WHAT TO AVOID IN CARE (a short play)

15 December 2014

LIGHTS UP

AT RISE: the ANTI-DOULA sits at a table with the DOULA, who stirs a pot of food. The CHORUS circles around throughout.

CHORUS: (like a cell phone) breep-breep-breep!

The ANTI-DOULA looks at his cell phone in disgust, then gets up to leave.

From here on out, gestures by the CHORUS are exaggeratedly pantomimed (silent).

DOULA: You’re going?

ANTI-DOULA: Mom needs me to take CARE of her.

CHORUS: (surrounding the ANTI-DOULA in a hug) Awwwwwwwwwww.

DOULA: Now?

ANTI-DOULA: I don’t CARE to discuss this right now.

CHORUS: (arms extended, in a “keep it away from”/”none of my business” me gesture) Nawwwwwwwwwww.

DOULA: Should I wait dinner for us then?

ANTI-DOULA: I don’t CARE what you–

CHORUS: (arms up, like being arrested, in the “vast shrug of apathy” gesture) Bawwwwwwwwwwwww.

DOULA: Hey! Just cuz you’re pissed, don’t take it out–

ANTI-DOULA: (crossing back to the DOULA) No, you’re right. I’m sorry.

They kiss, pause, then both look at the audience.

CHORUS: (tongues hanging out, exaggeratedly grossed out, but fascinated at the same time) Gawwwwwwwwwwwww!

ANTI-DOULA (CON’T)

Do you suppose they CARE that we’re–

DOULA: You mean about–

ANTI-DOULA: Or about my mother’s chronic scleroderma?

CHORUS: (making a false showing of obligatory sentiment) Mawwwwwwwwwwwwww!

DOULA: That’s redundant. Scleroderma’s always chronic.

ANTI-DOULA: Who cares?

CHORUS: (arms up, like being arrested, in the “vast shrug of apathy” gesture) Bawwwwwwwwwwwww.

DOULA: Sorry. I just meant–

The DOULA and ANTI-DOULA look back to one another, just a quick kiss this time.

DOULA (CON’T)

(sighing) Take CARE.

CHORUS: (mocking the sentimentality of the statement) Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaw!

ANTI-DOULA: (grumbling, leaving) More like “GIVE care”.

CHORUS: (made jolly by the pun or wit) Haaaaaaaaaaaaaaaw!

DOULA: (calling after, like a “yoo-hoo”) Decide to temporarily enter into her structure.

CHORUS: (at a total loss) Whaaaaaaaa?

ANTI-DOULA: What?

DOULA: Decide to temporarily enter into her structure.

ANTI-DOULA: What?

DOULA: That’s what care is: to decide to temporarily enter into the structure of another living system.

ANTI-DOULA: (still puzzled, exiting) You don’t say.

DOULA: Drive carefully.

The DOULA looks to the CHORUS for a reaction, but they’re still helplessly confused. They shrug.

LIGHTS DOWN

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