ANOUSH talks to PEPPER

PEPPER. I think he and I need some time apart.

ANOUSH. GOOD. Couldn’t agree more.

PEPPER. Really?

ANOUSH. Fucking really. Enough is enough.

PEPPER. Yeah. I’m just worried about being a statistic.

ANOUSH. You forget how strong you are.

PEPPER. I guess.

ANOUSH. What’s the worst that could happen? He kills himself?

PEPPER. Well, he’s such an open wound already. Plus, people are gonna FREAK out.

ANOUSH. Fuck people.

PEPPER. I guess.

ANOUSH. No, seriously. Fuck ‘em.

PEPPER. I mean, he sucks the LIFE out of me. Sucks the life out of everyone!

ANOUSH. You can take the salt out of the sea but you can’t take Sea outta the salt.

PEPPER. I’ve heard that a million times.

PEPPER. I don’t know, he was exotic, you know?

ANOUSH. Yeah.

PEPPER. But it was always ME having to teach HIM the right way to act at the table. It wasn’t your run of the mill situation.

ANOUSH. I mean, I guess I can understand coming to a new world, having to assimilate, but still.

PEPPER. He used to get really anxious around people and got so easily shaken. I still stood by him, though.

ANOUSH. Right. ‘Cause you’re good and don’t go out knowingly trying to hurt anyone.

PEPPER. At the same time, he’d get all braggy about how long he can make things last.

ANOUSH. Ew ew, I don’t wanna hear this.

PEPPER. Sorry.

ANOUSH. Ehh, I don’t know. Maybe he gets self-conscious ’cause you’re taller.

PEPPER. Maybe… wait, really?

ANOUSH. Don’t worry about it.

PEPPER. And people ask for him all the time, too. They always did. No one could eat until HEEEE was at the table.

ANOUSH. Ugh. So weird. You need a change of scenery. And you REALLY need to get out of the kitchen. I don’t mean that in an offensive way.

PEPPER. No, it’s ok. I know what you meant – it’s taking a lot out of me. And I’m TIRED of going around in circles all the time.

ANOUSH. Well, then stop hanging out with Susan so much! Ya know?

PEPPER. I need my lady friends right now.

ANOUSH. Screw your lady friends.

PEPPER. Heh, well, Rosemary said if she had to deal with the stuff he put me though, she woulda put another hole in his head by now.

ANOUSH. Rosemary’s got her own issues. You’re treating yourself like you’re just some additive and you’re not. And, remember, your lady friends are probably just bitter. Not all, but most.

PEPPER. And I don’t have my own crowd either ’cause he and I have the same friends.

ANOUSH. Look, do you want to play it safe and be on the rack for the rest of your life?

PEPPER. No. Definitely not. ‘Cause I’m definitely not bland.

ANOUSH. I know you’re not. That’s why you just gotta DO it.

PEPPER. There are places I can go, fancier places that I kinda wanna check out.

ANOUSH. Like, where?

PEPPER. There’re these places where I can actually get carried around by men.

ANOUSH. Oh yeah, I hearda those.

PEPPER. It’s not what you think. They walk around asking people if they’d be interested in me or not and they answer truthfully. If the answer’s yes, awesome. If the answer’s no, awesome. And we move on.

ANOUSH. You’d need real thick skin for that.

PEPPER. It’s what all the professionals do, and I think, I don’t know, it might help me get over whatever I have to get over. And my skin’s thicker than you think_

ANOUSH. AAACHOOO!

PEPPER. Bless you.

ANOUSH. Thanks.

PEPPER. And I don’t plan on losing this hour-glass figure anytime soon, I can promise you that.

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