Excerpt In Translation

You Are Happy

by Rébecca Déraspe

translated by Leanna Brodie

Playwrights Canada Press, 2016

 

I

JEREMY
Hi
It’s all over
When it’s gotten this bad
It has to stop
I mean
I can’t

Right now you are inside a closet
My sister’s, actually
Face squashed between her turquoise skirts
And her upscalerrific dresses

As you can see it’s pretty cramped in here
I’m sitting on a box full of sunflower knick-knacks
I’m squeezed in so tight my knees are in my mouth

It smells of stale perfume
You hear me sneeze
And you’re concerned
Dust allergy

But don’t worry about me
I won’t be here for long
Oh no!
You see the rope I’m holding in my hand
And now
You’re getting the picture
It’s a thick sailing rope type thing
I stole it from the quay
At the marina
I do some sailing, you know
I’m a guy who’s super-qualified to go out on the water

It’s over
You’ll be the witnesses to
My suicide
You can tell the story afterwards at those dinner parties where people
tell stories about terrible things
You’ll probably be rewarded with a couple of pats on the back
And some very good advice
Along the lines of: what doesn’t kill us makes us stronger
You’ll be comforted by that

I make a noose with the rope
Get a splinter from the rope
It hurts
I swear
I suck my finger
To get it out
I mean, I don’t want to take that with me to the grave
Or the funeral home
How dumb would I look?

There’s no one here to stop me from doing what I’m about to do
No girl who said “I love you” this morning
Who would’ve seen I wasn’t doing too well
Who would’ve followed me
And then taken me in her arms crying, telling me, don’t do it
No one

I have razors with me too
My sister’s razors
She’s an aesthetician—so you just know they’re good and sharp
This way
If the rope doesn’t work
I’ll slit my wrists
Because
That’ll make an impression
Even more so in fact
Actually
I can’t quite make up my mind

If I was a girl
And I was really into me
I don’t know which one would be more traumatizing
The razors or the rope
The most shocking image
The gut punch
That would make me spend my whole life regretting I never told
me that I loved me

I hear some noise in the house
Quick
I climb onto the knick-knack box
Fasten the rope
Put it around my neck
It doesn’t work
The noose comes apart
The box collapses
Down I go
Split my knee wide open on a piece of broken sunflower crap
Gross
Gross
Gross

I take the razors out of my pocket
I wait for a bit
I hear footsteps on the stairs
Then in the hall

BRIDGET
Hi, Jeremy!

JEREMY
I’m unwrapping the razors
Goddamn stupid plastic packaging

BRIDGET
Hello?

JEREMY
Come on

BRIDGET
Jeremy?

JEREMY
Come on

BRIDGET
Je-re-my!

JEREMY
Okay
Here we go
I’ve got one

BRIDGET
Say something! I know you’re here. I saw your car in the driveway.

JEREMY
I hold my breath

BRIDGET
Are you hiding in my closet again?

JEREMY
Soon as she’s close enough to the bedroom
I’m gonna slash my wrists

BRIDGET
Jeremy!

JEREMY
She opens the bedroom door
Runs over to me
Takes me in her arms
Now
I can pass out in total safety at last

BRIDGET
Not again!

PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Translation by Leanna Brodie
PETINF14-QuebecReads-Favicon-32x32Our review coming soon