TÉA VISITS TODD IN JAIL

Setting: The penthouse
Scene(s): Tea returns to Todd for the reconciliation period of four weeks. She finds a picture of her sleeping in the bedroom and confronts Todd. They play Money Hungry. Todd has a nightmare and Tea shares her nightmares as a child. Tea holds Todd's hand as he falls asleep. Morning after - they wake up and Todd sees the bruise he gave her the night before.

*******

TODD: "Listen, you're not gonna regret this."

TEA: "I don't plan on it."

TODD: "And I've got plans. I, um, I got a list of things that we can do, and I divided the list, you know. Things that we can do while we're here or  things we can do when we're not here. Things we could do with Starr, things to do without Starr. And I got a book on communicating. And I haven't read it but I looked at all the pictures and I think it's gonna be a good book. Well, we should celebrate."

TEA: "No, wait, hold on, hold on. This is about our divorce, Todd, ok? It's not about our getting back together, alright?"

TODD: "Well, for me it is."

TEA: "Let's get this straight right up front. We have a deal."

TODD: "Right, we have a deal."

TEA: "And I would like to unpack."

TODD: "I'll get that."

TEA: "No, no, there's no need."

TODD: "You should stay in my room. Put your stuff in my room, you're gonna stay there."

TEA: "You want me to stay in your room? With you?"

****

TEA: "Are you asking me to share your bedroom with you?"

TODD: "Share? No, I don't share. Look, it's the best room in the place, you take it. I don't sleep much there anyway. I don't really sleep anywhere. Look, if I need to, I'll use your room. Well, your old bedroom, what used to be your bedroom, to sleep in."

TEA: "Ok. But I don't wanna confuse Starr. In fact, I'm gonna need to tell her that my being here is not permanent."

TODD: "No, you don't know that... alright, ok, fine, yeah, whatever, sure."

TEA: "Actually, I think both of us should talk to her about that."

TODD: "Fine, we'll do that. Look, Starr's just gonna be happy that you're here, you know? And four weeks, whatever, if you leave after that then we'll deal with it, all of us."

TEA: "Right. Well, now I would like to settle in."

TODD: "Settle in."

****

<Tea comes downstairs, where Todd is lighting candles>

TEA: "I don't remember posing for this."

TODD: "Oh yeah, I like that, that's a good one."

TEA: "There are others?"

TODD: "You know, I don't know how you sleep like that. I could never sleep like that."

TEA: "Are you telling me you came into my bedroom while I was asleep and took pictures of me?"

TODD: "Yeah. Well, it's not like I let somebody else do it. Oh, you think that's a little weird."

TEA: "A little."

TODD: "Well, you left the bedroom door unlocked. Ok, you're mad."

TEA: "Mad, confused, a little repulsed, shall I go on?"

TODD: "What's the big deal? Look, you always say you want me to look at you. Look at you, you say. I'm look... I looked."

TEA: "I'd prefer to know when you do, and frankly I don't understand *why* you did it this way."

TODD: "You're nice to look at and you're nice to think about."

TEA: "You could have asked to take my picture."

TODD: "Well, you know, I didn't wanna bother you."

TEA: "You think I would have said no?"

TODD: "I didn't want to confuse things."

TEA: "By telling me you like to look at me, to think about me? Well, how 'bout now? When I'm standing right in front of you. Are you, are you thinking about me? Do you like looking at me? Tell me, Todd, to my face. Don't wait for me to be asleep. Go ahead, Todd. Or is that still too much to ask?"

TODD: "This was not part of the plan. You know, you... you say you like to do stuff, right? So, um, I thought maybe we could do this, this game, um, Money Hungry, huh? You up for it, Delgado? I've been waitin' a long time to play with you."

***

<The game is on the table>

TODD: "You the dog or the car?"

TEA: "I'll take the iron."

TODD: "No, no, I'm the iron. You the dog or the car?"

TEA: "How `bout the shoe?"

TODD: "No, the shoe's gone. I lost the shoe, there's no more shoe."

TEA: "I'm surprised you even have the board. Where'd you get it, a rummage sale?"

TODD: "You the dog or the car?"

TEA: "The dog, gee, this is gonna be fun."

TODD: "Ok, now there's some stuff missing, but I've got other stuff."

TEA: "Bottle caps?"

TODD: "No, no, you see, in Money Hungry Land these are houses and these are hotels. What, is there a problem?"

