Research Area C
A collaborative play by Kristin Eìriksdottìr, Gianluca Iumiento, Tale Næss, Sigbjørn Skåden og Albert OstermeierAssembled by head-writer and dramaturge Tale Næss
and four children pretending to be animals
All actors are on stage all the timeThe scenes and actions run parallel more often than not. Sometimes they overlap
The text in italics can be read as stage directions
They could also, or as well, be shared between the performers, read by one actor, or shared between the performers representing the children
The text in brackets is not be read
PART 1 – IN THE BEGINNING
The characters enter the stage
The children are watching from afar
Each of them locked up in a room, in a cupboard, in a grown person’s life
They own the statue of the little girl with the matchsticks
They own all these Danish statues of white children grimacing
They own these candlesticks
They own these hand-made coasters
They own this African quilt
They own this silk
They own this linen
They own these napkin-rings
They own this silver
They own these silver spoons
They own these silver forks
They own these silver knives
They own this painting of dancing women
They own this painting of a quiet man
They own this painting of forms and colors
They own this Turkish rug
They own this old porcelain
They own this stereo
They own these speakers
They own this TV
They own this sofa table
They own this chair
They own this chair as well
And this chair
The room is empty
I had a dream
Julian:I saw this rock that looked like a giant head
floating like – And the sun was setting
I wouldn’t call it beautiful
It was more
It was like floating, tipping ever so slowly – up and down in the water
A gigantic face, tipping in the water, as the sun sets
I call that beautiful
We have everything we need, don’t we?
We do – don’t we?
Yes, it’s so lovely
here on this island – this time of year
It’s not an island
It’s not an island – it’s a peninsula.
You keep calling it an island – but it is a peninsula. That’s where we live
I don’t like the way you’re looking at me right now
How am I looking at you?
Like It’s my fault
Like I’ve done something wrong
Like I have a smoking gun in my hand
I’m looking at you like someone who knows that something is about to happenSomething terrible with our children
As they speak, the children start filling the room with objects
with china, tables, forks and table clothes
bicycles, books, stairways and staircases
napkins and napkin-rings
Look at this napkin ring!
Look at this picture of white children grimacing
Look at this painting of a quiet man
(the Badger picks up battle axe)
Leave it alone
(The Badger lifts the axe. Swings it)
He claimed it!
I claimed it!
Watch it – or he’ll chop your heads off!
They gritted their teeth and celebrated Christmas together
They only did it for us They only did it because of usBecause we were their children She got us and the house and all the stuff but he got nothing at all He left and she stayed and she never threw anything outShe just packed the drawers without even looking through them, just bagged them and taped them. There was just this old random mess To think how she carried this ugly old mug with her, from apartment to apartment, since early in the nineties
It’s going to get better
So – I saw this badger
In the garden
Shit. You know, when they bite, they don’t stop until they feel the bones
Yeah. Until it crunches. It’s so nasty
Julian:Maybe we were all badgers once
My husband is one for sure
(Lina does a funny badger face)
That’s right. That’s how he looks! Definitely a badger!
Do you think it’s gone?
What? The badger?
Yes, the badger
I think it is. I guess it was migrating from the forest to the water or something like that. I’m not an expert
Ah – it’s lovely on this island this time of year
Don’t you just love the flowers and –
Excuse me –
It is not an island
Don’t say that
That it’s an island
It’s a peninsula
An island is inaccurate
An island have water
It’s surrounded by water
This is not an island
You all call it an island, but it’s not – it’s a peninsula, we live on a
peninsula, a peninsula that’s where we live so why does everybody go on
calling it an island!
It was not enough
A house, a garden, out of the center, close to the water,
perfect for kids
We came in the marked, such a luck, we were relieved
My wife – She works less, I work more, she wants more, she wants more of me We went to the mountains, the snow went away … it’s not global warming. It’s spring, we were too late
The children are watching him
Who is there?
Says the Squirrel
the Fox:Who’s there?
Says the Fox
That’s my father
Says the Crocodile
He is funny
He is mental
He is /
a hyper carnivore apex predator.
