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 Category:  Romance Script
  Posted: November 4, 2016      Views: 261
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I AM an author, salesman, optimist, dreamer: May the four always cohabit & produce wondrous progeny. In the swirling pool of life, I'm an unflushable floater.

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Chapter 3 of the book Harry: A Parenthetical Enigma
Scene 2
"Self-Completion of the Enigma" by Jay Squires

Scene 2
SETTING: Same as in ACT II HARRY’S flat is empty. On the table are two Seven-Up cans along with a half-used toilet paper roll and a manila envelope. Chairs are askew from their normal facing-left and facing-right position at table. Several wads of toilet paper are on the floor. Center Stage Left, between bed and bathroom is a small, circular area-heater (capable of being turned on so it glows.) The room lights are off and everything is in deep shadow.
TIME: 6 days later
AT RISE: HARRY and Mayree are on front porch, which is illuminated, while the interior of his flat is in darkness. His dilapidated suitcase is between them. Weather can be seen and heard behind them. He jiggles a key in the keyhole until he can turn it. Inside, he closes the door (the porch going into darkness), still facing it. He removes his cap, shakes off the snow and hangs cap on the hook next to the door; he brushes the snow off his shoulders. MAYREE stands still, watching him. Shivering audibly, he slaps his shoulders repeatedly with the palms of the opposite arms; then he follows with a few jumping jacks. MAYREE continues to watch him without a word, but with a curious smile on her face. He clicks on the light switch, turning to face the room.
          (Falls to knees, arms upstretched, face upturned)
 Blessed be the holy light and the extra-holy heat from you, my hundred-watter God.
          (A smile creases the corners of MAYREE’s mouth but aside from that she stands rather stiffly watching him. He genuflects, scrambles to his feet           and crosses to the area heater by the bathroom door.)
You who dispense heat only, I relegate to the position of minor saint. I dub you Saint Thermal. Hereinafter begins your reign—your fifteen minutes of—ha!—flame.
          (Makes the motion like he’s shaking holy water on either side of the heater, then squats and turns the dial.)
Kindly let me know in saintly fashion when your fifteen-minute reign ends.
          (Standing, he crosses back to MAYREE, who is smiling quizzically; he holds out his arms and she steps into them.)
                   HARRY [Continued]
You’ll have to imagine my Popely robes, Mayree. Always, the Pope’s attire is appropriate to the occasion. Shall we dance?
          (He struggles a bit to get her to follow him by extending her right arm out. She moves with stiff reserve as HARRY turns her in a slow circle …               then faster and faster until they are whirling about the room and she is giggling. He stops and smiles at her.)
Have you never danced?
          (She gives her head a rapid shake.
                   HARRY (Continued)
Then you and Pope Harry shall foxtrot the night away here in St. Peter’s. Would you like that, Mayree?
          (Halting; very childlike)
Foxtrot ... I saw a fox once on tv. You make me laugh, Harry.
          (They pull away from their dancing “embrace”, but he still faces her with one hand on her shoulder)
You deserve to always laugh. Laugh from morning to night. Do you like to laugh, Mayree?
I like it.
          (After a pause)
I like you, Harry.
          (She turns her head away from him with a big blushing smile.)
You’re very special to me, Mayree. I like you, too. Very much.
          (Holding both her hands in his)
Did you enjoy Boston?
Where we were. Where we thumbed a ride to?

I was cold where you put out your thumb.
          (Rubbing the arm of his pea coat.)
But we shared your coat, and that made me warmer.

I remember, yes. And then the nice couple gave us a ride all the way to Boston. Did you like Boston, Dear?

They turned the heater way up high when I said I was cold.
          (After a moment)
I remember.

You mean you remember Boston?

          (With enthusiasm)
I liked Auntie Dolores.
No, no, Dolores is, was, my mother. I read her name to you off the gravestone, remember? And put the flower on her grave?
Yes. I liked Auntie—the other Auntie.

Auntie Irenia? She was nice to you, wasn’t she?
She gave me ice-cream.

Yes, that was yummy.
Mayree, do you want to sit at the table? I want to talk about Auntie Irenia.
          (MAYREE nods with quick little jerks. HARRY takes her hand and guides her to one of the chairs. He glances down and for the first time, sees           the manila folder. He opens the end and peeks inside. Slams it back to the table. Sits.)
                   HARRY (Continued)
Damn it, Father!
          (Rifles through envelope again, smiles.)
At least you took Mama’s letter.
I’m not your father. I’m Mayree, silly.

          (Regaining his composure)
I know, my lovely Mayree. I know. Father forgot to take his envelope with him.
Your father scares me.
I know, Mayree. He scared me at first, too. He’s used to being around sailors. You know “sailors”?

