APPLES AND ORANGES

by
Alfred Uhry

As of 10/12/12 - FINAL version w/ updated pagination

1.
MARIE
Yesterday I was waiting for the bus on Lexington Avenue and I noticed everybody was
looking up. So I did, too, and there was this big banner floating behind a little plane. I
don’t know what it was advertising, but it said in huge letters WHO ARE YOU? Who are
you? And I thought, immediately, I’m Carl’s sister. Not I’m Ernie’s wife. Not I’m
Casey’s mother. Not even I’m Marie Brenner. No. After everything that’s happened and
all he put me through, that’s still how I see myself. Carl’s sister - like it was stamped on
my birth certificate. We had an adversarial relationship, my brother and me. That’s putting
it mildly. Our first encounter occurred when I was a new born brought home from the
hospital. Carl threw me out of a window.
CARL
First of all it was a screen porch. And second, I simply set you down on the grass.
MARIE
How do you know what you did? You were two years old.
CARL
I have total recall.
MARIE
Mama said you threw me.
CARL
Mama exaggerated everything. She was a drama queen. That's where you get it from.
MARIE
(to us)
Carl was good at those little jabs. He always managed to make me feel like a gate crasher
in my own family.
CARL
Oh please! It was always about you. The whole damn house was about you. Be sweet to
your baby sister. Come to Marie's tap dance recital. Drop off Marie at cheer leading
practice.
MARIE
You were so jealous of me being a cheerleader.
CARL
Right. I loved all that squealing and jumping up and down. And you were so graceful at
it! Like those hippopotamuses trying to do ballet in Fantasia.

2.
MARIE
I did not look like a hippopotamus. I was just a little plump.
CARL
A little?
MARIE
At least I did something extracurricular.
CARL
I joined the John Birch Society when I was fifteen.
MARIE
Yes you did.
CARL
And I was the first junior member of the NRA in San Antonio.
MARIE
That should give you an idea of how connected we were. Carl's interests were riflery and
the Wagnerian Ring Cycle. Mine were potato chips and The Beach Boys. Mama called us
apples and oranges. As adults, for a number of years, he lived in the middle of
Washington State and I lived on the East Side of Manhattan - in other words as far away
from each other as we could get in the continental United States. But we did communicate.
CARL
(on the phone)
Where will you be Friday between noon and two?
MARIE
I don't know.
CARL
You have to be at home. Promise you'll be at home.
MARIE
Why?
CARL
The fruit is coming. It has to be refrigerated immediately.
MARIE
Why?

Examine each piece of fruit before you put it in the refrigerator. And don't let anybody try to cook any of them. I picked them myself. MARIE Thank you. And keep the slip in case I have to demand a refund from UPS. MARIE Jesus! CARL Don't take our Lord's name in vain. . MARIE We don't have one drop of anything but Jewish blood. CARL Don't give any away. These are Arirang Pears. CARL Because we're not talking about that garbage that passes for fruit you and your fancy friends spend a fortune on at Eli Zabar's. CARL Neither did Lord Jesus. MARIE We're Jewish. CARL Let me know the minute they arrive. two dozen precious Arirang pears. MARIE What am I going to do with twenty-four pears? CARL Savor them .like caviar. MARIE Right.3. Carl. CARL Speak for yourself.

CARL Not bad. But now and then. You bear my name. MARIE Thank you. You represent the family. Carl! CARL You're my sister. Texas a hundred years ago. It's probably no coincidence that we got as far away from San Antonio as we could. MARIE What the hell are you talking about? . CARL I made some comments. It was about Whitewater. We come from a long line of German Jews who settled in San Antonio. CARL I read the thing in Vanity Fair. when our parents were still alive. MARIE (to us) The first investigative piece of mine they published. road mapped with red pencil on every page. MARIE (to us) And he handed me a copy of the article. (to him) For God's sake. to say the least. When forms asked for my religion.4. The only icons in our house were pinatas. I was always tempted to write down Tex Mex. MARIE You're impossible! (to us) But he was kind of right. Which were strung up and bashed for every family occasion. Albeit in different directions. The Brenners were non-observant. I don't want people thinking we're uninformed. I was very proud of it. we'd go home at the same time for some occasion or other.

When I was in junior high school my friends begged to spend the night at our house because they might just catch Carl in a towel on his way to the shower. CARL Well it sounds like baloney. After Mama and Daddy died. CARL Well. MARIE It was told to me off the record. you credit some remark to 'a source close to the vice president'. I certainly didn't go to Washington state and Carl stayed away from New York. we rarely saw each other. . Unfortunately it didn't work both ways. MARIE (to us) There was always an Amanda. That's sloppy.5. Like you're just quoting yourself and want it to sound important. MARIE (to us) That was Carl's version of a compliment. On page 4. You can do better than that. Or a Bettina. CARL (on the phone) Where are you and Ernie having Thanksgiving? MARIE Why? CARL I may be coming in. MARIE Why would you do that? CARL Because Amanda wants to come. Or something. Always. There were always women in his life. Mostly.

Unfortunately his taste was usually terrible. CARL Doing what? MARIE I have to turn in another draft of the tobacco industry book before Christmas because all of a sudden there's movie interest in it and we're having two of the bathrooms regrouted and Casey is applying to colleges and I don't have time for your bullshit. Carl. MARIE I hate candied sweet potatoes. she walked like a ballerina. MARIE So why do you want to come? CARL I don't. You buy everything. None of his friends were remotely interested in me. And she makes killer candied sweet potatoes. MARIE Look. CARL And go shopping with her. CARL It's not like Thanksgiving is a big hassle for you. Didn't she teach you anything? MARIE She taught me to get the hell away from you as fast as I could.on the balls of her feet with the toes slightly pointed out. MARIE (to us) Well. I'll give her that .6. I'll pay you back. Mama was a wonderful cook. But whether I liked it or not. CARL I think we'll fly in the weekend before. I'm really busy right now. Amanda likes stores. okay? Amanda used to be a ballerina. . Carl was a chick magnet. Amanda does. Get us some ballet tickets. CARL You hate any food that isn't delivered to your house by an illegal alien.

thank you. My daughter Casey loved the sweet potatoes. And she draped herself in shawls all the time. CARL Oh. MARIE I have plenty to do. MARIE Now who's clutching? Who said she was going into the fruit business? CARL There is one lesson that is the most important.7. You have to learn to dig in the dirt. . Amanda taught her how to make them and we've had them every year since. But Carl was right. She needs to learn to be a farmer if she’s going into the family business. Casey should just go somewhere like Cornell Agricultural School after college. CARL Undergraduate doesn't matter anyway. It was her last Thanksgiving at home before she went off to college. even when she was leaning over the stove. But there's also Beloit and Oberlin. That's what running orchards is about. CARL Where is Casey going again? MARIE We're hoping for early decision at Brown. I think I do. Amanda was a great cook. CARL We? Are you going too? MARIE And how many children have you prepared for going to college? CARL What does that have to do with it? MARIE You don't know what you're talking about. You're just clutching at those mama straws because you don't want her to go away and leave you with nothing to do. And we have three good safeties. How to dig.

One time I came in on them slow dancing around my living room. Anybody want to join? MARIE (to us) And off he went. MARIE Oh please! CARL I was in my thirties before I saw the light. tightly pressed together. Any sweet potatoes left? MARIE (to us) The weekend was interminable. And it gives the wrong idea to Casey. For hours. It looks trashy. (to Carl) I wish you wouldn't do that. CARL You mean dance? MARIE I mean like that. waiting for him to return.8. CARL It’s in her blood. They didn't even know I was there. CARL What? That men and women like to touch each other? MARIE It's suggestive. CARL I'm going for a run in the park. CARL You and Ernie never dance? . MARIE Casey doesn't want to run an orchard. Amanda Ballerina drifted around the house in her shawls.

