Nohari Window



Scene Title Nohari Window
Synopsis A challenging inversion of the Johari Window, whereby you explore your failures.
Date May 9, 2009

A loud buzzing sound accompanies the rattling of a metal door opening.

Stepping through the doorway, Maury Parkman looks nervous walking into a prison. His chocolate brown suit and cream colored button-down shirt pop against the pale gray of the concrete block walls and the beige of the prison guard uniforms. The guard escorting Maury past the security checkpoint walks ahead dutifully, hands at his side and eyes vacant as though he were focused on a point in space a million miles away.

"Dantos?" One of the guards on the other side asks, noticing that he seems a bit out of sorts. Slowly the guard, Dantos, turns toward his companions and spreads a smile and appends it with a confident, "Heck of a rainstorm we're having, aren't we?" The other guards look at each other, then to Maury, and seem to forget what their concerns were and go back to talking with each other. The door swings shut behind Maury, and he follows his prison escort deeper in.

Riker's Island Penitentiary
New York City
May 9th


"What about a cheeseburger and hash browns?"

Her voice echoes off of the smooth, concrete walls of a lightless cell. There is a concrete block lined with a thin cloth matress and a scratchy gray blanket. A window, narrow window here views the coast, blocked by a latticework of bars inset with glass. A pale sliver of light from outside lamps casts a jaundiced line through the air, down on bare floors.

"Well, I think they've got tots, but…"

A barefoot woman near six feet tall paces the floor, her slippers cast off by the door to her cell. Long fingers cradle a wax pencil held in one hand, worn down to nearly a nub. She is dangerously thin, all arms and legs and long, sandy-brown hair. Her blue eyes look more gray in the pale light coming through the window.


She blinks, twirling the pencil between her thin fingers, then walks over to the wall and looks around at the scrawled words scratched across the concrete. "I think we're good on that," she says with a faint smile, "You want something to wash it down with?" She starts to write the items of a menu on the wall; french fries, onion rings, cheese fries, listing the prices beside them as she sways from one bare foot to the other.

"I'm not so sure that's going to work out well," she notes with a whispered concern, "the root beer." Her nose twitches, just so. "But I'm giving you the benefit of the doubt. Maybe if it's any good I'll try it once," she says with a raise of her brows and a smile curled across her lips. She's started writing down the drink list; milkshakes and coffee, soda and beer, all aligned in one column with prices neatly noted on the next.

There's a sound of footsteps approaching, but it doesn't deter her. "That might taste like…" she searches for the right word, "a sugared up Jim Howard." She wrinkles her nose, teeth toying at her bottom lip, stepping away from the wall and searching the writing on it as though looking for something.

"De— " The sound of her door unlocking diverts her attention away from the wall, and she's quick to hide her pencil in the palm of her hand and hop up onto the bed, curling into a small ball as she watches light spill into the room from the hall. She can hear rain hammering on the narrow window, and the wide frame of a man in a suit silhouette in her doorway is hauntingly familiar.

As Maury steps into the room, the guard behind him remains stationary, watching the hall. "Solitary," he says with a raise of his brows, "I heard you took out a guard's eye with a spork." His thick brows raise in appreciation. "It ain't like they can take the wild out of the wildflower." She scoots back to the far end of the bed, staring up at Maury with wide eyes, and he stops when he sees her expression. Briefly, Maury looks to the writing on the wall, then back again.

"I'm sorry, but we gotta move you." Maury explains with a shrug, as if he were discussing the inclement weather outside. "It ain't safe here anymore, and…" A symbol on the wall catches Maury's eye, it reminds him of the logo on his business cards. Eyes narrowed, Maury looks back and catches sight of the woman just in time to see her lunging at him with her pencil nub clutched like a tiny shiv in a bony hand.

She stops, inches from Maury, as if frozen in time.

"Come on," Maury says with a slow shake of his head, "easy." As though he were soothing a wild animal, Maury walks over to her and brushes a hand over her cheek. "Shhh," he whispers, reaching up to take the pencil nub from her hand. Tears well in her eyes and roll down her cheeks. "Come on now, we gotta get you somewhere safe…" Her tightened muscles relax, posture straightens, and the barefoot woman moves like a marionette doll walking beside Maury, too stiff to be natural.

Maury guides her out of the cell first, then pauses to look back at that symbol again. He huffs a deep breath, then looks to the guard standing by the door, then to his new charge. "Buck up," Maury suggests as he walks out of the cell and starts to close the door behind himself.

"Think of this as a new lease on life, Cindy."


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