Stirring : A Literary Collection

Julie Failla Earhart

DEATH IN THE AFTERNOON

 

 

THE SETTING

Centerstage is a beaten, wooden table. A small tape recorder sits rests on the table. A long winter scarf is resting on the upstage right corner. Next to it, facing the audience is an equally beaten-up, wooden, straightback chair. Upstage left is a plastic trashcan.

 THE TIME

The present. The month is January about 6 p.m. The play takes place in a police interrogation room in New York City.

  

THE CHARACTER

George Richard Kincaid, Jr. Ė otherwise known as Jack. He is 45 years old. He is slightly retarded, very naïve and innocent; not overly bright; mannerisms are of a very nervous man. He is wearing an old field jacket, a toboggan sticks out of one pocket. His jeans are worn and torn at the knees. His thin sneakers are dirty.

 

(The lights go up. JACK is seated with his forearms resting on the table, facing stage right. His head is hanging over his arms; legs spread wide apart.)

 

JACK

(He looks up.)

Yes, Officer, I was the one who found the body.

(Pause.)

No, Officer, I didnít kill---what was it, a man or a woman?

(Pause.)

No sir, I didnít kill her.

(Pause.)

My name is George Richard Kincaid, Jr. But everybody who knows me just calls me Jack.

(Pause.)

I donít know why.

(Pause. Shift in his chair.)

I was looking for my mitten when I saw it.

(Remove coat.)

Why, Iím 45, Officer. Does that matter?

(Pause.)

Lots of people wear mittens. Theyíre warmer ya know.

(Pause.)

No, first I saw that big red stain in the snow I told you about.

(Pause.)

I donít know. I just figured some kid had spilled his Kool-Aid or something.

(Pause. Crosses his arms.)

Yeah, well, thatís what I thought at first.

(Pause.)

Then I saw it---I mean her. You did say it was a her, didnít you, Officer?

(Pause.)

Well, I canít really remember if I started yelling for help first or ran up to her first and then started yelling. Uh, can I bring that trashcan over here, Officer, I, uh, I think Iím, uh, going to throw up.

(Gets up and gets the trashcan and sets it in front of his chair.)

Okay. Iím ready now. Can I start over? I need to start over.

(Pause.)

When I saw it---I mean her. I was walking down the sidewalkóat least I think it was the sidewalk. With all that snow it was hard to say---looking for my mitten. Then I saw a big red stain on the snow. Then I saw it---I mean her. Then I ran over to her and then I started yelling for help. Yeah, I remember now. I ran up to her, and when I saw what had happened, I started yelling.

(Pause.)

What happened? I donít know how it---I mean her---I mean I donít know how she got there, Officer, I just know what I saw.

(Pause.)

It was so gross; there was blood everywhere. And her head was lying about two feet from the rest of her body.

(Pause.)

It was awful, Officer, I bet I have nightmares about this forever.

(Rubs his face with both hands.)

No, she wasnít wearing any clothes. Had a nice figure though, firm breas---

(Lowers his hands and crosses his arms.)

I did not touch them! I wouldnít do that! They just looked like they would be thatís all!

(Pause.)

I forgot it was a woman! I forget a lot of things! I just forgot. Thatís all! You made me remember.

(Pause.)

Youíre confusing me!

(Pause.)

No, I never saw her before.

(Shifts in his chair.)

There werenít any panties in my coat pocket.

(Crosses his arms again.)

Well, they donít belong to me.

(Pause.)

I donít wear girlís clothes.

(Pause.)

I did not ask her for sex!

(Scratches his head.)

The last time I had sex? I canít remember.

(Pause.)

I think it was right before I went into the hospital last time. But Iím not sure.

(Stands up.)

I CANíT REMEMBER!

(Pause.)

Iím sorry, I didnít mean to yell. Youíre making me nervous.

(Sits back down. Crosses his leg at the knee. Fidgets.)

