March 28 & 29: Cory Philley

March 28 & 29: What I Need

Cory Philley


Woman, early twenties
Man, early twenties

What I Need

A man and a woman sit on an old plaid couch in what looks to be a basement rec room. There is wood panelling on the walls and old hockey posters on the wall. The woman is dressed in boho shabby, with jeans, and embroidered shirt and Birkenstocks. The man is dressed in Jeans and a t-shirt with an alt rock band proclaiming itself. Both have dreadlocks and both are in their early twenties. There is a camera focused on them and they are at the beginning a podcast. Woman is very organized and chipper, man is surly and slouched in the corner of the couch.

Woman: Hi I’m Misty.

Man is silent.

Woman: (waits) … and this is River…

Man is silent.

Woman: Together, we are (looks at man who still does not speak and forges on) Misty River! We’re super excited about being here today. You’re watching our third pod cast –

Man: Fourth

Woman (not missing a beat): Fourth podcast where we explore..

Man: how we are killing the fucking planet…

Woman: the ongoing environmental concerns of our times…

Man: well really we are killing our fucking selves…

Woman: especially the recent protests surrounding the proposal to…

Man: Fuck us all over…

Woman: build a new pipelines or serious of pipelines…

Man: but by the time we realize it we’ll all be dead – or maybe we already are dead and we just don’t fucking know it.

Woman: and the environmental protests, a culture of, like, protest one could say, that has sprung up around…

Man: Culture of fucking protest, jesus you have got to be kidding

Woman: Not I’m not like fucking kidding River. Remember we like decided this would be the topic for this chapter…

Man: You decided.

Woman: Because you wouldn’t, like, do anything, say anything. And we had a deadline and so we moved forward with this topic of discussion for our loyal viewers.

Man: all 10 of them

Woman: 15 of them – and growing. Thanks to all of you who want to keep paying it forward…

Man: Seriously?

Woman: And get involved in the discussion. It’s super important. As some of you may know, River and I have been involved in a series of talks centred around our dependence on fossil fuels so we’d though we’d open the floor to texts and emails and just try to get the lines of communication flowing…

Man: Again there are only 10…alright 15 people out there… so they probably already know whatever the hell you’re going to tell them…

Woman: For, like, full disclosure for everyone online tonight, I am working on a double major in sociology and psychology and am using these point of discussions within the framework of my courses for extra credit.

Man: Using being the word alright…

Woman: Why are you being like this? I thought we totally agree that we were both here for specific reasons…

Man: Well I saw you with your specific reason this afternoon.

Woman: What?

Man: I saw you. I saw you. With that dude. This afternoon.

Woman: Ok, first of all are you, like, stalking me or something? Cause that’s so not cool. You said you’d be at your moms. Secondly, whatever you saw, wasn’t whatever either of your brains thinks it was. And thirdly, we never said we were, like, exclusive so you like don’t get to have tantrums because I have, like, other friends.

Man: Riiiiiight, friends…

Woman: Friends who happens to be a guy who happen to be my TA who happens to be gay.

Man: oh.

Woman: So yeah, like, stop all your pouty existential shit and let’s get on with this ok. I am super sorry that you’re so super paranoid but let’s get back to why we’re here.

Man: …it looked like…

Woman just stares at him.

Man: Sorry… um, really… I’m sorry I just…I thought..sorry.

Woman: Whatever.

Man: Hey no, I mean come on, I didn’t mean to jump to conclusions it’s just that I’m so crazy about you..I didn’t mean to blow it all up – I just made some stupid ass assumptions and… I know I’m needy bastard.

Woman: This isn’t the first time Arnold…

Man: River, the name is River, Stephanie.

Woman. Alright River, this isn’t the first time that you’ve gone off the deep end. And it’s not about need. I’m, like, needy. We’re all, like, needy. It’s about figuring out a way to express your needs without our relationship (makes arm gestures and sounds to indicate something blowing up). You’re so freaking extreme. And accusing me of shit before asking me stuff and this (waves to the camera and around) was your idea. Yours. Not mine. I wanted to go to the drum circle on Burnaby Mountain, remember.

Man: I know, I know. I mean I apologize. I don’t know what happens to me. I just get into this mode and I can’t get out. I can’t stop myself from acting like this, can’t see any alternatives to this even though I know it’s crazy. It’s like I’m obsessed and I can’t let go of the thought until I stomp, it, you, us into the ground. I can see myself doing it and I can’t.. it’s not rational I know. Please tell me it’s not too late –that I, we, can figure out another way. I promise to be better…I-

There is a ding from Woman’s cell phone. She distractedly picks it up and reads the text. She also comes back to herself as she reads the text, realizing that they’ve had a fight in the middle of the pod cast.

Woman: It’s our first text of the evening everyone. Super. It’s from Jordan96. Hi Jordan. Welcome He say “..came late to the podcast. Are you talking about you guys’ relationship or acting out some agiprop theatre bullshit. Either way, I don’t get what the fuck this is about. And who the fuck is Stephanie?”

Woman takes a deep breath and Man reaches over and tentatively touches her arm. She looks at it but doesn’t shrug it off or make a move towards him. As she sits there looking at his hand on her arm, her phone starts getting pings. She reaches down and sees that she’s getting more texts and starts getting excited.

Woman: Ok thanks Jordan96. Ummmm, seems like you’ve set off the discussion. I’ve got three more texts… Wow some of them are way personal, cause my bra size – I mean really grow up dude – but yeah ok, let’s like start the discussion. Let’s see…this is so not planned…but ok…How is like the crazy ass behaviour of Arn…River…kind of like our relationship to this crazy ass pipeline plan… Or may it’s not? Be as obvious as you’d like to be, cause I think we’re all a little confused and need to get it all out in the open… Ok, right, (texts are binging on her phone and she is scrolling down quickly) this is so cool. So so cool. Hey if we have time we can talk about our sex life! Ready? Super!!

Woman on turns to grin at the man and lights fade as they look at each other and the binging from the phone carries into the darkness.