Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Boy Crazy Betsy

Boy Crazy Betsy

BETSY stands in the middle of the stage.

BETSY
I don’t like to think of it as being boy crazy. I like to think of it at being boy resilient. I am so good at flitting from love to love to love, that I won’t let one crash and burn get me down, no way no way. Not one, not two, not three or four.

Like senior year, I had a list of four boys I wanted to go with to prom. They weren’t ranked or anything: they were just possibilities. And then there was a list of maybe eight or nine who I would definitely consider. I asked one and he had plans and another and he wasn’t that down and after going through about four I got myself a prom date and we had an absolutely lovely time. I watched all my girlfriends pine over that one boy who never seems to notice them or the boy with the girlfriend and they all ended up taking other girls or taking a severe backup choice or they went stag and they all seemed so miserable because they weren’t dancing to Stairway to Heaven with the ultimate Prince Charming. And I pitied them so because I was having so much fun with Prince Just-Good-Enough because to me, any boy is good enough. Unless he doesn’t shower. And then if he’s an angsty musician it’s okay.

I think I can trace it all back to Kevin. Kevin in sixth grade. He had curly brown hair and these glasses that would change in the sunlight, oh I was so jealous of those. I wanted ones that changed in the sunlight too. And one time, I got this note passed to me. It said: “Will you go out with me. From Kevin.” I passed a note back with a resounding, “Fuck yeah!” – sixth grade being the time when everybody likes cursing and so says fuck as often as physically possible – and I beamingly sent it back to him only to find out that he had not in fact written it, it had been written by a bunch of gossipy girls who just wanted to see if I did in fact like him and it turned out that he did not in fact like me and all that I could say was fuck.

And it was from that point on that I could never really see myself getting invested in being interested in a specific boy. I had become completely convinced that any boy who flirted with me was nothing more than a few gossipy girls trying to find the latest dish. If I never found myself deeply invested in one boy, then no boy could break my heart. But I think that’s best. I don’t need a boyfriend. I don’t need anything steady or deeply invested. I’m perfectly fine with my ever changing crushes and varying standards. There will never be one boy to hold some kind of agonizing hold over my emotions. No emo poems, so late nights sobbing, none of that! I am completely resistant to that kind of bullshit. Completely, completely!

Although, sometimes, I think back to the sixth grade, and I find that I still miss Kevin. Which is lame and pathetic but… I still think back to that. And then all I can say is fuck. 

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Still Pretty

Still Pretty

Rose garden.

EMILY MENKEN, a pretty young slip of a thing, sits on a bench, examining a rose.

FRANK GRANT, a young man with darkened glasses and a walking stick, enters the gate.

FRANK
Emily Menken?

EMILY
Frank?

FRANK
Heard from someone you’re still pretty.

EMILY
Oh Frank it is you! How—(notices the cane. Silence.).

FRANK
May I come in?

EMILY
Oh yes, yes of course.

She scrambles up to grab his hand. He smiles.

FRANK
I would protest the special treatment, but it’s so lovely to hold your hand.

EMILY
You always make me blush.

He puts his hands to her face.

FRANK
Yes. Still pretty. 

Monday, March 29, 2010

Agent Ocelot: Continued

Agent Ocelot: Continued

The headquarters of Secret Hinderers of International Terror (S-Hit): a secret subset of the American government. There is a large screen in the background, on which videos and photos will be displayed.

VINNY, leader of S-Hit, stands center stage, carefully removing his FIGURE costume and handing it to an ASSISTANT. He is a gruff man of advanced years with eagle eyes.

DOREEN, his adoring wife, comes on. She sets up a tea table and begins to pour him tea.

VINNY
So. The nation’s best lost to an old man?