Okay, Iím better now. I just forgot it was a woman until you had me remembering, thatís all, Officer. Honest, I just forgot.

(Looks stage right.)

Please donít make me remember anymore.

(Wraps his arms around himself.)

I was so scared. All that blood and stuff. Of course as soon as I saw it, I knew it wasnít Kool-Aid; it was blood. Itís only logical, and there was so much of it. So much. I didnít know people had that much blood in Ďem.

(Pause. Looks down at the floor.)

What? Iím sorry Officer, but I feel really weird right now. Like Iím floating on a cloud or something. Or maybe just lying on one. But I kinda like it. It feels goodóin a strange sort of way. Iím not perverted; Iím not. Donít get the wrong idea about me. I just feel really odd right now. Maybe I took too much of my medication again. Sometimes I canít remember if Iíve taken it or not, so I take it again. Usually I have, and then I feel weird like this. So I must have.

(Pause.)

Haldol. Fifty milligrams twice a day.

(Pause.)

About eight months.

(Pause.)

Lots of different things. Lithium. Thorazine. Prozac. But Haldol seems to work the best. Everyone says theyíve noticed the difference. Or maybe I just ate too much Mexican food last night. My mouth just loves spicy foods, but my stomach, well, my stomach hates Mexican food and usually rebels.

(Stares up at the ceiling.)

I was surprised I didnít throw up; I usually do when I eat Mexican food, but itís just so good going down. Or did I have those nachos for lunch? Thatís funny, I canít remember when I ate last. I try to never miss a meal. Plays havoc with my medicine, ya know?

(Lowers head and looks stage right.)

Iím sorry, Officer, would you repeat that?

(Pause.)

Start at the beginning. Oh, okay. (Pause.) I donít remember much till I was on my way to work, and I was feeling strange. Kinda like I do right now. It was weird. I didnít think I was really outside; I thought I was having a dream or something. There was nothing but whiteness. Like that time I was caught in that blizzard in Michigan. It was really scary.

(Pause.)

Yeah, I know now that I was outside. The other officer told me. This is the second blizzard Iíve been caught in. Bet that doesnít happen to many people, huh?

(Pause.)

Upper Peninsula.

(Pause.)

1983. Or maybe it was í84. I canít really remember, although youíd think that a person would remember when they were trapped in a blizzard, huh? I got a feeling that blizzards are gonna be the death of me yet.

(Starts to get up; then sits back down.)

Oh, Iím sorry, Officer. Well, I was taking a shortcut through Central Park, hurrying a little slower than usual toward my job at the art museum, trying to watch the teeny-tiny snowflakes drift through the tree limbs. I couldíve enjoyed it better if I hadnít overslept that morning, but letís face it. Iím just not a morning person. On good days it takes me a good half-hour to drag me from beneath the covers, and on bad days, when Iím not feeling very good, well, I donít make it up at all. Sometimes I canít even call the museum, but they understand. It was part of the deal.

(Pause.)

The hospital worked it out with them. I do my job as best I can, but I canít always make it in. Theyíre nice people; they understand.

(Pause.)

The longest? Let me think.

(Rubs chin.)

The longest I can ever remember staying in bed is six days. But the Haldol helps; it really does. I havenít missed a day since I started taking it. Well, except for today, and I just got lost, what with the snow and all.

(Shifts chair, scraping it on the wooden floor.)

Sorry, I have a tendency to ramble. There I was in the park, the snow starting to fall, and, ya know the weirdest part, I didnít see another living soul. No one was in the park but the snow and me. It was strange Ďcause you and I both know that New Yorkers never let a little bit of snow stop Ďem. So that was really spooky. Not even the squirrels were hanging around for leftovers. I started walking a little faster Ďcause I was scared of being alone like that and Ďcause if youíre in the park too long, you stand a good chance of getting mugged.

(Stares back at the ceiling.)

Me? Iíve only been mugged six times in the four years Iíve lived here. Not bad considering I cross the park at least twice a day. I bet that--

(Pause.)