A friend of mine returned from Peru the other day
He had taken part in this ritualHe had taken this old magic red Indian medicine – this tea called St. Pedro and he said that it was extra-ordinarythat when he walked on the grass – it was as if it was electricas if the energy floated from the grass, up through his feet from the earth itselfHe touched the water and it was alive – he touched the stonesand they were warmHe felt this energy flowing through the logs that were holding up the maloca like this glowing green field surrounding everything – holding everything together and he said:You knowall things reach upwardsthe trees, the plants – towards the light and I can’t stop thinking about that I think about it when I showerwhen I do my pilates, my yogawhen I drive the children to the kindergartengo to worksit there by the drawing boardlooking at the city plansthe allotmentsthe lintels, the buttresses, thinking about the keystonesimagining it all – tied together by this green field of energy – thinking about high-rises, office blocks, this new apartment block I am working on right now – Like treeslike plantsstretching themselves upwards – electrifiedwhole cities held together by this invisible forceeven the cells in our bodythe molecules in our DNA – and then my heart skips a beatjust skips a beat thinking about what would happen if it disappearedif the connection all of a sudden brokethe energy gone – if the current turnedhow the molecules would fall away from each otherhow the cells in our skin no longer would cling to the cells in our fleshhow the buttresses no longer would hold unto the columns as the keystone tore itself away from the arches, how the arches would collapseas the streets started to drift away from each otherbuildings, rivers, mountains floating in a free falling, tumbling chaosand I pinch myselfand I look up at the skyand I look at my childrenthe way they run, laugh, how they smell in their sleep and I want to hold on to themjust hold on to themlike tie them to my chestand never let go
We got this second kid
We ended up where she wanted to be
with the kids in this suuuuper Steiner place
a kindergarten in the woods – that is beautiful but not very practical
And then there was this problem
What to do with the car?
This electric car?
So I got this Quasqai
It’s big. It’s safe. It’s good for the kids
It drives on gasoline, well hell!
But I just could not get rid of the other one, the electric one – So now I have two Two cars
I try to feel good about myself
The planet won’t die
You are lying
You are right
So why did you say it then?
For you my dear
The ferry leaves the shore
a bird in the bushes
a hoover craft
And Julian says:
Let me fuck you up!
Let me give you a good time!
Let me take you for a ride in my Batmobile!
The Fox lurks under the bed
The Crocodile that is a child makes scary sounds at the breakfast table
Let’s face it, this place is unbearable
They all smile at you, they all seem friendly
But deep, deep inside, you have no idea about what they are thinking
And then one day BOOM! You get stabbed!
You get killed! Just like this! BOOM! Without a notice
Paranoia, this is the home of paranoia
And we are all guilty for not screaming, for not opposing
We are all guilty because we prefer to be invisible
PART 2 – THE HUNTERS
We have water
We have water all around us
We have so much water it feels like an island
An island so huge we almost forget
We have seasons, beautiful and long
with colors and leaves and storms
We have it all
(The children are running around in circles)
I have a tail!
I have a hoof!
I have fangs!
I have the sharpest teeth!
I have the sharpest teeth, the biggest grin, superpowers, handicaps, life-skills, love, a jar filled with sprogs, with jellyfish, heartache
We have a battle axe!
Off with their heads!
The children are hiding in the cupboards
In the basements
In the sewers
In the innards of a roundabout
They are bumping into furniture
Into shelfs and wardrobe-doors
Look at me now!
Listen to the sounds I make
Who is to be the bee?
Who is to be the beaver?
This is an island so huge you could even get lost
This is an island so huge we almost forget – its forests and lakes
valleys and mountaintops
beaches and farms
all drowning in the darkness of the woods
littered with rabbit-holes
dens and hives
two hunters by a creek
waiting for their coffee to boil
Strange. It’s a place, out there – where the waves break
Yes, that’s the Marbakke
Where it suddenly gets deep
It’s the sun. And the wind, – like now – like a head in the waves. A daudinghode. Where the waves break. It appears when the wind turns and then – I’ve seen it. It breaks the surface – a dead man’s head
Can’t say I have. Seen it, sitting here, seeing the sun go down – I’ve been here so many times
It’s the wind, when it turns. I was a child the first time I saw it. Up by Krokelva. Its high ground up there. It’s easy to see it from up high, but you can see it here too
I’ve never heard anybody else mention anything like that – that there is a daudinghode in Vågen
They all know it, and nobody talks about it
That guy, Kroken. Wasn’t he still around when you were a child?
Was he? I don’t know. I can’t remember
He must still have been around when you were that age
No. Not in this area. Not as far as I remember
It was a shooting accident wasn’t it? That deformed his hand?
No, he was born that way
The badger is packing
a battle axe
Where are you going?
He’s going nowhere
He is packing a comb
a packet of chewing gum
He’s going somewhere
Let’s get out of here!
Let’s just get lost!
I am going nowhere
If he’s going somewhere – I’m going somewhere
Who is a coward?
Says the Fox:
The badger is humming
Look – if we are going like
for good –
We should bring some cash
We don’t need cash
I am bringing my swimsuit!
Are we leaving a note?
Who is a bat, is a rat, is a beaver?
Come shooting with me
At what? What do you want to shoot at?
Just at anything at all. We could shoot at some seagulls or at some critters or at this mug your mother left you that you hate so, so much or just at the sky ...
