An excerpt from Inside/Out, which is moving into development for performance in mid-late 2012.
Mark enters stage right (from Liza’s bedroom). Liza has her feet up, eyes closed on the sofa. There’s an array of pill bottles on the table in front of her. Mark looks at her, prepares to leave.
LIZA: You’re off?
MARK: Yeah, I’m off. Don’t get up. The doctor said you should rest.
LIZA: I know. I’ll miss you.
MARK: I’ll be home as soon as I can.
He kisses her forehead and leaves.
Out of range…No service…Fuzzy lines…Pills…Tablets… The doctor says I have to get fresh air. Thank God for Mark. He didn’t take me out of the house. He didn’t let them take me to the hospital. Fresh air? It’s dangerous. Enough air comes in with Mark… (She gets up and goes to the door. Lays a hand on it) It’s cold. Wood, it’s just wood. But on the other side is…nothing. It doesn’t have a name. This has a name. This here. It’s home.
Lights up on Fay’s bedroom, where Fay and Mark lean on the other side of the door, kissing. Fay drags him to the bed. They fuck.
That…that’s other. Danger. Unknown. Why would you want the unknown when the known can keep you safe and warm and dry? The warmth of a body you know and trust. (beat) How do people live like that? The constant fear; blood rushing through your body at a hundred miles an hour, threatening to burst out of your veins at the slightest tremor from the earth beneath you. The constant reminder that you’re mortal, the world around you is changing that there’s nothing you can do to stop it, or slow it. You can’t grab it in your hands or step on it with your feet, or hold it in your mouth. All you can do is try to remember to breathe.
Mark and Fay fall back, panting. Lights down on Liza as she says:
I couldn’t live like that.
FAY: Well. (beat) That was enjoyable.
MARK: I’m glad you liked it (Beat) I don’t know why we did it…again…
FAY: and again…
MARK (conceding): and again…but I’m glad you liked it.
FAY: We did it because everyone needs to walk on the wild side sometimes.
MARK: Adultery is hardly wild. People do it every day.
FAY: Congratulations. You’re a statistic.
MARK: Is that supposed to make me feel better?
FAY: Did it?
FAY: Think about it this way: Your wife is an agoraphobe.
FAY: She never leaves the house.
FAY: How can you possibly get caught? You could sleep with every man woman and child that lives on your fucking street, and she’d never know because she doesn’t look out the window.
MARK: I’m sure you shouldn’t be encouraging adultery.
FAY: I don’t – unless it’s with me. Come on, let’s run rampant in the streets.
MARK: I don’t think I can get up right now.
FAY: Come on, where’s your sense of fun?
She rolls him out of bed. He lands on the floor. Stays there.
MARK: Didn’t we just do that? The fun part?
FAY: Fucking fun it was too.
MARK: So here’s the guilt part.
FAY: Call her.
MARK: Are you crazy?
FAY: Why not?
MARK: It’s not break time. (He gets up) And I’d better get to work before it is.
FAY: You take a break at the same time everyday?
MARK: To the minute. Liza calls at the same time every day. It’s part of her routine. (He pulls his trousers on. Without looking at Fay) Don’t look at me like that.
FAY: Like what?
MARK: Like I’m a pussy whipped altar boy –
FAY: My, grandma, how foul mouthed you are –
MARK: Shut up. I do it for her, not because she says to. She needs that from me –
FAY: What she needs from you is a divorce. She needs to be shaken up. She doesn’t need you handling her –
MARK: She needs me –
FAY: You think she needs you. But you don’t know that. Maybe, just maybe, she’s a sociopath that just wants to keep people hanging on a string –
MARK: I’m the only person she’s really spoken to in months. She doesn’t even see the therapist anymore.
FAY: And why is that, Mark?
MARK: The therapist just wanted to drug her up. Pour pills into her. She didn’t want to be a junkie.
FAY: And how many pills is she full of right now? (beat. No answer) Well? If she wanted to be even vaguely normal, wouldn’t she do everything in her power to make that happen?
MARK: If you were scared of something – if you were scared of imperfection, wouldn’t you refuse to acknowledge it?
FAY: She’s not scared of imperfections, she’s scared of you!
MARK: She’s not scared of me, don’t be ridiculous –
FAY: She’s scared that if she goes outside, she’ll lose you.
MARK: Where did you get that from?
FAY: It’s all there. Did you beat her first, was that it?
FAY: Did she like it? What did you do? Deprive her of food? Sex? Wait, no, you’re a man. What set her off? What did you do? You don’t go crazy like that for no reason.
MARK: Why do you think I did it?
FAY: You’re a puppet.
MARK: You said that already. I’m a puppet. Suggestible, malleable, easily seduced, apparently.
FAY: So why does it look like you hold the strings?
MARK: What do you mean?
FAY: If she’s in charge, why don’t you work from home? Why don’t you give her what she wants? If she really wanted you there all the time and you really were that submissive, you wouldn’t go out –
MARK: I’m trying to help her –
FAY: By adding to her fear! Just take her outside. Force it. What harm could it do?
MARK: I dunno, a heart attack could be harmful.
FAY: She’s stronger than that.
MARK: You don’t know her.
FAY: I don’t think you do, either.
MARK: I have to go. (He gets up to leave)
FAY: Fine. Fucking go. We both know I’m right. Uncertainty just set your house on fire, and now you’re going to run right back inside. Someone cares about you, Mark. I’m just not sure it’s your wife.
Mark looks at her. He leaves.