2007 Plays *

TOPICS: drama + comedy + postmodern + american age + self + future + death + past + present + time + space + love + family + generations + god * 2007
The New American is different, they do not love the country, they are broken... They are never here.

...

New Russian : Book of Fool


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Folding

Six one-acts were written for my first hyper-drama project, but I understand very little about the nature of Virtual Theatre. So, I directed several shows with the elements of vTheatre; first one -- 3 Sisters, most recent -- HamletDreams. Well, now I know more and write another hyper-drama, but in Russian, for Moscow. 2002

PS. I had all six of them online, but with the death of theGlobe, I have to restore the other five and it's diffircult, because this is hyper-link-rich-texts.


Story of David Z.

Part Two. THE FOLDING (One Act)

2 f, 2 m, Moscow, Russia

After many years, on his return to Russia, David visits his family, meeting his wife, mother and father, and -- himself.

DAVID
MARIA, MARY
MOTHER
FATHER

One bedroom apartment. Morning, summer of 1992. Doorbell. MOTHER appears and goes to open the door. David enters.

MOTHER Did you forget your key?

DAVID (confused) I don't have keys.

MOTHER You lost it. You lost it again. How many times? You tell me. (She goes to the kitchen.) I'll give your another set. Don't tell your father. I knew it, I made an extra set. . . .

DAVID Mother. . . .

MOTHER Why are you not at work? They will fire you. . . . Where did you get this nice jacket? Very nice. That's how you should always be dressed. . . .

DAVID Mother!

MOTHER What? Something happened? What's the matter with you today?

DAVID I called you. . . .

MOTHER David, are you drinking again? Here is your key, don't lose it. Why do you have to call us, when you live in the same building? We are your parents, this is your home. You didn't have a fight with Mary, did you?
(DAVID doesn't answer, takes the key.)
You did. Don't tell your father, he'll get upset. Let me give you something to eat.

DAVID I'm not hungry.

MOTHER You're never hungry. You have to eat. You never were a good eater. What's happened? Is it your drinking again?

DAVID I need to go. Sorry.

MOTHER Eat first. Your father will be back soon. He went to the garage. I think he should get rid of this car. He is too old to drive. Will you drive us on Friday?

DAVID Where?

MOTHER You forgot? David, you promised. You know, I don't want him to drive. He get so nervous on the road. You drop us and come back on Sunday. What, David? Do you have something on Friday?

DAVID No. Nothing.

MOTHER David! Did they take away your driver's license?

DAVID I'll come back later.

MOTHER Is she at work?

DAVID Who?

MOTHER Your wife. What's wrong, David? Are you ill? (She puts her hand on his forehead.)

DAVID I'm fine.

MOTHER Don't lie to me, David. David? David!

DAVID What?

MOTHER You are crying? . . .

DAVID Mother!

(They hold each other.)

MOTHER David, tell me, please. Did she leave you? Did she? She will be back. I know. Trust me. I'll talk to her. She listens to me. Let me make you tea. It'll calm you dawn. The kettle is ready. I was waiting for your father. . . . (She goes to the kitchen, David exits to the bedroom door.)

MOTHER'S VOICE You have to stop your drinking, David. I know you can do it. You did it before. You have to believe that you can. We all are behind you. You two stay with us for the summer. Fresh air, you could help your father paint the house. He will be happy. He talks about it all the time. Why do you worry yourself so much? What's eating you, son? (She comes back with a cap of tea.) David?

Door opens. FATHER enters.

MOTHER Did you see him? He just left a minute ago.

FATHER Why isn't he at work?

MOTHER They got into a fight again. He thinks she left him.

FATHER I can't blame her.

MOTHER I go to make him tea, I come back and he's gone.

FATHER (takes a cup, drinks) You shouldn't put in three spoons. How many times I've told you? . . .

MOTHER He likes it sweet.

