For What

                                                                                                 For What

Written for Jennifer Summerfield and Josh McIlvain

A man and a woman getting ready in separate rooms for a party. An affair turned permanent.

Jennifer- come here.

Josh- why?

Jennifer- why what? come here.

Josh- What, did you not?

Jennifer- let me hear you let me see you.

Josh- what time is it?

Jennifer- time for you to come here.

Josh- focus, jenny.

Jennifer- dont call me that.

Josh- why not?

Jennifer- it isnt my name.

Josh- sorry.

Jennifer- you arent sorry.

Josh- Focus, jennifer.

Jennifer- what am i focussing on?

Josh- I was kidding.

Jennifer- thank you for helping me focus! I was lost in here! dont come in! I can barely speak and breathe at the same time! If you come in well then I will just be a basketcase!

Josh- that is funny.

Jennifer- thank you for thinking it is funny!

Josh- you know why they call them-

Jennifer- that isnt a sentence.

Josh- you didnt let me finish.

Jennifer- i am sorry, daddy.

Josh- dont call me daddy.

Jennifer- dont call me jenny.

Josh- deal. basket or what a basket case is. basketcases. The derivation of the term.

Jennifer- i dont think derivation is the right word. You mean what is comes from.

Josh- that is what it means?

Jennifer- basketcases comes from when men granted women the right to vote. women could not handle the stress. We just went fucking crazy.

Josh- yes.

Jennifer- Please do not come in here! It is important for me to focus on trying to get ready. And if you, a man, comes in the room well then i will get the vapors and fall to pieces.

Josh- have-

Jennifer- please dont talk to me! I cant handle it. I am focussing!

Josh- ok- have you ever had the vapors?

Jennifer- I cant focus! For my own safety! (beat) let me hear you let me see you.

Josh- have you forgotten?

Jennifer- i think i can risk the danger.

Josh- No, what I look like.

Jennifer- what?

Josh- that you were saying let me see you.

Jennifer- what?

Josh- you said let me see you like you forgot what i look like.

Jennnifer- Joshy. Are you serious?! I know exactly what you look like. Why would-

Josh- i wasnt being serious.

Jennifer- i dont understand.

Josh- I am ready.

Jennifer- I cant have this conversation and speak at the same time! (beat) Get ready in here.

Josh- I am ready. if i come in there we will never leave.

Jennifer- you standing by the door will have no bearing on when we leave.

Josh- i am not by the door.

Jennifer- have a drink. What is it about time?

Josh- after 8.

Jennifer- not what time but what about time.

Josh- we said we would be there.

Jennifer- are we dating them?

Josh- no. unless i dont know something.

Jennifer- What is it about arriving somewhere?

Josh- what does that string of words mean?

Jennifer- Why do something you feel pressured or obligated to do?

Josh- in this case or in general?

Jennifer- either. (beat) haha.

Josh- I am ready.

Jennifer- you get a gold star. That was funny. Pour me a glass of something.

Josh- you have something in there dont you.

Jennifer- that’s right.

Josh- we are late.

Jennifer- for what? It is a party. You dont want to finish the game?

Josh- I dont care about the game.

Jennifer- are they are losing?

Josh- they are winning.

Jennifer- who are they playing?

Josh- the football team in Washington. What do you want to do this weekend?

Jennifer- how many letters?

Josh- eight letters. What are you planning on doing?

Jennifer- are you sure?

Josh- this much I know.

Jennifer- it isnt seven?

Josh- eight. After 8. Eight.

Jennifer- plural?

Josh- plural.

Jennifer- dont they play baseball?

Josh- no, that is seven.

Jennifer- right. The redskins.

Josh- the team in washington.

Jennifer- right.

Josh- call them the team in Washington.

Jennifer- why? Do we hate them? oh, do you not call them that?

Josh- you can call them whatever you want.

Jennifer- potato skins. yes. just call them that.

Josh- But i wont call them that name.

Jennifer- why not?

Josh- the nickname of the football team in Washington.

Jennifer- I know.

Josh- it is a terrible name.

Jennifer- you wont even say it?

Josh- i mean i have said it in the past and will probably say it again in the future, but as of right now I just am trying not to.

Jennifer- that is good.

Josh- a fleck of sand on the beach.

Jennifer- what is that from?

Josh- somewhere.

Jennifer- Shouldnt we.

Josh- yes, we should.

Jennifer- say it in the original dialect?

Josh- But maybe that will be offensive to the sloths who lived here before.

Jennifer- are the indians the one in major league? what is the football team in washington’s mascot?

Josh- they dont have one.

Jennifer- isnt it a sambo indian?

