Kate Aksonova. PERVERSION.

©Катерина Аксьонова


    CHARACTERS:
    Slava (Kvitoslava) - plays woman and man.
    Nataly – attractive woman, secretary.
    Manager (Eugen) — man of average age, appearance is not important.
    Zoryana — woman, member of staff.
    Igor — man, member of staff, the same age as Slava.
    Neighbour - old lady with a toy dog which yelping all the time.
    Oleksander — member of staff, plays man and woman.

    SCENE 1.
    On stage is few chairs and desk. Two lamps are on desk.One lamp is nice, another is high-tech lamp.
    Couch with pillows on the corner of stage.
    The door, big mirror.
    SLAVA stays in front of the mirror.She looks at herself.She wore business suit with trousers.
    Slava: Everything is great. Now I must go to the work.
    She closes the mirror and goes to the table. She switches off the nice lamp and switches on the high-tech lamp.
    Slava looks through the papers on table.

    SCENE 2.
    Enters NATALY.
    Nataly: Good morning. Are you already at work?
    Slava (irate): Definitely. Or are you going to do everything instead of me?
    Nataly: You know everything better than everyone. Here is a fax. New order, they need discount.
    Slava: Give it to me. Discount! They haven't ordered jet and already have asked for discount. They are pain in the neck. It's clear to me, they won't pay on time.
    Nataly: By the way...
    Slava: What else?
    Nataly: The firm "Armagedonik". It had debts in payment for two weeks.
    Slava (hardly contain herself not to shout): And you are telling me that only now?
    Nataly: I called them. They said when they will have the money, they'll pay to us at first.
    Slava: Get out.
    Nataly: What?
    Slava: Get out of harm's way. Your behavior makes me mad. You are good at coffee making - do that. And never speak with clients about business, I am repeating for you - never. Especially never speak with debtors. Get out.
    Nataly (hardly contain herself not to cry): Would you like a cup of coffee?
    Slava: Yes. I also need list of debtors with contact information in ten minutes on my table. Do you understand?
    Nataly: Yes.
    Nataly goes out.

    SCENE 3.
    Slava goes around the table.
    Slava (furious): How can I work in this circumstance? I am only one who works here.
    Manager enters.
    Manager: I see, Slava, you are already working. Nataly is crying near coffee-maker. Workaday started.
    Slava: Good morning, Eugen. The best she can do is crying.
    Manager (teasingly): I disagree with you in this subject. But I have another reason for conversation.
    Slava: I am listening.
    Manager: I want to make changes at work.
    Slava: Which changes?
    Manager: Somebody to fire, somebody new to hire.
    Slava: With whom you have problems?
    Manager: Psychology is not for me. You could make it. This time you have wide powers.
    Slava: Like always.
    Manager: Yes, like always.
    Nataly enters with tray and two coffee cups on it.
    Nataly: Coffee.
    Slava: On the table.
    Nataly: List of debtors.
    Slava: Also on the table, but don't put it near coffee.
    Manager: I don't distract you from your work any more. Nataly, come on.
    Slava: And coffee?
    Manager: Nataly will make another one.
    Nataly and Manager go out.
    Manager, as by accident, placed his hand on Nataly's waist.
    Slava (follows them with her eyes): Whore is always a whore. And now ours debtors.

    SCENE 4.
    Slava goes around the table.
    Slava: They all exasperate me. Now they are going to moan, even threaten. But... Who make it except me?
    She takes papers from the table and starts to phone.
    Slava: Yes, I am listening to you. I want to speak to yours manager. Baby, I am not interesting in any meeting. I told you, he could pick up the phone... Why I am talking to you like that? Because it's him and yours firm had debts, not the contrary. He thinks he is clever that he switched off his mobile phone.It's not helps him.
    (suddenly she starts to sounds like man's voice).
    And I am promising to you that the court will be the most pleasant of what waits for him.
    (Slava takes aback when she hears herself). Better for him to call me during a hour, he has no choice.
    Slava puts back the phone, catches herself by the throat.
    Slava (whispering): I became hoarse, really. I dedicated myself for all this stuff.
    Slava (after pause again sounds like woman): Now everything is fine. This little nothings of life don't afraid me. Now I am going to have a pill. I have no time to be ill, and no wish. Nataly, Nataly.
    (Again shouts on man's voice) Nataly.
    (whispering) The same again.

    SCENE 5.
    Slowly enters Nataly.
    During conversation Nataly straightens out her clothes.
    Nataly: Slava, what happened?
    Slava (whispering): Did you hear anything?
    Nataly: I hear everything even when you speak so quietly.
    Slava: Perfect. Bring me some pills.
    Nataly: What happened?
    Slava: I have a sore throat. It's not your business.
    Nataly (surprised): What happened to your voice? It sounds like man's voice.
    Slava (whispering again): I told you that I become hoarse. Bring me the pills.
    Nataly: Which pills?
    Slava: I don't know. Do you bring it to me? Or you wait when I loose my voice?
    Nataly (curious): Is it possible?
    Slava: Run for pills.
    Nataly (leniently): OK, OK. I'll go and you better be quiet, take care of yourself.
    Slava: Go.
    Nataly: By the way, Igor asked if he could see you.
    Slava: I'm busy now.
    Nataly: But you can't speak now. He has something to tell you.
    Slava: Are you kidding? Bring me pills! …Igor could see me in five minutes.
    Nataly very slowly exits from stage.
    Slava wants to hurry her up, but changes her mind and does nothing.
    Slava: Will be worse.
    Nataly (turns her head): Did you say something?
    Slava: No, nothing.
    Nataly exits.

