Something in Common by Harris Freedman

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This Play is the copyright of the Author and must not be Performed or Copied without the Author's prior consent


Scene One

(TIME: The PRESENT. 1 p.m.)

(SETTING: London. Restaurant).

(As the LIGHTS come up, we see CHARLIE dressed smartly in a business
suit, sitting alone at a table for two in the restaurant reading a
magazine. There is an untouched meal in front of her and another meal
is at the place opposite her. She looks at her watch. She is waiting
for someone.)

(DAVE ENTERS. He is dressed in a business suit and finishing a call on
his mobile phone. DAVE approaches CHARLIE'S table looking directly
at her and she is watching him. He arrives at the table and stands
opposite her.)

DAVE: Sorry, I didn't mean to keep you waiting.

(CHARLIE looks at him.)

CHARLIE: Turn your phone off.

(DAVE watches her as he turns off his mobile phone and places it
into his jacket pocket.)

DAVE: You're angry.

(CHARLIE places her magazine on the table.)

CHARLIE: Your food is probably cold by now.

(DAVE sits opposite CHARLIE.)

DAVE: Have I done something wrong?

CHARLIE: They use the same bland cream sauce on everything.

DAVE: The speciality of every English chef.

CHARLIE: How would a hamburger addict know anything about English
chefs?

DAVE: Ouch.

CHARLIE: What took so long?

DAVE: An important phone call.

CHARLIE: More important than being on time to meet me?

DAVE: I didn't realise the time, sorry.

CHARLIE: She was right about you.

DAVE: Who?

CHARLIE: Never mind.

DAVE: What did this person say?

CHARLIE: You're not the naturally romantic type.

DAVE: Nonsense. Who told you such a thing?

CHARLIE: Eat.

(DAVE hesitates and then tastes the food.)

DAVE: It's cold.

CHARLIE: I should have asked them not to serve the food until you
arrived.

DAVE: It's my fault for keeping you waiting.

CHARLIE: Yes, it is, isn't it?

DAVE: Your food must be cold.

CHARLIE: It will do.

DAVE: Which when translated from British English means it's ghastly.
Let's send it back to the kitchen to be re-heated.

CHARLIE: I'm not sure they have a kitchen.

DAVE: Who chose this restaurant?

CHARLIE: You did.

DAVE: I guess I blundered.

CHARLIE: No, darling, not at all. It's marvellous.

(DAVE waves to get a waiter's attention.)

DAVE: Where is that waiter?

CHARLIE: Don't bother, the food didn't taste much better when it was
hot.

(DAVE gives up on the waiter.)

DAVE: So we should muddle through in true British fashion.

CHARLIE: Something like that.

DAVE: Who told you I'm not romantic?

CHARLIE: She said you weren't naturally romantic.

DAVE: Who?

CHARLIE: My psychic.

DAVE: What does she read? Palms? Tarot cards? Crystal balls?

CHARLIE: She does cards, handwriting, palms, clairvoyance, past
lives.

DAVE: Did she tell you that I also have psychic powers?

CHARLIE: No.

DAVE: Well, I do.

CHARLIE: And how do these powers manifest themselves?

DAVE: I can see the planet Mars lining up with Neptune-which means
you're in a romantic sentimental mood. But, ooh; watch out for your
Moon in Scorpio. Intrigue can be very dangerous so don't keep any
secrets from me and you will have good luck. And, yes, I can see that
we've been together through many past lives-we are very old souls
and we have shared centuries of intimacy . . .

CHARLIE: So Mr Psychic you should know what day this is.

DAVE: It's not our anniversary?

CHARLIE: We met in October, didn't we?

DAVE: Shit!

CHARLIE: Yes, you are, darling.

DAVE: Damn! I'm so sorry.

CHARLIE: So am I.

DAVE: How could I forget?

CHARLIE: Yes, how could you?

DAVE: You thought this lunch was to celebrate.

CHARLIE: Stupid sentimental me.

DAVE: What can I do to make it up to you?

CHARLIE: Do what you used to do in past lives.

DAVE: Times were different then-you were the number one wife in my
harem.

CHARLIE: Typical male wishful thinking. Your psychic powers are
dangling between your legs.

DAVE: You were the brains of the harem. You were my tutor in things
metaphysical. I can remember it like it was today.

CHARLIE: I'm sure you can.
(CHARLIE takes a small gift-wrapped box from her handbag and places
it on the table in front of DAVE. )
Open it.

DAVE: But I haven't bought anything for you.

CHARLIE: I'm not surprised. Remember we know each other through so
many lifetimes. Open it.

DAVE: You're making me feel worse.

CHARLIE: Good.
(DAVE hesitates.)
Open it.

(DAVE opens the gift. It is an expensive fountain pen. )

DAVE: You shouldn't have.

CHARLIE: You're right, I shouldn't have.

DAVE: It's an expensive one.

CHARLIE: Of course.

DAVE: I can't accept this.

CHARLIE: You will, or I'm leaving.

DAVE: You're serious.

CHARLIE: Of course I am.

(CHARLIE gathers her things and begins to rise. DAVE rises to
convince her to stay.)

DAVE: In that case, thank you.

CHARLIE: Don't mention it.

(CHARLIE sits back down and then DAVE sits.)

DAVE: I hope I won't lose this one.

CHARLIE: You probably will. Eat.

DAVE: I feel like shit.

CHARLIE: It isn't Politically Correct to say shit. In America it is
now anal effluent.

DAVE: Well, in that case, I feel like anal effluent.

