Character 1: Hey! So do we still need to stop at Sam’s Club?
Character 2: No, I think we are good. We got everything we needed and some more.
Character 1: I am excited about having a basil plant at our place. We should keep it inside, that way the place smells great, you feel me?
Character 2: Yea, I love how this stuff smells
Character 1: [Combing hair with fingers] I know, right? HEY!! WATCH OUT!!
Character 2: Motherfucker! What is today? Bad driver’s day?
Character 1: Yea, fuck that guy. Eh, I shouldn’t say that. He looks as old as my dad.
Character 1: Do you want to go to the beach later?
Character 2: I don’t know about today. It is pretty hot. Which one? I hate going to the beach when it’s crowded.
Character 1: I know this spot in Malibu.
Character 2: You know they can give you a ticket for smoking at the beach, right? Although, I have yet to see anyone getting it.
Character 1: [taking a long breath] Yes. I don’t understand the point of some rules.
Character 1: So you trying to go?
Character 2: No, I think I will pass. Just not feeling like doing the whole beach routine today. I gotta look for sunscreen and all that shit.
Character 1: Ok, I’ll just go by myself. Let’s link up after.
Character 2: Yea, that sounds good.
Character 2: [Sighs. Squints eyes due to the blaring sun] I feel bad that you are going on your own.
Character 1: Oh, no. Don’t feel bad. I like going to the beach. Helps clear my head. And I need to clear a few things. I went last week too. [wistful mid-sentence smile, trembling lower lip] I like looking at the ocean and thinking through things. And if I was in a relationship, I’d ask my partner to go with me. I think I would make it a regular thing, for my partner and I.
Character 2: [Uncomfortable and awkward] You know, now that you have a job, erm, have you considered seeing a therapist? I am thinking about restarting. You know, that shit works. See how Bridget doesn’t even need to go to the NA meetings anymore?
Character 1: Yeah. [Squinty eyes] Eh, that stuff is not for me.
Character 2: [Experiencing discomfort with a feeling of having stepped over the line] It is not for everyone.
Character 1: Ah, god!! You know what the thing is. The reason why I do not like therapy is? [Without waiting for an answer] I am afraid.
Character 2: Erm, afraid in what way?
Character 1: I am afraid that I will be too dependent on it. [Fixing her bra as it is starting to get uncomfortable due to the heat] I am afraid that, when I am no longer able to afford it, I will go crazy. So far, I have been good at working things out of my own. The moment I start leaning on others, I think I will grow to need it. We are all creatures of habit, you know. [Fiddling with the receipt from the recent grocery store visit] What if I can no longer afford it and then I am no longer able to take care of the things on my own.
Character 2: I think you are overestimating its importance. Think of it like a gym membership. It is good to have but you can do without.
Character 1: You think so?
Character 2: [Growing confident] Yes. That is how I think of it. And you know, we are a long way from home, there are a lot of things going on in our head that we may not even be aware of. Like, maybe you wanting to be alone with someone in the beach may be tied to something inside you. Never know. I think of therapy like an [air-quotations start] emotion-sink [air-quotations finish]. I go there and shit on anyone and everyone. Without consequences. If I share half the things I say in there with anyone I know, I wouldn’t have any friends left. You know, people are leaky and judgmental and I don’t trust a single person. If I tell anything to anyone of anything or anyone, there will be consequences. Things will change. So that’s why I pay the therapist, to listen without leaking; to pass, what to them, feels like objective judgement. And if it leads to something meaningful, great. But even otherwise, it is not a bad deal at all. Considering how much we waste on other things, setting aside a bit for a weekly visit is not a bad idea.
Character 1: So it is all about being in control.
Character 2: Everything is life is.