The Church Of St. Luke In the Fields

A One-Act Play by Jim Shankman

Cast

Jonah:     a New York City prep school senior, improbably smart, stressed out and very tightly wound, a troubled soul.

Sally:        also a New York City prep school senior, raw and vulnerable, more than a bit out of control.

 

Place:     a park bench on the grounds of St. Luke In The Fields in Greenwich Village. 

Time:     late afternoon in the fall.

At rise: Jonah is sitting on a park bench in the courtyard of St. Luke’s in Greenwich Village with a stack of textbooks, opening and closing them. Sally enters.

 

JONAH

Oh.  (Pause.)  Hey.  

SALLY

Ummm.  Hi.  

JONAH

What?  

SALLY

Nothing.  I wasn’t sure if we were speaking to each other.

JONAH

Apparently we are.

SALLY

Ok.  What I meant was –

JONAH

I know what you meant.  

SALLY

Ok if I sit here?

JONAH

You sure you can handle it?

SALLY

I can handle it.  What’s that supposed to mean?

JONAH

I don’t know, it’s just something I say to people when I don’t know what they want.

SALLY

Fine, I’ll go.  What are you even doing here?  

JONAH

We were on this field trip and I got separated from my buddy.  And then I got lost.  So I sat down.  They say if you get lost you should stay in one place.

SALLY

You are so strange.

JONAH

I was on my way home and then I started thinking about maybe actually not.

SALLY

Oh yeah?

JONAH

I used to come here as a kid.  
What are you doing here?

SALLY

We belong here.  

JONAH

St. Luke’s?  Oh you worship here?  This is your house of worship?

SALLY

My parents do.

JONAH

Right.

SALLY

I do stuff here.  After school sometimes.  

JONAH

Like what?

SALLY

Just stuff.  They have these programs.  And you can get involved.  Or not.  

JONAH

I bet it looks great on your transcript.

SALLY

No.

JONAH

No it doesn’t look great?  It looks terrible?  Look at her, studying all that Russian literature.  Is she trying to sabotage her ivy league career?

SALLY

I’m not applying to the ivy league.

JONAH

No I meant…

SALLY

I know what you meant.  
Why don’t you want to go home?

JONAH

No reason.

SALLY

Aren’t they gonna like miss you?  

JONAH

Yeah they’re gonna be like whatever happened to whatshisname?

SALLY

So mind if I sit?  I’m early.  

JONAH

Fine.

SALLY

I thought I was the only one who knew about this place.

JONAH

I used to come here for story time in the garden.  This crazy old guy, Mr. Williams.  Used to read us stories.  Kinda makes me uncomfortable to think about him now.  But he did these really good stories.  I mean I was eight.  So my critical faculties weren’t as sharp as they are now. A lot of them were about Jesus.  So my mom yanked me.  

SALLY

I used to come out here with a bottle of Jack sometimes, actually it was a bottle of Snapple but it had Jack in it.  Don’t look at me like that.

(Silence.  Sally puts her head on his shoulder.)

JONAH

Hey could you not….

SALLY

What?  Sorry.

JONAH

I just, you know, I really came out here to be alone.

SALLY

Fine.  You can be alone on that side and I’ll be alone on this side.  

(Pause.)

I miss you.

(Pause.)

JONAH

Am I supposed to say something?

SALLY

Yes.  

JONAH

What am I supposed to say?

SALLY

I don’t know.  That’s the fun part of a conversation.  You never know what the other person is going to say.

JONAH

I’m not missing.  I’m right here.  

SALLY

Wrong.

JONAH

Give me a hint.

SALLY

You need a hint?

JONAH

You miss me from where?

SALLY

Lunch period.  Eighth grade.

JONAH

Eighth grade?  You miss me from eighth grade?

SALLY

We had lunch.

JONAH

I had lunch.  You didn’t eat lunch.  You didn’t eat at all if I remember correctly.

SALLY

You were very good about it.  

JONAH

I didn’t really get it at the time.  You were really… 

SALLY

Thin?

JONAH

I was going to use the A word.

SALLY

Which word is that?

