Refuge : schuilplaats, toevluchtsoord, vluchtheuvel, schuilhut. Chercher refuge : een schuilplaats, toevlucht zoeken. refuge (Fr.), v.(m.) (-s), (veroud., hist.), 1. wijkplaats; 2. uitwijking. Refuge: (latin refugium) -Lieu, endroit où quelqu'un qui est poursuivi ou menacé peut se mettre à l'abri. -Simple abri ou construction en dur plus confortable. contact: Wim Cuyvers, wimcuyvers@wanadoo.fr

POOR BEING POOR



De scène: een lange brute houten tafel, een meter of vijf lang, daarachter
een bank, ook vijf meter lang, achter de bank, op reikafstand staan een
wand van groene blikken Finkbrau bier, 8 blikken hoog, de lengte van
de tafel. Tussen de wand bierblikjes en de bank staat een rugzakje, met
daarin wat kleren, een pakje sigaretten, een pakje tabak en een kleine,
zilverkleurige transistorradio. Er staat ook nog een stevige brute plank.
Er staat eten op tafel, in de loop van het stuk komen er op tafel overal
blikjes Finkbrau te staan, en ook op de grond, vlak naast de tafel. Aan
het begin van het stuk is er niemand op scène.
Een stem, het is geen stem van één van de acteurs, spreekt de onderstaande
tekst van Jim Carroll uit Crow van het album Catholic Boy :

But Crow, when you throw yourself under
Singin’s hard when you can’t loose control
They don’t know, to them in the dark you don’t whisper
nothin’
And they’re all gonna try and rip the wind from your soul

But Crow, when you throw yourself under
The streets are hard when you cannot lose control
They don’t know, to them the dark don’t whisper nothin’
And they’re all gonna try and rip the wind from your soul
Crow

Vervolgens leest dezelfde stem de onderstaande tekst van Bertolt Brecht


uit ‘Die Dreigroschenoper’:

Und der Haifisch, der hat Zähne
Und die trägt er im Gesicht
Und Macheath, der hat ein Messer
Doch das Messer sieht man nicht


Denn die einen sind im Dunkeln
Und die andern sind im Licht
Und man siehet die im Lichte
Die im Dunkeln sieht man nicht


IR: (enkel de stem, zij zelf is niet te zien): Allo?... Allo?... Ties IR, kiek
hum aawe numero oepgeschreven, goed van maaj hé. Kuunde gaa
ongs kommen hoalen? Tgoat niemier: de P heet ielveul last van zane
knie, en van zane astma, hum heet al moeten spouwen. Halo? Halo?
En den J heet oewek last van zaan knieën. Dat ies te vaar hé. En kiek
hem ouwe numéro oepgeschreven. Goed hé! En naa meug kiek hier
ient cafee de vasten telefong gebroiken.

Vier mannen (P, J (E), B en BA) en één vrouw (IR) komen op scène, ze
hebben allemaal een blik Finkbrau bier in de ene hand en een sigaret
in de andere hand. Ze zetten zich op de bank, achter de tafel, zij kijken
in de richting van een publiek dat voor hen zit. Iedereen rookt ongeveer
permanent, iedereen drinkt permanent uit de blikken Finkbrau of heeft
die minstens in zijn handen. Mét de vijf mensen zijn drie honden (S, Q,
D) op scène gekomen, het zijn drie middelgrote honden, van hetzelfde
type, het zijn geen rashonden, maar ze hebben ver weg wel iets van
Duitse herdershonden. Er brandt kaarslicht.

