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S C E N A : T h e a t r e ..A r t s ..R e v i e w
Novi Sad, 2008 . ..No. 21 . .January-December . .YU ISSN 0036-5743 .

d r a m a
Ana SEFEROVI∆, Tanja MARKOVI∆, Tamara äUäKI∆
DISCREET WOMEN, DECORATIVE CHILD, GREAT DANE
drama
Translated by Goran Mimica and Therese Davies

  ANA SEFEROVI∆

Ana was born in Belgrade in 1976. She graduated in Oriental Studies from the Faculty of Philology in Belgrade. She has published two books: Duboki kontinent (Deep Continent) (Matica srpska, 2000) and Beskrajna zabava (Endless Party) (Narodna knjiga, 2004). She is the co-author of a collection of poetry and an autopoetics of a new generation of female poets Diskurzivna tela poezije (The Discursive Bodies of Poetry) which appeared as a result of the work of the poet-theory school under the wing of the Association for Womenís Initiative (Belgrade, 2004). Her works were included in the contemporary poetry anthology ĎTragom roda smisao angaěovanjaí (On the Track of Gender; Sense of Engagement), DEVE, 2006. Her texts have been published in magazines such as: ProFemina, Knjiěevni magazin (Literary Magazine), Polja (Fields), Treśi trg (Third Square), Beogradski knjiěevni list (Belgrade Literary Journal), Portret (Portrait), Ha!Art, Pobocza (Poljska), Apokalipsa (Apocalipse) (Slovenia), etc.

TANJA MARKOVI∆

Tanja Markovic was born in Belgrade in 1970. She graduated in Psychology at the Faculty of Philosophy in Belgrade and attended Studies of Culture and Gender (AAOM), the Performing Arts Theory School (PARTS) at the Centre for New Theatre and Play, the School for Contemporary Arts and Theory (CSUb), Master studies at the University of Arts in Belgrade, the Department for Theory of Art and Media and the Workshops for Theory of Poetry (AZIN), Belgrade. She has published theoretical-artistic texts in the TkH Magazine for the Theory of Performing Arts, and poetry in the magazine ĎTreśi trgí (Third Square). In collaboration with the theoretical-art group Teorija koja hoda - TkH (Walking Theory) she has done performance art in Zagreb, Ljubljana, London, Belgrade. Her works were included in the contemporary poetry anthology ĎTragom roda smisao angaěovanjaí (On the Track of Gender; Sense of Engagement), DEVE, 2006.

TAMARA äUäKI∆

Tamara was born in Belgrade in 1981, and studies the Italian Language and Literature. She has published two books: Slika jedne slagalice (The Picture of a Puzzle) (Matica srpska, 2001) and Private Show (Narodna knjiga, 2005). She is the co-author of a collection of poetry and auto-poetics of a new generation of female poets Diskurzivna tela poezije (The Discursive Bodies of Poetry) which appeared as a result of the work of the poet-theory school under the wing of the Association for Womenís Initiative (Belgrade, 2004). Her works were included in the contemporary poetry anthology ĎTragom roda smisao angaěovanjaí (On the Track of Gender; Sense of Engagement), DEVE, 2006. Her works have been published in magazines such as: ProFemina, Knjiěevni magazin (Literary Magazine), Polja (Fields), Treśi trg (Third Square), Knjiěevni novine (Literary Newspaper), Severni bunker (Northern Bunker) (Serbia), Portret (Portrait), Pobocza (Poljska), Apokalipsa (Apocalipse) (Slovenia), etc.

Translated by Lidija KapiŤiś

Dramaturgical note

CHILD AS A GRANNY: Come, join in, let us tell stories, it is obvious nobody recognises anyone. Stories will not help us know each other, but they can create a world where we can exist parallel to each other. I on the Mother Throne, Tamara who is a mother, but not yet taken the Mother Throne, Tamaraís sister who does not even want to, and is not my daughter in addition to that. A child who is a child and who will enjoy the stories, as any other child, only up to the point when it wishes to tell its own story. Let us invite more characters and devoid this sterile scene of its innocence, let us take some socio-political position. That is modern, necessary today. Come on, it will be fun, let us each tell a story, a story where we will be characters, naturally among other characters, if there are any. I like this turn.
(Discreet Women, Decorative Child, Great Dane)

