Early in the play, Dodge, a homeless girl of 12, is met by James, a well-off teenager who has run away from home.James is trying to get a rise out of Dodge, who would rather this kid just go away.She tries to ignore him.
JAMES:James.(Beat)That’s my name.(Beat) James.(Beat)James.(Beat)I’m gonna keep saying it until you tell me yours. (Beat)James.
DODGE: Dodge!Dodge!All right!My name is Dodge!Jeez!Did you run away from home or did they beg you to leave!
JAMES: What kind of a name is Dodge?
DODGE: It’s the kind of name a person gives to herself.It’s the name I want.It’s who I am.Nobody gave it to me.It is my name.
JAMES: What does it mean?
DODGE: (Beat) It’s from a book.You ever read a book?
JAMES: Not all the way through, yet.But I know I will sometime.
DODGE: (Beat) Well, when you get around to reading one all the way through, try “Oliver Twist.”I named myself after a character in “Oliver Twist.”
JAMES: Wait a minute!I think we rented this movie once.Last Christmas!
DODGE: Oh, God...
JAMES: Except it was just “Oliver,” and there was a whole lot of singing in it.Yeah!“Dodger!”You named yourself after “Dodger.”I think his first name was Arthur.
JAMES: Arthur Dodger, I think they called him.
DODGE: You know, I pick up a newspaper every once in a while and I read about the shocking state of the American system of education.Up until now, I always thought the papers were exaggerating the problem.
JAMES: So you see yourself like that kid, huh?That Dodger?Do you pick pockets?You steal from people?
DODGE: (Instantly, with conviction) No!I do not steal from people!
JAMES: Okay!Okay!I just thought...since you named yourself after that kid...
DODGE: I borrow from people.Not that I need to explain my lifestyle to you, but I borrow from people.And when I borrow from people, I make note of the people I’m borrowing from.Sometime, in the very near future, I intend to repay these people.Do I make myself clear?