JONAH

The one with the x.

SALLY

Please don’t.

JONAH

Ok.

SALLY

I ate a lot of cheese.  I was all about the cheese.

JONAH

You ate one slice of those American Cheese thingies.  One.  And then you licked the plastic wrap.

SALLY

You remember that?

JONAH

One time my dog got a hold of one of those American Cheese things and ate it.  And she got the plastic wrapper wrapped around her thing in her throat.

SALLY

Uvula.

JONAH

Is that right?  It looks like a punching bag.

SALLY

Yeah that was on the PSAT.  Clitoris is to vagina as what is to throat?

JONAH

Oh is that what it was.  I think I put soft palate.

(She laughs.  He smiles.)

SALLY

No it was uvula.

JONAH

My mother had to stick a tweezers down her throat while I held her mouth open.  

SALLY

Gag me.

JONAH

I would not go back to eighth grade if you paid me.

SALLY

I would.

JONAH

You starved.

SALLY

Why not?

JONAH

Because I would have to do high school again.

SALLY

But if you knew what you know now?  You could go back and get it right.

JONAH

My dad says he still dreams about high school.  He’s 50 years old and he hasn’t graduated high school and he’s in a panic, like I really have to graduate and get on with my life I’m too old for this shit it’s time it’s time.

SALLY

Your dad tells you his dreams?

JONAH

Hey could we not talk about my family.

SALLY

Fine.

JONAH

So you’re saying your clitoris is a punching bag?

SALLY

No.  

JONAH

Then what are you saying?

SALLY

I’m not saying anything.  Jesus.  That’s kind of aggressive, isn’t it?

JONAH

Oh I thought it was funny.

SALLY

No.

JONAH

Sometimes it’s funny in your head and then you say it out loud and then you’re like fuck no.

SALLY

Yeah.
I’m just saying I miss eighth grade.  But you obviously don’t miss it.

JONAH

No I don’t.  
You know some people figure things out at a very early age.  Have you noticed that?  Like Turkel, he was like this is how the stock market works and this is how you get into college and this is how you know god doesn’t exist.  And I was like this is how you beat level three on Super Mario.  

SALLY

He’s like a genius or something.  

JONAH

Yeah and he’s got TMJ and migraines.

SALLY

So what are you saying?

JONAH

I’m saying I’d rather not know things.  Some people are too smart for their own good. 

SALLY

So?

JONAH

So I wouldn’t want to go back to eighth grade and know what I know now.  

SALLY

Ohhhhhhhh.  
You remember Psycho?

JONAH

Psycho?  At the Film Forum?  We were children.

SALLY

Summer after Freshman year.

JONAH

Yeah?  What do you remember?

SALLY

You ran out.

JONAH

You were already out.

SALLY

I’ve seen it before.

JONAH

You were shaking.

SALLY

Doesn’t take much.

JONAH

Yeah that knife.

SALLY

Yeah.

JONAH

Thank you, Mr. Alfred Fat Man Hitchcock.  Thank you for the indelible imagery.  I’ll always think of you at shower time in motels.

SALLY

Yeah.
You were very cute.

JONAH

I’m not cute.

SALLY

No I mean what you did.

JONAH

What did I do?

SALLY

You don’t remember?

JONAH

No.  Uh oh, What did I do?

SALLY

You took me back in.  

JONAH

Did I?  

SALLY

You held my hand.

JONAH

I don’t think I held your hand.

SALLY

You held my fucking hand, Jonah.  And then you went and sat with Weiss and Turkel.  And then when they showed the old lady you ran out again.

JONAH

And you were already out.

SALLY

And you walked me home.

JONAH

I did not.

SALLY

You are unbelievable.

(Pause.)

JONAH

Ok, since we talking about the deep dark past…what about Saturday night?

SALLY

What about Saturday night?

JONAH

At Weiss’s party.

(Pause.)

SALLY

Did something happen at Weiss’s party?

JONAH

That’s not funny.

SALLY

Did I pass out?

JONAH

You don’t remember?

SALLY

When I pass out, it kinda wipes it all out for me.

(Pause.)

