(PHONE RINGS 3X, PICKUP)
SS: Duane, is that you?
GK: Hi mom.
SS: Honey I just wanted to thank you for sending those Mother's Day chocolates. That was so thoughtful of you.
GK: You're welcome, mom.
SS: They arrived on Wednesday. Four days early, but that's okay.
GK: Oh. Sorry.
SS: Oh, they must have lots of mothers to deliver to this weekend, so they had to get some out of the way early.
GK: So the chocolates were all right? They were hand-crafted.
SS: I saw that. They were beautiful, Duane, and I don't want you to feel bad about this, but I'm in the hospital, in intensive care.
GK: The hospital? What happened?
SS: It's my allergies, Duane, no big deal. There was something in the chocolate that made my head swell up and I couldn't breathe so your dad had to call the ambulance but they got me here in time and I'm better now, so don't worry. How are you?
GK: You're at the hospital right now?
SS: I'm in intensive care and I can't have visitors but I'm fine, so don't obsess about it, how's your day? You getting some writing done?
GK: Oh my gosh. Mom----- I had no idea.
SS: Neither did I but I bit into that chocolate and my face blew up like a pufferfish and my eyes swelled shut and my lips looked like two hot dogs and your dad came upstairs and he nearly had a coronary.
GK: You're allergic to chocolate, mom?--I had no idea.
SS: I'm not. I'm allergic to cactus.
GK: There was cactus in the chocolate?
SS: Cactus extract. I'm sure it's very nice for most people. But for me, a killer. That's why we've never been to Arizona.
GK: You never told me this.
SS: I didn't want you to worry. (LIGHT COUGHING) (OFF) Another blood transfusion? But why?
GK: I just want to know what happened.
SS: Hang on a second, Duane, they're taking a biopsy of my neck. (OFF) No, I don't want anesthesia, I want my mind to be clear, I'm talking to my son. My son the writer who's writing a memoir about me.
GK: Should I come to the hospital?
SS: Oh no no no. No no no Duane. I know you're busy . And I don't want to bother you.
GK: I can be there in an hour.
SS: No no, your dad is here, and we're just fine. He's doing the crossword.
GK: Which hospital are you in?
SS: You just keep working, or whatever it is you're doing, and don't worry about me.
SS: Here's your dad. You wanna talk to him, here he is. (PAPER RUSTLES, OFF, TR MURMURS). It's Duane. (TR MURMURS) (OFF) He's on the phone. It's connected to the IV. I don't know, just take the phone, take it.
(FUMBLING WITH PHONE)
GK: Hi dad.
TR: Hi son.
GK: Sorry about the chocolate, dad. I didn't know mom was allergic.
TR: It's okay.
GK: So you're doing okay?
TR: Oh yeah. I've got my projects.
GK: Oh yeah? Like what?
TR: Making a pair of stilts.
TR: Yeah. Wooden stilts. Pretty neat. Adjustable, so you can go low or high, depending.
GK: Sounds good, dad. Looking forward to it.
TR: They're green.
GK: Good. I like green.
TR: Me too. Okay here's your mom.
GK: Okay, bye dad.
(FUMBLING WITH PHONE)
SS: Jell-o, Hank. Red jell-o with the fruit in it. And some crackers. (ON) Duane, are you still there?
GK: Hi mom.
SS: Duane, I've been reading that chapter of your memoir that you sent us. "Recollections of Rusty."
SS: It was very entertaining, Duane. But the dog didn't go to live on a farm, Duane.
SS: No, Duane.
SS: He bit you, Duane. Rusty chewed on you and we had to take him back to the pound.
GK: I don't remember that.
SS: For some reason, he didn't like you and that first night we let him sleep in your room and he jumped you and he had your head in his jaws and we had to pry him loose with a piece of bacon and tie him up and take him back.
GK: I remember him as a loving dog.
SS: He hated you, Duane. And the cat Wanda did not live with us for years and years. She died of self-inflicted injuries and we had her stuffed.
GK: The cat was stuffed? The cat I slept with at night?
SS: Yes, Duane. She suffered from depression and she threw herself in front of a car and we took her to a taxidermist.
GK: You told me she had narcolepsy.
SS: Well we had to think of something.
GK: Oh Mom. What hospital are you at?
SS: Don't worry about it, Duane. I'm just fine. I'm a horse. A little edible cactus sent to me by my son isn't going to kill me. I'll get out in a few days, unless they decide to do a pancreas transplant, in which case I'll be out in a month, good as new.
GK: Your pancreas?????
SS: Anyway, don't worry about Mother's Day, Duane. Just forget I even called. You sent me chocolates, and that's enough. (LIGHT COUGHING) I've had a good life, Duane. And I just want to enjoy whatever is left of it.
SS: Before someone else tries to murder me with a box of face chocolate.
SS: Oh, I deserve it. Everything I did in life, all of it for you, Duane, and all of it failed. All of it. I fell on my face and I got what was coming to me, Duane, so congratulations. You win.
SS (MIDWESTERN, ON PHONE): Yes?
GK: You think you'll get out of there tomorrow, wherever "there" is?
SS: It's St. Mary's General Hospital, Room 1307.
GK: I'll come by later.
SS: When later?
GK: How about 8?
SS: 7:30 works better.
GK: Okay mom. I'll see you at 7:30 mom. Do you want anything?
SS: Not chocolate. Please.
GK: All right, see you later, mom.
SS: Bye Duane, Love you.
GK: Love you mom, bye.