Prescott, Enfield, Greenwich, Dana

The scene opens with the sound of a car pulling into a parking space and killing the engine. DANA opens the car door and steps out. The parking lot of the Quabbin Reservoir visitors center is quiet and empty except for her. 

DANA’s footsteps cross the parking lot. There’s the sound of wind and seagulls, but no people. 

DANA is in her early to mid thirties. She’s been through a lot of stress lately so she’s not particularly cheery. She’s tired and frustrated with her situation. 

DANA (reading) 

“Quabbin Reservoir Visitors Center” Of course I always end up back here, don’t I? No matter how old I get, the second life is anything but perfect, I end up right back here. It’s like the fifth grade field trip that wouldn’t end. And honestly, probably kind of pathetic. But I don’t know, it’s peaceful, you know? I feel like I can think out here. 

Her footsteps are purposeful as she walks down the sidewalk. A wind blows by but it isn’t very strong. 

DANA

Not that I have anything to think about. Things are going pretty great, honestly. So I guess I’m just out here to enjoy the warm summer air.

She stops mid sentence, unable to keep lying. DANA sighs. 

DANA

I think my husband is going to ask me for a divorce. And I think he’s going to do it tonight. 

DANA is silent as she walks, her footsteps crunching lightly on the gravel as she makes her way. There’s the slight lapping of small waves in the water. 

DANA

We haven’t been getting along all that well lately. Not really hostile, but not affectionate. Not like we were before. I get the feeling that he’s mostly indifferent to me, like I’m a cat he vaguely dislikes but won’t toss out of the house.

DANA laughs. 

DANA

That’s me, a grumpy, lazy cat that he barely tolerates, let alone wants to have sex with. 

DANA stops, thinks about what she said. 

DANA

Dana, that’s disgusting…Okay, poor choice of words but you get what I mean. Of course you do, you always have. 

DANA 

I lost my job a few months ago. They were downsizing and I was expendable. So after ten years of loyal work and minimal sick days, I was out. I haven’t had any luck finding something new and I think he’s getting resentful of that. I guess I could be looking harder but I put his ass through grad school so maybe he could cut me just a little slack when it’s taking a little while to find a new job. Of course we haven’t actually talked about it, we don’t do that anymore. Talking. We barely even cross paths. 

DANA stops walking. 

DANA

Look how beautiful the water looks. You know this wasn’t here a hundred years ago? All this water, the wilderness? This whole area was towns. Four towns filled this area. Prescott, Greenwich, Enfield, and Dana. 

DANA laughs. 

DANA

No, I wasn’t named after the town. Complete coincidence that absolutely haunted me growing up around here. But anyway, those four towns? They were disincorporated in order to build the reservoir. These were towns where people lived and died for generations. No different from anyone else’s hometown. But Boston had a huge population and a water shortage. So the state decided that need outweighed the need of these people to keep their home. So out they went, the river was dammed, the water level rose, and here we are. 

DANA starts walking again. 

DANA

Imagine that? God, imagine being forced to leave your home like that? Even if it’s flawed, even if you didn’t love it, it was home, maybe the only one you’ve ever known. And then not only are you leaving, but once you’re gone, they’re literally wiping it off the face of the earth. There’s no turning back, there’s no making things right. 

DANA catches herself as she realizes she’s not just talking about the lost towns anymore. She clears her throat

DANA

Anyway, yeah. The Quabbin covers miles, but I always end up here at the visitors center and the Windsor Dam. I like the walk across the dam. It’s just long enough to let me clear my head a little bit but it’s not a day long event. And it’s quiet. Maybe the quietest place I’ve ever been. 

DANA’s footsteps on the pavement of the dam are slow, yet purposeful. 

DANA

Jack’s actually never been here. I’ve invited him over and over again. “Hey, I’m heading out for a walk, want to join?” “What are you up to today, I’m heading down to the Quabbin.” He’s never taken me up on it, not once. Maybe I should have been clearer about how much I actually wanted him to come with me.

Seagulls caw overhead as she walks. 

DANA

I wonder how he’ll do it. Will he bring me out to some nice restaurant and break the news there, thinking if we’re out in public, I won’t make a scene? Or maybe he’ll do it in private, try to be gentle and considerate. You know, sit me down in the home we’ve shared for ten years and have our first heart to heart in at least five. Or maybe, more fitting to the current pattern, I’ll get home and he’ll already be gone. There’ll be a note sitting on the kitchen table and I’ll just never see him again. He’ll be gone. Under the waves…

DANA drifts off a little, lost in thought as she walks. 

DANA

This is all assuming he actually does it. Which I really don’t have any solid reason to believe he will. But I just woke up this morning with the strongest feeling that today’s the day.

She stumbles a little as she walks.

DANA

Oof. I guess the other question I have is whether or not I want him to do it. Which sounds insane, I’m talking about my husband here. But if he doesn’t do it, if I’m wrong about this, will I be disappointed? And then what? Is it my turn? Should I leave him? Is that what he wants? I don’t know and it’s not like I can talk to him about it. It’s too late, I don’t know how to do that anymore. It’s gone.

DANA takes a deep breath, trying to keep herself from crying.

DANA

We were so happy! On our wedding day, we were so young and so happy and I felt like I knew everything about him. Do you remember how he smiled at me during the readings, like he was so lucky, like he never believed he could be so lucky? Now he doesn’t even say goodnight to me. I’ll go three days at a time without seeing his face and when I do, it’s totally indifferent to my existence. Or slightly irritated as he asks why I haven’t gotten a new job yet. So yeah, maybe I’m being paranoid. But I don’t know if I even can talk to him about it. Or if our marriage still exists enough to try to get it back.

The crunch of gravel under DANA’s feet indicate that she’s reached the end of the dam. 

DANA

Anyway, thanks for letting me vent a little. He’s going to be home in an hour, so I’m just going to hang out here for a little bit before I head out. I’ll see you later.

DANA’s footsteps fade a little as she walks away.