Entering Arkansas by Aubrey Bemis

Entering Arkansas by Aubrey Bemis

Drama, Vol. 1.1, June 2007

TAYLOR: Little Sister, 8
STACY: Big Sister, 12

Upstate New York

Outside, in a yard. And in Taylor and Stacy’s shared bedroom, which is divided by duct tape.


(STACY is sitting on the ground hugging her knees. TAYLOR approaches holding out a hairbrush.)

TAYLOR : You used my hairbrush!

STACY : No I didn’t.

TAYLOR : Yes you did. There’s Stacy hair all over it. See.

STACY : That’s your hair, Taylor.

TAYLOR : It is not. It’s yours.

STACY : You can’t tell.

TAYLOR : Yes I can.

STACY : You can not.

TAYLOR : I know what my own hair looks like.

STACY : You’re stupid, you can’t tell.

TAYLOR : I can too. Now get your hair out of my brush.

STACY : You.

TAYLOR : It’s your hair.

STACY : No it’s not. Why would I use your brush when I have my own?

TAYLOR : Maybe you lost yours.

STACY : I didn’t lose mine. It’s in the bathroom. Go check if you want.

TAYLOR : You’re just trying to get rid of me, but it won’t work ‘cuz I’m not going anywhere until you get your gross hair out of my brush.

STACY : It’s your hair, Taylor. Now go away, I’m busy.

TAYLOR : Doing what?

STACY : None of your business.

TAYLOR : I bet you’re writing in your diary.

STACY : I don’t have a diary.

TAYLOR : I bet you’re writing about Tommy from camp.

STACY : Why would I be writing about Tommy from camp?

TAYLOR : ’Cuz you like him.

STACY : I do not.

TAYLOR : You do too. I read it in your diary.

STACY : I don’t have a diary, Taylor.

TAYLOR : I bet you’re sitting on it.

STACY : I don’t have a diary Taylor, and I don’t like stupid Tommy from camp.

TAYLOR : Stacy, what are you doing?

STACY : None of your business.

TAYLOR : But why are you just sitting there?

STACY : I just am. OK?

TAYLOR : That’s not a good reason.

STACY : Go away. I’m busy.

TAYLOR : You’re not busy. You have to be doing something to be busy. Sitting isn’t doing something, Stacy.

STACY : You’re so annoying.

TAYLOR : Well I’d rather be annoying then just…bleh.

STACY : Just what?

TAYLOR : You’re just bleh. Just bleh, Stacy. You don’t do anything. Aren’t you bored? I’m bored. We could go to the playground. But you never go. You don’t ever play with me because you’re just bleh and you don’t do anything except sit around by yourself and be bleh and stupid.

STACY : Taylor, I’m too big for the playground and too busy to entertain you. Now will you just go?

TAYLOR : Stacy, are you pretending to be a rock?

STACY : I’m too big for pretend, Taylor, and why would I be pretending to be a rock?

TAYLOR : I don’t know. You look like a rock.

STACY : I do not.

TAYLOR : And rocks don’t ever move. And they’re not fun. Just like you. They’re pretty bleh. You really could be a rock.

STACY : You’re so weird. I’m not pretending to be a rock.

TAYLOR : So, you’re just sitting way out here in the middle of the yard, all by yourself, for no reason?

STACY : I’m not in the yard, Taylor.

TAYLOR : You are too.

STACY : No, I’m not. I am in Arkansas.

TAYLOR : You’re stupid. You’re not in Arkansas.

STACY : You don’t know.

TAYLOR : I thought you were too big for pretend?

STACY : I’m not pretending.

TAYLOR : Stop being weird, Stacy. And you do too like Tommy from camp.

STACY : I do not.

TAYLOR : You’re not in Arkansas. You’re in the back yard. And I know you like Tommy, Stacy. Don’t lie.

STACY : And right now the back yard is Arkansas. And I do not know why you think I like Tommy, but I don’t, so will you stop that?

TAYLOR : But we don’t live in Arkansas.

STACY : You don’t live in Arkansas.

TAYLOR : I know. I know where I live because I go to third grade at Queensbury Elementary School, in Queensbury New York one two eight oh four, and I’ve known that since I was in kindergarten because we had to learn our addresses, and you should really know that by now since you were in kindergarten four whole years before I was, but you probably failed like you failed science.

STACY : Just never mind, Taylor.

TAYLOR : But you don’t live in Arkansas.

STACY : I do sometimes.

TAYLOR : You can’t live someplace sometimes.

STACY : Of course you can. Lots of rich people live in three or four places and they can’t live in all of them all the time because they can’t be in that many places at once, so they live there sometimes just like
sometimes I live in Queensbury New York and sometimes I live in Arkansas.

