Tuesday, March 17, 2015
SLICE #15- A Play in Many Acts
So, first there's the act where a single mom, strung out on drugs, loses custody of her four kids.
And then there's the act where those four broken kids spend several months sleeping on a cot in a garage in their first foster home.
And another act where they spend four years with a foster mother who beats them, and doesn't feed them.
And then there is the act where the assistant principal from their school takes them home with her. And tries to put the pieces of their little hearts back together again. Deals with food hoarding. Deals with meltdowns in Target. Tucks them in every night. Tries to teach them that she will always be there. And adopts them.
And then there is the act where the adoptive mom cooks dinners. And does laundry. And homework. And goes to parent teacher conferences. And buys sports gear (a lot). And takes them to sports practices (many). And cooks pots and pots and pots of spaghetti and chicken fettucini for team dinners. And cheers for them at games. And spends vacations in Kansas and Memphis and Las Vegas and San Diego for basketball tournaments. And sits in emergency rooms when they are hurt.
And then there is middle school act. Where they spend hours at the kitchen table every night doing math homework. When she tries to teach them how to work hard.Stay away from peer pressure. Buys great snacks so kids will come. Has middle school sleep overs every weekend. Deals with their surly moods.
And the high school act. More of the same. The high school football hangout. Lots of ugly parent teacher conferences. Teaches them to drive. Buys cars. Fights about marijuana. Deals with insurance company after accidents. Deals with legal issues. Transfers one to alternative school. Two diplomas.
And then the act where she sends them off to college. Drives to Phoenix. Hugs them goodbye. Cries. Misses them. Horribly. Sends lots of money for groceries. Sends care packages. Worries. Prays.
And then the act where they both come back to Denver. Do not work. Do not go to school. Smoke lots of pot. Sell "unnecessary" things like the lawnmower (which is, I guess, kind of unnecessary in January) to make money for more pot. Fight with their mother about the no jobs and pot. A lot.
And then there is the act where both boys make poor choices and end up in the county jail. And the adoptive mom tells them she will always be their mom, but they cannot come back until some things changes. And she cries as she watches the locksmith.
And the act where the adoptive mom goes to court to watch her sons be charged. A quick glance of recognition as he sees adoptive mom, but then he will not look at her. And she cries as the bailiff gives her older son a box of kleenex because he is crying.
And the act where the adoptive mom is sitting in the court room. And another woman keeps making faces at her and mouthing words. Acting like she is mad at the adoptive mom. And the adoptive mom has no idea who the other woman is. Or what she wants. Or why she could possibly be mad.
And there is a man in the courtroom. About fifty. Very tall. Dressed in a uniform from a local car dealer. Maybe a mechanic. She notices him but doesn't think much about it. There are lots of mothers and father sin the courtroom.
And then there is an act where Son #2 is brought into the court room. And he keeps mouthing things to the man and the woman. And at first the adoptive mom wonders who he is talking to. There are several young women in the courtroom and she wonders if he has a girlfriend she doesn't know about.
And then there the act she figures it out. The boys' biological mom. And Son #2's biological father. They leave the courtroom. And she thinks they are probably in the lobby and she goes out. But they are gone.
And then she walks back to the parking lot because her cell phone is in her car and she needs to call a police detective. And runs into the father. And introduces herself. He hates the bright sunshine, just like his son. And they duck into a coffee shop and he buys her a coke and they talk for an hour and decide the boys will go live with him.
And then there is the act where she drives downtown for the third time that day for visiting hours at the jail. And she is not sure whether the boys will want to see her, but she is especially worried about Son #1. The sheriff explains video visitation. Wait. Again. When the inmate appears, pick up the receiver. Son #2 is first. He begs her, repeatedly, to bail him out. Which she tells him, repeatedly, will happen tomorrow after the charges are dropped. He wants to talk the whole thirty minutes. Tells her every few minutes how much time they still have. Does not stop talking until the monitor turns off after thirty minutes.
And then there is the act where Son #1 comes onto the screen. And asks her, several times, why she has come. And tells her to bail him out. And hangs up. After 5 minutes and 44 seconds. And she watches as he runs back up the stairs in his gold prison jumpsuit. And wonders if she has said goodbye to him for the last time.
Life. A play in many acts.