January 24, 2007

A Play A Day #286

Play Affair


Setting: Suggestion of a kitchen.

(Lights up, Mom on phone, Turner, a boy of 16, enters during her conversation, looks for food)

Mom: (laconic) Uh huh... uh huh... no... no, yes, yes, right... no, I won't, yeah, right... bye-bye, Jimmy.

Turner: Who was that?

(Mom stares at phone)

Turner: Mom? Who was that on the phone?

Mom: (snaps to with a start) Ohh, Turner, my gosh, you scared me, dear. Please don't sneak up on me like that!

Turner: Uhh... Mom? I was right here for about ten seconds... I asked you who was on the phone.

Mom: You did?

Turner: Twice.

Mom: Ohh, I missed that.

Turner: Right, so what's for supper?

Mom: Hmmmm?

Turner: Supper? Mom? What's going on?

Mom: Supper?

Turner: Mom? What's wrong with you?

Mom: Nothing. Nothing.

Turner: Except you always have supper ready by seven... it's like your mantra or something.

Mom: Yes.... well, I ...

Turner: Mom? Who's Jimmy?

Mom: Jimmy?

Turner: Jimmy... on the phone... you were just on the phone with "Jimmy".

Mom: No. No. No. That was your father.

Turner: On the phone? You said "bye-bye Jimmy" to Dad? Is that like some new nickname you have for Dad now?

Mom: No... no, I never said "bye-bye Jimmy".

Turner: Just now, you said that to Dad, on the phone... Dad's name is Paul... why'd you call him Jimmy?

Mom: I wouldn't... did I?

Turner: Yeah.

Mom: Really? Jimmy? (growing apprehension)

Turner: Jimmy. You just... yeah.

Mom: I'm sorry.

Turner: I think Dad might be the curious one.

Mom: Just a little mistake, I guess.

Turner: Do you know someone named Jimmy?

Mom: (too quickly) Nonononono... no... why... ha... why, uhhh... no.

Turner: Pretty common guys name.

Mom: Is it?

Turner: Yes! Mom, what the hell's going on here? You're in some sort of waking dream or something? Hello? Heeelllll-lllooooo?

Mom: Stop it, stop it. I'm just tired I guess.

Turner: Fine, but you're looking a little lost. No supper, calling Dad "Jimmy", you're in a fog. Are you drunk or something?

Mom: No, I'm not drunk, Ji... sweetie.


Turner: Mom, who's Jimmy?

Mom: He's no one. (turns away)


Turner: Are you cheating on Dad?

Mom: Honey, no! No, I... no.... it's not... well...

Turner: You are, aren't you?

Mom: Sweetheart, sweetheart... (tries to hug Turner, Turner backs up)

Turner: What's going on, Mom?

(pause, she hangs her head, starts to cry a little)

Mom: Turner. I'm going to tell you something, and you're not going to like it. You have to promise to listen and keep an open mind... hear my side of the story before you judge the situation.

Turner: Ummmm... what is it?

Mom: Promise me you'll listen.

Turner: I... yeah... okay, I promise.

Mom: You know how your father can be sort of mean, that he neglects me from time to time, fails to provide me with... certain things that a... that a woman needs to feel connected in a relationship.

Turner: Jesus, Mom!

Mom: Listen! You need to hear this, because the problem is that you can be that way too. I see so much of your father's behavior in you.

Turner: Okay, Mom, I'm sorta freaked right now. This is...

Mom: Well, not the "certain things" behavior... just neglectful, taking me for granted, ignoring me. I never wanted you to learn those behaviors, but you have.

Turner: So, you're cheating on Dad with this Jimmy guy? What? To teach Dad and me a lesson about respectful behavior?

Mom: I am seeing someone else, yes.

Turner: How could you, Mom?! Sure Dad's a jerk sometimes, but usually he's nice, and he always...

Mom: I'm seeing an eight-year old.

Turner: What?!! Oh my God, Mom!! You're going to get arrested! They'll never let you out! What are you thinking!?

Mom: Relax! Relax... I'm not cheating on your father.

Turner: Wait... what? So this was all some sick joke?! Mess-Up-Your-Son day in your world? What the hell, Mom?!

Mom: I'm cheating on you.

Turner: Excuse me?

Mom: Jimmy. Jimmy Papaloukis from across the street, second grader.

Turner: Wha... what?

Mom: Well, Turner, you've learned these behaviors from your father, and so that, coupled with the fact that I can't really snuggle and cuddle you any more, has left me feeling unfilfilled as a mother.

Turner: (still quite confused) Across the street? Jimmy?

Mom: It started simply, just a yearning to give him a hug when I saw him outside, but, before I knew it, I was making clandestine lunches for him to take to school. I befriended his mother, and soon I was taking him to the park, and museums, and sledding, and even buying him cute clothes to wear.

Turner: Mom...

Mom: He never complained. Always said "thank you". Loved being hugged, would sing silly songs, draw pictures with me, play Chutes and Ladders, we'd just play and play...

Turner: Mom...

Mom: It was like I was a.... (dramatically) Mother... again.

Turner: You ARE a mother! You'll always be a mother, Mom. You're my mother!

Mom: Well, at least in name...

Turner: In reality! In reality, damnit!

Mom: That will depend on what the judge says.

Turner: What? Judge?

Mom: I need to inform you that I've retained a divorce lawyer.

Turner: For... what? For Dad, right?

Mom: (shakes her head slowly) No.

Turner: What?!! You can't! This isn't... I ...

Mom: I wish I could tell you more, dear; but I've been advised to stop there.

Turner: It's not even a possibility! I mean, Mom, this is ridiculous!

Mom: I'm so glad we had this talk. I feel so much better getting it out there.

Turner: I... you can't do this... it's not...

Mom: (looking at her watch) Whoopsie! Open house at the fire station tonight. Jimmy loves big red fire trucks! (heading offstage, shouting back cheerfully) Make your own damn supper! Gotta run!

(lights fade on Turner)


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