EM Lewis

THIS ISN’T ABOUT LOVE

CHARACTERS:

Kate (34) — Production Coordinator for a large corporation.  Capable and professional.  Likes her job and likes knowing that she’s good at it.

Erik (38) — One of 23 vice presidents for a different, mid-sized corporation; in charge of Corporate Development.

SETTING:  The bathroom of a nice hotel.

When the lights come up, Kate is sitting on the toilet seat, putting on her nylons.  She is wearing a slip.
Erik comes into the bathroom wearing boxer shorts and black socks, carrying his dress shoes.  He leans against the door frame and watches Kate.

ERIK
I could fall in love with you.

KATE
I bet you could fall in love with a lot of people.

Erik goes to the mirror and looks at himself.  He finger combs his hair.

ERIK
No, really.

KATE
These have a run.

ERIK
I could.

KATE
This isn’t about love.

ERIK
I thought women were always about lovey dovey crap.

KATE
Where’s my purse?

Erik exits, then comes back a moment later carrying Kate’s purse.

ERIK
Flowers.  Walks by the ocean.

KATE
(taking purse)
What time is it?

Erik looks at his wrist, which doesn’t have a watch on it, then exits.
Kate rummages around and finds clear nail polish in her purse.  She paints some of it onto the run in her nylons.
Erik enters with his pants over his arm, strapping on his watch.

ERIK
One forty-five.

KATE
Shit.

ERIK
You want a soda?  There’s soda.
(beat)
What are you doing?

KATE
Diet Pepsi?

ERIK
I thought that went on your fingernails.

KATE
It stops runs.

Erik exits.
Kate straightens her hair and makeup in the mirror.

KATE
(calling out)
Bring my dress here, will you?

ERIK (O.S.)
Coke okay?

KATE
As long as it’s diet.

ERIK (O.S.)
What?

Erik enters, carrying Kate’s dress and a Diet Coke.  Kate takes both, opens the soda, and drinks.

KATE
(pause)
That was good.

ERIK
I wish there was coffee.

KATE
I mean the sex.

ERIK
Oh!

KATE
It was good.  Thank you.

ERIK
Sure!  Yeah.  Uh… any time.
(beat)
You make it sound like a business deal.

KATE
(grinning; flirty; putting on dress)
Business lunch.

ERIK
Saying thank you, I mean.  People don’t usually say thank you about sex.

KATE
They do if it’s good.  You’ll drop me off?

ERIK
Sure.
(beat)
This makes eight.

KATE
Eight what?

ERIK
Times.  We’ve done this.

KATE
(beat; considering)
We must like it.  What time is it now?

ERIK
One forty seven.

KATE
Shit.
(beat; indicates Erik’s state of undress)
You driving me that way?

Kate exits.
Erik puts on his pants and shoes.

ERIK
I always fall for women who are unassailable.  Like medieval castles.

Kate enters, carrying her suit jacket and shoes, and Erik’s dress shirt and tie.  She puts on her jacket and shoes.

KATE
What was that?

ERIK
I said, when I was in seventh grade, I wanted to fuck my piano teacher.

KATE
I can’t picture you playing the piano.

ERIK
She was unassailable.  Like a medieval castle.

Kate pauses for a moment and looks at Erik, cocking her head.

KATE
Are you all right?

ERIK
(beat)
Sure.

Kate holds open Erik’s shirt.  He slides his arms into it.  She buttons him.  When she finishes, he pulls her to him and kisses her.  Then they look at each other for a moment.

ERIK
Say you love me.

KATE
This isn’t about love.

ERIK
(pause)
Just this once.

Kate slowly puts Erik’s tie on him.

ERIK
Just this once.

KATE
I won’t mean it.

Erik looks down at his shoes, then lifts his head and straightens his tie.  He quirks a smile at Kate, then exits.  Kate stares at the the door.

KATE
I love you.

ERIK (O.S.)
What?

Erik steps back in, pulling on his suit jacket.  Kate picks up her purse.  She pauses in front of Erik, then pulls him down into another kiss.

KATE
I love you.

ERIK
Thank you.

Kate smiles at Erik a little.  Uneasily.

KATE
I didn’t mean it.

ERIK
I know.

KATE
What time is it?

ERIK
(looking at watch)
Ten ’til.

KATE
Shit.

ERIK
Let’s go.

Erik exits.  After a moment, Kate follows.
Lights out.

—-

EM Lewis was the 2010-2011 Hodder Fellow in Playwriting at Princeton University.  She won the 2009 Steinberg/ATCA New Play Award for Song of Extinction and the 2008 Francesca Primus Prize honoring an emerging woman theater artist for Heads, both from the American Theater Critics Association. Her work has been produced around the world, and published by Samuel French.  Recent productions include Song of Extinction at the Guthrie, The War Museum in Flux Theater’s New World Iliads in New York, Strong Voice in the Alcyone Festival in Chicago, and Drop-Off Day in the Radar Festival in Los Angeles.  She is a member of the Dramatists Guild.  She grew up on a farm in Oregon, spent a number of years in Los Angeles, and is now living in Princeton, New Jersey, working on a play called Magellanica: A New and Accurate Map of the World.  You can visit her website at www.emlewisplaywright.com.

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