Drama, Vol. 2.1, March 2008
Afternoon. A brick house in the suburbs. A phone rings, but it isn’t visible to the audience.
David: Aren’t you going to get that?
Carolyn: Why don’t you?
David: I don’t know who it is.
Carolyn: So answer it.
David: But you’re better with the unexpected.
Carolyn: It’s cloudy out, and my great grandmother was struck by lightning.
David: It could be a robber calling to see if we’re home.
Carolyn: Isn’t it better that we don’t answer? So we can catch him when he tries to break in? My great grandfather made a citizen’s arrest once.
David: It’s probably someone trying to sell us a chicken to support the police.
Carolyn: You love chicken.
David: It might be Sharon or DeeDee?
Carolyn: I haven’t spoken to them in weeks.
David: All the more likely it’s them.
Carolyn: No. The less often you talk to someone, the less likely you are to talk to them.
David: What if it’s the pastor of that church we visited when we were having trouble?
Carolyn: No. He would send a pamphlet.
David: I’m sure it’s the lady from the gas station. I wrote a check this morning, and she asked for my phone number.
Carolyn: That’s general procedure.
David: But she looked so lonely. You should answer. She might need a friend like you.
The first phone continues to ring. A second phone starts to ring.
Carolyn: Now you can answer one phone, and I’ll answer the other. That way it will be even.
David: But what if we answer the wrong phones? What if an old lover has looked you up and can hear how much you’ve changed in my voice?
Carolyn: They’re probably both for you. My family doesn’t carry on relationships by phone.
David: But all the important people know I prefer the written word to the spoken.
Carolyn: It’s because you’re a control freak.
David: What if it’s the hospital? Don’t you know people who could be there?
Carolyn: I traded in my scrubs years ago.
David: But you dressed as a nurse last Halloween.
The first two phones continue to ring. A third phone starts to ring.
David: Oh, it must be important. What if someone wants to extend our warranty? You’re so good at stuff like that.
Carolyn: No more contracts for me. I’ve sworn enough.
Another phone rings with the others.
David: Is that coming from the neighbors’? You should go next door and ask. Maybe we were given up for adoption, and our biological parents are tracking us down. They’re so close.
Carolyn: Biology is the new black. You know I don’t go for trends.
David: What if it’s the phone company? They only call when it’s important.
Carolyn: A phone call about a phone call? Please.
Carolyn, perturbed. They both reach for the phones.
They go to separate rooms, continuing to talk to each other through the answered phones.
David: Oh, darling, it’s so good to hear your voice.
Carolyn: It has been so long. How have you been?
David: When will I see you again?
The re-enter the original room, still talking to each other by phone.
Carolyn: Come to me. Come to me now.
They press their palms together, receivers propped between shoulders and ears. They stare into each other’s eyes.
Recording: This is your captain speaking…