March 31, 2007

A Play A Day #351

Robot Must Win

Jimmy-boy: A man
Robot: A robot

Setting: Chair, center of stage

(lights up, music starts, Jimmy-boy and Robot, played by another man, slowly stalk in a tight circle around the chair, music stops abruptly, Robot sits down quickly in the chair, Jimmy-boy hops around in frustration)

Jimmy-boy: Damnit! Damnit! Again! You always win! It's not right!

Robot: I am Robot. Robot progammed by Jimmy-boy. Jimmy-boy program Robot must win all contests.

Jimmy-boy: Shit, Robot, I know how I programmed you, but this is different! I programmed you to beat anyone at thinking games. This is Musical Chairs, you don't think in Musical Chairs. It's stimulus-response, reaction time, that's it.

Robot: Robot must win all contests.

Jimmy-boy: Yeah, but you should be this good in chess, Risk, bridge; games like that. Not this little grade school music class time waster.

Robot: Robot must win...

Jimmy-boy: Knock it off.

Robot: Robot sorry.

Jimmy-boy: No you're not. I didn't program you to be sorry.

Robot: Robot sorry.

Jimmy-boy: Stop it, Robot!

Robot: Robot sorry.

Jimmy-boy: This isn't how you're supposed to act! Do you have any idea how hard I've worked on you!? For how many years?! Look at me, Robot! Look at me! I'm a mess; I barely eat or sleep, because of you! You're destroying me, Robot. Why don't you just behave like you're supposed to?!

Robot: Robot sorry.

Jimmy-boy: Shut up! Shut up! Shut up! I need to destroy you before you destroy me.

(Jimmy-boy reaches around the back of Robot, Robot quickly grabs Jimmy-boy by the throat and picks him off the ground and strangles him to death)

Robot: (dropping Jimmy-boy's body in the chair) Robot destroy Jimmy-boy first. Robot wins. Robot must win all contests.

(music starts again, Robot starts moving around chair, music stops, Robot looks at Jimmy-boy in chair)

Robot: Robot lose. (pause) Robot must win.

(Robot pulls chair out from under Jimmy-boy's body and sits)

Robot: I am Robot. I win.

(music starts again, Robot gets up, starts moving around chair again)

(lights fade out)


March 30, 2007

A Play A Day #350

Let Children Process Things By Themselves From Time To Time

Delilah - mom
Betsy - daughter (about eight)

Setting: Betsy's bedroom.

(lights up, Betsy is sitting cross-legged in the center of her bed, back very straight, enter Delilah)

Delilah: Hi, sweetheart. What are you doing up?

Betsy: Thinking.

D: It's late. You have school in the morning.

B: I know.

D: Time for bed.

B: I know.

(pause, Betsy doesn't move, Delilah sits down on bed)

D: What are you thinking about, honey?

B: Death.

D: Oh.

B: Dying.

D: Um.

B: Being dead.

D: Uh...


D: Anything else?

B: That's enough.

D: Yes. All three at once. That's... that's a lot.

B: They're different, aren't they?

D: How do you mean?

B: Death, dying, being dead... they're different, right?

D: Well...

B: I mean. Death is where you go, dying is how you get there, being dead is the clothes you wear.

D: I... sweetheart? What makes you think about these things?

B: What's wrong with thinking about them?

D: Nothing, nothing, nothing's wrong... nothing... just... ummm, okay. Well, something's wrong. You're only eight.

B: You're thirty-five.

D: (pause) Right.

B: So?

D: I... well, I just mean, what would make an eight-year old think about death?

B: I wasn't just thinking about death. I was thinking about death, dying and being dead.

D: Yeah. That's more than just death, I know that, but why were you thinking about those things?

B: Because of sleep.

D: Oh. (pause) What?

B: It's like death... or, I guess, it's more like being dead. Being asleep is like being dead.

D: No, not really, I mean, uhhh...

B: Pyjamas are like being dead.

D: I... honey... I don't get what you're saying.

B: Sleep and death. You know.

D: When you're asleep, I check on you, so...

B: So I won't die?

D: No, I mean, yes, yes... I mean, well... ahhh... I just make sure you're okay.

B: Like not dead, right?

D: No! Sweetheart... I check to see that you're doing alright, that's all.

B: You don't check to see if I'm dead?

D: No! Betsy!

B: Maybe you should. Being asleep feels like being dead to me.

D: You're not dead; you're asleep. You will wake up in the morning, and everything will be the same.

B: The same?

D: As the day before. The same.

B: Everything will be the same as the day before, but I won't be dead?

D: No, honey, of course not. You'll be Betsy, same as always, a great girl with her whole life ahead of her.

B: Not her whole death?

D: What?! No! Honey, you'll be fine. Everything will be fine. I'll be fine. Everything will be just like always.

B: But it seems like an awful lot of things will be the same.

D: Yes, they will be, and so will you. You'll be filled with life!

B: But, if everything's the same when I wake up, will it be the same the next day?

D: You will wake up the next day and the next day and the next day and so many days into the future that even I can't count!

B: Isn't that the same as being dead? Everything's the same, every day, forever?

D: (pause) Ohh... sweetheart... there will be some changes, I guess, but they're very slow.

B: Slow? Like walking-kind-of-slow?

D: Slower, like you don't even notice it happening, that kind of slow.

B: You don't notice it?

D: No, it's growing up. One day, after all these things you don't notice, you'll be grown up.

B: And then dead?

D: No! Just grown up.

B: All those slow changes add up, then you're grown up?

D: Yes, that's it... Betsy, not dead... You're not dead, and sleeping is just allowing these slow changes to occur.

B: So I can grow up.

D: Yes, it adds up so slowly. Just like adding in school, which you have tomorrow; so lie down and go to sleep.

(Betsy starts getting under the covers)

B: Then tomorrow, I'll add some more change to me.

D: Until you grow up. That's right, honey.

B: Okay, that makes sense, Mommy.

D: (kissing Betsy goodnight) Good. Sleep well, jitterbug.

(Delilah starts to exit)

B: Mommy?

D: Yes?

B: You're grown up, right?

D: Yes.

B: Those slow changes just added up.

D: And now I'm a grown up.

B: So when does the subtraction start?

D: I... uhh...(pause)

B: You know, minus?

D: Yes. (pause)

B: Mommy?

D: Good night, sweetheart.

(lights fade to dim spot on Delilah who has now exited Betsy's room, she sighs)

D: (to herself) Good night?

(lights out)


March 29, 2007

A Play A Day #349

Customer Serviced


Setting: Customer service desk

(lights up, Seeva is on the phone behind the customer service desk, enter Mees)

Seeva: Yes... yes... ohh, I'd love that! Sounds great! Right, right, right... I know... no... no, no... yeah, yeah... that's perfect, perfect, right... (she holds up a finger to Mees to indicate that he should wait just a bit) Great, that's what I think too, you know, if he's up to it. Right, just tons of anal. Okay, okay, it'll be awesome! Great, gotta run, bye-bye.

(Seeva hangs up, Mees looks at her with a bit of shock)

Seeva: Hello, welcome to MungoMart, how can I service you?

(more shock)

Mees: Uhhh... I... uhhh... this.

(Mees holds up his shopping bag)

Seeva: Something in the sack, sir?

Mees: Yes, please.

(Seeva takes the shopping bag, opens it, looks at item without removing it)

Seeva: Yes, and what is the problem with this purchase, sir?

Mees: It... it doesn't work.

Seeva: Neither do I, but you'd never try to return me, would you?

(pause, then Seeva laughs, she's joking)

Mees: (trying to laugh along) Right... no... I... I, I, I, I, I, I, I, Iiiiiii... I (long pause) wouldn't.

Seeva: Course not. Do you have the receipt, sir?

Mees: It's... uhhhh... in the bag.

Seeva: Well, that makes two of us.

(pause, Mees starts laughing louder than he should, Seeva looks at him, bemused)

Seeva: Somthing wrong, sir?

Mees: (laughter cutting off abruptly, pause) No. Your joke. It was funny.

Seeva: Okay.

(long pause)

Mees: So... I. So I laughed.

Seeva: Yes, you did.

(phone rings, Seeva picks it up)

Seeva: MungoMart customer services. Uh-huh... right... yes, yes, yes, yes (Seeva keeps saying 'yes', it builds sexually, stopping just short of orgasm, then) Bye-bye.

(Mees, of course, is stunned, long pause)

Seeva: Did you want a replacement for this product?

Mees: What?

Seeva: Did you want a replacement for this product, or was there some other way I could compensate you for the value lossed?

Mees: (pause) No! No, no, no, no, no...

Seeva: No compensation, sir?

Mees: No, uhhhhh... no replacement.

Seeva: Yes, sir. I could give you store credit then, since the product was purchased more than thirty days ago.

Mees: Yes. Yes. That's... that's fine.

Seeva: (changing position, a new bearing, formally at first) Thank you for choosing MungoMart, sir. It is because of you that we find satisfaction with our daily lives. We are nothing without our valued customers, and you are certainly one of the most-highly valued of the lot, sir. There is nothing that MungoMart would ever do to harm our relationship with you, our most treasured resource. You are MungoMart, sir, and MungoMart is here for you. Please let us know exactly what we may do to help you have the most satisfying experience possible. We open ourselves wide for you, sir. MungoMart is here for you, here to serve at your pleasure. Take us, sir. Take us, spank us if you have to, we will service your every whim.

