Short Play: “Getting Back in the Game”

Getting Back in the Game tells of a man asking his ex-wife over for tips on getting back into the dating scene. At least, that’s what he told her.

This is a 2-character comedy for actors ~60 years old with a 20-minute run time. Copyright 2015.

CAST

RICHIE: 61, but young-looking and a few pounds overweight. He’s retired.

RENEE: 60, attractive, fit and also retired.

Place: Richie’s apartment

Time: 2015

1.

(Lights up on a living room. There’s a sofa, an armchair, a couple of end tables, shelving with a few books and a CD player. Two big floor pillows. There’s a 1970’s era tapestry hanging on a wall.

RICHIE plays some popular music from the ’60s or ’70s. He checks his hair in the face of his cell phone [anything but a mirror].  He plumps the floor pillows, lights some incense and other last-minute touchups.

There is a knock on the door. RICHIE primps one last time, walks to the door and opens it.)

RICHIE: Hey.

(Richie walks to the sofa and sits.)

RENEE: Really?

RICHIE: What?

RENEE: You don’t know?

 (RICHIE walks to the door.)

RICHIE: (waving his arm)  Have a seat. Come on.

 (RENEE enters and stands at the door. RICHIE walks back to the sofa and sits.)

RENEE: I’m wearing a coat.

RICHIE: Yeah, looks great on you. Is it new?

2.

RENEE: Dick.

RICHIE: I’m Richie now. Sounds younger, don’t you think?

RENEE: Oh, brother. Well, okay, Ri-chie, get over here and take my coat.

RICHIE: For her I would, but for you…it’s not like we don’t know each other.

RENEE: You’re wasting my time. Bye…Dick.

 (RENEE walks out the door.)

RICHIE: Come on, Renee, you’re not serious.

(RENEE closes the door.)

RICHIE: You are. (Loudly) Ok, ok, knock again. I’ll do the coat thing. (5- second wait) So, knock already.

(No knock. RICHIE hurries to the door and opens it.)

RICHIE: (talking down the hall)  Renee. Stop. Come back. Please.

RENEE: Last chance, buster. Let’s start over.

RICHIE: Ah, you do still love me.

RENEE: Still the jokester.

RICHIE: My best characteristic. So nice to see you, Renee. You look lovely. May I take your coat?

RENEE: Yes.

(RICHIE tosses it on a chair. RENEE reacts)

3.

RICHIE: Wanna drink? Beer? Shot of tequila?

RENEE: Wine?

RICHIE: Uh…

RENEE: Women like wine.

RICHIE: I don’t think this one does. She’s a little on the wild side.

RENEE: I’ll take a beer and then you can tell me about her.

(RICHIE takes a beer from a cooler on the floor next to the sofa and hands it to RENEE)

RENEE: A cooler?

RICHIE: Saves walking to the kitchen.

RENEE: Yeah, those ten feet could be fatal. And the can, classy.

RICHIE: Won’t break if dropped.

RENEE: You plan on getting that wasted?

RICHIE: No, of course not. But in the throes of passion, a flailing arm might…never mind.

RENEE: Why did you call me? I mean, you could have called a boatload of women. Why me?

4.

RICHIE: From what I’ve seen you’re pretty active in the dating arena.

RENEE: And you know that how?

RICHIE: Facebook.

RENEE: I unfriended you years ago.

RICHIE: Yeah, I know.

RENEE: So, you don’t know what I’ve been up to.

RICHIE: Not exactly true. I’m still friends with your sister and she gave me her password.

RENEE: I’ll kill the witch.

RICHIE: You should be honored that I chose you. I respect your expertise in all things love.

RENEE: So, tell me more about this lady who’ll launch you into the throes of passion.

RICHIE: It’s not important. This is supposed to be a practice date so I can sharpen my skills.

RENEE: I need to know so I can decide if you’re making the right decisions. I need to be her, Dick.

RICHIE: That’s my job. I know, bad joke. Listen, Renee, I called you because I want, need your help. In the ten years we’ve been divorced, I haven’t been on a single date. I might be a tad rusty and getting back in the game is scary, frankly. Damn scary. So, help me with technique, what to say and all that, but who I’m dating is my business. I don’t ask about your personal life.

5.

RENEE: You don’t ask about anything. The last time you called me was seven years ago. And that was to get my sister’s number so you could date her.

RICHIE: Explore the possibility only. I didn’t follow through.

RENEE: Only because the boyfriend you didn’t know she had threatened to kick your ass.

RICHIE: (throwing a couple of air punches) So not true. Anyway, maybe I didn’t call because I respected your privacy.

RENEE: I could’ve moved to Jamaica for all you knew.

RICHIE: No way. You hate the beach.

RENEE: Whatever, but the way I see it, you need me more than I need you, In fact, I’ve shown that I don’t need you at all. So, if you want my advice we play by my rules. Capiche?

RICHIE: Damn you. Ok.

RENEE: Wow, she must be something for you to give in so quickly. What is she, young or loaded?

RICHIE: Not rich.

RENEE: How young?

RICHIE: Young-ish.

RENEE: Forty?

6.

RICHIE: Someday.

RENEE: Thirty?

RICHIE: Age is just a number.

RENEE: Under thirty? Do you have a death wish?

RICHIE: What?

RENEE: Let’s see. Two heart attacks, a double bypass and a pacemaker. And that was before we divorced.

RICHIE: I’m aware of that, but I figure it means I’ve had a complete overhaul, and since I’ve been stress-free and dateless for ten years, I’m still as good as new. (beat)  Gonna help me or not?

RENEE: God knows you need it.

RICHIE: Coolio. Where should we start?

RENEE: How about your attire?

RICHIE: Groovy, right? A real American outfit. I’m trying to show her some of our culture. She hasn’t been here very long.

RENEE: Tie-dyed t-shirt, flares; along with the tapestry and incense, all you’re missing is a Grateful Dead album.

RICHIE: It’s the next CD.

7.

RENEE: What, no 8-track?

RICHIE: Well, actually, it is the next 8-track.

RENEE: She won’t have a clue what you’re trying to do.

RICHIE: I’ll explain it. Besides, I don’t have a clue about today’s music or art. And you know the ’70s was the best decade of the 20th Century in so many ways.

