PRESENTS FOR ALICE - a Christmas play

Reads: 134  | Likes: 0  | Shelves: 0  | Comments: 0

More Details
Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic
Based on true incidents, it's about the lives of some residents of a cheap downtown hotel ("flophouse") in the midwest at Christmastime, including a crisis involving a couple who have recently moved in after meeting (and detoxing) at an Alcohol Rehab. Center.

Every year when Christmas rolls around, I am reminded of this play, that never saw the light of day since I wrote in 1983. I am not one to try to market my writing, which means it's highly doubtful this will ever get published or produced. So this year I decided, once and for all, I wanted to share it, just in case someone (besides me) might enjoy reading it.

Submitted: December 10, 2007

A A A | A A A

Submitted: December 10, 2007

A A A

A A A


PRESENTS FOR ALICE



a Christmas play

in three acts


by

Ron Fradkin

BIOGRAPHY

Cast of Characters (in order of their appearance)

Jim, a resident of the hotel
John, a resident, Geraldine's boyfriend
Geraldine, resident, housekeeper and parttime concierge
Dan, a resident
Alice Bodine
Walter, Alice's fiance and roommate
Rick, Walt's friend
Truman, Alice's husband
Two paramedics and two hospital attendants

Synopsis of Scenes

Time:  The present.  Springfield, Missouri.
Act One:  The lobby of a downtown hotel for transients and pensioners
Scene One:  The afternoon of Christmas Eve
Scene Two:  About 9 that evening
Act Two:  Walter and Alice's hotel room
Scene One:  Late Christmas morning
Scene Two:  Moments later
Scene Three:  About half an hour later
Act Three
Scene One:  Day room of the hospital psychiatric ward, morning of December 26th
Scene Two: The hotel lobby, late that afternoon

Act One:  The hotel lobby.  The hotel is a seedy, flophouse type, catering to transients, pensioners and the like, with rooms renting by the week.  It is located in downtown Springfield, Missouri.  The lobby is drab and rundown, but clean, and designed for efficiency.  At R. is the door leading outside.  There is a front desk with mailboxes behind it at up R. with a prominent sign indicating "No Alcoholic Beverages Allowed."  Right of C. is a card table and chairs.  Set into the back wall, just left of C. is a phone booth and to the left of that is a doorway with stairs leading to rooms above.  At L. is a TV area with a black and white TV always on with the sound off, facing the back wall and three or four chairs facing it.

Scene One:  Afternoon of Christmas eve.  GERALDINE is behind the desk flipping through a magazine.  Her boyfriend JOHN is leaning on the counter bulshitting with her, making time, etc.  DAN sits in TV area, reading a newspaper.  As the scene opens, JIM enters from outdoors.


GERALDINE is 30, frumpy, slightly unkempt -- drab as her surroundings.  She is the hotel housekeeper, and occasional concierge, as she is today.

JOHN is mid-40's, a rodeo-retiree, a sort of neat and trim derelict, a long-term resident of the hotel.

DAN is 32, a bit of a loner, from a middle class east coast background, semi-college educated, a bit of a drifter, out of his element here but too old to be on a youthful lark.

JIM is a fun-loving, jovial, good ole boy, big brother type, with typical midwestern southern charm.


JIM

Hoo-eee!  Damn, it's cold out there.

JOHN

Ain't it though?

Frigid as my first wife
(JOHN laughs)

GERALDINE

(snickers) Now watch your tongue; there's ladies present.

JIM

(loudly, across to DAN) Yo Dan, how're you?  Whatchy'all readin'?

DAN

(turns in his seat)  Oh hey.  Oh nothin' -- just the paper.

JIM

See if anyone died an' left me a million dollars.

JIM

(crosses and plops himself in a chair by DAN) Say, you seen them new folks?

DAN

What -- here?

JIM

(to JOHN) Say John, you know them new folks in two-sixteen?

JOHN

Can't say I do.

GERALDINE

I was here when they checked in.  Nice young couple.  Newlyweds, I hear.