(long pause)

Seeva: Was that enough credit for the store to give you, sir, or shall I undo a button?


Seeva: Sir?


Seeva: Was that enough store credit, sir? Or did you want it more personalized?

(phone rings, Seeva answers)

Seeva: MungoMart customer services. Ohh... yes... very nice. Very. Very. Yes, again, please. (series of moans and gasps) That's right, fill every hole. Thank you. Yes, bye-bye.


Seeva: Now, where were we?

Mees: Ummm... did you say "button"?

Seeva: (undoing top button of her blouse) That's right... Thank you for choosing MungoMart, sir. It is because of you that we find satisfaction with our daily lives. We are nothing without our valued customers, and you are certainly one of the most-highly valued of the lot, sir. There is nothing that MungoMart would ever do to harm our relationship with you, our most treasured resource. You are MungoMart, sir, and MungoMart is here for you. Please let us know exactly what we may do to help you have the most satisfying experience possible. We open ourselves wide for you, sir. MungoMart is here for you, here to serve at your pleasure. Take us, sir. Take us, spank us if you have to, we will service your every whim.

Mees: That's store credit?

Seeva: Well, that's a start anyway. I have seven more buttons.

Mees: (finally catching on to how MungoMart does business, and starting to appreciate it) Was there something about spanking?

Seeva: (biting her lower lip) Oh, yes, sir. There most certainly was.

(lights start fading)

Mees: (looking up at fading lights) Are you doing that?

Seeva: MungoMart does it, sir. Just... (unbuttons one more button) for... (another button) you... (another)

(lights out)


March 28, 2007

A Play A Day #348



Setting: Bare stage

(lights up, Al and Enn enter talking)

Al: It's just that...

Enn: Sometimes.

Al: I get the...

Enn: Feeling.

Al: That my own...

Enn: Thoughts.

Al: Are not always...

Enn: Entirely.

Al: My own. Does that make...

Enn: Sense.

Al: Yeah. Sense.

Enn: No.

Al: Well. I guess it's like...

Enn: This.

Al: I'm definitely a product of...

Enn: Media.

Al: So most days, I find...

Enn: Myself.

Al: Restating bland...

Enn: Catchphrases.

Al: And trite...

Enn: Taglines.

Al: So that the...

Enn: Ideas.

Al: That I like to think...

Enn: I.

Al: That I like to think I...

Enn: Create.

Al: Are really just...

Enn: Vomited.

Al: The partially-digested...

Enn: Slogans.

Al: And...

Enn: Sayings.

Al: Of a culture...

Enn: Dizzy.

Al: No...

Enn: Drunk.

Al: On its own...

Enn: Speed.

Al: So all people are...

Enn: Caught.

Al: By a societal...

Enn: Imperative.

Al: Not based on...

Enn: Reflection.

Al: But rather on...

Enn: Reiteration.

Al: A sort of thought...

Enn: Regurgitation.

Al: Which I guess isn't all...

Enn: Bad.

Al: Because I...

Enn: Know.

Al: Or have I just been...

Enn: Told.

Al: That I know that a...

Enn: Mind.

Al: Is a terrible thing to...

Enn: Waste.

Al: But it must be...

Enn: Better.

Al: If your mind is...

Enn: Reduced.

Al: Or at least...

Enn: Reused.

Al: Or recycled.

(long pause)

Enn: Where do you get these crazy ideas?

Al: I don't know. They just appear...

Enn: All by themselves.

Al: Yeah. All by themselves.

Enn: Wow. I don't get you.

Al: That's alright. Everyone else does.

(they exit)


March 27, 2007

A Play A Day #347

Staying After


Setting: Classroom, Eliot and Sal, both about ten, each cleaning one of two large blackboards

Eliot: Can I use the stool now?

Sal: No. I need it.

E: You're taller than me. I can't reach the top part. (jumping to demonstrate, slapping the wet sponge as high as he can reach each time)

S: I can't really reach either.

E: I can't even come close!

S: You're right. You are short.

E: No, I'm not! I just can't reach. My arms aren't long enough.

S: Cause you're short.

E: No, I'm not!

S: (carrying stool over to him) Here's the stool, poor short baby.

E: Shut up! I'm tall enough!

S: When you're on the stool.

E: I don't need the stool! (kicking it back to Sal)

S: Whatever, little-short-baby-pants.

E: Shut up!

S: (making baby noises, crouching down and jumping ineffectually to mimic Eliot) Unnh... unnhh... unnhhh... waaaaaaa....

E: Why do you always tease me! That's why we have to do this anyway!

S: If you just knew how to take it, and not go crying to Ms. Antonich each time some one looked at you funny, then we wouldn't have to do this at all. You're the real reason we got in trouble.

E: I do not.

S: You're a baby. Now we're in trouble, because you're a baby. Now you're even a bigger baby; because you can't reach the top of the blackboard.

E: You can't reach it either.

S: Yes, I can!

E: Not mine. It's way higher!

S: Nuh-uhh. It's the same!

E: Prove it, if you're so tall.

(Sal starts cleaning the top of Eliot's blackboard)

S: See!

E: I don't believe it!

S: What do you mean? I'm reaching it right now; see?

E: (points to the only remaining unwashed corner) Not that part; I think it's higher over there.

S: No, it's not, stupid! It's the same height!

E: I think the floor's lower though.

S: (cleaning the unwashed corner too) Same height, moron! See!? Same height!

E: Wow! You are tall enough! I was wrong.

S: Figures, you're so stupid, little baby!

E: (finishes last touches of his chalkboard, drops sponge in the bucket) I'm all done.

S: (looking at Eliot's chalkboard) Hey! How did you...

E: This really smart, tall kid did most of the tough parts.

S: You jerk!

E: No, I'm just a baby.

S: You have to do the top part of mine now!

E: Sorry, I can't reach.

S: I'm telling on you when Ms. Antonich comes back!

E: Baby. Waaaaa....

(lights out)


March 26, 2007

A Play A Day #346

Rememb... uhhhh


Setting: Ben's apartment

(lights up, pallor of televison light splashing across Ben and Lyle's faces, they are seated on the floor next to each other, playing video games)

Ben: Shit...

Lyle: Nice move.

Ben: Yeah... I got you though...

Lyle: (distracted from the video game, but still playing) Hey, Ben?

Ben: Yeah?

Lyle: Weren't we just doing something else?

Ben: What do you mean?

Lyle: We're playing video games, but...

(pause, video game playing continues throughout)

Ben: Yeah?


Lyle: Wasn't there...


Ben: Something else, you mean?

Lyle: We were playing video games, and there was something else.

Ben: Just playing video games, Lyle.

Lyle: Yeah, but something else?

Ben: No.


Lyle: Playing... but there was... wasn't there something else?

Ben: (a little annoyed) No, man. Just play.

Lyle: I'm playing. What else were we doing though?

Ben: Just this game, Lyle.

Lyle: Yeah, this game, and something else. I know we were doing something else.

Ben: Nothing else, Lyle.

Lyle: This is really going to bug me; because I mean, I know there was something else that we were doing.

Ben: (picking up a joint, taking a hit) Here, just take a hit, maybe that'll spark your memory.

(recognition flashes over Lyle as he is handed the joint from Ben)

Lyle: (putting down video game contoller, taking the joint) Oh, yeah! This is it! (takes a hit) We were getting high.

Ben: Duh.

Lyle: (taking another long, slow hit, then contemplating) Hey, Ben?

Ben: Yeah?

Lyle: Weren't we doing something else?

Ben: (frustrated sigh) No, man.

Lyle: Just getting high?

Ben: Just getting high and playing video games, Lyle. That's all.

Lyle: (putting down the joint, picking up the controller) Ohhhh, yeah... video games.

(lights fade out)


March 25, 2007

A Play A Day #345

Private: Do Not Read


Setting: House, the foyer.

(lights up, mail is dropped through the mail slot, first several pieces, pause, then a final letter, enter Aaron from the wings, picks up mail, leafs through it)

Aaron: No... what... no... no... (last letter in his hand, reading aloud) "Private: Do not read" Well, I guess I already have. (opens letter)

(reading letter)

"Dear Aaron... If you are reading these words, it is because you opened a letter marked 'Private: Do not read' and decided to read it anyway. This is the final proof I needed to show you that I can no longer trust you. Therefore, I want a divorce. Love, Eva."

(Eva bursts through the door, snapping pictures of Aaron holding the letter)

Eva: Haaa! Caught you! I knew that one would work!

Aaron: (in a monotone, underwhelmed) Yes. Wow. Good work, Eva.

Eva: What do you have to say for yourself, you dishonorable rat?!

Aaron: Once again... guilty.

Eva: I win!

Aaron: You win.

Eva: Now, we can get a divorce! No judge will side with you in the face of this damning evidence! (pointing at opened letter and brandishing camera)

Aaron: Eva...

Eva: Don't even try to explain this one away, Aaron. You can't be trusted. You know it! I know it!

Aaron: Why can't I be trusted, Eva?

Eva: You read the letter!

Aaron: It was delivered to my house. It had no name on it. Can I not assume it was intended for me?

Eva: It could have been for me!

Aaron: Possibly, but...

Eva: So you had no business reading it!

Aaron: I should have left it for you to open and read?

Eva: Exactly!

