ABCDEFGHIJKLMNOPQRSTUVWXYZ


YEAR OF PRODUCTION: 2004.

NUMBER OF MALE CHARACTERS: 5

NUMBER OF FEMALE CHARACTERS: 5

COPYRIGHT: all rights reserved




There were so many things in life we were afraid of. And we shouldn’t have been. We should have lived.


Ivo Andrić, Signs by the road






Everything that happens in this world

happens at the time God chooses.

He sets the time for birth and the

time for death…


Bible, The Preacher, 3:2




And I have wings somewhere

but they are not made for flying


Daniel Biffel, a poem Child, Family and Outside World



 

Shortlisted for the best play of the New European Dramaturgy

at the Stuckemarkt (Theater Treffen - Berliner Festspiele festival), 2005.


Awarded Marul for the best play at the Marulić Days Festival, 2007.


 


Some people, or at least fragments of them…



Irene

Tom


Pete

Sheila

Mum


Nurse

Doctor


Journalist

Whore

Funeral guy


Daffodil man

well, just his voice and even that can not be known for a fact





…of the people who came to life from the fragments of Giulio’s life. And some other lives.






FRAGMENTS OF AN AD STORY



(A hospital. A patients room. Tom lies on a bed. Irene sits next to his bed.)

TOM: Are you a writer?

IRENE: No.

TOM: A journalist?

IRENE: No.

TOM: Maybe a TV reporter? Yes, you could be a TV reporter.

IRENE: I’m not.

TOM: Then, who the fuck are you?

IRENE: I… I work in a coffee shop.

TOM: A coffee shop?

IRENE: Well, it’s just called like that but, in fact, it’s just a bar, the one across the street.


(There is a bar across the street. Sheila is there, making cappuccino.)


TOM: I don’t give a fuck about it! I want to know why you are here.


(Pete sits on a couch. In a living room. Some of his clothes are on the floor.)


IRENE (to Tom): I read your ad. (to Pete) A really odd one. And it was yesterday, I think it was yesterday…


(Irene sits next to Pete. He starts unbuttoning her blouse.)

PETE: Get to the point.

(Pete is all over Irene.)

IRENE: I’m getting there.

(Pete tries to put his hand in her panties.)

PETE: So am I.

IRENE: Stop it.

PETE: I’ve just started.

IRENE: I want to tell you this…

PETE: I’m listening.

IRENE: No, you’re not!

(Pete doesn’t stop so Irene pushes him away.)

PETE: Oh, fuck you!

IRENE: I don’t want to do that.

(Irene leaves the couch, takes one glass and goes towards Sheila.)


TOM: What do you want?

IRENE: I read your ad.


(A coffee shop. No, it’s a bar. Sheila makes coffees.)

SHEILA: You have it with you?

(Irene puts the glass on the bar, then gets a piece of paper from her pocket and offers it to Sheila.)

IRENE: Here.

SHEILA: You read it. I have to make this stupid cappuccino.

(Irene unfolds the paper and starts reading.)

IRENE: “A male in his late sixties is dying and wants to tell his story to someone with good ears. At the moment staying at the Mercy Sisters Hospital.” (to Tom) I read your ad. (to Sheila) So, what do you think?

SHEILA: I think you should read comics or porno magazines instead of these stupid ads.


IRENE (to Tom): I read your ad. And I’m interested.

TOM: In what?


IRENE (to Sheila): Oh, come on, I find it interesting.

SHEILA: Interesting? I’ll tell you what I find interesting.

(Sheila points her finger at someone in the bar.)

SHEILA: That guy, you see him?

IRENE: The one wearing glasses?

SHEILA: No, fuck him! He’s an idiot who always grabs my ass, so I always spit in his Italian cappuccino.

(Sheila offers Irene a cappuccino to spit in it.)

SHEILA: You want to try it?

IRENE: No, thanks.

SHEILA: You’re afraid?


TOM: Do I look scared?

IRENE: Don’t know. But, I would be scared.


SHEILA: You’re afraid?

IRENE: No, just don’t want to do it.

SHEILA: There is someone who will.

(Sheila spits in the cappuccino. Irene goes away and…


…sits on the couch, next to Pete. She buttons up her blouse.)

IRENE: I don’t want to do that. I don’t want to fuck.

PETE: You don’t?

IRENE: I do. But I would also like to talk.

PETE: Then talk.

IRENE: It doesn’t matter anymore.

PETE: So we can fuck now?

IRENE: No.

(Pete gets up.)

PETE: Ok, tell me.

IRENE: What?

PETE: About that fucking ad.



IRENE (to Tom): I read it. And I’m interested.

TOM: In what? Seeing me die?


(Pete puts his clothes on.)

PETE: What was it about?

IRENE: Why are you doing that?

PETE: What am I doing now?

IRENE: Putting your clothes on.

PETE: It’s cold.

IRENE: And so are you.

PETE: Oh, and you’re the warmest bitch I’ve ever met.

IRENE: Fuck you!

PETE: I will.

IRENE: Not with me.

PETE: I agree.

(Pete puts his jacket on.)


(Irene now sits next to Tom’s bed.)

TOM: Interested in what? Seeing me die?

IRENE: You want me to leave?

(Irene stands up to leave.)

TOM: I’m not the one who made you come. You’re free to go.


(Pete puts his shoes on.)

IRENE: Where are you going?

(Pete is already gone.)


(Irene sits down)

TOM: Yeah, you can walk out of here. You can. Me, on the other hand, I’m stuck. Stuck in this fucking bed. You see how short it is? My feet are in the air. They don’t care if someone is tall. Well, why should they bother? I’ll die no matter how tall or short I am.

IRENE: Are you afraid?

TOM: Do I look scared?

IRENE: Don’t know. But I would be scared.

TOM: You’re short. This bed would fit you fine. Just fine.


(Irene is at the bar talking to Sheila.)

IRENE: He’s just fifty meters away from us. And he’s going to die.

SHEILA: Everybody is.

IRENE: Just across the street in that awful hospital, in some short bed.

SHEILA: Short?


TOM: Fit you just fine.


IRENE (to Sheila): I imagine those beds are short.


TOM: This bed would fit you just fine.


SHEILA: So, don’t tell me you’ll go?

IRENE: No, of course not.


(Irene goes back to Tom.)


SHEILA: I mean, why would one go there?


TOM: It would fit you just fine. But, you’re not the one dying.


IRENE: This guy is at the end and, well, maybe he knows now what life is.


TOM: But you’re not dying. Are you ill?

IRENE: No.

TOM: Young women get breast cancer these days.

IRENE: I don’t have a cancer.

TOM: One never knows. You should see a doctor.

IRENE: I’m not ill!

TOM: That’s what I thought. And look at me now.


(Sheila spits again. Pete approaches the bar.)


IRENE: You have cancer?

TOM: More than one. You have a smoke?

IRENE: They let you smoke?

TOM: I’m not asking them, I’m asking you.


(Sheila takes the cappuccino, winks to Irene and goes to one of the tables.)


IRENE: I don’t smoke.


(Pete lights a cigarette. Sheila puts the cappuccino in front of the man wearing glasses.)

SHEILA: Here is your cappuccino. Hope you’ll enjoy it.


TOM: You’re not a TV reporter and you don’t smoke. You are boring.











FAMILY FRAGMENTS



(The bar again. Irene is the only one working, cleaning some glasses. Mum is at the bar.)

MUM: That man, he just grabbed me.

IRENE: You mean, he grabbed your ass?

MUM: You saw it?

IRENE: No. It’s just that he does it all the time.

MUM: Hmm, you’re jealous ‘cause he grabbed mine.

IRENE: Yeah, I am.

(Irene cleans the counter.)

IRENE: Move over a little bit.

MUM: It’s clean.

(Irene just looks at her, it’s not a nice look at all. Mum moves a little bit. Irene cleans the bar and puts the dishcloth aside. )

IRENE: So, why are you here?


(Tom’s room. He has a visitor.)

JOURNALIST: I’m a journalist.

TOM: Finally.


IRENE: So, why are you here, Mum?

MUM: I would like a cappuccino.

IRENE: And that’s why you went from one side of the town to the other? Just for a cappuccino?

MUM: I love it the way it’s done here.

IRENE: So you want a cappuccino?

MUM: No, fuck it, give me a brandy!


(Journalist takes a bottle of brandy out of his coat.)

JOURNALIST: You want some?


MUM: Give me a brandy!


JOURNALIST: Want some?

TOM: Maybe later.

JOURNALIST: Usually I don’t drink. It’s just that I was passing by this store and saw this bottle of brandy… It was on discount.

(Journalist takes out another bottle of brandy.)

JOURNALIST: So I bought two of them.

TOM: Discounts make you do that.

JOURNALIST: Look, I don’t drink. At least, not before noon.


IRENE: Brandy? Fine. Have money to pay for it?

MUM: Why are you asking me that?

IRENE: Because this is a bar and in order to get a drink, you have to pay for it. So…

MUM: I have the money.

IRENE: Show it.

MUM: Irene…

IRENE: Then that’s it. No drink for you.

(Irene turns her back to Mum and cleans something, anything.)

MUM: Ok, ok, I’ll show it.

(Mum goes through her purse.)

MUM: You’re not being nice to me.

IRENE: I don’t care.

MUM: You should show some respect.

IRENE: And you should show some money.

MUM: But I’m your Mum.

IRENE: So what?

MUM: Well, just remember who delivered you to this world.

IRENE: Do you have the money or not?

(Mum closes the purse.)

MUM: I had it.


TOM: So, for which magazine do you write?

JOURNALIST: Well, you see, it’s not that simple.

TOM: You’re unemployed?

(Journalist takes a big sip of brandy.)

JOURNALIST: Who isn’t nowdays? But, I just need that one break and that would do it.

TOM: And you think I’m that break of yours?

JOURNALIST: You say you have a story.

TOM: I do.

JOURNALIST: Don’t mind if I’m direct?

TOM: Shoot.

JOURNALIST: Have you ever shot anyone?

TOM: You mean killed someone?