IRA
We almost…

VINNY
Almost only counts in horseshoes and hand grenades. Pitiful, just pitiful. If this is how you are all going to act during a training exercise, how can I expect you to act in a real situation? This is S-Hit, the Secret Hinderers of International Terror, we are the ones the FBI calls to fix their mistakes, we are the ones the CIA calls when they shit their pants, we are the ones who tell Chuck Norris to eat his vegetables. And you, you, S-Hitters, you just lost to an old man with a few fun toys. I’ve a mind to rename you Charlie’s Angels Rejects. Pitiful, just pitiful. Now, I took some notes… hot damn my handwriting is terrible, I must remember to get a secretary.
(Notices DOREEN.)
Who are you?

DOREEN
I’m Doreen. I’m your wife. We’ve been married thirty seven years.

VINNY
Well, you’re my secretary now.

Without missing a beat, DOREEN sits down. She pulls out a pad of paper and a pen and begins to take notes.

VINNY
So. Let us review what happened during this pitiful excuse for a training exercise.

He takes out a remote control and clicks it at the screen. A still image of the earlier training exercise clicks on. As he narrates, VINNY clicks to new images. In many of the images, the AGENTS have put themselves in rather precarious positions with unflattering facial configurations.

VINNY
It all seemed to start out okay. I thought, wow, this seems rather easy. Too easy in fact. So I added a few explosions. And three pairs were out. Some smoke and sirens. Another two or three down. A smattering of barnyard animals and we’re down half the remaining team. A few failed tactics, shoddy teamwork, a disastrous attempt at a quadro-couple spawn sink and next thing you know we’re down to two teams. Now, I know this sounds dismal – and it is you pack of failures. But, this could have worked. Please observe. Silverstein and Waters had the perfect opportunity. Weak spot here, two excellent agents holding their defense… but what did they do wrong?

IRA
We didn’t work as a team.

VINNY
Exactly. Now. It was down to Stella and Keith.  And what was the problem?

STELLA
Peter tried to help but it interfered.

KEITH
Noob here fucked it up.

STELLA
He did not fuck it up. He misjudged.

DOREEN
Excuse me. Is that noob, N-E-W-B or N-U-B-E?

KEITH
It’s actually a double O. N-O-O—

STELLA
He did not fuck up.

VINNY
No, he did fuck it up. And as a punishment we all must point at him and laugh. Ready?

VINNY clears his throat. He points at PETER; others follow suit. They laugh uproariously. He stops laughing and the chuckles immediately cease.

VINNY
Now that we have done that, let us point and laugh at Ocelot and Tine. Ready?

VINNY clears his throat. He points at a puzzled KEITH and a glowering STELLA; others follow suit. All laugh uproariously. He stops laughing and the chuckles immediately cease.

KEITH
What gives? Noob fucked up.

VINNY
Yes, but someday in the field you may be straddled with a “noob” – and I spell it N-E-W-B, I’m classy like that – and they may fuck things up, but you do NOT get mad at Newb; you salvage the situation and don’t get beat up by an old man!
(He smacks KEITH.)
Now. It is getting to be very late. I want you all to go home and mull over how depressing it is that you were beat up by an old man.

They break. KEITH starts to walk off. STELLA runs after him.

STELLA
Keith!

KEITH
What?

STELLA
Remember how we jammed a couple jet packs in Switzerland on Thursday?

KEITH
Yeah.

STELLA
Maintenance started fixing them but Peter and Ira blew up a couple demi-boots and they’ve had to concentrate on fixing those but the jet packs are still jammed—

KEITH
Do you need me to fix them?

STELLA
I can fix them. I just need some help.

KEITH
You can’t fix them. Stupid woman…

STELLA
Excuse me. I graduated from the Academy with much higher marks in mechanics than you Mister.

KEITH
Blah blah blah. You still need me to do it.

STELLA
Really.

KEITH
Lame-o.

STELLA
Really.

KEITH
Incompetent, moronic, stupid woman.

STELLA
Well guess what loser. I’ll do it without you. Ha! Go home to Nina.

KEITH
Fine by me. I don’t feel like staying overtime.