IR: Iek hem het hum nog gezee dattum giene duren draank moes
meebrengen hee, dieje Fienkbraa ien bliek vanne Liedl das tgiejen
da ge moet hèmme, da zèn de goeijekoepste pientjes da ge kuunt
koewepen. Da heet giejen zien oem veur ongs goe en duur gerief
te koewepen... Kviend da wel straf da ze hier oek ne Liedl humme.
P: Corapiels is oewek nie slecht en oewek nie duurder, moar dat
hummen ze nie baa de Liedel geloeve kiek, ieng de nachtwienkel
oep tplaan dor hemme ze Cora, mor da komt vanne Colrowwet.
J: Hèdde gaaj hongdebrokken meegebrocht? Iek gon u dat tongs
achteraf teruugbetollen zune.
P: Kiek docht da kiek gieng stareven as da kiek dieje barig oep gieng
sèch. Khèm gienen ossem, khèm moeten spowwen oewek. En mè
maan knieën.
P: Allé sech, die IR begient dor naa toch te zwaanzen mee zoene gast
in da café zeker, ne Marokkoan oef nen Tuurk, wietekieket, ze zo
dor naa toch wel ne zak wiet van gekocht hemme zekers. Ge kuunt
dormè nie ongder de mengsen kommen. Die begient dor gewoeën
mee on te pappen sèch.
BA: Ze was oewek te lot as da wa nor hier kwommen, die was oep
stap gewest den ovvend ter veure en tongs oanen extiesee gezèten,
hedde gaa gezien hoedadedie derowwet zag?
P: Volgens maa hummen hier Kelten gezeten. Da woaren giejen
gewoeën.
IR: Allé sèch, diejen B diejen heet dor na toch wel een buus naft op
dat haatvuur gegoeid zeker, hum heet zen hiel geziecht verbrand.
Kuunde da na geloeve?
B: Das dieje J dieje dat dor een buus naft oep da vuur goejedege.
IR (blaast): Godverdoeme, no benne kiek toch wel zjuust na verkawen
zeker. En geluukig dakiek maan tamponnekes meegebrocht hum.
Ne mengs moet vurotziend zèn hé.
J: En dorzjuust hee dien onnoezelen oek al ne porcelaanen koffiepot
oept gazevuur gezet sèch, dieje wilt da kot hier vurzekers iene fiek
steken.
IR: Dieje gast diejen miejendege da kiek ne zak wiet van hum ging
koewepen sèch.
P: Hedde dieje ze geziecht al gezien? Dieje stot hielegaangs in
bloazen.
J haalt een ronde metalen asbak uit zijn broekszak, zet die met een
klap op tafel.
J: Hierzie, cadeau! Da’s nog van Antwaarpen draaiennegetieg. Ze
kwoamen die doar erregens leveren ennekiek hum die tongs vannen
ierste kiejer meegepiekt, u stuuk of vaafhongderd assebakken, paas
kiek.
IR: Kiek hèm as joenk maske aon den heroine gezeten, vang zeventien
tot draaiëntwientig joar. Iek zèn doar owwetgerokt deur maa
groewetvoader. Diejen hee ma een groewete soem geld noageloaten,
mor kiek kreeg dat alliejen mor oem te raazen, iejene kier per mongd
kwam er geld vraae; iek zèn ierst noar ne afkiekliniek gegoan en
doarno zenne kiek oep raas gegoan: veul ien Ozië: ien Cambodja,
ien Vietnam, ien Thaïlangd, ien de Filipanen euveral hemme kiek
gezèten en zoewe benne kiek begienen te doaken. Euveral wazzekiek
aont doaken. En zoewe benne kiek oewek doakinstructries gewurre.
Moar doakers dat ies iet roars hé, die gaste zieten hiejel den daag
oep of ingt woater en ‘s ovends innen draank. En zoewe zongder het
te wielen benne kiek begienen te drienken, veul te drienken, te veul
te drienken en zoe wazzekieke veur da kiek het wiest alcoholieker,
maor naa zenne kiek doar van af. Khèmet gezee: kiek goan dor nie
goan drienken.
Stilte.
IR: Maan dochter ies den helft vannen taad baa ma moeder. Mor
tgoat naa goed tuusen ongs. Naa zoo kiek wel gerre terug oep raas
goan. Kpaas da daties mee hiere te komen. Kiek moet der ne kier
teruug maa gedacht van moaken, kiek zoa da moeten veurberaden.
Kiek zow wier doakcuursussen kuunen gèven: kiek hem den hoegste
groad ient doaken, kiek hèm alle brevetten, ties alliejen mor laank
gelejen. Met maan dochter ies da wel wa moeilijker oem zoewe lank
weg te zaan, mor iek hem veul goesting oem wier nor Ozië te goan,
weg vant plaan, ongder woater, iek hem zing om wier ongder te
doaken.
BA: Komde gaa bè maa sloapen, IR?
B: Meug kiek nog een pientje, ik hum durst.
IR: Gefter maa oek moar ien, da go goe doen aan man keel.
IR houdt de duim tegen de wijsvinger, en vormt een o-teken, zoals
duikers naar elkaar doen om te zeggen dat alles ok is.
J: Kiek eet normoal nie veul, maor zoe lakker dat da hier ies.
J: Iejen veur de Q, iejen veur den D, iejen veur de S. Joa joengens
dat is hier lakker, èh.
B: Heeter iemand maane toebak gezien?
BA: de P diejen ét nie genoeg hé, da ies mè al die miserie mé C.
BA: Meug kiek maane Broma asteblieft?
Stilte.
BA: Alles wa da kiek wiejet van druugs hemmekiek in de bak gelierd.
IR: Kiek hèm noewet echt serieus ieng de bak gezeten, iek wiejet nie
hoe dat da komt.
J: Ge got maa nie geloeve mor de schoewenste taad van maa leven
was ieng de bak. Ien de Begaanenstrot zattekiek soamen mee de Van
Rossem, ge hot da moete zien hoe da dieje gast dor bienengekommen
ies. Da was allemoal ien kannen en krowweken. De cipiers hemmen
dor ne goeijen on gehad.
P: Ieng de bak kuunde in alle gevaal alles koepen wa da ge wielt van
druugs.
Stilte.
P: Iek hum veul getatoueerd ien de gevangenies, wa mokten u
machientje oem te tatoueren vangt moteureke vang nen aawe
cassettereceurder. Da brocht goed oep, khum altaad geere
getiejekend. Kiek hem zellef oewek altaad geere tatouages gezieng,
das een schoewen hiere die met da spieneweb en die spien, wa vinde
gaa de schoewenste? Mor diejen Indioan vinnekiek nog altaad de
beste.
B: Oep ne barig ziet nen Indioan en diejen Indioan dieje moeter
aon.
P: Kiek gon sloapen, kiek vuul ma nie zoe goe.
P legt zijn hoofd op tafel, slaapt.
IR legt haar hoofd op tafel, slaapt.
BA: Veur aaw nog een pientje, B?
Stilte.
BA: Kgon dor es euver goan - euver da waaf - vanne naacht.
Stilte.
BA: As u waaf heur vodden hee, ies ze oep heur hietst!
Stilte.
BA: Kgon de P zaan eten bringen!
BA: P, P! Ik breng aa eten.
P richt zijn hoofd een beetje op.
P: Lot maa geruust.
BA: P, mo gaa moet eten, P, gaa het nog niekske geten!
P: Neije! Iek moet giejen eten hemme.
BA: Mor dat ies lekker joenge.
P: Iek ... moet ... giejen ... eten ... hemme.
BA: Mo gaa moet eten, P.
P: Lot maa sloapen, L, ge zee zoewe zat as ne patat.
BA: Iest oemdatter giene majonaise oep ies?
P: Neije!
BA: Wocht iek goan majonaise goan hoalen vur aa.
P legt zijn hoofd op tafel en slaapt.
Gestommel in de kamer, dingen vallen.
BA: Woar ies dieje majonaise?
B: Doar ies hier giene mayonaise joenge.
BA: Allé B, wai hemme doarstraks toch mayonaise gèten. Waj
hèmme toch mayonaise gèten baa die gebakken patatjes, wiejede
gaa da nie mieër?
B: Komaan joenge, dieje mayonaise ies al lank oep.
Het gestommel gaat voort.
BA: Voilà zie, dor stottem, khem hum gevongen. Met dieje
mayonaise oep zeng patatten go de P da naa wel oepeten.
BA: Hé P, da goa beter goan zie, iekhummer mayonaise oep gedoan.
P richt zijn hoofd een beetje op.
P: Trapt het af, loat ma sloape!
BA: Gaa moet eten, P.
P: Neije.
J zet zich bruusk recht.
J: L, loat dieje mengs naa sloapen, ies da na zoewe moeilijk.
BA: Jomme diejen hee nie geëten.
J: S, Q, D: attack!
J legt zijn hoofd op tafel en slaapt.
BA en B kijken naar elkaar, zij zitten aan weerszijden van IR, zij
beginnen aan haar te trekken.
IR: Godverdoeme, naa liegekiek hier een half uur ennaa komme
ze maa oepernief lastiegvallen. Iek kom specioal hier liege,
godverdoeme, die gasten zèn onnoezel zeker, ne mengs kommen
lastig vallen, mieden in de nacht, en iek zèn al zoewe verkaawen
en zoe ziek. Godverdoeme. Onnoezeleers, zoewe kunen zet: twieje
mannen tegen iejen vraaw.
IR legt haar hoofd op tafel, ze snift, lang, tot ze in slaap valt.
Het is een tijdje stil. B en BA beginnen met hun voeten te stommelen, ...
B: Kom-on joenge, wa zaan weg.
BA: Zènner nog piengtjes?
Gestommel, lege blikjes vallen op de grond.
B legt zijn hoofd op tafel, hij houdt zijn sigaret in zijn mond. Slaapt
met de sigaret in zijn mond.
J richt zich op pakt de sigaret uit de mond van B en trapt ze uit op de
grond.
J legt zijn hoofd weer op de tafel en slaapt.
BA zit nog altijd rechtop, hij kijkt recht voor zich uit.
BA: Mag kiek alsteblieft maane metadong?
Stilte.
BA: Mag kiek alsteblieft maane metadong?
Stilte.
BA: Mag kiek alsteblieft maane metadong?
IR heft heel even haar hoofd op. Snift luid.
IR: Allé sech goan die naa alwier begiennen?
IR snift luid, legt haar hoofd neer en slaapt verder.
BA: Mag kiek alsteblieft maane metadong?
Stilte.
BA: Mag kiek alsteblieft maane metadong?
Stilte.
BA: Mag kiek alsteblieft maane metadong?
Stilte.
BA: Mag kiek alsteblieft maane metadong?
Stilte.
BA: Mag kiek alsteblieft maane metadong?
Stilte.
BA: Mag kiek alsteblieft maane metadong?
Gestommel.
BA: Iek stap het af. Da stoat ma hier nie on. Kiek pak maan valies en
kiek stap het af, kiek gon downtown en kiek pak nen taksi straight
to Antwaarpen-City. De P wielt nie éten, da waaf wielt nieks. Gèft
maane metadong, kstap het af!
BA blijft nog een tijd rechtop zitten, legt dan zijn hoofd op tafel en
slaapt.
Het is een tijdje stil.
P zet zich recht, rochelt en hoest, smekt, boert moeizaam, smekt.
P: Goejemurgen, meug kiek maane metadong hemme? Nieje nie
dieje vloeibaore, das vanne J, vur maa zengt die pielen. Merci. Iek
hem het altaad koat smurgens. Kzou moeten spaawen.
P rochelt, trekt een blik Finkbrau open, rolt een sigaret.
P: Kiek kan smeurgens nie èten joenge, maan moag ziet diecht.
Da koomt oewek deur C, kiek ziet doar hiejel den taad mee ien
mane kop. Ze hee ambras gemokt as da waa vertrokken. Die ies zoe
zjaloers as iet. Ze was kwot oemda zaa nie mee mocht nor hier, en
IR wél, ze paast ze zaa da kiek iet zoo begienen met IR, mor dat iest
vaarste van maan gedachten èh. Vannenacht da moede zeggen, da
was oewek wel u bietje de schuuld van IR: zaa krowept dor baa de
BA, wa wielde, zaa stokt oewek gère zune.
P: Kiek drienk nie veul, ge kunt dat oewek zien: as da kiek a pientje
opentrek tongs zette kiek da liepke omhoeweg, zoewe kennekiek
altaad maan aagen pientje, iek goan maa pientje oewek niet rap
loaten stoan – kgeef het liever weg dan dak iemang zo loaten
drienken en het tongs truug pak. Ge moet oepletten veur ziektes
oept plaan, zeker as gal zwak zaat: tuberculose, manneke, TBC das
giene ziejever zune.
Trekt een bierblik open (het typische geluid) en zet ostentatief het lipje
omhoog.
BA zet zich recht.
BA: Iek zen nie goe, khè kraampen, kiek biebber, en kiek moet
spaawen, khem euveral kraampen. Khèm kraampen ien maa
geziecht. Mag kiek maane metadong?
P: Ga hettem nogal owwet gehangen vannenacht, joenge.
BA: Wadde?
P: Aaw buuske methadong ziet ien aaw zakken.
BA: Hoe komt da dor?
P: Ge zèt ierst maa komme wakker moaken, tongs hedde IR owwet
heure nest gesleurd en tongs zedde wielen vertrekken met de B mee.
BA: Wa zegde gaa noa allemoal?
P: Da gaj hum vannenacht nogal het owwetgehangen. Aaw valies
liegt dor giender achter ingt bos.
BA: Hoe komt da misschien?
P: Ge wieldege nen taksi pakken nor Antwaarpen.
BA: Alee da kan toch nie.
J zet zich recht.
J: Goejemurgen, hee S, hedde gaaj al u kakske gedon joenge en de Q
en den D, joa mannekes? ... En L, wa was dat allemoal vannenacht
sèch? Gaaj hèt de P wakker gemokt, diejen hat zaan Broma’s gepakt
zuune.
P: Hum hee IR oewek lastig gevallen.
BA: Allé da kan toch nie, wat hemme kiek allemoal gezee misschien?
P: Da de waaven oept hiejetst zèn as da ze huun vodden hummen en
da ge der es giengt euver goan.
J steekt zijn vinger op.
J: Excuzeer, mor uh... mag kiek maane metadong?
BA: Kiek herinner maa dor allemoal nieks vang, dat ies toch nie
meugelijk.
J: Kiek zèn vannenacht oepgestoan oem te goan piesen en dieje B lag
daar te sloapen mee een branende sigaret ien zane bek, hum wiejet
