Martin & Dot
Fade In: Exterior. Main Street. Night time. We see Burke’s Corner Store and a light on in the window upstairs as we see this we hear
Maureen’s voice: I never wanted Martin to be alone. I’m not sorry I ran out into the street and stopped Paula from being hit by the car. After all, I saved my daughter’s life and what mother wouldn’t do that for her child? I felt trapped in that awful coma for twenty-five years. Stuck between here and Heaven and wanting to be with Martin and Jimmy and Paula again but it was not to be.
(Dissolve to the interior where Martin is combing his hair and fixing his shirt as he stands in front of a mirror and a battered bureau.)
Maureen’s voice: Poor Martin has been alone for so long I don’t feel anger about his romance with Maggie or with his wanting to be with other women but I always hoped in some way he would end up with my best friend Dot.
(Dissolve to the interior of Dot’s house. She is setting her kitchen table with flowers and her good plates and silverware. It is overdone but she is happy if a little frazzled with the whole effort.)
Maureen’s voice: Dot has always loved Martin. I could see that from the moment she met us all those years ago. I didn’t begrudge her that as I knew Martin didn’t see it and I had no question that he was completely and totally in love with me and I with him. She told me how difficult her life had been and I could see and understand her pain as only women can with each other.
(Dot takes the roast out of the oven and burns her finger. She puts the roast down and then runs her finger under cold water, dries it, and then holds it to her mouth.)
Maureen’s voice: I can see how anxious she is not just about tonight but about everything. She’d be so much calmer if she had Martin at her side. Nothing would make her or me happier.
(Dissolve to the exterior again as Martin gets in his car, starts it up, and drives down the street.)
Maureen’s voice: And I know my Martin needs someone who will truly care for and understand him and he needs to be that for someone else. I can only pray that happens for him and Dot.
CUT-TO: Interior. Ginny’s house. She is dressed nicely if a little too nicely. A bottle of wine is open on the kitchen table and her wine glass is half full. She is cooking the fish as she putters around her kitchen.
Ginny: I wonder if he heard Elsie today saying that my eyes reminded her of Gus Donahue. I’m sorry for what I did to you Elsie leaving you at the altar and all but I hope you didn’t ruin my chance with Martin. (She puts her hand on the temperature dial and the doorbell rings. She jumps and accidentally turns the temperature dial-up to its limit.) Coming! (She exits her kitchen and we follow her as she checks herself in her living room mirror and then breathes deeply and opens the door. It’s Martin.) Martin! Come on in.
Martin: Hello, Ginny.
Ginny: What pretty flowers and a bottle of Guinness.
Martin: (Awkwardly he hands them to her): These are for you. I didn’t know if you liked carnations or not and the Guinness is for later..
Ginny: (Taking the flowers and the Guinness): No I love carnations, thank you. Sit down and make yourself comfortable. I’ll see about the dinner.
Martin: (Sits): You have a lovely home here, Ginny.
Ginny: (Off): Thank you, Martin. Would you like your Guinness now?
Martin: No, I’ll have whatever you’re having.
Ginny: (Enters with the bottle of wine and her glass and an empty one. She places them on the table.) Let me pour that for you. (She does and hands it to him as she sits.)
Martin: Well, um, I guess I should say welcome to Maple Falls.
Ginny: Thank you, Martin.
Martin: Cheers! (They clink glasses and then sip their wine.) The dinner smells wonderful.
Ginny: We’re having fish. Flounder. I hope you like it.
Martin: Love it.
Martin: Boy, you’ve really done something with this place. Tom Moore’s house. Maggie and I lived in it for a time.
Ginny: Really? I didn’t know that.
Martin: (He nods): It was when she was carrying Declan. She told everyone the baby was mine but I knew it wasn’t still the boy needed a name so we were to marry but it never came to that. Poor Maggie. Drowned she did. I think of her sometimes and wish she’d had a better go of it.
Ginny: Were you in love with her?
Martin: In love? No. I loved her but no I’ve never been in love with anyone other than my late wife. Of course I knew Maggie these last few years of my wife’s life. She was in a coma my wife and Maggie was her nurse. Poor thing. You didn’t ask me here to dwell on my past. (Pours himself another glass of wine) Let’s talk about you.
Martin: Yes. I know we’ve been friends since you came to town but I really don’t know much about ya. (Sips his wine.) So go ahead. Tell me something about ya. (A beat.) Do I smell something burning?
