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A play by Julian Remigaard (1974)
Joey a man Maria a woman Narrator a man Dad a dad Jimmy a friend Maitre’D an older man
ACT I SCENE ONE
(The stage is completely empty, save for an ancient man in a white suit, clutching a cane in one hand, his coat in the other. This is our NARRATOR. He is backlit by a soft, yellow bulb.) NARRATOR This here is the tale of Joey and Maria, two spitfires that would make ol’ Beelzebub blush. Joey with a six-pack as hard as a diamond, Maria with a butt so plump you could balance an entire Encyclopedia Britannica set on it. This is their story. The story of two lovers. A story of secret kisses and cupid’s near misses. A story so old I forgot when it was told. Now, permit this old bag of bones to get out of the way and let the story creep along. (Narrator takes a considerable amount of time to hobble offstage. The curtains open to reveal JOEY and friend JIMMY in JIMMY’S bedroom. Both are naked and slathering their hair with pomade. They stand in front of JIMMY’S closet doors, both of which are entirely mirrored.) JIMMY So Joey, I hear you’re takin’ Maria Big Butt out on a date tonight. JOEY Yeah, I’m takin’ her on a date, alright. A date to Hotel Joey. JIMMY When’d you get a hotel, Joey? JOEY (Stops combing his hair, looks at JIMMY.) By that I mean she’ll be bobbin’ on this thing all night. (Gestures toward flaccid penis.) JIMMY You are so lucky. I can’t even get Rhonda to let me pop it in the back door. JOEY That’s the Joey Special! (Both laugh and high five, lights fade out.)
(MARIA is cooking spaghetti in the kitchen. She is at an old stove. Seated at the table in the corner is her geriatric father. Both are lit from above.) MARIA Here’s your Pasta Puttanesca, Papa. DAD Mamma mia, Maria, you so good to your father. You makin’ your old Papa so proud. MARIA Ti amo, Papa, I love you more than life. (DAD crosses himself, then lifts a forkful of spaghetti to his mouth. Both freeze as the narrator is suddenly present in the corner. He inhales deeply, smiles, then rubs his stomach.) NARRATOR If I wasn’t so full, I’d probably go up and sneak a little bite. Why did I eat so much Chinese food before I started narrating this play? Oh well, that’s for God to know and me to find out once I reach those pearly gates. (starts to cry) Forgive these tears. I just know I’ll be going on my merry way out of this life soon. I’m a silly, crying old fool. My baby is waiting for me in Heaven. (sing-songy voice) But I’ll be there in a minute, darling. Wait for me. Now back to the spaghetti. (DAD and MARIA resume their conversation.) DAD I love-a my Maria so much. My sweet-a baby Maria. MARIA Tu amor, Papi. You old, silly Bapparizzi. There’s more Pasta Puttenesca where that came from. But if you’ll excuse me, I have a date to get ready for. DAD He a nice boy, Maria? He a good boy? Papi wishes he could meet him but my heart. I so weak, Maria. MARIA I dont know enough about him, Papi. But I have a feeling he’s a good boy.
(JOEY is honking his car outside, waiting for Maria to come to him. He is psyching himself up in the mirror.) JOEY Ohhhh yeeeeah. Who wants it? You want it? Oh yeah, girl. She wants a piece of Joey. (JOEY honks the horn twice while continuing his psych-up in the mirror) And what she wants she can get. (He starts screaming) Cause Joey has it! (He reaches into an imaginary dashboard and grabs for a pill bottle. He gingerly takes one out and swallows it.) Mrs. Joey Foncoolo, Mrs. Joey Foncoolo, Mrs. Joey Foncoolo. (He repeats until he sees her come out the door. He breathes deeply as opens the door.) JOEY How’s doin’ hon? You look like a one hundred percent doll face. Can Joey get a kiss? MARIA (Fake talking to herself.) Look, he asks for a kiss before she’s barely in the door. I told you he was good for nothin’. JOEY Who’s good for nothin’? Joey? MARIA I only know of one other person in the car besides me. JOEY Besides you? MARIA Me. JOEY But it was you who was talkin’. MARIA Look at him, thinks he knows what’s what before the door’s even shut. JOEY You talkin’ to me when you talkin’ like that? MARIA He’s askin’ if I’m talkin’ to him. My mother always said the Foncoolos were not worth a damn.