So what happened?

JONAH

Well if you don’t remember, I could say anything, so why would you believe me?

SALLY

Well you know, sometimes people say things that have the ring of truth and sometimes they say things that are just full of shit.  And I pretty much know the difference.

JONAH

Maybe it didn’t happen.  Maybe I made it up.

SALLY

What?

JONAH

I don’t know.  I’m confused.

SALLY

Fine.  

(A moment.)

JONAH

How long are you staying?

SALLY

How long are you staying?

JONAH

Is this like your spot?  Am I sitting in your spot?  Cause I came here to be alone.

SALLY

Well so did I.

JONAH

So fine I’ll leave.

SALLY

Fine.

JONAH

I’ll go back to my old spot.

SALLY

Where is your old spot?

JONAH

You know the Intrepid?  The aircraft carrier they’ve got in the Hudson?  On the flight deck.  They have a spy plane, SR71 Blackbird it’s called.   

SALLY

You mean the museum thing?

JONAH

Yeah.

SALLY

That’s where you hang out?

JONAH

You can climb into the cockpit if you can fit.  Most people can’t fit.  The pilots had to be small cause the cockpit is so tiny.  So I go sit in there.  They used to fly it over the Soviet Union back when they had the Soviet Union and the Cold War and all that stuff.  And they took pictures.  60,000 feet up.  So they couldn’t shoot you down.  And they took pictures of the Soviet Union to see what was up.  This was before they had spy satellites.  

SALLY

So fine so go sit there.

JONAH

You always put your head on guys’ shoulders like that?

SALLY

No, you’re the first.

JONAH

What am I in your way?  Am I disturbing you?  Are you prepping for the SAT.  Or the BYOB?

SALLY

No, I’m just sitting here quietly with my thoughts is all.

JONAH

Oh quietly with your thoughts.  Like the Bodhisattva?

SALLY

Jesus Jonah what the fuck is wrong with you.

JONAH

Oh the f word has been spoken.  Not in exuberance but in anger.  She’s angry with me.  

SALLY

I’m not angry.  I am a just a little bit exasperated.  

JONAH

Exasperated?  You’re exasperated?  I’ve exasperated you?  Is that what I’ve done.

SALLY

You haven’t spoken to me in a week.  And now you won’t shut up.

JONAH

That’s irony, isn’t.  You’re being ironic.  That hurts.  In a way I can’t explain.

SALLY

Could you please stop being so supercilious.

JONAH

Supercilious?  Did you just use supercilious in a sentence?

SALLY

Fuck off.

JONAH

A better title for this story would be What’s So Super About Silly Us.

SALLY

Could you just be quiet!  

JONAH

Yeah I can be totally silent.

SALLY

Why don’t you just go?

JONAH

You want to be alone so you can not eat in private?

SALLY

Fuck you, Jonah.
You can’t be nice, then leave the park.  This park is for peaceful quiet people who mind their own business and leave each other alone.  It’s like maybe the most beautiful place in the Village so please don’t junk it up with your anger.  Look around you.  Look at the beautiful trees and the pretty birds and the goddamn motherfucking squirrels and learn how to behave.  Cause nobody cares about your troubles.  Or hasn’t that occurred to you yet.

JONAH

Oh it has.  It has.  It just doesn’t seem to make a difference to me in terms of my anitsocial behavior patterns,

(Silence.)

I almost went off on Weiss and punched him in the face and he’s my broski.

SALLY

What happened?

JONAH

I don’t know.  Nothing.  He said something.

SALLY

What?

JONAH

I don’t even remember.  And Mr. Kohler with his freakin’ History of Communism, he gave us all the exact same grade in Euro Civ and I should have had a 99 and he says hey you all get a 75 cause that’s Communism, everybody gets the same.  I want to tear his fucking head off.  

(Sally laughs at this.)

It’s not a joke.  He’s a jackass.  Why am I so goddamn angry all the time?

SALLY

Actually I used to come out here a lot.
Actually I still do.

(Silence.  The sun has begun to set.  The sky is getting very red.)

JONAH

Can I tell you about this thing that happened?

