Fall 2019

Volume 14, Issue 2






MOTHER: A woman in her 50s, skeptical, has had an unfulfilled life, but did what she had to do to raise a family.

DAUGHTER: Her daugther, early 30s, still optimistic, but at a crossroads in life.

KITE MAN: An elderly man, pretending to fly a kite. Quite cheerful.



A park.






(KITE MAN is center stage. He is miming flying a kite and looking up at it as if it were very high. The audience should not yet be aware that he is pretending. MOTHER and DAUGHTER enter.)

DAUGHTER: I just feel like... we're in a rut.

MOTHER: Have you tried spicing things up?

DAUGHTER (Embarrassed): Yes, mom. But John likes mild. In everything from Indian food to the bedroom.

MOTHER: Then you need to have children.

DAUGHTER (Surprised): Children?

MOTHER: Raising kids will strengthen the bond between you.

DAUGHTER: Knowing him, I'll end up doing all the work myself.

MOTHER: He'll rise to the call. Most men do.


(DAUGHTER falls silent.)


DAUGHTER (Struggling): I’m not... happy being with John anymore.

MOTHER: Once you have babies in the house, there's no way you can be unhappy.

DAUGHTER: You were.

MOTHER: I wasn't.

(MOTHER looks for distraction, sees KITE MAN.)

MOTHER: Is that man flying a kite?

DAUGHTER: Well, he's not walking a dog.

MOTHER (Looking up): I don't see it.

DAUGHTER: It's up there. So high, it's hard to see.

MOTHER: You see it?

DAUGHTER: Yeah? (Points) There.

MOTHER: Where?

DAUGHTER: Where I’m pointing.

MOTHER: I don’t see a thing.

DAUGHTER (To KITE MAN): How'd you get it so high?

KITE MAN: Years of practice.

DAUGHTER: That's amazing.

MOTHER: I still don't see it.

DAUGHTER: It's there.

MOTHER: What's the point of flying a kite so high that not even you can see it?

KITE MAN: I enjoy the challenge.

DAUGHTER: Maybe you need glasses, Mom.

MOTHER: My eyesight is perfect. You should know, you inherited it.

DAUGHTER: And I can see the kite.

MOTHER: What color is it?


KITE MAN: More of an orange.

DAUGHTER: Well, it looks yellow from here.

MOTHER: Maybe you're mistaking a bird for it.

DAUGHTER: Then it's one strange-shaped bird.

MOTHER: A cloud then?

DAUGHTER: I know the difference between a cloud and a kite.

MOTHER: Is it even possible to get it that high? Wouldn't the winds up there tear it to shreds?

KITE MAN: Not if you know what you’re doing.

(MOTHER continues to search for it.)

MOTHER: There's no kite up there.

DAUGHTER: What do you think, Mom? He's pretending to fly a kite just to fool passersby?


KITE MAN: A lot of trouble to go through to fool passersby.

MOTHER: It could be an invisible kite.

DAUGHTER: Why not a very small kite? So it appears further away.

MOTHER: Whatever he's doing, it's some kind of trick.

DAUGHTER: So you'd rather there be no kite than believe it were that high up.

MOTHER: Seeing is believing my dear.

DAUGHTER: But I am seeing.

MOTHER: Then you’re delusional.

DAUGHTER: Thanks, Mom.

KITE MAN: If seeing is believing, than the delusional man is a believer as well, no?

MOTHER: No. He's still delusional.

KITE MAN: But at least he gets to see a pretty kite.

(They all stare up for a moment. MOTHER grows frustrated.)

MOTHER: Reel it in.

DAUGHTER (Surprised): Mom!

KITE MAN: I'm not done flying yet.

DAUGHTER: Why would you ask him to do that?

MOTHER: I want to see if there's really a kite at the end of that...

(MOTHER notices there is no rope in his hands.)


DAUGHTER: OK, Mom, let’s go. You’ve harassed the man who just came here to fly a kite enough.

KITE MAN: I'm used to it.

MOTHER (Pointing at his hands): There’s no rope! I told you he was making the whole thing up.

DAUGHTER: Maybe it's invisible rope.

MOTHER: There's no such thing. (To KITE MAN) Why would you do something like that to us?

KITE MAN: I'm not doing anything to you. I'm just flying a kite.

DAUGHTER: And he was minding his own business until you interrupted him.

MOTHER: He entrapped me with his fake kite flying.

DAUGHTER: Wow, Mom. Were you always this cynical?

