November 1, 2006

A Play A Day #202


Puppa - Will's Dog
Miss Platt

Setting: Will's garage.

(lights up, Will, a senior citizen, is shuffling about, looking at junk in his garage, puttering, addressing his old dog, who lays in the corner, asleep)

Will: Well, Puppa... some of these things I guess are going to have to go... all of these things are going to have to go... Huh, haven't seen this in a long time... never really worked like it was supposed to... does anything? (looks around) Well, I guess the saw and hammer... screwdriver... (lots of wandering around, thinking, picking things up, small laughs, etc...) Puppa, you never really worked the way you were supposed to either, now that I think about it. Oh... just kidding, you always were a good dog. Good lazy dog. Think you been sleeping since you were three. Have to say, Puppa, I think you had the right idea all along. Just take a nap... then take another one, and another. Here's something I don't understand... turpentine. Eat right through your skin. Stuff is about as dangerous as a nuclear bomb... I just never...

(enter Miss Platt, mid-thirties to mid-forties, moving tentatively, trying to get his attention, as Will mumbles on)

Miss Platt: Hello? Hello?

Will: (turning around quickly) Oh! Hello. Sorry, just babbling there...

Miss Platt: That's fine... sorry to disturb you.

Will: No... just thinking ahead, I guess.

Miss Platt: I'm Angela... Angela Platt.

Will: Nice to meet you Miss Platt. I'm Will Terman.

Miss Platt: Yes, I know... we met last week. I'm buying your house from you.

Will: Ahhh... right. Sorry, there have been a lot of people coming through... with the house and the funeral.

Miss Platt: Will, I just wanted to express my sympathy... about your wife. I... I didn't ever meet her. She was gone when I came by last week, when I spoke to you.

Will: She died the next day. Stroke. Outta nowhere.

Miss Platt: Yes, I heard. I wanted you to know that I don't want you to feel like I'm pushing you out of your house right now...

Will: You're not, we don't close for three weeks.

Miss Platt: I know, but if you need any extra time... I'm not in any hurry to move in... I can keep commuting to work for as long...

Will: Miss Platt, I'm moving out. If anything, I'll be leaving that much faster. I already rented a small apartment downtown... it'll be different for me there, that's for sure... but they let Puppa live there too. We're moving as fast as we can. By which I mean we will be out of here in a couple of days.

Miss Platt: Ohh... but, I just wanted to let you know, that I don't want you to feel pressured by me.

Will: Please pressure me. It's the only way the missus ever got any good work out of me. I might need someone like you pushing me to make sure I move. Don't give me a break. I might take it.

Miss Platt: Alright... I guess I will. Umm. What are you doing with all of this? (indicating garage)

Will: Everything must go. Anything you want?

Miss Platt: I'm not much into garage things.

Will: Me either... anymore.

Miss Platt: Did you build things out here?

Will: No, not really, just for fixing stuff, you just accumulate so much junk in a garage over thirty years. Why do you throw out a screw? But then again, why do you keep a screw?

Miss Platt: Good point.

Will: Well, Puppa and I should get back to our searching... lot of memories about a lot of nothing in here.

Miss Platt: Alright. It was nice to meet you again. Have fun with your garage.

Will: Bye-bye, Miss Platt. (she starts to leave) Ohh, hey... do you happen to know anything about turpentine?

Miss Platt: You know, it's funny that you ask that... I was talking with a friend yesterday, and he said he had a whole bunch of turpentine in his garage, and he doesn't know where it came from, and only has this vague idea that you use it to clean paintbrushes.

Will: Yeah, I knew that much. But not much else.

Miss Platt: It's dangerous.

Will: But it's useless.

Miss Platt: I guess you're right.

Will: I've got a whole bunch of it in here. I don't ever remember buying it.

Miss Platt: (pause) Can you leave it for me?

Will: What?

Miss Platt: Just leave it here.

Will: Why?

Miss Platt: Whenever I see it, and I wonder what you use it for, I'll remember you.

Will: You see it and remember me because I'm useless?

Miss Platt: No! No... I'll remember that you kept it for so long despite it not having any purpose. We all need something like that.

Will: I'm not getting it.

Miss Platt: Well, it reminds me that, unlike turpentine, you and I have a purpose... and we're not nearly so dangerous.

Will: I see... I get it.... yes, definitely not dangerous any more.

Miss Platt: (long pause) You going to be around tomorrow?

Will: I'm not going anywhere... well, until I'm going from here.

Miss Platt: Can I come to visit you then?

Will: Uhh... sure... why not? I'd like that.

Miss Platt: I'll see you tomorrow then.

Will: I'll be here with the turpentine.

(She leaves, he looks after her, then turns back into the garage.)

Will: Well, Puppa, looks like even the useless old things can still have a purpose after all.

(lights fade as Will shuffles around)


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