#345 | Social Studies

MIKE and MABEL sit on the porch in the backyard.

MIKE: Whatcha doin?

MABEL: Studying.

MIKE: Oh. Okay.


MIKE: Studying what?

MABEL: Your Mom.

MIKE: Geez-O-Pete. I was just asking.

MABEL: No, seriously. Your Mom, and her journey down the hellish, ill-fated track that led her to give birth to you.

MIKE: If you tell me what you’re studying I’ll leave you alone.

MABEL: Daniel Boone.

MIKE: Ohh, is that for a school project?

MABEL: Thought you said you’d leave me alone.

MIKE: I guess I lied.

MABEL: You’re so funny, Mikey.

MIKE: Do you like me?

MABEL: Yeah.

MIKE: Really?

MABEL: No, I guess I lied.

(Mabel hits Mike in the stomach and he runs away, crying.) 

MABEL: Baby.

(Mabel writes. Daniel Boone approaches.)

DANIEL BOONE: Now you sure as hell know you shouldn’a done that.

MABEL: And why not?

DANIEL BOONE: That’s juss…not the way to treat a gentleman.

MABEL: Oh yeah? …Is that how you treat a lady then?

DANIEL BOONE: I wasn’t tryin to come over an’ start an argument, little girl.

MABEL: I know. But you are.

DANIEL BOONE: D’you wanna go find some Injuns?

MABEL: They’re called Native Americans. And only if we help them get back their land.

DANIEL BOONE: You strike a hard bargain, missy.

(She’s already gone.)

DANIEL BOONE: Hey, wait up!



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Hello to All This


Joan Didion wrote the following upon her departure from New York City in the 60s, at the age of twenty-eight (which is my current age):

Part of what I want to tell you is what it is like to be young in New York, how six months can become eight years with the deceptive ease of a film dissolve, for that is how those years appear to me now, in a long sequence of sentimental dissolves and old-fashioned trick shots…

I feel this, deep in my bones, that I’d entered into some kind of dark tunnel and am emerging into my very late twenties in a new world. Life changes abound. For the first time in my life, I’m living for myself. And it certainly feels like a film.

And here is the East Village. Hello. You may say it’s past its prime, but okay. I see a stomping grounds of my component selves — jazz, slam poetry, indie music, literature, vinyl, vintage. There are always the spirits: Charlie Parker, Lou Reed, Allen Ginsberg, to name very few. I cried at Bowie’s “Lazarus” at NYTW the week after he passed. I stepped outside and saw the first snowfall of the year coming down hard, fast and silent. Hello.

It’s time to slow down now. It’s also time to make art again. It’s time to write (including reviving this blog of hundreds of plays, plug: check it out). It’s also time to walk around and feel like a part of the molecules of this universe. This is long overdue.

Didion also wrote:

“I was in a curious position in New York: it never occurred to me that I was living a real life there.”

It never did to me either. But she came back; perhaps it eventually has for her. And I’m still here. Or should I say, I’m now here.


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PETE: So you have to look in the center of the eyepiece.

CLIFF: I got it, Pop.

PETE: And when they come out, you have to be very quiet.

CLIFF: When are they gonna come out?

PETE: Could be any time, son.

CLIFF: Did you always hunt as a kid, Pop?

PETE: Of course I did, it builds character and it’s great sport. If you get one today, I’ll be so proud of you.

CLIFF: Gee, I dunno if I will.

PETE: Shhh. I hear something. Keep your finger on the trigger.



CLIFF: I see one!

PETE: Heavens to Betsy, there are two of them.

PETE aims his rifle, too.

PETE: Now, you listen close. Aim for the head of the little one, I’ll get the parent. If you make so much as a rustle, we’ve lost ’em. You understand?


PETE: On my three. One…. two…


PETE: Three!

They fire. 

CLIFF: We got ’em!!

PETE: Two in a row! That’s my boy! Gimme hoof.

Pete and Cliff high-hoof each other.

CLIFF: I love hunting humans.

PETE: C’mon, let’s go check to see if they’re dead.

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Rain. Man at curb. Woman pulls up.

WOMAN: Lost?

MAN: No, this is my bus stop.

WOMAN: Oh, sorry. You looked lost.

MAN: Well, I feel lost, so you’re not far off.

WOMAN: Do you need a ride?



MAN: Thank you. But I shouldn’t.

WOMAN: Shouldn’t?

