The Body of a Woman as a Battlefield in the Bosnian war by Matei Vi niec translated by Alison Sinclair

The war in Bosnia seems to be fading in our consciousness to become a macabre page in history. And more and more, we have the tendency to forget. For other wars, other macabre pages in contemporary history are being written... Unfortunately, one thing persists: nationalistic fervour. Civil society and the modern world have never been so threatened by base nationalism of a populist and violent nature. This was the original motive for my play: to write as a way of trying to understand. To try and understand how this mechanism transforms normal people into brutes, ordinary people into savages. To try and understand how, in the middle of Europe at the end of the 20th century, we are having to confront, yet again the murderous folly of a war with all the ingredients of a new world war. Is the nationalist fervour in the Balkans the price we must pay for the final departure of communism? If this is the case, then that Utopian concept, responsible for the deaths of 100 million people hasn't yet come to an end, and even after the announcement of its death, it continues to poison our lives. The generations who have never known state communism, are still at risk of suffering perhaps even more from the failure of any overall plan to silence it, than those who were directly the victims. But even more painful still, is the observation that nationalism is making headway even in those countries with strong democratic traditions, even in countries which have known long periods of prosperity. Nobody is safe, apparently, when the identity ogres begin to roar. Perhaps the real drama of the world today is that, without idealism, people go in search of their roots instead of their wings. Matei Vi niec

The play has been performed in France, Germany, Bulgaria, Canada, Romania and Great Britain. The London premiere was at the Young Vic Studio in November 2000, directed by Alison Sinclair. Author's Note: This play was written in residence at La Chartreuse de Villeneuve-les-Avignon in November and December of 1996. This play, inspired by the Bosnian crisis, remains a work of fiction. The author has nonetheless made use of some eyewitness reports both for the description of the uncovering of mass graves in Scene 26 and the 'image' of Dorra's country in Scene 29, because, with horrors like these, reality beggars the Imagination.

Characters:
Kate Dorra Vujovic an American Psychologist a patient

Time: Some time after the war in Bosnia. P lac e: A c l inic in Germany, near Lake Constance.

Page | 1

SCENE l
Kate reads extracts from her diary.

KATE Slavonski Brod Hospital, Croatia, May 1994. (A beat) In inter-ethnic wars, the body of a woman becomes a battlefield. Witness Europe at the end of the twentieth century. The penis of the modern fighter is soaked in the screams of raped women, just as the knight's blade was once soaked in the blood of his enemy. (A beat) An attempt to apply psychoanalytical concepts to the autopsy of horror: This inter-ethnic violence could perhaps be better understood by the use of Freudian terms. Certain Freudian notions that belong to the world of primal urges, can shed more light on the world of nationalistic violence than a more convent-ional terminology. See if the following concepts can better explain the sources of ethnic violence in Bosnia: Nationalistic libido. Libidinous nationalism. Infantile ethnic sadism. The fantasy world of a national minority. Nationalist neurosis. Narcissistic neurosis of the ethnic majority. Obsessive neurosis of the ethnic minority. The nationalist drive: the drive to dominate, the drive to threaten, the drive to destroy. SCENE 2 Kate enters Dorra's room. Dorra sits motionless on a chair. She stares vacantly. KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA
Hello. ... It's me, Kate. ... It's a beautiful day. ... Some people are walking in the garden. ... If you¶d like to go into the garden, I¶ll come with you ... I¶m not asking you to talk to me. ... But, if you¶d like to go into the garden, I¶ll come with you. ... Or you could go by yourself if you¶d prefer. ... Do whatever you like. ... Iµm going to open a window. ... Can you feel the spring? ...

SCENE 3 Kate reads extracts from her diary.

KATE Doboj Camp, Bosnia, June 1994. (A beat) Are those ethnic groups who have never had their own nation state most vulnerable to such atrocity? Are they more at risk than others of becoming caught up in this primitive sadism? Amazing parallels exist between nationalistic sadism, and Freud's description of infantile sadism. (A beat) Do members of ethnic groups who have never had their own nation state react in a similar way to those people who have never expressed their sexual urges?

Page | 2

. (A beat) And what if nationalism is nothing but a suicidal impulse? Are some nationalities more disposed to melancholia? Nationalist hysteria. from a Freudian perspective.. DORRA . Dorra. I'm not totally vegetarian. as an urge born of frustration.. I'll leave you the menu on the table. zucchini soup. KATE That's why I'm talking to you. KATE I'm Kate. (A beat) Frustration... DORRA . KATE Would you like me to read you the menu? DORRA .. Dorra. KATE I know you can hear me... KATE Because I know you can hear me. KATE I'm not asking anything... The neurosis of destiny and the neurosis of failure. Broken dreams. Bosnia.. (A beat) Page | 3 ... Hello Dorra. (A beat) See if the following concepts can explain something: Growing anxiety in the ethnic group. Nationalist depression. KATE I'm not asking you to answer me.. KATE Hello.. Dorra? DORRA . You can tick off the dish you'd like.. DORRA . the nationalist explosion could be analysed.First thought: the manifestations of nationalistic frustration have much in common with the manifestations of sexual frustration.. DORRA . cream of vegetable soup... KATE You're Dorra. KATE Good-bye. And the dessert. DORRA .. SCENE 5 Kate reads extracts from her diary.. KATE There's soup.. Ethnic defence hysteria. SCENE 4 Kate enters Dorra's room.. Dorra. DORRA .... The ethnic neurosis of abandonment. DORRA .. Depressive nationalism. KATE It's a pretty name.. Nationalist explosion. Mass hysteria. but I do like vegetable soups. KATE Modrica. Following this logic. DORRA . KATE I feel you can hear me.. Is that okay. Identifying with the aggressor. DORRA .... DORRA ... August 1994. I like soup..... Loss of identity.. KATE I'm Kate.. The mutual phobic neuroses of ethnic groups who share the same territory.. DORRA . cabbage lasagne. Marginalisation.. KATE What would you like for lunch? DORRA .

I hate you. don't tell me that time heals everything. frequently to High School Certificate. his country has been occupied. turns on the tap.. can hold a conversation in Russian.. I hate you. I hate you. under the blanket. (A beat) He fights in the name of his people. exhaustion.. I hate you. in the state of war. nothing more. curled up in her bed. because truth has been murdered. I hate you. you are not our truth. The cause of this traumatic neurosis is the rape the subject was submitted to about two weeks ago. yes. because we can't forgive you. it is they who will inherit the earth. I hate you. Then she sits up. because your house.. Page | 4 . alone. KATE First observation. The fighter finally finds his ideal conditions in the state of frustration . gets by in German. He doesn't have a clearly defined battlefield. I hate you. His dream: to get himself lo Germany or the States. No. I hate you. knows a few words of Italian and French. but nostalgic for past stability. Night-time. you can't deliver us from evil. the West is a whore. Anti-communist. you can't give us our daily bread.. God. DORRA I hate you. No. (A beat) Today's Balkan 'warrior'. The fighter's fantasy world. SCENE 6 Dorra. Time can only do what it can. Ancestral frustration. I hate you. he hasn't been given a country. I hate you. God. I hate you. hysterical paralysis. I hate you. pours herself a glass of water and drinks it. No. gets out of bed. we can't accept that your will be done because your will is blood and fire and madness. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you.The sexual urge and the nationalist libido can be useful concepts in the understanding of incidents of rape committed during inter-ethnic wars. No. But. the West has betrayed him. the evil men will never be punished. educated.. as if praying. even beyond. No.. SCENE 7 Kate enters Dorra's room. And always: the West has forgotten him. Time can't heal wounds that aren't healable. I hate you. I hate you. I hate you. She is silent for a moment. I hate you. Fascinated by Western affluence. I hate you. Miserable when forced to admit to himself: he has no country. Portrait: literate. he doesn't have a clear enemy. I hate you. Her deliberate refusal to answer my questions leads me to believe that she understands everything I say to her. She speaks in a quiet voice. (A beat) The state of the subject: mental confusion.. DORRA I hate you. I hate you. I don't believe that time can heal everything. I hate you.therefore. The subject does not respond to any external stimuli. She goes back to bed and covers herself with the blanket. I hate you. I hate you. God. who have never had a country. is now a house of the dead. university. the West hasn't kept its promises. I hate you. That's all. DORRA I hate you. because truth has been buried along with heaven which doesn't exist any more either. SCENE 8 Dorra kneels. God.. No. Speaks a little English. The subject is suffering from traumatic neurosis. I hate you. I hate you. God. his country has been humiliated. his country has been stolen from him. you can't forgive us our trespasses because we don't ask to be forgiven. goes to the bathroom. (A beat) See if these concepts can explain something: Descent into barbarity. I hate you. crosses the room.. God. This is exactly Freud's analysis in the case of frustrated subjects who fall ill just at the precise moment of attaining the object of their desire. I hate you. his country has been carved up. God. Drinks anything he can get his hands on. No. I hate you. Cruel and melancholic. It appears that there was no neurological harm done. I hate you.

