August 7, 2006

A Play A Day #116

Eating Disorder


Setting: Kitchen

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?

L: Nothing.

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: Lane.

L: Steph.

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.

S: 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....

S: Bite?

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?

(lights out)



Anonymous said...

I love this one! The last line made me laugh for about five minutes.

Thanks for bringing a smile to my day!

Elizabeth (tromvestite's wife's friend)

Brendon Etter said...

Thanks, Elizabeth! Thanks for making my day brighter. Glad I could make you laugh!