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Nunca estuviste tan adorable

de Javier Daulte Traduccin Rafaella Gunner Prlogo Puede pensarse que cada sujeto es producto de una innumerable sucesin de hechos extraordinarios: un inabarcable sin fin de historias de amor, algunas afortunadas, otras truncas, muchas sin dudas frustradas o frustrantes, otras envidiables, las ms sin duda equivocadas. La propia existencia es en s prueba de tan inverosmil y empalagoso cmulo romntico. Un tejido desiderativo la ms de las veces sepultado bajo montaas de censura y tabes familiares de la ms variada ndole. Desde el punto de vista temtico, son stos, sin duda, aspectos que se desarrollan en esta pieza. Sin embargo hay otro aspecto sobre el cual tambin me interesa reflexionar. De algn modo, Nunca estuviste tan adorable se presenta como una obra de poca. La accin arranca en los 50, para pasar luego y sin estaciones intermedias, a los 70. Esto quiere decir, no hay que ser un genio para deducirlo, que nos hemos tragado los emblemticos 60. Confieso que desconozco la causa por la cual esto ha terminado as planteado, aunque de hecho soy el autor del texto y por lo tanto se supone que algo debera poder decir al respecto. Creo que los 60 no quieren decir nada en s mismos, as como tampoco los 50 y los 70. En realidad las claves del relato deberan comenzar por explicarse desde otro lugar. Ese otro lugar tiene menos que ver con el tema de las pocas que con el problema de la temporalidad. Algo, (la palabra algo tiende a dar cuenta de lo incierto y dudoso, es siempre difcil reelaborar los inicios de un trabajo); bueno, hubo entonces algo que me llev a pensar en los orgenes. Los orgenes de algo tan arbitrario como uno mismo. Pens entonces en los 50 como ese momento primordial en que una cantidad de historias de amor se encontraban vigentes, para bien o para mal. Los protagonistas de esas historias son mi mam, mi pap, mi abuela, mi abuelo, mi to, mi ta y una vecina de la familia. Quien nomina de este modo es, claro, un nio, un nio an no tan perverso como para entrever en esa red de parentescos sexualidad o deseo alguno. Ms tarde, cuando la idealizacin de ese momento mtico cae, es cuando podemos hacer la cuenta de los triunfos y los fracasos personales de toda esa gente que lo nico que hacen en un rbol genealgico es sealar a la sucesin de herederos de un apellido. Pero si uno se corre por un segundo de ese fatalismo generacional encuentra un territorio mucho ms lbil, donde lo que luego se lee como inexorable, no es ms que un momento, una situacin, en definitiva, una casualidad histrica. Ese campo casual es terreno privativo de la ficcin. Y es en este sentido en que me interesa la ubicacin en la prehistoria de lo que me trajo al mundo. Que sean los 50 es, desde cualquier otro punto de vista, irrelevante. Para decirlo clarsimo: Nunca estuviste tan adorable no es una obra histrica. Tiene contexto, eso s. Pero el contexto de una obra excede siempre ampliamente el aspecto de su ubicacin en la ficcin. Y en tal caso, la ubicacin histrica de una obra es la de su produccin y no la de

la poca a la que refiere. Por lo tanto debo decir que Nunca se inscribe histricamente en este 2004 que estoy1. Tras la primera parte de la obra, el relato propone un salto temporal. El salto temporal en el teatro ha sido tratado innumerables veces y no presenta grandes secretos. Dejar una laguna de tiempo en una historia es posible a travs de una adecuada complicidad entre todos los elementos que conforman un espectculo. Desde el vestuario, pasando por la utilera, hasta el texto y las actuaciones deben colaborar para dar cuenta de ese movimiento. Pero qu efecto teatral (aparte del narrativo), qu verdad slo habitable por el teatro, puede generar un procedimiento que trabaja sobre el eje temporal de un relato? Creo que el presente de la exposicin en el teatro, al confrontarse con el falseamiento temporal de la ficcin, genera una tensin singular. El espectador recuerda sin dificultad la primera parte de la obra que tom lugar hace escasos minutos, en este mismo sitio (el teatro). Los personajes tienen ms dificultad para recordar, dado que pasaron ms de diez aos. Ese efecto de tensin (presente y pasado de la presentacin / presente y pasado del relato), es slo posible en el teatro en la medida en que hay un aspecto de la temporalidad en el teatro en que coinciden espectador y ejecucin. Sealemos una hipottica situacin en la que los personajes no hacen esfuerzos por recordar, y si lo hacen, quiz fracasan, quiz se engaan. El espectador, por su parte, no tiene mucho para recordar, o no ms de lo que toda vez que va al teatro recuerda: estos son los sucesos de la historia que se va desplegando, ejercicio ineludible y casi involuntario que todos hacemos para comprender lo que se narra. Qu lugar ocupa entonces el tiempo en la medida en que nadie se toma el trabajo de pensar en l, y an as es tema de la obra en cuestin? En mi caso la pregunta slo es susceptible de responderse haciendo la experiencia. Finalmente tal vez podamos ir un paso ms all y pensar que todo lo dicho hasta aqu tiene escaso valor, si pensamos que el nico tiempo que cuenta es el de la presentacin, es decir el tiempo actual en el teatro donde, en definitiva, todo lo que sucede, nunca sucede. Es decir, que desde la perspectiva escnica podramos hablar de un quimrico punto de vista temporal (un nunca) que lo altera todo, transformando pasado presente y futuro en: el tiempo de lo que nunca ha sucedido, el de lo que nunca sucede y el de lo que nunca suceder). Es por eso que en Nunca estuviste tan adorable puedo suponer el desarrollo de estos tres momentos temporales como 1) el tiempo de aquello que me dijeron que sucedi, 2) el tiempo de aquello que creo que sucedi, y 3) el tiempo de aquello que deseara hubiese sucedido. Lo que sigue es, a grandes rasgos, la historia de la familia de mi mam. J.D. Cast / crew

Me cuesta enunciar en esta ocasin democrticamente en primera personal de plural con un estamos dado que no todos habitamos el mismo lugar al mismo tiempo; al respecto debo decir que hablar de los 60 es para m lo mismo que hablar de ayer, mientras que hablar de los 50 es como hablar de hace 150 aos de tan remoto que me suena, an cuando ambas dcadas preceden mi fecha de nacimiento de modo casi contiguo.

Cast Marta Roly Amalia Blanca Noe Salvador Rodolfo Wardrobe Wardrobe assistant Scenery Musical selection Sound and video design Musical arrangements Lighting Lighting assistant Choreography Choreography assistant Artistic assistant Direction assistants PR Producer General production Director

Mirta Busnelli Luciano Cceres Lorena Forte Mara Onetto Lucrecia Oviedo Carlos Portaluppi Willy Prociuk Mariana Polski Natalia Meskutavicius Alicia Leloutre Javier Daulte Pablo Ratto Pablo Ratto & Ezequiel Borra Gonzalo Crdova Magal Acha Carlos Casella Griselda Siciliani Valeria Correa Miguel Garzn & Daniela Sitnisky CTBA Rosala Celentano CTBA Javier Daulte

You were never lovelier was premiered on the 15th of October, 2005 at the Sarmiento Theatre, in the Theatre complex of Buenos Aires and shown again in March 2005 in the same theatre. It was performed at the Ribera Theatre at the Buenos Aires Theatre Complex in June 2005. The show has taken part in the V International Festival of Buenos Aires, and has been invited to take part in the High Season Festival 06 in Girona / Salt (Spain). The play has received the following distinctions: Premios de los Espectadores al Mejor espectculo de ao Premio ACE Mejor Director Terna Premios Teatro del Mundo a la Mejor Dramaturgia Terna Premios Teatro del Mundo a la Mejor Direccin Terna Premios Teatro del Mundo a la Mejor Actriz (Mara Onetto) Terna Premios Mara Guerrero al Mejor Autor Terna Premios Mara Guerrero al Mejor Director Terna Premios Trinidad Guevara al Mejor Autor Terna Premios Trinidad Guevara a la Mejor Actriz de Reparto (Mara Onetto) Terna Premios ACE Mejor Obra Argentina Terna Premios ACE Mejor Actriz de Reparto (Mirta Busnelli)

