Trapped in the Cellar at Ryan's,
Jack and Mary Reunite
(November 1977)


MARY: What do you know about Miriam? (pause) Come on, Jack, I asked you a question.

JACK: I know there's a person named Miriam who pushes Ryan around the park and resents every minute of it!

MARY: And how do you know that?

JACK: (mutters) I've seen her.

MARY: Where? How?

JACK: In the park, with Ryan, in a stroller!

MARY: When?

JACK: I don't know...some time last week! And before that.

MARY: (stunned) In the park?

JACK: In the park. In the park! You're not paying attention, Mare!

MARY: Well, excuse me, but I'd be really fascinated to learn how you knew it was Ryan, because to my knowledge you haven't laid eyes on your daughter since those few, memorable moments at her christening party.

JACK: I heard that lady talking to her. She called her by her name. Well, you know, the world is not full of little babies named Ryan, so I very cleverly deduced that that one was the one who was related to me, okay?


JACK: So? So, what?

MARY: So how do you know Miriam hates pushing Ryan around the park?

JACK: Because I've got eyes and I've got ears, and when I hear that lady say that she's a pain in the neck, and that she's gonna slap her again - you got that, again? - if she doesn't shut up? When I see her ignore her when she needs a cap or a sweater or whatever the hell babies wear when it's cold? Well then I figure, Mare, that that woman just isn't happy with her so chosen profession!

MARY: I don't believe it!

JACK: Yeah, right, right, I'm lying, huh?

MARY: Well, I'm not sure what you're doing, but I know Miriam and I know you and I know Miriam adores Ryan. And I can't figure out why you'd even notice if Ryan had a sweater on or not.

JACK: Oh, yeah, what is it, you've got to be a Ryan to know if your kid's being neglected, huh?

MARY: Your kid?

JACK: My kid. My daughter! I am her father, right? You know, you talk a lot about having feelings, but you act like you're the only person in the world who has any.

(Mary is speechless. Jack paces, anxiously.)

MARY: I have not, until this moment, been aware that you had any feelings for Ryan at all. Jack, how long has this been going on?

JACK: Just, just, just hold it, just hold it right there, that's all! Don't jump to any conclusions. I could have come to you earlier with this, but I was afraid that you'd just take it and run with it, that's all.

MARY: (sincerely) What do you mean, Jack?

JACK: I mean that I've seen Miriam in action and I question whether Miriam should be taking care of any baby, much less Ryan. I have an interest in the situation, because I am - like it or not - Ryan's father. I got to know her a little, and...I care about her, so if I know something that you don't know about her welfare, then I have to share it with you.

(Mary is near tears.)

JACK: But that is all that I mean.

MARY: You care about her?

JACK: I want to talk about Miriam.

MARY: (sitting down) Uhhmm, Miriam's first job, when she was sixteen, was babysitting for the Coleridges. I've known her practically since I can remember. When Edmond was born, Jill called Miriam in Alabama and begged her to come and help take care of Edmond. I trust her completely, Jack! I don't know what you saw or what you heard, but I'm sure there's an explanation, and I'm perfectly willing to check it out, okay?

JACK: Okay.

MARY: Now, let's talk about you and Ryan.

JACK: How did I know how I was gonna react? I mean, I don't know from babies. It seems to me that she's special. I mean, she's a very interesting person.

MARY: She is special. (smiles) She's extraordinary.

JACK: Understand that I haven't seen her much and I don't have anything to compare her with...

MARY: Oh, sure.

JACK: And I do regret that I...don't know her better.

MARY: (shocked but somewhat hopeful) Well, would you like to make some kind of arrangements to see her more often?

JACK: How do you mean?

(At this point, Maeve, a bit unsettled by Johnny's report, has come down to do a little eavesdropping herself. She starts listening at the peephole.)

MARY: Well, I don't know. Whatever's convenient. If you want to meet her in the park on a regular basis, or take her down to your place. I'm assuming you'd just as soon not come here?

