Drama about climate change
Here is total chaos. I found the island completely bare, nothing but dust and heat. And those few miserables that hadn’t left the island in search for a better life. Mother is here, I saw her, she went back to the cave. It was so hard for me after all these years, but she acted as if she hadn’t seen me in only a few weeks. She said I was the same, but she doesn’t seem right. And she spoke of old man going on with his madness all the way till the end. The lawyer keeps waving with papers saying I have to sign as soon as possible and that we can’t hang around here for too long. The ship is coming for us the day after tomorrow. I just don’t get it how the entire island got to belong to my old man, what kind of a deal did he make with that exploiting company. Anyhow, I’m supposed to inherit all that. If I refuse, they’ll probably nationalize the island and sell the land to the first investor. But what the hell am I supposed to do with an island?? Mom said I shouldn’t feel obliged, that I was free to say no. I don’t know, it’s all so confusing, I’d rather wake up from this nightmare.
I – the scene where we meet the island
The island of Antigone in the middle of the ocean, surrounded by vast blue water. No one approaches the island except birds and fish, as if it is haunted. The island is full of forests, gardens and olive trees, and you can see the entrances to the caves.
A stylized choreographed play depicting life on an island.
Children with their mothers sing and pick vegetables from the gardens, while some of the men work the land. The others throw nets into the sea and catch fish.
Men haul nets full of fish and seafood out of the sea and take them to mothers and wives who clean them – some are immediately roasted and some are put in oil and salt to be preserved for the winter.
The inhabitants of the island spread colorful woven fabrics around the olive trees, shake off the branches and collect the juicy fruits, put them in the olive oil presses, and sing typical island songs along the way. Winds and light rain slowly begin, and the islanders retreat to their caves, to wait out the winter.
The wind and rain is unimaginably strong. Life on the island has died down, moved to a cave. No one dares to peek outside.
II – scene where we meet Eneaus
Winter. The roar of strong wind is heard coming from outside. We see a family dwelling in the semi-darkness of the cave. The father sculpts amphorae and kitchen vessels from clay, while the mother and son Eneaus happily try on colorful traditional costumes and prepare for the island’s ritual theater-like performance.
Eneaus is covered with dark colored fabrics, disguised as Stribog, the god of the wind, while his mother is wrapped in a light flowing scarf and represents Svetovida, the goddess of fertility.
Caw, caw! Run, everyone!
I am Stribog,
I am the wind god.
I go, demolishing everything
I tear your sails.
Eneaus ecstatically jumps around the cave flapping with the dark cloth and repeating the verses endlessly. His mother tries to say a retort, but Eneja climbs onto a rock in the cave, jumps off it, and repeats the threats.
Be quiet, Eneaus, now it’s my turn!
Caw, caw! Run, everyone!
I am Stribog,
I am the wind god.
I go, demolishing everything
I tear your sails
I am Vida, Svetovida,
protector of fertile fields.
I carry flowers and potatoes.
I wish everyone peace.
Eneaus chases his mother around the cave and pretends to be scary. The father is meticulously and devotedly shaping clay vessels, Eneaus runs past them.
Pack the winds in sacks,
Vida is coming and she brings flowers.
The mother flutters her colorful fabric laughing, while Eneaus steps back without looking where he is going and at that moment there is a terrible noise – CRASH! Pause. Silence. Father roars through tears.
I’ve been putting up with you all winter. I prefer demonic winds to you!
The father ran out of the cave. Mother and Eneaus stay and look at the fragments of father’s amphora.
III – scene in which spring awakens
The father runs out to the still deserted island, but in a ray of light breaking through the clouds he sees a glimpse of the coming spring. He looks towards the sea and sees something resembling a ship. He climbs a tree to make sure that there really is a ship out in the open. He starts waving and running towards the shore.
Hey, come here! Hey, hey, hey!
The father steps into the still cold sea and notices that the ship is turning its sails towards Antigone and soon the loud sound of a massive metal anchor chain being lowered into the sea is heard. A boat then separates from the ship and approaches the shore with two sailors in it. The father performs a gentle dance of welcome and hospitality as the sailors disembark on island soil.
