Csaba Székely

Csaba Székely



I – man (young)
II – man (young)
III – woman (forties)
IV – woman (forties-fifties)
V – man (thirties)
VI – woman (young)
VII – woman (thirties-forties)
VIII – man (forties-fifties)
IX – man (fifties-sixties)
X – woman (fifties-sixties)

The players are sitting on a long bench.
At the beginning of each scene, a commandment can be read, projected on the set.


    I am the Lord thy God. Thou shalt have no other gods before me!

I.    God, oh God. Mother said that there’s no one on Earth who can't be pitied. She also said: most worthy of pity are those who are a burden to others. You can even pity an object when you have to throw it away, right? Then what about a person?

People say that I'm not too bright, and that my mother left me because of that. But that’s not true, my mother didn't leave me, she just didn't visit me as much after enrolling me in a special school. Didn't visit at all, really. She just moved to another city or something. I think.

            And the only people who say that about me are those who measure how smart you are with how much you own. But I'm not interested in money, wealth. I just want to work, to be useful. Nothing else matters. Doesn't matter how much we earn – in the end, we'll just lay down and die, won't we?

    I'll open the door in a second, but let me just say this! (to the audience) Would that be okay? Would it? After graduating, I started working as a mechanic. They liked me there, because I had good hands and didn't talk much. Not like my co-worker, who could only talk about two things, but he talked about them all the time.

VIII.        With one hand I held the door so my friend couldn't barge in on us. With the other I held her ass. And what I did with my middle one – oh, brother...
I.             This was one of his frequent topics.

    (at his back) Just a moment! (to the audience)  The other thing was what everybody loves talking about in this country: how you can get rich fast and easy. He had a lot of ideas, but he liked daydreaming more than actually doing anything.

VIII.        I dreamt that I found a bag of money behind the front passenger seat of one of the cars. I even remember that it was a Peugeot. They had brought it in, the engine was running, and when I leaned in to pop up the hood, I saw it... Whoa, if I ever really found a bag of money! Brother, why can I only dream of being lucky? Or tell me this: why are so few people lucky in the world? If we were all lucky, there wouldn't be any crime. No more stealing! Wouldn't it be better that way?

I.            Then, he got bored with daydreaming and chose to act on his dreams. He got five years for it.

VIII.        What can I do if I'm just not lucky?

I.            They say he stole a Mercedes. He did four years time, but our boss was real nice and took him back.

              (calls) Coming!


X.           Look how you've grown.

I.             (happily) Mother?

X.           I'm sorry for not coming to visit more often…

I.             (happily) Mother?

X.           I moved away, and I couldn't really…
I.             (happily) Mother?
X.           I thought of you every day…
I.             (happily) Mother?
X.           Yes, fuck, I'm your mother! It's me!

I.             Sorry.

X.           No, oh, I'm sorry! It's just that... and this trip...
        Do you live alone?

I.             Yes. Why, want to move in?
X.            No, I was just curious.
I.             Too bad. It would be great if you moved in.
X.           Really?
I.            (to the audience) We lived together until I turned fourteen, and it was great. I think it'd be just as great now.
X.           The last time we met, you were fourteen, right? Shit, how time flies… And now you're twenty.
I.             Twenty-four.
X.           Right.
I.            I'm so happy you're here, that we can be together again!
X.          I don't know how long we can be together. I’m sick.

I.            What do you mean, sick?

X.          You know, sick… maybe I'll… I don't know, anything can happen.

I.            Should I pray, Mother?
X.           What?
I.             Should I pray for you? So you'll get better.

X.           You believe in God? See, I don't even know if you're religious. What kind of horrible mother doesn't know that about her son…? (starts to cry)
I.             Don't blame yourself. Everything is going to be fine now. I hugged her.
X.           He hugged me. Pray, my son. Pray.
I.             Dear Lord, please heal my mother, so we can live happily ever after!

I prayed every day, more than once. But as time passed, my mother became weaker and weaker.
VIII.         Thanks for picking me up. They're only starting the prison line next year.

I.             Don't mention it.
VIII.         And thanks for visiting.

I.             Want a ride home?
VIII.         Yeah. You know what? I'd rather have a drink.
I.             Alright. Let's go. I'll have a pizza.
VIII.         How's your mom?

I.             She doesn't get out of bed much.

VIII.         Does she talk?

I.             Of course, no problem with that.

VIII.         What does she talk about?

X.            Oh, what will become of you after I'm gone? What will happen to you?
I.             Stuff like that.

VIII.         Must suck to be you right now, brother.
I.             Not at all. I love my mother.

VIII.         Of course, you do. But you haven't seen her for... how long? And now that you met... and she's in that condition.