SALLY

I thought you wanted to be alone.

JONAH

I do but since you’re here.

SALLY

What happened?

JONAH

You’re not going to freak?

SALLY

No.  What is it?

JONAH

I had this dream.  

SALLY

You want to tell me a dream?

JONAH

Yeah.

SALLY

I think I can handle that.

JONAH

Well I was on this cruise ship in the middle of the ocean—

SALLY

When was this?

JONAH

In my dream.

SALLY

No, when did you have the dream?

JONAH

I’ve had it a couple times.

SALLY

Oooh.

JONAH

And somebody fell overboard from this boat and I threw the life preserver thing over the railing and I was trying to save their life only I couldn’t see who it was in the water.  

SALLY

Yeah, that’s creepy.

JONAH

Yeah, and then I got a tug on the other end of the line so I started hauling them in with all my strength.  And it was very emotional which is unusual because I am not an emotional person, but I was screaming and shouting and cursing and crying and I was hauling them in hand over hand and my hands were burning and the rope was cutting me and I couldn’t see who it was I was trying to save and every muscle in my body was on fire and my arms felt like lead like they were about to fall off and just when I finally had them all hauled into the boat and I was going to see who it was….  I let go.  I let go of the rope and they fell back into the water--- 

SALLY

Ooooh.

JONAH

Yeah.

SALLY

That’s so weird.

JONAH

Yeah, and the boat sailed away and they disappeared into a little dot on the waves and they were lost at sea.  

SALLY

Wow.

JONAH

Yeah, and then what’s even weirder is I started to laugh.  And I was laughing hysterically.  I was laughing my fool head off.  And I woke up laughing.  I mean I never woke up laughing in my life.
I mean isn’t that weird?

SALLY

So who was it?

JONAH

Well that’s the whole thing.  I mean I just have no idea.

SALLY

Why not?

JONAH

Well it could be anybody.  My mother, my father, my sister.  Anybody.  Everybody.  Charlie’s getting crazy.  The therapist is like you have to institutionalize her you have to you’ve got to.  My Mom is like, “Over my dead body.”  My dad comes home every night like “We can solve this, we can solve this, let’s put our heads together.”  You have to.  I won’t.  We can figure this out.  And Charlie just sits there like gaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhhhhh.  So I mean like pay your money and take your pick. 

SALLY

What about you? 

JONAH

Me?  

SALLY

Yeah.  

JONAH

You think it’s me?

SALLY

I don’t know.

JONAH

No that’s ridiculous.  That makes no sense at all.

SALLY

Fine fine.  

JONAH

No why would you say that?  

SALLY

I don’t know I just thought….

JONAH

What….?

SALLY

I don’t know.  

JONAH

Excuse me but that is really stupid.

SALLY

Ok fine.  Whoa.  Ok. 

JONAH

Last time I tell you a dream.

SALLY

Ok I’m sorry.  

JONAH

Save if for my shrink.  It’ll make his day.

SALLY

You see a shrink?

JONAH

No.

(Pause.)

Anyway I gotta go.

SALLY

So go.  Go climb in your fighter jet.

JONAH

Spyplane.

SALLY

Go climb in your spyplane and spy on Russia. 

JONAH

The Soviet Union.

SALLY

Like I care who you spy on. 

JONAH

I would probably spy on you.

SALLY

Yeah?  From 60,000 feet up?

JONAH

Yeah where you couldn’t shoot me down.

SALLY

Probably wouldn’t learn much.

JONAH

Oh you’d be surprised.  They have guys who pour over the photographs.  They can see the color of your lipstick.  

SALLY

I don’t wear lipstick.

JONAH

They know that.  They know everything about you. They know your password on Snapchat.

SALLY

You’re creeping me out, Jonah.

JONAH

Hey could we just….

SALLY

Yeah….

(Silence. Lights change. They are sitting differently. Sunset has turned to dusk.)

SALLY

Why do you call her Charlie?

JONAH

They used to call the Viet Cong Charlie

SALLY

The Viet Cong??  Like in the Vietnam War you’re talking about?

