†††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††††† The stage has large white fence with (stucco) walls.† It covers midway up state, and in the center of the fence, there is a black cast iron looking gate.† The white walls of the fence are overgrown attractively with vines and flowers.† There is a lawn chair with a book on it, and a glass table beside it.† On the table, there are two glasses.† There is an elderly woman with a large gardenerís hat.† She is watering the base of the fence, and poking at things with a golf club.† From side enters an elderly man dressed sloppily.† His buttons are noticeably not lined up, heís wearing shorts, and un-matching socks pulled up to his knees.† He is waving a golf club around.
Will: So where are they? What did you do with them?† Iím supposed to leave in ten minutes.
Eloise: (hardly turning) I guess thatís too bad.† I guess youíre just going to have to postpone.
Will: Just tell me where they are. Iíll get them myself even.† Eloise, are you listening to me at all? Eloise!
Heís thumping his golf club on the ground and stamping
Eloise: (turning and leaning on the golf club like a cane) Yes, Iím listening, as well as the neighbors.† Please keep your voice down.
Eloise goes back to her gardening with the golf club
Will: Are you digging with my putter?
Eloise: Mmmhmmm.† And
Will: Ok, what did I do?†
Eloise: Remember what you were supposed to do last Thursday?
Will: No, that was days ago.† Iím sure it wasnít bad enough to steal my golf clubs and use them as gardening tools.
Eloise turns towards him quickly.
Will: What I mean is you know how bad my memory is.† Just please tell me so I can fix it and get my golf clubs back.
Eloise takes the golf club and throws it over the fence.
Eloise: †Go get it.† The rest of them are in the pond. (Pointing off stage)
She goes to the lawn chair, lifts the book, sits down, and opens to her marked page.
Will:† You rotten old witch.†
He stands looking at Eloise while he bats at flowers on the wall.† When she doesnít acknowledge him, he opens the gate to go after his club.
Eloise: Wretched old curmudgeon.
He comes back with his club.
Will: Eloise, what did I do?
Eloise: You forgot about me.† I had an appointment and you didnít take me.† I had to postpone it again.†
Will: So what, itís just a week or something isnít it?
Eloise: This is the third time Iíve had to postpone because of you.
Will: If I swear to take you and be painfully early, will you help me get my things together so Iím not so late?
Eloise: What do I get if you lie again?
Will: What do you want?
Eloise: I want your car.
Will: But you crashed yours!
Eloise: Thatís the deal take it or leave it. (Sheís still hardly looking up from her book)
Will: Fine fine, just tell me a day ahead of time.
Eloise: Ok, (she stands up and takes off her hat, leaving it on the law chair.) First off, fix
She unbuttons and rebuttons his shirt.† He stands there like an obedient child
Will: Is that drink for me?
She just nods. He begins sipping his drink.
Eloise: Ok, go put on matching socks, there are some clean ones in the basket on the bottom of the stairs, and if you look in the pantry, beside the freezer.† All your golf clubs are there.
Will: Not in the pond?
Eloise: Not in the pond.
Will: Thank you!
He kisses Eloise and rushes off stage both golf clubs under arms.† Eloise puts her hat back on and sits back down with her book.† She shakes her head.
The scene is a comfortable living room.† Eloise in wrapped in an afghan facing the back of the couch. Substantially in front of the couch is a small circular low coffee table covered with food trash and papers.† On the floor, there is also a pair of shoes and socks.† Will enters, fully and correctly dressed.† He comes on stage and looks at the coffee table with displeasure.† He then looks at his watch.† He doesnít notice Eloise on the couch.
Will: Look at this. (Gesturing at the table)† Whereís she?
He goes to the side opposite that he entered from.
Will: (yelling to offstage) Eloise!† Whenís dinner?
Eloise: Iím right here dummy, stop screaming.† My head hurts already.
Will: So, whatís for dinner?
Eloise: Whatever you make yourself.† Preferably whatever you make yourself quietly.
Will: Bah, sandwiches it is.
He exits and is heard offstage whistling.† Eloise sits up, and puts her feet on the floor with the blanket wrapped around her still.
Eloise: Why am I so tired?
She gets up, leaves the blanket, and starts to put the dishes and garbage on the table in order.† She doesnít finish.† She just leaves it all on one pile, and crawls back into her afghan on the couch.† She curls up into a small ball.† Will enters with a sandwich.† He stops midway to the couch, looks at Eloise, and is visibly concerned.† He drags the coffee table to the end of the couch and sets his sandwich down.† He sits at Eloiseís feet.† He rubs the bottom of her legs through the blanket.†
Will: Eloise are you ok?
