A Play by Shulin Mei ('16)

Reunion In Heaven

 a play

by Shulin Mei

 

Characters:

Harry

Jimmie

McMurphy

 

Upstage center, a high, double window is open on bright day. The sun and white clouds are visible, and the sunlight falls into the room.

Downstage left is a small table and a chair. A reading lamp and some scripts on the table.

Downstage right stands an identical table and chair to that of stage left, and a reading lamp only.

A door stands downstage left, with a calendar on the same wall.

 Harry Nash enters through the door and is holding a script. He closes the door, goes to the table on the left, he looks around the room and makes sure there is nobody in the room and feels comfortable enough to sit down. He switches on the lamp and reads his scripts quietly.

Jimmie enters, looks at Harry, closes the door, looks around the room, then goes to the table on the right and sits at it, facing Harry.

 

Jimmie (switches on the lamp, looking at Harry): Good morning, buddy, what’s up? My name is Jimmie.

 

Harry glances at Jimmie, his face gets red and he turns down his head immediately to focus on reading his script. He is trying to avoid eye contact and conversation with Jimmie. 

Jimmie switches the lamp off.

McMurphy enters through the door, and slams it hard. He goes around and looks for a chair that he can sit in.

 

McMurphy: How horrible this room is! Only offers two tables and two chairs. That is extremely unfair! 

McMurphy goes to have a seat on Harry’s table, which blocks light from the lamp that Harry needs to read. Harry leaves his chair, and moves near the window to continue reading. 

MuMurphy sits in Harry’s chair to face Jimmie now. He puts his feet on the table, and lights his cigarette. The smoke spreads all over the room. When he finishes enjoying his cigarette, he stubs the cigarette out on the table.  

Silence for a long time. 

 

McMurphy (switches on the light, and off again and on again): What a boring day!(to Jimmie) What are you playing there, man?

Jimmie: Playing the puzzles.

McMurphy (to the room): My name is McMurphy, and I’m a gambling fool. Buddies, what are your names?

Jimmie (still concentrating on his puzzles): I just remember everyone calls me Jimmie. I forget why I am here. There are weird things always happening to me.

 

Harry keeps reading his script. He walks to the door and tries to open the door and leave, avoiding a conversation with MuMurphy. MuMurphy holds the door shut, getting closer and closer to Harry. There is nowhere to go.

Harry is held against the wall, he is getting nervous and looking down on the floor, his face turns red.  

 

McMurphy (to Harry): Where do you want to go? I’m asking you a question, don’t you hear me? Are you deaf, dumb, or just pretending you are to observe me like Chief? What do you want? To kill me? Say it! Open your mouth. Say it, say it!            

 Harry still gives no response and holds his head down and looks at the floor. 

Jimmie: Hey, man, take it easy. Nobody wants to hurt you. He is a shy man and you’re scaring him.  

McMurphy (to Jimmie): You shut up. This is not your business. Play your puzzles. (to Harry) You want me beat you up until you say a word? Ok. I don’t mind.

 

McMurphy takes away Harry’s script and throws it on the floor. He holds Harry’s shirt and raises his fist toward Harry’s face.

Harry script never leaves his sight. Tears fill his eyes as he stretches his hand to reach it.

 

 

Harry: H…H…Harry. My name is Harry. Give me back my script, please. I cannot live without it. I don’t know what to say to people without it.

 

McMurphy: What? Including females? 

 

 

Harry nods his head. McMurphy puts down his fist and gives the script back to Harry.

Harry holds it tightly in front of his chest.  

 

 

McMurphy: Are you kidding me? It is unbelievable. 

 

Jimmie: What a shy man you are! So you never go out with women or have any social life?

 

Harry keeps tensely nodding his head.

 

McMurphy: What a pity. I mean, there are many other beautiful things in the world you are missing. Follow me; let’s go out with some women. I bet you know more about women than you think you do. 

Jimmie (to Harry): Don’t worry, we can be friends.

McMurphy (to Jimmie): And you!

  

McMurphy goes towards Jimmie, taking the chair with him, and sits down next to Jimmie.

 

McMurphy: Don’t you feel bored playing puzzles all day long?

 

Jimmie: All the time? What are you talking about? I’m just started to play them, and it is very fun. I can solve all the puzzles easily, and far better and sharper than anyone else at this game. Want join?

 

McMurphy: I’m the first one that don’t agree with you. You are the fastest person to solve them, because you have never met me before. I bet I can do it faster than you, because I am good at all kinds of games. Let’s have us a little competition.

 

Jimmie and McMurphy start to play puzzles together to see who is the fastest to solve all the puzzles. Fist round, second round, third round…Jimmie wins! McMurphy pushes all the puzzles on the floor.

 

McMurphy: This is unfair. You know all the rules for these sets of puzzles. Let’s play my card game. 

Jimmie (laughs out loud): See? I’m the fastest puzzles solver in this fine year of 1945.

McMurphy: What? What year is it?

Jimmie: 1945!

McMurphy: Are you some crazy guy who just got out of the ward? 

Jimmie: What do you mean? I’m nineteen now. I will be twenty next birthday. I had a good time in the navy winning World War II!

McMurphy: Nineteen?! No way! You are already an old man with wrinkles on your face. Look at the calendar on the wall, it reads “2013.” 

 

Jimmie goes towards the calendar, flips it over again and again. He covers and shakes his head, and becomes frantic and panicked.

 

 Jimmie: No, it is impossible. What is going on? What’s happened to me? I don’t even remember why I am here! Is this a nightmare? Am I crazy? Is this a joke to me? What year is it now? What did you do to the calendar? Tell me the truth!

Harry (in a low voice to McMurphy): Don’t! You will break him.

McMurphy (to Harry): If you don’t want to tell him, then shut up. (to Jimmie) I’m telling you the truth. It is 2013 now. Am I the only one who sees what’s going on here? You remember nothing about your life since the end of World War II. You believe it is still in 1945. 

 

McMurphy takes out a little mirror, and passes it to Jimmie.

 

McMurphy: Look at your face, you ain’t young anymore.

 

Jimmie: No! No! This is not my image!!!!

  

Jimmie cannot handle the reality of his situation, and tries to jump out of the window.

 

 Harry (to Jimmie): You don’t need to jump. We are in heaven already.  

 

 

End of Play