¿No es que este sitio ya está cerrado? Sí, es lo que dije en su momento pero acá tienen un título inédito. Permítanme contarles. Poco después de subir "¿Qué vendés?" ya tenía en mente un follow up que debería continuar la progresión iniciada con ciertos títulos de la colección. Comencé entonces esta obrita de teatro con el título provisorio de "A Second Play in Charrúa" (más abajo explico el porqué del título); pero al acercarme al fin del primer acto la abandoné por varios motivos: a) Falta de tiempo para completarla de tal manera que yo quedara satisfecho. b) Me sobrepasó la ambición de escribir nuevamente en inglés como lo hice con "The Flavour of Meeting 2" (El sabor del encuentro 2 ) click aquí para leerla, y con un agregado con el título "Judgement Day" --también incompleto-- que aparece al pie de la historia "El fin del mundo" haga click. Y, c) porque a medida que desarrollaba la obra me di cuenta de que el tratamiento de la temática y de los personajes no reflejaban la idiosincrasia del barrio, aunque decir algo así, a su vez pueda parecer una generalización arbitraria. Además, considero que en inglés no iba a ser una digna sucesora de otra obra de teatro --posiblemente la primera-- que fuera escrita por un joven del Barrio Charrúa, y representada en el Centro Cultural del mismo en 1988, con el título de "División Charrúa". Este joven es Daniel Ramírez (fue colaborador ocasional del boletín del barrio al igual que su hermano Claudio--ver en el archivo de este sitio.). Tengo entendido que Daniel ya no vive en en el barrio hace bastante tiempo. En realidad, "Division Charrúa" merece una entrada aparte en esta colección por el impacto que tuvo en los jóvenes de la comunidad de aquel entonces y por su mensaje que aún continúa vigente.
Volviendo a este fragmento que hoy subo, como decía, cuando comprendí que funcionaría mejor en otro contexto donde no sería condicionada por la temática barrial, decidí abandonarla. Permaneció entonces dormida en mis archivos hasta hace unos días, cuando redondeé lo que sería el primer acto (o posiblemente, apenas la primer escena del primer acto) y decidí subirla en lugar de reciclar la historia "El fin del mundo" publicada en los comienzos de La Aldea de Cuatro Nombres. Después de todo, la obrita fue concebida para esta colección. Pido disculpas porque que está en inglés, no tengo tiempo para traducirla...aunque...¡quien pueda leerla que la lea!
A SECOND PLAY IN CHARRUA (working title)
Damián (Agustín's friend)
Lautaro (Erikas's boyfriend)
Doña Sabina (a neighbour)
Mirta (Doña Maura's sister)
The late 80's
The main room of a house in Charrua neighbourhood. With no partition, almost half the room to the left serves as a sitting room with two armchairs and a sofa, and to the right side is a dining room, where there are a table and chairs. On the wall next to the sitting room, hangs an old fashioned, head-to-chest portrait of man and wife. Beside a hanging set of small zampoñas there are Bolivian national motifs; and in the middle of the room hangs a picture of a majestic, benevolent-gazing Virgin Mary, holding a sceptre. Though modestly furnished and decorated, the whole room looks decent and cosy.
[DOÑA CARMEN, who is wearing an apron, is laying the table leisurely for the family’s lunch. She is humming softly. A muffled conversation is heard from outside. DOÑA CARMEN takes a couple of glances in the direction of the street door(not seen by the audience) as if trying to make out what the words are about. Finally, the sound of the front door is also heard and the entrance door to the room is opened.
[enter PABLO, holding a sort of a large envelope, trying to make it unnoticed]
DOÑA CARMEN: [not looking at her son] Who was that?
PABLO: A peddler, as usual [holds the envelope behind his back]. Oh mom, didn’t we tell you not to cook? And this early! We are supposed to order food so you can have a rest in the weekend for once .
DOÑA CARMEN: [glance at him before going to the kitchen to the right]. Only you said so. Your brother didn’t say anything of the sort. Your sister said nothing either, but as a school mate of hers is coming, I thought she would like to invite him to lunch.
PABLO: Funny, she never invites anyone to lunch. Are you sure he is just a school mate?
DOÑA CARMEN: That’s what she told me. What are you taking there?
PABLO: [uncomfortably] Eh? Oh, they are... magazines.
DOÑA CARMEN: Peddlers, were they not?
