Archive for February 7, 2013

Entire contents trademarked TM  and copyrighted (c)  by Ryan Carey, 2013. That means if you want to reproduce or use this material for any reason,  you have to ask me real nice.



LARRY is seated at the bar finishing up a beer and going over some forms. BERT is busy behind the bar capping off bottles for the evening. There is a cigarette burning away in an ashtray next to LARRY. A couple of other PATRONs at the bar are getting up form their stools and heading out for the evening. A WAITRESS is putting chairs up on tables in the background. It’s obviously just past closing time.

LARRY (to BERT) : Well, was a good night by the look of things.

BERT turns to face LARRY

BERT : Yeah, gotta say that it was.

BERT glances down at the forms LARRY has placed before him on the bar.

BERT CON’T : Careful, ya don’t wanna get those wet.

LARRY : Yeah, yeah — they should be fine. Need ya ta sign a couple o’ these when ya got a minute.

BERT : Shit like that makes me nervous. Feel like Ronnie oughtta be doin’ it.

LARRY takes a drag off his cigarette, exhales, puts it back in the ashtray.

LARRY : Take it he doesn’t come around much?

BERT : Ya never saw ‘im this whole weekend, did ya?

LARRY swigs down a sip of beer before speaking.

LARRY : Can’t say as I did.

BERT : There’s yer answer.

BERT gestures toward the beer tap with a nudge of his arm.

BERT CON’T : One more before I shut ‘er off for the night?

LARRY looks at his near-empty beer glass, picks his cigarette up from the ashtray, takes a long drag, exhales.

LARRY : Why not? If it’s not keepin’ ya from the wife an’ kids.

BERT : Actually, it is. An’ fer that I’m grateful.

LARRY : Gotta imagine they’e all asleep by the time ya get home.

BERT fills a beer glass from the tap.

BERT : They are. But I’m still grateful.

LARRY takes another drag and exhales before placing his cigarette back in the ashtray and speaking.

LARRY : And to think, last night you couldn’t wait to get home.

BERT slides the full beer glass over to LARRY.

BERT : What a diff’rnce a day makes, huh?

LARRY : I can relate.

BERT : Your day don’t sound too bad from what I can tell.

LARRY takes a sip off his beer.

LARRY : No, I don’t — shit, my day wasn’t bad. Just mean I can relate to one day makin’ a big difference.

BERT : I told ya — don’t get too far ahead o’ yerself.

LARRY : Don’t sweat it, message received.

BERT : Optimism — it’ll kill ya every time, my friend.

LARRY finishes the last drag on his cigarette, puts it out in the ashtray.

LARRY : Okay, I’ll bite — what’d she? Used ta be a guy or somethin’?

BERT pours himself a beer.

BERT : Nothin’ like that. Nothin’ like that at all. Didn’t she tell ya she had a kid?

LARRY : Yeah, saw his picture as a teenager. I assume he’s off at college or somethin’?

BERT takes a hearty gulp of beer.

BERT : I’m gonna shut up about the whole thing, said too much already. Just hadda make sure you knew she was born female.(grins slightly) Can’t blame ya fer askin’ though — s’pose ya never know up in Minneapolis.

LARRY takes a drink from his beer glass.

LARRY : Man, you guys must think we’re Soddom an’ fuckin’ Gomorrah up there.

BERT : Not really. Just bustin’ yer onions again. See if yer gettin’ any better at pickin’ it up. (pauses) Yer not.

The WAITRESS approaches the bar, hands BERT a stack of receipts.

WAITRESS : Here ya go.

BERT takes the receipts and places them in a bank deposit sack he has out next to the cash register.

BERT : I’ll cash ya out in a minute.

WAITRESS : ‘K. I’m ‘nna have a smoke out back.

BERT : Good enough.

The WAITRESS exits out the rear door. BERT returns his attention to LARRY.

BERT CON’T :Yer shit all unplugged an’ all that?

LARRY takes a swig of beer.

