13 by 13

Play in One Act 

Irena Sentevska

Dramatis personae:

JORGE LUIS JOVANOVIC, respectable pater familias and amateur writer

JOAO his grandson (age 4) 

DRAGISA, local butcher 

PTENNISNET, counter merchandise salesman 

HASDRUBAL, Phoenician 

HELOISE, shop assistant

MISKO, street art dealer 

FRANCISCO, colonial grocery salesman 

MIROLJUB G.W.F. HEGEL, philosopher and poet 

BILJANA DJORDJEVIC, art historian 

KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN, footbal player, formerly on the West German national team

WOLFGANG, his son (age 4) 

AMADEUS, his dog

  Act One

Revolution Boulevard (famous Belgrade street). Jorge takes his grandson for a walk around the block. 

JOAO: I want an ice-cream! 

JORGE: No, dear, it's December. You'll catch a cold again. First we're going to the butchers' to buy some bones for soup. That's your grandma's order.

JOAO (to himself): I hate soup. 

- At the Butchers' - 
DRAGISA, the butcher: So nice to see You, Mr.Jorge! Some pterodactyl wings? Some brontosaurus joints? Some mammoth liver? It's all fresh, fresh from the farm! 

- In the Street - 
JORGE: Come on now, Joao, let your granddad buy you something! Look, that fellow over there is selling everything. Let's have a look! 

PTENNISNET: On my counter, gentlemen, you'll find anything your heart desires. For example: suntan cream, waterproof, factor 8, Dynasty IV; papyrus sandals, size 42, Dynasty XII; lotus tea, good for kidneys, Tell-el-Amarna period; hippopotamus bags, Dynasty XIX; palm-oil-based preparations for losing weight, Ptolemaean period. What does the young gentleman want? 

JOAO: I want some ice-cream! 

HASDRUBAL (shouting from the nearby counter): Leave them alone, you second-hand merchant! Don't listen to him, it's all prehistoric stuff. Come here, boy, buy yourself a nice little puppy! It's a Persian setter! 

JOAO: I want a puppy! 

JORGE: No way, Joao. You know what happened when I bought you a puppy from that Etrurian across the street.

- In Front of the Ceramics Shop Window - 
JORGE: What a lovely kylix over there, isn't it, Joao? Should we buy your grandma one for her birthday? And that psiax is not bad, you see, that one with the Lapiths and the Centaurs. And that bronze Dionysus with the Bacchantes! 

JOAO: Is that the fellow who killed Medusa, or was it Minotaur? 

- In Front of the "Colosseum" Cinema - 
JORGE: What a lousy repertoire! Only spectacles with gladiators and chariot races, orgies and wild animals in the arena. And then they say youth is getting violent! 

JOAO: Grandpa, is Schwarzenegger playing Obelix? 

JORGE: No, darling, it's Depardieu. 

- In the "Lufthansa" Shopping Centre - 
JORGE: Please, Joao, take that mace out of the basket! I've already bought you one last week. And if you get lost again in the helmet department I won't take you to the Tournament on Sunday! But if you will be a good boy I'll buy you that remote dragon and a cream-bombs catapult! All right? 

JOAO (disappointed): All right! 

- At the Supermarket - 
HELOISE: What a big boy you have become, Joao! Soon you'll be able to go shopping on your own! Here's your change, Mr.Jorge, and greeting to your Mrs.!

- In Front of the "Paracelsus"Bookshop - 
JORGE: Look, "The Divine Comedy" with 40% discount! 

MISKO (very loud): Massacio, Uccello, Fra Angelico, Piero della Francesca! Correggio, Bronzino, Tintoretto, Parmigianino! 

JORGE (with resignation): That's more like Flemish Gothic! Come on, Joao, step lively! 

- In the Colonial Store -
FRANCISCO: What did we have? Potato, tomato, cinnamon, pepper, clove, ginger and two boxes of "Magellan" cigarettes. Mr.Jorge, you're a great customer but you'll ruin your health if you don't quit smoking! 

- In Front of the "Swan" Theatre - 
JORGE: "A Midsummer Night's Dream", "Macbeth", "Romeo and Juliet", "Hamlet", Henry V", "Othello", "The Merry Wives of Windsor", "Richard III", "The Tempest", "Edward II", "Rosencrantz and Gildenstern are Dead". We've seen them all. Let's go on, Joao!

- In Front of the "Fontainbleau" parfumerie - 
JORGE: That "Vaux-le-Vicomte" costs like hell! And that "Marie Antoinette"! Anyway, I know, Ruza would prefer something made of Venetian glass. 

- Passing through Kajmakcalanska Street, they come across Miroljub Hegel - 
MIROLJUB HEGEL: Jorge, my friend! I see, your wedding anniversary is also coming soon! See, my Olga has already ordered a vacation in Baden Baden . 

- In Front of the Hardware Shop Window - 
JORGE: Daguerreotypes, monocycles, steam boat components, a Siemens-Martin furnace, internal combustion engine, the Second Law of Thermodynamics, Edison record players, a steam locomotive! Damn, where do I find a vacuum cleaner tube?! 

- In the "Cabaret Voltaire" Art Gallery - 
BILJANA DJORDJEVIC: Mr.Jorge! What a pity you've missed the opening of this lovely Ljubomir Micic retrospective. Everybody asked me where you were: Vasily and Kasimir, Oscar and Laszlo, Teo and Vsevolod, Andre and Pablo...

JORGE: You see, my dear, Joao was somewhat ill. I'm terribly sorry I missed the party. (He turns to Joao): Joao, don't touch that kinetic mobile! (He returns to Biljana): He's a real enfant terrible, I don't know what to do with him! 

-In Front of the "Happy Hour" Discotheque - 
JORGE: Look at that crowd! Teds, mods, rockers, hippies, punks, darkers, skinheads, rappers, ravers... In my times everyone knew where he belonged! 

JOAO: Look at that one with a satelite dish on his head! 

JORGE: I'm tired, let's go to the park! 

- In the Park,Three Hours Later - 
...(Karlheinz Stockhausen is passing by with his son Wolfgang and dog Amadeus). 

JORGE: Hello, Heinz, how's things? 

KARLHEINZ STOCKHAUSEN, a retired football player: Excellent, thanks Jorge. Business is booming. Golf and hockey lessons are full and there are few places left for little tennis players. Kids from the whole block are coming. I'm even thinking of opening a mini zoo and a botanic garden for them. 

JORGE: That's great! I was just thinking of booking Joao for tennis. That child really needs some fresh air. 

KARLHEINZ: Sure! But, you know, this boy of mine really gives me trouble! He listens to 
EINSTÜRZENDE NEUBAUTEN all day long and refuses to do exercises in the morning. I don't know what to do with him! 

WOLFGANG: Amadeus, apporte! 

JOAO: I want to make wee-wee! 

JORGE: I think we should go home now, Joao. Bye, Karlheinz! 

(Joao and Jorge exit. Stockhausen stays, reading newspapers while Wolfgang plays with the dog. End of Act One.) 


see also: Irena Sentevska, The Story of Miroljub Hegel
Irena Sentevska, Alice in Television