Setting: A small building on stage, it is 5 by 5 by 7 feet. It has a door, a window, a chair, a tiny table and other features as will be made clear in the dialogue.
(Enter Hal, leading Asi through the woods to the building)
Hal: C'mon Asi; it's right over here!
Asi: We're pretty far out here, aren't we?
Hal: It's about a mile to the gravel road. Here we are!
Hal: Right here!
Asi: Oh! Neat! What a cute little building!
Hal: C'mon inside! (they both enter, leaving door open)
Asi: Wow! Not... much room. (laughter)
Hal: No, it's not used to two people!
Asi: What isn't? The shack?
Hal: Well, I call it a house, but, yes, I suppose it is a bit shack-like.
Asi: (pause, little forced laugh) A house?
Hal: Yes. It's a house! Definitely, a house.
Asi: Wow... who... who did you say lived here?
Hal: Who do you think, Asi?
Asi: Well, you said you wanted to show me a house in the woods, but then you brought me... ohhh... it... it's ... yours?
Hal: Sure is!
Asi: Well! Isn't that great!
Hal: Yeah, it's just perfect for me! I love it out here.
Asi: Yeah, very peaceful. Just the forest.
Hal: Restful and relaxing, all day long.
Asi: So... you make it out here on weekends then?
Asi: From the city.
Hal: The city?
Asi: Yeah, how often do you make it out here?
Hal: All the time.
Asi: Sure, helps you relax. Your job must be so stressful.
Hal: It can be.
Asi: So you make it out here every weekend for your breaks. That's a great idea.
Asi: It's... not? What?
Hal: I'm here every day, not just on weekends. I live here.
Asi: (pause) Ohhhh! Hal! You had me going with that one. I heard you were a bit of a kidder. That's really funny! You know; it's a great joke.
Hal: Asi. (pause) I'm NOT joking. I live here. All the time. This is my home.
Asi: Oh. Uhhhh... oh. O.K. It's... nice!
Hal: I know you don't like it, Asi. You're disappointed.
Asi: No! Me? No! No! Not at all...
Hal: It's o.k. I'm used to it.
Asi: Well... o.k. ... yeah... I guess I'm a little ... confused?
Hal: (on top of her "confused") Confused. Yes. I can tell.
Asi: Well... you're a doctor?
Hal: Of philosophy.
Asi: No... you told me on the phone that you were a surgeon.
Hal: Yes. That too.
Asi: A... a heart surgeon, right?
Hal: Yes, but only in my spare time.
Asi: Spare time?
Hal: They call me in for tough cases. They pay me a whole bunch of money, and that's that.
Asi: Ohh... a... lot... of money, huh?
Hal: Asi. It's a lot. I take just enough to get by, and give the rest to some environmental groups.
Asi: You're so sweet.
Hal: Thank you. I do it because it's important.
Asi: Yes. I bet it is.
Hal: So, you're still confused.
Asi: No! No! I... I'm... you know... I'm starting to really like this place... I mean... what about a hundred square feet of space?
Hal: Ha! It fooled you, it looks so much bigger than it is!
Asi: Oh... yes... really.
Hal: It's five by five by seven feet high. Twenty-five square feet. A perfect living space!
Hal: How about a tour?
Asi: Tour... yes... o.k.! Please.
Hal: Alright, the basics: four walls, ceiling, floor, door, window. (lifting lid of a bench seat) Here are some spare clothes, dry foods, matches, my bowl, and my spork, knife, and cup. The table here collapses against the wall, small wood stove for heat and cooking, a bed roll, blanket, and that's about it.
Asi: O.K. O.K. Ummm... where's your bedroom?
Hal: (feigning shock) Geez, Asi... I had no idea... so forward!
Asi: No... I mean... it's five by five, you're about six feet tall, so... that's what I mean, where's the bedroom?
Hal: You're standing in it.
Asi: Right, but how...
Hal: Mr. Pythagaros helps us out with that one.
Asi: Wha... Ohhhh... the diagonal...
