Setting: A bar. MIKE and the LITERARY LOTHARIO sit at a table. MIKE drinks a hard cider. The LITERARY LOTHARIO is downing something a bit more potent. MIKE eyes him with disapproval.
I can’t believe what I’m hearing, buddy. A few months ago you couldn’t stop talking about your Novel. It was as if there was nothing else in the world. You couldn’t stop telling me how beautiful she was, how unique she was. You loved the cute way she wrapped up her first act and how her characters were so well-rounded. And then you went on and on about her story construction! I thought I was gonna have to hose you down.
You knew she was special. You always carved out time to be with her. And when you couldn’t be with her, you thought about her.
So what happened, man?
You know what happened? I’ll tell you what happened. It happens in every relationship. You’re halfway through the first draft. You moved past the dreamy, infatuation stage, and you started to notice that your Novel wasn’t as perfect as you thought she was.
And now you’re starting to ask yourself questions:
“Did she always have that plot hole?”
“Was that well-rounded character I loved so much always just a loose assembly of quirky traits?”
And now you’re starting to think, “Why is this relationship requiring so much work?”
You wanna know the answer to that last one? Because all relationships require work.
And now that things have gotten a little more real, now that the glow has faded a little, you’re starting to stray.
You don’t think I see your eyes wander? I heard about you and that novella. Don’t even bother denying it. And just the other day I spotted you canoodling with some free verse. What are you, 17? Grow up! God only know what you can catch from such a loose and unrestrained form of writing!
You have a beautiful Novel at home and you’re out cruising for new stories. Do you think that’s the way to strengthen a relationship? Do you think that’s the way to be happy? And don’t even pretend that this is her fault. You’re screwing this all up, not her.
(Pause. MIKE sighs.)
Let me tell you something, bucko. In the long run this behavior will leave you empty inside. You’ll look back on a life full of empty flings and false starts and wonder why you don’t have a fully-realized Novel to call your own.
You were in love, man! IN LOVE! You and your Novel were the perfect pair. Don’t walk away from that.
Go home, dummy. Work on that Novel of yours. Rekindle that spark. ‘Cause let me tell you something. If you don’t take good care of her, I will. You get me?
(The LITERARY LOTHARIO exits, leaving his drink half finished. MIKE nods and smiles.)
(MIKE finishes off his cider and waves for another round as the lights fade.)