Jul 14, 2005
chunk from the play I'm working on--first draft
BARBARA It’s been a year since Father died. When Mother died, I was only seven and three quarters but I had to become the mother to you both as well as your older sister. Did I do right by you? I tried, you know. I had to learn how to be a woman from television. “One Life to Live,” “Days of Our Lives,” “All My Children,” “General Hospital,” “Daylight Menagerie,” “Passionate Embrace,” “Dallas” and the magazines of course. I skipped Seventeen and went straight to Mademoiselle, Ms., Playgirl, Good Housekeeping, Home and Garden, House and Kitchen, Modern Woman, Lady of Leisure. I stayed home like a mother would and studied, catalogued every gesture and practiced practiced to be an adult so that you didn’t have to. Then when you came home I would show you what I had learned and you would smile. Because I had kept you from the pain and from the responsibility of being a woman. Now that Poppa is dead I must learn to be a father to you as well. I watch my husband carefully, copy his gestures, accept his philosophies, religion, thoughts. He will be the new model for our father, the father I will become. Do you remember a year ago today? Father fell asleep watching Fox news and didn’t wake up. There was a panic of course and the shock and the sorrow eventually. ALICE We should bury him. BARBARA What? ALICE The neighbors are beginning to complain about the smell.