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Drama

from Night Sings Its Songs

By Jon Fosse
Translated by Sarah Cameron Sunde
Norway's leading playwright Jon Fosse takes us deep into one fateful night where a young couple tries to reconnect.

TRANSLATOR’S NOTE: Natta Syng Sine Songar by Jon Fosse was first presented by the Rogaland Theatre in Stavanger, Norway in 1997. The English translation, Night Sings Its Songs, was translated and directed by Sarah Cameron Sunde for the US debut of the play, and was first presented by Oslo Elsewhere, The Unbound Theatre, and Spring Theatreworks at the Culture Project’s 45 Bleecker Theatre – 45 Below in New York City on June 5, 2004.

Yah = Norwegian “ja” = yes Yah = American “yeah”, only not so nasal, please. It lives somewhere between “ja” and “yeah” and each character can find a way to play with how they use their “yah’s.

Also, Yah = yes, so, well, yep, hmm, OK, fine, oh, sure, yeah, uh-huh, tsk, ugh . . .

These other words should not be inserted in place of the “yah” because the repetition is important, but rather the translator encourages the creative team to find ways into the sound that allow the repetition to help tell the story without putting too much emphasis on the “yah.”

***

I

Black. Lights up. A living room, a sofa, an easy chair and a coffee table a bit to the right at the front of the stage. A large window at the back a bit to the left; it is light outside. On the right side of the window, somewhat high up, hangs a clock; it shows 2:45 p.m. Under the clock, a bit to the right, hangs a picture of a baby boy. To the left side of the window is an unusually large sideboard. One door in the short wall on the left, and one door in the short wall on the right. The young man lies on the sofa, reading a book.

THE YOUNG WOMAN

Comes in from the door on the right
I cannot stand it anymore
Short pause
No I can’t handle it We can not live like this
The young man sits up slowly, closes the book, but keeps his place with his index finger
You lie there reading
You don’t go out
You don’t do anything
She rattles off a list
We don’t have any money
You don’t have any work
We don’t have anything
She goes and sits down in the easy chair
And y’know you go out less and less
before at least you went
to the store
to buy food
went to the post office
I mean you’ve never liked going on walks
I have always loved to go on walks
Before yah before I met you I always went on long walks
Every Sunday I went on a walk
And other days too
And I had friends
maybe not a ton of friends
but I had friends girlfriends
But they they never really come here
Not even Marte comes over anymore
She’ll ring the doorbell stand outside and talk to me but she won’t come inside
Because you just sit there radiating gloom
My girlfriends came here a few times but you just sat there stiff and awkward didn’t say a word
Laughs resignedly
What an atmosphere
No it was unbearable and that’s why
Looks at him
It’s no wonder they don’t come anymore No one comes here
Short pause
You’re not OK
You can’t stand people Yah
The young man sighs, looks at her
No I can’t handle much more of this
The young man nods.Pause
And now that someone is finally coming to visit it’s your parents

THE YOUNG MAN
Defensively
It just so happens your parents come here too
Short pause
Not so long since the last time they were here
Besides I’m not the one who asked my parents to come

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Well at least they won’t stay very long

THE YOUNG MAN
Yah yah
Short pause. He looks at her
It’s not that strange
That they want to see their grandchild though
Somewhat angry
Isn’t that allowed
They’re coming here to see their grandchild
You understand that
There isn’t any other reason they would come

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Yah yah
Short pause
And it is about time they come to see the baby
Hard to believe they’re interested at all
They could have come before
Yah I mean that
The young man looks down. Pause

THE YOUNG MAN
They just don’t want to be a burden

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Yah well they have to come
Of course
Of course they have to come
She looks around the living room, sighs
So I guess I have to clean up
now
before your parents arrive
It should be nice and clean
when a mother-in-law comes to visit
isn’t that right
The young man puts the book on the table, rises and walks around the room
You can stay put
Louder
Stay put
I can’t handle watching you
pace around the room
resignedly
I’ll straighten up
So don’t you worry
yourself
The young man goes back to the sofa; sits down
I’ll take care of everything
You just relax
you
Read
just keep reading your book
you
Just keep reading
She laughs a bit
Or maybe you would like to
go do the shopping
He looks with some trepidation at her
Or do I have to do that too
I’ll do the shopping
clean the house
fix food for your parents
Louder
No you can do the shopping

