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 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2006 04:15 pm
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Joined: Wed Jul 26th, 2006
Location: Cambridge, United Kingdom
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Greetings kind peruser of this forum.  Thank you in advance for taking a look.  I feel like I'm yelling because the font's so big. 
An Expatriate Marriage

© R M 2006


Set: The decaying back patio of a slowly-collapsing Georgian mansion in NW6.   Unkempt teak chairs straddle uneven pavement and general clutter.  Big, blindingly     colourful injection-moulded plastic toys limit the space.  On one side there is a   barbeque.  At the centre of the patio back wall, four steps lead to a dying lawn.  A    digital camera is on a white plastic table. 

The stage is in darkness.  An outdoor patio light flicks on. ABIGAIL, a 39-yr-old American storms outside from the flat and lights a longed-for cigarette.  Her husband, SIMON, 40 and Welsh, follows her out and takes a seat.  He has a glass of cold white wine.


Simon:             Machiavellian in his genius. 

Abi:                  Utterly magnificent performance.  Peerless. 

Simon:             Dare I ask what time it is?

Abi:                  9:15.

Simon:             Arrgghh. 

Abi:                  I know.  We started at 7:00.

Abi:                  The last volley is so ingenious.  Just when I’m about to switch out the light. 

Simon:             I remember.  Wait.  (imitation of toddler)  “I want to see Zach and Linda!  I love Zach and Linda.” 

            They both glance towards Zach and Linda’s flat next door.  

Simon:             It doesn’t compare to “I love Muddy Waters”, though, does it? 

Abi:                  (imitation of toddler) “I want to watch Muddy Waters on DVD.”  Any two and a half year old with that much taste deserves to stay up.  He earned it. Honestly, I’m impressed by all of them.  Tonight?  8:15?  Let’s call Kebin! – that one was pretty good, too.  Played all the right notes.  Who does Mommy really want to talk to?  Who is Mommy always talking about?  Uncle Kevin.  What is Mommy scared of? Losing touch with her family in America.  That kind of strategizing is psychological warfare.  

Simon:             Reminds me of my time in ‘Nam.

Abi:                  (laughing) I hate it when you say that.  You were never in Vietnam.                          It’s disrespectful to the people who went.

Simon:             (dramatically checking for eavesdroppers)  Bob the Builder was in                          Vietnam?

            Abi can’t contain her laughter.

Simon:             It explains a lot, actually.  (pause)  That mutual attraction.

Abi:                  (still laughing)  You were not attracted to Bob the Builder!  It’s not                            funny.  It’s extremely transgressive humour.  Seriously.

Simon:             (lascivious)  But he can fix it. 

Abi:                  Stop.

            They sit in silence.

Simon:             I got quite a kicking today.

Abi:                  I know you did.  I am sorry.   

Simon:             You must have enjoyed it a little. 

Abi:                  It is usually me getting beaten to shit in there, Simon.

            Simon picks up the camera.

Simon:             Why do you have a camera outside? 

Abi:                  I’m working on the nature documentary.

Simon:             Oh, right. 

Simon peruses the pictures.

Abi:                  I’m thinking about staying up tonight to try to get a fox.  I figured I could lure one with some cat food.

Simon:             (still looking)  I must say, that spider looks terrifying. 

Abi:                  I know!  This is the side of moving to the UK that no one talks about.  The bugs are a lot scarier. 

Simon:             No.

Abi:                  To me.  I know where I stand with a cockroach.   I have no idea with a spider like that.  It’s scary.

Simon:             (referring to another picture) What are those?

Abi:                  You can’t really see them.  They’re ants.  This is the Orlando, Florida of the ant world.  They all come here. They all live up by that tree.

Abi leads Simon up the stairs to the garden.

Simon:             Lordy me.  There’s thousands of them.

            They return to the patio together.

Abi:                  You did have the Sky Repairman. 

Simon:             Yes, I was quite relieved I had that to talk about. 

Abi:                  Do you want to switch therapists?

Simon:             I think she’s fair enough.  I don’t know.

Abi:                  You don’t even want to go.

Simon:             I’m willing to go.  As long as you keep threatening to kill people so I have plenty to talk about. 