Josh- on the helmet there is an indian but he has a look of dignity.

Jennifer- who has the sambo indian?

Josh- they call him chief something. they are in the American league.

Jennifer- right. But they were the ones in the movie.

Josh- yes.

Jennifer- with the racist mascot.

Josh- right.

Jennifer- they dont use it anymore?

Josh- they still do.

Jennifer- the indians do.

Josh- yes.

Jennifer- the red sambo.

Josh- it is terrible.

Jennifer- but he is a he looks like the guy on the nickel.

Josh- i dont think he is the same one.

Jennifer- so one has a racist name and a nice logo and the other has a nice name and a racist logo.

Josh- yeah.

Jennifer- big game?

Josh- some years yes, some years no.

Jennifer- how are the eagles doing?

Josh- they are winning.

Jennifer- this year?

Josh- they are terrible this year. not good.

Jennifer- fuck the eagles. I understood your joke.

Josh- you didn’t laugh.

Jennifer- why would I forget what you looked like? It didn’t make sense.

Josh- it was a joke.

Jennifer- I didn’t know if you wanted me to laugh or not get it so you could laugh for yourself.

Josh- you know i always want you to laugh.

Jennifer- you make me laugh.

Josh- i am serious.

Jennifer- so am i.

Josh- no, i mean i want you to always be laughing.

Jennifer- you mean you always want me to laugh at your jokes. I will laugh when it is funny. If i dont laugh it doesnt mean that i didnt understand your joke.

Josh- no, i meant i just want you in general to always be laughing. Happy, feeling good.

Jennifer- thank you. I do.

Josh- well, i want that to continue.

Jennifer- do you hear that, sisters of fate? Spin the threads forth and cut not! so do i.

Josh- i will do my part that you are always laughing.

Jennifer- if not with you then at you.

Josh- and make sure when I try to make you laugh, you have reason to laugh so i am not trying.

Jennifer- what?

Josh- i dont know.

Jennifer- Have a drink. Why is it when people talk about having gallows humor are never funny.

Josh- just, i want to make sure I make you feel that way.

Jennifer- what way? you do make me feel that way.

Josh- i hope when you think of me you feel good.

Jennifer- I do.

Josh- concentrate on me when you dont feel good.

Jennifer- i didnt know you were a Christian Scientist.

Josh- what? Right.

Jennifer- I was being funny. Like a man. concentrate on you when I dont feel good. Instead of going to to the doctor.

Josh- i meant in your headspace.

Jennifer- yes.

Josh- right. I am being serious.

Jennifer- that is sweet of you. I appreciate it.

Josh- i love you and want you to share with me.

Jennifer- that is nice. Thank you.

Josh- Hey. if you would rather i was lay down bitch and put your ass in the air, let me know.

Jennifer- you are laying down and putting your ass in the air?

Josh- no.

Jennifer- you said-

Josh- right.

Jennifer-come here. I am doing it.

Josh- right.

Jennifer- if you say it right, i will gladly do it.

Josh- what?

Jennifer- say it the right way.

Josh- you are the devil.

Jennifer- the right way.

Josh- i could say it.

Jennifer- so say it.

Josh- we have to go.

Jennifer- which means what?

Josh- i can say it.

Jennifer- so say it.

Josh- we are going to be late.

Jennifer- we are going to be late. Is it because i took too long getting ready and you have an aneurysm or i took too long getting ready because we fucked? Up to you.

(Josh comes in the room)

Josh- lay down bitch and put your ass in the air.

Jennifer- take how you said we are going to be late and switch the words. lay down bitch and put your ass in the air.

Josh- lay dow-

Jennifer- Do you remember Tina? Did you ever meet Tina at our house?

Josh- I was- who is Tina?

Jennifer- I went to school with her.

Josh- She was at your house? what school? What does she look like.

Jennifer- Columbia. What does Tina look like. Wispy.

Josh- you went to Columbia? She is black?

Jennifer- why you ask if she was black?

Josh- I dont know a tina and she was at your house and thought maybe she was black.

Jennifer- not black.

Josh- wispy white woman?

Jennifer- only white women are wispy.

Josh- at your house.

Jennifer- holiday parties.

Josh- probably but i dont know. Why.

Jennifer- let me see if i have a picture.

Josh- of her?

Jennifer- yes.

Josh- why?

Jennifer- it will only take a minute. Let me-

Josh- jenny.

Jennifer- (laughs) you dont know tina?

Josh- maybe, i dont know. I am trying to think of white people at your parties.

Jennifer- maybe she didnt come to holiday parties. but she was, yeah you dont know Tina.

