Written by Joe Janes
128 of 365
(Lights up on Dina and Carly seated on a couch. In the background, Dave and Marty are chatting. Carly is noticeably pregnant. Dina is nervous.)
CARLYDid you read the book?
DINAI did. I’m not sure what to make of it.
CARLYOprah liked it.
DINAGood enough for me. Nathan took me out to dinner last night to Charlie Trotters.
CARLYPretty fancy for a Thursday. What was the occasion?
(Dina holds up her hand and shows Carly her new engagement ring. Carly squeals.)
DINAShhh – Shhh – I want to break the news to the whole group when everyone gets here. But I just had to tell you first.
CARLYI am so happy for you. Nathan is such a great guy. I wish I had been that lucky.
MARTYHey, let’s get this literary shindig rocking, Boon.
(Marty and Dave head over to the sofa and chairs. Boon and Kim enter. Kim carries a bottle of wine.)
KIM (a little tipsy)Does anybody need more wine?
CARLYI could use some.
(Kim pours Carly a little as she gets a look from Dina.)
CARLY (continuing)What? It’s red wine. It’s good for the baby.
(Marty rolls his eyes.)
BOONHey, everybody, before we get started, Kim and I have something we want to say.
KIMYou guys are our best friends in the whole world and we always want it to be that way. We love the Friday book club. We love you guys.
BOONWhat Kim is trying to say is that we’re going to get a divorce.
(General reactions of “what!?!”)
KIMIt’s okay. It’s okay. We still like each other.
BOONWe just realized that we were more just friends or roommates instead of what we thought a married couple should be.
DAVEWill we still do Book Club?
KIMOh, hell yes. We don’t want anything to change. It will all still be the same, except that Boon and I won’t be hitched. And we can even still have it here. I’m keeping the house.
BOONShe’s keeping the house.
KIMBut it doesn’t change a goddam thing. Book Club forever! Let’s get started. Who read “Cassandra’s New Lover”?
(Everyone looks at each other uncomfortably.)
MARTYI like how you guys are handling this. You seem pretty okay with it.
BOONOh, yes. Definitely. We still want to be close friends. Just not married.
MARTYWell, as a guy who’s been through two divorces already, let me know if you need any guidance.
CARLYYeah. Marty’s got a rewards card from the courthouse. Soon he’ll get discounts on alimony.
MARTYDave and Dina, you two are so lucky to be single.
DAVEI wouldn’t mind being married.
CARLYHoney, we should tell them.
MARTYCarly and I are splitting up.
(Slightly more intense reactions of “what!?!”)
CARLYI thought the baby would change things, but Marty’s still a self-absorbed ass that doesn’t know how to communicate.
MARTYGuilty as charged. And Carly still has the mood swings of an oscillating lawn sprinkler. And, boy, if the pregnancy doesn’t just point up that fact. It’s really been a pleasure.
DAVEYou’re separating. Not divorcing? So, you might get back together.
DINAWell, that’s good. You’re giving yourself some distance to work things out.
MARTYThat’s the idea, but you know, whatever (He trails off mumbling.)
CARLYMarty bought a condo across the street so he can be close by to help raise little Ignatius.
MARTYYep. That’s another reason.
CARLYBut we’re going to be civil and we don’t want this in anyway to disrupt the Friday night Book Club. So, “Cassandra’s New Lover.” I liked it. I wasn’t crazy about the estranged brother character-
DINAOh, me, neither. What was the point?
KIMHoly fucking shit look at that rock!
DAVEYou’re engaged, Dina?
DINAYep, Nathan got down on his knees last night.
CARLYThat ring is humongous.
DINAIt’s from Jared’s.
MARTYSo, Nathan got down on his knees twice.
KIMWell, this is a celebration!
BOONYou and Nathan are going to be so happy together.
(General “Oh, yeas” and “sures” except from Dave. Silence.)
DAVEWhat is wrong with you people? Everyone I know is getting a divorce. Here, at work, in my family. They’re either getting a divorce or they’re pregnant, and that’s not going so well, either. I’ve been single my entire adult life and not for lack of trying. I’ve been engaged once, engaged-to-be-engaged twice. I don’t know what I’m doing wrong, but I can’t even get in to this marriage club that you guys are
shitting all over. I like the idea of being committed to one person my whole life and sticking with them when things get rough, through thick and thin, till death do us part.
DINAI want that, Dave. I want that for Nathan and me.
DAVEThen I highly recommend you stop hanging out with these pillars of wedded bliss.
BOONDave. You’re a single guy. Why do you even hang out with married people at a book club on a Friday night?
MARTYMoot point. If he stands there long enough, we’ll all be single, again.
DAVEI had a crush on Dina. Sorry, I should have told you, but you were always seeing someone or I was. We never seemed to both be available at the same time.
DINAI love Nathan.
MARTY (to Dave)Give it a year.