night. the body of the wife of his closest friend whom for nearly half a century he has called "brother". of poor over rich. the inter-ethnic fighter hopes to destroy the sources of his enemy's strength. tanks. mother. as punishment for entering into a mixed marriage. Nothing can destabilise the ethnic enemy so effectively as the rape of his women. he worked with his enemy. turns on the tap. Almost a quarter of the women we questioned are able to give the name. his cultural heritage and his most deeply held values. goes to the sink. daughter. (A beat) The forced fraternisation of ethnic groups: a time-bomb. She looks at herself in the mirror. I don't believe there is sense in anything I am saying. It appears that many women married to men from a different ethnic group. This behaviour pattern is simply a defence mechanism. or names. raping his ethnic enemy's women. sister. he was very often invited into the home of his enemy. were raped by men from their own ethnic group. In inter-ethnic wars. No. has the sweet taste of total victory. For the new fighter. The Freudian revenge of peoples who have never had their own country. . Often. SCENE 10 Dorra alone. in the context of inter-ethnic wars in Europe. rape is a kind of blitzkrieg. shells. (A beat) A woman's body as a battlefield: the fighter unleashes himself into it as his final coup de grâce. Dorra continues to sing in front of the mirror. of life over death. fills a glass of water. the new fighter doesn't even look for a face to face confrontation with his sworn ethnic enemy. She washes her face. Nowhere else does ethnic hate manifest itself so strongly than this new battlefield. or out of sexual frustration. of beauty over ugliness. Rape is a form of military strategy aimed at demoralising the enemy. of believer over non-believer. I don't believe everything can be understood. (Dorra continues to sing in front of the mirror) In today's ethnic wars. Kate enters. (A beat) After securing the safety of his own wife. This is the real Balkan powder keg. God. But this only increases his desire to serve his country to the bitter end. and his point of greatest weakness. Every attempt at communication is perceived by the subject as an act of aggression. I don't believe there is sense in everything we're told. She sings to herself. mother. I cannot tell you about my suffering. a woman's body embodies resistance. sister.. the same objective as the destruction of the enemy's houses. he knows all the members of his enemy's family. (A beat) The subject seeks refuge in silence and offers positive resistance to every attempt at external communication. the rape continues. charges.No. The new fighter does not expose himself to bullets. the fighter throws himself into the pursuit of his enemy's wife. Rape has.. SCENE 9 Kate stands by Dorra's bed. Because his enemy was once his neighbour. there is no victory of good over evil. (A beat) These adversaries don't rape for some savage pleasure. And these sources he knows. or from neighbouring villages. he knows his enemy's habits. the body of the wife of his old school friend. God. The subject is suffering an alteration of the ego. KATE (to the audience) The new Balkan fighter rapes his ethnic enemy's women to strike the fatal blow at his ethnic enemy. The body of a woman becomes a battlefield in its own right. daughter. The words are just about audible. the enemy's churches and places of worship. of weak over strong. (A beat) More than half of the women raped within the context of inter-ethnic wars are victims of aggressors whom they know or whose paths they have crossed frequently within an area of less than sixty kilometres. (A beat) The new battlefield of this new fighter: the body of the wife of his ex-neighbor. For the subject. I don't believe everything can be told. his enemy was once his brother and the fighter knows that the women who surround his enemy are at once his source of strength. She gets up. He believes this will strike the final blow against his adversary. Page | 5 . KATE Second observation..(A beat) Before a face to face confrontation. He merely exposes himself to the screams of a woman. of their aggressors. The new fighter rapes to break this resistance. Hence the long gestation of this national frustration.No. In short. Around half the women we have been able to question state that the men who raped them were from the same village.

Balkan man suddenly despairs at the semantic Page | 6 . DORRA . we haven't seen each other for three weeks. That's the best time for her to have a go at him..SCENE ll Kate enters Dorra's room. KATE Do you like a fire? DORRA . Or with the wife. In the evening. Where do we come from? Where are we going? This fucking world doesn't make any sense. if you'd rather I stayed with you. Or three. that's a long time. if you're friends you can't stand not to see each other for three weeks. KATE It's me.. I'm not speaking to you as a doctor. That's why he comes home late and goes out early.. KATE Good-bye. DORRA . that's a long time. In the Balkans. I'm not here to make you get better. DORRA . Because. No.. Balkan man becomes sad. KATE Hello. DORRA . KATE Or. in the Balkans. KATE I know you can hear me. She doesn't understand her man's sudden ancestral melancholy.. you'd be very welcome. Or two. KATE Would you like to go down? DORRA ... You don't understand the first thing about history. DORRA .. KATE Come down if you'd like to. having spent time drinking with his mates. shit. so have a drink. then life's bearable.... Any excuse will do to booze till five in the morning.. The wife who is nothing but a reproduction machine. If you'd like me to come up and stay with you. between four o'clock and ten o'clock. spend fifteen minutes with the kids. in the evening. KATE Everyone's there. an open fire. In the evening. Dorra. a sense of honour is very strong in Balkan man. All right? DORRA . Who only knows how to nag her husband from the minute he comes in the door. if you go drinking every day after work.. he'll just get angry and have another drink. DORRA ... if she goes too far. Haven't seen each other for a week. DORRA . KATE I'm not a doctor. KATE If you'd like to go down to the day room. having emptied several dozen half-litre bottles of beer with his mates. And you drink till the small hours. His soul feels pain. Dorra sits motionless on her chair. KATE It's great. In the morning he has a hangover. Dorra. And you drink till midnight. In the evening. DORRA . she doesn't understand anything.. Dorra... we really know how to drink. She doesn't understand why he suddenly needs to question the meaning of life. In the evening. Dorra.. my little chicken. just ring. drink a little every day. To make the separation of friends bearable. So. DORRA . Look. Grand metaphysical questions obsess and torture him. it's unbearable. just say.. DORRA . she doesn't dare say too much. Because.. DORRA . KATE You have a little bell here. so have a drink. SCENE 12 DORRA (to the audience) The Balkans: An emotional time-bomb.... Kate. KATE I'm here because I need you..... KATE They lit a big fire in the day room. you can go home.

