Insight For The Modern Man

James Anthony Ellis
Legacy Editor

In 1999, two years after doing the Sterling Men’s Weekend, I wrote a one-act play about the young boys I grew up with in my neighborhood. The play was “The White Light Pole was Free,” referencing the streetlight on our block that stood as the home-base that we would all run to during hide-and-go-seek. Part of the play referenced a true story in 2nd grade when “my boys” – I think it was Jamie and David – were supporting me in helping me express my undying love for Terry Shannon, a pretty young thing from school. We knew where she lived in the “bird track” and approached in stealth mode. The scene is exterior, a common neighborhood, as three young boys, 8, hide behind bushes right outside of the home of a young girl, Terry. The three boys peer one direction, with Peter pointing into the distance.

PETER
Hey Charlie … Is that it?

CHARLIE
Shhh. Quiet; not so loud. She’s going to hear us.

SANDY
I don’t think she’s gonna hear us, Charlie. We’re so far away from her house; there’s no way. She’s probably in there watching TV or talking or eating supper, or just playing with her rabbits or something.

PETER
Rabbits? She’s got rabbits?

CHARLIE
Peter, jeez, will ya step back from there and get back here behind the bushes; you don't want Terry to see us, doya?

SANDY
Man, Charlie you are so hyper sometimes.

CHARLIE
OK, yeah, yeah.

PETER
What’s wrong with her seeing us? Isn’t that why we came up here? Weren’t you going to tell her you liked her?

CHARLIE
No.

PETER
No? You mean we’re not going to go up to the door?

CHARLIE
No, are you crazy?

PETER
So then why are we out here then if we ain’t going to go up there?

CHARLIE
Because.

PETER
Because why?

CHARLIE
Because.

SANDY
Because Charlie is a weirdo that’s why, dragging us out here.

PETER
OK, then I’ll just go up there.

CHARLIE
Hey Peter, you dickhead, you better not!

PETER
Why not? Maybe she’ll let me see her rabbits; she got rabbits right, isn’t that what you said Sandy?

SANDY
(Bored) That’s what I heard.

CHARLIE
(Angry) I swear to God Peter if you go up there, I’ll frickin’ kick your ass.

PETER
OK, geez. Settle down there Tarzan. (Pause) Well, if we ain’t going to go up there, then why don’t we just get out of here and play somethin’ or somethin’.

SANDY
Yeah, let’s go. Isn’t Speed Racer on?

CHARLIE AND PETER
(Simultaneously at first aghast) Speed Racer?

CHARLIE
(Both shrug shoulders in agreement) Yeah, all right; let’s get out of here. Yeah. Let’s go. But Terry is cute right?

SANDY
Yes, yes, very cute.

PETER
Not as cute as Lori Frankie.

CHARLIE
(Pause) But she’s cute. Really cute. I think. I think she’s really, really cute.

SANDY
(Pointing towards the house) Yeah, she’s cute alright. And like, isn’t that her, right there, staring at us real cute-like out her bedroom window?

CHARLIE
(Loud) Oh my God!

FADE TO BLACK.