19 May, 2019
A waiting room at a hospital. Three people (A, B,
and C) are sprawled out, waiting. It should be
noted that none of these characters are gender
specific, and may be cast in any way, though they
have all been denoted as “she,” for simplicity and
also as a sort of a screw-you to the patriarchy.
Nothing worse than a waiting room, huh?
Uh, I said, nothing worse than a waiting room, y’know?
Oh, ha, yeah.
Even when it’s slow, you still wait around forever.
Like they’re trying to weed out any fakers.
Lots of paperwork, I guess.
True, true, lots of paperwork.
B goes back to her phone. Slight beat.
So whatcha in for?
Oh. Just an appointment.
Oh, sorry! Sorry, I’m prying. I didn’t mean – waiting
rooms just make me so anxious, y’know?
Yeah. Um. I’m just here for a consultation.
She gestures toward her heart.
Well, that is what they do here.
I’m having it done today. Just –
She makes a quick snipping motion.
Wow. It’s quite a step.
It is, but I’m ready for it. I’m – I think, it seems
like the best decision. Logical and all.
You don’t think so?
You sound like you disagree.
Oh. No. I don’t know. I think it’s different for
Sure. But you’re here for a consultation, aren’t you?
Yea. But just a consultation. I mean, it’s a big
decision to make. I probably won’t go through with it.
But hey! Good for you.
Can I ask why?
Why don’t you think you’ll go through with it?
I just don’t think it’s for me.
But you’re here.
I mean I don’t want to close myself off from the
So you’re saying you might do it.
Frankly, it’s not any of your business.
Right. Sorry. God, sorry.
A turns away. A beat.
I…lost someone incredibly important to me. A few
months ago, and I just thought I should…explore my
Oh. Yeah. Um. I’m sorry for your loss.
Thank you. I get it, you know. Why you’d wanna do it.
If you don’t have a heart, it can’t get hurt anymore.
That’s what they say.
That is what they say. For me, it wasn’t really one big
event for anything like that. It’s just like – there’s
always been this sadness, this like little piece of ice
that just sits in my heart and makes everything seems
so cloudy, like somebody’s covering the world with
plastic wrap. I’d like to see the world without those
clouds. Just once. And if they can’t remove the ice,
well, then, I guess it’s better if they just take the
Are you scared?
And that’s exactly why you need it done!
C, who has been reading a newspaper in the corner,
joins the convo.
That fear is exactly why the procedure is necessary.
Everyone should have it done. Honestly, it should be a
You heard me.
See, you’re scared now – and I suppose we can’t blame
you, with your heart pounding away in your chest – but
once it’s removed – poof! No fear! About anything.
No fear? At all?
None! The promotion you were so nervous about asking
for? Easily attained. Worried about that big meeting?
Not anymore! I’m telling you, I was a hypochondriac
before I had it done. Now I’m calm as a clam!
Isn’t the saying, “happy as a clam”?
Well, sure, but have you ever actually seen a clam?
Nothing that ugly can possibly be happy.
It’s really that great?
Having my heart removed was the single greatest
decision I ever made. I am one hundred percent more
productive now than I was before. You really don’t know
how much emotions slow you down until you no longer
have them. How many hours a day do you waste taking
care of everyone’s feelings or sorting through your
own? How much money do you waste getting drunk so you
can get over the asshole who cheated on you with your
Oddly specific, but I take your point.
That ice in your heart, my best friend had it too. And
it drove her mad. The day she killed herself is the day
I decided to have my heart removed. I couldn’t go on
feeling her pain if she couldn’t stick around to feel
it herself. And now, here I am! Thriving and making
more money than I ever imagined.
What’s the point, though?
What’s the point of all the money? What do you do with
I put it in savings. Go on vacations. I buy things.
But why buy things? Because they make you feel good?
They don’t make me feel anything. That’s the trick of
So you just buy things to buy them.
I buy things because they cultivate a certain sense of
status. They build my brand.
Okay, what about the vacations? Why take those if not
to relax and enjoy yourself?
I take vacations because it’s scientifically proven
that relaxation increases lifespan and productivity.
So that’s it, then, the whole point of life is to be
What else would it be?
I don’t know, happiness, I guess?
Oh, sure, happiness. I used to think that. I used to
think that I was striving toward happiness and the pain
I experienced outside of that was just a roadblock I’d
eventually push past. But happiness is never just
happiness. That’s what they don’t tell you. In order to
experience euphoric joy, you need to understand
absolute despair. Is that worth it?
Slight beat. B is at a loss.
I don’t know. Maybe you’re right. Maybe getting rid of
your heart really does make life easier.
One of the last days before he died, Greg, my… we
went up to this state park that’s like an hour outside
of the city. And we hiked for like three hours, which
was a lot for him, cause the cancer, at that point,
made it really hard for him to do pretty much anything.
But he was so determined, he was gonna make it to the
top of a mountain. And we got to this cliff, and we
looked out and all you could see was just trees for
miles and miles. Greg said nobody would be able to hear
us if we screamed. So we did. We stood there on that
cliff and tried to scream our lungs out into all those
trees. It was the first time in a year that I didn’t
feel like crying. I just felt free.
That memory, it doesn’t take up space in my brain. It’s
in my heart. All the days with Greg are. If I take it
out, he’ll just be facts and figures. Everything will.
B gathers up her stuff and turns to go. At the
door, she turns back.
I don’t think you should have the surgery. It hurts a
lot, but it’s really beautiful too, isn’t it?
A says nothing. B turns and exits. When she’s
gone, C sighs.
What an odd individual! Who would seriously want to go
on living with all that pain? Not us!
It’ll all be better once the surgery is over, you’ll
Better, yeah. Better.
They sit in silence. A tries to make a decision.
THE LIGHTS GO DOWN.