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Harold, lying on the couch and staring at the ceiling, nods in agreement.
DR HARLEY: And why is that?
HAROLD thinks for a moment and says: I don’t know.
DR HARLEY walks over to the window: I think it is perhaps your reluctance to articulate or elaborate. We must communicate, Harold. Otherwise, I’ll never understand. Now, let’s go over these pretended suicides of yours once again. Since our last session your mother has reported three more. As I calculate, that makes a total of fifteen. Is that correct?
HAROLD looks intently at the ceiling and says, thoughtfully: Yes. If you don’t count the first one, and the time the bomb in the greenhouse exploded overnight.
DR HARLEY: Fifteen… And they were all done for your mother’s benefit?
HAROLD: I wouldn’t say “benefit”.
DR HARLEY: No, I suppose not. He sits at his desk. But they were all designed to elicit a particular response from your mother, isn’t that so? For example, the squashed-skull incident we talked about last time. You placed the dummy with the cantaloupe behind the rear wheel of your mother’s car so that when she backed over it she thought she had run over your head. Now, the hysterics she displayed then would be the kind of thing you have been aiming for in these last attempts. Am I right?
HAROLD: Well… That was one of the first. It was easier then.
DR HARLEY: Uh, yes. Tell me about the bathroom incident last night.
HAROLD: What do you want to know?
DR HARLEY: Would you rate it a success?
HAROLD: It was the best response I’ve had in the last few weeks.
DR HARLEY: Did you leave a suicide note?
HAROLD: No. But I did write ‘Farewell’ on the mirror in blood. I don’t think she saw it.
DR HARLEY: Did you leave a suicide note for the hanging in the den?
HAROLD: Yes. I left it right on the desk. She didn’t even pick it up.
DR HARLEY: The hanging there was a failure?
HAROLD: Maybe it was the rigging. Maybe I should have used a different harness.
DR HARLEY: You seem to use very elaborate paraphernalia for these, uh, performances. The pool, for example. That must have taken a lot of work.
HAROLD takes a deep breath and says with a slight smile of satisfaction: Yes. It did. I had to build floats for the shoes and the suit. I even had to design a little oxygen device that lets you breathe underwater. It was a nice job.
DR HARLEY: But not a success. A least, judging from what your mother told me.
HAROLD: What did she say?
DR HARLEY: She said that she saw you floating in the swimming pool face down and fully clothed with a note saying ‘Goodbye World’ pinned to your back. She told the maid to give you hot cocoa for lunch because she didn’t want you to catch cold.
HAROLD looks at the ceiling for a long time: It took me three days to set that up.
DR HARLEY leaning forward in his chair: Tell me, Harold. What do you do with your time?
HAROLD: You mean, when I’m not planning…
DR HARLEY: Yes. What is your daily activity? You don’t go to school.
DR HARLEY: And you don’t go to work.
DR HARLEY: So, how do you spend your days?
HAROLD, after a pause: I go to junk yards.
DR HARLEY: And what is your purpose in going there?
HAROLD thinks for a moment: The junk. I like to look at junk.
DR HARLEY: I see. What else you do?
HAROLD: I like to watch the automobile crusher at the scrap-metal yard.
DR HARLEY: And what else?
HAROLD: I like demolitions.
DR HARLEY: You mean tearing down old buildings and things like that?
HAROLD: Yes, particularly with that great iron ball.
DR HARLEY: That’s very illuminating, Harold, and I think opens up several avenues for exploration in our next session. Right now your time is up. Give my best to your mother. I think I shall be seeing her early next week.
Harold gets up off the couch and says goodbye.
DR HARLEY, pleasantly: Are you off to the junk yard?
HAROLD: No, the cemetery.
DR HARLEY, taken aback: Oh – I’m sorry. Is it someone in the family?
HAROLD: No, I just like to go to funerals.
Colin Higgins, Harold and Maude (Psychiatrist scene scripted for the stage). Voir notre liste complète de textes et de scènes de théâtre (pour une audition ou pour l’amour du travail)