A VILLAGE INN CONTINUES

 

A VILLAGE INN

 

ACT TWO

 

On the dark stage we can distinguish only the Buddha facing the audience. It is glowing a vivid emerald green. As the statue's glow slowly fades out, the lights come up in the apartment but not in the hallway.

It is early evening of the following day, July 4th. There is no one on stage. The table is again cluttered with PAUL's typewriter and paraphernalia. The roses are gone.

PAUL's face appears in the hallway leading to the bedrooms. HE peers around the corner. HE moves out a bit more and we see that HE is holding the spray container the way police do when entering apartments with guns drawn, up near his face, left hand on right wrist. HE suddenly darts from one side of the doorway to the other then, after a pause, darts into the kitchen, and uses the refrigerator for concealment (from the plant). HE steals a quick glance then speaks softly but urgently, as if to others.

 

PAUL

Clear!

 

(He then darts to a spot beside a living room shelf and pauses there to glance in the direction of the plant. At some point in this darting about, the audience sees that PAUL has taped a sign on the back of his jacket. In large black magic marker letters it reads: DEA)

PAUL rushes toward the table, and crouches below the level of the table top. HE pauses a few seconds then suddenly jumps up and points the spray container at the plant with both hands.

 

PAUL

(shouting)

DEA! Search warrant! Get down on the floor! Get down on the floor! Keep your hands where I can see them! Show me your hands! Show me your hands!..OK, Show me your leaves! Get down on the floor!

(PAUL quickly blasts the plant several times. He relaxes and looks it over)

PAUL

Next time you'll think twice before mouthing off to a DEA agent!

 

(A bedroom door opens and TRACY appears but facing toward the bedroom. SHE is angry)

 

TRACY

(to JERRY)

I said I was sorry, all right?! You want perfection and that's not me!

 

(Before TRACY actually sees him, PAUL rips the DEA sign off and places it and the spray container in the waste basket. HE quickly sits at his desk)

 

TRACY

Men!

(PAUL glances at her then begins filling in numbers on a New York LOTTO form. TRACY picks up a jacket and scarf in preparation for going out)

 

PAUL

Um, Tracy, my beauty, pineapple of my passion, avocado of my affection, you're 29, correct?

 

TRACY

Yes, tester of my patience! Fruit of the Loom! Until October I am! And I intend to stay that way!

 

PAUL

Whew!..Now, what's your exact birthday?

 

TRACY

If you're thinking of buying me a present, I'd rather have the cash.

 

PAUL

I'll buy you a present if your answers win the lottery for me.

 

TRACY

Oh. Well, it's October 4th.

 

PAUL

So that's a '4' and a '10' and a '29' for your age. Now, what are your body measurements?

 

TRACY

For God's sakes, Paul! Thirty-four, twenty-five, thirty-four. Satisfied?

 

PAUL

That is one '34' and one '25'. I need one more number. When was your first sexual experience?

 

TRACY

(exasperated)

Nineteen-ten.

 

PAUL

I mean how old were you when it happened? Come on, Tracy, this is for six million dollars!

 

TRACY

I was 18, although it's none of your damned business.

 

PAUL

A late bloomer, eh? OK. Thanks. If we win, your troubles are over.

 

(TRACY moves toward the door)

TRACY

You mean you'll move to Detroit?

 

PAUL

(rising)

Ouch! For a Libran sunsign, you sure know how to hurt a guy. OK, if you're going out how about getting these winning numbers into the computer?

 

(TRACY takes the LOTTO slips)

 

PAUL

(cont)

Guard them with your life. You and Jer' might have a great honeymoon from your share of the spoils.

 

TRACY

...After last night's dinner there might not be a 'me and Jer'.

 

PAUL

Papa-san didn't like you?

 

TRACY

Oh, he liked me all right. It was my fault. I just couldn't seem to stay focused.

 

PAUL

I hope it wasn't anything I-

 

TRACY

I don't want to talk about it, all right?!

 

(TRACY turns at the door)

 

TRACY

(cont)

I asked him.

 

PAUL

You asked...

 

TRACY

I asked Jerry if he would still marry me if his folks didn't approve...All he would say was not to worry, they will. I think the time comes when...Sometimes I think it would be better if we could be born with a lifetime schedule of who should be together and when and for how long and in what way. At least then maybe we could be more...pleasant to each other.

 

(PAUL stares after her as TRACY exits, then returns to his writing table) (HE types for several seconds. HE stares at the paper in the typewriter and then slowly lowers his head into his hands. A bedroom door opens and JERRY comes into the room. HE looks at PAUL then takes a beer from the refrigerator. HE stands near the shelf and stares at PAUL)

 

JERRY

Same nightmare last night? (PAUL doesn't reply) You were louder than before. I almost couldn't wake you.

 

(PAUL replies while slowly raising his head)

 

PAUL

...Same temple. But no kids, no women, no V.C. Just a smiling Buddha in an empty temple. And the feeling that some completely irresistible, incredibly evil force was entering. At first, I couldn't see anything. When it cleared the Buddha was gone and in its place were the bodies. The dying children. Just staring at me. Not angry; I could have dealt with that; but in their eyes I saw the truth - I was the evil force.

 

JERRY

For Christ's sake, Paul. How long are you going to blame yourself?

 

PAUL

Well, who the hell do I blame, Jer'?

 

JERRY

Nobody knew there was anybody in that temple. It was supposed to be abandoned. Headquarters said every village in that area was deserted, remember? Any of us might have-

 

PAUL

But it wasn't any of us - it was me.

 

(THEY are silent for several seconds)

 

JERRY

At dinner last night, you know what Tracy kept talking about?

 

PAUL

The proper care and feeding of plants.

 

JERRY

You...Yeah, that's right. She's worried about you. Which would have been all right except it was somehow...more than worry. Anyway, after we dropped her off, dad and I had a long talk...You know, I'm not a stupid man, Paul. You want to goad me into having nothing to do with you as a form of punishment - for you; and that means you must value our friendship. I've always understood that, and-

 

PAUL

Well, Jer', you just understand anything you-

 

JERRY

and I understand what my moving out means to you. The thing is I didn't know what it would mean to Tracy. I don't think she knew.

 

PAUL

Jer', I don't know what the fuck you're-

 

JERRY

I've decided to leave earlier. At the end of the month.

 

PAUL

You're an asshole.

 

JERRY

Maybe.

 

PAUL

I mean, an asshole for staying here so long. Nursing me. Taking all my bullshit.

 

JERRY

(attempting humor)

Men of the 25th Tropical Lightning Division, 4th Company, Third Platoon stay together! A guy in the same outfit-

 

PAUL

From outfit to misfit. That's me.

 

JERRY

You gonna be all right, old buddy?

 

(PAUL begins to answer the question seriously but then switches to his breezy, cynical style)

 

PAUL

I...You tell me, Jer'. What do you think? Place your bet; spin the wheel.