FATHER You know what sugar does to your system? Why does he have to have so much sugar in his system? Look at him, there's nothing left but nerves.

MOTHER You talk to him. I'll talk to her.

FATHER What did we do wrong, mother?

MOTHER I asked them -- why, why? Why not? I guess now it's too late.

FATHER Oh, don't start!

MOTHER "We don't want children!" How could that be? You explain it to me!

FATHER He is losing it. I didn't tell -- he called two weeks ago. So, I get the phone -- "hello," and he says -- "Father?" With such a surprise and -- nothing. I say -- "David? David." And he hangs up. Then I asked him -- "What was that about, you calling? Did they disconnect us?" And he saying -- "What phone call?" He doesn't even remember it! Must have been drunk. Sure, he doesn't remember. He will drink his brains off, he is killing himself. I know. I can see it. Do you understand, mother? For how many years can one poison himself? You tell me! What did we do? I did my best. Why is he unhappy? This is your side, always pessimistic, always critical. This is your blood, the curse. . . .

MOTHER You will have your high blood pressure out of it. . . .

FATHER Of course I will! What do you expect? He is my son! What do you want me to do? To watch him going crazy?

MOTHER What can you do, father?

FATHER I have to do something, I can't just watch it! He is my blood and flesh. . . .

MOTHER Please, your heart. . . .

FATHER I'm his father. . . . He is my son. . . .

(David comes out from the bedroom.)

DAVID Father!

FATHER What? What father? What now?

(DAVID hugs him.)

FATHER (to MOTHER) Don't you cry on me, mother!

MOTHER I'm not. It's just my age. My eyes are weak.

FATHER Do you see what you do? Why do you break your mother's heart? She loves you. What do you want her to do? (To MOTHER) Make him another cup. Go, go. I'll talk to him.

(Both sit in silence.)

FATHER You didn't drink today. I can see it. Good. I don't know how they keep somebody who is drunk in the morning. But now everything's gone off track. Nobody cares about anything. Drunk, absent, sick -- who cares? Nobody works. When will they pay your salary?

DAVID I don't know.

FATHER Why don't you ask? Why can't all of you do something? The country is falling apart and you just watch!

MOTHER'S VOICE Father!

FATHER I know, I know. Is it her?

DAVID Father. . . .

FATHER What's the matter with you, the youth? Two bright minds, both good looking, educated. You have everything you need to be happy. You love each other. I know, I can see it. We had nothing, we had no apartment to raise the family, no car, no dacha -- and we were happy. We were happy to be alive. When I was in the hospital, I remember, I said, if you're out there, God, let me live, end the war and let me find my wife and have a son with her. . . .

MOTHER'S VOICE He's heard this many times. (She comes back with another cup of tea.) Drink it, David.

FATHER Did you put three spoons again?

MOTHER I didn't. Let him drink.

FATHER I know you did. (To DAVID) Drink, drink. She spoiled you, boy. I warned her -- You're spoiling the boy. And she did. (To MOTHER) Look at him. Is he happy? You think sugar makes anybody happy?

MOTHER Leave me alone, old man. Do you want another cup? (She takes his empty cup and goes back to the kitchen.)

FATHER You see, she doesn't listen. Did I say I want more tea? Did I?

DAVID No.

FATHER That's my point. Do you understand?

DAVID Yes, I do.

FATHER No, you don't understand. You think that you do. That's the problem. Your generation doesn't know how bad is bad. What right do you have to be unhappy? No, you want to be unhappy, on purpose!

MOTHER'S VOICE Father, please!

FATHER You asked me to talk, I'm talking!

(Doorbell. Mother goes and opens the door. MARY enters.)

MOTHER Why don't you use your key? Did you lose it?

MARY No. I'm home for a second only. (To DAVID) I knew you would be here.

FATHER Mother? They are selling cheap oil at the market. I saw it on my way back. Let's get a bottle or two. Come!

MOTHER I am coming, coming. Do you have money on you?

