While I’m at it, the other full-length piece I wrote while doing what I’ve learned from Charlie Tomlinson would probably be called “psychodrama”, Angel Ascending. This was a hard piece. La Scie was a hard place to be a kid, and a lot of difficult-to-swallow stuff went on that has been covered better by people like Mary Walsh and her cohorts in CODCO.
Rereading it most of a decade later, I find that I still love this script. It’s not polished by any measure, but the characters are clear and distinct in a way that I doubt I’ll ever achieve again; the events depicted are fictional, but these are very much the voices of people I knew well growing up. I’ve left the production notes that I took for a reading in here, because, really, why not?
Trigger warnings: suicide, drugs, sexual assault, sexual abuse
A stage play by Michael Burton
Sharpening: Her method of dealing with rape is direct, rather than letting others deal with it – seizing power for herself.
What’s being captured – the inspiration is Cindy, the transformation from fucked up to powerful and independent. Think also of the course since then – Charlie, the challenges with her and Jam, their struggle to get along, the effect of children. Zen – before enlightenment is the same as after enlightenment, it’s just the perspective that has changed. How do we set that up? Maybe the structure is wrong; maybe Peter should tell of Angel as a child, with ensuing onstage action…
Preliminary Questions List
To the director/designer from Stage Management
SFX knocking on door
laughter/cheers – are these live or canned?
Phone – practical or not practical?
What is your vision for the hanging of Peter?
Real or Fake Tree?
How many costume changes are necessary?
What venue are you intending to perform the play in?
To my sisters, who bring me clarity and exultation, and to Sam and Charlie, gifts to us all.
To the readers and workshop performers: Anita “supes” Murphy, Kelly Barnes, Nichelle Penney, Anna Sheppard, Angie Russell, Owen Van Houten, Darcy Bartlett, Jenn Furlong, Andrew O’Brien, Pat Foran, Stephen Oates, and anyone else I might be (unintentionally, I assure you) forgetting.
To my family, who have always been behind me, beside me, and ahead of me.
To my coaches in this lovely bloodsport of a profession, particularly Mark Thackeray and Arthur Griffin, who were pivotal in my development of an appreciation of language, Denise Lynde and Dick Buehler, Rest in Peace, who helped me develop a craftman’s-eye view of theatre, and the faculty, guest artists, alumni and students of Sir Wilfred Grenfell College, who continue to be indispensible in my transformation into a professional artist.
Playwright’s Note to Performers
As with any writer, I reserve the right to ensure this work is staged according to the text as written. I do not, however, believe that that should constrict the voices of the characters. The original writing of this play made heavy use of a rural Newfoundland accent, of which I have retained only trace patterns and figures of speech in order to make it more accessible to persons working in theatre outside of my own native land. A sense of home is critical to the play as it is written, and my intention is that dialect changes should be one of the basic rights given to companies performing this work. If a textual change is required specifically to achieve the particular sense of a local dialect or accent, I the author wholeheartedly give my permission to make said change without consultation, and ask that you please do not abuse the privilege.
Angel – teenage girl
Peter – older brother
Weezie – oldest sister
The stage is set as a dim, untidy room – unmade bed projecting from the middle of the upstage wall, clothes strewn on and around it, and a dresser downstage left, its top cluttered with cosmetic products and gaudy jewelry. A nightstand with a little-girl type phone on it sits upstage left by the head of the bed. There is a crucifix hung on the wall above the bed.
Angel is lying twisted on top of the clothes on the floor, dressed in teenage girl party clothes. Her face is turned downwards.
Weezie enters USR
Weezie: Angel? Oh Jesus, not again…
She hurries to Angel, turns her over in her lap. Angel’s face is covered in blood centred on her nose. Weezie runs over to the dresser and grabs a vial of smelling salts from one of the drawers, then brings them over and tries to revive Angel.
Weezie: What do you do this to yourself for, love? Peter! Peter! Come in here! (She picks up a pill bottle off the floor) What is this garbage, honey? Come on now, wake up for me, there’s a girl…
Peter enters USR
Peter: What can I do you for? Angel? What’s she got done now?
Weezie passes him the bottle.
Peter: Mother of God. I doubt this is really what it is. I thought mom and dad were keeping tabs on her medication these days.
Weezie: Yeah I thought so too. Apparently not.
Peter: She keeps ’em pretty busy with everything else, I s’pose. She’s not exactly the golden child.
Weezie: Anyways, Peter, we got no time for that argument right now.
Peter: I’ll go get the car warmed up, you get her dressed ok? Be careful with her now. She’s not in any state to get banged around.
Weezie: I know b’ye. Go, for God’s sakes
Peter leaves USR.
Weezie goes to the dresser. There are no clothes in the drawers. She grabs some clothes from the floor and starts dressing Angel.
Angel (sleepy, intoxicated): Wha ya doon?
Weezie: Shhhh, Angel. I got you here ok? You’re ok. It’s ok honey. Pete’s down in the car, we’re gonna bring you down and get you checked out now. Gimme your foot now.
Angel: I’m not goin to no doctor! Ye just wants me in trouble again! Get out of me room Wheezer Get out Get out get OUT!
Weezie: We’re not trying to get you in trouble Angel. You’re already in trouble…
Angel: I can handle me own trouble, get away from me.
Weezie: Listen, we just want to help you get better. Come on now, give me your foot I puts this sock on it.
Angel: Get off me you old bag. I told you I’m not goin to no doctor tonight, and I means it, so you can just forget that idea right now.
Angel scratches at Weezie
Weezie: Ow! Why do I always end up with scars when you’re crooked?
Angel: Oh my God. I’m sorry. I didn’t mean to do that. I’m trying Weez, I am, it’s just hard, right? I don’t know what I’m doing sometimes. You knows I’m trying to be a angel, don’t ya?
Weezie: I know honey. Put this on. Come down to the car, now, Pete’s waiting.
Angel: What about mother and father? I don’t want them to see me in a state again. Mother gets so hurt when she sees that.
Weezie: They’re still out to the hill right now.
Angel: Ok. Um. Could you help me get up? I’m right lost, I am.
Weezie helps Angel up.
Angel: Where’s me bitch boots now? I can’t go without something sensible on me legs.
Weezie: Probably downstairs.
Angel: Oh. All right, well let’s go then.
Exit Weezie and Angel. Lights out.
Angel is making the bed. The crucifix is laying against the headboard of the bed.
Enter Peter USR.
Angel: Don’t ye knock?
Peter knocks on the door
Angel: What do you want, b’ye? I’m just making me bed, right, not causing no trouble now.
Peter: That was some fight ye had the other night. I thought mom and dad was going to throw you out for the night. They’re scared to death for you, Angel.
Angel: Yeah, well they didn’t throw me out. Maybe it’d be better if they did. Get out now, I wants to enjoy some peace and quiet.
Peter: What’d the doctor say?
Angel: Nothing. Same as always, “Oh you got to get off that old junk my dear, I’m so smart and you’re only nothing.” He can shut it too, you wants the truth. I never heard no one go on like he do. Sure he don’t even have no kids, just thinks he knows everything because he’s a doctor. Well some job buddy, doctor in this friggin place, you must of won some competition to get there I tells you.
Peter: He only wants you to do what’s best for yourself –
Angel: I don’t care what that one wants, my son. Neither what you wants, neither mother nor father nor older sister. Ye’d be better off leaving me out of all this. I don’t know why ye got to be so interested in me life. Got to know every little thing I does. Well it ain’t that interesting, let me tell ya.
Peter: My god, are you ever not crooked? Seems like you haven’t had a good day since I don’t know when. You were practically dead the other night, you know that? If Weezie hadn’t come in and seen you, you might not be here right now! You think we don’t care about that? Because we do, that’s for sure. We cares a whole lot, and you can’t just tell us to get lost and think that you can just go kill yourself off for no good reason. That, that shit is killing you. So don’t just tell me to shut up, please. I loves you, you know that?
Angel: Yeah, I can tell by the way you runs to mother and father with everything I tells you. Some love that is, telling on me all the time instead of helping me out of it. Best brother I ever had, that’s for sure.