 

JERRY

You know what I think; what I've always thought. You've set yourself up as your own worst enemy. The landmines you're stepping on now, you planted. The way your mind works-

 

PAUL

How does my mind work, Jer'? I mean, if anybody knows, you must, right?

 

JERRY

Well, for one thing it evades coming to grips with anything. Especially anything that might really touch you. It's like a fighter plane constantly maneuvering to evade heat-seeking missiles. One of these days you just might get shot out of the sky and I don't want to be there when that happens.

 

PAUL

...You taking correspondence courses to be a fighter pilot?

 

JERRY

Look, Paul, whatever happens, I'm sorry, I-

 

PAUL

Fuck your sorrow! I don't need your pity, your comraderie, your long suffering patience. Take your warm, wonderful qualities, your perverted belief in a just, loving God, make your Great Departure and keep Tracy happy. Leave me alone.

 

(JERRY exits the apartment. PAUL stares into space, then turns and stares at the plant and at the knife lying beside it. HE moves quickly to the plant, picks up the knife and holds it while staring at it. HE suddenly and viciously stabs the plant several times and finally leaves the knife stuck in the plant. HE is breathing hard)

(HE turns and walks to the Buddha. HE picks it up, looks at it intently, then replaces it on the shelf. HE takes a few steps back then, still facing the Buddha, speaks to it in a tone of urgency bordering on despair)

 

PAUL

You know what I want. So let's not fool around anymore, OK? I got you out of a burning temple so you owe me! Now I want out of a bad existence. I've worked off enough karma in this life, you hear!? I don't give a damn what evil I did! I've paid the price. So let's see if you'll let me write my own ticket; create my own end.

 

(HE moves to his typewriter and types rapidly, frantically. After about 20 seconds HE tears the sheet of paper out of the typewriter and jumps up. HE takes a drink, then moves down- stage and begins reading toward the Buddha)

 

PAUL

(cont)

Death of the Soldier. Final act. Final scene. As our play ends, the fallen soldier lies on stage. Enemy soldiers - dressed all in black - swarm around him. (reciting loudly) HIS STILL SPIT-SHINED BOOTS POINT TOWARD THE SUN. THE ENEMY ROUGHLY GRASPS HIS HEATED GUN; THE WORLD HE HAD FOUND BOTH SOUND AND ROUND; BUT THE SOUND OF THE ROUND...WAS INCOMING...

 

(In the stillness, PAUL takes off his dogtags and drapes them around the Buddha's neck, then steps back)

 

PAUL

(cont)

All right. All right! Let's see what you're going to do with that one.

 

(PAUL again begins writing. NANCY enters the apartment. SHE and PAUL stare uncertainly at each other. SHE walks slowly beside the shelf, hesitates, notices SHE is just beside the Buddha, then quickly moves away from it, and stands at the end of the shelf)

 

NANCY

Hi.

 

PAUL

Hi. Been out for a walk?

 

NANCY

No. I had to go to the bank. They're charging me seven dollars every time I go into debit balance. Yesterday was my third time in a month. That's twenty-one dollars!

 

PAUL

I know what you mean. My ex-wife hated banks. They wouldn't give us a loan for anything. So she trained our Basset hound to pea in bank lobbies. She'd just shout "bank!" and that damn dog would lift its leg and let go. You should have-

 

NANCY

Um...Paul...about last night.

 

PAUL

Hey, we were drunk. I drank too much and you drank too much. We took advantage of each other; but no harm done. I've forgotten about it already.

 

NANCY

I think I needed...a release, but I shouldn't have done anything here or...

 

PAUL

Or with a lowlife like me?

 

NANCY

You know what I mean. I still have feelings for Bill. And the minute he walked out I-

 

PAUL

You let a fast-talkin' sonofabitch talk you into getting drunk enough to relax your defenses. Forget it! It doesn't make you a tainted, painted lady.

 

NANCY

(with new determination)

Well, all right, then! I shall forget it! But thanks for... showing some character.

 

PAUL

Thanks for letting me show some. It'd been a long time.

 

(NANCY walks to her bedroom door and hesitates)

 

NANCY

The people at the hotel were furious. I told them I had a very serious personal problem, so I couldn't go in last night after all. I don't think they even heard me. They were talking about the reputation of the hotel and how I had harmed it. Like I was a criminal. I'd never seen that side of them before.

 

PAUL

They didn't fire you, did they?

 

NANCY

I quit...And I said a few unladylike things before I did.

 

PAUL

Good for you.

 

NANCY

Then I realized I was using Bill's arguments...All this time I thought I had outgrown Bill but maybe he was right. Maybe I haven't grown at all; maybe I've just mutated. Anyway, now I've lost a husband and a job. Let me know if you hear of any. Jobs, I mean. But not in hotel P.R.!

 

(SHE enters the bedroom and closes the door. PAUL walks to the door and raises his hand to knock but stops and turns. HE then turns again to face the bedroom door but then turns again and walks to the table and sits down. HE holds up his glass to toast the Buddha and takes a long drink)

 

(TRACY enters the apartment, places a shopping bag down and hands PAUL the LOTTO slips)

 

PAUL

Many thanks, beautiful lady.

 

(TRACY moves to the window and peers out)

 

PAUL

What's wrong?

 

TRACY

A guy on the corner said something to me. I think he was trying to mug me.

 

(PAUL stands beside her at the window)

 

PAUL

Where?

 

TRACY

There. The guy in the red jacket.

 

PAUL

That's a girl.

 

TRACY

That's a guy!

 

PAUL

With breasts?

 

TRACY

Those aren't breasts! I think he's got some kind of weapon under the jacket.

 

PAUL

Well, the person under discussion is wearing eyeliner and a nose ring.

 

TRACY

If you would get out of this apartment a bit more, you'd know everybody in the East Village wears eyeliner and a nose ring.

 

PAUL

I don't think the jacket is red; it looks more like a yellow jacket with blood on it.

 

TRACY

My God, maybe that is blood. You think we should call the police?

 

PAUL

If you would get out of this apartment a bit more, you'd know jackets soaked in blood are just the latest fashion statement.

 

TRACY

Well, I say he's a mugger!

 

PAUL

Well, I never saw him before so he's not a regular East Village mugger. Of course, he could be an understudy who, no, no, apprentice muggers never substitute for senior muggers unless a specific announcement for the appearance is made at the time of the mugging. He didn't make any announcement, did he?

 

(TRACY moves away from the window and begins unpacking groceries. PAUL returns to sit at the table)

 

TRACY

Don't look now but I'll bet you don't have many earth triplicities either.

 

PAUL

That's it! I'm off balance...behind this most pleasant, amiable, outgoing personality might lurk a...serial killer! Well, no, not really, not in this heat. Any serial killer operates in this heat has gotta be nuts!