Eloise turns to face outward, uncovering her face.
Eloise: Iím fine, Iím just tired thatís all.
Will: Are you sure?† Can I get you anything?
Eloise: No, Iím fine.
Will: Do you want me to go out and get you some iron pills?† I read somewhere that if your iron gets too low, you get tired.
Eloise: I donít think itís my iron. (long pause Eloise looks at will who is looking down and unhappy) Sure, we can try it. You never know.
Will: Ok, (standing up) Iíll be back soon.
Eloise laughs and takes his arm and pulls him back down to the couch.†
Eloise: Thereís no rush, sit, eat. (pause) Will you actually do me a favor?
Will: Sure, what is it?
Eloise: Will you call and remind the kids to come home for my birthday.† Just gently remind them.† They are terrible with dates. (pause, and sheís slowly falling back asleep.) I just have so much planned, and I havenít seen them in so long.† I miss having them here.
She trails off at the end of her sentence asleep.† Will collects the trash from the table and exits into the kitchen.
IF YOU ARE PLAYING DIEGO DO NOT ATTEMPT THE ACCENT!
The scene is a very nice
bedroom.† There is a woman, late 30ís or
40ís in bed.† She is wearing white satin,
and a darker man, in off white pajama bottoms.†
The man, Diego, has a
Diego: I got today off, Sam. Do you know why?
Samantha: No, I've already told you I have no idea
Diego: Well then, Iíll tell you since youíre such a terrible guesser.† It is our official one-month anniversary; Iíve been here for one month.
Samantha: Oh, Iím sure thatís wonderfully sweet and all, but I donít have the day off.
Diego: Call in sick.
Samantha: No, thatís just dishonest, (pause) and immoral.† Iíve been thinking about that too.† I donít know how comfortable I am with this whole arrangement.
Diego: Why what do you mean
Samantha: I donít want to get into it, but I donít think I can just live with you like this.
Diego: Why, is there anyone else?† Why do you want me to leave?† What?
Samantha: No, no one else itís just. I donít know.
Diego: No, tell me, I want to know
Samantha: Itís just I feel used, itís like this is convenient.
He gets out of bed abruptly in disbelief.
Diego: Convenience? You think this is convenient.
Samantha: For you, yes. Yes I do.† Maybe for me too.
Diego: Iím leaving. I canít believe Iím hearing this.† (Mostly to himself) Here I am going out of my way to be sweet, for the first time in my life making an effort, and Iím doing it out of Ďconvenienceí.† Trash, bull, complete trash.
The phone rings and Samantha stretches to reach it.
Diego: Go ahead, talk on your phone and ignore me, let me just go.
Samantha: Hi DadÖ. Of course I knowÖ† I got her a tea set, I know itís boring, but it looked like something she would likeÖ Yea, I know, she is terrible to shop for.† What did you get her? Ö Oh, you better believe Iíll be there I want to see her faceÖ.
Diego: Iím leaving, Iím getting my things and Iím going.
Samantha raises her hand to gesture one min. Diego stops picking up his mounds of clothes and sets them on the bed.
Samantha: Itís nothing. I just left the TV on.† Iíll shut it off if itís bothering you. (She turns and glares at Diego) It was a little loudÖ Yea Iíll be thereÖ I know, Iíve just been so busy lately... Love you dadÖ Ok talk to you soonÖ Oh wait. Is James going to be there?... OhÖ I knowÖ okÖ bye.†
She reaches across and hangs the phone back up.† She looks at Diego and gestures to him to come there.† When he gets to her she wraps her arms around him and he climbs into bed next to her.
Samantha: Iím sorry Diego. I didnít mean what I said, I have to talk to you. Iím a little stressed right now.† Iíll call in sick.
Will is in the garden with his golf club, he is wearing a fanny pack that has golf balls in it.† He also has the phone against his ear but he is taking it away as the curtain or lights rise. He tucks the club under his arm, he exaggeratedly pushes the button on the phone, and then puts the phone back on the table.††† He puts his hand in his fanny pack and drops† a ball and hits it into the wings.† He searches for another, but there are no balls left.† He goes to the flowerbeds against the wall and on his hands and knees searches for them, while he grumbles.† Successful he tosses them blindly out and behind him.† Eloise enters through the gate.† She has several grocery bags and her purse that she sets down upon the law chair.††† Crossing the stage she stands beside Will, he is oblivious. She gently kicks at his feet.
