Act I, Scene Two
Scene: A laundromat, complete with washers, dryers, folding table, chairs. A sign on the wall says “Rules. No washing hair in sink. No bathing babies. No bare bottoms.” It has been spray-painted over to read “No nukes” and “No spray.” Loretta is seen sprawled on a bench with a can of beer, looking disgusted.
(Enter Larry, singing “Raindrops Keep Falling on my Head”. He walks over to a washer, humming merrily and begins to pull clothes out of his raincoat pocket and put them into the washer, in a steady line. One piece gets stuck, he pulls on it several times, then begins taking off the raincoat, puts that in. Pulls off his shirt, buttons fly (sounds of buttons dropping), puts it in. Unzips his pants, pulls them down, revealing funny underwear, pants get stuck on work boots, he falls down. Spring is heard approaching, chanting, off stage. )
Larry: Oh no, Spring. (Looks around panic-stricken, grabs a newspaper from the folding table while hopping, pants still down, to a chair, opens newspaper and tries to hide behind it. Loretta has been watching these antics with growing disgust and amazement)
Spring: (to Loretta) Hi
Spring: Do you have change for a dollar?
Loretta: I don’t think so, but I’ll check. Nah, I just got a buck. Why don’t you ask that. . . (hesitates, looking at Larry) guy, over there?
Spring: Kay, thanks.
(Spring hasn’t really seen Larry. She turns towards him looking in her purse. He hops around the table, hiding behind the newspaper, c1imbs into a dryer behind Spring. She looks at the chair where he had been, sees no one, shrugs, goes to the dryer Larry just hid in and begins taking clothes out. The clothes begin to pop out in the air, she catches them one by one. Turns to the audience and says)
Loretta: (walking around disgustedly) Rain, rain. God, I thought it was supposed to be Spring.
Spring: Did you say something?
Loretta: Ahh. It’s just all this yuck and mud and slush. I’m ready for some hot days.
Spring: Oh, I love the rain. All those little droplets of water glimmering and shimmering over the leaves. Pretty soon, it’s going to be spring and spring is a time of renewal and love.
Loretta: Yeah, love. I’m ready for that. Like lying out by the river in the hot sun getting oil rubbed all over my body! Yeah, I’m ready for love.
Spring; Pretty soon, I’m going to be able to go outside and meditate on the grass. I just love to meditate on the grass.
Loretta (thoughtfully): Yeah, I kinda like it in the grass, too.
Spring: Would you like to share an apple?
Loretta: Thanks.. (takes a small bite, contemplates the beer in her hand) Hmm. Hey, have a hit. (offers it to Spring)
Spring: (takes it, holds it for a minute, Loretta looking the other way, hands it back without drinking). Thanks.
Loretta: Yeah, laundromats and laundry day. lt’s a real bummer, huh.
Spring: Oh, I kinda like it. Do you ever really listen to the washing machines? they kinda go “Ommmm.” And the dryers. If you really get into the dryers and watch those colorful clothes go round and round. It reminds me of a mandala.
Loretta: Yeah, well, whatever gets you off.
(Enter Jill, crying, carrying a box of Cheer and laundry. The laundry bundle falls apart on the floor midstage. Jill moans and collapses onto a chair.)
Spring; Jill, Jill, what is it? Hey.
Jill: Oh, it’s nothing, Spring.
Spring: Of course it’s nothing. But nothing is everything.
Loretta: Well, it must be something.
Jill: It’s nothing. I guess it’s something. Oh, it’s everything! Oh, just, this morning my car wouldn’t start, and I had to get to town on time for a welfare appointment, and I had to do my laundry because my kid has lice, so I ended up running four miles down a dirt road in the rain and the mud. Then when I finally got a ride on the county road, the guy had a flat tire. Then I got to the welfare office and found out my check’s gonna be a week late and I’m already flat broke and I still gotta get up the hill and…, oh, it’s nothing.
Loretta: Hey, Jill, don’t worry about it. I’ll give you a ride up the hill.
Jill: Oh, wow, Loretta, wow, that’s really nice. Thank you.
Loretta: no sweat
Spring: what else?
