A kitchen in a small inland town in Maine. Two men past 50 at the end of an uncomfortable but civilized discussion before going to work.
> is a native Mainer with a genuine Oxford County accent. He’s shorter and thinner and a little more rustic than his partner. He is self-employed.
- might or might not be a native. He’s got a less distinct accent. He’s taller and wearing a suit like a school teacher might. He teaches math.
- .... you know what I mean. If you could have him back, would you trade our relationship? (After a long, nervous pause) You don’t want to answer the question?
> He’s dead, he can’t come back. The question’s meaningless
- But would you rather have him back if it meant you’d never have met me?
> [sighs and looks up as if to beg for deliverance]
- We’d never have met if he was still alive.
> (dug in for the long haul now) I can’t rather have what wasn’t possible so I can’t want it more than what’s possible now. It wasn’t that way, it didn’t happen that way. We did meet. Isn’t it enough to say we met and got together?
- I don’t get you.
> It’s a waste of time wondering about something like that. It won’t ever happen. I don’t think about it.
- You don’t think about things like that?
> No. (a pause) You don’t seem satisfied with the answer.
- It wasn’t really an answer.
> (after some consideration) Well, is a question about something that’s impossible a real question? It can’t have an answer.
- You’re the most aggravating person I know sometimes.
> (Looks surprised, then laughs) He said exactly the same words. (they both laugh) You want me to be different? That’s a question about something possible.
- I wish you would just answer a simple question like a normal person.
> It’s not a simple question. You’re asking to compare you to someone who’s dead and asking me if I’d rather have him back than be with you now. It can’t be done.
- It’s simple. OK, which one of us did you love more?
> (thinking he’s not out of the mine field yet) I didn’t know you when I knew him and he’s not here now that I know you. I can’t tell you.
- Can’t or won’t.
> Won’t because I can’t. You don’t have to be so jealous of him. I don’t keep his pictures all over the place. Have I ever called you his name?
- I’m not jealous of him. That’s not what this is about. (Trying to keep it going a while longer) You don’t have pictures of anyone all over the place.
> I’m in most of those pictures, you think I want to be reminded of how old I am? (With a half smile) Besides I haven’t noticed you’ve put pictures of me anywhere.
- You won’t let anyone take a picture of you.
We’re together now. I want to make the best of that.
- Right. Guess we’re stuck with that.
> Don’t think you all of a sudden have to be so agreeable on that point.
- I’m going to be late. You need me to pick up anything on the way home.
> No. You getting back the usual time?
- Might be home early.
> Good. (After reconsidering) There’s your answer.