Willie & The Lapdog

by Duncan Wells

Scene Six

It is evening. The party is over. Willie is washing the dishes while Dan is straightening up. They laugh through dialogue as a story that Willie is just finishing up

Willie: An' so I sees him comin'...slobberin' an' fallin' all over himself an' I sez: "What the hell is this?" Ya know?

Dan: No clothes?

Willie: Not a tack...drunk as a Lord...staggerin' up the gangway.

Dan: Funny the cops didn't find him first.

Willie: That's what we all said. An' God knows he was takin' a case of the DT's cos when he got ta the top of the gangway he starts salutin' me, reportin' fer duty, or somethin' like that.

Dan: He must have been loaded.

Willie: Plastered's more like it. Prob'ly got himself inta the whores that night too. I mean, no clothes an' all. It musta been somethin' he was inta if ya know what I mean.

Dan: I guess you got him into bed, ok?

Willie: Bed? Ha! He went staggerin' right by me an' up ta the bridge. The old man had ta go get him. Found him up in the wheelhouse tryin' ta steer the ship. Course we was tied up ta the dock so he wasn't takin' her anywhere 'cept fer maybe in his head.

Dan: And of course you just let him go. You didn't do anything to try and stop him.

Willie: It's pretty hard ta man-handle a guy that got no clothes on ya know. B'sides, it was a borin' watch anyway. He gave us all a good laugh. Ha!

Dan: It must have been something. I mean, sailing to all of those places.

Willie: Yeah, it was ok. I think I musta been too young to appreciate it though.

Dan: Wish it was me...sailing around the world like that...the waves splashing over the bow.

Willie: Naw. You're gonna be a liar. An' a good one too. An' if ya don't get some sleep soon ya ain't gonna be able ta get up in the mornin' so ya better get goin'.

Dan: I'll be ok.

Willie: Sure, ya say that now but wait'll I try pryin' ya outta the sack.

Dan: Steaks were good.

Willie: Best meal I had in a long while. 'Course it woulda been better if I cooked them.

Dan: Yeah, well I figured I owed you at least one meal before I left. (Pause) The ah...the wine was good to, wha'?

Willie: Yeah. (Pause. He puts down the dish rag) It's...it's gonna be a real big day fer ya tomorra wha'? I mean, goin' in there wit' alla them other fellas to write that exam.

Dan: Yes, I suppose so.

Willie: Ya don't sound too excited.

Dan: I'm excited, I'm...I'm a little nervous.

Willie: Your old man'll be real proud 'a ya Dan. Real proud! (No reply) Ya think?

Dan: Yeah.

Willie: Somethin' wrong? (No reply) Dan?

Dan sits.

Dan: Yeah...ah...my...well....my father.

Willie: What's wrong with him?

Dan: Aw, nothing. You wouldn't understand.

Willie: Can't understand it if ya ain't gonna tell me it. (No reply) Well, ya gonna tell me it?

Dan: I don't know, Willie...I...I feel sometimes that I'm just not happy with my life.

Willie: Ha! Tell me 'bout not bein' happy wit' life. Lookit what I got. A shack in a graveyard, a second hand chesterfield an' a checkerboard wit' nobody ta play wit'.

Dan: Yeah, I know but -

Willie: People got a way of learnin' ta live wit' their little lot in life, Dan.

Dan: It's not that. It's...it's this stuff here.

Willie: Yer books?

Dan: Not just the books. Everything!

Willie: You don't want ta be a liar.

Dan: No, I mean, yes I....I really don't want to be a lawyer.

Willie: Well that's stoopid. I mean ya been here alla this time doin' alla that studyin'

Dan: I know, I...I came this far through school, through college but...well, only because my father pushed me to it.

Willie: He's makin' ya be a liar?

Dan: Well, not making me. At least I don't think he is. I'm not sure. You know?

Willie: No.

Dan: Does that make sense?

Willie: Not ta me it don't but then again....

Dan: It's just that there was never anything else discussed. He refused to discuss anything else with me. Ha! I guess I was just born to be a lawyer.

Willie: Ain't nothin' wrong wit' bein' a liar.