The last time? About six months ago, I think. Yeah, six months. I remember Ďcause I was wearing--

(Pause.)

No, it really doesnít make me mad. Nobody has ever hurt me though. If they hurt me, I might get mad.

(Looks stage right.)

No, I wasnít mad at that woman. She didnít do anything to hurt me. If she had hurt me, Iíd remember her.

(Pause.)

I never saw her before I saw her lying there in the snow.

(Pause.)

Well I canít help it if other people have seen her walking in the park every morning. I never have. I try to mind my own business.

(Pause.)

No, she didnít try to mug me.

(Looks more puzzled.)

No, she didnít ask me if I wanted to have sex with her.

(Folds his hands on the table and stares at them.)

I just told you I never saw her before.

(Pause.)

Oh okay. Well, the snow started falling faster and faster and the flakes were getting bigger and bigger. The wind had picked up too, whipping little pieces of ice that were mixed in with the snow right into my face. Wouldnít ya know that was the one day that I forgot my scarf?

(Looks stage right.)

That looks like my scarf. But itís not.

(Picks up scarf and plays with it.)

I forgot it.

(Pause.)

It was lying on the ground beside her?

(Pushes scarf to the edge of the table.)

I have a confession to make, Officer. I didnít really forget my scarf. Jupiter, thatís the cat who lives upstairs in old lady Bensonís apartment, was sleeping on it, and that overweight hairball hates me so much that he spits at me whenever I get too close, so I just let him finish his nap.

(Looks pointedly at the scarf.)

No itís not mine. But can I have it if nobody else claims it? That way I wouldnít have to worry about olí Jupiter getting cat hair all over it. Iím allergic to cat hair. Funny thing though, Jupiter is old lady Bensonís cat, but she donít claim it. She says Jupiter belongs to the universe. Me, I say Jupiter belongs to her if she feeds itóI donít know if that olí cat is a boy or a girl, so I just call it an Ďit.í Personally, I think that she told Jupiter to hate me like she does. She always looks at me funny because of the voices.

(Pause.)

Well, sometimes I hear voices, and if I forget where I am, which happens a lot, I talk back. I know it makes people uncomfortable, but itís just that I forget that other people donít hear Ďem.

(Pause.)

Itís been a while. I really think itís the Haldol, Officer. It sure seems to help.

(Thoughtful.)

The museum? I work in the basement so I usually donít see anybody. That was part of the deal, too.

(Pause.)

They didnít want me bothering people. In case I forgot where I was.

(Pause.)

No, I donít mind. Itís kinda lonely though. And itís dark. I hate it when Ken---

(Pause.)

The night security guard. When he turns out the light and itís dark when I get down there.

(Fidgets in the chair.)

Yeah, I know itís sissy, but Iím scared of the dark.

(Places his hands around his neck.)

Bad things happen in the dark.

(Pause.)

Very bad things.

(Removes hands.)

Okay. Well, that big olí cat was curled up on my scarf, and I didnít know it was supposed to snow or I wouldíve maybe tried to get it. Anyway, by the time I reached the entrance to the zoo, I could barely see my hand in front of my face. My heart was beating so hard I swear I could see my coat moving. My palms were sweating through my mittens. I stopped to catch my breath and check my pulse. A little faster than normal, but the hardness of the pounding started to worry me. I could be having a heart attack!

(Pause.)

No, Iíve never had a heart attack, Officer, but I read about it happening to a guy in Montana. His heart started beating real hard, then real hard and fast--just like mine was doing--while he was in the woods. And he died!

(Pause.)

No, Iím not afraid of dying; in fact, Iím ready for it. I tried to go a couple of times, but I guess heaven just wasnít ready for me. But I donít think Iíll try it again though. There are still a lot of things I want to do.

(Looks stage right.)