Eloise: Mutt, get outta my flowers before I call the dogcatcher.
He is chuckling as he stands up, then he lifts the club off the ground beside him and tucks it into his fanny pack (like a holster).
Will: †Thatís right, and if you keep kicking me, Iím going to mark these flowers too.
Eloise: Oh, Will, donít be crude.
Will: The crude old manís gonna get you.
As he says that, he heads towards her with his hands out stretched wiggling his fingers. He laughs and hugs her playfully, swinging side to side with her in his arms.
Will: (half singing, taunting sounding. He speaks while still swinging her) Someoneís turning seventy on Friiiiday.
†He kisses her forehead as she is half pouting, and he moves towards the grocery bags.
Will: So, what did you get me?
Eloise: Nothing whatsoever old man, I got stuff for the kids.† They always complain we donít have anything to eat, so I stocked up on everything that looked unappealing to me.† I assume it will be to their liking.†
They both take a bag, and they start off stage hand in hand.
Eloise: Will you help me clean out their rooms tonight?† I want them to stay here this trip, no hotels this time.
They both exit.
The scene is what could have been a beautiful house, filled with lots of reds and wood.† There is an exageratly large wooden door upstate center.† Large family portraits are on both sides of the door.† James is on the floor, on a makeshift bed, which is nothing more than a pile of blankets and a pillow.† There is a phone on the floor besides him, a large wooden desk on the other side of the stage, and several piles of papers and books on the floor.† The phone rings and he lifts it and hangs it right back up, not moving anything but his arm.† There is a moment of silence, then knocking on the door.† James pulls the blankets over him completely, but the knocking persists.† James finally gets up, takes a cigarette from the desk, and lights it.† He is in sweats and a dress shirt, and is extremely pale.† He answers the door and there is a young man named Ben with a newspaper.
Ben: Morning Mr. Dupreeí
James: What time is it Ben?
Ben: A little after two in the afternoon.
James: Goddamn, it feels like seven in the morning.† (Taking the news paper) Thanks.† Oh, why werenít you answering the phone?
Ben: It was your Father.† You werenít waking up when I was knocking, so he told me just let it ring and it would wake you up.† Iím sorry Mr. Dupreeí, he insisted.
James: I donít pay you to do what other people insist.† Next time just put the machine on two rings.
Ben: Sorry, do you want anything? Iím going to the grocery store a little later if you donít need me.
James: Umm, coffee, and a blank card.† Oh, this (gesturing the paper) seems a little thick, did you go through it?
Ben: Yea, itís only the funnies, art section, and the stocks.
James: Great, you have hope yet.
Ben: Thank you. (pause) Anyhow, what time do you want dinner?
James: I donít care, whenever, just wake me up. (He hands his cigarette to Ben who just holds it)
Ben: Ok, bye Mr. Dupreeí.
James lifts his hand bye, and closes the door as Ben recedes.† James throws the paper on the desk and gets back into bed.† The phone rings twice, and he doesnít pick it up.† Then less than twenty seconds later, it rings again twice.
James: (to the phone) Stop ringing! (He takes it off the hook.)
James covers his head completely then tosses and turns a few times under the blanket.† Then he stands up, lights a cigarette from a pack at the desk, and sits at the desk.† He unfolds the paper and starts writing on it.† He takes a notebook from inside the desk (this doesnít really matter because the audience canít see because the back of the desk is facing upstage.) He writes on the paper and in the notebook going back and forth from one to the other. He reaches down and pulls the phone up form the floor by holding the receiver and yanking the rest up, then he sets it on the corner of the desk.† He dials and holds the phone to his ear, and places his cigarette in a full ashtray on the desk.
He hangs up and starts going through the paper again.† He starts to fidget, bounce his leg, then lights another cigarette while one is still burning in the ashtray.