TAYLOR : You’re not rich people.

STACY : I didn’t say I was. I just said sometimes I live in Arkansas.

TAYLOR : But why are you in Arkansas? Is that where Tommy’s from?

STACY : Because I’ve never been to Arkansas, Taylor. And I don’t like Tommy.

TAYLOR : Where’s Arkansas anyway?

STACY : It’s a state. Now will you go away?

TAYLOR : I said where, stupid.

STACY : I don’t know exactly where. I’ve never been there, Taylor. OK?

TAYLOR : Fail geometry too?

STACY : You mean geography, loser, and no. You’re messing everything up. Now get out of Arkansas.

TAYLOR : You’re really weird.

STACY : Shut up, I’m trying to concentrate.

TAYLOR : On what, writing about Tommy in your diary?

STACY : Just never mind.

TAYLOR : You really do look like a rock.

STACY : Fine, I’m a rock.

TAYLOR : In Arkansas?

STACY : Sure.

TAYLOR : Because it wouldn’t make sense for you to be a rock in the grass. That’s not where rocks belong and Mom might hit you with the lawn mower and break a window or something. I guess that’s why people usually keep their rocks in the dirt like next to the side of the road where they’re easier to see and people won’t hit them with lawn mowers and break windows.

STACY : Probably.

TAYLOR : Good, so you’re a rock on the side of the road in the dirt in Arkansas.

STACY : I guess.

TAYLOR : But what will your name be?

STACY : Rocks don’t have names, Taylor.

TAYLOR : Yes, they do. Some of them are called bedrock like on the Flintstones and some of them are called other things that I don’t know. It’s what species they are. You’d know that if you didn’t fail science, but you did, and Mom was mad too, Stacy. But you have to pick a name. So pick a name!

STACY : Darwin.

TAYLOR : Darwin, what’s Darwin?

STACY : A name.

TAYLOR : It’s not a good name. Pick a better one.

STACY : You seriously need to leave me alone.

TAYLOR : That’s too long. I guess we’ll have to use Darwin.

STACY : If you have to.

TAYLOR : Darwin is a stupid name though, Stacy. It’s even stupider than Stacy, and I didn’t think you could get much stupider than that.

STACY : Fine, then pick a different one if you want.

TAYLOR : I can’t pick one for you, Stacy. You have to pick your own. But, I’m just saying that if I was a rock I wouldn’t have a stupid name like Darwin.

STACY : You wouldn’t?

TAYLOR : Nope. I’d be named Cynthia, and I wouldn’t sit on the side of the road in the dirt either.

STACY : Yeah, where’d you sit?

TAYLOR : On top of a mountain.

STACY : Well that’s too bad ‘cuz rocks can’t climb mountains.

TAYLOR : Rocks in Arkansas can.

STACY : How would you know?

TAYLOR : How would you know?

STACY : I know a lot more about Arkansas than you do.

TAYLOR : You don’t even know where Arkansas is.

STACY : That doesn’t mean I don’t know about it.

TAYLOR : How would you know about it?

STACY : I happen to spend a lot of time in Arkansas, Taylor.

TAYLOR : You spend a lot of time being a weirdo freak.

STACY : You’re a weirdo freak.

TAYLOR : I’m not the one who sits around Arkansas in the backyard all day when we live in New York and you’ve never even been to Arkansas.

STACY : That’s because you don’t know anything about Arkansas.

TAYLOR : You don’t know about Arkansas.

STACY : I do too, Taylor. You don’t know.

TAYLOR : You don’t even know anyone who’s been to Arkansas.

STACY : Yes I do.

TAYLOR : I know everybody you know, Stacy. You don’t know anyone who’s been to Arkansas.

STACY : You do not know everyone I know. You don’t know my whole grade.

TAYLOR : Neither do you.

STACY : You don’t know who I know in my grade.

TAYLOR : Yes I do.

STACY : No you don’t, Taylor. I know a lot of people in my grade.

TAYLOR : I know all of your friends in your grade.

STACY : You don’t know all of my friends.

TAYLOR : I know all of your friends who come over.

STACY : Not all of my friends from school have been over, and you don’t know the ones who have been over just because you follow us around and bother them.

TAYLOR : I don’t bother them. They like me. Your friend Libby even said you had a cool little sister.

STACY : Libby’s stupid.

TAYLOR : I’m telling her you said she’s stupid the next time she comes over here.

STACY : Don’t be a pest, Taylor.

TAYLOR : Fine, but I do too know all of your friends.

STACY : Not all of my friends have been over, Taylor.