FATHER What do you think? I'm still a man, aren't I? (Exits.)

MOTHER Go, go. (To DAVID and MARY.) We will be back, wait for us.

FATHER'S VOICE Are you coming, woman?

MOTHER Yes, yes, I'm coming. (Exits and closes the door.)

DAVID You are my wife, I guess.

MARY I guess I am.

DAVID (takes out his passport, hands it to her) I arrived today in the morning.

MARY (examines the passport) Where did you get it?

DAVID This is my passport.

MARY This is an American passport.

DAVID I'm an American citizen. For ten years already.

MARY Is it a joke?

DAVID No. I've lived in New York. . . . Since 1980.

MARY David, you are not drunk. Is it drugs now?

DAVID Listen, you all behave as if you saw me yesterday, and the day before. . . .

MARY Of course, we saw you yesterday and the day before! This is sick, David. Did you lose you mind?

DAVID Yesterday I was in New York, and THE DAY BEFORE I was in America. Look at me. Am I your husband? Your David?

MARY Where did you get the jacket? And the shoes? They aren't yours. Why do you do it to me, David? I ran from work because I was worried about you. You know I hate our fights. I called home, you weren't there. So, I came here. . . .

DAVID Who is he? Who is this David?

MARY Oh, David, no! (She throws the passport at him.) You can't do it!

DAVID I've been sitting here with them, losing my mind. (Gets out his plane ticket.) Look, here, do you see it, the ticket. You see, New York -- Moscow. You see the date? See? My name.

MARY It's a round-trip ticket.

DAVID Of course it's a round-trip. I live in Queens. Do you know where Queens is?

MARY In New York?

DAVID Who is this man? This David?

MARY (cries) What do you want?

DAVID Call him at work!

MARY I called you at work. . . .

DAVID Call again. Here's the phone. What is his number?

MARY You know the number! You know your own phone number!

DAVID I don't know! It's not my number! Pease, I don't want them to see it. I thought I could talk to you. . . .

MARY You thought? What did you think? That you would play some of your cruel tricks on me? What am I? An idiot? Stop it! Stop this acting!

DAVID Wait! (Pulls out everything from his wallet -- credit cards, driver's license, money.) This is my name, and here, here. Read it, read.

MARY Where did you get it? You stole it, David! God!

DAVID All right! I'll talk to them. No, I have to find this husband of yours first. Where does he work?

MARY David, I love you. I've said many bad things but I love you. I know that you are not happy with me. Please, don't torture me anymore. Give it all back. I love you. I'll love you more. They love you too. . . .

DAVID Give me your hand. (Takes her hand, puts it on his head.) Look. Do you see it? The scar, feel it. I had brain surgery. You see?

MARY I know you did. In 1980. What's happened, David? I know you are upset. I know, I'm difficult and get on your case all the time. . . .

DAVID Shut up!

(Both are silent. She takes the phone and dials.)

MARY (on the phone) Hi. Is it Mark? Hi. Is David there? Didn't show up today? Nothing. Thanks. (Hangs up.)

DAVID What does he do?

MARY Computers.

DAVID You don't believe me.

MARY Whatever. If you want it this way. I'm glad that you are all right. Don't do it to your parents, please. They are old.

DAVID So, I did marry you.

MARY You did. In 1980.

DAVID I'm sorry. I hope you understand. I called a few times, but they talk as if I never left. I thought maybe it's because they convinced themselves. I thought I'd better come. So, this morning I came from the hotel. I thought it's better to check into a hotel first. You understand?

MARY No. But it's okay.

DAVID Where else could he be?

MARY I don't know.

DAVID Maybe he's back home?

MARY Do you want to go home?

DAVID Could you call, please?

MARY (dials) Nobody answers. (Gives him the receiver.)

DAVID (on the phone) David, this is an emergency. Come immediately to your parents. Or call. (To MARY) Is it his voice on the answering machine?

MARY Yes. I think I'll go home now.