JIM

(aside to DAN) Newly-weds hell.  That's a line they give Yancey, more 'n likely.

GERALDINE

You spreadin' rumors again, Jimmy?

JIM

'Scuse me, ma'am?

GERALDINE

Folks do get married, you know.

JIM

Yes, ma'am.
(to DAN)  Hear they moved out of Sigma House to here.

DAN

What's Sigma House?

JOHN

Place they dry out drunks.  Al-ky-haul re-ha-bil-uh-tay-shun, they calls it.

JIM

(sarcastic, to DAN)  Sounds like the start of a beautiful relationship, don't it t'you?

DAN

Seems odd Yancey'd take 'em if they're drinkers.

JIM

That's why they come here.  'Cause it's dry.  Help to avoid the temptation.

DAN

Sounds logical.

JIM

Yep . . . . .
(to JOHN and GERALDINE)
Say, y'all goin' to Christmas dinner at the Mission?  Hear tell they're puttin' on quite a spread.

JOHN

I'm goin'.

GERALDINE

Me too.

JIM

You, Daniel?

DAN

What?

JIM

Over to the Mission.  Hell, they get donations from all over.  Turkeys an' hams -- big spread.  Everyone goes; not just derelicts like me an' John there.  Can't beat a free meal.

DAN

Well, I don't know if that's for me. . . . .
(reading newspaper)
Here's an ad for Christmas dinner.  Looks like just the ticket; your basic turkey dinner with all the trimmings, all-you-can-eat soup and salad bar -- even dessert -- all for two-ninety-five down at Big Boy.

JIM

There you are.  Can't go wrong with that.

DAN

Get me out of this dump for a while.

JIM

Y'all get to missin' your family this time of year?

DAN

Yeah, I guess.  Like most people, I suppose.  You?

JIM

Mostly my daughter, I reckon.

DAN

Gee, I didn't know you had a daughter.

JIM

Yep.  She's livin' with her momma, way out in Southern California.  It'll be two years come May we been split up.

DAN

Bummer.

JIM

Couldn't never give her what she wanted.  I was always just your basic country boy at heart, and she had a cravin' for the big city and all it had to offer.  She's happy there, I reckon.  Got the house and car . . . .

DAN

You had a house?

JIM

Yeah.  Not bad.  Little bitty place, out towards San Berdoo.  California just weren't for me.

DAN

Too fast.

JIM

Yeh.  That and the country didn't suit me.  All that desert.  And you gotta drive for miles to go anywhere.  Just to go out and get a bowl of chili was a major ordeal.  Nope; I like it here.  I growed up around these parts.  I like the trees -- and the cold when winter comes . . . .

DAN

No place like home, they say.

JIM

Your folks make a big deal outta Christmas?

DAN

Oh yeah.  They all get together on Christmas day.  My family and my brother's wife's.  It's a tradition.  They have a humongous dinner; they're all big eaters, that bunch.  I never had much of an appetite.

JIM

You was the oddball.  Like me too, I reckon.

DAN

I can see it now.  Total chaos.  All this loud talking; it's non-stop from the moment they come through the door.  I always get a headache.  Then about five, when they are making coffee and getting ready for dessert, I'd go and take some Excedrins and my brother and I would sneak off to the bedroom and smoke a joint.  We'd come back in to the dining room and it's like we never left.  Everyone's busy eating again -- all those pastries that are so sweet it makes my teeth hurt to think about them -- and coffee with Sweet 'n' Low . . . .

JIM

(laughing)  Mine too, mine too.  I know what you mean.  Don't that beat all how they'll eat all that shit, and then use that dietetic sweetener.

DAN

Then later at night, I'd hear my old man in the kitchen mixing up his baking soda -- then burping and farting away to the tune of Johnny Carson in the background.

JIM

Shoot, not mine.  Mine uz always passed out by that time.  I always ended up helpin' my momma put his ass to bed.  Then I'd go out with some of my buddies and 'hoop it up 'til three A. M. or so, drinkin' beer an' raisin' cain.