TAYLOR : All of your friends who you know have been over.

STACY : That doesn’t even make sense. How could I have friends who I don’t know?

TAYLOR : People in your class and stuff.

STACY : Those aren’t friends. Those are acquaintances, Taylor. There’s a difference.

TAYLOR : So, some acquaintance you don’t even know has been to Arkansas?

STACY : Taylor, a person you don’t know can’t be an acquaintance.

TAYLOR : Stacy, who do you know that’s been to Arkansas ?

STACY : Mom.

TAYLOR : Mom’s not in your grade. She’s not even in a grade.

STACY : I didn’t say it was somebody in my grade. I was just saying that you don’t know everyone I know.

TAYLOR : Well, Mom’s never been to Arkansas, anyway.

STACY : Yes she has.

TAYLOR : She never told me.

STACY : That’s because you’re just a little kid. She doesn’t tell you stuff.

TAYLOR : She tells me stuff all the time.

STACY : I don’t mean stuff like brush your teeth. Important stuff, Taylor.

TAYLOR : Brushing your teeth is important, Stacy. You’ll get cavities.

STACY : Never mind.

TAYLOR : Mom would have told me if she’d been to Arkansas.

STACY : She doesn’t tell you everything.

TAYLOR : She doesn’t tell you everything.

STACY : Well, she told me about Arkansas.

TAYLOR : What did she tell you?

STACY : Just stuff.

TAYLOR : You’re lying. Mom’s never been to Arkansas.

STACY : Yes she has, Taylor.

TAYLOR : Fine, I’ll just go ask her.

STACY : You can’t ask her.

TAYLOR : You just don’t want me to ask her because you’re lying.

STACY : I’m not lying. You just can’t ask her.

TAYLOR : Why not?

STACY : You just can’t.


STACY : Taylor, you can not ask Mom about Arkansas.

TAYLOR : I don’t have to, anyway. I know you’re lying.

STACY : Whatever. Just leave Mom alone.

TAYLOR : But I have to tell her something.

STACY : What?

TAYLOR : That you used my brush! (TAYLOR runs off. Stacy takes out the diary and pen that she has been sitting on and begins to write.)

(end scene)


(STACY and TAYLOR are in their bedroom which is divided down the middle by a piece of tape. On one side of the tape STACY is studying her science books. On the other side TAYLOR is studying her fish bowl.)

TAYLOR : Stacy, I can’t find my fish.

STACY : What do you mean you can’t find your fish?

TAYLOR : She isn’t in her bowl.

STACY : Taylor, you’re stupid, and I have a ton of homework.

TAYLOR : Kitty is missing, Stacy.

STACY : She probably ran away because she’s a fish and you named her Kitty.

TAYLOR : Fish can’t run away.

STACY : Exactly, now shut up. Do you want me to fail?

TAYLOR : Just come look. She’s really not in there.

STACY : No, leave me alone.

(TAYLOR picks up the fish bowl and brings it to STACY.)

TAYLOR : Look!

STACY : Taylor ! Ew! Get that gross thing off of my side of the room.

TAYLOR : Look!

STACY : Do you see that line, Taylor? That is the state border. You have crossed it. You have crossed into Arkansas. Arkansas, Taylor, is mine.

TAYLOR : That’s duct tape.

STACY : Get out.

TAYLOR : I thought Arkansas was out in the yard.

STACY : Arkansas is wherever I want it to be.

TAYLOR : You can’t just move Arkansas, Stacy.

STACY : Uh, Taylor… I see Kitty.

TAYLOR : Where?

STACY : Right there, under the leaf.

TAYLOR : What’s she doing under there?

STACY : Taylor, Kitty is upside down.

TAYLOR : Ew! Is she dead?

STACY : I think…

TAYLOR : Maybe she’s sleeping?

STACY : Fish don’t sleep.

TAYLOR : They have to sleep, Stacy.

STACY : Well, they don’t sleep upside down, and they don’t look like that.

TAYLOR : Like what?

STACY : Like dead!

TAYLOR : Maybe she learned a trick.

STACY : Fish can’t do tricks. They don’t even have brains.

TAYLOR : They do too have brains.

STACY : They can’t fit brains.

TAYLOR : Stacy, it’s creepy. Get rid of it.

STACY : You get rid of it. It’s your fish.

TAYLOR : I’m not touching it!

STACY : You touch it all the time. That’s probably why it died.

TAYLOR : Yeah, but that was when it was a fish. Now it’s dead!

STACY : Taylor, I’m busy.

TAYLOR : You’re always busy.

