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The Panther (translated by Elisa Corbett)
 

The Panther (translated by Elisa Corbett)

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    The Panther (translated by Elisa Corbett) The Panther (translated by Elisa Corbett) Document Transcript

    •                           THE  PANTHER   -­‐ a  play  in  2  acts,  80  minutes  -­‐   2009             CAMILA  APPEL     TRANSLATED  BY  ELISA  CORBETT             *  all  rights  reserved.  Registered  with  Escritório  de  Direitos  Autorais  da  Fundação   Biblioteca  Nacional*       1  
    •    The  Panther  (In  Jardim  des  Plantes,  Paris)  Translated  from  German  by  Stephen  Mitchell.      His  vision,  from  the  constantly  passing  bars,  has  grown  so  weary  that  it  cannot  hold  anything  else.        It  seems  to  him  there  are  a  thousand  bars;  and  behind  the  bars,  no  world.    As  he  paces  in  cramped  circles,  over  and  over,  the  movement  of  his  powerful  soft  strides  is  like  a  ritual  dance  around  a  center  in  which  a  mighty  will  stands  paralyzed.    Only  at  times,  the  curtain  of  the  pupils  lifts,  quietly-­‐-­‐.  An  image  enters  in,  rushes  down  through  the  tensed,  arrested  muscles,  plunges  into  the  heart  and  is  gone.      Rainer  Maria  Rilke           2  
    •   THE  PANTHER    CHARACTERS:    SHE:  approximately  30  years  of  age.  HE:  approximately  30  years  of  age.  PANTHER:  roar/play  of  shadow  and  light  to  the  discretion  of  the  direction.    TIME:  present.  PLACE:  an  upper-­‐middle  class  supermarket.    SCENE  1  –  SHOPPING  IN  THE  SUPERMARKET     There   are   three   parallel   aisles.   The   first   one   (from   left   to   right)   carries  cleaning,  gardening  and  personal  hygiene  products.  In  the  second  one,  there  are  juices  and  alcoholic  beverages  on  one  side  and  spices  and  sauces  on  the  other.  In  the  third  aisle,  there  are  candies,  cakes,  candles  and  products  for  birthday  parties  such  as  balloons,  and  a  fruit  and  vegetable  table  in  the  center.     I   suggest   that   the   scenery   does   not   realistically   portray   a   supermarket  and  the  products  should  not  be  familiar  to  the  public.  Scenography  can  abstract  from  this  idea  of  three  parallel  aisles  suggesting  a  supermarket,  as  long  as  there  is  a  claustrophobic  feeling  on  stage.   The  supermarket  is  lit  by  a  white  light.  There  is  a  red  sign  that  says  “EXIT”  on  the  right  hand  side  of  the  stage.  The  sign’s  red  light  is  off.   HE  and  SHE  choose  products  placing  them  on  the  trolley,  which  is  driven  by  He.     They  speak  in  a  low  voice.  The  audience  cannot  understand  what  they  are  saying.  The  dialogue  begins  right  after  the  third  bell.     HE  It  can’t  survive.     SHE  And  what  should  we  do,  lock  it  up?     HE   (Ironically)  No,  we  can  put  screens  everywhere.     SHE  I’m  not  living  in  a  prison.       HE   (Looks  at  a  shelf,  refers  to  the  products,  colored  boxes)  What’s  the  difference?         3  
    • SHE  There  must  be  another  way.     HE  Well,  we  can  live  in  an  apartment.     SHE  No,  I’ve  always  lived  in  a  house;  I  like  houses.  I  spent  two  years  designing  one  for  us.  How  can  you  say  something  like  this?     HE   (Picks  up  a  box,  reads  the  package,  talks  to  himself)  Air  ticket  for  the  World  Cup,  I’m  taking  this  one.     (Puts  the  box  in  the  trolley).  If  we  let  it  loose,  it  will  die.       SHE  He’s  going  to  die  anyhow,  someday,  and  I  do  hope  it’ll  be  before  us.    I  prefer  the  one  with  fewer  calories.     HE  It’s  simple:  either  we  live  in  a  house  and  buy  a  dog,  or  in  an  apartment  with  a  cat.    These  are  just  as  fattening,  it’s  the  amount  of  fat  you  should  check.       SHE  I  want  a  cat,  in  a  house,  and  free!     HE  I  know.  But  if  it  is  let  loose,  it  won’t  survive.     SHE  Can’t  you  see  how  preposterous  that  is?     HE   (Thinks  a  little  and  says...)  No.       SHE  How  come  an  animal  must  be  imprisoned  to  survive?     HE  This  is  how  things  are.       SHE  Ahh,  let’s  hurry.  We  don’t  have  much  time.    Give  me  the  list.         4  
    • HE  Here.   HE  offers  Her  the  shopping  list.   She  does  not  take  it,  distracted   with  what  she  is  saying.       SHE    (Quickly)  Oh,   I’m   anxious.   I   know   it’s   normal.   Everyone   goes   through   this,   that   is,   almost  everyone.  My  aunt,  poor  thing,  so  many  boyfriends,  she  was  always  almost  there.    There’s  a  pit  in  my  stomach,  and  it’s  not  from  the  diet  to  look  good  in  the  dress,  it’s  anxiety.  What  if  no  one  shows  up?  No,  absolutely  no  one  isn’t  possible.      (Sighs  poetically)  And   today   I   woke   up   with   a   strange   feeling...Like   one   of   those   days   that   you  spend  thinking  it’s  going  to  rain  at  any  moment,  but  it  never  does.  All  the  water  gets  trapped  somewhere  above  there,  humidity  caught  in  the  air.       She  takes  the  shopping  list   from  his  hands.       HE  Some  people  call  that  a  cloud.     SHE  You’ll   never   understand   this   feeling.   It’s   very   subtle.   It’s   a   gut   feeling   that  something  is  about  to  happen.  I  know  it’s  coming  and  I’m  ready.  I’m  ready  for  the  bang!     HE  I  feel  that  since  I  was  a  child  and  the  big  bang  has  not  yet  hit  me...       She  hands  him  a  cranberry   juice  bottle  for  him  to  place  in   the  cart.       SHE  Here,  we’re  only  taking  two  of  these,     HE  Is  this  that  super  juice?       SHE  They  say  cranberry  is  very  good  for  your  health.         5  
    • HE  Who  the  hell  says  that?     SHE  Doctor  Amapola.     HE   (Mockingly)  Your  gyn?     SHE  Yeah.  There  are  some  anti-­‐oxidant  thingies  in  there...       HE  Oh,  anti-­‐oxidant  thingies.  Ok,  but  leave  the  juice  behind  because  they  take  up  a  lot  of  space  and  slow  down  the  cart.  I’ll  pick  them  up  at  the  end  while  you  wait  in  line  at  the  cashier’s.       SHE  He  has  e-­‐v-­‐e-­‐r-­‐y-­‐t-­‐h-­‐i-­‐n-­‐g  organized.     HE  You  must  have  a  plan  to  optimize  time  and  space.  Now  for  the  greenies.     SHE  Let’s  crab  some  redies,  we  need  more  tomatoes;  I  don’t  think  you  got  enough.       HE  More  tomatoes  on  their  way!     He  runs  pushing  the  cart.       SHE  Wait  for  me  my  little  leopard!     She  crabs  his  arm.     HE  Little  leopard?  That’s  new...     SHE  It’s  about  time  we  had  our  own  pet  names.     HE  Oh,  is  the  time  of  normal  names  gone?         6  
    • SHE  Well...  I  want  more  intimacy.     HE  It’s  being  sold  over  there  in  aisle  8...  babe.     SHE  No,  not  babe,  it’s  too  generic.     HE  May  I  look  at  the  list,  my  butterfly?     She  hands  him  the  list.     SHE   (Mockingly)  Butterflies   are   too   fragile,   they   only   live   for   a   day.   Our   love   is   strong   and  everlasting!     HE   (Looking  at  the  list)  Six   packs   of   toilet   paper?   Why   don’t   we   get   only   what   we   need   for   the   party?   We  don’t  have  a  lot  of  time  and  you  have  here  cat  food  for  a  cat  we  don’t  even  have  yet.     SHE  That’s  it!  I  can  call  you  tomcat,  my  tomcat...       HE  Then  I’ll  never  know  if  you  are  calling  the  actual  cat  or  me.     SHE  I’m  going  to  call  him  by  his  name,  Sebastian.       HE  The  pet  has  a  person’s  name  and  I’m  named  after  a  pet.     She  picks  up  a  thick  chocolate   bar,  the  one  that’s  specific  for   cooking.         SHE  Do  we  have  enough  dessert  for  everyone?     HE  Yes.         7  
