by: Douglas Hill






[A depressing motel room in Boulder City, Nevada. MATT is in bed, slowly waking up. He scans the room cautiously. He crawls out of bed and carefully begins opening the drawers of the dresser. The first two are empty. His confidence grows as he opens the third drawer. He pulls out a wrapped snack cake. There is a knock at the door. He opens it. JANINE barges in holding an armful of his clothes, her suitcase, the photo album and a can of soda.]


MATT: What are you doing here?

JANINE: I don't know. I tried to drive back to Kingman twice last night and I still ended up here in Boulder City. [She throws the suitcase, clothes, and photo album on the bed.] Did you walk all the way from Hoover Dam?

MATT: No, I got a ride this far and then collapsed. How did you—?

JANINE: Your clothes were waiting outside the door. I figured it had to be you.

MATT: What?

JANINE: Was there a pile of clothes outside when you checked in?

MATT: No, I came in and went right to bed.

JANINE: Well, its here now and so am I. [She spills a little of her soda on the floor.] Oops. I'm sorry.

MATT: I'll get a towel

JANINE: No, don't worry. I've got a rag around here.

MATT: Janine, wh—wh—what are you—I thought you didn't want to—

JANINE: If I can't get back to Kingman, I can't get back to Tucson, can I? So. I'll come to Vegas with you. And make sure you don't get hit by a truck. Or bus. Or whatever they use in Las Vegas. [She opens up a dresser drawer and pulls out a ripped up T-shirt and begins mopping up the mess.] Sorry about the shirt. I got a little angry at you yesterday before we left.

[MATT sits down on the bed.]

MATT: So you've been looking for me at every single hotel between here and Hoover Dam?

JANINE: Yeah, well, my other options would be. . ?

MATT: Just…I don't know.

JANINE: I don't either. [Beat.] Oh, and I found your wallet in the seat of the car. I've pulled out about eight hundred dollars before I got here.

MATT: Uh. Great.

JANINE: Well, that should get us a room in Vegas, at least.

MATT: I hope it's better than this one.

JANINE: Me, too. And I've made a decision. I hate the monsoon season. So I won't mind leaving Tucson. [She takes a drink from her soda can as she opens up her purse. Suddenly she makes a face.] Mmm. [She swallows her drink and spits something into her hand. She looks at it and rolls her eyes.] Put this on your finger, for God's sake. [She hands MATT a man's wedding ring.] Like to choked me to death with it. [JANINE digs in her purse and pulls out two postcards.] I'm going to write Marcy and tell her that we're moving. And I need your opinion. Which postcard should I use? I thought the picture of the atom bomb explosion was somewhat funny and appropriate, but I also like this one of the two shooting stars. Which one do you think?

MATT: You're really doing this? You're moving to Vegas? [She slumps in exasperation. He looks at her for a moment, reaches over and takes the shooting star postcard from her. He puts it in his pocket.] Send Marcy the atom bomb.


MATT: But you—Why? Did you get lost on the highway? Or—or? Because if—

JANINE: I hope you're not trying to throw me out.

MATT: No. Not yet. But—

JANINE: Because you of all people should realize how futile that would be.

MATT: But I'm just—

JANINE: Name one thing we've been able to get rid of in the past twenty-four hours. Just one. [He sighs and slumps forward.] What?

MATT: Everything is still out of control.

JANINE: That all depends on how you look at it, I guess.

MATT: And I'm tired of looking at it. [Beat.] I'm tired of being this person. I'm tired of not being able to change a damn thing. No matter how hard I try. And I don't want to stop trying just because nothing is changing—I just…I'd like to see…There should be some change after all this effort. Right?

JANINE: You made a decision to move to Las Vegas. You've never done that before. You started talking to me. At least you told me you still want a divorce. You're closer to being in Vegas than you've ever been in your life. How are you the same person you were twenty-four hours ago? Everything's changed. You're caught up on the fact that all this looks familiar, but that's just…surface…I don't know…appearance. And to tell the truth, I kind of like that aspect of it.

MATT: But you and I…we're—we haven't…I don't want to keep making the same mistakes with you over and over again.

JANINE: [Sincere] Good. That's real encouraging. I'll try not to make the same mistakes either. Deal?

MATT: I can't—I can't—This is—

JANINE: Would you just relax? Stop trying to fight the loop. It won't work. Nobody ever walked out of the Twilight Zone with the future they wanted either. Just get dressed and let's get some breakfast. I'm hungry and tired and I'm not eating alone.

[The fall silent, looking at each other in the same positions as the opening of the first scene.]


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Copyright © 2001 by Douglas Hill

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