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The Night Watchman

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The Night Watchman

by Robert Cussen

Copyright © 2002 by Robert Cussen. All rights reserved.



Scene One

A kitchen/living room area with bedrooms off right. The living room area is neat and comfortable. There is a large collection of videos in the corner.

WATERS is sitting on a sofa, drinking a cup of tea, and reading. The television is turned on. He gets up and walks around the main living area of the flat tiding, putting things away. He sits again then rises once more and goes to the kitchen area. He empties the cup, washes it out and puts it in the sink. He sits again looking at his watch. Just then the doorbell rings. WATERS looks up, checks his watch again, and then goes to the door. He opens it.

WATERS: Mr. Evans?

EVANS: This is the place then?

WATERS: You're here regarding the room?

EVANS: Got it in one.

WATERS: You better come in.

EVANS enters.

EVANS: So this is it?

WATERS: This is it yes.

EVANS: Not bad, not bad at all. The names Lenny by the way, Leonard Evans. I think I've got a bit of Welsh in me somewhere back down the line. I must do a family tree sometime. And your name is?

WATERS (a bit taken aback by his forthcoming manner): Sorry?

EVANS looks about him at the room, and then at WATERS.

Your name?

WATERS: Sorry yeah, its Waters, Kevin Waters.

EVANS: Well Kev, this looks homely, could be just what I'm looking for.

Pause.

WATERS: I was beginning to think you weren't coming. Time was kind of moving on. I thought that maybe you had changed your mind.

EVANS: Had a bit of trouble getting here. Saying goodbye to an old friend. You know how these things can go.

EVANS continues to look about him.

WATERS: It's no palace Mr. Evans, but it's comfortable, and it's clean.

EVANS: Lenny, call me Lenny. No need for formalities here is there?

WATERS: Eh no, no...

EVANS looks at him.

...Lenny.

EVANS: That's more like it. We're not in pinstripe suits and ties here.

EVANS, spotting the video case full to the brim with videos, walks over to take a closer look.

Christ that's a hell of a collection you got there. (He kneels down to look. He pulls one out). Rebel Without A Cause. James Dean right? He was killed in a car crash wasn't he?

WATERS: Eh yeah (He follows EVANS over), I collect them. Have done all my life. They're my passion really. I'm very protective of them.

EVANS picks up another couple of videos and looks at them.

EVANS: There's worse ways to go.

WATERS: Sorry?

EVANS: Than in a car crash.

WATERS: Eh yeah.

EVANS: Well it's quick isn't it? All over before you know it.

WATERS: Yeah I suppose it is.

EVANS stands up again and walks around the room a bit more.

EVANS: So if I stay here, I won't be stuck for a movie or two.

WATERS: Do you like the movies?

EVANS: Oh sure I do Kev. Well it's a release from the humdrum of it all isn't it?

WATERS: Well yeah exactly.

EVANS: Do you go to the cinema then Kev?

WATERS: Eh yeah I do.

EVANS: Well that's better again isn't it?

WATERS: Yeah. (pause) Well like I said the place isn't a palace but...

EVANS: Look a little bit of comfort is all I need. I never had any luxury in my life and I wouldn't know how to live in it. (pause) Right, so how much do you want then?

WATERS: Are you saying you want it?

EVANS: Call it a formal offer.

WATERS: You mean you're offering to take it?

EVANS: My mind's made up.

WATERS: But don't you want to? I mean you never...

EVANS: Yeah?

WATERS: Well don't you want to look around the place a bit more. I know there's not too much to see here, but you haven't looked around fully. What about the bedroom's? Don't you want to see your bedroom first?

EVANS stops directly in front of WATERS.

EVANS: There's really no need. I can tell what's it like from what I've already seen. The vibes are good. They're welcoming.

WATERS: Well...

EVANS: Okay, tell me then. The bathroom, does it have an electric shower?

WATERS: Yes it does.

EVANS: And tell me, how long are you here now?

WATERS: Nearly two years, a year and eleven months to be exact.

EVANS: Have you ever encountered any mice here in that time?

WATERS: Mice? Eh no. I've never had a problem with mice.

EVANS: Okay then, I'll take it.

WATERS: You don't like mice?

EVANS: Show me a rational man who likes mice, and I'll show you a rational man who doesn't like tits. I can't abide the little bastards. They make my skin creep.

WATERS: Is that so?

EVANS: Not that they're as bad as rats. Now those fucker's have always been a mystery to me. I mean why the fuck are there rats? What do rats contribute to the world? Someone's got a lot to answer for, for creating those filthy fucks.

WATERS: That's true.

EVANS: So shall we conduct the business?

WATERS: Eh...

EVANS: You're still offering it, I take it?

WATERS: Yeah, course yeah I'm offering it. It's just...

EVANS: A problem?

WATERS: Well it's just I haven't seen everyone yet regarding the room. I planned to see some more people tomorrow. They were calling here as well, you know, to look over the place.

EVANS: Just tell them the room's gone. If that's what you want?

WATERS: Well yeah. Yeah it is. Yeah okay then, I'll do that.

EVANS: Good. Problem solved.

Pause.

I like this part of town. I'm right in the middle here, right in the cooking pot, and yet this place is kinda off the beaten track in it's own little way, being in a nice little square of it's own.

WATERS: Handy for you then? For work maybe?

EVANS: Very convenient all round. Right then, back to business. How much are we talking Kev?

WATERS: I thought that was written on the ad. Wasn't it on the ad? She told me that was on the ad.

EVANS (smiling):Oh it was on the ad, but I thought you might like to haggle something new with me. I'm one hell of a haggler.

WATERS: It's just, it's not really up to me see, the rent.

EVANS: No worries Kev, I'll pay whatever you want, seventy, eighty, ninety. You name it?

WATERS: The landlady wants seventy I'm afraid.

EVANS (getting out his wallet): Seventy she must have then? Who is this landlady?

WATERS: Oh Mrs. Terry's the owner. She actually owns a few places round here. I'm just the trusted tenant of this one. She lets me vet the other would be tenants for her. I'm her longest resident see. I guess she trusts me.

EVANS: Her right hand man eh?

