| Altered Egos
A play by Alice Haynes and Diane Reeves
Anne Brandon, a psychologist Mason Patrick
Meg Gibson, a playwright Charles Dupree
Sophia Joan Stewart
Tiffany Bill Stewart
Otis Bruce Nickerson
Detective Lafferty Marsha Nickerson
A Man Ernestine
Sam, Ernestine’s caretaker Doctor
Nurse Kathy, orderly
(Play can be doubled with 11 actors, preferably five male and six female.)
A cubicle in the emergency room of a hospital. A gurney is on a diagonal with the stage, on which Anne is lying, her feet toward the audience, tilted up where the audience can see her face. An empty visitor’s chair upstage of the gurney. An IV stand is stage left of the gurney, near her head, and a heart monitor beeps. Tubes are going into her arm and her nose. A doctor and a nurse in scrubs upstage are packing up equipment. Anne always looks very correct; she is professional and businesslike. When Meg enters, she looks like an aging hippy; she wears little makeup, peasant tops and long skirts with sandals.
Doctor to Nurse: Her heart rate is stabilizing, and she’s regaining consciousness.
(As he speaks, Meg rushes into the room, from stage left, with a folder full of papers, hair flying.)
Meg: Is she dead?
Doc: Who are you?
Meg: I’m her best friend.
Doc: Meg Gibson?
Meg: Yeah, that’s me, and I . . . .
Anne: (lifts her head a bit) Where am I?
Doc: (Steps between Meg and Anne) You’re in the emergency room at Bay Medical. You had a minor heart attack . . . .
Meg: (Steps between doctor and Anne, speaks to Anne) We were in the middle of writing when you clutched your chest and fell off the chair . . . .
Doc: (Pushes in between Meg and Anne, speaks to Meg) I need to talk to my patient—if you don’t mind.
Meg: (Looks indignant but steps back.) Is she over the attack yet?
Doc: (Pointedly addressing Anne) You’re stabilized now. I’ll be back shortly to check on you, and we’ll get a room ready. (He steps upstage to consult with nurse.)
Meg: While we wait, we can work on our play. Here it is, and I remember exactly where I was when you fell over and turned blue. We were just about to write scene one. (She stands over Anne and talks right in her face. Gently shakes her with one hand.) Are you ready to get back to work? (Doctor exits room as she begins speaking and does not hear the rest.)
Anne: (Lifts self up on one elbow. Meg props some pillows behind her or elevates the gurney.) Give me a minute. Wait! My life was flashing before my eyes. I want to back up the tape a minute. I was reliving when I wore my black lace teddy. I met Joe at the door and we didn’t even make it to the . . . .
Meg: Don’t remember that! We’re trying to slow your heart rate!
(The nurse has been putting things up in the background.)
Nurse: I’d love to stay, girls. This sounds interesting, but I have to go. (She exits. Meg and Anne both look startled. They didn’t realize she was still there.)
Meg: Let’s work on the play. You do feel strong enough, don’t you?
Anne: I guess so. (Sitting up more, she begins to get into it, but she still seems rather feeble.) I suppose when the divine afflatus strikes, we must answer the call.
Meg: I don’t know about divine inflatulence, but—uh--I feel I need to strike while the iron is hot.
Anne: All right. We left off where we were going to include alter egos . . . .
Meg: Yeah, explain how you use that in your practice. (While Anne talks, Meg makes notes.)
Anne: My technique is to have one patient sitting in the “hot seat.” Another, the “alter ego,” stands behind and says what the patient is really thinking and feeling.
Meg: Two people sharing one mind? Hmmm--
Anne: The seated person is using her conscious mind, her thinking brain. Sometimes she’s not even aware what her feelings are.
Meg: So who’s who in that scenario?
Anne: The seated patient represents the fašade that one presents to the world, and the alter ego represents . . . .
Meg: (Interrupting) What’s really in her heart!
Anne: Yes, or her subconscious mind.