CARL I believe it. This letter was neatly typed. CARL I haven't told you the real reason I came to New York. MARIE What is it? He handed me a letter. CARL There isn't time. . He’d written it before he came. MARIE Lay off. MARIE (to us) Letters from Carl were usually toxic. MARIE You've been here over a week! CARL The moment wasn't right. when they were leaving for JFK. CARL It will explain everything. MARIE Not like that. He’d never intended to tell me face to face. And don't say anything to Ernie. as all Carl’s communications tended to be. Carl took me aside.9. for Christ's sake! CARL Watch your mouth. MARIE Just tell me. MARIE Just tell me. okay? (to us) Finally.

When I am ready to disclose it to Casey. or Ernie or anybody else is for me to decide. I strongly implore you to honor my request 100 percent. but I couldn't concentrate. Carl? CARL Adenocarcinoma. That's the reality. MARIE What? CARL You heard me. I have a lot to tell you. MARIE That sounds like some kind of cancer. So I went to the ladies room and called my brother. Your brother. I have put it in writing so you could absorb it quietly. Marie.10.or sooner. CARL (on the phone) Carl Brenner. You might be able to save my life. MARIE I was in the middle of doing a piece on the tobacco industry and I had an appointment the next day in Washington with a disgruntled R J Reynolds employee who was ready to talk. And he talked all right. Carl Brenner. But a drug in a clinical trial may keep me alive and fully active for some time. CARL Lung. You don't have to participate if you don't want to. I could be dead in a year . And a cure could be discovered in the interim. You always say you're good at investigating things and I have a disease that needs investigating. . I don't want anybody else to hear about this until I am ready to tell them. If I limit myself to what the FDA has approved. CARL Dear Marie. MARIE (on the phone) What is all this.

Carl. CARL You did. This went on for a while. ok? CARL I am terminating this conversation. You never smoked. You've been misdiagnosed. MARIE How could you possibly have lung cancer? CARL That's not the point. Washington anyway? You're in great shape. It is in our DNA to be easily wounded. And he didn't return either. MARIE Are you sure? I mean did you see an oncologist? And what kind of oncologist do they have in Wenatchee. You have more energy than anybody I know. CARL (answering machine) This is Carl Brenner speaking. Your color is good. MARIE But you don't smoke. You eat like a horse.11. I called him back. your telephone number and a succinct message. . MARIE You're saying I gave you lung cancer? CARL Stop thinking about yourself. Leave your name. MARIE He didn't pick up. The point is I have it. MARIE (to us) And he hung up on me.

Don't embarrass me. CARL I'm moving to Washington. . Leave your name. headed for a place in apple country I had trouble finding on the map. How can I possibly do anything for you if you don't talk to me? CARL This is Carl Brenner speaking. MARIE (on the phone) Come on. And all I was getting from Carl was silence. MARIE (to us) Since I was thirteen I have always had a note pad with me in case I felt the urge to write something down. I am a collector of information . your telephone number and a succinct message. all right? None of your women's lib get-ups. Don't even mention my name. You're being such an asshole. Carl.12. MARIE (to us) And there I was. A born journalist. your telephone number and a succinct message. Leave your name. People don't dress like you do here. CARL (answering machine) This is Carl Brenner speaking. Don't tell anybody on the plane that you're my sister. On the plane I was thinking about the day apples entered our lives. CARL No fancy clothes. (to Carl) What do I have to do to get you to talk to me? Come to Wenatchee Washington or wherever it is you live? (to us) And this time he picked up. It was at Christmas dinner in San Antonio the year Casey was born. Don't stand out.a solver of problems.

13. Who do you think you are? Johnny Applestien? CARL Is that supposed to be funny? . MARIE Vanity Fair is not a dress magazine! CARL There are real people in real towns doing real work. MARIE Why would you do that? CARL Guess what. And I want to contribute something real for a change . I'm putting my house up for rent. MARIE Jews don't farm. no spin. Carl. MARIE You can't get good ones here? CARL Not apples to eat. Just plain good fruit. Marie? There's a whole world outside of those dress magazines you work for. I want to get my hands dirty and work up a healthy sweat. MARIE Oh my God! Did you take a job with the administration? That's so exciting! CARL Not that Washington .no double talk. And I've made an offer on a couple of orchards. Not muckrakers like you and parasites like me. I'm shutting down my law practice. MARIE For what? CARL Apples. Apples to grow.Washington state.

CARL Welcome to real America. an old sheepskin coat. It was strange to hold his hand. Ernie would say ‘Your brother is doing fine.14. When the plane landed in Wenatchee. MARIE (to us) And off he went to Washington state. MARIE (to us) Whenever I snooped around to find out what was what. What's the matter? What happened to your Texas? You forget how to get in a pickup? MARIE My pants are a little tight. boots. The details of his apple ventures remained pretty much a mystery. MARIE Don't start that bullshit. Daddy taught me that. (to us) And he held out his hand and pulled me up beside him. leaning against his pick-up truck. but Ernie was a money manager by profession and Carl trusted him. Carl was waiting for me in the parking lot. CARL Family takes care of family. MARIE Bullshit.’ Ernie’s great at his job. I couldn't remember ever doing it before. Odd. Stay out of it. when you consider that Carl and Ernie had almost nothing to do with each other. CARL OK. Marie. . He was wearing jeans. Hop up. except to Ernie. Marlboro Man regalia minus the cigarette. CARL Watch your mouth.

CARL Why would I do that? MARIE I don't know. Nobody puts on airs in apple country. CARL I'm not most people. Isn't this where you used to stay when you first came out here? CARL I still do. MARIE (to us) Certainly nobody put on airs at the Hawthorne Inn. MARIE Thank you. MARIE I'm sure. CARL It took some doing. CARL I don't want people to get the wrong idea about me.15. He drove into Wenatchee and pulled into a motel. MARIE Carl. CARL I got you a room here. you made a lot of money all those years you practiced law. MARIE What? I thought you had an apartment. The Hawthorne Inn. Most people would find it a little cramped living in a motel room. (to Carl) What's that smell? . which was sandwiched between a Midas Muffler Shop and a hamburger stand called Dusty's. Surely you could have bought yourself a house or something.

MARIE (to us) And he could. Every inch of the room was crammed with his belongings . MARIE Great. and there was a great view of the Midas Muffler parking lot. CARL Closets are a waste of space. There's a swimming pool on the lower level. They sell women's clothes in the back of the hardware store.were stacked in color coded piles. MARIE (to us) Where the eau de chlorine perfume was ten times stronger. .16. CARL Maybe we can pick one up for you. brilliantly shined.all in perfect order. Carl's view wasn't much better. CARL Why? What else do I need? MARIE Well. a closet might be nice. sweaters.shirts. except you could see the Cascade Mountains from his window poking up in the distance beyond the railroad tracks. CARL Your room's right across from the swimming pool. All his clothes . I hope you brought your suit. CARL Chlorine. underwear. I can keep an eye on everything all the time. (to Carl) I can't believe you actually live here. were arranged in shoe treed pairs under the window. socks and the like . His shoes. It was weird. MARIE I didn't.

