Research Area A
S O A R E (a radio play) is based on the play with the same name
Samuel – an UAV pilot
One – the narrator
Anna – a domestic help
Rakel – a security guard at a Holiday Inn Hotel
Ewo – an unemployed immigrant
Colleague 1 and colleague 2
One:Can you hear me?
Can you hear me talking
when it is quiet
when it is dark and nobody else is there to listen
I am talking about/
It is the garbage
We have to get rid of it
It just piles up
And the kids/
somebody has to take care of the kids.
Could you watch the dog for a moment?
They say that I am repeating myself
That I keep going in circles
That I keep repeating the same words, circling the same events
I am the one talking
As Anna passes you in the hallway
Walks past your bedroom
runs to get the milk, the paper, the mail
One:When Rakel arrives at work
Takes the elevator up
Takes the elevator down
Settles by her desk
Checks the camera to the right
The camera to the left
When Ewo awakes under a bridge
Christ, it’s hot!
When he takes off his shirt
His socks, his pants and wades into the river
Stands there, knee deep in water
When you get yourselves ready, Samuel
On your drive there
To the bunker
As you take the elevator down
There, in that mundane, everyday arrival
A door slams shut
When you take over the nightshift
and the others hands in the report
and you fill in the forms and you settle there
in front of the screens
trying to focus
trying to find the right focus
as you take over
put your hand on thee lever
– ReadyOne:And it is all up to you nowthere by the flicker from the screen, it is all up to youas the landscape passes byand you. check the communication-satellites
get hold of the coordinates
and the hissing sound of the fluorescent lighting overwhelms you
just for a moment
just overwhelmed you, as they always do
in the beginning
And you try to focus
and you know that the mission is already on its way. Now it is up to you to finish it
And I sit there
And I watch it
and the only thing moving is the machine there, the landscape under it: mountain-ranges, cedar treessandcars on the roadsa bunch of houses grouped togetherchildren on their way to schoolLife that goes on as life goes onOne: And you know what kind of mission this isSamuel:YesOne:And all you have to do is follow the instructionsKeep an eye on the coordinates Update the logSamuel:And me and the screen become one All sounds disappearThe room disappear as we fly, hunt, float onwards and onward –
One:And it is as if you no longer are in thus roomYou are out thereyou are connected to the drone, to what it wantsto what it is doing out thereas the target is given as you focus on itReady?Samuel:ReadyOne:Are you ready?Samuel:–
One:And you check the timerSamuel: O4:26One:As you follow the procedureSamuel:04:28One:As you start the attackSamuel:04:32One:Check the missile as it is launchedAs it moves towards the targetAs everything goes according to planAs it hitsThe plume of dustThe house implodingThe roof as it collapsesThe dust as it settles – a rain of stones and a herd of goats leaping down the steepAnd you have no idea, have youSamuel:I have no idea –One:You have no idea how many people there were in that building And there is no soundIt hits you again how strange it is that there comes no sound with these imagesthe rain of stonesthe heard of goats scattering across the hill
Short pause – a beat
Rakel:When I arriveWhen the one who has done the nightshift logs out - and we. synchronize the cameras, makes sure that the footages is stored and registeredall the cameras operational – then it is just meMe and the screensSometimes the first hours seem to last forever:the half-eaten burger in the bindoors openingdoors closingAn alarm going offa shadow in the stairwell
Beds, sheets, empty stairs, empty corridors ...In the daytime you never give it much thoughtIt is at nightOr late in the evening that your mind starts to wanderthat your imagination starts playing the games with youThis slightly sick gamemostly to help you stay awake and you start guessing what goes on behind closed doorsinside the roomsas if the mind was an eye that could reach further than the cameras Something has caught your eye during the daylate in the afternoon maybe: a man enters the lobbyhe carries a worn-out suithe pays cash and there is a feeling about himas he paysas he opens the door to his room – entersstooped, kind ofAnd you imagine him thereon his knees A rope maybe, around his neck
Ore later ondown in the bar a young Asian girlbarely sixteenWith black, shiny hair, beady eyes The man besides her is olderBroadItalian maybe, or Russian, and he sort of handles herPushes her in front of him into the elevator while beholds her wrists with his left handand as night progresses, you can't stop thinking about her bent over in a sofabent over a desk while an object is being inserted into her anus, her vagina, and while you keep your eyes on the screenson the parking-lot
on the stairs leading down to the kitchenthe stairs leading down to the basement – you know that this might be what is happening
that it could be happening right nowas you sit thereas you stair at the screensand there is not the fuck you can do about itAnd the hours passand everything is so quiet and you want to cry outyou want to tell somebody what's goin onwhat could be going onbut who should you telland what should you tell them
Rakel:When I close my eyes, I can see themThe sleepers behind closed doorsthe lights being switched onThe lights being switched off The sound of a television-setA child cryingA woman crying
Rakel:And that's when I see himI am sitting there behind those flickering screens and I see him
Rakel:ThereA glimpse of him onlyA neckA backdown by the receptionHe holds his gloves in his left handHis coat across his armHe has parked his car in the basementIt is a four-wheel driveI see him as he leaves the camera to the left and enters the camera to the rightI see him holding the keycard The way he touches the doorhandleOpens the door to his roomhesitates as if he is about to turn aroundas if he is about to turn around to see if there is anybody there, watching him
One:And now?Can you see him now?
