Ray and Rock, two inmates stand by a wall in the yard, away from the other inmates, and talk quietly.


ROCK: How do you know these things?


RAY: I got my ways.


ROCK: You always say that.


RAY: It’s true.


ROCK: I know. But HOW? How do you always know the secret stuff? I wanna know cuz if there’s a snitch, this shit might fall on the wrong ears.


RAY: I told you a hundred times, Rock. Ain’t no snitch. Secret things, they’re gonna happen, I  know about em first. It starts and it ends with me. Nobody's gotta worry. My lips are sealed to death.


ROCK: Hey, ain’t no question you’re a standup guy.


RAY: Then?


ROCK: Then...Ah fugeddaboutit. You win. (PAUSE) You think they’ll pull it off?


RAY: Ain’t the question to ask.


ROCK: No? They’re plannin’ a prison break! Their lives depend on the answer to that question.


RAY: Not that question.


ROCK: Then what?


RAY: Are they ready for freedom?


ROCK: Hey, don’t bust ‘em...Are they ready for freedom?! They’re in the joint, Ray!


RAY: The joint. The real joint is up here (taps his head with his finger).


ROCK: You’re readin’ too many books.


RAY: When you were on the outside, ever had a dream you never went for?




ROCK: Baseball, Ray. I lived and breathed it as a kid. I wanted to go pro.


RAY: What stopped you?


ROCK: Hey, come on! You know...


RAY: No, I don’t know. You tell me.


ROCK: Ray, every kid picks up a bat wants to go pro...


RAY: I didn’t. I loved baseball, but it wasn’t my dream. Besides, you ain’t every kid.


ROCK: Yeah, yeah, yeah...


RAY: And you were good. Real good.


ROCK: How do you know?


RAY: They scouted you.


ROCK: How do you know this shit?


RAY: I’m Ray. (PAUSE) The Yankees wanted you to try out, right?


ROCK: Yeah.


RAY: And?


ROCK: I got sick, had to cancel.


RAY: Not what I heard.


ROCK: From who? Nobody in here...


RAY: You got sick! You had the sniffles.


ROCK: It was a bad cold. My energy was way down. I woulda blown the tryout.


RAY: You did that by not showin’ up. And you never called ‘em for another shot.


ROCK: What was I gonna say? Anyway, what’s this got to do with...


RAY: The break? Everything. People say they want this, they want that. Words are safe. And, they give you a rush, almost like the real thing. Except it ain’t the real thing. Cuz when you choose the reall thing, you GOTTA SHOW UP! Big time. All the time. You see, Rock, these guys, they think they want freedom. Maybe a few of them do. But not most of ‘em, Rock. Not most of ‘em. Most of ‘em are like kids scared of the dark. In their hearts, they know they’re gonna have to show up for themselves out there. On the other side of these bars. Ain’t nobody gonna feed ‘em three squares a day.


ROCK: You call what they give us food?


RAY: It’s shit, Rock. But it’s always there. And, it keeps ‘em alive. And, I know what you’re gonna say. They’re lives are miserable. Yes. They would rather have the misery they KNOW than the FREEDOM they don’t know. So, on the day, we'll see who gets out and who gets themselves caught. (PAUSE) You got sick for the tryout. Why? You were taking yourself out of the game. (PAUSE) There’s more people living behind bars out there than there are in the joint. The keys to the cell are in their pockets. They ain’t never gonna touch ‘em.


LONG MOMENT OF SILENCE. Rock looks around the yard at the other prisoners. He turns to where Ray was standing a minute ago. Ray is nowhere in sight.