Well, I would like to have a girlfriend, and go to college, and write a play, and go to Ohio and Paris, and discover a Da Vinci beneath some of that God-awful stuff in the pop art collection and learn Hungarian. MommaóGod rest her soulósaid the my daddy came from Hungary in the mid-fifties but was deported about two weeks before I was born.

(Puts both hands flat on the table and half rises.)

My daddy was a Communist?!

(Sits back in the chair.)

Oh, Iím sorry. I thought you meant that he was.

(Pause.)

I never did think to ask her why until after she was dead, then it was too late.

(Pause.)

We tried to find him off and on while I was growing up but we never got a reply. Momma always supposed he was dead.

(Pause.)

The hospital said they sent a message to the Red Cross when Momma died, but if they found him, I never heard from him.

(Folds his hands on the table and stares at them.)

Nah, I donít think Iíll try to find him.

(Pause.)

If he didnít want me before he even knew me, Iíll bet you a hundred dollars he wonít want me now.

(Pause.)

Well, Iím not exactly, ah, normal, ya know.

(Runs his hands through his hair.)

Okay. So, there I was, alone, in the middle of Central Park, my heart galloping like a race horse, barely able to see, the snow whirling and swirling around me, the wind howling around my ears, thinking I was having a heart attack. I couldnít remember what to do. Should I run toward the street, or should I just lie down right there and wait for it to pass? I was pretty sure that lying down would be certain death---I canít die just yet; I just told you how much I have left to do---so I took off in the direction of Fifth Avenue, but somewhere I managed to take a wrong turn, and I kept heading deeper and deeper into the park. The snow was coming down faster and faster and starting to pile up on the sidewalk, the benches, and what was left of the grass. It kept sticking to my eyelashes and melting in my eyes so I lowered my head. That was a mistake Ďcause then I didnít see the missing section of concrete until I tripped, tearing my jeans and scrapping my knee. Thatís how I must have lost my left mitten.

(Looks up and stage right very quickly.)

You found it? Great! Can I have it back? Look at how chapped my hand is.

(Holds his hand out to the Officer, then brings it back and cuddles it.)

I have very sensitive skin, Officer, and just being out in that storm chapped my poor little hand.

(Pause.)

Well, I donít know how the dead lady got a hold of it. Maybe she found it and picked it up and was gonna keep it for herself.

(Puts his hands on his hips, still seated.)

Maybe she was trying to put it on the wrong hand when whoever killed her did it to her. She could have been real stupid, Officer. You donít know if she was smart or stupid, do you, Officer?

(Puts his hands back on the table.)

Oh no, I wasnít implying anything.

(Pause.)

The other marks? What other marks? I didnít see any other marks, Officer.

(Pause.)

I donít know what stab wounds looks like.

(Shakes his head because he understands.)

Like giant cigarette burns? Thatís odd, donít you think, Officer? How many were there?

(Mouth works, but nothing comes out.)

SIXTY-FIVE!

(Pause.)

Thatís something Iíd like to ask you Officer; Iíve always wondered about that. Why would anyone stab somebody that many times when only once or twice would do?

(Pause.)

Well, yeah, there was that incident at the hospital the last time I was there.

(Pause.)

But he made me mad. Iím telling ya, Officer, I donít hurt nobody unless they make me mad.

(Pause.)

He peed all over my paints.

(Wipes his hands on his thighs. Looks down)

I stabbed him.

(Looks up, stage right.)

It was only a butter knife, Officer. He didnít even bleed.

(Shakes his head.)

No, thatís not all. First he told Dr. Traflagar that I really wasnít doing as well as it looked. That I was only acting.

(Pause.)

Dr. Traflagar didnít believe him.

(Pause.)

Jealous I guess.

(Hangs his head.)

ĎCause I was getting out early. I was supposed to stay until the end of the month, but they were going to let me out a week early.

(Pause.)

Dr. Traflagar said I really was doing better than he expected.

(Pause.)

Thatís what he told me. That and something about the insurance money running out.

(Shakes his head.)

