Ann Marie Healy
A Short Play
Characters: RHONDA—mid-thirties; CHET—mid-thirties.
Location: acity in the desert. Time: now.
1. AN INTERESTING AIRPORT
[RHONDA carries a small hard suitcase. She wears
“travel clothes”—something nice, maybe a hat. CHET is
wearing a plaid shirt and jeanswith a big belt buckle.]
RHONDA: I’m so happy you called.
CHET: You called me.
RHONDA: But then you called me right back.
CHET: Did that bother you?
RHONDA: No no. Not at all. I love it when people
call me back.
CHET: So do I.
RHONDA: That’s so funny. So do I.
CHET: I know you do.
RHONDA: You do?
CHET: You just told me.
RHONDA: Oh. Sorry. [Pause] So. How do I look?
CHET: You look. The same.
RHONDA: So do you. Just the same.
CHET: As how you look?
RHONDA: As how you look. Or looked. I almost forgot.
To be honest.
CHET: What’s that?
RHONDA: I almost forgot what you looked like.
CHET: The seminar ended last week.
RHONDA: But I only ever saw you in the dark.
CHET: You didn’t want to see me in the light?
RHONDA: I did. I do. I really wanted to see you
in the light of thisarea. I love the light in this area. I’ve
heard so much aboutthe light. I wanted to see the light in
this area in the day.
CHET I’m so glad you wanted to see this area.
This is a very interestingarea. There are some very interesting
things around here.
RHONDA: I saw some little canyons from the plane.
I didn’t knowthere were so many little canyons.
CHET: There are. There are. They’re very low.
Do you likecanyons?
RHONDA: I guess I’ve never really thought about
CHET: Oh. Of course.
RHONDA: But I like the idea of starting to think
about them. Do youlike to think about canyons?
CHET: Only sometimes. Not all the time.
RHONDA: . . . I can think about a canyon if you
want me to.
CHET: You don’t want to think about a canyon right
now. You justgot here. You must be tired.
RHONDA: Why don’t I think about a canyon right
CHET: Don’t be silly. You should rest first. And
we have so manyinteresting things to see.
RHONDA: I love seeing things.
CHET: We could see some interesting sights or
. . . we could seethe interesting road that leads right up
to the hotel . . . It’san interesting hotel. It’s historic.
RHONDA: That does sound interesting.
CHET: Which one? The history or the hotel?
RHONDA: The hotel.
CHET: Are you tired . . . ?
RHONDA: I’m very flexible. If you want to see
something else besidesthe hotel. I can look at almost anything.
I just don’t wantyou to think that I’m not flexible.
CHET: You seem very flexible. Not that I’m checking
out yourflexibility. That’s not something I try to see.
RHONDA: I like flexible and I like not flexible
too. I like them both.I’m easy that way.
CHET: So am I. I mean. Easy.
RHONDA: But you don’t mean. Easy.
CHET: What? No.
[BOTH laugh nervously. They stop.]
RHONDA: I do.
CHET: Hot damn.
[BOTH attack each other and roll around onthe
floor taking off each other’s clothes. Thisends. Their clothes
are disheveled. QUICKBLACKOUT.]
2. THAT HOTEL HAS SOME
RHONDA: This room is really nice. It’s really
CHET: No, it’s not.
RHONDA: It’s not bad.
CHET It’s awful.
RHONDA: You’re right. It is awful. In a sort of
pretty way. [Pause]
What should we do today?
CHET: I don’t know. What would you like to do
RHONDA: We could climb that canyon.
CHET: You don’t really want to climb that canyon.
RHONDA: Yes I do. I love climbing canyons.
CHET: How many canyons have you ever climbed in
RHONDA: Well, I can’t remember.
CHET: I’ve climbed forty-nine. How many have you
RHONDA: . . . I’ve climbed about that much too.
CHET: About forty-nine or about a little less
RHONDA: About something like forty-nine. If I
sat down and countedall of them.
CHET: You really want to climb a canyon?
RHONDA: I’ll do whatever you want to do.
CHET: I don’t know if I want to climb that canyon.
RHONDA: Actually. Neither do I. I only brought
CHET: Actually. Me too.