LARRY : Yeah, I’m pretty much all ready to go once you sign this this  stuff.

BERT looks down at the forms again, grabbing a pen from a cup next to the register.

BERT : What’s all this say, then?

LARRY : Just that I was here, performed services as described, an’ left with all my gear in the same shape it started in. Absolves the bar from any damages an’ us from any chance of the owner tryin’ ta stiff us.

BERT : Thought he paid up front.

LARRY (grinning) : That what ‘e told ya?

BERT : Shit — he didn’t tell me a thing. When to expect ya, that was about it.

BERT rummages through the papers and hastily jots down his signature on three separate forms near the bottom.

BERT CON’T : So — we’re all square then?

LARRY takes a sip of beer.

LARRY : We’re all square then.

BERT has a drink, as well.

BERT : So — what’d ya make of our little place, then?

LARRY turns in his barstool, surveying the room, then faces BERT again.

LARRY : Not bad. I mean, I been in a lotta joynts pretty much just like it, but you got some character here.

BERT : Some characters, ya mean.

LARRY (chuckling) : Some o’ those, too, sure. But hey — what place doesn’t?

LARRY pauses for another drink.

LARRY CON’T : Fuck, what town doesn’t?

BERT takes a drink.

BERT : None that I’d wanna live in , my friend –none that I’d wanna live in.

LARRY does a 360 in his barstoool, surveying the room one more time before addressing BERT again.

LARRY : Know what I noticed, though? Or should I say — know what I didn’t notice?

BERT takes another drink.

BERT : What’s that?

LARRY : Nobody who arrived separately left together.

BERT : Ya mean nobody hooked up? Ya really get that back in the Cities? People meetin’ fer the first time at the karaoke bar an’ goin’ home together?

LARRY takes another drink.

LARRY : Happens damn near every night. Sometimes you’ll see a man an’ a woman show up separate, usually each with a friend or two, an’ sometime over the course o’ the evening they’ll get to talkin’, an’ next thing ya know they’re up makin’ their sloppy, drunken way through some duet — usually from “Grease” or somethin’ — and then, bang! Next thing ya know it’s closin’ time an’ they’re headed ta the parkin’ lot together.

BERT :  Well, the yuppie Twin Cities folks is all couples to start with, they always go in an’ go out together. As fer us —well, this’s a small town. We all know each other. Not sayin’ that kinda thing doesn’t go on, but  — if anybody’s up to that kinda shenanigans they’ll try ta be more discreet about it so people don’t talk.

BERT takes another drink, wipes his mouth, grins.

BERT : ‘Course, they’re never as discreet as they think, an’ people do still talk, but — hey, it’s the effort that counts, right?

LARRY : S’pose so, s’pose so.

LARRY stands up from his stool, gulps down the last of his beer, rolls up the forms and puts them in his shirt pocket, and reaches across the bar to extend BERT a firm and friendly handshake.

LARRY : Well, just Bert, it’s been a pleasure. Hope the owner approves of our efforts and that I’ll be seein’ ya again sometime not too far down the line.

BERT shakes LARRY’s hand.

BERT : First he’s gotta pay you guys — good luck with that. If ya do end up comin’ back, take my advice — get cash upfront next time.

LARRY : Duly noted, good sir, duly noted.

LARRY makes his way toward the stage where his karaoke machine is parked atop the two-wheeler, pulls it behind him, and exits the rear door of the bar with a wave back to BERT, who returns the gesture even though LARRY’s back is turned to him.

All contents trademarked TM and copyrighted (c) by Ryan Carey, 2013. That means if you want to reproduce or use this material for any reason, you have to ask me real nice.



It’s around 9:00 in the evening and the bar is completely packed. Every table and barstool are occupied and there are people standing around the room, as well. LARRY takes the microphone from a PATRON  who has just finished singing a number on stage and begins speaking into it.

LARRY (into microphone) : Alright, ladies and gentlemen, give it up for John!!!!!!!!