Jill: I don’t know, I don’t know what else. I know I don’t have a right to complain. I know that. I don’t even really have to work hard. Not like Chinese farmers or something. But there is something about doing this trip all by myself… I’m a mother, so I have to have a home scene together. Shoes and school and breakfast, lunch and dinner and being stable. And I can’t live in the city, so I’m a homesteader. Black plastic water line and fencing and firewood and if it’s not a leak in the water line, it’s a leak in the roof. And I hate getting welfare. So I’m a bread winner or I try to be. A gardener and a mechanic, and, oh, yes, find time to express myself creatively, ha, ha. I-am-a-liberated—woman. (pause) It’s fucked!.
Loretta: I don’t know, Jill. Sounds to me like you need a lover.
Jill: Oh yeah, tell me about it.
Loretta: Hey, I tell you what, before we head up that hill, let’s stop off at the Brass Tack. We’ll have a few drinks, loosen you up a little bit. You know, there’s lots a guys hanging out there this time of day, let’s go party.
Jill: Oh, Loretta, I don’t think there’d really be any guy in that bar my type. I don’t think there’s any men in this whole area my type. There’s not enough men around here. And it’s not like we all grew up here together, we just don’t fit. It’s not like we’re part of the same tribe or something.
Spring: But Jill, we are all a part of the same tribe. Really. We’re all in this area together for a reason. It really is group karma. We’re all here to bring in the New Age together. I know it.
Jill: But if this is group karma, why am I so lonely? You know, Spring, lately, it seems like every man that I feel I could really get into, thinks I’m a nice girl, but they can’t really get into me. And every one that flips out over me, I can’t get into them. I don’t know what it means.
Spring; You just have to be patient, Jill. Everything is going to happen for you in its own time. There really is a master plan for all of us. Besides, do you think a man is the answer to all your problems?
Loretta: Huh. Well, it sure does help.
Jill: I don’t know Spring, probably a man is not the answer to my problems. It’s just that sometimes I wish for some kind of intimacy or closeness….
Loretta: Yeah, sex
Spring: Well, I find that being celibate really simplifies things for me.
Jill: Whoa, celibate. I’ve been more or less involuntarily celibate for a while now. Hasn’t simplified anything for me.
Loretta: Really It’s o.k. for a few days, but there are some days in the month, if I don’t get it, I’ll just climb the walls. Hey, you know , Jill, I think you’re just scared. You ain’t going to meet any men staying up there in the hills all day making bread. What are you doing, waiting for some hot little gingerbread boy to jump out of the oven and grab you? You got to get out there and make it happen. You know, bring it to ya. So ya can meet some guys.
Jill: But I don’t want to meet just some guy, Loretta. I’m so sick of one night stands and six month stands and somebody else’s old man. I think I have really learned how to give and love and keep it flowing and make it last. You know what I mean?
Loretta: Nah, when it comes to men, I like’m all!
(burlesque style music, Loretta sings “I Like’m All”, in burlesque style)
I like’m in Birkenstocks and those jocks with socks
I like the guys been to the school a hard knocks
I like the boozers, dopers, end of the ropers
You might say I like’m all.
I like those real strong men,
The ones who always gotta win
Usually even go for most of their kin.
I like bikers, dykers, smelly hitchhikers
You might say, I like’m all.
On the other hand. . . .
I like the sweet ones, the shy ones, the real nice guy ones
Straight and narrow, right-on family men
Sometimes I gravitate to those who meditate
They have a quiet place I can’t resist.
Guess you’re gettin’ the picture
Round my house they’re a fixture.
I can’t help it, but who wants to,
Guess it really just comes down to.
Oooooo, I like’m all.
Loretta: Hey, Jill, you did know I been seein’ your ex-old man, George, didn’t ya? I mean you’re not still hung up on him or anything are ya?
Jill: Ummm, naaah, there hasn’t been anything happening between us for a long time. You might do him a lot of good. Go for it, Loretta.
Loretta: All rite. I saw you with a real cute guy at the dance a coupla weeks ago.
Jill: Yeah, he was cute, but he lives way over on Skunk Creek ridge and I live in the opposite direction. It’s too inconvenient.
Loretta: Whatever happened to old Mad River Bernstein? You were seeing him for a while…
Jill: Hey, I’ll tell you, Loretta
(music, Jill, played by Joani Rose, sings “Too Many Men on my Mind”)
I thought that I wanted to live alone, it lasted ’bout a month or two
And then I started to look around and just see what was runnin loose, runnin’ loose.
How bout Mort? He’s too short.