 

TRACY

I just wish I knew you before we lost the war. I wonder if-

 

PAUL

Lost the war? Lost the war!? Oh, ye of little faith and minuscule comprehension! Listen! Come over here!

 

(TRACY hesitates; PAUL waves her over. SHE stands beside him)

 

PAUL

(cont)

Every time something terrible happened in Vietnam, be it the Tet Offensive or some ignominious American retreat, what did General Westmoreland and the Pentagon do?

 

(TRACY shakes her head)

 

PAUL

(cont)

They spread the word that the enemy was doing exactly what we wanted them to do; that they had taken the bait and were falling into our trap. Don't you see? Allowing North Vietnamese Armies to invade the South and occupy South Vietnam is part of a brilliant military strategy of American military officers! And it worked! The NVA has in fact taken the bait!

 

TRACY

But haven't they also taken South Vietnam?

 

PAUL

That's a mere technicality. Anyway, those little brown people have some kind of Freudian pajama mentality and once they relax their defenses, we'll snap the trap shut!

 

TRACY

Paul, it's been ten...eleven years since-

 

PAUL

That's just it! Don't you get it?! The longer we allow the North to occupy the South, to believe the war is actually over, the more off guard they're going to be when we launch the counterattack!

 

TRACY

I have never heard such unadulterated bullshit in my life. Even from you.

 

PAUL

This is a perfect example of how women simply cannot understand military strategy.

 

TRACY

Do you have some grievance against women?

 

PAUL

Against women?! Listen, you succulent suffragette, let me tell you, by the standards of American men in Southeast Asia, I was not only pro-women, I was on the cutting edge: I actually argued that women should be educated.

 

(TRACY laughs, grabs PAUL's shoulders from behind and shakes him. SHE is leaning forward with her face beside his. SHE feigns shock. As SHE speaks, her arms move around his chest)

 

TRACY

Oh, Paul, you go too far! You're on dangerous ground there! You'd better think it through before you propose something as radical as that! (laughing) God, sometimes I wonder what I'd do without you around.

 

(As the implication of what SHE said occurs to her, SHE stares at PAUL who returns her stare. PAUL places one hand over hers. SHE removes her hands from around his chest and moves away)

 

TRACY

Did Nancy come in?

 

PAUL

She did.

 

(TRACY knocks on NANCY's bedroom door. The door opens)

 

TRACY

Hi. I'm going to Orlin's for a drink. Then up to the roof to watch the fireworks. How about joining me?

 

NANCY

Fireworks?

 

TRACY

Sure. It's the 4th of July, remember?

 

NANCY

Oh, right. Well, that's very nice of you but-

 

TRACY

Come on! It'll do you good to get out of the house and I want some company.

 

NANCY

Well...all right! Why not? Fireworks it is!

 

(As THEY walk toward the front door, TRACY looks out the window)

 

PAUL

Now what?

 

TRACY

Nothing unusual. Just a skinhead going by rolling a bicycle wheel with one hand and beating a drum with the other and begging for food with the other.

 

(A confused PAUL acts out what TRACY said, using one hand to roll the wheel, one to beat a drum, and tries to figure out where his begging hand is) (All Buddhist symbols of Dharma, etc.)

 

(The two WOMEN walk to the front door)

 

TRACY

You're welcome to join us, Paul; if you can tear yourself away from your masterpiece.

 

PAUL

Thanks, but I'm right in the middle of a hot sex scene. Besides, I learned long ago that my company is off-putting.

 

TRACY

Your company is fine, Paul. If you'd just...

 

(PAUL turns to look at her)

 

PAUL

If I'd just stop my sexist remarks, stop being so egotistical and stop feeling sorry for myself?

 

TRACY

Well, now that you mention it, without all that you'd be a very nice person. Likable, even.

 

(PAUL laughs and waves them away in dismissal)

 

PAUL

Go on you two. Get out of here and enjoy the day.

 

NANCY

See you later.

 

(THEY exit. PAUL rises and paces with a glass in his hand and speaks mainly to the Buddha)

 

PAUL

Likable?! Me?! What is she, nuts? That's it. She must have a screw loose. Maybe there's some kind of plague in the Bronx. Bronxia dementia locos. Destroys a person's judgment. Maybe I'd better call the health services. Maybe it's a terrorist plot. Yeah. Maybe I better call the President. Seal off the Bronx.

 

(HE looks toward the Buddha, starts to speak, notices the glass in his hand, then places it on the table. He walks to the Buddha, picks it up and holds it out)

 

PAUL

(cont)

Hey, do you remember what I used to sing to you in Nam? Right after the fire? How did that go?

(to the tune of "Hush, Hush, Sweet Charlotte") (PAUL moves his body slightly, almost as if HE is dancing with the Buddha)

 

HUSH, HUSH, SWEET VIETNAM

VIETNAM, DON'T YOU CRY

HUSH, HUSH, SWEET VIETNAM

WE'LL BOMB YOU 'TIL YOU DIE.

(PAUL turns the Buddha to the left on "French," to the right on "Japanese," and directly facing himself on "Americans.")

YOU HAD TO FIGHT THE FRENCH AND JAPANESE

NOW YOU FIGHT THE AMERICANS TOO;

WHEN WILL YOUR LAND BE LEFT IN PEACE

WHEN WILL ALL YOUR SORROW BE THROUGH

OH, HUSH NOW

 

HUSH, HUSH, SWEET VIETNAM

VIETNAM, DON'T YOU CRY

HUSH, HUSH, SWEET VIETNAM

WE'LL BOMB YOU 'TIL YOU DIE.

(PAUL stares at the Buddha for a few seconds and then holds it in his arms as a baby)

YOU HOLD YOUR STILL BABY IN YOUR ARMS

ITS BLOOD AND TEARS HAVE ALL BEEN WEPT;

BUT HUSH, SWEET VIETNAM, DON'T YOU CRY

(with fierce anger and a salute to the Buddha)

AMERICA'S COMMITMENTS WILL BE KEPT!

OH, HUSH NOW

 

HUSH, HUSH, SWEET VIETNAM

VIETNAM, DON'T YOU CRY

HUSH, HUSH, SWEET VIETNAM

WE'LL BOMB YOU 'TIL...YOU...DIE...

(PAUL removes his dog tags and again places them around his own neck)

PAUL

(cont)

Umm. About what I said before. About my imminent demise. Maybe, just maybe there's a bit of hope that I can-

 

(At the sound of someone entering, PAUL hurriedly replaces the Buddha on the shelf)

 

(BILL HOLMES opens the door to the living room from the front hallway and awkwardly enters the apartment. HE is dishevelled, very drunk and still drinking from a bottle inside a brown paper bag. HE walks unsteadily past PAUL to his bedroom door. HE reaches for the doorknob but hesitates. HE speaks without turning around)

 

BILL

She in there?

 

PAUL

No, Bill. She went out with Tracy.