CARL Why? MARIE So I'll remember. Blanca. We're gonna teach her to eat like normal people. MARIE (to Carl) Are you sure they're open? (he gives her a classic Carl dirty look) CARL Hey. CARL Come on. (she takes out her notebook) What are you doing? MARIE Making notes. CARL We'll grab the Early Bird Special. MARIE The salmon. the sirloin medium rare. . how are you tonight? I'll have the Caesar salad. please. And coffee. and a salad with oil and vinegar dressing on the side. a baked potato with sour cream and butter and chocolate cream pie. MARIE (to us) There were no other cars when we pulled into the Windmill parking lot. No dessert.17. I don't take pictures. I'll take you out to dinner. CARL Bring her a good slab of raspberry meringue pie. MARIE It's not even five o'clock.

CARL Look here. CARL It's annoying as hell. . CARL Wheels up at five thirty. of course I had to pay for that wine. (pause) Well. MARIE (to us) He devoured all of his pie and most of mine. except. What kind of cancer could possibly give someone that much appetite? The meringue on my mammoth hunk of pink pie stood at least four inches high. Blanca. MARIE You are so paranoid. Like you're spying on everybody. Then the check came. And he left a tip you could hardly see. but you charged full price for her glass of wine. (to Marie) You can't be careful enough. MARIE His version of taking me out to dinner was splitting the check down the middle. CARL Ever see anything like that? You oughta' send Eli Zabar out here to learn how to cook.18. I added to it. (to us) I watched my brother put away all that food. You need to take 70 cents off this bill. CARL Why do you always want to spend so much money? What are you trying to prove? MARIE (to us) What a good time I was having! We drove back to the Hawthorne in silence. then it oughta say right on the menu that the charge for alcoholic beverage is full price at all times. which is 10 percent off. We get the Early Bird rate.

CARL Good night. CARL Adenocarcinoma. MARIE You don't have any symptoms. wait! I need to talk to you. CARL About what? MARIE What do you think? The cancer.19. MARIE Wait a minute! God Damn it. I am. MARIE Carl. CARL How would you know? MARIE You don't act sick. MARIE Why 5:30? CARL Early start. my work and my child and my husband because you asked for my help. CARL Well. That's how it's done out here. You could at least talk to me. Carl. . I told you. Carl! CARL Shhhh! MARIE Do you realize that I have spent nine hundred dollars to fly out here? I have abandoned. Good night. MARIE I don't get it.

Brenner. MARIE I bet you could if you had the right lawyer. Male. Adenocarcinoma. He pulled out some manila envelopes. 'Patient complains of persistent cough. How to save people in fires. Caucasian. CARL I'll tell you what they say. Carl. MARIE You only went weekends. And listen. And then the last one -----MARIE Why don't you sue the army? CARL Can't prove anything. CARL Come to my room. How could you get smoke damage? CARL Search and rescue training sessions. And that other one is from the oncologist in San Francisco.' And the blue one .Seattle Metropolitan Hospital in March. The first one is from the Wenatchee Clinic a year ago. 'lung biopsy recommended'. . 'Confirming prior diagnosis. MARIE You’ve known about this for a year? CARL Hush. ' MARIE What military service? CARL The National Guard. Adenocarcinoma. MARIE (to us) And I did. And stapled to it are the results. Patient is not a smoker but has smoke damage from his military service.20.

I think the first thing we need to do is have breakfast. This is not helpful. . remember. Agreed? CARL No. MARIE I know. for God's sake. Marie. I don't believe it! CARL Yes you do. CARL I am a lawyer. I'll see you in the morning. MARIE I know. Stop. I just lay there on that sagging mattress flipping through the rolodex my mind had turned into. but I happened to read this article last year on military law suits and apparently there are whole firms who do nothing but -----CARL I'm way ahead of you. I can’t help it. (she starts to cry) CARL That isn't helpful either. CARL Get some sleep.21. I think the first thing we need to do is get back to New York and have you looked over at Sloan-Kettering. I'm sorry. Marie. CARL Sleep well? MARIE Are you kidding? Okay. At 5:30 am I was in the lobby when Carl appeared. Right! Right! Yes! I was off and running. MARIE (to us) Sleep? Not a chance. It's just so random! Out of nowhere! It doesn't make any sense. Who did I know? Where do I start? I made mental lists. MARIE But -----weekend search and rescue missions.

We'll see about that. I'll have the farmer's special. Bring her the big boy cinnamon bun. MARIE Ah. MARIE I just remembered. Hiya Wilma. please. Vernon. One of Ernie’s partner’s sisters is married to Milton Rosenberg. so maybe that’s where we should schedule the --CARL Shhh! Not here. Hey. which was buzzing. and dry toast. CARL Morning. even at that ungodly hour. Carl wolfed it down.22. . CARL Hell with that. (another reply) Unh Hunh. I picked at my mountain of sugar and raisins. CARL Write down this is the best damn breakfast you ever had. Joe. MARIE (to us) The farmer's special was a sausage cheese and ham omelet the size of a snowshoe. but all these guys know each other and I’ve always heard good things about the oncology people at University. He’s the Chief of Cardiology at University Hospital and he’s --CARL My heart is fine. but look at the point spread. Vikings are gonna get their ass whipped on Sunday. They’re famous here. (a reply) Yeah. Let’s get a wiggle on. MARIE And he steered me across Wenatchee Avenue to the Big Y Diner. MARIE Right. CARL Orchard men. MARIE I'll have coffee.

CARL What is the square root of 87? MARIE Carl! (to us) Or CARL What are the three longest rivers in the world? MARIE Who cares? CARL This is important. You need to live in the world around you. MARIE (to us) Always designed to make me look like an ignoramus. MARIE Where are we going? CARL I'm going to give you a test. . MARIE Oh God! (to us) That was a recurrent theme from our childhood. CARL I'm going to give you a test. Marie. I'm an investigative journalist. MARIE I do live in the world around me.23. He hadn't pulled this one in years. CARL So you say.

CARL Wrong. MARIE You're taking me shopping? CARL Cashmere is a town. MARIE Then what? CARL Dormant orchards. MARIE Where are we going? CARL Cashmere. MARIE (to us) And so it was. High up in the Cascades.24. MARIE Was that the test? . MARIE Test about what? CARL Get in the truck. (to Carl) What is all this? CARL What does it look like? MARIE Dead trees.

MARIE (to us) He was back in five minutes. CARL No. CARL Ok. Carl? CARL Wait in the truck. Off the road and through an orchard. Up and up and up.25. Get out. MARIE What the hell is all this. MARIE My God! CARL Yeah. MARIE (to us) And he stopped at a roadside market. Up some more. . CARL Wait in the truck. (to Carl) What's in the bag? CARL Why do you always have to know everything? MARIE (to us) And we drove.

MARIE He took apples out of the bag. CARL Your test. Steep green hills rolling down to sparkling blue Lake Chelan and the snow capped Cascades rising majestically on the other side.26. CARL Bite your tongue. MARIE It would make a great resort. MARIE This is magnificent. (to Carl) Jesus Christ! CARL Don't talk like that. MARIE He cut a slice from each apple. (to us) It was staggering. Not the mountains on the other side. . Julie Andrews and little Von Trapps could’ve come yodeling out of the woods. MARIE (to us) And I followed him on foot to the top of the hill. CARL Which one is the best? (she starts tasting) Don't gobble. (to Carl) Does all of this land belong to you? CARL Not Lake Chelan down there. It could’ve been the Alps. Taste. But everything else you can see.