Rakel:The light in his room is on all night long
He just sits there
One:He just sits there at the edge of his bedThere, on those white, neat sheetsHe does not turn on the TVHe does not speak on the phoneHe does not showerHe sits in the shower with all his clothes onHe sits there for the longest time ...
Rakel:Its nighttimeI am searching for his faceI am going through some old recordings There he isIt's a Tuesdayanother TuesdayAnd I play it again and againsee how he enter the hotel at exactly the same timePays for exactly the same roomHow he enters into the camera from the leftAnd I want him to turn around(under her breath) turn aroundWill he turn around?(under her breath) turn aroundturn around(under her breath)YesYes(under her breath) I want to see your face
One:I am the one talking
Rakel:And I keep running through the recordings and then ask me again and again; what are yo doing that for?A colleague (before):What are you doing that for?Rakel (before):Doing what?Rakel (now):You mean taking care of them?You mean the recordings? A colleague (before): You know that you are not allowed to take them out of the building?Rakel (now):And I say that I have never taken anything out of the buildingAnother colleague (before):Can I see?Rakel (now):They say: is that somebody you know?Rakel (before):NoA colleague (before): Can I see?Rakel (now):They say:A colleague (before): Is that somebody you know?
One:Can you hear me talking?In the eveningwhen nobody else is listeningRakel is globing through her recordings, playing them over and over again.
She is lookin for a faceFinds a backA pair of glovesA closed doorAnna is in the livingroomShe is checking the silverwareMaking sure that it is all there She says:Anna:It is the dogSomebody has to take care of the dogIt is the kidsEwo:I am just so bloody restlessAnna:I keep thinking of words like mineHannah (shouting from another room):Can you look after the dog for a minute?Anna?Rakel:Its my handsMy thighsMy wordsThe things I doSamuel:I mean, one can't go around thinking about I can't stop thinking about it It was my missionThe others started it, but I was the one ending II had to, that's allIt is my jobHannah (before):Is that's what on your mind?Really, SamuelJust let it goSamuel:It was my responsibilityAnna: Lately I have been thinking about works like "mine"Like meLike my hands, my stuffHannah (before):One, two, three, four/Anna:When I stand here by the window
Hannah keeps on counting
Hannah: five, six, seven, eightAnna:When I let the dog outAs I wash the dishesAs I count the silverwarethe napkin-rings - nine, ten, ellevenAnna:just to make sure that it is all there, that nothing is missing(shouting, as if she had a need to defend herself):No!
It was not me!
I did not do it!
I haven’t done anything!
Anna (before):I did not do anythingAnna (now):
It was all there when I left!I wasn't thereI saw nothingAnna. (before):I saw nothingI was walking the dogAnna (now):I was with the kidsWhy do you ask me this?Anna (before):
When I wasn't there
One:They are not thereHannah (before):Samuel, I can't find those keysOne:Hannah is looking for her keysHannah (before):They are just not here
What do you mean?No. No, I never Put them thereOne: She is checking the silverwareAnna(before):One, two, three. Five, six, seven, eight One:The living room is emptyAnna:One, two, three, four, five, six, seven
Anna:What are you doing here?Ewo:–Anna:No, I mean i.What are you doing here?Did somebody see you?Stay away from that fridgeClose that fridge EwoEwo:I am starving!Anna:Who gave you a key?Ewo:I am starvring. Do you have anything?
Anna: I never gave you a keyEwo:You must have something.Anna:Close that draw, Ewo!
