Jack Goodstein

350 Hopwood Fairchance Road

Uniontown, PA 15401





The Kid Next Door


Setting: Apartment kitchen, not particularly well appointed. Mac is seated at a formica table cleaning a rifle. A bowl of apples and oranges is on a counter nearby. There is a cabinet containing a variety of prescription drugs with the door open. An uncapped jar of aspirins sets on the table with a half drunk glass of water. A tape recorder has been recording as the scene opens.



Mac: . . . ever happens, check out the kid next door. Kid freaks me out. Hell the little bastard freaks out the whole neighborhood. You hear those stories about them pimples shooting up schools and bombing and that shit. Well, mark my words, youre looking for a pimple into that kind of crap?--kid next door. Thats why Im working on. . . (holds up the rifle, looks at tape recorder, looks at rifle). . . a little insurance. Mans got to protect himself, his family, hell--this day and age--the whole lousy neighborhood, if it comes to that. I mean, you call the cops and what happens? Nothing. Not a damn thing. Not that they wouldnt like to do something. I seen them guys taking care of business. You look queer at one of them you get yourself a ride in one of those cherry tops, back seat; you watch you dont get one of them sticks up your ass. . . .them sticks they carry all the time. . . call them. . . the. . .a. . .ah what the hells the difference what they call them, theyd take care to bust that little pimple next door. . .if. . .if they could. Trouble is all this civil rights shi--gorgonzola. . . . .Nightsticks. Nightsticks is what they call them. Funny how some things just pop into you head. Youre thinking one thing and

then...  But that aint the point. The point is about all this civil rights. . . . all this ACLchoo bullshit. You lay a hand on a kid, youre likely to be the one getting his ass stuffed with some slimeball "loyyahs" salami. These guys--cops, Im talking about. These guys got pensions. They aint taking no chances...  Hey I understand, thats why--(holds up the rifle again, turns off tape recorder)--bang. Insurance. (Turns tape recorder on.) Sometimes you just got to take care of yourself. (Takes aim down the barrel out at the audience and silently mouths the word, Bang.) Sometimes you-- (Rap music starts playing from offstage, not particularly loud). Christ (pronounces it Keeeriste) almighty. Will you listen to that garbage. Wonder if its (fiddles with the volume control on the recorder) picking up the...  (Stops the recorder and rewinds for a few second; plays back. Stops) See, thats what I mean. Playing it so the whole goddamn neighborhood has to listen to it. Ruining the damn -- (Yelling to next door) Turn that crap off!  We dont need to hear that ghetto shit. Not that the kid is black...  Might as well be, the way he acts and dresses. White kids today all want to be niggers. (Loudly) And that goddamn music. (Gets up and knocks on the wall with his fist.) Keep that jungle bunny crap down, will ya! (Waits) Will ya make that damn shit lower! (Music lowers) Walk all over you if you let 'em. (Restarts recorder) Im sitting in my own home minding my own business and I sure as hell dont have to listen to some nigger wannabe listening to some...  whatever you call that (exaggerated) muuuuusic. And it aint that Im prejudiced. First of all the fucking kid aint black. Only black thing about him is the goddamn blackheads. Second of all I got nothing against niggers or their music. I used to have all those old rock and roll 45s back when there was music: (sings badly and loudly) I found my thrill on Blueberry Hill. It -- somethinged -- until, My--da, da, da, da. They dont make those 45s anymore. Hell they dont make records any more. Everythings them CDs. Who the hells got a record player today? Worlds changed. Thats why them little fuckers can get away with...  I mean bombs, for Crissakes, bombs in the fucking classrooms. Back in the old days, teacher caught you with Chicklets, your ass would be in the Assisstant Principals office before the damned white shit was all chewed up. Chicklets? Now theyre doing drugs in their hundred dollar running shoes and frigging designer dungarees and drinking and -- who the hell had money for drinking, back when...  back when...  (Yells) Turn that fucking thing off. I said turn that -- (Music stops). Thats better. (Loud) I like to hear myself think. Little punk, better watch who the hell hes messing with. Damn punk thinks he -- (Bangs gun down on the table. Takes a deep breath. Counts silently trying to control himself. Gets up, looks through drugs in cabinet.) I dont do drugs myself--dont need them. Drugs are for weak...  Damn music, just when the friggin' (holds his head)...   damn. (Picks up a bottle, looks at it and throws it down in disgust. Looks at one or two others, takes something finally). Im telling you that kid, one day hes going to push the wrong guys and, well, never mind and what...  I know what Im talking about. (Takes an apple and a paring knife and sits down at the table again. Peels apple as he continues speaking, trying to make one continuous long peel). Used to do this when I was a kid. (To tape recorder) Peel an apple. See, what I do is, I get the whole skin off in one long piece. My old man used to bet me that I couldnt do it. When I was a little guy, you know, I mean not like when youre fifteen or nothing. Its like if you can do it -- important thing is to get it all off in one piece, now -- and if you can do it, he says, Ill get you one of them ice cream cones with the nuts or a coke or something. (The music starts again very loud. Macs peel breaks. He stares at the apple for a second or two and throws it at the wall.) Fucking kid, goddamn fucking kid. (Picks up riflle and aims it at the apple.) Somebody got to...  hell, I would a played anything that loud, the old man would have laid his strap to my ass. Thats what the fucker needs. Someone with a goddamn leather strap...  get his attention. Little shit. Give me a few minutes alone...  and youd see if thered be any more of that muuusic blasting the whole neighborhoods fucking eardrums. Youd see some changes. His own parents dont give a -- parents? Those jerk offs aint what I call parents. Parents are supposed to...  like...  they need to show a kid the difference between whats right and...  and...  like blasting that damn stereo or whatever. Like when the old man showed me -- (Gets up and gets another apple and starts peeling all over again) I like to see what Pop woulda done, if he had a kid like -- (points to the wall). Kid woulda been black alright -- black and blue. Its all these little bastards today. Theyre all the same. What Im saying is...  ah, what the fucks the difference. Aint no one going to...   unless yours truly. Id like to put it to that...  (holding up apple) Trick is to keep your mind on what youre doing. Focus. See, like imagine the apple is the kids zit face, and youre slicing away those zits a little piece at a time. Keeps your mind on what youre doing. Wouldnt that be something? --ats what an asshole like that deserves. Peeled like a goddamn apple. (Holds up the apple admiringly.) Need to go slow and careful...  sulow and carefuel...  sulow and...  (Yelling) Turn that shit down!  I told you once, if I have to tell you again Im going to stuff that CD up your ass with you boy friends dick. (Starts to peel again.) Wouldt put it past the little pansy, taking it up the...   (Music goes off.) Hah. See, you got to let them know you aint going to tolerate that horse shit. Scared the crap out of -- (music blasts out louder, peel breaks again. Mac looks at apple, drops it on table.) Fucking kid next door. ( Begins stabbing the paring knife into the apple, repeating.) Fucking kid. Fucking kid next door.


Jack Goodstein