This stone, this fish, the olive tree and the fig tree,
gifts are for you, guests, from my home.
The sailors look at him mockingly and glance around the island.
Thank you, your home is truly rich.
The father runs along the shore with dance movements, collects pebbles and presents them to the sailors. The sailor lookes at the tallest tree on the beach.
We don’t want stones, we want wood.
Wood? Aah, you’re from that enchanted, stony land of evil Petrus where there are no trees?
Indeed! It is a great misfortune to live in such a country. Help us.
Please, take one tree.
But we need many trees, our country is huge!
I can’t give you that much. And I have other things to do.
But we will pay you.
Yes, let us pay you.
SAILOR 2 (losing patience)
Yes, we pay!
What is “pay”?
God’s creature, we give you money?
Ha, look at him react when he hears the word money.
What is “money”?
The sailors look at each other palely.
Money is the paper things you get for your work.
Paper? What is “paper”?
It is some substance that is made of wood.
And that’s why you need wood, to make paper. What’s the use of paper in an enchanted stone land without trees?
Visibly bored with the interaction, Sailor 1 takes a flask from his coat and takes a sip of rum. The father is startled at the sight of the brightest, most magnificent object he had ever seen and begins a ritual dance around the divine slinking thing. The sailors first giggle in amazement, then Sailor 1 hands the flask to the father.
I am not worthy to touch the gods.
Now, drink when I tell you to.
Frightened, the father takes the bottle in his hands and pours all the liquid down his throat, falls to the ground and vomits.
I told you that God will punish me. I am unworthy! I am unworthy! I am unworthy!
The father cries while the sailors laugh. After an almost endless repetition of the phrase “I am unworthy”, the father pauses.
I feel strange forces inside me. Is that god entering me?
The sailors smile conspiratorially at each other.
Yes, exactly. You just drank a divine elixir. Thanks to it, people and gods have maintained contact for centuries.
The sailor drops to the ground next to the father, paying attention not to sit on the vomit. Then he puts his hand on the father’s shoulder.
How are you feeling?
It’s as if flocks of swallows and swarms of glowing fireflies are flying through my body. And they fly, fly, fly…
I have to tell you a secret, but you mustn’t tell anyone. You are now so high up in the heavens, that you are almost within reach of God.
I am worthy. I am worthy. I am worthy!
If you will be a good friend to us, we will help you to never be separated from God. Because you are worthy.
The father in ecstasy performs the dance of hospitality again.
This stone, this fish, olive and shell,
gifts are for you, guests, from my home.
Oh, fuck the stones and the shells, give us the olive. We need solid wood.
Paper, paper. For a lot of paper, hahaha. We’ll be back in early fall, and you cut down as many trees as you can until then.
Sailor 2 takes out his flask and leaves it to the father.
Remember, be a good friend to us.
IV – scene where the island wakes up
Stylized choreography as from the beginning. Spring. Children sow in the gardens, women weave clothes, while men hunt small animals in the forests. Everyone sings and dances merrily as they go about their daily business, only the lonely father waves his ax all day and cuts down tree trunks on the island. One by one the islanders leave their chores and strangely look at the father who is frantically chopping wood. The islanders whisper something to each other, and then finally one of them goes to the father and pushes him. The islander and the father wrestle on the ground. The father gets up and grabs the ax he had dropped a moment ago and threatens the islander with it, to which the man runs away.
V – scene
Night. Village council. Everyone is sitting around the campfire dressed in traditional colorful costumes. Gavas stands up first.
Savas has something to tell us.
I have nothing to say. (To Gavas, startled.) Did I tell you not to mention it?
I’ll say it then. Neighbor Jovos spends the whole day extinguishing the life of the holy olive tree with an ax.
The women chirp making a great murmur, the men exchange looks and words. Mother hangs her head in shame.
I know that we used to kill bushes and small trees just out of necessity, but no one has ever lifted an ax to the olive tree out of pure whim. Why have you done that?
The father stands up and looks knowingly at the whole tribe. Pause.
It wasn’t on a whim. God spoke to me. I felt his presence everywhere in my body.
Murmurs and disbelief spread throughout the community.
Do not bring the wrath of the gods upon our tribe by defying their will.
