© Scott Tobin 2014

Cast of Characters

SYLVIA                        40’s, a suburban mom

JESSICA                      20’s, a graphic designer


The middle of the road in Lower East Side, NY, early morning


(LIGHTS UP. JESSICA is lying in the middle of the road, unconscious and wearing her rollerblades. SYLVIA is standing above Jessica, frantic. The grill from her car is a few feet behind them.)


Oh my God, I’m sorry, I am so sorry. Please wake up, please. Please! HELP! HELP HERE! SOMEONE PLEASE! Oh Miss. Please Miss, don’t do this to me. I can’t believe this. Listen, this wasn’t entirely my fault. You were going way too fast. And where’s your helmet? That’s not my fault at all. I tried stopping short but my heel got caught on the gas pedal. But you’re just as responsible for getting hit by my car as I am. Miss, come on, don’t do this to me. I don’t want this on my conscience. I didn’t start the day off planning on manslaughter. Mike’s going to kill me. The cops are going to take my license away. Ha. I’m worried about my license? What about jail? And what about the guilt? Huh? What about that? Living with all the guilt. It took me four years to get over crushing that squirrel. And how is little Bradford going to handle this. His mommy is now a murderer. The other kids are going to make his life a living hell. They’ll taunt him. I can hear it now. “Bradford’s Mom’s a Murderer, Bradford’s Mom’s a Murderer!” He hates me enough as it is for that Barney backpack. Jesus, I’ll have to move. The suburbs is no place for a female murderer. I’ll have to move to the city. Don’t do this to me. Wake up, dammit. Wake–yourself—up!

(Sylvia leans towards Jessica.)

Anything. I’ll give you anything. Cash. Jewelry. Hey, I will even give you the very car that just slammed into you. Sound good? Huh? A doorprize. No? Okay, I guess I’ll have to call an ambulance. Is that what you want? Do you want the embarrassment of an ambulance? Wait! I forgot! I know CPR. I can practice my CPR on you. Maybe that will work. Would you like that? Some CPR?

(Sylvia takes hold of Jessica’s head.)

Don’t worry. The teacher said I was the best in the class.

(Sylvia performs mouth to mouth on Jessica. After a few seconds, Jessica starts to squirm and embraces Sylvia. Jessica moans and turns the CPR into a romantic kiss. Sylvia quickly pulls back and Jessica goes back into a state of unconsciousness.)

SYLVIA (con’t)

Whoa. What the heck? What the heck was that? Huh? Hey. Miss? Hey! Hello? HELLOOOOO! What is going on? Hey, don’t play games with me. Hey! Listen Miss, if you are alive and well, you’d better let me in on it. What you just did was

SYLVIA (con’t)

inappropriate. Very inappropriate. And if you’re not dead, I wish to be informed. Hello in there! Alive?

(Sylvia kneels down again.)

Do you want more CPR? Is that it? Huh? You like the CPR?

(Sylvia bends over to give Jessica mouth to mouth. Again, Jessica wraps her arms around Sylvia and moans. Sylvia pulls back again, but this time, not as far away. Jessica goes back into unconsciousness.)

What is your story? Speak to me. Speak. Listen, I know I have hit you with my car, but if this is some bizarre way of punishing me, it is not fair. Either you’re awake or you’re not. Don’t put me through the ringer. I’m very fragile. Is that it then? Fine, I’m leaving. Did you hear me? I am leaving. Goodbye. I said goodbye. Achh, dealing with you is worse than dealing with a baby.

(Sylvia reaches into her pocket and takes out a cell phone.)

Do you know what I have in my hand? A cellular phone. What do you think of that? Because I tell you, I am no longer going to call an ambulance. No, I am now going to call the police. And I am going to tell them what a naughty, naughty girl you have been. It’s true. I am going to call them right now. Unless, of course, you had something else in mind.

