Mondays (Quick One-Act Play)

Mondays

SCENE 1

SETTING: MICHAEL’s house.

MICHAEL’s alarm clock goes off at 5:30 am.  Light shines into MICHAEL’s eyes causing discomfort. Rushes to get dressed and forgets tie.

MICHAEL goes to the kitchen to get a glass of milk.  Pours milk into glass, but glass falls over as he pours. Shit! Milk is all over MICHAEL’s jacket.

MICHAEL goes back to his room to change into a new jacket.  Can’t find the jacket. Looks at his dresser and finds receipt from dry cleaners. Forced to wear dirty suit.

MICHAEL goes to pour another glass of milk, but the container is empty. He goes to make toast.  The ends of the bread are all that’s left.  Throws bread in garbage.

MICHAEL goes to the living room to find his briefcase. Can’t find it.  Remembers he left it in the car.

MICHAEL grabs his keys, locks the front door, opens his car door, finds his bag.

MICHAEL starts his car, but realizes he left his phone charging on the dresser.

MICHAEL turns the car off and goes to unlock the front door, but realizes he left the keys in his car. Goes back to his car and realizes he locked the keys in his car.

MICHAEL goes around back and grabs the spare key, unlocks front door, runs upstairs, grabs his phone, finds an extra set of keys, locks the door behind him, gets in his car, goes to work.

MICHAEL sighs —Mondays.

Cigarettes

MATT: 25 years old

GINA: 24 years old

 Cigarettes

SETTING: Stuck in bumper to bumper traffic on the LIE.  MATT is behind the wheel. GINA is in the passenger seat. A man smoking cigarettes in the car in front of them repeatedly drops smoked cigarettes out of his window.

GINA

Wow, this traffic is awful Matt. I told you we should’ve stayed on the service road.

MATT

No you didn’t. You said you were getting tired of stopping at all the red lights.

GINA

Yeah, but that doesn’t mean you should’ve gotten off.

MATT

Well what did you want me to do?

GINA

(beat.) I don’t know.

MATT remains silent.

How much longer until the next exit? We should probably get off.

MATT

Sign said another mile.

GINA

This traffic’s really stressing me out. I don’t know how much longer I—

MATT

Just turn the radio on! Please. Put whatever you want on!

GINA

Chill out, Matt! Traffic isn’t even moving. We’re going to be here for a long time.

Person in car in front drops a cigarette out the window.

MATT

(To himself) I could really use one of those.

GINA

One of what?

MATT

Huh?

GINA

Didn’t you just say something?

MATT

The person in front of us dropped a cigarette out his window.

GINA

Okay.

MATT

I want one.

GINA

Why? I thought you quit. You quit, right? Why would you—

MATT

Cause I’m stressed out.

GINA

From the traffic?

MATT

(beat.) Yeah.

GINA

Am I stressing you out?

MATT

(beat.) No.

GINA

Don’t lie to me, Matt. I’m stressing you out, aren’t I? Just tell me and I’ll stop. I don’t want to stress you out. I’m just trying to pass the time because we really aren’t getting anywhe—

MATT

STOP! Jesus Christ, stop! Stop talking for five goddamn minutes, please!

(GINA stops talking, crosses her arms.)

Thank you. Let’s just listen to the radio and not talk for a little while.

GINA

(GINA turns on radio. Keeps music low.) (after a couple beats) That was really rude of you.

(MATT is about to explode. Can’t fake it.)

Don’t get angry at me. You’re the one that yelled first.

MATT

(MATT sighs and watches another cigarette fall from the car in front.) We really haven’t gone anywhere.

GINA

(beat.) Am I allowed to speak?

MATT

If you want.

GINA

Are you sure? I don’t want to upset you again.

MATT

Gina.

GINA

Matt.

MATT

Just tell me what you have to say!

GINA

Don’t fucking yell at me!

MATT

Alright—sorry. (beat.) What did  you want to say?

GINA

(beat.) I, uh. I—I can’t remember.

MATT

Naturally.

(Another cigarette falls from the car in front. Matt grips the wheel tighter.)

(beat.) You know, that’s like, the third cigarette this guy just went through.

GINA

Okay, so?

MATT

It’s only been like five, ten minutes and we haven’t moved an inch.

GINA

What’s your point?

MATT

Why’s he so stressed out?

GINA

Who says he’s stressed out?

MATT

I don’t know. No one smokes that many cigarettes so quickly unless they’re stressed out.

GINA

Maybe he just enjoys smoking cigarettes.

MATT

No one enjoys it. Everyone I know that smokes hates the fact that they smoke. Even if it’s just one.

GINA

Maybe you can ask him. Get out of the car and ask him why he’s smoking so much.

MATT

Funny.

GINA

No, please. Go. Go ask him why. You want to know so badly, right?

MATT

I might know.

GINA

Oh yeah? Alright. Why’s he smoking so much?

