Contemporary Theatre Project: Creative Writing.
By Pedro Alcazar Bardo.
Scene One (and only).
The stage is very plainly decorated. There is a solid-looking wooden table and a leather armchair at the left hand side of the stage, and a divan couch in the centre.
Psychologist: alright Bob relax, there is nothing to worry about, just relax and breathe slowly.
Bob does as he is told.
Well, how has your week gone Bob?
Bob: I’m not sure actually.
Bob: been thinking about lots of things. I think too much and I don’t like it, I can’t just sit down and relax. My brain keeps working and working, it’s exhausting, it never rests. I would love to become stupid, silly or something: just bang my head against a rock and stop asking myself questions.
Psychologist: last week we were talking about sex. Do you remember?
Bob: I’m not sure… can you refresh my memory?
Psychologist: of course. Sex is a very important part of life; I wanted to see what is your opinion about it, whether you have oppressed sexual desires which can harm you.
Bob: Oh yes good old sex…I fucked a prostitute the other night, it was good.
Psychologist: why did you do that? You are young and handsome. Why pay? You can probably go out and meet girls.
Bob: see, that’s the problem doc. Society sees it as something to be ashamed of, something reserved for old men who can’t even fuck their wives. You are like the rest; I myself was like you until last night.
Psychologist: but what made you do it?
Bob: I felt trapped, trapped by my own morality you see. Nowadays people think that they are really modern, they praise god’s death, they think they are free from all that shit (smiles) but deep inside they are screwed by a little voice that says (whispers) don’t do it, it is baaaaad.
Psychologist looks down to his notebook and writes.
I wanted to do it for the sake of science you know, you probably understand that doc, I wanted to experiment with myself; being able not to listen to that cricket whispering in my ear. For once say good bye to social conventions. I got fed up of it, I wanted to do it but I couldn’t.
Psychologist: how did you convince yourself?
Bob: oh I didn’t convince myself doc, I got drunk. I was convinced I wanted to do it from the first place but the fucking cricket wasn’t you see, so I drowned it.
Psychologist: mmmm…I see. But what do you think is wrong about going out to a bar and trying to flirt with a girl?
Bob: don’t be ridiculous doc, I wanted sex, I did not want to flirt. Why go through all that mating ritual, just to have a bit of in and out in and out? people pretend to be wonderful persons when they flirt. They lie to each other, they do not show their real self, who they really are you know, they put on their masks, they act, they act as characters in a play. We are all actors, even you doc. You pretend to be listening to me but in reality you keep an eye on the watch, can’t wait to go home ehh. They go through all of that silly game for sex, the attacker invites the defender to a drink, just so that her defences will lower, and the horse of troy will go into her castle! They also pay for sex: drinks, nice clothes, a big deal of time, a whole night looking for female victims and still they do not know if they will win the battle or they will look stupid. Prostitutes are the answer, you want sex you have it, and you do not suffer, no lies, no masks, you know who she is and what she wants and she knows who you are and what you want…as clear as water doc.
Psychologist: carry on.
Bob: I don’t know… people normally see prostitutes as the last resource, the last possibility in the chain of sexual relationships. Doc, people are crazy, all of them should be here speaking to me, not me to you… it should be the first step in anyone’s staircase of sex. If you want to marry, have children and all that shit, first of all you have to satisfy all your hidden fantasies, the darkest ones, feed your innate adolescent curiosity you know. You learn how to divide, only after you know how to sum and subtract. Doc you’ve seen all of this couples braking up and divorcing lately, I bet 50% of the cases do it because they want to fuck, fuck, fuck…. He stands up in the Screams… FUUUCK!!!
I tell you what doc, you probably think I’m mad, but I will be the fucking happiest man when I find love. Why?? Because I know what sex is, sex in its barest form…hundred per cent sex.. no added sugars… slowly pronouncing each word I have fucked like a monkey. I think it is the only way I could be happy with someone.
Psychologist: Each one of us decides what he wants to do with their sexual life, anyway you should not get used to paying for sex, and easy sex can be very addictive.
Bob: (his level of voice starts to rise). What do I pay you for Doc? Is that your conclusion? You say that it is addictive, but how do you know? You have not tried it have you?
Psychologist: I am here to help you not to speak about my private life, sorry Robert.
