free solo stage play script monologue

Late

by D. M. Larson
(a play for TWO MALE ACTORS)



Late

by D. M. Larson (a play for TWO MALE ACTORS)

Gus is a service station worker who is sitting with a clipboard waiting for customers.  Karl rushes in.

KARL

I'm so sorry I'm late.

GUS

What time was your appointment?

Karl hands over his keys to Gus.  During the following, Gus tags the keys and then can hand off the keys to another worker or he can rush the keys off stage or put it on a line and push the keys on the line off stage.

KARL

It was 30 minutes ago.  I'm never late.  I'm so sorry about this.  I'd understand if you can fit me in now.

GUS

No worries we got you covered.

KARL

Now I'm late for work. I hate being late for work. It's not that I will get fired; it's more that they look at you a different way.  They give you this look... you're not as good as us, or we have one up on you, or we have something we can use against you.  I always try to play it straight.  Always on time.  Never late.  I'm so late today. 

Gus is sitting relaxed listening eating a doughnut.

Karl (CONT.)

I sometimes wish I could be a slacker. What's that like?

GUS

Hard to say. Need a ride to work?

KARL

Will it be awhile? Something wrong with my car?  Figures.  Everything is going wrong.  Everything's so right then it goes so wrong.  Well, that's not true.  I hate to sound that way.  Is it really that bad?

GUS

You bring in your car pretty regular.  I don't see a need to worry.

KARL

That's me. Mr. Do-right.
Most my life it was Mr. Do-right
But it was getting to me.  Really getting to me.  I thought I was going to have a heart attack.  How could following the rules so perfectly make me so perfectly stressed? Shouldn't right be... right?  But it didn't feel right.  I was so unhappy. I just wanted to be happy for once. Just have one little bit of happiness for the first time in my life.

Karl pauses and looks at Gus.  Gus is listening, quite curious about what Karl is talking about.

KARL

You want to know why I'm late?

GUS

Of course.

KARL

I am late because my girlfriend is late.

GUS

Late?  Ohhhh... late.  I see.

KARL

Yeah, that kind of late.  The kind of late that changes your life and you can't go back.

GUS

Well... you can but...

KARL

No.  No way.  I'm not doing that.  Never. 

GUS

So what are you going to do?

KARL

She really wants the baby.  She actually thought she couldn't have one and she's so happy she can.  Well, she's freaking out, but happy.

GUS

Makes sense.

KARL

I want to be happy to, but all these worries keep making it so hard.  That's not fair to her...

GUS

Or yourself.

KARL

I tend to forget about me.

GUS

Not a good idea.  If we don't take care of ourselves then we can't help anyone else.

KARL

Especially not a baby.  Am I ready to be a father?

GUS

It changes your life.

KARL

I've never changed anything.  I always do the same thing.  I get up at 5am.  Eat the same breakfast.  Get to work the same time... usually.  Get my car serviced once a month.

GUS

I'm thankful for that one.

KARL

But this... this changes everything.

GUS

Get ready for an adventure.

KARL

Adventure... That's a scary word.

GUS

Really?  I love that word.  I want every day to be an adventure.

KARL

Every day!  I'd go crazy.  Every day I want the same thing.  I want to know what's coming.

GUS

Do you want it?  Need it?  Or just do it because seems right?  Before today, what was the last thing you did that wasn't planned or scheduled?

KARL

Kissed a beautiful woman that I wasn't sure liked me back.

GUS

How did it feel?

KARL

Scary... crazy... But it was memorable... the best kiss ever.  I'll never forget it.  And I never stopped kissing her.  I guess that's why she's late.

GUS

Do that think it changed you?

KARL

Totally.

GUS

For the better.

KARL

Yes.  Things have never been the same.  And they've gotten better.  I actually feel happy sometimes.  I never really felt happy before.  But now I do.  I didn't know I was missing some happy until I got some.

Gus laughs at Karl's strange way of putting it.

GUS

Kids do that too.  They make every day a new experience.  And it's amazing to see the world through their eyes.  I think we learn more from them than they do for us.  You're in for an adventure my friend.

Gus gets the keys returned the same way he sent them.

KARL

There's that word again.  Adventure.  Maybe it's time I had some in my life.  Playing it safe got me nothing but a job I hate and an ulcer.  Thanks for listening.  I kind of unloaded on you.

GUS

No problemo.  Happy to help.  Here's the bill.  Therapy would have been cheaper I think.

Gus hands over the bill.

KARL

Funny.

GUS

I thought so.  Hopefully you're not too late for work.

KARL

I'm calling in sick.

GUS

You're kidding?

KARL

I have a beautiful woman to kiss and a baby to celebrate.

Karl exits.

GUS

Don't forget to bring us all some cigars!   I wonder if anyone actually does that anymore?  My cousin handed out lollipops when his kid was born. I wanted to punch him.

END OF PLAY




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