Requiem for a way out of poverty and despair
Donny paces back and forth in front of his apartment window waiting desperately for Jimmy to arrive. He lives in one of the roughest areas of town. Most nights Donny and his girlfriend can’t sleep due to the constant sounds of gunshots firing through the neighborhood. Donny’s only wish is to finally finish college, get a good job in advertising, then move as far a way from the hell whole neighborhood he lives in as he can. Donny frowns and feels a turning in his stomach as he nervously holds his pathetic college report card in his fragile thinning hand. The room is dimly lit, and it is so quiet that you can hear the subliminal rugged sound of the apartment’s dusty old ceiling fan. In his living room is two worn down mix match leather recliners and a faded coffee table. They didn’t even have a television any more. Donny had to sell all of their decent furniture in order to pay for his college tuition this semester. The only thing they had for entertainment was Donny’s grandfathers old radio that only picked up a few stations. Things had gotten so bad that Donny couldn’t even afford very much to eat. His body is now only a fraction of the size it was when he was in high school.
Donny walks over to the window and opens up the dusty curtains. His girlfriend had been so busy she didn’t even have time to knock down the dozens of spider webs that were clinging on to the corners of the ceiling walls. He looks both ways to see if Jimmy’s car is coming down the street. As he stands there nervously, he starts reminiscing on how he was once a buffed up quarter back in high school. He thinks about how perfect every thing seemed back then. He remembers how popular he was and how all the girls wanted to go out with him. In his graduation year book he was named the most likely to succeed. His temporary joy quickly changes when he thinks about how he is being supported by his girlfriend who’s working two jobs.
With a sullen expression on his face, Donny walks over to the counter and grabs his lighter and a pack of cigarettes off the counter. He anxiously pulls a cigarette out of the carton, then lights it up as his fragile hands shake. He steps over to the refrigerator in his small out of date kitchen and opens up the refrigerator. He shakes his head as he notices the nearly bare shelves. There is nothing left in the refrigerator but a jar of old pickles, a container of eggs and a carton of milk. He grabs the carton of milk out of the refrigerator, then takes a huge sip. He nearly vomits on the floor. He quickly holds his hand over his mouth, then rushes over to the sink and spits the curded milk out. “How come every thing in my life sucks?” Donny yells out. He dumps the carton of spoiled milk into the trash can. He takes a few more puffs off his cigarette than puts it out in the sink. He looks up at the ceiling and notices that one of the florescent lights are out.
Donny is about to strut over to the pantry and get a new light bulb, when the roaring sound of a car horn startles him. He rushes over to the window and notices Jimmy’s car in the drive way. He feels a small sigh of relief as he rushes to the door and opens it up. Jimmy runs up to the door with an agonizing look on his face.
Donny and Jimmy had been best friends since grade school. They went through everything together and they were always there for each other. Donny immediately opens the door. Jimmy rushes frantically pass him.
“Donny! God dam it!” said Jimmy. “Those Bastards.”
“What the hell is going on?” said Donny.
“I didn’t get the promotion so I can’t give you the money for the tutor.” said Jimmy. “You’re going to just have to take some of the classes over next semester.”
“Jimmy!” said Donny. “What the hell do you mean?” I loaned you the money to pay for your new car. That’s why I didn’t get the god dam tutor last semester. Now you’re telling me you can’t give me the money because you didn’t get the promotion.”
“You can wait til next semester.” said Jimmy. “My uncle’s selling his boat and he’s going to give me five thousand dollars next month.” “I told him I needed it for you now.” “He said he has to make some repairs on the boat before he can sell it. “I promise you Donny.” “You’ll get the dam money back.”
Donny rushes over to the coffee table, picks up a glass vase then throws it against the wall. The riveting sound of glass sputters. Bits and pieces of glass are all over the living room floor. Donny rushes into the kitchen and starts taking glasses out the cabinet and throwing them on the ground. He takes the eggs out the refrigerator and throws them on the counter. He angrily takes his hands and smashes the gooey egg mixture all over the counter. “This is what’s happening to my life Jimmy.” said Donny.
“Come on Donny.” said Jimmy. You can still graduate next semester. Don’t try to make me feel guilty. I couldn’t help that I didn’t get the promotion. I promise you that if I don’t get the money from my uncle before the beginning of the semester, I’ll sell my mom’s old Mercedes Benz. It’s in excellent condition. She left it to me before she passed away. I swore, I’d never sell it. But you’re my home boy. You know I’d do any thing for you.”
Jimmy walks up to Donny and grabs his hand as he is about to destroy one of his high school football trophies. Jimmy takes the trophy out of Donny’s hand and sits it back on the fireplace mantle. Jimmy grabs Donny’s shoulders and looks intensely into his eyes. He escorts Donny over to the recliner. They both sit down and listen to the rugged sound of the ceiling fan. Donny slightly smiles as he leans back and fantasizes about his college education, successful career and new home in a new safe neighborhood.