The Dwarfs

Free The Dwarfs by Harold Pinter

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Authors: Harold Pinter
physical. It’s not music. It’s someone sawing bones in a coffin.
    - Really?
    - I saw Pete today.
    - You said.
    - I met him after work. We walked along the Embankment. He asked me to lend him a quid.
    - Well?
    - I refused.
    - What?
    - You don’t understand. I told him if I lent him a quid it would be an event. And I don’t want anything to do with events.
    Mark closed one eye and squinted, lighting a cigarette.
    - What did he say to that? he asked.
    - What did he say? He said. He spoke. He had his say. Do you know something? Since I left him I’ve been thinking thoughts I’ve never thought before. I’ve been thinking thoughts I’ve never thought before.
    He waved his arms and dropped them.
    - Look here, Mark said.
    - What?
    - Why don’t you leave Pete alone?
    - Leave him alone?
    - Why don’t you give it a rest? He doesn’t do you any good.
    - What did you say?
    - I’m the only one who can get on with him, Mark said.
    - You?
    - Yes. You’ve got to have a certain kind of - something - to get on with him. Anyway, I’ve got it and at the moment you haven’t. What good does he do you? You should give it a rest.
    - You get on with him? Len said.
    - He doesn’t take any liberties with me. He does with you.
    - What makes you think he takes liberties with me?
    - Do what you bloodywell like.
    - You mean come over to your side.
    - What do you mean? Mark said.
    Len unhooked the toastingfork from the wall and peered at it.
    - This is a work of genius.
    - What did you mean by that?
    - Do you ever make any toast?
    The fork slipped from Len’s hand as he turned it to the light and dropped on to the carpet. Mark bent forward.
    - Don’t touch it! Len hissed, cutting the air with his hands. No! You don’t know what will happen if you touch it. Jesus Christ’ll come up if you touch it. Don’t you know that? You’re frightened of Christ, aren’t you? He frightens you.
    - Do me a favour, will you?
    - No, but he makes you shiver, doesn’t he?
    Len bent swiftly and lifted the fork from the floor.
    - There you are. Nothing happens when I touch it. No one would bother. I’m in a musty old clothescupboard. I stink of old clothes. I’m only fit for the boiler room. You can see that. Tar, sweat, engines. That’s all. Do you know how you’re looking at me? Excuse me if I laugh. I’ll laugh tomorrow. You’re looking at me as if I were a human being. You’re an old hand at this game, I know, but it’s no uselooking at me like that. You’re trying to look me straight in the eye and I’m looking at your navel. Or are you looking down my throat? If you are, I’m sure you can see a long way down. Anyway, I prefer to stare glasseyed at the navel. When I can. What else do you want me to do? What else can I do? I was never one to prescribe remedies. What about you? I’m sure your remedy would cause a lot of good clean shitting all over the place. So would Pete’s. But they’re not my remedies. I don’t prescribe remedies.
    He dropped into an armchair, clutching the toastingfork, and slowly let it slide to his side, covering his eyes.
    - You see - I can’t see the broken glass. I can’t see the mirror I have to look through. I see the other side. The other side. But I can’t see the mirror side.
    His head lolling, he keened.
    - I want to break it, all of it. But how can I break it? How can I break it when I can’t see it?
    He hissed through his teeth and shook his head fiercely.
    - You’re stone. Am I dead in you? I’ve shot the bolt. If I could move from this chair I’d go.
    - Pete and Virginia will be round any minute, Mark said.
    - That’s all right. That, I tell you, is all right! Leave me alone. What do you want? Ah. Sniff this room. Sniff it. This room has changed since I’ve been in it. I’ve permeated it. It’s all acrid now.
    - You’re wrong. The room’s the same.
    - No. Don’t give me that. You don’t know. You’ve no idea what a jackal you’ve got in this room.
    - Yes I have.
    - No. You think you

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