DAN

Sounds like fun.

JIM

It was.  It was . . . .
(both sit back, reflecting on the past, occasionally chuckling and shaking their heads)

DAN

(half trying to convince himself)
I can live without it.

JIM

Don't never miss it none?

DAN

Some, I guess.  Then I remember the headaches and that bloated feeling, and the ringing in my ears after everyone was gone and it got quiet again.

JIM

And hangovers.

DAN

That too.  And the day after always felt like it feels in the train station, right after the train pulls out.

JIM

Damn, don't I know that feeling . . . .
(he reflects again, staring off into space)

DAN

Thinking about your daughter again?

JIM

Hmm, yeah.  I reckon . . . .
(Both sit in revery a moment.  Pay phone rings)

DAN

I'll get it
(answers phone)
Hello . . . . . Who? . . . . . uh, hold on a sec.
(to others)
We got an Alice Bodine here?

GERALDINE

Alice -- that's her -- Alice -- the new gal . . . . . in two-sixteen.

DAN

(to phone)  Yeah.  She's here.  Hang on; I'll go get her.
(exits via stairs)

JIM

Well, who do you reckon . . . . .

GERALDINE

Don't know.

(all turn attention to foot of stairs.  Enter DAN, followed by ALICE)

DAN

It's in there -- the pay phone.

ALICE

Thank you.
(picks up phone)

(ALICE is 27-28, but looks more like 40.  She is plain, sallow, looks a bit undernourished.  Her hair is limp, dull and stringy.  She is the product of a harsh rural southern poverty, and a refugee from a ten-year marriage to an abusive womanizer.  She is submissive and dispirited as a result of a life of degradation and oppression.

WALTER enters via stairs about midway through the phone conversation.  He stands by TV area, thumbs through a magazine while eavesdropping on ALICE'S conversation -- as are the others, somewhat more discretely.
WALTER is about 26, undereducated, somewhat dull-witted, mild-mannered, friendly, sensitive and compassionate, wants to please everyone and is always afraid he is being offensive.  He has country boy simplicity, combined with the savvy, toughness, and sophistication of the city streets and prison.)


ALICE

(to phone) Heh-hello? . . . . Speaking . . . . That you, Truman? . . . . Wasn't sure . . . . Couldn't guess who'd know to call me here.  How'd you get this number? . . . . Oh, they did? . . . . No, I moved out of there . . . . Home?  Ain't got no home.  Except this . . . . No more.  You made sure o' that . . . . I mean I just couldn't stay there no more . . . . You know . . . . Yes you do, Truman . . . . Say Truman, how -- how're Josh and Mary-Elizabeth? . . . . Yes, I do . . . . Come on . . . . They are? . . . . And she don't mind? . . . . Y'all tell her thanks for me? . . . . Yes, I do . . . . I am . . . . Don't say that . . . . I am . . . . I'll always be their mama . . . . Of course . . . . Of course I miss 'em . . . . No, I can't do that . . . . Now, come on, we been through all that . . . . My counselor says I don't have to . . . . No, I don't . . . . Well, I think he's right . . . . Do what? . . . . Well, no, I haven't . . . . I don't know . . . . I'm a-scared . . . . What do you think? . . . . You ain't? . . . . Well -- I -- well . . . . now, hold on . . . . Well, I guess I could . . . . No, you don't need to . . . . 'Cause I don't want you to . . . . All right, all right, then . . . . That sounds all right; I'll meet you there then.  Three-thirty . . . . uh-huh . . . . all right . . . . no . . . . no . . . . I said no . . . . All right . . . . I'll be there.  Good-bye.
(hangs up phone, steps out of booth)

WALT

(anxious) Well, what'd he have to say?

ALICE

Oh, you know: the usual.

WALT

That's it?

ALICE

No.  He wants me to go with him.  To go buy Christmas presents for the kids.

WALT

You didn't say you'd go -- did you?

ALICE

Yes . . . .

