December 31, 2006

A Play A Day #262

Counting Down


Setting: Bare stage

Ford: Ten...

Ellianna: Nine...

F: Eight...

E: Seven...

F: Six...

E: Five...

F: Five...

E: I just said "five".

F: No, I just said "five".

E: After I said it!

F: No, you said "six", so I said "five".

E: I never said "six"!

F: You were supposed to! That was your number.

E: Six was never my number.

F: Yes, I said "seven", so you had six.

E: I had seven.

F: Seven was mine!

E: Who started it?

F: Who?

E: The countdown?

F: Well...

E: Who had "ten"?

F: (beat) I did.

E: So...

F: (calculates) Oh.

E: You had six.

F: So... you must have said it after I said it.

E: I said "five"! You repeated that one!

F: No!

E: Yes... and look. (holds up watch) It's 12:01!

F: Well, if you hadn't screwed up.

E: I never screwed up, Ford; it was you. You said "five" after I said it.

F: I never heard you say "five".

E: Apparently.

F: I heard "six" twice.

E: If you heard "six" twice, why didn't you do the logical thing and say "four"?

F: It was instinct... six then five...

E: Instinct. Right.

F: You hear "six", boom! You say "five".

E: I'm sure you do.

F: It's natural.

E: Except, it didn't work out that way.

F: If I would have said "four", you would have been all confused, wondering where five went.

E: You know what? I'm done discussing this.

F: Then you would have said that I jumped ahead or something.

E: I'm done, Ford.

F: But why can't you...

E: (interrupting, hurt) I just wanted to shout "Happy New Year" and throw my arms around you and kiss you.

F: Oh.

E: Deeply.

F: (beat) Deeply?

E: For a long time.

F: Oh... I...

E: Why do we have to fight about the most stupid things?

F: I... I'm sorry.

E: Too late now. The year is old already.

F: (turns his back, fiddles with something) No. See? It says 11:59 on my watch!

E: Yeah?

F: Try again?

E: Without the arguing?

F: No arguing.

E: Okay. We're bound to do better; we've even rehearsed now.

F: That's true.

E: Tell me when.

F: There will be deep, long kisses, right?

E: Yes.

F: Okay! (looks at watch) And... now!

E: Ten...

F: Ten! (too excited, he grabs her and kisses her, she tries pushing away by hitting him on the shoulder slowly, she does this eight times, then they break)

E: (breathlessly) Happy New Year.

F: (also breathless) You're an excellent counter.

(they kiss again as the lights fade)


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