Pie in the Sky

Institute History


PIE IN THE SKY is a comedy that examines the patterns of a young man’s sexual life from zero to age twenty-three. It’s Charlie Dunlap’s journey from his mother’s breasts…to his infatuation with the breasts of his neighbor Mrs. Tarnell…to the innocent breasts of his ten year old companion, Lilly…to the teenage breasts of his first lover, Amy, who visits one summer…to a college coed’s rather overwhelming breasts…to Ruby’s breasts, who’s older and more experienced…back to Amy’s breasts, who is now a young woman whom he really loves, but almost loses because he’s unable to break old patterns of his youth.

What patterns? His parents are not so typical. Every time his parents argue, they make love. Later in life, Charlie associates a good fight with sex.

And then there’s the confusion. As a small boy he takes regular showers with his Mom, but then one day she closed the bathroom door with no explanation. Another day, he’s with his Mom peeing in the movie theatre Women’s bathroom, peeking at other women, and then suddenly, he’s summarily sent to pee, for the first time, in the Men’s Room, a place he’ll have to use for the rest of his life. What’s going on here?

And there’s a deep sense of abandonment. One day, his ten year old girlfriend, Lilly, and her family leave town…with no explanation. Then his Mom is very pregnant….the next day she loses the baby. And years later, Charlie is making love for the first time with his girlfriend Amy, only to discover, moments later, his Dad is having sex with their neighbor, Mrs. Tarnell.

And there’s the traffic patterns. From a young boy, Charlie is mesmerized by traffic and the interstate leading through his small town toward New York City. From the overpass, he daily charts the traffic flow, accurately predicting when certain cars pass. It’s an interstate he so desperately dreams of getting on and chasing his dreams towards New York.

And it’s in New York that a now twenty-nine year old Charlie pursues a job in traffic and finds himself in a shower once again, but this time with the older, more experienced, Ruby, who gives him a sexual education. But he’s always had it for Amy. And they finally reconnect, and fall back in love. However, all the patterns of his childhood emerge…the fears, the insecurities. It nearly destroys their relationship, but in the end Charlie grows up.

In the last scene, we see Charlie sitting down at the dinner table, next to Amy, who is breastfeeding their baby. The baby zooms toward his mother’s breast, similar to how Charlie rocketed toward his mother’s. Here we go again!

— Geoffrey Gilmore


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