View single post by Michael Morris
 Posted: Thu Jan 26th, 2012 01:17 am
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Michael Morris

 

Joined: Thu Dec 15th, 2011
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Last Updated on February 20th 2012



THE PICTURE KEPT WILL REMIND ME


PAMELA, age 15
CATHERINE, her mother, age 37

SCENE: A living room of a small apartment. A picture is prominently displayed, the last picture drawn by Jeremy, PAMELA's older brother. It is crude and obviously drawn by someone very emotionally disturbed.
AT RISE the audience has a moment with this picture, then CATHERINE and PAMELA enter. PAMELA
has her eyes covered.

CATHERINE
OK, You can uncover your eyes Pam.

PAMELA [ she doesn't notice the painting yet]
Wow! It's so beautiful! Oh wow! You can
see like forever from way up here Mom.
It's kind a small and cramped but I like it.

CATHERINE
It's the city dear. You'll get used to it.

PAMELA
So, my room?

CATHERINE [gestures off stage]
There

PAMELA [exits and from offstage calls out]
Cool! hey, my own bathroom!

[She re-enters]

It's just won(derful)...

[ She has noticed the painting. She knows this painting. This
moment is very long but exactly what physically happens here is
left to you. Whether Pam finishes the word 'wonderful' is also
left to you. PAM breaks the silence]

Momma... Momma why?
I thought that you promised a fresh start here.

CATHERINE
The picture is kept to remind me Pam.

PAMELA
Remind you? Remind you? Why would you want
to be reminded of that awful night?

CATHERINE
Because those who forget the past are doomed
to relive the past, not just remember.
And I cannot dare to relive that day.

PAMELA
So instead we relive it every time
we look at this? Momma, I just don't know.

CATHERINE
Sweetheart, I failed. I failed you. I failed him.
Jerry's gone. I can't risk losing you too.
So I have placed that picture there so that
I am reminded, and you, dear, are warned.

PAMELA
Warned? Warned of what Momma? What did I do?

CATHERINE
Nothing sweetheart. It's just that, you are now
fast approaching the age that kids play with
things forbidden. I know I did. I'm at
fault, but drugs had a role to play in his
suicide. So for you - this is to warn.

PAMELA
And what is the picture's purpose for you?

CATHERINE
Remember, I all but shot him myself.
I will never take that pain off the shelf.
When he cried out for help, I cut him off.
When he reached out for love, I pushed him off.
I abandoned him in his hour of need.
It was I which planted the evil seed
of despair that blossomed into the hate
that took him away. I acted as though
dealing with him through the drugs was too low
for me. But this is far harder to wear.
The awful night you were raped, he was there
and we left him. We should have taken him.
I left your father's gun behind for him.
I killed my son. Regret, sorrow, too late.

PAMELA
I know. It hurts to say it but I know.
No more secrets right? That's what we promised.

CATHERINE
Yes. There are no more secrets between us.

PAMELA
I've been meaning to ask you for awhile
now, and can't think how best to, and so I'll
just ask. That first night that Jerry got bad
messed up on smack, and he made you so mad
that you sent me to my room so that you
could talk with him alone - I stayed. While you
tore into him I was in the hall. I
heard every God damn word you said to him
about his father. My father. To him,
he was the world. I have no memory
of dad but it hurt me as well. Jerry
did nothing to deserve that. I know you
regret it. I regret just hearing you.
And every night since I've asked, why Mom? Why?

CATHERINE
I'm a complete failure as a parent.

PAMELA
Only if you give up on me; yourself!

CATHERINE
We shall have no more secrets, right?

PAMELA
Yes Mom.

CATHERINE
Then sit. I have something I must tell you
that I should not have kept secret from you.
Something that you have a right to know and
should have known a long time ago my child.

PAMELA
Does it have anything to do with why
I never saw my dad either Momma?

CATHERINE
Many things are my fault, but that isn't.
Keith chose to leave - he chose to stay away.
I didn't want that. Never wanted it.
But he did not want to have a part of
our lives after I betrayed his trust.

PAMELA
How?

CATHERINE
I got pregnant. With another man's child.
Arthur's child. You.

PAMELA
No.

CATHERINE
I'm sorry.