WATERS: Well, I wouldn't say that.

EVANS: So seventy it is then. Does she want it a month in advance?

WATERS: I'm sure a couple of weeks will do.

EVANS: Here's a month, you give it her. I'll be in the good books as well then. You don't mind if I rest the legs now? I had to walk all the way here from Church Street. You know were that is?

EVANSgoes and lies back on the sofa. He picks up the book and looks at it.

WATERS: Church Street, that's a few miles from here isn't it?

EVANS: I don't know how long it is, but it felt like about twenty miles to me. I guess I'm just not used to walking. Out of shape thanks to Henry Ford. I would have driven of course but I didn't have the wheels. The motor got wrapped around a stop sign in town last week.

WATERS: I heard about that on the radio. Was that the silver- grey Ford probe?

EVANS: It sure was.

WATERS: Outside Macdonald's wasn't it?

EVANS: Slap bang.

WATERS: You didn't hurt yourself then?

EVANS: Couldn't have done Kev, I wasn't in it.

WATERS: Oh.

EVANS: A couple of kids. They screwed in the back seat first, then they wired the car, and took it for a joy ride.

WATERS: Were they badly hurt?

EVANS: Walked away without a scratch, the little bastards. Where's the justice Kev? I know who they are though.

Pause.

WATERS (looking at the money, and nervously smiling): She could have a soft spot for you all right, Mrs. Terry.

EVANS (sitting up): What age is this landlady then? I may just have a soft spot for her.

WATERS: Eh I suppose she must be around fifty...or slightly older.

EVANS: Is that a Jane Fonda fifty, or my mother fifty?

WATERS: Eh well I don't know your mother do I?

EVANS: Just imagine a greying perm, a plaid cardigan, and a girdle the size of a tablecloth.

WATERS: She's probably more like your mother then I guess. She's a nice woman though.

EVANS (lying back again): I like to know where I should stand as regards my landladies.

WATERS: She has a daughter.

EVANS (sitting up again): Has she now? The younger Mrs. Terry. And?

WATERS looks at EVANS for a moment and then goes and sits on an arm chair opposite him

WATERS: Well now she is a looker all right, late twenties I should guess...quite tall and blonde. Only she's not the younger Mrs. Terry, she's Mrs. Jackson. Married see.

EVANS: Oh don't say it as if it were an obstacle Kev. Marriage doesn't create an obstacle; it only makes things easier.

EVANS (cont): If you're outside the fence, it's easy enough to jump in, and it seems to me Kev that most of them inside the fence are only too happy to show you the way in.

WATERS: You lived in a lot of places then?

EVANS turns up the sound on the television. He starts to go through the channels. Seeing there's nothing on, he turns it off.

EVANS: Rubbish. Enough, yeah. The last place, the place before this was a treat. The old girl there was so helpful, at any time of the day or night, if you know what I mean. If you required her presence on even the most trivial of excuses, she would come without complaint.

WATERS (eagerly): Would she?

EVANS: Her husband didn't seem to care. At least any time I passed him on the stairs, he showed no ill feeling towards me.

WATERS: Maybe he didn't know...that she was being so helpful I mean.

EVANS: I lived directly above them, and she would come to me as he sat eating his tea below...he knew all right. He had to know. Maybe he just didn't care, cold but there you are. That's actually who I was saying goodbye to earlier, this woman. Well you have to give them that don't you?

WATERS: I suppose so. She was more like a Jane Fonda then?

EVANS: I wouldn't go that far, but she sure wasn't my mother. There were scenes at the end of it all of course. Well there always is when a mature woman is watching a younger man walk away. She sees her last clutches of youth go with him see. She was quite something though, I'll give her that. She had the experience of life, and from what she told me, a life of experience.

WATERS: Wow. Why did you move on? I wouldn't have.

EVANS: Circumstances Kev, circumstances, its the nature of my existence.

WATERS: Eh so you're forced to move around then?

EVANS: If I feel I have to go I go. I don't let myself get tied down to places, emotionally that is. Bricks and mortar, that's all they are in the end.

EVANS starts leafing through a book that was on the table.

WATERS: Eh I'll get you a cup of tea, if you like?

EVANS: I don't drink it Kev. I heard it gives you cancer, especially if you drink it black. You haven't anything stronger do you?

WATERS: Coffee?

EVANS: No, I'm not a caffeine person. It plays merry hell with my nerves.

Pause, as EVANS stares at him.

WATERS: Maybe you want some, some beer?

EVANS: I'll have a vodka, if you have it?

WATERS: I don't drink it myself, but the last person who lived here did. He used to keep it in one of these cupboards (He gets up and opens up various cupboards to check). Yeah half a bottle of Blue label vodka. Take it, its all yours.

WATERS hands EVANS the bottle and a glass.

EVANS: Nice one.

EVANS takes a drink.

Won't you join me?

WATERS: I'm all right. I don't really drink the stuff. I don't really drink that much to be honest. I'm not used to drinking in the daytime at all.

EVANS: That's okay. Discipline. I wish I had some, but it was never thought to me at the right age you know...and when they did try to instill it, well they found I was a lost cause. So you didn't always live here on your todd then?

WATERS: No I had a few people living with me before.

EVANS: How many?

WATERS: I don't know. In the last couple of years, I've had three others. Not all at the same time though.

EVANS: So, they all left at various stages?

WATERS: Yeah. The last person moved out about two months ago.

EVANS: Any reason why?

WATERS: Sorry?

EVANS: Nothing happened then?

WATERS: No. Nothing happened. He just left. He wanted to move out. So he moved out.

EVANS: I see.

WATERS: It was what we both wanted. A two- sided thing you know. He wanted to go, and I wanted him to go.

EVANS: Is that so? It wasn't a relationship kinda thing was it?

WATERS: What d'you mean relationship?

EVANS: Some kind of lover's tiff?

WATERS (taken aback): No it wasn't like that at all. We just had a falling out.

EVANS: I see. It's just, I like to know where I stand as regards my flat-mates.

Pause.

WATERS (flustered): Well actually it was more than just a falling out. He took my girlfriend with him. A week previous to it, well, she had become my fiancée, hadn't she? He had been sleeping with her for weeks.

