Americatown

Americatown

A Stage Play by Trystin S. Bailey
"

A play in search of the American Dream...

"

Americatown”

by

Trystin S. Bailey


CHARACTERS
Casey
Bea
Norm/Samuel
Robbie
Lisa/Liberty
Addison/Pecos Bill
Hector/Glooskap
Uncle
Tom
Malsum/Black Bart/The Devil

~PLAY BEGIN~


ACT ONE

The set requirements for the first act of this play should be as simplistic as possible, since it is to be less a clear line of scenes and more a collection of physically realized memories; at times solid and defined, at times fluid and chaotic. Set pieces and characters come and go and come again. The pace and flow of the story should never once be sacrificed for changes in set.

The play begins in a well-lit kitchen on a Sunday afternoon somewhere in small-town middle America. CASEY (18, a girl of average looks and an inquisitive nature) sits with her father, NORM (49, stern but kind) and mother, BEA (47, simple and domestic with a concealed energy to her), enjoying lunch and the overall serenity of the day. After a spell of eating in peaceful silence, Norm and Bea freeze.Casey speaks.

Casey: (to the audience) I’m sorry. Just a few more seconds, okay? It’s just that...this is so nice and I like to re-live it every once and a while. Just a few seconds...minutes! Seconds... That’s all. I swear!

Norm and Bea unfreeze and Casey returns to the moment.

Norm: What is this soup?

Bea: Oh! It’s (stresses the pronunciation) Po-so-le!

Norm: Hm.

Bea: I got the recipe from a magazine. How is it?

Norm: Different.

Bea: Different...

Norm: It’s...not bad. Definitely not bad. It’s just...different. Unexpected.

Bea: Unexpected?

Norm: Not what I’m used to. I’m a meat and potatoes kind of guy. You take a meat and potatoes kind of guy and you give him a plate of...po...

Bea: Posole.

Norm: Right. That...and the guy’s a little thrown. He needs time to process the new tastes, the new sensations. And, when that happens, when that day comes, you’ll have a meat and potatoes and...um...

Bea: Posole.

Norm: Right. That...guy.

Bea: Oh, Norm. (to Casey) What do you think about the soup, Case?

Casey: Oh. It’s...interesting. Different.

Norm: Different!

Casey: I like it, though. A lot.

Bea: It’s good, isn’t it?

Casey: Mmhm.

Norm: Enough about the soup, what about our little girl graduating in a few months, eh?

Casey: Dad...

Norm: This is a big deal, Casey. A big deal. You’re not gonna be a high schooler anymore. No, sir. You’re on the fast track to the real world now. A job, bills, responsibility. A brave new world...

Casey: Dad, I’ll still be living here. I’m going to the community college fifteen miles down the road.

Norm: You can’t measure the distance between high school and the rest of your life in miles, honey.

Bea: Norm...

Norm: You can’t! That’s not how it works. Besides, that community college is just the first step. Those universities rejected you the this time, but now you know. Now you know that to make it in this world you’ll have to try harder, go farther, next time. Make sure you spend the next year-year and a half building up those grades so, when the time to transfer comes, those universities will see the bright girl your mother and I do. You got that, kiddo?

Casey: Yes, dad.

Norm: Good. Speaking of universities, did you hear about Addison Abbott? Now that kid’s going places. Man.

Bea: Norm...

Casey: We heard, Dad.

Norm: He got a full ride to a top tier university. But it’s no surprise. That kid’s been swinging home runs since he was five. Good grades, hell of an athlete, does a whole mess of work at the church. I never understood why you two never became better friends, Casey.

Casey: We’re not really on the same social plane, Dad...

Norm: Ok. Alright. It just seems to me a guy as good-hearted as Addision Abott would gladly sit down and talk with you if you just went up and asked.

Bea: Norman, leave the girl alone and let her finish that soup. I’ve got a nice warm apple pie in the over if you behave yourself.

Norm: Bea. You know what I like. (Norm and Bea kiss) (to Casey) Okay. So let’s talk about your graduation gift...

Norm and Bea freeze as Casey, once again, addresses the audience.

Casey: I’m sorry. I am. But sometimes it feels good to just...remember, you know? Simpler times. Happier times. (to an audience member) You know what I’m saying, right? I mean, I know you shouldn’t live in the past but I also know that taking some time to hit the rewind button and see where you came from isn’t all that bad. There’s a lot of stuff back there. (pause) It feels good. (gesturing toward the frozen scene behind him) This is the last memory I have before everything changed. Before the fear and the doubt, the dreams and the-


There’s a knock at the door. Casey pauses.

Casey: And the-

Another knock. Casey is apprehensive at first, but swallows her nerves.

Casey: (to audience) Sorry.

Casey returns to her seat and the kitchen scene bursts to life again. There is a third knock.

Norm: (to Casey) Hm. You expecting anyone, hun?

Casey: Nope.

Norm: (smiling as he goes to the door) Well, I guess that can only mean one thing.

Norm opens the door and ROBBIE, 18, an average-looking boy, enters.

Norm: Robert. Good afternoon to you.

Robbie: Hey, Mr. J. Mrs. J.

Bea: Hello, Robert.

Robbie: Mm. What smells so good?

Casey: Mom made soup.

Bea: Would you like a bowl, sweetie?

Robbie: No, thank you. I just got back from lunch with my brother.

Norm: Doug’s in town? How is that old troublemaker?

Robbie: Making trouble left and right.

Norm: We were just about to dig into some of my wife’s famous apple pie. Care to join?

Robbie: Actually, I wanted to talk to Casey about something...Something kind of important.

Norm: More important than Bea’s apple pie? Perish the thought!

Bea: Oh, Norm...

Casey: What’s up, Robbie?

Bea: Are you alright?

Robbie: Yes! Of course. It’s nothing like that...

Bea: Oh, good...

Norm: Then I don’t see why you kids don’t have time for one little slice before sharing your little secrets...

Robbie: (gives in) Just one slice.

Norm: Ha! That’s my boy!

Casey: I don’t know how you let my dad have such power over you, Robbie?

Norm: Something I wish would’ve rubbed off on you over the years, sweetie.

Casey: Ha. Ha.

The characters, aside from Casey, all freeze and Casey once again addresses the audience

Casey: (inhales, as if gathering the strength to continue) We had our slice. Well, Robbie had two, and we drove over to Jefferson Park.

As Casey speaks, Norm and Bea exit and the scene becomes that of a clear patch of grass in the park. Near the end of this transition LISA, 19, a girl who is at first glance more cunning, attractive and sharp than Casey, enters.

Casey: Ever since we were young we’d have this spot in the park where we’d talk about the important stuff. Robbie, me and our friend Lisa. (notices Lisa) Ah, there she is. (to audience member) You remember it, don’t you? Hanging out with your friends. Not a trouble in the world. At least, not big troubles. Those would come later. And I’m sorry for putting you on the spot like this. (to the last audience member she spoke to) You too, [sir/ma’am]. I get that you guys are kind of along for the ride here, but I don’t want you to feel like you don’t matter. Like your opinion doesn’t matter. Because...(leans in close)...everyone matters. I...

Casey shrugs and joins her friends at the park. The scene comes alive as Lisa tosses a berry into her mouth and swallows.

Lisa: (making the ‘sour’ face) Agh, that was disgusting! I hope it wasn’t poisonous.

Casey: Oh God, Lisa! Did you just eat some random berry off a bush?!

Lisa: I was hungry.

Casey: Lisa...

Lisa: What?! Worst case scenario: I start to gag, you guys call 9-1-1 and the paramedics come and pump my stomach. This is Smalltown, USA. What else do they have to do?

Casey: Worst case scenario: You’re dead.

Lisa: Jesus... Haha. Sorry, mom. Ha...

Robbie: No worries, Case. It was just a blackberry. Still red. Hadn’t ripened yet, hence the sourness.

Lisa: (to Casey) See?

Casey: Yes. Fine. That doesn’t make it smart.

Lisa: Anyway, let’s talk about you. I feel like I haven’t seen you in forever!

Casey: I saw you yesterday. In the hall.

Lisa: Yeah. I don’t know. I see a lot of people in halls. Still single?

Casey: (pause) Yes. Are you still dating that guy who’s way too old for you?

Lisa: He’s twenty-eight and he’s great. Yes. We’re still dating. There’s nothing wrong with it.

Casey: What do your parents think of him?

Lisa: They don’t have to know every little detail of my life. I’m not a little Daddy’s girl like some people I know...

Casey: Daddy’s girl?!

Lisa: Daddy’s girl!

Casey: Robbie!

Robbie: Case...you are kind of a daddy’s girl.

Casey: Whatever. Robbie. Didn’t you want to tell us something?

Lisa: Yeah, Bobert, I’m missing a Celebrity Roommates marathon for this...

Casey: Ew.

Lisa: How could you “ew” Celebrity Roommates? Washed-up famous people partying and arguing and f*****g, accidentally popping each other’spills...hilarious!

Casey: My parents would never let me watch that stuff...

Lisa: I’m sorry. Heh. What was that?

Robbie: Okay, okay girls. Settle down, alright?

Casey: Right. We’re here for Robbie. Not to discuss crude low-rate television.

Lisa: You’re such a virgin.

Casey: Better a virgin than a...a sperm disposal unit!

Robbie: Wow.

Lisa: What did you-?!

Robbie: (to Lisa) She wasn't talking about you. (to Casey) You weren't talking about her...

Casey: (smugly) Of course not...

Lisa: (to Casey) I'll finish you later. (to Robbie) Alright, dude, spotlight’s on you. What’s up?

Robbie: (suddenly unnerved. Clears throat) Um...okay. So... (takes a deep breath)

Lisa: Spit it out, Robbie!

Casey: Stop it, Lees. Let him take his time...

Robbie: Guys. I...I’ve been dealing...thinking...dealing with this for a while and you guys are my closest friends so...Guys, I’m...

Casey leaps out of the scene as if terrified of his next next word, freezing Robbie and Lisa.

Casey: (to audience) Sorry. I just... This is the part that...that...

Robbie: I’m...

Casey: (pleading) Okay. I was...I am just a simple- This is just a simple town. There are good, truly good, people here. I still believe that. Good people who are born here and die here and very little changes, but that’s okay. That’s hard for some people to understand, and I get that, but that’s the way things are in places...

Robbie: I’m...

Casey: (frantic) There are things they just can’t understand, because it takes a while for things to get out to these parts...or something. Change!...I mean. It’s not their fault! It’s not anybody’s fault! It’s just the way things are!

Robbie: I’m...

Casey: (to Robbie) WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME?!

Robbie: (he grows more frustrated, more saddened, as he speaks, tears swelling in his eyes, almost a whisper) I’m...I’m...I’m...I’m...I’m...I’m... (continues over following lines)

Lisa starts to dance hypnotically around the stage. HECTOR, 16, a small Mexican boy in old clothes, enters on his rusty green bike.