nie iejes da kiek die der hem owwetgepakt; ze geziecht ies nog nie
genoeg verbraand zeker?
B zet zich recht, hij beweegt heel hoekig en agressief.
B: Godverdoeme, wie heeter on maane ruugzak gezeten?
J: Oewek ne goeijemurgen.
P: Dor ies niemand ongekoamen, joenge, da hedde zèlf gedoan,
ge wildegen het afstappen mee de BA, ge wildege vertrekken nor
Antwaarpen.
B: Wa nen owetleg is maa dat allemoal, sèch? Iek zeg da ze hier
pieken. Kunen die da na nie loaten oem hiel den taad ieng
angdermans zoakes zieten te muzzen?
P: Iek zeg aa da ge dieje zak dor zelf gezet het, joenge, daor ies niemangd
aon-ge-ko-me.
B: En maan sigretten en maanen toebak wie heet dedie getsjoept
misschien?
P: Dor heet niemand iet getsjoept, ge waort zoewe zat as ne patat
en ge hèt die erregens kwaat gelee. Tstongt hier vol opegetrokken
pientjes oewek. Ge drienkt iejene slok en tongs loddet stoan. Kaakt
ierst ne kier ien aawe zak veur da ge iederiejen beschuuldigt.
BA: Joa B, nort schaant zen we waa ordig deur tlient gegoan.
P: Gullie hèt IR oewek lastieg gevallen eng de BA zaan spulen liegen
dor mieden opt pad nor benèjjen.
B: As kiek zèg da kiek dieje ruugzak dor nie hèm gezèt, hemme kiek
diejen dor nie gezet en kiek wiel maan sigaretten teruug.
B pakt zijn rugzakje dat achter hem staat, zet het op tafel, doet woest de
ritssluiting open, de transistorradio van de refuge valt eruit.
B (op heel hoge toon): Was da, jong? Godverdoeme wie heeter dieje
radijoo in maane ruugzak gestoke?
P: B joenge, da hedde zellef gedoan, naa kuunde zieng hoevaar da
gaa weg wort.
B:Onnoewezeleers,waoroemzouwkiekdoarnaneradiogoniensteken?
P: Woroem zouw iemand aners ne radio ien ouwe ruugzak steken?
B steekt een sigaret op.
P: En wor hedde ga naa die sigaret gehold?
B: Da goat aaw nie oan.
P: Ziede wèl, ze zoaten gewoen ien aawe ruugzak.
B: Kgonnekiek die toch nie ing maane ruugzak steken zeker.
IR komt hoestend recht:
IR: Geft maaj es a pientje... Godverdoeme se onnoewezeleers, ne
zieke mengs owwet zenne sloap hoalen en lastieg vallen, snachts.
Ties schandaolig: twieje vengten tegen ieje maske. En dieje L dieje
meende mé maa te kuunen oanpappen, de ziejevereer.
BA: Joa IR, ge moet maaj excusere, maske. Iek verstoan nie wa
datter allemoal gebeurd ies.
IR: Allemoal oawetleg achteraf joenge, lowwet ne mengs sloape.
Iedereen zit aan de tafel, Finkbrau in de hand, rookt, iedereen hoest.
Er wordt een tijdje niets gezegd.
J: Hèdde gaa teeke S, och ziet da naa ne kier achter zaan oeren, éng
de Q oewek al! Legt ouw es oep aawe ruug, joenge, tboske goat
dat effekes oeplossen, hee. Mor dieje S moede zieng, diejen heetter
nogal... Baj ongs zieten die oewek.
IR: Kiek goan ruusten vondaog, mee al da gedoen van vannenacht –
het zal maa deugd doen as kiek wa kan sloapen, misschien zengekiek
tongs vannenovend genezen.
IR legt haar hoofd op tafel.
B: Zèn der nog pientjes?
P: Nie feul niemier, mor kgon er iejen oappen doeng, u sloekske
drienken en tongs kraagde gaaihem.
BA: Mo godverdomme, dorzjuust lag maanen toebak hier oep de
vengsterbank en naa iestem weg.
P: C ies een hiejel schoewen vraa.
Stilte.
P: Maa moeder is oek een schoewen vraa, allee, ik wiel zeggen vur
heuren awerdom.
P: Ma moeder die hee maaj altaad gesteund. As da ze baj ongs ient
blok een spowwet in de gank of ingt plangtsoen vongden en ze zeeën
tegen maa moeder da da van maa was tongs zee maa moeder: ‘Neije,
dat ies nie van maane zeun, maane zeun die mag van maa spowten
in de badkoamer.’... Gullie kent maa moeder allemoa hé, gaste...
P: Ze noeme maa de boas vangt plaan...
P: Maa moeder komt diekwels nort plaan. Die brengt koffiekoeken
mee veur ongs.
De stem die in het begin voorlas, leest nu uit ‘Crow’ van Catholic Boy
van Jim Carroll:
It was so sweet when you brought donuts to the junkies
Hey, you’d give us something we’d go slip into our coffee
And we’d start reading lines from poems that didn’t matter
You covered me with blankets in the Chelsea Hotel lobby
And I’d start reachin’ for the scar along your belly
They’d start takin’ us ‘cause winning is their hobby
P: Zaa kengt iederiejen oept plaan, maa moeder. Iederiejen kengt
heur. Ze is een hiejel schoewen vraaw, veur heure leeftaad. Maa
zuuster das oewek een hiejel schoewen vraaw. Waa zèng hallef
zigeuners hé. Ma voader dieje ziet in Luuxembuurg...
Stilte.
P: Kiek bèn nie versleete, kiek hum altaa goe geeten, maa moeder
hee dor altaad vur gezurgd. Soems brengt zaa spaghetti mee nort
plaan veur ongs...
Stilte.
P: Das trorre van den heroine: da lot aa der nog goed owwetzien, da
bewoart. Den J das nen echte speedfreak, diejen ies iengevallen van
damfétaminen. Das nen echte speedfreak.
P legt zijn hoofd op tafel.
BA: Wie heeter an mèn broma’s gezeten? Dor zieten der no maor
vaaf niemiejer ien.
BA legt zijn hoofd op tafel.
B: Gèft maaj a sigaretje, joenge, das toch nie moeilijk.
J: Iek hem er aauw al twieje gegèven, moat.
B: Ze hèmme maane toebak getjoept. Geeft ma e sigaretje, joenge.
J: Iek hem nie iens genoeg sigaretten veur mazelf joenge.
B: Gaa hèt maane toebak getjoept moat!
J: Kiek smoer nie iejens giene toebak - en iek tsjoep nie van ne gast
gelaak as aa.
B: Iek zeg da gaa maane toebak getjoept hèt, joenge.
J (heel luid): Iek mok hum van kaant!
J pakt bliksemsnel een plank die achter hem staat.
Hij zwaait wild met de plank.
De honden kruipen weg in een hoek.
J slaat naar het hoofd van B.
B slaagt er in om de plank weg te trekken uit de handen van J.
J en B pakken elkaar vast, proberen elkaar te wurgen, maken dierlijke
geluid, heel luid.
J: Iek mok hum kapot!
B: Smerlap! Voilen djuunk!
J: Iek mok uh kapot!
B: Lot maa los.
J: Aaaarh...
Na een tijd houdt het gevecht op.
B legt zijn hoofd op tafel en slaapt.
J: Hijgend en wenend: Godverdoeme de smerlap.
P richt zich op.
P: Allé J, trekt aaw da zoe nie oan joenge.
J: Iek moak hum van kaant.
P: Toe naa joenge goat goan sloapen.
J: De vollighaad: hum zeet dak zanen toebak gepiekt hum en kiek
smoer al iejens gienen toebak.
P: Koem J, goa sloapen, dieje gast heet iet gepakt diejen ies ziechzelf
nie.
J: En kiek zèn nog zoe oennoewezel gewist om hum twieje sigaretten
te geve.
J legt zijn hoofd op tafel en slaapt.
P legt zijn hoofd op tafel en slaapt.
Stilte.
P zet zich recht.
P: Wa was da naa wier allemoal vannenacht? Wat hee dieje B naa
faatelijk? Moar da go nie blaven duren hé, den J ies geriejed oem
ongeluken te doen.
BA zet zich recht, geeuwt en rekt zicht uit.
BA: Wa woarde gaa naa oant zeggen, P? Iest weren ambras gewist
vannenacht? Toch weer nie de B zeker?
J zet zich recht.
J(luid brullend): Naa zenne kiek nuuchter, naa moakkekiek hum
kapot! Lot hum owwet maan oegen blaven of iek mok hum kapot.
BA: Koem J, zet eu.
J: Kiek schoam ma rot, joenge, kiek hoa nie van dieje wiette waan
moagen drienken. Dieje waan oep die pielen da’s een vollighaad.
P: Al da drienken da deugt veur niet. Diejen alkool dastergste van
alles.
J: Mor hum heet maa zoewe getreiterd, kon maa niemer houwen.
P: Khum altaad gezee dak hum nie betraaw, mor diejen heet iet
gepakt, iek wiejet nie wa, mor diejen heet iet gepakt, diejen stot veul
te hevig. De BA moet dieje pielen gegoven hemmen en tongs heet
diejen doroep zieten te zoppen, diejen ies da nie gewoeën. Of hum
heet ze gepiekt èh.
J (beduusd): Meug kiek maane metadong? Die fleskes joa, ...
BA zet zich recht.
BA: Vannenacht hemme kiek maa gedroagen hé, kiek hem practies
nieks gedroenken.
J: De B heet maa gestoake mee a mes.
BA: Alléh J, nie overdraaven hé.
J trekt zijn T-shirt omhoog en toont twaalf wondjes in zijn zij.
J: Twallef kieren heet hum maa gestoke, de smèrlap, dieje B heet a
mes baa.
B zet zich recht.
B: Gaa zèt ne gek, joenge: gaaj hèt maa van kangt wielen moaken!
J: Smèrlap, gèt maa mee u mes gestoken!
B: Kiek hem gieje mes, joenge.
P: Khem aa mes gezien, B, ties a zakmes.
J: Iek schom maa rot, ge komt dan al ne kiejer bowweten, da dieje
maa zoevaar gekregen hee... Iek schom maa rot. Normoal doene
kiek zoewen dienge nie.
P: Waj hummen oeijt mee ons ploeg vangt voetbal tegen de Pfaff
gespeuld. Allé, kbedoel: allemoal bekende Vlommingen, de Pfaff
wasser dor iejene vang. Wiejede wa dieje Jean-Marie tegen maa zee:
‘Got boterhammekes mee choco goan eten’.
B (zingt): Oep ne barig ziet nen aawen Indioan en diejen Indioan die
moet er oan. En diejen Indioan diejen hèt P.
P: Hum hee wel ne goeije kopstoewet ghad, twas rap oepgelost en
khum hum gezee Jean-Marie joenge, das wel spaatig veur uh èh
vang diejen diefstal, da wiet geld dat hèdde kunen oangegeven, mor
alt zwart dor ies mane moat wel mee weg, éh!
B (zingt): Oep ne barig ziet nen aawen Indioan en diejen Indioan die
moet er oan. En diejen Indioan diejen hèt P.
P: Kwazze kiek mental coach van de ploeg.
B (zingt): Oep ne berg ziet nen aawen Indioan en diejen Indioan die
moet er oan. En diejen Indioan diejen hèt P.
P: Zieveroar! Waa zèng dormee begongen mee die ploeg, en haj lopt
hier rongt in een T-shirt vang de ploeg.
B: Schoewen T-shirtje, èh joenge.
P: Ze zegge diekwels da kiek de boas beng vant plaan. De Sam
Gooris da was wel nen toffe.
Stilte.
P: As datter ambras ies oept plaan komen de flieken altaad nor maa,
en kiek zeg tongs: ‘Joa joengens, kiek zal da wel oeplossen goat mor
nor howwes’. Khèmmekiek dor nie veur gevrogt oem de boas vant
plaan te zeng, der ies oewek giejen verkiezieng gewiest, daties precies
vanzelf gekomme.
B: Mor zoe langzoam da gullie altaad loewept, t’is precies of da kiek
op gank zèn mé een bengde gepengsioneerden.
P: Joenge, iedereen got op zaan aagen tempo nor boaven, dat is hier
toch giejen koers zèker.
P: ‘Kzaa wel es willen zien hoe dat diejen da zoo doen astem maanen
aawerdom hee, mee een prothese in zaane knie en mee astmaa.
IR richt zich op ze begin haar haar in staartjes te vlechten, ze steekt er
bloemen in, ze zet een petje op haar hoofd.
J: Ties ne zieveror. As da kem oep tplaan tegenkoom slog iek hum
oep zen bakkes. Ge paast toch nie dat dat allemoal zoemor vergeten
ies zeker (heft zijn T-shirt omhoog, toont de wondjes).
P: As hum nog iejen woard euver C zee zalt rap gedoan zèn mee
hum, de J dieje wiejet dat èh, as kiek kwoat wur goan kiek niekske
zeggen hé. Kiek beweeg tongs nie, ik blaaf vlak baaj hum ston en
oepiens heet hum het vlaggen. Iek zeg het, hum goat ne kopstoewet
krage.
BA: As da waj ient stad worre, humme waa iet gekocht, kwiel
zegge zjuust wa wiet oem te smoeren, en tongs iestem dor oewek
begiennen te muzzen mee dieje gast, opiejes moest dat ient Arobisch
– en kiek hum da betold èh, kzèn zeker dattem den helft ien zaane
zak gestoken hee.
IR (uitzonderlijk luid): Kiek drienk al laank nie miejer!
IR: Hedde gullie gezieng da kiek thos gekowwest hem?
P: Hèdde den diejen zèn koatten al ne kier gezien, diejen hee koaten
van betong.
IR: Ies er nog u pientje. Iek hem dust. Iek goan maa nie bezatten
hee, zjuust u pientje veur den dust, da meug toch wel zekers.
IR: Moar hum heet da wel gezien hé! Dat dat hier zoe schoewen
proper ies. Kiek vien da gezellig hee, mé bloemekes oep toafel en
alles éh.
BA: Allé da kan naa toch nie da kiek zoe iets gezee hem.
IR: Allee mannen roept naa ne kier nie zoe!
IR: Al da geroep sèch, dat ies oem zot van te wurren.
IR: Dieje B ies aangespuurt gekomen en heet alle piengtjes owwet-
gezopen!
B: Da waren der nie veul zeune IR, gaj had de miestaloep.
IR: Kiek vien da schoewen, da petje, mè maan stèrtjes, kiek zoa
gèrre zoeiejen humme.
B: Kgoan alles moeten wegsteken hee.
IR: Eng met die bloemekes ien maan hoar, goed hee.
P: Widde, diejen heet a mes gevongen, iengt bos. Da ies veurzekerst
