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2010. február 14., vasárnap

GEORGE SPIRO - CHICKENHEAD - A Tragedy in 16 Scenes

GEORGE SPIRO

CHICKENHEAD

A Tragedy in 16 Scenes

(1985)

Translated from the Hungarian by Andrew Bock

Scenes
1. 2. 3. 4. 5. 6. 7. 8. 9. 10. 11. 12. 13. 14. 15. 16.

Characters of the Play:

Old Woman
Professor
Woman
Father
Mother
Boy
Punk
Sergeant
Cop
City Building Inspector
Flirt
Teenager

Time and Place: Budapest, mid-1980s, an apartment building's internal courtyard, on the outskirts of the city. Upstage center is a tall, arched entryway with wooden doors. Up right, OLD WOMAN's apartment door. Stage right is WOMAN's door, and down right is PROFESSOR's door. Up left is a small garage, and left is FATHER's apartment door. Center stage is a carpet rack. Also center stage is a small plot of dirt.


Scene 1.

(Afternoon. From the carpet rack a dead cat is hanging by its neck. OLD WOMAN enters through the upstage entryway holding a plastic bag in one of her hands, blood dripping from it.)

OLD WOMAN
Here kitty kitty, kitty, pssss psssss! (She puts the bag down in front of her door and looks for her keys in her purse.) Come on out now - I brought your food! (She takes the bag into the apartment with her. Short pause, then she comes out.) The chicken heads melted - they weren't frozen through well enough - but they're still good, kitty - I smelled them - now I don't have to go out again for another ten days. (Beat.) If you only knew what a line there was - I thought I wouldn't get any - but I did - I was praying the whole time that I would - they were buying 'em up in big bags - 20 kilos at a time - I thought I wouldn't get any but I did. We were lucky today, kitty - do you know that? What a long trip it was there and back - and then they melted - and the blood was dripping - what a long trip - I put them inside two bags - they watched on the street car - the blood dripping - well, come on and I'll give you some - some of the good stuff - then I'll chop it up and put it in the freezer so you'll have delicious chicken heads. Nobody has it this good - even you don't deserve it, kitty, pssss pssss! (She walks around the courtyard looking for the cat.) You didn't even eat breakfast - now where the hell are you? You must be hungry - I'll put them in the sink - I'll give you some then chop up the rest with the hatchet because they're frozen - I'll put it in the freezer - you'll have delicious kitty food - it's good for two weeks - at least twelve days - at least twelve days - you've got some life, you little animal - where are you? Kitty? (She sees the cat hanging from the carpet rack. Beat. She cries out inarticulately, after a second walks shaking to the cat and with quivering hands grabs the twine and tugs at it until it breaks off. She hugs the cat to her breast, runs inside her apartment, and screams are heard. Her voice fades. Silence.)


Scene 2.

(Enter BOY and PUNK from the arched entryway. BOY walks over to FATHER's door, turns the doorknob and tugs violently, but the door doesn't open.)

BOY
Fuck.

PUNK
Huh, not here?

BOY
Fucking bullshit.

PUNK
Not home, huh? (BOY pounds on the door. Beat.) No one's here, huh?

BOY
Why ain't he fucking home? I come home - why ain't he fucking home? (He pounds and kicks the door violently.)

PUNK
Why don't you got a key?

BOY
From where? Huh? Idiot.

PUNK
Why didn't they give you one?

BOY
'Cause they didn't.

PUNK
My dad gave me one.

BOY
Fucking great, he gave you one. I don't give a fucking shit.

PUNK
Why didn't your old man give you one?

BOY
Dude, man. Shut the fuck up.

PUNK
Okay, then let's go.

BOY
What the fuck for -

PUNK
You just like want to fucking wait here?

BOY
That fucking bother you?

PUNK
We'll like come back later -

BOY
Dude, man! I pictured me coming home - he's here - I pictured the whole thing. I come home and here's pop - I saw it lots of fucking times and it was cool - it was fucking cool. - I saw it all: we go to a game, drink beer, everything..