PABLO: [a bit awkwardly, lifting a plate from the table] In a way, yes. So...what are we having, by the way?
DOÑA CARMEN: Don’t change the subject. When I was coming from the grocery, I saw those evangelistic preachers knocking at the neighbour’s doors, giving out their rubbish. I bet you have some in there.
PABLO: [looking embarrassed] Alright, mom. Nothing escapes your control.
DOÑA CARMEN: You may call it control but I don’t mind. As you rarely clean your room, I’ve come across a collection of them by your bedside. I’ve told you more than once that I don’t approve of your getting interested in evangelistic stuff.
PABLO: Oh, mom, haven’t we discussed the matter already? I do not consider myself a Catholic anymore. Do we have to go over it again?
DOÑA CARMEN: No, Pablo. Please, spare me those ideas they somehow planted in your head. All I want is my children away from the nonsense of strange religions. Especially the one that delivers those magazines that you have been reading. I want you to throw them away as I did it with the others. At once.
PABLO: [looking indignant] That is why they were nowhere to be found!
DOÑA CARMEN: No wonder with such a mess. Instead of telling me to rest at weekends, stop wasting your time with these peddlers’ stuff and be tidier!
PABLO: [producing a magazine from the envelope] Mom, look at this. Here’s Christ, do you see? This contains teachings from the Bible and Jesus. Could they be rubbish at all?
DOÑA CARMEN: It had never occurred to me but I think old Sabina has to do something with this. The other day she was here chatting with me and suddenly, catching sight of the picture of the Virgencita, she said [impersonating the voice of old Sabina]: “Doña Carmen, you must not have this sort of pictures in your house. It is idolatry. God hates it.” I stared at her, speechless but thought it better not to argue. The poor old woman knows nothing apart from reading her Bible.
PABLO: You mean to say that she is an ignorant old woman, don’t you.
DOÑA CARMEN: I’ve already told you how these evangelistic cults trap people with little or no education…
PABLO: You yourself have little education as well, mom.
DOÑA CARMEN: [she becomes speechless for a little, embarrassing instant] Let me alone, I have to carry on with lunch.
[ enter AGUSTIN from the right]
AGUSTIN: I cannot wait to eat. It smells wonderfully in the kitchen. But what with those faces? Oh, let me guess: it’s my brother straying from the Holy Church, and mom deeply concerned with it and prepared to launch her crusade.
PABLO: You see how he’s always poking his amusement at religion but it doesn’t matter to you.
DOÑA CARMEN: Please, don’t get me started.
AGUSTIN: [to PABLO] I hope you don’t mind my taking one of your magazines for applying Discourse Analysis at college. I’ll give it back as soon as I finish.
PABLO: You ever the intellectual idiot.
[PABLO sweeps out to the left and a slam from the street door is heard]
AGUSTIN [smirking]: The other day, after an argument on religion, he had to give in, saying that he’d rather not cast pearls to the swines.
DOÑA CARMEN: I think the more we bring about this issue, the more he will get tangled up in it. Don’t tease him anymore, please Agustín.
AGUSTIN: Teasing? He’s attempted converting me! [cannot help chuckling]
DOÑA CARMEN: I’ll see that father Horacio comes round one day to talk your brother out of evangelistic nonsense.
AGUSTIN: I wouldn't worry about it. At his age, Pablo should start dating a girl at any moment now. He will be more interested in getting laid than in…
DOÑA CARMEN: Agustin, shut up! He’s coming back!
[enter ERIKA holding a bag across her shoulder]
ERIKA: Hi, I’m starving. I didn’t have even breakfast ‘cos I left in a rush this morning.
DOÑA CARMEN: Lunch will be ready in a moment. Go change.
AGUSTIN: Doesn’t that blond cuttie I’ve seen you pecking with pay for mere coffee at all?
ERIKA: Oh, shut up.
DOÑA CARMEN: Isn’t he coming to lunch? I thought he would.
ERIKA: Actually, not to lunch but later. We will be studying together here. You see, he always invites me to his place and concocts something for the two of us to eat.
AGUSTIN: Huh! I bet he’s got a chef diploma and is into sewing?
ERIKA: And precisely you will crack macho jokes… [conveys subtly she has just been carried away]
AGUSTIN: Not a all, dear. [takes a piece of bread from the table and eats it, smiling as if masking his reaction.]
