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Scene 2

Roberta and Danny on a mattress on the floor of a little room with no right angles. Somewhere above them is a small, crooked window. The colors of the room as slate blues and dove grays. A little lamp sits D.R., on a little stool; it's lit. There's some shelving, left. A doll, dressed as a bride, stands on one of the shelves. They've just finished.


R. So what's you r name?
D. Danny. What, you forgot already?
R. No, I remember now.
D. Yours is Roberta.
R. You got a good memory.
D. No big deal.
R. You didn't mind?
D. What?
R. Doin it with me?
D. No.
R. After what I told you? About my father?
D. No. Why would I care?
R. Don't be stupid. You want somethin to drink?
D. Whaddaya got?
R. I got some red wine.
D. Okay. (She gets up, goes to the little shelf, pulls out a bottle of wine and a metal cup.)
R. I only got the one cup.
D. That's okay. I'll drink outta the bottle.
R. No. Would you mind? We could both drink from the one cup.
D. No, I don't mind. (She pours, sips, and passes the cup to him. She watches him a moment, till he drinks.) It tastes like piss.
R. I'll light a candle.
D. All right.
R. You like my room?
D. Yeah. It's good.
R. It used to be a closet. I painted it myself.
D. Uh-huh.
R. I light this candle and close this door…You see that round light up on that roof?
D. Yeah, I see it.
R. The guy that lives over there put that light up because he has a pigeon coop, and people were stealin his pigeons. Don't you think it looks like the moon?
D. No
R. Come on, look at it!
D. All right. Yeah, it does a little.
R. Like a full moon every night. (Danny howls.)
R. Shut up! What are you doin?
D. Howlin at the moon.
R. Oh. Well, you ain't no wolf out in the woods, so keep it down. My father will hear you.
D. Fuck 'em.
R. You got the most beautiful eyes.
D. Shut up.
R. I mean it.
D. Shut up.
R. Are you blushin?
D. Fuck no. What the fuck you think I am?
R. You are!
D. I wanna ask you somethin.
R. What?
D. Who….I mean, how old are you?
R. I already told ya! And you have a good memory!
D. Right, right. So how old's your kid?
R. You're just tryin to change the subject.
D. So what if I am? No, really. I wanna know How old is he?
R. He's gonna be thirteen.
D. Old.
R. Yeah. He's got big hands and feet. He's gonna be a big guy. He's gonna be in high school……
D. Wow, you're gonna have a kid in high school.
R. Yeah, ain't that a laugh? I hope he does better than I did. But he won't.
D. Why not?
R. He's all fucked up.
D. What's wrong with him?
R. He's a jerk. He's got me for a mother.
D. It ain't his fault. (She slaps him, suddenly furious.)
R. You're gonna be a wiseass why don't you get the fuck outta here! I don't need that! I don't need anything like that!
D. What's the fuck's with you?
R. Sayin shit about the way I raise my kid!
D. I didn't say nothin! You said it. And keep your hands to yourself or you could lose 'em!
R. That kid was just born crazy, that's all. My mother don't understand that. Anyway, if anybody got him nuts it was her. All the time with the eyes. All the time not lookin at anybody…
D. HEY! I never said nothin about your motherhood. You're probably good.
R. No, I'm not.
D. You probably are though.
R. You think so?
D. Sure
R. Thanks.
D. You got some smack.
R. You all right?
D. No big deal. It almost felt…I feel good.
R. So do I.
D. It does look like the moon.
R. You think so?
D. Yeah, I was out in the country once. AT night you never seen so many stars. It gave me a fuckin headache. Really. But then I saw there was this one bunch that looked like a big fish. A tuna or some shit. A big fish jumpin around in the stars. And cause I could see something in there, you know, somethin that added up, the whole thing didn't give me a headache no more. That sound stupid?
R. You must like the country.
D. I hate the fuckin country.
R. Why?
D. All those fuckin trees. They smell bad.
R. No!
D. Yeah. They stink up everything out there like aftershave. And bugs all over the place. Mud. Rocks in your shoes. You can keep it.
R. That's funny.
D. Who's laughin?
R. Not me.
D. I had this teacher. He said I was stupid. Right in front of everybody. So I punched him in his fuckin eye. It swelled up real good. So they sent me to this camp in the woods to straighten my young ass out. I don't know what they was thinkin about. Gettin bit by a buncha bugs and sloppin though the fuckin mud whadn't about to change my mind about some asshole teacher in James Monroe High School.
R. I went to the deli this mornin to get a roll. Chinese guy put it in the bag. I looked at his face. And he was happy, I could tell. Bad things happen, I guess, to him sometimes, but you could see things whadn't that bad for him.