THE YOUNG MAN
Reluctantly
Yah

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Surprised, questioning
You dare to go out
But you don’t dare go to the store anymore
The young man shakes his head, resignedly
So why are you saying yah

THE YOUNG MAN
Should I have said no

THE YOUNG WOMAN
No you just lie there lie there just lie there and read
Short pause

THE YOUNG MAN
I can clean up the house

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Good
Short pause, ironically
But shouldn’t you be writing now
Reading
How’s it going with your writing anyway
Are you writing
Or are you just lying on the sofa

THE YOUNG MAN
Thinks of something. Short pause. With a little enthusiasm
Well actually I think maybe yah
I sent something to a publisher a while ago

THE YOUNG WOMAN
You sent something to a publisher

THE YOUNG MAN
Nods
Yah
Short pause
But they probably won’t want it

THE YOUNG WOMAN
I’m sure it’ll be OK
The young man nods. Suddenly supportive
I think it will
You know you’ve
Short pause
yah ever since I’ve known you
you’ve just been writing and writing
The years add up after awhile
With you writing and writing
The young man nods
Writing and more writing
abruptly
Shhhhh Did you hear something
The young man shakes his head
Is he crying
The young man again shakes his head
I can go check on him
The young woman exits the door to the left, and the young man takes the book, leafs through the pages looking for his place, lies down on the sofa, finds his place and begins to read. The young woman comes in again

No are you reading again
We have so much to do
Weren’t you going to clean up the house
The young man closes the book, marking his place with his index finger

THE YOUNG MAN
He’s asleep

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Yah
Short pause
You don’t want to go shopping
The young man looks at her, desperately pleading

You wouldn’t dare
No
She resignedly shakes her head
No I cannot handle much more of this
You never go out I don’t understand you
Almost crying
I can not handle much more
The young man sits up, looks desperately around him. The young woman shakes her head, resignedly.
No
Pause. The doorbell rings. The young woman looks at the young man.
Your parents
Are they here already
They were supposed to come later well
He looks toward her, confused
You think it’s your parents
He remains seated, puts the book on the coffee table.

Should I open the door
He just sits there, and she exits the door to the right. He gets up, goes to the window, looks out, turns, looks toward the door on the right where a man in his 60s appears, dressed in a blue quilted down parka, he is carrying a brown shopping bag, the father looks down, looks up when he sees the young man, takes the bag in his other hand and, with his arm outstretched and head bowed, goes toward the young man, they meet and shake hands but they do not look at each other.

FATHER
Yah hello hello
And I must congratulate you on the baby

THE YOUNG MAN
Thank you thank you
The young woman and mother come in, the mother has a coat on, the young man looks toward the mother

MOTHER
Oh there you are there you are
She puts her hand out, goes toward the young man, who goes toward the mother, they shake hands, she stands there, holding his hands
And I must congratulate you on the little one
She looks toward the young woman, lets go of his hands
Oh this is so nice
Finally we get to see our grandchild
I have
Looks toward the father
yah we have waited a long time for this haven’t we

FATHER
Drags out the word
Yah

MOTHER
Decisively
Yah we have
Toward the young woman
But where is the child

THE YOUNG WOMAN
He’s sleeping
In the bedroom

MOTHER
Ah
But I need to see him right away
The young woman nods. The father looks around, confused, doesn’t really know what he should be doing, remains standing

THE YOUNG MAN
Toward the father
You can have a seat

FATHER
Oh yah thank you
The father goes and sits down in the easy chair, sets the bag by the chair, the young woman and the mother go toward the door to the left

MOTHER
Toward the father
You have to come too
You’ve got to see the little one

FATHER
No no I can wait until he wakes up
The mother goes out the door and the young woman follows her
Pause
Toward the young man

Yah so this is where you live

THE YOUNG MAN
I live here yah

FATHER
Yah hmmmm.
Pause

THE YOUNG MAN
And you is everything OK with you two

FATHER
Everything’s basically the same yah

THE YOUNG MAN
With the others back there too

FATHER
Yah I can’t think of any news not offhand anyway

THE YOUNG MAN
Well that’s how it goes

FATHER
Yah
Pause
And you are well

THE YOUNG MAN
I can’t complain
Things are pretty much the same

FATHER
Somewhat abruptly
But do you have any work
The young man shakes his head
No well
It’s probably not that easy to find something to do though

