“There's always as much culture as we
manage to pass on to our children.”- KJ
The play is being performed by 6 to 7 actors, at least three men and three women, preferably of different age groups.
HE and SHE aren't integral characters who participate in different situations, they're merely references to characters' gender. Their social status, frames of mind and personal traits are defined by the creative team that produces the play.
Not a single kid is performing in this play.
Before the actors show up, one can hear a woman humming a lullaby in the dark, as well as some audio interviews with children. Children are answering to questions such as “What it means to be a grown up?”, “What the adult world looks like to you?” “What is a lie? Why does one need to lie?”
After the children respond, the stage is illuminated.
Scene 1. You and Me
HE and SHE are standing in front of the stage. SHE holds a pregnancy test in her hand (the audience can hardly see it).
HE. (brightly) So this is it?
SHE. Why is this it? This isn't it, it's… it's just the beginning.
HE. Yes, yes...Well, this isn't it. It's just this moment, it's...
HE. Are you okay?
HE. I'm a bit nervous.
SHE. Me, too.
HE. But… we're gonna do it anyway.
SHE. Yes, we're gonna do it.
HE. There's no way back.
SHE. No way back.
HE. We did all that we could.
SHE. Yes. We did all that we could.
HE. And this is it. The very moment.
HE. We're here. Perhaps you want me to...
SHE. ...do it? No. No. No. I'll do it.
HE. It's time.
SHE. I know.
HE. Is everything okay?
SHE. In an instant. Just a second.
HE. Okay. I love you.
SHE. I know.
SHE. It's time.
SHE looks at the pregnancy test. The audience can't see it clearly.
SHE. I'm pregnant.
HE. (vivaciously) Oh, wow. This means we've made it. Great.... I didn't expect this… The very first time.... They said one never succeeds straight away... No, no...
SHE. Shut up and kiss me.
They embrace and kiss each other.
At this point, other couples on the stage are illuminated. They also embrace and kiss joyfully.
Scene 2.1 COLOURS
SHE. (loudly, desperately) We're not gonna make it. We don't have anything. We still need so many things.
HE. We have everything.
SHE. We have nothing.
HE. What are we lacking?
SHE. What? Are you serious? You really don't understand, do you? You just don't care.
HE. Yes, I do. But... but it seems to me it's not like… It's not like we have nothing. I think we have, umm… at least something. Maybe we don't have everything. But we have something. Why would you even say that I don't care? I do care. We have a crib, a baby carriage, baby bibs, diaper creams, rash ointments, all kinds of cruets, a nasal aspirator, diapers in three different sizes, toys, booties, waistcoats, bottles, special milk formulas and toddler meals. We have some rattles, we even have winter hats and gloves, although the winter just ended. We have everything. And… and everybody brought us all kinds of things.
SHE. Are you so blind that you cannot see? Don't you understand, don't you see that everybody brought us all kinds of things … but all these things are pink, and… For us Marius was born, after all.
Scene 2.2. THE NAME
HE. (shouts angrily) What? What did he say? What? So what? What's wrong with that? How could he do this? I can't understand. Did he actually tell you 'I don't like it, it's ugly'? Oh God, I can't understand how people allow themselves to behave like this. Why do they have to like it? This is our child, and it's important that we like it. I like that name. What's wrong with that? It's bright. Žydrius. It's related to blue sky.
SHE. And to gay people.
HE. No, it's paranoid to worry about that. Why one must notice that everywhere? My God. And what's wrong with gay people? We're in the EU, after all. We're living in the 21st century. I'm on friendly terms with some homosexuals and there are no problems.
SHE. According to him, there are some problems.
HE. Wait, but we're his parents, right?
SHE. Yes. And he is a grandfather.
HE. He should be happy that we didn't name Steven or... Jack or... Clyde, or some... DRAKE. Žydrius, Žydrūnas is a regular Lithuanian name. What's wrong with that?
SHE. Maybe we should still give it some thought.
HE. (offended) What?
Scene 2.3. And how were YOU raised?
SHE. And how were you raised?
HE. What? Why are you asking me this?
SHE. I read that it might be useful to remember and discuss the way we were raised before we raise our own child.
HE. But why? There are always some things we must discuss.
SHE. Honey, it's important.
HE. But why? Maybe it's more important to discuss the way we...
SHE. Honey, it's for the good of Morta. Our Morta. So that she grows up in a happy family.
HE. But we are a happy family, aren't we?
SHE looks at HIM with a slight reproach, 'Honey, it's very important'. He tries to understand why
it's so important and tries to remember how he was raised.
HE. Well...I was raised… The hell I know about it? In the ordinary way. I was raised just like all the other children. Everything was normal.
SHE. Okay. But what do you remember?
HE. What do I remember? I remember everything, and everything was fine.
SHE. Did your parents beat you as a child?
SHE looks very confused and a little disappointed.
HE. Yes, but there's nothing wrong with that. It had occurred only a couple of times. I am well aware of the reasons why... I deserved it. (She becomes even more disappointed.) And I don't feel any resentment, I'm fine.
SHE. You have trauma.
HE. I have no trauma whatsoever! I'm fine!
SHE. (becomes agitated while questioning him) No honey, you just suppress it. I've read about it, it stays for the rest of your life, and you'll certainly pass it on to our child. Just think about the way your parents treated you when you disobeyed them. Would they shout at you immediately, or allow you some space to understand what have you done instead? Did you have a chance to decide what do you want? (passionately) Wasn't this the case where they wanted to control everything? Your every step, your every action? Didn't you feel constrained and restricted while your parents were constantly passing comments and instructing you about the way things should be done? 'This is wrong' and 'that is wrong', and 'this should be done in a different way'. Don't you feel that they are still in control of your life?
HE looks at HER suspiciously.
HE. Honey, maybe we'd better talk about the way you were raised by your parents?
SHE looks at him distrustingly.
Scene 2.4. THE FIRST BIRTHDAY
SHE. (desperately) Are you nuts?! No, certainly no!
HE. But we must celebrate. Everyone's invited. Everything's booked. Café, balloons, guests, cousins, gifts. After all, it's the first birthday.
SHE. No, you're really sick! Do you understand that she's shitting and vomiting?! We can't go anywhere, because she might infect other children.
HE. But everything's booked. We barely secured this cafeteria. We paid the deposit. We ordered all the food. Everyone's probably already getting ready to go. It's all...just look at the time.
SHE. She's been shitting all night. Do you understand?
HE. So should I call everyone and say that it's not gonna work out?!
HE. And cancel the food?
HE. And the café?
HE. And the whole kids' playroom?
HE. And the clown? (or: 'and Kake Make?', 'and Mickey Mouse?')
HE. And costumes?
HE. And the photographer?
HE picks up the phone, tries to call. Pauses.
HE. Wait, let's sit down and give it a second thought. You didn't sleep all night, and I've been trying to tune things up all week long. Maybe we're just tired, maybe there still is some solution?
SHE. (tired) What solution?
HE and SHE are looking at each other. Apparently, they are both thinking about possible solutions.
SHE. What's wrong?
HE. I'm feeling sick.
He covers his mouth or his rear with his hands, gives her the phone and flees the stage. She keeps standing on the stage and tries to pull herself together.
SHE. Fuck, we're all gonna shit ourselves now.
Looks at the phone. Makes a call.
Scene 3. NEAR THE PLAYGROUND
Two fathers are sitting side by side and looking in front of them. They smile. Both look serious-minded. They smile again. Both are a little nervous. They smile again. Both look worried.
HE1. Be careful.
Each casts a glance at the other uncomfortably. Both are looking in front of them again.
HE1. Is this your child?
HE1. How old?
HE2. A year and a half.
HE1 is surprised, but nods his head in agreement.
HE2. And here?
HE1. One. Three.
HE2 also nods his head in agreement.
Their opinions and reactions might resemble a conversation of two men who boast about cars or fishing.
HE2. It's similar, then.
