THE STORY: ASLEEP ON THE WIND. The time is ten years before the time of GRACELAND, the place, a small clearing in Bayou Teche, Louisiana, the “special place” that Rootie refers to in the other play. This is where Rootie and her favorite brother, Beau, a handsome, sensitive and restless young man of thirty come to talk in private and to escape her other brothers, two high-spirited hot rodders who seem to delight in pestering their shy, reclusive sister. This time Beau has a double purpose for their meeting: to persuade Rootie to try to stick it out at home and in school and to reach beyond him for companionship; and also to tell her that he has enlisted in the army and has requested service in Vietnam. Inevitably the news comes as a deep shock to Rootie, but it is the way of its telling that makes the play so touching and evocative—and that in the end allows Rootie to accept the fact that her life, for better or worse, will never again be the same.
Created as a companion piece for Graceland
, this lyrical, gently humorous play is equally effective when produced separately. Dealing with events preceding those in Graceland
, the present play is concerned with the teenaged Rootie and her favorite older brother Beau, who must tell her that he will soon be leaving home, perhaps for good.
Included in the collection Graceland and Asleep on the Wind