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Queens from a Marriage


QUEENS FROM A MARRIAGE

A Ten-Minute Play

by

Scott C. Sickles


Copyright © 1993
by Scott C. Sickles

75 Chapel Drive
Pittsburgh, PA 15237

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Cast of Characters

Paul FISHER: 30s, Bloom's ex
Jared BLOOM: 30s, Fisher's ex
PAUL Fisher: FISHER in his 20s, Jared's spouse
JARED Bloom: BLOOM in his 20s, Paul's spouse

Note: The actors playing FISHER and PAUL should resemble each other.
The same should be true of BLOOM and JARED. The two pairs should also
be easy to differentiate from each other. (e.g. FISHER/PAUL are tall
with dark hair and BLOOM JARED are shorter with red hair.)










Scene
A public restaurant and a private bedroom.

Time
Five years after and seven years during their marriage.

QUEENS FROM A MARRIAGE by Scott C. Sickles was originally presented by
Pyramid Productions (Ted Hoover and Melissa Martin, producers) in its
No-Doze Dozen marathon of ten-minute plays at the City Theatre Lab in
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, on July 23, 1993. It was directed by Ted
Hoover. Art Manion was the stage director. The cast, in order of
appearance, was as follows:

Paul FISHER Brian Czarniecki
Jared BLOOM Michael James
PAUL Fisher Jamie Pickett
JARED Bloom John Highberger

SETTING: Up stage, two chairs behind a table. Down stage, sheets and
pillows set up to represent a bed. A prop phone should be placed under
the pillows.
AT RISE: PAUL and JARED are in bed, under covers. FISHER and BLOOM sit
in their seats. Lights fade out on PAUL and JARED.

FISHER
Thanks for meeting me.

BLOOM
Well, it's been awhile.

FISHER
I heard about you and� the train guy. I'm sorry.

BLOOM
Don't be. He was a while ago. You haven't kept very good tabs on me.
Which is fine. Last time we spoke, you were seeing that window
dresser. He seemed nice.

FISHER
He was. Very cheerful. We split a few months ago. All that sunshine
got on my nerves. I guess I was used to your�

BLOOM
Incessant bitching?

FISHER
Individual perspective. You've lost weight.

BLOOM
Thanks; you're aging well. Sorry. I get a little catty when you're on
my mind. Not that it happens that often. Sure, every day, but for
shorter periods of time, usually in public rest rooms for some reason.

FISHER
When it does, what do you think about?

BLOOM (staring at Fisher's crotch)
Nothing specific.

FISHER
I remember things that made you smile: holding hands in movie
theatres, falling asleep together on the divan, that spot behind your
knee--

BLOOM
Before you go on, let's focus on the positive. What about me do you
miss the least? I usually start out missing you and then convince
myself I shouldn't.

(Lights cross fade to JARED and PAUL.)

PAUL
Why do we have to rush this?

JARED
I'm not the one who wants to end this marriage; I'm simply the reason
you want to. I'm willing to try fixing this--

PAUL
Oh, please. All you ever do is bitch about how aloof I am. It never
occurs to you that after seven years, I might need--

JARED
If you say "need some space," the clich� police will force me to kill
you. You can have all the "time apart" you need to "find yourself,"
while I hang myself with one of your old trick's jock straps.

PAUL
After all that, what can I say?

JARED
Try "goodbye."

(Lights cross fade to FISHER and BLOOM.)

FISHER
Maybe this was a bad idea. I just thought� I wanted to see if there
was�

BLOOM
"�anything left between us?" Oh, please. Seven years isn't adequate
trial and error? Could we talk about something else? I'm sensing
countless hours of insurance-funded therapy going up in flames.

FISHER
I hoped we could see more of each other to find out if we wanted to
start seeing each other again. Then maybe�

BLOOM
You're hopeless. I will tell you, though, I don't only remember bad
things. But, my feet stay bolted to the ground.

(Lights cross fade to JARED and PAUL)

JARED
I'm floating on air. My father didn't ask which one of us was the
bride. The pastor was cute. You were dashing, dapper and another
appropriate word that starts with "D." The room is elegant. The night
is wonderful. Everything is perfect. What's on TV?

PAUL
Are the strawberries and champagne supposed to be romantic or an
aphrodisiac?

JARED
As if we needed an aphrodisiac. I don't know. They're sweet. Like you.
Oh, puke, I said it. That's it. One "cornyism" per day until the
honeymoon is over, and then no more forever. That only pertains to me,
of course. You're going to be corny for the rest of our lives.

PAUL
Do you mind?

JARED
I'll get used to it.

PAUL
I mean staying together that long. I know it's a little late to bring
this up, but I have lots of plans for us.

JARED
Cape Cod house? White picket fence? A very hyper Shih-tzu puppy named
Rommel?

(PAUL and JARED kiss.)

(Lights cross fade to FISHER and BLOOM.)

BLOOM
It wasn't especially unique. It was a marriage. It had good moments
and� other moments.

FISHER
All of the apologies were sincere.

BLOOM
Don't you think you're over-romanticizing? I mean, who's to say - not
that I'm even remotely interested, mind you, in considering the
possibility of finding out whether or not we want to think of spending
more time together - but: who's to say we won't have the same problems
again?