Dan: No, I suppose not...unless, of course, you wanted to be something else.

Willie: An' 'a course you wanted ta be somethin' else.

Dan: Well, when I was in highschool I was a fairly good painter. I mean, I was...I was a good painter. I still am, I think.

Willie: Wha', ya painted pictures?

Dan: Yeah, I...I won awards and stuff. I had the opportunity and the money to study with some of the modern day masters. I...I really wanted to be an artist. I imagined myself living in the attic of some big old house.

Willie: What the hell ya wanna go an' do somethin' like that fer?

Dan: I was going to convert it into a studio and live right there among the smell of paint and linseed oil and turpentine.

Willie: An' yer old man wouldn't let ya.

Dan: No...no, he wouldn't.

Willie: Ya should 'a told him how bad ya wanted ta be a painter.

Dan: He could have cared less.

Willie: Ya tell him?

Dan: Of course...I told him...he knew...he saw my work...he knew I was good...he read reviews of my exhibitions...he knew how devoted I was and how much time I spent...alone in my room. He just didn't care. It was a hobby like...like stamp collecting, he...he just didn't look at it the way I did. Me...a painter. Ha! It was the craziest thing he ever heard. (He takes off his father) "Just look around yourself boy! Open your eyes for the love of God open your eyes! There are so many avenues opened to a young man in the legal profession. You'd be crazy to consider anything else....crazy!!" So here I am.....gonna be a lawyer...just like he planned.

Willie: Maybe ya weren't meant ta be a liar an' maybe yer father knew it.

Dan: Naw. I wanted to be a teacher one time too.

Willie: Ya wanted ta teach paintin'?

Dan: Well, yeah, but that's not the point. I wanted to be a teacher.

Willie: Yeah but paintin' is paintin' as far as I'm concerned. Course a teacher ain't such a bad thing ta be no matter what yer teachin' I guess. Wha'?

Dan: Not to him. I had to be a lawyer. It was the same with my brothers...both of them. One's an engineer...vice president of some kind of chemical corporation out west and Michael, the oldest....well he's alcoholic now...used to be a doctor. Neither one of them speak to my father...they cut ties years ago, they........they hate him.

Willie: How about you?

Dan: Hate him? Humph! I...I just wish he allowed me to be what I wanted to be.

Willie: If he did you'd prob'ly be livin' in an attic right now...prob'ly dead from alla them fumes from the turpentine.

Dan: Ha!

Willie: Aw ferget about it. Tomorra you'll go inta that place an' come out a liar...things'll work out just fine. You'll see. Now, why don't ya get yourself ta bed.

Dan: I'm not tired.

Willie: Why don't ya do some studyin' then. Make sure ya got everything right in your head.

Dan: (Crosses to chesterfield) Yeah, maybe I will.

Willie cleans up party mess. Dialogue throughout

Dan: You know, the reason I ended up here was because of my father.

Willie: He made ya come here? Ya mean, here?

Dan: He had a room booked for me...paid in advance for two full months. The best hotel in town.

Willie: Hotel Constantine.

Dan: Yeah. I was supposed to meet a Mister Ormisteen. Some kind of friend of my fathers. I dunno...humph! My father has so many friends everywhere. Sometimes you can't be sure if they're friends or paid bodyguards. Ormisteen was going to make sure I had everything I needed. Before I got to the hotel I picked up a newspaper and read your ad. I figured I could make enough here to pay for my own room...a place where my father couldn't find me. Of course I never counted on Mister Ormisteen showing up in the class.

Willie: He found ya?

Dan: Yeah...the very first day...like it was his job to track me down. I pretty much had to beg him to lie to my father. I told him I was staying with a friend and that I was fine and not to worry.

Willie: So what's gonna happen when ya gotta go back home.

Dan: I dunno...I don't really care. I had a couple of months of freedom...a couple of months where my every move wasn't monitored. I think I proved a point....well, at least to myself.

Willie: What'cha mean monitored?

Dan: Watched.