Meg: Aha. It’s a means of having people get in touch with their feelings.
Anne: Because so long as the person and her alter ego are separate, that person has not attained her authentic being. (She illustrates with her hands.) The two have to unite into one.
Meg: But when they become united, what then?
Anne: At that point, people become integrated. They become more of who they really are.
Meg: So? What if the person becomes an integrated jerk? They might integrate something they ought to get rid of.
Anne: Yes, that’s true. But it’s still the same process.
Meg: All this talk about being authentic. Sometimes, Anne, you just have to fake it.
Anne: Being “fake” never gets you what you want. It may get what you don’t want. As far as the idea of “what’s in it for me,” once you do shed your false selves, you can hardly put a foot wrong. You’ll know what you want and how to go after it.
Meg: Hmm. I think it all means not wanting what someone else thinks you should. Like you’ve got to have a boyfriend or a husband to be happy.
Anne: Or you’ve got to be rich and successful to be happy.
Meg: Being an integrated person means knowing your own mind. Right, Anne?
Anne: Yes, it sounds simple, but few really know what makes them happy.
Meg: It‘s like most people are following a script, written by somebody else.
Anne: And no one can be happy unless they follow their own script.
Meg: Speaking of scripts, in the play, if we use alter egos, how do we get two actors to play one person? . . . How on earth do we stage that?
Anne: Well – I think each alter ego could stand behind the person and follow her around. I think it would be a good idea if they also had names.
Meg: That sounds like fun! How about if we choose a name that represents something the character would like to be?
Anne: Good idea. Maybe the alter ego could represent some suppressed desire, one that the’re not even aware of. (Pauses) If I were in the hot seat, I’d want my alter ego to be called (Pauses to think) “Sophia.” (On the cue “suppressed desire,” and with no break in the dialogue, Sophia enters, walking in a sexy manner, and looks around. [Appropriate theme song “That’s Amore.”] The actor should perform this very campy. No one can see or hear the alter egos. When they speak, everyone else freezes. Sophia wears a tight, revealing dress in hot pink, maybe a matching hat, and high heels. She has an hourglass figure. She speaks with a phoney Italian accent which, later in the play, disappears. She stands and moves behind Anne, but not very close to her. The alter egos can make faces and react to what the characters say.)
Anne: I’ve always wanted to be a sex pot!
Meg: I get it! Sophia Loren!
Anne: What would your alter ego be called?
Meg: Tiffany. I always wanted to be the blonde, popular girl, the one with the big gazongas who dated the quarterback. Of course, I wasn’t dumb enough, stacked enough, or mean enough; at least, I wasn’t skilled enough to hide who I was.
( On the cue “big gazongas,” Tiffany enters, also looking around the room, and goes to stand very close behind Meg. She is a gum-chewing blonde in a hot pink cheerleader’s outfit with pom poms. [Appropriate theme song: You Gotta Be a Football Hero.”] She carries a megaphone that she sometimes speaks through. Both alter egos wear the same color.
Anne: So in the play, the alter egos will have names that mean something.
Sophia: Basta! How can Meg bringa that play to the hospital now! I’ma having a heart attack! Accidenti! [Ah-chee-DEN-tee] I’m dying. Can’t she have some respect?
Tiffany: I totally cannott believe Anne pulled this stunt just now. We’re—like-- on a deadline. Like--under the gun. And she wants to do this psycho-babble stuff.
Sophia to Tiffany: Hey Stupido! Let’s have a little concern here! This was a realla heart attack. I’ma no drama queen. I leava that up to you!
Tiffany: I heard that! Were you—like--talkin’ to me? You hoity-toity, dago-whop know-it-all!
Sophia: At least I know what I’mma talking about. Not lika some people! Bimbo! (Sophia makes a rude gesture toward Tiffany, who reciprocates through the megaphone with a raspberry.)
Anne: Now, from a logistical standpoint, we really need to limit the number of cast members on stage who have alter egos.