    SCENE 6.
    Slava goes to the mirror, opens it, looks at herself.
    Closes mirror, Slava returns to the table and with busy look works with papers.
    Knock at the door, Slava doesn't rise her head, smiles.
    Knock at the door again, no answer.
    Enters IGOR.
    Igor: Slava, Slava.
    Slava (rises her head): It's you?
    Igor: Yes, I knocked, but you didn't hear.
    Slava: Maybe, I have so much work.
    Igor: What’s happened?
    Slava: We have a lot of debtors and I am working on it.
    Igor: Somebody else can do this.
    Slava: Are you thinking that with debtors someone could communicate better than I?
    Igor (with sigh): No, you are the best in it.
    Slava: It's true. What do you want?
    Igor: What are you talking about?
    Slava: You wanted to talk to me. What happened?
    Igor: Nothing, I only want to see you.
    Slava: You saw me. I have to work now.
    Igor: Slava, don't behave like that.
    Slava: How?
    Igor: Zeal.
    Slava: Is it bad?
    Igor: You have changed a lot.
    Slava: Really? I think that you have changed a lot.
    Both quiet.
    Igor: You don't look like you.
    Slava: I am always the same.
    Igor: I haven't been with you for a long time.
    Slava: I haven't notice.
    Igor: You have a somebody?
    Slava: No.
    Igor: How you could live without it (sex) for so long?
    Slava: Thanks to taxation and custom-house I don't feel the lost.
    Igor: Now you have black humor.
    Slava (frankly): My life isn't pink with gold ribbons... (pulls herself together): I want to talk about something else.
    Igor: About what?
    Slava: Two of yours clients now in our debtors list.
    Igor: I am working on it.
    Slava: Really? If you don't think all the time about when you was last time in my bed you could have a better results.
    Igor: How you could connect this?
    Slava: Easy.
    Igor (comes to her, wants to embrace her): Kvitoslava.
    Slava (starts back from him): Never, you hear me - never call me like this.
    Igor: But it's your name.
    Slava: Doesn't matter, call me Slava like everyone.
    Igor: But.
    Slava: Go back to work.

    SCENE 7.
    Igor turns away but changes his mind and goes back to Slava.
    Igor: Don't do this.
    Slava: And what to do?
    Igor: Earlier, you was tender and sweet.
    Slava: You say that now I am cruel and hard.
    Nataly enters.
    Nataly: Here is pill.
    Sorry, I am not on time.
    Slava: On time, give me that pill.
    Nataly: In pharmacy told to drink it with water.
    Slava: What are you waiting for? Bring me the water.
    Nataly exits.
    Igor: You feel bad. Are you ill?
    Slava: Cruel and hard never are ill. Go to work.
    Igor: I don't meant it.
    Nataly enters with a glass of water.
    Nataly: Here.
    Slava takes water, drinks the pill.
    Nataly: Are you better now?
    Slava: Are you kidding? Go back to work. Igor gives you account of his clients - debtors.
    Nataly: And what I supposed to do with it?
    Slava: Like always, specify theirs available data. We will sue on the court.
    Igor: They delayed payment only for a week!
    Slava: Have you guaranties that they will pay today before the end of the day.
    Igor: No.
    Slava: Nataly, prepare sue to court. Enough of talking. Back to work.
    Igor and Nataly go out quickly.
    Slava catches herself by the throat.
    Slava: When this pill going to work?
    Blackout.

    SCENE 8.
    Slava rearranges papers. Looks at the watch.
    Slava (speaks on man's voice but doesn't notice it): Dear Lord, what time is it. Nataly! Nataly! Almost forgot, she came and said about end of work day. Only me work here. I need to go home.
    Slava switches off office lamp.
    On hard man's walk slowly goes to the sofa.
    When comes to light from lantern out of the darkness exits old lady.
    NEIGHBOR old lady with a toy dog which yelping all the time.
    Slava: Good evening.
    Old lady starts back from her, takes dog on her hand.
    Neighbor old lady: Berta, come to me. It's very dangerous on the streets now.
    Old lady disappears in the darkness.
    Slava: Old lady is completely mad. She doesn't recognise neighbors.
    Slava goes to sofa and lies down in clothes.
    Slava: I am so tired.
    Blackout.

    SCENE 9.
    Slava slowly gets up from sofa.
    Slava: Again its morning. I have a terrible headache, again I forgot to undress. If another staff works like me. Throat. (She catches herself by the throat, tries to hear her voice).
    Everything is fine now. I wonder that pills, which brings Nataly helped. I think she made it by chance.
    Slava goes to mirror and opens it.
    Looks at herself.
    Slava: Tired. (watches on the watch). Again I have no time for breakfast.
    Slava comes to the table, switches on office lamp.
    Slava: Nataly, coffee.

    SCENE 10.
    Nataly enters with tray and a cup on it.
    Nataly: Good morning. How do you feel?
    Slava: Good morning. It's miracle, but I feel wonderful. Your pill was good.
    Nataly: If you want - I have more. You don't care for yourself. From morning till night at work.
    Slava: Why I have to take care for myself if nobody cares?
    Nataly: It's not true.
    Slava: Please don't tell me how all staff love me and could not live without me.
    Nataly: Why you don't believe in honest people feelings?
    Slava: I believe. Please, tell everybody that would be staff reduction and I need to speak with everyone. Now you'll have honest people feelings.
    Nataly: Is it true?
    Slava: What about?
    Nataly: About staff reduction.
    Slava: Yes.
    Nataly: But...
    Slava: Why are you looking at me like that? For now, if manager satisfied with you - you have position. And your work don't depend on me.
    Nataly: It doesn't matter.
    Slava: It's matter, it's not my business. I am chatting with you a lot.
    Nataly: Women are extremely voluble.
    Slava: Talk and no work. Go back to work. Don't forget to call someone for conversation with me.
    Nataly: Who will be the first?
    Slava: It's not important. The best is quicker. I also have to go to the bank.
    Nataly goes out.

    SCENE 11.
    Slava (talking to herself): Whom I have to fire? Someone whom I don't like or who doesn't like a manager. Choose a person we dislike both?
    If I fire manager's enemy I'll lost my supporter. I don't like this. Maybe better would be one to one. It will be the better, if I couldn't fire my enemy.
    Little office - little intrigues. I am completely disagree with it, everything depends on persons scale.

