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Miro Gavran's comedy available as Croatian-English parallel text
By Miro Gavran | Published  11/16/2007 | Croatian Language , Culture And Arts | Unrated
An easy mean to learn Croatian


Miro Gavran

ZABRANJENO SMIJANJE
komedija

Za komediju "Zabranjeno smijanje" autor je travnja 2004. godine dobio Nagradu "Marin Držić" koju dodjeljuje hrvatsko Ministarstvo kulture.

Copyright:
Miro Gavran
Dugi dol 58c
10 000 Zagreb
E-mail: miro.gavran@zg.t-com.hr
www.mgavran2.t-com.hr

Ako želite izvesti ovu komediju bilo gdje u svijetu, javite se izravno autoru za prava i podršku.



Miro Gavran

LAUGHTER PROHIBITED
A Comedy

The author was awarded the Croatian Ministry of Culture's 2004 Marin Držić Prize for this play.


Copyright:
Miro Gavran
Dugi dol 58c
10000 Zagreb, CROATIA
E-mail: miro.gavran@zg.t-com.hr
www.mgavran2.t-com.hr

If you want to produce this comedy anywhere in the world, please contact the author directly for rights and support.



Lica:

Mia ................................. 48 godina stara
Boris .............................. 48 godina star
Nina................................ 32 godine stara



Characters:

Mia ....................................... 48 years old
Boris .................................... 48 years old
Nina ..................................... 32 years old



1. (muzej)
(Boris, Nina)

Boris stoji u muzeju moderne umjetnosti pred jednom apstraktnom slikom, pokraj koje je i mala sjedalica za posjetitelje. Boris pod rukom ima dnevne novine. Uzme novine, počne ih prelistavati, pa ih opet spremi pod ruku. Zatim opet uzme novine, pa ih opet počne prelistavati, pa ih spremi pod ruku. Potom počne gledati sliku na način da glavu izokreće na lijevu, pa na desnu stranu, jer ima osjećaj da je slika obješena naopačke.
(U tom trenutku u dvoranu ulazi Nina.)

BORIS: Gdje si ti?

NINA: Nisam mogla pronaći parking, pa sam kružila dva kruga.

BORIS: Zakažeš mi sastanak, a onda kasniš. A znaš kako ne volim da se nalazimo na javnom mjestu, ovdje u muzeju, mogao bi me još netko vidjeti.

NINA: Ma daj Boris, znaš da u naše muzeje i tako nitko ne zalazi. A i da te netko vidi sa mnom ovdje, pomislio bi da je to slučajni susret dvoje ljudi koji vole slikarstvo.

BORIS: Dobro, slažem se da je od svih javnih mjesta najsigurnije u muzeju, ali svejedno i ovdje zna zalutati poneko od penzionera na grijanje. Nikad se ne zna, mogao bi naići neki moj prijatelj, ili još gore neka prijateljica moje žene i onda... ne smijem ni pomisliti... ali, naslutio sam zašto me nisi pozvala u svoj mali stan, u naše ljubavno gnijezdo, naslutio sam zašto nisi željela da dođem k tebi doma, nego da se nađemo ovdje.

NINA: Doista si naslutio?

BORIS: Jesam, od prve. Znaš da sam ja čovjek intuicije.

NINA: Hvala Bogu, onda će nam i razgovor biti mnogo lakši i jednostavniji. Smatrala sam da je najbolje da se nađemo baš ovdje i da o svemu porazgovaramo otvoreno i... i...

BORIS: I evocirajući sve ono što je bilo u proteklih pet godina u našoj vezi. Trenutke nježnosti... trenutke strasti.

NINA: Da... i to... ali htjela sam reći... moramo napokon...

BORIS: Draga Nina, znam da ti nedostaju riječi da iskažeš sve što osjećaš prema meni nakon pet godina naše veze... hoću reći nakon pet godina naše ljubavi... Kad si mi rekla da želiš da se nađemo ovdje, kad si odbila moj prijedlog da dođem k tebi, u prvi trenutak sam bio zbunjen, a onda sam se sjetio - pogledao sam u svoj tajni kalendar s važnim šifriranim datumima i pronašao da smo ovdje prvi put izišli prije točno pet godina. I postalo mi je jasno da si željela da obilježimo našu godišnjicu... to je tako dirljivo i romantično od tebe.

NINA: Ja u stvari...

