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Play 11: Gary's Family Photos

by Joseph Frost

a play written for The 31 Plays in 31 Days Project

Draft August 11, 2012

Attic Scripts 4550 Normandy Dr Jackson, MS 39206 atticscripts@hotmail.com

A man sits at a small kitchen table that has only one chair. He has an open laptop in front of him. A woman stands upstage of him. A small child sits on the floor. WOMAN I never knew what you thought of me. GARY I always thought well of you. WOMAN But I never knew what you thought. She moves around him. It started... Sure did. It was work. Work? GARY WOMAN GARY WOMAN

GARY I hadnt been there long. And? There was a woman... Alice. Yes. From reception. WOMAN GARY WOMAN

GARY She... she came by my office area... WOMAN

Your cubicle.

GARY Yes. She came by my cubicle. never thought of before.

And she asked me something Id

2. WOMAN Why you didnt have any pictures of your family. GARY Honestly, I never even thought of it. Never even thought. I was at work to work. WOMAN GARY

WOMAN Most people, they have a job, and they think about home. They think about their family. I was at work to work. And. And what? And. Came home. GARY WOMAN GARY WOMAN GARY Got some pictures.

Took them in.

WOMAN Did you show them to Alice? I cant remember. GARY

WOMAN Did you show them to Alice? I really cant. Did you show-Yes. GARY WOMAN

GARY Yes, thats why I took them in. WOMAN GARY

To show to Alice.

What is Alice to you? I dont understand--

3. WOMAN Why do you care what Alice thinks?

What is Alice to you?

GARY I dont care what Alice thinks. WOMAN You thought enough of what Alice thinks to go home and come back with pictures. Of your family. It wasnt about Alice. No? GARY WOMAN

GARY No. Once she pointed out that my cubicle looked so empty... it was the first time Id noticed it. Noticed what. The emptiness. WOMAN GARY

WOMAN So you showed Alice the pictures. GARY I put them in my office-Cubicle. WOMAN

GARY And I showed Alice the pictures. WOMAN You called her and told her to come by your cubicle. GARY The next time she walked by, she noticed them. WOMAN Did you like it when Alice noticed? GARY Umm... I dont know. Havent thought about it. about Alice. It was about the emptiness. Right. WOMAN It wasnt

4. GARY I liked having the pictures near me. I had one in a frame on the shelf, and one near my computer monitor. Just the two? At first. At first. Then... Then. Then I got some more. How many more? Five or six. Five? Six. Or six? WOMAN GARY WOMAN GARY WOMAN GARY WOMAN GARY WOMAN GARY

WOMAN Which ones did you have? Which ones? Which pictures? You already know this. I do. GARY WOMAN GARY

WOMAN I want to see if you know.

GARY They were pictures of us. I know. Which ones. WOMAN

5. GARY The picture of us a prom. Me in a tux, and you in the blue puffy gown. And there was the picture of us on the riverboat during the honeymoon. No wedding picture. No. Not yet. WOMAN

GARY I didnt take that one in until later. WOMAN Six.

I know.

The next five.

GARY Then I had the one of us in Orlando. One of us in front of the Gateway Arch. Riding horses. At a fancy restaurant. The one of us in the old timey clothes, like it was in the old west. That was fun. It was. WOMAN But that was only five. I was

GARY I think the sixth was an older one. High school. sitting in a beanbag chair, you were on my lap. Dont. Sorry. So then what. WOMAN GARY WOMAN

GARY Every couple of days. A new picture. It got harder and harder to come up with them. To find them. To bring them in. It was never a whole week without a new one. It was hard. Yes. Yeah. But I did it. (beat) People liked them. (beat) They liked you. They did. WOMAN GARY

WOMAN

6. GARY WOMAN GARY WOMAN

But after a while... Yes. They asked about... Yes.

GARY Why didnt you come to company events? Why didnt you ever call in? Why hadnt anyone ever met you? Why? WOMAN

GARY I couldnt answer them. I wanted to make up some excuse. Something really good. Like you work long hours at the hospital or something. A hospital? Or something. WOMAN GARY I dont know.

WOMAN You couldnt tell them the truth? A long silence. GARY (to the child) Dont you have someplace to be? WOMAN (to the child) Stay where you are. (to Gary) You dont get out that easy. You call this easy? GARY Silence. What else? WOMAN

7. GARY

Huh?

WOMAN What else were we doing in the other pictures? Mostly vacation stuff. Vacations. Like where. GARY WOMAN

GARY People really liked the ones from when we went to LA. Did they. WOMAN

GARY I always liked the skiing photos. didnt say much about those. All those vacations.