    SCENE 12.
    Enters OLEKSANDER.
    Slava is intently looking at him.
    Oleksander is nervous.
    Oleksander: Good afternoon.
    Slava: Hello.
    Oleksander: Nataly told me...
    Slava: What exactly?
    Oleksander: You want to see me.
    Slava: Yes. Sit down. Why is you keeping me at arm's length?
    Oleksander sits opposite Slava.
    Oleksander: What happened?
    Slava: You are asking me. You don't guess why you are the first among the aspirants to fire with whom I speak.
    Oleksander: Why first? Nataly told it doesn't matter.
    Slava: Really? (Gets up and sits on the corner of table near Olesander's chair) It's coincident that she primary goes to you.
    Oleksander: I am working very well. What dissatisfaction do you have?
    Slava: Do you believe yourself? Look on yours results. How many debtors do you have, how many contracts were never signed?
    Oleksander: Everyone could have a bad week. I am working a lot.
    Slava: Really? Who first comes to work and leaves last?
    Oleksander: I don't know.
    Slava: Exactly, because it is not you. It's me. And I don't like your outcomes. Look how Zoryana works. Contract to contract. Everything is perfect. Once was debt with client - delay of payment for a week. And you, you have to work better. Men have strong commercial trait. But when I am looking at you - I don't say that.
    Oleksander: Zoryana, for her it's easier. I also could have the same, if...
    Slava (gets up from table, bends forward to Oleksander): Tell me everything.
    Oleksander: What about?
    Slava: Why it's easier to Zoryana?
    Oleksander: Just saying.
    Slava: You know nothing. Besides you are working bad, you can't like man respond to your words. We don't need such employee. (turns her back on him). Later you'll know my final decision, now go back to your work place.
    Oleksander (jumps up from the chair): You think you get away with it.
    Slava (sharply turns around, looks straight in his eyes): What you can do to me?
    Oleksander: I don't allow you to behave with me like that!
    Slava: Look at him: milksop remembers about his dignity.
    Oleksander: I am not a milksop.
    Slava: Why don't you behave like man?
    Oleksander (hardly sits on chair): Good, I will tell you everything what I know. But you have to guarantee me that Zoryana will never know that I told everything to you.
    Slava: I don't give you any promises or guaranties. You tell me or not. Nobody can point me what to do.
    Oleksander: OK.

    SCENE 13.
    Slava (shouts): Nataly!
    Nataly (behind stage): What?
    Slava: When Oleksander goes away ask Zoryana to came to me.
    Nataly: As you say.
    Oleksander: What for?
    Slava: Are you thinking that I don't check your facts.
    Oleksander: And what?
    Slava: What are you waiting for? I am listening. Or you have nothing to say?
    Oleksander: Have you ever spoke with Zoryana's clients?
    Slava (think a bit): No, it wasn't necessary. All papers I saw, they are perfect.
    Oleksander: Do you wonder about stability of contracts?
    Slava: Why I nave to wonder about good work.
    Oleksander: Do you know that Zoryana's husband works in the bank?
    Slava: Yes, if we need, we make there some transactions. What about it?
    Oleksander: You don't guess.
    Slava: Are you trying to say that he by compulsory took money from clients account and sent to our account.
    Oleksander: Wrong way.
    Slava: I am patient person, but...
    Oleksander: He is cofounder of most firms with which Zoryana works.
    Slava: It's impossible.
    Oleksander: Really possible.
    Slava: Proofs.
    Oleksander: If you need, I'll find.
    Slava: Where?
    Oleksander: My wife, she worked in that bank for some time.
    Slava: What for it is to them?
    Oleksander: Big money from sending there and back money. If you need, my wife will explains all to you.
    Slava: Why your wife didn't tell anything?
    Oleksander: She wants to tell, but I stopped her.
    Slava: Was you afraid?
    Oleksander: No, I was waiting for suitable situation.
    Slava: All this orders - they doesn't exist. (slowly) But they buy production. Where is production?
    Oleksander: It all resells, but it's another machination.
    Slava: OK. Go back to work, I need time to think.
    Oleksander: What about firing me?
    Slava: Go back to work, I need to think about what to do with it.
    Oleksander goes out with the smile.

    SCENE 14.
    Slava walks alone on the stage.
    Speaks on man's voice, but doesn't notice it.
    Slava: Milksop, what he told me when was afraid. Wife wanted to tell everything. And he call himself a man.
    Maybe his tact meddles with his wish to tell it earlier. Maybe he has inborn soft-heartedness.
    Which profit I will have from it? If I fire him, because I disgust him, it will looks like information was useless. It will be his point of view.
    If I fire Zoryana, we will have less profit. We will loose stability. If I tell Zoryana that I know... How she reacts - I don't know.Could I propose to stop this? She could refuse.
    I can propose myself to be a partner in receiving their profit. I wanted for a long time maintenance in my flat, better do it on easy money.
    She could tell that all to manager, in this case I could loose my place.
    I'm between the devil and the deep blue sea.
    I'll see what to do during conversation.

