A Peak into Mari’s Past
The “Sidetracked” 20-minute film, due out September ‘21, is an excerpt from a one-hour episode that is part of a 12 episode limited TV series with more seasons planned.. That’s a lot of story. It’s not sold or produced yet, of course. That’s to come!
Read below some of Mari’s background, fiction written in her voice, before she started hitchhiking with Jack. Next week, I’ll post some of Jack’s background that is part of the fiction behind the “Sidetracked”series scripts.
Last week I went home after college graduation and my insane dad offered me $3,000 to leave my boyfriend Jack and go to New York. My grandmother had just died and left him some cash, or he never would have had that money. He said, “don’t call home until you work at the New Yorker.” I laughed. I’m used to that.
When I was a teen, I learned to play tennis by hitting balls against the side of the house, bought my racquet at Walmart with babysitting money, and wore jean cut offs. As I left the house to play with kids who wore whites and took private lessons, he’d yell at me, ‘don’t come home a losing bitch’. Figures, now he expects me to waltz into the New Yorker Magazine, snap my fingers for a job with only a B.A. in French to my name and no experience unless you count dreams to be a writer.
Losing bitch, losing bitch, losing bitch. Dad’s two decades of criticisms reverberated in my brain, and I got angry. Someday his mean words piled on top of meaner words, will emerge from my cells, rise up, and create a complex PTSD monster to ravage my life, but for that moment, the anger gave me courage to laugh.
Little did Dad know, but I already have plans to go somewhere. Jack has hitchhiked 35,000 miles all over the U.S. since he was 17 and found his way through college in time to drop a violet on my desk after he came late into the French Grammar class three months ago. Now we’ve both just graduated, and the violet is pressed into my Petite Larousse Dictionary, packed in a box. We hitchhike to Colorado next week, to figure out life together.
I told Dad to go to hell. My mother doesn’t have a clue, stays depressed in bed most of the time. But you know, I hate to leave my two younger sisters, my schizophrenic brother is missing again, but I’m in love and it’s time to get going with life. To get out of podunk upstate New York. But before we do, I just need to take care of this one thing.
So now I’m in clinic office in upstate New York, shivering in my johnny, seated on a plastic chair. The gleaming steel stirrups extend from the end of the procedure table next to me to the wall, pointing at a poster.
” Planned Parenthood, Ryder, New York, Mission. Since the landmark 1973 Supreme Court decision, we are committed to providing a woman with a safe choice in the event of pregnancy.”
The words on the poster sink in. “What choice? “I think. “I have no choice, I gotta do this.” But thank god, anyway, thank you very much Roe v. Wade.