Don’t blaspheme. Don’t make it up.
What does god look like?
Can you ask him something for me?
Will next winter be strong?
God will return, and until then we must carry out his will.
VI – scene
Summer. Eneaus bathes with other children in the sea, while his father tries to stack the tree trunks in a pile.
Eneaus! Come out of the sea and help me. Why do I have a son?
Naked and amazed by his father’s rudeness, Eneaus runs to his father and tries to move a log. The father starts yelling at the other children as well.
What kind of friends are you? Help Eneaus. We must not incur the wrath of the gods!
All the naked children run out of the sea and somehow manage to move the trunks by working together.
Savos and Gavos critically comment on the situation.
VII – scene in which the sailors come back again
Choreographic play. Locals shake the olive trees, collect autumn fruits and bring provisions into the caves, preparing for winter. Only the father frantically cuts trees, while the children push them and stack them on the beach. Autumn winds fill the sails of a ship approaching the shore. The father lines up the naked children and with awe begins to perform the ritual welcome dance. Two sailors approach the shore in a boat, while the rest of the crew approach the shore with cargo rafts.
My friends, the gifts to the gods are ready. Woooo, woooo!
The father looks fearfully at the sailors, then falls to his knees and cries.
Forgive me, but I’m doing this all by myself.
Are you cutting trees with this?
The sailors pointed to their father’s ax and began to grin. A chorus of children giggles behind them, not even knowing why.
Sailor 1 whistles and the crew take a saw from the rafts. The father looks blankly at the saws. Sailor 1 turns to the two crew.
Show this savage how to use a saw.
Two crew members start to cut down a tree with a saw.
Thank you, thank you! I will be much better. (Pause) Will there be elixir? (looks at the sky) God, I’ll be much better, just don’t deprive me of your elixir again.
Sailors are dying of laughter. Sailor 2, wearing sunglasses, walks up to the father, gets in his face and offers him his flask.
Take my elixir.
The father drinks the entire flask.
Thank you, thank you!
The father vomits again, and then looks at sailor 2.
Thank you, God!
Here, I’ll give you more of my powers.
The crew takes the trunks to the rafts, and in return they leave a huge cartload of Aperol for the next 6 months.
On another part of the beach, we see sailor 3 flirting with the mother.
VIII – scene in which the father journeys to the darkest parts of his mind
The cave’s dark interior, strong winter winds can be heard from outside. Eneaus and his mother sew colorful costumes as they do every winter, while the father sits in a corner with sunglasses and sips alcohol; burps occasionally. Eneaus and his mother dress up in traditional costumes and start acting.
The dog barks, the father holds his head, and then gets up, scrambling.
Caw, caw! Run, everyone!
I am Stribog,
I am the wind god.
I go, demolishing everything
I tear your sails.
Eneaus performs a dance around his mother and flutters his costumes, while his father tries to get away from the noise and go to the other end of the cave, but trips over the dog that is still barking. The dog squeals and the father falls to the floor, dropping the bottle of Aperol which shatters and the elixir dissolves. Eneaus and his mother are petrified, and the father stands up and looks in disbelief at the mess before him.
Gods, forgive me.
The father looks at the shards of glass and bends down to touch the glass, then cuts himself and throws the glass as quickly as possible. The father puts a bloody finger in his mouth, sucks the blood.
Gods, do not punish me!
The father rages, cries, roars.
I’ll do whatever it takes, just don’t punish me. I will offer you a sacrifice! The mother hides Eneaus behind her, hides him. The father frantically looks around and picks up the knife, then grabs the dog and plunges the knife into its heart. The dog squealed one last time. The mother looks at the father in astonishment, while Eneaus is barely visible behind her. The father throws the dog’s corpse in front of the mother’s feet.
Sew me a scarf.
The father takes a new bottle of Aperol, drinks it and sits relaxed in the corner.
IX – scene in which spring does not bring hope
Spring. The father emerges from the cave with sunglasses and dog fur around his neck, staggering dead drunk. He immediately goes to saw, struggling awkwardly himself. The other villagers are working in the garden, occasionally looking back at him and whispering something to each other. Savas and Gavas stand to the side and look at the father.
What’s that on his head?
