Fiction by Marc Erdrich
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Soul Mates - page 5

could yell at you a few times a day. But she doesn’t do anything. She won’t even touch the piano. Every time I mention it she gets weepy. She says, “Oh, I remember how your father used to sit on the couch and whistle while I played.” That’s what she says now. What about all those years she screamed at you? “Why can’t you make more money? Why can’t you be a better father? What kind of a husband are you?” How did you stand it? Now she talks about how wonderful it was. Can you believe it? Scene 3. MOTHER and SON are sitting on easy chairs on opposite sides of the stage. Next to each chair is an end table with a lamp and a telephone. MOTHER is holding the receiver to her ear. The other phone is ringing. SON answers it. SON: Hello. MOTHER: Harry? SON: Mom. Hi. How are you doing? MOTHER: Harry, your father’s gone. SON: What are you talking about? MOTHER: Your father’s gone. His ashes are gone from the closet. I don’t know who would do such a sick thing, but someone has taken him. SON: Unnh...Mom...I...unnh...they...unnh..his ashes aren’t gone. I have them. MOTHER: (After a moment of silence.) You...have...them? SON: Yes, I have them. They’re...he’’s in the car. MOTHER: In the car? What are they doing in the car? SON: They’ve been there since Dad died. MOTHER: Since he died? That was two years ago. Your father has been in the car for two years? SON: Well, not exactly. I mean it’s not really Dad who’s in the car. After’s only his ashes. MOTHER: What do you mean only his ashes? What are they doing there?