    •     SHE  Well,  I’m  taking  this  anyway.  I  want  to  make  you  something.     (Showing  she  knows  what’s  his  favorite  dessert)  Chocolate  mousse,  huh?       HE  They  have  some  very  thorough  research  on  that.     SHE  On  what?     HE  A   couple   puts   on   weight   after   they   get   married,   because   one   keeps   trying   to  please  the  other  with  their  favorite  foods.  Wives  usually  put  on  more  weight  than  husbands.     SHE  Spoilsport,  I  was  only  trying  to  be  nice...     HE   (About  the  research)  It’s  true  though...     SHE   (Placing  the  chocolate  bar  in  the  cart)  Come.         They  get  to  the  vegetables.     She  picks  up  a  carrot.     HE  Got  it;  I’m  calling  you  my  little  rabbit.     SHE  I’m  not  that  fond  of  carrots.     HE  Rabbits  have  a  bunch  o  kids...     SHE  So?     HE   (Puts  his  hands  on  her  belly)  A  bunch  of  babies  in  this  cute  belly.       8  
    •   She  takes  his  hands  off  and   starts  putting  tomatoes  in  a   transparent  plastic  bag.     SHE  So  why  don’t  you  call  me  chicken,  since  all  I’m  going  to  do  is  lay  eggs.     HE  Oh,  but  it’s  not  just  any  chicken...It’s  my  hot,  tanned,  yummy  chicken.     SHE  I  don’t  like  chicken,  least  of  all  baked  ones.     She  puts  the  tomatoes  in  the   cart.     She  takes  the  list  from  his  hand   and  a  pen  from  her  bag  and   crosses  something  out.     SHE  I   love   crossing   things   out   from   the   shopping   list.   It   feels   like   mission  accomplished.  We  need  more  beef  sauce.     HE  More?     SHE  It’s  never  too  much,  if  it’s  for  your  family.       HE  And  lets  get...     SHE   (Interrupting)  Oh,  I  need  deodorant,  come  here.     HE  Mustard   for   the   sauce   is   right   here.   You   don’t   want   to   go   for   all   your   basic   needs  now,  do  you?       They  get  to  the  mustard  shelf.     SHE  There  is  nothing  basic  about  my  needs.    Is  this  the  mustard  you’re  using?         9  
    • HE  Yeah.     He  puts  two  mustard  jars  in   the  cart  and  picks  up  a  can  of   sauce.     SHE  Look  at  this  ready-­‐made  sauce;  it’s  on  sale.  It  could  be  good  for  an  emergency.     HE  Oh  no,  that’s  what’ll  give  me  an  emergency,  that’s  why  you  took  it  off  the  menu.     SHE  Today’s  menu?     HE  No...the  wedding’s.     SHE  Our  wedding’s  menu  my  sugar  loaf?     HE  Yes,  our  wedding’s,  my  cotton  candy.    Oh,  stop  that,  I’m  feeling  ridiculous.     She  places  the  sauce  in  the   shopping  cart.  He  doesn’t   notice.     SHE  Love  is  ridiculous,  come  here  my  fiancé.     She  kisses  him  on  the  cheek.     HE  I  hate  this  title,  fiancé.  Something  in  the  middle,  which  neither  means  single  nor  married.  You’re  neither  happy  nor  screwed.  I’m  in  a  nothing  state.  The  dictionary  should  say,  fiancé:  that  which  is  in  a  state  of  constant  pause,  in  limbo.       SHE  I  didn’t  change  the  menu,  mother  did.    Mother  was  in  charge  of  that.     HE  My  mother?             10  
    • SHE  I  like  calling  her  mother.  She  is  our  mom.  My  mother  would  be  in  charge,  if  she  was  alive,  of  course.  Let’s  get  the  deodorant  now?       He  picks  up  a  candle.     HE  Can  you  give  me  a  minute?  I  wanted  to  crab  something  here.       SHE  Crab  it  then.     HE  It’s  a  surprise  for  you...  Could  you...     SHE  Ok,  ok,  I’ll  give  you  some  space.  He  wants  privacy  even  in  the  supermarket.     She  leaves  and  goes  to  aisle  1.   He  picks  up  a  cake  and  hides  it   under  other  products.  She   returns  holding  several  packs   of  toilet  paper.     SHE  Here  it  is.  This  is  something  we  can’t  be  without.     HE  That  many?  We’re  going  to  travel.     SHE  In   this   matter   you’re   the   one   that   doesn’t   optimize   time   and   space.   I   go   there,   do  what   I   have   to   do   and   leave.   You   don’t.   You   take   ages   in   there...philosophizing  about  life...  I  know  what  it  is;  men  have  erogenous  zones  behind  there...     HE   (In  a  bad  mood)  Oh,  men,  is  it?     SHE  Where’s   your   sense   of   humor?   You   get   bored   in   the   supermarket,   come   here   and  I’ll  make  your  eyes  shine.         She  makes  him  stand  at  front   stage  and  puts  a  white  bucket   on  his  head  and  signals  him  to     11  
    • wait.  Then  she  goes  to  the  end   of  the  aisle  and  walks  towards   him  holding  a  bunch  of   broccoli  like  bouquet  and   humming  the  bridal  march.       They  stop,  arm  in  arm,  facing   the  audience,  as  if  they  were  in   church.       HE  Who’s  Lisa  taking  to  the  wedding?     SHE  Uh?     HE  Lisa.  Who’s  she  taking  to  the  wedding?       SHE  Why?     HE  I  was  thinking  of  introducing  her  to  Antonio.     SHE  Oh.  You  think  he  would  like  her?     HE  Of  course!     SHE  Why  of  course?  Because  she’s  hot?     HE  ...yes.     SHE  Well,  she  will  certainly  look  beautiful.  She  had  a  dress  especially  made;  it’s  called  tattoo.  Do  you  know  why?     HE  Because  it’s  impossible  to  take  off?     SHE  No  stupid,  because  it’s  close  to  the  skin.           12  
    • HE   (To  himself)  Hummm...     She  runs  her  hand  through   the  spice  jars  looking  for   something.  She  squats  and   looks  at  the  jars  on  the   bottommost  shelf.     SHE  Look  what  I  found!  The  best  black  pepper  in  the  world.     She  gets  up  with  the  product   in  her  hand.     HE   (Thinking)  The  one  and  only.     SHE  A   really   great   product,   with   an   edge…   Who   else   makes   organic   black   pepper?   I  want   to   see   anyone   who   has   the   courage   to   come   up   with   organic   spices   with  all...  all  the  sustainable  advantages,  like  you  did.     HE  That’s  it;  I  want  to  see  someone  who  does  that!     SHE  It’s  a  little  expensive,  isn’t  it?       HE  Sales  are  dropping.  I  cannot  decrease  the  margins.    But   this   is   what   screws   it   up,   the   consumer   has   to   kneel   down   to   pick   up   the  product!     SHE  And  what’s  wrong  with  that?     HE  Most   purchases   are   impulse   buys,   decided   on   the   spot,   and   people   are   lazy.   Only  those  specifically  looking  for  this  brand  are  going  to  bend  down  to  look  for  it.     SHE  I  was  specifically  looking  for  this  product.     HE  Because  you  designed  it.       13  
    •   SHE  So  you  could  sell  it.     HE  Thank  you  light  of  my  life.     SHE  Light  of  my  life  is  corny,  isn’t  it  my  angel?       HE  I  can’t  do  my  angel  and  light  of  my  life.  My  little  leopard  is  out  of  the  question.  Babe  is  too  common,  my  butterfly  is  too  fragile.  See?     SHE  Let’s  stick  with  mine  then.     HE  What?  Mine?     SHE  I’ll  call  you  mine  and  you  call  me  mine.     HE  Listen  to  that!  Your  dad  will  love  to  hear  me  calling  you  mine.  But  that’s  what  you  are;  all  mine.  Come  here.       He  embraces  her  possessively.         SHE  Don’t  squeeze  me  like  this;  I  need  to  pee.     He  releases  her.     HE  Go  to  the  bathroom  then.     SHE  Yeah...       She  feels  something  strange   in  the  air.         SHE  Do  you  think  there’s  a  ladies  room  here?           14  
