Tango of Love
by Mathew Hosler Jr.
Cast of Characters
DIEGO: DIEGO is a young adult, around 25.
He is a hopeless romantic. He’s dressed in a black suit with a red tie. He’s thin and acts as though he’s a confident person, when he truthfully is not.
MARIANA: MARIANA is a young woman, around
- She wears a beautiful black and red dress. She wears sparkling black and red make-up. She is thin, and shorter than DIEGO. She and DIEGO are in love. She doesn’t move unless DIEGO is touching her.
GIRL DANCER: This character wears various Shades of blue in make-up and her dress. She has no lines, and solely dances with DIEGO. She doesn’t move unless DIEGO is touching her. Shorter than DIEGO.
BOY DANCER: This character wears a black suit and a green shirt. He has no lines, and solely dances with DIEGO. He doesn’t move unless DIEGO is touching him. He is partially shorter than DIEGO.
Within the mind of DIEGO as he desperately tries to find love.
The director may choose the music of best fit for the play. The playwright’s preference would be tango.
AT RISE: Two characters stand on the stage.
Neither move nor speak. One man, one woman. Another man, DIEGO enters stage left. He walks to the center of the stage between the two others. He stands still for a moment. The stage is very dim, and very silent. He looks slowly at one person, then the other.
Welcome to my mind, you beautiful creatures. You both remain still, for I have yet to grab your attention. But do not worry, I will come to you when I am ready. Diego knows what he wants. And I want you. Both of you.
(He approaches the woman, and as soon as he touches her, she begins to move. They hold one another close, on the verge of kissing. The song Tango begins to play, quietly.)
You are so beautiful.
(They begin to dance to the music.)
Yes. Wonderful dancing. Oh, I love you more than life itself. I will never leave you.
(He lifts her off the ground and spins before lowering her back to her feet. They never lose one another’s touch.)
Don’t you just love the way we work together. It’s magical, isn’t it?
(All lights go off except a spotlight on the two of them. It follows them as they dance. Their dance intensifies.)
Yes! I have clearly picked the right partner. You are amazing at what you do.
Sweet lady, where are you from. It must be the heavens, for only an angel could look and dance the way you do. Oh, lay a kiss on my lips so I may feel the sensation of lust that I know you feel for me. So that my heart may begin to ache in pain as we hold one another. So that, as we dance, we may rub our bodies against one another and melt in the warmth of our love.
(He pulls her close. They hold one another very tightly before he spins her away. She freezes in place as soon as he stops touching her. The music stops. He speaks to the audience.)
The fun in that was not enough. There was no emotion. There was no longing to be together. She danced with me, not in a romantic way, but in the way of pure lust. I wish for connection. I wish for unconditional love. For vows, and family. For a house which sits alone on an island, where we can swim naked in the ocean, and make love in the sand. I wish… I wish for happiness! And yet, when I danced with her, I felt nothing. I felt nothing but a desire to kiss. A desire to dance beneath the sheets of a bed. But is love not more than that? Is love nothing but sex with one person forever? That can’t be it. There has to be something I’m missing. There has to be more to love than just happy pants. But what is it?
(The song restarts, and he rushes to the other man, pulling him close.)
You seem very powerful. Of course, you should know now that I don’t let people push me around. Don’t worry, I’ll take the lead. You just try to keep up.
(They begin to dance, almost fighting over who leads the entire time.)
Interesting. You want so badly to take the lead, but you need to understand…
(He pulls the man directly against him, chest to chest, as he whispers into his ear.)
I don’t share the spotlight.
(They continue to dance.)
There you go. Yes, give into me. Let me show you the new order of things. Let me show you a life of utmost prosperity, and beauty. What a marvelous thing, love is. You make my stomach knot, as though I am to vomit, and yet I don’t. I just keep dancing, and it’s magnificent.
Teach me the way of your dance, and I shall teach you mine. Let us understand one another’s bodies, so that we may understand how to please each other. There are few things I desire, but I refuse to be without them. Late nights watching movies, or painting. Coming home from work and smiling at the sight of you. Comforting my lips with your glorious forehead. Yet most of all, holding you close to me every night as we sleep. The warmth of your body doing more for me than any blanket in the world.
(The man slowly slides down the front of DIEGO, who instantly pulls him back up.)
No. Our dance will stay like this. We will continue to move with one another in ways I see fitting. And you will love it.
