LASSOING THE MOON By Peter Blackmon Scene 1: Mullin’s Tavern May (Intro Song. Lights on. Jim, Kevin, Jason, Hank and Shemp are all standing at the bar with shot’s in the air.) Jim: Well my brotha’s tomorrow is it. So here’s to me. All: (All holding shots in the air) Alright! (Slam the shots, then coughing and laughing) Jim: Set us up again, Brophy. Kevin: So you’re set for life now, huh? Jim: Yep. Tomorrow Liz graduates and all my friggin’ waiting is over. Kevin: Well, then, what’s the plan? What’s she gonna do? Jim: I don’t exactly know. (Yells) Who gives a rat’s ass!? She’s finished!!!!! God dammit she’s finished! (Chugs his beer) Kevin: I know, I know, seriously though, does she got a job? Does she have any offers? Christ, what the hell was her major? Jim: Physiology, or psychology… I dunno, one of the frickin’ Business school majors. Anyhow, yeah, she’s got some offers. I set her up with 6 million interviews. She has a couple offers. Oh, yeah, and her goofy friend offered her a job with the company she’s with in Portland or somethin’ but she’s not gonna take that because we already discussed it. We’ll work here for a while longer while I finish getting my feet wet and then we move wherever. It’s all set. (Spills his beer on himself) Hank: By feet wet do you mean spillin’ more fuckin’ beer on yourself? Jim: Shut up! (All laugh) Kevin: So you gonna move out then? Move in with her? Jim: Christ, no! We’re good fucking Catholics. Our parents would crap. I’ll still be your roommate. She’ll move into an apartment with someone or something and we’ll sleep over at each other’s places. But, before you get too comfy with me takin’ care of you ya little Susan, feast your eyes on this. (Reaches in his pocket. Pulls out a jewel box. Opens it.) (All look inward at the engagement ring. The bar takes a sudden silence.) Hank: WHAT THE HELL ARE YOU THINKING? (All immediately begin laughing again) Kevin: Wow! That’s a big ring; jewelry store accepting dirt as a form of currency now? How much did that cost? Hank: I MEAN WHAT THE HELL? Jim: Never mind how much it cost. It coulda cost a million bucks; I’d ‘ve spent it. Hank: I MEAN WHAT THE …….
Kevin: (Interrupts and screams at Hank) Shut up for Pete’s sake! (Turns to Jim) You’re not serious about getting engaged? Jim: Yes, KEVIN, I am serious. I don’t just randomly go out and spend my friggin’ savings on jewelry. Kevin: (Turns to Jason) Jason, maybe you can straighten Mr. Moron here out. How long you been married now? (Begins playing tennis with his head turns. Looking to see both faces as he questions.) Jason: One year. Kevin: And you have officially been out with us how many times with us since you been married? Jason: A dozen or so times. Kevin: Without your wife. Jason: Once. Kevin: (Turns to Jim and points at Jason.) This is what you’re shooting for? Jason: Hey! Screw you! Kevin: Oh, c’mon. I mean I know you’re happy and blah, blah, blah, but you’re not what you were. Jason: Yeah, I guess your right! I hate sayin’ it, but the a-hole is right. Take some time for Liz to settle a little bit more. Just a few more months. (Begins thinking to himself) Jim: Look guys. I know what you’re saying. But Liz and I have been wrestling back and forth about our futures; separately and together. Since we’ve been dating she has always been in school. Now she’s out. For the first time we are in the same situation. I waited long enough. I waited four years. Kevin: (Realizing what this is about. Pulls Jim to the side.) Aw, Jim, you can’t marry her just ‘cause you don’t want to lose her. Think about what you’re doing. Jim: (Sharply) I have thought about it, alright. It’s not because I am afraid of losing her. I mean not…. I mean…. I mean it’s not the only reason. I love her. We love each other. I have never been more sure of anything. (Pause) Everyday since we’ve been together, I have given here everything. I mean not just things. I mean, all of myself. My heart, my life. She’s the best… the best…. the most beautiful…. she’s the most important part of my whole world…… I want this. (Jim and KEVIN stare at each other.) Kevin: Ok. Ok, Jim. I trust you. (Grabs the next round of shots) To Jimbo, my best friend. All: (Lifting their glasses, except Jason) Alright! (Slam the shots) Kevin: (Mumbles) Stupid fuckin’ jerk. (All begin laughing except Jason) Jason: Holy Shit! It’s been two years! (Fade out.) End Scene 1
Scene 2: Jim & Kevin’s Apartment The Next Day (Jim and Liz enter the apartment, half-drunk and laughing. Jim allows Liz to pass. She falls backward. Jim catches her. They continue laughing hysterically.) Jim: Well I hope this means you had a good time. Liz: I can’t believe it...! Whoooo! Jim: Your brother is a friggin’ nut. I can’t believe he was hitting on her. Liz: (Moving towards the couch. Sits) Oh stop it! She was eyeing him all night. You could tell she was looking for it. Jim: (Still laughing) Honey, she was eyeing him all night because he was walking around with a cocktail weenie sticking out of his fly. And furthermore, just because she was quote unquote, “looking for it” doesn’t mean your professor still can’t flunk you, so your brother going up to her and saying “How about we turn my sister’s grade into an A”, probably wasn’t the brightest move. Liz: Then again it was one of the larger cocktail weenies. Jim: (Sighs) Oh…God…. This is it. You’re done. No more homework, no more papers, no more class…, which for you might not be new territory. (She giggles) Liz: (Flailing her arms lazily) I am so happy. I am so relieved. I am so… Jim: (Interrupts) Drunk? Liz: No… jerky… I’m so excited and nervous…. (Pause) We need to celebrate more. Jim: Right. Kevin left beer in the fridge. He knew we’d want to keep our celebrating to a respectable level. You like Olympia right? Liz: Whatever, I don’t care. Just hurry up cause we need to shake our booties. Jim: You got it sista. I’ll be right back to show you my newest moves. (Breaks into a disco routine) Starts heading for the kitchen.) Liz: (Right when Jim is entering the kitchen.) God, I’m going to miss you. Jim: (From the kitchen.) What was that? Liz: (Happily excited, screams.) I’M GOING TO MISS YOU. Jim: (Slowly walks out of the kitchen holding two beers.) What… do… you mean? (Hands Liz a beer) Liz: (Realizing the sobriety of the moment.) Pumpkin, I took the job in Portland. (Jim slumps down into the recliner.) I know what you’re going to say. I know. I know. (Changes back into an excited grin.) But this job had a lot to offer. Its Portland, babe. You’ve been there; you know what it’s like. I can’t wait. Aren’t you excited? Jim: (Stunned and irritated.) That’s…. great…. That’s fine… That’s just ….. what the FUCK? Liz: Jim?!
