Temra and David in 4 parts


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Primer Tercio

[It is midday. TEMRA has one hand tied behind her back. And a towel in the other. DAVID enters the room with his hair wet and a bag of in-shell peanuts. All the spit they produce during the performance must be spit into the spittoon; no swallowing.]

DAVID: Can I untie you?

TEMRA: I don’t know if you should.

DAVID: It’s fine.

TEMRA:  Ok I’ll dry your hair.

[DAVID begins to untie TEMRA’s hand. TEMRA dries his hair with her other hand. Once TEMRA is free she ties the rope around the hook on the ceiling. She proceeds to make several knots in the rope. DAVID takes pictures. TEMRA takes pictures. They take turns taking pictures for the duration of the play]
TEMRA: Hm… maybe there’s something you can say.

DAVID: It’s not that I want to say that {a: “My place of birth”, b: “You”} should or can be disconnected from having something to say; it’s just that everything I want to say eludes me.

TEMRA: Maybe something interesting with knots… Maybe if there was some type of trap?

DAVID: To replace and place, the real and phony, time wrecks all possibilities. [TEMRA imagines ‘time’ and needs to know why it can be so difficult to tell the difference between a true thought and an idea. DAVID and TEMRA change rooms, DAVID continuing to eat his peanuts, leaving a trail of shells.]

TEMRA: I’m wearing a sweater that is attached to the door, and I’m trying to ring the bell and there’s some type of blood… that could be the script, ya know? that I’m trying to get from here to there.
DAVID: A pile of coats? What if Dave is just a pile of coats.

[DAVID lays down and makes like a coat.]

TEMRA: [imagining the other room, but not the way she remembers it] I was just trying to get there. But maybe you don’t need to get there necessarily.


Segundo Tercio

TEMRA: Take off your hat.

[DAVID removes his hat and places it at TEMRA’s feet. She takes handful after handful of soil from the bag and fills up his hat on the floor.]

DAVID: What’s that there? [and thinks “What’s there is there.”]

[DAVID, using a pencil, creates a single list on the wall of adjectives that describe his mother and places on his body where he has been injured.]

[There is an object in the bag of soil that TEMRA uncovered. TEMRA spits in the bucket. TEMRA cuts the form of an extra large shirt in the shape of Egypt from two pieces of extra large paper.]

TEMRA: In it he holds a grapefruit and DAVID is very hungry for the grapefruit.

[There is a grapefruit in the soil. DAVID imagines himself getting up from the floor and digs the grapefruit from the soil.]

DAVID: Then they talk about… Then they talk about… [DAVID spits in the bucket, and grabs his bag of peanuts.]

[TEMRA begins to sew the seam of the shirt. Is TEMRA still here? DAVID peels half the grapefruit with his teeth.]

[TEMRA feels like a lightbulb just went on above her head. DAVID feels like a lightbulb just broke below his feet. Again, his bag of peanuts.]

TEMRA: What do I really want to talk about? [she repeats this in her head forever, each time the voice getting more and more faint, until the monologue has gone all but silent and what’s left is the thought that still the repeating hasn’t ceased]

[DAVID places the grapefruit as far from the bag of soil as it can be without leaving the room. TEMRA continues to sew the seam of the shirt.]


Tercer Tercio
[DAVID and TEMRA change rooms, entering as horses. They don’t gallop or make any impression that they are horses, but they are horses. They carry bells in their pockets and drop them at their feet when they reach the knotted rope.]

TEMRA & DAVID together: Look it’s so interesting what I’m doing.
DAVID: [looking at his peanuts] Me and my friends are all so beautiful.
TEMRA: Isn’t it exotic to speak of my hands in terms of my mind? And wouldn’t you know it? The red here is meant to mean: blood.
DAVID: [looking now at TEMRA, while still holding his peanuts] Would you bleed for this?
TEMRA: Oh no, I would definitely bleed for this. [TEMRA spits in the bucket]
DAVID: [looking at his hands] How would you like to cut yourself?
[She cuts herself… and wipes her blood on her face as a unibrow, and if it is wet enough presses her forehead against the wall closest to the nearest power-outlet, in order to make an imprint.]

