LUNCH BREAK by Jane Wulf
Presented at Playwrights Horizons Short Play Competition Festiva

 

SETTING:  A park bench at lunchtime. 

AT RISE:  ANDREW walks to the bench. He's a small, angry looking man, late 20s. He sits down and opens a sandwich bag.His friend SARAH comes shortly afterwards. She is soft and a little overweight. She too brought lunch.

                                   ANDREW
            Hi Sarah. How are you?

                                   SARAH
            Hi hon. I'm fine. How are you?

                                   ANDREW
            Eh. Same as yesterday. Sucky.

                                   SARAH
            Well, it's beautiful outside.

                                   ANDREW
            But everything is sucky. All I ever do is work and go home.

                                   SARAH
            I know I shouldn't say this, but try to look on the bright
            side. You do like your job. I wish I had your job. Your new
            apartment's really cool. And you look good. I wish I could
            make you feel better. 

                                   ANDREW
            I don't have enough money. I feel fat. My apartment's too
            hot. And Chris never called. I knew this would happen, I knew
            it wouldn't work out.

                                   SARAH
            That's hard. I totally understand why you're upset. It hurts
            when someone just turns around like that.

                                   ANDREW
            I've been manipulated. I feel totally used. Chris used me.

                                   SARAH
            Wasn't it fun for a while? You did know it was pretty touchy.
            You do live on opposite sides of the country.

                                   ANDREW
            Chris used me.

                                   SARAH
            Well, I think Chris has a problem with commitment.

                                   ANDREW
            It's so fucking hot in my apartment. Oh! Did you hear Steve
            and Dana are getting back together. Can you believe it. It's
            never going to work. They can't communicate at all. I get so
            sick of listening to them. Just because I work with Dana does
            not mean I have listen to her. I called Steve and told him
            that I am not going to be their little message boy just
            because they can't talk. Not while we're still working with
            that Ben guy she had the fling with. They still talk all the
            time.

                                   SARAH
            They've both changed a lot in the last year. It might work.

                                   ANDREW
            Work sucks. Blithe is making me want to kill her. She is so
            annoying. I'm sure it's because she's turning forty. She's so
            negative. Everything is something bad. She pisses me off and
            I just hate being around people like that, y'know. So I'm
            just not talking to her anymore, I'm just totally giving her
            the silent treatment.

                                   SARAH
            Have you tried talking to her about it?

                                   ANDREW
            What? Like I'm gonna say "Blithe, you're so negative. I can't
            stand being around you"?

                                   SARAH
            Yeah. I guess that would be pretty hard to say.
                          (Pause)
            So, how's your Mom?

                                   ANDREW
            She's a total depressive bitch. She's insane. I'm not talking
            to her. How are your folks?

                                   SARAH
            Alright I guess. My mom got this new job. She's excited
            because she gets to travel.

                                   ANDREW
            Good for her. Get her away from your dad. He's such a jerk.

                                   SARAH
            What?

                                   ANDREW
            Your dad. C'mon. You know he's a jerk.

                                   SARAH
            He's not a jerk.

                                    ANDREW
            He is. He's a jerk. He's totally out of it. 

                                   SARAH
            Please don't call my father a jerk. I know he's sort of
            difficult, but he's not a jerk.

                                   ANDREW
            He is a jerk. Sarah - those years of therapy for nothing?

                                   SARAH
            Just because I told you that I had some problems with my
            parents does not mean you can call my dad a jerk. He was a
            good dad in lots of ways.

                                   ANDREW
            But he's a jerk.

                                   SARAH
            Stop it. I told you I don't like it.

                                   ANDREW
            Oooh. Alright. Whatever.

                                   SARAH
            My dad is a very decent person.

                                   ANDREW
            Whatever you say.
            But you know, he is a jerk.
                          (Pause)
            What?

                                   SARAH
            I was just thinking of what to say.

                                   ANDREW
            Hey. Did I tell you about my new freelance gig?

                                   SARAH
            No.

                                   ANDREW
            I'm getting five hundred bucks to write a brochure. One
            weekends work for the dumb thing. Blithe hooked me up with
            the job a couple weeks ago. Did I tell you what she said to
            me yesterday? I can't believe how awful she is.

                                   SARAH
            Andrew.

                                   ANDREW
            What?

                                   SARAH
            I really don't want to eat lunch with you anymore.

                                   ANDREW
            You're not feeling well? You look terrible.

                                   SARAH
            I'm sick of wanting to cheer you up.

                                   ANDREW
            What?

                                   SARAH
            You're so -
                          (ANDREW cuts her off)

                                   ANDREW
            You're not mad about what I said about your Dad are you?

                                   SARAH
                          (in a hysterical rush, trying
                           to get it out before she
                           starts being nice again.)
            You're so negative, I can't stand being around you.

                                   ANDREW
            What?

                                   SARAH
            I gotta go. Have a fabulous lunch.
                          (Sarah storms off, forgetting
                           her lunch bag)

                                   ANDREW
            God. She is unbelievable. Impossible. What a bitch. And I
            have to clean up all her garbage.
                          (Gleeful)
            Eliza is not going to believe it when she hears about this.
                          (BLACKOUT)
                          (END)