MARIE I guess. CARL For what? MARIE I dissed your whole orchard. The tart factor. CARL Pretend you're at one of your Park Avenue wine tastings. They’re just apples. CARL What if I tell you that all of them . CARL You mean they're all the same? MARIE Pretty much. Sorry. Savor. the Spitzenberg and the Fuji come from this orchard? MARIE Ok. MARIE You're making me nervous. And don't forget the liquidity. MARIE I’ll try.the Jonagold. I flunked your damn test. . the Gala. Marie. The crisp factor. MARIE An apple is an apple.27. CARL So you pick none of them. CARL Come on. MARIE I don't know. Check the sweet factor. the Braeburn. CARL Don't rush it.

The stems are short so the pickers have to use very little shears to get them off the trees. MARIE Why didn't you have me taste that one? CARL Because they don't grow here.28. It's a helluva gamble.kind of like apple acne. They're thin skinned. good keeper . Yet. sweet. juicy. Lucky bastard was trying to cultivate another variety and one of the freak offshoots produced this. Sandy soil up here may not accept 'em. But I know one that is. Carl! CARL I'm going to rip out every one of these trees. Guy in Minnesota developed them by mistake. too. CARL Yes! And you're right! MARIE I am? CARL 100 percent! Thank you! MARIE You are so weird. And they can develop bitter pit. MARIE They aren't that bad! CARL They're not that good either. . MARIE What's bitter pit? CARL When the skin of the fruit gets bumps all over . The name is Honey Crisp . I've been following them for a while. MARIE So why don’t they grow here? CARL They can be hell to cultivate.everything.tart.

And don't shoot your mouth off about me to all your fancy girlfriends. MARIE Thanks a lot.29. But don’t hoke it up. MARIE Of course you’ll live long enough. You know what a drama queen you are. CARL Well hell. MARIE You certainly haven’t. You're good at sticking your nose in everybody's business. you know. That’s where you come in. Now those damn Grannies from New Zealand are the rage. America's favorite for years. If I live long enough. . Tell ‘em. Just say you're researching an article. CARL The apple game can be a bitch. MARIE (to us) He had never spoken about any of his women like this. Nobody knows why. I know it. He was a man in love. CARL Don't mention my name. Then the market bottomed out. Honey Crisp is next. Keep an eye out for trials that may be coming up. I’m going to get you to the best doctors in New York. I've had almost no deterioration. CARL No! No more doctors! I’ve been up to here with doctors for the last thirteen months and they all say the same thing. Take your Red Delicious. CARL I’m sure I'm a good candidate for anything out there. MARIE You asked me not to say anything to Ernie and Casey and I haven’t. They caught it early and I'm in reasonable shape. You know how much trouble you have keeping secrets. And I can be ahead of the curve. Tastes change on a dime. I need something else.

30. MARIE What friend? CARL Annabel. MARIE (to us) Annabel was an agent or something. CARL Annabel appreciates the real America when she sees it. (to Carl) I'm not leaving until tomorrow. She loves it up here. Carl pulled up at the airport. CARL Maybe that's the style in the movie business. CARL I'm picking up a friend. Where does she get those earrings? CARL You never like my friends. MARIE I didn't say I don't like her. I said she wears grotesque earrings. MARIE You're bringing her up here? CARL What's wrong with Annabel? MARIE Nothing. We got in the truck and drove back to Wenatchee. . MARIE That’s not so! (to us) But it kind of was.

Ten or fifteen. CARL It wasn't true! Alar is perfectly safe. MARIE And how many years ago was this? CARL I don't know. MARIE Good for her. not Meryl Streep. MARIE Blame the alar. CARL I don't care. Every woman in America went nuts. CARL That woman is the devil incarnate. You can't write about her. CARL Why? MARIE To see if I got the go ahead on the piece about Meryl Streep. MARIE Why not? CARL She ruined the apple business.31. She ruined the apple business. I forbid you to glorify her. . MARIE What are you talking about? CARL Meryl Streep went on Sixty Minutes and said that all the apples in Washington State were being sprayed with alar and that alar was carcinogenic. She betrayed the good people of Washington state. I need to call New York. Nobody bought apples for a year. MARIE People seem to be eating plenty of apples now.

How can you call yourself a journalist when all you do is churn out puff pieces about airhead movie stars? MARIE Meryl Streep is not an airhead. CARL Well. tossed my suitcase on the sidewalk and sped off again. tossed her bag in the back of his pickup and sped off. she should stick to saying what's in the script . MARIE Take a good look. Sell 'em! Get rid of them as fast as you can and put the money and the effort into curing your cancer. Honey crisps.who gives a shit? I'll tell you what to do with all these orchards. They're snickering at you behind your back. when he climbed out of the truck. CARL Somebody should. Braeburns .not shooting her mouth off about things she doesn't understand. Here you are sucking up to all these clod hoppers and you know what they see? A rich Jew trying to make like an apple farmer. .32. Jonagolds. MARIE Thank you. I was deciding whether to acknowledge him or not. Sure I'll help you. In about twenty minutes he was back. And you should be ashamed of yourself for promoting that kind of behavior. When she came out. he gave her a big kiss. MARIE You can't tell me what to write. but help yourself for Christ's sake! CARL Get out of my truck! MARIE Gladly! (to us) And he drove off to wait for his girlfriend a few hundred yards away. What the hell are you doing out here anyway? CARL I'm not turning out garbage for stupid women to gorge on between hair appointments. She's a great actress. Lord God Almighty.

33.
Ernie and Casey were properly sympathetic when I told them. I could tell they both felt
sorry for me, which pissed me off. And what really pissed me off was it was like they'd
both already written Carl off. And I certainly wasn't going to go that route!
I called him.
CARL
This is Carl Brenner speaking. Leave your name, your telephone number and a succinct
message.
MARIE
Hi, Carl. I'm meeting with the chief pulmonary oncologist at Sloan-Kettering next week.
Thought you'd want to know. Oh, and I hear they're opening up a new cancer facility at
Yale New Haven. I hear they're looking for guinea pigs. What do you think?
CARL
This is Carl Brenner speaking. Leave your name, your telephone number and a succinct
message.
MARIE
(to us)
Damn him!
(on the phone)
Hi Carl. It's me. Did you get a chance to read that thing in the New England Journal of
Medicine that I sent?
(to us)
No response.
But then a Christmas box of pears came with the usual demented list of instructions. I
called to thank him.
CARL
This is Carl Brenner speaking. Leave your name, your telephone number and a succinct
message.
MARIE
You know what, go to hell! Thank you for the pears.
Eventually the call came.

34.
CARL
What are you doing the weekend of the nineteenth?
MARIE
I don't know.
CARL
I'm coming in. The Met is doing Parsifal.
MARIE
Do I have to go with you?
CARL
That's not funny. Don't make jokes about Wagner.
MARIE
Are you bringing a friend?
CARL
No.
MARIE
(to us)
And he came alone. Did he look pale or was that the drama queen kicking in?
CARL
I have something to tell you.
MARIE
What?
CARL
You're going to be an aunt.
MARIE
I'm what?
CARL
Pamela is going to have a baby.

35.
MARIE
Oh My God!
(to us)
Pamela was a lighting designer for regional theatres. She was an unusual combination of
mousey and opinionated. She was pretty, too, except natural light made her squint. I guess
it was all that time spent in dark theatres.
(to Carl)
When?
CARL
I don't know.
MARIE
How can you not know?
CARL
Well, she isn't pregnant yet, but we're trying.
MARIE
Pamela's over forty, isn't she?
CARL
I guess.
MARIE
She travels all the time.
CARL
So? She'll take it with her.
MARIE
And what'll you do?
CARL
Be its father. I've always wanted to be a dad.
MARIE
No you haven't.
CARL
How would you know?

