Fiction, Monologues, Plays & More
a play by Laura Lee Bahr
(CLICK HERE to read The Weight of Words: Part 1)
(CLICK HERE to read The Weight of Words: Part 2)
(CLICK HERE to read The Weight of Words: Part 3)
(CLICK HERE to read The Weight of Words: Part 4)
(CLICK HERE to read The Weight of Words: Part 5)
(CLICK HERE to read The Weight of Words: Part 6)
(CLICK HERE to read The Weight of Words: Part 7)
(CLICK HERE to read The Weight of Words: Part 8)
(CLICK HERE to read The Weight of Words: Part 9)
(In our last installment we had a very disturbing visit to the DOCTOR. A light-change has compelled us to have a drink. We join our show in progress…)
TOM is sitting on a bar stool in the light, drinking a beer. The ACTRESS comes and takes a stool next to him. She seems shaken, but not stirred.
ACTRESS: (to the 4th wall) Make it a double.
The ACTRESS downs her imaginary drink fast. Then she turns and looks at TOM.
ACTRESS: Wanna go back to your place?
TOM looks her up and down. She looks pretty good.
TOM: Uh…Huh… Well… Uh…
ACTRESS: (in a stage whisper, like Tom’s forgotten) “Yes.”
ACTRESS: Your line is “yes.”
TOM: What are you taking about?
ACTRESS: (rolling her eyes) You’re supposed to say “yes” and then this scene is over and we go back to your place and your girlfriend walks in…and history repeats itself- oh, sorry, Herstory repeats itself.
DOCTOR: (from background- in low-light, lit banana) Excuse me- I think this is the wrong scene. I think we’re going back to the guitar couple.
ACTRESS: This is all out of order.
DOCTOR: I know, it’s so confusing- this banana is on FIRE! Can somebody help me put it out please?
TOM: What the hell is going on here?
ACTRESS: That’s what we’d all like to know.
DOCTOR: It’s the “wants”- it’s all supposed to be thematically connected with the “want.”
ACTRESS: I know, that’s why this is my scene, because Tom wants me-
TOM: No I don’t.
ALEX and ALICE rush on-stage to the bar where TOM and the ACTRESS are sitting.
ALICE: Is this our- where’s our light?
ACTRESS: What do you mean you don’t want me?
TOM: I don’t want you.
ACTRESS: Why? Because you’ve got a good woman at home?
TOM: Well, not at home exactly, she’s got her own place- but it’s more that I’ve gotten older now, and though you’re very pretty, I really am not interested in these meaningless screws.
DOCTOR: Ha! As if! Now we know he’s lying!
ALICE: What is going on here?
ALEX: (to the actress) You’re beautiful.
ACTRESS: Thank you! Finally, someone who appreciates me!
ALICE: What did you just say to her?
ALEX: I said she was beautiful. She is.
ACTRESS: I’m an actress.
ALEX: Wow. I’m sure you’ll make it.
ALICE: Make what?
ALEX: Whatever she wants.
ALICE: You’ve never said that to me-
ALEX: I’ve told you that you’re beautiful.
ALICE: No, that I’m going to make it.
TOM: Well, I’ve finished my beer. See ya.
ACTRESS: Wait! (The Actress grabs Tom.) You can’t go! We have a scene!
Tom walks off-stage, the Actress jumps on his back to detain him.
TOM: Look, lady…
ACTRESS: I’m not a lady, I’m an Actress and one way or another- we leave together!
They leave ALICE and ALEX on-stage.
ALICE: You like her?
ALEX takes out his guitar and starts strumming. He sits on the couch. ALICE sits next to him, and they both look out, like they are watching TV.
ALICE: I said, do you like her?
ALEX: Like who?
ALICE: That actress.
ALEX: Which actress?
ALICE: The one on TV. Would you rather be sitting on the couch with her than with me?
ALEX: Of course not. Don’t be ridiculous. Why would I rather be with a gorgeous famous actress?
Light up DOCTOR. She is in a very suggestive position, half-dressed, eating the banana.
