I was hoping to drown myself in my pool today.

Rick observes Buck and notices the bulge over his chin. He goes into the icebox and tosses Buck a bag of ice.

Buck applies it to his chin. Rick pours two whiskeys.

RICK: A lamp?

BUCK: A f’cking lamp! Boom! Across my chin..the crunch, like broken bone, something feels loose when I touch it, like I can move something around in there. When I talk it moves.

RICK: What moves?

BUCK: A loose bone.

RICK: Chipped bone?

BUCK: Been moving my chin around like a cow ever since.

RICK: Then what happened?

BUCK: I f’cking grabbed her and growled. Spit and snot poured out of me and then I cried…

RICK: …You what?

BUCK: I cried.

RICK: You cried.

BUCK: I f’cking cried. I could have crushed her. I wanted to dismantle her, but I couldn’t bring myself to act on my hatred. I wanted to kill her, in that moment, I wanted to eat her alive.

RICK: You should sit.

Rick passes Buck the joint. Buck hits it and passes it back.


RICK: You grabbed her, you growled, you cried. Then what?

BUCK: I puked. I fainted. I ran to come here..drove as fast as my car could go, almost flew off Mulholland on that stupid turn, but I made it. I’m here.

RICK: You’re here.

BUCK: I’m here.

RICK: …Coffee?

Buck nods.

Rick pours coffee – dialogue continues over action.

RICK: I have work in three minutes.

BUCK: You’re gonna be late.

RICK: What day is it?

BUCK: Saturday.

RICK: Oh. Right…forget her.

BUCK: I love her.

RICK: She beats you with objects.

BUCK: I know it.

RICK: She will kill you.

BUCK: I know it.

RICK: But you stay.

BUCK: I know it.

RICK: How long you moving in for?

BUCK: I don’t know…a week, maybe two, it was a lamp, Rick.

RICK: How long were you here for the ashtray?

BUCK: Three days. I remember exactly cause I was doing that lousy show you got me at the time.

RICK: Show some appreciation.

BUCK: I had to wear a cowboy outfit.

RICK: You’re an actor, aren’t you?

BUCK: But I’m a certain type. Even you said so.

RICK: I was hoping to drown myself in my pool today.

BUCK: We can save each other.

RICK: Pr’ck face didn’t take my guy.

BUCK: Even with a million less?

RICK: It’s to spite me.

BUCK: I’d really like to beat the sh’t out of him for you.

RICK: So would half of Hollywood.

BUCK: Sorry.

RICK: One door closes…

BUCK: Right.

Rick takes out a crackerjack box from cabinet and eats. Offers some to Buck who nods no.

BUCK: Can’t.

RICK: You could lose the weight.

BUCK: F’ck you, Rick.

RICK: (laughs)

BUCK: She really is the greatest woman that ever lived. Can you imagine what it’s like dealing with all my rottenness? Always broke, always grumpy. I’m too crass. Dress like a gangster but I can’t help it, I don’t look good in soft clothes. I’m a dark clothing kind of guy. It’s the reason she fell in love with me. I saved her from guys who don’t have hair on their balls. But, eh…what’s the use…I’m a mutt…went from hero to zero in her eyes…one year.

RICK: Been that long?

BUCK: (nods and claps his hands)

RICK: Been like two years, no?

BUCK: One year anniversary was just last week. The one you never showed up to.

RICK: Carlotta and I don’t get along. I wasn’t about to ruin your special day.

BUCK: But you’re my buddy. Couldn’t give a sh’t what she thinks.

RICK: But still.

BUCK: We had a good time. Got wasted and made love on the trampoline.

RICK: Spare me the details.

BUCK: What would you do?

RICK: What would I do, what?

BUCK: Would you change for someone you love, or would you leave?

RICK: You’re asking the wrong guy.

BUCK: Need your opinion.

RICK: But you already know my answer.

BUCK: …But I can’t walk away…she’s the only thing that keeps me going. I know when I finally have my breakthrough, I’m gonna walk on water with her. All my promises will be fulfilled.

RICK: I need some vitamin d. Going out on the float. Your room is exactly how you left it. Filthy. Maybe open a window to let the flies out.

BUCK: I don’t want to be alone.

RICK: I have a pounding headache.

BUCK: I could sit outside. I won’t talk.

RICK: Suit yourself.

Rick pours them both coffee.

BUCK: Thanks. (beat) Rick?

RICK: Ya. (hands coffee mug to Buck)

BUCK: I’m hurt.

RICK: That’s alright buddy. We’re all hurting over something. Some of us hide it better than others.

BUCK: Yeah, but, she wants a divorce.

RICK: You think?

BUCK: I’m serious.

RICK: So am I.

BUCK: I’ll die first before I give her a divorce.

RICK: You need to book work.

BUCK: …Yeah…yeah, I know.

RICK: You need to…hey listen, I do have something out in Italy…they’re shooting —

BUCK: No westerns Rick, please.

RICK: It pays good money.

BUCK: I hate westerns.

RICK: You see, that’s your problem.

To read the full one-act ePlay, find purchase link below:

Buck's Last Straw by Joseph ArnoneIn the one act eplay Buck’s Last Straw, Buck shows up at Rick’s house bruised by his wife and confused about his marriage and career.  2 Men.  Serio-comedy.

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Joseph Arnone