EVANS: Fuck me.

WATERS: Yeah can you believe that? He moved out and he took her with him as well. I mean she didn't live here with us, but she came round. I mean we were to be married. We were looking at other places for when we were...but it never came about thanks to him.

EVANS: Fuck me, Kev!

WATERS: Yeah, and get this, he works with me. Can you believe that?

EVANS: Jesus wept.

WATERS: I don't really deal with him, but I see him every day that I'm working. He's my fucking supervisor isn't he? He calls to check in on me. So yeah I guess I do deal with him after all. Well he deals with me.

EVANS: Jesus, Kevin, the next time that guy calls in, you should break his fucking jaw.

WATERS (standing): I couldn't do that. Anyway I'd lose my job, and he'd probably beat seven kinds of shit out of me. He's a big guy you know.

EVANS: That little story is nothing short of a modern tragedy. What's the fucker's name then?

WATERS: Anthony.

EVANS: Anthony. Sounds like a tosser.

WATERS (sitting): Yeah well there you go. Look I'm sorry to, well to bring up it up like this, but you know I guess it helps to be able to get it off my chest every now and then. I haven't been able to do that for a while. The last person I talked to about this was Mrs. Terry herself. I mean she tries to help, but she's one of those who thinks a cup of tea will solve everything.

EVANS: That's no problem at all Kev. You talk about it anytime you want to.

WATERS: You might wish you hadn't said that in a week or two.

EVANS: If it were me, I think I would have killed him. You have showed a restraint that I'm not sure I'm capable of.

WATERS: There were times I wanted to kill him. I want to kill him every time I see him. Anyway it isn't restraint is it? It's not having the nerve.

Pause.

EVANS: So, what do you do then?

WATERS: I'm a security man. Not much of a job I realise, but I don't plan on doing it forever.

EVANS: Well, well.

WATERS: I work for a security firm. At the moment I'm looking after a fitness centre.

EVANS smiles.

EVANS: All night work?

WATERS: Yeah. Place is chock a block with expensive equipment.

EVANS: I can imagine.

WATERS: Some of those running machines can cost up to two grand you know.

EVANS: Well.

Pause.

WATERS. And someone needs to look after them. I'll just fill you up. (He pours some more vodka into the glass for EVANS). What do you do Lenny?

EVANS: A bit of this and a bit of that.

WATERS: I see.

EVANS: Oh no you don't. I'm just not a nine to five person, or an eight to eight person in your case. It's too much like prison to me, sitting surrounded by four walls for the most part of a day...

WATERS: I'm doing a correspondence course in book keeping.

EVANS: I like to drift. I guess I also have the gypsy in me.

WATERS: Do you plan to stay here a while then?

EVANS: I don't plan Kev. I tend to leave things to chance. Let's just see what happens eh?


Scene Two

Its evening time. WATERS rushes out from his bedroom into the kitchen. He is going to work. EVANS is lying on the couch watching the television.

WATERS: Shit! Where did I put those keys? I can't keep going round losing them. Where the hell are they?

EVANS: I think I saw them by the toaster. You're a security guard, you should be more vigilant. That's your business, vigilance.

WATERS: Yeah. Thanks.

WATERS grabs himself a few biscuits from the tin on the counter top.

What are you doing tonight then? Going out anywhere? Staying in?

EVANS: I'm not doing much. I've a few people to see later on. I think I'll have an early one.

WATERS: Right.

EVANS: Just a little bit of business to sort out first.

WATERS: Right. You know, you're free to invite any of your mates over here at any time. If you want to hang out with them, or maybe just talk business.

EVANS: I'll remember that.

WATERS: Just so you know you don't have to be going out all the time, if you don't want to.

EVANS: Okay.

WATERS: Good.

Pause.

EVANS: That stupid cow called me three fucking times today.

WATERS: Who?

EVANS: Oh that bitch from the last place. I don't know how many times I told her to piss off and leave me alone. Some people just can't take no for an answer. Can't except when things come to an end.

WATERS: I wouldn't mind filling in for you there. Not that she'd have me.

EVANS: Take my advice, stay well clear. She's unstable that one, completely unhinged. Anyway this time I told her I'd go round and smack her one if she didn't leave me alone once and for all.

WATERS: Sounds like she's obsessed.

EVANS: She's fucking possessed if you ask me

WATERS gathers a few things for his bag. He sighs heavily.

EVANS: What's that for?

WATERS: I woke up about an hour ago with that black cloud hovering over my head again.

EVANS: Thinking about that two-timing bitch?

WATERS: No, well yeah, but it's not just her. I'm really sick of this job Lenny. Its soul destroying you know. It mixes your whole life up. You're sleeping at the wrong time. You're eating at the wrong time. You spend hours alone at night sitting in a cramped, draughty office, with only a book or your thoughts to entertain you. It's bollocks Lenny. The whole lot of it. I mean it's no wonder she fucked off.

EVANS: That job of yours gives you too much time to think man.

WATERS: I know. That's it.

EVANS: D'you ever get anyone trying to nick the stuff then?

WATERS: Sometimes I wish I did. Just for a bit of excitement, but no it just doesn't seem to happen to me.

EVANS: I read in the paper before, that working those kinds of hours takes about five years off your life span.

WATERS: Well there you go. The sooner I finish my correspondence course the better. I can pack it in then. Try to get back to some kind of normality. Who knows a new start maybe?

EVANS: Well you're just a skivvy in a uniform at the moment.

WATERS: Don't I know. In a uniform that doesn't fit.

EVANS: So what are you learning then?

WATERS: It's an accountancy course. It takes three years to complete, and I'm in my second year. I suppose I just have to be patient with it. I'm just finding it more difficult these days.

EVANS: Never excelled at school, me. I suppose it's hard to excel at something when you're never there. I hated everything about the place. Could never settle there. I hated the teachers for the way they tried to discipline me, and they hated me for resisting it. I came out of that place with a lot of aggression.

WATERS: Well a formal education isn't everything. You don't need exams to succeed in life. Look at you now, you're doing okay aren't you?

EVANS: So why didn't you do all this the first time round? Skip the night watchman bit.

