HOMEWRECKER

 

by Kelly Stuart

 

LIGHTS UP
 
GEORGE W. BUSH- appears in a square of extremely bright white light.

    BUSH
If you're sick and tired
of the politics
of cynicism and polls and principles,
come and join this campaign.

A SOUND OF A SOB, OFF SOMEWHERE. BUSH LOOKS FOR ITíS SOURCE, THEN CONTINUES:

This is a world that is much more uncertain than the past. In the past we
were certain,
we were certain it was us versus the Russians in the past.

ANOTHER SOB

We were certain, and therefore we had huge nuclear arsenals aimed at each
other to keep the peace.

SOB. GASP, FROM OFF SOMEWHERE. BUSH LOOKS AROUND QUICKLY, DISTRACTED, THEN
CONTINUES.

That's what we were certain of. ... You see, even though it's an uncertain
world, we're certain of some things.

A SCREAM FROM OFF SOMEWHERE

We're certain that even though the 'evil empire' may have passed, evil still
remains.

We're certain there are people that can't stand what America stands for. ...


A VERY QUIET  RELENTLESS CRYING:


LIGHTS SHIFT:







CINDY AND BETH IN AN AIRPORT LOUNGE - NEW YORK

    BETH:
Is he picking you up?

    CINDY
Not at the gate. I have to walk to the car.

    BETH
With a scarf around your face?

    CINDY
No. Itís not that bad.

    BETH
But he hunches down in the car.

    CINDY
He has a driver.
He sits in the back, the windows are tinted.

    BETH
So, itís not like heís told his wife.

    CINDY
Oh, heís told her. Heís told her. His whole family knows. His mother and
father want him to leave her.  His father loves me.

    BETH
Pony.

    CINDY
Yes. Pony.

    BETH
Pony Duke.

    CINDY
Shhhh.

    BETH
Itís funny.

    CINDY
Well he is from Texas.

    BETH
I got an email from James.

    CINDY
Oh?

    BETH
He said his wife wants to invite me up for the weekend.

    CINDY
Oh.

    BETH
I donít understand that. I donít understand it.

    CINDY
Well, thatís very English.

    BETH
Is it? Is it? Itís insane. Can you imagine? Me watching them go into the
bedroom together?

    CINDY
Iíve never met Tobyís wife.

    BETH
No.

    CINDY
No. No. I donít want to meet her. I donít ever want to see her.

    BETH
James doesnít have sex with his wife. He says they donít have sex.

    CINDY
Neither does Toby.  Not for two years.

    BETH
But didnít you say Tobyís wife was going to have a baby?

    CINDY
Well, there was just that once.
She lured him.  She got him drunk, thatís what he said. Tobyís very virile.

    BETH
Yes. He must be.

    CINDY
Very very virile. It just took that once.


    BETH
And they have-- four kids?

    CINDY
Three.  This baby will make three.

    BETH
James doesnít have children. He doesnít like children.  He drinks like a
fish. Heís really unhappy.  What the hell is she doing with him. this woman
he lives with, why doesnít she fucking take care of him.  Why doesnít she
try to stop him from drinking. What is her problem.

    CINDY
I donít know.... Toby is really unhappy with Sheila.

    BETH
Yes.

    CINDY
Really unhappy.  Heís miserable.

    BETH
And heís told her heís leaving.

    CINDY
Yes.  She knows.  She doesnít know why.  We have to do it carefully or she--

    BETH
Do it carefully how?

    CINDY
Heís seeing a lawyer. It must be done right or sheíll...

    BETH
... get all his money.

    CINDY
Yes....No... to take care of the children. So she doesnít get custody. 
Sheíll use it against him. Sheíll never let him see them again. Things have
to be done... they must be done responsibly.

    BETH
James will never leave his wife.

    CINDY
Iím sorry.

    BETH
I donít want him to. Iím a homewrecker, not a homemaker but she shouldnt let
him drink like that.

    CINDY
Well, thatís very English.

    BETH
And she doesnít have sex with him. I find that very sad. Because, heís
trying to break it off with me, heís trying to break it off because he  feels
 so much anxiety.  So now, has he at fifty decided to give up sex?  Is that
what heís doing?  Heís chosen to give up sex and just drink.

    CINDY
That too is very English.


    BETH
I find it very sad.

    CINDY
So, he doesnít want to have sex with you either.

    BETH
I donít know.  Itís confusing.  It seems like he does, but then he sends me
this thing, he says, I warn you, Missy wants to invite you up for the weekend
and I want to say, what the hell are you thinking? How am I supposed to react
to that. Thereís no context for this information. He drops it at my feet like
a dead rat.  Are we supposed to fight over him? Is that what he wants? Her
and I?  Does he have a fucking feeling? His heart is an ice cube.

    CINDY
So what do you see in him.

    BETH
Epic cock. 

If only he had feelings. 

    CINDY
Iím sure he has feelings.

    BETH
If he does, he doesnít know what they are. Of course, I try to tell him what
his feelings are. I figure out what heís feeling and then I help him to know.
I help him to know what heís feeling.  I shouldnít have to do that.

    CINDY
But thatís what we do.

    BETH
You do that for Toby?

    CINDY
Toby is American. He knows what he feels. Heís crazy about me. He just has to
do things carefully now.

    BETH
I could meet his wife if he wanted me to meet her.  I could go there and
pretend that Iím a friend. I could do it if he just said what I should do.  
But what if that means, itís over with us?  I believed, for a year, I have
been believing he loved me.  He promised that he would see me HERE.  See me
HERE.  He said that he would.  And, look, I know how to behave with his wife.
I could do it. But what it all makes me realize is...
What I think now, what I fear is,
This whole time heís been LYING TO ME. Heís been LYING to me. And I canít
stand to be lied to.

    CINDY
No. I canít either.

    BETH
I need someone whoís honest.
Because of course. I cannot hurt his wife.  He said sheíd be-- Whatís that
expression? ďGuttedĒ. She would be gutted.  So why is she not even fucking
him now?  Whatís the problem.  Now Iím the one whoís gutted. Itís ME who is
gutted. Because Iíve been lied to.

    CINDY
Does your husband know about James?

    BETH
No. I could never tell my husband.

    CINDY
You know, I think that taxi driver hated us.

    BETH
I noticed that too. How he slammed on the brakes.

    CINDY
I get drivers like that all the time. I  inspire hatred.

    BETH
They just donít approve.

    CINDY
Of our conversation?

    BETH
I think itís better not to say too much in taxis.

    CINDY
Perhaps not.

    BETH
You think it should be-- anonymous really.  Youíd think itís a place to say
anything you want.  these drivers can barely speak English in any case.  How
can they even know what the hell weíve been saying.

    CINDY
I think they just pretend not to speak English.


    BETH
Itís true.

    CINDY
They speak English when the tip is too small.  They speak English when they
tell you youíre wrong about taking the West Side Highway at rush hour.  And
that one really hated my guts.

    BETH
He hated us both. It wasnít just you.

    CINDY
Why are they all, what. Pakistani?

    BETH
Is that what it is?

    CINDY
Itís all some family business taxi license mafia.

    BETH
Anyway, they hate us for being fucking infidels.

    CINDY
This one guy sprayed lysol on the seat when I got out. I said, SORRY I WASNíT
WEARING A VEIL.  SORRY MY CLITORIS WASNíT CUT OFF.

    BETH
Do they do that?

    CINDY
I donít know. Probably. They hate us because--

    BETH
Weíre such sluts.

    CINDY
That is not what I am at all.

    BETH
Itís how Iíve come to regard myself though.

    CINDY
This is the first time I--

    BETH
I ran into Fred the other day...with his wife.

    CINDY
The Danish woman?

    BETH
Right. Danish. Right.

    CINDY
The one he left.