Peter: I never promised you that I’d keep your secrets for you Angel. I don’t believe that’s love either. That’s just making life easier for you. And you don’t seem to want to do that for yourself, so you can’t try to tell me that I should somehow be trying to do something you don’t do yourself, now.
Angel: Well so what if I do? Nothing for me, right? I’m just going to end up in a bad end. That’s what grandmother tells me.
Peter: Is that before or after she calls you by 6 other names?
Angel: Peter, uh, Weezie, uh, ANGEL! Come here nanny wants you!
Peter: I s’pose she was on your case too when you went over there?
Angel: Oh no, they didn’t tell her. She can’t handle that, I don’t think.
Peter: S’pose. I dare say she can handle whatever we can throw at her. Wouldn’t surprise me.
Angel: Yes you could be right there. Peter I never meant to be like that you knows that right? I loves ye too, right, I just gets so mixed up sometimes I hardly knows if I’m coming or going. I keeps wanting to be a angel, but seems like they just named me wrong, you know? I don’t have a good bone in me body, I don’t think. You’re some good to me, buddy. Thank you.
Peter gestures at a crucifix laying against the headboard
Peter: Looks like your man fell over again. I’ll get it nailed up again there now.
Angel: No, don’t worry about that. You just go on now, you got to get down to school yet.
Peter: Yeah I s’pose I do. Well, don’t be too bad today now.
Angel: Me? Never!
Angel waits a moment, watching the exit through which he left, then reaches under her mattress & pulls out a bottle of pills. She dry-swallows a couple. Lights out.
Shouting is heard from backstage, fading as lights come up.
Peter is in the room, alone, sitting on the bed.
Enter Weezie SR
Weezie: What’d she do this time?
Peter: I don’t know, b’ye. Something between horrible and perfect, I s’pose. I friggin told her to be good today, too.
Weezie: She gets told that every day. Hard child to tell anything to, that one.
Peter: S’pose. I don’t understand why, though. I mean, she listens to everything Fugly Ugly tells her.
Weezie: Yes, but he’s her boyfriend, so he doesn’t count. She’s got to listen to him. He’s Mister Wonderful.
Peter: Kills me, though. He’s such a friggin loser.
Weezie: Peter when you get a girlfriend of your own you’ll see that it doesn’t exactly work like that.
Peter: No, I won’t be taking half so much as what she takes. And I won’t be giving it, neither.
Weezie: Yes, I bet. You got some life to live yet buddy.
Peter: S’pose. What’s it like being in the last year?
Weezie: Oh, it’s pretty slow mainly. Everything slows right down when you’re this close. It’s like the more you get to understand that it’s almost over, the longer it takes to actually get there.
Peter: What will you do when you’re finished?
Weezie: I don’t know. Get a job I guess.
Peter: Will you stay here, though?
Weezie: Not if I can help it!
Peter: Why? What’s wrong with this place?
Weezie: Everything Peter. You don’t think this place has anything to do with her problems? Or yours? Or mine, even?
Peter: What problems have you got now?
Weezie: Nothing Peter.
Peter: Too good for me are they?
Weezie: You just don’t know as much as you think sometimes.
Peter: Well it’s hard to know if you wont tell me, isn’t it?
Weezie: Anyways. I’ll be glad when it’s over. Tim, too. He’s worse than I am.
Peter: There’s another idiot.
Weezie: Well you don’t have to like him. I like him and that’s enough for me, so there (sticks out her tongue)
Peter: Well that’s good, because I don’t hardly like him well enough to be around.
Weezie: Why, Peter? He thinks the world of you. Asked if you wanted to come out to ball hockey and everything. I told him I doubted you’d be big on that idea, but it was sweet all the same.
Peter: Yes, and that I won’t be doing. What, do he think I got no friends? I got me own friends and I don’t need no Mr. Timothy to tell me what to be doing where and when, thank you very much.
Weezie: I don’t understand why you got to be mean about it.
Peter: I’m not being mean, I just think he’s no good for you. Won’t even come down to meet us.
Weezie: Anyways. No point talking to you about it. You’ll just be stubborn as ever.
Peter: Me! Stubborn! I’m just telling it like it is, my dear.
Weezie. Anyways. I should go fold clothes for mom. You got to put in a wash later on, too.
Peter: Yes, mother.
Weezie: Oh now, don’t be too cruel about it.
Peter picks up some of the things on the floor and begins to walk out
Angel: Oh what are ye in here now talking about me behind me back, is that it? Not bad enough mother and father is down me throat, ye got to be up here snooping around when I’m not here! Oh ye makes me some mad!
Peter: I’m just up here trying to give you a hand, Angel. Thought I could take some stuff down to the laundry room. I hates to be doing nothing when ye’re in a racket down there. I’m not up here snooping around or nothing like that.
Angel: No I just bet you was up here just cleaning me room up for me! I knows that’s just what you’re at here now! Don’t lie to me, my son. I knows better than that, I’m not that stupid you know.
Peter: Look, I got some stuff here to bring down now, I’ll leave you alone. You don’t have to flip out at me just because you’re having it out with them tonight. I didn’t do nothing to you.
Angel: Just picking up me underwear is it, then?
Peter: No, I’m –
Angel: You’re just sick Pete my son, sick and perverted and that’s all there is to you, is a disgusting ugly person. Gimme me drawers and get out you perv, before I tells them what you’re at up here
Peter: What are you saying Angel? I’m not up here touching nothing of yours now, I’m just trying to clean up!
Angel: For Jesus sake, don’t admit it then. I knows what you’re like. Luh, Peter, luh. If this is what you wants to see, then have a look (lifts her shirt). Now, my son, have a good look. You’re gross you know that? Just disgusting. Get away from me, before I tells everyone else how sick you are in the head.
Peter: Oh, stop it now…I never…(drops the clothes) all right, I’m gone then. You’re a huge bitch sometimes you know that?
Angel: Just get out Peter, for Jesus’ sakes. Let me clean me own room.
Angel picks up the dumped clothes, but falls over on top of it onto her bed. She cries into the heap.
Weezie: Knock, knock.
Angel: Go – Go away. I had enough of ye for tonight.
Weezie: Oh, don’t cry sweetie. You’re ok now.
Angel: No I’m not, Weezie. I’m not ok at all. I just wants to go to sleep on this bed and wake up a angel in heaven, you know? I just wants to go to sleep and never wake up at all.
Weezie: Shhhh now. You’re talking crazy. It’s not so bad. Another fight never killed anybody, you know? And it gets better. You’ll get out of here soon enough. Till then you’ve got to find a better way to spend your time honey. The old drugs and the crowd you’re hanging around with –
Angel: That’s all everyone tells me, “Oh you should do that, Oh you shouldn’t be bumming around with that one, they’re bad news, Oh, that’s shameful the way you gets on!” Well I’m not ashamed of me friends b’yes. I just wants to be able to enjoy me life, just like anyone else. I don’t think that’s too much to ask, is it?
Weezie: No, but you got to admit that buddy you’re out with all hours isn’t likely to be mom or dad’s favorite. If you’d just get back on time you might have less trouble from them. That’s what I ended up doing my last couple of years, just trying to get home. I didn’t need to change too much else about myself, tell you the truth.
Angel: No, that’s because you were always the perfect one. Always there doing chores for mother and going down the store for father, and wouldn’t nothing you wouldn’t do for them only they’d ask you. Well I’m not like that, I never was and I never will be. I’m no angel Weezie, and I think everyone should stop expecting me to be that way.
Weezie: Angel, you got to know that you can’t be at it all the time, though? Sure the whole town knows you’re out the road every night, drinking and bawling with the worst crowd around.
Angel: I does what I wants now, and I don’t need you to tell me what I should and shouldn’t be doing all hours of the night. And the whole town can kiss my fat ass now, because that’s all I thinks about them.
Weezie: Something got to give here.
Angel: Yes, and it won’t be me.
Weezie: Anyways. I don’t know what else to tell you Angel.
Angel: I guess you wants ya man down here now the week do ya?
Weezie: I do, but I’m waiting to see what mom and dad say.
