by: Douglas Hill






[MATT is driving the car. JANINE has the photo album open on her lap. She pulls out a photo.]

JANINE: This is a good one of you. [She throws it out the window and turns the page. Beat. She selects another photo.] This one I can't decide if I want to keep. It's your mother before she lost all that weight. When was that? '96? '95? [No response.] When did we go to her house for the crafts fair?

MATT: I don't know.

[MATT reaches down to turn on the radio.]

JANINE: My car—my radio—get your hand away from the dial. [MATT puts his hand in his lap. JANINE pulls out a photo.] Remember? The time she slapped you? God, I thought we'd die laughing. You said something mean about Patrick Swayze in Ghost. Remember? And your nose was bleeding? Was that in '95? [Silence. MATT starts to whistle.] Fuck it.

[JANINE throws the photo out the window. She turns the page and pulls out another photograph. Very carefully, she tears part of the picture off and throws it out the window. She replaces the torn picture into the album. MATT continues to whistle. JANINE reaches down and turns on the radio. And up-beat "rockin" song comes on. MATT continues to whistle his own song. JANINE cranks open the volume. MATT keeps whistling. JANINE casually continues thumbing through the album. She pulls out another photo, very carefully. She holds it up so MATT can see. He stops whistling, looks at the photo briefly, and then shakes his head, "no." She puts it in his lap. After a moment, MATT crumples up the photo and throws it out her window. JANINE closes the photo album and hits him with it on the arm. He doesn't respond. She hits him again. No response. She throws the entire photo album out the window. He doesn't respond. After sulking for a moment, she turns the radio off abruptly.]

JANINE: I hate that song.

MATT: You want me to turn around so you can go get—

JANINE: No, I don't want you to turn around. Just keep driving.

MATT: It'd only take us fifteen minutes…

JANINE: No, I do not want you to turn around and waste another fifteen minutes of my life! [Silence.] I can't believe you would throw out that picture. You don't have any other pictures of him, do you? [No response.] I didn't think so.

MATT: I think your gas gauge is broken.

JANINE: You and your Dad look just alike. I figured you'd be more attached to—

MATT: I'm serious about your gas gauge. You ought to have it checked.

JANINE: Oh yeah? Why?

MATT: It hasn't moved off "full" since we left the house. That was what—three hours ago?

JANINE: Oh. I just had the oil changed. We're probably getting better gas mileage now.

MATT: After three hours, I think it's broken.

JANINE: I don't care!

MATT: You'll at least want to have it looked at, once we reach Vegas. It'd be real dangerous driving home alone without it—

JANINE: All right! You're worried. I get it. Pull off at the next station and I'll put some more gas in.

MATT: We can probably go another hour or so. I'm not saying we have to stop now—

JANINE: I'm hungry. Is that all right with you? Can I get something to eat? Aren't you hungry? [No response.] Oh, you're still full of chips. I forgot. [Beat.] God, you're such a worry-wart. I can't wait to get rid of you. [She looks out her window and wipes her finger across her eye. To herself:] I should have brought my camera. This landscape is really… [She wipes her finger across her other eye.] Nothing. [She continues staring out the window.] How come we lived in the desert? Why didn't we ever move? [No response.] Sometimes I think about a bomb landing here and wiping out this entire area. All the years that nature spent to make Arizona look like it does and then a bomb could blow it all away. A mushroom cloud rising out of the Saguaro Forest. [MATT starts to smile.] I mean the desert is butt ugly, but it's so striking. It's so dramatic. I'd hate to lose it. [She sighs.] One nuclear bomb and this is all radioactive beach front property without the ocean. Which is probably a good thing for the fish. They wouldn't like it here, I'm sure.

[MATT chuckles quietly.]

MATT: [Quickly regaining his composure] I'm sorry.

JANINE: Yeah, well, I think you're stupid for not wanting anything permanent in your life. [JANINE looks back out the window.] How come every time we talk, you end up pissing me off? Why is that? [No response.] Like right now?


Back to Roulette Index

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

Home · Full-Length Plays · One-Act Plays · 10 Minute Plays · Monologues · Email · © 2000