    BETH
He was with her at this bar and sheíd lost fifty pounds but she looked like a
zombie. She was wearing all these bracelets, these cheap plastic beads like
something a thirteen year old would wear.  I felt sorry for her. She was
clearly rattled to see me, really rattled. I spoiled her whole evening. And I
thought... None of this matters. None of this. Whoís fucking who. It
really... in the big picture. Itís all nothing. So why do we suffer so much
about it?  And he stood there grinning and flirting with me. A horrible
simulacrum of a man. She went white as a cow skull.  I wanted to tell her,
Look, Iím sorry I fucked your husband.  Iím sorry. I was young and stupid
then but you are fifty three what the hell is your problem?  Find someone
else.  Then two weeks later I ran into him again. He was at the same bar with
his girlfriend--25.  she looks exactly like his wife. It was surreal.  The 25
year old version of his wife. Only slightly less spiritually dead.  Only
slightly less emotionally shellshocked.  She had a tight controlled little
voice and spectacles that screamed ďIím an intellectualĒ. short black
feathery hair and we were talking about politics and I mentioned that my
mother was voting for Bush she was going to vote for Bush and I said you do
that, mother, if you do that, I will never speak to you again.  And the new
girlfriend said, ďOh.Ē she said ďOhĒ.  and Fred said ďHave you?Ē  ďOf
course not.Ē I said.

And I havenít it fact, though my mother has sent me dozens of emails and
cards and left messages. I will never talk to her again. I have to have some
sort of integrity. I mean, how can you vote for-- how can you vote for a man
with the attention span of a gold fish?  Really, I canít believe I came out
of her body.   Then Fred said, ďYou know what your problem is? You donít
know how to manage your bitterness.Ē  And I could have said a whole lot of
things in that moment, things that would have upset his apple cart. But I
didnít. It would have just proved he was right. And then they both left and I
sat there alone getting drunk and watching the Mets lose the world series.
Walking home I tried to run across the street and I fell flat on my face in
front of  an oncoming cab.  I just saw the headlights. In an instant And I
thought about that, how cab drivers hate me. I thought, this wouldnít be all
that bad.  Maybe Itís all going to be over in a moment. But then he came to a
screeching halt. I got up.Iíd skinned my knees and ripped my pants and
everybody was staring at me.  I swore at them and limped down into the subway
to disappear. To just disappear.

    CINDY
Beth.


    BETH
Uh huh.

    CINDY
Iím pregnant.

    BETH
Oh my god.

    CINDY
Yes. Iím pregnant.  We intentionally did not use birth control. Almost on
purpose. I remember that weekend.

    BETH
How far along exactly?

    CINDY
Six weeks. 

    BETH
The same as his wife.

    CINDY
He wants to have a baby with me. Heís building me a house.

    BETH
Youíre almost as far along as his wife.

    CINDY
Maybe it isnít even his baby.

    BETH
Yours or the wifeís.

    CINDY
Hers. I meant hers. Maybe it isnít his baby at all and sheís just doing the
whole thing to keep him. I told him he should get a paternity test, he should
ask for it, he should demand it, but of course. Itís ungentlemanly, thatís
what he said, if he asked her for that. And thatís how he is. Toby is very
considerate that way. He always takes the high road.

    BETH
It does seem sort of spiteful.

    CINDY
Itís very difficult when youíre rich, I mean, that kind of wealth... 
everybody wants it. People will... people will do anything... not me of
course. I donít need his money.

    BETH
Not after your grandmother dies.

    CINDY
But Iím having... weíre going to have the baby. He loves children. Heís
building me a house in West Texas.

    BETH
Then Iím happy for you.

    CINDY
Itís going to work out. It takes patience, thatís all.

    BETH
Iíve emailed all week. He doesnít write back. He doesnít call. I canít call
him. Why am I going? I sold my mothers diamond ring for the plane fare and
now he doesnít even want to see me. Sold it in the diamond district for half
of itís value. And now heís feeling anxiety.

    CINDY
I know. I know. I know how it feels.

FLIGHT ANNOUNCEMENT

    CINDY
Thatís me.

    BETH
I hope my fucking plane crashes, I was hoping it would crash, but now itís
delayed.

    CINDY
Itís going to be fine.
Goodbye dear. Good luck.

    BETH
Good luck with Toby.  Good luck with the baby.

    CINDY
Good luck with James.

CINDY EXITS.  BETH SITS ALONE. 

BUSH APPEARS. BETH WATCHES HIM SPEAK

    BUSH
Weíre certain there are madmen in this world and thereís terror and thereís
missles and Iím certain of this too-- I donít want nations feeling that they
can bully ourelves and our allies.

BETH PULLS OUT A PIECE OF PAPER. READS:

    BETH
I could possibly see you given due discretion if that Ďs what you want. I
could see you. What does that mean? See. See and what else? It will be good
to see and talk to  you again. Does that mean we wonít do anything else? 

    BUSH
I will have a foreign-handed foreign policy.  We'll let our friends be the
peacekeepers and the great country called America will be the pacemakers. 

    BETH
I do love you. With quotes. With quotes over Love You. Quotes denoting what?
Not Love. ďLoveĒ. Quote Love Unquote. Meaning what. I canít... I canít... I
donít understand you.

    BUSH
We cannot let terrorists and rogue nations hold this nation hostile or hold
our allies hostile.

    BETH
Itís the LANGUAGE you use that drives me crazy. Itís this fucking language.

    BUSH
Now some of my advisors, they said, 'You know, this issue doesn't seem to
resignate with the people.'

    BETH
I could see you should you want given due discretion. I could. Should you
want.  Are you doing me a favor? Bestowing a mercy on me? The mercy of you.

    BUSH
And I said, you know something? Whether it resignates or not doesn't matter
to me,...

    BETH
 You could give me your mercy if I should still want it given due discretion
or  do you perhaps actually WANT but are you UNABLE to say I want or do you
NOT want and I am imposing. 

    BUSH
Because I stand for doing what's the right thing, and what the right thing is
hearing the voices of people who work.

    BETH
Your language, the way you use language absolves you of all responsibility
for this. Your language Your fucking language is killing me.

BLACKOUT

BUSH APPEARS AGAIN, IN A SQUARE OF NEON. HE STEPS FORWARD INTO VERY BRIGHT
LIGHT. 

    BUSH
I've got a reason for running. I talk about a larger goal, which is to call
upon the best of America.

BUSH GAINS STRENGTH AND CONFIDENCE. HEíS GRINNING WARMLY:

It's part of the renewal. It's reform and renewal. Part of the renewal is a
set of high standards and to remind people that the greatness of America
really does depend on neighbors helping neighbors and children finding
mentors.

SOUND OF SOBBING AND PRAYING IN SPANISH. BUSH SPEAKS OVER IT.

I worry. I'm very worried about, you know, the kid who just wonders whether
America is meant for him. I really worry about that. And uh, so, I'm running
for a reason. I'm answering this question here and the answer is, you cannot
lead America to a positive tomorrow with revenge on one's mind.

SOUNDS OF CRYING, VIOLENCE: BUSH SUCCESFULLY TUNES THEM OUT.

Revenge is so incredibly negative. And so to answer your question, I'm going
to win because people sense my heart, know my sense of optimism and know
where I want to lead the country.

SOUND OF PIERCING SCREAM AND THEN A SOUND LIKE A SKULL BEING SMASHED BY A
BLUNT OBJECT. BUSH HAS STOPPED SPEAKING. BRIEF SILENCE. BUSH LOOKS AROUND
CONFUSED.

BETH ENTERS WITH A ROLLING SUITCASE. SHEíS IN LONDON. TABLEUX AS SHE ENTERS,
LOOKS AROUND, WAITS FOR SOMEONE. BUSH CONTINUES TO SPEAK.

        BUSH
 I am a person who recognizes the fallacy of humans.  As governor of Texas, I
have set high standards for our public schools, and I have met those
standards.  Laura and I really don't realize how bright our children is
sometimes until we get an objective analysis. Rarely is the question asked:
Is our children learning?  One of the common denominators I have found is
that expectations rise above that which is expected.  We ought to make the
pie higher.

JAMES ENTERS. BETH IS TURNED AWAY FROM HIM, DOESNíT SEE HIM.

        BUSH
What I am against is quotas. I am against hard quotas, quotas they basically
delineate based upon whatever. However they delineate, quotas, I think
vulcanize society.

JAMES LOOKS AT HER DISDAINFULLY. BETH STARTS TO EXIT. JAMES MOVES CENTER
STAGE. BETH IS LOOKING AROUND. JAMES STRIKES A DANDYISH POSE.

So I don't know how that fits into what everybody else is saying, their
relative positions, but that's my position.

BETH TURNS AND SEES JAMES. THEY LOOK AT EACH OTHER.