Hector: (to Casey) You okay?

Casey: (not quite understanding who she is seeing before her) Huh?

Hector produces a flower and gives it to her.

Hector: Here. So you’ll feel better.

Casey: (takes flower) Thank you. I- This isn’t right. You shouldn’t be here...

ADDISON ABBOT, 18, a handsome All-American guy, enters with a lectern and a pile of papers. He is wearing his graduation cap and gown. Facing the audience, he proudly straightens his garments and cap, then the papers as if preparing to give a great speech.

Hector: (hearing none of her words) There. Now you’re better.

Pecos: (offstage) YEEEEEEHAAAAA!!!!!!

The crack of a whip sounds. Robbie goes silent.

Casey: (out of breath) What’s...what’s going on? This is all wrong... Okay, Casey. You gotta get your head on straight here. Get your thoughts together. Breathe.

Lisa exits.

Hector: See you tomorrow.

Hector exits on bike. Robbie rises and approaches Casey.

Robbie: Casey...

Casey backs away from Robbie as if he’s a stranger.

Casey: D****t, Robbie! I-

Casey notices Addison for the first time.

Casey: Addison! Yes! (to audience) Let me tell you all about the greatest guy this town has ever known. The living legend, and my former lab partner, Addison Abbot!

Robbie: Casey...

Casey: Captain of the football team!

Addison: They may have gotten us in the first half. There’s no changing that. But, unfortunately for them, they’ve picked a fight with the Fighting Eagles. And while we’re perched on the ground right now, preening our feathers, ...beaking our wounds, come the second half of this game we will spread our wings and we will soar!

Casey: President of the Young Christian League

Addison: There may be a lot of temptation out there. There’s no changing that. But, unfortunately for the Devil, he’s picked a fight with a pack of young, faithful Christians. And though we might seem like we’re helpless. Weak. We will reject him day after day until our judgment when we finally meet our Savior and we will soar!

Casey: Eagle Scout for the-

Robbie: I’m gay.

His words cause Casey to cringe. Addison exits with lectern.

Robbie: I’m gay, Casey. That’s it.

Realizing she will not look or speak to him, after an uncomfortable silence, Robbie mouthsthe word “Okay” and exits.

Casey: (darkly, to an audience member) Don’t judge me. Yeah, I’m looking at you. And you. I told you that- I tried to explain to you that- (pause, changes the subject) That’s the first night I had the dream. You know those dreams you have where you’re there, but you’re not. Like, you can see and hear but you’re not really a part of the things going on around you. I don’t really remember the first one all that well. I should have written it down. It involved a man who had just died...

Light rises on UNCLE TOM, 55, pulled from the novel by Harriet Beecher Stowe; a strong black man in tattered blood-stained clothes, a slave lying dead on the ground.

Casey: ..and a man in search of something that he couldn’t find alone...

Light rises on SAMUEL, 50; tall, thin, dressed in simple clothing of faded red, white and blue. There is a sadness about him. Also exhaustion; hope. He kneels down beside Tom.

Samuel: (gently) Pardon me. (Tom doesn't budge) Excuse me. (Still, no response) Hm. (pause) (as if reciting a magic spell) Rise.

Uncle Tom: (wakes up disoriented) Wha? Wassuh-? (notices Samuel) Huh? Who r' you?

Samuel: My name is Samuel.

Uncle Tom: Samuel, huh? (looks around him) Where am I? Last I remember I was getting' a mighty beatin' by Legree's boys n' then I remember e'rything gettin' dark n'...thar was a light. (gasps, suddenly overcome with emotion) I'm...is this...m'I in heaven, Samuel?

Samuel: Afraid not, son.

Uncle Tom: Then...(darkly)...Hell?

Samuel: Certainly not that.

Uncle Tom: But...I...I died, m' pretty clar I did.

Samuel: And you are correct to think so, Tom.

Uncle Tom: How...how d'yer know my name? Do I know ye?

Samuel: I'm afraid we haven't had the pleasure of meeting until right this moment, Tom, but rest assured I know who you are. You have no way of knowing this, but you are a very important figure in history. A crucial one, one might say.

Uncle Tom: Me?

Samuel: Oh yes. Oh yes. You represent a very important...unfortunate, but important piece of history...American history, and for that reason I require a favor of you.

Uncle Tom: What kinda favor, Mis'r Samuel?

Samuel: Just Samuel. Please. No formalities. I've come to this place looking for people, special people such as yourself, to help me find something very important. Something I lost. (softly) The American Dream. (pauses, reacting to Tom's nonexistent disbelief) I know it may sound a bit strange, but this world in which we find ourselves, so full of darkness, without hope, was once a beautiful place; one of truth and freedom. That is why I must find the Dream and restore it to its original majesty. Tom, I want you to aid me in my search. I cannot go it alone.

Uncle Tom: (thinks to himself) Now, Mis'r...Samuel, I'm a man done lived a full life n' I wouldn'a lived s' long s' I did if'n I didn't have a sense fo' good people. I look at you n' the second I did I know yer a man I c'n trust. You got good eyes. Sad eyes, but good 'uns. 'Sides, the good Lord knows ol' Tom could use a slice o' that American Dream hisself...

Samuel: (relieved) Oh. Oh, thank you, Tom. Now join me. Let us gather the rest...

Samuel and Tom exit. Lisa enters, stomping toward Casey.

Lisa: What the f**k are you thinking? Huh?!

Casey: Wait, I-?

Lisa: No! No, I don't want to hear a f*****g word out of your mouth! You know, I've put up with your holier-than-thou, prissy perfect little princess s**t for a long time partly because I thought under all that s**t was a pretty cool chick and partly because Robbie loves you.

Casey: Lisa-

Lisa: Bup! I'm talking. He f*****g loves you and this is what you do?!

Casey: I-

Lisa: S**t, girl, he's the best friend I'll ever have, I know that. The best friend you'll ever have and... Agh! Remember ninth grade? Remember when you were struggling with that Biology midterm. You were freaking out because if you didn't pass with at least a B then you wouldn't have the GPA for that Softball trip to Chicago.

Casey: I know...

Robbie enters, calmly, as if the product of a dream, wearing backpack and holding a pile of text books.

Lisa: He comes over to your house with a ton of Bio books he got from the library and a bunch of index cards he'd made...for you.

Casey: I remem-

Lisa: And he sits down in your kitchen and the two of you study all night. You get an A. The list goes on. How about last week-

Casey: D****t, Lisa! Don't you think I feel bad enough already?!

Lisa: For what?! Abandoning your best friend when he needed you the most?!

Casey: Yes!

Lisa: Honestly. No. No, I don't. And if you do, it's not nearly bad enough.

Casey: And what about you?

Lisa: What about me?

Casey: How are you okay with this?

Lisa: (pause) I...I don't know if I am. All I know is that he's my friend. And he's stuck by me for more than enough s**t to make it damned near impossible for me to leave his side. Ever. For anything. Good-bye.

Lisa starts to leave.

Casey: Wait. Lisa...

Lisa: What.

Casey: How is he doing?

Lisa: How do you think? He told his parents. They kicked him out. He's staying with my mom and I for now. Robbie's in a generally sucky mood. Depressed. Oh, and his b***h of a best friend doesn't return his calls...

Lisa exits.

Casey: (teary-eyed, to audience) Give me a sec, please. Thank you.

As she speaks, Casey puts on her graduation gown and cap.

Casey: In the midst of all this, graduation was quickly approaching. The ceremony was held in the gymnasium that student council had semi-successfully transformed into a palace of red and white, with extravagant draperies and flowers all around. The floor was covered in a massive tarp and that tarp was covered in hundreds of metal folding chair which sat our loved ones. The theme was “Old Values. New Beginnings”.

Lisa and Robbie enter in cap and gown.

Casey: Terrible, right? Terrible, but the typical level of suburban corniness that my town runs on. Also typical of my town is that the fact that, by overwhelming vote, what should have been our valedictory speech was not given by the actual valedictorian but instead by our town hero, the one and only Addison Abbott.

Addison Abbott appears much like he did before, in cap and gown, in front of a lectern. This time, there is even more arrogance, more confidence than before.

Addison: Ahem. Um. Hey there. First off all, thanks for electing me to give this year's graduation speech. Meghan, you were an awesome valedictorian. Let's give Meghan a hand. Yeah. So, what a run, guys, am I right?

Robbie forces a laugh.

Addison: Crazy stuff. Like that time Hunter PcPhearson blew up half the chem lab. Or when Melissa Overbaugh let the bat slip out of her hands and took out Coach Rigel. Oh! And how about when the Fighting Eagles took that hit in the third quarter from the Badgers only to- POW -dominate in the last four seconds? Yeah, things were hard, but we made it through. All of us. With our parents behind us and God up above, we persevered. Now I know I don't know all of you by name- my bad -but I've come to see our class as a family. And we will take this idea of family; of the good Christian morals we picked up here and we're gonna spread it all over. As I'm sure a lot of you guys know I got a full ride to a pretty sick university in a pretty big city. And though I'll be far away, you can trust that I will take everything I learned here...from all of you...with me, and I'm gonna become something awesome. In conclusion, there may be a lot of unknowns out there. There’s no changing that. But, unfortunately for all those evils lurking in the future, he’s picked a fight with a pack of young, God-fearing Americans. And though we might seem like we’re a little crazy. Naive. We will thrive in this brave new world. We will make our parents, our neighbors, proud. And we will soar!

Lisa exits. Casey takes herself from the scene, removing her cap and gown. Addison takes in the silent applause as Robbie stares at him longingly before they both exit. The kitchen scene is recreated under dim lighting. Bea sits in her chair, distraught, staring blankly forward. Casey enters the kitchen, immediately noticing her mother.

Casey: (to audience) Um...this was a few days later. I was coming home late from the diner. I was going through some college paperwork and...Well, you'll see. (to Bea) Mom? Mom, are you okay?

Bea: Oh. Hello, Case. Yes, I'm fine.

Casey: What are you doing down here? It's almost midnight.

Bea: Really? Oh my. Nothing, honey. Just...thinking.

Casey: Mom...were you crying?

Bea: I- Just a little. Sometimes it's good to get it out sometimes, you know? You feel better after. It's healthy...

Casey: I'm worried about you. What happened? Why are you so upset?

Bea: Case...

Casey: Mom...

Bea: (pause) It's your father...

Bea exits and the set is cleared.

Casey: (to the audience) I had another dream that night.

Lights flash on as two characters encircle each other, prepared to battle. One, GLOOSKAP, 24, is a beautiful Native American man in peak physical condition. The other, MALSUM, 24, is equally beautiful with an obvious inclination toward evil. He is draped in a black cloak. Both hold daggers.