Josh- Tina the wispy white woman at holiday parties. Drawing a blank.

Jennifer- She chose Harold.

Josh- She wasn’t a real friend.

Jennifer- well, she was Harold’s friend. I remember my parents would stop being friends with people.

Josh- why?

Jennifer- i don’t know. My godfather had a heartattack-

Josh- when? Today?

Jennifer- no, he is dead.

Josh- when did he die?

Jennifer- thirty years ago?

Josh- what was his name?

Jennifer- we didnt go to his funeral.

Josh- maybe there were things you couldn’t understand at your age.

Jennifer- like what?

Josh- i dont know.

Jennifer- no, he was a really wonderful man. At a wedding once we were playing with a candle and it lit the or he was playing with the candle and somehow he started a fire on the table but it was contained and we were laughing and we were having fun.

Josh- that is beautiful.

Jennifer- Inhaling the melted tablecloth probably mutated his cells and killed him. You ever feel too healthy? Like need to taste chlorine? They had a kid.

Josh- who?

Jennifer- my godfather and tina.

Josh- is she still alive?

Jennifer- my godmother? Katie?

Josh- who is katie?

Jennifer- the kid. i would assume so but who knows.

Josh- no, your godmother.

Jennifer- i think so. She was my age and could not sit still. They called her katie bird.

Josh- why was Tina called Katie bird.

Jennifer- she wasnt.

Josh- i know. What about Tina?

Jennifer- what?

Josh- why you brought her up.

Jennifer- Oh. Tina worked at BET. And she said that not supposedly because i dont believe there is anything supposed about the man but that Quincy Jones said he was able to seduce any woman anywhere anytime with six words. are you nervous?

Josh- About the words?

Jennifer- no, the party.

Josh- What you why would I be nervous? (beat) we are late.

Jennifer- we are not late.

Josh- we are late.

Jennifer- what time is it?

Josh- we have to go.

Jennifer- dont rush me. we have time.

Josh- we have time and then all of a sudden we are late so we are late.

Jennifer- so come here and say the words right and fuck me. it doesnt work if I know.

Josh- it doesnt work anyways.

Jennifer- everyone will know you wanted to be on time. You shaking your head and looking at me will show you care about them more.

Josh- i dont care about them more.

Jennifer- in that moment you do-

Josh- Well, i guarantee you i dont care about them more than you.

Jennifer- I know you dont care about them more than me but in that moment you are supposed to.

Josh- How the fuck do you tie this tie?

Jennifer- I thought you were ready. Do the windsor? Under over around down between pull. Dont do the-

Josh- not that type of tie.

Jennifer- you know how to tie a tie. do the windsor. I like it on you. High and tight and plumage. what tie are you wearing?

Josh- i am wearing a bow tie.

Jennifer- really?

Josh- is that okay?

Jennifer- of course.

Josh- dress for the party you want to be at, not the one you are at.

Jennifer- we should show up in ermine and pearls.

Josh- fuck this tie. I am going to wear a regular tie.

Jennifer- wear the bow tie. Look it up.

Josh- i cant fucking tie it. And i looked at the youtube shit and yeah.

Jennifer- give me a second.

Josh- no.

Jennifer- okay.

Josh- i dont know.

Jennifer- some of your ties i have seen on seinfeld.

Josh- god i loved wearing ties and jeans.

Jennifer- wear the bow tie.

Josh- i look impotent.

Jennifer- let me see.

Josh- look like a fucking kansas city faggot.

Jennifer- a what?

Josh- who wears a bow tie?

Jennifer- the guy from america’s test kitchen.

Josh- he isnt on there anymore.

Jennifer- what do you mean?

Josh- Chris Kimball. They forced him out.

Jennifer- who did?

Josh- the people who do the show.

Jennifer- did he say something?

Josh- about being forced out? I think he said something.

Jennifer- no, but did he say something to get him, did he say something that they had to put him on a cross for?

Josh- i have no idea.

Jennifer- i thought they filmed it at his house in Virginia.

Josh- Vermont.

Jennifer- Is it Vermont?

Josh- i think so.

Jennifer- of course. right. Who is the host now?

Josh- i have no idea.

Jennifer- is it adam richman?

Josh- who is that?

Jennifer- the effeminiate jew who shows products they tried out with the test audience.

Josh- i dont know.

Jennifer- did he stay?

Josh- who?

Jennifer- adam richman.

Josh- is his name adam richman?

Jennifer- i think so. Either that or goldman. he was the heart and soul of that show.

Josh- he was kind of a dick.I dont even think he was a chef. i am sure they found someone more now.

Jennifer- no place for a white man on public television. That is ridiculous.