    SCENE 15.
    Zoryana enters.
    Zoryana: Good afternoon, Slava. You have frightened all firm. Everyone speak about possible discharges.
    Slava: Hello. I'd better call it renewal of group.
    Zoryana: Who do you mean?
    Slava: Now I am working on it. Zoryana, I want to speak with yours clients.
    Zoryana: I have no debts.
    Slava: I know, but I want to speak with all yours clients.
    Zoryana: I'll try to make it.
    Slava: Coffee?
    Zoryana: No, thanks.
    Slava: It's really good that you so fast accomplished my request.
    Zoryana (uncertain): What are you talking about?
    Slava: You already here and you - it's all yours clients.
    Zoryana: What are you...
    Slava: Really - yours husband is not here, but we could have a talk with you. What do you think?
    Zoryana: You are crazy.
    Slava: No, but I know that all yours clients it's just white- washing.
    Zoryana: It's empty, senseless blame.
    Slava: Please without hot tears of pious woman. Also I don't need proofs on innocence. I want to know only one thing.
    Zoryana(whispering): Which?
    Slava: Is our manager takes part in it?
    Silence.
    Slava: Did you hear my question?
    Zoryana: Yes.
    Slava: Zoryana, answer.
    Zoryana (firmly straighten): Yes.
    Slava: Wonderful. For how long?
    Zoryana (with disgust): Enough.
    Slava: He is not an initiator, but he knows and you have to share profit with him.
    Zoryana: Yes. But how do you know that?
    Slava: Everywhere we have envious and not satisfied with life people.
    Zoryana: OK. If we have you in business, it will be nothing to share.
    Slava: In reality you are miserable.
    Zoryana: Since I visited your home last time have you done a maintenance?
    Slava: No. What for...
    Zoryana: Really, we give you money to maintenance your flat because of tense situation at work.
    Slava: Fast, practicable.
    Zoryana: It's supposed to be like this.
    Slava: Is it yours husband idea?
    Zoryana: Are you kidding? He worked five years as cashier, before I take care of it.
    Slava: And now he is?
    Zoryana: Assistant of director's assistant.
    Slava: Congratulations.
    Zoryana: It's my achievement.
    Slava: I just say - congratulations to you.
    Zoryana: Thanks. If you, like manager, have twinges of conscience, just ask me. I could stand up for myself.
    Slava: I'll try not to forget.
    Zoryana: Perfect. Should I call someone?
    Slava: No, I go to the bank now.
    Zoryana exits.

    SCENE 16.
    Slava alone.
    Slava: She will decides all the problems. Husband braids daughter's hair and goes with friends to gossip.
    How easy she takes this situation. Not begging but demanding.
    I need to do maintenance some day. It will be like it supposes to be. Do we need Oleksander for now? I think not. And manager will agrees for deliverance such meaner who knows too much.
    For today I choose first person to fire. Good, I'll go to the bank.
    And after it I'll go home. What to return here, it takes a lot of time.
    Also in bank I have a meeting with debtor. (with smile) I'll show who is the boss. He will ask me for forgiveness. Bustard he threatens me.
    Slava switches off high-tech lamp.

    SCENE 17.
    Slava slowly walks to the sofa.
    Comes to light of lantern, from the darkness exits old lady.
    Neighbor old lady with a toy dog which yelping all the time.
    Slava: Good evening.
    Neighbor old lady: To whom are you going every day, nice man?
    Slava: Man? It's me - Slava.
    Neighbor old lady (approvingly): To Slava. She is a good woman. Come on Berta, nothing to be afraid of.
    Slava (man's voice): Old lady changed a lot. She mixed me up with a man. Maybe I look tired.
    Slava comes to mirror.
    Opens it, looks at herself.
    Slava: It's impossible. Who is it?
    Turns around - it's man.
    Slava: I am a man. It's impossible. It's after that pills. I don't recognize myself. I am not a man.
    Slava falls as if shot.
    Black out.

    SCENE 18.
    Slava slowly starts moving on the floor.
    Slava: God, what happened, I fell down. My head, what a pain.
    Slava raises her head, looks at the mirror.
    Slava: What happened? I have to remember.
    Slava sits on the floor, takes her head in arms.
    Slava: Yesterday or today (looks at the watch). Exactly, yesterday was hard day. Oleksandr, Zoryana, big argue was in the bank. I remember all of that. What is next? I went home.
    Next? Neighbor. Really, she told me something. (pause) She called me a man. Crazy.
    I was offend and came home. Why am I on the floor?
    Slava looks around herself, gropes for something which could be an obstacle to her.
    Slava: Mirror. I saw there something. (with horror) No.
    Gropes herself, stands up with horror, stays near the mirror not opens eyes.
    Opens eyes.
    Slava (sights): It was dream, just a dream. But I fell on the floor. It's only tiredness, everything is fine with me. It couldn't be another way.
    Slava switches on nice lamp.
    Slava: I could not go today at work. (unbuttons her jacket) I'll tell that a have a temperature. I could be ill.I am human.Tired, cold.
    Takes the phone, calls.
    Slava: Nataly, it's me. Yes it's my voice, I feel worse. Yes, today I don't go to work. No, don't come. Yes, I call the doctor, I am waiting for her now. Yes, all papers you will leave for tomorrow. I think tomorrow I will feel better.
    Yes, cold is everywhere. I'll call you later.
    Puts back the phone.
    Slava: I'll resolve this. It happened in the evening. I think light was bad. All day will be light everywhere.
    Bright light on the stage.
    Slava: It's better now. This never repeats. It never happens again.Today I'll clean up my flat. I have time to dream about maintenance. It never happens again.
    Slowly goes at the mirror, relaxes, turns around herself.
    Slava: I am woman. Woman. Woman.

    SCENE 19.
    Slava is beside the couch. Gets out old flowers.
    Slava: It is horrible. They are dirty, fade. Where are they from?
    Slava shakes flowers they go to pieces.
    Slava: I remember: Igor brings them. When it was? I didn't put them in vase. Really, after such little things I have such horrible dreams. Tomorrow I'll necessary buy flowers and put them in water. I will be ladylike.
    She sits on the sofa.
    Slava: But I have any new dress. I can't put it in bank or at work. They don't understand it. I sort out it later. Maybe I should call Igor and he could come here.
    Slava goes to the phone.
    Slava: No. Stop. He knows that I am ill, I am not at work. And he not interested what happened to me, not even called. But he told, that he missed me. I was so stupid to believe him.
    Now he is flirting with Nataly. And I am alone here.
    Nobody need me.
    Goes to mirror.
    Slava: Beautiful and sad, but woman. You could say what you wish at night. Dear Lord, how is boring at home. Tomorrow I have to go to work. It's so sad here.

