Dry Patch

A lover’s quarrel between JAN and CHARLIE over money and other issues that creep up between couples who have gotten to know one another extremely well.

Dry Patch

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J: Look at me you rotten, disgusting animal!

(she pushes over the television)

Where are you?  I’ll get to you, I’ll get inside you.

C: There’s no getting inside me anymore, Jan.

J: The pathetic peasant speaks.

C: Why don’t you stop trying to get a rise out of me because it won’t work. You can carry on, scream, push me, curse me, put me down like you always do but it won’t work anymore.  I’m not going to allow you to get under my skin anymore, you’re not worth it.

J: Ha!  That’s right.  Just sit there and fight for nothing, just like your father.  Hit me, just like your father.

C: I didn’t hit you, I pushed you on the bed because you were getting in my face.

J: You still put your hands on me and the next time you even think about laying one finger on my body I will stab you in the eye with a knife.  I will break your head.

C: Good.  Break my head.

J: I will!  I will bash your face in.

C: Good.  Do it then.

J: I will!

C: Do it then!

J: Loser…waste that you are.

C: Go on…get it all out.

J: There’s nothing between you and me.  I can never be with such a weak, pathetic boy.  I’ve waste years, years of my life giving myself over to you. Waste!  Waste my life!

(she throws a glass across the room)

I hate your guts.  You’ve ruined my life!

C: Are you done yet?

J: Piece of shit.

C: Go ahead.  Keep going.

J: I’m calling your Mom.  I’m going to call your Mother and tell her what a loser her son is…that I’ve been paying rent and taking care of us…you don’t even have a job…you can’t even take me out on a date.  Not even contribute for the groceries.  What do you do but wank off all day long and dream about being something instead of being something.  You’re too old to be anything!  You’ve had your chance.  You should go find a different career or work at some shitty department store because you’re good for nothing at all.

(she slams door in bedroom – Charles remains sitting on the couch.  There’s rummaging and sounds of objects getting thrown. Jan comes back into the living room.)

You see this?  It means nothing!  I’m throwing this out the window!

C: Don’t do that, you’ll regret it.

(Jan rushes to the window)

We got that in Sweden!  You will destroy that memory.  Don’t throw it out the window…and you will kill someone down below!

J: What memory?  All the bad you’ve done, you’ve sucked out all the good memories we’ve ever had.  It’s all sucked out of my heart.

(Charles gets up from the couch and closes window.)

C: Give it to me, give me the—

(he pulls the object out from Jan’s hand.  She storms off)

This is getting too crazy, alright?  Why don’t you cool off?

J: Putting your hands on me, that’s crazy!  You little bitch!

C: I didn’t—I pushed you on the bed mattress because it wouldn’t hurt you and to get you away from my face.  I wasn’t trying to hurt you, Jan, you know that.

J: I don’t believe you.  You shoved me really hard.

C: I wasn’t trying to hurt you but you make me insane.  You make me reach my breaking point.

J: So you turn to physical abuse, just like your dad?

C: Listen you…I’m gonna lose it completely…(beat)…stop comparing me to my father.  Stop working me up again, alright?  My father and me are two different people.

J: I think you’re exactly alike.

C: Oh yeah? At least I’m not dumb like you are, who takes after your Mother.

(Jan punches the door)

C: What’s the matter?  You don’t like it when it’s done to you?  So stop doing it to me!

J: I hate you.  I hate your guts.  We’re done.  I don’t want nothing to do with you ever again.  You a-hole.

C: Fine.  We’re done.  Figure out your shit and that’s that.

J: You figure out your shit.

C: Don’t worry, my shits already figured out.

J: Oh yeah?  You’ve probably been planning this the whole time.

C: Yep.

J: You see?  I told you you were sick in the head.

C: Yep.

J: Good.  Glad you now see it too.

C: Yep.

J: Good.  Pack your shit and leave then.

C: I’m not going anywhere.  You can leave.

J: You leave!

(long pause.)

C: Why don’t we both calm down a bit.  Alright?  Let’s just take it easy.

(Jan starts crying)

J: No, I don’t want this life.  I don’t want it with you anymore…

C: I don’t want this life either, but it’s the only one we got.

J: No. I want it to change.

C: It’s up to us to change it.

J: I don’t know what to do.

C: Can you remind me why we are even fighting?

J: Are you serious right now?

C: …Oh right, it’s over the laundry card…right, right.  How do we go from a laundry card to this?

J: Cause of you…you never have any money.  Always broke.  Can’t even put six dollars to cover our laundry…

C: Yeah, well we can use my change jar.  I must have about eighty bucks of change in there.  We can use that for a few days.

J: And what do we do when the money runs out from that?

C: Well, I have my freelance gigs coming in, so we’ll be fine.

J: You always say that, Charlie.

C: Yeah, but we are, we will be.  I have two contracts coming through this month and we’ll be fine.  I’ll be able to cover things for us.

J: Yeah, yeah.  I’ve heard this before.

C: Well, we’re supposed to keep eachother strong.  I’m always there for you, you need to be there for me too.  We’ve just hit a little dry patch is all.  Things will get better for us.  We just need to hang in there and be strong.

J: I don’t know anymore.  I don’t know what to believe.  Maybe I should move back in with my friend Tara.

C: No…you don’t need to do that.

J: I feel like you’re taking advantage of me.  Taking me for granted and using me.

C: You think I’m using you?  Is that what you think?

J: It feels like you are.

C: Using you?  I’ve done so much for us…how can you say that to me, Jan?

J: It’s true. You make me feel that way cause I pay for everything now.  You don’t make me feel like you appreciate me.

C: …Look, I think we just need a break from all of this madness.  I appreciate you more than anything in my life, okay?  I don’t want you to feel that way.

J: You don’t ever get me flowers.  You used to always get me flowers.

C: Flowers?

J: Yes, flowers.

C: Right.

J: Little things like that is all I want.  If that happened, then maybe I wouldn’t feel like you take me for granted as much.

C: Right.  I’ve been slaving away, trying to find work…last thing on my mind is buying you flowers.

J: Yes, but that’s what you are supposed to think about as a man.

C: Well, then let me worry about that then, okay?

J: Mmm hmmm.

C: Can we be friends again?

(they hug)


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