Helene Angel1 32
Helen Angel2 32
The three Helen’s are the same character shifting from reality into Tudor’s imaginary world.
Olympus is Tudor’s imaginary friend; no other character can see, hear or feel him.
The scene is set in a hospital room. An old hospital bed is covered in white sheets, with a cupboard on the left and a small children’s chair on the right hand side of the bed. Tudor lays in bed, his legs swinging to the rhythm of the song Olympus sings (a children song – director’s choice). Helen enters the stage and they stop. She wears a white hospital gown.
Helen: Good evening, Tudor! How are you feeling today?
Helen: Tudor? Tudor, can you hear me?
Helen: (with patience) Tudor, I would like you to answer if you can hear me.
Olympus: (snaps) I just can’t stand her. Who does she think she is? Really! I mean, we are both here, all the time, and she knows it... Why is she only talking to you? This is driving me insane...
Helen: Tudor, stop playing, I know you can hear me. Come on, stop being so stubborn. You’re not doing anybody any favour. (Tudor is ignoring her) Hey, Tudor, what’s wrong, we used to be friends. You and me...
Olympus: This is in-fucking-credible! You and him, ha? Ha. Not me and him? Not me and him, and you trying to destroy our friendship?
Helen: Alright. We’ll do it your way. Just listen. Doctor Winters read the results of your periodic consultation this morning. I don’t know how much you really understood out of it. I am here now because I want to explain everything one more time, alright?
Helen sits on the bed and reads through his diagnosis sheets.
Helen: Ok, nothing that you didn’t know about... You haven’t improved at all... (looking at Tudor) I know you can hear me... Are you upset? Did I do something to upset you?
Olympus: No! Don’t worry about it. Coming here every single day, giving us drugs to make us dizzy is why we love you! (to Tudor) Let’s play a game!
Helen: Let’s what?
Olympus: (to Helen) How about if you just shut up, huh? We don’t care about your feelings. We don’t need your help. And we surely have no intention in listening to you. (shouts in her ear) You’re driving us crazy!
Tudor: (to Olympus) Hey, behave, would you? We’re not supposed to use that kind of vocabulary, remember?
Olympus: Oh, give me a break!
Helen: What kind of words, Tudor?
Tudor: Crazy, nuts, insane, lunatic, these kind of words.
Olympus: (nettled) Hey, don’t talk to her! I thought we decided we wouldn’t...
Helen: Yes, that’s true. We are not allowed to use them.
Olympus: (to himself) We aren’t allowed to use a knife either, and I have no idea why. It’s uplifting to be forbidden things without actually knowing why! (to Tudor) Anyway, this rule applies when we are outside our room. And stop talking to her.
Tudor: (to Olympus) Well, you provoked me!
Olympus: No, I didn’t!
Helen: (quietly) No, I didn’t...
Pause. Helen starts reading Tudor’s report again.
Helen: Ok. I’m just going to explain everything one more time. I want things to make sense for you.
Helen: I want you to get better, my darling. I really do! (to herself) And I will make it happen!
Olympus: Someone has to take action. (to Helen) Are you going to cuddle him now and sing a song? You’re fucking annoying! (to Tudor) Tell her to leave us alone.
Helen: Ok... Here we go... (reading through his sheets) What the doctor really said here is that, well, you know the name of your disease, we don’t have to talk about it again... ok... interesting...
Olympus: What is she talking about? Can you please tell her to go away?
Helen: Eight months back. That’s quite a regression. The thing is... What the doctor said is that... you made a considerable progress... by admitting that you have this... problem and, you know, asking for help... (to Tudor, smiling) You were very brave, my dear. But then... (still reading) but then you just refused to interact... because you got... scared? (to Tudor) Did you get scared? That’s the doctor’s presumption but maybe you could tell me more about what had happen?
Olympus: Boring! Boring! Boring! (moves closer to her and whispers in her ear) Can you please get the fuck out of our room?
Helen: I thought so...
Olympus: Great! Please excuse my frankness, but isn’t Tudor the new word for stupid? Idiot! Why can’t you keep your big mouth shut?!
Tudor: I’m sorry!
Helen: I know you are. It’s ok!