Jim: No Liz, I mean how could you do this? Liz: Jim. Now wait a minute. Jim: (Stands) No. Damn it. I won’t wait a minute. This blows a fucking hole in everything. I have waited our whole relationship to finally be at a point where we could think seriously about us. What about what we discussed? Liz: Stop right there Jim. We didn’t discuss anything. You talked at me and I listened. And when I argued, you talked more. I just quit arguing and started nodding my head like one of those rear window dogs you see in traffic. Jim: Can’t we discuss this? Liz: Jesus Christ Jim, did you hear me? I made my decision. (Pauses) Look Jim, I know you waited for us to be together, and when I was in school, I looked forward to it too. But these past couple of months I’ve been thinking about the fact that it’s my turn. It’s my turn to start a career and meet people and get experience. (Pauses. Jim walks back over to the recliner. Sits.) Babe, I care about you, but I don’t like it here anymore. I know you do, you know all these people. You’ve done well for yourself here, but I’m ready to go somewhere else. Even for just a while. (Puts her hand on Jim’s arm) Jim. Jim: (Thinks for a minute.) Alright. (Puts his hand on hers.) Alright. (Stands up. Goes over to the coat rack. Liz listens, but continues looking forward. Jim reaches in his pocket. Pulls out the jewel box. Stands behind the couch.) Liz, there's something I want to do then. I don’t like this. I didn’t ever want to be away from you again. (Pauses) But I’m willing to go along with it if… if… if we can start talking seriously about us. (Pauses) Liz, I love you. I love you with everything that makes me who I am. I think of you in every good thing I do. And so, while I don’t want you to go. I know that if you love me. If we love each other; then I’m willing to deal. (Begins to get excited.) We can work apart from one another for a year or so and I can get some work done here to justify leaving and following you or you can get some experience and come back. Liz, what I’m saying is… Liz: (Having the faintest inkling of where it’s headed, but unaware that the ring even exists.) Wait! (Begins to cry.) Jim? Jim: (Genuinely concerned for her) Yes, Liz? Liz: What would you say if I said I wanted to see other people? (Jim is shot dead in a frozen stance. After a long pause, Jim begins to tear. Hides the jewel box in his front pocket. Wanders downstage facing audience.) Liz: Jim? (Silence) Jim? Jim: (Pauses) So this is it then. It’s not about you going to Portland. It’s about you starting all over again. Liz: No Jim, Jim: Yeah, yeah it is. I can’t come along for this one, can I? You want your space, your new life, you want away from here, and you want to have your options open. Liz: Jim, I just know how it’ll end up if we put ourselves through this… Jim: (Patronizing) Mmm… Liz: Jim, I still love you. I want you to be a part of my life. I want to be able to see you when I come back. I just want to be… well… you know… Jim: (Irritated. Turns toward Liz.) Yeah, well forget it. (More calmly) I have invested my whole heart and soul into you being happy. I never wanted you to want for anything. I put you first; above my job, above my family,
above me. You were first. And all this time, YOU’VE put yourself first. So I ask you Liz, who the hell has ever put me first? In the past four fucking years, have you ever thought of me? Liz: (Ashamed. Tries to think of something.) Jim: (Turns back towards the audience.) I guess I know the answer. Liz: (Realizing the end, Liz gets up. Walks toward Jim.) I’m moving back into my parent’s place tomorrow. … I’m …leaving Tuesday. Jim: (Shaking his head.) Christ..! (Begins to tear up again.) Liz: (Walks up and holds Jim from behind.) Oh God Jim. I’m so.. so sorry. I didn’t want it to go this way tonight. (Jim ignores it.) I guess I’d better go. Jim…? Jim? (Liz kisses Jim on his cheek.) Goodnigh…Goodbye Jim. I’ll call you this week. (Exits through the door.) Jim: (Upon closing, Jim’s system shuts down.) YOU PROMISED YOU’D LOVE ME FOREVER. DON’T YOU REMEMBER? (Pause) (Fade out.) End Scene 2
Scene 3: Mullin’s Tavern August (Hank, Jason, and Shemp enter the bar immediately followed by Jim and Kevin. They all head to the bar. Two girls, Sarah and Ellen are seated at the opposite end of the bar.) Hank: So the parrot says: “What the hell’d that chicken ever do to you?” (All five begin laughing hysterically with Hank laughing the loudest. The other four simmer down and Hank keeps laughing harder. Upon realizing he is laughing alone he stops and looks at the other four who are staring blankly. He stops. There is a slight pause. Then all five laugh hysterically again.) Kevin: I swear to God you tell jokes to make yourself laugh. Hank: Shut up. Kevin: No seriously. You tell a joke and it could be the stupidest joke in the world, and you laugh as hard as you can until everyone else has no choice. (Begins imitating Hank. Starts laughing and flapping his hands as if he is insisting everyone else must laugh. They do.) Hank: Alright, alright! Crap on Hank Day is over what do you’s want to drink? Jim: SCHLITZ. Jason: Miller. Shemp: (To the bar tender) Brophy, got any imports? Brophy: (Pissed off.) Yeah we got imports. Shemp: I’ll have an import. Brophy: (More pissed off) What kind? Shemp: I don’t care. Make it a fuckin’ surprise. Kevin: I’ll have a Cherry Cheesecake. Jim, Jason, Hank, Shemp: WHAT? Kevin: What? I like fruity drinks. Hank: (To the bartender) Ok then. Four beers and a pair of women’s panties for Jennifer here. (Bartender stares at the five as if they are the dumbest people on the face of the planet. They all stare back. The bartender turns. Serves their drinks.) Shemp: Hey, this isn’t an import. I said surprise me. Bartender: Surprise, it’s from fuckin’ St. Louis. Jim: My God, Kevin. I’ve lived with you all this time and now I find out… you… you… like fruity drinks! (Turns away in shame) Kevin: C’mon Jim, someday you’ll learn to accept me. Jason: Okay, everyone. A toast. Here’s to honor. If you don’t have honor, get honor.
