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. (here’s a short film of the script, made by Simon O’Keefe)
LAURA, 22. Rational, intelligent. Sweet. Dressed smart, fashionable, conservative. Pretty, but with perhaps a bit too much make-up.
JEFF, 22. Shabby. Forced post-hippie attire. Less wise than Forest Gump, but more intelligent.
a small apartment.
Two twenty-two year olds
drinking tea and discussing their future.
LAURA: Do you take sugar?
JEFF: And milk.
LAURA: Don’t have milk. Lemon?
JEFF: Just sugar then.
She brings the tea. They sit beside each other on the couch.
LAURA: So what are you gonna do when you finish?
JEFF: I don’t know. What are you gonna do?
LAURA: I finished last year.
JEFF: That’s right. We started at the same time. It seems like we ought to finish at the same time.
LAURA: You took an extra year.
JEFF: I know. This is a nice apartment.
JEFF: Are you working?
LAURA: Yeah. At a high school teaching special ed. Next year I’ll be in grad school.
LAURA: So you don’t know what you’ll do when you graduate?
JEFF: I’ll write more poetry.
LAURA: I love your poems.
LAURA: I guess you’ll probably look for a
LAURA: What do you want to do?
JEFF: Doesn’t matter. I’ll write.
LAURA: As long as you’re writing.
JEFF: That’s the important thing.
I wrote a poem for you.
He gives her the poem. She reads the title aloud.
“Us, over water.”
JEFF: You don’t have to read it now.
LAURA: I want to.
We sit, on a bridge The two of us Side by side
JEFF: You’re gonna read it out loud?
LAURA: Do you mind?
JEFF: I guess it’s okay.
We sit, on a bridge
The two of us
Side by side
With our legs hanging
Over the side
Of the bridge
Above the water –
Each of us
With our legs
Makes a shape –
The letter V upside down –
We make an M –
With the reflection
Of our legs In the water
Side by side –
Or would it be
Two M’s on top of each other
I’m not sure.
a bit nervous
LAURA: Thank you.
JEFF: It’s nothing.
LAURA: It’s really nice.
JEFF: You like it?
JEFF: Waddya think? You’re an English
major. Waddya think?
LAURA: What do I think?
LAURA: About the poem?
LAURA: I’m shocked. I’m touched.
He tries to kiss her and she stops him.
LAURA: Wait a minute.
JEFF: What’s the matter?
LAURA: What’re you doing?
JEFF: I thought I’d kiss you.
LAURA: I don’t think so.
JEFF: Okay. Just thought…you
LAURA: You never even asked me out on a date or
JEFF: Isn’t this a date?
LAURA: I invited you for tea.
JEFF: That’s a date.
LAURA: It’s not a date. I felt sorry for
JEFF: Then kiss me.
JEFF: I thought you liked me.
LAURA: I’ve always liked you, JEFF.
JEFF: Then what’s the problem?
LAURA: I didn’t like you like that!
JEFF: Do you like anybody like that?
JEFF: That’s what I thought.
LAURA: You thought what?
JEFF: That maybe you’d…be
LAURA: Ready! I beg your pardon.
LAURA: Are you about ready to go?
JEFF: We were sitting pretty close there for a
minute, and you liked my poem.
LAURA: Liked it?
JEFF: You said you did.
LAURA: It was the most asinine load of dribble
I’ve ever read. I told you I felt sorry for you. Why’d you write that
for me, anyway?
JEFF: Why’d I write it for ya’?
LAURA: Yeah. Why me?
JEFF: I happen to have a pretty big crush on you.
LAURA: You have a crush on me?
JEFF: Since freshmen year.
LAURA: God, you have a funny way of showing it.
JEFF: I’ve been afraid of you.
JEFF: ‘Cause you’re so smart.
LAURA: I know I’m smart, but why does that
JEFF: I don’t know. It just does.
LAURA: Where’d you come up with that?
About our legs hanging off a bridge? You and I have never been to a bridge.
JEFF: My imagination.
LAURA: You imagined the two of us on a bridge, our
legs hanging off the side.
JEFF: Looking down at the water together.
LAURA: That is kinda nice.
JEFF: You think?
LAURA: Yeah. It is. But it’s really weird.
JEFF: I was high when I wrote it.
LAURA: I’m sure you were. Are you high
JEFF: No. You wanna get high?
LAURA: No! I’m a teacher in a school!
JEFF: Yeah, that’s right.
LAURA: I have to get up and go to work in the morning, and work all
day, and do what people tell me to do, and get a pay check. Do you have
any idea what that’s like? What it’s like to be out
of school and paying your own bills and taking care of yourself? You
can’t just walk around getting high and scribbling poems.
JEFF: I’ve worked.
LAURA: Summer jobs are different.
JEFF: Yeah, I guess so.
You didn’t get high when you were in school
either, did ya’?
JEFF: Didn’t think so. So the job
isn’t really the reason.
LAURA: Not really.
Why do you get high so much?
JEFF: I don’t know. I think I’m afraid to be with
people, so it helps me…not notice…or something.
LAURA: Really? Not notice what?
JEFF: Not notice…who I am.
LAURA: What’s wrong with who you are?
JEFF: I don’t know. Can’t
She picks up the poem and reads.
LAURA: Two diamonds Side by side – Or
would it be Two M’s on top of each other Like mountains? I’m not
You know. I like it.
LAURA: Yeah. Really. The last line
LAURA: A bit cryptic. Is the poet unsure of the
image itself? Or is he unsure of his perception of nature? Cryptic.
JEFF: Cryptic. Yeah!
LAURA: I do like it.
JEFF: You do?
She sits beside him and leans toward him. They kiss.
end of play