Applause carries around the room, as well as some hooting and hollering. After a half-minute or so the applause dies down, and LARRY resumes speaking.

LARRY (into microphone) CON’T : Alright, folks, your host is gonna take a little break here but we’ll be back in about fifteen minutes with —

LARRY pauses and looks down at the cards in his hand.

LARRY (into microphone) CON’T : —Sheila, Ward, and Cleve! See you in fifteen!

Polite applause around the room as LARRY steps down from the stage and heads toward the back exit.



LARRY takes a cigarette from the pack in his shirt pocket and puts it in his mouth. Just as he’s aboutt to light it, BERT steps out and joins him.

BERT :  Gettin’ some fresh air?

LARRY : Until I light this up.

BERT : I’ll take one o’ those if you got a spare.

LARRY : Sure.

LARRY taps his cigarette pack so that one juts forward and extends the pack to BERT, who takes the proffered smoke and puts it in his mouth.

LARRY CON’T : Didn’t know you partook.

LARRY lights his cigarette and hands the lighter to BERT, who in turn lights up as well.

BERT : Ennnhhh — tryin’ ta cut back.

LARRY takes a drag, exhales.

LARRY : Same here.

BERT (chuckling) : I can tell. Seems like yer takin’ it easy with the beer tonight, though. Ain’t served ya another since that first one.

LARRY takes a drag, exhales.

LARRY : Yeah. Not really feelin’ it so much.

BERT hands the lighter back to LARRY, takes a drag from his cigarette, exhales.

LARRY CON’T : Still — good crowd tonight.

BERT  : No June, though, huh?

LARRY : Said she prob’ly wouldn’t be feelin’ up to it.

BERT takes a drag, exhales.

BERT : Not surprised.

LARRY : You know somethin’ I don’t?

BERT : Depends on how much she’s told ya, so — (takes a drag and exhales) guess the answer t’yer question is either “sure, a lot” or else “probl’y so.”

LARRY takes a drag, exhales.

LARRY : Either way yer a step ahead  o’  me.

LARRY pauses before resuming speaking.

LARRY CON’T : Which probably ain’t so hard.

BERT : Shit, that’s what makes like innerstin’ though, right? Findin’ out about people? Figurin’ ’em out as ya go along? Alla  that?

LARRY : Sure, why not?

BERT takes a drag, exhales.

BERT : I’ll just tell ya this one thing : don’t get too far ahead o’ yerself. (long pause as he takes another drag and exhales) An’ if ya hurt ‘er, I’ll kill ya — slowly an’ painfully.

LARRY looks somewhat startled, but after a brief pause opts to resume a normal, conversational tone.

LARRY : Known ‘er a long time, I take it?

BERT : Shit, 20 years? Somethin’ like that.

LARRY takes a drag, exhales.

LARRY : Well, don’t sweat it, my man. ‘S just a dinner date.

BERT : Yeah, well (takes a drag, exhales) — that’s a bigger step fer some than it is fer others.

LARRY : Fair enough. I’ll definitely tell ‘er she’s got first-class protection.

BERT takes a drag, exhales.

BERT : Seriously. Don’t ferget what I said.

BERT drops his cigarette butt to the ground, puts it out with his shoe.

BERT CON’T : An’ flowers’re always nice.

LARRY takes a final drag off his cigarette and drops the butt, putting it out with his shoe, as well.

LARRY : I ain’t that  rusty.

BERT : Could’a fooled me. ‘S almost like there’s two of ya.

LARRY : Whaddaya mean?

BERT : Up there on that stage ya seem pretty comfortable with folks — hell, a natural, even. But in person, face ta face, one on one —

BERT pauses, clearly unsure of exactly how to proceed.

LARRY (chuckling) : Go on say, it.

BERT : Well, don’t take this the wrong way, but (another lengthy pause) — yer kinda awkward, man.

LARRY laughs slightly before speaking.

LARRY : Been called a lot worse, believe me.