He saunters off.

STELLA
Dammit.

Sunday, March 28, 2010

Agent Ocelot: The Beginning

Since I posted the ending yesterday… here’s the beginning. I started it the summer before senior year. Let’s see if I can finish it by this summer?


Agent Ocelot: Beginning

ACT I

Scene 1

Setting: The midst of utter chaos.

The lights come up with a BANG and we are thrust into the midst of utter chaos. Lights flashing, bullets flying, and smoke billowing. The omnipresence of cacophony provides a shocking soundtrack. This cannot be good.

AGENTS outfitted in all black outfits and equipped with only the latest technology, rush about, attempting to quell the overwhelming pandemonium. They work in pairs.

One pertinent pair is the team of IRA WATERS and PETER SILVERSTEIN. PETER, who enjoys blowing things up, is making every effort to be the suave, James Bond type. IRA is doing his very best to calculate everything to the last second.

Far surpassing any of these other agents are STELLA TINE and KEITH OCELOT. The stunning STELLA reeks of sophistication, level-headedness and superiority. The dashing KEITH highly resembles both a stone cold fox: clever, quick witted and wonderfully good looking (as in, “damn, that guy is a fox”). However, he has the emotional capacity of a cold stone (as in, “none”).

The teams begin to fall out, until only PETER, IRA, STELLA and KEITH are left.

KEITH
Want to go in and squash this overgrown garden mess?

STELLA
Let’s let the novices try it a bit.

KEITH
Waters! Silverstein! Offensive! Tine and I have your back!

The two of them take defensive positions.

IRA and PETER suddenly realize that it is all on them. This perturbs them mightily and they get to determining what oh what to do.

IRA
So, we could one eighty the three oh five—

PETER
No.

IRA
What about a blue diamond mixed with a seventeen thirty.

PETER
No.

IRA
Or a Lazy Betty covered by a six oh three—

PETER
No, no, no!

IRA
Then what Peter? What?

PETER
Let’s just wing it!

IRA
I don’t think—

PETER
This isn’t a time for thinking Ira! This is a time for doing!

PETER runs right into the heat of battle. IRA whimpers dejectedly, then follows on his heels.

A large EXPLOSION rings. A frightening FIGURE begins to emerge from the smoke

STELLA
Fuck.

KEITH
Let the noobs do it. Brilliant plan.

STELLA
Seventh dwarf into a little mermaid?

KEITH
With a B flat major fish scale on the tail?

STELLA
Hellz yes.

KEITH
Gladly partner.

They launch into a Seventh Dwarf configuration, followed by a Little Mermaid with a B flat major fish scale on the tail. Use your imagination.

The menacing FIGURE continues to approach, and they continue to Little Mermaid

Right when they seem on the peak of victory, PETER sits up and attempts to shoot. The FIGURE blasts them all.

KEITH
Damn noob…

OMINOUS MUSIC plays over the desolate battlefield. Then, the FIGURE removes his helmet to reveal VINNY, an elderly man with a disgusted smirk.

VINNY
All right, pick it up, pick it up.

Moaning a little, the AGENTS all pick themselves up.

The walls scoot offstage, revealing that we are in the headquarters of Secret Hinderers of International Terror (S-Hit): a secret subset of the American government. 

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A Turning Point for Agent Ocelot?

This will make absolutely no sense to anyone who hasn’t read the other 77 pages of the Agent Ocelot script. Which basically includes just Sam Kestin, Sara Meyer and Victorya Jewett. But I did write this today, so I want it count dammit!

A bit of context can be found here.


A Turning Point for Agent Ocelot?

Spencer’s evil lair. He and STELLA have been fighting for quite some time. SPENCER has a very large nose and a doomsday device.

KEITH, NINA, and MITCHELL, as well as SPENCER’S CRONIES watch on.

Somehow, they both manage to attain firearms, and they end up aiming them at each other.

Beat.

