Written by Joe Janes
208 of 365
(Lights up on Pepper in a smart looking running outfit complete with an iPod arm band and ear buds securely in ears. She is stretching and warming up before her run. Jason enters with his new puppy dog on a leash. He stand back and off to the side when he sees Pepper. He sits on a bench and speaks to his dog.)
JASONThere she is, Pepper. She does this every afternoon. Does she know? Does she know just how enchanting she is? Her name is Pepper, too. I named you after her. I know, I know, you are not she. But it is nice to come home and say, “Hi, Pepper, I’m home… How was your day, today, Pepper?... You look pretty today, Pepper?” And I can imagine you saying, “Hi, Jason, I missed you… Let me give you kisses, Jason… Let me curl up in your lap and let you rub my ears.” I know her name is Pepper because I heard her answer her cell phone. Very authoritative. “This Pepper… Pepper here… Pepper. Start talking.” I love powerful women. They scare the hell out of me. I so wish I knew her. It would be easier if I knew her. How do you introduce yourself to someone who doesn’t know you from Adam. We don’t work together. We don’t have any mutual friends. I could take up running, but I bet she’s fast. I’d never keep up. She probably does marathons. I couldn’t even do a fun run. It would be anything but fun. Unless watching someone clutching his side, panting and wheezing is someone’s idea of fun. I’ll bet she’s a lawyer. Something powerful. She calls the shots. You don’t mess with her. She’s taking down names. She’s on her feet all day. They probably need rubbing. I would rub them. Every day. I would make the perfect housewife… husband. Househusband. I’d greet her at the door with a refreshing beverage and ask her how her day was and fix her dinner and curl up in her lap when we watch “Dancing With The Stars” or “Nova.” Maybe someday we’ll meet like the way people meet in the movies. We’ll accidentally bump into each other and I’ll help her pick her law books and she’ll help me pick up my Redbox DVD rental. “Why, yes, I am into the film adaptation of John Grisham novels. What’s that? You’re a lawyer? We must continue this discussion over a latte. I know this little place called Starbucks. I have a gift card.” (He sighs. Pepper stops stretching and looks around.)
(Jason and Pepper the dog’s ears perk up. Jason the puppy dog comes bounding up to her.)
PEPPER (continuing)Good boy! Good boy! Let’s go for a run! Let’s go!
(They run off. Jason and Pepper the dog watch them go.)
JASONIf only we had something in common.