STACY : Even if I wasn’t busy, I can’t do anything about your stupid dead fish. I’m not a doctor, Taylor.

TAYLOR : You don’t have to be a doctor to flush the toilet, Stacy.

STACY : So you do it.

TAYLOR : No, it’s gross. I’m not touching it.

STACY : I will write it an obituary, if that helps, but I will not touch it.

TAYLOR : In your diary, where you write about Tommy from camp?

STACY : I do not have a diary.

TAYLOR : Don’t lie. I saw it.

STACY : Well, I don’t write about stupid Tommy from camp.

TAYLOR : What’s an obituary anyway?

STACY : You know. The dead people section of the news paper.

TAYLOR : Will Kitty be in the paper?

STACY : They don’t put dead fish in the paper, stupid.

TAYLOR : I think we should have a funeral for Kitty.

STACY : People do not have funerals for goldfish.

TAYLOR : But she was our friend. Kitty wasn’t just a fish from a lake.

STACY : No, she was a fish from the mall.

TAYLOR : I bet you wouldn’t even have a funeral for me if I died.

STACY : That’s different. You’re a person.

TAYLOR : It’s not different.

STACY : Fine, then I wish you lived in a lake.

TAYLOR : I don’t breathe water, stupid.

STACY : Neither does the fish ‘cuz she’s dead, and she’s still in our room, on my side of the room, getting her death all over. Taylor, you’re getting death all over Arkansas!

TAYLOR : You don’t even care at all.

STACY : I want my own room.

TAYLOR : I’m bringing Kitty to Mom.

STACY : Like Mom wants your death.

TAYLOR : She’s used to it.

STACY : You’re such a baby, Taylor. You can’t even take care of your own dead fish.

TAYLOR : You wouldn’t do it either.

STACY : It’s not mine.

TAYLOR : You touch stuff that’s not yours all the time.

STACY : Like what?

TAYLOR : Like my brush.

STACY : I never used your brush.

TAYLOR : Then how come Mom made you say sorry?

STACY : To make you stop whining.

TAYLOR : I wasn’t whining.

STACY : You were whining, Taylor. You’re whining right now.

TAYLOR : Kitty is dead, Stacy.

STACY : You are so immature. I’m telling Mom that I’m trying to do my homework, and you keep interrupting me.

TAYLOR : Like you’re actually doing homework.

STACY : What does it look like I’m doing?

TAYLOR : Like you’re writing in your diary inside your science book.

STACY : Mind your own business, Taylor.

TAYLOR : If you tell Mom that I’m interrupting you I’ll tell her that you’re not even doing your homework at all.

STACY : See what I mean? That’s so immature. You’re going to go tattle to Mom like an immature little baby.

TAYLOR : You said you were going to tattle to Mom on me that I was interrupting you.

STACY : That’s not tattling. It’s filing a complaint with the proper authorities. That’s what grown up people do.

TAYLOR : Fine, then I’ll do that.

STACY : You don’t even know what that is.

TAYLOR : Yes I do.

STACY : What is it then?

TAYLOR : I’m going to complain to Mom that you’re not doing your homework like you’re supposed to be doing.

STACY : That’s tattling.

TAYLOR : No, it’s filing a complaint.

STACY : No, it’s tattling. Because me not doing my homework doesn’t have anything to do with you. You just want to get me in trouble. That makes it tattling.

TAYLOR : You want to get me in trouble.

STACY : You deserve it.

TAYLOR : I didn’t even do anything.

STACY : Yes you did. You interrupted my studying.

TAYLOR : But you’re not studying.

STACY : It doesn’t matter, Taylor. Just leave me alone.

TAYLOR : Fine. I don’t want to be in here with you anyway. I think I’ll go have a talk with Mom.

(TAYLOR exits with the fish bowl.)

STACY : Taylor, where are you going? Get back in here! Only babies tattle!

(TAYLOR returns without the fish bowl.)

TAYLOR : Mom says it’s time to go to bed. She says go say goodnight to her if you want, but she won’t come in here because she knows you don’t like it ‘cuz you’re too big and she has to flush Kitty anyway.

(TAYLOR turns the lights off and hops into bed.)

TAYLOR : Night!

STACY : Taylor! I still have books all over my bed. (STACY turns the lights on.)

TAYLOR : Hey, Mom said it’s time for sleep.

STACY : I have to get this stuff off of my bed before I can sleep on it, stupid.

(TAYLOR gets out of bed and pushes Stacy’s books onto the floor.)

TAYLOR : There. Now there’s no stuff on your bed.

STACY : Since when are you so anxious to go to bed?

TAYLOR : I want to talk to someone.

STACY : What?

