BRAD: Remember a few years ago when your credit card was stolen and you didn't find out ‘til you got all those charges on your monthly statement?

DAD: [Understanding, smiling] Why you little son of a… What did you do?

BRAD: Went to California. Took a road trip I guess.

DAD: Well shit on a shingle. That was you all along? I knew you had some of me in there somewhere. When you were born I thought "Oh Christ, it's my wife with a penis." [BRAD is staring at CAT across the room. CAT sees him and smiles.] Who's that?

BRAD: Mary Nichols daughter. Catherine.

DAD: The Nichols girl? You're kidding me. Where's the leather jacket? [Shouting at her] Hey! Aren't you supposed to be burning a flag you little commie! [CAT seems to hear this. She twitches.]

BRAD: She's off the drugs now Dad.

DAD: She still livin' with that big Negro?

[BRAD shakes his head.]

DAD: [Studying her] Still looks like shit though. At least she's dressed like a human, and cut her hair…

BRAD: My father. Conservative even in death.

DAD: Well what the hell did Nixon ever do to her? He ended the damn war didn't he? That's what she wanted!

BRAD: She spilt Squirt on your coat.

DAD: [Looking down at himself] What? Jesus Christ, what the hell is this?

BRAD: It was an accident. [CAT, a bit light headed, stumbles. She sits down. BRAD sees this.] I don't think she's well.

DAD: Great, buried forever with Squirt on my lapel.

BRAD: And a credit card in your pocket.

[BRAD puts a credit card in his dead dad's front coat pocket and pats it.]

[BRAD'S DAD puts both hands on his son's ears affectionately, holding his head.]

DAD: [To his son's face, quietly] You were the best Bradley. The best of all of ‘em. The rest of ‘em were just bums, but not you Bradley. I guess that's cause your mother mostly raised you. [Letting him go, looking around] Where is your mother?

[He looks to BRAD. BRAD shakes his head.]

[DAD starts to get back into the casket.]

DAD: Oh for Christ's sake. [Yelling] Shut up Mrs. Pacentini! Don't worry, everybody can see you! As if you need help noticing her…

BRAD: [Trying to get his attention] Dad.

DAD: The woman's like the ass on a goat: you can't miss her.

BRAD: [Pulling out a wad of money] I also wanted you to have this.

DAD: That's awfully nice of you Bradley; I think I might have a tough time spending it though.

BRAD: It's the money I owe you. The charges on the card.

DAD: You keep it Brad. Buy yourself a new tie.

BRAD: I used it without your permission and now I'm paying you back.

DAD: You're a little late Brad. I'm dead.

BRAD: I owe you, I owe it to you…

DAD: You owe me an urn Brad, that's what you owe me.

BRAD: [Trying to force the money onto him] Dad!

DAD: Your instincts are correct Bradley. They're just a little late. Trust your instincts. Immediately. Not like me… If you really want to do me a favor-- say hello to your mother for me. Tell her… tell her I'm… [BRAD'S DAD looks at his son holding out the money.] On second thought, don't tell her anything. Don't tell anybody anything.

[BRAD'S DAD crosses his hands over his chest. He's gone.]

BRAD: Dad? [BRAD takes the money and puts it into his father's coat.] There. We're even. Huh, Dad? We're even now, right? [Through tears] You can take your card and your money and go straight to hell. Straight to hell!

[CAT gets up from her chair and stumbles a bit. She goes to him and puts a comforting hand on his cheek.]

BRAD: The world is getting better.

CAT: What?

BRAD: I think the world is getting better.

CAT: [A bit dizzy] Why's that?

BRAD: You were gone for a long time. I hear.

CAT: I don't understand.

[CAT stumbles. BRAD grabs her arm, holding her up.]

BRAD: Did you want to get some air?

CAT: Have you seen my mother?

BRAD: How about we take a walk outside. You want another soda?

CAT: [Attempting to focus] Who are you? Where's my mother? Why is the world… getting better?

[She has collapsed onto him now. BRAD picks her up in his arms.]

BRAD: Trust your instincts.

[He carries her off.]

[DARKNESS. A long moment.]

[JANICE peeks her head into the scene. She looks around. She sees us. She smiles.]

JANICE: [Waving] Hi.

[She exits. A moment. Whispering. Shouting. Quiet.]