THE YOUNG MAN
No

FATHER
But you (two) are getting by

THE YOUNG MAN
Reluctantly, drags it out
Yah

FATHER
Looks around him
You have a nice place in any case
And it’s pretty central right

THE YOUNG MAN
It is yah

FATHER
But it must be expensive to live here

THE YOUNG MAN
Pretty expensive
Pause

FATHER
But you (two) are getting by

THE YOUNG MAN
We are
Laughs a bit
in a way anyhow

FATHER
Yah we had to come into town me and your mother
Had some errands to run
So we just had to
Stops himself abruptly

THE YOUNG MAN
Yah well that’s how it goes

A crying baby is heard

FATHER
Looks at the young man
I guess he woke up

THE YOUNG MAN
Yah
Pause
He sleeps most of the day

FATHER
He doesn’t cry too much
The young man shakes his head; the crying subsides

THE YOUNG MAN
I guess he calmed down again
Short pause
He sleeps a lot yah

FATHER
Yah well that’s how it goes
Short pause
Well we just thought we’d stop by since we were down in town anyway yah

THE YOUNG MAN
Yah makes sense
Short pause

FATHER
We won’t be long just stopping by

THE YOUNG MAN
Yah
Short pause. The young woman comes in

THE YOUNG WOMAN
He woke up for a second but he went to sleep again right away

The mother comes in

MOTHER
Toward the young woman
It was stupid of me to wake him up
I didn’t mean to do that no that was really stupid
She goes and takes a seat on the sofa
Toward the father

You have to see him
A beautiful little boy
You have to see him

FATHER
Yah

The young woman exits the door to the right

MOTHER
Toward the father
It’s not easy to tell who he looks like but
My he’s beautiful
He certainly doesn’t look like you
Then looks toward the young man
And not you either
No he definitely doesn’t look like you at all
Short pause
And he doesn’t look like me either as a matter of fact
And not
Nods toward the door to the right
like her either
Quietly toward the young man
But how are things with you two

THE YOUNG MAN
Oh yes everything’s fine thanks

MOTHER
Worried
And the baby’s doing well

THE YOUNG MAN
Yah everything’s fine

MOTHER
But
Stops abruptly. Short pause. She looks at the father, he looks down. Pause

THE YOUNG MAN
Toward the mother
So you came into town today yah

MOTHER
Yah we had to come and meet the little one

THE YOUNG MAN Yah
Short pause Toward the mother
And you had some errands to run

FATHER
Yah

MOTHER
Hurriedly
But we mainly came to
Stops abruptly as the young woman comes in

THE YOUNG WOMAN
I guess I should go out and get some food for the guests
Laughs a bit

MOTHER AND FATHER
Both talking almost at once
No not at all
No need to

THE YOUNG MAN
Yah you surprised us a bit

MOTHER
Yah we came a bit early
Toward the young woman
Yah please forgive us

THE YOUNG WOMAN
It’s OK

MOTHER
Toward the young woman
We just wanted to stop by for a few minutes
We should go soon
in explanation
Yah they’ve changed the bus schedule

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Toward the father
But you have to see him you too

FATHER
Looks shyly down; drags out the word
Yah

THE YOUNG WOMAN
You two
Looks toward the young man, then at the father
why don’t you go and have a look at him

FATHER
Oh it can wait

THE YOUNG WOMAN
No go on and have a look at him

THE YOUNG MAN
Gets up
Yah come on
The father gets up, and the young man and the father exit the door to the left. Pause

THE YOUNG WOMAN
But I should really run to the store now so I can offer you something
I was on my way out the door when you came

MOTHER
Hurriedly
No you don’t need to
We have to go soon
The bus leaves soon you know
Short pause
We we were just stopping by for a moment

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Yah

MOTHER
We just had to see the little one since we were in town anyway
Looks toward her
Yah my he’s beautiful

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Yah

MOTHER
Yah he really is a beautiful baby
Yah you’ve been lucky
Short pause
And everything’s going well with both you and the baby

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Nothing unusual everything’s happened the way it’s supposed to
Everything’s fine

MOTHER Well that’s good
Pause
And you’re on maternity leave from your job

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Yah

MOTHER
It’s so nice that you have a little time to be with the baby
Pause
Yah we brought a little present
Laughs lightly
of course
She goes to her bag, lifts it up, places it on the seat of the easy chair, unzips the bag, takes out a package, then remains standing with the package in her hands