James: Damn it. (he picks up the phone and dials.) Hi, (pause) Dad? (pause) You called? (pause) No I was working. (pause) Well he was mistaken.† I just hadnít let the room yet. (pause) I didnít want to be disturbed.† (pause) Is there anything else or did you just call to accuse me of lying. (pause) I know. I got her a card.† (pause) I really donít want to make the trip.† (pause) It is a long trip for me. (pause) I consider that to be long. (pause) Ok, ok, Iíll go, just stop.† (pause) No, I havenít seen her or the kids. But can we not talk about it this time? (pause) How many times do we need to go through this?† (pause) Just trust me. This is how it is.† (pause) For Christ sakes stop it, just shut up. (pause) Iím doing what you want. Iím going to come this weekend.† (pause) I have a lot to do. I only had a few minutes.† (pause) I have to go.† (pause)† I have work to do. (long pause) Thanks, thatís exactly what Iíll do, thanks for solving all my problems in one moving breath, and now Iím going to go. (pause) Enough, bye. (He hangs up)
He moves from the desk and stands in front of the portraits of him and his family.† He tries to stand in the same posed manner he is standing in the picture.† He then looks at his shirt and sweats and shakes his head.
James: That isnít me.† Itís better this way.† God, where is that book. (he starts going through piles of papers on the floor.) Where the hell is it? (He shuffles through everything and he canít find it. He puts on hand on his forehead shaking his head and then runs to the door.† He opens it, but doesnít leave.) BEN! BEN! Damn it, (Pause) heís not here.† Shit-shit-shit. Calm down, youíre world is wonderful.† You see it in your mind, you donít need the book.
He goes in his desk drawers but still doesnít find anything.† He runs to the door again and looks out, then closes it and just stares into the room.† He sinks to his knees and then back to be sitting on the floor.† He is breathing deeply for a moment, and then he crawls slowly to his bed on the floor.† Before he gets into his blankets, he takes another cigarette from the pack and the lighter from the desk but does not light it.† He crawls into his bed almost completely covering himself, only a small portion of his face is out.
James: My world is beautiful. My world is happy.† Nothing but light, thereís nothing but light.
Will and Eloise are in the living room.† On the coffee table, there are gifts and the portable phone.† Will is sitting on the couch continually rearranging the gifts in ascetic designs. Eloise is standing behind the couch with her hands behind Will. She is standing very still.
Eloise: They should have been here an hour ago.† I canít imagine why they arenít here.
Will: I donít know Elly, calm down.† Come on, lets get started, maybe theyíll show up.† Letís not ruin the day waiting.† Come here, see what I got you.
He pats the cushion beside him encouraging her to sit. She begins to sit.
Eloise: Can we wait a little longer.† I really want them here.† Please Will, just a little bit longer.
Will: Eloise, no, we should get started. We have to be at dinner in less than an hour.† (pause) Donít let them ruin your birthday.† Weíre here together, and thatís what matters.
Eloise: I want to wait a little bit longer. I just want them here so much this year.† I wanted it to be like it used to be.†
Will: You stay right there.† I have something special for you.† I was going to wait, but I think you need it now. Hang on.
Will gets up and rushes off stage.† Eloise picks up the phone and dials.
Eloise: (pause) Hello, may I please speak to Samantha? (pause) Oh she isnít.† Ok, thank you. (pause) Oh, excuse me, young man, please forgive my curiosity but what are you doing in my daughterís house? (pause) Oh, yes I see. Good.† Well thank you, just be sure to tell her I called, oh, and remind her that itís my birthday today and she is supposed to be here. (pause) Pardon? (pause) Thank you, many happy returns to you. Bye.
She hangs up the phone and begins to dial again but Will comes out with another very oddly shaped gift and he sees her with the phone.
Will: (monotone not said as a question) Who you calling.
Eloise: I just tried Samís.† She isnít home.† I was about to call James.† I want to know why they arenít here.† They have no excuse not to be.† I called them a month ago, and I can imagine that was too long ago, but you called them two days ago. (She is losing her composure and is beginning to get visibly upset)† There isnít any excuse for this.† I need to know why they arenít here.† Why would they intentionally just leave me, knowing that itís my birthday?† (pause) Why Will?
He places his gift on the table, wraps his arms around her, as he sits beside her on the couch.†
Will: (forced) I may have forgotten to call.† I thought that they would come anyhow.† Iím sorry.
Eloise: Will? You promised.
Will: I know. Iím sorry.†
Eloise buries her head in Willís chest crying.† He strokes her back comforting her.
Will: Shhh, itís ok Eloise.† Iím sure theyíll be home soon.† Youíll see them soon.† I promise, donít worry.
There is a very long pause with her crying.
Will:† You ok Sweetie?
She looks up and he wipes her eyes.†
Will: Need to get rid of some of this water.† I may drown if I kiss you.