Ginny: (Jumps up and knocks over her wine glass onto Martin’s lap and runs out): My fish!
CUT-TO: Interior. Dot’s kitchen. She is seated at the table alone. The roast is sliced and the dinner is getting cold. Brian enters through the kitchen door.
Dot: Brian, where have you been?
Brian: I was working late at the station and I told you I wouldn’t be here til after seven anyway. Is Sheri here?
Dot: Not yet. Go upstairs and put something fresh on and wash your face and hands.
Brian: Mom, what are you doing? I’m fine the way I am.
Dot: Don’t be difficult. Just do as your told. I want this dinner to go well.
Brian: Why? What do you expect to come out of this? That Sheri and I will run into each other’s arms and profess our love for each other and I’ll promise to be good Father and she’ll promise to be a good daughter?
Dot: Yes. Is that asking too much? Now go upstairs and get ready. (He starts to grumble.) Go! (As he exits Elsie enters from the same door.) Yes, Elsie, may I help you?
Elsie: I don’t want to be a bother. I’m just getting my apple from the refrigerator.
Dot: That’s fine, Elsie. (Knock on the door and she answers it. It’s Sheri) Hello, Sheri.
Sheri: Hi, Grandmother. (They embrace. Seeing Elsie coming out of the refrigerator.) Oh!
Elsie: I didn’t mean to scare you, Miss.
Dot: Sheri, this is Elsie Hunter and Elsie this is Sheri Martin, Brian’s daughter.
Elsie: It’s nice to meet you.
Sheri: It’s nice to meet you, too, Elsie.
Elsie: I didn’t know Brian had a little girl.
Sheri: That’s okay. He’s forgotten about it, too.
Dot: (Faking Laughter): Sheri’s just trying to be funny. Sheri, why don’t you sit there, dear? I’ll see where your Father is. (Calling) Brian? (He enters.) Oh, there you are.
Brian: (Awkwardly): Hello, Sheri.
Sheri: (Cold and on her phone): Hi. (He goes to kiss her.) No. Don’t.
Dot: Why don’t we sit? Elsie, can I help you with anything?
Elsie: I don’t want to be a bother. I just want to get to the sink to wash my apple.
Brian: (To Elsie): Is that all you’re having for dinner? An apple?
Sheri: Is this roast beef, Grandmother?
Dot: Yes, dear, I bought it at the store today and came and cooked it especially for–
Sheri: I don’t mean to be rude but I’m vegan. I don’t eat meat.
Elsie: I like apples, Brian, and besides I don’t eat much.
Dot: My grocery bill says otherwise.
Dot: Well, Sheri, how about some potatoes and corn–
Sheri: I don’t eat carbohydrates, sorry.
Dot: Just what do you eat? An apple?
Sheri: Sure. I love apples.
Brian: Well, that settles it then. Elsie, you sit down here and eat Sheri’s dinner and Sheri, you eat Elsie’s apple.
Elsie: No I don’t want to be a bother.
Sheri: No. Come on, Elsie, sit down. You don’t mind, do you, Grandmother?
Dot: Well I was hoping that–
Elsie: (Sits): I haven’t had roast beef in forever. It looks delicious.
Dot: I was really hoping.
Brian: Elsie, would you like some gravy with your roast beef? (Elsie nods happily as Sheri bites into her apple and Dot looks miffed.)
CUT-TO: Interior. Ginny’s kitchen. Ginny and Martin are seated at her table with the burned fish and mashed potatoes and a new bottle of wine opened as well as his bottle of Guinness.
Ginny: (Drunk): I’m sorry about the fish, Marty.
Martin: Don’t worry about it. I didn’t mind eating around it.
Ginny: You didn’t even eat the potatoes.
Martin: I had a big lunch.
Ginny: You’re lying, aren’t you, Marty?
Martin: No. It really is a lovely home you’ve made of it. Why when Maggie and I lived here–
Ginny: Maggie was your wife?
Martin: No. Maureen was my wife. Maggie was–
Ginny: Right. You told me already. You know I think everyone in Maple Falls hates me. You don’t hate me do you, Marty?
Martin: No and everybody doesn’t hate you. They just haven’t gotten to know you that well that’s all what with everything going on.
Ginny: You mean your son’s murder trial, that’s what you mean.
Martin: That and so many other things. No. Once Jim is found innocent then things will settle down and you’ll get to meet people. I’ll introduce you.