PUNK
No game today.

BOY
I pictured all this shit - you know?

PUNK
No game nowhere today -

BOY
Who fuckin' cares! I saw it a hundred times - I remember - fucking everything, man - why ain't he home?

PUNK
We'll come back.

BOY
Sit the fuck down - go to hell.

PUNK
What? What the fuck, man?

BOY
Nothing. Fucking dick.

PUNK
Man he'll be here.

BOY
Shut the fuck up. (Short beat. PUNK sits down.) Everyone was asleep - and I see me coming home - then I was already here - and everything was like I wanted - and it was mine - just mine - I could always see this - this courtyard - they snore - you can't sleep - the guard comes in at night to see if anyone's jerkin' off. (PUNK laughs.) Jerkin' off ain't allowed - but they do - there's a light on so the guard can see - but not everywhere - 'cause I got the bottom bunk and the light don't shine in my face.

PUNK
Man, I'd like go for the top bunk.

BOY
Fucking go then.

PUNK
The top one'd be better, man.

BOY
OK, the top one's fucking better. Yeah, you know. Try making your bed on the top - they jump you if you step on the bunks - I jump anyone who steps on mine. Make your bed in two minutes - 'cause the fucking guards comes in and if it ain't right they fuck you up. Get the top bunk. (Short beat.) Like you can fucking choose. Like you can say what you want. Smack you so hard you puke your fucking brains. It ain't like that. If your shoelaces break - smack! Lunch and you spill soup - - smack! And they knock your arm when you're carrying the tray or when you're lifting the spoon - and you can't fucking get 'em - 'cause they come in at night gauran-fucking-tee you're sorry.

PUNK
Fucking rough.

BOY
They steal your fucking tools - put grease on 'em - you don't know who - them. Then you fucking grease theirs like fucking hell - in two weeks you're greasing - and then they puke on your fucking clothes - then you get wasted and puke on their's - it's not like you think.

PUNK
What'd they grease?

BOY
The motherfucking tools! (Mockingly:) What'd - your balls!

PUNK
Your tools?

BOY
Their's. Such a dick stain. Their tools.

PUNK
Yeah.

BOY
Fuck it. You find a weaker kid and beat the shit out of 'em - - you got to - and if you don't - they fuck with you. You ain't in - you can fucking forget it.

PUNK
It must be alright.

BOY
What?

PUNK
Over there.

BOY
Fucking excellent.

PUNK
There's like something there at least, that's like something. What's here, man? That's like something over there.

BOY
They fucking do anything they want. We work in the factory - black market shit - we steal for them - do their work - they sell it - we even deliver it 'cause if not they fuck us up - the motherfuckers! And they got this whole talk - we should be grateful - they say all this fucking bullshit - one big family, they are our you know - our you know - they're our parents - our guardians - everything - and we should be happy we got a dick to piss from.

PUNK
Man, they talk shit over here too, that's, like, everywhere.

BOY
I got this - this fucking courtyard - I saw it lots of times - it was just bigger - taller - everything was bigger - why ain't pop home?

PUNK
What'd you think, man? He didn't even write, did he?

BOY
Just shut the fuck up - fucker.

PUNK
You said he didn't write, you said it.

BOY
I'm gonna hit you so hard you'll fucking explode!

PUNK
What'd you want from your old man, he don't even know where you are. (BOY suddenly punches PUNK in the face. PUNK looks stupidly up at him)Hey, man, why'd you do that?

BOY
Shut up. (Short beat.) Cocksucker. Be happy that's all you fucking got. Shooting your fucking mouth off. If you were there you'd fucking learn - I even told you - they don't even tell you - the teacher fucking drinks - they can't fire him 'cause there's not enough - you don't know why he smacks you - 'cause he hates all the boys - he's just there 'cause he gets a place to stay and he drinks. What's this?