BORIS: Skoro sam se rasplakao od pomisli da si se ti sjetila naše obljetnice, našeg prvog izlaska.
(Boris iz unutrašnjeg džepa izvuče jednu kovertu i pruži je Nini.)

BORIS: Evo, ovo je za tebe. Mali dar za našu petu obljetnicu. Izvoli!

NINA: O, Boris, dragi, predivno, ti si mislio na mene, tako si pažljiv. Nisi žalio ni novca mada znam da nikada nemaš dovoljno novca, i...

BORIS: Nisam se trošio - to nije materijalni dar, to je duhovni dar. Napisao sam ti pjesmu, pjesmu o tebi i o nama, u povodu naše obljetnice.

NINA: A, tako... već sam mislila da si se počeo mijenjati.

BORIS: Hajde, pročitaj je.

NINA: Daj, Boris, možda prvo da porazgovaramo, pa tek onda...

BORIS: Nestrpljiv sam da vidim hoće li ti se svidjeti. Znaš: ja u mladosti nisam baš puno čitao tu poeziju, književnost mi je uvijek išla na živce, ta prenemaganja. A i u trgovačkoj školi taj predmet nije bio u prvom planu, pa ipak: mislim da sam pjesmu dobro napisao, jer sam je od srca pisao, jer sam ti poželio reći sve što osjećam, onako od srca... Nisam htio kupovati neki banalni poklon - neki parfem ili neku narukvicu, znam da moderne emancipirane žene ne žele taj osjećaj da muškarci na njih troše konkretan novac, da kupuju njihovu ljubav...

NINA: Pa sad...

BORIS: Znam da emancipirana žena više cijeni darove duha, nego banalne materijalne potrošačke darove. Hajde već jednom pročitaj je.

NINA: Ako baš moram.

BORIS: Samo polako čitaj, tako da mogu uživati u boji tvoga glasa, a i da tebi ništa ne promakne.
NINA: Glupo mi je da ja čitam tvoju pjesmu. Bolje će zvučati ako ti kao pjesnik meni sada izgovoriš tu pjesmu. Tako to rade pravi književnici.

BORIS: Stvarno?

NINA: Svakako. Hajde izvoli pjesmu, pa mi je pročitaj.
(Boris počne čitati.)

BORIS: "Pjesma o pet godina ljubavi"
Draga moja ljubavi
Već pet godina živimo
U uzvišenom svijetu emocija
Tajnom pokriveni kao pokrivačem
Od ružinih latica
Naša ljubav tajnom ostati mora
Da nikoga ne bi povrijedila
I mada draža si mi
Od zakonite žene
Ti ljubavnicom mojom vječnom
Moraš ostati
O koliko puta u tvome zagrljaju
Nađoh odmorište od bračne monotonije
Koliko puta osjetih tvoju strast
I tvoju nježnost
Toliko puta ja moram ti reći
Hvala hvala hvala
Jer mom životu
Smisao si dala
Moja slatka mala.
(Trenutak šutnje.)

BORIS: Šta veliš? Jel dobra?

NINA: Pa... je.

BORIS: E baš mi je drago da ti se svidio moj dar, da smo se ponovo našli ovdje, nakon toliko vremena, mada smo se dogovorili da budemo oprezni i da ne izlazimo ovdje u našem gradu - gdje mi žive žena i djeca... ali peta obljetnica zavrjeđuje i malo rizika, adrenalina...

NINA: Boris, slušaj, nisam se željela s tobom vidjeti ovdje radi obljetnice.

BORIS: Kako nisi?

NINA: Ja sam na tu obljetnicu zaboravila.

BORIS: Nemoguće!

NINA: Moguće. Nisam željela da dolaziš u moj stan, jer... već duže vrijeme osjećala sam potrebu da s tobom ozbiljno i otvoreno popričam o svemu, o nama, o našoj vezi...

BORIS: Kaži!

NINA: Tebi je nadam se stalo do mojih emocija.

BORIS: Apsolutno.

NINA: Nadam se da ti je važno što ja mislim i osjećam.

BORIS: To mi je najvažnija stvar u životu. Tvoji osjećaji su mi važni koliko i... koliko i moji.

NINA: Ne bih željela da me krivo shvatiš. Teško je naći riječi, teško je izgovoriti nakon ovih godina, nakon svega što smo doživjeli... prava riječ uvijek bježi, ali pravu riječ na kraju... na kraju moramo pronaći, i moramo izgovoriti ono što moramo izgovoriti, jer je to jedini način da izgovorimo ono što moramo izgovoriti...

