Author: Daily Judas PM
Singlescene play based on one of my saner ideas. Aptly described as largely without purpose and slightly disturbing.Rated: Fiction T - English - Drama - Words: 1,309 - Reviews: 3 - Published: 01-31-03 - Status: Complete - id: 1212837
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Setting: The stage is divided into two halves by a single, unbroken wall. The left portion is a kitchen, in which Woman stands. There is (at minimum) a sink, refrigerator, table, and chair. This portion of the stage is dark when the scene opens. The right portion of the stage, where Man stands, is a bedroom, occupied (at minimum) by a bed, desk, television, and fan. A digital clock shows that it is a little past 3:30 AM. Lighting for this portion of the stage is normal, and Man is on the phone when the scene begins.
Man: Hello, Dr. Greer? Yes, I'm well aware of the time. (pause, as he listens) Oh, If I could be asleep I would be. (pause) I've tried that. And that. (pause) Well, let's see. (moves to desk, on which are placed various medications and an almost-empty glass bottle) We've got Nyquil, Tylenol PM, Simply Sleep, Brand X sleep aid -extra strength -, Unisom, Xanax , and... vodka. I tried to drink myself unconscious. Isn't that sad? But, it really doesn't matter, because it seems I have an extremely high tolerance for alcohol. Which explains why I didn't get any buzz off of two whole bottle of Nyquil. (pause) Uh huh. Get some sleep huh? Great, sounds good. Thanks a lot, doc. (hangs up) Asshole.
Man tosses the phone on his bed and begins to walk slowly toward the audience.
Man: Contour pillows, easy listening music, aroma therapy, chamomile tea, (laughs) even some Tibetan shit: (mock reverence) head pointed south for 'deep and refreshing sleep'. Nothing. Video games, "I Love Lucy" marathons, bags full of videos from the rental place, anything to pass the hours. People don't realize how lucky they are...they lie down, close their eyes, drift off...for hours. (steps back into set) It's almost four - halfway through. Three to five AM is the worst. The mind wanders, the body revolts, the spirit feels weak. And when you haven't slept for days, it's even worse. You hear noises, sounds that aren't there. Your eyes refuse to focus, except on meaningless objects - stare for 20 minutes at a refrigerator magnet. Sometimes I-
Lights on Right dim, and Spotlight comes on, shining down on the discarded telephone. Man stares at it, then slowly takes a step toward it. All lights on Right (except spotlight) cut off.
Lights on Left rise to normal. Woman stands at the sink, her back to us as she drinks a glass of water. She throws her head back to swallow, then turns to face the audience. She suddenly tips toward the wall and, to keep from falling, slides slowly to the ground, till she is sitting in the corner. Lights on Left dim, and a spotlight shines suddenly on an old-style, corded phone that sits on her kitchen table. A deep, wavy, distorted LOOP begins to play. Lights on Left rise slowly. Woman is looking at the phone.
Lights on Right rise slightly to match, then go full. Man moves slowly toward his phone. On top of the LOOP, a higher-pitched, mid-volume WHINE begins. As he moves forward, the TV comes on. The fan does the same a moment later. Man picks up the phone. Instantly, the WHINE stops, and the TV and fan turn off. The LOOP remains.
Man: It's four AM. It's not like I have anyone to call. (freeze)
Woman stands shakily and begins to move toward the phone. (freeze)
Man: This is stupid.
Over the LOOP, we hear the exaggerated noises of the phone as Man turns it on and begins to dial random numbers. (freeze)
Woman stands beside phone, looking down at it. (freeze)
Man: What the hell.
Man punches in the last of eleven digits. Just as he does so, Woman picks up the phone. LOOP immediately stops, and the lights at Left return to normal. Both people stand completely still, listening. After a moment, we hear Man breathing.
Woman: Hello?...hello? (pause) I know you're there. I'm gonna hang up if you don't answer.
Man: No, please don't.
Woman: Who is this?
Man: Did your phone ring?
Woman: No...no, I just picked it up.
Man: to call someone?
Woman: No...I don't know, maybe. I couldn't sleep.
Man: Me neither...insomnia.
Woman: Who are you? Where'd you get this number?
Man: I just...made one up. Just random, you know?
Woman: You just called someone?
Man: Yeah...but it didn't ring.
Woman: I must've picked it up-
Man: -at exactly the same time...that's kinda freaky.
Man: So where are you?
Woman: In my kitchen.
Man: No, I mean, where are you?
Woman: New York.
Woman: Yeah. (laughs) You seriously just made up a number?
Woman: (picks up the phone, begins pacing unsteadily) So...where are you?
Man: Winchester. It's right outside Vegas.
Woman: So this is long distance. (laughs) You're paying long distance to talk to a total stranger?
Man: I guess so. I've got nothing better to do.
Woman: (settles back into the corner) So, like...how long has it been...since you slept?
Man: I dunno...couple of days at least.
Man: Yeah (laughs) It kinda sucks. What, it's like 6 AM there?
Man: What are you doing up?
Woman: You woke me up, remember?
Woman: You called, woke me up.
Man: I though it didn't ring.
Woman: Yeah...yeah, you're right. I'm sorry, I'm not thinking right.
Man: You okay? (pause) Hey, you there?
Woman: Hmm? Yeah, I'm here.
Man: You okay?
Woman: Umm...yeah, I uh...I feel good.
Man: You sure?
Woman: Yeah. (laughs) My, uh, my fiancée broke up with me yesterday.
Man: Oh...I, uh, I'm sorry.
Woman: No, it's okay. I mean, my rent's due tomorrow, and...this isn't home, but whatever. I don't care anymore. I - you wanna hear something funny?
Woman: My doctor gave me some heart medication a couple months ago - I had this minor murmur, nothing that...surgery needed, but anyway, it went away and I had theses extra pills around, so...it feels weird. You ever done drugs? 'Cause it feels like acid...shitload of tabs. (pause, then laughs) You there?
Man: Look, just hold on, I'm gonna call 911!
Woman: (laughs) Oh yeah?
Man: Yes. They'll trace your number, get your address.
Woman: (serious) Don't do that. This isn't some half-assed cry for help. This is what I want.
Man: No! I'm gonna-
Woman: Don't. (pause) Please don't.
Man: I've gotta go.
Woman: (in a childish tone) No! If you hang up, you'll call them. Just wait a minute, huh?
(A long pause; both are motionless.)
Man: You...you still there?
Woman: Yeah. If you wanna call now, you can.
Man: Will it matter?
Man: When will they find you?
Woman: (laughs) Me?
She is playing word games with him, and he doesn't appreciate it at all.
Man: Your body.
Woman: (sing-songy voice) I don't know, it could be a while.
Man: No friends, family?
Woman: No...but, thank you...for listening. I'll see you around.
Woman slowly, with much effort, sits up enough to drop the phone back into its cradle. We hear a DIAL TONE. Lights on Left fade to black. Man turns off his phone and drops it on the ground. SILENCE. After a moment, he steps forward out of the set.
Man: It's funny, I've slept like a baby ever since.