Terna Premios ACE Mejor Actriz de Reparto (Mara Onetto) Terna Premios ACE Mejor Actor de Reparto (Carlos Portaluppi)

First Part Be sure its true When you say I love you Its a sin to tell a lie Millions of hearts have been broken Just because these words were spoken I love you Yes I do I love you If you break my heart Ill die So be sure that its true When you say I love you Its a sin to tell a lie Mayhew Its a sin to tell a lie This work is dedicated to Mim Daulte, Amalia Rozemblat, Rodolfo Finiello, and in the memory of Rolando Daulte, Salvador Finiello, Marta Calatrava and Blanca Domnguez de Finiello

1 Mid-1950s. The sitting room of a modern apartment in Olivos belonging to Salvador and Blanca. In the background to the right and left respectively, you can see the hall through to the kitchen and the bedrooms. On the right, further downstage, is the front door to the appartment. Day time. There is a lot of movement. New, ultra-modern furniture is being brought into the apartment and old pieces are being taken out. Blanca, Salvadors wife and mother of Noe and Rodolfo, is a young, coquettish woman. She is giving orders. Everybody is chipping in, especially the younger people, Noe, Rodolfo and Amalia, who are between the ages of 18 and 20. Salvador is in overalls. Marta, a neighbour, is also helping. Rodolfo and Salvador seem a little left out. The conversations that are going on in parallel interrupt each other. Blanca if you want them, just take them. Marta (about the old table which is to be replaced by the new coffee table) And the table? Amalia (to Noe.) Oh, this coffee table is lovely. (To Blanca.) Blanca, its all so lovely, really it is. Noe (to Rodolfo.) If theres room. What do we want a coffee table for? Marta (to Blanca.) I dont know, really I dont. Amalia (to Noe, about the table.) Its just lovely. Marta (to Blanca.) I dont know, I just dont know. I really cant accept. Dont you want to sell them instead? Noe (to Amalia.) What do we want it for? Well have to open it every time we want to eat. Blanca (to Marta.) And whos going to want to buy this stuff? Noe (to Amalia.) You cant put anything on it. Amalia (to Noe.) But theres more room. Blanca (to Marta) Go on, take it all, Marta. Marta (to Blanca.) The table as well? Really? I dont know. Rodolfo (to Noe.) You can leave it open all the time. Blanca (to Rodolfo.) No. Noe (to Amalia.) See what I mean? The doorbell rings. Blanca (to Marta.) The table, the chairs, take anything you want. (To the others, about the doorbell.) Open it! Marta Ill go. (Going to open the front door.) Perhaps Carmen might like something. I dont have any room at home, but it seems a real shame. You are such a sweetie, Blanca. (She opens the front door and leans out to talk to someone on the other side). Salvador Roberto and Chela needed some things. Blanca Roberto and Chela always need things, but we cant be giving them our leftovers all the time. Salvador We dont give them all our leftovers. Marta (turning into the room.) Its Fernando. He says theyve brought something over. Blanca (to Salvador.) Youre right. We bought crutches for Chela and right expensive they were too. Noe (to Marta.) What do you mean by something? (She goes over to the door.) Rodolfo (to Salvador and Blanca.) I dont know why they ever bothered to get married.

Marta (to Rodolfo.) Your cousin and Chela? To inspire pity in others. Blanca Dont talk like that otherwise I wont give you anything. Amalia (to Rodolfo.) But do you like them? Marta (a Blanca.) Youre the one that says that. Blanca Yes, me. Not you. (The phone rings.) Rodolfo (to Amalia.) I dont know what youre talking about. Amalia Im asking you if you like them. Blanca (about the phone.) Thats them, Ill bet. (To Amalia.) Do me a favour, will you get it? Rodolfo You mean the furniture? Amalia (a Rodolfo.) Im not talking about the furniture. I put on some earrings, cant you see? Rodolfo But you had some on before. Amalia No, these are new. Theyre pearls. Do you like them or not? Blanca Will you please answer that? Amalia (answers the phone.) Hello. Marta Theyre lovely. Amalia (on the phone.) Amalia. Marta (to Noe.) Well, this girl could put a flowerpot on her head and get away with it. Amalia (on the phone.) How are you, Chela? () Fine. () Yes, she is. Ill pass you over. (To Blanca.) Blanca. Its Chela. Blanca Oh no, not now. Amalia Shes crying. Blanca Shes always crying. Is Roberto with her? Amalia (on the phone.) Chela, is Roberto there with you? () Ah. Noe (from the front door.) Fernando says there are some men downstairs who are bringing something up. Amalia (to Blanca.) She says yes, hes out the back. Blanca (to Noe.) Ask him what it is. Noe He says he doesnt know, just that Blanca (to Amalia.) What does she want? Amalia Who? Noe (to Blanca.) Mum. Blanca (to Amalia.) Chela. Amalia I didnt ask her. Blanca Well, ask her then. Amalia (on the telephone.) Do you need something, Chela? Noe Mum. Blanca What? Noe He says he doesnt know, theyre bringing something up. For you. He says its quite big. Blanca For me? Bring it up. Amalia (on the telephone.) Ah, I see. Yes, yes. (To Blanca.) She says she wants to talk to you. Blanca (to Noe.) Would you speak to her please? Noe To who? Blanca To Chela. Noe Oh no, Mum. Blanca Please just speak to her. Then, if Roberto happens to show up, tell her I want to speak to him.

Noe (going to the phone, to Rodolfo.) That jerk Fernando thinks were moving. Amalia (on the telephone.) Chela, Ill hand you over to Noe. Salvador (to Noe.) Dont talk like that. Noe What did I say? Salvador What you just said. Noe (to Salvador.) What did I say? Amalia (on the telephone.) No, I told you, shes busy right now. Noes going to talk to you now. Blanca (to Amalia.) Say hi from me, at any rate, that requires no effort. (Somebody laughs.) Dont laugh. Amalia (on the telephone.) She says hi. () Blanca, she says hi. () OK, Ill pass you over to Noe () Thanks, thanks. () And a kiss to you. Here you go. (She gives Noe the telephone.) Noe (to Salvador.) Why are you looking at me like that? What did I say? Amalia Jerk. Blanca Amalia, your language. Amalia That was Noe. Noe Sneak. Amalia Thats enough, Noe. Noe (on the telephone.) Hello. Chela, how are you doing? Blanca Stop that both of you, youre behaving like sisters. Amalia (to Blanca.) She says she heard everything. Blanca Who? Amalia Chela. Marta (at the door, about the person standing there on the other side.) Well, what shall I tell them? Blanca Who? Marta Fernando. Blanca I dont know. Tell them to bring up what they want. You tell them, Rodo. Rodolfo OK. (He goes over to the door and leans out.) Marta (to Blanca.) Let me use the phone after so I can call Carmen. I was thinking that perhaps she might find one of those armchairs useful. All those cats they have give everything such a powerful smell you cant ever get rid of it. Blanca Your daughter is a hopeless case, Marta, dont blame the cats for it. Marta Im not blaming the cats. Noe (on the phone.) And why cant you use the crutches? Marta (to Blanca.) Blame for what? Noe (on the phone.) Youll get used to them. Blanca (to Noe.) Whats wrong with the crutches? Marta Blanca. Hang on a minute, I dont think I heard you right there. Noe (on the phone.) Just a minute. (To Blanca.) What? Blanca Whats wrong with the crutches. Noe She says she feels like a cripple. Marta Blanca? Where are you? Blanca And thats why shes crying? Noe Yes. Blanca Well, actually, if she cant walk she is a sort of cripple. Ask her if Roberto came in yet. Marta Blanca.

