Wednesday, January 28, 2009


Curtain opens on a young man sitting on a twin-sized bed. He is hunched forward, resting his elbows on his thighs. Dressed casually, he is wearing a blue jean jacket. He has dark features, long hair that is partially pulled back and scruffy facial hair. He is rugged-looking. By the light of his bed-side lamp, he is reading.

It’s official. (Looks at piece of paper in hand.) Ship date: November 7. It’s happening. (Beat.) This is what I’ve always wanted, right? My dad did it, his dad did it. Hell, my son will probably do it. (Beat.) If I ever have a son.

Afghanistan. That’s cool, right? I bet it’s pretty badass over there. I’ll get to fight. Maybe kill someone. (Beat.) The last time I saw her she asked me if I thought I’d ever kill a man. I think I could do it. (Looks to the head of the bed.) I looked down at her lying in the crook of my arm and I said, ‘Yes, I think I will.’

Here’s my chance. But something doesn’t feel right. (Beat.) I don’t think I want to go. I’m not afraid to go. I’m not afraid to kill. To watch someone die. To die. I’m not a pussy. It’s just…I’m afraid to come back. What if it’s different? What if it’s gone? (Beat.) I just got her to talk to me again and now I’m leaving for a year. How the hell is this supposed to work? (Beat.) You wanna know what I think? I think that if she’s as smart as I know she is, she’ll find someone else.

What the fuck am I saying?! (Throws hands up in frustration.) If I come back and she’s with someone else, I’ll shoot them both. (Beat.) I just want her to be here. (Glances at a calendar on the wall.) By the time I come home, she’ll have long been out of school. She’ll be home where she belongs. Maybe teaching high school English. Or working at the newspaper. Maybe she’ll wait for me. (Beat.)

Because for the last time, I want her to give me a second chance.

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