Willie shrugs not understanding

Dan: My father made sure I was always watched...monitored....always advised as to what I should do and how I should go about doing it. That's how it's been all my life, Willie. In a way you were right about this rich kid thing. I...I got it made. I always did. When I was going to university my mother would call every single day to see how I was, telling me what to do, who I should hang out with...the proper circle of friends. I could hear my father in the background directing the conversation. Among the college friends I tried to associate with, well it was way too obvious to them that I was receiving special treatment from certain professors, friends of my father. My parents would visit on a regular basis and socialize with their friends, dragging me along with them so everyone would know exactly who I was....the son of. That was me, Willie. Not Daniel or Dan or Danny but, the son of. Never had to do a days work in my life, not at home, not at university. I never had to clean my room, I had groceries delivered directly to my college dorm and I could eat at any restaurant in town. My father donated twenty five thousand dollars to the university every year. He was king of the hill, cock of the walk...big man on campus and I was the son of the big man on campus and everyone knew it. Here? Well, here I just wanted my freedom. Forget about my dreams of being a painter, a visual artist. It didn't mean anything anymore. I just wanted to be free of his clutches...no telephone calls, no visits...no more being petted and stroked like some furry little toy dog on a rich man's lap.

Willie: But ya still gotta go back home.

Dan: Yeah, I know. I hate the thought of it.

Willie: Ya can stay here if ya want.

Dan: Thanks Willie. I appreciate the offer.

Willie: Ya can go out an' get yerself some paints too if ya want. An' if ya get tired 'a that ya can go out an' get yerself a job on on 'a them big laker boats an' find the freedom ya want there.

Dan: If only you knew how much I wanted to be like that.

Willie: Maybe ya better start studyin' or else ya won't even get ta be a liar.

A fly begins to buzz around the shack. Willie has separated himslef from the conversation and is preoccupied with watching the fly. He grabs the rolled up newpaper and begins the persuit. Dialouge throughout.

Dan: Yeah, I wouldn't want to disappoint my father. That would be a shame...all the money he keeps reminding me about that he spent on my education...

The buzzing stops. Willie spots the fly high on the wall. He brings a chair to the wall and stands on it reaching to swat ...it would be an awful waste...ha! I could just see his face if I flunked...or if I didn't come home...if I really stayed here with you and - "SWAT!"

Willie: Buggernuts!

Buzzing again

Dan: Jesus Willie! What the hell are you trying to do?

Willie: Ya see that?

Dan: Get down off there before you kill yourself.

Willie: I missed him by that much!

Dan tries to help him down off the chair

Dan: Get down!

Willie: Get yer hands offa me! I can get down by myself!

Dan: You old fool.

Buzzing stops

Willie: Look! Over there by the stove.

Dan: The hot plate.

Willie: (Sneaking up with newspaper cocked) Yeah...shush...don't make a move.

Dan: Bet you miss.

Willie: (Stops and turns to face Dan) How much?

Dan: My tape recorder....your hat.

Willie: You got yerself a bet!

Long Pause. Swat! Buzz again

Dan: Oh for Godsake Willie! You're waiting too long. You're standing there looking at him. You have to do it all in one motion. Here, give me the newspaper.

Willie: Get yer own!

Dan gets a magazine and joins the hunt. Buzzing stops

Willie: There! One yer bed!

They both attack at the same time.

Dan: Shit! I almost had him!

Buzzing again

Willie: Yeah, well I woulda had him 'cept that ya bumped me outta the way.

Dan: Oh knock it off!

Buzzing stops. Dan goes for it over by the door. Swat! Buzz again. Willie follows the fly now. Dialouge throughout

Willie: Yeah, there ya go Mister Stoopid Arse. Gonna show me how it's done are ya?

Dan: I'll get him.

Willie: Sure ya will. Mister Dead Eye Dick...sure....you...(SWAT!) There! Aww dammit!!

Buzz again. Dan stares at Willie. He is smiling.

Willie: Who the hell ya smilin' at?

Dan: I didn't say a word.

Willie: Just wipe the grin offa yer face 'cos you missed him too.

Dan: Yes but I'm not making a big deal out of it like you are.