    SCENE 20.
    Slava switches on high-tech lamp.
    Slava: How wonderful is at work. Yesterday in evening nothing happened. I was looking in the mirror all the time. It was because of tiredness. It could happened with everyone. Nataly!
    Enters Nataly with papers.
    Nataly: Are you feeling better?
    Slava: Yes, thanks. I don't like to be ill.
    Nataly: What did doctor said?
    Slava: Cold with tiredness. But now I feel much better. What we have today?
    Nataly: Yesterday was terrible quarrel between Oleksander and manager.
    Slava: What?
    Nataly: Oleksander demanded rise of salary and respect for him as employee.
    Slava: Had he has the money from his debtors?
    Nataly: Of course not.
    Slava: And what did ours respected manager?
    Nataly: He fired him, damn it!
    Slava: What are you talking?
    Nataly: I am only repeating.
    Slava: What happened next?
    Nataly: Oleksander brought Zoryana to manager’s office. They had quarreled.
    Slava: Interesting is here without me. How did it all end?
    Nataly (with sadness): Manager didn't fire Oleksander. Zoryana had settled down everything.
    Slava: Why she?
    Nataly: I don't know. Do you know anything?
    Slava: From where? What did manager say about it?
    Nataly: He told that Oleksander played like man and stood up for himself.
    Slava: Now everything is the same.
    Nataly: I think so.
    Slava: OK. We work like always.
    Nataly: Igor...
    Slava (irritated): What about Igor?
    Nataly: He wants to talk to you.
    Slava: OK, in ten minutes.
    Nataly: As you say.
    Nataly exits.

    SCENE 21.
    Slava: They made arrangement without me. In this friendly relationship now is more important not to be unnecessary.
    Of course, any plans for maintenance. Nothing matter, I could find work. I am excellent administrator and I had few proposes for work.
    Really, they found common language. Blackmailer and swindler should have common language.

    SCENE 22.
    Igor enters.
    Igor: Hello, how are you feeling?
    Slava: Good morning, Mister Igor. Thank you, I feel better now.
    Igor: What happened?
    Slava: Nothing, everything is OK. Why are you asking?
    Igor: Did I do something wrong?
    Slava: No, why? How could you did something wrong, when you did nothing.
    Igor: I don't understand.
    Slava: Yesterday, you didn't worry what happened to me. And now you play that you care about me. I don't need something for show.
    Igor: I was worried about you yesterday.
    Slava: I didn't notice it.
    Igor: I asked Nataly. I was surprised that you were absent. I asked her about you, and she told me you had the cold.
    Slava: What was next?
    Igor: Nothing.
    Slava: Exactly.
    Igor: I asked Nataly if you need something. She told me that you have everything. And you asked not to disturb you.
    Slava: How everything easy in your life. You asked, you know everything. I told Nataly not to come. We didn't talk about you.
    Igor: I know.
    Slava: Why you didn't come to me? Why you not even phoned?
    Igor: I didn't think.
    Slava: Do you know why?
    Igor: No.
    Slava: The truth it does not important for you.
    Igor: You are wrong.
    Slava: It is truth. Go back to work. I don't want to see you now.
    Igor: Don't push me away.
    Slava: I only notify facts.
    Go, I beg you.
    Igor: OK. But don't make conclusions.
    Igor exits.

    SCENE 23.
    Slava: I make conclusions. If you are stupid it's not my fault. Nataly!
    Nataly enters.
    Nataly: Listening.
    Slava: Nataly, this evening I'll visit birthday party.
    Nataly: Shall I buy present?
    Slava: No, I need flowers, nice and beautiful bunch of flowers.
    Nataly: Expensive?
    Slava: Yes.
    Nataly: Which one?
    Slava: The best.
    Nataly: I understand, everything will be done in a hour.
    Slava: Thanks.
    Nataly exits.
    Slava: I make gift to myself. Why to wait something from somebody else.

    SCENE 24.
    Nataly enters with two huge bunches of flowers.
    Nataly: Here I am.
    Slava: Put them on the table.
    Nataly: Are they beautiful?
    Slava: Yes. But why two?
    Nataly: I ordered one, second is from your mysterious admirer. It's wonderful.
    Slava: It's awful.
    Nataly: Why?
    Slava: If that mysterious admirer was cleverly he could send me flowers earlier and I hadn't to pay such money for bunch of flowers.
    Nataly: You are right.
    But it's nice.
    Slava: Yes, thank you. You could go.
    Nataly (tries to say something but has doubts): Something else happened.
    Slava: Third bunch of flowers is behind the door.
    Nataly: Not exactly.
    Slava: If you start, tell all.
    Nataly: Was call from firma "Armagedonik".
    Slava: Yes, I have meeting with their director in hour.
    Nataly: He won't come.
    Slava: How he won't come? I speak with him at tree o'clock. I remind him how it's important for him to come. What another thought he has?
    Nataly: He won't come. He is in hospital with heart attack. Doctor says about bad prediction.
    Slava: Thank you, thank you that you tell me. Yes, keep your finger on the pulse. Take this bunch of flowers and send to the hospital with wishes to recovery. You know what you need to write. Today I go home earlier. I am tired, I need to rest.
    Nataly: Today you'll visit birthday party.
    Slava: Yes, it's not on time.
    Nataly takes one bunch of flowers and leaves.
    Slava takes another bunch of flowers and switches off high-tech lamp.
    Blackout.

    SCENE 25.
    Man with flowers switches on nice lamp. Puts flowers on the table.
    Goes to the mirror, starts back from it, but after it looks intent at new face.
    Slava: It didn't work. Flowers are not enough for this.
    Curtain.