vang de Kelten.
B: Doet naa nie onnoewezel, joenge, gaj altaad meej aa Kelten, das
gewoen a mes da ne gast diejen ingt bos aont werreken was dor
verloaren hee. Ge ziet toch dat dat mes nie ouwt ies.
P: Nèjje, hum heet dat oepgekoast, da mes was zoewe roest as iet as
hum da gevongen heet.
P: Da zat hier vol Kelten innen taad.
B: En naa ziet er alliejen nog nen aawen Indioan.
P: Dur moet hier nie ver vandoan ne groete veldslag humme
plutsgevongen.
B: Jao mee nen hoewep Indioanen die zummen afgeslacht.
P: De Vercingetoriex kende gaa dieje?
B: Wie heeter naa wier maanen toebak getjoept sèch? Dorzjuust lag
diejen hier nog.
IR: Roept na ne kier nie zoewe!
P: Awel de Vercingetoriex diejen had dreihongderdduzend mang
bajien gebrocht; de Zjulius Cesar heet die ieng de pang gedon.
Stilte.
P: Kiek zoo wel ne kier nor da slagveld van de Vercingetoriex wielen
goan kaaken, dat is nie zoe vaar weg, moar te voet ies da te vaar,
toch zèker vur iemand askiek, mee asmaa en prothesen ieng maan
knieën. Kiek goan ne kier teruugkomen nor hier, vannezomer, mee
C en tongs goanne kiek dor langsgoan...
Stilte.
P: Vannezomer, mee C.
Stilte.
P: Iek hèm towwes veul videoos van de Kelten.
Stilte.
P: Amérika da ies niet ongdekt deur Chriestoffel Colombuus, moar
deur de Viekingen, veul iejeder. Wieste ga da?
B: Joa da wieste waj al laank, dat hedde gaij al twientieg kieren
gezee.
P: Dieje B dieje goat oep zaan woorden meugen letten of hum zal
rap ne kopstoewet humme.
BA: Ma voader da was nen dokwaarker. Da was ne goeie loeper
oewek. Waa gingen as kiek ne klaane joengen was mee ma moeder
goan kaken nor de martathong in Antwaarpen, en tongs stonden
waa doar, en kiek zag die gasten afkoamen en tongs zee kiek tegen
maa moeder, ‘Mama, dat is de papa diejen doar afkomt, dieje liep
gewoen van veur.’
P: Oep tplaan zal kiek dor ne kiejer mee mane moat euver spreken,
dat ies een klierkas, twieje meter hoeweg, ne boewem van ne mengs,
dieje lachter nie mee, das onmieddellijk sloan baa den dieje. Das ne
graave gast, we zuulen waaj wel ne kier zieng of dat de B tongs nog
zoe u groewet lawaat hee.
IR: Das den dieje dieje mee C ziet te vozzen.
BA: Kiekzelf was ne goeie voetballer en ne spuurter. Mor ja. Maa
moeder iester van ongder getrokken mee zaane moat wor dattem
mee liep. Zaane moat wor dattem mee ging piengten goan drienken.
Dokwaarkers hemmen altaad durst. Ik meug baa ma voader nie mier
binnen deur de veurdeur. As da kiek doar oanbel dan zeetem deur
de brievenbuus da kiek langs achter moe binnenkommen. Kuunde
da na geloeweve: diejen schoamt zich veur zanen agen zeun. Kiek
meug oewek in veul cafés nie mier biennen in Boewem. Oemda
kiek altaa ruzie moak en ze paanze da kiek altaad druugs ont dielen
beng. Soms komt maa voader oep tplaan, die ziet doar dan oan
den aandere kaant vangt plaan, u pientje te drienken en nor maa te
kaken. Tzèn tongs miestal maan moaten die maa zeggen: u voader
ies dor wier.
Stilte.
BA: (kijkt strak voor zich uit terwijl hij spreekt): Ma moeder
humme kiek al hiel lank nie mier gezien. Mor kiek hoa ne moat
dieje baa de flieken werkte en kiek zee tegen hum: ‘Kuunde ga den
telefongnuumer van ma moeder nie viengen? Die woent baa dieje
gast, wiejede wel.’ Iek moetet aa zeggen, de volgende dag hattekiek
da numer al. En sovves beldegekiek heur oep. Twas ierst dieje gast
diejen oeppaktege, en iek vroeg of dat kiek koste sprèken mee
madame. Tongs kwam zè oan den telefong. Iek zee: ‘Alloo, ties mee
BA, ... Alloo mama, ties mee de BA, euwe zeun. ’ Ik hoerdege da
ze zaa schrieuwdege... Twas rongd Kerstmies. Tongs zee zaa: tpast
naa nie, belt over twieje weke ne kier teruug, noa de fiejesten. Kiek
vongt dat al roar. Mor joa, no twieje wèken belle kiek teruug... Kiek
kraag een stem te hoere die zee: ‘Diet numer ies ongbekend’. Die
had heuren telefong loaten afslowwetten... Kuunde da geloeve? .....
Kuunde da geloeve? Das daartieng joar gelijjen da kiek maa moeder
gezien hem. Maa moeder ies... Loat ma nie schriewen.
J: Hé S, gaa zet ne S hé joengen.
P: De Q dat ies oewek ne S.
B: Doet naa toch nie zoe onnoewezel joengen da zaan gewoen
hongden.
P: Hèdde da naa gezieng, dieje B geft die hongden ne stoemp
oemdat diejen hongt hum geschaart hee, doar kang diejen hongd
toch nie oan doeng zeker dattem nogels oep zaan poeweten hee, das
toch normaol zeker da zoewe nen hongd noagels oep zaan poeweten
heet, dieje wielt gewoeën vriendelaak zaan.
BA: Kiek was viertien joar as da kiek begonnen beng mee LSD,
wa giengen altaad nor de diescoteken, ien Lokkeren, iene Sjerry
Moen. Maa schoewezuuster heet maa heroine ongerojen, mor tongs
wazzekiek toch al iejenentwientig.
B: IR da was ne boem, joenge, as da ze zaa joenk was. Allee, da’s nog
altaad een hiel schoewen maske hè.
IR: Na moede nie komme slaamen hé B!
J: Lakker da dat ies. Mo lakker da dat ies.
B: IR ies nog modèl gewèst, baj hoe heet dieje gast oewek al wier?
J: Nieje kiek kan da nie baaten, mé maan tangden.
IR: Baa Vang Baarendoenk.
B: Kiek ken da maske al vanaf da ze zaa zoe hoeweg was èh. Wa
hadden u gewoen broemerke, mo zaa nie hee, za ho nen Dax, kengde
gaa da, nen Dax?
P: Kiek was vangt Stovvenbergplaan, toen da kiek nog u kient was
èh, dor hemme kiek alles gelierd. En kiek ben tongs begongen met
maan aagen bengde. As kiek vuftien was zatte kiek in Mol vur
gewoppende euvervallen. Da was wel gemakkelijk want ze hèmme
maa doroem direkt afgekeurd veurt leger.... Ieng Mol humme kiek
alles gelierd wa da kiek naa wiejet van druugs en alles wa da kiek
wiejet vang de seurieuze miesdoad. As kiek dor bowwetengekomme
beng ies maane echte miesdoadcarjière mo goe begonge.
Maan vraa, C, allè, kiek wiel zeggen maan vriending, die holt maai
owwet de bak as ze maa der nog uns ingstoppen, da zwere kiek aa.
Met den huulp van maan neven, mor die holt maa dorowwet, dat
ies zèker. Mor iek koom niemier ieng de bak, iek hèm maan les
gelierd. Kiek doen niekske verkierd. Joa iek hum nog iejen diengske
loewepen, van dieje fliek da kiek ne kopstoewet gegeven hem, moar
dorveur kraagen ze maai nie ing de bak. Dat ies woord tegen woord,
ze goan diejen onnoewezele fliek nie mier geloeven as da ze maa
goan geloeven.
Stilte.
P: Maan vriendingen hummen altaad meegedoan oan dovervallen
die kiek gepleegd hum. Naaw doen kiek da nie mier, èh,
Lange stilte.
P: Maan vraa, Katrien, is gesturreven toen kiek iene bak zat,
vang nen ovverdoozis, ..., van verdriet. Iek moecht niejiens nor
de begroafenies vang Katrien, kuunde da geloeven? Kiek zèn ne
weduwnèr. Kiek zèn noeijt mier hertraawd. Iek zèn soamen mee
C; waij humme ne traawrieng oep ongze vienger getatoeerd, mo
waa zèn nie echt getraawd. Waa kunen nie traawen, da zoa al maan
schuulden op heur euverdroagen.
J: Nieje veur maa giejen appelen en oek gien wurtelen, iek kan da nie
èten mee maan tangden.
P: Nen enkelbangd, joenge, dat ies een rorre straf: ge wielt effekes
nor de wienkel goan, oem u pakske sigaretten te hoalen, oem
twie minuten euver twolf en ge meugt mor aaw hoas owtgoan tot
twolf ure, en ge zèt nog nie oep de stoep en dieje gast belt aa oep,
oengmiedelijk: ‘P, gaa moet biene blaven, hee joenge!’
J: Kiek bedel oep de Kazerlaa, mé maan hongden. Kiek zien da as
wareken. Iek zurreg altaad da kiek dor oem tien uren ben en kiek
waarek acht uren on u stuuk. Kiek beweeg tongs nie veul, kiek stoan
zjuust ne kier oep oem iets te gon eten.
B: Wa bringt dat oep?
J: Rongd de draduzend Euro per mongt.
BA: Das nie slecht, J!
J: T’es oewek hard wareken: iek ziet doar altaad èh, moat, zomer en
wiengter, ast regent en as dat snieuwt, ongder u basjke.
BA: Iek doen iet aners: iek gowen nor de mengsen toe en iek zeg da
kiek nor ’t nachtverblaaf wiel gon sloapen en da kiek twieje euro te
kort koom, mor dat ies gevorlijker, ge meugt da nie èh, ge meugt de
mengsen nie lastig vallen oep stroawet, ze smaten ouw iengt kasjot
as ze aaw da zieng doen.
J: Maa loweten ze gewoeën doeng, tot no toe hebbekiek nog giene
last gehad vang de flieken.
BA: Joa mor kiek verdieng wel fuftig Euro oep een half uur, hé.
J: Mor die draaduzend euro das nie genoeg, sovves, no twaark pak
kiek manen oto, u brekske, dan raa kiek nor de boiten, nor Brasschot
en zoewe, die joeng gasten die zen dor zoewe bedurven ast mor kan
zaan, die lotten hun velos gewoeën boitten stoan. Kiek piek alliejen
goeij vélos, giene roemel – en kiek verkoep ze altaat vur miengstens
hongdert euro. Ties godverdoeme nie oemda kiek nen juunk beng
da kiek ne goeie velo zouw moete verkoepe vur vaafentwintig euro.
Tes nie oemda kiek oan den héroine beng da kiek onnoewezel beng.
As ze ne goeie veelo wielen veur vaafentwientig euro moeten ze hum
zellef mor gon jatten.
J: Ze hèmme maa oeijt ullef moangden in de bak gestoken, vur
iejene velo dak gepiekt hoo.
B: Joa joenge, mor ge piekt ter wel tien oep nen ovend, hé.
J: Joenge iek zeg aa da kiek zjuust vuur iene vélo vereurdielt beng,
van die aner vélos wiesten zaa nieks. Un hiel joar ieng de bak veur
iene stoeme vélo.
J: Oep ne kier komt der dor a maske en die geft ma twieje euro,
effekes lotter is die dor opnief en die gèft ma wier twieje euro, en
u katier loater stot die dor oepnief en die geft ma wier twieje euro,
kiek zeg: ‘wa ies da mè aa, goat’t nie? En da kiend zegt tegen maa:
zedde gaa den E, en mee da zè da zee wiejetekiek wie dat dat ies, dat
ies mane wietekop, mane klaane, maane wiete, maan dochter die
kiek niemer meuge zieng. De troanen stongen in maan oewegen,
ongmiedelijk. Eng dat ies allemoal de schuuld van da waaf, wangt
kiek ben ne dief en ties nie goe veur dieje klaane oem ien contact te
kommen mee nen dief. Mor ze zuulen der noeit baa zèggen da zaa
altaad hé ongedroengen veur mier geld, twas noeit genoeg wa da
kiek bienenbrocht.
J: Vruger hemme kiek a kafee gehad, in Ieper, an haardrok kafé, ek
spreken evenhoed westvloams of antwerps hee.
BA: Wieste gaa da kiek ne zoewen hem, joa, ne joenge van u joar
of tieng. Khèm es iet gehad mee u maske, zjuust vur iene nacht, ge
kent da, oep stap gewest, teveul gedroenken en gek oant doewn en
die pakt maa mee noar hur koamer en jo en wa doengt, zallekiek
zeggen, moar dorna hemme kiek die griet noeijet niemier gezieng.
Oep ne kier, veul loater zee ne moat van maa: ‘Kende gaa die?’ Kzeg:
‘Joa, ken die, khem dor oeijet iet mee ghad. ‘Da paas kiek oewek,
die heet ne klaane van aa’, zee dieje gast. Kmiendege da kiek deur
de grongd ging. Zaa wielt tegen maa nie mier spreken, moar iek zen
heur gevolgd, en zoewe wete kiek woar da ze woeënt en iek gieng
regelmotig aont school gaon stoan, das tschool woar da kiek zelf nog
nortoe gegoan beng. Iek stongt doar tongs tegen ne muur vannen
howwes te kaken. Oep ne kier koemt dor een madame nor boaten,
en die zee: ‘Goejendag mijnheer, zeide gij soms BA, BA L?’, en kiek
zeg: ‘Joa, hoe wiede gaa da?’ En zaa zee: ‘Ik ben juffrouw geweest
van U.’ En tongs herkendege kiek ze, en tongs zee zaa: ‘Gij komt hier
nie zo maar èh, BA.’ Gij komt kijken naar dat kiend.’ Ze zee dattem
zjuust op maa trok, dattem dezelfde oewegen heet azzekiek.
Stilte.
BA: Sprèkt ma nie van ma moeder of kiek beging te schrieuwen
– kzènnekiek drajendettig joar en al dertien joar hemmekiek maa
moeder nie miejer gezieng.
IR: Allé dieje B krupt dor oep die klimplangt, oep ne wiep hangt
diejen dor tieng meter boaven de grond. En hum doar zee: ’Iejes nen
oap, altaad nen oap.’
P: Hum hee gelaak.
IR: Den J en de P enne kiek hummen soamen u jointje geroewekt,
da mogen wa toch wel zeker, dor moeten wa de B toch nie baa
