Characters: me, Jan, Inés, actors x3, girls on stage
Time: chilly January’s evening
Theatre set: Centro Culturale San Gaetano, Padua
I am sitting in a fluffy armchair of blue color, the same one as all the others filling the theatre room. There is Jan, a friend of mine of Dutch nationality on my left. We are as calm, as relaxed as Sunday evening permits us to be.
I am staring at the warm yellow shade of reflectors that create circles on the wooden board of theatre. Point by point my eyes are scanning the elements of scenography. Theatre, actors, play, art, comedy, tragedy, sonets, poems, intervals. The bag with associations, as Pandora’s box , has just opened itself. Smart quote “Life is theatre”, I think it was Shakespeare, occurs to me. What a cliche in the end.
So that means
So that means that
So that means that I
So that means that I am
So that means that I am part
So that means that I am part of this
So that means that I am part of this performance?
My pupils dilate with astonishment. Five seconds of my life just has escaped.
. . . . .
. . . . .
Subdued lights, the rumour of conversations slowly lowers, Jan is animating conversation:
-So, Zuz, do you think it is gonna be long?
– What, the performance you mean? I don`t know Jan, probably not less than 2hours
-Gosh, it is already 21:15
– I know…
-Well, you will be translating, “C1 girl”
– Well, I don’t think I’m gonna understand everything….
-C’mon, Jan, why not? Your English is pretty good.
– It is in Italian, the play
– In Italian?!?!? Not in English?
Italians actors on the stage are supported by foreign girls, e.g. of German and Spanish nationality. Actors. The Fat, The Short, The Handsome one. Me and Jan give them names; human need to label things does not leave any space for excitement with The Unkown.
If things are called with their names, they get materialized and cannot be ignored anymore,however if they remain in the cloud of unpronunced words, they can just evaporate over time.
The House of Sprits, I. Allende
-You know, Zuz, the fat guy is really good
Jan is reading in my mind, I suppose. I am leaning my head towards him to reciprocate his smile.
The audience burst out with laugh. Oh Romeo, Romeo, why do you have to be Romeo? The yellow wig that imitates Julia’s hair fascinates me with its ugliness, I cannot take my eyes off it. Romeo, why do you have to be Romeo? Julia casted by fat actor does not lose her spirit. I think Shakespeare figured it out well: short was the Love of them, not spoiled with expectations. He was not lying on the coach with remote control in his hand, she couldn’t make it to create #ThingsToDo list in their shared future. There was no time for it. There was no time for looking for new format, dinner at his parents’ place, her being offended, his beer with mates.
Suddenly there is a request from the actors towards us, the audience, to shout out loud the phrases written down on banners. The banners, as in genuine reality show, are kept by hostesses. Not that much authentic are these hostesses, I must say. No breast on the view, no mini skirts, no sexuality being exposed, hostesses wearing just simple white shirts. Shirts, white collars, the association wih contemporary working world occurs to me.”
“My biological clock rings tic -tac, I want a child now“, says the motto on the banner. Modern Julia, emancipated, in white shirte and red lipstick, independant. In-dependant. Dipendant because of “want”, because modern Romeo needs a banner, not a note written on elegant stationary.
I notice her, the Spanish girl, on the stage. Familiar face, unfamiliar behaviour, banner in her hand in the colour of expectations. I am losing the train of thoughts.
I am checking my mobile phone, although I am having a whale of time. Uff, what an addiction it is… Short break is streching, few seconds more, please as I notice a red notification in the corner of characteristic green app. Curiosity wins, I swipe with the finger over the glass surface, chat opens, inside there is a message of nice content.
What a pity
What a pity that
What a pity that again I
What a pity that again I forgot about
What a pity that again I forgot about watching the play.
I am back. Jan sitting on my left is murmuring “Jesus Christ”. Calling God in this case has I suppose some simbolic meaning, as he is not a believer.
Buuuuuum. A massive body that hits the wooden floor, my breathe stops unconsciously, I move on my seat to be able to see better when the Fat actor falls. Dutch friend on my left is raising his hand, I observe his moves, his hand that touches head, just like that, probably not even being aware of it. Behind that movement there is an abundance of emotions, body, body that hits makes that noise. I don’t like it, I want to leace, I want to clik the “Close” icon or at least “Pausa” icon, but no, I cannot , it is a theatre, it is not permitted to break rules here.
It is not entertaining, it is not entertaining at all that the massive body hits the floor.
There it is, the Protagonist of the Evening. The blond girl in the bun. “Look at her, it is Inés”. Jan lights up, doest not hide his satisfaction. It doesn’t get through to me that it is the same Inés with whom we sometimes ride a bike and gossip about daily stupidities, the same Inés with whom i need to clean appartement and who, God know why, is capable of reading maps. No, that blond girl on the stage is not Inés. It is a Character. Inés is just borrwoing a bit of herself.
It is stupid that taking photos is not allowed. I am turning around. It hasn’t come to no ones’ mind yet to break rule. Well, I don’t think twice, I am knocking the oval bag witht he heel, the mobile phone that falls on the floor, I am noiselessly leaning to reach for it. The “Camera” app, click, I am sharpening the frame, shot. “Jesus, what are you doin‘?!”. Jan sitting next to me is bridling at the view of phone in my hand. “Give me yours, honey, mine is not working well“.He is silently givinig me his model of an apple simbol, does not say anything more, is too well-educted to critize me. “Inés wouldn’t like it, you know“. He reaches for a good argument, well…. All in all she is our common friend. “Don’t worry, she is on the stage so probably now is not gonna come here to stop me“, I am answering. Happy with the shot, I sit again in the blue armchair.
. . . . . .
The noise of the cheese that sticks to the frying pan, the tiredness in the smell of pizza eaten at one p.m., I am starving, Inés murmurs, the table that is keeping her head in order not to fall. I don’t understand if that strange play was worthy this late hour, this covered-with-pizza-taste tiredness, I need to get up early tomorrow, you know Inés. But I can feel she is already in another reality, so I just cover my tiredness with the gentle smile, then I have a bit of dry pizza.
. . .
“The world is a stage, but a play is badly cast”