Angel: Well I wouldn’t hold me breath if I was you. Those two is a pair of tight-arses, and no way they’re gonna have you sleeping with a man “Under my roof!”
Weezie: No probably not. They’re the only ones who get to have fun here. But I got to hope so anyways. I misses him all to pieces Angel.
Angel: He must be some good man, then.
Weezie: He’s a good man alright.
Angel: Good between the sheets I’d say
Weezie: Angel! He is though. Don’t tell mom and dad I said that, now.
Angel: Ha! They’d listen to me a fat lot, I knows.
Weezie: Well, I just don’t want them to say no, no matter what the reason. I’m going to have boyfriends, and they got to be able to come home with me sometimes. If they want to, anyways.
Angel: Don’t Tim want to come down?
Weezie: I thought so, but it doesn’t seem like he does anymore. He’s talking about just staying home all summer, and me coming up there.
Angel: What a jerk!
Weezie: He’s not a jerk Angel, it’s just it’s so much trouble with mom and dad I think. It’s hard enough to come into someone else’s house when you’re invited, let alone when you’re the source of a fight.
Angel: If it was me I wouldn’t of asked. I’d just bring him home and let them say what they wants about it then. They wouldn’t say anything, not them two. Bawl us out all night long, but god forbid they say a hard word to us with anybody else around.
Weezie: I seem to recall a few good fights over at Sunday dinner at nanny’s house this summer.
Angel: Oh, that don’t count now! I means one of them out the harbour. Sure it’d be all over the town in about three seconds flat if ever they laid a hand on me, that’s the only reason I don’t fear it.
Weezie: Get dad mad enough my dear. He won’t mind taking a couple smacks at ya.
Angel: I hates him. You can call child welfare when he gets on like that you know. He got no right to lay hands on you, nor me neither.
Weezie: Well I don’t know about that, now. I remember having a few trimmed arses when I was younger. Didn’t kill me.
Angel: I wouldn’t be able to sit for all the times they’d have to trim mine for me. Be nothing left but two ass bones and a poop hole.
Weezie: Gross. Yes it certainly would. I can’t hardly believe the stuff you get away with.
Angel: You got to push back, Weezie. That’s all you got to do. They don’t know how to push back. They never hardly fights, and they don’t know how to.
Weezie: Well, I’ll keep that in mind.
Angel: Yes, be sure you does that now. Hey, you sleep in here tonight, with me, hey?
Weezie: I need to sleep Angel.
Angel: Come on Weezie. Just ’til I gets to sleep?
Weezie: Alright then. But let’s at least make the bed so we can sleep in it, hey? Got to start packing tomorrow.
Angel: Goin back already? My glory Weezie, I didn’t even realize it was that late in summer, sure.
Weezie: Yes, well, it’s time to pack up and go on back out to St. John’s. Another year though, and I’ll be done with all this.
Angel: Yes, isn’t that amazing now? You’ll be graduated university this time next year. What will you do then?
Weezie: I don’t know. But I’ll be some glad.
Angel: Sure you will!
The bed is made. They crawl under the covers, whispering to each other.
Weezie is on the bed. Peter is hanging the crucifix above the bed
Weezie: Peter she’s some wild.
Peter: Yes I guess she is. You know what she did to me last night?
Peter: Oh, never mind. She’s just making everyone miserable. I don’t understand why she’s at it. We never did nothing to her to make her so awful to us, I mean we just wanted to help her out right? I certainly didn’t want to bring any more trouble into her life or nothing.
Weezie: I don’t think she can help herself, bud. You think about everything that she’s probably got going on right now that we don’t even know about, I mean we were bad when mom and dad weren’t looking our way, and she’s worse than we ever were even when they’re looking.
Peter: That might be true, but she’s still getting on my nerves.
Weezie: Yes, but she stopped talking to mom and dad, so we got to keep talking to her. Where else is she gonna go?
Peter: S’pose. Probably have a row now the once.
Weezie: Oh that’s lovely Peter. Plan to be fighting. Good job buddy, so glad you’re my brother.
Peter: Now you don’t have to be wicked to me you know. I’m not trying to get into it with you. It’s just getting to me when Angel gets into her little moods. I’m not interested in being her little target that she can just go off on.
Weezie: You’re rotten today aren’t you?
Peter: S’pose I am.
Weezie: Well I hope you can be nicer to your little sister than you’re being to me, because you’re being a real arsehole to me.
Peter: Like I said I don’t need to be fighting with you my dear. Just don’t be starting up with me.
Weezie: Well I won’t then. I got clothes to pack anyways, you can lie here and be rotten by yourself for all I cares.
Peter: That’s all I wanted tonight.
Weezie: My god Peter, what’s wrong b’ye. You’re never like this.
Peter steps away from the crucifix
Peter: Angel accused me of being a pervert the other night, Weez. Opened her tits right up to me. And I’m ashamed to say it stirred something in me a bit.
Weezie: Uh, that’s a bit gross Peter, you know? She’s your sister b’ye.
Peter: Well it’s not like I wanted to jump her. Just caught me out at the wrong time, and now I can’t stop it going through me head. What I could have said or done to shield myself from it all.
Weezie: Just go get laid. I’m sure there’s one or two over at work that’ll take you on as a “project” if nothing else.
Peter: Oh you’re getting a beating for that one (jumps off the bed) Come here!
Weezie: Gotta catch me first
Exit Peter and Weezie, Angel coming in as Peter chases Weezie out of the room
Angel: Hey! Hey! Bunch of savages, ye are! Watch those steps, you’ll break your necks!
Lights up on Angel, sitting crying on her bed.
Weezie: I’m on my way now, Angel. You be good ok? Watch out for yourself. Peter’ll be here if you need any help, and you can always pick up the phone. I’ll call you when I get there, give you the number. All right. I love you. Call me sometimes ok?
Weezie bends down and kisses Angel on the top of the head.
Angel stops crying, stands up and pulls the crucifix down. She flops back down on her bed, transfixed by it.
Angel: Our Father, Who Art In Heaven…
The bedroom has been turned into the Grassy Garden. High reeds conceal the sides of the stage and stand in front of exits at the back. A tree stands upstage, unlit.
We hear a woman screaming in the background. It is abruptly cut short. After a moment, the laughter & cheers of a crowd of young men.
Enter Angel, crying. Her clothes are badly torn and she is disheveled. She sinks to the stage.
Peter: Angel! I thought I heard someone back here. What’s wrong my love?
Angel angrily shakes him off
Peter: Jesus Mary mother of God, you’re a state. Come on now, let’s get you home and safe.
Angel: Not with the likes of you, I’m not!
Peter: What do that mean?
Angel: It means you’re sick, and get away from me, is what it means.
Peter: Jesus Christ. What’s wrong with you girl?
Angel: Nothing – I’m just a old slut is all. Too screwed up to have anyone touch me unless they’re a sicko. Go home, I can’t stand to look at you, you or anyone else like you.
Peter: And that I won’t, not until I’m sure you’re all right.
Angel: Fuck off Peter!
Peter: Listen – here’s me coat. At least cover yourself up.
Angel: Oh, looking again are we? You makes me some sick.
Peter: Take the coat before I changes me mind.
Angel: Where’s it to. I can’t hardly see. Don’t come near me! Just throw it on the ground there.
Peter: Alright, b’ye, don’t freak out now. What happened to you?
Angel: Bunch a arseholes back there. Arseholes.
Peter: Which arseholes in particular?
Angel: Why? What are you gonna do Peter? Nothing, is what. There’s more of them than there is of you, right. Let them go. I don’t care.
Peter: Well, if I had a name I could at least report them.
Angel: Yes, because I’m too stupid to figure out how to do that for myself.
Peter: That’s not what I meant…
Angel: Whatever, go on now. I’ll be home when I gets home.
Peter: I’m not leaving you out here. That crowd might still be around, you know.
Angel: Oh, Weezies’s gone so you’ll be me protector now. Ha. Sure you will.
Peter: Just come on with me will you.
Angel: You’re worse than a old nag.
Peter: Well b’ye somebody got to take care of you. Lord knows you don’t seem to want to do it for yourself.
