Riley is living a chaotic and mentally unstable life in search of the 'American Dream'.
The Life Of Riley
Up from black, lazy mid-afternoon heat beating down on the sleepy village roofs, the American flag flapping torpidly in the breeze. Riley is packing up his remaining belongings.
I've never been the organized type, Ma told me I was a trifle ah' mischief. These boxes, the cardboard jeesh, you should see this mess. It was yesterday I got that letter, the council gone evict me, not nice of em'. I tried to plead ma case but moving ain't all that bad. Ma would have taken me in, again.
Ma' wife told me that we could talk y'know with ma children. All the family just like it used to be, y'all I don't know, maybe a chance is all I need. Anyways I was driving up'tu the house, my wife she loves me, I know that like I know ma loggin'. She has the sweetest smile, the ruby red lips with the ivory skin (reminiscing with nostalgia) Man! Yu should have seen her; she was like a cherry blossom in the spring, all mine she was too.
She opened the door and said "well Riley ain't it nice to see you here", real happy she looked. There was this man, Bill he was there too. I like Bill, he gave me this ol' pickup truck, it's a little rusty but its smashing, Bill has helped me out, he's just an old family friend, ma wife introduced us back in the day. Well he jest stood there in the doorframe, he's a good man, Bill used to court ma wife before she fell for me, always said she liked the unpredictable type. I guess Bill just wasn't like that, y'know.
I sat on the porch with ma children Bailey and Bobby. They is gnarly the real spittin' image of me, if I do say so myself. Ma' reckoned this was gone be hard but I had to leave, I reckon Ma' would have wanted it this way. She always did know me best, ma other half if y'all can understand that. I always loved em' even if I weren't there for em'. I regret that the most, I was just always away missing em' growing up n'all. (Balling his fist) I chose my back over theirs, I failed em'.
Fades to Black
Up from black, the day is drawing in and the sun is setting behind the leaves of the willow tree. Riley is resting on a log by the fire, hands kneading and temples straining.
I got another letter today from the council. I gotta go to court. It was just a misunderstanding that's all, I told em' but they didn't see it like that. They be treating me like common silage. I wish Ma' was here right now, she would'a sorted this god damned shit out for me! (Placing hand up to his brow and tensing his shoulders) ma' court date is on Tuesday ugh two days ain't enough, I reckon they is just gone bang me up in the cell with the police interrogating me. I ain't done it though. I told ma' wife after supper and she sighed the last time I heard the pain in her voice I almost died. She told me "I have to do this Riley ugh think of the children they need this, stability Riley". I just know she won't go through with this she loves me too much, she needs me. I told her I would get a job y'know make it work bring in some dollars but she didn't wanna know. I'm tired y'all um I'm gone to crib.
Fades to black
Fades up from black, Riley is perched on the side of the trailer with his blue jeans and red checked shirt on. His top button undone and tie loosely hanging from his shirt pocket. He has a bottle of Jack Daniels in his hand.
Today could'a gone better uum well, I wish it had. I reckon if I would'a had a better lawyer it would have. But she had me bagged (he utters laughing) just like old times. Y'know, this truck gets awful cold at night. But on the bright side those bar ladies is awful nice, not throwing me out n'all. They give me free beer sometimes, saying its on the house. Think they is taking a shining to me. It's Mary Lou's birthday tomorrow, she's one of the bar ladies, in there Sunday through Thursday - late shift. She's awful nice, even knows ma' name now. She tells me how I remind her of her son, Brody. She tells me how he's doin so well in school n'all that. I feel so proud of him, like he was ma' own.
I was just thinking, I might go for that rugged look these younguns are goin for these days. Y'know that stubble thang, might just suit me (laughs and shrugs his shoulders). Ma wife told me she always did like that beard on me, said it made me look mighty handsome. Its karaoke night at the bar tonight, sounds like its going to be a real hoedown.
Fades to black
Next day, Riley is resting next to the stop sign at the East Ridge 75 Highway into Georgia. The clouds gather heavily in the sky and the sunlight thins.
I always did like that feelin, that rush y'know (clears throat) ma' damn truck packed in last night, heap a shit. Bill told me to chill it, I busted him. Didn't mean to. He was yelling at me, getting all up in ma' face. Boy I told him I ain't done it though, he just always knew best didn't he. Ma always did say that damn mouth was gone get him in trouble one day. But I ain't got no dog in this fight. He fell and I didn't know what to do, I was scared and I told Ma to help! I yelled! But she never came. (Sits down on the ground grabbing a fistful of dirt) I reckoned it was time for a holiday, away form this god damned mess. Didn't tell nobody, I just left. I grabbed my belongings outa ma truck n'well here I am. I'm going to Georgia ain't nobody knows me there. Anyways I better get gone before anybody finds out.
The air is thick, the rain rattling down the small window, Riley is watching through the bars.
Ma writs hurt y'all, those damn cuffs. He threw me in the back of the police car at the border. When he saw me he said, well ain't it nice to see you here, a real popular man ain't you. I didn't know what he was talking about, he had my picture n'all. He gave me this orange suit, didn't smell too nice. Told me I could wait in this room until the police officer comes to have a chat with me. He seemed a nice enough man, the second police officer, that is. He told me that there was this place, there was others like me. He seems understanding unlike everyone else, y'know society is so judgemental when you got a slight glitch in you. I called ma wife and she told me she couldn't cope with me, told me I was the problem. I don't know what I did wrong, she asked me where Bill was, I didn't answer. I know that she gone sort this mess out for me though. I always have had bad luck, guess I was born like it, I didn't mean to hurt nobody, Ma knows that.
Screen fades to black
Screen fades up form black; Riley is sitting on the end of the bed, hands trembling and eyes bloodshot. The room is dusky and the hour is tired.
The doc said that I have been doing better, said I was even doing fine. He got me on all these pills for ma head n'all, five of em' there are too. He said I gotta find a way to let this feeling out. He got me playing sport, its alright I guess. I reckon I lost some weight and these nurse ladies are awful pretty. The doc gave me this name, he calls me Choppy, don't quite know why. They are always putting these thangs on ma chest, ma head, wires everywhere, got me looking like a machine. I asked when I could go home n'he said, "Choppy this is your home now, your family need you to be here. Remember you need to know your limits, we can help you with that. Anyway its time for bed, go to sleep, hush hush we can talk tomorrow". And off he went, at least we can agree that white suits me better than orange. I never did get to say happy birthday to Mary Lou after all.
Screen fades to black.