MAN: Yeah. Thank you, though.

WOMAN: Ah, you think I’m going to whisk you away? We’re going to have an affair because we’re both businesspeople married with kids, and it’s raining and it’s nice and warm inside my car and probably at the fancy hotel where I’m on a business trip, and because we’re both kind of depressed, it will be wonderful and luxurious and artistic and awe-inspiring, and we’ll never see each other again, but you’ll never forget it for the rest of your life?


MAN: Yes.

WOMAN: Well, you might have been right.

She speeds away in a puddle, leaving him soaked. 

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Cyber Monday

ROB: Good morning sweetheart.

CYNTHIA: I know, I was up early. Wool socks were 50% off.

ROB: What time did you get up?

CYNTHIA: I don’t really remember sleeping. Kids’ sneakers were 65% off.

ROB: You were in bed next to me.

CYNTHIA: Yeah I closed my eyes until you fell asleep, got up around 1am. Potted succulents were 46% off.

ROB: So let me get this straight, you were up since 1am for wool socks?

CYNTHIA: I guess so. Tea kettles were 39% off.

ROB: I need to get to work. Don’t you have to get ready?

CYNTHIA: Put on a sweater and I’m good to go. Car seats were 59% off.

ROB: Will you stop? And our youngest is nine years old; car seats?

CYNTHIA: What time will you be done tonight? Ragdoll kittens were 25% off.

ROB: You bought a…? Cynthia?

CYNTHIA: Grandfather clocks were 44% off.

ROB: Cynthia, there’s something I’ve been meaning to tell you.

CYNTHIA: Vintage records were 75% off.

ROB: I’m leaving you. Me and the kids.

CYNTHIA: Decorative ceramic salamanders were 38% off.

ROB: I found another woman, and I’ve been slowly introducing the kids to her. They love her. We’re moving to Walla Walla. Hello?

CYNTHIA: Power strips were 66% off.

ROB: Cyn.

CYNTHIA: Chestnuts in bulk.

ROB: Stop.

CYNTHIA: 43% off.

ROB: Do you have anything to say? To me? About us? About this?

CYNTHIA: Divorce attorney consultation. 15% off. Psychotherapy session 30% off. Dating site membership 43% off. Black dress 32% off. Movie tickets and steak dinner package 50% off. Ticket to Antigua 35% off. Typewriters 20% off. Writing classes 41% off. My book about hating you, full price.

ROB: I see how you feel.

CYNTHIA: Digital download of “I Will Always Love You” 37% off.

ROB: I’m sorry.

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CASSIDY: Grandpa.


CASSIDY: Are you thankful for me?

GRANDPA: You want to know what I’m thankful for? Radio programs. A good book. My When the Reds won the World Series in 1940. When I asked your Grandma out for a malt, and she said yes. When I gave Ricky Smith a black eye for bringing her flowers. Glenn Miller. James Stewart. Elizabeth Montgomery. Nat King Cole. The sound of a radiator. When the war was over. The first and only time I tried psychadelics. When my Pop left, and I wasn’t sorry. Sunrise. Moonrise. Lying on the hood of a Chevy, watching stars. Playing football, breaking my arm. Getting it signed by Fanny Miller from my English class. A good newspaper. A cigar. A fireplace. Fixing a backdoor. Yellow-bellied warbler. Poker and a sandwich. Beer in a bottle.

CASSIDY: But what about me, Grandpa?

GRANDPA: You’re nice to be around.

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DYLAN: I understand going out to “cool down”, but…

EM: I can’t feel my fingers.

DYLAN: Do you want gloves?

EM: No.

DYLAN: Shall I get you a hot chocolate, or…?

EM: I’d like to suffer in peace, thanks.


EM: I’m not ready for you.

DYLAN: I understand.

EM: No, you don’t. You’re going to come out here and smooth things over, and I’ll forget everything, and then our pattern will repeat ad nauseum. I don’t like patterns.

DYLAN: Okay, I get that, but I also don’t want you to die.

EM: I’ll come back in.

DYLAN: When?

EM: When I feel like it.

DYLAN: To me?

EM: To a life. To something.

DYLAN: All right.

EM: Look at the snow.

DYLAN: Nature knows how to start over.

EM: Stop philosophizing.

DYLAN: Sorry.

EM: If you want to stand out here with me, look at the snow.

DYLAN: What do you —

EM: Snow. Look at it.




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