What are you doing?Anna:I am counting the knives
Ewo:You are counting the knives
Anna:Give me that key I don't want you to lock yourself in wheneverI said Tuesday.I said you could come Tuesday. That you had to call firstThat you could/Ewo:I missed you
Anna:Let me see your pocketsEwo: It is true I missed youI couldn't waitI could neverI would neverYou are the only friend I haveAnna: Friend?Friend!You call yourselves a friend!Do you know what they would do if they found you here?Have you spoken to the kids?You did not speak to the kids?I am at their mercy do you get that?Do you know what that means?What it means to be here at their mercy?Are you laughing?Ewo:But what can they do?So they through you outSo they turn you inIs that really the worst thing that can happen?Or is it this?Standing here counting other peoples knives?Lets go backLets go somewhere elseWe will find somethingSomething betterI will help youAnna:Not this time
Just shut that cupboard!Ewo:You are my Anna–Anna:No
Not like that – We
Not like that way
They can hear us
If they come down and see us
Ewo (in a low voice):What are you thinking about?
NothingEwo (in a low voice):What are you thinking aboutAnna(in a low voice):I’m not thinking about anythingEwo (in a low voice):What are you thinking about
Anna:He’s at the top of the stairs. I’m hiding in the basement. Behind an old oil barrel, in a parking lot. I’m hiding in the bushes and he cannot find me. His face. Bottles of booze. A heap of cardboard boxes. Toxins spilling over on the pavement, the endless rows of trailers by the border crossings. Girls waiting for what? The smell of gasoline and vomit. My face pushed deep into a mattress. His sleep. His toxic intoxicated sleep all boozed up. Pigs’ blood thick and sticky on the frozen concrete. The slaughter. The slaughterhouse. Frozen berries hard as glass. My hands beating, digging, scraping at the mud. The language in me still and thick and dark like ink. Neon maybe – Neon and fog. Drizzle. Drizzle resembling gas. Gas all lit up. The world lit up. Everything lit up and Ewo and I in the middle of it. Me and him in the middle of it. Alight. The streets, my teeth, my flesh, the inside my flesh, the softness under my fingernails. Me and Ewo. Fleeing. Maybe running, splattering alight. Inside the city. Inside the belly of a big city. Inside the belly of another big city. The rattling of our bones, of our fluorescent skeletons dancing into the dark, hiding under the soiled underbelly of a freight train, crossing another border, then another border and then somewhere on the outskirts of northern Europe by the lanterns of the factory, by the firecrackers, by a New Year’s Eve I’ve almost forgot about. One: Anna is thinking about her fatherEwo is undressing herHe is undressing himselfHe stands in front of an open window smokingHe is not thinkingA the hotel, Rakel is storing recording on a memory-stick Samuel is leaving the bunker
A door opens
One:He changes his shoesGrabs his coatSamuel:Drives home One:NoSamuel:I drive home One:NoSamuel:I am just driving? One:You know where you are going You have ended up there a lot latelyEvery Tuesday sometimesSamuel: What am I doing?One:Checking inYou are in the elevatorYou are on the bedYou sit thereSamuel (before):YesGive me room 1103Samuel:I never knew there were so many people thereOne:SevenSamuel:A whole familyOne:Seven/Samuel:children
One:You sit theregazing at nothingYou do not sleep You haven't sleptAt home in the villa the kids are asleepAnna is just about to go to bedshe has left some cold meat for you in the kitchen, and a glass of gherkinsYou enter the hallwayStand there in the darkYou settle in the windowsillstart to eat all of a sudden famishedthe dark is thick around youYou are thirstyYou get yourselves a bearand anotherYou drink straight from the bottleYou watch as the bubbles shoot up from the bottom, through the dark malty liquid like tiny, sparkly planets and you thinkThis is not over It continues still and all the time –
Anna: Are you up?
One:She says, while tying a knot on the old bathrobe she is wearing
Anna:I thought I heard somethingI just came to check the doorTo make sure the alarm was on
Samuel:Look at me It seems I am about to finish the whole jarAnna:Just eatYou are more than welcome
Samuel:That robe –
Anna:She gave it to meSamuel:And the slippers?Anna:Hannah gave them to meSamuel –
Anna:She said –Hannah said:Samuel:These gherkins are really niceAnna:I don t know Samuel:I mean it. They are really niceAnna:To saltySamuel:PerfectAnna:She is working nightSamuel:I knowI found her note
One:And you don't want to sleep with her
Anna;You mustn't think
Samuel:What mustn't I think, Anna
What do you think?What is it you think about?