 

(PAUL walks to his chair and sits down. BILL is silent for several seconds. HE speaks again without turning around)

 

BILL

You get anything off her?

 

PAUL

What?

 

(BILL turns around to face him)

 

BILL

Did you slap the wood to her? You know - my wife. The big-titted P.R. lady. Did you hump her?

 

PAUL

Hey, man, let's just-

 

BILL

No, no, it's all right. You're probably not the first. She's been real cozy with some food-and-beverage faggot in the hotel, anyway...

 

(HE begins pacing thoughtfully)

 

BILL (cont)

You ever notice how everybody in hotel food-and-beverage is a faggot? I don't know what...I mean, some guys look completely normal on the outside; then they get a job in hotel food-and-beverage, and within a week they're wearin' dresses and garter belts and shoes with high heels. What is it about food like truffles and caviar that attracts women and faggots? Be-loo-ga! Faggot food, that's what it is. Anybody that eats tree roots and fish eggs has gotta be sick to begin with.

 

(HE takes a long drink and stares at PAUL)

 

BILL

(cont)

 

I'll bet they're your favorite dishes, right?

 

PAUL

I can't afford truffles and caviar. And, as I told you before, contrary to what you think, I'm not a homosex-

 

BILL

You can't afford them. Oh, yeah, that's right. Army disability payments don't cover caviar. Yeah, well, we got lots in common, see? My wife's tits and empty wallets. Hey! Tell me something! Why is it that women are attracted to guys like you? I mean you AC/DC guys exude some kind of natural sex charm odor? Some kind of aphrodisiac with a beluga base? Caviar cologne?

(HE sniffs the air)

What is the big deal about a guy that'll hump anything that moves? Or be humped by anything that moves?

(HE pats his crotch)

Where's the beef?

PAUL

Look, I don't know why you insist on concluding that I'm AC/DC because I'm not; but if my sexual behavior in any way offends you, Bill, then I offer you my-

 

BILL

Offends me? Offends me?! It doesn't offend me - it disgusts me.

(quieter)

But it's just one more 'in thing' that I never understood.

 

(BILL becomes lost in memory as HE straddles a chair and faces the audience)

 

BILL

(cont)

Just like when I was a kid. I must'a been about thirteen. I was the best short stop in the school - maybe in the state! I could hit, catch, pitch, run! A batting average you wouldn't believe! Everybody wanted me on their team. Everybody! God, was I popular! I had IT, you know what I mean? I was the king; any girl I wanted!

(snaps his fingers)

Then all of a sudden something called 'rock and roll' music came along. I didn't know what the fuck it WAS. I didn't dance, for Christ's sake! I was king of sports! But baseball didn't matter, anymore. Guys who used to crowd around me in the diner goin' over batting averages and hanging onto every word I said were walking down the street singing shit like...like 'Tears on My Pillow'!...Tears on my pillow!?...'Lavender Blue'?! What the fuck was that?!...Dickie Do and the Don'ts?! Who the fuck were they?!...And one by one every guy on my team stopped showing up for practice and started hanging around record shops and goin' to block dances. It was like...like some kind of invasion of the body snatchers.

(HE glances at PAUL who shakes his head in sympathy)

BILL

(cont)

You know how many goddamned hours I spent lifting weights? I was already tall but I had to work damn hard at it to get big. And it worked: I had more girls around than...Man!..Then one day everything changed: Being big and strong wasn't in; girls who used to be nuts about my muscles and my height started salivating over guys with names like Little Richard and Little Anthony and Chubby Checker and... and Fats Domino! All of a sudden, if you were short and fat you were God!..And this one gorgeous cheer leader with blue eyes and blond curly hair who used to watch me play ball? She stopped coming. I saw her on the street one day and I called to her. I'll never forget, she turned around, kind of tilted her head and gave me a real weird look. Then she said, 'See you later, alligator,' and walked off...The body snatchers got her too...But the way she said it made me feel like I'd been shot! People say nothin' happened in the fifties?! Bullshit! Everything happened in the fifties!

(HE glances at PAUL who again shakes his head in sympathy)

BILL

(cont)

Anyway - Just like that! (snaps his fingers) Nobody showed up to play. All of a sudden, guys with names like 'beluga' - guys that used to practically give me head just to be seen with me - all of a sudden they were jive-assin' around to something called 'rock around the clock' and acting real cool and hip. The same girls who used to fucking adore me - they were off somewhere on a dance floor with some slick, pimply-faced runt with seven layers of clearasil on his nose; some skinny, scrawny, unathletic little prick with double-jointed hips and sideburns down to his ass and his greasy shirt collar up and a gooey duck's ass hairstyle and cleats on his shoes and a name like be-loo-ga!

 

(BILL takes a long swig of whiskey and wipes his mouth. HE speaks quietly but with determination)

 

BILL

(cont)

Fuck Dick Clark.

 

(BILL takes another drink, belches, and looks at PAUL)

 

BILL

(cont)

And now if a guy wants to be popular with women it ain't rock and roll, anymore. He's gotta be sensitive and thoughtful and understanding. In other words, a faggot.

 

(HE suddenly jumps up and smashes the bottle against a wall and moves toward PAUL)

 

BILL

(cont)

Hey! AC/DC! You wanna hump me?

 

PAUL

Hey, look! (PAUL rises) Don't take your problems out on me, OK? I've got enough of my own.

 

(BILL moves closer to PAUL. HE puts his face very close to his)

 

BILL

Sure. Whattayousay? You can be AC or DC, I don't give a fuck. Any letter of the alphabet you like. Any number.

 

PAUL

Look, man-

(BILL pushes him backward)

 

BILL

No, you look, man. This is your big chance. You got the wife, now get the husband. A double-header!

 

(HE pushes PAUL backward by putting his hands on his own hips and thrusting his hips forward)

 

BILL

(cont)

Waddaya say, man? Huh, Beluga Baby?

 

(BILL continues pushing PAUL backward with his hips and waist and when PAUL resists BILL shoves him with his hands as well)

 

BILL

(cont)

Whatdayasay, man? You want to rock around the clock with me?

 

(HE slaps PAUL. PAUL resists and slugs him with a sharp blow to BILL's chin. It has little effect)

 

PAUL

Will you knock it off?

 

BILL

No, man, we can get it on.

 

(HE slugs PAUL in the stomach, doubling him over, then hits him on the jaw, knocking him to the floor. As PAUL starts to get up, BILL pulls him to his feet by his collar and, enraged, hits him again. HE holds him and slap-hits him around the room while screaming at him)

 

BILL

(cont)

You want to hump me, Beluga Baby? Rock around the clock with your cock? Huh?! Be-loo-ga! Be-loo-ga! Be-loo-ga! What's the matter, faggot, you forgot how to dance? Can't get it up? Be-loo-ga! Be-loo-ga! Be-loo-ga!