Abi:                  Look, even Ruth said that dealing with Sky is enough to drive anyone crazy.  I think that a perfectly sane person would have threatened to beat the shit out of him too in my situation.  It’s just.   I mean, like you pointed out, and I’ll admit you were right, I shouldn’t have said it on his voice mail.  That was idiotic. 

Simon:             Yes, it was.

Abi:                  What are we going to do about the oven?

Simon:             The oven?

Abi:                  The oven is broken.  That’s why I haven’t cooked dinner for the last two months.

Simon:             It’s been a blessing. 

Abi:                  Simon, we need to get on this so we at least have an oven for Thanksgiving. 

Simon:             It’s July.

Abi:                  It’s not a joke, Simon.  These things take so long.

Simon:             We can take a trip this weekend.

Abi:                  I think research will take up the first week.  We know nothing about stoves, we don’t know how to get rid of the stove we have, we don’t know how to install them.  I couldn’t find anyone on who did stove installation.  Weren’t you there when I asked the electrician about it?  He said he didn’t know either. 

Simon:             Right.

Abi:                  Do you know how to install a stove?  Is it innate knowledge on this island?  The electrican is from Australia.  There, apparently, they have people who install stoves. 

Simon:             Could we have one evening that doesn’t turn into a lecture about what a terrible place this is?

Abi:                  As soon as you agree to move back to the States.

Simon:             Find a job there and I’ll move tomorrow.

Abi:                  For a man who started his wedding speech with “green card”, you’re turning out to be a little bit of a disappointment. 

Simon:             What was the line? (Pause) I know, “Two words sum up what Abigail means to me. . . .  Green Card!”.  Tell me that didn’t get a big laugh?  That got a big laugh.

Abi:                  He said “zebra” today at school  “Zebra!”.  And he ends his abc’s with zed.  Zed, not “Z”, Simon.  

Simon:             That doesn’t matter.

Abi:                  I don’t want him to grow up in a place with dangerous wildlife and third world living conditions! We have to move out of London.

Simon:             Yes, sweetheart.

Abi:                  (sighs)  Maybe we have to move to Switzerland.

Simon:             You want to move to Switzerland? 

Abi:                  Not really.  But I don’t want to stay here and you don’t want to go to the States so maybe the fairest thing to do is to settle in a neutral country. 

Simon:             You’re joking, aren’t you? Are you, sweetheart?

Abi:                  That way neither of us get what we want.  Because if we stay here or go back, one of us is the martyr.  In Switzerland, no martyrs.  And the Swiss are healthier than the British in a number of respects. . . . emotionally, physically, the government is better.

Simon:             (barely audible)  I do get sick of the criticism, Abi.  You’re the whiniest person I’ve ever met.   And the most judgmental.

Abi:                  (whining)  I am not.  (pause)  And I am so telling Ruth you said that.  “You’re the whiniest person I’ve ever met.  And the most judgmental. ”!  Like that’s helpful.

Simon:             You are the whiniest person I’ve ever met.   I love you anyway. 

Abi:                  I don’t understand things well enough around here to be a useful mother to old fatso.  But.  Maybe it would be better for him to grow up here.

Simon:             Yes.

Abi:                  But sometimes –

Simon:             - here we go.  But sometimes . . .

Abi:                  It’s my thing with the jobs.  What if he grows up and lives his life never aspiring to be better.  I just think people have terrible attitudes about their lives and their jobs here.  They don’t care enough.

Simon:             Not everyone has that attitude.

Abi:                  You’re right.  But people are class-bound here and I don’t want him thinking like that.  It’s so offensive to me, Si, I’m sorry.  What you are born to is all you can aspire to be.  That’s the attitude.  It comes from the damned monarchy.  You think some people are better than others by accident of birth.

Simon:             It’s a terrible attitude.

Abi:                  (puzzled)  Yes.

Simon:             Now, your brother in Omaha, he has a good attitude.

Abi:                  (Groans, pierced in defeat) Damn.

Simon:             Your brother in Omaha thinks we are going to hell because we drink                       wine and you work outside the home.  And Kevin?  To treat his own brother that way.  I don’t want old fatso near that sort of behaviour.

