her red dress, then she sees something in the distance and looks Tamara in the eyes.) Go on, swim a bit more, you are right, the sun is setting and everything will be different…go, here, Dad is coming…
DAD (His clothes badly dishevelled, he is stumbling angrily). At least don’t take the child with you on your shameless adventures…I’ve seen it all…you are so easy, you make me sick, spoilt, shameless and immature… you’ll never be satisfied.
GRANDMA (Leaves the bar and goes closer to him, she doesn’t want Old Wolf to leave): But you haven’t seen anything, there is nothing to see (Sways a bit, because of the drink) you know I love only you …ah, that sounds stupid…I am desperate and pathetic… come on, let’s dance, you have always been weak and indecisive.
They start dancing, Grandma trips, falls on her knees while holding on somewhere around his waist, her stockings get ripped at the knees, he helps her up, Grandma starts singing, she sways and spins around following the rhythm of an old classic. Dad approaches Tamara and hugs her, Old Wolf approaches Grandma and they dance.
DAD: Anyway, I love someone else…sorry…I have no right to talk about anything…I am just stupidly jealous… that’s all…do whatever you want…just, be careful – you look like…
TAMARA: The atmosphere of drama is what completely and ultimately defines me. This is my cut off point. I think I’ve been cut off. Exactly. Now. I am an effect. I am destroyed. As if you are injecting me with shame. I matured early. As if you are injecting me with shame. Where are the waves? I am destroyed. This is an overwhelming experience. This is Rococo. I want the waves to wash me away.
Tamara sits at the bar. The Barman gives her a frappé. She necks it down. She wipes some frappé from her lips.
TAMARA (To her father): Go now. Now, go.
DAD: Forget it.
TAMARA: Go now. Disappear. You do not fit anymore. Your love doesn’t fit. You are off-stage. Your voice will be heard off-stage. You will continue to wander. Your character is like that. Leave these ruins. I’ll wash it all. The floor and her face. I’ll make a lively façade of her face. We are leaving soon, too. I’ll put her in the house. Give me your keys. Thanks.
DAD: Your disconnection is a bit frightening.
TAMARA: Yes.
DAD: Your disconnection is a bit frightening.
TAMARA: For your love. Your pure girl in the snow. Complete. In snow clouds.
Dad is silent. Mum and Old Wolf continue to dance.
TAMARA: I’ll extend myself so I can be in two places at the same time. I think perhaps my time has come.
DAD: Star…
TAMARA: You are me more than she is, I am her.
Dad covers her mouth with his hand.
TAMARA: I’ll open a bank account. I love you. Fill it. Regularly.
GRANDMA (Separates from Old Wolf and sits alone, completely sober on the bar stool, the light disappears from the other faces, they vanish into darkness.):
Yes, that’s the right answer. Our futures devour all of us, don’t they? (Light falls slowly back on Tamara, and dims on Grandma, whose voice is clearly heard while she leaves the scene) Brutal and decisive… we’ll fill the bank accounts…they eat me like a sand storm… Look, the wind has started and you will stand in the pale, grey morning among the seagulls…straight and a bit mean…mean because of experience…and pure…totally pure…we’ll hear the birds screeching, and the silvery mirror of water in the early morning, its slow rhythm will remain forever in thoughts’ impulses…I’ll be a sand dune, sand hole, hourglass, the granulated content of a photograph… why can’t we have a normal conversation? A normal memory…we are not guilty…it is difficult when one understands that his parents are as weak as him…it’s difficult but you are a grown woman now, you have your own child…Mum/Dad, it does not fit the solution anymore…In fact, all I remember are crickets and fresh grapes and you and I on the terrace… I don’t remember your father, though the account was always full, no doubt about it…it means, he existed, not my lover either, nor myself, I remember only you and me…And now there’s only you left. So, it’s true…Where’s the Child? Where’s the dog? Are we losing faces?… Never mind, let’s have another story! It’s fun! Who am I going to be now? A sinner again? …
TAMARA: Mine are all erased. Dad remains in me with that horror on his face. With an open mouth. And Old Wolf, old fox…still, the dog…the dog is here, don’t worry. The Child rides it just the way I used to.
Tamara gets up and paces up and down. Calmly. Runs her fingers through her hair.
TAMARA: I felt like vomiting after that scene. I was sick. I feel like vomiting. Then the relief came. There was a storm. No, I made that up. You had a hangover. I made up the storm. I had a hangover.
Lights go off. Stroboscope comes on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

III

 

Scene 1

 

