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CEO at the door

(Peter appears behind

Eli and Pretty Boy

to speak philosophically)

 

The sky is pocked with stars.

What eyes the wise men must have had

to see a new one among so many.

 

You look cold.

 

I’ve warmed some wine.

 

I wonder… were there fewer stars then?

I don’t know. I fancy there’s a mystery in it.

 

(Pretty Boy hands Peter a cup of wine)

 

What’s this?

 

Warm spiced wine.

 

Why, so it is.

 

(touching Pretty Boy’s hair)

 

You are as beautiful as I remembered.

 

(briskly)

 

Off you go. My widow wants to see me.

 

She came to find out what your plans are.

 

I know.

 

She wants you back.

 

Go to your room.

 

(Pretty Boy exits)

 

So, you want me back?

 

She thinks I do.

She thinks the need for loving never stops.

 

She has a point. I marvel at you.

After all these years,

still like a democratic drawbridge,

going down for everybody.

 

At my age,

there’s not much traffic anymore.

 

To your interminable health.

 

(he sips the warm spiced wine)

 

Well, widow, what’s on your mind?

 

I’ve just seen Richard.

 

Splendid boy.

 

He says you fought.

 

We always do.

 

It’s his impression

that you mean

to disinherit them.

 

I fancy I’ll relent.

Don’t you?

 

I don’t much care.

In fact, I wonder, Peter,

if I care for anything.

I wonder if I’m hungry out of habit.

 

I could listen to you lie for hours.

So your lust is rusty – – – 

Gorgeous.

 

Peter, I’m so tired.

 

Sleep then.

Sleep and dream of me

with ice cream.

Peter a la mode.

 

Peter, stop it.

 

Eli, I haven’t started.

 

What do you want?

You want my name on paper?

I’ll sign anything.

You want the outstanding shares

for Joey? It’s Joey’s.

It’s his, it’s yours, it’s anybody’s.

 

In exchange for what?

 

For nothing, for a little quiet, for an end to this.

For God’s sake, send me to Europe,

un-lock me…

and let me

alone.

 

(Peter applauds for Eli’s great acting)

 

You have my oath. I give my word.

 

(sinking, bone-weary, into the chair)

 

Oh, well. Well, well.

 

Would you like a pillow? Footstool?

How about a shawl?

Your oaths are all profanities,

your word is a curse,

your name on paper is a waste of pulp!

I’m vilifying you, for God’s sake!

Pay attention!

 

How, from where we started,

did we ever reach this point?

 

Step by step.

 

What happens to me now?

 

That’s lively curiosity from such a dead cat.

If you want to know my plans, just ask me.

 

Conquer China? Sack St. Peter’s Cathedral?

Send me to join a nunnery?

I don’t give a damn.

Just let me give my stocks

to Joey and go to bed.

 

No, you’re too kind.

I can’t accept.

 

Come on, man.

I’ll sign the thing in blood,

spit or bright blue ink.

Let’s have it done.

 

Let’s not.

No, I don’t think I want

your signature on anything.

 

You don’t?

 

Dear God,

the pleasure I still get

from goading you.

 

You don’t want Joey

to have my stocks?

 

Bull’s eye.

 

I can’t bear you when you’re smug.

 

I know, I know.

 

You don’t want Dick,

and you don’t want Joey?

 

You’ve grasped it.

 

All right, then, shatter me!

Let me have it.

What do you want?

 

A new life.

 

Oh… So, I’m to be annulled.

Well, will Bishop Sheen annul me?

 

The Bishop owes me his Bishop-hood.

I think he will.

 

Out Eli, in Pretty Boy. Why?

 

A new life,

I want a new son.

 

That is the single thing…

of which I would have thought

you had enough.

 

I want a son.

 

We could populate a country town

with country boys who could have been you sons.

How many is it?

Help me count the bastards.

 

All my real sons are bastards.

 

You really mean to do it.

 

Yes!

I mean to adopt Pretty Boy as my son.

 

Tomorrow Next Post:  SONS VERSUS STEP-SONS

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