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Sergi Belbel

Living room of a flat in the city centre. Armchairs. YOUNG MAN and YOUNG WOMAN.

YOUNG MAN. It’s strange.
YOUNG MAN. All this.
YOUNG WOMAN. What do you mean?
YOUNG MAN. I don’t know if you’ve noticed.
YOUNG WOMAN. No. Noticed what?
YOUNG MAN. I’ve got this feeling that…
YOUNG MAN. This strange feeling…
YOUNG WOMAN. What’s wrong?
YOUNG MAN. It’s as if…
YOUNG WOMAN. As if what?
YOUNG MAN. As if we…
YOUNG WOMAN. We, what?
YOUNG MAN. As if we didn’t have…


YOUNG MAN. Anything to say to each other any more.


YOUNG MAN. Yes, what?
YOUNG WOMAN. Yes we do have something to say to each other.
YOUNG MAN. Oh yes?


YOUNG MAN. Go on, what?
YOUNG WOMAN. I can’t think of anything, now.
YOUNG MAN. You see?
YOUNG WOMAN. No. I don’t see.
YOUNG MAN. You don’t want to see.
YOUNG WOMAN. But, see what? What? Come on: would you be so good as to tell me what the bloody hell I should see?
YOUNG MAN. Do you want me to tell you again?
YOUNG WOMAN. No. If you’re only going to repeat what you’ve already said, you’d better shut up.
YOUNG MAN. Okay, then, if I’d better shut up, I’ll shut up.


YOUNG WOMAN. We have plenty of things to say to each other, even now, you know very well. I know there are things you think and keep quiet because you don’t want to say them, or you don’t want to say them to me, yes, say them to me, to me, because of some problem of yours I don’t know about, which even you yourself don’t know about, and that hurts me, you know?, it hurts me, it upsets me, and it upsets me to see you like this, to see me like this, to see us like this, filling all these idle moments of silence with idle words, and with insults, your insults, because what you’ve just said is an insult, you’re insulting me, you’re insulting me when you say you don’t have anything to say to me any more.
YOUNG MAN. Excuse me. Just a minute.
YOUNG WOMAN. Why are you interrupting me!! You always interrupt me when I start… start building up a… a coherent argument which goes beyond the… the monosyllables which are so characteristic of our daily conversation!! You’re just like my mother, and if I left home it wasn’t exactly to go and live with somebody identical to her or even worse!! None of this excuse me just a minute!! I was the one who was speaking and I’m the one who’ll carry on speaking!! And we’ll see if things don’t start changing in this shit-hole, at least in this one!

He slaps her violently in the face.

YOUNG MAN. When somebody says ‘Excuse me’ you react, you shut up and you listen, do you understand? And I said ‘Excuse me’ to make a passing comment within your… marvellous, ever-so coherent and ever-so explicit argument, and I intend doing so, do you hear?, I intend doing so, I intend doing so, I intend doing so!!

He slaps her again in the face, even more strongly.

I didn’t say I don’t have anything to say to you any more, do you hear?

He slaps her for the third time, savagely.

I said we don’t have anything to say to each other any more. Not me. Not you. I said we.


Translated by John London
Sergi Belbel, Caresses. Traducció de John London. A: Spanish Plays. New Spanish and Catalan Drama. Londres: Nick Hern, 1999, p. 5-7.
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