RENEE: That it was. We reaped all the benefits of the sexual revolution and no AIDS to worry about.

RICHIE: Ah, to go back, if only for a while. Whatya say we get comfortable?

RENEE: That’s not why I’m here.

RICHIE: I meant to sit down.

RENEE: Oh.

(RICHIE sits on a pillow on the floor. HE motions for RENEE to join him.)

RENEE: Will you be able to get up?

RICHIE: I’ll have you know I can lift myself up without grabbing on to anything.

RENEE: That I would love to see.

 (RICHIE tries to rise. Failing he tries again.)

RICHIE: Just a little out of practice. This time I’ll get it for sure.

 (One more fail. RENEE sits on a pillow.)

8.

RENEE: That’s  ok, gramps. I’ll help you up if you need it. (beat) This room makes me feel like 1974 all over again, except for my wrinkles, saggy boobs and arthritis.

RICHIE: Nonsense. You look great. You haven’t changed at all in ten years.

RENEE: That redeems you for throwing my coat on the chair. Remember the party we had the day we got back from winter break senior year?

RICHIE: Do I? Best impromptu party ever. Randy had brought a bottle of Seagram’s 7 back with him; I had a quart of Smirnoff. And within twenty minutes of calling you and Amy, our apartment was bursting at the seams.

RENEE: Amy got so drunk she spent half the party topless.

RICHIE: Randy was so mad. Every time he tried to put her shirt on, she threatened to take off her pants.

RENEE: She was very proud of her boobs.

RICHIE: I’ll bet today they’re somewhere south of her bellybutton.  She had 5 kids, right?

RENEE: Six. And she never wore a bra.

RICHIE: Thankfully, you never had to worry about that. Did I tell you how great you look?

 (RICHIE tries to put his arm around RENEE, but she pushes him back.)

RENEE: I’m here to help you move forward, not rekindle the past.

RICHIE: You’re right. Sorry.

 9.

(RICHIE takes another beer from the cooler.)

RENEE: Ahem.

 (RICHIE gives one to RENEE.)

RENEE: So, what did you cook? Chef Boyardee?

RICHIE: Something more Americana.

RENEE: Hot dogs?

RICHIE: I thought about them, but went with a real classic. TV dinners. Wanna guess dessert?

RENEE: Chocolate pudding?

RICHIE: Good guess, but I wanted to class it up a bit.

RENEE: Hmmm. Let me think a minute.  Ah, got it. Cheesecake.

RICHIE: (singingNobody doesn’t like Sara Lee. (speaking) Hope you’re hungry. I’ll go preheat the oven.

RENEE: Really, Dick, er, Richie, don’t go to any bother.

RICHIE: You don’t know what you’re missing. Ok, hang on.

(RICHIE exits and returns with a plate of Ritz crackers and Cheese Whiz.)

RICHIE: Appetizers. Nice touch, right?

RENEE: Do you really think this will impress your date? Does she have a name?

10.

RICHIE: Mai. M-A-I. It’s different, you have to admit that.

RENEE: Yes, Mai is not a common name.

RICHIE: I meant the food.

RENEE: True, but different isn’t always effective.

RICHIE: It’ll be fine. I’m sure of it.

RENEE: How do you know?

(RICHIE opens a small decorative box that sits on an end table and takes out a joint.)

RENEE: You’re kidding.

RICHIE: It’s what snagged you.

RENEE: Did not.

RICHIE: Liar, liar, pants on fire.

RENEE: Ok, yes, I was a big pothead, but it’s not why you “snagged me.”

RICHIE: No? What was it, then?

RENEE: Let’s stay on topic. You said she hasn’t been here long. You mean in Milwaukee?

RICHIE: Uh, right, new to town.

RENEE: Where’s she from?

11.

RICHIE: Out east.

RENEE: New England?

RICHIE: A little further east than that.

RENEE: Oh, lord, don’t tell me. Thailand?

RICHIE: No way. Cambodia.

RENEE: So, you’re one of them, now? You’ve really reached rock bottom, Richie.

RICHIE: Have not. First of all, I didn’t move to or vacation in Cambodia with the expressed reason of finding a young girlfriend or bride. Second, I may be old enough to do that, but not desperate enough. And third, I was looking for a volunteer opportunity, so I teach IT at the community center down the block. That’s where we met. Satisfied?

RENEE: Impressed, actually. You were always more hedonist than philanthropist.

RICHIE: People evolve.

RENEE: Sounds like it.

RICHIE: It’s a lot of fun. You should come with me. You could tutor high school kids in math.

RENEE: I’m really not in the market for a boyfriend, Richie, and I prefer them to be over eighteen.

RICHIE: How do you spend your time? (beat) If you don’t mind me asking.

RENEE: I keep busy. Relatively.

12.

RICHIE: Ooh, sounds exciting. I also deliver meals on wheels and read to residents of St. Ann’s. Some of them can’t see so good.

RENEE: Ok, who are you and where’s the real Dick?

RICHIE: I know. I ask that myself every so often. I’ve totally morphed into a caregiver.  When I retired a few years ago, I had no plan. Just wanted to enjoy myself. I was never a big traveler, as you know, and I think golf and fishing are boring, so I was hanging out at bars. Problem was, the happy hours were starting earlier and my waistline was creeping perilously close to forty. I knew I wouldn’t see seventy unless changes were made. That’s when I began volunteering. And working out.

RENEE: You look like a thirty-four.

RICHIE: Thanks, but it’s thirty-six. Don’t want to get too thin. Gotta give the ladies a little something to hold on to.

RENEE: Well, you definitely have a little something.

RICHIE: Are you talking about—ok, time for you to leave.

RENEE: You don’t know what I was talking about.

(RICHIE jumps up, pulls RENEE up, too, and pushes her towards the door.)

RENEE: What the hell are you doing, Dick?

RICHIE: Good-bye. Thanks for your advice. Have a good life.

RENEE: Are you—

 13.

(RICHIE forces RENEE out of the apartment and closes the door)

RENEE: (from the hall)  –serious?

(RENEE dials her cell phone. RICHIE’s phone rings.)

RICHIE: Hello?

RENEE: Open the door.