JOURNALIST: Yeah, have you?

TOM: No.

JOURNALIST: Been in prison?

TOM: No.

JOURNALIST: You sure?

TOM: Well, I would remember something like that, wouldn’t I?

JORNALIST: This brandy is like piss. No surprise it was on discount.

(Journalist opens the other bottle and drinks from it.)

TOM: Well, good things in life are never for free.

JOURNALIST: True. So…


IRENE: What do you want?


JOURNALIST: So, what’s your story?



IRENE: So, what do you want now?

MUM: Just one little, tiny brandy, my dear.


TOM: You see, I was in love with this woman…


MUM: Just one.

IRENE: Oh, fuck you!


(Journalist spits brandy on the floor.)

JOURNALIST: Oh, come on! That’s your story?


MUM: You’re just like your father. Just like that piece of shit.


JOURNALIST: You’re wasting my time!

(Journalist gets up.)

TOM: And she got killed.

JOURNALIST: Great!

(Journalist sits down.)

TOM: I don’t think so.

JOURNALIST: Sorry, but that’s just what I needed.

TOM: Well, it’s not what I needed.

JOURNALIST: I’m sorry.

TOM: Are you?

(Journalist takes a pencil from his pocket and looks at Tom, waiting to start making notes.)

TOM: She was very young.

JOURNALIST: Even better… Sorry, professional deformation.

TOM: She was twelve.


(Irene sits next to Tom, laughing.)

IRENE: I can’t believe it! And he bought it? Don’t tell me he did.


(Journalist writes down)

JOURNALIST: Twelve…


TOM: He did. Till the very end.


(Journalist stops writing.)

JOURNALIST: What do you mean twelve?

TOM: Like ten plus two.

JOURNALIST: And you were, how old?

TOM: Thirty, more or less.

JOURNALIST: Well, don’t you think that this relationship of yours was, maybe, a little bit illegal?

TOM: But we loved each other.


IRENE: What an idiot!

TOM: And an alcoholic, too.


JOURNALIST: Man, she was a child!

TOM: I saw her as a woman. You know what I mean?

JOURNALIST: Not exactly.

TOM: Well, she was like a flower, just longing to be taken.

JOURNALIST: And you did that?

TOM: In a certain way, yes.


IRENE: It’s like that book.


JOURNALIST: Have you seen that movie…


IRENE: “Lolita”.


JORNALIST: I think Spielberg made it.


IRENE: It was Kubrick.


JORNALIST: Whatever. So, have you seen it?

TOM: No. But I’ve read the book.

JOURNALIST: There is a book?


IRENE: Nabokov wrote it.


JOURNALIST: I’ll note this down.


IRENE: And there you have this professor and he falls in love with Lolita. And she’s only a girl.

TOM: It does sound familiar.


JOURNALIST: So, was it something like that?

TOM: No.


TOM: So, you liked it?

IRENE: Not really.


JOURNALIST: No?


IRENE: Some parts are boring.


JOURNALIST: Are you sure?

TOM: Stop it right there, you’re insulting me.

JOURNALIST: Didn’t mean to. I’m sorry.

TOM: You should be. That Humbert Humbert man from the book, well, he was really disgusting, took advantage of poor Lolita. But me, on the other hand, I loved my flower.

JOURNALIST: Oh, I see, it was something platonic?

TOM: At the beginning.

JOURNALIST: And after the beginning?


TOM: I knew you would come back.

IRENE: And this guy…

TOM: So-called journalist?

IRENE: Yeah, is he coming back?

TOM: Hope so.


JOURNALIST: Tell me.

TOM: Well, where shall I start?

JOURNALIST: From the beginning.


IRENE: I’d really like to meet him.


(Journalist is leaving.)


TOM: We can arrange something. That is, if I don’t kill myself in the meantime.

(Irene laughs.)

TOM: I’m serious.

IRENE: Yeah, right.

TOM: I am, Irene.

(Irene’s smile freezes.)

TOM: Go to the window.

IRENE: Why?

TOM: Just go.

(Irene goes to the window.)

TOM: What do you see?

IRENE: Don’t know. I see a bench.

TOM: That’s not it.

IRENE: And some trees.

TOM: No. You see twenty meters. This room is twenty meters high. Twenty meters above the ground. So, I was thinking, if I jump, well, there is a possibility I’ll stay alive. And we don’t want that. Do we?

IRENE: Why we?

TOM: Ok, me. I couldn’t bare it to stay alive, totally crushed and just waiting to die. That’s the only reason I haven’t jumped yet.

IRENE: My father jumped.


MUM: You’re just like your father.


(Irene approaches the bar.)


IRENE: Don’t know why, but he did. It was after he left us. My mother started drinking when he left. Or she started drinking and he left. Don’t know.


(Irene gives Mum a drink.)

IRENE: Here.


IRENE: But that day, well, she sure got drunk that day. And said…


MUM: The son of a bitch finally got what he deserved.

(Mum drains the glass dry.)


IRENE: No wonder he left.

TOM: Smart decision, I would say.

IRENE: Which one?

(Tom doesn’t answer.)

IRENE: That he left us? Or this world?


(Irene gives Mum another drink.)

IRENE: Here. One for the road.

MUM: You’re a sweetheart.

IRENE: Yeah, I know.

(Irene goes…


…to the window.)

IRENE: I haven’t been to the funeral. I hated him too much for leaving us. So I stayed at home.

TOM: Your mother went?

IRENE: In her best dress. A blue one, with yellow roses.

TOM: You still hate him?

(Irene looks at Tom.)

IRENE: He left my mother but, in the end, I did the same. I just left her one day.


MUM: Come on, sit for a while with your Mummy.


IRENE: I’m busy.


MUM: But there’s no one here.

(Irene comes back and sits with her.)

MUM: So, honey, why do you work in this dump?

IRENE: And what should I do? Be an actress?

MUM: Well, I’ve always said you’d be a good one.

IRENE: You’re full of crap.

MUM: Honey, this place is not for you.

IRENE: And it is for you?


TOM: I won’t jump, Irene.


(Mum tries to take her daughter’s hand, but Irene pulls it away.)

MUM: Honey…

IRENE: Look, now I really have work to do.

(Irene goes…


…back to the window.)

IRENE: A child is sitting on the bench. A little girl. And she’s waving. But not to me. She’s waving to her mother.


MUM: Can you give me one more? Just one. A tiny one.





































FRAGMENTS OF MUM AND PETE GETTING ON JUST FINE



(The bar. Mum sits at one table. Drinking. Alone, of course. Pete comes in and goes straight to Irene.)

PETE: When is your break?

IRENE: In an hour.

PETE: Take one now.

IRENE: I can’t.

PETE: I got some money. Let’s go and have lunch.

IRENE: I can’t.


(Mum bangs her empty glass on the table.)

MUM: Irene!


(Pete turns around.)

PETE: What the fuck does she want?

IRENE: Just leave her alone. She’s drunk.

PETE: I can see that.


MUM: Irene!


PETE: Someone should kick her out.

IRENE: Pete…


MUM: Irene, my dearest!


IRENE: She’s been here for the last four hours.

(Pete goes towards Mum’s table.)

IRENE: Where are you going?

PETE: Maybe she wants to have lunch with me.


(Pete comes to Mum’s table and points to the chair.)

PETE: May I?

(Mum doesn’t even bother to raise her head. Pete sits down, takes cigarettes and a lighter out of his pocket and puts them on the table.)

PETE: Remember me?

(Mum looks at Pete and then just takes one of his cigarettes.)

PETE: Feel free. And yeah, I’m Pete. Yeah, that’s right, the one Irene lives with. For the last three years.

MUM: Have some money?

PETE: Irene, give us the drinks!

MUM: She shouldn’t be working here.

PETE: That’s what I tell her all the time.


(Irene comes with the drinks.)


PETE: Make them double!


IRENE: Jerk.

(Irene goes back to the counter.)


(Mum tries to light a cigarette, but without success. Pete lights it for her.)

MUM: She should find something…

(Mum starts coughing. Irene brings the drinks.)

PETE: Your Mum and I were just talking about you, and we agree, you could find some other job.

IRENE: Oh, and you will find me one?

PETE: Well, I could do that.

(Mum drains her brandy.)

PETE: Come on, Irene, give us some more, if it isn’t a problem for you.

IRENE: Actually, it is.

PETE: Come here.

IRENE: What?

(Pete grabs Irene’s hand and pulls her towards him. He kisses her. Mum drains Pete’s drink, too. Irene takes the empty glasses and goes back to the counter.)

MUM: Yeah, she should find a decent job. She’s educated. It’s true, yeah, she didn’t finish that stupid college, what did she study, what was that…

PETE: Literature.

MUM: Yeah, that shit, well, she didn’t finish it, but still, she’s educated. And she should find something better. A decent job. She should, you know.

PETE: I agree.

MUM: And a decent guy, too.

PETE: What the fuck are you saying? She has me.

MUM: Yeah, I forgot that.

PETE: Then just forget the whole fucking idea, ok?

MUM: Ok.

PETE: Fine.

MUM: She should think about the future. And she won’t have a good life with you, will she?

PETE: Look, now I’m pissed off. You’re full of crap. I have money. See this?

(Pete shows her the money.)

PETE: And this? And this?

(Pete shows her his cigarettes, mobile phone and other stuff. He puts everything on the table.)

MUM: Yeah, you have it now, but tomorrow, who knows? Irene’s father was just like you. Just like you. He had everything and in the end he left me without a penny. So, I know, you do have it now, true, but tomorrow, don’t know.

PETE: Well, I do know that I’m paying for these drinks.

MUM: Irene deserves someone better, believe me. Someone responsible and all that. She deserves it.

(Pete gets up.)

MUM: You agree with me, John?

PETE: Pete! It’s Pete!

(Mum shows him her red shoes. He doesn’t even look in her way.)

MUM: You like my shoes?

PETE: Fuck you! Irene!

MUM: You want to buy them?

PETE: Irene!

(Irene comes to the table.)

IRENE: What do you want?

