Crazy for Loving You

The action takes place in Emilys room her home office. Theres a computer: a laptop on the desk which she uses to play a DVD. Theres also a small radio somewhere in the room. The song Crazy by Patsy Cline is played throughout Pauls monologue.

Characters:

Emily a 40-year old woman, a writer who is also a competitive ballroom dancer (there is no ballroom dancing in the play).

Alexandra Emilys mother

Carl Emilys dance partner

Paul - Emilys late ex-husband

Postman

(Some details about the major characters:

Emily is of Russian descent but was born in Canada. Her mother calls her, at one point, Amelia, which is the Russian equivalent of Emily. Mila, Milochka (the latter expresses a lot of affection) are the diminutives, often used for Russian first names, of Amelia.
"Emily has literary associations, including Emily Dickinson, evoking images of a woman who is both beautiful and smart," noted a May 11, 2008, Associated Press article.

Alexandra born in Russia but has lived most of her life in Canada, sometimes slips into her mother tongue.

Carl quite attractive but his haughty attitude makes him disliked by many people.

Paul appears as an image in the video on a DVD sent to Emily, but we see him as real).


Emily is in her room sitting at the desk with a laptop. She is typing fast fully absorbed in her work that she is doing for a magazine. Her mother is in the kitchen backstage, we can hear her voice.

Alexandra: Emily, your lunch is ready!

Emily: Thanks, Mom!

Alexandra (entering the room): Shall I bring it to you, dear?

Emily: I have to finish my article, itll take a couple of minutes, and then we can sit and eat together.

Alexandra: I am not taking lunch with you. Have to go, but (a pause)
Amelia, I want to talk to you about something

Emily (smiling): That sounds serious! You dont call me Amelia very often Can it wait?

Alexandra: Nyet - I am afraid not! I am leaving in 5 minutes, and we have to discuss it right now.

Emily (looking at her watch): Are you sure 5 minutes will be enough?

Alexandra: Da - Yes! Because someone is waiting for me.

Emily: OK, I guess I can have a short break. What is it?

Alexandra: You know that this coming Monday, it will be 40 days since Paul has died.

Emily: 40 days! Really? Hmm time flies when (she stops speaking abruptly as if choked on something)

Alexandra (angrily): You are not having fun, are you?

Emily: Mom, we are talking about my ex-husband who I divorced 2 years ago, for Gods sake!

Alexandra: Yes, but he WAS your husband, and you know that I really loved him, no matter what happened between you two.

Emily: Oh yeah, I know it too well. It was always interesting to see you and Paul as buddies, despite this traditional idea of hatred between a mother-in-law and son-in law

Alexandra: He reminded me of Pavlik, my baby brother youve never had a chance to know. Even their names were similar Paul and Pavel.

Emily: Yes, Mom, I know about your brother.
Maybe we can visit his grave this summer when we are in Russia (a pause).
But what about this 40th day?

Alexandra: Well, I think you have to arrange a memorial day and invite friends and family members those who knew Paul.

Emily (astonished): A memorial day for Paul? You want ME to arrange it? What about this woman

Alexandra: THIS WOMAN, Irene tvoya podrooga - used to be your friend 

Emily: Used to be until she befriended Paul.

Alexandra: Shes not bad, Emily! But she doesnt know anything about the 40th day.
(Solemnly) The fortieth day after death is the most important day of commemoration for Orthodox Christians!

Emily: Oh my (rolling eyes)! Here we go again! Mom, Paul was not an Orthodox Christian, and neither am I!

Alexandra (quietly): Ya znayu - I know! But it doesnt matter You can be an atheist, and I know Paul was, but you have to follow the tradition that all Russians have had for centuries regardless of their religion, or lack thereof! 
(Ironically:) And a good wife as you were, I think its your duty to have this day of remembrance

Emily (angrily): Mother, you know it was not MY fault that Paul and I divorced there were so many things happening...
And also, Paul was NOT Russian, as you certainly know.

Alexandra: I know. But it would be good if we all got together and celebrate yes, celebrate Pauls life. 
And its important to do this on the 40th day after somebody dies, because, as they say, it is the day when a persons Soul is leaving the Body.

Emily: Wow! You really believe in it! (a pause)
OK, why not! At least, we can have some nice food are you going to cook? And some music?

Alexandra: Yes, I can cook but I am not sure about music the tradition says

Emily: (interrupting) Oh Mom, dont be so dogmatic! You know that Paul loved music, although he couldnt dance.