 

(One last blow sends PAUL against the book- shelf. HE slumps to the floor nearly un- conscious. BILL stares at him and backs away slightly. HE slowly removes a gun from his jacket pocket and stares at it)

 

BILL

(cont)

You know how easy it is to get a piece in this city? Especially for somebody in 'security.' Anything you want. Anything. Just like Saigon in the good old days.

 

(HE stares at PAUL who is still on the floor, shaking his head to regain consciousness)

 

BILL

(cont)

I couldn't figure out why I bought it at first. I just knew I couldn't take it anymore. Failure. But I knew I needed a weapon. Jan and Dean; Simon and Garfunkel: meet Smith and Wesson.

 

(As HE speaks he has snapped open the cylinder of the revolver and is placing bullets into it)

 

BILL

(cont)

Yeah, a weapon; to fight back, I thought. Then I saw myself reflected in the door of the A train at midnight and finally I knew. I saw. I bought it to blow myself away...But maybe, I just might take you with me. What have I got to lose. We can even help tomorrow's tabloids sell a few copies: DERANGED VETS IN BIZARRE MURDER SUICIDE!

 

(HE snaps the cylinder shut. Then his gaze falls upon the Buddha statue)

 

BILL

(cont)

Oh, yeah.

(HE turns the statue to face the wall)

BILL

(cont)

I almost forgot. Your cute tricks. This is all there is to it, right? Just turn it away; make sure it can't see; so, no problem. Right?! Judgment suspended.

 

(HE points the gun at PAUL. PAUL shakes his head and sits up. HE looks at the Buddha)

 

PAUL

I was right the first time, wasn't I?

 

BILL

What?

 

PAUL

There really isn't any hope.

 

BILL

What the hell you talking about?

 

PAUL

(turning toward BILL)

I'm not talking to you. Anyway, it makes no sense for one of us to kill the other.

 

BILL

Oh, no? Why not, AC? Tell old DC why the fuck not.

 

PAUL

We've both been there, man.

 

BILL

Big fucking deal we've both been there. We're not the only two who served in 'nam.

 

PAUL

I'm not talking about 'nam. I'm talking about 'failure.' We've both been there since the war ended. You understand? We are both casualties of the war. We haven't 'adjusted.' You think yours is the only face reflected in the A-train at midnight? We are failures. What does it matter if one failure takes the life of another failure then takes his own failure of a life?

 

(There is a sound of the outer door opening. JERRY enters the apartment and stares at them. BILL looks at him but keeps the gun pointed at PAUL)

 

PAUL

(cont)

Jerry can tell you all about my failure. He was in that 'deserted' village when a VC popped out of a fucking tunnel and killed our lieutenant and then ran into a 'deserted' temple. Jerry can tell you all about the grenade I threw in after him. About how I got him...and the women and children huddled in the not-so-deserted-after-all temple...It was the only place in the village not completely destroyed. They had been using it as a place to stay. A...A village inn...I looked in and saw a Buddha's face smiling back at me; and all around...all around were people screaming and bodies blown to bits.

 

(PAUL begins chuckling on the border of collapse. JERRY and BILL remain motionless)

 

PAUL

(cont)

I don't remember anything after that. Jerry here told me later I pulled the Buddha out of the fire and then I ran around screaming and swearing and shooting my M-16 into the air. Poor old Jerry had to wrestle it away from me, didn't you, Jer?

 

JERRY

Yeah, Paul. I had to wrestle it away from you.

 

(PAUL begins laughing and crying hysterically - now it all pours out of him)

 

JERRY

Don't let him use you.

 

BILL

Use me? What the hell you mean, 'use me'?

 

JERRY

His whole life after 'nam has been one long search for release from what he did. He destroyed a village inn in Vietnam and nobody punished him. So he began trying to destroy this village inn.

 

(BILL stares at PAUL in amazement, then looks at the gun and lowers it)

 

BILL

And he tried to goad me into punishing him.

 

(JERRY moves to PAUL and helps him up. BILL throws the gun onto the couch and moves to help PAUL)

 

BILL

(cont)

Jesus, man, I'm sorry. I don't know what the fuck came over-

 

(PAUL suddenly pushes them both away and lunges for the gun on the couch. HE grabs the gun and holds it on them before THEY can stop him. HE gets up and backs off, still holding the gun on the two of them. HE stands near the Buddha facing them)

 

JERRY

Paul, don't be stupid. Throw that thing away.

 

PAUL

This?! Oh, no, Jer. This (HE looks toward the Buddha) is my salvation. I'm in charge now. At last. In charge of my fate. So you two are going to witness the end of the play. But, first, you're going to line up in formation and when I say 'move out' you will move out, marching in step, understand? Now, line up, side by side. Bill first, Jerry second. I'll count cadence and you'll march. Got it? Di di mau!

 

(When THEY don't respond, PAUL cocks the gun)

 

PAUL

(cont)

Got it?!

(JERRY moves to stand beside BILL)

 

JERRY

Paul, take it easy. Dung lai!

 

PAUL

Stop? Oh, no. Combat time again, boys. Incoming rounds. Everybody ready?...I said is everybody ready?!

 

BILL

Yeah. We're ready. Count.

 

PAUL

That's 'Yes, sergeant!' Now let's hear it. Got it?

 

BILL/JERRY

Yes, sergeant.

 

PAUL

Can't hear you.

 

BILL/JERRY

Yes, sergeant!

 

(The MEN repeat PAUL's lines and join in as they march about the stage. As HE begins the various rhymes, PAUL begins marching in place, knees up high, fully committed to the action. As they march the stage lights dim continuously)

 

PAUL

IF I DIE IN A FIRE FIGHT!

 

BILL/JERRY

IF I DIE IN A FIRE FIGHT!

 

PAUL

JUST ZIP ME UP AND SAY GOODNIGHT!

 

BILL/JERRY

JUST ZIP ME UP AND SAY GOODNIGHT!

 

PAUL

SOUND OFF!

 

BILL/JERRY

ONE TWO!

 

PAUL

SOUND OFF!

 

BILL/JERRY

THREE FOUR!

 

PAUL

BRING IT ON DOWN, SOUND OFF!

 

ALL TOGETHER

ONE, TWO; THREE FOUR!

 

PAUL

YOU WON'T SEE HOW CUTE I AM!

 

BILL/JERRY

YOU WON'T SEE HOW CUTE I AM!

 

PAUL

I BOUGHT THE FARM IN VIETNAM!

 

BILL/JERRY

I BOUGHT THE FARM IN VIETNAM!

 

PAUL

SOUND OFF!

 

BILL/JERRY

ONE TWO!

 

PAUL

SOUND OFF!

 

BILL/JERRY

THREE FOUR!

 

PAUL

BRING IT ON DOWN, SOUND OFF!

 

ALL TOGETHER

ONE, TWO; THREE FOUR!

