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Simon Sobo Writing

A collection of opinion pieces and chapters from his novels

CC’s Parent’s Marriage, The play

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CC’S PARENTS’ MARRIAGE

A play in 2 Acts Simon Sobo

CAST OF CHARACTERS

CC

  19 year old CC is
  extraordinarily beautiful with
  long straight dirty blonde hair
  with streaks bleached by the
  sun.  She is a student in
  Jeremy’s class

JEREMY

  26 year old teaching assistant,
  with only his completed  thesis
  remaining before he gets his
  PhD.  Caught up in 60’s remake
  the world beliefs.
  CC’S FATHER(Ira)
  In his late 50’s. Sweet, but
  somewhat downtrodden
  CC’s MOTHER (Evelyn)
   Still in her 50’s beautiful

CAROL (Jeremy’s wife) Attractive, 25 intelligent,

caring to a fault.

  CAROL’S MOTHER
  Matronly, approaching 60


ACT I SCENE 1

   Setting: 1968 Buffalo, New York
   Total  Darkness in the theatre
   and stage. The sound of a man
   and woman reaching an orgasm
   (miked loudly).  Heavy
   breathing as they slowly
   recover.
   Bright lights flip on... Stage
   left Jeremy and CC are in
   Jeremy’s bed. The bedroom leads
   through a hall to his kitchen. A
   room on the right (CC’s parents
   bedroom in Great Neck) remains
   unlit
   CC, is naked  Jeremy, watches
   her as she puts on Jeremy’s
   wife’s robe.

JEREMY

You’re Carol’s size.

                                             CC
Would you rather I not wear it?
                                          JEREMY.
No it’s fine.

 

                                                               CC

When is she getting out of the hospital?
                         JEREMY
Could be a week.  Could be three weeks. Lupus is funny that way.
                          CC
Are you worried
                         JEREMY
Not really.  This happens every once in awhile. Then she is

good as new.

                         CC
I still don’t get what we have.
                         JEREMY
                     (shrugs)
Told you. I love Carol.
                         JEREMY
                     (speaking more forcefully)
She’s the best friend I’ve ever had... My soulmate.
                           CC listens quietly
                         JEREMY
We’ve been through a lot together. We will always be

together.

                         CC
So how can you say you love me?
                         JEREMY
Because I do. The moment I saw you.  You’re drop dead
beautiful.  I’ve wanted to be with someone like you all my
life...  You and Carol are two different things.
                           CC

But–

                         JEREMY
What choice do we have? I tried. We both tried. Last
semester.  The way we looked at each other in the
classroom.  When our eyes met... It was fire.
                         JEREMY (CONT'D)
We both had to look away. You blushed. Several times. I
couldn’t think about anything else the entire day.
                         CC
A couple of students teased me about the way you looked at
me.
                         JEREMY
Sometimes there are forces in nature.  No matter what your
intentions are.
                           CC is silent, eagerly absorbing
                           every word
                         JEREMY
These last few days.  It’s like I’m alive again. When I
read something I’ve read a thousand times, I find passages
I never noticed. New insights.  Everywhere I look.  The
trees, the sky...  Eating Cheerios.  I can taste them.

CC

Cheerios?

 

JEREMY

I was walking through my life asleep.  It’s like I’ve
finally woke up.
                         CC
So why are you saying you love Carol?
                         JEREMY
Because I do.  We’re married.  We have our son.  I can’t
imagine my life without her.
                           CC bites at a cuticle on her
                           pinky.
                         JEREMY
Maybe we should just not talk about Carol.
                         CC
I still don’t understand how you can say you love me?  And
me being beautiful?  There are dozens of students on campus
prettier.

 

                         JEREMY
Not true.  I can’t believe you’re saying that.  Do you ever
look in the mirror?
                           She holds up her handbag and a
                           sandal.
                         CC
This is half of why you love me. Fred Braun.
                         JEREMY

Please.

                         CC
Please what?  First day of class I saw you noticing my
sandals. My sandals and this bag.
                         JEREMY
Okay. I noticed your sandals and your bag.
                         CC
Exactly. That’s the point.  You know about Fred Braun?
                         JEREMY
                     (amused)
 When I lived in the Village, I used to pass the store all
the time. Sometimes I’d walk a block out of my way. I liked
the things in the window. Soft, hand made leather. The
color it was dyed, dark woody like walnut.  It was a neat
place. Thee place in the Village.
                         CC
Exactly. A lot of very cool people shopped there, right

                         JEREMY

Well–

                         CC
Fashionable bohemian women–admit it.
                         JEREMY
Admit what. I noticed your bag and your sandals. I know
where they are from.  I like that about you. Your look.

 

                         CC
I have this very nice herring bone skirt.  I like it but I
never wore it to class. My brother Mark bought that stuff
for me. I never heard of Fred Braun until he brought me
there. Maybe you and Mark should get together?

JEREMY

Maybe.

                         CC
It was once painful.  This thing Mark has for girls with
long straight hair.  He wouldn’t let me cut it.
                         JEREMY
He wouldn’t let you?
                         CC
I wouldn’t dare.  My mother showed me a lot of cute styles
in magazines. This year she is a Mia Farrow look alike. No
way Mark was going to give in on this one.
                         JEREMY
He’s right.  Your hair is wonderful.

CC
But it’s an image. A look. The villagy look, jeans, long straight hair. Fred Braun sandals. Mark’s version of me. He took me to the store and insisted on the pocketbook and sandals .It meant a lot to him. I thought they were nice but… It was part of his statement against the way Great Neck girls dress.

JEREMY

So?

                         CC
Looking bohemian is no different than any other look.  It’s still Great Neck.

                                                      JEREMY

How is it Great Neck?

                         CC
The importance of a cool image.  That’s Great Neck.  Paying
incredible attention to that.

 

                         JEREMY
Look. Everything you’re saying is more important to you
than me. I don’t care about any of it.  It’s you that
attracts me.

CC

You hardly know me.
                         JEREMY
But I want to. To know everything. The last two days we’ve
spent hours talking about your family.  Mark and Jay– your
brothers, your parents, your grandmother.  I’m beginning to
know them.  And what you were telling met yesterday, how
upset you are about whether your parents still love each
other.

CC

You seemed annoyed.
                         JEREMY
 I’m not crazy about the way you want to look at it, like
whose fault it is, but other than that–
                         CC
It’s the only way I can think about it.  Going over the
evidence–do they or don’t they love each other?
                         JEREMY
                     (impatient)
But whose fault it is?  What’s that going to decide?
                           She doesn’t answer.  In his
                           underwear, he goes to the
                           kitchen.  Opens the fridge.
                           Stares at the contents.
                         JEREMY
Can I get you something?
                            She doesn’t answer. He Isn’t
                           tempted by anything.
                           When he returns to the bedroom
                           one look and her vulnerability
                           is clear to him.
                          JEREMY
                       (sympathetic)
This means a lot to you?

CC

Not just that. Why did I get the impression it means a lot
to you?
                         JEREMY
It does.  My father was married three times–probably had 10
girlfriends.  Your parents interest me.  All those years
together.  What’s that like. But this  “whose fault it is.”
                         CC
For you it’s simple.  To me it’s complicated. I can’t stop
thinking about it that way. It’s not just me. Many of the
girls in the dorm talk about the same thing, trying to make
sense of their parents’ marriage. Who to blame. Maybe what
I’m doing is  what everyone does at my age–try to figure
out what’s been going on as I’m ready to leave.
                         JEREMY
Shrinks are making a good living off of that.
                         CC
Sorting out who’s right and who’s wrong is not supposed to
be the main focus of therapy, but it’s what everyone does,
try to get their therapist to side with them.
                           He waits for where she is going
                           to go.
                         CC
                     (reflective)
What they have is just a marriage like a million other
marriages.  It will continue with or without my verdict.
                          JEREMY
So leave it at that.

 

  She now goes to the kitchen. He
  follows her there.
CC doesn’t answer.  She looks at
him appreciatively before
speaking.

8.

                           She opens a cabinet. Closes it
                           and moves on to the next
                           cabinet.  She finds a glass.
                           Turns on the cold water. Sticks
                           her finger under the stream,
                           waiting for it to get colder.
                           Satisfied, she fills up her
                           glass and takes a sip.  Then a
                           another sip.  All the while her
                           ideas  play like an endless loop
                           in her mind.
                         CC
                     (suddenly worried)
I just can’t make sense of it, whether  anything remains...
Growing up, knowing they love each other was at the core of
who I was.  Everything else was added to that.  Maybe it’s
less important now but–
                         JEREMY
You’re not 3.  It shouldn’t matter so much.
                           CC ignores him. She is intensely
                           working over her cuticle.
                         CC
                     (relieved)
I know they love each other.
                         JEREMY

That’s good.

                         CC
                     (thinking further)
Maybe I’m lying to myself.  I wonder if my parents ask that
question.
                           She looks at him, wondering if
                           he is losing patience.
                         CC
I know this is hard to listen to, but it helps me.  In
therapy when I hear  my  thoughts spoken out loud I can
evaluate them more clearly. Also once I get going, I go
further than when I think about them to myself.

 

                         JEREMY
That will be $25 dollars an hour.

CC

I’m sorry, but–
                         JEREMY
It’s fine.  It’s fine.  I told you.  I want to know if they love each other.
                                              CC looks at him skeptically
                         JEREMY
No. I really do.
  CC speaks forcefully, as if a
  judge has demanded silence with
  his gavel.
                         CC
When my mother looks smashing you can see it in my father’s
eyes.  And hers. They are wildly in love.  Both of them.
                         JEREMY
Beauty trumps everything else. Which is what love is.
                         CC
Your version of love, Jeremy.  Your version.  There are
other ways to love.
                         JEREMY
Not for me.  Beauty goes straight from my eyes to my heart.
There is nothing more certain than what I feel when I look
at you. Everything else disappears.  You’re saying exactly
that about your parents.
                           Jeremy’s voice becomes
                           professorial.
                         JEREMY
“It is only shallow people who do not judge by appearances.
The true mystery of the world is the visible, not the
invisible.”
Who said that?

CC

10.

Oscar Wilde…

JEREMY

   His lecturing continues
                         JEREMY
Love’s there when it’s there.  It’s not when it’s not.
Period. A moral yardstick is irrelevant. You’re bringing
that into the picture, but it’s a lot simpler than that.
                         CC
Well love’s there. When they are going out. It’s there.
True love, as you are defining it. She’s gorgeous. But it
only happens when they’re going out.  It’s when they’re
staying home.  Their day to day life–she’s a different
person. So is he. She can be a bitch.  She’s mean... Really
mean.
                         JEREMY
What does your father do with that?
                         CC
He hates it. (smiling ironically)  My mother tells him it’s
a compliment. She says she can act that way because she
loves him.  He’s the only person with whom she can totally
be herself.
                         JEREMY
 Is that what’s been going on with us?