Bob: bullshit! you are here to help yourself you miserable rat. You feed yourself by listening to your patients’ problems and private confessions and then you feel good, you think you are a superior being, sitting there in your leather throne with an expensive suit and a photograph in your desktop showing your perfect family and your wife’s boobs. You probably gossip about us with your wife, have a nice laugh and then touch her tits. But what about your problems? I want to listen to them; I want to feel better by listening to your crap, just like you do with mine.
Psychologist: Robert, you are the patient not me, don’t get confused. All of the things you are telling me right now are just a result of your paranoia, and you need to believe in my abilities as a professional psychologist to cure yourself… I am here to help you.
Bob: (in a much more relaxed tone) I pay. Do not try making me believe that you do not benefit from our meetings, I know you do, you have to believe in my abilities as a patient Edward. I also know that your wonderful wife is not sexually satisfied. I think you should consider Viagra. How old are you Edward? Fifty-five? The average penis…
Psychologist: what are you talking about?
Bob: sex, you asked me about sex before. You want to know about my sex life because yours troubles you; you do not have to hide it Edward. I’m here to help you. I know it must be very difficult to go home and get into bed and lay down there after a hard day with your beautiful wife who is at least 20 years younger than you and who loves your money and not you. I can help you Edward, I can do the dirty work for you, and she will probably like me, I’m younger, taller and more handsome than you and my wily wily works perfectly.
Psychologist: what are you playing at?
Bob: Edward, tell me about your mother.
Bob: laughs. Don’t worry it was just a classic psychologic joke. You never laugh do you? You know laughter increases the level of serotonin, which is one of the hormones responsible for happiness?
Psychologist: I don’t have to put up with this little game, Bob.
Bob: that is what makes me think that you have really big problems, hidden behind that façade of yours, we are masks, remember? We are all characters. Right now you are just playing the role of a psychologist, but maybe you are a psychotic.
Psychologist: (annoyed.) Stop it!!! I am the psychologist here! You are saying non-sense.
Bob: relax,relax Edward sit down.
Psychologist: (controlling his nerves) I am not sitting down, this is my job, I know you pay but you cannot come in here and act like this.
Bob: why not? Where does it say so? Are there some special rules I need to read?
Psychologist: I make my own rules, this is my practice not your one!
Bob: Edward, relax, I am your psychologist, have you been taking your medication?
Psychologist: that is enough!
He picks up the telephone and tries ringing her secretary for help.
Bob: what are you doing?
Psychologist: you have to leave right now; my secretary will show you the way.
Bob: She is not coming.
Psychologist: (he cannot believe what he is hearing) what?
Bob: you heard me, she is not coming.
Psychologist: she will be here in a minute.
Bob: she won’t.
Psychologist: what makes you think so?
Bob: have you ever thought about being inside of a book, or of a play for instance?
Psychologist: I’m not going to answer to your questions anymore, you are leaving.
Bob: What would you think if I told you that we are inside a play?
Psychologist: that would confirm my suspicion that you are totally crazy, but our time has run out, my secretary is about to come in.
Bob: she is not coming in.
Psychologist: (laughs)…ahh, she never fails.
Bob: ok. Let’s make a bet; if that woman goes through that door, you will not see me again, but if she doesn’t you will be doomed to see me again and again for ever.
Psychologist: (considers it for a moment) ok,ok Bob, whatever you say, you have paid me after all.
Bob: (pleased) in the mean while we can carry on the existential question I have just formulated.
Psychologist: fine, a bit of philosophic debate after so much madness.
Bob: know what doc? I think you behave in a very different way towards me, since you fired me from being your patient; it is almost as if you were another person you know. I like it, you are honest and say what you think, not what people want to hear. You think Im crazy that’s fine, that’s fine; perfect, everyone is in the right to think freely. It would have been much better if you had been like this when I was paying for you, it would have been great fun! But money always corrupts everything I suppose.
Psychologist: maybe, who knows?
Bob: so what do you think about my question Edward, does it reflect my lunacy?
Psychologist: Can you refresh my memory?
Bob: certainly; what would you say if I told you that we are characters inside a play?
Psychologist: that is impossible.
Bob: why are you so sure?
Psychologist: laughs. Why Bob, you cannot go around thinking you are a product of fiction! You are getting worse!
Pause, his laughter gradually turns into an expression of thought.
Characters in a book, do not know they are characters in a book, they don’t know they have come out of the imagination of their writer. Robinson Crusoe cannot suddenly realize in his insular seclusion that apart of being shipwrecked person, he is inside a book: just imagine: (he talks in a lower and exaggerated manly voice) Hello I’m Robinson Crusoe and I am a character of a book.
