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Mother may I?
A lower middle class home. Slightly run down. It looks slightly abandoned, as if the people inhabiting it have ceased caring about the establishment. It emits a tone of loss, and of emptiness.
A woman sits in a chair at the table. The table is stage right, and the woman is sitting in a chair to the left of it, turned full front. She has one arm leaned against the table, and there are a few bottles and a pack of cigarettes with a lighter sitting near her on the table (and on the counter, if a kitchen set is desired past the table stage right.) The room is dimly lit.
The woman is young, probably in her mid-late thirties, but she looks worn and tired, making her look older. She has been drinking and looks as if she has given up on herself.
She has a look of sorrow on her face, as she holds, in her left hand, a picture.
The picture is projected up behind her so that the audience can see it. It is a young-ish version of the woman, probably mid twenties, a young man, and in the young mans arms is a baby boy, about 4 years old. He is gripping a lock of the moms hair causing her to lean over attempting to pry it from his tiny hands. They are all captured, frozen, in a moment of happy laughter.
The woman, looking at the photo, seems a mix of sad and reminiscent, and angry and frustrated.
As she sits, she doesn't notice that a teenage boy enters through the door located at up center stage.
He enters quietly so as not to disturb her. He is semi scrawny, but handsome. He has short blackish hair that is just long enough to sweep into his eyes so he has to keep pushing it away to be able to see. He wears ratty clothes (jeans or cargo pants and a t-shirt.)
As he passes to walk over to the stairs to his room, (slightly left of center) his mother slaps her bottle down on the table. The noise makes him jump.
I see you decided to come home.
Within the next few lines of dialogue, long pauses exist after the mother speaks to the son, but the mother jumps on the end of every line of the son.
I'm sorry I was-
Thought you were gonna stay out. Didn't think you'd wanna come home to your mama.
Well, I did.
Great, well I was working all day. Just thought I'd let you know how much it costs to raise a spoiled, 17 year old kid.
The son remains silent.
The mother stands up and walks over to the couch located downstage center. She sits, and leans forward to pick a stack of papers off the coffee table in front of her.
Let's see... withdrawals for doctor’s appointment, lunch money, cell phone bill-
I told you, I don't need a cell phone.
The son is rifling through his backpack for his homework
Seems not to hear him, and continues talking as if nothing was said.
...water bill, power bill, oh here's the bill from that time when-
Mom, I get it.
Oh, you get it, do you? Okay then,
The mother gets up, and in the process, shoves the table forward. Papers fly everywhere and a glass vase on the table shatters to the ground. The mother disregards all of this and makes her way quickly but uncoordinated over to the counter she'd been sitting at before. She grabs one of the bottles and goes to have a sip, but sees that it’s empty and drops it. She then grabs another one from the center, knocking two others over on the counter, and uncorks it desperately. She takes a gigantic swig and then stops to take a deep breath and calm down. She slowly turns, with the bottle in hand, back to her son. He looks bewildered and a bit scared, but this scenario (so far) has probably happened to him before. She looks at him with a disgusted/sick grin on her face, and holds the bottle up to him, as a toast.
In the hope they'll turn out better than their screw up parents.
She takes a big gulp of beer
The following dialogue is similar to the beginning. The mother jumps on the end of every line of the son, and the son takes long pauses before replying to the mother.
I'm not going to be like dad.
Well of course not. You're father was one of a kind.
Mom, I think you should-
Think I should what? Calm down? Drop it? Move on? Forget about it? Like that's possible? (Laughs and sneers) Well let me let you in on a little secret, honey.
Gets up close and whispers into his ear.
You're exactly like you're father.
There is a long pause, in which it seems the son is at a loss for words, and the mother is taking another swig of beer.
You're a product of our parenting. I raised a worthless little bastard, and that's who you are. You gonna let people stomp all over you all the time, and one day, it’s all gonna build up.
Your father was a nice man.
MY Father was not a nice man. My father was a screw up. My father dropped out of high school when he knocked up some chick he met at a party- the “chick” who became my mother. He was a drunk bastard who couldn't hold a job or help anyone or ever amount to anything in life- I am nothing like my-
The mother starts laughing
(Pause as he realizes something)
The son takes a deep breath and calms down.
I know I look like him
These next few lines overlap
(Under her breath)
That's- that's not...
No- no that is.
I know I look like him- I know I do!
(Trying to shrug it off and look the other way. mumbled.)
I have his eyes! I have his hair, his laugh- even his voice! I know. I look exactly like him. And whenever you look at me- that's all you see!
With the last few words of his dialogue, the son breaks off- about to break down and cry.
He is desperately trying to know what to say, but he is completely at a loss for words. It is apparent that the mother has finally begun to listen to him, and she seems to be thinking.
I'm not him. (Pause as he begins to panic) Mom- mom I'm not him.
Look- he didn't need you. I do.
(Calmly- as an empty shell of a woman who’s finally seen a speck of joy in life)
You don't look exactly like him.
You have my smile.