LAURA, HAVEN'T You Ever Liked Some Boy?"
On the dark stage the SCREEN is lighted with the image of blue roses. Gradually LAURA'S figure becomes apparent and the screen goes out. The music subsides.
LAURAis seated in the delicate ivory chair at the small claw-foot table. She wears a dress of soft violet material for a kimono--her hair tied back from her forehead with a ribbon. She is washing and polishing her collection of glass.
AMANDAappears on the fire-escape steps. At the sound of her ascent, LAURAcatches her breath, thrusts the bowl of ornaments away and seats herself stiffly before the diagram of the typewriter keyboard as though it held her spellbound. Something has happened to AMANDA. It is written in her face as she climbs to the landing: a look that is grim and hopeless and a little absurd. She has on one of those cheap or imitation velvety- looking cloth coats with imitation fur collar. Her hat is five or six years old, one of those dreadful cloche hats that were worn in the late twenties and she is clasping an enormous black patent-leather pocketbook with nickel clasps and initials. This is her full-dress outfit, the one she usually wears to the D.A.R.
Before entering she looks through the door. She purses her lips, opens her eyes very wide, rolls them upward and shakes her head. Then she slowly lets herself in the door. Seeing her mother's expression LAURA touches her lips with a nervous gesture.
LAURA. Hello, Mother, I was--
[She makes a nervous gesture toward the chart on the wall. AMANDA leans against the shut door and stares at LAURAwith a martyred look.]
AMANDA. Deception? Deception?
[She slowly removes her hat and gloves, continuing the sweet suffering stare. She lets the hat and gloves fall on the floor--a bit of acting.]
LAURA [shakily]. How was the D.A.R. meeting?
[ AMANDAslowly opens her purse and removes a dainty white handkerchief which she shakes out delicately and delicately touches to her lips and nostrils.]
Didn't you go to the D.A.R. meeting, Mother?
AMANDA [faintly, almost inaudibly]. --No.--No. [Then more forcibly] I did not have the strength--to go to the D.A.R. In fact, I