The Big Ride, de Stephanie Alison Walker


CHARACTERS -
MAN
WOMAN




Scene 1- DAY 6


Sound of a bicycle bell: DING DING! DING DING!



[Lights up on a man and a woman, riding bicycles, side by side, facing the audience. The woman wears a knee brace and rides a road bike; the man rides a mountain bike. They are equipped for a long ride-- helmets, CamelBaks, water bottles, padded bicycle shorts. They've been on these bikes for a while and it shows. They pedal dutifully without interruption. The woman sucks the life out of her water bottle. The man watches her adoringly.]


MAN: How’s your knee?

WOMAN: I’m thinking it would hurt less if you just wailed on it with a sledgehammer.

MAN: Next pit stop we’ll try that instead of ice.

WOMAN: Sounds like a plan. Unless you can’t find a sledgehammer. In that case we’ll just go with the ice.

MAN: Agreed. (beat) We’re almost there. It’s almost over. In thirty more miles we’ll be there and we’ll be...

WOMAN: Done. The longest thirty miles of my life. I’m in misery. (she looks at him) Now would be a good time to make me laugh.

MAN: (beat) Marry me.

WOMAN: (beat) That’s not funny. Try again.

MAN: I’m serious. Marry me.

WOMAN: Marry you?

MAN: Marry me. Don’t think. Just say yes.


Scene 2- DAY 5

DING DING! DING DING!



[Side by side, they slowly climb a hill.]


MAN: You’re good... at hills.

WOMAN:
It’s the knowledge... that... it... will... eventually... plateau... Every hill has a summit!


[She reaches the summit and recovers from the climb -- drinking water and waiting for him to catch up. He passes her.]


MAN: I’m better at down hills, myself.

WOMAN: I’m afraid I’ll fall!

MAN: (calling back to her) Lay off your brakes! Trust and let go.


[She does. She screams. Relaxes into the downhill speed. Catches up to him.]


WOMAN: Just so you know, what happened last night in the tent, I don’t usually do that so fast. I’ve never. I mean... it meant... something. Big! And I just hope you know that I wouldn’t have done it if you hadn’t made... that phone call.

MAN: I know.

WOMAN: Because I’d never…

MAN: I know.

WOMAN: My friends say I have unreal expectations about people. And I’m terribly naive. I’ll believe anything you tell me. Especially if it’s something I want.

MAN: I love you.

WOMAN: I believe you.


Scene 3 - DAY 4

DING DING! DING DING!



[They ride directly into a head-wind.]


WOMAN: (to the wind) Go pick on someone your own size, wind, and leave me alone! I hate you! Go away. Just go. Go. Leave!

MAN: (to the wind) I’ll kill you. Slice you open with a machete and beat you with my bare hands. I’m stronger than you. I am stronger.

WOMAN:
FUCK! YOU! WIND!!!
MAN:

FUCK! YOU! WIND!!!


[They look at each other.]


WOMAN: I’m sorry about before.

MAN: No, I’m sorry.

WOMAN: I missed you.

MAN: I missed you too. (beat) How’s... how’s your knee?

WOMAN: It’s punishing me. Thanks for asking.

MAN: You’re doing great.

WOMAN: It’s so unfair that you have no pain.

MAN: Oh I have pain. My butt hurts so much I’m thinking of replacing it.

WOMAN: Butt replacement?

MAN: Transplant.

WOMAN: Mine hurts too.

MAN: And my wrists...

WOMAN: Mine too. And my back.

MAN: Kills.

WOMAN: My knee, though. It’s... beyond pain.

MAN: I could massage it at the next pit stop. If you want.

WOMAN: You don’t have to.

MAN: I know.

WOMAN: That’s sweet.

MAN: I think I love you.

WOMAN: (please don’t break my heart) I know I love you.


Scene 4 - DAY 3

DING DING! DING DING!



[Still riding side by side.]


MAN: How’s your knee?

WOMAN: Would you stop asking about my knee?!

MAN: I’m just trying to be--

WOMAN: (near tears) It’s fine. Okay? It’s not your concern.

MAN: But I’m just--

WOMAN: It’s fine.

MAN: Okay. (beat) I tried to call her. No cell phone towers. No pay phones.

WOMAN: There was a pay phone at Subway.

