Hold Me Closer, Walk the Talk (2015)



Katie Morgan and Brandon Vanegas in Emmett Carnahan’s play, “Hold me Closer, Walk the Talk.”

Hold Me Closer, Walk the Talk

By Emmett Carnahan

Click here to watch “Hold Me Closer, Walk The Talk”


(CASEY and MILO sit at a table with empty dinnwer plates. CASEY is well mannered and sits with good posture. MILO is slumped back in his chair comfortably. They converse flirtatiously. A previously recorded audio track plays.)

Casey. First love.

Milo. It can be something…

Casey. Beautiful.

Milo. Innocent.

Casey. Playful.

Milo. Naïve.

Casey. Complicated.

Milo. Painful.

Casey. Hateful.

Milo. I remember what she ordered.

Casey. He ordered a burger… on a date.

Milo. She ordered some arugula salad; it’s just a date.

Casey. Its part of what I liked about him though: he was free.

Milo. She was… classy.

Casey. I remember he asked…

The audio switches to dialogue


Milo. What do you do?

Casey. What do you mean?

Milo. You know, what’s the shit that makes your life worth living, because there has to be something. Or else it’s all just pointless.

Casey. (laughs) What?

Milo. You heard me.

Casey. (laughs) Music I guess… you?

Milo. Theater… well, acting in general.

Casey. Really? (he nods) You don’t strike me as a theater guy.

Milo. Why is that?

Casey. You’re just so – I mean – you’re not – well…

Milo. Gay? 

(He read her mind. Guiltily, she looks at him, they both laugh)

The dialogue switches back to audio

Casey. He just made me laugh; when I was with him I was comfortable.

Milo. She was so shy and reluctant; I wanted to explore her mind.

Casey. He looked at me like nobody had before.

Milo. She fascinated me.

Casey. He was original.

Milo. She was passionate.

The audio switches to dialogue

Casey. I always like to come out here and look at the stars.

Milo. You see that one (pointing) that’s Orion’s belt.

Casey. Really?

Milo. No. I know nothing about cosmetology.

Casey. Cosmetology? Cosmetology is makeup dear.

Milo. Oh. Cosmology? (frowning) Well I know nothing about that either.


Casey. You ever think of how small we all are?

Milo. (annoyed, but not rude) Oh lord…

Casey. (amused) What?

Milo. Not one of these talks.

Casey. No I’m serious, like in the grand scheme of things; we are nothing, two dots, microscopic, pixels on an infinitely massive television set. The stars make everything else so small and… (He’s giving her a “really?” look) what?

Milo. (wise ass) Nothing.

Casey. No, come on, what’s that look?

Milo. I don’t like that. We’re nothing. I don’t – I don’t see it that way.

Casey. Mmm, okay Mr. Einstein – please – inform me.

Milo. Well, how can we be nothing if we are ourselves? (She’s confused, he explains) We think our thoughts. We walk our walk. We live our lives respectively, right? To me it’s the opposite, nothing else matters.

Casey. That’s kind of narcissistic.

Milo. Well c’mon, I mean you could wonder about the big bang and the meaning of life and shit. Or, you could be right here, right now. In the moment.

Casey. Carpe Diem.

(short pause)

Milo. Exactly.

(They stare at each other wildly, he kisses her

The dialogue switches to audio

Casey. We argued.

Milo. We scuffled.

Casey. He was kind of stubborn.

Milo. She was kind of sassy.

Casey. He wasn’t afraid to share his opinions.

Milo. She challenged my opinions.

Casey. He made me think.

The audio switches to dialogue

(Milo walks in, with a frown on his face, trying to trick her, he slowly looks up at her with a smile)

Milo. I got it!

Casey. Really?

Milo. Uhhhhh Huh.

Casey. Babe! That’s amazing! My boyfriend’s a movie star!

Milo. I mean it’s just a small part – like two lines.

Casey. But it’s a start!

Milo. It’s a start.

Casey. Can you do your lines?

Milo. My lines? Uh, sure, ready? (she nods, he clears his throat dramatically, he gets really serious) Excuse me sir, can I take your jacket? …No? Very well. Let me take you to your seat.

Casey. BABE! You’re so good, I can’t wait to see it, what’s it called again?

Milo. Uh, Chasing Leslie? It’s kind of like a stupid romcom but still, I’m excited.

Casey. Of course, its exciting.

Milo. Okay, okay, let’s stop talking about me, how was your day.

Casey.  Good! Actually, I have some news of my own. You know that bar, Kikos?

Milo. The one with the rosewood walls and the pinball machine?

Casey. Yes! Somebody – I won’t name names – booked a gig there… Okay it’s me!

Milo. Casey that’s incredible! I’m so happy for you.

Casey. I can’t wait! Look at us; we’re the next power couple.

Milo. Angelina and Brad. Can we adopt a bunch of ethnic babies too?

Casey. I though that was implied…

Milo. Let’s celebrate! Do you still have the champagne?

Casey. Milo…

Milo. C’mon, it’s a historic occasion, it deserves to be properly celebrated. This is the spark of our careers.

Casey. Yeah…. Okay but just… be careful.

