copyright © 2004 Todd Ristau


by Todd Wm. Ristau

VOICE #1: Holy crap!

VOICE #2: What?

VOICE #1: Did you see that waitress?

VOICE #2: Yeah, the one with the short pig tails?

VOICE #1: Yeah, but I wouldntí call her the one with the pig tails.

VOICE #2: What would you call her?

VOICE #1: Iíd call her the one with the fucking great legs.

VOICE #2: Oh.

VOICE #1: What is with you?

VOICE #2: What do you mean?

VOICE #1: Weíre out, we have the wiveís permission but we dontí have the wives, and all you can do is stare at your beer.

VOICE #2: I got a lot on my mind.

VOICE #1: And weíre here to lighten the load on our repsective minds, arenít we?

VOICE #2: Thatís the idea.

VOICE #1: So, shake it off, drink it off, but, dude, for Godís sake, knock it off!

VOICE #2: Sorry. Here, next round's on me.

VOICE #1: That doesnít make up for it, but I donít turn down the peace offering.

VOICE #2: Maybe if this place werenít so full of young people.

VOICE #1: Itís mostly full of young women, thatís the point of coming here.

VOICE #2: Youíre not going home with any of them, so whatís the point?

VOICE #1: Who says Iím not going home with any of them.

VOICE #2: First of all, I do, second of all, they do, and third of all, you do.

VOICE #1: Well, the ring goes around your finger, not around your eyes. Looking keeps me young.

VOICE #2: Looking keeps you horny. Donít you ever think that maybe by putting so much value on what you donít have you devalue what you do have?

VOICE #1: Thatís it, you owe me two beers AND money for the juke box.

VOICE #2: Fine.

VOICE #1: What the hell is wrong with you, man?

VOICE #2: I guess Iím just feeling my oats.

VOICE #1: Why do you do that?

VOICE #2: What?

VOICE #1: Use all them old man phrases. ďFeeling my oatsĒ ďskinflintĒ and crap like that. I mean they arenít just old man phrases like weíre old men, theyíre like old man phrases from the 1930ís for fuck's sake. Nobody who talks like that above ground.

VOICE #2: Itís just the way I talk, ok?

VOICE #1: No, its not ok. You sad sack around--

VOICE #2: Thatís an old man phrase.

VOICE #1: What is?

VOICE #2: Sad Sack. Heís a WW2 character.

VOICE #1: The hell it'S from World War Two.

VOICE #2: Ask that 19 year old over there if she has any idea what the hell a sad sack is. Sheíll probably think youíre coming on to her and asking her for a pity fuck because you have a "sad sack" that hasnít been used in six years.

VOICE #1: Go fuck yourself.

VOICE #2: Iím just saying, I didnít come out with you to pretend we were in college or something.

VOICE #1: Why did you come out with me?

VOICE #2: Because, like I said, I have a lot on my mind and I wanted a distraction...youíre the most distracted guy I know, so I added 2 and 2 and got 46.

VOICE #1: Iím only 42.

VOICE #2: Iím thinking of getting a divorce.

VOICE #1: What is wrong with this picture? The guy who wonít let his eyes cheat on his wife wants a divorce?

VOICE #2: I love her, Iím not thinking about leaving her because I stopped loving her or want to be unfaithful.

VOICE #1: Jesus, youíre serious, arenít you?

VOICE #2: Yeah. Dead serious. Thatís just it. It took a lot of thinking to consider divorce over the other option.

VOICE #1: What other option? Desertion? (laughs) Murder?

VOICE #2: Suicide.

VOICE #1: That is not fucking funny.

VOICE #2: Murder is a joke and suicide isnít?

VOICE #1: Are you joking?

VOICE #2: About what?

VOICE #1: About the suicicide crap you dumb fuck!

VOICE #2: You know, you should never volunteer at the crisis intevention hot-line, you really suck at this.

VOICE #1: Go fuck yourself. This is not fucking funny, asshole.

VOICE #2: I know it isnít.

VOICE #1: My father committed suicide, I take this shit very seriously.

VOICE #2: I know, thatís why I called you.

VOICE #1: Why...I mean why on earth are you thinking of killing yourself?

VOICE #2: Iím not.

VOICE #1: Iím going to fucking take this beer bottle and ram it down your throat if you donít start talking sense.

VOICE #2: I told you, I already decided against suicide. Iím on the divorce track now.

VOICE #1: Ok, then. Jesus, you had me spooked. What made you decide to not kill yourself?

VOICE #2: The autopsy.

VOICE #1: What?

VOICE #2: Somebody told me all suicides get autopsies and they described in detail the process and I couldnít imagine my brain on a roast beef shaver.

VOICE #1: Iím eating beer nuts here.

VOICE #2: Sorry, but you asked. Iíd rather live, but I canít keep living like this.

VOICE #1: Like what? I still donít get it, what is so fucked up with your marriage? You got a great wife, two kids, dog...

VOICE #2: I know. Everything worked out just like I planned it.

VOICE #1: Ok, so what is the problem?

VOICE #2: I feel like Iím finished. I got to where I wanted to go and now there isnít anything else but waiting to die. I got impatient.

VOICE #1: You are a fucking nut case. People kill themselves because they canít get to where you are and you want to kill yourself because you did?

VOICE #2: I donít want to kill myself, I told you.

VOICE #1: Ok, you want a divorce.

VOICE #2: Thatís right. Itís not fair to her and the kids to have this dead thing walking through each day like a zombie. I need to be reborn, start again.

VOICE #1: Start again.

VOICE #2: Yeah. Iím thinking Seattle. Or maybe in the south. Someplace as different from here as can be.

VOICE #1: Youíre serious about this.

VOICE #2: Yup.

VOICE #1: Wow. Ok. So, it sounds like you made up your mind already. What do you need me for?

VOICE #2: I need you to tell them. Iím not going home tonight. Iím starting over right now. I want you to tell those people who used to be my family that I love them, but it has to be like this...and that if they love me, theyíll let me go.

VOICE #1: Like that fucking butterfly on the 70ís poster.

VOICE #2: Yeah. (rising to leave) Like that. (putting a wad of money on the bar) Except Iím not coming back.

VOICE #1: Can I call you?

VOICE #2: Sorry, pal, Iím divorcing you too. Tonightís tab is on me. Enjoy the scenery...watching it go past is the best way to know youíre still on your way somewhere.

(lights out)

This was one of a series of writing excericises for Douglas Scott Hessler during my first year of the Screenwriting and Film program at Hollins University. The assignment was to go home and "listen to the voices" in your head, writing down what they said for 30 minutes each night, then print out the transcript, delete the file from your computer, and seal the printout up in an envelope. At the end of the semester we got all of them back.

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