Mama's Broken Heart - #28playslater

MAMA’S BROKEN HEART
Adapted from Miranda Lambert’s 2013 country hit song Mama’s Broken Heart by Brandy Clark, Shane McAnally and Kacey Musgraves
SCENE ONE
A living room in a nice house in Alpharetta, a suburb of Atlanta, in Georgia, southern USA.
MIRANDA is unpacking groceries. Blueberries, kale, bourbon. She pours a bourbon. She seems uncomfortable in her clothes. Everything feels unbearable and all of a sudden she slumps to the floor. Then she pauses, gets the bourbon and returns to the floor. She drinks then gets a pair of kitchen scissors and tries to cut her bangs. It doesn’t work. MIRANDA rummages in the far reaches of the kitchen and finds an old huge rusty pair. She finds that if she really hacks at it hard she can cut them.
MIRANDA
Brandon. Brandon. Brandon. What a stupid name. BRANDON. BRANDON. BRANDON.
She’s something close to sobbing. She catches herself and finishes her drink. She tries to catch her breath. She runs out. SFX bath water. SFX mobile phone. It’s coming from a purse next to the groceries in the kitchen. MIRANDA re-enters to get the phone.
She answers with
MIRANDA
Mama I gotta get in the bath.
She listens
MIRANDA
Mama it’s bad right now. I need to take a bath and get drunk.
She puts down the phone, turns on speaker, starts to put away the groceries.
MIRANDA
OK, maybe this is ok. Well how you doin’, Mama?
MAMA (OFFSTAGE)
It’s time for you to listen to me Miranda. You stay put. I’m comin’ over there. You know I just got off the phone to Pastor Wilkin’s wife and her parents live on your street and her parents called her to say you’re making some strange noises.
MIRANDA
Yeah, mama. I’m putting away the cucumber now. That’s what happening in reality.
MAMA
I don’t know what you’re thinkin’ behaving in such a way as I get calls embarrassing me. Calls from my own community. Someone is indulging in some very selfish babyish behavior. Brandon was just a man. A man. You can’t let them hurt you this way. I raised you better than that.
MIRANDA
Mama I can’t help what I feel.
MAMA
Well that ain’t true.
MAMA
It just ain’t true of course you can help what you feel.
MIRANDA
Which is why I told you I gotta get in the bath.
MAMA
I’m coming over there to check on you.
MIRANDA
No mama you can’t come over.
MAMA
I’m coming over.
MIRANDA
Don’t you come over here.
MAMA
I’m coming right now.
MAMA hangs up the phone.
MIRANDA drinks a glass of bourbon, turns off her phone, spirals down further. SFX of the bath running. MIRANDA picks herself up and surveys the kitchen and commences cleaning away the groceries. She notices that the floor is thick with grime and decides she has to scrub the floor and starts to do so. Hot soapy water, bristled brush, the works. She cries, running her makeup. The doorbell rings. She gets up and in an act of defiance she does not clean herself up. She answers the front door.
MAMA enters.
MIRANDA
How far over here were you when you called?
MAMA
Decatur.
MIRANDA
Your phone reception is amazing. I could not tell. Can I go take a bath?
SFX bath still filling.
MAMA
I just got here. Offer your mama a drink.
MIRANDA
Mama can’t you get your own drink?
MAMA
Well no I cannot.
MAMA
I raised you to be like a Kennedy. A Kennedy honors the drink first. No matter how bad you’re feeling you don’t feel so bad you can’t offer basic hospitality. Do your job, girl, you’ll feel better doing your job.
MIRANDA opens red wine for MAMA.
MAMA
Now go fix your makeup.
MIRANDA
Mama I need to rest.
Drips of water come through the kitchen. It intensifies to a small waterfall. MIRANDA jumps to escape it at first but then enjoys it.
MAMA
All right. Who’s your plumber?
MIRANDA
Mama maybe you should let me rest.
MAMA
I’ll tell you when it’s safe to rest.
MIRANDA
No. No. No. Let me turn off the water. LET ME TURN OFF THE WATER.
MIRANDA exits.
MAMA busies herself segregating the groceries. She stops to put on hand cream. MIRANDA returns.
MAMA
I wish you wouldn’t be so dramatic about everything.
MIRANDA
It’s how I earn my rest.
MIRANDA exits again.
MAMA finds a mop and uses the same bucket from Miranda’s earlier efforts.
MAMA
(calling after MIRANDA). You have no idea what kind of a day I have had and now to be called in to some domestic emergency. And the Wilkins calling me and what they are saying is that you might be help but what they’re really saying is that -
While MAMA is talking, MIRANDA is outside pouring gasoline on the clapboard exterior.
MAMA
--your girl is a loser. Your girl is a mess. But that’s not right. I know that’s not right. My girl has dignity. My girl ain’t falling apart. She’s upstairs taking off her eye makeup to put it on fresh and get that hair under control.
The house is now on fire.
MAMA
We don’t crack. Not us.
MAMA notices the fire. She bites her lip.

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