CC

What do you mean?
                         JEREMY
You’ve got a nasty side.
                         CC
You haven’t seen nothing yet.
                         JEREMY
So that means you don’t love me enough?
I’m getting there.

CC

11.

                         JEREMY
                     (thinking it over, speaks
                     light heartedly)
Maybe you got your meanness from your mother. She taught

you.

                         CC
It’s just such a contrast. In public she’ll grab his head,
plant a lot of kisses, like the love she has for him is
bursting out of her.  It’s cute.  Convincing. My dad
pretends that she is just being silly, but he’s thrilled.
I mean the prettiest woman around is showing all this love
for him. And my mother means it. It’s so strange.  She
means it...It’s confusing. Do they have to be on stage for
it to take place?  Something’s not right about how they are
the rest of the time.
                         JEREMY
                         CC
                         JEREMY
                         CC
Small things, but they add up.
                         JEREMY
                     (impatient)
Like what. Give me a for instance.
                         CC
It’s about nonsense  Fights when she puts his things away.
He puts his pruner exactly where he wants it, so he can
find it easily.  She moves it to where she thinks it
belongs.  That’s important to her. So he can’t find it.
                         JEREMY
That’s diddily shit.  Every relationship has that. I mean,
if you live together–
                         CC
But it happens again and again. (Imitating her parents)
“Honey”...  “Dear”. They used to talk like that.
Like what?
A thousand things.
Give me a for instance.

(MORE)

12.

CC (CONT’D)

Now it escalates very quickly.  Yes it’s about diddily
shit, but when they get going, they spit venom in every
syllable.
                         CC
                     (speaking sharply,
                     imitating first her father
                     than her mother)
I put it there for a reason.
Where I told you not to put it.
Where I can find it.
It’s not funny.
       Jeremy chuckles
    CC
       His smile is wiped off his face.
       He salutes her like a private
       with a drill sergeant. She
       ignores his theatrics.
    CC
(her voice is calm)
Sometimes I think my parents hate each other.
                         JEREMY

Hate?

                         CC
Hate! I can hear it in their voices.

JEREMY

That’s part of love.
                         CC
That is so glib.  I’m talking about hate!  There’s a
wellspring of hatred between my parents, decades of hate.
And it keeps growing and growing. Every year a little bit
more. It doesn’t matter what the issue is.  One day it’s
going to pop.

13.

                         JEREMY
Come on,  You’re being too dramatic.
                         CC
                     (unswayed)
Sometimes I hear on the news that a woman has killed her
husband. Or vice-versa.  The neighbors are shocked.
Everyone thought they were a happy couple.
                         CC
                     (low key but firm)
I understand that. Hate builds up. The murderer snapped.
For just that  second.   Something like that. If my dad had
a gun... Or mom... No I don’t think they could do it.  But–
                         JEREMY
You know the opposite of love isn’t hate.  It’s
indifference.
                         CC
That is such therapist bullshit. My therapist told me that
four times. Four times!   Each time he forgot he told me it
before.  Four times! The same brilliant insight.  What book
did you get that from?
                           Jeremy laughs.
                         JEREMY
My therapist....You know, the more you tell me, the more it

sounds like– did you read Games People Play?

                         CC
Except it’s not a game.  She is not playing with him.  My
mother  is hurt. Really hurt And so is my father.  Yeah,
everyone quibbles.”...
                           CC takes a breath, comes back
                           emphatically.
                         CC
Not with their vehemence!
                         JEREMY
Who’s in charge. It’s about that. Every close relationship.
Not just between people in love.

14.

                         CC
Wrong! It’s not that important in friendships. I mean it’s
there but no one gets that hurt...
                         JEREMY
Right, which is  my point. There’s got to be love for them
to be able to hurt each other like that...
                         CC
It gets pretty nasty.  When my father takes her on, she
sees that as proof that he doesn’t love her, which gets her
even more upset. One time, when he was holding his ground,
she cursed him for his cold eyes. It wasn’t an act.  She
was crying, heartbroken as she looked at him.
He didn’t care.
  She stops for a moment,
  considers that, then continues.

CC

                         JEREMY
Your mother told you that?
                         CC
I was there. It’s true. His eyes were cold but I thought he
was doing what he needed to do.
                         JEREMY
They’ve always fought in front of you?
                         CC
 Not when we were kids. After Mark left for school. No-
after he started attacking my father.  Their fights
escalated.
                         JEREMY
So, it’s all Mark’s fault?

CC

Probably is.
Boy, speaking of the blame game.

JEREMY

15.

                         CC
But it’s true. Mark’s brought a lot of this on...What really
bothers me is a lot of times I don’t think they are talking
to each other.  They are trying to score points with me.
Get me to side with them.
                         JEREMY
I guess that explains it.

CC

Explains what?
                         JEREMY
The reason you need to talk about this.
                         CC
Maybe.  I can’t stand when my parents do that. It puts me
right in the middle.  What’s worse I take sides. As much as
I tell myself to stay out of it, I  can’t help it.
                         JEREMY
So then why do you do it?
                         CC
 How can I not do it?  People say I should be a lawyer
because I can make a good argument, but Im being trained to
be a judge... Lawyers can argue for either side. Depends
who hires them.  They just have to do it well.  That is not
what  is going on here. I want to decide who is really
right.  And who’s wrong.  That matters a lot to me.
                         JEREMY
I can see that.  Is it that important?
                         CC
It is. If I can settle that I wont have to think about it

so much.

                         JEREMY
But maybe you don’t have to think about it at all. Just

decide!

                         CC
                     (Laughing to herself)
  Between my mother and father? I wish it were that simple.

16.

                                 She’s quiet again,
                           thinking some more.
                         CC
 If it were only their fights.  But it isn’t. What goes on
every day...  He’s no angel.  Its not like he brings
flowers and chocolates for her on a whim, because he is
thinking about her.  He doesn’t forget Valentines Day or
her birthday.  Ill say that for him. But caring about her,
thinking about what’s happening with her.   He isn’t that
interested in how her day has gone.  Occasionally he asks,
but it is pro forma.  And when she is upset.  If she starts
going over a story over and over, he stops listening. Falls
a sleep when they are in bed. She’s repeating it because it
matters a lot. She’s told me about how he falls asleep.
Its proof he really doesn’t care...I can see it. He’s
stopped hugging her, which he used to do. Years ago, he
used to just go over to her and give her a hug. Sometimes
several times in a day. Thats gone. And there is
practically nothing like that from her. Never was. She gets
irritated by him very easily.  Is always correcting him.
She’s gone a lot, out with her girlfriends having lunch or
shopping. That’s because she doesn’t want to hang out with
him. Most of the time she would rather be with someone
else.  I hear her on the phone, joking with her friends,
talking nice and easy, relaxed.  I never see that with my
father.
                         JEREMY
So I guess she doesn’t love him.
                         CC
She never thinks to buy what he likes at the supermarket.
Well maybe for his birthday.  But otherwise what he likes
doesn’t mean anything to her. He likes ginger snaps.  She
never remembers to buy them.  So he has to make a separate
trip for them.  Other things too... this kind of bacon that
he likes. Canadian bacon.  No he loves. A lot of things.
Funny. I remember what he likes.  I get his stuff if Im at
Waldbaums. He really appreciates it.  How come she doesn’t?
                         CC
                     (Weighing what she is
                     saying)
 It goes beyond not being thoughtful, not remembering what

he likes.

(MORE)

17.

CC (CONT’D)

Its more complicated, because she remembers that stuff for
me, and Jay.  And Mark! Sometimes I think its a way of
telling my father that she won’t be his servant.  Ive heard
her say something like that when he asked about the bacon,
like he is a slave master.

JEREMY

Is he?

                         CC
No more than anyone else in a relationship.  That’s big in
the magazines now.  Men as oppressors.  It’s the opposite
with my parents. She expects him to be her servant,
thoughtful about what she wants 100% of the time.
                         JEREMY
  That’s what most women want.  It’s my way or the highway.
                         CC
 So why does everyone  say thats what men are like.
They’re the dictators, not men.
                         JEREMY
Thats the bullshit in the magazines.  Have you noticed how
many magazines now have women editors?
                         CC
But I think it is true.  Men do control most marriages.
                         JEREMY
Im talking about a Jewish marriage.  Im sure you’ve heard
the putdowns of  JAPs, Jewish American Princesses?
                         CC
Its true. My grandparents raised my mother to be a
princess. People at school are amazed by how different
Jewish girls are, especially from Long Island. Well my
mother is what happens when they get married. I don’t think
my grandparents realized the consequences. Like nothing
else mattered other than what my mother wants.
My father reaped the benefit.
                         JEREMY
Its the opposite with Jewish men.  They make the best
husbands. I’ve heard that.

18.

                         CC
Whoever told you that, I guarantee they weren’t talking

about you.

Jeremy absorbs that putdown
without much reaction.
      After hesitating CC
continues
                         CC
 I don’t get it.  To me its simple.  My mother  has the
time. He’s got to work  50-60 hours a week. Sometimes 70.
Why shouldn’t she remember his ginger snaps at Waldbaum’s.
Anyway that says it all.
                         JEREMY
 Im lucky with Carol.  She enjoys taking care of me. When
she shops for me it makes her day. I don’t have to ask for
anything.  She knows what I like... sometimes before I do.
She feels great giving to me. It excites her.  It thrills
her.  Seeing my enthusiasm when she brings home the
groceries when I help her bring the bags in, I am dying to
see whats in them.  When I get to take things out of the
bag she says I’m like a kid on Christmas morning attacking
the presents. When Ive gotten exactly what I wanted, the
look on  my face–that gives her a big smile. (Half to
himself he murmurs)  Although she slaps my hand if I stick
my finger in the chicken salad she’s bought home.
 Even if I am not enthusiastic.  She knows she’s getting
something I need or that Im going to want.  She gives me a
lot of thought. She’s usually right. She really knows me.
She loves doing all of that. She loves loving.
                         CC
She’s that way with everyone?
                         JEREMY
Not really. Just Alyosha and me.
                           CC’s mood turns morose.  She
                           goes to a display shelf, picks
                           up one of several  primitive
                           PreColumbian figurines. Rubs her
                           finger on it.

19.

                         JEREMY
We got those in Mexico.  They’re not the real thing.  Cost
six bucks.  Carol likes them
                           He notices her mood shift.
                         JEREMY
What’s wrong?...Carol?... We agreed to not talk about
Carol.  Continue about your mother
                         CC
 My mother is nothing like Carol.  The opposite.  When my
father comes home from work, I can see if he’s had a bad
day. I mean sometimes my heart aches for him.  To start
with he’s not crazy about being a lawyer.  He’s like me.
He likes to debate but he doesn’t have that edge, the
pleasure his colleagues take when they’ve trounced their
adversary.  They’re at it constantly.  Not just their
adversaries.  They do it to each other.  In the office.
Every chance they get.  My fathers not like that. He’s
gentle.  It upsets him when he loses his temper.

