A crystal ball is on a small stand in a room. Before it stands the Lord of Heaven gazing intently into it. There is a knock at the door.
G*D: Enter/ you may enter.
The door opens. An angel peers into the room.
Angel: Can I come in?
G*d: I said you may enter. (The angel comes in, pulled up to his full height like a soldier he stands to attention next to the Lord of Heaven.) Well, how are things down there with your ward?
Angel: Fabulous. Things are going simply wonderfully. His behaviour’s exemplary. As for sinning — hardly any, the very idea’s comic.
G*d: So you find sinning funny?
Angel: No, it came out the wrong way. Oleg Olegovich has been on best behaviour recently. A drop of the strong stuff hasn’t touched his lips for an eternity. To cut a long story short, he’s been a good boy/ star.
G*d: In other words, you’re happy with him?
Angel: Happy isn’t the word. I hardly have to go out of my way to instil righteous thoughts in him/ keep him on the straight and narrow. He’s getting there with his own mindpower. Basically, you could say he’s heading straight for salvation.
G*d: Where’s he heading?
Angel: (joyfully): To his soul’s salvation!
G*d: No, I meant, where’s he off to at this moment in time?
Angel: Errrrrr….most probably minding his own business.
G*d: So you have no idea what your ward’s movements are at the present time?
Angel: Tell you the truth, I’ve just lost sight of him for a moment. But only cos you summoned me….
G*d: I didn’t ask for excuses. You must never let your little human out of your sight for a second. It is your duty to know everything about his existence. You must second guess his every next step, and even the one after that too. Do I make myself understood?
Angel: I couldn’t have put it better myself.
G*d: So where at this given moment is your ward heading?
Angel: You’ll never guess what, I sat, you see, on my all-seeing eye by accident. They’re repairing it as we speak. You couldn’t possibly let me have the use of yours for a bit?
G*d: A guardian angel without an all-seeing eye?
Angel: At the repair shop they told me they’d have it ready for me on Monday. I’m literally going round with half an eye.
Displeased, the heavenly father lets the angel stand next to him before the crystal ball. The Angel peers into it.
Angel: Everything’s now clear.
G*d: What’s clear?
Angel: It’s clear that Oleg Olegovich is on his way to his friend nederkin’s to
help him fix up his motor.
G*d: Nedel’kin has no car.
Angel: How do you know? Oh, right, forgive me. Welllll, he’s off to nedel’kin’s
to help him out somehow.
G*d: Nedel’kin’s not in town. And your Oleg Olegovich knows this full well. Tell
me, on the whole, when was the last time he committed a good deed?
Angel: You’re commanding me to name his last good deed?
G*d: Yes, I order it.
Angel: Right you are then. Three days ago he saved a young lady from a
bunch of yobs on the street.
G*d: And I know that he said to those yobs, «Don’t bother with that old minger,
are you blind or what, she looks worse than my turtle at feeding time.»
Angel: The words are by the by. It’s the deed that counts. He stills saved her
all the same. The hooligans left the girl in peace and didn’t bring her to any
G*d: And then he got drunk with the very same yobs. And danced the serdak
with them on the bonnet of his boss’s car. Now why didn’t you at that very
instant give him a broken leg? I seem to remember you received very strict
instructions on that front!
Angel: You must realise….yes of course I had my orders… but believe me, a
clear break — that would be too cruel. A serious injury, fine, or at the very least
a decent fracture maybe…
G*d: Are you now taking it upon yourself to decide what is cruel and what is
Angel: Ok. I’ll just stand here and be quiet.
G*d: That’s better.
Angel: I agree with you that my ward is a man who likes his amusements. But
Oleg Olegovich hasn’t a malicious bone in his body.
G*d: Do you know where your ward is off to at this very instant? He’s getting
ready to bash Manyashkin’s head in.
Angel: Why would he want to do that to Manyashkin?
G*d: For the simple reason that everyone bashes Manyashkin’s head in. So
he feels left out.
Angel: No. That’s not Oleg Olegovich’s style.