 

PAUL

CHARLIE CONG HE MAKES ME SORE!

 

BILL/JERRY

CHARLIE CONG HE MAKES ME SORE!

 

PAUL

I KICKED HIS ASS BUT HE'S WINNIN' THE WAR!

 

BILL/JERRY

I KICKED HIS ASS BUT HE'S WINNIN' THE WAR!

 

PAUL

IF BODYCOUNTS DON'T COUNT AT ALL!

 

BILL/JERRY

IF BODYCOUNTS DON'T COUNT AT ALL!

 

PAUL

JUST ADD MY NAME TO THE GRANITE WALL!

 

BILL/JERRY

JUST ADD MY NAME TO THE GRANITE WALL!

 

PAUL

SOUND OFF!

 

BILL/JERRY

ONE TWO.

 

PAUL

SOUND OFF!

 

BILL/JERRY!

THREE FOUR!

 

PAUL

BRING IT ON DOWN, SOUND OFF-

 

ALL TOGETHER

ONE, TWO; THREE FOUR!

 

(BILL and JERRY march from extreme stage left toward stage right, finish crossing the stage, then, still following one another, each executes an abrupt left face toward the audience, then left again. When THEY have reached the center of the stage, each executes a right face in place and they are now lined up side-by-side facing the audience. THEY bring their knees up high, loudly marching in place)

 

(The light from the fireworks display - both eerie and powerful - is now the main light source for the stage action. The plant with the knife through it is silhouetted by the flashes of light)

 

(PAUL stops marching in place and turns the Buddha around once again facing the audience. HE stares at the statue for several seconds until his face also lights up in a peaceful, untroubled smile. HE then turns the Buddha back toward the wall. HE places the muzzle of the gun against his own head and turns to stare at the marching men. HE seems about to pull the trigger)

 

(There is a knock at the front door. The door opens and as it does the stage lights again brighten. RALPH BENNETT enters the room carrying a six-pack. HE stares at the three MEN then stares only at PAUL)

 

(JERRY and BILL stop marching in place and stand still. PAUL has shifted the aim of the gun toward the door. As RALPH BENNETT walks slowly toward PAUL, PAUL's gun is inadvertently pointing toward the plant. RALPH BENNETT stops. HE looks from PAUL to the gun to the plant, and back to PAUL)

 

RALPH BENNETT

You still tryin' to kill that plant?

 

JERRY

Dad-

 

RALPH BENNETT

(studying PAUL)

Who did that to your face?

 

PAUL

...Dick Clark.

 

RALPH BENNETT

(nodding)

Mind if I sit down?

 

PAUL

Yeah, I do mind. I'm doing something here.

 

RALPH BENNETT

I can see that.

 

(RALPH BENNETT sits in PAUL's chair and places the six-pack on the table. HE opens a can and holds it out to PAUL. PAUL ignores it)

 

PAUL

Do you mind telling me what you want?

 

RALPH BENNETT

What I want? Son, you must have a short memory. You said it'd be all right if I stopped by for a chat today about now. So here I am.

 

(RALPH BENNETT takes a drink of beer from the opened can, frowns slightly, then smiles)

 

RALPH BENNETT

(cont)

If Jimmy Swaggert could see me now! Well, if I'm in the devil's net, I might as well swear too: What the hell?

 

(As soon as he says the word 'hell' we hear the boom of fireworks and see flashes of red-and-blue outside the window)

 

RALPH BENNETT

(cont)

Maybe I'd better watch my language after all.

 

(HE picks up the rest of the six-pack and turns to JERRY)

 

RALPH BENNETT

(cont)

Pass these out, will you, Jer'? And put the rest in the fridge.

(to BILL)

I'm Jerry's father.

 

(BILL relaxes a bit as JERRY takes the beer and hands him a can. PAUL angrily refuses and gestures for JERRY not to approach him. JERRY shrugs and takes a can then places the rest in the fridge. JERRY returns to the couch. BILL also sits on the couch)

 

BILL HOLMES

Bill. Bill Holmes.

 

RALPH BENNETT

Pleased to meet you, Bill. Jerry told me about you.

 

(RALPH BENNETT looks at the three of them, especially at PAUL who is still standing, holding the gun)

 

RALPH BENNETT

(cont)

So here we are: three Vietnam vets and one Korean War vet.

 

PAUL

Look, I hate to sound rude or anything but you're interrupting some-

 

RALPH BENNETT

You're damn right I'm interrupting. You were about to make a fool of yourself.

 

PAUL

(growing exasperated)

Yeah, well, I was about to kill myself, if that's what you mean.

 

RALPH BENNETT

That's exactly what I mean. I came over here to find out if you'd like to do some fishing and you're acting even more screwy than the first time I met you. It's about time you started paddling with all your oars in the water.

 

PAUL

Well, you see, sir, I know you handled your war in Korea with real style but what we faced in 'Nam was a bit different.

 

RALPH BENNETT

(taking another drink)

That a fact?

 

PAUL

Yeah, that's a fact. And, even now, Vietnam vets are twice as likely to blow themselves away as more normal members of society.

 

RALPH BENNETT

Yeah, well we lost thirty-three thousand men in only three years of war in Korea, so I guess we paid at least the same dues as you boys did.

 

PAUL

Yeah, I don't doubt that but you've got your life and I had mine;

(raises the gun to his head)

and like the Bible says, "God tempers the wind to the shorn lamb." And this gun is God's way of tempering-

 

RALPH BENNETT

That's not what the Bible says at all. That quote is from a novel by Lawrence Sterne entitled A Sentimental Journey. Written some eighteen hundred years after the Bible.

 

PAUL

(lowering the gun)

Fuck it! Is there anything you don't know about what's not in the Bible?

 

RALPH BENNETT

I know that if everything people claimed was in the Bible was really in the Bible it'd be twice as thick as it is.

(PAUL again places the muzzle of the gun against his head)

PAUL

Well, I'm about to find out just how much of the Bible is real and how much is bullshit.

 

(RALPH BENNETT reaches into his pocket and pulls out a sheet of paper)

 

RALPH BENNETT

You do what you want to do but first I got a problem you can help me grapple with. See, there's an article in today's paper that's terrified me. It says-

 

PAUL

Hey, man-

 

RALPH BENNETT

It says that last year there were 52 leading hotels in New York City with 13,400 rooms. This year there are only 51 hotels but with 13,412 rooms. That's an increase of 12 rooms, despite the loss of one hotel. Which must mean somebody added on a few more rooms. But-

 

PAUL

I don't give a fuck about your hotel-

 

RALPH BENNETT

Whoa! Son, I listened when you were grappling with your statistics problem yesterday so you can damn well listen to my statistics problem today. Anyway, the point is, if we assume this trend continues, that means that by the year 2030, New York City will have 14,086 rooms - but no hotels. Have you any thoughts on that?

 

PAUL

(smiling)

Not a one. But now it's check-out time.