WALT

Aw, Alice . . . .

ALICE

For the kids, Walt.  For my kids.  For Christmas, Walt.

WALT

Aw, Alice -- you know you can't . . . .

ALICE

Now, don't you start in on me, Walter.

WALT

Aw, but hell, Alice -- you know his temper.

ALICE

It's just to buy presents.  He says he ain't been drinkin'.  Not a drop, he says.  I do little enough for them two, Lord knows; I gotta do somethin'.  It's Christmas.  They're my babies.
(She starts to cry.)
My babies.

WALT

Aw hell, Alice.
(He goes to comfort her.  She pulls away.)

ALICE

No need.  I'm all right.  I'm just goin' to get my coat.  I have to go meet him.
(She exits via stairs)

WALT

Damn.

JIM

Bit of a marital dispute there, friend?

WALT

She's so damn stubborn sometimes.

JIM

Gotta let a woman have her head sometimes.

WALT

Shoot.  Guess you're right.

JIM

(rises) Well, I'm goin' up, I reckon.  You gents wanna play some poker later?

JOHN

Count me in.

DAN

Yeah, I guess.

JIM

I'll bring the chips.  Y'all bring the beer.  Heh heh.
(exits)

WALT

What's he mean, "beer"?  I thought . . . .

DAN

He's just joking.

WALT

Oh.
(sits nervously)

DAN

You're new here.

WALT

Yeh.  Just moved in yesterday.  Me and Alice.

DAN

Dan's my name.

WALT

(shaking hands)  I'm Walt.

Just married, I hear.


WALT

Uh, yeah.  Just.

DAN

(pointing to phone)  Then that? . . . .

WALT

Oh him -- that's her ex-husband.  Son-of-a-bitch.

DAN

Trouble?

WALT

Yeah . . . .
(Alice enters with coat and purse)
Uh -- excuse me.
(Rises, approaches Alice as she crosses to front door.  To Alice:)
So, you're going?

ALICE

I have to.

WALT

You don't have to.

ALICE

Please don't make this any harder than it is.  I'll only be gone a coupla hours.

WALT

He's no good . . . .

ALICE

Don't I know he's no good?  I'm the one that's been married to him all these years.  It so happens he's the father of my two kids.  If I make him mad, he'll take it out on them; don't you understand?

WALT

He don't need you to get mad . . . .

ALICE

Now let's don't get started, Walt.  I've got to go.  He's waitin' . . . .

WALT

(hurt)  Yeah, go on, why dontchya.  Mustn't keep the master waitin'.

ALICE

Oh Walt, I'm sorry.  It's not like that . . . .

WALT

It's all right.  Go on.

ALICE

Walt . . . .

WALT

Go on . . . .
(she exits)
Damn.  There I go shootin' off my damn mouth.
(crosses back to where Dan is sitting)
Shoot, I know she's stuck between a rock 'n' a hard place.  Why do I have to be so dumb?

DAN

You're jealous, maybe?

WALT

Worried's more like it.  He beat her for years, the son-of-a-bitch.  That's how come she left.  Hell, I can't understand how come she took it for so long.

DAN

Probably didn't have any choice.

WALT

No choice?  Course she had a choice.  Just up an' leave.  That's what I'd do.

DAN

You're a man; she's a woman.

WALT

So?

DAN

So, it's hard for a woman to just up and leave.  Maybe she loved him.

WALT

Him?  Shoot.

DAN

Women are taught to be dependent.  Besides, she had her kids to consider.

WALT

I reckon you're right.

DAN

So, uh, how long you and Alice been together?

WALT

Just a couple of months now.  I met her at Sigma.

DAN

I heard about that.  They have a pretty good program there?

WALT

Real good.  Mike -- he's my counselor there -- he says to me: call anytime, even if it's just to shoot the bull.

DAN

Sounds decent.

WALT

He is.  He's got a wife and kids.  Real nice.  I met his wife once.  She's real nice.  He says call him at home, even.  I don't like to bother him and his family, though.