JEREMY

He sounds nice.
                         CC
The reason he  goes on being a lawyer  is my mother. And
us.  He’s our servant. Sometimes the office politics really
tear him up. They’re barracudas. I mean an office full of
lawyers? He’ll defend himself if he has to, but being
surrounded by it!  And then there are the times when they
gang up on one of their esteemed colleagues. Really go at
it.  Certain mornings I can see how reluctant he is to go
in. Like he might face the firing squad....Didn’t matter.
He’d grab that coffee cup, stand up, and hold his hand with
the cup straight out before taking a last ceremonial sip.
It was his version of “charge!”

What?

  She seems pleased by that last
  thought

JEREMY

20.

                         CC
 Most of the time, I’m unaware of what’s going on around
me.  I guess like everyone else. Like my father’s last sip
of coffee. It’s part of his morning rituals and it doesn’t
really register.   But it turns out it was registering.
                           CC gently looks into Jeremy’s
                           eyes.  She takes his hand.
                         CC
I felt this wave of love for my father as I pictured him
taking that final sip of coffee.

Capitalism!

    JEREMY
(speaking definitively,
like he has solved the
mystery of human suffering,
now and forever.)
                         CC
Capitalism?  For you, everything reduces to politics.
Capitalism? You really believe that don’t you?
                         JEREMY
 It certainly would help.  You don’t think you can change

things?

                         CC
                     (snarling)
He’s surrounded by lawyers.  Capitalism?  You’re a one
trick pony.  For a smart person you are so stupid...
You don’t know what its like to be among lawyers do you?.
They cant stop themselves.  Some people squash beetles.
They save it for humans.  At least that’s what my father
tells me.
                         JEREMY
And your father is not like that?
                         CC
Told you– he isn’t. If anything he’s usually on the
receiving end...Ill say this. My fathers  never missed a
day of work. Im sure there were days when he did face the
firing squad.  And they fired off a round.  He gets over
it. He hangs in there, no matter what.

21.

That means a lot.

JEREMY

                         CC
Being able to withstand it. When people pop off. This ugly
side comes out. Some people think. Oh thats their true
feelings when it comes out like that.  And it is. But a
five second burst means nothing.  Its like a fart.  So
what.  Yeah there is bad stuff inside of everyone, smelly
rot. It passes. What’s important is how you take it, how
you are day after day.  How you hold up.
                           Jeremy is smiling.
                         CC
What’s so funny?
Your fart metaphor.
I learned it from the master.
JEREMY
CC
JEREMY
As long as you give credit when it’s due.
                         CC
When my fathers upset its obvious. When I don’t know whats
bothering him I ask.  And, the last few years, he talks to
me about it.
      My mother notices nothing!  Actually, its worse when
she does. When he’s insecure she hates him for showing it.
She makes a whole production out of it.  Just so he knows
that she’s noticed.  And what she’s thinking is pretty
obvious.  Like how did she ever get stuck with a person
like him?
                         JEREMY
All of that goes on in front of you?
                         CC
I think they view me as old enough to take it.
                         CC
                     (smiling ironically)
Proof they love me.  No secrets.

22.

                         JEREMY
                     (sounding like a little
                     boy)
Look what I missed. I got none of that kind of love after
my parents split up. Compared to your parents they seem
like angels.
                         CC
Whats pathetic is they cant help it. They’re not happy
being that way.  It makes them miserable.  But they cant
control it.  Since Mark stirred things up, its a hundred
times worse. Maybe it never would have gotten started, if
Mark hadn’t been Mark.  He’s where he belongs. In Berkeley.
I mean, no one ever got too emotional in my family before
he started his attacks.  After, all this animosity
appeared.  My father would  get pissed at Mark and she’d go
ape shit. Like he should be above losing it with Mark.
Like he stops being a father if he descends to Mark’s
level. She loves magazine advice.
                         JEREMY
Your family is really fucked up.
                         CC
                     (ignoring Jeremy)
 My father has to put on an act for my mother. Be this very
steady cheerful “father”.  Not that it does any good. She
sees right through it. She complains that his moods are
difficult to live with.  Meanwhile the moods she’s
complaining about, are not really observable to anyone
else.  She totally dismisses the no sweat attitude he’s
trying so hard to convey.
                         JEREMY
 Your mother is something.  They both are.
                         CC
If my father describes an incident with someone at work,
she’s invariably on the other persons side.  He must have
done this to set the other guy off. He must have done that.
Or... Why did you let him get away with saying that?
                         JEREMY
 So he never gets it right?

23.

                         CC
 No he does.  Most of the time. Im exaggerating.  If he
didn’t get it right, he’d be out on disability from my
mothers attacks.  But when it happens, when he’s stumbling,
whether he caused it or not  Theres no mercy.Imagine
Alexander the Great returning home after he’s lost a
battle.  Yes he will have to face  intrigue at court-
perhaps a coup.  But what he really fears is facing his
wife.
                         CC
                     (imitating a Jewish woman
                     from the Bronx calling her
                     husband to task)
                           Suddenly feeling self-conscious
                           and exposed CC moves close to
                           Jeremy, leans against him.
                           Jeremy strokes CCs hair.  He
                           goes to tickle her. She shoves
                           him playfully.  Laughing, they
                           grab each other in a mini
                           wrestle. He takes off her robe.
                           They stop and stare at each
                           other with a smile, with lust
                           once again coming alive.
                           She sees a towel on the floor
                           and tries to cover herself, but
                           he grabs if off of her.
                           Smiling devilishly like a clown,
                           ecstatically, he drops to the
                           ground before her. He kisses her
                           toes, then the ground
                           surrounding them with the
                           foolishness that is becoming his
                           M.O. with CC.

CC

What are you doing?
What do you think I’m doing?
Alex-an-der.

JEREMY

24.

Kissing the ground?

Enough!

       Not in the least embarrassed.
       He continues to kiss the ground.
       She grabs his shoulder and lifts
       his head.
    CC
(Amused, emphatic,
exasperated)

JEREMY

CC

CC rolls her eyes
                         JEREMY
You really don’t understand what I am looking at.  Do you?
                         CC
Oy God. I can’t believe this.
No. Not enough! You are one of the seven wonders of the
world. Anyone seeing what I am looking at right now, would
be blown away. It’s not just me. Anyone!
                           She tries to pull up the towel
                           to cover herself, but he won’t
                           allow it.
                         JEREMY
You’re astonishing. A perfect flower.  There’s nothing in
the Albright Knox, hell the Met that compares to you. No
artist is genius enough to create pure beauty? But what I
want to know is why they don’t they paint pure beauty?  Why
aren’t museums bursting with it? It’s ephemeral. So why not
try to paint it again and again?
                           Thinking over the question he is
                           raising.
                         JEREMY
People would make fun of them?  Call them garish? They’re
wrong.. It’s half the reason we are alive. To find it.

25.

                         CC
Are manic depressives sex crazy?
                         JEREMY
They’ve been known to want sex continuously.  Why?
                         CC
I’ve spoken to Mark about you. He thinks you are manic

depressive.

That’s what you think?

JEREMY

                         CC
The thought keeps crossing my mind.
Why can’t you hear it, accept it. It’s not me and my
thoughts! I’ll bet that 100 guys, if they were looking at
you right now, a thousand, if they were seeing you like
this, they would act just like me.  You don’t understand
how rare you are.  Beauty just doesn’t come along like
this.
                         CC
                     (trying to be blasé)
Even if it were true, what you keep saying is true.  It’s
fleeting. My father’s dahlias last a day or two, maybe
three.  They are extraordinary, then caput.  The flower is
gone forever.
                         JEREMY
You have years and years that you are going to look like
this...Years and years.
                         CC
And then I can get a facelift.  Right?
My mother got one.
  She watches his reaction, how
  quickly disgusted he is.

CC

26.

                         JEREMY
That is so Great Neck. Rich Jews, wives with face-lifts? I
hate that.
Fine. But...

CC

Are you kidding?
    CC
(Smiling in disbelief)
       They are both quiet as they
       think things over
The degree of his  disgust
disturbs her.  She raises her
voice.
                         CC
Why? There’s all kinds of people in the world doing
terrible things.  Why Jews in Great Neck? You’re not
laughing at their silliness.  You’re disgusted. Jewish self
hatred. I’m not Great Neck. I’m me. In 30 years if I get a
face lift I’ll still be me.
                           She shakes her head, saddened by
                           the intensity of his emotion.
                         CC
Great Neck is not such a bad place.
                         JEREMY
                     (Accusingly)
Right. What is good about Great Neck?
                         CC
How about that Great Neck made me? It was my home.  It is

my home.

                         JEREMY
You’re not one of them.
                         CC
Hate’s poisonous Jeremy...You’re so proud of your mind.
Hate wipes it away.

27.

                         JEREMY
Okay I hate some things, but it’s not like I’m  a mean

person.

                         CC
I’m not so sure about that. I wonder if you were in charge
of the Pearly Gates and the fate of a man whose wife had
plastic surgery came before you.  Would you send him and
her to hell?
For eternity!
    CC
(raising her voice)
       She watches his reaction, which
       is no reaction.
                         CC
My Great Neck guy that’s facing you at the Gates!  What if
he was very  nice, very kind?  What if he gave more than he
could afford to Jerry’s Kids, and the American Cancer
Society, the Red Cross, trees for Israel, one charity after
another?  What if he were a Big Brother to some kid from
the ghetto? And a great Dad.
                           Jeremy’s face doesn’t soften.
                         CC
You would send them to hell, wouldn’t you? Because all you
would see is rich Jew, plastic surgery.
                           Naked, without self-
                           consciousness, naked, she walks
                           over to the front of the full
                           length mirror in the bedroom.
                           She looks herself over.
                         JEREMY
                     (Still enthralled)
I can’t help it.  You’re so beautiful.
                         CC
You’re like a broken record.
                           She coldly studies herself.

28.

                         CC
I don’t know.  I could have longer legs and a bigger toosh.
But I guess I’m lucky. In locker rooms I’ve seen other
women’s bodies.  Most of them look deformed
                           She examines her teeth for
                           stains. He is soon behind her.
                           His arms drape over her
                           shoulders. The way he’s looking
                           at CC in the mirror  captivates
                           her.
                         JEREMY
I really can’t help it.  You’re beautiful.