PETE: Tell her to repeat to you what she’s just said.

IRENE: Pete, leave her alone.

PETE: No, I want her to repeat it.

(He leans on the table looking Mum straight in the eyes.)

PETE: Say it.

(Mum looks at Irene.)

MUM: He was touching me.

PETE: I’ll kill her!

MUM: He’s even worse than your father used to be.

PETE: That’s it! Get her out. If you won’t do it, I will.

IRENE: Pete…

(Pete grabs Mum by her elbow.)

IRENE: Leave her!

MUM: He’s touching me again! You see, honey? He’s touching me!

(Irene pushes Pete and he lets Mum go.)

PETE: Fine. I’m leaving.

IRENE: Fine.

(Pete leaves.)

IRENE: Satisfied?

(Mum shows her shoes.)

MUM: Like my shoes?

IRENE: Satisfied now?

(Mum still looks at her shoes. Irene goes away.)

MUM: Satisfied, yes.














FRAGMENTS OF OUR LORD’S STORY



(Tom’s room. Irene sits next to him. In the other bed there is a man. He talks to himself, mostly swearing. And he groans from time to time.)

TOM: There is a time and a place for everything. God said that, in that book of his.

IRENE: You mean, the Bible?

TOM: What other? I mean, he wrote only that one. What a lucky jerk! One book and he gets to be the most popular guy on the Earth. Some write hundreds of them and never get their picture in the papers. Not even in the local ones.

IRENE: I don’t want that. I just want to be happy.

TOM: So, I’ll quote him again. Our Lord. There is a time for everything.

IRENE: But I want to be happy now.

TOM: Maybe you’re not ready for it. At least, not yet.

IRENE: And what should I do? Wait till I die?

TOM: Nice way of putting things.

IRENE: Didn’t mean it. Not like that. Sorry.

TOM: You don’t have to apologise. But you could do me a favour.

(Tom opens a drawer of the night table. As he does it, he makes a grimace.)

IRENE: Let me do it.

(He shows her with his hand that he can manage. He takes an injection from the drawer.)

IRENE: I hate needles.

TOM: In my position, you have to love them. You know, I’ve never really liked drugs. But now, I would go for them.

IRENE: Hurts that much?

TOM: If I were a masochist, I’d say I’m having the time of my life.

(Tom prepares the injection and gives it to Irene.)

TOM: So, can you do it? This fucking nurse is worse than the Nazis. She’d do it better with her eyes closed. Believe me, she would.

(Irene tries to do something, anything with it. Then she just puts it on the night table.)

IRENE: I can’t do it.

TOM: Neither can she. The lovely nurse.

IRENE: No. Really…

TOM: You’re afraid? Funny, ‘cause you know, I’m the one who should be afraid.

(Tom points at his room-mate.)

TOM: See him?

(Irene turns around.)

TOM: They brought him just the other day and gave him such a dose of sedatives, a dose that would kill a horse. But this one, well, he hasn’t closed his mouth, not for a moment. Listen to him. He’s talking to his wife right now. At least, that’s what he believes he’s doing.

(Tom imitates his room-mate.)

TOM: Why did I marry you, May? He repeats that one every hour.

IRENE: She didn’t come to visit him?

TOM: If she knew what he was saying, she wouldn’t have come. But she doesn’t know, so she was here twice. Kissing him, hugging him, oh, she’s a real lady, a gentle one. And what does he say when she goes away?

IRENE: Why did I marry you, May?

TOM: Right. But they operated her today. Appendix, it could be that. Or something else as good as that. Doesn’t really matter. What matters is that she’s here as well. Just two floors above us. And he, well, his both legs were cut off. He came too late. So they had to amputate them.

IRENE: That’s awful.

(Tom’s room-mate groans.)

TOM: Not so quiet on the western front, ha?

(Irene takes the injection from the night table.)

IRENE: I can try, you know.

TOM: Now you’re talking.

(Tom rolls up his sleeve and gives her his arm. Irene holds Tom’s arm and points the injection at it. She’s clumsy with it.)

IRENE: Is it ok like this?

TOM: Perfect.

(Irene aims at his arm. Her hands are little bit shaky.)

TOM: There was this woman. Your age, maybe a year or two older. And she was a chemist. Graduated, but couldn’t find a job. Not as a chemist, at least. So she applied for the job of a cleaning lady. Guess where. In a chemical laboratory. And she got it. What are you doing?

(Irene tries to find the right angle to do it.)

IRENE: I’m not ready yet.

TOM: I’ll die before you do it. So, she got there in the morning, cleaned the floors and an employee, a professor actually, came to her, totally pissed off ‘cause she did a lousy job. And she said to him that she’d never done it before. Something like you now.

IRENE: Ok, I’ll do it. Just give me a second.

TOM: Just a second?

IRENE: Don’t look. Go on with the story.

(Tom turns his head away. Irene is clumsy, trying and giving up all the time.)

TOM: And she told the professor that she was a chemist and the professor got even more pissed off and immediately promoted her to a secretary. It all happened in less than two hours. And the story, like all stories usually do, well, it spread very fast and by noon even the chief chemist knew it.

(Irene finally aims the needle and takes a big breath.)

TOM: So, he came to her and promoted her once more. And she became….

(Irene finally does it and Tom screams.)

IRENE: I’m sorry.

(Tom rolls down his sleeve. He is calm. Even smiling.)

TOM: Just kidding. You did it just perfectly.

IRENE: Oh, you want one more, old man?

TOM: Don’t tempt me, girl.

IRENE: So, how did the story end?

TOM: Well, she didn’t even finish her first shift as a cleaning lady and she already became a personal assistant of that chief chemist guy.

IRENE: I don’t believe it. No way. I won’t buy that. Who do you think I am, that journalist of yours?

TOM: I’m not making it up. I was the professor who shouted at her. And later she told me that her father gave her advice. He told her, you finished that school, can’t find a job so go to a laboratory and work there. Doesn’t matter what, as long as you work in that spot.


(Pete stands in front of the bar, waiting for Irene. It’s cold.)


TOM: And everything else will come to its place.


(Irene comes out of the bar.)

IRENE: I’m going back.

PETE: Back to the bar?

IRENE: No.

PETE: To your mother? Don’t tell me you’re going back to her?

IRENE: No. Back to college.

PETE: Why?

IRENE: Because.


TOM: But you mustn’t give up.


(Pete lights a cigarette.)

PETE: You’ll quit again.

IRENE: Maybe.

PETE: Yeah, I know you, Irene. I just know you.

IRENE: Maybe you do.


TOM: That’s what her father told her.


(Irene starts walking away.)

PETE: Ok, go back, I don’t care.

IRENE: You should, you know. You should care.


(Irene comes to Tom.)

TOM: You know why I told you this story?

IRENE: Don’t know. Why?

TOM: Because it was the time and the place for it.








FRAGMENTS OF A SHOE STORY



(The bar. Sheila works. Mum just got in. She is totally drunk, hardly standing on her feet.)

MUM: Is Irene here?

SHEILA: She’ll be here in the afternoon.

(Mum sits down on a stool by the bar.)

MUM: I’ll wait. I can wait.

SHEILA: Now it’s ten am. She’ll come, like, in six hours.

MUM: I can wait.

SHEILA: Didn’t you hear me? I said in six hours.

(Mum gets up. She shows her shoes to Sheila.)

MUM: Have you seen my shoes?

(Sheila doesn’t look.)

SHEILA: Nice.

MUM: Look at them.

(Sheila looks at the shoes.)

SHEILA: Nice.

MUM: They’re new. You wanna try them on?

SHEILA: No.

MUM: You sure? I can take them off in a second.

SHEILA: No need for it.

MUM: I’ll give them to you.

SHEILA: I already have shoes.

MUM: I’ll give them for, like, half a price.

SHEILA: Don’t want them.

(Mum takes one shoe off.)

SHEILA: What are you doing?

(Mum puts the shoe on the counter.)

MUM: Here it is!

SHEILA: Put it on.

(Mum pushes the shoe towards Sheila.)

MUM: No, you put it on.

SHEILA: I don’t want to.

MUM: Oh, don’t be so shy.

SHEILA: I’m not shy. And I don’t need your fucking shoes. I don’t even like them. They‘re awful.

(Mum takes her shoe back.)

MUM: No need to yell at me.

SHEILA: I’m not yelling.

(Mum tries to put the shoe on but has problems with gravity.)

MUM: I don’t like you.

(Mum almost falls down.)

SHEILA: Are you ok?

MUM: Why are you asking me that?

SHEILA: Are you? Are you all right?

MUM: Why are you asking me that?

(Silence. Mum finally manages to put the shoe on.)

SHEILA: You wanna a drink?

MUM: If it makes you feel better.

SHEILA: It will.

MUM: Then, double scotch will do.

(Sheila makes her a drink. Mum leans on the counter.)

MUM: She hates me.

SHEILA: Who, Irene?

MUM: Who else?

SHEILA: She doesn’t hate you.

MUM: Well, she doesn’t love me either.

(Sheila gives her the drink.)

SHEILA: Here.

MUM: Thanks, dear. You’re really nice to me.

(Pause.)

MUM: She never hugs me, you know?

(Pause.)

MUM: Will you hug me?

(Sheila hugs Mum. Well, maybe. And maybe she doesn’t.)


























FRAGMENTS OF A NURSE - DOCTOR CLICHÉ



(The bar. Doctor and Nurse sit at one table. Nurse does almost all the talking. But he doesn’t do all the listening. He plays with his wedding ring.)

NURSE: And he was telling me about his wife.

DOCTOR: You’re doing it deliberately, aren’t you?

NURSE: No, just listen to me.

DOCTOR: I can’t leave her. At least, not at the moment.

NURSE: No, just listen to me. It has nothing to do with you or your wife.


(The hospital. Tom’s room. He comes in. He’s just had a shower. He has his bathrobe on.)

TOM: You’re one little prick, fucking that nurse.


DOCTOR: So, who is he?

NURSE: How should I know? He just called me one night.

DOCTOR: Why you?