CHARLIE: But, darling, you look like shit.

DAVE: You're wonderful.

CHARLIE: Eat your lunch.

DAVE: I mean it.

CHARLIE: I'm sure you do

DAVE: I'll make it up to you.

CHARLIE: In this life?

DAVE: And the next and the next and the next.
(DAVE takes CHARLIE'S hand.)
Did I tell you you look beautiful today?

CHARLIE: Only today?

DAVE: You are more beautiful in each succeeding life.

(CHARLIE retrieves her hand.)

CHARLIE: Sure.

DAVE: You are very beautiful.

CHARLIE: I need a haircut.

DAVE: Your hair looks fine to me.

CHARLIE: It's too long.

DAVE: It's great.

(CHARLIE slips off her shoe and rubs her foot sensually up DAVE'S
leg to his crotch.)

CHARLIE: Did I tell you you look sexy today?

DAVE: I don't. I need a haircut.

CHARLIE: Shut up.

(CHARLIE'S foot is now between his legs and rubbing his crotch.)

DAVE: Nice.

CHARLIE: You like it?

DAVE: I love it.

CHARLIE: Eat. Pretend nothing is going on.

(DAVE tastes the food.)

DAVE: Mmmm. The food tastes better already.

CHARLIE: Don't talk, eat.

DAVE: I wish you were as playful in bed.
(CHARLIE withdraws her foot.)
: Don't stop.

CHARLIE: Haven't you learned to take things as they come?

DAVE: I should have kept my mouth shut.

CHARLIE: If we had so many past lives together you would be tuned into
me.

DAVE: I am.

CHARLIE: Are you telling me what I feel!?
(CHARLIE gathers up her handbag, rises and begins to leave. DAVE
goes after her to convince her to stay. He tries to keep his voice
down, but she doesn't care who hears what they are saying.)
You don't know when I'm turned on, do you?

DAVE: I'm trying.

CHARLIE: Then why didn't you let me sleep last night instead of
pawing me and rubbing yourself on me?

DAVE: I must have done that in my sleep.

CHARLIE: Don't you try to pretend innocence.

DAVE: I thought I could arouse you.

CHARLIE: You have to be sensitive to my state, to me, instead of just
following your urge to satisfy yourself.

DAVE: I want to give you pleasure.

CHARLIE: Then learn when to leave me alone and when the time is right
go slowly. Be gentle. Be tender. Then I'll show you what I
enjoy.

DAVE: I'm ready.

CHARLIE: I am sure you are.

DAVE: How about tonight?

CHARLIE: Men are always ready and they assume women are the same.

DAVE: You're not very trusting.

CHARLIE: Any woman who is is a fool.

DAVE: Tonight at midnight when Venus lines up with Neptune the force
will be with us.

(CHARLIE is amused-she sits down. DAVE does the same.)

CHARLIE: Just eat.

DAVE: Do you really believe?

CHARLIE: What?

DAVE: Psychic powers. Clairvoyance. Past lives.

CHARLIE: Is that an insult or a serious question?

DAVE: Serious.

CHARLIE: Apparently you don't believe.

DAVE: No.

CHARLIE: Are you telling me that all of your experiences have ordinary
explanations?

DAVE: Are we serious now?

CHARLIE: Can't you tell?

DAVE: You're asking for my real feelings.

CHARLIE: Yes.

DAVE: It's difficult to be serious after we've bantered about
everything.

CHARLIE: Try.

DAVE: Well, the truth is the subject of psychic experiences always
fascinated me.

CHARLIE: Me too. And?

DAVE: I've always known, since I was a child, I've always known
privately, quietly in myself that there must be more to my existence
than my ordinary life.

CHARLIE: How?

DAVE: Experiences of intuition, of premonition. For example,
something extraordinary happened to me a few months ago.

CHARLIE: Do you take drugs?

DAVE: No drugs.

(TOM ENTERS DSL. He doesn't see CHARLIE or DAVE. He is engrossed
in a telephone conversation on his mobile phone. He is wearing a
business suit.)

(CHARLIE sees TOM.)

CHARLIE: You have to go now, immediately.

DAVE: Are you sure?

CHARLIE: Yes. Go.
(DAVE stands up. )
Go before he sees you with me. Go!

(CHARLIE places the empty gift box and wrapping in her Handbag.)

DAVE: How can I contact you?

CHARLIE: Take the pen.

DAVE: I shouldn't.

CHARLIE: Take it.

DAVE: Please let me have your telephone number.

CHARLIE: Go now!
(DAVE begins to leave, but he stops when CHARLIE picks up the pen
and holds it out as she speaks.)
Take the pen, or you won't see me again.
(DAVE looks at her.)
He forgot, so he won't miss it.
(DAVE takes the pen.)
Go!

(DAVE EXITS.)

(CHARLIE quickly tidies the table, switches plates and the place
setting opposite and takes up her magazine to read.)

(TOM quickly crosses to CHARLIE'S table, kisses her forehead, and
sits opposite her as he speaks.)

TOM: Sorry, I didn't mean to keep you waiting.

CHARLIE: Turn your phone off.

(TOM looks at her, turns his phone off and places it into his jacket
pocket.)

TOM: You're angry.

CHARLIE: Your food is probably cold by now.

TOM: Have I done something wrong?

CHARLIE: They use the same bland cream sauce on everything.

TOM: The speciality of every English chef.

CHARLIE: How would a hamburger addict know anything about English
chefs?

TOM: Ouch.

(QUICK BLACK OUT)

End of Scene One

[end of extract]

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