(We moesten een toneelstuk van tien minuten schrijven. Zoals vele klasgenoten schreef ik gewoon een toneelstuk en kortte het dan in tot tien minuten. Dat van mij is nogal duister uitgedraaid. Dit is de ingekorte versie.)
[Lights on. A ball rolls on stage. ALEX enters from the
other side and stops the ball underneath her foot. She picks it up.]
was little, I dreamt I could fly. I would hover in the same place all day and
watch the earth spin underneath me. [spins the ball between her fingers]
to dream I was weightless, so I could stand on the ceiling. [jumps and
places both feet firmly on the ground] And hide underneath the lamp in our
living room and watch everyone walk by, without being noticed, by anyone.
And I could jump off bridges and out of airplanes, without
bungee rope or parachute, and still land softly on the ground. I’d be falling
at high speed but land with the grace of an angel, or at least a humming bird.
I always wished I had wings. Not angel wings, but dragon
wings. I don’t know why. I guess I’ve always liked dragons better for some
interrupts CHRISTA by bouncing the ball back offstage.]
My mom always told me little girls shouldn’t fly. They
should keep both feet on the ground.
Even with both feet on the ground, people would walk by
without even noticing I was there.
fall at high speed. Once. But the ground wasn’t as soft as imagined it would
As a dragon I could set the world ablaze, so it wouldn’t
One Mississippi, two Mississippi…
[ALEX enters, CHRISTA keeps counting.]
Therapists are idiots. A bunch of potential Icarusses. Or
is Icari the correct plural for that? I don’t know. They want to fly high so
they can reach the sun. But their wings don’t melt. They all have PhDs so
they’re smart enough not to make wings out of things that melt. Instead they
are so ambitious that they fly all the way up to the stratosphere until they
breathe in too much Ozone. I figure that’s why they’re all crazy.
Twenty Mississippi. [opens a window] One
Mississippi… [continues counting]
He told her that anytime she feels like flying, she has to
count to twenty before opening a window. Then she has to count to twenty again
before standing in the window. And then another twenty before she decides to
jump. They’re idiots. I guess that’s their way of avoiding camera observation.
They hope someone will walk by in time to close the window again. Or that
into the window] Hey Alex.
off, are we?
CHRISTA continues counting] 34. 173. 8. 26. 81. 4.
work this time. I haven’t eaten for three days. I’m much lighter now.
I bet. [beat]
You know I can’t let you jump, Christa.
teach you for barging into my room like that. [she lost count] Hmm… I don’t
know if I have to start all over again or not. Maybe I can just count to ten or
[Two doctors run in and pull her away from the window.
She hardly struggles as one of them prepares a shot. ALEX casually walks away.]
is rope skipping. JAKE enters.]
to my therapist this morning. Lovely man. He asked me: “What do you want to do
today?” I say: “Well, I think I’m gonna take a shower and then walk on the
ceiling for a bit.” “Walk on the ceiling?” he says. “Yeah, and take a shower,”
I say. “That’s interesting,” he says. “Personal hygiene?” I ask. “Walking on
the ceiling,” he says. “Maybe you should try and do something a little more
I say. “When the first astronaut said he wanted to fly to the moon, did they
tell him to consider doing something realistic? When a doctor said “I think I’m
gonna find a cure for cancer,” did anyone tell him to get real? When millions
and millions of years ago, the first excuse of a living breathing creature
tried to crawl on land, did everyone else just go “What the heck do you think
you’re doing, use some common sense man!”? No. So I wanna walk on the ceiling
and maybe by doing so, I dunno, I might find a way to create world peace, or
because of all the blood rushing to my head, moments before I pass out I’ll
find a solution to racism. Who knows? So I think I’m gonna walk on the
you’re jumping a rope?
[ALEX enters and sits down on a chair. She is
humming a lullaby. SARAH enters.]
ALEX] When I first got here I didn’t understand what was up with
her. She was friendly and understanding. For a while I suspected she was a
shrink in disguise. And that’s when she started screaming.
humming turns into quiet singing. She gets more and more upset.]
my fourth night here I think. They were icy screams, filled with so much agony
and horror it was almost unimaginable that one person could embody so much
pain. Sometimes she’d wake up the entire building. Most of us just roll over
and try to go back to sleep. I wish I could reach her before the doctors do,
and hold her in my arms until she calms down. And if that doesn’t work, I’d
help her force the lock on her window.