Popeye. He’s a sailor.
          (Smiling, wondering how to approach it)
Yes, well … but Popeye’s really … well, you know, if Popeye was suddenly here in front of us, wouldn’t you be afraid of him?
Popeye eats spinach through his—his pipe.
          (Outside the flat, the great church bell gongs ten times. At the first ring, MAYREE holds up her hand and wraps her palm around her thumb. Each           succeeding ring she wraps her hand around another finger until all five are covered. Then she starts with the other hand. She smiles with her                   achievement.)
It’s ten o’clock.
I’m proud of you, Sweetheart.
I wish you could have got to know him. Father, not Popeye.
          (Remembering the emotional roller-coaster he and his father had been on.)
It probably wasn’t the best time, though.
I was afraid of your father, Harry.
Sure, I understand; let’s talk about Auntie Irenia.
Oh! Oh! Do we have ice cream, Harry?

We don’t have a freezer, my Love. You know that. Or even a refrigerator.

Auntie Irenia gave me chocolate, strawberry and—and—
Neapolitan; that’s what it’s called—chocolate, strawberry and vanilla.
          (HARRY watches her eyes angle to the ceiling, as though to register the information. A smile creeps to her lips)
Auntie Irenia was nice to me.
Mayree, do you remember what Auntie Irenia talked to me about?
          (Scrunches up eyes to a frown)
Auntie Irenia yelled at you. And then she stopped yelling and she hugged you. And then she cried. And everything was all better.
She did all those things. I’ll bet that was confusing. Yes. You see, I don’t have a phone. My Mama—that’s Dolores—was very sick and Auntie Irenia couldn’t call me. Mama wanted me …
          (voice breaks)
but Irenia couldn’t call me. She sent me a letter. And then Mama died. And Auntie sent me another letter to tell me about the funeral.
          (MAYREE gets increasingly agitated. Her eyes dart here and there. Her breathing is rapid.)
                   HARRY [Continued]
          (Gathering in MAYREE’S hands across the table)
Sweetheart, I want you to know there is nothing you can say or do that will make me not like you. Do you understand?
          (Pulls her hands from his, but leaves them on the table)
You got mad at me when I threw away the bad mail.

That was because I didn’t understand why you did it. Now I do, dear. It was after I came home from mowing lawns. I was just tired, Mayree. And I opened that big summer electric bill that I hadn’t made enough money to pay for. I think the way I acted frightened you.
          (eyes filling, she snuffles.)
You got mad at me for throwing away bad mail that makes you sad an’—an’ run through the house screaming and doing this—
           (shakes her fist)
—at the fat man clock.

          (Smiling despite himself)
Yes, I did get mad at you, but it was like Auntie Irenia, when she got mad at me. Remember she yelled at me, but then she hugged me, and then cried.

You didn’t cry when you got mad at me.
I hugged you, though. I hugged you, Mayree.
But you didn’t cry.
Sometimes …
          (Realizing the ineffectiveness of explanation)
No I didn’t cry, Mayree. And I’m sorry.

It’s okay.
Well … good, then.
          (With renewed caution)
Sweetheart—Mayree, knowing ahead of time that I’m not going to get mad at you … dear, all those days I left you here alone while I mowed lawns, did you throw away any more mail?

          (Anxiety building again)
I’ll like you still, even if you did. You know that?
           (MAYREE’S lips begin to tremble. HARRY smiles, indulgently. Takes her hands in his again.)
                   HARRY [Continued]
You did, didn’t you? It’s okay if you did.
You didn’t scream at the fat man clock any more, Harry, but you still got—sad. I know I’m—slow, but I can see when you are sad.
So, you threw some more mail away?
No. You told me “never do that again.”
          (Gets up from chair and crosses to dresser where she opens the bottom drawer. Removes a stack of envelopes from under her clothes. She                 returns to the table with the mail.)
          (Steels himself not to show any emotion as he thumbs through the letters. He stops, briefly, about one-third the way through. He blinks a few                 times, looks up, smiles at her, then continues through the remaining letters.)
Thank you, Mayree. See? I still like you. I’m not mad. I want you to promise me, though, to also never hide any mail from me. Can you do that? Never throw away or hide any more mail from me. Okay? And then we’ll be friends forever.
Okay. Forever and ever?
Forever and ever.
          (A single ding sounds from the heater and its glow can be seen diminishing. HARRY leaps to his feet.)
Come, Your Eminence Cardinal Stone—
No! Not Stone. Never, ever Stone!
I’m sorry, my lovely, lovely, Mayree. See, strange as it seems, the Pope is addressed—is called—by his first name while the Cardinal, who is just under the Pope—not in that way! He’s not physically—not, not actually under—but one who is subservient—sub—ah darn it! Is below the Pope—is called by his last name. You’ve always been a bit of a rebel, though, so in your case we’ll make an exception and title you hereinafter as Your Eminence Cardinal Mayree. Let’s just keep it between Your Eminence and Pope Harry, okay? Until the world is ready for such a departure from Catholic norm.
          (Giggling, holding her head and shaking it)
Oh, I don’t know—I don’t know, but I like you Pope Harry.