 

RALPH BENNETT

Now, are we goin' fishin' or not?

 

PAUL

Fishing?! What are you talking about? Can't you see what-

 

RALPH BENNETT

I remember some great ponds up in Connecticut full of pout. Bullheads, I mean. I took Jerry there a few times when he was a kid. Ever gone after bullheads? Sons-of-bitches might remind you of Charlie a bit: They got horns on them.

 

JERRY

Dad, I don't think this is the time-

 

RALPH BENNETT

Oh, this is the time, Jer'. This is exactly the time. There was a shower this morning; the grass is wet; so we can get all the worms we want. Nightcrawlers, I mean: fat, slimy, plump, bloated worms wriggling and writhing along the earth beneath blades of grass. Fish love 'em.

 

PAUL

Hey, if you-

 

RALPH BENNETT

And smart! Those sons of bitches got their act together, let me tell you. If we shine the flashlight directly on them, they sneak back into their holes faster than lightning. So we got to keep the light facing away and grab for them in semi-darkness.

 

JERRY

Yeah. Yeah, I remember. We used to have to pull them up just a little at a time or else they'd snap right in two.

 

RALPH BENNETT

Right. 'Cause if we put broken worms into the bait can, the rest would die too.

 

JERRY

Right. And, sometimes, we pulled up two together, all entwined in passionate embrace. We had to be real careful with them.

 

RALPH BENNETT

(drinking beer)

So, what do you say, son? We can pick up some rods and tackle and-

 

PAUL

Jesus Christ! I'm going crazy and all you-

 

RALPH BENNETT

No, you're not crazy. You just think you're the only one who ever had an adjustment problem after a war, don't you?

 

PAUL

I suppose you did?

 

RALPH BENNETT

You're damn right I did.

 

PAUL

But you found God. You see, I don't believe in fairy tales so I won't be-

 

RALPH BENNETT

I didn't find God. He found me. But not before I was arrested once for assault, once for resisting arrest and twice for being drunk and disorderly.

 

JERRY

Dad?

 

RALPH BENNETT

I'm sorry you had to hear it like this, Jer'. I wanted to tell you years ago but your mother wouldn't hear of it. That's why I got so interested when you told me about Paul. You see, Paul, like you, I had been trained to be destructive. And I was good at it. I still have the cap with the red star on it I took from a Chinese soldier on a Korean mountain. I bayonetted him before he could bayonet me.

 

PAUL

Do unto others before they can do unto you?

 

RALPH BENNETT

Something like that. Anyway, that war was the biggest thing in my life. It changed me forever. But when I got back, I was expected to act as if nothing had happened. People were talking about adding on a new porch, or how fast the car could go, or how somebody I knew was dating some girl. It was like listening to a foreign language. I felt like I was from another planet. I didn't know anything about post-traumatic stress syndrome but I sure took my time fitting in.

 

PAUL

So you're saying-

 

RALPH BENNETT

What I'm saying is that for a hell of a long time, I was, if you'll pardon my vernacular, a fuck-up. But then I learned something very important.

 

PAUL

God loves us?!

 

RALPH BENNETT

We are not God. So besides forgiving others, we have the God-given right to cut ourselves some slack.

 

PAUL

And that's it? Your great revelation was that it's OK to cut yourself some slack?

 

(RALPH BENNETT points to the Buddha)

 

RALPH BENNETT

What in hell do you think his message is? Compassion. Cutting people some slack is what he's all about. So what about having some compassion for yourself? Because, until you do-

 

PAUL

Hey, try to understand something, all right? I asked the Buddha here for a favor. He owes me one. So he brought me a man with a gun. Now that's a pretty clear message, wouldn't you say?

 

RALPH BENNETT

Yeah. And then he brought you a man with a six-pack of beer. And that's a pretty clear message too.

(forcing PAUL to take the beer)

So drink your beer and shut up for awhile.

 

(PAUL takes the beer and takes a drink. RALPH BENNETT reaches into his pocket)

 

RALPH BENNETT

(cont)

Besides, I brought something for you.

 

PAUL

Something for me?

 

RALPH BENNETT

For all of you. I thought you might like it. People on the street were passing them out.

 

(HE unfolds a piece of paper and hands it to JERRY)

 

JERRY

(reading)

"Official entry form. Rambo First Blood Part II Trivia Contest."

(looks up at RALPH BENNETT)

What is this?

 

RALPH BENNETT

Just keep reading, son.

 

JERRY

"Be the lucky winner of a trip to Hollywood for two to meet Sylvester Stallone, the star of America's hot new movie, RAMBO: FIRST BLOOD PART II. Enter by answering the following ten questions correctly and return to the address listed on the reverse side of this form."

(PAUL looks at the others in confusion)

BILL

So let's hear the questions. We're all vets here. We should be able to answer them.

 

RALPH BENNETT

That's right, Jer'. Read them!

 

PAUL

Hey, look, I'm not going to-

 

BILL

Let the man read the questions!

 

JERRY

One! "Rambo's code name is Lone Wolf."

 

(BILL HOLMES starts to chuckle and JERRY smiles broadly)

 

RALPH BENNETT

Well, answer it, gentlemen. Is it true or false?

 

BILL HOLMES

I think it was Wily Wolf. No, no. It was Lone Fox.

 

JERRY

Bullshit! It was Foxy Lady.

 

JERRY

Yeah. That was Rambo's code name: Foxy Lady. Next question.

 

PAUL

(still confused)

What is this?

 

RALPH BENNETT

Well, son, if you can't help us guess at least let the man read...Come on, read the next one.

 

JERRY

Two. "Co Bao is the name of the female agent played by Julia Nickson who guides Rambo through the jungle to his destination."

 

BILL HOLMES

Co Bau? Hell, no; it was Dinky Dau!

 

JERRY

(laughing)

No way! It was Mau Mau. And it wasn't Julia Nickson who guided him. It was (laughing more wildly) Jack Nicholson!

 

RALPH BENNETT

(chuckling)

Right, but it wasn't Mau Mau or Dinky Dau, it was Kow Tow. Paul, what do you think?

 

(PAUL is beginning to focus in on himself)

 

RALPH BENNETT

(cont)

All right, opinion is divided, so we'll come back to number two. Read the next one, if you will.

 

(PAUL sits down, holding the gun loosely on his lap)

 

JERRY

Three! "The last question Rambo asks Colonel Trautman, just prior to his release from prison is, "'Do we get to win this time?'"

 

(BILL and JERRY crack up at this and RALPH BENNETT begins chuckling. Everyone except PAUL is drinking beer)

 

RALPH BENNETT

Come on, gentlemen, answer the question. True or false?

 

BILL

(laughing)

No, I think he said, "What time do we get to win?"

 

JERRY

Four! "Rambo's full name is Henry Abercrombie III."

 

(EVERYONE laughs at this except PAUL)

 

JERRY

No. That's only his nickname.