When I was coming up, it was a dangerous world, and you knew exactly who they
were. It was us vs. them, and it was clear who them was. Today, we are not so
sure who the they are, but we know they're there. Quotas are bad for America.
It's not the way America is all about. Unfairly but truthfully, our party has
been tagged as being against things. Anti-immigrant, for example. And we're
not a party of anti-immigrants.

BETH WALKS INTO JAMESí ARMS. HE EMBRACES HER. KISSES HER MOUTH AND THEN
STIFFENS AND TURNS HIS HEAD AWAY. JAMES EXITS. BETH FOLLOWS

Quite the opposite. We're a party that welcomes people.  The administration
I'll bring is a group of men and women who are focused on what's best for
America, honest men and women, decent men and women, women who will see
service to our country as a great privilege and who will not stain the house.

LIGHTS OUT.

LIGHTS UP. LONDON A PUB:  BETH AND JAMES. BOTH ARE DRINKING.

    JAMES
No.

    BETH
Okay.

    JAMES
I just canít.

    BETH
Okay. I understand.

    JAMES
Itís too hard. Iím not strong enough.

    BETH
Itís cool.

    JAMES
No itís not. I see that itís not.

    BETH
No. Whatever.

    JAMES
Thereís too much anxiety. For me. Iím not strong. Weíre in the middle of
renegotiating our mortgage.

    BETH
Yes.

    JAMES
Missy wants to move to Oxford. But what can we afford there? I mean. I donít
do this.

    BETH
No. I know.

    JAMES
Only three or four times. In twenty six years.

    BETH
Three or four?

    JAMES
This is not what I do.

    BETH
I thought you said one.

    JAMES
Pardon?

    BETH
When we met, you said there was just one. You said there was a woman you had
an affair with. You said that you told her, it just wasnít right, or it
wasnít...something. So now I imagine, Iím in the same category. Iím...what. 
So then,there were more than just that one. Three or four, is that something
more recent? Since we were first together and you said there was one? Does
that mean two or three others besides me? Or am I included in the total. And
why two OR three. OR? WHAT IS OR. DONíT YOU FUCKING KNOW?

    JAMES
Im a rabbit. Iím fucked. I just am not strong enough.

    BETH
You said one.

    JAMES
You should go to Ireland.

    BETH
I came all this way.

    JAMES
You should go to Dublin, look up  your ancestors.

    BETH
They worked worked hard enough to leave. Why should I go back.

    JAMES
What are you going to do?

(beat)

Let me give you a foot massage.

    BETH
What?

    JAMES
Just a foot massage. I promise, thatís all.

    BETH
Thatís what you said the very first time.

    JAMES
This time I mean it. A foot massage thatís all. Itís all I can manage.

    BETH
I donít want a foot massage.

    JAMES
Letís just go to your room.

    BETH
Youíre just going to give me a foot massage.

    JAMES
Yes.
It is good to see you. Itís so good to see you. It is isnít it?

    BETH
Yes. So why canít you?

    JAMES
I told you I canít.

    BETH
Okay

    JAMES
Iím too anxious. Iím fucked. I canít do it. Iíll give you a foot massage.

    BETH
No. Thatís too intimate.
 
    JAMES
The first time I ever saw you, it was like... I was looking at myself. Its so
weird. Itís like, weíre IN each others bodies.

    BETH
Yes.

    JAMES
I mean, itís like I know you so well, and youíre me, and Iím you.

    BETH
I know.

    JAMES
Donít you think our relationship is weird.

    BETH
I want it to end. I want it to stop. But it doesnít go away.Itís like youíre
always with me. Everything I look at, Iím seeing it for you. Itís for you.
Every moment. It makes it all more intense. Life.


    JAMES
Yes. Itís very intense.

    BETH
But you want it to stop.

    JAMES
Iím sitting here trying. Yes. It should stop.

    BETH
I guess, we should just be friends.

    JAMES
But there is still this sexual desire, this, intense sexual desire. I mean,
Iíve never had anything so intense. I donít mean, itís not that weíre
swinging from the chandeliers or anything, itís just so intense.

    BETH
I love you.

    JAMES
And I think youíre REALLY talented.

Let me just give you a foot massage now. Iím-- me and Missy, itís all about
companionship. We never had-- it was not about passion, not about sex, more
about companionship.
I had , I mean, there was something sexual between me and Tracie. But then
there was Ken, and you canít do that.  I do love women. I think women are
better. Sometimes it feels almost like I am a woman. I must have been... the t
hing of it is, I must have KNOWN you in some past life. Because, you and I,
we have this connection. We have this connection. In some past life, I was
probably your mother. But this other thing, this just isnít done.

    BETH
Stay with me tonight.

    JAMES
Beth, I just canít.

    BETH
Where are you staying?

    JAMES
With Lucinda. Bethnal Green. East London. East End. Iíll have to get back
there. Thatís where my things are. I canít. I just canít.

You remember Lucinda, right?   Sheís here in London now, sheís just lost her
job. Sheís been a good friend to me, I havenít been so good to her, but
sheís been good to me. Sheís had trouble with her boyfriend.  He wants to
move in with her, theyíre trying to decide if theyíre going to be together. 
They donít love each other really. But I said, let him. Let him move in.
Thereís somethng sexual between her and I. Itís not about passion, not
always about that. Lucinda has been through a lot with the guy. She had an
abortion and I had to take her. That was pretty hard on Missy. Not because it
was mine, but, to do that for a woman... But the guy, he just could not
handle it. I took Lucinda to the doctor and I waited, and I drove her home
afterwards. She has been a friend. I have to catch a train back tomorrow but
we could have breakfast together.

    BETH
You and Lucinda or you and me.

    JAMES
You and... You and I of course Beth. I do love you you know. But I canít.

    BETH
If you change your mind about me.

    JAMES
What?

    BETH
If you change your mind about me. If you want me. If you want to stay with
me. What Iím trying to say is, Iím there for you. Iím there. Youíve been,
this-- youíve given me a lot, a lot of inspiration, a lot of life force.

    JAMES
I do not deserve your friendship or your love.

    BETH
But if you want it, itís  yours.

    JAMES
Let me give you a foot massage.

    BETH
And thatís all.

    JAMES
Thats all.  Iím being terribly unfair.

    BETH
Yes.

 

JAMES
Iím fucked.

    BETH
I wish I were.

    JAMES
I suppose. I suppose. After all this.
It would be terribly ungallant of me.

    BETH
Yes.

    JAMES
What do you want to do?

LIGHTS OUT.

BUSH CLICKS ON A FLASHLIGHT UNDER HIS CHIN, WEIRDLY ILLUMATING HIS FACE.
   
    BUSH
I'm an optimistic person. I'm an inherently content person. I've got a great
sense of where I want to lead and I'm comfortable with why I'm running.

OFF SOMEWHERE,A  WOMAN SCREAMS IN GRIEF ďNO! NO! FALLS INTO A MUTED SOBBING.

If I'm the president, we're going to have emergency-room care, we're going to
have gag orders.  I know the human being and fish can coexist peacefully.

The fundamental question is, 'Will I be a successful president when it comes
to foreign policy?' I will be, but until I'm the president, it's going to be
hard for me to verify that I think I'll be more effective.

LIGHTS UP. NEW YORK CINDY AND BETH IN A WEST VILLAGE BAR. CINDY IS WEARING A
BABY BLUE COWBOY HAT, SATIN JEANS AND BABY BLUE SUEDE JACKET WITH FRINGE.

    CINDY
Do you like it?

    BETH
Oh, yeah.

    CINDY
He took me to the oil fields. They havenít struck oil yet, theyíre just
drilling with this towering rig. All these men working. The men were  so
homespun, down to earth. Just, Real People. At first when we arrived we
couldnít go on the site because there had been some sort of violence. A
shooting. The men there are wild. Just, very primitive. Animal. But also very
pure. We had to wait until things were cleaned up. I think Toby had to go in
and take care of things. Toby is great, so great with the men. He sent me off
with Billy, who works for him. Billy took me riding. Then Toby came and
fetched me and then we went shopping, then we went to see the rig.  Very few
people know about oil, where oil comes from, how oil is produced, what you
have to go through to get it. Itís an arduous process. And itís really such
a gamble. What Toby does, itís not unlike the small farmer. Heís staking
everything heís got.

    BETH
His whole trust fund.

