Thursday, July 16, 2015

Scene 3 - Incomplete Rewrite

(Interrupted by the entrance of Brother 2 - 23 years old extraverted and charismatic, short but good-looking, wearing ripped jeans and a tight shirt - and Brother 3 - 13 years old, slightly shy and not a little surly - along with Cousin 3 - 28 years old, dressed in a suit.)

Cousin 3: I dunno… this dumpster diving thing sounds dangerous.

Aunt: (overlapping when she sees Cousin 3 and walking over to him) Oh there he is! Let me see you.

Cousin 3: Hang on a sec Ma. I gotta go to the bathroom. (rushes off stage, barely acknowledging)

Mom: (overlapping, running over to him) Oy-oy-oy-oy-oy-oy, what a sight for sore eyes (gives her son multiple kisses) If I’d have known you’d be here so early I’d have had us wait to say Kiddush.

Son 2: That’s ok! We can always say it again!

Cousin 5: (finally giving a subtle glance up from her book) No you can’t, you can only say it once.

Son 2: (enthusiastically) Hey there! How are you?? You never call me anymore! (tries to hug her, she ducks the hug from her chair at the kitchen table)

Aunt: You can’t touch her now, she’s Shomer Negyia, it means no man can touch her until she gets married.

Son 2: (immediately) Yes I know what Shomer Negiya means. And that's horrible!

Cousin: It’s what Hashem wants.

Son 2: Oh really? How’s God doin’?

Cousin 5: He’s great! He doesn’t judge me the way you do.

Son 2: Oh you can’t really believe that, can you?

Cousin 5: Of course I do.

Son 2: You know, you’re basically joining a cult...

Aunt: Yeah, but it’s our cult.

Cousin 5: MOM!

Aunt: Don’t mind her, this is just her teenage rebellion. Now stop avoiding me and say hello to your aunt (kisses him on the cheek). I hear your gay now.

Son 2: Yeah. For now...

Aunt: What? Is it like a shirt that you change every day?

Son 2: That’s what the Rabbis always told us.

Aunt: But your boyfriend, he seemed so Jewish! How could he possibly be a goy?

Son 2: That's why I figured you guys might like him. He might as well be one of us!

Mom: (quietly, as if to broach something difficult) I should probably tell you, your Dad was as disappointed as I was that he isn't.

Son 2: (to Mom) Well you can always try to break us up. God knows you tried that a million times with our sister.

Aunt: So men to you are like women and you can just go through them like water?

Son 2: C’mon, be fair to me. Every one of those girls was at least as dear to me as cattle.

Aunt: And at least they were kosher cattle. 

Son 2: Well, sometimes a man wakes up and realizes he needs a bull instead of a cow.

Son 1: (entering from side) Well, you know that saying? Once you go bull, you never go back. (they hug)

Son 2: You look fantastic!

Son 1: Bullshit.

Son 2: You do! You look like a fat version of me!

Son 1: I look like a version of you without syphilis.

Son 2: Still with the manwhore jokes... I figured now that I'm out you were going to move on to asking me if I have AIDS yet.

Son 1: What's the difference? You sleep with men, you sleep with women, you're still a walking bag of disease.

Son 2: (hugs his brother, says, not entirely sarcastically) I miss you so much!

Son 1: I miss you too!

Aunt: (trying to come into the hug) Well, I just want you to know that we’re all really proud of you for coming out. Even if your gay guy’s a goy.

Son 2: Yes. The goy guy’s a gay.

Son 1: So the gay boy’s a goy.

Son 2: Yes, the goy boy toy.

Aunt: (seeing son and moving over to him) Now let me see my yeled (boy). (grabs him for a hug) Oh my god you’re so handsome.

Cousin 3: I certainly think so.

Aunt: How was your trainride? What time is your wife getting in?

Brother 2: She’s coming in with his twin, they should be here in about twenty minutes.

Brother 1: Aren’t you ever scared that she might confuse the two of you?

Cousin 3: Not really. I’m three years older than him.

Aunt: I’m your mother and once the two of you were fully grown I had to look at your teeth to tell you apart.

(enter Dad, Uncle, and Son 1)

Dad: You couldn’t have waited 20 minutes and all take a cab together?

Son 2: You can afford to pay for both…

Cousin 3: We couldn’t all have fit in one cab with the luggage; and I paid for the cab.

Dad: Well anyway, kumm tzu mir mein zohn (come to me my son) (gives his son a big hug and a kiss) Ah leb mav dir (I love you). And I just want you to know that we’re all very proud of you for coming out.

Son 2: (Waiting for it…) But....

