Coffee Therapy — the play

SCENE 8
In the office, DARNELL and CORRIE, his wife, sit with DR. SMITHBAR. Both of them are pained, in the midst of an argument.

CORRIE
Money is our biggest problem.

SMITHBAR
What’s the problem with money?

CORRIE
We’re not organized.

DARNELL
No, that’s not it. We just don’t have enough of it.

SMITHBAR
You have a job, though. With insurance. Correct?

DARNELL
Yes.

SMITHBAR
So there’s a certain amount coming in.
DARNELL is manic – talking very, very rapidly. The more he talks, the more agitated he gets.

DARNELL
And I should get some credit for going to that job every damn day. And the people I work with are a pain in the ass. Damn! Now I can’t remember where I was. Oh yeah. Oh yeah. My job. I hate it. It’s our main problem. Of course my mother is also an issue. She and Corrie don’t get along. And of course Corrie went to a liberated, feminist therapist who said she should leave me because I don’t do enough dishes but I’m a poet, you see, and I spend a lot of time at that – so I hardly get any sleep at all as it is! And I’ve got to exercise some! And how can I help with the baby that much anyway? She’s nursing, which leaves me out of the picture completely. Corrie and the baby are on the same schedule and I live my own private life – apart! Apart! Damn! Where was I? Oh yeah, the baby! I’m apart! I’ll admit sometimes I say things I shouldn’t say.

CORRIE
It’s verbal abuse.

DARNELL
No it’s not!

CORRIE
The hell it isn’t! You’re an asshole!

DARNELL
See? She verbally abuses me!

CORRIE
Me! I’m lucky if I can get a word in edgewise. The way you stomp around screaming all the time! No wonder I’m up all night with the baby. She can’t take a nap with you in the house! And your damn pest of a mother calls all the time!

DARNELL
pointing at CORRIE
She takes the phone off the hook!

CORRIE
What am I supposed to do? I’d like to cut the cord and the TV cable too!

DARNELL
TV! You’re the one who watches too much TV! You’ve exposed that baby to some trashy shows!

CORRIE
Trash? You’re the King of Trash! And you stare at it like it’s a pair of tits!

DARNELL
to DR. SMITHBAR
See? She needs to get a grip!

CORRIE
You walk around blowing smoke everywhere! And getting drunk and smoking pot! Who could live with you? Not me!

SMITHBAR
Maybe we need to work on communication skills?

DARNELL
I have excellent communication skills! That’s half our problem. My communication skills are more evolved than hers.

SMITHBAR
I see.
to CORRIE
Is he physically abusive?

CORRIE
He threw a shoe at me.

DARNELL
You woke me up!

CORRIE
And he broke a door.

DARNELL
It was locked!

CORRIE
Get over it.

DARNELL
See? See what I mean? There’s no sensitivity! No peace!

SMITHBAR
We’re out of time. Same time next week?

CORRIE
We can’t afford this counselling. He goes out and spends money without thinking and we’re broke.

DARNELL
We need to come back.

SMITHBAR
I’ll put you down for the same time next week.

DARNELL
That’s fine.

CORRIE
He says we don’t need to pay the electric bill this month – because he needed to buy a chainsaw to cut a twig that was dangling from this tree. And he had to buy a new tennis racket!

DARNELL
to DR. SMITHBAR
I’ll come by myself if she won’t come. This is helping me.

CORRIE
I’ll come. I just thought we couldn’t afford to pay the electric bill. We have our phone cut off about every other month!

DARNELL
Therapy is a priority.

SMITHBAR
I’m sorry, but we’re really out of time.
DR. SMITHBAR stands up and shows them the door.

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