JULIUS: I’m Julius, hi. I would like to say hello to you all. Maybe I can shake hands with you? Warm hands, a lot of warm hands. Some people maybe shake that many hands in a day. And for me every shake is like a new block in a huge city. Let’s meet. I’m not local. I have been living here for a long time but I don’t feel local anywhere. I’m glad if some of you were able to find your place in life. You are locals then, congratulations. After shaking so many hands at once, one notices that all hands are very different and there are many ways of shaking hands. From the top, under hand, straight. There are some women who give their hands as if expecting it to be kissed. And some are lowering themselves straight away. Some are giving hand like a boss. My dad always did that. But he knows that a good boss should be giving hand not from the top, not under, but straight like an equal partner. Like man to man. Like this. Okay, I’ll admit now. I’m not a boss. On weekdays I’m a hair dresser and on weekends I allow myself to relax. I suspect that neither on Saturday nor on Sunday you would be shaking my hand. So that’s a good things that today is Wednesday. Today you are shaking my hand because I am wearing my good coat, normal shoes, my trousers are more or less clean. On weekends I don't wear shoes, mostly I spend time in my pajamas. My pajamas are with cats. Maybe it is not very important but cats are greens with whiskers. Who will guess how many of them are there?
JULIUS: Of course! Male and female cats. I also let them to relax. Then they are purring loudly, I even need to cover my ears. I sit comfortably on a window and watch people, then I don't. I like people a little and I hate them a bit with all my heart. Mondays are the hardest days. I don’t cut women’s hairs on Mondays.
III: This is Julius, he has been using for three years. He supports himself, works as a hairdresser but less and less clients come to him. He will be fired because he looks sick. He always drinks coffee from a red cup with a tree and a picture of a yellow sun rising on it. Just a simple yellow point, Julius is thinking every time, but it changes everything so much. Yesterday he woke up early and for the first time brought this red cup outside, by the river, where he was drinking coffee sitting on cold earth. A woman was passing by and didn’t see the cup and kicked it. The cup shattered. Julius was absolutely shaken by this event.
Everybody sits in circle. Every new hero is attributed to an audience member. An actor presents the character and marks him or her, for example, by putting assigned characterizing pair of shoes in front of the viewer as a reminder. The viewer only needs to sit and be the face of the story.
II: NEXT TO CAMILLE This is the woman who broke Julius’ red cup. She was just coming back from a coffee shop. She washed her hair with a new shampoo. She doesn’t remember any red cup, she only knows that yesterday she has hit her left foot’s thumb. She has a canary and a dog. She likes the canary less. It is pooping everywhere, she would say if she was allowed to speak. There is some calmness in her face. Her eyes are neither deep nor anything, totally simple. Out of curiosity we may reveal her name, can we? Camille.
I: Not a bad name.
III: I have a cousin Camille.
II: So this Camille has a daughter. Yesterday she had a photoshoot and posed with her daughter. A blue dress with polka dots was like a fairy tale, she said when her daughter kept making bubbles with chewing gum. Together with them in the photo shoot there also was another woman, Laura.
III: Which one is Laura?
I: NEXT TO LAURA Laura is here. She is thirty. She is a florist but doesn’t have a favorite flower. She likes to touch plants, she likes their colors after summer rain. If she had to choose who to caress, she would caress not men but women. Camille is Laura’s partner and came into her life like a spring, like a bright violet lilac bloom.
II: Why doesn’t she sit next to her partner Camille?
I: Next question.
III: Why isn’t she sitting next to her partner Camille?
I: Camille had been married to a man. Her daughter is from that first marriage.
II: To a real man?
III: Man was real, love maybe not so much. Camille met Laura in a bus stop where she was waiting for a bus. Laura smelled very good. Camille asked what perfume did she use but while she was asking, they both were hit by a BMW who ran into the stop. Women spent a week together in the same hospital room. “It is fun to be lying like this”, Laura has said on Thursday. On Sunday Camille answered, “For me, too”. And that was it, a new life started. “Don’t you think that all birds are female?”, Laura used to say and without noticing Camille’s canary Diego became Clementine.
I: Yesterday after the photoshoot journalists attacked the women with questions:
II: Do you think you are showing an inappropriate example for your daughter?
III: Are you sexually abusing your daughter?
II: Have you planned your daughters’ sexuality?
III: Is it at all possible that your daughter would be attracted to men?
I: Today is exactly a year after Camille met her neighbor on stairway.
