(On the road Temo is walking with a crutch. White dust covers the road. Temo leaves behind shoe prints and marks from his crutch. Stands near a tree and leans the crutch on its trunk. Opens the fly of his pants to take a piss. Puppet comes from behind him and takes his crutch. Temo holds onto the tree.)
PUPPET: Hello, Temo!
TEMO: (Turns back.) Puppet?
PUPPET: Why are you so pale?
TEMO: This is no time to wander around in the fields.
PUPPET: (Looks at his watch.) And it’s no time for pissing either.
TEMO: You’d better go home, your parents will get worried.
PUPPET: Oh, how come you’re so worried about me and my parents?
TEMO: Are you trying to argue with me?
PUPPET: No, Temo. I want to thank you for trying to save me. You wanted to put me in the asylum, but I wanted to go to jail.
TEMO: Who was the lunatic who let you out?
PUPPET: Lunatic or not, no one asked for your advice.
TEMO: I don’t intend to save jerks like you. If I did I’d open a private practice.
PUPPET: What about the tannery?
TEMO: What do you know about the tannery?
PUPPET: Hook told me about it.
TEMO: (Pause. Looks rigidly at him.) What did he tell you?
PUPPET: He told me I could work for him. How about you, Temo?
TEMO: (Not knowing how to change the subject.) Hook didn’t know what he was talking about. There’s no tannery.
PUPPET: And what about the money for the café?
TEMO: That has nothing to do with it. I just bought a truckload of leather and sold it abroad. Just to try my luck. It’s not a real business yet. I don’t even have a shop. That’s all there is to it. Not much gossip there.
PUPPET: When you get started, will you take me in?
TEMO: (Zips up his fly.) If you ask me nicely. Like when you and Hook were polite little kids. “Please, uncle Temo.” As a child you were a doll. (Laughs artificially.) But you became a little prick, you bastard! Come here, let me give you a hug!
(Pretends to start hugging him, but suddenly reaches for the crutch. Puppet jerks it away from him.)
PUPPET: What are you doing, Temo? What do you want?
TEMO: (Sternly.) Listen, you bastard! Give me the stick!
PUPPET: Give you the stick? Not until you take off your pants.
TEMO: C’mon, Puppet, this makes no sense. You wander around the fields and molest cripples?
PUPPET: Jails are like hospital wards. You go for one thing but catch something else. Drop your pant leg, and you’ll catch it too.
TEMO: And me, with an ulcer! (Spits.) If I get upset I die.
PUPPET: You don’t die from getting upset. You die from death. Come on, pull it down! What are you looking at? You’re shaking as if there’s a snake in your pants.
(Temo, pale, looks at him. Fears that Puppet knows something about Snake.)
TEMO: I have nothing to do with it, Puppet. She decided to go with that guy to Vienna. Honest to God, I have nothing to do with it.
PUPPET: I’ve no idea who you’re talking about. (Starts to leave with the crutch.)
TEMO: Hey, where are you going? You don’t think I’ll sleep here, do you?
(Puppet doesn’t listen to him. Temo drops his pants down to his knees. He has a tattoo of two entangled snakes on his thigh.)
TEMO: Here, look! There’s not much to see. Just two snakes. A medical symbol. It was done when I was a student.
(Puppet returns. Looks at his thigh.)
PUPPET: Take care of your other leg. Someone may break it, Temo.
(Suddenly hits him on his healthy leg with the crutch. Temo shrieks and falls down. Puppet tosses the crutch on him.)
PUPPET: I told you to take care of your leg, Temo! Why don’t you ever listen to me? You always think you’re dealing with shadows, don’t you? Take my advice. Listen well: watch where you’re opening your fly. Got that?
(Temo keeps quiet.)
PUPPET: Repeat what I said!
TEMO: I should watch where I’m opening my fly.
TEMO: You’ll burn in hell for this, bastard! I know the police.
(Temo gets up and lights a cigarette. Gets his mobile phone and dials.)
TEMO: Hello, Snake. It’s Temo. Do you still have her? Keep her a little longer. A guy is coming to look for her. He’s nothing. A multiplied zero. On a calculator. Thanks. Bye.
(Puts the phone in his pocket. Leaves slowly, pathetically limping on his crutch. Behind him are the tracks of one shoe and the point of his crutch, which should be visible to the audience.)
Translated by Zoran Ančevski and Richard Gaughran