Olympus: (to Helen) No, is not ok! (to Tudor) Why don’t you just strip naked, tie some bells around your willy and run around this nut-house screaming my name?
Tudor: I said I am sorry!
Olympus: Because of your big mouth they will keep us locked in here forever. (shouting) And we will never see Ma’ again! Neeever!
Tudor: I said I’m sorry! What do you want? WHAT DO YOU WANT? It’s hard enough to hide YOU from everyone, to pretend you’re not here, when you just keep babbling in my ear. Tudor this! Tudor that! Go ahead, shout! But you know that you aren’t making things easier for me! ...You know it!
Helen: (looking around) He’s here, isn’t he?
Helen: Tudor, is he here?
Olympus: (bitter) Oh, no! He’s talking to an imaginary friend.
Helen: (trying to hold him) Oh, dear you!
Tudor: Leave me alone.
Tudor: Yes, both of you. Just leave me alone! Do you have any idea how frustrating it is to continuously drag an imaginary fastidious friend after me and to be closely supervised by an obsessed nurse? I’m sick and tired of this...
Helen: Ok. Ok, that was enough for now. I’ll let you rest. Today is a big day for you. I’ll come back in (she checks her watch) one hour, to bring you your four o’clock pills... Call me if... anything, alright?
Helen leaves. Tudor and Olympus rest in silence for some time.
Tudor: And we don’t use fuck either.
Olympus: Why not?
Tudor: Why not??? Because!
Olympus: Because? Because of what?
Tudor: Because I say so! Isn’t that reason enough?
Olympus: What... are you God now? Was I converted to some weird religion or something? Why do I have to stop using one of my favourite words? Because YOU said so? Why can’t I say fuck?
Tudor: Because it’s bad, Olympus, and secondly, because we don’t even know what this word means.
Olympus: Sure. Let’s not use words that we don’t understand because they are BAD. That doesn’t make sense, my friend. Fuck is not bad; it’s just something we never did. But we do understand what it means. Don’t we?
Olympus: We do know what it means...
Tudor: Do we? I mean... I don’t.
Olympus: Yes you do.
Tudor: No I don’t. Please let’s end this conversation here. It makes me feel awkward.
Olympus: (moves closer to Tudor) Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. (pause) Fuck!
Tudor: (angry) It’s your fault. Everything is your fault. You’re the reason why I’m locked in here. (silence) I should let them help me.
Olympus: So why don’t you? Why don’t you, tiny willy? Why don’t you, you stupid fuck? Why don’t you, little poor Tudor? Asshole!
Tudor: Because I care about you.
Olympus: You care about yourself.
Tudor: Yes, I care for me too. But I care for you, regardless of myself.
Olympus: Now I don’t want to insult you...
Tudor: Why not? You love to.
Olympus: But... There is no such thing as regardless or yourself. I am you!
Tudor: No, you’re not!
Olympus: Yes, I am!
Tudor: No, you’re not.
Olympus: Yes, I am!
Tudor: If you are me, how come we have different thoughts and opinion? How come we argue? All. The. Time.
Olympus: People have arguments with themselves all the time. They argue in their minds. They think about a conversation they should have with somebody and you can see their faces on the bus, distorted by contradictory thoughts. I tell you, they do it all the time!
Tudor: On the bus?! You’ve never been on a bus, you liar! What do you know about people? Really! You have the impertinence to talk about people, to say fuck and everything? Where did you get the courage to behave like that? You weren’t supposed to be so bold.
Olympus: You were not supposed to talk with me when people were around.
Tudor: I. Said. I. Am. Sorry.
Olympus: Fine! I’m sorry too!
Tudor: Oh, please! No, you’re not.
Olympus: How would you know?
Tudor: I know you. Just stop it.
Olympus: You think you’re so privileged because we’re in this position. But let me break it down to you: you’re shit!
Tudor: Language! What position?
Olympus: This... thing... we’re in. You have an identity, you have a ‚body’, you have a real life.... this... everything.
Tudor: (giggling) I was thinking, I have an identity but you’re the one that usually has the identity crises.
Olympus: Because I don’t really have one.
Tudor: Yeah, but it’s still funny! (thinking) No. I mean, I can have a headache because I have a head. But I can’t have an artificial heart attack because I don’t have an artificial heart! Does that make sense?
