Note: If you’d like to produce this play, on stage or in a class — please email me and ask permission. It will be granted, but I’d really like to know about it.
Nick — middle aged
Jill — a little younger
Kyle — middle aged
Guy and Girl — younger couple
Setting: A bar.
Time: Night. December 31, 2008.
NICK and KYLE sit at the bar, drinking beer, talking to JILL, the bartender.
Beside them, a GUY and a GIRL are necking — going at it pretty steady. This continues throughout the play, with perhaps a few breaks for whispering or staring into each other’s eyes.
On the other side of them, a GUY sits at the bar, passed-out, with his head on the bar.
NICK: What’re you gonna do?
JILL: Fill-out applications, I guess.
KYLE: Nobody’s hiring.
NICK: She’s the best in town.
KYLE: Doesn’t matter. Nobody’s hiring.
NICK: Somebody will hire her.
JILL: Right, like you’re gonna give me a recommendation.
NICK: I could. Might help.
JILL: Fuck you. Then I’ll never get a job.
KYLE: How the hell is she gonna find another job when every business in town is closing or laying off?
NICK: She’s good.
JILL: The only reason you think I’m good is because I’ve served you about a thousand beers and I know your order. My cat thinks I’m good too, ‘cause I feed it.
NICK: Seriously, a reference wouldn’t hurt.
KYLE: They want a reference from her employer — not a customer. Damn — a thousand beers. I wonder…
JILL: You could buy a boat with the money you’ve spent in here. Let’s see. (She gets a calculator and starts figuring.) Let’s say twenty bucks a night. Conservative. Let’s say 200 nights a year. Conservative. I’ve been here fourteen years. That’s fifty-six thousand dollars. How much does a fucking boat cost?
KYLE: You can pay about whatever you want for one.
NICK: I don’t want a boat.
KYLE: You could probably buy a damn plane.
NICK: I don’t want a plane.
KYLE: Makes you think, though. Could have had a boat or a plane. Maybe both.
NICK: I’d rather have the beer.
KYLE: The beer’s gone. Nothing to show for it.
NICK: Planes and boats don’t last either. (to Jill) Makes me wonder why this place is going out of business.
KYLE: The fucking economy.
NICK: People drink more in a bad economy.
JILL: Not here. New Year’s Eve, we should be packed. In case you didn’t notice, you’re the only people in here.
NICK: (indicating the couple and the other, passed out patron) They’re here. He’s here.
JILL: You’re the only people in here paying.
KYLE: The economy sucks.
NICK: It’ll come back.
JILL: Not in time to pay the rent.
KYLE: Never seen it this bad before.
NICK: Why are you complaining? You’ve still got a job!
KYLE: Barely. My hours cut in half!
NICK: Try being self-employed. That can cut your hours to zero.
JILL: Boo fucking hoo. I’ve got two little ones at home.
NICK: I’ve got kids.
KYLE: So do I.
JILL: They’re grown-ups!
NICK: They’re sill my kids.
JILL: You moron.
KYLE: He’s not a moron. He just likes to argue.
NICK: I don’t like to argue.
KYLE: Just my opinion.
NICK: I like discussion.
JILL: Heard anything from Heather?
KYLE: She’s doing fine. Perfect.
JILL: Still married?
KYLE: Last I heard. We don’t hear a lot. She’s real busy.
NICK: She’s got it made.
KYLE: They’re out west skiing now. At least I think they’re still there.
NICK: Rory’s the one who needs the rich husband.
KYLE: Oh shit.
She brings him another beer.
NICK: You hear anything?
NICK: Won’t even talk to you?
KYLE: She never would talk to us. She shouts and argues. She popped out of the womb shouting and has been shouting ever since.
NICK: Shouting for money.
KYLE: And who’s got any? I’m expecting her to move back anytime.
JILL: Of course. She’ll need a babysitter. Don’t expect her to give up her lifestyle.
KYLE: What lifestyle?
JILL: Oh — she’s got a lifestyle.
NICK: When’s she due?
NICK: She’ll move in next month.
KYLE: No more life for me.