WATERS: I don't know. I knew I had the ability and all. I guess I just didn't like school either. I was quiet and introverted you know, and well it's no place if you're quiet.

EVANS (turning down the television): So you'll be seeing Anthony tonight then?

WATERS: Briefly. I mean he calls in nearly every night even though he doesn't have to. He does it just to spite me, as if taking my fiancée isn't spite enough.

EVANS: A guy like that should be brought down a peg or two. He's fucking your girl.

WATERS (shaking his head): No. Well she's not mine anymore.

Pause. He checks the clock

Look I gotta go. Can't be late, the place could be getting robbed right now.

EVANS: Well there's a lot of scum out there.

WATERS: They just don't seem to come near me. I'll talk to you tomorrow morning then.

EVANS: Yeah. Take it easy.

EVANS turns up the television again and begins to watch it. He reaches down behind the side of the couch where there is a bottle of vodka and a glass. He pours some and drinks. He looks back towards the door.

Scene Three

A few weeks later . WATERSis alone in the flat. He is watching one of his videos. There are papers spread about the floor. The light is off. He is lying on the couch with a can of beer and a bag of popcorn next to him. Suddenly he jumps up as he hears the sound of the doorbell. The bowl of popcorn spills on the sofa. He tries to tidy it up. He looks at his watch. The doorbell rings again. He leaves it and goes to the door. He slowly opens it.

WATERS: Eh hello.

SHARON: Hi...Kevin is it?

SHARON puts her hands through her hair, and licks her lips, trying to impress upon WATERS, her all too obvious sexiness.

WATERS: Yeah.

SHARON: Kevin Waters?

WATERS: Yeah.

SHARON: Well aren't you going to invite me in Kevin Waters?

WATERS: Sorry, yes come in.

SHARONenters, and looking around, closes the door behind her.

SHARON: Popcorn?

WATERS: Sorry?

SHARON: Can I smell popcorn?

WATERS: I'm watching a video, I always eat popcorn when I'm watching a video see. It's a habit I've hung onto since I was a kid.

SHARON: Cute.

WATERS smiles.

I can't stand the stuff myself...it turns my stomach.

WATERS: I'll get rid of it, I've had just about enough anyway.

SHARON: Nice little place you got here.

She starts to walk towards the television.

So what you watching then?

WATERS (following her): Rear Window .

SHARON: Rear Window? I don't think I know that one.

WATERS: It's a Hitchcock.

SHARON: Yeah? Who's in it then?

WATERS: Eh...Jimmy Stewart and Grace Kelly.

SHARON: Never heard of him. She was Princess Grace though, wasn't she? Wow look at all those videos.

She goes over and sits by them. She starts looking through them.

WATERS: Yeah she was Princess Grace of Monaco but she did this film before she became a princess. Those are my collection. My pride and joy. I don't usually let anyone...it doesn't matter. Eh excuse me?

SHARON: Yes?

WATERS: Sorry but am I supposed to know you or something?

SHARON (standing): Of course! Hi I'm Sharon, I'm a friend of Lenny's.

She holds out her hand, WATERSgingerly shakes it. She kneels again to look at the videos.

WATERS: He's not here you know, Lenny. He's gone out. He said he wouldn't be back for hours. Mightn't be back at all tonight he said. He's always very busy in the evenings.

SHARON: That's all right I'm not here to see him. I'm here to see you Kevin Waters.

WATERSscratches his head, and nervously rubs his hand across his mouth.

You see I'm your surprise for tonight.

WATERS: My surprise?

SHARON: Well Kenny said you've been a bit down in the dumps recently, so he asked whether I could come over here tonight to keep you company (pause). He must really like you know ( She looks up at him). You don't mind do you?

WATERS: No I don't mind. No not at all. No, no.

SHARON (standing): I'm a busy girl Kevin Waters. I've a social calendar that would have put Princess Grace herself to shame, but I'm only too happy to be here, especially now that I've met you.

WATERS: She's dead. Princess Grace.

SHARON: Is she?

WATERS: You don't have to stay with me.

SHARON: Oh but I want to. (She sits). Oh she's so beautiful. Grace by name grace by nature.

WATERS: Eh shall I get you a drink?

SHARON: Thanks, I'll have a vodka and orange juice.

WATERS: I'm afraid we don't have a bottle left. Well we've plenty of bottles but they're all empty. Lenny was meant to get some in, but he hasn't bought any yet.

SHARON: That boy drinks it like it was water.

WATERS: I've started drinking it myself. I never used to. But I figured why not? Live a little.

SHARON: Yeah? He's a bad influence.

WATERS: I never touched it before.

SHARON: So Kevin, what else do you have then?

WATERS: Just beer, I'm afraid.

SHARON: A beer will do fine. No juice though.

WATERS (puzzled) Do you have juice in a beer?

SHARON: I don't.

WATERS: I'll get you a glass.

He goes to the fridge and takes out a bottle, he pours it into a glass.

Here you go.

He remains standing and staring at SHARON. He gets himself one.

So how well do you know Lenny then?

SHARON: Oh, I've known Lenny a while. We have our moments. You know, when I can find him, when he actually decides to keep still for more than a minute, and sits down to communicate with me.

WATERS: Yeah he's a busy man all right. I don't see him very often myself these days, and I live with him. He's always busy with one thing or another.

SHARON: Yes he does like to keep himself occupied. Now Kevin, will you do one more thing for me?

WATERS: Yes of course. Anything you want.

SHARON: Will you do two things?

WATERS: Yes.

SHARON: Firstly I want you to stop talking about Lenny, and secondly I want you to sit down and relax for me. You seem so uptight. I don't want you to be uptight. I bet you weren't uptight before I arrived. I bet you were lying on that sofa relaxed, eating your popcorn, drinking your beer, and admiring Princess Grace.

He smiles and sits at the opposite end of the sofa.

WATERS: I prefer Shirley McClaine myself.

SHARON: I don't think I know her.

WATERS: Oh no she was the one all right. She had these magnificent big eyes.

SHARON: Now why are you all the way over there, come closer before I get a complex.

He slowly moves closer .

Now isn't that better?

WATERS: Yes.

