(RING 3x)

GK: Hello?

SS: Duane, it's your Mother.

GK: Hi, Mom.

SS: Did I catch you at a bad time?

GK: I'm just working on my novel, that's all.

SS: Which novel, honey? The one about the waitress.

GK: No, I gave up on that one.

SS: Oh.

GK: Someone else published a novel about a waitress and hers was better--- she'd actually been a waitress.

SS: Well, I suppose.

GK: Anyway, I gave up on it.

SS: Would you like me to read it?

GK: It's 100,000 words, Mom. And it's no good.

SS: I'd do it for you, Duane. If you'd do something for me.

GK: I've given up on it, Mom. It's hopeless.

SS: What's it about?

GK: It's about a waitress at a restaurant who marries a guy she admires and then realizes she's actually in love with his cousin, who works as a dishwasher.

SS: Uh huh. What's it called?

GK: The Sunset Grill.

SS: That's a good title, Duane. The Sunset Grill.

GK: Oh? You think so?

SS: But I'd change the story so that midway through the book she realizes that she's been dreaming and actually she is married to the dishwasher.

GK: Hmmm. Interesting.

SS: And I'd cut 50,000 words. People are looking for shorter books now.

GK: That's what Sonya thought, too.

SS: So are you back with Sonya now?

GK: I don't know. I've been seeing her again.

SS: I always liked her.

GK: She liked you.

SS: I'd love to read the novel.

GK: Well, let me think about it.

SS: If you'll do me a favor.

GK: What's that?

SS: I want you to drive up to Bemidji and go visit my cousin Marilyn out at the lake.

GK: Mom, Bemidji is a long way away.

SS: Your dad and I went up there every fall around the opening of deer hunting and this year we can't go because his back is killing him and Marilyn is just heartbroken and you would make her so happy if you'd go up there and go deer hunting with her. She just thinks the world of you, Duane.

GK: Mom, I'm trying to start this new novel.

SS: It'd just be a couple of days.

GK: Mom, I've never shot a gun in my life.

SS: It's easy. If I can do it, you could do it.

GK: You went deer hunting?

SS: I finally got my deer two years ago and it gave me such powerful sense of autonomy and self-esteem. I can't tell you.

GK: Mom-----when did you have an autonomy problem?

SS: My therapist said I should do it and she was so right.

GK: I didn't know you had a therapist----

SS: She's in Bemidji. Anyway, Marilyn has a gift for you, Duane. She's been meaning to give it to you for the past three years, and now this is the year.

GK: What is it?

SS: It's her Encyclopedia Britannica. All 34 volumes except Rimini-through-Rotterdam.

GK: Okay.

SS: It's the 1983 edition.

GK: Okay.

SS: It's one of her most precious possessions.

GK: Right. But they do have the encyclopedia online now, Mom.

SS: But not the 1983 edition.

GK: I suppose not. But still----

SS: You're not going to do it, are you. I'm just wasting my breath. Why do I bother? It'd mean the world to an old lady alone in the woods. But you don't care about that, do you. No, you don't. I read an article in the New York Times about narcissism, Duane, and I thought of you.

GK: Mom, I'm not a hunter. And I don't need 34 volumes of an encyclopedia.

SS: Thirty-three. It doesn't have Rimini-to-Rotterdam.

GK: Mom---- I really can't. Okay? I just can't.

SS: Talk to your father, Duane. I'm going to go make myself a stiff drink.

GK: Mom-----

SS: (OFF) Hank! Hank. Come talk to Duane. He's in one of his moods. I've got to go take a pill or something. ----Where are my medications? Why don't I just take a whole handful? End it right now.


TR: Hi, son.

GK: Hi, dad. How's it going?

TR: Oh, about the same.

GK: Right. You ever go deer hunting, Dad?

TR: I had enough of that in the Army. And when you see who else is out there in the woods, you don't want to be there with em.

GK: Yeah.

TR: Your mother got a big buck a couple years ago, though. Up in Bemidji.

GK: Yeah?

TR: She shot it, wounded it ---- chased it through the brush a couple miles, jumped on its back, cut its throat ---- hung it up by the hind legs, gutted it, skinned it, butchered it, and carried the meat out on her back.

GK: My mother.

TR: Your mother.

GK: You were there?

TR: I stayed at the motel and read a book. I heard about it from the sheriff.

GK: The sheriff?

TR: Some hunters called the sheriff because she was whooping and hollering and dancing around covered with blood. Your mother.

GK: Huh.

TR: She burned the meat on a bonfire and she was praying to somebody and it wasn't anybody I heard about at church.

GK: Wow.

TR: Yup.

SS: (OFF) Give me back the phone. I'm sedated now. (ON) Duane? You still there?

GK: I'm here, Mom. Listen----

SS: There's one more thing about Marilyn, honey ----- she was with me when I went into labor with you. She was there. She held my hand when I was being ripped apart. Ripped apart. She was there for me. (WEEPY) And now she's up there in the woods, alone. Wanting to give you the gift of knowledge.

GK: I'll go, Mom. I'll go on Sunday. Okay?

SS: Don't do it for me, Duane. Do it for yourself.

GK: I will, Mom. I'll do it for myself.

SS: Ok, I gotta go, Duane ---- I'll call Marilyn and tell her.

GK: Okay.

SS: Good luck on your new novel. What's it about?

GK: Oh, it's sort of autobiographical. About . . .my life and . . .just me.

SS: I'm not in it, am I?

GK: No, Mom. Not so far.

SS: Good. Okay. Love you----

GK: Ok, love you Mom.

SS: love you, honey. Bye now!