A new play in ten scenes. Our cast of characters: Annie Ellis, Garrett Molloy, Gibson Maguire; together in a Capra-corn for the millennial age.
The sound of a ringtone. One ring, two rings, three rings…
GIBSON MAGUIRE: Yes.
On the other end of the phone, GARRETT MOLLOY: Yes, sir. Hello.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: Who is this? Garrett?
GARRETT MOLLOY: Yes, sir.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: No, Garrett. Where is Annie, Garrett?
GARRETT MOLLOY: She’s out, sir.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: No, no, uh-uh. Why are you using her phone, son? Where is Ms. Ellis?
GARRETT MOLLOY: Sir, she stepped out.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: Annie stepped out?
GARRETT MOLLOY: Yes, sir. Said she needed to gather some items for our trip.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: For your road-trip south.
GARRETT MOLLOY: Yes, sir. She left me here to speed things up, she said.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: How’s that?
GARRETT MOLLOY: She said I would slow her down if I accompanied her.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: I bet.
GARRETT MOLLOY: I’d hazard she has some matters to attend to prior to us gaining momentum.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: You mean things she would rather keep personal?
GARRETT MOLLOY: Sure, things of that nature.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: For instance, things on her phone, her company phone, Garrett?
GARRETT MOLLOY: Sure, I can see that.
GARRETT MOLLOY: But, she left the phone and I needed to speak with you, Mr. Maguire.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: This is unacceptable, Mr. Molloy.
GARRETT MOLLOY: I understand, sir. I need you to understand…
GIBSON MAGUIRE: You can’t call me, Garrett.
GARRETT MOLLOY: I’m sorry, sir.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: Especially not on Annie’s phone. This is an egregious violation of privacy.
GARRETT MOLLOY: It’s just a phone.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: A-ha.
GARRETT MOLLOY: She didn’t lock the phone and I saw your name…
GIBSON MAGUIRE: She didn’t lock the phone.
GARRETT MOLLOY: No, yes, she should lock the phone. I will tell her that when she returns.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: Please, do that.
GARRETT MOLLOY: I’ll tell her you said so.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: So, what do you have to tell me that is so urgent?
GARRETT MOLLOY: I need you to know that I’m in…one-hundred percent.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: Well, that’s good.
GARRETT MOLLOY: I trust you because I trust Annie and she trusts you, sir.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: I appreciate that. But…
GARRETT MOLLOY: You need to know that I’m more than what I saw in the war, I’m…uh, more than what I gave consent to…
GIBSON MAGUIRE: Okay.
GARRETT MOLLOY: Sir, I let good people down. I can’t fix it. I can’t explain it. I’ve wept over it. I hate the disappointment I left behind. I just could not stay a moment longer.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: There is more to life than being cooperative and compliant.
GARRETT MOLLOY: I just hate that I…
GIBSON MAGUIRE: Garrett, to grieve reality is not the same as hating it. Hatred upon hatred will collapse, son. It’ll all fall down.
GARRETT MOLLOY: I’ve been down.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: Okay, and now you’re on the bottom…on solid ground, on a foundation. It’s time for you to build up again, but not in the same fashion as before, son.
GARRETT MOLLOY: I needed you to know…
GIBSON MAGUIRE: Your story, I know. Garrett, you take all of it and you hand it over to history. That will be enough. You do that, son.
GARRETT MOLLOY: Letting go of it doesn’t feel like enough. That doesn’t feel real to me.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: Real?
GIBSON MAGUIRE: What is real is what you accept. What is real? Garrett, is cash real?
GARRETT MOLLOY: Sure, it is.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: Sure, sure. I hand you a bill, you accept it and the transaction between us feels very real.
GARRETT MOLLOY: Of course.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: Of course, it does. Because history has led you to accept it as such. Well, what will the future lead you to accept? Don’t even have to go into the future. We could begin with the here and now, Garrett. In this present reality, there are more kinds of virtual currencies being exchanged in the world than cash and coin.
GARRETT MOLLOY: Huh.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: If I send money to you in the virtual world and you accept it, which of course you would, well…I suppose that’s real too.
