April 17, 2006

A Play A Day #3

This Is Not the Right Time

(Man is on phone, middle of intense conversation)

Man: You can't be serious! This is so wrong! Completely! I'm not just going to stand for this! There's too much at stake here; something as precious as our very lives - the only time we have here on earth. I mean, don't you recognize that? Do you even see how much this throws everything off? (Pause) You think that if you're silent, it'll mean something more... that your stubborness will change your horrible mistake? (Pause) You can stonewall forever; I'm not letting this go! No! I want to work with you on this, I do, but I can't work with silence. I can't just stand here and pretend like you do... pretend that everything will disappear, pretend that the problem will resolve itself, pretend that we can just sleep on this and expect our lives to go back to normal, pretend that we haven't shared almost 10 years of our lives, pretend that this isn't keeping us apart? I'll bet that's what you want me to believe. No! No! No! I won't let it slip by any more; you know how much it bothers me. We've had this conversation almost every day for so long, and, you know what, I'm tired of it; I just can't take this constant denial. Denial that you imply with your damn pigheadedness! I've tried ignoring it, I've tried rationalizing it away, I've tried reasoning with you, I've tried shouting, I've tried counseling, but you... you just don't care; do you? No! No! You don't! You're cruel! So mean-spirited! There's someting rotten about you, and I see it now! You think you can just keep hurting me like this; that I'll just keep letting myself get stabbed; that you can keep stabbing me, and that I'm going to wait around for the final stab, the one that finally kills me off, the final twist of the knife. Well, you know what, I won't! I can't! I know I'm not perfect; I've stepped up and been a big man about that... I've admitted my weaknesses. Yes, I have. I'm not perfect! I know that! But you just won't let this go! You persist in your sickness. You know you need help; I've offered to help you before... please... you know I have. I'm willing to go through it with you; I've told you that. I can't and I won't let this thing beat me, and we don't have to let it beat us. Please, please; I'm begging, alright... I'm begging. Let's solve this. O.K., please? (long pause) O.K. Fine, look, I know this isn't the right time. Here's what we'll do: I'm going to hang up now. O.K. I'm going to take a few seconds to collect my thoughts. Then I'm going to call you back, and we can start fresh. Sound good? O.K. Good-bye.

(Man stares at his watch intently, does some deep breathing. He is waiting for the second hand to make it to twelve; when it does, he hits redial. We hear the other end ring once, then a computerized female voice say:)

Voice: The time is 2:37 pm, and the temperature is 64 degrees farenheit.

Man: No! No! No!!! Damnit! How could you! Not again!! And now you got the temperature wrong too! I hate you! I hate you! I hate you! (Man continues shouting into phone and starts crying with deperation as lights slowly fade out.)

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