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Day # 16
*****Parent alert - strong language, cursing**********
Solitary (Scene 3)
by Janet S. Tiger
© Feb. 28, 2014 all rights reserved
(Lights up – it is noon, full sunshine, and we see him- same guy as in Day# 11 sitting on his cot, eating a sandwich. There is a sound at the door and he takes the tray and remains of the food to the slot in the door and slides it through. He listens for the guard to leave, then removes his prison uniform, standing again in only his boxers. He looks up at the ceiling.)
Free at last, free at last, oh, Lord ahmighty, I’m a free at last!
Well that was an unusual lunch – instead of eating the sandwich first, I..I ate the bologna in the sandwich and left the cheese in the bread, so it was like a new lunch. Good idea, huh, God? I’m just fulla good ideas.
(He holds a pencil up towards the sun, noting the shadow.)
I..I’ll wait a full hour before I..I swim…..so I..I don’t get cramps!
Okay, so maybe it wasn’t so funny…..you got better? Actually, come to think of it, you do….
(He pulls out the Bible and looks up a page he has turned down.)
I..I wanted to ask you about this….
(Reads from the Bible)
“As a dog returns to its vomit, so a fool repeats his folly. –Peter 2:22”
So, God, because I..I made so many mistakes, I..I’m supposed to be like a dog? Is that the idea, God? Well, you probably already saw that I..I I..I never was into vomit! (Smiling) Although I..I have been known to eat my own snot, but in my defense, I..I was a lot younger then!
(Laughs) And if you didn’t see it yourself, I..I bet my mother told you!
(More serious, there’s something here he obviously does not want to talk about)
I..I don’t think it’s so funny, you know….Look, I..I told you I..I would rather make jokes than talk about the other stuff…..
(Listens, turns away, quieter, to himself)
Sometimes, God, I..I just wanna tell you to shut up the fuck up…..
(Looks up quickly)
I..I didn’t really mean that….
(To himself, again)
Yes, I..I did…..
(Up at God, again)
I..I guess I..I just can’t fool you, can I..I?
(He goes to his cot and reaches under the pillow, brings out an envelope, which he looks at for a long time before opening.)
Amazing – I..I don’t get one visitor for- how long is it? One year, two years? When did my sister come, to tell me mom was ok after the fall, her hip had healed up just fine? I..I was still tweakin’, so time didn’t mean anything…..
(He opens the envelope, reads, nods)
Yeah, I..I figured.
(Takes deep breath, puts the letter on the cot and suddenly squats down and starts doing frantic push-ups.)
I..I know I..I said …would…wait an ….hour, but I..I need this!.....
(Finishes, gets up, breathing deeply.)
How the hell did she get to visit? I..I mean, I..I have to put in a request!
It takes a couple of months! How can she be coming……tomorrow!
(He picks up the paper again, really reading it this time.)
(Slowly, like it’s finally sinking in.) “Visitors who have traveled over 250 miles due to a family emergency. (Snorts in derision) What emergency did she pick this time? And how did she get off parole so fast? She can’t visit until she’s off parole!
(He goes to his wall and looks at the marks.)
Has it been that long? Maybe she is done with it. She’s probably still using…..but she always did know how to get ‘righteous pee’ as we used to call it – good urine for the tests. She even had some weird device she got online, so when they watched her, it looked like she was peeing, but for real, the ‘clean stuff’ was up inside her, and she would pass, even though she was blazed! And they say drugs make you stupid!
But how did she get me to request the visit? I..I mean, how did that happen….
(He looks again at the wall, starts to remember)
Is it possible? I..I was pretty blazed myself a few months ago, could I..I have been so out of it, that I..I (hard for him to say) wanted her?
(He shudders, walks around the cell, rubbing his arms to warm up.)
Maybe, it was when I..I was really bad…they gave me something to calm me down, and I..I had nightmares for days…..
(Laughs) Nightmares for days…..kind of strange……that must’ve been it….I..I don’t remember anything those couple of weeks.
(Snorts again) So she’s gonna be here tomorrow…
(Reads from the paper)
“Arriving between 7:30 and 8am. If you are permitted a contact visit, please note the new rules about touching…….due to the recent discovery of contraband, hand-holding is no longer permitted. Prisoners and visitors who have had contact visits may again share a brief kiss and/or hug at the end of the visit. Any further touching may result in termination of the visit, and permission for further visits may be rejected.”
(Laughs, sad this time) “Any further touching….. Touching. I..I remember the first time …I..I kissed Annie. The first time we…..touched. (Deep sigh, remembers) We were a lot younger then. That was a million miles of meth ago….Why didn’t we just stay with dope? Things might’ve been easier……Of course, she got pregnant when we were stoned…..She used to be so pretty….so young…..
(He now goes to his cot, looks around, takes out from a secret place what is obviously a small photo, stares at it.)
We went to Canobie Lake Park together, up in Salem, and got these photos taken in one of those booths…..that was… …before she was…pregnant….. before all the shit…..sorry, God, but it was a lot of sh…crap……Not Jody, he’s a good kid, God is he 11? I..I’m 30, so he must be…..did I..I send him a card on his last birthday? Did I..I call him? Did I..I think of him…..I..I hope so.
(He holds his head in his hands)
I…I don’t want to see her.
God, you know all she wants! She just wants money! And we both know I..I have no money, so I know she wants me to get some from my family. My family who doesn’t want to know me. (Smiles) For somebody so stupid, I sure know a lot!
(Listens, shakes his head, turns away)
Yes, God, I..I know Jody’s mine – he’s the best thing we ever did together…..(Quiet) And ..I..I was the only guy she was with …back then.
(Hard to say) I..I didn’t share her with Eddie until after she was pregnant……(deep breath)…and we didn’t share her with the other guys until we really needed money…..
Annabelle…..that’s her real name – her father was an English teacher and he loved Edgar Allen Poe. But we called her Annie…except on the street. Then we called her Belle…(bitter) ..that was Eddie’s idea….guys will pay a few bucks more for someone named (says it fancy) ‘Belle’ rather than (says it ordinary) …Annie.
(He is trying not to lose it) Annie….how could I..I do those things to you? Let you do those things to yourself?.....How can I..I ever forgive myself for all that?
(Quiet) How can you ever forgive me?
(He takes the paper, and finds a small pencil under his cot.)
Tomorrow, you’ll be here tomorrow……I..I’ll see you ….tomorrow.
(He signs the paper, and puts in the slot by the door.
Lights down, scene 3)