Odds Are Fifty-Fifty

Harry enters the living room holding his morning cup of coffee.  His eyes glance up toward something he sees through a window.

He winces. He takes another full step forward intently staring through the window. Takes three more steps slowly, all the while engaged with what is occurring.

Harry’s eyebrows intensify.

Harry: Shay?

From the bedroom.

Shay: Yeah?
Harry: What is that?
Shay: What?
Harry: That…

Shay enters the living room.

Shay: What?
Harry: (pointing out the window) What is that?

Shay joins Harry. She looks through the window.  Her eyebrows narrow.

Shay: What is that?
Harry: I don’t know. What…what the hell is that?
Shay: Looks…
Harry: Is that? I can’t make it out but—
Shay: Is that a belt?
Harry: That’s what I was just thinking. A belt and a—
Shay: Yeah. It’s—
Harry: He’s fu–he’s–is he getting choked?
Shay: Wait a minute. I think. (she shrieks)
Harry: Holy shit.
Shay: Is he breathing? Look how red his face is.
Harry: What the hell is in his mouth?
Shay: Like a, a plum or an apple…piece of fruit?  Is he choking on fruit?
Harry: No, it’s, it’s one of those rubber sex balls, I think…see the black belt strap attached to it?
Shay: He’s not moving.

They stare through the window more intently.

Harry: He looks dead.
Shay: Oh my God.
Harry: I think someone was choking him.
Shay: Definitely.
Harry: But…
Shay: What?
Harry: I think he just fainted.
Shay: I can’t tell if he’s breathing.
Harry: What the hell was he doing and with who?
Shay: That was…
Harry: Yeah. Was he getting it from behind?
Shay: But that’s Marvin.
Harry: Did you see the other person at all?
Shay: No…nothing.
Harry:  I couldn’t..so strange. (small pause.) No movement?
Shay: Still.
Harry: Holy shit.
Shay: Babe, I’m worried.
Harry: You think he was being sexually—
Shay: Tortured?
Harry: I mean, I was able to see his veins in his neck, right? You too?
Shay: His head was as red as a tomato.
Harry: Should we call the cops?
Shay: And say what? We’re spying on our neighbor?
Harry: But what if we can save his life? What if he’s not breathing?
Shay: Oh my God.
Harry: What is that?
Shay: Someone’s sitting on his face…is that…that’s an ass.
Harry: Someone’s ass is…they’re wiggling—
Shay: What the—the ass is bouncing on his head.
Harry: Call the cops.
Shay: Wait, wait, wait…let me record this…evidence.

Shay runs into the bedroom.

Harry: Yeah, yeah, yeah, hurry up. (beat) What the f—babe!
Shay: I’m coming!
Harry: No, no, they just got up.
Shay: What?
Harry: I can’t see them now. They left the—he’s off the bed now.

Shay runs to the window.

Shay: Oh man! I missed it. (beat) So he wasn’t dead.
Harry: What was all that?
Shay: That was—isn’t his wife at work? Shouldn’t he be at work too? You think he’s cheating on—
Harry: Oh they’re back, they’re back!

Shay let’s out a gasp of air.

Shay and Harry remain motionless. They make awkward and strange faces – two people trying to figure out what exactly it is they are looking at.

Shay: I don’t know.
Harry: I don’t know.
Shay: Can’t make that one out.
Harry: Wha—
Shay: Like a piece of equipment—
Harry: No way!
Shay: A vacuum?!
Harry: No—you’re right. He’s—

Harry and Shay both look away in disgust.

Shay: Close the blinds, close the blinds I don’t want to see that.
Harry: That has to be the most horrendous thing I’ve ever—I can’t even!

Shay closes the window blinds.

Shay: That’s enough.
Harry: How am I ever going to look Marvin in the face again?
Shay: I want to know where his wife is.
Harry: Babe, the guy’s a freak.
Shay: He’s a freak who’s cheating on Lauren.
Harry: Maybe she’s the one sticking in the vacuum.
Shay: I can’t ever imagine that being her.
Harry: You have her number?
Shay: Yeah.
Harry: Call her. See if she picks up.
Shay: I’m not calling her.
Harry: Just call her.
Shay: And say what? You’re husband has the end of a vacuum hose up his ass?
Harry: If she answers the phone, we’ll know it’s not her, right?
Shay: If she doesn’t answer?
Harry: Odds are fifty-fifty.
Shay: Okay.

Shay calls Lauren. Lauren answers.

Shay: Oh HIIII! Lauren! Hi! Hey it’s me, Shanna. Sorry to bother you as I know you’re at work right? (beat) (Shay gives a thumb’s up to Harry and nods YES) I uh, uh, was wondering if you want to take a free yoga class with me…maybe this weekend? (beat) Yeah? Okay, great…yeah…yeah, I’ll put us both down on the list and…what? Look out my window? WHY?  To see if Marvin is home? Ho–Uh…sure. Okay.  The light?

Shay looks at Harry confused. She raises the window blinds and is even more repulsed and shocked by what she sees. Harry reacts just as intensely.

Oh God! Oh no, not you..just…there was a bird flew by my window. (nervous laughter escapes her voice – she holds her chest and closes her eyes) Yeah, yeah…umm. Is the light on? YEAH!  The light is definitely on. (in awe by what she sees) It is so on right now Lauren.  (quickly) YEAH, so is Marvin okay? (beat) He wasn’t feeling well today? Oh, ohhh…
Harry: That cleaning lady is going to town, huh?

Harry laughs at his own deranged joke.

Shay: Oh no, that’s just Harry.  Sports.
Harry: Ask her if we can borrow her vacuum cleaner.

Shay makes an angry face at Harry.

Shay and Harry both react again to what is going on with Marvin and turn away from the window.

Shay: Do ah, do you want me to ah, to send Harry to check up on him? (she smiles wisely at Harry)

Harry raises his arms in protest.

You sure? Okay. Yeah, let me know because we can go over to check on him if you—yeah, sure…okay. I’ll put us in for yoga but let me know when you get in touch with Marvin. Okay, okay…bye.

(to Harry) Holy shit! That was crazy! Crazy! She has no clue.
Harry: They must look at us through their window too.
Shay: Horrible.
Harry:  Freaking spies.  She calls back tell her you see him resting in bed. I’m not going over there.
Shay: I can’t tell her the truth but I don’t want to lie either. What should we do?
Harry: Just stay out of it.
Shay: Stay out of it? You’re the one that made me call! Now we’re in it.
Harry: No we’re not. If she calls you don’t answer.
Shay: I have to answer. That isn’t right.
Harry: Refresher.  The guy has a vacuum cleaner hose up his ass. That’s where I draw the line, okay?
Shay: Okay, okay, maybe you’re right.
Harry: We’ll close the blinds and pretend we didn’t see a damn thing.  Out of sight, out of mind.

Joseph Arnone

CREATE

Monologue Blogger Newsletter
* indicates required