DAVID Don't leave me with them, please.

MARY You'll kill them.

DAVID I better come some other time.

MARY When?

DAVID After I can find him.

MARY Stay. You don't know how I'm afraid that you won't come back one day. That you will do it again.

DAVID Do what?

MARY That you would try to kill yourself again. Like then, in 1980. You were in a coma for many months. We thought that you wouldn't make it. That's why I'd rather you'd get yourself drunk. It's better than dead. Even if you got crazy, it's still better than that.

DAVID (puts his wallet back) In 1980 I left the country. I didn't come back from the trip abroad. In New York I had an accident. I was drunk and fell out of a window. Everything the same, but not here. Not in Moscow.

MARY Yes, you talked about it. Then you went to this conference and when you came back this happened. Then -- a coma. After that you never talked about New York. I didn't know that you were thinking about it all those years. Why didn't you tell me? If you wanted to stay there, I thought about it, I would still love you. You didn't have to come back and marry me. Only to throw yourself out the window on our wedding day. (She cries again.)

DAVID I need a drink. Is it still there?

(Gets up.)

MARY Yes.

(DAVID gets the bottle from the book shelf, pours himself some vodka into a tea cup, drinks, puts it back.)

DAVID Don't tell them.

MARY They would know anyway. Lets go home, David. They would be happy that we made it up. I'll leave them a note.

DAVID Right. We can wait for him there.

MARY (writes a note) I said that you'll call them.

DAVID Yes. I will.

(DAVID and MARY exit. Phone rings. FATHER and MOTHER are back with shopping bags.)

FATHER David? Maria?

MOTHER (reads the note) What did I tell you?

FATHER What did you tell me? (Goes to the bookshelf, gets the bottle.) Come here! Look. (Shows the bottle.)

MOTHER What do you want me to look at? What did he do? Kill somebody? You keep it there, not me!

(FATHER pours himself a drink in tea cup, drinks.)

MOTHER Do you want me to call an ambulance? Do you want to be back at the hospital?

FATHER Moderation -- that's all I asked from him. Be normal. Is it too much to expect? You tell me?

(Door opens. David, without a jacket and drunk, tries to get the key from the lock, gives up.)

DAVID Hello, guys. She is not here, is she?

FATHER Mother! Come here! Look at your son! Look at him!

MOTHER I'm here.

FATHER He is drunk!

DAVID I am not. I had a drink, it's true. Maybe, two. Or three.

MOTHER (with the note) I thought the two of you went home. . . .

DAVID Perhaps we did. But I couldn't find my home. I'm looking for home. That's why I'm here. This place was my home.

MOTHER It is your home, David. Why do you say that you have no home? You have your home and your wife. . . .

DAVID Wife? How could a man without home have a wife? How can a man without a wife have a home?

FATHER Go to your home. This is my home.

DAVID I know.

MOTHER Father!

FATHER I know his talking! This morning I knew how it would end up. He thinks that he is so complicated, but I see right through him!

DAVID That's right, father. I see through me. Always through. That's how I feel -- fully transparent. As if I'm not here, but somewhere else. Sometimes I don't see my face in the mirror. I look in the mirror and see nothing. . . .

FATHER You are drunk.

DAVID How can an invisible man be drunk?

MOTHER David, you lay down here on the sofa. Take a nap. She will be upset if she sees you drunk.

DAVID She knows that I'm drunk. What else can I be? That's not right. I came to say something different. Yes, I came to say good bye. Yes, I'm leaving. Enough of Mother-Russia. I got an offer. There is a guy from New York, he has a small computer company in Queens. He offered me a job.

FATHER Another drunkard.

DAVID I came to say good bye and something else. I love you both.

MOTHER We love you too, David.

DAVID I know you do. I wanted you to know that I know. That's all. Good bye. (He exits.)

MOTHER (taking the key out of the lock) He forgot his key again.