Aaron: But, what if you opened it, read it and discovered it was for me?

Eva: Sucker! I knew it was for you! So, I never would have done that!

Aaron: (sighs) Of course you knew it was for me, you obviously wrote it to me and slid it in the mail slot.

Eva: Maybe.

Aaron: Definitely.

Eva: You can't prove that!

Aaron: No, it's not worth proving.

Eva: So, you admit you were wrong?!

Aaron: Wrong to have married you, certainly. Not wrong to have read my own mail in my own house.

Eva: My house too!

Aaron: It would be your house if you were ever here.

Eva: Don't you bring that up!

Aaron: Eva, you left three years ago, with Ramon...

Eva: You vicious...

Aaron: Came back after three weeks, then left with Ramon's brother, Augusto...

Eva: Augusto, no! You pig!

Aaron: Came back a couple months later, then promptly ran away with Julio...

Eva: Bastard! You're so cruel! So I like Latino men!

Aaron: Came back the next spring, begging forgiveness, and then spirited off to the big city with Ingrid.

Eva: And Swedish women! You horrible, horrible...

Aaron: Came back, swearing heterosexuality, and left two weeks later with both Ramon and Augusto.

Eva: Sometimes I like two Latino men! How dare you!

Aaron: Then you came back, entered a convent, broke out, and left with Father McAllister.

Eva: You asshole! It was Bishop McAllister, and you know it.

Aaron: All the while, you kept refusing to divorce me; because you knew I'd get a lot of your money since you were clearly the partner at fault.

Eva: I was no! such! thing!

Aaron: So, now I have to put up with your little schemes to frame me with "evidence" of grievous harm to your body or spirit... stabbing your hand with my Swiss Army knife, backing over your own cat with my car, posting naked pictures of yourself on my website, this inane letter... it's not going to work, Eva. Please stop.

Eva: You're just not man enough to admit when you're wrong!

Aaron: Again, wrong to have married you, yes. Wrong about trusting you, yes. Wrong about where the fault for this bad marrriage lies, no.

Eva: (changing tactics) Oh, Aaron, you're so steadfast... resolute... firm... (advancing on him, hand on his chest) How can I continue treating you this way? We have to start fresh. New. I'm sorry about the letter. I do trust you. I do. I've been so wrong for the past three years. Let's just forget it all: Ramon, Augusto, Julio, Ingrid, Ramon and Augusto together, the bishop, that rugby team... all of it, gone... poof. Just Aaron and Eva, again, like the first five months? Those glorious five months of wedded bliss, all over again? Huh? What do you say?

Aaron: (playing along) Eva. I don't know... there's just something about you that's not really credible in matters concerning my heart.

Eva: Please?

Aaron: Oh, I know what it is... your words. That's the in-credible part. You are saying words; therefore, you're lying.

Eva: (storming out) Watch it, Aaron!! This time, I'm running away with a divorce attorney! (slams door behind her)

Aaron: (opens door, calls out in an almost-disinterested fashion) Latino, Swedish or Catholic?

(lights out)


March 23, 2007

A Play A Day #344

Licking Day


Setting: Reed's apartment.

(lights up, Reed is asleep on his couch, loud knock on door, Reed jerks awake, crosses to door and opens it)

Reed: What?

Grant: (walking past him, sitting on the couch) Hey, man.

R: (indicating couch) Hey! Don't sit there.

G: How ya doing?

R: I was sleeping. Right there.

G: I can tell - smells like nap in here, couch is warm.

R: Great.

G: I'm kinda like a detective that way.

R: Yeah, absolute Sherlock.

G: I can figure out any situation with just a quick glance around.

R: Grant, did you want something?

G: Just paying you a visit.

R: Cause I just want to lay down again.

G: It's Licking Day!

R: Wh... what did you say?

G: It's Licking Day. Today.

R: Licking? Day?

G: March twenty-third every year is National Licking Day.

R: So what?

G: The holiday was started by a collective of conceptual artists and alternative therapists about forty years as a way of breaking down artificial constructs of prohibitive personal space among humanity. The idea was that if we violated someone's personal space in a very bizarre manner, in a way that nearly all of humanity would recognize as disturbing, then people would be desensitized to the routine obtrusions of everyday life. Humanity, over time, would come to apppreciate the company of the other as long as they weren't being licked.

R: That's so incredibly stupid...

G: It's sorta the world's only negative reinforcement holiday.

R: I think people would be so traumatized by the licking that they would actually become hypersensitive to other people getting too close... that it would drive people to retreat farther from each other.

G: Well, they claim it works, that it's the only holiday to be measured like a social psychology experiment.

R: Oh, come on; it's ridiculous. Personal boundaries would get all fuzzy; dangerous behavior would be the end result.

G: People can always say: "Hey! At least, it's not Licking Day!"

R: Right, except on March twenty-third.

G: Well, of course.

R: (pause) Can I go back to sleep now?

G: I don't know. It is Licking Day.

R: So what?!

G: (smiles) And...

R: Get out, man... you're not fucking licking me!

G: Ahh, come on... I figured if I added homosexual overtones to it, you would really stop being such a tight ass about personal space.

R: Out! Now!

(Reed grabs Grant's arm)

G: (indicating the hand on his arm) Hey, that's a good start.

(Reed commences to push Grant harder and harder out the door, Grant protests in a loud but good-natured manner all the way out the door with his tongue out, reaching for Reed the whole way, Reed swearing at him and ad-libbing as he forces him out, shuts door behind him)

G: (shouting through the door) I licked your door!

R: (leaning against door) Hope he got a damn splinter in his tongue. (shaking his head slowly) Licking Day.

(Reed shuffles back to the couch, lays down, knock on the door)

R: (groans) What!?

Mila: (through the door) Hello?

R: (hops up, goes to door, a very good-looking woman stands there) Hi. Sorry for the wait.

M: Hi. My name is Mila. (offering hand) I just moved in across the hall, and I don't have any toothpaste or anything out yet, and I was wondering if...

R: Uhh, yeah, yeah, sure... come in, come in. I've got one of those little tubes in the bathroom... be right back.

(heads across apartment and off stage, Mila takes a step or two into Reed's apartment)

M: (calling after Reed) I wouldn't ask, but it's Licking Day, and I don't want to be doing that with bad breath, of course.

(Reed re-enters apartment with tube of toothpaste)

R: Licking Day? (beat) Of course. One of my favorite days. I'm Reed, by the way.

M: Thanks for the dentifrice, Reed. (turns to leave, then turns back) Well, I guess one before brushing my teeth won't hurt. (licks his forehead) Thank you.

R: You're very welcome. (licks her neck)

(Mila leaves, Reed watches after her, waving, then shuts the door, leans against it)

R: (shaking his head slowly) Licking Day.

(moves to couch, starts folding blankets, lights fade out)


A Play A Day #343



Setting: Bare stage

(lights up, Man and Woman enter stage right, walking very slowly across the stage throughout the play)

Man: Cinema totally needs to reflect the human condition, or it loses all relevance.

Woman: You assume that thinking about, experiencing, seeing things which are seemingly irrelevant or detached from the human condition is not part of the human condition.

Man: Not in the immediate sense, only by the filter of intellectual processes.

Woman: So, in order for a film to connect, as you say, it has to speak directly to the viewer without trespassing in conscious thought. It must, in the most reductive terms possible, be "of" the viewer.

Man: Essentially, yes. Those are the films we remember.

Woman: Even if we don't think about them?

Man: Especially if we don't think about them.

Woman: Alright. Fine. (pause) Let's say then that I were to make a movie.

Man: A film.

Woman: If it's good enough, a film.

Man: Go on.

Woman: You're saying that, in order for this film to connect with you and me, it would have to be about a brilliant and beautiful young woman who is dating a man so afraid of love, so afraid of connection, so afraid of life that he hides such fears from everyone, even his girlfriend, by entombing all his discussions behind the facade of the most intellectual terms possible, so that even a simple discussion of what movie to go see on a quiet Saturday night becomes an overbearing exploration of the nature of the cinematic arts and human experience?

(beat, they stop)

Man: (realizing he is beaten, says meekly) Ummm, I think what you wanted to see sounds fine.

(they start again)

Woman: Thought so.

(exit, stage left as lights fade out)


March 22, 2007

A Play A Day #342

How To Forget


Setting: The lake.

(faint lights, night sounds, Rachel and Darren, both fifteen, in swim suits, sit on the end of the dock, Darren's feet in the water below, Rachel has her legs tucked up, knees to her chin)

Rachel: I can't do that, not at night. Usually, I get freaked out doing it during the day too. You just don't know. Can't see anything.

Darren: Nothing bad lives in this lake though.

R: A pike will bite your toes if they're wiggling right.

D: (stops wiggling his toes) I'm not wiggling my toes.

R: You're probably okay, but I still don't do it.

D: But you swim at night.

R: Yeah, sure, but...

D: You can't see anything then either.

R: No, but...

D: There's nothing would hurt you in this lake lake anyway.

R: I don't think so, but something always gets me about just dangling my feet in the water. Something comes up from the dark, from the bottom, and you don't see it.

D: No...

R: What's worse isn't something maybe biting you, but just something brushing against your feet, and you don't know what it is. You just feel something touch your foot underwater.

D: Doesn't worry me, things stay away from people when even just a part of them is in the water. Like bears in the woods.