Check. Check check check. And right now seems like the perfect time for me to be a father. My life is messier. Check. . I screwed up a lot. you wouldn't even touch Casey until she was four years old and even then you acted like she was toxic.36. CARL I did not. Anyway. for one thing. I'd love him. I'd teach him stuff. That's when we decided to go ahead. Check. MARIE You live in a motel. Check. MARIE For the love of God. MARIE Well. Okay. Husband. Brownstone. And I'd know how valuable my time with him is. you are incapable of holding a conversation for five minutes that isn't about yourself and. Child. And Pamela's wrapped up in her career. for another. It would be catastrophic! CARL Why? Because I might die? MARIE You're not going to die. But I know why I've done it all and I'm glad I did. MARIE Does Pamela know about ----CARL The cancer? Of course she knows. MARIE You told her you have lung cancer and then you decided it was a good time to have a baby? CARL Do you hear yourself? Do you hear how damn smug you sound? Little miss busy busy with the check list. having your own is not the same thing. Carl! Don't do this! It wouldn't be fair to the child. Big career. And what if it's a girl? CARL Won't be.

Do you hear me? (to us) He went back to Wentachee that afternoon and he never mentioned a baby again. Did I talk him out of it? Or did they keep trying and it never happened? I'll never know. Pamela's not so bad. but I didn't. Have twins. Because I'm too busy with my life. I really have. CARL I might. okay? Have your damn baby. like you did. CARL We were in high school. squinting little Carl clone. CARL I will. It won't just be over. as asinine as you think it is. but don't come running to me to take care of it. Just leave me out of it. Maybe I should've done this a long time ago. MARIE Don't you see how screwed up all this is? CARL Why are you always so negative? MARIE Fine. Marie. Do what you want. MARIE You always do. It was like the conversation never took place. I liked Melanie. I've thought about it.37. MARIE That's not true. I don't give a damn. CARL Come on. Who knows why? You never liked any of my girlfriends anyway. MARIE I liked the one from Mexico City. And if I do then I'll leave something behind. MARIE Are you two going to get married? CARL That hasn't come up. I happen to be very proud of my life and I'm not going to mess it up taking care of some weird. .

After a sentence or two he said CARL Put your mother on. Anyway. I kept learning more and more about treatments for lung cancer. apple muffin mix. MARIE Really? CARL I'm sending Casey a graduation present.overflowing with apple jam. MARIE A big Carl box arrived a few days later . Did Carl pay any attention? I'll never know that either. apple jelly. and I stood over her while she made the thank you call. Amazingly he picked up. Every girl graduate's dream gift! I told Casey he meant well. apple conserve. he was incommunicado for a long time.out of the blue -CARL I have something to tell you. MARIE Hello . MARIE Let me guess. MARIE What? CARL You'll see. Apples? CARL Wrong. And then one day -. Be on the lookout.38. MARIE Pears? CARL No. apple chutney. and apple granola.

CARL Back off. CARL You made her do this. MARIE Jewish? CARL What's the difference? . Not take over. Help. You always butt in and take over everything. I've sent him all your files. I'm always right. MARIE Where? CARL Stanford Medical Center. Marie.39. MARIE Didn’t you ask me to help you? CARL Yeah. MARIE What's his name? CARL Adler. MARIE Why do you always think the worst? CARL Because when it comes to you. I’ve got my own doctor. MARIE Excuse me? CARL I said back off. MARIE I talked to a thoracic surgeon in Boston and I think it's worth a trip up there to have him take a look at you.

wearing a Ralph Lauren blazer. remember? CARL What Mama said had nothing to do with anything. . MARIE Don't go at me. crisp white button down. I don't want anybody to recognize us. MARIE Mama always said to stick with Jewish doctors. perfectly knotted tie. MARIE For Christ's sake. carrying a leather attache case . You always get off point. muscular. MARIE (to us) I flew to California and met Carl at the Stanford Medical Center in Palo Alto. CARL He's doing a procedure on me next Wednesday. It affects your writing. He looked better than fine . MARIE Why didn't you tell me about this? CARL I am telling you about this.more like the doctor than the patient.40. MARIE We don't know anybody here. Carl! CARL That's blasphemy.lean. (to Carl) How do you feel? CARL Why are you wearing all that jewelry? MARIE What? CARL You're calling attention to yourself.

. MARIE Nothing to worry about? CARL George's sister had this procedure five years ago and she's still fine. Nothing to worry about. like. MARIE (to us) George was his college fraternity brother.41. MARIE You have tumors on your spine now? CARL Just a couple. painless. MARIE What about this procedure you're having? CARL What about it? MARIE Well. Melts them right down. CARL You never know. CARL There's a chapel on the first floor. The doctor is in the next room and he manipulates a robot that beams radiation at tumors on the spine. (to Carl) That's a good sign. what's it for? CARL It's experimental. MARIE So? CARL I want you to pray for me.

) MARIE Carl! My God! (to us) There was blood on his shirt. I sat there for a while. feeling like a hypocrite and an idiot at the same time. I didn't want to jinx my brother. See? (Carl does ten perfect chin-ups. MARIE You're acting like an idiot. And he came through the procedure very well. MARIE I never prayed for anything in my life except a pony for Christmas when I was eight which I didn’t get. CARL It's nothing! I popped some stitches. It didn't seem to hurt anything. It had been a long flight and I dozed off. I'm in great shape. CARL Who else do I have but you? MARIE Okay. MARIE (to Carl) Are you sure? CARL Of course. . I didn't know what to say or do.42. Suddenly there is blood on his shirt. Anyone can stitch me up again. They took out a lymph gland yesterday for a test. MARIE Oh come on! CARL You want to help me? Pray for me. so I just sat there. When he got out of the hospital the first place he wanted to go was the gym. (to us) I went to the chapel.

MARIE You have been a selfish prick your entire life! Do you know that? CARL I know that's what you enjoy believing.43. And I don't think the paparazzi is about to jump out of the Columbia River and take your picture. MARIE Shut up. . Obviously a subject you know nothing about! MARIE The doctor forbade him to drive for a while after the stitches were repaired. CARL You must not have been paying attention. You're going to kill me before I get to die. You wouldn't believe what I put up with! Saint Marie. CARL I’m acting like a man. (imitating) My brother is so difficult. as usual. and he needed to get back to his apples. Guess who was the designated chauffeur? CARL What’s the matter? You forget how to drive stick shift? MARIE Of course not! CARL You go so slow! You are the worst driver in the world! Who taught you to drive? MARIE You did. (pause) CARL Why do you have on sunglasses? It's completely cloudy.

CARL It stinks. (pause) You have on perfume. MARIE (to us) We spent much too long together side by side in that truck. . MARIE How can you say that? Ernie brought it to me from Paris. MARIE You don't hate it on your girlfriends. I hate perfume.44. I'm fine. don't you? MARIE Yes. CARL Well don't. CARL It still stinks. CARL It's driving me crazy. MARIE Why? I need to know. (to Carl) Are you okay? CARL Why? MARIE Just asking. CARL You're not my girlfriend.

MARIE Then why do you always go at me? CARL Because you're just a good writer. but everybody at your level is a good writer. CARL Some. I mean. MARIE The Binghams. CARL I saw it on the remainder table in Seattle. MARIE That's for sure. MARIE Why does everybody I know think I'm a good writer except my own brother? CARL I think you're a good writer. MARIE Why are you telling me that? CARL You need to rethink your writing. It got great reviews. You know what's stopping you? . I never said you weren't.45. that's an accomplishment. And you could be more. (they ride along in silence) CARL You know that book you wrote? MARIE Which one? CARL About that newspaper family. MARIE That book was well written.

