Vlada Khmel

pause. loud.

i know.

W2 turns away from W1, stands up, leans on the table, turns again and stares at W1. keeps staring. 

W2: where’s your hat? 

W1: i’m wearing it.

W2: no, i saw through the window, you’re not wearing your hat. 

W1: that means i’m not cold.

W2: what do you mean you’re not cold? you’re a child! 

W1: if i take off my hat, that means i’m not cold.

W2: and i think that means you’re a bad daughter.

W2 turns away from W1. long pause.

W2: she still doesn’t know what to do with her life. she didn’t want to go to university! i mean, can you imagine? she didn’t want to study! so i said: when you start living on your own, do what you want, and while you’re living with me, eating my food, spending my money – then be kind. i mean, what, is my child so stupid she can’t even enroll? good day, anastasia dmitrievna, how’s sasha? sasha is alright – and? sasha’s doing nothing? sasha is soul-searching? sasha, sasha – sasha what? what was i supposed to say? 

so, i insisted. i’ve got experience, after all, i’ve got some understanding of life, i won’t let her ruin her life just like that. 

and it’s alright, you see, she studies, passes her exams with excellence, claims she’s found a good job, she’ll be grateful someday. 

W2 drinks water in big gulps as if in a hurry. short pause.

W2: when sasha was born i was 26 – a geriatric mother basically, the first child at 26 is not the same as now – like, feel free to have children at 40, they’ll only praise you for being so brave. and i think it was right in our times – like, do you really want a faulty child? that’s what i say to sasha: (turns to W1) do you want a faulty child? 

W1: (not turning to W2) i don’t want children at all.

W2 holds a pause, goes back to the initial position, her side to the table, keeps going in the same tone. 

W2: actually, it’s a good thing that i had Sasha back then. if it wasn’t for her, i probably would never have had children at all. but i had to grow up. (while W2 talks, W1 moves to the third chair, by the third glass. she never goes back to the first chair.) when i realized i was pregnant, i didn’t know what to do, and that’s what my mother said: well, you have to grow up someday. (while W2 keeps talking, w1 moves around on the third chair as if checking it.) so. (pause) i remember going to a disco – first days of summer, evening, warmth – and i see a girl about my age, with a pram. alone. and i think – what an idiot, wasting your best years!… and the following year i was already walking around with Sasha, looking at other girls hurrying to the club. 

short pause