You Haven’t Changed One Bit

Ouzo shows up at his ex-girlfriend Ellen’s art gallery and the two bring back old memories in this scene from play Scratching the Surface.

ELLEN: You haven’t changed one bit.

OUZO: You’ve noticed?

ELLEN: Why’d you come here?

OUZO: I wanted to revisit the past and the only way I can do that is with you.

ELLEN: And now that you’ve visited?

OUZO: I should be getting on the next train back to Long Island.

ELLEN: So why don’t you?

OUZO nods as if to a Queen.

Why don’t I appear in any of your short stories?

OUZO: You still reading my words?


OUZO: What kind of stupid ass question is that Ellen?

ELLEN: You write about everything that affects you…did I never affect you?

OUZO: What do you think?

ELLEN: I think life has always been a game to you, that you live life for material to write about but you never truly live, truly feel life for yourself.

OUZO: That’s my cue.

OUZO begins putting on his sweater and

ELLEN: Can’t have a real conversation.

OUZO: I came here to see you, alright, say hi, why does it have to evolve into some sort of drama? Why can’t things be what they are?

ELLEN: Because you can’t keep shooting bullet holes through life.

OUZO: Says you.

ELLEN: Can’t you just talk to me?

OUZO: I didn’t come here to talk to you.

ELLEN: Then I don’t want to ever see your face ever again.

OUZO: Until the next time.

ELLEN: There won’t be a next time.

OUZO: There’s always a next time because without it life is boring and dull. Can’t you learn to live in the sh’t and not try to make sense out of the mess? What’s wrong with not having all the answers?

ELLEN: You never tell me how you truly feel!

OUZO: Why is that so Goddamn important?!

ELLEN: Because I’m sick! I’m sick Ouzo. I have to go in for surgery and there are a few things I’d like to know in case it’s my turn to check out.

OUZO: …What do you want to know Ellen?

ELLEN: Do you love me?

OUZO: I’ve loved you since the moment I first looked at you. It’s not a love that has ever left me, but only grown stronger over time and there’s nothing I can do about it but lay in the thick of it.

ELLEN: You don’t act like you love me.

OUZO: I know I don’t.

ELLEN: Is it so hard for you?

OUZO: It is.

ELLEN: I see…well, I’ve always loved you as much as I hate you. Sometimes I don’t know which way to go. There are days I think of you and I’ll laugh out loud to myself and yet there are other times when I want to punch my fist into your face as if you were standing in front of me.

OUZO: Which do you feel now?

ELLEN: I’m not sure. It’s the uncertain days that are when I’m worse off.

OUZO: Wanna punch me in the face?

ELLEN: No, but I will if you keep probing me.

OUZO: I’m sorry.

ELLEN: Don’t be.

OUZO: You don’t even know what I’m apologizing for, do you?

ELLEN: What are you apologizing for?

OUZO: …I don’t want you to be sick…


THEY embrace.

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

Scratching The Surface by Joseph ArnoneIn the one act eplay Scratching The Surface, Ouzo shows up at his ex-girlfriend Ellen’s art gallery, only to find out she lives in the loft above it.  The play takes place the following morning.  1 Woman, 1 Man.  Drama.

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Joseph Arnone