(( Joshua walks into the small diner by himself & stands obediently next to the "WAIT TO BE SEATED" sign. His eyes are casting shadows down his cheeks that blend into the subtle stubble that his long day created. Eventually a waitress comes over to him & he holds up one finger. They walk like a somber funeral procession to his booth, his grave, & he descends into it like a rigid corpse. He comes here because it is one of the few places left in the city to smoke, & he gets right down to business. The flick of his lighter is muted by the bickering coming from the booth behind him. ))
WOMAN: so do you still love me?
MAN: yes, but not really.
WOMAN: what does that mean?
MAN: well, it means i do, but not as much as i used to.
WOMAN: when did this happen?
MAN: yesterday...last week...
WOMAN: when, specifically? you still say "love" a lot.
MAN: i can't say, really. it's like waking up from a dream, covered in sweat and unfamiliar with your surroundings.
WOMAN: why are you sweating?
MAN: because of the dream.
WOMAN: no, your face right now. you look like you went swimming.
MAN: i know. could you hand me a napkin?
WOMAN: you still haven't answered my question.
MAN: another napkin.
WOMAN: you probably need a sponge.
MAN: i didn't see it on the menu...
WOMAN: so why didn't you tell me?
MAN: i didn't want to break your heart.
WOMAN: so you decided to stretch it out until it cracked under the pressure?
MAN: is it hot in here?
WOMAN: that's not your decision to make. it is MY heart.
MAN: well, you have to admit i had it on loan for a while...
WOMAN: WELL YOU HAVEN'T BEEN MAKING PAYMENTS!
(( A loud thud. Joshua looks up from the smoky haze to find a coughing waitress. ))
WAITRESS: to drink?
JOSH: an ashtray.
JOSH: there's no ashtray here.
WAITRESS: sure. and what to drink?
JOSH: coffee, black.
WAITRESS: and what to eat?
JOSH: i could use a bit more time.
WAITRESS: we all could.
(( The waitress disappears. ))
MAN: look, i never said i was right.
WOMAN: neither did i.
MAN: at least i am telling you now.
WOMAN: now is later than it should have been.
MAN: i said i was sorry.
WOMAN: no, you didn't.
MAN: well, i meant to.
(( A long period of silence & clinking plates. ))
MAN: i should probably go.
WOMAN: i am pretty sure you left a long time ago.
MAN: i'm sorry.
WOMAN: is there another?
MAN: another what?
WOMAN: if you don't love me, then your love must be somewhere else. you have to love something.
MAN: no, there's not. i've never been so alone.
WOMAN: that sounds terrible.
MAN: you will know the feeling soon.
WOMAN: jesus, the man behind us is smoking like a chimney...
(( Joshua puts his cigarette out. The waitress appears amidst the smoke again. ))
WAITRESS: have you decided?
JOSH: i don't think anyone has.