including his own. reverts to herself) Yes. as if in a bubble separating him from the outside world. all clean and freshly ironed. He lays his head on his wife's breast because this breast so warm. KATE I don't want to know. DORRA You live in Boston. but not till later. we'll never rid ourselves of communism. you don't understand at all. He needs her warmth. because his mother left him when he was only five years old. cosmic bitterness. so welcoming reminds him of his mother. If you want a decent beer. because his mother has been dead for ten years. because his mother is far away. the state you came home in. who always had faith in him. DORRA Yes you do. I don't want you to tell me anything.. SCENE 13 DORRA Do you want me to tell you how I was raped? KATE No. Dorra. Dorra. look at your shirt. it's for your report. Dorra. Because today if it's worth making. you don't care. very black and very strong.. Dorra. KATE I am American. the only person in the whole world who always understood him.. because his mother has been dead for two years. because when you've got a hangover like that you can't face food. but I'm not making a report for the Psychiatric Clinic of Boston. Dorra. why are you doing this to me? Because of his hangover. KATE Yes. we don't stand a chance. look at those stains. That's why this country will never get out of the hole it's in. we're a nation of gypsies. DORRA There were five of them. a reproach that his wife has stuck to his skin. tears of sorrow. he is searching for the security he felt nestled in the arms of his mother. why . I don't want you to tell me that. he finds it hard to answer. because his mother has grown old. We've faked our history. he lays his head on his wife's breast. we're the bums of Europe. Dorra. we've never been free. Dorra. We've never had a proper country. You're called Kate. And then he'll go to work without saying a word. All day. He pisses and he cries. it's worth faking. when the pain in his head becomes unbearable because those bastards make their beer with rotten malt. who always loved him. DORRA Yes you are. But he can be nagged later as he gets ready for work. look at your torn trousers. And his soul is bleeding because he hasn't seen his mother since his sister's wedding. He will also vomit. KATE No. he's in a daze. KATE I don't want to know. when he's shaving in slow motion in front of a mirror he doesn't recognise himself in. I'm not making a report for the Psychiatric Clinic in Boston. we've never been independent. is that really you? You don't even recognise yourself. Do you realise what kind of a childhood I had? Deprived of a mother's love from the age of five? (Dorra once again becomes 'Balkan man') Do you? Shit. Balkan man is a frail creature.. (Change of tone.. then he'll have a black coffee. extremely uncomfortable in the shirt. You want me to tell you in detail how they raped me. he needs her to caress him while he sheds tears of communal.. You're American. (Dorra becomes 'Balkan man') The world of business is full of thieves. (Pause.. at three in the morning. we've missed the boat. Between seven and eight. KATE No.. And swindlers. at about three in the morning. KATE I'm not making a report... so sweet.. Dorra becomes herself again) At three in the morning. KATE No. DORRA But you do work for the Psychiatric Clinic in Boston. you don't care. you have to check that the labels aren't fake. impossible to forget. tears for the impotence of the human race in the face of the great cosmic mystery. who must be handled with care or his soul might break into a thousand pieces. he won't answer. without looking at his wife.. without even looking at his children. his wife can finally say to him: Look at you. we don't. DORRA Yes you do.. a sort of cage that will remind him with every move that he's a prisoner for life with several mouths to feed.. me and the children. DORRA There were five of them.. ('Balkan man'vomits) Aaaargh.. you want me to tell you how they raped me. we don't even know where we really come from.. that his wife has made him put on. all you want is for me to give you my pay-packet on pay day and keep me locked up in this house..fragility of language. DORRA Yes you do..ire you doing this to me. why. his mother. I am called Kate. In the arms of his ever-nagging wife. And even then.. He pisses tears of anxiety. Because everybody is a thief or a faker. look at the state you're in. it's got to be foreign. heavy to bear. transcendental. communism has changed us down to the bone. he won't eat. you're making a report for the Psychiatric Clinic in Boston. this clean shirt will be like a silent reproach from his wife. Oh. we've faked our future. Page | 7 .

. But aren't there stones that are good for something? No. what is Europe? It's nothing but a pile of old stones.. Grandpa. I would like to speak with you. we could go for a walk by the lake. KATE Good-bye. . It's called Lake Constance. your daughter.. . is that an old stone? No... (She gestures) Just plain stones. everyone speaks Serbo-Croat. Dorra.. Good-bye. not as black as Betty... that Europe was full of black stones. Dorra. When I told my nanny. DORRA There were five of them. There'll be a party. but I won't be going back to Boston soon. Daddy.. that's a lump of cement. But I'm afraid I've no idea whether you like tulips. SCENE 15 KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE DORRA KATE Hello. It's a very beautiful lake.. I'd like us to be friends. . what is Ireland? It's a country made of stones. DORRA You have to note down in your report that I don't know whether they were Muslims.. Go home! SCENE 14 KATE Observation number three. .. what's it like? An old stone is much bigger. a country made of stones scattered like this. I brought you some tulips. . DORRA (in tears) Go home. . But I don't know if they were Muslims. Mrs McNoil. . You'll be going back to Boston soon. Dorra.. Mommy.. SCENE 16 KATE (looking at her collection of rare stones) Tell me. Dorra. Nothing? Page | 8 . or Croats or Serbs. The subject snapped out of her state of torpor. But an old stone. It's the summer solstice. Betty....... and it's almost black.. she started to laugh. Tell me. You should . I live in Boston. .. I was called Kate. She's trying to come to terms with the world through aggression. You can call me whenever you want to.. all stones are good for nothing... (A beat) As black as Betty? No. Dorra. Tell me. Daddy. You see. It is imperative that somebody is with her at all times to absorb her negative energy..DORRA You live in Boston. But I wasn't called Europe. KATE Yes. KATE I have to go now. If you like.. Everyone's going down to the lake. in Bosnia.. Tell me... May I put them here? . have called her Europe.. . She's very smart.. Dorra. That's not to say that the subject is getting better.. Kate. Tomorrow is the longest day and the shortest night of the year. or old stones? Stones that are good for nothing... . . or Croats or Serbs.. but not as black as her.. what does 'Kate' mean? Nothing.. I'd very much like to speak with you..

DORRA You make it seem as if you're not interrogating me. (A beat) Too many stones. KATE I need you. that I'm not here as a doctor. That's Europe. KATE But I'm not interrogating you. Don't try and sell me all those stupid cliches about life being the strongest force and so on.Nothing. After ten years. what does that mean? That means McNoil. on his knees. on his land. (Kate does her daily jog. DORRA You lied to me. Dorra. it means Kate. Dorra. nine hundred and ninety-nine stones. Dorra. armed with a pickaxe.. How could my name mean nothing? Well. DORRA What do you want to know? KATE I don't know. DORRA Do you have children? KATE Two girls. DORRA You don't need me... Why did you leave Ireland? Grandpa told me that all the McNoils left Ireland. (A beat) When I was told I'd be working with specialist teams opening up the mass graves.. running on the spot) Actually.. And we went to America. I collected about a hundred stones. DORRA You don't need me. Dorra. KATE I swear to you. nine hundred and ninety-nine thousand. I know you left Ireland. DORRA What's Boston like? KATE It's a beautiful city. One day I started to count the stones that I found on my land. KATE I have never lied to you. Page | 9 . And I hate being interrogated. (A beat) I think it's this image that made me go to Bosnia. DORRA What do you want to understand? KATE I don't know. Kate. DORRA I hate being interrogated. and that's where I saw my grandfather. KATE You have to live. And that's when I said stop: There are too many stones. And I haven't seen them for six months. And why did the McNoils leave Ireland? What!? Uh-huh. KATE No. But at the foot of this mountain there was something . DORRA I don't care what you think I should do. Europe has already begun to sink. That's about thirty-six thousand stones every year. KATE Yes. KATE Yes I do. but you're actually torturing me with all your clever therapeutic techniques. Dorra. (A beat) This was my first image of Europe: a huge mountain of stones. you're so obsessed with psychotherapy. I suddenly saw in front of me the image of my grandfather digging up stones. Dorra. I'll bring you some photos of Boston tomorrow. And McNoil. Too many stones. I'd collected ninety-nine million. why did you leave Ireland? (A beat) Because there were too many stones on my land.. Every single day. Europe will sink under the weight of all those stones.. DORRA Yes you are. Go ask him and let me be! Grandpa. DORRA I'm not sure I want to live. a sort of stone iceberg slowly sinking on the other side of the ocean. Dorra. One day. DORRA Do you have any photos? KATE Of my girls? DORRA No. that's Europe. Kate. (A beat) Too many stones. KATE You must live. sickly little trees. DORRA You're all so obsessed with psychotherapy.. KATE But I'm not interrogating you.. scratching out a hundred stones a day from the earth. All I know is that I cracked up. You Americans. KATE No. And I started to cry. DORRA You're mad. SCENE 17 KATE Hello.. Kate. Every one of us McNoils is a born digger.a little garden with two or three frail. But I was digging up corpses. How many stones were there on your land?. sure. And I counted them for ten years. of Boston.