Buzz stops. Fly lands. Dan twitches his eye and cheek. Willie swats him in the face

Willie: I'm just tellin' ya ta wipe that saucy grin be'fore I - SWAT! - Got 'em!

Dan stares dumbfounded toward the floor at the dead fly. Willie picks it up and flicks it out the door. Dialouge throughout

Dan: Nice shot.

Willie: An' that's what'cha call killin' two flies wit' one newspaper.

Dan: Oh, of course! You meant to hit me that hard, didn't you.

Willie: I had to make sure he was good 'n dead.

Dan: Yeah, I'll bet.

Willie: never mind the I bets, just gimme my tape machine.

Dan: The tape machine? I won the bet. You didn't get the fly.

Willie: Yes I did. Don't ya remember?

Dan: I mean when he was over on the hot plate.

Willie: So?

Dan: That was the bet.

Willie: No it wasn't.

Dan: Yes it was!

Willie: You said whoever gets the fly.

Dan: No I didn't.

Willie: Yes ya did, now show me how this thing works.

Dan: (Rise) You didn't win the bet!

Pause. Willie hands him the recorder.

Willie: Well, if yer gonna be like that. An' here! Ya may as well take my hat too. (He throws it at Dan) I mean, since ya won it.

Dan: I don't want your hat, Willie.

Willie: The hat that my father give me...my father who's dead an' who had six sons an' only one hat an' who picked me ta give that hat to.

Dan: Here Willie, take your hat.

Willie: No, no...you keep it! After all, you won it. Cheater!

Dan: Come on Willie! Here! Take it!

Willie: Don't want it.

Dan: Ok, fine! You don't want it then I'll keep it. That's exactly what I'll do. I'll keep it and the first thing I'm going to do with it is wash it...scrub-it-clean!

Willie: You do an' you'll be gettin' this here in the chops.

Dan: In nice hot sudsy water.

Willie: Yeah, well, we'll see about that.

Dan: And when it's all fluffy clean, I'm going to rinse it out and ring it out so tight that all that old dirt is going to come out and go swirling down the drain...

Willie: Gimme it!

Dan: All that dirt and all that sweat.

Willie: (He grabs it and put is on his head) Gimme my Goddamned hat!

Dan: This is a great party Willie. I never had so much fun.

Willie: (Crosses to look out the screen door window) Don't get smart wit' me. Don't like people gettin' smart wit' me. Never did.

Dan: Oh, come on. I'm just kidding.

Willie: Just don't do it, that's all.

Dan: (To chesterfield) Ok...ok...I'm sorry.

Willie: Think you're so damned smart!

Thunder and rain begins

Willie: Now look what ya did! It's rainin'.

Dan: Do you think it was something I did that made the rain Gods mad?

Willie: I just finished tellin' ya, don't get smart wit' me!

Dan: It'll be good for the crops.

Willie returns his fly chair to the table

Willie: An' we ain't got no crops neither. (Dan smirks) Smart ass!

Dan: You better not let my father hear you talking to me that way.

Willie: Piss on yer father.

Dan: Oh for Godsake Willie, where's your sense of humour?

Willie: It ain't funny.

Dan: Awww, listen to yourself will you? You're starting to sound just like him. So damned serious. Christ!

Willie: Yeah, well...well...I'm sorry. I didn't mean ta sound like him, I....I didn't mean it, ok?

Dan: Ok.

Long pause

Willie: Are you...are you gonna tell him about me?

Dan: My father?

Willie: Yeah, yer father.

Dan: What do you mean, am I going to tell him about you?

Willie: You know...are ya gonna tell him that ya stayed here....wit' me?

Dan: Do you want me to?

Willie: No. If ya don't want ta ya don't have ta. I was just wonderin', that's all.

Dan: Well, I suppose he already knows I didn't stay at the hotel.

Willie: Ya think?

Dan: Yeah. He always finds out.

Willie: So, you'll prob;ly tell him about me, wha'?

Dan: I guess so.

Willie: What'cha gonna tell him?

Dan: Geez, I dunno Willie. I'll tell him I stayed with this guy and that he was a grave digger.

Willie: A graveyard caretaker.