DAN

He's helping you with your drinking?

WALT

Yeh.  Helped get me dry: de-tox, they call it.  Been in and out, three, maybe four times.  I'm what they call a geographical drunk.

DAN

Huh?

WALT

Yeh.  Sounds funny.  I get loaded and I take off.  Stick my thumb out; hit the road.  Last time I woke up some'ers other side of Oklahoma City.  Out in the middle of the damn prairie.  Freeze my ass off.  Don't know how in hell I got there.

DAN

Pretty scary, I'd guess.

WALT

Shoot, yeah.  Scared the damn cops'd find me.  Got my butt back here in a hurry.

DAN

What -- you mean 'cause they'd bust you for vagrancy?

WALT

Vagrancy, shit.  Parole violation.  Not spozed to cross the state line.
(A pause.  WALT fidgets, worried about being overheard.)
Might better change the subject.  Folks don't take too kindly to ex-cons . . . .  Y'all been livin' here long?

DAN

Me?  About a month and a half.  I was working at a seasonal job down south of here.  Tourist place.

WALT

Hill country?

DAN

Yeah.

WALT

Real pretty country.  Been down there with my folks.  You got kin around here?

DAN

Back east.

WALT

Figured you was from back east.  Or St. Louis.  My folks live in a little one-horse town about fifty miles outta St. Louis.  Probably real different from what you're used to.

DAN

Well . . . . yeah, I guess.  I've been around some.

WALT

I just figured you's from a nice family.  Y'all sound real smart.  Been to college?

DAN

Some.

WALT

I figured.  You remind me some of Mike.

DAN

Oh.  I -- uh . . . . I guess I just like to talk to people.

WALT

Find out what makes 'em tick, huh?

DAN

Sort of.  I just like people, I guess.  Don't get the wrong idea: not to be a busybody . . . .

WALT

Oh, not at all.  I understand . . . .  Say, you wanna go get some coffee and shoot the bull?

DAN

Yeah, sure; I'll just go get my coat.
(exits.  End Scene One.)



(Scene Two: The hotel lobby.  About 9, that evening.  The lobby is dark except for a light over the mailboxes, a reading lamp at L., and the grey glare of the silent TV.  WALT sits under the reading lamp gazing at the TV, brooding.  DAN enters from outside, brushes off sleeves, looks at WALT from across lobby.)


DAN

That you Walt?

WALT

Yeh.

DAN

Starting to snow out there.
(crosses to where WALT is sitting)
Whatchya doin'?

WALT

Nothin'.  Just sittin'.

DAN

Alice not back yet?

WALT

No.

DAN

(sits)  She go to see her kids?

WALT

No: Alice did not go see her kids. . . .  Alice is in the damn hospital.

DAN

In the hospital?  My God, what happened?

WALT

What I figured.

DAN

He beat her?

WALT

Hell yes.  He was drunk, just like I figured.  Drove her out into the damn woods and beat her.

DAN

Jesus Christ.

WALT

Hell, that ain't even the half of it.

DAN

Whatta you mean?

WALT

After the son-of-a-bitch beats her half senseless, as if that ain't enough, he goes and he rapes her.

DAN

Holy Jesus' Mother.

WALT

God damned son-of-a-bitch . . . . I told her . . . . I told her . . . . but she just wouldn't listen.  Hell, you heard me tell her.  If only she'd just listen to me . . . .

DAN

You couldn't have stopped her.

WALT

So damn stubborn, that girl.  And now see what it got her.

DAN

Man, I know what you mean.  I know how it feels -- but you can't go blaming her.

WALT

(building suddenly to a rage)  Son-of-a-bitch; I wanna kill that motherfucker.  I wanna kill him . . . .

DAN

(taken aback, at a loss, slumps in his chair)  I know what you mean . . . .

WALT

(exasperated)  Of all the damn . . . .
(starts to cry)
Christmas Eve.
(cries a few moments)

DAN

So . . . . you saw her?  In the hospital?