BERT : Well, Wanda’s prob’ly swamped behind the bar now. It’s like hitchin’ yer wagon to a chicken, I’m tellin’ ya.

LARRY : Well, everybody needs a break.

BERT walks to the open rear door, pauses in the doorway, turns to address LARRY one more time.

BERT : You’ll ‘member what I said?

LARRY gives an awkward mock half-salute.

LARRY : Aye-aye, cap’n.

BERT : Okay. My job here’s done, then.

LARRY : See ya back inside in a few.

LARRY paces for a moment in semi-circle, runs his hand through his hair, kicks at his stomped-out cigarette butt, and takes his cell phone out of his pants pocket. He works his way down the list of numbers on the phone and makes a selection, then holds the phone to his ear.

VOICE ON PHONE : Welcome to TCF bank automated menu, for balance information, press —

LARRY presses 1 on the phone.

VOICE ON PHONE CON’T : Please enter your account number.

LARRY, straining a bit to see in the dark, presses a series of keys on the phone.

VOICE ON PHONE CON’T : Please enter your secret code.

LARRY, again fumbling a bit, enters a shorter series of numbers into the phone.

VOICE ON PHONE CON’T : Your checking balance is — three hundred eleven dollars and — sixty three cents.

LARRY cuts off the call, flips the phone closed, checks his watch, and makes his way back to the rear entrance of the bar.


Entire contents trademarked TM and copyrighted(c) by Ryan Carey, 2013. That means that if you want to reproduce or use this material for any reason, you have to ask me real nice.



LARRY, wearing his shirt and tie “work clothes,” enters the bar through the open rear entrance, this time pulling the two-wheeler with the karaoke machine on it himself. He approaches the bar, waves to the BARTENDER, hereafter referred to by his name, BERT, and has a seat.

LARRY : Just Bert! How goes the battle.

BERT : Can’t complain. (pauses) Much. You know how it goes.

LARRY : Sure do. Worked a bar a time or two over the years myself.

BERT : Seems like everyone has. (pauses) Beer?

LARRY : Ya know, for now I’ll stick with water.

BERT pours LARRY a glass of ice water.

BERT : Still feelin’ it from last night, huh?

LARRY reaches in his shirt pocket for a cigarette.

LARRY : Nah, nah — nothin’ like that. Just had a glass o’ wine an’ for whatever reason that stuff’s always sure to leave me feelin’ like shit the next morning unless I get on the water train early.

BERT : Just came from June’s, then, I take it?

LARRY lights his cigarette, takes a drag before speaking.

LARRY : Oooh, look at the big brain on Bert!

BERT grins as he flips LARRY his middle finger.

BERT : So how’d it go?

LARRY : Thought a stand-up guy like you never asked questions like that.

BERT : I don’t volunteer information. Don’t mean I don’t ask for it.

LARRY takes another drag off his cigarette and exhales slowly before speaking.

LARRY : Fair enough. (pauses for another drag) Not bad. I think. I dunno. We’re havin’ dinner tomorrow night.

BERT resumes drying  glasses with a towel behind the bar.

BERT : Don’cha gotta have yer machine an’ stuff back ta yer boss by tomorrow?

LARRY takes a long drag from his cigarette, exhales.

LARRY : Hell, he hasn’t got another gig lined up with it ’till Wednesday, I’ll be fine.

BERT : Must be an optimist if yer plannin’ on hangin’ around that long.

LARRY(chuckling): Didn’t mean it like that.

LARRY takes another drag from his cigarette, exhales.

BERT : They really don’t have ball-busting up in Minneapolis.

LARRY : Believe it or not, they do.

BERT : Could’a fooled me.

LARRY takes a last drag from his cigarette, exhales, and put it out on an ashtray at the bar.

LARRY : Ehhhh — don’t judge us all based on my incompetence.

BERT : Try not to.

LARRY takes a sip of water from his glass.

LARRY : So where’s a good place to eat? I mean a proper sit-down joynt, not Vera’s.

