(PHONE RING 3X)
(SFX MUFFLED SS TALKING OFF)
SS: (MUFFLED) . . . No. You're right......Yes, of course......You're absolutely right.
GK: Mom. Mom. Hello. Hello. Test 1,2,3--
SS: (OFF) Excuse me. (ON) Duane! I was just talking to Louise on the land line. One moment. Hold on. ---- Louise, I'll talk to you later, darling. My son is on the line. --- Yes, my son the author. ----I'll do that. Bye now. ---- Duane? Are you there?
GK: Did you mean to call me?
SS: I always mean to call.
GK: Or is this a butt call?
SS: Duane---- mothers do not make butt calls. They may use their butts when their hands are busy with other things, but ---- anyway---- what's up with you?
GK: You called me with the seat of your pants.
SS: Duane, please.
SS: Your cousin Louise is now a life-coach. She coaches people on how to do life. She's been on a faith journey where she forgave each of her ex-husbands and she got that ugly tattoo of the fish on her shoulder removed and you know something ---- maybe you ought to talk to her.
GK: About how to do life?
SS: Maybe she could help you finish that novel you're on draft one thousand now ---- why not? Maybe you could become a writing consultant and help other people who are hopelessly stuck.
GK: Mom, please.....
SS: Louise painted the word "Imagine" on the roof of her house. Letters twelve feet high. She's a go-getter, that girl.
GK: Mom, what are we talking about?
SS: Honey, I want you to be a go-getter. Not a bed-wetter. I want you to go out and grab life by the tail and look it in the eye, Duane. And not be a wimp like your dad. I'm sorry but it's true. We ran out of firewood and I bought a truckload from a guy going door to door and your dad went into a big sulk like I had emasculated him or something. Am I emasculating, Duane? I just ask you? Am I? No, I am not. But he goes down the basement and he sits and listens to Simon & Garfunkel over and ----- oh here he is. Talk to him, Duane. (OFF) Hank! Hank - come and talk to Duane. (ON) Duane, talk to him ----- (THUMPS AND MUTTERS) here, take the phone for crying out loud, don't drop it.
GK: Hi, Dad.
(TR HEAVY SIGH)
TR: Hi, Son. (SINGS SOFTLY) "because a vision softly creeping, left its seeds while I was sleeping"
GK: Dad, you ok?
GK: Are you alright?
TR: Guess so.
GK: You can go out and cut firewood in a couple weeks, you'll need more then, just burn up the stuff Mom bought, okay?
GK: I didn't know you were a big Simon & Garfunkel fan.
TR: Oh yeah.
GK: What's your favourite song of theirs?
TR: (SINGS SOFTLY) "Within the sound of silence".
GK: I had no idea.
TR: I know.
GK: Well. Okay, then.
GK: Okay, thanks for sharing, Dad.
TR: You bet. Here's your mother. (THUMPS, MUTTER)
SS: So listen, Duane, I think Louise can help you get off the dime. That time I brought over the lasagne for you, I took a little teeny weeny peek at the manuscript of your novel, Duane....
GK: Mom, you didn't-----
SS: I read the Preface, Duane. Honey, novels do not have a preface. There is no need for a preface. You just jump right in ---- "The hot sun beat down on the chaise where Angelina was working the creamy lotion into her long brown legs." ---- You cut to the chase, Duane. You don't have to do all that throat-clearing and warm-up exercises. Get to the point. You hear me? Duane?
GK: I wish you wouldn't read an unfinished manuscript, Mom.
SS: Honey, I want that unfinished manuscript to become a big successful book. You're almost fifty years old, Duane. You ever think about that?
GK: So what did you call about, Mom?
SS: I made an appointment for you to see Louise on Wednesday.
GK: Mom, I just don't think it can do me any good---- I don't want to ask advice of a stranger who doesn't know me----
SS: Oh, go ahead. (WEEPY) Push me away. Push me away like I'm some old dog on the sidewalk. Go ahead, Duane. I try to help and you just slap me in the face. That's all I get from you. A slap in the face. Me. Your mother. Who stood at the stove, stood at your bedside. While you slept. I cleaned your room while you slept. I didn't want to wake you up with the vacuum so I crawled on my hands and knees picking up each tiny piece of lint, each popcorn kernel, each grain of sand, by hand. My knees make a grinding sound when I move. It's like driving a car on steel rims - bone on bone. I did it for you! I used to have nice legs and now my knees look like grapefruit. I can't wear shorts or skirts. I did it for you, honey. So forgive me if I keep trying to help ---- (SOBS)
GK: Mom? Mom, fine. I'll meet with Louise.
SS: You will, Duane?
GK: Yes, I will. Once. Just once.
SS: You have just made me so happy, Duane. So happy.
GK: How much does she charge?
SS: You can pay her in cash or in wine. Twenty-five dollars or else two bottles of Shiraz.
SS: And then come over for dinner after and tell us all about your life changes.
GK: Sure, Mom.
SS: Ok, Duane. I love you.
GK: Love you too, Mom.
SS: See you Wednesday.
GK: Yup. Bye.
SS: Bye, dear.