SHARON: D'you like my eyes Kevin?

WATERS: Yeah. They remind me of Shirley MacClaine's actually.

SHARON: Do they? Oh now, I bet you're just saying that.

WATERS: No I'm not, I mean it. I should be working on my correspondence course right now you know. (He lifts up the papers) I'm doing an accountancy course, and I'm beginning to fall behind on it. Have to catch up.

He drinks from his glass.

SHARON: You know I still don't think you've loosened up yet. Give me your hand.

WATERS: I'm sorry.

SHARON: Your hand.

He nervously puts out his hand.

You're most definitely tense, Kevin. I demand a little relaxation.

WATERS: I'll try.

SHARON: I will give you a massage.

WATERS: Really.

SHARON I've worked in a few massage places. All quite respectable mind you.

WATERS: Oh I'm sure.

Pause.

SHARON Why don't you kiss me?

WATERS: I'm sorry?

SHARON: Why don't you kiss me? That might help (pause).You do want to kiss me don't you Kevin?

WATERS: Well...

SHARON: If you want to kiss me, then kiss me.

He looks at her for a moment, then slowly and carefully leans forward to kiss her. As he does this, she grabs him towards her, and pulls him onto the sofa. They kiss passionately, with SHARON leading. They sit up again.

Did you enjoy that then?

WATERS: Yes I did. Sharon?

SHARON: Yes Kevin what is it?

WATERS: You've popcorn in your hair.

SHARON: Oh God! (She shakes it out of it).

SHARON: You are a messy boy aren't you.

WATERS: I dropped the bowl when I heard the doorbell. (pause) Look Sharon, I don't want you to do all this...not if you just want to go. I'm not a charity case.

SHARON: And I'm not a charity Kevin...I just know I'm going to like you. We're going to have so much fun.

She smiles, he smiles back. There is a silent pause.

WATERS: Why did Lenny ask you to do this?

SHARON: He must be worried about you. Anyway he said you weren't feeling too good at the moment. He said a few things were getting you down and if anyone could bring you up again, I could.

WATERS: I don't get it though...

SHARON (interrupting): Do you think I could bring you up then Kevin?

WATERS: Oh, I'm sure of it. Yes I'm positive. I don't get it though I don't know Lenny that long.

SHARON: Yeah well he must like you.

WATERS: Yeah I suppose he must like me. He listens to me you know, and I don't really have a close, well, anyone who can listen at the moment. Everyone I've known, they've all moved on...know what I mean.

SHARON: Lenny said your girlfriend...

WATERS (interrupting): Left with my old roommate.

Pause.

SHARON: You poor little boy.

WATERS: He was my roommate here before Lenny came along. I was going to marry that girl, and he took her.

SHARON: How long is she gone?

WATERS: Nearly five months.

SHARON: It's hard to forget.

WATERS: Yeah it is.

Pause.

SHARON: But that's why I'm here Kevin. To help you.

She gets up and takes WATERS by the hand. She leads him in towards the bedrooms.

After we can go to a late night movie, if you like?


Scene Four

It's the morning after. SHARON comes out of the bedroom. EVANS is sitting at the breakfast table snorting coke. He doesn't look up.

EVANS: So, still here then?

SHARON: Good morning to you as well. (She sits) I didn't hear you come in last night.

EVANS: Perceptive as ever. I didn't come in last night. I'm in less than half an hour.

SHARON: Where were you?

EVANS: Out.

SHARON: I'd love some toast.

EVANS: Well this is your lucky day then. There's a toaster over there. Get me a slice as well will you.

SHARON: Okay.

She gets up. She goes over and finds some bread, and puts it in the toaster. She sits again.

So, was it business then?

EVANS: You look like shit. Good night?

SHARON: I had too much beer. You know I don't usually drink beer. And there was the smell of that popcorn.

EVANS: Oh yeah his popcorn. Isn't that cute? Being doing it since he was a kid.

SHARON: Lenny, you've got blood on your shirt.

EVANS (looking): Well now.

SHARON: What happened?

EVANS: Don't ask me those kinds of question's love. In fact don't ask question's at all. You might hear things that you can't deal with. Like you suggested, I was just taking care of a bit of business. Sorting out a few things regarding the episode with the car.

SHARON: Lenny what did you do?

EVANS: So where's lover boy?

SHARON: Still in bed.

EVANS: I don't blame him. He must be shagged out. Well he's been with the best.

SHARON: Yeah well it's been a while since you have Lenny. Gone off me then?

EVANS: Like I could. (He takes her hand) Of course I haven't I've just been busy that's all. My life can't be all pleasure you know.

SHARON: That's why you get up in the morning Lenny. Everything you do in your life is for pleasure.

EVANS: I just try and enjoy myself while I can.

The toast shoots up from the toaster.

SHARON: Do you want butter or jam on yours then?

EVANS: I'm kinda hurt you don't remember. It's not been that long since we shared breakfast has it?

SHARON: No, it's just you're one to change your mind aren't you Lenny?

EVANS: Jam.

SHARON walks over to the table, picks up the glass of orange juice he is drinking and smells it. She takes a sup.

SHARON: There's vodka in that. Where d'you get it?

EVANS takes out a flagon from his pocket. She gets another glass, pours some for herself, and drinks half of it. She gets the toast, and sits down. They start to eat.

Can I do a line?

EVANS (sighing): Look, why don't you go and do it somewhere else? (He hands her a small vial of coke) Consider it a gift for putting up with lover boy.

SHARON: He was okay Lenny. Kind of sweet you know.

EVANS: Whatever.

SHARON: You'll leave him alone won't you Lenny?

EVANS: What d'you mean?

SHARON: Don't introduce him to, well, to any trouble. I don't think he could handle it.

EVANS: Jesus he's made some impression on you hasn't he?

SHARON: See me at the weekend Lenny, after work. I'll be by myself.

EVANS: Yeah you never know I just might do that.

They eat the rest of the toast in silence. EVANS continues to snort coke throughout.

SHARON: I'll go now then.

She gets up, fetches her bag, and goes to the door.

You'll call me?

EVANS: You know I will.

SHARON: Say goodbye to him for me yeah.

EVANS: Yeah.