Dorra. KATE I don¶t know.. Do you understand. and you understand that I cannot live like this. Kate. But. Quite simply. Yes. Kate..DORRA Life isn¶t the strongest force. when I'm going to die. KATE I've brought you some photos of Boston. I know how I'm going to die. (A beat) The subject alternates between aggression and moments of silent self-absorption. Kate. KATE Would you like me to show them to you now? DORRA . DORRA And brute strength is the strongest force of all... DORRA I like you so much. Kate? Are you a believer. is it really Lake Constance? KATE Yes. one can only test her memory through exercising great patience.. Kate? KATE No. DORRA That lake. so many atrocities only make sense if God wants to feed himself on them. And. Kate. Kate. And since then... DORRA . I didn't believe he existed. that I'm actually getting to like you. DORRA Because I have discovered that God exists. and you alone. I hate him.. I said to myself: No. Dorra begins to methodically pull the petals off the tulips Kate brought on her last visit. And that's why I'm still alive. a sign that she is capable of entering into a new relationship with the outside world. At this stage. KATE Yes. I'm going to do something for you. KATE Did you know there's a TV set downstairs? You could watch it if you like. DORRA Do you know why I¶m still alive. Dorra? DORRA . DORRA You could never force me to live. It's too early to submit her to questions about the circumstances which provoked her trauma. DORRA Kate. Would you like to see them? DORRA .... without being a believer.. DORRA . Kate.. Kate. because you're an intelligent woman. KATE I'll show them to you whenever you want. KATE Yes DORRA And I hate him. You can look at them when you like. KATE ..... DORRA You're so naive.... KATE (putting the album on the table) I'll leave them there. SCENE 19 KATE Hello. I hate him.. because I like you so much. These whims are actually a good sign. I still haven't decided when I'm going to die. You can understand. Before.. Page | 10 . KATE How are you. KATE What? DORRA You know.. because you're so nice. SCENE 18 KATE Observation number four. KATE When? DORRA I'll tell you soon. So. KATE I know. KATE I don¶t know. But after. I hate him so much that I cannot die.. I'm going to tell you. You and your clever techniques . KATE I don¶t know..they just make me laugh.. Kate? KATE I don¶t know. one day before. DORRA Death is the strongest force. DORRA . I cannot die because hate is keeping me alive.

Right is Switzerland. A relaxed atmosphere.DORRA Does that mean we're in Switzerland? KATE No. I don't want this blanket 32507F.. DORRA (eating) As soon as he's had his first drink. DORRA Did you hear me. they become a little drunk and there's a real complicity between them. You can actually see Switzerland from the window. DORRA Yes. DORRA For the insane? KATE For the sick in general. a bottle of rose wine. So. It's well placed. I don't want America to give me chair number 6632D... whether it's in Zagreb.. Balkan man instantly becomes an internationalist. it isn't Dorra who speaks. DORRA How did I get here? KATE You were transferred here because you were very ill. Athens. (Kate leads Dorra to the window. Ljubljana or Skopje. ( moment's silence. There are flowers on the table. KATE Yes. brimming with neighbourly love. this window. rather it's her memories and her life experience. Dorra. I always wanted to see Switzerland.... And Germany. DORRA It's crazy... Bucharest. I'll show you Switzerland. DORRA Kate! KATE Yes... a sense of history is awakened in Balkan man. wherever he can get legless. But is the key word to the Balkan soul. DORRA Kate? KATE . KATE Go where? SCENE 20 Dorra and Kate are eating together. Or perhaps Dorra sings a snatch of a gypsy tune. He then sees the whole world through the philosophy of 'but'.) KATE See those houses on the hill? That's Switzerland.. Left is Germany. And here. we're in Germany. She enters into the spirit of each Balkan man' Page | 11 .. In the following monologues. In the seediest dive. What is it here. DORRA (hysterical) I want to leave here at once.. DORRA I want to leave here now.) DORRA Kate. we're in Germany. the mirror of their thought. KATE And now you can. America has sent me chair number 6632D? KATE That's because this used to be a medical facility for the American army.. I want to leave at once! I want to get out of here! (tearful) I want to go. the line where banal small talk crosses over into finely nuanced dialectic! Gypsy music. Kate? KATE . DORRA Kate.. KATE Yes.. You can see Switzerland and Germany at the same time. DORRA Where? KATE Come on. But the Swiss border is only a few hundred metres away. Tirana.. DORRA And why is 'USA' marked on everything? KATE Where do you see 'USA' marked? DORRA (turns the chair round) Here. Sofia. a hospital? KATE It's a sort of convalescent home. DORRA And the other side of the lake? KATE That's still Switzerland.. DORRA Did you hear what I said? KATE Yes. KATE . DORRA Are you sure? KATE Yes.. 'USA'. There's also an inventory number: 6632D.

oh the Bulgarians.. (They clink glasses) Good health! KATE Cheers! Bulgarian music. the Turks. year in year out. they're all thieves. Albanian music) The Albanians. the Turks. poor souls.. they go way back. there's nothing better! Bulgarian yoghurt really is the best .. KATE So.. But I don't like them putting our own bakers out of business . But let's not forget they're a frustrated lot ... and even today they say the Macedonians are really Bulgarians. that's the Bulgarians for you .. the same old cliches. Kate fills their glasses and gradually begins to participate in the game. they don't understand the word 'border'. I had an Albanian classmate at the University. He was quiet. because they're the same Turks who've plundered us for four centuries.There are four million unemployed in Germany but the Turks are all working. now there's a force to be reckoned with. now they're even stealing our own sacred folklore they're selling CDs of our most beautiful songs in the West and making millions of dollars out of it. it's delicious.. yes.. the Turks.you can only get on with them if you put them in their place. they're simply amazing. Page | 12 . but I still respect them.. they're great! Very good gardeners . even five.. and all they think about is Kosovan independence as if that could solve all their problems. you'll see . there's something about them that's both mysterious and joyful. Come on. but they're already part of NATO and you'll see .who churns out.. The Turks are hard workers.they're the ones who started the first Balkan War. they've Bulgarised the names of all the Turks who live there.. and now I only ever eat Turkish bread and it's good. gypsy.. (The game continues.. and they're all working. the Albanians.... Cheers! KATE Cheers! They clink glasses and hug.. Turkish music. especially the Catholics from the north.they'll be joining the European Community before us as well. Enver Hodja really dumped them in the shit . you've got to watch them.. they're probably the oldest race in the Balkans. the Russians.luckily for them they got aid.. give us a song! No. and now they're all unionists.. the whole world had them queuing up.me. Enough's enough. they steal horses. and their roses. gypsies are great.. yes. letting herself go more and more.you've never tasted anything like it. But.. They come in with their electric cookers that they've bought in the West with our money.. their rose petal jam . the Turks will gradually return to the Balkans. They clink glasses and drink. can't say I've got anything against the Albanians. no. the Turks. those Bulgarians. the Italians and the English are so far away. discreet. Dorra. Dorra continues the game. I love 'em! I've got nothing against them. sheep. the Yugoslavs.my mother only ever bought vegetables from her Bulgarian greengrocer . because the French. nice people. clicks her fingers and sings. a Turk opened a bakery near where I live. DORRA The Jews. the same well-worn insults and spiteful comments directed at his 'Balkan brothers' of another nationality.. one foot in Asia. I don't like it..... DORRA (under the skin of Balkan man) Gypsies... you've seen how many of them there are in Germany.that's crazy.. He came from Kosovo. Jewish music. KATE That's. they wanted a country bigger than they needed. the Turks..it's amazing what you find there... And on top of that. children. they'll say we're no longer capable of making our own bread and they just come in to show us how to do it. never underestimate the Turks! I went to Istanbul this summer . and to top it all. you have to recognise that in Europe today they're the lowest of the low. the Chinese.. It takes them too long to even get to us.. we do most of our business with them now.. KATE It's Turkish! DORRA Yes. then they fell out with all of them. one foot in Europe. they're not even Europeans. it's Turkish. I don't actually have any Turkish friends myself. DORRA (as another 'Balkan man') The Turks: I respect the Turks... chickens. He graduated top of the class..you should have seen his gherkins and the yoghurt. But at the same time.. I really like the Bulgarians. a few months ago.. they wanted the whole of Macedonia to grow their gherkins in.. thrifty... It's true.the taste of Bulgaria.. DORRA (As another 'Balkan man' speaking of his 'Balkan brothers') The Bulgarians. still a great empire.