Glooskap: You will be punished for your wrongdoing this time, Malsum!

Malsum: Despite your tiresome display of bravado, brother...I highly doubt that.

Glooskap: I am far more powerful than you are! Only your trickery has kept you out of my reach, but look at us now. Transported to this strange place of your creation where there is no place for you to hide. No lies for you to hide behind!

Malsum: Oh, brother. There are always lies... And I had nothing to do with this place, truth be told...

Glooskap: I do not believe that for a second. Who, aside from yourself, has power and malicious spirit enough to create a terrain so full of darkness and hopelessness as this?

Malsum:  I have no clue. You have to admit that this is not my style. What sort of mischievous god would I be without a world full of little creatures and people to inconvenience?

Glooskap: If not you, then who would do this to me? I am loved. I have no enemies amongst our people.

Malsum: Amongst our people, perhaps...but there are more people than us, brother.

Glooskap: You speak of the white man. Ha. They are sneaky, destructive things, but they do not possess our powers. They cannot accomplish...this. (pause) What have you done?

Malsum: (smirks) I allegedly stole something...

Glooskap: I knew it! What is it! Give it back!

Malsum: Settle down, brother. Settle down. Do you not want to know first what I have been accused of stealing...?

Glooskap: It does not matter! What matters is that it does not belong to you!

Malsum: I...must disagree with you brother. I-

Samuel and Tom enter. Malsum quickly dons his hood)

Malsum: Behind you.

Glooskap: Honestly, Malsum, do you think I am that gullible?

Samuel clears his throat, startling Glooskap into turning to him, blade raised.

Glooskap: Who are you?!

Samuel: Please, son, we mean you no harm. My name is Samuel. And this is Tom. A friend of mine.

Glooskap: How did you come to be here? Are you responsible for this...this nothingness?

Samuel: (solemnly) I am. Yes.

Malsum: And away I go!

Malsum exits quickly, almost as if some force is pulling him away against hi will.

Glooskap: No!

Runs after him then stops suddenly.

Glooskap: (frustrated) Agh!

Uncle Tom: H-he disappeared!

Glooskap: Yes. He has a tendency to do that. Now... (turns to Samuel) tell me why I should not transform you into a slug or toad or rock for banishing me to such a place.

Samuel: Rest assured, son, that nothing I did was from a place of malice...nor was it of my own choosing...

Glooskap: Speak clearly, white man. I have endured enough circle-speak from the likes of my brother, Malsum. Now say what you mean quickly before I lose my patience and turn you both to pillars of salt before pursuing my evil twin.

Samuel: Certainly. This place was once a land of riches and possibility, of great progress and many wonders; this is the world you remember, I am certain. The one that has been reduced to...this place void of hope, love...faith. These lands was once housed a great dream...but that dream, through one way or another, has fallen into corrupt hands. It has been stolen under my watch...and this, dear Glooskap, this is all that is left of our paradise.

Glooskap: Stolen, you say...

Samuel: By a great force of evil, I'd say...

Uncle Tom: The Devil, s'far as we c'n wager.

Samuel: Yes. None but he could taint the dream in so many minds.

Glooskap: I do not know of this Devil you speak of, but I know of no greater evil than my brother.

Samuel: The man who was here a moment ago.

Glooskap: That is the one. While I am creator, hero to my people, he is a virus; a scourge. He also spoke of an item he had stolen. And though I am not as smart as my brother, I was keen enough to notice the look in his eyes upon seeing you.

Samuel: Meaning...

Uncle Tom: You brothers wit the Devil?

Glooskap: It is my great shame. But, if your words are true, then we have a common enemy.

Samuel: Glooskap, great warrior of the native people of this land. I want you to aid us in our quest to regain the American Dream.

Glooskap: Years of failed attempts at besting Malsum have shown me that I cannot do it alone. (pause) Samuel. Tom. I will fight by your side this day.

Samuel, Uncle Tom and Glooskap exit. Bea and Norm enter from opposite sides of the stage, the kitchen scene materializing with them.

Bea: What's her name, Norman?

Norm: I don't know what you're talking about...

Bea: What is her name.

Norm: You're talking crazy, Bea. You're overworked. You need to take a break...

Bea: I have been your wife for twenty-two years. The least I deserve is a name.

Norm: D****t, I'm not seeing another woman!

Bea: Bullshit!

Norm: What's for dinner?

Bea: Norman!

Norm: I work my a*s off all day long, have to hear your fucked up accusations, I deserve some goddamn dinner!

Bea: (restraining herself) It's in the oven.

Norm: Good. What'd you make?

Bea: (on the verge of tears) Pork chops and mashed potatoes.

Norm: Good. A nice normal meal for a change, eh? Heh. (sits) Heat it up for me, will ya?

Bea starts toward the oven then stops herself.

Bea: No.

Norm: Jesus...

Bea: When was it? When was it that you stopped loving me?!

Norm: F*****g Christ...

Bea: When was it that I was no longer enough for you?! When was it that this went from a place of love and support to torture for you?!

Norm: You're outta your f*****g mind!

Norms rises and crosses Bea, toward the exit. Bea grabs Norm by the arm.

Bea:  You're not running away from me this time-!

Norm pulls himself free of her grip.

Norm: Get the f**k off of me! (darkens) Her name is Anna. You don't know her. She's from a couple towns over. We met at a conference. She's eight years younger than you, but she looks like she's twenty-three. She's prettier than you, too, and when we make love I don't feel so depressed over the fact that I've wasted my best years cooped up in this f*****g shithole of a house with a lousy f*****g excuse for a wife!

Norm exits. Bea sits just as she was at the end of her last scene. Casey enters as she did before.

Casey: Mom? Mom, are you okay?

As Casey addresses the audience, Norm returns. He and Bea exit, taking the kitchen with them.

Casey: (to audience) There were many more nights that I'd come home to my mom crying in the kitchen, the living room, her bedroom. Sometimes I'd find my dad, drunk out of his mind, in the family room reeking of alcohol and staring like a maniac at the TV screen. Once or twice I even caught the two of them arguing. They'd stop it as soon as they saw me, of course. This was something they'd probably done for years and I was too...blind? Too dumb to see it before. I...I didn't know what to do. I loved them both so much. When you graduate everyone talks about the things that are about to begin for you. No one told me that the end of high school marked the end of so many things, as well.

Robbie enters and kneels down, hands together in prayer. Casey takes him in for a moment and then returns her attention to the audience.

Casey: This is something that I heard about later: Robbie's visit to church. It's not one of my memories, really, like my parent’s fighting, but...Lisa told me about it and...about how this is where it started...and my imagination took hold and, well, here's what I imagine it was like...

Robbie: (facing the heavens) God. Hi. Robbie here. I know. It’s been a while, but...here I am. (pause) I'd like to think of myself as a man of logic. And, in case you haven't heard, when it comes to men of logic you don't fit too well into their definition of the way the world works. Men of logic need proof. Solid proof. Faith...well, it doesn't really have much bearing on us, that's all. We as human beings live in an age where we can prove just about anything. Explain just about anything. I mean, people were once so sure that the sun revolved around the earth, you know that? That the heart was where human thoughts came from. That...that the world was at the whim of family of greedy, lustful gods who would turn into cows and trick pretty girls into sex. So many things disproved or brushed aside as ridiculous and yet you persist. You thrive. In this time of doubt and scientific breakthrough after scientific breakthrough you thrive. I claim to have placed you behind me like birthday wishes and the boogeyman, but here I am. In a church. Talking to silence. (pause) Silence can't hurt me. Silence just...listens, never judges. Silence is all I want right now. There's a war raging in my mind, God. I'm gay. I'm...I don't know why or how but I am. And I'm smart enough to know that there's no changing it. I just wish it didn't have to be this hard. Or, in the very least, I wish I knew...that I could prove that it will get better. A sign, I guess. A sign is what I'm asking for, God. Proof that everything will be okay...

Addison enters. Robbie notices him immediately and tenses up.

Addison: Oh! Hey.

Robbie: Hi! ...hi.

Addison: Sorry, I didn't expect anyone to be here. I come here to clear my head sometimes.

Robbie: Oh. I. Here. It's all yours. I was just leaving...

Addison: Wait. I know you, right? We went to school together.

Robbie: Yeah. I'm Robbie.

Addison: Add-

Robbie: Addison. Yeah. You're kind of a big deal around these parts.

Addison: Heh. I guess I am.

Robbie: Yup.

Addison: This place is pretty awesome, huh? You can feel Him everywhere...

Robbie: Uh huh... Powerful stuff. I'll leave you two to your business.

Addison: You sure? There's plenty of room.

Robbie: I said what I came here to say.

Addison: Okay, dude. Your call. It was great meeting you. Have a great day.

Robbie: You too... (starts of, but stops himself) Addison.

Addison: What's up?

Robbie: I'm sure you're busy and all, with the friends and the preparing to leave for the big city and all that but would you like to hang out sometime?

Addison: Oh. Sure. That'd be awesome.

Robbie: Okay. Cool.

Addison: Cool.

Addison and Robbie exit.

Casey: (to the audience) There you go. (pause) What's next, what's next, what's next...

Hector enters and sits on a curb at a street corner.

Casey: (noticing Hector) Ah, okay. Alright. This works. (to audience) It's around the same time as the Addison and Robbie meeting. My mom and dad were furious at each other and no longer able to hide it so I went for a walk. For hours, it had to've been. Through town, the park, the cemetery.

Caseyreaches off stage and grabs a Styrofoam cup.

Casey: I picked up a cup of lemonade from a little girl selling it on her front lawn and decided to take a seat on some random curb on some random corner, too lost in my thoughts to even notice the guy sitting not five feet away...

Hector: (after studying her for a bit) You okay?

Casey: Huh? Oh. Sorry, I didn't- I'm fine. I'm fine.

Hector: Okay.

Casey becomes noticeably more distraught

Hector: You sure?

Casey: I'm fine! I'm serious.

Hector: Okay.

Casey begins to cry.

Hector: You don't seem so okay...

Casey: Would you be okay if your whole life was being pulled out from under you?! (pause) Sorry.

Hector: It's okay. You're upset. It happens.

Casey: It's just- God! I don't even know where to begin...

Hector: Someone stole my bike.

Casey: What?

Hector: I went into the store to go to work. I come outside and my bike is gone. So now I sit here and wait for my ride to come.

Casey: Sorry about your bike.

Hector: It's okay. I'll work more hours, make more money. I'll have a new bike very soon.

Casey: If only all problems could be solved so simply.

Hector: There are no difficult solutions, I think. Just people making their lives more difficult than they need to be.

Casey: My parents are fighting. My best friend is...not who I thought he was. I'm starting college in two months and have no idea what I want to do with my life...