JONAH

Yeah.  Like in the Vietnam War I’m talking about. They used to call the Viet Cong Charlie.  And they used to say they were everywhere but you couldn’t find them.

SALLY

Yeah?

JONAH

Yeah so that’s like Charlie.

(Brief pause.)

SALLY

Ok I gotta go.

JONAH

Right your class. What is it?  Russian Literature for Insomniacs?  Karl Marx: Fake or Fraud?  Cinema Francais Pour Les Demoiselles qui va te faire foutre?

SALLY

It’s not a class.

JONAH

What is it?

SALLY

I have this meeting.  

JONAH

Here at St. Luke’s?

SALLY

Yeah.

JONAH

Right now?

SALLY

Yeah.

JONAH

Dude, there is only one meeting at St. Luke’s on Friday evening. And everybody knows what it is. It’s common knowledge.

SALLY

Yeah. Well. That’s my meeting. 

JONAH

That’s your meeting?

SALLY

Summer before last….I was up at Harvard at the Summer Academy…

JONAH

Oh yeah?  I was thinking of going there.

SALLY

Yeah, and I started having these attacks where ---

JONAH

American history?

SALLY

French and Philosophy.

JONAH

You speak French?!?!  

SALLY

Yeah.

JONAH

Oopsy.  You look like the Spanish type.

SALLY

Listen, and I had these attacks where I would wake up in the middle of the night and I would be sweating like a pig and my heart would be pounding and my vision would be all blurry and I was having these major panic attacks.  Like anxiety disorder only I didn’t know it.  

JONAH

Did you have disassociation?

SALLY

Well the worst part was I’d get this weird thing where I had this feeling like I wasn’t me, like my body was dissolving and the part of me that was me was like draining away.  And I would curl up in the bed with my arms around my knees and cry hysterically till it went away.  One time it lasted for like hours and I had no idea who I was or where I was or what was going on except that everything was all wrong and nobody could help me.

(A moment.)

JONAH

Yeah that’s called disassociation.  Didn’t you have a roommate?

SALLY

My roommate drank Jack Daniels and passed out every night.

JONAH

Oh.

SALLY

So I started drinking Jack and passing out.  

JONAH

That’s pretty fucked up.  

SALLY

Yeah I had a really bad summer.  And Fall.  And when my parents finally figured it out they were like “Oh your grades your grades.  They’ll look at your transcript and every school will know what it means.”  And I was totally a mess, so they made me promise to go to the meetings because they thought it would scare the hell out of me. 

JONAH

They made you?

SALLY

It was either that or that camp in the Berkshires with no windows. 

JONAH

Yeah I heard of that place.  Why don’t I know about this?

SALLY

We kinda lost touch, didn’t we?

JONAH

What about the panic attacks?

SALLY

They put me on Xanax.

JONAH

Sounds like fun.

SALLY

It’s not.  

JONAH

If you ever want to sell some….

SALLY

I don’t.

JONAH

Weiss takes it for tests.

SALLY

So take his.

(A moment.)

JONAH

They still make you go?

SALLY

No I just go.

JONAH

Yeah?  Why?

SALLY

I just go cause….I don’t know.  I just go.

JONAH

So what’s it like?   You have to stand up in front of everybody and say you have a problem?

SALLY

Yeah pretty much.  

JONAH

And then what?

SALLY

They applaud.  

JONAH

God, that’s ridiculous.

SALLY

Well I stopped.  

JONAH

Going?

SALLY

Drinking.

JONAH

Ah ha.

SALLY

Yeah.  You should try it.  

JONAH

Drinking?

SALLY

No.

JONAH

What?

SALLY

J-Dog.  Admit you have a problem.  

JONAH

No one calls me J-Dog anymore.

SALLY

Thank god.

JONAH

Will you applaud?

SALLY

I might. 

JONAH

You know excuse me for living but I have had just about enough of everybody telling me what is wrong with me and what my problem is when in fact they are the problem not me.  

SALLY

I’m the problem?  Oh excuse me I didn’t know I was the problem.

JONAH

See like right now.  

SALLY

What?

JONAH

I feel like I am going to….ahhhhh.

