Matt enters. Corey follows. They wear suits. Matt occasionally drinks from his flask.

Matt: Jesus Christ! No offense, Corey, but… Jesus Christ!

Corey: Matt–

Matt: This is why I haven’t been back here in three years. Jesus Christ!

Corey: Matt–

Matt: This is INSANE!

Corey: Well…

Matt: No no, Corey. Absolutely, one hundred percent bat shit fucking crazy nutso.

Corey: Ok…

Matt: And I’m not doing it! You hear me? No fucking way. (He takes a sip) I’ll drink, and I’ll weep and I’ll look at pictures and I’ll hug the old neighbors, I’ll be here. I’m fucking wearing a suit for chrissake.

(Corey winces)

Corey: I’d appreciate it if you wouldn’t / take the Lord’s name in vain.

Matt:  / take the Lord’s name in vain, yeah. .  But that—that is… (he exhales) I mean, it’s disgusting! She just… she wasn’t lucid. She wasn’t rational. She was drunk and… I don’t know—maybe she had some fucking brain parasite or emotionally stored whatever whatever going on as well, but that doesn’t mean she can demand weird shit of us. I mean, Jesus! (Corey winces) Sorry sorry sorry. She drives me up the wall.

Corey: Drove.

Matt: Huh?

Corey: Technically, Mom drove you up the wall.


Matt: Right.


Corey: You want my advice?

Matt: What, as a man of God?

Corey: Ok. (he turns to leave)

Matt: No, no, I’m sorry, that’s—I’m sorry. Please. Yes. I want your advice.

Corey: Let it go.

(beat, Matt laughs)

Matt: Are you fucking kidding me?

Corey: She was… unconventional. But hardly dangerous. Why deny her her last wishes?

Matt: Because the woman should have been in an asylum. Because she drank herself to death on box wine. Because we are her sons and we should at least spare her the embarrassment of this—spectacle. It’s creepy and it’s undignified. And probably illegal! (he takes a sip of his drink)

(Ben comes in, carrying a large box.)

(Matt spits his drink out) Oh, Jesus, Ben. Don’t bring that in here!

Ben: (ignoring Matt) Corey, it’s time, come help me finish her. They arrive in 15 minutes.

Matt: Corey, don’t you do this.

Ben: Corey, Mom needs you now.

Matt: Corey, don’t you even think about it.

Ben: (to Matt) What is your problem? Show respect for your mother!

Matt: Respect? Respect? I respected her by not enabling her!

Ben: No, Matt. You abandoned her.

Matt: I hardly see how preserving my own sanity by getting the fuck out of here counts as abandonment.

Ben: Really?

Matt: You can’t guilt me into making a fool out of my dead mother at her wake. I respect her too much to let her be the laughingstock of this town.

Ben: I’m not guilting you at all, I think you’re doing that quite well on your own.

Matt: Fucking Christ….

Corey: Matt.

Ben: If you feel guilty, maybe you should help us honor her.

Matt: It’s not honor just because she said she wanted it. Or, excuse me, because YOU said she said she wanted it.

Ben: I was there, asshole.

Corey: (softly) Ben…

Ben: You weren’t there. She begged me. She was on her deathbed.

Matt: She was on the bathroom floor, according to Sheriff Thompson. Hardly a bed.


Ben: Corey and I are going to do this. We talked and…. with or without you, it’s happening.

Matt: Do you not see how fucked up she was?

Ben: I see a woman of incredible generosity. I see a woman who loved deeply.

Matt: Fine. Delusions are fine. That doesn’t mean we allow her to be shown for the wake with the carcass of her cat!

(There is a silence. Ben stares down Matt. Matt looks to Corey for help. Corey looks away.)

Ben: I know you haven’t been around for a few years now, Matt, so maybe you think you still have a say in decisions. But Corey and I did what we could for the whole messy end of it. And Snowflake is going in with Mom. (he hands the box to Corey and begins reading a piece of paper)

Matt: Are you fucking cracked? You are! Our crazy cat lady mother has turned you both into raving lunatics. Jesus fucking Christ!

Corey (cutting Matt off, with significant force): Matthew. She may have been a drunk and she may have been… peculiar. But she’s my mom. And I will make sure that she gets what she wants.

Ben:  (looking at the will) Shit.

Corey: What?

Ben: Dad’s ring.

Corey: Yes?

Ben: The written will says she should be wearing that pearl ring Dad gave her.

Corey: And she’s not wearing it?

Ben: No.

Matt: Are you sure?

Ben: … YES.

Matt: Shouldn’t you go check?

Ben: (stopping him) TRUST ME.

Corey: I could check…

Ben: No, just—she’s not wearing it.

Corey: Ben, this is a stressful time, let me just go check with the funeral director… it had to have come in with her.

Ben: (even a bit freaked out himself)Under normal circumstances, yeah. Probably would have. But. Well. (he makes a vague gesture with his hand and lowers his eyes)

Matt: What?

Ben: She was in and out of consciousness… she had been on a real bender for a couple days, and… I guess Snowflake thought she was already dead, so…

(There is a long pause)

Ben: She hadn’t been to the store to get more Fancy Feast.

Matt (nauseated): It ate her fingers????

Ben: So I guess the ring is—

Matt: It ate them to the ring?

Ben: Well, most of the left hand, yeah.

Corey: Jesus Christ.

Ben: (welling up) The vet said Snowflake choked. That must’ve been it. (truly moved) She loved that animal, she watched it die and it broke her heart to know she was responsible for its suffering.

Matt: Yeah. She was a real geyser of empathy.

(beat—now what?)

Ben: Corey. Open the box.

Matt: Whoa….

(Corey sets the box on the ground and opens the top. The three brothers look inside. Ben rolls up his sleeves and reaches an arm in. The brothers are silent as Corey and Matt watch Ben retrieve the ring. Maybe Matt helps keep the box top open.  Ben probably sweats.)

Ben: I think I feel something.

End of Play.