Hector: Hm. Not bad.

Casey: Not bad.

Hector: Nope. See, I lost my bike. It's gone. No more bike. You at least have your parents, your friend, your college. You're already one step ahead of me.

Casey: I don't understand...

Hector: You have your parents who love you, right?

Casey: Yeah, but-

Hector: And your best friend. He is still here. If you want to be together than you just have to say the word and...there you are. Back together. No words can bring my bike back...

Casey: Yeah, but-

Hector: I graduate next year. I want to go to college, I think. I thought the whole point of college was to figure out what you want to do with your life. It's summer now. Enjoy it.

Casey: Life's not that simple.

Hector: Not with that attitude. Oh. My ride's coming.

Casey: I'm Casey.

Hector: Hector.

Casey: Nice meeting you, Hector.

Hector: You too, Casey. I hope everything works out for you.

Hector exits.

Casey: I went home. Dad wasn't there and mom wasn't saying much. I hit Facebook and YouTube until I couldn't keep my eyes open and then...another installment of Samuel and his ever-growing dream team...

Lights come up on Samuel, Uncle Tom and Glooskap. The sound of a people chattering, seagulls, distant boats and cameras going off can be heard. Uncle Tom and Glooskap look around at the invisible people uncomfortably.

Uncle Tom: Sure is a bois'trous place, this 'un.

Glooskap: Agreed. I am unaccustomed to such commotion.

Samuel: Don't you two worry. The fourth member of our troop exists somewhere between this world and another. We're in a bit of a limbo, as it were, but these people can't see us or touch us. I'll try to call her out of her shrine and coax her to join us on our mission.

Glooskap: Well, if this woman brings nearly as much power as her shrine inspires I will welcome her as a formidable ally indeed.

Samuel: (calling upward) Excuse me! Ma'am! If you would please allow us a moment of your time! I've stretched this dream to its limits and cannot stay here long, but if you would be so kind as to speak with us... We are embarking on a mission of utmost importance and your particular skills would be very much appreciated! (pause) Perhaps she is not home.

Uncle Tom: Or maybe you jus' don't know how to talk to a woman, Samuel. Heh. (calling upward) Pardon me, miss, but my name's Tom n' this's Samuel and Glooskap. You can trust me that this here Samuel's a good man. Plucked me right out o' death's hands, he did. N' this Glooskap's 'bout as fine a hero as they come. We's goin' after the American Dream- somebody done stole it -n' we'd be honored'f you'd get on wit us. Somebody done stole the American Dream, y'see n'-

LIBERTY, 33, sexy French personification of the Statue of Liberty, dressed in flowing robes and the trademark crown, holding her tabula ansata, enters in a huff.

Liberty: (in a pronounced if not stylized French accent) D'accord! Alright! Okay! I am here! Mon deiu. Men. So what is this about the American Dream being stolen?

Samuel: It's true, madame. The American Dream has gone missing.

Uncle Tom: Devil done took it.

Glooskap: My brother.

Liberty: Interesante... (examines Samuel) Hmph. You. Come close to me.

Samuel reluctantly does as she commands.

Liberty: You look familiar. Do I know you from someplace? Have we met? A particularly obnoxious visitor to my island perhaps? A romantic evening in Paris? No. I would never forget a lover. Hm.

Samuel: I assure you we have never met before, but I have heard a great deal about you and I want you and your undying thirst for freedom to join our cause.

Liberty: I bet you do...

Glooskap: Will you join us, mighty woman?

Liberty: Je le ferai. I'll do it. You'd be amazed at how tiresome it is to be so constantly fawned over. Besides, I have felt the cold emptiness that accompanies the sudden disappearance of so grand an idea as le Rêve Américain. The American Dream. As Liberty, equal parts Colombia, matriarch of our nation, and Liberta, Roman goddess of freedom, it is my duty to make certain that the Dream belongs not to one, but to all mankind. Allons-y!

Samuel, Uncle Tom, Glooskap and Liberty exit as the Bea and Norm enter. The kitchen scene is re-created and all three are seated. Casey looks to the audience as if she is about to say something, but then decides, internally, that the she'll remain in the scene. Her parents sit close to one another, facing her with expressions of regret.

Bea: Casey-

Norm: Honeybear, we have to talk to you. You're mother and I have been having problems for a long time. And, now that you're all grown up...

Bea: You're father's moving out.

Norm and Bea: We’re getting a divorce...divorce...divorce... (fade out and both exit with kitchen)

Casey: (to audience) That...didn’t happen. The simultaneous announcement with the echo, but...Agh. A divorce! It was always mom and dad. Mom and dad. Then all of sudden the “and” is replaced with an “or” and it all unravels. I was scared...I was alone and there was nothing I wanted more than to run to my friends, but...

Lisa and Robbie enter, lining up beside her, facing forward.

Casey: They had their own stuff to deal with.

Lisa: (to audience) Chad asked me to move in with him. He gave me this promise ring until he can afford something better. See? Isn’t it beautiful?

Robbie: (to audience) I’m still gay. Doesn’t look like that’s going anywhere. Um...I’m hanging out with Addison soon, so... Oh. I know what you’re thinking. And the answer is a definite ‘no’. A very probable ‘no’. A very probable maybe...

Casey: ...and the way I left things I could only imagine what they’d say if I would have come to them with my problems...

Lisa: (to Casey) Go f**k yourself.

Robbie: (to Casey) Oh my God, Case. I’m so sorry. Want to go to the diner and talk like we used to? My treat...

Casey: (pause) Damn.

Lisa and Robbie exit. Hector enters, taking at seat at the curb as before. They sit close together, looking at a thick book of college majors.

Hector: What about...Elementary Education?

Casey: Nah. Kids aren’t really my thing. I mean, they’re cute but...that’s about it.

Hector: Okay then. Veterinary studies!

Casey: Oh no! I love petting animals...not carving into them and dealing with their slimy insides.

Hector: Fine Arts?

Casey: Stick figures and I are not friends.

Hector: Theater!

Casey: The only time I’ve ever performed on stage was when I played a strawberry in first grade. I peed myself in front of everyone. Still haven’t recovered. Look, Hector, I appreciate this but...nothing really stands out. Casey Johnson. Undeclared. Fitting, dontcha think?

Hector: Things will become clear, Casey. As long as you’re open to it.

Casey: Hmph. (pause) Any idea what you’re going to study?

Hector: Environmental law.

Casey: Really?

Hector: Si. Yeah. I love being outside. The fresh air. The biology of it all. I care about it and want to make a positive impact. I mean, I’m not married to it, but it’s an idea, you know?

Casey: Yeah.

There is a spell of silence as Casey reflects.

Hector: What’s wrong?

Casey: Oh, nothing I haven’t been whining about for the past two weeks.

Hector: Your parents...

Casey: It’s official. They’re divorced.

Hector: But that’s not what’s really bothering you, is it?

Casey: No...

Hector: Your friends.

Casey: I miss them.

Hector: Go to them then.

Casey: I can’t!

Hector: Why not?

Casey: I’m not ready! They hate me! I-I’m scared! I don’t know anymore! Robbie...a-and Lisa...they don’t need me anymore... God, why do you put up with me? Ha. I’m sure you’ve got friends who aren’t a constant mess!

Hector: It’s a nice way to pass the time ‘til my ride comes.

Casey: Heh.

Hector: Ha. Oh. Speaking of...

Casey: Your ride.

Hector: Right on time. (pause) Casey, I like you a lot. You’re a good girl. Just breathe, okay? You got a lot of people who love you. Don’t let a few little surprises keep you from loving them back.

Casey: Okay.

Hector: See you tomorrow?

Casey: See you tomorrow.

Casey watches him off, smiling innocently before returning to the audience she, for a moment, seemed to have forgotten.

Casey: Oh. Hey. I'm back. It was around this time, give or take a few days, that Robbie and Addison met up.

Robbie and Addison enter, taking seats at the dinner. Their meals are done and they are enjoying a conversation, silently.

Casey: It was at the town's one and only diner. Open daily from five to one. We'd go there every once and a while to study or celebrate or whatever. It has the best cherry cheesecake in the whole state. Ask anybody. I remember one time, during the Independence Day Parade, so many people dropped in that they ran out of that cake. I think that's the closest we've gotten to a total riot since the Civil War era. (clears throat) Robbie and Addison. At the diner.

Robbie: Haha, no way! Really?!

Addison: Yup. I had this theory that if I stuck my finger up in that faucet, then the water pressure would make the pipes explode and, you know, kids think explosions are cool.

Robbie: Ha. How old were you?

Addison: Six? Seven.

Robbie: And it got stuck!

Addison: It did! My grammy tried butter, a shoehorn, praying, but nothing could get my finger out of there.

Robbie: So what happened?

Addison: She called 9-1-1. The sheriff came over himself, just laughing, with his tool belt. He took apart the faucet, poured a little oil in there and- pop -pushed my finger right out.

Robbie: Wow.

Addison: Not my finest hour, I know. What about you? Any embarrassing stories from your childhood.

Robbie: Not particularly. No.

Addison: Oh, come on! I told you like ten!

Robbie: I'm serious! I guess the only really embarrassing things about my childhood is that there are no embarrassing things. I was too cautious. If something was even the slightest bit dangerous or scary I wouldn't do it. No jungle jims. No pinching the people I had crushes on. I've never even climbed a tree.

Addison: You're kidding!

Robbie: I wish. I can only imagine how upset the great Addison Abbott must feel to be in the midst of a lay loser such as myself.

Addison: Don't do that...

Robbie: Do what?

Addison: That. Calling me...“great”.

Robbie: I'm sorry, but...you are.

Addison: I'm a small town hero. Why? Because of a few trophies an my good looks...

Robbie: No! No, that is not was I was talking about at all. I was referring to your bravery. I never would have put my finger in that faucet. And your leadership skills. People listen to you...and they should because you're a genuine good guy. Oh, and that absolutely corny sense of humor. No one can pull off a pun quite like you. That's why you're great, Addison.

Addison: Well...I...thank you. But don't sell yourself short. You're like, a super genius right?

Robbie: I know some things, but that's just more proof that I'm a social shut-in.

Addison: I should have been doing more of that than making winning touchdowns and hanging out.

Robbie: Regardless, you're going to the big city; to a great school.

Addison: And it scares the hell out of me.

Robbie: You'll be fine. Guys like you can do anything.

Addison: Where're you going to college. Harvard? Yale?

Robbie: Oh no. Community college. My ivy league dreams were cut short by a formidable blend of never applying myself as much as I could have, being financially inept and...life.

Addison: Ah.

Robbie: Uh huh. How was the shake?

Addison: Awesome. Yours?

Robbie: Incredible.

Addison: Look at that. Our lives are not exactly in the best place they could be, but we have awesome shakes.

