March 21, 2007

A Play A Day #341



Setting: Restaurant

(lights up, Dale and Ying, meals have just arrived)

Dale: I was just supposed to guess you were unhappy?

Ying: No, you could have tried empathy; it's a little trick that means you focus on someone else's feeling for a change.

Dale: I know what empathy is, Ying.

Ying: Really? Amazing.

(enter snooty-looking Waiter with enormous pepper mill)

Dale: What I don't understand is you have this elaborate description of how you've felt for the past couple months, but you can't tell me...

Waiter: Pepper, sir?

Dale: Hmm... oh, yes, please.

Waiter: Say "when".

(Waiter starts grinding the pepper)

Dale: You can't tell me why.

Ying: Dale, I think the reason is obvious.

Dale: What?

Ying: I've met someone else.

Dale: Who!?

Ying: Just a guy, lives downtown.

Dale: Where?

Ying: I won't tell you that! He makes me feel whole again.

Dale: How?

Ying: He lets me talk about what I like; things I've always wanted to talk about with you: politics, philosophy, art, everything I've always loved in this world.

Dale: Since what point in your life have you ever love philosophy or politics?

Ying: Since I majored in philosophy and political science in college! I think we should separate, Dale.

Dale: Why?

Ying: You've turned into a zombie as far as our marriage.

Dale: What!?

Ying: (raises arms in front of her, drones) Work. Eat. Sleep. (arms down) And do you know where I've been this whole time?

Dale: Where?

Ying: Dreaming. A fantasy. A dark place I pretended was filled with light, because it served my material needs, but I realized none of my other needs, my human needs, my interpersonal needs, my relational needs, hell, even my, especially my, marital relations needs... none of these were being met. None of them! But, don't worry, Dale, I figured out a great way for you to fulfill all those needs now.

Dale: How?

Ying: By leaving.

Dale: At what time in our relationship did you start thinking all this crazy stuff?

Ying: It's not crazy. I'm moving out.

Dale: At what time in the future are you planning to do that?

Ying: Tomorrow.

Dale: Can't we work on this some more?

Ying: When?

Dale: I don't know (makes air-quotes) "when"! (Waiter finally stops grinding pepper, starts leaving) I just think that you... (to Waiter) Hey! Where are you going?

Waiter: (returning to table) You said "when", sir.

Dale: Clearly, I did not. I was merely referencing the "when" that she said. I even made air-quotes! (demonstrates) That means that I was not really saying "when" myself. Understand? Now, get back to it; I really like pepper.

Waiter: Certainly, sir. (begins grinding pepper again)

Dale: We just need time to sit down and talk. I've got a lot of vacation I can take... we'll just spend a whole bunch of time together, just you and me.

Ying: When, Dale? When?

Dale: Whenever...

(Waiter stops moving, Dale and Waiter lock eyes, Dale shifts glance to his food momentarily, then back to Waiter, Waiter resumes grinding the pepper)

Dale: want is fine with me!

(lights fade quickly)


1 comment:

ShOI said...

This reminds me of the time Shari and I were eating at an Italian restaurant near Abbey Road in London. This jogger spontaneously ran in and ordered lunch. When his pasta arrived and the waiter started grating fresh parmesan over it, he grabbed the cheese grater and started singing and grating, turning an insane eye on us and explaining in a Mr. Bean voice, "I like cheese."