TAYLOR : I want to talk to someone in my dream. (TAYLOR turns the lights off and gets in bed.)

STACY : Whatever. I’m too tired to think about that. Goodnight Taylor.

TAYLOR : Goodnight Stacy. (a brief pause) Stacy? Stacy, are you awake?

STACY : Wha? Taylor. Go back to sleep. (TAYLOR turns the lights on.) Taylor, what are you doing? Get back in bed.

TAYLOR : Are you awake?

STACY : Well, I am now.

TAYLOR : I have to ask you something.

STACY : I thought you wanted to talk to someone in your dream.

TAYLOR : Yeah, but I have to ask you something first.

STACY : In the morning.

TAYLOR : I just have to ask you one thing.

STACY : I’m tired, Taylor.

TAYLOR : But just one thing.

STACY : Can’t it wait?

TAYLOR : No, I can’t go to sleep until you tell me.

STACY : Fine. What?

TAYLOR : Do potatoes make electricity?

STACY : What? You woke me up because of potatoes?

TAYLOR : You said you were awake.

STACY : Because you woke me up.

TAYLOR : But do potatoes make electricity?

STACY : Of course they don’t make electricity, stupid. Go to sleep.

TAYLOR : Are you sure?

STACY : I am positive that you should go to sleep.

TAYLOR : No, are you sure that potatoes can’t make electricity?

STACY : Yes!

TAYLOR : Yeah, but you’re not very good at science.

STACY : No, but I know that potatoes don’t make electricity.

TAYLOR : I saw a potato make a light light up one time.

STACY : It probably had batteries. Who cares? Will you just go to sleep?

TAYLOR : I can’t.

STACY : Yes you can. You’ve slept lots of times. I’ve seen you.

TAYLOR : But I can’t.

STACY : Why not?

TAYLOR : I’m frightened.

STACY : Of potatoes?


STACY : Of what then?

TAYLOR : I had a bad dream.

STACY : Taylor, you were only asleep for like a second. You didn’t have time to have a bad dream.

TAYLOR : Well, I had a bad thought.

STACY : Well, stop thinking about it.

TAYLOR : I can’t.

STACY : Just go to sleep, and you’ll have better thoughts.

TAYLOR : I can’t. It frightened me.

STACY : Please, Taylor. I have a test in the morning. Just go back to sleep and you’ll forget about it.

TAYLOR : I can’t.

STACY : Why not?

TAYLOR : I’m scared.

STACY : Of what?

TAYLOR : Kitty.

STACY : Why would you be scared of Kitty?

TAYLOR : I think she’s here.

STACY : What are you talking about?

TAYLOR : Kitty’s ghost, Stacy. I think she’s here.

STACY : There’s no such thing as ghosts, Taylor. Go to sleep.

TAYLOR : She’s haunting us because we didn’t have a funeral for her.

STACY : Taylor, no one has funerals for goldfish. They die a lot. Mom will get you a new one.

TAYLOR : We can’t just get a new Kitty, Stacy.

STACY : You’re right, Taylor. We can’t get a new Kitty. Now go to sleep.

TAYLOR : I dreamed that Kitty was sad that we didn’t have a funeral for her. She thought we didn’t love her.

STACY : You didn’t dream anything in a second, Taylor.

TAYLOR : Well, I thought it.

STACY : Well, maybe we can have a funeral for her tomorrow.

TAYLOR : It’s too late. I already gave her to mom to flush.

STACY : We’ll have a memorial service then.

TAYLOR : What’s that?

STACY : It’s a funeral with no dead person.

TAYLOR : Kitty will like that.

STACY : Tomorrow, though. After school. Tonight you have to go to sleep.

TAYLOR : Alright.

STACY : Good night, Taylor.

TAYLOR : Stacy?

STACY : I’m sure that potatoes don’t make electricity, Taylor. Go to sleep.

TAYLOR : That’s not what I was going to say.

STACY : Fine. What is it?

TAYLOR : Are you in Arkansas right now?

STACY : Yeah, Taylor, I’m always in Arkansas.

TAYLOR : Do you like it there?

STACY : Yeah, it’s pretty nice.

TAYLOR : Don’t you ever get bored?

STACY : Not really.

TAYLOR : Are there other people there?

STACY : I’ve never seen any.

TAYLOR : Don’t you get lonely?

STACY : Nah, I sort of like it.

TAYLOR : Stacy?

STACY : Ummhmm.

TAYLOR : Can I come visit you sometime? In Arkansas?

STACY : Maybe sometime.

TAYLOR : Stacy?

STACY : Huh?

TAYLOR : I didn’t tattle.

STACY : I know.