No thank you. I don’t even know you!
Do you have a gun?
I have plenty of guns, we could leave right now and I could let you try all sorts of guns, a shotgun, a handgun, a rifle. I even have a machine gun
And where could we fire all these guns?
At my place
You can sleep at my place
We could drink some more
We could just go on a shooting spree
You could shoot at my stuff
At my paintings
My pots and pans
Not your horse
Not my horses
But anything else
It’s just ... I haven’t even put on make-up or showered or anything
You are fine just the way you are
No, I mean it. I prefer you like this
I always like you best just in your leisure wear
My husband always says
Your husband is a badger
Lina:But you have never seen me in –
Emil:It is up to you
Do I have time to get my purse?
It’s just I don’t like not having my phone ... or money
Lina lies deep in grass. Can you see her?
She is a turtle too big for her shell
She is a princess shedding her skin
PART 3 – CHILDREN ON THE RUN
The wood is green and deep and endless
there – where four animals are making their way through the thickets
Who is there in the water?
Who is there resting in the woods?
We shouldn’t be here
The Badger, The Fox and the Crocodile:
We are not allowed
You know it
We should not cross that bridge
We should not swim that river
Let’s cross it
Let’s jump it!
Let’s splash around
I want to go home
Here comes the boogieman
Says the crocodile
Here comes the hammerfish
Have you ever shot a gun before?
Have you ever shot anyone?
Who then died?
I’m very precise
Always in self-defense?
What do you think?
Yes, maybe just start with this one. Look, now it’s loaded, here, just aim, and pull the triggerSee
Wow, it’s heavy
Is it still loaded?
Yes, just go crazy Shoot
(Lina goes crazy, shooting at everything
The children are crossing the creek
They are never coming home
By a roadside a man stands bent over a flat tire cursing:
Bugger, ass, puke, shit, bugger! Bugger me!
As he continues to curse
Damn, damned, bugger, ass-bugger, motherfucker, fuck!
Fuck, fuck, fuck
As he calms down.
As he is saying:
I wish I was a child again
I wish I was a child
I wish I was a fireman
I wish I was a goldfish swimming in my goldfish-bowl
Do you have any tranquilizers?
Saying: Show me your bags
Show me your hands
Show me your teeth
Show me your hopes and dreams
Show me your secret selves
Show me the way home
Tell me my name
The children watch him
He is crying
What’s wrong with him?
He wants a new name
What name shall we give him?
Maybe he already has a name
Maybe somebody has taken his name away from him
He wants a new name, stupid
Don’t you like your name?
Do we think he deserves one?
Everyone should have a name
What kind of name do you want?
Like a human name?
– like our names?
I have a name for him!
I don’t know
He looks like the type who always gets whateeever he wants
and that’s /
just never good for anyone
They lead him to a tree They tie him to the trunk
I am the Fox
I am the squirrel
as they fill his pockets with honey
as they fill his mouth with ants
It is so easy!
See, I knew you had potential
Who would have thought that it could be so rewarding shooting a gun? Just like this, right into the mud, blah blah
Remember when you gave me a kiss?
You could do it again sometime
Emil takes off his clothes. Underneath he wears shiny prince costume. Jewels falls from his pockets. He drags a chain of pearls from his mouth and puts it around Lina’s neck
PART 4 – LOST
We have forests
We have lakes
We have mountaintops and valleys
We have all kinds of animals
We have creatures, monsters, trolls
We have hidden places and famous ghosts
We have snow, and rain and even darker days
We have it all and it makes us wonder what’s real
Lina:I had this dream
Oh – it’s silly
In this dream, I was a woman
And this woman said –
Lina as the woman
What am I?
(Lina pretends to be an animal)
So what am I?
You are aaaaaa …
Emil as the man
Now – What am I?
(Emil pretends to be an animal)
No, it’s silly
I don’t think it’s silly
It’s kind of fun
Guess – what am I?
A hamster – Come on.
I don’t know!
– a bear
And now it’s your turn
What are you?
Look – it’s a game!
It’s supposed to be fun – Show me!
(Lina tries but gives up)
What’s wrong with you?
Nothing’s wrong with me
It’s just -
– show me!
OK – Wait!
I love it
No – I really – Really. That’s lovely
(in a low voice) You are a squirrel – an alley cat – a tiny white mouse
The children are watching from the bridge
Let’s stay behind
says the other
I tried to sign up for online dating
I thought there must be some horny women online
There must be other compulsive liars who’d want to have an affair with me
Someone that wouldn’t get hurt
Someone open to the terms
We meet we fuck we keep it secret
I was wrong
I couldn’t find anyone like that out there
I ended up spending a lot of money fighting online with women that didn’t want to meet
I mean do they think I’m stupid?