(Lights cross fade to JARED and PAUL.)

JARED
I can't believe you fucked him! I know I'm not the most exotic lay of
the land. But just because I'm tired for a couple weeks, doesn't mean
I don't mind. If I knew this was your other option, I'd have let you
boink me in my sleep.

PAUL
I tried that. It's the same thing.

JARED
When we were dating, I had no problem with our "open relationship." I
just thought getting married made things� This was your idea. You
wanted the rings, the wedding. "It'll be like Leopold and Loeb without
the mess."

PAUL
This didn't mean anything. I didn't think you wanted to be bothered,
so I� ordered out. We just� lost control.

JARED
How could either of you control yourselves around that magic fuck wand
of yours. Oh, My God! It's�
(JARED mimes being compelled to stick his face in Paul's crotch.)
It's got me! Sucking me in so I'll suck back. How could any mere
mortal resist?

PAUL
Are you finished?

JARED
Not until I bite off your dick.

(PAUL pulls Jared's face out of his crotch.)

PAUL
I apologize. I promise I'll never do this again.

(Lights cross fade to FISHER and BLOOM.)

BLOOM
I think I'm looking for a guarantee knowing they don't exist.

FISHER
I promise if we get back together, I'll do my best to ensure we have
completely different problems.

BLOOM
That's an offer. Why do you want this, Paul? I was foul-tempered and
clingy. I'd have left me long before you did.

FISHER
Maybe I have bad taste.

(Lights cross fade to JARED and PAUL. JARED talks on a cordless
phone.)

JARED
No, I'm not handing him the phone. I'm an existentialist, Mrs. Fisher,
I don't care what you think. Consider how this looks to me. We return
early from Greece because you send a telegram about a family
emergency. This turns out to be Paul's ex-fiance's husband dying six
months ago. Then, you tell Paul her child is actually his. When Paul
mentions this, she doesn't know what he's talking about. This leads me
to believe A: you tried to undermine me with some woman who shares a
sexual history with your son� my husband� and B: you watch too many
soap operas! If you want to apologize for being a conniving bitch,
I'll give him the message. Otherwise-- excuse me? You insist? Well, in
that case�
(Hangs up.)

PAUL
I always feel better after you malign my mother. I'm sorry about all
this.

JARED
It's entertaining. Besides, I really didn't like Greece.

PAUL
You're just saying that to make me feel better.

JARED
No, Paul, I hated it. I don't need foreign sand, heat and bad plumbing
to find out how much we love each other. We need to do that right
here. I don't know what to do. I've tried more romance, less romance,
asking for less complicated sex more often and more complicated sex
less often. I keep staring at the Slimfast wondering if it can help.
What can I do, Paul?

PAUL
I don't know. I know you've tried not to burden me with what's on your
mind. You haven't mentioned you sob in the shower; Or that your mother
was in the hospital again.

JARED
She just wants attention.

PAUL
What's wrong with attention? Maybe you need to bother me more. When
you get lost in your head, I should ask you where you're going. We
should stop being afraid of loving each other too much. Even if we do.

JARED
I could take this time to make an extremely inappropriate reference to
"lip service."

PAUL
Come here.
(They kiss.)

(Lights cross fade to FISHER and BLOOM.)

FISHER
I work at home, so you could interrupt me any time� anything
important� came up. What good has therapy done you if you're still not
able to embrace love?

BLOOM
This sounds more like� regret. Desperation. Loneliness.

FISHER
Lust?

BLOOM
Oh, yeah. Lust is definitely--

(Lights cross fade to JARED and PAUL.)

PAUL
What I'm saying is: we should either get serious or split up. And to
be honest, I don't know if I'm ready to be serious.

JARED
I don't know either. About you, that is. I know I'm ready to get
serious. But, you're probably not. And do I really want a commitment
with you? That would be a colossal mistake if you weren't ready, which
of course you're not, so why talk about it? I suppose it's been fun�

PAUL
Yes. It was for me. Wasn't it fun for you?

JARED
For the most part. Don't worry. You'll find someone, soon. Maybe
they'll have a friend who might know someone I could go out with once
or twice before this happens again. Not that this happens all the
time; just when I'm in a relationship; which really isn't that often.
We can stay friends. You can
JARED (cont'd)
tell me how lonely short term, empty flings are, and I can tell you
how lonely it is without them. And there'll be good times too, like
when we talk about loneliness over cake.

PAUL
We could have a serious, open relationship, couldn't we?

JARED
Are you sure you'd want that?

(Lights cross fade to FISHER and BLOOM.)

BLOOM
I'm beginning to feel a little manipulated here. Not that I don't
enjoy it. But, in retrospect, I think we may have been doomed from the
start. The point is, we were never what we needed for each other. I
needed someone who took our relationship completely seriously. You
needed someone who could coast. We're not like that anymore.

FISHER
Can I see you again? Maybe someday we'll find a happy medium. Or just
the right people. We can talk about them over cake.

BLOOM
Sure. Call me.

(Lights up on everyone. BLOOM & JARED and FISHER & PAUL look at one
another and shrug. Then, they all look at each other not knowing what
to do next.)

(BLACKOUT)

THE END
 

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