GK: Hello?

SS: Duane, honey, is that you?

GK: Hi mom.

SS: Are you still in New York? Are you okay? I just called to see if you're okay.

GK: I'm fine.

SS: I just saw in the paper that a man killed a stranger on the street in New York in broad daylight. With a fork.

GK: Mom.

SS: Just waltzed right up behind him and plunged the fork into his back. Dead.

GK: I'm fine mom, okay?

SS: It wasn't the fork that killed him, honey. It was the bacteria on the fork. Because the killer did not floss. So many people in New York do not.

GK: Mom- can I call you back?

SS: They said the man's life could've been saved if somebody had squirted a little hand sanitizer on the wound. I hope you carry some of that with you. I've got some I could send you if you give me your address.

GK: Mom, I'm going to meet my editor in five minutes, okay? So can I call you back?

SS: I could make you a hat. With a mirror hanging off the brim. So you could see if someone is sneaking up on you.

GK: I really gotta go mom.

SS: And don't get too close to that platform edge. I know how you like to push the limits. Stand back at least ten feet. Please. And just focus, Duane. Focus.

GK: Okay. I'll be careful.

SS: All it takes is one moment of carelessness and you plunge onto the third rail and the smell of burning flesh fills the air. The smell of fried Duane.

GK: Well thanks for calling mom.

SS: Well hang on just a second honey, your dad wants to talk to you.

GK: Mom-

SS: It'll just take a second honey, now hang on there (OFF) Hank! Hank! (TR OFF) Talk to Duane now, he's on the phone and he wants to talk to you. (TR OFF) Well I'm sorry, they didn't have the kind with lotion in it. (ON) Here comes your father, just hang on Duane.


TR: Hello.

GK: Hi dad.

TR: Hi son.

GK: So you guys making plans for Christmas?

TR: Oh I don't know. That's your mother's department.

GK: Oh. Anything you'd like from New York?

TR: I don't think so.

GK: Okay.

TR: I'm giving your mother a police scanner.

GK: She'll like that.

TR: Should keep her busy anyway.

GK: So what would you like?

TR: I'm trying not to think about it too much.

GK: Probably a good idea.

TR: Well anyway nice talking to you.

GK: You too dad. Talk to you later.

SS: (OFF) I put a squirt of hand lotion on it, Hank, so just let it settle in for a second. (ON) Honey, are you still there? Duane?

GK: Mom, I gotta go.

SS: And I know that honey and I respect that and good luck with that editor. (CRACKS) Just all good things, honey.

GK: Mom. Don't do this, okay?

SS: Because your editor means so so much to you even though she puts you through the wringer, making you you rewrite and rewrite and start over and nothing is good enough for her, your golden editor goddess, and you, Duane ---- you follow her around like a dog, you sit when she says sit ---- you fetch, you lie down ----

GK: Mom.

SS: And here I am, your mother, the woman who washed your underwear by hand--

GK: I have to go to my appointment.

SS: No stain was too big for me, Duane. I never gave up on you. I never did.

GK: I'll call you later, okay? (BLEEP) Wait a minute. She's texting me. "I waited ten minutes but I guess you forgot. Call my secretary and let's reschedule for January." (A BEAT, GK SIGH)

SS: Now you're mad at me, aren't you. I can tell. You're furious. I made you miss your appointment with Princess Red Pen. Well, honey, how about I dip this fork in rat poison and stab myself in the chest with it? What if I do that and then you'll have something to put in your novel that might interest her? I've got the fork right here, Duane.

GK: Mom, please. Settle down. I'll be home in a few days. Let's have a nice Christmas.

SS: You'll be here for Christmas?

GK: Yes, of course I'll be there.

SS: I bought you some pajamas with cats on them. Cats' Pajamas. They're real cute.

GK: Sounds good, Mom. Talk to you soon.

SS: Okay honey, best of luck, love you-

GK: Love you mom.