    CINDY
Yes, that and more. All the money he got from investors, heís RESPONSIBLE for
all this money. For everyoneís money and what happens to it.

    BETH
Howís the house?

    CINDY
We stayed at a motel. We had sex in the jacuzzi. The landscape there is
really incredible.

    BETH
What about house heís building for you.

    CINDY
Well we were in Odessa. The house will be in Midlands.

    BETH
So you havenít seen the house.

    CINDY
He showed me the plans.

    BETH
Cindy..., shouldnít you stop smoking.

    CINDY
Oh of course darling. Yes. Iím cutting down.

    BETH
And drinking.

    CINDY
Iíll just have this one. Iíve had excruciating morning sickness and somehow
this helps. You had that?


    BETH
The minute I had the abortion it stopped.

    CINDY
Iím not going to have an abortion. Iím having a baby.

    BETH
Yes, of course yes. Youíre having a baby. But maybe Cindy, you ought to stop
drinking.

    CINDY
One glass of wine is supposed to be good.

    BETH
Thatís beer. I think, beer. Because of the minerals.

    CINDY
We fucked so much I thought Iíd never walk again. Now I have a bladder
infection. It is just so hard when I leave. I was sitting in the airport,
crying and shaking. I donít know what it is about leaving him, it just hurts
so much. It hurts Beth, it hurts. Iím not going to see him again for two
months.

    BETH
Why?

    CINDY
Because heís got to oversee the building of our house. And end things with
her. He is finally going to end it. He told her heís leaving her. The thing
about him is-- his main occupation is taking care of the children. Heís such
a good father. He just loves his children. Heís ending it now, but he asked
me for time. And I have got to give that to him.

    BETH
Donít cry Cindy. I know how you feel. Iím sorry. Iím sorry.

    CINDY
I am at the mercy of so many forces. Itís hard. It just hurts so much. Itís
like I have all these chemicals inside me. You love someone youíre filled
with these chemicals really. I suppose it does a terrible thing to oneís
nerves. Rewires them. I do love it in Texas. Texas is great. But if I live
there. If I move there Beth, what will happen to my voice over work?  What
will happen to me? I mean. Texas Beth. Texas. I will have to fly back and
forth. I canít, I just cannot give up my apartment.  And yet, I canít stand
to be away for a minute. Itís like some part of me has been hacked off and is
hemorrhaging blood into the ether, my life force Beth, my entire life.

    BETH
Yes. I feel exactly, exactly the same. He. It was terrible. Terrible Cindy.
He came with me to my hotel and he...to the hotel that I paid with with the
money from my mothers diamond ring. I thought the story of the diamond ring,
of me selling it, I thought heíd find it amusing or-- moving even, it proves
how much Iíd do for him. Literally Cindy. Iíd do anything for him. So I told
him. That Iíd sold the diamond ring to come there, that it belonged to my
mother. And he said... ďWhat would your mother think about that?Ē  He was
serious. What would my mother think. Has he not noticed that I HATE MY
MOTHERS GUTS. I mean, how many times have I mentioned that to him. My fucking
mother who voted for BUSH and now sheís going to get her way. Sheís getting
her way, isnít she Cindy.

    CINDY
Yes.

    BETH
You see Cindy, the problem is. He just cannot come. He canít come in me.

    CINDY
In you?

    BETH
Or with me or anything else. He doesnít like oral sex at all either, or
something. I donít know. I try, he wonít let me. I thought he liked it in
the beginning. When we were first together I gave him a blow job. I gave him
two or three of them if I remember. There was something he said about
feminism then. About,... something about how it must be unpleasant for women.
But I assured him I loved giving blow jobs. I mean it, I do. I really do like
it. He... he seemed to like it in the beginning but now when I start sucking
he pushes me away. Then he tries to fuck me but he just doesnít come. He can
fuck me for hours but he canít come himself.  And its really Awful. It makes
me feel disgusting. I think, deep down he just finds me repulsive.

    CINDY
Youíre not repulsive. Itís just that heís English.

    BETH
No. Iím repulsive. Repulsive to him. We fucked. We were fucking. And I had
come like three times at least. And he turned to me and said, ďare you a
happy bunny?Ē ďYes.Ē  And then I said, ďAre you?Ē He  said ďNo.Ē and just
turned his face away. 
Then we went down to this bar to have a drink and he went off to this place
in East London. He wouldnít stay with me.

    CINDY
Heís obviously afraid of you.

    BETH
Thatís what I think too. Maybe thatís it. He loves me so much heís afraid of
his feelings.

    CINDY
Heís afraid of all the pain you make him feel when youíre far away.


    BETH
I guess thatís why  he wonít call me, or write to me now. Because heís
afraid.

    CINDY
Thatís it. Heís afraid.

    BETH
I mean, thatís what he told me. How frightened he is. Of renegotiating the
mortgage, and of Missy, finding out, hurting Missy, and... heís just lost his
job. He isnít working, and everythingís precarious. Heís had this terrible
problem with his ear, with his ear canal. Heís had two operations. He canít
really hear in his left ear and he said it makes him disoriented.  During the
summer, he wanted to die. He told me that. I was really afraid. I used to
sneak out of the house at five am. I said I was jogging but Iíd go to Battery
park. The sun would be rising over the Statue of Liberty. Iíd look off to the
East and Iíd think, thatís where he is. And Iíd call him from this phone
booth. Surrounded by junkies. To reassure him that he shouldnt die, that
things would get better if he just had more patience, and trust and faith and
hope. He has so much trouble BELIEVING in himself. I said, if only you could
see yourself through my eyes, the way I see you. I believe in you James. I
know youíre going to get through this alright. Youíll be better in the end.
Youíll find a better job. And he said that really helped. He said it was
empowering. But now, but now... He just couldnít come.  I looked in his eyes.
He just looked, so sad. And then he...

    CINDY
He went off with this-- Lucinda.

    BETH
Yes. His friend. Sheís his friend. In East London. I mean, thatís where heís
staying, thatís his cover story. Thereís nothing going on with Lucinda,
otherwise, how could he stay there with her? I think Missy would be onto
that, donít you?

    CINDY
You know what Toby wants to do with his money? He wants to build an opera
house. He wants to build an opera house and fund an endowment so there can be
culture, so there can be art. And I think, I represent that for him. Iím his
entre into this world. Through  me, heís met so many interesting people.
Itís when heís with me that heís really free. Heís free. Heís free. And he
finds himself then. He finds out who he Really Is. A man who can bring in
culture and light and art to these, very simple homespun people. And I think,
I bring a bit of elegance to his life. You know what his wife does? She plays
cards. Sheís a professional gambler.

    BETH
Wow.


    CINDY
Yes. Shes a professional gambler. Isnít that telling?

She clearly only wanted him for his money. And everyone knows that. His whole
family knows that. Theyíre on my side.

    BETH
How did they make their money in the first place?

    CINDY
Tobacco. Many generations ago.

    BETH
Now theyíve moved on to oil.

    CINDY
Well Toby is very independent.

    BETH
I think  Iím very good for James, because Iím American. Thatís what he
needs. He needs some fucking American in him. Their whole English, whole
fucking CLASS SYSTEM. Whole fucking stuck in the gloom and depression.
Americans, if we say something we do it. We do what we say. We get up and do
it. We donít ponder the history of twelve hundred  years. We donít sit
around and wait for the queen. If youíre down, and your American, you try and
improve. Heís so depressive. Heís so. God damn it! Heís so fucking MORAL.
Heís all hung up on MORALITY. And guilt. I say why? Why if nobody knows.
Weíre not hurting anyone. Why canít we enjoy it. Why canít we just enjoy
each other. Whatís so bad about Adultry Cindy? I thought adultery was
supposed to be FUN. It should be FUN. Or else. WHY DO IT. But this is not
fun. This so very not fun. Because of his fucking English gloom and English
guilt. Nothing makes him happy. I mean, if I canít make him happy, what can?
What can?

    CINDY
Itís true. Iím sure. To him youíre a goddess.

    BETH
I am a goddess yes. And he should be fucking grateful.

    CINDY
But thatís not how the English are.

    BETH
No. Theyíre not grateful. Theyíre not fucking grateful. Theyíre still trying
to colonize us after two hundred and something fucking years.  My husband
says English men are really horny.

    CINDY
I think if I were you Iíd try the Irish next time.

