Copyright 2010, by Samuel M. Post.
Note: If youâ€™d like to produce this play, on stage or in a class â€” please email me and ask permission. It will be granted, but Iâ€™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 otherâ€™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: Doesnâ€™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 Iâ€™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: Sheâ€™s good.
JILL: The only reason you think Iâ€™m good is because Iâ€™ve served you about a thousand beers and I know your order. My cat thinks Iâ€™m good too, â€˜cause I feed it.
NICK: Seriously, a reference wouldnâ€™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. Letâ€™s see. (She gets a calculator and starts figuring.) Letâ€™s say twenty bucks a night. Conservative. Letâ€™s say 200 nights a year. Conservative. Iâ€™ve been here fourteen years. Thatâ€™s fifty-six thousand dollars. How much does a fucking boat cost?
KYLE: You can pay about whatever you want for one.
NICK: I donâ€™t want a boat.
KYLE: You could probably buy a damn plane.
NICK: I donâ€™t want a plane.
KYLE: Makes you think, though. Could have had a boat or a plane. Maybe both.
NICK: Iâ€™d rather have the beer.
KYLE: The beerâ€™s gone. Nothing to show for it.
NICK: Planes and boats donâ€™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 Yearâ€™s Eve, we should be packed. In case you didnâ€™t notice, youâ€™re the only people in here.
NICK: (indicating the couple and the other, passed out patron)Â Theyâ€™re here. Heâ€™s here.
JILL: Youâ€™re the only people in here paying.
KYLE: The economy sucks.
NICK: Itâ€™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: Heâ€™s not a moron. He just likes to argue.
NICK: I donâ€™t like to argue.
KYLE: Just my opinion.
NICK: I like discussion.
JILL: Heard anything from Heather?
KYLE: Sheâ€™s doing fine. Perfect.
JILL: Still married?
KYLE: Last I heard. We donâ€™t hear a lot. Sheâ€™s real busy.
NICK: Sheâ€™s got it made.
KYLE: Theyâ€™re out west skiing now. At least I think theyâ€™re still there.
NICK: Roryâ€™s the one who needs the rich husband.
KYLE: Oh shit.
She brings him another beer.
NICK: You hear anything?
NICK: Wonâ€™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 whoâ€™s got any? Iâ€™m expecting her to move back anytime.
JILL: Of course. Sheâ€™ll need a babysitter. Donâ€™t expect her to give up her lifestyle.
KYLE: What lifestyle?
JILL: Oh — sheâ€™s got a lifestyle.
NICK: Whenâ€™s she due?
NICK: Sheâ€™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 sheâ€™ll stay awhile this time.
KYLE: Wish sheâ€™d trying moving in with her sister one time. Give us a break.
NICK: She wouldnâ€™t let her in the front door.
KYLE: True. Sheâ€™d tell the guard not to let her through the gate. She wonâ€™t even ask us. Sheâ€™ll just show up.
JILL: (to Nick) You ever hear anything from Carl?
NICK: Still in Arizona, we think.
KYLE: Wonâ€™t even pick up the phone on Christmas?
NICK: Wonâ€™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 wasnâ€™t much of a talker.
KYLE: Anything. You should see the damn sculpture heâ€™s got in his living room. What was he — fifteen years old, when he made that?
KYLE: Itâ€™s incredible. Like something from Europe. And he was straight Aâ€™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: Heâ€™s not on skid row. Iâ€™m sure heâ€™s doing fine.
KYLE: Sure he is.
JILL: Oh yeah — heâ€™s probably fine. Going through a stage.
NICK: Heâ€™s twenty-six.
JILL: People have stages when theyâ€™re twenty-six. Hey — it was really, really good to see Alex last week. He looked good.
NICK: Heâ€™s doing fine.
KYLE: Now thatâ€™s a good boy. You should be proud. I would be.
NICK: I am.
KYLE: Burning the candle both ends, though.
NICK: Heâ€™s got no choice.
KYLE: Itâ€™s that wife!
NICK: Sheâ€™s okay.
KYLE: No sheâ€™s not!
NICK: Sheâ€™s okay. Sheâ€™s got those kids. It wouldnâ€™t be normal if she werenâ€™t wound a little tight. Thatâ€™s work taking care of those kids.
JILL: Tell me about it. If mine are still up when I get home, theyâ€™ll…wish they werenâ€™t.
NICK: Itâ€™s New Years.
JILL: I donâ€™t care if itâ€™s the next millennium. Itâ€™s late and Iâ€™m tired.
NICK: I cannot believe this is the last time Iâ€™ll have a beer in here.
JILL: Youâ€™ll adjust.
NICK: Iâ€™m not sure I will.
KYLE: Iâ€™m not so sure he will either.
JILL: You might like the next place better.
NICK: I doubt it.
KYLE: Iâ€™m sure as hell gonna try.
NICK: Too bad we canâ€™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. Thatâ€™s the spot.
NICK: My last night here. I donâ€™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: Iâ€™ll remember that night â€˜til the day I die.
NICK: Me too. (He finishes his beer.) Iâ€™m goinâ€™.
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: Câ€™mon. Iâ€™m going now.
PASSED-OUT GUY: Nick. Nick. Thank you for the ride, Nick. Itâ€™s cold out there. Thank you, man.
NICK: No problem. (as they exit)Â 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 Iâ€™ll break your arm.
Kyle approaches the couple from behind and puts his arms around them. They stop necking and look up.
KYLE: Whatâ€™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