The Curse of the Starving Class

It was during the time I wandered the streets near Nybroplan with a lamb in my arms. I remember it so well. Spring had come. The air was dry, almost dusty. The evening was chilly but still carried the smell of earth and last year’s leaves, warmed by the sun. The lamb bleated forlornly as I crossed Sibyllegatan.

During the day, the animal lived with the king’s pampered horses in the Royal Stables, down toward Strandvägen, and we understood that it must feel out of place, not only there but also, in the evenings, at the theater. I know nothing about lambs, but old it was not. A few weeks, maybe. Playing the part of a living metaphor onstage must have been an ordeal, especially since the play—Sam Shepard’s American drama Curse of the Starving Class—was violent in places, and noisy, and hard to digest, even for full-grown human beings. We could only hope that the poor creature was able to just grit its teeth and think about something else. In any case, it grew, faster than anyone had reckoned on.

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