Black. We hear JOY.
JOY: Sometimes I try to go back to sleep to see how the dream ends but it never really works.
As light fades in, we see couches and a coffee table center stage- a typical modern living room setting. On the coffee table is a telephone. A small kitchen is set up stage right, and a television stage left. JOY is relaxed on the long couch. MAN is at the kitchen, back to JOY, making coffee.
JOY: So I didn’t even try this time.
Silence as MAN finishes making coffee. He pours it into two mugs, walks over to JOY, hands her one and sits down on the single couch. MAN barely looks at JOY as they talk.
JOY: It was a pretty nice dream, though.
MAN: What was it?
JOY: I don’t remember.
MAN: So how do you know it was nice?
JOY: (Flat, deadpan) Because I felt good when I woke up so I thought maybe I was still in the nice dream because I still felt good when I woke up and it was nice.
MAN: … That doesn’t really make sense.
JOY shrugs. Silence falls again.
JOY: So… do you have any plans? Today, tomorrow?
MAN: Not really.
JOY: Empty weekend?
MAN: I guess so. (pause) Well, I might go out with Marc and Ethan.
JOY: Oh, okay. (pause) You know, if you’re not doing anything today, we could catch the new Spiderman movie.
MAN: Like, in town?
MAN: No one does that anymore, Joy.
JOY: Yeah, they do.
MAN: I don’t even like those movies.
JOY: You used to.
MAN: Did I? I really don’t remember.
JOY: Yeah, me neither. Huh. What movies did I use to like? Like, before.
MAN: How would I know?
JOY: I don’t know. You would know.
MAN: I don’t know.
Silence falls again. MAN finishes his coffee and returns the mug to the sink.
MAN: Well, I’m gonna go call Marc.
JOY does not care until MAN makes his way to exit stage right.
JOY: You need to go out to call Marc?
MAN: Yeah. I don’t know. It’s between friends.
JOY stares as MAN exits. Silence.
After a still moment, JOY picks up the telephone. She fiddles with it for a while then dials a number.
… I’m not sure.
… Like I can’t breathe like I don’t know how much longer I can let this last.
… I don’t know when I don’t know how I don’t know. Maybe it was like this from the beginning. Is it just me?
… I don’t know- what do I do- what do I do, Kate?
… I know that I know that it’s just I feel like it’s just out of our reach and if it was possible once it must be possible again. It must.
… Okay. Sure.
… Bye. Love you.
Just as JOY hangs up the phone, MAN enters, and JOY reflexively jumps back from the telephone into her original reclining position. Silence, MAN standing, JOY sitting.
MAN: So. I think I might go have a drink with all of them tonight.
MAN: Are you okay?
JOY: (light) Yeah.
Silence again. Finally, JOY stands up.
MAN: Where’re you going?
JOY: Back to sleep.
MAN visibly begins to form a question but never asks it. He sits down as JOY leaves. JOY takes a look at MAN just before exiting stage left.
JOY: I feel like if I try hard enough, maybe I’ll be able to go back to the dream this time and see how it ends.
Lights out on MAN as he turns on the television.