September 16 2012 – Date Stamp

Date Stamp

LISA and DEREK. A standoff.

LISA
You don’t have to go for the two whole weeks.

DEREK
I do.

LISA
But you objectively don’t. You-

DEREK
“Objectively”?

LISA
Listen to me. You haven’t even discussed Christmas with them.

DEREK
But we always-

LISA
Have always, yeah.

DEREK
You don’t understand.

LISA
Ooooh, right all that Not Understanding I keep doing, that’s wh-

DEREK
Obligations you don’t-

LISA
I don’t understand-

DEREK
-understand these kind of-

LISA
-obligations, right.

DEREK
No. You don’t, you obviously don’t.

LISA
I keep forgetting.

DEREK
You objectively don’t.

LISA
Clever, well-played, you win Words!

DEREK
Not everything is about fun and feeling okay with yourself-

LISA
IT SHOULD BE

DEREK
I can’t just borrow your family, okay?

LISA
But you CAN they WANT you to!

DEREK
And like it’s great that you all get along, and all have fun, and have all had a privileged enough life-

LISA
Oh goody, this again!

DEREK
-like how LUCKY for you all, how FINE for you. But that is not the only way to be bound to someone or to need to spend time with them okay, and I worry that you don’t understand that.

LISA
Do you think you’ll finally get sainted this Christmas?

DEREK
I just know, that there’s, like I KNOW whenever I see one of these Get-Along Gang families there are whole branches of the tree just pruned off because they don’t fit the-

LISA
They’ll review all the torments and miracles and decide that you qualify? Stiff competition.

DEREK
And that’s what’ll happen to me, try as you might and try as I might, I am what I am and I don’t fit and I will be scrubbed, I will be Stalin’d out of all the Christmas photos eventually because I don’t fit the Five-Year Happy Plan.

Pause.

LISA
So…objectively-

DEREK
Shit’s got a date stamped on it. Everything’s got the date stamp. I’m sorry you’re not comfortable with that.

Silence.

LISA
Still need a ride to your appointment tomorrow?

DEREK
Yes I do.

LISA
How’s that going.

DEREK
I don’t want to talk about-

LISA
No I know, I just wondered generally if you feel like it-

DEREK
Even that. Even that much, I’m not really obligated to talk about. You know?

Silence.

We’ll see each other again after Christmas, we can do something then.

LISA
Yeah, I’ll get you back from them and the reconstruction can begin-

DEREK
Lisa-

LISA
I can start pushing the boulder back up the hill-

DEREK
“You”. Just all by yourself.

LISA
Well YOU’RE THE FUCKIN’ BOULDER.

Silence.

DEREK
This is months off anyway. Could we just be upset about it then?

LISA
Sure. Merry Christmas. Enjoy your shitty family.

She exits.

A sudden explosion of streamers and confetti. Perhaps a lone noisemaker. A festive banner is lowered or unfurled. It reads in rainbow letters: ENJOY YOUR SHITTY FAMILY.

DEREK just sits there ‘til it’s all settled.

It’s all settled.

DEREK just sits there.

Creative Commons License
This work by Ryan F. Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

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