Denise Dances: A Return to Perfect Health - Body, Mind & Spirit!

Friday, March 6, 2009

SCREEN GEMS: Act V, Sc II

ACT V: Scene II
THE FAMILY OF BUMS
(After a while, they did not bother to look anymore.)
Home was a cardboard box split open and spread out over the sidewalk of East Ninth Street. In the summer, it wasn't so bad. Sure it got hot, but all you had to do was lay out on your piece of the box and relax. People, they weren't too bad. It was your place, they knew it. They didn't intrude. Hell, they didn't even look at you. You'd get some newcomers, they give you a look. You see them coming first and you expect it. But they never looked straight at you. And after a couple of weeks, they did not even bother to look anymore.
The chicks, you holler things at 'em, they never look twice. They walk real fast and keep going.
Debbie walked up East Ninth Street. Today was a good day for ice cream at Steve's Ice Cream Parlor. She could sit on the bench and gaze out the big glass windows at all the people walking by. Once she had been sitting in Steve's Ice Cream Parlor, delighting in a triple chocolate cone, when she spotted a group of young men walking toward the windows. They stopped and pointed. Beside her was a student, munching his ice cream and reading a book. His comrades outside walked with purpose to the window. He didn't look up. One of them knocked on the glass. He jumped. He looked up and they all laughed silently outside the glass.
She approached the cardboard box. There was Uncle So-and-So, standing on his one leg. He was probably a Viet Nam vet with plenty of war stories to tell. There was the scrawny woman with the awful, scratchy voice she liked to imitate when she allowed herself the chance to be silly. Not with Lori, that was for sure.
There was a stranger with them today, a woman.
"Aunt Mabel come to visit from Harlem," she jokingly told Lori later.
SCENE III
MORE BUMS TO COME
All his worldy possessions were stuffed into a grocery cart.
Not a shirt on his back, not a penny to his name, just a shopping cart for a bed, Debbie thought to herself. He was so small and pathetic, sitting atop his little bed, stuffed with rags and overflowing.

SCREEN GEMS: Act IV, Sc II

ACT IV: Scene II "Packages" Solitary gray blocks stood silent and strong against a cloudless blue sky. She stared up at the monument, wondering which place in the linear landscape, was her office. She walked down the long carpeted corridor into the office. Back from Thanksgiving vacation, at last. She thought Monday would never come. "And if you don't send those packages up here to the forty-eighth flor, I am going to kill you," the office manager spoke the immortal words. "Those packages have been in the mailroom for three weeks and if you don't deliver them here, right now, I am going to kill you." She placed significant weight on the last few words. "Death threats over the phone," Debbie giggled. Scott and the other managers were back from London and everything was back to normal again. Crystal took one look at Elyse, sighed, shook her head and disappeared into her office. "Did It tell you where he was going?" Elyse asked. "It? No." Debbie laughed and turned to face her computer. "Oh. He went to a meeting. He'll be back at two." Marge stood sentinel at the end of the hall. "Yes, Mother, I'm coming," and Elyse disappeared around the corner. 0909D ACT V SCENE I: THE VILLAGE, THE BUMS
Life in the Village, Summer of '87
The hottest most disgusting summer ever
Power 95 Degrees - Every Day
Lori didn't like the air conditioner
"Spare lil bit o' change -- Miss?"
He sang every day as she walked past him, down Saint Mark's Place after work. Sitting on the curb against the black wrought iron fence, his head wrapped in a small white turban, his big brown eyes looking seriously up at her. It was subliminally sung, below his breath, an innocent song, incidentally conveying the message that he needed money.
One day she and Lori decided together to give him change the next time they walked by. They laughed about his innocent song one Saturday morning. They locked the apartment, turning the key in the triple lock, over and over again, and left.
"Spare any change - Miss?"
At the end of the familiar lullaby, Debbie reached into her purse, rummaged for spare change and came up with a dime and some pennies. She quickly dropped them into his hand. His song interrupted, he looked up at her with big brown eyes. She gasped. He looked as if he were about to cry.

