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Mitzi Kay Jackson

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The Park Bench (a play)
By Mitzi Kay Jackson
Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Rated "PG13" by the Author.

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Recent stories by Mitzi Kay Jackson
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Love, lost, sorrow, will and faith in an instant.
(this is not the version I wanted to post once I find the other one I will post it, thanks anyway for your comments)






Daughter (a confused young woman, withdrawn yet inquisitive)

Father (strong, heartbroken and desperate)

 

It is dark; again the father has spent another evening drinking at the park bench, a routine for the past twelve years he has continued since the disappearance of his daughter. He has stopped visiting every night because of the strain it has put on his marriage, just weekends. This event has caused a strain on all his relationships family and friends.

 

The father is sitting with his head down and hands in his lap, his fourth silver 20oz beer can is gleaming at his feet due to the lighting of the streetlamp, when he suddenly feels a cold breeze and then a presence standing over him.

 

Daughter: You know that is illegal, don’t you? Drinking in public like that, in a park, mind you???

 

Father: (without looking up, his head is heavy with sorrow) it is the only thing that eases the pain, you live… a little longer… and you may find this out (A wave of sadness comes over him cursing himself for his own stupidity, trying to make light). I will be gone soon, so you and your young man can have this spot (looking around at the bench, pointing at the heart) you all just don’t carve over my baby gurl’s heart.

 

Daughter: (still standing, a waves of sadness now over comes her) No young man just me, I’ve seen you here before, you know here, in this same spot, I’m glad you left the harder stuff alone you were pretty scary then.

 

Father: yeah well that’s what they tell me.

 

Daughter: I come here all the time, I don’t know why, I just seem to be drawn here, I don’t know if it is the call of nature, the river, the trees here, you. I use to think you were a well dressed bum till I see guys come get you and I don’t know carry you home or something? You know I actually began to worry about you, but now that I see you have taken it down a notch, I guess I don’t have to worry too much about you, huh?

 

Father: (he reaches down and picks up his beer can and a slow dropping tear slides down one side of his face, he is embarrassed to lift his head because he knows the young woman will see his tear, or she would just not be there, so he just holds the can knee level) one woman worried about me is one too many.

Daughter: are you talking about the beautifully sad woman that follows you, (her face like mine when I was small but don’t know anymore, she hasn’t seen her own face in years) well not too much anymore, is that your wife?

 

Father: (holding in the rest of the tears he pauses talking slow) all my life she has been the only woman I ever loved. I promised myself that, that I would love only one woman after seeing my mother dies of heartache. I wasn’t like my father; I would be a real man and treasure my woman, my wife. I would only love one woman…He grabs and hold the charm small against his thick neck.

(Thinking of the betrayal of loving his daughter, the amount of love for his daughter)

 

Daughter: (a little startled, why she knows that charm) she loves you, she worries, she follows you here, use to anyway. I mean whatever you did or done she has forgiven you, I mean

 

Father: (takes a big gulp from his can, making it half empty, daughter takes hold of the can. Father still not looking up, instead watches the can moving away, talking aloud really for himself) My daughter, my baby gurl, she would have been my first…I don’t know how or why but God and the doctors made my choose, my wife hates me sometimes because of my choice, I know, even when the nurse told me what my wife told her, I couldn’t raise a girl child without her, she goes into mourning every year and so do I cept my mourning is everyday well every weekend as you put it. She would have been here right here with me, right now.

(He tries to take hold of the can but the daughter holds on to the can, she remember now what the whispers in the dark meant for her to do, she remember it was his face full of tears and her face singing sweet lull-la-byes she needs for him to know too)

 

Daughter: (thinking hard what to say, she stumbles) daddy…I…I need you to look at me and don’t be afraid or think you are crazy I am not the liquor, just please look at me.

 

Father: (shocked and heavy with hurt) No, when I look at you, you go away, they all think I’m mad, somebody waiting somewhere watching me talk to myself right now. I hear them talking behind doors, but I knew you were here that it was you, and if I have to get drunk, die of pneumonia to see you I will.

 

Daughter: (calm, understanding why she has been pulled from the world into the darkness for counsel) when I wake-up daddy the world is mine, I do and be what I want, till lately. I get pulled into the darkness and people be whispering to me and sometimes daddy I can’t always hear or understand and then I am here watching you wondering, why this man so sad, why these people so sad and why must I watch? Daddy can I touch your hand, your arm?

 

(Father now truly afraid to look at his daughter he is afraid to move, he wonders if anyone sees the can moving as he feel her move closer and sit down beside him, he say nothing)

 

 Daughter: (sits the beer can between her knees and touches his arm) daddy I promise not to go away if you look at me. A voice that whispers in the dark say, your love is thick, and it is too wide and God has nothing to do with the promise of loving one and me, it wasn’t the love of me that took me away but it will be love that takes my mother away. Daddy when was the last time you looked at momma, she is so thin now, so small now. You suppose to love her that was your promise daddy

 

(the sound of her tears made him look up slowly at her fingers around the small of his resting arm, her arms, she looked like his wife and his mother, with the beer and sadness clouding his head he was finally losing his mind like everyone said he was going to do, he tries to grab her and hold her screaming)

 

Father: I’m sorry God, I am sorry, I loved two women, but you were a baby just my baby, I did love and wanted you, I did love you. I was afraid to raise you alone. I’m so sorry for not choosing you baby, I’m so sorry.

(A police siren is coming in the background, neither father or daughter move, father is rocking wildly on the bench knocking his beer over, whispering in her daddy’s ear)

 

Daughter: you remember you told me that the heart is a fragile thing and that it is not to be given easily, he would lay your head to momma stomach while she sleep and you told me bout the heart daddy, bout your heart too daddy remember. sh…sh… dad, you said it is to be protected cause once broken…dad moms is dying, her heart is breaking, she has lost the both of us dad~~de, she is the only one keeping them from putting you away, please daddy, calm down.

 

(Father trying to remember everything he did this night before coming to the park, but the drinks were clouding his mind, before he couldn’t even touch her, they, he or she was getting stronger. Daughter with her eyes clouded by the tears tries to calm him; she knows they are coming to get him)

 

Daughter: (crying) Please dad, listen carefully I will never come back to you if you don’t keep your promise daddy momma is dying because of her heart daddy. I am going now to her daddy get yourself together daddy. I will never be back again if you let momma heart break.

 

(hands grabbed the father and is pulling him away, and it all comes back to daughter she was pulled away from the womb she saw her daddy crying and her mother held her and kissed her and sung to her till she fell asleep. Waking to the world).

 

Daughter: (no one noticing daughter, even though she is now screaming and reaching for him, still confused as to why she is being ignored) Dad, dad, you have to get yourself together we need you daddy, you hear me, we need you daddy!?!

 

The ambulance disappears into the darkness…you can heard them responding to dispatch….break static…yeah it’s pops again out here in the park disturbing the peace…yeah, no she stayed behind this time. Mother walks up beside daughter and put her hand on the daughter’s shoulder)

 

 

~The end~

 

 


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Reviewed by Muhammad Al Mahdi 10/3/2009
Even though not your final edition, this version too is of great power, with the directions forming as important a part of the play as the dialogues themselves in a very unique, poetic and effective way.
Reviewed by Felix Perry 9/22/2009
Exceptoinal piece Mitzi that like Karen said is so filled with real emotion, as a father it grabbed my heart and squeesed as a son it made me question how can fate be so cruel.
hugs
fee
Reviewed by Karen Vanderlaan 9/22/2009
strong emotions here-so well written-a very stirring play

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