HARRY and BLIND FATHER TOM walk slowly amongst crepe myrtle trees. HARRY’s house is in the background. BLIND FATHER TOM wears sunglasses and carries a white stick, indicating blindness.
HARRY: (continuing a conversation we can presume is ongoing) …and I got nothing out of Flaubert’s ‘Anthony’-
FATHER TOM: Nothing at all?
HARRY: Not a thing. Nothing stuck. I’m not saying it’s Flaubert’s fault, but-
FATHER TOM: Now, Athanasius’ ‘Anthony’. That one would be-
HARRY: I have that! Inside the house… (motions towards his house)
FATHER TOM: I’ve searched and searched because I’ve heard such good things-
HARRY: It’s a very old hardback. I don’t remember where I found-
FATHER TOM: They don’t make it in Braille or books on tape, last time I checked, so-
HARRY: I’ve got a digital recorder, I could record um, it’s a short book, and-
FATHER TOM: If you could do that for me, Harry, I’d be forever gratef-
WREN appears, running from HARRY’s front door. She is heard before she is seen.
WREN: (waves her arms around) Dude! You got a little tuxedo cat!
HARRY: (looks back and forth from WREN to his front door. His face shows confusion.) Me? No, I don’t think so…
WREN: Yeah! He’s just sitting in there, chilling! He’s got a little tiny head…
HARRY: (looks back and forth between WREN and the door) He must have snuck in when you snuck in…
WREN: (thinks about this for a moment) Nooooo… he’s yours. He-
A bird swoops down at BLIND FATHER TOM, who sidesteps it with ease, avoiding the collision.
WREN: Dude, I thought you were blind!
HARRY: (staring at BLIND FATHER TOM) He is. Not even shadows. Um, WREN, TOM. TOM, WREN.
FATHER TOM: Charmed. What did I do?
HARRY: A bird dive-bombed you and you jumped out of the way of it.
FATHER TOM: Oh… Yes. Yes, that happens sometimes.
WREN runs back into HARRY’s house. HARRY watches her go.
HARRY: But how?
FATHER TOM: I don’t know. It’s completely involuntary. Instinct. It’s like those times when you hear a loud crack of thunder and-
WREN runs back out of HARRY’s house and throws a basketball at BLIND FATHER TOM’s head. BLIND FATHER TOM bats it away before impact.
HARRY: Are you Daredevil or are you faking?
FATHER TOM: No, it’s one of the things that led me to the priesthood, really. When I was young, it became part of my notion of this mover behind the universe…
WREN waves her hands before FATHER TOM’S EYES. She gets no reaction.
HARRY: Are your other senses super-senses because you’re blind? I mean, do you hear it? Smell it?
WREN: Do you want to know how he does it?
FATHER TOM: (ignores WREN) No, I don’t believe that’s it at all. To be honest, I believe the way the world fits together involves more than just our five senses. I’m not saying God tells me, no, nothing like that-
WREN: I know what it is!
HARRY: (ignores WREN) Like the holographic universe theory? Space is an projection and there are connections that-
WREN: Hey! Hey! I know how he does it.
HARRY: (stops at last to look at WREN) Wren is a first year medical student.
FATHER TOM: Ah, yes. Of course. Doctor Wren-who-says-‘dude’-a-lot.
HARRY: Okay, Father Tom-who-tells-people-he-can’t-see!
WREN: (reaches up, waves her hands around BLIND FATHER TOM’s head) So you know how you have these optic nerves, right? And they go on back into your brain. Basically to the part we think with. So you see, um, your Aunt Martha and your brain says, “Dude! That’s my Aunt Martha. She’s a little ugly and wrinkly and all, but I like her and I trust her because she treated me well when I was a kid…”
FATHER TOM: Aunt Martha. Got it…
WREN: But you got this other path, too. This older path. From back before we grew a smart brain that could think about Aunt Martha. And these nerves go through your brain stem and don’t take the time you need to name or to feel anything. They just need to react to, like, tigers jumping out at you from the primordial forest or spears and shit. They say “Get out of the way!” before the other part of your brain even knows what you’re getting out of the way of…
WREN retrieves the basketball and dribbles it.
WREN: Dude, something is wrong where the optic nerves go to the smart part but you still have this other part okay. Probably. You can see the ball even though you can’t see the ball.
HARRY: But God designed the nerves, though, right?
FATHER TOM: And the tiger, too, you jackass.
HARRY: So now that you know the Mad Conductor isn’t sending you out warnings from beyond about, I don’t know, pianos falling on your head, is this lifestyle you’ve picked-
FATHER TOM: Oh, please. Now wait… That’s hardly fair! I never said-
WREN: Harry, if that isn’t your cat in there, did he bring that litter box with him when he came?
HARRY: (to WREN) And where in the blazes did you find a basketball in my house, anyway?
HARRY, BLIND FATHER TOM, and WREN wander off stage left, arguing.