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The Dark at the Top of the Stairs
by William Inge

SAMMY: I always worry that maybe people aren't going to like me, when I go to a party. Isn't that crazy? Do you ever get kind of a sick feeling in the pit of your stomach when you dread things? Gee, I wouldn't want to miss a party for anything. But every time I go to one, I have to reason with myself to keep from feeling that the whole world's against me. See, I've spent almost my whole life in the military academies. My mother doesn't have a place for me, where she lives. She...she just doesn't know what else to do with me. But you mustn't misunderstand about my mother. She's really a very lovely person. I guess every boy thinks his mother is beautiful, but my mother really is. she tells me in every letter she writes how sorry she is that we can't be together more, but she has to think of her work. One time we were together, though. she met me in San Francisco once, and we were together for two whole days. She let me take her to dinner and to a show and to dance. Just like we were sweethearts. It was the most wonderful time I ever had. And then I had to go back to the old military academy. Every time I walk into the baracks, I get kind of a depressed feeling. It's got hard stone walls. Pictures of generals hanging all over...oh, they're very fine gentlemen, but they all look so kind of hard-boiled and know what I mean. Well, gee! I guess I've bored you enough, telling you about myself.

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