R: You're not dangling your feet in the woods.

D: You know what I mean. I mean that things stay away from people, in general.

R: If they're able to; could be like some weeds, or garbage, something like that.

D: That doesn't scare me.

R: Fifteen years ago, they found a woman's body floating in the lake.

D: Oh. Really?

R: It was the summer I was born. Thing is the body was floating about four or five feet under the surface. Naked, some fish had taken bites. The woman had been dead a long time. I don't think they ever were able to say who it was. She was unrecognizable. Total creepy mystery. My Dad told me all about it.

D: (forcing himself to remain sitting with feet in the water) Yeah.

R: Hate to have that bump into my feet, underwater, late at night.

D: No kidding.

R: You're pretty brave, Darren.

D: It's nothing.

R: Yeah.... (long pause) It's still so warm.

D: I know.

R: But, no mosquitoes. Usually, I can't come out at night in just my swim suit.

D: I bet. Mosquitoes are probably pretty bad at night.

R: They are... (long pause) How do you think she died?

D: Probably, someone dumped her body in the lake after they killed her somewhere else.

R: That's what I think. They might have weighted her down, so she wouldn't float.

D: Or drunk kids, maybe. Some kids drinking and stealing a motorboat. Maybe she fell out, and they didn't even notice.

R: Yeah, that's possible, except people would notice, like parents, if someone was gone like that. Plus, my Dad said it was an older woman.

D: Huh.

R: You know what it could have been?

D: What?

R: It's weird...

D: What?

R: Like, really strange, but... ahhh...

D: What is it? Like you think she wasn't human or something?

R: No, no... I think... Well...

D: Tell me. I want to hear.

R: I think she did it herself.

D: Suicide?

R: Yeah, suicide...

D: That's not so weird.

R: Except, I think, here was this woman. She was totally alone in the world, maybe she lived with no one, no one knew here, nothing, and she was just horribly sad. She goes to the swampy end of the lake, late at night, it's foggy, and she just walks in, and sinks. The muck and the grasses and the fog just swallow her up. The body sits there for a long time 'til one spring the muck lets her go. She's weighted down, but kind of floats too, and she just drifts along, under boats, waterskiers, everything, maybe she does this for years. I think that's much worse than any sort of murder or accident. She just buried herself in the lake. It's so sad.

D: That is pretty sad, Rachel.

R: Everything in her life was just too much. She was probably crushed by the weight of it all. So, she just made herself weightless. She probably wanted to stay in the lake forever, stuck between the deep and the shallow.

D: Maybe.

R: When I think about it, I feel bad for her that she was taken out. The lake was her grave, and we took her out.

D: If she died that way.

R: I think she did.

D: Yeah, probably.

(long pause)

R: How do you forget something like that?

D: The dead woman?

R: Yeah, how do you forget about it? I mean, now that I know about it, I can't just sit here and dangle my feet in the water. I guess I'm glad I know the story, but I also want to put my feet in the water.

D: Oh, yeah, well... you probably just have to do it.

R: No way.

D: I think the only way to forget something is to have the experience but without any bad things happening, and you can't have the experience without just doing it.

R: (fear) Darren.

D: You have to. The more you do it without anything bad happening the better off you'll be.

R: I... (starts moving feet toward the water) I can't!

D: (grabbing her hand) No, no. You can. Go on, just lower them down. They'll be right next to mine.

R: (shaking a bit, gripping Darren's hand, lowering her feet) Nnnnnnnhhhh.... (with starts and stops lowers her feet, looking to Darren for reassurance) There! (shaking, nervous, but with feet in water) I did it...

D: Yeah! Alright! I knew you could. See... (pause) and if you think about really good things when your feet are in the water then you'll forget the bad things even more.

R: Really good things like this? (She kisses him hard on the lips, a very nervous, but excited kiss)

D: Uhhhh... yeah... yeah, like that.

R: (yanking feet from the water, screaming) AHHH! Ohmigod, ohmigod! Something brushed against my foot!

D: That was my foot.

R: Ohhh... ohhh, okay... that's, that's a good thing too.

(she moves to kiss him again, lowering her feet back into the water at the same time)

(lights and night sounds fade)


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)


March 20, 2007

A Play A Day #340

The Empty Store


Setting: An empty store.

(Lights up, Mandy stands behind a counter, store is empty, there should be shelves galore with nothing on them, enter James)

James: Hi, you work here, right?

(Mandy looks around, again, the store is extremely empty)

Mandy: Yes, just me.

J: I'm wondering where your men's shoes are.

M: Well, I think... they may be... around the... uhhh... oh, no, forgot... we don't sell men's shoes.

J: Ohh... darn... need a new pair of shoes for work.

M: Sorry.

J: Probably just women's shoes; everyone sells women's shoes.

M: Except us.

J: Oh... okay. What about ties?

M: For men?

J: Of course for men.

M: Yes.

J: Who else would you sell ties for?

M: Bread bags.

J: Oh. So where are they?

M: Ties? We don't sell them.

J: You said you did.

M: Thought you were talking for bread bags.

J: You sell ties for bread bags?

M: No.

J: But...

M: Who would buy those?

J: You said that...

M: Bakers, I suppose.

J: (annoyed) Alright...

M: But they probably have their own dedicated supply chain for such things.

J: (more so) Alright...

M: Doubt they'd come to a store in a mall for those.

J: Alright! I get it! Thank you.

M: You're welcome.

J: Do you know the nearest place that sells men's shoes?

M: Yeah, next door. Men's Shoes-R-We.

J: Saw that. I was wondering, but... well, okay... bye, I'll just go over there then.

M: Good-bye. Come back soon.

J: (starts leaving, looks around a bit more) I have to ask: what exactly do you sell here?

M: Want some?

J: What?

M: How much do you want?

J: I don't know what you sell. So, I don't know if I would want to buy it.

M: Unfortunately, we can only sell what we sell if you buy it.

J: Right, of course, but usually I would know what I'm buying.

M: Sorry. I can only tell you that we sell exactly what you see here.

J: Nothing?

M: I suppose you could see that.

J: Well, it is what I see.

M: Then you would buy nothing.

J: I guess I would.

M: How much do you want to buy then?

J: Nothing.

M: Right, how much?

J: I can't buy...

M: Maybe five bucks worth?

J: No, I...

M: Ten?

J: No. Nothing.

M: How much?

J: Please, stop.

M: Okay.


J: So what do you sell, really? No joking.

M: I'm not joking.

J: What is it?

M: It's whatever you want.

J: So, you sit in an empty store, and you claim to sell anything?

M: Yes.

J: But there's nothing here.

M: Because you want nothing.

J: I want shoes.

M: Next door.

J: Right, but you don't sell anything I want then.

M: You don't really want shoes, I guess.

J: Yes, I do, look at these ones... (pointing to his shoes, Mandy peeks at them too) The sole is pulling away from the shoe, hole by the toe.

M: I think you need to figure out what you want, what you really, really want, and come back here, and we will have it for you.

J: How can you guys even stay in business?

M: Woman.

J: What?

M: Woman. No "guys" here. The store is just me, Mandy, I am the store.

J: Sorry, woman then. How do you, a woman, even... stay... in... ohhhhh. Oh, yes.

M: What?

J: I see. You don't need anything on the shelves if you are the store.

M: Well...

J: It's that kind of business, huh?

M: You mean a store kind of business?

J: No, no, no, no, no, no, no, NO... it's that kind of business. You're the product.

M: No...

J: You're for sale!

M: No, no...

J: How'd they let you set up a place... like this... in a mall?

M: I know what you're thinking, and you're wrong.

J: How so?

M: I'm not a prostitute. I am not for sale, rent or lease.

J: But, you said, that...

M: I am the store, yes, I did, but I meant that I am the owner, operator and sole employee of the store. That's it. You're the one who made the wild assumption.

J: Well, that's what it sounded like to me.

M: Maybe that's because that's what you really want.

J: What? Sex?

M: Yes.

J: No. I don't want sex.

M: Okay.

J: (longer pause) Wait... do you... did you mean to say that you sell... that?

M: If you want it, we sell it.

J: How much?

M: How much do you want?

J: A lot.

M: Sorry, you just said you didn't want it.

J: I changed my mind.

M: Then you don't really know if you want it, do you?

J: Yes, yes! I do, I do!

M: Well, I don't believe you.

J: That's not how you said you do business. You didn't say that you had to believe that I really wanted what I said I wanted.

M: I know, but you notice you weren't able to buy any; therefore you didn't really want it.

J: Sex? Of course I couldn't buy any! You're not selling any!

M: How do you know that?

J: Because I said I wanted some - said I wanted a lot - and you said you didn't believe me.

M: Because you had changed your mind.

J: People change their minds all the time!

M: Because they don't really want what they say they want.

J: But I always want sex!

M: Then why did you say you didn't?

J: I didn't think you would sell that!

M: You assumed.

J: I was being polite. I'm not that kind of guy.

M: You are the type of guy who doesn't want sex?

J: No! I'm the type of guy who isn't going to try to buy sex from a stranger. Besides, you said you weren't a prostitute.

M: Oh, so... if I were a prostitute, then you would have bought sex from me?

J: No!

M: Thought you weren't that type of guy.

J: Now, come on! I...

M: And how do you now I wouldn't have sold you sex anyway, even though I'm not a prostitute?

J: But that would make you a prostitute!

