Ancient Dialogue

[Preface: This is horrible. But jokingly so. I wrote this a long time ago and it’s incredibly naive. But you gotta start somewhere, right?]

Hazy dawn light is cast over the stage…it has that peculiar combination of being both cooling and warm, a trait distinct to the light of a winter dawn. Time during the day that is not quite concrete or rational.

A man’s hand grazes the exposed upper arm of a woman. A moment or two passes and the alarm clock switches on. The two groan with laughter as the sounds of an early morning talk radio show fills the silence.

1 – I guess it’s time to wake up.

2 – Why the hell is your alarm set this early?

1 – I usually go for a run.

2 – I wouldn’t take you for a runner.

1 – People usually wait till 9 am to make me sound like a felon.

2 – Uhhh

1 – Get it?

2 – (laughs) I’m not that sharp this early.

The sun is inching closer, illuminating the room slowly but surely.

1 – I like Sundays. Pure silence.

2 – It’s usually this quiet at this time of day all through the week isn’t it?

1 – No, Sundays are special. There’s a distinct lack of noise…it’s an unspoken rule.

2 – All the gears are delayed by a few hours …

1 – But alas they have to grind together eventually. I hate that.

2 – It is lovely isn’t it? This stillness.

1 – You got that right.

2 – I like this.

1 – What?

2 – This…You and me.

1 – Yeah … it is nice.

Silence. Light is washing the room in an amber glow now. Warm and lush.

2  – God you’re beautiful.

1 – Ha!

2 – What is it? What’s funny?

1- It’s just … I’m not that good with compliments. Thank-you though. You’re not bad yourself.

2- Well, that’s nice of you to say … (beat) … You’re perfect.

1 – Are you serious? ME? Perfect? (chuckles) Sorry.

2 – Don’t apologize. It’s true…you’re…

(She interrupts)

1 – Please, it’s still a little early for the schmaltz.

2 – Ah, I see (pause) So what are you going to do today?

She ignores him.

1 – Can you do something for me?

2 – Anything

(beat)

1 – Don’t tell me that you love me.

2 – Sorry?

1 – Oh nevermind…

(Long pause)

2 – What’re you talking about?

(beat)

1 – It’ll ruin everything…it’ll mean that we’re invested in this. Whatever this is between you and I.

He pauses and looks at her quizzically

2 – Excuse me?

1 – It’s a completely legitimate request. I am not over-reacting.

2 – I didn’t think you were over-reacting. I’m just a little confused.

1 – You’re right, let me try to explain this …

2 – Not right now…

1 – Then when?

2 – Can’t we have coffee first?

1 – No. I have to get this off my chest.

2 – Fuck…fine.

(Pause)

1 -It’s not even that I don’t believe in love…love is possible for those who are ready to invest the time and energy in tending the peculiar plant. Love being an absurd hybrid of selfless narcissism that basks in the lovers’ warm egos, which subsequently fuels its growth. That odd collision of empathy for your significant other while being whole-heartedly conceited during your entire tenure with this person. It’s just something I haven’t been able to wrap my head around. Hence my lack of being IN love.

2 – That doesn’t make an inch of sense…

1 – It sounded better in my head. It’s still early give me a break.

2 – So you refuse, to love because you just don’t get it?

1- Um, let me clarify. I have loved things, I have loved my cat, my first typewriter, a good-sandwich, the first sundress day of the year. But never have I swooned, been wooed … I’ve never been IN  love. I want to be wanted and desired but I never want to feel like I can’t survive on my own. It’s just that … I work better by myself. You know? It’s clearer and calmer when I’m by myself. The fogs of relationships and infatuations that I’ve found myself stranded in have never been kind to me. So I’m wary when it comes to this stuff. Ya know?

2 – No.

1 – Yes you do. You just think we have some unparalleled connection that stirs your soul. I’ve heard that before. It’s bullshit.

2 – How can you say that?

1 – I’m just trying to be honest here. I don’t want you to get the wrong impression.

2 – You’re being completely unfair!

1 – What has this got to do with fairness? To be fair is to be devoid of what makes us human in the first place, which is error.

2 – That’s bullshit; humans are more then just inconsistent fuck-ups.

1 – I beg to differ.

2 – So every person,  according to you, is a fuck-up? Me? You? Your family and friends?

1 – In essence yes. In different capacities of course…we’re not all equally fucked up. But we’re all on the same downward trajectory.

2 – Simply amazing. I’ve never met a true pessimist before.

1 – Please I’m not a pessimist!

2 – Then what are you?

1 – A realist.

2 – How on earth is that any better?

1 – It isn’t … I just like being associated with one over the other.

2 – This is pathetic.

1 – What? Having a constitution? I’m sorry it’s upsetting you. But in this day in age you have to have a backbone!

2 – What you’re rambling on about is not a constitution. It’s a rat-nest of strident obtuseness. Trying to offend people who subscribe to any form of authentic earnestness.

1 – Like your self?

2 – Just shut up for a second.

1 – No! I’m not hurting anyone. I’m not offending anyone. I’m sorry its not fitting into your mould of Rockwellian morals. You obviously haven’t met that many people. I don’t have faith in the collective of humanity. We’re all kamikazes, barreling at break neck speeds into ruin. That’s why I try to keep my demons to myself and don’t fall in love. Why would I want to get attached to someone, knowing full well the world that we know is going to implode from gluttonous excess? Why? That’s selfish.

2 – So you’re going to lick your wounds in private?

1 – I have friends.

2  – Oh, like me?

1 – At the end of the day … do we really know one another? Do we really know anyone?

2 – I can’t believe this. (beat) So this, between you and I … was never more then a good time?

1 – Well now you’re getting the gist of it … .

2 – What are you going to do now?

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