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Cue Line
SARA. Absolutely not! I'm not signing anything. (On phone) Do you hear that, Aunt Martha? I'm not signing anything.
NOOGIE. Right. He's a nice looking guy. Your aunt has very good taste.
SARA. You're fine. You're in my apartment. Stay right there. I'll get you some water.
SARA. (ENTERS quickly with a glass of water) Really? Maybe it's that new flu that's going around.
SARA. I don't know but there's always one going around. (Hands him water) Drink this.
SARA. No. No, you don't.
SARA. No, not really. I mean, not at all.
SARA. Basically, yes.
SARA. Obviously though, you're not.
SARA. Well, not really. You were actually quite out of it.
SARA. Yes.
SARA. No. Not yet.
SARA. Well, I uh...I believe it's Brandon.
SARA. Well, I...I heard you moan something like that.
SARA. I asked the same question. But then we live in a very sexually progressive society and you can't be surprised by anything
SARA. Why don't you look in your wallet. That might help bring things back.
SARA. No, no, it wasn't.
SARA. Well, I uh, I don't. But you have your wallet. And your watch is still on your wrist. And uh, you have your shoes which is also a high risk item in this town. So obviously it wasn't robbery.
SARA. What?
SARA. Oh, a professional man. How nice.
SARA. I guess it goes with the territory. Can I get you anything? Have you had dinner yet? I've got half a tuna salad sandwich. A bite's missing but it's okay. I had a check-up two weeks ago and I'm perfectly healthy.
SARA. We're?
SARA. What?
SARA. Joan?
SARA. (Shocked) You have a fiancée? (Recovering) I mean, you have a fiancée. How nice.
SARA. It's a little after nine. You can probably still catch the second act, and if the first act isn't over, you could be the first one in the bathroom.
SARA. No. We don't know each other, remember?
SARA. Yes, you'd better.
SARA. What?
SARA. I'll dial for you. What's her number?
SARA. What about your cell phone? I'm sure you must have her saved? Maybe scrolling through it might bring everything back.
SARA. No problem. I'll get a screwdriver and we'll pry it open.
SARA. You remember that?
SARA. Oh, sure.
SARA (O.S.) Thanks. I bought it two years ago.
SARA (O.S.) 78th and Madison.
SARA. (ENTERS with glass of water) What?
SARA. Well, yes, as a rule.
SARA. Actually, I'm fine with my insurance plan. Maybe you'd like some aspirin with the water?
SARA. Thanks, but I'm perfectly fine with what I have. Besides, the premiums have skyrocketed so much it's actually starting to make sense to just die.
SARA. Now what?
SARA. Job stability doesn't seem to be your strong point. So what do you do now?
SARA. I know. Whiplash has paid for more Hawaiian vacations than anyone cares to admit.
SARA. Well, I hope you enjoy that line of work more than you did dentistry and insurance.
SARA. How can you tell?
SARA. Hopefully you and Joan worked out that problem?
SARA. It’s Sara. Sara Hastings.
SARA. (Attempting to change the subject) So, you're getting married. You must be very excited.
SARA. Oh, uh, her. Uh that's uh...
SARA. I really don't.
SARA. Well, Brandon, you probably need to be on your way.
SARA. Well, I uh, it's not a very good picture of her. She's actually much taller.
SARA. I'm afraid I am.
SARA. You're not a lowlife. You're not cheating. We never met before. You had no intention of coming here and I never heard your name mentioned until...until...
SARA. But you're engaged, remember?
SARA. How important it was not to travel that long road of life alone.
SARA. And how everybody needs somebody.
SARA. And worst of all, who's going to take care of you when you're sick.
SARA. So actually, my aunt is responsible for your being engaged. She'll be so thrilled to hear this.
SARA. I know. You just have to be sure you're not on the edge of the Grand Canyon when you take it.
SARA. Is what?
SARA. There is no Joan?
SARA. I'll bet she'll be happy to change her last name.
SARA. And Joan, the real estate agent is helping you two look for an apartment.
SARA. Heather doesn't like.
SARA. You're not that crazy about.
