March 15, 2007

A Play A Day #335

Sidewalk Memories


Setting: Eight sections of sidewalk, left to right across the front edge of the stage.

(lights up on Howard and Melina stepping onto the leftmost sidewalk square, they stop on it, that square is lit the most, others are dimmed)

Melina: What about this one?

Howard: Well, I'd come running out the front door to catch the school bus, and since it stopped on that corner (points back the direction they came) and drove past the house, I'd make an arc from the front door, across the yard... as I got older, I learned to time it right. I wouldn't leave the house until the bus passed the front door, and I'd sprint, and I was able to make it so that I was always at the front door of the bus by the time the driver opened it.

Melina: So what do you remember about this square then?

Howard: This was the one I'd hit first after I arced across the lawn. Left foot down hard, right foot up and flying. I'm surprised that the curved path isn't carved into the grass anymore.

(they step onto the next section of the sidewalk)

Melina: Here?

Howard: See the big crack there? We used to jam army men or action figures down in there, pretend earthquakes were swallowing them up. This square had an unusual amount of seismic activity.

(to next section)

Melina: And what about this?

Howard: The very square where I found a twenty dollar bill. Never forget it; I was only six. Thought I was rich enough to pay off the bill collecter that always called Dad.

Melina: Oh, sweetie, don't... Let's remember all the great things about this place.

Howard: I did give it to him. He gave it right back.

(to next section)

Melina: And here?

Howard: I think this is where I was standing when Jerry smacked me in the eye. Man, that was a huge fight. Only time in my life I ever got punched in the face. Funny thing is I have no memory of what we were fighting about, but I remember the pain from his fist. His mom was so mad at him when she saw what happened... livid. My dad just kind of laughed it off. Said it was probably something that needed to happen once between all good friends. He was probably right; we're still great friends.

(to next section)

Melina: Alright, what do you think about on this square?

Howard: Not a good square, this is where Fidget died.

Melina: Your old dog?

Howard: Yeah, he just keeled over right here. I didn't even know dogs could have heat attacks.

Melina: He was pretty old, right?

Howard: Yeah, 'bout 14... still makes for a horrible memory.

Melina: Well, moving quickly along then.

(to next section)

Melina: Better memories here?

Howard: Definitely, well not really my memory. Right here is where I took my first step. Mom was talking to Mrs. Atchinson and plopped me out of the stroller. She says, I pulled myself up and took three big steps and...

(to next section)

Howard: ...plop! Landed right here.

Melina: Anything else about this square?

Howard: Yep. It's where Dad backed over my bike after I left it laying down. He said he never saw it. I still think he was probably going too fast.

Melina: What a memory...

(to next section)

Melina: Here?

Howard: Ohhh... best memory of all! I once lost something down here... in this hole, and... Hey! Wow! There it is! (bends down on one knee to retrieve object from deep crack in the sidewalk) Yeah, this square is where I asked my beautiful girlfriend to be my beautiful wife. (grabs her hand and slides the ring from the sidewalk onto Melina's finger) Melina, will you marry me?

(lights out)


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