Scene Detail

He wont remember he read this to me. I try not to think of this as something sad.

From: This Isn't A Horror Story
3 Characters
Gender Age Character Name
Male 40s DAVID
Male 60s DAD
Female 60s DOROTHY
 
Setup:
This is the beginning of the play, read on...

The full text of This Isn't A Horror Story and other plays can be purchased at http://www.lulu.com/spotlight/matthewaeverett.

This Isn't A Horror Story is included in Short Plays Volume 4: http://www.lulu.com/shop/matthew-everett/short-plays-volume-4/paperback/product-22551281.html
 

Scene

Copyright 2015 by Matthew A. Everett




Lights shift. The recent past. DAD, after the first scene but still before the stroke, walks under his own power and picks up an old Bible.

DAD opens the Bible, pulls out two handwritten sheets of paper, folded up together three times over, unfolds them, and begins to read aloud.

DAVID stands off to the side in another pool of light.


DAD

Who? Me? Scared? - draft 6 - by David Evans

DAVID

My father has no short-term memory any more.

DAD

Weve all been scared at some point in our lives.

DAVID

He remembers the past, he remembers the immediate family. But in the present hes a blank slate. Like a computer that reboots every 15 minutes.

DAD

When we were little we were afraid of the dark or afraid of strangers.

DAVID

My stepmother acts as his short-term memory now.

DAD

As we grew up, so did our fears.

DOROTHY appears in DAD's part of the scene.


DOROTHY

You should get your cane.

DAD

Going to a party where we dont know anyone is a bit frightening in a nervous sort of way.

DAVID

His weekly memory group meeting would send them home with excerpts and summaries of medical articles " Is Alzheimers really Type III diabetes?

DAD

And fear was certainly in control during our first job interview.

DOROTHY

You should put on a coat.

DAD

Now that were graduating we are being faced with fears that will determine how we live the rest of our lives.

DAVID

It makes me want to cut sugar out of my diet entirely and start putting virgin coconut oil in everything I eat.

DAD

All the important concerns in our minds come down to the fear of risk.

DOROTHY

You should put on a hat.

DAD

Everything we do from now on is a risk.

DAVID

Last Christmas, the Christmas before the stroke, on two sheets of paper, folded up, tucked inside his Bible, my father found the speech I made at my high school graduation " over thirty years ago.

DAD

(for once, not reading from the sheets of paper)

My professor in seminary told us, if something is important to you, tuck it away in your Bible. That way it will never get lost.

DOROTHY

Did you remember to put on your Depends with your underwear this morning when you got dressed?

DAD

(reading from the pages again)

Life is taking chances.

DAVID

He sat down and proceeded to read me the speech.

DAD

Our parents, teachers and friends wont be around as much anymore to help us.

DOROTHY

Do you need to go to the bathroom before we get in the car?

DAD

We have to take the risks now, alone.

DAVID

It made him very happy.

DAD

Theres the risk of picking our career.

DOROTHY

You should drink some water.

DAD

In choosing it we risk our future happiness in the hope that we will find that job satisfying and fulfilling.

DAVID

He didnt need help with it but once.

DAD gets to the end of one page and gets lost.


DAVID (contd)

Theres more on the other side, you just need to flip that page over.

DAD sees this, smiles, and continues.


DAD

Training for a career we dont enjoy is a waste of our education and working life.

DOROTHY

You should eat something.

DAD

The waste of so much of our lives is the immense risk taken in just choosing our vocation.

DAVID

He wont remember he read this to me.

DAD

Once we have our job, decisions must still be made every day. A mistake can ruin our chances to improve our position.

DOROTHY

You need to take these pills.

DAD

And then there are relationships - friends, co-workers, someone to share our lives with.

DAVID

I try not to think of this as something sad.

DAD

No matter what kind of relationship we enter into, theres always tremendous danger - of betrayal or hate or pain.

DAVID

It might be sad for me. But its not sad for him.

DAD

But the only alternative to reaching out is remaining isolated.

DAVID

Hell tuck the two sheets of paper back in his Bible. And every now and then hell discover the speech again. And it will give him a little moment of joy, fresh as if it had never happened before.

DAD

Were going to be encountering whole new groups of people. Strangers.

DAVID

And at this point in his life, still having those little moments of joy, thats pretty great.

DAD

We have to start all our relationships from scratch again.




Copyright 2015 by Matthew A. Everett

© Matthew A Everett
www.matthewaeverett.com