CC

 Jesus! Enough!
                         JEREMY
Ive never seen anyone like you. No one.  Which counts for
something. I still look around.
                         CC
You do?  You searching for someone better?
                         JEREMY
                     (Smiling happily)
None of them compare.  Not even close. When I look at them
I think of  you.
                         CC
You’re not big on loyalty are you?
                         JEREMY
I’ve no choice. Its  instinctual. Beauty grabs my eyes,
like it does with every other guy.
                         CC
That’s bull.  My brother Jay.  I never see him look at
anyone other than his wife.
                         JEREMY
She must pussy whip him into submission. Carols father is
like that, scared of her mother.

29.

                         CC
 Thats not Jay, but yes, he’s actually ruled by what’s
allowed and not allowed. So his eyes don’t roam.  Why do
you keep looking?
                         JEREMY
I’m discovering new things.

CC

Like what?

                         JEREMY
The cellulite under your ass.

CC (alarmed)

Really?

                         JEREMY
The mirrors right here.  Take a look.
I don’t see it.
                         JEREMY
Don’t know how to say it?
Ill bet you do.
 Your breasts.

CC JEREMY

  His better half is warning him
  to tone it down before leaping,
  but he can’t contain himself. He
  touches her nipples.
       She looks over her shoulder
  examining herself closely.

CC

 He laughs, enjoying his ability
to tease her. He runs his hand
over her ass and down her leg.
There are stars in his eyes yet
again.

30.

                         JEREMY
Your nipples are perfect. Small and tight. They’re exactly
like I hoped they’d be before I ever met you.
                         CC
Really?  You imagined my nipples?  Compared to what?
                         JEREMY
Playboy, Penthouse. I must have looked at the breasts of a
hundred women. Only one of them had nipples that drove me
wild. Like yours.  I just had this idea of a perfect woman.
                         CC
                     (Sounding superior)
Yeah.  Formed  from pictures in Playboy?
                         JEREMY
One picture in particular. I was 15 or 16. I saw this
woman’s nipples and I whacked off to them. Maybe five or
six times.
                           She looks at him skeptically.
                         JEREMY
Okay 10 times.
                         CC
Do you still have that picture?
                         JEREMY
Carol found my stash. She threw away all my Playboys and
Penthouses.
      The woman in that picture wasn’t that pretty.
Well... pretty, but her looks didn’t do anything to me.
Her nipples... I cant believe you have the same nipples,
how lucky I am.  Im telling you.  We were foreordained.
Jeremy Jeremy.
        He sucks on her nipple.
  Then moves his lips to her lips.
  Very soon, her body is crying
  for him.
CC
  Lights go out

31.

SCENE 2

                           Lying next to him in the
                           bedroom, she watches Jeremy
                           sleep peacefully, but then her
                           agitation returns.
                            She’s not finished. When she
                           gets going about her parents she
                           is never finished. His eyes soon
                           open.  He’s only half awake but
                           it is enough for CC. She
                           continues as if he is wide
                           awake.
                         CC
Its so strange.  I guess its the contrast. In public my
father’s like a  trophy husband. She’s been  lucky. He
reflects well on her.  He makes a nice living.  He is soft
spoken and polite. Their marriage is a reward for how hard
they have both worked...
Its just privately.
       Jeremy stops her before she can
       begin a new round.
    JEREMY
(in a groggy voice)
Are you going to repeat all of it?
                         CC
 If I had my druthers I would tell you the same stories,
make the same point 10 times and continue to the 11th
hoping that this telling might shed new light.
                         JEREMY
 So why does he put up with it?

32.

                         CC
I don’t know.  In his mind I don’t think there is a choice.
Whats he going to do?  Get divorced and hang out at bars
trying to pick someone up?  Or go on a love cruise to find
that someone? Besides he has a friend who’s told him the
same thing is going on in his marriage.  Another friend the
same thing. He’s sort of decided, that after enough years,
this is just the way marriage is.

JEREMY

He told you that?
                         CC
 Basically.  They’ve even discussed it with each other, my
mom and him, several times.  They agreed.  That’s how they
make up. Agreeing there is no real problem. That every
marriage is like that.  But I don’t think they are
convinced.  I don’t know if it’s true. I really don’t know
why they stick together.
                         JEREMY
Maybe he loves the way she moans when he’s inside her. I
love that about Carol.
                         CC
You’re disgusting.
                         JEREMY
But its true. I love it. I mean love it. Em.  Hm. Its the
sweetest sound. It erases everything disappointing in the
marriage. That sound.
                         CC
                     (smiling uncomfortably)
 Your stupid male ego.
                         JEREMY
 Those groans don’t get put in love poems. But that sound
is real. Powerful. It should be the crescendo of every
poem.  Of every symphony. It should be part of the
introduction. Its why Alexander was willing to go off to
battle. For that sweet sound.
                            He’s smiling away joyfully,
                           like Lenny Bruce after he has
                           once again shocked his audience.

33.

                           Jeremy hesitates before going
                           on, but then plunges forward.
                         JEREMY
The way you moaned... I could get off on it right this

second.

                           Disgusted, CC gets dressed,
                           begins to gather her things.
                           Jeremy tries to grab her stuff
                           away.
                         JEREMY
Wait. Wait... Look I’m sorry. I can get carried away.
                         CC
It’s not just that.  It’s the whole thing.

JEREMY

What whole thing?
                         CC
 The way you look down on me. I still am processing that
John Cage concert.
                         JEREMY
                     (uncomfortable)
That really got to you didn’t it?
                         CC
Me.  The problem was me? I still can recall every detail...

Lukas Foss, the conductor entered to rapturous applause. He tapped his baton several times. He points to the first violinist who stood up to polite applause. Foss looked to the left, then to the right, making eye contact with several members of the orchestra. He raised his baton preparing them to launch. Then he didn’t move it. He put it on the stand and quietly took off his watch. Put it over his baton. There was complete silence. The silence continued and continued. I didn’t know how to react. There was even less coughing than usual at a concert. People, many from Buffalo faculty, quietly sat looking like they were in the know. Including you! I looked around bewildered. People started to laugh in this superior way. Identifying that I was uncomfortable, the person in the next seat looked at me like I was a bimbo.

(MORE)

34.

CC (CONT’D)

You  raised your eyebrows to me like that was a comforting
gesture.  You pointed to the program.   4’33.  The
conductor looks at his watch.  Exactly at the end of 4
minutes and 33 seconds he raised his baton and faced the
audience.  They applauded.
      So cool, you whispered to me.
      I just remember the smile  on peoples’ face as they
clapped.  You looked at me like we were lucky to be there,
lucky to be a part of a momentous event. The look on the
face of many in the audience when Lukas Foss returned to
the stage with John Cage, the excitement. They were
thrilled to be in the same room with John Cage. And
afterwards during the intermission. You had the stupidest
look on your face You kept looking at me, like you were one
in the know.  You couldn’t wait to explain
You still get that look. Like you are going to rescue me
from my ignorance. I should have known, when I heard how
excited Mark was that I was going to a John Cage concert.
And then when I started going on about the concert, when
some of the faculty wanted to get away from me, you acted
like I wasn’t with you.
      Then when we returned to the Museum I pointed at a
Rothko, a black blob with a slightly darker blob
surrounding it. When I told you that paining fits the
music. It showed nothing. The way you answered( imitating
Jeremy) “Some people consider it a masterpiece.” You
weren’t talking to me.  You were aiming it at a professor
nearby.
      It isn’t just me. It’s all of us.
                         JEREMY

Who’s us?

                         CC
Me and people from Long Island. No, not just Long Island,
all of us.
Who is us?

JEREMY

35.

                         CC
Us is my family, most of the students, everyone that’s a
regular person.
Come on.

JEREMY

                         CC
It isn’t just you.  All the professors.  Like here on
campus you’re royalty.  You walk on a cloud of ideas.  You
got Socrates, Aristotle. Archimedes,  Einstein, Hemingway,
on your team.  Oh and Wittgenstein. I got Carol Burnett, Ed
Sullivan. My family? My parents read two or three books a
year.  Best sellers, page turners like a good TV program.
                         JEREMY
That’s not how I think about you. I’ve read some of your

papers.

                         CC
That was me trying to get an A.  Look.  It’s not just you.

From the first day I got here. The Dean’s welcoming speech. (imitating the Dean) Welcome to U. B. Blah blah blah. Let us be your guide to the wonders of Western Civilization.CC

JEREMY

Well—

                         CC
Meaning books... Books.
                         CC
                     (continuing to imiate the
                     Dean)
Books can liberate your minds.   Reading can answer the
mysteries of the universe.  Books, books, books.
                         JEREMY
We’re not looking down.  We’re just trying to get you to
see the light.
                         CC
Listen Mr. Culture Critic. Maybe you got it all wrong.
Maybe what professors do is weird. I had a cousin that went
into academia.

(MORE)

36.

CC (CONT’D)

Most of my family considered him a little strange, like he
was a dropout from the real world.  He had all these
quirks, his stamp collection, his butterfly collection.
More to the point, they thought that he lacked ambition. He
was lazy.
                         JEREMY
                     (Stung, trying not to let
                     her see she’s gotten to
                     him)
 That how you saw him?
                         CC
                     (gaining momentum)
 You kidnap all these people when they come here.  Force
them to love the life of the mind.  It doesn’t take long
after students graduate, and no longer are forced by your
stupid exams to think your way, no time at all for their
true preference to come out.  It isn’t the life of the mind
they want. It’s shopping.
                           Jeremy has a superior look on
                           his face
                         CC
You just don’t get it.  I remember this time at the club.
My mother was the queen there, the best looking most
stylish.  We were all proud of her. We shared her glory.
You don’t know what that’s like.  But at the Fresh Meadow
Country Club it’s everything....
  But occasionally... this one time.  She couldn’t tell by
the way people looked at her or didn’t look at her. She
kept going over it. Asked me.  Asked my father. What was
wrong with her outfit?  Didn’t it fit?  Was it too tight
around her hips.  At home she put it on again.  Studied
herself in her mirror.  She couldn’t pinpoint the problem.
But she never wore anything by that designer again.
And sometimes she’d put on weight.  After a Bar Mitzvah
when she may have pigged out. Ate the baked potato instead
of skipping it.  Had two spoonfuls of dessert. Maybe three.
She wouldn’t eat for days.
                         JEREMY
You don’t think that is nuts?

37.

                         CC
What are you doing that’s so different from other people?
Reading books? My mother would say you’re wasting your
life.

JEREMY
You mean I could be shopping at Loehmanns?

Exactly.

                         JEREMY
It’s not the books, it’s thinking about your life that
makes it meaningful. An unexamined life—
                         CC
Is what?  I’m telling you. You don’t get away enough.  You
think the university is the world. Ideas are what counts.
They aren’t.   How we looked, how my father looked, my
mother, every one of us. That was far more important than
what we thought.  Back then when I pictured someone who
does a lot of thinking, it was some twerp  with pimples, a
bookworm. The people I grew up with aren’t like you.  They
don’t have your curiosity. They only care about what they
see in front of them.
                         JEREMY
                     (contemptuously)

Looks?