I.             I like taking care of her. I feel useful. My life finally has meaning.

VIII.         What does the doctor say?

               What do you mean, nothing? Why won't she say anything?

IV.            I don't think we can do much for her. There is another option, but it's... quite expensive. There’s a hospital in Switzerland. They have a type of surgery, but...
I.              How much does it cost?
IV.           Ten million.
VIII.         What?!
               Those thieving sons of bitches! A world where only the rich get to live, that's a shitty world! Come on, let's try this place. Do you have money on you?
I.              Sure, drink what you want, I'm paying.
VIII.          We're not drinking. Just a little on the side.
               (II crosses to I.)

               (to II) Hi, handsome. My friend here needs a hundred in the machine.
I.             Slots? No, no, no way! Thank you, but I don't... I never play with these!
VIII.         Calm down, it's just a machine, it won't bite! American poker. I want to see if you have any luck. Come on, handsome!
II.            Did I hear right, that…?
VIII.        Yes, a hundred.

I.            (to the audience) My co-worker showed me how it's done, and I started playing. I won 500 forints. Let's cash it!

VIII.        500 forints? That's nothing. They won't even cash that much. Play some more!

I.             I doubled it. Let's cash the 1000 forints and leave!

VIII.        Wait, wait. Let's take out 500. Leave the rest in and raise the stakes.

I.             Didn't you say they wouldn't cash 500?

VIII.         If I ask them to, they will. Come on, play!

I.            I played. We raised the stakes. I won twenty thousand forints. That's ten pizzas! I'll cash this!
VIII.        Alright, go ahead. There's always tomorrow.
I.             (to the audience, then goes away) We went back the next day. My co-worker played, too. But it didn't go so well for him.
VIII.          (to the slot-machine)  Red, what the fuck?! Four reds, then another red?! Well suck my red fucking cock!
I.              I was still on a winning streak.
VIII.          How much did you win?
I.              Fifty thousand.
VIII.         Cash it. There's always tomorrow.
I.    (to the audience) We went back to play the next day. And the day after. We went there almost every day. Didn't matter which, Saturday, Sunday...

    My co-worker lost most of the time, but I won almost every day. Eighty thousand, a hundred thousand, a hundred forty thousand… I'd never seen so much money in my life!

    God, oh God? God, please let... You know what? I'll do it myself. You couldn't cure her, so I'll do it myself!

VIII.        You ready?

I.             I couldn't go today. We had to be at the doctor’s at three. When I couldn’t play, because I had to take mother to the doctor, my palms really wanted to touch the big, flat buttons. I kept slapping them in my thoughts: red, black, red... I saw the monitor, the whirling cards on it, and my mind started counting the combinations. I got four blacks last time, so the next one will be red, then another black, then two reds, then...

VIII.        Let me tell you something, brother.

X.           Son!

I.             What is it, mother?
VIII.        Put in a hundred thousand forints, and raise the stakes.
I.             A hundred thousand? I'm not stupid.

X.           Son!
I.            Yes?

VIII.        Will you do it?

X.          Help!

I.            Of course not!
X.          You won’t do what?
I.            Nothing, mom. What is it?

X.          Take me out to the balcony. The fresh air. I want to feel the breeze in my hair.
VIII.        Come on, put in a hundred thou. It’s no big deal!
I.            A month's salary!

VIII.        If you lose it, I'll give you the money.
X.          Please, son…
I.            Just a second, mother. I can't concentrate like this!

               I'm sorry. Come on, I'll take you out.

X.            Forget it, I don't want to be a burden.
I.             You're not a…  I'm sorry.
X.           Thank you!

VIII.         Put it in already!
I.    (to the audience) I put in a hundred thousand. I raised the stakes. I played. I raised the stakes even more. I played. I raised the stakes even more.

         A million.
VIII.        Fuck, I can see that.
I.             I won a million.
VIII.        You did. Fuck.
I.             A million.
VIII.        Yeah, it is. Fuck.
I.            Should I cash it?
VIII.        Cash it. Fuck!