G*d: It is, oh but it is. Thus, behold yon open well. Would you be so kind as to
send him thither?
Angel: But that would be a real break.
G*d: That’s not all. Concussion also. Hopefully it will bring him to his senses.
Angel: Why this trap all of a sudden?! Look there, on the right is a wonderful
puddle. Remarkable. Deep. Let him fall into that. Let him really soil himself.
You can’t imagine how annoyed he’ll get! His new trousers getting completely
ruined will make him take a good hard look at his existence and see it from a
G*d: Which angle would that be?
Angel: The right one.
G*d. No. A double breakage and concussion it must be. And even that’s being
Angel: And what happens if he turns against life afterwards? What if shuts
himself off in his inner world?
G*d: No matter. We’ve sorted that sort out too. A month in a coma, two
months on a drip — and the character mends its ways. Man becomes almost
Angel: I’ve got another idea….
G*d: Yet again….
Angel: Listen, maybe we could show him something beautiful, uplifting. Like a
boy feeding a dove out of his hand. Or a girl feeding a little squirrel out of
hers. I promise you he’ll see this touching sight and his soul will do an about
turn. He will seriously ponder his life. And he will change.
G*d: Enough!! Cease trying to have me on!! He couldn’t give a damn about
kids and a whole flock of doves wouldn’t stir up his soul. Do as you are told.
Distract his attention with a half-naked girl in the fourth floor window. Of that
block of flats over there. (The angel with a heavy sigh, places his hand on the
crystal bait). Right. Good. Now direct him. More to the right. And some more.
To the right I said. Who are you trying to kid? Do you think I don’t know which
direction’s right? Right. Did he fall in? Ah, isn’t that nice…
Angel: Can I go now?
G*d: You may. (The angel heads for the exit, but G*d throws a passing glance
at the crystal ball. His face drops. He cries to the departing angel) Just a
minute! What do you think you’re playing at?!
Angel: (turning round) What now?
G*d: How did that workman end up in the trap?!
Angel: A strange question, my god. A workman’s job is such that he’s at work
all the time. In the most uncomfortable positions, in the most inconvenient
places. Like down a hole, for example.
G*d: You think I believe that? It’s you that’s set all of this up! Your human fell
straight onto the workman. He’s just fine, but he almost broke the workman’s
Angel: That workman, I tell you, happens to be, by the way, a major sinner. In
his spare time, he steals dogs, and his wife calls him a mug.
G*d: Do you want me to send you down there.
Angel: Not for anything on earth.
G*d: If it’s earth you want, then it’s earth you shall get.
An explosion. Darkness.
The angel stands alone in a spotlight. He speaks to the audience, squinting.
Angel: No. In fact, at the moment I seem to have landed on my feet. I’ve sorted myself out remarkably well. I’m renting this flat. Well, a room more like. But it’s central. The room’s nice. It’s even got some stucco. On the ceiling. Hardly see the landlords. Very decent people. Drink in their room all day long and hardly ever emerge. What else… Got myself a job fast enough. Part-time at first. Then a permanent position. I sell videotapes. The pay’s not much. They’re a bit greedy. But I sell some tapes on the sly. And the extra money’s not bad. It’s not good, sure. But it’s enough to get by on. What else…In my
little shop I’ve got a real laugh of a relief shift girl. She’ll suggest a tape to a customer and say. This film has elements of E. in other words, it’s got erotic bits. Or else she’ll say: This film has elements of P. In other words, Porno bits. She’s a real laugh, she is. So all’s not so bad. There’s only one strange habit I’ve developed. It came upon me quite by surprise. Whenever I seem to go past any of those flower stalls, I always go up and take a smell of the roses. And that smell arouses some very strange sensations in me. It fairly makes me lose my head. (As if telling a secret, sotto voce). You know, one day I even bought one of those roses. The one with the strongest smell I could find. I snuck behind the stall so as no-one could see me, and I eat the head of the rose. But I threw the stem away. I’ve never eaten anything more delicious in my life. And that’s my strange habit. (The angel blinks slightly, as if on the verge of tears). Forgive me.