roepen zeker. Want kiek kan aa wel zeggen hum heet hem wiejer
owwetgehangen zuune.
P: Wie heter maane zongebriel gehad?
Stilte.
P: Jo, allé mannen dat ies wel nen echte briel vanne polies. Khum
dieje gevongen oep tplaan.
B: Das ummes nie vanne polies, joenge.
P: Tstotteroep.
B: Allé naa, dat ies a marik.
P: Iek zeg dat da nen echte poliesebriel ies.
P: Khum ne pas vanne fliek gevongen oewek, oep tplaan.
J: Wiede wa dat aariegste van alles ies: kiek ben in maa leven al
mier dan iene kier multimiljonair gewest. Kiek hum verschielende
howezen gat, schoewen howezen. Da leste ien Wommelgem, da was
u schoewen howezeke. En kiek hum dat allemoal loaten schieten
veur da waaf sèch: zaa heet alles gat.
Een mobiele telefoont rinkelt een paar keer.
P: Iest C?
B: Dor belt niemand angders.
P: Joa C, joa... Neije.
P: C, iek zeg aa da kiek doar nie oan koom... Neije.
... Iek aaj oewek.
...Kiek zeg het toch, C.
P: C, iek moet deur, kiek hum giejene taad, waa moeten deur, waaj
humme nog vanalles te doen, waa zieten hier oep ne barig. Verstot
da naa toch ne kier... Neije. Neije C... Allè naa... Vurwa zodde da na
doeng? Kiek benne zotterdagovvend teruug. ..., neije... de zotterdag
humme kiek gezee. Allé. C doe naa nie onnoewezel. Kiek hum nieks
mee IR. Sèch. C!...
Neije... Neije...
B: Wannieje goat dat hier gedoan zèn sèch? Mee al da gezoch. Waj
moete toech nie zwagen en wochten oemda die C belt zekers?
P: C, wa moeten éten, belt oep nen andere kier es teruug.
Stilte.
P: Neije, ge verstot maa nie, kwiel zeggen...
P: Ze heet neergelee...
Stilte.
P: Ze wielt zelfmoewerd pleegen, zeet al gesnejen, in heur aarmen.
P: Mor wor moeit den dieje ziech mee, diejen onnoewezele B? Dor
heet haa toch nieks mee te moaken zekers, as da C belt.
IR: Die C, die bedriegt de P, za krupt ient bed meejaner gasten as
dat de P der nie ies, gasten vangt plaan, kzèn zéker da zaa dees weèk
oewek wiejer oant hoereren ies.
P: C ies un hiejel schoewen vraa.
Stilte.
P: Waaj hèmme nog geluuk gehad. Waa zeng nog van de goeijen
taad hé. As waa der nog zèn dan ies da oemdatter in ongzen taad
nog goe gerief was. Zoaver gerief, gien vollighaad. Kèkt mor ne kier
nor de L zèn hangde, ziede die absessen, dat ies van de vollighaad.
Tegenwurdig verkoepen ze aa poejer da ze afgeschreept humme van
de bienenkangt van TL-lampen; spowet da mor ne kier in aa aoders,
joenge. ‘Tes tegenwurdig nie mier tzèlfde mè die Oewesteuropeanen.
Die mannen zèn oewek veul geweldaodiger, gèt doar nieks aon te
zèggen, die sloagen aaw iniejen vur ne niet. Der zèn veul woapens
oewek.
B (zingt): Oep ne baarig ziet nen aawen Indioan en diejen Indioan
die moet er oan.
J: Wiejede vurwa da Marokaanse vroawen nort kiekenkot goan oem
te bevallen? Oep die manier lieren die joeng al van klaansaf om te
pieken.
P: Dieje metadong dat ies nog groetere vullighed dan den heroien
zellef. Ge zèt doar nog zieker van as ge da nie pakt en ge kuunt
moar mienderen oan iejen per week, maksimum, kiek ziet oan
twiejehongderdvaafenzeventieg, ge kuunt pazen, en tongs meugde
tusendoor niekske pakken of ge zèt wier vedder achterowwet. Das
veur de rest van ongs daogen, joenge, da wa anne metadong zieten.
Stilte.
P: Waa kuunen giene kiek mier kragen, waa pakken zjuust mor
miedelen tegent ziek zaan, om nie ziek te zaan, tegen tbiebere, tegen
de kraamp, tegen de mieselijkhaad.
J: Joa mor soems kuunde wèl liever een goeie shot heroiene hèmme
inne pluts van die smèriege methadong.
P: Ge kuunt da nie zeggen vurwa da waa nor da plaan goan, der ies
dor nie veul speciaols, joa, er zèn dor baanken, ge kuunt dor zieten
en der ies ne nachtwienkel, ge kuunt dor pientjes koepen, vlakbaa
en nie te duur. Euverdag ieng de Spar en snachs ienne nachtwienkel.
Veul mier hee ne mengs nie noewedig ee.
IR: Iek gon gon waandelen, en iek wiejet nie hoe da da komt, iek
belangt oep tplaan, ge kuunt dor zieten, ient zonneke, u pientje
drienken, dor is altaad vollek da ge kengt, dat is dor gezellieg, ge
moet doar nie betoalen oem dor te zeng. Ze slowweten doart terras
nie.
BA: Der ies oewek veul solidaritaat oept plawen, hè.
P: As da de BA dat is nog ne joenge gast hee, met zane kop tussen
zaan bienen ziet, en kiek zien da, tongs gon ik daar langs zieten en
tongs zeg kiek dat hum da nie moet doeng.
IR: Amaai sèch, kiek kraag een beriechtje van maan dochter da ze
zaa geslocht ies.
BA: De P diejen helpt maa altaad. As da kiek met manen kop tussen
maan knieen ziet tongs got de P zeggen, allee BA joenge, zet aa
recht.
P: Maaj euverkomt da nie, iek ziet noeijt mé maane kop tussen maan
knieën, kiek zèn noeit zat.
IR: Mag kiek effekes aowen telephong gebrowwekken. Kiek zoe
grog ings mee maan dochter bellen, kiek zèn zoe fier as wa oep heur,
das toch goe zèker dazzer der deur ies oep school. Kgon u da tongs
teruugbetollen.
IR draait zich even om, het is even stil.
IR: Mor soms kannekiek da zoe beu zeng, al da geroddel oep da
plawen, en tongs zeggekiek: ‘kiek gon vanzeleven niemier nor
da plawen’. En tongs, de vollegenden dag zittekiek dor opnief,
kwiettekiek nie hoe data koemt: da plaan, ... da plaan, da trekt.
P: Iek wiejet da ze ongs dor kwaat wielen, de buurgemiester, de
flieken, de mengsen die ont plaan woenen, ze wielen ongs kwaat,
waa zieten dor ien de weg. Ties dikwaals da kiek tegen de gasten zeg
as ze wieres flessen kapot goeien of dor staon te piesen mieden oept
plaan, komoan joengens doet daa na nie, drojjet ow oem. Mor aon
die Ruusen hedde natuurlijk nie veul te zeggen.
B: Ze kragen ongs dor noeijet weg!
P: En gaa geloeft da, tzal nog nie te laank duren.
J: Der heter iene een valigheidsspeld ongder maa gat gelee, kmoet
nie nordinken wie da da gewest ies!
BA: Wor ies manen toebak?
J: Inghen taaad giengen waa meej ongs famile goan viesen in zieje.
Waj howwen sleepnetten en nachtlanen, waaj hadden waslapkes
vol me zangd oem die netten oep huun plek te houwen en tongs
hadden wa kurte koerekes mee oas oan, da was van agen allemoal
nie toegeloaten. As da waa oep vakaanse giengen mee oengs familie
tongs was dat altaad oan zieje. Wa zaotten toengs oep een campieng,
wa leverden vies veur hiejel de campieng. Da was plezierig joenge,
die netten owwetleggen, iengt mieden vanne nacht. Kiek zaaw da
direct oepnief wielen doeng.
Stilte.
J: Den héroine, iek gèf da noeijet oep. Kzou nie wiejete woroem.
IR: Heeter iemand maan pielekes gezien?
B: Iek zèn afkomstig owwet Spaons Marokka. Ongs voader was
ierst al nor Belligie gekoamen oem te wareken, dieje stuurde oengs
altaad vanalles oep. Waa dochte dat dat hiert paradaas was. Loater
zèn we waa, ma moeder en de kingders nor hier gekoame. As kiek
ien Belligië gekoome bing hoo kiek nog noeijet snieuw gezieng. En
opiens viel dat doar owwet de luucht, wiet, wa wiesten nie wa dat da
was. Ma voader, dieje mengs, diejen heet altaad kaajhard gewaarekt
veur ongs. Kiek kon dor an vroagen wa da kiek wouw, kiek kreeg
da, altaad, kiek had de schoewenste bee em ieks van hiel tstad, echt
woar. Kiek vroeg da, en kiek bleef da vroagen en tongs zeetum das
wèl veul geld zune joenge, mor owwetaandelijk kreeg kiek da. Den
ierste kiejer da kiek ien onraokieng meetgerecht gekoamen zen was
kiek nog ne joenge gast, vèftien joar denk iek. Iek hoa gezien datter
ne mengs was dieje veul hoazen verhuurdege, en altaad oep tèngde
vanne mongt dee dieje zane rongde mee de velo oem den huur
oep te hoalen. En ongdertuusen ging diejen in ellek kafee dattem
tegenkwam zaan piengten goan drienken. Tegen dat diejen towwes
kwaam was dieje stiepelzat. Nie vaar vang baj ongs waster ne gast
komen woenen. Iek hem hum van dieje verhuurder vertelt. De leste
vanne mongt zèn waaj hum gon oepwachten baj hum towwes.
Astem de deur opendee humme waj hum direct vastgepakt. Mane
moat heed um direct ne doef gegeven. Dieje gast ies gevallen. Kiek
zag al da bloed. Kwiest direct da da verkierd zat. Waa hummen tgeld
gepakt en waa zèn goan loewepe en we zèn direct nor tcafé gegoan
en waaj hemme iederiejen getracteerd, twas asof waat dormee goed
moktegen. Mor da viel natuurlijk oep da waa zoeveul geld hadde.
Tplezier hee nie laank geduurd. De waakagengt kreeg da te hoere
en twas owwet meet spel. Geluukig heet maane moat maa nie iene
ziejek gezet: haaj heet alles oep ziech genoamen. Haaj hee gezee
da haa diejen duuw gegèven hee. Haa was mierderjorrig, kiek nie.
Moar kiek zèn er toch mee ien de jeugdgevangenies gerokt.
Stilte.
B: Kiek hum altaad coke gebased, wa snovven da nie, wa smoeren
da, das beter. Da kost maa fuftig euro per dag. Kiek moet goan
wareken oem da te kunen betaolen, kieke zen ne goeie lasser – da
kuune ze euveral gebroaken en tongs lienks en rechts nog wa baaij.
Hier misse kiek da nie, mor as da menne moat baa maa vurbaa
komt, tongs weet kiek da dieje dat oep zak hee, tongs kune kiek
maaj nie inhaawe. Oan den heroien hemme kiek noeijet gekome.
Ties dormee dakiek nog zoe goe beng. Vruger woende kiek kurt baa
maan awers, mee maan vriengding, die heet maa iene steek geloaten
– kiek en vrawen da goat nie goe tesoame. Kiek had tongs ne motoe,
ma moeder dee alles oepda kiek mor nie kong vertrekke met dieje
motoe. Die hee maan sleutels gepiekt, die zette maan bangden plat,
die had zowene schriek da kiek ma gieng doewedraajen, die wiest
natuurlijk wel da da nie baaiïengieng zoewe ne motoe en tongs
dieje coke. Zoewe mengske dadier vanowwet Spaons Marocco ies
aongekomen... Kiek zow wel graog een nief vriengdin hummen,
morjoa. Mee diene cocaïen en al.
Stilte.
B: Mor ties wor, ties laank gelejen dak nog zoe-ne flash gehad hum
as oep dieje barig. Kzoo zoe gere ne fotoo humme van maa oep
dieje barig. Kzoo wiellen da ma voader en ma moeder ma hadden
keunnen zieng as kiek dor boaven oep dieje barig stong. Da ze zaa
hadden kunen zieng da kiek dor oep gerokt was! Da kiek dor stong
veur da langdschap.
BA: IR, hedde gaa welles goed oepgelet hoe serieus da kiek wel kang
zaan. Khem al nen hielen taad niemer onnoewezel gedoan. Kiek
kannekiek echt ne goeie zaan.
IR: Joa, kwiejettet, Ba.
BA: Wiejede wa da waa zowen moeten doen as da waa teruug in
Antwaarpen zèn? Waa zon ne kier soamen ne pizza moeten gon
èten, eng ietske drienken, oep u terraske, ient zonneke. Echt oep u
terraske, nie oep tplaan, zjuust waale getwiejen. Kwiejet een pluts,
nie vaar van tplaan wor da ze goeij pizzas hemme.
IR: Das allemoal goe, mor stelter u toch allemoal mor nie te veul
van veur!
BA: Allè IR, ties toch nie oemda kiek iene kier zotte kuren
owwethoal da kiek nie deug.
IR: Khem da toch nie gezee!
P: Ziet hier ne kier: kiek hum a mes gekocht, nie oem te gebroiken
hé, dat ies veur maan kollekze. Iek hum towwes een hiejel kollekze
messe, een schoewen kollekze.
B: Geeft ma da mes ne kier.
P: Neije.
B: Allee geft da!
P: Neije, bleft dor naa vanaf.
Een ogenblik stilte.
P: Die IR sèch, die pakt Antabuus, die pielen tegentdrienken en tongs
drienkt die doroep, dat ies oem hielemoal slecht van te zaan. Dat ies zoewe
gemokt dat ge hieltegangs mottig koomt as da ge doroep drienkt.
J: Kiek hum ne matrak gekocht, nen telescopische matrak, schoewe spelgoed
hé, ierst wouwe kiek nen teezer koewepen, mor diet is zeker zoe goe.
BA: En kiek hem a paapke gekocht, ties hier de stad van de paapen hé. Kiek
was al bekangs vergeten wadda kiek wow koewepen, geluukkig wiest IR
tnog. Ties veur maane moat.
IR: En waj humme veur aaw u flasselke ollie meegebrocht vur ingt eten te
doeng, goeijen ollie van hozelnoeweten, da zal lekker zaan.
Dezelfde stem die in het begin al de tekst van Bertolt Brecht uit ‘Die
Dreigroschenoper’ had gelezen leest die opnieuw:

Und der Haifisch, der hat Zähne
Und die trägt er im Gesicht
Und Macheath, der hat ein Messer
Doch das Messer sieht man nicht


Denn die einen sind im Dunkeln
Und die andern sind im Licht
Und man siehet die im Lichte
Die im Dunkeln sieht man nicht



Stage setting: A long, rough wooden table, about five metres long with
a bench behind it, also five metres long. Behind the bench, within
touching distance, stands a wall of green cans of Finkbrau beer, eight
cans high, stretching the length of the table. Between the wall of beer
cans and the bench sits a small rucksack which contains some clothes,
a packet of cigarettes, a tobacco pouch, and a small, silver coloured
transistor radio. There is also a solid, rough plank. There is food on the
table. As the play unfolds, the table, as well as the floor surrounding
it, are gradually covered in cans of Finkbrau. At the start of the play,
there is no-one on stage.
A voice, not belonging to any of the actors, reads out the following lyrics
from Crow by Jim Carroll, from the album Catholic Boy:

But Crow, when you throw yourself under
Singin’s hard when you can’t lose control
They don’t know, to them in the dark you don’t whisper
nothin’
And they’re all gonna try and rip the wind from your soul

But Crow, when you throw yourself under
The streets are hard when you cannot lose control
They don’t know, to them the dark don’t whisper nothin’
And they’re all gonna try and rip the wind from your soul
Crow

The same voice goes on to read out the lines below from ‘Die
Dreigroschenoper’ by Bertolt Brecht:

Und der Haifisch, der hat Zähne

Und die trägt er im Gesicht

Und Macheath, der hat ein Messer

Doch das Messer sieht man nicht

Denn die einen sind im Dunkeln
Und die andern sind im Licht
Und man siehet die im Lichte
Die im Dunkeln sieht man nicht

IR: (Voice only, she herself is not visible) Hello? ... Hello? ... Yeah,
Ir here. I’d written down your number, clever of me, right? Can
you come pick us up? We’re struggling. P’s knee and his asthma
are giving him an awful lot of stick. He’s already had to throw up.
Hello? Hello? And J’s knees are also playing up. It’s just too far,
see. And I’d written down your number. Clever, right? And they’re
letting me use the landline telephone here at the pub.