DOCTOR: I see love clinically. But some people prefer to remain ignorant. See the earth as flat. But if you look at it scientifically, there’s no reason why anyone should stay with anyone else. Rights and responsibilities and reproductive control and every commercial a hooker. There’s billions of us. Everyone should be able to find at least 100 people in their lifetime who can qualify as “the one”. Why stick with the dullard you got? Why not try Door Number 3?
ALICE: (rapidly, almost simultaneous with Alex) I was just getting coffee one morning.
ALEX: (rapidly) You can always just cheat-
ALICE: And the barista looked right into my eyes-
ALEX: If you need a different flavor.
ALICE: And I got wet.
ALEX: But who has the time? Where do you meet people anyway?
ALICE: And I knew, this was the one- the passionate romance I’d been looking for- not a fusion of self- but someone- he was much younger than me…
ALEX: (picking up the guitar, singing) “Please… don’t hold me to blame”
ALICE: And I wasn’t sure how to proceed. Did he feel the same way? Should I wait for him to get off of work? I gave him a $20 tip on a $2 latte. Did he think I was crazy?
ALEX: (singing) “I just could hang with the shame”
ALICE: He didn’t. He looked me right in the eyes, like he was surprised and said, “Thank you!”
ALEX: (singing) “Mercy”
ALICE: And I said, “Sure.”
ALEX: (singing) “Mercy”
ALICE: Then it was over, and I went off to work.
DOCTOR: Diagnosis: You really didn’t try very hard. That isn’t an affair. Obviously, you don’t believe in love. Or movies. Or sex. You are the reason feminism is dead. Leave the dullard and grab that barista when he exits. Grab him and do it in the back of your car, inhaling his scent of sanitizer and espresso. Why not?
(A-C, Ducking in and out, Stooges Style)
A: Genital warts?
DOCTOR: Right. Or worse, you get knocked up.
ALICE: (to the Doctor) We didn’t come to you for counseling. I would never do anything- it was just a little fantasy- fantasy never hurt. Reality- can really be quite painful.
ALEX: I was out with the guys from work. We were at the Italian joint. They had this new waitress.
ALICE: (to Alex): We could start a band together. You play and I’ll sing. We’ll do open mic nights…
ALEX: (not hearing her) We flirted. No big deal. All the guys thought she was hot-
ALICE: Our names go so well together. Alice and Alex. Can’t you just hear the MC announce us? “And your folk duo, Alex and Alice”
ALEX: (not hearing her) But she liked me. She flirted the most with me, and so, on a dare from one of the guys-
ALICE: Or if you don’t want to do folk, we can do rock. Or punk. Or maybe you can take up the drums. It doesn’t have to be guitar. As long as it’s us…
ALEX: (not hearing her) I asked her what she was doing later and- well-
ALICE slaps him across the face. He sees her now.
ALEX: You bitch!
ALICE: You ruined my life!
ALEX: Get your shit out of here!
ALICE: This is my place!
ALEX: How could you?
ALICE: Me? I didn’t do anything! You’re the one that cheated, cheater! You cheated! We set the rules up, you and me, Alice and Alex, you broke up the band!
ALEX: No, I never broke up the band!
ALICE: (singing) “Please don’t”
ALEX: (singing) “look inside”
ALICE: (singing) “Don’t look”
They look into each other’s eyes.
They grab hands.
ALICE: Can we get the band back together?
ALEX: We’re going to make it.
ALICE: For the sake of the band-
ALEX: It’s bigger than both of us.
ALICE: How can we make it?
ALEX: What will we make?
ALICE: (singing) “Look inside-“
ALEX: (singing) “Don’t look inside-“
ALICE and ALICE: (singing together- music to be provided) “Ever so lightly perhaps, but still attached to life at all four corners…. the web is pulled askew, hooked up at the edge, torn in the middle… the work of suffering, human beings… are attached to the grossly material things… ” “Please, don’t hold us to blame.”
Lights down. Lights up on Herstory Boutique.
To Be Continued…
Laura Lee Bahr is the author of the short stories Happy Hour and The Liar (available in the anthologies DEMONS, winner of the Bram Stoker award and PSYCHOS, edited by John Skipp and published by Black Dog & Leventhal). She is the award-winning screenwriter of the feature films Jesus Freak and the little Death. Her first novel, HAUNT, received the Wonderland Book Award.