X.            Where were you?

I.             At church.

X.            I'm not well. Give me some morphine.

I.             I can't. You already got today's dose.

X.            It hurts so much. I'll die if you don't give me any.

I.             Please, bear it. A few weeks, and everything will be fine.

X.            That may be. That may be.

VIII.         How much are you at?

I.             Three hundred twenty thousand.
VIII.         If you reach four hundred, tell me.

I.             Alright. Four hundred thousand forints. What now?

X.            Give me morphine! It hurts!

I.             Sorry, I couldn't hear you.

VIII.         I said: raise the stakes!

I.             How much?

X.            A lot! I told you, it hurts a lot!

I.             How much should I raise?

VIII.         To the max.

I.             No way.

VIII.         Listen to me!

I.             I'll lose everything, just like that.

VIII.         If you do, you'll win it back tomorrow.

I.    I raised the stakes to the max and played on. I lost the price of a pizza with every push of a button. But I kept pressing on. I had already lost fifty pizzas. Red, red... black... What could be next?

VIII.          I think black.

I.    I pressed black. I got red, so I lost. I continued playing. I got four sevens and a Joker. The machine started playing music.
VIII.          That's it! That's it! Finally!

I.              Should I risk it?

VIII.          What?
I.              Should I cash it, or risk it?
VIII.          Cash it, of course!
I.              And if I win?
VIII.         This hasn't been your day.
I.              But if I win, anyway? That would be a lot of money.
VIII.         Do what you want.
I.             (to audience) The first card if twirling around. I press black. I get it. Black. I get it. Black. I get it. Another black! I get it! You could hear a pin drop in the room. Everyone is standing behind me, holding their breath.

There’s the final twirling card. (to VIII) Which button should I hit?

VIII.        I won't say anything.

I.             Red or black?

VIII.         How should I know?
I.             I'll press the one you want. If I don't win, we'll forget about it. I won't be angry. I won't talk about today ever again.
VIII.         I'm still not saying anything. Fuck it up for yourself.

I.             Tell me! Which one would you choose? The red or the black? Red or black? Say something, or I'll kick your ass!
VIII.         After four blacks? The red, of course. I'd choose the red!
I.             I hit the black.
VIII.         You stupid fucker!
               Fourteen million, you idiot! You won fourteen million!!!
               Handsome, champagne for everyone!!!
I.             (to the audience) This will be enough for mother's surgery! My God!

VIII.         Yes, thank you!

I.            No, no, I left my mother out on the balcony! I have to go!

VIII.        Wait! Wait for them to bring the money from the bank.

I.            But my mother…

VIII.        I can’t accept the money for you. You’ll have to wait here.

I.            What should I do?
VIII.        I can go and check if she's okay, if you want. Should I?
I.           No. The weather's nice out. She'll be fine.

    (to audience) We had to wait for a couple of hours until they brought the money in an armored car. It was in a black sports bag. I didn't even count it. I just gave a couple of bundles to everyone and ran home.

    Mother was sitting out on the balcony, where I left her. A sad smile on her face. The breeze playing with her hair.

    I didn't tell anyone that she had died until after the funeral. I wanted to be alone with her on her last trip.
    God, are you happy now? I’ve seen what you're capable of. This is what you are! I hope you're proud of yourself!
    I went to work the next day, the same as always, and listened to my co-worker just like before.
VIII.        She had a beautiful mouth – and breasts like, like two coconuts. Not like they were hairy, no – but like, really hard.
I.            (to audience) I took the sports bag with me. They brought in a Peugeot the day before. The engine was running. I took the money, made sure nobody saw me, and dropped it behind the front passenger seat.

VIII.        So. Wanna go play?

I.            I’m not going there ever again.
VIII.        Why? Well, you did win it all, I understand. Only I never have any luck. Even though I don’t really want all that much. A flat with a nice room and a small bedroom, a place to live together with that girl… But I don’t even have money for the pre-natal check-ups. You know, this girl has breasts like – I mean really...
I.            Don’t be sad. You’ll get some, too.

VIII.        What, breasts?
I.            Luck.

VIII.        Oh.

I.            I can feel it. Today you’ll… Where did it go?

VIII.        Where did what go?

I.            That Peugeot. There was a Peugeot parked here. Where did it go?

VIII.        It was ready, so they took it.

I.            It was ready? But you didn’t even work on it!
VIII.        Because it wasn’t mine, I was working on the Honda.
I.            And they took the Peugeot?

VIII.        Yes. Why?

              Come on, say something! Is something wrong?
I.            Nothing. Nothing’s wrong. How much would it cost for the flat you’re dreaming of?
VIII.        Well, about ten... twenty... I don’t know. Why?

I.            I changed my mind. Let’s go play.