Hal: Right, a little over seven feet long that way.
Asi: So, what do you do out here?
Hal: I read my book. (pulls a book out) It's quite long. I walk into the city an pick up another book from the library when I'm done.
Asi: Wait? You walk... into the city?
Asi: We're fifteen miles from downtown out here.
Hal: Sixteen actually. It makes for a full day.
Asi: How often do you do that?
Hal: As often as I need to.
Asi: How do you communicate with people?
Hal: With words, usually.
Asi: Haha... no, you know what I mean. You don't have a phone, or a computer...
Hal: Or a T.V. or radio, people visit, we talk. I talk to people when I'm in town. I write letters to my family; they write back.
Hal: It's much easier that way.
Asi: Anything else that you do? Out here?
Hal: I pick the flower.
Asi: Which one?
Hal: Same flower, everytime.
Asi: Wait... how does that work?
Hal: I don't actually pick it. It's a meditative exercise, part of a series I do every day.
Asi: I guess I figured that you might meditate out here.
Hal: Yes, and I forage for berries and nuts, swim in the river.
Asi: That's your water source?
Hal: Yep, just add some iodine. It's a very clear stream, thankfully.
Asi: What about your... uhh... your bathroom?
Hal: About a hundred-fifty feet that way, downwind. It's a pit toilet.
Asi: Why do you do it?
Hal: Dig pit toilets?
Asi: No... this... why do you live like this?
Hal: Asi, I used to live in a penthouse apartment, huge cars, lots of women, drugs, everything a cute heart surgeon might want. Then one day, it happened....
Asi: You realized it was all just a sham?
Hal: No... no... you kidding? No, I love cocaine and anonymous sex! Who wouldn't? I'm high on it right now, as a matter of fact.
Hal: Can't even feel my own head... really whacked out...
Hal: And why do you think you're here?
Asi: No! Hal!
Hal: No big deal, you just have sex with me, and I'll walk you back to your car... sunlight's fading....
Asi: I... what are...
Hal: Don't worry! I'm not a rapist or serial killer! Nahhh... I haven't killed anyone ...
Asi: Ummm... Hal... what happened? Why'd you leave the city?
Hal: I woke up one day, and there were five dead bodies on my brand new $7000 leather sofa. Stabbed, thoroughly.
Asi: Oh my God! You were framed?
Hal: Haha! Nahh! I did it. I remember it quite clearly now, though I didn't at the time.
Asi: What? Why?
Hal: No idea... probably cocaine frenzy, pushed me over the edge.
Asi: And you're high right now?
Asi: On cocaine?
Hal: Yep. Good stuff! Want some?
Asi: NO!! No! No... uhh.. why are you here then? Not in...
Hal: Jail? I had a lot of money, I had a lot of lawyers, I had an easily-bribed judge, and an easily-misled jury.
Asi: So you were guilty?
Hal: Oh yeah! Totally!
Asi: But they let you go?
Hal: Yep! Pretty cool, huh?
Hal: Lawyers thought it might be best if I laid low for several years, while all the lawsuits and appeals blew over.
Hal: Should find out about the last appeal any day now.
Asi: Oh... then what?
Hal: Well, I'm getting the old penthouse apartment back! Already talked to the realtor last week.
Asi: But... but... the meditation, the foraging, the simple life, out here.
Hal: Ohhh, don't worry about that. I'm going to have this whole house installed in the lobby of my apartment. Probably put my shoes in it.
Asi: You... can't...
Hal: Go back?
Asi: Yes! Stay here!
Hal: I do love it here, but I'll be able to take it with me. It'll remind me of this wholesome life.
Asi: Hal, don't do it!
Hal: Sorry. Too late.
Asi: (starts crying, lights start to fade) I can't believe this... I can't ... you...
Hal: You didn't want me when you saw me living like an impoverished hermit; now you want me to stay this way?
Asi: (crying) Yes... stay... Hal! Stay! How many more will die?
Hal: No idea. It's a chance I take. So... are we gonna have sex or not?