Living room. Mara is straddling Victor’s lap and attempting to make out with him. He pats her hips occasionally but is generally stand offish.
Mara: Why aren’t you kissing me?
Victor: I am kissing you.
Mara: Uhm..not really Victor.
Victor: What does that mean? I’m kissing you.
Mara: Ok but not a real kiss. Not a there’s-a-girl-in-my-lap-wanting-action type kissing.
Victor:(deadpan, resigned)I’m sorry I’m not doing what you want me to do.
Mara: Ugh! (She lets herself slide from his lap to the couch beside him)
Victor: I don’t know what you want from me.
Mara: Okay, the way you’re kissing me is like the equivalent of a parent patting an annoying child’s head.
Victor: What?? (he’s thrown: but Mara has a history of metaphors)
Mara: Like “yes Johnny, I see you have a blue crayon,” or “yes Sally I see that you only spilled HALF your milk this time”
Victor: (confused, half laugh) what??
Mara: I’m not trying to be funny here, Victor. It’s like “yes wife, I see you in my lap and that you’re kissing me so I guess I have to respond” type kissing.
Mara: Arrrggghhh.. I want to be a friggin couple again! Remember that? Back when you gave a shit about me and actually wanted to have sex with me??
Victor: I DO want to have sex with you.
Mara: Since when??
Victor: Since always. Where is this even coming from?
Mara: It’s coming from a lack of sex for two months!
Victor: I’m tired.
Mara: YOU are tired? YOU..are tired??
Victor: Yes, I work hard.
Mara: Victor, I get up two hours before you and jog. I work on my feet all day long in an emotionally toxic atmosphere and get home two hours after you. And.. you are too tired?
Mara: Wow. ..wow. You really are something you know that? I’m not even asking for sex like we had before we were married. I’m asking for whatever it is we’re calling what we did after we were married. (He does not acknowledge the dig) Nothing to say to that? You know, when you drill me for a couple seconds an—
Victor: Knock it off.
Mara: Well, I mean SERIOUSLY..
Victor: Seriously what??
Mara: I’m tired of feeling dirty and shameful just because I have a normal sex drive. You reject me all the time, Victor.
Victor: Ok, I’m sorry.
Mara: That’s it?
Victor: What do you want?
Mara: UGH, I want to not be rejected anymore. I mean, okay, I get if you’re tired or whatever sometimes but you ALWAYS reject me and it’s not just the rejection, it’s HOW you reject me.
Victor: How’s that?
Mara: Like you just did! You smile in that way that people do when it doesn’t reach their eyes cuz they are trying to diffuse a situation or you might touch me for a second but never enough to ‘lead me on.’
Victor: You would rather I just vocalize it?
Mara: What? That you aren’t attracted to me anymore?
Victor: No! I am attracted to you usually just sometimes I don’t feel like it.
Mara: Usually…right. Whatever. Fine. I get not feeling like it sometimes but you NEVER feel like it..
Victor: What do you want from me?
Mara: Oh my god..seriously, Victor? You know what I think? I think you’re NOT attracted to me anymore and admitting it to even YOURSELF would have consequences that you don’t want to deal with!
Victor: No, that’s not it.
Mara: THEN WHAT IS IT?
Victor: Maybe it’s all the baby talk. I don’t know.
Mara: Oh please, this issue did NOT start with us, or rather ME, talking about getting pregnant and you know it. What I think is that if you admitted to yourself that you didn’t want me anymore, it would mean that this marriage would have to end and you’d be a failure. And you can’t even lose at a card game let alone a marriage, Victor! (When she uses his name, it’s almost like a plea to get through to him each time) Hell, you heard your mother say she didn’t think you’d ever find someone so can you imagine having to tell her you failed at a marriage??
Victor: Just stop.
Mara: Ok seriously.. That’s it? ‘Just stop’? Are you passionate about ANYTHING??
Victor: I don’t want to keep talking to you when you’re like this
Mara: Like WHAT? When I’m actually giving a shit about my marriage? You know it’s not just the sex, that’s just a damned symptom of this shitty marriage, Victor.
Victor: You need to calm down. I’ll talk to you later.
Mara: Oh Jesus, you’re gonna run away now and go play with your fantasy girls online??
Victor: Yea well sometimes it’s nice to get away.
Mara: Get away from WHAT? I cook your meals, I clean the house, I drive you around like an effin chauffer since (she uses air quotes and a voice to mock him) “you don’t like too.” Christ, you want me to wipe your ass for you too???
Victor: (with a hint of a smile) No.
Mara: I’m not trying to be funny!!! Screw it, I’m out.
Victor: Where are you going?
Mara: Away (She picks up her phone and goes toward the door)
Victor: Oh, that’s nice. Go talk to your mom about our sex life.
Mara: I don’t talk to her about our sex life! (Victor looks at her with clear disbelief)No I don’t! What the hell, Victor.
Mara: Yea, whatever! Jesus Christ I’m taking my phone to play games while I cool down away from you.
Victor: Yea right.