III: NEXT TO BOLESLOV Her neighbor Boleslov was very angry that these two women live in an apartment above his, laugh at nights and, in his opinion, inappropriately indulge in lust. The neighbor, Boleslov, is a cheater and scammer, in general, one of those who likes leather jackets, drives minibus, listens to Russian radio, smokes next to everyone and clearly cheats money off people. Many call him “lodor”, “fucker”, “bledstva”, more cultural people use “cock” and “hussy”.
II: So, he is climbing the stairs and sees Camille, bends her arm and says: “Do you know what is worse than two bitches in one bed? Three bitches!” He pushes her down the stairs and goes his way to the market near the station to buy onions and carrots for a bake.
I: “I’ll take six onions, three carrots will be enough. Great thing my old man gave some potatoes”, Boleslov was thinking while clinging coins in his hand. Camille is lying on the staircase’s landing, blood dropping from her mouth and behind the doors of 25th apartment there’s sound of:
I: “Why is it raining so much? Don't tell me goodbye just yet… Why is it raining so much? The end is still to come.”
II: “It would be okay, mister, if you gave me not three but five euros”, Jolanta, seller in the market, is saying and smiling like an old fox.
III: Which one of you ladies here is the fox?
I: Well, Jolantėlė, smile for us.
II: NEXT TO JOLANTA Don't be ashamed, Jolanta, market lady is also a profession. This is Jolanta, she dyes her hair herself. At the moment she is saving for permanent lips and eyebrows’ make-up. She knows a lot about Boleslov: that he hides taxes, that he cheats his brother’s part of profits from land lease and that he is wildly profiting from intercity journeys. That’s why she so boldly asks five euros for six onions and six carrots from Boleslov. Boleslov has an eye on Jolanta so he can’t afford not to have five euros. He has and gives her. He feels sorry but Jolanta is Jolanta.
I: Jolanta has depression. She just got over her third crisis. For six months she was lying on the bed and watching the wall. She used to mix medicine with alcohol and her daughter had to force her to go outside to have some fresh air.
II: Oh, what an illness!
III: She must have nothing to do.
II: Looks for trouble in life.
I: That’s what people tell her and when passing by, they add that she’s a damned sloth or, even better, an alcoholic. Jolanta envies those who have cancer because it doesn't take away the will to live. Every time she is thinking that this is going to be the last crisis. She doesn't drink coffee anymore because her mouth is drying up. From the days she was healthy she missed coffee the most. When she is asked how to recognize depression, she says nothing but thinks that when person is deep in crisis, it always feels like Nordic wind, from every possible direction, only Nordic wind.
III: This third crisis started after Jolanta found out that her daughter Laura is a lesbian. “Is it because she didn’t have a normal dad? Or is it because I used to dress her in her cousins’ old boyish clothes?” These are my only questions, Jolanta used to say to her friends.
II: NEXT TO LAURA Laura knew that due to her confession her mother had a worsening but she just wanted to live her life. That’s it, next Saturday, once Laura said, we will meet my mother and her new secret admirer.
I: NEXT TO CAMILLE. Camille felt strange all week until the Saturday. She expected to be damned, ignored, avoided to be looked in the eyes, but what she was not expecting, was to learn that Laura’s mother’s new boyfriend would be Boleslov.
II: Boleslov was blushing that night like a beetroot and quickly went to take care of music.
III: Russian radio is playing, there’s cooked perch on a table. Yesterday Jolanta had her permanent make-up done. Camille and Laura are not holding hands. Camille’s daughter is sitting under the table and is not going anywhere else. Parties like this only happens once in a lifetime…
JULIUS: For most people a broken cup is nothing. I used to be like that. A cup shatters and it’s not a big deal. That cup always used to stand on a window sill, next to stove. I wake up early in the morning, make myself some coffee and look through the kitchen window to the East. A bird passes by or something, the postman starts work. I take a cup and know exactly where is the indentation to put lips on. I am sure that mom used to feel that indentation, too. I am sure she used to look for that indentation with her lips just like I do. Why that morning did I go to the river? Couldn’t I live without that? (To Camille) I do not know what you usually are laughing at, Camille. But maybe all this looks not serious for you. Absolutely not a big deal, a shattered cup, just. But just tell me now what should I put my lips on so that I can remember my mothers face…
I: NEXT TO BOLESLOV Boleslov today is carrying his daughter, a teenager with brain cancer, to his own minivan with his own hands. He has put soft sheets for her, refreshed the cabin and put on some classic music. He clutches a bundle of cash in his hand, more scared that it is not going to be enough than that it might be stolen. “And what will happen then?” Boleslov is thinking.
NEXT TO KRISTĖ Heavily tattooed woman is coming his way. Tell us your name.