(end scene)


(STACY is sitting in the grass writing in her diary. She puts it in her book bag as Taylor approaches and sits beside her.)

TAYLOR : Guess what? I got an A on my Pueblo.

STACY : Do you have to sit with me?

TAYLOR : Why are you always so mean?

STACY : I’m not being mean. I’m just saying, there’s a whole yard to sit in. You don’t have to sit right next to me.

(TAYLOR moves a bit farther away from STACY.)

TAYLOR : How was your science test?

STACY : Taylor, you really don’t get it, do you?

TAYLOR : Get what?

STACY : Just leave me alone. I’m busy.

TAYLOR : Doing what?

STACY : None of your business.

TAYLOR : You’re not doing anything.

STACY : I am too.

TAYLOR : You’re staring into space. That’s not doing something.

STACY : Can’t you just leave me alone for one second?

TAYLOR : I’ve been leaving you alone all day.

STACY : You’ve been in school all day.

TAYLOR : You’re not in a very good mood.

STACY : I’ve been in school all day too.

TAYLOR : Did you fail your science test?

STACY : How should I know?

TAYLOR : Well, you took it didn’t you?

STACY : Yeah, but I don’t know what I got on it yet. And what’s it matter to you anyway?

TAYLOR : I just thought it’d be nice to ask.

STACY : It’d be nice if you’d leave me alone.

TAYLOR : I moved over.

STACY : But you’re still talking to me.

TAYLOR : I thought maybe you’d wanna talk to someone.

STACY : Well, I don’t.

TAYLOR : Well, I wanna talk to you.

STACY : Not now, Taylor.

TAYLOR : You always say “not now, Taylor.”

STACY : Just shut up. OK?

TAYLOR : You’re not even doing anything. Why don’t you ever want to talk to me?

STACY : I’m doing something, Taylor.

TAYLOR : What?

STACY : Thinking.

TAYLOR : About what?

STACY : Just never mind.

TAYLOR : About Tommy from camp?

STACY : Look Taylor, I don’t know why you think I like stupid Tommy from camp, but I don’t. OK?
Maybe you like Tommy from camp. You’re the one who’s always bringing him up.

TAYLOR : Ew. Boys have cooties.

STACY : You’re such a child, Taylor.

TAYLOR : Duh, Stacy. I’m eight.

STACY : I’m ignoring you now. (STACY turns away.)

TAYLOR : Stacy, where are we going to have Kitty’s memorial service?

STACY : What are you talking about?

TAYLOR : You said that we’d have a memorial service for Kitty, remember?

STACY : Taylor.

TAYLOR : You said!

STACY : Kitty was a goldfish, Taylor.

TAYLOR : She was our friend, Stacy.

STACY : No, Taylor. She was a fish. Just a fish.

TAYLOR : You promised.

STACY : I didn’t promise.

TAYLOR : If you don’t help me have a memorial service for Kitty I’ll just follow you around everywhere.

STACY : You’re so immature!

TAYLOR : Well, I will.

STACY : Fine, we’ll have a quick memorial service.

TAYLOR : Where?

STACY : What do you mean where?

TAYLOR : Where are we going to have it?

STACY : Here in the yard, I guess.

TAYLOR : Is that where people usually have memorial services?

STACY : Taylor, have you ever seen anyone having a memorial service in our yard before?

TAYLOR : You know that’s not what I meant. Do people usually have them in yards?

STACY : I guess they usually have them at churches and cemeteries and stuff.

TAYLOR : Then why isn’t that where we’re having Kitty’s?

STACY : Because churches don’t care about fish. And where would we find a church or a cemetery anyway?

TAYLOR : There are lots of them, Stacy.

STACY : In the world. But you’re not allowed to leave Oak Street.

TAYLOR : I am if you go with me.

STACY : Taylor, we’re not going that far. We’ll just have it in the yard. Kitty’s not buried in a cemetery anyway.

TAYLOR : You’re right. She’s buried in the septic tank.

STACY : I don’t know if that counts as buried.

TAYLOR : Well, she’s in there anyway. That’s where we’ll have the memorial service.

STACY : In the septic tank?

TAYLOR : In the yard, stupid. Over the septic tank.

STACY : Whatever, Taylor. It just can’t take too long. I have stuff to do.

TAYLOR : You’re not going anywhere.

STACY : I didn’t say I was going somewhere. I just said I have stuff to do.

TAYLOR : But it’s Friday.

STACY : People have stuff to do on Fridays, Taylor.

TAYLOR : Well you don’t have homework.

STACY : I didn’t say homework. I said stuff.

(Taylor walks to a spot in the yard and points at the ground.)

