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Marat and Charlotte 3
Act 3. A dark, empty stage. Marat (standing up) My eyes went blank. That's how it goes when you have been doubly knocked flat on your back in half an hour. He went, he went, he went, he went, he went, the bloody scoundrel, abducting Charlotte! Oh, how much I loved her! A mortal man is not to love like that a mortal woman. Oh, how I cherished her look, her smile, her touch, her kiss, her hug. A king of misers must be caring less his treasures. I remember when she said she loves and cherish too, the day was written by stanzas and my dream was iambic too: the curtains, the last year's almanac, birds, flowers, harlequins on the wallpapers, the vintage trunk, the saucer for a cat in the bedchamber’s corner and the Sun like golden puddles on the wooden floor. Love is an optical effect as if you saw things through a magnifying glass, abruptly noticed that it snows, that the chilled and speechless houses cuddle up and the succinic, elongated gleams of their lights are mirrored in the river. You go and see. Here’s a sightless tramp gingerly tries the icy way with his blind instrument and suddenly he sees the light! Alas, he did not pass the test of snowy weather and I see his stick strike down the bollard’s snowy hats. The funny old man in open coat, beardhead, carries a kitten in the shoebox, smiling. On your way back from happy dating, you think of the nature of the happiness and, entering the home, you see it’s home. Surprise! She took a cab to overtake you. That’s how the Moon makes fun of the moongazer, arising in the sky at the wrong time. Sometimes your love takes on such big proportions, that you can’t wrap your arms around it as if it was the old thick oak which was growing up near the house where I came into the world; you can’t imagine what “I fell out of love with you” could mean. She went away. She even looked me back but didn’t turn into a pillar of salt: it's no big deal, to put horns on the lover. Burn, burn in hell, insidious contender! You saw him: thin lips smiling and the eyes of simpleton, but there is none more tricky than thin lips men. I’m thin lips man as well: I've put his name among the others sentenced to death and soon the snowy fiancée turned into black one… Four unmeaning days have passed since I last saw you. Walking past, you slashed my heart with steely eyes as if it was a knife and may such metaphor be trivial, the heart still bleeds. Since then, I have been drowning the remembrances in wine like kittens in a bowl of water. What’s that? Footsteps? Oh, suddenly I feel an otherworldly shyness. I’m afraid of the confusion of my own feelings as if I really dream of all of this: the night, the stage and someone else's dreams afloating in the darkness like the ghosts of vessels in the fog. He left his mask? I’ll put in on. (Marat puts mask on. Charlotte enters, sleepwalking, oblivious to Marat) My love, your soul, wandering the most distant corners of the dream, sent me a sign of hope – this moonbeam which guided me. But where are you, my dear? We must have missed each other once again. Marat Oh, Charlotte, why? Why do you walk alone at night dressed only in your shirt? Charlotte The blood turned my red shirt into the black. The butcher said: “The assassins wear red before the execution”. Marat Execution? Please, wake up! Charlotte I read in one of ancient books that death is just a cheat, a tricky juggler: deceiving our eyes, he swaps the life’s illusion for a new one, afterlif’s. The mesmerized, we wander darkest ways of the unconsciousness and the flashbacks from our life seem real people’s echoes to us. You are an echo. Marat I’m alive! Charlotte Dead or alive – the difference is scant. This echo, though, reminds me of a one I used to love, to fall out of love and to assassinate. I came to him. The sleepy guards let pass me through the rooms as usual. I entered. He was taking a nap in a lukewarm bath with a sheet of paper in his hand and with a towel around his head. I stabbed his chest. The knife slid through his ribs so easily as if I hit a vacuum, not a human heart. Marat What are you saying, Charlotte?! Charlotte He just cried: «A moi, ma chère amie!*» That’s how a nap turned into a death sleep. Soon after that, hands grabbed me, beat me, dragged me. Tour du Temple, a moody morning and a heavy blade between two columns. I must go now. We are all doomed to roam mysterious ways before me meet the lover. Marat I am here! We met! I’m here, dear Charlotte! Dead or, may be, not, who cares, we will be together for eternity! The Moon and the moonbeam, the ocean and the wave, the sugar and the water. Charlotte I must go. Marat (taking off mask) Look, it is me! Charlotte I do not know you. (leaves) * (fr.) To me, my dear friend!
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