He smiles at her, and she smiles back faintly.
Will: Come on, letís have a good birthday.
Eloise nods and wipes her eyes some more, and stands up facing away from Will.† She picks up the special gift and turns back to Will.
Eloise: Come on, letís head to the restaurant, our reservation is for fifteen minutes.† I hope the change in the number of people is no inconvenience.
Will: Go pull up the car, Iím going to go get my wallet and change my pants.
He gets up and starts to head off stage.
Eloise: I know you donít like me driving your car.† Iíll wait for you.†
Will: Open your gift.
Will: Because I want to see you open it, itís your birthday for Peteís sake. You open gifts on birthdays, at least where I came from. Go on.
Eloise unwraps the gift.† It is a large rubber boot.
Eloise: Thank you for the boot Will.
Will: (While walking towards her) Look in the boot, you goose.
Eloise turns the boot over and shakes it.† Keys fall out.† She slowly looks at them and then at Will and then back down at the keys, then back at Will.
Eloise: Itís mine?† Completely?
Will nods while smiling with pride.† Eloise laughs and smiles.† She runs the few steps to will and hugs him tight. She lets go, turns, and grabs the car keys.
Eloise: Meet you outside.
Eloise hurries off stage almost swinging as she walks, she is laughing and smiling.† Will watches her and smiles almost sadly as she exits.† He then picks up the portable phone and dials as he exits off stage in the opposite direction.
Diego and Samantha are in the bedroom, everything is clean and the bed is made.† Both Samantha and Diego are dressed.
Diego: Sam, I love you. You know that, but I have to do this.
Samantha grabs his hands.
Samantha: Sheís a grown woman. She can take care of herself.† How will she ever stand on her own if she never has to?
Diego: Me and my sister are different than you and your brother.† Sheís my little sister. I have to be there.
Samantha: So why do you have to go tonight?† Iím already late. Itís her birthday! Canít you go tomorrow?
Diego: No, I have to go right now. Sheís in hysterics.
Samantha: Canít she go to your mom or something?
Diego: (giving her a sideways look) Our mother died when we were young Sam.
Samantha: Oh god, I knew that. Iím sorry.† Iím just so Ö Ahh, please you have to come with me.† We need to talk to them. Sheíll be easier to talk to today.
Diego: Then go without me, I canít go.†
Samantha: No, I canít tell them without you. (she sighs loudly) Fine, fine, weíll go. Iíll explain to her when we get back.
Samantha: Oh, you donít wantÖ††††
Diego: ÖNo, no, I very much wantÖ just didnít expect.
Diego watches Samantha, amazed, as she gets on her hands and knees and pulls a suitcase up from below the bed.
Samantha: Iím packed already to go home.† I suppose I have everything I need already in here.
Diego: We can wait for a few minutes before we have to leave, weíll have too long if we leave right now, the flight leaves in 2 hours.† We have a few minutes.†
Samantha: Ok, what do you want to do to pass the time?
Diego: What I want to do isnít appropriate right now.
Samantha: Youíre really worried?
Diego: Iím taking a last minute flight, of course Iím worried.† She isnít the kind of girl to act like this, and she wonít tell me whatís wrong over the phone.† To tell you the truth, Iím terrified.
Samantha grabs Diegoís hand and leans into him.
Samantha: Iím sure sheíll be fine.† You made me better, Iím sure youíll make her better.
Diego: I thought this was just convenience.
Samantha lets go and takes a step away from him.
Diego: Iím sorry. I didnít mean to say that.† Iím sorry.
Samantha walks away from Diego and sits on the edge of the bed.
Samantha: Always know just what to say donít you?
Diego: Sam, I am sorry.
Diego stands in front of her and kneels onto one knee.
Samantha: No Diego, donít do that.† Please, donít do this.
Diego: If you say yes, you will prove I am no convenience. I know we have only been together a short time, but I feel so muchÖ
Samantha: (She leans forward, kneeling on the floor, and hugs him.) Iím sorry I ever even called this a convenience, but now you know why I was so stressed.† Forgive that I said it, and let it go.† Maybe weíll do this, but not right now.
Diego: But itís the right thing to do.†
Samantha: Now whoís old fashioned?
Samantha gets up from the floor and offers her hand to Diego and he takes it and stands.† Samantha sits back on the bed and Diego sits besides her.
