L’Ape musicale  

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Scene 2

[Room interior, Motel Siesta. This is a cheap 1960s room with a soiled orange plastic chair, a velvet painting of a bullfighter on the wall, a creaky metal bed, plywood desk and chair. Jack and Ennis are in bed, gleaming with sweat, exhausted and spent, breathing deeply.]

JACK

I didn’t know. Swear to God I didn’t knowthat we was goin to get into this again.

ENNIS

[in disbelief.]

Yeah? The hell you didn’t.

JACK

[after a pause]

Yeah, I knew. Why I’m here. Red-lined it all the way, couldn’t drive fast enough. [Touches Ennis’s face.] We got to talk. About everything.

ENNIS

Four years!

I didn’t know where you was.

Four years!

I thought about you every day.

Figured I’d never hear your voice again

after four years.

I figured you was sore about that time I punched you.

JACK

I was. For about two days. I got back to rodeo. [a long beat] How I met Lureen. She went to college. Her old man’s got money. Owns a farm machinery business. I’m workin for him. And he’s sick. Got the lung cancer. Anyways, after Cody I’m gettin out of bull ridin while I can still walk.

ENNIS

[punching him lightly on the shoulder]

You seem in pretty good shape to me. Rough and tough.

JACK

Not bad yourself. [touches Ennis’s chest appraisingly.] Those four years I dreamed about you.

I thought about you.

Damn near went nuts thinkin about you. [Turns Ennis’s face toward him. Speaks gently.]

Listen, we both got wives and kids, we got to work out what happens next.

It’s a problem.

Old Brokeback got us good and it sure ain’t over.

ENNIS

I never should have let you out of my sights.

Too late by the time I knew it.

And now you are in Texas. Makes it worse.

I’m nothin much, Jack. I’m not very smart.

I’m in somethin way over my head.

I don’t know who the hell I am anymore. Since the mountain.

JACK

[takes a deep breath.]

Friend, we got us a fuckin situation here. I don’t know what we are goin to do.

ENNIS

[sits on the edge of the bed and pulls on his jeans. While he speaks he is putting on his shirt.]

Nothin we can do. Not now. Jack, I built up a life in them four years.

JACK

Every time I heard a hawk cry I thought about us up on the mountain.

They say Brokeback is a bad place.

But for us it was good.

ENNIS

[sitting down on the bed again, touching Jack]

I wish we never left there. [pause]

What happened back on the stairs[he jerks his head in the direction of the apartment], if that grabs on us in the wrong place we’ll be dead.

JACK

[upbeat, tender and eager all at once]

We can make something work. Ennis, I know we can.

ENNIS

[Perhaps Jack’s words interleaved]

You got some kind of power over me. You and that damn Brokeback. And I ain’t so sure that mountain was good. It done somethin to me. I can’t help it. It scares me, how I feel.

Jack, why do I have these feelins

not for Alma

but for you?

Why do my hands shake,

my breath come short?

Why can’t I say

what I want to say?

JACK [alternating between dreaminess and enthusiasm]

If we had us a little ranch somewhere, your horses,

it could be a sweet life.

Like I said, I’m gettin out of rodeo. I got some money saved up. We can do it.

ENNIS

Whoa, Jack. It ain’t goin a be that way. It can’t. I am caught in my own loop. I goddamn hate it that you are goin to drive away in the mornin and I am goin back to work. But if you can’t fix it, you got to stand it.

[Ennis gently pulls Jack closer.]

Jack, I wish we was up on the mountain again. Bad or good.

I hate this motel room.

I wish we was in the high country.

Pure cold water. Wind blowin.

The camp fire and the hawk below callin “free, we are free.”

Close to you.

Remember how them cloud shadows slid over us?

[Pause, both in a reverie of remembering.]

JACK

I miss the smell of pine trees. Owls hootin. [Imitates owl.]

ENNIS [laughing a little]

It wasn’t all good, Jack. Mosquitoes. And remember that lightnin storm?

JACK [appalled at the memory]

Hell yes! I thought we was done for.

ENNIS [serious.]

I thought God was after us. Never forget it. [Shakes this black thought off and becomes a little playful.]

Smoke in your eyes. Burned toast. Aguirre. [They laugh]

JACK

Let’s do it, Ennis. Get up in the mountains. Right now! Tonight. I’ll throw off the rodeo. You call Alma. You owe me that much. Give me somethin to go on.

[Ennis thinks about this. He gets up, walks to the phone. He picks up the phone tentatively, hangs up, makes a decision, then purposefully picks it up again and dials. Brusque.]

Alma. It’s me. Listen, I’m goin to take off with Jack for a couple days. Go up and fish the high lakes.

ALMA’S VOICE

[aggrieved]

What? Just like that? What about me and the girls?

ENNIS

[patiently]

Alma, since we got married

I done everything you wanted

except take a town job.

We live in town and I hate that closed-in feelin.

You got your fancy telephone which I don’t never use.

I give you every dollar I make.

Right now I got to get outdoors away from—this place and all.

ALMA

[bitterly]

Your pay check don’t cover much. And you are usin that telephone you got no use for right this minute. Ennis, you are a big strong man but you are pretty worthless. I never should of married you. [hangs up.]

ENNIS

[to the dead telephone line]

I wish to God you never did.

[Hangs up, turns to Jack who has been dressing while Ennis was on the phone.]

Now what?

JACK

[pulling on his own boots]

Get your boots on and let’s go. We can get there by first light. It’s gonna be great. Alone in the mountains, just me and you way the hell out in the back of nowhere.

ENNIS

[a great light slowly dawning, seeing a resolution to their problems]

Jack, this ain’t no little thing that’s happenin here.

We can do this a couple times a year, be alone.

JACK

Out in the mountains.

ENNIS

Me and you.

This ain’t no little thing that’s happenin here.


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