No well it’s nothing much just something small
We wanted to bring something for the baby
She hands the package to the young woman

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Takes it
Thank you so much
That’s very nice

MOTHER
It’s nothing much
The young woman remains standing, fidgeting with the wrapping paper, doesn’t really know what she should do
Short pause

Yah that is one fine baby
The mother shakes her head. The father comes in the door. Expectantly, toward the father
What do you think

FATHER
Formally, with emphasis on each word
Yah he is a fine boy

The mother looks meaningfully toward the young woman, the young man enters, he sees that the young woman stands and fidgets with the package. Short pause

THE YOUNG MAN
toward the young woman
We got a present
She nods
Maybe we should open it
Toward the mother and father
Yah thank you very much
The young woman sits down on the sofa, begins to open the package

MOTHER
Self-deprecatingly
It’s nothing much just a small thing

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Opens the package, and takes out a blue blanket, holds it in front of her, and then holds it up toward the young man

This is nice

THE YOUNG MAN
Nods
Yah

MOTHER
It’s so difficult to know what to buy
It’s just a little something
The young woman lays the blanket on the coffee table, gets up, takes the wrapping paper with her and exits the door to the right The mother picks up the blanket, looks at it Toward the father
Yah wasn’t he beautiful

FATHER
Briefly smiles to himself
Yes
Short pause
But who does he look like

MOTHER
Who knows
She folds the blanket, places it on the coffee table

FATHER
No I can’t tell

MOTHER
Not like you in any case

FATHER
No

MOTHER
Maybe like
Abruptly stops
No I don’t know
The father goes and sits down in the easy chair
Toward the young man

Yah you’ve got a beautiful son

The young woman comes in, she has put on a jacket
The mother toward the young woman, hurriedly

No don’t trouble yourself
We’re just about to leave
That’s how it is today
They’ve changed the bus schedule
She looks at the father
Isn’t that right

FATHER
Pulls up the arm of the parka, looks at his watch
Yah we have to go soon
Looks at the mother
It’s just about time

MOTHER
Looks at the young woman, explaining
We just wanted to meet the little one

FATHER
Yah this is just a quick visit
The father gets up, takes the bag and lifts it up, pulls the zipper shut and then walks across to the center of the room

MOTHER
Gets up, and she also walks across to the center of the room
Yah we’ll save a longer visit for another time
But today that’s how it is

FATHER
Toward the young man
Yah you know there aren’t that many buses running these days

MOTHER
toward the young woman
It’s actually the last bus of the day

THE YOUNG MAN
Questioning
They have stopped running the other routes

FATHER
Yah
Short pause
At the young man

But you should really drop by our place all three of you

MOTHER
Agreeing
Yah you really must do that
In the summer when it’s light and warm out
you really should come out and visit us then OK

THE YOUNG MAN
Yah well thanks for stopping by
Short pause
And it’ll be a longer visit next time
The mother and father go toward the door to the right
I’ll walk you to the door
The mother and father go through the door, but stop, they look at the young woman

MOTHER
Yah this was short
But that’s how it is when one doesn’t think to check the bus schedule
Yah take care and goodbye

FATHER
Yah goodbye
The mother and father go out the door to the right. The young man goes after them, the young woman goes and sits down in the easy chair, opens her legs wide apart, looks a little dejected. Pause. The young man comes back. The young woman gets up and walks across to the center of the room, the young man goes and sits down in the easy chair.

THE YOUNG WOMAN
To the young man
Now you see
No one wants to be here
Not even your parents
They practically left before they had arrived
Had a quick peek at the baby
Talked a bit about who he looks like and doesn’t look like and then just left
Short pause
They hardly believed that you were the father
She laughs a bit. The young man gets up, lies down on the sofa. Pause
I don’t think they liked him at all

THE YOUNG MAN
Irritated
Of course they did

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Well I don’t know

THE YOUNG MAN
Yes they did
Why are you saying that

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Maybe they liked him

THE YOUNG MAN
They liked him of course
They liked him a lot

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Yah I guess they did
OK
Pause
But I guess I should go shopping now so we have something to eat
Questioningly
OK
decisively
And if he wakes up you have to pick him up
The young man nods and while the young woman stands and looks at him, he takes the book up from the table and searches for his place, finds it and begins to read

Yah OK I’m going now
He nods without looking at her. She goes out the door to the right, he puts the book down on his chest, continues to lie there, staring straight ahead. Lights out. Black

English

TRANSLATOR’S NOTE: Natta Syng Sine Songar by Jon Fosse was first presented by the Rogaland Theatre in Stavanger, Norway in 1997. The English translation, Night Sings Its Songs, was translated and directed by Sarah Cameron Sunde for the US debut of the play, and was first presented by Oslo Elsewhere, The Unbound Theatre, and Spring Theatreworks at the Culture Project’s 45 Bleecker Theatre – 45 Below in New York City on June 5, 2004.

