Artistic Discoveries in European Schoolyards

Marion Jõepera (Estonia)

Paperclip Belt

Kirjaklambritest vöö

Text Extract


Roof of a parking house. It’s raining cats and dogs.

To be free, finally, to fly like a bird, without any concerns – freedom. Finally everything has fallen into place. And what is right, what is wrong – is there a difference? Who would want to live forever, anyway?

It’s strange how everything has turned out. I never became the best one in anything I did. Never won a thing.

Juhan. A beautiful name. A beautiful, beautiful name. I didn’t know how to. Would the future be brighter? I doubt it. Everyone makes mistakes. The creator as well. Some people are meant to fall apart.

Friends, family and Juhan. Kersti will grow up and know not to repeat my mistakes. My friends will become closer to each other. Juhan will fall in love again. We were two absolutely different people. Opposites attract? Maybe, but opposites won’t stay together.

Kati looks down over the edge.

I do not exist. I am not here to care. Maybe it’s true that I could live a complete life? Dad wouldn’t hate me forever. Maybe I should try? Running away would be cowardly… And if nothing would really work out and things would turn out for the worst I could always put an end to my troubles. It would be stupid not to try.

What do I want? Do I doubt because I do not want it or do I doubt because I’m afraid of failing with the first attempt and never getting a second one?

Sometimes it feels like the world is only governed by patterns. Maybe by an intricate and a big one, maybe by many tinier ones – this I have yet to figure out.
But a pattern does exist. And not only in the things which always appear in a specific order like page numbers in the books, but in things that should be totally free of patterns – like walking around the city and getting drenched in rain.
And I keep and I keep repeating the word – “PATTERN” and I’m stuck with it. Stuck in it.
Pattern. Pat-tern.
Sometimes it seems as if all the real things begin with that same letter – “t”: time, talking, toughness, toleration, trifles, thunderstorms, tobacco, textbooks, teachers, teenagers, teasing, tears, tension, thresholds, tiredness.
And…trails, trains, tracks, towns, traveling, thirst, theatre, television, text messages, topics, theories, tidbits, thoughts and tranquility.

Everything has been embroidered into the pattern. Friends, random people. They
always follow the same familiar lines.
This is probably the cause of this feeling of endless vagabonding. Every day I feel as if I don’t know. As if I don’t know which direction to choose in the evening, although I do have a… a home. As if I don’t know with whom to talk, although my cell-phone contact list has plenty of names.

What is the meaning of this? This should be this…this…poetical and beautiful state of:
“I’m forever on the road”, “It’s all about the flow”, “Journey is more important than the destination”, “Home is where the heart is”.

I wish breathing itself would be enough. I wish it could be like it used to, although I do not remember anymore. I think. I think I do not remember.

All these patterns make my head spin. They help me to pretend that I’m always going somewhere, moving on, finding something new. But if I could see all those patterns from above, I would immediately notice that it’s just a game I play, at its best. The worst discovery would be to realize that I have already stopped existing. A long time ago. As if the…
How many deaths have I survived already? And yet again I stand in the middle of this street and wash myself clean in front of the entire universe. It’s funny that I’m not laughing.

It’s funny, because this is again just a pattern. If I would hop into a cafe tomorrow, I still wouldn’t choose a table in the middle of the room. Maybe the one closest to the window. But the corner would remain the priority. The window is just a bonus.
It doesn’t matter how clean I could wash myself, I still couldn’t go and sit down in the centre of the room. This storyline is not part of my pattern. It just isn’t. It’s like this with a safe way home as well. It always appears from somewhere – a new side street or a cul de sac. Or a new answer.
It’s funny that I’m not laughing.
So funny.

Kati is laughing. Laughing hysterically. She steps on the first step of the metal fence to climb up really carefully. While lifting her second foot she gets tangled into her sneaker laces and slips. Kati manages to grab the edge of the roof with a one hand. She starts crying. The hand shaking with pain doesn’t have the strength to hold her any longer. The hand slips off. Kati in her lime green jacket falls down into the asphalt in front of the shopping centre.

More and more people are running to the bloody and crushed body of Kati. Then the police arrive and the ambulance. Then Kati’’s shaken parents. Away from the entire crowd stands Kersti. She stands there without moving, without crying.


A 16-year-old girl Kati is dead but her spirit is now reminiscing about the times preceding her death.
She used to wake up every morning loathing her alarm clock and going to school where she was not the most popular girl in class. Kati smoked and drank alcohol quite often. She had a couple of best friends. She found one boy, Juhan, strangely attractive. All that Kati had wanted was to be attractive and different. She had never dreamed of fitting into the normal everyday world.
Kati’s younger sister is having a birthday party, Kati invites Juhan to her place to help her keep an eye on the youngsters, not wanting to do this on her own. That night Kati and Juhan make love for the first time.

Soon summer begins. Kati and Juhan have a huge fight and do not speak to each other for a month. Kati decides to go to a party in another city. She eats a strange pill given to her by a boy she does not really know. A little while later, Kati gets raped by the same boy. She stumbles out of the house in total confusion only to see Juhan together with another girl. She runs into the nearby forest and tries to slash her wrists.
Juhan arrives in time to save Kati and drives with her to his summer holiday house. They have a long talk and suddenly find themself enjoying some of the nicest days of the summer.

As autumn approaches, Kati and Juhan start getting ready for school. Markus, the boy who raped Kati, contacts her out of the blue. He announces that he’s HIV positive and suggests that Kati should get tested. A while later, Kati receives the horrible news as well.
Kati starts to push Juhan away, since she is too afraid to talk about her condition. On a rainy autumn day, Kati finally confesses.
A while later, she climbs to the top of a tall parking house, thinking about her bygone freedom. She slips and not having enough strength to hang on to the railing, falls down.

Her sister is standing right there and sees Kati’s body smashing onto the cold ground.


© Eesti Teatri Agentuur in Estonian (Estonian Theatre Agency)


1st Opening Noorteteater (Youth Theatre )“O” – Karksi Valla Kultuurikeskus Karksi (County Culture Centre), Tallinn (EE), March 31, 2010

M: 5
F: 4