    • HE   (Ironically)  No.  Employees  don’t  pee,  shit,  or  anything.     SHE  Ok.  Don’t  abandon  the  cart  anywhere,  ok  mine?     HE  No  one  is  going  to  steal  our  cart,  mine.     SHE   (Looking  around  her)  Well...  The  place  is  not  exactly  full.  I  don’t  see  a  single  person  around.     She  leaves  stage.  He  checks  if   anyone  is  watching  and   swaps  the  products  from  the   competing  brand  for  his,   putting  them  on  the  shelf  that   levels  with  the  eyes.     She  returns  and  notices  what   He  is  doing.       He  turns  around.     HE   (Feeling  caught)  Already?     She  is  paralyzed,  scared.       SHE  I-­‐I  didn’t  find  anyone.     HE  Ahn?     SHE   (Whispering)  There’s  no  one  in  here  but  the  two  of  us.       HE  Oh  really!     SHE  Let’s  go?     15  
    •   HE  I’m  going  to  check  the  other  side.     SHE  No...     HE  Just  a  sec.     SHE  Something  really  bad  must  have  happened.  I’m  calling  your  mom.     He  leaves.  She  takes  her  cell   phone  from  her  bag,  and   dials.  The  call  does  not  go   through.  She  walks  around   the  supermarket,  trying  to   find  the  signal.  She  takes   everything  out  of  the  cart,   putting  the  products  on  the   floor.  She  sees  the  cake.  She   climbs  in  the  cart  to  try  a   signal  higher  up.  He  returns.     HE  What’re  you  doing?     SHE  The  cell  does  not  work!     HE  Get  down  you  monkey;  you’ll  fall  down...     SHE  Have  you  found  anyone?     HE  No,  no  one.       SHE   (Climbing  down)  Let’s  go.     HE  It’s  Saturday  evening,  the  supermarket  must  close  around  eleven.         16  
    • SHE  Some  big  celebrity  must  have  died,  come.     HE  And  leave  the  stuff  here?  Humm,  and  I  was  making  you  a  surprise...     He  throws  the  candle  in  the   cart  and  leaves  stage.  Music.   Lights  fade;  all  the  audience   can  see  is  the  shadow  outline   of  the  supermarket.        SCENE  2  –  CAUGHT  IN  THE  SUPERMARKET     They   start   talking   backstage.   Lights   start   going   back   to   normal   as   they   come   up   on   stage.       SHE  Incredible!  How  did  they  lock  us  in  here?!       HE  I  have  no  idea.       They  enter  stage.  Lights  are  on.     SHE  It  doesn’t  make  any  sense,  have  you  ever  heard  of  something  like  this?     HE   (He  may  only  shake  his  head)  No.     SHE  For  heaven’s  sake,  do  something!     HE  Shoot,  I’m...     SHE  Frozen,  completely,  I  can  see  that.     (Shouting  to  the  ceiling)  Hey!  Uhu!  Hello  there.         17  
    • HE  Calm  down,  it’s  not  so  bad.     SHE  What?       HE  I’ll  check  if  the  backdoors  are  open.     He’s  about  to  leave,  hears  her   shouting  and  comes  back.     SHE   (Shouting  to  nowhere  in  particular)  Hello,  anyone  there?  There’re  people  in  here!  Hello!     HE  It’s  easier  if  you  use  the  phone.     SHE   (Taking  a  deep  breath)  Mine  is  not  working.  Can  I  borrow  yours?     He  takes  his  phone  from  his   pocket,  gives  it  to  her  and   leaves  stage.  She  climbs  in  the   cart  trying  to  find  a  signal   again.  She  dials  something  but   the  connection  fails.     SHE  Amazing.    This  shit  doesn’t  work!  Hello!  Anyone  there?     She  sits  inside  the  cart   wrapping  her  arms  around  her   legs.  Holding  his  phone  she   starts  to  check  it  reading  his   text  messages.  She  reacts   negatively  to  something  she   reads.  He  comes  in.  She   dissimulates  and  puts  the   mobile  in  her  bag.         SHE  So?       18  
    • HE  Nothing.     SHE   (Ironically)  Nothing...     HE  Couldn’t  open  a  single  door,  it’s  very  strange,  we  are  locked...     SHE  How  incompetent!     HE  This  is  not  my  fault.  There’s  no  way  out.     SHE  That’s   impossible.   You   just   couldn’t   find   one.   If   you   can’t   get   us   out   of   a   situation  that’s  not  so  bad...”     HE  It’s  not  easy  either...     SHE  ...  I  don’t  even  want  to  think  how  it’ll  be  when  we  have  children.       HE  Some  free  association!  From  trapped  in  a  supermarket  to  kids.       SHE  I  don’t  want  to  talk  about  this  now.     HE  That  would  be  interesting...       SHE   (In  a  cold  sweat)  Love,  I  have  some  kind  of  phobia  of  these  things.  Everything  is  turning,  I’m  going  to  faint.       He   massages   her   shoulders   (She   is   still   sitting   inside   the   cart).   She   takes   a   deep   breath   and  begins  to  relax.     HE  Relax...   I’ve   never   seen   you   like   this   before.   Don’t   you   dare   faint   and   leave   me  here  alone.     19  
    •   She   takes   some   medication   from  her  bag.     HE  What’s  that  one  for?     SHE  For  anything.     She  takes  the  pill.       SHE  How  are  we  going  to  get  out  of  here?     HE  Did  you  reach  anyone?     SHE   (Still  in  a  cold  sweat)  I  can’t  get  a  signal.     (Looking  around,  she  feels  claustrophobic)  Oooooh...     HE  That’s  psychological.  We’ve  been  here  for  a  long  time  and  you  were  doing  fine.  Who  did  you  try  calling?     SHE  911.     HE  Do  you  want  me  to  make  a  fool  of  myself  with  the  police?  Stop  being  neurotic!     SHE  Bastard.       HE  Sorry.     SHE  Why  don’t  you  go  to  the  cashier  and  try  to  find  some  kind  of  emergency  button?     He  goes  off  stage     He   (Off  stage)  Ok.     20  
    •   SHE   (Taking  the  mobile  from  her  bag)  I’ll  check  if  we  have  a  signal  now.     HE  Shit,  I  can’t  see  any  button.     SHE   (To  herself)  Ah,  I’m  dizzy...     (To  him  at  the  back)  There   must   be   some   emergency   button   there,   something   red,   an   alarm   or  emergency  thing.     HE  Oh,   I’m   going   to   try   this   one.   It   lit   up   here   at   the   cashier.   Oh,   it’s   to   call   the  manager.     SHE  Hurry  up.    I’m  not  feeling  well!!!     HE  Oh,  so  why  don’t  you  call  Doctor  Amapola?     SHE  What  does  my  gyn  have  to  with  this?     HE  She  must  be  a  therapist  too;  you’re  always  in  her  office.     SHE  She  is  much  more  than  that.  Did  you  find  the  button?     HE  Found  several,  but  all  are  useless.       He   returns   with   a   radio   in   his   hands     HE  You  two  have  secrets,  is  that  it?       SHE  Look  who’s  talking!  I  don’t  concoct  secret  plans  without  telling  you.         21  
    • HE  Have  you  lost  it?     SHE   (Climbing  out  of  the  cart)  I  saw  a  message  from  Antonio  in  your  phone.  He’s  all  happy  because  you  want  to  introduce  Lisa  to  him.  Why  have  you  talked  to  him  without  consulting  me?     (Changing  the  tone  of  voice)  What  are  you  going  to  do  with  this  radio?     HE  What’s  the  problem  with  introducing  them?       He   puts   the   radio   on   the   floor   and  tries  to  tune  into  a  station.     SHE  You  wrote:  “She’s  your  type,  it’s  a  sure  thing.”       HE  Since  when  do  you  check  my  messages?     SHE  Why  is  it  a  “sure  thing”?       HE  Since  when  do  you  check  my  messages?     SHE  You  think  every  single  man  will  fall  for  Lisa?     HE   (Speaking  or  gesticulating)  Cut  it  out?!     SHE  Ok,   it’s   ok...   She   is   very   beautiful   indeed.   Everyone   drools   over   her,   men   and  women.    I   can   see   how   it   will   be.   She’ll   be   next   to   me   in   church   in   that   sexy   red   tattoo  dress  and  I’ll  be  all  in  white  looking  like  a  nun.    What   will   your   friends   be   thinking?   They’ll   say,   that’s   a   lucky   guy;   I’d   marry  anyone  who  has  a  best  friend  that  looks  like  this.       HE  Your  full  of  it...             22  