KATE But... That put them a hundred years ahead of everybody else. Croatian music.. KATE (eating. all except Tito because that's what the Croats are like . they're completely crazy.. they're like the Adriatic Sea. my ex-wife who was a Serb left me for a motherfucker of a Serb. the Serbs .. my wife's a Serb.. KATE Have you seen how they dance? Page | 13 . her mouth full) But. No. DORRA Actually my wife's Serb. between the two world wars. an insight.. I once had some Jewish neighbours. and what's more.. they exaggerate all the time.. they're westernised Slavs. the Croats. the Croats . constantly betray you. They all went over to the Nazis. for a good for nothing mother-fucker.it's in their guts...... I know that. DORRA But you know. all of them in the end. they have an openness. they always have to be on the move. despite the fact those same countries had given them nationality.. The women hug. the lady who taught me was a Jew.. DORRA The Serbs. the Serbs.. I swear to you. their blood actually boils.pig-farmers. yes.. a fine spirit. and even now they're in league with the Germans. That's what they're like... drink.. It's clean.. it burns their skin. Cheers! KATE Cheers! The game continues. when they saw that communism wasn't working in the East and that life was getting worse and worse. a savage side that has made history tremble. KATE The Croats.. DORRA (with her mouth full) The Croats. DORRA It's beautiful in Croatia.. it's impressive. and what's more.. No. always restless. of all the Slavs in the Balkans the Serbs are the fiercest.. I mean. these Serbs. the Pope.. The Serbs. I adore the Greeks. en masse.. wherever they settle the economy flourishes. DORRA That's it..KATE Ah! So. nobody can hurt you like your own brother. lost in the fourteenth century. Oh. ah. I know them well .. I like the Croats... they have a primitive soul. they all left..all Ustashi. But. the Serbs are hot. KATE But. eat. dreaming of a Greater Serbia. they exaggerate everything.. you can see they're part of Latin civilisation. the Croats. Dorra dances in her chair... the Jews are good people. which is precisely why they're such revellers and militants because they have this ancestral melancholy .the Croats.blooded. let's not forget that they crucified Our Lord Jesus Christ. KATE So who's next?..this endless delirium they have is rather appealing. DORRA Ah ha!. I like the Serbs. KATE The Greeks. KATE (with her mouth full) That's. the Serbs. I think it's a shame myself that the Jews have gradually left our country over the years. a prime example of his race. they're pure-blooded nationalists..) KATE Oh.....they're our twin brothers. Serbian music. DORRA (dancing) The Greeks.. there were five thousand Jews.... I used to play with the Jewish kids in our neighbourhood. And. they did well to get rid of the Cyrillic alphabet and start to use the Roman one... the dentist my mother dragged me to was a Jew. DORRA But.. you saw what they did in forty-one. (A beat) Here's to us! KATE To us! (Greek music. I like the Jews.. in fact.... five thousand Germans.they stab you in the back.. In the town where I was born. refined. KATE When I was a kid... actually they haven't done a lot since then . yes.. KATE The Serbs.. you can see they're Catholics. The game continues. the Croats.. the spirit of Venice.. you've seen the cathedral they've got in Zagreb . when I started to learn the violin. And then nearly all of them left for Palestine. it's Greek.. their martyred King Stefan.. they have a crazy charm considering they're melancholy by nature. and only four thousand of us. I've had them up to here. You catch on fast. DORRA You can really have a good time with the Greeks. My history teacher at high school was a Jew. that's their real homeland. Did you know that? I thought it was okay because all the Jews were businessmen or intellectuals.. Latin.. DORRA Some of my best friends are Jewish. all they think about is their empire. They have no limits.

the modern Greeks are nothing compared to the ancient Greeks. even so. Page | 14 . did they really think that their Austro-Hungarian empire was going to last a thousand years? It's their imperial arrogance that's ruined them. DORRA (stops dancing) But you know. and megalomaniacs and they're the servants of the Austrians.... DORRA .....they wanted to throw Communism out even then! They had guts. it's riddled with Slavic words and what's more they say they're not part of the Balkans.they're not like anybody else. a nation of unscrupulous shop-keepers. KATE Oh no! Will it ever end? DORRA Well. and their women.... KATE But.. KATE But... I really like Romanians. they're rebellious... The Romanians. Hungarian! DORRA That's the thing about the Hungarians ..... KATE But. I really like them... KATE It's all. DORRA They've got guts... the Greeks. they're domineering..... The game continues.. those Hungarians. DORRA . the Greeks . DORRA You can't understand a word.. KATE Nor Turkish! DORRA Nor German. But they're profiteers. Thee game continues... KATE Peasant costume! DORRA Ah.. When they speak.. The girls drink champagne. DORRA The Hungarians. it's amazing what a hit Romanian whores are now in Turkey even ours are starting to learn Romanian now so they can pass themselves off as Romanians in Istanbul. the Bosnian Muslims. you know they had a better life than we did after that.... There's no Latin in it.. you'd think it was French and between the wars. proof that big brother Russia had more respect for his little Hungarian brother than he had for his other little brothers... KATE The. always popping up on the winning side. even under Janos Kadar ... the Muslims.. you might say they've made their mark on history. KATE (cutting off Dorra to speed up the game) The Muslims.. and their language. you know they're building motorways with money from the European Community now. he gives you every-thing.more freedom. once a Greek becomes your friend.... DORRA They're a race apart.. you saw how they held out in Sarajevo? KATE You've got to admire them.. The alcohol gradually goes to their heads.... DORRA They're the only Latins in the Balkans..they laid the foundations of civilisation. KATE (feigning weariness) I like the Romanians. the Greeks. I can tell you.. that the Balkans stop at the Danube but there's nothing more Balkan than a Romanian.. and they paid for it. DORRA The Bosnian Muslims? They've really suffered... that makes me laugh... modern Greeks believe they're the direct descendants of Pericles! Ha... KATE Oh yes... the Greeks.... tough as anything right throughout history.DORRA They're wild..... there's a lot of us in the Balkans you know. do you know what Bucharest was called? 'Little Paris'.. they're beautiful. DORRA Nor Greek. virile! KATE But. and there's so many of them... Hungarian music. they just don't know when to stop.. have you seen what their national guard wear?... yes. I like the Hungarians.. KATE (opening a bottle of champagne) No! DORRA Yes! The sound of the cork popping. you've heard their language? KATE It's not like any other language. the Hungarians. the people there . But they're too fatalistic and they're really two-faced..they deserve their own country. KATE Nor Slav. you remember how they dared to rise up against Moscow in fifty-six? Crazy . that's the Hung-arians.. I really like the Romanians. for you. Romanian music. more small businesses.

you'd be kidding yourself. DORRA & KATE . they're originally Islamified Slavs... I like the blacks. and they smell..something that doesn't exist anywhere else in the world...... KATE Yes.. Last century they were 'Turks'... with their feathers and things ± very decorative. KATE But. DORRA I like the blacks.. they invented the blues.. the blacks... KATE But it's better when they're deeeaad! A good Injun is a dead Injun! DORRA Shiiiiit! KATE Oh... No..... every single day there are thousands of goddam fucking Mexicans sneaking across the border to come and work illegally in our country. and they're drug-dealers........ these bastard Mexicans.... KATE But. But let's not forget. KATE And guitars... what about the Mexicans? I like the Mexicans. The 'Balkan but' is everywhere..... traitors?! DORRA Actually. DORRA Who? KATE The blacks.. Come to my country some day if you want to hear the tune of the 'Balkan but' sung American style.. DORRA (pretending to catch on) Because they're black! KATE No. DORRA But.... DORRA And ponchos.. DORRA But....... DORRA I like the Puerto Ricans.. At the time.. Because they are 'people of colour'. it's hard to know what to call them.... KATE That's riiiight! The 'Native American Indians'. yeah. KATE (drunk and victorious) The blacks.. this but . (A beat) The blacks.DORRA ... KATE Because they're not like us.. And then there's the Mexicans. DORRA But. the Puerto Ricans..... the blacks are great.... every day.. KATE But. DORRA And then there's the Puerto Ricans.. DORRA But. the Mexicans are nice. KATE What. they all want to come to our country.it's everywhere. and they're always rioting..... and they're violent. DORRA (more and more drunk) The Indians. DORRA But..... honey.. KATE But. KATE But. KATE Oh yes. DORRA There aren't any blacks in the Balkans.. there's also..... but... but they have no culture. my God. KATE Yes. Oh.. KATE But.. DORRA But.... Saudi Arabia protested. and they're great boxers. We have to be politically correct here. KATE ..... DORRA But.... See! And don't think it's just the god-dam fucking niggers who fuck us up.. KATE But the problem is. Page | 15 .... it's incredible.. and they're trouble-makers.. Do you think this Balkan 'but' only exists in the Balkans? No... there's 'a black problem' DORRA 'A black question'... KATE But. DORRA But not in the Balkans.. DORRA Who are beautiful.. KATE But. the blacks.. they invented gospel... then Tito had this idea of inventing a Muslim nation ... music is in their blood... DORRA They wear big hats. KATE They're called sombreros. the goddam fucking Mexicans. DORRA So. DORRA But. our United States of America...