ALL: If you can’t get honor, screw her. (The five take big drinks.) Shemp: (To Jason) You couldn’t get honor and you married her. Sarah: (To Ellen astonished, and loud) What a bunch jerks! (Both girls stare at the group in disgust) Jim: (To the girls) What’s your problem? Sarah: “If you can’t get honor, screw her?” What the hell are you guys, fraternity brothers? Jim: (To the bartender.) I’ll tell you what. Keep the beer coming. (Points to Sarah) If I start to hit on her, cut me off. (All the guys laugh. Ellen rolls her eyes.) Sarah: (To the bartender.) I’LL tell you what if he hits on me, I’ll help you cut him off. C’mon Ellen, let’s sit at a table. (Kevin, Hank, Jason and Shemp cringe in pain. Jim, stunned at first, appreciates the comeback. It sparks a smile. Jim walks over to the two girls.) Jim: (Extends his hand to Sarah) You got me. Sarah: Go away. Go very FAR away. Jim: C’mon, I apologize. Ellen: Oh my God! You’re an asshole. Jim: And you are? Ellen: (Quickly) Not one. Jim: Come on. I’m humbling myself. I know when I’m wrong. I’m a sensitive guy. I have learned to appreciate the ways of women. My roommate drinks mixed drinks for God sake. (The two girls smile at each other, but try to avoid Jim seeing it. Kevin looks back at Jim and rolls his eyes.) I know you think I’m funny. Look, my name is Jim. But my friends call me, well… Jim I guess. (He turns back to the guys.) Hey, how come I don’t have a nickname? Shemp: You do, Senor Stinky. (Both girls laugh.) Jim: (Gritting his teeth.) Hey thanks Shemp! (To the girls) So is that what its going to take, humiliation? Sarah: Maybe. Jim: Fine. (In a Don King voice) I am HUMIDIFIED, at the CORRUPTITUDE of my LUBIDOUISNOUS NATURE. Furthermore, I HOMOGENIZE for the VOLUPTOUSNOUS of my COLOQUITIES and hope that in no way did their… MORSISTANCE, (Normal voice) if I may be so bold (Back to Don King) INSCRUPORATE on your BEE-GEES. (Both girls both lose it laughing.)
Sarah: (Sarcastically, still laughing) Where did you learn to speak so well? Jim: I’m a lawyer. Sarah: John Marshall? Jim: No, John Cochran. Sarah: Oh, God!.. Look, if I offer you a seat will you just sit there and look… well… average. Jim: Ouch! (Sits) Sarah: So you’re a lawyer? Jim: Not in the technical sense, no. Sarah: Oh really? How so? Jim: Well, I mean technically, I didn’t go to (making quote gestures with his fingers.) “law school”. But I am aware of such practices as those of law and have gotten my hands dirty in some legal arguments. Sarah: So technically what are you? Jim: Graphic Designer. Sarah: I see. So you’re pretty close to taking the bar then? Jim: Only if it needs a new logo… So what is it you do? Sarah: I , well, we are consultants for Brinkman Consulting. Jim: Bryant Brinkman Consulting? Ellen: (Sarcastically) NO!, Slappy Brinkman, his midget half-brother. Does mostly consulting with Circus Sideshows. Jim: Right. I guess that was a stupid question. Sarah: No such thing as a stupid question. Jim: Thanks. Sarah: ‘Til now. Jim: You are brutal. Guess I’m still paying for the insults. Sarah: Just kidding. No. You’ve made your peace. Jim: So you’re new here. Sarah: Kind of. I’m from around here. It’s just been a while, college, fun travel and all that. Jim: And you came back, wow. “It’s a Wonderful Life” Sarah: Yeah, I guess so, only I would consider myself more like George Bailey than Mary. Jim: Wait a minute. You’ve seen “It’s a Wonderful Life?”
Sarah: Sure, it’s a classic. Jim: Well my God. (Jim’s eyes light up. The light fades very dim. The audience can just see the people at the bar. Slightly brighter spotlight on Jim, Sarah and Ellen. The three talk. However, the audience only hears music. The evening speeds up. The boys leave. Eventually Ellen leaves. The two continue to talk. Gazing at each other. Watching everything about each other. The lights dim. The music dims.) Sarah: So I’m going shopping tomorrow, want to go with? Jim: Pffff..Yeah! What guy doesn’t like shopping? (Fade out.) End.
Scene 4: Jim & Kevin’s Apartment September (Jim is on his stomach on the couch with Sarah on top of him holding his arms behind him.) Sarah: Say it! Jim: I will not say it. Sarah: (Twisting his arms further behind his back.) SAY IT! Jim: OW! I will not say it. I will not say it Sam I am. I will not say it in a house. I will not say it with a mouse. I will not say it on a cruise, I will not say it you tricky cooz. (Squeezing harder) OWWW! OK! OK! I’LL SAY IT! I’LL SAY IT! THE POLISH ARE PEOPLE TOO! Sarah: AND! (Still squeezing) Jim: Ahh!! And, and business consulting is the coolest job ever! Sarah: WHY?! Jim: Because Sarah elevates everything to a higher level. Get off of me! Sarah: (Releasing Jim from her clutches. Jim sits up. Sarah sits next to him.) You are a wimp. Jim: Yeah, but I could beat you in Rock, Paper, Scissors. Sarah: That was best out of seven and I was only allowed to be Paper. Jim: Technicality. Sarah: Hey, can you put on some music so I don’t have to listen to your BULLSHIT. Jim: I have always wanted to date a truck driver. Oh, hey! I was at the record store the other day and right there in front of my face is like the “crappy music bin” which normally I pass by because I don’t listen to crappy music, but when I glanced at it, I saw all of this music I listened to in high school and college. (Jim gets up and walks over to the CD player) Sarah: Wow, you still call them record stores? Jim: You’re not listening, Rude. I bought this Replacements CD for like seven bucks. Sarah: (Sarcastically.) And that was in the “Crap Section”? Jim: You don’t like The Replacements? Sarah: I’m just kidding. You’re so intense, I can’t help it. You should write down some of your wacked out social commentary. Jim: (Points at Sarah.) Watch it. Besides, I do write a little bit. I used to write a lot in college. Sarah: Are you serious? I was just kidding. Let me read something. Jim: Some other time. It’s pretty depressing shit. I use to write a lot of it when I’d come home drunk.