Sophia: I wonder if she can graspa that concept!
Meg: That makes sense. It would be cumbersome to have five characters and ten actors playing them.
Tiffany: Nah-nah-nah, NYAH! (sticks out her tongue)
Anne: Good, I’m so glad we’re on the same page.
Sophia: Magnifico, she canna count. Miracles-a will never cease.
Meg: Let’s limit the alter egos to just two. That will help with staging and costuming.
Anne: All right. Which two?
Meg: Why don’t we base the play on ourselves? After all, we’ve lived together for a few months, I’ve worked for you three years, and we’re very close. At least, I feel we are.
Tiffany: (Keeps glancing around) Yuck! I hate hospitals. Always full of old, sick people.
Sophia: We’re-a so close I can’t evena get rid of Meg to take a pee. Last night she followed us into the bathroom with her bizarre plot ideas. And now—the ER! Accidenti! Anne and I can’t even pee or have a heart attacka in peace.
Tiffany: Without my snappy lines and clever dialogue, the audience would—like--fall asleep—just like her clients! The Big Sleep wasn’t about murder. It was about her therapy sessions!
Anne: If we base the play on ourselves, what will the plot be?
Meg: I don’t know. We’ll have to think about that. The play is meant for the American Psychological Association, right? Based on your theory about alter egos.
Anne: Yes, that’s the idea.
Tiffany: That ought to have ‘em rolling in the aisles.
Sophia: It’s a better than some of your stuff. The lasta play you wrote was about a buncha horny old people tryna pick up a mate for the night. Thinkina they can get it up. Lots of people--easily amused. (Sophia makes elaborate gestures when she speaks.)
Meg: Why don’t we base the play on some of your clients? I’ve got lots of ideas from them for my last two plays. They always seem to have some kind of conflict.
Tiffany: The main conflict with that bunch of deadbeats is—like--getting them to pay. After we wake them up!
Anne: We can’t reveal their stories—all confidential.
Sophia: Yes, that’sa really too bad because theirs are some sob stories that would give-a Stephen King a run for his money.
Meg: We’ve got imaginations, and I’m an experienced writer. We’ll make it up.
Anne: Yes, our play will illustrate the premises of Gestalt psychotherapy.
Tiffany: We’ll have to—like--throw cold water on ‘em to keep ‘em awake!
Sophia: Oh, aren’t you clever! I suppose if it were uppa to you, we’d have a plotta like-a Desperate Housewives meetsa Raymond!
Meg: If we have to come up with one-line zingers about Gestalt therapy, it’s gonna sound like something where at the end, the Fat Lady oughtta sing.
A nurse and an orderly enter and start detaching the equipment.
Nurse: We have your room ready now, Dr. Brandon. It’s on the third floor, cardiac unit. Kathy will be here to wheel you up shortly.
The orderly enters and wheels the gurney out the door, Sophia following. Immediately a handsome doctor enters and detains Meg. Tiffany ogles the doctor, fixes her hair, and primps.
Doc: Ms. Gibson, typically this type of heart attack is directly related to stress. Has she been under unusual pressure lately?
Meg: Yes, her husband died about six months ago after a long bout with cancer.
Doc: I’m sorry to hear it. How is she handling it?
Meg: She’s driving me nuts! Working all the time at a frenzied pace. I told her she needs to slow down, take some time off and just grieve, but she wouldn’t do it.
Doc: So-- sounds like Anne hasn’t really dealt with her grief.
Meg: No, she ought to have a good cry, but she just can’t.
Doc: Sounds familiar.
Meg: They’d been married fifteen years. Anne married late in life; she was forty. Before that she worked on her Ph. D. and setting up her career. Then Joe came along.
Doc: Joe was her husband?
Meg: Yes, they were very close. He was a wonderfully kind man, a psychiatrist, and they were in practice together.
Doc: So you’re saying she doesn’t readily express her emotions?