Abi:                  Oh, God, honey, well we wouldn’t go back to Omaha.  We would have to live in New York or D.C.   Maybe Atlanta.  Or Portland.  Or Chicago.  Or I’d even live in L.A.  

Simon:             It’s not going to be like it was five years ago. 

Abi:                  No, I don’t, Simon.  We all have kids now, sure, that’s different, but . . . I don’t know.  Maybe you’re right -- I wouldn’t be happy going back.  I used to think I knew so much about the world before I moved here.  Now I realize I only knew about the American view of the world.  

Simon refills their glasses.

Abi:                  God, we might really have to move to Switzerland.   

Simon:             We don’t have to move Cambridge.

Abi:                  I think your heart is set on it.

Simon:             No.

Abi:                  That’s good.  Really?

Simon:             Yes.

Abi:                  But then we’re left with someplace outside of London like Surrey- very green and very white.  White people pretending to be happy.  I can’t live there either.

Simon:             Good schools there.

Abi:                  Do good schools make up for miserable parents?  I don’t know.  (pause)  Maybe they do.    

Simon:             And we can get a decent-sized house if we buy in Cambridge.

Abi:                  Ahhh!  You go straight to buying a house together.  Why do we have to do that already?

Simon:             You have my name tattoed on your ass.

Abi:                  Getting married is here (swipes around her knees).  Getting your name tattoed on my ass was here ( swipes waist-high).  Having ol’ fatso is here (swipes at neck level).  But buying a house and settling down?  Leaving the city?  I’m not ready for that.  I’m too young.

Simon:             You can’t stay here forever. 

Abi:                  I like it here.  This is the most multicultural place I have ever lived. We both work here.  That’s the crazy thing.  Have you even thought about how much you would hate that long commute every day?  Simon, you would be on a crowded train ten hours a week.  Two hours a day.  You wouldn’t see old fatso during the week.   

Simon:             (controlling his anger) I’m willing to commute.

Abi:                  Of course you’re willing.  But, well, it feels like what I said in the session today.

Simon:             I thought it a particularly good shot. 

Abi:                  I know you thought it was mean.  I’m trying to tell you what it feels like to me.

Simon:             That I want you to buy me a house near my mother?


Simon:             (changing the subject) The lawn really does look terrible.

Abi:                  I know.  I keep thinking that I should say something to Linda but then I think, really, this is between me and Zach and I just can’t gage what his reaction would be.  If it was me, and I killed my neighbours’ lawn with weedkiller, I would be mortified.  Zach, I just don’t know.  Maybe it would be good for him.  It probably would be.  He needs to come down a peg or two.  He’s too cocky.  He thinks he knows everything. But then, everyone does when they’re sixteen, don’t they? 

Simon:             I don’t think I ever did.  I don’t think at that age I thought I knew everything.

Abi:                  Then you stand before me a man much transformed from his youth.

Simon:             Shall I go get you a drink? 

Abi:                  Thank you. 

Simon:             Do we have any sparkling cold?

Abi:                  If you’re going to go get me a drink, you can just look for yourself, honey.

Simon:             The whole time.  You beat up on me the whole time.

Abi:                  I’m sorry.  I’m sorry.  The question infers that I am in charge.  I don’t want to be in charge. 

            Simon goes inside. 

Simon:             That’s all you want. 

            Abi lights a cigarette.  Linda, her neighbour, enters through the yard and     down the stairs.  Linda is 50 and American.

 Abi:                 Linda!  How are you!

            They hug American style.

Abi:                  How is it going?  How’s Leo?

Linda:              Leo is great.

Abi:                  Where is Zach?

Linda:              Zach is still in the States with his grandmother.

Abi:                  And how did your mother like Leo?

Linda:              It was ridiculous.

Abi:                  Did she like Leo more than you?  That’s what my mother did with Simon.

Linda:              She’s very upset with me, as usual.  You know.  The usual. 

Abi:                  And is Leo back in Amsterdam?

Linda:              No, he’s staying here for a few days.

Abi:                  So what’s that like?

Linda:              It’s good.

Abi:                  You are falling so hard for this guy, Linda.  For God’s sake, be careful.

Linda:              I know.  But. . .