    BETH
Maybe I will do that. Maybe next time try the Irish. Except that Iím really
in love with James. I am. Iím in love. And itís terrible Cindy. Iíve taken
the insurance money from that car crash I had and I bought him ticket to New
York.

    CINDY
Does he know this?

    BETH
Itís for his birthday. Heís going to be fifty. Heís desperate and depressed.
He canít turn me down.

    CINDY
Look what I learned, I want to show you something. Just a minute. Iím going
to put a number on the jukebox.

SHE EXITS A BEAT. BETH PUTS HER HEAD DOWN ON THE TABLE

    BETH
Oh my god oh my god. How can I live without you. Feel like Iím cut to pieces
and freeze dried. I wish I was dead.


GEORGE W. BUSH ENTERS. HE HOLDS A GLOBE. HE SPEAKS DIRECTLY TO BETH

    BUSH
Iím confident of my intellect. I wouldnít be running if I wasnít. My job
will not be to out-think everybody in my administration. My job will be to
assemble an administration full of very capable and bright people. Not tell
me what to do. Make recommendations. Plus, Iím not going to have a group of
people who say the same thing. These people donít decide for me. Iím going
to have to decide. I will overrule my advisers. Iíve done that before. My job
is to get good thinkers and get the best out of them.

(SOUND OF A CHILD CRYING. GUNSHOT. SILENCE. Bush looks tentatively off stage,
and then to the globe, then he looks Beth in the eye)

    BUSH
I do need somebody to tell me where Kosovo is.  I donít think we know the
solution to global warming yet and I donít think weíve got all the facts
before we make decisions.  Some of the scientists, I believe, havenít they
been changing their opinion a little bit on global warming? Thereís a lot of
differing opinions and before we react I think itís best to have the full
accounting, full understanding of whatís taking place. Prosperity is not a
given. Governments donít create wealth. Wealth is created by Americans -- by
creativity and enterprise and risk-taking. Iíll never forget the contrast
between what I learned about the free market at Harvard and what I saw in the
closed isolation of China. Every bicycle looked the same. Peopleís clothes
were all the same. A free market frees individuals to make distinct choices
and independent decisions.

BRIEF BURST OF MACHINE GUN FIRE. PEOPLE SCREAMING. MORE MACHINE GUN FIRE.
SILENCE.

Iím not sure the role of the United States is to go around the world and say
this is the way itís got to be. I want to empower people. I want to help
people help themselves, not have government tell people what to do.

HANK WILLIAMS ďGO ON AND BREAK YOUR CRAZY HEARTĒ PLAYS.

CINDY RETURNS AND DANCES THE TEXAS TWO STEP WITH ELABORATE FLOURISHES.  SHE
SMILES, DANCES AND REACHES FOR BETH. BETH SITS STIFFLY, REFUSES TO MOVE. BUSH
GIVES BETH THE THUMBS UP SIGN. GESTURES SHE SHOULD DANCE. CINDY PULLS AT HER.

    CINDY
Dance with me Beth, it will make you feel better. Dance with me. Come on. Iím
going to have a baby. Dance with me. Thereís hope. Thereís hope and thereís
life. Everything is going to be okay. Come on. Come on, Iíll show you the
steps. Toby and I took lessons together. Come on. Dance with me and the baby.

BETH GETS UP. STIFFLY AND AWKWARDLY, SHE DANCES WITH CINDY. BUSH DANCES IN
PLACE.

LIGHTS FADE OUT.

LIGHTS UP. NEW YORK METROPOLITAN MUSEUM

JAMES AND BETH ARE LOOKING AT PAINTINGS. THEY STAND TOGETHER, LOOKING OUT.
JAMES COCKS HIS HEAD. MAKES A SWEEPING GESTURE

    JAMES
The fluidity of line.

    BETH
Yes.

HE SPINS ON HIS HEEL AND WALKS AWAY. BETH STANDS THERE STARING AT THE
PAINTING. HE IS LOOKING AT ANOTHER PAINTING AND COMPLETELY IGNORING HER. SHE
CONTINUES TO LOOK AT THE FIRST PAINTING BUT TURNS HER HEAD AND TAKES SIDELONG
GLANCES AT HIM. HE IGNORES HER. SHE WALKS IN FRONT OF ANOTHER PAINTING. HE
LOOKS AT HER OUT OF THE CORNER OF HIS EYE. AGAIN, SPINS ON HIS HEEL AND
STARTS TO EXIT. SHE REMAINS. HE EXITS. BEAT. SHE STOPS LOOKING AT ANYTHING.
JUST SEEMS TO SAG. THEN MOVES TO ANOTHER PAINTING. HE RETURNS.

    JAMES
I want you to see this--
   
    BETH
Oh my god I love Balthus.
I do. I really do.

    JAMES
Come see this Pizarro. Itís splendid.

    BETH
Iíve seen this in books, but here it is. Here. So strange to encounter it
now. I know it so well, itís like an old friend, and yet, Iíve never seen it
in person. I have so many personal associations with this painting. Iíd turn
to it, Iíd look at it, when  I was having trouble. I have this in a book. I
keep it near my desk. That little girl has such demonic power.

HE WALKS AWAY, COMPLETELY UNINTERESTED.

    JAMES
Come look at this.

    BETH
What is it?

    JAMES
Pizzaro. Look. Time just stops. You look right into it, there is the moment. 
Outside of time. Eternity.
   
    BETH
Yes.

    JAMES
Diffusion of light. Disappearing into trees.

    BETH
Yes.

    JAMES
You could walk right into this painting.  Iíve come all this way to see this
again. I saw it... nearly ten years ago.
   
    BETH
Yes.
   
    JAMES
I was staying in New York with this costume designer. I was here for a week.
And I encountered this-- Pizzarro.  When  you sent the ticket Beth, I had
reservations, just fear just fear just fear just fear... but then I
remembered this painting and I knew, this painting was reason enough for the
trip. It is good Iíve returned. Thank you Beth.

GEORGE W BUSH ENTERS, MAKES EYE CONTACT WITH BETH. WAITS POLITELY. GIVES HER
THE THUMBS UP SIGN AND GRINS. WHEN HEíS NOT SPEAKING HEíS WALKING AROUND
LOOKING AT PAINTINGS. WHEN HE SPEAKS, HIS VOICE IS MIKED.

    BETH
Your welcome.

    JAMES
I must thank you.  I never thought Iíd see this painting again. Look at those
trees. So visually potent. Look. Peering into the depths. The perspective.
Forever.
 
    BETH
Yes.

    JAMES
Weíll buy a post card of this one. Iíll buy it for you.


    BETH
Thank you.

    BUSH
The reason we start a war is to fight a war, win a war, thereby causing no
more war.

    BETH
James.

    JAMES
Mmmm.

    BETH
There is a question that haunts me.

    BUSH (To Beth, a near whisper)
The important question is, How many hands have I shaked?

    JAMES
Letís go and see the Picassos.

    BETH
James. When should I ask it? When can we talk?

    JAMES
About?

    BETH
Our relationship.


    JAMES
Well.

    BETH
Five minutes before your plane leaves? Would that be convenient?

    JAMES (laughs)

    BETH
You said there was a sexual thing between you and Lucinda.

    BUSH
We must all hear the universal call to like your neighbor just like you like
to be liked yourself.

    JAMES
No. I said she was clingy. Lucinda was my assistant. And I was her mentor. I
am a man. She is a woman. My friendship with her was hard on Missy. But I was
not, the father of her child.


    BETH
You said there was a sexual thing. I let it go by. I thought what you meant
was, a slight, attraction. The kind of thing that happens every day, just a
little charge. But I have been thinking more and more about it. What you
said. Something sexual between you and her. It seems to be consuming ever
more space in my head, like a dark cancer eating my brain. Iím invaded and
being eaten by these thoughts. These images I have of you in Lucinda. 

    BUSH
I think we need not only to eliminate the tollbooth to the middle class, I
think we should knock down the tollbooth.

SILENCE. JAMES STARES AT A PAINTING

    BETH
Sheís physically the opposite of me. Sheís round.   Mashed potatoes and
butter never missed her. Shes got flesh. And sometimes James, you have said
to me that we are so much alike, and I took it as, a compliment, but what you
were really saying is WEíRE TOO MUCH ALIKE for you to be sexually attracted
to me. You left my bed and went straight to Lucinda. Didnít you.

