Thursday, May 6, 2010

Less Said Better (An Email Play)




ACT I, SCENE 1

(Three pools of light coalesce on three individuals sitting equidistant from each other in an arc across center stage.  Stage right sits an attractive woman dressed in shorts, soccer team shirt, and sneakers.  She is sitting on a park bench, net bag of soccer balls at her feet, with a laptop computer.  At center amidst satin pillows, candles and incense, a long haired man in a gauzy Nehru shirt and pull string pants sits in lotus position and observes a laptop computer in front of him.  At stage left, there is a man in shorts, Red Sox t-shirt and sneakers, surrounded by baseball equipment which he fondles like they are sacred and a laptop into which he is staring sourly.)

NANCY
(She types and speaks as she types)

From: SoccerMom247@ hotmail.com
To: CoachDaddy4u@ hotmail.com
CC: Headshrinker@marital harmony.com
Subject: The Progressive Story of Nancy and Ian.

(She shifts, thinks and plunges in typing, speaking as she does)
 
Once there was… Send! (She clicks “Send”)

IAN

(Staring, frowning at screen, saying what he is typing -)

From: CoachDaddy4u@ hotmail.com 
To: SoccerMom365822@ hotmail.com 
CC: HeadShrinker@maritalharmony.com
Subject:   The Progressive Story of Nancy and Ian

(Pauses, and with a snort, types with two fingers in staccato jabs.)
This is STUPID.
 
(He goes to tap another key and just about does before he loses control and jumps up and down in suppressed frustration. He then slightly composes himself and types, speaking as he does -)
Once there was…a couple who ----  (Then he types in a rage)  -----should be splitting up but have to do this STUPID progressive story to appease a STUPID new age touchy feely hippy court-appointed STUPID therapist!

           (He triumphantly clicks “Send”)

SHRINK

Oh well. At least that was cathartic. (He types, speaking as he does) 
From: HeadShrinker@marital harmony.com. 
To SoccerMom247@hotmail.com and CoachDaddy4u@hotmail.com 
Regarding:  This is Stupid.
Ian, take a deep breath, go to your place of serenity, and start again. Only three words at a time.  Those are the rules.  You agreed, remember?
IAN

(Looking at screen with revulsion, he pantomimes blowing his brains out with a finger gun to his temple.)

Shoot me, shoot me now.

(He mouse clicks and types, speaking as he does)  Reply all. Subject: Regarding:  I Still Think This is STUPID!  (Takes a deep breath, types)   Once there was …a couple who…   (He clicks "send," reluctantly)

NANCY

(She reads, clicks her mouse and types)  Reply all. Subject:  Sports Dork! (She gloats at her insult and then types)  Once there was…a couple who… couldn’t talk without …
 

IAN 

(He reads, clicks his mouse, revs up and types) Sports Dork, eh?   Subject:  Frigid Brittle Ice Queen!  (He says) Are we havin’fun yet??? (He gloats too and prissily adds to the sentence)  Once there was.. a couple who… couldn’t talk without… WANTING TO STRANGLE… (He hits “Send” and jumps up in victory like he just hit a home run)   And the crowd goes wild!! Rrraaaaah!               

SHRINK

Oh oh.  (He types)   From: HeadShrinker at marital harmony.com.  To: Soccer Mom 247@hotmail.com and CoachDaddy4u@hotmail.com. Subject:  Progressive Story of Nancy and Ian.   Ian.  Nancy. You’re in your dark places.  Unbind yourselves from the ropes of anger now.


NANCY

(She reads, clicks her mouse and types)   From Soccer Mom 247@hotmail.com.  To CoachDaddy4u@hotmail.com.  CC:  Headshrinker at marital harmony.com.  Subject:  Hopeless.    (She defiantly brushes a tear away and types -)  Once there was… a couple who …couldn’t talk without… wanting to strangle… the life out …

SHRINK

Oops, too late.

IAN

Out of what?  Each other?  Me?   (Typing and speaking -)Subject: Strangle Me? Fine.  (Speaking)   I didn’t know it went this far; she wants me gone. Dead.  (He is kind of shocked.  He types and speaks) Once there was a couple who couldn’t talk without wanting to strangle the life out…of the conversation.

SHRINK

(Typing and speaking)   Good save Ian.  Go on.  Why?

NANCY

My turn.   (She types and speaks)   Subject: Re: I’m Lonely.  (Her back is turned and she is composing herself) Once there was a couple who couldn’t talk without wanting to strangle the life out of the conversation. Period.  (She types and says) There’s no time…

SHRINK

(Typing)  Very good, Nancy and Ian.  Keep going.