It is a new pair of eyes with which he communicates with the gods.
If he didn’t become a demigod himself.
Looks like we’ve made a mistake about the man. Look at him, how magnificent he looks.
God rewarded him seriously for every tree he cut down.
Do you want us to try too?
Gavas and Savas timidly approach the father. In a trance, he cuts down a tree. Gavas runs to the father’s cave and returns with a saw.
I found it.
Gavas and Savas set off together to cut down a tree.
Choreographic sequence. One by one, all the villagers start cutting trees with their axes, and only women do gardening and fishing.
X – scene
The ship arrived at the shore. The sailors disembark. The inhabitants of the island watch timidly from the edge as the father waits for the sailors in front of a large pile of trunks. The father welcomes them completely, he has only dog fur around his neck and sunglasses.
Sailor 1 takes off his coat and throws it to her father.
Here, cover that shame.
The father clumsily tries to put on the coat.
The sailors look in awe at the trunks.
You see how you can do it! Did you do it all yourself?
The gods helped me. I am getting closer to them.
XI – scene – Eneaus’ story – The arrival of a little boy in the city
My mother arranged everything. She took the box, filled it with the things she sewed, put food in the box, empty jars in case of emergency and a bottle of water)
Eneaus: Mom, why do I have to go alone?
Moother: Because it’s for the best, believe me.
Eneaus (with tears in his eyes) : But I don’t want to, mom, please, I don’t want to go, don’t send me.
Mother: You have to go, my dear. Everything you need for your trip is here. I prepared food, water and empty jars and cans for you in case of emergency. The journey will be short. Tomorrow they will open the boxes, as well as yours, and you will be out. (Eneaus hugged his mother tightly and put his head on her chest to hear her heartbeat once more)
Eneaus : I’ll miss you mom.
Mom: Me too, little one. When you feel lonely, sing our traditional songs and I will be there.
Eneaus: Okay mom, I love you.
Mother: I love you too, my little Eneaus.
XII – scene
On another part of the beach, the mother is talking to Sailor 3, with whom she flirted earlier.
In this box are the beautiful dresses I made for your little Helena.
Sailor 3 takes the box.
Uh, this is heavy.
There is also jewelry made of precious stones inside, but I wanted it to be a surprise.
I hope that the next time I come, you will give me something as well.
XIII – scene
The sailors leave, the father stays with piles of boxes full of Aperol bottles. Locals are still watching the ship leave from the sidelines. Savas and Gavas stand to the side.
We didn’t get anything. He really is a god.
We must work to work for him for life, lest we incur his wrath.
Otherwise we’ll end up like dogs around his neck.
A terrible scream is heard. The distraught mother comes from the direction of the highest cliff.
Eneaus drowned, Eneaus drowned in the sea!
XIV – scene
There are fewer and fewer trees on the island, and other cultures are not doing well. Only the indestructible bulbs progress more and more and turn the island into a field of onions. With a ritual dance, the locals see Eneaus off to the afterlife.
XV – scene
(The box was packed on a ship that sailed to the city)
Eneaus : I’m very tired, I don’t have any more food or water, it’s very dark here, I hope I’ll get to that house soon like my mom told me. I only think of that family, how they look and how they are, I hope they are good people and will accept me. And I hope they have a lot of my favorite fruit. But what if they don’t understand my language, how will we talk? How will they meet me? No, no, I can’t go there, but my mom said everything will be ok. (He played the music that his mother recorded on a cassette and soon calmed down and fell asleep)
(The box arrived at the family)
Delivery man: This box is very heavy, it seems that you have a lot of presents here (smiled and left)
The box is placed in front of the Christmas tree. Before Helena got up, all the presents were under and next to the tree.
(Helena was excited about the presents, even though she was alone in the house she wanted to open them as soon as possible without adults, and one immediately caught her eye, it was a big box with Eneaus in it, she immediately headed towards the box and went to unpack it. Eneaus felt someone pinch him and let out a clumsy voice)
Helena (surprised): Who’s in the box? Tell me now!
Eneaus : I’m Eneaus, please don’t hurt me, I haven’t done anything wrong!
