A Play by Julia W.

Performance: May, 2004
Hillcrest Juvenile Hall, San Mateo


Act 1 Scene 1:
Time: 1:30pm. at the front window of Peggy’s ‘Five and Dime’ Antique Shop. Stubborn, A broken radio. He’s 45 sets of holiday’s old. His daughter, Misunderstood a blooming flower is 8 winters old.


Misunderstood:

(Really sing) “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey. You’ll never know dear, how much I love you, please don’t take my sunshine away…..”  

Stubborn:

(Not in a Yell, but an eager call)   
Come over here Mouse ( A nickname)
(His daughter Misunderstood runs towards her father)

Misunderstood: Dad, I don’t want to go to ‘Garden School’ today, those buds are always pulling on my petals.
Stubborn:

Well, I guess one  day wouldn’t hurt, how about me and you go to the TV section and watch some videos?

Misunderstood:

Yeah, let’s go…
(They begin to walk towards the department)

Misunderstood: Hey Dad!
(Stubborn stops and turns to his daughter)
Stubborn: What is it Mouse?
Misunderstood:

Ummmm…..nothing
(She thinks about her show and tell day last week at school)
(Stubborn freezes and we only hear Misunderstood)

Misunderstood: (To audience) Oh my gosh, my Dad is soooo cool, he’s my hero the way he walks, talks, acts, I love everything about him. But the other day at Garden School, they made fun of me, no one knows my Dad, and they thought I was different because no ones Dad was really that great! But mines is, oh yeah, my Dad is! (Exaggerated)  The other day we went to the pottery section and slid down pots, and we read stories at the stores library and he bought me a humungous mud pie!! (Normal Tone) I don’t care what anyone says my Dads the coolest radio in the store.
 (Stubborn un-freezes and they continue)
Misunderstood: Okay, so I call the remote first
(She skips to catch up with her father)
Stubborn:

Hold on Mouse.
(they listen in for the report)

Voice on the radio: There has been an outburst in the front of the store. We are being attacked by a robber. All veterans report! I repeat Report!
Stubborn: Mouse, I have to go sweetie, run home and stay with Mom. I’ll be home soon!
Misunderstood: But Dad!…
(Stubborn has already walked off, and doesn’t hear his daughters cry)
(Misunderstood drops her head and drags her feet as she begins to walk in the opposite direction home)
Act 1 Scene 2:
Time: 2 months later. Place: home. At rise Dad starts spending less time with Misunderstood. In their house getting ready for dinner.
Stubborn:

Hey Mouse dinner is ready!
(No response he repeats a little annoyed)

