No Way of Knowing

In this drama scene, TRISHA and SAM discuss the problems of their eldest son MANNY.  If you want to look through other drama/comedy scenes.

Sam: I try.  I try to talk him out of it but he won’t listen.

Trisha: Something needs to be done.  You said you have control over him.  Where is this great control?

Sam: Take it easy, before you—

Trisha: Don’t tell me to take it easy.  I’m always taking it so damn easy.  If I take it any more damn easy I think everything will come right to its end.

Sam: You need to relax.  You always get yourself worked up more than necessary.

Trisha: Really?  I wonder why that is?  When I ‘take it easy’ nothing gets done.

Sam: Trisha, please, don’t work me up.  I told you I would speak to him and that’s what I did.  He’s a grown man, I can’t be responsible for every decision he makes.

Trisha: We should have done a better job.  We put all our attention on Lana.  We neglected our boy…

Sam: That’s not your fault, it’s mine.

Trisha: It is my fault!  It’s my oldest son.  Look at him!  Look what’s he’s become.

Sam: He’s not a bad young man.

Trisha: He’s bad to himself.  He’s destructive.  He doesn’t come to family gatherings.  He’s outcast himself, like he despises all of us.  Who does that?  He’s not normal.

Sam: There’s got to be some reason.

Trisha: Attention.  He never gets attention.  I’m telling you.  He’s been ignored and he probably feels that his absence won’t even be noticed.  But it is, it’s deeply felt.

Sam: Why don’t you ever tell him.  Try—

Trisha: God knows how I’ve reasoned with that boy.

Sam: He’s not a boy.

Trisha: What?

Sam: He’s not a boy.  Maybe we should both stop calling him that.

(Trisha sighs)

Sam: There was a time when Manny was in the palm of my hands.  He would stick to me like glue…whichever way I walked, he’d walk, whichever way I talked, he talked.  We were close…we were good friends.  He got involved with them boys, the Kranes, they changed our son and I didn’t know how to manage it.  That’s where I went wrong with it…I should have intervened.  I had no way of knowing how Manny could go from what he was to what he is now…no way of knowing.

Trisha: You don’t get changed so easily unless something is already ticking inside of you.  Manny always seemed to have that streak in him.  Always walked with that fine edge, never knowing what to expect at times.  (beat) What did you end up telling him?

Sam: I took my hat off to him and asked him to find himself.  He laughed in my face like I wasn’t even standing before him…he said, “Dad, we don’t see each other anymore.”

Trisha: And what did you say next?

Sam: My mouth, got all dry in the back of my throat…I lost my breath for a second or two…but I put my hand on his shoulder and squeezed him.  I just wanted to touch my son…

(Trisha wipes her eyes)

Trisha: Well now, I made turkey for dinner.  It’s warm in the stove.

Sam: Yeah, well, food isn’t really rubbing me right this moment.

Trisha: Yes, yes, yes….another meal spoiled by that rotten boy.

Sam: Now I asked you to stop calling him boy.

Trisha: He acts like a child and he is my boy so deal with it!

Sam: I’m fed up with you shouting.

Trisha: Where are you going?

Sam: I’m going for a Goddamn drive.

Trisha: Why don’t you drive back to the city and tell your son what you should have told him?  Stop being so weak all the time.

Sam: You just call me weak?

Trisha: Let’s be honest.

Sam: I try to do things in a calm fashion.  I don’t need to always strike out and hit everyone like you do.  I try to connect.

Trisha: That’s worked wonders for Manny.

Sam: You know woman, you bring me to my edge.

Trisha: Go!  Go for your drive and waste more time doing nothing for this family.

Sam: Trisha.  Don’t speak to me that way.  I’ve done everything a man is supposed to do to care, love and take care of his family.  Don’t you lose yourself with me.

Trisha: When you get back I’ll make tea.

(Sam leaves)

(phone rings)

Hello?  Manny? Manny, what’s…your father just stepped out…call his cellphone…wait…hold on…let me see if I can catch him…

(Trisha runs to front door)

Sam?!  Sammy?!  Samuel?!!  It’s Manny…it’s Manny, Manny is on the phone…

(to phone)

Hold on, he’s coming back.  Give him a minute, he was just pulling out the driveway.

(Trisha listens in on the phone)

(Sam enters)

Sam: He’s on the phone?

(Trisha extends her arm with the phone towards Sam)

(Sam takes phone)

Sam: Manuel?  What’s up son?  (pause.)  (Sam breaks down)  I hear you.  That’s all I ask son.  I’ll come get you now and we can go straight to the clinic.  Together.  I’m on my way.  Give me an hour, maybe sooner.  Call my cellphone.  Actually, I’ll call you from the road.  Just hang in there.  I’m on my way now.  On my way!

(Sam hangs up phone, makes his way to front door)

Going to pick Manny up and take him to get treatment.  He needs our help Trisha.  He’s worse than we thought.  He needs to get clean.

Trisha: Dear God…let me come.

Sam: No, no, he asked for you not to come.  We don’t have time to wait.   I gotta go get him now while I can.  I heard him Trisha.  I knew he was in there somewhere.

Trisha: Hurry.

Sam: Call you from the road….

(Sam exits)

Joseph Arnone

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