Milo. I will, MOM.

The dialogue switches to audio

Casey. He drank pretty often.

Milo. She didn’t like when I drank.

Casey. He had a problem.

Milo. She thought I had a problem.

Casey. He always went a little too far.

Milo. We’re kids, we should have fun!

Casey. He had a little too much fun.

Milo. She was too protective.

Casey. He was out of control.

Milo. She needed to loosen up.

Casey. He needed to be straightened out.

The audio switches to dialogue

Milo. Look, I don’t want to talk about it.

Casey. I love you, I do, but I want you to open up to me once in a while, you know?

Milo. I love you too (flirty, going in to kiss her)

Casey. I know what you’re doing…

Milo. I don’t know what you’re talking about.

Casey. Mh mh, no no no, you don’t get to kiss me until you open up a little.

Milo. Are you serious?

Casey. As a heart attack! If you hold everything in, it will just bottle up and eventually explode.

Milo. Speaking of bottles… (Reaching for a bottle of Skyy Vodka)

Casey. No. Seriously Milo, I don’t know how you can act if you can’t access your emotions.

Milo. Don’t insult my acting, my emotions come out when I act, that’s my outlet.

Casey. I’m not trying to insult you, I’m just saying…

Milo. You’re a shitty singer. There, how does that feel.

Casey. That’s not what I meant…

Milo. Well that’s what you said so…

The dialogue switches to audio

Casey. He would get so angry.

Milo. She needed to stop looking for problems that weren’t there.

Casey. There was something tweaked, something broken inside him.

Milo. She thought she was some kind of psychiatrist.

Casey. It wasn’t healthy.

Milo. She had me on a tight leash.

Casey. I could see the pain –

Milo. Wtshhh

Casey. – rising like lava in a volcano.

Milo. But –

Casey. But-

Milo. Despite her problems –    Casey. Despite his problems –

Milo. I loved her.

Casey. I loved him.

Milo. Her soft brown hair –

Casey. His charm and wit and the passion in his eyes when he talked about acting.

Milo. The way she teased me and said my name. Milo.

Casey. His sad, warm smile; like a wise old man.

Milo. The way her eyelashes fluttered when she sang a high note.

Casey. He was just… Milo.

Milo. She was just… Casey.

The audio switches to dialogue

Casey. Go fuck yourself.

Milo. Let me explain. Hey, HEY! Look, we had… fuck Casey, stop!

Casey. What? What can you possibly say? No, you know what? I don’t want to hear it. I’m already done with it.

Milo. (as she walks out) Like you weren’t fucking that drummer this whole time.

Casey. (she stops) Jackson? How dare you. Let me explain to you a little difference in our relationship. He tried to kiss me. I pushed him off. And he -you two were all over each other.

Milo. Casey, we are in a fucking play together we have to kiss for the part. There’s nothing there, I love you, remember?

Casey. Really? It’s funny you say that because I don’t remember any audience members in your fucking bedroom.

Milo. We were going over our lines, it’s a big part, and we needed to practice. She suggested we work on the kiss.

Casey. Milo, you really expect me to believe that?

Milo. Ask her! (she starts to turn) No Casey just, HEY, just look at me for second, will you? (pause, she stares at him) I don’t know how I can stress this enough, I have no interest in her, truly, none. Frankly she’s….

The dialogue switches to audio

Casey. I couldn’t help falling for his dazzling words.

Milo. “Do not swear by the moon, for she changes constantly.”

Casey. But that’s not how it works.

Milo. “Then your love would also change.”

Casey. He couldn’t just perform his dramatic monologue to win back the girl of his dreams.

Milo. Our love was a flower that wilted and bloomed to the sporadic intervals of life.

Casey. This isn’t some fairytale.

Milo. Some days were beautiful like the bright summer skies.

Casey. Some perfect script.

Milo. Others were cold and harsh like the winter winds.

Casey. This is reality…

The audio switches to dialogue

(Hands interlocked and arms crossed, twirling in circle, Casey singing gleefully as the moonshine leaves an elegant yet haunting glow to their faces. )

Casey and Milo: Ring around the Rosie, Pocket full of Posie, Ashes, Ashes, We all fall down!

(They both collapse to the floor, he fake tackles her down)

Milo. You know what that’s about right? (She shakes her head)

The Black Death, the Rosie is the red mark – which is first sign of the plague, the Posies are the sachets of herbs to fight off the infection, and the ashes, well… yeah.

Casey. Oh my, that’s depressing.

Milo. Yeah.


Casey. Why do you always do this.

Milo. Huh?

Casey. Never mind.

Milo. No, (strangely amused) honestly I’d really like to fucking hear this.

Casey. Stop swearing –

Milo. No, no, I’d really like to fucking hear what you think I always do… I’m a big boy I can handle it.

Casey. It’s not a big deal Milo. I’m sorry I said anything; just drop it.

Milo. God knows I can’t get in that psychotic mind of yours so why don’t you just go ahead and tell me.

Casey: You take something good and you just rip it to shreds! You drink too much and it’s making you angry! Maybe if you spoke to me about your “mysterious family” or whatever’s going on…

Milo. Stop trying to bring this back to my emotions! I don’t want to talk about my family so we’re NOT talking about my family. Not everybody can have a perfect little life like you, princess Casey.