Abi:                  You’re ridiculous.  You look like you’re twenty years old right now, I swear to God.  You already told him you loved him, didn’t you?  Oh my God, Linda, you did. 

Linda:              I know it’s crazy.

Abi:                  Of course it’s crazy.  And I want to tell you to slow down but then I keep thinking about me and Simon.  I got the tattoo FOUR WEEKS after I met him.  So I can’t really say   anything.  Except maybe prepare yourself for dark times ahead when all of this falls apart.  

Linda:              You don’t mean that.  Where’s Simon?

Abi:                  Simon is getting me a drink.  Let me get you one.  I’m going to tiptoe out though because the little one has just gone to sleep.

Linda:              He’s so cute.

            Abi turns to leave.

Abi:                  So cocky.  He’s a midget blonde Tom Cruise.

            Abi tiptoes out.  Simon returns with a glass of Champagne for Abi.

Simon:             Ah, lovely Linda.

            Simon kisses Linda’s cheek.

Simon:             So good to see you, lovely girl. 

Linda:              I want to thank you again for helping Zach with that essay for school. That was so nice of you.

Simon:             Yes, well, I’m a nice person.  But tell me all about you.  How is Leo?

Linda:              Leo’s great.

Simon:             Well, good.

Linda:              How are you?

Simon:             Oh, the same old, really.  We’re doing fine.

Linda:              That’s good.  Abi told me you were seeing Ruth.

Simon:             (shocked)  Yes.

Linda:              I think it’s great.  I think it can be really helpful.  You’ve been through so much. 

Simon:             Yes, I have.  But I’m only doing it because of Abi.  She needs it.

Linda:              She says the same thing about you!  Now, where is she? 

Simon:             Probably moving old fatso before she comes out with your wine.                

Linda:              She seems like she’s doing really well. 

Simon:             Yes. 

Linda:              But no one ever seems crazy to me.  I mean it.  No one.  I always see their point.  Actually, I probably seem crazy to her.  To you. 
Simon:             (ironic)  Not at all.  

            Linda’s mobile rings in her pocket. 

Linda:              Hello.

Linda signals that she will take the call up in the garden and exits. Subdued sounds of her phone conversation are perhaps heard.  Abi returns with a bottle of Champagne.

Abi:                  Thank God we have an excuse to break this out!  I’m so glad you’re here. 

            She notices  Linda isn’t there.

Abi:                  (to Simon)  Where is she?

Simon:             She had a call.

Abi:                  Oh.  I can still open it, you think?  Do you think?

Simon:             You told her we were seeing Ruth.

Abi:                  That’s all she knows.

Simon:             She thinks it’s because there is something wrong with me too.

Abi:                  There’s something wrong with everybody.  Rhona says that learning to accept that it the path to enlightenment.  You know, I was thinking in there, Si. Really, I don’t want to work any more.  It’s a fine job, but I just don’t believe in it.  So I might as well just stay home with Old Fatso.

Simon:             That’s fine.

Abi:                  Or you know, sometimes I ask myself how Milo’s generation will judge us.  Decisions have to be made.  About the environment.   About these wars.  Maybe we should pitch in and try to help. 

Simon:             What?

Abi:                  I think about all those men who fought in World War II.   People sacrificed everything for the good of the nation. 

Simon:             It was a different time.

Abi:                  Maybe they should be our example.  Not go fight, but do something to make the world better.  Sometimes I think I should go door to door with Kevin in New Hampshire or Iowa.  

Simon:             Hmmm.

Abi:                  It’s all gotten so bad.  So fascist.  I just don’t understand how it got that bad.  I want to work to change it.  For Old Fatso’s sake.    

Simon:             So you go work on the campaign.  What do I do?

Abi:                  Make money for me and old fatso so we can live in the manner to which we would like to become accustomed in the United States where you get so much more for your money.  Please?  We could live in a really nice house.

Simon:             Hmmm.

Abi:                  What do you think?

Simon:             I’m not going to find a job in the States that will support you just because you’re ashamed that your old friends in Omaha vote Republican.

Abi:                  Well, not with that attitude you’re not. 

            Linda returns.  Abi hands her a flute of Champagne. Abi looks around for her drink.