PAMELA
No... No.

CATHERINE
I'm sorry that I never told you this.
I'm sorry that I agreed not to tell.

PAMELA
Agreed? With who? With who Momma? With who?

CATHERINE
It was Arthur's wish that you not know. He
never told me why, and I was too weak
to question him in the matter.

PAMELA
He knows.

CATHERINE
Yes.

PAMELA
He knew.

CATHERINE
Pam?

PAMELA
He knew and he still...

CATHERINE
Hush.

PAMELA
So you're telling me everything is my
fault. You wouldn't have been with that bastard
if I wasn't born, that Keith left because...

CATHERINE
No Pam, stop. Stop it now. It's not your fault.
All this was my doing and mine alone.
I alone am to blame and you have no
share. You are the chief evidence of my
transgression, but that does not make you the
author. You are not at fault and I will
not let you say you are to blame for this.
Do you understand me girl?

PAMELA
But...

CATHERINE
No 'buts'
I have never blamed you and I'll be damned
before I let you blame yourself.

PAMELA
OK.

CATHERINE
I have been cruel to you, but no longer.
I will still make mistakes, but no longer
will I fail to make amends. I will do
all I can to support and nurture you.
For you will make mistakes too, and I will
help you to correct them or better I'll
help you avoid the ones I made dear child.
You will anger me. You will make me cry.
You'll try my patience without knowing why.
And so the picture kept will remind me.
When I am weak it will yet remind me
of the consequence of just giving up.
Jeremy is dead because I gave up.
I will not let that fate be yours my child.

PAMELA
OK Momma.

CATHERINE
Pam, these next few years will
be hard but I will help you as best I
can. I've been through this. I know how it feels.

PAMELA
Your own father never raped you Momma!!!

CATHERINE
No, he did not. In my case it was my
uncle. When my father - your grandfather
found out, he took him out on a deer hunt,
and shot his own brother with a .32
caliber rifle. My father was cruel
at times, but I never doubted his love
after that, strange as it seems. I
am just glad I wasn't lying to him.

PAMELA
Momma. I...

CATHERINE
I still remember the night
he came home. He looked at me tears running
down his face. He said, "It's done Cat, Ricky
won't touch you - won't touch anyone - again."
I never before, and never after,
saw my father cry. And we never told
Mom. It was an unspoken agreement.
You are now the only other one I
have told of this Pamela. I'm frightened.

PAMELA
Of what Momma?

CATHERINE
When that happened to me
I went completely wild just like Jerry.
I lost all my modesty and became
something worse than a whore. A whore at least
has the dignity to charge a fee. I
know you're stronger than I am, but I don't
know what this will do to you. So, starting
on Monday, you're seeing a therapist.

PAMELA
No Momma. I already told you no.

CATHERINE
She's not going to start with that issue,
She's going to start by simply trying
to figure out why you can score an A
in everything but math. I've seen how long
you study just to get a B. Something
beyond your control is wrong and maybe
she can figure out what it is. If she
and only if she earns your trust will she
ever know anything else. I will not
tell her about what has happened unless
you are ok with me doing so Pam.

PAMELA
Momma, I don't know if I can do this.

CATHERINE
She has to earn your trust, not mine, and if
she cannot do that you don't have to tell
her a thing that you don't want to, ok?

PAMELA
I'm not sure.

CATHERINE
Please. All I'm asking is you
give her a chance and try. If you really
don't want to - If this scares you too much I'll
cancel, but I really think this will help.

PAMELA
OK, I guess.

CATHERINE
No, 'I guess'. You have to
give it an honest try Pam. If you can't
do that tell me now and I will listen.

PAMELA
OK then, I'll give it a shot. For you.

CATHERINE
Thank you sweetheart. We'll get through this, ok?

PAMELA
Yes. We'll pull through and leave this behind us.

CATHERINE
When I was your age I didn't listen
to my mom because she did not listen
to me. And so I promise to listen
to you in the hope that you will listen
to me. And I promise you I'll listen
whenever you need me to just listen.
Jeremy died cause I didn't listen.
I can't, I won't ever make that mistake
again. The picture kept will remind me.

Last edited on Mon Feb 20th, 2012 12:51 pm by Michael Morris