Ryan's Hope
Spring 1983

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Scene I
Mary:  (laughing)  I don't know why it struck me so funny.  I really don't.  Oh, part of it's Da and his poems for every occasion, and you know you're going to laugh, but when he read out:
One day Frank will be as famous as Tom Sawyer; they'll make a movie of his life called 'The Lawyer' staring Charles Boyer.
Lord, I think the best thing the Ryans do is celebrate.  Did you have as much fun as I did tonight?

Jack:  Reluctant as I am to admit it Mary, I had a ball.

Mary:  Yeah, well, so much for that.

Jack:  Quiet.

Mary:  What about now?


Mary:  You and I five years ago doesn't mean diddly.   The matter at hand, you and Leigh Kirkland. 

Jack:  I've got to work.

Mary:  Why didn't you invite her?  It was just family and friends.  Ma told you she was more than welcome.  Have you considered how Leigh must have felt hearing about the party from Ryan, who really wanted her there, by the way; who would have liked very much to have her meet my

Jack:  Ryan was as happy as a lark.  She moved from lap to lap and didn't miss Leigh for one minute.

Mary:  More than I can say for some people.

Jack:  Leigh does certain things on her own, just as I do some on mine. We are not adolescent lovebirds joined at the hip.  I do not forget to breathe when she is away from me.  We need and enjoy our separateness.

Mary:  Yeah?

Jack:  Yeah?

Mary:  Boloney. 

Jack:  Fine.  Be a child.

Mary:  No, you've got the playpen all to yourself.  Look, you had a rotten time tonight, partly because you left Leigh out of something very special and she's hurt, but also because you were lonely for her.  Jack, you had no fun.  You were at least as miserable as a lovebird adolescent and possibly more so.

Jack:  You know for someone reasonably bright, you are incredibly obtuse.  Try to compute this, okay?  The party tonight was a Ryan celebration.  Leigh is not a Ryan or anything resembling one.

Mary:  She loves a Ryan grandchild and a Ryan son-in-law.

Jack:  I did not invite her because she did not belong.  People there and friends and the family were yours.  They were part of the life we had.  And just for your information, brainy one, the person I was missing at that party was you.

Mary:  Sorry.  Does not compute. 

Jack:  I do not need this.

Mary:  Fact, you are serious about Leigh Kirkland.  Fact, she therefore has to know my family.  Fact, she also has to know me.  I refer to the real me as opposed to the saint she's turning me into in her head.  My friends would help her with that you know.  So would my brothers and sisters, and you could more than anyone, just by explaining---

Jack:  By what bringing her into our marriage?  Into your death?  No.  I won't share that.  I can't.

Mary:  You can if you love her.

Jack:  I love you, idiot.

Mary:  All right, you're starting your game now.  Don't do that.

Jack:  What game?

Mary:  Holding on.  Staying in touch with your grief and your loss and therefore staying connected to me.

Jack:  You think I need grief to do that, huh?

Mary:  No.

Jack:  Well, thanks very much.

Mary:  Jack, all I'm saying is this.  Listen.  It's okay with me and it's safe for you and it's only fair to Leigh to share some of our pain and some of our joys.  You don't have to drown her in it.  Small doses. And whatever's secret and private can stay that way.  Okay?

Jack:  I don't know.

Mary:  It's hard.

Jack:  Tiring.

Mary:  Painful.

Jack:  Know what it's like?  It's like you're on this side of the river, Leigh's on that side, and I'm not on either.  I'm going only on the bridge between one or the other.  I'm not really with either one of you.

Mary:  It won't stay that way.

Jack:  Yeah?

Mary:  Yeah?

Jack:  Baloney.  You know what my problem is?  My problem is I don't want to slog through it all with somebody new.  I want you back.  You did the work.  You never got the payoff.

(Mary disappears.)

Jack:  (laughs)  One day Frank Ryan will be as famous as Tom Sawyer; they'll make a movie of his life called 'The Lawyer,' staring Charlie Boyer. Leigh will like that one. 

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