TIM: Hey! Andy!
ANDY: Hey! And happy birthday, mate. (They shake hands)
TIM: Youíre a little late, arenít you?
ANDY: (taken aback) Well, maybe a few minutes.
TIM: Well, whatíll you have?
ANDY: Oh, I see Ė yeah, you shouldnít have had to buy the first round on your birthday. Sorry I was late. Iíll buy the next round, okay? If you want to get me something now, Iíd like a Coke.
TIM: Coke? Do you realise that they also serve drinks for grown-ups here too?
ANDY: Oh, well, Iím driving tonight. And anyway I donít really like what alcohol does to me.
TIM: (shaking his head) Well, okay.
(He exits to the bar. ANDY sits waiting for him. He waves and smiles to someone he knows, then gets out a pack of party hats. TIM returns with a glass of Coke.)
TIM: Here you go, mate.
ANDY: (Passing a hat) I brought these along for everyone to wear.
TIM: (Handling it with disdain) What do you mean, everyone?
ANDY: Well, sure, youíve got to wear one too.
TIM: No, I mean, how many people did you think were coming?
ANDY: I Ö have no idea. I thought that if I was coming, and youíve only known me for a few weeks, then there must be quite a few others. Iíd hoped a pack of ten of these would be okay. You donít have to wear it until more people come Ö (he realises heís the only one invited).
TIM: (After a pause) Andy, as you get to know me, youíll find that Iím a pretty independent sort of guy. Anything I need in life, I can get it myself. If I canít get it myself, then I just do without it. As a general rule, I get by without needing friends.
ANDY: Without friends? But why would you want to do that? Friends make life more fun, happier, more comforting, more companionable Ö
TIM: Maybe so, but I can cope without that. Thatís what Iím trying to say Ė that you can easily get through life without needing any of that.
ANDY: Hang on. I thought you were great mates with Ian?
TIM: Ian? Not for months. No, he was okay to do stuff with if it fitted in with him, but heíd hardly ever put himself out for you. There was one evening, for example, when I needed someone to come round and give me a hand shifting some furniture, but Ian said he just couldnít come that day Ė said something about wanting to spend time with his wife on their wedding anniversary or something like that.
ANDY: Oh, right. Well, what about that woman you were with at that party at Michaelís place?
TIM: Sharon? Well, she was really fun to be with and she was really happy to help out when you ask her, but when you try to talk to her about really important stuff, she just wouldnít listen to you.
ANDY: What sort of important stuff Ė if you donít mind me asking?
TIM: Oh, anything that really matters, anything that moved me deeply. (Pause) Rugby, basically. (Shakes his head) In general, Iíve found women arenít very good listeners. Theyíre always wanting to talk to you instead. Hey, thatís something I like about you Ė youíre a really good listener, Andy.
TIM: Thanks, Tim. Um, so basically, itís just us tonight?
ANDY: Yeah. Why should we need anyone else?
TIM: (Notices after a pause that both glasses are empty) Well, are you ready for another drink?
ANDY: (gets up to go to the bar, but stopping before he leaves) Iím still not sure if I completely get you.
TIM: How do you mean?
ANDY: Well if you donít need friends, why did you want to spend this evening with one? (Pause Ė thereís no answer) Back in a minute.
(ANDY exits. TIM is left alone, staring frozen, with the lights focussing on him, then they dim to blackness. The music resumes as the stage is cleared.)
© Greg Brook (Dunedin City Baptist) March 2001
All rights reserved
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