How bout Ben? He’s too into Zen.
Tommy? He needs a mommy.
Lee? He’s a fox, but he don’t like me.
And just to show you where I am, I still like my ex-old man, my ex-old man.
O-o—o, too many men on my mind.
O-o-o, too many men on my mind.
O-o-o, too many men on my mind.
So many men, and I got none at all.
And now they tell me that love is a lie,
It really doesn’t mean a thing,
Before I give up, I guess I’ll try and just see what
My love can bring, my love can bring.
How about Earl? He’s gotta girl.
What about Ken? He’s into men.
Hey Stu, Oh, he just wants to screw.
June? She is really sweet, but it’s just not the same.
And just to show you where I am
I still like my ex-old man, my ex-old man.
Spring: Hey, what about Jack?
Jill: (clears throat) You mean, your ex old man, Jack?
Jill: He’s not my type
Spring: Well, he’s talked to me about you sometimes.
Jill: I think he’s beautiful.
Loretta: Huh. He’s a hunk.
Jill: You know, I never would have known he even knew I was alive.
Spring: Well, he can be kinda shy sometimes.
Jill: Whatever happened to aggressive men?
Spring: They went out with the Piscean age.
Loretta: Hmmmm, rilly. (pause) Hey, Jill, speakin’ of the devil, here he is.
Jill: Who? who?
Spring: Hiya, Jack.
Jack: Hiya, Spring.
Spring: See ya later, ha ha, o.k.?
(Exit Spring, chanting)
Loretta: Hey, ah, Jill, I’ll see ya later. You have a real good time, now, you hear?
Jill: Bye, Loretta
(motorcycle sounds are heard, suggesting Loretta’s departure)
Jill: Loretta, oh. Oh, godammit, I’m gonna have to go up the hill in the rain. (stomping around frustrated) (remembers Jack, tries to cover, looks away from him) Ah heh, heh, heh
Jack: What happened?
Jill1 Oh, nothing, she was gonna give me a ride home and we forgot, duuh
Jack: Uh, that’s too bad…
Jack: What happened to that little red VW you used to drive?
Jill: Little red VW? Oh, it broke.
Jack: Hey, uh, maybe I could help.
Jack: Uh, yeah, you can borrow my tool box.
Jack: Yeah, it’s got a ratchet and everything. (pause) Hey, Jill, don’t you live up Bobcat road?
Jill: Oh, yeah
Jack: I thought so. Listen. I’m going out that way after I do my laundry, so I’d be glad to give you a ride. If you, if you, if it’d be all right with you.
Jill: Oh, wow, that would be, um, that would be really nice of you.
Jill: Oh, that would be really nice.
Jack: ‘kay (eyes her speculatively) Jill?
Jack: I’ve got a pizza at the pizza parlor and, ah, I’m gonna go eat it, but after I get that done and get the laundry, we’ll go….give you a ride, o.k.?
Jack: Uh, Jill, you wouldn’t want to go for a piece of pizza, would you?
Jill: Oh yeah, that’d be nice, okay.
Jack: Oh great, great. But you’ve got all that laundry to do. That’ll take you ten minutes or so won’t it? What are you going to do?
Jill: Oh, I can get it in really fast.
Jack: Oh, really?
Jill: Oh sure, sure
(Jack turns back to his washer, away from Jill. She grabs the entire bundle from the floor and crams it into the washer all at once, picks up the Cheer, eyes it for a second and drops it in, box and all. Slams the lid, fishes a comb out of her purse and quickly takes a swipe or two at her hair. Throws the comb back in, turns and leans seductively on her washing machine just as Jack finishes and turns to face her.)
Jack: You ARE fast!
Jill: I’ve had a lot of practice.
Jack: Uh huh. Hey, I’ve got to put this in the dryer and then we can go. ( He goes to the dryer where Larry is still hidden, dumps in clothes. Larry rises, covered with clothes and looks at Jack through the window. Jack looks, turns away, rubs eyes, looks again.
Larry knocks. Jack looks at him. Larry knocks again. Jack shrugs, drops in the money, Larry drops out of sight, clothes whirl, we see a hand, then a foot. Jack turns back to Jill.)
Jill: What kind of pizza you like?
Jack: oh, pepperoni and pineapple on white.
Jill: All rite! (to audience) Thank God he’s not a vegetarian!
(Exit Jack and Jill)