(He stood up slowly with his hands up and said)
Eneaus: I only have water in my box, a box of food, that’s all mine, I have nothing for you, do you have anything for me and who are you?
Helena: You are not my gift, I am angry, what are you doing in my gift box?
Eneaus (coming out of the box): I’m Eneaus and I need a place to live until my mom comes to pick me up – is your house that place?
Helena: I don’t know if this is your place, what do you need and how come you don’t have your own house? Did you lose it, are you lost?
Eneaus: I have my own house, but it’s not a very safe place for me now, that’s what my mom told me, and I had to leave my island where I lived.
Helena: What are you going to do here now? This is my house! Are you planning to stay here?
Eneaus: I don’t know if you have a lot of fruit here, bananas or pineapples, if you do, I’ll stay?
Helena: No, this is my house and I don’t want a brother – I do have a lot of fruit, but these are my gifts, and you’re an intruder, now I’m going to call my mom. Mamaaa!
Eneaus: I don’t want to be your brother either, but I have to wait for my mom. I don’t want another family either, but I need a place where they will find me. Will you help me until she comes? Will you be my friend and we can share your fruit?
Helena: Okay, I’ll be your friend, but on the condition that first you throw away that awful smelling box. I’ll give you some food, you’ll also have to take a shower (puts her hand to her nose to show that it doesn’t smell ok) before my mom comes, if you’re hungry, and then we’ll see what she decides?
Eneaus: Yes, I’m very hungry, thank you. I’m going to go take a bath, but first I have to get all the things from my box, as well as this letter my mom left for your mom. Take it and give it to her when she comes, okay?
(Helena took the letter, gave Eneaus some fruit and they had breakfast together)
XVI – scene – the therapist
(The therapist sits alone on the stage, facing the audience. She reports to the audience about her work with Eneaus)
Therapist: In 2 months it will be the fifth anniversary since Eneaus became my patient. I remember the first time he walked into this office. Back then, he was still a rebellious teenager – full of negative feelings he couldn’t control, and often didn’t even understand.
In my many years of experience, I have never heard of a case similar to Eneaus’s.
At the very beginning of our work, he refused to talk about his childhood on the island of Antigone. Over the years, little by little, he began to open up and describe some events. Certainly, he does not even remember some parts, the traumatic moments are almost completely suppressed. On the other hand, he consciously chooses not to talk about some parts to this day. It’s almost as if he is afraid that if he tells someone, he will bring those memories out of the darkness and thus admit to himself and others that it really happened. As long as he remains silent, he maintains a false sense of control, choosing to view these memories as unreal, like figments of a child’s imagination or brief flashes of memories from a life long over.
One of the subjects he refuses to talk about is his father. He speaks about his mother in rare moments, but his attitude towards her is different every time, even diametrically opposed. In some of my notes from the session, I find that he describes her as a woman who is the embodiment of self-sacrifice, goodness, light….we are talking about complete idealization, of course. In the notes 10 days later it is recorded that she curses him, wonders if she is any better than her father as soon as she could send her only son into the unknown without any assurance that he will be safe. Years of separation from his mother had made her a fickle figure in his mind, an illusion made of mist rather than flesh and blood; that figure would be gentle and decisive in one moment, and in the next she would coldly push him away from her.
In those moments of anger, Eneaus would obsessively repeat the same thought:
Why didn’t she come with me?
Why did she stay with him after all?
That big WHY always lingered in the corner of his mind not giving him peace, and combined with other factors caused him years of anxiety and paranoia that led him to my office.
He is happy to talk about the appearance of the island itself. He vividly remembers its wild nature, which he describes as paradise. He spent entire sessions listing the names of plants and animals from the island and describing their characteristics. I have never heard of many of them, nor have I found evidence of their existence. Sometimes I try to imagine the island of Antigone by basing that image on Eneaus’ statements. I never succeed.
It is difficult to tell the difference between Eneaus’s memories fully grounded in reality and those mixed with a child’s imagination.
Besides the island, the most common topic of our conversations is the family that adopted him when he came to town. He developed a deeply sincere and tender relationship with the sailor’s daughter Helena – they became one in thoughts, actions, and desires. He always described her as the sister he wanted so much as a child that the universe heard his wish and brought them together. I will be completely honest and admit that my work with him, as important as it was, was not half as important as the presence of that girl who was by his side even in the darkest days.