WALT

Yeh.  She uz all drugged up.  Make her sleep, they told me.  I just stayed a while; nothin' much I could do.  Walked the streets . . . .  Sure felt like goin' an' gettin' drunk.  I went over to Sigma.  Rick was there, my buddy.  And I called Mike and he came down and talked with me.  We talked for quite a spell.
(musing)
He's all right, that old boy.  Talked me out of doin' something I'd sure regret.

DAN

You mean beating up on Alice's . . . .

WALT

Well, that too.  But I meant goin' and gettin' high . . . .

DAN

What -- drinking?

WALT

No, on junk man.  I was hooked on that shit about a year.  Back when I was a dumb kid.  I run off to St. Louis when I was fourteen.  Livin' on the streets, and in and out of flophouses.  I ran with a bad bunch.  Then I got busted.

DAN

For using dope?

WALT

No.  They got me for robbing a 7-11.  Man, that shit's expensive.  Damn clerk I-D'd me.  Dumb luck.

DAN

You mean he saw you somewhere else?

WALT

No.  Right there in the same damn store.  Buyin' a Bit-O-Honey . . . .

DAN

You went back to the same store for a candy bar?

WALT

Pretty dumb, huh?  I was so damn stoned, I didn't know where I was.  I'm pretty dumb, I reckon, but I was a real dumb kid then.  Cost me five years . . . .

DAN

Five years?

WALT

Five.  Armed robbery, they called it.  Had my damn finger in my pocket and said it was a gun.

DAN

Jesus . . . .

WALT

Some story, huh?

DAN

So what was that like? . . . . being in prison, I mean.

WALT

Lonesome.  Wouldn't figure, with all them guys around.  But most everyone keeps to hisself.  Pretty closed off.  And boring.  Learnt to play me the guitar there, though.  My bunkmate had a guitar and he showed me how.

DAN

Hey, great!  Do you still play?

WALT

When I get the chance.

DAN

Do you own a guitar?

WALT

Used to.  Had it ripped off when I was hitchhiking.  Some travelling salesman in a big Buick -- money out the ass, I bet -- takes off with my pack and my axe -- all I owned in the world -- while I was in the can takin' a pee.  That's five -- six months now.


DAN

All that time without playing . . . .  For a musician -- I bet it's like for an alcoholic, going that long without a drink.

WALT

Heh heh: I guess you're right . . . .
(RICK enters from outside)

(RICK is 19, something of a dullard, a dependent sort, a follower, has a hard time deciding to do something and doing it on his own.  He is immature, afraid of growing up, uses alcohol to mask the fear and -- at the same time -- play at being grown up.  He is unconvinced, as the others are, of the harm of drinking, and is uncommitted to the rehabilitation program.  He derives prestige from his involvement in the program and association with WALT, pretends at being his supportive buddy in abstinence, but prefers to use WALT as a drinking companion.)


WALT

Who's that?  Hey Rick, over here.
(RICK crosses)
Hey Rick, this here's a friend I just met here . . . . Damn, I'm sorry; I forgot your name.

DAN

(shakes hands with RICK)  Dan.

RICK

Howdy.

WALT

This is Rick.  He's my sponsor over at Sigma.

RICK

I'm the one who helped Walt out when he first came.  Showed him the ropes; teach him the rules.  We have what they call a buddy system.

WALT

Dan and I just been talkin'.  Listen, y'all wanna go up to my room and get some coffee?

RICK

No.  Just had some at Sigma . . . . You stayin' in for the night?

WALT

Don't know . . . .

RICK

You been to see Alice?

WALT

Not since earlier on.  They're keeping her overnight for observation.

RICK

Mike says he called over.  They got her all doped up, I guess.

WALT

So's she can sleep.

RICK

So, whattya gonna do?  You wanna go out?  I gotta get cigarettes.

WALT

I dunno . . . .  We was just talkin'.

DAN

If you guys had plans . . . .

WALT

Oh no . . . .

