Friday, July 10, 2015

Scene 3: Yet Another Draft

(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) Oh my god, 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 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: Oh my god! 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: There's no way he can be one of us.

Son 2: (to Mom) Well you can always try to break us up. God knows you tried to do that when I was dating women.

Aunt: So men to you are like women used to be 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 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, come here my son (gives his son a big hug and a kiss) 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’re going to break up with this goy tomorrow and I’m gonna find you a nice gay Jewish mixer.

Son 2: That’s very thoughtful of you Da...

Dad: (interrupting) You should have thought of your poor father and his ulcer! All the pride he felt at hearing that his son had the courage to come out was completely shot down when you stomped all over the one rule he ever set on you for the entire time you've been his son! However long your mother was going to live you took ten years off her life! You sh...

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 children had half your sechel for anything that really matters!

Son 1: (irritatedly sarcastic) Thanks Dad.

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

Son 1: And 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 poorhouse before you move out of this one.

Son 1: Do you promise? That would be delightful.

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 his 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 make fun of us for a half-hour. 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 got shot the day he gets Bar-Mitzvahed and Dad decided to spend another half-hour in front of the microphone lecturing the entire audience about Israeli history!

Aunt: That history's important! Everybody should know 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 a house of 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: I know, but somebody has to speak up for reality here.

Son 1: Y'know, thank God you're my brother, or else everybody would start realizing again 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: I love you too! I just hate what your brothers believe, and I'm worried that pretty soon you're going to drink the same kool-aid your brothers have.

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 family and you'll appreciate all the things we taught you when your children get bar-mitzvahed and have families of their own.

Son 2: (resentfully) I suppose you're implying 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. 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 carrying on, you love us. Whatever you need, we'll always be there for you. I just wish you were there for us.

Son 1: Can we please just get to what this is really about? Mom, you're just pissed because you know I’m never gonna have kids. I'm sorry about that, but even if I wanted to, 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: How romantic.

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

Son 2: You just need to get out of this cage and into the real world. You can always join me in New York. There’s no end of women up there!

Son 1: And have you 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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