The CHILD (Stands on the stage lit by a weak spotlight. Holds a teddy bear and occasionally puts its thumb in its mouth, or runs in circles while screaming, or sits on the floor and rocks while making horrible sounds). Aaaaaaaaaa! (Then it calms down, speaks clearly and logically, seriously, as if more mature than its actual age. This scene can be continually interrupted with this kind of behaviour as an intermezzo in the verbal action).
The CHILD (Referring to itself): He’ll tell you everything about what he saw a few minutes ago…I meeeeaaan, uhhhhh…she saw, everything she saw (looks confused, looks around as if expecting someone to tell it what to say). Everything happened just minutes ago. He was here (stops as if it did something wrong, then continues), but they didn’t notice him. I think Teta was here too. Though, he’s not sure…she’s not sure…sure…I don’t know. (Bursts into tears). He doesn’t know if Teta was here. She doesn’t know…Teta. I don’t know where Teta is. He is alone. She’s cold. He’s hungry. She’s sad. He doesn’t like being alone. So he talks to a teddy bear. It’s alright. The bear understands. Not exactly everything. He doesn’t tell him everything. Then he puts him to sleep. Then she is even more alone… weeeell, well, hmmmm…he’s alone, alone. (Straightens his/her crumpled clothes, stares at his/her shoe tips, spits into his/her hands, squats, and polishes his/her shoes with a sleeve, hugging his/her knees). The bear is alone too with me. I know it. That’s the way it is.
During the rest of this scene the Child plays all the roles, imitating the speech and movements of the Grandma, Old Wolf, Teta and Tamara. Sometimes it also acts its own lines and gives Teta lines which she then acts out. While doing this, it jumps all around the stage using props and costumes, and fixing some old boxes as scenography. Sometimes it stops to catch its breath, then continues with the same zeal, never letting go of the teddy bear. The Child as Grandma sits in the middle of the semidark room in a high chair, brushing her long grey wig, which falls to the floor and shines as if in moonlight. She throws the wig off her head. The Child as the Dog lies still and bites the teddy bear. In a trance she brushes her hair while listening to The Girl From Ipanema. Then curls up and stares at the audience. The only character which appears on the stage, and is not played by the Child, is Tamara’s sister or Teta.
CHILD AS GRANDMA: Come, join me, let’s tell stories, nobody knows anybody. Stories won’t help us get to know each other, but they can create a world where we exist in parallel, one next to the other. Me on the throne of mother, Tamara who’s a mother, but still hasn’t taken over the throne of mother, Tamara’s sister who doesn’t want it, and on top of that is not my daughter. The Child who’s a child and who will enjoy the stories just like any child until the moment it feels like telling its own story. Let’s call more characters, let’s deflower this sterile space, let’s take a bit of a socio-political position. That’s modern now, a must. Come on, it’ll be fun, let us each tell a story in which we’ll be characters along, of course, with the other characters, if there are any. I like this turn of events.
CHILD AS TAMARA: Mum, it’s very tempting… very.
TAMARA’S SISTER OR TETA: Hmmm, why more characters?! Haven’t we fought long and hard for emancipation? For self-sufficiency? For the state in which “more characters” is a pure luxury? Unnecessary fatigue?
Tamara’s sister or Teta, gathers her hair into a pony-tail. She savagely pulls out the wisps that were left out. And throws them away. At that moment, The Child as Tamara spreads her hair by shaking her head and running her fingers through it. Then she sits at Teta’s feet and places her chin in her lap.
CHILD AS CHILD: You be Tamara. Can you? (Teta nods) Mum, could you, please, braid my hair too?
TETA AS TAMARA: Stories are terrifying. Horribly exciting. Horrible and exciting. Some questions and answers. Am I going to be able to confess? How can I translate these hieroglyphs. I stutter. These are nails that I drive into a stream of hyperbolic and hyper-atrophied forms, depending on my current utopian ideas. I get satiated fast. And that grows. Swells and blooms. There is no return. How plastic can I become? To leave naked steel would be rude, almost brutal, but promising.
She lights a cigarette. Takes a long drag and exhales through her nostrils.
TETA AS TAMARA (To the Child as Grandma): Help me, Mum. Give me your hand. You are here. All these emotions you nurture for me. I am your peacock, your beautiful bird.
She mimics a peacock. Makes bird call sounds. Snuggles up. The Child nods her head, pleased. Stands hands on hips and judges from the side.
TETA AS TAMARA: You feed me from your palm. You shouldn’t. I am not evil. I am trying to suck up to you. Ring and echo in my head.
CHILD AS CHILD (Spontaneously, naively): I am pecking with the dog, too, Mum, but no-one notices me. We found some crumbs…There are all sorts of things on the floor. It’s better when you haven’t swept. (Pecks and places the teddy bear in a pecking position)
TETA AS TETA: Don’t peck, my son. Teta is going to fix you a sandwich. A sandwich for you, and a bone for the dog.
Leaves.
CHILD AS GRANDMA (She takes the bottle of wine after putting on the long grey dishevelled wig):
Hmmm, I am not sure I can love…I can desire, mercilessly desire. But, unfortunately, only a desire echoes in my head… only a desire whose object slips away rings (To herself): A girl reaches for the red balloon, crawls across the sky, little hands and the big bright balloon, becomes smaller and smaller and the little hands are clenched. Love does not echo, we don’t know what to do with love, we don’t know how to live it, how to feel it, tame it or ride it…we know we love only when we cry, when we clench our hands and weep…Alright, not all of us…
CHILD (Jumps off the bar stool and takes off the wig, addresses the space where a moment ago it played Grandma): Grandma, will you take me to the zoo to ride a little pony? Grandma, will you buy me a red balloon, so I can let it fly from the balcony?
The Child reaches out towards Grandma, then jumps onto the bar stool, puts on the wig and grimaces at the place where the Child had stood a moment earlier. The Child mounts the teddy bear as if it was the dog.
CHILD AS CHILD: Yeehaaaa, Yeehaaaa, Yeehaaaa, little pony, Yeehaaaa, run, run…