.. that's it. because they could help reconstruct the crime and the context in which the crime was committed. KATE Yes.. western civilisation. There is first the surveyance of the area. The third stage is the excavation itself. . A mass grave can't just be dug up. Me. KATE The. I forgot. The fifth stage is the interpretation of what's been found. DORRA The Aztecs. DORRA The Patagonians. If he sees that a member of the team is no longer in a fit state to continue. extricate the corpse of the victim. at one and the same time. an archaeologist. make an evaluation of his emotional state and advise him to interrupt the work for a while. excavate.to excavate. truth. the UN... The excavator is primarily in the position of uncovering a murder. It's hard to carry all that on your shoulders Kate McNoil. the Patagonians are nice. an attorney.. If the excavator is not totally disposed to this work. the Allies. they're fucking Aztecs. I took a course in the excavation of mass graves. I haven't seen my family in six months and I don't have time to think about them much because there's something more urgent that's taken over my life .. an act governed by law.... (A beat) All this work is carried out by teams. DORRA But.. yes that's fucking it. KATE The Patagonians. (A beat) The psychologist must see to it. or victims. and a psychologist.. The excavation of a mass grave is. So. whilst not actually touching anything. and the way those layers of earth cover the body. banging her fist on the table) I've had the bloody Puerto Ricans up to here .. a specialist in obsessional neurosis and in psychoanalytical treatment. married.. He is in the position of someone who must. (A beat) A mass grave is excavated in stages.. DORRA But. but you'll never regain peace of mind unless you understand why. In each team there's a topographer.. to identify any potential mass grave sites.. above all. DORRA But they're Aztecs! There you go! KATE Ah yes.. yes.. KATE But. He must under no circum-stances separate the corpse from personal effects that could help in its identification. Depending on the nature of the layers of earth and their composition (earth... They dance. in the name of the past and of the future. bullets if the victim was shot. he risks erasing the traces of a murder whilst at the same time trying to decipher them. the responsibility placed on the excavator is enormous. but. a forensic expert.I should be ashamed of myself... thirty-five years old. stones. DORRA & KATE They're Patagonians! Shit! Hock music..KATE (now playing the full-blooded racist. author of a seven hundred and seventy page doctoral thesis on Freud and his concepts of primary narcissism. for example. There is then the analysis of the layers of earth. DORRA The Aztecs are nice. rubble etc) the most suitable tools must be chosen for the excavation. (A beat) The excavator discovers the body of a victim and. KATE Oh...they make me puke! DORRA Then there's the. or bodies. down to the smallest detail. sand.. military experts to reconstruct the military context in which the victims were killed or executed. But all objects found in the vicinity of a victim in a mass grave have a significance in the eyes of the law.. a graduate of Harvard University. a photographer. The fourth stage is the preservation of the unearthed materials. KATE The Patagonians. the mother of two daughters. I like the Aztecs... excavate the mass graves of Bosnia in the name of the United States. The excavator must make an inventory of everything. DORRA Just like the. KATE But. justice. (A beat) That's why I came to Bosnia.. very often. Page | 16 . he must intervene to remove him from the site.. And so I became an excavator of mass graves. SCENE 21 KATE There are certain techniques for opening up a mass grave.. To work as a psychologist with the teams excavating mass graves. Consequently. Kate McNoil . that the other members of the team don't crack up during the operation. the evidence of how the crime was committed. me. without damaging any of this material. Kate McNoil...

KATE Yes it does. he's even smaller than me. what is America? America is a heap of stones piled up like this. And that there's your grandmother who died last year. Kate exits... her belly swollen. DORRA It's already moving! I can feel it. The stones never forgave him. Is the boat made of stones too? No. I don't want it to start moving. KATE Yes. DORRA Kate. even bigger than that. (She gets out an old photo) Here.. (Pause. He told this story two or three times a year.. KATE Yes. As big as this room? No. I'm dirty. see this boat.. As big as that? No. lies on her bed..) I can feel it pushing. Everything she says resembles more a kind of therapy than a confession. in a state of great gitation... She talks. As big as this house? No. sweet... he was then. I want someone to get it out of me.. (Pause) But you'll have to wait a while.. Grandpa. DORRA I don't want to wait. DORRA Kate. And that's your grandmother. hardly pausing for breath.. my grandfather became a stone-cutter. She stares into space..... bigger.. Kate stands by the bed. trying to console Dorra. (To Dorra) I must tell you the story of my grandfather's arrival in the States. DORRA Now. DORRA Something strong. And that's your father. Dorra barely listens to her. DORRA This child doesn't have a name. But it can't be.. DORRA Now! KATE Whatever you want. New Year's or Easter. As big as the house.. And I don't want it. I don't believe you. KATE It can be done in a month's time.. Here. bigger.. DORRA (delirious) No! No! No! KATE Once in America. that's true. when all the family got together at Christmas. And there? That there's your Uncle Sean. here. SCENE 23 Dorra... She rings several times.. She's sweating.pea.. I'm dirty with this thing inside me. And how come I'm not there? Because you were born here. DORRA I want an abortion! KATE Yes.. Pause. so her tone is not a normal tone. Dorra.. more and more desperate. Dorra..SCENE 22 Dorra rings the bell.. how did you come to America? In a big boat. KATE Yes.. KATE Tell me. DORRA This child doesn't have a father. that's me. Well.. And that there's your Uncle Simeon. (A beat) Tell me... KATE It won't move.. And that there's your Uncle Billy. DORRA Some vodka. they all pursued him to America... the boat isn't made of stones. Grandpa. She shudders and trembles.. All those stones he'd collected from his land for all those long years and all those others that had yet to be collected. KATE Yes? DORRA I want something to drink. And that there's your Auntie Derbhla. KATE Yes.. even smaller than you. Dorra. Or perhaps doesn't listen at all.. Kate arrives.. the garden and the chicken-shed? As big as the whole block. He was always convinced that the stones from Ireland and the stones from America had joined forces against him. Page | 17 .. And the boat? What about the boat?. KATE Yes. on the third deck. And that there's your Aunt Molly.