Story is the only form of communication left: Although, communication whose primary aim Ė as absurd as it seems Ė is no longer to establish mutual understanding.
This kind of communication in the drama Discreet Women, Decorative Child, Great Dane will be based solely on the need of each dramatis persona to establish an inner dialogue, with oneself, to re-examine the position of their own role (and therefore their own power) in comparison to others. In such a situation the only possible thing becomes Ė a monologue. More accurately: a series of monologues.
It will actually be an endless line of monologue forms, stories, and personal stories whose actors have the freedom not only to choose the roles they are to Ďplayí, but also to decide upon the stage tasks for other participants, simultaneously redefining different types of their possible interrelations. That is how they actually redefine their own positions as well, and eventually project the desired (most often unaccomplished and therefore impossible to accomplish) relationships with those who, at least potentially, should be their closest friends and relatives.
Such a context makes the very freedom of choosing certain roles an illusion. For to make the Ďgame of telling storiesí truly complete, everyone has to find oneself in the shoes of all the other characters in the play. In addition to that, the number of characters is not limited to the number of roles written. Here the authoresses of the drama also set a trap for the readers/actors/directors, indirectly widening the possible field of the play when they say: íLet us invite more characters and devoid this sterile scene of its innocence (...). Come on, it will be fun, let us each tell a story, a story where we will be characters, naturally among other characters, if there are any. I like this turn.í
Such a role play of retaking roles and Ďmasteringí other characters is not actualised from the personal experience point of view of each Ďplayerí, for personal experience is no longer relevant here. Namely, a role is defined by the concreteness of each individual character, and actors transfer into each character Ďplayingí by default the givens which determine the social, gender and family roles. In a closed world, the sealed off reality of a tedious and painful process of self-re-examination, this experience means nothing indeed. The Ďplayí will show that the positions of each character in the drama primarily depends on general things, typified and predefined givens reproduced endlessly through kaleidoscopic fragments of a broken picture Ė no longer of the entire world, but the most intimate privacy.
So, for example, the Woman on the Mother Throne (Granny) is recognised as a fore-mother, the certified guardian of the throne of motherhood which has lost all meaning and is now devoid of all content. Tamara is a mother who has yet to establish her position as a mother, but this struggle in her case can only be fought by patiently waiting for the right time to come. Everything else is mostly unchanged, just like with her mother. The difference possibly lies in the degree of the potency of the atmosphere; it depends on the intensity of memories. Memories of the past, memories belonging to the present, and finally memories of the future which is known.
Each subsequent Ďsettingí of the essentially same scene reveals the postulates which are always wrong and serve as the basis for the existence of each character, each woman in the drama; it reveals the eternal vicious cycle encircling the destiny of each dramatis persona, pointing to the rusty endlessness of the perpetual existence based on loves which are always wrong; on selfdeceptions; on the pitfalls of the illusion of infatuation; on the pretences of assuming responsibilities (motherhood or fatherhood, all the same); but it also reveals an essential illusion of the belief that learning from other peopleís mistakes is possible, and therefore that it is possible to place our trust in our own experiences.
In the post-dramatic structure of the play, the authoresses find an opportunity to affirm absolute freedom which is suggestively transposed to a possible staging as well, offering the director and actors an opportunity to play in spheres where everything becomes possible, primarily a particular stage provocation.
At the end of the Ďplayí established in such a way, the only thing left possible is a vague recognition of the basic atmosphere which stems from the very events, and like with Kafka Ė a feeling of shame. That is why Tamara says: ĎAtmosphere is the one that defines me finally and utterly. This is the moment of my break. I think I am broken. Just. Now. I am an effect. I am destroyed. As if you have been pumping me with shame. Where are the waves? I am destroyed. This is an experience too rich. This is rococo. I want to be washed away with waves.í
And shame is a feeling that you can do something about.
Aleksandar MILOSAVLJEVI∆

Translated by Lidija KapiŤiś


Characters:
Woman 1, Grandma, 58
Woman 2, Tamara, 30
Woman 3, Tamaraís 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