RHONDA: If we only have flip-flops, isn’t it going
to be hard to climbthat canyon?
RHONDA: I mean. I love the idea. It was a super
CHET: I love the idea too.
RHONDA: Maybe we can order up some beer. I haven’t
done that in. . .
CHET: Neither have I. Not in . . . Do you want
RHONDA: I like beer. Do you like beer?
CHET: I do. I like beer a lot.
RHONDA: I wish I knew more about beer.
CHET: Me too. [Pause] Actually, I do know something
about beer.I know a little something about German beer.
RHONDA: Oh good.
CHET: Do you want me to tell you?
RHONDA: Let’s get the beer first and then you
can tell me.
CHET: All right.
[RHONDA picks up a phone.]
RHONDA: Hello. My name is Rhonda and we want beer.
[Pause. ToCHET] What kind?
CHET: I like all kinds.
RHONDA: So any kind?
CHET: Don’t get just any kind.
RHONDA: You decide—you know more about beer
than I do.
CHET: Get—get something . . . Well . . .
get German beer. I knowabout German beer.
RHONDA: Oh! That’s such a super idea. [Into the
phone] We wouldlike some German beer. [She hangs up the phone.]They’re
bringing German beer.
RHONDA: What were you saying?
RHONDA: You were saying something about German
CHET: Oh. That. Well. I know something about a
RHONDA: That’s so great.
CHET: I haven’t told you what I know.
RHONDA: Oh . . . But it’s a great thing to know.
CHET: It’s an all-right thing to know.
RHONDA: I’m sure it’s a great thing.
CHET: Here I am. Talking away. Tell me something
that you know.
[A DOORBELL rings.]
RHONDA: The beer is here!
[There is a six-pack of beer waiting somewhereon
stage. BOTH begin drinking thebeer.]
CHET: First you tell a story, then I tell a story.
RHONDA: All right. What kind of a story should
CHET: Tell me a story about . . . I don’t know.
You think of some-thing.
RHONDA: Well . . . I could tell a story about
the time my dog gotlost.
CHET: All right.
RHONDA: You don’t want to hear that story, do
CHET: Yes, I do.
RHONDA: No, you don’t.
CHET: I do. I love dog stories.
RHONDA: It’s a boring story.
CHET: How did it happen?
RHONDA: I don’t really know. I wasn’t with the
dog. I guess I don’tremember.
CHET: . . . Is that it?
RHONDA: What do you mean?
CHET: Is that the end of the story?
RHONDA: I’m sorry. I told you it was boring.
CHET: I should tell you the story about the band
I formed in college.
RHONDA: All right.
CHET: I formed this band in college.
RHONDA: That’s what you said.
CHET: I think that we were pretty good.
RHONDA: I love bands. I love music.
CHET: What is your favorite kind of music?
RHONDA: . . . Hmmm. I love the kind of music where
the personwrites the songs.
CHET: You mean singer-songwriter.
RHONDA: Exactly. Singer-songwriter. That’s my
favorite kind ofmusic.
CHET: That’s not really music. That’s lyrics.
RHONDA: Did you write lyrics in your band?
CHET: I did sometimes. A lot of the time. And
then. Sometimes.Tom did.
RHONDA: Who is Tom?
CHET: Tom was just another guy in the band.
RHONDA: But Tom was the one who wrote the lyrics.
CHET: Sometimes. But sometimes I did too.
RHONDA: Who wrote the lyrics more often?
CHET: . . . Tom. Sometimes did. More often. And
then me. I did.
RHONDA: But Tom sometimes more often.
CHET: . . . Sometimes. More often.
[Pause. It is strangely awkward. RHONDAputs
her hand on CHET’s shoulder. They roll onthe floor again.
This time it is considerablyshorter. Remarkably short. BLACKOUT
andLIGHTS UP. They are in different positions onstage.]
CHET: There’s something I need to tell you.
RHONDA: I’m married.
RHONDA: I’m married.
CHET: . . . Me too. [He starts to cry. Everything
in a followingmonologue comes out in a blur of sobbing, except
the lastfew phrases.] Oh, God. I don’t know why I’m doing
this. Idon’t know why I am doing this. I am doing this thing.
