Stephanie: (searching around, calls out to off-stage) Honey, have you seen the skillet?
Lane: (from off-stage) Which one?
S: The ... the big one!
L: Uhhh... you never use that one, do you? (entering) What are you making?
S: Stir-fry, I need the big skillet; I got all these fresh veggies today.
L: Sounds good.... but... I'm not really that hungry.
S: (she stops her searching) Again? (Pause) What's going on, Lane?
L: Nothing, I just don't feel too good, and...
S: What? It's been two weeks? Two weeks.
L: I don't know...
S: You're not eating; two weeks... I haven't seen you eat a thing.
L: I eat... It's just not...
S: Have you gone to see Dr. Walters?
L: No. It's not really like I'm...
S: Honey, look at me. Something's wrong; you're going to see Dr. Walters.
L: Steph, I'll be fine, really, I just...
S: If I have to make the appointment myself, you're going!
L: No! Really...
S: Tomorrow, if I can swing it with her receptionist.
L: Listen, Steph; I've been eating, o.k.?
S: Nothing... what have you eaten today?
L: I don't know; I don't keep track.
S: What did you eat when you got home from work?
S: So you do keep tack?
L: No... I...
S: Look at you, honey; you're losing weight.
L: No I'm not.
S: Yes, a wife can tell.
L: I'm not losing weight.
S: At least fifteen pounds.
L: But... no... fifteen pounds?
S: At least fifteen.
L: Fine, weigh me.
S: Wha... alright, fine... c'mon.
(ad-libs as they exit, pause while the weighing occurs, they re-enter)
S: Fifteen pounds; you gained fifteen pounds... how...
L: You were seeing what you wanted to see.
S: I didn't want to see you fifteen pounds lighter; I honestly thought that you were.
L: No, fifteen pounds heavier.
S: When did you put this on?
L: Last couple of weeks, I guess.
S: Lane....... what's going on?
L: I... I don't know.
S: I know that look; you're holding back.
L: No, it's...
S: Talk to me.
L: Umm... I can't... it...
S: (hugging him) Honey... what is it?
L: (hugging her back) It's... too odd.
S: (lifting her head back, then nodding it forward so they touch foreheads) I'm you wife.
L: Yes... well... I started... eating metal.
S: (pause) Funny. What's bothering you, sweetheart? Why aren't you eating?
L: I am eating....
S: Metal. Right. Heard that. But what...
L: Steph. I'm eating metal.
S: Stop it.... (long pause, deep stare into his eyes, then she steps back and goes a bit slack) What? Metal?
L: Yes. Metal.
L: Yes... a couple weeks ago. I almost swallowed a soda can tab. I gagged, and it came back up, but... maybe it was that horris throw-up taste you get in your mouth, or maybe the tab had all that sugar on it, but, I don't really know why, I just decided to swallow it.
S: You swallowed it?
L: Spur of the moment; you know, just bam! Haven't you done things like that, no thinking?
S: Sure, I change my shirt, or decide to visit a friend, but eating metal?
L: Spur of the moment thing... instantaneous.... (long pause, he looks at Steph looking at him with confusion)...
L/S: (together) Buuuut.... (pause)
S: What? You've done it since then... you said "started"...
L: Yes, I've eaten metal ever since then. I just had this urge to do it again. So, I grabbed another soda and opened it and threw the tab in my mouth, and like, no gagging, nothing, just smooth, delicious aluminum sliding down my throat. I couldn't believe it, then I started...
S: Lane! Stop!
L: Sorry. You wanted to know; I'm just letting it out here.
S: I know, I know, I know... Honey, I know... you're... sick. That's the only explanation.
L: No, I feel fine emotionally, my stomach hurts when I eat a lot of metal at once, but it's getting better, more used to it. I'm getting more used to it.
S: But, why?
L: No idea. I just crave metal. I don't know what's going on. I'm hungry; I eat metal; I'm not hungry anymore.
S: It's going to kill you! I'm calling Dr. Walter's office...
L: I didn't think you ever used that skillet, so...
S: (to herself as she starts to dial phone) She'll see you tonight; she'll just have to, you can't (dawning realization of what he just said) just... eat... my skillet?!
L: Yeah... I'm sorry... I hadn't had any metal all day...
S: What? How did...
L: Acetylene torch in the garage, cuts it into small chunks; it's not that hard... once they're bite-sized....
L: Ohh... just a name... I don't bite any of the metal.
S: It's going to tear your guts apart.
L: Well, I took it easy for the first day or two, but, ummm... no problems... you know... on the exit ramp end of things.
S: No blood? Nothing?
L: No, just sorta shiny... you know... there, in the... toilet.
S: (dialing phone) Lane, stop this; I'm calling Dr. Walters.
L: But I'm fine, dear.
S: You're not. No one eats metal! You can't!
L: But, I like it.
S: There has to a medical explanation for it; some reason why you start liking metal.
L: I don't know. Just happened; honestly, dear. Let's not bother the doctors about this.
S: (hanging up phone) Damn! Just the machine.
L: O.K. Steph. I'll be o.k. let's...
S: No! Get your keys, my car's still in the shop.
L: What for?
S: We're going to the emergency room!
L: No! Steph, I...
S: Yes! C'mon!
L: We can't... We...
S: No, we are going now!
L: No, Steph, you don't understand.
S: I do understand; you're a very sick man.
L: No, I mean, my keys... I ate them...
S: No! No! Where are mine... (rifling through her purse)... Here! Let's go! (dragging Lane off-stage, lights start fading)
L: Honey... I... I don't... we...
S: (pause, sound of garage door being opened, off-stage) Lane. Where's the car?