Written by Joe Janes
130 of 365
(Lights up on a small front porch. LuAnn enters with two glasses of lemonade and sits down, placing the lemonade on a small table next to her. There is another empty chair on the other side of the table. She takes a moment to calmly take in the nice weather.)
LUANNGet your buns out here!
DUSTIN (off)I’m playing Ultimate Ninja 4!
LUANNSave it and get your buns out here!
DUSTIN (off)I’ll come out when I’m finished.
LUANNWhich for you will be never. Buns. Here. Now! (Long pause) If you aren’t out here in ten seconds, your new Nikes are going to end up at the thrift store. 1-2-3-4-
LUANNHave a seat, Dusty.
LUANNMommy made you some lemonade. Have some.
(Dustin sips some.)
DUSTINI could be sitting and drinking lemonade inside while doing something productive.
LUANNLike playing Ultimate Ninja 4?
DUSTINMaking the world safe one villain at a time.
LUANNThen you definitely deserve a break. Just sit and relax. Enjoy the day. Isn’t this weather perfect?
DUSTINI guess. (Pause) Are we supposed talk?
LUANNWe don’t have to talk.
DUSTINJust sit here?
LUANNWatch the cars go by. Watch the breeze blow the trees. It just feels good to be out here on the porch.
DUSTINAre you and Dad getting a divorce?
DUSTINAre you going to talk to me about sex, because I really don’t want-?
LUANNNo, Dusty. No more sex talk.
DUSTINDid we lose the house?
LUANNNo. Look, Dusty, let’s not talk. I didn’t bring you out here for any other reason than to enjoy being out here. (She takes a deep, relaxing breath). The body needs fresh air and sunshine. You need to just relax sometimes.
DUSTINPlaying video games relaxes me.
LUANNI’ve seen you play video games. Ripping the spine out of your opponent isn’t relaxing.
DUSTINSome people knit, I eviscerate.
LUANNWell, at least you’re increasing your vocabulary. You look so tense, honey.
DUSTINYou’re weirding me out, Mom. We never just sit. Especially not outside. In public.
LUANNJust take a deep breath and relax. Try it.
(Dustin tries it. It does not go well.)
DUSTINI think I bruised a rib.
LUANNJust try to sit still and enjoy the view.
DUSTIN (after a pause)Are we moving? Is that it?
LUANNDustin. People used to do this sort of thing all the time. I did it when I was younger. You just sit out on the front porch on pretty days. It’s what you do. Maybe you read. Maybe you chat. Your great grandpa used to smoke his pipe and strum his guitar.
DUSTINGreat grandpa played guitar?
LUANNNo. It was really quite awful. But the point is, you don’t have to be plugged into a video game or the TV or computer your whole life. You can take some time just to breathe.
(Dustin nods and sits back. They watch a car roll by. He starts to relax into his chair. LuAnn leans back into her chair. They hear a bird in a tree and look for it in a tree. Dustin smiles and closes his eyes. LuAnn notices this. She quietly picks up the lemonade glasses and rises from her seat. She gets to the door.)
LUANN (continuing)By the way, your dog died.
( She quickly exits. Dustin’s eyes pop open.)
DUSTIN (to himself)I knew it!