‘Brighton Beach Memoirs’ (Nora): “When I was six or seven he always brought me home a little surprise”

'Brighton Beach Memoirs' by Neil Simon

From: Play

Type: Comedic

Character: Nora Morton, 16 years old

Gender: Female

Age Range: Teens | Late Teens

Summary: Nora Morton is a beautiful and ambitious 16-year-old girl with dreams of Broadway. She's often resentful of her younger sister and angry at her father for dying

More: Buy the Play

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NORA: How would you feel if your entire life depended on what your Uncle Jack decided?…Oh, God, I wish Daddy were alive.

Oh, God, he was so handsome. Always dressed so dapper, his shoes always shined. I always thought he should have been a movie star…like Gary Cooper…only very short. Mostly I remember his pockets.

When I was six or seven he always brought me home a little surprise. Like a Hershey or a top. He’d tell me to go get it in his coat pocket. So I’d run to the closet and put my hand in and it felt as big as a tent. I wanted to crawl in there and go to sleep. And there were all these terrific things in there, like Juicy Fruit gum or Spearmint Life Savers and bits of cellophane and crumbled pieces of tobacco and movie stubs and nickels and pennies and rubber bands and paper clips and his grey suede gloves that he wore in the winter time.

Then I found his coat in Mom’s closet and I put my hand in the pocket. And everything was gone. It was emptied and dry-cleaned and it felt cold…And that’s when I knew he was really dead.

Oh God, I wish we had our own place to live. I hate being a boarder. Listen, let’s make a pact…The first one who makes enough money promises not to spend any on herself, but saves it all to get a house for you and me and Mom. That means every penny we get from now on, we save for the house…We can’t buy anything. No lipstick or magazines or nail polish or bubble gum. Nothing…Is it a pact?

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