Alter Ego

Human Comedy

N. Lygeros

Translated from the Greek by Vicky Baklessi

Table I

At a park,a bench,two people:George and Alexis.
George:Softly .I got tired…
George:Louder.I got tired of living!
Alexis:The slightest thing tires you.
George:You mocking man!
Alexis:You blackbird!
George:It’s not like the right moment.
Alexis:It is like the right time.
George:The time of what?
Alexis: The time of cherries.
George: Idiot!
Alexis: You have no right.
George: And why?
Alexis: Not everything is allowed.
George: Therefore does he exist?
Alexis: Who?
George: Pointing to the sky Him!
Alexis: You very well know that no! Time. Look at us!
George: But then, what should we do?
Alexis: We should live!
George: Still! You are not funny.
Alexis: Survive if you prefer.
George: It is already better.
Alexis: Let’s play then.
George: Enthusiastic. Yes! Yes! I adore games!
Alexis: We will play simulation.
George: Disappointed. But it is a brain game.
Alexis: Do you prefer something else?
George:  I prefer to die!
Alexis: No, this is impossible. We play only once this game.
George: This is interesting.
Alexis: But there is no rematch…
George: It’s true…
Alexis: Nor is there a third match!
George: Acknowledging to that. You are right. It is unfair.
Alexis: And the loser is left alone.
George: I hate to lose. You will not leave me alone, will you?
Alexis: No, never!
George: Cunningly. Then, let me win!
Alexis: I would have to cheat…
George: Can’t you do it for me?
Alexis: I will think about it.
George: Not everything is lost then!
Alexis: You are pathetic.
George: It is natural. I am your friend.
Alexis: That’s right. It is only a friend that can make you suffer like that.
George: You see, I am your rock. Well, are you happy?
Alexis: From time to time, you are unbearable. Silence. Reflecting. Nevertheless I am pleased that you live in the same age as me.
George: Shall we eat?
Alexis: Why not. What would you like?
George: I would like…I would like…Time. Steak tartar.
Alexis: I see!
George: What?
Alexis: It is just wishful thinking.
George: You wicked man.
Alexis: Sad. I am nothing but just a man.
George: Even if you were God himself nothing would change.
Alexis: I mean to say that I am no tree.
George: I had realized that. Would you happen to be cynical?
Alexis: Nor a dog.
George: I told you I understood it!
Alexis: I don’t doubt it. However…
George: However what?
Alexis: I don’t know if you follow me…
George: Good, aright! Explain yourself!
Alexis: We don’t have the right of being grand. We are left with nothing but be mean.
George: Finally awakening to it. Happy. I see you are enacting again your Don Juan.
Alexis: To the public. Forgive him, he doesn’t know what he is saying.
George: Again mumbling…
Alexis: I was just thinking!
George: Quite often this is already too much!
Alexis: Fine, let us not think any longer!
Long silence. They remain still..
George: Are you always here? Silence. Answer me! Silence. Fine! Let’s think then!
Alexis: Taking his breath back as he return. I believed I was dying!
George: You always dramatize everything! After all it’s simple not to think.
Alexis: I don’t know.
George: As long as you release  yourself.
Alexis: Release myself where? Without a brain?
George: Sort of…
Alexis: Do toy want my death?
George: Of course not ! Remember I don’t want to be left alone.
Alexis: On this point you are uncompromising.
George: It’s not that complicated! You think you cannot exist without thinking. And I know that I cannot live without the other.
Alexis: Is that all?
George:It is only us!
Alexis: Interrupting him. Two worthless beings…
George: Continuing…Abandoned to themselves.
Alexis: And yet…
George: Yes? Time. Yes? Time.
Alexis: Yet in this desert without souls, here is nothing but us…
George: Yes…
Alexis: Then, here, humanity is us…
George: Interrupting him…two worthless beings.
Alexis: The essence in two points!



                                                                             TABLE II
George is alone on the stage in the semidarkness. He is slowly wakes but still remains seated.

George: Finally I come back to being conscious…Silence. And yet, it is so nice being unconscious. Silence. It is so sweet a dream without thoughts…And then realizing he is alone. It is not true! It is impossible. Alexis wouldn’t let me win…Time.I am alone!  Miserable. My god, what a stupid game. He stands up and runs everywhere. Alexis! Alexis! To the public. Who can you confide in without a friend? Reaching the edge of the stage. No one can see me miserable…Neither do I want to die any more…Eventually, he discerns in the dark hall the face of Alexis sleeping. He smiles once again. Shouting really out loud. Famine! Famine!