DOÑA CARMEN: Stop it, the two of you. You don’t seem brothers and sister. All of you. [suddenly looking to the right where the kitchen is] The meat! [sweeps out to the right].
ERIKA: [pretending to be rummaging in her handbag] We saw you pass by in that car when we were at the bus stop.
AGUSTIN: Kissing madly.
ERIKA: [replying promptly] You mean the two of you? [a pause] At any rate, we are a…[hesitates and decides to hold the word] couple...and were just kissing.
AGUSTIN: Come on, Erika! Will you be preaching to me like Pablo? You and I attend University, we’re supposed to be beyond religion and ancient standards.
ERIKA: I like the way you resort to highbrow vocabulary when it comes to your deeds. So is Pablo in the know too?
AGUSTIN: In the know of what?
ERIKA: About your… boyfriend?
AGUSTIN: Not a boyfriend, I don’t like the word. We’re just... dating. And Pablo seems unable to respect privacy. The other day he just entered my room and caught us red handed.
ERIKA: Red handed! I don't think I want to know any more. So he´s been here already? Please, Agustin, if mom ever catches you…be careful.
AGUSTIN: Oh yes, but the same should apply to you and your blondie, the way he was kissing you at the bus stop! Besides, you're entitled to invitations and am I not?
ERIKA: Agustín, I´m your sister, you know I'd hate to see you suffer. But don't expect mom to understand these things.
AGUSTIN: Well, she'd better do some day. Welcome to reality and the present time, all of you!
[enter Pablo, looking at Agustin in the eye.]
PABLO: Your friend is at the door. He wants to see you. I don't think lunch time is an appropriate moment for.... [pauses, looks at his sister]
ERIKA: I know everything, don't worry.
AGUSTIN: [mocking a pious tone] Of course I would not be as sinful as that; my hour has not come yet. [leaves towards the street door].
PABLO: Whatever's got into him? Isn't this something common in adolescents? He'll be twenty soon!
ERIKA: He’s our brother.
PABLO: Yes, I am aware of the fact [a pause during which he looks in the direction of the kitchen] How come this happened to him? I simply can’t understand it. If mom finds out, my goodness.
DOÑA CARMEN: [enters carrying a steaming tray] What is it that I may find out? [Pablo starts and goes mute; the mother glances at the two of them as she places the try on the table].
ERIKA: What a delicious smell! [Pablo looks uncomfortable, which affects slightly the mother’s expression]
DOÑA CARMEN: Alright. Have you washed your hands already? Let’s sit down. Where’s Agustin?
PABLO: [slightly stammering] I go for him.[leaves towards the street door]
DOÑA CARMEN Lately, you are all behaving funny. Please, stop quarreling, at least while we are having lunch. [stares at her daughter, she seems not to have heard, an apprehensive expression on her face, looking towards the street door].
[enter Agustín and Pablo, hissing to one another. Pablo lets go of his brothers arm]
AGUSTÌN: Mom, as Erika’s mate is not coming to lunch, do you mind if I invite my mate from College. He’s outside at the door.
PABLO: Agustin, don’t!
DOÑA CARMEN: What’s the matter, Pablo? Yes, of course, tell him to come in.
AGUSTÌN: Thanks mom! [looks at his brother and simpers] Whatever’s happened to your Christian charity, Pablo? [leaves for his friend].
DOÑA CARMEN: You’re getting on my nerves. Stop quarreling, for God sake! And I think your brother is right, Pablo.
ERIKA: [gestures for his brother to stay calm and silent, without the mother noticing; he gives back an “alright” nod; and everybody sits down around the table].
[enter AGUSTÍN and his friend DAMIAN chatting about lunch. DAMIAN looks older than Agustin. He wears fashionable clothes and an earring on his right ear, he appears to be well off. ]
AGUSTÌN: This is Damián, a classmate and also a friend. [DAMIAN kisses everybody. Pablo reacts somewhat coldly; you can tell that they have already met].
DOÑA CARMEN: Damián, make yourself comfortable, take a seat please.
AGUSTÌN: Here, next to me.
DOÑA CARMEN: [passing the plates] It’s a nice day to remain indoors, isn’t it? I usually make soup on chilly days like this. Not this time, though. Anyway, they are not so fond of soup.
[it surprises a bit to everybody -except Agustín- that DAMIAN’s pitch does not go with his age or general appearance; in fact he speaks a little affected, with some hand waving]
DAMIAN: As for me, I eat anything they put before me, really.