BORIS: Što želiš reći?

NINA: Ja više ovako ne mogu i ne želim.

BORIS: Ne razumijem te.

NINA: Ne želim više živjeti kao ljubavnica.

BORIS: Kako misliš "ne želim živjeti kao ljubavnica", ti moraš živjeti. Svaki čovjek mora živjeti, ma što da mu se dogodi u životu. Jer život je... smisao života. Samo nedozreli tinejdžeri razmišljaju o samoubojstvu kao izlazu iz problema, samo psihički bolesnici mogu pomisliti da se nasilnim prekidom života mogu riješiti životni problemi. Tvoja dužnost prema tebi kao osobi, jest dužnost prema životu kao takvome, jer negacija života kao takvoga nikada ne može biti životni cilj zdrave žive osobe.

NINA: Nisam mislila na samoubojstvo.

BORIS: Ali rekla si...

NINA: Krivo si me shvatio.

BORIS: Mislio sam da...

NINA: Ma ne.

BORIS: Znači nisi mislila na konačno rješenje, nisi zapala u depresiju, nisi pomislila da ne možeš više živjeti.

NINA: Ja sam rekla da ne želim više živjeti kao ljubavnica, naglasak je bio na tome "ljubavnica", a ne na "živjeti". Jednostavno: mislim da više ne možemo na ovaj način, problem je i u formi i u sadržaju.

BORIS: Čuj, ja te ne mogu ženiti. Imam zakonitu ženu, imamo samo taj trosobni stan, ja i da hoću ne mogu se rastati i tebe oženiti... uz to: s njom imam dvoje djece.

NINA: Boris, ja i ne želim da se ti rastaješ od svoje žene i da se sa mnom ženiš. Ja to od tebe i ne tražim.

BORIS: Onda nema nikakvog problema. Već sam se uplašio da ćeš mi postaviti neke nerealne zahtjeve.
(Boris se u jednom trenutku "izvuče" iz ove scene i obrati se na drugačiji način, izravno publici, dok Nina ostane "zamrznuta" u prekinutoj sceni.)

BORIS: Moram priznati da nekad, prije, dok sam živio bez ljubavnice, moj život je bio tužan i siv. Isprazan... Najteže mi je bilo s prijateljima s posla. Kad bismo se našli na kuglanju, svi su se hvalili svojim ljubavnim trofejima, svojim uspjesima, svojim doživljajima s komadima koji su im letjeli u zagrljaj, a samo se ja nisam imao čime pohvaliti. Poželio sam nešto slagati, izmisliti priču o nekoj avanturi koju sam kao doživio, ali sa sigurnošću sam osjećao da bi oni znali da lažem, da izmišljam. Svi su imali ljubavnicu osim mene. A neki su imali čak i dvije ili tri, po njihovim riječima u koje nisam sumnjao. Bio sam tako jadan, tako nemoćan. Obuzeo me kompleks manje vrijednosti, osjećao sam se kao bivši pripadnik bečkog zbora malih kastrata koga su pozvali da na filmu glumi Raspućina. Moj ego je patio, moja samosvjest je patila. Čak ni vlastitu ženu nisam mogao pogledati u oči bez srama, jer sam osjećao da i ona na neki intuitivni način znade da sam inferioran muškarac, čovjek koji ne imponira ženama. A onda je poput Heliove komete u moj život ušla Nina. Preko noći sam dobio dokaz, ne samo da sam poželjan muškarac sposoban za status ljubavnika, nego sam shvatio da sam u tome poslu izniman i uspješan. Ona je, jadnica, u emotivnom i seksualnom pogledu bila totalno zakočena, bez iskustva, ili gotovo bez iskustva. Poznate su vam one dobro odgojene mamine kćerkice koje uredno i na vrijeme završe srednju školu i fakultet, koje se pristojno ponašaju i znadu devedeset posto odgovora na sva pitanja koja možete pročitati u bilo kojoj zahtjevnijoj križaljci, ali koje ne stigoše od učenja i poslušnosti dodirnuti pravi život. Prije mene, kroz njezin intimni život protrčala su dva diletanta, dva nespretnjakovića, od kojih ju je onaj drugi tek u sedmom pokušaju uspio deflorirati, ostajući joj trajno ružnom uspomenom kakvu žene žele što prije zaboraviti. Tek sa mnom je saznala što je to istinski muško-ženski odnos. Ja sam joj proširio horizonte, uveo je u svijet intime i sladostrašća. Sa mnom je osjetila što znači biti žena u svoj svojoj biti, žena koja umije uživati u svome tijelu i koja znade jednak užitak priskrbiti i svome partneru. Osjećao sam se sretnim i uspješnim poput dobrog pedagoga i vrsnog didaktičara, koji s radošću prenosi svoja znanja plahom, ali talentiranom učeniku. I kao što kaže jedan veliki kineski filozof kome sam zaboravio ime: "Lijepo je primati, lijepo je davati, a najljepše je davajući primati." I sad, kada je počela govoriti da ne zna što i kako dalje sa svojim životom, na trenutak sam se uplašio da je doživjela neku krizu, ili razgovor s nekom iskompleksiranom ljubomornom prijateljicom, koja je želi samo za sebe. Ali srećom, nema opasnosti. Vjerojatno je problem samo "u onim sumornim ženskim danima slabosti", za koje moramo imati strpljenja, jer sa sigurnošću znademo da će brzo proći, a iza njih će bljesnuti horizont od preko dvadeset normalnih dana, bez nepotrebnih komplikacija i prepreka na putu našeg intimnog prožimanja.
(Boris se "vrati" u scenu s Ninom.)