Robbie: And pleasant company. I like you, Addison Abbot.

Addison: You're a cool guy yourself, Robbie.

Casey: (anxious) They left the diner and decided to walk home. Through the park. It was a really nice day and they enjoyed each other's company. Plus they lived pretty close. About ten blocks away from each other. Seven, maybe. No more than ten. (pause) It made sense.

The diner is no more and Addison and Robbie walk through the park. Addison comes to a complete stop to take it all in.

Addison: I'm gonna miss this place.

Robbie: Yeah. It's beautiful.

Addison: Two weeks . Two weeks and the town I spent all of my life isn't going to be my town anymore.

Robbie: Oh, come on. This place will always be your town.

Addison: Maybe. Maybe not. Things feel different. Already. Inside me, it's like my body knows something my head doesn't and its rearranging itself for what's coming.

Robbie: How do you mean?

Addison: (changing the subject) Man, I love this park. I'd come out into these woods, all alone like we are...away from all the attention and the expectations and my Grammy and just..be myself, you know? (Robbie nods. Addison faces him) I like you. I liked today. I can be my corny laid back self around you. I like that.

Robbie: Me too. This is nice.

Addison: (his attention is pulled back to his surroundings) Mmhm...

Robbie: Addison...

Robbie touches Addison on the shoulder and, upon positioning himself in front of Addison, kisses him lightly in the lips. Addison, shocked and furious, shoves Robbie away immediately.

Addison: (pushes Robbie away, shocked and furious) What the hell?! What the f**k, man?!

Robbie: Huh. I'm-I'm sorry. I thought you were...

Addison: Thought I was what?!

Addison shoves Robbie again, harder this time.

Addison: A f*****g f****t! The f**k, man?! Jesus Christ!

Robbie: I'm sorry!

Addison: Shut the f**k up, f****t! God damn! I'm gonna make you regret you ever did that to me...

Both characters freeze as Casey takes center stage once again.

Casey: Addison went off to college a little after that.

Addison exits.

Casey: They had a huge goodbye party for him at the church and pretty much the whole town was there. Except Robbie. Lisa called me a couple days later to ask if I'd heard from him. I hadn't. No one had.

Robbie exits.

Casey: Was I worried? Of course I was! The way we'd left things...It was around this time that had another dream. It's the one I remember the most from that summer because, well, it was too...colorful...to forget.

As she speaks the scene behind her changes. PECOS BILL, 32, rugged, handsome cowboy of legend, enters and sits on a rock with his guitar in hand.

Pecos: (singing)
Oh, give me a home
Where the buffalo roam
Where the deer and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard
A discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day

Home, home on the range
Where the dear and the antelope play
Where seldom is heard
A discouraging word
And the skies are not cloudy all day

During the following verse, Samuel enters with Uncle Tom, Glooskap and Liberty in tow, unnoticed by Pecos at first. Samuel approaches Pecos and, by the end of the final verse, Samuel is directly at his side and Pecos has become well aware that he is not alone.

Since I was tyke
I did just what I like
Can't nobody sling guns like I do
If yer gal's lookin' fine
You'll be dead, she'll be mine
Then I'll scoot on to town number two

BAM! POW! I ain't bad
Only I do good in my own way
Heck, Was wolves raised me up
Ain't I one handsome pup?
If I bite you that's just how I play

Pecos raises his guitar like a weapon and faces the others.

Pecos: Yah! Didn't think I knew y'all was sneakin' up on me, didja? Can't nobody east, west, north or south of the Rockies creep up on Pecos Bill...greatest cowboy that ever there was! Now state yer business before I knock yer blocks clean across the Pacific Ocean. N' don't think I can't. I'm Pecos Bill, greatest cowboy that ever there was.

Liberty: So you've said.

Pecos: Wooee, well what'll we have here? What's a pretty little diddy like you doin' with this pack o' fools? Let ol' Pecos show you what a real man can do for ya...

Glooskap: You do not disrespect-

Liberty: Silence, Hiawatha. I can protect myself.

Pecos: Oh, I like me that accent. Where're you from, girly? Canada?

Liberty: (to Glooskap) He is all yours.

Glooskap: I thank you. (draws his knife)

Samuel: Glooskap, no-

Pecos: You challengin' me, Injun? Ha! I almost feel sorry for ya. Everybody west o' the Rio Grande knows that to challenge Pecos Bill is a danged death sentence. Yeehaaa!

Glooskap: And my people know that in all the earth and sea there are none more powerful than I, their protector.

Pecos: Ten paces. At ten we turn n' give the other what we got. Deal?

Glooskap: I will play by your rules, white man.

Pecos: One...two...three...

Uncle Tom: Nah I never claimed t'be the smartest man in th'world, but I been 'round long enough to know that breakin' out into shootin' n' goin' on ain't never made nothin' right. Jus' makes it an even bigger bear've a prob'lem down the way...

Samuel: Tom speaks true.

Liberty: (to Samuel and Tom) Arrête, mes amis. Arrête. I have seen this look in the eyes of many men who have lain each other to waste fighting over me. There will be no satisfying them until one or both is bleeding out all over. Répugnant. Magnifique. Inévitable.

Pecos: Would y'all please hush up so I can keep countin'? (pause) Four. Five. Six. Seven. Eight. Nine. TEN!

Pecos draws his weapons from his holsters. He removes a pair of six-shooters. The barrels have been replaced by ears of corn.

Pecos: What the hay?!

Liberty: Oh, how exquisite.

Glooskap: Is there a problem, Pecos Bill?

Pecos: My-! You-! What'd you go n' do to my pistols?!

Glooskap: I merely transformed something destructive into something nourishing.

Uncle Tom: Good man, this'un.

Samuel: Pecos. If we could have a word with you-

Pecos: Shut yer trap, old man! Magic tricks ain't no match for me! (raises his guitar) I'm gonna smash yer skull, you rottin' Injun.

Glooskap: I disagree.

Glooskap raises his hand to the guitar and Peco's instrument becomes heavier in his hands.

Pecos: What the-?!

No longer able to hold the weight of the guitar, he drops it on the ground.

Pecos:  Dang! Y'know what?! I don't need to prove myself to you people!

Pecos starts to exit.

Samuel: Wait.

Pecos: Y'all might've caught me by surprise this time, but I'll get my revenge.

Samuel: Do not go...

Pecoa: I am Pecos f****n' Bill! Greatest cowboy that ever there was!

Pecos exits.

Samuel: I...want you...

Lights out. All exit. Casey emerges, dimly lit. She sits, waiting. Hector arrives with his old green bike. Casey immediately jumps to her feet.

Casey: Hector! You got it!

Hector: Yup. Not the prettiest thing but no more sitting on the curb. Heh.

Casey: Yeah...

Hector: I figured I would stop by in case you were here.

Casey: Here I am.

Hector: There you are. (pause) Okay, well, I'm going to ride home. Ah, and it's so early. This is a good day.

Casey: Okay. See ya.

Hector: See you, Casey.

Hector starts off.

Casey: Hector, wait!

Hector: What's up?

Casey: Hector, I- Are you going to be another thing I lose this year?

Hector reaches into his pocket and pulls out a piece of paper. Writes something down and hands it to her.

Hector: That is up to you, friend. This is my number. Have a good day!

Hector exits.

Casey: You too!

Casey examines the piece of paper for a while and then places it in her pocket. Robbie enters unnoticed. He moves toward her, hesitates, then continues. He has a black eye. There is a moment of pause where Casey feels the presence of someone behind her and Robbie swallows a sudden urge to run.

Robbie: Casey.

Casey: R-Robbie...?

Robbie: Hey.

Casey: Hey.

Robbie: Who was that guy?     /     Casey: What happened to your eye?

Casey and Robbie: Heh.

Robbie: Already found a replacement for me? You work fast, Casey Johnson.

Casey: No. I mean- His name is Hector. He's nice.

Robbie: I bet.

Casey: Your eye. What happened?

Robbie: Bad first date.

Casey: Ah. (pause) Lisa and I were worried about you. You disappeared.

Robbie: I know.

Casey: Where were you?

Robbie: Away. I had to gather my thoughts and figure out my next path of action without being surrounded by all the rampant abandonment of this town. That wasn't meant to hurt you. Just a general fact.

Casey: I know. And what did you figure out?

Robbie: That I'm going to stick around here. I'm going to go study hard, ace all of my classes and then get a full ride to a better place. Maybe change the world. We'll see.

Casey: Cool.

Robbie: How's the family?

Casey: Divorced.

Robbie: What?

Casey: Yup.

Robbie embraces Casey.

Robbie: Oh, Casey I'm so sorry...

Casey pulls away.

Casey: I'm sorry.

Robbie: Are you okay?

Casey: I'm fine. It doesn't matter. I...abandoned you.

Robbie: You were scared.

Casey: I'm your best friend!

Robbie: You were scared.

Casey: You would've never done that to me.

Robbie: Well, that's true. Heh.

Casey: I never stopped thinking about you. It's just-

Robbie: Don't. No rambling Casey apology necessary. We’re here. Now. (smiles to himself) Do you remember that time with the macaroni and cheese in third grade? Since we started school your favorite lunch was Macaroni Mondays. You craved the stuff. The level in which you loved it was alarming, actually. So kindergarten through second grade your love only grows. Then, one day in third grade Macaroni Monday rolls around, but instead of elbow macaroni the noodles are straight. I'll never forget the look on your face when you saw them. Ha. It was like you were staring at a Shakespeare play written in Wingdings. You started bringing bagged lunch on Mondays. Then that fateful day came along, five, six weeks later when you left your lunch on the bus and were forced to eat the straight noodles or starve. You loved them instantly.

Casey: Ha.

Robbie: What?

Casey: (smirking) Nothing. It's just that I was upset that the macaroni noodles weren't straight. And... (gestures at Robbie)

Robbie: You're a complex girl.

Casey: I missed you.

They hug.

Robbie: Me too, you. Hey, wanna join me at the diner? We can grab a couple shakes and burgers and talk about things.

Casey: I'd like that.

Robbie: Excellent.

They exit.

ACT II

Note that the scenes of Act II follow a more scene-to-scene structure as opposed to the more fluid shift of locales that defines Act I.

Scene 1
A dark, craggy place, more defined than it had been in the first act. Pecos Bill enters, fuming.

Pecos: Dangit! Gah! Stupid Injun! Stupid guitar! Corn on the cob... Nobody makes a fool outta Pecos Bill, greatest...

Pecos stumbles over a rock.

Pecos: Dangit!

Pecos takes a seat. BLACK BART, 40, an intense well-dressed man with a handlebar mustache, enters wearing a burlap sac with eye-holes on his head. He is holding a single pistol pointed at Pecos.

Bart: Afternoon, sir.

Pecos: (notices Bart) Aw, Hell, who're you?

