The Dust Off One’s Hands

In The Dust Off One’s Hands, MARVELLI sits on a beach chair overlooking a hotel pool.  His wife ANGIE enters and sits next to him.  Drama. 1 Woman, 1 Man.

The Dust Off One’s Hands

Angie: What’s wrong?

Marvelli: Nothing.  I’m fine.

Angie: I know that face.

Marvelli: I’m fine, Angie.  Just trying to relax.

Angie: That’s why we’re hear, right?

Marvelli: Yes.  Where’s the kids?

Angie: They went down to the beach.  They made friends.

Marvelli: Good.


I can’t read.  It’s too hot in this sun to read.

Angie: Darling, sit in the shade.

Marvelli: No, I want the tan.  The sun is too bright bouncing off the pages.

Angie: Why are you always such a cry baby?

Marvelli: Just let me be.

Angie: It’s always something with you.

Marvelli: I’m fine. I’m fine.


(Marvelli moves around uncomfortably in his chair)

Angie: What now?

Marvelli: Chair is sticking to my thighs.

Angie: That’s cause you’re sweating.  Put the towel under you.

Marvelli: It is under me but it doesn’t cover the length of the chair.  I burnt myself before.  The back of my calves, when I first sat down.

Angie: You’ll live.

Marvelli: I know I will live but I’m only sharing my story.

Angie: Share it somewhere else, I’m trying to enjoy my vacation too, you know.

Marvelli: Right.  Then don’t ask me what’s wrong?

Angie: You’re right.  It’s my fault.  Sorry I asked.


Marvelli: Now I’m aggravated.  You never give me a minute to have peace.  If I’m already annoyed about something, why can’t you let me be?

Angie: If I let you be, you will pout all day like a spoiled child.  Your son is a clone of you.

Marvelli: So what?

Angie: That’s cry baby number two.

Marvelli: So now you want to argue over our son?

Angie: I’m just saying he has your ways.  Doesn’t take after me at all.

Marvelli: That’s a good thing.

Angie: Excuse me?

Marvelli: Let’s drop it before we fight.  I don’t want to argue today.

Angie: Alright, relax.  Forget it.

Marvelli: Yeah.


(marvelli let’s out a long sigh)

Angie: Honestly, do I have to move?

Marvelli: What?

Angie: Do I have to lay down for my tan somewhere else?  Cause I’ll move. There’s empty seats right there.

Marvelli: Stay here.  I’ll be good.  I’m thinking lately…there’s, it’s been on my mind for awhile now and I thought going away with you and the kids would help it but it’s not going away.

Angie: What, Marv?

Marvelli: I’m serious.  I think I’m going through something, inside.  I think I’m losing my mind a little bit.

Angie: You’ve already lost your mind.  You’re probably becoming more normal.  It’s circular.

Marvelli: Angie, please, I’m being serious about something.  I want to go back.

Angie: We’re not going back home.  No way.

Marvelli: Not home.  I’m not talking about going home.  I’m talking about wishing I could go back to my younger days, when I was struggling. I didn’t have much money at the time.  I didn’t have much of anything really but I had the dirt between my toes and the dust on my palms and it felt great.  I was happy.

Angie: You’re saying you’re not happy?

Marvelli: It’s not that I’m not happy, Ang.  I’m not happy enough.

Angie: Unfortunately, we all can’t go backward in life, only forward.

Marvelli: I know that.  That’s the sad thing about it.  How do I regain the state of mind I used to have…I lost something along the way inside myself.  Yes, I have fortune now, a beautiful wife, healthy kids…but me, something happened.

Angie: Maybe you need to start something new.

Marvelli: New?

Angie: Maybe you, I don’t know, maybe you need to build something…

Marvelli: From scratch…

Angie: Yeah.

Marvelli: Hmmm.  The problem is that I can’t get away from my business.  It’s too demanding on my time.

Angie: But that’s by choice.  We both know you can do whatever you want, whenever you want.  You’re the owner.  Just hire someone or give the responsibility over to someone else for a while.

Marvelli: That’s hard.  I don’t want everything I’ve built up to come crashing down.

Angie: Salvatore is perfect.  Let Salvatore run things for awhile.  He already does a great job as it is…give him a promotion and free up your time.

Marvelli: But what can I do?

Angie: That’s the exciting part.  You can enjoy what you used to say, dreaming again.  Remember you used to say that to me?  I’d call you and ask you what you were doing and you would say, dreaming.  If you’re not happy, it’s because you haven’t been dreaming enough.

Marvelli: You’re the love of my life, you know that?

(Angie giggles)

No, really.  I love you with all my heart and soul.  It’s because of you that I am who I am today because it’s for you and the kids.  You’ve always helped me stay on the right track, haven’t you?

Angie: Well, somebody has to do it.

(they laugh)

Marvelli: I’m glad that somebody is you.

Angie: Me, too.

(they laugh.  He kisses her lips and takes her hand)


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