D. Let's go throw a rock through his window.
R. No. I got another idea. Let's be like him, Danny. For tonight anyway. Let's be happy.
D. Whaddaya talkin about?
R. Let's be romantic.
D. What?
R. Let's be romantic with each other! Say things to each other!
D. No. Like what?
R. I don't know. Like……If you love me, I'll love you, too.
D. I can't say shit like that.
R. Sure you can! Oh, I don't know. Sure I do! Let's be romantic to each other, Danny! We've got a bed and we've….done love, and there's a candle and some kinda moon…..What do we got? What do we got? Touch me. Put your hand on my nice and talk to me. (Danny, with difficulty, touches her.)
D. You're a nut, huh?
R. Nice?
D. You're a…You….You're…good-lookin.
R. No I'm not.
D. Don't contradict me when I'm tellin you somethin!
R. I'm sorry.
D. You're good-lookin.
R. Okay.
D. (Pause. He's working hard.) You got a nice nose.
R. A nice nose?
D. Yeah. It's like….It looks at ya. That's right! It looks right at ya, your nose, and it says Hello! That's right! And you got a nice chin, too. When you, when you smile, it goes up. Yeah. Like a balloon. No better. Like a bird. Like some kinda bird.
R. Thank you.
D. Shut up! I ain't finished yet!
R. You're not?
D. No. What are you kiddin? I gotta tell you about your mouth. It's…It's…beautiful. Like a flower. That's right! A bird flyin and a flower, right there on your face. And all the time your nose is sayin hello.
R. Stop!
D. You know what?
R. What?
D. Say your name!
R. Why?
D. Just say it!
R. Stop. Roberta.
D. Say it again!
R. Stop. Why?
D. I wanna watch your mouth say your name. Say it again!
R. Roberta.
D. Again.
R. Roberta. What are you doin?
D. Watchin your beautiful mouth say your beautiful name.
R. That's nice! You're bein so nice to me!
D. Roberta.
R. Stop!
D. Why?
R. It's like….tickling me.
D. All right.
R. Now I'll be nice to you!
D. Nah.
R. Yes, I will.
D. You don't have to.
R. Yes, I do too. I'll save your eyes for last. You did so good, I don't know what to say.
D. Don't do nuthin.
R. Your hair! Your hair is very sexy.
D. Shut up.
R. Very sexy. Cause it's like strong and soft at the same time, and it feels good when you touch it.
D. Comon, comon, let's talk about somethin else.
R. All right. You got friendly ears.
D. I ain't got friendly anything.
R. You got friendly ears. They make me feel friendly. They make me feel like I wanna shake hands.
D. This is so fuckin silly.
R. Don't…curse.
D. Okay.
R. I was savin your eyes. Cause your eyes are very dark and beautiful. I don't think I know how to say things about 'em. Your heart. I can see your heart. (She leans forward to kiss him, very slowly. As their lips are about to meet, in a panic, he slaps her.)
D. No!
R. (Unshaken.) Don't be scared, baby. (This time she succeeds in kissing him, first on the lips, then on each of his bruises.)
D. (Weakly.) No, no. Don't touch me. It burns.
R. Somebody hurt my baby. Somebody hurt him. Somebody hurt his hands. Somebody hurt his face. I love you, Danny. I love you. I know you hurt, baby. I love you.
D. What you doin to me?
R. (Kissing him.) I'm lovin you.
D. Stop.
R. No.
D. It's too much.
R. Come on.
D. I'm breathin.
R. No, you're not.
D. I'm breathin too much.
R. Don't worry about it.
D. I'm gonna die from this.
R. It's just an idea in your mind. Look at me. Look at me. (He looks at her.)
D. I…I…You're good…to be with.
R. Oh, thank you, baby! Thank you! (He slaps her.)
D. No! I can't…(She goes right on kissing him.)
R. You don't have to be scared. You don't have to be. I'm not gonna hurt you. I'm never gonna hurt you. (He chokes back a sob.)
D. I'm the Beast!
R. No you're not. No you're not.
D. Why you doin this for?
R. I'm not doin nothin you ain't doin nothin, too.
D. Yeah?
R. That's right. Do you really think you killed that guy?
D. I don't know.
R. I hope not.
D. He was a real mess.
R. But it takes a lot to kill somebody, right? I mean lots of people've been hurt worse than you hurt that guy, I bet, and they didn't die. Sure! That's right. Babies fall outta windows five stories high and go right on cryin. Old ladies get run over by buses and pop right back up. You hear about it all the time.
D. I don't know. He wasn't….He wasn't dead when I left.
R. Then you probably didn't kill nobody at all.
D. I coulda killed him. Even if I didn't. Ain't that the same?
R. Between you and me, yeah. It's the same. One way or another. (A distant boat horn sounds.) Listen! (It sounds again, and then once more.) There. You hear it?