And I cut stones for thirty years. It's always hungry." I replied.. It needs more and more room. what will I say? Who is the father? KATE War. DORRA I can hear it pushing.KATE Yes it does. KATE I'm here." And he asked me: Have you ever cut stones? "Have you ever cut stones?" And I said: "Yes. which was seven hundred and eighty seven feet high. somewhere in the west. I saw a fella waving a placard that said: "Woolworth Building Company. and then the Irving Trust Company Building and the Rockerfeller Centre and so on and so on... Dorra is in a restless sleep. How could I tell it that? How could you say to your child: "Listen. KATE That's good.. (She speaks in her grandfather's voice) First off. This child doesn't have a mother or a father.. You're its mother.. this thing. and to work it with my family. I can't sleep any more. It's cold like a snake. It'll have your name.. Good stone workers wanted".. rushing out." And he said: "And where was that?" "In my garden. my five children and at my mother. for lobbies.. And I said: "Okay". Kate continues (sotto voce). DORRA No! No! No! KATE But I only had ten dollars in my pocket... Daddy? I delivered a heart." That meant they could wake him.. No sooner had we arrived. So I went up to the fella and I said to him: I like stones. I'm swollen like a barrel. KATE Go to sleep. War is your father. it's devouring me from the inside. and it's making me cold. War is its father. So what did you take last night. It doesn't exist. I looked at my wife. It's eating away at me.. It's making me cold. what did you take last night? I delivered a 'donor'. I'm here. for balustrades. KATE It's too soon. He'd fall straight to sleep.. I only ever saw him sleeping. after every 'delivery' he could only count on two or three hours rest.. And the fella considered this a highly satisfactory answer and offered me the job at fifty cents an hour. And I looked behind me and I saw there was already a queue of about twenty men who wanted to cut stones. That's what I did. my dad would say. I can't stand it.. It's making me feel sick. I didn't want it.. at two o'clock in the morning for the emergency transport of a kidney to Springfield or Worcester or Fall River or anywhere else in Massachusetts for that matter. I'll stay with you. Pause.. Very rarely did my dad get the chance to sleep a whole eight hours. DORRA It's eating too much. for stairs. (A beat) I'd never been a stone worker. for floors. two hundred and forty-six feet high. For thirty years I built up like this all those stones I had collected like that in Ireland. for example.. none of who knew where we were going to sleep that night. Daddy. I'm shivering. for ceilings. I cut thousands of stones. staring into space. which was one thousand. we were accepted right away. DORRA And the father? Who will be its father? If ever it asks me who its father is. which beat the Woolworth Building because it was one thousand and fifty feet high.. we disembarked at Ellis Island. (A beat) It was the first offer of work I'd come across in America and I was afraid I wouldn't find another one. and so I decided to try my luck. (Pause) But I must tell you how my grandfather became a stone-cutter. I knew you had to look clean and neat and give a good impression. Kate! KATE Yes it does. A donor usually Page | 18 .. The Immigration Office was there. All I wanted was to find a little plot of land with no stones. DORRA I could never tell it that.. Kate. I can't stand it. DORRA I'm cold.. "I like stones. my darling. Usually. (A beat) So.. And it's making me ill. As we were Irish and spoke good English. So then we took the boat to Manhattan. KATE When he was asked where he worked. All through my childhood... for every skyscraper in New York... It's hungry all the time. for arches. I can hear it chewing. my dad would say rather mysteriously: "For the emergency services of the biggest donor bank on the East Coast. You have to get it out. or coming home to sit straight down to the meal my mom had made. I'll stay with you." No child would ever understand that. It's growing inside you. DORRA Kate! KATE Yes? DORRA It's moving! KATE Are you sure? DORRA It woke me up. I worked on the Woolworth Building. for decorations. Then I worked on the Empire State Building. he'd get home just in time to have breakfast with us. for pillars. Nobody wanted it.. with the telephone by the bed. DORRA It will never be my child. KATE It will understand one day. And then I worked on the Walter Chrysler Building.... In my garden. Another moment's silence. Sometimes. It's climbing up my insides.

" No." No. I'm empty.. "I've stopped.. I want something to eat. Even my soul is empty.meant someone who'd been smashed to pieces on the freeway or somewhere.. not for a skin graft. SCENE 25 Dorra." Who are you? "It's me. You have to give me something to eat. (We hear a horrible scream. You're my mother. "Yes I do.. DORRA "I'm here. I don't.... I don't have to bring you into the world. She sobs as she eats. What more can I give you? "I'm hungry. I'll never bring you into the world. a pancreas or a liver.... Either you give me something to eat. I don't know you. And you're going to bring me into the world. DORRA A mouth.. So?. You're my mother.... She eats.. blood. Then." my dad would say. "Stop this farce..." Page | 19 ." What do you want? "I've already told you. There were some days my dad would also have to provide transport for the 'recipient'. "Yes you will. sitting up in bed.. The donor was either dead or dying.) No! No! Stop it! (The scream continues. He wouldn't have to go anywhere." I can't see you.. staring into space. hunched over a plate of food. I'll give you something to eat. KATE A...." You've already eaten my flesh. my dad would look at the sky and say: "It will be quiet tonight. You're my mother.." I've got nothing left... "You don't have a choice. I'll scream... whose vital organs were going to be speedily transplanted into some other poor unfortunate who needed a lung.." No I don't know who you are. "Yes you can.. SCENE 24 Dorra alone in the darkness... She is devouring a huge breakfast. just a. KATE No face? DORRA No." What do you want? Go away. I will never be your mother... You don't have a mother.. I'm here..... "I'm hungry." I don't know who you are." Who? "Me. two or three times a year. don't.. looking out into the darkness as if some mysterious messenger out there was confirming via secret signs that tonight everything would be okay. DORRA "I'm here. And a mother has to bring her child into the world. nights or days that were quiet." So what? "You have to give me something to eat. There's nothing left of me to give you. marrow. her mouth too full." You don't have the right to be born. You know exactly who I am. You don't exist. He was just a gaping mouth. you have to bring me into the world.." Who are you? "It's me. "I saved him"... heart.. I'll give you something to eat. or I'll start again. DORRA I saw him! KATE What do you mean you saw him? DORRA In the darkness! KATE When? DORRA Just now...." Scream then! I want to hear you scream... (A beat) But there were also.. Daddy? "I just feel it. What more do you want me to give you? "You have to give me something to eat. You don't have parents... Dorra suddenly wakes up... I'll scream. You have to give me something to eat. please." Who? "Me. kidney. nor an eye-transplant. and his face reminded me of the face of a priest on finishing his Sunday sermon.) No! No! For God's sake! Stop it! Stop it! (These are perhaps the words of a woman being raped.. You were born of horror. (A beat) But how do you know that tonight will be quiet. He was bending over me. You're the child of horror." I'm not your mother.. my dad would say at breakfast.." Nobody would need him that night. "But I do exist. and the quality of the organ to be transplanted into the 'recipient' depended on the speed at which the two unfortunates could be brought together in the same operating theatre. "Listen..." Stop it." No. Stop it." I've given you every drop of my blood. KATE What did he look like? DORRA He didn't have a face. with jam and butter on her lips and on her chin. Dorra. if you don't bring me into the world. You're a child of war.. I didn't want to be your mother..) No! Help! Help! Help! Stop! Kill me! Just kill me! (Pause) "So?. It's the scream of a woman being raped. KATE Sleep." If you don't give me something to eat.

there's a one in two chance that somewhere in the vicinity there is a mass grave. DORRA No. A diary lies open on the table. (She lays down next to Dorra. I will give it to you. Page | 20 .. We hardly recognise her. KATE No. KATE If you're in a forest near Srebrenica and you find. Her face looks twisted.three and a half metres long. which depended on their state of decomposition. DORRA For example. but I don't want to. KATE I can't take it now. DORRA But nobody knew. a postcard of the Eiffel Tower with a few lines written on the back which are completely illegible.For example. So. scattered in the grass over an area of about ten square metres the following objects: two hundred and forty-seven cartridges.. frequent sweeping of the site is one of the best guarantees for proper observation of an excavation. SCENE 26 Kate is smoking. KATE I'd like that. Kate enters. eleven empty cans of Croatian beer.. a bicycle. KATE No. let's go to sleep. If you want it.. then I'll take it right away. DORRA (taking Kate by the shoulders) And so you asked to be sent somewhere else.The horrible scream of a woman being raped. headlamp.. a teat from a baby's bottle.. She takes Dorra in her arms) Come on. KATE (smoking. DORRA You could no longer bear to hear the sound of the pickaxes. that basic rule of excavation: to excavate the site cleanly. KATE All right. the hoes. But. Dorra kisses her. KATE I'm here. if you bring it into the world and if you give it to me. a beret with the letters UN barely decipherable. here.. pieces of a stretcher. give it to me. that's why I cracked up. KATE No. in a clearing. Her stomach is now much bigger than the last lime we saw her. DORRA (looking at Kate's open diary . DORRA And that course you'd taken on the excavation of corpses made you feel ashamed. perhaps in tears. a squashed tube of toothpaste. DORRA (without looking at Kate) And that's why you cracked up? KATE Yes. the trowels and the brushes as they beat and dug and scraped and swept. DORRA I don't want to bring it into the world. an Elvis T-shirt. on the verge of tears) Yes. take it now. you weren't able to bear that either. DORRA But take it now. DORRA And the preservation of the 'unearthed material'. three packets of Drina cigarettes. because I was the team psychologist.. KATE Dorra. KATE Yes. DORRA Was it after the seventh mass grave? KATE After the seventeenth.. your cathartic method. take it now. Dorra enters. DORRA Yes. KATE Yes. a broken alarm clock. Why is it screaming like that? Tell it to stop screaming like that. Kate is motionless. to the therapeutic treatment of women who've suffered rape in Bosnia. if you're in a forest near Srebrenica and you find these 11 things scattered in the grass. I'll take it. to apply a new method. a plastic bag full of rotting potatoes. DORRA You could no longer bear to read the inventory lists attached to each unearthed corpse? KATE No. DORRA I don't want to bring it into the world... KATE Dorra. the butt of a rifle. if you don't want this child. a piece of barbed wire about . It's asking me to bring it into the world.. namely the handling of the corpses. a blackened military belt with the pouches for the grenades ripped off.it should be apparent that Dorr a has already read the diary) .