 

 

 

Scene 2

 

TAMARA AS GRANDMA : (Enters theatrically with the grey wig dragging a life-size Tamara-like doll, then sits on the floor and fixes the doll so it sits on her hair)
Those without vices have very few virtues…(To the doll) trust me… I present: summer and winter holidays, lunches with checked tablecloths, angled light, orange and slippery and, of course, we laugh: but I only see myself and you. Not your father. Maybe sometimes when I force myself I can see a man who left me because I didn’t know how to control him…I see only you and myself and a man at the bar on the beach we visit every year… An old friend, the Old Wolf, an old bloke whom I wish to lose, but I can’t. I come closer, conquered, you are entangled in my skirt, you are just beginning to sprout, all legs and hair, you don’t know what to do with your hands.
Grandma and Old Wolf enter the stage. They all sit at the bar. We can hear the waves and seagulls. Grandma gathers her hair in a long grey ponytail, she’s ripped off her old clothes and is now wearing a knee-length, sleeveless red dress. Tamara is on all fours around Grandma’s feet. When the Child sees Tamara it dismounts the bear-dog and tries to mount Tamara, but she pushes it away. Tamara’s sister or Teta enters with a sandwich in one hand and bones for the bear-dog in the other, and looks at the scene worriedly. The Child and the real dog run into her arms. Teta carries the Child around the stage. The Child and dog wolf their food down.
OLD WOLF: Hello, hello… long time no see (He kisses Grandma’s hand). Boy, one, in fact, two Camparis for the ladies (to Tamara) It’s time you started drinking – those without vices have very few virtues, trust me…
TAMARA’S SISTER OR TETA: You know best. You’ve experienced it on your own skin. Pure experience is talking through you…In spite of all theory…
Grandma looks confusedly at first Tamara, then Old Wolf.
CHILD: Uncle, uncle, do you want to give me a piggy back? Give me your pipe, give me your pipe.
The Child climbs on Old Wolf like a monkey and snatches his pipe. It sits on his shoulders showing off, finally in a good mood. In one hand it holds the pipe and is trying to puff, with the other it tries to touch the ceiling. Tamara’s sister or Teta grabs the pipe. The Child starts crying.
CHILD: Aaaaaa, Mum, noooo, tell her…aaaa…she took my pipe… aaa…Muuuuum….
The Child is choking with tears still sitting on Old Wolf’s shoulders. Tamara’s sister or Teta puts the pipe out and hands it to the Child.
OLD WOLF: Allow me to be that snake with the red apple of knowledge, the red Campari of knowledge… Though I don’t care, that’s why they love me and I am perfect for this role…it’s better she knows than not.
The Child bites into his neck and scratches his face.
CHILD: I am a snake too! A venemous snake, a cobra! I’ll poison you! In a flash! You’ll be dead, Grandpa!
OLD WOLF (Struggles with the Child and tries to break free from the grip of its legs.) You are a monster! Brat! You are a little child-monster! Damian! Women, what have you turned this Child into!? As if it had been brought up in a zoo.
Tamara’s sister or Teta laughs wholeheartedly. The scene with the Child amuses her.
OLD WOLF: While you brush your hair, the Child’s gone wild. The house is on fire, while Grandma is brushing her hair! Ha, ha, he, he, heeeeee, heeeee…
TAMARA’S SISTER OR TETA: You are not as bad as you make out! I mean, usually you are a moron, but thinking about it, this moronishness, that’s just a role you got into, wasn’t it?
Old Wolf starts laughing crazily, louder and louder. He chokes, goes red and starts choking. He waves his hands, loosens his tie and collar. It’s getting serious. Tamara’s sister starts banging him on the back. Tamara brings some water. Grandma gets upset and curls up next to the dog. The Child runs to Teta. The coughing ceases, he takes the glass of water and drinks slowly. Tamara’s sister shakes her head worriedly while holding the Child in her arms.
GRANDMA: Ok, maybe just one Campari, it’s a holiday. How I hate you, both of you!
OLD WOLF: No, no, those are strong words…Anyway, that is not true, otherwise why are you here…And where did you find that stupid dress…why don’t you dress like a normal person?