 

BILL HOLMES

True! Next!

 

JERRY

"Rambo has received four purple hearts!"

 

BILL

That's right! He shot himself in the foot four times and they still wouldn't send him back to the world!

 

RALPH BENNETT

Right! Next!

 

JERRY

"The threatening message Rambo gives Murdock over the short wave radio is, 'Murdock, I'm coming to get you.'"

 

(Again, laughter; PAUL has begun to makes sounds between crying and laughing)

 

BILL

(to JERRY)

Hey, Lone Wolf, I'm coming to get you.

 

JERRY

Watch your ass, motherfucker, I've got four purple hearts and Colonel Trautman says I get to win this time!

 

(RALPH BENNETT stands quite still as HE stares at the three vets. HE is near the door and although the light on his area remains the same, the lights on the other three men begin to dim. His presence is more and more separated from theirs)

(Again, there is a fireworks display out- side the window and the audience can glimpse flashes of red-and-blue light)

(PAUL places the gun on the table and seems almost as if in a trance. HE has begun to shake)

(TRACY opens the front door and walks into the living room)

 

TRACY

Mr. Bennett. What's going on?

 

RALPH BENNETT

Just some real combat vets shooting holes in some bullshit celluloid crap.

(SHE stares at him, a bit shocked at his language and his drinking)

 

TRACY

I thought they might change their minds about seeing the fireworks.

 

RALPH BENNETT

I think we should let them continue along the line of march.

 

(TRACY looks toward PAUL who is now weeping)

 

TRACY

Is Paul all right?

 

RALPH BENNETT

No, not yet. But I think he might be. If he learns to cut himself some slack. But I think someone could do him a great deal of good about now. Someone who loves him very much.

 

(PAUL has suddenly stood up and is weeping uncontrollably)

 

(In the several tense seconds which follow, faint red-and-blue flashes from a brief fireworks display appear outside the window. We again hear sounds of fireworks)

 

PAUL

You still don't get it, do you?! I'm the broken worm in the bait can! I fuck it up for everybody else just by being! I killed them! I killed children!

 

(TRACY stares at PAUL then rushes into the room and turns on the tape deck)

 

PAUL

(cont)

I am boo-coo dinky dau! You got that? Just give me the goddamned gun!

 

(BILL and JERRY briefly struggle with PAUL over the gun. PAUL manages to place the muzzle of the gun to his own temple and BILL slugs him; JERRY pushes PAUL away from the gun throwing PAUL off balance and TRACY grabs PAUL. SHE holds him tightly. PAUL is weeping and totally devoid of strength. The song MY TRUE LOVE begins)

 

(As THEY begin to dance - very slowly, very small steps and out of step with the music - PAUL is almost propped up by her. But throughout the dance, PAUL gains strength and, in the final A section, begins taking the lead and dancing in step, holding TRACY tightly)

 

(TRACY is using every ounce of her will power to force strength into PAUL. SHE buries her face into his chest, neck, shoulder, and whenever HE starts to pull away SHE holds him even tighter)

 

TAPE DECK

DUM, DEE DEE DEE, DUM, DEE DEE DEE

I PRAYED TO THE LORD

 

TRACY

Dance with me!

TAPE DECK

(cont)

 

TO SEND ME A LOVE

HE SENT ME AN ANGEL

 

TRACY

Paul! Dance with me!

 

TAPE DECK

(cont)

FROM HEAVEN ABOVE.

 

TRACY

(through her tears)

Dance with me!

 

TAPE DECK

(cont)

THE STARS IN THE SKY

 

TRACY

Hold me!

TAPE DECK

(cont)

HE PLACED IN HER EYES

SHE IS MY TRUE LOVE.

(At this point, PAUL raises his arms and places them lightly around her)

 

TAPE DECK

(cont)

 

THE TOUCH (MY TRUE LOVE)

OF HER HAND (MY TRUE LOVE)

CAPTURED (MY TRUE LOVE)

MY SOUL (MY TRUE LOVE)

AND A KISS (MY TRUE LOVE)

FROM HER LIPS (MY TRUE LOVE)

SENT MY HEART (MY TRUE LOVE)

AGLOW (MY TRUE LOVE)

(THEY are still moving in a tiny area but they are moving as one.  No two people ever looked more as if they belonged together)

 

TAPE DECK

(cont)

AND I KNOW (MY TRUE LOVE)

FROM HEAVEN (MY TRUE LOVE)

FROM HEAVEN (MY TRUE LOVE)

ABOVE (MY TRUE LOVE)

CAME MY - MY - TRUE LOVE.

 

BILL

(to JERRY)

Why does it always have to be the fifties?!

 

(JERRY slaps BILL on the shoulder and they move toward the door. BILL picks up the gun and as THEY pass him, BILL hands the gun to RALPH BENNETT. RALPH BENNETT gestures that he will follow them in a minute. HE briefly clasps his son's shoulder. BILL and JERRY leave the apartment)

 

TAPE DECK

(cont)

DARLING, I LOVE YOU, I'LL ALWAYS BE TRUE

(RALPH BENNETT moves toward the door then remembers something. HE walks silently to the Buddha, switching the gun into his left hand. He turns the Buddha so that it once again faces the audience, then faces the Buddha)

 

TAPE DECK

(cont)

MY PRAYERS THEY WERE ANSWERED

(He places his heels together and gives the Buddha a slow but formal military salute)

 

TAPE DECK

(cont)

AND THE LORD SENT ME YOU

 

(As HE does so - holding the salute for several seconds - the Buddha begins to glow a vivid emerald green. RALPH BENNETT makes an almost military pivot and walks to the door. With one last look at the dancers, HE exits the apartment)

 

TAPE DECK

(cont)

 

WITH LOVE AND DEVOTION THAT I, NEVER KNEW

UNTIL, THE LORD, ABOVE SENT ME YOU

(The stage lights across the entire stage now dim even further, the fireworks display outside the window is even more apparent. The Buddha is at its most beautiful emerald green. The music increases in volume)

(The dancers continue to move within very little space but PAUL now takes the lead, with his right arm around TRACY's waist and holding her left hand. THEY stare at each other. THEY dance perfectly)

 

TAPE DECK

(cont)

 

AND I THANK (MY TRUE LOVE)

THE HEAVENS (MY TRUE LOVE)

THE HEAVENS (MY TRUE LOVE)

ABOVE (MY TRUE LOVE)

FOR SENDING MY TRUE LOVE

(THEY stop dancing, hold each other and kiss)

 

TAPE DECK

(cont)

MY TRUE LOVE

BLACKOUT

THE END

Jack Scott sings My True Love on Youtube:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Zcmc9LCN0xI

 


No part of this play may be performed or published without written permission from the playwright

 

Dean Barrett 2014

www.deanbarrettmystery.com

deanbarr@loxinfo.co.th