Dad: (slaps him upside the head) YES BUT you farshtunken khaleriya (accrused/goddamn/fucking cholera/disease/curse)!… You’re going to break up with this shkotz tomorrow and I’m gonna find you a nice gay Jewish mixer.

Son 2: (diplomatically sarcastic) That’s very thoughtful of you Da...

Dad: (interrupting) You should have thought of your poor Tateh (Dad) and his farshlepteh krenks (chronic diseases)! All the nakhes he felt at hearing that his tayerer keend (dear child) had the khutzpeh to come out was korvened (ruined) when you farkuckt (shat) all over the one rule he ever set on you in your entire kalyeh yungatsch (spoiled brat) life! However long your Mameh was going to live you took ten years off her li...!

Uncle: (interrupting, stepping between them) Easy there. Anyway, everything he said but without the slap. (hugs and kisses his nephew)

Son 2: I figured.

Dad: And nu? (going up to his nephew) How’s my favorite son? If only my real kinder had half your seykhel for anything that really matters!

Son 1: (irritatedly sarcastic) Thanks Dad.

Dad: What? All I want is for you all to make money, is that such a crime?

Son 1: But all I want is to spend your money.

Dad: I know you do. That’s why you’re going to put us all in the nebekh heus (poorhouse) before you move out of this one.

Son 1: Do you promise? That would delight half of Pikesville.

Dad: (turns around to leave room before things get ugly. As he leaves, he exclaims with both hands) Ochen vey! I have a son!

(Exit Dad)

Cousin 3:  Well his kids are great. (puts arm on Son 1’s shoulder) I believe in them, even if they don’t.

Son 1: Oh go lose another million dollars!

Cousin 3: Well that’s the difference between me and my brother. When you’re in finance, you lose a million dollars every day. When you’re in computers like him, you make it.

Mom: Oh he’s not doing that well is he?

Cousin 3: Give him another few years and he’ll invent the robots that kill us all.

Son 1: And of course they’ll start with the Jews.

Mom: Why would they do that?

Son 1: I dunno, but of course that invention would beg the question: would killer robots be good for the Jews or bad for the Jews?

Aunt: I’m sure I’m not the only one who wishes you wouldn’t make fun of our religion so much.

Son 1: Don’t mind her. (turns to his youngest brother) She’s still mad about my idea to make your Bar Mitzvah party Holocaust themed.

Cousin 3: Oy gevalt.

Son 1: The place cards would all have yellow stars on them and you could be seated at the Bergen-Belsen table or the Majdanek table.

Cousin 3: Well (shrugs), it is very creative.

Son 1: Isn’t it? I really wish everyone in this family would stop acting like they don’t hate Bar Mitzvah parties so much

Uncle: I think it’s nice to see all your family and friends together to celebrate.

Son 1: Well at my bar-mitzvah all our family and friends got together to watch Dad grab the microphone make fun of us for forty-five minutes. So I wouldn’t know. 

Mom: It wasn't as bad as all that...

Son 1: He put up a slide picture of you in a bikini when you were my age and complained to everybody about how you got fat!

Mom: I was fat!

Son 1: How can you possibly let him get away with that shit?! I told you to rein him in before his Bar-Mitzvah (points to his youngest brother). Then Rabin (Yitzhak Rabin, Prime Minister of Israel) got shot the day he gets Bar-Mitzvahed and Dad decides to spend another half-hour with the microphone lecturing the entire audience about Israeli history!

Aunt: That history's important! Everybody should know about it!

Son 1: It was half the Jews in Pikesville! Everybody knows about it!

Son 2: Well you're right that everybody should know. It's just a shame Dad gave such a skewed view of what happened. 

(Everybody groans and the circle breaks up somewhat) 

Aunt: (slightly raised voice) Don't start with your self-hating Jew stuff. It's an embarrassment to us.

Son 2: (voice raised more) What's embarrassing is that you build a whole way of life on lies!

Uncle: I don't want to hear this. (leaves the room)

Son 2: Sorry everybody, I know you don't want to hear that your lives are horrible mistakes, but I'm just the messenger.

Cousin 3: Dude, enough, you're not going to win this.

Son 2: Somebody has to speak for reality here.

Son 1: (puts his arm around his brother) Calm down boychik (dear boy), I'm not saying they're not delusional, but you're as delusional as they are, and thank God you've gone so crazy, or else everybody would start piling on me again about what a horrible disappointment I am.

Mom: You're not a disappointment to me. Neither of you are, I love you both.

Son 3: HEY!

Mom: Ah leb mav dir eykh (I love you too)! I just hate what your brothers believe, and pretty soon you're probably gonna spout the same khazerei (trivial nonsense) your brothers do.

Son 1: Don't equate me with him, just because I don't believe in your bullshit doesn't mean I believe in his.