RICHIE: Apologize.

RENEE: For what?

RICHIE: For the shot you just gave me.

RENEE: That wasn’t a shot.

RICHIE: Definitely a shot.

RENEE: You want a shot? A real shot? I’ll give you a real shot.

RICHIE: You’re the queen of shots. No more shots. Just an apology.

RENEE: (Softly)  Oh, brother. The male ego. (normal voice) You were always more than I could handle, you porn dude.

RICHIE: A little sincerity would be nice.

RENEE: Take it or leave it.

14.

RICHIE: I’ll take it.

RENEE: Then open the damn door.

(RICHIE opens the door and RENEE enters.)

RENEE: You are such a baby. You may be emotionally younger than that child you want to date.

RICHIE: I simply have a sensitive nature.

RENEE: Do you think she’ll be able to put up with your quirky, overly sensitive nature?

RICHIE: In time.

RENEE: You’re no spring chicken.

(RICHIE sits on the floor and lights a joint.)

RICHIE: Join me? (beat) One for old-time’s sake?

RENEE: Let’s stay on topic. Do you have any more questions about your prom date?

RICHIE: This is really good stuff (shit, if allowed).

RENEE: I know what you’re up to.

RICHIE: You do.

RENEE: Yes, I do. You know what used to happen every time I got high.

RICHIE: I remember very clearly. (tapping the pillow next to him) So, have a seat, Rennie, and see if we can recreate some of that magic.

15.

RENEE: I’ll smoke, but no magic.

(RICHIE hands her the joint and she takes a hit. Then another. Richie uses the remote to find a 70’s song on the stereo. Something by “Yes.”

RICHIE: Better slow down. This ain’t 1975 weed.

RENEE: No lie. This is killer. Turkey.

RICHIE: What about it?

RENEE: Her TV dinner. With mashed potatoes, gravy and peas. And an apple turnover in the corner.

RICHIE: Bingo.

RENEE: And for Mister Meat-eater, Salisbury steak.

RICHIE: One hundred percent pure beef.

RENEE: And sawdust shavings. Do they even make Salisbury steak anymore?

RICHIE: I have no idea.

RENEE: That’s what I thought. I’ll bet there isn’t even a girl.

RICHIE: You think not?

RENEE: I not think. I mean, I think not.

16.

RICHIE: It’s possible.

 (They each hit the joint again.)

RENEE: Do you want to know?

RICHIE: Know what?

RENEE: How you snagged me?

RICHIE: You want to tell me after all these years?

RENEE: Yup. Chicken.

RICHIE: Chicken.

RENEE: Burnt chicken.

RICHIE: Oh my god. Really?

RENEE: You were cooking me dinner, but the music, the wine, the timing…

RICHIE: Our first time.

RENEE: And even when you smelled the chicken burning, you didn’t stop. I had a feeling then that we had something special going.

RICHIE: Magic.

 17.

(RENEE moves to the pillow and sits close to RICHIE. RICHIE clicks off the stereo and plays a song on his phone. It’s “Do you Believe [in Magic]?” by The Lovin’ Spoonful.)

RENEE: There’s no girl.

(They sing the song. Lights down.)

THE END

As always, these plays are royalty-free. Anyone interested in producing this or any other play on this blog, please contact me.

 

THE END

“The Demon Within” – A Revenge Play

This one-act play is totally different from any that I’ve ever written. It’s also one of the first plays I ever wrote (1994). It’s my favorite by far.

The man in the play is accompanied by four of his emotions: love, hate, lust and reason. I’ll leave it up to you to decide if he actually goes to his ex-girlfriend’s place or the play takes place entirely in his mind.

It may take 20 minutes to read this intense play, but you won’t regret it. Please share if you like it.

“The Demon Within” synopsis: Does a man visit the woman who broke his heart to win her back or does he have another motive?

CHARACTERS

WOMAN, 24, Hispanic

MAN, at least 30, white

HATE, male

LOVE, female

LUST, female

REASON, male

VANESSA

TIME: The present

PLACE: A large bedroom in a huge house on the outskirts of a city.

1

(Lights up on a beautiful WOMAN seated on a chair trying on scarves. There is also some make-up on the table. A skirt and silk blouse hang on a coat rack.  She is dressed in a short silk robe. MAN enters, but he is actually outside the house. He is followed by his FOUR EMOTIONS. Carrying a gym bag and a flashlight, he moves stealthily until he reaches a window. He looks in, unseen by WOMAN. As he moves away from the window he stumbles)

MAN: Shit.

(MAN exits. WOMAN walks to the window, but doesn’t see anything. MAN re-enters; now he’s in the room)

I love you.

LUST: Silk robe, no bra, and the finest nipples known to man.

MAN: And I want you back.

WOMAN: How’d you get in?

MAN: Door was unlocked.

WOMAN: That door is never—you need to go.

LUST: (drowning out WOMAN) Look at those fucking legs. My God!

MAN: I’m sorry. Did you say something?

WOMAN: I said you need to go.

2.

LOVE: I will not cry. I refuse to cry.

WOMAN: Is that really why you came out here?

MAN: And to celebrate.

WOMAN: It’s not your birthday, is it?

HATE: Twenty bucks says she forgot.

MAN: You don’t remember?

WOMAN: I haven’t laid eyes on you for, what, almost two months.

MAN: Fifty-seven days. (Beat) You look stunning. (Beat) When is it?

WOMAN: What?

MAN: My birthday.

WOMAN: March.

HATE: Pay up, peanut butter.

MAN: May. Gemini.

WOMAN: Got it. So, what are we celebrating?

3.

MAN: You look like you’re going somewhere.

(WOMAN applies powder, teasing MAN, revealing a breast for a second)

I heard you—

LUST: Fuck, I knew it. My shit’s getting’ hard.

WOMAN: I’m what?

LOVE: One night of passion, that’s all it’ll take.

MAN: Uh, that you’re moving to St. Louis.

REASON: (fanning LUST) Quick, talk about the weather.

MAN: Where are you going?

WOMAN: St. Louis.

MAN: I meant tonight.

WOMAN: Out with friends.

LOVE: We’d have such beautiful children.

MAN: No date?

WOMAN: No.

HATE: Double or nothing says she does.