HE1. Yeah. Does she walk already?
HE2. Yeah, and quite well.
HE1. One doesn't need to run after her anymore.
HE2. Yeah, doesn't need to.
HE1. It's fine, then.
Both nod their heads.
HE2. And when did yours start walking?
HE1. A month or so ago.
Both nod their heads. Silence. They feel a little uncomfortable.
HE1. Does she speak?
HE1. The same with us. Everything goes - 'mom', 'dad', 'shit', 'want'.
HE2 nods in agreement.
HE2. Oh yeah... 'want', 'want', 'want', even those things she doesn't want. (smiles) Are you using diapers?
HE1 becomes alarmed while looking in front of him.
HE1. (in reproach) Put down that trowel. It's not yours. Return it to the boy. Quickly, return it.
HE2. (in reproach) Don't sprinkle sand into the eyes of other children!
HE1. Stop eating sand. Yuck! Stop eating sand!
HE2. Don't fight!
HE1. Stop fighting.
HE1. Morta, don't fight!
HE2. Marius, it's not yours. Put it down. Put it.
HE2. Do you have diapers?
HE1. No. Do you need them?
HE2. It seems to me that your Marius has soiled himself.
Scene 4. I'm a mom.
SHE. I'm a mom. It feels strange. I never imagined myself being a mom. I have been considering myself in a number of different ways. How do I look like? What's my vocation? What do I want to learn? Where do I want to go? What do I want to see? Is there anything I haven't seen yet? What do I like to do: watching films, listening to music, dancing... But I never imagined myself being a mom. Everything always appeared so far away from me. And now… (smiles) now there's no time to even think about it...one simply needs to be a mom. Being a mom. It's hard to compare this status to anything… or to explain it in a simple, rational way… it's sort of a permanent dance. At first you have lots of energy, then become tired, and then you're out of energy. But the moment you look into his eyes, your chest is flooded with joy, warmth and lots of energy to keep on dancing. A dance that delights you. And your body simply keeps on dancing. It's not an easy dance, but it's fun, dynamic… Maybe some… Salsa? The more you dance, the more you listen to the music, the better you learn the dance moves and patterns. The easier your arms and legs move while performing different movements. It seems they're doing it on their own, and you're...you're just... looking at the way your body moves. And the more you dance, the stronger your muscles become. (smiles) And that's how you work some fat off… or at least don't put on extra weight. (smiles). I always keep an eye on him while putting him to sleep. I would sing him a lullaby, watching as he learns to fall asleep. As he tries to understand what's happening here. Rolls. Stands up. Sits down. Lies down. Sits down again. Closes his eyes and opens them again. Tries to understand how one should fall asleep. He's still learning. And it also looks like a dance to me. His dance before falling asleep. I always wanted to be a dancer… (with a smile, warmly) and now I am. That's how we're dancing together - him and me. We're dancing till we fall asleep.
Scene 5. WE
HE and HE1 smoke together.
HE. How are things at work?
HE1. Everything's fine.
HE. Did you watch the basketball game?
HE. I couldn't.
HE. My wife's pregnant.
HE. Uh-huh… We paid a visit to friends… my wife's friends, they have children. One still an infant, the other a bit older. Maybe a six-year-old. Well, women wanted to socialize.
HE1. Yeah, right. It has to be done.
HE (remembers something) But it's totally unreal...
HE. Well, you know, those moms. With that infant... they're always with him. Gee!
HE. But the way she speaks about him… I hope my wife won't lose her marbles...
HE1. Like what?
HE. There is 'we' everywhere. We ate. We slept. We took a walk.
HE1. Uh-huh. Was it her and her child?
HE. No, she didn't sleep, and that's the whole point. Only her child. But she says 'we slept'. We got hungry. We cried. We cheered up. We ate. We took a piss. We took a shit.
HE1. Oooooooh…. Uh-huh.
HE. No… I hope my wife won't lose her marbles like that. Say that your child ate, your child took a shit… you didn't take it, after all...
They smoke in silence. A slightly uncomfortable pause.
HE1. And how was the game?
HE. We won.
They halt for a moment, stare at each other.
Scene 6. A COFFEE BREAK
Two moms with painted nails.
SHE1. He's beating me.
SHE1. I can't take it anymore. Can't take it. I'm tired.
SHE1. I think I'm too weak for this.
SHE1. He wakes up in the morning... Is he in a bad mood? Did he sleep badly? I don't know… he simply vents his spleen at me. It hurts. A lot.
SHE2. But have you tried...
SHE1. I've tried. We tried... time and again. We tried to sit down and talk together somehow. And it seemed he has understood me. And he apologized. It almost made me cry and it really appeared to me that it's over...
SHE2. Wow. Just don't blame yourself. It's not your fault. Really.
SHE1. Oh, but I'm only talking about myself. What about you? How are you doing?
SHE2. Oh, come on. What are you talking about? Everything's fine with us… although… well, my… somehow we...
SHE1. You never know, it may start at any time. I also believed that we can talk about everything, but now I see that...
SHE2. I understand. But just think about it. This may sound harsh, but think about it, you know, he might also have some problems. Maybe he's unable to work something out.
SHE1. Of course, he can't. Poor little boy. His whole life cracks. You know, he's unable to disclose me anything. He can't.
SHE2. Well, but ...
SHE1. He always returns from that kindergarten. He's there all day without me... That's a strange environment. It's hard for him. And here's mom. He finds himself safe. And how else could he express himself? It just hurts very much when he beats me. You know, he's only a child, but he fights like a man.
SHE2. That's right, but doesn't this mean he learns that stuff somewhere?
SHE1. That's what I'm saying. It's that kindergarten.
SHE2. Yeah, yeah.
SHE1. I've seen such, pardon me, 'parents' over there. You know, these children... They transmit everything. First, they learn from their parents at home, and then they teach each other. You know, you can behave as nicely as you want at home, but he only has to go to the kindergarten, and he…
A not so intelligent, quite aggressive man enters the stage. It's SHE1 husband.
SHE2. Of course. My child has also learned all sorts of swear words in the kindergarten and….
HUSBAND. (angrily, stringently). How long are you gonna chomp here?
SHE1 notices her husband. Flinches lightly.
SHE1. So what? Can't I talk to my friends, huh?
HUSBAND (stringently). What? Go to the car. Let's go.
Scene 7.1. A GRAIN OF TRUTH
HE. (talks on the phone, relaxed and with pride) Finally! You know, this might sound harsh, but it's the first day I'm able to... drink some beer peacefully... in the evening.
HE listens to what is being told him.
HE (continues talking on the phone). Well, of course I could. I sometimes enjoy a tipple at home as well, but today everything's … well, how could I say it...it's freedom. Just like before. I can come into a bar peacefully and have myself a whiskey or beer in the evening with clear conscience, without having to think who has to put them to sleep today and who has to drop them off at the kindergarten tomorrow. Dude, it's the first day I'm actually able to do whatever I want. Even if something terrible happens, I couldn't do anything about it. You know, this might sound harsh, but I feel good about it. Well dude, you don't have children. You'll understand me when you have kids.
HE listens to what is being said to him. Gets upset a little (he is told his friend will be unable to join him for a beer tonight).
HE (talks on the phone, still cheerfully). It's fine. Don't worry about it. I'll surely find someone to join me.
HE listens to what is being said to him.
HE. What would I do? And what may befall them? You know, my tickets are only for tomorrow. (Suddenly looks at the phone, his mood changes) Look, that's it. Somebody's calling me...
HE switches between calls.
HE. (talks on the phone, genuinely worried) Hi, what happened? Is everything okay?
HE listens to what is being said to him.
HE. Uh-huh. I thought that something happened. No, I'm... I'm fine. You know, hotel, breakfast… (listens) they picked us up at the airport and transported… (listens) no, stop it, everything's free… (listens) Tomorrow? All these meetings, then with the CEOs… and back to the airport in the evening. I'll be back only at night. (listens) Go to sleep, don't wait for me.
