SETTING: MARY’s home back in 1970s.
AT RISE: MARY is sitting at the kitchen table
paying some bills. She has a cigarette going and there is a tall plastic cup beside her. Dressed in pajamas, PATRICK (age 18) walks sleepily onto the stage.
(Looks up. cheerful)
Good morning, sunshine. How did you sleep?
Fine. . .
How does it feel to be back home?
(opens the refrigerator door and looks in)
Good. . . Is there anything to eat?
There’s cereal in the cupboard, or if you want to wait a minute, I can make you some eggs.
(head still in the fridge)
Eggs, please – scrambled!
Scrambled it is.
(The telephone rings offstage. MARY looks to see if PATRICK will get it, but he is oblivious to everything but his gut.)
I’ll get it. . .
(she stands up and walks offstage.)
(While she’s gone, PATRICK closes the refrigerator door, yawns again, then goes to sit at the table. Seeing the tall cup in front of him, he picks it up and takes a sip. Immediately he gasps and sits up in the chair, his hand covering his mouth as if he’s going to vomit.)
Jesus!. . .
(PATRICK is wide awake now, eyeing the cup like it’s poison. He brings it up again for a whiff and cringes – sets the cup down.)
(comes back onstage)
That was your father. He wants you to call him after breakfast.
(Sees PATRICK sitting at the table, looking at the cup. She walks by and casually picks it up, goes to the counter and takes a quick sip.)
(Long pause. Extremely hesitant)
Mom – why are you drinking vodka at nine in the morning?
I took a sip of your drink. Why are you drinking vodka in the morning?
That’s not vodka. It’s grapefruit juice.
(shaking his head)
Mom – I know the difference between vodka and grapefruit juice. That’s mostly vodka.
(Sets the cup down. Back-tracking.)
Well – maybe a little. . . It’s recycling today and I wanted to get rid of the bottle.
Come on. . .
It’s true. . . There was only a little left and I was just tiding up.
That’s ridiculous, mom. It’s nine in the morning!
Don’t talk to me like that!
(Stares at his mother for several seconds. Backing down.)
You’re right, mom – I’m sorry. But it’s the morning. . .
Look – is there something I should know about?
Like maybe you have a drinking problem?
What?. . . Now that’s ridiculous! Look – you’re blowing this way out of proportion. It’s just a little vodka and I wanted to get rid of the bottle. That’s all!
(They both pause – each waiting for the other to say something.)
Okay, mom – okay.
(still worked up)
(She pulls a pan out of the drawer and sets it on the stove with a bang.)
Scrambled eggs coming right up!
(END OF SCENE)
On to Scene 21