Abi:                  Where’s my drink?

Simon:             Look, it’s right there in front of you.

Abi:                  I didn’t see it. 

Linda:              I do that all the time.

Abi:                  Me too.  Keys.  I do it every morning with my keys.

Linda:              The trick is to take your time and really look.

Simon:             Abi prefers getting really upset.

Abi:                  (to Linda)  And I always tell him to look with his eyes, not with his mouth so I can’t ask him.

Linda:              Listen, I should go. 

            Abi and Simon stand to see Linda out.  She leaves.  Simon notices a spider’s web.

Simon:             You should get a picture of this one.  What a fantastic web.  (to the spider)  Well done.

Abi:                  Are you mad at me?

Simon:             I just don’t think it’s any of her business.

Abi:                  Maybe you’re right.  But if I want to tell her, then I can.

Simon:             And damn the consequences.  Who cares what I think?

Abi:                  I care what you think.  But I care what I think too.  And it helps to talkto someone.

Simon:             I understand that.  We’re talking to Ruth. 

Abi:                  I can’t just think about my life for one fifty minute session a week.  My brain isn’t built that way.


Abi:                  I want this to work.

Simon:             You want it to work on your terms.

Abi:                 YOU want it to work on YOUR terms.

Simon:             I don’t see where that’s going to get you.
Abi:                  I don’t see where that’s going to get YOU.

            It is now a joke.

Simon:             I will let you have anal sex with me right now.

Abi:                  What are we doing about dinner? 

Simon:             Pizza.  Pizza.

Abi:                  We had pizza on Sunday. 

Simon:             But pizza would be fun.

Abi:                  No.

Simon:             Indian?

Abi:                  Too fatty.

Simon:             Do you want to give me a blow job? 

Abi:                  No.

Simon:             You’re not much of a wife, are you?

Abi:                  (pause)  Your son told me to go have a cigarette and leave him alone today.  I wouldn’t let him watch Jungle Book three times.  I only let him watch it twice.

Simon:             You’re a mean mummy.

Abi:                  I’m not, though.   I think I’m very reasonable.

Simon:             How about a stir fry? 

Abi:                  You don’t think I’m reasonable?

Simon:             I just want some dinner.

Abi:                  Answer the question.

Simon:             No.  I won’t answer the question.  It’s a ridiculous question.  I always say you are a great mother.

Abi:                  You don’t always say that.  You always say your son is a magnificent kid.

Simon:             He is magnificent.

Abi:                  Yes, he is magnificent.

Simon:             (mimicking the toddler)  “Mummy, go away!  Go have a cigarette!”

Abi:                  I’m gonna burn in hell for smoking.

Simon:             Speaking of burning in hell, how is your brother Roger?

Abi:                  I don’t know.  I spoke to my parents today and they’re not talking to him.  They’re still upset.  Remember?  He told Kevin that they’re going to hell because they have gay people in their church.

Simon:             If I were your parents, I would be more worried about the alligators.  

Abi:                  They saw one!  First one.  On their golf course.

Simon:             Did your mother try to clean it? 

            Abi inspects the lawn.

Abi:                  There is fox shit all over the garden, all over it.  Fox conventions, ant conventions.  Spiders.  What are we supposed to do about all this? 

Simon:             Nothing.  We’re moving.

Abi:                  Well, Switzerland it is.

Simon:             You don’t want to move to Switzerland.

Abi:                  Neither do you! That’s the beauty of it. 

Simon:             This Switzerland bollocks is really the end, isn’t it?

Abi:                  No!  No! Don’t even say that.

Simon:             OK.     

Abi:                  No.  I don’t want a separation.  Everyone who gets married goes through this.  I don’t want to have to do it again with someone else.  We can do it.

Simon:             I hope you believe that.

Abi:                  You can’t just agree with me.  You can’t just say, “Yes, Abi, we can do it.” Like that would have been so hard. 

Simon:             There is no need to attack me.  There were lots of things I could have said.

Abi:                  The right thing doesn’t get said very much.

Simon:             I think you mean “very frequently”.

Abi:                  I swear to God, Simon. 

            Linda returns.  She has an upstairs neighbour Rhona in tow. 