TEA: "No, no, it's very inventive. Where's the play money?"

TODD: "Well, it's in a box under the thing, but you know what? There's a lot of that stuff missing too, so..." <He digs money out of his pocket, divides it and gives her half - he pounds his fists on the table like a child and says:> "I get to be the banker!"

TEA: "Wow, what a surprise."

TODD: "What, you want to be the banker? Ok, yeah, you can be the banker."

TEA: "No, Todd. You can be the ban..."

TODD: "Ok, I get to be the banker, but you know what? It doesn't matter because I'm gonna have *all* the money when the game is over."

TEA: "I wouldn't be so sure."

TODD: "Why? I'm the business man."

TEA: "I'm the lawyer."

TODD: "No, you're the dog." "Ok, I go again."

TEA: "What?"

TODD: "Doesn't count, uh, do-over. The dice were cold. That's better. Ok, I'm gonna buy that.

TEA: "That's a lousy investment, very low rent."

TODD: "I'm gonna buy it and I'm gonna put a house on it because I don't like empty property."

TEA: "Ok, my turn."

TODD: "No, I get to go again, I rolled doubles on the first turn."

TEA: "What? Where are the rules?"

TODD: "They're with the shoe. Haha!" "I'm gonna buy that and I'm gonna put another house on it."

TEA: "Ok."

TODD: "No." "Ok, you can go now."

TEA: "Thank you." "Ok."

TODD: "Ah, that's not very good."

TEA: "Not necessarily, sometimes these cards are good luck. Ah, Ozzie Smith... this is a baseball card, Todd."

TODD: "Nope, that's a get ou.. uh.. go to jail card. I used up all the other get out of jail free cards, that's a go to jail card."

TEA: "I bet you did."

TODD: "I love this game."

TEA: "I wonder why."

***

TODD: "I hate this game!!!"

TEA: "Well if you'd been a little more selective in your investments instead of gobbling up everything you landed on..."

TODD: "The only reason you're winnning is cuz you held out for all your hoity toity properties."

TEA: "Another of which you just landed on - ten thousand dollars, please. Plus another thousand because that's the second time you landed on it."

TODD: "No, that's not a rule!"

TEA: "You owe me one, remember?"

TODD: "No, I owe you a role of the dice, not a thousand dollars!"

TEA: "In acrued interest."

TODD: "You're making up rules as you go along."

TEA: "I'm learning from a master - pay up. Oh, Todd, you're busted. Gee, game's over."

TODD: "No! Game's not over."

TEA: "You have no dollar bills left in your pocket and all your holdings are worthless."

TODD: "I got this. "You know what this is?"

TEA: "It's a two of hearts, so it's a playing card."

TODD: "No, it's a substitute.. emergency.. card. You get to use this to do over again anything that you didn't get right in your life the first time."

TEA: "There's no such thing in Money Hungry."

TODD: "There is now."

TEA: "Not so fast, pal."

TODD: "Alright, you know, you're right. There is no substitute emergency card, and you've taken everything, Tea."

TEA: "Thank you."

TODD: "Oh no no no, we're gonna play again. You can't just win and walk away."

TEA: "Not tonight. I have some reading to do."

TODD: "Wh-wh-wh-what reading? I can read. We could read the same thing and we could, we could, discuss it."

TEA: "Do you like law books?"

TODD: "No. Why are you reading law books?"

TEA: "Have to keep up with the changes."

***

<Tea goes down to see what's wrong and she sees him tossing and screaming on the
couch. She tries to wake him up.>

TEA: "Todd! Todd, it's me!"

TODD: "Get away! go away!"

TEA: "You're ok! You're ok! It's a nightmare."

TODD: "Get away!!!"

TEA: "Todd, it's me. Shhh."

TODD: "Get away!"

<Todd flails, knocking Tea to the ground. Awake, he sits up and sees her. He rushes to her side, bending over her to see if she's awake.>

TODD: "Delgado, wake up."

TEA: "I'm up. I'm up."

TODD: "You want some ice?"

TEA: "No, no, I'm fine."

TODD: "You need ice, I'll go get some ice, I got ice."

TEA: "Thank you. Serves me right, waking you up from a nightmare."

TODD: "Yeah, I..."

TEA: "What?"

TODD: "Nevermind, nothing."