MATT

He’s probably dealing with a sarcastic girlfriend that won’t shut up.

GINA

(beat.) Fuck you.

(Another cigarette falls from the car in front.)

Another one fell. You should do something about it.

MATT

Something has to be wrong with this guy.

GINA

Why does something have to be wrong with him?! He’s stuck in traffic, just like us. If he wants to smoke, let him smoke! What’s the big deal?

MATT

Maybe he’s stressed about something he did.

GINA

(sighs) Like what?

MATT

I don’t know. (beat.) Maybe he killed someone.

GINA

Matt, what the fuck’s wrong with you? Why would you assume he killed someone?

MATT

We live in a sick world. If I killed someone, got stuck in traffic, and had to put up with a sarcastic girlfriend, I’d be smoking just as many, if not more cigarettes than this guy.

GINA

I doubt he killed anyone.

(Another cigarette falls out the window.)

MATT

Five.

GINA

Five what?

MATT

Cigarettes. Five cigarettes. Something bad must have happened.

GINA

WHO CARES?

MATT

I care! I don’t want to be stuck behind a murderer.

GINA

He didn’t murder anyone!

MATT

You don’t know that!

GINA

What makes you think he killed someone?

MATT

Just look at him! He looks like the type of person that would kill someone.

GINA

No he doesn’t! He seems like a normal guy.

MATT

(beat.) Fine, maybe he didn’t kill anyone. (beat.) But he definitely robbed someone.

(GINA attempts to turn the radio up, blatantly ignoring MATT.)

No, don’t! (MATT lowers volume.) Just hear me out.

GINA

You don’t know this guy! You don’t know anything about him. Stop acting like you know him. He’s just a random guy sitting in traffic, just like us. Are we murderers or robbers because we’re also sitting in traffic?

MATT

Gina—

GINA

NO! Is the guy behind us thinking that we’re murderers? NO! He’s just talking on the phone like any other normal person. If he is thinking about us, he probably thinks we’re just an average couple fighting over something serious, but what he doesn’t realize is that we’re arguing over nothing. Nothing!

MATT

I’m glad you don’t give a shit about our well-being, Gina. When we die, or get our car stolen, you’re to blame!

GINA

(beat.) Excuse me?

MATT

When we die, I blame you.

GINA

Get out of the fucking car.

MATT

I’m driving! What are you saying?

GINA

Get out and ask this guy why he’s smoking or I’m going to.

MATT

You’re not getting out, and neither am I.

GINA

Watch me (unbuckles seatbelt).

MATT

Okay…

GINA

(beat.) Fuck! (puts belt back on.)

MATT

What?

GINA

I can’t do it. He does look kind of weird. (Another cigarette drops.) Maybe his girlfriend cheated on him.

MATT

What? No, that’s stupid. Why would he be smoking?

GINA

Because she just told him. That on top of being parked on the LIE would drive anyone crazy.

MATT

Did you ever cheat on me?

GINA

Huh?

MATT

Cheat on me. Did you ever cheat on me?

GINA

No! What the fuck! I’d never—

MATT

You cheated on me! How could you cheat on me?! I always knew it. Deep down, I knew you—

GINA

Stop being so fucking stupid, Matt! Put the radio back on; you know I’d never do that!

MATT

(Puts volume back up.)

(1010 WINS Broadcaster: This just in: The 7-Eleven on Francis Lewis Boulevard was robbed. The man shot and killed the owner of the store and was seen running out of the store with money and a pack of cigarettes. If anyone has any information, please call the police immediately.)

(MATT looks at the car in front and then smiles at GINA. Another cigarette falls from the car.)

GINA

What?

MATT

(beat.) Told you. (Starts Laughing to himself.)

GINA

(Slaps MATT.) Don’t laugh!

(beat.) (Nervously laughs together with MATT. Another cigarette falls.)

Alive

You’re standing in a field and there’s a tree in the distance. It’s summer and all of the leaves have grown. You get to the field early in the day, so the rays of sunlight are visible. Birds are chirping, trying to find bugs for their young. You can’t see them from where you’re standing, but you know there are bugs climbing up the trunk and flying between the branches, doing everything they can to fulfill their niche: reproduce and act as a source of food. You wonder, “What time does everything wake up? Is it the same day after day?”

The water from the last rain is soaked through the roots, helping the tree produce the leaves and flowers its fruit will grow from. The birds know the tree isn’t just a source of food; it’s home. They built their nests for convenience and protection. They need to hide from the hawks flying overhead, waiting for its prey to slip up. The birds know they can’t go too far because they will get eaten or leave their young vulnerable.

The grass in the field is up to your waist and with each step you take, bugs fly in your face. You find it annoying at first, but you realize there’s life everywhere in the field. Bees pollinating the field, travelling from flower to flower in order to please their queen and keep their population strong. Then, you realize there’s more than grass in the field. Wildflowers compete with the grass for energy and nutrients in the soil, but they both thrive in their environment by making an effort to use only what they need to survive. Without the flowers, the bees can’t thrive. Without the grass, the birds in the tree can’t raise their young.

