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Devil In Man’s Eye

MARV stares out of a living room window, watching a young teenage boy take swing after swing with a baseball bat. PATTY enters carrying a tin can.

Devil In Man’s Eye

P: Oh, don’t bother hoping and staring at that boy.  He hits one ball every thousand swings.

M: Maybe I can show him more precision, so he could hit the ball more often.

(Patty makes her way to the head of the dining room table at some point during the following dialogue)

P: Oh hell, we tried all that.  Had coach Rodney try and teach him to keep his eye on the ball, he says, “Keep ya eye on the ball, son, just don’t forget to swing.” Little Robbie say, “If I’m keepin’ my eye on the ball, how do I keep my eye on the bat?” God ended that!

M:  Boy oh boy.  One things for sure, he don’t get tired.  I ain’t seen him take a huff or a puff not one time.

P: He’s got that mule blood in ’em.  Won’t stop.  Too damn dumb to know when he’s tired.

M: Maybe boxing’s his thing.

P: Please, that’s the last thing we all need in this house.  There will be holes in everything.  Don’t you dare mention that idea to him.  I don’t need no punching machine trapped in this house with me.  (beat) Grab a seat Marv, you’re making me nervous.

(Patty slides money across the table to Marv)

Is what you asked all you need?

M: Sure is, Patty.

(Patty lights up a smoke)

It’s just got to be one of the lowest points of my life.  I want to thank you. This hasn’t been an easy ride on me lately and just trying to hang on is about all I can—

P: You’re giving me a headache with all that sappy ongoings.  I can’t stand the melodrama!  Please, spare me.  Too Goddamn hot for that rubble. Pass me the bottle behind ya.

M: Which? The Hennessy?

P: Only thing guaranteed to put a breeze through my hair.

(Patty pours herself a drink, then stops and looks at Marv)

You want?

(Marv nods a sad NO)

Jesus, grab yourself a glass.  You’ve been an alcoholic your entire existence.  All of a sudden you’re modest cause you’ve borrowed a few bucks.  Put some led back in your balls!  (beat)  What the hell is going on with you men lately anyways?  Getting all Mr. Softy on me.  Back in the day a man would come home, slap his wife and make love to her on the kitchen table.  That was living cause that was real!  Nowadays, there’s no brutality, everything’s mild and quiet and correct based on how people think we ought to live, instead of living how we all need to live.  Hell, I look for the devil in a man’s eye and there’s something else at play I just can’t wrap my head around.  I’ll tell you that.

M: I’ll have the money back in two weeks–

P: Shut your trap, Marv.  I ain’t asking for it cause you’ll get it to me when you damn well can.  Giving me due dates is not a good idea when I hold you to them and you fail to deliver.  Save yourself and me the aggravation.

M: Right…well…I must be going.

P: You must be if you must be…

Scripts

Joseph Arnone

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