[JANICE returns carrying an easel, some note cards, and three paintings. JANICE sets up the paintings on the easel. She then approaches us carrying her note cards.]

JANICE: While we have a minute I thought I'd show you some paintings. [She smiles again.] This is a three part series of oils I painted called "Aliens." People immediately think the paintings are about extra-terrestrials. Which is fine! I enjoy different interpretations. But to tell you the truth, I really don't believe in extra-terrestrials, or UFOs. Well, maybe I do. I guess I really haven't thought about it. Anyway, these paintings are, I hope, a bit deeper than just UFOs and ET's. What the paintings really represent or… I guess the theme of the paintings center around the title. Which is Alien. The movie. The movie "Alien." Well, the movies. I guess the "Alien Trilogy" might be a better term. Yes! The movies with Sigourney Weaver! You've seen them, that's good. More women should see them. All women should see the Alien Trilogy. What do some sci-fi movies have to with women you ask? Well, these simple science fiction movies could very well be the verifiable, trustworthy reflection of the struggle of the American Woman in our society over the last thirty years! Cross my heart. Each movie not only depicts the struggles of Ripley, the heroine, against the Aliens, but of Ripley the woman against man, technology, and her role in society! Oh, I know, don't get me started! These movies are the perfect measure of how far the American woman has come, and in my paintings I have chosen to represent… this. And here they are! Since the three movies span three decades I have painted three paintings to represent the sociological and political concepts that abound… in each. My first painting which I call Alien I, you can see the decade of the 70's fully represented. The characters are rather passive and bewildered, falsely led into believing government, technology and machines and also stumped as to what happened to their precious 60's. Meanwhile, the Alien… seen here dressed like Annie Hall with an Asian face and a gas can… which is a symbol of world economic problems, the gas crisis, Vietnam backwash, and the changing role of the domestic woman… bears down heavily on the characters as well as our heroine Ripley, who is shown with long, dark, bouncy and luxurious hair. Feminine hair. Hair worn for the pleasure of a man. She must defeat the Alien in the white polyester leisure suit after the so-called superior men have failed. Okay. Are you with me? In the second painting...which I call Alien II, it is now the 80's. We see the male characters who have become trapped and helpless in the grips of their own technology, employ our heroine, Ripley, to fight the Alien once again. Only this time there are more Aliens than before. Here's a Walter Mondale headed alien and a Gorbochov birth mark headed Alien… which are symbols of communism and liberal thinking that Ripley destroys thinking they are the real problem. But are they? Ripley's hair is now short. She carries a gun. She fights side-by-side with the Marines. And she still looks sexy. It looks like woman is now on the same level as man. It just looks like it. The problems still exist though as one can see by the half Alien, half cockroach with George Bush's head. Can you all see these? Okay. The last painting, Alien III. It is now the 90's and hope is gone. The Alien is still the same old economic, foreign and social problems, but bigger, faster and with great big nasty teeth! The Alien even pushes the boundaries of religion as represented by an Alien crucified with a crown of thorns. Get it? And Ripley's hair? Is now completely gone. Shaved. She has been striped of her most cherished female characteristic. Ripley is now a living metaphor for a woman no longer trapped by her own body. She is not a woman, nor a man, nor an Alien. She has transcended it all. She is herself. As represented by Ripley bursting from the stomach of an Alien with Bill Clinton's head.

[A beat.]

I know. They're not that good. I guess I was made to study art, not make it. I like ‘em though. They're how I felt. I feel like Ripley sometimes. But not enough.

I'm not one of those woman haters. I'm not. I still like men.

But you know what's funny? Women never like my paintings.

[Quick cross-fade to BART on the phone.]

BART: Are you gonna send a cop car? If you're quick you might be able to catch ‘em. Can you just send a damn cop car please? It was a dine and ditch... a dine and ditch, you ever heard of a dine and ditch? That's right… [To audience] They didn't pay their bill. Can you believe it?

[Lights up on CAT and ZACH running into an area of a park holding hands. There's a HOMELESS MAN sleeping on a park bench.]

CAT: I can't believe it. Can you believe it? I haven't done that in years!

ZACH: I haven't done it ever.

[A sign over HOMELESS MAN says "HOMELESS MAN. Born 1943."]