CHILD: Here, uncle, I am dressed normally. Aren’t I?
The Child is showing off, walking around the Old Wolf. Looks him up and down and grabs a gun from his back pocket in one quick move. The Child waves the gun, runs around and screams.
CHILD: I am going to kill you all! Everybody! Only the dog will survive!
TAMARA’S SISTER OR TETA (Yells): Give it back! Come here! What kind of behaviour is this? Give it back, otherwise you can forget the machine gun and the He-Man!
Reluctantly the Child gives the gun to Tamara’s sister or Teta and she passes it to the Old Wolf.
TAMARA’S SISTER OR TETA: Next time secure that gun! Not like that…he could have killed us like cockroaches. Squashed us! Splattered us, just like that! We could have been cold and dead! Dead-cold! And then desperation, simulation, this and that…
She grimaces while speaking.
GRANDMA: Everybody has told me I look great today. The sellers at the market, and the hotel owner, and the people on the promenade all commented and I felt beautiful (Her voice starts to shake) BEAUTIFUL, until now, you stupid pig…(She cries, at that moment the drinks arrive, Grandma calms down and takes a big swig).
OLD WOLF: We are sensitive at the passing of your final product? (He laughs). Women! Come on, cheers, don’t be angry, everything’s fine! Eternal insecurity and worry…
Shakes the dust from one shoulder of his blue jacket. Tamara wipes her mother’s tears with a white hanky and looks at the man wearing cat-like sunglasses with contempt.
OLD WOLF: You, women, you are a miracle, and a bit monstrous. Who can understand you!? Certainly not a simple guy like myself. Certainly not a cool guy, dude, boy, man, rascal, naughty guy like myself…
TAMARA (Whispers into her mother’s ear): Get rid of this growth. He is huge and stinks of smoke. (To Old Wolf) I’ll have a strawberry frappé!
OLD WOLF: Don’t be rude, girl. Whispering is for private places. You are in the way. Your presence crumples. Thus, it disturbs me.
CHILD: Uncle, come and let’s muck around with the dog! And arm wrestle! And paw.
The Child trips the dog, by grabbing first his back then front legs. Tamara slurps her frappé.
TAMARA: What a menace. I’m going to take a dip.
Leaves waving both hands. Tamara’s sister or Teta enters the room in a bathing suit, with a turban on her head, carrying two airbeds and lifebelts under her arms.
CHILD: Mum, Teta, beach! Paddling! Sea! Let’s make sand castles!
TAMARA: Mum, look at me. Look at me! (Then to herself) Who is this man? I don’t remember him. This is not my Dad. What does he want from us? We always depend on the goodness of strangers. I want to scratch his face so it leaves marks. Marks of a thief across his cheeks.
CHILD: Mum, don’t, I’ve already scratched him.
Tamara looks at the Child severely.
CHILD (Stuttering): Scraaa… aaa… tched…
She sings Por Que Te Vas. She is a bit confused and spacy. Later these two characteristics will completely take over. She takes off her clothes piece by piece and leaves them on the sand. Finally she gets into the water.
GRANDMA (Hurriedly): Go on, have a swim, he’s nobody, he is not your father, not even a stranger…you can have your Campari later, if you insist, you are in an in-between world anyway…
TAMARA’S SISTER OR TETA: You think we are in an inbetween-world? We are that world.
CHILD: Grandma, give me a Campari too.
OLD WOLF: She looks like you when I first saw you…you didn’t need this red dress then, nor did you need me or I you…but you were accessible, you wouldn’t have chosen a frappé… (Laughs) you would…
GRANDMA (Cuts him off): What do you know! Leave Tamara alone…anyway, it doesn’t matter… (Drinks up her first glass and looks for the Barman…The Barman is watching Tamara who’s coming back, wet in her bikini.) How are you? Have you found somebody yet? No, don’t tell me…some information is not necessary…I watch your body, the curve from your strong neck to your shoulders and that middle-age spread on your belly and I want you…I am selfish when I want…I love somebody else and you probably…but simply, I want and I am disgusted because I want you…I don’t know what I want.