    SCENE 26.
    Slava sits on the sofa. Its woman, she sits uncomfortable.
    She slowly wakes up.
    Slava: Its morning already. (Looks on herself, goes to mirror).
    Woman again. Again I missed it. And coffee didn't work.
    If I know hour or minute. Maybe it when I tired closed my eyes. What next? What to do?
    Did they notice changes in me at work? Maybe I did something, or went near anything. Maybe, I'm going crazy. (silent for a while) Am I crazy or not?
    Have I split personality? I don't think so, I feel the same in my consciousness. I have problem with body. I had changes in external sex. It's sex distortion. Perversion.
    For now it's enough. Now I have to live further. I manage it.
    I am woman and for last time I am a man a bit. It looks like I'm stronger. My enemies will have repulse from two.
    Slava switches on high-tech lamp.

    SCENE 27.
    Zoryana enters.
    Zoryana: Good morning, you look awful.
    Slava: Thanks. What happened?
    Zoryana: Nothing, don't be hostile.
    Slava: I am friendly.
    Zoryana: Ok, it doesn't matter. My birthday is tomorrow.
    Slava: Congratulations.
    Zoryana: Never congratulate on further, but thank you. I won't be tomorrow at work, so I have party today.
    Slava: How about present?
    Zoryana: I notify Nataly and she makes all changes.
    Slava: Is party today?
    Zoryana: Yes, after work.
    Slava: But I...
    Zoryana: No excuses. Don't offend me. I understand that you angry with me.
    Slava: Me, why?
    Zoryana: It's about maintenance. Yes, this quarter wasn't so successful as we wanted. But, maybe on first time TV-set would be enough for you.
    Slava: TV-set? Which relation does it have to my behavior?
    Zoryana: It's from our firm, from me and manager for your ability to collaborate.
    Slava: Thank you at advance. But I really can't be on your party.
    Zoryana: But Igor will be here today.
    Slava: And what it changes?
    Zoryana: Oh, it's not Igor. What is his name? Where have you met? Tell me everything.
    Slava: I have a lot of things to do.
    Zoryana: No excuses, come to my office. We'll have an coffee. Come on.
    Slava and Zoryana together exit.

    SCENE 28.
    Noises of the party is behind the stage.
    Enters shakily Slava. She is sober but very tired.
    Slava: I strain myself to the utmost. What time is it? I lost my watch. If it starts now?
    I don't know how it all happened. I don't feel the changes.
    They have fun. But I feel terrible.
    What will be next? Be more feminine. How with femininity you could score big success? Nataly is equivalent to femininity. She makes coffee, she is assistant of director's assistant. But she was secretary and stays the same.
    I achieved all by myself. And now, now I suffer a lot. For what?
    Maybe I need to borrow some pet? Damn it, if I need a pet at home.
    Good, I stay here. What could happen will happen.
    Maybe, today it doesn't take place.
    Slava sits on the chair back to audience.
    Blackout.

    SCENE 29.
    Enters Igor, he is a little bit drank, firm and melancholic.
    Talks with Slava and doesn't notice that she turns back to him. On the chair sits man.
    Igor: You hide from everyone, but I find you. Darling.
    Slava (man’s voice): Go away.
    Igor: I don't. You always drive me out, but I stay. Because I think, that I have to.
    Slava: Go.
    Igor: I don't ask you to speak with me. Only listen what I want to say.
    Slava: For God's sake.
    Igor: You avoid me. I understand everything. You bored with me. But I think that everything was good with us. And we have the future. But I don't suit you. You need big money and status. I understand. I also not saint.I was with Nataly. But does it important now? I am talking about us. (hard yawns) I knew everything, I spoke with Zoryana. You have another man. But it's not a problem for me, if it suits for you.
    Slava: Shut up.
    Igor: I even saw him from far away. He was with flowers, at the same day when I sent you flowers too.Don't think that I hoped for something. I only walked near your house. After it I saw him. And in yours flat switched on light. He resembles me someone.
    Slava stands up from the chair. It's man.
    Igor scares.
    Igor: It's you, you! What is you doing here? You wait for Slava.How do you? I call security now.
    Slava: Shut up.
    Igor: Security.
    Slava takes folder from the table and beats Igor on the head by folder. He falls.
    Slava bends forward to him.
    Slava: He breathes. Sorry, but I have no choice. You never listen to me. I already have told you - go away.
    Slava leaves.

    SCENE 30.
    Igor stands up, holds on to his head.
    Igor: What happened? (recollects) A man, that man.
    Igor goes to chair, turns it, it's empty.
    Igor: It was or it was my dream. Slava? Rather she already went home. With whom I spoke? I need to talk with her about it. No, better not. Now our relationships are the worst they could be. She will think that I am drunkard, if I had such vision.
    Igor goes from the stage.
    Igor (uncertainly): But he reminds me someone.
    Igor leaves.

    SCENE 31.
    Slava enters, meets half-way Neighbor old lady with a toy dog.
    Neighbor: Good evening.
    Slava: Evening.
    Neighbor : What a nice man, it's luck for Slava. Courteous, not like the previous. She is nice woman. She deserves happiness.
    Slava: No!
    Neighbor (scares): Dear, what happened? Berta is scares.
    Slava: Everything ok. I only remember... I remember that’s Slava wait for me in cafe, and I went to her home.
    Neighbor: Youth.
    Neighbor old lady goes away.