Angel: Yes, it’s my fault that I just got fucked in the tall grass Peter. All my fault, it is. Got nothing to do with this town or them arseholes, it was all me.
Peter: I’m not saying that. I’m not even talking about this here now. You got other things to get right, but this wasn’t your doing. I’m sorry it came out that way. You knows I loves you, Angel. Even when you’re being like this, I can’t stand to see any harm come to you. Come on now. Let’s get home.
Angel: …Help me up.
Peter helps her stand. They exit together.
Peter is lying on the ground, eyes closed
Angel: Peter? Peter!
Peter: Wha? What? (sits up) Get out of here Angel, you shouldn’t be in here!
Angel: No neither should you, but here you are.
Peter: I just didn’t feel like moving. I guess I passed out. Get out of here now, go on, this is the wrong place for you.
Angel: You been drinking?
Peter: Bit, nothing serious.
Angel: I thought you were supposed to be squeaky clean, b’ye.
Peter: I’m me own man. If I wants to have a drop of drink, I s’pose I’m old enough to fend for meself, right?
Angel: Sure b’ye. All the same, not much of a place to lie down for a nap. Not safe, either, or so I hears.
Peter: Not safe for you, and not safe for buddy neither, not while I’m here.
Angel: Don’t you dare touch nobody on my account. I didn’t ask you to fight for me, Peter. I don’t want you to, either. Nobody going to win any prizes that way.
Peter: You won’t send them to jail, and you won’t let me send them a message.
Angel: I’m doing things me own way Peter, don’t assume things that you don’t know are true. And don’t take on responsibilities that aren’t yours.
Peter: Someone got to look out for you, Angel. Weezie’s not here, right.
Angel: I knows that better than anyone, don’t I? I mean, seems like I’m the one worse for the wear out of that absence, not you.
Peter: Seems like we’re both the worse for that one.
Angel: You’re just being childish. I can’t take care of you right now, and Weezie’s not looking out for either of us right now. So don’t go getting into trouble you can’t handle
Peter: What am I supposed to do?
Angel: Leave it alone, is what. I’ll take care of me own business.
Peter: Business, is it. Not personal.
Angel: Personal business.
Peter: Personal bullshit.
Angel: Bullshit business.
Peter: Stinks like your ass.
Angel: Stinks like your mother.
Peter: All right, you got me there.
Angel: By the stinky bits.
Peter: Yes, by the stinky bits.
Angel: Come on, now. We’ll get you a coffee and get you fixed up.
Peter: Nah, no…I’m fine here. Let me go.
Angel: Oh it’s all right for you to take care of me, but it’s something else when you needs a hand, is it? Get up b’ye.
Peter: Don’t kill yourself there. I can get up.
Angel: Steady, steady…
Peter: Thanks Angel. I’m a state here.
Angel: And here I thought you were ready for your big date.
Peter pulls away from her
Peter: Get off of me then! I don’t need your help you goddamn bitch. I can make me own way home.
Angel: Make your own way home then, you drunk asswipe. Try to be a bit nice and get bitten for me troubles.
Peter: Yeah, I wonder who else is like that.
Angel: Well at least I’m trying here Peter, it’s not exactly the easiest thing in the world to get it all together now is it?
Peter: Easy for some, not so much for others I guess.
Angel: What do that mean?
Peter: Just making a observation, I s’pose. Seems like you don’t much care about it all.
Angel: You’re a cunt sometimes Peter, you know that? I’m gone. You can come home whenever you wants, in whatever shape you wants. Go get yourself killed, see if I cares.
Peter: I thought you was gonna wait for me.
Angel: I was gonna wait for me brother Peter. He don’t seem to be around, just some nasty prick. I’ll just head home by meself and wait for him there, hopefully no arseholes comes along in the meantime.
Peter: Don’t go, Angel. Neither one of us should be all alone. I’m sorry, it’s the booze talking. You knows what it does, makes ya right crooked for no good reason at all. I just needs to calm down. Can we go for a walk around? I think a harbour breeze might help me sort myself out.
Angel: Yes b’ye. Here, grab on me, we goes.
Peter: Thanks Angel. I’m sorry.
Angel: Shhh now. Just walk it off.
Lights down as they walk offstage
Angel is underneath the tree, which is now lit.
Peter: What are you at?
Angel: Putting something good here. I don’t want to forget exactly, but I don’t want to remember something ugly and awful neither. So I’m making me own memory.
Peter: Oh. Can I give ya a hand?
Angel: Yes b’ye. See that bag over there? Throw it over here would you?
Peter: I can do that. What’s in it?
Angel: Just some stuff I thought would be good to put underneath. Pictures and whatever. Happy stuff. This is gonna be me happy tree.
Peter: Happy tree? In the grassy garden? Where you just got –
Angel: Don’t say it! I don’t want to hear it, especially from you.
Peter: What does that mean now?
Angel: Oh Peter, no, I just meant…
Peter: I knows what you meant, you bitch!
Angel: No, that’s not what I meant at all, I just wanted you to know this was a good place for me, I’m not letting them take that away from me, you know? I wants this place to stay mine, no matter what happened here. They don’t get to run me life that way. I’m better than they are, and every time I sees this here tree I’ll know it. Don’t you think that’s worth having?
Peter: S’pose. Sorry I called you a bitch.
Angel: Listen, that’s all right. I knows there’s lots of times I deserved to be called worse than that.
Peter: S’pose. Can I look through the pictures?
Angel: Of course you can, you fool. Just hand them over as you’re done with them, and I’ll throw them down in the roots.
Peter: Who’s that?
Angel: That’s mother, b’ye. Don’t you remember last Christmas when we went out mummering?
Peter: No, can’t say as I do. I was laid up at the time, didn’t get to do hardly nothing.
Angel: Oh yeah. Well, it was hilarious, mother was loaded to the two eyeballs by the end of the night, I had to go in and help her not fall over in the bathroom at one place. She’s still half sensible in that picture, all the same. It was a bit scary to see her drunk, so I decided not to use any of them pictures. They makes me laugh, but it’s not a good kind of laugh, you know? I mean, I seen it in me friends, but not me mother. That’s just scary.
Peter: Yeah. S’pose it’s good they can still have a good time at this point in their lives all the same. Too many tight-arses around here. Here.
Angel: Thanks. (puts the picture into the earth around the tree)
Peter: Is this one last Christmas too?
Angel: Let me see. No, I think that’s just one of the parties I was at last year. I was gonna cut that one up a bit.
Peter: Who’s that with his hand on your leg?
Angel: Nobody important, I’m sure. I was gonna cut him out.
Peter: He looks some familiar.
Angel: Nobody, Peter. Leave him alone now.
Peter: I thought I saw him around here the other night.
Angel: Lots of people walks through here.
Peter: S’pose. Seems like he was up to something all the same.
Angel: Peter. Leave him; give me the damn picture already.
Peter: This is one of them isn’t it? That’s why you was gonna cut him out, right?
Angel: Why can’t you just leave it alone?
Peter: (to the picture) You just watch out. You might have something to worry about now the once.
Angel: Oh for Christ’s sakes, Peter. Give me the picture. Give it to me. Give it here, Give me the friggin picture.
Peter: Ow! All right b’ye. I knows what he looks like now.
Angel: I’m only gonna ask you once more. Leave him alone.
Peter: I got to do what I got to do, Angel. I can’t have it.
Angel: Jesus. I guess I’ll come back and finish this another time. Thanks a lot, you idiot.
Peter and Weezie stand in front of the tree. It is again unlit.
Weezie: I should’ve come home sooner. How could I stay in St. John’s when here she is been through a gang rape. I used to love coming down here, running around, chasing the boys down, stealing a few kisses in the grass. Fun times, with some of them anyways. But kissing never was enough for some of the horny little bastards around here.
Weezie: You found her out here, did you?
Weezie: What did the cops say?
Peter: Nothing useful. They said they didn’t really have much to go on until Angel was ready to talk to them.
Weezie: Should have let her call them, bud. She’s the one that needs to have justice served, not you. I know it’s hard not to do it, but sometimes that’s all you can give her.