STELLA lowers her gun.

STELLA
I can’t.

KEITH
It’s because you’re a woman.

STELLA shoots mere inches away from KEITH’S face.

KEITH
Jesus… what the hell? I’m supposed—

STELLA
One more peep from you and it’s going straight into the baby-maker, you mark my word Ocelot.

Pause.

MITCHELL
Kill him!

NINA
Kill him Stella! Kill him!

STELLA falters. SPENCER grabs her gun and turns her around, holding the gun up to her cheek.

SPENCER
You know, I don’t get you Stella.

STELLA
Spencer please.

SPENCER
Feisty Stella, starry Stella…

STELLA
Spence!

SPENCER
One second it’s I love you Spencer. Then it’s I love Keith. Then it’s oh, just kidding, I don’t love Keith I love you but I won’t let you take over the goddam world!

STELLA
Please Spencer, I—

He kisses her.

SPENCER
There’s nothing I can do.

STELLA
What?

SPENCER
GodDAMMIT I knew this would happen.

STELLA
Spencer…

MITCHELL
I don’t get it.

SPENCER
 I knew sooner or later, you’d convince me not to blow up the planet. Which is why I removed the stopping device.

MITCHELL
What?

KEITH
Oh shit.

SPENCER
There’s no stopping it starry Stella. All we can do is sit back and watch the fireworks. Me and my favorite girl.

KEITH
No! There has to be a way. Has to be!

SPENCER
You can look all you want noob, but I am just too clever for us all. Way too clever for me.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Snow Bunny Snivelings

Snow Bunny Snivelings

Hotel room.

HEATHER sits on her bed, sulking. CAROLINE enters.

CAROLINE
Helloooo Miss Beautiful, there’s a bar full of martinis and gorgeous men down there with our name on it and—oh no honey, what’s wrong?

HEATHER
Jason’s here.

CAROLINE
Jason? Jason who?

HEATHER
Jason Jason, my ex-husband Jason!

CAROLINE
Oh, oh no sweetie, that’s, that’s—

HEATHER
And with his new girlfriend. Jenna.

CAROLINE
There is no way she’s got your looks girl.

HEATHER
I haven’t seen her yet.

CAROLINE
It doesn’t matter, now does it? You are completely over Jason. Remember? Completely and totally.

HEATHER
Completely and totally.

CAROLINE
You aren’t over him, are you.

HEATHER
I am, I am! It’s just…

CAROLINE
Oh no.

HEATHER
He’s still cute Caroline.

CAROLINE
You’re not over him.

HEATHER
I am speaking completely objectively. His features are still… composed together in an attractive manner.

CAROLINE
Don’t say you’re attracted to him.

HEATHER
I’m not! I’m just… he… maybe.

CAROLINE
Okay. This is going to stop. Now. I refuse to have you moping about all weekend because you still want to bang your ex-husband—

HEATHER
It’s not that that’s bothering me! It’s just… He was not supposed to be cute. Objectively. I’d probably still find him attractive no matter what because I’m… weird, like that, I suppose, but I can tell you, from a third-person, objective standpoint, he is a good-looking guy.

CAROLINE
Good for him, I suppose—

HEATHER
No! He was supposed to get ugly. His hair should be thinning; he should be looking thick around the waist…

CAROLINE
Heather…

HEATHER
There should be bags under his eyes and uneven scruff on his face. He should not look like a goddam Abercrombie and Fitch model!

CAROLINE
I’m sure he doesn’t look like an Abercrombie and Fitch model.

HEATHER
Yeah, not quite. But he’s at least Gap material. And then look at me. I’ve put on ten pounds since the divorce. My hair is all limp and gross and my skin’s looking like ten cups of coffee a day…

CAROLINE
You are plenty cute. At least, you are when not in the deepest throws of self-pity.