Noe (on the phone.) Chela, just one thing, is Roberto around? (To Blanca.) She says he isnt. Blanca So whats he doing round the back then? Noe Wouldnt you rather talk to her? Marta What do you mean by blame? Blanca Would it be too much for you to ask her what Roberto is doing out the back? Marta (to Salvador.) Blame for what? Did you understand that? Blanca (to Noe.) Anyway, if she says she can hear everything, she can just answer and be done with it, I dont see why she has to be so perverse. Noe (on the phone.) Did you hear that? () Thats right: whats Roberto doing out the back? Blanca (to Marta.) She turns everything round. As if she couldnt come out and say things directly. Rodolfo (leaning back in.) He says they need help, its very big and it wont fit in the lift. Dad. Salvador Ask your mother. Noe (on the phone.) No, I dont think hes doing it on purpose. (To Blanca.) She says he goes into the outhouse at the back so as not to have to do anything for her. Blanca Roberto? Noe Of course, Mum. Who else could it be? Blanca Tell her its not true. Rodolfo (to Blanca.) Mum. Noe I did. Blanca Tell I say its not true. (To Rodolfo.) What is it? Rodolfo Shall I go down and help? Blanca Yes, yes, go on. (About the new furniture.) No, no I dont like the way the furniture looks. Noe (To Rodolfo.) Rodo. Why dont you talk to her? Rodolfo Me? I cant. Ive got to go down. Blanca Do what your sister says, Rodolfo, dont make me get angry. Rodolfo What shall I do, talk to Chela or go downstairs? Blanca Salvador, would you go down, please? Salvador Alright. Blanca Shouldnt you be at the garage? Salvador Yes. Blanca So what are you doing here? Salvador You asked me to come. Blanca This is more or less finished. Bring up whatever it is theyre bringing up and then go. (To Rodolfo who is looking at her with the telephone in one hand.) What are you looking at? Go on, talk to her. (Salvador leaves.) Rodolfo So what do you want me to say to her then? Blanca Just talk to her, I dont know. Marta Shes your aunt. Rodolfo Shes not my aunt. Marta Shes like your aunt. Noe Shes not our aunt. Amalia Shes our cousin. Noe No, shes not. Shes nothing. Blanca Well, whatever, shes family. Talk to her just for a minute. Rodolfo No, if shes crying, I dont want to.

Noe No, shes stopped crying. Rodolfo And what shall I say to her then? Blanca You dont have to say anything. If she called its because she wants to do the talking. Let her talk. Rodolfo (on the phone.) Hello, Chela. Its Rodolfo. () Blanca (to Amalia, about the armchairs she is moving around.) No, no, no. I dont like it. Honestly, I thought they were going to look better than that. The following exchanges take place simultaneously, none takes precedence over the others Amalia (to Noe.) Can you Blanca (to Marta.) When I Rodolfo (on the phone.) So take me home afterwards? saw them in the magazine I how are the kids? () Ah. Noe Ive taken the thought they would look No, its just that Mum told motorbike to pieces. different. me to talk to you. () Tell Amalia What do you mean Marta What magazine? me what you want and Ill you took the bike to pieces? Blanca The one I showed tell her. () No, shes not Noe It wasnt carburetting you, they looked lovely, of busy. Well, yes, but not properly. I took it to pieces. course it was a bigger house that much. () Well, if Amalia At the garage? I dont know, these you tell me Ill tell her. Noe Yes. windows are a bit They () Cant you call back Amalia By yourself? look so dingy in here. later? () Later. If you Noe Yes. Youll have to Marta I like them. cant call. (To Blanca.) ask Rodolfo to take you. Blanca Well, frankly, with Mum. () Mum. Amalia You ask him, if I do the furniture you have, Mum. hell say no. Marta, youd like anything. Noe Dont you want to go Did you put on weight or Mum. to the cinema? am I imagining things? Amalia To see what? Mum. Noe I dont know, anything. Blanca (to Rodolfo.) What is it? Rodolfo (to Blanca. About the telephone.) She doesnt want to talk to me. Blanca So whys she calling then? Rodolfo She says she wants to talk to you. Blanca Tell her I cant right now Im busy. (A Marta.) Everybody goes back to their conversations. Amalia I cant, I just Marta Do you think Ive Rodolfo (on the telephone.) remembered, I told Mum Id put on weight? She cant right now Chela. be back to eat. Blanca You shouldnt do Shes busy. () Yes, I Noe Give her a call and tell your hair like that. Why tol Chela, pass me over to I asked if you could dont you fluff it up? (They Roberto, let me speak to (They listen to Rodolfo.) listen to Rodolfo.) Ro... () Rodolfo (on the phone.) I just heard him, hes right next to you. Pass me over. Blanca (to Marta.) Do you see what a right so-and-so he is? Rodolfo (on the phone.) Roberto? Hi, its Rodolfo. How are you doing? Did you know Noe took her bike to bits Yeah, because it was making that funny noise. () At the garage, where else? Blanca Give me that. Rodolfo (to Blanca.) Wait. Blanca I said, give me that. (She grabs the mouthpiece from Rodolfo. On the phone.) Roberto? () Hello, how are you? Let me talk to Chela for a second. () No, I said let me talk to Chela. () Hello Chela, its Blanca. Will you tell me why you have to be such

a liar? () Saying Roberto is out the back and all the while hes standing right next to you. () I dont understand you. () I dont understand you. () I cant understand what you are saying. () Pass me Roberto then. Dont pretend you cant hear me. () OK. (Waits. Looks at the furniture, the walls. To Noe.) If we keep the furniture we have to change the colour on the walls, or something, but this just doesnt work. Noe You want to repaint everything again? Blanca Well, I just dont like that tone, it makes everything look dull. Rodolfo No, were not painting again. Noe Pale blue. Blanca Your rooms pale blue. We cant have the whole house painted in just one colour. Marta When did you last paint? Rodolfo Three months ago. Amalia And that green, do you remember the red-haired ladys house? Noe Oh yes. Blanca Yes, red, looked like a den of sin. Amalia No, the GREEN colour at the RED-HAIRED ladys house. Blanca Oh, I thought you said (She interrupts herself. On the phone.) Ah, Roberto, yes, how are you? () No, Chela is just unbearable, Roberto, thats why. () No she doesnt have to be ungrateful. () What do you mean I dont like her? What? But she knows I gave you the money to buy the crutches, right? And then she turns round and tells everybody I dont like her. () Thats not true. () I dont like what Im hearing Roberto. () Roberto: I really dont like what Im hearing. () OK, alright. () I dont know. () OK, its alright, I forgive you. () I said I forgive you. Yes, because I feel sorry for you. () Alright. OK, I forgive you so stop whimpering, thats your wifes department. () So when are you coming to visit? () No, no. Youre the ones that are far away, not us. () Dont say THE PROVINCE like that, its Olivos. () It doesnt matter if it is in the province, you say Olivos and thats that. () No right, itd be a miracle if you got that. () I know I was born there and I understand perfectly that you have no option but to live in Barracas but you cant possibly admit its nice. () Everybody, everybody? Just who is everybody, Roberto? Any halfway decent person would leave at the drop of a hat, except you. ()I know you cant Roberto, you cant manage to do anything right. () Well, so, when are you coming to visit? () No, no, Chela doesnt need to come. () No, dont pass me over. Just you and the kids, right. () Excuse me for saying this, but your wife is a nasty woman. Rodolfo Mother! Noe Leave it, shes right. Amalia Poor Chela. Noe Shes nasty poor; thats just the way it is. Blanca (on the phone.) Well its hardly my fault she has a hip problem. Noe Shes resentful. Blanca (on the phone.) () Its not your fault either. () Well, let God fix it seeing as shes such a believer. () Oh, Roberto, you know Chela will see us all into our graves. () Dont cry. Noe Thats true enough. Blanca (on the phone.) And you before anyone. Noe If shes not lying at the very least shes exaggerating. Blanca Noes saying here that if shes not lying shes exaggerating, and shes right. () Chela, Roberto, who else? Noe If you have a good look you can see her hip doesnt hurt. She makes out that it does, but it doesnt hurt that much. She can walk perfectly well.

