Character: BARRY, age 25-30, nerdy but thoughtful
Through the course of the monologue, Barry is methodically putting on a tuxedo.
We found each other online in a chat room for videogame programmers. Every day and night the place is teeming with dorks like me. And this one day I put up a post about having difficulty with this new software and how I was on a deadline and going to get fired. No one responded. I resigned myself to having to admit failure to my dickhead boss and a message came my way. This person gave me a roundabout solution and my job was saved, my stress was gone, my life was back in line. I offered to send them a check, Warcraft stuff, anything to make it up to them. Know what the reply was? “They” wanted dinner. At first, I was totally lost. Said I’d send them a gift card to some chain restaurant. I figured it was some dude playing around or a genuinely lonely person. Either way—problem solved, right? They wrote back saying “No thanks.” Dinner means you and me. “What should I wear?” I was about to log out and write off the whole encounter, when she followed up with a picture of her in a black cocktail dress and a message asking if that would do. Turns out “dinner” is us having dinner together over a web cam. What’d I have to lose? I hadn’t been on a date in months. Worst case scenario, she’s hideous and I eat my dinner, click the computer off and run.
She was pretty. Mousey but really cute. Brown hair. Brown eyes. Nice smile. I think she has a really sexy body. She was cool to talk too. We started to chat all the time online. Only problem was, she was halfway across the country. I think we truly appreciated each other for who we were, though. When you have to base your relationship on talking and getting to know the other person, aside from aesthetics, it’s something tangible and real. We started to get super close—we’d been talking every night for about a month and she said we should be “exclusive.” I thought—What the hell? Why not?
She was probably the best thing in my life at that time. We’d talk on the phone all night. Could be about work, life, anything really. It was so natural and easy. Then, without me knowing, she told her parents about me. She’d found the one. They flipped out. Told her I was just some silly boy and she needed to get out into the real world. So what does she do? She calls me up in the middle of the night. I ask her if everything’s okay. She says no. She says “I love you, Barry.” I’m floored. Totally taken back, but happy. So, I say “I love you too, Erin.” I can practically hear her crying over the phone—she’s so happy. And then she says, “Marry me.” I say, “When?” She says, “This Saturday. Lighthouse Inn.” Exactly halfway between our houses.
I said “Yes.”
copyright © 2009 Michael Weems. All rights reserved. ___________________________________________
Michael Weems is a New York City-based writer, playwright, and actor. Recent playwriting credits include: Bludgeon the Lime and Necessary Adjustments (Phare Play Productions) Wincing at the Light and Hyphen-Nation (Love Creek Productions); Fragments, Waiting Life, and Onward, Forward (Little Hibiscus Productions), Subtlety (Algonquin Productions), Laugh Riot (The Seven Collective); Burden Me (Strawberry Riant Festival & Awakening Drama); Waiting Life, Ready to Shine, and Subtlety (Brief Acts).