    BUSH
It's hard to distinguish between one degree of hate and another

    JAMES
But I am sexually attracted to you. Have we not discussed this before.

    BUSH (mocking female voice)
Please donít kill me. Please donít kill me.

    BETH
But something is wrong. Somethingís very wrong.

    JAMES
Maybe we should go and have lunch now? Maybe we should go get a bottle of
wine. One each.

    BETH
I want to see the Francis Bacon first okay?

    JAMES
I donít understand that.

    BETH
I like Francis Bacon.

    JAMES
I donít understand that. I donít understand you.
   
    BUSH
I'm confident that every person has been put to death in Texas under my watch
has been guilty of the crime charged and has had full access to the courts.

    BETH
I love Francis Bacon.

    JAMES
Yes. Weíve had this conversation.

    BUSH
We need to stop the exquisite sex and wholesome violence that underscore our
children.

    BETH
The vibrancy of it. The red. All the red. The screaming Popes. The depiction
of horror. He really gets that kind of existential horror. I can see that 
you find him completely distasteful but Bacon describes perfectly the horror
I feel. It reflects my interior. I feel as if Iíve been turned inside out.
Like the surface of my skin is just bloody intestines. To you Iím a talking
bloody intestine. But when I hear you talk... to me... Iím all wet. Iím wet.
Iím sick. Iím just a little dog that follows you around. Tears of lust pour
out my eyes.   I have no control. What is happening to me? My body has a will
of itís own. Because youíre such a fucking bastard James, a fucking rude
pedantic little bastard, a selfish narrow minded prig, a clueless wimpy
loser, an abominable spineless mistake of nature, a worthless hateful piece
of shit, a spiteful petty moronic dung beetle, not even that James, youíre a
fucking amoeba. Revolting single celled speck of bacteria and I hope you eat
rat poison and fall down in the gutter and roll around in broken glass
foaming at the mouth. Because then youíd have some empathy for me, because
thatís what Iím going to do when you leave James. That is what happens to me
after youíre gone.

    JAMES
You know whatís surprising about New York? I find it really all looks the
same. Itís become very homogenized hasn't it? Itís not what I expected at
all. There are basically, the same stores in every neighborhood, the same
sort of buildings.I find it rather ugly. Itís not what I remembered.

    BETH
Thank Guiliani.

    JAMES
I do see a lot more Mexicans here.

    BETH
Puerto Ricans.

    JAMES
Itís changed for the worse since I was here last.  Central Park was nice
however. Yes. That was nice. One could almost fall in love with Central Park.
The weather yesterday was fantastic. One could almost say Iíve got a tan now.


    BETH
I thought it would be a vacation for you.

    JAMES
Iíve never been very good at taking holidays.

    BETH
It's been a disaster.

    JAMES
Lucinda is a friend. Sheís been a very good friend. I donít know if Iíve
been such a good friend to her. Now our lawyer, Janie. My god, sheís is sexy.
But sheís married, and so: off limits. And the fourteen  year old girl next
door is so foxy, you donít know the torment. It no fun to be fifty, when
fourteen year old foxes prance around the lawn. I am so much worse off than
you. Iím in a bad way.Iím fucked Beth. Iím fucked. I just donít express it
thatís all. That isnít my way. But Iím worse off than you.

    BETH
Do you get-- have you not heard me say that I love you?  I love you. I am in
love with you.

    JAMES
Donít be. Donít be. Iím really not worth it. Where do you want to go now
Beth? We could go and see the Sumerian figures?  Beth.  Have you ever read
the Epic of Gilgamesh?

SHE HUGS HIM. CLINGS TO HIM. HE LOOKS AROUND, UNCOMFORTABLE BUT THEN PUTS HIS
ARMS AROUND HER RELUCTANTLY.
   
    BETH
I just want to be good for you. And if Iím not good for you then you should
tell me. Tell me. Because if Iím not good for you.

    JAMES
You are good for me.


    BETH
If Iím not good for you.

    JAMES
You are very good for me.

    BETH
Iíll go. It can be over. You just have to tell me. Because Iím afraid... The
moment It isnít good for you. Tell me.

    JAMES
Dont hurt yourself. Donít get hurt. Donít get hurt.

    BETH
The moment I start to be... feel like a burden. The moment you dont. I canít
stand it if you donít want me. Oh my god oh my god, like my heart is ripped
out. I just wish the ground would open up and swallow me. I just want to die,
want to vaporize.

    JAMES
 That is simply just not an option for you. Let me... let me get you some
tissue.

JAMES EXITS

BUSH SPEAKS DIRECTLY TO BETH.

    BUSH
Our priorities is our faith.

    BETH
I hate you. Alcoholic.  Wallow in gloom. Shouldnít drink when youíre
depressed. Everybody knows that. Alcohols a depressant IDIOT.

    BUSH
This is what I'm good at. I like meeting people.

    BETH
Go back to your wife and your fleshy assistant. I hate you.

    BUSH
My fellow citizens,


    BETH
Fuckhead.
 
    BUSH
I like interfacing with them.

    BETH
Oh my god I want to die.  He keeps running away.  He just keeps running away
from me..

     BUSH
Well, I think if you say you're going to do something and don't do it, that's
trustworthiness.

    BETH
Keep drinking like this and your liver will explode. Do you know what that
looks like? It's ugly. It's ugly. You prefer an exploding liver to me. He
prefers an exploding liver to me. Oh my god.

JAMES RETURNS WITH A TISSUE.

    JAMES
Here we go.

HE HANDS IT TO HER. SHE WIPES HER FACE. BLOWS HER NOSE.

    BETH
Can we just go back to Cindyís apartment. I canít take anymore public scenes.


    JAMES
Letís find a somewhere to eat.

    BETH
Its too embarrassing to eat in restaurants and cry. I canít do it anymore.
Can we just go back to Cindyís.

    JAMES
Thereís no food.

    BETH
We'll stop at the market.

    JAMES
Thereís just a stale bag of crisps. Though, she has a soft bed. Nice pictures
of her.

    BETH
I hope you can meet her sometime. Next time you come back.

    BUSH
There needs to be debates, like we're going through. There needs to be
townhall meetings. There needs to be travel. This is a huge country.

    BETH
I can stay with you tonight. Iíve invented an alibi.

    JAMES
Maybe you shouldnít.

    BUSH
I would have said yes to abortion if only it was right. I mean, yeah it's
right. Well no it's not right that's why I said no to it.
I did denounce it. I de-I denounced it. I denounced interracial dating. I
denounced anti-Catholic bigacy... bigotry. Put the 'off' button on.

    BETH
Please let me stay with you. Youíre going in the morning. Youíre going in
the morning.

    BUSH
I think we agree, the past is over.

    BETH
Please?

    JAMES
Lets go have a drink.

JAMES EXITS

    BETH
Iíve got to make him stop drinking.

    BUSH
This case has had full analyzation and has been looked at a lot.

    BETH
Heís going to drink himself to death.

    BUSH
I understand the emotionality of death penalty cases.

OFF, SOUND OF SOMEONE BEING STRUCK IN THE SKULL, ACCOMPANIED BY A BELLOWING
SCREAM.

    BUSH
States should have the right to enact reasonable laws and restrictions
particularly to end the inhumane practice of ending a life that otherwise
could live.

BETH STARTS TO LEAVE. BUSH TAKES HER HAND, SHAKES IT WARMLY.
    
    BUSH
When it is all said and done, I will have made more money than I ever dreamed
I would make.

BETH STAYS THERE LOOKING AT BUSH.  SHE FALLS DOWN, COLLAPSES ON HER KNEES AND
HOLDS HERSELF.

BLACK OUT  

IN DARK, CINDY'S VOICE OVER, A SHAMPOO COMMERCIAL:

 

LIGHTS COME UP ON JAMES AND CINDY IN CINDY'S APARTMENT... CINDY HAS JUST COME
IN WITH HER SUITCASE. JAMES SITS ON THE BED

    CINDY
She is very good with Rabbits.

    JAMES
Yes, so talented with Rabbits. She can make them do anything.
   
    CINDY
And are you in rabbit training as well?

    JAMES
Oh no. Not at all. Iím a magician. She has done some rabbits for me.

    CINDY
A real magician?