Meg: She’s like a balloon with too much air. I told her she’ll pop any minute.
Doc: This was a mild heart attack, but the next one could be severe. Keep her from getting excited, and by all means make her get plenty of rest.
Meg: Well, I’m in charge of scheduling her appointments, so I can pace them, and I’ll make her quit earlier in the day.
Tiffany: With that workaholic, it would take—like--two bottles of Tequila and a Xanax to relax. But ooooh, is that doctor yummy. (She sings or hums “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” and does a little hoochy-koochy in front of him, which he doesn’t see.)
Doc: Wish I could quit earlier too! Call me if you need me, and remember, she does need to relax. See if you can get her to open up more too—express her feelings. That would help a lot. (Exits)
Meg stands there thinking, looking as if she has a very tough assignment.
Tiffany: (looking after the doctor) Nice butt, Doc!
Curtain or Blackout.
The scene is a divided stage showing two rooms with a wall between. Stage left is a waiting room, with a sofa, a rocker, a chair, and two end tables with magazines. Upstage center is a desk bearing a computer and some files. On the wall is a large bulletin board. One item on it is a huge daily calendar. It says, “Today is Friday, Feb. 2.” Another sign says, “The President is George Bush. We are in the USA.” Still a third sign says, “Your receptionist is Meg. The therapist is Dr. Brandon.” Meg sits at the desk facing the audience and works as receptionist while she does her writing. A few feet to the stage right of the desk is a wall with a door in it, and to the stage right of the wall is the therapy room where Anne interviews her clients. This room contains a couch, an arm chair, a stiff wooden chair, and a bean bag chair. The couch is covered with a colorful throw, reminiscent of Freud’s couch. Downstage left, near the center wall is a container with therapy toys. On top are two inflatable baseball bats used for people to hit each other harmlessly. As the scene opens, only Anne and Sophia, in the therapy room, and Meg and Tiffany, sitting (and standing) behind her desk, are visible. Anne speaks in a rather fast-paced, frenetic way at times.
Anne: Steps out of her office bearing two inflatable “baseball bats.” Meg, I need to move these out of here. Where can I put them?
Meg: Over there by the wall. But why? You might need those for couples therapy. The Stewarts will be here this afternoon. Remember? They’re last. I told you we’re going to quit early and rest.
Anne: The Stewarts! That’s why I’m hiding these! The last time those two came in, they spent the entire time hitting each other.
Meg: All they did was bop each other?
Anne: Yeah. It took them that long to figure out that the boppers don’t hurt. Then they quit.
Meg: Wouldn’t it be cheaper to just get a divorce? I found a Nevada quickie saves a lot of money.
Sophia: How about a divorce Italian style? You killa him!
Tiff: Like--I thought of that many times.
Anne: Isn’t that a bit cynical. Surely you don’t really approve of that.
Meg: Anne, how often have you told me to look at reality, not what I want to see?
Anne, Yeah, so?
Meg: My cynicism about marriage is based on the reality of my four divorces. And the last one was particularly nasty—an actor! What a narcissist he was!
Sophia: It takesa one to know one!
Anne: Oh. Well, it’s the Stewarts we’re discussing, and they don’t want a divorce. They seem locked in a sado-masochistic bind just torturing one another.
Tiff: Meg is cynical all right! It’s—like--because she was in that seventies thing; you know, the Women’s Lubrication Movement!
Sophia: Eh, idiota! Whatta you talkin about—feminine hygiene? It’sa called Women’s Liberation—but it seems to have passeda you by.
Tiff: I would never have burned my bra!
Sophia: Good! We don’t wanna start a conflagration!
Meg: Well, marriages are difficult. None of mine were successful. Maybe because I left home at age nineteen. I wanted to squeeze out the Puritanism and let in some healthy lust for life. I smoked pot and lived in a commune.
Tiff: It’s—like--disgusting! We ought to be rich by now!