4.

MAN: That’s great. I’ll be your escort.

WOMAN: Uh…

HATE: Do I know this bitch or not?

MAN: Why not?

WOMAN: I really need to get ready.

REASON: You’re losing her.

MAN: Can’t you be fashionably late? I mean, I came all the way out here.

WOMAN: All right, one quick drink.

LOVE: Back on track, now stay focused.

WOMAN: There’s some beer in the fridge.

MAN: Not for my girl.

(MAN takes wine from bag, already uncorked, two cups and pours the wine)

It’s not very expensive, but it’s the thought that counts, right?

LOVE: We’ll have a boy and a girl. The boy first.

LUST: She’s been hitting the gym, cuz that ass looks tighter than ever.

REASON: Keep it on a leash. You’ve been here before.

5.

(WOMAN is clearly disappointed)

MAN: I thought crystal might break.

WOMAN: Always the planner.

LOVE: They’ll be a gorgeous shade of light brown. Maybe cinnamon.

MAN: You look better than ever.

WOMAN: So do you. Working out?

HATE: Why, was I fat?

MAN: Not eating a lot. A toast.

WOMAN: To what?

LOVE: You and me forever.

MAN: Seeing you again. Or your future. You name it.

WOMAN: How did you know where–

MAN: To find you?

WOMAN: Yeah, who told–

MAN: Me where you lived?

6.

WOMAN: Old habits are hard to break.

REASON: Let her finish her thought, asshole.

MAN: Sorry.  It’s just that I’m a little nervous.  Refill?

LUST: Don’t ask. Pour.

(MAN refills glasses)

WOMAN: I really have to go.

MAN: Heard you got a job. That’s why you’re moving.

WOMAN: It’s a good starting point. I’ll be doing-

HATE: (Over her line) The whole fuckin’ city.

WOMAN: The morning news. The hours suck, but I don’t plan on doing it long.

MAN: It’s a foot in the door.

WOMAN: I figure after a year or so there I’ll move to a larger market. I’d love to move west. I always wanted to learn to ski. (beat) So, what’s up with you?

LUST: My dick. Now, get naked.

MAN: Nothing much. Still proof reading at the law firm. But, I just got—

REASON: Don’t go there.

7.

HATE: Go on, tease the bitch.

WOMAN: You just what?

MAN: I just got . . .

LUST: Tell her. You came to get laid, didn’t you?

LOVE: You came to reclaim.

MAN: . . . got to wondering why you quit returning my calls?

WOMAN: Things got crazy. Graduation, finding a job, finishing that silly student film.

MAN: No social life?

WOMAN: None. A seven-minute film took the whole damned semester. Things got so bad I couldn’t eat. I was so sick, but I finished it somehow.

REASON: That’s not necessarily a lie.

HATE: Yeah, like the pope’s not necessarily a virgin.

MAN: So, it had nothing to do with me?

WOMAN: Why would you say that?

LUST: Because I love you, can’t you see that?

8.

MAN: You stopped coming into the bar.

WOMAN: I just told you…

LOVE: Don’t give up now.  You can taste those lips.

WOMAN: Maybe I’ll stop in before I leave.

MAN: That would be nice.

HATE: Come on, man, she ain’t gonna be around forever. Get what you came for.

MAN: The other day a couple of guys from the Toyota dealership stopped in and told me about their service manager. Seems he has this great scam going.  There’s a woman—and I’m sure she’s not the only one—she had a real lemon.  One day she needed an oil change, but didn’t have the money. Was there anything he could do for her? He asked her did she have any credit cards. She said no. Then . . .

LUST: Be gentle.

HATE: Fuck gentle. The bitch.

MAN: Then the manager figures, what the hell, I’ll give it a try. You know what he said? He said for a blow job, the bill was paid. Can you believe that?

WOMAN: He sounds like a pig.

MAN: Maybe so, but she agreed. Unbelievable, right? She said yes.

WOMAN: They wish.

9.

MAN: Wait, it gets better. One day her car won’t start. Now, you know a (hummer) isn’t payment for a new engine. ‘Course she’s got no money, no credit.  Well, you figure out what she did.

WOMAN: Who’s telling these tales? Marvin?

MAN: She drives a white Corolla with a black interior.

WOMAN: If this is your way of getting back at me . . . for us . . .

HATE: Slut, whore, bitch. Dick-sucking whore, cunt.

REASON: Come back tomorrow, you’re losing control.

(HATE pushes REASON to the floor. REASON moves to a corner)

MAN: (Calmly) Why’d you do it?

WOMAN: You’re dealing in fiction. It’s time you leave.

MAN: I’m not ready to go.

WOMAN: Don’t make me call the police.

MAN: Isn’t that a little dramatic?

(WOMAN grabs her cell phone.  MAN pulls a gun from the bag)

REASON: Be cool. You wouldn’t last a week in prison.

10.

MAN: Toss it here. I said, toss it here. Thank you. Now, I didn’t come over here to hurt you.

WOMAN: (seductively) Of course, you didn’t. Everyone knows you’re just a big old pussycat. And we both know you’re way too smart to be lured in by a bunch of jealous old fools, right?

LUST: She’s right. A couple of those guys were jealous.

HATE: ‘Specially Marvin.

LUST: Ugliest man in North America.

HATE: NASA could use that face for crater research.

WOMAN: You don’t really believe them, do you? You have the softest skin. And the biggest brown eyes.

LUST: Kiss her, you fool!

LOVE: My god, she’s so beautiful.

(WOMAN puts MAN’s hand on her breast)

REASON: That’s not fair.

LUST: Who cares?

(LUST and REASON emulate having sex)

11.

WOMAN: You don’t believe them, do you?

LUST: What are you, an idiot? Touch the other one.

(MAN takes his hand away)

WOMAN: Don’t you like that?

MAN: She has a rose tattoo on her left thigh.

LOVE: Why? Why do I need to know? Just forgive her.

(LOVE separates LUST and REASON)

LUST: Yo, man.  (I was at T minus three.)

MAN: Say, “It was me.”

WOMAN: It wasn’t me.

REASON: Am I buying that?

LOVE: It could be true.

MAN: It’s on video tape.

WOMAN: Bullshit.