    • SHE   (Feeling  claustrophobic.  To  herself)  Oooh,  There’s  that  chill  again.  Should  I  take  another  one?     HE  I  just  tuned  in  to  something.     SHE  The  news?     HE  News  from  God,  It’s  a  Baptist  radio.  Let  me  try  finding  a  different  one.     SHE  Your  mother  likes  listening  to  these  religious  radios.     HE  She  likes  the  music,  says  it’s  uplifting.     SHE  I  tried  calling  her,  again,  not  the  Police.  She’s  my  number  1  dial  up.     HE   (Understanding,  remembering  she  has  already  lost  her  mother)  Yes,  I  know  my  love.     He  hugs  her.     HE  Are  you  feeling  better?  Soon  someone  will  come  to  get  us  ou...     SHE  She   even   said   I   was   a   very   understanding   woman,   because   I   didn’t   mind   you  having  so  many  close  female  friends.     HE  Please  don’t  start  with  that  jealousy  stuff.  You  must  learn  how  to  control  that.     He  grabs  the  radio.     SHE  Oh   yeah,   I   must   control   things   well.   Who   you   go   out   with,   where   do   you   go,   at  what  time  you  leave,  what  time  you  get  back.     HE  For  heavens’  sake,  make  this  shit  work!     He   throws   the   radio   on   the   floor,   and   hears   a   sound   much     23  
    • louder   than   the   one   made   by   the  radio  falling  down.     HE  Did  you  hear  that?     SHE  What,  you  detonating  your  super  tool  to  get  us  out  of  here?  U-­‐hu.     HE  There’s  someone  else  here.    I’ll  be  right  back.     He   goes   to   aisle   3   and   listens   for   more   noise.   He’s   unsure   about  what  to  do  and  does  not   move.   He   is   the   only   one   to   hear   a   noise   neither   she   nor   the   audience   can   hear   anything.  He  reacts  because  he   finds  it  strange.       SHE  Don’t  leave  me  alone...I’m  not  feeling  well...     She   looks   around,   noticing   she’s   alone.   She   wraps   her   arms   around   her   as   if   she’s   cold.         SHE  I’m  not  well  today.  I  know  I  push  you  away  when  I  treat  you  like  this.  Why  do  I  do  it?     She   lowers   her   head   in   distress.   He  returns.     HE   (Puffing)  You’re  not  going  to  believe  this.     SHE    Hold  me?           24  
    • HE   (Desperately)  There’s  no  time  for  this  now;  this  is  an  emergency!  I  think  there’s  someone  else  in   here.   And   this   someone   is   making   strange   noises.   Do   you   believe   I   couldn’t  open  a  single  door?  We’re  locked  in  here  and  there’s  someone  else  with  us.  Are  you  listening  to  me?     SHE   (Downcast,  not  even  listening)  Yes.     HE  Do  something.  Don’t  just  stay  there  with  this  look  on  your  face.     SHE  Don’t  blame  your  incompetence  on  me.     HE  Well,   aren’t   you   always   saying   you   are   Wonder   Woman?   So,   now   it’s   time   to  show  your  powers.   SHE   (Screaming)  Oh!  Wonder  Woman  was  Lisa’s  nickname!  I  was  Cat  Woman!  Cat   Woman!   You   fantasize   about   Wonder   Woman,   don’t   you?   Tell   me;   tell   me  you’d  rather  have  her.  Confess!     HE   (Calmly)  Yes.  That’s  it.  I  fantasize  I’m  in  bed  with  Wonder  Woman.  That’s  it.   (Screaming)  And  Wonder  Woman  is  Lisa!     They  hear  the  Panther’s  ROAR.     They   get   scared   and   hide   under   the   shelves,   or   somewhere   on   stage,   which   can  be  seen  from   the   audience.   Lights   dim,   the   audience   can   see   the   silhouettes   of   the   objects   on   scene,   and   that   of   the  couple.  He  moves  his  head   looking   for   something.   She   is   completely  paralyzed.     25  
    •  SCENE  3  –  THE  PANTHER     They   pant   loudly.   Lights   are   still  dim.       SHE  What  was  that?     HE  I  have  no  idea.     SHE  What  was  it!     HE  Shush,  be  quiet.     The  panther  purrs.     SHE  Holy  shit,  is  there  a  beast  in  here?     HE  Yes.     SHE  There’s  a  beast  in  here!     HE  Shush!  Be  quiet.     The  panther  stops  making   noises.   Lights  go  back  to  normal     HE   (Getting  up)  Come.     SHE  Are  you  insane?     HE  It’s  at  the  back  of  the  supermarket.  Listen     Short  break,  they  hear  sounds   of  “dogs  in  the  trash”.     26  
    •   HE  That’s  where  the  meats  are.     SHE   (Getting  up)  It’s  a  wild  beast,  I’m  sure  it’s  a  wild  beast.  What  kind  of  thing  makes  noises  like  these?     HE  We  must  find  a  way  to  protect  ourselves  for  when  it  comes  back.     SHE  Come  back?  Why  come  back?     HE  Animals  attack  when  they  are  hungry  or  in  self-­‐defense.     SHE  There’s  enough  meat  for  months,  back  there.     HE  But  some  attack  just  for  fun.     SHE  Help!  Help!     He  covers  her  mouth  with  his   hand.     HE  Shush,  stop  calling  attention.  Animals  also  attack  when  they  feel  fear  from  their  prey.  They  can  smell  fear.  And  they  first  go  for  the  weakest.    You  must  be  careful.     SHE   (Taking  his  hand  away  from  her  mouth)  So  I  am  the  weakest  one,  am  I?     HE  Help  me  get  some  boxes.  We  need  to  make  a  base  for  us,  divide  the  territory.     They  start  pilling  up  boxes,   making  a  small  circle  around   them  (the  area  barely  fits  two   people).           27  
    • SHE  They  have  x-­‐ray  vision  for  feelings.  They  can  see  you  are  trying  to  hide  your  fear.  It   can   see   that   the   noise   I   make   is   superficial   and   that   yours   is   much   more  dangerous.  It’s  the  sound  of  a  repressed  man.       HE  Thanks  love.  Look,  let’s  make  a  weapon.  Animals  are  afraid  of  fire.       More   noises   come   from   the   back  of  the  supermarket.     SHE  They   have   alcohol   in   the   next   aisle.   It’s   the   cleaning   products   aisle.   They   have  cloths,  brooms  and  lighters.  You  can  go  and  pick...     HE  I’ll  bring  everything  over  here  and  you  can  wrap  the  broom  with  the  cloth,  soak  it  in  alcohol  and  get  ready  to  set  fire  to  it.  Got  it?     SHE  Got  it.   He  comes  in  through  the   passage.  She  holds  his  arm.     SHE  I  like  seeing  you  take  care  of  things.  Youre  my  man.       HE  Be  careful.  Don’t  make  sudden  moves  and  don’t  even  think  about  getting  out  of  here.     He   goes   to   the   middle   aisle   and  gets  to  Aisle  1.  He  hands   her  a  broom,  then  a  cloth.  She   wraps   the   cloth   around   the   broom.   He   hands   her   the   alcohol.   She   puts   alcohol   on   the   cloth.   He   returns   to   where  she  is.         HE   (Trying  to  cheer  himself  up)  Great.   (Practically)  Now  we  go  in  our  fort  and  close  the  entrance.         28  
    • They  go  in.  They  are  cramped   inside  and  can  hardly  move.       SHE  Ok,  I’m  ready.  I  can  do  this.  Can  you  hand  me  the  lighter?       He  doesn’t  answer.     SHE  The  lighter!     He  looks  down.     SHE  Fuck!  What  am  I  going  to  do  with  this,  hit  the  beast  on  the  head?       HE  I  couldn’t  find  a  lighter.     SHE  Do  I  have  to  do  everything?  What  else  scares  these  beasts?       HE  Uhum...     SHE   (Teasing  him)  Uhum...     She   stands   up   to   get   a   lighter  from  her  purse.       HE  Fire...     SHE  Really.     HE  Wait!  Fire,  water!  Where’s  that  juice?     SHE   (She  gets  the  juice)  Here.     She  opens  it.       29  
    • HE  When  it  comes,  we’ll  throw  this,  and  it’ll  run  away...       SHE  Really,  it’ll  disappear.  Noise!  Check  if  you  can  find  anything  that  makes  some  noise.       The  panther  purrs,  not   aggressively.     Its  shadow  goes  by  slowly,  but   not  threatening.       She  throws  the  cranberry  juice   at   the   shadow.   For   the   remaining   of   the   play,   the   juice   stays   on   the   floor   and   they   spread   this   red   liquid   all   over   the  supermarket’s  white  floor.   They   scare   the   shadow,   which   runs  away.       SHE  Holy  shit,  it’s  big.     HE  She’s  huge.     SHE  Why  SHE?     HE  The  shadow  looks  like  a  she  panther.       SHE  Shadows  are  black.  What’s  this  about  seeing  females  everywhere?     She   takes   a   lighter   from   her   bag,  and  ignites  it.     She   crabs   the   alcohol   with   the   other  hand.     SHE  Come  kitty  kitty.  I’m  going  to  set  your  cute  panther’s  ass  on  fire...     HE  Now  you  are  in  “female  exterminator  mode”,  are  you?       30  