Blanca (on the phone.) No, Roberto. Rodolfo She cant walk. Noe Oh, yes she can, Rodo; I saw her. When nobodys looking she gets up and walks around without crutches or anything. Blanca (on the phone.) Well, I dont think its that bad Marta But whats wrong with her? Noe I dont know. Nobody really knows. Blanca (about the telephone, to Rodolfo.) Now hes crying. (On the phone.) Yes, tell me. Im listening. Marta And what do the doctors say? Noe They dont know. Roberto never asks. Hes a jerk. Blanca (on the phone.) Hang on a second. (To Noe.) Thats enough, Noe eh? Noe Did he hear? Blanca Hes crying, so thats enough. Noe You see? You see how he likes to make people feel sorry for him? Blanca (on the phone.) What? () Just that youre always in a bad way. () Salvador (from outside.) Will somebody help me? Noe (to Rodolfo.) Go on, Rodo. (Rodolfo exits.) Blanca (on the phone.) Well, go on then, tell me, tell me. () What? () Cant understand a thing you say. Rodolfo (from outside.) Noe. Amalia. Can you help me? Noe and Amalia exit. Blanca Put your mouth closer to the receiver, Roberto. () The receiver, the phone receiver. Closer to your mouth. () What? () OK, now, tell me. () How do you mean sores on your back? You? () And what did the doctor say? () And you have to sleep sitting up? () No, right, I wouldnt be able to sleep either. How is it possible? () Ah. () Right, yes, thats pretty awful what youre saying. (The front door is flung wide open. There is an enormous box. Everybody looks at it. Silence. Also from Blanca who is on the phone. After a silence, on the phone.) Oh, sorry, I wasnt listening. () No, the bit about the sores yes, just the last bit. () No, please dont start all over again, I really cant right now. () Oh Roberto, youll have to excuse me but Im going to hang up now. () No, nobodys going to kill themselves, Roberto, no, dont go on, I mean it. () Well, do whatever you want, I dont think its going to work. () No, not now. () Call me later. () I dont know, later. () Me too. Bye. (Hangs up.) Noe (about the box which Rodolfo and Salvador are bringing in.) Whats that? Rodolfo Theres a card. Noe Lets see. (Holding the card.) Who is you know who? Blanca Give me that. (She grabs the card.) Noe Shall we open it? (Blanca nods. Rodolfo, Noe and Amalia start to open the enormous box.) Marta (to Blanca.) Whats it say? Blanca (happy.) Somebodys giving me a present. Marta But who? Blanca I dont know. I have absolutely no idea. (She hands the card over to Marta.) Salvador Mightnt they have got the address wrong? Marta (about the card.) No. Here it says To Blanca (To Blanca.) Shall I read it? Blanca Yes. Oh, how embarrassing. Marta (reading.) To Blanca with respect and devotion. You know who. Salvador Who? Blanca If I only knew, Salvador.

The youngsters have opened the box. The sitting-room in the apartment is now tidy. Noe Look. They all stare in amazement. It is a brand new and oversized television set. Overcome, Amalia is moved to tears. Amalia Oh, how wonderful, Blanca how simply wonderful, this must be so expensive. Curtains. 2 A few days later. It is night-time. Marta and Blanca are on stage. Marta is a little tipsy. The conversation is already under way. Marta so what I told her was that Matilde, the eldest, is a selfish girl and picks on the one in the middle who is a darling, and she does it out of spite because Joaqun was born blond and not dark, and its not like the eldest is Carmens favourite because if you ask me Id say she doesnt care for her in the slightest, she spends all day getting at the poor thing, but if theres one thing Carmen likes its to contradict me, I just have to say one thing and shes off defending Matilde, who was born that way, hardly my fault, and Im not the only one who thinks like that, everybody does but nobody ever says anything because that girl is enough to drive anybody up the wall, and I cant blame her because shes only a kid but shes already got plenty to feel sorry for herself for, poor thing, ugly, sallow and shes bound to be short like my sister Aida, the one who died last year, you know, the one who was hit by a train. And that hair of hers, awful. She will wear these bunches, and of course, at school they call her the little travelling ant after that childrens cartoon, and she gets annoyed so she takes it out on that little saint Joaqun, you should see the patience that child has with her, and I say to her for her own good, Matilde, dont do your hair like that, it looks like telephone wire, not hair, but why bother, how awful to be ugly, even when she was just a baby people would just look at her without saying anything, when you know theyll say what a pretty baby to just about anything in a pram, because you say it without thinking, but with Matilde there was no way anything like that was going to slip out, a right little monster, like a little black fish with bulging eyes, nobody but nobody ever said to poor Carmen what a pretty girl youve got there, and thats when I think Carmen became bitter, of course you with your beautiful children couldnt possibly imagine, but poor Carmen went through hell, in my heart of hearts I understand her, and its not like I want to hurt anybody but the truth is the truth, but to come and tell me Im not going to see my grandchildren ever again, that was because of the flour, when I was making gnocchis, I teased Matilde saying she was like the little black girl on the packet, you know, the Blancaflor packet, I didnt mean for her to burst into tears like that and Im not saying I mightnt have overstepped the mark a bit, you know I can be a bit tactless at times, I dont watch out enough, I should have realised that the poor little kid was already a bit sensitive about this, heaven knows what her schoolmates say to her, but I swear that at first I thought Carmen was joking, saying I wasnt going to see my grandchildren any more, because we sat down for lunch and everything: Carmen, that good-for-nothing of a son-in-law I have and me, and I tell you the gnocchis went down like lead, you could have cut the air with a knife, and afterwards, just like that, she holds open the door for me and tells me to leave and I shouldnt make a fuss as I deserve no better, not seeing my grandchildren ever again, that its my own fault and a whole bunch of other stuff I dont even want to remember, a real cow that Carmen, may God forgive me, because I should be grateful for having a healthy daughter, but oh

my, she is a right cow whichever way you look at her, no sense of humour either, God knows what Carlos saw in her, and theres another sourpuss. But you can see that he doesnt stoke her fire up like he should and it shows on Carmens face, luckily you people really make me feel at home here, youre like family to me, and the luckiest one of all is you, everybody adores you, Salvador, your children, and how could it be otherwise, youre such a sweetie, if it werent for you, I dont know, what I always say is that youre my best friend, you know? And its not like I like everybody, no way, most people put me off, as we were saying with Fernando the other day Are you listening to me, Blanca, or am I talking into thin air? Blanca You talk to the porter a lot. Marta Eh? Blanca That you talk to the porter too much. Marta But do you know what he told me? Blanca Did you hear me? Marta What? Blanca You talk to the porter a lot. Hell get the wrong idea. Marta Why? Blanca Is that gin? Marta Why should he get the wrong idea? Blanca Is that gin? Marta Its mine. Blanca I know its yours. (Getting up.) Ill get you a coaster otherwise youll stain the furniture. Marta Why should he get the wrong idea? Blanca (looking in a cupboard.) Hell think youre coming on to him. Marta Fernando? Blanca Dont say FERNANDO. Hes the porter. Marta, if your daughter doesnt want you to see your grandchildren there must be a reason. Marta Carmen is a bitch. Thats why she wont let me see the children. Blanca I dont like you saying that sort of thing in my house. You shouldnt have made that joke and thats all there is to it. Marta The one about the flour packet? But you should see the girl, shes the spitting image of it. (Suddenly she gets the giggles. Its catching and Blanca joins in. .) Blanca (About something shes seen in a cupboard.) Perhaps one of these days you can help me to clean these glasses which are all dusty. (She takes out a coaster and closes the cupboard.) Marta Are you saying Fernando fancies me? Blanca (holding out the coaster.) Why dont you go home? Marta Im off. What time is it? Blanca Look at the clock. Marta Somebody should invent a clock one could always have to hand, maybe fixed to some part of your body, right? So as not to have to be asking all the time. Blanca They already did. Its called a watch. Marta Youre right. What did you say about Fernando? Blanca What? Marta Just a minute ago. You said something about Fernando. Blanca Thats enough of Fernando. Marta Enough of what? Blanca People talk, Marta. Marta What do you mean, talk?

