Scene 10

carny copy

Lindsay has been hanging around uncomfortably in the shadows most of the afternoon and evening. First there was the accident. Then all the officials and Butch and Agnes talked for hours. He tried to get in to get some stuff out of his room but was shoed away both times, rather rudely.

Lindsay was very upset by the tragedy. Seeing the little girl trapped under the Gravitron panel was an image he just couldn’t expel from his mind.

The few moments spent clustered with the other Carny kids had felt wonderful, like he belonged. Was he weird for thinking that way. That he was in a way grateful for the disaster because it brought him closer to other kids, if only for a few moments. Anyway, they quickly passed and he was alone again, like usual. So he just wondered around biding his time until he could get back into the trailer.

Like the onlookers he witness the scene of Butchs’ expulsion from the trailer. He was concerned but glad he left, finally. Carefully walking up the steps and quietly turning the knob and opening the door, he peered inside. Agnes was sitting on the couch with her head in her hands, slunked over. He crept silently over to her and asked softly, “What’s the matter Mom?” When she didn’t reply, he drew closer. He could tell she was crying. He sat down besides her and tried to comfort her. He felt uncomfortable, he didn’t really know what to do to be helpful. Obviously something was really wrong.

“Mom, we could leave, go to aunt Jerry’s house… Go to California. Get out of here. Away from this place.” Mother continues to be consumed in thought.  He puts his arm around her. She looks up at him with tear stained face. Dark streaks of make-up and eye liner etching her sorrow. Pauses a moment to wipe tears from eyes. She briefly acknowledges Lindsay, and although she remain very disturbed, she rebounds a bit.

She grabs a nearby brush and begins to absently brush her hair.

Lindsay is still worried. His strong mom is falling apart. He comforts his own fears by assuring her, “It will be O.K. We’ll be all right… I’ll rub your back if you want me too.” Lindsays’ gesture of kindness causes her to pause. She begins to regain her composure. “Gotta pull things together here.” She mutters as she stands. She musses Lindsays’ hair as she passes and briefly offers him an affectionate smile. She snatches a half used pack of Marboros from the coffee table and lights up a cigarette.

She walks over to the dining room table and lifts up the cushions of the bench seats, where they keep their business files. Then, she lifts the stuffed boxes and cardboard drawers out of the seat and sets them on the table for review. She studiously goes through bank statements and notices to look for clues. Lindsay is curious and follows his mother over to the table and watches her pilfer through the files. She finally finds the files she is looking for and sits down to check them out in detail. She’s got to pull herself together to figure this out. Lindsay questions, “What are you looking for?” Mother ignores the question and continues her search.

She sifts through the maintenance records, laying them to one side for later “doctoring”. Under the operations files she inadvertently discovers a curiously unmarked manila envelope. Mechanically opening it she finds a stack of tickets banded together. Race track stubs. Further investigation reveals a pile of broker receipts for stock purchases made throughout the previous 9 months. “Oh Fuck! That lying bastard.” Agnes shakes her head in amazement. Lindsay silently looks on. She unfolds a group of newspaper clippings describing the recent stock market crash. She pieces together the trail of Butchs’ buying and selling. “Fuck him! The stupid ass hole’s blewn all the money on stock market. “God! He’s such a fool!”  Letting out a exasperated sigh.

You better get to bed. Lindsay reluctantly obeys. She gives him a casual hug on his way back. He clutches her tight, lingers a noticeably long time and then gradually releases her. “Is everything O.K.?” she bends over slightly and queries. He nods barely and stoicly marches off to his room and quietly clicks it shut.  His mother warmly watches him go, wondering what was the matter. Too much. Better get some sleep. There was a lot to tend to the next day. Butch still hadn’t returned. Good. Best keep his sorry ass at a distance for a while if he knew what was good for him.

The next morning, Agnes was up early with papers spread all over the kitchen table when Lindsay got up. No sign of Butch. Lindsay hoped he’d never come back. Then it would just be he and his Mom again, Like it was before. It was better then.. at least for the most part… except for the drinking, her being gone all the time and the other men that is. Agnes was intent on her project. “Morning Mom.” A grunt signaled her return answer.

