February 2, 2007

A Play A Day #295


- or -

A Tin Roof Named Desire


Setting: Two highback Victorian wing chairs, in a very feminine living room.

(Lights up, Brick sits uncomfortably in one of the chairs, enter Stanley.)

Brick: (mumbling as he squirms about in the chair, unable to get comfortable, like he can't quite figure out the chair at all) Shit... shit... ahhh...

Stanley: What the hell? Look at this place! Brick, you got problems.

Brick: I recognize that, Stanley.

S: You marry for a bit, woman tears your life up. What did you give up here?

B: Not much...

S: Comfort, your recliners, tactful window treatments.

B: No. (still squirming) Sit down.

S: (with disdain, looking at the chair) I'll stand.

B: Suit yourself.

S: Your dignity. Where's that, Brick?

B: I got dignity.

S: You a man?

B: Yeah. Debbie's just trying different looks... it's her place too now.

S: Maybe so, but she's late to the game... you run the store here, Brick.

B: Yeah, Stan, no question there.

S: Then what's this? It's all gone. You a man?

B: Yeah, Stan.

S: You a man?

B: Yes!

S: A man does this? For his girl?

B: Yeah, I guess I did, Stan.

S: Girl wants to be told what to do. Don't let them sneak you outta being a man.

B: I tell her what to do.

S: You tell nothing.

B: I tell. I order and command.

S: You order nothing. You tell her what she wants to hear.

B: It's not even her fault.

S: It's your fault, Brick. You lost out, you're half a man.

B: It's not my fault.

S: Who gets the blame around here, Brick. I see the man what's supposed to be in charge.

B: I'm in charge!

S: Supposed to be in charge.

B: It's that damn television and that Oprah thing.

S: Blame the teevee? Sound like a man to you?

B: She's watching that Oprah TV all morning most days.

S: You not strong enough for Oprah?

B: It reorganizes the mind.

S: You not strong enough to fight it?

B: It wears you down.

S: You not able to beat a teevee person?

B: I had that broken leg for so long.

S: Broken leg don't stop men. Men fight. Broken leg's nothing for a man.

B: It weakened me.

S: Your mind's weak.

B: The TV made her wear me down.

S: You soft?

B: Not soft, Stan?

S: You soft, Brick?

B: It's reorganized her mind is all.

S: You change her back.

B: I try. I don't even understand what she says anymore.

S: She speaking a foreign tongue?

B: Maybe... we used to talk, now she says we should "engage in mutual verbal understanding."

S: What you do...

B: We used to have sex, now we "exchange consensual physical and emotional intimacies."

S: You have to stop this.

B: Oprah says express your true self, and I don't get pot roast for a month!

S: What you do is you...

B: Oprah tells the women to free themselves of the chains of repressive relationships, and I got a thousand bucks charged on the Visa from some fancy day spa.

S: This is still in your control... there's hope.

B: The house lit up with candles that have funny names, and she's sitting cross-legged with her eyes closed while the curtain catches fire.

S: One chance...

B: I come in from work, there's a thing called arugula on my plate... and that's all!

S: No beer... it's bad... Brick, listen! You got one chance to get back to where you belong. Beat this Oprah trash out the door.

B: What do I gotta do, Stanley?

S: Here it is: Does she got a sister?

B: Debbie?

S: Like an older sister what's all messy in the head... maybe one could come live with you for a while.

B: Why?

S: You take charge! You control the sister, and I mean control like only a man can to a woman. You control the sister; you control the wife. Then, maybe, you send the sister to the nuthouse; your wife gets the hint.

B: Really?

S: Oprah don't seem so important no more. It works.

B: Ahh... she hasn't got a sister.

S: Nothing?

B: She has this brother...

S: Brothers don't work in this situation.

B: ...he's kind of cute.

S: What?

B: Nothing.

(lights out)


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