Marilyn Gets Ice Cream

As the lights come up on Marilyn Gets Ice Cream, a short one-act, Knees, a short, pudgy janitor in his thirties is sitting on a white wooden bench in a Tastee-Freeze in Phoenix, Arizona, on an evening in March, 1956, while Jake, in his twenties, is sweeping up.  We hear a buzzing sound which Knees attributes to beetles that can’t stay way from the lights.  He tells Jake that the pretty second-grade teacher he liked got fired for inappropriate behavior.  Knees tells Jake to call him Arthur and asks if Marilyn Monroe has been back.  Knees says that a black limo pulled up to the store and huge chauffeur got out and ordered two ice-cream cones, saying that Marilyn Monroe and Jackie Gleason were in the back seat.  Knees couldn’t see through the dark glass of the back window and tells Jake that they’re making a movie called Bus Stop.  But Knees says he will never be absolutely certain he was that close to Marilyn, and that he felt he was possibly close to establishing a relationship with Lou Ann, the teacher.  Jake says she would never have anything to do with the janitor at the grade school.  Knees says that she might be capable of deep human compassion and tells Jake she was seen screwing some guy in the coat room after school, apparently her fiance from Nebraska.  Knees complains that he can never get close to women, that they either leave like the teacher or are behind dark glass like Marilyn.  He goes on to tell of the time when he met a really nice girl in a bar, but when he went to buy her a drink, the bartender looked down at his short stature and asked if he was standing on his knees.  Everybody in the bar laughed and now he is “a fucking walking joke.”  He says he walked into the coat room and saw “the nicest girl you ever met, being fucked like a dog by some shit-kicker from Nebraska.”  He tells Jake he is going to the rodeo tomorrow and hopes that he will see Marilyn there.  He asks Jake if he is going to the rodeo and Jake replies, “I don’t think so, Arthur.”

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