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The Rose Glass – A One Act Play By Kem Roy Neal

CHARACTERS

Carmen Hamilton – Late thirties

Carman’s father, Franklin – Early sixties

SETTING

Carmen and her Father are in the living room of their small, lower-middle class, Alpena, Michigan home. It is snowing. They have just returned from the funeral of Mary Hamilton, wife/mother. On the coffee table is a wine colored goblet, with a white rose painted on it.

TIME

Now.


FRANKLIN

It was a nice funeral.

(Pulls a flask out of his pocket)

I say it was a nice funeral.

(Takes a drink. Returns flask)

CARMEN

(Mockingly)

“It was a nice funeral.”

FRANKLIN

Are you sassing me girl?

CARMEN

It was not a nice funeral, dad. It is cold and damp and

miserable. Momma should have been buried somewhere sunny,

like California. That is where she always wanted to live.

California. The land of sunshine, palm trees and beautiful

beaches. She should not be buried here in, Alpena. She

hated it here.

FRANKLIN

Now, look here, Carmen girl. I know you’er upset about

your momma passin’ and all. And I might even give you a

little leeway. Remember I said, might… But if you keep

talking crazy, and lying about your momma wanting to got

to California. I will pop you one good. I will not have you

talking that way in my house.

You hear me?

CARMEN

Your house? Your house? Granpa willed this house to mama

when he died. If it had been left to you we would still be

live in that two-room apartment above Morton’s Pub.

You are so pathetic…

FRANKLIN

(reacts as if slapped)

Who do you think you’re talking to? You ani’t ever talked

to me like that before. You drunk girl or crazy? You lost

your mind. Is that it? You have gone nuts, haven’t you?

CARMEN

(almost calmly)

No dad… I have not lost my mind. It is just that God got it

wrong. I mean if there is a God. You see it should have

been you who got hit by a car not mom. Or better yet, your

liver should have killed you by now or kidney failure

should have you curled up in a ball, in some hospital

bed waiting to die. No… No, momma should not be dead. You should.

FRANKLIN

(so angry he is trembling)

Get out! Get out of my house. You have lost your mind

and if you stay here I cannot be held responsible for

what I will do to you.

CARMEN

Oh don’t you worry, dear daddy. I am leaving today and

going to California. I only stayed because momma would

not leave you. I stayed for her.

FRANKLIN

(chuckling)

You stayed because you could not get a man you mean.

Because you are plain and ugly. When you were ten years-

old and I took you out one day, a cold day, so you wore

pants, Joe at my job the next day said, “Hey Franklin,

I saw you out with your boy yesterday.” I knew from that

day on I would be stuck with you forever.

CARMEN

You are a cruel, miserable, drunken, bastard. I wish I

could get a total blood-transfusion to get any part of

you out of me.

I’m outta here. To hell with you.

FRANKLIN

Go… Get your ass outta my house. But don’t think for a

minute you are talking anything outta here. Everything here

belongs to me. Get the hell out!

CARMEN

Not everything.

(reaches for the rose glass. Franklin snatches it up first.)

That’s mine. Give it to me.

FRANKLIN

(suspicious)

Why you want this ole piece of junk.

(after  thought)

Hey… Did you see it on the Antiques Roadshow on TV?

(inspects the glass closely)

Is it worth some money or somethin’?

CARMEN

Give it to me!

FRANKLIN

What’s it worth?

CARMEN

Nothing. It only has sentimental value to me. Give it

to me.

FRANKLIN

Tell me the truth, dammit. Or I’ll smash it against the

wall.

CARMEN

(angry, defiant)

Ok. I’ll tell you. Momma and I won that at the Fair, 25

years ago, as you know. What you do not know is that

we would sit and talk about going to California. But

only after you died, because momma would not leave you.

We would say that as soon as we got to California, we

would buy a bottle of wine and go to the beach, and

drink the wine out of that glass you are holding, and

watch the sunset on a warm day and know that we were

free and warm and happy to be alive.

Momma is gone now. But I swear to you that I am going

to California. To the beach. I’m going to drink wine

out of that glass, and know in my heart that momma’s

spirit is sitting right there with me smiling.

FRANKLIN

You lie and lie and lie. Your momma never drank in her life

and she never would. And she never left me because I was

her husband. You are the one who wanted to leave, but

you were to scared to go alone. And nobody wanted to

take you. Why would your momma want to leave me?

I never harmed her.

CARMEN

Oh yes you did harm her. Maybe not physically, but mentally

you did. Coming home drunk saying hurtful things to her.

Whoring around with sluts you picked up in bars. When

momma and me would walk down the street people would

point at us and gossip. You made us the Alpena

entertainment. Yet, she refused to leave you. And yes,

I refused to leave her. So all we had was our dream.

FRANKLIN

Ok, smart-ass. What would happen to your dream if I

break this glass into a million tiny pieces. What are you

going to drink your wine out of then? Tell me. What

will you do if I break it?

CARMEN

I will pick up every shred of glass, every sliver and

put it back to gather again with blood dripping from

my fingers. Momma and I will have our drink on the beach

from that glass.

FRANKLIN

I hate you. I always have.

(hands her the glass)

Here, take it and leave.

(Carmen takes the glass and runs off stage.)

You’ll be back. Mark my words. You’ll be back…

FIN


Kem Roy Neal became interested in writing in general, and playwriting in particular at an early age.. He has studied acting at ACT and culinary arts at Johnson & Wales University. He has returned to college to study creative writing (BA program) at Antioch University Los Angeles.