Simon:             Linda! 

            Simon indicates to Abi that she should get Rhona and Linda out.

Abi:                  Rhona!

Rhona:                        Simon, good to see  you.

Simon:             Lovely Rhona.  Wonderful to see you.  Would you like a drink? 

Abi:                  Actually, Simon and I were in the middle of something.

Simon:             Not at all, sweetheart.  Please, Rhona, Linda, sit down.

Rhona:                        (to Abi)  I haven’t seen you in ages. 

            Rhona moves Abi to one side for a private conversation. She is aggressive.

Rhona:                        I started seeing Ruth.

Abi:                  Really?  Wow.  Is Ian going too?

Rhona:                        No.  He won’t go.

Abi:                  Simon is going.

Rhona:                        That’s incredible.  No way.  Simon is going to therapy with you!  How did you do it, darling? How did you do it?  
Abi:                  Easy.  I told him we had to go to treat my bipolar.  

Rhona:                        So why is he really going? 

Abi:                  Because I want us to be in love the way we were in love when we met. 

Rhona:                        How are things now? Oh, honey, what’s wrong?

Abi:                  I don’t know.  (Bewildered) We were just talking about a separation. I don’t . . . not now.

            Linda approaches them.  She has been speaking to Simon.

Linda:              What are you two whispering about?

Abi:                  My nature documentary.

Rhona:              Darling, we should talk.
            Abi stares at Rhona.

Abi:                  Simon!

Simon:             Sweetheart?

Abi:                  Umm.  Will you please set up your ipod speakers outside and download my running playlist for us? The nano is still in the dock.

Simon:             I’d be delighted.

            Simon goes to get his toys.

Abi:                  You know, whatever works on my toddler pretty much works on him.

Linda:              “The nano is still in the dock.”  I remember when we didn’t have                              faxes.  Tapes, even.
             Abi refills the drinks.  She gives one of the Champagne flutes to Rhona and starts drinking Simon’s wine.

Rhona:                        So what is going on, darling? 

Linda:              What is going on? 

Rhona:            (to Linda) Well, first, what’s going on with you?

Abi:                  (to Rhona) I met Leo.  He’s very cool.

Linda:              I just don’t understand what’s happening.

Abi:                  You’re falling in love.  You can’t understand it.

Rhona:             But you have to look after yourself, darling.

            This had not occurred to Linda.

Linda:              Oh, I am.  I’ve thought about that. 

Rhona:             (to Abi) What does he like?

Abi:                  He looks like a Vermeer.  All Dutch people do.

Linda:              Is that a compliment?

Abi:                  Yes.  He’s great.  (pause)  He did grab your ass a lot.

Linda:              Yes, he does that.

Abi:                  Are you ok with the ass grabbing? 

Linda:              I’m very ok with it.  Very ok. 

Rhona:             (to Abi) And what about you?

Abi:                  I’m ok. 

            She lights a cigarette.

Abi:                  You know, I started this joke tonight about moving to Switzerland and he got so upset. 

Linda:              You know, you guys have a real problem about this, don’t you?

Abi:                  Look, we are both very sensitive, very self-critical people prone to depression.     It’s hard to talk to each other.

Rhona:             But, honey, you love each other.  It’s so obvious.

Abi:                  And, you know, ultimately I have faith in that.  I’m sure we’re going to pull through this.

Rhona:             You shouldn’t be worried about moving.

Abi:                  I know.  That’s what Ruth says.

Rhona:             Ruth is smart.  You should listen to her. 

Abi:                  But you know, she’s Ruth.  She’s a little alarmist.  She told me – this is confidential -- that she thought it would be at least another six months before we would be able to make a decision together.

Rhona:                        Six months?

Abi:                  Yeah.  I’m trying to work up to it with little decisions.  You know, what we have for dinner or when we go to the zoo.  It’s hard to share decision-making with people.

Linda:              I love it when someone else makes all the decisions.  I miss it so much.  I hate having to make the decisions for Zach.

Abi:                  You know, Linda, have you seen our lawn? 

Linda:              Yeah.  It looks like shit.

Abi:                  I know.  After we paid all that money for the grass carpet.