(Sylvia dives forward and kisses Jessica. Jessica wraps her arms around Sylvia and kisses her back. When Sylvia breaks away, she is breathing heavily. Jessica goes back into unconsciousness.)

Ho. This was not what I was expecting when I woke up this morning. We really need to talk. I just wish I knew your name. I need to know.

(Sylvia fishes into Jessica’s fanny pack and comes up with her I.D.)

There, that wasn’t too hard. Let’s see. Ah, Jessica. Your name is Jessica. What a pretty name. Hello Jessica, my name is Sylvia. I see you live in the city. I wonder what you’re doing around this way. You probably come out here once in a while to skate and clear your mind. Perhaps you’re a poet. Regardless, you are a city girl. I must confess, I feel a bit envious. I’ve always dreamed of city life. Bouncing from nightclub to nightclub. Smoking cigarettes and meeting friends at midnight. Eating exotic fish. You must have fun every night. Life in the suburbs, it’s limited.

I just bet you’re a poet and a graphic artist. I like that. I like the artsy type. I’ve never known any artsy types. Just the housewife parade. Who am I to put it down? I’m right in front waving the baton. But I wish I had your type of livelihood. Right now, I wish
you had an ounce of cognizance. Because it’s very odd getting to know you this way. I mean, you’ve obviously very pretty. I bet you’re very popular. You have such a lovely face. But I’m not sure I would have looked twice at you unless I’d struck you. What I’m trying to say is that, somewhere buried deep, deep down, I’m sure I’ve had these feelings too. I mean, I know…in college there was this girl named Felicity, and though nothing ever happened, I always wondered. Always wondered if…

(Sylvia looks around, and then takes Jessica by the shoulders.)

What do you say I lift you up and put you in the back of my car and…

(Sylvia lets go of Jessica.)

What am I saying? What am I doing? Am I out of my mind? I can’t do this. I’m a married woman. I have a husband, and a child, and a life. I can’t be messing around with you in the middle of the street. Who do you think you are anyway? What makes you assume that I’m attracted to you? You’ve won over my sympathy. Isn’t that enough? You have to have it all? Damn you, I should leave you here for dead!

(Sylvia looks down at Jessica and strokes her hair.)

I’m sorry, darling. Shhh. I didn’t mean to holler at you. Shhh, shhh.You don’t need anymore stress right now. I’m just a little confused at this moment. Please forgive me. Anyway, I wonder what Mike would think. Mike, that’s my husband. He’d find it devastating, of course. Let’s face it. I’d be shunned. Banished from suburbia. Tossed out of the lawn-kingdom for my wanton desires. And what about Bradford? He’d wonder what happened to his mother. I mean, of course I’d still be his mother. He accept it after a while. Isn’t that what kids do? Learn to accept things? We all learn to accept changes after a while. You and I could find a little place. A cozy studio in the village. Throw rugs and tiny lamps. A mattress on the hardwood floor. Ecru walls and African figurines on the shelves. Cooking fresh pasta with Sauce crème. Glasses of Zin while we languish on the fire escape. Fall nights and the makeshift gardens below us, with Christmas lights hung way too early. Wait. What the hell am I talking about? You haven’t even opened your eyes and I’m setting our wedding date. I can’t do this alone. I need you to tell me. Give me something. Anything. I need you.

(Jessica suddenly sputters and opens her eyes. She looks around, gathering her bearings, trying to figure out if she is dead or alive. Then she looks at Sylvia, who is bathed in white light.)


Is this heaven?

(Sylvia smiles broadly and nods.)



(Lights fade.)



Scott Tobin’s play Cotton Girls is published through Samuel French and has been produced all over the world and has won several awards.  He also has work published through Yes Plays, Last Frontier Press and Fourth Wall Review.  His plays have been produced recently at Collaboraction in Chicago, 72 Stage/Triad in New York and Newburyport Firehouse for the Arts in Massachusetts.  He is a VCCA Fellow and a GCAC grant recipient.