Yah = Norwegian “ja” = yes Yah = American “yeah”, only not so nasal, please. It lives somewhere between “ja” and “yeah” and each character can find a way to play with how they use their “yah’s.

Also, Yah = yes, so, well, yep, hmm, OK, fine, oh, sure, yeah, uh-huh, tsk, ugh . . .

These other words should not be inserted in place of the “yah” because the repetition is important, but rather the translator encourages the creative team to find ways into the sound that allow the repetition to help tell the story without putting too much emphasis on the “yah.”

***

I

Black. Lights up. A living room, a sofa, an easy chair and a coffee table a bit to the right at the front of the stage. A large window at the back a bit to the left; it is light outside. On the right side of the window, somewhat high up, hangs a clock; it shows 2:45 p.m. Under the clock, a bit to the right, hangs a picture of a baby boy. To the left side of the window is an unusually large sideboard. One door in the short wall on the left, and one door in the short wall on the right. The young man lies on the sofa, reading a book.

THE YOUNG WOMAN

Comes in from the door on the right
I cannot stand it anymore
Short pause
No I can’t handle it We can not live like this
The young man sits up slowly, closes the book, but keeps his place with his index finger
You lie there reading
You don’t go out
You don’t do anything
She rattles off a list
We don’t have any money
You don’t have any work
We don’t have anything
She goes and sits down in the easy chair
And y’know you go out less and less
before at least you went
to the store
to buy food
went to the post office
I mean you’ve never liked going on walks
I have always loved to go on walks
Before yah before I met you I always went on long walks
Every Sunday I went on a walk
And other days too
And I had friends
maybe not a ton of friends
but I had friends girlfriends
But they they never really come here
Not even Marte comes over anymore
She’ll ring the doorbell stand outside and talk to me but she won’t come inside
Because you just sit there radiating gloom
My girlfriends came here a few times but you just sat there stiff and awkward didn’t say a word
Laughs resignedly
What an atmosphere
No it was unbearable and that’s why
Looks at him
It’s no wonder they don’t come anymore No one comes here
Short pause
You’re not OK
You can’t stand people Yah
The young man sighs, looks at her
No I can’t handle much more of this
The young man nods.Pause
And now that someone is finally coming to visit it’s your parents

THE YOUNG MAN
Defensively
It just so happens your parents come here too
Short pause
Not so long since the last time they were here
Besides I’m not the one who asked my parents to come

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Well at least they won’t stay very long

THE YOUNG MAN
Yah yah
Short pause. He looks at her
It’s not that strange
That they want to see their grandchild though
Somewhat angry
Isn’t that allowed
They’re coming here to see their grandchild
You understand that
There isn’t any other reason they would come

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Yah yah
Short pause
And it is about time they come to see the baby
Hard to believe they’re interested at all
They could have come before
Yah I mean that
The young man looks down. Pause

THE YOUNG MAN
They just don’t want to be a burden

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Yah well they have to come
Of course
Of course they have to come
She looks around the living room, sighs
So I guess I have to clean up
now
before your parents arrive
It should be nice and clean
when a mother-in-law comes to visit
isn’t that right
The young man puts the book on the table, rises and walks around the room
You can stay put
Louder
Stay put
I can’t handle watching you
pace around the room
resignedly
I’ll straighten up
So don’t you worry
yourself
The young man goes back to the sofa; sits down
I’ll take care of everything
You just relax
you
Read
just keep reading your book
you
Just keep reading
She laughs a bit
Or maybe you would like to
go do the shopping
He looks with some trepidation at her
Or do I have to do that too
I’ll do the shopping
clean the house
fix food for your parents
Louder
No you can do the shopping

THE YOUNG MAN
Reluctantly
Yah

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Surprised, questioning
You dare to go out
But you don’t dare go to the store anymore
The young man shakes his head, resignedly
So why are you saying yah