PUNK
What?

BOY
(Pointing to the garage:) What the fuck is this?

PUNK
Garage. A garage.

BOY
What garage?

PUNK
That's what it is.

BOY
This wasn't here before! This wasn't here!

PUNK
I don't know, man. It's here now.

BOY
Why's there a garage here? Why right here? (Short beat.)

PUNK
Okay, we gonna stay here for fucking ever, let's go. To the square.

BOY
Why? What the fuck's there, huh?

PUNK
Nothing, man, we just hang out. I go over there and see who's there. And sometimes - you came over - didn't you? I was there watching you come over, and I'm, like, thinking he looks like you. And you hit me, man! I was fucking happy it was you 'cause there'd be something happening. Something. Nothings ever happening around here. And then you, man, I didn't narc on you, did I, man, huh?

BOY
Huh? What? What happened?

PUNK
I remember. They took you away, I stayed fucking right here, no friend no nothing. Didn't even know why they took you. I asked people, no one knew nothing. I remember.

BOY
That's history - I've been to - this is the eighth home since then - eight - they don't fuck with me - not me - I know how to deal - they don't fuck with me - can't fuck me over. I know who makes the rules - know right off. There's these fucking teachers who like boys - pretend to care about them - then go away with them - you can fucking guess. I don't fall for that shit - all that talk - the tough guards are full of shit too - and they don't do nothing to anyone - not me - no fucking way. (Short beat.)

PUNK
Hey, where's the fucking cat?

BOY
What?

PUNK
It fucking climbed down! (Laughs) The fucking cat jumped down! (He shows BOY the torn twine on the rack.)

BOY
They took it down.

PUNK
She cut it off, huh? (Laughs) Bet she fucking freaked, bet she freaked. Too bad we couldn't see it. That fucking cat. Clawing the air scratching. (Laughs)Its four legs twitching, stupid cat. I'd a watched her take it down. (BOY goes to FATHER's door and bangs on it.) Hey, your old man, like, come home now, or what?

BOY
Why the fuck ain't he here? I come home once why ain't he here?!

PUNK
Let's go, come back later.

BOY
Why this shit happen to me? Motherfuckinghell! Why this shit happen to me?!

PUNK
Let's fucking go. (WOMAN enters through the arched entryway, bags in both hands)

BOY
Hello.

WOMAN
Hi. (She puts the bags down and searches for her keys, opens the locks. BOY and PUNK watch. She turns around to face BOY.)

WOMAN
Is... Is that you? (Short beat.) They let you come home?

BOY
Yeah.

WOMAN
You've grown up handsome.

BOY
Well -

WOMAN
Your sister didn't come?

BOY
I dunno.

WOMAN
Why, where is she?

BOY
I dunno.

WOMAN
We haven't seen her for years.

BOY
Me too. (Short beat.)

WOMAN
And are you staying?

BOY
No - just three days - don't you know where my dad is?

WOMAN
No. (She grabs her bags.) How you've grown. I bet the girls are running after you. Sure they are.

BOY
Good bye. (WOMAN goes in and closes the door. Short beat.)

PUNK
Fuckin' a!

BOY
What? (Looks at the door.)

PUNK
Her tits! Fuckin' a.

BOY
Ah, she's old.

PUNK
Why? She ain't old.

BOY
Ah, she's no good. Her?

PUNK
Well she's alright. Why, wouldn't you fuck her? Huh?

BOY
Then fucking fuck her. You don't even say hi.

PUNK
Why, I don't even know her, why should I fucking say hi when I don't even know her?

BOY
You come here for years and you don't fucking know her?

PUNK
Why should I say hi? Huh? Why? Fuck it! (Short beat.) Let's go, what're we doin' here. There's nothing here, we'll come back, or go in and fuck her, let's fucking go.

BOY
Fucking shit he ain't here - why ain't it like it should be - it never fucking is.

PUNK
Let's fucking gooooo. (Both exit.)


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