    • SHE  That’s  it.     (As  if  calling  a  cat)  Come,  tisk,  tisk,  tisk.    Hey,  where  did  you  get  that  lighter?     She  keeps  calling  for  a  cat  and   doesn’t  answer.   He   pulls   her   by   the   arm.   She   holds   the   lighter   close   to   his   face.     HE  Hadn’t  I  told  you  to  stop  smoking?     SHE   (Nodding)  Yeah.     HE   (Takes  the  lighter  from  her  hand)  Have  you  started  smoking  again?     SHE  I  never  stopped.  I  kind  of  gave  it  a  break,  but  never  actually  stopped.     HE  Smoking  is  the  stupidest  thing  in  the  world.     SHE  Doesn’t  seem  to  be  what’s  threatening  our  lives  at  the  moment.     The   Panthers   shadow   comes   back;   it   is   curious,   not   aggressive.     They   stare   at   the   shadow.   She   soaks   the   cloth   in   alcohol   hurriedly   and   tries   to   light   it   with  the  lighter.  The  cloth  does   not  catch  fire.   The   shadow   is   startled   and   leaves  annoyed.         SHE  Oh!       31  
    • HE  Not  cool,  this  is  not  cool.     SHE  Did  you  get  a  cloth  that  is  nonflammable?     HE  Have  you  ever  seen  a  flammable  cloth  to  sell?     SHE  Great.  No  water,  no  fire,  no  sound...     HE  We  can  set  one  of  these  boxes  on  fire...     SHE  And  let  it  spread  throughout  the  supermarket  with  us  trapped  inside.     Break,  they  sigh.         SHE  Do  you  think  it  escaped  somewhere?       HE  No.  They  allowed  it  to  go  shopping.       SHE  Isn’t  there  a  zoo  nearby?     HE  I  think  so.   She  walks  out  of  the  base  with  the  mop.     SHE  It  spent  its  whole  life  in  prison...     HE   (Not  sure  if  he  agrees  with  the  term  prison)  Yeah.     SHE   (With  pity)  It  must  be  feeling  lonely.     HE  But  not  for  long,  any  minute  now  someone  will  come  to  take  it  back  to  its  family.       32  
    • SHE  Why  do  you  think  it  ran  away?   He  returns  to  the  base.     HE  How  can  I  possibly  know  that?    Maybe  it’s  the  different  one.     SHE  What?     HE   (Mockingly)  Every  species  has  one  that’s  born  curious;  that  wants  to  explore.  Then  it  leaves  and   some   mutations   occur   so   it’s   able   to   survive,   its   evolution.   Reptiles   came  from  water...’     SHE  Bullshit.  It  must  have  heard  The  Voice.     HE   (Mockingly)  The  voice  of  evolution.     SHE  No.   The   voice   inside   saying   there’s   something   wrong.   It’s   impossible   to   know  what’s  wrong,  but  there  is  something  wrong.  It’s  saying  it  doesn’t  belong  in  that  place.    There   is   this   large   being   all   drawn   in,   suffocating   its   potential.   It   complained,  screamed,  but  people  only  laughed  at  the  panther’s  fury.  Then,  one  day,  it  gave  up.     HE  So,  now  she  has  identified  herself  with  the  panther.     SHE  Then  the  voice  started  to  grow;  and  it  grew  and  grew  until  it  realized  it  had  to  leave  that  place.    It  took  courage  to  boldly  search  for  the  forest.     HE   (Sarcastically)  And  it  ended  in  a  supermarket,  same  thing.     They  hear  a  sound,  the  panther   is  angry.           33  
    • HE   (Anxiously)  What  kind  of  weapon  do  we  have  left?       She,   looking   hypnotized,   does   not  answer.  She  looks  towards   the   back   of   the   supermarket   where   the   noise   is   coming   from.     HE  Climb   on   my   shoulders,   if   it   thinks   we   are   a   larger   animal,   it’ll   be   scared   off.  Animals  think  about  stuff  like  this.     The   panther’s   shadow   appears.     HE  Quick,  climb  up,  up!     He   pulls   her   towards   the   base.   She   doesn’t   move   hypnotized  by  the  shadow.       SHE   (In  a  trance)  It  was  born  in  a  cage.  It’s  scared,  alone.  It  has  never  seen  a  forest,  never  left  the  house.  It’s  unhappy.     HE  Hey,  wake  up!  Do  you  wanna  die?       She  doesn’t  react  and  He   decides  to  protect  himself:  he   goes  back  to  the  base,  closing   the  entrance  with  the  cart   and  leaving  his  fiancée   outside     SHE   (Coming  out  of  her  trance)  So   you’d   leave   me   here!   You’d   be   able   to   do   it,   I   know.   You’d   never   sacrifice  yourself  for  me.  I  know  I’m  not  marrying  any  hero,  but...     HE  Hero?  I’m  the  one  who  needs  to  be  a  hero,  but  you  want  to  show  you’re  better  then  me  all  the  time.  You  seem  to  beg  to  put  you  in  your  place.   (Lighting  the  lighter)  And  that’s  what  I’m  going  to  do.  I’m  going  to  kill  this  thing,  give  me  the  broom.       34  
    •   He  leaves  the  base.     SHE  No!       HE  Give  it  to  me.     SHE  I’m  going  with  you.     HE   (Takes  the  broom  out  of  her  hand)  You  stay  here.  You’re  taking  care  of  the  fort.     He  pushes  her  inside.  She  falls.     SHE  No.     HE  Shut  up  and  do  as  I  say.  I’m  going  there,  killing  the  beast  and  coming  back.     SHE  Cave  man  in  the  flesh!     HE  That’s  it,  cave  man.       SHE  Come  back  here!     The   Panther’s   shadow   appears  once  more.     HE   (Returning  to  headquarters)  Sonofagun,  it’s  up  there.    It  climbed  up  an  aisle  and  it’s  there,  spying  on  us.     SHE  That’s  what  cats  do.     HE  Don’t  move  so  it  doesn’t  feel  threatened.       35  
    • Break.   They   loose   themselves   in   their   own   thoughts.   He   lowers  his  head  sadly.     HE  Do  you  think  everyone’s  there?     SHE  Yes.       HE  What  do  you  think  there’re  doing?     SHE  Your   grandmother   is   telling   the   story   of   how   she   met   your   grandfather.   Your  mom  is  calling  the  Police  without  telling  anyone,  pretending  everything  is  okay.  My  brother...he’s  late.     (Sadly)  He  has  an  important  order  this  week.     HE  Really?     SHE  Yeah...  a  country  home  close  to  the  city,  it’s  built  around  a  tree.  On  top  of  one,  and  it  has  a  spiral  staircase  made  of  wood.     HE  It  looks  like  the  Project  you  made  for  our  house.     SHE  One  and  the  same.       HE  I  don’t  understand.     SHE  I  gave  him  my  project.     HE  Why?     SHE  Because   he   is   the   actual   architect,   all   I   do   now   is   create   the   design   for   your  products.       HE  Because  you  want  to.       36  
    • SHE  No.  What  I  really  wanted  to  do  was  build  houses.       HE  Oh,   you’re   full   of   it...   You   wanted   to   build   houses!   Come   on,   you   never   know,  you’re  always  unsure;  you  don’t  know  what  you  want.     SHE   (Referring  to  him)  Well,  maybe  I  don’t.  Yes,  I’m  always  in  doubt.     HE  What’s  this  look  you’re  giving  me?  Are  you  talking  about  us  now?     She  nods.       HE  Why  did  you  say  yes  to  me  then?     SHE  Too  much  work  to  start  over  with  someone  new,  there’s  not  enough  time.     He  walks  out  of  the  base.     HE  I  know  that’s  not  true.       SHE  You  don’t  take  me  seriously.     HE  This  panther  is  affecting  your  mind.  You  are  scared.     SHE  Oh,  so  that’s  it.   (Changing  her  tone)  Do  you  think  it’s  spying  on  us?     HE  I  think  so,  from  somewhere  up  there.     SHE  I  saw  on  TV  that  you  must  stand  sideways  to  a  wild  animal.  It  shows  you  don’t  want  to  confront  it.     He  turns  sideways  to  her.     HE  Like  this?     37  