Sarah: And when did you write the rest of it? Jim: When I’d wake up drunk. (Sits down next to Sarah) Sarah: So let me get this straight. (Sarcastically.) You read and you write? Jim: Yep. Sarah: Is there anything you don’t do? Jim: I don’t dance around like an idiot wearing nothing but my underwear. Wait… nope, did that last week at Mullin’s. Sarah: Golly-gee. How are you still single? Jim: (Taken aback by the question, Jim freezes.) Heh… I dunno. Sarah: You’re nuts. Come here. (Jim leans over and kisses Sarah.) Jim: I’m with you aren’t I? (They kiss again.) Every time you’re not around, I can’t wait to see you. You know that? I have so much fun when you’re around. (They kiss for a while.) (Kevin walks in. Jim and Sarah hurry to their ends of the couch.) Kevin: Just don’t slobber on the upholstery. Jim: Uh…hey Kev, did you work this late. Kevin: If you call drinking absurd amounts of beer, “work,” then yes. Hi Sarah. Sarah: Hi Kevin. Kevin: I’m amazed every time I see you with dickhead. He hasn’t pissed you off yet? Sarah: Well, he tried. Kevin: Made fun of the Polish huh? Sarah: (Nods and Laughs) I kept him in line. You know he’s not very tough. Kevin: Yeah. He’s no good at Rock, Paper, Scissors. (Sarah looks at Jim. Jim gets up.) Jim: OK… how about some ice cream? Kev, you want to run to the corner and pick some up? I’ll give you the money. Kevin: (Kevin sits in Jim’s place.) Nope. My shoes are off, besides I’m buzzing. You give me money and I’d by the latest issue of Nude Smoking Chicks or something. Jim: That’s GREAT KEV. Fine, I’ll go. What’s your favorite flavor babe? Kevin: Chunky Monkey, sweetie pie, you go get the ice cream and I’ll go slip into something shiny. Jim: (Pause) My appetite’s ruined, Sarah, what about you? Sarah: (Laughing.) Vanilla’s fine.
Jim: Vanilla it is. I’ll be right back. Talk to Sally here. Try and teach him some new cuss words. (To Kevin.) And you… Keep your hands off her you damn dirty ape. (Jim exits.) Kevin: Sorry if I offend you. Sarah: No, you’re fine. I grew up with two brothers. I’m used to it. Kevin: Really, mind if I take my shirt off? Sarah: Yes. Kevin: Damn! Sarah: You two are so wrong. Kevin: And I suppose you’re right? Sarah: Always. Kevin: Well you’re good for Stupid. I’ll give you that. I didn’t think he was ever going to get involved again after Liz. Sarah: Liz? Oh his ex-girlfriend. What was she like? Kevin: (Uncomfortable.) I dunno she was a great girl I guess. I mean she was well liked, but I guess I kind of saw it coming when she pretty much dumped him at the altar. Sarah: (Shocked.) What do you mean? Kevin: Well, I mean he bought an engagement ring and before he ever got a chance to give it to her, she pretty much blew him away. I mean she had to know it was coming. Sarah: How long did they date? Kevin: Four years or so. Sarah: FOUR YEARS? Kevin: Oh shit! You didn’t know. Sarah: I knew they dated, but I didn’t know it was four years. Kevin: Look, you’re thinking too much. Sarah… slow down. You like him right? Sarah: Well, yeah. Kevin: And he likes you. You two have been having a great time. Don’t start freakin’ out about his past. Let him bring it up if it’s a problem. Sarah: Kevin, he was engaged. Kevin: Not exactly. She never found out about the ring. Sarah: What happened to that?
Kevin: Right about now, some toothless chick that he made listen to his brother’s theory on the disappearance of socks, one night at Mullin’s is probably wearing it. He got rid of it. Look, Sarah, he is happy around you, enjoy it. Sarah: (Pause.) Maybe you’re right. Kevin: This time I know I’m right. Look I’m heading to bed. I am so drunk I’m giving advice. Goodnight. Sarah: Goodnight Kevin. Kevin: Hey, you ok? Sarah: I’m fine. (Kevin exits. Sarah fidgets while she is by herself. Jim enters.) Jim: What kind of convenience store doesn’t have vanilla? He didn’t have anything good. So I got you these. (Hands Sarah flowers.) Sarah: Oh my God. Thank you. They sell flowers down there? Jim: Well no, but I was so pissed off I ripped them out of his planter outside. (Sarah laughs.) It was either that or I gave you a pay phone. It’s the thought that counts right? Sarah: I love them. They’re beautiful. …. Jim, I…. Jim: (Interrupts.) And you’re beautiful. (Kisses her on the forehead.) Sarah: Jim…. Jim: Yes? Sarah: (Stares at Jim, smiles.) Oh… nothing…I just want to hold you. Let’s go to bed. (She stands, reaches out for him. Kisses him passionately.) (Exit Jim and Sarah.) (Fade out.) End.
