(Lights fade in man sitting on the couch. He is obviously unhappy but seems unable to do anything about what is bothering him. He looks over the heads of the audience, staring off into nothingness as if he is looking for an answer)

Voice from offstage: Get your shit together!

Man: I really…I need to get my shit together…

Voice from offstage: Do you even know who you are? What you want to do? Where your life is going?

Man (rubbing hands through hair): I don’t think I really know who I am or what I want. What kind of life am I living?

Voice from offstage: Think! Think for once in your life! You’re always just acting! Make a plan.

Man: I…I gotta think. I never think…I just act. Or let others do my thinking for me. I think I need…some kind of plan…

Voice from offstage: Call your mom.

Man: I should call my mom. She always…help straighten things out for me…

(Man reaches over to imaginary table and picks up imaginary phone. He dials several numbers and holds the phone up to his ear. The number of numbers he dials can vary depending on the actor. It can be only a few or very many. Whatever the director and actor think is the funniest. Man sits, listening to the phone for a few minutes)

Man: Pick up…pick up…damn it, you’re home all the fucking time unless I…

(Man gets a shocked expression on his face and waves his hands in front of him)

Man: Oh no mom, no I didn’t mean…no I’m sorry…I was just…

(Man rolls his eyes)

Man: No, I was just thinking out loud…yes, yes I think you go out…I know you have friends mom I just…yes, yes…yes! I know, I know I’m sorry but…dad would have took care of that mom I don’t think…that’s not really my place that’s your…I disagree, I think there is something sensual about the back…

(Man stands up and starts walking around the room. Should pace, pause and react to the phone conversation in real time as it happens)

Man: Probably not…I mean, you exaggerate a lot mom…no you really do…yeah, okay you say “oozing” but…how many shirts? How many spots? Wow…maybe you should go to a proctologist…

(Man stops stage center, staring out over the audience)

Man: But mom I have…I gotta talk to you about…something…something about me…

(Man pauses for several moments with a pained expression on his face as if reacting to his mother)

Man (quickly, as if interrupting): Of course I think your problems are important…I mean…but look yeah okay so…yeah you have some skin problems but…mom I’m having…I’m losing my mind…

(Man rolls his eyes)

Man: That’s not fair. Just because dad…don’t bring my brother into this, that was his fault we’re nothing alike…he’s a sociopath mom! I’m not…no I’m not! Listen, I have some really serious problems can you listen? Just for a minute?

(Man takes a deep breath)

Man: I…I’m lost mom. I don’t know what to do with myself any more. I feel like my life is meaningless, like nobody would care if I was alive or dead.

(Man gets an annoyed expression on his face)

Man: What do you mean “is that it?” It is a big deal. I don’t care if you think everybody feels that way…I’m not…I’m not everybody mom…I have high expectations for myself…big, big deal…what do you mean I have too high of expectations? Don’t you expect anything out of me?

(Man gets angry and begins pacing while talking)

Man: You expect me to be happy? What kind of expectation is that? Any dolt can be happy…if they ignore everything. Dad was happy? Mom, dad jumped in front of boat propellers while fishing…no he didn’t fall out mom I was there, I saw it…

(Man stops stage left)

Man: No mom, dad wasn’t happy you didn’t know him at all. I knew him…so what if i was only eight? He talked to me, mom. He looked at me. He used to say…he used to say a lot of things weird things…he wasn’t happy in life and…no mom he really…listen to me, just listen please…he jumped out of that boat, right into the propellers of that speed boat…it sucked him right up…spit him right out in bloody chunks mom, I was there to see it you weren’t…

(Man begins to cry)

Man: I watched them pull out his body from the propellers. Half an hour before that, he was baiting my hook and talking about…life. I’ll never forget what he said mom, how could I forget? No I never told you…because it would have killed you at the time…

(Man wipes away tears from his face)

Man: You don’t want to know. You really don’t…(sighs) Okay well…he said “Son, don’t ever believe you’re special. Nobody is special. Your mom and I lie to you every day because we don’t want you to lose hope like we have. She doesn’t even love you.” Then he smiled and jumped out of the boat, into the propellers of the passing boat and exploded.

(Man listens quietly. His expression becomes more tender)

Man: I told you that you didn’t want to hear that…but you don’t listen mom, you don’t listen you just talk at people, you tell them what you think without wondering what they think…how often did you and dad just sit down and talk?

(Man gets annoyed again)

Man: Yeah it’s easy to blame the dead man, mom…yeah you can throw those accusations around but you can’t back them up…or she will will she? Yeah, of course, she’d be on your side mom. She’s like you…she’s a woman. Oh don’t call me sexist, you know what I mean…you just have a…you and her always had a thing against men…after dad died.

(Man holds the phone away from his ear with a shocked expression on his face)

Man: How can I see things from your perspective? Dad…dad always used to say things like that about you. That was just the tip of the iceberg. He…he said worse things about you all the time. From the time I was about five till the dad he died…how can I know he was lying? More importantly, how can I feel that he was lying?

(Man aggressively shakes his head)

Man: You don’t understand…yeah, he said a lot of things…that were unfair to you I’m sure and were probably untrue. But mom…no listen mom, listen you have to hear this…he was…a dad is a young sons truest hero…he figures that his dad can never, ever do anything wrong.

(Man shakes his head again)

Man: I know mom, I know but…yes I know it was unfair, I know he “took the easy way out” or betrayed us or whatever but think of it…you have to think of it from my side…I can’t think of it from your side, you have to come to my way of thinking. You owe me that.

(Man holds phone away from ear again)

Man (bringing phone back): Why do I owe you that? For 30 years of…angst and hatred and denial. You don’t think you did anything to deserve that. I know that mom. But those kind of feelings are so…ingrained in me. Dad really hammered hatred and rage into me at a young age. Then he killed himself. Right in front of me. How could I feel any different about you? How could I not hate and blame you for what happened. I still do.

(Man gets a stunned expression on his face)

Man: Hello? Mom? Hello? Shit.

(Man sits down and redials the phone, holding it back up to his ear and listening. Wait a few beats before speaking)

Man: Pick up. Damn it, pick up. (wait a few more beats) Damn it!

(Man hangs up and dials again. Wait a few beats)

Man: I know you’re there mom, pick up the damn phone…don’t send me to voice mail…no voice mail…damn it!

(Man hangs up phone in disgust. Lights fade as he sits on the couch, staring off into the auditorium)

Advertisements