13 years have passed since Eneaus arrived to this city. He is no longer a rebellious teenager, but the remnants of that rebellion certainly make their way through the plays he writes. From the moment he saw the stage of a theater in a big city for the first time, he knew that there was a place for him in the theater. Helena acted in all his first plays, while he was still young and without any means to pay famous actors. As I have already emphasized, she was always by his side. However, even though his work became famous in previous years, the main roles are still played by Helena. Eneaus refused to accept much more famous actresses, always claiming that his ideas could reach their full potential only through her.
He managed to build a life in this city, and a successful one at that. Despite all the obstacles!
Everything was going perfectly until….. that call.
I feel the need to justify myself to you…yes, I do, although I certainly know that I could not influence him, his decision,…but still, I feel that I could have advised him better, more…but what am I talking about? This makes no sense at all, I have to start from the very beginning, from the moment that triggered the events. Yes. The moment that started it all.
(She turns to the table next to her. There is a recorder on the table. She plays recordings of the session with Eneaus, several different dates. She quickly changes it with displeasure)
T: No…it’s not that moment…it’s not that morning…it’s…
The sound of Eneaus’ voice from the dictaphone: I’m sorry for coming outside of my appointment, I know that..
T: Yes! Finally, the call.
(Plays the clip from the beginning)
Audio from the recorder: Date: June 7, time: 10:35 a.m. Session number: _____
Eneaus: (very fast and nervous speech)
Sorry for coming outside of my appointment, I know you are very busy, but this couldn’t wait, I had to come urgently… I don’t know what to do…
T: Please sit down. Take a breath, let’s start from the beginning. What happened?
(Eneaus is silent for 20-30 seconds, trying to compose himself.)
E: I was woken up by a call. A call from a lawyer. I didn’t even understand why he was calling me at first, I was convinced that it was a wrong number or some kind of stupid joke. I could hardly follow what he was saying, until he said… (Pause) Until he said that father had died. He continued to tell me about some sort of inheritance.
(Insert other text about the call here)
T: My condolences… This is a big shock, your father…
E: (gets up suddenly)
I don’t want to talk about my father! ….
(Quietly) I’m sorry…let’s not talk about my father, please….
T: Eneaus, I’m confused. What do you want to talk about then?
E: The lawyer insists that I must return to the island.
(The therapist interrupts the recording)
T: For the next few days after this conversation, Eneaus was changed his mind in a panic from hour to hour. He would pack to go to the island, let me know not to expect him at the next session. Then he would still show up at the session, furiously claiming that he wanted nothing from the man and that he had no plans to ever return to the island.
I know him well enough. That’s why when he boarded the ship one morning and left without telling anyone, I wasn’t the least bit surprised.
XVII – scene
I received the letter and decided to go to the island. When I arrived on the island, I saw that the island was not as I remember it from my childhood. There were no trees, fruits, insects or animals. It looked more like a desert than a forest. The picture before me was apocalyptic. There was no color and everything smelled like burnt fields.
The only sound that came was distant, but also the only thing that seemed familiar to me. I followed that voice. Every step I took closer seemed to take me back in time.
Voice : Do you know how I want to find you?
And with each step as I got closer, it seemed that I was getting closer to the memory of my childhood.
There were pictures in my mind of me hugging my mother who is giving me milk.
Voice: Love me like you’ve never loved…
I closed my eyes and saw my father, cutting wood, with that anger on his face and cold, emotionless eyes. From that feeling I froze and stopped, when I opened my eyes I was confused because I found myself in the center of the island. A woman was sitting in front of me with a guitar in her hand and was singing very loudly. It looked like she didn’t know where she was. When I saw her I started to cry. I approached her and said: Mother.
(the woman stopped singing)
When she saw me, she extended her hand to me and said: I knew you would come back.
I took her hand and looked at her completely mute.
I sat next to my mother and we started singing together: This is the land for us, this is the land for all our people. This is the house for us, this is the house for all our children. Look at me ooo look at me, with the eyes of a child.
I see salvation in the land.
