Pimp My Lent/Day 1
Alan Woods sent some phrases, and this picture – which immediately grabbed me. Right away, I had the image of woman sitting at a kitchen table, still in her house dress. I thought it was going to be a play about an old-old woman, lost in the past, mourning a lost child while her adult children are packing up her home.
But then writing took its own path, as it does.
A KITCHEN SINK PLAY by Vicki Caroline Cheatwood
Anna, 60s, sits slumped at the kitchen table. She wears a worn floral house-dress that snaps up the front. Her legs and feet are bare – and muddy. She stares into space.
Her daughter Eve, 40s, is at the stove, pouring hot water into two tea cups. She cries quietly, sniffing and sighing, wiping her face. She sets the kettle down on the burner, a little too hard.
EVE: Digger’s not here, Mom.
EVE: Digger’s not here.
EVE: He’s not here.
ANNA: Okay. (pause) Digger? (beat) Digger? (beat) Digger?
(Eve sets a cup down in front of Anna.)
EVE: Berry Splash tea, your favorite.
ANNA: Where’s Digger?
EVE: Berry tea and clover honey, it’s your favorite. Drink it.
ANNA: (looking at Eve) Where is Digger?
EVE: Not here, Mom.
ANNA: Did you call him in to supper? Somebody should call him to supper.
EVE: Drink your tea, okay? Don’t get up. Just drink the tea. You need to warm up.
ANNA: I’m not cold.
EVE: You’re not feeling the cold. You’re not feeling anything. …You need to warm up, Mom. Then we have to get you into the shower. (Anna looks at her) You’re all muddy. Mom. Look at your feet and legs. Your feet and legs. (Anna looks at her self, not understanding) You went outside, you fell into the mud. We need to clean you up.
ANNA: Call Digger in.
EVE: Just – (as Anna starts to get to her feet) No, Mom. You have to – Sit down. Right now. And drink your tea.
ANNA: I have to call Digger in.
EVE: Digger’s fine where he is. He’s fine. You have to sit down, and drink your tea.
ANNA: You’re hateful. You’re all a bunch of hateful kids. Hateful, hateful, hateful.
EVE: Drink your tea, and then I need to get you into the shower and get to work.
ANNA: I’m not drinking that.
EVE: Why not- You like – It’s Berry Splash. It’s your favorite. Drink the tea. You’re about half froze. Drink it.
ANNA: You poisoned it.
EVE: Mama –
ANNA: Not a thing wrong with him, and you never liked him none at all.
ANNA: You’re a liar.
EVE: DRINK THE DAMN TEA!
ANNA: I am not taking no shower! You’ll kill me in there and and and the body’ll go right down the drain.
EVE: I’m gonna …. (deep breath) I need to go to work, Mama. I don’t have any time-off left, okay? You’ve used it up. I have to get to work, or I’ll be let go, so you better let me get you cleaned up and get you back to bed. Miss Pearsey’ll be by in an hour to sit with you, but you have to let me get you cleaned up and get you back to bed.
ANNA: (calling out) Digger! Dinner’s ready!
ANNA: None of you kids want me to have anything nice. (calling) Digger! Dig-ger! Get in here! It’s dinner!
(Anna slowly gets up from the table, shuffles towards the back door as Eve re-enters with towels and a tub/basin. She sets the basin in the sink, turns on the water)
EVE: Sit down, Mom. I have to get you cleaned up and into bed, and then I have to get to work.
ANNA: (yelling out the door) Dinnertime!
EVE: Sit down, Mom.
ANNA: I need to go back to bed.
EVE: Yes, you do. But first, I gotta get the mud off you.
ANNA: Digger needs to come in and warm my feet. He warms my feet.
EVE: Sit down, Mom.
ANNA: (calling at the back door) DIGGER! She’s gonna drown me in the shower! Eve! You get him in here! I need my feet warm. My feet are cold – they’re too cold. It’s cold in here. Never met nobody’d pinch a penny like you.
EVE: Here’s the water, it’s coming, it’s nice and warm, now sit down. Sit down, Mama. I’ll warm your feet, if you’ll sit down. Nice and warm, go on now, sit down. Right there in your chair.
(Anna shuffles to her chair, sits, as Eve brings over the footbath, a towel slung over her shoulder)
EVE: (easing Anna’s feet into the bath) There you go.
ANNA: Too blamed hot!
EVE: (washing Anna’s feet and legs) No, it’s not – It only feels that way because your feet are freezing. Just a minute, wait just a second, and you’ll see- …See? Doesn’t that feel good? That feels better, I bet it does. You drink that tea. It’ll help too. Get you nice and warm and sleepy.
(Anna drinks the tea)
ANNA: It’s too sweet.
EVE: It’s clover honey, exactly what you like. Drink it up, it’ll warm you. Drink it all gone.
(Anna drinks the tea as Eve finishes washing and dries off her feet and legs)
ANNA: Where is Digger? He never did nothing to you kids. I never did understand you-all killing him and putting him down the Dispos-All. (Eve scoffs) He never did nothing to you. He kept my feet warm. I gotta go find him.
EVE: Nope. You don’t. Come on, now. Let’s get you bed.
ANNA: No! (calling) Digger –
EVE: Come on, now. Get up and let’s go to bed. Tea’ll help you sleep, and then Miss Pearsey’ll be here when you wake up.
ANNA: Tea’ll make me tee-tee. I’ll tea-tea the bed.
ANNA: …Sit on the foot of my bed? Until I fall asleep?
EVE: If you’ll get your butt up, right now, yes, I will sit and warm your feet. Let’s go, right now. I gotta get back to work.
ANNA: Can I have my orange juice?
EVE: When I get home, yes. You can’t ask Miss Pearsey for your orange juice, you hear me? She’s a Baptist, she don’t understand about orange juice with stuff in it, and if she finds out, she won’t come by here no more. Okay? You want to keep having your orange juice like you like it, you got to wait until I come home. You understand me?
ANNA: Okay, okay, I’m not crazy. (as they start out) …He’ll be here, when I wake up.
EVE: Sure. Let’s go. Come on. Back to bed.
ANNA: He’ll be here. Sure enough.
(Anna shuffles out, Eve following. Eve hits the lights, sighs, exhausted)