Blanca People have mouths and they talk. (About the coaster Marta has not yet taken from her.) Here you are. If you spend all afternoon talking to the porter youll give them something to talk about. Marta (taking the coaster.) Who? (About the coaster.) What am I supposed to do with this? Blanca People. Marta What people? Blanca People. Marta You give people something to talk about too. Blanca I didnt give you a coaster just so you could sit there holding it like a fan. Marta What? Blanca Put that on it. (Marta puts the glass on the coaster but carries on holding everything up in the air.) Put it down. Marta What? Blanca Put it down now. There, on the table. Better still, why dont you go home? Marta Im dying to go for a pee. Blanca Well, go home then. Marta Ill take the stairs. And Ill pee on Doriss doorstep. Blanca How disgusting. Marta Whats she been saying about me? Did she say I want to seduce Fernando? Is that it? Well, so what? Ill leave a mess on her doormat. Blanca You are disgusting. Marta You do like me, dont you? Blanca Oh, dont start. Marta Rodolfo likes me. Blanca Watch it with Rodolfo. Marta Your son likes me and you dont. Blanca Alright. Marta You see Im right? Blanca About what? Marta Shit, Im about to pee myself. Blanca Dont speak like that, its so ugly. Marta Im going to the loo. Is Salvador asleep? Salvador is a good man. Blanca Dont use the small bathroom. Marta OK. (Doubts.) You mean I should or I shouldnt use the small bathroom? Blanca No. And prop yourself up against a wall or something, you dont want to fall over, Im not coming to pick you up off the floor. Marta Im perfectly fine. Which bathroom do you want me to use? Blanca The big one. Marta The big one. (Doubts.) What was I going to do? Blanca You were going to the bathroom. Marta No. Before that. Blanca I dont know. Marta Before. I told you. I said I was going to do something. What was it? Blanca Nothing. Marta Nothing? Can I use the phone a minute, I want to tell Carmen shes a bitch? Blanca You were going to the bathroom. A key is heard in the door. Marta Whos that?! Blanca Dont shout.

Rodolfo (entering.) Hello. Marta Hello, my love. Rodolfo Hello, Marta. Blanca Martas not very well. And she has to use the bathroom. Marta Shut up, Blanca. (To Rodolfo.) Your mother has a big mouth. Blanca You wanted to go to the bathroom. Youll wet yourself. Marta I dont want to any more. Come here. Give your aunty Marta a kiss. Blanca Dont say aunty. Calling everybody aunty is what poor people do. Marta Well, I am poor. Blanca Youre not poor. Marta And if you dont look after Salvador, youll go back to being poor yourself again. Blanca Shut your mouth. Marta (to Rodolfo.) Kissy kissy Marta. Blanca Wheres Noe? Rodolfo Dont know. Marta That Noe. Lets hope she hasnt taken after her mother. (Laughs.) Blanca (to Rodolfo.) Arent you going to greet me properly? Rodolfo I said hello. Blanca You go off to the bathroom and you come over and greet me properly. Rodolfo comes over to his mother and gives her a kiss. Marta Im going, Im going. Just to please you as I really dont feel like going. (As she exits towards the bathroom.) Thats what I like about being here, I dont know why but suddenly it puts me in one heck of a good mood. (Exits. Slams the bathroom door.) Blanca (about the slammed door.) Can you believe that? (To Rodolfo.) Have you eaten? Rodolfo A bit. Blanca Were you at Amalias? Rodolfo Yes. Blanca How is David? Rodolfo Fine. Blanca Did he give you anything? Rodolfo Like what? Blanca Hes always giving people dollars. Did he give you some? Rodolfo He gave me this. (He shows her a watch he is wearing.) Is Dad asleep? Blanca I finished your trousers. Rodolfo OK. Blanca What did you have to eat? Rodolfo Oh, go to bed, Mum. Blanca You must try them on. Rodolfo Tomorrow. Blanca (coming over to her son.) Rodolfo. Rodolfo Dont touch me. Blanca (reproachfully, as she pinches his arm.) What do you mean, dont touch me, youre the one that walked right past me without greeting me. Who do you think I am, one of your classmates? Rodolfo hits her. Blanca has a fit of nerves. Rodolfo makes as if to leave for his room but he stays. Silence. Blanca (anguished.) Shes your sisters friend. Watch what youre doing with her. Rodolfo (speaking with great difficulty given the level of tense violence he is holding back.) Dont say anything.

Blanca Youre giving me the shakes. Youre giving me the shakes. Look at me. I cant breathe properly. Marta (off, from the bathroom.) Blanca! Blanca See what youre doing to me. My chest feels like its in a vice, oh God, it hurts so much. Marta (off, from the bathroom.) Blanca! Blanca She should shut up, shell wake your Dad. Its a sort of stabbing. Its my circulation. My arm. Its got pins and needles. I cant move it. Help me sit down. Rodolfo Do your legs hurt? Blanca I cant move my arm, cant you hear me when I speak? Rodolfo Which arm? Blanca This one, cant you see? I cant feel it. Rodolfo helps her sit down and massages her arm. Rodolfo There? Blanca I cant feel anything. Squeeze hard. Rodolfo Like this? Blanca More, more. Rodolfo And now? Can you feel? Can you feel anything? Blanca Pinch me. Pinch me with your fingers. Rodolfo Like this? Blanca More, more. Squeeze harder. There. Yes, there. (Suddenly, completely recovered.) Yes its fine now. There we are. Get off. Oh, that was awful. Stop it, I said. Its bad circulation. (Goes over to the mirror to fix her hair.) I have to go and see Doctor Brosio. Have him give me something for my circulation. Marta (off, from the bathroom.) Blanca! Blanca Really, this woman. (Going over to the bathroom door.) Hey, keep your voice down. What do you want? Marta (off, from the bathroom.) Could you bring me a knife? Blanca A what? Marta (off, from the bathroom.) A knife. Blanca (to Rodolfo.) What does she want? Rodolfo She says a knife. Blanca (to the bathroom.) What do you want a knife for? Marta (off, from the bathroom.) Just bring me one? Blanca (to Rodolfo.) Can you get a knife from the kitchen? (To the bathroom.) Any one? Marta (off, from the bathroom.) A sharp one. Blanca (to Rodolfo.) A sharp one. (Rodolfo goes to the kitchen.) And you should go and see Doctor Brosio too. Get something for those marks on your face. Youre all blotchy. (Rodolfo reappears from the kitchen with a knife.) Dont show me Rodolfo, just give it to her. Rodolfo (to the bathroom.) Marta. Here you are. (The bathroom door opens half-way. A hand appears. It takes the knife from Rodolfos hands. The bathroom door closes.) Blanca You know, Im very worried about Marta, Carmens not letting her see her grandchildren. Just because of a joke, its really cruel. A silly joke about a little black girl on a packet of flour. (She laughs.) This poor... The good thing about Marta is that, well you know what shes like, shes pretty tough. It doesnt affect her as much as other people. It would kill me if Noe didnt let me see her children, when she has them. But Marta is like a peasant woman. Peasants are tougher, they dont attach such importance to things like that. I envy her, really I do. Rodolfo (who has his nose in a book.) Shes not a peasant, shes from San Juan.

Blanca Yes, of course, from San Juan. What are you reading? Rodolfo Mister Acua. Blanca Oh, fancy. (There is a loud groan from the bathroom and a thud) What was that? (Silence. There is the sound of water running.) What was that? (Silence.) Marta? (Silence.) Dont leave the water running! (Silence. To the bathroom.) Turn off the tap. (Silence. To Rodolfo.) Shes quite capable of having fallen asleep. See if thats gin in there. (To the bathroom.) Marta. (Silence.) That woman (Opens the bathroom door a bit. Screams in alarm.) Marta (off, from the bathroom.) Dont worry Blanca, Ill clean it up, Ill clean it all up. Blanca Oh, how disgusting, how disgusting, how (She looks into the bathroom again.) Marta (off, from the bathroom.) No, really, I mean it, Ill clean it up. Blanca How disgusting, how disgusting (Goes into the bathroom.) Oh Marta, for Gods sake, what a mess. (She raises her voice so that Rodolfo can hear.) Rodolfo! (To Marta.) Oh, but what happened? Rodolfo! Get a clean cloth please! The ones in the top cupboard in the kitchen! (Rodolfo barely tears himself away from his book to obey his mother. Blanca and Marta emerge from the bathroom, Blanca helping Marta who has slashed her wrists, everything is bathed in blood.) But what happened Marta? What happened? What did you do? Did you cut yourself? Marta I cut myself. Yes, I cut myself a bit it seems. Blanca You shouldnt mess around with knives. What did you want a knife for anyway? Honestly, you are a right case, Marta. You should get your head seen to. (Salvador in pyjamas looks in.) So we finally woke you up. Salvador Whats going on? Blanca Marta cut herself. Look at this. (To Marta.) Lets sit you down. (Rodolfo tries to help.) Marta Lets sit me down. Blanca No, not on the sofa, well never get it out otherwise, on the floor, lets see. What a lot of blood. Good God, Marta. Did the knife slip? what happened? Marta Yes, I cut myself. Im staining everything. Blanca (to Rodolfo.) There, with the cloth. Move it, Rodolfo. Rodolfo Its still running. Blanca Its like a tap. (To Marta.) Were taking you to the clinic. (To Salvador.) Salvador, go on, get changed and take her in the car. (To Marta.) You could have taken your eye out, you know. All in all, you were lucky. (To Salvador.) Come on, Salvador, dont just stand there. (Salvador exits. To Rodolfo.) And you, a bucket and water, and keep rinsing the cloth otherwise well never be finished. Marta Theres lots coming out, isnt there? Blanca God, I hope you didnt hit a vein. Marta I feel a bit tired. Blanca Of course, its gotten really late. (Marta loses consciousness.) Oh look, she just fell asleep. (To Rodolfo, returning from the kitchen with a bucket.) Rodolfo, watch she doesnt fall over. (Rodolfo approaches but does nothing.) No, prop her up. Leave the bucket then. (Rodolfo puts the bucket down and props Marta up.) Youll have to go with your father. (Exits. We hear her in off from the bedroom.) You ready Salvador? Im coming in. No, you cant go dressed like that Salvador (off, from the bedrooms.) Why not? Blanca (off, from the bedrooms.) How can you possibly go to the clinic in overalls? Imagine if its serious. Salvador (off, from the bedrooms.) Well, nothing fits anymore.

