Scene Detail

Taking a crap on my own is a luxury. Now Im wondering how much longer its going to last.

From: This Isn't A Horror Story
3 Characters
Gender Age Character Name
Male 40s DAVID
Male 60s DAD
Female 60s DOROTHY
 
Setup:
David is spending the holidays visiting his octogenarian father Ralph in the nursing home. A recent stroke has accelerated the progress of Ralphs dementia and memory loss. Here David and Dorothy plan a day visit home from the nursing care facility while Dad rediscovers and reads the speech David wrote for his high school graduation...

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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




DOROTHY appears in another pool of light.


DOROTHY

Diapers. For adults. Two kinds.

DAVID goes to join DOROTHY.

DAD, in a separate pool of light in his hospital bed at the nursing home, gets out his Bible to read. At some point during the following, before his next line, he rediscovers Davids high school graduation speech tucked inside the pages of the Bible.


DAVID

Theres the kind that you can step into and pull up like a pair of underwear.

DOROTHY

And theres the kind with Velcro straps thats like the ones youd use for a baby that hadnt started toddling or potty training yet.
They both do the trick.

DAVID

But you prefer the second over the first.

DOROTHY

The first kind might seem more attractive because its more normal.

DAVID

You treat it more like underwear than a diaper.

DOROTHY

You can still convince yourself that things havent changed that much. If you want.

DAVID

But things have changed.

DOROTHY

Theres no sense in pretending. He doesnt care. He just doesnt want to soil his clothes.

DAD reads from the graduation speech.


DAD

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

DAVID

I went to the bathroom by myself last night and in the middle of it I started to think of all the basic things that Dad cant do by himself since the stroke. I mean, thank God his speech wasnt affected.

DOROTHY

And he didnt lose the mobility on his left side, but hes weaker now. He cant stand on his own. Even with the walker.

DAD

We have to start all our relationships from scratch again.

DAVID

He cant stand. He cant sit.

DOROTHY

He cant wipe.

DAD

And to begin again we have to risk the failure of their not working out.

DAVID

I can go when I want. Im not on a schedule. I dont have to wait for anybody to help me and wonder if Im going to make it.

DOROTHY

Theres a lot more logistics involved now.

DAD

In both job and personal life were running into our fear of the dark again.

DAVID

Taking a crap on my own is a luxury.
Now Im wondering how much longer its going to last.

DOROTHY

Judging by your fathers example, at least another 35 years.

DAD

The dark of our unknown futures as we face real life for the first time.

DAVID

First world problems.

DOROTHY

Yes. We have a toilet. Several. And indoor plumbing. A sink to wash our hands in. Clean drinking water.

DAVID

Hes got a roof over his head. So do you. So do I.

DAD

And theres nothing more frightening than taking a risk when we dont know what were up against.

DOROTHY

Hes so happy youre here.

DAVID

Times like these, I wish I didnt live so far away.

DOROTHY

Its where your life is. Its where your work is. He understands. You call, you write, you visit when you can. Its more than some kids do.

DAVID

Still "

DOROTHY

Guilt is a waste of time.

DAD

Now that were older and hopefully more mature we dont have the luxury of being able to turn back.

DOROTHY

With you here, now, I can actually manage to take him out for the day. They wont sign him out to me on my own. I cant handle him all by myself. All the men in this family are so tall. I either have to hire a nursing aid for the day to come along with us, or he stays put.

DAVID

Sign him out. Like a library book.

DOROTHY

But youre here, so we can make a day of it.

DAD

We have to stick with the consequences of our decisions til theyre finished.

DAVID

Pick him up after breakfast.

DOROTHY

Take him out for a drive around the island. He loves that.

DAVID

Stop at his favorite restaurant.

DOROTHY

Well call and do take out, bring the meal home with us. The restaurants are all great but managing him and the chair, plus theres the issue of the bathroom.

DAVID

Right.

DAD

We cant stop in the middle and try another route even if we see trouble ahead.

DOROTHY

Thisll be a dry run. The restaurant out at the little airport might work as a field trip later.

DAVID

So we spring him for the day "

DOROTHY

The CNA will take him to the bathroom before we leave. Drive. Take out. Home. Pit stop in the bathroom. Meal. Then he can either sit out in his favorite chair in the sun room, or we can set him up in his bed.

DAVID

Football on TV this afternoon. Hell like that.

DAD

We must face the possibility of failure now.

DOROTHY

The dog will want to play with him, or lay down with him.

DAVID

Hell probably nod off, take a nap.

DOROTHY

Footballs good for that.

DAVID

Then when he wakes up -

DOROTHY

Itll be about time to take him back to check in for dinner. Pit stop again here before we get in the car.

DAVID

Thatll be a big day for him. Hell be exhausted.

DOROTHY

But happy.

DAD

The only way to know ourselves is to test ourselves. Try something weve never attempted before. Explore ourselves.

DAD folds the speech carefully and places it back inside his Bible.


DOROTHY

Remember he hasnt been out like this since Thanksgiving. Before that, not since your brother came to visit. We dont need things. A day like this is the best Christmas present you can give him.

DAVID

Will he even remember though?

DOROTHY

Yes, and no. But thats not the point. We live day to day anymore. Big events like this, hell actually be able to hold onto for a little bit. Important things stick. Even after, I can still remind him or show him pictures. But if hes happy in the moment, thats really all we can hope for.




Copyright 2015 by Matthew A. Everett

© Matthew A Everett
www.matthewaeverett.com