Four men, P, J (E), B and BA (L), and one woman, IR, enter the stage
chatting. They are each holding a can of Finbrau beer in one hand and
a cigarette in the other. They sit down on the bench at the table, facing
the audience seated before them. Everyone is smoking almost nonstop.
Everyone is constantly drinking from a can of Finkbrau or is at least
holding one in their hands. Together with these five people, three dogs
have also come on stage. They are average-sized dogs (D, Q and S)
of the same type. They are not pedigree dogs but they look a bit like
Alsatians. There is candlelight.
IR: I also told him not to bring any expensive drinks, right. Cans of
Finkbrau, the ones you can buy at Lidl, that’s what we need. That’s
the cheapest beer you can buy. There’s no point buying any of the
good and expensive stuff for us ... I think it’s quite something,
really, that they’ve got a Lidl here, too.
P: CaraPils is also quite good and it’s not more expensive, but I
don’t think they sell it at Lidl. The 24-hour shop on the square,
they’ve got Cara, but it comes from Colruyt.
J: Did you bring dry dog food? I’ll pay you back later, okay.
P: I thought I was going to die when I was walking up that
mountain. I couldn’t get my breath, and I also had to throw up.
And with my knees ...
P: Get this, right, Ir only starts picking up, right, with one of those
blokes in that pub, a Moroccan or a Turk, whatever yeah. She
almost bought a bag of weed, would you believe. You really can’t
take her anywhere. Just starts chatting up this bloke ...
BA: And she was late when we were coming here. She’d gone out
the night before and been on the XTC. Did you see the state she
was in?
P: I think that Celts used to live here. Special lot, they were.
IR: Oh come on now, B’s only gone and chucked a bottle of petrol
on that wood fire. Burnt his whole face, he has. Can you believe
that?
B: It’s J who chucked a bottle of petrol on that fire.
IR (Blows) God damn it, what a time to get a bloody cold. And
luckily, I remembered to bring my tampons. You’ve always got to
think ahead, see.
J: And two minutes ago, that idiot put a porcelain coffeepot on the
gas cooker. What’s he want to do, burn the place down or what?
IR: That bloke thought I was going to buy a bag of weed from him.
P: Did you see his face? Covered in blisters, he was.
J retrieves a round metal ashtray from his trouser pocket, slams it on
the table.
J: There you go, present! I got it from Antwerp ninety-three. They
came to deliver these there somewhere, and I pinched one of them
straightaway. About five hundred ashtrays, I think.
IR: As a young girl, I was hooked on heroin, from seventeen to
twenty-three. I got off it because of my granddad. He left me a
big sum of money, but I was only allowed to use it for travelling.
Once a month, some of the money would be released. So I checked
myself into rehab first and then I went travelling. Did most of Asia,
travelled around Cambodia, Vietnam, Thailand, the Philippines,
I’ve been everywhere, it’s how I got into diving. Everywhere I’d go,
I’d be diving. And so I became a diving instructor.
But divers, they’re a funny lot, right. Those guys are in the water
all day long and then hit the booze in the evenings. And just like
that, without really wanting to, I started to drink, drink a lot, drink
way too much, and before I knew it, I’d become an alcoholic. But
I’m off the booze now. I said to myself, no way am I going to drink
when I’m over there.
Silence.
IR: My daughter stays at my mother’s half of the time. But things
are good again between us. Now though, I feel like going travelling
again. I think it’s because of coming here. I should get my backside
into gear really, I should prepare for it. I could go back to teaching
diving courses. I’ve got the highest grade in diving, I’ve got all the
qualifications, it’s just been a long time ago now. With my daughter,
it’s a bit more difficult to go away for that long, but I really would
like to go back to Asia, away from the square, under water. I feel
like going for a dive again.
BA: Are you going to come sleep here with me, Ir?
B: Can I have another beer, I’m thirsty.
IR: Give me another one too. It’ll do my throat the world of good.
IR touches her thumb to her index finger, making an O-shaped gesture,
the way divers do to communicate to each other that everything is okay.
J: I don’t eat that much usually, but the food here is really tasty.
J: One for Q, one for D, and one for S. How’s that boys, the food’s
nice here, right?
B: Has anyone seen my tobacco?
BA: P doesn’t eat enough, that’s because of all the hassle with C.
BA: Can I have my Broma, please?
Silence.
BA: Everything I know about drugs, I learnt in prison.
IR: I’ve never really been in prison for that long. Can’t say why
really.
J: You’re not going to believe this but I had the best time of my life
in prison. I was in the Begijnenstraat when Van Rossem was there.
You should’ve seen how that bloke came in. Cut and dried that was.
The guards had fun and games with that one.
P: One thing’s for sure, you can buy whatever drugs you want in
prison.
Silence.
P: I did a lot of tattooing in prison, we made a machine for tattooing
using the engine of a cassette recorder. Nice little earner that. I’ve
always loved drawing, I’ve also always liked tattoos. This one here’s
nice, the one with the spider’s web and the spider. Which one do
you like best? But I think the Indian is still the nicest.
B: There’s an Indian sitting on a hill and that Indian’s gonna get
killed.
P: I’m going to go to sleep, I don’t feel too good.
P lays his head on the table, sleeps.
IR lays her head on the table, sleeps.
BA: Fancy another beer, B?
Silence.
BA: I’m going to give her one tonight.
Silence.
BA: When a woman’s got the painters in, she’s at her horniest.
Silence.
BA: I’m going to take P his food!
BA:P, P! I’ve got you your food.
P raises his head a little.
P: Leave me alone.
BA: P, but you’ve got to eat. P, you haven’t had anything to eat yet!
P: No! I don’t want any food.
BA: But it’s tasty stuff, boy.
P: I ... don’t ... want ... any ... food.
BA: But you’ve got to eat, P.
P: Will you let me sleep, L? You’re pissed as a rat.
BA: Is it because there’s no mayonnaise on it?
P: No!
BA: Wait, I’ll go get you some mayonnaise.
P lays his head on the table and sleeps.
Sounds of rummaging in the room, things are falling down.
BA: Where is that mayonnaise?
B: There’s no mayonnaise here, boy.
BA: Come on now B, we had some mayonnaise earlier, didn’t we?
We had mayonnaise with those fried potatoes, don’t you remember?
B: Come on mate, that mayonnaise is long gone.
The rummaging continues.
BA: There you are, see, that’s where it is, I found it. With this
mayonnaise on his potatoes, P is sure to eat his food now.
BA: Hey, P, this should do it. I put some mayonnaise on it.
P raises his head a little.
P: Sod off, let me sleep!
BA: You’ve got to eat, P.
P: No.
J sits up abruptly.
J: L, let the man sleep, will you? Come on now, is that so hard to do?
BA: But he hasn’t had anything to eat.
J: S, Q, D: attack!
Joe lays his head on the table and sleeps.
BA and B look at each other. They’re sitting on either side of IR. They
begin pulling at her.
IR: God damn it, I’ve only been lying here for half an hour and
already they’re hassling me again. I came to lie over here especially,
God damn it. They’re not right in the head, these two, I tell you.
Hassling a person, in the middle of the night, as if having a bad
cold and being ill like this, isn’t enough. God damn it. Bloody pair
of idiots, brave like this, aren’t they, when it’s two men ganging up
on one woman.
IR lays her head on the table, sniffles for quite a long time until she
falls asleep.
It is quiet for a while. B and BA start shuffling their feet ...
B: Come on boy, we’re off.
BA: Are there any beers left?
Stumbling noises, empty cans fall on the floor.
B lays his head on the table, he keeps his cigarette in his mouth. Sleeps
with the cigarette in his mouth. J sits up and takes the cigarette out of
B’s mouth and grounds it out on the floor.
J lays his head on the table again and sleeps.
BA is still sitting upright, staring out in front of him.
BA: May I please have my methadone?
Silence.
BA: May I please have my methadone?
IR raises her head very briefly. Sniffles loudly.
IR: Great, is he going to start again now, is he?
IR sniffles loudly, lays her head on the table and goes back to sleep.
BA: May I please have my methadone?
Silence.
BA: May I please have my methadone?
Silence.
BA: May I please have my methadone?
Silence.
BA: May I please have my methadone?
Silence.
BA: May I please have my methadone?
Silence.
BA: May I please have my methadone?
Stumbling noises.
BA: I’m off. I don’t like it here. I’m packing my suitcase and I’m
off, I’m going downtown and I’m going to catch a taxi straight back
to Antwerp city. P doesn’t want to eat, that bitch doesn’t want to
know. Give me my methadone, I’m off!
BA continues to sit up for some time before laying his head on the table
and going to sleep.
It is quiet for a while.
P sits upright, clears his throat and coughs, smacks his lips, belches with
difficulty, smacks his lips.
P: Good morning, may I have my methadone? No, not the liquid
one, that’s J’s, mine are the tablets. Cheers. Mornings are always
hard for me. I feel like throwing up.
P clears his throat, opens a can of Finkbrau, rolls a cigarette.
P: I can’t eat anything in the mornings, boy. My stomach feels all
tight. That’s also because of C, that’s been on my mind this whole
time. She had a row with me before we left. She’s as jealous as can
be. She was angry because she wasn’t allowed to come here with us
and Ir was. She thinks I’m going to start something with Ir, but
that’s the last thing on my mind, right. Last night, I’ve got to say,
was also a little bit Ir’s fault. Huddles up to Ba like that. What do
you expect, she does like to stir things up, you know.
P: I don’t drink a lot, as you can see. Whenever I open a can of
beer, I flip up the ring pull. That way, I can always recognise my
beer. I’m also not really in the habit of leaving my beer standing
around — I’d rather give it away than let someone else have a swig
and then take it back to drink the rest of it. You’ve got to be careful
with diseases on the square, especially if you’re weak: tuberculosis,
mate, TBC is not a joke, let me tell you.
Opens his can of beer (with the characteristic fizzing noise) and
ostentatiously flips up the ring pull.
BA sits up.
BA: I don’t feel too good, I’ve got cramps, I’m shaking and I’ve got
to throw up. I’ve got cramps everywhere. I’ve got cramps in my
face. May I have my methadone?
P: You went a bit mental last night, didn’t you, boy?
BA: What?
P: Your bottle of methadone’s in your trouser pocket.
BA: How did it get there?
P: First, you woke me up. Then, you hassled Ir and you wanted to
leave, taking B with you.
BA: What the hell are you talking about?
P: That you went mental last night. Your suitcase is all the way over
there, in the woods.
BA: Well, how did that happen?
P: You wanted to catch a taxi back to Antwerp.
BA: Come on now, you’re having me on.
J sits up.
J: Morning. Hey S, have you had a shit yet? And Q and D, yes boys?
... And L, what was that all about last night? You woke P up, he’d
taken his Broma, you know.
P: He also hassled Ir.
BA: Come on now, that’s not true, right, what am I supposed to
have said then?
P: That women are at their horniest when they’re on the rag and
that you were going to give her one.
J raises his hand.
J: Excuse me but ... um ... may I have my methadone?
BA: I don’t remember any of that, there’s no way all that really
happened.
J: I got up last night to go for a piss and that B was sleeping with
a burning fag in his trap. Didn’t even know I took it out. As if his
face isn’t burnt enough already, right?
B sits up. He moves in a very stilted and aggressive manner.
B: God damn it, who’s been in my rucksack?
J: Well, good morning to you, too.
P: No-one’s touched it, boy. You wanted to leave with Ba. You
wanted to go back to Antwerp.
B: You’re just talking stupid now. I’m telling you, things gets
stolen here. Why can’t they just leave people’s stuff alone instead of
messing with it all the time?
P: I’m telling you that you put your rucksack there yourself, boy.
No-bo-dy - has - touched - it.
B: And my cigarettes and my tobacco, who’s nicked them then?
P: Nobody’s nicked anything. You were pissed as a fart and you
misplaced those cigarettes of yours somewhere. Not surprising
really, the place was covered in opened cans of beer. You take one
swig out of a can and then you leave it. Why don’t you look in your
rucksack first before you go around accusing people?
BA: Yes B, apparently, we really went for it last night.
P: You pair also hassled Ir, and Ba’s stuff is scattered downstairs, in
the middle of the path.
B: If I tell you that I never put that rucksack there, then I didn’t put
it there, and I want my cigarettes back.
B picks up his rucksack which is sitting behind him, puts it on the table,
yanks the zip open furiously. The transistor radio of the refuge falls out.
B: (In a very high-pitched voice) What’s this, boy? God damn it, who
put this radio in my rucksack?
P: B boy, you did that yourself, remember. See, that’s how far gone
you were.
B: Idiots, why would I put a radio in my rucksack?
P: Why would anyone else put a radio in it?
B lights a cigarette.
P: So, where did you get that cigarette from?
B: None of your business.
P: See, they were in your rucksack all the while.
B: Come off it, why would I put them in my rucksack?
IR sits up, coughing.
IR: Pass me a beer, will you ... God damn it, pair of idiots, waking
up a sick person and hassling her in the middle of the night. It’s a
disgrace. Two blokes against one girl. And that L thought he’d get
off with me, he thought he’d get off with me — bloody idiot.
BA: Yeah Ir, I’m sorry, love. I really don’t know what happened.
IR: Yeah, yeah, excuses, excuses, eh mate. Next time, let people
sleep.
Everyone is sitting at the table, a can of Finbrau in their hands,
smoking. Everyone is coughing. For a while, no-one says anything.
J: Have you got ticks, S? Oh, will you look at that? Behind his ears.
And Q too! Lay down on your back, boy. Daddy will take care of it
for you, eh. Bloody hell, take a look at S. He’s got loads of the little
buggers ... At home there’s lots of them too.
IR: I’m taking things easy today, what with all the palaver from last
night — it’ll do me good to catch up on some sleep, maybe I’ll feel
better then tonight.
IR lays her head on the table.
B: Any beers left?
P: Not many, but I’ll open one up, take a swig and then you can
finish the rest.
BA: Would you bloody believe it, I’ve just put my tobacco on the
windowsill and now it’s gone.
P: C is a very beautiful woman.
Silence.
P: My mother is also a beautiful woman, I’ve got to say, for her age.
P: My mother has always supported me. Whenever they found a
syringe in the hall of our block of flats or out on the green and
they told my mother that it was mine, my mother used to say: ‘No,
that’s not my son’s, I let my son shoot up in the bathroom’ ... You
all know my mother, don’t you lads? They call me the boss of the
square ...
P:My mother often comes to the square. She brings us cakes.
The same voice that quoted a number of lines at the start of the play,
now reads out the following lines from Crow from the album Catholic
Boy, by Jim Carroll:

It was so sweet when you brought donuts to the junkies
Hey, you’d give us something we’d go slip into our coffee
And we’d start reading lines from poems that didn’t matter
You covered me with blankets in the Chelsea Hotel lobby
And I’d start reachin’ for the scar along your belly
They’d start takin’ us ‘cause winning is their hobby
P: She knows everyone on the square, my mother. Everyone knows
her. She’s a very beautiful woman, for her age. My sister, she’s also
a very beautiful woman. We’re half gypsy, see. My father is in
Luxembourg ...
Silence.
P: I’m not used up. I’ve always eaten well, my mother always made
sure of that. Sometimes, she brings spaghetti to the square for us.
Silence.
P: That’s the strange thing about heroin, you still look good,
it preserves. J is a real speed freak, he’s all gaunt from the
amphetamines. He’s a real speed freak.
P lays his head on the table.
BA: Who’s been at my Broma? There are only five left.
BA lays his head on the table.
B: Give me a ciggie, boy, that’s not too much to ask, is it?
J: I’ve already given you two, mate.
B: They nicked my tobacco. Give me a ciggie, boy.
J: I haven’t even got enough cigarettes for myself, boy.
B: They nicked my tobacco, mate!
J: I don’t even smoke tobacco — and I don’t nick anything from a
bloke like you.
B: I’m telling you that you nicked my tobacco, boy.
J: (Very loudly) I’m going to kill him!
Quick as lightning, J picks up the plank behind him. He waves it about
wildly. The dogs crawl away into a corner. J takes a swing at B’s head.
B manages to pull the plank out of J’s hands. J and B grab each other,
try to throttle each other, whilst making very loud animal-like noises.
J: I’m going to kill him!
B: Bastard! Dirty junkie!
J: I’m going to kill you!
B: Get your hands off me.
J: Arghh ...
After a while, the fight dies down.
B lays his head on the table and sleeps.
J: (Panting and crying) God damn it, that bastard.
P sits up.
P: Come on J, don’t let it get to you, boy.
J: I’m going to kill him.
P: Come on now boy, go to sleep.
J: Dirty lies. He says I stole his tobacco and I don’t even smoke
tobacco.
P: Come on J, go to sleep, that guy’s on something, he’s not himself.
J:And I was stupid enough to give him two cigarettes.
J lays his head on the table and sleeps.
P lays his head on the table and sleeps.
Silence.
P sits up.
P: What the hell was that all about again last night? What’s up with
that B anyway? This is going to end badly, you’ll see, J is ready to
do something stupid.
BA sits up, yawns and has a stretch.
BA: What was that, P? Things kick off again last night, did they?
Don’t tell me it was B again?
J sits up.
J: (Roaring loudly) I’m sober now, I’m going to kill him now! Keep
him away from me or I’ll kill him.
BA: Come on J, sit down.
J: I’m so ashamed of myself, boy, I shouldn’t have had that white
wine. That wine with those pills, pure filth.
P: All this drinking is good for nothing. Alcohol is the worst of the
lot.
J: But he kept on at me all the while, I just couldn’t control myself
longer.
P: I’ve always said I didn’t trust him, but he’s taken something, I
don’t know what, but he’s taken something. He’s much too violent.
Ba must have given him pills and then he must have been boozing
on top of them. He’s not used to that, or he’s nicked them, right.
J: (Confused) May I have my methadone? Those bottles, yes ...
BA sits up.
BA: I behaved myself last night, didn’t I? I almost had nothing to
drink.
J: B stabbed me, with a knife.
BA: Come on now J, don’t exaggerate.
J pulls up his T-shirt and shows twelve small wounds in his side.
J: Twelve times he stabbed me, that bastard. That B has a knife on
him.
B sits up.
B: You’ve lost the plot, boy. You were the one who was trying to
off me!
J: Bastard, you stabbed me with a knife!
B: I haven’t got a knife, boy.
P: I saw your knife, B. It’s a pocketknife.
J: I’m so ashamed, the one time I get to go away somewhere and
that he got a rise out of me like that, right ... I’m so ashamed. I don’t
normally do things like that.
P: We once played football against Pfaff with our football team. I
mean, against a whole bunch of Flemish celebrities, Pfaff was one
of them. Do you know what that Jean-Marie said to me? ‘Go eat
chocolate spread sandwiches.’
B: (Sings) There’s an old Indian sitting on the hill and that Indian’s
gonna get killed. And that Indian’s called P.
P: I was the team’s mental coach.
B: (Sings) There’s an old Indian sitting on the hill and that Indian’s
gonna get killed. And that Indian’s called P.
P: Idiot! We were the ones who started up that team and he struts
around here in the team’s T-shirt.
B: Nice little T-shirt, eh boy?
P: They often say that I’m the boss of the square. Sam Gooris, he
was a good bloke.
Silence.
P: Whenever there’s fighting on the square, the coppers always
come to me, and I say to them: ‘Yes, don’t worry boys, I’ll take care
of it, you go on home’. I never asked to be the boss of the square,
there was never an election or anything, it just sort of happened.
B: How slow do you lot walk? It’s like I’m walking with a bunch
of OAPs.
P: Look boy, everyone goes up at their own pace, okay? It’s not like
it’s a race or anything, is it?
P: I’d like to see how he’d manage when he’s my age, with a
prosthesis in his knee and asthma.
IR sits up and starts plaiting her hair, she puts flowers in it and puts a
cap on her head.
J: He’s an idiot. If I see him on the square, I’m going to smack him
in the gob. If you think that I’m just going to forget about all of this
that easily (he lifts his T-shirt, shows off the wounds).
P: If he says one more word about C, I’ll be at him so fast, he won’t
know what’s hit him. J knows this, right, when I get angry, I don’t
say anything, right. I don’t move, I stay close to him and then, all
of a sudden, I strike. I’m telling you, he’s going to get head-butted.
BA: When we were in town, we bought something, just a little
weed to smoke, right, and then he starts scheming with that guy.
All of a sudden, things had to be done in Arabic — and I paid for
it, right. See, I’m convinced he pocketed half of it.
IR: (Exceptionally loud) I haven’t touched a drink in years!
IR: Did you see that I cleaned the house?
P: Have you seen the calves on him? Calves of steel, that one.
IR: Any beers left? I’m thirsty. I’m not going to get drunk or
anything. Just one little beer to quench my thirst, nothing wrong
with that, right?
IR: But he did notice, right, that it’s so nice and clean here. I think
it’s cosy, right, with those flowers on the table and everything, don’t
you think?
BA: Come off it, there’s no way I would have said something like
that.
IR: Come on, lads, stop shouting like that!
IR: All this shouting, damn it, it’s enough to drive you crackers.
IR: That B came sprinting up and guzzled up all the beers!
B: There weren’t that many left, Ir, you’d finished most of them
already.
IR: I like this, with my cap and pigtails, I would like to have one
like that.
B: I’m going to have to put everything away, aren’t I?
IR: And with these flowers in my hair. Nice, isn’t it?
P: Do you know, he found a knife, in the woods. Bet you any
money that it belonged to the Celts.
B: Don’t be stupid, boy. You and your bloody Celts. It’s just a knife
that one of the blokes who was working in the woods lost there.
You can see clearly that that knife is not old.
P: No, he cleaned it up. That knife was totally covered in rust when
he found it. This place was heaving with Celts in the old days.
B: And now, all that’s hanging around is an old Indian.
P: Some big battle is supposed to have happened not far from here.
B: Yeah right, with a whole bunch of Indians that got slaughtered.
P: Vercingetorix, do you know him?
B: Alright, who’s nicked my tobacco now? It was here a moment
ago!
IR: Will you stop shouting like that!
P: Well, Vercingetorix, he got three hundred thousand men
together. Julius Caesar made mincemeat out them.
Silence.
P: I would like to visit that battlefield of Vercingetorix. It’s not that
far away but it’s too far to do it on foot. Well, it is for someone like
me, with asthma and prostheses in his knees. One day, I’m going
to come back here, this summer, with C, and then I’m going to go
there.
Silence.
P: This summer, with C.
Silence.
P: I’ve got lots of videos at home about the Celts.
P: America, that was never discovered by Christopher Columbus
but by the Vikings. Did you know that?
B: Yeah, we knew that a long time ago, you’ve only said it about
twenty times already.
P: That B, he’s going to have to watch what he says or he’ll get headbutted
before he knows what’s hit him.
BA: My father, he was a dockworker. He was also a good runner.
When I was a young boy, we, my mother and I, used to go watch
the marathon in Antwerp. And we’d be standing there, and I’d
see the blokes come running towards us, and then I’d say to my
mother: ‘Mum, that’s dad coming this way,’ leading the pack, he
was.
P: When we get back to the square, I’m going to have a little word
with my mate, massive bloke, two metres tall, a real bruiser, doesn’t
take any shit, he doesn’t. It’s always punch first, ask questions later
with him. He’s fierce. We’ll see how big B’s mouth is then.
IR: That’s the bloke who’s been messing around with C.
BA: I, myself, used to be a good football player and a sprinter.
Yeah well. My mother ran off with one of his running buddies.
His drinking buddy. Dockworkers are always thirsty. I’m no longer
allowed to go in my father’s house through the front door. Whenever
I ring his doorbell, he tells me through the letterbox to go around
the back. Can you believe that? He’s ashamed of his own son, that
one. I’m also barred from a lot of pubs in Boom. Because I always
fight and they think that I’m always dealing drugs. Sometimes,
my father comes to the square. Sits there, on the other side of the
square, having a pint, watching me. It’s usually one of my mates
who says to me: ‘Your father’s here again’.
Silence.
BA: (Stares out straight ahead of him as he speaks) I haven’t seen my
mother for a very long time. But I had a mate who used to work
with the coppers and I said to him: ‘Is there any way you could
get my mother’s telephone number? She lives with that bloke, you
know’. I have to say, the next day, I already had that number. And I
phoned her that evening. At first, the bloke answered the phone and
I asked if I could speak to the lady of the house. So then she came
on the phone. I said: ‘Hello, it’s Ba ... Hello, mum, it’s Ba, your
son’. I could hear that she was crying ... It was around Christmas.
Then she said: ‘This is not a good time, phone me back in about
two weeks’ time, after the holidays’. I thought that was strange. But
anyway, I rang back ... The voice on the other end of the phone said:
‘The number you have dialled has not been recognised’. She’d only
gone and had her phone disconnected ... Can you believe that? Can
you believe that? It’s been thirteen years since I last saw my mother.
My mother is ... Don’t let me cry.
J: Hey S, you really are a little scamp, aren’t you boy?
P: Q, he is also a scamp.
B: Don’t be stupid, boy, they’re just dogs.
P: Did you see that? That B kicked those dogs just because they
scratched him, but dogs can’t help having claws on their paws, can
they? It’s normal, right, that a dog like that has got claws on his
paws. He just wanted to be friendly.
BA: I was fourteen when I started taking LSD. We always used to
go to nightclubs, in Lokeren, the Cherry Moon etc. My sister-inlaw
recommended heroin to me, but by then, I was already twentyone.
B: Ir, she was stunning, boy, when she was young. Saying that, she’s
still a very beautiful girl, isn’t she?
IR: Oh, don’t start sucking up, B!
J: How tasty is this? God, how tasty is this?
B: Ir used to be a model for, what was that bloke’s name again?
J: No, I can’t chew this with my teeth.
IR: Van Beirendonck.
B: I’ve known this girl since she was this high, right. We used to
have a simple little moped, but not her, right. She had a Dax, do
you know what a Dax is?
P: I used to live at the Stuyvenbergplein, you know, as a child. I
learnt everything I know there. And I started my own gang back
then. When I was fifteen, I got locked up in Mol for armed robberies.
Not a bad thing really, because they immediately declared me unfit
for the army ... In Mol, I learnt everything I know about drugs and
everything I know about serious crime. Once I got out of there,
that’s when my career in crime really took off. My wife, C, well, my
girlfriend actually, she’ll get me out of prison if they ever put me
away again, I swear to you. With the help of my cousins, but she’ll
get me out, that’s for sure. But I won’t go back inside, I’ve learnt
my lesson. I’m keeping my nose clean. Yeah, I got one little thing
going on still, to do with that copper I head-butted, but my word is
as good as that stupid copper’s.
Silence.
P: My girlfriends were always involved in the robberies I did. I don’t
do that kind of thing anymore now, though.
Long silence.
P: My wife, K, died when I was in prison, of an overdose ... Of grief.
They wouldn’t even let me go to K’s funeral, can you believe that?
I’m a widower. I never remarried. I’m with C, we have a wedding
ring tattooed on our finger, but we’re not really married. We can’t
get married because then all my debts would be transferred to her.
J: No, no apples and no carrots either, I can’t eat them with my
teeth.
P: An ankle tag, boy, that’s a strange punishment. You just want to
pop out to the shop, to get a packet of cigarettes, at two minutes
to twelve and you’re only allowed to leave your house up to twelve
o’clock, and you won’t even have stepped out onto the pavement or
some bloke’s already on the phone to you saying: ‘P, you’ve got to
stay indoors, eh lad!’
J: I beg on the Keizerlei, with my dogs. I see it as work. I always
make sure that I’m there by ten and I work eight hours straight. I
don’t move a lot, I only get up once in a while to go for something
to eat.
B: How much does that earn?
J: About three thousand euros a month.
BA: That’s not bad, J!
J: It’s hard work, mind you. I’m always sitting there, right mate,
summer and winter, when it rains and when it snows under a canvas.
BA: I do something else. I go up to people and I tell them that I
want to stay the night at a night shelter and that I’m two euros
short. But it’s more dangerous, you’re not allowed to do this, see.
You’re not allowed to hassle people on the street. They throw you in
the nick if they catch you at it.
J: They leave me to it. Up to now, I’ve not had any bother from the
coppers.
BA: Yeah, but I make fifty euros in half an hour, right.
J: Yeah, but those three thousand euros, that’s not enough. In the
evenings, I get my car, a small estate, take a drive out of the city, to
Brasschaat etc. The young lads who live there are spoilt rotten, they
leave their bikes outside, just like that. I only steal good bikes, no
rubbish — and I always sell them on for at least a hundred euros.
It’s not because I’m a junkie that I have to sell a decent bike for
twenty-five euros. I may be hooked on heroin, but I’m not daft. If
they want a decent bike for twenty-five euros, they’d better go out
and steal one themselves.
J: They once put me in prison for eleven months for one bike I’d
stolen.
B: Yeah but boy, you do steal ten in one evening, right.
J: Boy, I’m telling you that they charged me just for this one bike.
They didn’t know anything about those other bikes. A whole year
in prison for one stupid bike.
J: One time, some girl comes up to me and she gives me two euros.
A bit later, she’s there again and gives me another two euros, and a
quarter of an hour later, she’s there again and gives me another two
euros. I say to her: ‘What’s up with you, have you got a problem or
something?’ And the girl says to me: ‘Are you E?’ And the minute
she says that, I recognise her. It’s my goldilocks, my little one, my
little blondie, my daughter, who I’m not allowed to see anymore.
I well up, straightaway. And it’s all the fault of that bitch, because
I’m a thief and it’s not good for the child to be in contact with a
thief. But they’ll never tell you that she was the one who was always
pushing for more money. Whatever I earned, it was never enough.
I used to have a pub in Ypres, a hard rock cafe. I could speak the
West Flemish dialect as well as the Antwerp one, let me tell you.
BA: Did you know that I’ve got a son? Yeah, a boy of about ten.
I had a fling with this girl once, just for one night, you know the
thing. Went out on the town with her, had too much to drink,
larking about, and she takes me back to her room. And yeah, we do
the deed, as they say, but afterwards, I never saw that chick again.
One time, a lot later, one of my mates says to me: ‘Do you know
her?’ I say: ‘Yes, I know her. I once had a thing with her’. ‘That’s
what I thought, she’s had your kid,’ the bloke says. I felt like the
ground was going to swallow me up. She doesn’t want to talk to
me anymore, but I followed her and that’s how I found out where
she lives and I regularly hung around at the school, because it’s the
same school I used to go to. I just used to stand there, leaning up
against a wall of a house, watching. One time, a woman comes out
of that school and says: ‘Hello there sir, are you Ba, Ba L?’ And I
say: ‘Yes, how do you know that?’ And she says: ‘I used to be your
teacher’. And that’s when I recognised her. ‘You’re not just hanging
around here for nothing, are you Ba? You’ve come to take a look
at the child.’ She said he looked just like me, that he had the same
eyes as me.
Silence.
BA: Don’t mention my mother to me or I’ll start crying — I’m
thirty-three years old and I haven’t seen my mother for thirteen
years.
IR: Can you believe that B? He’s just climbed up that climbing
plant. In a flash, he was hanging ten metres off the ground. And
then he says: ‘Once a monkey, always a monkey.’
P: He’s right.
IR: J and P and I smoked a joint together. We’re allowed, right. It’s
not like we have to call B over for that, right. Because let me tell
you, he went absolutely mental again, you know.
P: Who’s had my sunglasses?
Silence.
P: Yes, come on lads, they’re real police glasses, they are. I found
them on the square.
B: No way are these from the police, boy.
P: It says so on them.
B: Don’t be stupid, that’s a brand name.
P: I’m telling you that those are real police glasses. I also found a
copper’s passport, also on the square.
J: Do you know what the worst thing of all is? I’ve been a
multimillionaire more than once in my life. I’ve had several houses,
beautiful houses. The last one in Wommelgem. That was a very
nice little house, that was. And I let it all go to that bitch: she’s had
the lot.
A mobile phone rings a couple of times.
P: Is it C?
B: Who else is going to phone?
P: Yes C, yes ... No.
P: C, I’m telling you, I’m not touching her ... No ... I you too ... I’m
telling you, aren’t I, C. C, I’ve got to go, I haven’t got time for this
now. We’ve got to go. We’ve still got a lot to do. We’re on top of a
mountain, come on now, try to understand ... No. No C ... Come
on now ... Why would you go do something like that? I’ll be back
on Saturday ... No ... Saturday, I said. Come on C, stop being silly.
I’ve got nothing going on with Ir ... For God’s sake. C! ...
No ... No ...
B: When is this going to stop, right? All this nagging. Why should
we have to shut up and wait just because this C is phoning, right?
P: C, we’ve got to go eat. Phone me back later.
Silence.
P: No, you’re not hearing what I’m saying. What I mean is ...
P: She hung up on me.
Silence.
P: She wants to commit suicide. She’s already cut herself, her arms ...
P: Why the bloody hell is he sticking his oar in? That idiot B? It’s
got nothing to do with him, right, when C phones.
IR: That C, she cheats on P. She jumps into bed with other blokes
when P is not around. Blokes from the square. I’m sure she’s
screwing around again this week.
P: C is a very beautiful woman.
Silence.
P: We’ve been lucky, you know. We’re from the good old days,
right. The fact that we’re still around is because, in our day, there
used to be good stuff: pure stuff, none of that filthy shit. Just take
a look at L’s hands. Do you see those abscesses? That’s because of
that filthy shit. These days, they’ll sell you powder they scraped off
the inside of TL lights. Just imagine shooting that stuff into your
veins, boy. It’s not the same anymore these days with those Eastern
Europeans. Those blokes are a lot more violent, too. You can’t say
anything to them. They beat the shit out of you for nothing. There
are also a lot of weapons.
B: (Sings) There’s an old Indian sitting on the hill and that Indian’s
gonna get killed.
J: Do you know why Moroccan women go to the henhouse to have
their babies? That way, the kids learn to get their sticky little beaks
into other people’s shit from a young age.
P: That methadone, that’s even greater filth than heroin itself. It
makes you feel even sicker when you don’t take that stuff and you
can only reduce it by one a week, maximum. I’m on two hundred
and seventy-five, you can imagine, and you can’t take anything else
meanwhile because otherwise you fall back even more. This will be
for the rest of our days, boy, that’s we’re on the methadone.
Silence.
P: We can’t get a kick anymore. All we do, is take stuff against
being sick, to not be sick, against the tremors, against cramp,
against queasiness.
J: Yes, but sometimes, you’d really prefer a good shot of heroin
instead of that methadone shit.
P: You can’t really put your finger on what makes us go to that
square. There’s really nothing special there. Yes, it’s got benches.
You can sit down there and there’s a 24-hour shop. You don’t
have to go far to buy beer and it’s not too expensive either. In the
daytime, in the Spar shop and at night, in the 24-hour shop. What
more does a person need, right?
IR: I’ll be going for a walk and I don’t know how it happens but
I end up on the square. You can sit down there, in the sun, have
a pint, there’s always someone you know there. There’s a nice
atmosphere there. You don’t have to pay to be there. They don’t
close the terrace there.
BA: There’s also a lot of solidarity on the square, right.
P: When Ba, who’s still a young bloke right, sits there with his head
between his legs and I see that, then I sit down next to him and I’ll
say to him that he shouldn’t be doing that.
IR: Wow, I’ve just received a text from my daughter that she’s
passed her exams.
BA: P, he always helps me. When I sit with my head between my
knees, P will say: ‘Come on Ba boy, sit up’.
P: That never happens to me, I never sit there with my head between
my knees. I’m never pissed.
IR: Can I use your phone a minute? I’d like to phone my daughter.
I’m so proud of her. How good is that, right, that she’s passed her
school exams? I’ll pay you back later.
IR turns around for a moment, there is a brief silence.
IR: But sometimes, I get so fed up with it. All the gossip on that
square and then I’ll say: ‘I’m never going to that square again’. And
then, the next day, I’ll be there again. I just don’t know how that
happens. That square ... that square draws people.
P: I know that they want to get rid of us there. The mayor, the
coppers, the people who live along the square. They want us gone.
We’re in the way there. Quite often, I’ll say to the blokes, when
they’re throwing and breaking bottles or when they’re having a piss
in the middle of the square: ‘Come on boys, don’t do that, turn
around’. But you can’t say too much to those Russians, can you?
B: They’ll never get rid of us there!
P: Do you honestly believe that? It’ll happen sooner than you think.
J: Someone’s put a safety pin under my backside. Three guesses who
that might have been!
BA: Where’s my tobacco?
J: Back in the day, we used to go sea fishing with the family. We had
trawl nets and night lines. We had flannels full of sand to keep the
nets in place and we had short lines with bait on them. Of course,
none of that was allowed really. When we used to go on holiday
with the family, it was always to the seaside. We would be on a
campsite. We’d supply fish to the whole campsite. That was fun,
boy, casting those nets, in the middle of the night. I’d love to do
that again in a shot.
Silence.
J: Heroin, I’ll never give that up. I wouldn’t know why I’d want to.
IR: Has anyone seen my tablets?
B: I’m from Spanish Morocco. Our father had come to Belgium,
ahead of us, to work. He would always send us all sorts of things.
We thought that it was paradise here. Later, all of us, my mother and
the children, followed and came here. When I arrived in Belgium,
I’d never seen snow before. And suddenly, this stuff, white stuff,
was falling out of the sky. We didn’t know what it was. My father,
that man, he always worked very hard to support us. I could ask
him anything I wanted, I’d get it, always. I had the most beautiful
BMX in the whole city, honest. I asked for it and kept asking for it
and he said: ‘It’s a lot of money you know, boy,’ but eventually I got
it. The first time I came in contact with the court was when I was
still a young boy, fifteen years old, I think. I’d noticed that there
was this man who rented out a lot of houses and at the end of the
month, he’d always do his rounds, on his bike, to collect the rent.
And he’d go have a pint in every pub he’d pass along the way. By
the time he got home, he’d be pissed as a rat. Not far from us, this
bloke had moved in. I told him about the landlord. The last day of
the month, we waited for him in his house. As soon as he opened
the door, we grabbed him. My mate pushed him. The bloke fell. I
saw all the blood. I knew straightaway that something was wrong.
We took the money and we did a runner and we went straight to
the pub and we treated everyone. It was as if we were going to make
things right that way. But, of course, people noticed that we had so
much money. The fun was quickly over. The local copper got wind
of it and the game was up. Luckily, my mate didn’t drop me in the
shit. He took the blame for everything. He said that he’d pushed
the bloke. He was of age, you see, I wasn’t. But I did end up in a
youth detention centre because of it.
Silence.
B: I’ve always based coke. We don’t snort it, we smoke it. It’s better
that way. It costs me fifty euros a day. I have to go to work to be able
to afford that. I’m a good welder. They can use those everywhere
and then I also do other stuff here and there. I don’t miss it here
but when my mate comes around, I know he has some on him and
then I can’t control myself. I’ve never touched heroin. That’s why
I’m still in such good shape. I used to live close to my parents, with
my girlfriend, she left me — me and women, we don’t gel. In those
days, I had a motorbike. My mother did just about everything so I
wouldn’t ride that motorbike. She stole my keys, she let the air out
of my tyres, she was so scared that I’d kill myself riding that thing.
She knew, of course, that those two things didn’t mix: a motorbike
and coke. Just someone who came here from Spanish Morocco ...
I would like to have a girlfriend again now, but you know ... With
the cocaine and everything.
Silence.
B: But it’s true, it’s been a long time since I’ve had one of those
flashes like the one I had when I was on that mountain. I’d love to
have a picture of me up that mountain. I wish that my father and
mother could have seen me when I was at the top of that mountain.
That they could have seen that I managed to reach the top! That I
was standing there, with that landscape behind me.
BA: Ir, I hope you’ve noticed how serious I can be. I haven’t done
anything stupid for quite a while. I can be a good bloke.
IR: Yes, I know that, Ba love.
BA: Do you know what we should do when we get back to Antwerp?
We should go out for a pizza, and a drink, on a terrace, in the sun.
Go out on a terrace, not on the square, just the two of us. I know a
place not far from the square where they’ve got good pizzas.
IR: That’s all good and well, just don’t get too many ideas, though!
BA: Come on Ir, it’s not because I’ve done something stupid once
that I’m good for nothing.
IR: That’s not what I said, was it?
P: Look, I bought a knife. Not to use, right, but for my collection.
I’ve got a big collection of knives at home, a lovely collection.
B: Give me that knife a minute.
P: No.
B: Come on, give it to me!
P: No, just leave it, will you!
A moment of silence.
P: That Ir, right, she takes Antabus, those pills to stop you drinking
and then she drinks on top of them, that’s enough to make you feel
sick as a dog. They make them so that you feel really sick when you
have a drink on top of taking them.
J: I bought a truncheon, a telescopic truncheon. Beautiful toy,
right. At first, I wanted to buy a taser, but this is just as good.
BA: I bought a pipe, this is the city of pipes, right. I’d almost
forgotten what I wanted to buy, luckily Ir remembered. It’s for my
mate.
IR: And we brought you back a bottle of oil to put in the food.
Good oil, from hazelnuts. That’ll be tasty.
The same voice that read the lines from ‘Die Dreigroschenoper’ by
Bertolt Brecht at the start of the play, reads them out again:

Und der Haifisch, der hat Zähne
Und die trägt er im Gesicht
Und Macheath, der hat ein Messer
Doch das Messer sieht man nicht


Denn die einen sind im Dunkeln
Und die andern sind im Licht
Und man siehet die im Lichte
Die im Dunkeln sieht man nicht


The book 'Poor being Poor' by W.C. can be ordered at the editor:
Initia, bureau voor kunst- en cultuurinitiatieven, bureau des initiatives artistiques et culturelles, bureau for artistic and cultural initiatives
Blaesstraat 261, 1000 Brussel, Belgium 
Tel/fax 0032(0)27352592
e-mail: info@initia.be

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