HE listens to what is being said to him.
HE. Today? Tonight? I don't know. I had some thoughts, my colleagues have invited me to join them for a drink, but I think I'll stay in a hotel room and prepare for tomorrow. (listens) You think I should go? No, I'm not going to a bar. There is nothing I haven's seen yet. I'm long past that stage... and the prices are really high. No, I'm not going anywhere.
Scene 8. A DISCUSSION ABOUT FOLKLORE
Two INTERLOCUTORS and a PRESENTER are sitting on the stage. They're all wearing headphones. They're listening while looking above. We hear a canned voice recording, as if someone would have made a radio station phone call.
VOICE. (furious) Stop it! What's going on here?! It's an absolute nonsense! All this new education... It's a fantasy! What are you talking about? You've lost touch with reality. We all took some beating in our childhood and nothing happened. I grew up, and my kids grew up as well. And nothing bad happened. An entire generation of people grew up like this. So it means that we're abnormal? Think before you speak. My kid also took a beating a couple of times. So what… He grew up. He works in England now, and everything's fine. And what are you saying about lies?!! How could you stop lying to a kid!??? HOW??? Do you understand what you're saying? You're experts here... who probably haven't raised a single kid!!! So how you, pardon me, will explain things... to a kid. Where did he come from? Should one really say that mom and dad…had... had sex? Should one show the private parts to the kid as well? How everything functions... Right? Experts… For example, how can you explain to a kid who are these… gays and lesbians? In short, you're talking nonsense, so don't mislead people anymore. There's nothing wrong with beating your kid sometimes.
PRESENTER. (smiling, talks quickly) Thanks. Thanks. Thanks for your opinion. That's right. It would be great if someone could respond... (addresses interlocutors) Who could comment on this?
FEMALE INTERLOCUTOR. Well, I want to say that I have three kids, and I surely know what raising a child means. As a mom and as an expert I can assure you - it's been scientifically proven that we set a trap for ourselves by lying to our children. Sooner or later, lies come to light anyway, and then kids, those little human beings, feel betrayed. A lot of scientific journals discuss this. And this is our duty as adults - finding the right words to explain to our kids why the world is the way it is. I understand that it's not easy, and one needs to rack one's brain in order to come up with an explanation without lying every time....
MALE INTERLOCUTOR. I completely agree. The less lies there are in the relationship between parents and children, the better it is. After all, all these witches behind the door who are about to take you away unless you obey, or dwarves of chaos who are about to steal your toys unless you tidy up your room… well, these are all lies. That's how a twisted and abnormal understanding of the world is being shaped. That's how fears that will bring multiple consequences sooner or later are being created. Well, we should ask ourselves why can't we actually explain to a child - why must one tidy up one's room? Or why must one obey one's parents? I would even suggest it might be useful to show that a child always gains from maintaining a good relationship with his parents. And all these intimidations... our entire folklore is nothing but the culture of fear. Children should fear their parents so that they obey the rules - that's an old fairy tale. Do we want to raise people who are full of fears? If one compares family to a small state, one might notice some excellent historical examples that demonstrate the consequences of the cult of fear and blind obedience.
PRESENTER. So you insist that our entire so-called authentic folklore and fairy tales... Well, they are truly cruel… Do you maintain that the examples and lessons that can be found in these fairy tales are no longer suitable for today's society?
FEMALE INTERLOCUTOR. Well, one should examine the functions of our folklore, or to be more precise, of all those scary fairy tales. It's truly easier to intimidate the child every night by telling him a fairy tale about a wolf who lives in the forest, or a witch who lives in the well, so that a child would be afraid to go there on his or her own.
PRESENTER. And what about you as a mom? Could you say that you never lie to your children?
FEMALE INTERLOCUTOR. (contemplating) Yes. And trust me, it isn't easy, but we're trying to avoid lies in our family.
PRESENTER. (addressing male interlocutor) And what about you?
MALE INTERLOCUTOR. Well, to be honest…
PRESENTER. Excuse me, we have one more call from our radio listeners. Hello, we're listening to you. I just wanted to remind you that (reads the text in a rather formal manner): “Today, on April Fools' Day, we're talking about lies and our society. On such a day, one wants to pause and bring attention to lies in our everyday lives. Where do the lies in our mass and social media come from? Don't we ourselves create the space in which such phenomena thrive by blaming the others for false messages in our public space, the so-called information warfare and “fake news” phenomenon?“ In summary, allow me to observe that the focus of our discussion has quite clearly shifted to children, the culture of education and the beginning of human life. Isn't lying something that is being taught starting from the early childhood? Isn't this merely a part of our culture? Okay, we're listening to you.
VOICE. I want to ask female interlocutor a question.
PRESENTER. Of course, we're listening to you.
VOICE. I wanted to ask her: it's good that there are no lies in your family. And you're saying that one shouldn't lie to children that there are some dwarves or witches, that one needs to treat things the way they are…but fairy tales are not only about witches, but also about beautiful things. After all, they're teaching kids some beautiful things, too. They teach children sharing and compassion. After all, there are princesses and princes, all these speaking animals... for example, 'A Little Hen and a Little Rooster', 'Tom and Jerry', or 'Peppa Pig'. Let's talk like grown-ups - these are all lies. After all, animals don't speak in real life. Or do they? So here's my question - why do we need Santa Claus? There is no Santa Claus, right? It's also a lie. It's an obvious lie that everyone tells every December. We're all telling lies on Christmas - the biggest family holiday. So I wanted to ask you, do you take away the pleasure to rejoice at Santa Claus from your children as well?
PRESENTER. Well, I just want to remind you that our show is live and is aired during the day, so kids might listen to it as well. Kids, in case you're listening to us, I assure you that Santa Claus exists and the uncle who spoke on the phone only wanted to congratulate everyone on April Fools' Day. In case you're having some doubts, please ask your parents or other grown-ups next to you. Let's return to our interlocutors, and thanks to the one who called and asked such a straightforward question. So what's the answer? Does Santa Claus visit your family?
FEMALE INTERLOCUTOR. (smiles). Well, you see, one shouldn't mix everything up.
PRESENTER. Well, but you must agree that this white-bearded uncle is also a lie, as our caller has noticed. So is there a certain line that would help us determine which lies should be allowed and which should be forbidden? Who decides it?
Scene 7.2. I'LL NEVER DIE.
HE (the one from Scene 7.1) sits alone at the bar. We hear some music playing. Waitress brings him a glass of beer. He rejoices, tries to fell better... Twiddles his phone. Whom should he call? Suddenly, he receives a call.
HE. Hello, how are you? Have you eaten dinner yet? (listens) Where am I? I'm in my room, getting ready for tomorrow. What? (becomes nervous) What's going on? Who's shouting over there? What wi-fi? (listens) Well, there is free wi-fi, and what? Talk right now? No, no, I'm working now. He wants to see me? Give him the phone and I'll talk to him. (listens) Why he needs to see me? Of course, I'm alive! Well, but now I'm… (listens) ...well, okay, okay… wait, I'll switch.... I'll put my headphones on.
HE starts a video call, connects his headphones to the phone. He talks to his son (roughly 4 years old). The child cries and roars while speaking.
CHILD. (roaring) Dad, you're gonna die!!!
HE. What? What are you talking about?
CHILD. (roaring) Dad, you're gonna die!!!
HE. Where did you get this idea? Calm down. Everything is gonna be fine.
CHILD. (roaring) Dad… Where are you?!!!
HE. Now I'm... I'm...I'm out of town. I have some work to do… I'm at work…
CHILD. (roaring) What's this place?!!! Aaaaaaaargh.
HE. It's sort of a room. Calm down...
CHILD. (roaring) Dad…. Are you dead?!!!
HE. Calm down, Marius. I'm not dead, I'm alive. I'm fine. Just look at me, Marius. Look at me… calm down… you see, I'm fine… (the child calms down a little) You see, Marius, I'm fine. Everything's all right … I'm well and alive. I have hands and legs… You see, everything's fine.