NURSE: Let me finish, ok?


TOM: And you’re going to tell me when it’s my turn?


DOCTOR: Go on.

NURSE: He called and just wanted to talk, about his wife. He said he loves her very much.

DOCTOR: So, why did he call you?

NURSE: ‘Cause he couldn’t say it to her. She died a month or two ago. And he loved her. He really did. I felt it.

(Irene comes to their table, ready to take the order. Doctor stops playing with the ring and looks at her. Nurse notices that, of course.)

IRENE: Hello, what will you have?

NURSE: Cappuccino. Brown sugar.

DOCTOR: I think I know you.

IRENE: I’m not sure about it.

DOCTOR: Yeah, I do know you. You come almost every day to the hospital to visit that old man.

IRENE: Tom.

DOCTOR: Is that his name?

IRENE: You should know it. He’s your patient.


(Tom’s room. Doctor comes in.)

DOCTOR: I don’t have good news.

TOM: You doctors never do.

DOCTOR: You’re not going to get better. I’m sorry.

TOM: You know, I’ve just soaped myself. And you motherfuckers shut off the water. So I burned myself.

DOCTOR: Burned?

TOM: I’m serious. You shut the water off. Look at my neck. It’s burned. See it?

(Doctor looks at Tom’s neck.)

TOM: See?

DOCTOR: Yes.

TOM: So, I’m all soaped. And then, all of a sudden, the cold water is gone. So I had this wonderful shower in fucking boiling water. ‘Cause you shut just the cold one off.

DOCTOR: A pipe broke down. They're fixing it right now.

TOM: And there I was, standing in the shower, thinking, what can I do now, stand here for five days, no way. No point in that. Right?

DOCTOR: Why didn’t you call the nurse?


NURSE: Brown sugar for me.


TOM: Why? To bring me even hotter water?


(Doctor sits at the table.)

DOCTOR: I’ll have coffee. Black.

IRENE: Fine.

(Irene goes away.)

NURSE: Well, that was nice.

DOCTOR: What?

NURSE: If she was, like, forty, or fifty, you wouldn’t remember her.

DOCTOR: Most probably.

NURSE: But she’s not forty. She’s more like twenty.

DOCTOR: Are you jealous?

NURSE: Can I just finish my story?

DOCTOR: Please.

NURSE: So he said to me that his wife adored daffodils. You’ve never bought me flowers.

DOCTOR: You want me to buy them now?

NURSE: No. And he asked me if I was nervous.

DOCTOR: Sometimes you are.

NURSE: I’m not.

(Irene comes back with the drinks. She puts cappuccino on the table.)

IRENE: Here’s your cappuccino.

NURSE: I wanted brown sugar.

IRENE: It’s right in front of you.

(Nurse just takes the brown sugar. Irene puts espresso on the table.)

IRENE: And your coffee. Black.

(Irene goes away. Doctor glances at her. Nurse waits for him to finish it. Then she starts stirring her cappuccino. And she does it with a sound.)




(Tom hits Doctor.)

TOM: You little prick! Who do you think you are? I know who you are. I do. You're one little prick, fucking that nurse. And you're going to tell me when it's my turn? Fuck you!

DOCTOR: All right.

TOM: An idiot. You’re just an idiot.

DOCTOR: Right.

(Tom keeps hitting him. Doctor doesn’t defend himself.)

TOM: You think you know everything? Well, you don’t.

DOCTOR: I don’t know a thing.

TOM: That’s right, you don’t know a shit.

(Tom stops hitting Doctor. He sits on the bed and covers his face with his hands.)

(Nurse still stirs her coffee. Doctor comes to the table, sits down and looks at her.)

DOCTOR: You’re not?

NURSE: What?

DOCTOR: Nervous.

NURSE: I have every right to be. You’re staring at her.

DOCTOR: And you talk to strangers in the middle of the night.

NURSE: I can’t talk to you, can I?


DOCTOR: We have to talk, you know?

(Tom removes his hands from his face. He looks at Doctor, right into his eyes.)

TOM: I’ll tell you what I do know. I came here cause of one illness, now you discovered five more. I came ‘cause of the lungs, now my blood is like shit. So, we don’t have to talk.


NURSE: No, we don’t have to talk.





















FRAGMENTS OF LOCKED IN THE TOILETTE STORY



(Irene has locked herself in the bathroom. She sits on the edge of the tub. Pete is at the door, banging against the door, using his fists and, later, legs.)

PETE: Irene! Let me in!

IRENE: Go away!

PETE: Irene, I’m sorry.

IRENE: What for?

PETE: Don’t know. But you’re mad at me so I should be sorry.

IRENE: You should be.

PETE: I am.

IRENE: No, you’re not.


(A hospital toilette. Irene and Tom squeeze in it. He smokes and coughs simultaneously.)

IRENE: Are you ok?

TOM: No, of course I’m not. I wouldn’t be here if I were ok, now would I?

IRENE: No, I suppose not.

TOM: You suppose? You suppose too much. Are you sure of anything?

IRENE: Suppose not.


PETE: Will you come out, Irene?


(Tom points at the cigarette package.)

TOM: Thanks for bringing those.

IRENE: Not sure I should’ve done that.

TOM: So typical of you.

IRENE: What?

TOM: You’re never sure of anything.

IRENE: That’s just me.

TOM: No, that’s you being scared. Scared of life, of making mistakes.


PETE: Will you come out?

IRENE: No.


(Tom finishes his cigarette, throws the butt in the toilette and immediately lights another one.)

IRENE: You’ve just finished one.

TOM: You sure? Let me tell you, before I got here I was in another hospital, I change them like hotels…


PETE: Irene!


TOM: …and there were those suckers with throat cancer and they look like aliens, full of tubes, all over their heads. And they would sneak out every hour, hide in the bathroom and smoke. Well, it’s too late for them to quit now. Isn’t it?

IRENE: Suppose so.

TOM: A bunch of aliens smoking. That was a sight to die for. And they had to cover their holes, here, on the throat, so the smoke wouldn’t go out.

(There is knocking at the door.)

TOM: Hush.

(Knocking gets louder.)


PETE: I know you’re in there.


NURSE: I know you’re in there.

TOM: There is no one in here.

(Irene starts laughing.)

TOM: Hush! She’ll hear us.

(Nurse tries to get in, tries to open the door, but it’s locked.)

NURSE: I’ll call the doctor.

TOM: Tell him to bring his own cigarettes.

NURSE: Let me in!


PETE: Let me in, Irene!

(Irene is silent. Pete starts banging again. Irene walks around the bathroom.)

PETE: Irene!

IRENE: Stop it!

PETE: I won’t!

IRENE: Stop it!

PETE: Let me in!


NURSE: Let me in!

TOM: There’s hardly enough space for the two of us.

IRENE: Let her in.

NURSE: I’m calling the doctor. The last warning.


(Irene opens the door. Pete stands in front of her.)

PETE: I don’t get it. It’s not like you’re pregnant.

IRENE: I’m not.


IRENE: I’m pregnant.

TOM: Don’t tell me it’s mine?

IRENE: No, of course not.

(Silence. And Tom smoking.)


PETE: So, why are you mad?

IRENE: Because some people just don’t take responsibilities for their actions.

PETE: Ok, he’s a jerk, but it has nothing to do with us.

IRENE: And what if I were pregnant?

PETE: But you’re not.

IRENE: What if I were?

PETE: Are you?


TOM: Have you told him?


PETE: Are you?

IRENE: No.


TOM: Have you told him?

IRENE: I wanted to tell you first.

TOM: Fair enough.


IRENE: No. But what if I were?

PETE: I haven’t thought about it.

(Irene closes the door. Pete sits on the floor, leaning on the door.)


NURSE: You should be ashamed.


(Pete gets up.)


(Irene opens the door. Nurse stands in front of them. She is pissed off.)

NURSE: You should be ashamed.

TOM: I am.

NURSE: I’m not talking to you. I’m talking to her.

TOM: She doesn’t smoke.

NURSE: How dare you, let a man with lung cancer smoke?

TOM: Don’t forget my leuchemia.

IRENE: I’m sorry. It won’t happen again.

TOM: Don’t appologise, Irene.

NURSE: Out. I want you out of here.

IRENE: Sorry. I’m going.

(Irene tries to leave, but Tom doesn’t let her go.)

TOM: Irene, come on, look at her, she’s benigne, although she looks as malicious as my cancers are.

(Tom exhales smoke in Nurse’s eyes. She tries to take the cigarette away from him.)

NURSE: And give me that.

TOM: What?

NURSE: You know what very well.

TOM: This?

(Tom puffs smoke in Nurse’s eyes again.)

IRENE: Tom…

NURSE: Give it to me!


(Pete opens a package.)


(Tom offers a package to Nurse.)

TOM: Take another one, this one here is almost finished.

NURSE: I want that one.

IRENE: Tom, give her the cigarette.

TOM: Very well.

(Tom gives the cigarette to Nurse. She throws it in the toilette.)


(Pete lights a cigarette.)


(Tom has already lit himself another cigarette.)

NURSE: Give it!

TOM: I’ve just given you one. And you’re throwing them away.

NURSE: Where did you get those?

IRENE: I brought them.

NURSE: Why didn’t you bring him a gun instead?

TOM: I din’t ask for it. But it isn’t a bad idea, not bad at all. Irene, will you bring me a gun next time you come so I can shoot this lovely lady?

IRENE: I will.

TOM: Well, that’s settled then.




























FRAGMENTS OF AN ASHTRAY



(The bar. Nurse and Doctor sit at the same table. He has a bandage over his forehead. Irene and Sheila are at the bar, working and watching the couple.)


NURSE: He called me again.

DOCTOR: Who?

NURSE: That man.

DOCTOR: Daffodil man?

NURSE: Yeah. He does that, just picks up the phone, dials a number and, well, if he likes the voice, he starts talking.

DOCTOR: He’s sick.


(Sheila looks at Doctor. At a certain moment he will look at her and she will smile to him.)

SHEILA: He’s good.

IRENE: I don’t like him.