REASON: She sounds scared.

12.

HATE: They’d love to watch it with you.

MAN: I can call them. They’d love to meet the star of the show.

LOVE: Are you really enjoying this?

HATE: She blows mechanics for oil changes. You bet your ass I am.

WOMAN: You’re not listening.

LOVE: I’m not listening?!!

LUST: I’ve never seen the video.

REASON: And I don’t want to, either.

(HATE knocks REASON to the floor. REASON stumbles off stage)

WOMAN: There is no tape.

LUST: Those tits are perfect. And they’re fucking real.

MAN: Sleep with me and I’ll forget everything.

WOMAN: Sexual blackmail, like any other kind, never ends.

MAN: You’re leaving town the day after tomorrow.

LUST: She never was the quickest thinker.

13.

WOMAN: Believe what you want, but I’m not a slut.

MAN: How many others were there?

LOVE: Pain. Why do I love the pain?

MAN: How many?

WOMAN: None.

MAN: You’re lying. I have proof.

WOMAN: Let go of me. What’s gotten in to you?

HATE: Do it. Give her what for.

(MAN hits her with the gun. She falls)

Come on, man.  Once more breaks her neck.

LOVE: I love you. Can’t you see that?

HATE: She fucked you only four times in six months. She’s done the meter reader more than that.

MAN: Answer me.  How many?

WOMAN: None.

(MAN ties her arms to the chair with scarves. HE fixes her hair)

LOVE: Why inflict your pain on her?

14.

MAN: Why did you make me hurt you? I’ve never hit—Nobody.

WOMAN: Is this how you get your rocks off?

(A door closes)

MAN: What’s that?

WOMAN: Untie me.

MAN: Who’s here?

WOMAN: I can handle this. Untie me. Quick.

LUST: Damn, those titties…face it, she’s the finest I’ve ever had.

(MAN unties her)

MAN: Whoever it is has a key.

WOMAN: You. Under there.

(MAN scurries under the table)

LUST: If it’s a chick, ménage à trois?

(WOMAN tosses his bag under the table)

MAN: Ouch.

WOMAN: Shut up.

15.

(VANESSA enters, dressed elegant sexy. MAN peeks out from behind the cloth)

VANESSA: Hey there, sugar.

LUST: Bingo!

VANESSA: Dressed to stay in, are we?

WOMAN: No, I want to go out.

VANESSA: (seeing two glasses) Company?

WOMAN: Just you. I’m almost ready.

VANESSA: I disagree. I’d say you’re completely ready.

HATE: A fucking dyke.

(VANESSA kisses WOMAN who turns her head. The kiss lands on her cheek)

LOVE: Thank god.

(REASON enters wearing a head bandage)

VANESSA: What’s wrong?

WOMAN: You don’t want to be late for the exhibition do you?

16.

(VANESSA pulls WOMAN’s robe open)

VANESSA: Venus with arms.

WOMAN: Aren’t you supposed to open the exhibit?

VANESSA: I just did.

LUST: That was fucking great. “I just did.” File that bad boy.

(VANESSA kisses WOMAN’s body; WOMAN gently pushes her away)

REASON: See, she’s straight.

HATE: Might be an act.

VANESSA: Something’s wrong.

WOMAN: No, really.

VANESSA: You know the deal. The house is yours, and you’re my toy.

WOMAN: Nothing’s wrong. I’ve been cooped up all day, that’s all.

LUST: I’ve never seen lesbians live.

(VANESSA tries once more)

WOMAN: Stop. Please. Vanessa, please.

17.

(MAN appears.  He points the gun at VANESSA)

VANESSA: Who the fuck are you?

MAN: She said please. That’s better. (To WOMAN) Nobody’s this desperate.  (To VANESSA) Now, who the hell are you?

LOVE: She’s not very pretty.

LUST: Not bad for an older broad, though.

VANESSA: No, who are you? This is my house.

HATE: You’re asking for it.

WOMAN: He’s my—

MAN: Fiancee’.

VANESSA: Fiancee’?  You must be the chump.

MAN: Chump?!

WOMAN: I was kidding. I call all men chumps.

VANESSA: You were serious as a heart attack.

(MAN shoots gun at ceiling)

What the hell do you think you’re doing?

18.

MAN: Okay, now this is the deal. As soon as I get some answers, I’m outa here and you guys can munch on each other ‘til dawn. So, whatya do Vanessa, besides fuck sweet cheeks?

WOMAN: You don’t have to—

MAN: What do you do, Vanessa?

VANESSA: Stockbroker.

MAN: Now I know why they call it a bull market. (beat) How do you know angel face?

LUST: Because she belongs to me.

VANESSA: I know her boss.

MAN: Her new boss?

VANESSA: Yes.

WOMAN: (To VANESSA) You’ve told him enough. (To MAN) You got your answers.

HATE: My god, what do you see in her?

MAN: Just a couple more.

WOMAN: No.

REASON: Why do these people think they can have her? She doesn’t want them.

19.

HATE: Mention her fuckin’ family. Double or nothing she’s got an old man.

MAN: I’m sure your family would love to learn about this.

WOMAN: She’s got no family.

VANESSA: What is it you want to know?

HATE: I can’t lose.

MAN: Well, now, that’s better.  We could be friends, Vanessa, you and me.  What’s your husband do?

VANESSA: He’s owns TV stations.

MAN: He know he’s your pimp, too?

REASON: Maybe you’ve put them through enough.

(HATE hits REASON. REASON exits, crawling. MAN lights a smoke)

HATE: Get the dyke to blow you.

LUST: Just don’t come too soon. Think about hanging wallpaper or something.

LUST & HATE: Do it. Do it. Do it.

(MAN unzips his pants)

MAN: She ever go down on you, V?

20.

VANESSA: That’s none of your business.

(MAN points gun at VANESSA)

Yes, okay, yes.

MAN: Not me. Never. Not even a lick. You wanna know why? I thought about this for a very long time. Agonized, really. I mean, what guy wants to admit his girl won’t suck him off? First, I thought maybe it was because of religious reasons.  Then, I started feeling insecure, like maybe my dick wasn’t big enough. But, I know it’s okay. Then I started hearing stories. All of her men had one thing in common. Money. So that was it, plain and simple. I just wasn’t rich enough.

