Jamie

February 3, 2017
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DANNY
And that’s how my family got from Ohio to here. Since then, my parents have moved back, but I stayed. There’s just.. something about this city, you know?


  The tattoo gun in MARK’s hand whirrs and DANNY repositions himself on the long body chair.
   
     MARK
Hey, somewhere along the line, everyone find their home. Some sooner than others. Does that journey have anything to do with why you’re getting this tattoo?

     DANNY
Nah, not this time.  (Gives an anxious smile) This tattoo doesn’t really have to do with family or the city, but at the same time, I guess it does. I guess it’s something more than all of that.


     MARK
More? I can see tons of stuff that’s more than this city, but what could be more than family? (chuckles, then shakes his head) Well, I guess a few things.


     DANNY
Don’t get me wrong, I love my family. They’re a little crazy, but all families are. But this, this tattoo.. This is something different.

     MARK
Well, it sounds like this thing is very deep. Whatever this is.

     DANNY
(Sighs deeply, then leans back, smiling at the ceiling.) This is love. Ah, don’t laugh. This isn’t the kind of love you’re thinking about. This love, this love was pure. Innocent. This was the kind of love you see in the sunsets, the kind that has you wasting hours of your time and money just to make the person happy. This love was… right.

     MARK
Love, love, love. (Shakes his head) So tell me, Danny boy, what’s her name?

     DANNY
Not a her.
     MARK
Right. It is twenty-sixteen, after all. What’s his name?

     DANNY
Not a him, either. Not really, anyways.

     MARK
Well, hey. to each his own. I don’t really understand all of that, but I guess it’s not my job to-

     DANNY
(Smiling kindly) No, you don’t understand. This love wasn’t romantic or sexual. This love was brotherly. (DANNY sighs, pulling a scrap of paper from his pocket.) His name was Jamie, and he deserved better. His mom left him when he was nine, and his dad.. Who knows. He had four other siblings - all sisters, and he needed all of the attention he could get. I was in need of volunteer hours, he needed a friend - and I became his Big Brother. (A nostalgic smile crosses his face) I’m an only child, so I probably over did it on some of the activities - every weekend it was something new. The beach, the carnival, a parade, a circus, anything I could find that would make that kid smile. He had never heard of asparagus until he met me - yeah, asparagus. I’d rather never eat it again, but Jamie loved it. (Again, DANNY smiles. He looks down at the paper, holding it up some for MARK to see.) On the weekdays, we did homework. He didn’t like school, but for some reason, those grades shot right up. He drew this for me in his art class. (The slip of paper shows a crude, scribbly drawing of a short, black-headed stick figure holding hands with a taller, white-headed figure.) Guess that’s supposed to be us, huh?
    
     MARK
(MARK is smiling. He takes the paper from DANNY and holds it up to the light.) This is definitely the work of a child. I can transfer this for sure, but if you want, I could give ‘ole Jamie a lesson with the gun. (MARK raises his tattoo gun.)
    
     DANNY
(DANNY’s face darkens and his smile becomes sad.) No, no. Jamie had one too many ‘lessons with the gun’. (There is a pause for four beats.) I did my best to keep him out of the gangs, off the streets. Apparently Jamie had a lookalike, some Kevin. Kevin made the wrong guy angry, and essentially had a ‘hit’ on him. Jamie was walking home, it was dark… (Silence grows.)

     MARK
Oh.. wow. (He is silent. Finally, he straightens up, offering a quick smile to DANNY.) Well, then. (He lifts his tattoo gun.) To Jamie.

     DANNY
(DANNY offers a quick smile, and slides back into the chair, closing his eyes peacefully.) To Jamie.






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