Scene 23

Scene 23

SETTING:                   In the hospital room.

AT RISE:                   PATRICK and SCOTT are sitting on

opposite sides of the bed. Both are hunched over as if asleep. They are exhausted – will it ever end? At least a minute goes by, maybe two (an eternity on stage). People in the audience may feel uncomfortable.



Look! Look at her head. She’s moving.

(SCOTT’s head snaps up. MARY’s head is tilting back on the pillow and her mouth opens slightly, as if yawning. She stays that way for a couple of seconds, reaching for her last breath, then settles back into the pillow. MARY is now dead. At first PATRICK and SCOTT are not sure. They sit watching – not moving – not breathing themselves – waiting for her to move again but she doesn’t.)


(Leans forward to check. Almost whispering.)

She’s not breathing.


Are you sure?


(puts his ear close to MARY’s mouth)

Yes – that’s it.

(They both keep watching her.)


(reaches out and touches MARY’s arm)

Her skin. . . It looks like ivory now.

(SCOTT puts his own hand on MARY’s other arm. Understanding the finality of it, he starts to cry.)


(Reaches into his pocket for his phone. He flips it open and dials; lifts the phone to his ear.)

Hi Katherine.


This is Pat at the hospital. Is Adam there?


Okay. Well, if you could let him know that mom just died.

(longer pause)

Yes. No – no – that’s okay. Thanks. If you could just let him know.


Great – thanks. Thank you, Katherine. Bye.

(He hangs up.)


(looks up)

What do we do now?

(As if on cue, NURSE KELLY enters the room with a fresh bag of morphine. She sees the two men hunched over the bed and stops.)



I don’t think she’ll be needing that now.


(Walks to the bed and sets the bag on the table. She can see Mary is dead but checks anyway. Softly)

Yes – she’s gone.

(stands back from the bed)

She was lucky to have you both here. So many people die alone.

(Unhooks the drip hose from MARY’s arm and drapes the line on the stand.)

When you guys are ready, I need somebody to sign the papers so we can take the next step. No rush – stay as long as you want.



I can do that.

(He turns to PATRICK and they both remain silent for a few seconds. PATRICK nods and SCOTT stands up to leave with NURSE KELLY.)


(Once they are gone, PATRICK rises from the chair and walks slowly to the window. He stays there for a while looking out, staring at nothing, then returns to the bed. He bends down and gives his mother a soft kiss on the lips.)

Good bye, mom. Love you. . .

(Patrick walks out of the room.)




For Mary: 1932 – 2010