JAMES PULLS A LONG COLORFUL SCARF FROM HER EAR.

    CINDY
Oh. Oh my dear.

HE MAKES A BOUQUET OF ROSES APPEAR FROM HIS SLEEVE.

    CINDY
Youíre so brilliant.

    JAMES
I suppose I should get a hotel for the night. I leave in the morning. I--
itís better if I donít call Beth.

    CINDY
No. Itís no trouble. My return was unexpected. Iíve got a futon.  Beth is
crazy about you.

    JAMES
Bethís been a good friend. I havenít been such a good friend to her, but
sheís been good to me.

    CINDY
You use trained rabbits then?

    JAMES
Oh yes.


    CINDY
How disappointing.

    JAMES
How else can one make them jump into the hat.

    CINDY
And you make them stay inside a hidden compartment.

    JAMES
No hidden compartment.

    CINDY
Oh come on.

    JAMES
I make them disappear. Iím genuine. If I had a rabbit here, Iíd show you.

    CINDY
And do you never get them back again?

    JAMES
One must go through many many rabbits. I used to travel with a lorry full of
rabbits. But itís difficult traveling with rabbits these days. Fuel is
outrageous.
   
    CINDY
Where do you perform?

    JAMES
Iíve done the round of avant garde clubs, and the regional circuit as well,
but lately. It seems to be... magic is decadent now, itís somehow devolved
into... childrenís parties. If that. If that. Because they donít like it,
you see they donít like it when the rabbit disappears. What they really all,
what they all want to see is the rabbit, they want to touch it and pet it and
watch it hop around; but when it disappears,  they donít like that at all.

    CINDY
Why donít you just make it reappear then?

    JAMES
Iím not a traveling petting zoo. If I was in it for the money, thatís what
Iíd do, but for a magician. Canít do that mind you. No. Iíve been in this
business nigh on thirty years, Iíve done this, this is my art and my craft. I
wonít stoop to making the rabbit reappear so sticky little hands can dirty
itís fur. The disappearance is-- itís a sacred routine. Itís a ritual. I
wish people could only understand that. Itís the most personal thing I do.
That ritual. Making something familiar go away. And it is difficult, so
difficult now, because magic-- has rather become all about stunts. Naked
women jumping from helicopters. Or fire works or holograms. My costumes donít
sparkle. No. I wear the traditional black.

    CINDY
I see. Thatís very compelling.

    JAMES
You look splendidly fetching tonight. Beth didnít tell me she had such a
stunningly attractive friend. I... really, perhaps I shouldnít trouble you.

    CINDY
Oh youíre no trouble. I wish you would stay. You donít mind if I open this
bottle of wine?

    JAMES
Not at all.

    CINDY
And how do you like New York?

    JAMES
I think New York is quite beautiful tonight.

    CINDY
I do have a nice view.

    JAMES
Yes, you certainly do.

    CINDY
Iím really quite glad youíve turned up James. Itís silly but I...

    JAMES
Are you alright  love?

    CINDY
Iím just at the mercy of so many forces. So many forces.

    JAMES
Well hang on there. Have a glass of wine and tell me about it.

    CINDY
Oh no. I canít talk about it no. Itís everything. Life is complicated.

    JAMES
It is. Yes, it is complicated yes.

    CINDY
This is a strange time to be in America.

    JAMES
Yes it is.


    CINDY
But, very historic. Apocalyptic.

    JAMES
Well.

Yes. I have read of this president. This. President Elect. Dubya it seems.

    CINDY
Dubya. Yes. I myself have just flown in from Texas. Do you know what his work
day was like when he was governor? This fabulous article in Vanity Fair, by
Gail Sheehy, the woman who writes about mid life crisisí.

    JAMES
Yes.

    CINDY
He canít concentrate for more than ten minutes.He works for three hours, then
he goes running on the track. Then he comes back and plays video golf or
computer solitaire from one until three. He starts work again and he quits
right at five. Itís not that heís the stupidest man in Texas, Iíve just come
from there. There are many just as stupid, but this does feel like the end of
the world.

    JAMES
It would seem that way love.

    CINDY
And I think itís all just gotten to me. And I wish something would enter me
and make it go away. I long for something to make it all melt and disappear.


    JAMES
Having a difficult time of it are you?

    CINDY
Yes. 

    JAMES
Iím having a hard time myself.

    CINDY
I feel so disoriented James. I feel so much despair.

    JAMES
Youíre much too pretty to be so despairing.

    CINDY
Am I? Am I?

    JAMES
Of course you are love.

    CINDY
I feel like the ground is falling out beneath me.

    JAMES
I too have this problem. This problem with my ear.

    CINDY
Iím sorry. Do you mind if I... think Iíll have a hot bath and good cry.

    JAMES
Dont cry Cindy. Give me your foot.


    CINDY
My foot?

    JAMES
I trained as an accupressurist you know. Massage therapy. Past life
regression. Iíve done hypno soul regeneration, but my specialty is feet.
These are nice shoes. Oh my, you have lovely toes.

HEíS TAKEN HER SHOE OFF, HE HOLDS HER FOOT. SHE SITS ON THE GROUND, HIKES HER
SKIRT SLIGHTLY. HE VIGOROUSLY MASSAGES HER FOOT

    CINDY
Oh my god. Oh my god that is so good.

    JAMES
But I sense some  energy blockage right here. Feel that pain?

    CINDY
Ohhh...yeah.

    JAMES
You do feel it. Iím right. What is that. What is that... this is the liver...
this is the heart, over here, these are the lungs. But here. Right here.

    CINDY
Ohhh.

    JAMES
I get a sense of, blocked energy and pain.

    CINDY
And sorrow.

    JAMES
Sorrow.

    CINDY
Yes Sorrow. Itís bad.

    JAMES
You so,  do not deserve sorrow my dear. You donít deserve sorrow.

HE BRINGS HER TOES UP TO HIS MOUTH AND SUCKS.

LIGHTS OUT.

IN DARK, SOUND OF A WOMANíS ORGASMIC CRY. LIGHTS FADE UP DIM. BODIES MOVING
BENEATH BLANKETS.  A MANíS GROAN OF RELEASE. SOUND OF KNOCKING ON THE DOOR.
SEX SOUNDS STOP.

    BETH (off)
James?

James? Are you in there?

SOUND OF KNOCKING INTENSIFIES, THEN THE SOUND OF A KEY IN THE LOCK. JAMES
GETS UP WITH THE SHEET WRAPPED AROUND HIM. GOES INTO THE BATHROOM AND SHUTS
THE DOOR. THE ENTRY DOOR FLIES OPEN AND BETH APPEARS, FLIPS ON THE LIGHTS.
CINDY ON THE BED IS GRABBING A ROBE AND QUICKLY PUTTING IT OVER HER NAKED
BODY.

    BETH
Cindy?

    CINDY
Oh hullo doll.


    BETH
Is... I didnít know you would be back. Whereís James?

    CINDY
Uh. Yes.

    BETH
Is James here?

    CINDY
Uh yes. He just came. I just came. I mean, we arrived. I just got here.

    BETH
Whatís going on?

SHE SEES JAMESí CLOTHES ON THE FLOOR.

James?

    BETH
Cindy, have you been fucking someone?

GOES TO THE BATHROOM DOOR.

    BETH
James?

    JAMES (FROM BEHIND THE CLOSED DOOR)
Oh. Hello Beth.

    BETH
Oh you fucker. You hateful stupid cad.

    JAMES (from behind the closed door)
I believe the full term is a cad and a bounder, however, I will accept the
appellation.

    BETH
What did you say?

    JAMES (from behind the closed door)
I will accept the appellation.

    BETH
Iím going to grind your face into hamburger.
   
    CINDY
Donít be angry.

    BETH
Are you kidding me? Are you kidding me? You fucking slut. You were fucking
her? Iíve never known someone so idiotic.

    CINDY
Please, please stop.


    BETH
  (to James)
You know what you are? Youíre a tape worm James. A tape worm impersonating a
human. But now I see your little white head emerging.

    JAMES
Please stop.

    BETH
Now youíve shown your ugly white head, you flat fucking worm. You revolting
parasite.

    JAMES
I canít hear this Beth. You are making me cry. You make me want to jump off a
building.

    BETH
Letís go find a building. Iíll give you a push.
   