CHILD. (sobbing) But in the kindergarten... Žydrius has told me that you're gonna die. (roaring again) You left, and this means you died. His grandfather also left like this...but actually, he dieeeeeed… Aaaaaaargh….
HE. Calm down, Marius… what are you saying? That Žydrius speaks gibberish… I'm not dead… Just look at me… You see, I'm here, I'm alive. I'll be back tomorrow (the child calms down, but still sobs) Just look at me, see, I'm fine, I'm smiling… I'll be back tomorrow and I'll bring you something…
CHILD. What will you bring…?
HE. It's a secret... I'll show you tomorrow, okay? Now go to sleep with your mom. Good night...
CHILD. (roaring) Noooo. Don't turn off the phone. If you turn it off, you'll die…
A waitress approaches him. She notices that he's agitated. She halts and watches him.
HE. I won't die, Marius. Calm down. I won't die.
CHILD. (roaring) You're gonna die!!!….
HE. (loudly, his voice echoes in the bar) Marius, I won't die… I won't die … I'll never die.
CHILD. (roaring) Swear, swear it to me, dad…
HE. (loudly) I swear!… I'll never die!… Marius… I swear to you, I'll never die!!! I'll live forever!!! I'll never die!!!
Scene 9. SHE LIED TO ME.
After the child falls asleep, SHE and HE whisper.
SHE. We must have a serious conversation… Morta lies to us.
HE. Calm down.
SHE. We must do something. We must come to an agreement. God, what are we gonna do about it? How will we fight it?
HE. Well…maybe we don't need to fight... maybe we should just wait a little more…
SHE. What are you talking about? Do you want her to become a liar? Learn to lie?
HE. But you've said she lies already. It means she knows how to do it.
SHE. So what? Shouldn't we do something about it?
HE. No, I'm just saying that maybe there's nothing wrong with that. Maybe she doesn't understand it yet, maybe she just fantasizes?
SHE. She told me she didn't eat chocolate...
HE. So maybe she didn't?
SHE. So who ate it then? A neighbour? Santa Claus? Who?
HE. Well, it surely wasn't me. And why do you always leave that chocolate on the table?!
SHE. What why?
HE. Well why? Why do we need this tiny vase on the table with all those snacks and sweets? Why?
SHE. Well, it's beautiful.
HE. What's beautiful?
SHE. Well, the way they are shown in the magazines.
HE. Have you ever thought that you put the chocolate before child's eyes and insist that she can't eat it? But she knows it's delicious…. she knows it's chocolate.
SHE. She must cultivate patience.
HE. When was the last time you cultivated patience?
SHE. And why should I cultivate patience? I'm not a child anymore. What do you want to say?
SHE. No. Do you want to say something? Do you think I've got no patience?
HE No. (pause) I just think that there's nothing to worry about...everyone lies a little sometimes. The child… got scared… was afraid to tell the truth… and lied. There's nothing wrong with that.
SHE. What do you want to say, 'everyone lies a little'? Stop talking nonsense. So what are you gonna say to her? That she can lie us a little, because mom lies and dad lies, and everyone lies?
HE keeps silent.
HE. Just hide those sweets, and nobody has to lie.
Scene 10. SHOPPING
SHE and SHE1 sit down to have a rest. They carry shopping bags.
SHE. Damn, I went completely nuts last night!!!
SHE. Yesterday my husband told our kid that chicken is made from hen.
SHE1. (confused) How? What?
SHE. Well, the child came back from school. They were being taught something about the countryside. You know, animals, farm, hens, pigs, and he asks his father something. Well, about the animals. So this genius of mine, he wants to demonstrate his knowledge, he knows everything, and tells him everything about the animals…
SHE1. So what?
SHE. You know, how they breed animals, feed them, slaughter them, disembowel them, chop them into pieces, cook them, and finally we eat them...
SHE1. How come?
SHE. What 'how come'? Don't you know that they breed animals in order to slaughter them, and then cook a roast?
SHE1. I know, but has he actually told the child everything about slaughter and disembowelment?
SHE. Well, maybe he hasn't… you know… but the child began to cry, and I had just cooked a chicken. Wings. Thighs. I don't understand. Why one must tell things like that to children? Why one must tell anything to children? Why must they know this? The less they know, the less problems there are. But no… my husband knows better, 'a child must know'... uh-huh… He'll have to cook him all by himself now... that's what I'm gonna tell him.
SHE1. And how did it end?
SHE. What do you think? Now I have a seven year old vegetarian at home. I just hope… I hope that… that somehow it will pass.
SHE1. Oh, come on… tell him that it's a completely different meat.
SHE. In what sense?
SHE1. Should I really teach you? Well, just tell him there are different types of meat… some meat comes from animals and some not… and that you're eating the latter.
SHE. Well… like this is a new sort of meat? Like nobody slaughtered the hen you're eating now?
SHE1. There was no hen in the first place. What kind of hen? It only sounds similarly - chick and chicken. But these are different things. A chick runs around, squawks and grows into a hen, and chicken grows on trees. And don't believe in everything you're being told at school… it's like a tomato or a potato…
SHE. Well, yeah.
SHE1. It's all for his own good. He's gonna die if he ceases to eat...
SHE. That's right… that's what I'm saying...So if he refuses to eat meat... what's he gonna eat?
SHE1. Well, yeah… And my girl is so damn difficult, too.
SHE. Oh, come on. I'd love to have a girl. We'd go everywhere together. How lucky you are... You know…. you're able to share these girly things with her. Comb the hair. Because my men are… like father, like son.
SHE1. You'd love to? Sometimes I think that a boy would have been better. You know, at least something… now it's impossible to take her to the store. Because she wants everything, she needs everything. I want this, I want that… Impossible. I'm asking...you know... Why do you need this bra? I'll give you mine...but no, she needs to have her own...
SHE. You know, it's the same with boys, it's all because of their age... can't take him to the store. He sets his heart on everything. He even doesn't understand what kind of thing it is, but he needs it… veeery much…he waaaants it....
SHE1. You know, these commercials. They are made in such a way that children go completely crazy. They don't understand what kind of thing it is, but it's being shown them, in many colours…
SHE. ... some sort of a music, and all of a sudden it becomes a very good item…
SHE1. Which is actually... worth nothing.
SHE. Yeah, right. I remembered... No listen... my boy was watching the TV… he comes to me and says 'I want these tampons'...What kind of tampons, I ask. He says, 'Mom, these Okay OB'. Damn… I nearly wet myself.
SHE1. Damn… (laughing) They really get brainwashed by these commercials.
SHE. He doesn't even understand what they are… but he needs those 'Okay OB'.
SHE. Just imagine… a seven year old vegetarian with tampons.
SHE1. But seriously, it's impossible… it's impossible to raise a child with all these commercials. They should restrict them somehow.
SHE1. Commercials should be banned altogether. Because kids aren't immune to all these TVs.
SHE. They're being shown them, and then they want everything.
SHE1. Just look at how the alcohol was prohibited. They should also ban kids' commercials. Because those who are selling toys, they don't really care, it's a business, they print some plastic and sell it for a price that is some twenty times higher. And who must buy them? We.
SHE1. It sucks.
A short pause.
SHE. Well… and what did you buy yourself?
SHE1. Well, little bit of everything… look.
SHE1 takes out some piece of apparel and places it on herself.
SHE1. ...Look what I've found. I completely set my heart on it. You know, I saw it and I thought… I want it. I want it so badly... Well, it was expensive...You know, I don't know where will I wear it, but… it looks so beautiful… so I took it… I might be stupid, but… I wanted it, so I bought it.
Scene 11. TV COMMERCIAL
'Childish' (advertisement) music can be heard. HE sits naked on the stage wearing only diaper. He looks like a big child. He's holding a car toy in one hand and a candy in the other. Enter HE1, he's also dressed like a baby. He also brings a candy and a car toy. Sits downs next to HIM. They are looking in front of them. Both are smiling.