Mara: WHAT THE FUCK! Not all of us talk to our mommys every day. Some of us have our big boy or girl panties on and don’t call to tell them every time we take a shit.
Victor: You are out of line!
Mara: The hell I am! I’m gone. (She heads toward the door again)
Victor: (He steps in front of her) No you are not. You are not going anywhere
Mara: (She goes to step around him) The hell I’m not! (He blocks her) Get out of my way.
Victor: No, you’ll end up hurting yourself
Mara: NOW you’re concerned about me, Victor???
Victor: I’m always concerned and you’re not leaving. (Throughout the next several lines, the struggle continues. Victor is careful to never push her or ‘lay hands’ on her – only block her with his body)
Mara: I’m not going to hurt myself and you’re pissing me off and I need to go get some damned air before I DO hurt myself!
Victor: Is that a threat?
Mara: Jesus Christ, Victor, NO IT’S NOT A THREAT. I’m SAYING I need some air. That’s all.
Mara: Move.. get out of the way.. Fine I won’t’ take my phone just move.. MOVE..please! Victor, please! stop!!! (She’s been cornered too long and finally whacks her softly closed fits against his chest – not hard enough to hurt, it’s only out of frustration)
Victor: (He backs off fast, very emotional)THAT’S ABUSE, YOU CAN’T HIT ME
Mara: Whoa! Are you kidding me right now? You were trapping me!
Victor: But I didn’t lay hands on you like you just did to me!
Mara: I barely effing touched you! (She’s distraught. She knows she couldn’t have hurt him but being accused of being abusive is striking a nerve)
Victor: You can’t hit! I could call the cops.
Mara: I BARELY TOUCHED YOU
Victor: It’s still abuse, just like what your mom did to you!
Mara: Oh my god I barely touched you. You had me trapped and wouldn’t let me out!!!
Victor: I was just protecting you.
Mara: No, you thought I was gonna talk to my mom and everyone would find out you aren’t Mr. perfect even though you put on a damned good show around others.
Victor: I can’t believe you hit me. I can’t believe you hit me. Just like you used to beat your dog after your mom would beat you, now you are beating me!
Mara: You HAVE to be kidding. (She’s panicking) You can’t throw all this shit in my face after I tap your chest in frustration.
Victor: You’re beating me just like you beat the dog when you were little.
Mara: OH MY GOD..i am not BEATING you!! And it’s so unfair for you to bring that up and manipulate me with this since you KNOW I’ve always been worried about hurting my kids the way my mom hurt me.
Victor: Well I guess now we kn-
Mara: DON’T YOU SAY IT! You’re being a manipulative bastard!
Victor: And you’re abusive….
Mara: (crying now) I don’t know what to do at this point. Talking to you is impossible.
Victor: You need help.
Mara: For WHAT? For wanting to be married to the man I dated, Victor? Or for wanting a NORMAL sex life? Or for getting freaked out and whacking your chest when you are trapping me?
Victor: (He is still being emotional, but he can see he’s winning) You beat me.
Mara: I did NOT BEAT YOU!! Jesus. Beating is when a mother steps on her kid’s hair so she can’t move and then kicks her!
Victor: Come to think of it.. Maybe this is why I haven’t wanted to have sex
Mara: (completely taken aback)..What?
Victor: Because I can probably feel your abusiveness under the surface. I’m probably afraid of you. (There is a large part of him that believes what he’s saying, this needs to come across as genuine)
Mara: Please tell me you’re kidding me.
Victor: I’m probably just protecting myself.
Mara: Oh my god. You have to be messing with my head right now because there is NO way you mean this. Ok, I don’t want to sound conceited here but I’m a really good wife. I cook all our meals, I keep the house spotless, I’m attentive to each of your moods, I buy you little gifts and do special things for you..
Victor: But you hit me.
Mara: I “hit” (she air quotes) you once and that’s cuz you were trapping me! OH MY GOD (She knows she’s being manipulated, but even knowing that she can’t imagine acquiescing to being ‘abusive.’)
Victor: No, you know how you get. I was helping you.
Mara: (distraught) This can’t be happening. I was trying to talk about us and now you’ve got it all turned around on me.
Victor: You need to get help. And I’ll support you.
Mara: (Sinking down into the couch) You’ll support me? How grand of you.
Victor: Yes I will (He sits down by her, but not so close that she may think he was there to hold her)
Mara: (She notices the distance and doesn’t try to get close, she’s defeated) Fine. I’ll get help. I just don’t want to lose you.
(Victor nods non-commit ally in response)
Mara: (She notices this brush off too and starts to cry) I don’t know how to fix this. What do I do?
Victor: Get help..
Mara: I know! Oh my god, just forget it! I’ll figure it out on my own. (She dashes her tears, steeling herself) What do you want for dinner?
Victor: (elated that this is over, jumping to his feet to head toward the office) Something new. I’ll be on the computer. (he exits)
Mara: (she’s slack jawed at the audacity, but what can she do? She calls after him, forcing her voice to be steady) No problem. And some of those potatoes you like if it works with what I make? (She waits for his response but nothing comes. Her resolve breaks and she starts to sob)