A/B Scene 1 (Longform)

B is seated, reading a newspaper. A enters.

A: May I join you?

B: I beg your pardon?

A: I said, may I join you?

B: Oh, I’d really prefer to be alone. If you don’t mind.

A: Ordinarily I wouldn’t ask, it’s just that the other seats are all taken. I promise, if you let me stay, I won’t bother you at all.

B: Well…all right.
(goes back to reading newspaper)

A: Oh, thank you so much.
(sits. long pause)
Thank you again.

B: What?

A: Thank you again. For letting me sit here.

B: Oh. Yeah. Don’t mention it.

A: Actually, I’d prefer to be alone myself, so please don’t talk to me.

B: What?

A: I said, don’t talk to me.

B: Oh. Beat.

A: I don’t know what I’m doing here.
(pause. then louder)
I said, I don’t know what I’m doing here!

B: What?

A: I mean, I don’t usually come to places like this. It just seemed like a good idea. Do you come here often?

B: No. Beat.

A: Are you married?

B: Are you talking to me?

A: Yes. Are you married?

B: Yes, I am.

A: I thought so. Most people who come to places like this are married. Isn’t that odd?

B: Hmm… Beat.

A: How long?

B: What?

A: How long?

B: How long what?

A: How long have you been married?

B: Six years. Look, I–

A: Six years! Oh my! Six years, really? That’s a long time! I never would’ve guessed. Really. Imagine that.

B: Hmm… Beat.

A: Do you have any children?

B: Yes! Yes I have children, I have two children. Yes I’m married, I’ve been married six years, no, I don’t come here often, and don’t worry, I won’t talk to you!… Is there anything else?!!

B stares at A. Long pause. A is silent. B goes back to reading the newspaper. Beat.

A: Are you upset with me?

B: Upset! Upset! All I want to do is come here after work and sit down, relax, read my paper for a few minutes before I go home to face my nagging wife and screaming brats, and you! You come prancing in here with your engaging little smile, worm your way into my space, and proceed to make my life miserable with your stupid, brainless attempts at making inane conversation for God knows why! And then!! And then, you have the colossal nerve, the unmitigated gall, the shameless, brazen, Cheeky Damn Brass Tacks to ask me if I’m upset with you?!!
Yes! Yes!! Yes I’m up set with you!!! Maybe it’s my own fault. Maybe I shouldn’t be “Mr. Nice-Guy.” Maybe when someone asks me to do something I don’t want to do I should just tell them to get lost! But right now, right now it’s too late for that. Right now I’m going to sit down, right here, and read my newspaper. And you’re going to sit, right there, and not say anything, do you hear? Not Say Anything!

B stares at A. Long pause. A is silent.
B goes back to the newspaper and gradually calms down.

A: So how old are your children?

B screams, jumps up, drops the newspaper, and runs off.
A shrugs shoulders, picks up the newspaper, and begins reading.

C enters.

C: Excuse me. Do you mind if I join you?

A: Oh, I’d really prefer to be alone. If you don’t mind.