One: Everything starts somewehereAnna pickles some gherkinsSamuel cleans the carHannah goes through her wardrobePuts aside some slippers, an old bathrobe
One:Look, she saysHannah (before):These are for youOne:These are yoursHannah (before):I mean itOne:You can have themHannah (before):Off course you canSuuuureOne:Sure, I never wear them anymore Hannah (before):They are just filling up space anywayOne:No point having them here
Samuel:Everything has a beginning
Anna: I was in the basement, pickling gherkins, the way my mother used to doI had put some cold meat out for him in the kitchenI often leave something out for him when he has been working late
I heard somethingI went down to check that the alarm was on
I found him on the windowsillHe was going through the gherkinsOne:And he sees goats skidding down a slopes, a plume of smoke, and he just can't seem to get it out of his head:Samuel:No sound. No colour and no soundOne:And he tries not to think about itAnd the building keeps on collapsing as Anna enters the kitchenAnna:Are you up?Samuel: These are niceAnna: I just came down to check that the alarm was onSamuel:I was about to finish the lot One:And that's when he asks about the robeAnna:Hannah gave it to meSamuel: –And the slippers?
Annna: –She said ...
I will go and lock the door
Samuel:Leave the door
Anna:I am just going to lock it
Samuel:NoWait StayLet´s talkJust for a moment
How long have you been with us?Anna:Here?Samuel:With usAnnaSix monthsSamuel:That’s niceThat’s really greatAnd before – what did you do before?
Samuel:That’s not a complicated question is it?
What’s the problem?
I just asked you the simplest of questions –
What did you do before you came to us?
Did you have a good time –
Christ! I’m just trying to make conversation here –
Can’t you just tell me what you did before?
Samuel: But for fuck’s sake?
What’s wrong with you?
Talk to me!
Anna:I don't believeSamuel:What is it that you don't believe
What don't you believe in?
Why do you just stand there
You just stand thereAnna:I just think we should –
What is it that we should?
Anna (in a low voice):I should really get that alarm going.
One: And he stops her. Anna:PleaseOne:And she Anna:Please let go of my armOne:And she stands thereAnd he walks over to the refrigerator
And he takes out another bottle of beerAnd he drinks itOr he does not drink itAnd he just stands thereAnd she just stands thereAnd he lifts the bottle and then he throws it, and the bottle hits the wallAnd he grabs another bottle. And he smashes it against the wallAnd he grabs anotherAnd it smashes against the wall like the last oneAnd then another
Samuel: I’m sorry
Samuel: Stop that
Get up!Come here
Just sit down
Let’s talkLet’s just talk for a little
It’s none of my business. I know. What you did before. It’s none of my business –
Samuel: And your parents? What did they do for a living?
Anna: They had pigs
Rakel:It is at night, that's when your thoughts start to wanderThat is when you start playing this gameThis not so healthy gamemostly to stay awakeand you start guessing what goes o behind the doors, inside the roomsas if the mind was an eye that could reach where the cameras don notand you imagine him there
He is on the bedHe picks up a ringIt is a wedding ring he puts it on his tongueCloses his mouth and then he opens it againHe puts the ring on his little fingerHe looks at itTakes it off again
One:YesRakel:And there is no one there to see it
One:NoRakel: And all of a sudden I thinking about going up there
locking myself inEnter the roomLay down beside him maybe stay there –
One:And you wait until he has leftand then you do it
You go up thereIt is a standard roomNothing special
A navy blue carpet
And you put your hand on the bed where he has been sittingand you sit in the chairAnd you look in the binRakel:
– One:It all starts somwehere:Rakel and her recordingsAnna kneeling over the broken bottles
Samuel in the villa, by the double bed
Hannah is thereSamuel:YesHannah:
Samuel, is that you?
I did not hear you When did you come home?Come hereOne:And you want to be with herHannah:ComeOne:And you try to make love to her, but you can notand she says:Hannah:What is it?What is it, SamuelOne:She says:Samuel:I know where you've beenHannah:Talk to meSamuel:I know where you stayHannah:Where have you been?Samuel:Don't you think I know. where your at?Hannah:Do you really want me to believe that?Samuel:You mustn't thinkHannah:Don't you think I know where you go?One:She says:Hannah: What do you believe in?Samuel:I don't believe that you believe thatOne: She says:Hannah:What do you believe in?Samuel:I am not suggestingI would never believe that youHannah:What do you believe, in Samuel?One:She says:SamuelSamuelSamuelSamuelSamuel
One:I am the one talking
Can you heat me?Can your hear my voice?
