[how i see it, by ari frede]

1: What youíre saying means that Iím doing this all wrong.

2: Youíre not doing it wrong, youíre just missing it. I think if you meet someone you like, thereís a window of time you can hook up. If you wait too long, you canít hook up any more.

1: How long does that take? For you? You donít have to speak for all women.

2: (thoughtfully) When I canít stand to lose the person.

1: (digesting) Now, what does that mean? That goes against everything Iíve learned. Growing up, I believed I should get to know the woman Iím interested in. Care for who she is. Be attracted to who she is on the inside.

2: Right.

1: But if I do that, then Iíve waited too long, and I can only be her friend.

2: (visibly uncomfortable)

1: And what does that mean about failure in relationships? That means that you want to hook up with someone you donít care about, but all the time you hope you can build the relationship to the point that you donít want to lose each other.

2: God.

1: (to audience) This is pretty much the way our conversation happened that night. But I never came out and said, "this is us weíre talking about."

2: And a good thing. I would have freaked out.

1: I think my falling in love with you will always be there. But now itís more like a strata in a rock formation. There are other things piling on top of it. One day it will be only a stripe.

2: Youíve got to get over that.

1: Get over what? You treat me as one of your closest friends! You love the attention.

2: But itís hard to be comfortable around you.

1: How hard is it?

2: Itís hard to think that you want me and I donít want you in the same way. I want us to want each other the same way. At my level.

1: But you like me a lot. Iíve dreamed of arguing this with you for so long. Check it out: You told me, "in a way, it would be perfect." Those were your exact words when I approached you. I think youíre into me, but the biggest things standing in your way are that youíre enjoying being alone and that youíre terrified of inevitable failure.

2: I am enjoying being alone. And I do believe all relationships end badly. Especially if they start off like this.

1: But hereís what would happen. Youíd let loose and open up to the idea, weíd have our glory days of high, ecstatic romance, and then weíd start leveling out. Some conflict would arise and weíd make reparations. Weíd keep doing this over and over, but each time youíd feel that the reparations were shoddier and that the conflicts were more serious. Then weíd bottom out, and weíd both feel crappy, but the thing that could save us is when you realize even though our relationship will have to end some day, whether by death or disaster, that the trip was beautiful, that you enjoyed it, that you felt love and were loved.

2: Thatís optimistic. How long do you give us?

1: Oh, I donít know. Fifty years.

2: (stunned silence.)

1: Iím interested in the story of you. I want to watch you when you make these leaps. And see you when you come back to bed with me. I am so curious to see you pregnant -- the image in my head astounds me. And as a mother. A mother of a teenager. Making rules, breaking rules. Iím not interested in having a family but Iím interested in having a family with you.

2: How can you say these things? Youíre fucking crazy! You want me to jump off a building holding your hand!

1: That way you feel when youíre turning the page in a really good chapter? Thatís how I feel about you. (extends hand.)

Curtain.