GARRETT MOLLOY: Okay.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: Forgiveness is real the moment you accept it, son.
GARRETT MOLLOY: Is that true?
GIBSON MAGUIRE: True as your next heartbeat. Garrett, you’ll doubt yourself and then the sun will shine on you and open your eyes and suddenly…
GARRETT MOLLOY: There’s hope.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: There’s hope, exactly. Then you’ll doubt again. Hope is like a wave. We’re all just travelling through peaks and valleys.
GARRETT MOLLOY: Even you?
GIBSON MAGUIRE: Son, I grew up during the zenith of activism. There were over fifty-thousand acts of vandalism in the seventies; tiny moments of angry movement trying to shove us all into the future with any tool available.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: And not one of those acts gave me hope. I could only see the futility.
GARRETT MOLLOY: Nothing changes quickly.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: Ah, but a heart can! My heart beat truly when I saw my wife for the very first time. She walked in my direction at a meeting and I suddenly felt the upbeat of hope.
GARRETT MOLLOY: She gave you hope?
GIBSON MAGUIRE: She commanded me to hope, to allow for it, to embrace the whole picture. She drew hope out of me.
GARRETT MOLLOY: Huh.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: My wife would call it a mitzvah.
GARRETT MOLLOY: You are not at all what I expected. None of this is.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: When you approached us, you were ready either way. You anticipated the worst and hoped for the best. I’m sure you weren’t sure whether your names would end up in the lamb’s book of life or used in the final solution. But, you were ready either way.
GARRETT MOLLOY: I didn’t know if you guys were angels or vultures.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: We’re both, Garrett.
GARRETT MOLLOY: I’m both too, I suppose.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: Most people don’t get to see that. They don’t get to see the subtle shadings of light in the darkness that gives things color. Most people want either total light or total dark.
GARRETT MOLLOY: It’s scary to see the whole picture, all of the shadows hanging over everything.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: Sure is. You have to pour out that toxin of fear. Just pour it out on the ground.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: Garrett, right now, I’m being driven from the airport, through my city, my hometown, a city which is now bankrupt, on the way to see the love of my life; and I’m talking to you, surrounded by an empty, shuttered downtown; depressed then inspired by this conversation yet eagerly hoping for the ride and our talk to be over as quickly as possible; so that I can kiss my wife hello.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: And as soon as that kiss breaks and my eyes open, all of the bad news will appear once again. You have to accept the whole picture, son.
GARRETT MOLLOY: You’re city might be bankrupt, but I think you’re much more well off being there than in this place.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: I won’t argue that point with you, so long as you live under the shadow of that evil flag of southern possession. But, you’ll be home soon and you and Annie will create some new levels of organization and I, for one, think you’ll make good.
GARRETT MOLLOY: That’s all I want.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: Well, I’m sure you’ll get more than you want, given time. Listen, Garrett. You’re a good egg; but, we won’t be having any more of these little talks. I hope you understand.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: However, you can expect a visit from me one day, once you’re established, I’ll come down to see you and we can…we can eat some vegetables you’ve grown or something. Is that a deal?
GARRETT MOLLOY: If a rust fungus doesn’t claim my crops, the best will be waiting for you.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: Give the best to someone who’ll appreciate it. It’ll be lost on me, son.
GARRETT MOLLOY: I thought I understood why you’d help me, but I don’t think I do.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: What am I supposed to do, Garrett? I could throw my money at a lottery, I could set it on fire, I could hoard it, I could help you.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: “Eenee, Meenee, Mainee, Mo! What’s the use of doing so? Ask the Gods, for we don’t know; But Eenee, Meenee, Mainee, Mo…” I made my choice.
GARRETT MOLLOY: I’m going to make good.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: Please, do. Please, just be of some good news. Bring out good news, Garrett.
GARRETT MOLLOY: I will do my best, sir.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: Do what you can: your best, your worst, whatever you can.
GARRETT MOLLOY: I’m in your debt.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: No, no, uh-uh. Go because you are willing, not because you’re forced.
GARRETT MOLLOY: I’m in, Mr. Maguire.
GIBSON MAGUIRE: Very good. Get moving.
Read what happens in Scene Ten “Graduation”.
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