SHEILA: No, he’s good in bed.

IRENE: Oh, don’t tell me…

SHEILA: I just have. Last week he came with her. And they had a fight. She left, and on her way out she crashed an ashtray on his forehead. And that’s where I come into the story.


NURSE: Does it hurt?

DOCTOR: Not any more.

NURSE: I’m sorry.

DOCTOR: I’m sure you are.

NURSE: I am.

(Nurse tries to touch his forehead, but he retreats.)

NURSE: What did you tell your wife?

DOCTOR: I told her some crazy patient broke an ashtray on my forehead.

NURSE: So, you lied.

DOCTOR: Did I?


(Irene makes coffees. Sheila is more preoccupied with staring at the couple.)

SHEILA: …and it was almost closing time, everybody was already gone, and you know how it goes, drink by drink, we got totally drunk. He slept at my place.

IRENE: In your bed?

SHEILA: Well I only have one, but big enough for two.


NURSE: And I told him I’m seeing someone.

DOCTOR: You were talking to a fucking stranger about me?

NURSE: And I told him that that man doesn’t love me. Or at least, doesn’t understand me.

DOCTOR: Is this again about Lisa?


IRENE: He’s married.

SHEILA: Not to her.

IRENE: You should find someone who’s not married.

SHEILA: Someone like Pete?

(Irene turns to Sheila.)

IRENE: What’s that supposed to mean?

(Cappuccino spills all over the coffee machine.)

SHEILA: Irene, the coffee… Oh, fuck!

IRENE: I’ll clean it.

(Irene cleans the coffee machine.)

IRENE: You didn’t answer.


DOCTOR: What was the question?

NURSE: Fuck you!


IRENE: Fuck you!

SHEILA: Don’t get so pissed off at me. I’m just saying what I think.


DOCTOR: You want me to lie?

NURSE: I want you to decide, once and for all.


SHEILA: I just want to fuck. I don’t want to get involved with some idiot…

IRENE: An idiot like Pete?

SHEILA: You said that, not me. Look, Irene, are you happy?


NURSE: I’m not happy.


SHEILA: Are you?

IRENE: I suppose I am.

SHEILA: So am I. Have everything I need. A job, a steady one, a flat, a rented one and a guy, almost every night.


NURSE: What about love?


SHEILA: What about it?


(Nurse crashes an ashtray on Doctor’s forehead. The girls start laughing. Nurse throws some money on the table and leaves the bar. Sheila goes towards Doctor.)








FRAGMENTS OF LOVE



(In front of the hospital. A few benches, some trees, but anyway, it still doesn’t look like a park. Tom and Irene walk around. He smokes, of course.)

TOM: You love him?


(Irene walks into the living room and sits on the couch. Pete unpacks a TV set. It’s brand new.)

PETE: You like it?


TOM: You love him?


IRENE (to Tom): Of course I do. (to Pete) How much was it?

PETE: What, you don’t like it?

IRENE: We haven’t paid the rent, Pete.

PETE: So what?

IRENE: So we have to pay it.

PETE: We will.

IRENE: When?


TOM: You think about it, ask yourself?


IRENE (to Tom): Sometimes, yes. (to Pete) When?

PETE: Look, it has a flat screen.

IRENE: Yeah. When?

PETE: Soon.

IRENE: Soon isn’t good enough.

PETE: Irene…

IRENE: What?

PETE: Just shut up, please.


TOM: You ask yourself?

IRENE: Sometimes.

TOM: Then you don’t love him. Believe me. When you start asking yourself that, then it’s over. That’s the perfect moment to pack your things and leave.


PETE: Just shut the fuck up!


TOM: To leave and never come back.

IRENE: I don’t agree, really. (to Pete) We have to pay it.


(Tom sits on the bench.)

TOM: Let me tell you something. I was married. For a whole fucking eternity. I should have left her. I should have done it after our second year. We hated each other’s guts.


IRENE: We have to pay it.

(Pete turns to Irene.)

PETE: Look, life isn’t just about paying the fucking bills, you know?

IRENE: It isn’t just fucking either, you know?

PETE: It should be.

IRENE: But it isn’t.

(Pete turns back to the TV. He programs channels.)

PETE: It was before.

IRENE: Before I lived at my mother’s. And we had sex in your car.

PETE: We don’t do that any more.

IRENE: Well, you don’t have a car any more.

PETE: Yeah, I had to sell it.

IRENE: Don’t blame me for that one.

PETE: I’m not. I’m just saying I don’t have it any more. Why? Because we needed money for the fucking rent!

IRENE: It was your idea! And I work now.

PETE: In that fucking bar.

IRENE: At least, I work.

PETE: Nice. That’s just nice.

IRENE: I didn’t mean it. Sorry.

(Irene goes…

PETE: A nice one, Irene. Yeah, it’s my fault I got sacked. And, yeah, I’m happy about it. I’m so fucking happy.

IRENE: Sorry.


and sits next to Tom.)

TOM: Then, in the end, my wife left me. And she’s not coming back.

IRENE: She isn’t?

TOM: Well, how could she? She’s dead.

IRENE: I’m sorry.


PETE: So fucking happy.


IRENE: I’m sorry.

TOM: Don’t be. It’s better like this for both of us. We weren’t made one for another. But there was one woman…

IRENE: Just one?

(Toms starts coughing.)

IRENE: You want us to go inside?

TOM: No.

IRENE: Sure?

TOM: I met her at the bar, my wife, that is. Well, where else can you meet your better half?

IRENE: I met Pete at the bus station.

TOM: Funny, I mean, you do work in a bar.


(Pete restarts the TV.)

PETE: In that fucking bar.


IRENE: It’s a coffee shop. And at that time, I was at college, studying literature.

TOM: I wanted to study that. But then, well, I got that really big scholarship for chemistry and that was it - chemistry. First mistake. So, did you graduate?

IRENE: No. I started working and left college.

TOM: Work, yeah. I worked all over the world, you know?

IRENE: Didn’t you say you had worked in a lab?

TOM: Yes, but I also travelled a lot. And at the beginning I used to take my wife, Carol, that was her name, I used to take her with me. Or I would go somewhere and she would come in a week or two. It was like that. It was good, at the beginning. And then…


(Pete can’t find any channels. Irene is standing over him.)

PETE: Fuck!

IRENE: What?

PETE: Nothing.

IRENE: Look at the instructions. That’s what they’re for, so that you can look at them and know what to do.


TOM: …and then, I just stopped taking her with me. It was after I stopped talking to her. And she did the same thing. Vice versa. And so I would leave and she would stay at home. Our life became two separate lives.


(Pete looks at Irene.)

IRENE: What?

PETE: Nothing.

(Irene goes back…


…to Tom)

TOM: Two separate lives. And it was all right. It was.

IRENE: The woman you mentioned…

TOM: My second mistake.

(Tom finishes one cigarette and immediately reaches for another one.)

IRENE: Oh, stop it!


PETE: What? What now?

(Pete lights a cigarette.)


(Irene takes cigarette from Tom’s mouth and drops it on the ground. Tom smiles.)

TOM: I met her in Russia. Vera was her name, but I called her Verochka. She liked that. And I met Verochka, well, guess where.

IRENE: In a bar?

TOM: No, in a church. The first thing I saw on her were her hands, very small hands, something like yours. And instinctively I took my ring off. My wedding ring, I just took it off and put it in my pocket. She didn’t know I was married. And she wanted, well, she wanted what every woman wants. But I was scared to give her that. Scared to leave my wife, although love was already gone. So I never told her I was married. But I did tell her I would come back.

IRENE: But you didn’t?

TOM: As a matter of fact, I did. But I was too late. I was two years late. And by that time she was already married. I was prepared to leave my wife and live with her in that big vodka country, but she already had a son. So I lost her. And she wasn’t hiding her ring when I saw her back then. Actually, she was proud of it. Proud. And I… I just couldn’t look at those small hands, not any more. And my ring, well, it stayed there, in the pocket.

(Tom takes the ring out of the pocket.)

TOM: Here it is.

IRENE: Maybe she didn’t love you enough.

TOM: She did. It was me. I was too scared. Scared of life. Now, I know that the only thing you shouldn’t do in your life is to be scared.

IRENE: You regret that now?

TOM: Not just now, all my life.

IRENE: You think I should leave Pete?


(Pete finally finds a channel. He goes to the couch and sits. Irene comes and sits on the couch, too. They watch TV for a while.)

PETE: I know why you’re here. Just to be away from her. You ran away from one shit, and got into another one.

IRENE: You’re not fair.

PETE: Life never is.

(They watch TV. Silence between them.)


(Tom comes to Irene)

TOM: Give me your hand.

(Tom takes her hand.)

TOM: Will you marry me?

IRENE: I thought you’d never ask.

(Tom puts the ring on her finger. She looks at it.)

IRENE: Is it gold?

TOM: Why, you want to sell it?

IRENE: Well, I do need money for the rent.


IRENE: We haven’t paid the rent.

PETE: So what?

IRENE: So we have to pay it.

PETE: Life isn’t just about paying the fucking bills, you know?

(Pete changes channels. Irene gets up and goes…


…to Tom)

TOM: You can move in with me.

IRENE: I should do that.

TOM: But, you’d have to get sick first.

IRENE: Or you’ll have to get better.

TOM: I’ll do that.

(Irene takes the ring off.)

IRENE: Here.

TOM: No, you take it. I’m allergic to gold.

IRENE: Are you?

TOM: No, just to wedding rings.

(Irene puts the ring in her pocket.)







































FRAGMENTS OF PISSED OFF PETE


(The living room. Pete and Irene are in the middle of…

IRENE: He’s sixty.

PETE: Sixty my ass! Don’t give me that bullshit.

IRENE: I’m telling you the truth.

PETE: Yeah, and I’m stupid. Do I look stupid to you?

IRENE: You do now.

(Pete starts walking towards Irene.)

PETE: What did you just say?

IRENE: Nothing.

(Irene retreats.)

PETE: That’s right, nothing. So, how old is he?

IRENE: Twenty.

