EX: A play

– A Bedroom –

M: I love you. Will you love me?
W: (not wanting to hurt him) I can’t.
M: Why not?
W: (trying to find the words) You’re not the right person for me.
M: How can you say that?
W: Because it’s true. (simple truth)
M: But what makes you say that? What is “the right person”? Why can’t I be that person?
W: You aren’t – You just can’t. I’m sorry.
M: We can still be friends right?
W: I don’t think so.
M: What? Do you mean you won’t even talk to me when you pass me by on the street?
Woman doesn’t know what to say, so she exits.
M: She left me. For so many years, I’ve been the one to run away from commitment and everything to do with it. Then finally I find someone I can see myself with, and she left me. Alone. I’m always alone. Just walked out? I love her. She loves me. I know she does. I can’t believe this is happening. I’m a good man. I mean, I make mistakes. I made a lot of mistakes. Shit. That’s the reason she broke up with me. I fuck up. Constantly. When the fuck am I gonna learn? (He sits down and starts to drink)

Lights Change: ONE WEEK

(Woman enters to the side and he immediately tries to catch up with her. Woman runs away.)
M: (yelling after her) I just want to know what the fuck happened!

Lights Change: ONE MONTH
– The Outskirts of a Parking Lot –

Woman enters; sees man sitting on a large cement block drinking and reluctantly; slowly walks over
W: What are you doing?
M: What does it look like?
W: Wasting your life away.
M: What I do best.
W: ….
M: What did I do wrong?
W: Nothing.
M: But I must have. What is it? Just tell me.
W: Nothing.
(Man grabs her by the shoulders.)
M: What happened?
W: I don’t know.
M: How can you not know?
W: I just don’t.
(Man goes back to drinking.)
W: Please don’t.
M: What do I have to live for? Not you.
(Woman looks as if she will go to him but she doesn’t; she speaks under her breath instead.)
W: What about you?
Woman exits
M: (Continues to drink through out) What about me? I don’t mean anything to you. God, why does she torture me? She made it perfectly clear she doesn’t want me. I’m a fuck up. I’m an asshole. God, “Like father like son.” (Really getting drunk) He was an asshole. Hurt my mother. Hit her. I wonder how long it will take until I hit a woman. How long until I cross that line. (Passes out in front of the bedroom.)
Woman enters; takes him to the bed and tucks him in

Lights Change: ONE MONTH

Man wakes up; goes straight for the bottle again. Woman enters again, going about her business.
W: Are you still here?
M: Where else would I be?
W: At work; eating; walking your dog. Why don’t you just live your life?
M: What do you care? You left! You left me remember!
W: Fine don’t ask for help and just stay here. Forever. Alone. (Gets up to leave)
M: Wait.
W: What?
M: This is why you left isn’t it?
W: What is?
M: I … (gestures to his surroundings)
W: Part of it.
M: What’s the other part?
W: It’s hard to explain.
M: Try.
W: I can’t.
M: Try!
W: I don’t understand it all myself, and even if I did then I couldn’t tell you about it.
M: How can I fix it if you won’t tell me? How can I make it better?
W: You can’t make it better.
M: How do you know if you don’t even know what’s wrong. You’re throwing the entire relationship away because you have what some feeling or idea in your head that doesn’t exist? I love you why can’t you just accept it and take it for what it’s worth.
W: I don’t know I just can’t.
M: That’s so childish. You won’t even try to work things out.
W: That’s right I’m a child. I’m young whatever. At least I’m not drinking and sniffing my life away!
M: I can fix that. I’m not addicted. How many times do I have to tell you? Why didn’t you just say that was the problem in the first place? (Tries to grab her and start kissing her; caressing her) I’ll fix that baby. Don’t worry. Jesus, you shoulda just said something – then we wouldn’t have had to go through all of this.
W: That’s not the only problem. (Breaks away)
M: Well what else?
W: All we do is go around in circles.
M: Because you won’t tell me what’s wrong.
W: Just leave me alone. (Runs away)