                         CC
Yes how you look. What have you been saying to me? Over and
over. Looks, looks, looks.
This one dress my mother tried on. I can still remember it
from ten years ago.–Red with navy stitching. The image
lights up in my memory.I can still seemy mother coming out
from the curtains at the store and modeling that dress.  It
wasn’t just the  dress that was stunning.  The look of
triumph on my mother’s face. I can recall it so clearly.
That dress is more important than any thought in your head.
By far!
                         JEREMY
Fine.  But why are you telling me this?

38.

                         CC
Because to you my family is nonsense. But–

JEREMY

I haven’t said that.
                         CC
Oh no...That one dress...I’ll never forget how she looked.
I can’t remember half of what’s been said to me.  Most of
what you’ve told me.  But I can see that dress like it was
yesterday.
                           Jeremy face remains defiant.
                         CC
You think shopping your life away is a mediocre form of
existence. Immigrants come from all over the world... They
have waited for years to get here.  You know what excites
them? What is amazing to them?...  After the Statue of
Liberty?

JEREMY

“What?

                         CC
Our stores! They enter our supermarkets and it’s like they

have come upon a miracle. They are astounded. Our department stores. Macy’s, Bloomingdale’s, hell, Alexander’s. They look in every direction. Everywhere. Things, they can buy. Things they can afford. As far as their eyes can see. Like when Europeans first discovered America. Unoccupied land going on and on. As far as their eyes could see. There for the taking. That’s what is in our stores.

                           Jeremy doesn’t have the will to
                           interrupt
                         CC
They are wide eyed at the cosmetic counters, beautiful
ladies doing a beauty makeover on them.  For free! No
matter how nonchalant they try to project themselves as
they walk the aisles, as they examine the merchandise, Can
you imagine someone from Madagascar in Macy’s?

(MORE)

39.

CC (CONT’D)

I hear they are beginning to copy our supermarkets in
Europe, in Hong Kong, in the French suburbs.   Never mind
the New York Philharmonic bringing American culture all
over the world.  It’s our stores, our shopping that is mind
boggling. Not just that.  They love our TV programs!..
What we think is ordinary is actually astounding to every
one else. You should have seen my mother in that red dress.
With navy stitching.
    JEREMY
(sarcastically)
       Jeremy is looking at her
       erotically. He reaches for her.
       She ignores him.
       Jeremy smiles indulgently.
                         CC
You won’t grant that some of it is nonsense?
“All of it is nonsense.   In university land-shopping for
ideas is stupid. Everything is stupid when you stop and
think about it.  But you can’t treat beauty like it doesn’t
matter to you. I know what it means to you. Mr. Slater. I
know.

JEREMY

It’s not the same.
                         CC
Who are you trying to kid?   It’s not how you imagine
priorities?  This is how it plays out in the real world.
                           She watches his reaction, which
                           is no reaction.

JEREMY Did you see A Star is Born?

                         CC
Yes.  You think that’s what’s going on with us?
                         JEREMY
No. I was thinking. Your parents sound like them.

40.

                         CC
That movie upset me.  After I saw it I made a resolution to
be less aggressive.  It hasn’t worked. Judy Garland made
chopped liver out of James Mason
                           Her mood drops rapidly. CC eyes
                           water a bit.
                         JEREMY
Your father?... James Mason?
                         CC
It’s not that bad.  He puts up a brave front.
                         JEREMY
Since your mother’s menopause?
                         CC
I didn’t think of that.
                         JEREMY
It occurred to me when you were talking about them.
                         CC
 I thought it was this feminist thing she was picking up
on. She’s become so full of vim and vigor.
She’s a feminist?
Card carrying.
Seriously?
    JEREMY
(laughing )

CC JEREMY CC

She would never wear the uniform, but she’s been going to
war long before it became trendy.  All of her friends are
giving their husbands a hard time.  It may be the feminist
thing catching on.  But I read women get like that when
they get older.
                           CC looks out the window, staring
                           at a Japanese maple.

41.

                         CC
That split leaf maple is nice in the snow.
                         JEREMY
Carol insisted we buy that tree. I agree it’s nice.

CC

Do you garden a lot?
                         JEREMY
Not really.  We haven’t planted that much. When we do,
Carol points and I dig.
                         CC
That’s what my mom and dad do....Or use to...
                         CC
                     (continuing to look out the
                     window)
Does my father love my mother? I’m sure he believes one
marriage is all you get...So he better love her...   That’s
how Jay would see it...My father...  There’s a good chance he
loves her.  (With further thought) I know he loves her.
It’s not his love... Or their love. It’s their hatred.
                           She wipes a tear.
                         JEREMY
There’s a tissue box over there.
                           She takes one.  The tears don’t
                           stop.
                         CC
He’s disappointed... Not just her. In all of us.

JEREMY

In you?

                         CC
Less so.  I think I am his favorite person, but certainly
Mark.  My mom? It’s like the promise she gave to him when
they got married, has been revoked.

42.

                         CC
She used to always talk about how great love and marriage
is. She hasn’t given that speech in years.
                           The tears are now coming out
                           freely.  Jeremy puts his arms
                           around her.  She’s momentarily
                           comforted by his gesture, but
                           only momentarily. She steps
                           away.
                         CC
The doctor told him he had a silent heart attack. Some time
in the past. It scares me. I can’t imagine not having him.
                         CC
                     (smiling sadly)
My father, when he was on top of his game.  He was
something.
                         JEREMY
Your mother’s that tough on him?
It’s not only her. Mark with his anti-war shit.  It isn’t
just the war. He’s slammed everything my father holds dear.
My father thinks America is the greatest place on earth.
He’s lucky to have been born here, and grow up here. He’s
proud that he enlisted to fight Hitler.  The whole
thing...It’s at the core of who he is. Losing that belief is
like losing an arm. Mark’s taken away half his arm and is
going for the rest of it. Can’t be fun that my mom is
always on Mark’s side. Especially, since she’s become so
competitive with him. She wasn’t always like that. Not with
him.
Is that your mother?
  Jeremy goes over to the bureau,
  lifts an age black and white
  picture of a young woman,
  studies it.

CC

43.

                         JEREMY
She died when I was 13, breast cancer.  Was sick for three

years.

                           He returns the picture to the
                           bureau
                         JEREMY
You know what?... I think you should call your father.
                         CC
Now?  It’s 9:30. He could be asleep?

JEREMY

Call him.
It’ll show up on your telephone bill.
Don’t worry. I’ll get it first.  Call him.

END OF SCENE 2

Dad?
Is something wrong?
No I just wanted to call.

CC

SCENE 3

CC
CC’S FATHER
CC
 THE PHONE RINGS
   AND THE LIGHT
GOES ON IN  CC’S
        PARENTS’
  BEDROOM, STAGE
           RIGHT

44.

Aren’t you the rich one?  Are you spending enough money for
food?
                         CC
I just wanted to talk.
                         CC’S FATHER
Wait I’ll get your mother.
                         CC
I wanted to talk to you.
                         CC’S FATHER
Now I know something’s wrong...Have you been crying?

CC

A little.
About what?
Nothing. Well I was worrying about your health.
CC’S FATHER
CC
CC’S FATHER
And that made you cry?  Listen.  I was at the doctor last
week.  He said I am doing great.  My heart has practically
returned to normal.
                         CC
I wanted to tell you I love you.
                         CC’S FATHER
You didn’t have to call to tell me that. I know you do.
                         CC
I wanted to tell you again.
                         CC’S FATHER
Do you know something I don’t know?  Do I have 30 days to

live?

45.

20 days.

mother.

Are you all right?
I’m fine.
  Evelyn gets on the extension.
CC’S MOTHER (EVELYN)

CC

    CC
(smiling sadly)
                         CC’S FATHER
You’re sure you’re all right? Listen I’ll put on your
                         CC’S MOTHER
Listen I was going to call you anyway.  Call Dora.  There’s
something going on with the baby.
                         CC

Again?

                         CC’S MOTHER
I don’t think anything serious, but call her.
                         CC’S MOTHER
(said in a tone she usually uses before getting off.)

Love ya.

What else is going on?
  But she doesn’t get off the
  phone. Like Ira, Evelyn also
  doesn’t like the way CC is
  sounding.

CC’S MOTHER

                         CC
Nothing.  I’m with Jeremy.  I told you about him.

Very little.

CC’S MOTHER

46.

                           They are both silent, moving
                           cautiously ahead.
                           Evelyn refuses to beat around
                           the bush.
                         CC’S MOTHER
You don’t want to break up a family.
                         CC
I’m not.  He loves his wife and would never leave her.
                         CC’S MOTHER
So what are you?  An afternoon delight?
                           For a tense moment they are both
                           silent.
                         CC’S MOTHER
You deserve better than that.
                         CC
 Not just afternoon.  Morning and night delight.

Silence.

                         CC
I don’t think you can understand.
                         CC’S MOTHER
You think what you’re doing is so unusual. Men do that all
the time. Italian men... French.  Take off the leash and
men go wild.  His wife is in the hospital?... And–
                         CC
This isn’t like that.
                         CC’S MOTHER
Fine.  You know what you are doing. Everything is hunky-
dory. All I ask is one thing.... You’re old enough... Smart
enough.  Try using your brain a little, instead of your—
                         CC
Mom, I love him for his brain.

47.

I mean your brain.
Love ya.
It’s your funeral.
Love ya.
Anything wrong?
No.

CC’S MOTHER

    CC
(in her goodbye voice)
    CC’S MOTHER
    CC
       CC hangs up but keeps her hand
       on the phone as she digests the
       conversation.

JEREMY CC

I didn’t know you told your parents about me.  You sound
like you are connected to your Mom.
                         CC
She says what’s on her mind.

JEREMY

I could tell.

                         CC
That’s not the problem. Understanding?  No way she gets
where I’m at.
Her loss.

JEREMY

SCENE 4

Ten minutes  after CC’s phone call Ira and Evelyn  are both
in bed. Ira is watching the Knicks on TV.

48.

                         EVELYN
What do you make of her phone call?

What is it?

       He is not paying attention.  The
       Knicks are ahead 98-92 in the
       4th quarter.  Evelyn takes the
       remote control out of his hand
       and turns off the TV.
    IRA
(Irritated by the

interrruption)

                         EVELYN
You don’t care, do you?
                         IRA
I do.  I can tell she’s upset, and that bothers me, but not
that much. She’s not a kid any more.  She’s got her life.
                         EVELYN

I know that.

                         IRA
She’s going to do what she’s going to do.
                         EVELYN
She’s sleeping with her teacher.  And he’s married.  With a

child.

