-Philadelphia Here I Come-

Part 5

Public is now saying a rosary, kneeling with his back to the audience. Madge is nearby, and S.B. is kneeling near Gar. Private informs Public that he will be saying his rosary alone soon enough, unless Lizzy and Con do so. 


Private does a monologue about the American women Gar is going to meet, and the fact that he is destined to be a bachelor, as he narrates Gar’s future.


Private imagines Gar meeting a beautiful 19-year-old girl (he is 43) and falling in love with her. However Madge interrupts his fantasy to tell him to keep praying. Private continues, as Public prays, wondering if S.B. ever dreams, ever thinks of Gar’s mother. 


Private goes through his own memory of a day 15 years earlier, in May, when the two of them went fishing in a blue boat. As S.B. and Public begin to talk, Private urges Public to ask S.B. if he remembers the fishing day. Public asks him what happened to the boat. 


S.B. remembers, but they are interrupted by the arrival of The Canon, who is there to play chess with S.B. Canon speaks to S.B. and Private predicts every comment he makes, and then says that he can tell it’s likely to rain because his leg feels tense. 


Madge enters with tea and biscuits, she jokes with Gar that she wants to pour the tea water on the heads of the two old men. Public tells Madge to go visit her new grand-niece.Madge agrees to go, and as she goes, Public asks her why his mother married S.B and not Boyle . 


Madge believes she made the right decision and Public questions if Maire’s leaving Boyle is what made him start drinking, and she informs him that he should  ask S.B. , before he leaves. 


Public heads to the bedroom, while Private remains in the kitchen. Public mimics the actions of Private while Private stands between S.B. and Canon and dictates their chess game as if it were a sporting match. 


Private Gar mentions that Canon is someone who can understand his and S.B.’s connection and translate it into Christian terms 


However, he becomes annoyed that Canon refuses to do this. Public puts on a recording of Mendelssohn and Private tries to get Canon and S.B.’s attention. 


Public sulks in his room, whilst Canon and S.B. notice and acknowledge the music coming from Gar’s room. Canon asks about the fact that Gar is leaving the next day.


Gar still in his room, while S.B. looks at Gar’s things in the kitchen. When he coughs, Gar awakens and sees that he only has four hours until he has to leave. 


Public and Private head into the kitchen, they are both surprised to see S.B. sitting at the table. Private encourages Public to talk to his father candidly. Public informs S.B. about a number of logistical points about things he left in certain places before his departure. 


S.B. talks about the fact that cans do not sell as well as they use to, since people don’t use open fires as much. S.B. informs Public that he was listening to the weather report for Philadelphia and heard it would be windy and rainy. 


He later tells Gar to sit near the back of the plane, since that would be the safest place to be if there was an accident. Public then asks S.B. if he remembers the blue boat. S.B. seems to be able to recall it. 


S.B. does not remember any singing and thinks that it’s more likely that he sang a different song.  Private begins to mock Public, which makes Public rush to the shop. 


S.B. goes off towards the scullery as Madge comes in from visiting her grand-niece. As Madge removes her coat, S.B. questions  if she thinks he’ll be okay without Gar. 


He begins reminiscing about Gar wearing a sailor suit, and refusing to go to school so he can help with the family business. He remembers how happy and talkative Gar used to be. 


He questions if he was too old for Gar’s mother. Madge begins to say that Gar’s heart will break when he leaves, however she gets distracted by her own disappointment about the fact that her niece did not name the baby after her. 


She remembers to put an envelope of money in Gar’s coat. Public and Private come in and Public gossips about the fact that Madge’s niece has her name, but Madge does not correct him. 


Madge leaves to go  to bed, and Private and Public are left alone. ‘God, Boy, why do you have to leave? Why? Why?’ Private asks


Public replies ‘I don’t know. I—I—I don’t know.’

Philadelphia Here I Come

Fed up with the dreary round of life in Ballybeg, with his uncommunicative father and the humiliating job in his father’s grocery shop, with his frustrated love for Kathy Doogan who married a richer, more successful young man and with the total absence of prospect and opportunity in his life at home, Gareth O’Donnell has accepted his aunt’s invitation to come to Philadelphia. Now, on the eve of his departure, he is not happy to be leaving Ballybeg.

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