BART: I just told you! One female 41 years old and a younger guy… I don't know… no he wasn't a minor. Why would I be calling you if I just served a minor, what is this a pop quiz? About five… seven minutes ago. What? I don't know-- I think they went down State Street… toward the park.

[ZACH and CAT are breathing heavy from running. They're close.]

CAT: What's going on… what am I doing? I hardly even know you… you're not going to take me in the bushes and rape me are you?

ZACH: [Snickering] No… no I'm…

CAT: I just met you tonight, you could be some rapist slasher murderer freak…

ZACH: Look, I'm not going to rape you…

CAT: You're not? You sure?

ZACH: Yes.

CAT: Well why not?

[They kiss.]

BART: The amount of the tab? What difference does the amount of the tab… oh I get it, if it was a high tab you'd send a car, but since I'm a little pub… look if I didn't pay so much taxes last year I could have bought my own cop car… all right, all right, it was about forty dollars… don't put me on hold, don't you put me on hold! Shit.

CAT: When we were running. I didn't even know I was holding your hand.

ZACH: Let's get out of here. We should take your Taurus for a spin…

CAT: Why?

ZACH: A Taurus… I bet you it's blue… is it blue? It's blue isn't it.

CAT: It's blue.

ZACH: I knew it! And it's kind of dirty. Probably has some toys in it… old McDonald's Happy Meal boxes… you can probably see the clean spot in the back where the baby seat used to be.

CAT: It's definitely broken in.

ZACH: What kind of engine's in that thing?

CAT: I don't know.

ZACH: You don't know?

CAT: No. What do I need to know that for?

ZACH: Well, is it a six cylinder or… it couldn't be an eight. A V-8 Taurus?

CAT: It's a station wagon! Who cares?

ZACH: A Taurus station wagon! How perfect! A nice family car.

CAT: Grow up Zach.

BART: [To audience] If I told ‘em I served beer to a minor you'd hear the squad car pulling up right now…

ZACH: You grow up.

BART: Hello? What was that? You're sending a car? Yes, finally, thank you.

CAT: We can't take my car.

ZACH: Why?

BART: Yea, I know, I wouldn't have thrown this much of a fit usually but these two really ticked me off… why?

CAT: In this state the Taurus is technically my husband's, so I guess it would technically be stolen.

ZACH: [Pulling out a ticket] We got three grand. We'll buy another car.

BART: They just won three thousand dollars playin' that stupid video KENO! Can you believe it? I never saw anybody win that much from that game.

CAT: Another car?

ZACH: Used, of course.

BART: They'll have to cash it at lottery headquarters.

CAT: And then what?

ZACH: And… we'll drive it.

BART: That much money and they don't pay their tab…

ZACH: [Singing softly.] Boooorn to be Wiiiild...

BART: I guess they think they're a couple of rebels.

[Light out on BART.]

ZACH: Get your motor runnin', head out on the highway… somethin' somethin' somethin'…

CAT: Lookin' for adventure…

ZACH: Yea that's it. Whatever…

HOMELESS MAN: [In his sleep. Loudly.] I had a dog once. He died.

[Cat's attention is diverted to HOMELESS MAN.]

ZACH: Cat?

CAT: What?

ZACH: How ‘bout it?

CAT: What about your girlfriend. Janice?

ZACH: What about her?

HOMELESS MAN: Max? Maaaaaaax.

ZACH: What about what's his name? Brad.

HOMELESS MAN: His name was Max. He was eaten by a German shepherd.

ZACH: Cat? Are you going home tonight?

CAT: Are you going to pick up Janice at the airport?

HOMELESS MAN: I saw him eat Max. All that was left was red snow.

CAT: That poor man. Is he all right?

ZACH: He's fine. Forget him.

HOMELESS MAN: The smell of Max hit my face. I broke my sled.

CAT: I think we should wake him.


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Copyright © 2003 by Nick Zagone

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that Ohio is subject to a royalty. It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, and of all countries covered by the International Copyright Union (including the Dominion of Canada and the rest of the British Commonwealth), and of all countries covered by the Pan-American Copyright convention and the Universal Copyright Convention, and of all countries with which the United States has reciprocal copyright relations. All rights, including professional and amateur stage performing, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, video or sound taping, all other forms of mechanical or electronic reproduction, such as information storage and retrieval systems and photocopying, and the rights of translation into foreign languages, are strictly reserved.

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