D. What is it?
R. Big boats.
D. Ain't no boats around here. There's no water.
R. Yeah, there is. It's not a block over or anything like that, but the ocean's right out there. (The horn sounds again.) See? That's a big boat goin down some river to the ocean.
D. Whatever you say.
R. That's what it is. There's boats right up by Westchester Square. What's that, twenty blocks? Look sometime, you'll see 'em. Not the real big ones, but big. Sea boats. I met a sailor in the bar one time. In the outfit, you know? I was all over him. But he turned out to be nothin - a pothead. He giggled a lot. It was too bad because …Well, it was too bad. When we got married, me and Billy, that was my husband, we smoked a ball of opium one night. It really knocked me out. I fell asleep like immediately. And I dreamed about the ocean. It was real blue. And there was the sun, and it was real yellow. And I was out there, right in the middle of the ocean, and I heard this noise. I turned around, and whaddaya think I saw? Just about right next to me. A whale! A whale came shootin straight outta the water! A whale! Yeah! And he opened up his mouth and closed it while he was up there in the air. And people on the boat said, Look! The whales are jumpin! And no shit, these whales start jumpin outta the water all over the place. And I can see them! Through one of those round windows. Or right out in the open. Whales! Gushin outta the water, and the water gushin outta their heads, you know, spoutin! And then, after a while, they all stopped jumpin. It got quiet. Everybody went away. The water smoothed out. But I kept lookin at the ocean. So deep and blue. And different. It was different then. 'Cause I knew it had all them whales in it..
D. What if you…Nah, I ain't gonna say that.
R. What were you gonna say?
D. Somethin I'm not gonna say. (Referring to the doll.) Is that you?
R. That? It's just a doll.
D. Yeah, I know that. But is it supposed to be you?
R. Yeah, I guess so. Shirley gave it to me. My friend. When I was gonna get married.
D. It don't look like you.
R. No kiddin.
D. It don't have your nose.
R. No?
D. No. Did you get in the whole white outfit, you know, when you got married?
R. Not really. We got married at City Hall. My mother was pissed. She's religious. But we wanted to get that part over with. I was showin. It woulda been stupid in white. It's an ugle room, though, when they marry you at City Hall. It's like school.
D. Why you keep the doll?
R. It ain't much to keep.
D. It's pretty.
R. You think so?
D. Bein a bride. All in white and everything. Flowers. I was at a weddin once. They left through this garden. All these roses all around. I never seen so many roses. Bees buzzin. Lotsa other flowers, too. They came out. Everybody was throwin rice. Why do they do that?
R. I don't know.
D. And then the bride came out. The groom was nothin. He looked good. (Picks up the doll gently.) But it was the bride. Here comes the bride, here comes the bride. I was sittin an this stone bench, waitin for 'em to come out. When I saw the bride, I stood up. She was so...I stood up. This big white dress. A veil. Flowers in her hand with ribbons blowin around. Little ribbons. And all around her. All these roses. And the bees buzzin. And nice girls. And everybody dressed in good clothes. Then everybody started throwin rice. Not hard. Nice and easy. Friendly. I forgot to throw mine. You wanna hear somethin really crazy? I mean, nuts?
R. What?
D. I'm not gonna tell ya.
R. Comon, what?
D. All right. I wanted to be the bride.
R. That is nuts.
D. I wanted to be the bride. Walkin out the big doors. All dressed in white. Music. Flowers all around. Everybody bein nice. Special, you know? Special. Yeah, I wanted to be the bride. (Kisses the doll and places it gently back on the little shelf.)
R. Me too.
D. You wanna marry me?
R. Don't kid around.
D. I'm serious.
R. Stop it.
D. Square business. You wanna marry me?
R. No. Now let's talk about somethin else.
D. Inna church? I wanna get married in that church with the garden. The one I was at.
R. I told ya, don't kid around! Please!
D. I ain't kiddin! I want you…to be a bride…with me.
R. I got a kid.
D. Let your parents take care of the kid.
R. My parents.
D. That's right! They fucked up your last marriage and they owe you somethin! Well comon, collect!
R. I can't.
D. Roberta. You got the right to somethin. Hey. Say your name for me.
R. Roberta.
D. Yeah. Roberta. That's you. And who am I?
R. Danny.
D. That's right. That's me. Will you marry me?
R. All right. I mean, yes.
D. You will?
R. Yeah. I mean, yes.
D. No! Yeah?
R. Yeah!
D. All right! Good! That's good! I feel like I won a prize or somethin.
R. And will I wear a white dress?
D. Yeah! Sure you will!
R. And you'll wear the bow tie and everything?
D. Yeah, yeah. The whole outfit.
R. You think we could?
D. Why not? People get married like that left and right?
R. And we can go through the garden with all the flowers.
D. That's right. I wanna go through the garden.
R. And people will be throwin rice.
D. Yeah, nice an easy. Underhand.
R. And music. No guitars or anythin like that. An organ. A church organ.
D. Okay.
R. And we won't invite my father. We won't invite anybody we know. Maybe Shirley. No, not even Shirley. Just people we don't know. Nice people who go to weddings and throw rice.