Lots of those.

People

WOMAN How did we ever afford it?

GARY We flew a lot of standby. And I usually knew a cousin that could get us a deal. WOMAN And no one questioned it. Nope. GARY A moment. WOMAN I wish I could have picked some of our vacation spots. Hm? GARY

WOMAN You always got to choose our vacation spots. have chosen some. GARY Where would you have gone? I love the beach. WOMAN

I wish I could

8. GARY WOMAN

You do? Yes.

GARY I... I wouldnt want to take bikini shots of you into work with me. No? You ashamed of me? bikini? Its not that. Then what? You know. I do. WOMAN You think I wouldnt look good in a GARY WOMAN GARY WOMAN She crosses away. GARY I never meant to hurt you. No. You didnt. WOMAN

GARY And it wasnt out of any kind of malice. really wasnt. I know.

Or ill will.

It

WOMAN Hey, it doesnt really matter to me. GARY WOMAN What do I care? GARY

It doesnt. No. Not really.

What do you care?

WOMAN No. Its just... pictures. Right? is it?

It isnt anything else,

9. GARY WOMAN So what do I care? GARY

No. No. Right.

Thought youd care. Not me. Who? Them.

WOMAN Im not the one whod care. GARY

WOMAN You lied to them. GARY WOMAN Woman goes to the table with a box full of photos. She dumps the photos on the table.

I didnt lie. Like hell you didnt.

This.

Is all a lie.

WOMAN (CONTD) GARY

I know it is.

WOMAN And it has nothing to do with me. (beat) You told them lies. I didnt tell them... You did. Yeah. GARY

WOMAN You brought in the pictures. GARY

WOMAN You showed them the pictures. Yeah. GARY

10. WOMAN You let them believe... a lie. But I didnt lie. GARY I never said that... that you...

WOMAN Were your wife? (finds photo) A wedding photo? (another) Honeymoon? (another) L.A. (another) White water rafting. (another) A Christmas card? GARY Its not an actual Christmas card. Its the photo from one. It was for just our family. Thats why I didnt send them to anyone at work. Thats why? I... Youre a liar. Im leaving. WOMAN GARY WOMAN (she backs off) GARY Ill fix this. WOMAN GARY You just cant.

No! No. Wait. You cant go. No? No. You cant.

Wait.

I will.

I promise.

WOMAN Ive had enough of this. GARY You think I havent had enough of this? WOMAN You brought this on yourself.

11. GARY Dont you think I know that?! Theres nothing I can do now. Im stuck with this. Were stuck with it. We are. You cant go. Woman turns to go. GARY (CONTD) Youre not going anywhere. (beat) Cant you see? We have a child. What? Look. We dont have a child. We do. WOMAN GARY WOMAN GARY Gary pulls a picture out of his pocket. He puts it on the table. GARY (CONTD) Now, you can think what you want of me. I know you dont love me. You dont respect me. You blame me for all of this. And that may be true. But Ill tell you something else thats true. You couldnt leave if you absolutely hated me. Because I made you. Youre not going anywhere. I made you with my own two hands. You made me. program. WOMAN With a computer and a photo-manipulation She goes nowhere.

GARY And now, we have a history. And we have a story. And we have a future. Our lives have progressed. Its the next logical step. The child reaches out to Woman. I dont believe you. WOMAN

GARY You can see for yourself. WOMAN So Im supposed to be this for you now?

12. GARY You have somewhere else to go?

Be my guest.

She goes nowhere. She kneels down in front of the child. Where did... WOMAN

GARY Easy. Plenty of photos of kids. And much easier to make them look similar enough that people wont ask too many questions. It actually works better. She reaches out and touches the child. Aw... GARY (CONTD)

(beat) We should take a family picture. She pulls back. So this is it? What? This is it. Well, yeah. WOMAN GARY WOMAN GARY I suppose so.

WOMAN Im a woman cobbled together from other pictures and processed to make me look the same. Youve cycled me through a series of generic memories and made me a history and carved me out a future path and I have... nothing... to say about it. I didnt say that. But its true. No. Its not. that youd... GARY WOMAN GARY What do you... I mean... is there something A long moment.

13. WOMAN This is what you think of me. Woman turns her back to Gary and the child. The child comes up behind Woman and embraces her around the neck. Gary looks at them a moment. clicking away on the laptop. He clicks hard. Lights out. He begins

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