HEATHER
I was supposed to be the cute one. I was the good one; I was the victim – I’m supposed to turn out better in the end. He was supposed to see me and fall madly back in love with me and I would scoff his advances and shatter his heart – the way he shattered mine.

CAROLINE
It’s a big lodge. I’m sure you can avoid him fairly well.

HEATHER
I will, I will.

CAROLINE
You and that Kenny guy seemed to hit it off fairly well.

HEATHER
He seems sweet enough.

CAROLINE
I think you should pursue that. He’s cute. And he knows you’re cute. I can tell.

HEATHER
Thanks Caroline. Well, I’ll just have to survive the next few hours without seeing him. He said he and Jenna were leaving tonight. Shouldn’t be so hard.

The phone rings. CAROLINE answers.

CAROLINE
Oh, it’s—oh, I see. Are you sure? How long? Thank you.

She hangs up.

HEATHER
What is it?

CAROLINE
We’re snowed in.



See also: http://katiewritesaplayaday.blogspot.com/2010/01/snowed-in.html

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Sometime Ago

Hotel room.

PAMELA and KEN HARPER sit on the edge of the bed.

PAMELA
So now we’re married.

KEN
So now we are.

Pause.

PAMELA
I claim the bed.

KEN
Hey!

PAMELA
I hope you brought a sleeping bag.

KEN
You’re just being immature.

PAMELA
You’re the one who insisted on the Flying Elvis at our wedding.

KEN
You did not seem adverse at all.

PAMELA
I guess we share the bed. As long as you don’t try anything.

KEN
Trust me: I won’t.

PAMELA
I’m gonna go change into PJs. Be right back.

She disappears into the bathroom.

KEN takes off his shoes and his pants.

PAMELA walks out in cat pajamas. She wears glasses and a retainer. She stares at him horrified.

PAMELA
What the hell are you wearing?

KEN
This is what I sleep in! What are you wearing?

PAMELA
Pajamas. Ever heard of them?

KEN
I didn’t know you wear glasses.

PAMELA
My whole life. Though I wish I wasn’t wearing them now, so I wouldn’t have to see you in your boxers.

KEN
At least they’re not briefs.

PAMELA
Yeah, thank the Lord.

KEN
Am I really that gross to look at?

PAMELA
Kenny dear—yes.

KEN
Nice thing to say to your husband.

PAMELA
I kid. It’s just—shocking.

KEN
Cat pajamas? Really?

PAMELA
Night Kenny.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Latika’s Song

Latika’s Song

1. Working Song

GIRL
A stitch in time saves nine
A stitch in linen
A wrinkle in time
A wrinkle in the order of the perfect life

One and two go through and through
Three and four, one shirt more
Five and six, the colors mix
Seven and ten – where’s nine again?
We work for eight – American girls look great


2. Homework

BRENDA and JOSIE try on outfits. HOLLY does homework.

BRENDA
I’m not so sure I like this.

JOSIE
Why not?

BRENDA
I think it makes my butt look fat.

JOSIE
Honey, nothing could make your butt look fat.

BRENDA
I think this one just might could. Maybe I should return it.

HOLLY
Don’t you already have that exact same dress?

BRENDA
No.

HOLLY
Yes you do. You wore it Mary Kaber’s Sweet 16 last Saturday.

BRENDA
That was a baby blue baby doll dress. This is a sky blue empire waist.

HOLLY
They look the same to me.

BRENDA
Well they are not.

HOLLY
Didn’t you buy them both at Trendy 23?

BRENDA
Trendy 23 has the cutest clothes.

JOSIE
For the best prices.

HOLLY
Yeah, if you want to look exactly the same as everyone else. And wear the same thing every day in slightly different colors.

BRENDA
I think I’ll keep this Josie. It’s not too bad on my butt. And I don’t own anything like it already.

JOSIE
And it was just seventeen bucks!

HOLLY
It’s exactly like that other dress.

BRENDA
No it’s not.

HOLLY
Probably made by the same 5-year-old in China.

