Big Little Changes By Sarah-Jane Scott
Two people on a date. He eats chicken wings very enthusiastically. She eats her meal at normal speed.
HIM What do you mean, you don’t drive?
HER I just don’t.
HIM How do you get around?
HER We’re in Dublin.
HIM Yeah but like, do you get the bus?
HER Sometimes, I walk.
HER You said you work in town?
HIM City centre.
HER And you’re from Irishtown?
HER You drive in every day?
HER Is that not a bit…
HIM I don’t have time to be hanging around at bus stops. Busy man, you know?
He licks sauce off his fingers.
HIM I haven’t actually got the bus since fifth year. Only tools got the bus from fifth year. And girls.
HER Why were they tools?
HIM Don’t know.
HER So how did you get to school?
HIM I cycled.
HER I cycle!
HIM I wouldn’t now. Mad dangerous. Not enough room on the roads.
HER I think adequate space needs to be made for all road users.
HIM It’s not really as simple as that though, is it?
He sucks a wing dry.
Do you want one?
HER I’m vegan.
HIM I thought you ordered steak?
HER Broccoli steak.
HER It’s broccoli cooked like a steak. Do you want to try?
HIM You’re grand.
HER Have you ever tried cauliflower wings?
HER They taste just like real wings.
HIM Is that like vegan cheese?
HIM You call it cheese but it’s not. I get you have to believe that it is, because life without cheese would be grim.
HER I like vegan cheese.
HIM Or vegan-aise…It’s a spread, so just call it a spread.
Sorry. All that clean-eating Instagram crap drives me daft.
HER It’s more about climate change for me.
HIM Making women feel awful.
HER They are two very different things.
HIM This is responsibly sourced meat. I’m doing my bit. I just don’t go on about it.
HIM A lot of your vegan stuff is imported, which isn’t doing much for your carbon footprint, is it?
HER I try to eat locally and in season.
HIM Is that Dublin Bay quinoa, so?
HER I said I try to.
They stop eating.
HIM I might just get the bill.
HER I’ll revolut you half.
HIM Look, I wasn’t trying to upset you there.
HER It’s fine.
HIM My sister was obsessed with those wellness influencers and she ended up not very well from it.
HER Oh. I’m sorry.
HIM I know they’re not the same thing.
I’m just nervous. Talking crap.
HER Sure that’s what first dates are full of.
HIM All I was thinking about was, why did I order wings when I can’t wear my napkin like a bib?
HER I’m not upset.
He nods and goes.
She watches him leave and then looks at the wings. She picks one up, eats it, then takes another loaded in blue cheese and closing her eyes, devours it. When she opens them, he is standing on front of her.
HIM Forgot my card.
HER I’ve only been vegan for two weeks. It’s what I want, but I’m finding today really hard.
HIM I know I need to stop driving everywhere, but Dublin bus is a mystery, I’m too scared to cycle and I’m mortified about it.
Do you fancy another wine?
He smiles. She goes for another wing, stops, decides against it and smiles back delighted with herself.
Sarah-Jane is a writer and actor. Her play Appropriate (Show In A Bag 2018) has toured extensively (Winner Lustrum Award Edinburgh Fringe 2019, Spirit of the Festival Award 1st Irish Festival NYC 2020). She is currently a Six In The Attic Artist with The Irish Theatre Institute and is under commission with An Grianan and The Town Hall Theatres.
Twitter and Instagram: @sazzyjayscott
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