How Could I Dance with Another?

Slide6

Play 10, Day 10 – How Could I Dance With Another?

IN THE BLACK, the tinny sound of bad hi-fi from 1963,
as we hear the first few notes of the Beatles hit.

SPECIAL UP on BOBBYold, that 50s-70s range, vigorous oldster.
He is dancing up a storm: The Frug, apparently.

BOBBYold:
In the Spring of 1963, I danced with Julie Greco. I was only sixteen years old. How could I know that I would never dance with another woman?

BOBBYold starts dancing, just about the time Paul McCartney’s voice comes in, and JULIE GRECO enters with the chorus. She is as she was at 18 but should be cast to play older. She begins dancing with BOBBYold.

JULIE:
I’m Julie Greco.

BOBBYold: (as if a teen)
I know. Everybody knows you.

JULIE:
I danced with lots of boys, Bobby Drew, both before and after you. Why are you making a big deal about this with everybody? What’s  wrong with you?

BOBBY:
I don’t know. Is it my age?

BOBBYyoung dances in. He’s a boy of sixteen here.
It’s the three of them dancing.

JULIE: (to BOBBYold, re: BOBBYyoung)
You were always like this.

BOBBYyoung:
I was only sixteen. I fell in love with you. I vested every romantic notion I had in you.

JULIE: (to BOBBYold)
I acknowledge that. And I danced with you. Not just once , either.

BOBBYold:
No.

JULIE:
We danced plenty.

BOBBYold:
That whole summer.

JULIE: (to BOBBYyoung)
Why are you making such a big deal about this?

BOBBYold: (to BOBBYyoung)
That’s why. It wasn’t just one night. It was the whole summer.

JULIE:
(to BOBBYyoung) I always danced with you. And it was lovely, I’m not denying it.

(to BOBBYold:) So why are you summoning me up in your memory. Lemme rest!

BOBBY: (to JULIE)
You? I’m sixty-five! You’re –what, 34?

JULIE: (to BOBBYold)
Twenty-eight. And you know it.

JULIE stops dancing, exhausted; BOBBYold continues.

JULIE: (toBOBBYold)                                                                                              What happened to you?

BOBBYold & BOBBYyoung, in unison:
You’re the one something happened to.

JULIE:
Don’t try to put it off on me.

BOBBYold:
Would you dance with me?

JULIE heaves a sigh; though exhausted, she starts dancing again.

JULIE: (to BOBBYyoung)
Why do you always ask me that? I’m dancing with you now. I always dance with you, R.J.

BOBBYyoung:
My name’s Bobby.

JULIE:
And I always dance with you, Bobby.

BOBBYold:
But you always acted like you didn’t want to.

JULIE: (to BOBBYold)
That’s not true. I always danced with you, willingly enough. You never know. You may grow up to be a nice guy. None of these boys are nice guys. Most of them are going to grow up to be jerks.

BOBBYyoung:
How do you know that?

JULIE: (to BOBBYyoung)
My future self, when I’m twenty-eight.

BOBBYold:
Thirty four.

JULIE: (to BOBBYyoung)
My future self revisits the past, and tidies up the loose ends. Trust me, you and me don’t end up together.

BOBBYold & BOBBYyoung, in unison:
No?

JULIE:
It was just this one summer of dancing.

BOBBYyoung stops dancing.

BOBBYyoung:
It was just for a summer.

JULIE:
Stop going around telling everybody you danced with me. You make me sound like I’m Rita Moreno or something.

Scene shifts. BOBBYyoung is now two years older.

BOBBYyoung:
Julie Greco.

JULIE:
R.J.

BOBBYyoung:
Julie-Julie-Julie.

JULIE:
That’s my name, don’t wear it out.

BOBBYyoung:
I haven’t seen you in—

JULIE:
Two summers. Where’d you go, summer dance partner?

BOBBYold butts-in to dances eith JULIE, as BOBBYyoung dances off.

BOBBYold:
We got moved. Dad got stationed elsewhere.

JULIE:
I heard you signed up, yourself.

BOBBYold:
I did.

JULIE:
You believed in the war?

BOBBYold:
Apparently. A lot of boys did. Boys do.

BOBBYyoung barrels in in a wheelchair. JULIE stops dancing.

BOBBYyoung:
I believed in doing right by my beliefs.

JULIE: (to BOBBYold:)
And I always understood that.

BOBBYold:
I went away to war. How come your future self didn’t see this?

BOBBYold gestures toward BOBBYyoung in the wheelchair.

JULIE:
I lied. There is no future self.

BOBBYyoung:
That I’d be crippled.

BOBBYold:
We didn’t say disabled then.

JULIE:
Because you’re not. Because I came to visit you.

BOBBYyoung:
At the VA Hospital.

BOBBYold:
The only person that ever visited us.

JULIE:
I was just doing what any dance partner would do. I was shoring up my investment.

JULIE sits in BOBBYyoung’s lap. Is this where the music ends?

BOBBYyoung:
I learned to walk again.

JULIE:
You will.

BOBBYold:
You’ll help me.

JULIE:
I do.

BOBBYold:
You were the love of my life.

JULIE: (to BOBBYyoung:)
I’m the only girl you ever danced with.

BOBBYold:
The only one in fifty years.

The music is played out by this point.

JULIE: (to Bobbyold:)
I died myself, or I’d dance with you now.

BOBBYold:
I know.

BOBBYold stops dancing.

JULIE: (to BOBBYyoung:)
I die ten years after I help you back on your feet. You come and visit me in the hospital, too. We dance. You hold me in your lap and rock me. You say you feel like dancing, but you look sad.

BOBBYyoung:
I’ll get on my feet again.

BOBBYold and BOBBYyoung, in unison:
Dance with me!

JULIE:
I am. I always dance with you, Bobby.

BOBBYold stands in silence. BOBBYyoung sways his wheelchair,
JULIE giggles in BOBBYyoung’s lap as LIGHTS FADE TO BLACK.

END OF PLAY.

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