THE EX-MAGICIAN OF MINHOTA TAVERN TEXT / DIALOGUE IN ENGLISH Obs: texts in off - normal dialogues - italics ........................................................................................................................................................... ........................... (OPENING) In the mother church birth register of Silvestre Ferraz, nowadays named Carmo de Minas, I find, beside my own, my parents’ names: Eugênio Álvares Rubião and Maria Antonieta Ferreira Rubião. 1916. My father, a man of good humanistic culture, was a philologist and a member of the Academy of Letters of Minas Gerais. In spite of being a grammarian, his writings were of rare elegance. I inherited from him my shyness and a certain formal behaviour, which has kept me away from sharing the sympathy of many. Some of them women, what is regretful. I lived in Belo Horizonte for twenty-five years. Some of them happy, some sad. There I intend to die. At the cemetery of Bonfim, if it is not too much bother to those who survive me. I attended public school, secondary school and the Faculty of Law, and I can say, without a shred of pride, that I never was the best student in any subject. As a writer, I have been somehow successful in the bureaucracy of letters. Three times president of the Brazilian Society of Writers ( Section of Minas Gerais) and vice-president of the 1st Brazilian Congress of Writers. It took me seven years to write and publish my first book “The Ex- Magician”. Not a reason to make it any better. I started to earn my living early. I worked in a candy store, sold scientific books, was a teacher, a journalist, the director of a newspaper and of a radio station. Today I am public office employee. Celibate and with no religious belief. Two serious gaps in my character. I, however, nourish a solid hope that one day I will convert myself to Catholicism before death comes to me. I could tell a lot about my preferences, about my loneliness, about my sincere esteem for the human kind, about my persistence in having little hair and an excessive moustache. But, my greatest boredom is still talking about my own self. September 1949. (Part 1: Empty tavern) Today I am a public office employee and this is not my greatest distress. One day I happened to face my gray hair in the mirror of Minhota Tavern. The discovery did not surprise me and neither did I get astonished when I took the owner of the restaurant out of my pocket. Tavern owner: But how have you done that? I was in the kitchen giving ... How have you managed to do it? orders In such situation, what could one, who does not find any explanation for one’s presence in the world, reply? Tavern owner: Anyway, that is not important at all. Where do you work? Magician: I don’t know. I just know I’m tired. I was born bored and tired. Tavern owner: But you, sir... a great artist! You sure must have other tricks!? (Part 2- Lively Tavern) Tavern owner: Didn’t I tell you? My customers are three times as many as they were before. My tavern has turned into a big party! Circus manager: I cannot believe you have called me here to hand over your best trump. Tavern owner: That’s right, the number of my customers has really increased, but not the profit. He has the strangest habit of giving free lunch and drinks out to the audience. I tried to make him quit such practice but he does not always have control over his magic. Circus manager: Wonderful! The man did not like my practice of offering the customers free lunch, which I mysteriously drew out of my coat. Considering that increasing the number of customers without consequently raising the profit is not very good business, he introduced me to the entrepreneur of Circus Park Andaluz. (Part 3- Creatures:) Sometimes, distracted, he opened his hands, weird things slipped from them. Surrounded by strange figures, he did not know what to do with them. Happenings to make anyone get desperate, mainly a bored magician tired of his art. (Part 4- Circus:) Master of Ceremonies (MC): Ladies and gentlemen! Circus Park Andaluz is honoured to present the magnificent magician of Minhota Tavern! The manager of the circus got really annoyed at my unconcern about the applause of the audience, specially if it were from the little children who had come to give me a good hand in the Sunday afternoon shows. Why should I be touched, if those innocent faces, destined to go through all the suffering that comes along with the maturing of men, did not cause me to feel any pity? Neither could I think of hating them for they had everything I had always pursued: a birth and a past. (Part 5- coffee bar:) My performances became a great audience success. As my popularity increased, my life became unbearable. I had no control over my magic. I could do nothing. My eyes begged for help which could not come from anywhere. I looked down in low spirits and grumbled at the world and at the birds. (Part 6 - Police Station:) Police officer: (on the phone) No, man ... you’re the detective. Solve it right there. Don’t bring it over here. (to the magician) But you’re causing me trouble again. I’ve already told you that it’s forbidden to release snakes in squares and streets. Magician: I am sorry, sir, but I am a magician. I promise I will behave, I will not disturb anyone else again. I’ll put an end to that. Police officer: I hope so. And so long ... (Part 7 - Bedroom:) Magician: What are you waiting for, you stupid animal?! Lion: Set me free! (Part 8 - Park:) Despair, despair. I, who was able to create other beings, did not find ways to free myself of my own existence. A sentence I had heard quite by chance brought me a new hope to definitively break away from my suffering. Man 1: Being a public office employee is to kill yourself little by little. Man 2: What? What did you say? Man 1: Being a public office employee is to kill yourself little by little. (Part 9 -Public Office:) I. Bitter year. It was longer than the ones to come after the first manifestation I had had of my existence, in front of the mirror of Minhota Tavern. I did not die, as I expected. Greater were my afflictions, greater was my distress. When I was a magician, I hardly ever had to deal with men - the stage kept me away from them. Now, as I was obliged to a constant contact with my fellow creatures, I needed to understand them, to disguise the nausea they caused me. The worst is that, as my work was litttle, I found myself in the contingency of having nothing to do for many long hours. And the idleness drove me to indignation against the lack of a past. Why was I the only one, among all those who lived within my sight, that did not have anything to recollect? My days floated by confusedly, mixed up with poor remembrances, little balance left over three years of life. The love aroused in me by a workmate, whose desk was next to mine, distracted me from my unrest. Momentary distraction. My uneasiness was soon back, I struggled against uncertainties. How to declare to my mate? If I had never declared love to anyone and had not even had a single emotional experience? II. The new year began sadly, with threats of collective dismissal in the Secretary and the typist’s refusal to accept me. Facing the possibility of being fired, I tried to protect my interests (I did not care much about the job. I was just afraid of staying away from the woman who had rejected me, but whose presence was now indispensable to me). Magician: I’ve heard about the dismissals. I would like to remind you that I cannot be laid off. I cannot be fired. I’ve been working here for ten years and I have acquired the right to a steady job. Office manager: You know, your cynicism really amazes me. I could never imagine that someone who has had a job for one year would dare to say he has had it for ten! Magician: It is true, sir, I can prove it ... Office manager: Your breast is like ... What the hell is this? What kind of joke is that!? (Part 10 - End:) Nowadays, without the old and miraculous gifts of a wizard, I cannot abandon the worst of all human occupations. The love of my mate and the presence of my friends are missing. They think I am mad. Illusion does not offer me any comfort. It only helps to make the regret at not having created a whole magic world greater. For some moments, I wonder how wonderful it would be to draw red, blue, white, green kerchieves from the body. To turn my face to the sky and let a rainbow come out of my mouth. A rainbow that would go over the earth from one end to the other. And applause of the white-headed men, of the sweet little children.