M: Not necessarily.

J: Yes! It would! You can't sell sex and claim you're not a prostitute!

M: Depends.

J: On what?! It depends on nothing! You can't have it both ways!

M: Prostitutes often have it both ways.

J: That's not what I meant!

M: Really?

J: This is stupid.

M: In a way. As stupid as you want it to be.

J: What can I really get here?

M: What you really want.

J: Which is?

M: What everyone wants.

J: Which is?

M: I'm sorry that you don't know what you and everyone else wants.

J: Water?

M: None of that here.

J: Shelter?

M: Nope.

J: Safety?

M: Again, no.

J: Love?!

(long pause)

J: Love? You sell love here?

M: Why don't you buy some and find out?

J: (pulling a dollar from his pocket, mumbling, handing it to her) Alright, alright, this I gotta see... do we go to a back room for this love... here.

M: (taking money, putting it in the register) Thank you.


J: What? What's going on here? Nothing's happening!

M: Well, to be fair, you only gave me a dollar.

J: You said I should buy some and find out.

M: Yeah, and you gave me a dollar.

J: So? I don't see a price list.

M: How much love do you expect for a dollar?

J: Love doesn't have a price tag!

M: Boldly said, Shakespeare, yet you paid a dollar.

J: Fine, what do I get then?

M: (patting his hand) There, there.

J: That's sympathy!

M: It is a degree to love.

J: It's not! You lied to me!

M: (patting his hand) There, there.

J: Stop that!

M: Sure thing. That was about a dollar's worth anyway.

J: What about five dollars?

M: Do you want to try it?

J: Not really.

M: Why? Don't you love me?

J: What?!

M: Do you love me?

J: No!

M: After all, you did just give me a dollar. It must have been for a reason.

J: To buy love.

M: And it worked!

J: No, you gave me sympathy! Which isn't the same as love!

M: (shaking her head in sympathy) Poor boy.

J: Stop it! Stop it!

M: That one was on the house.

J: Well, you're not getting any more money from me. This is a scam.

M: How so?

J: You took my money and give me nothing in return!

M: You gave me a dollar. I gave you love.

J: But nothing's changed.

M: Does something have to change?

J: Yes! Damnit! I want to feel loved!

M: (big smile) Now you've got it.

J: Got what?

M: You know what you want.

J: Oh, well...

M: So how much do you want?

J: Here. Can I try five dollars?

M: (very sweetly) Of course you can, my love.

J: (soaking this in) Wow. That... that was great.

M: I'm so happy to love you.

J: Yeah?

M: Oh, yes I am. And you must love me; since you gave me five dollars to love you, you obviously care a great deal about me loving you, therefore you must love me too.

J: Well, I... ohhh... yeah, I mean, yeah, I guess I do...

M: Exactly. Would you like some more?

J: I... I'm not sure anymore.

M: I know I would! We can all use a little more love in our lives.

J: (he pulls out a ten) Here's ten.

M: Ahhh, I love you too. Anything else I can get for you today?

J: (almost hypnotized) More.

(more money starts changing hands)

M: Good decision, my sweet, sweet love.

J: I love you so much.

M: I know you do. We also take credit cards.

(he starts fishing around for a credit card; lights fade along with adlibbed expressions of mutual affection)


March 19, 2007

A Play A Day #339

In Heaven We Trust


Setting: Another place, undefined

(lights up, Jenkins sitting on the stage, looking around)

Jenkins: Where am I?

Voice: Hello, Jenkins.

J: Who are you?

V: Your guide.

J: Where am I?

V: Heaven.

J: Heaven?

V: More or less.

J: Wait... what? I'm... I'm dead!?

V: Shhh-shhh-shhh.... there, there, we don't need to raise voices here.

J: But... I'm dead?

V: I didn't say that.

J: Then why am I in heaven?

V: Ummm... okay... alright, you got me... yes, you're dead.

J: I... I don't understand!

V: Nothing to understand, Jenkins. You were alive; now you're not. Poof! Heaven for you.

J: I mean, how? How did I die?

V: No idea. Not what I like to focus on.

J: I want to focus on it!

V: But, you're here. Why look back? You can't change the past.

J: I want to know! What happened.

V: Alright, alright, but you're going to kick yourself.

J: What!? Tell me!

V: Well, you know how you like to sky dive?

J: Yeah, of course.

V: Yeah... see...

J: My chute didn't open! Damn... I never thought that would ever ...

V: Your chute opened, Jenkins.

J: It did?

V: Yeah. But, the wind was a little unpredictable, a sudden front moving in.

J: O... kay.

V: Well, you made it most of the way down, until you ran into the angry end of the Channel 22 WeatherMax StormTracker Chopper Team.

J: What?! I got... a helicopter...?

V: Fffttt! You caught 22! Like paper doll versus lawnmower.

J: Man! I... I don't remember a thing.

V: That's probably for the better.

J: How come I'm so... I mean, how come I'm not, you know...

V: Ground chuck?

J: Yeah. That.

V: Oh, you've been through make-up and wardrobe. They can do anything in those departments.

J: Make-up and wardrobe?

V: Pure brilliance... they made Nixon look barely surly again! That's how good they are.

J: But... I... I don't really believe in heaven.

V: Hey now! Watch yourself! Boss man might be listening!

J: God?

V: God? No. Paul. Paul Orton, he's the supervisor.

J: Supervisor?

V: Yeah, good guy, but he get's a little testy with people questioning heaven's existence. He's put a ton of time into this place.

J: But, why would I be in heaven, if I don't believe in it.

V: Well, to be perfectly honest, it's because we get paid on a per resident basis.

J: Paid?

V: Sure, the big man pays us on daily intakes and weekly and monthly inventory reconciliations.

J: The big man? Paul?

V: What? No, God. God's the big man; he pays Paul. Paul pays his employees. Like me.

J: Listen, I don't know what's going on here, but I already told you, I don't believe in heaven.

V: Fine! Fine... Relax.

J: Don't you have to let me go or something?

V: Let me level with you, the only things we have to do are stipulated in the yearly contract and that was just renewed last month.

J: What contract?

V: The contract between God and us: HeavenCorp.

J: HeavenCorp.

V: The real heaven's full, has been for centuries. Paul made a business deal with God: provide permanent storage for the souls and their vessels, and God will reimburse on a per resident basis. Hence, HeavenCorp was born.

J: Heaven is a frickin' outsourcing company?

V: Corporation, providing all your afterlife services. (singing as if a tag from a radio jingle) "Hevvv-ennn-corrrr"

J: Jesus Christ!

V: He's not around right now, but he's calling BINGO next Wednesday. Get there early!

J: So, I'm dead, and my soul is here in a repaired body, living out eternity in some corporate-planned afterlife community?

V: You got it. But hey, what other heaven is going to give you free golf on Sundays after 4?

J: I don't want to golf! I want to live!

V: Weird, you're one of the first white guys to say that.

J: Just get me outta here!

V: Where to?

J: How about the real heaven?

V: It's full, and you don't believe in it anyway.

J: Back to Earth then.

V: Actually, you're still on Earth.

J: What?!

V: You didn't think we just float around in the sky, did you? Come on.

J: Where are we?

V: Not important, and you'll never find out.

J: Yes, I will!

V: You'll be so happy and satisfied with all HeavenCorp has to offer today's busy and active dead citizens, that you won't have time to think of escaping.

J: This is horrible; you can't let them do this to me!

V: Hey, now. I can't let them not do it to you. You're going to love it here, Jenkins. So much to do! You do play Bridge, right?

J: No!!

V: Canasta?

J: Help! Someone help!

V: Well, we'll find something...

(lights fade on Jenkins screaming for help)


March 18, 2007

A Play A Day #338



Setting: Work

(lights up, Underling stands center stage, enter Administrator, he looks at Underling then gets upset)

Administrator: Get to work!

Underling: Yes sir, Administrator!

(Underling does a small dance, Adminstrator watches for a while, smiles to himself, then leaves, Underling stops dancing)

Underling: Thank God for Administrator! If it weren't for his guidance, I would get nothing done.

(Administrator re-enters, frowns, then shouts)

Administrator: Damnit, you! I said work!

Underling: Right away!

(Underling starts dancing)

Administrator: And keep working even if I'm not watching you all the time!

Underling: Certainly!

Administrator: Do you hear me?!

Underling: Yes, sir!

Administrator: I am the Administrator!

Underling: Yes, you are. It's great!

Administrator: I am going to leave now, and you will keep working like this.

Underling: Of course I will!

(Administrator leaves, Underling stops dancing)

Underling: Supervision is the inspiration for all I do. Why, without being watched over by the Administrator, I would not work at all.

(Administrator re-enters)

Administrator: Did you get my message, Underling?

Underling: No.

Administrator: It advised you to keep working in a manner consistent with past efforts, but in line with increasing overall efficiences to maximize returns for the organization.

Underling: Like this, sir?

(Underling starts dancing)

Administrator: Yes, that must be it.

Underling: You don't sound too sure about that, sir.

Administrator: No. I'm not.

Underling: Why not, sir?

Administrator: I don't actually know what you're doing.

Underling: I'm working, sir.

Administrator: Working?

Underling: As you have demanded, sir.

Administrator: Of... of course... but... but...

Underling: Yes, sir?

Administrator: Can you show me how to work, Underling?