Dan: Ok, a graveyard caretaker. I'll say something nice about you. Don't worry.

Willie: Tell him I took good care 'a ya too, ok?

Dan: I will.

Willie: An' that I cooked yer meals an' cleaned up yer mess.

Dan: I'll tell him all about you.

Willie: Don't tell him that I yelled at ya though, ok? (No reply) Dan? Ya won't tell him that I yelled at ya...will ya?

Dan: I won't tell him Willie....I promise.

Willie: Cos I don't really mean ta get mad at ya or nothin'...I jes' gets upset sometime...you know...I jes' gets upset.

Dan: I know.

Willie: Maybe I been livin' alone fer too long, wha'? (Pause) Humph! That's prob'ly what it is.

Dan: Maybe you should have gotten married. (Pause. No reply) Willie?

Willie returns to the screen door window. Dan soon follows.

Willie: I heard ya. Goddamned rain!

Dan: Creepy isn't it? (no reply) All those people out there...buried underground.

Willie: Ya think?

Dan: Yeah. It doesn't seem proper to do that to people you love.

Willie: Can't hold onta them forever.

Dan: I know.

Willie: From ashes we come an' ta ashes we go...sez so in the Bible.

Dan: The Bible?

Willie: Yeah, the Bible. You never heard 'a the Bible?

Dan: Well, yeah, of course but what do you know about the Bible?

Willie: I'm an old man fer Gezus sake. I know lots 'a stuff about the Bible.

Dan: But the Bible's a - (Pause) It's a book.

Willie: Yeah? And?

Dan: Well...nothing. Forget it.

Willie digs out a Bible

Willie: I know lots'a stuff. You think I don't know nothin' but I know all kinds'a stuff that you don't know about. Just have a lookit this.

Dan: Where'd you get that?

Willie: Never mind. I had it fer a long time.

Dan: Yeah? Well, why don't you read something from it.

Willie: Wha'?

Dan: Read something.

Willie: Naw, I don't wanna.

Dan: Come on Willie. I don't know very much about the Bible. Read me a passage.

Willie pretends to search for a passage to read

Willie: Yeah...well....let's see...ah, yeah, here's a good one...see here now, the ah...the Lord is my Shepherd...I shall not want...he makes me lie down in the pasture...he makes me lie down in the green pasture an' he leads me....he leads me by the still water an' the power of the glory foever an' ever amen...how's that?

Dan: That was great Willie.

Willie: Yeah? That was called The Lord Is My Shepherd I Shall Not Want. Ha! Yeah, she's quite the thing, wha'?

Dan: The Bible? Well, yeah, I guess.

Willie: Whatta ya mean, ya guess? You got one at home don'tcha?

Dan: I think so.

Willie: Ya think so? Everybody's supposed ta have one. I mean, just ta keep in a drawer...just in case.

Dan: In case what?

Willie: In case, ya know? I mean a person could be this close ta gettin; inta heaven. If he got a Bible in the house, who knows?

Dan: Who knows.

Willie: It might be just enough ta get him in through them gates up there. Hell, ya might even have ta show it b'fore they let ya in.

Dan: How old is it?

Willie: This? Thidy..forty years...I dunno. It's old. I...I got it from...a friend. Long time ago....

He hands it to Dan

...here. Have a look. Ya might learn somethin'. Prob'ly learn a lot more than what yer learnin' from them other books.

Dan: (Pulls out a photograph) Who's this?

Willie: Who's what? Here, gimme that!

Dan: Who is it?

Willie: Never mind!

Dan: What's the big secret?

Willie: Just mind yer business, will ya?

Dan: What the hell's wrong with you?

Willie: Nothin'!

Dan: Well, if there's nothing wrong, then who's the woman in the picture?

Willie: It...it was left there...by the guy who give it too me. I don't know who she is.

Dan: She's awful pretty. No reply) Willie? I said she's awful pretty.

Willie: I heard ya an' I told ya I don't know who she is an' I'm tired an' I wanna go ta bed an' I think you better do the same or your old man is gonna kill ya.

Long pause

Dan: Good night Willie.