No, I donít own any pruning shears, but old lady Benson has a pair in the basement of the apartment building.

(Looks stage right.)

Thatís them. How did you get them?

(Pause.)

They have blood on them? I donít think Iíve used Ďem since July when I cut down that rosebush down for her.

(Pause.)

Everybody who lives in the building can borrow them anytime they want.

(Scratches his head.)

Oh, okay. Where was I?

(Rubs his knees.)

Thatís right. I had just fallen over that missing section of concrete, and my knee was really hurting. I could feel a small trickle of blood inching its way down my leg. But I got up and kept on runningóbut it was more like limp-running. My knee was throbbing almost as hard as my heart was pounding. I still hadnít seen another person or even reached one of the Avenues, and I should have. No matter what, if you stay headed in one direction, you always come out of the park. But it seemed like I was just going in deeper and deeper and my heart was feeling like somebody had reached down my throat, grabbed it and was squeezing it like all get out. I was pretty sure I was going into cardiac arrest. Then I started getting dizzy and nauseous.

(Wrings his hands.)

But you said you wanted the whole story. Well, I thought the dizziness and nauseous was from lack of oxygen, running like I was. Then I remembered that Uncle Larryómy Mommaís little brother, thatís what she always called him, her little brother, even though he was in his sixties the last time I saw him.

(Cocks his head to one side, then the other. Runs his hands through his hair.)

Let me think. Itís been about two years I guess. Anyway, Uncle Larry told me when I was visiting him in intensive care that was how he felt when he was having--

(Looks stage right.)

Dizzy and nauseous. When he was having his heart attack. Heís the only family member I have left, so I didnít mind the train ride to Florida to see him. And he told me all about it, in minute detail, Ďcause I wanted to know since heart problems run on Mommaís side of the family. The doctor said there was only minor damage, but still he decided to retire early. He was some sort of CFO for a advertising company down there. Momma always said he was lazy so his retiring didnít really surprise me. I think it surprised Aunt Vivian---

(Shifts in his chair.)

Oh, okay. Well, I had it on pretty good authority what a heart attack felt likeó

(Pause.)

No, I donít remember any weird stuff like that happening to my heart in Michigan. But I think I had a blackout. Iím not real sure though.

(Rubs chin.)

No, I donít have seizures.

(Pause.)

No, no family history of seizures that I know of. I could check my Mommaís medical records. I still have them. I keep them in a---

(Pause.)

Blackouts? A couple.

(Pause.)

While I was in the hospital. It was while they were trying to get my medicine balanced.

(Shifts in chair. Puts arms on table and folds hands.)

Okay. The snow was getting deeper, must have been an inch or so piled there on the top of the trashcan. I got really scared when I saw that. I knew I wasnít in the park anymore, but I didnít know where I was.

(Pause.)

How did I know? You never see a trashcan in Central Park that has a lid. I stopped to look around, but all I could see was snow. Soft billowy snow. Sort of like I was in the middle of a gigantic marshmallow. I even felt sticky, but I think that was Ďcause I was sweating so hard from the running. My armpits were wet, my mitten was completely soaked---but I think a lot of that had to do with my falling earlier like I told youóand I could feel these two drops of sweat turtle racing down my spine.

(Fingers twitch play with each other while remaining folded.)

Turtle racing? Thatís just two drops of sweat going real slow, Officer. You know on those reallyó

(Pause.)

Okay. Where was I?

(Pause.)

Yeah. The trashcan lids. I started to get really scared Ďcause I didnít know where I was. The snow was coming down so thick and hard that there werenít any spaces between the flakes. Sort like a giant cotton bedsheetólike the ones they use at the hospital---was falling from the sky.

(Shrugs and shifts in his chair.)

I come and go. When the voices get really loud, I have to go back to the hospital until they shut up for a while. Letís see, I think itís been almost a year since I was there. And ya know, I really miss olíó

(Pause.)