Bart: I'm sorry, but are you serious?

Pecos: Why would I lie 'bout something stupid as that?

Bart removes the sac from his head.

Bart: I was sure the burlap sac would've tipped you off.

Pecos: Nope.

Bart: Honestly, I'm a bit disappointed. Okay. Okay. How about this? (clears his throat)“I've labored long and hard for bread/For honor, and for riches/But on my corns too long you've tread/You fine-haired sons of b*****s.” Eh?

Pecos: Nothing.

Bart: I'm Bart. Black Bart: the infamous stage robber.

Pecos: Ain't you dead?

Bart: (his voice loses the accent and becomes somewhat darker) He died. Yes. I figured by tranforming into something familiar I could connect with you on a personal level, but ya can’t win ‘em all. Interesting stuff, though. You know, cowboys generally lived out on ranches and herded cattle their whole lives. The rootin' tootin' gun-slinging men of legend are totally unfounded in history. Not real. Not real...

Pecos: Wait just a minute. Who are you?

Bart: That's not really important, bud. What is important, though, is you. You, and what you can do for me.

Pecos: For you?! Pecos Bill ain't nobody's-

Bart: Oh. Ha. I'm sorry. I didn't clarify. You're going to help me or I will take this pistol and make it so you'll never be of any help to anyone else again.

Pecos: (steps up to Bart) Do yer worst.

Bart: You got it.

Bart aims his gun at Pecos' head. Pecos stands his ground without fear.

Bart: Ah, just as I suspected.

Bart hands the pistol to Pecos.

Bart: Here ya go. Take it.

Pecos snatches the gun and points it at Bart.

Bart: You're a funny guy. Put that down. Come on.

Pecos: You're crazy.

Bart: Crazy. Brilliant. The greatest thing ever. Semantics. Here's my dilemma: There are a group of people I'm dying to meet, but I can't do it on my own. That is to say, without you.

Pecos: Why should I care?

Bart: Because you're a ..ha...do-gooder cowboy? Because I gave you a lovely gun? (pause) Because the group of people that I would like to become acquainted with in a manner most painful is the very same group of people who humiliated you a few hours ago...

Pecos: Forget them! Forget you. I'm getting out of this place.

Pecos starts off.

Bart: You can't.

Pecos: I'm Pecos Bill...

Bart: Good for you. But I don't care how tough you are or about your way with ladies or guns or wrangling various animals...the truth is, there's only one way out of here and that's through me. But I can't do it without them...and I can't find them without you.

Pecos: What's so special about me?

Bart: You're not afraid of me. (pause) I was trapped here, like you, by a man searching for answers. This wasteland is his idea of what has become of the world...a dark, hopeless void. He thinks the answers lie in us...or, more importantly, me. He's put together a team of his choosing to take me down and regain what he thinks I've stolen.

Pecos: What've you stolen?

Bart: Nothing. But it doesn't matter. He's convinced.

Pecos: What do you think I can do?

Bart: Join them. Lead them to me.

Pecos: Why can't you just go to them?

Bart: (furious) Because I can't! He put together this group of characters to seek me out in a place that he created...but they can't find me! I could walk right up to them now and they won’t be able to get me! And do you know why...? I'll tell you. Because there is nothing someone looking for answers fears more than finding the very answers that they seek.

Pecos: I found you.

Bart: You're not afraid! You're not afraid of anything! That's why he chose you. As the wildcard, the back-up plan in case the rest were too chicken to see me for what I am.

Pecos: What...are you?

Bart: So many questions! Gah! I am the enemy that exists within oneself. There. Now go join the others. Join them so that we can get out of this awful place!

Pecos and Bart gaze at one another for a time. Pecos eventually breaks.

Bart: That's my boy.

Pecos: What's going to happen when they confront you?

Bart: Same thing that always does, I guess. Towers will crumble and I will be free.

Lights go down as Pedro then Bart exit.

Scene ii- A different area in the same place
Lights rise with Glooskap entering, followed closely by Liberty.

Glooskap: What craft my brother has to evade me for this long...

Liberty: Mon deiu, mon ami. Don’t beat yourself up over it. We will find him. And when we do, we will make certain that he will no longer pose a threat to our people.

Glooskap: I have not met a woman so confident and strong as you, Liberty.

Liberty: You are kind, Glooskap, but it is one thing to have strength and another to have power. It seems that lately the latter has evaded me...

Glooskap: Nonsense. What do you mean? I saw all of your worshippers with my own eyes.

Liberty: Ha. Those people? Ha. They only worship my physique. My fame. They do not worship me. There was a time not too long ago that I stood for something; that people would come to me, so full of fear, so full of hope and passion. They would see in my eyes a sense of freedom, of equality and rebirth. From my gaze they would gain much strength. Sometimes joy, so pure and intense. Things are different now and I fear that, no matter what, I am powerless to affect my people as I once did...

Glooskap: When the white man descended upon my people, ravaging our tradition, our lands, I told them not to fear. I told them that we are like our brothers and sisters, the flora and fauna of the earth. Try as you might to destroy us, we will be reborn. Nature will thrive once again. There is a cycle we are all subject to. The sun sets so that it may rise again. You will be worshipped as you deserve to be, woman.

Liberty: Perhaps. And what is it you are afraid of, brave Glooskap?

Glooskap: (pause) I am a protector. My greatest fear is that I will not be able to overpower my brother and therefore remove all evil from the land.

Liberty: And if we do defeat your brother. What then?

Glooskap: What do you mean?

Liberty: What is a protector when there is nothing from which his people need protection?

Glooskap: (a sort of fear washes over him that is quickly suppressed) Content. (actively changing the subject) You would make a fine wife, Liberty.

Liberty: My heart belongs only to my people, monsieur.

Glooskap: As does my own.

Pause.

Liberty: Agh, where are they?

Glooskap: I hope they have not run into trouble...

Liberty:  Oui. I suppose splitting up to cover more ground has its flaws. Pour example, finding the things you are looking for with only half your bande.

Glooskap: Should we go after them?

Liberty: They’re big boys. Give them a few more minutes...

Uncle Tom stumbles in. His clothing is torn and he is bleeding. His leg is injured. He collapses in front of Glooskap and Liberty.

Liberty: Tom!

Liberty and Glooskap help Tom to his feet.

Glooskap: Are you alright?

Liberty: Ou est Samuel?

Glooskap: What happened to you?

Uncle Tom: (catches his breath) Th’came outta no place!

Liberty: Who did?

Glooskap: Musclan?

Uncle Tom: Th’devil? Nah, was somethin’ else. We was a’ roamin’ ‘cross them ragged fields n’ all a’ sudden we hears a sound comin’ from ‘hind a rock inna distance. Somethin’ fierce-soundin’, like a mix a’ lightnin’ n’ shriekin’. Was the devil we thought n’ we startin’ on ova there t’see fo’ ourselves... But b’fo we e’en got there they was on us...

Liberty: Who?

Uncle Tom: Them slavers, fa’ as I c’n tell.

Glooskap: Slavers?

Uncle Tom: Thas what they was, I’m near sure of it, but they wasn’t to’lly human neither. Was dozen of ‘em, comin’ at me n’ Samuel wit whips n’ shackles ‘n they hands and big ol’ sharp tooth grins on they faces. Skin was like stone n’ they clothes was all messed up like is was the only clothes they owned. Black beady ol’ eyes. Soulless. I knew right aways they was the devil’s men...

Glooskap: His men? My brother has no followers to my knowledge.

Liberty: Remember what Samuel said, Glooskap. The Devil takes many forms and leads many lives. Your brother might work alone but Tom’s devil has many demon followers who do his bidding.

Uncle Tom: Tha’s right. He does...

Glooskap: Go on, Tom...

Uncle Tom: So, knowin’ that these creatures was o’ Satan n’ not my fellow man I gots to puttin’ up my fists n’ fightin’ fo’ my life. God as my witness I wan’t gonna be no slave o’ Satan no’ mo’.

Liberty: What about Samuel?

Uncle Tom: Oh, he was puttin’ up a good fight, too, praise th’Lord. But they was too many. Kept comin’, mo’ n’ mo’ til they was hunnids all around us. Tha’s when Samuel tol’ me, “Tom! Get outta here! I c’n handle this, but you gotta get yo’self back to th’others n’ find that Devil fo’ its too late!” I di’n’t wanna leave ‘em n’ I made it known, but he’s right. Somebody had’ta warn ya ‘bout what’s comin’...

Liberty: Merde!

Glooskap: We have to find my brother! It is the only way to stop this from happening yet again.

Liberty: Should we not go after Samuel?

Glooskap: Defeating...the Devil is the only way to stop all of this. Samuel said it himself.

Liberty: But...

Glooskap: This army Tom speaks of may be more than my powers can overcome...

Liberty: Where do we even begin looking? How long have we been on this hunt? Hours? Days?

Uncle Tom: Can’t seem t’tell the diff’rnce here...

Pecos enters, smug.

Liberty: (to Tom) You know, Glooskap and I were attacked as well. It was nothing like yours, but- (notices Pecos) You...

Pecos: Howdy.

Glooskap: What do you think you are doing here?

Pecos: (oogling Liberty) Takin’ in the view...

Liberty: Cochon!

Glooskap: We do not have time to deal with your antics right now, cowboy!

Pecos lifts Bart’s pistol to Glooskap’s head in the blink of an eye.

Pecos: You will show me some respect and you will show it now. In case you missed it, my name is Pecos Bill. I was raised by wolves, teethed on a hunting knife, used a rattlesnake as a lasso, dug the Rio Grande, got me a horse than can’t nobody handle but me, rode a real life tornader and once was forced to shoot the only woman I ever loved dead to keep her from going slow n’ painful. Havin’ said that I think I’ve made it clear that I will certainly not hesitate to finish you off without a glimmer o’ guilt. You might’ve got me before with your little magic tricks but, mark my words, Injun: If 'n you even think you’re gonna try any o’ that s**t on me again you can bet yer last buck I’m gonna splatter your brains so far across this land I’m gonna give a whole new meaning to the words ‘Painted Desert’.

Liberty: Quelle veux-tu?! ...Ah!...What do you want?!

Pecos: What do I-?! I want to get the f**k outta here is what I want!

Glooskap: And you think we do not?!

Pecos: Shut yer trap!

Uncle Tom: Glooskap's right, cowb-

Pecos: You shut up, too! Goddang you people boil my blood! Now listen. You want out. I want out. The only way to git out is to get to the devil. I know where he is. So yer gonna keep yer mouths shut and yer gonna follow me. Got that?

Glooskap: I do not trust this one.

Pecos: What other options you got? Oh, and where’s that white-haired feller was with you last time?

Uncle Tom: Devil got ‘im.

Pecos: Ya don’t say.