Rhona:                        It’s called  . . . Oh, what do they call it here?

Linda:              I know!  I can never think of the name for things here.  I don’t know the name of anything. 

Abi:                  You know, the stuff that’s already grown?

Linda:              And it died?

Rhona:                        Can you get your money back?

Abi:                  No, because it kind of got killed.

Linda:              What do you mean?

Abi:                  I think it was Zach.  Actually, I know it was.  One day while he was home studying he came over . . . it was before he left for the States the day that he met Leo.  He came over and used too much weedkiller.

Linda:              Oh.  That’s terrible.  I’m so sorry.

Abi:                  Look, I don’t care about the lawn.  (She is mad)  I’m not mad.  It’s just I don’t know whether to tell Zach or not.  

Rhona:             Hold up.  Hold up.  You’re very good at  changing the subject.  I don’t want to talk about your lawns.  I want to talk about what Abi and Simon are going to do.

Abi:                  O.K., fine.

Rhona:                        Now, why can’t you just stay here?

Abi:                  I don’t know.

Linda:              Do you want to go back? 

Abi:                  Don’t you?

Linda:              God, yes.  California?  Living on the beach in warm weather?  Yeah. 

Abi:                  Well . . .

Linda:              (with conviction)  But then honestly I think, Linda, you have been moving your whole life.  No place is perfect.  Maybe I should stop moving and just learn to like it where I am.

Abi:                  There’s a lot to like.

Rhona:             I have no desire to go back to the States.  This is my home now. 

Abi:                  God, Rhona, you’re amazing.  It’s amazing.  You don’t think about going back to the States at all? 

Rhona:             No.

Abi:                  I do.

Rhona:            You don’t appreciate the life you have here.  You are raising a great kid.  Milo is really special.

Linda:              Isn’t he?  He reminds me of Zach.

Abi:                  Zach is a great kid.

Rhona:            And you go see lots of plays and you get really excited about them.

Abi:                  Yeah.

Rhona:                        Just enjoy what you have right now.

Linda:              I gotta go.

Rhona:                        (looks at her watch)  I gotta go too.

            Simon returns.

Abi:                  Have you been in with fatso all this time?  Linda and Rhona need to go so we need to say goodbye to them.

Simon:             (practically saluting) O.K.  (to Rhona and Linda)  Well, it was lovely to see you.  I’m sorry I was detained with my son. 

Abi:                  Is he still not asleep? 

Simon:             He is now.

Abi:                  O.K.  They need to go.  (to Rhona)  Is it better for you to go out through the front door?

Rhona:                        Yes.

            Abi leads Rhona back into the house.

 Linda:             Bye.  (as she leaves)  You have a wonderful wife by the way.

Simon:             Yes.  I know.  She reminds me continually.

            Abi enters.

Abi:                  Don’t you mean continuously? 

Simon:             Continuously and continually.

Abi:                  Your genius, sir, lies in your pedantry.

Simon:             Well, thank you very much.

Abi:                  What do you want for dinner.

Simon:             I told you already.  Pizza.  Pizza.

Abi:                  Jesus, Simon.  Why do I always have to be the grown-up?  Why do I have to be the one who says salad?  Why do you make me the heavy?  Why?  Why?

Simon:             Sushi, then.

            Abi pauses.

Abi:            You are pretty funny.  Pretty funny.  Yes to the sushi by the way.  (with a cautious glance toward Linda’s apartment) Do Leo Holland.

Simon:             You do it better than me.
Abi:                  (in thick, bouncy Dutch accent) Hello, my name is Leo Holland.   And.  Before you make the joke – yes!  I am from Holland.

            They both crack up.

Abi:                  I can’t believe he said that.  It was too good.   Too good. 

Simon:             Linda seems as mad as ever. 

Abi:                  I thought she seemed o.k.  I told her about Zach and the lawn.

Simon:             Did that upset her?

Abi:                  No.  It was fine.  It was o.k.  You know Linda.  She just takes it.

Simon:             I know she’s had a difficult time over here.  She’s still mad as a balloon though. 

Abi:                  Simon, do you ever worry that your predominant opinion about everyone you meet is that they’re crazy? 

