The Third Life of Eddie Mann

Act I

                                  EDDIE is standing out on the ledge of the sixth floor of St. Vincent’s Hosptial. He is looking down.                                         Several seconds pass. ANGEL sticks his head out of the window.

ANGEL:         Hello.

EDDIE:          Don’t come out here.

ANGEL:         Why would I do that?

EDDIE:           I mean it! Stay back.

ANGEL:         Okay, okay. (beat) Is everything alright?

EDDIE:          Oh sure, everything’s peachy.

ANGEL:         Really?

EDDIE:          Yeah, couldn’t be better.

ANGEL:         That’s odd. You come across as jumpy.

EDDIE:           Excuse me?

ANGEL:         You seem a little on edge.

EDDIE:           Interesting choice of words.

ANGEL:         Why are you on this side of the building? The good view is on the other side. This just looks over the                                   parking lot; unless you really like cars. Do you really like cars?

EDDIE:           Are you trying to distract me?

ANGEL:         Do you want me to distract you?

EDDIE:           Are you new at this?

ANGEL:         Are you?

EDDIE:          Is one of us going to answer a question rather than ask it?

ANGEL:         I don’t know; are we?

EDDIE:          Knock it off. Can’t you see? I came out here to jump.

ANGEL:         Don’t do that. You wouldn’t survive a jump from this height.

EDDIE:          That’s kinda the idea, pal.

ANGEL:         Oh, I see.

EDDIE:          That’s right – and nothing you say will stop me.

ANGEL:         A man of conviction; I like that.

EDDIE:           I’m serious; don’t even try to talk me down.

ANGEL:         Again, why would I do that?

EDDIE:          Because they always send someone to talk jumpers down. Well it won’t work. Anything you say will fall on                           deaf ears. You got that?

ANGEL:         I got it – deaf ears.

EDDIE:          So don’t even bother trying to change my mind.

ANGEL:         I wouldn’t dream of it. I have too much respect for you to do that.

                                    EDDIE just looks at ANGEL.

ANGEL:         I know what you’re thinking.

EDDIE:          I doubt that.

ANGEL:         You’re thinking that sounds a little strange, seeing as we just met. But I think strangers ought to extend the                         same level of respect as long time friends. I mean, isn’t that part of what’s wrong with the world? I know it’s                         not much, but I figure if I start to show respect for people I’ve just met, it might catch on, and maybe this                             world will be a better place. So I respect your decision and I won’t try to stop you.

EDDIE:          Oh … well, good. Thank you.

ANGEL:         You’re welcome.

                                   There is a short silence, during which ANGEL checks his watch.

ANGEL:         Well?

EDDIE:          Well what?

ANGEL:         I kinda got something to do.

EDDIE:          Are you trying to rush me?

ANGEL:         No, I can come back later.

EDDIE:          You’re not very good at this.

ANGEL:         Neither are you.

EDDIE:          What do you mean?

ANGEL:         Well, you’re still here, aren’t you?

EDDIE:          Are you trying to goad me into jumping?

ANGEL:         No, not at all. But didn’t you just tell me you came out here with the intention of jumping?

EDDIE:          Well … I suppose I did.

ANGEL:         Okay, so, at the risk of sounding repetitive … well?

Copyright © John Spurway 2011