JACK: Right. Absolutely. The only problem with taking Ryan down to my place is, what would I do with her? I mean, she's got to eat and be changed and all that. What does she eat, anyway?

MARY: Just about everything. She's got so many teeth!

JACK: Yeah?

(They laugh.)

MARY: Ma says she has more teeth than any six month-old person in her experience.

(Maeve smiles contently.)

JACK: You're kidding!

MARY: (laughing) Her typical breakfast is cereal, eggs, bacon, toast, and orange juice.

JACK: Well, that's incredible!

MARY: She comes by it honestly, right? (laughs)

(She takes some food out of the boxes and gives Jack some.)

JACK: Well, then, she doesn't need anything special?

MARY: Oh, I give her roast beef a whirl in the blender, but, basically, she eats what we eat.

JACK: And sleep?

MARY: Oh, like a top! From 8 to about 7, with a nap in the morning and one in the afternoon.

JACK: Well, then, you are with her, most of the time when she's awake?

MARY: Exactly.

JACK: How does she compare with other babies? I mean, besides the teeth, I mean? (grins)

MARY: Well, Mother says you shouldn't compare, because faster doesn't mean better - they all get there in the end. But she is brighter, sweeter, and funnier than anyone else her age, and I love it!

(They laugh.)

JACK: Hey, listen, I've got to tell you, in the park, right? I mean, there's no way in the world that she can know who I am, right? I bend down to look at her and...there's that face. That unbelievable little open face. And she looks and she looks and you can tell that she's thinking, "Yeah, well, he's okay." And then she smiles. I...

(Jack starts crying, but stops himself. Mary is very moved.)

JACK: She really has a very lovely smile.

MARY: Yes, she does.

(At the peephole, Maeve is also wiping away tears.)

(Reassured, she goes back upstairs.)

MARY: And I think she knows it.

JACK: No kidding?

MARY: Oh, Jack, she knows so much! I mean, I keep thinking there's this sweet, funny, wise person inside a baby's body, and she gets so impatient when her hands or her feet won't do what she wants them to do! (laughs)

JACK: Tell me all about her. I mean, everything. Start from the beginning...with the delivery.

(There is an awkward silence, and Mary suddenly looks very sad.)

JACK: Don't say that I'd know if I'd been there.

MARY: I wasn't gonna say that. Well, it's taken Ryan six months to live it. It may take me the rest of the night to tell it!

JACK: Well, that's okay, cause (motions to the door) I'm not going anywhere.

(They laugh. Upstairs, Maeve returns to bed.)

JOHNNY: Well, what's going on down there?

MAEVE: (slowly, keeping up the suspence) Well, it looks to me as if my side's making some progress.

(She smiles, and Johnny looks cranky as usual. The following episode picks up early the next morning, with Mary still talking about Ryan.)

MARY: And did I tell you about her airplane act?

JACK: Airplane?

MARY: Well, airplane is a thing they all do at this age. (gets up) Ryan did it early. (lies down on a table, demonstrating) She gets down on her tummy, like that (laughs), and she brings her head and her shoulders and her arms up - and her legs up in the back - and she waves them all in the air like this, like she's trying to take off. It looks a little better on her.

JACK: Yeah, I'll bet. You sure that's alright for her? I mean, couldn't she hurt her back?

MARY: (gets up) Oh, no, no, no, it's perfectly normal. It means she'll start creeping soon. But it is a sketch to watch! She laughs the whole time. We all laugh back. Your daughter is a real ham.

JACK: I never knew they did so much when they were little. I always thought they just sort of sat around like lumps and spat cereal at you.

MARY: (jokingly) I knew you had some warped ideas about babies, Fenelli.

JACK: (pause) Anyway, thanks for filling me in on her.

MARY: Oh, sure. You have now been officially briefed on her progress from birth to approximately 7:00 this evening. (shocked) I mean, last evening. Are you aware it must be almost morning?

JACK: I, uh, think I broke my watch when I pounded on the pipes.

(Mary laughs.)

JACK: Yeah, yeah, sure, it must be morning by now.

(He looks through the peephole, and Mary watches him, thoughfully.)