Stubborn: Hey Mouse! Dinner is ready!
Misunderstood: (Answers a little irritated) Hold on Dad, I’m coming.
(Walks into the living room where her Dad is with a soggy walk)
Stubborn: What’s up with you?
(Misunderstood thinks about how their relationship has changed lately. About how much she loves him, but that undeniable feeling that things are different makes her feel she can’t tell him what’s on her mind)
Misunderstood: Nothing Dad, just a little tired. Let’s eat.
(They enjoy a great dinner of dirt and screws. As she smiles her petals open and as he smiles his light flickers. The chemistry is back)
Act 2 Scene 1:
Time: Ten years later, Stubborn the broken radio is now 55 sets of seasons old. Misunderstood the blooming flower is now going into her 18th winter. Misunderstood walks in high off poppy seeds and broken radio is trying to fix his antenna in the living room. Front door opens.
Stubborn: Where have you been! (He yells) It’s 3:30 in the morning, and it’s a school night.
Misunderstood: (She Hick-ups) You know I don’t go to Garden School anyways. Besides the last time I checked you weren’t around to notice! (She snaps)
Stubborn: And what does that suppose to mean?
Misunderstood: I don’t know Dad! You tell me!  (Say it with attitude)
Stubborn: What has become of you, you used to be such a great blossom, and look what’s become of you! (Says with a smirk). You’re covered in dirt. I don’t even know you anymore.
Misunderstood: Oh, go blow a fuse, you worthless appliance. (They walk away in opposite directions)
Act 2 Scene 2
Time: an hour later, Stubborn the broken radio humbles his self, and goes to knock on his daughters door to apologize, she doesn’t answer and so he opens the door…..
Stubborn: Hey, you want to talk? (Looks around for her and see’s she’s not there, notices a note on her computer and walks over and picks it up)
(Reads the letter)
Misunderstood: Dad,
Things just aren’t working out here anymore, so I’m leaving you in peace. You probably won’t notice, no one likes ‘dirt’ on their rug anyway.
Misunderstood
The Blooming Flower
Stubborn: (To Audience) (Yelling to audience, hysterical) Oh my God (puts hands on his head and paces back and forth while he talks). She’s gone! My baby girl is gone! My pride and joy is gone! Where should I look? Where should I go? I don’t know what I’m going to do without her, the light won’t shine, my antenna won’t rise, I’ll never be the same. I’ve got to find her!! (Un-freezes)
Act 2 Scene 3
Time: 9:30pm. Stubborn the broken radio is walking around the back alleys of the store with his flashlight, searching for his daughter Misunderstood the blooming flower
Stubborn: (He yells with his hands coped around his mouth)
Mouse, Mouse……………………….Mouse, where are you?
(Yelling but on the verge of crying)
Mouse! Please Mouse, come home!
(Stubborn falls to his knees and puts his head in his lap, crying tears of stone, 10 seconds pass and he hears moaning coming from somewhere near. He slowly rises off his knees to see if it’s his daughter. He follows the moan like a hound to a smell)
Stubborn: Mouse!……………………..Mouse!
(He approaches a girl by a dumpster, she looks not a day over 9, maybe even younger. Something is so familiar about her. Almost like he know her)
Stubborn: What’s wrong little girl?
(The little girl looks up at him)
Little Girl: (Her face lights up and she smiles and runs towards him, hugs him)
Daddy!………………Daddy!…………
Stubborn: Are you looking for your Daddy?
Little Girl: No, you are my Daddy!
Stubborn: (Pats her head) Awwah….. poor thing you must be lost, do you know where you live?
(The little girl backs away, as if she just hugged a complete stranger)
Stubborn: Are you okay? What’s wrong?
Little Girl: What happened to you Daddy? (She cries)
Stubborn: Aww, Mouse I’m not your father! (Cover mouth, he’s surprised he called the child by his daughter’s nickname as a kid)
Little Girl: (She Smiles) See you are my Daddy, I’m Mouse! Daddy I’m Mouse!
Stubborn: No, No, my daughter is almost 18
Little Girl: Well, where is she then?
Stubborn: (Bows his head in shame) She’s …………………She’s…………..
Little Girl: Gone?
Stubborn: How’d you know?
Little Girl: I don’t know just a feeling. My Dad should be coming for me any minute now.
Stubborn: I thought, you thought, well…that I was your Dad?
Little Girl: You look like him…………walk like him………smell like him……………..But now I know you’re not him.
Stubborn: (Answers with concern) How do you know?
Little Girl: Because my Dads the coolest! He talks to me, and takes me to the park and we make mud pies together (She smiles and it slowly fades, she continues) He would never leave me, never hurt me and he listens to me.
Stubborn: (Bends his knees and crotches down and puts his head down, he’s ashamed)
I…………..I……………….I use to treat my daughter that way. (He struggles to push out the words) I don’t really know what happened between us. She grew up! And I grew………….old. Old and lonely. Something I never wanted to be. (He doesn’t even notice the little girl starting to leave)
I wish I had her here, just to hold her again. She doesn’t even know I lover her because I never show it………….
(He looks up and see’s the little girl walking away)
Stubborn: Hey, wait, where are you going?
Little Girl: (Sings while walking) (Fading out) “You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey. You’ll never know dear, how much I love you, please don’t take my sunshine away…..”
(Stubborn sits down in the alley, and tries to absorb all that he just started to realize)