BORIS: Znači ti nemaš nikakvih ekstra zahtjeva prema meni? Sve može ostati kao do sada.

NINA: Ne može.

BORIS: Kako ne može?

NINA: Ja više ne želim biti ničija ljubavnica. Meni je dosta tog života, tog skrivanja. Ja idućeg tjedna počinjem raditi u bračnom savjetovalištu kao psiholog. Ja ne mogu ljude savjetovati kako da spašavaju svoj brak, dok sam sama ljubavnica koja razara tuđe brakove. To je nešto kao sukob interesa. Da se sazna da sam nečija ljubavnica ostala bih bez posla. Ja ne mogu više živjeti kao tajna ljubavnica, a još manje javna.

BORIS: Ali, ti si imala najbolji mogući status od svih ljubavnica u Europi. Bolji i od japanskih gejši. Ja sam te vodio sa sobom svakog vikenda u drugi grad, tebi ništa nije nedostajalo.


NINA: Hvala ti Boris za sve što je bilo, za sve gradove u Hrvatskoj i inozemstvu u koje smo išli, da nije bilo tebe nikada ne bih vidjela Krško, Krapinu, Zidani Most, Prelog, Čakovec, Bovec...

BORIS: Idući vikend idem u Brežice, mislio sam da ondje proslavimo petu obljetnicu... ti me pričekaš u motelu dok obavim poslovne razgovore i onda...


NINA: Ne, Boris, ne! Prekidamo! Ne želim ti više biti ljubavnica i čekati te po hotelima!

BORIS: Ali, zašto?

NINA: Znaš li ti uopće koliko ja imam godina. Znaš li?

BORIS: Znam.

NINA: Koliko?

BORIS: Pa... dvadeset i osam, dvadeset i devet. Otprilike.

NINA: Ne, dušo. Već odavno nisam u tim godinama.

BORIS: Kada smo počeli imala si dvadeset i sedam.

NINA: Meni su 32 godine, tebi 48. Ti imaš ženu i djecu: sina i kćerku koji su studenti. A što ja imam?

BORIS: Ti imaš mene. Pa naša veza je sjajna, što ti fali, gdje je problem?


NINA: Koliko još misliš da trebam živjeti ovako s tobom - još godinu, dvije, deset?


BORIS: Pa... zauvijek.

NINA: E to mi se baš ne sviđa. Sedam godina sam radila u školi kao školski psiholog - tamo sam i tebe upoznala kada si me došao pitati kako pomoći tvome sinu i tvojoj kćerki, koji su bili uvjerljivo najgori i najnemirniji učenici u školi... ja sam dala sve od sebe da im pomognem, ja sam toliko svojih kolega na koljenima molila da ih ne ruše, da imaju razumijevanja za njihovo asocijalno ponašanje, i oboje su završili srednju školu, zahvaljujući meni.

BORIS: Sad su studenti.

