Copyright Holly Arsenault, 2015. All rights reserved. This text may not be reproduced or performed without explicit, written consent of the author.

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THE MANOR
Sample Pages

GIL, NONA, SUGAR, and ELEANOR are all residents of a long-term care facility. The women are all in sexual relationships with GIL. NICKI is a newly-hired male aid.

ACT I
Scene 3

Blue Balls

GIL and NONA sit in a common area, holding hands. Maybe GIL whispers something in her ear that makes her smile. SUGAR enters.

SUGAR

Hello, lovebirds!

GIL stands, kisses NONA’s hand, then kisses SUGAR.

GIL

Ladies, I am going to take my leave. Goodbye, Nona, and hello and goodbye, Sugar.

SUGAR

See ya, Gil.

He exits. SUGAR sits next to NONA. She waits for GIL to exit before she says…

SUGAR

I’m not in love with him, you know.

NONA nods.

I just didn’t want you to feel awkward. If you are.

NONA

If I am what?

SUGAR

In love. With him.

                                                            NONA

With who? That man? I don’t even know who that is.

                                                            SUGAR takes a second.

                                                            SUGAR

I mean, I like Gil. I do. And we don’t exactly have a lot of alternatives. (Nodding in the direction of two other residents, unseen) There’s Mildred and Grace. That would be easier wouldn’t it? I never tried being a dyke. You’d think I would have. A lot of the other mermaids did. But I never did. I just can’t imagine eating pussy. It would be like licking a hairy mango. I don’t know. I could give it a whirl, I guess. But I would feel terrible if I chickened out. I’d hate to give the lady blue balls. You ever tried it, Nona?

                                                            NONA

Yes.

                                                            SUGAR

How was it?

                                                            NONA

What can I say? I just need dick.


Scene 4
Tattoo, Part One

ELEANOR’S room. Middle of the night. The only light is from a nightlight in the bathroom and an emergency call button on the wall by the side of the bed. The bedside lamp flips on. She just lays there for a minute, as one does when it is the middle of night and you have to pee but you really don’t want to get out of bed. Finally, she lifts herself up. The bedrail is up. It takes her some time and effort to figure out how to get it down. She gets it down. She lays back down again, exhausted by the effort. She gets herself back up. She gets out of bed. She’s wearing a nightgown. Steadying herself on the bed, she gets to the bathroom. The bathroom light goes on. Now we don’t see her, but we hear her get herself onto the toilet and start to pee.

ELEANOR

Ahhhhh.

She starts to hum a tune. Suddenly, we hear the clattering of her toilet booster seat sliding off the toilet. We hear her body crash into something (probably the sink).

ELEANOR

God damnit!

We hear a straining breath as she reaches for the emergency call cord. She gets to it and pulls it repeatedly, until, finally, NICKI bursts into the room.

NICKI

Mrs. Monroe? Mrs. Monroe?

ELEANOR

In here!

                                                            NICKI finds her.

NICKI

What happened?

ELEANOR

Well, I fell off the toilet.

NICKI

You’re supposed to call me if you need to go in the middle of the night.

ELEANOR

How wise you are! A lecture is just what is called for in this moment.

NICKI

Sorry. Okay. Let’s get you up.

ELEANOR

I’m covered in my own—

NICKI

It’s fine.

ELEANOR

It’s horrifying. I’m sorry. I couldn’t stop it.

NICKI

We’ll get you cleaned up.

ELEANOR

Yes, hopefully.

NICKI

Okay, I’m gonna get the belt.

ELEANOR

I don’t need the belt.

NICKI

It’s the rule.                                          

ELEANOR

I’m not that heavy.

NICKI

It’s just the rule, Mrs. Monroe.

NICKI gets his gait belt from his bag and takes it into the bathroom.
We hear him wrapping it around ELEANOR’s waist

ELEANOR

This thing is useless.

NICKI

That might be true. Okay, after I get you up, do you feel like you can walk?

ELEANOR

Of course. This floor just swallowed me up. If you can free me from its maw, I’ll be fine.

NICKI

Okay, here we go. On three. One. Two. Three.

We hear NICKI’S effort, and then ELEANOR is up.
They shuffle to the bed. One side of her nightgown is covered in urine and feces.
NICKI gets to the edge of bed and sits her down. He stops to catch his breath.

ELEANOR

Thank you.

NICKI

Yeah.

ELEANOR

Say “you’re welcome” sweetheart.