Peter: You weren’t there Weez. She was crying on the ground, shirt tore to pieces and she was screaming at me, reminding me about being in her room that time.
Weezie: Time to give that one up, I think.
Peter: Tell her that, not me.
Weezie: I bet it was buddy from out on the hill, you know. I wish she’d talk to me about it.
Peter: You could be right there. He’s gonna get some beating if it was.
Weezie: From who? You?
Peter: Nobody thinks I got any guts in this family or what? I take care of me own, you know.
Weezie: All right, then, all right. Just don’t make it worse on her or on yourself.
Peter: Can’t get much worse for us now can it?
Weezie: Yes it can Peter, only you don’t know it yet. There’s lots more they can do to make your life hell. Believe me, there’s lots more they can do yet. You don’t want to make your own life miserable, and even if you do you don’t want to make Angel’s life any worse than it is right now.
Peter: No. All right. I’ll leave him alone until I knows a bit more about it.
Weezie: Leave him alone, period. You don’t need the extra trouble.
Peter: That’s not the point, Weez. I’m not gonna have someone thinking that they can get away with what they did to Angel. I won’t have it. She won’t even talk to mom and dad about it. That’s gonna be a nice set of fights, I can see that right now.
Weezie: Not your fault, Peter. And not your problem to solve, either.
Peter: Not my fault, no. It’s my problem as much it is as anyone’s. I’m just not content to let anyone get away with treating her that way. I’d be a pretty frigging awful brother if I was. I wish I could lay hands on whoever…
Weezie: No you don’t. That’s how murder starts, most places.
Peter: I can think of a few arseholes I wouldn’t mind killing.
Weezie: This is serious Peter. And it’s not about you.
Weezie: Listen to me for once. Stop talking past me, I’m not an idiot you know.
Peter: S’pose. Takes large brains to get into university these days.
Angel voice comes from backstage.
Angel: Yes sir, officer, that’s where they put me down. they just held me down, didn’t really beat me up or nothing. I think there was six or seven of them, I don’t remember all of it, see. Yes, Roger was the first one. I don’t recall what happened after that. I think some did it more than once, I couldn’t say for sure is all. I’m a bit tired. Thank you.
Enter Angel. She sees Peter and Weezie and bursts into tears. They enfold her.
Peter: I swear to God, I’ll kill them.
Angel: Stay out of it, Peter.
Weezie: Stay out of it Peter.
Peter: That I will not.
Angel + Weezie: Jesus.
Peter: Nope. Just me.
Angel: Why don’t it matter to you that I don’t want you involved?
Peter: It don’t matter because you just thinks I’m gonna get hurt, which I’m not.
Angel: Didn’t occur to you that I might just not want anyone else to keep this alive longer than it needs to be kept alive, hey?
Peter: Whatever you calls it, it’s not much of a reason. I won’t have you treated that way while I’m around. I won’t have it.
Angel: Good thing I talked to the cops then, I guess. You tries anything, you’re bound for trouble.
Peter: What? What the hell are you at? Siccing the police on me when I’m just trying to do the right thing, nice Angel. Very nice.
Angel: What else can I do? It’s not like you were listening to anything else there.
Peter: I guess we’ll see, then. I’m not afraid a jail time.
Angel: Come on Weezie, help me find that cop, before he gets in more trouble.
Weezie: I think they took off already, Angel. I saw the cruiser go up over the road. Let’s see if we can find a phone, get them back down here.
Exit Weezie and Angel
Peter is sitting up. He is covered in blood and his clothes are torn.
Enter Weezie and Angel
Weezie: How you doing bud? We got the cops coming down again…
Peter: What for? I don’t want to go to jail, tell them not to come, come on please.
Weezie: They’re not coming for you, bud. They’re just coming to get your story.
Peter: But they knows I started it, sure. She told them to cut me off
Angel: I lied about that, Peter. I was afraid this exact thing to happen. I wish you’d listened. You poor bugger.
Peter: Don’t touch me. I can take care of myself.
Weezie: Here, got you a cloth to wash up with.
Peter: Mother’ll kill me if I gets her cloth all bloody.
Angel: We’ll get her a new one Peter. Wash your face. You’re a state, b’ye.
Peter: I’m sorry I went after him Angel. You knows I only did it because I couldn’t stand to see you hurt, right?
Angel: I knows that Peter, but you should have just left it well enough alone. The cops already got one of them in custody, sure. And it’s hard enough for me to handle the whole thing without you making more trouble for me.
Peter: S’pose. I’m sorry.
Weezie: Give me the rag now. I’ll go wash it out, see what’s on the go with the cops.
Peter: Here. It’s a bit gross.
Peter: Don’t start.
Angel: I wasn’t going to.
Angel: How’s your leg now?
Peter: I can’t tell. Don’t think it’s broke, but it’s definitely not perfect.
Angel: I can’t believe they done this to you. Who was it?
Peter: Buddy and a few other ones, I don’t know all of them
Angel: I still don’t understand why they’re not in custody. Don’t seem like nobody wants them punished. Makes me mad.
Peter: Me too. That’s why…
Angel: No it’s not Peter. You just wanted revenge, pure and simple.
Peter: That’s not it at all
Angel: Yes it is. You didnt want to go on feeling angry and doing nothing. So you took matters into your own hands. And I don’t know if I blames you, exactly. I just wish you’d have thought about what you was doing before you went down, because I really didn’t need you getting hurt on my account to make this a horrible experience. It’s already in me head every single day I’m alive. It makes me crazy.
Angel: That all you can ever say? “S’pose”. “S’pose”. I’m tellin you that you really hurt me this time, and you just wants me to stop talkin and shut up, so you just says “S’pose” and thinks that’s gonna do it? What the hell gives you the right to act on my behalf you asshole? What do you think it’s gonna do for you to go out and lay into some prick, even if you comes out on top? Nothing, that’s what. Nothing at all. That was the whole point of me tree. I knows it’s not gonna do anything for me to get upset and do something stupid, so I tries to find another way to deal with it, and when I do, along comes you to do what you thinks I don’t have the courage to do.
Peter: I never…
Angel: Shut up for once in your life, Peter. I never let him alone because I was scared. I let him alone because I knows it’s not gonna bring any peace in the matter. I might not be the smartest child in the family, but I knows that much, at least You been acting like a spoiled three year old since I got raped, and you know what? You don’t get to act that way on my behalf. I’m the one getting through it, not you. I’m the one that wakes up at night worried that I’m pregnant or that the cops is gonna tell me I’m lying, or that mother and father is gonna kick me out when it’s not even my fault that it happened, or crying for no reason at all. You’re not the one got to deal with it. You got no right to step in and try. And I hates to see you beat up, but it’s just one more thing on the pile that is my sorrows right now, so I might not be as sympathetic as I would be otherwise. I loves you, but Sweet Jesus you got to trust me sometimes, you know. You got to let me handle things. I’m off the drugs since it happened, you know that? Haven’t touched them since.
Peter: That won’t last while you’re with Mr. Fugly.
Angel: He been nothing but good to me since. He listens to me. He don’t make me do anything I’m not ready for. And he sure don’t try to run around me and fix everything when it can’t be fixed. It can’t be fixed Peter. It can’t be fixed. I just got to get through it. I needs you to help me get through it.
Peter: That’s all I wanted to do, Angel.
Angel: I don’t think it is. Once you gets fixed up, you can help me. But please Jesus, listen to me this time. It’s too hard for me to watch you break yourself down.
Peter: I’ll try to be better. That’s all I can promise.
Angel: It’s a start.
Weezie: The cops are on the way. I called mom, too. She’s leaving work there now.
Peter: She shouldn’t be coming over. She needs the shifts.
Weezie: You think she’s gonna have her little boy suffering without her? Not likely.
Angel: Her little precious.
Peter: Ye’re just jealous because I’m special
Angel: Oh you’re special all right.
Weezie: Yeah, the short bus is on the way over right now, actually.
Weezie: Good comeback.
Angel: He’s the master of those.
Weezie: Dozing off, anyways.
