(Stage fades back to fully lit with the man in the same position)

Man: I need a drink…just a single drink…

(The man stands up and walks to the table where his laptop was positioned. He mimes opening a cabinet and mimes pouring himself a drink. He then drinks it up eagerly, licking the “glass” as he finished)

Man: One more drink wouldn’t hurt…just one more…

Voice Off Stage (interrupting his action): Put the booze down! Do you want to be like your father?

(The man puts the booze back up in the cupboard and moves back to his couch. He sits down and stares around the stage somewhat upset. Should not be too “upset” but simply a little agitated)

Man: I don’t need to…I shouldn’t worry so much…

Voice Off Stage: You don’t worry enough!

Man (turning towards the voice): I worry plenty!

Voice Off Stage: Oh is that so? Did you worry at all about the stock market today?

Man (thinking): No, I can’t say that I have…

Voice Off Stage: Well you should! Don’t you know that the market is always four or five minutes from imploding! What would happen to all your investments?

Man: I don’t have any investments!

Voice Off Stage: Yeah well maybe you should!

Man: You know…why don’t I have any stock investments? That’s a good way to earn some retirement money…

Voice Off Stage: There you go! Ponder on which stocks you’d want to get: maybe you should get a subscription to the “Wall Street Journal.”

Man: Maybe I should get a subscription to the “Wall Street Journal.”

Voice Off Stage: Load up an emulator. Play “Wall Street Kid.” That’ll teach you all you need to know.

Man (shaking his head): No, I sucked at that game.

Voice Off Stage: Maybe that game sucked at you?

Man: That makes no sense.

Voice Off Stage: Just think about it…maybe that game didn’t adapt to your unique playing abilities. Maybe it was set up for somebody who wasn’t quite the gaming God…not like you…you’re a genius…

Man: Yes…you might have a point there…

Voice Off Stage: Of course I do! So…are you going to try it out, try playing the stock market?

Man: Yeah! I think I will!

Voice Off Stage (screaming): You dolt!

Man: What?

Voice Off Stage: Don’t you know the stock market is falling and crashing? That our economy takes a tumble on a nearly daily basis?

Man: But…I…yeah…but…

Voice Off Stage: What kind of idiot ties up his money in the stock market? Do you want to be a pauper?

Man: But…you said…

Voice Off Stage: Yes I did “said” but what I “said” isn’t what you heard.

Man: What?

Voice Off Stage: Read between the lines!

Man: I…can’t….

Voice Off Stage: Obviously. Trust me, you aren’t made to be in the stock market. I’m not sure what you’re made to do, but it’s not stocks. Maybe paddle ball?

Man: You yelled at me for that!

Voice Off Stage: I sure did.

Man: You said I was wasting my time!

Voice Off Stage: You totally were.

Man (stands up agitated, walking to the edge of the stage and screaming): Why did you tell me that I should get into paddle ball then?

Voice Off Stage (laughs, merrily): Because it seemed to be the only thing you were good at!

(The man walks back to the couch and sits down. He looks down at his hands and wiggles his fingers around. He should somewhat fascinated by his fingers in an oddly child-like way)

Man: I’ll do it! I’ll become a major talent in paddle ball! It can’t take more than a few hours of practice a day to get it down.

(Man walks up to the imaginary tables and picks up the paddle ball. He begins playing with it. He should be very into the play. The actor should mimic dropping the ball and hitting it several times in a row before failing. He should be rather wide eyed the whole time and not notice the woman walk in from stage left. She should be dressed very conservatively, pair of glasses, but it should be the same actress from earlier. She moves to the couch and sits down, staring at the man)

Woman (quietly): Hello.

(The man doesn’t hear her. He is too embroiled in his play to notice the woman standing behind him. He should gradually “get better” as he plays. The woman should wait a few beats before speaking the next lines)

Woman: Hi, I’m…well…I guess it doesn’t matter who I am…but…I thought I’d stop by…because the door was open and…just say hi…

(The man continues playing with his paddle ball)

Woman: I can see that you are busy but…I really think you should take a minute…to…just talk to me. I think it would do you a lot of good to…know me…

(Man keeps playing, getting more and more into the game)

Woman (coughs, watches the man. Coughs again to get his attention but he keeps playing paddle ball): Not asking much really…I just want you to look at me for a minute…just a minute I promise. Just want you to say ‘hello’ and talk to me…you need that kind of…you need good people in your life…

(Man keeps playing)

Woman (coughs again, moves on the couch agitatedly): Because I’m not going to lie it’s very…disheartening to stand here and talk to somebody’s back…to know they can hear you…but aren’t listening or…uh…reacting…like I don’t exist…

(Man keeps playing)

Woman: But I do exist! (voice rising) I do exist! You can’t decide whether or not I exist…that’s not your…place…I mean, how can you just sit there and ignore a woman…talking to you…offering something good…

(Man keeps playing)

Woman: I guess you have to take my word for it. Take my word for it that I’m good…what can I offer you, you might say? A strong moral center. I’m on the path of least resistance and I don’t’ do drugs. Stability, you see.

(Man keeps ignoring her and playing the paddle ball. It should be obvious that he literally doesn’t hear her because he is too into his game)

Woman: Maybe you don’t want that? Maybe you want…maybe you want a bad girl? Is that true…do all guys want…a bad girl to be their mate…some girl who…just fucks at will?

(The man keeps playing the game)

Woman: Would you look at me?! Look at me! I’m right here and I know who you are and I know what you want! Pay attention to me! Look at me! (woman stands up)

(Man keeps playing the game, laughing as he plays completely content in his own little world)

Woman: I know what you want…you want a woman who just tears off her shirt (woman should take off her shirt, exposing her bare belly but with a bra on underneath) Is this what you want? You want a woman tearing off her clothes, ready to fuck you whenever you want it?

(Man keeps playing the game)

Woman: Fine! I’ll show you what I got! (woman tears off her bra, revealing her breasts) Here you go buddy! Take a look at these! They’re here for you, just for you!

(The man doesn’t turn around at all. The woman’s face droops as the man plays paddle ball. She begins putting her bra back on, finishes lashing it and picks up her shirt. She then puts her shirt back on slowly, staring at the man as she does. The man keeps playing with the paddle ball. The woman shakes her head and turns away from him. She starts walking off, stage left, pausing halfway off stage to turn over her shoulder and speak)

Woman: Nobody should have to be as alone as you. (The woman walks off stage completely as the man continues to play. Eventually he stops playing, smiles, laughs and puts the paddle ball down. He turns back towards the couch and sits back down on the couch. He leans back on the couch, smiling contentedly)

Man: Now that’s what I call using your time wisely!

(Stage fades to black as the man sits on the couch)

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