                         IRA
She’s young.  We were both just like her when we were her
age.  That’s what you do.  You love.  You live. You don’t
think about where it’s going.
                         EVELYN
We never did anything like that.
                         IRA
Still, did you know what you were doing at that age? I just
knew I had to hustle to support you and me, and the family
we were going to have.  At least Jay’s got his head on
straight.

49.

                         EVELYN
I never even thought of a married  man.
                         IRA
We met when you were 16.  You didn’t have time to fool

around.

EVELYN

“You really think if I wasn’t with you I could do what
she’s doing?
You. Never.
Seriously.
    IRA
(kidding)

EVELYN

                         IRA
I learned something interesting in the Sunday’s men group.
In the Lithuanian shtetl girls used to marry at 14 or 15.
They worried that any longer and she would get in trouble.

EVELYN

Just girls?

                         IRA
The boys too.  A lot of times they married and lived with
the girl’s family.  They didn’t have ideas like we have
about adolescence, where you’re supposed to explore, find
out who you are.  They thought “finding out” meant sure
trouble.
                         EVELYN
It certainly applies to your sister.  Becky was like a teen-
ager throughout her 20’s. Thought it was all about
adventure.  She had a lot of friends like that.  In their
20’s!  They met at bars.  One night stands.
                         IRA
I wouldn’t call it that.  You really have this thing with
my sister. At least she eventually settled down. She’s got
a good marriage.

50.

                         EVELYN
And one son without a father.
                         IRA
Seth has been like a father to Billy.
                         EVELYN
Maybe. I just hope we don’t have a daughter that’s going to
repeat all that.
                         IRA
It seems to be what’s happening on campuses.
                         EVELYN
Everything’s so different now.  Jay and Dora got engaged in
college.  They couldn’t wait to get their life started. It
wasn’t that many years ago, but it’s like they are from a
different generation. Turns out, your sister was ahead of
the times.  Now women want to look around, go around the
block a couple of times before getting tied down.  Just
like Becky.  Except now they’re not having babies until
their thirties.
                         IRA
                     (Sarcastically)
Your twenties are when you are supposed to live. So later
you have no regrets that you didn’t have a life. It’s like
adolescence has been extended into the twenties.
                         EVELYN
Soon it will be the thirties.  Being responsible is almost

a negative.

                           He takes back the remote
                           control. He puts the Knicks back
                           on. That bugs Evelyn.
                         EVELYN
You really don’t care. Do you?  All that matters is if the
Knicks are winning?
                         IRA
                     (impatient)
I care but it’s the way things are now.  Nothing we can do
to change it.

51.

                         EVELYN
It’s all about the Knicks isn’t it?
                         IRA
There are 3 minutes left in the game.  The Knicks have to

win this one.

ACT II

EVELYN

   So that’s what matters, The
   Knicks?

SCENE 1

    Carol is home. The
   hospitalization lasted over a
   month.   In her own clothes, and
   usual hair style her puffiness
   from the steroids is noticeable,
   but otherwise she seems
   reasonably okay. Except she is
   weak. She sits at the kitchen
   counter. Jeremy is making
   pancakes.
                         JEREMY
It’s almost unreal.  You just sitting there.  You’ve been
gone for a month.
                         CAROL
They wanted to keep me another 3 weeks but I promised I
would take my medicine religiously.
                         JEREMY
Three or four for you?
                         CAROL
One.
You have no appetite?

JEREMY

52.

 No.  I hate your pancakes.”
                               They both smile.  But Jeremy
                         doesn’t buy it.  He is visibly
                         worried about her lack of
                         appetite.

He also takes only one pancake. He puts a pile on Alyosha’s plate. Pours maple syrup over them.

                         CAROL
How come you are only taking one?  Trying to lose weight?
                         JEREMY
                         CAROL
                         JEREMY
                         CAROL
I’m not stupid you know.  The first time you mentioned CC.
I could tell the way you said her name.
                         JEREMY
I don’t have a girlfriend.  Nothing is going on with CC.
                         CAROL
Jeremy, the quality I love most about you is your
directness.  You always tell it like it is.  So why this?
If you have feelings for CC I can deal with it.  Look I
know you do.  It gives us a place to start. Maybe we can
figure out what’s wrong and fix it.
                           She studies his face.  Not very
                           successfully he tries to seem
                           natural as he puts the frying
                           pan in the sink.
                         CAROL
Or is it worse than that?  Are we finished?
It wouldn’t hurt.
For your girlfriend?
There is no girlfriend.

53.

                         JEREMY
That’ll never happen. There’s nothing wrong between us.  We
made a vow..You’re stuck with me.
                         CAROL
Too bad you can’t make a vow about being in love.”
                                 He doesn’t answer.  His
                           face is unreadable.  She keeps
                           studying him closely for a
                           slip–up.
                         CAROL
You think you are so clever. That’s how I know. Your face
is blank. That’s not you. Your secrets are written all over
your face.
                           The phone rings.  Carol goes to
                           the next room.  We can hear her.
                         CAROL
I’m good.  Mom you don’t have to worry.”
      Silence as she listens
                         CAROL
Dr. Weinstein said what??..I asked him not to tell you.
It’s not definite.  It’s a possibility.
                                 Jeremy has been listening
                           to Carol. She returns to the
                           room.
                         JEREMY
What was that all about?
                         CAROL
Not to worry. I’m taking care of it myself.”
                           She looks into his eyes as
                           convincingly as she can:

Really.
Everything okay with your Mom?

JEREMY

54.

                         CAROL
She said to send you her love...You were telling me last

night about Gurjeif. You had a new thought from him.

                         JEREMY
Yes. There is a cosmic law which says that every
satisfaction must be paid for with a dissatisfaction.  I
think–
                           As the stage darkens Spot on
                           Jeremy’s face.  He’s very upset
                           about what he overheard.

SCENE 2

                           Jeremy is ladling out soup from
                           a pot on the stove for Carol.
                           Carol is seated at the table
                           with a blanket over her
                           shoulders. He brings the soup
                           bowl to her.
                         JEREMY
Jesus it’s April 14th and its 23 degrees out there. I don’t
like that you’re  still feeling sick.  How cold are you?
                         CAROL
A little. I like your idea, chicken soup for breakfast.
                         JEREMY
Nice and hot. The weather is crazy. I’ve had enough of this
winter.  I hate Buffalo.”
                                 He feeds a spoonful of
                           soup to Carol.  Then a second.
                           She takes the spoon from him and
                           feeds herself.
                         CAROL
It’s good. I think it will help.
                         JEREMY
It was in the freezer. I made it while you were gone.
                         CAROL
You’re very resourceful.

55.

                                 He brings his own soup
                           bowl to the table.
                         JEREMY
                     (His voice is gentle)
I did it like you like it.  Mashed the vegetables and added
it back into the soup.
                         CAROL
That’s how your mother taught you to make it?
                         JEREMY
Right?...After she got sick and was stuck in bed, I made
soup for my mother practically every day.  She was always
cold.  It made her feel so much better. That and tea.
You have a headache?
A little one.
Are you scared?
Lupus isn’t cancer.
         Carol puts down the soup
  spoon.  She puts her thumb and
  index finger on each side of her
  nose pressing in on her eyelids.

JEREMY CAROL

        They are both quiet for a
  moment.

CAROL

   Tenderly he moves his hand down
  her cheek.

JEREMY

                         CAROL
I know.  Really.  I’m feeling stronger. Much better than

yesterday.

56.

                         JEREMY
C’mon, have the soup...
Don’t you like it
        She is reluctant.
JEREMY
        Carol sees a tear.  She
  reaches for it on his face.  She
  takes his hand.
                         CAROL
I like that you made it for me.”
                         JEREMY
I like to cook.  I don’t know
about vacuuming, but  cooking—
                         CAROL
“You don’t have to vacuum.
His tears continue
  Carol laughs.
                         JEREMY
I promise I will.  This afternoon when I come back.”

SCENE 3

                           6 weeks later.  Carol’s in bed.
                           She’s meeting with CC in her
                           bedroom.
                         CAROL
I’m sure you were surprised to hear from me, but I had to

talk to you.

                           They are both feeling awkward.
                         CAROL
I’ll come right out with it. Jeremy hasn’t been the same
since he stopped seeing you. He’s very  down.  All month
long. He’s walking around like his life is over.

57.

                                 CC takes a deep breath.
                         CAROL
He still loves you.  I can’t change that.  He can’t either.
He’s tried.  The reason I called is my doctor’s told me my
medicine has stopped working.  He’s said I’m going to die
if they can’t come up with something.”

Oh Carol.

CC

    CAROL
(resolutely)
I don’t want you to tell Jeremy. He suspects something, but
he doesn’t know.
                         CC
You don’t want to tell him.
                         CAROL
I don’t. First of all, I might pull through. I have in the
past.  But if I die I want you to know you have my
blessing. The son of a bitch doesn’t deserve it. I want my
mother to raise Alyosha, but you and Jeremy...
                                 CC begins to sob. Carol
                           takes her hand.  She waits until
                           CC is in better control.
                         CAROL
Please. Say nothing now.  He’s got his thesis to finish.
He’s down to the wire. So don’t call him, but later, if I’m
not here you can tell him I gave my blessing. Not that I am
not cursing the two of you, but... You know about his
mother right?

CC

Her cancer?

                         CAROL
Watching your mother die does strange things to you?  I’m
glad Alyosha is so young.

CC tears up

58.

                         CC
I’d like to call Jeremy.
                         CAROL
No.  Please don’t.  I know him.  He’ll do the same thing he
did when I was in the hospital.
                         CC
You know about that?
                         CAROL
I found your lipstick under the bed.  I remember. He was
really whacko.  He kept saying crazy things. He was a
different person.

CC

I’m sorry, I–

                         CAROL
You don’t have to say anything. I know how convincing
Jeremy can be when he wants something.  I wasn’t surprised.
Jeremy doesn’t know how to be alone.  It frightens him.
You don’t know about his dark moods, do you?
                         CC
I’ve seen him act sort of crazy. Silly, but never down.
                         CAROL
It’s all an act. He can get very, very down. Suicidal kind

of down.

                         CC
Haven’t seen anything even close to that.
                         CAROL
                     (choking up)
That’s  because you make him happy. I knew something was up
when he would visit me in the hospital.

CC

Really?

                         CAROL
It  would be nice if you could make him happy like that and
it would last. Not just in the beginning. Discovering
someone new is so thrilling. I still like romantic movies.

(MORE)

59.

                         CAROL (CONT'D)
Beginnings are wonderful.  He loves them.  Who wouldn’t?
But he’s addicted.  He craves it.  He can’t get enough.

CC

I know.

                         CAROL
I couldn’t do anything about it. I can’t give him what he
wants. I can’t reinvent myself every few weeks.

