By: Tim Stevens
Song: Too Close
Artist: Alex Clare
Album: The Lateness of the Hour
(Picture from http://crunkish.com)
PERRY and CRYSTAL are walking home on a quiet city street in early dawn. The trees are bare and they are dressed in warm but light clothing.
CRYSTAL (in a small voice, face tight as though holding something back)
I…just don’t understand.
PERRY (not looking at her)
I told you, I can’t.
I know what you told me. I’m more concerned about what you’re not telling me.
There’s plenty I’m not telling you. I’m not telling you about the time I walked in on my roommate making out with a teddy bear, for example
CRYSTAL (heavy sigh)
Stop. Just…stop. Don’t try to be funny. Please talk to me.
We are talking.
No. I’m asking questions and you are saying…stuff back but we aren’t talking.
She steps in front of him and grabs him as he tries to step around her.
Stop. FUCKING! Walking.
PERRY (sarcastically, bowing to her with a flourish)
Of course, your majesty.
CRYSTAL (voice annoyed and brittle)
Don’t do that. Don’t act like I’m being unreasonable. I want to talk. WE need to talk. Don’t pretend like I’m the one being the jackass here.
Jackass, huh? Wow, you sure do inspire a man to chat!
CRYSTAL (ignoring the snide remark)
I want to be with you. I love you and I’m finally realizing I’m in love with you too. But you keep saying no. I can live with that. I’m a big girl.
PERRY (brushing past her)
Good. It’s settled then.
CRYSTAL (to his back)
Except you’re lying to me.
PERRY (turning back to her)
Oh, am I?
Arrgh! Stop it! Stop being so arch and cool and…whatever it is you are trying to do here. That’s not you. And you do love me. You’ve loved me forever. We both know it!
PERRY (resuming walking away)
Well, it sounds like you’ve got both sides of this conversation handled. Let me know how it works out, ok?
Perry! You know I’m right. You’ve been in love with me forever. And I’m ready. I’m done with dating other people. I’m done with nonsense. I’m in love with you too! So why are—
PERRY (wheeling around and stalking back to her)
Well how fucking splendid for you! How wonderful it must be to be you. To be in love. I’m absolutely thrilled for you!
CRYSTAL (stunned at his explosion)
You’re mad at me? Why…why are you so mad at me?
I’m…I’m not mad at you. But I’m not going to be with you either.
You aren’t making any sense.
No! No. What makes no sense is an adult man who stays friends with a woman he’s overly head over heels for while she dates and dates and dates and makes it very clear that she’ll never feel the same way. That’s what makes no damn sense.
I admit it. I was slow to come around. I’ve always been a bit clueless about this sort of thing. You know that. But I came around. That’s what matters.
Maybe for you it does. Maybe it should for me. Maybe I should be dancing around in celebration. I’m tempted to. I really am. But…I can’t. I’m glad you feel like you’ve realized something about yourself. But that’s it.
So you don’t love me anymore? Is that it?
God, Crystal. No! I love you so damn much, I vibrate when I’m near you. When I see your name on my caller ID, my heart rate doubles. You being in love with me is a dream come true.
What’s the problem then?!
That IS the damn problem! I am so in love with you that it doesn’t matter if you’re late to the party or you never show up. You’ll never feel like this for me. Not this intense.
How can you know that?
Because it didn’t take me five years to realize I was in love! You’re…being mature. Smart. This is something you’ve grown into. My love for you is dumb and over the top and like some sort of stupid movie love.
You’re not stupid!
I am when it comes to you. I’m stupid as can be. And grateful. So incredibly grateful. To just hang out with you! If we date, if we have sex! Can you imagine? This. Can’t. Work. It will never be equal. I will always be overwhelmed with gratitude. I’ll never be able to speak freely. Because I’ll always ALWAYS be thinking, “Goddamn did I hit the lottery. Shut up and don’t ruin it.”
So you’re not going to try because…because you love me a lot?
PERRY (trailing off)
No. I’m not going to try because…because if I do…
CRYSTAL (touching his face gently, encouragingly)
It’s ok. Go ahead. I’m right here Perry. Go ahead.
If I do this, if I allow myself to do this an—and it doesn’t work, I’m over. I’m done. I’ll be wrecked. Crushed. I cannot risk this.
Aren’t I worth the risk?
I don’t know. I… don’t know.