Stubborn: (To the audience) What’s become of me, what have I turned into? Maybe it’s too late, she’ll never know how I feel……….why don’t I tell her? No! I can’t ………………because, I don’t know! I’m a man men don’t cry, men don’t explain how they feel, men don’t hug their daughters once there older…………..”why”? You just don’t……..well, because then maybe she’ll see how much I love her.
It’s too hard.
But I can’t pretend anymore, I can’t pretend that I’m happy because I’m not! I can’t pretend I don’t miss her, because I do, and I can’t go on pretending it doesn’t matter because I does! I love her more that anything in this world…………..and now she’s gone. And she’s happy, she doesn’t miss me, or love me because you can’t miss what you haven’t had in 10 years.(Walks home while singing)
Stubborn: You are my sunshine, my only sunshine, you make me happy when skies are grey. You’ll never know dear, how much I love you, please don’t take my sunshine away…..
(Look up at the stars and one tear falls)
Act 2 Scene 4:
6:30 am, next day at there house. Stubborn wakes up gasping, he had a bad dream about Misunderstood.
Stubborn: (He Yells) No! No!
(He realizes it was just a dream……..jumps out of bed and goes down stairs, he see’s her on the couch asleep….he approaches her)
(He decides to let her sleep, but as he walks away, she wakes up)
Misunderstood: Dad?
Stubborn: Uhh……I’m glad your home
(Starts walking up the stairs)
Misunderstood: Don’t leave me again! Don’t walk away from me now that I need you, you’re always leaving me!
Stubborn: I’ve always tried to be there for you, working hard hours to support you and provide you with a good life! (Yells) I was always around!
Misunderstood: Being around and being there are two different things! And you….you were never there.
Stubborn: What happened to you? Why are you so different now?
Misunderstood: I don’t know! I don’t know why I am the way I am! I run from you. I drink to despise you and I don’t know where I’m going or why, because my best friend is gone! (A few tears roll down her face) I remember when I was a little kid…(smiles and cries) I use to tell everyone you were “The best Dad in the world”, and you…….you still might be, I just don’t know that man anymore.
Stubborn: You just …grew up so fast one day you were my “Little Mouse” and now your…your a beautiful young lady.
Misunderstood: All of those long hours you worked so I could be your Princess on a golden pedestal means nothing to me! I don’t want material things; I want someone to talk too. You were always, just too busy. Too busy having fun and living life, and during all that time, I grew up Dad! I grew up without you! You always saw the bad in me. I only got to see you, when the Principal called, or I was arrested. I never saw you at my school play! Or at my basketball game!! All you did was kick me. I’ve been miserable for a long time.
Stubborn: (Mumbles) I’m not happy…
Misunderstood: What?
Stubborn: (Screams) I said, I’m not happy! I’m not happy with life, I’m not happy with myself, I’m not happy because I’ve failed you as a father. I’ve loved you forever in a day. But I cover it up, because you were getting older and so was I, you were at your prime, and I was over the hill.
I had nothing to give you but material things.
Misunderstood: You want to know why you were (Sarcastically) “the coolest Dad” was not because of your car, or money but because I knew you loved me, I knew I could tell you anything and I knew we were happy! Now…I’m not sure about anything anymore.
Stubborn: I’m scared. (He Sighs) I’m scared of loosing you. I’m scared of what you think of me. I keep thinking about your wedding day, and your labor. Some of the most happiest times of your life and I know you won’t want me there.
So there it is, I’ve admitted it I’m scared! I’m not a hero or the coolest radio…. I’m just me. And I’m scared that soon I’ll be old and lonely and have no part of your life, all the beauty and pain.
Misunderstood: Why did you wait so long to finally tell me how you feel?
Stubborn: What? Did you think you were the only one with problems? just because I don’t drink and get in ‘trouble’ like you do, but I have other habits, and they help me avoid saying how I feel……remember, men don’t cry.
Misunderstood: That’s so stupid! It’s stupid that we can’t say what we want to say, without getting rude or arguing.
Stubborn: It is…..
(They both cool down, no words for 15 seconds)
Misunderstood: So what now? Are you just going to run in and save the day?
Stubborn: I’m just going to be me and not get in the way of letting you be you. Whatever happens, happens, but I’m willing to listen and learn.
Misunderstood: One step at a time?
(They hug) (They both freeze and the narrator walks around them and reads the rhymes)
(Walks to stubborn)

Well who would have thought
He still has a heart
and now a little pride
Because he plans to stay by her side
He doesn’t want to be old and
Un-loved
So he finally said how he feels
For once on his life
He was real
Tomorrows a new day
He’ll now live
in a new way
His life of frustration
in a play…..
“Stubborn the broken radio”
with a million dollar grin
not a painful end
but a great way to begin…
 
(Walks over to Misunderstood)
As for Misunderstood
she now has someone
to encourage her to do good
Her hero was just a myth
but in exchange she received a gift
A loving father
to grow with.
Nothings perfect
and that’s what’s great
They don’t know their fate
Just intend to find a better place
Love and support
around to water her down
so that when she blooms
Her fathers around
Side by Side
day by day
Living the same
life but in another way……
 
(Stands between them)
Maybe your Stubborn or Misunderstood
Maybe your relationship at home
has changed
or could.
As we end this
we begin this
in a nutshell
this is entitled ‘Bliss’
     
    The End.
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