Willie: G'night....I'll keep my fingers crossed fer ya in the mornin', ok?

Dan: Thanks.

Willie: Yer welcome. (Long Pause) Dan?

Dan: Yeah?

Willie: Ya know when ya die an' people like ta dress ya up an' put ya on display?

Dan: Uh huh?

Willie: Well, do ya think if I had a note in my pocket sayin' I don't wanna be put on display...that I just wanted ta be buried like I was, do ya think whoever found that note would respect it?

Dan: I guess so. Why are you asking such a strange question? You plan on dying soon?

Willie: Naw...not me. I got lots'a years left. (Pause) Maybe tomorra...b'fore ya go...maybe you'll write that note fer me...just in case.

Dan: Sure Willie. I'll write the note for you.

Willie: An' maybe ya can write on it that I wanna be buried out there in the birch trees...right next ta the flower garden?

Dan: I'll do that too Willie. Whatever you want.

Willie: On the side where the Dahlias grow.

Dan: The Dahlias?

Willie: The flowers wit' the big heads on 'em. I wanna be buried right next ta them.

Dan: You want me to write that on the note?

Willie: If ya don't mind.

Dan: No, Willie...I don't mind.

Willie: You gonna go ta sleep soon?

Dan: Yeah, I guess I better.

Willie: I'll make ya some breakfast in the mornin', ok?

Dan: That would be great.

Willie: An' I'll wake ya in lots'a time. (Pause) An' maybe I won't wake ya at all...maybe I'll let ya sleep in an' miss it so ya can stay here wit' me.

Dan: Wouldn't that be lovely...you and me fighting and arguing for the rest of our lives.

Willie: Yeah, be funny, wha'?

Dan: No kidding.

Willie: Ya ain't gonna ferget to write up that note fer me.

Dan: I won't forget.

Willie: Ok...g'night.

Dan: Good night Willie.

Lights Fade

Scene Seven

It is just turning daylight. The rain has stopped and Dan is already up. Willie is out. The radio is on and the announcer is talking about how much rain fell over night. An appropriate song is played on the radio while Dan visits certain items in the shack - the coffee can with the checkers. He removes the Bible from underneath the matress of Willie's cot. He flips through the pages and removes the photograph. Willie enters with a small bouquet of flowers. Dan tries to conceal the Bible and photo. Willie shuts off the radio.

Willie: Well, look who got up all by himself this mornin'.

Dan: I...I couldn't sleep. I had the examination on my mind.

Willie: Got some flowers fer the table....

He gets a bottle for the flowers and places them on the table. Dialouge throughout

...make the place smell a little better, wha'?

Dan: Yeah, here's...here's that note we talked about last night.

Willie sticks it in his pocket without looking at it

Willie: Thanks.

Dan: I was up for about an hour you know.

Willie: Must be really worried 'bout the exam.

Dan: A little. (Pause) Do you go down there every morning?

Willie: Yeah...it's the best time...the birds chirpin'...the sun comin' up - what'cha been doin'? Readin' the Bible?

Dan: Ah...no, I was -

Willie: Askin' God ta help ya write that exam?

Willie takes the Bible

Dan: (Laughing) Yeah...I may need the help, wha'?

Willie: Naw, you'll be ok. Gonna be a good day today. Least that's what the guy on the radio said earlier.

Dan: Yes, I heard.

Willie flutters the pages of the Bible

Willie: We had lots'a good days wha'? Well, 'cept fer last night. (Pause) I think ya got somethin' that belongs ta me?

Dan: (Hands him the photo) Yeah, I...I wasn't gonna keep it or nothing.

Willie: I b'lieve ya.

Dan: I was just lookin' at her.

Willie: Yeah, I know.

Dan: She's awful pretty.

Willie: Yeah...ya told me b'fore...remember? - I'm gonna make ya some breakfast.

Dan: The tea's on already.

Willie: Why don'tcha pour us some? (He crosses to the fridge) I'll see what we got in here.

Dan: Just some toast for me.

Willie: Naw. Ya can't go in there wit' yer stomach makin' noises.

Dan: I'm not hungry...honest...the toast is fine.