TAYLOR : Is this where the septic tank is?

STACY : It’s close enough.

TAYLOR : You know, you sit out on the septic tank all the time.

STACY : It’s under ground.

TAYLOR : It’s still gross.

STACY : Taylor, you can’t even tell where it is.

TAYLOR : You can’t tell either.

STACY : Exactly. How can it be gross if you can’t tell where it is?

TAYLOR : It’s just gross to think about.

STACY : Then don’t think about it.

TAYLOR : If I don’t think about it how are we going to find it?

STACY : This is so weird, Taylor. I can’t believe I’m out here looking for the septic tank so that we can have a memorial service for your stupid dead goldfish. No one does that.

TAYLOR : It was your idea.

STACY : I just wanted you to go to sleep.

TAYLOR : Stacy, we have to have a memorial service for Kitty.

STACY : OK. And we’re having one.

TAYLOR : But we don’t know if this is where the septic tank is.

STACY : It’s close enough, Taylor. Let’s just have it.

TAYLOR : Alright. I guess Kitty won’t mind as long as we tried.

STACY : So, go ahead.

TAYLOR : Go ahead and what?

STACY : Have your memorial service, stupid.

TAYLOR : I don’t know how to have a memorial service.

STACY : Then why are we out here?

TAYLOR : Because you said we’d have one.

STACY : So, let’s have one.

TAYLOR : I don’t know how.

STACY : You’re so stupid, Taylor.

TAYLOR : Well, how am I supposed to know how to have a memorial service? I’ve never been to a memorial service.

STACY : Just say something about Kitty, Taylor.

TAYLOR : Like what?

STACY : I don’t know. Just say something.

TAYLOR : Can you do it?

STACY : Taylor!

TAYLOR : Well, I don’t know what to say.

STACY : Well, I don’t have any memories about your stupid fish.

TAYLOR : She only died yesterday, Stacy.

STACY : Taylor, this is stupid. Let’s just go inside.

TAYLOR : We can’t go inside yet, Stacy. We have to have a memorial service for Kitty like you said we would. So she won’t haunt us anymore.

STACY : Kitty is not haunting you, Taylor. You just had a bad dream or thought or whatever. And I only said that to make you shut up and go to sleep.

TAYLOR : Please Stacy?

STACY : Taylor, if you’re going to have a memorial service for your stupid fish then hurry up and have one. I’m not going to hang around out here all day.

TAYLOR : I told you. I don’t know how.

STACY : It’s easy, Taylor. Just say something nice about Kitty.

TAYLOR : Like what?

STACY : Like anything.

TAYLOR : Like that she was a good fish?

STACY : Right.

TAYLOR : And she always swam around in her bowl and she never made any noise or anything.

STACY : Good. Now let’s go inside.

TAYLOR : Is that all?

STACY : There isn’t much more to say.

TAYLOR : No, I guess not. But it seems like there should be something else.

STACY : There’s nothing else. Now come on. Mom said she’d order Dominos.

TAYLOR : Don’t you think we should have something specialer than Dominos?

STACY : You like Dominos. Taylor, the fish would have wanted us to have Dominos.

TAYLOR : But it’s a special day.

STACY : Yes, Friday. Take-out night. And Mom said we could get Dominos, so let’s go get her to order it before she decides it’s too greasy and orders us something with vegetables.

TAYLOR : I don’t mean Friday.

STACY : I know. You mean because it’s the day of Kitty’s memorial service, but seriously. Kitty would have wanted us to get pizza.

TAYLOR : I know. Kitty liked pizza.

STACY : You gave Kitty pizza?

TAYLOR : Just a little piece.

STACY : Taylor, you are not supposed to give fish pizza.

TAYLOR : Stacy, don’t you know what day it is?

STACY : Of course I know what day it is.

TAYLOR : You know it’s Daddy’s birthday?

STACY : I know, Taylor. I’m going in the house. (STACY exits.)

(end scene)


(The stage is dark. STACY and TAYLOR are asleep in their room. TAYLOR gets up and turns on the lights.)

TAYLOR : Stacy, are you sleeping?…Stacy?

STACY : Yes.

TAYLOR : You couldn’t say yes if you were sleeping, Stacy.

STACY : Well, I was sleeping.

TAYLOR : No you weren’t.

STACY : How would you know?

TAYLOR : If you were sleeping you’d sound tireder.

STACY : Well, I can’t sleep.

TAYLOR : Me either.

STACY : Maybe it’s all the talking and turning on lights.

TAYLOR : I’m sad, Stacy.

STACY : Taylor, Kitty was just a goldfish. Mom is going to get you a new one this weekend.