FATHER I don't know how he remember his name. This America screwed up his mind. Everything went wrong after his conference in New York. And now it came here to screw up all of us! I knew it, I knew it before he went there!

(Doorbell. MOTHER opens the door. Mary enters.)

MOTHER Why don't you use your key? It's your home. . . .

FATHER Where is he?

MARY Sleeping.

MOTHER Good, good. Did you have your lunch?

MARY I have to go back to work. Could you come and check on him till I get back? He is not well.

FATHER Tell me about it! When was he well?

MARY I know, he thinks all the time, make up stories. I never know where his mind is. . . .

MOTHER He always was this way. He would read a book and imagine things. He would read about Africa or America, and talk and talk, as if he was there. I would say -- David, David, are you here? No, he was in Africa!

FATHER Africa, that's right! Africa!

MARY Maybe I'm not right for him.

FATHER Let me tell you, girl. You are the best thing that ever happened to him.

MARY I don't know. . . .

FATHER I know. He is my son but I say that he didn't deserve you. .. .

MOTHER Father!

FATHER Oh, away with you! (Leaves to the bedroom.)

MOTHER You go, I'll watch him. It'll get better, trust me. I know.

MARY Thank you. I'll be back soon, I'll ask them to let me go early. (Leaves.)

FATHER'S VOICE Mother!

MOTHER What?

FATHER Go and check on him.

MOTHER She is such a nice woman. I know they love each other.

FATHER Did you hear it? He got a job in America! Ho-ho-ho!

MOTHER You sleep. I'll be right back.

(Doorbell. MOTHER opens the door. DAVID, sober and in his jacket, comes in.)

DAVID I fell asleep. I thought she was here.

MOTHER Come, come. She will be back. She was here.

FATHER'S VOICE Is it him again?

MOTHER Sleep, sleep. Mind your business.

DAVID I need something. Some photos. The wedding photographs and after. . . .

MOTHER Sit, sit here. I'll get them for you.

FATHER'S VOICE What does he want?

MOTHER Nothing. You have to have your nap, father. Sleep. (She brings the family album.) Here, here. I'll make you something to eat. (Rushes to the kitchen.)

DAVID (looks through the pages) Mother! I don't want to eat. Come here, please.

FATHER'S VOICE He doesn't need to eat. He will starve himself to death.

MOTHER (comes back) Shish! (Sits next to DAVID.) You won't lose them, David, promise me. . . .

DAVID I forgot. When was this? (Pointing at one photo.)

MOTHER Oh, David! That's when we all went together to the Black Sea before the whole madness began. That's the last time we vacationed together. Then father and I retired and the prices went up, and the borders. . . . You remember it?

DAVID I remember. I remember we went to Anapa.

MOTHER Yes. To Anapa. You were eight.

FATHER'S VOICE What are you talking about?

MOTHER About Anapa.

FATHER'S VOICE What about Anapa?

MOTHER Sleep, sleep! Would you?

DAVID And where is this? You know I still have some lapses in my memory.

MOTHER It's you and Mary in Bulgaria. And this is you in New York, when you went there. I don't know why it's not in order. Must be your father tossing photos in the album. He likes to go through it. Takes the pictures out. I say, "Don't take them out, or place them where you took them from. . . ."

FATHER'S VOICE I toss up nothing! I don't touch the pictures! Why should I look at them? I remember everything without an album. Everything.

MOTHER (to David) Here are your friends at work. I think this is when you had a party for your ten years with the institute. How is Mark?

DAVID Mark? He is fine.

MOTHER I don't like this one. I keep it because of memory, always want to throw it away. Let me destroy it, David.

DAVID Why?

MOTHER You know. I don't want to remember bad times. We came to visit you at the hospital. When they took you there again. You see, it here, on the back, the date. It's your father. He always writes on the back on every picture -- when, where. But you're better again.

DAVID Mother. . . .

MOTHER What?

DAVID I don't remember it.