Sophia: It’s a gooda thing Meg doesn’t know you’re around!
Tiff: If Anne—like-- knew about you, she’d be on the couch, not the Stewarts.
Anne: But those experiences made you the person you are today.
Meg: Yeah, a middle-aged, ex-hippy reprobate! (Anne laughs.)
Tiff: And she left out the part about the tattoo—on her butt. It says—like-- “bootylicious.”
Anne: Who’s coming in right now?
Meg: (Looking at the appointment book) Mason Patrick and Charles Dupree. You scheduled them at the same time.
The outer door opens, and Mason Patrick rushes in wearing long brown hair, a robe, and Army boots. He is tall and thin.
Meg: Hello, Mr. Patrick.
Mason: I must correct you, my child. I am the savior of the world. (He blesses her.)
Meg: Thanks, (sotto voce) I think.
Tiffany: Will you—like--look at that! He’s just like Jesus!
Sophia: Except Jesus didn’t wear combat boots!
The door opens again and in comes Charles Dupree. He is shorter and rounder than Mason, but dressed the same and with the same hairdo. He wears sandals.
Meg: Hello, Mr. Dupree. How are you today?
Charles: That’s not who I am. I just returned from fishing on the Dead Sea. A storm came up and Peter tried to follow me, walking over the water.
Meg: But Peter didn’t get very far, did he? He started to sink.
Charles: How did you know?
Meg: I read it. It’s a well-known story.
Charles: Humph! The tabloids waste no time getting their stories out, do they? (As they speak, Mason confronts Charles.)
Mason: Fraud! Phoney! How dare you impersonate me! (Mason picks up one of the “boppers” and waves it threateningly at Charles, who picks up the other one.)
Sophia: So these two didn’t reada the part abouta “turning the other cheek”!
Tiff: (Quite seriously) You mean the butt cheek?
Sophia: How’s that? You gotta butt fixation?
Charles: (alarmed, but not giving way) Who are you calling a fraud, false prophet?
Tiff: Looks like the Shroud of Turin may get—like--ripped to shreds!
Anne: Won’t you two come into the therapy room? I need to talk to both of you. (She steps back away from the door.)
Both men come to the door and start through. Each steps back and says:
Mason: After you.
Charles: No, after you. The good shepherd is always humble.
Mason: I insist, you go first. The first shall be last, and the last shall be first.
Anne intervenes again and takes each by one arm, drawing them into the room.
Anne: Let both enter at the same time, so we can get started. We have some work to do.
(Anne talks quietly to the two men in the therapy room, stage right. Therapy room light dims and bright light comes on in outer office. Meg is seated behind desk with Tiffany behind her.
Meg: (Suddenly stops typing; talking to self.) Mental block! In this play, what would the Tiffany character look like?
Tiff: (Leans over her shoulder to look.) Like blonde, hot, and drop-dead gorgeous!
The door to the therapy room opens and Mason and Charles come out, followed by Anne and Sophia. Charles and Mason shake hands with Anne.
Charles: We won’t do it again, Dr. Brandon.
Mason, No, I promise.
Anne: And remember fellows, just as I told you, Jesus never has sex! It’s a rule!
Mason: Yeah, that was a breakthrough moment for me.
Charles: Me too. I don’t want to be Jesus any more.
Anne follows them to the outer door. Sophia is right behind her. Charles and Mason exit, and Anne turns, stops near Meg’s desk. Otis enters. He is a street person, not very clean, wearing a shirt with tattoos showing, old tuxedo pants held up by a necktie (the tie is the exact same shade of pink as the alter egos are wearing). He has a ponytail and wears dirty deck or tennis shoes.
Otis: Ladies, did you see that? I thought I just saw two Jesuses come out of here. Did I Miss? I can’t be seein’ things, can I?
Meg: No, sir. They did look like Jesus, but . . . (Otis takes a step toward the sofa, reels, and falls on the sofa in a faint.) Good grief!