WOMAN: That’s a damn lie.

LOVE: This is good. Explain. It’s therapeutic.

HATE: Don’t lose control.

LOVE: Talk. Listen.

MAN: Let’s talk. Can we do that? I mean, we got something in common, don’t we? Your old man ain’t giving you what you want either, right?

VANESSA: Yeah, yeah, sure, whatever.

MAN: Good. That’s good. Tell me, you blow Mister TV?

VANESSA: There’s no need to be vulgar.

MAN: You find the act disgusting.

VANESSA: It’s not my favorite.

21.

MAN: Well, he’s getting’ it somewhere. Bet on it. (beat) You fuck—I’m sorry. Do you make love to him?

VANESSA: Occasionally.

MAN: That’s nice.  He know about your excursions to Sappho City?

VANESSA: No.

MAN: Whatya think he’d do if he knew?

VANESSA: I, I wouldn’t want him to know.

MAN: No, I don’t imagine you would.

VANESSA: I love my husband.

MAN: I ain’t sayin’ shit to him, but we gotta have a little pact here, you and me.  We never met. We weren’t even here, were we? I must be getting old, I didn’t hear what you said.

VANESSA: You live your life, I live mine.

LOVE: She’s a ball-buster. I like that.

MAN: Pour Vanessa some wine. Never mind, I’ll get it.

HATE: Find out who else she’s been fuckin’.

LUST: And what they’ve been doing.

22.

LOVE: Knowing may be too painful.

HATE: I don’t need to know anything but who. That’s all.

LUST: Learning what she likes helps win her back.

LOVE: Talk it out. Work it out.

MAN: She actually thought I was rich. I think it’s because of the law firm.  Assumed I was a lawyer. But, I’m not. I’m a lowly proofreader. Shit, they got lawyers at that firm make more an hour than I do in a week. I mean, I have a nice apartment, but rich? I wish. And that hurt me, cuz I loved her. I truly did. I thought to myself, here’s a woman who doesn’t care that I don’t have a lot of money.  What a fuckin’ joke, huh?

WOMAN: Where’d you get this fiction? You want the real lowdown on why we don’t date anymore?

MAN: (Turns abruptly) Because you’ve been lying so long, you can’t tell when you’re not.

(WOMAN holds her finger in a limp fashion)

HATE: You can’t let her do you like that. Control, man. Don’t let her take it.

MAN: If I couldn’t get it up, it’s because you’re a walking igloo. Wanna hear something funny? She blew her mechanic, but not me. Consideration and passion just don’t cut it, I guess. You know about that, V? About her fuckin’ the service guy at the garage?

VANESSA: I don’t ask questions.

23.

MAN: Yeah, so even all your benevolence can’t keep her in the corral. Ain’t that a bitch?

(REASON enters, this time with a crutch)

So who else? Besides us and the grease monkey.

REASON: Are you sure you want to know that?

LUST: Remember Sally Carlson from college? That girl could suck the rust off a tail pipe.

REASON: Focus.

VANESSA: I don’t know.

(MAN pulls a knife from bag.  HE traces a line on WOMAN’s arm)

MAN: You sleep with her so she tells you things.

VANESSA: (looking at WOMAN first) A couple of professors, but not for grades. She didn’t need to do it for that.

MAN: There’s more. There’s the high school math teacher.

WOMAN: Who told you? Nobody knows that.

MAN: Sex with the teacher or flunk math. Flunk math, no diploma. (To VANESSA) Your turn, V.

VANESSA: Bill Simpson.

24.

MAN: My boss? (To WOMAN) You met him once. For two minutes. Damn.

LUST: How much more do you need to hear? Don’t be a stupid martyr.

LOVE: Spare yourself the pain. Stop now.

REASON: I told you you didn’t want to know.

MAN: Know what, lady? We’re both suckers; that’s a given. But there’s some small pleasure in knowing she stinks at all this. I mean, if she were good, she’d have found one guy and stuck with him, right? Ask yourself, why did she need so many? Probably cuz they dumped her after the first time. For such a great body, she’s not an all-star in the sack. (beat) Okay, one last thing, and we’re done. I wanna see a show.

WOMAN: You’re sick.

(MAN puts knife to WOMAN’s neck)

MAN: Now.

VANESSA: This game is over.

MAN: Say what?

VANESSA: You heard me.

LOVE: She’s really got balls. I could love this woman.

REASON: She’s sharp, too. She knows you’re all talk.

25.

VANESSA: Get dressed.

MAN: Stop. Both of you.

VANESSA: And you get the hell out, cuz this show’s over. Pack your bag, go home and jack off ‘til your heart’s content. Mister Big Balls. Ha!

MAN: You’re right. I just wanted to come over and win my girl back. And I’m leaving, but before I go, could I ask a favor of you? Can I just have ten more minutes with her? Alone? You know I won’t hurt her. I just want ten minutes before she’s out of my life forever. I promise. Please?

(WOMAN nods that it’ll be okay)

VANESSA: I’ll be outside.

MAN: Can she meet you at the gallery?

VANESSA: I’m not stupid.

WOMAN: Go on.  I’ll be okay.

VANESSA: Give me the weapons.

(MAN hesitates, but hands them to VANESSA. SHE exits)

WOMAN: That was quite a show.

26.

MAN: Believe it or not, I know exactly what I’m doing.

ties WOMAN to chair again)

you allow me to be philosophical for a second? Thank you. Have you ever been possessed with a feeling for someone, one so strong, that no matter what you did, it wouldn’t go away? Of course you have. We all have. After a while it transforms into our own personal demon. (Beat) And guess what? You’re mine.  My own personal Satan. That’s no surprise, is it? For the past two months, I’ve tried to forget about you, but I couldn’t. You still haunt me, terrorize me-you’re in my mind day and night. It’s gotten so I can’t eat or sleep or have sex with someone else. So, I decided to come over here and confront it. To purge it. I had no choice but to cleanse myself of the demon within me.

WOMAN: That was good a good speech. So, what next?

MAN: I’m not sure. I’m still a little confused.

HATE: A little? She’s a no good whore. Case closed.