BRENDA
Now you listen here Missy. I am a poor teenager. I want to look cute. and if a US corporation ahs to help spark a third-world economy by building a factory, so be it. And also Miss Used Jeans and Fair Trade Coffee – all your hippie hemp comes from cartel-ridden Mexico. So just suck it!
Are you sure this doesn’t make my butt look fat?

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Boy in the Plasma Box

Boy in the Plasma Box

Living room.

ANNA and LORI sit in front of the TV.

ANNA
Oh my god! So cute!

LORI
I know!

ANNA
Kiss her! Kiss her! Kiss her! Omigod he kissed her!

LORI
Eee!

ANNA
Oh, I love a happy ending!

LORI
Me too!

ANNA
And that boy is so cute. So cute.

LORI
He sings and he’s sweet and he’s cute and ohmigod.

ANNA
If James Hartnett ever like, talked to me, I think I would die. Ohmigod, I would marry him. Right there.

LORI
Why are boys so much better in movies?

ANNA
I know!

LORI
Sometimes, I wish you could just reach into the TV and pull them out, you know?

ANNA
I hear you.

LORI
Anyhoo. This movie’s over. We have three more.

ANNA
And no more popcorn.

LORI
And no more popcorn.

ANNA
I’ll go make us some more.

ANNA grabs the empty bowl and exits.

LORI stares at the television. JAMES HARTNETT’S paused face stares back.

As if in a trance, she stands up and walks towards the tv. She extends her hand and places it on his face.

All of a sudden, her hand grabs something and she falls back. JAMES HARTNETT falls on top of her.

She stares at him wide-eyed.

ANNA
Oh Lori, would like like some more—oh my god what happened to my TV? Oh my god! James Hartnett!

JAMES HARTNETT
My name’s not James. It’s Michael. Michael Craig.

ANNA
That was his character in the movie!

MICHAEL
What movie? What… where am I?

GIRLS
Oh my god.

MICHAEL
I don’t get it, what’s the big— (He looks at Lori) Hi.

LORI
Hi.

To be continued

Monday, March 22, 2010

An Afternoon with the Academy

An Afternoon with the Academy

Saturday, I attended two fabulous performances by the Academy of Visual and Performing Arts – Corinthians 6:13 and Welcome to My World. Corinthians was an original play by Lucy Linderman and Lexa Grace; My World the annual dance concert.

A few reflections in no particular order or significance:

Lucy and Lexa: I love you guys.

Danger Zone Dance Company: You guys never fail to make me feel inflexible, ungraceful, and thoroughly out of shape. It was great J

    Joey Guthman: My most darling brother, you are a creep. And you should never, ever again rock the scruff. But you designed some gorgeous lights for dance concert. And the revolving cross was brilliant. Please don’t rape anyone. Hearts and hugs baby bro!

4.     This was the second time in just as many days that I saw a play featuring a priest wishing to abandon the vows of celibacy. And neither based on recent revelations. Huh.

5.     Pali kids should not expect free admission to the dance show when the former president forks out the full $12. Contrary to what it appeared a few of you thought, dance concerts still have shit to pay for. I’ve seen shows at your school and paid full price for them. And I paid full price for both Academy shows I saw. Deal.

6.     Lucy, your class and dignity are extremely admirable.

7.     Catholic School Girls: Angi exemplified wonderfully delicate vulnerability, while Maddy showcased an intricate mixture of bitchiness, compassion and defenselessness. I think you guys were my favorites. Even if your skirts were a bit short.

8.     I noticed a decrease in “actor voices” emanating from vocal chords. Very good.

9.     Kudos to the new theatre director for letting you guys handle such mature material. Last year, the script would have certainly been pages and pages of blacked out text.

10. I’m so jealous my class didn’t do a senior seminar :(


    Great job you guys!




    Pictures stolen from Stephanie Fishbein:


Sunday, March 21, 2010

Cora and Shane

Cora and Shane

Living room.