Alexis wakes up abruptly and gets up.

Alexis: What is happening?
George: Famine! Famine!
Alexis: The same game. George why are you crying out like this?
George: Luminous.  ‘m crying out ‘famine’.
Alexis runs and climbs up the stage.
Alexis:I went to pick cherries for us while you were sleeping. Showing to him. And I fell asleep.
George: That is, they are not dandelions.
Alexis: Of course not! It is not the time!
George: Then, don’t we have roots to eat?
Alexis: Surprised. No! Sad. Just a cherry.
George: Just a cherry! He takes it and eats it. The mouth full. Now what shall we eat?

Alexis: Exasperated. Words!
George: Words? Have you lost your mind?
Alexis: Try, you will see. You wanted to eat roots, then chew words!
George: But I cannot chew words!
Alexis: In a wise man’s tone. It’s true you have to get used to it. Time. At first they are hard.
George: No you silly! I want to say I cannot take it. I cannot chew void. I have nothing to eat.
Alexis: And yet you are talking fine for not saying anything! Instead of talking, chew! George chatters his teeth. Don’t chew hard, you will crush them.
George: I have nothing to swallow!
Alexis: I know this well.
George departs running to a corner of the stage’
George: It is very hard! I cannot!

Alexis joins him.
Alexis: It doesn’t matter…I will find something else. Glancing at the audience. Come on, stand up! Everyone is looking at us…
George: Without understanding. What?
Alexis: The world, the desert of the crowd.
George: Seated without doing anything!
Alexis: Glancing at the audience again. Seated, without doing anything.
George: How can they do this to us?
Alexis: They don’t know that we suffer.
George: What if they knew about it?
Alexis: I believe they would leave.
George:In the dark. Are they still here?
Alexis: I think so…
George: Then we should do something!
Alexis: I am well  aware of that, but what?
George and Alexis return to the center of the stage.
George and Alexis: Let there be light!
George: It’s divine!
Alexis: Nevertheless it is all that easy. We are but at the beginning!
George: At the beginning!
Alexis: At the beginning of the grammar of life. First of all the roots, then the words and afterwards the verbs. Silence. A game for children!
George: Children too have a right to live, don’t they?
Alexis: Undoubtedly!
George: Then, let’s not talk about that any more.
Alexis: Did you read the book?
George: What?
Alexis: Fine! Did you read a book?
George: No, of course not!
Alexis: How come?
George: Socrates hadn’t written anything, so why should I have read anything?
Alexis: But you will never know of anything!
George: I know. Time. Exactly. Silence.
Alexis: It is indeed inevitable. And in this way, you earned a great amount of time.
George: This is the problem .Time. I earned an enormous amount of time and I didn’t know what to do with it.
Alexis: You didn’t take into account your richness.
George: He shows his pockets. But of course! I assure you of that!
Alexis: And what did you do with all that time?
George: I had so much  that I started waiting. I wanted it to pass on!
Alexis: This well is the boredom.
George: Inertia leads to boredom and boredom leads to crime.
Alexis: Confounded. To crime?
George: Yes, in  time, I turned into a criminal.
Alexis: A criminal? What are you saying here?
George: I am telling you without chewing on my words. I put every bit of me into trying to kill time. Silence.
Alexis: How did you dare?
George: I am not telling you lies., in the beginning, it wasn’t premeditated.
Alexis: And then?
George: After my first failure, I started thinking. It was better…
Alexis: I don’t see why!
George: The more I was thinking about  my  attempt, the more the time passed by.
Alexis: We should tell Albert!
George: Albert?
Alexis: I think that he came up with an analogous principle.
George: In other words?
Alexis: Based on what you say. the slower you are, the more time contracts.
George: I couldn’t have said it in a better way!
Alexis: And then what did you do?
George: I had a luminous idea.
Alexis: A motionless light…
George: I realized that in order to kill time, you had to be thinking your whole life.
Alexis: It is very interesting. And then?
George: Then I had the desire to die. Silence.
Alexis: I see. It is implacably logical.
George: It is at that very moment that we met.
Alexis: On the bridge?
George: Yes, on the bridge. You looked hurried.
Alexis: I was running to catch up with time.
George: And you asked me the time!
Alexis: I arrived in the nick of time.
George: It is true that one second later, it was the end…
Alexis: Interrupting him. of eternity.
George: You are my guardian angel…Approaching.
Alexis: your punching bag…Approaching.
George: your chatterbox…Approaching.
Alexis: your scapegoat…Approaching.
George: You are my friend!
Alexis: Your friend!
They fall into each other’s arms. Silence. Black

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