Underling: No, sir. I cannot.

Administrator: Why not?

Underling: If I showed you how to work, that would make me the Administrator.

Administrator: So?

Underling: Which means I would forget how to work.

Administrator: So?

Underling: Which means I would be you.

Administrator: Yes, so?

Underling: And you are one sorry piece of work.

Adminstrator: But can't we try it?

Underling: No, sir, it would never work that way.

(lights out)


March 17, 2007

A Play A Day #337

Chewy Center


Setting: Somewhere, out there.

(lights up, Ono and Ana, center stage, back to back, heads lolling against each other, dreamy, softly, sensuously)

Ono: Mmmmm.

Ana: Oooooo.

Ono: Ahhhhh.

Ana: Nnnnnn.

Ono: Hiii, there.

Ana: I'm Ana.

Ono: And so is she.

Ana: Dreaming.

Ono: Life.

Ana: Never awake.

Ono: Always free.

Ana: Anything.

Ono: Anything.

Ana: In sleep, there's lust.

Ono: Freedom.

Ana: Lust.

Ono: Song.

Ana: Sex.

Ono: Art.

Ana: And sexy, sexy lust.

Ono: Some people

Ana: stay awake

Ono: and do

Ana: all day

Ono: every day.

Ana: Some people

Ono: never dream.

Ana: Some people

Ono: bad people

Ana: some people

Ono: live life

Ana: as if

Ono: the chewy center

Ana: doesn't exist.

Ono: Oh my... the chewy center.

Ana: Oh. My.

Ono: It has nothing to do with doing.

Ana: It is just... there.

Ono: Inside.

Ana: Softly, thickly, wet... ly.

Ono: There.

Ana: Inside.

Ono: In sleep.

Ana: In dreams.

Ono: Lest you dare to think that this is metaphor.

Ana: Allusion.

Ono: Symbolic.

Ana: Rhetorical.

Ono: Well, yes.

Ana: It is.

Ono: It is.

Ana: But, it's... so much more

Ono: so much more

Ana: so much more than that.

Ono: It's also about

Ana: about

Ono: also about

Ana: It is also about

Ono: about

Ana: not wanting to do the dishes.

Ono: Ahhhhhhh.

Ana: Ohhhhhhh.

Ono: To dream.

Ana: To dream.

(lights fade out)


March 16, 2007

A Play A Day #336

Get-It Get It


Setting: Art gallery

(Lights up, several pictures hung on walls, back wall is entirely covered by one picture which is a hastily slapped-on canvas of a gigantic red "X", enter Val and Shane)

Val: (looking at smaller painting) I like this.

Shane: Yeah, but...

(they both turn to face the massive "X")

Val: Wow... that's... uhh...

Shane: Big!

Val: (almost at the same time) ...big... yeah.

Shane: Really, really... big.

Val: It's... yeah... ummm...

Shane: Huge!

Val: Exactly.

Shane: (in awed tones) Honey. We are in the presence of greatness here.

Val: Yeah? Well...

Shane: I am stunned!

Val:'s big, alright.

Shane: But! Look! It's enormous!

Val: Right, I get it.

Shane: And it's an "X"!

Val: Sure.

Shane: A freaking humungous "X"!

Val: (reverence wearing off) Yeah. It's very big, and it's an "X".

Shane: So entirely, unapologetically red!

Val: Yeah... I see that, dear.

Shane: I mean, you get this, right?

Val: A big, red "X"?

Shane: But... do you get it!?

Val: It's really just a giant "X". That's all it is.

Shane: Jesus! You just don't get it, do you!?

Val: Shane! I GET it!

Shane: But do you get-it get it?!

Val: Alright, apparently, I don't get it, Shane. Tell me, what's to get?!

Shane: (grandly, dancing with the words) Well, look at the line, the texture, the immediacy, the permissiveness and the simultaneous sense of the forbidden, it's haunted past and scent of a harbinger of what's to come!

Val: (not buying it) Like "Y" and "Z"?

Shane: Yeah!

(long pause)

Val: It's a big, red "X". That's it.

Shane: Why are you so confined by the visual?

Val: Probably because we're looking at paintings.

Shane: But, something like this...

Val: I hate this painting.

Shane: (shock) What?! But...

Val: You've bought it too, haven't you?

Shane: Bought what?

Val: The Line.

Shane: The Line?

Val: Yeah... the Line: the less you see, the less you understand, the greater the concept, the greater the art.

Shane: (with pity) That's sad.

Val: No, it's true, and you've swallowed it, completely. You attempt to join in the descent toward incomprehensible comprehension.

Shane: Not even remotely true.

Val: It is true. You, and people like you, try so hard to "get" it, assuming you achieve greatness through obscurity of language. The first person who can "get" it, and make everyone else realize they don't "get" it, wins.

Shane: No, you lie.

Val: Shane. Repeat after me: it's an "X".

Shane: No. It's so much more!

Val: No...

Shane: Literally... it reminds us that the bigger the art, the better.

Val: You can't be serious.

Shane: It's applies across all artistic endeavor. Painting, sculpture, dance, music, writing.

Val: Hardly.

Shane: The bigger the art, the better it is. Simple statement of fact. Hardly a descent to incomprehensible comprehension, I think.

Val: You know, this... (indicating both Shane and the "X" with a dismissive wave) just gives me a big, big headache.

Shane: All the better.

(Val throws up her hands and walks off)

Val: I'll be in the car.

(watches after her, then turns back to the "X", rests his chin on his thumb and nods appreciatively at it for a while)

Shane: Thank God for big.

(lights fade out as he continues to appreciate the art as only he can)


March 15, 2007

A Play A Day #335

Sidewalk Memories


Setting: Eight sections of sidewalk, left to right across the front edge of the stage.

(lights up on Howard and Melina stepping onto the leftmost sidewalk square, they stop on it, that square is lit the most, others are dimmed)

Melina: What about this one?

Howard: Well, I'd come running out the front door to catch the school bus, and since it stopped on that corner (points back the direction they came) and drove past the house, I'd make an arc from the front door, across the yard... as I got older, I learned to time it right. I wouldn't leave the house until the bus passed the front door, and I'd sprint, and I was able to make it so that I was always at the front door of the bus by the time the driver opened it.

Melina: So what do you remember about this square then?

Howard: This was the one I'd hit first after I arced across the lawn. Left foot down hard, right foot up and flying. I'm surprised that the curved path isn't carved into the grass anymore.

(they step onto the next section of the sidewalk)

Melina: Here?

Howard: See the big crack there? We used to jam army men or action figures down in there, pretend earthquakes were swallowing them up. This square had an unusual amount of seismic activity.

(to next section)

Melina: And what about this?

Howard: The very square where I found a twenty dollar bill. Never forget it; I was only six. Thought I was rich enough to pay off the bill collecter that always called Dad.

Melina: Oh, sweetie, don't... Let's remember all the great things about this place.

Howard: I did give it to him. He gave it right back.

(to next section)

Melina: And here?

Howard: I think this is where I was standing when Jerry smacked me in the eye. Man, that was a huge fight. Only time in my life I ever got punched in the face. Funny thing is I have no memory of what we were fighting about, but I remember the pain from his fist. His mom was so mad at him when she saw what happened... livid. My dad just kind of laughed it off. Said it was probably something that needed to happen once between all good friends. He was probably right; we're still great friends.

(to next section)

Melina: Alright, what do you think about on this square?

Howard: Not a good square, this is where Fidget died.

Melina: Your old dog?

Howard: Yeah, he just keeled over right here. I didn't even know dogs could have heat attacks.

Melina: He was pretty old, right?

Howard: Yeah, 'bout 14... still makes for a horrible memory.

Melina: Well, moving quickly along then.

(to next section)

Melina: Better memories here?

Howard: Definitely, well not really my memory. Right here is where I took my first step. Mom was talking to Mrs. Atchinson and plopped me out of the stroller. She says, I pulled myself up and took three big steps and...

(to next section)

Howard: ...plop! Landed right here.

Melina: Anything else about this square?

Howard: Yep. It's where Dad backed over my bike after I left it laying down. He said he never saw it. I still think he was probably going too fast.

Melina: What a memory...

(to next section)

Melina: Here?

Howard: Ohhh... best memory of all! I once lost something down here... in this hole, and... Hey! Wow! There it is! (bends down on one knee to retrieve object from deep crack in the sidewalk) Yeah, this square is where I asked my beautiful girlfriend to be my beautiful wife. (grabs her hand and slides the ring from the sidewalk onto Melina's finger) Melina, will you marry me?

(lights out)


March 13, 2007

A Play A Day #334

Those Words


Setting: Quinn's cubicle in an office farm.

(lights up, Quinn working on his computer, enter Travis)

Travis: (oafish, in Quinn's face and very loud) Hot fucking shit! 'Bout time those douchebags in HR got someone here to replace that assmuncher Corey! Boy, that numb... (Travis's demeanor changes completely, he becomes suave, instantaneously, speaking quietly, in a refined voice, this will be indicated by italics throughout) Consider the thorny rose (and back to his oafish self) ...nuts couldn't find his pecker if it was pissing! Just dumb as a shit stain! Name's Travis, by the way.

(Quinn has been alternately trying to laugh along with Travis, and ducking his head because of the volume of the swearing)

Quinn: Quinn.

