Scene 3

(FEY, dressed in a long grey dashiki with gold and white embroidery, is seated on the frameless bed of a very disheveled room -- packing boxes everywhere. ANNIE (age 18) huddles under the covers, coughing and blowing her nose.)

ANNIE: "I'm sorry, Mom. I really am. I wanted to go to your wedding, but I'm so sick. I feel awful. How was it?"

FEY: "Wet. Simple. Beautiful. Jonah said 'As long as you think like you do, we'll be married.' `Whoa!' I said. 'That doesn't leave me much room for growth!' `All right,' he revised, `as long as you think like me we'll be married.' `And wherever you go, I'll follow,' I replied. Then he shooed everyone away. 'I guess that's it, folks!' he said. 'You can go home now!' And they did!" (Laughs, feelsANNIE's forehead, hands her a box of candy.) "Your head is still warm. Here, maybe this will help."

ANNIE: "Candy! Thanks!"

FEY: "Now. What do you need to help you get moved?" (Looks around.) "Besides a shovel?"

ANNIE: "I think it's taken care of. Several friends are going to load the U-Haul, and some others are lined up on the other side. Casey's going with me. You go ahead and do what you have to do, since you're obviously determined to do it."

FEY: "Ouch. Do I detect a note of disapproval?"

ANNIE: "No, Mom, we've had all that out. I just want to know the bills are going to get paid so Casey and I don't have to pay them -- you know we don't have any money."

FEY: "They're paid. Barely." (Drily) "It's nice to know where your priorities lie. Are you SURE you want to take that mountain of crap I've been accumulating all these years? I feel like for me to trap you with those things as I was trapped is the worst handicap I could possibly give you."

ANNIE: (Equally drily.) "Well, we agree we don't have the same priorities -- believe me, I'm GRATEFUL for an apartment full of furniture and a closet full of clothes."

FEY: "I sure wish you had decided to stay in D.C. I'm going to miss you." (ANNIE's eyes fill. She brushes at the tears angrily, forces a smile.) "Aw, honey, it'll be all right. You have your grandparents to turn to if necessary. But I bet it won't be necessary. You're strong. You don't know how strong. You'll be just fine. And so will I. How could I not be? I finally found someone whose priorities match my own." (FEY brushes back ANNIE's hair.) "I guess I just wish you could learn from MY experiences so you don't have to suffer through your own. But that's illogical. We all must bump our own noses."

ANNIE: "God, Mom, I love you, but why couldn't you be just a little more normal? You've turned my life upside down so many times I hardly know which way to go. I'm scared. And I hate to say it, but Mom? I don't believe you'll be here for me any more if I need you."

FEY: (Emphatically) "You're WRONG. I'll ALWAYS be available to you -- God willing. Just try to understand that you may not always need me as much as you fear you do. It may seem I threw too much responsibility on you too young," (ANNIE nods vigorously) "...maybe I did. But you've turned out competent, willing and able to make up your own mind, no matter how unpopular the decision. I think you're great. You're just overwhelmed right now by the many options open to you. If you're smart you'll listen and learn. Listening can be much less painful than experiencing."

(Enter JONAH in long burgundy dashiki with silver embroidery, a patriarch with thick brown beard and long fine hair flowing.)

ANNIE: "Hello, Jonah.......... You ... look great."

JONAH: "Yeah? I guess so. Actually your mother made me wear this. I feel a little silly."

ANNIE: "She does that. My brother and I have suffered her flamboyance for years."

FEY: "And I suppose you both want to feel unsilly again? Let me go get your boring clothes."

JONAH: "You read my mind." (Exit FEY.) "I can't believe my good fortune in meeting your mother, Annie. It was the last thing in the world I ever expected. She understands my thinking and I understand hers. I spent my entire life seeking this level of understanding. I'd given up on finding it. When I read what she wrote about our meeting, I began to suspect we saw the world through the same eyes. But she was living in a world I could no longer enter. I didn't expect her to make the quantum leap of rejecting that world since no one else had. But she did. Her existence -- her ACTIONS -- strengthen my belief in God and my hope that this battle I'm fighting will be won."

