Waiting Room

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Status: Finished  |  Genre: Other  |  House: Booksie Classic

Submitted: September 07, 2016

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Submitted: September 07, 2016



Mathew: A man in his early thirties. He’s wearing a sweater with a hoodie and jeans. Has a face that looks like it doesn’t smile very often.

Austen: A man in his early thirties. He’s wearing a dress shirt, dress pants and dress shoes. Very happy and energetic individual.

Scene: A hospital waiting room. There are five uncomfortable looking chairs on the stage.


(Curtains open revealing Mathew slouching on the chair farthest to the left with his hands in the sweater pocket. He is shown motionless on the chair for a few moments except for the occasional turning of the head.)

(Austen sings from off stage)

Good morning! Good moorning! Sun beams will soon shine through! (Austen walks in from Stage left) Good morning, good morning, to you!

(Mathew has no reaction)

(Austen sits on the fourth chair from the left)

Austen (to Mathew): Morning!

Mathew (barely moving): Morning.

Austen: Yeah, I’m here to visit my dad. He’s been very sick lately and the doctor says he might not make it. (Mathew does not react but Austen continues) But I know that if we have the lord on our side he’ll pull through. Just like we always do.

(Mathew sits up and puts his elbows on his knees while looking annoyed.)

Austen: What about you, friend? What brings you here?

Mathew (reluctantly): I got a letter in the mail with an address that led to this hospital. Apparently my dad died and I had to come claim the body or something.

Austen: Oh, that’s too bad. Death is always sad. I’ll pray for you.

Mathew: There’s no need.

Austen: Excuse me?

Mathew: I don’t believe in that stuff. (Crosses his arms and slouches back in his chair)

Austen: Oh I see. You know, hospitals are the most likely place for people to find religion. Perhaps…

(Mathew cuts him off)

Mathew: Yeah, well maybe that works for people who can’t handle reality and decide to grab onto any hope they can when faced with the truth of the situation. Even if it means a fantasy.

Austen: Well… I

Mathew: Do you know why people decide to sit in waiting rooms while in the hospital?

Austen: Um... because they want to stay close to their loved ones?

Mathew: No. They want others to know how much they love their loved ones. It has no actual benefit to the patient whether you’re outside the operating room door or in your house or at the Bahamas.

Austen: Well then maybe they want to know how the operation went as soon as possible? And why would you care what others think at a time like this?

Mathew (Getting a little more energetic in his movements as he speaks): Haha, and what’s that going to do? Either they died and the doctor can just call you to tell you that or they lived and now you can go into their room and ask “How you feeling?” as if it wasn’t clear enough that they’re feeling fine due to their still being alive. Then you can waste more time with useless small talk until you get back to your lives. And people might not realize but they really don’t want others to think that they’re a bad parent or sibling or lover, so they make that known as clearly as possible.

Austen: …

(Mathew slouches back on his chair and takes out the paper with the address of the hospital)

Austen: Were you and your father close?

Mathew (looks at Austen and laughs slightly): No. He ditched me and my mom when I was still a child. I barely remember him.

Austen: Where’s your mother now?

Mathew: Dead. She’s dead.

Austen: Oh I’m sorry, you have a very sad story friend. I can see why you don’t believe in god. You must think “what kind of god would do this to me?” Well…

Mathew (cutting Austen off again): I know exactly what kind of god would do this to me. I know exactly what kind of god would allow genocide, diseases, and natural disasters. That’s the kind of god that likes to exercise his power and show everyone who is really in control. So the way I see it, either there isn’t a god and all of this is just part of life and human evolution or there is a god and that’s not a god that’s worth worshipping.

Austen (with a now fading smile): Those are all god’s tests. He’s testing our fate and helping us be more independent. He does not want us constantly relying on his power to save. He tested me when he decided it would be best I grow up without a mother. But my dad showed me that that was all in god’s plan for us.

(Mathew looks at Austen then shakes his head slightly)

Mathew: Well, my mom taught me directly and indirectly all I know about life. And it’s a terrible place with no meaning. But she used to say that she was once a religious person. But that was a long time ago, she was still married to my dad at the time.

Austen (much more serious, but much more natural too): You have a very lonely life don’t you. It looks like you don’t have many friends. You probably drive them off with your “too cool for school” body language. Yet you’ve talked so much with me, so eagerly too. Almost as if you were holding all this in. So let out everything you’ve ever wanted to say. Confess your sins to me.

Mathew (a little confused by the sudden shift in character): I… hahahahaha, and you friend are not as happy as you wish you were.

Austen: Wait, you said that life has no meaning? Why would you think that? I know that you don’t believe in life after death or heaven but surely you must believe you have a purpose?

Mathew: What purpose? There’s no greater point to us living. There’s no afterlife where good people live eternally happy and bad people suffer. There’s no one to judge us for what we’ve done. The only thing that gives the illusion of a reason to life is the way we as humans write down history, it makes us think that if we do something amazing we’ll be remembered forever and people will tell stories about us. But that’s all a lie. We’re nothing but a spec of crap and the massive shithole that is the universe and we will never amount to anything more.

(Austen is listening intently)

Mathew: My dad left me and my mom and I never heard of him until now that he’s dead. What was the point to his life? To leave and take my brother with him then die and have me see him then? What about my mom? Was her point in life to be a single mother and commit suicide after she realized that being a prostitute wasn’t paying enough for her bills and heroin addiction? And what about me? Is it written somewhere that I would grow up an orphan at the age of ten and live on the streets?

(Mathew is lightly crying)

Mathew: Life is nothing but a series of brain signals sent through electric and chemical connections. That is why love does not exist. You can’t expect to find “the one” when all you actually get is the same chemical released in your brain that you’ve gotten before and you will get again. It’s just a programmed reaction to wanting to keep the human race existing and nothing else.

Austen: You’ve lost someone you loved haven’t you. Now you’re trying to rationalize it, saying that it wasn’t love anyway so why should you care. But why is your belief in science any better than my belief in Christianity? Sure, it was my dad who introduced me to it but it was I who chose to continue my faith. There’s always a choice, and you’ve chosen a very sad one.

Mathew (back to his previous composure and attitude): Pfft, you don’t know me. I’m not depressed. Quite the opposite actually. I try to find the joy in life. It might be a stupid chemical in my brain but it’s a damn good one.

Austen (smiling again): There you go again, with all this science talk. Why do you choose to see the world in only black and white like that?

Mathew: I didn’t choose nothing. That’s just the only way anything makes sense to me.

Austen: That’s just as terrible. You have no choice.

Mathew (stands up suddenly): I need to get going, I’ve been waiting long enough. I’ll ask a nurse or something what the hold up is. (takes out paper with address) Do you know where room C329 is?

Austen: Sure that’s… wait… Room C329? Are you sure?

Mathew: Yeah that’s what it says on the paper. (waves the paper around)

Austen: No there must be some mistake. That’s where my dad is. And you said that your…

Mathew: (sits down looking exhausted and surprised)


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