    •     SHE  Stand  sideways  to  it.     HE  But  we  don’t  know  where  it  is.  Your  suggestion  is  useless,  totally  useless.     SHE  Do  you  have  a  better  one?     Short  break.     HE  It  would  be  too  much  work  to  start  over...    You  know  what  I’ve  just  remembered?  A  dream  of  yours.     SHE  A  dream  of  mine?     HE  Hum  hum...  a  dream  of  yours.  The  one  in  which  you  take  me  to  see  your  mom  at  the  hospital.     SHE  You  never  met  my  mother;  you’ve  got  no  right  to  talk  about  her.       HE  It  was  a  very  white  room,  in  a  very  bright  day...  we  were  at  the  foot  of  the  bed;  you   were   trying   to   introduce   me.   You   kept   saying   my   name,   but   she   wouldn’t  answer;  she  had  her  face  turned  to  the  window  and  an  empty  look  in  her  eyes.     SHE  Shut  up,  I  did  not  authorize  you  to  talk  about  her!       HE  Then   you   lifted   the   sheets   to   try   and   cheer   her   up...   and   you   noticed   she   was  dead.  And  it’d  been  a  while  because  the  body  was  already  decomposing.  You  kept  screaming  for  a  nurse,  but  no  one  would  come.  You  know  why?  They  hadn’t  even  noticed   she   was   dead.   She   was   all   alone.   And   you   kept   crying   and   crying.   And   do  you  know  why  you  kept  crying?     SHE  Shut  up.     HE  Because  you  were  afraid  you’d  end  up  like  her.  Alone.         38  
    • In   a   rage,   she   starts   to   undo   the  base.     SHE  Shut  up!     HE   (In  a  warning)  You  are  breaking  our  base,  calling  attentio...     SHE  I  don’t  give  a  damn!     The  panther  starts  purring.     SHE   (To  the  shadow)  Come,  come!  I  can’t  wait  anymore!       He  tries  to  hold  her.     SHE  Don’t  touch  me!     HE  Be  still!     He   holds   her   by   the   shoulders.     She  stops,  out  of  breath.     They  stand  facing  each  other.   (Break).     SHE  Son  of  a  bitch,  you  fucked  up  son  of  a  bitch,  you  vermin!     (Break,  He  tries  to  talk,  She  doesn’t  let  him)  Vermin!  That’s  what  you  are,  because  that’s  what  you  gave  me!  A  vermin.     HE  Huh?  What  are  you  talking  about?       SHE  Why  do  you  think  I’m  always  at  Doctor  Amapola,  hum?  It’s  because  she’s  trying  to  heal  me,  because  you  gave  me  a  disease.  Your  sex  thing  injected  evil  bacteria  into  my  uterus.       HE  Huh?     39  
    •     SHE   (Serenely)  Yes...  this  is  serious.  Really.  I’m  being  treated.  I  caught  a  disease  from  you.  Why  do  you  think  we’ve  been  using  condoms?     HE  Because  you  told  me  you  keep  forgetting  to  take  the  pill!     SHE  Of  course  not.  It’s  because  you  gave  me  a  disease.     HE  That’s  a  lie!     SHE  Ask   Doctor   Amapola.   My   pussy   was   the   healthiest   place   in   the   world,   until   you  showed  up!     He  leaves  stage.     SHE  Where  are  you  going?       HE   (In  off,  screaming)  What’s  the  thing  you  are  most  afraid  of  in  the  world?       SHE  What?     HE   (In  off,  normal  voice)  What’s  the  thing  you  are  most  afraid  of  in  the  world?    (Noise,  he’s  looking  for  something)     SHE  I  don’t  know  what  you  are  talking  about...     (Realizing  what  he’s  going  to  do)  No!  Don’t  do  that!!!  Are  you  mad?  It’s...     HE   (In  off,  very  serene)  I   don’t   care...   That’s   it.   Got   it.   Because   I   know   what   scares   you   more   than  anything,  your  worst  phobia.     (Small  break).  The  dark.       40  
    • Blackout.   She   screams   at   the   same   time   the  panther  roars.  Silence.     The  red  “EXIT”  sign  lights  up.   It’s  the  only  light  on  stage.     ACT  II    SCENE  4  –  THE  TRAP     SHE  Turn  them  back  on...  Come  on!  Hurry!  I  think  I’m  gonna  faint...    I’m  not  feeling  well.   (Pulling  herself  together)  Are  you  stupid?  The  panther  can  see  much  better  in  the  dark  than  we  do!  Do  you  really  want  me  to  die?     HE  I’m  trying...     SHE   (Relating  “trying”  to  her  dying)  What?     HE  I’ve  pressed  all  the  switches;  the  lights  won’t  come  back  on!     SHE  I  hope  you  feel  responsible  for  my  death.     HE  I  can  see  a  little.  I’ll  go  find  us  some  flashlights.  Don’t  move.     SHE   (Ironically)  I’ll  do  my  best.     She  lights  a  candle.     SHE   (Determinedly)  I’ll  have  to  manage  by  myself.     They   speak   the   following   lines   to   themselves,   or   to   the   audience,   as   if   they   were   talking   about   their   relationship.   They   do   not   hear  each  other.     41  
    • She   starts   building   a   trap   for   the   panther.   She   puts   the   cart   upside  down,  with  the  broom   supporting   its   front.   She   grabs   some   food   and   makes   a   trail   with   it   leading   to   the   trap.           SHE  Look  at  this,  so  weird.  He  throws  everything  at  me  as  if  he’s  scoring  in  a  game.  What  is  he  trying  to  win?       He   lights   a   flashlight   in   the   corner.       HE  Shes  all-­‐powerful.    At  least  let  her  think  so.     SHE  He  doesn’t  take  me  seriously.     HE  She  has  this  neurosis,  thinking  we  are  going  through  a  crisis.       SHE  He  wants  to  control  the  situation,  but  can’t  deal  with  anything.     HE  She  must  calm  down  and  trust  me.     SHE  He  tries  to  calm  things  down.       HE  She’s  always  worked  up  or  hysterical  and  I’m  the  one  that  has  to  keep  things  in  balance.  Then  she  thinks  I’m  weak.     SHE  He’s  a  coward.     HE  What  should  I  do?       SHE  He  freezes.     42  
    •   HE  Start  screaming  too?       SHE  He  runs  away.     HE  Say  everything  I  actually  think?       SHE  He  does  not  take  a  stand.     HE  So  she  can  use  everything  I  say  against  me?     Short  break.     SHE  I  only  need  to  feel  safe.     HE  I  only  want  to  make  this  work.       He  opens  a  bottle  of  whisky.     SHE  I  don’t  want  to  be  left  behind.     He  takes  a  big  gulp  of  whisky.     HE  I  don’t  accept  failure.       SHE  What  if  I  listen  to  the  voice?  And  leave...       HE  This  has  to  be  a  partnership.     SHE   (Sadly)  Leave  end  up  like  it...     (Referring  to  the  panther)  Out  of  place  and  alone.           43  
    • HE  I  started  this;  I’m  going  to  the  end.         SHE  I  can’t  handle  goodbyes.    And  there’s  nothing  poetic  about  being  lonely.     He  shines  the  flashlight  on  her.     HE  I  found  some  flashlights...     SHE  Hum.         HE   (Offering  her  some  whisky)  Do  you  want  some?     She  accepts  and  drinks.     He   looks   around   noticing   the   trap  she  set.     HE  What  did  you  do  here?     SHE  I  decided  to  manage  by  myself.  You  can’t  do  anything  right.     HE  Don’t  start...     SHE  It’s  true.     HE  Then  go  do  things  yourself,  go.  I’m  going  to  the  other  side  of  the  supermarket.  Do  it  yourself,  do  it,  do  everything  by  yourself.  I’m  out.     SHE   (Holding  his  arm)  No!  Look  I  set  a  trap,  see.  Maybe  we  can’t  fit  the  whole  panther  in  here,  but  we  can  scare  it  off.           44  
    • HE   (With  contempt)  You  think  so,  do  you?     SHE  Whose   idea   was   it   to   turn   off   the   lights   here?   At   least   I   did   something.   That   it,  leave,  dive  into  the  freezer,  go.  Bye.     HE  I’m  going  far  away  from  you.  You  are  hysterical!     SHE  I  doubt  you’ll  leave,  coward!       HE   (Coming  close  to  her)  You  think  so?     SHE   (Coming  close  to  him  and  pointing  her  finger)  You  don’t  have  enough  courage  to  take  a  single  step!     HE  Don’t  push  me...     SHE   (Pointing  her  finger  at  him,  challenging)  You  don’t  have  any  courage,  no  initiative,  no  strength,  no  guts,  no  man...       He   pushes   her   pointing   finger   away  and  grabs  her.     HE   (Firmly)  Shut  up.     They   make   love   inside   the   trap,  as  far  as  possible.       They’re   exhausted   when   it   ends.       He’s   relaxed;   she   is   hyped   up.   She  gets  up.     SHE  Do  you  think  having  sex  stirs  animals  up?  Makes  them  more  violent?       45  
