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Temptació

Carles Batlle
Temptation
Guillem: What do you miss the most from your home?, from the home in the casbah, I mean.

(Pause.)

Hassan: The smell.

Guillem: The smell?

Hassan: Yes, the smell, the smell of the walls, the mud, the straw, the smell of the tapestry, the smell of food. The smell.

Guillem: Very well. Look around you. Our family has been living in this house for more than three centuries. This house, how could I tell you?, this house pours history from everywhere, from every wall. In this room important men have been born, people from the land. Touch the wood, touch the Portuguese bedspread, it is from the 19 century, touch everything, smell it, smell it, if you wish. Look at this drawing. Pass your fingers over it… And now close your eyes. Close them. (Brief pause.) I don’t need to miss anything. All this has endured the passage of time and has remained faithful. Yes, faithful, like us, like this family. When I see the lace on the curtains I am happy, when I play the piano in the living room, I'm happy, when I hear the stone discs in my uncle’s gramophone, I'm happy, when I smell the wood of my chest of drawers, I'm happy. I don’t need to miss the smell of my home: it’s here, here. When I am here, I'm happy. When I travel to the city I'm the shits. A total shit. Touch the bed, touch it. Smell. That’s right, good, smell. Is that enough?

Hassan: Yes.

Guillem: Well then, now you would have to do me a favour.

Hassan: What do you want me to do?

Guillem: You could get your ass and your tattered clothes full of shit off my Portuguese bedspread. I would be immensely grateful to you.

(Long pause.)

(Hassan stands up, none of them touches the bed. They stare at each other’s eyes.)

Guillem: Thank you very much. Do you know what? Even if I was starving to death, not even if there was a war, for nothing in the world, do you hear me? for nothing in the world I would abandon my house. It’s my home. You and I are different, Hassan… Now, let’s talk about serious matters. Are you clear about what you owe me?

(Pause.)
Translated by Elisabet Ràfols
Carles Batlle, Temptation. Disponible al web Catalandrama, 2005.
Carles Batlle, 2008
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