SARA. Oh, sure.
SARA. Positive.
SARA. You're a bit young for that.
SARA. I'd say mid-thirties.
SARA. It's my choice.
SARA. You're obviously speaking about yourself.
SARA. I'll dial it for you.
SARA. Tuna salad.
SARA. Now what.
SARA. (She frantically grabs the phone and begins dialing) Right.
SARA. I am! I am!
SARA. Yes?
SARA. Yes?
AUNT MARTHA. ...I've got my eye on this new chiropractor that I'm going to. He does wonders with his hands. In some areas you might like him better than Brandon.
SARA. Good. Look up the word “psychiatrist” and the first name you come to, go see him.
SARA. You're still here.
SARA. My apartment. I'm Sara Hastings. We met last night, sort of.
SARA. So far so good.
SARA. Yes.
SARA. The paramedics. They pumped air into your lungs. Part of the procedure.
SARA. (Reluctantly) Yes, you got that too.
SARA. Uh, probably one of them.
SARA. They were both males.
SARA. The paramedics said your first meal should be some thing very easy. Like oatmeal and herbal tea.
SARA. No. No I have it for you. I had it sent up from the deli around the corner. I just need to warm the oatmeal in the microwave and the tea is a matter of boiling water which I think I've almost mastered.
SARA. I probably can. I just chose not to. It never really interested me and frankly with all the terrific restaurants in the city it's slowly becoming a lost art anyway.
SARA. Yes. She can read. By the way, your briefcase rang twice during the night. I think you'd better call her. I'll go warm up your oatmeal.
SARA (O.s.) I'm sorry. I can't hear you.
SARA. (ENTERS with a glass of water) The tea and oatmeal are on their way. Maybe you should have some water first so you don't get dehydrated. (Hands Brandon the water)
SARA. That might be wise.
SARA. I am.
SARA. Oh, a little of this, a little of that. Some litigation, some family law, some criminal law. Maybe soon, a kidnapping case.
SARA. Well, you said they're from Maine. They probably don't get to see very many people. (The MICROWAVE BEEPS) That's your oatmeal. Be right back.
HEATHER. Oh, Brandon, sweetheart. Thank goodness. Are you all right?
HEATHER. I called your cell, I called the police, I checked with the hospitals. I even called the morgue. What happened to you?
HEATHER. Of course I will, sweetheart.
HEATHER. Was she? And where are you now?
HEATHER. Really. Well, I think I already have them, Brandon.
HEATHER. How old is she?
HEATHER. This friendly, nurturing, caring, concerned woman whose terrific apartment you woke up in?
HEATHER. Just answer the question.
HEATHER. Really?
HEATHER. Was that her?
HEATHER. You say she's eighty?
HEATHER. I don't think so.
SARA. She hung up.
SARA. She hung up. What did you tell her that she didn't believe?
SARA. Big mistake. A woman knows when a man's lying. That's why I try to get more men on a jury when I have a client with an improbable story. We women have certain intuitive gifts that a man doesn't possess.
SARA. Well, she certainly has a few now. Would you like me to call her? As I mentioned, I also do a little family law and I have to mediate sticky situations all the time.
SARA. Why would you say that?
SARA. That's the formula?
SARA. Thank you.
SARA. She didn't? Well, maybe she did and you just can't remember yet. Anyway in your weakened condition you should give your brain a rest. A good bonk on the head can sometimes take months before everything starts to clear up.
SARA. Oh, well, I...I...I'm still only guessing. It's most likely you may have just walked into something or maybe something fell on you. These old buildings have air conditioners that tumble out of the windows all the time.
SARA. (Quickly) No.
SARA. I mean... Well, let's face it. What could you tell them?
SARA. And what do you expect them to do with that information?
SARA. I hope so. I mean, I hope never have this trouble again. I don't see why you should.
SARA. You didn't finish your oatmeal. I didn't warm it up properly?
SARA. That's how she described me? Special? What a lame word.
SARA. (Shaking his hand) Goodbye.
SARA. Positive.