IAN

Auuuuuugghhhhhh!    (He types)   Reply All.  To: Headshrinker.  Subject:  Shut the hell up, Yoda!   (He pounds enter)
SHRINK

(Reads, smiles enigmatically, he is encouraged)   And so I will…
 
IAN

I hate this I hate this I hate this I haaaattttte this…I  hate  this….Ihatethis.  DAAMNNNNIT!   (He types and says) Reply all.  Subject: Re:  I HATE this!   (He sweeps his hands down his face, through his hair and reads.)  Once there was a couple who couldn’t talk without wanting to strangle the life out of the conversation.  There’s no time  (He types) …to…just…sit -

NANCY

(Looking at screen, deep sigh)   Time. It’s time.  (She types) Subject: Re:  Try…For Me?   (She pauses and says -) C’mon honey. You know what we need to do. I know what we need to do.  (She reads) Once there was a couple who couldn’t talk without wanting to strangle the life out of the conversation.  There’s no time to just sit…  (She types) and hold hands… (Clicks "send.")

IAN


What the fu...?  (He types and says -) Subject: Re:  What? That’s what you want?   (He thinks out loud, pacing, trying to sort this out)   I married you didn’t I?  I shouldn’t have to do all that romance-y flowers, candy, edible panties stuff anymore should I? All that crap is understood isn’t it?  Why does this have to be so hard?  You’re never there anyway with work and kids and whatever.  Try to get a piece of you and you’re tired or busy. Or I’m too hairy or sweaty. I give up. I just need to know what’s going on… (He reads aloud)  Once there was a couple who couldn’t talk without wanting to strangle the life out of the conversation.  There’s no time to just sit and hold hands…  (He types)and…catch…up.


NANCY

Catch up.  Sure.  You are never home.  If it’s not a game, it’s practice. Or poker, or working late…This is what I want…  (She types and says-)  Subject: Re:  Touch. Yes. Just touch… (She reads) Once there was a couple who couldn’t talk without wanting to strangle the life out of the conversation. There’s no time to just sit and hold hands… and catch up.  (She types)   They…were…strangers

IAN

I knew that. I knew it.  I’m not stupid. I just don’t know what to do, didn’t know how…I just don’t know. How could I know what she wants? Know what I want? Dammnit!  (He types and says -) Subject: Re: You feel that way?  (He reads aloud.) Once there was a couple who couldn’t talk without wanting to strangle the life out of the conversation.  There’s no time to just sit and hold hands and catch up. They were strangers  (He types) and didn’t know

NANCY

Of course you didn’t know I felt that way.  I didn’t tell you.When was there time?   I guess your ESP is off. I thought you could read my mind.  My mistake. (She types and says -) Subject: Re: I do feel that way. I don’t know you anymore.  (She says)  And you don’t know me. God, by now we’ve probably turned over every cell in our bodies twice over.  We’re not the same.  How do we become our younger selves… when we just talked for hours? And everything was new… (She reads aloud) Once there was a couple who couldn’t talk without wanting to strangle the life out of the conversation.  There’s no time to just sit and hold hands… and catch up.  They were strangers and didn’t know  (She types) how to become…

IAN

(He types and says-)  Subject: RE: That’s not stupid.  (He pauses, sits, stifles a sniffle, wipes his nose and reads aloud)  Once there was a couple who couldn’t talk without wanting to strangle the life out of the conversation.  There’s no time to just sit and hold hands… and catch up.  They were strangers and didn’t know how to become –  (He takes a deep breath and says)  Run for cover!  Incoming! (He types) lovers…like…before.  (He hesitates, and then gently hits “Send”. He says, making a sound effect.) EEEEEeeeeerrr. Boom.

NANCY

(She chuckles, and wipes a tear)   That’s so hot. He has no idea.  So, not stupid, eh?   (She types) Subject: Re: Glad you think so.   (She reads)   Once there was a couple who couldn’t talk without wanting to strangle the life out of the conversation.  There’s no time to just sit and hold hands… and catch up.  They were strangers and didn’t know how to become lovers like before. Period. (She types and “Send”s) I want you…

IAN

(Frozen staring into the screen.  He types and says-)    Subject: Re: No words… (He types and “Send”s) I miss you.

NANCY

(She types and “Send”s)  Subject:  Re: Less said better.  Come hold hands…

SHRINK

(He types and “Send”s)   Subject:  Ian and Nancy.   My work’s done.

IAN & NANCY

(Simultaneously they type and “Send”)   Subject:  Shut the hell up, Yoda!

(Blackout)

4 comments:

  1. That is more than just a little bit of all right. It was wonderful.

    cjh

    ReplyDelete
  2. cj ~ Thank you for coming by and for the very nice comment! Which of your blogs would you suggest I follow? I am interested in what you are reading/writing as well.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Well, I've got two main ones - one is for politics and things that drive me crazy (which strangely enough is mostly politics) and then there's one that's devoted to reading and the quirks of my life.

    The political one is at www.angam.blogspot.com
    The reading one is at www.cjreading.blogspot.com

    I'd be delighted to have you drop by.

    cjh

    ReplyDelete
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