LOVE: Tell her how you feel. Ask why she lied.

HATE: Because she’s a cheap slut, that’s why.

REASON: I wouldn’t say cheap, based on this place.

MAN: Why do you do this? Didn’t I offer enough?

LOVE: Slow down.

LUST: Get her on your side. You may score yet.

WOMAN: Pretty simple, isn’t it?

MAN: There are other ways to survive.

HATE: Not for whores.

27.

LOVE: Maybe she’s not one.

WOMAN: How?

MAN: I don’t know. Get a roommate.

WOMAN: I can’t live with anybody.

(During MAN’s speech, LUST and REASON make like they’re walking down the aisle, humming the wedding march)

MAN: I wanted to take care of you. Forever. I had it all planned. I’d work and support you, let you pursue any career you desired. We’d have been just fine.  Not filthy rich, but fine.

LOVE: Find out why she does it. No, don’t.

HATE: She’ll just lie again.

MAN: I would have done anything for you, but you never shared with me.

WOMAN: Untie me, please? You couldn’t help. You didn’t have what I needed.

HATE: Fucking bitch.

LOVE: Ask why. You have to ask why.

MAN: It’s got to be more than money.

28.

WOMAN: Money is there. You can see it. Touch it. Spend it. Without it, you’re nothing.

MAN: You’re wrong. Two people helping each other reach their dreams, that’s what matters.

You’re too old to be that idealistic.

And you’re too young not to be.

WOMAN: What do you want from me?

MAN: I want the truth. No more lies.

WOMAN: Is telling you gonna solve anything? Whatever, I really don’t care.

HATE: See? She wants to die.

LOVE: No, she’s crying for help.

WOMAN: (Unemotionally) My mother had me at sixteen. She lived in Chicago and worked at this restaurant where the baseball players hung out. She looked older, so these guys hit on her all the time. One night, the offer was too good to pass up. All I know about my father is he played for the Giants. A catcher, I think.  The second string catcher, at that. You think a looker like her could’ve at least done it with someone who played a lot.

HATE: You believe that shit?

LUST: Keep her going. Women love listeners.

MAN: More?

29.

WOMAN: (More emotion) Then my sweetheart of a mother tossed me into foster homes until I was thirteen, when my aunt got stuck with me. I’d learned a lot by then, so I didn’t really need her. The most vivid memory I have of my mother happened when I was seven. She was coming to see me and I was so excited because I’d never seen her before. My foster mother bought me a new dress and fixed my hair real nice. We took a picture. I still have it. I was so happy and pretty. When she finally came, she threw me into the car-not even a hug-and took me to McDonalds. I asked her where we were going to live. She told me she lived in Milwaukee and I was going back . . . not with her, but to the foster home.  I haven’t seen her since. My own mother abandoned me twice.

MAN: You aunt must’ve loved you.

WOMAN: Maybe, but like I said, I didn’t need anyone by then.

MAN: It’s not too late for us.

WOMAN: Don’t even think about it. You’re too nice for someone like me.

(MAN caresses WOMAN’s skin from head to toe.  LUST masturbates)

LUST: That skin, that silky smooth skin.

(WOMAN moans occasionally, but is totally detached. MAN doesn’t see this)

I’ve missed this so much. Please don’t leave me again. I need you. All of you.

(MAN licks WOMAN’s foot. HE is in a position of adoration. As MAN kisses his way up her leg, he discovers her disinterest)

MAN: What are you doing?

WOMAN: (caught, trying to be sincere) Oooh, baby, don’t stop.

30.

HATE: (over WOMAN’s line) You fucking cunt.

MAN: You, you—

WOMAN: It’s not what you think. Keep doing it. It felt good.

MAN: God, what a fool I’ve been.

WOMAN: That’s not true.

LOVE: You need me, I just know it.

LUST: What a waste of a body.

(MAN puts his hands around her neck)

HATE: Atta boy, slow and painful.

LUST: You want her bad. You know you do.

WOMAN: What are you-you’re crazy, you know that? Fuckin’ crazy.

(HATE and LUST arm wrestle. When HATE has the advantage, MAN has his hands around WOMAN’s neck. When LUST is winning, his hand is down her robe. Slow, haunting music plays)

WOMAN: You wanna fuck me, is that it?  You’re crazy.  Totally crazy.

MAN: I can save you.

31.

WOMAN: Don’t play God.

MAN: I’m the only person who’s ever really loved you.

WOMAN: You don’t know what love is anymore than I do. You didn’t love me.  You loved how you looked with me. So enlightened, so Mister Diversity.

MAN: I can save you. I know I can.

WOMAN: Untie me. We’ll have the best sex you ever had.

(REASON hobbles over to break up the match. MAN stops and collapses to the floor, mentally exhausted. HATE hits REASON, who is now unconscious)

LOVE: Take her somewhere.  Help her.

MAN: I lived for you.

WOMAN: I didn’t do anything to make you feel that way.

MAN: You didn’t have to. Real people don’t need prompting. I used to watch you in the bar, never saying a word. But, then I made the leap, and we had the best conversations, remember? Nothing was out-of-bounds. Sex, race, our dreams for a better world.

WOMAN: I talk to lots of people.

MAN: We were different. We connected on a different plane.

WOMAN: You were easy to talk to.

32.

MAN: And you were sweet and friendly, and funny. Now, now I see it was all part of the game. In the beginning, you were always there; for the walks, the picnics, the concerts. Then nothing. Just like that. But, it was too late, babe. I was in too deep. No, you didn’t make me feel that way. You didn’t have to.

WOMAN: It might not be too late. I have a job now. We were good once. We can be again.

MAN: It wouldn’t last for long.

WOMAN: But, it was good. You just said so.

LUST: Maybe she’s on the level this time.

HATE: You’re losing control.  Don’t be a fool.

LUST: Give her what she wants.  It’s all about sex.

LOVE: Remember your feelings. You need her.

(LOVE, HATE and LUST continue with the previous three statements until the MAN screams and bangs his head on the floor)

MAN: Stop it. Stop it. All of you. Just stop it.

WOMAN: What’s wrong? Are you okay?

