I’m Dreaming of a White Plains Christmas




9 year old boy is lying in bed. Mother is sitting in a chair next to him.

MOTHER: (bored) So what do you want for Christmas?

BOY: A working kidney would be nice.

MOTHER: (rolling her eyes) Besides that?!

BOY: Well, anything else would be kind of pointless since the doctors don’t think I’m gonna make it to Christmas.

MOTHER: Do you have to be such a downer? Can’t you show a little Holiday spirit?

BOY: I’ll try.

MOTHER: (looking at a notebook) What’s the name of your disease again? I want to put it in the Christmas letter.

BOY: It’s just kidney failure.

MOTHER: I don’t like the word failure. I’ll just put cancer. That pretty much covers everything. Well, goodnight. Sweet dreams.

BOY: Good night mother.

Father and mother in the living room.

MOTHER: Look, Timmie’s asking for the kidney again. Can’t you just let up and buy him one?

FATHER: We’ve talked about this.

MOTHER: Frank says he’s already arranged with a seller in India. It’s not like you can’t afford it.

FATHER: It turns out that guy already sold one of his kidneys. Greedy fuckers.

MOTHER: So. He’s willing to make the ultimate sacrifice for his family.

FATHER: He probably already sold the better one. If I’m gonna pay 20 grand for someone’s kidney I want to pick which one.

MOTHER: Well, I’m sure there are plenty of other kidneys for sale in India.

FATHER: Forget it. I’m sticking to my policy of only buying American.

MOTHER: Well, that always costs more. But Frank can probably find you one in Kentucky or somewhere.

FATHER: Look Alison. If I get him the kidney now, next time he’s gonna want a liver, then a heart. Where does it stop?

MOTHER: I think it would stop there. At the heart. Why couldn’t you have just given him your kidney?

FATHER: Because, if I only have one I’d have to cut down on my drinking and you know that’s not gonna happen. Why don’t you give him one of yours?

MOTHER: I’m saving mine since it looks like you’re probably gonna need one eventually.

FATHER: Well – what about his sister? Why didn’t that work out?

MOTHER: She’s not a match.

FATHER: That doesn’t make sense. Same parents.

MOTHER: (acting cagey) It’s just not gonna work – that’s all.

FATHER: Oh – I get it.

MOTHER: Well, as long as we’re going there. You must have a few other kids kicking around somewhere. I’ve seen the cancelled checks. Can’t you hit one of those mothers up?

FATHER: I’m not giving another penny to any of those vultures or their brats. They’re bleeding me dry as it is. Look – he needs to learn to fend for himself. I’m trying to make a man out of him. If he makes it to manhood. He’s never been very healthy anyway. Maybe it’s time to give up on this one.


SISTER: I think Timmie’s dead.

MOTHER: How do you know?

SISTER: I just walked by his room and he was kind of choking and then making this gurgling sound and then… (making a dead face) Nothing.

FATHER: Oh for Christ’s sake. I’ve had enough. I’m going out.

MOTHER: Oh, and leave me here to deal with this.

FATHER: The housekeeper will be here soon. Let her handle it.

Father leaves

MOTHER: Great. Just great.

SISTER: Can I have his room?

MOTHER: Aren’t you going off to college soon?

SISTER: I’m only 14.

MOTHER: 14? Didn’t you just have a birthday?

SISTER: Yeah, yesterday. Remember the party? Oh, you probably wouldn’t. Well, to refresh your memory, You left with my friends Lincoln and Dylan. Not sure where you three went but we were all happy to see you go.

MOTHER: (remembering fondly) Oh yeah. Anyway, when I was 14 I’d already left home and was making my own way – as a dancer.

SISTER: Dancer, ha! You mean stripper and I’d be fine with that if you had given me the titty job I wanted for my birthday.

MOTHER: OK. OK. You’ll get implants for Christmas. Oh. Maybe you can have mine. I’m thinking of going with something smaller and perkier.

SISTER: I don’t want hand me down boobs! And besides – yours are so out of style. More natural looking is the way to go now. Nobody gets those blow-up-doll basketballs anymore. Yours are such “mom boobs”

MOTHER: Hey, these “mom boobs” got me this house and everything else we have.

Doorbell, mother answers door. A man – a stranger is standing there, smiling.

VOLUNTEER: Hello. I’m wth the Christmas Fund. We’re collecting used toys and clothes for kids in need.

MOTHER: Your timing is perfect. There’s a whole bunch of stuff down the hall. Second room on the left. Take whatever you want.

VOLUNTEER: That’s very generous. Thank you.

MOTHER: I’m heading out. Just close the front door when you leave. It’ll lock behind you.

Volunteer exits towards Boy’s room.

SISTER: I’m not staying here alone. With him.

MOTHER: He looks harmless enough,

SISTER: Not him. I mean him.


Volunteer comes back out

VOLUNTEER: Excuse me, Um.

MOTHER: (snapping) He’s sleeping. Don’t worry. He doesn’t need any of that crap anymore.


Volunteer exits again.

MOTHER: Go cover him up with a blanket or something

SISTER: Eww! No.

MOTHER: All right. Do you want to come Christmas shopping with me?

SISTER: Uh. Yeah.

MOTHER: All right. Here’s my Christmas list. (looking at it) I guess we can scratch that name off.

MARIA enters

MOTHER: Oh, Maria. Good. We’re just going out. (starting to leave, then turning back) Oh, and Maria. Just remember it’s your people’s favorite time of year. Christmas Bonus Season.

MARIA: Yes Miss.


(Maria looks confused by mother’s comment as she heads into the apartment)


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