Cape…from White Biting Dog

Cape…from White Biting Dog

Modern – Men

By Judith Thompson (Playwrights Canada: pp.7-8)

[Near the beginning of the play. Cape is drumming in the hope that the white dog will come.]

CAPE:…If I save HIM, I save myself, get it? I don’t know why I have been given this…chance. Me, a lousy young…lawyer with a wife, a wife who–in the whole of four years of marriage I did not smile at once. Not once! I had never smiled at anyone, really, except a baby once on the street. I couldn’t. I–didn’t have the…stuff to make a smile…rise up. It wasn’t THERE. NOTHING WAS. Nothing was ever there–for other people, do you KNOW what that…I could fake it, of course, it was simple to make the faces, smiles, laughter, lust–I laughed so much, in fact, that I was…noted for my laugh. (laughs a very infectious laugh). But it’s tiring, I couldn’t keep it up, so at night in my home, I would sit in the dark, just sit in the dark on the living room brown shag carpet and Janis, would sit in the kitchen, under the light…brushing her hair. Just brushing and brushing and brushing…Everyday I felt…sicker…to hear another client–swallow his coffee–to smell the personal, unique smell of someone’s bare head as they stood next to me on the subway–was excruciating pain. That’s…the only way I can express it. I could not be happy. So, on a Sunday in January, I went into the kitchen–she hid her brush, I said “I think I’ll get some popcorn, hon.” She said, “That would be neat” and made a (purses his lips as if to say “mmm”) face with her lips that she always made and I went. I went to the Don Valley Parkway bridge and was stopped by a dog. Who gave me a mission: to save myself by saving my father from death. So I staged a breakdown, crying in court, urinating in the waste paper basket. The firm gave me leave, Janis has filed for divorce, so here I am now, and… It’s failing. He is…dying…fast so I’m drumming in the hopes that the dog–a dog would hear drums don’t you think? I KNOW she exists, I———–D-duh-Father? Da-Daddy what are you–( to audience ) No, no it’s nothing, eh? He he just…it’s a…mineral in the dirt, or…Ohhhhhhhhh! Oh no, oh no…Father, Father look at me, listen I, please! Please don’t give in, please–

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