Ricky and Art play chess
Scene opens, 10 years later. A young boy is sitting at a table in a park (Tompkins Square Park maybe?) with Art. There is a chess board between them with a game in progress. The boy is studying the chess board, deciding on his next move. Art waits.)
(speaks in German)
Still deciding which way to move?
Oh I don’t know Uncle Art. Everything looks confusing to me today. I’m not sure I feel like playing chess right now…)
Anything the matter? You don’t seem yourself. Is everything OK? Anything going on at school?
(looks down at the chess board…shrugs)
Hmmm…not exactly the answer I was looking for. What’s going on?
(last sentence in German)
(looks up suddenly)
I wish I knew what really happened to my mother and father, Uncle Art.
(Looks startled for an instant and taken aback)
Well Ricky we’ve talked about this. Your parents…they knew Miss Alice from the bar…and right after you were born…well your mother got pretty sick…
But why didn’t they ever come back for me?
(Sighs….looks a little sad, looks away for a second and then looks directly at Ricky)
I don’t know kiddo. I wish I could tell you something different, but I can’t.
(Stares down a the chessboard. Does not say anything)
Is something else going on?
(Shrugs, looks off into the distance for a couple of seconds…looks back down at the chessboard)
Sometimes the kids at school say stuff…
Oh? What kind of stuff?
They say mean things about Aunt Alice and my mother and father. And some of it I really don’t understand.
(Sighs, shakes his head)
Look kiddo there will always be ignorant people around — people who say things when they really don’t know what they’re talking about. They judge by looks alone.
I know Uncle Art….
You and I know what a great lady Miss Alice is and how she has been there for the both of us. And she may not really ever say it. But she loves you, Ricky and would do anything for you.
(looks up at Art)
You have a family with us, here, Ricky and you always will. Don’t ever forget that.
And I like having you around too. Who else could I get to play chess with around here?
I still can’t beat you Uncle Art.
Well you’re getting better all the time. And you can learn alot by just playing. Remember, it’s not always just about winning.
Art and Ricky study the chess board. Ricky looks like he wants to say something else. He looks up at Art.
(Art concentrating on the chessboard)
It’s not only me they are mean to?
Those kids at school. It’s not just me they’re mean to.
Oh so they are democratic about who they pick on?
Well there is this one kid…he never really talks much and everything about him is just …. slow. The bigger kids call him stupid and make fun of his clothes. And sometimes, I don’t think he comes to school with lunch.
And how does that make you feel?
I feel sorry for him but part of me is also glad that they aren’t picking on me.
Well that’s easy to understand. But you never know when someone needs a friend and you never know when someone will make a good friend to you. Think about it.