TEA: "You were calling out, like, like you needed help."

TODD: "No, I don't need anything."

TEA: "No, of course not. Goodnight. I hope, I hope, uh, I hope your next dream is sweeter."

TODD: "Delgado." "Sorry."

TEA: "I know you didn't mean to hurt me... I..."

TODD: "See, this is why I don't sleep."

TEA: "The nightmares?"

TODD: "No, this is why."

TEA: "It's why what?"

TODD: "Well some people, you know, they just, they just drop off for hours, ya know? I, I can't imagine that."

TEA: "Todd? You do not look so good. "

TODD: "Well, what else is new?"

TEA: "No, I'm serious, Todd. You look like you're having some trouble breathing."

TODD: "No, I'm fine. This is just something that happens to me, you know, if I don't sleep for a little while."

TEA: "When's the last time you really slept?"

TODD: "Thursday."

TEA: "Thursday??"

TODD: "What are you doing?"

TEA: "Give me your hand."

TODD: "No! "

TEA: "Todd!"

TODD: "What, you gonna read my palm?" "What are you doing?"

TEA: "I'm calling Larry Wolek."

TODD: "No you're not. You're not calling anybody. No pills, no shots, nothing. I'm not letting one of those clowns take over my life."

TEA: "Todd, you're sweating, your pulse is racing! You need to see a doctor!"

TODD: "No. What I need is for you to leave me alone!"

TEA: "Todd, you have got to get some sleep. I want you..."

TODD: "Sleep is what got me in this mess to begin with!"

TEA: "Listen to me! I want you to go upstairs, I want you to sleep in your own bed, you need to be comfortable. Todd, go. Go!"

TODD: "What? Are you sending me to my room? What are you gonna do next, huh? Take away my TV priviledges?"

***

TEA: "Come on."

TODD: "I wanted you to have this room."

TEA: "I will use my own room. I've always been perfectly comfortable there, come on."

TODD: "I don't think you'll be comfortable there now."

TEA: "Why not?"

TODD: "Well, you know, Moose has moved in there and he's not very tidy."

TEA: "He always did have a thing for my room. Here, sit down."

TODD: "I'll give you another shot at Money Hungry."

TEA: "Why? I won. Gee, you look really comfortable, Todd. Why don't you lie down? Come on."

TODD: "This isn't gonna work, you know. I can't sleep and I can't breath, and everytime I think about either one of them, it just makes the whole thing worse."

TEA: "Have you always had this much trouble sleeping?"

TODD: "Yes."

<Tea turns on the light and comes to sit on the bed, behind Todd>

TEA: "So, what upsets you so much about someone waking you up out of a nightmare?"

TODD: "I remember stuff."

TEA: "Stuff?"

TODD: "Stuff about my father."

TEA: "Yes?"

TODD: "I would wake up sometimes in mid-air, hoisted up by the collar of my pajamas, with my father's thumb and the second knuckle of his forefinger over my adam's apple."

TEA: "Why did he do that to you?"

TODD: "Why did he do that me me? What, you want to make sense out of this? Life doesn't make sense. He did it... he did it because he ran out of women that he could yell at, or he was bored, or the dow had dropped a few points. And he did it to me once because it was raining. He dragged me into the kitchen and he pulled me over to the counter and he grabbed a, a tin
container filled with, with uncooked rice. And he made a pile of uncooked rice in the center of the kitchen linoleum. And he pulled up the cuffs of my pajamas and he made me kneel in the pile of rice with my back straight, holding my ankles for three hours while he watched. And then, at first
light, he finally fell asleep so he fell out of his chair, and I had to crawl by him hand over hand over hand until I got to the next room. And you wanna know why. I did not know why. I was six years old. I don't know why. I will never know why."

TEA: "How long did he continue that? Until you were how old?"

TODD: "Until I was tall enough to look him in the eye and..."

TEA:  "Rice."

TODD: "Well, you asked." "Happy homecoming."

TEA: "Could've been worse. At least you told me what was going on. I'm gonna let you try to get some sleep."

TODD: "Delgado. Don't you go."
****
TEA: "You want me to stay?"

TODD: "Yeah." Stay and talk, huh? Talk to me."

TEA: "Talk about what?"

TODD: "Oh, I don't care, anything. Who cares? The more boring the better. You can bore me to sleep."

TEA: "Well, that would be a first."

