3.01.2005

Split

A non-play

The Players: Henri, Marcy, a Dead Rose

Act Only

Evening.

Henri and Marcy are arguing in a sparsely furnished dining room. The room contains a table with two chairs; on top of the table is a vase, holding a white Rose that has died. Henri and Marcy are standing on opposite ends of the table, and Marcy has her back turned toward to Henri
.

Henri: (Sets his hands on the backrest of one of the chairs.) Look, I know you won’t appreciate this, but it’s like the song goes: “It was really, really going, you made me happy every single day, but now I’ve got to go away.” (to himself) God, that’s a great song...

Marcy: (Turns to face Henri) What the hell does that mean? You said yourself, that song is the ultimate “It’s not you, it’s me” speech.

Henri: I said that? That’s pretty funny. (laughs to himself softly, nervously)

Marcy: You did. (pauses) So what is it, then? Are you going to actually explain yourself, or are you going to leave?

Marcy
folds her arms in waiting for a response. Henri thinks for a moment before speaking; he furrows his brow, as if working through a difficult math problem.

Henri: I think I’ll go. (he turns to leave, stops, and turns back toward Marcy.) That was a split infinitive, you know.

Marcy: (Confused) What?

Henri: A split infinitive. (no response) You know, when a word is placed in the middle of an infinitive. (still no response) A verb that starts with to. (nothing) You know, to sing, to laugh, to leave–

Marcy: (Interrupting, with a low, barely controlled voice) I know what an infinitive is.

Henri: Right. Well, you asked, “Are you going to actually explain yourself,” when what you should have said was, “Are you actually going to explain yourself?”

Marcy: (Screaming) Are you kidding?!

Marcy picks up the vase and throws it in Henri’s direction. Henri ducks out of the way, and the vase smashes against the wall. The Dead Rose falls to the floor. After a moment, Henri stands up and
speaks.

Henri: I’m just saying. Anyway, I, uh, think I’ll go now. (turns and walks offstage)

Marcy,
fuming, walks offstage in the opposite direction.

Dead Rose: (Still lying in water, amid shards of the broken vase. Sardonically) Oh man! Talk about a good way to (with emphasis) quickly make a bad breakup worse...

Curtain.

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