MAN: I didn’t see it.

WOMAN: You didn’t look.

MAN: I said I’d call her. I’ll call her.

WOMAN: I’m not telling you to call her.

MAN: You’re just telling me what I’ll miss out on if I don’t.

WOMAN: Do what you want.

MAN: Fuck.

WOMAN: We turn here.

MAN: No, we don’t.

WOMAN: Left at the tracks.

MAN: At the second set.

WOMAN: That was the second set!

MAN: No it wasn’t!

WOMAN: Maybe we should take a break from each other and ride separately for a while.

MAN: What?

WOMAN: You go your way, I’ll go mine.

MAN: Fine.

WOMAN: Fine.


Scene 5 - DAY 2

DING DING! DING DING!



[They ride.]


MAN: How’s your knee?

WOMAN: What knee? I’m starving.

MAN: Me too!

WOMAN: And I can’t possibly eat another Power bar. I’ll die.

MAN: I know. I want real food.

WOMAN: Fast food.

MAN: Junk food.

WOMAN: I’d kill for some of that.

MAN: I’d kill for a root beer float.

WOMAN: From A&W!

MAN: From A&W!


[They look at each other and smile.]


MAN: I’m gonna call her. Next town with a cell phone tower. Or a pay phone. I’ll call her.


[She picks up her water bottle and drinks.]


WOMAN: We should probably just be friends. You and me.

MAN: I’m gonna call her.

WOMAN: You’re gonna call her? And...

MAN: Break it off.


[He reaches for his water bottle to find it empty.]


WOMAN: Over the phone?

MAN: What else? Wait until we get back? I mean, it’s your call.

WOMAN: My call?

MAN: What do you want?

WOMAN: What do you want?

MAN: You.

WOMAN: And?

MAN: And only you.

WOMAN: Really?

MAN: Absolutely.

WOMAN: Good. Because I refuse to be the other woman.


[She hands him her water bottle. He drinks.]


Scene 6 - DAY 1

DING DING! DING DING!



[They ride. Side by side. She drinks her water and doesn’t notice he’s there.]


MAN: Hi.


[She’s startled by his presence.]


WOMAN: Shit!

MAN: Sorry. Did I scare you? I didn’t mean to.

WOMAN: I didn’t know you were there.

MAN: Do you mind if I ride beside you?

WOMAN: We’re supposed to ride single file. I was riding single file. And then you...

MAN: I just saw you back there at the rest stop with a giant bag of ice on your knee and I wanted to make sure you were okay.

WOMAN: (not really) I’m fine.

MAN: You were crying.

WOMAN: Who are you?

MAN: I’m sorry, I just... I saw you.

WOMAN: You saw me.

MAN: Crying.

WOMAN: My knee really hurts. I trained too much.

MAN: You trained with Nick. Right?

WOMAN: Are you stalking me or something?

MAN: I’m his brother. I didn’t train at all.

WOMAN: Oh, you’re…

MAN: Sean.

WOMAN: Helena.

MAN: Nice to meet you.

WOMAN: Nice to meet you.

WOMAN: What kind of person doesn’t train for a 500 mile bike ride?

MAN: Spontaneous. And a little stupid.

WOMAN: A lot.

MAN: Hey, at least my legs are fresh.


[She laughs.]


MAN: Ah, you laugh. Can’t feel pleasure and pain at the same time. It’s…

MAN: Impossible.

WOMAN: Impossible.

MAN: Yeah. So I make you laugh and you feel no pain.

WOMAN: Thanks. All you have to do is make me laugh for 400 more miles and I just might have a chance of making it.

MAN: That’s not a bad plan. We’ll ride together. The whole way.

WOMAN: You want to ride with me... the whole way?

MAN: We make the perfect team. You trained too much, I didn’t train enough.

WOMAN: What if I’m too slow?

MAN: What if I’m too slow? Right now you’re down and I’m up. Later you might be up when I’m down.

WOMAN: Do you know how to change a flat?

MAN: No. Do you?

WOMAN: No.


[She smiles.]


MAN: You have the most amazing dimples, you know.


[Beat.]


WOMAN: You have a girlfriend, don’t you?

MAN: (after a beat) Ride with me. The whole way. Don’t think. Just say yes.


[Lights.]



END OF PLAY

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