Grandmaís flat. Simple furniture from the 60s. Spacious living room in green and brownish tones.
GRANDMA: (Talking to her dog): Here, Iíll get you some food. Be good, Tamara is coming.
CHILD: Hi, Grandma.
TAMARA: Mum... (to herself) Good, the dogís here. Mum...
(To the child)): Take your shoes off, please.
GRANDMA: Where have you been, darling. Iíve 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 everyoneís attention. Grandma doesnít 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, donít let the dog in. Though, itís my friend too, isnít 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. Donít 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 motherís 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.) Iíll put the coffee on.
TAMARA: My child...I only have you...left. Iíll try writing music again, Mum. Some emptiness...I know I am pale...I am not wrinkled...The Child is fine. Donít 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: Youíd 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. Iíve never known how to handle you. Iíve given it my all, I tried Ė 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, Iíll say fine and Iíll lock the dog up. I am used to my hours. You arenít yet.
TAMARA: Drama...dog...the Child...torn.
CHILD: Mum, I am bored.
TAMARA: Well, do I have to entertain you? Itís so hard. You are a difficult child. You pull me away. Come, here, come, Iíll scratch you. Mum, I am hungry. Suddenly some fatigue. Itís hard. Itís 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 sheís stroking the Child, with the other the Dog. Both are calm. She does it absentmindedly, mechanically. She is thoughtful. Eases into the chair.
GRANDMA: Itís hard for me too. Itís 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. Iíd 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. ďNever too skinny, never too rich.Ē (Pours herself a screwdriver). A quiet womanís 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 donít have a womanís 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