Old Wolf strokes her body with a strong hand, grabs her bottom, lifts her skirt, she is succumbing…they stop suddenly when they hear Tamara and Tamara’s sister or Teta coming back. Old Wolf enjoys the sight of her young body, the Barman too. He doesn’t notice the Child under the bar, with two lifebelts around its neck, it has stolen a bottle of Campari and swigs from it, while observing the scene with a serious expression. The dog is next to it. It takes off one of the lifebelts and puts it around the dog.

TAMARA: Still…the water is beautiful…cool, and yet warm. Won’t you come for a swim with me? And you? Why are you still here? Why are you standing here and spoiling the scene? Don’t you have to be somewhere else? Anywhere… The sun is going down. Do you know that your minutes are numbered?
OLD WOLF: Your limits are defined with a fruit frappé. Unfortunately. Your mother and I have a plan. That’s something that precedes you.
TAMARA: Pleasures from horror. Horrors from pleasure.
TAMARA’S SISTER OR TETA: Where’s the Child?
OLD WOLF: Your girl is hallucinating. Why did you feed her curiosity so much?
TAMARA: Let’s run away, dear Mum. Tell him to go away. Abracadabra. You are under the spell and now leave. Just walk, mister.
Tamara snaps her fingers and squints a few moments. Then she opens her eyes: nobody has moved.
TAMARA: He’s really resistant.
CHILD (Comes out from under the bar dragging the dog): Mum, Mum, Grandma was fucking that man. I….he… saw it all. The dog too (starts stuttering), I… shhhhee… ssssaw… itttttt.
GRANDMA (Tired): Ok, let’s go swimming, to clear my thoughts, though, no matter how much I clear them, the result is always going to be the same and I know it…Ah, my Tamara, you are such a nice girl…Mum has only you in this world…you make me feel clean, your existence justifies mine…don’t ever change, always be mine and forgive that I’m going to imprison you, but we’ll both be safe…you and I. (Hugs her and Tamara leaves a wet spot on her red dress, then she sees something in the distance and looks Tamara in the eyes.) Go on, swim a bit more, you are right, the sun is setting and everything will be different…go, here, Dad is coming…
DAD (His clothes badly dishevelled, he is stumbling angrily). At least don’t take the child with you on your shameless adventures…I’ve seen it all…you are so easy, you make me sick, spoilt, shameless and immature… you’ll never be satisfied.
CHILD: Me neither, me neither!
Teta grabs the Child and the dog and goes into the water.
GRANDMA (Leaves the bar and goes closer to him, she doesn’t want Old Wolf to leave): But you haven’t seen anything, there is nothing to see (Sways a bit, because of the drink) …you know I love only you …ah, that sounds stupid…I am desperate and pathetic… come on, let’s dance, you have always been weak and indecisive.
They start dancing, Grandma trips, falls on her knees while holding on somewhere around his waist, her stockings get ripped at the knees, he helps her up, Grandma starts singing, she sways and spins around following the rhythm of an old classic. Dad approaches Tamara and hugs her, Old Wolf approaches Grandma and they dance.
DAD: Anyway, I love someone else…sorry…I have no right to talk about anything…I am just stupidly jealous… that’s all…do whatever you want…just, be careful – you look like…
TAMARA: The atmosphere of drama is what completely and ultimately defines me. This is my cut off point. I think I’ve been cut off. Exactly. Now. I am an effect. I am destroyed. As if you are injecting me with shame. I matured early. As if you are injecting me with shame. Where are the waves? I am destroyed. This is an overwhelming experience. This is Rococo. I want the waves to wash me away.
