I Wish You Actually Liked Me .pdf
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I Wish You Actually Liked Me
(And Other Familial Impossibilities)
Cast of Characters
The middle child, fresh off a
The youngest child,
well-liked if neurotic
The oldest child,
The boyfriend, a nondescript
The half-sister, who is ten
The stepmother, stirring the
The father, trying to ignore
Gay uncle #1, cool and
Gay uncle #2, tounge lodged
Olive’s younger self
Sophia’s younger self
Ben’s younger self
The set is a living room and kitchen of an
uppper-middle class suburban home in Arkansas. The
women in this neighborhood all go to Junior League
and have had some work done; the men all wear
suits to work. A lot of the teenagers are on
drugs. This house contains a kitchen SR with an
island separating it from the living room C, a
couch CR, and a chair CL. There is a front door
SL, and the back wall has an arch in it leading to
the hallway. A bedecked Christmas tree stands
behind the chair and couch, a dragon’s trove of
presents spilling through the gap between them.
Four filled stockings rest on the couch. The house
is bedecked as well: everything matches. It’s dark
now, predawn, and the tree is aglow.
OLIVE, a noticeably overweight woman in her early
20s, creeps out of the arch, looking from the
kitchen to the tree and back. She’s in pajamas.
She begins to walk towards the kitchen, pausing to
look at the presents and wrinkle her nose a bit.
In the kitchen she fishes a bottle of eggnog out
of the fridge and pours herself a generous glass,
taking a sip and mulling for a moment before
deciding something. She sets the glass down and
hunts under the counter for a moment before coming
up with a bottle of bourbon. She pours so much
into the eggnog that the surface tension is the
only thing keeping it from spilling over. She
internally debates moving somewhere more
comfortable, but in the end decides that the
chance of spilling the eggnog is too great.
Instead, she finds a silly straw and delicately
breeches the surface of the liquid, beginning to
slurp the cocktail. BEN enters from the arch, also
in pajamas; he is a young collegiate with an air
of tiredness and humor. Olive doesn’t notice him,
and he watches the shameful display with relative
amusement. He doesn’t speak for a long time: she
gets about a quarter way through the glass. God,
it takes so long.
She’s beauty, she’s grace.
And how is our favorite lush this morning?
Not quite lush enough. Working on it. Want one?
She disposes of the silly straw and begins
drinking in earnest.
No, thanks. It might be five o’ clock in Bangladesh,
but here it’s still morning. Give it.
No. If it was a mimosa you wouldn’t say shit.
C’mon. What would the Good Doctor say about this
She’d say ’do whatever it takes to stay alive today’,
and if that includes a predawn lubrication, so be it.
(advancing on her)
Touch my drink and the next person I try to kill will
That’s not funny.
I think it is.
Give me the drink.
Pry it from my cold, dead hands.
Ben lunges for her, but Olive is too fast and
downs the rest of the drink in one mighty gulp.
She can’t quite get it all and some of it dribbles
out of her mouth and onto her shirt; it should be
funny, but it should be sort of sad, too. She slam
dunks the glass into the trash (there is hopefully
a muffled shattering sound).
Joke’s on you,
sucker, I’m already
Olive! What the hell?!
Suck on that!
That glass did nothing to you.
Screw the glass.
Why did you throw it away?
Screw the glaaaaaaass.
(peering in the trash can)
It’s broken. You broke it.
Screw the glass.
You horrible little man. For God’s sake. You’re not
supposed to drink, I promised.
Shouldn’t’ve done that, I never make promises. I’m
Olive, I told Mom-OLIVE
I have a joke for you, okay, are you ready?
Okay, a dying man gives each of his best friends--a
lawyer, a doctor, and a priest--an envelope containing
$25,000 in cash to be placed in his coffin.
(hunting for more liquor)
No, each--sorry, shoulda said that. 25 grand each. A
week later the man dies and the friends each place an
envelope in the coffin. Several months later, the
priest finally confesses that he only put $10,000 in
the envelope and sent the rest to a mission in South
Here it comes...
The doctor says that his envelope had only $8,000
because he donated to a medical charity.
Wait for it...
The lawyer is outraged! He says, "I am the only one who
kept my promise to our dying friend, you losers. I want
you both to know that the envelope I placed in the
coffin contained my own personal check for the entire
There it is.
And that’s you. You’re the lawyer.
Thank you, Olive.
(massages his temples for a moment, then
holds out his hand, snapping his
Give me the bourbon. And a glass. Do we have more nog?
You kidding? They buy in bulk.
That too, then. If your drunk self can manage it.
(pause, then fond)
You always give into my demands.
I am weak and you are drunk. I refuse to let you be the
only one having a decent time today.
God, how sad is it that we have to be drunk to enjoy
Don’t do that.
Make this something tragic and deep. It’s not. It’s
He has finished assembling the drinks and hands
one to Olive, the other he raises to eye level.
What’re we toasting?
Here’s to those who wish us well, and those who don’t
can go to hell.
(clinks his glass against hers)
(they both drink deeply)
If we’re drinking in the morning we need to eat, too.
What do you want for breakfast?
No! No, have I taught you nothing? You never eat when
you’re drinking your feelings away, it dulls the effect
and makes you uncomfortably lucid.
(attempting to take her drink)
If words like ’lucid’ make you uncomfortable you
shouldn’t be drinking.
Fine, you’ll just drink alone, then.
Done it before.
You know nothing, Benjamin Peterson. The only thing
sadder than drinking your feelings away is drinking
your feelings away alone. I will not let my baby
brother drink alone.
How old are you now?
Not old enough for this to be legal.
(pause, then shrugs and continues
Don’t tell Mom.
You’re such a good influence.
Olive settles herself on the floor and pats the
space beside her, indicating Ben should sit. He
They both laugh again, then begin gesturing at
Listen here, you-BEN
Okay, okay. I just--y’know. I wanted to ask if you were
No, I mean, I get it, I mean I don’t, but you don’t
have to tell me. If you don’t want to.
C’mon, man. It’s Christmas.
So make it my Christmas present.
You’re already getting a Christmas present.
Ben drops his head on her shoulder and she puts
her head on his. They hold hands. It is familiar
I’m okay. You know. You’re all successful, and Sophia’s
showing off Noah, which is like, good for them, but I
feel--I dunno, lesser? And I hate it here, but you know
that. Overall, it’s been--a couple of months since it
happened, and...I’m getting there. Keepin’ on keepin’
on. Like we do.
Yeah. It will be.
Olive drops her glass, it should be largely empty
by now, but there should be a small spill. She
extracates herself from the embrace to react.
Oh my god. Oh no.
Tragedy of the century.
Might as well kill myself.
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