She goes. After a moment WATERS comes out of the bedroom. He looks shattered.

WATERS: I thought I heard voices. Where's Sharon gone?

EVANS: She had to go buddy.

WATERS: Oh. Christ almighty, I'm fucked and my head aches something rotten.

EVANS: She said to say bye to you.

WATERS: Oh. Good. I wish I could have said goodbye to her.

WATERS looks around the place, and then sits.

Woah we left this place is in a mess. My papers and my video. By the way, thanks man. That was one of the best nights of my life.

EVANS: Yeah she is something isn't she?

WATERS: She's great, just wonderful. Thanks again.

EVANS: Just looking out for a mate that's all.

WATERS: It's really cheered me up for today. I'm not going to go into work this evening, I'm going to call in sick. I might walk into town later, get myself something, or maybe just walk around. Try to relax a little.

Suddenly WATERS sees what EVANS has on the table.

Is that drugs? Are you taking drugs Len?

EVANS: Yeah it's coke.

WATERS: As in cocaine.

EVANS: Yeah, as in cocaine.

EVANS spreads out a line, cuts it, and snorts it up right in front of WATERS. WATERS is awe struck for a moment. He is obviously unused to seeing drugs lying on the table in front of him.

WATERS: Fuck it, I've never seen coke before. I mean I've done weed and all that when I was a little younger... so you do coke then? How often? What does it make you feel like Len?

EVANS: Stay away from it man. This is bad shit.

WATERS: Yeah sure.

He watches it for a while longer. He then notices the blood on EVANS shirt.

Is that blood?

EVANS gets up.

EVANS: I think it is yeah. I haven't really looked.

WATERS: Were you in a fight?

EVANS: No. Business that's all it was.

WATERS: You don't deal in this stuff do you Lenny?

EVANS doesn't answer. He walks into his bedroom. WATERS is left staring at the coke on the table. He looks again after EVANS.


Scene Five

It is mid morning. WATERS is lying out on the couch. There is a bottle of vodka on the coffee table next to him. He is disheveled and unshaved. He drinks straight from the bottle. The television is on but he appears to be paying no attention to it. After a moment his mobile phone rings. He fumbles for it in his pocket, then answers it.

WATERS: What? (pause) I know, three weeks late. Yeah, yeah. Look Ive heard all this before. Well I was held up by a family crisis. (pause) Yeah another one. We're just an unlucky family I guess ( pause). Well do that then! Shove it up your ass!

He throws the phone away. After a moment, EVANS comes through the front door.

EVANS: Jesus, you look fucked.

WATERS: I'm okay.

EVANS: Do me a favour.

WATERS: Well, it's my correspondence course isn't it.

EVANS: It's more than that, my old friend.

WATERS: I've gone and fucked it up haven't I? They've thrown me out.

EVANS: Do another one.

WATERS: It's not as simple as that.

EVANS: It is. Do something else. There must be loads of those things that you can do.

EVANS sits in a chair facing the television.

What are you watching?

WATERS: Eh nothing, I just have it on for a distraction. Anyway fuck them and their courses. I don't need their fucking courses do I?

EVANS: I might put a video on if you're watching nothing.

WATERS: Yeah whatever.

EVANS: Good.

WATERS: I thought there was a possibility that Sharon might come round last night.

EVANS: Did you?

WATERS: Well yeah.

EVANS: Did she?

WATERS: Well no.

EVANS: It figures. She was working.

WATERS: Where?

EVANS: She was doing a little work for me actually.

WATERS: You couldn't invite her over for me Lenny?

EVANS: I'm afraid I couldn't. I don't want her coming over here at the moment. Anyway she'll be busy for a while.

WATERS: But just give me a number then, I'll phone her myself. Arrange to bring her round when you've gone out. Ask her to come after work some night. I'd really like to see her Lenny.

EVANS: I appreciate that Kev, but that's no good either. You see once she was actually in the building, she might never go might she? Where would I be then?

WATERS: Come on Lenny, I'll get rid of her.

EVANS: I don't think so.

WATERS: I need to...

EVANS: You know, I just met Mrs. Terry by the front door. She said she had called round earlier but there was no answer. You were in all morning weren't you?

WATERS: Yeah well I looked out all right, but when I saw it was her, well I just couldn't be bothered. I'm sick of her. She's always coming round these days.

EVANS: I paid off the rent.

WATERS: You mean for both of us?

EVANS: Yeah for both of us.

WATERS: Thanks. I'll pay you back when I've got a bit to spare again..

EVANS: Right.

WATERS: You know you've got her wrapped around your finger. I don't know how you do it.

EVANS: It's easy to charm the old ones. A little bit of flattery and they're putty in your hands.

WATERS: I wouldn't want that kind of putty in my hands.

EVANS: Well if you're hungry enough any food will do.

WATERS: Yeah well I'm not that hungry.

EVANS: Either am I as it happens.

WATERS: So you're not...

EVANS: Don't ask.

WATERS: What about her daughter?

EVANS: What about her?

WATERS: I bet Mrs. Terry doesn't know that you're fucking her, that you're plugging her only daughter.

EVANS: I would guess not no.

WATERS: I can't believe you.

EVANS: She's a honey man. A little honey.

WATERS: Yeah I know she is but she's someone else's honey. For a lot of people the ring on her finger would be mean she's a no go area.

EVANS: I don't believe in symbols.

WATERS: Yeah well, I hope you're covering your tracks properly because her husband would come looking for you if he found out.

EVANS: That would be the worst mistake that man could ever make.

WATERS: Is that so?

Pause.

EVANS: So what do you recommend then?

WATERS: Sorry?

EVANS: To watch. What movie do you recommend?

WATERS: Eh...I don't know. I don't care. Whatever? You don't like the movies I like anyway.

EVANS: How about "Some Like It Hot". I heard you mention that before, and I could do with a chuckle.

WATERS: Who fucking couldn't?

EVANS: Oh lighten up man. What's up with you? If this is about Sharon again? Or is it the other one, the fiancée who took flight?

WATERS rises and starts to pace the room.

WATERS: Can I say something to you?

EVANS: Sure you can.

WATERS: You were out Friday night weren't you?

