Maple Road

This is a short dramatic scene between a father and a son.  JIM enters the barn where his son MARSHALL has been punching the wooden walls with white straps around his knuckles.

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Jim: Feel better?

Marshall: A little, yeah.

(offer son a smoke, sons shakes head no)

Jim: I was something like twelve years old.  Had a crush on the most beautiful little angel this side of town named Penelope. I was infatuated with her.  There wasn’t anything I wouldn’t do when it came to her.  We grew up right around these parts together…then one day, after years of hiding my true feelings from her, I decided I was gonna man up and pour my heart out to her.  Got to a point where if I didn’t say something, do something, anything to let her know how I felt, I was gonna explode, something in me was gonna die.

So, I walked down Maple Road, all the way down to the creek but as I passed Red Creek, right by the drawbridge, Penelope was locking lips with this boy named Tyler.

Well, that put a dead stop in my tracks for sure.  I never got the chance to tell Penelope how I truly felt about her.  She married Tyler.  Years later.  Had the house, children, the whole lot.  Not a day goes by when I wonder if I would have done it sooner.

I see you come out here…blood on your knuckles…keeping things in like your old man.  Waiting on things.  Just as I did.

Don’t wait.  Go out there and take what you want.  Go out there and grab it with both hands and make it yours.  Life’s too damn short to wait and miss out.

You understand what I’m trying to say?

(offers son his lit cigarette)

Marshall: I thought you don’t want me to smoke?

Jim: Take a Goddamn puff, boy.  This is your one free right of passage with your Papa.  This is something else, you understand son?

Marshall: I do.

Jim: Now, I don’t know what’s going on and I don’t wanna know.  That’s your business but if what I had to say to you hit the right spot, then at least I did something for you.  I know we ain’t have much but one thing I can do is try to steer you clear of the same mistakes I’ve made.  That’s all I can ever do…pass me your beer.

Marshall: Beer?

Jim: The beer you’re hiding behind the shelf.  I’m thirsty.

(Marshall brings his father the beer)

Go open another one for yourself.  (beat)

(Jim downs entire beer)

Get out there and make me proud, son.  Maybe even be a sheriff one day. Sheriff Mitchell, has a nice sound to it.  Get all that hostility out of you and you’d be doing the world a good.

Anyhoo…

(Jim gets up and walks out of the barn)

Joseph Arnone

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