CHILD (Panicking): Mum, Mum, Muuuum! Am I destroyed too? Am I…is he… cut off too…I mean, she…ccccut (stops, looking confused at his/her mother) off!
Tamara sits at the bar. The Barman gives her a frappé. She necks it down. She wipes some frappé from her lips.
TAMARA (To her father): Go now. Now, go.
DAD: Forget it.
TAMARA: Go now. Disappear. You do not fit anymore. Your love doesn’t fit. You are off-stage. Your voice will be heard off-stage. You will continue to wander. Your character is like that. Leave these ruins. I’ll wash it all. The floor and her face. I’ll make a lively façade of her face. We are leaving soon, too. I’ll put her in the house. Give me your keys. Thanks.
CHILD: Mum, Grandma, come let’s paddle a bit with the dog and Teta!
DAD (To Tamara): Your disconnection is a bit frightening.
TAMARA: Yes.
DAD: Your disconnection is a bit frightening.
TAMARA: For your love. Your pure girl in the snow. Complete. In snow clouds.
Dad is silent. Mum and Old Wolf continue to dance.
TAMARA: I’ll extend myself so I can be in two places at the same time. I think perhaps my time has come.
DAD: Star…
TAMARA: You are me more than she is, I am her.
CHILD: And who am I then?
Dad closes Tamara’s mouth with one hand and the Child’s with the other. The Child bites him and tries to get away.
TAMARA: I’ll open a bank account. I love you. Fill it. Regularly.
GRANDMA (Separates from Old Wolf and sits, completely sober, on the bar stool, the light disappears from the other faces, they vanish into darkness.):
Yes, that’s the right answer. Our futures devour all of us, don’t they? (Light falls slowly back on Tamara, and dims on Grandma, whose voice is clearly heard while she leaves the scene) Brutal and decisive… We’ll fill the bank accounts…They eat me like a sand storm… Look, the wind has started and you will stand in the pale-grey morning among the seagulls… Straight and a bit mean…Mean because of experience… And pure…Totally pure…We’ll hear the birds screeching… The silvery mirror of water in the early morning …its slow rhythm will remain forever in thoughts’ impulses…I’ll be a sand dune, sand hole, hourglass, the granulated content of a photograph… Why can’t we have a normal conversation? A normal memory…We are not guilty…It is difficult when one understands that his parents are as weak as him…it’s difficult but you are a grown woman now, you have your own child…Mum/Dad, it does not fit the solution anymore…In fact, all I remember is crickets and fresh grapes and you and I on the terrace… I don’t remember your father, though the account was always full, no doubt about it…it means, he existed, not my lover either, nor myself, I remember only you and me…And now there’s only you left. So, it’s true…Where’s the Child? Where’s the dog? Are we losing faces?… Never mind, let’s have another story! It’s fun! Who am I going to be now? A sinner again? …
TAMARA: Mine are all erased. Dad remains in me with that horror on his face. With an open mouth. And Old Wolf, old fox…still, the dog…the dog is here, don’t worry. The Child rides it just the way I used to.
Tamara gets up and paces up and down. Calmly. Runs her fingers through her hair.
TAMARA: I felt like vomiting after that scene. I was sick. I feel like vomiting. Then the relief came. There was a storm. No, I made that up. You had a hangover. I made up the storm. I had a hangover.
CHILD (Comes out of the sea with the dog.): Mum, I have a hangover. I can’t pretend to be a girl anymore if I am not, and play with stupid dolls. I want a machine-gun!
Lights go off. Stroboscope comes on.