NINA: Da, sad su studenti... i taj moj angažman oko njih, to nas je zbližilo, bilo mi je dirljivo što si ti sam dolazio pitati za njih, što se nikada nije pojavila njihova majka, osjećala sam da si dobar čovjek, osjećala sam da zaslužuješ ljubav, čak priznanje, radi toga... osjećala sam se kao majka tvoje djece... i zato sam prvi put otišla s tobom u krevet... bilo mi te žao... nisam željela biti ljubavnica, oduzeti ženi muža, ali što je logičnije nego da majka djece spava s ocem... i tako je to počelo... ali ja ne mogu cijeli život biti ljubavnica, ja to ne želim, ja moram imati svoj život, jednoga dana svoju obitelj.

BORIS: Ali meni je ovako bilo dobro.

NINA: E, meni nije.

BORIS: Ti si sebična bezobrazna razmažena žena, koja misli samo na sebe!

NINA: E pa stvarno si prasac! Ovo je kraj! Dosta mi je više škrtog ljubavnika, koji misli samo na sebe! Zbogom!


1. (A Museum)
(Boris, Nina)

Boris is standing in the Museum of Modern Art in front of an abstract painting, with a small bench for visitors in front of it. He has a newspaper under his arm. He opens the paper and starts looking through it, and then places it back under his arm. Then he takes it out and leafs through it again, only to replace it under his arm. He starts examining the painting tilting his head to one side and then to the other, because he has the feeling that it is hanging upside down.
(At that moment, Nina enters the hall.)

BORIS: Where've you been?

NINA: I couldn't find a place to park, so I had to go round the block twice.

BORIS: You ask to meet me and then you are late. And you know how I don't like us meeting in public places, someone could see me here in the museum.

NINA: Come on, Boris, you know that no-one ever visits our museums. And if anybody did see you here with me they would think that it was just a chance meeting of two people who enjoy art.

BORIS: Alright, I agree that a museum is the safest public place but, all the same, pensioners drift in sometimes to get warm. You never know, a friend of mine could chance by, or, even worse, a friend of my wife, and then... it doesn't bear thinking of... but, I had a inkling why you didn't suggest your little flat, our love nest, I had a feeling why you wanted me to come here and not to your place.

NINA: Did you really?

BORIS: Yes, I did, first off. You know that I am an intuitive man.

NINA: Thank God, then this talk of ours will be much easier and simpler. I though it would be best for us to meet right here so that we could speak openly and... and...

BORIS: And evoke everything that has happened in the past five years of our relationship. Those tender moments... those passionate moments.

NINA: Yes... that too... but I wanted to say... we must finally...

BORIS: My dear Nina, I know you can't find the words to express everything that you feel for me after these five years... I mean, these five years of our love... When you told me that you wanted us to meet here, and rejected my suggestion that I come to your place, I was confused at first, and then I remembered - I looked in my secret calendar with the coded dates and found that we went out right here for the first time, five years ago. And it dawned on me that you wanted to celebrate our anniversary... that was so moving and so romantic of you.

NINA: Well in fact I...

BORIS: I almost wept at the thought that you remembered our anniversary, our first date.
(Boris takes an envelope out of an inside pocket and hands it to Nina.)

BORIS: Here, this if for you. A small gift for our fifth anniversary.

NINA: Oh Boris, my dear, how wonderful, you thought of me, you are so attentive. You spent money on me even though I know you are always short of it, and...

BORIS: No, I didn't spend anything - it's not a material present, it's a spiritual gift. I wrote you a poem, a poem about you and about us, for the occasion of our anniversary.

NINA: Oh, I see... I was already thinking that you had started to change.

BORIS: Go on, read it.

NINA: Please Boris, perhaps we could talk first, and then...

BORIS: I'm impatient to see if you like it. You know: when I was young I didn't read much poetry, literature always got on my nerves, all that affectation. And that subject was not in the forefront at commercial school, but still: I think I wrote the poem well, because I wrote it from the heart since I wanted to tell you everything I feel, right from the heart... I didn't want to buy you some trite little present - like perfume or a bracelet, I know that modern emancipated women don't want to feel that men spend hard cash on them, as if they are buying their love...

NINA: Well now...

BORIS: I know that emancipated women put more store on gifts of the spirit rather than banal material, consumer gifts. Come on now, read it.

NINA: If I really must.

BORIS: But read it slowly so that I can enjoy the tone of your voice, and so you don't miss anything.

NINA: I would feel silly reading your poem. It would sound better if you, as the poet, recited it to me. That's what real writers do.

