ИЛЬЯ ЧЛАКИ - THE SPINNING TOP OR THIS JUST DOESN’T HAPPEN (Волчок, или так не бывает)

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    Понедельник, 06.02.2023, 09:58
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              И Л Ь Я   Ч Л А К И

    THE SPINNING TOP OR THIS JUST DOESN’T HAPPEN (Волчок, или так не бывает)

    (a comedy with no end)

     

     

    Translated by Michael Yurieff

     

     

    CHARACTERS:

     

    PAVEL

    SVETA,  NINA,  LENA

     

    A ONE ROOM APARTMENT WITH AN ENTRANCE WAY. PAVEL OPENS THE FRONT DOOR.

    SVETA ENTERS.

    PAVEL  Svetik!

    SVETA  Hi, Pavel.

    PAVEL  I'm so happy you stopped by. (Wants to embrace her)

    SVETA  I stopped by to have a serious talk with you. (Enters the room)

    PAVEL  Svetik... (following her) Sit down...

    SVETA  Pavel...

    PAVEL  It's so great you stopped by, I thought...

    SVETA  Just a minute.

    PAVEL  You... here... it's so unexpected...

    SVETA  I thought we'd agreed on today.

    PAVEL  Really?

    SVETA  You forgot?

    PAVEL  I thought maybe you wouldn't show up...

    SVETA  If I said I'm coming over, that means I am coming over, period.

    PAVEL  Well, you know...

    SVETA  You and I were in the same class for ten years. Didn't you learn that I keep my promises, that I never disappoint anyone, that I...

    PAVEL  You're a smart girl. (Wants to embrace her)

    SVETA Just a minute.

    PAVEL Svetik!  (Wants to kiss her)

    SVETA You just don't want to understand...

    PAVEL No, I don't.

    SVETA  You don't want to understand that I've come to have a serious talk with you.

    PAVEL Later.

    SVETA  No, Pavel, now.

    PAVEL  I'm listening...

    SVETA Can't you leave me alone for a second?

    PAVEL No, I can't.

    SVETA Then I'm going.

    PAVEL OK, I agree to leave you alone for a second.

    SVETA  Pavel...

    PAVEL  Time's up.

    SVETA  I'm leaving.

    PAVEL  OK, that's it. I'm quiet. Talk-I'm listening. Svetik.

    SVETA  I don't mean to play teacher, you're not five years old, but I just can't let it go by. You can't go on living like this, Pavel. You're an adult...

    THE TELEPHONE RINGS.

    PAVEL Excuse me. (Into the receiver)  Hello... Oh, it's you. No, why? You know, I have this thing I'm working on... No, no one's here, I'm alone. It's true... (Apparently she's hung up on him, so Pavel also stops talking) That was my mother. She wanted to know who was here? Anyway go on, I remember every word. "You're an adult."

    SVETA  Pavel, you're an adult now...

    THE TELEPHONE RINGS.

    PAVEL  Don't pay any attention to it, that's my mother again.

    SVETA You don't want to talk to her?

    PAVEL  We've already covered everything. "You're an adult."

    SVETA I want to talk to her. (She reaches for the phone)

    PAVEL Better I talk to her. (Cuts in front of Sveta and picks up the phone) I told you already: No one is here.

    SVETA  What're you lying for? Give me the phone, I want to talk to Elizabeta Andreevna.

    PAVEL  (into the phone) You imagined it. That was a man's voice. It was me, it was my voice.

    SHE HANGS UP AGAIN.

    PAVEL  Doesn't believe me. That's a mother for you. So what were you saying?

    SVETA  Why did you quit the institute?

    PAVEL  Svetik.

    SVETA  OK, Elizabeta Andreevna and I will have a talk about that. Stop it, leave me alone.

    PAVEL  I can't. When you're here-you slay me.

    SVETA  You're getting out of hand. You're like a kid.

    PAVEL  Yes.

    SVETA You don't even make your own bed.

    PAVEL  I was waiting for you.

    SVETA  I'm supposed to make it?

    PAVEL  Just the opposite...

    SVETA  So that's how you welcome me.

    PAVEL  With love.

    SVETA  Pavel, love is more than just the bed. First and foremost, love is hygiene. You're living a disgraceful, bachelor's life...

    PAVEL  Sweetheart.

    SVETA  A bachelor does not mean a man. Think of the classics. Tolstoy, Chekhov, even Gorky. Did you ever see anyone like you there?

    PAVEL  Gorky: "The Lower Depths."

    SVETA  Yes, that's you-the lower depths. Cut it out.

    PAVEL  Svetochka.

    SVETA  Wise up, Pasha, before it's too late. Just remember, no good will come of this. In the last “Literaturka”... You read newspapers don't you?

    PAVEL  What do newspapers have to do with it?

    SVETA  A lot. In the last “Literaturka” they wrote about people degrading themselves. A smart, talented woman...

    PAVEL What's it got to do with me?

    SVETA  It's about you too, Pavel. In no time at all, a smart, talented woman turned into God knows what. It all started at the institute. She quit school, just like you...

    PAVEL  Just give me one kiss and then you can say anything you want.

    THEY KISS.

    SVETA  Pasha.

    PAVEL  Svetik.

    SVETA  Pasha.

    PAVEL  Darling.

    SVETA  So, she left the institute...

    THE DOORBELL RINGS.

    PAVEL  She did the right thing. (Wants to kiss Sveta)

    SVETA  Didn't you hear the bell?

    PAVEL  I don't want to hear it.

    GOES OUT TO THE ENTRANCE WAY AND OPENS THE DOOR.

    LENA ENTERS.

    LENA  Pavlik!

    PAVEL  Lena?!

    LENA  Pavlushal!

    PAVEL  Hi, Len...

    LENA   What's the matter, Pavlik?

    PAVEL  With me? Hi, Len...

    LENA  Are you sick?

    PAVEL  Me?

    LENA  My God, you're sick.

    PAVEL  No, I...

    LENA  Pavlik, you're really sick!

    PAVEL  No, I'm fine, I'm so happy... you came over, what a surprise...

    LENA  Surprise? Do you have a fever?

    PAVEL  I don't know.

    LENA  You must have a fever. You told me yourself to come over today.

    PAVEL Today?!

    LENA  You look awful.

    PAVEL  You know...

    LENA  Have you eaten anything?

    PAVEL  No, I...

    LENA  You need to go straight to bed.

    SHE GOES INTO THE ROOM.

    PAVEL  Lena, Lenochka...

    LENA ENTERS THE ROOM. FOLLOWED BY PAVEL.

    A BRIEF PAUSE.

     

    .......................................