Blanca (off, from the bedrooms.) Well have to go into town one of these days and buy you some clothes. Hadnt you lost some weight? This shirt has some buttons missing. How long has it been since you wore a proper shirt? Oh, look at this raincoat, Id forgotten you had it. Try this on, it was always baggy on you. Fancy Marta dropping off like that just now. The conversation continues. Rodolfo on stage holding Marta who is still unconscious, all covered in blood. While Blanca was speaking music started to play. Meanwhile, the lights go down gradually: Song: Chorus My baby dont care My baby dont care My baby dont care Voice My baby dont care for shows Chorus My baby dont care Voice My baby dont care for clothes Chorus My baby dont care Voice My baby just cares for me Curtain. 3 Noe, Rodolfo and Amalia. There is music playing (the same music which was heard at the end of the last scene). They are rehearsing some dance steps. The action is already under way. Amalia / Noe / Rodolfo My baby dont care for furs and laces My baby dont care for high tone blazers Amalia / Noe My baby dont care Rodolfo My baby dont care for rings Amalia / Noe My baby dont care Rodolfo Or other expensive things Amalia / Noe My baby dont care Rodolfo She is sensible as can be Amalia / Noe Uh, uh, uh, uuuuh... Rodolfo My baby dont care who knows it

Amalia / Noe My baby dont care Rodolfo My baby just cares for me. Instrumental part. They disagree with the next part of the choreography. Amalia Grab me, Rodolfo. Rodolfo No, not now. Amalia Now. Noe I still dont like it. Rodolfo Now what do I do? Amalia Now her. Rodolfo No, it wasnt like that. Noe What do you know? Rodolfo It wasnt like that just now. Amalia Well, now it is Noe I still dont like it. Amalia Well, lets go on and then we can change it. They carry on dancing and arguing while the light fades to dark. Darkness. 4 Fade in. Amalia and Noe on stage. They are wearing the same as in the previous scene. They are each reading. Suddenly, Amalia interrupts her reading. Amalia I think Rosmar had a thing with little Eduardo. Noe What? Amalia That Rosmari had a thing with Eduardo. Noe No, I dont think so. (They carry on reading. Noe looks up from her book.) Why do you say that? Amalia Well, I just think so. Noe (thinks.) No, otherwise she would have told her friend, er what was her name? Was it Andrea? Amalia Sandra. Noe No, anyway, shes the one that ends up going to Acua and trying to persuade him that Amalia Dont tell me! Dont tell me! Noe I wasnt going to tell you anything. Amalia Yes, you were. You already told me about that business of the pillow and the bottle of kerosene. Noe Everybody knows about the pillow and the bottle of kerosene. Amalia Well, I didnt, so dont tell me anything else. What I mean is, think about it, she goes off and marries Acua who is half blind, but hes never there because hes so busy at the print shop, so she spends hours talking to little Eduardo who is such a darling (searches in her book trying to find some passage that will illustrate what shes talking about) well, you know how she talks to him, right? he is so sweet, I swear if anyone talked to me like that I would just completely fall in love with him, he says some wonderful things, there is this really nice thing that he says to her when he meets her in the alley of the mirrors, something about an untamed body, wait, Id marked it and

everything (giving up her search in the book) well, I dont know, it must be somewhere. I dont know why, but for some reason I imagine little Eduardo is blond. Noe But Acua and Rosmari love each other very much. Amalia And who says they dont? Youre not listening to anything I say. Noe Well, I dont know what youre talking about. Amalia That it must have crossed Rosmaris mind. Noe What? Amalia To have a fling with little Eduardo. Noe But you just made that up. Amalia No I didnt. Noe Anyway, Acua may be half blind but hes cute. Amalia No, I dont think so. Here it says he isnt. Noe Who says that? Cougat? Amalia You see? I think that woman Cougat is really in love with Acua. Noe Cougat is a man, Ama. Amalia Oh no! Noe Yes. Amalia (Doubts.) Really? Noe But of course. Amalia Oh, well that explains it. Noe Are you saying that Cougats gay? Amalia Oh no. Doesnt bear thinking about, does it? Noe Anyway, Cougats married to Sandra. Amalia What do you mean, married? Oh right, yes; I hadnt even realised. Well, anyway, Sandra doesnt seem too happy, either. She fancies Acua too. Noe Why dont you just carry on reading? Amalia But sometimes things like that happen. Noe What do you mean? Amalia That everybodys in love with someone except their husband or wife. Nearly always happens that way, doesnt it? Noe No. Amalia Well, it does. Nearly always. Noe Where does it happen? Amalia (thinks.) Well, right now I cant think of any examples. Noe And dont you think little Eduardo is probably in love with Acua as well? Amalia Do you think so? Noe Well, hes always wanting Rosmar to convince Acua to take him on again at the print shop. Amalia Are you pulling my leg? Noe No. Amalia You dont care about anything I say. They both turn back to their reading. Rodolfo comes in with a parcel. They greet each other without looking at each other. Noe Hi. Rodolfo Hi. Amalia Hi. Rodolfo looks at the parcel. He takes an envelope that came with the parcel and opens it. The girls continue reading. Noe Whats that? Rodolfo Fernando gave it to me. Something for Mum.

Noe (about the card.) Lets see? Rodolfo No, I said it was for Mum. Noe So why are you allowed to read it? Rodolfo Well, I did, and now I know its for Mum. Noe Let me see. Rodolfo I said no. Amalia (looking up from her book.) Stop it, stop it. You know, I think you might be right, little Eduardo is a bit in love with Acua. This book is fascinating. What I dont get is why nobody notices. It doesnt say anything in the prologue. And its so obvious. (To Rodolfo.) Did you read Mister Acua, Rodo? Rodolfo Whats up? Noe She says that Rosmar and little Eduardo had a fling. Rodolfo No, thats impossible. Amalia Why are you so sure? Rodolfo (exiting towards the bedrooms.) Because otherwise Acuas suicide at the end would not be tragic at all, just comic. (Exits.) Silence. Amalia (furious.) Why did you tell me? Why do people always tell me? Why do people always have to tell me? Im not going to read any more. The two of you are just jerks. Such jerks. She exits, offended. Rodolfo, who enters in the same instant that Amalia exits, looks at his sister without understanding her irritation. Noe Go and say youre sorry. Rodolfo What did I do? Noe You told her the ending. Rodolfo What ending? Noe The ending of the book. Rodolfo And how was I to know she hadnt finished it? Noe Go on. Rodolfo But I didnt say anything. Noe You said that Acua kills himself at the end. Rodolfo But I didnt say that Cougat kills Sandra nor that in the end they take him off to prison, neither that Amalia (off, from the bedrooms, crying.) Enough, enough, enough! Noe Is it so hard for you? Go and say youre SORRY. Itll only take you a minute. Rodolfo unwillingly exits towards the bedrooms. A dialogue is heard in off between Rodolfo and Amalia, who is crying bitterly. The dialogue is muffled. Noe cannot resist the temptation to see Rodolfo (off.) Im sorry. what is inside the parcel that Rodolfo Amalia (off.) Im not going to forgive you. brought. Rodolfo (off.) I thought youd finished reading it. Amalia (off.) You always do the same to Noe gets up. me. Always. Rodolfo (off.) Well, I didnt mean to. Amalia (off.) Well, you didnt mean to is She opens the parcel. not enough. I really liked that book. And now Rodolfo (off.) Well, well read it together.