You're not the Special Envoy of the subconscious guilt of the United States of America. DO RRA Why do you want this child. It's as simple as that.. DO RRA Do you want it for your Freudian experiments? KATE No. You were born in the United States. You weren't born here. there's someone left alive. but. 'Yes. dried up. shut up. asking to be gotten out of there. Dorra. it's an island.. "I want you to give me a cuddle. Dorra. You'll never have it. KATE No. Kate. It Page | 21 .. But Ireland. No.. I've given you something to eat. there's something moving.. Your life is somewhere else. why do you want the child. You weren't born in Europe." I can't cuddle you. Yes. DORRA Why do you want this child. what more do you want? "I don't know. you're not to blame. It's a long way from Europe." I don't want to cuddle you.. You have a family. Kate. DORRA "I'm here. I love children... "I can't shut up...SCENE 27 Dorra is alone in the darkness. DORRA Are you sure? KATE No. And each time I opened one. I'll scream. Now. Your own children. I don't know how to cuddle you. you have roots in Ireland.. That's enough. KATE I'm not the United States. (A beat) I'll never let you kill this child." I want to sleep... When I think of your belly. I can't. Kate... It's very different to Europe.to be pulled out of there. Kate? KATE I don't know." SCENE 28 Dorra is alone. Amongst all these dead." What do you want? What more do you want? I've given you something to eat.. You're American..." Shut up. There. Kate? KATE Because I want it.. (Pause) DO RRA Why do you want this child. My roots are in Ireland! DORRA I'd rather it died than give it to the United States. I'm frightened. You're not the President of the United States. staring into the distance) Your belly is a mass grave. DORRA So. Pause.. I want to rest. Why stay here? You're not responsible. and I want you to cuddle me.. I'm not the President of the United States. I don't want to hear you again.. DORRA I'm not going to give it to you. DORRA Don't try to take on the role of the subconscious guilt of America. KATE (at breaking point) I want it! That's all! After all the corpses I've dug up in your country. Anyway. This child is a survivor. "No. KATE Why? DORRA I'm not going to give this child to the United States.. Kate? KATE Because I want it.. I'm frightened." I don't want to hear you again. And. in this mass of corpses. KATE No. I need to rest.. DO RRA Can't you have any more children? KATE Yes I can. Leave me alone. Kate enters. And it must be saved . breast-beating America here.. I see a pit full of corpses.. And I'm frightened too.. You're not a representative of the American government. DORRA You're mad.. And you have a husband. I have the right to go back to my country with this child! DORRA Stop it. it's not for you to play the role of penitent. Dorra. I want you to cuddle me a little. DO RRA So is it because you just love children? KATE Yes. "If you don't cuddle me. I'm not a representative of the American government.. KATE (calm again. A human being. or rotting. I came to your country to learn how to open up mass graves. I did it with the irrational hope that there'd be just one survivor. I've given you something to eat. Kate? Are you mad? You've already got two children. I'm frightened. or swollen.

May I remind you briefly that I was a member of the mission evaluating medical needs in Croatia and Bosnia. wiping his dagger on his trouser leg and putting it back in its sheath.) (Speaking to Dorra. I'm going home to my children. that I then became part of one of the teams responsible for identifying mass graves in the Krajna and Srebrenica areas.. (A beat) My country is an old peasant who looks at the soldiers entering his village and asks them: "Are you on our side?"(A beat) My country is a residential district of Vukovar.. Dorra. by the cries of victims. Massachusetts. they'll ask the same questions: Who started it? Who was the worst? How could they. your baby is a boy. (A beat) Page | 22 . sink to such a level?.. And her work remains. (A beat) The image of my country is that of an old man leaving a column of refugees to lie in the grass to rest. (A beat) Kate McNoil. or individually. and by shame. but not addressing her directly. imother suspended moment) How can I tell you. That I no longer have a God. For years to come. That all I want is to get as far away as possible from this cursed place. the place will stay cursed for years to come.. KATE One day you'll see your house again. I wish to i wish to return to my work at the Psychiatric Clinic in Boston. KATE One day you'll want to know whether your family is still alive.. and who.must be pulled out of that mass grave. I don't want to know if my family is still alive. kisses the porch. either collectively. (Pause) (To herself) How can I tell you. mysterious and full of beauty. Dorra. as always. (A beat) My country is the inscription that you see everywhere in Sarajevo: Pazi! Snajper! Beware. as requested.. DORRA I no longer have a house. DORRA How can I tell you that I no longer have a country? KATE We're all born somewhere. It will be haunted by hate. My people killed him. Nature. Till the end of time.. She hurries to sew one back on before he is buried. Kate. I'm sending you the report on my activities over the past twenty-two months in Bosnia... (Pause) DORRA (speaking to Kate. DORRA How can I tell you that all I want is to run as far as possible from this cursed place. the people living there will rack their brains to try and understand how all this was possible. (A beat) My country is a grandmother who has to flee from the approaching soldiers. this hell. DORRA How can I tell you that I never want to go back to where I was born. (A beat) My country is like a mother who notices that the uniform of her dead son is missing a button. (A beat) My country is the father who spends all his time making a doll for his seven year old daughter. Kate. Thanking you for your understanding. As always happens after a war. SCENE 29 KATE (A letter in her hand) Dear Commander-in-Chief.. She continues her work in spite of them. (A beat) I'm leaving soon. KATE You'll find the need to believe again. but not addressing her directly. that I hate my country? KATE You can't hate your country. Snipers! And the taste of my country is the soup handed out by the Red Cross. this hell. laughs at these bastards. and that at my request I was later transferred to a NATO medical facility in Germany. DORRA There's nobody left alive in my heart. KATE There's an image of your country you'll always carry with you. who's been dead for three hundred and forty-six days. there are more boys born than girls. I don't want to see my house again. before leaving the house.. Grass that hides an anti-personnel mine. that I hate my country? That I no longer have a country? That I no loner want to go back there. that nature fears a void? That the laws of nature have nothing to do with man's barbarity. Because I no longer have a house. DORRA You want to know what image of my country I carry inside me? Do you? My country is the image of a drunken soldier. a suspended moment) How can I explain to you. I would like to confirm to you that as of April first. Even if the war ends. KATE You will some day. with a rather surprised expression on his face. So. Dorra. DORRA My country no longer has a God. then spitting on the corpse of the man whose throat he has just cut. (The noise of an aeroplane about to take off. renamed Burnt Tank Avenue..

Dorra.. then several times more. I didn't want to go to America. written beneath: this is Croatia. I don't really know what I'm going to do now. M y baby is doing well. (A beat) One day. I went out to walk by the lake." A few days later.. I'm still alive. (A beat) Or.. you wanted to know the exact moment I made the decision to keep him. and this is what I read: "We would like to inform you that this tree is dead. Lights fade down. I've filed applications for immigration at several embassies: Canada. twice. to be precise. (A beat) With love. that of three soldiers pissing on the burning embers of a house they have just destroyed." SCENE 30 Dorra writes a letter. It will be cut down week commencing April 2nd. new words cover the old: " Idiots! This is a Post Office!" (A beat) Or. Australia. I went to take a closer look. for the pleasure of all visitors to this park. And that's when I decided to keep my baby. And suddenly. In its place. South Africa. The end. (signed:) The Department of Parks & Gardens. a notice nailed to a tree caught my eye. after you'd left. As I walked. When you called me last time. He weighs thirteen pounds now. the image of a soldier writing on a wall in red spray paint: "This is Serbia. Page | 23 . DORRA Dear Kate." (A beat) I read this once. my country is an inscription written on a tree in Sarajevo: "Hello.."Two weeks later. I¶ll tell you about that moment. a sapling will be planted. I looked at the water and the trees.The image of my country is.

Sign up to vote on this title
UsefulNot useful