Diego: Why do you (waving his hands in the air looking for the right word) dislike your brother so much?
Samantha: Heís just not a very likeable person.
Diego: I thought you were famous for getting along with anyone.
Samantha: Not him.† Heís different, irrational.† I canít explain, if he ever leaves that room of his, youíll meet him someday.† Then, youíll wish you didnít.
Diego: Well, he is your brother, there has to be some similarities, and for that, Iíll like him.
Samantha: For both our sakes, letís hope not. Anyhow, Iím going to go to the store quickly and get stuff for the flight.
Diego: Ok, Iíll finish my packing.
Samantha exits and Diego lies back on the bed facing the ceiling.† Then, the phone rings. Diego answers.
Diego: Hello. (pause) No, Iím sorry, she isnít in. (pause) May IÖ (pause) I am getting read to leave. (pause) Happy birthday Mrs. Dupreeí. (pause) Goodbye.
Scene is the living room again, this time clean. Eloise is stretching as Will enters.† He stands to the side of her and behind watching her.
Will: What are you doing?
She looks stops, turns and looks at him, then continues stretching.
Eloise: Iíve been stiff lately. I want to stay limber.† My bodyís been so sore.
Will: You look a little ridiculous.
Eloise: You look fantastic yourself (still stretching).† Oh, tomorrow, Doctorís appointment.
Will: Do I still need to drive you?
Eloise: (she stops stretching and turns towards him sharply) Yes.
Will: Ok ok, no need to get sharp.† I just figured since you have your own car now.
Eloise: Iím sure I wonít feel up to driving afterwards.† You can drop me off and get me a few hours later if you would like also.† I donít want to force you to sit through it.†
Will: I donít mind waiting.† Iíll just read something in the waiting room.
Eloise: No, Iíd rather you just picked me up later on.† I remember last time.†
Will: What, I just nodded off.† No harm in that.
Eloise: I could hear you snore from inside the exam room.
Will: I donít snore.
Eloise: And Iím not old.
Will: (chuckling) I love you dearly, but you know if wishes were horses then beggars would ride.
Eloise: What do you mean by that exactly?
Will: Nothing, never mind.
Eloise: If youíre implying I wish I were younger, youíre wrong.† Iím perfectly content with my age.
Will: This would be the first birthday ever.
Eloise:† Maybe I feel itís better to age gracefully, and you donít take your birthdays to well either.† Despite what you say people donít start aging backwards at 50 no matter how much they want to. Although, you do act more like 33 more than 67.
Will: Bah, youíre just jealous because Iím three years younger.
Eloise: Women live to be seven years older so, I still have four on you.
Will: Donít be naive, someone as ornery as you will live forever.
Eloise: I guess weíll be here till the end of time together.
They both laugh and Will takes Eloiseís hands and swings them with his own. (Like a child would)
Will: Anyhow, what time tomorrow?† And what time do you need picked up?
Eloise: Well the appointmentís at nine, but we need to leave at eight.
Will: Why so early? The office is only 15 minutes away.
Eloise: Iím going to his hospital office tomorrow.
Will: Why? You always go to the office, itís right here.
Eloise: Well this time Iím not.† So we need to get up early.
Will: Alright, wake me when youíre out of the shower.
Eloise nods and walks to the side of the coffee table and picks up a card envelope.
She opens it and takes out the card.† She looks at it for a long moment shaking her head.
Eloise: Did you see this?† He didnít even bother to call me, he just sent a card.† Thereís no real explanation.† All it says is heís sorry and something came up.† I love that boy but he has the people skills of a slug.† I havenít heard from Sam either, it isnít like her to just not call or show up.† Sheís so responsible normally.
Will: I know, letís not dwell.† They both have a lot going on.
Eloise: Is everything ok with them?† Honestly?
Will: For the most part.†
Eloise: Whatís going on with Sam?† There is always a man there.
Will: She says itís the TV.
Eloise: Televisions donít answer the phone.
Will: I know, but sheís a grown woman, and sheíll tell us in her own time.
Eloise: I suppose. (pause.† She stares at the card for a moment longer and places it back down on the table. ) Can we go somewhere tonight, somewhere special?
Will: Sure, but where?
Eloise: I donít know, anywhere, out dancing, on a little boat tour, to a play and dinner, something wonderful.
Will: Sure, that all sounds great.† Why donít we do it next week though so we can have more time to plan?
Eloise: (looking down not making eye contact) No, I want to tonight, Iíll figure out something.