BERT pauses from his work and considers for a moment.

BERT : Hmmm — ya got a couple choices close by, but I’d say try this new place down by the river, think it’s called Catch Of The Day or somethin’.  Just opened a couple months back, mostly seafood. Some hot-shot chef from your neck o’ the woods moved down here an’ set up shop. Fixed up this old warehouse thing nobody was usin’. Place didn’t have any sort o’ kitchen or nothin’. They were truckin’ in equipment from all over the place. Don’t know who he’s got backin’ ‘im but they must have pretty deep pockets. S’posed ta be good from what I been hearin’, an’ I’m willin’ ta bet she ain’t been there yet.

LARRY : Sounds like a fine recommendation, good sir.

BERT resumes drying glasses.

BERT : Prob’ly a little bit on the spendy side, hope ya can handle that.

LARRY takes another sip of water before speaking.

LARRY : Don’t know if I can, but my Visa card should be able to.

BERT waves in greeting to the customer from last night, TED, who has a seat at the bar a few stools down from LARRY.

BERT: Ted.

TED : Bert. The usual.

BERT  mixes a drink behind the bar, and addresses TED, as TED takes off his baseball cap and sets it on the stool beside him.

BERT : Startin’ early tonight, huh?

TED : Startin’ early an’ stoppin’ early. Make sure o’ that for me, will ya?

BERT serves TED his drink.

BERT : Will do.

TED : That karaoke shit works my nerves anyway.

TED turns on his stool to face LARRY, raising his glass slightly in a form of greeting.

TED (to LARRY): No offense, Minneapolis.

LARRY lifts his water glass to return the gesture.

LARRY (to TED): None taken, Split Rock.

TED : It’s just I liked most o’ these people better before I heard ’em sing, ya know?

LARRY : Well, if me bein’ here means the bar empties out early, don’t worry — I doubt I’ll be back.

BERT interjects himself back into the conversation.

BERT : Well, looks like we did maybe 80, 90 bucks better than usual fer a Friday last night. Nothin’ earth-shattering. Don’t balance out against what Ronnie’s payin’ ya, that’s fer sure.

LARRY takes another sip of water before speaking.

LARRY : Nope, guess not. We better hope tonight’s better, huh?

BERT turns his back and grabs a bottle from the wall as he continues to converse.

BERT : You can hope all ya want. I personally don’t care what that prick does with his money.

LARRY : Long as your check clears?

BERT turns back around, now mixing a drink for another customer that he sees seating himself at the far end of the bar.

BERT : Long as my check clears.

LARRY finishes his water, sets the empty glass down on the bar.

LARRY : Spoken like a true member of the working class.

BERT : An’ proud of it. (pauses) Ain’t that you, too? Workin’ class?

LARRY : Shit. I wish. ‘Bout six or seven days outta ten I’m part o’ the unworkin’ class.

BERT (pausing for a moment before speaking) : An’ speakin’ o’ workin’ — or not — ain’t it about time fer you ta get set up?

LARRY stand up from his stool, checking his watch.

LARRY : S’pose it is.

BERT : ‘Nother water?

LARRY : Nah, fuck it. I’ll switch over ta beer.

BERT finishes mixing the drink for the other customer.

BERT : That’s the spirit. Lemme just get Doyle here set up.

LARRY : Take yer time.

LARRY walks over towards the stage with the two-wheeler, as TED calls after him from his stool.

TED : Hey, Minneapolis, you got “Every Rose Has A Thorn” on that machine?

LARRY stops in his tracks for a moment, looks over at TED.

LARRY : Pretty sure I do, why? You thinkin’ of givin’ your friends a reason to like you less, too?

TED takes a sip from his drink before replying.

TED : Just might be.


Entire contents trademarked TM  and copyrighted (c) by Ryan Carey, 2013. That means that if you want to reproduce or use this material for any reason, you have to ask me real nice.



