Iowa Writes

ERIN MARSHALL
This Isn't an Appointment (excerpt from a play)


ROBERT

Dad, you wanted to see me.


DAD

This isn't an appointment, Robert.


ROBERT

I guess. (He sighs.) How are you feeling?


DAD

Better. I'm slowly recovering.


ROBERT

It's only been a few hours.


DAD

Since what?


ROBERT

Since you got out of the hospital, Dad.


DAD

Yes.

ROBERT

Dad, you wanted to see me.


DAD

This isn't an appointment, Robert.


ROBERT

I guess. (He sighs.) How are you feeling?


DAD

Better. I'm slowly recovering.


ROBERT

It's only been a few hours.


DAD

Since what?


ROBERT

Since you got out of the hospital, Dad.


DAD

Yes.


ROBERT

You need to be careful.


DAD

I'm fine, son.


ROBERT

The doctors told you to take it easy.


DAD

Oh, hell if they know.


ROBERT

I think they do, actually.


DAD

I'm not going to let them control my life.


ROBERT

No one said you have to.


DAD

Your mother insinuated it.


ROBERT

Hmmph.


              (Pause.)


ROBERT

Why'd you call me in here again?


DAD

I wanted to talk to you about something.


ROBERT

What's that?


DAD

Mom told me football isn't going well.


              (Pause.)


ROBERT

It's not the best, no.


DAD

Why's that?


ROBERT

I don't know. I just don't love it.


DAD

You just don't love it.


ROBERT

That's right.


              (Beat.)


DAD

That's not what I heard.


ROBERT

What'd you hear?


DAD

I heard that it's not that you don't like football. It's not that you "just don't love it." It's that football doesn't love you.


ROBERT

Well—


DAD

Everyone on the team doesn't love you.


ROBERT

Now Dad—


DAD

Your mother told me what Coach Calvin saw.


ROBERT

Dad, that's—that's nothing.


DAD

Three guys beating you up is nothing?


ROBERT

Really, that's the first time it's ever happened.


DAD

I don't believe that, Robert. I thought this ended a long time ago.


ROBERT

Well, so did I, but the guys on the team, they . . .


DAD

I'm not going to let this go on any longer.


ROBERT

This isn't like last time. It's not as bad as it used to be.


DAD

I just don't know. I don't know who to believe.


ROBERT

Well . . . what are you gonna do?


DAD

What am I going to do? I can't do anything. But I need you to do one thing.


ROBERT

What's that?


DAD

You're going to stop being afraid of everything.


              (Beat.)


ROBERT

But . . . I'm—I'm not.


DAD

You need to stand up to those guys. Don't let them tell you what to do.


              (Beat.)


ROBERT

              (Nervously)


All right, Dad. I'll—I'll try.


DAD

That's my boy.

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About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting iowa-writes@uiowa.edu


ERIN MARSHALL

Erin Marshall is an intern at The Iowa Review and studies creative writing at The University of Iowa.

This page was first displayed
on March 03, 2015

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