Sorry. I told you I had a tendency to ramble, so I donít mind when you yell at me like that. My Momma used to do it all the time. Just donít make me nervous; I canít remember when I get nervous.

(Pause.)

No, I donít get mad; I just canít remember.

(Plays with the zipper on his coat.)

So, I decided to sit down for a while. I brushed the snow off the bench with my mittened hand and it was kinda hard since Iím left handed, but I didnít want to take my hand out of my nice warm jacket pocket. I chap real easy. So I sat there and tried to figure out where I was. I was just getting comfortable when I saw that man.

(Looks stage right sharply.)

I thought I told you about him before. Are you sure that I didnít?

(Rubs his forehead.)

Iím sorry, I should have. Please donít yell at me. I canít remember if you yell at me. Iím so stupid sometimes. My Momma always said it was Ďcause I talk too much and I do ramble aó

(Pause.)

He was wearing a blue coat and a stocking cap. He was walking real fast toward me. Boy, was I glad to see him. I yelled at him but it was like he didnít hear me. I figured that because of the wind and snow that he couldnít hear me. So I stood up to wait for him so I could ask him where I was. People are usually pretty nice about telling me where I am. They look at me like theyíre scared of me though, and thatís okay Ďcause Iím used to it.

(Puts hands over his ears.)

Sorry. Please donít yell at me. While I was waiting, I checked my pulse again. It seemed like it almost back to normal. At least the pounding had stopped. And I didnít feel dizzy or nauseous anymore. And it was so weird, when I looked up he was gone.

(Quickly stands up, chair falls over as he pushes it backward.)

I DO NOT SEE THINGS!

(Throws hands in the air.)

I DONT KNOW! HE JUST VANISHED INTO THIN AIR.

(Slaps hands on the table.)

I AM NOT GETTING UPSET!

(Picks up chair and sits back down.)

Hey! Ya know something I just thought of? Maybe he killed her? He was headed in that direction.

(Pause.)

It was real weird. I thought maybe that Iíd entered a twilight zone or something. Do you ever watch that show?

(Briskly rubs his upper arms with his hands.)

It gives me the creeps.

(Pause.)

The man? What man?

(Nods his head.)

Oh, him. Well, I thought maybe he was an angel, although not a very friendly oneóor helpful for that matter.

(Looks stage right.)

You donít believe in angels?

(Waves a hand in the air.)

Oh, pish-posh, Officer. How do you think we make it through the day without angels?

(Pause.)

Thatís a great word, pish-posh, donít you think, Officer? Not one you hear much.

(Shrugs.)

Well, theyíre out there no matter what you think. I need to have a word with God about that.

(Shakes his head.)

No, He never talks back.

(Shrugs.)

I donít know who the voices are, theyíve never said.

(Shrugs again.)

I never thought to ask.

(Pause.)

Yeah, well. There I was, pretty certain that I wasnít going to die this time, and I was glad Ďcause I have a lotó

(Pause.)

Okay. So I started looking around, trying to figure out where I was. All there was whiteness, like I told you about before, and I was starting to get cold.

(Crosses arms on table and leans forward.)

Yeah, thatís odd, isnít it, Officer, that I hadnít noticed the cold before. But I had dressed really warm when I left my apartment. Maybe it was Ďcause I had been sweating and with that cold wind whipping on it--

(Leans back in chair with arms still folded.)

Iím trying to tell you what happened, Officer. You said you wanted the whole story and for me to start at the beginning.

(Pause.)

Well, I canít help it if I need to explain some things to you so that youíll understand.

(Pause.)

No I donít mean to imply that youíre stupid, Officer. You just donít know me thatís all, and I want you to understand.

(Puts feet up on table.)

I always tell the truth, Officer. Every time. I always get caught if I donít. Or I feel guilty. I always get caught when I lie. Like that time at the hospital whenó

(Puts feet down and leans forward, elbows resting on the table, chin in hand.)

Fine. Where was I?

(Pause.)

