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Monday, 11 July 2011


A man, his wife, their married daughter, and the man’s friend – no specific setting.
Man is alone, friend enters...

Man:                     Hey.

Friend:                  Hey.

Man:                     So guess what?

Friend:                  What’s that?

Man:                     I’m going to kill myself.

Friend:                  Oh yeah?

Man:                     Yepper.

Friend:                  Huh.

Man:                     Yeah, I keep trying to find a reason not to, but that reason’s pretty damn elusive.

Friend:                  Yeah, that happens, I suppose. What can ya do, eh?

Man:                     ‘nothing you can do. So don’t be trying to talk me out of it either.

Friend:                  Why would I do something like that?

Man:                     Well, friends do that sort of thing sometimes, so I thought you might try.

Friend:                  Oh. Yeah, sometimes, sometimes. Yeah.
                                So how are you going to do it?

Man:                     Not sure yet. I don’t want to do a half ass job and just end up
                                in the hospital looking silly, ya know?

Friend:                  Right. That’d be embarrassing as hell. Be careful that doesn’t happen.

Man:                     For sure. You know, not that it would work or anything,
but I really thought you might want to try to talk me out of it.

Friend:                  Oh yeah? Huh. No, wouldn’t dream of it, man. Godspeed, godspeed.
Man:                     Thanks...

Friend:                  So will you be hanging yourself then? Wrists? Pills?
                                Oh! What about getting run over by a train!
                                That’s a great way to go. I saw a guy do that on the news last week.
                                Wicked spectacle! Really gets you noticed, too.

Man:                     Well, I haven’t really decided yet.
                                I – I don’t really want to be a bother to anyone about it...

Friend:                  No, go ahead and bother people!
                                Give the finger to the world and show ‘em they can’t hurt you anymore.
                                Not with a whimper, man – with a bang. A bang!

Man:                     Maybe, I guess. I’m not sure...
                                You know, you can try to talk me out of it.
                                It wouldn’t offend me, really, if you tried. Maybe a little.
                                It wouldn’t be lame or anything if you did,
                                and I wouldn’t tell anybody. What with me being dead and all, right?

Friend:                  I’m not going to rain on your parade, man. Don’t even worry about that.
Anyway, it’s not like we were really good friends or anything, right?

Man:                     Uh, we weren’t? We aren’t? We’ve been best friends since we were kids!

Friend:                  Well, we’ve been acquaintances more than friends really, haven’t we?
                                We do crap together, we drink at each other, bitch about stuff, but, you know,
                                it’s not like we were ever really tight.

Man:                     Oh. I kind of thought we were. Uh, sorry.

Friend:                  Aw, hey, no problem. Just a communication thing, I guess.
                                Remember when my wife left me and you were too busy to talk about it?
                                And when I cried, you laughed at me?

Man:                     Well ... I was pretty busy. And you cry in a very funny way, I couldn’t help that.

Friend:                  Oh hey, that’s cool. I get it. I get it, believe me.
                                Took me awhile, to be honest, but I’m just saying,
                                It was those sort of things that made me realize we were more like just guys who
                                sometimes hang together rather than good friends.
                                That was just never your thing. The whole ... closeness bit.
                                Not a damn thing wrong with that. Just a fact.

Man:                     A fact?

Friend:                  Exactly! But it’s cool. Luckily someone else supported me in my time of need.

Man:                     Who was that?

Friend:                  So you understand why I don’t really care much if you die then, right?
                                Best of luck, man, and remember – a bang!

(He points his hand like a gun at the man)

                                Bang! Bang! Haha, I’ll see ya – Oh, guess I won’t! Haha. Take care.
                                Well, whatever, you know what I mean, haha.

(The friend exits, the man’s wife enters)

Wife:                     Oh, honey, will you be able to pick up the dry cleaning tomorrow?
                                I’ll be way across town all day and it would be very inconvenient for me.

Man:                     No, I can’t, sorry. I’m going to kill myself today.

Wife:                     What?? Today? You can’t alter your plans just a little to help me out?
                                I can’t get over how selfish you are sometimes.

Man:                     I don’t mean to be selfish, I’ve just made other plans.