SALLY

It’s ok.  I’ll shut up.

JONAH

No it’s not.  What’s ok about it?  It’s fucked up, man.  

(Silence.)

SALLY

I didn’t really stop.  I slowed down.

(Pause.)

JONAH

I had a huge crush on you.

SALLY

Last week?  

JONAH

In the lunch room.  

SALLY

Does that even count?

JONAH

Yeah it counts.
And at the Film Forum.

SALLY

Yeah?
How come?

JONAH

Cause I’m an idiot.

(After a moment.)

We slept together.

SALLY

No we didn’t.

JONAH

Yeah we did.

SALLY

When?

JONAH

At Weiss’s.  

SALLY

No we didn’t!

JONAH

We got into bed.  We fell asleep.  And then we woke up.  In the attic thing.  In the au pair’s room.

SALLY

How did that happen?

JONAH

You don’t remember?

SALLY

Did we take our clothes off?

JONAH

We did.  We took them all the way off.

SALLY

And did we….?

JONAH

No we didn’t.

SALLY

And then what?

JONAH

And then what what?

SALLY

And then what happened?

JONAH

Nothing happened?

SALLY

Oh yeah?  Did you…

JONAH

What?

SALLY

You know.

JONAH

No.

SALLY

Yes you did.

JONAH

No.

SALLY

Yeah you did.

JONAH

Stop saying that.

SALLY

Stop denying it.

JONAH

Well ok yeah eventually I did.  Since you have no business asking.

SALLY

What do you mean eventually?

JONAH

When I got home to the privacy of my own bedroom is what I mean.  Since you really have no boundaries, do you?

SALLY

Wow.  Such a gentleman.

JONAH

You think?
So these are all your colleagues?

SALLY

No these are the dealers.

JONAH

Seriously?

SALLY

Second best place to score is outside the meeting.  They’re like vultures.

JONAH

What’s the first?

SALLY

Outside the rehab center at Roosevelt.

JONAH

You know this?

SALLY

You learn a lot.

(Silence.)

So does anybody know about….?

JONAH

Funny you should ask.

SALLY

Why?

JONAH

Well I guess a a lot of people noticed we were missing.  Or maybe they saw us go upstairs.

SALLY

Like who?

JONAH

Like several people who said welcome to the club.

SALLY

Fuck.  Who?

JONAH

Oh you know.  Weiss.  Turkel.  Actually like everybody.  Well not everybody.  None of the girls.  Well one of the girls.  But I think she was speaking for the guys.  [lying]

Ahhhhhhh!  Goddammit.  Goddammit.  

Well this has been a big help.  I feel a lot better.  I guess I can go home now.  Big relief.

SALLY

Look the thing is, I have to go.  If I miss this meeting.  You want to come?

JONAH

No.  Isn’t it members only?

SALLY

No.  It’s really for any kind of addiction.

JONAH

What does that mean?  Like sex addiction.

SALLY

Jesus Jonah.  You can be real shithead sometimes.

JONAH

What’s my addiction?  I’m so straight I’m a laughingstock.  

SALLY

You’re not a laughingstock. 

JONAH

I am not addicted.  I do not have an addictive personality.  I took that test.  In Health.  I passed.

SALLY

So did I and I had blood alcohol 2.0.

JONAH

So what do you do?  You stand up there and you….

SALLY

You ask for help.  

JONAH

That’s ridiculous.  That’s just totally ridiculous.

SALLY

Yeah maybe.  Hey I gotta go.  

(She hugs him hard and doesn’t let go.)

JONAH

Hey could you not….I’ve already got a mother.

SALLY

I’m not being your mother.  Jesus.  I’m just saying goodbye.  

(Sally doesn’t leave.)

JONAH

Sometimes I want to kill her.   

SALLY

Your mom.

JONAH

No, not my mom.

SALLY

J-Dog?

JONAH

My shrink says it’s perfectly natural. It’s a normal human response.  Rage is human.  Fantasy is human.  It’s just a fantasy.  

SALLY

You don’t have a shrink.

JONAH

Turkel is my shrink. 