Olympus: Not at all. An artificial heart attack doesn’t exist, an identity crises does. What part of what you just said should lure me into a conversation?
Tudor: If they eventually cure me of you, will I be inferior to what I am now? (Olympus seems confused) Will I be stupid?
Olympus: Isn’t this just perfect? Isn’t this heavenly? Isn’t this ‘magnifique’? How can you think of me as a disease! You know what, my friend? Being in your head is the worst thing someone can experience.
Tudor: I strongly agree! But you’re not someone. You’re not somebody. You’re not a person.
Olympus: When the fuck did you become so carpingly?
Tudor: I learnt from the best.
Olympus: (disgusted) Children shouldn’t be allowed to watch soap opera. Come on, come out with some nice lines, would you? Such a cliché! You learnt from the best... You can do better... (silence) Did you mean that?
Olympus: Oh, thank you.
Tudor: You’re welcome.
Olympus: Want to play a game?
Tudor: Will do!
Olympus: Achluophobia. You have it! (Olympus imitates Tudor) Oh, I’m so scared! Put the light on, the dark is going to ravage my soul or something, oh, oh!
Tudor: No. Not funny. But I accept the word.
Olympus: One big fat point for me.
Tudor: Hm... (thinking) Aphenphosmphobia.
Olympus: What is that?
Tudor: Fear of being touched.
Olympus: I don’t know... No. It doesn’t count. I’m not scared of being touched because it’s practically impossible for someone to touch me. Another one, please.
Tudor: Hm... Ah! Athelophobia! Fear of imperfection. That’s totally you!
Olympus: I accept that one. One-one! I have another one for you. Autophobia.
Tudor: I’m not scared of being alone! I used to be, but not anymore.
Olympus: (laughing) Yes, because you’re never alone anymore. But think about it, would you be scared if I would just disappear? (their gazes meet) Two - one.
Olympus: Never heard of it!
Tudor: Fear of infinity.
Olympus: Oh, come on, this is too poetic for me.
Tudor: You do love poetry.
There’s a knock at the door.
Olympus: Come in!
Olympus: Say something. Maybe it’s Mother.
Tudor: It’s been a while since Mother came to visit. Why isn’t she visiting us anymore?
Olympus: Come on, say something!
Tudor: (in a whisper) Something. (out loud) Come in!
Helen Angel1 enters the stage. Her steps are as delicate as her moves. She wears a long white dress. She appears more like an angel than the nurse she was before.
Helen Angel1: Hello Tudor.
Olympus: You again...
Helen Angel1: I came! Mister Twittelgaz, are you in here too?
Tudor’s face lights up with joy.
Helen Angel1: That’s right. You never thought I would come back, did you?
Tudor: Emma! You came...
Olympus: Hey! Hey! What’s happening? You are not supposed to talk to her.
Tudor: (apart, to Olympus) She is not her. She is Her! Remember I told you about Her?
Olympus: No, she is not Her, she is her!
Tudor: No, she isn’t! Watch me! (to Helen Angel1) Come sit next to me.
Helen Angel1: (looking around) What is this place?
Tudor: My home.
Helen Angel1: I remember your home as being more colourful.
Tudor: It used to be. Not anymore.
Olympus: Not anymore.
Helen Angel1: So... What have you been up to, Tudor?
Olympus: He’s the best at losing!
Helen Angel1: Do you remember the first time I came to your house? We had moved into the neighbourhood a few days before and my mother had an emergency at the hospital. So your mother had to look after us both. How is your mother?
Olympus: Is she Her?
Tudor: (to Olympus, in a whisper) She is! (to Helen Angel1) Not too bad, I guess...
Helen Angel1: (giggling) And we had ragout for dinner.
Tudor: I remember.
Helen Angel1: The meat wasn’t well cooked and I instantly got sick. I was so pale that your mother wanted to take me to the hospital. But she thought people would say it was her fault. She didn’t know what to do!
Tudor: She took you in her arms and you two went to my room. You were in my bed and there I was, kneeling next to you.
Helen Angel1: Yes...
Olympus: And then we fucked!
Helen Angel1: What?