TAMARAíS 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 canít 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 wonít give up. You wonít give up. You are going to outlive all of us!
GRANDMA: Oh, itís you. Try not to do anything foolish, just like all the other times you come unannounced. Be polite. Sit down. Iíll 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, Tetaís here. Has she brought any toys? Teta, Teta, have you got any chocolate?
TAMARAíS 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. Thatís what they do. Unstoppably and fast. I donít 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 donít want animals. Iíve got them already. I want a machine gun and a He-Man. Teta, will you buy me a machine gun?
TAMARAíS SISTER OR TETA: I will, donít 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.
TAMARAíS SISTER OR TETA: So, a machine gun. Two of them. For the Childís 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. Thatís attractive. You are a tough man, sister.
TAMARAíS SISTER OR TETA: Tough, tough (whispers), but unfortunately your child wonít be, considering how you are bringing him up. You treat him like a mirror. Heís a boy. Canít 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. Itís a miracle he isnít 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: Donít 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.
TAMARAíS SISTER OR TETA: Lucky Child...You donít even know its sex, not to mention understanding the Child and considering the fact that the Child is not your accessory. Unfortunately, Iíll 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. Itís out of my control. I am perfectly static, even absent. You? Where are you off to? Are you afraid weíll find something out about you? Youíve 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 wonít 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.
TAMARAíS 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 lifeís happiness into someone, to explain that living makes sense, that itís 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 Iíve shared with you is interesting enough. Somehow, my interesting and your interesting belong to opposite worlds.
CHILD: Mum, I am afraid...and I donít 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): Youíve 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. Donít you want that? You are not angry at me, are you? We believe we are masters of our goodness, and slaves of unspoilt softness. Itís 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 itís 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, letís tell stories, nobody knows anybody, stories wonít 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 whoís a mother, but still hasnít taken over the throne of mother, Tamaraís sister who doesnít want it, and on top of that is not my daughter. The Child whoís a child and who will enjoy the stories just like any child until the moment it feels like telling its own story. Letís call more characters, letís deflower this sterile space, letís take a bit of a socio-political position, thatís modern now, a must. Come on, itíll be fun, let us each tell a story in which weíll be characters along, of course, with the other characters, if there are any. I like this turn of events.
TAMARA: Mum, itís very tempting... very.
That moment Tamara loosens her hair, shakes it, swings her head and runs her fingers through it. Then sits at her motherís feet and puts her chin on her motherís 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 thatís the beginning of my story. A tiny, dangling ember. Perhaps thatís 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 shouldnít. I am not evil. You content me, and I suck up to you. Iíve 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 donít know what to do with love, we donít 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 didnít 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 canít. I come closer, conquered, you are entangled in my skirt, you are just beginning to sprout, all legs and hair, you donít 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 Grandmaís hand). Boy, one, I mean, two Camparis for the ladies (to Tamara) Itís time you started drinking Ė those without vice have very few virtues, trust me...
Grandma canít 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 donít care, thatís why they love me and I am perfect for this role...itís better she knows than not.
GRANDMA: Ok, maybe just the one, itís 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 donít 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, donít be angry, everythingís fine! Eternal insecurity and worry...
Shakes the dust from one shoulder of his blue jacket. Tamara, whoís 13 (played by the same actress that plays the 30-year old Tamara), wipes her motherís tears with a white hanky and looks at the man wearing cat-like sunglasses with contempt.
TAMARA (Whispers into her motherís ear): Get rid of this growth. He is huge and stinks of smoke. Iíll have a strawberry frappť!
OLD WOLF: Donít be rude, girl. Whispering is for private places. You are in the way. Your presence crumples. Thus, it disturbs me. Tamara slurps her frappť.
TAMARA: What a menace. Iíll take a dip.
She leaves, waving at them.
TAMARA: Mum, look at me. Look at me! (Then to herself) Who is this man? I donít 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, heís 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 didnít need this red dress then, nor did you need me or I you...but you were accessible, you wouldnít have chosen a frappť... (Laughs) you would...
GRANDMA (Cuts him off). What do you know! Leave Tamara alone...anyway, it doesnít matter... (Drinks up her first glass and looks for the Barman... The Barman is watching Tamara, whoís coming back, wet in her bikini.) How are you? Have you found somebody yet? No, donít 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 donít 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. Wonít you come for a swim with me? And you? Why are you still here? Why are you standing here and spoiling the scene? Donít 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 frappť. Unfortunately. Your mother and I have a plan. Thatís 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: Letís 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: Heís really resistant.
GRANDMA (Tired): Ok, letís 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...donít ever change, always be mine and forgive that Iím going to imprison you, but weíll 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 donít take the child with you on your shameless adventures...Iíve seen it all...you are so easy, you make me sick, spoilt, shameless and immature... youíll never be satisfied.
GRANDMA (Leaves the bar and goes closer to him, she doesnít want Old Wolf to leave): But you havenít 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, letís 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... thatís all...do whatever you want...just, be careful Ė you look like...
