“…Best Friend.”
By
Diane Karagienakos
January 24, 2013 28A Glover St.
San Francisco, CA 94109
dianekaragienakos@gmail.com
415.279.8791
ACT I
Scene 1
A funeral: two ash-filled urns with a framed photo
of the (respective) deceased next to each. There
are guest-filled chairs at the foot of the urns,
and a pulpit at the head. The audience cannot see
the photos that are framed.
Chris rises from his chair and approaches the
pulpit. En route, he lovingly turns the frames so
that he’ll be able to view the photos as he
speaks. The theatre audience cannot see the
photos.
CHRIS
Hi, My name’s Chris and I’m an alcoholic. Sorry I
didn’t mean to say that, I’m just not used to public
speaking, and the only time I ever do, that’s how it
starts. Let me start over. First, thank you for coming
today. Jack is my best friend. Was my best friend. He
was my roommate, my confidant, he was everything to me.
The day he brought Ennis into our home. It was obvious
how happy Ennis made Jack. Happier than I’d ever seen
him. It wasn’t easy, sharing Jack. Accepting that this
was his choice. But it was his choice. So… much as
this hurts, I choose today to be grateful for the time
I had with Jack — and Ennis — rather than be
resentful that they were both taken from all of us so
suddenly. But, at least we know that now they are
together forever.
Chris forbids emotion from entering his expression
as he hastily exits the room.
Todd rises from his seat, walks briskly to the
puplit. He looks spitefully at one of the framed
photos.
TODD
“Ennis”?
(gesturing quotation marks with his
fingers)
What, were you living on Brokeback Mountain?
He was Fosse to me, because when he sleeps, he does
this sort-of…
Todd mimes a sleeping “jazz hands” pose.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 2.
TODD
Fosse was a free spirit. He loved his freedom, just
like Coyote in that Joni Mitchell song “Help Me” or no
wait, it was the actual song “Coyote.” Whatever. He’d
take off, sometimes for days at a time. That’s just who
he was. But he always came home to me. Until one night
last year he went out and never came back. And I have
been so devastated and so angry. Because I gave him a
good life. I gave him everything. And he hurt me!
Despite that, his home, his final home, should be with
me.
Todd goes and picks up one of the ash-filled urns
and walks toward the door. Chris re-enters,
blocking Todd from leaving.
CHRIS
You can’t just take him.
TODD
Yes I can.
CHRIS
No you can’t.
TODD
Yes I can.
CHRIS
No you can’t! Stop now! Look, I’m sorry, I had no idea
he had someone out there. But I can’t just let you tear
them apart. How did you even find us?
TODD
Facebook. I got a notification that a friend of a
friend of mine posted a comment on the event that was
created for the page of this group I’m in.
CHRIS
Huh? What’s your name?
TODD
Todd.
CHRIS
Look, Todd, I’m sorry you and Ennis…
TODD
Fosse.
CHRIS
Look, I’m sorry Fosse just left like that, I can’t
imagine what you’re going through. But you can’t take
(MORE)
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 3.
CHRIS (cont’d)
it personally, and you can’t take his ashes. If you’d
seen the two of them together, they were like a set of
salt and pepper shakers! You couldn’t imagine one
without the other.
TODD
Well it’s easy for you, you were the one they chose to
be with. How come Fosse never brought Jack home to meet
me?
CHRIS
Jack was a homebody. Fosse would want to go out. But
Jack, he had a small comfort zone. I think that’s why
they got on so well. Jack was steady, calm. Fosse was
adventure and mischief. They sort of completed each
other.
TODD
I just wish I got a chance to say goodbye. Tell him I
loved him so much.
CHRIS
You can say it now. Go ahead. Talk to him.
While Chris takes a seat, Todd returns the urn to
where he got it. He picks up the framed photo (of
Fosse/Ennis) next to it and speaks directly to it.
TODD
I just want you to know that I loved you. You made me
crazy sometimes, but that’s only because I loved you so
much. I’m sorry if I smothered you sometimes. Forgive
me?
Todd takes a deep breath and hugs the photo tight.
(It is only then that the audience can see that
its a photo of a dog.) A weight has been lifted.
Todd glances over at Chris, who is disappearing in
his thoughts. Todd takes the other photo (of Jack)
and brings it to Chris, and sits next to him.
TODD
Thank you. Thank you for listening, you really helped
me. You could be one of those life coaches. Ever
thought of that, a motivational speaker? You’d be
great.
CHRIS
I just want a drink.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 4.
TODD
Oh sure come on, I’ll buy you a drink! Oh, sorry sorry
sorry, I forgot about the whole alcoholic thing. Sorry!
CHRIS
I can’t go home. It’s so empty. I’ve been so busy
planning this service and it’s been like having them
with me, making all these arrangements. But now it’s
over and I’m going home alone and that’s it. They’re
gone forever. Oh God I don’t want to go home. I want a
drink.
TODD
NO! You can’t, I won’t let you do that!
CHRIS
You won’t let me do that?
TODD
I mean, imagine if they were still here. You wouldn’t
want to drink then, would you? You should let their
memory inspire you.
CHRIS
They’re not here. They’re dead and that’s exactly why I
want to drink.
TODD
Okay, okay, then don’t drink for me. Look, I don’t like
many people. Actually, I don’t really like people at
all. That’s why Fosse mattered so much to me. He was my
family. But he’s gone now, and… you knew him. He must
have liked you too. And, I just like talking to you
right now. It helps. You and I are connected now
because of them!
CHRIS
I talked to Jack all the time, at some point I stopped
noticing that our conversations were a little
one-sided. It’s funny, they communicate in their own
way though.
TODD
Oh my god Fossee would give me this face when opened
his drawer to pull out his outfit every morning…
CHRIS
His outfit? Every morning? Tell me you didn’t!
TODD
I most certainly did! He would get cold so easily, he
had zero body fat. Here I’ll show you a picture.
(CONTINUED)
CONTINUED: 5.
Todd takes out his smartphone, finds a photo on it
and hands it to Chris.
TODD
This is his raincoat, it’s Burberry, you can tell by
the lining there, see? It’ got little epaulets.
Chris scrolls through photos on Todd’s smartphone.
CHRIS
This is why he ran away, okay? This is exactly why he
ran away…
TODD
You take that back!
CHRIS
Fosse was an autumn and you have him in Newport Blue.
Man, that’s just mean…
fade to conversational laughter…
THE END