The tragic agony of a blue bird

By Carla Zúñiga

Translation by Bruce Gibbons Fell.

The following text is an excerpt from the play.

This play is fully protected under Chilean copyright laws.

EMA:

I’m going out to look for Ester.


 

NINA:

Why.


 

EMA:

You said she flew out to the blue sky.


 

NINA:

Oh, yes, I mean, she didn’t fly.


 

EMA:

She didn’t fly?


 

NINA: 

I opened her cage. I wanted her to be free, to fly across the blue in the skies, to perch on the treetops, to feel the wind blowing on her delicate body, to meet other birds and travel to other continents with them.


 

EMA:

And what happened?


 

NINA:

I opened the cage, she went out of the window, she fell and crashed on the pavement. A car drove over her and run her over.


 

EMA:

My God, Nina…


 

NINA:

I’m sorry, Mother, I wanted her to be happy, to go far away from this sad house.


 

EMA:

This is not a sad house.


 

NINA:

It is, Mother. You and I are sad.


 

EMA:

What are you talking about?


 

NINA:

We’re alone.


 

EMA:

We have each other, my love.


 

NINA: What am I going to do when you’re not around anymore?


 

EMA:

I will always be with you, my love.


 

NINA:

No. You’re going to die one day. What am I going to do then?


 

EMA:

You will find someone.


 

NINA:

Who?


 

EMA:

Someone who loves you.


 

NINA:

No one has ever loved me.


 

EMA:

Don’t say that.


 

NINA:

No one has ever loved you either.


 

EMA:

What are you talking about? Your father loved me.


 

NINA:

He didn’t love you. He beat you, he cheated, he laughed at you, he abandoned us.


 

EMA:

He didn’t abandon us, my love, he left, but he always wrote us letters, he always wanted to know about you.


 

NINA:

Mother, he never wanted to know about me, I know you were the one who wrote those letters.


 

EMA:

That’s not true, my love.


 

NINA:

They were written with your handwriting.


 

EMA:

Your father and I had very similar handwriting.


 

NINA:

I saw you writing them one day.


 

EMA:

Your father loved us.


 

NINA:

He left us for another woman and had other children with her.


 

EMA:

That doesn’t mean he stopped loving us.


 

NINA:

He never came to see us again.


 

EMA:

Visiting us made him very sad.


 

NINA:

Mother.


 

EMA:

What?


 

NINA:

We’re alone.


 

EMA:

No.


 

NINA:

Look at me, I’m disappearing. I don’t exist.


 

EMA:

That’s not true, Nina.


 

NINA:

I’m going to kill myself, mother.


 

EMA:

Shut up!


 

Ema slaps Nina. Nina falls to the ground.


 

EMA:

I’m sorry, my love. I love you so much that you surely can't even imagine.


 

NINA:

Mother?


 

EMA:

What?


 

NINA:

Did you know the circus is coming to the city?


 

EMA:

What?


 

The doorbell rings.


 

EMA:

Are you expecting someone?


 

NINA:

No. You?


 

EMA:

No.


 

Ema walks to the door and opens it. It’s Érika, a beautiful young woman, dressed in a supermarket cashier’s uniform. Her knee is bleeding because she just fell on the pavement.


 

ÉRIKA:

Hello. Is Nina here?


 

EMA:

Yes. Wait. Nina, it’s for you.


 

Nina gets up and walks to the door.


 

NINA:

Érika! Hi.


 

ÉRIKA:

Hi, Nina! I’m sorry I came to your house without asking you first. But I got so worried about you this morning. I know we don’t know each other very well, but what happened today made a real impact on me. Seeing you in the frozen goods aisle, peeing in front of all those people, was truly beautiful to me. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about it all day. I had seen you so many times, but I had never noticed that gaze you had today as you peed on the supermarket floor. Excuse me for getting so emotional. But I’ve been very depressed lately, and this is the only thing that has made me feel something in a long time. Then, when you took off your clothes, I began to cry. I don’t know why, but I didn’t dare do it in public like you would have, so I went to the bathroom and wept there. If there’s something you should know about me is that I’m a big coward, and in my life, I’ve never dared to do the things my sad heart truly wants. When I peeked out the window, I saw you walking naked down the pavement. They were all looking at you, and I thought you were like the sun. I must be more like an ant. I’m talking a lot, and I haven’t even let you speak. And then when I was walking here I fell and hit my knee on the pavement, I’m so stupid, I don’t know where my head is at. Look, I’m bleeding. Do you think it’s serious? I don’t think so. In any case, I wanted to ask you if I could use your restroom so I can clean the wound a little bit.


 

NINA:

I’m a bit busy right now.


 

ÉRIKA:

It’s alright, don’t worry, but do you think I can come by the day after tomorrow? I say the day after tomorrow because tomorrow I can’t, I have a doctor’s appointment because last month I fell and dislocated my clavicle. I wanted to thank you, I don’t know why. You must think I’m crazy: but I’m not. It’s just that what you did today in the supermarket made an impression on me. I’m very sensitive and a big coward. I don’t wish to keep bothering you. I’m going to go, I think I’ll go to the emergency hospital because there’s a lot of blood coming out of my knee and I may have to get stitches. I’ll see you soon, Nina.


 

NINA:

See you soon.


 

Nina closes the door.


 

EMA:

You undressed?


 

NINA:

Yes.


 

EMA:

In front of everyone?


 

NINA:

Yes, mother.


 

EMA:

What do you want me to do?


 

NINA:

Nothing.


 

EMA:

How can I help you?


 

NINA:

You can’t, mother.


 

EMA:

You’re my daughter, I love you with all my blood and all my bones. If anything happens to you, I’m going to fall on the floor, and I’ll never be able to get up again.


 

NINA:

That’s not true, mother, you’re not as weak as I am.


 

EMA:

You don’t know a thing about me.


 

NINA:

That may be.


 

EMA:

What did you do with Ester’s body?


 

NINA:

I threw it in the trash.


 

EMA:

Why did you throw it in the trash?


 

NINA:

What did you want me to do?


 

EMA:

Paula would’ve wanted us to bury it.


 

NINA:

Paula is dead. We don’t know what she would’ve wanted.


 

EMA:

It was her bird! She loved her!


 

NINA:

I know, that’s why I wanted Ester to be free.


 

EMA:

Why are you acting like this?


 

NINA:

Like what?


 

EMA:

Like this!


 

NINA:

I told you, mother, I’m going to kill myself. 


 

EMA:

Don’t you ever say something like that again!

Credits


 

Director: Javier Casanga.

Text and Assistant Director: Carla Zúñiga.

Staging Assistant: Diego Cubillos.

Stage and graphic design: Sebastián Escalona

Costume design: Elizabeth Pérez

Lighting design: José Miguel Carrera
Music: Alejandro Miranda.

Voices: Elisa Vallejos

Cast: Felipe Zepeda, Juan Pablo Fuentes, Coca Miranda, Sebastián Ibacache, David Gaete, Vicente Cabrera, Mario Olivares, Maritza Farías, Claudia Vargas, Carla Gaete, Italo Spotorno, Carlos Troncoso.

Written in 2016.

Premiered in October 2016 at Teatro Camilo Henríquez.

To contact the author, write to us.

Donate now.

The Interdram Interviews 2020 are funded by the Ministry of Arts and Culture (Fondart Nacional de Difusión convocatoria 2020).

logo_interdram_ngro-03.png
  • Facebook - Interdram
  • Twitter - Interdram
  • YouTube - Interdram
  • Instagram - Interdram