You look at the sky and see the hawk flying in circles, catching the updrafts to make it difficult for prey to spot it. You wonder if you’re being watched and wonder what would happen if the hawk came down and attacked you. Would it hurt? Would you kill it? How? You spot a rabbit eating wildflowers and begin to worry if the hawk sees the rabbit. Realizing the hawk needs to eat and bring food home to its young, you accept the fact that death is vital to life. The hawk drops its altitude and you know for a fact, it’s going to get the rabbit, but the rabbit is full and runs back to the tree line, knowing if it stays any longer, he’s leaving himself vulnerable. It lives to see another day.

Looking down at your watch, you realize it’s only been twenty minutes, but it feels like an eternity. It’s a Saturday, so people don’t have work, but you wonder why no one is outside. You hear something you’re not familiar with. You can’t put your finger to it, but you know it, you just haven’t heard it recently. It’s quiet. You hear how quiet it is. The only noises you hear come from the birds chirping and the wind blowing.

The wind blows everything in the field: the birds, trees, grass, flowers, hawks, and yourself. The wind pushes bugs out of the tree for the birds, causes nuts to fall from the trees, lifts the hawk into the air, and helps the bees pollinate the other plants. It also keeps you cool, so you forget it’s summer. Sometimes, gusts will blow everything at the same time, making the field look like a wave in the ocean.

A boy and his mother come up to you and the boy asks, “Why are you looking at the empty field?” You see a smile on the mother’s face. The boy continues and says, “There’s nothing in field and the grass is too tall to play in.” The mother then asks, “Did you lose something?” You tell them no and that you’re just looking, so they walk away. Now, you’re sad because you couldn’t share your experience, but you look forward to doing this again tomorrow.

Spilled Milk

I’m already late for work, but at this point, I don’t care. My stomach’s empty and I need something to eat now. I look through the cupboards and there’s nothing but cereal; fuck cereal, I want bacon and eggs. The cereal I have isn’t even good either. Corn Pops? Why on Earth would I buy Corn Pops? What am I, twelve? I’m twenty one years old; I need a man’s breakfast. I look in the fridge for bacon and nothing’s there. The eggs have gone bad too. If it’s a week past the expiration date, I’ll give it a shot. Any more than that and my breakfast is ruined. Dammit! Two weeks past. That’s going straight in the garbage. What about sausage? Do I have any sausage? No, of course not. Corn Pops it is, I guess.

I take out the box of Corn Pops and grab the milk from the fridge. After the first bite, I realize the milk in my cereal is actually half and half. I plan to live past fifty years old, so I dump the cereal in the garbage, grab the gallon of milk from the fridge, and then realize I left my jacket in my room. I need the jacket downstairs. I cannot forget the jacket. It’s winter and I need to look good for my meeting with the boss. I put the milk on the counter and run upstairs to grab the jacket.

When I get back down, the milk is on the floor. What the fuck happened? How? Why? All these questions are going through my mind. It’s not even nine o’ clock and my day is starting out horribly. I go to grab some paper towels, but there’s none left. Naturally, they’re the first item on the shopping list. Now, I have to run upstairs, again, and grab a towel from the bathroom.

The towels are in the wash downstairs, so all I have to clean the mess is an old t-shirt used for wiping dust. It gets most of the milk off the floor, but now there’s dust all over the place, and there’s still some milk left over. What time is it? Nine thirty? I don’t have time for this shit; I’m already a half hour late! It doesn’t matter at this point because boss is going to rip me a new one whether I’m ten minutes late or an hour late.

Now that there’s no milk left, my only option is half and half. I can’t eat them plain and there’s no way I’m using water. I’m right back to where I started and life couldn’t be worse. All I wanted was bacon and eggs and now, I might be fired over spilled milk. I woke up this morning thinking today’s the day I get my shit together, but obviously, I still have no idea what I’m doing. Maybe I should just go to work now.

Where’s my jacket? I just had it here a second ago! Come on, man, how can I lose my jacket? I went upstairs to get it so I wouldn’t forget, and now I can’t find it. I look in the living room, but it’s not there. Maybe I hung it up by the door. Nope, there’s nothing on the coat hanger. Why wouldn’t I put it on the coat hanger? That’s what they’re made for, right? Where the hell is my jacket! Did I actually grab it? Maybe I just imagined getting it. No, if I didn’t actually get it, I wouldn’t have started eating my cereal.

Wait, I didn’t even get to eat the Corn Pops. I spilled milk on the floor. Oh no! My jacket’s in the milk! How did that happen? That’s my only jacket and it’s cold out. Can I still wear it? Not really, but maybe no one will notice the wet mark on the back. It’s going to smell though when it dries, and I can’t go to the meeting if I smell. I get in my car and on my way to work, I remember the deli next to the office opens at eight.