Tudor: Ah... Olympus was the name of my favourite toy, those days.
Helen Angel1: Was it? I thought Mr. Twittelgaz was...
Olympus: Was I? And what was your favourite toy then, your brain?
Tudor: (to Olympus) You are not my brain!
Olympus: Very clever, keep talking to your imaginary friend while she is in here. That will remind her all the reasons why she left in the first place. Stupid fucking lunatic...
Tudor: (to Helen) You don’t know.
Helen Angel1: What?
Tudor: You have no idea! How do you even have the nerves to come in here after all this time? You just left me there. You were my only friend. You knew everything about me, all my secrets, and we used to have so much fun together. Do you have any idea what you did?
Helen Angel1: I was a child, Tudor, I couldn’t do anything about it.
Tudor: So you just left me there. Me and Mr. Twittelgaz were waiting for you! One day! Two days. One week. Two weeks... I had to ask Mother why you stopped coming to play with me. You just moved out, without a notice, without saying goodbye. Not even to Mr. Twittelgaz?! Why? How could you?
Helen Angel1: The time I spent with you was the best time of my life!
Tudor: It wasn’t fun after you left.
Helen Angel1: I didn’t want to. They forced me!
Tudor: Oh, give me a break! Why are you telling me this after so much time? Why did you even come here?
Helen Angel1: I wanted you to understand. And I wanted to see you. I needed to see you. I have never missed anyone as much as I’ve missed you.
Tudor: (to Helen Angel 1) I don’t need you anymore!
Helen Angel1: Tudor...
Olympus: He doesn’t need you anymore! Helen of Toy...
Tudor: There is somebody else.
Olympus: What are you doing?
Helen Angel1: I thought there might be. I didn’t expect you to wait for me. I just wanted you to understand... I really missed you and I wanted to say I’m sorry! I really am.
Tudor: You don’t tell people things and then disappear. You don’t do that! It’s not fair. I imagined that I did something wrong, that you wanted to punish me for something. I was waiting for you. (tensed) I was waiting for you every day! Mother was worried about by well-being. I didn’t want to play anymore.
Helen Angel1: I’m sorry...
Tudor: (shouting, having a crisis) I didn’t want to eat. I put Mr. Twittelgaz in a box and I buried him in the garden. I felt nothing. I wanted you!
Olympus: Hey, ok... Tudor. This is not... This is enough... You should relax now... You shouldn’t get so hot about it...
Tudor: (to Helen Angel1) I don’t like what I feel when I remember. This is not fun. I want you to leave. You don’t tell people ‘See you tomorrow!’ and never come back. You don’t! Get out of my room.
Helen Angel1: At four o’clock my bag with toys and plastic pieces to build Mister Twittelgaz a home, was ready. So was I. Then I heard the door slam. My parents started shouting at each other. (the discussion can be on tape, along with projected images)
‘Don’t you dare call me a whore after all you’ve done!’
‘What have I done?! What have I done? I made love to a woman who actually wanted me! Is that a crime?’ then she slapped him.
His face turned red and he just started punching her and he wouldn’t stop. (she cries) He just wouldn’t stop!
‘Father! Father! Stop! You’re hurting Mother! Father...’
I never saw him after that day.
Tudor: You never saw me after that day either.
Helen Angel1: But I’m here now.
Olympus: He doesn’t want you now!
Tudor: (to Olympus) You know what, you’re right! (to Helen Angel1) I don’t want you now. Please leave.
Helen Angel1: I will. But first I want you to forgive me. It wasn’t my fault. I didn’t want to hurt you, Tudor.
Olympus: I don’t know... I’ll think about it. Now go!
Helen Angel1: I loved you. So much...
Helen Angel1 leaves. As she closes the door we can see Helens gown and shoes hanging on the hallway rack.
Olympus: ‘B’. Belonephobia.
Tudor: (distracted) What is that?
Olympus: Fear of pins and needles.
Tudor: (still thinking of Helen Angel1) I have that in my pocket.
Olympus: What do you mean?
Olympus: You have what in your pocket?
Tudor: (exhausted) It’s a way of saying you got that one right.
Olympus: Maybe in a different context.
Tudor: Oh, shut up!
Olympus: Your turn.