TAMARA: The atmosphere of drama is what completely and ultimately defines me. This is my cut off point. I think Iíve 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 frappť. She necks it down. She wipes some frappť 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 doesnít 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. Iíll wash it all. The floor and her face. Iíll make a lively faÁade of her face. We are leaving soon, too. Iíll 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: Iíll 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: Iíll 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, thatís the right answer. Our futures devour all of us, donít they? (Light falls slowly back on Tamara, and dims on Grandma, whose voice is clearly heard while she leaves the scene) Brutal and decisive... weíll 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...weíll hear the birds screeching, and the silvery mirror of water in the early morning, its slow rhythm will remain forever in thoughtsí impulses...Iíll be a sand dune, sand hole, hourglass, the granulated content of a photograph... why canít 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...itís 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 donít 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 thereís only you left. So, itís true...Whereís the Child? Whereís the dog? Are we losing faces?... Never mind, letís have another story! Itís 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, donít 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): Heíll 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 didnít notice him. I think Teta was here too. Though, heís not sure...sheís not sure...sure...I donít know. (Bursts into tears). He doesnít know if Teta was here. She doesnít know...Teta. I donít know where Teta is. He is alone. Sheís cold. Heís hungry. Sheís sad. He doesnít like being alone. So he talks to a teddy bear. Itís alright. The bear understands. Not exactly everything. He doesnít tell him everything. Then he puts him to sleep. Then she is even more alone... weeeell, well, hmmmm...heís 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. Thatís 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 Tamaraís sister or Teta.
CHILD AS GRANDMA: Come, join me, letís tell stories, nobody knows anybody. Stories wonít 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 whoís a mother, but still hasnít taken over the throne of mother, Tamaraís sister who doesnít want it, and on top of that is not my daughter. The Child whoís a child and who will enjoy the stories just like any child until the moment it feels like telling its own story. Letís call more characters, letís deflower this sterile space, letís take a bit of a socio-political position. Thatís modern now, a must. Come on, itíll be fun, let us each tell a story in which weíll be characters along, of course, with the other characters, if there are any. I like this turn of events.
CHILD AS TAMARA: Mum, itís very tempting... very.
TAMARAíS SISTER OR TETA: Hmmm, why more characters?! Havenít we fought long and hard for emancipation? For self-sufficiency? For the state in which ďmore charactersĒ is a pure luxury? Unnecessary fatigue?
Tamaraís 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 Tetaís 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 shouldnít. 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. Itís better when you havenít swept. (Pecks and places the teddy bear in a pecking position)
TETA AS TETA: Donít 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 donít know what to do with love, we donít 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 didnít 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 canít. I come closer, conquered, you are entangled in my skirt, you are just beginning to sprout, all legs and hair, you donít 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, sheís ripped off her old clothes and is now wearing a knee-length, sleeveless red dress. Tamara is on all fours around Grandmaís feet. When the Child sees Tamara it dismounts the bear-dog and tries to mount Tamara, but she pushes it away. Tamaraís 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 Grandmaís hand). Boy, one, in fact, two Camparis for the ladies (to Tamara) Itís time you started drinking Ė those without vices have very few virtues, trust me...
TAMARAíS SISTER OR TETA: You know best. Youíve 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. Tamaraís 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 Wolfís shoulders. Tamaraís 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 donít care, thatís why they love me and I am perfect for this role...itís 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! Iíll poison you! In a flash! Youíll 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.
Tamaraís sister or Teta laughs wholeheartedly. The scene with the Child amuses her.
OLD WOLF: While you brush your hair, the Childís gone wild. The house is on fire, while Grandma is brushing her hair! Ha, ha, he, he, heeeeee, heeeee...
TAMARAíS 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, thatís just a role you got into, wasnít 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. Itís getting serious. Tamaraís 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. Tamaraís sister shakes her head worriedly while holding the Child in her arms.
GRANDMA: Ok, maybe just one Campari, itís 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 donít you dress like a normal person?
CHILD: Here, uncle, I am dressed normally. Arenít 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!
TAMARAíS 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 Tamaraís sister or Teta and she passes it to the Old Wolf.
TAMARAíS 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, donít be angry, everythingís fine! Eternal insecurity and worry...
Shakes the dust from one shoulder of his blue jacket. Tamara wipes her motherís 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 motherís ear): Get rid of this growth. He is huge and stinks of smoke. (To Old Wolf) Iíll have a strawberry frappť!
OLD WOLF: Donít be rude, girl. Whispering is for private places. You are in the way. Your presence crumples. Thus, it disturbs me.
CHILD: Uncle, come and letís 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 frappť.
TAMARA: What a menace. Iím going to take a dip.
Leaves waving both hands. Tamaraís 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! Letís make sand castles!
TAMARA: Mum, look at me. Look at me! (Then to herself) Who is this man? I donít 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, donít, Iíve 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, heís 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...
TAMARAíS 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 didnít need this red dress then, nor did you need me or I you...but you were accessible, you wouldnít have chosen a frappť... (Laughs) you would...
GRANDMA (Cuts him off): What do you know! Leave Tamara alone...anyway, it doesnít matter... (Drinks up her first glass and looks for the Barman...The Barman is watching Tamara whoís coming back, wet in her bikini.) How are you? Have you found somebody yet? No, donít 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 donít 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 Tamaraís sister or Teta coming back. Old Wolf enjoys the sight of her young body, the Barman too. He doesnít 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. Wonít you come for a swim with me? And you? Why are you still here? Why are you standing here and spoiling the scene? Donít 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 frappť. Unfortunately. Your mother and I have a plan. Thatís something that precedes you.
