A Room of My Own at 40, or, How I Averted a Mid Life Crisis

ACT ONE: April 14, 2013

Lights up on Susie.

We are in the living room of Susie's Miami home. We see big balloons that say "Happy 39th Birthday," empty paper plates and cups are scattered around. There is an eerie feeling that there was a just huge celebration with lots of people. Susie has been a stay-at-home mom for nine years and married for 12. She is sitting alone on her couch, she grabs a random plate that is nearby and begins to eat left over cake. Susie feels sad but has decided to face her 39th year sans Prozac.

This is what happened.

We hear a knock on the door.

Susie: Who is it? (Susie walks to the door)

SHE: It's ME!

Susie: Me who? (Checking peephole, surprised.)

SHE: Can I come in?

Susie: Oh sure. I guess.( Susie opens the door.)

Enter SHE. SHE is a 25-year-old version of SUSIE from the past. Fun, fit, sexy, independent, and very much alive.

SHE: Sorry I'm late. (Looking around) So? Where's my room?
Susie (Laughing ) Your room? You haven't had a room since I was 25 and lived in New York.

Since before I was married and before I had kids. (With a little hostility.) Since you left me.

SHE: Since you left me. (silence) Anyway, (hands Susie a card) happy birthday!
Susie: What is it?
SHE: A card. You asked me to give it to you before your hit 40.

Lights out

ACT TWO: September 14, 2013

Lights up

We are in Susie's backyard. Susie and SHE are lying on lounge chairs. Susie is holding the same white piece of paper. The paper is worn out.

SHE: It has been months. Why are you still looking at that card?

Susie: I don't remember why I wanted this. It is just a list of things to do.

SHE: A list of things you LOVED to do. You wanted to make sure you hadn't forgotten yourself when you got older. You knew that would make you sad. Maybe you should try one thing out. Maybe it'll make you feel better.

Susie: I feel fine.

SHE: (Grabs card and begins to read) Acting... in a play! Why don't you act anymore?

Susie: The kids, my husband... the time...

SHE: You've given them enough. It's been over a decade. They don't suckle off you anymore, ya know.

SUSIE: I know. (Slowly searches on her phone.) Hmmm, there are auditions this Monday.

SHE: What a kawinkydink!

SUSIE: Holy crap. I just got butterflies.

SHE: Aren't they the best?

Lights out

ACT THREE: March 30, 2014

Late evening. We see Susie and SHE walking up the front driveway. They are floating with happiness. Then:

Susie: I can't believe we were sold out again! We were great. You know that! Better then before! (Susie goes to open the front door but SHE stops her.)

SHE: How come every time we walk though your front door I get put in the closet?

Susie: That is not true.

SHE: I want to be part of the family. I don't want to live ONLY on the outside.

Susie: There is no room for you in there. All the rooms are taken. You and I play outside. It's fine.

SHE: It's not fine. Don't you see? That's why I left you in the first place, ya know.

Susie: All of me won't fit in there.

SHE: You have to make it fit. If you don't, I'm leaving. And I am taking you with me.

Susie: Are you threatening me?

SHE: No. I'm just telling you the truth. If you don't make space for me inside that house, inside that marriage, I will destroy everything.

Susie: (Laughs) Your bluffing!

SHE: I won't let you treat me like I don't exist. I am stronger now, I know more now, you need me to breath, to take a full breath. I won't let you let me go again.

Susie: We don't fit.

SHE: If you can't fit your whole self in your home Susie, is it still your home?

Lights fade

ACT FOUR: April 14, 2014

We are in Susie's living room again. There are big balloons that say "Happy 40th Birthday" and empty cups and paper plates and an eerie feeling that there was a just huge celebration with lots of people. SHE sits center on the couch. There is a suitcase at her feet.

Susie: I have something to show you.

SHE: It's been a month. I told you... let's go, we'll be fine.

Susie: Wait.

SHE: I'm leaving! We're leaving.

Susie: But, I've been busy.

SHE: I've heard that before. Get your stuff.

Susie: Wait! I have a birthday present for you. Close your eyes. Trust me. (She closes her eyes and the room begins to empty.) I've been thinking. I am better with you. We are all better with you! (All the things in the room are gone.) OK, open your eyes! I've been rearranging my life, rearranging the house. I'm sorry it took so long.

SHE: (Looking around the empty room.) A room of my own?

SUSIE: Of our own!

SHE: And your husband and the kids, they're ok with this?

Susie: They see how happy I am with you.

SHE: Thank you. ( Susie and SHE hug and then sit on the floor and look around the room. )

Susie: (Taking out the card from her pocket she reads.) Dancing! Writing!

SHE: There is enough space to put a pole up in here!

Susie: I know! (They both smile.) And a desk.

Fade to black.