Maeve Visits Jack in the Hospital
(October 1976)

(Maeve opens the door to Jack's room.)

MAEVE: Jack? It's Maeve Ryan.

JACK: Yeah.

MAEVE: I was wondering: Are you up for a visitor?

JACK: Sure. If you don't touch the bed.

MAEVE: Hurts like hell, eh?

JACK: Well, you might say that.

MAEVE: Where is it? Is it all over or where they did the surgery or what?

JACK: Yeah, my back where the disc is out of place.

MAEVE: Oh, that's a torture. I only had a strained muscle and it was like a knife.

JACK: I remember. We had a visit from a baby as a result.

MAEVE: (nods) I remember, the more I thought about it, the more it hurt.

JACK: Well, if you're telling me to get my mind off it, great, but how am I supposed to manage that?

MAEVE: Well, let's see... Maybe you could start off by telling me about how this horrible accident occurred in the first place, hmm?

JACK: I guess I tried to take too much road on too little sleep. It was my fault.

MAEVE: Oh, that's guilt I'm hearing; I don't want to hear any more of it.

JACK: I was in a hurry to get home to Mary, and there was another car...

MAEVE: There's too many cars. That's the one part of America I have never appreciated. When I was a girl back home in Skibereen (sp?), boys went after the girls on bicycles. (smiles)

JACK: Didn't cover too much road that way.

MAEVE: Oh, they managed, and they remained in one piece. My brother Tom claimed to have courted every pretty girl in a ten-mile radius. That of course was the distance that he could travel within the hour, when his legs were tired from too much dancing and his belly was full of too much beer.

JACK: I imagine the worst thing happened to him is crack up his bike.

MAEVE: (laughs) It happened every now and then. That was terrible. He needed the bike.

JACK: No more courtin', hmm?

MAEVE: No, no, he needed it for work. Nothing kept him from the girls. The boys had their systems, you see: There was two bikes and one boy...errr, two boys and one bike; one running, one riding. Three boys and two bikes, which was a much more elaborate sort of switching back and forth, mind you.

JACK: (laughs) Legs must have been like iron, all that running and pedaling.

MAEVE: (laughs) And then on Sunday, my brother would drag himself off to church swearing that he'd never do it again! Of course, come Saturday, he'd be totally recuperated and, if there was a dance over at Barrack Point, off he'd go.

JACK: (laughs) Women are a great temptation.

MAEVE: (nods) Same with men.

JACK: You know the difference between me and your brother, Maeve?

MAEVE: What?

JACK: I would have ridden eleven miles, if it was Mary living there.

MAEVE: (smiles) I know. I believe you.

JACK: Hey.

MAEVE: What?

JACK: You did it. Thank you.

MAEVE: Did what?

JACK: Took my mind off the pain there, for a minute.

MAEVE: Oh, well, now that is something, now, isn't it?

JACK: Maeve?

MAEVE: Yes, dear?

JACK: I know I've been bad to Mary, the last couple of days.

MAEVE: Oh, well, she understands, Jack.

JACK: I didn't mean it. I couldn't help it.

MAEVE: I know. I know.

JACK: Will you tell her that everything's gonna be alright, as soon as I get through the pain and get back to myself? Will you do that?

MAEVE: First thing I see her!

JACK: When I'm alright, everything will be fine, just fine.

MAEVE: Yes, we're all praying for that, Jack.

(Maeve looks anguished.)

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