Coffee Therapy — the play

SCENE 5
DARNELL’S parents, HOWARD and AILEEN SHACKLEBEE, enter the room. They are in the middle of an argument. DARNELL stands up and gets between them.
DR. WINKERBLOOM slides her chair back, away from the middle of the action, so she can observe the scene.

HOWARD
He says we shouldn’t miss the opera, so let’s go to the opera!

AILEEN
I just said we don’t have to go. I won’t go.

DARNELL
Forget it. Let’s not go.

HOWARD
He wants to go. The incredible opera house of Venice! It’s a monument! We’ll go!

AILEEN
It’s obvious you don’t want to go.

HOWARD
We’ll go.

DARNELL
We don’t have to go. It was just a suggestion.

AILEEN
It is a once in a lifetime experience, to be in that opera house. Can you imagine? Il Rigoletto!

HOWARD
And we’re only spending a hundred dollars a day! Hey, I¡ve got an idea. We¡ll mortgage the house. So let¡s go to the opera!

AILEEN
Don¡t be an idiot.

HOWARD
No, we have to mortgage it anyway to finance that dinner we had in Paris. Remember that sublime white sauce they put on the chicken? What¡s home ownership compared to a sauce like that? I’ll go to the bank as soon as we get back and apply for the loan. The payments won’t be too bad – interest rates are low! We’ll pay off the credit card and go to the opera too! We’ll call it our little white sauce and opera loan. So get the opera tickets!

AILEEN
Here’s an idea. You two go. I¡ll stay here and get some rest. Then we’ll only need two tickets. Why not? You haven’t spent any time alone together.
DARNELL and his father, unlikely opera companions, look at each other and ponder the idea.

HOWARD
We don’t want to spend any time alone together! Do we?

DARNELL
I don’t think so. Do we?

AILEEN
Why not?

DARNELL
Well, okay.

HOWARD
No, we’ll all go to the damn opera together. All three of us.

AILEEN
I want to stay here and rest. You two go. Have fun.

HOWARD
to AILEEN
This is crazy!
DARNELL steps back, out of their line of fire.

DARNELL
Have you two ever considered therapy?

HOWARD
to DARNELL
Therapy? You’re the one who’s crazy.

AILEEN
Howard!

HOWARD
to AILEEN
He can go to therapy. I’m normal. So are you.

AILEEN
Well, I’m not sure it would work on me anyway. I’m too smart for hypnosis.

DARNELL
Not hypnosis. Therapy.

AILEEN
Same thing.

DARNELL
It was just a thought.

AILEEN
I don’t need these insults from either one of you. I¡m leaving!
She goes to the door.

HOWARD
Where are you going?

AILEEN
For a walk!

HOWARD
Wait just a minute now!
AILEEN leaves the hotel room. HOWARD chases after her, such that they are both off stage.
DARNELL sits, listening. He looks to WINKERBLOOM for support, but she’s busy listening to the argument.

HOWARD
Aileen, come back here!

AILEEN
Leave me alone, Howard!

HOWARD
I¡m coming with you!

AILEEN
No you¡re not!

HOWARD
You¡re not going out there alone!

AILEEN
I want to!

HOWARD
Come back here! No, wait. I’m taking a walk too.

AILEEN
I want to take a walk by myself.

HOWARD
It’s not safe!

AILEEN
Yes it is!

HOWARD
No it’s not!

AILEEN
It is!

HOWARD
Aileen, I’m coming with you!

AILEEN
Oh, come on, then.

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