One Step Beyond
Setting: Two chairs at a small table, 1000 eats ceaselessly throughout play, which means he doesn't eat much, it's a very short play. 999, on the other hand, stares dreamily into the ether.
999: But do you ever get that... I don't know... that sense of momentum... you know, it's right there, you're about to cross a threshold, something big is coming up, your life is about to change... but, you... I don't know... you can't quite figure out how it's going to change, but you know when it does, it will be huge.
1000: (not even looking up) Yes.
999: You have?! Great! What was it? Like, what happened? What did it feel like? How exactly did you change? You know, what put you over the hump?
1000: (long pause, he eats, realizes that he's been asked a question) Huh?
999: You said you've experienced that huge change before. What was it like?
1000: Don't know.
999: What? But you said that you had a big change and that...
1000: Sorry, I meant "no".
999: Then why did you say "yes" when I asked you?
1000: Oh... probably wasn't listening.
999: Everything just rolls off your back, doesn't it? You think you just... made it or something, don't you!?
999: Well, some of us have dreams, damnit!
999: It's not that easy for everyone else. We struggle to get by; we look ahead, and we see the next step... it's big, but it's blurry, it's just one step beyond us. I was just trying to get some advice, and you don't even have the decency to listen.
1000: (a bit annoyed) Real hungry, okay?
999: Fine. You better hope I don't make this next step, whatever it is. I may decide you're not worth my time any more!
1000: Ahhh... don't say things like that; you'll always be there, right where I need you.
999: Listen, I want to be better, more well-rounded, moving forward, and I'm sharing this with my friend and neighbor, and you can't even give me the...
1000: (checking his watch) 4:30.
999: (overlapping)... time to describe... Ha ha! Jerk.
1000: (realizing) Crap! 4:30! (getting up quickly) Gotta go pick up the little one-thousands. (putting on his coat, throwing a twenty on the table) Listen, I hope you do make the leap, whatever it is, and when you do make it, nine-nine-nine, don't ever look back. I don't. (exits)
999: (shaking head) Why do I still look up to him?
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