She takes out a fur coat. Doubts. Finally she puts it on. Se looks at herself in the mirror.

Amalia (off.) No, I dont want to read it any more now. Rodolfo (off.) But why? Amalia (off.) Because now I know everything. Rodolfo (off.) Well, will you forgive me or not? Amalia (off.) I dont know. I would have loved to have read it together. Rodolfo (off.) If you want to forgive me, just do it and if you dont, dont.

Rodolfo returns. Rodolfo There you are, I told her... (On seeing her with the coat on.) What are you doing with that? Noe Ama! Come here! Rodolfo Thats for Mum. Noe Ama! Rodolfo Well, do whatever you want. Its got nothing to do with me. Exits. Amalia returns, still crying Amalia Noe, I dont like it when people do these thi (She interrupts herself, amazed by the sight.) Oh, how lovely. Noe (about the coat.) Isnt it lovely? Amalia How lovely. Noe Isnt it? Amalia It must have cost a fortune. Its really lovely. Noe Try it on. Amalia puts it on. Amalia Its just so lovely. Noe Stop saying its lovely. Amalia But it is. Sound of keys. Marta and Blanca come in off the street, both very elegant, They arrive in mid-conversation. Blanca Hello. Noe Hello. Marta Hello there. Amalia Hello. Noe makes Amalia pose. Noe Do you like it? Blanca Whats that? Noe takes the card, goes over to her mother and gives it to her. Noe Here. (About the coat.) Isnt it lovely? Try it on. Blanca No. Not now. (She leaves the card some place.) Marta They fleeced us at the races so were not in the mood. Noe Mum! Blanca (telling her off.) You and your big mouth. (To Noe and Amalia.) Not a word to Salvador. Noe But Dad never says anything. Blanca Well, I wouldnt want him to start now. What are you doing in those dresses? Noe Rodo! Come here! (To Amalia, who is taking off the coat.) Go and find him. (Amalia exits.) Now well show you. (To Marta.) Dont go, dont go. Wait. (She fetches a pair of

chairs. To Amalia who returns.) The microphone. (Amalia brings over a lamp which is used instead of a microphone. Marta and Blanca continue the conversation they were having in the street. Marta (to Blanca.) Theyre the ones who say, oh no, Im not going, no way and you bump into them right there. Blanca (to Marta.) But you dont need to start pointing at them as if they were models in shop windows. Marta (to Blanca.) You think theyd bother to say anything? Blanca (to Marta.) Them? It wouldnt surprise me. Marta (to Blanca.) Afraid we might say something about them afterwards Noe (putting the chairs at one end of the sitting room.) Go over there. Blanca What are you going to do? Noe Sit down. Youll see. (Marta and Blanca sit down.) Rodolfo (off, from the bedrooms.) No, no, no! Noe runs over to the record player. Blanca Is it going to take long? Noe No, no, no. (Outside, to Rodolfo.) Ready? They answer at the same time. Amalia Yes! Rodolfo No! Noe puts on the record. The music from the previous sequence is heard. They perform the routine as they had rehearsed, from the beginning: Amalia / Noe My baby dont care My baby dont care My baby dont care Rodolfo My baby dont care for shoes Amalia / Noe My baby dont care Rodolfo My baby dont care for clothes Amalia / Noe My baby dont care Rodolfo My baby just cares for me All together My baby dont care for furs and laces My baby dont care for high-tone places Amalia / Noe My baby dont care Rodolfo My baby dont care for rings Amalia / Noe My baby dont care Rodolfo Or other expensive things Amalia / Noe My baby dont care Rodolfo She is sensible as can be

Amalia / Noe Uh, uh, uh, uuuuh... Blanca Oh girls, the clothes. Noe Hush! Rodolfo (sings.) My baby dont care who knows it Amalia / Noe My baby dont care Rodolfo My baby just cares for me. Instrumental part. Noe, Rodolfo and Amalia climb onto the armchairs, the table. Blanca (on the point of protest.) But Marta Leave them, leave them. Blanca If only they would take off their shoes. The instrumental part ends. They continue singing. Amalia / Noe My baby dont care Rodolfo My baby dont care for rings Amalia / Noe My baby dont care Rodolfo Or other expensive things Amalia / Noe My baby dont care Rodolfo She is sensible as can be Amalia / Noe Uh, uh, uh, uuuuh... Rodolfo My baby dont care who knows it Amalia / Noe My baby dont care Rodolfo My baby just cares for me Amalia My baby just cares for me The song ends. Marta claps. Marta Wonderful, wonderful. Blanca You can see you three have nothing better to do. Rodolfo exits. Lively music starts to play. Marta Oh, goodness, what a racket, I just love this. (They all start dancing except for Blanca.) You should have seen me when I was younger, dancing with my fianc Peruzetto, may he rest in peace, in his uniform and all, dancing like maniacs, I would scream my head off and get thrown out, it was so much fun. Blanca Marta, you look like a scarecrow. (Taking the needle off the record.) I fail to understand how you can possibly like this music when you cant understand what theyre talking about. Noe Oh, Mum.

Blanca They could be saying I dont love you I dont love you because youre a silly cow, while you carry on with a big smile. Amalia It doesnt say that. Blanca Look what youve done to the floor. You might as well have worn roller skates while you were at it. (Rodolfo gives her a kiss as he exits.) Thats right, act all sweet now, I dont know why I bother waxing the floor. Oh yes, we werent thinking of going to the races, we were going to go to the cinema, but you asked so many questions you gave us the idea and so we ended up going. (To Marta.) Isnt that right, Marta? Marta The absolute truth. Rodolfo exits. Blanca looks at the coat. As she is trying it on: Noe Marta, do you remember those steps you showed us? Marta Which ones? Amalia Because theres something in the second bit which isnt coming out right. Marta Oh yes, now I remember. But that doesnt work with this music. Amalia But we can use it as a base. Noe Its just that we didnt rehearse it. Amalia I told you, we have to do the same as in the first bit. Noe No, not the same, thats boring. Amalia What we need to keep is the structure, and then you wont notice that its the same. They see Blanca with the fur coat on, with her back to them. Silence. It looks superb on her. Blanca turns round. She moves forward. They watch her. Blanca looks at herself in the mirror. Silence. Blanca Im not sure I like it. (They laugh.) Let see whos going to read the card (The women wait expectantly.) Amalia! (Gives her the card.) Amalia (about the paper.) This is really long, Blanca. Blanca Exactly, so get on with it, otherwise well be here all night. Amalia (reading out loud2.) To Blanca (They all exchange excited looks of complicity.) Oh (She gets excited over what she sees.) Marta and Noe Come on! Amalia Well its for her OK, Ill read it. Noe Go on. Amalia (reading.) Oh whiteness Marta White whiteness Amalia Hush! Ill start again. (reads again.) Oh whiteness. Who placed in our lives / of frenzied beasts from the abyss / this clariness of blinding li Blanca CLARINESS? Noe Hush. Clariness, from clear, Blanca, its all related Blanca OK then, go on. Amalia (reading again.) clariness of blinding light, / these snows with Marta Snow White Noe Snow White, of course, clear. Marta Clear, clariness, snow, white Blanca They used to call me Snow White, because of my hair, when it was black, do you remember? Amalia Hush, let me read this otherwise you wont understand a thing. Blanca Youre right. Go on, read. Amalia (reading.) these snows that burn with sleep? // Oh sweet chased beastlings. / Oh taut graze. Oh zenithal signs. Oh music. Oh
2

Excerpt from the poem Women by Dmaso Alonso.