Ginny: Would you? Would you do that for me?
Martin: Sure. Of course. Why not?
Ginny: Sure. Why not? Everyone in town loves you and since they love you then they are bound to love me, isn’t that right? (Martin nods.) I love you, Marty.
Martin: Well I love you too.
Ginny: Do you? Do you really love me? Are you in love with me, Marty, because I’m in love with you. (Awkward silence.) I knew it. You don’t love me and I know why.
Martin: Look, Ginny, I think we’ve both had enough to drink for tonight. So why don’t I–
Ginny: It’s because you heard what Elsie said this morning out in front of your store, isn’t it?
Martin: I don’t know what you mean–
Ginny: Don’t patronize me! You heard her tell me that my eyes were the same color as her fiancée Gus Donahue. The fiancee that left her at the altar. Did you know she was left at the altar?
Martin: I really don’t care that she was left at the altar. I barely know the woman.
Ginny: Remember Ralph Donahue? Remember he died in that house fire? Do you remember that?
Martin: Yes but I didn’t know Ralph that well. Look, what’s all this got to do with–
Ginny: I went to see Ralph that day. Right before his house blew up of course. I’m the reason the house blew up. See he was smoking and drinking and he looked terrible. I hadn’t seen him in years but he’s the reason I came to Maple Falls. To reconnect with my brother.
Martin: Why would he blow up his house over that? I would think he’d be happy to see his sister.
Ginny: He wasn’t. He was furious. He ordered out of his house. He couldn’t believe what had happened to me and what I had become but I had to be this person, Marty. I couldn’t go on anymore as I was. I couldn’t marry Elsie Hunter and pretend for the rest of my life. I was suffocating. I was dying so I went to Ralph and I asked him to understand but he wouldn’t.
Martin: Understand what for Christ sake? You’re not making any sense, woman!
Ginny: Because you don’t know the truth. Ralph didn’t have a sister named Ginny. He only had a brother named Gus. Before I became Ginny Cusack I was Gus Donahue!
(The Guinness bottle slips from Martin’s hand and crashes to the floor.)
CUT-TO: Interior. Dot’s kitchen. She is washing the dishes and only Brian is there wiping the dishes.
Brian: Well I think that went well, don’t you?
Dot: Yes Elsie really enjoyed herself.
Brian: Look, Mom–
Dot: Don’t look Mom me. Just go to bed.
Dot: Go. You and Sheri made absolutely no effort at all tonight. None. So I’m done with it. When I see her, if I see her, I am her Grandmother. What you two are to each other is none of my business. I’m sick to death of both of you. (He starts to speak. She holds up her hand.) Go!
(Brian exits as Dot’s phone rings. She answers it.)
Dot: Martin, what is it? Meet you at your house? It’s kind of late and–all right, all right. I’ll be right over. (She hangs up.)
CUT-TO: Interior. Burke’s Corner Store. Martin is pacing back and forth when there’s a knock on the door.
Martin: (Quietly at the door): Who is it?
Dot: (Off): It’s me. Dot.
Martin: (Unlocking the door and opening it and shutting it quickly and locking it again.): Come in, come in, quick.
Dot: Martin, what is it? You’re scaring me.
Martin: Ohhhh, you think you’re scared! Let me tell ya. I had the fright of my life tonight.
Dot: What happened? Are you all right?
Martin: I don’t know. I honestly don’t know. Come upstairs.
Dot: I don’t think I should–
Martin: (Opening the door leading upstairs): I’m not going to talk about it here in the store, woman, come upstairs.
CUT-TO: Interior. Martin’s room. Dot enters and Martin after her.
Dot: I don’t think I’ve ever been up here before.
Martin: This isn’t a social call. I just need someone to talk to and you’re the one I talk to so you’re it.
Dot: Calm down. You’re in quite a state. It’s not good for your high blood pressure. You don’t want another stroke.
Martin: If I didn’t have one tonight at Ginny’s house I’ll never have it again I’ll tell ya.
Dot: So you went to dinner at Ginny’s house tonight?
Dot: (She sits): What did she serve?
Martin: Burnt fish.
Dot: Burnt what?
Martin: She burned the fish and she gave me–an Irishman through and through–microwaved potatoes!
Dot: Well she’s a busy woman.
Martin: That’s what I’ve been trying to tell you. She ain’t a woman at all. She’s a man.