That I don’t get it?
I know they’re paid to entertain me online
To make me feel special
To send me pictures with the hope that one day we will meet or fuck
But the truth is that they are hired by some company to keep me on the website chatting
And since you pay for each email you send
It’s not convenient for them to let you meet out in real life
They’re not people that you can actually spend time with or have fun with
You get it?
They meet liars with lies
That’s maybe fair
They make their profit off our fucking sorrow
They use people’s problems to suck money out of our pockets
I felt so useless when I realized I got depressed because some woman I met onlinewas probably lying to meI was so shocked to realize that she didn’t find me incredibly attractiveThat she was sitting somewhere unknown getting paid to turn me on
Fuck that’s humiliating!
I can’t be a good person
I don’t believe in therapy to change
I don’t believe in art anymore as sublimation
I drove the car, the car drove me, in silence, it’s electric and it drives in silence
It stopped by the water, and there I saw – the feeling
There I could finally meet it, there it was inside me – For an hour, I was by the water, waiting, trying to push the pedal, trying to give gas
I smelt shame
I felt narcissistic shame
You don’t want to die
You’ve never even watched online porn
No, I haven’t
It’s just something you say to impress me
You’ve never believed in in art as sublimation
Yes, I did!
– I know
You are just depressed because some asshole didn’t want to put on your performance, that’s all
I am depressed because I am losing my hair! That’s all!
I don’t need a bed
I don’t need sleep
Don’t need a thing, just a back to push myself against
A resilient back
The real diagnosis is to like me
Four children pretending to be safe
pretending to be what they want to be: a squirrel, a badger, a crocodile and a fox
lighting an engangsgrill
barbequing a chocolate bar and a sandwich and a piece of chicken
Watch out – the chocolate is melting!
I told you
I told you we should have put it on last
Scoop it up!
It’s just like poo – it’s like soup – we could drink it
Four little animals lighting a fire
Shines and glistens in the dark far away
Far away from home
That’s where they are
Are we really?
Are we really like lost?
Lost in the woods
Not kind of lost but like
Like totally fucking lost
Like totally – t o t a l l y /
– fucking – /
Like we have to live on roots and moss and shit, right?
– lost – Right!
I have a can of beans here – if anybody fancies it
Does anybody have a can opener?
We could use a stone or something
Yeah – let’s stone it
They stone the can of beans
I thought about taking a lot of pills
I thought about cutting open my veins, going out like a Roman, sitting in the bath and enjoy the end while reading my favorite book, but then I thought, shit, – we don’t have a bath. We never had the money to replace our shower with a bathtub. She always complains about it. Says the kids should live in a house with the bath – and anyway – I can’t even decide what is my favorite book. It all seems so staged, so thought-outI thought about hanging myself, but it’s not so easy. Too many things can go wrong. Maybe the hook isn’t strong enough, the rope could break, worst case, you risk hanging a long time before you actually die!
It’s like that – That’s the terrible thing – like when you have the feeling that you don’t even own your own words
Not even your feelings
They are – They are not even like /
We know how you feel
They feel even /
– made up?
Made up –
the moment you say them – As you say them – As you speak
I think it’s psychological
Damned sure it’s psychological!
I get so frustrated sometimes
Just so fucking FRUSTRATED -
I just feel like screaming
What if I can’t function
What if I’m like
Like a piece of machinery, like – just
PUFF – and then – no more
Just like scrap
You are not broken
You are not broken, Julian.
How high was the river last time you were here?
I don’t think I’ve ever seen it run this high
This place is not exactly solskinnslia
But that’s where you find them
Where there is little sun, and rough terrain
Up this scree, see?
All along Is-skardet the woods are all crocked
Almost no need to do anything but chopping a emne off the tree and then just carve the bark right off it
You would be pretty silly if you went looking for krokstavemne at the sunny side of eide
One needs to know these things, there is no point whittling the wood
polishing it – if you have a emne that is as straight as an edge
But who has time these days
As soon as the snow melts, – it’s calving, and planting, and there is wood to be chopped
There is no end to it this time of year
But it’s nice
working the wood
when the weather is nice and the summer breezes blows across eide
then this is the place to be, you know
before you have to turn your hand to the firewood
Hunter 1:Who is there?
I thought I heard something
Some children. Laughing -
Did you hear anything?
Can you see that gorge over there, between the mountains?
When you see it from this direction, it looks like if someone has cracked the mountain right open, – there. That crack over there. Can you see it?
Now I see it!
They say that one day that crack will just burst open. That it will open itself up into an abyss. No one knows when it will happen. It could be tomorrow – or in a hundred years from now.