They say I am talking to the darkTo my feetTo the will in you, SamuelAs you stand thereAs you see the bottle hit the wallAs you see Anna bent over itAs you reach for Hannah in bedas you drive your kids to schoolAs you kiss themAs you drive to work and back againCan not enter
It has become possible to enterThe same sleeplessness as you lay there on the hotel bedand you check your watchSamuel:It isOne:04:26Samuel:04:28One:04:32as the roof collapsesas the stones starts to rainas the dust settlesas the goats get scattered across the hillit continuesIt keeps on happeningit will go on happening It will be like this it will never be another way
Samuel:Get upAnna, get upOne:But she just sits thereSays nothingShe just keeps on wiping the beat of the walls and it is then you discover that the kids are thereThey are standing in the doorwaythey are standing in the doorway and you realize that you have been shouting/Anna:Hi there – One:That you must have been shouting something, because the youngest are covering her ears with her hands, and you let go of her. You let go of Anna and you see that a shard of glass is embedded in her cheek, and for a second you feel like crying
Samuel:I am crossing the lawnWhere are my shoes?
Hannah watches me from the windowI have taken off my wedding-ringIt is in my mouth, on my tongue and there is this feeling of weightlessnessOne:Ewo rests his forehead against the windowAnna is washing and washing the kitchen wallCan you see her?
Ewo: YesOne:What is she doing?Ewo:She os on her kneesShe is wearing an old bathrobeShe is wiping and wiping the bear of that fucking wallOme:You are lateEwo:I knowOne:She has been waiting for youShe has always been waiting for youWhat´s on your mind?
Ewo: NothingOne:What are you hoping for?Ewo: Nothing
He knocks on the window
Ewo:AnnaAnnaOne:Samuel crosses the lawn
Samuel: What are you doing here?
Don’t moveI said what are you doing here?
Wait for fuck sake. I can explainI’m a friend. I know AnnaJust ask herShe asked me to comeYou can just talk to her
Look at her
Look at herHow long do you think she’ll go on doing that?
Samuel: She’ll just keep on doing it, won’t she? She’ll just keep on wiping those walls for as long as it takes
One:Annas left hand is bleeding.Her blond hair is dark at the roots-It is wet around her faceSamuel stands barefoot in the grassHe walks away from themJust walksHe has taken off the wedding ringIt is in his mouth, at the tip of his tongue. He is about to swallow itHe stops Hannah has drawn the curtainsHannah (fast and in a low voice):Samuel. Samuel, Samuel, Samuel, Samuel, SamuelOne:
Anna wraps the broken glass in a newspaperEwo is standing nowHe keeps on knocking gently on the windowsaying her nameSamuel passes his carSamuel passes the gateHe just keeps on walkingHannah (in a low voice):Samuel, what's going onWhats happening to you?One:He falls on his kneesSamuel:Tell mePlease tell meTell me what's happening to meOne:He gets upHe feels disorientedHe does not know where he isHe will keep on walking all nightSamuel:Where am I going?One:Away from hereSamuel:I did not bring my valet. I have no shoes One:Ewo stands in the kitchen doorAnna says:Anna:What are you doing here?