Angel: Sleeper king, that one.
Peter: I’m the real mattress I am.
Angel: Bit lumpy to be a good mattress. Except maybe to Nicolle.
Weezie: Oooooo Nicolle? What’s on the go?
Peter: Shut up b’ye.
Angel: Oh he’s right sweet on her, he is.
Peter: Yeah, no thanks to you for talkin to her about it though.
Angel: Well somebody had to. And it wasn’t gonna be you, that’s for sure.
Weezie: Nothing wrong with that, Pete. She the one with the retarded brother?
Peter: Challenged, Weezie. They calls it challenged now.
Weezie: All right. The short-bus candidate, anyways. Should be good company for you.
Peter: He’s nice, actually. I don’t mind being around him.
Angel: You doll. I heard he’s a bit hard to handle when he gets mad, though.
Peter: You just gotta give him a minute to calm down is all. He’s sweet after that.
Angel: You kissed her yet?
Peter: I think I’m gonna go see if the cops is there yet. Help me up.
They help him walk off, still teasing.
The set has been transformed into the living room.
Weezie is sitting slouched on the couch, watching television. Party sounds from offstage.
Angel: We were wondering what happened to you. What are you doing up here?
Weezie: Just…takin a break.
Angel: From what? It’s your party, sure.
Weezie: I know. I don’t feel so great, is all. Everyone’s doing fine without me anyways.
Angel: That’s not the point maid. It’s not every week you graduates from college, sure. Are you all right?
Weezie: I’m fine.
Angel: I’m totally convinced by that. What’s wrong?
Weezie: I don’t know. Don’t you ever worry about what comes next? I mean, after whatever major thing you’re doing is finished?
Angel: I mainly worries about getting through whatever I’m doing at the moment. That’s enough worry for me most days.
Weezie: Well, I’m done with one thing, and I don’t know what comes next.
Angel: That’s only natural, sure. Won’t be long before you finds yourself a job and settles down with Tim somewhere.
Weezie: Tim’s not here, Angel.
Angel: Yeah, I found that a bit strange. Everything all right between ye?
Weezie: Not really. I think he’s losing interest.
Angel: Ohhh Weez. Are you sure, though? I mean, he might just be having a hard time of it for some other reason. Have ye talked about it?
Weezie: Not really. We just haven’t been as close lately. Doesn’t seem like either of us is looking forward to the other one coming home these days. After all that time apart last year, it was hard to come back together.
Angel: Well, before you goes getting sad about it you might as well at least have a chat, see what each othet is thinking.
Weezie: Yeah. Doesn’t solve the other problem, though.
Angel: No I guess it don’t, do it. But like I said, you’ll have something else on the go soon enough. Don’t let it get you down. You’re only young yet.
Weezie: Yes, grandmother.
Angel: Well, Jackie, Sarah, Mildred, LOUISE my dear, you haven’t got to worry while I’m alive!
Weezie: She’s losing her mind.
Angel: No worries. She got that gone for long ago.
Weezie: Yes that’s for sure.
Angel: Come back down and sneak a drink with me now. I don’t get you around enough to waste the chance to be bad with you.
Weezie: All right, then. Can’t refuse that offer.
Angel: You could, but it wouldn’t make you happier.
Exit Weezie and Angel
Peter and Angel are in the room. Sounds of an argument drift in from offstage.
Angel: Was it that bad with me??
Peter: Ten times worse.
Angel: I don’t think I ever thought about how loud it could be. Ye must have had some time trying to sleep while that was on the go.
Peter: More than one night I had some trouble, for sure.
Angel: I don’t understand what the problem is. Why can’t she just go get a job like everybody else do? Sure you even got one.
Peter: Yeah, but it’s a bad job, Angel. I don’t exactly make a lot of money at it.
Angel: Better than nothing, is all I knows.
Peter: I think she wants to find something with a little more future to it, but I don’t really know. She haven’t been herself since buddy broke up with her.
Angel: But that’s not much of a reason to sit around, Peter. I mean, you got to live, don’t you?
Peter: S’pose. Don’t seem that simple to me most days, but most people makes a go of it better than she’s doing all the same.
Angel: Got to get off your ass if you wants anything good in this life. Can’t be just lying around waiting for inspiration.
Peter: Yeah. That don’t always turn out, though.
Angel: No. Well, you got to have a brain about it too.
Angel: It’s true, b’ye. No use doing things half-assed, right.
Weezie: Talking about me are you?
Angel: A bit.
Weezie: Nice. Well, I’ll leave you to it.
Angel: Don’t take off Weez. What’s on the go?
Weezie: I guess I’m just around too much. If they think it and you think it, must be true. Around too much, and no good to nobody.
Angel: I didn’t mean it like that now.
Weezie: No? How’d you mean it then?
Angel: I just meant you’ll feel better once you gets on your feet again. I knows it been hard for you, Weezie. But you got to get pass it, you got to. He’s only a man, sure. Plenty more where that came from
Weezie: You think I’m lying around crying about Tim? Not likely.
Angel: Well I don’t understand, then. What’s the problem?
Weezie: I don’t know what to do. I don’t know what to do. I looked for work, but nobody wanted me, and nobody around here seems to want me home, and even Tim doesn’t want me, so what am I supposed to think? I’m not worth anything, that’s all there is to it.
Angel: No, I don’t think that’s true. And I don’t think that’s even all of it. You got something else on your mind now, and I wants to know what it is.
Weezie: I don’t know what you mean.
Angel: Well you hardly been out around since you got home, and you hardly talks to us anymore. You was all depressed at the party, even. Don’t seem like you’re yourself anymore.
Weezie: I guess I’m not feeling like myself, Angel. I feel no good to anyone. I can’t seem to protect ye anymore. I’m no good for anything. I don’t know why I should even keep on living.
Angel: Well you can stop talking like that right now. That don’t help one thing. You got to pick yourself up, Weezie. You got to find a way through it, all of it. It’s no magic cure for it, you just got to look at your life and decide to make it work.
Weezie: Well that’s the hard part, isn’t it.
Angel: Yes it is. And I been through it too. You don’t always feel like getting up in the morning, but some days you just got to get up, and get out and see the sun and try to think about all the things you do have to look forward to.
Weezie: Like what? Growing old alone and miserable, not having enough money to do anything, getting fat all the while.
Angel: Like having supper with your family, who loves you more than anything, and who’d do whatever they could to help you through whatever you’re going through.
Weezie: None of that helps right now Angel. I just feel like that’s another responsibility that I can’t do anything about and so I could do without it.
Angel: Then you’re just being selfish about it. We loves you enough to be there for you, but we loves you enough to tell you when you’re being foolish too.
Weezie: I don’t think that’s selfish. I’m just trying to figure it out, and right now it doesn’t exactly make a lot of sense to me.
Angel: You got to make choices, maid. You don’t get direction for free.
Weezie: Ok, but it’s the choices that are giving me problems.
Angel: Well that’s where we can help you, if you talks to us, right.
Weezie: Yeah, because mom and dad are a big help so far.
Angel: Well let’s you and me talk it through. I’m not them, I could help you figure it out a different way.
Weezie: Angel, you’re only a youngster yet. I know you been through a lot, but it ain’t the same as growing up.
Angel: Well you can believe what you wants to believe. I’m here when you decides to have some sense
Weezie: I got some sense, Angel. I’m not gonna base my life off the advice of a fifteen year old girl. No offense.
Angel: Better than doing nothing for the rest of your life.
Weezie: Anyways. Thanks for the chat. I’ll figure it out, don’t worry about me.
Angel: No, not “anyways”. And I can’t help worrying about you ya fool. You’re me sister.
Weezie: Go away Angel. I don’t want to talk about it anymore.
Angel: Well, you’re gonna have to talk about it now. I’m not going away that easy.
Peter: Angel give up. Let her alone for a while. She’s not half sensible at the moment. Try another day, ok?
Angel: Not while she’s talking like she’s gonna kill herself I’m not.
Weezie: I was just being dramatic, Angel.
Angel: Well that’s not a acceptable kind a drama, Weez.
Weezie: Yes mother.