MOTHER Good. Why should you remember it? Remember good times.

DAVID I don't remember anything.

MOTHER It will come back. After your coma it took many months before your memory came back. Little by little. You would look at the pictures, you would ask, "That's how it was?" Don't worry yourself. They said it's normal.

DAVID I remember other things. They are not here. I remember America. New York, Connecticut, Vermont, Virginia, California. . . .

MOTHER (whispers) Don't tell it to your father. He goes crazy when you mention anything about America.

DAVID I remember every detail, mother. The streets, houses, people.

MOTHER Of course, you do. I liked it there. When you came back you even renamed Maria into Mary. We liked it. When you came out of the coma, you would talk as if you were there. You were so confused. You would mix Russian with English. God only knows what names would come to your mind. . . .

DAVID (whispers) Mother, I think that I killed myself.

MOTHER (whispers) David, please, don't talk about it. I know, you told us many times. They say this traumatic. . . .

FATHER'S VOICE What are you whispering about there?

MOTHER Nothing! We don't want to wake you up.

FATHER'S VOICE I'm up. I'm not sleeping. I hear everything.

DAVID Mother, I am not David. . . .

MOTHER David. . . .

DAVID Not that David. . . .

MOTHER You are tired, you are not well. . . .

FATHER (enters the room) David, I want to have a serious talk with you.

MOTHER Go back and sleep. . . .

FATHER I can't sleep. Leave us alone.

DAVID Mother, you go. We'll be all right.

FATHER Son, I thought about what you said. You're right. I don't understand you. You always were faster and smarter than me. And I'm proud that my son is a bright man. I tried and I'm trying to understand. It's difficult for me now. Everything has changed. Sometimes I walk the street and I don't know where I am. Everything is in English. You go to the store to get sausages or sugar -- nothing is in Russian. Maybe we deserved it. (Takes Bible from the shelf.) I read it every day, son. Yes, I don't go to church, I don't trust the priests. But I read the book. I agree, maybe too late. Maybe I should have learned it from my mother, your grandmother. But you know, I never forbade her reading to you. We even baptized you in secret. At the time when they would throw me out of the party and from the job for that. I couldn't sacrifice the family's welfare. I thought about your mother and you. It was my obligation to take care of you. I hope God saw it all. That's all I have to say to you and God. (He goes back.)

MOTHER (comes back from the kitchen, whispers) He reads it every night, David. He's suffering too. . . .

FATHER (comes back) And I left the party together with Yeltzin. I put my membership card on the table when others were afraid. I was for democracy. Not this kind of gangsterism. (He leaves again.)

DAVID He got old.

MOTHER He is old. He doesn't want to admit it. He loves you, David.

DAVID I know. But I have another life, mama.

MOTHER He knows it. He wanted you to have his life. He wanted to give it to you. But everything went through the ground like water. And he suffers, the man in him suffers.

(Doorbell.)

DAVID I'll get it. (He opens the door. Mary is there.) Come in.

MARY I asked them to let me off early.

MOTHER I have to check on him. (Goes to the bedroom.)

FATHER'S VOICE Who is there?

MOTHER'S VOICE Who, who? don't you know? Mary.

FATHER'S VOICE Close the door. Let them be alone.

MOTHER'S VOICE Shish, sleep. Let me hold you. . . .

MARY I went home, you weren't there, my heart stopped. . . .

DAVID Sorry, I came here. . . . I thought I could tell them the truth.

MARY About America?

DAVID Yes, about me.

MARY Let them have their David. Don't take it away from them.

(Doorbell, knocks.)

DAVID'S VOICE Mother! Open the door! I lost my keys. Mary? Open it! Somebody! Let me in. . . .

THE END


PART ONE. THE STROKE
PART THREE. DEJA'VOUS
PART FOUR. AFTERSHOCKS
PART FIVE. LAST WILL
May 1997.

ACT II. Monologues

2007-2008
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