Anne: Get some water! (Meg opens an office fridge and removes a bottle of water, hands it to Anne. She and Meg prop Otis up and get him to take some water saying things like “Here, take some,” and “You need this water.” They begin talking while doing this.)
Meg: Is it water he needs? How about wine?
Anne: We can’t give him alcohol, not to a street person. They often need water; they get dehydrated, being outdoors so much.
Otis: (Now fully awake, sitting up.) Thanks, ladies, I don’t know what came over me.
Anne: (Sympathetically) What’s your name?
Otis: Call me Otis. I pass this place every day, and I sort of wanted to come in before, but I . . . . (He pauses, not knowing what to say.)
Meg: You can come and sit for a bit any time. We’ll have a bottled water for you, if you like. I’m Meg Gibson and this is Doctor Anne. I suppose you stay at the shelter?
Otis nods in agreement. Then he looks up and sees Tiffany standing behind Meg. He gives her a little wave. She turns away, nose in the air.
Meg: Who are you waving at?
Otis: Those two women. Who are they? (He points. Meg and Anne turn and look but see no one.)
Meg: I don’t see anyone.
Anne: Neither do I.
Otis: Maybe I just got too much sun?
Anne: Do you take any medications, Otis? They can cause side effects, like muscular tics.
Otis: I ain’t got no ticks, but the bedbugs kept me up all night. (Meg stifles a laugh.)
Anne: I suppose you don’t see a doctor.
Otis: No, Ma’am. I did go to the Vets’ Hospital, after Vietnam, but I soon didn’t need their help any more.
Anne: I have this gut-level reaction, Otis, that you are not a violent man. What do you say?
Otis: No, Ma’am. I don’t like violence. The war was enough for me. (Pause)
Anne: Okay, Mr. –uh, Otis. Why not sit there for a while until you feel stronger. I really must go back and write some notes. (She exits into therapy room, shutting door.)
Meg: You said you wanted to come in here before this, Otis? Why this office?
Otis: I was getting’ bored at the shelter and needed a change of scenery. (He gives a glance at Tiffany but gazes steadily at Sophia.) This place has some nice scenery.
Otis is looking Sophia up and down. Tiffany is pantomiming a gesture to Sophia involving her two fingers, pointing from her eyes to Otis as if to say, “He has eyes for you.” Sophia looks dismayed.
Anne: Okay, Mr.—uh, Otis. Why not sit here until you feel stronger. I really must write up some notes. (She starts to exit to therapy room, but Meg stops her.)
Meg: Say, Anne, I’m curious. How in the world did you cure Mason and Charles so quickly?
Anne: I simply told them Jesus never has sex. They were really taken aback by that. Even mentioned Mary Magdalene, but I informed them that was not the case.
While Anne speaks, Otis is inching along the sofa closer to Sophia, and she’s moving away. He seems interested in pinching her rear.
Meg: Otis! Are you okay? What are you doing now?
Otis: I’m lookin’ at the purtiest woman I ever saw. Wow! She has a figure like a movie star. Look at her (he points at Sophia, whom no one else can see)
Meg: Otis, there’s no one there!
Otis: Oh, those two are there all right. This one’s a real woman. (Staring at Sophia) And the one standin’ behind you, Miss Meg, looks like a cheerleader. (Tiffany turns away.)
Anne to Meg: I’ll call Dr. Patel about this. He may need to be on meds.
Otis to Sophia: Ain’t you beautiful!
Sophia: Tante grazie!
Otis: You remind me of my favorite movie star. I cain’t think of her name. She was Eye-talian too, with beautiful hips and luscious lips.
Tiffany to Sophia: You’ve made a conquest! Like a real poet this time! (Sophia looks disgusted.)
Otis: (To Tiffany) Poet! You ain’t heard nothin’ yet, darlin’.
Tiff: (To Sophia) He can see us!
Meg: Look, Anne, he’s talking to the air. What shall we do?