    •   HE  Of  course  not,  come  lie  here  with  me.     SHE  What  do  you  mean?  We  completely  forgot  about  the  danger.     HE  And  nothing  happened.     SHE  Yet.     HE  And  nothing  is  going  to  happen.     SHE  It’s  not?  And  how  do  you  know?     HE  Because  there’s  no  panther  here.     The   generator   turns   the   lights  on.         46  
    •  SCENE  5  –  THE  GIFT     SHE   (Thinking  it  strange)  Why  did  the  generator  only  turn  on  now?     HE  It  was  heating  up.  Come  here,  all  we  need  to  do  is  wait  until  someone  shows  up.     SHE  Have  you  gone  mad?     HE  Why?   SHE  How  can  you  say  there’s  no  panther  here?     HE  Cause  there  isn’t.     SHE  Of  course  there  is!  You  saw  it  with  me!  The  shadow,  the  noise!     HE  The  shadow  could’ve  been  anything,  the  noise  too.     SHE  You  were  scared  to  death.     HE  I  was  not!  Are  you  out  of  your  mind?       SHE  You  saw  a  beast  in  here!     HE  No  I  didn’t.     SHE  There’s  a  beast  in  here!     HE  No,  there  isn’t.     SHE  I’m  so  angry  with  you!       47  
    • She  paces  the  floor  nervously.   She  doesn’t  know  what  to  do.     HE  Keep  still,  soon  someone  will  be  here.     SHE  I  think  I’ll  let  this  panther  rip  off  my  arm,  so  you’ll  stop  saying  there’s  no  beast  in  here.     HE   (Calmly)  Are  you  out  of  your  mind?    I  think  we  should  occupy  our  minds,  or  else  you’ll  loose  it  completely.     SHE  Look   how   calm   and   serene   he   is.   He   took   what   he   wanted,   ejaculated   it   all   out   of  him  and  the  panther  is  gone.     HE  You  have  to  occupy  your  mind  or  you’ll  go  mad.     SHE  Hum  hum....     HE  I’ve   had   a   great   idea!   Lets   organize   all   the   products   in   this   supermarket  alphabetically.     SHE   (Skeptically)  Alphabetically.     HE  It’s  good  exercise;  I  can  even  use  it  in  some  project  later.       SHE   (Sarcastically)  Oh  great.  A  contemporary  library,  and  you  suggest  we  organize  them  by...what?  Type  of  product,  brand,  maker...     HE  Product’s  name!  Or  is  it  better  by  brand?     SHE  You  tell  me.             48  
    • HE  I  don’t  always  know  what  brand  I’m  buying,  so  let’s  do  it  by  product’s  name,  the  name  on  the  package.     He   starts   changing   the   position   of   products   on   the   shelves.     SHE  Almost  a  social  service  for  the  population.       HE   (Disdainfully)  That’s  it.     He   keeps   changing   the   products.   She   opens   a   bag   of   chips,  or  chocolate,  and  starts   eating  compulsively.     HE  Are  you  nervous?     SHE  Of   course   I’m   nervous,   we   are   trapped   in   a   supermarket   with   a   wild   animal,   a  carnivore,  and  my  fiancé  has  gone  mad.     HE  Love...     SHE  Has  decided  to  organize  the  whole  supermarket  alphabetically.     HE  There’s  no...     SHE   (Pulling  herself  together)  But  I’m  not  giving  up.     She   finishes   the   chips,   and   throws  the  bag  on  the  floor.     HE  I’m  saying...     SHE  I’m  not  going  to  alienate  myself  like  you.     49  
    •   HE  I  don’t  think  that...     SHE  I’m  going  to  do  something.     HE   (Giving  up  trying  to  speak)  Ok...     She   picks   up   a   bag   of   balloons.     SHE  I  found  our  noise.     She   grabs   a   balloon   and   starts  filling  it  up  with  air.     HE   (Mocking  her  a  little)  You  can  take  some  to  the  party.     SHE   (Filling  up  the  balloon)  The  party  is  over.       HE  They  wouldn’t  leave  before  we  showed  up.     SHE  Your   family   must   have   already   said   a   lot   bullshit;   I   do   hope   they   have   realized  and  left.     HE  Realized  what?     SHE  That  they  are  unbearable!       HE  Oh,  they  are  unbearable,  are  they?     SHE  Yes.  They  are.  Except  for  your  mom.           50  
    • HE   (Trying  to  hide  how  angry  he  is  about  what  she  just  said)  Stop  blowing  on  that  thing.  It’s  bothering  me!     SHE  It  is?     She  blows  it  strongly.     HE  Yes,  a  lot.     Blows   it   even   more   strongly,   right  in  his  face.     He   takes   the   balloon   and   bursts  it.     HE  You  are  unbearable!     The   shadow   of   the   panther   passes  by  them.  She  sees  it.     SHE  Look  there,  it’s  there.  The  panther  is  there!     He   crabs   a   box   and   throws   it   far   away.   The   shadow   is   startled  and  leaves.     HE   (Spreading  his  arms  victoriously)  Did  you  see  that?  Did  you?     SHE   (Sarcastically)  Yeah...I  did.  Macho  man.  Are  you  going  to  keep  saying  there’s  no  panther  here?     HE  Stop  annoying  me,  love.     He   comes   down.   He   smells   something.     HE  It  smells  of  piss.         51  
    • SHE  I  don’t  smell  anything.       HE  It’s  a  really  strong  piss  smell.     SHE  I  don’t  smell  anything.     HE  Have  you  peed  your  pants?     SHE  No.     HE  You  wanted  to  go  to  the  bathroom!     SHE  I  did,  but  I  didn’t  go.     HE  You  peed  in  your  pants!     SHE  No.  I  peed  on  the  floor.     She  points  to  the  trap.     HE  There?  Before  or  after?     SHE   (Taking  pleasure  in  it)  Before,  a  little  before.     HE  Come,  I’m  taking  you  to  the  bathroom.     SHE  No!     He   pulls   her   by   the   hair,   messing  up  her  hair.     She  sits  on  the  floor.  He  tries  to   drag   her.   She   resists,   hugging   his  legs.       52  
    • SHE  I’m  not  leaving.     She   slips   one   hand   up   his   trousers  and  pulls  the  hairs  on   his  legs.       HE  Fuck!     He  pulls  away  from  her.       HE  Ouch...     SHE  I  pulled  out  just  two  little  hairs  and  look  at  the  crybaby.     HE   (Lightly,  noticing  his  own  weakness)  Why  do  this.  It  really  hurts.       Short  break.       SHE   (Holding  back  her  rage)  You  hurt  me.     HE  Sorry,  it’s  that  pee  attracts  the  panther.    And  you  provoke  me,  saying  bad  things  about  my  family.     SHE  I  really  like  your  mom...     HE  I  know.     SHE  She  only  has  one  flaw...     HE  Uh?     SHE  She  didn’t  raise  her  son  properly.         53  
    • HE  What’s  that?       SHE  Didn’t  teach  you  the  basics.  Didnt  tell  her  son  to  take  care  of  his  thing,  be  clean,  use  condoms...     HE  Shut  up.     SHE  And  what  happens?  The  son  gets  things  on  his  thing...  but  doesn’t  notice.  Why’s  that?  Because  God  gave  this  gift  to  men,  they  catch  stuff  and  go  years  and  years  without  noticing  anything.  Then,  one  day,  they  give  it  to  their  wife,  that  gives  it  to  their  son  –  that  is,  maybe,  it’s  not  for  sure,  only  if  the  thing  is  around  when  I  am  giving  birth,  if  my  immune  system  shuts  down  –  which  can  happen  when  you  are  trying  to  take  a  human  being  out  of  another  human  being...     HE  First,  you  are  not  pregnant.     SHE  No,  I’m  not.     HE  Secondly,  you  are  not  my  wife.     SHE  Yet.     HE  Thirdly:  my  mom  doesn’t  like  you.  She  advised  me  not  to  propose  to  you,  not  to  marry  you.  Are  you  listening?  My  mom  hates  you.       SHE  Come  on.     HE  Why  would  I  make  something  like  this  up?  She  thinks  you  don’t  know  what  you  want.  She  told  me:  DO  NOT  MARRY  THIS  GIRL.  Are  you  listening?     She   can’t   digest   the   information   at   once.   It’s   too   much   for   her.   She   always   believed   that   the   love   she   felt   for   his   mother   was   reciprocal   (she   has   already   lost   her   mother).     54  