[DAVID projects sexual thoughts on a work in the exhibition and moves as though he has just placed a glass on the edge of a table and the glass has fallen and broken into pieces and a lover has stepped onto a piece of glass and it is his fault. Did I just lose all my dignity doing that in front of you?]

[TEMRA looks up from the power-outlet and accidentally calls DAVID, Frank]

TEMRA: Frank?



Part 4

[They dream of the sound of breaking glass: it is the break of dawn. They wake. DAVID yawns. TEMRA yawns. A rooster is present. The sun, still over the horizon, barely elucidates the stage. They wait an hour, for sunrise, to begin their work.]

[In their sleep they shed: heaps of clay down by their feet, grains of sleep from their eyes, shards of glass from under their armpits, and other items… They collect their materials and kneed them into a globe. They place the globes in a jewelry box by the sink.]

TEMRA: I would like a pen to issue ink. A rushing forth of life. I’m looking for this.

[TEMRA looks for this. DAVID is dead.]

TEMRA: There is a stick behind the door, which means everything the script says, the actors must do.

DAVID: [muttering to himself] What a filthy floor…

[DAVID begins his daily task. He takes a scrub brush and bucket from the closet. In the bucket is a strong solution of water and bleach. Bleach enough to alarm the senses of the audience. Their eyes and noses burn some. He pours some of this solution on the floor at the northeast corner of the floor of the room, and he scrubs and sings his new scrubbing song, found on the tip of his tongue.]

DAVID: [singing a song about scrubbing]

[TEMRA begins her daily task. She finds in her pocket 2 cotton swabs and cleans her ears with them. When she is satisfied with the cleanliness of her ears, she sticks the swabs to the northern wall in the shape of a ‘✓’, using the earwax as adhesive.]

[DAVID continues to scrub and sing until he is satisfied with the whiteness of the white tiles of the northeast corner of the floor.]

DAVID: [singing a song about scrubbing]

TEMRA: [looking up to the ceiling] What is that sound?!!?

DAVID: [dropping the scrub brush and looking up from the floor to the list on the wall] Oh no that’s not right at all. Do the words need changing?

[DAVID stands with determination, and, taking the big blue eraser from his pocket, erases the offending list item, leaving somewhat of a smudge, and throws the eraser over his shoulder. The look of satisfaction on his face quickly fades as he considers all his past shortcomings, one by one, welling up in his throat. He widens his eyes and gets red.]

[TEMRA feels hot now too. DAVID annotates the music of his scrubbing song on the wall opposite his list of adjectives. He writes it all the way down to the floor. DAVID lays down to sleep on the floor by the bloodied power-outlet.]

[DOG enters, with long hair. It picks TEMRA up by the nape of her neck and carries her over to the sink. There there is a hairbrush and toilet paper. There TEMRA is washed with lukewarm water. It cools her down, takes the toxins out of her skin. DOG dabs TEMRA’s face dry with a bit of toilet paper and puts it down. He takes the hairbrush with its mouth and drops it for TEMRA.]

TEMRA: [brushing the hair of DOG, says ‘brush’ with each movement] Brush, brush, brush, brush, brush, brush, brush…

[The hair of DOG falls to the floor or gets caught in the brush. TEMRA brushes until she has enough to form a bundle of hair. TEMRA leaves the hair bundle and brush together.]

[If anyone is hungry, they may take some bread from the bread bag on the floor. For every bite of bread they take, they will remember one of yesterday’s events of the play, ball up a small piece of bread, and place it next to this event.

[There are glasses and a pitcher of fresh water.]

DOG: [very thirsty] I am very thirsty.

TEMRA: Let me pour us some water.

[TEMRA pours glasses of water for them both. For each sip of water they take, they pour a sip into the bag of soil, making mud. With the mud they dirty a part of the clean floor in the northeast corner of the room in the shape of a river running toward the bloodied power-outlet. There they find DAVID asleep on his side. DOG and TEMRA each have a spoon. To the front and back of him they place a spoon.]

DOG: The sun is rising.

[DOG draws the shape of the sun on the wall with white chalk. DOG traces the movement of the sun, by making a new notation for each spit in the spittoon, bite of bread or drink of water.]

[DOG lights a candle, pours some hot wax in the spoon, and fixes the burning candle in the wax before it cools.]

Sorbus, Helsinki

20 May – 5 June 2016