Jack Proposes to Mary
(April 1976)

(Mary arrives at Jill's apartment, where she is temporarily staying, and starts to open the door. Suddenly someone comes up behind her. She screams, then sees that it's Jack.)

MARY: Oh, Jack, for heaven's sake!

JACK: Mary, this is the only way I had to talk to you.

MARY: Can't you take a hint? I don't want to see you!

JACK: You don't have to. Just listen. Please?

MARY: Jack - alright, I'll be blunt - beat it!

JACK: (physically blocks her from going in) Ten minutes, Mary!

MARY: Take your hands off me!

JACK: Don't I rate ten minutes?

MARY: Don't ask me what you rate, sweetie, because that's a loaded question. People who knock my father down don't rate ten seconds with me!

(She goes in, but Jack stands in the door so she can't close it.)

JACK: Come on! Look, a man swings at me, I swing back. It's a reflex action! I get a cinder in my eye, I blink! Mary, please! I'm going up the wall! Now don't shut me out.

MARY: Jack, I'm sorry you're upset. But I do not want to see you!

JACK: Why not?

MARY: Because I'm afraid. I'm afraid I'll forgive you for it, and I don't want to forgive you. Not this time.

JACK: I'm not asking for forgiveness, dammit! I won't even say I'm sorry. Just let me in to talk to you.

MARY: (screams) No!

JACK: (desperately) Mary, please!

(She opens the door and motions him in. He doesn't move at first.)

MARY: (angrily) Well?

(He comes in, she slams the door. He angrily throws something onto the floor.)

MARY: I'm not in the mood for your tricks, Jack. Say what you have to say.

JACK: You don't think I have any feelings? You think you're the only one that gets hurt when someone slams a door at you? You and your sensitive family, you're the injured parties all the time, right? You're the victims, I'm the villain! No matter what's said, no matter what's done, no matter what happens, it's always, "Jack did this to Mary, Jack did that to Mary's father, Jack did that to Mary's mother, or Mary's life"! Well what about my life? What about my feelings? Everybody's allowed to be so sensitive but me. Yeah, throw Fenelli against the wall, hit him with a hammer, he's not breakable! Well now it's my turn to be a little breakable.

MARY: Jack, I know...

JACK: No, no, no, I'm not so sure you do! I have never - never - hung up on you, Mary, never slammed a phone down in your ear, have I?


JACK: And I've never thrown you out! You waltz over, all packed, ready to move in, do I say, "Sorry, I've got a hot column on the typewriter, come back in half an hour"? No, no, I drop everything, cause I figure you're in trouble. (Mary sits down.) But you bounce me out of Channel R this morning, Jill bounced me out of here, I can't count how many times I've been asked - spoken and unspoken - to leave Ryan's! But that's alright. Sure, I mean, it's only Fenelli. I mean, he's only half human, right? I mean he's a different breed, I mean, super tough, he doesn't feel a thing! Hmm? He was out to get your brother Frank right from the beginning, right, remember? Poor innocent, defenseless Frank and that snake Fenelli, right? You found out different.

MARY: Jack, I think that was really too long ago to have any part of this...

JACK: Yeah, but your parents still hold it against me, don't they?

MARY: Yes...

JACK: And I've never tried to justify myself, have I?


JACK: You know why?

MARY: Why?

JACK: Because I love you! Now look, I'm not asking for any medals. All I want's a fair deal. I don't cause all the trouble, dammit! I get hurt when Jill reams me out for causing all the trouble in your life, or Bob Reid says that I'm destroying you! Sure, sure I fight back; that's cause I feel it! It hurts, and I feel it more and more, and that's because of you. The more I depend on you, the more it hurts. And I resent it. Like any Ryan, Reid, or Coleridge, I resent the pain that comes from loving and depending. I depend on you Mary! I depend on you not to hang up on me, not to slam doors in my face. Sure, be angry with me - I've got it coming, sometimes - but be angry with me, not against me.

