Suicide and Such: A Play

This is the first scene of the play I’m writing for Script Frenzy. I’ve been scrambling for an idea, and this is what I came up with. Comments appreciated, but remember this is only about 5% of the play. The rest is to come!

Act I

Scene 1

(The curtain should be open before the house lights go down. The stage is a funeral home. A casket sits downstage left at a diagonal. There is only one bunch of flowers by the casket. A card attached reads “For our beloved son and brother.” 10-12 Chairs for mourners are placed in two rows either center stage or upstage right depending on the size of the stage; the chairs are at a diagonal facing the casket. Otherwise, the stage is bare.)

JOSH (O.S.)

I can’t do this. I just can’t do this. I can’t. I can’t.

(As JOSH’s voice fades, MICHAEL enters. Looks around furtively. Finally, takes a seat at the back. TANYA strides in without noticing MICHAEL. She stands before the coffin.)

TANYA

What the fuck, Josh.

(MICHAEL sniggers. TANYA turns quickly, but relaxes when she sees who it is.)

TANYA

O, so you came.

MICHAEL

       (Shrugs)

Didn’t have anything better to do.

TANYA

(Sneers)

I’m sure. I bet you were ecstatic to hear.

MICHAEL

Ecstatic? No, I wouldn’t go that far. I certainly wasn’t sad. I won’t pretend I was. I don’t think anyone was.

TANYA

I was.

MICHAEL

Liar.

(TANYA looks like she’s about to attack him. Then, she relaxes.)

TANYA

Think what you like. I miss him.

MICHAEL

Like the mole they removed from your ass.

TANYA

Why do you always have to-

MICHAEL

Because I’m honest. You should know that by now. You used to be, too. What happened to that?

TANYA

Josh happened.

MICHAEL

Of course.

(Crosses to her.)

The whiny boyfriend. Always dragging you down. You couldn’t break up with him for fear that he’d kill himself.

TANYA

Didn’t work did it?

MICHAEL

(Laughs)

 No, I guess not. At least you’re free now.

TANYA

(Turns back to the coffin.)

Yea, I guess so.

(MICHAEL regards her silently for several moments.)

MICHAEL

You should have married him.

TANYA

Are you crazy.

(She laughs bitterly.)

Does it run in your family?

MICHAEL

I hope not. I’d rather my brother be the only suicidal maniac related to me. Pretty sure my parents would appreciate it, too.

(Pause)

Are you coming to the dinner at our place afterwards? I know Mom would like to see you.

TANYA

Why? So she can cry all over my new blouse?

MICHAEL

Is it new? I thought that was the same shirt you left at my place twice before you finally remembered to take it home with you.

TANYA

(Icy cold)

Let’s not talk about that.

MICHAEL

(Shrugs)

Fine. And no, I doubt Mom will cry at all, so your “new blouse” is perfectly safe.

TANYA

You’re such an ass! Josh may have been whiny, but at least he was kind… When he was anything…

MICHAEL

(Suddenly serious)

What do you mean?

TANYA

Didn’t you notice? Ninety-eight percent of the time he was just… nothing. It’s like he wasn’t there anyway.

MICHAEL

Can’t say that I did. But then, I didn’t spend much time with my brother since he disowned me for sleeping with you.

TANYA

Why does it always have to come back to that with you? Hmm? Why are you so fixated on a rendezvous that happened years ago?

MICHAEL

First, it was more than one rendezvous, as you put it. Second, it was six months ago. And finally, I am not fixated on it. I just find amusment in taunting you since it seems to bother you so much.

TANYA

You are such a child sometimes.

MICHAEL

Sometimes? No, my dear, more often than not. There’s no point in acting one’s age; it will simply make you suicidal.

(Awkward pause)

Oops. I suppose that wasn’t appropriate…

(Shrugs)

Oh well.

TANYA

(mutters)

Case in point

MICHAEL

Yea, I guess. Anyway, this conversation is getting boring.

(Moves to leave)

I think I’m gonna have a cigarette and find someone more interesting to talk to.

TANYA

Jerk.

(MICHAEL gets to the door, but stops at TANYA’s next line.)

Why do you think he did it?

MICHAEL

(Turns back to her slowly)

Because he was crazy.

TANYA

Do you really believe that?

MICHAEL

Well clearly you don’t.

TANYA

No, I do.

(Sighs)

I guess I just really wish there was another explanation

(Begins to tear up)

Why couldn’t I make him happy enough that he’d want to live? Why couldn’t I make him sane?

MICHAEL

Jesus.

(Crosses to TANYA and hugs her. Pulls back, forcing her to look up at him.)

You can’t blame yourself.

TANYA

I’m not blaming myself.

(Wipes at her eyes)

I just don’t understand why I couldn’t fix him.

MICHAEL

(Laughs shortly)

Honey, you women always seem to think you can fix us. If we’re fucked up, all you can do is love us or leave us. There’s no fixing involved. Now come on.

(Starts to lead her to the door)

Let’s go have a smoke. You look like you could use it.

(As they exit right)

Better yet, there’s a bar across the street.

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