Coffee Therapy — the play

SCENE 9

JAMES and JUDY sit with notebooks, pens, and stacks of books. DARNELL stands between them.

JAMES
Who do you think was the most egotistical son of a bitch to ever live?

JUDY
Our beloved president, Richard M. Nixon.

JAMES
I think it was Sigmund Freud.
DARNELL tries to join the conversation.

DARNELL
What about Walt Whitman?
JAMES and JUDY ignore him completely, responding only to each other.

JAMES
to JUDY
Freud had a lot of audacity.

JUDY
True. And audacity is egotism’s defining characteristic.

JAMES
Of course, he pretty much coined the ‘ego’. So it might not be fair to tag him with it – especially in our essentially negative context.
Again, DARNELL tryies to join the conversation.

DARNELL
What about Darwin? Or Marx?
And again, they ignore him.

JUDY
That’s more evidence of his egotism. Freud labeled and popularized his own character. Of course, some say he merely articulated a Jewish sociology.

JAMES
Well, that whole family thing does ring true.

DARNELL
What about Jesus? I mean, really…
mocking the idea
“I am the son of God.”
trying to be profound, but not succeeding…

DARNELL
If you look at that statement in a certain light…

JAMES
still ignoring DARNELL
Of course, Einstein would say that egotism could be set up as a ratio and thereby be defined only in relation to the egotism of others. Thus, who are we to make such assessments?

JUDY
Interesting. Did Einstein have a big ego?

JAMES
I don’t know.

DARNELL
Have you ever thought about going to a therapist? It might help.
He finally gets their attention.

JAMES
I’m too intelligent for that nonsense. Except, perhaps, a Jewish therapist with a B.S. in poly sci. What about you Judy?

JUDY
If I needed it, I would go. But I don’t need it.

JAMES
Neither do I.
to DARNELL
Just because you’re unstable, doesn’t mean we are.

DARNELL
I’m not unstable.

JAMES
Of course you are. Why else would you go?
DARNEL
For growth.

JAMES
Yeah, yeah. Take a 500 level seminar. That’ll make you grow.

JUDY
True. We’re not being critical, Darnell. We have nothing but sympathy for you – having to spill your guts out like that to a total stranger. What a shame. Just sitting and talking about yourself.

JAMES
That must be humiliating.

JUDY
Degrading.

JAMES
Demeaning.

JUDY
Embarrassing.

JAMES
Debasing.

JUDY
I wonder if better study habits might accomplish the same thing?

DARNELL
But…that’s not it…That’s not it at all!

JAMES
to JUDY
Hitler was an ego maniac.

JUDY
And so was Rembrandt, with all those self-portraits.

JAMES
Well, in that vein. Who did Emily Dickinson write about all the time?

JUDY
Herself.

JAMES
Exactly.

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