Will: Why all the urgency, just wait until next week.† We can go into the city and do it right, we can make a weekend out of it even.† Get a hotel room, the works.†
Eloise: Thereís no urgency, I just want to go tonight.† Will you go?
Will: Of course Iíll go I was just saying we could really do Ė
Eloise: - Ok, Iíll go see what I can do.
Eloise exits.† Will sits on the couch and picks up the card.
If you are reading stage direction read slowly. It may become confusing.
The lights go down for a moment then a spot go up. The spots are on Samantha and Diego. Both are dressed differently than in their previous scene.†† They are hugging and Diego kisses Samantha and takes a small step back.† He places his hand on her stomach, then he kisses her tummy. He stands up again, with one hand he takes her hand, and with the other the suitcase.
Diego: Let us go home.
The lights go down on them, and downstage left is James in his pile of blankets tossing and turning.
James: I just need to sleep.† (thereís a knock and a phone ringing) Let me sleep! (to himself) Nothing but light.
The lights go down again, and a waltz begins to play, the spots go up again on Eloise and Will who are dancing downstage right, heading towards center.† They are laughing and smiling.
Eloise: I love you, old man. Thank you for tonight.
Will: No, thank you, and I love you too, Eloise.
Eloise and Will keep dancing. The lights go up on James, Samantha, and Diego.† Diego and Samantha walk hand and hand towards off stage right, James is tossing and turning, covering his head.† All the light go off in unison sharply.†
End act one.
James is sitting at his desk with his head down and cigarettes burn in the ashtray.† There is a knock on the door but James doesnít move.† The door opens slowly and Ben enters with bags of take away food of some kind.
Ben: Mr. Dupree?† Mr. Dupree?† Wake up sir.† Iím back with dinner.
James covers his head with his arms and Ben slowly walks into the room doing his best to avoid the papers and things all over the floor. Then he sets one bag down and starts to leave.
James: †Wait.† Come here, eat with me.
Ben turns and just stands very very still staring at James half-scared half in shock.
James: Come, sit, eat.
Ben: But there are no other chairs.
James: No excuses.† Weíll move it onto the floor then.†
James gets up from the desk and pushes his blankets out of the way on the floor.† He then sits on the floor where they once were, and pats the floor to gesture Ben to follow.† Ben begins to slowly go to James.† He gets a few feet away.
Ben: Oh sorry.†
Ben takes off his shoes, places them by the doorway, then sits across from James.† He begins to take food out of the bag while James just sits looking at him.
James: How is school?
Ben: Very good.
James: What are you going to be again?
Ben: I want to be stockbroker, business.
James: Really.† Why havenít you told me before, I could help you.
Ben: you told me you could set me up wit a firm when I first began working for you.
James: I did, did I?† Well I guess I have to then. (pause) Is that what you really want to do though?† Will it make you happy?
Ben: (relaxing) I mean, if I make half as much money as you do, yea, Iíd be happy.† Buy myself a boat and a nice house. Iíve always wanted a nice place to call home.
James: Just wait, youíll get your nice house and boat, and still want more.† Youíll see.† Look into art.† Be a painter.† If youíre any good, Iíll help you get started.
Ben: Thatís ok.† Iím in my final year, and I like it.
James:† Know what the problem is?† Itís all been done before, so no one wants to do it again.† We just want money for our trouble.† Thereís no point, no grand climax to any life anymore, just a series of mundane events till you die on life support, and thatís if youíre lucky.† When I die, just let me die.† No doctors no prolonging the mundane.
Benís short-lived relaxed state is now gone.† His food is sitting in front of him and he is trying not to make eye contact with the steadily louder James.† Jamesí voice keeps getting more and more as if heís giving a lecture.
like me, and like you for that matter, were meant to
die in war.† There has always been a war
for the young men with no goals to go away and be killed
for the love of country or god or something.†
Something big and meaningful, a real way to go, a
story, a bang.† I think thatís all
I can hope for, that I donít die as flatly as Iíve lived.† I canít do it on my own. I need to world to
create something bigger than me to die for.† Iím too old now, they wouldnít take me.†
You should go join the army, and live with a
Ben: I really donít think the army is theÖ
James:... if I understood what I understand now I would have thrown myself into war, maybe even became a missionary.† Do something heroic and be blown up, but be remembered as dying well.† I wish I could make it more clear to you.† My mind is so jumbled right now.† I should really go to sleep.