The children are standing at a clearing
They are waiting for the sun to come out
I have the prettiest tail in the world!
I have the sharpest teeth!
Come on everybody!This way – Over here!
The Badger Grrroooowl
PART 5 – THE DARKNESS
We have it all and we know it’s precious
And all we can feel, is the darkness
All we can see, is the darkness
All we can think, is darkness
Julian alone on the stage)
in the beginning was the word you
did not hear me did not see me did
not cover your eyes did not hear
a word think a thought did not hear
me breathing your breathing it is for you
I stand in darkness for you I
am night I am the blackness
that surrounds me it’s like
the air in your lungs I
pour gasoline over me can
you hear the sound of it like water
heavy water that swirls
that leaps across the wall the
dam that falls to the ground
spreads itself out touches your
feet you stand barefoot in it it folds
around you you do not hear my thoughts
not a word you do not know that
which is going to happen a work of art
that’s what will happen we will
make a work of art
that is what you will do you are all there
you are all invited
you are all a part of my story you
are my work of art your lives
your fears your memories
your thoughts your
feelings the fucking that already
goes on in your heads that which you detest
the punches the caresses the way you can’t stop
thinking about your children your cat
and the wind fills the hall
it caresses our necks it is
so cold a rough hand and even
if it is there the air is still
it is all a totally still as if the
air that’s there was constituted by our breath as
if in this hall on this peninsula we are
running out of it the air
we breath it stinks soon it will reek of gasoline
I have begged you to come you
all know each other I know you all
you have all become one word for me that’s
enough that you are here that you know
why we know each other we
sleep with one another we kill
each other we make each other
sick we love
one another we hate we have
had enough of one another and still
we want more … that is all
a complete murky darkness … you
sit here like blind as
you learn to see with your
senses to read with your minds as your fears are being
unlocked the singing in you and your heart breaks out
into the open out of your
narrow chests but you are
caught here in this waiting in this
silence in the silence of the other and the
silencing of others … as we avoid
each other’s gaze
we are on an island of bliss we are
the makers of Utopia that will arise
from the truth that I speak we will
die you and you and
me and you
and your child in your home and the
dog and the deer as the forest burns down as
it all burns down as
the oceans rise aflame you will be
on this island in an ocean of flames you
as the ice turns to heat you are
the heart of my art
the eye of the storm
I have this gasoline and this matchstick with it
I will draw your portraits … you will
burn for my art for
our joint venture
each and every one of you will become
an artist and as one finally
like one… you take leave of your personalities you
will become pure colours you
will become my colours you
will become all ears you
can hear every word I say
(he lights a match)
you rise as I
burn for you I stand
aflame before your eyes
who of you will take his jacket off which one
of you will take his jacket off and throw it
over me which one of you will try
to put out the fire
… as I run through this dark crowd like
a fireball to put you all alight
you and you
and you and you
and you …
while we all
turn into language not flesh
not blood not hair heart only
words freedom will blow you wide open turn you into
word-bodies language-bodies all
languages spoken as one
this peninsula is my Babylon and I am
we are shadows
shadows of words
deep inside you there is light
you are all lit up
like through a window you can spot your own
inner selves can you read your
own hearts what is written there
in the dusk
that which makes what’s readable
this night smells of gasoline
hear how I sing
(Sings a children’s song. The author suggests this one – see on YouTube: (https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=upbbgnDXetI)
Its night on the island
Julian stands aflame
The crowd is applauding
The Crocodile is asleep
the Squirrel rests all curled up in the arms of the Badger
he is dreaming of candy floss and little brown nuts
Only the Fox is awake
She has gone hunting
She does not care about the stars
She is not gazing into the fire
She is a turtle too big for her shell
She is just like her mother – a wolf devouring a deer
a princess shedding her skin
Julian:I mean – There is a certain kind of framework that you are supposed to fit into
Consensus paralyses action
I mean – if the idea of what you cannot do is stronger than the idea about what you can do
Like the sniper
What about the sniper?
When he hits
I mean – there is the voice of reason and then the will to act and then – the sniper
These are the days of the sniperThat’s what I think
It’s all about what you do and what you say
Cause and effect
Like when the link is broken then – If what you say – does not mean anything
There is no effect
And the sniper?
That’s what I mean
You have guns?
So – If the link is broken, then -
Why have guns if you are not going to use them?
So – it is the time of the sniper
And get it over with
Who is there in the undergrowth
It is a Squirrel crying in her sleep
I don’t want to play anymore
I don’t want to pretend anymore
You are all lying!
Kate is looking for something
She has forgotten what it was and she cannot find it
She is searching through the bread bin
Where are you –
my little Crocodile?
Where is your den
– my little Fox?