    JAMES
I canít listen to this.

    BETH
Youíre dumb James Dumb. You are so goddamn dumb! What an idiot.  You are such
a stupid asshole.  All this time Iíve been in love with a worm.

    JAMES
Iím not a worm.

    BETH
With a worm Cindy. You just fucked a worm. How does it feel to fuck a fucking
worm Cindy.
    (back to James)
You have tormented me enough!

SOUND OF WATER RUNNING

    BETH
How could you do that to me?
   
    CINDY
Iím sorry. Iím sorry. Iíve been in so much pain. Iím in pain Beth. Do you
know what that is?

    BETH
No.

    CINDY
I just thought that I could find out what his problem was and it might be of
help.

    BETH
What problem?
JAMES OPEN THE FUCKING DOOR.

    CINDY
You know, his ďproblemĒ the ďproblem.  The problem you had, where, he
couldnít --
 (she searches for the word)
Ejaculate.

You mentioned he couldnít ejaculate.

    BETH
Yes.
And did he?

    CINDY
One moment, I must, before I leak...

CINDY PULLS A BUCKET OUT FROM UNDER THE BED. SHE SQUATS OVER IT. 

    CINDY
This is rather intimate...oh... but I donít want to leak all over the bed.

SOUND OF GREAT MASSES OF FLUID GUSHING INTO THE BUCKET.

    CINDY
Ahhh.

    BETH
Oh my god.

    CINDY
Oh my, oh yes, there are gallons of it Beth. How could I have all that inside
me? Ahh... One more... there it goes, like a river

SOUND OF MORE FLUID GUSHING OUT

I hope that was it.  Could you hand me that box of tissue there doll?

(BETH DOES. CINDY WIPES HERSELF WITH A TISSUE)

    CINDY
One just has to take a look at all that. Itís an ocean. Thereís an ocean
there Beth.

BETH AND CINDY STAND AND STARE INTO THE BUCKET, EXAMINING IT.

    CINDY
Now, some of thatís left over from my last go  with Toby, but vast quantities
of that are from James.

SHE GESTURES TO THE BATHROOM DOOR.

And itís really quite a fantastic feeling, my god, itís like a fire hose
inside you.

BETH PICKS UP THE BUCKET, STAGGERS UNDER ITíS WEIGHT,LIFTS AND DUMPS IT ON
CINDYíS HEAD.

    BETH
You stupid hateful disgusting slut. You cow.  I HATE YOU JAMES. God damn it,
Iím really going to kick you James.

    CINDY
Oh my god Beth please stop. You donít understand, you just donít understand.
He did  such wonderful magic tricks. Please donít.
My life is so debased, itís true. Thereís nothing left, nothing.

SHE FALLS SOBBING AND DRENCHED TO THE GROUND.

    CINDY
You have no idea, what Iíve been through, whatís happened. And he was just
there and heís nice.

    BETH
What would TOBY think about this?

    CINDY (sobbing, gasping)
Tobyís wife... just found all my emails to him. She just found it. All of our
email. Imagine. Her reading. Our private. Correspondence. So Toby said, it
was best that I leave, that I leave there. Oh my god. Iím sure heís going to
leave her but I have got to give him .... time. Whatís going to happen to me.
Iím rotting. Im rotting, from the inside out. I know that what Iíve done to
you was wrong but... Beth. Oh Beth, It just felt so good. Iím sorry. Iím
sorry I had sex with your magician. Itís just, itís just that Iím terribly
upset.

    BETH
James, would you open the fucking door?
   
    CINDY
What if he turns and goes back to his wife. It will kill him Beth, that will
be the end of him, you see?

    BETH (to the door)
Fucking rodent! Spineless coward, come out.

    CINDY
If she gets her claws in, heíll never recover.

    BETH (to the door)
Pathetic wimp. Emotional retard. Termite. Mutant. I hate you so much.

    CINDY
Beth, Iím in a very bad way.

    BETH (to the door)
Come out now James. At least have the guts to look me in the eye.

    CINDY
And James was so warm, he was really a dear. I just needed it Beth. I needed
it so bad.

    BETH
Iím calm now Iím calm so itís safe to come out. Come out, would you James?
And weíll just have a talk. Or we wonít. How about that? Weíll never speak
of this again. Open the door and weíll never speak of this again.

    CINDY
James?! I think it is perfectly safe.

    BETH
Just open the door, weíll never speak of this again.

SILENCE.

    CINDY
James? James? Sheís not going to hurt you. She said that she would but she
was just bluffing. Sheís not going to hit you or kick you now James. Sheís
calm now. Sheís calm.

    BETH
Itís true. Iíve calmed down. I promise. Come out and all will be forgiven.
Come out James. It was all my fault anyway. Donít speak to me for as long as
you live, if thatís what you want but itís time to come out now.


    CINDY
What if heís had a heart attack?

    BETH
James?

Oh my god.

Get me a screwdriver.

CINDY GETS A SCREWDRIVER. THE TWO WOMEN WORK AT PRYING OPEN THE DOOR.

SUCCESS

THE DOOR SWINGS OPEN,

A WHITE RABBIT HOPS OUT OF THE BATHROOM.

BETH STARES IN HORROR. CINDY SCOOPS IT UP. THEY LOOK AT IT.

    BETH
James?

LIGHTS OUT. IN DARK BUSH SPEAKS:

    BUSH
God does not forbid women to be leaders in society, but when that occurs it's
usually because of the abdication of men . . . . I would vote for a woman for
the presidency, but, again, there's a certain shame attached.

SPOT LIGHT UP ON THE RABBIT IN ITíS CAGE. SPOT UP ON BUSH. HE SPEAKS TO THE
RABBIT.

    BUSH
Why don't you have a man who's able to step forward?

There ought to limits to freedom.

We have struggle to not proceed but to preceed to the future of a nation's
child. I know how hard it is to put food on oneís family.

 Anyway, after we go out and work our hearts out, after you go out and help
us turn out the vote, after we've convinced the good Americans to vote, and
while they're at it, pull that old George W. lever, if I'm the one, when I
put my hand on the Bible, when I put my hand on the Bible, that day when they
swear us in, when I put my hand on the Bible, I will swear to notóto uphold
the laws of the land. Families is where our nation finds hope, where wings
take dream. How true that is.

BUSH PICKS UP THE RABBIT IN ITíS CAGE.


    BUSH
Letís go buddy.

HE EXITS WITH THE RABBIT.

BETH ENTERS WITH CINDY. SHE PUTS CINDY IN BED. CINDY IS WEAK, SHE WEARS A
HOSPITAL GOWN AND A ROBE, HER HAIR IS PULLED BACK. SHE LOOKS PALE.

        BETH
Iím so sorry.

        CINDY
Itís better this way.  I couldnít do that to Toby. Itís just not the right
time.
Weíll have a child in the future, but this isnít...

        BETH
Are you in pain?


        CINDY
No. But give me my codeine please.

        BETH
Iím so sorry. My god. This is terrible Cindy. I feel so sad.

        CINDY
Weíll have a baby. We will. Toby so, he so loves children. He loves them.
Loves babies. And Iím only thirty two. Thereís time.

        BETH
I thought you were thirty eight.

        CINDY
Not at all. Iím thirty two.

        BETH
Youíre the same age as me Cindy. Thirty eight.

        CINDY
Youíre confused.

        BETH
Okay.

        CINDY
Weíll have a baby someday.  What did you do with the rabbit?

        BETH
I air expressed it back to Missy. I hope she takes good care of it. I wrote
her a note, that, this rabbit was special, very special to all of us.

        CINDY
Oh, he was a special rabbit. He was.

Shall we watch the inauguration speech?

        BETH
I heard a joke the other day... ďMy parents retired to Florida and all I got
was this lousy president.

        CINDY
Ha. Ha. Ha ha ha...ow christ. fuck. Can I have some more codeine please? More
codeine? Beth?


        BETH
Youíve gone through all that. Have a Valium.

        CINDY
Fine.

        BETH
Do you mind if I have one too?

        CINDY
Go ahead Doll.

BETH AND CINDY OPEN A BOTTLE OF VALIUM. THEY CHEW THEM LIKE CANDY ONE AFTER THE OTHER AS BETH TURNS ON THE REMOTE.  

 
LIGHTS OUT.

THE END. 

 
 

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