JOEY Well, we all know your mother’s in hell. Rottin’ with Hitler and John Wayne Gacy. And Jimmy the Rat. All the boys know where your mother is. MARIA If I didn’t just have a manicure, I’d be punching a hole in your face. JOEY Why don’t you use that hole in your face to suck my dick? MARIA If I had a dime for every time one of you Bronx boys told me to suck your dick, I’d be addin’ a new wing to Yankee Stadium. JOEY Mama Mia, I thought I’d go on a date with a girl I could talk to. This is what you give me, Lord? MARIA Our Lord God isn’t listening to you. You think he cares about a Mortadelle gettin’ his dick sucked? He’s listenin’ to African children about their hunger. He ain’t listenin’ to you, Joey. JOEY I don’t believe God is listenin’ to shit. (MARIA crosses herself.) MARIA And I’m sure the African children don’t think he’s listenin’ either. We gonna move this 1988 piece of shit anytime soon or do I have to start eating the loaf of bread I brought in my purse? JOEY What broad brings bread in her bag? Ay Mama Mia, Lord, why with this girl? (Hold for laughter.)
(JOEY and MARIA are at a restauranté waiting for a table. A fun-loving MAITRE D’ enters the scene and looks at the couple.) MAITRE’ D Joey! (Kisses Joey on both cheeks) We don’t see you no more. Where you hide? (Wink) and why you hiide? (slyly.) MARIA What’s he talkin’ about? I’m starvin’, Joey. JOEY Okay Maria. Calm down. (To MAITRE D’.) She gets a little patzo in the garbanzo beans when she’s hungry. MAITRE’ D Say no more, Joseph. I know how that is. This ol’ garbanzo gets a little patzo also. I tell you about it later. (Sensitively.) Let’s get you to a table. I so sorry, Maria. (Verges on tears.) (JOEY rustles his hair then confidently puts his arm around MARIA, leading her like a gentleman to their table. Joey pulls out her seat and puts a napkin on her lap. Then kisses her hand and whispers something into her ear that we never hear. MARIA smirks and shakes her head.) MARIA Joey, is it a wine night? (JOEY snaps his fingers and a bottle is placed on the table. The waiter bows to them. Breadsticks come. JOEY playfully pretends one is his penis and MARIA laughs. She puts one in her mouth provocatively. Other patrons who catch them laugh with them and reminisce on young love. A couple near them begin to talk. A spotlight shines on their table.) MAN That’s a very cute Italian couple. WOMAN You can tell by their eyes they’ve been together a long time. MAN Look how she loves him. (The suddenly inspired MAN stands up and starts to sing a classic Italian song. The spotlight shines solely on
him. The MAN sings for a full minute while JOEY and MARIA have fun, talk and play with bread. The MAITRE D’ dances alone. The lights darken and two spotlights appear. One trained on JOEY and MARIA and one on the singing patron. The lights begin to flicker. The lyrics of the song being sung start to feel darker and more ominous. They have taken a dark turn. Like in Willy Wonka in that chocolate tunnel.) MAN (Singing.) The light fades fast in our father’s house. In tongues he controls both man and mouse. The darkness you saw is sure not done. The king of flies wants his son. (The lights come back on. Glaringly so. Everyone freezes as a male POST OFFICE CLERK runs onto the stage.) POST OFFICE CLERK Oh Maria, it’s so bad. Your father. He croak like a frog an hour ago. Oh Maria, he was calling for you. The whole neighborhood heard it. (Looking up towards the ceiling.) I have to be a messenger for this too, Lord!? (The POST OFFICE CLERK switches to Italian and falls to his knees crying. JOEY gets up. He walks to MARIA’S seat and lifts her up like a bride in his arms. He carries her to the front of the stage and then exits left. The POST OFFICE CLERK continues to cry on the floor and the lights finally fade to an all-encompassing black.)
