Exercise 5: Mean

MEAN
Text: Erik Uddenberg
Translation: Deborah Fronko

A
I really don’t know how to put this.

B
No.

A
This is really tough for me, I want you to know that.

B
Yes.

A
It’s so hard for me to say this.
(Pause.)

It’s really hard.
(Pause.)

We’re so disappointed in you, your dad and I.

B
Yes.

A
You can’t say that we’ve been mean to you.

B
No.

A
We’ve tried our best, we really have.
(Pause.)

We’ve tried our best.
(Pause.)

But it’s like . . . you don’t understand. You can’t act nice and decent not even when we ask you to. You’re insolent. All the time. You were yesterday, you were today, and you were the day before yesterday. And today you’ve even smashed things.
(Pause.)

Okay, they weren’t valuable things. But they had a value. To us.
(Pause.)

You want to be mean. To us.

B
No . . .

A
Or else it’s the diagnosis. That makes you so hard to understand.

B
Yes.

A
Is that it? Is it the diagnosis? That makes you lose control?

(Pause.)

B
Mom . . .

A
(Keeps him at an emotional distance.) There. There. (Short pause.) I would like it if we could discuss this.

B
Mom . . .

A
Don’t ”Mom” me now, I want us to discuss this.

B
Yes.

A
We try to behave ourselves with reasonable decency in this family. You know that. We don’t hit you. We don’t shout mean things in your face. We have our jobs to do and we are very conscientious about doing our jobs well. Imagine if we carried on at work the way you do at home? We can’t do that.

B
No.

A
We’d get fired.

B
Yes.

A
We don’t scream and holler the way you do. We don’t sulk all the time the way you do. We really try to have a nice and pleasant life in this family. Even your brother and sister, you know that. But you don’t care.

B
No . . .

A
You’re above it all. (Pause.) Or is it the diagnosis? Is it the diagnosis that makes you so downright mean? Because that’s what you are: downright mean. Towards both me, and you dad and your brother and sister.

B
Mom . . .

A
Or are you just mean as you are? Are you some kind of psychopath?

B
Mom!

A
Because that is really what you are! That is REALLY WHAT YOU ARE!

B
It’s the diagnosis! Mom! MOM! It’s the diagnosis!

A
Yes, maybe it is.

B
It makes me do stupid things, Mom. I can’t stop myself. Something just goes wrong in my head. It goes wrong in my head! It goes wrong in my head!

A
Yes, yes . . .

B
(You KNOW that I LOVE YOU!) MOM!

A
This child is mentally disturbed. I don’t want it.

(Pause.)
A
I want you to take it back. Where it came from.

(Pause.)

This material is part of the project Öppen Scen by Unga Klara, and may not be disseminated or used for commercial purposes without the agreement of Unga Klara AB.

This material is part of the project Öppen Scen by Unga Klara, and may not be disseminated or used for commercial purposes without the agreement of Unga Klara AB.

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