EVANS: Yeah, I always go out Friday nights. Why?

WATERS: Well it's Anthony.

EVANS: Oh yes Anthony.

WATERS: Well he was set upon by two guys in town last Friday night.

EVANS: Well. There's no where left to go these days, is there? It's a violent world we live in.

WATERS: He was done over pretty good by all accounts. He was attacked with a baseball bat. He had bones broken, needed a lot of stitches. He was beaten up pretty bad Lenny.

EVANS: Look why are you telling me this?

WATERS: He's in a bad way Lenny. He could still die. (pause) You did it didn't you?

EVANS: I was there yeah, but I can't take all the credit.

WATERS: Jesus, Lenny.

EVANS: He had it coming, and you couldn't do it could you?

WATERS: But...

EVANS: Look Kev don't start whining about it now okay. Don't be a moaning little shit about him now. You would have done it yourself Kev, if you had the balls. But, you don't have them. It's lucky for you, you have a mate who does isn't it?

WATERS: But, Jesus, what if he dies? I never...

EVANS (interrupting): Then he dies. A job well done. I mean do you really give a shit if the guy continues breathing or not. Course you don't. Look Kev relax, I'm a buddy. I took care of it.

WATERS: I don't know. He doesn't deserve to... what about ...

EVANS: Your fiancée, is it Kev? Well fuck her.

WATERS (shaking his head): What if you were seen?

EVANS: Look let me worry about that okay. Now for fuck's sake, get it together.

WATERS: But...

EVANS: But what?

WATERS: Well, can't you see Lenny, in a way he was only doing what you're doing now with Mrs. Terry's daughter right now.

EVANS stands and faces him.

EVANS: What's that then Kev?

WATERS: Well you're going behind someone's back aren't you?

EVANS: Oh I see.

EVANS walks straight up to WATERS.

Yeah but I wouldn't do that sort of thing to my mate would I?

WATERS: Eh, no I guess not.

EVANS: Right then, lets sit and put something on.

EVANS sits again. WATERS lies back on the couch. He takes a drink from the bottle of vodka.

WATERS: I'm moving jobs you know, well locations. I'll be looking after a some kind of chemical plant from next Monday. It was the last thing that Anthony did before...

EVANS gets off his chair and puts the video into the recorder.

EVANS: It's a change.

WATERS: Is it?

EVANS sits back and waits for the movie to start. WATERS takes more of the vodka.

Look Lenny I've been giving something a bit of thought. I was wondering, could I have some gear? Just a little bit, you know a sample or whatever yeah?

EVANS: A taste yeah?

WATERS: Yeah a taste.

EVANS: Okay, I'll get some for you after the movie. You look like you could do with a pick me up.

WATERS: Oh I could all right. I don't really feel like sleeping see. Well I'm not sleeping that well anyway so... so after the movie yeah?

EVANS: After the movie. Now keep it down it's coming on.

WATERS: Oh you'll like this all right. It's a classic this one.

EVANS: Keep it down.

WATERS looks anxiously at EVANS. He looks at his watch.

WATERS: Billy Wilder, Marilyn Monroe. A classic.


Scene Six

WATERS is leaning against the couch. It is the morning. The place is in a mess, with empty bottles and dirty plates strewn about the house. There are videos lying about all over the place. The television is off. WATERS rises with a bit of a struggle, and goes over to the fridge. He kicks a pile of videos out of the way. He opens the fridge up, he looks inside and closes it again. He gets a glass of water drinks it, and goes back to where he was. After a moment SHARON comes out of the bedrooms. She walks to the kitchen area and gets herself some toast. She doesn't acknowledge WATERS. She sits by the breakfast table and waits for the toast. After another few moments EVANS comes out of the bedroom. He goes and sits at the breakfast table, but not before going over to SHARON and putting his hand down her top.

EVANS: D'you make some for me?

SHARON: Yeah of course.

EVANS: Jam.

SHARON: Yeah I know.

EVANS: Where d'you put that paper from yesterday? I still haven't read it.

SHARON: It's in the bedroom somewhere.

EVANS: Take a look for me will you?

SHARON: Let me have my breakfast first.

EVANS: Get it. It won't take you a minute.

She walks into the bedroom and after a few moments brings back the paper. He starts to read through it. After a few moments he puts it down again.

Are you going to work tonight then?

SHARON: I don't want to Lenny, I'm too tired. I need a night off.

EVANS: Honey you know the score. It isn't the right time for a holiday.

SHARON: Can't you give me one more week or something? I don't feel up to it Lenny.

EVANS: I'm sorry babe, but I'm afraid it can't wait. You've let the debt run just a little too high haven't you? People are starting to get anxious. Others, not just me.

SHARON: Okay, if I have to.

EVANS: Don't stay out as late as last night. Go home an hour early.

SHARON: Yeah I will.

EVANS (to WATERS, and without looking up): Did you go to work at all then?

WATERS: No.

EVANS: You retiring or something?

WATERS: I'm getting out before they kick me out.

EVANS: Fool. It was some kind of income for you.

WATERS: Look, I'm on a last warning anyway because of my "constant absences" and what was it, oh yeah "appalling punctuality".

EVANS: Get it together then.

WATERS: I can't. Anyway give me a reason why I should?

EVANS: Self- respect.

WATERS: What the fuck's that? What's that Sharon, eh? What's that?

Just then the toast shoots up scaring a very nervous WATERS. SHARON gets up and fixes the toast. She sits again. She doesn't respond to WATERS.

EVANS: Hope we didn't keep you up all night?

WATERS: I was up all night anyway. It's from work isn't it? Insomnia goes with the terrority. I came out here about two sometime. I don't think I've slept since.

EVANS: You've emptied half that bottle down your neck.

WATERS: Yeah. Look Lenny I need some more stuff. I've run out.

EVANS: Yeah?

WATERS: Yeah. Just another little...

EVANS: Pick me up, yeah I know.

SHARON: Look just go to bed Kevin. Forget about that shit. You don't need it.

WATERS: You can talk.

EVANS: Look you I told you to keep it shut.

SHARON puts her head down again and continues eating her toast.