LARRY enters JUNE’s home/studio, where freshly-dusted tables are arranged throughout on her hardwood floors displaying the vases, plates, bowls, mugs, and other, more abstract pieces she has for sale. There is a kitchen area visible through an open doorway off to the side of her retail space, and a stairwell off to another side that leads up to her living quarters on the second floor. JUNE is standing behind a desk handing a credit card and hand-written sales slip to a MAN and a WOMAN who have just purchased one of her works, which is wrapped and boxed on the desk in front of them. As she finishes up with her customers, LARRY nonchalantly browses through her wares.

JUNE (to MAN and WOMAN) : Okay, here’s your Visa card and a receipt. I hope you’ll be very happy with it and do stop in again next time you find yourselves in the area.

WOMAN : Oh, gosh, we sure will, it’s just so — just so lovely, isn’t it, honey?

MAN : If you like it, I like it.

JUNE (jokingly, to MAN and WOMAN) : I like a man that knows how to agree with me. He got a brother?

MAN and WOMAN chuckle and exit the shop.

LARRY continues to browse the shop as JUNE tucks the Visa card slip into an envelope.

LARRY : So this is the place, huh?

JUNE : Be it ever so humble.

LARRY : The cliches come free here, too?

JUNE : Always. So how you been killing the day?

LARRY : Besides counting down the moments to when I’d make my fashionably late arrival?

JUNE : You’re not late, I’m still open another half hour.

LARRY : Another thing I could never quite get the hang of, I guess.

JUNE : Being late? Don’t worry, it was never cool in my book.

LARRY : Had many customers today?

JUNE : Customers, sure. Buyers, not so much.

LARRY : That ever get nerve-wracking? Knowing ya gotta make six more sales in a day to pay yer mortgage or something?

JUNE : Get nerve-wracking? It never stops.

LARRY : Still, it must be working out okay enough. You’ve got a roof over your head and the power’s still on. (pauses, looking around the room)Where’s your wheel?

JUNE : Out in the garage.

LARRY : You park on the street, then?

JUNE : Don’t have a car.

JUNE makes her way out from behind the counter and begins to walk back toward her kitchen while LARRY continues browsing.

JUNE CON’T: So whaddaya think?

LARRY : Your house is sure nice.

JUNE : Fuck the house. My work. Whaddaya think?

LARRY : Well, I’m no expert, but it looks good to me. Like time and effort went into all of it. Not sure what else to say. I honestly don’t know the first thing about pottery.

JUNE : But you’d know if it looked like shit.

LARRY : Well, I hope I would.

LARRY takes notice of the tiled walls around her retail space for the first time, leans in closer to take a look.

LARRY CON’T : Hey, you’ve got blue tiled walls!

JUNE ( from kitchen) : So?

LARRY : Nothing.

LARRY stands back up straight, mumbles to himself

LARRY CON’T (mumbling): Guess you really don’t pay attention to the lyrics.

JUNE (from kitchen) : What was that?

LARRY : Nothing again.

JUNE emerges from the kitchen, holding a bottle of wine and two glasses.

JUNE : Well, if you’re thirsty from all that saying nothing, how about a drink?

LARRY : Wouldn’t say no to that.

JUNE sets the wine bottle on her desk and proceeds to uncork it.

LARRY CON’T : You really don’t have a car?

JUNE : I really don’t have a car.

LARRY : Isn’t that rough in a small town? I mean, there’s no buses, no —

JUNE : We’ve got buses. They come in on the weekends. Fulla seniors.  Ask a lot of questions and never buy a damn thing.

LARRY : Actually, I saw a bunch of ’em when I was eating lunch.

JUNE : Yeah, the coffee shops and cafes love ’em — the artists, not so much.

LARRY : I can believe that.

JUNE : You can believe everything I tell you.

LARRY : Even when you say you’re a liar, like last night?

JUNE : Especially then.

LARRY works his way over to the counter as JUNE fills the glasses.

LARRY : That’s one of those logical conundrum things, isn’t it?

JUNE : Come again?