THE YOUNG MAN
Should I have said no

THE YOUNG WOMAN
No you just lie there lie there just lie there and read
Short pause

THE YOUNG MAN
I can clean up the house

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Good
Short pause, ironically
But shouldn’t you be writing now
Reading
How’s it going with your writing anyway
Are you writing
Or are you just lying on the sofa

THE YOUNG MAN
Thinks of something. Short pause. With a little enthusiasm
Well actually I think maybe yah
I sent something to a publisher a while ago

THE YOUNG WOMAN
You sent something to a publisher

THE YOUNG MAN
Nods
Yah
Short pause
But they probably won’t want it

THE YOUNG WOMAN
I’m sure it’ll be OK
The young man nods. Suddenly supportive
I think it will
You know you’ve
Short pause
yah ever since I’ve known you
you’ve just been writing and writing
The years add up after awhile
With you writing and writing
The young man nods
Writing and more writing
abruptly
Shhhhh Did you hear something
The young man shakes his head
Is he crying
The young man again shakes his head
I can go check on him
The young woman exits the door to the left, and the young man takes the book, leafs through the pages looking for his place, lies down on the sofa, finds his place and begins to read. The young woman comes in again

No are you reading again
We have so much to do
Weren’t you going to clean up the house
The young man closes the book, marking his place with his index finger

THE YOUNG MAN
He’s asleep

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Yah
Short pause
You don’t want to go shopping
The young man looks at her, desperately pleading

You wouldn’t dare
No
She resignedly shakes her head
No I cannot handle much more of this
You never go out I don’t understand you
Almost crying
I can not handle much more
The young man sits up, looks desperately around him. The young woman shakes her head, resignedly.
No
Pause. The doorbell rings. The young woman looks at the young man.
Your parents
Are they here already
They were supposed to come later well
He looks toward her, confused
You think it’s your parents
He remains seated, puts the book on the coffee table.

Should I open the door
He just sits there, and she exits the door to the right. He gets up, goes to the window, looks out, turns, looks toward the door on the right where a man in his 60s appears, dressed in a blue quilted down parka, he is carrying a brown shopping bag, the father looks down, looks up when he sees the young man, takes the bag in his other hand and, with his arm outstretched and head bowed, goes toward the young man, they meet and shake hands but they do not look at each other.

FATHER
Yah hello hello
And I must congratulate you on the baby

THE YOUNG MAN
Thank you thank you
The young woman and mother come in, the mother has a coat on, the young man looks toward the mother

MOTHER
Oh there you are there you are
She puts her hand out, goes toward the young man, who goes toward the mother, they shake hands, she stands there, holding his hands
And I must congratulate you on the little one
She looks toward the young woman, lets go of his hands
Oh this is so nice
Finally we get to see our grandchild
I have
Looks toward the father
yah we have waited a long time for this haven’t we

FATHER
Drags out the word
Yah

MOTHER
Decisively
Yah we have
Toward the young woman
But where is the child

THE YOUNG WOMAN
He’s sleeping
In the bedroom

MOTHER
Ah
But I need to see him right away
The young woman nods. The father looks around, confused, doesn’t really know what he should be doing, remains standing

THE YOUNG MAN
Toward the father
You can have a seat

FATHER
Oh yah thank you
The father goes and sits down in the easy chair, sets the bag by the chair, the young woman and the mother go toward the door to the left

MOTHER
Toward the father
You have to come too
You’ve got to see the little one

FATHER
No no I can wait until he wakes up
The mother goes out the door and the young woman follows her
Pause
Toward the young man

Yah so this is where you live

THE YOUNG MAN
I live here yah

FATHER
Yah hmmmm.
Pause

THE YOUNG MAN
And you is everything OK with you two

FATHER
Everything’s basically the same yah

THE YOUNG MAN
With the others back there too

FATHER
Yah I can’t think of any news not offhand anyway

THE YOUNG MAN
Well that’s how it goes

FATHER
Yah
Pause
And you are well

THE YOUNG MAN
I can’t complain
Things are pretty much the same

FATHER
Somewhat abruptly
But do you have any work
The young man shakes his head
No well
It’s probably not that easy to find something to do though

THE YOUNG MAN
No

FATHER
But you (two) are getting by

THE YOUNG MAN
Reluctantly, drags it out
Yah

FATHER
Looks around him
You have a nice place in any case
And it’s pretty central right