Scene 5: Jim and Kevin’s Apartment October (The party. Jim, Kevin, Sarah, Hank, Jason, Jason’s wife, Shemp, other girls. Jim & Jason’s Wife are seated on the couch.) Hank: So the woman says, “No it’s my grocery list.” (Hank puts his hands on head, then his chest, then his behind, then his groin.) “I need a head of lettuce, two jugs of milk, a rump roast and some Fantastik. (Everyone begins laughing hysterically with Hank laughing the loudest. Everyone looks around at each other, but continues laughing at Hank now.) Ellen: (To Hank) Where have you been all my life? Shemp: College. Sarah: Okay, I’ve got one now. (Silence.) There’s a couple on their honeymoon. And they get to their hotel, and right off the bat the man wants to lay down the rules and show her who’s boss. So he takes off his underwear, throws them at her and says, “Here, put these on.” So she takes them, pulls them up and they fall back down. Pulls them up and they fall back down. She says, “I can’t wear these.” He says, “That’s right. I’m the man of the house. I wear the pants.” So she takes off her little panties, throws them over to him and says, “Here, put these on.” So he starts pullin’ them up and he can’t get them past his knees. He says, “I can’t get into these” And she says, “And you won’t either until you change your attitude.” (Everyone laughs.) Jason’s Wife: (To Jim.) Sarah is so much fun. Jason said she was a blast to hang out with, but I had to judge for myself. Jim: She keeps me on my toes. Jason’s Wife: Jim, I really think she’s great. Have you guys gotten serious? Jim: I dunno. Serious… what do you mean serious? Jason’s Wife: Well… just… are you guys just dating each other? Have you talked about the “M” word? Jim: “M” word? (Whispers) “McDonalds?” well, yes. She’s a McNuggets kinda gal. I’m generally the quarter pounder guy. But we’re learning to live with our differences. Jason’s Wife: (Gritting her teeth. Hits Jim.) No. “Marriage” Jim: Right marriage. Look ever since you two goofs were silly enough to act on your evening of Tequila Shooters you’ve been trying to contaminate the rest of us with visions of sugarplums. Jason’s Wife: I have not! Jim: Ya have too. Look I know you two are happy being married. Frankly, I’m jealous a little. I mean just look at Jason. (The both look at Jason. Jason is drinking beer from one of the girl’s shoes. Jason’s wife buries her head in her hand. Jim shakes his head.) God, he must be hung like a stalactite. Anyway, the point is Sarah is not interested in that right now, and I suppose, in truth I’m not either. Shemp: Uh, guys we are out of booze. (Everyone freezes.) Kevin: This is the worst party ever! Oh… it’s our place. My bad.
Brophy: Let’s go down to Mullin’s Shemp: Well rock on Mr. Bartender. Brophy: At least I’m not serving you clowns tonight. Jason: Well who is? Brophy: Owner’s brother. He’s bound to give the bar away tonight. All: Hooray! (Everyone begins exiting.) Jason’s Wife: She’s a great girl, Jim. And you’re a great guy. (Grabs his hair.) But sometimes I think your head is up your ass. (Kisses Jim on the forehead.) (Sarah walks over to behind Jim. Whispers in his ear. Jim nods his head.) Kevin: You two yahoos coming? Jim: No we’re going to stay and make out. Kevin: All right just stay out of my motor oil. Sarah: BYE! (Kevin shuts the door behind him.) Sarah: (Sits on the couch next to Jim) Thank you, Jim for staying in. I was not going to be able to intake any more. Especially whatever that drink was that Shemp made everyone. Jim: What was that? Sarah: I don’t know; but he poured a can of fruit cocktail in the blender. Jim: Frooty Shemps. Sarah: Huh? Jim: Frooty Shemps. He used to make them in college when we’d run out of juice or pop. He’d just take liquor and cans of fruit cocktail and blend it. How was yours? Sarah: Disgusting. Jim: You should see what he’d do when we’d run out of fruit cocktail. Care for a Corny Shemp? Sarah: Gross! Jim: So’d you have a good time tonight. Sarah: I did thanks. I love your friends. They crack me up. Jim: Yeah, well they seem to like you a lot. I’ve never thought they were very good judges of character. (Glances at Sarah and grins.) Sarah: (Moving closer to Jim.) And you, what do you think of me? (Starts caressing Jim.)
Jim: (Reciprocates.) I like you a lot. Then again I also like Jackie Chan movies. Sarah: (Kissing Jim) Seriously Jim, what do you think of me? Jim: (Kissing Sarah) Sarah, I think you’re great. I think I’m lucky to have you. Sarah: Jim… I love you. Jim: (Stops.) What? Sarah: I love you Jim. I have fallen deeply, madly, passionately in love with you. Jim: (Pauses. Looks around. Stands up.) Jesus, what a mess they made. (Begins cleaning up.) Sarah: (Visibly hurt.) Jim? Jim: Mmm? Sarah: Is something wrong? Jim: No, honey. Nothings wrong. I’m just all of a sudden tired, and this place smells like a medicine cabinet. Sarah: (Disappointed. Stands.) Well, let me help you that way we can get done faster and be done with it. Jim: No, Sarah that’s fine. Look I’m really, just, wiped out. I’m just going to go to bed after this. Sarah: (Stops.) Oh, Okay, well, I guess I’ll head home then. Jim: Yeah that’s fine. There’s no need for you to have to help. Sarah: Right… well then, will I talk to you tomorrow? Jim: Tomorrow, sure. Sarah: Ok…(Opens the door.) Jim? Jim: Yeah, babe? Sarah: (Smiles.) I’ll… I’ll see you tomorrow. Jim: (Grins.) Goodnight, Sarah. (Exit Sarah) (Jim stops cleaning. Stands. Exits to his room. Enters with small wooden box. Sits on the couch. Opens the box and pulls out jewel box. Opens it. Pulls out Liz’s engagement ring. Sets everything else down in front of the couch. Holds up the ring stares at it. Lights begin to fade except for blue wash spot on Jim. Strobe light begins pulsing. As the strobe pulses faster, spot on Jim fades. In the doorway appears Liz in ghostly flowing appearance. Music begins playing. Jim turns back, sets down the ring and stands. Liz approaches Jim. The two hold each other and begin to slow dance. After a while, Liz coldly leaves Jim and heads for the door. Jim sits back down and holds up the ring again.) Jim: NO! (Liz disappears. Strobe stops pulsing. Lights come on. Jim leans back and begins crying.) (Fade out.) End
Scene 6: Jim and Kevin’s Apartment The next morning. (Jim is passed out in the same position on the couch.) (Knock at the door. Pause. Knock at the door. Pause. Door opens. Sarah enters. She sees Jim on the couch, smiles. She begins cleaning up.) Sarah: Hey! Drunky Drawers! Wake up! (Jim wakes up. Unaware of even where he is. Looks around sees Sarah exit to the kitchen. Looks down at the ring, and boxes. He puts away the ring and slides everything under the couch.) Sarah: I thought you were going to clean this up last night. Jim: Huh? Well yeah, I got preoccupied. I started watching a rerun. Sarah: What rerun? Jim: Huh? Uh… “Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman.” (Cringes.) Sarah: That must have made for a nice end of your evening. (Enters.) Well, while you were watching that. I was thinking about you. (Leans down and kisses Jim on the cheek.) I almost came back over last night. I really missed being with you. Jim: Yeah,… I thought about you too. Sarah… I… Sarah: Hey, do you want me to make you some breakfast? What would you like, an omelet or French toast. I’m in a making-people-happy mood. Jim: Sarah, sit down for a second. Sarah: It’s a great day; no time for sitting. (Begins heading for the kitchen.) Jim: Sarah, SIT! Sarah: (Sits. Silently.) What’s up Jim? Jim: Sarah… I… there’s… Sarah, you…. Sarah: Spit it out. Jim: (Hurriedly.) It’s not working out. Sarah: What? Jim: Look. You’re a great girl, but I just think we’ve been too intense lately. Maybe we just need to take a step back. Sarah: What the hell are you talking about? Take a step back. Jim: Yes, just so that maybe you can have the opportunity to meet other people. Sarah: Other people? Jim, I don’t want to get involved with anyone else. This is crazy.