Come out! She cries
– and I’ll play with you
I’ll build you a palace
I’ll fill your purses with flagstones and gold
I’ll be the candy-bear
You’ll be the boogyman
You’ll be the astronaut
I’ll be the sun
PART 6 – the hunt
We wonder if we are dreaming
We wonder of the outside
And all we can feel is its darkness
And all we can see it is darkness
And all we can think, it is darkness
Do you think they still remember us?
The children are leaving the peninsula
They are entering the mainland
moving deeper into the interior – and as they do, they are leaving a trail behind them
a plastic bag
a candy wrap
the Badgers left shoe
The night is there
the marsh spreads out between the pine trees
pulling at their roots as the puddles grow darker
Hey – did you hear that?
There it was again
Wasn’t that the voice of a child
Yes – I saw something moving
I think that was a fox or something
Or a squirrel
Could have been a squirrel
the two hunters stop
lowering their guns
listening for a moment
now it’s gone
nothing moving in the undergrowth
But you saw it too?
And now it’s gone
But it was there – as big as a child – I’m sure of it
If you had an accident
If you shot someone
Accidentally – or if somebody shot you
It’s just. It’s not as if you would be missing much.
I mean, what would you miss? Your thoughts?
No ... I certainly wouldn’t miss them much.
But still – I’m not going to shoot myself.
It’s a possibility
I’ve always considered it a possibility. Sort of a privilege even.
That you can shoot yourself in the face if you wanted to
Isn’t that better?
Consider it my gift to you.
You are welcome.
I didn’t thank you.
The hunters wade through the wetlands
Following the traces of tiny footprints
That’s what it’s called
Because it is crooked?
No. Because of that guy that lived down there
He lived by the river. A long time ago.
His hand was so deformed that it looked like a hook, all crocked. Like this
(he shows him) That’s what they say, anyways.
The old folks?
Yes. He never got himself a woman. Just lived there, down by the river alone. Getting by as best as he could with his crooked hand. People looked at him like an original, I guess.
These things happen
What is it?
I’m not sure.
I think it’s a fox. It’s not a squirrel, not a hare. Too heavy
– it might be a fox
Under the branches
It is really big. As big /
– as a six year-old.
I got it.
Are you sure it’s an animal?
I got it
Should we not – I think it’s -
The sound of a gunshot
What was that?
What was what?
It was as if fire touched my back.
I felt nothing
It is a peninsula
It will never move
And then it does
there is a cracking noise
and then a silence
A cracking noise and then a movement – at the place where the peninsula is at its narrowest
A fox lies dead in the woods
It is cold
The children that pretend to be animals pretend no more
PART 7 – THE ISLAND
What’s that sound?
It sounded like thunder
Or an earthquake
It’s probably just the world coming to an end
With my luck?
Today is not the day
If you were a bird
You could see it
A peninsula tied to the mainland and then a crack
straight across eide
You would see the suburbs, and the lake and the kindergarten
You would see eide
And then the wood and the marshland and the little dead fox
At eide there is a trail of ants
and a tree
with a man tied to it and then suddenly a crack
and you would see how the crack spins and moves
chewing up the tree – the man – the trail of ants
leaving the interior on one side
and the peninsula on the other
There it was again!
Let’s go home
says the boy
I want my mother
Says the girl
I am scared
As if something shifted underneath our feet
Opening up and getting ever wider
Turning the peninsula into an island
How close was it, do you think?
At least on the other side of the marsh
Look at the trees!
Look at the Fox
It’s not moving
I don’t want to look at the Fox
Will she ever move again?
Look at the water in my cup!
How cool is that!
Look at the trees
Look at the trees – says the Squirrel as the Fox lies outstretched on his back
Give her the battleax
She never wanted the battleax
Give it to her!
It was always you who wanted that battleax
I don’t want to have anything to do with it
As the trees shake as the leave tumble over them as they jump and shout between twigs and branches
The Fox should have it!
As the world rips open – as Julian stares down in the abyss: Bye bye children
Bye bye hunters
Bye bye mainland
I don’t want to die!
You are not going to die!
There it goes again?
The ground’s shaking!
What was it?
The Squirrels looks at the Badger who looks at the Crocodile
My belly’s shaking!
My tail is shaking!
I don’t like this anymore
We better call somebody
Who do we call?
and rocks starts rolling down the slopes
and the rumbling grows higher
and the river starts to spill its water onto the marshes
and the lake rips open like a ripe fruit
Pouring its sweet water into the ocean as the hunters picks up their guns in that dark interior far away from danger
As the rivers ripple – as the Badger clings to the Crocodile
As the Squirrel clings to the Badger
And the Crocodile keeps slamming its tail in the mud shouting to see if her voice is bigger than the rumble
As the peninsula starts tearing itself away from the mainland
as if it had a will of its own
Really Kate – I don’t want to die!