Tudor: Oh... Let me think. ‘B’?
Olympus: If you have any in mind. Or ‘C’.
Tudor: ‘C’ is perfect. Cynophobia.
Olympus: (to himself) Fear of drugs.
Tudor: You have it!
Olympus: I do have it but its nature is not psychotic. Sometimes drugs make me disappear, if you would make the effort to remember.
Tudor: Yes, but at least is not the case of disappearing for good. I can still hear your voice or know your thoughts.
Olympus: How low can I go? To be an invisible imaginary friend is degrading. It’s frightening, today you can’t see me, tomorrow you won’t be able to hear me and the next day, poof! I’m gone!
Tudor: Hearing you is enough of a torture.
Olympus: You’re too kind. What’s the score?
Tudor: What time is it?
Olympus: Five to four. She’ll come at five, huh?
Tudor: I guess. It’s your turn.
Tudor: Not really. I hate clowns because they make me apprehensive. But I wouldn’t call it a phobia.
Olympus: You’re a fucking schizophrenic. Everything you’re apprehensive about is a phobia.
Tudor: (sick and tired of telling Olympus over and over again) Language... This works both ways.
Olympus: My way and ‘moi’ way? You never told me about Mister Twittelgaz.
Tudor: He’s dead and buried; nothing to talk about.
Olympus: So I’ve heard.
There’s a knock at the door. Helen enters the stage.
Helen: How are you, Tudor? It’s four o’clock.
Tudor: (to Olympus) Does mother come at five?
Olympus: Most definitely.
Tudor: Really? That’s awesome! That’s awesome!
Helen: Your mother? She may come soon... Come on, take these.
Helen gives Tudor two coloured pills and a half full plastic cup.
Olympus: What did she give you?
Tudor analyses the two pills with care.
Tudor: Ziprazidone and Olanzapine.
Helen: Come on, Tudor, swallow it!
Olympus: Don’t take it. Tudor, stop it! You don’t have to! They can’t make you! They can’t make you!
Helen: I don’t have to tell you twice, you already know you sleep better after taking them.
Olympus: (to Helen) Shut up, you... (to Tudor) Don’t!
Tudor takes the pills and throws the plastic cup on the floor.
Tudor: (to Helen) Will my mother come to see me today?
Helen: (hesitating, then forcing herself to smile) Hm... Well, I don’t know. We shall all have to wait and see. I’ll let you rest now.
Olympus: Yes, leave! Coming here with your white gown and pretending you know shit just to get us medicated. Go, I said! Leave!
Tudor: I would like her to come.
Olympus: (reciting) My mental illness is like a snake
Sometimes it swallows me whole
Its bite is poisonous with faces.
Confusion. Psychotic breaks. Depression.
Anxiety. Paranoia. And other things.
Tudor: Do you blame me?
Tudor: Some things you can never forget.
Olympus: Some things you can never remember.
Tudor: Dystychiphobia. I’ve always been scared, terrified of accidents.
Olympus: Not always.
Olympus: Not always.
There is a knock at the door.
Olympus: What now?
Olympus: (in a whisper) What?
Tudor: It’s not her. Wait.
Tudor: Come in.
Helen Angel 2 comes into stage. She is identical to Helen Angel 1.
Helen Angel2: (examining Tudor) Oh, Tudor, you grew up so big. Oh, my baby!
Tudor: Mother, you came! Did you bring me some apple cake?
Helen Angel2: I did, I finally came. Are you happy to see me?
Tudor: Yes! Where is Father?
Helen Angel2: He is... he is not here.
Tudor: But you are!
Helen Angel2: I am.
Olympus: (to himself) Mother looks a lot like her. And Her.
Tudor: (to Helen Angel2) Will you stay?
Helen Angel2: I will stay, if you want me to.
Tudor: Will you stay forever?
Helen Angel2: I will.
Olympus: She said that before...
Tudor: You said that before. But you didn’t. You lied to me. Why would you lie to your own child?
Helen Angel2: It wasn’t my decision to make. I would never choose to leave you, but no one gave me the choice.
Tudor: I totally understand. I knew someone had forced you to leave me. I bet you were crying and screaming but these nasty armed men were dragging you out of your own house! That’s what happened. Isn’t it so? Isn’t it?