D. I gotta invite my mother.
R. That's okay. I don't know her.
D. And she would probably get us the cake. You know, cause she works in a bakery.
R. A weddin cake. With the little you an the little me standin on top. An that thing around us.
D. That's right.
R. Where will we live?
D. We'll get a place. Maybe out by Zerega. There's some nice places out by Zerega.
R. Can I decorate it?
D. Sure! Who else?
R. I don't want anything Mediterranean. My mother's got all Mediterranean stuff.
D. Okay. No Mediterranean.
R. I like American furniture, you know? Maple. Shirley's got a maple chest of drawers. It's real nice. And solid! You could kick it and you'd just break your foot.
D. I've been havin a lotta trouble on my job, you know? Cause I…Not a lotta trouble, you know, just some. Cause I fight a lot. The other guys play rugby, an they think I don't know nothin cause I don't know nothin about it. But I wouldn't have anymore trouble, you know, if I was married, you know? Settled down. And I pull down pretty good money, too. I ain't got nothin in the bank cause I never had no reason to save anything, you know? No reason to put nothin by. But we could save some money. It wouldn't take long. Buy some stuff. Lamps.
R. And no kids!
D. No?
R. No.
D. I thought I might like a kid.
R. I don't want any.
D. All right.
R. Kids take all the money and you can't go nowhere.. And if they get crazy or they're born crazy, everybody blames you, and they're around your neck like a rock on a chain. Just you and me, okay? Is that good with you?
D. You got it. Gimme your hand. You're with me now. Everythin I make, you get half. Everything I feel, I'm gonna tell you. When I walk down the street, you'll be walkin with me.
R. All right.
D. Maybe, like on Sunday, we can go to Hampton House. Have breakfast. They gotta special breakfast. People go there.
R. We're gonna haveta announce the weddin.
D. Yeah?
R. Yeah. You gotta have an announcement for the church weddin. Banns.
D. Oh yeah, right. So we'll do that.
R. Ah no, we can't get married inna church, though.
D. Why not?
R. I'm divorced.
D. So?
R. They won't let ya.
D. So we won't tell 'em.
R. They'll find out.
D. No, they won't.
R. There's papers you gotta do an stuff. They'd know.
D. Hey, my mother's Protestant. We'll get married Protestant.
R. They don't care?
D. No. You can be divorced.
R. Really? I guess that's right.
D. It don't make no difference to Protestants.
R. And are their churches like, real?
D. Yeah. They're great!
R. And I can still wear white an everything?
D. Yeah, sure.
R. My parent'd go through the roof if I got married Protestant. I bet my mother'd go off her nut.
D. They're not invited, remember?
R. That's right.
D. Fuck 'em.
R. Yeah.
D. You're with me now.
R. Okay.
D. The moon just went out.
R. He's got it on a timer.
D. It's almost mornin.
R. Seems like it couldn't be.
D. Why not?
R. Too quick.
D. Yeah.
R. I'm glad. I'm glad.
D. You tired?
R. Yeah. I'm gonna sleep. You sleep, too.
D. Yeah. (She turns out the little lamp. Just the candle burns. Only Danny is visible.)
R. Kiss me. (He does.) Thank you.
D. You're welcome.
R. You talked to me nice, Danny. Romantic. I can never get to sleep good. Couldn't close my eyes, you know? Cause if I closed my eyes, I was just in my head. And I couldn't hack it. In my head. Buildin's burnin and people fallin in cracks in the ground. My father. My kid. My mother prayin. Rainin floods. You never know whether it's a puddle or you step in the wrong spot and you drown. All I can see in here's the moon, floatin over everything quiet. Like a bride. All dressed in white. I can smell the roses. Can you?
D. Yeah.
R. An the bees are hummin. (She hums "Here Comes The Bride" softly and falls asleep.)
D. It's good. It's good. Hey, I didn't know that about what you told me, the ocean bein right here. Think a that. Maybe that's what we oughta do. Build a boat and sail the fuck away. Get married on some island where everybody speaks Booga Booga. Are you asleep? I love you. (Danny blows out the candle. The first hint of dawn is in the window. A bird gently sings the first notes of a morning song. The lights go down.)

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