Glooskap: We will follow you.

Pecos: (returns the gun to its holster) Good. Very good. Follow me.

ALL exits.

Scene iii- A third and more extravagant section of the same area.
This is the the Devil's lair. The DEVIL, 20-40, devilishly handsome in expensive dressy casual, lounges with a plate holding a slice of apple pie in hand. Before him is a beaten and tattered Samuel, shackled at his hands, down on both knees.

Devil: (to Samuel) Want some pie? (Samuel is silent) I’ve got some vanilla ice cream somewhere... No? Okeedokee. More for me.

Samuel: Release me.

Devil: (mocking) Release me. Sorry, that was mean. Fear not, old man. Help is on the way. And to pass the time: a song. Don't worry, it's public domain. (clears throat)

When Johnny comes marching home again,
Hurrah! Hurrah!
We'll give him a hearty welcome then
Hurrah! Hurrah!
The men will cheer and the boys will shout
The ladies they will all turn out
And we'll all be glad when Johnny comes marching home.
Yes, we'll all be glad when Johnny comes marching home...

The old church bell will peal with joy
Hurrah! Hurr-

Pecos enters, followed by Glooskap, Liberty and Uncle Tom

Devil: Ah, right on time.

Liberty: Oh, Samuel. (to Devil) What have you done to him?

Liberty and Uncle Tom help Samuel to his feet.

Devil: Nothing.

Glooskap: No more circle-speak. Release Samuel and give us what we have come for!

Devil removes Samuel's shackles.

Devil:  He's all yours. Now what was that second part?

Samuel: The American Dream, Devil.

Devil: Uh huh. And what makes you think I have that?

Glooskap: Because, who other than you would be so cruel as to steal the hopes and purity of our people?

Devil: I hear what you're saying and it's not really ringing any bells.

Liberty: We have lost so many things. Our people have been tormented, rejected and destroyed when I once remember a time when we dreamed of something more.

Uncle Tom: Ain't no try'na snake your way outta this one, Devil. We on'ta you. You got any idea what you put my people through...

Devil: Okay. O-kay, I see what's going on here. You've all come to blame me for your troubles. I'm a busy man, you know that? I don't have time to be summoned and trapped in these sorts of situations every time someone has a personal crisis. You cry because your life is hard, because you remember happier times and this is the s**t you bring to my doorstep. Every time. Blaming your oppressors doesn’t bring you happiness so you blame me. Heaven forbid you even think about blaming yourself...so you blame me. I did not create evil. You did. Your people did...and you’re too set in your ways to do anything about it. (to Uncle Tom) You and your pure Christian heart fear me because of the evil I represent; the evil you have seen at the hands of many a violent owner. It was your fear that conjured that army of slavers when you thought you were close to finding me. Anything's better than facing the choice you always had: to just not let yourself be owned anymore. The risk, too scary to be worth it, eh? (to Liberty) You’re afraid of accepting the fact that you’ve lost your value to the people, but they were never truly free in the first place. You were just delusional. (to Glooskap) You-

Glooskap: This is ridiculous. I have fought you countless times. I do not fear you.

Devil: Ha...brother...you have battled me over the millennia...and each time I escaped. You could have killed me more times than I can begin to count, but you fear a world without me. A world where you are meaningless. You were content with our eternal war and, the moment you joined this group you saw, for the first time, the possibility of my being defeated and it was that fear, most of all, that kept you from finding me. (gesturing toward Pecos) Fortunately, you all had a fail-safe. Someone truly fearless. And now we’re all together. Lovely, yes?  Samuel chose well with this one. (to Samuel) Speaking of your fearful leader. What is he afraid of? A couple things, actually. But, most importantly, the weight that comes with you all finding out who he truly is and, consequently, that if there is anyone to blame...it’s him. Ah, now for the reveal. My favorite part. BRB!

The Devil exits.

Pecos: I like this guy.

Liberty: Let’s just finish him and get on with it...

The Devil returns with a blue trench coat, red bow tie and American flag top hat.

Devil: I have returned! (to Samuel) Come to me.

He gestures for Samuel to come and, as if the latter has no control over his own body, Samuel is pulled to the other. The Devil begins to dress him.

Devil: Hold still. Hold still. (finishes with the bow tie) And...done! Look familiar, kids? Our pal Samuel is none other than Uncle Sam, personification of America! (to Pecos) You know, the guy who brought law to your beloved wild west. (to Glooskap) The one responsible for taking your lands and destroying your people. (to Liberty) The one who built high guarded walls keeping those in search of a better life away from your doorstep. (to Uncle Tom) The one who thought it was a great idea to snatch up your ancestors from their homes and reduce them to slaves. This is who you choose to follow?! You search for the American Dream while you were with his pathetic arse all along! What do you have to say for yourself, Sam...?

Glooskap: Lies! He has a serpent’s tongue!

Pecos: Damn.

Liberty: Samuel?

Samuel lowers his head and looks away.

Uncle Tom: W-well, it don’t matter none t’me. It don’t! I told’m this be’fo n’ I say it ag’n. This man’s a good man. Whateva he done, he a good man now.

Samuel: (defeated) Were only all men as noble as you, Tom. Myself included. (to all) I have done a great many things. A great many things. But the cost... My land was magnificent. But...the cost... You must first understand that, never once, did I not act for the people. Not once were my actions for the betterment of myself, but for my country. When you laughed, I laughed. When you bled, when you cried, when you hungered for something more so did I. And I tried, to the best of my ability, to deliver. Causing pain was never the goal...but we did deem it necessary for the advancement of the whole. I’m sorry. So many mistakes I have become aware of. And now, now I don’t know what I am or what I am to become or what I am needed to be. I have lost touch with the American Dream... Or perhaps it had never been mine to possess in the first place. Go. Go all of you. I am not fit to lead you in this quest. You are free.

They each leave, one by one, silently saying their goodbyes to Samuel. Pecos is first, followed by Liberty, Glooskap, and then Uncle Tom. Casey enters. She and Uncle Sam share a glance. Casey smiles. Uncle Sam nods in understanding. The Devil, enraged by their kind exchange, rushes off with a grin. Uncle Sam exits. The dream ends.

ACT III

ACT III is a return to ACT I’s fluid scene structure. Casey stands, facing the audience, dressed in brighter clothes on a brighter stage. Hector and Bea enter and take seats at the kitchen scene that materializes when they arrive. A container is on the table. Casey joins them. They eat lunch.

Bea: So, Hector, you’re still in high school.

Hector: Yes, ma’am. It’s my last year.

Bea: Oh, you must be excited. Any plans for college?

Hector: Yes.

Casey: Environmental law.

Bea: I’m sorry?

Hector: It’s like, regulations that deal with protecting the earth from abuse. Pollution, deforestation...

Casey: It’s totally commendable.

Bea: That’s...very interesting, Hector.

Hector: You have a beautiful home, Mrs...

Bea: ...McAdam. Ms. McAdam. And thank you. Where are you from, Hector? That’s a very...interesting accent...

Hector: Mexico, Ms. McAdam.

Bea: Oh. How long have you been here?

Casey: Mom...

Hector: Since I was seven.

Bea: Oh...

Casey: Hector, show my mom what you brought.

Hector opens the container.

Bea: Ohh, what is this?

Hector: My mom’s biscochitos.

Bea: Bis...

Hector: Biscochitos.

Casey: Try one, mom. They’re awesome.

Bea: Okay...

Bea grabs a cookie and takes a bite.

Bea: Oh my, these are delicious. I'll get some milk.

Bea rises to grab some milk.

Casey: (to Hector) She’s putty in your hands, now.

Hector: (staring at Casey, lovingly) Yeah.

Casey: (blushing) What?

Hector: Can you believe that it was almost five months ago that you sat down beside me on that curb?

Bea returns to the table

Casey: I know! Crazy, right? So much has changed. (she places her hand on Hector’s) That first semester flew by.

Bea: (joyously eating her cookie) Oh, that reminds me! Mrs. Abbot’s picking Addison up from the airport tonight. There’s going to be a huge welcome back party at the church on Saturday.

Casey: (suddenly defensive) I’m not going.

Bea: Bea!

Casey: You know what he did to Robbie!

Bea: Well, Robbie wasn’t exactly subtle if I heard you correctly...

Casey: It doesn’t matter. He’s a jerk.

There is a knock at the door and Robbie enters, dressed for the mid-December weather, all smiles.

Robbie: Hello, all! Mrs. M.

Bea: Robert.

Casey: What’s up?

Robbie: To the park! Hector can come, too.

Casey: The park? It’s freezing outside.

Robbie: Lisa’s orders. She said she has some important news.

Bea: Try one of these cookies, Robert, they’re amazing.

Robbie:  Mm...Biscochitos.

Robbie takes a bite of a cookie.

Robbie:  Hector, your mother is a genius.

Casey: Let me get my coat.

Bea exits as Lisa enters and the scene shifts to the park. Lisa sits with a smile on her face. Casey, Robbie and Hector join her, dressed for the outdoors.

Casey: What is this big news that we couldn’t meet indoors for?

Lisa: I didn’t want somebody to overhear, b***h.

Casey: Yeah, because my warm, cozy house...where we all were anyway...is bugged.

Lisa: Robbie...

Robbie: Casey...

Casey: What?!

Hector: This is your special place, right? Where you would tell your secrets when you were a kid?

Lisa: Thank you.

Robbie: And more recently than that.

Casey: Fine.

Robbie: I'm shivering in anticipation. Please. Share.

Lisa: (to Casey) That’s a hideous scarf.

Casey: Robbie...

Robbie: Lisa...

Lisa: Okay. (she inhales, building the suspense) I’m pregnant!

Robbie: What?!

Casey: Oh my God! Congratulations!

Robbie: What?!

Lisa: I found out last night.

Casey: It’s Chad’s, right...?

Lisa: I swear to God...

Lisa and Casey hold each other’s gazes until they break into laughter and embrace.

Casey: This is so exciting! Do you know what it is yet?

Lisa: We want to be surprised.

Robbie: I don’t even know how to process this...

Lisa: Congratulate me, you freak.

Hector: Congratulations, Lisa.

Lisa: Thanks, Hector.

Robbie: Wow.

Casey: This is so exciting! I’m so excited!

Robbie’s cell phone rings.

Robbie: (answers the phone) Hello? (his tone darkens) Oh. It’s you.

Robbie trails away from the others, who continue to celebrate the news.

Robbie: Look, I'm kind of busy right now. No, I- When? (sighs) Okay. Fine. See you then.

Robbie hangs up the phone and lingers for a while.

Casey: Robbie, who was that? Are you okay?

Robbie: No. Yeah. I'm fine. Fine...

Robbie, Lisa and Hector exit as they scene shifts into that of a small restaurant. Norm enters and he and Casey sit across from one another. There is an obvious tension between them both.

