I get home at around 3 AM, the night is so silent there’s an unquiet quality to it all. A stillness that is thick and gooey, black, and as I step through it, it’s causing ripples all the way to her in the back. I jingle my keys out of my pocket, take a deep breath and open the door to see her in the living room. The lamp is on the lowest setting, the romantic setting, like we used to have. Now it reminds me of what could have been.
Immediately she starts yelling. I want more. She’s not convicted enough in her actions, make a bolder choice. She looks at me, then quickly her eyes darts away. Good, that’s a subtle tactic that if the audience manages to catch, it’ll pay off immensely. As I remain stoic, as my stage directions tell me to, she breaks down and starts to cry. A little mellow dramatic, I have to admit, but at least she’s trying something new.
She’s pacing back and forth: it’s a good movement and use of the space. It contrasts well with my stillness: the stage picture is just about perfect. Now she mentions my past and my own issues with my father, a risky move, but its developing story and character. What do I do? I call her a bitch right off the bat. Don’t mention someone so fucking trivial and non-existent to me.
Her face shows good reaction, she’s not there just taking the lines in, she’s actually listening to me this time. But she starts to scream. Careful now, whenever scenes go violent, it diminishes the value. Stage combat is tricky to block! Still, she continues to shout and threatens divorce, her escape, taking of my son. This is great! A lot of conflicts are arising and there is a clear objective!
She steps closer and strikes me, hard. Whoa, careful now, that was a bit too close for comfort. I take a step back, stunned honestly. Now, don’t make any more rash decisions. *Strike* Alright, you need to review your script, you aren’t supposed to hit me. Let’s call this a wrap and say cut for the night? *Strike* Quit it, the cameras stopped rolling. *Strike* No I mean it, please stop. *Strike* Why are you doing this to me? *Strike* GODDAMNIT, WHAT DO YOU WANT FROM ME?
She looks at me wide eyed and tells me to keep my noise down, I’ll wake him up. She storms off back to HER bedroom. This never happens. I never break character. What’s going on?
My son enters the scene. Once again, something that’s never happened. I’m sorry, were we too loud, mom and I?
And just like that the calm was broken. The bombs were dropped, and palms were felt, the harm was dealt. Fade to black. Credits roll. Curtains close. 4th wall shattered. Burn the words that shackle my choices: I no longer want to live within the confines of lines and words, words, words.