FEMININE COMMERCIAL VOICE-OVER. Imagine a world where our little ones would never grow up. What kind of world would it be? What would happen if all grown-ups suddenly became kids? How many...
Suddenly, everything comes to a halt - including melody and advertisement music. Actors stop performing, smiling and 'being children'.
DIRECTOR'S VOICE. Thanks. We'll shoot one more time. Look guys, stop smiling so childishly and look into each other more often.
Everything begins from the start. Darkness. Music. Lights on. HE sits on the stage. He looks like a big child. He's holding a car toy in one hand and a candy in the other. Enter HE1, he's also dressed like a baby. He also brings a candy and a car toy. Sits downs next to HIM. They are looking in front of them. Both are smiling.
FEMININE COMMERCIAL VOICE-OVER. Imagine a world where our little ones would never…
Everything comes to a halt again.
DIRECTOR'S VOICE. Guys, I was asking you to smile less and socialize more. Let's try again.
In the next take, the actors try to smile less and socialize more. In the following take, they try not to look sullen and communicate while playing with their cars. Every new take is being executed faster and faster... In the next take, they try not to smile so much and not to look so sullen. They're playing with their cars. Get mad at each other. In the following take, they try to socialize and share the cars, but not the candies. Finally, they try to share both cars and candies, but they eventually get mad at each other. The actors' patience is running out. In the end, they get into a fight for the candies. The actors can't stop fighting even after the director stops filming. Finally, they're separated by the film crew.
The director also comes into the stage.
DIRECTOR. 'Guys, stop acting like children. Summon the dancer. We'll film that dance, where the child's unable to fall asleep.'
The actors start throwing various objects at the director and charge at him. The director runs away. The actors follow him. The make-up artist collects the remaining objects, repeating herself
MAKE-UP ARTIST. 'like children, just like children'.
She takes a leftover candy. After making sure that nobody sees her, shucks it and leaves the stage while sucking at it.
Scene 12. FRIENDS and ENEMIES.
HE. Have the US ever defended us?
HE1. You mean… in the historical sense?
HE. Yesterday we were talking with my son… you know, with all these festivities, tricolours… I thought I need to tell him, so that he knows… They were studying something at school, but… you know, these days… the internet's full of rubbish and nobody knows what the teachers might teach them. So I thought I need to explain my son that… you know, he's not a little child anymore. So I told him that Russians had occupied us… that we lived under the oppression for fifty years…
HE1. Well, one should call them Soviets, not Russians, officially.
HE. That's true, but Soviets were Russians, right? Say Soviets, and you'll have to explain who these Soviets were… Such a country doesn't exist anymore. You know, I told him… it's just like when you're dealing with people, one's good, the other's bad, you can't say a thing about the third one, and the fourth one doesn't care at all. So, I tell him, it's same with the countries. You know, Russians are like, aggressive. Well, like sinister, because they had attacked us… We defended ourselves, but they eventually occupied us… and we lived under the oppression for fifty years... and then we fought for our freedom. You know, how they brought their tanks to the TV tower, but we stood still holding hands and singing and didn't let them… and gained freedom. So they 're still our enemies… And you know, he's looking at me...I'm saying that Russians had attacked us and they're sort of enemies, and Americans are our allies… well, like friends… He says: “But why?” Well, I'm saying that they're on our side and they'll always help us in case of an accident… And he says: “But have they ever defended us?”... So you know, I'm trying to come to an answer.
HE1. And what did you say to him?
HE. What? What? Well, I said… of course, they have.
HE. Well, after the World War 2 Lithuanians retreated to forests, because they believed that the US would intervene, but...
HE1. I know... but what could I tell him? You know, these are our friends, but you never know if they're really friends… you know. He won't understand it yet. Afterwards, I got really nervous, you know, maybe I shouldn't have told him that. He can learn that in history classes.
Scene 13. TEACHERS' ROOM.
SHE1 and SHE are looking at their phones.
SHE. At least none of them are here.
SHE1. Mhm...What's up?
SHE1. Where? Where? Anywhere but in your class. We won't start talking about pupils, we've had enough of this during classes.
SHE. Ah… I'm waiting for the weekend.
SHE. I'm going to a gig.
SHE1. What kind of a gig?
SHE. Mummy Trolls.
SHE1. It's that Russian band.
SHE. Ah, who cares? My husband bought the tickets. We both used to listen and dance to all these songs in adolescence … it's cute ... when husband buys the tickets. I'll relive my adolescent memories. Nostalgia...But the weekend's still far away.
SHE1. And what else?
SHE. I must prepare for that audit, then revise the integrals with seniors somehow... before the test. But they just don't get them. I explain to them time and again in a number of different ways. They still don't get them. Maybe I'm getting old, but previously they used to understand everything I explained, and these understand nothing, completely nothing.
SHE1. Oh, calm down. Explaining is your task. But studying is theirs. They don't study. And what can you do about it? They have parents. They should push them harder.
SHE. No, but that's not the point. This class… well, they're studying… but they don't understand them somehow. Well, some less, others more… but most of them don't get them at all… that's very strange...
SHE1. But what can you do about it? Don't sweat it. Perhaps you've been given a raise? An increase in a number of lessons? No one's gonna thank you. Neither parents, nor children… they'll only call you names. Even Klemenčiavinienė might come (deputy director) and check how you teach them… and you'll have an internal audit…
SHE. And what about you?
SHE1. Oh, everything's the same… children are children, parents are parents… Nobody needs history these days anymore, so we're studying the textbook… but they don't read anything… only watch when I find something on the internet and show them. But everything's in English, and our history is in textbooks… sometimes we watch some historical films… plenty of new Lithuanian historical films are being produced these days, they're quite good, but sometimes they bend the truth… and then one must explain that things were a bit different back then… but what can you explain when a child has already seen it, it seems to him that things were just like that...you know..
SHE. Have you already registered to these classes that are taking place next week?
SHE1. What kind of classes? Massage?
SHE. Massage… those for enhancing your qualification. Something related to the development of children's critical thinking skills…
SHE1. And are they gonna tell me something new? Is there anything I don't know about it?
SHE. Well, of course, but I'm lacking some hours... I'll need to go and take the certificate. Hopefully, they'll feed us and we won't have to buy lunch for ourselves.
SHE1. Dream on. And look… if you're going to the qualification, you could buy me those good leggings in the city centre. The same, because mine have become completely mangy….
School bell rings. TEACHERS are still looking at their phones.
SHE1. Which one's yours?
SHE. Fourty-seventh. And yours?
SHE. Ah, so we still can stay for a while.
SHE1. Have you seen this?
Shows something in her phone. Darkness.
Scene 14. CHRISTMAS
HE Dressed up in a full Santa Claus costume, he steps into the middle of the stage and starts undressing himself. He's changing his clothes.
HE. (angry) Fuck! Fuck them all! Screw them. Screw them! I'm sick of this shit. No more fucking gifts. No more fucking poems. No more shows. No more fucking bears and Christmas trees. No more deers and bunnies. They can go fuck themselves with their carnivals, teachers and pupils. Fuck, they should've booked a whore instead. Why the fuck do they need a Santa Claus? To make fun of him? Fuck, who am I… is this a carnival? They scoff at me… Fuck it, they nearly ripped out my beard. Fuck it, I'm not going anywhere else. Fuck those women and their pupils. Fuck them all. Never again. Fuck it, these people have no culture!!! Absolutely! Fuck it!
(monologue continues till Santa Claus finishes changing.)
Enter SHE, dressed in a carnivalesque costume (all glitter, she's wearing a fox mask). She's cheerful and a little tipsy.
SHE. It was fantastic. You saved us. Thank you. Well done. Everybody's so happy. Everybody's, like, this is a real Santa clause… Claus. We had such a terrible Santa last year, oh God. Terrible memories. Thank you very much...