I was cold, and I was afraid my ears were getting frostbit, and I was lost, and I didnít know what to do. So I started walking back the way I came. I wanted to cry, but my Momma taught me never to cry in public. I think thatís a pretty---

(Pause.)

No, she never let me play sports.

(Studies his fingernails.)

She was always afraid that Iíd get hurt.

(Pause.)

I wanted to. I wanted to be like the other guys, but Momma always said I was different.

(Pause.)

Yeah, I like girls.

(Hangs his head.)

Not a steady girlfriend. Not like all the other guys had.

(Pause.)

All the girls laughed at me. They said I was weird and revolting. And besides, Momma wouldnít let me date.

(Pause.)

She said girls would take advantage of me and make me do things with them that was disgusting.

(Pause.)

I donít know.

(Shakes head.)

I didnít have sex until after Momma died.

(Pause.)

She would have been mad at me if I had.

(Quickly looks stage right.)

Of course not! She would never make me do that with her! She said it was disgusting!

(Raises up from his chair.)

MY MOMMA NEVER HAD SEX. SHE SAID IT WAS DISGUSTING!

(Sits back down.)

Momma said the stork brings Ďem.

(Pause.)

Yeah, I liked it. It felt good.

(Pause.)

Since then? Not very often.

(Hangs head.)

Women laugh at me.

(Shrugs.)

I donít know.

(Pause.)

I donít know.

(Bangs hand on table.)

I DONT KNOW.

(Pause.)

The first time? With a nurse at the hospital.

(Pause.)

Yeah, she laughed, but she said she didnít care.

(Pause.)

I felt bad afterwards, though. Momma would have been mad at me.

(Shrugs.)

I donít remember the last time. I think it was right before I went into the hospital the last time, but Iím not really sure.

(Looks stage right.)

I told you I never saw that woman in the park before.

(Shrugs.)

Yeah, I guess. She might have been pretty. I didnít really notice what with her head being chopped off like that.

(Pause.)

I might have wanted to.

(Pause.)

I was at work yesterday.

(Holds up right hand.)

I swear, Officer, I was there. Just call the museum; theyíll tell ya.

(Pause.)

Itís Friday, the 18th.

(Cocks his head.)

Monday, the 21st? It canít be Monday. I do my laundry on Sundays and I donít remember doing it yesterday.

(Voice lowers.)

I remember leaving my apartment for the museum and heading into the park.

(Pause.)

Okay. The night before. I left the museum and since there were a lot of other people around, I just sort of took my time in the park. Strolling, I guess youíd call it.

(Pause.)

I didnít have any place in particular to be.

(Pause.)

Well, I sat down on the park bench and this real pretty woman walked by, so I said hi, and she said, hi, back. She had pretty red hair. Just like that woman I found in the park.

(Shifts in chair several times.)

We just talked.

(Shrugs.)

Just stuff. Ya know. The trees, what I do at the museum, how I like to spend my time.

(Pause.)

She said she had seen me there before.

(Looks stage right.)

Yeah, I told ya, remember? I spend a lot of time in the park.

(Pause.)

Then she asked me if I wanted to go back to her place.

(Pause.)

I said no.

(Looks down at the table.)

She might want me to do something disgusting with her.

(Shifts in chair.)

I donít know.

(Pause.)

She just shrugged and we kept on talking.

(Pause.)

My stamp collection, and I told her all about how olí Jupiter hates me, and she said she didnít like cats either and that she had a dog named Harold. I really like dogs. Theyíre so much more fun than cats. Then she asked me if I wanted to help her take Harold for a walk and I---

(Pause.)

(Blackout.)





Date of Birth: 2/20/56
Location: St. Louis, Missouri
Email: jearh13191@aol.com
Publications: Palimpsest, Knowledge Works CD by Milliken Publishing Co., Gigantic, Watermark, Words and Dreams (Part XII: An Archer's Dream), Steps Astray






Stirring : A Literary Collection



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