Wife:                     Nobody means to be selfish. That’s the whole thing about selfishness.
                                It means you don’t consider others. You’re just too wrapped up in yourself
                                to think about things from other people’s point of view. Self - ish.

Man:                     Some might say it’s a little selfish to worry about your dry cleaning when
                                your husband just announced he’s going to commit suicide.

Wife:                     I learned from the best, Darling, the very best. Do what you want, I don’t care.
                                I just don’t see what the hurry is, that’s all.

Man:                     You – you’d rather I didn’t take my life?

Wife:                     Don’t be silly, it’s fine. I just don’t know why you can’t pick up the cleaning first.

Man:                     I won’t be doing that ever again, Sweetheart. Not that or anything else.
                                I simply won’t be there any more.

Wife:                     And how will I tell the difference, Darling? When were you ever there for me?
                                Where were you when I miscarried and I needed you so badly? What about
                                when I adored you? Cherished you, and yearned to be cherished back?
                                Where were you then?

Man:                     I was there! I was always there!

Wife:                     Darling, you were nowhere. You were always nowhere.

Man:                     I’ve always been there for you! You’re the love of my life!

Wife:                     Aw, that’s sweet. Sweet but untrue, isn’t it?
                                Maybe you loved me once, for a short while, I’m not sure, probably not,
                                but certainly you’ve never treated me with love. You just never got it.
                                I’ve been empty for years, Darling. You emptied me. I need to be needed,
                                And you never needed me, not like -

Man:                     Not like who??

Wife:                     – not like I needed.
                                If love existed for a time, you killed it long ago,
                                And with a lot more zeal than you’re putting into killing yourself, I might add.

Man:                     I didn’t know that. So I should die?

Wife:                     Of course you should! If that’s what you want.
I can’t think of a good reason why you shouldn’t. Can you?

Man:                     Um, no. I can’t.

Wife:                     Then it’s settled. And don’t worry. For the most part, I’ll be much happier as a widow.
                                But that dry cleaning will be a bother. Well, I’ll figure something out.
                                It’s not the end of the world, I guess.

Man:                     It is for me!

Wife:                     Oh right! Haha, good one, Darling. Well, don’t drive over a cliff or anything
                                or I’ll have a nightmare with the insurance company.
                                And no blood on the carpets, you hear me? Be considerate, Darling, will you?
                                For once, maybe think about how you’re affecting those around you.
                                Make your grand finale one that bucks the trend. Then I can say nice things
                                about you when you’re gone without lying. You know I don’t like lying.
                                Won’t have a lot to say, obviously, but I’ll be able to say this:
                                That husband of mine, may he rest in peace, he didn’t smash the car up
                                and he didn’t leave unsightly stains on the rugs, God bless him.
                                Do you think you can leave me with that, please?

Man:                     I suppose. But might it not be better if I didn’t leave stains by not dying?

Wife:                     Better for who, Dear?

Man:                     For who? Well, for... I don’t know who.

Wife:                     Precisely. You’re not really a bad person, but you don’t exactly serve
                                much purpose for anyone, including yourself, do you now?

Man:                     I bring home a pay cheque. I buy things.

Wife:                     Your life insurance policy will take care of all that when you’re gone.

Man:                     So that’s all I am to you – a bag of money?

Wife:                     Of course. Why, what did you think you might be?

Man:                     I don’t know. But there’s more to life than just money, ya know.

Wife:                     Oh Darling, you think I don’t know that? It’s the least important thing there is!
                                And yet, it’s all you are. It’s all you’ve become. That’s all.
                                So, no, you remaining alive serves no purpose that anyone can see.
                                Now, remember – no stains, right? Please?

(she hurries off)

Man:                     Okay, no stains. Got it.

(daughter enters)

Daughter:            Daddy, hi!

Man:                     Hi, Princess. I’m about to die, you know.

Daughter:            Really? How come?

Man:                     Because living just isn’t worth it.

Daughter:            Yeah, I can totally understand that.

Man:                     Oh, child, no! Surely you don’t want to die?

Daughter:            Of course not! I love my life, Daddy!
                                I mean I can understand why you would want to die.

Man:                     You can?

