NAILS

By JENKS

JAKOB and SANDERS are standing in the living room, Sanders holding a remote and changing the channels. Sanders is content, but Jakob is restless.

JAKOB: Are we just gonna sit here all day? Maybe we could go outside or read or something.

SANDERS: Read?

JAKOB: Ok, not my best effort, but we have to get out of here. I’m going insane.

SANDERS: Going?

JAKOB: Stop with the one word answer-questions, you’re not a detective.

SANDERS: I am not, that’s why I watch other people be a detective on TV.

JAKOB: Don’t you want to do something? I mean, Sanders, we’ve been in this general area and its surroundings for the past 3 days. Surely you want to do something else.

SANDERS: No can do, brother. Already made a hot pocket and threw A&E on the TV, I am right here for at least the next 4 hours.

JAKOB: Ok, but after that can we go do something? We can plant a tree or, I don’t know, build a bridge or something.

SANDERS: Nope. I have three rules that I base every decision on: 1) Are there trees involved? 2) Are theres bridges involved? And 3) Is there something else unrelated to trees OR bridges involved that I potentially do not want to do? If the answer to any of those questions is “yes,” then I am not interested in what you’re selling, friend.

JAKOB: Ok, ok, I can tell you are in a particularly dumb, albeit well-structured and worded, mood today, so I will suggest something that is perhaps more acceptable. Can we maybe just switch spots? I’ll move over there, you move over here, we call it a party and I’ll be mildly satisfied?

Sanders thinks it over, looking at both spots he leans his head behind Jakob.

JAKOB: What are you looking at, man?

SANDERS: Relax, I’m looking to see if your side of the floor is sturdier than mine. I feel like it’s not, but that’s really just an eye test.

JAKOB: Well?

SANDERS: Nah, can’t do it.

JAKOB: What? Why? We’re literally moving about 4 feet.

SANDERS: Buddy, I have three rules that I base every decision on. 1)-

JAKOB: No, no, what I’m proposing has nothing to do with trees or bridges, so you have no leg to stand on.

SANDERS: Well hell, if I don’t have a leg to stand on then what a dick move it would be to make me move. You trying to embarrass me?

JAKOB: No! I was just-

SANDERS: What if I lost this leg in ‘Nam? What if this leg, which you wonderfully pointed out I can no longer stand on, was lost defending this country?

JAKOB: I didn’t mean-

SANDERS: And not only defended this country, but defended your right to question whether or not I actually defended it?

JAKOB: Well, if you didn’t defend it...

Beat. Sanders looks at him with accusation.

JAKOB: Then you didn’t fight for the right to do anything.

SANDERS: Well thank God, then. If I never defended the right to do anything, then I certainly have no problem doing nothing.

JAKOB: How do you say things like that? Do you read? You should barely be able to talk, you sit here all day in front of the TV.

SANDERS: Lucy.

JAKOB: I’m sorry?

SANDERS: Lucy, I sit here in front of Lucy.

JAKOB: Ok, I’m turning this off.

Jakob gets up and turns off the TV.

SANDERS: Well now you’ve done it.

Sanders pantomimes pressing the remote to turn it back on.

SANDERS: And you’ve somehow made it so I can’t turn it on again.

JAKOB: Looks like we’re gonna have to do something after all.

Sanders pouts.

JAKOB: Think about all that’s out there to do! We can go running, or walking, or we could go to the forest or run up a hill, or just do something different that no one has ever done before!

JAKOB (cont’d): (in singsong) We could dance or sing or both! Or see who does both the most! We could aim for the sky and then we could fly, we could fly! We could-

SANDERS: Stop. No more singing. Also, whoever is writing your lines is really sucking. You sound like a movie trailer from the 80s.

JAKOB: I know, it just never comes out right.

SANDERS: So...

Sanders points to the TV.

SANDERS: Please?

JAKOB: (begrudging) Fine.

Jakob puts it back on. Sanders’s face immediately lights up.

SANDERS: Just in time! There’s something cool happening on the TV!

Jakob sees how excited his friend is and gives a half smile. He then retreats into himself. Sanders notices.

SANDERS: Hey, what’s wrong buddy?

JAKOB: Nothing, man, nothing.

SANDERS: Hey, don’t give me that. I’ve spent the last 3 days with you because, well, you know. I think I know when you’ve got a thought in that head.

JAKOB: I just...I can’t think of what to say, you know? I have all these plans, keep getting on you about doing something else, but in the end I always just stay right here. It’s like I am nailed-

He lifts up his legs from the floor to no avail.

JAKOB: -to this spot. I talk over and over again about wanting to do something, hell, even wanting to be something more. But each day I say that, the nails go further and further into the floorboards. I’m stuck. Not stuck like stuck emotionally, but literally stuck. I can’t move. I can’t move.

SANDERS: Whoa.

Sanders lifts up both his legs and does some running in place to make sure his legs are not stuck. He sighs in relief.

SANDERS: Listen man, I think we need to just evaluate the situation.

JAKOB: How?

SANDERS: Well let’s look at it this way: at least we’re on the right side of the ground. You woke up today and thousands didn’t. It may be grim, but it’s the truth. And yes, we do the same thing every day. We get up, we eat, we watch TV, we go to our separate bedrooms and sleep. But that doesn’t make us counter-productive or lazy. That makes us us. We can try over and over to put it in our minds that we’re supposed to do something different or we can take a good, hard look at the right here and right now and choose to be happy. That’s what I do, and that’s what you clearly have not done. Now use whatever proverbial backend of a hammer you need to use to lift up those nails and make your choice.

JAKOB: Again, do you read or something? Who are you?

Jakob lifts up his legs and finds he can’t release them from the “nails.” He gives in.

JAKOB: Well dammit. Looks like I’m stuck here.

SANDERS: Either way, you’re still here, so that’s something.

JAKOB: Yeah, it is something...

SANDERS: Good. I’m gonna unmute this now.

JAKOB:(mumbles) ...Wasted potential. Wasted opportunity.

Sanders “unmute”’s the TV. He smiles.

JAKOB: No matter what I do, I’m never getting out of here, am I?

SANDERS: Not if you keep watching TV with me.

Sanders half-smiles.

END

-Josh Williams and Jessica Jenks

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NAILS

Created: Jan 16, 2010

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