Alexandra: unlike your dance partner, that German guy, Carl your lover

Emily: He is not my lover, and he is not German, I told you so many times!!

Alexandra (dismissively): Whatever!

Emily: Now about the guests Hmm, shall I invite Irene, too?

Alexandra: You can, why not? Though she was not his wife officially, they spent Pauls last days together.

Emily: You seem to know everything about them!

Alexandra: Da! (a pause)
You can also invite Carl. Though, you know, I dont like him that much 
Well, I gotta go now; I am already a bit late!

Emily: And I have to finish my story, the deadline is tonight.

Alexandra: All right! Do what you have to do, and well discuss the details tomorrow.

Emily: OK, Mom, see you later!

[Alexandra leaves waving her hand. Emily stands in the middle of the room thinking about something. Then she turns on the radio, and we can hear the music its something modern and loud (Justin Timberlake or Lady Gagas), she makes some dance movements (sort of a Hip Hop dance), then sits down at her desk and resumes typing.

The doorbell rings, but Emily doesnt hear it because of the loud music. She continues typing, and we can see a man entering the room. He hesitates but then walks towards Emily, stops behind her back, looks into the laptop and then puts his hand on Emilys shoulder. Emily shudders and jumps up. She turns the radio off.]

Emily: Carl, you scared me! How the hell did you get here?

Carl: The door was open. I rang the doorbell, nobody answered, then I heard the music. I was sure you were at home.

Emily: That must be Mom she always leaves the door open.

Carl: I can see you are working on your writing.
I didnt know you were interested in occultism.

Emily: I wouldnt say I am. But it was the editors idea that I should write about mysterious happenings here in Toronto, and how or whether people are exploring them.
Do you believe in ghosts?

Carl: I dont know I may not believe that ghosts exist, but I have heard many stories about peoples encounters with what they thought were ghosts. (a pause)
Are we going out tonight? Theres a great party at the Westway.

Emily: I dont know, I have to do more research And then you know, next week it is the 40th day since Paul passed away and

Carl: (astonished) Paul? Why? Do you have anything to do with it? Since when did you start caring about your ex? And what does it mean the 40th day?

Emily: Well, something special, my Mom says.
You know what I did care about him until until SHE spoilt everything.

Carl: SHE? So, he didnt do anything then. All HER fault!

Emily: Lets stop it. As they say: Never speak ill of the dead.

Carl: It seems we are quarrelling, Emily! and because of HIM?

Emily: My mother would say: Meelyie branyatsa, tolka tyeshatsa. Something like:  Lovers under the sun quarrel just for fun

Carl: Well, it seems we are not having much fun these days What are we up to?
(Emily doesnt respond)
OK, I have to go now. I hope to see you tonight at the Westway club.

Emily (hesitantly): Maybe

[Emily is typing, there is silence for some time, and then suddenly the doorbell rings. Emily doesnt seem to hear it, or just ignores, and continues typing. But someone behind the door is very insistent.]

Postman (backstage): Canada post! Is anybody home?

Emily (irritated): Does it ever stop?

[She goes to answer the door and sees the postman.]

Postman: Oh hello, Mrs Ingram!  Heres something for you

Emily: Its Ms Gromoff.

Postman: Oh, I am sorry (confused) but I remember delivering packages here, about 2 years ago, and thats what your name was then, Ms Gmoroff?

Emily: Its Gromoff.

Postman: Oh, sorry! You see, I was working at a different area for some time, but now I am back!

Emily (smiling): It must have been ages ago and yes, its me. I havent changed much, I hope.

Postman: No, no, you look perfect! A beautiful lady as youve always been

Emily: Oh, thank you! Its very nice of you! And remembering me

Postman: But here we have a little problem, Ms Gromoff. The name on the package says: Emily Ingram. Though I know its the same person.

Emily: And who is it from?

Postman: Well, lets see it says: Paul Ingram (while he is saying that, Emily looks shocked)
Must be your husband, I guess.  I remember the gentleman, too.

Emily (agitated): There must be a mistake! My husband. My EX-husband has died!

Postman (his turn to look scared): Oh my God! I am so sorry, Mrs Ms  I dont know what to say

Emily: When was it sent? Is there a date there?

Postman: Lets see (looking at the package from different angles)
Yes, theres a stamp, and the date is September 12. It was over 2 months ago!

Emily: And just days before my birthday, September 15. But how did it happen? Where has it been all this time?

Postman: Hmm Well, you know it happens though very rarely, I can assure you. The package might have been left somewhere hidden it could have been dropped accidentally from the counter and then suddenly somebody discovers it.
I must apologize, Mrs Ms yeah, though its not my fault
I think under the circumstances, I can hand it to you I am really sorry that it all happened. Can you sign it here, please?