I’ve tried.

    CAROL
(New tears)
             There is a  long silence
       as she tries to regain control.
I never told him what I really think.  I gave him the
impression that he’s a meshugenah.
                           She starts sobbing again and
                           then smiles
                         CAROL
Which he is. And deserves to hear.
                         CAROL
                     (smiling affectionately)
 He is such a jerk. But I think he is, he might be

A genius

    CAROL
(again sobbing)
       This brings more sobbing.
                         CAROL
His  craving for discovery. I’m hoping he gets there,
people recognize that he’s got it. He’s able to thrill
people with it.
                         CC
Everyone who takes his class has been there with him.”

60.

                         CAROL
                     (crying more sanguinely,
                     continuing)
I know, but he wants more and deserves more. You probably
can’t understand, but I want him to have that. He’s been
good to me. I want him to have you... I want him to be happy.
                           Carol notices that CC has what
                           may be a skeptical expression on
                           her face. It shatters the spell
                           she had assumed with her plan.
                         CAROL
                     (alarmed)
Do you still love him?
                         CC
                     (hesitant, stalling)
 I don’t know.  When he broke up with me.  I was sort of
relieved.
I love Jeremy.
        Then CC, noticing how
  Carol is hanging on her answer,,
  as sincerely as she can  muster,
  lies.

CC

Scene 4

   August, Carol’s hospital room,
  Carol is very weak. She is not
  completely alert  Her kidneys
  have been shut down for two
  weeks.  There are dark circles
  around her eyes. Her mother is
  with her feeding her soup.
                         CAROL’S MOTHER
That’s good.  Just one more spoonful.
      Carol immediately looks
away allowing CC to not have to
keep acting.

61.

                         CAROL
I’m not hungry.  I’m nauseous.
                         CAROL’S MOTHER
Come on.  Wait let me get you a carrot. You like carrots.
Mom. No.  No more.

CAROL

  At that moment Jeremy appears.
                         CAROL
Mom, hand me my pocketbook.
                            Her mother moves the soup away
                           and hands her the pocketbook.
                           Carol finds a mirror and tries
                           to give her hair a bit of style.
                         JEREMY
Don’t do that.  You look wonderful.

Mom.

I’ll be right outside.
If looks could kill?
She’s upset.
   She gets up from her chair
CAROL’S MOTHER
   As her mother leaves she can’t
  help giving Jeremy a nasty look.
  She closes the door behind her.
JEREMY
CAROL
JEREMY

I’ve brought you a big box of Raisinets, movie size He hands them to her

62.

Wow!

CAROL

                         JEREMY
I remembered how much you like them.  How come you stopped
buying them?
My weight.
Well eat up.

CAROL JEREMY

        She pours a handful and
  starts to eat them with relish.
  She hands him the box.  He
  brings it to his mouth and pours
  some straight in.
                         CAROL
Whoa, Save some for me.
My hero.
Only the best for you.

I’ll do it.

He takes out another box of Raisinets from the bag of goodies he has brought. She smiles when she sees them.

CAROL JEREMY

  She grimaces. Her calf has
  tightened into a cramp. She
  pulls off her blanket and tries
  to rub it in order to loosen it.

JEREMY

   He squeezes and rubs her calf
  very hard.  There is no
  improvement.

63.

                         JEREMY
You have to stand on it.  Push down on your toes.
                                 He puts his arms under her
                           to lift her out of the bed.  As
                           he does so he begins to sob.
                         CAROL
Jeremy. Come on. Come on.  Lift me. Come on.  You’re

strong.

shutting down.
What else have they told you?
      He successfully places her
on her feet.  She presses down
on her toes to straighten them
and as quickly as it appeared,
the cramp is gone.
      She continues standing,
holding him, hugging him as he
sobs
                         CAROL
Come on. You’re going to make me cry.

JEREMY

I can’t help it.
                         CAROL
You can Jeremy.  You will...Help me get back in bed.
                           He returns her to her bed.  She
                           is out of breath.
                         JEREMY
Why are you breathing like that?
                         CAROL
They said I have congestive heart failure.  From my kidneys

JEREMY

64.

                         CAROL
I don’t want to talk about me.  I want to talk about you.

About what?

Oh Jesus!

JEREMY

  He reads the look on her face.
JEREMY
                         CAROL
You said you’ve been thinking about it. Promise me you will
submit your thesis.

Please.

    CAROL
(begging him)
        She starts to cry.
                         CAROL
It doesn’t have to be a masterpiece. If you don’t submit it
by next week you’re out of the program.  That can’t happen.
You’re a great teacher.  Do it for your students.

I’ve done it.

You have?

Oh Jeremy

Jeremy, Jeremy

JEREMY

    CAROL
(Her voice sounds a hundred
years lighter)
         Her crying continues but with
       tears of joy, relief.

CAROL

         She pulls him down to her and
       embraces him.

CAROL

65.

                           Then she is quiet, at peace as
                           he straightens up.
                                 She notices that he looks
                           worried.
                         CAROL
Did you hear from them?
                         CAROL
                     (Continuing before he can
                     answer)
I don’t have to ask.  They are going to think it is

brilliant.

      He says nothing. From the
expression on his face we sense
that it has been rejected.  But
Carol isn’t studying him
 She is unaccustomed to the
relief she is feeling. For the
first time in years the junction
between her upper and lower jaw
relaxes. That little headache in
her forehead, that she has
learned to ignore.  Now it is
gone.
                         CAROL
You are going to be so happy.
                            Again, he starts to cry.
I mean after, in a month or two.  Alyosha will be very
proud of you Dr. Slater.

SCENE 5

                           Early September. In his bedroom,
                           CC’s father is in his easy chair
                           under a lamp, reading the paper.

66.

                           We hear a knock on the door. He
                           puts the paper down

CC’S FATHER

Come in CC.
How did you know it was me?

Jeremy?

CC

CC

CC moves to the front of the
stage modeling for her father
                         CC’S FATHER
You look stunning.  I remember when your mother found that
dress.  It looked great on her too.
                         CC
I know.  I was shopping in her closet. She gave me a whole
bunch of stuff.
                         CC’S FATHER
 It took her weeks to find it.  She showed me a picture of
it in Vogue and then you know your mother.  Nothing can
stop her–the British navy, the Amazon jungle–nothing can
stop her when she’s out to find something she wants.  I
wonder what she will come home with today.
                         CC
I remember when she used to drag me along with her. Shop
‘til you drop.  And I would drop.  Didn’t matter. She was
determined. I’d be done 2 hours before we stopped.  She’d
bribe me with ice cream, then make promises, but she’d find
what she was looking for. Always!
                         CC’S FATHER
One more week ‘til you start school.  You ready?
                         CC
Are you kidding?  ‘Specially with the clothes Mom gave me?
The retro look is in.
                         CC’S FATHER
Have you heard from that guy?

67.

Him, yeah

CC’S FATHER

    CC
(conspicuously unfeeling)
His wife died.  He was very upset.  He wanted to see me.
                         CC’S FATHER
Are you going to see him? You were pretty gone when it came

to him.

                         CC
I’m lucky I’m over him. I was very upset when I heard about
his wife, although I knew it was coming.(becoming sad)  She
told me.
                         CC
                     (fighting back tears)
I’ve spent hours talking to Dr. Weiss about it.
                         CC’S FATHER
What does he say?
                         CC
Not that much.  We talked about me going up there for the
funeral.  He convinced me it was a bad idea. I would
probably jump into bed with him all over again.
                         CC’S FATHER
                     (half amused)
Sounds like you’re doing the right thing.
                         CC
Can I ask you about you and Mom?
CC’S FATHER
CC
CC’S FATHER
What about us?
Do you love her?
Absolutely.
What are you and mom like when I’m back at school?

CC

68.

Worse.
Really?
Sometimes, not always.
CC’S FATHER
CC
        He takes her hand
CC’S FATHER
                         CC
Do you still love her?

CC’S FATHER

Yes and she loves me.
                         CC
How do you know that?
                         CC’S FATHER
It’s hard for you to understand.
                         CC
                     (smiling ironically)
I’m trying. Believe me I’m trying.
                         CC’S FATHER
In the early years we were crazy about each other. 100% of
the time.  Do you remember that?
                         CC
Those were great years. We were all happy.
                         CC’S FATHER
That was before we knew each other.  I mean really knew.
I’m not saying your mother is so bad.  Or that I am.  But
certain qualities...

CC

Like what?

                         CC’S FATHER
It doesn’t matter.  If it hadn’t been one thing it would
have been another.  That’s what happens to everyone.  You
can’t love someone like you loved them in the beginning.

(MORE)

69.

                         CC’S FATHER (CONT'D)
That kind of  love is built on your imagination.  No actual
person can match that.
                         CC
      He closes the newspaper, folds it carefully
                         CC’S FATHER
Let me tell you something.  Your mother has capabilities I
never even thought about.  I hear your fellow students
making fun of homemakers like it takes a bimbo to run a
home.  You know that stuff about how a man’s home is his
castle?

CC

Yeah.

                         CC’S FATHER
She’s made a castle for us to live in, all of us.  It’s
beautiful, the ways the colors coordinate, the rugs, the
chairs, the sofa. And comfortable! We all take that for
granted.  Your mother chose everything in the house.  She
repainted the dining room three times before she was
satisfied with the color. And when we started and had no
money she did the painting herself.  She wouldn’t let me
touch a paint brush. (laughing to himself) She didn’t like
the quality of my work.  And later, when she hired a
painter, she made sure he was doing a good job.  She’d fire
people that weren’t performing to her standards.

Okay.

What?

CC

                         CC’S FATHER
Your mother knows how to get the best work out of everyone.
Whether it is flirting, or charm, or being a pain in the
ass–whatever it is.  It gets done right.  That’s not a
small talent.  She is a strong woman, very determined.
I’ll bet professors at your school don’t have a clue about
how to get good work done on their house.
                         CC
I agree the house is beautiful.
Again he laughs to himself.

70.

And comfortable.
And comfortable... well.
Well–what?

CC’S FATHER

CC
CC’S FATHER
CC
That white rug in the hall.  She wouldn’t let me come in
the front door.  I could see my room straight ahead, but I
had to use the back door.
                         CC’S FATHER
She lets you walk there now.  When you were young you
didn’t wipe your feet.  So yeah there is crazy perfect love
in the beginning, but eventually the real person spoils
that. After maybe 10, 15  years we had that love feeling
40, 50% of the time.
                         CC
No.  It was higher than that.
                         CC’S FATHER
That’ how you remember it? Maybe.  Maybe it looked that
way.  But, by that time,  a lot of the time we were faking
it. For you kids. And I guess each other. Then we stopped
faking it.  And the love percentage took a real dive.  I
don’t think it was a sudden thing.  It was a gradual
process.
                         CC
Until it goes to zero?
                         CC’S FATHER
That’ll never happen.  We have moments. They will always be
there.
Moments?
That’s all you get at our age.  Moments.
CC
CC’S FATHER

71.