I amdoing this terrible thing I don’t want to be doing and
I don’tknow why I am doing it and here I am and I am doing
thisthing and I was taken away from everything I ever thoughtI
would want and all the things I thought I was about andnow
I am about nothing. I am nothing and I don’t haveanywhere
to go and no one to turn to and there is nothingin my life
to hold onto right now . . . I think . . . I think . . .I
think that I’ve lost my faith in God. I don’t believe in anythinganymore.
RHONDA: Shut up.
RHONDA: I said, shut up.
CHET: . . . Good idea.
4. I’M SO GLAD WE CLIMBED
[They are wearing flip-flops and straw hats. They
are walking in thecanyon. It is hot. Very hot. Their flip-flops
are very thin.]
RHONDA: This is a really great canyon.
CHET: A long time ago, people came across these
canyons andsettled here and they called it Canyon Plaza.
RHONDA: No, they didn’t.
CHET: Yes, they did. They called it Canyon Plaza.
You can look itup. I have it memorized.
RHONDA: Why would they call it Canyon Plaza? That
doesn’t soundlike a name to give a canyon.
CHET: I don’t know why they called it that. Do
you know whyyou’re called the name you’re named?
RHONDA: No, but it’s a name that other people
are named. No othercanyon is called Canyon Plaza. That’s a
name that wasinvented after people named this canyon.
CHET: I feel like I’m annoying you. With all these
RHONDA: You can annoy me if you want. I don’t
CHET: But I feel like if I annoy you then you’ll
start to getannoyed.
RHONDA: No. No. I mean, I will. But I like it.
I like being annoyed
CHET: All right. [Pause] There’s something else
I should tell you.
RHONDA: What’s that?
CHET: I think we’re lost.
RHONDA: . . . I’m not annoyed.
CHET: But you’re angry.
RHONDA: I’m not.
CHET: I don’t hardly know you.
RHONDA: What did you say?
CHET: I said, I don’t hardly know you.
RHONDA: I don’t think. That’s not right.
CHET: But I don’t.
RHONDA: No. I mean. Your grammar.
CHET: You know what I mean.
RHONDA: Well, if you knew me, you would know that
this makes mehappy. You make me very happy.
CHET: You’re pretty good at that.
RHONDA: It’s not lying. I’m trying to be polite.
CHET: Look. I don’t . . . I hardly know you.[Pause]
Do you havea cat?
CHET: Do you have any brothers?
CHET: Do you like to watch TV?
CHET: So do I. . . . Do you get cable?
RHONDA: We just ordered it.
CHET: So did we.
RHONDA: Do you have kids?
RHONDA: Yep. Two for me too.
CHET: It’s getting dark. I think we’re stuck here
for the night.
RHONDA: All right.
CHET: I suppose in the big city people don’t often
get stuck incanyons.
RHONDA: This isn’t really a canyon though. This
is a Canyon Plaza.
CHET: Good point.
[Pause. BOTH sit down.]
CHET: She’s very depressed. My wife. She stopped
getting out ofbed. She calls me names. She’s very difficult
to live with.She throws eggs and paper at me when I walk in
the room.She watches television all day. She smells. I can’t
touchher. I try to touch her. Will you touch me? Rhonda?
[Quick BLACKOUT. LIGHTS UP. BOTH are intheir
CHET: I’m going to keep trying, though. It seems
like we all justhave to keep trying. We have two boys, too.
We can keep tryingfor them. We all just have to wake up every
morning andkeep trying to do that right thing. And then when
they getolder they will know that everyone was trying to do
RHONDA: I understand.
CHET: . . . Is that the same sort of situation
you’re in right now?
RHONDA: Sort of. But. Not really. . . no. Not
at all. [Pause] But closeenough.
CHET: Sometimes when I wake up in the middle of
the night Ihave to tell myself to keep holding on. I’m not
trying to torturemyself. I’m just trying to do the right thing.
Every day,try to do what is right for everyone. Not just me.
RHONDA: I just left my husband.
RHONDA: My husband. I just left my husband. And
my three kids. Iwas lying. I have three kids.