Daughter:            Why sure! No true friends, no future, no life, no one who loves you.
                                Who in their right mind would want to keep on living like that?

Man:                     I – I thought you loved me... No?

Daughter:            Oh, that’s so cute, Daddy.

Man:                     So you don’t either?

Daughter:            Daddy, I would love to love you, but why in the world would I?

Man:                     Well, I raised you. I – I bought you so many things.
                                I spent thousands and thousands of dollars trying to make you happy!

Daughter:            And I liked those things, Daddy. I really did.
                                But that had nothing to do with love, did it?

Man:                     Of course it did!

Daughter:            Daddy, have you really fooled yourself all these years?
                                You’ve never loved anyone. Not me, not Mom, not yourself. Nobody.
                                It was all just too much trouble for you really.
                                Surely you’re not surprised that nobody loves you back?

Man:                     Well... I am a little.

Daughter:            Oh, Dad. You can’t be loved without loving
and you can’t love without living.
And as you’ve finally discovered, Daddy - you can’t live without love.
There’s always been that unspoken rule in our home that love never be mentioned,
                                because we never had it like other families did. Mom and I are loving people, Dad,
                                And we needed what you could never give us. That’s why I got married so young, and
                                that’s why Mom has to look elsewhere for it, too. Because of the house rule.

Man:                     I somehow managed to not be aware of that rule.
Daughter:            It was your rule!

Man:                     When did I ever say anything like that?!

Daughter:            It was unspoken.

Man:                     And it was I who unspoke it?

Daughter:            And enforced it vigourously.

Man:                     I see. Well, no, I don’t, really, but okay.
                                But I thought I loved my family, and my friends...I thought I did.
                                I could never understand why it never seemed to be reciprocated.

Daughter:            Oh, well good then. Now you know! Don’t you feel better now?
                                So how are you going to die?

Man:                     Uh... with a bang, I think.

Daughter:            I didn’t know you had a gun.

Man:                     I don’t. I just mean, I don’t want to be all ... whimpery about it.
                                And what do you mean your mother looked elsewhere for love??

Daughter:            Forget it. So that’s as far as you’re gotten with your plan?
                                A little vague, Daddy, isn’t it? See, that’s your problem right there.
You put no life into anything. No ... grrr! Ya know what I mean?

Man:                     Grr?

Daughter:            GRRR!!!

Man:                     Hmm.

Daughter:            Daddy, look, you want me to help you? I can if you want.

Man:                     Oh, Sweetie, you'll help me? Thank you!

Daughter:            Of course, Daddy! I'll help you get excited about it. To really care about the project!
                                Put everything you’ve got into it! Dig down, find that fire and feel it.
                                Really feel it, Daddy! Feel it like you’ve never felt anything before.
                                Feel it like you should have felt everything before but never did!
                                Make up for a whole life of acquiescence and inertia.
                                Get pissed off, Daddy. Get mad, get happy, get ...anything for once!

Man:                     I – I think I’m feeling it. I do, Princess. I feel ... passion.
                                My god, I always wondered what passion was! This is it!

Daughter:            Haha, go Daddy!

Man:                     Haha, I’m passionate! I’m going to do it and I’m going to do well!
                                I’m going to commit the best damn suicide anybody ever committed!!

Daughter:            Yeah, Dad!

Man:                     I’m going to climb the water tower.

Daughter:            The water tower?

Man:                     The bloody water tower! And I’m going to swan dive from the top!

Daughter:            Haha! Woo!

Man:                     I’m going to dive head first into the parking lot and crack the pavement all to hell!

Daughter:            I bet you will, Daddy! I bet you will! You’re gonna kill that parking lot!

Man:                     Oh, goodness. Wow! I feel. I feel so... Oh, Sweetheart, I feel so alive!
                                For the first time ever, I feel alive, damn it! Alive!!

Daughter:            Yeah!!

Man:                     Alive!! Haha!!

Daughter:            Haha!

Man:                     Oh dear...

Daughter:            What’s wrong?

Man:                     I don’t know. I feel...

Daughter:            Oh no. You want to live now, don’t you?

Man:                     Um, well...

Daughter: (sighs)


© cal chayce

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