Nobody is dying
This is not the end.
It can’t be – whatever end you’re looking for... it’s not going to happen while
we’re here on this island
Emil – could you just hold me for a second
What did you say?
I cannot hear you for all that noise!
We should jump, all together. Before it’s too late.
How strange – I feel like this is all a metaphor
Maybe it’s all just a metaphor
I don’t get it
I don’t get it Julian
You’ve always been good with metaphors
I mean – I thought – Even if the world ends, this place would like
stay the same.
Somebody must do something!
I think I’m going to jump.
But you can’t.
He’ll never do it. He’ll never jump.
Well, you’re wrong. I’m going to jump.
You can’t stop a man from killing himself.
What if you don’t die?
If you just keep falling forever?
Once, I tried bungee jumping. Falling was the worst part.
This is a nightmare!
There it is
Floating like on its own like a giant scull – It tips ever so slowly in the water
swaying then stabilizing
Drifting further and further from the mainland
Away from the woods
Away from the children – four little animals – a Fox
Insects building nets in its pointed ears
I always thought of this as an island anyway
This place is where I grew up.
This place is what we chose for our children
We have to find them
Well, we still have the ferry.
The gas station is still here
What if they are there
On the other side
Julian, Emil and Lina:
Don’t be stupid
They are just hiding somewhere
When we moved to this place, we thought this was the exit.
When we moved to this place, I didn’t want to move.
At this point, all we need to do is to relax
Whatever we decide to do, it’s going to be ok –
Whatever we decide to do, it’s no longer our decision.
Whatever we decide to do, we need to transform.
Whatever we decide to do, we need to take care of what we have.
It always gets better
PART 8 – GARBAGE
It’s like –
All I do
All I think
I know –
it comes from society, from our parents –
It creates – like a hole and then -
aaall the time – to be -
It’s the snails
It’s the garbage
We can’t get rid of it
I think –
I mean – I don’t mind the rain.
I am just worried about the snails
This system makes profit off our fucking sorrow
I am just worried about the garden
About all the stuff
My mother died
It’s important – how we live
Did you hear?
This man went to the kindergarten
to pick up his grandchild and discovers that it was the wrong kid
The child – The kid was three
I mean – what a shock
Like picking up the wrong child
How can you do that?
You never slept with the neighbor
You slept with her
You live in denial.
You are in denial
You feel like a coward
You are in denial about how the world perceives you.
And how is that?
How does the world perceive me?
Oh – I am this wonderful person
I recycle my garbage
I want to save the world
Who are you going to save now!?
This planet is already a big dump
A dump full of plastic
And we, we are dancing right on top of it!
Deep in the marsh
Two hunters are burying a child
Deep in the marsh
The birds are chirping: Who is a bat, is a bird, is a beaver?
Before I was careful. I recycled every little item.
If I wasn’t sure I just put it to the side until later. I started thinking about it like raw material. Paper, plastic and all that. Hazardous waste, electronics, wood, aluminum
Now it seems endless.Little by little I’ve just lost my patience. The emotions got me. First it was just a little carelessness. A framed photograph that I just couldn’t deal with dismantling it in order for the paper to go with paper, glass with glass, aluminum with aluminum, wood with wood.
I just threw it in a garbage bag and as soon as I did that – the entire system was flawed
So, in the end – that’s what we all do
We just stuff it all in garbage bags and drag it to the front lawn and there they just stand
thousands of black garbage bags.
No one no longer has any idea of what is what: photo albums with kitchen appliances and stereos and books and pamphlets from every organization – clothes
heaps of winter coats
one for each winter, and all the tiny fibers in all the other coats, all the filling
filling the garbage cans
all this winter
heaped up in the front yards
Five thousands pairs of shoes.
in the roundabouts
Smelly old crusty leather piles
In the school yards
dragging with them some filth from some long gone
It nauseates me.
Sometimes I just wish it would all explode, all of it, just so that we don’t have to worry about it anymore.
Lina keeps roaming through the fur coats
A piece of art
A piece of shit
I hate things!
Why can’t they just self-terminate!
Why can’t they just explode!
A child lies covered with earth
Hunter 1 and 2
The hunters do what they know how to do
I was thinking about doing some fishing. Putting out some nets.
But that’s illegal, isn’t it?
And you are going to do it anyway
It’s only for the good
Thinning it out
Thinning it out?
The fish are too small. And there’s too many of them. So, I am thinning it out
In the river?
You are thinning the river because there are too many small fish in the pond?