Josh- i mean…I dont know.

Jennifer- what?

Josh- sometimes changes need to be made.

Jennifer- what?

Josh- like with us.

Jennifer- have three drinks.

Josh- do you want one? I have had one.

Jennifer- no, but you have one.

Josh- i am yeah.

Jennifer- good. I didnt know asians dont like you to send flowers to their house after someone dies. Tina lost her mother and we sent flowers and we never heard from her. And you think, like you wait, we waited a month for so to get some kind of thing and so i called her and said hey did you get the flowers and she says, why did you send me flowers to my house, it is a bad omen after someone dies. Like it means more pain and suffering is to visit upon the house.

Josh- how were you supposed to know?

Jennifer- right. And the thing was that was how seemingly and i remember Terry was apologizing

Josh- malcom x wore bowties.

Jennifer- exactly.

Josh- should we pick up some bean pies?

Jennifer- why?

Josh- that is what they sell.

Jennifer- who?

Josh- the angry black muslims.

Jennifer- that’s redundant redundant. they would probably like it if we did.

Josh- they would, wouldnt they? Do you need help zipping something.

Jennifer- i am not wearing something with a zipper.

Josh- thank you for having me have a drink.

Jennifer- have a drink.

Josh- i am not drinking tonight. (laughs)

Jennifer- you arent drinking tonight.

Josh- i dont need to drink. (laughs)

Jennifer- i will drive.

Josh- i wasnt planning on drinking. (laughs)

Jennifer- why not?

Josh- were you planning on drinking?

Jennifer- i didnt think about it.

Josh- you didnt wake up and the first thought was i am drinking tonight.

Jennifer- no. But I assumed we would. Why not.

Josh- i have had that.

Jennifer- what?

Josh- woken up and the first thought i had was i am drinking tonight.

Jennifer- so have i.

Josh- done that.

Jennifer- i am certain most new years i do that.

Josh- i mean i have woken up on a monday and that was the first thought i had. That i was drinking.

Jennifer- okay.

Josh- you are okay with that?

Jennifer- i think so.

Josh- i dont need to drink.

Jennifer- have a drink, my love.

Josh- what was the first thought you had this morning?

Jennifer- am i drinking tonight. i want you to drink so I will drive.

Josh- Well, i want you to drink so I will drive.

Jennifer- I can do both.

Josh- i can’t do both.

Jennifer- you don’t have to do both.

Josh- i will be fine. i want you to not have to worry about it.

Jennifer- so have a drink.

Josh- no, you. I don’t want you to worry about parking.

Jennifer- do we have cigarettes.

Josh- yes.

Jennifer- how many?

Josh- i bought some last night when i smoked all of yours.

Jennifer- can you look?

Josh- Are they in your purse?

Jennifer- can you look?

Josh- sure. (beat) where is your purse?

Jennifer- Near the phonograph.

Josh- where near the radio?

Jennifer- Under the portrait of President Roosevelt. Give me a second.

Josh- Never mind. i am not going to do this.

Jennifer- What are you not doing? You are going to be great. I like your speech. It is great.

Josh- what are you talking about?

Jennifer- it is good.

Josh- I meant ask you where something is I am looking for.

Jennifer- I can’t hear you.

Josh- forget i asked.

Jennifer- okay.

Josh- just I have noticed it is something i do and i dont want to do it anymore.

Jennifer- okay.

Josh- i do it a lot.

Jennifer- i hadn’t noticed.

Josh- i will start to look for something and then instead of looking for it just ask you where it is.

Jennifer-well that is okay.

Josh- what would Quincy Jones say.

Jennifer- did you find it?

Josh- yeah.

Jennifer- guess.

Josh- Billie Jean is not my lover.

Jennifer- that is funny. No.

Josh- that is six words.

Jennifer- right.

Josh- dont stop until you get enough.

Jennifer- he probably has said that as well, but that isnt it.

Josh- am i on the right track?

Jennifer- yes. That is six words.

Josh- is that it?

Jennifer- no.

Josh- but it makes sense with music.

Jennifer- yes.

Josh- lay down bitch and-

Jennifer- no, six words. He could seduce any woman.

Josh- you didnt say seduce before.

Jennifer- seduce.

Josh- did he say it to you?

Jennifer- when did i meet Quincy Jones?

Josh- i dont know.

Jennifer- never met Quincy Jones.

Josh- what are the six words?

Jennifer- he would walk up to a woman and say, bitch, you have a fat ass.

Josh- bitch you have a fat ass.

Jennifer- yup.

Josh- fucking quincy jones.

Jennifer- i am ready.

(beat)

Josh- do we really want to go to this party?