T: Don't get many folks names starting with "Q"... hey! Wait just a fuckin' minute, Quinn! Q... that mean that... the palm embraces the crimson beauty only to be breached by several sharp spines're queer?! (pause) Haa! Get it?! 'Cuz a the "Q" and all?!

Q: (trying to laugh) No, no... I'm not gay.

T: Good! Shit! Don't want no fags working around me! I ain't got nothin' 'gainst'em, see, just I'd be worried 'bout ... passion's flower's flashing, flowing down the alabaster wrist ... homos checkin' out my ass!

Q: Oh... ummm...

T: Fuckin' DeAnne in shipping she told me the new guy was here, and I had to stop in say "howdy" before I started signing fucking account receipts all day! I been on vacation past week... didn't do anything, just fuckin' around, nonsense shit like that... You look like you already know how to work that mutherfuckin' 'puter. Bet you been fucking... lightly touched the heart; the soul gives grievance ... with those things since you were just popped from your momma's cunt?! Huh?

Q: Uh... yeah... you know...

T: Not me! Those cocksuckin' machines ain't nailing ol' Travis's balls to the wall!! They are the hands-down, mutherfuckinest, cocksuckinest shit ... The dawn of bliss, the intents of lovers played sharply in morning shadow, the flesh and the dew ...stains on humanity ever invented! Why the fuck do...

Q: (standing up) Listen! (ducking down, realizing he was loud) Travis... I need to get back to work... nice meeting you.

T: (pause) Ohhh... I get it... you're worried about how I'm talking. That's the shit? Fuck! You don't need... candied comforts of me and you, the rhapsodies of time in your two too-perfect eyes ... to worry 'bout that bullshit!

Q: Well... it's just... I'm new, and I don't want people thinking that I'm making you swear so loudly in a crowded office... I mean people are going to wonder... and...

T: What the fuck?! Swearing? With these bitches and ... air flicks the fire skyward, the morsels of its desire fall as ash ... fuckjobs around?! Fuck! (laughing) That's funny! That's a good one, Quinn, my not-queer friend! Real fuckin' funny!

Q: Please... stop... I'm...

T: Shit! It's just how I talk! No fuckin' surprises. People learn what I am; they respect it. Fuck! No... I thought... straight lines tell crooked stories, echoing the wishes of lost loves ... you were talking about my mutherfuckin' disease! Shit!

Q: Disease?

T: Fuck yeah! Sometimes, it's real bad... just random words running outta my mouth... docs tell me my brain misfires, kinda like epilepsy or some shit. Fuck! I don't even... the nature of absence fills the spaces betwixt the dreams ... fuckin' remember what the fuck I say. They recorded me, and I listened once. Shit! Those words sound like nothing, all kinda shit, and that voice don't even sound like me none, either! Nature o' the beast, my friend, ... layered temptations supplant your subtle hues ... nature of the fuckin' beast! Some real embarrassing shit pours outta this mouth!

Q: Well, yeah, I mean I guess I noticed that, but I just figured it was part of your... uhhh... act, or something?

T: Ain't no fuckin' act, pal! It's who the fuck I am! Sorry, so I have fuckin' Tourette's and some fucked-up nonsense words come out of me! Everyone here fuckin' knows it... in stillness, we cry, we discover the secret to forever... Sorry, if it freaks you out 'cause of how fuckin' shit-ass crazy it sounds, but I can't do nothin'...

Q: (interrupting) No! No! No! Travis... those words you say... the ones you don't remember... are... well, they're beautiful. Mysterious... and beautiful.

(long pause)

T: (backing away) Thought you said you weren't queer.

(lights out)


A Play A Day #333



Setting: A comfortable arm chair.

(Lights up, Amber is in arm chair, front edge of stage, talking on a portable phone, George enters about halfway through her line, crossing the stage behind the chair)

Amber: Ohh... I don't know... I don't think I could ever kill my husband.

(George looks toward her with surprise, Amber doesn't see him, lights out quickly)

(lights up, same as before, George entering at the opportune moment again)

Amber: Yeah, yeah, seriously... my husband sleeps naked.

(same as before, lights down)

(lights up, as before)

Amber: No, he's definitely smaller than average. A woman just knows these things.

(same transition, George is crossing more quickly, trying not to overhear anything else; of course, it doesn't work)

Amber: Truly delicious... no, no! It didn't taste like a housecat in the least!

(same transition, George enters at the wrong moment again, he is wearing large earmuffs, but this doesn't work either)

Amber: He keeps his gold coin collection in the basement safe... it's supposed to be a key/combination lock combo, but the key has never worked. You just turn the knob to thirty and whack the right side hard, and it's open!

(same transition, George sneaking a peak, then sprinting across the stage, again it doesn't work)

Amber: ... wet his bed until he was thirteen.

(same transition, another sprint from George, another failure)

Amber: ... wears women's underwear!

(same transition, another sprint, another loss)

Amber: ... failed first grade.

(same transition, another sprint)

Amber: Sure... bye-bye.

(George stops)

George: (nervously) Who was that on the... uhh.. the phone, dear?

Amber: Hmm?

George: The phone. Who were you talking to just now?

Amber: (matter-of-fact) Oh... that. Wrong number. Didn't catch her name.

(lights out)


March 12, 2007

A Play A Day #332



Setting: Restaurant table, in the middle of things.

(Lights up)

Berkley: That's exactly what you want me to think.

Karina: No, well, yes, because it's true.

B: It's a lie.

K: I don't lie, Berkley.

B: How long would this lie have gone on?

K: It...

B: How blind do you think I am?

K: I don't...

B: Just sit back and watch it happen?

K: No... Berk...

B: You're so obvious, you know?

K: I meant everything...

B: You meant nothing; you just lie all the time.

K: You meant everything...

B: I meant nothing; it wasn't about me.

K: ...everything to me!

B: It was always about what you needed. You first.

K: That's not why I did it.

B: It's just fantasy for you.

K: No, it was real; I knew it was real!

B: You get lost in fantasy; these little dramas you create to brighten your life. I was just another one.

K: You were real.

B: And I still am, Karina.

K: But, we just couldn't...

B: I know, you just had to call it off. You couldn't go through with it.

K: Neither could you.


B: Fine... true. But this?

K: I don't really have to answer to you.

B: No, probably not, but you do have to answer to your husband.

K: Berkley... you won't... don't say that.

B: Now, there are two jilted lovers.

K: Berk... please.

B: And this third man.

K: I... can't explain it.

B: I can. (pause) It ends now.

K: I don't have to do anything...

B: Last I checked, one of our spouses was still in the dark about the affair.

K: You know that would backfire.

B: I'll take that chance.

(long pause)

B: (different tone) You said I was special. That I was it: "the only man you'd ever leave your husband for."

K: I was wrong.

B: And you're wrong again. This new guy, he's nothing. Drop him. Now.

K: No.

B: Do it, Karina!

K: No... I can't.

B: We've been done for a year, but it hurts... it hurts, seeing you draping yourself across him... I'm not the only one who notices either, Karina. It's so obvious.

K: You don't even know what's going on!

B: I do! I do, because it's exactly how you behaved with me, and that's what hurts. I was okay with the affair ending; because I thought, wow, I was her one thing... I felt so alive. It was just me, just me!

K: Yeah... well. (getting up) Listen, I need to go.

B: Go? Where?

K: Home.

B: (pulls out his cell phone) Hey, great, I'll call Tom; let him know you're on your way home.

K: Don't.

B: Let him know that you're bringing home a nice long story to answer for.

K: Berk...

(she kisses him on the forehead softly, and leaves, Berkley keeps his eyes closed, hangs his head, he then looks at his cell phone, looks after Karina's exit, and thinks, he slowly puts the phone back into his pocket, and puts his head in his hands as the lights fade out)


March 10, 2007

A Play A Day #331

Exactly What You Expect


Setting: Sofa, coffee table


(Lights up on coffee table and sofa, Enter James)

James: (addressing audience) There's an old adage in theater... well, there are a lot of old adages in theater - theater's old, and theater people talk and write a lot, leading to a surplus of adages.

This particular adage is very well known: "If you show a gun in the first act; it has to go off in the third." In one sense, this excites the audience, but, thinking about it for a moment, it seems like knowing the adage makes creates the expectation that the gun will definitely go off in the third act... meaning? No suspense.

What good is that?

So, now you are all aware of the adage, would there be any sort of theatrical value to your seeing a gun? I think it would only bore you, but, in the interests of theatrical science - theatricology - we must persevere.

(dramatic guestures, mischievous grin, as if by sleight of hand, James produces a gun in one hand, places it grandly on the coffee table and exits)

(lights fade to spot on the gun, then with painstaking slowness, fade out)


(Lights up on James, Charles and Nika sitting on the sofa staring intently at the gun)

James: (looking up at audience, addressing them) Well, here we are. Second act. I brought my friends Charles and Nika, here, up to speed on the matter of the adage. They are impartial observers; plus I think they really just want to see the gun go off.

(joins other in staring at the gun)

James: Now, in the play - all around us - a lot is happening, and the gun is still "there" in the sense that we all know it exists; we saw it in the first act. You may or may not be able to physically see the gun during the second act, but, again, in the name of science, I've left the gun visible for ease of tracking and to keep it fresh in our minds.

(stares at gun again)

James: Nothing's happening right now, of course, but we expect that - it's only the second act which falls outside the realm of our adage. Second acts are for development of the story, the tension and the gun is just the dangerous other.

