Carmen Hamilton – Late thirties
Carman’s father, Franklin – Early sixties
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.
It was a nice funeral.
(Pulls a flask out of his pocket)
I say it was a nice funeral.
(Takes a drink. Returns flask)
“It was a nice funeral.”
Are you sassing me girl?
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.
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?
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…
(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?
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.
(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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
(reaches for the rose glass. Franklin snatches it up first.)
That’s mine. Give it to me.
Why you want this ole piece of junk.
Hey… Did you see it on the Antiques Roadshow on TV?
(inspects the glass closely)
Is it worth some money or somethin’?
Give it to me!
What’s it worth?
Nothing. It only has sentimental value to me. Give it
Tell me the truth, dammit. Or I’ll smash it against the
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
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…
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.