DAN

Say, I was thinking . . . . you know Jim, that guy who was here this afternoon?  He's got a guitar I think he'd let you borrow.

WALT

You don't think he'd mind?

DAN

I could ask.

WALT

Hell, I don't know.  I'm pretty rusty.  I'd probably sound real bad.

DAN

You couldn't tell by me.

WALT

All right, then.  Sure, I'd like that.

DAN

I'll go ask.  Be right back.
(exits via stairs)

RICK

Whattya doin' now?  I thought we was gonna go out.

WALT

We can go out later.

RICK

Well, whattya talkin' with him for?

WALT

He's all right.  He seems a real decent sort.

RICK

Aren't you afraid . . . .

WALT
He don't know about me and Alice.


RICK

Aw hell, Walt -- I thought we was gonna . . . . shit, ain't you still mad?  Every time I think about that asshole . . . .  Don't you care none about Alice? . . . .


WALT
'Course I care . . . .


RICK
Then, don't you want to . . . .


WALT

It's easy for you to say, Rick.  But if I get caught bustin' up this dude, they're gonna send my ass back to the joint.

RICK

Aw hell . . . . I sure do feel like gettin' drunk.  Don't you?

WALT

I guess I do . . . . sometimes.

RICK

Hell of a Christmas, ain't it?

WALT

Sure enough . . . . a hell of a Christmas.

(They stand in silence for a moment.  DAN enters with guitar.)

DAN

Here it is.
(hands it to WALT)

WALT

(brightens)  Sure enough.  A beauty.

(He strums a couple of times, sits on the chair with the guitar and begins to pick out a tune.  DAN pulls up a chair and sits listening.  RICK remains standing, his coat still on, begins to shuffle and fidget nervously)

Nice sound, hey Rick?

RICK

(sullen)  I guess.

WALT

Any requests?

DAN

Anything you like.

WALT

Let's see.
(begins to strum a few chords and hum)

RICK

Uh, I gotta get some smokes.  You wanna go, Walt?

WALT

(preoccupied)  Not just now, Rick.  Maybe after a while.

RICK

I'm gettin' hot.

WALT

Take your coat off and sit.

RICK

Nah.  I'm goin' to get some smokes.  I'll see y'all later.

WALT

(still picking at guitar)  Yeah.  Come by later.
(RICK exits at R.)
Well, let's see . . . .
(begins to slowly play a tune and sing)

(end Act One)


(Act Two:  WALTER and ALICE'S room.  Equally drab and depressing as the lobby.  At R. is the doorway to the hall.  Downstage next to the door is a lounge chair.  Right of C. against the back wall is a desk and chair.  Left of C. is a double bed with a nightstand to its left.  At L. is a doorway leading to the bathroom, and downstage from it against the wall is a dresser.  The room is a mess with open suitcases, clothes, trash and food packages lying around.

Scene One:  Mid-morning, Christmas Day.  ALICE is sitting at the desk, drinking whiskey.  WALT is still in bed asleep, with his clothes on)


WALT

(wakes, turns over, and sees ALICE)  Alice?  They let you go?

ALICE

Uh huh.

WALT

Why didn't you call?  I'd'a come an' get you.

ALICE

I don't know.  Wanted to be alone, I reckon.  I been walkin'.

WALT

Ain't it cold out there?

ALICE

Cold air felt good.  Bein' on that hospital ward, breathin' in that disinfectant, that hot air with that hospital smell, you know . . . .  Folks -- nurses, buzzin' all about; my head achin' from them damn pills they give me . . . .  Cold air felt good.  Real quiet and peaceful.  Ain't a soul stirrin' . . . .  All white out there -- so nice and pure and clean.  You oughtta see it.

WALT

Sounds pretty.  Always did like Christmas morning.
(ALICE drinks)
What's that you're drinkin'?

ALICE

Nothin'


© Copyright 2017 Ron Fradkin. All rights reserved.

Booksie 2017-2018 Short Story Contest

Booksie Popular Content

Other Content by Ron Fradkin

Popular Tags