by Petra Zanki

The following is a short piece by artist and writer Petra Zanki inspired by Kate Wallich + The YC: Dream Dances (Dec 7-10 at OtB). (Photo above: Tim Foster)


(The seagulls are flying in circles, calling. Morning skies turn salmon, and then all of a sudden blue. It is one bedroom, a home of Pile and Sloth. It is 7:03AM. The alarm clock goes off. A second alarm goes off, this one from the computer. Sound: mountain. Then the phone’s alarm goes off. The sound: Early riser. Half dreaming, half awake. )

Pile (to itself): Three alarms. Just in case. I don’t hear it. I never could. These things run in the family. Who the hell sets three alarms to get up. (looks through the window) That was so sudden. That sun. (pauses) The alarm clock would go off at 5:00AM. Tom Waits, “Big in Japan”. 5:00AM, 5:15AM. 5:15. It never was 5:15, it always was 4:45. Tom Waits, “The house where nobody lives”.

Sloth: What happened? By the way, I would never want to be called Alex. Just for the record. Alex was a guy from my company who would make a whiskey in his basement and raise it to 75% percent; good stuff, he’d say (laughs), and he got me two of these (shows two bottles of homemade whiskey). This f***ng thing could make you blind (cracks himself up).

Pile: Then how do you want me to call you?

Sloth: You are not listening to me.

Pile: I am sorry.

Sloth: Babe?

Pile: Babe?

Sloth: I love you.

Pile: I love you. This will never stop.

Sloth: I know. Can I have a kissy kiss?

Pile: Here. (they kiss) I love you. Sloth is watching us. Sloth and Koala are both watching at us. What are they thinking? They probably think we are crazy. 

Sloth: Sloth has its own little stories in its head.

Pile: Koala too. And Pile is —

Sloth: Pile is out of this world, she is just plainly high.

(Pile and Sloth laugh together and hug on the couch)


Photo: Kleber Varejão Filho




(A ball of cotton and a penis lie down in the bed. The bed is a raised platform, no edges. The room is completely white with nothing else in it, white bed, white sheets)

A ball of cotton: Oh, you don’t have a foreskin. Why don’t you have a foreskin? 

Penis: They cut it off when I was little. My mom did. That thing, they take it off the little kids — mutilating them — that pain, stupid people...

A ball of cotton: Oh, I've seen no-foreskin once before. No, two times.

Penis: I can imagine my foreskin somewhere alone in the world, right now, and all he can do is feel.




(A diner, somewhere past Renton. A red table, Mayonnaise and Ketchup meet for the first time. Courtship, love on the first sight. Mayonnaise is an artist, asks intellectual questions to Ketchup for its project.)

Mayonnaise: What is America?

Ketchup: A high school with guns. Listen, (leans forward) I don’t know if I will ever see you again, but I wanted to let you know that I love you. We have to get out of here. To Canada, or to France. We should go to France.

Mayonnaise: To France? But, I just came here. How we are gonna do in Canada, we do not know anyone. Ok, let’s go back, to France. We can drink wine, red wine from small cups, and live somewhere. We can write. But you do not know French. I am going to teach you.

Ketchup: Oh professeurrrrrrr

Mayonnaise: (laughs)

Ketchup: Comment dit-on... 

Mayonnaise: You say “Comment” with a round en, through the nose, you have to round it through your nose as if you are having a flu or something. Get it in, flip it up through your sinuses, and bring it down through your nose. Aon. Comaaaaon. Like that.

Ketchup: Commaon. Commaon.

Mayonnaise: Yes. That’s right.

Ketchup: You are an excellent teacher. You are so patient.

Mayonnaise: Merci.

Ketchup: Comment dit-on “you’re welcome” en français?

Mayonnaise: De rien. You say: De rien. It means: for nothing. 

Ketchup: But I don’t want to say for nothing. It’s for something. I want to say welcome, it’s not for nothing.

Mayonnaise: You still say: “De rien

Ketchup: But I do not want to say for nothing.

Mayonnaise: Or you can say “Avec plaisir

Ketchup: Avec plaisiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiirrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr (deep voice) oh babe

Mayonnaise: (laughs)



Photo: Dan Gold


(Two raccoons in a park)

Raccoon 1: I cannot stand more darkness. All of these dreams scare me.

Raccoon 2: What did you say?

Raccoon 1: I cannot stand darkness. There has been so much darkness in my life that the only thing I can talk about, watch, and consume now are flowers growing, people laughing, rainbows passing, and birds singing. I can sing along. And watch colors endlessly. I can look at trees changing. A leaf falling. I can wonder crouched over a bug. 
I don’t have what it needs to receive more darkness in me.

Raccoon 2: Hm. What do you do then when facing darkness?

Raccoon 1: I shut down. I talk about something else. I think about something else. I shut down.

Raccoon 2: How’s that gonna help?

Raccoon 1: (starts singing a PJ Harvey song)

Dear darkness, dear darkness
Won't you cover, cover me again?
Dear darkness, dear
I've been your friend for many years

Won't you do this for me, dearest darkness?
And cover me from the sun
And though the words tightening
The words are tightening around my throat and, and

Around the throat of the one I love
Tightening, tightening, tightening
Around the throat of the one I love
Tightening, tightening, tightening

Dear darkness, dear darkness
Now it's your time to look after us
Cause we kept your clothes, we kept your business
When everyone else was having good luck

So now it's your time, time to pay
To pay me and the one I love
With the worldly goods you stashed away
With all the things you took from us

Raccoon 1: (Finishes song, then addresses Raccoon 2 again) I respect darkness. I really do. I am imbibed in it. But my cup is full. Let’s talk about life. And if I doze off please nudge me.

Raccoon 2: Alright, let’s sing then, if you like that.

Raccoon 1: Alright, what should we sing?

(Raccoon 2 starts singing “Rocky Raccoon”. Raccoon 1 joins, and the two raccoons sing till the end, together).





Petra Zanki is Seattle choreographer and theatre maker originally from Croatia.


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