Simon:             You’re crazy.  (Dutch)  Hello!  My name is Abi Davies! And before you make the joke- yes!  I am officially barking.

Abi:                  (Dutch)  Hello!  My name is Simon Davies!   And before you make the joke – no!  I am not in contact with my own emotions and needs!

Simon:             Oh, shut up.

Abi:                  I’m sorry.

Simon:             Just shut up.  You take everything too far. 

Abi:                  I’m really sorry, Simon.  I was just being funny. 

Simon:             Well, you’ll have to make it up to me with a blowjob.

Abi:                  O.K.  I guess once every six months isn’t too slutty. 

Simon:             Why doesn’t Linda just go back to California? 

Abi:                  Well, now she has Leo.

Simon:             (as before) Hello.  My name is Leo Holland.  And before you make               the joke – yes!  I am from Holland! 

            They sit in silence. 

Abi:                  They seem to have a good time together.

Simon:             Yes.  They do.

Abi:                  I suppose I should go order the pizza.

            She wraps herself into his lap and snuggles.




Last edited on Thu Aug 17th, 2006 09:29 pm by Paddy

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 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2006 09:30 pm
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2nd Post

Joined: Fri Jun 9th, 2006
Location: Kitchener, Ontario Canada
Posts: 2837
Hope you don't mind that I's very daunting to read with all the spaces...but it takes a long time to do. 

If you copy and paste from your file, with notepad, or a similar thing, then copy and past to the forum, those spaces don't get translated.

Now...I read.


Last edited on Thu Aug 17th, 2006 10:27 pm by Paddy

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 Posted: Thu Aug 17th, 2006 10:19 pm
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3rd Post

Joined: Wed Jul 26th, 2006
Location: Cambridge, United Kingdom
Posts: 269
Thanks.  I appreciate it.  I'll try to reformat in notepad next time!

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 Posted: Mon Aug 21st, 2006 05:47 pm
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4th Post

Joined: Fri Jun 9th, 2006
Location: Kitchener, Ontario Canada
Posts: 2837
I think you have a great base of opperations here, but you aren't out of the woods yet.

A few notes I took on the way...

Zed, not “Z”, Simon.  A wee bit of an ethnocentric slip.  You still have to spell it Zee for the UK and Canada, as I read that as zed.  ~smile~

This...what is Abi answering to here?

Simon:  It’s not going to be like it was five years ago. 

Abi: No, I don’t, Simon.  We all have kids now, sure, that’s different, but . . .


Abi:  Ahhh!  You go straight to buying a house together.  Why do we have to do that already?

Simon:  You have my name tattoed on your ass.

EXCELLENT!  That's all you needed to say.  Maybe an ! ater ass.

This...I’m going to tiptoe out though because the little one has just gone to sleep.  Seemed an odd thing to say...but more obvious, a device for Linda to say something about her son.  It might have been easier if Linda asked if he was she would know it was an issue.

Don't think he would say this.  Speaking of burning in hell, how is your brother Roger?  Just as familiar as they are...wouldn't he just say roger, or Dodgy Rogy...or something else?

Abi: God, Rhona, you’re amazing.  It’s amazing.  You don’t think about going back to the States at all? 

Rhona: No.

Abi: I do.

This bit bothered me, because again, it assumed there is no history between them, and quite honestly, I think the butcher on the corner of Burrow Rd and Main St. knows Abi wants to go back to the States.

The dialogue is good, but I have some questions.  Why are you telling the story at this moment?  What do you think Linda and Rhona add to the story?  For a longer play, the pace is way too even, there isn't an arc.  And I hate to say, but you've made it very difficult to like Abi.  She's very passive/agressive, but you haven't shown a vulnerable side where we were allowed to like her...and Simon as well.  There is so much that is said more than once.  As an audience, it's hard not to get bored when she is explaining what we have just said to the ladies...and yet I really liked the energy with the three of them.  There is very little subtext.  No one dodges the problems...and this leaves me wanting something a bit more complex.  That said, it's a kitchen play, and I'm always searching for something a bit darker or a bit edgier.

Again, great base here, but I think a bit more work is needed.


I think you have the makings of something longer here, but I think you need to look at it from another angle.


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