Emily: OK, at least I can get it now

[Emily signs, and the postman leaves. She opens the envelope and takes out a DVD, reads the note attached to the DVD case.]

Emily: To Emily Ingram, with my best wishes. Happy Birthday, darling!
(Sadly) Its a little bit late, Paul. Both you and my birthday are gone
Well, I guess I should see what you have put on the disc.

[Inserts the DVD into her laptop and we can hear the music: its Crazy by Patsy Cline. Emily is looking at the monitor, the lights go down, and we can see Paul standing in the middle of the stage, in the circle of light. He has a scarf around his neck. While talking, he slightly moves around we see him exactly how Emily sees him on her laptop monitor.]

Paul: My dear Emily Mila, Milochka - thats how Alexandra, your mother called you. And its been really long time since I called you this My fault, I know
But on your birthday, and I hope you will listen to this humble monologue right on that day theres something very important I want you to know.

It seems I dont have much time left, so I decided to share some things I never had a chance to tell you.

(With a smile) Remember how we first met? A beautiful and graceful girl you, and a clumsy guy as Ive always been.
I never expected you to become my wife, but I had to try
It was a miracle when you said: Yes!

Remember that scarf? It was your gift for our first Valentine s Day I have always kept it - the memory of the days gone by

But then I realized I would never measure up you were always at the centre of attention, and I saw how men were ogling you whenever we were out

[Crazy is played for some time]

You were dancing, and there was no way I could join you, I was nothing on the dance floor But you needed a partner, yeah, you couldnt dance that waltz or a foxtrot by yourself, and this guy came into your life - Carl
Everybody was telling me you were having an affair, but I trusted you. I was sure you would tell me if you didnt want me in your life any more But oh boy, was it painful, Honey, to see you - surrounded by all those people - applauding, excited and delighted and I was there, like a stranger, an unwanted guest

You started reproaching me that I was indifferent, was not interested in what YOU liked! But Sweetheart, it was jealousy, this green-eyed monster that kept me away from you. I felt I was inadequate. No matter how smart I might be, how some people could admire MY skills, what YOU were doing, was just unattainable for me.
You thought I was not interested in your success wrong! I always enjoyed looking at your little pictures - with a wonderful smile - placed in that newspaper, and was proud of you while reading your weekly column I just couldnt tell you about it, because I was like a loser compared to brilliant you!

I know you were disappointed I never said a good word about your achievements, but it was because my pride was hurt I didnt want to be looked on as an underdog.
Alexandra was my only supporter, and you you were happy with what you had: your career, your stories published, your performances praised and glorified

I couldnt stand that snob Carl. I knew you needed him for dancing, but jeez how I hated him
And whatever you told me about the guy, I knew he was after you

[At that point Emily is spotlighted she is upset, very emotional, almost crying]   

Emily: Oh Paul, you never told me! How could I be so blind!!

[Paul is again in the spotlight]

Paul: Your friend Irene she became my friend, too. And she was always there for me while you were somewhere else
I dont know how it happened, but yes I admit it was my fault that one day, or better to say one night, that night when you were with Carl in a dancing competition, and I was feeling lonely and miserable, she comforted me and ended up in my bed in our bed, which you and I rarely shared and that was the beginning of the end

You cant imagine how sad it was my twangs of conscience, my understanding that I have lost you
But I still loved you and I was sure YOU didnt want me
I thought, in a way, it was for the better for both of us From now on, you were free and could do anything you wanted to do and be happy.

[Emily springs to her feet, throws her arms around herself as if shivering the music is playing for several seconds.]

Paul: I was diagnosed, Emily, its terminal Before I am gone, I wanted to tell you that you were the only woman I loved I still love you.
I know I failed as a husband, but I have always been your greatest admirer, a silent fan as your mother used to say.

When you receive this DVD, you may still have time to contact me and then, I will know - I am forgiven.

If not, then Ill be watching you from beyond
Be happy, Darling, you deserve it.

[Emily is crying. Patsy Cline is singing Crazy.]

Emily: Oh Paul

[Paul disappears, the light is on, and we can see the scarf hanging on the back of the chair. Emily takes the scarf, presses it to her cheek and puts around her neck. The light goes out.]

 
THE END


A beautiful and touching story. Hats off to the Author! :)

  22.06.2016 10:37    
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Thanks a lot, ! :-)

  24.06.2016 21:47  
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