If you’re close enough you see the condensation on the beer. Carter Sexton enters stage right doesn’t acknowledge Mary Jane on the phone grabs his beer off the table and walks to the corner of the kitchen next to the kitty litter. You see he has his phone in his hand. Maybe he’s answering a notification on Facebook a text or a voicemail but then you hear the sound the music of Hank Williams Jr. and you notice the small speaker by the microwave stand how it’s connected by USB port to an electrical outlet how it connects by Bluetooth to Carter’s phone how the kitchen is pretty much empty anyway a stove by one wall next to the bathroom a kitchen sink counter and refrigerator by the window outside maybe if you could look out that window you could see the roses what leads to the living room dark off stage and the only wall left to come in where the window unit is to air-condition the place left open to the audience to their own body heat how when people come to meet things get hot and then all of a sudden the light darkens you don’t see Mary Jane sitting by the fold-out table you don’t hear her on the phone you only see Carter in the light on the stage holding his beer putting his phone in his pocket and the song plays softly in the background–Old Habits.

CARTER:

Wonder what my dad would have done if he’d had done it the same way and if he were alive now what would he say for she knows nothing nothing other than what I’ve told her about him the idea in her mind merely a seed I planted just as her carefully sown words and hell maybe time is measured in cats because how did this show begin did it start with a father and mother and as she used to say if you could hear all the conversations why Maxine told her it all spilled the whole story my roots here in Southern Illinois what my dad came from what my mom came from how they met in Carbondale how my mother’s mother was from Goreville just south of Marion and that’s where we’re at what this story’s all about a town and the people from it measured in a cat living a cat dying how why even Maxine told Mary Jane about my mother how she saw her grandfather die how it messed her up how maybe her grandmother was a witch passing a demon to her father who passed it on to me which is why yes storms never last but sometimes they’re an F5 causing lots of damage and can you really believe such stories or just does it explain away things and really when she told me she missed talking to me I asked her even the vile mean things but after giving it some thought the grief of truth of course I miss talking to her I’ve invested over a decade spending time letting her get to know me…

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