SCREEN GEMS: Act IV

SCREEN GEMS Act IV "The Business Lunch" ALL THAT GLITTERS SCENE I "Are you dating anyone in the office?" her boss asked. "No," she said, lowering her eyes. "No." The mushroom burgers arrived, adorned with lettuce and tomatoes on a platter of french fries. "I, um, I never thought I would want to get involved with anyone at work. But there are some really nice people in the office," Debbie continued. "Yes, and women are bosses and men are managers and we all work on the same floor. The vice president is only 34 years old." "Oh, I know. I couldn't believe that. In all the other departments, the women are the secretaries and all the men are their bosses. "That's part of the reason why I feel our department is so successful." "I'm really happy with the people in our department. I mean, they're not all really great, all of the time, but..." At this, Crystal rolled her eyes questionably. "My sister used to get involved with people at work all the time. It worked out well for her," Debbie went on to say. "Oh, she did? My sister dated someone in her company for five years before anyone found out. When they finally decided to go public, she left the company." "But you don't think it wouldn't be hard to keep it under wraps, do you? You don't really think everyone wouldn't know?" Debbie disarmingly confronted her boss. She innocently took on the role of teacher lecturing student, mother warning daughter. "My sister wasn't on the same floor. When you both work on the same floor, it can be very difficult. I'm dating someone in the office and I'm very defensive about it." Debbie looked up from her hamburger. She put it down. She couldn't finish it. She looked at her boss, her wide eyes huge with despair, her small lips drawn down in a sad pout. The coveted German chocolate cake with chocolate icing, whipped cream and sliced almonds. She couldn't eat it. "Who?" She wanted to say. But she wouldn't dare. She could not bear to hear his name. It wasn't Bob. They went out to lunch every day but calls from Jen were growing more frequent. All last week, they were asking for each other. Would you please transfer me to Scott? Would you please transfer me to Scott or his secretary? No, that's OK, I'll call him later. Scott, standing just a little too close to Crystal in the hall. She had forgotten about that. "Is it April already? You were hired in November? That means you've been here for almost six months." "Yes, that sure went by fast." "You will be up for review and seeing that I'm your manager, I will be doing your review next month. A telemarketer gets not only straight salary, but commission as well. I would like to see you in that position." "I did telemarketing for the Hartford Courant. Well, it was just taking incoming calls. I really liked the contact over the phone." "Do you know what we do?" "Well, I know that we publish newsletters and that we have two electronic services that come over a screen. I guess I need to learn more about it," Debbie admitted. "Are you easily distracted?" Crystal asked quietly. "Yes," she admitted. "What do you think your strong points are?" "Oh. Getting along with people. And writing. Definitely writing. I can get along with all kinds of people." "I'm going to do your review next month. But I feel there are a lot of rough edges. I would like to see you become much more aggressive." "That's what my father always told me," Debbie said thoughtfully. "So, do your parents think of you as a New Yorker now?" "Oh, yeah. I joke around with them about running from the muggers," she laughed. "What part of Connecticut are you from?" "New London. It's really nice out there." "Don't you begin to relax at a certain point after you leave the city?" "Oh, yes. It's so relaxing at home. I can't ever relax at work." "I never relax at work. It's OK, you can eat while I talk. You need to be much more calm about everything. Once I cross the New Jersey bridge, I relax completely. My shoulders start to loosen up. It's a completely different world. As soon as I get home, I put on my sweatpants." You wear sweatpants? Debbie wanted to say. "Back home, the people are so different. They may be more sophisticated here, but there are so many phonies." She stared at the glass walls fo the upscale New York cafe in the white marble lobby of the concourse. "The guys in the bars." (Crystal smiled at this.) "I've never met so many phonies in my life." "But don't you think that's a part of getting older? I have a small circle of friends and I let very few people in." She suddenly looked like a littel girl, vulnerable and round-eyed. Her lovely blue eyes were fringed by dark curling lashes; smoky blue shadow stroked deftly on her lids. Her ash blond hair fell in layers, framing her pretty face, the dark roots all but hidden, flattering nonetheless to the high cheekbones, pale skin and perfect lips usually pursed in the business-like manner which so suited her boss. Now her lips were parted in unguarded surprise. She hunched in her chair for the first time in her life, thought Debbie. She watched in surprise, her worldly boss, stare back at her in girlish apprehension. It was as if she were part of a mirror reflecting Debbie herself as she now sat opposite her. "That's good," Debbie said slowly.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Psalm 3 (for March 3)

Psalm 3
(on March 3)
A Psalm of David, when he fled from Absalom
Lord, how are they increased that trouble me! many are they that rise up against me.
2 Many there be which say of my soul, There is no help for him in God. Selah.
3 But thou, O Lord, art a shield for me;
my glory,
and the lifter up of mine head.
4 I cried unto the Lord with my voice,
and he heard me out of his holy hill. Selah.
5 I laid me down and slept;
I awaked;
for the Lord sustained me.
6 I will not be afraid of ten thousands of people, that have set themselves against me
round about.
7 Arise, O Lord; save me,
O my God:
for thou hast smitten all mine enemies upon the cheekbone;
thou hast broken the teeth of the ungodly.
8 Salvation belongeth unto the Lord:
thy blessing is upon thy people. Selah.