Peter: All right. Get on now, both of ye. This is only gonna end with ye at each other’s throats. Ye don’t want that tonight.
Angel: No, I guess not. All right, but don’t be talking about killing yourself no more, deal?
Weezie: I’ll see what I can do.
Weezie: Not like you got any room to talk.
Peter: Well, lately she do.
Weezie: Oh don’t you start in on me now.
Peter: Weezie, it hurts us to hear you talk about suicide, do you realize that?
Weezie: Well I won’t talk about it anymore, deal?
Peter: That’s only half an answer. I don’t want you thinking about it. I don’t want you feeling the way you do. Angel doesn’t either. Even mom and dad are just trying to get that idea through to you. You’re a good person, we all know that. But you got to pull yourself up now. You have to find new ways to be happy. You got to go find ways to make your own way in the world, ok? That’s it. I know I’m nobody to talk, but it’s sad to see you fall down here. You worked hard to get here.
Weezie: Worked hard? Ha. I barely made it out of school. My marks were garbage this year.
Peter: Well, you had a lot going on didn’t you?
Weezie: Not really. I dropped two courses, didn’t need them anyways. Mom and dad were bitching about the money never coming back to them, but I mean they gave it to me so I should be able to spend it.
Peter: I guess so. That’s not really a big deal. Although you probably should have told them about it.
Weezie: I needed the money. I had other things to pay off. I didn’t want them stealing it off me.
Peter: Sounds like you made your own bed then.
Weezie: Jesus sakes, ye’re some comfort tonight. I think I’m better off without that kind of help, thanks.
Peter: Just saying, Weezie. I mean, you decided to spend the cash, and they probably could have used it.
Weezie: I could use it too.
Peter: I guess I’ll talk to you later on. Need to get some homework done.
Weezie: Good night. Love you.
Weezie is lying face-down on the floor
Angel: Weezie? No! Peter!
Peter: What do you want? It’s frigging three o’clock in the morning.
Angel: Help me.
Peter: What’s this? (picks up a pill bottle) Jeezus. It’s empty.
Angel: Get me a bucket.
Angel: What have you got done at all, Weez. Roll on over for me now, come on. (She strains to roll Weezie onto her side)
Enter Peter with a garbage bucket
Angel: Gimme a hand here would you?
They roll Weezie onto her side and force her to vomit into the bucket
Angel: Come on now, throw it up, that’s right. Peter, I needs you to call the ambulance.
Peter: All right. I’ll get mom and dad up too.
Angel: They’re not home yet.
Angel: That’s right, Weez, just let it out. You got a lotta bad shit in ya, just let it all come up. Thatta girl.
Weezie comes around a little bit
Weezie: Whuh ya doon?
Angel: Same thing you done for me more than once, my love. Keeping you up, is all.
Weezie: No I don’t wanna live I don’t wanna live I don’t wanna live
Angel: Shhh now, it’s not that bad my love. We got a ambulance coming now, you’ll be ok.
Weezie: No I won’t go I don’t wanna be alive no more.
Peter: Ambulance is on the way, Weezie. Stay with us.
Angel: I knows it’s hard, Weez. this ain’t the way to fix it, ok? We’ll get you through the night and then we’ll try to figure something better out.
Weezie: Nuhhhh. (passes out)
Angel: Oh Jesus, how long is that ambulance gonna be?
Peter: Couple minutes.
Angel: Should we get her dressed or bring her out to the door or what?
Peter: I’d say bring her out to the door. Closer is better.
They carry Weezie offstage
Angel is lying on the couch, clearly agitated
Angel jumps up & rushes to him
Angel: Did you see her? How is she?
Peter: She’s basically stable. I still don’t believe you didn’t go down.
Angel: I been close enough myself enough times. I don’t need to be down there thinking on it now.
Peter: She’s your sister, Angel.
Angel: Fine sister, too! What did she think she was gonna fix?
Peter: I don’t know b’ye. She was suffering, we both knows that.
Angel: Yes, she was. But she wouldn’t talk to nobody about it, so what else could we do?
Peter: Nothing we could do. But we can go down and see her at least. She’s gonna need us to get herself back.
Angel: I knows. I’m just not ready to be down there.
Peter: S’pose. Mom and dad are still there. I doubt they’ll be home tonight.
Angel: Yeah I wouldn’t say. I can’t imagine how they must feel.
Peter: Pretty awful, I’d say.
Angel: Not like it’s their fault, though.
Peter: No. Don’t make it any easier, but it’s not their fault.
Angel: Almost be easier if it was. At least they could fix something.
Peter: Yeah. No easy solutions in this life, I don’t think.
Angel: No, there’s not.
Peter: How’s your tree?
Angel: Haven’t looked at it in a while. I don’t know what I thought I was doing putting it up. Don’t make it go away.
Peter: You seemed ok for a while.
Angel: Well, this is making me realize that I’m not exactly ok yet. I’m pretty far from it yet, I think.
Peter: At least the b’yes are punished for it.
Angel: You knows that don’t make much difference Peter. I didn’t care what happened to them. I wanted myself back more than I wanted anything else, but I didn’t get it. And tonight I needs it more than ever.
Peter: Come here.
Angel: No thanks.
Angel: I don’t feel safe around you tonight.
Peter: Back to that is it?
Angel: Back to that.
Peter: I don’t know what to say to that.
Angel: Nothing to say. Just needs to shut your mouth and keep away from me.
Peter: Are you back on drugs?
Angel: No. As much as I wants to be tonight, I’m still clean. Just not feeling good about anything now.
Peter: S’pose. You’re allowed to be a bit off, considering.
Angel: Yes, and you too.
Peter: I don’t think I can ever be off, Angel. Seems like every time I goes off even a little bit something horrible occurs.
Angel: Sooking tonight are you?
Peter: S’pose I’m allowed tonight.
Angel: Yes you are.
Peter: She was on a ventilator.
Peter: No, b’ye. Mother Teresa.
Angel: Don’ get smart with me. Why was she on a ventilator?
Peter: To keep her breathing, I s’pose.
Angel: Her lungs collapse or what?
Peter: Nobody said anything like that. She looked ok. What do a collapsed lung do to you?
Angel: Nothing good.
Peter: No, I guessed that much.
Angel: I guess it makes your chest shrink and they gotta put a balloon down to blow it all back up. That’s what we learned in school.
Peter: We never learned nothing like that.
Angel: Well, ye weren’t special enough.
Peter: I thought I was the short-bus candidate.
Angel: Can’t even get that right, I guess.
Peter: Never was the smartest one on the bus.
Angel: No, you had the short seat on the short bus.
Peter: Right beside you.
Angel: Yes, but I can’t help it if they always wanted me to drive.
Peter: No, s’pose not.
Angel: No witty comeback for that one?
Peter: S’pose not.
Angel: Sad night, then.
Peter: Sad night no matter what.
Peter: One sister in the hospital, and one ready for the mental.
Angel: I’m just having a hard moment, Peter.
Peter: You and me both.
Angel: Just get through the night. Things’ll be better in the morning.
Peter: I’ll get it.
Angel lies back down on the couch
Peter: She’s gone.
Angel: What? Who’s gone?
Peter: Weezie. She’s dead, Angel. Something went wrong. She died just a couple minutes ago. Mom sounds in pretty bad shape. I’m headed to the hospital now if you wants to come down.
Angel: Ok. Let me get me boots on. Give me strength, God.
Peter: Give us both strength.
Exit Angel and Peter
The Grassy Garden, under the tree. The tree is unlit.
Peter: We got to be strong, Angel. Mom and Dad needs us to be, for their sakes.
Angel: I’ll never be strong again. I killed me own sister.
Peter: You didn’t kill her.
Angel: Just so good as. I thought I threw all them pills away, but I was the one brought them into the house to start with, and she’d be alive now if I hadn’t done it.
Peter: You didn’t make her take them though. You didn’t make her try to end her life. We both tried to save her as best we could.
Angel: Fine job we done, then.
Peter: We done what we could.
Angel: No we never. We done what was easy, but we only did part of what we could have done. Didn’t even talk to mom and dad about it, sure. Jesus, they’re some lost.