Norm: How're you doing, honey bear?

Casey: Fine.

Norm: How are classes?

Casey: They're good.

Norm: Decide on a major yet?

Casey: Not yet.

Norm: You better get on that before you're falling even further behind. (pause) How's your mother?

Casey: (pause) She's good.

Norm: That's good. Holding together alright?

Casey: She's fine.

Norm: That's good. What about Robbie? Is he still...?

Casey: Yup.

Norm: Hm. That's a shame.

Pause.

Casey: I'm dating a Mexican.

Pause.

Norm: Is he legal?

Casey: Does it matter?

Norm: Yes. He's probably just trying to get a baby in your stomach so he can father a US citizen.

Casey: Dad!

Norm: What! (pause) How's Lisa?

Casey: She's pregnant.

Norm: God, the people you surround yourself with...

Casey rises from her seat in disgust.

Casey:  I'm leaving.

Norm: Casey, honey, wait...

Casey stops.

Norm: We just got here. You've barely eaten your food...

Casey: I'm not that hungry actually. (pause) Were you always this way?

Norm: I don't understand...

Casey: Hm.

Casey exits.

Norm: Casey! Casey...

Norm exits as the scene shifts to the park. Robbie is there, shivering from the cold, pacing back and forth out of a need for warmth and a deal of nervousness. After a few seconds, Addison enters.

Addison: It's snowing.

Robbie: Yeah.

Addison: I know I've said it on the phone, but...I'm sorry.

Robbie: I know.

Addison: Really. I was afraid.

Robbie: (biting) Interesting way of showing it. (understanding) I know.

Addison: So. How was your first semester?

Robbie: Good. Really good. I got a job finally, and I've been staying at these cheap apartments on the other side of town, but I'm saving up where I can and hopefully I'll be out of here by next Spring.

Addison: You should come out my way.

Robbie: I...probably won't do that. How about you? How was life in the big city?

Addison: It was mind-blowing, dude. It completely shattered my mind. All those people and ideas, so many just co-existing, you know. I thought about you a lot. Like how well you'd fit in with all those different types. I never felt so...stupid. But I started to get it. I found some really good friends and...I feel so different now, man. You know how they say that when you come back home and it feels like the town's changed, but really you did? Or something like that.

Robbie: Or something like that, yeah.

Addison: That's where I'm at right now and it's terrifying and it's awesome.

Robbie: Good. I'm happy for you. So no more punching me in the face then? Is that what you're saying? (Addison goes quiet) I'm sorry. It was a joke.

Addison: I'm really sorry about that.

Robbie: I was joking. It's fine. I might have come on a little strong. Arguably.

Addison: Thanks for meeting me out here tonight.

Robbie: No problem. I'm kind of low on friends out here and take what I can get. Heh.

Addison: Heh. You're still funny.

Robbie: Nah, you just have a sick sense of what funny is.

Addison: (moves toward Robbie) I met all kinds of people in that city. All walks of life and colors and creeds and... (pause) I couldn't stop thinking of you. Of that kiss, you know?

Robbie: Oh?

Addison: Yeah.

Addison takes Robbie's hand in his.

Robbie: Wh-what are you doing?

Addison: I don't know.

There is a struggle in both as they move in for a kiss. The kiss is strong, but short and both pull away, Robbie's hands still in Addison's.

Addison: About five months late, but...(clears throat)...there it is.

Robbie: I...I...

Addison: Heh. Look at that. I left you speechless.

Robbie: Wanna come to my place and...talk about this? Or something?

Addison: Sure, but I can't stay too late. I've got that welcome back party in the morning.

Robbie: Okay. That's fine. Cool.

Addison: Yeah. Cool.

Robbie exits and the sound of a cheering audience swells as Addison stands before the lectern. Once he's finished winking and smiling at the masses the sounds fade to silence and he begins to speak.

Addison: (clears throat) Wow. Looks like the whole state came out for this one. Heh. Seriously though, I'm not gonna take up much of your time because I'm sure you're as ready to dig into my grammy's potato salad as much as I am. Look. As you all know I spent the past few months learning to become city boy. Lemme tell you, I know for a fact that I could not have, would not have survived if not for the constant support this town has given me since before I can remember. So, thank you for that. While I was there I saw all sorts of interesting things. Lifestyles and people you guys would not believe. I mean, woo! Ha. I steered clear of them at first because I was- I was afraid, but time went by and I got comfortable and there are some amazing folks out there, guys. Just incredible. And through these people and with God behind me every step of the way I started to learn some new stuff about myself. Little by little I started to change. To grow. I can iron all on my own now, for one. I've been doing yoga. I've tried foods from just about every country you can think of. I've chilled with the poorest of the poor and the richest of the rich. I accepted that I’m  gay. All of these things that have been inside me with just no way of getting out here and now they are and I feel great...and I could not have done it without you. Not a chance. Alright then. I'll shut up now. The food's behind you. Enjoy yourselves!

Addison exits. Casey enters, visibly distraught. She moves to center stage, but her eyes do not meet with the audience until she has mustered a sort of false joy and begins

Casey: Hi. Sorry I haven't talked to you in a while. It's just that I kinda wanted to just..just bowl through it for a bit. (pause) It's almost over now, this whole thing, I mean. My story. I mean, it's not over over, because life is never truly over. Nothing ever truly ends. I mean... (she becomes lost in her thoughts long enough to begin to cry) I'm sorry, I just- I'm not the best storyteller and I probably missed some important stuff. Maybe I should go back...but I can't. You can’t. Okay, Casey. Okay, everyone.

Lisa and Bea enter, all smiles. They are in a baby supply store.

Casey: A few weeks passed since Addison's welcome back party. Christmas had come and gone. New Year's, too. My mom and I decided to take Lisa out for some baby stuff...

Casey joins the scene.

Casey: Oh my God, look at those shoes! They're so tiny!

Lisa: Those are adorable.

Casey: Aren't they? Mom. Look at these shoes. Tell me you're not in love with them.

Bea: They're...nice. What about these, with the little bows?

Casey: She doesn't even know if it's going to be a boy or a girl, mom.

Bea: Your dad was sure you were going to be a boy.

Casey: Yeah, yeah...

Lisa: We have to find those little baby shower heads that you screw on to the faucet.

Casey: Oh, like with the cute ducky heads and the water shoots out of the mouth?

Lisa: Yeah. Where are they?

Casey: Let's ask someone...

Bea: You can't forget bottles, diapers, safety fences...

Casey: Bo-ring. Mom, she has months to find all that.

Lisa: Yeah, Ms. M. This is strictly a pleasure trip.

The girls share a laugh and Casey's phone rings. She examines the screen.

Casey: (to the others) It's Addison...

Lisa: Hm.       /       Bea: Oh...

Casey: (answering the phone) Hello? Uh huh. (She is struck with terror) What?

Bea: Case?

Casey: (crumbling) Uh huh...uh huh...

Lisa: Casey, what's wrong?

Casey: Ok.

Casey's arm, phone in hand, drops to her side. She stares blankly forward as if in shock.

Bea: Sweetheart...

Lisa: Casey, you're scaring me. What the f**k did Addison want...?

Casey: R-Robbie...

Lisa: F**k. What happened to Robbie? Oh my God...

Casey: (breathing heavily) He...um...they...um...

Bea: Breathe, baby...

Casey: Found him...in-in the park...Somebody...um...b- bea-...

Lisa: Oh F**k. Oh God. Oh F**k...

Casey: They beat him up...they just kept-...and he's...Robbie, he's...

Bea and Lisa embrace Casey. Eventually, Casey lifts her head to the audience, breaking free of the other two and speaking directly to them. Hector and Addison enter, forming a line with Bea and Lisa, mourning.

Casey: The police say that three men attacked him while he was walking through the park. Robbie's...orientation had become public knowledge about three months ago, in October. The town tolerated it...mostly. There’d be hate mail or someone offering a cure every once and a while, but mostly just a lot of passive aggressiveness and gossip. And then Addison came home...and came out, and...and it was more than the town could take, I think. Addison was the greatest we had to offer and somehow he had been changed. So much was resting on him fulfilling their dreams of what a man should be, and if Addison, of all people, could be- There was fear...and then anger...then this hunger for revenge. For blame. I'd heard them a couple times. The people who said Robbie had poisoned Addison. Ha, can you believe it? Maybe if I would have taken that kind of talk more seriously... (pause) I had one more dream after the funeral. Like the rest I could only watch, but, honestly...I was just glad I got to see him one more time...

All exit except for Casey, who steps to the side and watches as Robbie enters, looking around as if trying to comprehend an incomprehensible place. Samuel enters, unnoticed by Robbie at first. Robbie quickly notices the other and they examine each other.

Samuel: Hm.

Robbie: What is this? Where am I? And are you...?

Samuel: I am and I'm not.

Robbie: Riddles. Helpful.

Samuel: Hm.

Robbie: Am I dead?

Samuel: You are...and you aren't. You are no longer a physical part of the world you know, but-

Robbie: Great. Murdered. Who could’ve seen that coming? Casey. Lisa. Addison...damn...

Samuel: I'm sorry. (pause)Your killers will be brought to justice.

Robbie: Ah, great. Really. Really great. And that's supposed to make me feel better? I'm dead. Just another victim of fear in a time where good people should be able to just...be. Where we should, as a people, be able to accept and cherish those differences. Fear and corruption should have been conquered by love and acceptance long ago. But...laziness? Ignorance? People are great when they use their own heads, you know. Usually. We've got the potential for utopia inside us if we'd just...let it out. It's only a matter of time, I think, but the waiting...the waiting sucks. This (gestures to himself) shouldn't happen anymore...

Samuel circles Robbie, examining him.

Robbie: What are you doing?

Samuel: Realizing something crucial. I'm no longer afraid. I finally understand.

Robbie: Understand? What? What have you realized?

Samuel: I tried my best, my boy, but my best is not best anymore. What we need now is change. What we need now is a new kind of dream; a new face for the present; the future. What we need now is you. I need you.

Samuel removes his hat from his head and hands it to Robbie.

Samuel: (gesturing to audience) Take care of them. They mean quite a lot to me...

Samuel exits. Robbie stares at the hat, then to the audience, suddenly aware of the responsibility that had been handed to him.

~PLAY END~


© 2012 Trystin S. Bailey



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Added on May 14, 2011
Last Updated on March 11, 2012
Tags: America, homosexuality, Folk Tales, equality

Author

Trystin S. Bailey
Trystin S. Bailey

New York City, NY



About
I am a recent college graduate who loves to dabble in all genres and styles of writing, thrives on characters that are alive with personality, and no matter how fantasticly ridiculous the stories may .. more..

Writing
Not My Son Not My Son

A Stage Play by Trystin S. Bailey