I don’t understand.

CC

                         CC’S FATHER
I’m grateful to have that.  Some people... they lose it

altogether.

                             He takes her hand and looks in
                           her eyes
                         CC’S FATHER
We still have it.  Not the fake kind.  The real thing.
                         CC
I never see it anymore...  How often?
                         CC’S FATHER
We’re different when you kids are around.  We don’t see you
that often, so when you come home we want the visit to be
nice.
                         CC
I know.  It’s nice but it is kind of phony, everyone—
                         CC’S FATHER
Mark makes sure it doesn’t get too phony.

I suppose so.

CC

    CC
(becoming very serious)
How often do you and mom connect?  I mean really connect.
                         CC’S FATHER
We have our moments...
                         CC
Your moments?
                         CC’S FATHER
It could be twice in a day, then not for weeks.
And that’s enough?

CC

72.

It’s plenty.

CC’S FATHER

                         CC
You often seem hurt.  Really often.
                         CC’S FATHER
I am but as long as I get–

CC

Your moments.
                         CC’S FATHER
You know, when we’ve  had a blow up, we both want to make
up.  Sometimes it takes a few hours.  Once or twice it was
days, but we want to make up. That isn’t fake! It’s coming
from our hearts.  Sure it’s fear. No one wants to be alone.
And that’s a big part of  it. Before we met each other we
were alone. Part of that great feeling when you fall in
love is that your loneliness disappears.
                                CC says nothing.  Her
                           father has never been blunt
                           like this before.
                         CC’S FATHER
Not everyone is miserable being alone, but I am. Back then,
when I didn’t have someone,  I’d see other couples with
each other.  It would tear me up.  So if you have been
there and experienced that...often. Not feeling that any
more... I think it was the same for Mom.
                         CC
I thought you got together in high school.
                         CC’S FATHER
We did but we both remember what that was like.  Even back
then. So when we have a fight, for a while, we try harder
to be nice. At your age you probably have make up sex.
      He smiles, strokes her
hair back across her head
gently...

73.

                         CC’S FATHER
                     (smiling)
That’s the best.   Now making up means acting nice, very
nice to each other for days.  And that is not bad at all...
It’s very  nice. And it isn’t all because we are afraid of
being alone.  That’s certainly a part of it, maybe a big
part of it.  But after my anger dies down, I take a good
look at your mother, and I like what I see.
                         CC
You mean she looks pretty?
                         CC’S FATHER
No.  More than that.  Like what I just told you about her
talents as a homemaker.  I never thought about that.  For
better or worse, you take each other for granted, and yeah,
both of us can get pretty selfish and oblivious of each
other.  A lot of times we argue because we are stubborn and
both of us don’t want the other one to win, but sometimes
when we are pissed and thinking about whether the marriage
is worth it, you realize certain things about each other,
good things.  Your mother has a lot of good qualities.

CC

Enough to love her?
                         CC’S FATHER
Enough to love her and then some.  Ten times over.
Ten times over?

CC

    CC’S FATHER
(Answering with a smile)
Well maybe two or three.
                         CC’S FATHER
Anyway.  Talking about love.  It’s stupid to think about
it.  I can’t love or not love your mother.  She’s a part of
me, like my hand. I don’t think about whether I love my
hand or don’t love it.  It’s just me.
That’s a cop out.

CC

74.

It really isn’t.
It is.
Fine it is.  But it isn’t.
CC’S FATHER
CC
CC’S FATHER
                           They are both quiet, thinking
                         CC’S FATHER
Sometimes... Well it was actually once.  Your mother
apologized.
Once?
Once.

About what?

CC
CC’S FATHER
CC
                         CC’S FATHER
It doesn’t matter.  I knew she meant it.  It came from deep
within her.  That means everything to me.
                                 CC gives him a hug while
                           he sits there.  He looks at her,
                           takes her hand then releases it.
                           Looks again with an expression
                           that usually means, we’re done.
                           She heads for the door, but then
                           she turns around.
                         CC
 An apology? That makes up for everything?
                         CC’S FATHER
Yes. It’s plenty. Don’t be too greedy.
 What’s that mean?

75.

                                 He takes a deep breath
                         CC’S FATHER
Sometimes I’ve overheard  you and Mark talking about other
people, judging them.  Your idea of how people are supposed
to be! It’s very young. Naive.  The  standards you expect
people to measure up to ... I mean it’s  nice when you
believe people can be like that. And sure sometimes they
are. When it  happens everyone relishes it...But
eventually, as you get older, after you are disappointed
enough, after you carry on like you and Mark carry on about
how everyone doesn’t measure up... That begins to get old.
You realize people just aren’t like the way you expect them
to be.  Love isn’t that way and people aren’t. People like
that don’t exist. Well they do, here and there. It’s right
out of what they teach you in nursery school, love and hugs
and lots of kisses.  For a while you’re there, but it’s not
ongoing.  It doesn’t continue. When you’re young you assume
great experiences like that are ahead of you.  You’ll
eventually meet the right people and connect.  You’ll learn
how to cultivate it.  You think you just haven’t had good
enough luck so far. Magazines and books are full of that
kind of living, describing it again and again.  Like it is
all around, waiting for you.
                         CC
You’ve never come across it?
                         CC’S FATHER
No I have.  Your mom and I have met some lovely people.
Many lovely people.  There are times I have been with
people and I am aching with envy.  Why can’t I have that?
What is their secret?

CC

And?

                         CC’S FATHER
Once I get to know them better it isn’t there anymore.
                         CC
But don’t some people have it?  They’re lucky.  Or they
have figured it out.  I have come across that, and it seems
very real.

76.

                         CC’S FATHER
Where? In camp?...  We’ve had it, a couple of our vacations
in Florida.  They were perfect.
                         CC
So the secret is Florida?
                         CC’S FATHER
                 where the sky meets the sea.  Your mother

CC

                                 He shrugs his shoulders.
                         CC
I thought fathers are supposed to keep their kids’ dreams

alive.

                         CC’S FATHER
That’s the advice they give fathers in magazines.  Sorry to
disappoint you.
I think you are wrong.
                         CC’S FATHER
I hope so.  I envy your faith.  I remember when I was
young. I had your kind of hope,  but I also remember how
much it hurt to be disappointed so often.
                         CC
Maybe you just have had bad luck with people.
                         CC’S FATHER
Maybe, but I don’t think so.   Look. It’s great that you
expect such nice things from people.. I wish I could have
some of that back.
                         CC
Do you? You make trust sound silly.
                         CC’S FATHER
Fortunately, I’ve lost it a bit at a time. And in the end
there’s actually something great that happens.

Hawaii Bali Hai, loves that song.

You don’t?

CC

(MORE)

77.

                         CC’S FATHER (CONT'D)
When those expectations are gone, you can  accept people
for who they are.  Your mom is who she is.  So am I.  So
are you. We’re not going to change.
                         CC’S FATHER
                     (Waiting for her to catch
                     up)
Do you understand that?  You shouldn’t expect too much.
People are just people.  What you have seen so far.  That’s
about it.  That’s what people are like.  That’s where you
should be starting from...Your mom apologized.  That means
everything.  You used to make fun of how Mom saw it as a
compliment to me, that she could show her mean side to me.
But you know what?  She’s right.  She can’t stand a lot of
qualities I have– let me put it more bluntly, a lot of
things about me she simply hates...
She can’t stand a lot of things about herself, as much as,
or more than  I hate them.  She hated this mole she had on
her thigh. Hated it.  You know what she did?...She had the
mole removed.
                          CC
But what about things you can’t change?
                         CC’S FATHER
You keep hating them.  That goes for things she doesn’t
like about me, and things she can’t stand about herself.
And maybe you learn to shut up about it.  Your mother
sometimes is able to do that.  Most of the time. Sometimes
she can’t or won’t. Same as me. Maybe it doesn’t matter
because eventually, it all comes out anyway.
                         CC’S FATHER
I know a lot of people who aren’t that vocal, who don’t
talk as much as we do.  Grandma always used to say, “If you
don’t have anything nice to say...
                         CC’S FATHER
True. But you don’t think Mark knows what Grandma thought
of him.  And she never said anything.
                         CC
Grandma didn’t like Mark?

78.

                         CC’S FATHER
Are you kidding?  As much as he didn’t like her.
                                 Ira sees CC’s shock and
                           disappointment. She assumed her
                           grandmother couldn’t have been
                           fond of Mark, but putting it in
                           words, that her grandmother had
                           anything but loving feelings
                           towards any of them...
                         CC’S FATHER
She never gave up. You do that for family. She kept on
hoping that Mark would come around...
                         CC’S FATHER
Your Mom...  I still love her.  And that includes how
critical she can of me and of herself.  I know, we all
know, how she can disapprove of us, of herself.  But that’s
how she gets to be so beautiful, by keeping at it.
                         CC
Your love for her? In my mind, it’s mainly there when she
looks beautiful.
                         CC’S FATHER
I’m thrilled when she looks beautiful.  Thrilled. But that

is not love.

                         CC
The way you look at her.  The way she looks at you.
                         CC’S FATHER
Being thrilled isn’t love.  It’s like seeing a shooting
star. You’re amazed  but it isn’t love.
                         CC
Come on.  Isn’t that why you married her?
                         CC’S FATHER
It is.  And I am still thrilled by her beauty, but it’s
more like a bonus now.  You have to give your mother
credit.  She works so hard to remain young.
                         CC
Yeah but she was born with it.

79.

                         CC’S FATHER
Like you were. But ninety percent of what you see comes
from her, from her standards, her self criticism, her
shopping.  Yeah we hate that she finds so many things
wrong, how it makes us miserable trying to keep her happy.
How much hate there is in her.
                         CC
Yeah of a bad haircut.
                         CC’S FATHER
Okay she hates that.  But you can’t have the good without
the bad.  Your mother has this grace.  Maybe  she was born
with that, like her heroes Audrey Hepburn, Cary Grant.
Some people just have it.  You can’t put your finger on
what it is they do.  But everyone knows when it is there.
She loves Johnny Carson.  So do I.  He has it.
                         CC
So which is it?  You’re born with these qualities that
everyone loves, or self criticism gets you there.
                         CC’S FATHER
I don’t know. Both. The right amount of each.  I just know
I still love your mother.  And she loves me.  We can’t
stand each other half of the time.  Sometimes it’s closer
to three quarters of the time.  But there are moments.

CC

Moments?
Your Mom and I still have moments.  Not everyone gets that.
Moments?  That’s it?

CC’S FATHER

        They are quiet as she
  rolls that over in her mind.

CC

80.

81.

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