And the Pope likes you especially well, Your Eminence Cardinal Mayree; so attend with me, if you will, the official defrocking of Saint Thermal.
          (They walk arm-in-arm to the heater. HARRY kneels before it and intones solemnly.)
You, Reverend Mother, may no longer claim sainthood now that your miracle has extinguished. So back to your nunnery, Reverend Mother Thermal. You shall be re-summoned and re-sainted as needed.
          (Stands and turns to MAYREE)
And to Your Eminence Cardinal Mayree, your Pope Harry decrees it’s time for you to hit the sack.

But aren’t you coming to bed, Harry?

I’ll be there in a minute, Your Eminence. If I went to bed now, I wouldn’t sleep. I have too much on my mind. I have my appointment tomorrow with Mr. Kincade. Remember I told you about him?
I have a decision to make.
          (As from a sudden thought)
Besides, young lady, I’d rather wait until you’re asleep so I can confiscate my share of the blankets. You always pull them off me.
I do not!
Do too.
          (with a full smile so he shows he is teasing her)
And I am so angry about it that, after we purchase a refrigerator, we shall next buy twin beds.
What are they?
One for each of us, so we can own our own.
          (From a source of innocence, with nothing flirtatious intended.)
But then, how will I cuddle up to you?
We’ll buy more blankets so you’ll always be warm, dear.
Okay, Pope Harry. I like calling you Pope Harry.
          (HARRY returns to table, and addresses the stack of mail as MAYREE undresses to panties and bra, leaving her outer garments in a pile on the             floor, then slips under the blankets. There, she makes some additional movements and her hand emerges with her bra, which she also drops to             the floor. She rolls to her side, facing away from HARRY)
Good night, Pope Harry.
Good night, Your Eminence.
          (Sits for a long moment, eyes closed, a faint smile on his lips as he sways his body as to his own inner music. Then, turning to MAYREE, he                 watches her, curled into a ball, the blankets pulled tightly to her. He sighs and slowly shakes his head before turning back to the table. He thumbs           through the stack of mail until, finding the one he wants, he pulls it out, opens it and spreads the sheet on the table. Elbows on the table, fingers             webbed atop his head, he reads. Soon he sniffs, sniffs again. Before long, his head bobs beneath his hands as he manages to quietly subdue his           sobs. Straightening, capturing a breath, he glances over to the sleeping MAYREE, unrolls a few sheets of toilet paper and wipes his eyes, turns it           and squeezes it against his nostrils and sniffs.)
                   HARRY [Continued]
          (Barely above a whisper)
Oh, Mama—Mama …
          (Raising his hands and seeming to study them, he tightens fingers to fists, squeezing them so tightly his arms, then much of his body, tremble               as though about to burst from the strain of his grief. Finally, they release, drop to his lap, and he becomes limp, chin against his chest, eyes                 closed. He stays in this position another long moment before he springs to his feet. He appears, now, to be a man with a mission. He glances at             MAYREE, then crosses to the bed. He smiles down at her the way a father would his child, tucks the blanket more tightly around her. MAYREE             makes sleeping sounds. Back at the table he gathers up the empty Seven-up cans, and the wads of toilet paper, taking them to the kitchen                   where he deposits them in the trash. He opens a drawer, rummages through it, and pulls out something he cradles in his hand, closes the drawer           and leaves the kitchen for the living room. Outside, the Church bell gongs once.)
                    HARRY [continued]
          (speaking softly)
Perfectly timed, Saint Joseph of the Holy Epiphany.
          (He genuflects and tiptoes to the Buddha clock, pulls the bottom of it away from the wall and inserts the battery behind it. Moves the hands to               10:30. Speaking again, softly)
Sorry, Sid.
          (Runs his fingers down the “scar”, smiling, then feeling along the top of the clock, he removes two Band-aids that had been stuck there. Places             one over each eye. Returns to the kitchen. At the counter, he removes the potted Gardenia from the sill, inspects it, lovingly, from various                     angles, removing a dead leaf here and there, pressing the soil with his fingertip. He holds the pot under the tap, carefully revolving it. Taking a                 final closed-eyes sniff of the blossom, he replaces it to the sill. Returns to table where he sits as he removes his shoes and socks. Carries his               shoes, socks stuffed inside, to the bed, sliding them under. Standing by the bed he undresses to his underwear, draping his pea coat, his pants             and shirt over the dresser. Returns to the bed. MAYREE is still facing away from him, but on his side of the bed. Keeping the blankets on her, he           speaks softly to her as he “works” her to the other side of the bed.)
Just need to scoot you over just a little, Sweetheart.
          (He loosens some of the blankets that had been tucked under her, slides into bed, facing away from her and pulls the blanket over him and                     closes his eyes. MAYREE moans, makes sleeping sounds. She flounces over to face his back. Fits her body into his. HARRY’S eyes pop open.           His face is a study of conflict.)
I hope you enjoyed reading this play half as much as the EditNazi enjoyed screwing it up for me. I value any comments you make on this scene or the play in its entirety.  JS


The script continues with The Enigma's Self-completion. We will provide a link to it when you review this below.

Author Notes
A final huge thanks to Cleo 85 for the use of your perfect picture.
Pays one point and 2 member cents. Artwork by cleo85 at

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