One:As Rakel makes her selves a cup of coffeeAnd the hotel is a beast with a thousand eyes and a thousand mouths, locks, sinks, doorsShe is talking to herselfShe does not see the man as he enters the foyer as he walks into the camera to the left He is barefootHe has been cryingHe is all sober nowSamuel:Where am I?One:You are in the boiler-room
Samuel;The boiler-room?One:You came here by the back stairsSamuel:I am all alone in hereOne:It is hot is it not?And Rakel says to herselfRakel:Fuck it. I am not a fucking stalker
One: And the hotel has sixteen floorsfourteen over ground and two underneathAnd where she sits right now, there are elleven floors above herRakel:If the hotel should toppleOne:If this hotel were veto collapse, all those eleven floors would fall on top of usRakel:Elleven floorswith 54 rooms’s in each of themthen the rooftop swimming pool, the gym, the restaurant on the second floor, all the people working here, all the hired helpers, hundreds of them. Over a thousand in high seasonOne:
And Rakel says to herselfRakel.It is WednesdayHe never comes on a WednesdayOne:She takes the subway home. The world is dry and hot and black. Almost electricShe climbs the stairs. Undresses in the darkStands there in the middle of the room among her belongings
She keeps her socks onShe stands there in the light from the aquariumShe does not turn on the radio. She does not turn on the TV She stands in the light from the refrigeratorRakel:I have opened the fridgeOne:She is eating a hot dog straight from the can She does not bother heating itShe leans her forehead against the iceboxOne:I am there
right beside her Rakel:YesOne:She does not notice meRakel:NoOne: The fridge is almost emptyJust two cups of youghurt, a jar of coffee and a cheese. Yellow and hard at the edgesI am so closeI am right behind herShe know I am thereShe wait’s I wait
I rest my hand against her backIt is cold and hard like glass
One:Anna looks at Ewo
A car door slams shut
One: Ewo starts the engine
Are you sure, Ewo?Rakel:I am in the kitchenI close my eyes and see him thereOn the bedIn the roomAt the hotel One:He sits in the boiler-room
Rakel:It is all dark in thereOne:. She gets dressed againAll of a sudden in a hurryAnd the screens light up as Rakel is back behind them
Rakel: He is waiting for somebodyOne: There is a feeling of urgency
The corridor outside room 1103 is emptyWhere is he?She/Rakel:looks for himOne:She/Rakel:Says:One:I/Rakel:can not see himAnna:It does not matterIt is all right, EwoOne:And Rakel stares at the screens as she disconnects camera number 112 and camera number 1134One:And the trafick is relentlessand she disconnects camera 76 and 79Rakel: YesEwo:Did you see his face?Did you see it?What the fuck was he on aboutOne:And Rakel disconnects camera 320, 321 and 324
Ewo:Was he drunk ore something? Anna:I don't think soEwo:He had no shoes onOneAnd all the screens in the control-room are black nowas Rakel locks herself into room 1103There is a smell of detergentShe thinks: Maybe just walk out of it all ....Rakel:YesOne:She sits on the bedOne:I am sitting there beside herCan you feel me?Rakel:No
One: But you know I’m here?
One: What do you see?
Rakel:The TVThe bathroom
Rakel: The window. The view of the park.
One:And you walk over to it?
The lawn scorchedBrown almostOne:Are we there? Are we by the window?Rakel:It hasn't rained for months
One:And you wish that it could rain –
Rakel:How I wish it would rain
One: What more?
She opens the window. The sound of the city
One:The park is almost emptyThe newsstand is about to openA woman arrives with three small childrenHannah: NoNo, this is the wayComeLet us find daddyYes, daddy is here Jon. Do not touch that please.
Look,now you are all dirty
One:And you turn your head awayHannah:Yes. He is hereNo he is resting. Just restingOne:You sit on the bedThe sheets feel cold under your handsRakel:What?One:–
Rakel:He is not hereOne:This is not where he is And you leave the roomAnd there in the hallway/
Rakel:May I help you?One:There is a manRakel:Are you lost?One:He is barefootHis shirt are openRakel:Are you looking for your room?Is this your room?Samuel:Eh –
Rakel: Are you staying here?You can not be here if you if you are not staying here
Samuel:I usually –
Rakel:Isn’t this were you stay?Then I have to call security
Samuel:I am –
One:It is SamuelRakel:You are?Look, only guests are allowed hereIf you’re not staying in this hotel you shouldn’t –
Samuel:I can’t –
Rakel:Do you need to book a room?
Have you booked a room?
One:It is himRakel:You will have to get yourself a roomSamuel:I can not pay
Samuel:I have no money. I didn’t take my card – I can’t. I can’t do it. I can’t be – I can’t do my job anymore. – I can’t do this – I need to see their faces – There is no way I can do this, and my kids – There is just no way – No way I could –
One:Rakel. It is himRakel:Ok.
I hear you.
WaitWaitOne: And she takes his hand and Anna saysAnna (in a low voice):Ewo, Ewo, Ewo, Ewo – where are you taking me?
Rakel:I am holding his arm as if he was a child.
Samuel:I am SamuelRakel:Rakel
One:Rakel opens the door to room 1103and Anna and Ewo takes off at an intersectionI am right there beside himAnna:Keep your eyes on the road, EwoEwo:You’re hungry.