LARRY : Well, if somebody’s a liar, but they tell the truth about being a liar, are they really a liar after all?

JUNE : Sure they are.

LARRY : How do you figure?

JUNE : Easy. They’re honest about being a liar, so they’re not really a liar at all, so they’re lying when they say they’re a liar. Which makes them a liar.

LARRY : So — if there’s, say, an otherwise honest man who says he’s not honest but isn’t being truthful about being dishonest — he’d be a liar.

JUNE : Sure. Lie once and you’re done. (pauses, smiling) Even if your lie is about being a liar when you’re not. Because from then on you are.

JUNE pours the wine into the glasses, offers one to LARRY from across the desk.

LARRY : Your logic’s confusing, but makes sense.

JUNE : Kinda like your little — what did you call it — “conundrum”?

LARRY : Yup.

LARRY takes the wine glass, has a sip.

LARRY : Boss doesn’t mind you drinkin’ on the job?

JUNE : Never thought to ask her.

JUNE CON’T (to herself) : Gee, boss, ya mind if I drink on the job?

JUNE CON’T (in reply to herself) : Nope.

JUNE (to LARRY) : There’s your answer.

LARRY : Lucky for you. I had a few that did back in my reckless, misspent youth. (pauses for a sip of wine) Speaking of which — any kids?

JUNE hands LARRY a framed picture on her desk. The picture is of her with a young boy, about 14 or 15, obviously from a few years ago.

JUNE : That’s my Georgie.

LARRY : He’s a teenager?

JUNE : Was.

LARRY : They grow up fast, huh? Guess it does look a bit dated.

LARRY hands the picture back to JUNE.

JUNE : That your polite way of saying I look younger in it?

LARRY : I guess if that’s how you wanna take it. I dunno. Wasn’t thinking. Just talking.

JUNE : No harm in that. It’s all we’re doing here, right? Just talking.

JUNE, sipping her wine, steps out from behind her desk. LARRY points around the room to all her work.

LARRY : So which one’s your favorite?

JUNE : Hard to say. Sometimes you have to separate the work from the time when you made it.

JUNE walks over to a table and picks up a plate.

JUNE CON’T : Like this. I mean, it’s perfect. One of the best things I’ve done —

JUNE hands the plate to LARRY.

JUNE CON’T : Seriously, it’s  pretty much flawless. But I was dealing with some bullshit in my life at the time so I sometimes can’t stand the sight of it. I can’t look at it without remembering what was going on back then.

LARRY hands the plate back to JUNE.

LARRY : I’ve written some songs in my time, I know what you’re talkin’ about.

JUNE positions the plate back on its display stand. LARRY and JUNE continue walking around the room as they converse.

JUNE : You know the damn thing though? First off I priced that thing too high to sell even though you’d think I’d be glad to get rid of it. (pauses for a sip of wine) Secondly, there’s been four or five times people have wanted to buy it anyway, and I’ve said no every time.

LARRY : Don’t wanna let go of whatever it was you were going through?

JUNE : I actually fucking hate that expression.  You let go of something once it’s over whether you want to or not. What I’m clinging to is the memories. Even though they suck.

LARRY sips his wine.

LARRY : What expression are we talkin’ about?

JUNE : “Can’t let go.” Sure you can. It was never yours. The moment, the feeling, the whatever you’re talking about — it’s gone as soon as it’s gone. You’re not letting go, it’s being taken from you. Or going its own way. It’s only memories we cling to, not actual events. You can’t stop time.

LARRY : Never thought of it that way. (pauses for a sip of wine) So what’s a memory, then?

JUNE : On paper, memories shouldn’t be worth shit. It’s out own subjective interpretation of the way something played out. It’s got nothing more to do with reality than — I dunno — a TV show.

JUNE sips her wine.

LARRY : Except we were in it.

JUNE : Ever seen yourself on TV?

LARRY : Can’t say as I have.

JUNE : It’s not pretty.

JUNE takes another , larger sip of wine.