PETE: I knew it!

(Pete punches the cupboard with his fist, then groans.)

PETE: Fuck!

(Pete holds his fist. It really hurts him.)

IRENE: Are you ok?

PETE: Do I look ok to you?

IRENE: You want some ice?

PETE: Twenty, ha?

IRENE: He isn’t twenty.

PETE: You just said he was.

IRENE: I lied.

PETE: Irene, you’re making me angry.

IRENE: What do you want me to say?

PETE: The fucking truth!

IRENE: He’s sixty. I told you.

PETE: Yeah, and you’re eighty.

IRENE: No, I’m twenty seven.

PETE: I know that. And I also know that he’s not sixty. Did he fuck you?

(Irene laughs. Pete is totally pissed off.)

PETE: It isn’t funny. Not funny at all, Irene.

IRENE: He didn’t fuck me.

PETE: Not yet?

IRENE: No, not yet.

PETE: I should just kill you now, you know that?

IRENE: Why?

PETE: Why? You’re asking me why?

IRENE: Yeah, I’m asking you why?

PETE: ‘Cause you’re fucking him!

IRENE: I’m not.

PETE: I’m not stupid, Irene.

IRENE: You already confirmed that.

(Pete comes close to Irene.)

PETE: I did what?

(Irene is looking him straight in the eyes.)

IRENE: Confirmed. Stated.

(Pete grabs her chin with his hurt hand.)

PETE: I know what it means.

(Pete immediately releases Irene’s chin because it hurts him even worse.)

PETE: Ah, fucking hand!

(Pete groans and waves his hurt fist in the air.)

IRENE: You should put some ice on it.

(Irene heads for the kitchen.)

PETE: Where are you going? Sit down.

IRENE: To get some ice…

PETE: Sit down.

(Irene sits on the couch.)

PETE: You talk like that to him?

IRENE: Like what?

(Pete imitates her.)

PETE: Confirmed.

IRENE: You’re an idiot.

PETE: An idiot? An idiot? An idiot?

IRENE: Yeah, an idiot.

PETE: You just called me an idiot?

IRENE: I did.

PETE: Fine. I’m an idiot. Fine. And you’re a slut.

IRENE: Fine.

PETE: So, is he any good?

IRENE: He’s a good man.

PETE: Irene, in fucking.

(Irene grabs a small statue from the table and throws it at Pete. Pete moves just in time and the statue crashes against the wall.)

IRENE: I’m sick and tired of you.

(Pete picks up the statue, pieces of it, from the floor.)

PETE: It’s broken.

IRENE: I don’t give a fuck.

PETE: I do. ‘Cause I paid for it.

IRENE: I’ll pay you back.

PETE: What, he gives you money as well?

IRENE: Why are you like this?

PETE: ‘Cause I’m an idiot.

IRENE: You want to meet him?

PETE: In a boxing ring, maybe.

(Irene gets up.)

IRENE: Pete…

(Irene comes close to him. He still holds the statue, or something that used to be a statue.)

PETE: It’s broken.

IRENE: Doesn’t matter.

PETE: I bought it for your birthday.

IRENE: I know.

PETE: You were happy then, when I gave it to you.

IRENE: You want some ice…

(Pause.)

IRENE: I’ll bring some.

(Irene goes to the kitchen. He tries to fix the statue. No way he can do it. Then he just leaves it on the table. She brings some ice in a dishcloth and puts it on his hand. They look at each other. She smiles. He smiles back. She kisses him. He puts the ice on the table. They kiss.)


































FRAGMENTS OF SEX



(Irene and Pete have just had sex.)


(Tom’s room. The other bed is empty.)

TOM: Did you have any sex yesterday?


(Irene puts her underwear on.)

IRENE: What?


TOM: Sex. You know what that is. Don’t tell me you’re still a virgin.


(Irene puts her clothes on. Pete smokes.)

IRENE: I’m not.


TOM: So, did you?


(Irene stands up. She is all dressed now.)

IRENE: What?


TOM: Fuck.


(Irene turns towards Tom, then comes and sits next to him.)

IRENE: As a matter of fact, I did.

TOM: So did I.


(Whore stands in front of the mirror. In her underwear.)


IRENE: You did?

TOM: Ten years ago. And I don’t even remember how it was.

IRENE: It’s just the same.

TOM: Still is, ha?

IRENE: All quiet on the western front.

TOM: Even too quiet, I would say.

(He looks in the direction behind Irene. Irene turns around and looks at the empty bed.)

TOM: He left me.

(Silence.)

IRENE: Is he…

TOM: Yeah.

(Silence.)

IRENE: When?

TOM: During the night. More like, at dawn. He just stopped swearing and I knew, I just knew something was wrong. His last word was bitch.

IRENE: Bitch?


(Whore puts her make-up on.)


TOM: Yes, bitch. But I didn’t tell that to his wife.

IRENE: What did you tell her?

TOM: I told her he said rosebud.

IRENE: Rosebud?

TOM: And she was happy. Well, not really happy, that’s not the right word.

IRENE: Maybe it’s better like that. I mean, he lost his legs and… I don’t know.

TOM: His body was here for hours. Some stupid procedure, mortuary doesn’t open till seven. So, he was and wasn’t here at the same time. Just lying there. I closed his eyes. And that fucking nurse yelled at me ‘cause I did it.

IRENE: She yelled?

TOM: But I yelled even more so she ran out and called the doctor. And the doctor came and then they just moved him, into the basement. That's where the mortuary is. It has some sense, doesn’t it?

IRENE: So, now he’s like what, four floors away from his wife?

TOM: Five. And, you know, when somebody dies near you, in your room, that’s the worst thing that can happen to you while you’re in here. It makes you feel like you’re next.

IRENE: You want us to go and have a smoke?

TOM: Not today.

IRENE: What do you want?


(Whore comes close to Tom’s bed. She puts her silk stockings on.)


TOM: Money.


WHORE: I like money.


IRENE: Money?

TOM: Yes, you could lend me some money. I can’t promise I’ll pay you back, but you never really know.

(Irene takes her wallet out.)

IRENE: How much do you need?

(Irene takes some money from the wallet.)


WHORE: That will do it.


(Irene gives him some money.)

IRENE: Here.

(Tom takes the money…


…looks at Whore and then puts the money on the night table.)



TOM: You don’t want to know what I need it for?

IRENE: I do. But I won’t ask you. If you want, you’ll tell me.


(Whore sits on Tom’s bed.)

WHORE: You want me to give you a blow-job?

TOM: What?


(Irene leaves.)

IRENE: If you want, you’ll tell me.

TOM: I won’t tell you.

IRENE: Fair enough.

(Irene is gone.)


TOM: What?

WHORE: Do you want me to suck your cock?

TOM: Yes, please.

(Whore starts unbuttoning his pyjamas. All the time she touches him.)

WHORE: Do you like it?

(Tom puts his hand on her breasts.)

TOM: Do you?

WHORE: I like money.

TOM: At least you’re honest.

(Irene enters. And stays at the door.)

IRENE: I…

(Whore doesn’t move her hand away from Tom’s pyjamas.)

TOM: I’m a little bit busy right now.

WHORE: I’m not into threesome. That wasn’t the deal.

IRENE: You’re a bastard!

TOM: Irene…

(Irene slams the door and leaves.)

WHORE: Shall we go on?

(Tom thinks for a while.)

TOM: Why not? We still have half an hour.

(Whore looks at the watch.)

WHORE: More like twenty minutes.

TOM: Well, time just passes by when you’re in a good company.

WHORE: Yeah, yeah, shall we go on?

TOM: Be my guest.

(Whore touches him and from time to time stares through the window. At first he enjoys it and then he starts crying. Or sobbing. Whore still looks through the window.)

WHORE: Are you coming?

TOM: I’m crying.

WHORE: Some men do that. Some keep still and the others yell like hell.

TOM: No, I’m crying. Really crying.

(Tom gently pushes her away.)

WHORE: What’s wrong?

TOM: Kids.

WHORE: Your kids?

TOM: Not mine. I don’t have any. Not my kids.

WHORE: You know you’ll have to pay me anyway.

TOM: You can hear them at night. They cry. Sometimes they even scream, only sometimes. Usually, they just cry. Not so loud, but you can hear them.

WHORE: I can’t hear a thing.

(Whore is looking at the money on the night table.)

TOM: And sometimes, you hear a child crying for an hour, or even hours and then, just in a second…

WHORE: Yeah?

TOM: Stops.

WHORE: That’s good.

TOM: No, it isn’t.

WHORE: Mind if I smoke?

(Whore lights a cigarette.)

TOM: When a child goes quiet, it means they’re gone.

WHORE: Gone?

TOM: Gone, dead, not alive any more, never again.

WHORE: That’s awful.

(Tom looks through the window.)

TOM: I don’t want to die.

(Whore takes the money from the night table.)

























FRAGMENTS OF TRUTH



(Tom’s room. He sits, leaned on the pillows. In the vase there are some yellow flowers. Funeral Guy sits on the chair. A small man, maybe wearing glasses, but definitely small.)

FUNERAL GUY: I read your ad.

TOM: So, you can read. That’s nice.

FUNERAL GUY: Well, you see, I think I can help you.

TOM: You can make me healthy?

FUNERAL GUY: No. I don’t do that.

TOM: You have some drugs for me?

FUNERAL GUY: No. No. It’s nothing like that.

TOM: Then what?

FUNERAL GUY: Well, let me tell you, I run this firm, a funeral firm. It’s called “The Last Resort”.

TOM: Appropriate.

FUNERAL GUY: I know.

(Funeral Guy looks at the flowers.)

FUNERAL GUY: I must notice something.

TOM: You do that.

FUNERAL GUY: These flowers…

TOM: Irene brought them to me.

FUNERAL GUY: They’re for funerals.

TOM: They’re just flowers.

FUNERAL GUY: But they’re for funerals.

TOM: Don’t worry, they’ll be useful very soon. Now that’s why you are here. Right?

(There is a knock at the door.)

TOM: Yes?

(The door opens. Irene steps in.)