NOOGIE. I'm going, I'm going. (Indicates Brandon) Look he's smiling. I think he's happy to be back.
SARA. I wish I wasn't the one to have to tell you.
SARA. I'm afraid so. I'll get you some water?
SARA. (Returning with water) Drink this.
SARA. About nine thirty.
SARA. That's Heather and her parents. Joan is your real estate agent.
SARA. So you're saying that all-in-all this hasn't been a bad experience? Good. That'll be part of our defense.
SARA. I'm sorry. I was just thinking aloud about a more than likely upcoming case. (She hands him his briefcase) You'd better call Heather.
HEATHER. (Annoyed) Where are you? I've called and called. We've been waiting for you for an hour and a half.
(Heather hangs up. Her area goes DARK)
SARA. The gold bracelet. It had guilt written all over it.
SARA. You mean like your upcoming marriage?
SARA. With therapy?
SARA. How sweet.
SARA. Why?
SARA. Interesting concept.
SARA. The bathroom.
SARA. Every morning.
SARA. The reason being?
SARA. Obviously there's a weight problem.
SARA. You had a baby?..
SARA. Moving on.
SARA. The reason being?
SARA. A bigger place?
SARA. Be reasonable. Changes had to be made.
SARA. Brandon, you are now beginning to get a little too grim.
SARA. That's it! Stop! Quit! No more! I have never, never, ever heard anything more disparaging in my life. After that narrative even a polygamist wouldn't want to get married.
SARA. I can see why my aunt likes you. You make less sense than she does. By any chance you didn't let Heather in on this, did you?
SARA. Only if you want to scare the hell out of her forever. Trust me, Brandon... For god's sake, you're trying to talk yourself into marriage not the death penalty. Think happiness, joy, romance, love.
SARA. No. I would not think anything. I'm not in the marriage market.
SARA. Because at this point in my life I don't want a man in my life.
SARA. Because at this point in my life I don't need a man in my life.
SARA. Say, “because” one more time, Brandon and I'm going to punch your lights out.
SARA. Running away? One thing you'd better know about me...Let me tell you one thing I've learned from practicing law. Marriage is not the answer to happiness. In fact, most of the time divorce does the job a lot better.
SARA. Good.
SARA. Well you did.
SARA. (Coldly) Take care.
SARA. I'll get over it.
SARA. No. It's peanut butter and jelly. I made it myself. For some stupid reason I've decided to expand my cooking horizons.
SARA. Brandon, Heather has a big meal waiting for you.
SARA. (Hands him half of her sandwich) Okay, here. Chew fast and leave.
SARA. Okay. You already said that.
SARA. (Picks up some papers) Brandon, I need to get back to a case I'm working on.
SARA. Good
SARA. Thank you. Making it was a major achievement in my life.
SARA. I don't have any milk.
SARA. You know, Brandon, you are really turning this day into a piece of crap for me.
SARA. You keep saying that.
SARA. Whose?
SARA. No thanks.
SARA. Because at this particular time I don't want to buy you a gift.
SARA. I refuse to talk to you anymore.
SARA. Ta ta.
SARA. Listen, if anyone has a hang-up about marriage, it's obviously still you... you're stalling here. It's pretty damn clear to me that even though you think you've come to terms with the concept of matrimony you are still scared shitless.
SARA. Brandon, the next time you say that you're going to leave here ... and at the end of the day, I'm so happy to be away from them, trust me, marriage, relationships, even dinners with them are the farthest thing from my mind.
SARA. Not while I'm eating. Goodnight, Brandon.
SARA. What? What?
SARA. No. Please, God, no.
Act 2
AUNT MARTHA. You confused? That's the most encouraging thing I've heard... Then we'll all have a big laugh and maybe some tiramisu for dessert and we'll talk about buying out Heather.
SARA. I need to go, Aunt Martha. Brandon is moaning and I'm migraining and you're responsible for both.
SARA. You did.
SARA. You did.
SARA. I'm sure a little oatmeal will fix it right up. When I stopped off for the peanut butter and jelly... The lettuce was to more or less balance out my shopping cart. I thought it needed something green.