THE YOUNG MAN
It is yah

FATHER
But it must be expensive to live here

THE YOUNG MAN
Pretty expensive
Pause

FATHER
But you (two) are getting by

THE YOUNG MAN
We are
Laughs a bit
in a way anyhow

FATHER
Yah we had to come into town me and your mother
Had some errands to run
So we just had to
Stops himself abruptly

THE YOUNG MAN
Yah well that’s how it goes

A crying baby is heard

FATHER
Looks at the young man
I guess he woke up

THE YOUNG MAN
Yah
Pause
He sleeps most of the day

FATHER
He doesn’t cry too much
The young man shakes his head; the crying subsides

THE YOUNG MAN
I guess he calmed down again
Short pause
He sleeps a lot yah

FATHER
Yah well that’s how it goes
Short pause
Well we just thought we’d stop by since we were down in town anyway yah

THE YOUNG MAN
Yah makes sense
Short pause

FATHER
We won’t be long just stopping by

THE YOUNG MAN
Yah
Short pause. The young woman comes in

THE YOUNG WOMAN
He woke up for a second but he went to sleep again right away

The mother comes in

MOTHER
Toward the young woman
It was stupid of me to wake him up
I didn’t mean to do that no that was really stupid
She goes and takes a seat on the sofa
Toward the father

You have to see him
A beautiful little boy
You have to see him

FATHER
Yah

The young woman exits the door to the right

MOTHER
Toward the father
It’s not easy to tell who he looks like but
My he’s beautiful
He certainly doesn’t look like you
Then looks toward the young man
And not you either
No he definitely doesn’t look like you at all
Short pause
And he doesn’t look like me either as a matter of fact
And not
Nods toward the door to the right
like her either
Quietly toward the young man
But how are things with you two

THE YOUNG MAN
Oh yes everything’s fine thanks

MOTHER
Worried
And the baby’s doing well

THE YOUNG MAN
Yah everything’s fine

MOTHER
But
Stops abruptly. Short pause. She looks at the father, he looks down. Pause

THE YOUNG MAN
Toward the mother
So you came into town today yah

MOTHER
Yah we had to come and meet the little one

THE YOUNG MAN Yah
Short pause Toward the mother
And you had some errands to run

FATHER
Yah

MOTHER
Hurriedly
But we mainly came to
Stops abruptly as the young woman comes in

THE YOUNG WOMAN
I guess I should go out and get some food for the guests
Laughs a bit

MOTHER AND FATHER
Both talking almost at once
No not at all
No need to

THE YOUNG MAN
Yah you surprised us a bit

MOTHER
Yah we came a bit early
Toward the young woman
Yah please forgive us

THE YOUNG WOMAN
It’s OK

MOTHER
Toward the young woman
We just wanted to stop by for a few minutes
We should go soon
in explanation
Yah they’ve changed the bus schedule

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Toward the father
But you have to see him you too

FATHER
Looks shyly down; drags out the word
Yah

THE YOUNG WOMAN
You two
Looks toward the young man, then at the father
why don’t you go and have a look at him

FATHER
Oh it can wait

THE YOUNG WOMAN
No go on and have a look at him

THE YOUNG MAN
Gets up
Yah come on
The father gets up, and the young man and the father exit the door to the left. Pause

THE YOUNG WOMAN
But I should really run to the store now so I can offer you something
I was on my way out the door when you came

MOTHER
Hurriedly
No you don’t need to
We have to go soon
The bus leaves soon you know
Short pause
We we were just stopping by for a moment

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Yah

MOTHER
We just had to see the little one since we were in town anyway
Looks toward her
Yah my he’s beautiful

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Yah

MOTHER
Yah he really is a beautiful baby
Yah you’ve been lucky
Short pause
And everything’s going well with both you and the baby

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Nothing unusual everything’s happened the way it’s supposed to
Everything’s fine

MOTHER Well that’s good
Pause
And you’re on maternity leave from your job

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Yah

MOTHER
It’s so nice that you have a little time to be with the baby
Pause
Yah we brought a little present
Laughs lightly
of course
She goes to her bag, lifts it up, places it on the seat of the easy chair, unzips the bag, takes out a package, then remains standing with the package in her hands

No well it’s nothing much just something small
We wanted to bring something for the baby
She hands the package to the young woman