Peter: We got to be strong for them.
Angel: And we didn’t bring her down to see the doctor, get some pills to help her out.
Peter: I asked her if she wanted to go down, though. She said no.
Angel: Well we should have dragged her down there kicking and screaming. Had her committed if that’s what it took. She shouldn’t be in the ground right now Peter.
Peter: I know. I know.
Angel: What right do she have to do this to us? I’m getting through it all. I got troubles, but I’m getting through it.
Peter: You’re strong, Angel. Stronger than I ever could be, or Weezie either. We felt so bad that we couldn’t protect you, but then we started seeing you get through things and we started looking to you sometimes. I could hardly believe it when you put this tree up. You got a kind of strength like nobody else I knows.
Angel: I don’t feel very strong today, I can tell you that much.
Peter: No, you’re allowed to feel like that sometimes. But you’ll get through this. You’ll get through anything, I’d say. You’re a pillar for all of us.
(The tree light comes up near the end of Angel’s speech)
Angel: I’m no angel, Peter. I haves me bad days just like anyone else. I just don’t see the point wasting what I been spared to do. That’s how I thinks about it, that I was spared. I lived hard, and it never killed me, and I was shook out of it. And now I got a life, and it’s worth making something of it. Sometimes I feels like there’s been a steady upward pull on me whole life, and I don’t know if it’s me friends and family, or if it’s something larger.
Peter: I think I understand.
Angel: That’s good, because I don’t. And then this happens, and what do it all mean if it’s just gonna end up with me sister dead of me own mistakes? I don’t know what to make of it.
Peter: I loved her just like you Angel, but she didn’t die of your mistakes. She died of hers. There’s no reason for someone to let that little setback stop them in life. She had lots of ways to get her frustrations out that would have ended better.
Angel: Well, she didn’t choose those ways. She chose this one. And now I got to live with the fact that she would be alive if I wasn’t such a idiot once upon a time.
Peter: You sound like her now.
Peter: Just like her.
Angel: Well I’m not gonna kill myself if that’s what you’re thinking.
Peter: I hope not. I don’t know what I’d do.
Angel: Not much, I’d say.
Peter: No, not much.
Angel: Not that that’s a big change.
Peter: That would hurt a lot more if you didn’t have a nice little gut there from all the not doing anything.
Angel: Oh, you’re dead. Come here
Peter: Ow! Ow! Jesus, sorry.
Angel: Yes, you should be.
Peter: I am.
Angel: Me too. And tired.
Peter: Go to bed, maid.
Angel: I think I will.
Peter: Night. Love you.
Angel: I love you too. Very much.
Peter: Sleep tight. Think about all the people we still got to love us.
Angel: For as long as that lasts.
Peter and Angel by the tree. It is again unlit.
Angel: Jesus Peter why have you got to be such a asshole? Nicolle was just trying to make you feel better b’ye.
Peter: I don’t need that one to make me feel better, I guess. I got me family to help me keep it together if I needs help don’t I?
Angel: Well it never hurts to have another soul to comfort you in hard times.
Peter: Well maybe I just don’t want to drag her down, you think of that? It’s not like we’re having a lot of happiness in this family lately.
Angel: If she got over her head, Peter, she would have told you. No worries about that.
Peter: Well maybe I just wanted to fuck her then.
Angel: Why you got to look for excuses? Why don’t you just go back and say you’re sorry.
Peter: I’m not sorry. I didn’t want her around me, and that’s the size of it.
Angel: You’re gonna have some trouble getting a woman with that attitude, buddy.
Peter: Yes, you’d know all about my trouble with women, wouldn’t you?
Angel: What are you getting on with?
Peter: Jesus, you won’t come near me.
Angel: Well, I got some reasons for that don’t I?
Peter: I never did nothing wrong to you.
Angel: What are you talking about?
Peter: You haven’t been sensible to me since that time in your room.
Angel: Oh my Jesus Peter, you don’t think that’s why I’m the way I am, do you? How stupid do you have to be? Remember how I got raped in the goddamn Grassy Garden not so long ago? Do you think that might have something to do with why I can’t stand a man near me?
Peter: That why you dumped what’s his face? Speaking of pushing people away.
Angel: Don’t bring that up today, Peter. I got enough on me mind as it is. And don’t try to change the subject. But yes, that’s exactly why. He been patient, but I got to let him go if I can’t be with him. And you got to be patient with me, I’m doing me best here.
Peter: Well, I didn’t know what to think, me own sister won’t come near me for love nor money.
Angel: I’m sorry about that Peter. I am. Even in the hard times we should have trust between us, I know. But it’s not easy for me to get around the time that a man laid hands on me and did something that I will never forget for the rest of my life. No, not all the love or the upward pull in the world will clear that one image from me mind.
Peter: S’pose not.
Angel: Is that your way of sooking it up? Or are you actually gonna suck it up and deal with it like a man?
Peter: You don’t think I’m sick then?
Angel: No, Peter. I don’t think you’re sick. I think you’re me brother, like you always been. I think you loves me and I loves you and that’s all there is to know about it.
Peter: Thank the Jesus. You don’t know how much that preyed on me.
Angel: Well I guess it’s all right now, is it? I never meant for you to suffer out of it.
Peter: I s’pose I should go back and talk to her.
Angel: She’s gonna be some mad. I don’t envy you.
Peter: Maybe you could talk to her for me.
Angel: Yes, that’s what I won’t do. You got to fight this one out for yourself.
Peter: No point standing around then.
Angel: No, no point at all. Come on, I got to watch this.
Peter is here, drunk
Angel: Peter? Not again. Buddy, what are you doing to yourself? Come on, now. It’s not that bad.
Angel: It’s Angel, buddy. Your sister.
Peter: I’m loaded.
Angel: I know buddy. Come on now, help me get you home.
Peter: I’m fine here. Just needs to sleep it off, is all.
Angel: It’s freezing out here Peter. You got to come home with me. Come on now, don’t be difficult.
Peter: Just lie down with me until I goes to sleep. I just needs a rest is all. She don’t want me, Angel. Why don’t nobody want me?
Angel: Don’t you worry about it, now, she’s just a girl. You needs a rest in your own bed. You can’t sleep out here, buddy.
Peter: I can sleep where ever I damn well pleases. (lies down) Just lie down with me for a while.
Angel: Jesus help me. I’ll get you a blanket from the house and be right back, ok?
Peter: Don’t worry about neither blanket. I just needs to rest for a while, I’m not gonna be here all night or nothing.
Angel: You’re some stubborn, you know.
Peter: I knows. Come here, warm me up.
Angel: All right. For a few minutes. (lies next to him)
Peter wraps his arms around her, then grabs her breast.
Angel: (Scrambling away) What are you doing?
Angel: Don’t come near me again, you understand? I don’t give a fuck if you freezes out here tonight.
Peter: I’m sorry.
Peter is here, hung from the happy tree.
Angel pulls Peter down from the tree.
Angel: Who do I got to love now buddy? How can you leave me all alone? What am I supposed to do now goddamnit!
Angel is alone under the tree. The tree is lit. She has a collection of objects by her side and has dug a hole by the tre. She is holding her crucifix, staring at it.
A glowing golden nimbus light slowly comes up on Angel.
Angel: What – What’s happening? No. I’m no angel. I’m not. I got two deaths on me now. I’m nothing. You’re not taking me too. I’m staying here. I deserves to suffer for me sins. I needs to. I needs to. I needs to suffer for all our sins. I’m no good to take away!
The light continues to brighten
Angel: Please, if you’re gonna take me, let this mean something. I been pulled up all me life. Let me stay down. Bury me here. Let me shine from the dirt. Here.
Angel sits in front of the tree
Don’t take me. Let me lie here. Let me rest here. I can do some good this way.
The light brightens. Angel must shade her eyes
Angel lies down.
Angel: Now I lay me down to sleep. Pray the Lord my soul to keep. God Bless Weezie and Peter – oh! Oh God. P-please keep Mommy and Daddy and Nanny and Grampy safe and sound, and let them know I am with You. In the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit, amen.