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Josep M. Benet i Jornet

PROFESSOR: Yes, I’m sick. And I have a present for you. Wait, it’s not money or anything similar… Oh, let’s just forget it. I went too far in suggesting anything. Let’s see. I shall try to be clear and to the point, since you have to leave. The issue is I’m ill and I might not have enough time left to rewrite the essay.
YOUNG MAN: I don’t know what to say. I destroyed it.
PROFESSOR: Don’t get carried away. Nothing irreparable has happened. At least not yet. You destroyed the disk I gave you and the computer the book was written on. But, there was one other disk. (HE shows it to him.) This is it.
YOUNG MAN: I’m glad. I was pretty naïve to believe I destroyed your monograph. Fortunately.
PROFESSOR: Oh, but you still can. Now you can. This disk is all that’s left. There are no other copies. And here’s my proposal. I don’t think we’re ever going to see each other again. Even if I try to convince him otherwise, my friend is not going to let you go back to the university.
YONG MAN: I know.
PROFESSOR: Classes are over. The seminar on medieval literature is finished. I’m going to miss you.
YOUNG MAN: I’m going to miss going to your class, too.
PROFESSOR: And we won’t be seeing each other outside class, either. There’s no reason to. We’re finished with Lully. The Friend and the Beloved are over.
YOUNG MAN: Well, there’s nothing we can do about that.
PROFESSOR: True. At the risk of repeating myself, but since this is the last time, I shall dare to suggest that you have a child some day. You won’t listen to me, but that’s the suggestion. And then, well, I’ll get to the point. I want to give you a present of sorts. And you must accept it. That’s why I asked you to come. The disk. I’m giving it to you. A great present, I know. Do whatever you want with it.
YOUNG MAN: No. I won’t take it. No.
YOUNG MAN: No! What am I supposed to do with it? No!
PROFESSOR: It’s for you.
YOUNG MAN: It’s for your friend, or for somebody else. For whoever’s going to edit the book and all that junk! I can’t do anything with it. I don’t want it. I don’t want to take responsibility for it.
PROFESSOR: It is my wish that you have it. Not my friend, not some editor, but you. And do whatever you want to with it.
YOUNG MAN: No way! Where did you get this idea?
PROFESSOR: It’s yours. All my hard work, what I love the most, what you don’t understand and what my friend doesn’t like because it talks about salvation, I want all of those ridiculous ideas in your hands. I give it to you.
YOUNG MAN: Why are you doing this? Why? Is it because you love me? You love me this much?
PROFESSOR: I’d like to think of you as my son.
YOUNG MAN: You don’t have a son and I don’t have a father! My father was an asshole. A pathetic clown! Fathers, sons, can’t you think about anything else? My father! My father was zilch! Zilch! He died the way he was supposed to die! He’s forgotten. Do you remember the trash you threw out yesterday? Well, I don’t remember my father!
PROFESSOR: You love him. You’ve always loved him. You feel sad about his death and you feel sad because you have been unable to hold onto his stupid beliefs. His failure, that he wasn’t right, hurt you very, very much. You haven’t been able to hold on to anything since. He thought he could go forward, in one way or another. That’s it, isn’t it? I believe in much less. (Pause.) I love you as much as you loved your father. (Pause.) The disk is yours.

Translated by Janet DeCesaris
Josep M. Benet i Jornet, Legacy. New Jersey: Estreno Plays, 2000, p. 37-39.
Josep M. Benet i Jornet
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