XVIII – scene – CONNECTING WITH THE MOTHER
Session 73, June 20, 6 p.m.
The therapist answers the phone.
E: Hello, I was very diligent today. Mother and I started tidying up the island. A lot has been destroyed, but there is hope that it will be better again. We picked up 500 kg of plastic waste, I don’t know where it came from.
T: Do you think that makes sense?
E: I don’t know, the land is bare, that’s true, but as I set foot here, my faith in the power of regeneration came back to me. You know, nature was there before us, we are part of that nature, nature must know what it is doing.
T: Do you feel that you have found your peace.
E: Well, yes, that’s what moves me the most. Here will be an oasis of normal life. You know, here we have a chance to create the world we deserve, by ourselves, with our own hands. We will remove all the garbage and plant trees, we will cultivate onions, and other plants will come back, and we will take care of them. I can’t wait for Helena to come and see this paradise.
T: Have you already told Helena your decision?
E: I didn’t, it can’t be described in words. Helena will come on Sunday, by then we will finish cleaning, the first shipment of seedlings will arrive on Saturday, we will be able to plant trees together. Helena has never lived in contact with nature, when she feels this harmony and that she can help nature to be reborn with her own hands, she will not want to return to the city.
T: How do you get along with your mother?
E: My mother understands me, and I understand her. She is a thoughtful woman, but she has not been taught to fight for her desires. Mother is the guardian of this island, and I will prove it to everyone. She endured father’s madness, and now it’s up to her AND me to put things back in place. This will be the real thing.
T: Are the townspeople still mad at you?
E: They are angry, but they need salvation, and I am the chance for that, I have the keys to paradise in my hands. Helena, mother I will also rebuild the theater, it’s peaceful here, we will have time to completely indulge ourselves, we don’t have to chase after money, we don’t need it here.
T: So they are less angry with you?
E: We can only recover the island together, they feel it, I feel it. Now I’m in a hurry, my mother has prepared lukidila, my favorite dish from my childhood. Talk to you tomorrow.
T: Eneaus is euphoric, I fear for his condition when he faces reality. Maybe he really found his peace, if not he will be very disappointed, he could fall into even greater depression. I recommended him Bromazepam in the morning and in the evening.
XIX – scene – CONVERSATION WITH STEPMOTHER
Session 74, June 21, 11 a.m.
The therapist sits by the window in her apartment, drinks coffee and listens to Chopin. The phone is ringing.
E: Good afternoon, are you free to talk?
T: If I hadn’t, I wouldn’t have answered. What happened?
E: Nina called me, I’m a little confused.
E: That’s what I’m wondering too. Why? What happened to her, it’s like we’re complete strangers. I don’t understand her. I thought she understood me. She won’t come with Helena, she says she doesn’t feel like going that far.
T: Be aware that it takes 49 hours to travel to the island, by plane and boat, with layovers and waiting, she is not used to that.
E: I am aware, but only if she arrives here can she understand me, and she needs peace. Peace has no price.
T: Okay, what’s the problem?
E: Nina thinks I should sell the island and return to the mainland with the money. She says that I can take my mother with me, she will be fine with us.
T: But mother never lived outside the island and outside the circle of islanders.
E: That’s what I told her, and she says that as an older woman, she’s sure that her mother will definitely like city life. With the money I would get, we could travel all over the world, buy a big house and develop our theater, she says, that way we will have our own paradise.
E: I think paradise is here. Nothing needs to be developed here, because everything already exists. We don’t need money, there will be food, we already have a theater, the audience will come. The locals are getting nicer towards me. This morning a neighbor I used to play with as a child brought me cedar root porridge for breakfast!
E: I feel that this is my place. I feel responsible for these people, my father has destroyed everything, forced them to sell parts of themselves in order to survive, they are starving, exhausted, but they believe in better and I have to help them regain that better.
T: Are you sure everything is recoverable?
E: I feel it is. We only need to make a little effort, and nature will arrange everything by itself.
T: Are you sure that the locals will return to their old jobs? They have not lived in harmony for 15 years. Nature will not renew itself in a year. Are they ready to go back to picking fruit and handcrafting food and clothing? Are they as agreeable as they once were?