Ewo:You're hungry. I know itLet’s get something to eat!One:And its hotAnd the city deep down in the valley resembles a mirage and Ewo says:Ewo:Is it not great to get out of town for a secondAnna:Yes. So good to get out. Out of that houseEwo:Just the two of usAnna:We should not have taken that carEwo:BorrowedWe have just borrowed itComeSit down That’s betterAnna:Do you remember when we were kids?We used to hang out, remember? At Janos place. And his parents where never home, and we used to sit there, throwing ice-cubes at each otherIt was always us against them, remember? And he had that stick and for some strange reason you really wanted that stickAnd do you remember that time we snuck down into that basement, though the window, in the night Ewo:God it was darkAnna:You had a flashlight, remember? Ewo:YesOne:Samuel is in the hallwayThe door to room 1103 is openRakel:ComeOne:She is right there beside himand I keep thinking on words like mineLike meand Hannah is in the lobby nowShe has the youngest by the handHannah:Well here we areOne:She asks after himHannah:We are looking for a manHe is a guest hereYes, yes. He usually stays hereLike once a weekWhat room?I do not know exactly One:The children are playing in the lobby and all of a sudden Anna starts to cryshe clenches her cinnamon-bun in her hand and and sobs and then she stopsWipes her faceI am there right beside herAnna:What?One:She saysAnna:Did you say something?Ewo:No Anna:I thought you said somethingOne:And Ewo takes a bite of his sandwichchewsand the sun is thereJust for a moment warm and brightEverything lit upEwo, Anna, the car - as the sunbeams hits the front mirror, the bumpers, the bright red of the bonnet and Anna says:Anna: How fast is it?Ewo:210 km – 220 – Anna: Not faster?Ewo: 250 maybeOne:And she knows they cannot stay thereAnna:I don’t know – One:They cannot stay hereAnna:I don’t know –I think we should leave Ewo: It is fineIt’s fine, Anna – I promise. We’re leaving in a minuteAnna: I think we should be off now.Ewo:I’ll just finish my coffee.
One:Anna and EwoJo and her childrenSamuel and RakelA sixteen-story hotel
The following passage can be divided between the characters or shared randomly among them. It can also be performed partly or as a whole choir sequence
One:This is what we believe in This is what we will continue to believe inThis is what we got
Rakel turns off the tv
Samuel rests his head in her lap – and down in the basement, water starts seeping through the foundations, forcing its way through the sediments, trickling through the insulation, breaking through the vents, the sockets, the outskirts of pipes, along the cracks and the skirting boards. Just dampness at first. Soaking everything. A feeling. Just a feeling – Then it’s there. The water, the force of it, the pressure of it. As it breaks through, pours in, seeping into the carpets, the linen, the dirty sheets in the wicker baskets in the washroom, the grey heaps of laundry on the basement floor. And it keeps on coming. And it keeps on rising. Up the staircase, covering stacks of chairs and discarded shelves at the backside of the parking lot. Washing with it lightbulbs and radios and dvd-players. Wine-lists and napkin holders and old menus. Rising up along the basement walls and spilling onto the ground floor, soaking the soft brown carpet in the hotel lobby, pushing up the elevator shafts, filling the elevators, and bursting out through the doors on the first floor where it spurts, brown and murky over the newly waxed floorboards into the breakfast area.
A traffic-jam over by McDonalds. Cars honking their horns by the malfunctioning traffic-lights.
A hot breeze blowing through the park. Dry leaves adrift across the lawn. Pushing onwards as the wind pushes it along the tarmac on the other side, as an UAV takes off. Fully armed.
This is what we believe in. This is what we know: Ewo chewing on a bun. Samuel’s head in Rakel’s lap.And Rakel turns on the TV again. She turns to a channel showing nature programs: Zebras, savannahs, killer whales.
And the water is filling the hotel basement the kitchen where pots and pans are floating alongside cabbages and cooking utensils, bottles and washing-up liquid, packets of sweet peas, parcels of plastic forks and plastic spoons, containers with offcuts and cold meat. And the water fills the plumbing pours out of the hundreds of toilets and the washbasins on the first floor spurting from showerheads and bathroom drains And the debris washes across the marbled floor pushes its way through the corridors where the surveillance cameras shortcut past the control room where the computers shortcut and there are people in the doorways pushing against each other and the doors – Who locked the doors! Why are the doors locked!
One:This is my voice. I am the one talking. When it’s quiet – when there is nobody there to listen – and Rakel says:
Rakel:What do you believe in?
Do you believe in anything?
Do you believe in anything at all, Samuel?
