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Crazy Jodie

SCENE 6

Some time has passed. They sit and wait, very subdued: JERRY, BETH, JODIE, CHARLIE, and SANDY.

JERRY: I still don’t get it. Let’s eat.

JODIE: No.

BETH: Is something burned? Is there a problem in there?

JODIE: No, it’s fine. But we need to wait a few more minutes.

BETH: What are we waiting for?

JODIE: They’ll be here.

JERRY: Who, God dammit. Who will be here?

JODIE: Charlie, you tell them.

pause

CHARLIE: Jodie’s got a surprise.

SANDY: A surprise?

BETH: What surprise?

JERRY: Lord. Another surprise.

CHARLIE: She’s invited some guests.

BETH: Guests? Who?

JODIE: Over a hundred people, Ma. Your college friends. All the people from the store.

JERRY: People from the store? They’re coming here tonight?

JODIE: All of them.

BETH: How do you know that?

JODIE: I invited them.

BETH: How did you invite them?

JODIE: I sent out invitations!

BETH: Are you sure they’re coming?

JODIE: Why wouldn’t they?

JERRY: Because we never see those people anymore. What time are they supposed to be here?

JODIE: Five.

JERRY: That’s two hours ago. They aren’t coming.

JODIE: They are! So are your cousins, Dad.

JERRY: My cousins? Not Michelle and George?

JODIE: They are.

JERRY: Not a chance.

BETH is fearful, careful, as she grasps the situation.

BETH: Jodie. People are busy these days.

JODIE: There are lots of people coming. Cover dish!

JERRY tries to ignore the sense of doom, hoping he can divert the explosion.

JERRY: Let’s go ahead and eat.

JODIE: We can’t before they get here.

JERRY: They must not be as hungry as we are. We’ll start without them and they can join in.

CHARLIE: There’s an idea. The lucky ones are here. Whoever doesn’t show up loses out.

JODIE: screaming

No! The party has not begun! A hundred guests are coming! With entertainment!

BETH: Jodie, darling.

JODIE: This is supposed to be a celebration.

BETH: And it is.

JODIE: It is not! I mean a celebration for the whole community. A celebration of your lives, living here for fifty years!

JERRRY

The town has changed.

BETH: It has, Jodie. It’s not the same. We’re not so much a part of it anymore.

JODIE: You’re a big part.

JERRY: We aren’t a part of anything. People barely know we’re alive.

JODIE: You are! You had a business. You touched people’s lives! Gave them jobs! Why can’t they come to an anniversary party and show some appreciation!

JERRY: It’s been ten years. We knew those people when we were younger.

BETH: A lot of them have moved, Jodie. People…don’t go out at night anymore. They get sick. They forget. They get involved in other things.

JERRY: A lot of them are dead.

JODIE: Michelle and George aren’t dead.

JERRY: They aren’t coming here. They haven’t been here in years. They can’t drive this far.

JODIE: They never told me that.

JERRY: Did you talk with them? Did they tell you they were coming?

JODIE: No.

JERRY: Then what makes you think they are?

JODIE: I sent them the invitation. Why wouldn’t they?

JERRY: They’re not. They wouldn’t arrange a trip like that without telling us about it. I talked with Michelle on the phone yesterday.

beat

That’s why she wished me a happy anniversary. I was surprised she knew the date.

JODIE: It was going to be a surprise.

JERRY: Yeah. For you.

BETH: Jerry, please.

JODIE: These people are not dead! They’re mean! They’re ungrateful! They’re a bunch of back-stabbers!

BETH: Jodie, your brother’s here with his wife. You’ve fixed dinner. We don’t need more guests to make this special. We can have a nice time. Why don’t you go get Bubbie and Clemmie and we’ll eat?

JODIE turns to CHARLIE.

JODIE: It’s your fault! You wrecked this family and now nobody wants to be around us!

JERRY: Jodie, stop. Let’s get the dinner.

JODIE: And the dinner’s ruined, too! Now that we’ve waited this long the roast is well done! There was no way to help it.

JERRY: So what? Maybe it is.

JODIE: attacking CHARLIE

You blow out of here and ruin your mother’s life, your father’s life, my life! And now you come back for a party and think it will be the same as when you left! Are you crazy? That’s why nobody came to this! Because they knew you were coming!

BETH: Charlie, go talk to your grandmother.

CHARLIE: It’s okay, Ma. Maybe she needs to say these things.

BETH: No, she doesn’t. Go.

CHARLIE: Ma, I don’t mind. If Jodie needs to get a few things out, we can go from there.

BETH: I said that wasn’t the case.

CHARLIE: How can you be sure?

SANDY: Charlie, your mother probably knows what she’s talking about.

CHARLIE and SANDY exit.

BETH: Jodie.

angry, unresponsive

Jodie.

JODIE: after a moment

It’s his fault.

BETH: Jodie. Listen to me.

JODIE: I’m listening!

BETH: Jodie. Look at me.

She turns.

Jodie.

No response. Jodie looks away.

Jodie!

JODIE: What!

BETH: Have you been taking your medicine?

JODIE: I don’t know!

BETH: Jodie.

no response

Jodie. Have you?

JODIE: Who cares?

BETH: angry

You can’t stop taking it.

JODIE: I can if I want to!

BETH: And you’ll end up like this.

JODIE: Maybe this is the way I like to be! I’m being honest! Somebody around here needs to be honest. That medicine does more harm than good. Can’t you tell? It makes me stupid. It makes me a zombie. Or maybe you like it when I’m a zombie! Is that what you like?

BETH: You need to take it now.

JODIE: It doesn’t work that way. Remember?

BETH: I know it doesn’t work that way. But take it anyway. We’ll try to get through dinner.

JODIE: I don’t want to get through dinner!

BETH: shouting

I said take it!

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