 

 

 

IV

 

Scene 1

 

Tamara stands on the brightly-lit stage. The stage is completely lit. In one corner there is an iron bedstead, in the other a bathtub on legs. Everything is white.
TAMARA: A man lives alone. He’s single. He lives in a half-empty flat. The flat is light and semi-furnished. This is a bachelor’s flat. It’s obvious. He’s alone, is he lonely? The flat is half-empty because it is waiting for something to appear in its halfemptiness. He, too, is half complete, but sufficient. There’s a pleasant shade in the flat. The flat has a single room. It has a bath, too, where I’ll continue to dip and cool off. No smell. In fact, there is a smell of paint and varnish. The bath is empty. Why would the bath be empty? I’ll ennoble this bath. He put a vase on the table. He put magnolias in the vase on the table. This man is enough for me. I am coming from my mother’s cage where I lived like a peacock in a cage. I left a message, which I started with Dear Mum. I cried for a long time. The farewell letter I had been writing for months. She, too, was in the cage. And our old dog. A dog is a guard. Now I need a man. I need a torso. I set the bait and the man got caught. Now I am here. I used to leave the cage. It happened before. It just happened. I am not promising anything. Spring is outside. You can feel it in the cage. I felt spring in the cage as if it were summer. There the sun is a hundred times bigger and stronger. Here, it’s cold and I feel a draught. As if everything’s upside down. The lack of musk is strange. Can he smell it on me? Is the drama going to start here too? He points his finger at the small, white wardrobe where I am supposed to put my things. I am motionless. The joints in my hands hurt. He takes the suitcase from my hand and opens it. Horror. It emanates heat. Only two things are inside. Mum’s gown and corset. For special and relaxed occasions. He takes them out and puts them in the drawer. He says they have a sharp smell. I tell him Mum used to drink. I tell him there were nice moments too. I say. There were nice moments. Precious. Very musical.
MAN: Look at me and smile. Look at me and smile. Look at me and smile.
TAMARA: I am looking I am looking I am looking
MAN: Give me your teeth.
TAMARA: Here, take my teeth.
MAN: Bite.
TAMARA: I am biting.
MAN: More.
TAMARA: Yes, more more more.
MAN: Come in and close the door. Don’t let anyone in.
TAMARA: I used to do that. I’d come in and close the door. I’ll put the lock on and bar it and lock it three times.
MAN: Simple.
TAMARA: Very simple and direct.
MAN: You’ve arrived.
TAMARA: From a distant prairie. From Fata Morgana of the dry desert.
MAN: That is revoked here now.
TAMARA: Where should I start from?
MAN: Just observe for now. I’ll erase you.
TAMARA: I’ve survived.
MAN: That makes no sense.
TAMARA: The ultimate bodily pleasure.
MAN: Fill up the bath and make bubbles. Dip in.
TAMARA: I’ll lift my arms and legs. Your bottom and my crotch. You’ll find the right angle.
TAMARA: I’ll lean against you…I’ll stick grow in sprout start from the beginning.
Tamara enters the bath. The man looks at her without any emotion. He takes a chair and sits next to the bath and observes everything as if in a play.
TAMARA: There are no eccentric house ghosts here.
MAN: You are determined by the past. But that’s revoked here.
TAMARA: There are no eccentric house ghosts here.
MAN: To spread a smile.
TAMARA: That’s banned here…a little smile.
MAN: Bacilli are invisible to the naked eye.
TAMARA: I’ve always loathed those anticipated touches without bacilli. Loneliness grows.
MAN: You are banal. These are your genes.
TAMARA: No, I am touchable.
MAN: But that kills your smoothness.
TAMARA: But I made my roughness. In order to kill my smoothness.
Man looks at her.
TAMARA: You won’t be able to…by looking…no way…no…you won’t…you can’t…stop moving … slipping away…your figure won’t be able to wander…and this foam…who is it for?
Tamara gets out of the bath. The man looks surprised and embarrassed.
MAN: Go to bed.
TAMARA: I’ll keep my promise.
MAN: A new space is opening. You don’t have to say everything.
The lights go off. They are lying on the bed.
TAMARA: Pure exhibitionism? On the rock. On the stage too. On the rock. You haven’t experienced it? You haven’t experienced endless roofs. Endless roofs. Roofs and roofs and more roofs…
MAN (Cuts her off): Silence…………………………. Go on.
TAMARA: ….roofs, so? Long holidays…long vacations.
The man doesn’t answer. Doesn’t react.
TAMARA: Ssssssssssssssoooooooooooooooo
The man doesn’t answer. Doesn’t react. His stiffness is imposing.
TAMARA: …rhythm of waves. Bodies beached. Nobody’s bodies. Bodies that float. Bodies that blacken…
MAN: …fluid, fragile and entertaining.
TAMARA: That’s not reality…reality is a rich old seducer… A conqueror in the land which still has no name. I say land. Already on the land. He is a conqueror. Not because of his behaviour, but because of his reputation. That’s his name. Totally beneath him. Gentleman – thief. Just like the girl without a body, with Siberian jade around her neck in a family residence. Mum and I are alone and useless. For weeks we haven’t been outside and everything’s lovely. We make herbaria. On those days we do not receive guests. Mum spends hours in the greenhouse. Sometimes even days. She took care of the orange trees and some unrecognisable weeds. She went out rarely and without my knowledge. That did not disturb me. She goes out, I stay. I stay. My imagination grows in her absence. My imagination is anaemic otherwise. With mummy I am a peacock and I walk barefoot in the garden or lie under the sprinkler. I am asked to be discreet and decorative like a Great Dane in aristocratic gardens. Everything’s clean and straight, though it stinks like musk, and gigantic cobwebs are swaying in the corners of the room. That shocks me. I suffer from some disturbances… very odd symptoms about which Mum sometimes tells me with relish…but that does not shock me…I am simply a bit bored…nothing.