One: And the UAV is heading for the northern provinces of Aghanistan, the southern parts of Somalia, the western parts of Angola. And the sun beats down on the scorched grass in the park as the traffic jam slows and jilts, edging its way past the hotel, past the H&M, trickles into the alleys – and the fallen leaves lift for a moment as the wind sweeps them up in one swift movement pushing them on to the curve and onwards spiraling red and ocher. And the lights go out all the lights are out the only light there is the flickering blue from the TV-screens across the white leather sofa in a private suite across the pink bedspread in a room for one across the king-sized bed in a double and a deer lowers its head to drink and the riverbeds are running like dried-out veins across the Afghan provinces /
Rakel:It hasn’t rained all summer. How I wish it would rain.
One:– as eight Afghan women herd their goats along the dried-up creeks carrying piles of brittle wood on their back And Ewo says:
Ewo:Are you ready?
One: And the water has reached the second floor now and it’s still rising /
Ewo:I’ll show you how fast it can go.
One:– and it will keep on rising as it floods the breakfast restaurant lifts the chairs, the tables, tear to pieces the flower arrangements all ready and waiting for the evening banquet sweeping with it a dozen teak tables as it reaches the grand dining room on the third floor as it reaches the bar its mirrored surfaces its glass shelves filled with bottles of booze bottles of wine bottles of soda water and the pressure rises and it reaches the glass wall leading into the conference area and the glass breaks and the wall bursts and as it collapses, cascades of broken glass spurt, fall and sink to the floorgreat piles of shards of glass, bottles, cutlery, chairs – and through this broken landscape drift the floating bodies One by one at first then in pairs and soon there are hundreds of them face up face down like sleepers sinking to the floor as if the hotel is a gigantic ship about to keel over.
This is how it goes. The water will keep on rising until the room is full, until the room is bursting with water cracking, sighing, shaking as the pressure mounts as the doors burst open the doors burst open and torrents of water start thundering along the corridors carrying with them suitcases and bags hairbrushes and makeup-kits, toys and old train sets, condoms and diapers and bundles of last week’s newspapers while Jo runs down the corridors pushing her way amongst the panicking crowds she can’t find her girl the girl with the brown coat holding her oldest girl by the hand carrying the youngest on her hip She does not shout She isn’t making a sound The baby isn’t making a sound They have their eyes on the elevator Their eyes on the target /
Anna: Faster! Make it go faster!
One: – and in the park, the grass is yellow and brittle from the lack of rain, the ground cracked, all dried out along the foundations of the multi-story hotel complex where the windows on the ground floor, the windows on the first floor and the windows on the second floor are about to burst open as the windows on the 3rd and 4th floor are about to burst open as the building is about to get filled with water On the 6th floor where the lights from the television sets are still flickering as the water reaches the 5th and on the 7th Samuel is resting his head in Rakel’s lap and there is a trembling a murmur from underneath their feet from the ceiling the inside of the walls and they can hear how the building shakes and sighsand Rakel just sits there watching the screen watching the hummingbirds a baby giraffe being born a baby zebra being born a baby zebra fleeing a lion attack a hyena attack the dust pluming around its feet the blood in the sand the fear in its eyes and the water engulfs the cameras in the west wing soon the whole hotel will be flooded as it pushes up the elevator shafts as the walls crumble as the walls get skinned, leaving the wallpaper drifting in dark gigantic sheets covered with subtropical flowers and Jo is running now she has lost her oldest and her girl in the little brown coat she is clinging on to her youngest as she has left her safe stand by the elevator as she is forced by the crowds unto the staircase further and further up away from the water away from the screams and the shouting up to this creepy silence and as she walks the wall of water follows and as she opens the door to the staircase leading on to the floor above this one the water is there waiting for her thundering over her as an avalanche as a wall of dark green glass as it collapses over her as she stands inside it holding onto her baby as the baby gets ripped out of her hands as the pram gets ripped out of her hands and Rakel is watching a pelican take flight – an eagle take flight – an albatross take flight and a UAV crosses the sky leaving behind a pale white trace across the bright blue and Samuel says:
One:– as the windows on the ground floor burst open as the windows on the first floor burst open as the windows on the second floor burst open as the windows on the third floor burst open and the water spurts out of them, falls in cascades along the building’s shiny surfaces showers the air waters the earth and the withered grass washes over park benches awakes the sleeping homeless drenches the shoepolishers and the dogowners wets the dusty wings of a flock of sparrows and the earth drinks it up and the stone hard ground becomes wet and dark and from somewhere deep down the water starts to pull upwards and inwards into roots and stems into budding branches a violent burst of green
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