NICK: What kind of fucking life do you have now?
KYLE: One that suits me.
JILL: I predict she’ll stay awhile this time.
KYLE: Wish she’d trying moving in with her sister one time. Give us a break.
NICK: She wouldn’t let her in the front door.
KYLE: True. She’d tell the guard not to let her through the gate. She won’t even ask us. She’ll just show up.
JILL: (to Nick) You ever hear anything from Carl?
NICK: Still in Arizona, we think.
KYLE: Won’t even pick up the phone on Christmas?
NICK: Won’t answer.
JILL: Carl was the best musician ever played here. Well, maybe not the best — but the most entertaining.
KYLE: The boy had some talent.
JILL: A goddamn ton of talent!
NICK: Not just music.
JILL: What else, math? He wasn’t much of a talker.
KYLE: Anything. You should see the damn sculpture he’s got in his living room. What was he — fifteen years old, when he made that?
KYLE: It’s incredible. Like something from Europe. And he was straight A’s all the way in school…
KYLE: Weird how a kid with that much talent can just quit everything.
JILL: Happens a lot. Some of the most wasted bums on skid row are the most talented people in the world.
NICK: He’s not on skid row. I’m sure he’s doing fine.
KYLE: Sure he is.
JILL: Oh yeah — he’s probably fine. Going through a stage.
NICK: He’s twenty-six.
JILL: People have stages when they’re twenty-six. Hey — it was really, really good to see Alex last week. He looked good.
NICK: He’s doing fine.
KYLE: Now that’s a good boy. You should be proud. I would be.
NICK: I am.
KYLE: Burning the candle both ends, though.
NICK: He’s got no choice.
KYLE: It’s that wife!
NICK: She’s okay.
KYLE: No she’s not!
NICK: She’s okay. She’s got those kids. It wouldn’t be normal if she weren’t wound a little tight. That’s work taking care of those kids.
JILL: Tell me about it. If mine are still up when I get home, they’ll…wish they weren’t.
NICK: It’s New Years.
JILL: I don’t care if it’s the next millennium. It’s late and I’m tired.
NICK: I cannot believe this is the last time I’ll have a beer in here.
JILL: You’ll adjust.
NICK: I’m not sure I will.
KYLE: I’m not so sure he will either.
JILL: You might like the next place better.
NICK: I doubt it.
KYLE: I’m sure as hell gonna try.
NICK: Too bad we can’t take up a collection and keep the place open.
JILL: No way.
KYLE: Remember when you broke your toe?
(indicating the next stool over)
KYLE: Right there. That’s the spot.
NICK: My last night here. I don’t want to talk about that.
JILL: How could I forget that! I spent more time with you in the ER that night than I ever have with my own kids.
JILL: Christ, you were a baby.
NICK: I know.
JILL: That was not easy.
NICK: I know. I know.
JILL: I’ll remember that night ‘til the day I die.
NICK: Me too. (He finishes his beer.) I’m goin’.
Nick gets up to leave.
KYLE: Right behind you.
Nick puts on his coat and drains his beer. He taps the Passed-out Guy. The guy raises his head.
NICK: You need a ride?
PASSED-OUT GUY: Yeah.
NICK: C’mon. I’m going now.
PASSED-OUT GUY: Nick. Nick. Thank you for the ride, Nick. It’s cold out there. Thank you, man.
NICK: No problem. (as they exit) Happy New Year.
KYLE: See you on the other side. Happy fucking New Year.
Nick and Passed-out Guy exit. Kyle gets up and puts on his coat.
KYLE: Need some help with these two?
JILL: You leave me in here alone and I’ll break your arm.
Kyle approaches the couple from behind and puts his arms around them. They stop necking and look up.
KYLE: What’s the plan, guys?
They get up and leave quickly, walking side by side, holding each other close.
Jill pours Kyle half a beer and puts it on the bar. He sits back down.
She busies herself getting ready to go: putting her tips into her pocketbook, dealing with the register, perhaps gathering coat and scarf…
JILL: Give me three minutes.
KYLE: No hurry.
end of play