THE COLLEGE HILL INDEPENDENT


THE FAMISHED: A PLAY

by by Max Posner

illustration by by Galen Broderick

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The kitchen of an office. A nice office, where serious businessmen wear serious clothes and talk numbers. The lighting is mildly fluorescent. RYAN and JEFFERSON stand in suits and ties. RYAN is a big deal. JEFFERSON is a pretty big deal. They are taking a break from business.

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JEFFERSON You're a little off today, man. Your swagger... Where's you're swagger, man?
RYAN I'm famished.
JEFFERSON Yeah yeah yeah. Sure sure sure.
RYAN I'm famished, dude. I am fucking famished.
JEFFERSON The skin under your eyes is all polluted it's all saggy and geriatric it's all - Amy keep you up last night?
JEFFERSON smiles at him.
Am I right am I right?
RYAN
I think she's pregnant.
I was lookin' at her internet history and all she searches for is preschools and neighborhoods and preschools and stroller companies and videos of breast feeding and children's books and bullshit bullshit bullshit.
JEFFERSON Man.
RYAN I know.
JEFFERSON Man.
RYAN I know.
RYAN paces around. Loosens his tie and notices the refrigerator. He opens the fridge and pulls out a container full of lasagna. He begins eating it.
JEFFERSON Every time someone gets laid off you spend the week eating their leftovers, man.
RYAN When you get canned I'll eat yours too.
JEFFERSON When Rodney left us you ate his fucking panini for like 4 days.
RYAN It was crazy panini.
JEFFERSON Yeah, but Ryan, man, Ryan. Dude. Like.
It's one thing when they're fired.
But like. Rodney?
RYAN He wasn't gonna eat it.
JEFFERSON I don't know man.
After Rodney tightened his crisp blue tie and...
After that week after all that shit.
I don't know if I could just eat a dead man's panini.
RYAN Mr. Sensitive.
JEFFERSON Oh, come on.
RYAN Mr. Reading Rainbow Sensitivity City. Mr. Charitable, Mr. Respect, Mr. Wimpy Wimpy Worry Worry. Mr. -
JEFFERSON ...You're fucked up
RYAN I'm fucked up, huh? Huh? Well you're ineffective. You're too busy lookin at photos of cats and videos of animals sneezing writing love poems to girls you can't talk to jerking off in the restroom crying inside composing grand text messages full of bullshit... you're too busy to make deals. And these days, if you're not making deals, they can't afford you, and when they can't afford you they say goodbye and when that happens I eat your leftovers and it makes my entire week. Alright?
JEFFERSON I will never eat another man's leftovers.
RYAN Jefferson the Nice Guy.
JEFFERSON Ryan the always hungry.
RYAN Jefferson the glorified intern.
JEFFERSON Ryan the probably pretty sad.
They laugh.
RYAN Good talking to you Jeff.
I love you. I completely love you.
They slap each others' hands. RYAN leaves. REBECCA, a woman a couple years younger than JEFFERSON walks in. She is sending a text message on a Blackberry. She is really cool, and calm. JEFFERSON and REBECCA stare at each other for a very long time. Silence. JEFFERSON looks at his phone. REBECCA puts some sugar in a cup of coffee. The air gets very, very thick.
REBECCA Uh.
JEFFERSON Yep.
REBECCA What?
Silence.
JEFFERSON Whew.
REBECCA Ha.
JEFFERSON Um.
He smiles.
REBECCA Work.
JEFFERSON Ah. Work.
Silence. REBECCA yawns. Silence.
JEFFERSON I love it when you yawn like that it's like there's this whole world in your throat you know and you spend all day like hiding it and then BOOM you just open your mouth and yawn it out it's really nice I really like it it's really nice.
Silence.
JEFFERSON Am I ineffective?
Silence.
REBECCA You don't have any photos up of kids or wives or anything.
JEFFERSON Neither do you... My family was killed in an avalanche... I'm kidding.
REBECCA Jefferson the Funny.
JEFFERSON Thanks.
REBECCA You know they don't wear suit jackets anymore in the oval office?
They smile at each other. Ryan loosens his tie.
JEFFERSON You ever think about if this kitchen belonged to a home that belonged to the two of us?
The kitchen looks slightly homier for a moment. A grand chandelier drops in. A tablecloth is put on the table. Different children's classroom art projects appear on the door of the pantry. What was carpet looks wooden. Sounds of kids playing outside.
JEFFERSON If this were... our little kitchen... in our little neighborhood... on our little block...
Silence.
REBECCA I can never tell when you're asking me out.
Silence. The kitchen is restored to the impersonal, office kitchen it always was.
REBECCA Jefferson the Vague.
REBECCA walks to the exit of the kitchen. She is about to leave.
JEFFERSON Rebecca the Always Smiling. Rebecca the Cryer. Rebecca the -
REBECCA turns towards him.
REBECCA Work.
JEFFERSON Ah. Work.
REBECCA exits the kitchen.
JEFFERSON Rebecca the Disappointment.
JEFFERSON is alone. JEFFERSON closes his eyes. When he opens them, the table in the middle of the kitchen is dressed as a bed. A sheet and comforter cover it, and pillows line the top. A nightlight turns on. A child's mobile drops in from above and hangs over the table bed. JEFFERSON curls up under the covers in the fetal position. He sucks his thumb a little. A simple melody plays quietly. JEFFERSON sleeps like a baby, and looks like a baby. RYAN enters, gentler than we've seen him. He sits beside the bed in a rocking chair. He opens up a children's book.
RYAN Once there was a little bunny who wanted to hold onto his job, and wanted to hold onto his house. And so he made his job his house and he made his house his job. And he knew that if your work is your home, no one can kick you out. And the bunny lived there for many many years. And there were friend bunnies and asshole bunnies and girl bunnies. And when the girl bunny smiled he felt like crying and everytime he'd call her house her cat would pick up and everytime he'd pet her cat her cell phone would ring and everytime she got a text he'd know it was some other bunny man and everytime she'd poke out her response he'd know she had slept with him. And at night he would imagine the bunny who she texted and how much stronger and richer he was. And none of the bunnies knew what to say to each other or how to ask anything, so they'd just give each other names. Joe the Lover. Sally the Naysayer. Jimmy the Cobbler. Alexandra the Great. Frank the Confused.
Suddenly, the lights shift, and the kitchen is back to normal. RYAN and JEFFERSON are wearing business clothes, and RYAN is eating lasagna. There is no trace of the bedspread or the mobile.
RYAN I'm gonna miss eating this when it runs out.
JEFFERSON I'm sure.
RYAN I was right by the way. Amy's pregnant. She sent me a text.
JEFFERSON Oh, dude, congrats man really wow really congrats.
RYAN I've never fucked a pregnant girl before.
JEFFERSON Cool man, that'll be cool.
RYAN You spend too much time in here. You like live in here.
If the boss sees you in here all the time you're gonna be -
JEFFERSON Yeah. You know I should go close some deals. I should.
RYAN You gotta take a bite of this man.
JEFFERSON No man. You know I don't eat leftovers from people who... you know that.
RYAN Take a bite man, you don't have to get all scaredy scared.
JEFFERSON thinks about it. RYAN hands him a fork. JEFFERSON gathers a bite with the fork, and slowly eats it.
JEFFERSON Wow. That's uh. That's uh. Really good.
RYAN I told you. Jefferson the Doubter.
JEFFERSON exits the kitchen. RYAN keeps eating. RYAN opens the fridge, takes a couple more containers out and begins opening them. He takes his suit jacket off. He rolls his sleeves up. Blackout.
End of Play