[The piece was performed at TENT Rotterdam, the Netherlands, in December 2019, as Sarmad Platform’s 10th Session in the project “Un-Making Image”]



Prince, a Dialogue for One Voice


Man- Sun is shining, and I’m a different person, completely, the sky is blue, soil is soil, not mud, trees are stretching, grinning, mothers pushing strollers, very fit bodies running, sweating, with swollen upper bodies, too fit to look human, men in jeans and pointy brown leather shoes, walking, uptight, moving in a way that signals a total lack of what is generally known as soul, women, tall, in high heels, so confident, so condescending, walking in a way that makes the ground tremble, in trams and trains the floor shakes with their every step, men in beard, not hipsters, just men in beard, and families, of different shades.
Woman- You’ve got such a big bony nose, authoritative I would say [sighs with no exaggeration]
Man- Canals are blue, as blue as the sky above them, but darker, they’re still the same dark slimy bottomless sources of despair, as in winter, but now they’re reflecting a blue sky, finally, something other than plain grayness reflected upon plain grayness. Turn your head, look at me with those bright blue eyes, my redhead beauty, my orange-head, my orange.
Woman- Blue, extensions of sky on earth.
Man- Veins, but blue, perfectly drawn, rectangular, running on the surface of the earth, mirroring, blue veins, extensions of the sky, on earth. Arch your back, turn your head, look at me.
Woman- Blue, gentle, intoxicating, and there’s no wind, we can play badminton, outside!
Man- Badminton? Outside? That’s weird. There’s something almost sinister about it. Something ominous. A nightmare, from which you wake up sweating, gasping for air, gasping for a whole minute. [gasps for one minute] I have to stay calm, and distrustful.
Woman- Be calm, move more slowly, there’s no rush, I have all the time in the world.
Man- Flatness, as far as the eye can see. Houses, trees and farms passing the window real fast, cows, then slower, and fast again, cows. Massive greenhouses producing those perfectly shaped tomatoes, those extremely self-conscious cucumbers, those cardboard eggplants. I always think that cucumbers are a great source of knowledge. You have places with small crunchy curly cucumbers, tasty, each one looking different than the others, totally imperfect shapes, cucumbers who just grow. And you have those places with cucumbers who constantly worry, cucumbers who are obsessed with their shape, their size, their image in the minds of others, who grow straight, long and perfect, those tasteless extremely self-conscious cucumbers!
Woman- What’s your fetish, what do you fantasize about, in general, when you’re with me, right now. You remember what you told me the first time we met? Wasn’t that something out of a domination fantasy?
Man- I’m too few.
Woman- Yeah, but it exists, doesn’t matter how hard you try to dismiss it, it exists, just read your book, and pretend, the newspaper and pretend, look out of the window, keep your legs crossed, and pretend. Sit there by the window, look for the horizon, trees, ponies, green, flat, cows, farms on both sides, right and left, bikers pass by, or I pass by, endless fences moving along with me, and behind them farms, and then trees, a few houses, red, orange, triangular heads, a woman kneeling on the ground calling for her dog, Breda.
Man- I’m outnumbered.
Woman- I know. Yes, a “prince”. An Arab prince, dark sun-burnt face, neck and arms, big nose and thick eyebrows, who just takes as he pleases, in his natural habitat, a desert, in his royal tent, his noble sword hanging somewhere, a huge carpet covering the whole floor of the tent, mainly red, a big persian garden, several smaller carpets on top of the first one, servants preparing his bed on the floor, placing several pillows on top of it, royal pillows, goose feather. But I don’t know how they get goose feather in desert.
Man- Yeah, I guess it happens in a tent, I mean it got to be in a tent.
Woman- His horse, outside, neighing in the dark.
Man- Or shitting in the dark, the way horses do, sudden, massive.
Woman- Camels lying around graciously, under a pitch black sky, black with winking white dots everywhere, or maybe it’s actually during the day, yes it’s at midday, in the middle of the desert, the sun ruthlessly shining.
Man- Savagely, burning every moving creature.
Woman- the prince in his tent asking for a woman, a special woman, a Nordic woman.
Woman- He calls my name, you call my name, the prince wants me today, not all the other women, but me. He takes me as he pleases, doesn’t care about me at all, just uses us for his pleasure, me for his pleasure, and he moves so carelessly, not worrying about not hurting me, he just wants his pleasure and me to submit to him, which I do very happily.
Man- under a blue sky
Woman- under a blue sky, in a tent, savagely, in the middle of a desert. Mounts me like a horse, pulls my hair back, and speaks in my ear in a language which I don’t understand, some rough sounding language, wow, Arabic, can you speak to me in Arabic right now?
Man- I don’t speak Arabic.
Woman- Ok, in your own language then, whatever it is, just speak in my ears.
Man- والا چی بگم، عم، سلام حالت چطوره؟ ازمایش میشه، یک دو سه آزمایش میشه،
Woman- in a tent, in the desert, no wind, dead silence, flatness, as far as the eye can see, no water, no tree, horizon right there, its line dancing in the heat.
Man- his camels lying around graciously.
Woman- no wind, you can even play badminton outside, grabs me, my flesh, I feel his fingers mightily pushing down on my hips, harder, with every thrust.
Man- Speaks in Persian.
Man- the landscape changes, trees start growing out of the ground, slowly, I mean quickly, hiding the horizon, reaching several meters in height in 10 minutes, or 15, 20? Half an hour? An hour? There are high expectations of an Arab prince. The sky runs its extensions on the ground, on the desert sands, canals, out of nowhere, blue canals, reflecting the heartless blue sky, dividing the flat desert in perfectly rectangular shapes, I mean perfectly rectangular, the sand gets damp, grass, out of nowhere, camels turn to cows, ponies, constantly eating, green grass, slowly, I mean fast, greenhouses, houses with triangular heads, farms, bike lanes, in quarter of an hour, half an hour, an hour? How long does an Arab prince last?




































© Alireza Abbasy