Ryan's Hope
Spring 1983

Back to Scene I
Scene II
(Jack puts Ryan to bed after they have gone to the ballet with Leigh.)

Jack:  I can't compete with that.

Mary:  Who said it's a competition?

Jack:  That's a laugh coming from you.

Mary:  And what is so amusing?

Jack:  Every breath you drew was a competition.

Mary:  You liar.  What's the matter?

Jack:  I'm waiting for the rest of it.

Mary:  (laughs) You see.  You want to remember me with a little bit of dignity.  I mean, carrying someone around in your head who says 'liar, liar, your pants are on fire' is not too classy, Jack.

Jack:  I'm not so classy, Mary.  Which brings us back to where we started.

Mary:  Where was that?

Jack:  Leigh Kirkland and competition.

Mary:  Now, Leigh is a very classy person.

Jack:  Oh, yeah.

Mary:  You have a problem about tonight?

Jack:  You bet.  I feel as if she's trying to prove something to herself and to me, and I don't like what she's doing to Ryan in the process.

Mary:  What is she doing to Ryan?

Jack:  Ryan is not a millionaire.  Her mother was born over a bar.  Her father grew up in an orphanage.  So why at age five is she in a box seat at the ballet and giving orders to the chauffeur from the back seat of a limousine?

Mary:  Having fun?

Jack:  Of course she's having fun.  That's the point and the problem.

Mary:  Why is it a problem?

Jack:  It is a lifestyle to which I do not aspire, nor with which am I particularly comfortable.   In fact, given some of the realities of this world I find it slightly corrupt. 

Mary:  Are you serious?

Jack:  Completely.

Mary:  Leigh was corrupting Ryan by taking her to the ballet?

Jack:  No, by confusing dance and discipline and color and music with box seats and limousines and autographed toe shoes and all the rest of the things those people need to feed their egos and separate themselves from the rest of us.

Mary:  Ooo.  You are such a snob. 

Jack:  Oh, sure.

Mary:  It's hair shirts and a vow of poverty, right Jack?  I mean, really exclusive.  You can feel superior to almost anyone you know.

Jack:  Bull.

Mary:  Boring.

Jack:  I do not want our kid impressed with superficial values.  Now what's the matter with that?

Mary:  Who is impressed?  Ryan thought the whole thing was a hoot. Leigh certainly doesn't think twice about a limousine, what impresses her is when you find your way uptown on the IND.  So who is taking it seriously, Jack?  You take Ryan to the stadium.  George hears you're there and he asks you to sit with him for a couple of innings.  You talk about who's going to get traded next week.  You congratulate Craig on a homerun and he signs a ball for Ryan.  He goose pulls her pigtails, tells her she's gorgeous and she loves it.  What is the difference between that and tonight?

Jack:  That's my scene.  I earned it.

Mary:  And Leigh earned hers.  She's serious about the ballet.  She's put in heavy time on that board.  Why can't she share reward with the kid?  What's really going on?

Jack:  I don't know.  ........ I do know.

Mary:  Ryan likes Leigh.  She has fun with Leigh.

Jack:  It's mutual.

Mary:  So, if you really wanted to get together on a permanent basis, Ryan wouldn't be a problem after all.

Jack:  Right.

Mary:  And there goes one more line of defense.

Jack:  Yeah, but it feels like more than that.

Mary:  Tell me how.

Jack:  I might have to share Ryan with somebody else.  I did that once, a little with Rose.

Mary:  A lot with Ma.

Jack:  Oh, Maeve doesn't count.

Mary:  Why?

Jack:  It's almost the same as --- sharing her with you.

Mary:  It's okay, Jack. 

Jack:  No.

Mary:  I want Ryan to have a mother.

Jack:  You're her mother.

Mary:  I've done everything I can do for her.  I gave her life and I left her you.  She knows me. She'll grow up knowing me.  I trust you and ma to take care of that.  And she'll love me, but I want her to have a mother she can love now.  Somebody she can put her arms around, alive. I gave her that life, but I can't share it with her.  Leigh can, if that's what you both decide to do.  Limousine Leigh.  So that's her style, huh?

Jack:  Different from yours.

Mary:  Oh, so what.  It's style, not substance, don't take it so seriously.  (picks up ballet shoe)  If Ryan wakes you up at two o'clock looking for that, it's your own fault.

(Jack agrees and takes the shoe and then goes toward Ryan's bedroom.  When he turns back around, Mary is gone.)

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