I submited this to for the Muses project. I just got the final list of playwrights, so I guess it was rejected. In any case, I really liked it. It comes out of all the horrible worries I have to push out of my mind every night as I try to go to sleep. Being a parent definitely introduces a new level of worry into your life (or a level of worry at all in my case). Dramatic liberties have been taken. This is not autobiographical.

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(FATHER is washing his hands in the sink. He uses a nail brush. Meticulous. He finishes, and dries his hands)


When I was in college, I was a professional house sitter. I loved it. I loved the first time you opened up a house. There were signs of the past everywhere. Generally they were clean. Immaculate. Awaiting their owner’s return. Perhaps a cereal bowl in the bottom of the sink. A wet towel on the bathroom floor, but otherwise clean.

I loved looking at the past. The furniture. The books. The photos. I loved imagining the future. Would they ever be able to make it through that case of fiber supplements? Would they finish the 7 pound book, marked 135 pages in, currently languishing on their bedside table? And what of the large pile of bricks just outside their French doors?

(FATHER contemplates a box of macaroni and cheese)

But when I was house sitting, it was as though time had stopped. There were the mementos of the past. And there was the potential for the future. But the house had been stopped in time. And I had walked out of time and into this twilight.

(he gets out the pot, and fills it with water, he puts it on the stove and turns on the burner, then considers the box once more)

I guess I must have thought about the future too much when I was young. That’s the reason I should never have kids. I can’t handle the suspense. You know the statistics. You know all the statistics. You know that the world has never been safer. That there is very little to fear. But too much of my youth was spend idling about in the future.

I am- was- married.

(he gets out a calculator and pen and paper from a kitchen drawer. He reads the box and reduces the amounts down to one person)

I got married. I was in love. I am in love. I don’t know how it’s possible to get out of that once you’re truly in it. Once you have love, you have all this past that will forever contain the person you love. Your history will always contain them, and that love. I could maybe love another woman. Maybe. But I don’t think that could ever change the past. But sometimes even if we love someone we do things that make them not love us back. Things that we think they won’t ever understand. And they won’t understand. One of the reasons I should never have kids. How could you ever see them fall in love, and know the risk they’re taking. Think of their hearts. Know the highs, but also know the lows. Know the days and months of anxiety. The constant fear that it’s all slowly unraveling, and the feeling of having your stomach in your throat for months as the drama unfolds. And the legal events unfold. And the couch unfolds.

(he fills a cup with