Humor

Thanksgiving with my extended family: An experimental play in one act

ACT I, SCENE I

Curtain rises. I pace aimlessly in the KITCHEN at my paternal aunt and uncle’s home. I am hovering around the island stacked with Thanksgiving side dishes, hoping someone will delegate a task to me. No one does. I thankfully go unnoticed until my GRANDMOTHER approaches.

GRANDMOTHER: How is your love life?

I am blindsided.

ME: Wow, I think that’s record timing.

I take a step backward, bumping into the kitchen island. GRANDMOTHER steps forward, closing the distance.

GRANDMOTHER: Are you seeing anyone?

ME: Um. No?

GRANDMOTHER: Nothing serious?

ME: Actually –

GRANDMOTHER’s eyebrows raise in disbelief.

ME: His name is Godot.

GRANDMOTHER: And when will we meet this Godot?

ME: I’m not sure. We’re waiting for him.

Blackout.

 

ACT I, SCENE II

At the DINNER TABLE. Conversation has come to a lull. Lighting cues imply a sense of foreboding.

AUNT: So, this election right?

All parties make some unintelligible noise of discontent. I want to crawl under the table.

COUSIN WEARING A KOKOPELLI T-SHIRT: I wrote in “Bernie Sanders” on my ballot.

A screeching noise begins to play. I chug wine.

 

ACT I, SCENE III

COUSIN BACK FROM HER FIRST SEMESTER AT A STATE UNIVERSITY: Why do you have an eyebrow piercing?

ME: What piercing?

COUSIN BACK FROM HER FIRST SEMESTER AT A STATE UNIVERSITY: What?

ME: What?

Freezeframe.

 

ACT I, SCENE IV

AUNT: Alright, let’s all go around the table and say what we are thankful for.

Doom settles. I attempt to discreetly to go to the bathroom, but end up knocking over a glass of water and making a loud noise as my chair scratches the floor. All heads turn.

ME: Uh. I’ll go first. Um … I’m thankful for my health, minus my somewhat debilitating anemia.

Long pause. All parties are still looking expectantly at me.

ME: Um … I also just found out that all six seasons of Sex and the City are streaming on Amazon Video. I never remembered to cancel my Prime account when my free trial ended, but now I’m not even mad that I’ve been accidentally paying for Prime for three years.

My mother looks at me, disappointed. Fade to black.

 

ACT I, SCENE V

Sitting in the LIVING ROOM, I grip my third glass of wine as though my life depends on it. I wish I had a cigarette. Alone for a moment, I briefly relax. GRANDMOTHER and AUNT sit down at couch adjacent to me. Lighting cues heavily imply that my blood pressure is rising.

AUNT: So do you know what you want to do yet?

ME: Like, tonight? I’m pretty sure I’m just gonna go home and –

GRANDMOTHER: No, after you graduate.

I realize I have been ambushed.

AUNT: What’s your plan?

GRANDMOTHER: Grad school?

ME: Grad school? Fuck no.

AUNT and GRANDMOTHER blink in surprise.

ME: What I mean is … the Career Center told me that I can’t find a job until I find myself. And you know, I’m still looking.

A beat.

ME: For myself.

Lights fade to black. Curtain falls.

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