Write On!

Twisted Sister, part 5: Gravity

In Responses on July 26, 2012 at 1:34 pm

by Tara Wiley

Links back to the beginning of the story…

Twisted Sister Part One

Twisted Sister Part Two

Twisted Sister Part Three

Twisted Sister Part Four

Setting: Traveling west, through Nebraska on I80, in the Very American Man’s car
Characters: Gillian, who used to be Joan, who used to be Jenny, who knows too little; and the Very American Man who chooses to be called Joe. He knows too much.

Mile Marker 380

Gillian/Joan/Jenny: This wig is itchy. Is it really necessary in the middle of the night? In the middle of nowhere? In this car?

The Very American Man (Joe): Yes.

Gillian/Joan/Jenny: Whatever.

The Very American Man (Joe): Get some sleep.

Gillian/Joan/Jenny: Sure, I’ll get right on that.

Mile Marker 361

Gillian: Wow, the heat lightning is impressive. I remember that from when we lived in the midwest growing up. That, and the locusts.

Joe: mmmmhmmm.

Gillian: Look at it! When that certain patch of sky lights up you can see all the layers of clouds hiding behind each other.

Joe: Some things are better left in the dark.

Gillian: My gamma used to say, ‘Don’ worry child. One day all hidden’ll be revealed. The Good Book says so.’ She said the light always shoo’s the dark away eventually. You believe that?

Joe: Do you?

Gillian: Don’t be so cryptic. If I have to sit here in this god-forsaken car going who knows where and not go crazy then you at least have to entertain a morsel of conversation.

Joe: Your gamma was wise and naive all wrapped up in one.

Gillian: You knew her, didn’t you?

Joe: I didn’t say that.

Gillian: aaaargh, you are going to be the death of me.

Joe:  I most certainly will not. I’m doing my best to be the opposite. You, on the other hand, seem determined to be the death of you.

Gillian: That doesn’t make a lick of sense.

Joe: Sure does, from my point of view.

Gillian: Enlighten me, then.

Joe: (silence)

Gillian (turning up the radio): Oh, I could sing this song all night…
“…brings me back to you.
It never takes too long.
No matter what I say or do I’ll still feel you here ’til the moment I’m gone.”

Joe: There’s kleenex in the glove box.Your family and their musical abilities… Such a beautiful voice, Gillian. Why didn’t you study music in college?

Gillian: I did. I studied the rhythm of poetry, the lyrical quality and subtle harmonies in great prose. Even in music, it’s the words that grab me. This song, Gravity by Sara Bareilles. What do you think it’s about?

Joe: A twisted relationship. Something I happen to know a lot about.

Gillian: So that’s what you hear and relate to. I hear that. But it’s the layers of beauty poured into every line that draws in every listener. It could be about friendship, or family, or addiction –

Joe: – or a past.

Gillian: Yes. Or a past.

Mile Marker 285

Gillian: You know I’m not 18 this time. I have ties that cannot be broken. I have children-

Joe: Children you love?

Gillian: With my life.

Joe: Then you will do things you think you cannot do. You will protect them by breaking their hearts. You have no choice, Gillian.

There once was a lawyer who went to confession. ‘Forgive me, Father, for I have sinned. I have broken all the commandments.’

‘Well, haven’t we all?’ chuckled the wise old priest. ‘But what has pressed you to enter into confession on this day?’

‘I have defended the guilty and condemned the innocent. I have lied when I thought I was telling the truth. I no longer know one from the other, Father. What shall I do?’

‘My son, you do what we all must do. You make the next right choice. Then you make the next right choice after that. Eventually, the truth will be made clear again.’

Gillian: Am I missing the punchline?

Joe: No punchline. Just the truth. Make the next right choice.

Gillian: And if I don’t know what that is?

Joe: Then trust me.

Gillian: And why should I? I don’t even know you.

Joe: But I know you. I know that your right foot was a half size larger than your left until after the pregnancy, Joan. I know how you got the scar on the inside of your left arm, Jenny. And Gillian, I know where we are going, and I know you are strong enough for it.

Gillian: I want to get out of this car. Now. Pull over! NOW! I have to get out! I will take that wheel from your hands! I will not stop hitting you until you pull over!

Joe: Would you like for me to drop you off at this cornfield or at the feedlot with the cows? Perhaps you would prefer a chicken coop? When was the last time you saw a car? STOP hitting me. STOP IT. Stop screaming and listen for a minute.

Gillian: I don’t want to listen to another word you have to say –

Joe: Alright, then, don’t listen to me. Listen to that voice inside of you. Listen to your gamma. What would she say? What would she do? Close your eyes and listen, Gillian. We’re stopping in a few miles for gas. If you feel you must leave then, leave, but I warn you it is not the safe choice, not the next right choice. And you know it.

Gillian: I hate you.

Joe: I can take it.

Gillian: You know that’s a hateful thing to say. I mean it, I hate you.

Joe: You hate THIS. So do I. And maybe you’ll hate me in the end. But not yet. You don’t know me well enough to hate me yet.

Gillian: But you know me. I feel naked sitting here all exposed to some stranger. So yes, I hate you. I hate you for making me sit here naked.

Joe: You trusted Yvonne without knowing any of her past.

Gillian: She earned my trust.

Joe: How?

Gillian: With time. With loyalty. And honesty.

Joe: Honesty? How can one be honest when you don’t know everything about each other?

Gillian: She never lied to me. I never lied to her. There were just some things we didn’t tell, that’s all. And we were both okay with that.

Joe: So you mean, some things are better left in the dark?

Gillian: Shut up.

Mile Marker 210

Joe: Almost to the gas stop. So you decide. Time. Loyalty. Honesty. That’s what I’m offering here. I’m not standing outside the bathroom door to make sure you come back to my car. But I’m asking you to trust me. Our families have trusted each other. You don’t know the whole story yet. Some of it you never will. But I believe you know the next right choice.

Gillian: (singing) But you’re neither friend nor foe though I can’t seem to let you go.
The one thing that I still know is that you’re keeping me…

Joe: (whispered) safe.

  1. There better be a next one! 🙂

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