Willie: Ya sure?

Dan: Honest.

Willie gets the bread and goes about his business. Dialouge throughout

Willie: The ground's real squishy out there.

Dan: After all the rain we had.

Willie: Maybe ya shold take a pair 'a boots wit' ya.

Dan: I'll watch where I'm going.

Willie: The lane's all fulla mud. Ya should really have boots on yer feet.

Long Pause

Dan: Willie?

Willie: Yeah?

Dan: Who's the woman in the picture?

Willie: Just someone I used ta know. It ain't important.

Dan: You told me beofre that you didn't know who she was. That the picture was left there by the person who gave you the Bible.

Willie: Did I?

Dan: Yes. (No reply. Pause.) So, who is she? (No reply. Pause.) And why do you spend so much time down there?

Long pause. No reply. Willie brings toast and butters it and places it on the table

Willie: I see ya got yer stuff all packed.

Dan: Yeah.

Willie: What time yer train leavin'?

Dan: I'm going by plane.

Willie: Oh...yeah.

Dan: I have to leave for the airport as soon as I'm finished.

Willie: Bet yer mother an' father'll be real happy ta see ya.

Dan: I guess so. (Pause) You're not gonna tell me are you.

Willie: Ain't nothin' ta tell.

Dan: Are you afraid I'm going to think you're a crazy old man?

Willie: (Rise) I said there ain't nothin' ta say! (Calm) An' you remember that! (Pause) Don't want nobody comin' round here diggin' things up. Now, eat yer toast.

Dan: Willie, I -

Willie: I said there ain't nothin' ta say I...I couldn't give her much when she was livin'...I tried but I couldn't....she deserves a garden...an'a in't nobody gotta know she's there neither, an' you remember that! (Pause) An' anyway, we shouldn't be arguin'...we should be happy wha'? Yer goin' away today. Yer gonna be a liar...gonna go away an' make good fer yerself...we shouldn't be arguin', we should be happy. (Pause) Tell ya what. How 'bout we make a deal?

Dan: Another deal?

Willie: Yeah, how 'bout we make a deal that you come an' visit me...maybe Christmas or somethin' like that. We'll get a tree an' have presents an' stuff...be a lotta fun.

Dan: Christmas?

Willie: Yeah, whatta ya think? I don't get many visitors at Christmas...be real nice if ya could come 'round. Whatta ya think? We could have a good time.

Dan: How many Christmas visitors do you usually get?

Willie: Not many. (Pause) Ya look like ya don't wanna come visit me.

Dan: I didn't say that.

Willie: But that's ok...ya prob'ly got yer own Christmas ta go to...fam'ly stuff...that's ok. (Pause) Maybe ya better get goin' soon. Ya got them suitcases ta carry an' ya prob'ly don't wanna be late....

Dan gets up and gets ready to leave

...Ya sure ya don't want them boots?

Dan: No, that's ok...thanks alot.

Willie: Ya can have 'em if ya want 'em.

Dan: You're going to be alright?

Willie: Whatta ya mean?

Dan: Naw! You were fine before I came along. You'll be fine long after I'm gone.

Willie: Sure will....'course I won't have anybody ta yell at.

Dan: You'll survive. (Pause) And I'll come and visit you too.

Willie: Yeah?

Dan: Not at Christmas though.

Willie: Fam'ly stuff.

Dan: Yeah...but I will come...the first chance I get. (Pause. He stops at the door) So....it was...nice meeting you.

Willie: Yeah, but yer gonna come back, right?

Dan: Right.

Willie: Tell me how yer doin'...an' here...I want ya ta have this.

He puts his hat on Dan's head

Dan: No Willie, I can't take that.

Willie: Sure ya can...looks real good on ya. You go ahead an' wear it...might bring ya luck. If ya don't like it ya can bring it back...when ya come visit....like ya said.

Dan: Thank you. (Pause) I'll see you then...ok?

Willie: Yeah...I'll see ya....

Dan exits and is seen through the screen door. Willie crosses to down stage

...I'll see ya Daniel.

Freeze Willie. Fade To Black

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