MAN: You, me, everything. That’s what’s wrong. I love you and you don’t care.  Even if you wanted to, you couldn’t. Even when you thought I had money, I wasn’t enough for me. You had sex with a mechanic. Where’s the fuckin’ rationale in that? And you wanna know what’s wrong?

33.

WOMAN: Is that all you want? Come here, I’ll do whatever you want.

LUST: Oh, man what are you waiting for? You’re hard as a rock.

(MAN takes a container and a 2nd gun from the bag)

LOVE: If Mohammed won’t come to the mountain.

HATE: She never appreciated anything I did for her.

WOMAN: What’s that?

MAN: My seed.

WOMAN: You really are sick.

HATE: You ought to know.

MAN: I’ve saved it-froze it-every day for fifty-seven days. Froze it and brought it here.

WOMAN: I told you, we can do it now.

MAN: You must experience this. It’s the one part of me you don’t know.

WOMAN: Oh shit. I’m sorry. I really am. I never wanted to hurt you. I just never knew how to let you down easy. I thought if I didn’t put out, you’d leave. Everything I’ve ever done has been out of desperation. Then when I finally set a goal for myself, no one was there to help me. You don’t know what it’s like to need someone and no one’s there.

34.

MAN: Oh, but I do.

WOMAN: No, you don’t. You have a family. You don’t know a damn thing about being unwanted.

MAN: I loved you.

WOMAN: You loved an image. If it weren’t me it would have been the next flavor of the week.

MAN: Why is it we never see things for what they truly are until it’s too late?  Everything about you fits like a fucking puzzle. Everybody was fair game. How could I miss it?

LOVE: Love blinds you, that’s why.

LUST: And sex.

MAN: Maybe I was stupid. How else could I miss it? You in this house, spending a thousand dollars on a class film; driving a new car. And I know you can’t get any more student loans. You told me that yourself. There were other things, too.  Instead of saying you didn’t want to sleep with me you tell me you get two periods a month. And I fucking bought it. God, I was stupid. You’d die if you bled that much. And you say you studied seven days a week till two a.m.? An idiot, that’s me. A first class idiot.

HATE: Go on, man. The ultimate humiliation.

(MAN opens container, dips his thumb in it, and makes the sign of the cross on her forehead. HE pours the liquid over her face like a baptism)

35.

WOMAN: You fucker. You’re no better than I am. At least my goal isn’t revenge.  I don’t wallow in pity. At least I have a reason for what I do.

LOVE: It’s not too late. You can still redeem yourself.

HATE: She deserves every bit of this.

LOVE: It’s not too late. It’s never too late

(HATE knocks LOVE to the ground)

HATE: This is it, man, the home stretch. This is one race you’ll win, by god.

LUST: You still want her. You know you do.

WOMAN: Go on, kill me, you loser motherfucker. You’ll meet me again. Women like me are everywhere. And you’re always ready to play the savior.

MAN: You joined me for Christmas, just to see if my family had any money.

WOMAN: That’s a lie. Who told you?

MAN: Your aunt sent you money last year.

WOMAN: To pay my rent.

MAN: To visit your mother in the hospital. You didn’t go, but kept the cash.

HATE: You must have a heart made of marble, lady.

36.

WOMAN: She never cared for me or helped me. Who told you all this, anyway?

(REASON tries to get up, but passes out)

Just tell me what you want from me!

MAN: Does it matter?

WOMAN: Yes, yes it does. Tell me.

MAN: Love. One hundred percent unconditional love.

WOMAN: Okay.

MAN: Liar! You can’t give what you don’t have.

LOVE: I could teach her.

WOMAN: All the stories are bullshit. Really. I never fucked anybody for a grade or money or anything. Not even Vanessa. She pays me to strip for her, that’s all.  I told her all those stories so she’d feel sorry for me and give me more money.  You’ve got to believe me. All the stories are bullshit. Honest.

MAN: I want to believe you.

WOMAN: Kiss me. (He does) Again.

(MAN unties her)

LOVE: It’s going to work this time.

HATE: What’re you doing? Are you fucking crazy?

37.

(REASON stands)

WOMAN: I knew you loved me, I just wasn’t used to it.

HATE: Why are you doing this?

MAN: How do I know you’re not lying again?

WOMAN: Things are different now. I have a job. It was never that I couldn’t love, I just had something to prove. I wasn’t going to be my mother, you know? She’s had to rely on men all of her life because she had nothing going for her except her looks. And all they got her was trouble. But, now that I’ve got a career, I can focus on you and me.

MAN: How do I know it’ll be different?

WOMAN: People change.

REASON: Listen to her.

HATE: You’re a fool.

LOVE: I can’t help it.

MAN: Go on.

WOMAN: It’ll be just like it was at the beginning. Walks in the park, picnics, all of it. Nothing will get in the way. Just plenty of time for you and me.

MAN: What about, you know, the other stuff?

(WOMAN caresses MAN)

38.

WOMAN: It’ll be so much better now, you won’t believe it. Trust me.

LUST: Let’s get a down payment on that promissory note.

MAN: Let’s make love.

WOMAN: Not like this. Not tonight. I want the next time to be very, very special.  Romantic. Come back in a couple of days and I’m all yours.

MAN: It’s a date.

HATE: You’re really buying this bullshit?

MAN: Wait a minute. You’ll be gone by then.

WOMAN: I’m only two hours away. And I’ll have my own place.

HATE: Double or nothing says she leaves town and you’re a distant memory.

(MAN takes gun from his waist and fires it. HATE dies)

WOMAN: What are you doing?

MAN: I had more demons than I thought.

(REASON walks towards MAN. He kills it)

WOMAN: I wish you wouldn’t do that. This isn’t my house.

39.

MAN: Maybe I’ll move to St. Louis.

WOMAN: Let me get settled first.

MAN: Down the line, I mean. I know you need some time.

LOVE: I knew this would work out in the end.

(MAN walks slowly to LOVE. HE puts a hand over his eyes and shoots. LOVE dies)

MAN: It wasn’t all you, you know. I made some mistakes, too.

(MAN kisses WOMAN.  HE grabs the bag)

I’ll call you.

(MAN and LUST exit. WOMAN applies her make-up)

WOMAN: Chump.

(A gunshot.  WOMAN’s reaction. Blackout)

THE END