JUNE CON’T : So what time you work your magic tonight, 8:00?

LARRY : Yeah. Should try to be there by 7:30.

JUNE : I’m about to lock up and I gotta do the books for the day and stuff. Doesn’t leave us enough time for dinner.

LARRY : Knew I was gonna ask, huh?

JUNE (semi-sarcastically) : You’d be crazy not to, wouldn’t you?

LARRY takes another sip of wine.

LARRY : That I would, that I would. Well, you gonna come by the bar tonight?

JUNE : Wasn’t planning on it. If you didn’t show up here today I might’a stopped by to tell you what an asshole you were and have a drink, but since you did —

LARRY : Your obligation to me is met?

JUNE finishes her wine, sets the empty glass down on the display table they’re standing beside.

JUNE : Damn — you showed up, but maybe you’re still an asshole anyway.

LARRY : I deserved that. Honestly couldn’t think of anything else to say.

JUNE (mildly exasperated) : Then why say anything? I mean, seriously — what’s the matter with a little bit of silence once in awhile? And it’s not just you. I mean people in general. They’ve got that other old expression I hate — “uncomfortable silence.” What’s so uncomfortable about it? Sometimes I like people better when their mouths are shut.

LARRY and JUNE stand in silence for a few moments, LARRY obviously afraid to speak, JUNE breathing in and out rather deeply. JUNE finally speaks first.

JUNE (slowly, pausing between words) : Just. (pause) Like. (pause) That.

JUNE CON’T (in normal speaking voice) : Now there, I ask you — was that so bad?

LARRY (somewhat nervously) : No, I mean — no. It really wasn’t.

JUNE : Sometimes I just like to stop and take in life for a second. Sound pretentious?

LARRY : Nah. Sounds okay to me. I should probably do more of it.

JUNE : It helps. It really helps.

LARRY : Helps with —?

JUNE : Living. To stop everything and just  feel life. It helps with living, ya know?

LARRY finishes his wine, sets it down on the display table.

LARRY : Hope that won’t leave like a ring or something.

JUNE : I’ve got plenty of cleaning shit, relax.

LARRY : I’m trying.

JUNE : Maybe that’s your problem. You’re trying. Stop trying and see what happens.

They stand in silence again for a few moments, somewhat more comfortable this time, although LARRY starts to get a bit fidgety and begins tapping his toe his toe.

JUNE (grinning) : You’re doing okay, kiddo. Try even less and who knows how far you’ll get?

LARRY : I’ll try — not to try.

JUNE : Can’t ask for more than that. Let’ cut this off on a high note, shall we?

LARRY : Sure, I just —

LARRY runs his fingers through his hair, again somewhat nervously.

JUNE : Spit it out.

LARRY : Well, if you’re not coming by the bar tonight, how about dinner tomorrow? What time do you lock up here on a Sunday?

JUNE : 5:00. What time’s Nestor throw your ass to the curb?

LARRY : 11:00. (pauses) But shit, I killed a day here before.

JUNE : Okay — if you can make it to 5:00 without dying of boredom, come on by (pauses, smiles). I’d even  — gasp! — look forward to it. You’re not worried about driving back to the Cities so late?

LARRY slowly walks toward the door to leave.

LARRY : I’m 53, not 73. My night vision’s still fine. Anyway,  you just made my day.

JUNE : Damn, thought I’d done that already when I invited you over here.

LARRY : Well, okay, yeah, but — (long pause) I meant you made my day tomorrow, too?

JUNE : How about this —I made your day yesterday when I told you to stop by today, and I made your day today when I said I’d have dinner with you tomorrow. That way I’ve got three days covered on two days’ work.

LARRY : Sounds good. (pauses) Except you invited me over today at like one in the morning last night, so that’s still today. Technically.

JUNE (grinning): Whatever. Go get ready for work.

LARRY : See you tomorrow night.

LARRY waves goodbye and steps out the door, again making sure to close it slowly  and carefully behind him.