(They continue to dance.)
Tell me about yourself. What do you long for in life? Where are you from? Where do you work? Do you have any pets? What are you passionate about underneath that thick skin of yours? Where do you want to go? Tell me anything about yourself. No, wait. Don’t tell me anything. I don’t want to ruin this moment of pure grace. This moment of… joy… Or do you not feel it? Don’t answer that. Why are you so difficult to work with? You constantly fight for dominance in our dance, and you seem interested only in my body. You haven’t asked me any questions, and you haven’t shown any interest in my mind. You confuse me. This dance is more than just a dance. This dance is… is life. This dance is everything I look for, and everything I fight so hard to keep. This dance is me. This dance is my loved one. This dance is… this dance is…
(DIEGO pulls the man close and their lips nearly connect before DIEGO spins the man away. The man freezes in place. The music stops.)
This dance is not for you…
Maybe I’m not meant for love… Maybe… maybe I’m meant to be alone forever…
(The stage goes dark. The other two exit when they’re not visible. Spotlight on DIEGO as he sits on the ground, his hands in his lap.)
Maybe the world isn’t as grand as I thought. Maybe I’m destined to die alone, and hold nobody in my arms at night. Destined to cry each night, and ponder what I have done to deserve the god’s punishment. Ponder what vile dead I have done, and to whom it was done. I can’t… I can’t imagine what it must’ve taken… What must’ve happened to result in my loss of love? I don’t want to be alone…
(Begins to cry as he pulls a revolver from behind him.)
I… I can’t be alone. Love is… love is oxygen. To hell with gravity. Love ties us to this planet. Love is the sun, which brightens each day with its warmth. It’s the moon which lightens our dark and cruel world each night. Love is… is wings. Wings that lift us from our sorry lives to something more glorious. Something addictive and free. And if I am to live each day, watching the world around me find happiness, then I would sooner choose not to live. If it is greed that I feel, then I don’t care. Everyone deserves love. To love somebody, and be loved in return. To cry upon a shoulder when sadness is too much, and to comfort when they feel the same. It doesn’t matter who is being loved. Everyone needs it. And I… I… I…
I can’t bare to live without it…
(He slowly raises the revolver to his head, crying as he touches the trigger.)
Do it! You weak fool! Do it now! End your pathetic and miserable life! Do something right for a change! Remove yourself so that the world may never have to see you again! So that no man or woman has to turn you down when you seek their love! You are worthless!
(Through his whimpers, he slowly begins to scream louder and louder before throwing the gun aside and sobbing as he falls to the floor.)
Even now… even now when you know you’re destined to live your life alone every day, you’re too much of a coward to end yourself. There is no doubt anymore of why you won’t find love. You are too pathetic. You’re too much of a pussy to take charge of the situation. Too weak to finish yourself. How can you ever hope to find love if you can’t even control yourself? How can you hope to be happy if you can’t even do the one thing everyone wants you to do? You are pathetic. You are a weak, worthless piece of shit! Shoot yourself! Do it!
Why can’t I do it? Wh-why can’t I just make it all go away? All of the sadness and loneliness. All of the misery that I must endure each and every day. I could stop it all. I could make it all go away forever. But I can’t. I grip the trigger, but can’t. Maybe I am too weak.
(Pause. He stops crying, rushes to the gun, grabs it and stands with it against his head)
No! No! I am not weak! I despise the weak! I am strong! Stronger now than ever before! I will no longer cry! I will pull myself up, and do it! I will do it before my heart is broken again! Before all of my confidence is ripped away, and nothing but a frail skeleton remains! I will purge the world of my wretched misery! And maybe in the afterlife I will find love. So now I go.
(There is a short pause as DIEGO exhales. The spotlight turns off. Stage lights slowly turn on, and MARIANA stands on the stage, well-dressed. DIEGO slowly lowers the gun before dropping it, and walking towards the girl.)
You… you are the most beautiful person in the world.
(He slowly circles her, admiring her up and down.)
There is so much to you, my eyes will never grow bored of looking at you. For every curve, and every form of you is unchallenged. You are… you are a goddess of lust. You radiate a perfume, that my nose cannot stop enjoying. Oh, please… would you dance with me?
(He takes her hand and the two begin to dance more gracefully than the other dances.)
You are so great at this. You dance with the ferocity of a tiger, yet the grace of a fish. You are swift, and tough. You are…
I am Mariana.