Jim: Well maybe I want to. I mean I don’t necessarily, I just want… you know… the option to maybe sort of see other people. Sarah: Where is this coming from? Jim: It’s not coming from anywhere. It’s coming from me. I just think that maybe we have been smothering each other. Sarah: Smothering? Jim, don’t you always go out with your friends whenever you want? I mean, you do everything you want, and when we want to we get together. We’re not smothering each other. Jim: Look, I can’t explain it. It’s just how I feel. I don’t know what else to say. Sarah: Say you’re kidding Jim. Say this is a joke. Jim: I’m not Sarah. I’ve just been thinking. I like you Sarah. Sarah: But you don’t love me. Jim: What? Sarah: Last night. You couldn’t say it. You couldn’t tell me you loved me back. Jim: Sarah…. Sarah: (Interrupts.) No… the truth of the matter is you’re still in love with Liz. Jim: That’s absurd! I am not! Sarah: (Points to an indistinct picture on the wall.) Jim, that picture of Liz has hung on the wall since before you and I started dating. I’ve never said anything, but I always assumed that when you and I started seeing each other that at some point you’d eventually take it down. Well, it hasn’t moved! How can I compete with that? Jim: (Surprised.) That’s just a…. Sarah: (Interrupts.) That’s just a constant reminder that she’s still out there and that you still love her. (Begins crying.) I love you Jim. I love you. I didn’t even know people like you existed. You have taken my whole understanding of what it is to share your feelings with another person and totally rewrote the book. The way you make me feel, about myself, about you, about everything. It’s like no one I have ever been with before. And now. Now this is the worst I’ve ever felt. Jim: I’m… I’m... sorry. I didn’t…. Sarah: (Interrupts.) No Jim, that’s just it… You didn’t. Jim: Sarah, I need this. I don’t know what else to say. Sarah: (Pause.) Okay. (Gets up and heads toward the door.) You don’t have to say anything else. You have your “freedom.” (Pause.) So I guess I’ll talk to you sometime. (Exits.) Jim: Wait! (Faces forward and is visibly thinking.) (Kevin enters hung over) Kevin: Christ, I think I’ve been shot in the head. Jim: Huh? Oh… I’m afraid you haven’t been.
Kevin: Really? Well then could you shoot me in the head? It’s got to be better than this. Jim: Hmm. Kevin: Was that Sarah that just left? Jim: (Sighs.) Yeah. Kevin: Did she go to pick up food? I’m jonesing for a Frisco Melt. (Starts heading for the kitchen.) Jim: Umm… No Kev, she’s not coming back. Kevin: (Stops.) Oh shit, Jim, what did you do? Jim: I… uh… we…uh… we broke up, sort of. Kevin: You kidding? Jim: No, I just wanted some space to relax a little. We’ve just been together too much lately. I want to be able to maybe meet some other girls and whatever. Kevin: (Stares at Jim.) That’s ironic. Jim: What do you mean? Kevin: (Turns to the kitchen.) Didn’t Liz do the same thing to you? (Exits.) (Jim is taken aback. He closes his eyes in shame of himself.) (Fade out.) End Act II
Scene 7: Mullin’s Tavern Mini-Scene A (Jim, Kevin, Hank and Shemp are at the bar. Brophy is working. There is a girl alone at the table downstage center.) Jim: Well, what do you think? Think any of us have a chance? Hank: You go for it. We’re not on a mission here Elwood, you are. Jim: C’mon I’m not on a mission. I just want to have some fun and meet some new women. Is that so friggin’ wrong? Shemp: No. It’s not wrong. It’s just that you haven’t played this game since we were in college Jim. And we’re not in college anymore. Things are different. These women are different. (Pats Jim’s gut.) You’re different. You don’t just date women you meet at bars anymore. Jim: I met Sarah here didn’t I? Hank: That’s our point. It was a one in a hundred shot. Sarah wasn’t the norm. Kevin: And Sarah was more than just some girl. Jim: Fine, fine. Look can’t I just introduce myself to some to these girls and see where it leads. One of them might be the one. Shemp: Hey brother, go for it. (Jim walks over to the girl.) Kevin: This ought to be fun. Jim: (Holds out his hand to the girl.) Hi. Girl 1: AHH! (Grabs her keys and sprays pepper spray in Jim’s face.) Jim: AHH! My eyes! Hank: Yep. This’ll be a hoot. (Fade out.) End Mini-Scene A
Mini-Scene B (Fade in) (Jim and Girl 2 are seated downstage center. Kevin, Hank and Shemp are at the bar watching.) Jim: Wow! So you did all of that traveling? Girl 2: Yep. I’d love to do it all over again. Jim: That is so interesting. Hey, do you want to get something to eat?