(SHE gives him an envelope)
SHE. Thanks. Really. You inspire us to be better. Maybe we can hire you for tomorrow as well? We're having a Christmas party for teachers. We thought it'd be great to have such a Santa. You know, our collective's very feminine, and a man always provides light relief.
They stare at each other.
SHE. Well, you could stay for a while and dress up as Santa, and then grab a snack… dance a little... Our Christmas parties are always fun.
They stare at each other.
SHE. We usually exchange gifts, but this year we thought… when we saw you… you're such a jolly Santa Claus…
They stare at each other.
SHE. No means no.
Scene 15. RIGHT and WRONG.
HE. I'm really trying to be a good dad. And you know, putting them to sleep or driving them to kindergarten or school isn't hard at all. Bathing them, feeding them or changing the diapers isn't hard at all. Taking them to a theatre performance or going to a park on Sunday morning isn't hard at all. Waking up at night and keeping watch next to their bed when they've fallen ill or have dreamt some nonsense isn't hard at all. For me, the hardest part... is telling the right from wrong. No, it's easy to say, but then another question emerges immediately - why? And this is the hardest part. I myself don't even know. Sometimes I'm asking myself what makes it right or wrong. It's easy when you're being asked something simple, like 'where do the children come from?' or 'what's the difference between a man and a woman?'. But, for example, they used to say to me in the childhood, 'don't point your finger at other people, it's wrong.' Somehow it would make my parents angry. But why is it wrong to point one's finger? And I'm thinking, what should I do when my child points his finger at other people? What's wrong with that? Let him point. But… but what should I do… for example...I don't know how to handle it, when my child tells me that he wants to kill everyone. Of course, I tell him that it's not such a good idea and explain him why and so on… but what if everyone may become whoever they want, and he wants to become a killer… what if he wants to destroy everything. And asks - 'where did the evil come from?' He's interested in evil. Even if they fall asleep afterwards and look like little angels, I sometimes catch myself thinking that kids are naturally evil… They want to do evil… and our role, our task as parents is fighting that evil… In the fairy tales, good always beats evil. But where does that evil come from? If one needs to constantly fight it… It seems that evil is always here, while good is something you must always build from scratch, strive for it, work for it… Cause if you don't, evil will thrive… they won't share toys, they'll get into a fight, turn on the stove, leave the water running and flood the rooms, set home on fire, start smoking, fall off a balcony, get run over by car, or fall into the water and drown. Something bad might really happen if you do nothing… and this bad thing might happen because… the children are around…Sometimes it appears to me that children are naturally evil… and we must teach them good… but then it means that good may be created only by adults. In case we disappeared, then good... Whatever, I'm talking nonsense. They say that you grow up in the end.
Scene 16. SIGNS
HE looks slightly confused, energetic, maybe even a little hysterical.
HE. But how do you know whether your son is gay or not?
HE. Well, I'm thinking that maybe there are some signs… well, there should be some signs in the childhood… well, signs that could help you see whether your child is heterosexual or homosexual.
HE1. And what do you think?
HE1. What do you think as a father?
HE. What do I think? And you?
HE1. What about me?
HE. Well, what do you think? You have children, don't you?
HE. So what do you think? Are they lesbian and gay, or are they normal?
HE1. How do I know?
HE. So you don't care?
HE. So how do you know?
HE1. Well… I don't know… I somehow feel...
HE. What do you feel?
HE1. Well, I feel that they're normal. Well, not normal but…
HE. But what?
HE1. Normal!!! One should simply call them heterosexual… because there's nothing abnormal about being gay…
HE. I don't give a fuck about how should one call them, I'm thinking, what should I do? Yesterday my child asked me… well, he was watching that fucking fairy tale… Beauty and the Beast … and he asked me… why did that beauty fall in love with that beast… the hell do I know? Well, that's how the story goes... well, because girls usually fall in love with boys, and boys with girls…and he says that she didn't know he was a boy, he looked like a beast… well yeah, but the Beauty felt that there's a boy inside of the Beast, and fell in love with him. But how did she know?… well, she didn't… then how did she fall in love with him?… well, she didn't, but she felt… Girls love boys, and boys love girls. And then he asked me… whether a man can love another man?… Fuck... That's where he delivered me a real blow… how did he come up with this… I don't understand… where did he get this? How did he come up with this … well, I said him that usually women love men, and men love women… And then he said, but I love you, dad... well, yeah… I said him, I love you as well… but… love's different here… he asks me, but what's the difference… after all, you love mom, I love you, you love me and my sister… well, then I tried to explain him that we're a family... that everything's a bit different here...you know, I got totally confused…
HE1. And what kind of games does he play?
HE. You mean… with himself?
HE1. Well, is he playing with cars and robots or...?
HE. Well, he's playing… with robots, but also with bunnies. Ooh… (it looks like he remembered something) ... he and his sister were playing with mom's lipsticks… and were trying mom's clothing… that's it, I must forbid him to do this...
HE1. Forbid… Forbid him to try mom's clothing...
HE. Though I also used to try mom's clothing back in my childhood …
HE1. Me, too...
HE1. Yeah… I remember the funniest game. My brother would dress like my dad, and I would dress like my mom...
HE. I didn't have a brother… I'd just put on my mom's heels and 'go to work'.
HE1. Well, nooo…trying mom's clothing and that urge, these are… two different things…
An uncomfortable pause.
HE. But how do you know whether you... or not...?
They stare at each other.
HE. (surely) No … noooo..
HE1. (surely) Noooo… no… really no…
An uncomfortable pause, they're looking in different directions while thinking intensively… later, they're looking at each other (on a rota basis)… then again in different directions… then at each other… their eyes meet… they're looking at each other… for a long time… for too long… they slightly lean towards each other…
Scene 17. THE FAMILY
SHE holds some document in her hands (a negative child custody evaluation).
SHE. (loudly, angrily) Sons of bitches!!! Sons… of... bitches... Who do they think they are…. to decide… sons of bitches...
SHE1. Calm down. It won't change anything.
SHE. But maybe we can still do something about it? Take it and read, you're an attorney, after all…
SHE gives SHE1 the document in hope that something might be changed.
SHE1. I've read it... (she expresses regret while turning the head from side to side)
SHE. Sons of bitches… Sons of... bitches… so is it better... for a child to live in orphanage? Orphanage? What, is this child deemed guilty, or what? For fuck's sake… Who do they think they are to decide?
SHE1. Calm down.
SHE. No, I won't calm down. Sons of... bitches... Sons of bitches... So is it better for a child to develop while being raped both physically and mentally than in a normal home...
SHE1. You should be more careful with the word 'normal'...
SHE. Why? This is a normal home! What is it lacking? A toilet? A bathroom? A kitchen? What? There's a child's room as well… What? Food?… What?
SHE1. You perfectly understand why…
SHE. (almost with tears in her eyes) No!!! I don't understand!!! Don't be mad at me, but I really don't understand… What's wrong with our society? A child can live in children's home where there's bullying and coercion, without either dad or mom...only housemothers who constantly change…. you've seen it all... and what makes it more normal than living with us? He'd have his own room. His own bed. He'd have everything, but instead of all these housemothers, who only work there, there'd be two... loving… moms. What's wrong with that?
SHE1. What's wrong? Nothing. It's just… abnormal.
SHE. But what's normal?!!! What?
SHE1. I see what's normal in the court every single day… It's normal that a single mom… or a single dad raises a child… it's normal that a child spends one month with his dad and the other with his mom... it's normal that a child grows up with his grandparents without seeing his parents. A child who grew up in a barn with animals is also probably more normal, than… They're thinking about the kid...
SHE. And what are we thinking about, if not about the kid? About what? So which place is better for the kid? That institution, or our home?
SHE1. They think that …
SHE. They think… they think…You're speaking as if… as if you wouldn't want that child… as if you wouldn't want him.