MARY: Jack...

JACK: Listen, please? I asked you to listen! This is the toughest thing I've ever done. So listen, huh? I know what you're thinking and you're right. We can't go on this way. It's got to stop.

(Mary is visibly hurt about where this appears to be leading.)

JACK: But I can't bare the thought of going on without you, Mary, so if this will make things right, this is what I want to do.

(He takes out the rings and shows it to her.)

JACK: Mary, will you marry me?

(For a while, Mary is speechless.)

MARY: What are you doing?

JACK: What am I doing? I'm asking you to marry me.

MARY: You don't want to marry me!

JACK: How do you know what I want?

MARY: How can you want to marry me if you don't even want to live with me?

JACK: (angry) Who said I don't want to live with you?

MARY: You did!

JACK: I did not!

MARY: Well, that's what you meant, anyway!

JACK: Oh, I'm sick and tired of you and your family telling me what I mean and what I don't mean!

MARY: And how can you want to marry me when you know you'll be marrying my family too? Because there isn't anything I can do about that, and you can't even be in the same room with my father without trying to knock his head off!

JACK: I apologized for that and I'm not going to go into it again, but he swung first!

MARY: Never mind, never mind, I don't want to hear it again from either of you! I'm sick to death of it. Oh, Jack Fenelli, this is not fair.

JACK: Why not?

MARY: Because it's all so beautiful. Because I know how scared you must be in order to have done this. Because it makes me love you more when I know I should be trying not to love you at all.

JACK: Well that may be the dumbest thing I've ever heard you say.

MARY: Oh no it isn't. You can hurt me so much. I didn't know how much til I lived through the last twenty-four hours.

JACK: I hurt you? You know how I felt when you walked out that door.

MARY: (nods) Yes.

(They hug.)

JACK: Don't go away! Please, Mary? I'm not very good at sharing a lot of things and I don't like needing you and I don't want to depend on you, but oh God, I don't want to do without you!

MARY: (frustrated) Oh, what are we gonna do?

(They stop hugging.)

JACK: Get married, maybe?

(They laugh.)

MARY: I think it would be better if we were married.

JACK: It will be better, I know it will be better, as soon as your father's reassured that my intentions are honorable. And it will also be better when I feel more secure, and that will be when you put that ring on your finger. I'm never obnoxious when I feel secure. (laughs)

MARY: You know, that's really funny. I was sitting over there on that couch at about 4 o'clock this morning and I was thinking there was nothing I could do to ever make you feel really safe. Too many people have walked out too many doors before you even knew I was alive. Honey, I just don't know how to make up for that. I don't think I can.

JACK: I'm not asking you to.

MARY: Yes, you are.

JACK: Our society has devised a little ritual for exactly this kind of situation.

(He sits down with her on the couch.)

JACK: First you take this ring and you put it on this finger (he puts the ring on her finger) and everybody - including you - begins to feel secure and reassured. And you'll lose any inclination to go marching through doors and slamming them behind you.

MARY: Oh, Jack...

JACK: Uh-uh, you mustn't take it off.

MARY: Why not?

JACK: Then you disappear.

MARY: Oh, I don't want to disappear!

(He kisses and hugs her.)


MARY: I want to stay right here with your arms wrapped around me. And I want you to feel loved and be loving, just the way you are right now. Oh and Jack I don't want to fight anymore! I don't want to hurt you or be hurt! And I want Da to be happy that we love each other and leave us alone to do that.

(They kiss passionately.)

JACK: Then wear the ring, Mary, that's what it's for. It's a sign that all those good things are gonna happen.

MARY: Will they?

JACK: If you wear the ring and say you'll marry me.

MARY: (with feigned indifference) Oh, alright.

JACK: "Oh, alright" what?

MARY: (crying) I'll marry you.

(They kiss again while he excitedly picks her up and spins her around.)

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