BORIS: Is that a fact?

NINA: Of course. Here's your poem; you read it to me.
(Boris starts reading.)

BORIS: "A Poem about Five Years of Love"
My dearest love
For five years now, we have been living
In a sublime state of emotion
Secretly hidden under a cover
Of rose petals
Our love must remain a secret
It must not hurt anyone
And even though you are dearer to me
Than my very own wife
You, my eternal lover
Must remain
How many times in your embrace
Have I found solace from matrimonial monotony
So many times I've felt your passion
And your tenderness
So many times I must say
Thank you, thank you, thank you,
For, to my life
You have given meaning
My sweet little one.
(A moment of silence.)

BORIS: What do you say? Is it good?

NINA: Well... it is.

BORIS: I'm so happy you like my present and that we have met here again, after so much time, even though we said we would be careful and not meet outside here in our town - where my wife and children live... but a fifth anniversary deserves a little risk, a little adrenalin...

NINA: Listen, Boris, I did not want to meet you here because of the anniversary.

BORIS: What do you mean?

NINA: I had forgotten that anniversary.

BORIS: Impossible!

NINA: Oh no, quite possible. I didn't want you to come to my flat, because... I have wanted for some time now to speak seriously and openly with you about everything, about us, our relationship...

BORIS: Go ahead!

NINA: I hope you care about my feelings.

BORIS: Absolutely.

NINA: I hope what I think and feel is important to you.

BORIS: That's the most important thing in my life. Your feelings are as important to me... as my own.

NINA: I wouldn't want you to misunderstand me. It's hard to find the words, it's hard to express it after all these years, everything that we have gone through... the right words always elude you, but, finally... I have to find them, and say what we must say, because that is the only way to say what we have to say...

BORIS: What are you trying to say?

NINA: I can't and I won't go on like this.

BORIS: I don't understand.

NINA: I don't want to live as the 'other woman' any more.

BORIS: What do you mean ŤI don't want to live as the other woman any moreť, you have to live. Every person must live, whatever happens in life. Because life is... the meaning of life. Only immature teenagers think of suicide as the way out of problems, only the mentally ill could think that a violent end to life could solve their problems. Your duty to me as a human being is a duty towards life as such, because the negation of life as such can never be the objective in the life of a healthy human being.

NINA: I wasn't thinking of suicide.

BORIS: But you said...

NINA: You misunderstood me.

BORIS: I thought that...

NINA: Nothing like that.

BORIS: So that means you weren't thinking of a final solution, you haven't become depressed, you weren't thinking that you can't go on living.

NINA: I said I don't want to live as the 'other woman' any more, with the emphasis on "other woman", and not on "living". To put it simply: I don't think we can go on like this, the problem is in the form and the content.

BORIS: Listen, I can't marry you. I have a lawful wife, all we own is that three-roomed flat, even if I wanted to I couldn't get divorced and marry you... and beside that: I have two children with her.

NINA: Boris, I don't want you to get divorced from your wife either, and marry me. I am not asking you to.
BORIS: Then there's no problem at all. I was worried you were going to set me some unrealistic conditions.
(For a moment, Boris "steps out" of this scene and addresses the audience directly, while Nina remains "frozen" in the interrupted scene.)