– Outside Bedroom –

M: Why do you insist on torturing me? You come and go as you please –
W: I live here.
M: (continues talking over her) Leave me wanting more. I want to touch you, hold you, in my arms, between your legs –
(Pushes her up against the door)
W: Don’t.
M: Why?
W: We’re not together anymore.
M: So? (Starts to touch her again)
W: Fine. Whatever.
(Man opens door behind her.)
Lights up
Man sits on the bed head in his hands. He is alone.
M: She left. Again! Fine! Leave! I can do better. I can move on. I can live without you. I can go to work and do normal things like eat and drink plenty of water. I can walk the dog. My dog is just fine. Aren’t you buddy. You’re just fine. See? He’s fine! No. She doesn’t know what she’s talking about. Who is she to judge my life? She’s eighteen for Christ’s sake. I’m five years older than she is. I’ve seen a lot more things. That’s what I liked about her. She was innocent. Untouched. Until me. I was the only man. The only one. She was mine. She’s still mine.

– Outskirts of Parking Lot –

Woman enters, sees him and freaks out.
W: Why are you still here?!
M: What’s wrong with here? I like it here. It’s nice.
W: It doesn’t exist anymore. Why can’t you move on? It’s hurting me. You’re hurting me.
Woman exits.
M: Then go away! And don’t come back! Why the fuck am I still sitting here? Waiting like a damn dog. Move dammit! I command you to move! (pause) Shit! (Takes another drink)

Lights Change: FOUR MONTHS
– Bedroom –

Woman knocks on door and enters.

M: Hi.
W: Hi.
M: You wanna sit?
W: Sure. (then rethinks) Is that ok?
M: Why wouldn’t it be?
She sits.
W: So what are you doing?
M: Living my life.
W: Good.
M: Great.
W: So how’s that working out?
M: Great.
W: I met your girlfriend the other day.
M: Great.
W: She didn’t really seem to like me.
M: Is she supposed to?
W: I guess not.
M: …
W: Well I guess I should go.
M: Great.
W: Bye.
M: Bye.
W: (turns around as she’s leaving.) I thought you wanted to be friends.
M: Yeah, what’s the problem?
W: Nothing.

– Bedroom –

M: Did you ever love me?
W: I don’t know.
M: Get out.
Woman exits
M: It’s a yes or no question. If you don’t know then you didn’t really love me I guess. God, how many times do I have to watch that woman leave? It’s a reoccurring snapshot of her back walking out the door. And then she always comes back. How am I supposed to truly let go if she’s always coming back. And stupid me for letting her back in. Maybe she’s actually incredibly diabolical; knows just when to come back when it will hurt the most. Stab the knife just a little deeper. Just when I didn’t think about you twenty times a day anymore. Leave me wanting anything you have to give me. I’ll take it. Like a puppy licking your hand.

M freezes in bedroom.
Lights Change:

W: I was watching a love story the other day, some sappy romantic comedy that I can barely stand but which still serves as entertainment. Then all of the sudden a truly honest moment makes its way into this movie and out of nowhere a picture of him pops into my head. He used to look at me like that. Like I was the sun. The only means of his salvation. He used to look at me like I was the only thing in the entire universe that could make him happy and I should just take pity on him and put him out of his misery. Like a puppy. Like love.

But I ran away. Quick as I could. You know the scene in the same movie where the girl who is afraid of love runs away, but her heart isn’t truly in it and the guy catches up to her because she can’t run away anymore. That didn’t happen for me. I shot down the road and I never looked back. I ran so fast he couldn’t get two words in to even try and change my mind. The answer was always no. Sometimes it masqueraded as a yes but that was simply the pretty outer wrapping. Pretty phrases and actions designed to cause as little damage as possible, but always creating the opposite reaction.

Once I was far beyond his reach, I saw a new world, and looked back only once I knew I was safe. Of course then I realized that I might have been in love as well – that he might have been the one, but it didn’t matter. I was too young and inexperienced in life at the time to have gone down the other fork in the road.

How was he supposed to fix the fact that I hadn’t lived. How was he supposed to fix the fact that I had never been with another man. Three guys later and I wish my future husband could be the only man I ever slept with, but it’s too late for that, and if I hadn’t slept with those men who knows if I would have ever come to the same conclusion. Perhaps I would constantly regret that fact. I needed to live and go out on an actual date and see what it was like to live on my own. I wasn’t about to go right from my mother’s house into my husband’s – if he could have even gotten it together enough to get us one. He needed to grow up too. I wasn’t the only one.
How do you look someone in the eye and tell them they aren’t enough?


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