CHET: You told me this was part of a business
RHONDA: I don’t have a business anymore. I just
told my husbandthat I wanted a divorce. You were the first
person I called.
CHET: After you left your husband?
RHONDA: . . . I thought I liked you.
CHET: Did you leave your husband for me?
RHONDA: I guess I did.
CHET: Look. I’m not making any promises. I’ve
got . . . I’ve got myown family.
RHONDA: I wasn’t thinking clearly.
CHET: We’ve both got a lot of thinking to do before
we can do theright thing.
RHONDA: I don’t know what the right thing is anymore.
CHET: Do you like him?
CHET: Your husband.
RHONDA: . . . Sort of.
CHET: You must like him better than me.
RHONDA: . . .You’d think.
CHET: Why’d you leave him?
RHONDA: Well. Last week, after we were together
at the seminar, Ithought maybe I liked you better than him.
CHET: You don’t hardly know me.
RHONDA: . . . I don’t want to talk about this.
CHET: I’ve thought that too. I’ve thought a lot
about people likeRobin Hood. That I might make more of a difference
if Ijust left my wife and started doing good deeds. I thinkabout
that all the time. I think about leaving my family anddoing
good deeds for the rest of my life. I’m trying to eliminatemy
ego from what I do in the world.
RHONDA: My husband. And my kids. They don’t know
that I havethis in me.
RHONDA: Do you know what I mean?
CHET: You mean. Like . . . goodness?
RHONDA: Sort of. More like . . .
CHET: What? Like passion?
[RHONDA: starts to cry. CHET: is patting herback.]
CHET: It’s all there inside us and we’re just
trying to find a way tolet it come out. We have to let the
passion in us out. It’shard. It’s a hard thing to do. And
then you come down forthe weekend and . . . Every day we all
have to get up andtry to do what’s good in the world. Passion—I
do understandbecause I think I have a good deal of that myself
andit must be God’s will to release it or we wouldn’t feel
it . . .the passion.
RHONDA: Please. Stop.
RHONDA: Stop saying the word passion.
RHONDA: Because that’s not what I was trying to
[They BOTH begin crying quietly, to themselves.They
reach for each other. QUICKBLACKOUT.)
5. THIS IS WHATTHE
AIRPORT LOOKS LIKE
[RHONDA is carrying her hard suitcase. CHET holds
CHET: I’m glad we see eye-to-eye on this one.
RHONDA: We do. We do.
CHET: . . . Did I ever tell you? I have a dog
CHET: I don’t know why I forgot to mention it.
I love that dog.
RHONDA: She must be very special.
CHET: She is. She is. She likes to jump and play
in a plastic pool.She runs outside after cars and bikes. She’s
so full of life.
RHONDA: I know that about dogs.
CHET: That is so true. What you just said . .
. [Pause] Are yougoing back home?
RHONDA: I’m not sure . . . We’ll see.
CHET: Where do you want to go?
RHONDA: [Begins laughing]
CHET: What’s so funny?
RHONDA: . . . Anywhere. I want to go anywhere.
CHET: You don’t want to go where I’m going. I
can tell you that.
RHONDA: . . . Maybe not. Are you going straight
CHET: We all have to keep on trying . . . Think
RHONDA: Trying to be good?
RHONDA: I will. I will think about that.
CHET: Nobody said life is easy.
RHONDA: They certainly didn’t. Actually, somebody
must have saidit sometime.
CHET: Somebody named nobody.
BOTH: [A little laugh]
RHONDA: No, life sure isn’t easy.
CHET: Let’s find that nobody and hurt him.
BOTH: [Another laugh]
RHONDA: Maybe life was easy for . . .
BOTH: [A hearty laugh. Pause.]
RHONDA: Well. That’s it.
CHET: There you go . . . Maybe you can love him
RHONDA: Maybe . . . If I can, it will be because
CHET: Same goes for me.
RHONDA: Doesn’t matter who I end with-you know
I’ll think of you.
CHET: That’s just . . .
CHET: That’s just what I was going to say.
[BOTH kiss. They part ways. The stage remains
empty for a moment. BLACKOUT.]
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