Father

To re-cap: I’m writing every day in June on my new play Slam. Slam is short for Samantha Lamb, and she’s an Iowan from an old farming family. The setting is 2003, the heirs are gone, the farmland’s sold, and what’s left is Slam, her teenage son, her ailing father, and not so helpful ghosts. Today’s subject? Read on….

Tonight I’ve been visited by Squire, Slam’s dad. This is a waiting scene, as in waiting for the ride to the hospital, the facility, the place that will clean up a nasty drinker and free his heirs.

The visual here? Squire’s hunched shoulders. And boy, does he ever want a cigarette.

                  (SQUIRE gestures with his jaw toward a large suitcase, which is by the dining room table.)

SQUIRE
I see there’s a suitcase there.

SLAM
You packed it.

SQUIRE
I think you did.

SLAM
I helped out.

SQUIRE
You got it from the barn?

SLAM
From the shed. It’s fine, just like you said.

                     (SQUIRE admires the qualities of the suitcase, its pristine state.)

SQUIRE
That was an excellent purchase. Sealed against the elements out there. Worth every penny. You’d think it had been in a closet. Your mother didn’t want me buying another storage shed, but I said it would come to good.

SLAM
Mom was always wrong.

SQUIRE
She wasn’t always right. Where’s my bottle?

SLAM
You asking me?

SQUIRE
I’m going to get rid of it.

SLAM
It’s in the shed. It’ll be waiting for you.

SQUIRE
Unless you get it first.

SLAM
I buy my own booze, old man.

SQUIRE
Who’s taking me? The “social worker?”

SLAM
Spoon will be here.

SQUIRE
Is there coffee?

SLAM
Yeah, but there’s none of your creamer.

SQUIRE
Where’s Bobby?

SLAM
WIth Megan. Or Jonah.

SQUIRE
Christ. I’ll take milk.

SLAM
Why now are you calm, sitting up straight, barely stinking, and making sense?

SQUIRE
Fucking terrified. You don’t know about it yet, Sammy, because you’re still too young to be that tough. And after tough? It ends. Flat. And after you get so tough you don’t feel a thing?

SLAM

– and start to stink – 

SQUIRE
– then there are no good options left except for some bottom line that the government invented and you have to take only so you don’t disgrace your grandkids.

SLAM
I love it. LIke you’re Ann Landers or Magic Johnson or something.

SQUIRE
I still got shirts, and one pair of shoes that don’t swallow my feet.Not everything is gone. Bobby don’t hate me. Does he?

SLAM
I’ll get your bottle if you need it.

SQUIRE
I don’t want it.

SLAM
I can get it.

SQUIRE
I said coffee, little girl. And clear off that counter. Christ, the social worker should take you, too.

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