    SCENE 32.
    Man-Slava drags a bar chair.
    Slava: I need to get drunk, drunk till I see green devil and maybe never wake up. It is something that I need, it's way out. I don't want to drown myself, but I want to get drunk.
    Man-Slava puts the chair and sits on it.
    From another part of stage woman-Oleksander drags second bar chair, she dressed on man's suit and tie. She puts her chair nears Slava's.
    Woman has a bottle on her arm.
    Oleksander: Can you help me?
    Slava: Yes.
    Slava opens the bottle.
    Oleksander: Thank you. What is your name?
    Slava: Slava. And you?
    Oleksander: Oleksander.
    Slava: How?
    Oleksander: Sacha. Sacha.
    Slava: To the meeting, Sacha.
    Oleksander: Yes.
    Slava: Why are you sad?
    Oleksander: Everything is badly at work. Nobody respect me, they treat me like a woman.
    Slava: Sorry, but how to treat you, look at yourself.
    Oleksander: This, I know. I mean they don't respect me like excellent worker.
    Slava: Maybe they are right.
    Oleksander: I better go.
    Slava: Don't umbrage. I just say so. I have a feeling that I know you for ages.
    Oleksander: Me the same.
    Slava: What about your work?
    Oleksander: Everything awful at work and even wife doesn't respect me.
    Slava: Your's boss is woman and she doesn't respect you?
    Oleksander (confuse): Yes, I said it already.
    Slava: By the way, what time is it? I have lost my watch somewhere.
    Oleksander shows his watch.
    Slava: Thanks, nice watch.
    Oleksander: Yes, limited edition. It's only one in town.
    Slava: Outstanding. Lover makes a present.
    Oleksander: Not exactly.
    Slava: Husband?
    Oleksander (quiet): Almost.
    Slava: I understand. How often do you visit this place?
    Oleksander: When all this starts - every day.
    Slava: What starts?
    Oleksander (hastily): Problems at work.
    Slava: What does your family think about it?
    Oleksander: And yours?
    Slava: I am alone.
    Oleksander: Good, the same is I.
    Slava: Alone?
    Oleksander: No, my family also didn't notice me and didn't pay attention on me.
    Slava: Another drink?
    Oleksander: With pleasure.
    Slava: It's good that I meet you. I think we have lots in common.
    Oleksander: Really, I confident in that.
    Curtain.

    SCENE 33.
    Slava walks around the table when talks on the phone.
    Enters Igor.
    Slava shows him to wait, still talking.
    Slava: Yes, we made your a favor. I understand everything. Yes, your director now at home. Thanks God that he is much better now. I am not asking you for all the money. Yes, I propose to you send me official confirmation that “Armagedonik” agrees to pay debt. Yes, we have the agreement. I'll wait till evening.
    Puts back the phone.
    Igor: Hard.
    Slava: Not easy. She is not Zoryana.
    Igor: What about Zoryana?
    Slava: Nothing. She hasn't such problems with clients. Do you want anything?
    Igor: Yes, here is something happened.
    Slava: When, what?
    Igor: Few days ago, at Zoryana’s birthday party.
    Slava (like nothing happened): What happened? I left earlier.
    Igor: Yes, I know. I got drunk.
    Slava: And you want to tell me about it?
    Igor: Not exactly. I had such vision.
    Slava: I don't think that I want to listen about your's visions.
    Igor: Who is that man which visits you?
    Slava: Which man? You told me that you get drunk few days ago, not today.
    Igor: I saw him near your house and I think in your office.
    Slava: Are you sure in something?
    Igor: Not really.
    Slava: First of all make order in your head and after it take me for a ride.
    Igor: Who is that man?
    Slava: That man not exists. It's only me.
    Igor: I don't believe you. You can't do that sort of thing.
    Igor leaves.
    Slava: If I tell you truth you don't believe me either.What's the difference?
    She closes her face by hands.

    SCENE 34.
    Slava: He believes in only what he did see. He didn't believe in what he heard. I am uncertain, really uncertain if I could tell him everything. Yes.How could I speak about something which I don't understand?
    First I have to express it to myself. I am tired, so tired.
    I seek for something, I didn't want to be like everybody, like every woman. I thought about to try to live not only for family.
    I had ambitions and now... have it. I didn't want only cooking and take care of children. I wanted to be independent. I didn't know that I need to be lonely.
    I was working, was working. I obtained. I knew everything. I was a step forward. Now the manager is owner, even Zoryana thinks so. She doesn't know how much money I have on my account. Even if she gives money to manager, it cannot be compared to my profits.
    I thought better to act like a real woman, I was a little bit behind. Didn't show my results to anybody. It didn't work, they have offended me, I cried and stayed stronger. Every time I stayed stronger... till I learned how to strike back. No I do it irreproachable.
    I become stronger and now after offend from me people are crying. I wanted to protect myself, I played by their rules.And what I have?
    They say to me: you don't see good in people. They scared of me, but I receive desired result.
    What about that I did everything? I left a dream about family, now I could live independent from everyone. (pause) Not rely on someone. I became stronger, I became successful and now I turn into man. (pause) I said it aloud.
    I turn into a man. Daily, hourly. And I begin to like it. It's awful.
    I feel safer in the evening, when come back home. Man didn't look at me with lust. Another women I didn't notice.
    It easier for me, again I feel protected. I am strong. I feel unspeakably lonely. And nobody could help me.
    I wouldn't tell anything to Igor. I wouldn't tell anybody. Nobody notice nothing. If they didn't notice it for now.I'll pass everything, I am strong.
    I am very strong and very... very... lonely... No, I am very successful.
    I am equal to man's world, because now I also became a man.