Helen Angel2: Tudor... Let me hold you.
Tudor: But Mother...
Helen Angel2: Tudor...
Tudor starts to weep.
Tudor: I’ve missed you so much, so much, Mother. I’ve been so lost. I’ve been lost. And scared... (he cries) So scared! And the dark night was getting darker, and I was scared, and I wanted to put the lights on but I couldn’t reach the switch. And I was (crying) screaming and screaming... and no one there... No one. I was so alone... and the world... and I... Oh, Mother... Mother... Don’t ever do that again... Mother...
Helen Angel2 sits on the bed. Tudor and Olympus next to her, both rest their heads in her lap.
Helen Angel2: The little boy woke up. The nanny was gone and the evening sun was searching for the dark corners of the room. They had been late before. So he took his favourite toy, Mister Twittelgaz and started rehearsing the song he had prepared for his parents. (Olympus sings the same song he sang in the beginning) He was there, in his room, all by himself, for hours. He didn’t see the night creeping on him. He was singing, dancing and imagining Mother’s reaction when she would hear the song. By the time he finished playing, the dark night was already grinning its yellow teeth from behind the window. Silence. He waited. Silence. He waited. Silence. He waited.
But his parents didn’t come. He tried to put the light on, but he was too scared to move. He tried to scream but he had no voice. He tried to run. But his legs couldn’t move. He tried to...
A car crash sound makes them shudder; police sirens, ambulance siren; the voice of a reporter, a TV news report: ‘There was an accident on E39 High Street. No one survived.
Tudor: (shouting) Mother! Father! Mooother!
Helen Angel2: I am sorry, Tudor! I never wanted to leave you alone. It was never my choice to make...
Olympus: And there I was, next to your bed. Singing the song you prepared so well. And I crept under the blanket and we sang together. And we turned tears into laugher and dark into light.
Tudor: I remember. (to Helen Angel2) You were not there but he was.
Helen Angel2: Who?
Tudor: (like having an epiphany) He was there! (to Olympus) You were there. You helped me. You saved me! You came and you saved me!
Olympus: I didn’t come.
Tudor: Yes you did.
Olympus: I didn’t come. I was there all along.
Tudor: Mother, I want you to meet Olympus.
Olympus looks around for a place to hide. He takes a few steps backwards.
Tudor: He... You can’t see him, because he is... invisible... he is not invisible... he doesn’t exist.
Olympus kicks Tudor in his knee.
Olympus: How does this feel, from someone that doesn’t exist?
Tudor: Ouch! Stop it!
Helen Angel2: (her voice sounding less angelic and more human) Tell me more.
While Tudor is talking, Helen turns her dress in a gown, pulling some strips. She rearranges her hair, now looking more like the nurse than like an angelic character.
Tudor: He is my best friend. Well, we argue quite a lot but who wouldn’t when you spend all your time together. I mean... he hears my thoughts, can you imagine, but he doesn’t always listen to them. He is protective and truly hates everyone that tries to harm me. He’s been with me ever since... ever since that night. He’s here. Come, I want you to meet him. Olympus!
The light fades in the left corner - where Olympus was hiding- while Tudor was talking. Olympus is gone.
Helen Angel 2 is now Helen.
The lights are bright on the stage.
Tudor: Where did he go? (panicked, almost crying) Where did he go? (screaming) Where did he go???
Helen: (takes him into her arms) It’s ok, darling! It’s ok, we did it! We did it together. You remembered. Tudor, do you realise? You remembered!
Tudor: I don’t care. I fucking don’t care. Where is he? I want him back! I don’t want to be alone! I want him back! Fuck! No!!!
Helen: Calm down, shhh, calm down! We did it! I’m so happy, Tudor. Is he really gone? I can’t believe it! I made you remember, I never really believed that this was going to work. But it did, Tudor, and we made him disappear.
Tudor: (crying in her arms) I want him back... I can’t do it again. Why is it that always someone has to go? First it was Emma, then Mother, now him. I can’t do it anymore! I can’t...
Helen: But I am here... Do you know who I am?
Tudor: (through tears) What is this?
Helen: (smiling) Fear of long words.