ACT II SCENE ONE
(JOEY’S Apartment. JOEY, still carrying MARIA as a bride, lays her down onto his couch. She is still in shock. JOEY goes into the corner of the room and brings a volcano-weed smoking device over to where MARIA lays. He lights it and smoke plumes out.) JOEY Here, take this. It will make you feel better. MARIA Joey, I can’t....I’m.... (Too weak to say anything MARIA hugs herself and begins to shiver.) JOEY Open your mouth, Maria. (MARIA, too stunned to do anything but obey, opens. JOEY takes a gigantic hit of marijuana into his mouth and then blows the smoke into MARIA’S. MARIA closes her eyes, relishing the taste. Then she breathes it in deeply and exhales.) JOEY One more, baby. (MARIA opens her mouth again without a word and waits while JOEY blows another stunner into it.) MARIA My father, Joey. My papi. JOEY This is happy weed, Maria. Give it time for you to not feel a thing. MARIA My heart is aching, Joey. I feel my heart. I’m so sad I can’t breath. JOEY That’s why I say give it time. Let me read to you.
MARIA No book can help me, Joey. I can’t breath anymore. (JOEY takes down a book off his shelf and begins to read. MARIA takes a deep breath and relaxes into her position on the couch.) JOEY In the desert I saw a creature, naked, bestial, Who, squatting upon the ground, Held his heart in his hands, And ate of it. I said, "Is it good, friend?" "It is bitter -- bitter," he answered; "But I like it Because it is bitter, And because it is my heart. MARIA He liked it because it was his heart. Joey, this marijuana is making me feel crazy. JOEY How crazy? MARIA It makes me want to dance, Joey. I haven’t danced in a long time. (MARIA springs up off the couch and starts to slowly dance.) JOEY (Speaking to no one.) Can I marry her, Lord? Will she take me? (MARIA can’t hear JOEY. The functions of her body are only working towards her dancing.) JOEY Can she love me for me? Is it what we were meant for? (A break in the music causes MARIA to stop dancing.) MARIA My daddy would have wanted me to dance. (In a loud song-voice.) He would have wanted me to sing!
JOEY Is the world better with us together? MARIA (Singing.) Better....together....better....forever. JOEY Were we meant as two? MARIA (Continuing to sing.) Better together...with love that’s forever..... JOEY Am I not me without her? MARIA The things that matter....are better... together.... JOEY It makes me sick to think like this. (MARIA stops singing and looks at JOEY) MARIA Let’s make love, Joey. JOEY I can’t right now. MARIA Why not?
JOEY Don’t ask me why. MARIA No, you have to tell me. JOEY I can’t because...
MARIA Because... JOEY Because I haven’t had sex in a month and I’m afraid it’ll be over too fast. MARIA Oh, Joey. You could make a girl cry. I haven’t had sex in so long I bet there are cobwebs in there. (Points to vagina.) I don’t even know what to expect. JOEY I could come right now just talking about having sex. MARIA Then let’s come, Joey. I’d rather you blow your load with me than over there. JOEY Okay then let’s....go...to...bed. (JOEY mocks like he is having an orgasm. MARIA puts her hands to her face in shock.) JOEY And the best actor award goes to...Joey Foncoolo! MARIA (Laughing hysterically.) I thought you really blew a load! (JOEY and MARIA freeze while laughing and the NARRATOR walks slowly onto the stage.) NARRATOR God made me a narrator and God made these two lovers. God took away my wife and then gave me a boner. God made the rain and then blessed the sunshine. My life isn’t for me now and it’s not my fault. I did it all and conquered all I saw. (Slow.) Now bless this mess until my heart stops beating in my chest.
(The stage is completely dark. We only hear the voices of JOEY and MARIA.) MARIA Is it in now, Joey? JOEY Yeah, it’s in. MARIA Okay, good. I think I feel it. JOEY I know I feel it. MARIA Let’s give them something to talk about, Joey. JOEY All we can do is try, Maria. I think I know what they’ll talk about. (The curtain falls.)
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