TAYLOR : I’m not sad about Kitty, Stacy.

STACY : What then?

TAYLOR : I’m just sort of sad that I didn’t make Daddy a birthday card.

STACY : That’s stupid, Taylor.

TAYLOR : I think I should have.

STACY : No, Taylor.

TAYLOR : Well, we always make Mom birthday cards when it’s her birthday.

STACY : That’s different.

TAYLOR : Why’s it different?

STACY : You know why.

TAYLOR : It’s not different.

STACY : Taylor, dead people don’t have birthdays.

TAYLOR : Yes they do. George Washington and Abraham Lincoln are dead, and they have birthdays every single year.

STACY : They were presidents.

TAYLOR : You don’t have to be a president to have a birthday. We have birthdays.

STACY : We’re alive.

TAYLOR : Daddy was alive.

STACY : Birthdays are for people who are alive right now. They’re for getting older. You can’t get older if you’re dead.

TAYLOR : Birthdays are for being born, Stacy. That’s why they’re called birthdays and not getting older days.

STACY : Please go to sleep, Taylor.

TAYLOR : I don’t think I ever made him one.

STACY : One what?

TAYLOR : A birthday card, stupid.

STACY : Of course you didn’t make him a birthday card. You were only a year old.

TAYLOR : But I didn’t make him cards for any of his other birthdays.

STACY : He didn’t have any other birthdays!

TAYLOR : I’m sorry, Stacy.

STACY : About what?

TAYLOR : About making you sad.

STACY : Forget it. Just go to sleep.

TAYLOR : Did you ever make him a card?

STACY : I said forget it, Taylor.

TAYLOR : But did you?

STACY : I guess I did… How did you even know it was his birthday?

TAYLOR : It’s on Mom’s calendar by the phone.


TAYLOR : Stacy? …Do you remember?

STACY : Remember what?

TAYLOR : When Daddy died?

STACY : Of course I remember.

TAYLOR : I don’t.

STACY : No one remembers being one, Taylor.

TAYLOR : Well, what happened?

STACY : I don’t know exactly. Mom said he got sick.

TAYLOR : But do you remember?

STACY : Remember what?

TAYLOR : When he was sick.



STACY : I remember he was in the hospital.

TAYLOR : Did we visit him?

STACY : No, we stayed here with Grandma. Mom visited him.

TAYLOR : How come we couldn’t go to Albany with her?

STACY : He wasn’t in Albany.

TAYLOR : But you said he was in the hospital.

STACY : There are hospitals other places besides Albany.

TAYLOR : But why didn’t he go to the hospital in Albany? That’s the big hospital for really sick people.

STACY : ‘Cuz he wasn’t here.

TAYLOR : Where was he?

STACY : Working.

TAYLOR : Where?

STACY : In Arkansas.

TAYLOR : So, Mom went to visit him?

STACY : Ummhmm.

TAYLOR : In Arkansas?

STACY : Ummhmm.

TAYLOR : Then she came back?

STACY : Afterwards.

TAYLOR : After Daddy died?

STACY : Ummhmm.

TAYLOR : Then Mom came back here?

STACY : Ummhmm.

TAYLOR : And Daddy went to heaven?

STACY : Yeah.

TAYLOR : But he couldn’t go to New York heaven because he was in the hospital in Arkansas.

STACY : No. You can’t go to New York heaven if you die when you’re in Arkansas.

TAYLOR : So, he went to Arkansas heaven?

STACY : That’s what I think.

TAYLOR : …I hope Daddy likes Arkansas as much as you do.

STACY : Me too, Taylor.

TAYLOR : Do you ever see him in your Arkansas?

STACY : All the time.

TAYLOR : But you said that there wasn’t anyone else in your Arkansas?

STACY : Well, I see him from Arkansas. But he’s not there and I can’t talk to him.

TAYLOR : But you can think about him.

STACY : Yep.

TAYLOR : So, what do you think?

STACY : I guess I just remember things.

TAYLOR : Like what?

STACY : Just regular things.

TAYLOR : What kind of regular things?

STACY : Like going to the playground and stuff, I guess.

TAYLOR : Did Daddy used to bring you to the playground?

STACY : Ummhmm.

TAYLOR : I wish he brought me places.

STACY : He did.

TAYLOR : But I don’t remember.

STACY : …I remember.

TAYLOR : …Will you tell me? (STACY takes out her diary and hands it to TAYLOR.) Your diary?

STACY : No, Taylor. It’s Arkansas.

The Flawed Gods: A Play in One Act by Jakob Esaw

What is This Thing Called Love: Poems by Kim Addonizio

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