Life Moves

STEADROY and his teenage daughter CARLA sit in the living room.

Steadroy: Stop cracking your knuckles.

(pause.)

Carla: What? I’m supposed to stay still the whole time?
Steadroy: Shhhh.
Carla: So mean.
Steadroy: Don’t crack your knuckles.
Carla: I can’t wait to leave.
Steadroy: Then leave now. Who’s keeping you?
Carla: Very funny.
Steadroy: You have legs. Walk yourself down the road and wait for your friend to pick you up from there.
Carla: No. I don’t feel like walking.
Steadroy: Cause your lazy. You need to learn how to move in life.
Carla: I move. I move more than you do.
Steadroy: I get up each morning at five-thirty in the morning to go to work. I don’t stop moving until I come home and sit on the couch.
Carla: So?
Steadroy: So, learn to make sense when you talk.
Carla: I play sports. I play basketball and volleyball and I’m on the track team.
Steadroy: You’re on the track team?
Carla: Yeahhh.
Steadroy: How much is that costing me?
Carla: That’s all you care about.
Steadroy: I’m supposed to care about it. Who else is gonna care about it? You?
Carla: You never come to any of my games.
Steadroy: But you suck at all sports, so why waste my time, honey?
Carla: Yeah but, you’re still supposed to show encouragement and support.
Steadroy: Let me break it down to you…I’ve been supporting you since you were born and I am what you call an honest father. I don’t con you like all the other parents.
Carla: What con? What are you talking about?
Steadroy: I don’t make believe you are good at something if you are horrible.
Carla: So you’re saying I’m horrible? Thanks, Dad.
Steadroy: Actually, yeah, that’s exactly what I’m saying.
Carla: Why don’t you teach me, try to make me better?
Steadroy: Because you’re what we call a lost cause, honey. Which means, no matter how hard you try, how much you practice…you’re always gonna suck. You can’t jump, you can’t bend, you have no reach, you tire out, you move like a sloth stuck in glue, you huff and puff and moan…it’s like self-inflicted torture. I can’t see that. Don’t know why you do sports.
Carla: Well, how do you know all those things if you don’t come and watch me?
Steadroy: That’s what MA MA is for. That’s how this family program works.
Carla: Forget it.
Steadroy: Am I lying? Don’t you huff and puff? Your mother showed me a video clip of you on the basketball court. Both teams went back and forth three times, up and down the whole court before you even made it to mid-court when a time-out was called. Can you imagine that? It was like seeing someone go through a series of slow death strokes. You were hot, sticky, flushed and barely able to breathe…like the walking dead. Sports ain’t your thing kid.
Carla: Well, I’m gonna keep trying.
Steadroy: (sarcastic) Yeah. Why not?
Carla: God! Where is she? Taking forever!
Steadroy: That’s because you pick friends who are even slower than you.
Carla: Stop, Dad. I mean it.
Steadroy: You asked me a question.
Carla: Yeah but you don’t need to be so rude all the time.
Steadroy: Okay.

(pause.)

Carla: Were you good at sports?
Steadroy: I was the best.
Carla: What about mom?
Steadroy: She was the best, too.
Carla: So where the hell do I come from?
Steadroy: Uncle Charlie. You inherited his genes.
Carla: That’s disgusting.
Steadroy: Yeah well, you win some, you lose some.
Carla: But I’m smart, right?
Steadroy: Smart? You have a functioning brain. That’s as far as we go I’m afraid.
Carla: I hate you.
Steadroy: (laughs) I know you do.
Carla: Not my fault. You and mom made me. I didn’t make me.
Steadroy: That’s true. I’m only kidding, sweetheart. You have an intelligent mind.
Carla: Really?
Steadroy: Well, you like history and economics and writing…you still like English class?
Carla: LOVE English class.
Steadroy: There you go. You can’t like all those subjects and not be smart.
Carla: I get good grades with everything.
Steadroy: I know you do. I’m proud of you for that.
Carla: Are you Dad or are you just saying that?
Steadroy: I’m very proud of your grades.
Carla: Cool.
Steadroy: You talking to boys?
Carla: Don’t ask me that.
Steadroy: Make sure when you go out this evening that if there are any boys on the premises that they know to play nice.
Carla: Yeah, I know.
Steadroy: Are there boys gonna be there?
Carla: Most likely.
Steadroy: Any boys you talking to that you like?
Carla: I can’t believe you’re asking me this. No. I’m not telling you anyway.
Steadroy: Just checking. Just be careful. You hear me?
Carla: Yes, Dad, please.
Steadroy: I worry about you. You’re my daughter. I will crush them into the ground if they want to play games. You understand?
Carla: Yes.
Steadroy: Make sure they understand too.
Carla: I will. I’m not stupid.
Steadroy: Okay, okay. Just making sure.

(pause.)

If any boy likes you or whatever, you know, bring them here to the house first so they get my approval. I have to meet them first if they want to ever take you out. You know that, right?
Carla: Dad, are you going to quit it?
Steadroy: I know how boys are? i was a boy once too. They only think with one thing in mind. Girls develop faster so, your emotions are more advanced then some little idiot boy.
Carla: Yeah.
Steadroy: I’m sure you mother informs you of all of this but I just want you to know I know a few things too. I have the boy side perspective and want you to be aware. I’ll shut up now, I don’t want to be annoying.
Carla: Way past that point, Dad.
Steadroy: Right.
Carla: I’m gonna go wait outside.
Steadroy: Okay. Be safe and have fun. If you need me, call me. Okay?
Carla: Fine.

Carla kisses her dad on the cheek.

Steadroy: Alright, I love you. Be safe.
Carla: I will.  Love you, too.

(pause.)

Steadroy walks over to the front window and keeps an eye on his daughter.

Joseph Arnone

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