E: Please don’t ask me the questions that Nina asked me. Of course I’m not sure of anything, but I feel it all. There is no price for peace of mind. The achievements of civilization that we know in cities are just a race for money. Here, people have time for themselves, to listen to the waves and stories, they can work as much as they like, they help each other, it sustains them.
T: Helena is coming on Sunday, we’ll see what she thinks.
E: But Helena will be delighted, she will understand me, she is like me. The seedlings will arrive tomorrow, today I have to finish preparing the soil for planting, we still have a lot of work left. Goodbye, see you tomorrow.
The conversation ends.
T: Eneaus’s psychotic states are coming back again. The situation with the island brings him to moments of making important decisions, but he is afraid of the final outcome and enters into fantasy states where he is happy and tucked away. He is aware of the advantages that his stepmother gives him and is not afraid of failure to restore the island, but the fantasy he has built keeps him from facing it. Eneaus strongly believes that Helena will support him. I prescribed him Xanax again, at bedtime.
XX – scene – HELENA’S ARRIVAL ON THE ISLAND
Session 75, June 23, 8 p.m.
The therapist sees the patient off, closes the door, looks out the window, starts getting ready to go out to dinner with friends. The phone is ringing.
E: I’m sorry I didn’t get in touch earlier.
T: You had an appointment from 6 p.m., now it’s 8 p.m., I should be at the restaurant at 9 p.m.
E: Sorry, I’m very confused. I can’t believe what’s happening to me.
T: Has Helena arrived?
E: That’s exactly the problem.
E: She arrived, and as she stepped onto the island, she looked as if we had never met before.
T: What, what happened?
E: I don’t know. Everything here is disgusting to her, she does not see the return of nature to the island, she does not see our future here, she does not want to live outside civilization. I can’t believe it…
T: What exactly did she tell you?
E: Yesterday I planted 50 cedar seedlings, 20 papaya seedlings and 10 Caribbean fig seedlings; cleaned all the remains of saphorel branches, cleaned the planters for vegetables. Mother painted our old boat, it looks great and is in seaworthy condition.
E: Then Helena arrived. She landed on a neighboring island, then sailed here. She was exhausted from the trip. We welcomed her with a table full of locals, unknown to people on the mainland, but great deacons. I was overjoyed to see her after a month. And she was happy to see me.
E: Yes, that was great. But then she looked at me with a reproach in her eyes that I know well. She asked me if this was the paradise I told her about. Can you imagine that?
T: What did you answer her?
E: I couldn’t believe what she was asking me. I started to explain to her. I told her about the seedlings and the arrangement of the island, about reconnecting with the locals, about awakening hope, about the fact that only I can help them.
E: She listened to me AND was silent. When I finished the story, she told me that she understood me, but that she did not understand what SHE would do on that island. I explained to her that we will restore the family theater, mother will weave cloths and sew our costumes, and others will help with the plays, we will play, the locals will watch us, we will have enough of everything, we will not need money, the city chaos will be far from us.
T: And did she accept it?
E: She wants to live on land, to perform all over the world, to be rich and famous. She even told me I should sell the island!!!
T: She has been in the city all her life.
E: I can’t believe it, she thinks I should sell the island.
T: And mother?
E: My mother has never left the island, although she says that the most important thing for her is that I be happy. She says that if I decide to sell the island, it will be enough for her to leave our house, that she will live happily there if she knows that I am happy.
T: And what would you like?
E: I want peace.
T: Did you find it there?
E: I thought I had. But I can’t imagine life without Helena. In addition, I want to somehow make amends to her and Nina for the life they provided for me. On the other hand, my dad has done a lot of damage here and I think I have a duty to fix some of it.
T: You are not obliged to correct your parents’ mistakes.
E: The locals expect that from me. I think my mother also expects that from me.
T: Maybe you should think about it until tomorrow – the morning is wiser than the evening.
XXI – scene – ENEAUS’S MESSAGE TO THE THERAPIST
June 24, 9 a.m
The therapist wakes up in her bed, looks at her phone, sees that she received a message from Eneaus.
E: Hey, hello! You were right, the morning is wiser than the evening. I made a decision. I think that’s it. I will tell you everything. Byeee! E.