[ALEX suddenly stops singing and relaxes. She’s clearly
become aware of SARAH’s presence. She wipes away her tears and starts humming a
another one of those days, isn’t it?
always the same dream. She’s toppling forward, off the balcony. I reach out but
there’s a glass wall in front of me and I can’t break through. I just watch her
disappear. And the sound of the crushing of her bones on the asphalt is right
next to my ear. [covers her left ear] I woke up and frantically started
looking for something sharp. When I realised the sharpest thing in my room was
my pillowcase I figured I could smack my head into a wall instead. Not for too
long. Just until I passed out. I got a tranquilliser instead. [beat] I’m
sorry I woke you up.
[SARAH shakes her head. ALEX gets up and turns towards
her. SARAH flies into her arms and holds her tightly. Black-out.]
sitting on a chair, sketching. CHRISTA enters.]
up briefly] Sketching.
[smiles] I like
I’ll draw you one sometime.
crawls onto the table and sits down, knees pulled up to her chest] So is
this the manic or depressed phase?
just wondering. I believe I feel manic all the time but the doctors are
convinced it’s just regular depression. I was wondering what made you so
special. It’s one of those things you shouldn’t say to a person going through
therapy. It’s words like special, unique, different, interesting. They all mean
the same thing. And it’s not a positive thing. Just like you shouldn’t say
‘Think about your family’ to a person that’s
about to jump of a bridge. If you’re going through therapy, it means
your head is messed up. And guess what? Adding guilt to all those ‘special’
emotions you’re feeling doesn’t help.
gonna go with depressed.
[rips out the piece of paper he was drawing on and gives it to her, then
comes up, bouncing a ball. She runs into JAKE.]
have a really sick kind of humor.
What’re you up to, I mean.
just came in. She was asking stupid questions again.
give her such a hard time, Jake. We’re all in the same boat here.
screaming kept me up. [exits]
bounces the ball a few more times and then throws it in the direction JAKE
[SARAH enters and sits down on a chair. She stares at the
ceiling. Moments later CHRISTA enters and joins the staring]
Sarah. Are those your shoes?
figured as soon as I got my shoes on the ceiling the rest would just follow.
didn’t go quite as smoothly. I was hoping that by standing on the ceiling I
would get weightless but I need to get weightless to be able to stand on the
the shoes] Look at that. And here I was thinking I was sad.
what you’re thinking. You’re thinking I’m selfish, aren’t you? That I like
bringing down others just so I can feel better about my own miserable
existence? Guess what, wake up call! If you want to be happy, you HAVE to be
selfish. Caring about others will not make you feel better, not in long-term.
It will not make me sleep better, it won’t make my food taste any better, it
won’t make that awful feeling of failure go away. It won’t make me feel alive.
thing that’s made me feel alive so far were those few seconds I was airborne.
Those few seconds I didn’t know whether I would land gracefully or crash and
break onto the earth. And there was no one helping me with that.
[screaming] My GOD! You
are so near-sighted! Being selfish KILLS people! Has it ever reached your puny
little mind that if EVERYONE just did what was best for someone else, then
EVERYONE would be happy. [calms down again, realizing she went too far,
then softly] Thanks for the drawing. [exits]
[quietly stands up] You
can leap out of windows as much as you want. But don’t you dare dragging anyone
with you in your fall. [exits]
[JAKE bows his head, almost in defeat and exits.]
[CHRISTA enters. She’s not wearing her wings.]
Twenty Mississippi. [climbs onto the table]
If I die trying to fly, I
can’t go to hell right?
You’re not wearing your
Maybe I’m not trying to
fly. Maybe I’m trying to fall.
They all think I have a
problem. I’m trying to fly while I can’t. I’ll fall and die. So they clip my
wings. They keep me in a cage. But that’s not the problem. That’s never been
the problem. The problem is that there’s never, EVER, been ANYONE to catch me.
Because even if I can’t fly, it doesn’t matter because there’ll be someone
there to catch me. [breaks down] No one
ever wanted me to be born. Was it that wrong of me to believe that there’d be
at least one person that cared about my death? [pulls herself together] One Mississippi…
Gary down the hall tried
to cut his wrist. They won’t come to pull you back. Not this time.
[CHRISTA keeps counting in determination.]
And I won’t either,
[ALEX starts backing away from the scene while CHRISTA
[She closes her eyes. She stands on her toes and spreads
her arms. Just as she starts toppling over, SARAH and JAKE rush onstage and
catch her when she falls.]
Jake was right. We don’t
jump to die but to feel alive. I hope she did. By God, I really hope she did.
(Hieronder de personages. Dan begrijpen jullie misschien iets beter wat er aan de hand is.)
female, she lost her mom when she was thirteen, she committed suicide, Alex was
the one to see her jump off the balcony.
female, she was bullied in high school, her dad’s an alcoholic, her mom died of
male, manic depression.
female, grew up in an orphanage, she never knew her parents. She wears a pair
of angel wings.