[MATT ENTERS the opposite side of the stage and crosses toward two chairs. He places his suitcase behind the chairs. He looks up at the sky as he stuffs his wallet into his back pocket. He sits down in the driver's chair. Suddenly he gets up and crosses around to the passenger chair. He sits there for a moment until he becomes uncomfortable. He fishes his wallet out of his back pocket and opens it. Confused, he pulls out a handful of bills—it is obviously not his money. He quickly counts through the bills and is impressed by the figure. He chuckles in amazement. He folds the money back into his wallet and returns it to his pocket. He sits there for a moment. Then abruptly, he gets out of the chair and walks toward the wings. JANINE ENTERS with her small suitcase and the photo album. She briskly walks past MATT toward the chairs.]

JANINE: [Terse] Ready?

MATT: I'm not a charity case.


MATT: I don't care how worthless you think I am. [JANINE has no idea where this is headed and it shows.] Back there—did you… You cashed your check today. Right?

JANINE: Yeah. And I filled up the car earlier, too. We're all set. [MATT crosses toward her and then stops.] Did you change your mind?

MATT: And what did you do with the money?

JANINE: Like it's any of your business what I do with my money.

MATT: It is my business if you give me money…because you feel sorry for me.

JANINE: I just said I'm not giving you any money. Didn't you hear me? I'll drive you to Vegas, but get off my case about giving you anything else. You pushed the limit with the whole ring issue—

MATT: I'm not asking you for money!

JANINE: And I'm not giving you any! What is wrong with you?

MATT: I'm just saying I'm not worthless.


JANINE: Jesus Christ, I'm in the car.

MATT: So you don't have to put money in my wallet to make me feel bad.

JANINE: Trust me, that's the last thing I'd ever do.


MATT: What? You didn't…?

[She places her suitcase and photo album behind the chairs. She sits in the driver's chair, checks her purse, and then looks impatiently at him. With some confusion, he crosses to her and slides into the passenger chair. JANINE starts the car and lets it run for a second. Then she shuts it off.]

JANINE: I'm tired. You drive.

[They get out of their chairs and change places. Before he starts the car:]

MATT: If someone bought you something, like a gift, what would be the best gift in the world?

JANINE: What are you doing?

MATT: It's a question.

JANINE: Why? You win the lotto?

MATT: No. I'm just saying.


JANINE: What are we talking here? Like a car or a yacht or…

MATT: No, a real gift. You know? One you could wrap. Is there anything that would make you happy and keep you happy? For days. Like…a dress…or…a necklace or…a pottery wheel.

JANINE: A pottery wheel?

MATT: No—just—anything. What makes you happy? Do you know? Do you remember being happy? Ever? For a whole day? Because there are people who are. And I'm just asking: Do you know what it is that would make you really happy? Because I don't. I can't remember being really happy. [Beat. He digs his wallet out of his pocket.] I don't know. Maybe you'd rather have a dog or something around the house. They're pretty good for companionship. But I thought if you're needing—

[MATT opens his wallet. It's empty.]


MATT: Nothing.

[MATT searches the wallet for the missing money.]

JANINE: You forget your driver's license?

MATT: No. No. Just forget it.

[MATT starts the car.]

JANINE: Last chance…

[MATT stares straight ahead.]


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Copyright © 2001 by Douglas Hill

CAUTION: Professionals and amateurs are hereby warned that Roulette is subject to a royalty. It is fully protected under the copyright laws of the United States of America, and of all countries covered by the International Copyright Union (including the Dominion of Canada and the rest of the British Commonwealth), and of all countries covered by the Pan-American Copyright convention and the Universal Copyright Convention, and of all countries with which the United States has reciprocal copyright relations. All rights, including professional and amateur stage performing, motion picture, recitation, lecturing, public reading, radio broadcasting, television, video or sound taping, all other forms of mechanical or electronic reproduction, such as information storage and retrieval systems and photocopying, and the rights of translation into foreign languages, are strictly reserved.

Inquiries concerning all rights should be addressed to the author at Douglas@dhdrama.com

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