A simple question with a long answer.  A one-act screenplay based on a true story

Image courtesy Pixabay.

Image courtesy Pixabay.

SCENE:

A kitchen, every surface covered with diced, sliced, or whole veggies, some still steaming and fragrant from the grill, some still raw. 

Michael, Karen’s husband of 35 years, enters through the kitchen door, stage left. Dressed in colorful cycling gear, helmet in hand, he glistens in sweat, face red, dirt streaked on one calf, hair matted to his head. He looks tired but jubilant.

Karen stands at the kitchen sink, center stage. The afternoon sun shines through the spotless windows behind her, giving her hair a golden glow, her dewy complexion complimented by the soft pink flush of exertion. Trim and tan, she wipes a loose strand of silky blonde hair from her smooth forehead with the back of her youthful hand as she leans over to kiss her husband.* 

 

KAREN

How was your ride, Dear?

 

MICHAEL

Good. I did 60 miles. I felt strong, no muscle cramping.

 

KAREN

That’s great! 

 

[Karen turns back to her station at the sink, while Michael stands near the door, observing.] 

 

MICHAEL

So, you’ve been treating me better lately, y’know, cooking a lot for me. And stuff. **

 

KAREN    

Well, it’s interesting that you mention that. I actually thought about that exact thing. I do think I’ve been particularly understanding and supportive lately. 

[Pause]

I thought you might be suspecting I was having an affair or something. 

 

[Both laugh heartily, even the the thought of an affair after 35 years being hysterical.]         

 

KAREN

But then I thought to myself, why is this different? I know I’m being super supportive lately. What’s that all about?

Well, I did feel better today, so maybe I'm just more positive in general, and I see more potential for me to do things on my own - things that are important for me. That might be some of it. 

 

[Pause. Michael wipes his forehead, kicks off his cycling shoes.]

 

Plus, it’s a Sunday. My blog for the week is done way ahead of time, and I happen to have a start on next week’s blog, too, so I decided today I can take the day off from writing and do something different.

Besides, we happened to have extra veggies, and I figured I’d grill them all at the same time so you’d have them for lunches, rather than me having to grill again later in the week.

 

[Pause. Michael scratches his head, unzips his jersey.]

 

But also, I’ve been trying to recognize your priorities. I’ve been making a     conscious effort to do that lately. You helped my create my front garden, dragging that limb from over the hill, and moving the huge rock, and putting up the gates. I really appreciate that. You helped me with my creative outlet - gardening.

Your current creative outlet, on the other hand, is riding, and projects like making a gate for under the deck. So even if it’s not a priority for me, I want to respect that desire and give you room to do that and support you for the time it takes to do that.

 

[Pause.  Michael looks stupefied.]

 

KAREN

You know, Dear, never to expect a simple answer from me when you ask a simple question, right? 

 

[Both doubled-over laughter.] 

 

KAREN

Oh My God, this is a blog for sure.

 

MICHAEL

Can I go shower now?

 

THE END

 

*Hey, it’s a screenplay, I can write my character any way I want.

** Technically not a question. And for the record, I always treat him nice. Sometimes I’m just nicer than others. 

Please note: This blog looks much more authentic in American Typewriter font, but this site doesn't support it. You have to use your imagination.