IRENE: We have to talk.

TOM: I expected you.

(Irene sees Funeral Guy.)

IRENE: I can come later.

TOM: No, please, do come in. This is my daughter, Irene.

(Funeral Guy stands up and kisses Irene’s hand.)

FUNERAL GUY: You’re very young.

TOM: No, it’s just that I’m very old.

(Funeral Guy offers Irene the chair. She sits down. Funeral Guy has to stand.)

TOM: This man read my ad. And you came just in time. We’re choosing a casket.

IRENE: A casket?

FUNERAL GUY: A coffin.

IRENE: I know what it means.

FUNERAL GUY: It’s for your father.

TOM: Yeah, it’s not for you.

IRENE: Ok then.

(Funeral Guy rapidly takes a casket catalogue out of his bag. He opens it and gives it to Tom. Tom pretends to be interested in it and shows the catalogue to Irene.)

TOM: So, which do you prefer?

FUNERAL GUY: I would suggest the mahogany. That’s the one on page sixteen.

(Funeral Guy doesn’t wait and quickly opens the catalogue on page sixteen. Irene doesn’t even bother to look.)

IRENE: I would go for the cheapest one.

TOM: Oh, Irene, you die only once in your lifetime. So, we won’t be stingy now.

IRENE: But I’m paying for it.

TOM: That’s true. She is.

IRENE: So I would prefer if you got cremated.

TOM: Well now, that’s an idea. I love it! (to Funeral Guy) What do you think about it?

FUNERAL GUY: Me?

IRENE: And maybe we can put your ashes in that old tin box in which you keep your tobacco.

TOM: I like it!

FUNERAL GUY: I don’t.

TOM: So it seems we won’t be needing you after all.

FUNERAL GUY: It does. But if you think about it, you see, on page nine, there is a…

IRENE: Definitely the tobacco box.

FUNERAL GUY: Fine.

(Funeral Guy takes the catalogue from Tom’s hands, puts it in the bag, kisses Irene’s hand once more and heads for the door.)

FUNERAL GUY: Goodbye.

(Funeral Guy exits. Tom and Irene are silent. Irene is a little bit nervous.)

IRENE: So, you had a visit yesterday?

TOM: I did.

IRENE: Don’t tell me she read your ad?

TOM: No, I read hers.

IRENE: It’s not funny, not a bit funny.

TOM: But it’s the truth.

IRENE: So, the money I gave you…

TOM: I’ll give it back to you. End of story.

(Tom tries to sit more upright, but it hurts him.)

TOM: I don’t need help.

IRENE: I didn’t offer any.

TOM: So I noticed.

(Tom finally finds the position he was looking for, but that doesn’t prevent him from sighing.)

IRENE: You don’t have to give me that money.

TOM: Suits me.

IRENE: How could you do it?

TOM: I didn’t do anything. She managed by herself.

(Silence. Tom sighs.)

IRENE: You need an injection?

TOM: You want to hurt me?

(Irene opens the drawer, finds the injection and takes it out.)

IRENE: Give me your arm.

TOM: The nurse can do it.

IRENE: She does it badly.

TOM: And so will you.

(Irene puts the injection back. Tom rolls up the sleeve of his pyjamas.)

IRENE: You want me to call the nurse?

TOM: No. You do it.

(Irene takes the injection. She takes his arm.)

IRENE: Your veins, I can’t see them well.

TOM: Are you enjoying it?

(Irene points to the injection.)

IRENE: What, this?

TOM: Look, kid, just do it.

(Irene gives him the injection. She does it like a professional. He rolls down his sleeve.)

IRENE: So, did you like it?

TOM: You did it just fine.

IRENE: No, with that woman yesterday, how was it?

TOM: Like it was my first time.

IRENE: That bad?

TOM: Even worse.

(They both smile.)

TOM: So, why did you come yesterday?

IRENE: I wanted to take you out.


(A club. Loud music. Sheila sits at one table in the corner. She is quite drunk already. There are three glasses on the table. Two of them are almost empty, the third is full.)


TOM: You don’t have to do that.

IRENE: I know.


(Tom puts his suit on.)


TOM: Oh, now you know. You don’t suppose any more?

IRENE: Seems so.


(Sheila laughs and drinks.)


TOM: So, will you take me out?

IRENE: I’ll think about it.

(Irene comes to the table, takes her glass and drinks. Sheila laughs. She starts hugging Irene.)

SHEILA: Irene, you’re so happy.

IRENE: Sheila, you’re so drunk.

(All of a sudden Sheila starts crying.)

SHEILA: Yes, I’m just drunk, and you, you have Pete. And I, who do I have?

IRENE: You’ll find someone.

SHEILA: I’m thirty six.

(Tom comes to the table.)

TOM: But you look younger to me.

SHEILA: Do I?

TOM: Yeah, more like thirty five.

(Tom sits down. He won’t touch his drink till the end of the night)

IRENE: Thirty five and a half.

(Sheila laughs. Tom and Irene smile.)

SHEILA: Is Pete coming?

IRENE: Don’t know.

SHEILA: You should call him, yeah, you should. Tom, tell her to call Pete.

IRENE: He knows where we are.

SHEILA: Tell her, Tom.

TOM: You’ve already told her, Sheila.

SHEILA: Oh, fuck you two, I’m going to call him!

(Sheila somehow gets up.)

IRENE: You haven’t touched your whiskey.

TOM: It’s no good. They put water in it.

SHEILA: It’s strong enough for me.

TOM: I’m sure it is.

(Sheila leaves the table.)

IRENE: You want something else?

TOM: No. I’m fine.

IRENE: Sure?

TOM: Don’t worry about me.

(Pause.)

TOM: You told him?

IRENE: I’m not going to.

TOM: You should, you know.

IRENE: I’m not having that child, Tom.

(Silence. A long one.)

IRENE: I can’t do it. I just can’t. Not any more, not with Pete.

TOM: I miss that. Having a child.

IRENE: Maybe I’ll regret it. Don’t know.

TOM: I know I do.

IRENE: The third mistake, ha?

(Sheila comes back.)

TOM: Got him?

SHEILA: Don’t know his number. But there is this guy at the bar…

(Sheila sits between them. Sheila unconsciously puts her hand on Tom’s knee. This makes Tom feel a little bit uncomfortable.)

SHEILA: Shall we dance?

IRENE: Sheila, leave him alone.

(Tom gently removes Sheila’s hand from his knee. She doesn’t even notice it.)

SHEILA: Yeah, we can dance here. That’s even better. Much better. We’ll do that. (to Tom) Right, paps?

(Sheila starts moving to the rhythm of the music. She still sits. Tom gets into play. Suddenly she stops dancing and points her finger at someone.)

SHEILA: See that guy?

TOM: Which one? I can’t see anything, your hand is in my way.

(Sheila moves her hand that was blocking Tom’s view. Now he can see where she’s pointing at.)

SHEILA: That one. He just smiled at Irene.

IRENE: So what?

SHEILA: Tom, haven’t you seen it? You must have.

TOM: No, Sheila, I haven’t.

SHEILA: Well, he did. And if I were you, I’d go for it.

IRENE: Well, I won’t go for it.

SHEILA: Tom, what do you think?

TOM: I think I’m old.

SHEILA: No, should Irene go there and talk to him?

IRENE: Ok, I’ll go.

(Irene gets up and goes. Sheila turns to Tom.)

SHEILA: So, Tom, you’re, what, seventy?

TOM: No, sixty.

SHEILA: I can’t help it, you still look to me as if you were seventy.

TOM: I would like to be. Believe me, Sheila, I would.

(Sheila laughs, then spills her drink all over Tom.)

SHEILA: Oh, fuck, there goes my whiskey!

(Tom gets the handkerchief from his pocket and cleans himself with it.)

SHEILA: Sorry.

TOM: It’s ok.

SHEILA: Irene will kill me. She brought you here to have a good time ‘cause there’s not much of it left for you, yeah, I know, Irene told me. And now for you it’s even worse here than in that hospital.

TOM: It’s all right.

SHEILA: No, it’s not. It’s worse. And that means it’s really awful ‘cause I know, yeah, I can only imagine how awful that fucking hospital is.

(Tom puts the handkerchief back into his pocket.)

SHEILA: Oh fuck, I’m going to puke.

(Sheila stands up and then falls back. Tom moves a little bit away from her. Irene comes back.)

IRENE: He’s gay.

(Sheila and Irene laugh. They hug. Tom stands up.)

IRENE: Where are you going?

SHEILA: Maybe he’s gay.

(Tom leaves.)

IRENE: Tom!

SHEILA: Oh, leave him, it’s past his bedtime.

IRENE: Sheila!

(Tom is gone. Irene releases herself from Sheila’s hug.)

IRENE: Tom!

(Irene runs after him.)











































FRAGMENTS OF LEAVING


(Night. In front of the club. Cars pass by. Tom stands and tries to catch a cab. Irene has just got out of the club.)

TOM: Taxi!

IRENE: Tom!

TOM: Taxi!

(Irene comes to Tom and stands in front of him.)

IRENE: Tom, wait!


(Pete puts his jacket on. There is a suitcase next to the couch. And some boxes.)


IRENE: We have to talk about it.


(Irene comes to Pete.)

PETE: No, we don’t.

IRENE: We do.

PETE: No. I don’t want to talk to you. Just go.

IRENE: Pete.

PETE: And don’t forget to take these fucking boxes with you.

IRENE: Pete…

(Irene tries to touch him. He moves away from her. Irene goes to the…


… the bar. Mum sits at the table. Sheila is behind the bar.)

MUM: How is Pete?

IRENE: Ok, I guess.

MUM: Honey, are you two ok?


PETE: Fuck you, Irene!


IRENE: I left him.

MUM: There was another woman.


PETE: It’s him.


MUM: Another one, am I right?

IRENE: Nothing like that.

MUM: Well, honey, it happens.


PETE: It’s him. That guy. That’s it. I know it.

IRENE: No, it’s not him.


(Irene runs to Tom.)

IRENE: Tom!


