Morning in Paris

{SCENE : A small but luxurious hotel room on the banks of the Seine in Paris. Three quarters of the space is taken up by a very richly appointed waterbed, with expensive sheets and gold fixtures. In this bed lie PAT and MORGAN. PAT is asleep, and MORGAN is awake, watching PAT sleep, and smiling. As the scene opens, PAT wakes up, and sees MORGAN. PAT smiles back. }

Pat (amused) : What?

Morgan : Hey, it worked!

Pat : What worked?

Morgan : I stared at you and willed you to wake up, and you did!

Pat : Oh really? And how long did THAT take?

Morgan (pretending to be offended) : Hmph. Always the cynic. The time it took is irrelevant. The point is, it worked.

Pat (grinning) : So even if took, say, eight hours….. it would still count?

Morgan (grinning back) : Of course!

Pat : So pretty much the only way it could have failed is if I had stroked out in my sleep and was in a coma.

Morgan : You got it. It’s an amazing system, when you get right down to it.

Pat : Can’t argue with that logic. Shoot first, draw the targets later, right?

Morgan : Right! I knew I’d be a good influence on you! There you were, sitting like a lump on a park bench in the middle of the most exciting city in the world, and looking so sad and alone. I just had to get a smile out of you!

Pat : And for that, I will be eternally grateful.

{Pat kisses Morgan softly. }

Pat : Crap… what time is…

Morgan : 1:45 in the afternoon, or as they say here, 13:45. Your flight doesn’t leave for three hours. Relax.

Pat : That late, huh? How long were you going to let me sleep?

Morgan : For as long as you kept looking so beautiful doing it. Or 2 o’clock, whichever came first.

Pat : Fair enough. I’m just a little surprised I slept so long. I never sleep this late.

Morgan : Well you ARE on vacation. And we did have a very exciting evening last night. Well, at least I was excited…

Pat : I could tell.

Morgan : … and I am pretty sure YOU were excited too….

Pat : Nonsense. That orgasm was extremely tedious.

Morgan (laughing) : Oh, you’re terrible!

(Pat sits up in bed, and Morgan follows suit. }

Morgan : Okay, so… I figured it all out. As long as we are out of here by 2:15 at the latest, we have time to have a pleasant brunch on the way to the airport and still have plenty of time to say goodbye at the airport before your flight.

Pat (looking pensive and distracted) : Hmmm. Yes.

Morgan : Uh oh. I know that look. You’re trying to figure out what this all means, aren’t you?

Pat : Huh. I suppose I am.

Morgan : Well stop it! Why does it have to mean anything? We are two people who found comfort and joy with one another for a Parisian weekend. That’s it. It doesn’t have to mean anything. Ir doesn’t have to change anything. Haven’t you learned anything from me this weekend?

Pat (stiffly) : I didn’t know I was in school. In fact, I could have sworn someone told me it was just two souls finding comfort and joy with one another for a Parisian weekend. Quite recently, too.

Morgan : That’s not what I meant….

Pat : So what, last night was just a pity fuck?

Morgan : No! Well…. not really…

Pat (fuming) : I should have known. People like you are never interested in people like me.

Morgan : What do you mean, people like me?

(Pat gets out of bed and starts packing up, back to Morgan. )

Pat : You know…. fun people. Attractive people. Exciting people. The kind of people who get invited to parties. The kind of person who looks at a solid, decent citizen like me and thinks we are way too boring to even talk to.

Morgan : Okay, first, what makes you think I’m not a “decent citizen”?

Pat : Well I mean…. you’re just so….

Morgan : What? Interesting? Exciting? Fun to be around?

Pat : Well, yeah, but…

Morgan : Listen, I am just as respectable as the next citizen. I am president of the public relations firm I founded, and almost 200 people have jobs and salaries because of ME. I live in a perfectly respectable middle class neighborhood, I give generously to worthy charities, and I have a spotless driving record. I’m as “decent” as you are.

Pat : Look, I didn’t mean…..

Morgan : And you can stop wallowing in self-pity. I obviously didn’t overlook you because I thought you were boring. When I saw you on that park bench, all I saw was a beautiful and very impressive looking person who seemed very sad, and I thought maybe I could help. Not just for the weekend, but for life. And for a little while, I fooled myself into thinking I had. But you’re going to go right back to the life that made you miserable, aren’t you?

Pat : You knew that I was leaving today before you even sat down beside me.

Morgan : That’s now what I meant, and you know it. Look, I don’t know what your life was like before we met. But I know cold despair when I see it. Whatever it was, it made you too depressed to even move off a park bench while on your Paris vacation. And that made me so sad that I just had to try to do something.

Pat : Nobody asked for your help.

Morgan : Maybe not in words, but your face…. look, cards on the table time, I was really depressed too. I wasn’t lying about my PR business, but what I failed to mention is that I just sold it. I thought that would make me feel free and young again, but instead, it’s made me feel old and useless. I miss it, I miss it like hell. Selling was the biggest mistake I have ever made. And now I don’t know what to do with myself any more. Fancy that, here I am with millions in the bank and nothing holding me back, the whole world at my feet, and I have no idea what to do with myself.

Pat : I had no idea….

Morgan : Look, not everyone who seems happy IS happy, okay? When I saw you in the park, I saw someone who was as miserable as I was, and I thought… I thought maybe we both needed some help. Okay?

Pat : Okay. I think I understand.

Morgan : Good! At least one of us learned something this weekend.

Pat : Oh, I think you learned something as well.

Morgan : Oh? What’s that?

(PAT leans over to kiss MORGAN)

Pat : You learned that you’re not the only one who doesn’t know what to do with his life even though he has millions of dollars in the bank. I’ve been very successful in the corporate world. Got the high paying job, the spouse, the kids, the big fancy house. And six hours before I flew to Paris, I realized that I didn’t give a shit about any of it any more. All the striving and competing and acquiring were, in the end, just… things to do. Things to keep me busy so I wouldn’t notice how much I hated my life and everything in it. And six hours before my flight, I ran out of gas. I just… can’t care about it any more. I’m all used up. I used to tell myself that I did it all for the kids, so they wouldn’t have to go through what I went through. But you know what I realized? Kids can be just as happy in a cheap apartment above a grocery store as they are in a fancy mansion. It was never really about them. It was about me and my own ambitions. As a result, I barely know my wife any more and my children treat me like a stranger. I bet on all the wrong horses and I am supposed to be happy about it because they all won. But I am not happy. Not at all. Nothing means a damn to me any more, and I thought nothing ever would. Until I met you.

Morgan : You really mean it?

Pat : Of course I do. You helped me more than you will ever know this weekend. I’m sorry I was too much of a stiff necked prick to acknowledge it earlier. No matter what happens when I go home, I will not be the same person who left without telling anyone where he was going on Friday. You gave me hope, you wonderful person, and I will always treasure this time we had together.

Morgan : Does that mean brunch is still on?

Pat : Of course it is. I wouldn’t miss it for the world.

(LIGHTS down, end scene. }

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