This play takes the shape of a one-hour therapy session in a mental hospital. The old psychiatrist shuffles into a drab military meeting room, and then patient DJ Jackson - a Medal of Honor recipient -- comes in with a suspicious gaze. The psychiatrist reviews the previous doctor's notes.
Psychiatrist: "Subject is bright, his arm GT rating is the equivalent of 128 IQ. In first interviews, he does not volunteer any information. He related he grew up in a Detroit ghetto, never knew his natural father."
The patient is physically robust , but doubtful and depressed. He had a gruesome experience in Vietnam. He saw his best friends burned alive when their tank was hit by a shell. He saw American soldiers gun down children. But the young vet doesn't want to talk about it.
Psychiatrist: "You want to listen to me for a minute?"
DJ Jackson: "You said you was the one who listened."
Psychiatrist: "I can't listen if you won't tell me anything."
DJ Jackson: "I am telling you, man. If I knew what to tell you to make me feel better, I would have done it a long time ago. I ain't the doctor. I can't cure myself."
These brittle, back-and-forth exchanges can be jolting, with flare-ups of racial tension and sudden fury as the two men try and build a basis for a relationship. Old pro Patrick Murphy plays the doctor, college student Isaac Watts plays the young vet struggling with depression.