Any good writer could write your stuff. And you're wasting it.easygoing. rational and completely nonjudgemental. MARIE And what have you written lately? CARL I can't write. Marc was everything Carl was not . I'll never know how he put up with my brother. Not everyone can do it. Real gentle-like. MARIE (to us) It's pretty hard to despise a sibling with cancer spreading inside him. CARL Apples are delicate. I met Marc. Carl. but I managed. They bruise easy. I thought of how a natural athlete reaches out at the last second for a ball which seems to float into his hand. We drove to one of his orchards in Chelan. CARL You have to give it a twirl. CARL There's an art to apple picking.46. MARIE (to us) I saw his hand reach toward an apple with an easy rhythm. So we drove to Wenatchee. his orchard manager. Then he pulled up quickly and the apple fell into my hand. It's your gift . Apple world was bustling and Carl was in his element. What's stopping me? CARL No guts. mostly in silence. . MARIE (to us) He covered my hand with his. Together we cupped a pink red apple. It was picking season. Parsifal blared full blast in the truck. still warm from the sun. You never put your guts in anything. MARIE No.not mine.

Maybe it was the air. They're ruining my fruit! MARIE He grabbed a megaphone. MARIE (to us) I couldn't watch. CARL Somebody has long nails. CARL Atencion! Atencion! Ven Aqui! Line up! Hace la linea! MARIE (to us) He fished a nail clipper out of his pocket. CARL My God! MARIE He found a scratch on an apple. por favor. MARIE (to us) I don’t know. It was a revelation. And more than that. Or maybe it was the first time in my life I’d ever eaten an apple straight off the tree. But the men didn't seem particularly bothered. Show me your hands. Maybe it was the day. right? MARIE Yeah. They were used to him. handing it to anyone whose nails might bruise the fruit. CARL Good. You could hear the sound of clipping as he moved down the row. .this crazy Texas Jew who poured his heart and his guts and everything he had into his apples.47. CARL I better not find any long nails. They loved him . high up there in his orchard. Dame los manos.

Get back to work. too. He inspected them carefully. shadowing the various sorters and packers. CARL Okay. MARIE (to us) We drove up to his orchard in Cashmere. They might get the wrong idea. CARL I’ve got to check the Honey crisps. because the people I met didn't seem to speak English. CARL Don't tell any of these people that you live in New York and your daughter goes to an Ivy League school. MARIE (to us) The next stop was the packing house in Wenatchee. these people loved him. the one he had showed me the first time I was there. And. MARIE (to us) Odd advice. Carl walked the line. CARL No good! Esto no sirve! Throw it out! MARIE (to us) He was a fanatic about his apples. like the men in the orchards. whose fingers flew over the fruit. It was late by now.48. We all put on the obligatory plastic hair nets. there were now little whips in precise rows. none taller than my head. Be a few years before we can really tell. The sun was setting. Now and then he screamed at one of them. (to Carl) How are they doing? CARL So far so good. Where there had been trees. .

CARL I mean everything I say. okay? CARL Okay. CARL She needs to know how to protect herself. Especially in your part of the country. I promise. MARIE What? CARL You won’t sell the orchards. (to Carl) You really meant it. CARL When she comes out here I'll teach her how to use a pistol. MARIE (to us) We sat on the hill and watched the sun fall behind the mountains. . MARIE I won’t.49. MARIE I'm sure she'll be overjoyed. (switching gears) Does Casey know how to handle weaponry? MARIE I seriously doubt it. (pause) Make me a promise. didn’t you? CARL What? MARIE What you said about contributing something real to the world.

Sorry. MARIE Why? CARL We should go there. I went home and read every medical journal I could get my hands on. I didn't mean that. MARIE Why should we do that? CARL That's where the dragons are. but he wasn't taking my calls. Then Carl called. CARL It's a good thing you never had a boy. (to us) But I couldn't take it back. MARIE It's not crap.50. CARL You still doing a travel piece about Mumbai? MARIE I think so. It's the truth. . MARIE It's a good thing you never had any children at all. CARL You oughta' change it to China. there would have been no Holocaust. I found some things to tell Carl. MARIE You're going to have her packing heat at Brown? Are you out of your mind? CARL If the Jews had been able to have guns and fight off the Gestapo. Just because she lives on the East Coast it doesn't mean she has to swallow all that lefty crap you've been feeding her all her life. That's what they call master doctors in China. Marc Armstrong kept me posted on his condition.

CARL Of course. The dragons are going to treat me. CARL Get in the car! There is something you have to see! MARIE (to us) I was cranky from the long flight. MARIE And he hung up on me.a fountain of negativity flows from your brain right to your mouth. Trucks blocking lanes. It took me twenty six hours to get from New York to Beijing. Construction everywhere. Forget it. Carl met me in the hotel lobby. I was filling pages of my notebook. And everyone smoking. . a large French supermarket. MARIE I know that. MARIE I thought you liked your doctor in Palo Alto. CARL All the good research men are in China now. MARIE (to us) And off we went into a major traffic jam. Tell nobody. (to Carl) I am not up for The Great Wall today. CARL Who the hell wants to go to The Great Wall? Get in the car. You know everything. We pull up in front of Carrefour. MARIE What are you not telling me? CARL There you go again . even the people on bicycles. dust clouds all over.51.

She was drop dead gorgeous.No. She always looked stunning. She was smart. . MARIE You brought a date? To China? CARL Why not? MARIE I don't know. I noticed that Carl's shirt was wet. no matter what time of day or night. Big cellophane packs of Washington apples with the Alamo Orchards code on the tag. I couldn't stand her. Allegra is waiting. I just thought ------CARL You could've brought Ernie.52. She owned a chain of upscale boutiques in Houston and Dallas. CARL How do you like that? MARIE Congratulations! CARL Let's get back to the hotel. MARIE (to us) Allegra was beautiful .and funny. too . CARL I'm not touching that one. MARIE I didn't think of it. CARL Look! They're selling my apples! MARIE (to us) And so they were.

Truly a wonder of the world. MARIE (to us) But I stayed. CARL Hey. like a bad sunburn. It snaked ahead of us for thousands of miles across those barren mountains . CARL They burn. get back on the plane and go home. MARIE What the hell are you doing in China when you should be having radiation in New York? This is crazy. MARIE (to us) He pulled up his shirt. (to Carl) What is that? CARL Scorpion patches. That's what the dragons do here.53.up and down as far as the eye could see. (he takes her arm) MARIE What? CARL (to Allegra) She's way out of shape. You need to have your spleen out! CARL I need to do exactly what I'm doing. Allegra. They sweat out the poison. His skin was full of bright red patches. . And we went to walk on the Great Wall. But they work. They come to the hotel room and put on these hot patches of toxin. why don't you go on ahead with the guide? Marie needs to go slow. And if you don't think so. They will make me cancer free.

They're burning me. CARL God who gave me life Preserve my life today Lord Christ who redeemed my life Purify my soul today Holy Spirit. There are new gene therapies and medications all the time. but he started reciting it aloud every morning. It began to grate on my nerves. MARIE (to us) I don't know where he got this from. Something is leaking. We need to look at everything. MARIE Why is your shirt all wet? CARL I need to go back to the car. CARL I'm glad you're here. They didn't tape them correctly. Maybe this trip wasn't such a great idea. I don't want Allegra to know. Carl.54. before every single meal: . Don't let Allegra see me. The goddamn patches. Life Companion Walk the path with me today. Let's set a schedule for the next twelve months. MARIE We'll get through this. MARIE You don't know that. MARIE (catching his signal) I'm afraid I am. And then. no matter where he was. CARL We'll catch up with you. no matter who was within earshot.