“I don’t know why I should work to save his ass. It’s not really worth savin’. Why should I be loyal to an idiot like him?” She turns to mention rhetorically to Lindsay. He just shrugs his shoulders and grins. He’s happy she’s in better humor although he really doesn’t know what’s going on. She turns her attention to the maintenance files. She begins to calculate the methods to maneuver past the present difficulties. The details of the cover story. The records that need to be falsified. Getting rid of Henry. Butch’s intuition about Lobo. What was up with that anyway. It was a puzzle she couldn’t figure out.

She addresses Lindsay in a casual inquiry, “What did you find in Lobo’s stuff. You said you found out some important information but we didn’t get a chance to discuss it because of the party.” Lindsay looks evasive. “Nothing really. Nothing important.” Agnes stops her work, sensing something is fishy. “What else did you find? What are you hiding? Lindsay starts squirming in his seat. “Nothing. I told you, I didn’t find nothing.” Agnes peers sternly into Lindsays’ eyes. “I can tell when you’re lying to me and sneaking around. This is important. We need to know.”

Lindsay doesn’t know how to defend himself from his mothers’ scrutiny and apparent telepathic powers. He jumps up and angrily defends, .. “Nothing! Nothing, I didn’t find nothing. I’m tired of doing your dirty work and spying on people. Go, do it yourself. Kids don’t like me. They call me squealer. Nobody will play with me…”

Agnes remains calm and on target. She isn’t easily deflected from her pursuit. “So Lindsay, “what’s bothering you? What really happened? What are you hiding, son?” Lindsay throws up his hands in frustration. “Nothing! How many times do I have to tell you? I just don’t like you telling me what to do all the time and running all your errands.”

This offends Agnes deeply. She begins to get mad, but then reverses her tactics. “O.K., fine.” She just disconnects. Rejects him. Ignores him. Goes stone cold. She rises absently and pours a large drink (vodka) “Fine, (said with intensely apathetic affect) I don’t care. Go do what you want to do.” Gets up and walks out of the room away from him, totally aloof and indifferent to his very presence. Lindsay is beside himself. He shouts in desperation. “Moooom!” Agnes simply ignores him. Listlessly shrugs her shoulders. She is completely unaffected by Lindsays’ display of emotions. Cold as ice. Sharp as a knife.

Lindsay still refuses to give up Lobo. Lobo saved his ass and he owed Lobo something. Whatever the cost.

Nothing like cold rejection to stir the soul though. Lindsay screams furiously to no avail. Agnes turns on the television and flips randomly through a book, humming some sort of obnoxious tune. Lindsay is very hurt by Agnes’ abandonment and manipulation and proceeds to flip out, loose control. He punches the wall several times with his fist and yells. Agnes continues to ignore him. Lindsay finally splits. The second male to be expelled from the trailer in an angry huff within 12 hours.

Lobo awakes from his fitful slumber. The previous days proceedings greatly disturbed him. What do they portend for his future here? Lobo sits up on the bunk. This is not the place for him. He smells trouble brewing. It feels like a set-up. Whenever he had this feeling in prison, there would assuredly be some major conflict or danger coming. His intuition protected him a lot in the joint. He learned to depend upon it. Why wouldn’t he rely upon it now? Maybe it was just the accident. That was very upsetting.  Resolutely Lobo begins to pack up his belongings to leave. Everything in his gut was telling him it was time, past time to hit the road.

Agitated, Lobo mutters out loud, half praying to himself as he does, “Let someone else save the world, I got to save my own ass here, God.” As he collects his things he runs across a photograph of his friend, Mo, from underneath his bunk and stares at it in quiet refection. Stops packing a moment.

He is about to continue when he hears Lindsay’ scream and the slamming of the trailer door. He rises to investigate. Pulling the tent door back, Lobo notices Lindsay rushing away from the midway and out into the adjoining field. Must be headed toward the woods and the river beyond. He could tell something was deeply upsetting Lindsay. Lobo laid the folded piles of clothes back onto his bunk, slipped his locker back under the bed and headed out to help his little troubled friend.

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