Blanca Zenithal? Amalia Zenithal. Marta Go on. Blanca What is ZENITHAL? Amalia Must be from zenith, . Blanca And what is zenith? Noe I dont know, something about the horizon. Marta From above. Blanca From above or from the horizon? Noe Go on, go on. Amalia (Carries on reading.) Oh, zenithal signs. Oh music. Oh flames Blanca Oh no, you cant understand anything. Hey, why dont you skip a bit further on? Amalia (running quickly through the poem.) arisen from the sea. // Oh timid glow, pure hole Blanca No, no, leave it. Give it to me. Amalia No, here, I think it makes sense now. Blanca Give it to me, I say. Amalia No, no this is very good. You can understand everything. (reading3.) body of a woman, White hills, White thighs / you are like the world in your attitude of selfgiving. (She adds.) Oh, this is lovely. Blanca Yes, that bit is. The only bit. But it makes out Im some kind of world map. . Amalia Oh, listen to this. (Carries on reading.) My untamed labourers body ploughs into you / and makes Blanca Give that here. (She takes away the paper and reads it to herself.) Marta How gallant, Blanca. (To Amalia.) what was that last bit? Amalia (trying to remember.) My untamed body how does it go? Marta (to Blanca.) Go on, go on. Amalia Ploughs into you. My body ploughs into you. As if it were that bit sounds really familiar. I dont know what it means but it sounds great, doesnt it? Noe Ploughs into you is like (She makes a gesture.) Amalia As if he grabbed you and... Blanca (corrects them, reading.) My untamed labourers body ploughs into you. Its not very clear. (Carries on reading the poem to herself.) Bla, bla, bla Mn. Mnjn. Mj. with devotion and respect Noe / Blanca / Marta / Amalia You know who. Noe And? Do you know who it is now? (Blanca doubts.) Do you know or not? Blanca (after thinking about it.) I can imagine but I dont know for sure. Noe Pedro? Amalia I think so, I think its Pedro. Blanca (smiling.) Yes, I thought of Pedro too, but where was he going to get the money from? Marta He must be a decrepit old man. Blanca No, be quiet. (Thinks.) You mean because of Eugenio? Hes old but not decrepit. And hes well off. His hardware store is always full of customers. Noe Do you fancy him? Blanca Eugenio? Oh, come off it, Noe. How could I fancy Eugenio, with those teeth of his... Rodolfo comes in. Noe notices before the others. She warns them. Noe Hush.
3

Fragment of the poem Body of a woman by Pablo Neruda.

The women fall quiet abruptly. Rodolfo looks for his coat on a hanger. Blanca Whats wrong? Rodolfo Nothing. Blanca What do you want? Rodolfo Nothing. (Exits through the front door.) Blanca Where are you going?! (To Noe.) Stupid boy. Amalia Hes not stupid. Marta Oh, hoity toity. Amalia Marta! Marta What did I say? Amalia Well I could say a few things too. Noe y Blanca What? Marta That I fancy Fernando? Well, thats news alright. Blanca (To Amalia.) Alright, alright. You be careful with Rodolfo. Noe To Amalia, about Blanca.) She wants him for herself. Blanca No, I dont want him for myself; hes still only a boy and you girls are practically on the discount shelf. Amalia Blanca! Noe Hes eighteen, Mum. Blanca What do you mean? Noe That hes grown-up already. Blanca Only when it suits him. Noe I mean for you to carry on pinching him. Blanca Grown up is he? He should find a job then. Noe I dont mean it like that. Blanca Of course you dont because it doesnt suit you to. To go hungry, thats what you deserve for being ungrateful. Noe Me? Blanca To be born poor is the worst thing Marta To go hungry, what a thing to say. that can happen to you in this world: thank Amalia My mothers always saying that. God that you and your brother have time to She says that to David, because he didnt spare to go to the cinema, to read and have want to study. fun while your father busts a gut working. Marta You study too. You should be grateful for that. Amalia English. Its not the same. Marta And dance. Noe To who? Blanca Just be grateful. Noe Dad likes being at the garage more Marta You should be thankful. than here. And anyway he doesnt bust a Amalia Why? gut working. He has employees. Marta You must be thankful because he is Blanca Dont speak badly about your the one that gives us everything and takes it father. away. Noe Im not speaking badly about him. Amalia Are you thankful? Blanca (suddenly thinking of him.) Wait. Wait, wait Noe What? Blanca Cacho! There you are! It has to be him. Marta Who? Cacho who? Noe From the garage? Oh yes, the one with the one that Marta The guy with bags under his eyes?

Amalia Cacho who? Noe The one that the one who gets underneath The one whos in Dads garage. Who works under the cars, inside the, whats it called Mum? Blanca The vault. Marta The cavern Noe The cave Amalia No, not the cave, the... Marta You mean the dark one, the one who has those big muscly arms ? Amalia (going back to the poem.) Lets see My untamed labourers body Of course, of somebody that works. Labourer is like peasant, right? Noe Mum, what do you call that hole in the workshop? Amalia Here it is, of course Ploughs. Digs. My body ploughs into you. It makes a hole in you. Noe The pit! It was the pit. Hes the one from the pit. Amalia Right. And look here. (Reading.) Clariness of blinding lights. The headlights. Noe Right, the headlights of the car. Blanca Let me see, let me see. Lets do this. You, Marta come with me. And you do me a favour, Noe, were going to your fathers workshop. You go right now to Pedros shop and on the way buy me some stockings that the rate theyve been turning them out lately now they dont last a second Noe I have to buy some too. Blanca Pay attention. Go and try to find out if it was him who sent me the coat. Blanca You dont need to be too obvious Marta You think it was Pedro who sent about it, just bring it up as if I didnt like it you the coat? But and see what kind of face he pulls. You Marta, come with me to the garage. Marta You mean it was Cacho who sent you the TV set? Blanca Just come with me. Marta But do you think theyre all different? One for the coat, one for the TV set? Blanca Who knows? Marta But are we going to go like this? Blanca Whats wrong? Marta Its a mechanics garage, Blanca. Blanca So? (To Noe.) Come on, move it, get going. If you want you can go with her, Amalia. Noe Ill go later. Blanca Come along now, hey, its not going to kill you. Noe I said Ill go later. Blanca Noe. Noe What? Blanca Dont make me have to tell you again. Just tell him that Ill be by to pay for the stockings later on when I have a minute. Noe Alright. Ill go later. Blanca Noe! Amalia You see, shes waiting for a call. Noe, embarrassed, gives Amalia a reproachful look. Blanca stops, disconcerted. Blanca What? What call? Silence. Marta and Amalia exchange glances. Noe I met someone. Silence.

Blanca You, Noe? (Silence.) And this is how you tell me? (Silence.) Whats he like? Amalia This is like the Spanish Inquisition. Blanca (Interrupting her, with severity.) This is none of your business, Amalia. (Noe gets up and exits to the bedrooms.) Noe! (Exits after her.) Silence. Marta You and your big mouth, right? Amalia I didnt mean to (Marta gestures at her to be quiet. Silence. Blanca appears.) Blanca Come on, Marta. (To Amalia.) As for you, if you want you can go and see how your friend is. (Rodolfo enters through the front door. Amalia exits towards the bedrooms.) Hello, Rodo. Where have you been? (But Rodolfo crosses the room and exits towards the bedrooms without replying.) You cant just walk over me like dead wood, you know! Hey? Rodolfo, Im talking to you. Can you believe this boy? Rodolfo (off, from the bedroom.) What do you want? Blanca Can you hear what Im saying? Rodolfo (returning.) Youre not saying anything. Blanca Dont answer back. Im saying that I went to see Doctor Brosio who said I was absolutely fine, its nothing to do with the circulation, its probably just nerves and he also gave me a cream to put on those blotches on your face. Here you are. (She gives him a packet from the chemists.) Do you know anything about this boy Noes met? (The phone rings. Rodolfo goes to answer.) Leave it, leave it. Let them pick it up on the other phone, it must be him. Marta Well. Shall we go? Blanca Yes, lets go. The telephone stops ringing. Amalia is heard off-stage. Amalia (off, from the bedrooms.) Hello? () Oh, hi, hi, yes. Ill pass you over. Marta Come on. Blanca. Blanca Wait, perhaps its for me. Amalia (off, from the bedrooms.) Noe! Blanca listens carefully but we can scarcely hear Noes voice. Blanca goes over to the phone, picks it up carefully, putting her hand over the mouthpiece, to hear the conversation. Rodolfo comes over and hangs up the phone. He sings softly. Rodolfo My baby dont care for shoes My baby dont care for clothes My baby just cares for me My baby dont care for furs and laces... Lights off.