I: Kristė says to Boleslov:
KRISTĖ: I am sorry, it’s my second day out of prison. Maybe you have a cigarette? Give me a cigarette and I’m on my way, okay?
II: Boleslov spits and kicks this woman in the belly. Then puts his child into the minivan, sits at the wheel and goes to the hospital. Beethoven is on in the minibus. ‘This is Bach’ Boleslov says to his daughter.
III: He doesn’t understand how somebody can be in need of a cigarette right this moment, in the afternoon of the 5th of April, when in an hour his daughter is having magnetic resonance.
KRISTĖ: On Tuesdays in prison we used to play Mafia. These who got mafia cards could take a blade and really cut those who they chose to eliminate. The one who was being cut couldn’t open her eyes. That was the rule. And you know what? No one ever opened their eyes. I want to smoke. (if someone offers her a cigarette, she takes and lights it) I am a teacher. Hello, Good day. I always wanted to open my eyes. It is kind of my thing - I am scared to have my eyes closed around other people. I am terribly scared. I am terrified. I may be spitted on, I may be cut, kicked, just don’t make me to close my eyes. (She comes to Boleslov) You’re and asshole. Why did you have to kick me to the ground? Can’t spare a cigarette? What do you know, maybe that cigarette will give me my self-respect back.
JULIUS: You came out of prison and want to have some self-respect?
KRISTĖ: Of course I do.
JULIUS: You should wish for soup, not for self-respect.
KRISTĖ: Soup is no use for me. I am a teacher.
JULIUS: What’s your subject?
JULIUS: Nobody chose ethics in my school.
KRISTĖ: There, too. So I started teaching chemistry.
JULIUS: If you know chemistry, you understand the world, my uncle used to say.
KRISTĖ: You won’t understand a thing, that’s a lie.
JULIUS: So, you’re chemistry teacher and you don't understand the world?
KRISTĖ: Who does? Is there anyone who would?
JULIUS: In prison you must have been taught about the order of the world.
KRISTĖ: ...The most funny thing is that prison nowadays are correction homes.
JULIUS: Nowadays people everywhere are at home – correction homes, common lodging homes, maternity homes, scents’ homes, beers’ homes. Humans are looking for homes everywhere since they can’t find it in their apartments. And they can’t find it because they are looking for it in things. Behind the armchair, under the sofa but not in wife.
KRISTĖ: Where are you looking for it?
JULIUS: My home is a wide windowsill with the blue oilcloth. You won’t meet another human being in my place.
KRISTĖ: In correction home you will.
JULIUS: So many women!
KRISTĖ: Instead of dresses they wear overalls, instead of femininity there are crocs, bodies in defend mode and somehow masculine looks.
JULIUS: Femininity is not movements of the body or looks but motives.
KRISTĖ: Do you have a ciggy?
JULIUS: I have a pill if you want.
KRISTĖ: What is it?
JULIUS: Taste it and you’ll know.
KRISTĖ: Go fuck yourself and your pills.
JULIUS: Do you want me to tell you something about the river?
KRISTĖ: Please don't, I’m begging you.
JULIUS: My mother is a very beautiful woman. Her motives always are exceptionally feminine. She is wearing a sand color hat. She knows how to talk to people. One could say she is aristocratic. She always smells so good!
KRISTĖ: How old is she?
JULIUS: Three years ago she was fifty seven.
KRISTĖ: So now she is sixty?
JULIUS: It was hard for her to live. Something was very hard for her. Maybe that’s why she stopped wearing make-up, perfume and hat. But even in the loop she looked beautiful. She dressed up that morning. When I found her she was wearing her blue dress. Blue suited her very much.
KRISTĖ: Where did you find her?
JULIUS: Doesn’t matter where, it is important that I was the one to find her. I wish that day would have never happened. But if that day had happened, it was impossible for things to be different.
JULIUS (turns to Jolanta so that he may change the subject): ... I have been cutting hair for this Jolanta for five years now. She used to be joyful, swift and now she seems to be dead. She doesn't look straight, her movements are slowed and when she talks with her dried mouth every word is getting stuck.
KRISTĖ: This Jolanta is the sister of my ex-husband. I know her from the shape of her forehead, as a hairdresser you must have noticed. No permanent make-up is able to hide your forehead, my dear Jolanta. I visited her yesterday, I heard her come to the door. She looked through the peephole, I saw the light changing in it. I joyfully waved to her. She went back from the door and that was it.
III: But that’s nobody’s business, Kristė.
II: Kristina goes and rings at every door of Jolanta’s neighbors.