Martin: Look, she was drunk when I got there. She served me burnt food and then she told me she was in love with me.
Dot: I knew it.
Martin: You knew it, did you? You shoulda told me. Anyway, she says she’s in love me and asks me if I’m in love with her.
Dot: Well are you?
Martin: Don’t be ridiculous. I barely know the wo–anyway, she tells me some crazy story about Elsie Hunter–
Dot: Elsie? I could tell you a story about her. She ruined my dinner party and ate half of my roast beef.
Martin: Dot, I’m going to say this in the nicest way possible. Shut up!
Martin: Listen to me! So anyway it turns out that Ginny Cusack was once a man named Gus Donahue and Gus was engaged to Elsie Hunter. He left her at the altar and he went off and became Ginny Cusack. She said she didn’t ever feel right as a man and knew she was always a woman inside so she became outside. She came to Maple Falls to see her brother Ralph and hoped to reconnect with him but when she went to meet with him he threw out of his house and burnt his house to ground.
Dot: (Blessing herself): Mary, Mother of God.
Martin: No shit!
Dot: Martin! I can’t believe it. You said she’d been drinking maybe she didn’t know what she was saying. (He looks at her.) Okay, she knew what she was saying. That’s incredible.
Martin: You aren’t telling me anything I don’t know.
Dot: Well I don’t know what to tell you.
Martin: See as crazy as all of it is and it is crazy at least to me. Why is she in love with me? I never once gave her any indication at all that I was in love with her.
Dot: You’re a handsome man, Martin. (Martin swipes his hand.) No, it’s true. Any woman would be very happy to be in love with you. I know the only woman you could ever love is Maureen.
Martin: I am in love with Mo I always will be but you seem to be the only one who understands that.
Dot: I not only understand it, Martin, I appreciate it. I wish I had a man who loved me the way you love Maureen.
Martin: I’m sure your husband–
Dot: I never had a husband. I’ve never been married.
Martin: What? But you call yourself Mrs.–
Dot: I know what I call myself. When I came to Maple Falls I had Brian with me. What was I supposed to do? Let everyone know he’s Sidney Green’s illegitimate son? So I became Mrs. Shea. I feel as if my whole life has been a lie. The other night when I was in a state much like you are now and you wanted to comfort but I sent you away. Do you remember that night?
Dot: I don’t remember what led up to it but I had an argument with Father McShane and I told him the truth. Donald is Kathy’s father.
Dot: When I came to Boston I worked as a dance hall girl and all I did was dance with the men nothing more. That’s where I met Donald and there was something special about him and so well I didn’t see him for a few months and I knew I was pregnant but when he came to the dance hall again he told he was going into the seminary the next day. What could I do? I gave birth to Kathy and gave her to Frank Hogan and you know the rest.
Martin: And he knows now?
Dot: Yes. He knows. Kathy doesn’t so please don’t say anything to her.
Martin: No I won’t. We’ve been friends too long for me to go around gossiping about your business and don’t tell anyone about Ginny.
Dot: I won’t. I promise. Well I suppose I should go.
Martin: You know, Dot, you’ve been with me all the way through Mo’s coma. You were there every day praying with me hoping she would get well. You were right by my side every single day. I can’t tell you how much I depended upon you. How much I still depend upon you.
Dot: Well that’s what friends do for each other.
Martin: Maggie. I only took up with Maggie because I needed someone. I loved her but I wasn’t in love with her.
Dot: Please, Martin, don’t explain anything to me about Maggie. I really can’t hear it.
Martin: What I’m saying is that Maggie was a substitute–
Dot: For Maureen.
Martin: No. For you.
Martin: I knew Maureen was slipping away long before Max told me. I mean I’m not a damn fool. No one stays in a coma for twenty-five years and comes out of it just fine. No one and without you being there every day by my side I couldn’t have done it. I love Maureen I always will but what I’m saying to you is, Dorothy Shea, that I love you, too. I’m in love with you and I want you to marry me. (On his knee) Will you marry me?
Dot: Oh, Martin.
Martin: You don’t have to answer me–
Dot: Shut up you damn fool. Of course I’ll marry you, Martin, I love you. I’ve loved you for years.
(Martin rises and he and Dot passionately kiss.)
Dissolve to exterior the light in the upstairs bedroom at Burke’s Corner Store as
Maureen’s voice: I’m so happy. My prayers have been answered.
Fade to Black