TODD: "I don't know, but it would be worth it."

TEA: "You do have to get some rest." "It's funny, I just remembered, I used to have trouble sleeping too, when I was a little girl. But I had my brothers to help me out."

TODD: "Brothers? With an s? I thought you just had one - Jose."

TEA: "Uh, they were actually half-brothers who lived with us when I was a little girl. See, my father was 13 years older than my mother. He had a whole other family before mine. Those boys were a lot older, but, um, they lived with us - with me and Papi and Jose, til they left home when I was about seven years old."

TODD: "Hmm. Sounds crowded."

TEA: "But alive. And since I was a girl, I got to have my own room. Room. It was more like a closet with just room for a bed and me on top of the bed. But, uh, after my mom left, that room felt as big as a forest and, and I was petrified to be in there alone, ya know? I was, uh, I was scared of the thoughts running around in my brain, and I was afriad of, um, falling into the hole I felt inside my stomach. But you know me. I wouldn't tell anyone how terrified I was."

TODD: "Probably a pretty good idea."

TEA: "But one night, my older brother Del came into my room with a feather. It was a pigeon feather, and uh he told me, no, he convinced me that it was the feather from the wing of my guardian angel and that if I slept with that feather under my pillow that my guardian angel would protect me."

TODD: "Did it work?"

TEA: "Yeah. I mean, I dream about her, draw pictures of her. She's got hands like my Abuelita's. And she's got my mother's face. That angel was, was definitely there."

TODD: "You know, it's funny." "That your nightmare's about being left alone, and my nightmare's about not being left alone. `Cause I'm never alone, you know. It's always there, that thing, waits for me under the bed. Waits to catch me with my eyes closed so that it can rip
me apart."

TEA: "You're wrong. It's not there. It's not anywhere, Todd. It died. What you have to remember is not to give it new life inside yourself. It died. It died when your father died."
*****
TEA: "Todd?"
***
<Todd grabs Tea's arm in his sleep. She tries to pull away, he keeps her there, never opening his eyes or turning his head. She lies down next to him on the bed, keeping a safe distance, and her eyes on him>
***
<She tries to get up and move her hand. Todd pushes it back down, waking up in the process. He sits up, startled. She stares at him.>
***
< Todd picks up the clock>

TODD: "I slept 13 hours."

TEA: "A little longer, actually."

TODD: "Huh. I was running my mouth, wasn't I? I was talking about it."

TEA: "The nightmares, yeah. But, I, um, I was surprised you did."

TODD: "That dream stuff is for kids."

TEA: "We all dream, Todd. I'm very glad that you shared that part of yourself with me."

TODD: "Yeah, this is going pretty good, isn't it?"

TEA: "Todd, Todd. This is a trial reconciliation, even that is overstating it. And now that I've accepted your deal, I think we need to put it in writing."

TODD: "What, you d.. you don't trust me to live up to my end of the deal?"

TEA: "It's not about trust, it's about what's legally binding. I entered this marriage with a pre-nup agreement, I want a contract for this part, too. And since Nora's not in town, I'll, I'll accept it if your lawyer draws up the papers. It's fine."

TODD: "Fine. We'll do it by the book. Doesn't matter, we're gonna wind up doing what I want anyway." "Sam, it's me. Meet me in my office and bring those reconciliation papers." <Hangs up> "So, um, four weeks from right now, right?"

TEA: "Four weeks from last night, that was the agreement."

TODD: "Ok. What's uh, what's with your arm there?"

TEA: "Oh, um, I, it's just a little numb. You were holding my hand when you fell asleep, so..."

TODD: "What did I do?"

TEA: "Nothing! No! You just kinda stirred every time I tried to pull away, you know? And I didn't want to wake you up, so, so I just, you know, I stayed. It was just in a weird position, that's all. You know?"

TODD: "And that?"

TEA: "Oh. It's from when you were having the nightmare."

TODD: "I sent you flying."

TEA: "By accident."

****

STARR: "Daddy!"

TODD: "Hey. How ya doing, huh? Did you sleep good?"

STARR: "Yeah."

TODD: "Yeah?"

TEA: "Can I have a hug, too?"

TODD: "One big happy family."

STARR: "Mommy!"

TEA: "No, not mommy. Friend. In espanol, amiga. Daddy will always be your daddy, and I will always be your friend."

STARR: "Friends."

By Candace