SALLY

Right.

JONAH

I would never do it.

SALLY

No of course not.  

JONAH

But I have this urge.  These urges.     

SALLY

I didn’t black out.  I mean I did.  But I remembered.  

JONAH

Oh so that was a test?  To see what I would say?

SALLY

No it wasn’t a test.  Jesus.  Normally I don’t….

JONAH

What?  Miss the main event?

SALLY

Like to talk about it after.  So I pretend.

JONAH

There wasn’t going to be a main event.  

SALLY

I know.

JONAH

We agreed.

SALLY

I know.  We were just going to sleep together.

JONAH

I’m just really angry all the time.  Sorry.  Can’t help it.

SALLY

Are you mad with me?

JONAH

Angry with you.  Mad at you.

SALLY

Both?

JONAH

No I’m just saying….

SALLY

I know what you’re saying.
You're mad at the world cause you know too much.  Welcome to the club.

JONAH

At least I don’t put Jack in my Snapple.

SALLY

At least I’m not 60,000 feet up in the air taking pictures of girls.

(A moment.)

JONAH

You know that thing about Lao Tzu and the butterfly?

SALLY

Yeah.

JONAH

Once there was a stupid guy who dreamed he went to bed with a girl.  From then on he was never sure if he wasn’t in bed with a girl dreaming he was a stupid guy.

SALLY

Doesn’t quite work.

JONAH

Nope.

SALLY

Actually it was Chuang Tzu.

JONAH

Who the fuck is Chuang Tzu?

SALLY

He thought he was Lao Tzu, but it turned out he was a butterfly.

JONAH

Pretty smart for a girl who can’t get in to Harvard.

SALLY

I think you should come with me.  

JONAH

I don’t need your help.   I don’t need your intervention.  It’s not a reality show.  It’s my life.  

SALLY

Yeah it is.  It’s your life and everybody is watching.

JONAH

That’s like the dumbest thing you’ve said all night.

SALLY

Jesus you are stubborn.

JONAH

You are really starting to piss me off.

SALLY

Then I guess you better have some of this.  Cause otherwise you’re gonna hurt someone.

(She takes a bottle out of her bag.)

JONAH

Snapple?

SALLY

No, Jack.

JONAH

I don’t know how to drink that stuff.

SALLY

Time to learn.

(She leaves the bottle and goes.)

JONAH

Goddammit.  Godammit.  
Hey!  Hey!   
(To himself.) I remember the Film Forum.  I walked you home.  Jesus.  (Shouts.)  You don’t have to make a federal case out of it.

(He takes a drink.  It’s awful.  He takes another.  Lights fade.)  

End

 

 

 

About the Author, Jim Shankman: I am a playwright, actor and novelist. My play The Screenwriter Dies Of His Own Free Will won the Award for Outstanding Excellence in Playwriting in the 2015 New York International Fringe Festival and was subsequently produced at The Blank State Theatre in Cleveland. .My alt-rock musical Billy And The Killers had its world premiere at HERE in November, 2017. Heartless Bastard, wich was a semi-finalist at the 2014 O’Neill Playwrights Conference, had its world premeire in August 2017 also at HERE in NYC. Suicide Math had a successful run in the 2013 New York International Fringe Festival. My solo piece Kiss Your Brutal Hands, which I performed at the 2013 United Solo Festival on Theatre Row, won the festival’s Best Actor Award. I performed an expanded version of Kiss Your Brutal Hands in the 2014 New York International Fringe Festival. Alien Child has had staged readings at The New Group and The Abingdon Theatre and a workshop production at T. Schreiber Studio. My plays Electric Light and Fortress of Solitude have also had developmental readings at The New Group. Sleep With Me (a play with music) received a workshop production at The Emerging Artists Theatre Notes From A Page Festival. A Jew From East Jesus was a Finalist of the 2013 Jewish Plays Project. My novel Tales Of The Patriarchs is available at Amazon.com. I have had short fiction published with Lumina and Popcorn Fiction. I have a BA from Princeton in Philosophy and an MFA in Fiction from the Writing Program at Sarah Lawrence College.