Undecided – Southampton High School (2011)

Andreas Esposito and Sarah Murphy in Gabby Cavanagh’s play, “Undecided.” Photo by Star Black.

UndecidedBy Gabby Cavanagh, Southampton

Click here to watch a video of this performance.

A: I guess I should start working on college applications. (shuffles through papers) Where is my application? Fuck fuck fu-oh wait here they are. Okay. Which one do I start with? Hm. (picks one up) This college is beautiful, but I don’t have the grades to get in. (picks another one up) What about this one? No. I’m not feeling it. (picks up a different one) Here’s the school my parents want me to go to, it’s at the bottom of my list but the top of theirs. I mean they even got me this stupid keychain representing the college.  Why does looking for colleges have to be so hard? I mean, (Picks up brochure) look at all these majors, I don’t even know what half of them are. Why is this so difficult? Maybe I should just go to medical school like my parents want.

(Character B appears on stage)

B: Don’t you have to be smart to go to medical school?

A: Who are you and why are you in my room?

B: You don’t know who I am? That’s sad really, seeing as I’ve been living in your head for the last seventeen years.

A: What the hell? Don’t make me call the police.

B: Calm down sweetie, I’m just your conscience, a figment of your imagination.

A:  But…you’re a guy…

B: Yes, and there’s a simple explanation for that.

A: Care to explain?

B: Because women are always wrong. Now can we get on with this, Walking Dead starts in 20 minutes.

A: Well, that was rude.

B: I’m your conscience, don’t blame me.

A: Why are you here anyways?

B:  I saw you were in trouble, and I came to help you not make stupid choices.

A: You think medical school is a stupid choice?

B: Obviously.

A: May I ask why? I mean, that’s what my parents want me to do.

B: You’re not smart enough.

A: I’m plenty smart, I could get into medical school if I wanted.

B: Do you want to?

A:  Well… No, but my parents..

B: (cuts her off) Then why are we having this argument? You don’t want to go, then don’t. No one’s forcing you.

A: But Mom and Dad, they want me to go, they want something to be proud of, that was their dream of me ever since I was a little girl, buying me baby’s first medical kit with the pretend shots and Band-Aids. Sending me to that medical camp every summer until I turned 12 and they…

B: (cuts her off) Yeah yeah yeah I know, I’m your conscience, remember, I lived through that with you, I was the one who prevented you from running away from that camp on multiple occasions.

A: Right, thank you for that. (looks back at the list) Hm. Well (in a singing voice) I’ve always had an interest in singing. (normal voice) My choir teacher tells me I have a nice voice, and I’ve learned a few songs on the piano. Maybe I could go for music.

B: Yeah right. You and music? Ha, you’d have a better chance at being a clown with all your jokes. You do know you have to be an amazing singer for that. I mean, take a look at your best friend Allison, now she’s an amazing singer. She’s a star and you, you’re nowhere near close enough to her level.

A: Why are you so mean? If I want to be a singer, can’t you just support me?

B: Support you, you really think I’ll support your downfall? Can’t do that, not in my job description. If you want to sing and dance join a fucking musical or something. Music will do nothing for you. You don’t have Allison’s voice. And you’re not even that pretty.

A: I’m pretty… I think

B: You think? You can’t even be confident about yourself and you expect to make it in showbiz? Simon Cowell will tear you apart. I’m just being honest. Don’t put yourself out there just to be embarrassed that everyone has talent and you don’t.

A: There’s a way of being honest without being horrible

B: I’m a man, what do you expect. If you wanted a woman then you should have thought of that.

A: You’re more difficult then this damn application. (crumples up application and throws application at conscious but misses)

B: Please cross gym teacher off your list.

A: I should just go for something more practical. Let’s see what else is on this list. (Looks at list) Psychology?

B: You really think that’s a good idea?

A: I’m a good listener.

B: You’re sitting here in your bedroom talking to yourself. I think there’s something wrong with this picture, and it’s not just your hair. (Girl starts messing with her hair) You realize I’m not really here, right? (In a ghostly voice) I’m just a gh-o-o-ost.

A: That doesn’t mean I can’t be a good psychologist.

B: Yeah, it really does.

A: Plenty of people talk to themselves, it’s not a crime.

B: It should be, them I wouldn’t be stuck listening to you babble about not making up your mind. Oh. Reason number two, you’re so fucking indecisive.

A:  Am not!

(B gives her a look)

A: And so what if I am, how does that make me a bad person?

B: Not a “bad person,” just a bad potential psychologist.

A: Like you would know.

B: Guy walks in, tells you all his problems and asks you what’s wrong and you say, (Says mockingly) “Well, maybe you’re bipolar… or depressed… or it could be anxiety. Actually I can’t decide what’s wrong with you. Sorry.”

A: I don’t sound like that. I wouldn’t say that.

B: Hun, I’ve been here for 17 long years, I know you pretty damn well.

A: Fuck you.

B: That’s impossible. I’m still inside your head. (In ghostly voice) I’m not here, I’m a gh-o-o-o-st.

A: Stop with that stupid voice, I’m trying to think about my future.

B: Ha ha, I still think you have a brilliant career as a clown. They have an entire university dedicated to clown studies.

A: (shakes head and looks down at paper) Hmm, chemistry?

B: Sally Atom is walking down the street with her friend, when Sally slips and loses an electron.

A:  Um… okay?

B: Her friend asked her if she is sure she is okay, and Sally says yes I’m positive.

A: What are you talking about? You’re usually insulting me by this point.

B: Don’t be a chemist.

A: Why?

B: You know what they do to dead chemists, right?

A: No…?

B: You barium

A:  Bury them? Don’t you bury everyone that dies?

B: You’re hopeless.

A: (rolls eyes) What about a lawyer? I’m good at arguing, right?

B: Seeing that you’re losing an argument with your own mind, I’m gonna go with no. What do you even know about being a lawyer?

A: I know plenty. I’ve seen Legally Blond and I’ve done mock trials enough times to know how to be a lawyer. Plus, isn’t that what college is for, to teach you how to have a career?

B: You silly naive little girl. You don’t even know the first thing about being a lawyer.

A: I do so.

B: Oh really? Then answer me this, what is cross-examination?

A: When you’re really angry with someone while you’re examining them.. Right..?

B: Ha, give up now. You’ll never be a lawyer, or anything else for that matter.

A: You don’t know that.

B: I believe I do. Look at yourself (points to her). You’re seventeen years old and you can’t even decide on something as simple as a major and you expect to go somewhere in life? You’re pathetic.

A: Pathetic. You say I’m pathetic because I don’t know what I want to do for the rest of my life? I’m seventeen for God’s sake. I’m not old enough to vote but you all expect me to know what I want to do with for the rest my life. I can’t even buy a beer yet to calm my anxiety about all this. Fuck that. I’m young. I have my whole life ahead of me to decide what I want to do, and I don’t need you, or anyone else to tell me I’m wrong or not good enough. If I want to be a doctor, damn it I will be. And if I want to be a lawyer, I’ll work my little butt off and try my hardest to make myself the best lawyer I can be.  I’ll sing my heart out if that’s what I choose. And that’s just the thing, it’s my choice, I may have to try every single major in order to find one that I love, and that’s my  decision.

(Character A writes in big letters “UNDECIDED”on a piece of paper, throws it on the ground and leaves)

B: I knew you’d get it eventually. You make me proud. Good luck, you’ll find out exactly where you belong.


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