NEXT TO VARIOUS AUDIENCE MEMBERS “This, this, this… Wait, you’re not a neighbor? This… “ and asks for Jolanta’s phone number but no one knows it. She would tell Jolanta that she wants to come only for a cup of coffee and a chat about life, that she will find a place to stay for the night and she has eaten.
III: But really, where will you go now, Kristė?
I: NEXT TO LAURA: Laura would definitely take you in, right Laura? Not because you are a kind person but because Kristė is a very beautiful and feminine woman. Only what would Camille say?
II: NEXT TO CAMILLE: Camille is having her period so she thinks Laura doesn't care about her daughter.
KRISTĖ: I would care.
III: Don't lie, Kristė.
II: That’s not the subject now. Laura really doesn’t care about Camille’s daughter. She cares about stockings and shoes, amaretto flavored coffee, black underwear with birds on it. “Everything would be fine but this schoolgirl comes back and Camille turns into a mommy, such an aawww and I need a woman a to z”, Laura says.
III: Mother is not a woman?
II: “Mother is a mare, mother is food and games,” Laura is thinking but doesn't say that.
I: Laura is visiting mother less and less. You can’t say her consciousness is silent but it also isn’t really making her feel bad. Laura notices that there are more men then women coming to the flower shop. She would like to get flowers. For the first time Laura realizes that she doesn’t want to give flowers for Camille and makes coffee for her only because it has become a habit. She feels something in her throat because after work she doesn’t want to head home, she is more attracted by city lights.
III: NEXT TO JOLANTA: Jolanta is having a successful day today, it has been ten kilos of onions and five of bananas. “Not that bad,” Jolanta says for herself or for her table neighbor without any life in her voice.
II: Every morning a group of six graders from the nearby school comes to her table and point fingers at her.
II: Kids are shouting, but Jolanta doesn’t notice it.
III: NEXT TO LUKE Today in the afternoon Luke, a twenty year old guy who loves trolleybuses, came to her. He rides second, fourth and nineteenth trolleybuses’ routes back and forth and doesn't need anything else. “O-o-o-oni-o-ons can I? I-I-I l-l-love sec-c-ond-d-d trolleybus. Y-y-you have ni-nice b-b-boobs.”
I: NEXT TO JOLANTA. Jolanta looks if carrots have been shelved nicely.
III: NEXT TO LUKE. “O-o-o-oni-o-ons can I? I-I’m L-L-Luke. I-I’m still a vir-vir-virgin. M-m-maybe you w-w-want to p-push m-m-m-my but-t-ton?”
I: NEXT TO JOLANTA. “Carrots look good”, Jolanta is thinking and feels that her mouth is getting dry. Dry mouth is the first sign of a coming crisis.
III: NEXT TO LUKE. Luke doesn't get onions and leaves the market still a virgin but certain that his place is in the trolleybus. He has a monthly ticket, he says that to his friends in special needs school. Luke is sad that there are no paper tickets anymore because he has a whole collection of them. Luke’s biggest dream is to become a trolleybus driver. He had meningitis and nobody is to blame for that.
II: Yesterday Boleslov broke into Luke’s apartment where he lives with his father. Boleslov needed more money for his daughter’s surgery.
I: Then he came back home after leaving his daughter in the hospital and broke everything in his sight. “There’s no dough, darling,” Boleslov was saying, “and there’ll be no fucking way to get it.” But as soon as he said “fucking”, twelve ideas popped in his mind and last of them was a theft for a kind reason. Period.
II: Luke was at home when Boleslov was breaking in but kept sitting in the kitchen and said nothing. Since then he sits in the kitchen and doesn't move.
I: What is Sartre’s “Nausea” Boleslov didn't know, but promised to read that book in the future because in it he found three thousands euros. “Three thousands euros is something when you’re thinking about buying a stove, a closet and a new sofa. What good is three thousands euros when you need to cure cancer?”
III: When leaving with Sartre’s “Nausea”, Boleslov saw Luke’s eyes and thought that he’s delirious from insomnia, that Luke isn't real and that he needs to drink more water.
KRISTĖ: Yeah, maybe someone has water?.. Where’s that hairdresser? Give me that pill.
JULIUS: Go to town instead of the pill. Take a look around, look at people.
KRISTĖ: I’ve been there. I need sunglasses.
JULIUS: Don't you need some chewing gum?
KRISTĖ: Hey, listen. Cut my hair.
JULIUS: Boldly. I can give haircut for everyone here. Who wants it? For free.
NEXT TO JUSTIN Here, what’s your name? Justin. Justin has thick hair. It’s a pleasure to cut it, lots of material.