TAMARA: Pleasures from horror. Horrors from pleasure.
TAMARAíS SISTER OR TETA: Whereís the Child?
OLD WOLF: Your girl is hallucinating. Why did you feed her curiosity so much?
TAMARA: Letís 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: Heís 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, letís 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...donít ever change, always be mine and forgive that Iím going to imprison you, but weíll 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 donít take the child with you on your shameless adventures...Iíve seen it all...you are so easy, you make me sick, spoilt, shameless and immature... youíll 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 doesnít want Old Wolf to leave): But you havenít 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, letís 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... thatís all...do whatever you want...just, be careful Ė you look like...
TAMARA: The atmosphere of drama is what completely and ultimately defines me. This is my cut off point. I think Iíve 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 frappť. She necks it down. She wipes some frappť 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 doesnít 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. Iíll wash it all. The floor and her face. Iíll make a lively faÁade of her face. We are leaving soon, too. Iíll put her in the house. Give me your keys. Thanks.
CHILD: Mum, Grandma, come letís 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: Iíll 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 Tamaraís mouth with one hand and the Childís with the other. The Child bites him and tries to get away.
TAMARA: Iíll 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, thatís the right answer. Our futures devour all of us, donít they? (Light falls slowly back on Tamara, and dims on Grandma, whose voice is clearly heard while she leaves the scene) Brutal and decisive... Weíll 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...Weíll hear the birds screeching... The silvery mirror of water in the early morning ...its slow rhythm will remain forever in thoughtsí impulses...Iíll be a sand dune, sand hole, hourglass, the granulated content of a photograph... Why canít 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...itís 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 donít 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 thereís only you left. So, itís true...Whereís the Child? Whereís the dog? Are we losing faces?... Never mind, letís have another story! Itís 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, donít 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 canít 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. Heís single. He lives in a half-empty flat. The flat is light and semi-furnished. This is a bachelorís flat. Itís obvious. Heís 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. Thereís a pleasant shade in the flat. The flat has a single room. It has a bath, too, where Iíll 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? Iíll 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 motherís 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, itís cold and I feel a draught. As if everythingís 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. Mumís 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. Donít let anyone in.
TAMARA: I used to do that. Iíd come in and close the door. Iíll put the lock on and bar it and lock it three times.
MAN: Simple.
TAMARA: Very simple and direct.
MAN: Youíve 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. Iíll erase you.
TAMARA: Iíve survived.
MAN: That makes no sense.
TAMARA: The ultimate bodily pleasure.
MAN: Fill up the bath and make bubbles. Dip in.
TAMARA: Iíll lift my arms and legs. Your bottom and my crotch. Youíll find the right angle.
TAMARA: Iíll lean against you...Iíll 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 thatís revoked here.
TAMARA: There are no eccentric house ghosts here.
MAN: To spread a smile.
TAMARA: Thatís banned here...a little smile.
MAN: Bacilli are invisible to the naked eye.
TAMARA: Iíve 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 wonít be able to...by looking...no way...no...you wonít...you canít...stop moving ... slipping away...your figure wonít 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: Iíll keep my promise.
MAN: A new space is opening. You donít 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 havenít experienced it? You havenít 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 doesnít answer. Doesnít react.
TAMARA: Ssssssssssssssoooooooooooooooo
The man doesnít answer. Doesnít react. His stiffness is imposing.
TAMARA: ...rhythm of waves. Bodies beached. Nobodyís bodies. Bodies that float. Bodies that blacken...
MAN: ...fluid, fragile and entertaining.
TAMARA: Thatís 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. Thatís his name. Totally beneath him. Gentleman Ė 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 havenít been outside and everythingís 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. Everythingís 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 doesnít respond. Doesnít react.
TAMARA: Something else shocks me. Iíve 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 doesnít respond. Doesnít react.
TAMARA: Warm hands, cold heart...a victim, executioner and observer...you donít have to go deep into it...Mummy did the same...she just sailed on my liveliness. But I wouldnít 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: ...blasť 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...didnít 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 thereís 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 hasnít 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. Tamaraís voice comes from the darkness: A man lives alone. Heís single. He lives in a half-empty flat. The flat is light and semi-furnished. This is a bachelorís flat. Itís obvious. Heís 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. Thereís a pleasant shade in the flat. The flat has a single room. It has a bath, too, where Iíll 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? Iíll 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 motherís 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, itís cold and I feel a draught. As if everythingís 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. Mumís 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 oíclock in the morning.
CHILD: Mumís left. She didnít leave anything for dinner. How do you like my new teddy bear? (Shows the teddy bear to the dog) Itís pretty obedient. Doesnít create problems. Doesnít need to be taken for walks like you do, but nevertheless Iíll take it for a walk with you. Is that ok with you? I have to tell you that I donít know where Grandma is. I donít know if sheís coming back. So, Iíll take you for walks starting tomorrow. You can consider yourself my dog. When I start going to school, and Iíll have to, Teta says Iíll have to, youíll 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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