    • During  the  next  lines,  it  dawns   on   her   that   his   mother   “advised   him   not   to   marry   her”,   while   she   talks   of   other   things.     SHE   (Swallowing  hard)  Yes,  I  am.     The   panther   utters   a   nervous   sound.     SHE  We  are.     The  sound  stops.   She   takes   the   cake,   which   he   had   put   in   the   cart   at   the   beginning  of  the  play.     SHE  You  said  you  had  a  surprise  for  me.     (Pointing  to  the  cake  and  candle)  Was  this  it?     HE  Today  is  the  forth  anniversary  of  our  first  kiss,  and..  well,  I  wanted  to  buy  you  a  cake  and  candles  and  make  you  a  surprise...     SHE  Hum...     HE  And  give  you  a  present.     SHE   (Not  excited)  A  present?     HE  A  necklace.  It’s  in  my  pocket.     He   takes   a   jewelry   box   from   his  pocket,  and  opens  it.  It’s  an   old   necklace,   very   pretty,   with   shinny  beads.         55  
    • HE  It’s   a   tradition   among   the   women   of   my   family.   This   necklace   belonged   to   my  grandmother,  then  to  my  mother…and  now…from  my  mother  to  you.     SHE  Oh.     HE  But...     SHE  But?     HE  I’ll  understand  it  if  you  don’t  want  it.     SHE  I  do.       Break.  Now  she  starts  to   realize  what  he  said  before.     SHE  Was  this  your  mother’s  suggestion?     HE   (Unsettled)  Yes.  She  gave  it  to  me  when  we  set  the  date  for  the  wedding.     SHE   (Hurt)  It  mustn’t  have  been  easy  for  her.     HE  It  was.     SHE   (Hurt  but  angry)  Giving  something  so  special  for  someone  she  hates.     HE  I  may  have  exaggerated  a  little...     SHE   (Proudly)  I’ll  keep  the  present.     She   takes   the   box   from   his   hand.       56  
    • She  turns  her  back  at  him.     He   stares   at   her   as   if   she   was   changing  her  clothes.     SHE  Don’t  look  at  me.     He  turns  his  back  to  her.       SHE  I  don’t  believe  your  mother  said  you  shouldn’t  marry  me.  She’s  so  good  to  me...     HE  We  had  had  a  fight,  she  wanted  to  show  her  support,  say  something  like:  don’t  be  upset   son;   I   didn’t   even   like   her   anyway;   I’m   sure   there   are   better   women  around.     SHE  And  why  didn’t  you  listen  to  her?  Mothers  are  always  right,  you  know.     HE  It’s  easy  for  someone  from  the  outside  to  say:  “don’t  do  this,  don’t  do  that.”  We  have  things  in  common,  you  and  me,  we  like  each  other.         SHE   (Ironically)  Oh  yeah,  I  love  you.     HE  This  was  the  worst  I  love  you  I’ve  ever  heard.     SHE  Get  used  to  it.     HE  What’s   that?   We   are   together   in   this.   We   work   on   our   problems   at   home,  between  us,  that’s  that.       SHE  How  am  I  going  to  be  able  to  face  your  mother  knowing  about  this?  Tell  me.       HE  I  pitied  you,  calling  her  mom...     SHE  Pity,  you  pity  me!     She   takes   off   the   necklace   and   throws  it  far  away.     57  
    •       HE   (Miserably)  I  don’t  believe  you  did  that...       SHE  Well,  I  did.     HE   (Calmly)  Your  bluff  is  unforgivable.     SHE  It’s  not  a  bluff.     HE  Unforgivable.  Everyone  has  a  ‘point  of  no  return.’     SHE  Go   get   it;   doesn’t   it   belong   to   your   family?   From   grandmother   to   mother   to  daughter?  Go  get  it,  there,  right  close  to  the  beast.     HE  You  go,  I’m  not  a  dog.  My  mom  was  right  about  you.     SHE  Why  don’t  you  marry  her  instead?     HE   (Silence)     SHE  I  hate  you.     HE   (Silence)     SHE  Oh,  I  really  hate  you.  Do  you  want  to  know  how  much  I  hate  you?     HE   (Silence)     SHE  I  hate  you  so  much  I  would  destroy  myself  just  to  take  you  down  with  me.       58  
    • HE  Full  of  power  phrases...       SHE  That  one  is  not  mine.  It’s  Gilda’s.     HE   (Remembering)  Ah!  From  the  film?  Are  you  comparing  yourself  with  her?    Sorry.      Your  fall  is  not  poetic;  your  fall  is  nothing.    You  can  suffer  as  much  as  you  like,    No  one  is  going  to  notice.       SHE  Oh,   but   you   will!   You   will,   because   I’m   going   to   make   your   life   hell   until   you  notice  how  much  I  am  suffering.     She   takes   his   cell   phone   from   her  bag,  throws  it  on  the  floor,   and   jumps   on   it   smashing   the   phone.     HE  That  does  not  affect  me.     She   takes   one   of   his   products   from   the   shelf   and   throws   it   on   the  floor.     SHE  This  rubbish...     HE  That  does  not  affect  me.         SHE   (Screaming  at  him)  Ahhhh!     HE  That  does  not  affect  me  dear.     SHE  I  hate  your  products!       59  
    • HE  That  does  not  hurt  me  because  I  hired  you  out  of  pity...       SHE  You  hired  me  because  you  need  a  wife-­‐secretary,  someone  that  represents  you,  a  face  for  the  couple…  a  wife  that  improves  your  image  to  society.     HE  I  hired  you  because  you  don’t  know  what  you  want.  I  did  you  a  favor.  Until  you  decide  what  you  want.  Something  you  are  never  going  to  do,  which  is  a  decision  in  itself.     SHE  I  am.       HE  You  have  qualities,  don’t  take  this  badly,  but  you  don’t  know  how  to  use  any  of  them  for  anything.     SHE  Is  that  so?     HE  What  would  you  do  without  me?     SHE  That’s  exactly  what  I  could  find  out  by  myself!     HE   (Mumbling  to  himself)  Happiness  is  not  a  priority  of  yours,  and  I  make  the  most  of  it.       They   hear   a   peculiar   sound.   It’s   the  Panther  crying.   They   are   silent   for   some   time,   listening  to  the  cry.  It  is  sad  and   strong.     HE  I  think  it’s  crying.       SHE  It  happened  about  ten  years  ago.     HE  What  are  you  talking  about?       60  
    •   SHE   (Slowly)  I  was  at  a  restaurant  by  myself.  It  was  a  small  town  in  the  country.  I  sat  at  a  table  facing  the  mountain,  already  tired  of  not  having  anyone  to  talk  to.  Then  I  saw  a  cage  hanging  over  me,  inside  it  a  yellow  bird.  It  was  so  cute,  but  had  this   forlorn   look   in   the   eyes   anyone   would   think   it   heartbreaking.   At   least   it  broke  my  heart,  both  of  us  alone.     The   sound   of   the   panther   walking   around   itself,   as   if   it   was  in  its  cage.     SHE  I  couldn’t  control  myself.  I  opened  the  cage;  the  birdie  put  its  little  head  out  for  a  peep.   When   it   noticed   it   was   free,   it   flew.   Flapping   its   wings   to   scare   boredom  away,  using  all  harnessed  energy,  all  might  of  freedom;  it  flew  quickly,  like  a  jet,  straight  into  the  glass  door,  and  fell  dead  on  the  floor.     HE  It’s  walking  round  and  round.     SHE  Who  me?     HE  No,  the  panther,  listen...     SHE  Hum.     The  sound  gets  louder.       HE  A  habit  learned  in  the  cage.     SHE  Everyone  gets  used  to  something.     HE  Yes  they  do.     The  lights  come  on  –  the  same   white  light  from  the  beginning   of  the  play.  The  door  opens.     HE  Finally!       61  
    •   SHE  What  now?     HE  Now  we  go  home.     SHE  Do  you  think  it  can  survive  out  here  by  itself...     HE  No,  it  can’t  survive.         He  reaches  for  her  hand.     They  leave  the  supermarket  hand  in  hand.     She  returns  looking  for  something.  Finding  it,  she  bends  down  and  takes  the   necklace  that  is  lying  on  the  floor.     She  puts  the  necklace  on.     She  looks  straight  ahead.     Blackout.       62