Wait – don’t answer
Hunter 1:It was me and my cousin. We were about to jump, but then we heard somebody, long steps across the heather and then we lost our courage. We just turned around and ran away.
Hunter 2: Where did you run too?
Hunter 1:Up. Up along the creek. Into the ravine and through the thickets. Up to the waterfall.It’s hard work, slow all the way to the top. Around it, the ground was covered with Geitrams, by the pond, underneath the waterfall. And no sign of marshland. The waterfall is all hidden behind the thicket, it closes in on it, around the pond.There were some other children there, but when I turned around I could not see any.
Hunter 2:What other children?
Hunter 1:In the waterfall, in the pond. Behind the foxgloves. I cannot see them. Not in the waterfall, not in the pond. But I hear them saying things. Talking.They say – your family has left you. Your family has left you. Your girlfriend has left you. You are alone. They keep on repeating it. You are alone, you have nobody.Far away.Up the hill, I crawl through the ferns, all along the edge of the waterfall. Its steep up there. The earth is so brittle where the fawns grow, I keep on slipping. Slipping. Slipping. But I get up, I get myself up.Then it opens up.The landscape.
Hunter 2:Yes. Up by the lake –
Hunter 2 (continues): – at Isskardet. That icy cleft up there. You walk it and then onwards, as far as you want to go.
Hunter 1 or Hunter 2 or both:
I am up by the water facing it, facing the cleft – and when I turn around, I can see vågen. The bay is clear and frail like –
And as they stand there
The snow continues to fall
It covers the ground
the flowerbeds and garbage cans
soaking the trees lining the roundabout
soaking the paths leading into the cracks – into the place where the island became an island
PART 9 – THE ISLAND
This is the island
This is our home
This is where we drive our car
This is where we ride our horses
This is where the ferry anchors up
Here there was no need for a bridge. Here we were connected, were safe.
This place is a part of the world.
This is how she used to think of it.
Kate parks the Qasqai
Lina is pacing the floors
What is it Lina?
I can not bear it anymore
It’s like acid – corrosion
What is it –
the smell /
– like a cat breaking down inside me a porcupine
melting into me
a seagull, a lumpfish,
an old rat
To think how she carried this ugly old mug with her, from apartment to apartment, –
She is leaving the basement
She is in the livingroom
She is holding the jug
She has these candlesticks.
She has this Danish statue of white children grimacing.
She has these hand-made coasters.
She has this African quilt.
these silver spoons.
these silver forks.
these silver knives.
This painting of a quiet man
and this chair
and this chair – and she starts to shoot
at random first
just randomly at her stuff
at her paintings
her pots and pans
all the leftovers
her mother’s jug
the window in her living room
the windows in her bedroom
one, two, three, four
Drop the gun Lina
Drop the gun!
She goes out
She is heading for higher ground
Let go of the gun!
She lets go of the gun
She is not thinking about slugs
Did you hear that?
The sound of nothing
Is that your gun?
Do you have more?
What do you want to shoot at?
Is it important?
At road signs maybe
Or the garden center
They have a sale on
I was thinking – when I’m done shooting at the mug – that I want to just shoot at the bullet, shoot it once and when it splits open I shoot at the fragments and then again, you see, until there is just powder and bang.
You know there is a part of our brain, from back in evolution, that is activated with the sound of something crunching … it makes us hungry … like when they design chips, they study the crunch … the better it crunches, the harder it is to stop eating. It’s like a biological click in your brain that the crunch activates … that’s why it’s so hard to stop eating chips once you have started …
Smell the grass
Isn’t it lovely?
It’s so lovely here, this time of year – on this peninsula
Kate and Lina:
I am hungry
We’ll eat soon
We’ll find some berries
Or a house
I hate mushrooms
Let’s make a snowman!
Over there – a path!
The badger and the Squirrel:
Let’s take it!
What if it takes us all the way into town
I have a hundred dollar bill
We could get a hot dog, or a pizza,
Or a steak
I want a big, fat bloody steak
The Badger that is a boy starts humming
The Squirrel is right behind him
The Crocodile is humming to
Here comes the boogyman
(As the characters leaves the stage)
They own the statue of the little girl with the matchsticks.
They own all these Danish statues of white children grimacing.
They own these candlesticks.
They own these hand-made coasters.
They own this African quilt.
They own this silk.
They own this linen.
They own these napkin-rings.
They own this silver.
They own these silver spoons.
They own these silver forks.
They own these silver knives.
They own this painting of dancing women.
They own this painting of a quiet man.
They own this painting of forms and colors.
They own this Turkish rug.
They own this old porcelain.
They own this stereo.
They own these speakers.
They own this TV.
They own this sofa table.
They own this chair.
They own this chair as well.
And this chair.
(The room is empty)
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