Betty and Jack are in different rooms of their home. They sit at their respective computers and communicate with the outside world and occasionally with each other.
Jack (shouts to the the other room) Betty are you there?
Betty (shouts back) Of course I am. Were else should I be? I’m busy writing. What do you want?
Jack (shouts back again) I’ll write you an email.
Betty (shouts back) I’m not sure I’ll answer back. Could you be quiet. I have to concentrate.
Jack (starts writing) I’m lonely. I have not talked to you for hours. I just read an article that says, loneliness is killing us.
Betty (writes back) You are so silly Jack. You are just like a baby. If someone is not holding your paw you feel abandoned.
Jack (writing) Abandoned? I’m sitting here, while my time away, playing “Free Cell” and waiting for you to come out of your den.
Betty (writes back) You don’t need to play “Free Cell”. Have a look in the back yard – a lot of bushes need trimming.
Jack ( writing) They say, loneliness kills twice as many people as obesity. You might find a skeleton by the time you come away from that PC of yours.
Betty (writes back) Aren’t I unlucky? If you would be obese you could be dead already.
Jack (writing) You used to cook beautiful meals before I bought the PC for you. What a mistake that was.
Betty (writes back) They also say, women kill their husbands with food. I don’t want to do that.
Jack (writing) No – you kill with loneliness.
Betty (writes back) Kindness wouldn’t do the trick. You are a cry baby now, Jack. I’m sick of you winging and moaning. I have to write another sentence and then we can have a cup of tea. In the meantime, put the kettle on !
Jack (writing) Is that the sentence you wrote already last night? People feel better in a community; in a village type of society. We shouldn’t be on our own.
Betty (writes back) Stop that, Jack. You are not on your own. I’m here and think of you all the time. I can’t avoid you. You are sending me emails – constantly :-(
Jack (writing) You are there and I’m here hammering on this keyboard.
Betty (writes back) Why don’t you write to your sister or a new blog? You have friends all over the world. Communicate with them and let me communicate with my friends.
Jack (writing) The capitalists have succeeded in separating us by providing each of us with a computer. We lost eye contact. Words lose a lot of meaning without eye contact.
Betty (writes back) I hear the kettle boiling. Make the tea and I’ll be out there in a flash. Do you understand this without eye contact?
Jack (writing) I can’t hear a thing, but will check it out.
Jack gets up and walks to the kitchen to prepares the tea. When he comes back he writes again.
Jack (writing) You were right the water was boiling.
Betty (writes back) I told you so. No good talking to you as you can’t hear anyway.
Jack (writing) The tea is ready.
Betty (writes back) Take it out to the front porch and we have our tea there. We talk about your plans for Saturday.
Jack goes back to the kitchen and prepares a tray to take to the front porch. He takes some biscuits and a banana for a snack. He carries the tray out and Betty joins him there.
Betty That looks good. Lets enjoy our tea.
Jack I enjoy these rare moments with you and watch the birds at the same time.
Betty What will we do on Saturday? Surprise me!
Jack We’ll go to the theatre and see Maxim Gorky’s “Children of the Sun”.
Betty That’ll be nice. Gorky foresaw the revolution and understood that the middle class was disconnected from the working class.
Jack I feel sometimes that I’m disconnected from you.
Betty (writes back) Don’t start this again. We are together now and are enjoying our tea.
Jack Yeah, yeah. I’m looking forward to the theatre too. At least you have to sit for a couple of hours beside me.
Betty It is breathtaking how you like us to stick together like glue.
Jack I thought that is the idea of marriage you know – “for better or worse”.
Betty (emptying her cup and putting it down) You can clean up here, while I’ll finish my comment. Then we spend time together. Is this a deal?
Jack I’ll do that and wait out here for you.
Betty walks inside and when she comes back out again she finds Jack fast asleep in a chair.
She turns and goes back inside to her computer.