The man doesn’t respond. Doesn’t react.
TAMARA: Something else shocks me. I’ve got someone on my back. He demolished me. I love saying that. I love it. In fact, I love it, love it, I love it. He caused a fire in the family residence. There was no hope for me. Hope for what? I hated any kind of putting out the fire. Any slowing down. Any delay. Mum and I were alone. Alone and useless.
The man gets up and walks around.
TAMARA: Too many bacilli?…Why are your wearing tennis shorts and a T-shirt?
The man doesn’t respond. Doesn’t react.
TAMARA: Warm hands, cold heart…a victim, executioner and observer…you don’t have to go deep into it…Mummy did the same…she just sailed on my liveliness. But I wouldn’t leave him alone. I. Him. In fact. I him. Tears are coming because my own imagination excites me.
MAN (Cuts her off): I think I cancelled that.
TAMARA: …seagulls, swans and snakes…
MAN: …cannibal-cats.
TAMARA: …totally shapeless child.
MAN: …blasé but trained seal.
Tamara yawns.
MAN: You were sitting in front of a multiple mirror. Both of you were admiring. You looked grotesque with pointed nails.
TAMARA: That funny man…didn’t move his finger…all day long he used to shuffle a deck of cards…I was delighted by the stuffed animals on his walls, he too… I used to put pompous antlers on his huge head, while playing, …or he on mine…but I used to close my eyes…and he asked for help…
MAN: Your legs are made of glass.
TAMARA: I am in a hotel foyer…heavy heat…that man is hiding behind the flower pots…I know there’s no way out…no hope for me…my legs are made of glass…heavy heat…in fact I am waiting for someone… that someone is not coming because I am not waiting for anybody…I pretend and I wear a wrist watch…I am desperate…I glance at the watch… someone will pick me up…just not Mummy…I think of her only…I have a wooden heart…I am panicking… here, I am here…that mummy is looking at me…for the first time…he plays with his deck of cards…he hasn’t moved a finger…my legs are made of glass and…I am going to cry…still, where to escape… against a marble pillar…stiff…oh, no, no, no, no…I am starting to fidget…this is my game…my performance…my first performance… suddenly he grabs me around the waist…I want to spit at him…I turn my head…the foyer is packed…that makes me angry…he turns…should he go?…I touch his lapel…I suddenly touch his lapel and my hand is on it…very obvious…and that goes on and on, he looks at my hand and I look at my hand…why did you betray me…I thought…what a sad plummeting…my hand acts as…suddenly it stops and hangs on his button…. the button that I ripped off…
The lights go off. And remain like that. Tamara’s voice comes from the darkness: A man lives alone. He’s single. He lives in a half-empty flat. The flat is light and semi-furnished. This is a bachelor’s flat. It’s obvious. He’s alone, is he lonely? The flat is half-empty because it is waiting for something to appear in its half-emptiness. He, too, is half complete, but sufficient. There’s a pleasant shade in the flat. The flat has a single room. It has a bath, too, where I’ll continue to dip and cool off. No smell. In fact, there is a smell of paint and varnish. The bath is empty. Why would the bath be empty? I’ll ennoble this bath. He put a vase on the table. He put magnolias in the vase on the table. This man is enough for me. I am coming from my mother’s cage where I lived like a peacock in a cage. I left a message, which I started with Dear Mum. I cried for a long time. The farewell letter I had been writing for months. She, too, was in the cage. And our old dog. A dog is a guard. Now I need a man. I need a torso. I set the bait and the man got caught. Now I am here. I used to leave the cage. It happened before. It just happened. I am not promising anything. Spring is outside. You can feel it in the cage. I felt spring in the cage as if it were summer. There the sun is a hundred times bigger and stronger. Here, it’s cold and I feel a draught. As if everything’s upside down. The lack of musk is strange. Can he smell it on me? Is the drama going to start here too? He points his finger at the small, white wardrobe where I am supposed to put my things. I am motionless. The joints in my hands hurt. He takes the suitcase from my hand and opens it. Horror. It emanates heat. Only two things are inside. Mum’s gown and corset. For special and relaxed occasions. He takes them out and puts them in the drawer. He says they have a sharp smell. I tell him Mum used to drink. I tell him there were nice moments too. I say. There were nice moments. Precious. Very musical.
Scene 2
The Child is in an empty flat talking to the dog. The clock shows 1 o’clock in the morning.
CHILD: Mum’s left. She didn’t leave anything for dinner. How do you like my new teddy bear? (Shows the teddy bear to the dog) It’s pretty obedient. Doesn’t create problems. Doesn’t need to be taken for walks like you do, but nevertheless I’ll take it for a walk with you. Is that ok with you? I have to tell you that I don’t know where Grandma is. I don’t know if she’s coming back. So, I’ll take you for walks starting tomorrow. You can consider yourself my dog. When I start going to school, and I’ll have to, Teta says I’ll have to, you’ll wait for me in front of the school. We can play hide and seek later and go for an ice-cream. I am going out now, you be calm and sleep. Bye.
The Child turns off the light and leaves.

 

 

THE END

 

 

 

 

 

 

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