    SCENE 35.
    Nataly enters.
    Nataly: Slava, are you calling me?
    Slava: No.
    Nataly: It seems to me that you talked with somebody.
    Slava: Did you hear something?
    Nataly: No.
    Slava: I was looking for persuasive arguments for clients.
    Nataly: You look very tired.
    Slava: Work made tired everyone.
    Nataly: You are right there. Sometimes I so tired, that I think that work like a man.
    Slava: What did you say?
    Nataly: Nothing, of course I dramatise. I feel scared even when thinking that I could become a man. Horror. Do you agree?
    Slava: Yes, of course. It's even difficult to imagine.
    Nataly: How wonderful is to be a woman. All this cosmetic, shops, dresses...
    Slava: How about ambitions, success?
    Nataly: Damn it. Ambitions. Sorry. Success? I think that manager goes to divorce for me, ugh.
    Slava: What about it?
    Nataly: I am talking about success. On this firm is more men than in any firm where I worked. And what?
    Slava: What?
    Nataly: Where is result?
    Slava: Which?
    Nataly: Where is my success? Where is my woman’s ambitions? Where is wedding?
    Slava: You talk about this.
    Nataly: About what else we could chat?
    Slava: I understand. And with Igor it didn't work either.
    Nataly (amazed): Are you known already?
    Slava: Yes, but don't be afraid. I wouldn't make repression or going to fire you. Everybody knows that with us everything bad and it is not your's fault.
    Nataly: God, you are such a wise woman. By the way, why I came?
    Slava: Something happened again?
    Nataly: One more time manager wants to fire Oleksander.
    Slava: Why?
    Nataly: He thinks that we don't need such worker.
    Slava: Again would be attack of hysteric.
    Nataly: I think so. Knowing it manager proposed to you solve this conflict.
    Slava: Why he thinks so?
    Nataly: You manly apprehend hysterics of subordinate. And you rare express sympathy to anyone.
    Slava: Am I robot?
    Nataly: No, no. Just professional on his place.
    Nataly leaves.

    SCENE 36.
    Slava: They entrust me man's work. Maybe they already noticed changes and made use from it.
    Not, for sure not. At least they could scare. Everything so calm, as every day. (with horror). I behave so every day, they used to, I used to. Perhaps earlier I also changed, but noticed it only now. But why now? Why, why?
    Perhaps (slowly) because now I don't have back way.(with irritation) I do not believe in this, it could not happened. Maybe this perversion only from tiredness. (pause) And maybe not.

    SCENE 37.
    Oleksander enters, he is angry and sad.
    Oleksander: Do you want to see me?
    Slava: No way.
    Oleksander confuses.
    Slava: Don't be afraid. It's our manager or Nataly proposed you to visit me.
    Oleksander: Overall. But we made agreement with you.
    Slava: About what?
    Oleksander: You wouldn't fire me, if I told you everything.
    Slava: Really, it was. But you didn't trust to my world and you went blackmail manager.
    Oleksander: What's the hell?
    Slava: It's truth. Zoryana calmed you, but after it, she had discussion with manager. And not to think much about this we could guess it is not to your credit.
    Oleksander: What are you talking about?
    Slava: You are fired.
    Oleksander: I don't believe this.
    Slava: It's true. And it will happened if manager doesn't change his mind again. For me it would be better when all this finished. I spent so much time on unnecessary things.
    Oleksander: How you could say that? You have no soul.
    Slava: Very good. By the way you are the one who really merciful: you blackmail people and spoil my good spirit. What time it is now, I lost my watch somewhere.
    Oleksander shows her his watch.
    She looks attentively and after it starts back from him.
    Oleksander: What happened?
    Slava: Watch!
    Oleksander: Yes, it's unique, my wife gives it to me as present. Do you like it?
    Slava: I already saw it somewhere.
    Oleksander: It's impossible. My wife just gives it to me. I put it on only twice.
    Slava: Where you put it on?
    Oleksander: Today at work.
    Slava: And first time?
    Oleksander (embarrassed): I went into a bar with my fellows. Few days ago, when my wife made the present.
    Slava with horror looks at Oleksandr.
    He doesn't understand anything and starts to nervous.
    Oleksander: What is wrong?
    Slava: Nothing, it's only difficult for me to fire person with whom I worked for so long. Manager had overestimated me, I am sentimental.
    Oleksander: You could change your mind and I'll stay.
    Slava: I don't decide everything. And you needn't worry. If your wife made you such a present she'll find you another place. Goodbye.
    Oleksander: Are you sure?
    Slava: It's final decision. Please don't delay me anymore. I wish you luck.
    Oleksander: You made mistake. Farewell.
    Oleksander leaves.
    Slava: If now mistake could be important.

    SCENE 38.
    Slava: It is she, he - Sacha. The watch is the same. On that evening at bar was he or she. He behaves like a woman and in evening... in evening he become a woman. Then it happens not only with me.
    Why I drive him out? What I supposed to do? I could complain that the same happened to me. But if he is not she? Then better, that I kept silent. He could tell it everybody, everybody could jeer at me.
    I am sure that he is she. I can't made a mistake, watch is not important. His words, his gestures, how he embarrassed. He scared that he unmasked. He just scared. Then it happened not only with me.
    But what makes influence on that changes and when starts this horrible perversions.It looks like that could happen to everyone or already happened? I just didn’t notice.
    And others: does they live not notice, not disturbed about changes.
    Stop.
    What I am saying? It's not about curiosity. It is inevitable. Oleksandr becames a woman because behaves like a woman. I became a man because behave like them. I am always the same.
    I do not want to change anything. I never had so much. I could take advantages of it, not suffer from change.
    Is it end or is it beginning? Another humans live like that, I also could stand.
    I'll stay.
    Sudden blackout.

    SCENE 39.
    Slava is in front of the curtain. She looks at mirror, puts straight tie. She dressed in man's suit. On feet are man's shoes.
    Slava: Today I change my place of work. I become a boss. I'll live how I want.
    I accepted rules of the game. Success is waiting for me.
    Now I look appropriate. Perversion won't catch me in unsuitable appearance. I prepared already.
    Now you wait: I am coming.
    Ahead.
    I have nothing for what I shall turn back.

    SCENE 40.
    Curtain is open.
    The stage is brightly illuminated. On the stage walks, runs, something vividly discuss men in woman's clothing, women dressed emphasis careless in men's clothing.
    Slava: Here I am. Now I am like everyone. And everyone like me.
    (Slava takes corner of curtain, enters on stage, closes curtain behind herself).
    Perversion took place. Thank to everyone for patience.
    C U R T A I N.
    (Translate from russian by Kate Aksenova © 2011)


    Mail: aksioma@neonet.ua

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