SHE1. I want, listen… I really want… I really want that child… I even thought about finding a man who would impregnate… either you or me...
SHE. Then this man would want to have his child…
SHE1. We could pay him...
SHE. But what's wrong with us? We love each other, don't we?
SHE. Let those politicians think and speak whatever they want. A family or not? Who cares! Are we drunkards? No. Are we junkies? No. Are we ill-educated? Don't we earn money? Why can't a nurse and an attorney raise a child in the comfort of their own home?
SHE1. Well, what can I say?
SHE. The truth… The truth… what's wrong with us…
SHE1. Everything's okay with us… (smiles and tries to console her) I also don't understand, why two peaceful aunts can't take care of a single child. Especially when that child has lost his parents and his home…nobody looks after him… and we could help. We could contribute. After all, these children's home and similar institutions were only designed in the last century by the Soviets and all these systems… Had we lived a little more than a hundred years earlier, there would have been no problems, we'd just lodge a child who really needed our help, feed him... take care of him... and now… there are laws and institutions, committees and politics... and we... I'll say to you as an attorney… legally, we're nothing.
SHE. Do you have his phone number?
Scene 18. A POLITICIAN.
HE1. Looks in front of him in an emotional and sincere way. He switches cards, peeping at them time after time. He becomes more and more enthusiastic as he speaks.
HE1. It's a huge honour to be here today. While looking at you, I see the future of our country. The vision of our country. Our country is like a child who has already matured and is ready for the big challenges of the big world. Of course, lots of challenges and dangers lie ahead of us, lots of beautiful and hard days. I myself am working for the good of our country on a daily basis, and I see how many problems we need to overcome. Fight against the shadow economy, fight against corruption, lies and fraud - these were some of the most important problems that had to be solved immediately after we made it to the government. Various indexes and social polls show that our country is finally escaping this pool of lies, which directly impedes and paralyses the development of an active civil society. Kindergartens, schools and universities have finally attained new reforms and extra funding. I rejoice when I see the achievements of young people every day… Your achievements, new attitude and active participation in state's life. This lets us create a new, stronger, brighter and more than just a state. Information warfare against hostile countries, or propaganda is a huge challenge that awaits us. We feel that our everyday information field is becoming more and more contaminated by inaccurate and false information. I can reassure you, we're already working towards that direction. We intend to establish a committee of experts, which would propose clear recommendations concerning the regulation of information that's available in our country and the overall reliability of information. In the short run, we're planning to discuss the inspection of internet webpages and a clear-cut control of advertising targeted at children. I myself as a father of two am looking with unease at all that information field, at that flow of unbridled information which is available to our children. It is our responsibility to protect our country, our city, our street and our home. Our family.
You're graduating the university today and step into life. You're gonna take important steps in your life. But these steps will be important not only to your lives, but also to the country's life. Your steps will also become the steps of our country.
Dear graduates, it's great to see your determined expressions and your eyes ablaze. Nothing's gonna convey my send-off better than these lines from our national anthem. Dear graduates, 'With Truth and Light, guiding our steps forever...'
His phone rings. He sort of becomes awake. He answers the phone in a relaxed manner.
HE1. Hi... So what?... What?... I'm rehearsing, they brought me the text a couple of hours ago… There's a meeting tomorrow morning, right...concerning all that nonsense... and then graduation ceremonies in three universities… I know that it's not TV…but one needs to participate, since lots of students and parents converge...I tell you, you won't even notice, two years will pass and the election... No, it's the same everywhere… are you nuts, learning a new speech every single time, this one's not perfect yet, there's too much information about these committees of experts and recommendations… and the conclusion, there's too much pathos in it somehow (looks at the screen) ... Listen, someone else is calling me… that speech is fine... Listen… bye… My child is calling me… bye…(switches between calls)... Hello cupcake, how are you?
Scene 19.1. AT THE THERAPIST.
SHE1. I don't understand, where does it come from? My children, they're... so tense. I make them dinner. We sit and eat together at the table, and they're so tense. I ask them: Is something wrong? And they answer me: No, nothing. Everything's fine. And I don't understand, I see that something's wrong, I've known them since childhood… I say to them, 'You can tell me. I won't be mad at you, we can talk'. And they, 'Mom, everything's fine. Everything's fine'. That 'everything's fine'... There's nothing more fearsome than their 'everything's fine'. 'Everything's fine'... They'd better get angry at me, shout and scream. And now they're just smiling, 'Everything's fine, mom. Everything's fine.' I can't understand why they're so tense.
Scene 19.2. CHARITY.
HE. Today our company donated to charity. These kids… they're so... homesick... We took our bags. 'We don't need toys', they say. 'We have toys'. Just stay with us, okay?
HE. So we simply stayed for a while. That's strange. We were just sitting together, and that's it. Then two children hugged me. Just like that. I don't have kids. Just relatives. So it was strange. Just strange. I was looking at these bags. Looking at these gifts… I had imagined everything in a completely different way. I had imagined them running around and opening gifts. And now we were sitting and embracing each other, and that's it. Then one child took a piece of paper and started to draw. I asked him, 'What's this?' He said, 'Adult world'. I looked at these bags we've brought and asked him, 'And what do you want the most?'. And he said, 'I want to grow up'.
Scene 19.3. TAKE TO THE ROAD, PUMPKIN.
SHE. Today, I was talking with Morta about the future…. It's strange… she sees everything in a completely different way... she tells me, 'Mom, stop it. Do you want me to work like you do? To work as much as you do? Look, you're working so much… day and night, they call you both in the evening and in the morning…'. I say to her, 'Yes, but I like my job. I have an opportunity… an opportunity to do something so that life would be better in our country. So that people would want to live in our country.' And I'm really working hard, doing everything so that my children would enjoy a better life in this country. And the daughter says, 'Mom, come to your senses. Does anyone appreciate this? Does anyone appreciate your work? Mom, I love you very much… You raised us all alone… did anyone help? You've dedicated yourself to work… Does anyone appreciate this?' I somehow got confused... I shrugged my shoulders. And she says, 'Mom, do you want me to live like that, too? Working day and night, nobody appreciating my work, until I'm finally hospitalized... Is this what you want?' I'm looking at her. And she's so mature, so natural. I say, 'No, pumpkin, I only wish you well. Take to the road, pumpkin, take to the road and make your own luck'.
Scene 19.5. ADULT.
HE. I clearly remember the moment it happened. It's different for everyone, I guess, but for me it was the moment I took her for the very first time. I was holding her head tenderly, looking at that sulky red face, at her closed eyes, at her tiny fists, and I couldn't understand what was happening. In a sense, I clearly understood what was happening, I understood that I had a daughter and I've become a dad, I was in hospital and everything went smoothly, but something else was happening… something I surely didn't manage to understand, but certainly felt at that moment. How can I say? (thinks) ... at that moment… I … really became adult. Well, I already was an adult for a long time… but that adult until this very moment… was just a man of full age who's able to vote, drive and work … and at that moment I became adult… after all, becoming an adult is not related to a particular age, education or creed… it's rather a certain state of mind… when you're adult… when you can't wait anymore until somebody provides for you, but you provide for your family… instead of waiting to see how things shape, you take action… you assume responsibility… to be more precise, you don't assume it… but get it… just get it… and accept it… learn to live with it… you don't know why... you don't know how everything's gonna.... You're even a little afraid… no, not a little… you're scared as hell… I was scared… a lot… but some knowledge also emerges… knowledge that you won't give up… can't give up… because you aren't alone anymore, because you're adult... And at the same time, you perfectly remember what it means to be a kid. I perfectly remember it, but there's only more space inside. More space for both. For both states - being an adult and being a child. You can be a child for most of the time, a capricious child who wants a new toy, a car or a phone, who gets angry when he's on a losing streak, who gets sad when he isn't loved, who takes pleasure in his achievements, who... but you need to ... (clicks his fingers) you only need to see these small eyes… it's enough to think about them, and you suddenly become an adult … you become not the one who waits, but the one who's ready to give it all… and it's neither good nor bad… you just expand… become different… so adult… At that moment... everything begins once again… you're sort of being reborn… an adult… you don't know anything again, you're just standing in the hospital, holding her in your hands, sort of tears in your eyes, sort of scare, sort of fear, sort of joy… at that moment you don't understand a thing, just feel that you've got into a new, completely unfamiliar world… and then you inhale the first gulp of air very deeply...