Ben: You havenít eaten yet.
James: Oh, yes.† Youíre right arenít you?
Laughing he takes some food out of the bag but before he takes a bite he raises it to Ben as if toasting.
James: Itís good talking to you. Youíre a good kid, a real good kid.
There is a loud impatient knock on the door and both James and Ben jump.† Ben stands to go answer it but James forcefully gestures not to go or move.† When no one answers the door just open.
Samantha: James?!† Why the hell do you never answer your phone.†
She enters and walks in to the phone and picks it up and looks at the cut wires.† Ben is creeping out of the room.
Samantha: I guess this answers it-
James: (To Ben, while† standing and pointing at him) Donít you go anywhere. (openly) How in the hell did you get in here? Ben, how did she get in there?
Samantha: Poor little gate keeper didnít lock up.† Go, get out of here.
Ben turns and leaves quickly.
James: What do you want?
James pushes the food out of the way and pulls his bed back to its proper position.
Samantha: Why didnít you go home?† Mom was heart broken.† Neither of us were there, you said youíd go.
James: (he is now mostly in his bed) But the darling little perfect one, so did you.
Samantha: Donít start this crap.† This isnít about me.† You are fifteen minutes away and you never go home, you never call, you just sit here whining.
James: (passively with his eyes closed completely in bed) Get the fuck out of my house.
Samantha: Iím not going to be bullied out, wake up and listen to me.† God, what is wrong with you?
James: (opening his eyes and slightly sitting up.) Again, you didnít go either, and in this kettle pot situation, I feel no responsibility to tell you why I didnít go.† All I feel the duty to do is point out your arrogant hypocrisy.
Samantha: I couldnít go, there was no way, but I bet you were sitting here ignoring your phone, whining, and chanting you insane existential bullshit.
James: You are probably right.† Feel better now? Cause you can leave anytime.
Samantha: Momís really sick.† Dad says she hardly does anything anymore, and all you care about is your petty little games.† (She pauses and looks at James waiting for a response he doesnít move he just snuggles into his blankets.) I was in a different country, I was in another time zone for Christ sake and youíre comparing it to your apathy. (pause) Get up.† James! Get up now, Iím trying to talk to you.
James: Iím trying to ignore you and go back to my existential bullshit as you so eloquently put it, now get out.
Samantha: James, please.
As soon as Samantha says please he starts to sit up.† He sits Indian style and swings his body facing her smirking.
James: Please?† What did you do?† You need me at home donít you.† (laughing) You are superbly manipulative arenít you.† I had forgotten how nothing is worth it without a cause you are.† So why is poor James needed to distract?
Samantha: If I tell you might you help me?
James: Iím certainly not going to go home if you donít
Samantha: Iím pregnant, I need to tell them.
James: When did you get married?† You donít invite me to your wedding and you expect me toÖ
Samantha: Iím not married idiot.† Why else would I need help telling them.† Diego and I want to go over there and let mom get to know him before we tellÖ
James stands up, crosses his arms while beaming, half holding back laughter, but doing a poor job of it.
James: So wait, let me get this straight.† You got knocked upÖ
Samantha: It isnítÖ
James: Ö Shhhh, Iím speaking, my turn.† As I was saying.† You got knocked up, but not only are you knocked up, but youíre not going to marry your Spanish pool boy.† Oh god, I may go home just to watch you try to tell them. ďOh mommy, oh mommy, donít worry, itís a gift from god.† All the strong women are doing it now.† If you my age I know you would have a couple of exotic babies.Ē
James is laughing openly now.
Samantha: I should have known youíd just be like this.† Racist asshole, at least Mom is from another time, you have no excuse except being dumb and a waste of space.† Every time I have to see you, I wish each of your suicide threats were real.† I wait for the day I get to apologize to your kids for not being at your funeral and only have them not to have to have been there either.† The only ones who will even know where youíre buried other than mom and dad are the scum bags you make money for.† They wont mourn you, theyíll just mourn the miniscule drop in their own earningsÖ
James: (yelling)ÖGet out. Get theÖ get out you dirty...† Right now, GO!
He stands up and walks towards her.† She starts to walk towards to door.† When sheís just about there he pushes her out, not hard just a shove, and slams the door behind her.† He stands with his head down and fists clenched for a moment by the door.† Slowly and stiffly he goes to his bed.† He stands above his covers and wraps his arms around himself and begins to cry.