(The music pauses)
Mariana. You speak? You… You live… Never have I desired someone’s attention more than now. Your name is as beautiful as the dress you wear. But nothing, I fear, can be more beautiful than your eyes, which I can’t stop staring at, for they hold my universe within them.
And you… You are the handsome prince. I would sleep my life away if it meant you would be the one to wake me from the curse.
(There is a pause, and the music begins again where it left off. They begin to dance immediately.)
You have quite a way with words, and you dance better than anyone I’ve ever met.
That’s because, my dear, you have never met someone like me. Nor I you.
You haven’t told me your name yet?
In all honestly my love, I never usually get that far.
Should I fear what you might do then?
Mariana, my sweet… I would never give you a reason to fear me.
Then do one thing for me, stranger.
My name. Yes, I forgot to tell you my name. Diego, I am Diego. I would do anything, Mariana. Anything for you.
(MARIANA pulls him close, their noses touching.)
(DIEGO spins her away and she freezes in place)
A kiss? She wants a kiss? Does she really love me? Or is she simply trying to lay with me like the others? Dearest Mariana, to kiss you would be to give in to you. To kiss you would be me letting you have whatever you want with me, when really I simply long for you as a lover. I wish to make you my bride. To hug you and rest my hands on your stomach when you are with child. To please you no matter what, for you are a star that cannot burn out. I can’t feel this way about you if you don’t feel the same for me. I can’t kiss you, because you may only want sex from me. I can provide that for you, but I cannot only provide that.
And if you want love… real love… and I leave, giving up on you… then we would both lose. I can’t just go to you and let you break my heart, and yet in turn I cannot just leave and break yours. I must… be the man, and see where you take me. I would rather my heart break, than yours. For I love you.
(He pulls her back in. There is silence as they stare at one another.)
Kiss me Diego. I long for you. You are my everything, and I need you to feel the same for me. For if you don’t, then I fear that you and I may never last. That all of my time spent with you was for nothing. If that is the case, Diego, tell me so that I may leave, and stop wasting my time here.
No, Mariana, that is not it at all. Words cannot describe how much I desire to kiss you, but I fear you will leave. I fear you will leave like everyone else who mattered to me. Like my father when I was young, and my mother when I was fifteen. I fear you will come and go like every other relationship in my life.
I would never, Diego. I would never leave you.
So, are you going to kiss me or not?
Mariana, to kiss you would be greater than life itself. But I cannot just kiss you. I want more than a kiss… I… I…
I love you. I love you.
(Slowly the two draw into a kiss. Music begins, and they begin to dance.)
Never before have I met a person like you.
That’s because, sweet boy, there is no person like me.
If there was ever a person like you, Mariana, I fear the world would have too many stars. For you are one of a kind.
If there was ever a person like you, Diego, I fear the world would be too lucky. For you are the one I’ve been looking for all of my life.
Sweet Mariana, at my lowest point, when I felt there was nothing left for me, you… you kept me going. You showed me my value, and you made me believe there was a life worth living. And there’s only one thing left for me to do now.
My dearest Mariana…
(The music stops as he kneels to one knee, holding her right hand.)
Will you live this life with me, and every life after it? Will you take my arm, and walk through the challenges of our future together? Will you, Mariana, take me as your husband, so that I may take you as my wife? So that I may endure the struggles of marriage with you at my side, and never falter. So that you and I may stand our ground at the gates of loneliness, and tell the devil himself to fuck off. Oh, Mariana, will you be mine? Will you be mine, and have me in return?
Diego, there is nothing I would want more than that.
(He rises. They kiss once more.)
I love you Mariana… more than words can express.
Oh, Diego, there is no word to describe the amount of emotion I feel when I’m with you.
(They hold one another close.)
Oh, Diego, I never want this moment to end. Can things just stay like this forever?
Only as long as you allow them to last, my dear.
Then I will never change this. I will let things stay like this forever. A simple fairy tale between a man and woman. A princess and her kind, handsome prince. A wish, a dream come true, and an unpredictable future. This, Diego, is our fairytale, which is something I didn’t think I would ever truly have. And you have brought it to me. Oh, Diego, I love you so dearly. I can’t begin to imagine what my life would be like without you in it. I want you to never leave me.
Then let us dance the tango of love.
(The music begins. The two begin to dance. Lights slowly go off. The curtains fall.)