NEXT TO RADVILĖ Well, this one I know, this is Radvilė. Look at her hair, it is instantly clear that she’s into handicrafts. She’s patching. Nice one, optimistic, used to be ahead of her class but when I borrowed money for speed, she didn't reply any of my calls anymore. So, only because I didn’t keep my promise you can shit over everything? You don’t know what neither one pill means to me, nor a teapot which my mother gave me for my housewarming five years ago. You don't know how faded are the flowers on that teapot now.
TO ALL You seals. Beauties of the life. You care about cleanliness, about meaningful free time, about a nice glass for a cocktail, about the photos being. /…/ For eight minutes I was looking at my mother. That’s it. It was October and since then I have this image in my head at all times.
KRISTĖ: ... So will you give me a haircut?
JULIUS: I won’t cut anything, I’m not a hairdresser anymore.
JULIUS: What will I do when I get fired?
KRISTĖ: Nobody is going to fire you.
JULIUS: Do I look abnormal?
KRISTĖ: Depends on what you are comparing with. If with bankers, yeah, maybe a bit. It with other addicts, you’re not that bad.
JULIUS: And what would you compare me with at first look?
KRISTĖ: For sure, not with bankers. You’re more like a wild animal to me. Not yet starving but already hungry. First hours of hunting.
JULIUS: And you, are you from the same forest?
KRISTĖ: No, I’m not from forest at all.
JULIUS: You, I wouldn't say that you’re from prison. But it is obvious that something is haunting you. And not like an unprepared dinner or unwashed dishes haunts a woman. Something totally different.
KRISTĖ: Now I can spit while everyone’s watching. I never had anger in me. In my class there was Ruth, a very nice girl, an orphan, she grew up with her brothers. She used to come to my home after school and read books. I used to bring some good literature for her. Later I baked some cookies for her sometimes, we became friends. One year we even celebrated Easter together. She made some very beautiful palms, with campanulas. We ate some festive breakfast and then had a long walk in the forest and saw squirrels. She came to me one day and couldn’t stop crying. “I was raped”, she says. “Who?”, I ask. “Adam”, she says. It is raining outside, we sit next to each other and I realize that Ruth’s day of caring about cookies and squirrels are over.
...She wouldn't have revenged herself.
...It’s strange that she never visited me during my time there. If any of you know Ruth Bitinaitė, please, be silent, don't say anything neither to me, nor to her. It doesn’t matter anymore. Although I’d like to see her, we’d go to see squirrels again. But this story probably has ended already. Maybe she works now in some library and wears nice dresses everyday.
JULIUS: Do you regret it?
KRISTĖ: No, I’m not sitting and counting chickens: I used to be a teacher and now I’m not anymore. I don’t care that Jolanta won't host me for couple of weeks. It’s just strange that no one sits next to me on the bus. As if something would be visible.
JULIUS: You have a lot of tattoos.
KRISTĖ: Yes. Here is Pegasus, here’s a wild swan, here’s a fish, here’s an eagle and here’s a dog, collie, my favorite breed. On my belly I have a poem, on the top of my back there’s Santa. Santa was tattooed while I was sleeping after three bottles. Then I got Easter lady for the sake of a joke. Easter lady with a basket and a mushroom in it.
JULIUS: What poem is it?
KRISTĖ: Read it if you want.
JULIUS: ...You’re beautiful.
KRISTĖ: So will you give me a haircut?
III: Julius is giving haircut to Kristė. She is his last client. Her hair are poor, it is almost crumbling between his fingers.
II NEXT TO BOLESLOV: Boleslov is arrested. Eight more minutes and his daughter will die. Three thousands euros didn't reach his daughter, he was caught before he got home. “Have I killed someone? Have I killed someone?” Boleslov is repeating desperately. “It's not someone you killed. It’s not someone you killed.” A policemen replies him mercilessly.
III NEXT TO LUKE: Retard Luke still isn't eating or talking, he is waiting for a trolleybus in the kitchen. He thinks that Boleslov is the director of the trolleybus park and has come to employ him so he tries to compose himself. “I hope he doesn’t ask something I don't know,” Luke is thinking without raising his eyes from brown linoleum.
I NEXT TO CAMILLE: Camille sits by the mirror and watches herself in the mirror. She saw Laura with another today. She knows her daughter’s dance class has ended. “I should go to pick her up”, Camille is thinking.
II NEXT TO LAURA: Laura is sitting with another. Her nails are not polished.
III NEXT TO JOLANTA: Jolanta’s nails also are not polished. And it will never be polished again.