An argumentative exercise
PREMIERE: 26.09.2019, NATIONALTHEATER MANNHEIM, DIRECTOR: JAKOB WEISS
And nothing will get solved by blaming him, right? It was not him. Not only him. It’s me. And not only me. It’s my mother, and grandmother, and great-grandmother that are living and speaking in me; and it’s the media, the funders, the commercials, the fathers and grandpas who have been staring at me in the streets since I was 11, the institutions that support them, it’s the presidents, their language, the vaginas they grabbed, their audience, it’s the audience, yes, it’s you, it’s you dear honorable viewer too, the way you looked at my body when I entered, yes, it’s you too, you looked, you never allowed this body to be neutral, to be just what it is, neutral, belonging only to itself, no! You compared us, compared us to each other, you compared me to her, and you compared her to her, and you compared her to me! For a 20 Euros theatre ticket, you weighed us with your eyes, you undressed us, and checked our breasts like fruits in the supermarket – and we are holding our breath and continuing to perform and dance here in front of you like court jesters! And now imagine that I would stand up and speak out as I should, and go now and file a report against you! For example, that I would just report you for the way that you looked at me when I entered this stage tonight. You know what would happen? I would be hospitalized straight away. Because what am I blaming you for? For looking at me? You’re the fucking audience! Just imagine that I would do it, that I would go now and complain about all the faces that I felt were harassing me from the audience. They would not believe what they’re hearing! I was the one that decided to stand here and put her body under the lights and in front of you, right? I was the one that signed a contract with the theatre! If I went and complained for being harassed by your looks while being on stage they would tie me to a bed, hospitalized, mental case, and au revoir, le monde du théâtre! So … that’s exactly what I’m trying to say about Popeye. I can’t blame him for things that are part of the foundation of the situation. Yes, there is an audience – so there’s a gaze. There is a relationship – so there is shame. And nudity, and disappointments. And now I want to stop all this. And I want him to have a good time with me. I want quietness. I want home. Spinach and pasta dinners. A shluk of whiskey before we fall asleep. Sex. Just not to be the crazy couple, the shouting couple, the too-long-talking couple, the suffering-in-vacations couple. No. Harmony. Even if we must step aside a bit for it. Harmony – even if we must lie a bit for it. Harmony – even if we must shrink ourselves a bit for it, shut up a bit for it, bend our heads a bit for it. Harmony – even if we life-time fake for it. At the end of the day, I remember: Popeye comes home to me. He is here. With me. In our home. Because I’m harmonic. Because I’m peaceful. Because I can be the silent couple, the silent harmonic couple too. Going to sleep without dramas, lying on my side of the bed, crying quietly, not to disturb, hospitalizing myself once in a few years when my system collapses, it’s the same bed for everyone, and we are all shrunken and folded up on “our side” of it, in the name of peace and harmony. You are, and so am I. I mean. Olive. I mean: so does she.