SARA. He was. I'll get the oatmeal. You'd better call Heather. Your cell was ringing in your jacket most of the night.
SARA. That's okay. I wasn't exactly a specimen of delight myself.
SARA. (A bit disappointed) No?
SARA. Hmmm! I'll get your oatmeal. Call Heather.
SARA (O.S.) What?
HEATHER. Do you realize I spent a whole day yesterday pre paring some stupid French dish for you I can't even pronounce?
HEATHER. Don't bother. It's in the garbage. Besides, tonight we're going to my friend Wendy's studio remember? She's showing her new paintings... I had to spend the entire evening talking to my parents all by myself. Just where are you anyway?
HEATHER. Really? Then why didn't you answer the phone when I called?
HEATHER. You're at that Sara's apartment, aren't you?
(Heather hangs up. LIGHTS OUT on her area)
SARA. (ENTERING with a tray that contains a bowl of oatmeal, a glass of water, eating utensils and a napkin) What?
SARA. I'm fine. I'm fine.
SARA. No. No please. No problem. I'll take care of it. (She begins cleaning up with the napkin) Did you call Heather?
SARA. I couldn't agree with you more.
SARA. Yes. Maybe this time try two dozen.
SARA. Heather or the artist?
SARA. That's the oatmeal. It has maple in it. Maybe you should get over to Heather with the roses as soon as possible. Quite frankly, if my fiancée woke up two nights in a row in a strange woman's apartment, I'd be a little upset too.
SARA. No. Yes. I'm fine. You might be better off grabbing something on the way to your office. My body is apparently rebelling from anything kitchen-related.
SARA. You did? Yes, I remember you saying that. Noogie Malloy. Isn't that a coincidence? You have Noogie's card and I have a bunch of Noogie's cards.
SARA. Noogie Malloy? Well, he's a...a cousin.
SARA. Right. A distant one. A very distant one who started a business.
SARA. What was it doing in your jacket pocket?
SARA. Yes, I do keep repeating everything, don't I? What was Noogie's card doing in your pocket? Well, I'm sure it's easy to explain. Uh, where did you say your office was?
SARA. Well, then that explains it.
SARA. How you got his card. That's his area. That's where he passes out his cards. ... forty-nine-fifty. What a bargain. Imagine. If I was a guy and bought three suits I could have saved fifteen hundred dollars. I was sick about it for weeks.
SARA. No? Well, Noogie obviously must have given it to you during your blackout period when you were probably walking around in a fog or something.
SARA. It's the only explanation that makes sense, I hope... I mean, I think.
SARA. Who?
SARA. Well, uh, things.
SARA. Like things. He's kind of a jack of all trades, but between you and me, I wouldn't use him.
SARA. Oh, no.
SARA. (To Brandon) Oh, it's just awful. Cousin Noogie. He was walking down the street...
SARA. And an air conditioning unit fell out of the window and killed him.
SARA. (To Brandon) It's too bad. You would have liked him. He did terrible work, but he's a hoot at parties. (On phone) So long, Aunt Martha. See you at the funeral. (She hangs up)
SARA. About what?
SARA. Oh, Noogie. Right. Well, I'm very fortunate. I have a lot of other cousins. Anyway, that solves that issue, doesn't it? Now, you need to get to work and I have this case that's going to trial.
SARA. My pleasure.
SARA. Yes. Now and then it really was. Goodbye, Brandon and good luck.
SARA. What?
SARA. Brandon. You're conscious. I'm so happy.
SARA. Of course I am. Look how I'm smiling.
SARA. Roses?
SARA. Noogie!
SARA. You did. I'm so impressed.
SARA. It's terrible isn't it? I think one of us should write a letter to the New York Times.
SARA. (Avoids taking the cards) Brandon, I want you to know I had nothing to do with this. I just found out a few seconds ago my Aunt Martha was planning to get you bonked again. So help me, I would have called to warn you had I known sooner.
SARA. She had this crazy scheme to marry us off.
SARA. She felt it could still work out.