Casey. My life’s not perfect, everybody struggles in their own way and I just want to help you because I see that you’re hurting.

Milo. How about you stop fucking worrying about me, and focus on your own plethora of problems.

Casey. Oh and what might those be Dr. Phil?!

Milo. You’re a nosey, stuck up little brat that thinks her shallow “words of wisdom” can help rid me of issues far too complicated for your two-dimensional brain.

Casey. Fuck you Milo! You’re an immature, selfish human being that buries your emotions with alcohol. The only time I see a vague resurfacing is in your shitty acting. But you know what? You’re a terrible actor. Marlon Brando. Forget it. You’re never going to make it in this business because you’re an addict and fake.

(He slaps her, hard, she falls to the ground, long pause, she thinks about saying something back, retreats, then weeps, miserable and cacophonic)

The dialogue switches to audio

Milo. (mockingly) Break up. Together. Break up. Together.

Casey. That night something died inside me.

Milo. Too much fucking antithesis.

Casey. My childhood, my juvenescence – shattered onto the cold wooden floor.

Milo. My anger would evaporate and I was fine.

Casey. I liked when he hit me because I knew I was getting to him.

Milo. But the clouds grew heavy –

Casey. Pulling plugs and pushing buttons –

Milo. And the next thing I knew, a hurricane struck the earth –

Casey. Until the damage was permanent.

Milo. Causing permanent damage.

Casey. I was no longer scared.

The audio switches to dialogue

(Milo attempts to walk away, clearly drunk through his mannerisms)

Milo. I’m done with this shit okay?

Casey. You’re not going anywhere like this.

Milo. I’ll take my chances.

Casey. Milo sit down, I can’t let you drive.

Milo. I need to go back to my house now.

Casey. Milo.

Milo. I need to go back now.

Casey. What’s the rush, wait for my mom to get back then I can take you.

Milo. No, Casey, I’m good, I’m a good driver, where are my…. (he is about to vomit, he holds it in) keys.

Casey. You’re not leaving this house I’m not letting you.

Milo. Why don’t you just fucking… stop, okay? (spots the keys) There they are.

(Casey runs over and grabs them before he can get his hands on them. He reaches to take them from her.)

Casey. No!

Milo. Casey!

Casey. NO!

Milo. Why don’t you stop playing around and give me the keys Casey now! I won’t ask again.

Casey. Milo, that’s a stupid idea!

(Casey knows what’s coming, she tries to throw the keys out the window, he takes her arm and twists it sharply. She lets out a yelp of pain, the keys fall to the ground. He snatches them and stumbles out the door.)

Casey. You’re a fucking idiot, I hope you crash!

The dialogue switches to audio

(Casey sits on a chair controlling his car, stage left. Casey paces around her room, stage right)

Milo. Watch the line Milo. Let’s stay between. Between. Eyes on the road. It’s the Eye of the tiger it’s the thrill of the fight.

Casey. Just let him go, it’s his fault. He took them out of your hands, there was nothing you could do.

Milo. I’m never going back to that house again. Casey. I can act. “To be or not to be, that is the question. To be or not to be, that is the question.”

Casey. Should I call? (decides against it) Then he’ll know I was thinking about him. Maybe if call *67…

Milo. “Whether ‘tis nobler in the mind to suffer, the slings and sorrows of outrageous (he almost crashes) fuck!” Focus.

Casey. If he’s not dead I’ll kill him myself.

Milo. She doesn’t know shit about acting anyway. Or anything as a matter of fact.

Casey. Maybe I should report him. He’ll make it out with just a DUI.

Milo. Fucking parasite. Casey. She doesn’t know shit.

(Casey holds her phone to her ear)

Casey. I’d like to report a drunk driver.

Milo. She doesn’t know. I’ll show her.

Casey. Black Acura Sedan, (short pause, her voice cracking with nerves) I don’t know, like 2007?

Milo. Damn this baby can whip.

Casey. Probably on the 118.

Milo. Remember? Carpe Diem.

Casey. His name is Milo Erickson.

Milo. This is for you Casey.

Casey. No Milo.

Milo: Casey.

Casey. Milo.

Milo. Casey!

Casey. Milo!



(As the lights fade out the sound of a gruesome car crash is heard. Darkness. An almost angelic light shines down on Casey. Long pause.)

Casey. My wish had come true. No more Milo. (short pause, little laugh) It’s funny how hate and love can be felt at the same time.

(Milo comes out of the darkness with a neutral, expressionless face)

Milo. The tides of darkness crash onto the shores of despair, washing up the ashes of the past. Goodbye Casey.

(Their faces turn neutral, they walk up to center stage. They hold hands staring blankly into the abyss. Either they say it or an audio plays over them…)

Casey. First love.

Milo. It can be something…

Casey. Beautiful.

Milo. Innocent.

Casey. Playful.

Milo. Naïve.

Casey. Complicated.

Milo. Painful.

Casey. Hateful.


The writer, cast and crew of “Hold Me Closer, Walk the Talk.”

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