ANNIE: "That's basically what she says about you.... Will she be all right out on the street? I'm so afraid for her!"

JONAH: "This may sound strange. Physically arduous as it may be, I'm living in Heaven."

(FEY, dressed in street clothes, carrying JONAH's, enters unseen, listens quietly.)

ANNIE: "How could that be? It's dirty, dangerous! You have no money, no home. You're surrounded by crazy people, you're arrested all the time, she may end up spending years in jail ... or dead!"

JONAH: "I guess it's a matter of perspective. I don't see it quite that way. I'm surrounded by a family -- people who are homeless, sure, society's misfits, but who for that reason are less encumbered by society's things. We have more time to study and think. Eccentric, sometimes even weird. But free."

ANNIE: "Free to starve, to freeze."

JONAH: "We operate on a different set of values than people spending their lives chasing security -- we who have little share it all -- as a matter of survival, for what goes around, comes around, so it pays to share. As for jail, there are worse fates. A good time to study and to write. They may lock our bodies up, but as long as we choose to think, speak, and act as free individuals, they can't lock up our souls."

FEY: "As for death," (ANNIE looks around, startled.) "...if I'm living what I believe to be truth, death doesn't frighten me. I believe I have a responibility to do what I can to leave you and your brother a sane, threat-free world. That's much more important than a rock concert, or dinner at a French restaurant, or a new pair of boots. That's about all I'd be good for from now on, anyhow, since you're grown. You have your own lives to live." (Hands JONAH his clothes.) "Here you go, Jonah."

(He exits. From offstage, CASEY (C) (age 30) is heard.)

CASEY: "Annie? Oh. Fey. I came to ask if Annie had heard from you today. I wanted to make sure the rent is paid through the first."

FEY: (Patiently) "Yes, Casey. It's paid. You did know Jonah and I were married in the Park today, right?"

CASEY: "Yes. I know. I don't recognize this as anything but a farce. It just doesn't make any sense. You know this ... long-haired ... guru

FEY: "Since when were you offended by long-haired gurus? Is this the rebel woman I thought I knew?"

CASEY: "You're not the woman I thought I knew! You quit your successful job, abandon your child, and go out and live on a goddamn SIDEWALK with a bunch of DERELICTS. I'm horrified by your behavior. I've talked to your mother, your father, your son. NOBODY understands it. Annie feels like she hasn't anyone in the world. I do what I can..."

FEY: "Thank you."

CASEY: "...but she needs her MOTHER!"

ANNIE: "Now, Casey, I AM eighteen..."

CASEY: "That's not what you sobbed in my arms the other night. Fey, I love you, and I want you to know if you ever decide to do what's right, get a job, begin living like a sane person again, I'll do anything I can to help you. But until then, I have nothing to say to you, and you have nothing to say that I want to hear." (Exits.)

FEY: (Looks at ANNIE.) "I always thought love was allowing someone to become the best they can be...."

ANNIE: "She thinks you're hurting yourself, Mom. And me."

FEY: "And you? What do you think?"

ANNIE: "I love you, Mom. I don't understand you, but I love you, whatever you do."

FEY: "Yeah, kiddo, you're going to be okay."

(They look at each other for a long moment, then hug. JONAH steps into the room in street clothes, his hair bound in a club at the base of his neck.)

JONAH: "Ready? We've played hookie long enough."

FEY: (Puts her arm affectionately across his shoulder and tickles his beard.) "Lead away, m'love -- unless it don't make no sense. Then I'll argue with you all the way." (Turns to ANNIE.) "You know where to find me, honey?"

ANNIE: (Nods, unable to speak. JONAH and FEY exit with waves. ANNIE sits a moment staring at the empty doorway, looks around her room. She clutches her head and moans, then shouts.) "MO-O-THER-R!!!"

Lights OUT

Peace Park Page | Proposition One