PETE: Don’t lie to me, Irene.


(Sheila exits the club. She waves to Irene. She can hardly walk.)

IRENE: Tom!

SHEILA: Irene, we’ll take another one.

TOM: Taxi!

(A taxi comes. Tom opens the door. Irene grabs his hand.)

IRENE: Don’t go.


PETE: It’s him. I know it.


(Sheila sits with Mum.)

MUM: So, you know her?

SHEILA: Who?

MUM: Pete’s new girl?

SHEILA: He has a new girlfriend?

MUM: You didn’t know that?


(Irene stands in front of Pete.)

PETE: Don’t lie to me, Irene.

IRENE: I’m not. There’s no one. It’s just me. I have to be alone for a while.


IRENE (to Tom): Don’t go.


PETE: You’re full of bullshit, Irene.

IRENE: I’m not lying.

PETE: Whatever.


(Irene sits with Mum.)

MUM: Well, you’re still young. Not as young as you were five years ago, that’s a fact. But don’t worry, you’ll find someone honest.

IRENE: Yeah.

MUM: And he won’t be screwing around. Believe me, honey, he won’t.

IRENE: Ok, what, you want me to tell you that Pete’s found someone else?

MUM: Did he?

IRENE: He didn’t.

MUM: Honey, you can tell me the truth. You know you can.

IRENE: Ok, he did.

MUM: I knew it!

(The phone rings.)

MUM: Maybe it’s Pete.


IRENE: Don’t go.

(Irene holds Pete’s hand.)


(Irene holds Tom’s hand.)

IRENE (to Tom): Don’t go.

TOM: I don’t belong here.

(Sheila pukes.)

IRENE: I’ll come tomorrow.

TOM: Don’t.

(Tom gets into the cab. Irene doesn’t let him close the door.)

IRENE: Ok, maybe not tomorrow.

TOM: Don’t come at all.

IRENE: Why not?

TOM: ‘Cause I said so.

(Sheila wipes her mouth with her sleeve.)


(The phone rings again. Mum looks at it. Sheila heads for the phone.)

MUM: Men do that. Screw around.

(Sheila answers the phone. The voice, it could be the voice of Daffodil man.)

DAFFODIL MAN: I’m looking for my wife.

MUM: Is it Pete?

SHEILA: No.

MUM: Of course, why should he bother?

DAFFODIL MAN: My wife, I’m looking for her.

MUM: Men do that. Screw around.

SHEILA: She’s not here.

DAFFODIL MAN: I know.

SHEILA: So why are you calling here? Just to get on my nerves?

MUM: They're all the same.

DAFFODIL MAN: There was a gas explosion. Some pipes were broken. And the gas, well… My wife was there. I wasn’t. And she told me more than once, a hundred times, she told me, come on, old man, fix those pipes, they’re gonna explode one day. And they did. And she was there.

(Sheila hangs up.)

MUM: Was that Pete on the phone?


(Pete heads for the door.)

IRENE: Don’t leave now.

PETE: You’re the one leaving, Irene.

(Pete is gone.)


(Irene turns to Tom.)

IRENE: Don’t leave now.

(Tom gently tries to shut the door.)

IRENE: Wait…

TOM: I’m running out of time.

(Tom closes the door. The cab drives away. Irene looks at Sheila.)

SHEILA: What?

IRENE: Nothing.


PETE: Nothing. There’s nothing to talk about any more.


FRAGMENTS OF TOM



(The bar. The phone rings.)


(Tom’s room is empty. No, it’s not. Journalist lies on Tom’s bed. Irene comes in. She’s been crying.)

JOURNALIST: You want to join me?


(The phone still rings.)


JOURNALIST: There’s enough space for both of us.


(Irene goes to the bar. She answers it.)

IRENE: Yes?

TOM: Irene, is that you?

IRENE: Tom?

TOM: I’m calling to say…

IRENE: Yeah?

TOM: Are you angry?


(Irene just stands at the door.)

IRENE: That’s his bed.


TOM: Don’t be angry.

IRENE: I’m not.


IRENE: You shouldn’t be lying on his bed.

JOURNALIST: Honey, let’s not fight now.


IRENE: Why did you leave the club that night?

TOM: I just felt like it.

IRENE: That was the reason?


(Irene approaches the bed.)

IRENE: You’ll get the sheets dirty.

JOURNALIST: I can take my shoes off.

IRENE: You should take your whole body off.

(Irene starts pulling him from the bed.)


IRENE: That was the reason?

TOM: That, and the fact that you’re the one leaving all the time. And in the end, I’ll be gone. And I won’t be coming back.



(Irene leaves Journalist.)

IRENE: That’s Tom’s bed.

JOURNALIST: Look, lady, Tom won’t be needing it any more.


TOM: And I won’t be coming back.


(Irene sits on the edge of the bed.)

IRENE: Your legs are in the air.

JOURNALIST: I haven’t noticed it.

IRENE: This bed is too short.

JOURNALIST: I don’t mind.

IRENE: Tom did.

(Silence. Journalist offers her a bottle of brandy.)

JOURNALIST: Want some?

(Irene takes the bottle and drinks from it.)

JOURNALIST: It was on discount.

IRENE: So you bought two?

JOURNALIST: Who wouldn’t? Look, usually I don’t drink. That is, not before noon.

IRENE: Give me some more.

(Journalist gives her the bottle and takes another one from his coat.)

JOURNALIST: So, you’re Tom’s daughter?

IRENE: Daughter?


TOM: Irene, are you still there?

IRENE: Yeah, I’m here.


JOURNALIST: Are you?

IRENE: No. I’m not his daughter.


TOM: I’d like to see you. That’s if you don’t have anything better to do.

IRENE: I don’t.

TOM: You sure?

IRENE: Positive.


IRENE: I’m not his daughter.

(Silence. She drinks the brandy. Then she gets up and goes to the window.)

IRENE: You see, we used to, how could I put it…

(Journalist sits on the bed.)

JOURNALIST: Yes?


TOM: You don’t suppose any more?

IRENE: Of course I do.


IRENE: Well, we had a sort of a relationship that was, well, it was a little bit peculiar.

JOURNALIST: In which way? Sorry, but I’m a journalist.

(Irene turns towards him.)

IRENE: I would never guess.

JOURNALIST: So, you and Tom, well, go on.


IRENE: I can come today.

TOM: No.

IRENE: I can still make it, you know.

TOM: No. Tomorrow is perfect.

IRENE: Then it is, tomorrow.

(Irene hangs up.)


(Irene lies on Tom’s bed.)

IRENE: Tom came to our house. At that time I lived with my mother and we were renting a room in the attic, it had a really nice view, you know, and, well, Tom came.

JOURNALIST: Yes?

IRENE: It happened all of a sudden, I mean, usually I don’t like older men, you know? But Tom, Tom was special. And he told me about that girl he once loved. I reminded him of her. And she got killed.

JOURNALIST: She did?

IRENE: He didn’t tell you that?

JOURNALIST: Maybe you can tell me.

IRENE: Yeah, I can tell you.

(Irene sits on the bed.)

IRENE: Well, where shall I start?

JOURNALIST: From the beginning.
























FRAGMENTS OF IRENE ORDERING CAPPUCCINO AND NOT MAKING ONE



(In the bar. Sheila works. Nurse and Doctor sit at a table. He doesn’t have a bandage any more, but there is a scar on his forehead. At another one Journalist drinks coffee, writing something down and smiling. At the third table Mum and Irene sit. There is an apron on one of the chairs.)


MUM: So, tell me, how was it?

IRENE: Ok, I suppose.

MUM: Many people?

IRENE: Mum, it was a funeral, not a party.

MUM: Well, most of the parties I’ve been to were worse than funerals.


(Doctor looks at the menu.)

NURSE: That man, you know, the one I told you about?

DOCTOR: No.

NURSE: Daffodil man, remember?

DOCTOR: He’s been calling you again?

NURSE: No. But I did that.

DOCTOR: Did what?

NURSE: The same thing. And it’s good.

DOCTOR: What’s good?

NURSE: I just picked up the phone, dialled a number and talked. It’s nice when someone listens to you.


(Irene puts a tobacco box on the table.)

MUM: Is that for me?

IRENE: No. That’s Tom.

MUM: Tom?

IRENE: He wanted to be cremated.

MUM: Cremated?

IRENE: Stop repeating what I say.

MUM: That’s Tom?

IRENE: Yeah.

MUM: Can I see him?

IRENE: No.


(Sheila approaches the table Doctor and Nurse sit at.)

DOCTOR: Can we finally order?


(Mum fixes the box with her eyes.)

MUM: But… You were on his funeral.

IRENE: The urn is empty. He wanted me to put him in this tobacco box and send it to Russia.

MUM: Russia?

IRENE: To Russia with love. That’s what he said. There is a church there and he wants me to send his ashes there.

(Mum touches the box.)

IRENE: I said no.

MUM: Just a peak.

IRENE: No.


(Sheila comes back to Nurse and Doctor’s table. She puts the cappuccino in front of Nurse.)

SHEILA: I think he’s married.

NURSE: I know that.

SHEILA: And he’s going to stay married.

(Sheila puts the espresso in front of Doctor.)

SHEILA: Your espresso.

(Sheila goes back to the bar.)


MUM: Nice. Nice you’re going back to college.

IRENE: Yeah.

MUM: Although you’re a little bit old for it now.

IRENE: Yeah, right, Mum.


(Sheila yells from the bar.)

SHEILA: Your break is over!


(Mum gets up.)

MUM: It’s good you don’t work here anymore.

IRENE: At least you have a job now.

MUM: And it’s hard to find one, believe me. Maybe you shouldn’t have quit.

IRENE: But I did.

MUM: I’m not sure it was a smart decision. Not sure.

(Irene doesn’t say anything. Mum takes the apron, puts it around her waist.)

MUM: Want one more coffee?

IRENE: No, I’m fine. Just fine.

(Mum goes to the bar. Irene drinks her coffee, looking through the window. She looks at the life, the one ahead of her.)






The end and the beginning





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