SHANE, 17, watches television.

CORA, mid 30s, walks in. She turns it off.

SHANE
Hey what the fuck? I was—

CORA
We need to talk Shane.

SHANE
Fine, Cora.

CORA
I feel like, we haven’t been friends for a while. Now, I know I’ll never be your mother but, I’d like to think that we could at least be friends.

SHANE
I don’t, know…

CORA
I was so worried when I married your father. Worried that you wouldn’t like me. That you would think I was trying to replace your mother. You were six years old at the time. I had this image of temper tantrums and all sorts of shenanigans. Frogs in my cereal and whatnot. But you were a perfect angel. A perfect angel. And all I wanted to do was be your mother. I wanted to take care of this angelic, motherless child who, it seemed to me, wanted me to mother him. We even brought you along on the honeymoon. Since you’d been having nightmares you begged us to come along. So instead of consummating my marriage the first night I listened to you talk about the monsters under your bed. And I was happy with that. I was absolutely delighted.

SHANE
Well that is a perfectly heartwarming story—

CORA
I think you started hating me around eleven. Or twelve. I thought it was puberty, the terrible teens, and someday your hormones would level out and you’d stop hating me. Or maybe it was the twins. They were four – they’d ceased to be cute, more of a bother. But maybe you’d level out and love me again when they grew older. But you never did. You just kept hating me and then ignoring me and then switch between the two and I don’t know what’s worse – active hostility or absolute apathy. You can be so vicious sometimes – being a nurse is not as good as being a doctor, I’m too short, I’m a terrible mother… but even then, it means you acknowledge my existence and see I’m making some sort of effort to be part of your life which is better than this absolute ambivalence you seem to find in vogue.

SHANE
You’re not my mother. You never will be. And you need to stop trying to be.

CORA
Your mother died when you were three. And she spent most of those three years in a hospital bed. I am the closest you will ever have to an actual mother.

SHANE
I’m leaving.

CORA
Wait, Shane. I didn’t mean that.

SHANE
I think you did. I think you meant every word of that. The poor motherless child you took into your life out of the goodness of your soul. Treated him like a subordinate pet and expected him to be grateful. And now you’re surprised he’s trying to live a life of his own. Great job Cora.

CORA
I didn’t mean to treat you like a pet Shane.

SHANE
I know you didn’t, you… you didn’t.

CORA
I’m sorry if you felt like… I was…

SHANE
You didn’t, you – you were a wonderful mother. A wonderful parent. Every teenager hates his parents.

CORA
But not this kind of hate Shane.

SHANE
I started hating you when Dad started hitting you. And you let him. That’s when I started hating you.

CORA
Your father doesn’t—

SHANE
He does and I know it. I think the twins know it too. I don’t know. But I remember he used to hit Mom and by the end of it she didn’t want to live and so she died and it was all her fault. Because she let him. She could have fought back and then she wouldn’t be gone. But she didn’t care anymore and she let herself give up. You seemed strong. I didn’t think you’d let him get away. You’d shut him up with a sharp word and a returned blow but no, you were just like her and you let him walk all over you and I knew that sooner or later you were going to stop caring about yourself or about me and I did not want to deal with that a second time and so I decided right then and there that I could not love you because you would leave me and I’d be worse than before. And so I hated you. And eventually that cooled to passive apathy and that’s where I am now. I can’t imagine caring about you now – as a mother or a friend. It’s impossible. I will not let myself get hurt.

SHANE runs out. Pause.


CORA
Conor! Conor darling!

CONOR, 12, enters, carrying a violin.

CONOR
Yes Mom?

CORA
Play me that song again. The one you were practicing earlier.

CONOR hesitates, then begins to play a lively tune.

CORA
No honey, the other.

CONOR
The sad one?

CORA
The one you need to practice.

CONOR
I think you’re much more in need of this one Mom.

CORA
I suppose I am. I suppose I am.