NICKI

Sorry. You’re welcome.

ELEANOR smiles.

NICKI

Okay. Now. Your nightgown.

ELEANOR

Yes.

NICKI

Do you want me to get Joanne in here to come and clean you up?

ELEANOR

My dear, you don’t want to be here. I don’t want to be here. Must we inflict this calamity on another poor soul?                                                  

NICKI

You seem good tonight, Mrs. Monroe.

ELEANOR

Irony.

NICKI

I just thought you might want a woman.

ELEANOR

Aren’t you a homosexual?

NICKI

Uh. Yes.

ELEANOR

Okay, then. Just get it off me please.

She raises up her arms like a child waiting to be undressed. He gently lifts her nightgown off.
She’s has on underwear, but no bra. He grabs a towel from the bathroom and drapes it around her shoulders, covering her breasts. She sits, very still, and looks out while he cleans the side of her torso with a washcloth. He puts the soiled nightgown on the floor, intending to take it with him to the laundry when he goes.

NICKI

Where are your—

ELEANOR points to the bottom drawer of her Mission dresser, another relic of her past life.

NICKI goes to the dresser, opens the drawer, takes out a clean nightgown, and puts it on her, gently. Except when she elevates herself to get the nightgown down, she doesn’t really move her body or her eyes until it’s done.

ELEANOR

Thank you.

NICKI

You’re welcome.

NICKI turns to go, gathering up the old nightgown.

Is there anything else you need before I g—                                                          

ELEANOR

You’ve got it on you.

NICKI

What?

ELEANOR

My… It’s on you. On your sleeve.

NICKI checks his sleeve. It has a little bit of feces on it.

NICKI

Oh, no big deal.

ELEANOR

Take it off.

NICKI

No, it’s fine. I’ll just change it when I get back to th—

ELEANOR

Take it off! Please!

NICKI

Mrs. Monroe, it’s okay, I have another—

ELEANOR

I don’t want them to see it! I don’t want them to know! They’ll be angry! Please take it off! Take it off!

NICKI

Okay. Okay, okay. It’s okay, Mrs. Monroe. It’s okay. Look, I'm taking it off.

NICKI takes off the shirt. He wears a tank top underneath.
He balls the shirt up with the nightgown.

Okay?

ELEANOR

Thank you.

NICKI

Okay. Let me help you.

NICKI helps ELEANOR lie down in the bed. As he’s doing that,
she notices something on the inside of his forearm and points to it.

ELEANOR

What’s that?

NICKI

Nothing.

ELEANOR

Is that a tattoo?

NICKI

Kind of.

ELEANOR

Were you in the army?

NICKI

No.

ELEANOR

Well, how did you get it?                                                           

NICKI

I, uh…I did it myself, actually.

ELEANOR

Yourself?

NICKI

Yeah. It’s called stick and poke? You just take a needle and some ink.

ELEANOR

Did it hurt?

NICKI

Uh…yeah.

ELEANOR

Why did you do that?

NICKI

Um. I just had this thing I really really wanted to remember.

ELEANOR

And you thought you would forget?

NICKI

Yeah.

ELEANOR

So you tattooed it onto your arm.

NICKI

Yeah.

ELEANOR

I see.

Pause. She takes his arm and holds the tattoo up close to her eye.

And what is it?

NICKI

Uh…it’s a carrot?

ELEANOR

Oh. Oh, yes, I see.

                                                            Pause

You thought you would forget a carrot?

NICKI

Um. Nope.

ELEANOR

I’m sorry.

NICKI

That’s okay.

Pause

Are you okay now, Mrs. Monroe? Can I go?

ELEANOR

I probably should have one of my…things.

NICKI

Your what?

ELEANOR mimes taking a pill and swallowing it with water.

NICKI

Your sleeping pill?

ELEANOR

Yes. Pill. Pill. That’s right.

NICKI

Okay.

NICKI goes to the bathroom and comes back with a glass of water and a pill.
He gives them to ELEANOR. She takes the pill.

ELEANOR

Thank you for all your help.

NICKI

You’re welcome.

ELEANOR lies down in bed. NICKI puts the rail back up,
then turns out the bathroom light and the bedside lamp, and starts to go.

ELEANOR

The carrot was about a person?

NICKI

(Without turning) Yes.

ELEANOR

Your mother?

NICKI

Yes.

There is a pause while NICKI waits to see if she will say anything else.
She doesn’t. She has fallen asleep. He goes.