BORIS: I must admit that once, before, while I lived without a girlfriend, my life was sad and grey. Empty... It was worst of all with my colleagues from work. When we used to go bowling, they all boasted about their sexual trophies, their successes, their experiences with squeezes who just flew into their arms... and I was the only one who had nothing to boast about. I thought about lying to them, thinking up a story about some affair I had had, but I felt sure they would know that I was lying, that I was concocting it all. Everyone had a mistress except me. Some even had two or three, as least that's what they said and I had no reason to doubt them. I was no miserable and powerless. I was overtaken by a feeling of inferiority, I felt like a former member of the Vienna Boys Choir of young castrates who had been invited to act in a film about Rasputin. My ego suffered, my self-confidence waned. I couldn't even look my own wife in the eye without shame, because I felt that she knew, in some intuitive way, that I was a second-rate man, a man who did not impress women. And then, like Haley's Comet, Nina burst into my life. It was proved to me over-night - not only that I was a desirable man capable of having the status of a lover, but that I was exceptionally successful at it. Poor thing, she was totally inhibited in the emotional and sexual sense, without experience, or almost without experience. I'm sure you know those well-brought-up mother's daughters who finish school and university in good time, who have good manners and know ninety percent of the answers to all the questions in any crossword puzzle, but who give so much time to their studies that they never manage to come in contact with real life. Two dilettantes had raced through her intimate life before she met me, clumsy oafs, and only the second one managed to deflower her on the seventh attempt, leaving her with one of those unpleasant ongoing memories that women want to forget as soon as possible. It was only with me that she learnt what an authentic male-female relationship really is. I broadened her horizons, and lead her into the world of intimacy and sensual indulgence. With me, she felt what it means to be a woman to the very essence of her being, a woman who knows how to enjoy her own body and who knows how to provide equal enjoyment to her partner. I felt as happy and successful as a good teacher, a didactician who joyfully transfers his knowledge to a timid, but talented, student. And just as a great Chinese philosopher says, I can't remember his name: "It is blessed to receive, and blessed to give, but it's best of all to give while receiving." Just now, when she started to talk about not knowing how to go on with her life, I was frightened for a moment that she was experiencing some sort of crisis, or had been speaking to some jealous girlfriend, who wanted her all to herself. But, luckily, there is no danger. The problem probably lies in "those dark and gloomy female days", but we have to be patient because we know they definitely pass quickly, and then we have the bright horizon of more than twenty normal days, without any unnecessary complications and obstacles standing in the way of our intimate permeation.
(Boris "returns" to the scene with Nina.)

BORIS: So does that mean you don't have any extra demands on me? Everything can stay as it has been until now.

NINA: No, it can't.

BORIS: What do you mean, it can't.

NINA: I don't want to be anyone's fancy woman any more. I have had it up to here with that life, all that sneaking around. Next week I start working as a psychologist at the Marriage Guidance Centre. I can't advise people on how to save their marriages, while I am the other woman who is destroying another woman's marriage. It's something like a conflict of interest. I would lose my job if anyone found out. I am not prepared to go on living as a secret mistress, and even less as a public one.

BORIS: But you have had the best possible status of all the 'other women' in Europe. Even better than a Japanese geisha. I have taken you with me to a new town every weekend, you have lacked for nothing.

NINA: Thank you, Boris, for everything you have done for me, for all the towns in Croatia and abroad that we visited. If it weren't for you I would never have seen Krško, Krapina, Zidani Most, Prelog, Čakovec, Bovec... [all provincial towns in Slovenia and Croatia]

BORIS: I am going to Brežice next weekend and I thought we could celebrate our anniversary there... you wait for me at the motel while I hold some business meetings and then...

NINA: No, Boris, no! We are breaking up! I don't want to be your lover and wait around for you in hotels!

BORIS: But why?

NINA: Have you any idea how old I am?
Do you know?

BORIS: Yes, I do.

NINA: And how old would that be?

BORIS: Well... twenty-eight, twenty-nine. Around that.

NINA: No, sweetheart. Some time has passed since I was that age.

BORIS: When we started you were twenty-seven.

NINA: I am 32 and you are 48. You have a wife and children: a son and a daughter who are students. And what do I have?

BORIS: You have me. Our relationship is wonderful, what else do you need, where's the problem?

NINA: How much longer do you think I should live like this with you - another year, two, or ten?

BORIS: Well... forever.

NINA: That's exactly what I don't intend to do. I worked as a school psychologist for seven years - that's where I met you when you came to ask me to help your son and your daughter, who were definitely the worst and most troublesome pupils at our school... I did everything I could to help them, I went down on my knees to beg so many of the teachers not to fail them, to have understanding for their antisocial behaviour - and they both completed secondary school thanks to me.

BORIS: They're university students now.

NINA: Yes, now they're students... and that's what brought us together, my commitment to them. I found it touching that you came to ask about them, while there mother never did. I felt that you were a really good man, I felt you deserved love, even recognition, for that very reason... I felt like the mother of your children... and that's why I went to bed with you the first time... I felt sorry for you... I never set out to be the other woman, to steal some woman's husband, but what is more logical than that the mother of the children sleeps with their father... and that's how it started... but I can't be the other woman all my life, I just won't, I have to have my own life, and my own family one day.

BORIS: But I was pleased with the way things were.

NINA: But you see, I wasn't...

BORIS: You are a selfish, rude, spoilt woman who only thinks of herself!

NINA: And you really are a pig! That's it! I have had my fill of a mean lover who thinks only of himself! Ciao!


 


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