Mom: Don't worry, one day you'll have a mishpokheh and you'll appreciate all the things we taught when your kinderlakh (children) get bar-mitzvahed and have their own families.

Son 2: (resentfully) I suppose you're implying that now I'm never going to have a family?

Cousin 3: Why are you angry about that? Of course you're not!

Son 2: Whatever. Families are bullshit anyway. I didn't ask to be born here, and I'll do perfectly fine if you don't want me around. 

Mom: Ken-a-horeh (that's a horror/God forbid)! Why are you so ohn dank (ungrateful)

Son 2: Don't get me wrong Mom, I'm glad to see you all, but why should you care whether or not I'm part of this family?

Mom: Because we love you, and we know that for all your meshigoss (craziness), you love us. 

Son 2: I just don't know why it should be a responsibility. 

Mom: Stop this! It's azay vi Gott hot gehaysen (the way God wants it). 

Son 2: You don't really believe that do you?

Mom: Why should it matter what I believe? Whatever you need, we'll always be there for you. I just wish you would stop threatening not to be there for us.

Son 2: Well I'm here aren't I?

Mom: And we appreciate that! You're here, and you're here (points to Son 1), and I'm just so tzufriddn (happy) that we get the mishpokheh together for the whole weekend!

Son 1: (suddenly depressed) Well, at least he's choosing not to have a family. Mom, you're just pissed because you know I’m never gonna have kids.

Mom: Shakres! You're going to be a great father!

Son 1: That's the dumbest thing you've ever said! We all know what a terrible father I'd be and no woman's ever going to take this (point to your body) on.

Aunt: Of course they are. All you need is one woman to pick you out of a lineup and say ‘this is the guy for me.’

Son 1: Oh how romantic you make that sound.

Cousin 3: That's what your Aunt did. Do you really think my Dad had any success until she glommed onto him?

Son 1: And look how well some of those kids turned out (points subtly to Cousin 5, cousin notices and shakes her head angrily).

Son 2: You all just need to get out of this Pikesville cage and into the real world. You can always join me in New York. You wouldn't believe the women up there!

Son 1: Apparently they're so hot that you decided to leave them forever.

Son 2: Well, no matter what I do, even people much uglier than you can find a woman in New York.

Son 1: And in order to find them will I have to be set up with all your sloppy seconds? I think I’ll pass.

Son 2: There are millions of women in New York I haven’t slept with.

Son 1: What about men?

Son 2: Gimme two years…

Son 1: Y’know, it really is unfair. You got the charisma, the looks, the competence. All I got was the brains and you were still the one who went Ivy.

Son 2: You still could if you wanted to.

Son 1: With my standout resume?

Son 2: Everybody lies on their resume. It shouldn’t be too hard to fake one.

Son 1: So I’m going to fake a resume to get into Columbia just to find out that the reading is all jargon and the courseload is going to give me a nervous breakdown? Even I've got better things to do.

Son 2: It’s gotta be better than living here.

Aunt: For him? Everything’s better than here.

Son 1: Oh shut the fuck up. 

Mom: Don't you dare say that, apologize right now!

Son 1: What? She made a joke, I made a joke back!

(oven dings) 

Mom: Well it appears we have a Turkey.

(everybody leaving except Cousin 3 and Brother 1. Brother 1 goes to sit at the kitchen table, Cousin 3 comes over to talk to him.)

Cousin 3: So how you been feeling?

Brother 1: The usual. It’s touch and go every day. Every time I’m happy, Dad notices it and makes sure to find a way to make me miserable again. Though I’m sure he feels the same way about me.

Cousin 3: I know you’ve heard this a zillion times but…

Brother 1: I know. I need to move out, but I gotta be ready for it.

Cousin 3: A lot of things will improve when you do.

Brother 1: If I do…

Cousin 3: You will.

Brother 1: Who knows if he’ll pay for the rent.

Cousin 3: Of course he will.

Brother 1: I don’t know that. And what happens if he doesn’t, or if he stops. I get evicted and Dad might not let Mom take me back in.

Cousin 3: That’s nonsense.

Brother 1: (agitated, slightly raised voice) You don’t know that!

Cousin 3: (calming) I’m just trying to help.

Brother 1: (exhales to collect himself) I appreciate that. Really I do.

Cousin 3: Are you taking your medication?

Brother 1: Of course.

Cousin 3: We should go in. You know I’m here no matter what if things go wrong tonight, and after tonight I’m always a phonecall away.

Brother 1: I do, and thank you for that. I can’t imagine it’s easy.

Cousin 3: Don’t worry about it. I work on Wall Street, I see bigger psychopaths every day.

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