Bob: (laughs like mad)
Psychologist: and if we were inside a book or a play this conversation, would not be taking place, because then the whole thing would not be credible and realistic. Why go to see a play were the characters do not even pretend to be inside a play? It’s stupid.
Bob: I am the one who has raised the topic, so I could be a character that reflects the writer, a sort of mechanism which allows him or her to get inside the action and events of his own story. Just like Jesus Christ in earth; he is god and he knows he is God however he is also human at the same time. The thing is that he is inside his own creation like any other human being.
Psychologist: Do you mean that if we are inside a work of fiction you would be a superior being? You would be in a higher level than me?
Psychologist: ok…let me consider it…if that were the case, you would be superior to me because you would know the true origin of life, you know who you really are and consequently you know who your creator is.
Psychologist: however I have already told you Bob. That would be impossible; a fictional character doesn’t regard himself as such.
Bob: unless the writer wants to, remember he or she is God.
Suddenly the Psychologist starts getting slightly nervous, he starts tapping the table in front of him with his fingers. He picks up the telephone again.
Bob: (comically exaggerating) Oh my God, I had forgotten completely about your secretary.
The psychologist has now realized that the phone is not working, he hits it against the table and checks that the cable is connected.
Bob: do not waist your time Edward, I told you, she is not coming.
Bob: I think I’ve won the bet.
Psychologist: you’re crazy.
Gradually the Psychologist is getting more and more irritated and frustrated. This is reflected is his voice, which little by little gets louder and sharper.
Psychologist: (angry) this is not funny!
Bob is standing up and Laughing even louder; the Psychologist rushes to the door and tries to open it and kick it for several seconds, Bob is laughing hysterically by now. Psychologist is exhausted, he lies down in the couch; he is breathing really heavily; his hands are in his head, and his face shows terror.
Bob slowly starts laughing and gets serious. By this time they have swapped their places, the psychologist is laying in the divan while Bob is sitting in the armchair scribbling things down in the doctor’s notebook.
Bob: Where are you trying to go Edward?
Psychologist: (his heavy breathing combines with his trembling voice) I…I…I don’t know…I want to go home.
Bob: I see (writes in the notebook)
Psychologist: where is… my secretary? The telephone does not work? The door can’t open.
Bob: I know…relax…breathe in and breathe out Edward, everything is going to be alright.
Psychologist: Where is my secretary?
Bob: what secretary?
Psychologist: (stands up and crazily cries out at Bob) don’t pretend that I’m mad! I want to know where she is!
Bob: ok, she does not exist!
Psychologist: (can’t believe what he is hearing) wh…wh…what?
Bob: We live inside a play, this is our world, and there is nothing out of here! Are you taking your medication Edward?
Psychologist starts laughing like mad, gradually it changes to fury, he runs to the table and opens one of the wooden drawers carelessly, he grabs a pile of papers and throws them in the air, the stage is covered with sheets of paper, he then takes the drawer out of its place and hits the blocked door to try and open it. After a few seconds he gets exhausted and starts crying, he goes back to the divan, drops the drawer and lays down again. Bob is unaltered, he has been all the while writing down things in the notebook.
Psychologist: that cannot be true!
Bob: you need to believe me Edward.
Psychologist: but how do you know?
Bob: I just know it.
Psychologist: I want to see my family; my wife; my kids!
Bob: they only exist in your imagination Edward, they are not real, they are just thoughts and artificial memories which the Writer has put in your mind, the same as my ideas about sex I was telling you before. The same as me getting laid with that hook up the other night. You need to understand this, for your own sake.
Bob: yes Edward.
Psychologist: If this is a play, when is it finishing? I want this to stop, I cannot stand it any more!
Bob: We have to figure out how to get off the stage. We need to get out off these bodies we are possessing right now, they are the bodies of actors which are playing the role of our characters.
Psychologist: (recovering his strength and curiosity) we have to find out where the audience are sitting Bob! Clap! Clap you stupid people who pay to see characters who know they are not characters, did you hear me clap, please clap! Should improvise until the audience starts clapping. Bob can also give him a hand.
Audience starts clapping, Bob and Psychologist look at each other in amazement.
Bob: well Edward, we are not as crazy as we look!
Psychologist: We will see each other again Edward, and you can tell me all of your sexual fantasies once more.
They jump off the stage.