Anne: He does not appear dangerous. It may be alcohol-induced dementia. But just to be safe, I’ll administer an ink-blot test.
Meg: You mean a Rorschach? (Anne looks at her in surprise.)
Anne: Well, yeah. That should show if he has any violent tendencies. Otis, would you come into the therapy room a minute? I have some pictures to show you. (Otis just stares mesmerized at Sophia)
Anne enters the therapy room, followed by Sophia, and Otis gets up and follows.
Tiff: Ha ha! What a conquest! (Meanwhile Meg sprays with room deodorizer.) You have to—like--hold your nose. (Otis glares at Tiffany as he walks past her.)
Sophia (to Tiffany): Basta! He can hear us!
In the therapy room, Anne sits in a chair with Otis seated diagonal to her. He keeps ogling Sophia. Anne holds up a series of ink blots. Tiffany in the other room glues her ear to the door and Meg also tries to listen.
Anne: Look at me, Otis. (Holds up an ink blot) What does this look like to you?
Otis gives a quick glance and then returns his attention to Sophia.
Otis: My granddaddy’s moonshine still.
Anne: And this one?
Otis: (He again gives a quick glance.) Two extra dry martinis, with Vermouth--and an olive.
Anne: How about this one?
Otis: Scotch. Neat!
Otis: Well, let me ‘splain it. See, I was in the pool at the Fontainbleu, with a neat Scotch in one hand and paddlin’ around with the other—contemplatin’ the full pulchritude of womanhood!
Sophia: (Aside) Issa he talkin’ dirty?
Otis: Yep, I sneaked outta the shelter, and had me a rendez-vous with this gorgeous redhead. I’m a very romantic guy. (Sophia is now looking at him with new interest.)
Anne: Otis, in this test, you have to say what the picture looks like. It’s not a matter of fantasizing.
Otis: I cain’t hep it. With that purty, purty woman there, I just keep thinkin’ about her and drinkin’ in her beauty.
Anne: (She looks all around.) Do you see someone there?
Otis: Uh huh. (He stares at Sophia.)
Anne: I really will check whether he needs to be on meds. Thanks very much, Otis. (She rises and so does he) I’ll bet it’s lunch time at the mission.
Otis: All right.
Anne and Sophia walk him out. Tiffany and Meg rush back to their places as if they had not heard a thing. Otis turns just before going out the outer door.
Otis: By the way, Dr. Anne, I figured out who that purty woman looks like. It’s Sophia Loren!
( He exits.)
Anne: (shocked, she looks around the room) For a minute there, I thought he really saw someone. You know, Meg, my alter ego in the play we wrote was Sophia Loren. Meg, you don’t suppose . . . .
Meg: No, of course not. Otis is in another world. How could he possibly see your alter ego—or mine, for heaven’s sake? They’re not real!
Curtain or Blackout
Later that day in the waiting room. Anne and Meg are sitting on a chair and the sofa in the waiting room, lounging back. Anne has her shoes off; each holds a glass of white wine. The alter egos stay close to each one.
Meg: All right, Anne. We’re knocking off early, and we’re going to relax. Doctor’s orders.
Anne: (In a more relaxed voice than earlier in the day) Did the doctor order the Merlot or the Chardonnay?
Meg: Definitely the Chardonnay, ‘cause that’s what’s in the fridge. (Sighs contentedly) That was absolutely hysterical, how you cured Charles and Mason.
Anne: Did you like that? It just suddenly came to me—out of nowhere!
Sophia: Maybe I’mma getting to her at last!
Tiff: Huh, like taking credit! You think you’re—like--such a hot Italian babe!
Sophia: At least I’m not a ditsy bimbetta!
Tiff: You mean bimbette!
Sophia: Sure, you’re notta smart enough to be a full-fledged bimbo!
Meg: (Sips her wine, relaxing back) You know what, Anne? For some reason I’ve been having some flashbacks to the hippy days.