God is the father. MARIE If you're going to do this. MARIE You're not dying. MARIE You've got him beat. . MARIE (to us) We were on the plane going home. bless this food.55. You do it your way when you're dying of lung cancer. CARL Tell you what. Marie. CARL Father Jesus. CARL There's an eleven percent survival rate for this. Carl. MARIE Oh yeah? What did he say? CARL Why should I tell you? You don't believe in Him. This was too much. (to Carl) There's no such thing as Father Jesus. And you're making a huge ass of yourself. CARL Daddy was the worst Jew in the world. Jesus is the son. CARL Not to me. at least do it right! CARL Yesterday I confessed my sins to Father Jesus. MARIE If Daddy could hear you he'd have a hissy fit.

And his color wasn't as good. (to Carl) I’ll come out and see you over the holidays. CARL I'm going home. MARIE You always tell me December is the most important time in the apple business because you lay ground for next year. (to us) But he was thinner. CARL I can bring Marc to San Antonio. MARIE That's right! Hundreds of people get over it every year. I noticed. When I got home to New York. Maybe I’ll bring Casey. I called him every day. (to us) In San Francisco I had a connection to New York. MARIE You can't do that! CARL Why can't I? MARIE Because. MARIE What do you mean? CARL San Antonio. . CARL That's not a reason. I contacted every cancer center I could find on the internet. MARIE Because you can't give up.56. You can't.

I got another one. I spent Thanksgiving in Palo Alto. Didn't I tell you? The good fairy flew in and took away all the bad cancer. Carl Brenner. (on the phone) How are you? CARL Fine. I called him. MARIE Really? CARL Oh. I have twelve new lesions on the brain. How the hell do you think I am? MARIE Okay. Okay. being crabby and getting nothing done. MARIE (to us) More pacing. but exactly two years after that first letter. Your brother. And by then who knows what cure they could discover. More phone calls. I had three hours of MRIs yesterday. . CARL You're driving me crazy. Carl. We expected Carl for Thanksgiving. I hope Casey fixed the candied yams. (to us) I paced around my house in New York. People live for years with a lot of cancer in the brain.57. I thought you should know. Lay off. MARIE (on the phone) This is not a catastrophe. CARL Dear Marie. Marie.

MARIE You can't do this to me! CARL What? Get sick and die? . CARL This is Carl Brenner speaking. MARIE (to us) Five straight days of that and I was on a plane to San Antonio. please. Dahlia makes a great taco salad. We met at the gym last week. She's trying to suffocate me. I'm not hungry. Not yet. Have some.58. Dahlia? CARL What the hell are you doing here? MARIE You didn't answer your phone. MARIE Thank you. I found Carl having lunch on his patio with a flat chested little blonde woman. CARL (to Dahlia) This is my sister. your telephone number and a succinct message. Leave your name. CARL I was busy. CARL This is Dahlia. CARL Sorry. MARIE For five days? I thought you were dead. MARIE Could you excuse us.

She'd catch you doing something and fuss at you and you'd always find a way to say something hateful back and make her cry so she'd leave you alone. stop it. what's left of it. if you hurry. MARIE Yes you are. CARL Well. MARIE Tell me you need me and then blow me off! CARL I'm just living my life . CARL You are the queen of drama queens. . CARL What does Mama have to do with it? MARIE That's the little game you played with her. MARIE It's not going to work with me.that is.59. (looks at his watch) You know. I'm not Mama. MARIE I'm not going to do that. CARL Help me what? MARIE Take care of yourself. You can hurt my feelings all you want but it's not going to make me stop trying to help you. MARIE Oh. You're losing weight and your color is off. CARL I'm not doing so bad. you can make the 3:48 back to Newark. Hope lives eternal. Carl.

MARIE Yes. I'll go back to New York if you come with me. Marie. CARL Why would I go to New York? MARIE Isn't the Met doing a new production of Tannhauser? CARL Lohengrin. MARIE Why would you say that? CARL Because I know you. You need monitoring. And Sloan-Kettering. CARL Right. You want to stick me in Sloan-Kettering and have them poke at me 24 hours a day until I finally croak. theatres. MARIE Right. . Lohengrin. Face it. You're not. I am dying of cancer and there's nothing you can do about it. (he can't help a smile) And stop saying you're dying. CARL And Sloan-Kettering. You think there's an answer for everything. And you can't. You're at a point now where anything can happen. You think you can solve any problem in the world if you have the right connections. I'll tell you what. Concerts. for Christ's sake! MARIE I thought we're not supposed to take the name of Father Jesus in vain. And there's a lot of other stuff going on. CARL Of course! I'm dying. It's arguably the best cancer facility in the country.60. all those restaurants you like so much. And the park to run in.

. I rented this house. and the twin sofas with all the throw pillows she had embroidered. I flew back to San Antonio and got our cousin Ramona to bring him over. And when that happens . the first thing he saw was all my mother's furniture .if it happens .61. You don't know what treatment could appear or some new test could pop up or some drug get discovered or--CARL Fine. CARL What the hell is going on? MARIE Surprise. I do not intend to die in some lefty hospital hooked up to nine thousand machines. CARL What are you doing here? MARIE What do you think? CARL You got all of Mama's things out of storage. MARIE Even the rugs fit. And nothing you do or say can make me.her marble topped commode. But for now just leave me be in my house with my stuff doing whatever I want to do. I'm staying here. When he walked in. MARIE (to us) So I went back to New York alone. MARIE You don't know that.we'll deal with it. I secretly rented a house three blocks from Carl’s. But I hatched a plan. Doesn't it look great? CARL It looks creepy as hell! Why did you do this? MARIE Because I'm going to live here for a while.

CARL What is it? MARIE You put it in the drier to make your clothes soft. He was the big brother. And Ramona happened to hear this house was for rent. Ernie knows all about it. you know. CARL Put this junk back in storage and go the hell back to New York. maybe you needed a little looking after.back home together. So I thought. CARL Do you know what Bounce is? MARIE Of course I know what Bounce is. He said okay. I was the flunkie. Well say something. CARL What the hell am I supposed to say? MARIE Welcome home. Carl and me . it was like the last thirty years didn't happen.62. CARL I didn't say you could do that. CARL You talked to my doctor behind my back? MARIE Get over it. MARIE I didn't require your permission. MARIE I talked to your oncologist and he said it was a good idea. who better than me? Oh. . He told me you've been sleeping a lot lately and getting worn out at the gym after half an hour and he said. (to us) And there we were. Casey too. In a flash.

CARL Regular cornflakes. And pick me up some cornflakes. MARIE Not jumbo size. CARL And not frosted. CARL Like what? MARIE Like I'm a half-wit. It is important not to make a mistake. MARIE Stop talking to me like that.63. That's what you got last time and they went stale. CARL Don't forget. CARL Do you know what color the box is? MARIE Are you insane? CARL Do you think you could go to the Wal-Mart tomorrow and get me a box? Take the old box with you to remind yourself. . MARIE Not frosted. MARIE Okay CARL Not jumbo size. MARIE Got it.