SHARON: I'm going to go then Lenny.

EVANS: Right you go. Get some rest. You might look a little bit better for tonight.

WATERS: Yeah, you go Sharon.

EVANS (to WATERS): Did someone ask you?

SHARON: You'll phone me?

EVANS: Yeah. You get out there tonight, now.

SHARON: I will.

She starts for the door with her bag.

EVANS: Hey! Here take this. Buy yourself something nice yeah? Wear it out some night. You'll look a million dollars.

EVANS throws her some money. She picks it off the ground without comment. She looks at WATERS.

SHARON: See ya Kevin.

She waits for an answer, but WATERS doesn't reply. She leaves.

EVANS: The silly bitch will probably waste it all on junk. How could she get herself into that shit? I mean cokes one thing, but going down that road, well you're never sure of catching a ride back are you?

WATERS: I can't understand why you treat her the way you do.

EVANS: Is that so? What way is that then?

WATERS: You treat her like she's worth nothing at all. Like she's something dispensable. I mean if she loved me like she loves you, well I'd treat her like a princess.

EVANS (laughing): A princess? Is that so? Well fuck me Kev I think you've been watching one to many of your slushy old favourites. A princess doesn't come in that guise.

WATERS: Yeah they do.

EVANS: She's nothing Kev.

WATERS: She is something. You can't see it, or maybe you just don't want to.

EVANS: Tell me was your princess like her then?

WATERS: I...

EVANS: Turned out she wasn't a princess after all. Maybe she just acted like one. Maybe Kev you treated her like one and she got bored with it. Wanted something a bit more rough and ready for a while.

WATERS: I can't answer that.

EVANS: Look Sharon's a fool, and now she's a junkie. So soon she'll be a dead fool.

WATERS: Don't say that! Give her a break Lenny.

EVANS: Just don't worry your little head about her okay.

EVANS rises.

WATERS: Well one of us has to.

EVANS: Look Kev, I didn't want to tell you this but do you really think she gave a shit about you. She thought you were a bore Kev, a sniveling little weasel. So, why should you care about her?

WATERS: No.

EVANS: Oh yeah.

Pause.

So what are you doing today then?

WATERS: Fuck all.

EVANS: Just for a change eh?

WATERS: Look d'you want to do something then Lenny? I could come with you if you were doing something.

EVANS: You? In that state? Come off it.

WATERS: If you just give me some coke I'll perk up. Then I'll be okay yeah? Just give me some gear Lenny. I need some to tie me over. I'm running out of everything here. I haven't even got a drink.

EVANS goes into the bedroom and appears after a few moments. He throws a bag of coke to WATERS. WATERS scampers over on his hands and knees to collect it.

Thanks, man. So anything I can do to help you then Lenny?

EVANS: There's nothing you could do Kev.

EVANS sits again.

WATERS: Let me do something. I'm pretty sure I could. I don't mind what. I'll even do something a little underhand if you want me to. Keep it mum.

EVANS: I'm leaving Kev. I'm moving out.

WATERS lifts himself up to sit on the couch.

WATERS: For Christ's sake why? You can't do that Lenny. I mean why would you? There's no reason for you to?

EVANS: Circumstances Kev, it's the nature of my existence. Remember, just bricks and mortar my old mate. Time to move on.

WATERS: But...

EVANS: But what? There's nothing to discuss here. I made a decision. I'm not holding a debate on it.

WATERS: Is it something I've done? I'll put it right.

EVANS: You can't do anything.

WATERS stands up and begins to pace.

WATERS: Well I'm fucked now for a start off. I need you. I've got nothing anymore.

EVANS: You had nothing when I met you Kev.

WATERS walks towards EVANS.

WATERS: No you can't do this to me now. Please. I won't know what to do if you go.

EVANS runs to meet him, and by the scruff of the neck throws him back onto the couch.

EVANS: So what are you doing now?

WATERS: I'm relying on you Lenny.

EVANS: Yeah well you'll have to start relying on something else then.

WATERS: Please.

EVANS: Look, lets do this without any scenes okay? Let's not have a drama played out. I'm moving on, Sharon's moving on. End of story. It's time to find yourself someone new.

WATERS starts to break down.

WATERS: I can't even pay for myself anymore. I won't have any money coming in. Where are you going to anyway?

EVANS: Out of town.

WATERS begins to get angry.

WATERS: I don't believe you! Give me some more stuff then. I'll need a store now. Or else just tell me where you're going, yeah, so I can have a regular supply coming in. That's what you do. Give me an address, yeah?

EVANS: Naw, I can't do that Kev. Anyhow, Christmas is over. No more presents. You want coke you pay; you want Sharon you pay, just like all the others.

He stares at him.

Okay then, I tell you what.

WATERS: What?

EVANS: Since I've enjoyed myself here, here's a months rent.

He takes it out of his pocket.

WATERS (looking at it): A months rent?

EVANS: You make sure you give that to Mrs. Terry now, do you hear? Don't you go spending that on anything else.

WATERS: Does she know you're going then? Does her daughter know you fucking off? What about them? Have you told them?

EVANS: Fuck them.

WATERS: Yeah and it's fuck me isn't it!

EVANS stares at him without answering.

When are you going then?

EVANS: This afternoon.

WATERS: Look give me some coke for this. I'll get the money for the rent later. Give me some gear. I can fob her off for a while. I'm her trusted tenant after all.

EVANS: It's for the rent.

WATERS: Fuck the rent! I need some stuff! And look there's no vodka left in the place, I need some money for that too.

He opens up the cupboards.

Look nothing!

EVANS: I'm going out now I'll be back later for my stuff. It's all packed anyway.

WATERS: You can't do this to me, Lenny! Bastard!

EVANS starts to walk but then stops.

WATERS: Please.

He walks back to WATERS.

EVANS: And let's not continue with this when I get back. It will only get me angry Kev, and I don't want to have to take that out on you.

He walks toward the front door. He stops and looks back at WATERS, who sits there with his head in his hands. He looks up.

WATERS: You wouldn't do anything to me Lenny. Not after what we've been through.

EVANS looks at him and smiles. He leaves. WATERS is left alone and despondent.

CURTAIN


 

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