SARA. Look, Brandon, you have the right to press charges, to haul us both in, but I'm asking you not to. My aunt is a well meaning, sweet, little old maniac ...I'm just upset by all this. I feel like I'm going to cry.
SARA. (Weakly) You're not?
SARA. I've never felt so awful.
SARA. This is so unlike me. I never get emotional. I never cry.
SARA. It smudges your makeup.
SARA. You noticed?
SARA. I just hate that word.
SARA. That's a little better.
SARA. Not bad.
SARA. That's good too.
SARA. Brandon?
SARA. This conversation is making me very nervous.
SARA. Because we're not talking. (She breaks away) This isn't right. This is not what we should be doing. There are too many other things to deal with.
SARA. Like Noogie, who's not really my cousin, and my aunt who unfortunately really is my aunt, and your fiancée Heather, who is about to go postal.
HEATHER. (Pointing. Upset) And that's Brandon.
HEATHER. You're still here?
SARA. That's it. Nothing more. At no time was there ever anything between Brandon and myself that you need to be at all worried about. Right, Brandon?
SARA. Oh, no. You aren't are you, Brandon?
HEATHER. I wish we could believe that.
HEATHER. Until you are safely married. That's why I think the only solution... Now Brandon, how about Tim Larsen? He's not that good looking, but I still think they'd make a nice couple.
HEATHER. He slouches. After they marry she can take him to an orthopedist. In fact, that could be our wedding gift to them. A gift certificate for six visits.
HEATHER. Okay. Then how about Bert Ridgley?
HEATHER. I apologize. I truly didn't mean it that way.
HEATHER. Okay. Then what about Jonathan Clay?
HEATHER. Really, Brandon, don't you think we should let Sara decide that for herself?
SARA. That's true, Brandon. You sound much too concerned about me.
NOOGIE. Oh, wow. That was good. And I've been taken out by the best. (To Brandon) It was you, right?
NOOGIE. Then I'll give it to you. I'm Noogie Malloy. Here's my card. They're gone.
NOOGIE. Oh, good. Give one to her. I've got hundreds more at home. Well, it looks like you kids have a lot to discuss and I've got a busy day ahead of me so I'll be going.
NOOGIE. (Looks at watch) It's after one. I haven't had my lunch yet.
SARA. Aunt Martha, I obviously haven't made it clear why I don't want a man in my life so let me try to do it now with a little visualization.
HEATHER. (To Brandon) You have both those things.
SARA. I open the fridge to be confronted by another nightmare. It's totally filled with ... basketball on Saturday afternoon and play all night poker on Thursdays, they need their beer.
HEATHER. We were planning to have a big family weren't we?
HEATHER. Oh, my God. Oh, my God. It was… It was… I think I’m going to be sick.
SARA. I know. She's obviously very sensitive. Anyway, you have to admit she had it coming. Trying to fix me up with Jonathan the taxidermist was way over the line. You're not angry are you?
SARA (CONTINUED) Which could be an improvement. (She opens the door. It's Brandon) Brandon?
SARA. You had every right to be. I was wrong in what I did and if you'd like, I'll call Heather and apologize. Actu ally, I can see why you were attracted to her. She's quite pretty. Eventually I'll bet she'll get into other colors besides brown.
SARA. I wouldn't be at all surprised if your marriage worked out. Most marriages don't, you know. ... I'll get on that right away and then maybe the two of us can figure out why I'm so stupidly babbling on like this.
SARA. Yes, of course. I mean, no. I mean...
SARA. (Elated) She did? (Catching herself. Less jubilant) Well, what did I tell you? That visualization drivel you came up with could frighten the hell out of anyone. I hope you didn't rent your tuxedo yet.
SARA. I had a fortune cookie with that same message.
SARA. And?
SARA. It was? Oh, damn it, Brandon, I don't know if this is appropriate? You're barely unengaged. Shouldn't there be a bereavement period?
SARA. Oh, well, that's different. So then what you're saying is that...
SARA. No. No, you can't.
SARA. I see. Maybe it's possible Aunt Martha knows what she's doing. Now where were we?
Created by: karagoldberg
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