MOTHER: I am with men who try to fool us.

KITE MAN: I'm not trying to fool anybody.

MOTHER: You fooled my daughter.

DAUGHTER: Nobody fooled me, Mom.

MOTHER: But you saw a kite that wasn't there!

KITE MAN: What would the younger you see?

MOTHER: You stay out of this.

DAUGHTER: He has a point. If you were my age and you came across this kite flyer, would you believe him?


(DAUGHTER and KITE MAN stare at her. They're not buying it.)

KITE MAN: I don't believe you.

MOTHER: You don't know me.

KITE MAN: Or do you not know yourself?

MOTHER: What? Do you think you're some kind of guru, trying to teach us about life by speaking in riddles?

KITE MAN: Nope. I'm just flying a kite.

MOTHER: No you're not!

DAUGHTER: Mom. Let it go.

(MOTHER looks to the sky and thinks for a moment, then turns to her daughter.)

MOTHER: When I was your age, I would have seen the most beautiful kite imaginable.

DAUGHTER: What happened?


DAUGHTER: That's a lame excuse.

(DAUGHTER thinks for a moment.)

DAUGHTER: Do you remember when you lost your imagination?

MOTHER: No. It's just as the years went on I...

(MOTHER thinks for a moment)

MOTHER: You have to be different. You have to always see that kite.


MOTHER: Not if you stay in a marriage that makes you unhappy.

DAUGHTER: I was happy. Once.

KITE MAN: Winds change.

MOTHER: They sure do. When the magic of your marriage disappears, you begin to lose your faith in all kinds of magic.

DAUGHTER: So this guy's gone from a fake kite flying, riddle spewing guru to an allegory about my marriage.

KITE MAN: I'm just flying a kite.

(MOTHER is about to protest, but instead turns to her daughter.)

MOTHER: I'm scared you're going to follow in my footsteps, just like I followed in my mother's. She was so unhappy.

DAUGHTER: I know. I can't recall grandma ever smiling.

MOTHER: Neither can I.

DAUGHTER: Come to think of it, I saw you smile less and less as I got older.

MOTHER: I don't want you to stop smiling.

DAUGHTER: Can't smile every day.


MOTHER: Are you married?

KITE MAN: Happily.

DAUGHTER: Do you have children?

KITE MAN: And grandchildren.

DAUGHTER: So, your advice is to come fly a kite whenever you're feeling unhappy?

MOTHER: Or come pretend to fly a kite.

KITE MAN: No. My advice is to be with somebody who makes you happy.

MOTHER: And why isn't your wife here flying a kite with you?

KITE MAN: She prefers fishing.

MOTHER: Bet she catches the biggest fishes.

KITE MAN: Always. And the ones that get away are bigger. We enjoy talking to each other about our separate interests.

DAUGHTER: Wish I could do that with my husband, but he gets angry when I do things without him.

KITE MAN: That's too bad.

(They all watch the sky for a moment.)

MOTHER: Don't have children with him.

DAUGHTER: But you just suggested it.

MOTHER: That's what I felt I had to do. And I'm happy I did, but... you need to learn from my mistakes. If you're unhappy, get a divorce.

DAUGHTER: But I'm... scared.

MOTHER: That's no excuse to stay in a bad marriage. Or you're going to spend your entire life afraid. Do it now, before you bring children into your unhappiness.

(DAUGHTER digests this.)

DAUGHTER: Maybe a trial separation at first.

MOTHER: Release him into the wind. See if he takes flight on his own.

(MOTHER smiles at KITE MAN. He does not return it. Her smile falls.)

KITE MAN: Or perhaps it will be your daughter who is like the kite. She will soar into the sky.

DAUGHTER: But there's still a string attached.

KITE MAN: Is there?

(They all look at his empty hands. Then look back up at the sky. Each is deep in contemplation. After a moment:)

KITE MAN (To MOTHER): Would you like to try?

MOTHER: Flying your... kite?


MOTHER: But it's... I... I'd be too scared I'd crash it.

KITE MAN: It's pretty sturdy up there. You'll be fine.

(KITE MAN presents the invisible rope to the MOTHER.)

DAUGHTER: Go on, mom. Do it.


(MOTHER mimes taking the rope. She pretends to feel it tugging.)

MOTHER: Wow. I can really feel it.

DAUGHTER: So you're saying that seeing may not be believing, but feeling is?

MOTHER: No. I’m just flying a kite.

(Lights slowly fade as they watch the sky.)















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