Girl 2: I’d love too. Jim: Great where do you want to go? (Takes a sip of his beer.) Girl 2: Anywhere is fine just as long as it’s not meat. Jim: (Chokes.) So you are a vegetarian. Girl 2: Sort of. I mean, I don’t eat meat. Jim: Well, is there anything else you don’t eat. Girl 2: No not really. I mean I don’t eat any processed foods. You know, anything out of a can or a box or dairy products or anything that uses dairy products because it all comes from cows and cows are animals. And no vegetables grown by farmer’s who use chemicals or pesticides. Beyond that… OH! And nothing made by the Amish because I don’t believe they really exist. Jim: You don’t believe they exist? Girl 2: Oh no. Them and Eskimos. But I mean beyond that I’m pretty much a pig. Jim:
Right. (To Brophy) Brophy two plates of ice! Let’s just eat here.
(Fade out.) End Mini-Scene B
Mini-Scene C (Fade in) (Jim and Girl 3 are seated downstage center. Kevin, Hank and Shemp are at the bar watching.) Girl 3: Oh God. I am totally into my work. Jim: I know what you mean. I just enjoy what I do. Girl 3: I mean I love it. You know? I get up in the morning, read the papers pour myself a couple screwdrivers and I’m set for the day. Jim: Screwdrivers? You’re kidding right. Girl 3: (Grinning) Oh, come on. We all have a little pick-me-up before we head in. I mean. How could you get through the day? I mean. I love my job. Like I already said that right, but work has got to be fun. So lunch rolls around and we split a quick joint. Carries me right through to the end of the day. Jim: So, like today you did this? Girl 3: Oh no, since I knew you and I were coming here. I took off early and drank a bottle of wine. Ya know. To relax a little bit. So, where do you think we should go next? Jim: Betty Ford Clinic. (Fade out.) End Mini-Scene C
(Fade in) (Jim and Girl 4 are seated downstage center. Kevin, Hank and Shemp are at the bar watching. Jim’s head is on the table.) Girl 4: So do you want to hear about my childhood? I mean, my childhood can tell you a lot about the strong focused person I am today. I was born in Austin which is like one of the…..(Girl 4 continues talking as the lights fade.) (Fade out.) End Mini-Scene D
Mini-Scene E (Fade in) (Jim and Girl 5 are seated downstage center. Kevin, Hank and Shemp are at the bar watching. Jim has his head in his hands.) Girl 5: I mean what’s a little time in the pen? I think it makes you stronger if nothing else. (Fade out.) End Mini-Scene E
Mini-Scene F (Fade in) (Jim and Girl 6 are seated downstage center. Kevin, Hank and Shemp are at the bar watching.) Girl 6: I love this place, although I don’t get out much. With work and volunteering and such. Would you like a drink? Jim: Yes. But in a second. Let me just take care of some items. (Sets a buzzer on the table. Picks up a clipboard and pencil.) You are 26 right? Girl 6: (Confused.) Yes, what are.… Jim: Are you a vegetarian? Girl 6: No! Jim: Are you an alcoholic or do you abuse any other substances? Girl 6: No! Jim: Ever been to jail? Girl 6: No! Jim: Ever been treated for any mental illness? Girl 6: NO! Jim: Were you at any point a man?
Girl 6: NO! Jim: What’s your idea of a romantic date? Girl 6: Wha.. Well.. First we’d go for maybe some Sushi….. BUZZ! (Fade out.) End Mini-Scene F
Mini-Scene G (Fade in) (Jim and Girl 7 are seated downstage center. Kevin, Hank and Shemp are at the bar watching.) (Girl 7 is GORGREOUS. Jim is grinning from ear to ear nodding his head at his date. She immediately shakes her head “No.”) BUZZ! (Fade out.) End Mini-Scene G
Mini-Scene H (Fade in) (Jim and Girl 8 are seated downstage center. Kevin, Hank and Shemp are at the bar watching.) (Girl eight is looks exactly like Liz but with glasses on. Jim is in awe.) Jim: So, LISA, have you ever been to Portland? Girl 8: Yes, God I hate it there. (Jim grins.) (Kevin, Hank and Shemp all dive on the buzzer.) BUZZ! (Fade out.) End Mini-Scene H End
Scene 8: Jim & Kevin’s Apartment (Jim and Kevin are on the couch. Kevin is trying to watch football. Jim keeps talking. Kevin is visibly annoyed.) Jim: I dunno. I just haven’t been meeting anyone great. You know what I mean. Kevin: Mmm. Jim: It’s like there’s something wrong with all of them. Like one damn flaw with each of them. Kevin: Mmm. Jim: It’s like a Seinfeld episode. Like I keep wondering if I’m that picky. Like I would get annoyed with a woman if she ate her peas one at a time. I’d kill for one of the girls on that show. Why can’t I meet women like that? I mean where are those people. I’m babbling I know, but I mean is it so terrible that I want one of the perfect girls. Someone who would put me first just like I would put them… someone like… Kevin: (Interrupts.) SARAH! Jim: What? Kevin: (Stands.) OK, GODAMMIT, it’s bad enough that I can’t watch the game with you wallowing in pathetic self-pity. But to hear this just absolute bullshit fall out of your mouth like you were actually the bulls ass. This is ridiculous. Jim: What the hell are you talking about? Kevin: Sarah. Sarah. SARAH! For God’s sake can’t you rise above sea level for once? You want to know if you’re like Seinfeld? No. You know why? Because he’s fucking fake! And so are the damn women on the show. But you, you’re the real thing. You had something perfect with Sarah. Most guys don’t ever find Sarah's. Most people get Liz. Jim: Hey wait a minute! Kevin: No. Use your friggin’ head. Liz was great. Liz was beautiful. But the fact remains she didn’t love you. Sure. Sure you guys had some great times I know. But when push came to shove. Liz was more interested in where she was located than who she was with. Those women you bring over. Half the time I feel like I have to sanitize the house after they’re gone just so I can sleep at night. What’s worse is I have to hear you bitch about it. Why can’t they be more whatever? You know what really stinks in your whole little dating escapade? You think you’re trying to find the next Liz. When what you’re really looking for... is the next Sarah. And what a fucking waste of time when all this time. Sarah has always been there. (Kevin calms down.) Jim, you are my best friend. I’d do anything in the world to make you happy, anything. You know that. So you have to trust me on this one. I see the way she looks at you. I’ve seen the way your whole face just radiates lights up when she walks in the room. Jim, for the first time, I truly believe you’ve found love. (Jim looks surprised at Kevin’s comment.) For Christ’s sake, don’t let go. (Kevin turns to exit to his room.) I’ve got to clean up and get ready for the party tonight. You’ve ruined my football game. (Kevin turns back at Jim. They look at each other. Kevin waves him off. Kevin exits.) (Jim thinks for a while. He exits to his room and re-enters with the small wooden box. He opens it pulls out the jewel box. Opens the jewel box, stares at the ring for a minute. Closes it. Puts the jewel box in his pocket. Exits. Pause. Re-enters, grabs the picture of Liz off the wall and exits with it. Moments later Kevin re-enters and looks at the wall where the picture was) Kevin: I wish I had your damn problems. (Fade out) End.