(stares again)

James: Now, it could go off, of course, but that would be a different sort of adage... or only a two-act play. Either works. Actually, a lot of plays, jeez, almost all of them nowadays, only have two acts... (thinking, come to a realization) So, that would mean that... if you show a gun in the first act it has to (snaps head to stare very closely at the gun, very rapid movement, music punctuates this move, some sort of final crescendo phrase)

(Nothing happens)

James: (straightening himself out a bit) Ah...ahhemm, yes, well, as I thought, this actually is a three act play. Nonetheless, it is imperative that we watch the gun to reinforce its centrality in our research. The second act has whispers of the gun throughout its path. Let's watch as they develop!

(all three stare intensely for a while)

James: Luckily, our second act is only forty minutes long, and we've already burned through five or six.

(all three stare at the gun with only small movements and reactions throughout as the lights fade for the next thirty-five minutes)


(Lights up on all three again)

James: (excited) Okay, this is it! The third act! Now, the gun could go off at any moment! We all know this, and it is such a thrill. Sometimes...

(dramatic, tense music swells, James snaps to stare at gun)

Whoa... thought that was it... there are often cues like that - music, light changes...

(fog rolls in, James again stares with great fervor)

Ahh... hmmm... got me again... dry ice, that's a good hint, but in this case they were just using it to build dramatic tension. Also a common device - the false build. Gets you keyed up; then you don't know when it might happen.

(they all stare, over the next ten minutes or so, music comes in and out, it swells dramatically, nothing happens, sometimes, the music is lighthearted and trilling, Charles, Nika and James look confused during those times, but they stay focused on the gun, eventually out of nowhere, the gun goes off, Charles, Nika and James are thrilled, hugging each other, adlibbing excitedly)

James: Yes! Success! Exactly as we all expected! Theater, good theater, is so reassuring that way. Well, thanks for watching, please bring yourself and your friends out to see our next theatrical experiment when we, for a six-week run, explore the old theatrical adage: Seven naked women does not a good plot make. Ticket prices for that production will be tripled for men.

(more excited exchanges with Charles and Nika as they exit)

(lights slowly fade to spot on the gun, then very slowly fade out on the gun, rising quickly to full intensity a couple times at random intervals, before finally completely fading out)


March 9, 2007

A Play A Day #330

Santa Forever


Setting: Living room, Dad lying on couch, reading newspaper.

(enter Sammy, in pyjamas, only five or six years old)

Sammy: Daddy?

Dad: Hmm?

S: What if Santa Claus died?

D: (not paying attention) Hmm?

S: What if Santa Claus died?

D: (still reading) Santa Claus can't die, Sammy.

S: Would Christmas be done?

D: Santa can't die.

S: What if he died?

D: (putting paper down, sighing) Santa can't die, Sammy.

S: What if Santa died though?

D: Santa will never die.

S: Grampa died; he looked like Santa.

D: Trust me, your grandfather was no Santa.

S: Santa looks like he's gonna die.

D: What?

S: He's old.

D: So...

S: He's fat.

D: Yeah, but...

S: He only works one day a year.

D: It's a long, long day.

S: His bad cholesterol must be through the roof.

D: Well, now... What? How did you know about that?

S: I read about it online.

D: Well, I happen to know that Santa's cholesterol is doing just fine!

S: HDL or LDL?

D: Ummm... both.

S: You're not a doctor.

D: No.

S: How'd you know about Santa's cholesterol levels?

D: Well... I...

S: Have you been violating federally-mandated health privacy regulations?

D: Sammy. That's a pretty big thing to accuse your father of.

S: Hey... if you're innocent, you're innocent.

D: Santa's very healthy; that's all.

S: Why's he so fat then?

D: Lots of fat people are perfectly healthy.

S: Not for as long as Santa's been around.

D: Sammy, these questions are...

S: His arteries must look like small intestines.

D: Okay, Sammy, this is all very interesting...

S: Daddy?

D: (annoyed) What?

S: Does Santa have life insurance?

D: How should I know?

S: Well, I'm worried.

D: I'm sure Mrs. Claus would be able to continue on with the business. Lots of elves helping and all that.

S: So... Santa can die!

D: What... no!

S: You lied!

D: Santa can't die; I was just saying that...

S: You said Mrs. Claus would have to carry on with the business. That means Santa's dead!

D: Sammy! I just meant Mrs. Claus could... if something weird happened... but nothing weird can happen to Santa because he's Santa, and Santa does not die, because Santa can't die because Santa is Santa, and it's just not possible for Santa to die!!

(long pause)

S: Your reasoning is sound. (pause) But why does he have life insurance then?

D: He's fiscally responsible!

S: I sure hope Santa has life insurance.

D: Well, it's nice of you to care for Mrs. Claus and the elves like that.

S: Oh, no, it's not about the elves or the old lady; it's about more Christmas loot for years to come. Life insurance would cover that right?

D: I don't know... sure! Yeah, sure. It'd cover that!

S: Like, we wouldn't have to live up to Santa's goodness standards, at all, cause he wouldn't be around to make a list, or to check it twice? Right? Right?

D: Sammy...

S: The life insurance clauses would just pay off for all the boys and girls regardless, in perpetuity?

D: (laying down again, going back to his newspaper) Yeah, yeah... whatever!

S: Great! (starts exiting, turns back) Oh, Dad?

D: What!!?

S: Me and Cindy and Doug found the duct tape, but we don't know where you keep the chloroform.

(lights fade)


March 8, 2007

A Play A Day #329

Limited Likability Partnership


Setting: Two chairs, facing each other, Tabitha sits in one, Felicia in the other.

(Lights up)

Tabitha: I'm so glad you could make it.

Felicia: Of course, you sounded serious, so I...

T: It is pretty serious.

F: Ohh... Tabitha. What? What's going on?

T: Well, this isn't fun for me to say...

F: Say it, say it. Sometimes you have to charge right through things, even if they're unpleasant to think about; even if you don't really...

T: (interrupting) I can't be your friend any more.

F: See, that wa... what?

T: We're done.

F: Huh?

T: Through.

F: But...

T: Over.

F: What... what? Did... did I do something wrong?

T: Nothing at all.

F: But... then... uhhh...

T: We just have to be done being friends, that's all.

F: But... but... Tabitha? Are you alright?

T: (lighthearted, maybe a little laugh) Oh, this isn't about me; don't worry about that.

F: But, why else would...

T: Really, I'm fine.

F: I'm worried about you, this just doesn't seem like you.

T: Again, I feel great. It's nice of you to care; especially considering we're not even friends any more.

F: But, what did I do?

T: Nothing. You're fine. Don't take this personally.

F: You're breaking off our friendship and asking me not to take it personally?

T: I'm not breaking off the friendship.

F: What? Yes, you are!

T: Well, yes, I am telling you that we are no longer friends, but really it's just standard operating procedure.

F: Standard... operating...

T: (picking up a thick clipboard and consulting the top sheet) Four years. (holds it out for Felicity) See.

F: (reading) "...for a period of time not to exceed four calendar years from the moment of friendship creation..." What is this?

T: Just the manual.

F: The manual?

T: The Friendship Manual.

F: What's that?

T: Lays out all the ground rules and policies for friendship with me.

F: Policies?

T: Yep. And number three stipulates friendship terms last only four years.

F: Four years? Tabitha...

T: Your term's up.

F: But, surely, you can't follow this nonsense.

T: (laughing somewhat) I'd better follow it! I wrote the darn thing!

F: (starting to break down) You've been like a sister... we've grown so close, and...

T: Yeah, it's got a sistership clause and specific guidelines detailing levels of emotional intimacy on a week-by-week basis.

F: Are you joking?

T: Ohh, no... I would never joke about anything so precious as friendship.

F: But, you...

T: That's why I went through all the trouble to draw up a full manual with very specific instructions and procedures: I didn't want friendship to just be a series of whacky accidents and happenstance developments. What respect would that show the great institution of friendship?

F: Tabitha... I love you! You're my best friend!

T: (consulting back page of clipboard, stage whisper to Felicity) Sorry... just let me check how to handle these ending moments... doo doo doo, ahh! Here it is. "I love you too, name." Whoopsie! I mean, (switching to full earnestness) I love you too, Felicity.

F: You don't understand! You've carved yourself into my soul!

T: That's so sweet, but...

F: No! No! You can't do this! You can't! You just can't!

T: Again, it's not me. It's the rules. Try not to take it so personally.

F: I will always be your friend! I will! You can't just abandon me like this!

T: I will always like you. Just won't be able to be your friend.

F: You're too valuable to me, too valuable!

T: That's why I kept the terms to four years. I realized early in life that I'm too valuable a friend to have friends.

F: You... you're sick... you need help.

T: Well, maybe my next friend will be a psychologist.

F: This is unbelievable.

T: Yes. Frankly, I'm amazed that you're still here.

F: What?

T: Well, you're welcome to stay, but I'm going out in a few minutes. Got to get started on a new friend!

F: While I'm still here?!

T: Your choice, of course, but, I have to admit, it is getting pretty awkward talking about intimate things like friendship with you.

F: Don't treat me like this.

T: Sorry, I don't have a choice. (turning and exiting) You can show yourself out, I trust?

F: (calling after her) Four more years? Four more years? Four...?

(lights fade)