Ryan's Hope
Spring 1983

Back to Scene III
Scene IV
(Jack returns to the apartment after having a fight with Leigh.)

Jack:  No you don't.  Not tonight.  No internal debate.  No examination of conscience.  No dialogue.

Mary:  Coward.

Jack:  Wrong, I could, if I wanted, examine dispassionately every second of the past two hours.  What she said.  What I said.  I could analyze every emotional response of both bodies.  I'm not going to do that.

Mary:  Good.  God knows it was hideous the first time.

Jack:  Not because I am afraid to recall what I said to Miss Kirkland and what she said to me, but because I am bored.  Bored by the evening, by neurotic women, by excess wealth and privilege.  Bored by pretension.

Mary:  Ah.  (looks left)  He's bored.  So what?  (looks right)  Just thought you'd like to know.

Jack:  I am also bored by you, and you I can do something about.

Mary:  You wish pal.

Jack:  I am going to get drunk.

Mary:  Oh.  Oh!  That's it folks! (claps hands)  A carefully reasoned response to the threat of self-awareness. 

Jack:  Oh, knock it off.

Mary:  She's getting to you, right Jack? And you thought this one was safe.

Jack:  Look, Mar...

Mary:  She's beautiful, she's smart, a little quirky, but that figures if she's Kirkland's daughter.

Jack:  Back off and get out of here.

Mary:  And because she's Kirkland's daughter, she has everything, so she won't ask for much.  Leigh takes care of herself.  She makes her own money, solves her own problems.  No messy emotional demands from that one.  A little fun.  A little glamour.  Fenelli's on the town with Leigh
Kirkland.  Good talk.  She thinks.  Fine time in bed.  Unbelievable. And tenderness.  Real feelings.  Oh, hey special person.  Eccentric, but good. 

Jack:  I don't want to do this.

Mary:  I bet you don't.  What happened, Jack?

Jack:  I guess I didn't like her game plan Mary, and I told her so, and then this thinking person, this special, tender eccentric turned mean as hell.

Mary:  Game plan.  You clown.  You know what she was asking for?  The one thing Leigh Kirkland doesn't have.  Someone, some one person on the face of this earth who will be straight with her.

Jack:  Why pick on me?

Mary:  You give it by the bushel four times a week.  Millions of strangers buying newspapers to read Fenelli telling it like it is, and you won't come across for a friend?

Jack:  I'm not Leigh Kirkland's analyst.  It is not my fault that she has problems with who her father is and what he is.  So, he's played games with her all her life, why expect me to set her straight?  Why do I always get involved with women who are hung up on their fathers or their brothers?

Mary:  Who else is there to get hung up on?

Jack:  Look, I don't feel good about tonight.  I just want to finish this drink and go stand in a hot shower and read.

Mary:  Oh boy.  Oh, honey.  Those poor pathetic paperbacks with water warped pages.  I'll come with you. 

Jack:  That's not the idea.

Mary:  No retreat, Jack.  Not the shower, not a drink, not someone else's words and don't even think about going to sleep.  You were lousy to that woman tonight.

Jack:  She asked for it.

Mary:  She asked for help.

Jack:  That's not the way it felt to me.

Mary:  The way it felt to you was terrifying.  A connection, a demand. If you gave her what she was looking for what do you think that would mean?  What might happen next?  Change.  Oh, God preserve us.  So you got nasty.  Don't Jack.  I hate it when you use your words like that. They're like arrows.  Bullets.  Worse,  some kind of wall.

Jack:  You know about that.

Mary:  Yes, sir.

Jack:  I don't think..... I can reassure her, Mary, not about her father or about me.

Mary:  Then don't. Just be straight about it.  That's the way you are.

Jack:  When you have the name, you gotta play the game. (Jack turns) She has a right to a straight answer.  How do I give it without hurting her?   She loves the man, no, she loves me.  God, isn't it supposed to get simple some time or another?  Hmmm?

(Jack turns back to face Mary, but she is gone.) 

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