David Bromige
A Playlet

A house in North America. A father--Tony--approaches his daughter's door.
Knocks. No response. From within, Tony hears the TV sound, but no apparent
talking-on-the-telephone sounds. Knocks again.

ALISON (from within) : Just a minute.

Tony continues standing in the hallway outside his daughter's room. In
his hand he holds part of the local, small-town newspaper, open to a
double-page spread of head-shots of what appear to be graduating seniors.
Tony studies these pictures, trying to recognize the faces when he
recognizes the names.

Tony stands there for several, not a, minute/s. At last he speaks.

TONY (with pathetic attempt at jocularity) : I'm standing here on these old
feet of mine . . . (pause)

ALISON (yanks open door) : What do you WANT!?

TONY : I bet you know some of these people.

ALISON (surly) : I'm doing something. Is _that_ what you came to say?

TONY : Yes, I thought you might like to look at this.

ALISON : Of course I know them! Is that what you--

TONY : Your Mom told me something about your day--what a good time you had
at the Flamingo Health Club with Mrs Goldstein and your friends--

ALISON : I'm doing something right now.

TONY glances around her room, all he can see of it from just inside the door.
He studies the drooping, outthrust lower lip of his daughter, the eyes 
resolutely refusing to meet his own.His poem!  Her head is bent down, the 
carpet being of considerably more of interest than the face of her progenitor 
and (erstwhile, she must think, if she ever thinks such thoughts) caretaker.

TONY : Well, you know, I was out back when you and Mom got home, so I just
figured I'd like to see you--

ALISON (voice rising in incredulous indignation) I told you, I'm doing
something right now.

TONY : Are you in a bad mood right now?

ALISON : What do you mean?

TONY : Well, you know what a bad mood is, don't you?

ALISON : Of course. No. What do you mean, 'right now'?

TONY : You know, 'now,' the present moment. This moment that we're sharing--

ALISON : No! I have something to finish doing. (Turns away).

TONY :  I see. (Closes door. Walks back into living room.)

(Solus). 26 months. 100 weeks. 700 days. 17000 hours. And then--college!
she'll be gone! (Lays head on arms and bursts into tears.)


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