Written by Joe Janes
54 of 365
(Lights up on Brownie sitting at a table in front of his house. Next to him is a large lidded trash can. Turk walks up.)
TURKKind of small for a yard sale, isn’t it?
BROWNIEHad a few things in self-storage I thought I’d try to get rid of. Maybe make a few dollars before I just give it all to the city dump.
BROWNIEHad this stuff for years. Dragging it around from house-to-house, some for a few decades, even. Figured it was time to let it all go.
TURK (holding up pieces of something ceramic)Sounds like a good plan. What’s this?
BROWNIEOh, that’s the vase I threw at my ex-wife’s head. A little super glue should make that right as rain.
TURKI never knew you were married.
BROWNIEWas. Very was. And the reason it became was is in your hands.
TURKLooks like there’s some blood on it.
BROWNIEMahtilda had to get twelve stitches. Up near the hairline, so it’s not too bad. Not as bad as she thinks. Cost $1500 at the emergency room. Uh, here’s the bill. That’s for sale, too.
TURKI’m guessing you were drunk as a skunk.
BROWNIEI wish. Nope. Just an outraged asshole.
TURKIt happens. Broke my kid’s arm, once. Didn’t mean to, just, errrrr…don’t get ice cream on the leather car seat, you know?
BROWNIEI know, I know.
TURKI’ll think about the vase. Not much of a flower guy, but my mom might like it.
BROWNIETake both. I’ll throw in the bill for free. Just looking to let it all go. You need a gift for your mom?
TURKBirthday’s coming up. 73, or four, maybe six. Not sure I want to spend too much. She’ll be dead soon and I might not get it back.
BROWNIE (looks around table)Mom, mom, mom…here’s a birthday card I got my mom and never sent. I wrote all over the front, back and inside about how I hated her, how she never was there for me, how she let dad walk all over her. Really poured my guts out. Lot of hateful, spiteful things. Never sent it, though. Still has a stamp on it.
TURKIt’s heavy. Twenty-cent stamp. That was some time ago.
BROWNIECollege. I was the angry young man. Fuck you, God (flips off the sky).
TURKEver tell your mom about it?
BROWNIEShe died two years later. So, no. I think she knew how I felt, though. Let you have it for a buck.
TURKI’m going to take you up on that. Whew. This smells a little ripe.
BROWNIEOh, that. I’ve done lots of stupid stuff out of anger, but that’s probably the one thing I want to get rid of the most.
TURKSLooks like little kid pants.
BROWNIEYep. Tan corduroy. Parents got them for me when I performed in the Christmas pageant at school in the sixth grade. Front and center, me singing “O Holy Night.”
BROWNIESolo. I had a great singing voice before the gonads dropped and took my vocal cords with ‘em. Right in the middle of the first verse, right around “Fall on your knees,” I pissed myself.
BROWNIEShows up nice and dark when you’re wearing tan corduroy.
TURKPeople start laughing?
BROWNIEHowling, convulsing and falling out of their seats is more like it.
TURKWow. I feel bad just hearing it.
BROWNIEWould have finished my solo, too, if I hadn’t freaked out so much that I crapped myself. Left a trail of heel marks when I ran off the stage. That’s when my dad gave me the nickname “Brownie.”
TURKI always wondered. Well, I’m going to take this card off your hands (hands Brownie a dollar). I think my mother will appreciate the thought. Good luck getting rid of everything else.
BROWNIEThanks, Turk. See you at the bowling alley.
(Turk walks off. Brownie sits there for a moment. He sees that no one else is coming up. He takes all the junk on the table and quickly sweeps it into the trashcan, slamming the lid on it and moving it downstage as to put it on the curb. He walks into his house. A moment later, he rushes back out, grabs the can and takes it back in with him. Blackout.)