Scene 20. HOSPITAL.
Hospital ward. HE (FATHER) lies in bed. One can hear a breathing machine operating. Nothing happens for a while, all we hear is whirring of apparatuses and 'breathing'.
HE (FATHER) lies in bed, his eyes are closed. HE (SON) stands facing bed, he holds a bouquet of flowers. HE (FATHER) wakes up. Nothing happens for a while, they just stare at each other smiling.
HE (FATHER). Marius…
HE (SON). How are you?
HE (FATHER). Did you bring me flowers?
HE (SON). Mom told me to. Said 'bring him'. They're from the ceremony.
HE (FATHER). So where should I put them? I even don't know where's the vase.
HE (SON). I could ask a nurse.
HE (FATHER). Wait. Don't go. Let me look at you. (pause) So how did it go? Is everything fine?
HE (SON). And what could go wrong?
HE (FATHER). Congrats.
HE (SON). Thanks, Dad.
HE (FATHER). Let me hug you.
HE (SON) walks up to the bed. THEY embrace.
HE (FATHER). So who was at the ceremony?
HE (SON). Well, sort of everyone who...
HE (FATHER). I had to be there, too.
HE (SON). Everything's fine. It was pretty cramped anyway. It was hard to breathe. Besides, there's really nothing to see. Just a pompous... formality.
HE (FATHER). (smiling) You don't understand. When you have children, you'll understand that when your child gets a diploma... And you must stay in hospital because of … the devil knows why … sort of an infection… sort of a virus...
HE (SON). Want me to show you the photos? And how are you?
HE (FATHER). Well, I don't know. Nobody tells me anything and I don't understand whether nobody knows anything, or they simply don't tell me. Didn't Mom mention you anything? Didn't she tell you when the results of my tests will be received?
HE (SON). No, I don't know anything about that.
HE (FATHER). Well, isn't this a kind of the Middle Ages? They're doing x-rays and testing everything, but they can't find the problem. I feel that they're hiding something from me somehow...
HE (SON). Who?
HE (FATHER). The doctors.
HE (SON). Oh stop it, dad. Why would they?
HE (FATHER). You should ask them about my tests. After all, you've got diploma now… you could explain them how to treat your father… You're a doctor now, you could discharge me.
HE (FATHER) laughs merrily, while HE (SON) looks at him in silence.
HE (SON). … And how do you feel?
HE (FATHER). Well… I'm feeling dizzy... I'm feeling weak and my side hurts. It costs me a lot. I never thought that being in hospital is such a hard work. It's so boring. I've never been to the hospital. Well, maybe only when I was born. (smiling)
HE (SON). So where can I put these flowers?
HE (FATHER). Ahh, just put them on the bed. They're gonna change my bedding soon anyway…
He puts flowers at the foot of his father's bed.
HE (SON). So what's next?
HE (FATHER). Nothing. That's it... no more procedures today. They just gave me the last injection recently, I don't know, they kind of told me that it might make me sleepy. But it's unlikely. (smiles)
HE (SON). It's great that you're feeling well.
HE (FATHER). Not too well. So are you gonna celebrate?
HE (SON). In the evening… Everyone's with the relatives now, and in the evening we're going to the city center. We've booked something… Well...yeah.
HE (FATHER). And how many girls are there in your class?
HE (SON). Fifteen.
HE (FATHER). You could've brought them here, we'd got acquainted...
HE (SON). You could've come to the ceremony, I'd have introduced you...
HE (FATHER). I could've come, but there are plenty of young female doctors in white coats here as well.
HE (SON). Uh-huh... You can't complain.
HE (FATHER). I'm not complaining. Just look, while celebrating... be modest with it, okay? You're a doctor now, so behave like one...
HE (SON). (smiling) Okay, okay…
HE (FATHER). You know, when you were little, I was away on a business trip. Well, you and your mom stayed at home. I was your age, maybe just a little older than you, I was already married…So on that business trip... we decided to meet in a bar. And suddenly it turns out that nobody can join me anymore. And I wanted to meet my friends so much, but nobody could.
Well, but I wouldn't be me if I didn't go to that bar. I sat down and got myself a drink. Alone. I couldn't do anything about it. And then my phone rang. At first I thought it might be one of my colleagues. But it was you.
HE (SON). How could it be me? You said that I was only a few years old.
HE (FATHER). Well, it was your mom, but she told me that you wanted to talk to me. You were scared that I had left you, had run away and won't be coming back… you were screaming into my ear that a friend of yours has told you that I'm gonna die.
HE (SON). Dad, I've heard this story a hundred times...
HE (FATHER). Have I already told you?
HE (SON). Yeah… well you returned, and I had drawn you three drawings, and you forgot to bring me a gift. And that my mom took a candy from the cupboard and gave it to me, as if it was your gift. And that I was weeping for the entire week when you'd leave for work, because it seemed to me that you're gonna die and you won't be coming back...
HE (FATHER). Aaah… that's true… you know, my medicine must be already working now. Somehow I'm becoming very sleepy. I'll close my eyes, okay? Look, tell your mom that they'd discharge me as soon as possible and find out what's wrong with me. Have these doctors found anything or not? Don't you really know something about it?
HE (SON) keeps silent and looks at his dad. HE (FATHER) closes his eyes.
HE (FATHER). (with closed eyes) Why are you so silent? (opens his eyes a little) Do you know something or not? (closes his eyes) You're a doctor, after all. How long do I have to stay here? They're all hoping I'm gonna die here… Uh-huh... They can dream on… a wrong choice… I'm gonna dance at your wedding… I…and your coursemates… they... (falls asleep)
HE (SON). Go to sleep, dad. Go to sleep. You're not gonna die. You're never gonna die. You're gonna live forever. You're never gonna die.
HE (SON) covers HE (FATHER) with a blanket. Sits down on the edge of the bed. Grabs his head with his hands out of fatigue or agitation.
Scene 21. GOOD LUCK.
SHE. So this is it?
SHE1. Why is this it? This isn't it, nothing ends, after all...
SHE. Yes, yes… I know.
SHE1. Mom, are you crying?
SHE. No, no…
SHE. When you land…
SHE. Call me.
SHE1. Nothing's gonna happen...
SHE. Or write me a message...
SHE1. Mom, they're gonna pick me up...
SHE. So write me once you land...
SHE. Morta, is this so difficult?
SHE1. No… okay… I'll write you...
SHE1. I love you, mom.
SHE. I know, I know you love me… so call me when...
SHE1. Mom, don't worry, everything's gonna be fine...
SHE. Yes. Everything's gonna be fine.
SHE1. What could possibly go wrong?
SHE. Really, what could possibly go wrong?
SHE1. I'll come back after four months.
SHE. It's time.
SHE1. I know.
SHE. So leave.
SHE. That's it.
SHE1. That's it. Well, that's not it… it's simply time to take off.
SHE. Good luck.
SHE1. Good luck.
They embrace and say goodbye. Daughter leaves. Mom watches her leave. Later, she leaves as well. Deep inside the stage other pairs are illuminated, they also say goodbye. Daughters and sons, dads and daughters, dads and sons and so on...
Scene 22. THE DANCE
We hear a lullaby. HE's wearing only a diaper. HE performs a modern dance composition, whose main aim is reflecting the state of a child who cannot fall asleep by means of movement and dance. At the end, all actors assemble on the stage, they're wearing baby clothes and diaper. Everybody's trying to fall asleep in one way or another. Finally, they fall asleep. All the children fall asleep.