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Takes it
Thank you so much
That’s very nice

MOTHER
It’s nothing much
The young woman remains standing, fidgeting with the wrapping paper, doesn’t really know what she should do
Short pause

Yah that is one fine baby
The mother shakes her head. The father comes in the door. Expectantly, toward the father
What do you think

FATHER
Formally, with emphasis on each word
Yah he is a fine boy

The mother looks meaningfully toward the young woman, the young man enters, he sees that the young woman stands and fidgets with the package. Short pause

THE YOUNG MAN
toward the young woman
We got a present
She nods
Maybe we should open it
Toward the mother and father
Yah thank you very much
The young woman sits down on the sofa, begins to open the package

MOTHER
Self-deprecatingly
It’s nothing much just a small thing

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Opens the package, and takes out a blue blanket, holds it in front of her, and then holds it up toward the young man

This is nice

THE YOUNG MAN
Nods
Yah

MOTHER
It’s so difficult to know what to buy
It’s just a little something
The young woman lays the blanket on the coffee table, gets up, takes the wrapping paper with her and exits the door to the right The mother picks up the blanket, looks at it Toward the father
Yah wasn’t he beautiful

FATHER
Briefly smiles to himself
Yes
Short pause
But who does he look like

MOTHER
Who knows
She folds the blanket, places it on the coffee table

FATHER
No I can’t tell

MOTHER
Not like you in any case

FATHER
No

MOTHER
Maybe like
Abruptly stops
No I don’t know
The father goes and sits down in the easy chair
Toward the young man

Yah you’ve got a beautiful son

The young woman comes in, she has put on a jacket
The mother toward the young woman, hurriedly

No don’t trouble yourself
We’re just about to leave
That’s how it is today
They’ve changed the bus schedule
She looks at the father
Isn’t that right

FATHER
Pulls up the arm of the parka, looks at his watch
Yah we have to go soon
Looks at the mother
It’s just about time

MOTHER
Looks at the young woman, explaining
We just wanted to meet the little one

FATHER
Yah this is just a quick visit
The father gets up, takes the bag and lifts it up, pulls the zipper shut and then walks across to the center of the room

MOTHER
Gets up, and she also walks across to the center of the room
Yah we’ll save a longer visit for another time
But today that’s how it is

FATHER
Toward the young man
Yah you know there aren’t that many buses running these days

MOTHER
toward the young woman
It’s actually the last bus of the day

THE YOUNG MAN
Questioning
They have stopped running the other routes

FATHER
Yah
Short pause
At the young man

But you should really drop by our place all three of you

MOTHER
Agreeing
Yah you really must do that
In the summer when it’s light and warm out
you really should come out and visit us then OK

THE YOUNG MAN
Yah well thanks for stopping by
Short pause
And it’ll be a longer visit next time
The mother and father go toward the door to the right
I’ll walk you to the door
The mother and father go through the door, but stop, they look at the young woman

MOTHER
Yah this was short
But that’s how it is when one doesn’t think to check the bus schedule
Yah take care and goodbye

FATHER
Yah goodbye
The mother and father go out the door to the right. The young man goes after them, the young woman goes and sits down in the easy chair, opens her legs wide apart, looks a little dejected. Pause. The young man comes back. The young woman gets up and walks across to the center of the room, the young man goes and sits down in the easy chair.

THE YOUNG WOMAN
To the young man
Now you see
No one wants to be here
Not even your parents
They practically left before they had arrived
Had a quick peek at the baby
Talked a bit about who he looks like and doesn’t look like and then just left
Short pause
They hardly believed that you were the father
She laughs a bit. The young man gets up, lies down on the sofa. Pause
I don’t think they liked him at all

THE YOUNG MAN
Irritated
Of course they did

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Well I don’t know

THE YOUNG MAN
Yes they did
Why are you saying that

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Maybe they liked him

THE YOUNG MAN
They liked him of course
They liked him a lot

THE YOUNG WOMAN
Yah I guess they did
OK
Pause
But I guess I should go shopping now so we have something to eat
Questioningly
OK
decisively
And if he wakes up you have to pick him up
The young man nods and while the young woman stands and looks at him, he takes the book up from the table and searches for his place, finds it and begins to read

Yah OK I’m going now
He nods without looking at her. She goes out the door to the right, he puts the book down on his chest, continues to lie there, staring straight ahead. Lights out. Black