JACK: Are you sure you can't send a message up there?

MARY: If I had a tiny pigeon, I would put a tiny message on its toe and direct it to the kitchen.

(She laughs, and he laughs too in spite of himself.)

MARY: You never did answer my question, Jack. You want to spend some time with Ryan?

JACK: Alone, you mean?

MARY: Yeah, I'll make whatever arrangements you like. You want to take her downtown every now and then?

JACK: My place? You wouldn't mind?

MARY: I want her to know her father. You'd be good for her.

JACK: I'm not equipped for a baby. Well, you know, you've got to have special stuff: I mean, a height-chair, a playpen...I guess I could get it...

MARY: Oh, you don't have to fuss. Just set her on the floor! You might vacuum it first. Put a couple of pillows around her. Move anything low that's breakable or valuable.

JACK: My mother's antique china.

MARY: (laughs) Well, you might keep an eye on the cat, anyway, so she doesn't strangle it! With love, of course. That's all there is to it. What do you say?

JACK: I'd like it. But you don't suppose she'd get confused? I mean, if she figures out that I'm her father and you're her mother and we live half a city apart...

MARY: Oh, I imagine she'll adjust. (shrugs) Kids sometimes understand these things better than grownups.

JACK: Yeah. (pause) Well, if I do it, I mean, I want to do it right. I mean, I just wouldn't dump her down on the floor and scatter a couples of pillows. I'd rig out a space for her and then she could have some of her things there, and maybe she'd have something special that she'd only have at her my place.

MARY: (smiles) Such as?

JACK: Well, maybe, uh, an electric train?

MARY: (stunned) Huh?

JACK: Yeah, yeah, yeah, a train!

(Mary laughs.)

JACK: Yeah, when I was at the Good Shepherd, one of the big department stores would always bring down an electric train and set it up - you know, Christmas time, be nice to the orphans - and, well, they'd set it up for a couple days and then they'd take it back.

MARY: (appalled) Oh, terrific!

JACK: Well, it was terrific, while it lasted. I mean, it was really fancy. A lot of tracks and tunnels, all kinds of stuff. Of course, they wouldn't let us touch it or play with it, but I remember sitting there and watching it go. Alright, I'm not kidding now! It had a milk car, it used to stop at this platform and the doors would open up and a little guy would come out and he'd unload milk cartons on the platform! (she laughs) I'm not kidding!

(He demonstrates how the car moved, back and forth, making the appropriate noises, while Mary laughs.)

JACK: I'm serious! I can't see an electric train to this day without...feeling...unbridled lust!

(They laugh.)

MARY: Oh, Jack!

JACK: (seeking approval) You think Ryan would like something like that?

MARY: (smiles) I bet she would.

JACK: Good. Hey, your mother or whoever dreamed this up, they ever consider that she might miss you?

MARY: Oh, I wish that were true, but she's used to my being away at work all day.

JACK: Mary, I don't mean to criticize, but when do you think you'll be able to spend more time with her? I mean, I think she needs that.

MARY: Well, I don't want to miss her growing up, honey, but that means I've got to get this job changed around. What I'd really like to do means less money but more time. I mean, if they could promote Rodney to my job, and let me just do specials on a part-time basis...I don't know if he'll buy it, but I might as well try.

JACK: You want me to nose around a little for you? I've got some connections...

MARY: (holds up her hand) Thanks, no thanks. (yawns) Oh, dear, aren't you tired? (wrapping the blanket around her)

JACK: No, I'm used to late hours. You used to like to stay up all night.

MARY: Advancing age, I guess.

JACK: I guess Ryan will be okay downtown. I'll show her the neighborhood...

MARY: Hmmm...canolis.

JACK: Jumbo, Jumbo hasn't seen her since she was born. (turns away from Mary) Angie and Lou, they haven't seen her at all. (looks around, insecurely) Mare, do you...feel annulled?

(She does not answer, so he turns back around and sees that she has fallen asleep. He sits down and watches her.)


More Scene Transcripts

Back to Ryan's Bar Online