DOÑA CARMEN: [smiling at the guest] That’s a nice of you. I wish they were like you. Where do you live, Damián?
DAMIAN: In Belgrano.
ERIKA: Oh, that’s quite far.
DAMIAN: Not so, really. I’ve got a car.
ERIKA: I know. [she promptly conveys that she has let go of comment unintentionally. DAMIAN glances at Agustín. Erika tries to change the subject] The two of you must have loads to study, mustn't you? We’re nearing the end of the term.
DAMIAN: [rolling his eyes a bit] Oh you don’t know how much! But Agus and I are doing well together. We’re a team, aren’t we, Agus?
AGUSTIN: [looking down at his plate, smiling sheepishly, he says nothing].
DOÑA CARMEN: Pablo, what with that face?
PABLO: [looks at his brother meaningfully. Agustín looks back at him defiantly]
AGUSTIN: Yes, Pablo. What’s the matter?
PABLO: [looking down at his plate, you could see he looks uncomfortable, as if struggling internally] Please, excuse me you all but I’m not hungry.
AGUSTIN: [says to his brother in a soft voice] What you’re going to do, do it quickly.
[Pablo rose and leaves from the scene in silence]
DOÑA CARMEN: [glancing at the guest, embarrassed and apologetic] Pablo!
[DAMIAN looks at Agustin, baffled]
ERIKA: Mum, let’s leave him alone. He’s been a bit…[she doesn’t know how to finish]
AGUSTIN: My brother is under the effects of religion, so to speak. Yes, let’s leave him alone for a while. I haven’t known him to starve for long. [signals to Doña Maura to remain sitting] Don’t worry mum.
DAMIAN: [speaks matter-of- factly as he cuts a piece of meat and takes it to his mouth] Sorry if I haven’t struck him as someone nice for his brother.
[Doña Maura looks baffled. Erika seems to say something but looks unable to come up with something appropriate for the situation]
AGUSTIN: Please mum, don’t worry. I’ll explain it to you later. Let’s just enjoy your delicious meal.
[suddenly Pablo reenters and sits back at his place]
PABLO: There’s nothing wrong with me [smiles but you can tell that there’s still something weird about it all]. Sorry, I had to dash to the toilet. Let’s eat. Only that, Agustin, don’t you explain anything to anybody.
[Agustín and DAMIAN exchange odd smiles between the the two of them. Doña Carmen holds a baffled expression. They all eat in silence for a moment; however, you can see that the two brothers exchange meaningful glances across the table.]
ERIKA: When we finish studying later today, I mean I and my classmate, we’re going to the cinema.
DAMIAN: [with a sudden flourish, barely manly reaction] Great, the best thing to do in a unsettled weather like today´s. What are you going to see?
ERIKA [looks amused] Oh, it doesn't matter.
AGUSTIN: [snaps joyfully] It is not an adult movie, is it. An X rated one? I think I`ll have a word with... whatshisname?
PABLO: “The Last Days of Sodom and Gomorrah,” she already told me and I think it is a very adult movie.
DAMIAN: Isn't it about a story in the Old Testament?
AGUSTIN: [a bit sarcastic to his brother] And you say she already told you. Rather, it was the other way round. I might have known.
DOÑA CARMEN: [breaking her watchful silence] Can you stop it, the two of you? We have a guest, for goodness sake.
PABLO: Yes, we`d better leave this here and not discuss what the movie is about.
AGUSTIN: That would also entail discussing God's... love? for his created creatures. Not for all of them, at any rate.
DOÑA CARMEN: [puts a hand to her brow, embarrassed. She says softly] I can take it no more. Please excuse us, Damián. These two are always quarrelling over religion and don't care about me at all.
DAMIAN. Don't worry, Carmen. It used to be the same at home. Until I caused things to settle down.
DOÑA CARMEN: And why was that?
PABLO: [butting in briskly] Alright. I was thinking of having a big family get together for a barbecue soon, outdoors of course. [he smiles conciliatory; you can tell, though there`s something going on]
AGUSTIN [looks acidly amused] I agree, it´s a very good idea, Pablo. And in that occasion we are going to have a special talk about me [he passes an arm across Damiàn`s shoulders].
[Everybody gazes at the two of them.. The lights dim gradually until the stage lies completely in darkness. Music]
End of FIRST ACT