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The child's name will be Bennett.
       Bennett or Nelson or Denton or some other post-colonial but nonetheless retro/Anglo sounding moniker, who will live in just the correct block of Williamsburg with parents, who are not yet married, in a loft that they’ll be in the process of renovating from a design rendered with care by Bennett's architect father.  His little sister, precocious but with studied nonchalance, will be Chelsea or Hermione and will be excelling in Mandarin at the oh-so-progressive and diversely inclusive (while still being exclusive) preschool whose cost for one semester is what a vast number of people in this city would kill to earn in a year.  Chelsea will call her parents by their first names, Reggie and Reggie, who will recount the day that they met in a story that will never grow old.
       Reggie (the mother) will run a collective that distributes jewelry hand-made by women of an obscure tribe in Western Africa.  She will sell the merchandise at her boutique/art gallery/organic tea shoppe that also serves as her potting studio where she’ll teach other equally bright and bored mommies and kiddies how to throw and glaze and produce works of not-quite-art that will, nonetheless, be displayed on white lacquer mid-century coffee tables with an overinflated degree of pride.
       Reggie (the father) will have not yet succumbed to the full lumberjack beard as is seemingly required by law in that area of Brooklyn, but will, nonetheless, sport full sideburns and a pompadour that would make Elvis blush.  He will wear cowboy boots, though he will have been raised in an affluent suburb outside of Philly before attending Penn where he pledged to a fraternity (although none of his current friends will know this).  He will own a bowler hat that he will wear on days in which he feels especially ironic and will watch Fox news just to buck the trend.
       But this is not about Reggie or Reggie or little Chel-mione.

       The stranger will first encounter the boy as he walks right past, the stranger having stopped for a moment to retie a lace that refuses to remain complex - the boy's name emblazoned in tight gold stitching across the top of his handcrafted organic denim backpack.

B- E -N-N -E -T - T.

       Reggie and Reggie will not be into designer labels, but will appreciate labels of their own making.
       The stranger will follow closely, wondering where this Bennett is headed with ramrod purpose and cowlicked intent and what parent would allow their 7, 8, or 9 year old to wander an outer borough without supervision.  The stranger will understand that it is important for little Bennett to develop a sense of self-assurance and pioneer his surroundings.  And the stranger will assume that Reggie (the mother) had a poster above her white French Provincial twin bed where she lost her virginity that declared simplistic wisdom about "loving something and setting it free" and truly taking that to heart.  But someone should be minding him.

       Reggie (the father) will not be able to watch the boy as he will be in training for his first triathlon, which the other Reggie will outwardly encourage but will inwardly despise as just too typical; perhaps even a bit "meta" (without truly understanding what that means).   She will be afraid of becoming cliché without the knowledge that this fear has already made her so.

       The stranger will watch as Bennett stops at the light, waiting for the green.  The stranger will take in the backpack with the stitching, the cowlick and the posture of the un-minded boy.

       Elsewhere, Reggie (the father), will be studying his triathletes training bible to determine his body mass index.
       Elsewhere, Reggie (the mother) will be brewing some Oolong with Belinda and Tess.
       Elsewhere, little Chelsea will be playing PeePod on her iPad while listening to Carly Rae.
       But not Bennett. Not the boy.

       "Bennett?", the stranger will call out. And the boy will turn at the sound of his name.

 

            

Brian Feehan is a professional director, choreographer and published writer originally from the Chicago area and now based in Connecticut. Brian began his career as an actor, attending the Goodman School of Drama as well as the Tisch School of the Arts at NYU. He was also chosen as one of thirty to study at the Royal National Theatre of Great Britain under the tutelage of Sirs Anthony Hopkins, Ian McKellan and Alan Rickman. As a writer, his plays "PARLOR GAMES", "HEAD GAMES", "SKIP/TRIP/SASSY" and "OUT OF GOLD" are published and licensed by Heuer Publishing. "HEAD GAMES" was a finalist for the Heideman Award at the Actor's Theatre of Louisville and the screenplay was a finalist in the Beverly Hills Film Festival. His play "MARTINIS AND MIDNIGHT" was a part of the Lost Theatre Play Festival in London as well as the American Globe Theatre in New York. His adaptation of JM Barrie's "PETER PAN" premiered at the Dorset Theatre Festival in Vermont, and "IT'S THE MISER" (an adaptation of the Moliere, set in the world of 1950's black and white sitcom) has been seen at several Regional theaters throughout the country. For more info: www.brianfeehan.com.



 


PLAYDATE was the outcome of getting onto a flight and realizing that I had left the book I was dying to read at home.  As we were boarding the plane, a young boy and his family got into line ahead of me.  The boy wore a backpack with his name emblazoned across the back.  I understood that I had something else to do on the flight besides read. PLAYDATE was the result.









 





  


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