Scene 9: Jim & Kevin’s Apartment Later that evening. (Everyone including Sarah and except for Jim is present. Ellen and Kevin are on the couch.) Hank: Drunk guy in the back of the room stands up and says, “500lbs.” Woman says, “Close enough.” (Everyone begins laughing hysterically with Hank laughing the loudest. Everyone looks around at each other, but continues laughing at Hank now.) Ellen: So where’s Jim? Kevin: I don’t know. He took off this afternoon. I kind of chewed him a new one. Ellen: What about? Kevin: This whole stupid relationship thing. He just pushed way too hard. I snapped. Ellen: You and I both see it. I mean everyone sees it. But it’s none of our business. Things just get messed up. I mean it’s certainly not Sarah’s fault, but Jim’s not solely to blame. As much as I think he is obnoxious, and in fact a dork. (Kevin giggles.) I really think it’s a rite of passage that we all eventually go through. Maybe it’s just Jim and Sarah’s turns. Kevin: What do you think he’ll do? Ellen: Not a clue. And no matter what he does, maybe he’ll regret it, maybe not. But all we can do… for any of our friends, is be there if they fall. It’s what you would want. I know it’s what I would want. If nothing else, what they shared together even briefly can’t ever be taken away. Truth is, if it wasn’t for Jim and Sarah, we might not be friends at all. Shemp: KEVIN GOD DAMMIT! YOU’RE OUT OF LIQUOR AGAIN! Kevin: What? Shemp: And you’re out of Fruit Cocktail. Kevin: (Stands.) What the hell? Do we have like a larger group of friends? Jason: No just bigger drinking problems. Jason’s Wife: (Jiggling Jason’s gut.) And bigger guts. Hank: Brophy? (Everyone stares at Brophy.) Brophy: Well, shit. C’mon. (Everyone heads for the door.) Shemp: You have any Fruit Cocktail down there. Brophy: No but I got a can of peas or something. Shemp: That’ll be new.
(Jim enters. With a large package.) Hank: Hey Jim! You’re just in time. We’re heading down to Mullin’s, let’s go. Jim: You guys go on, I’ll be down in a few. (As everyone is clearing Kevin, Ellen and Sarah are the last to the door.) Uh, Sarah, could I have a minute? (Sarah turns to Ellen, they look at each other for a while and then Sarah nods Ellen on. Sarah begins to wander.) Sarah… Sarah… I want to apologize for the way things ended. I never meant to hurt feelings. I care about you a lot. I just didn’t mean for things to turn out the way they did. And well, I’m sorry. Sarah: (Long pause.) Is that it? Jim: Well, yes. Sarah: Ok. Apology accepted. I’m fine these days. It happens. (Starts heading for the door.) I’m going to head down there. You coming? Jim: Yeah, in a sec. (Opens the door.) I want to give it another try. Sarah: (Turns around immediately.) Oh Jim it’s too late for… Jim: No, wait. (Pause.) Sarah, I made a mess of things. (Pause.) A while ago, when I was still dating Liz, I met a girl once. She developed kind of a crush on me, right? So one night there was group of us out, including this girl. She got kind of bold and she walked up and kissed me. As beautiful as she was and as easy as it would have been, I couldn’t kiss her back. Sarah: Jim where’s this going… Jim: Just listen… So later that evening, Liz showed up. I immediately went up to her and told her what happened. Sarah: How come? loathe Jim: Because I wanted to prove to her that I always put her first, that I would never even dream of cheating on her like that. And, do you know what her response was? (Sarah shakes her head) “Do your rules apply to me?”(Sarah looks down.) What a stupid fool I was. She couldn’t reciprocate the same feelings. See I shouldn’t have had to prove anything and when I did. She made it very clear to me that no matter how high a priority I made her in my life, I would always be low priority in hers. For a whole year after that, I blew off that statement and eventually forgot about it… until today. Liz hurt me so deeply. And then, with you I was afraid of getting hurt again. It is so hard for me… but, I want to be able to love again. I want to love you. What I had with you was special. It’s taken me too long to realize that. I want to be able to love again. I want to love you Sarah. No one else could ever fill me the way you absolutely fill me. Sarah, I just didn’t see it. I was blinded with fear. I know you probably despise me right now, and you have every right. But, I got you someth…well, I got us something sort of. (Opens up the package. It is a kissing scenes from “It’s a Wonderful Life.) Sarah: (Whispers.) Oh…Jim. Jim: See, I’m George and your Mary. (Sarah smiles.) I mean you could be George and I could be Mary, but like I really don’t want that to come up in front of my friends and all. So what do you say? Sarah: (Looks up. Her smile changes to a serious face.) It’s not that easy Jim. You can’t do what you did and then just expect I’ll take you right back. Jim: I know. Sarah: (Angrily.) You crushed me. I’ve had my fair share of disappointments and bad times, before you. I didn’t exactly need this one. (Pause) But, if you are serious, then you’re definitely going to have to show you mean it.
Jim: (Cowering.) I know Sarah. I’ll do whatever it takes. I want this as much for me as I do for you. Sarah: (Stares and then slightly smiles.) So I’m going shopping tomorrow, want to go with? Jim: (Smiles.) Pffff..Yeah! What guy doesn’t like shopping? Sarah: Call me tomorrow. (Jim Nods) Sarah: I’m heading down. You coming? Jim: Yeah, I’ll see you there, let me lock up. (Sarah exits. Jim cleans up a little then picks up the new picture and hangs it where the one of Liz hung. Jim smiles and then turns the lights off and leaves.) END
Copyright © 1998 Peter A. Blackmon