Two years later. MARIE I don't need lessons from you. MARIE Please! Are you such an expert on the truth? You've floated around inside your little Carl bubble your whole life! CARL Why do you care so much? MARIE Because you never let me in. CARL You never even thought about going anywhere else. thank you. It will help your work.64. CARL You're not a halfwit. you were always breathing down my neck. You're just all over the board. I'm teaching you how to focus. My work is fine. MARIE That was thirty-five years ago! . CARL What work? When's the last time you turned something in? MARIE I don't have to put up with this shit from you! CARL The truth hurts sometimes. MARIE It was the best school I got into. CARL What about college? I go to Penn. CARL Well. MARIE Not true. You come to Penn.

We just need to hang in long enough and keep asking questions. I'm getting rid of everything. CARL Stop cheer leading.Gorky Park. CARL The hell with it. I know it. Marie. MARIE What are you doing? CARL What does it look like? I am listing all the books I own. Nobody needs all this junk. My Father.Kick Ass Margaret Truman. MARIE Okay.Harry S Truman. The Assassin's Cloak Carl Hiasson .65. MARIE Why? CARL I'm downsizing. I'm gonna' take a nap. It's useless. CARL Martin Cruz Smith . (a pause) Carl? CARL What? MARIE There's going to be a good ending to this. . MARIE (to us) A few days later I went by his house to meet him for lunch. He was in his study surrounded by his books.

CARL Not since you've been down here. Everything. You know. Let me see that.66. you get all obsessed and you do research and you ask questions and ---MARIE And what? CARL Wait a minute. CARL What do you feel like eating? MARIE Chimichangas. MARIE It's just my scribbles. MARIE How do you know? CARL Because when you're working on something. MARIE I'm always writing something. MARIE (to us) He filled his car with every piece of paper that could tell anyone anything about him and we drove it to a dump on the other side of town. What else? (They are at the restaurant) CARL What are you putting in there? MARIE Nothing. . CARL But you aren't writing anything. He threw his computer on top of the pile.

C slipping. CARL Bullshit. MARIE It wouldn't make any sense to you. Bad sign. I CARL You used me. MARIE No! They're just notes.it was for Vanity Fucking Fair.all those doctors you talked to . CARL Isn't it lucky that your difficult prick of a brother got cancer! . (he gets her note pad. CARL 'March 3rd. CARL Let me see. Marie! You're writing about me! MARIE I'm not writing anything. Feb 11th--MARIE Writing is the way I remember things. Still going to the gym. Feb 21st. Read about new studies at Sloan-Kettering. Feb 15th.67. Cranky. flips through some pages) CARL You're writing about me! MARIE I'm not. Barely lasts twenty minutes. C uninterested. CARL I think it would. All that research you did .

68. CARL I can’t write worth shit. CARL You have to do it. I want you to. Yeah! Write about it.) CARL I should tell you something. Us. And I don't want to lose you. MARIE Maybe you should write it. . MARIE What? CARL I know I was a terrible brother. MARIE Lucky? You think I want you to die? You think I want to go through the rest of my life without my brother? What kind of a monster do you take me for? I love you. God dammit. I’ve been a terrible brother. CARL And who else is there? (A moment. MARIE That’s true. Adenocarcinoma. MARIE Come on. The whole thing! MARIE I don't know. CARL No. MARIE It’s not all your fault. Carl. CARL You know what? Maybe it's not such a bad idea to write something.

) I'm afraid. You throw ideas back and forth. You need to do it in person. She hugs him back) MARIE I wish I was as brave as you are. Go. MARIE I don't think it's a good time to leave you.69. Talk to your editor. CARL No. CARL What is my suffering compared to Father Jesus? It is a tragedy that you don't have spiritualism in your life. CARL I know how you and Wayne work. I am too. (a beat. Marie. MARIE In New York? CARL I doubt if you can get Wayne to come here. CARL But you’ve got to move forward. Do it! From the gut. Just go forward. (He hugs her. You can't have a meeting like that on the phone. I'll think about it. MARIE Ok. CARL Maybe. MARIE I guess I could call him. CARL I'll be fine. MARIE I don't want to go. Go. . MARIE I know you are.

The CEA. CARL I'm having lunch with Melanie at Delicious Tamales. Red pencils. You better get a blood test. Everybody dies. MARIE You sound like bad religious television. I had seen her white nightgown hanging on a hook on the back of Carl's bathroom door and her cosmetics case by the sink. Diet cokes. CARL Ok. Don't forget. It's a cancer marker. And you give mine to Wayne. divorced twice now. She was her old cheery self. I want to check the levels myself when you get them back. with twenty extra pounds on her. MARIE I won't. Don't trust what the doctor says. It's a beautiful day. MARIE (to us) Melanie was his old high school flame. (to us) Wayne and I have a work ritual. Wayne and I were hard at it and Ernie was still at home. CARL Don't be cute.70. Twenty minutes later the phone rang again. I still liked her. MARIE (to us) I called him from home the next morning. Give Melanie my love. (to Carl) Nice. MARIE (to Carl) I'll talk to you later. CARL Fly safe. Text on the table. .

I just talked to him. And George. 'It's Carl'. I hope you understand. his college room mate.neatly typed. . Please turn off the air conditioning. Dahlia and so forth. And Marc. of course. I wonder what our relatives thought when they heard Wagner at a Jewish man’s funeral. (calling) Can you pick it up. Melanie found him in the garden when she came to pick him up. his orchard manager. Ernie came into the room. MARIE (to us) I arranged a memorial service in San Antonio. I saw tears running down his cheek. Ernie and Casey were there. I will miss you.71. Of course. Everyone limits themselves. (to Ernie) But I just talked to him! (to us) I was furious. All the color was drained out of his face. Why are you crying? Carl is dead. 'No' he said. (to Ernie) This is so like him! I must've been the last voice he heard. Please forgive me for taking my own life. CARL Dear Marie. Go forward. (to us) And I remember Ernie putting his arms around me. he said. Of course Carl left me a letter . We will be united some day in heaven I pray and hope. And his women . Ernie? (to us) Wayne and I went on with our work. please. I know.Melanie. The police are there. It’s time for me to go. I send you my love now and forever. I made sure some selections from PARSIFAL were included. Amanda in a black mantilla. Carl. And there were a few women I didn't recognize. But Carl would’ve wanted it.

I guess you know what it was about. What if I hadn't left? Or was it that he did it when I was gone so that I wouldn't have to deal with the mess? Or was it some final Carl version of gotcha? Like so much about my brother. We harvested our first crop last year and they were so much in demand. a plaque for the Virgin of Guadalupe and a styrofoam cross with blue plastic flowers. CARL Family takes care of family. And it was about me. Some of his ashes are buried near our parents and grandparents. He left half of his orchards to Marc Armstrong and half to Casey. How happy that would have made him. MARIE You carried me on your shoulders? CARL I think I did.nothing special. It's never been remaindered that I know of.72. I've been thinking about a day in San Antonio. a few months before the end. I don't even remember what we were doing. How could I expect to know everything about my brother's life? Nobody did. Lately. I spent a long time trying to understand his decision to put a pistol to his head. I remember being so happy. MARIE Why couldn't it have always been like that? . The rest are in an urn at the top of the Cashmere Orchard where the men erected a shrine hung with Mexican religious medals called milagros. I wish he could know that. too. And he was right about the honey crisps. It was about adenocarcinoma and it was about the love of apples and it was about Carl. CARL Do you remember once when we were at Uncle Henry's ranch and we were all fishing and I carried you on my shoulders? You were so little. you weighed almost nothing. And you were laughing so hard you wet your pants. Just a brother/sister sort of a day . MARIE The piece I wrote turned out to be a book. that we put in another thousand whips this spring. it remains a mystery.

THE END . CARL Who knows? (A long look.73.) MARIE (to us) Sometimes we don't get to understand everything. Silence.