Monthly Archives: October 2012

October 10 2012 – Bad Neighbour

Bad Neighbour

KYLE (30s) and RON (50s) outside an apartment building. KYLE is dressed for cycling. RON is sitting on the building stoop in some weird smoking jacket thing. KYLE stares incredulously at his locked bike which has obviously been fucked with, chain off the gears, wrapped around the pedals, something like that.

KYLE
The fuck!

RON
Ooh, language!

KYLE
What? Oh. Hey.

RON
Ron. Name’s Ron.

KYLE
Right.

RON
Kyle. Three-oh-six.

KYLE
Yeah.

KYLE kneels and starts unwinding the chain, setting things to rights. Over the course of the scene, his hands get filthy.

Look at this shit.

RON (Wincing)
Oooh, you know-

KYLE
Sorry I’m just upset, I’m late for work now.

RON
Yeeeah, that’s unfortunate that had to happen. I’m in one-o-three.

KYLE (Not much interest)
Yeah?

RON
Just inside the door here.

KYLE
Yeah, you’re always out on the stoop here.

RON
That’s right.

KYLE (Off a problem with the bike)
Aw man.

RON
I live with my wife. Who you’ve seen a number of times.

KYLE
Hey you didn’t see them do this, did you?

RON
“Them”.

KYLE
Whoever did this. Did you see who it was?

RON
Well, now, Kyle, I’m not entirely sure I remember.

Beat.

KYLE
Uh…huh…

RON
Hard to say.

KYLE
It isn’t really. You did or you didn’t.

RON
It was probably just one of those random senseless acts of vandalism. You know, like you get in a city. Utterly devoid of karmic intent.

KYLE
Right. Probably.

RON
Although…

Pause.

KYLE
“Although”?

RON
If the person who did this was someone who knows you – no way of knowing that obviously – do you think you might be able to guess at why this may have happened?

Beat

To you, specifically?

Pause.

KYLE
I have work, so…get to it.

RON
Several young women in and out of here over the last year or so, Kyle. Four or five.

KYLE
You mean like…my exes?

RON
“Exes”! Yes I suppose things have slowed down a little in that department lately. Still. Pretty rapid succession there.

KYLE
Been a busy year.

RON
That might be your problem.

KYLE
Naw, that’s not their…I mean they were sweet, I didn’t…act the best but they’d never-

RON
But someone who was looking out for their interests.

Beat.

Was in the position to observe a disturbing pattern, and become concerned.

KYLE
Concerned.

RON
About a bad neighbor.

Pause.

How long have you lived here, Kyle?

KYLE
I…two years?

RON
How many times have you said hello to my wife? Or to me? I’m always right here when you come out for work. How many times, to you figure, in two years?

KYLE
Oh, listen, I’m sorry if-

RON
None. Is how many. None times. In two years.

KYLE
I’m just not a…talk-about-the-weather kinda-

RON
I’m not concerned with what you are. I’m not asking you on a date here. You too good to exchange a little unnecessary information? The function of that sort of conversation isn’t to exchange information. It’s a re-affirmation of an unspoken social contract. And to those of us who are perceptive enough to be aware of it, the non-acknowledgement of that contract is profoundly disturbing.

KYLE
Look, I’m just an introvert, okay? I’m just not a talker. I’m just quiet, I’m just not a social person.

RON
All people are social.

Pause.

How do you think it makes me feel, or my wife, to just have some twenty year old piece of shit blow by us like we were potted plants?

KYLE
I’m thirty-three.

RON
You’re how old I say you are. You’re generic. You’re a tenant. In a building full of neighbours.

KYLE
I’m late for work.

RON (Instantly pleasant again)
Oh, got it fixed there? That didn’t take so long, did it?

Pause.

I’m glad we happened to be able to have this little talk. I hope you’ll think about some of the things we discussed.

Pause.

KYLE
It’ll be a nice day for a ride? Because…the sun.

Pause.

I feel…a slight breeze.

RON (Wide smile)
You’ll get the hang of it.

Stands, puts arms out, ready for a hug

Now. You have a good day.

Long pause. RON holds the pose.

Slowly, excruciatingly reluctantly, Kyle very slowly and awkwardly comes to RON and hugs him. RON holds on for long after KYLE is don and ready to back off. Finally, RON releases him.

Now. Neighbour. You have a good day at your job.

KYLE stunned, perhaps a bit traumatized, climbs on his bike, and rides away. RON waves at him as he cycles off.

G’bye! G’bye!

As he follows KYLE’s progress, all the while waving, he turns upstage, and we see two giant greasy handprints on the back of his smoking jacket, where KYLE hugged him.

Creative Commons License
This work by Ryan F. Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Advertisements

October 09 2012 – The Ease With Which

The Ease With Which

A
Don’t do that.

B
Oh what. What now.

A
That phrase.

B
What phrase? Which phrase? I used a lot of phrases back there.

A
The “play” one.

B
Say it.

A
No. Fuck you.

B
HARD? Play HARD?

A
Ugh.

B
What’s wrong with that one.

A
It sounds like meeting speak.

B
That WAS a meeting, buddy.

A
You sound like a date rapist. At a date rapist meeting.

B
I didn’t even TOUCH her! We talked! She was cute! Not my thing.

A
Actioning date rape synergy.

B
Look don’t take your discomfort with women out on my ease. The Ease With Which.

A
I’m not uncomfortable.

B
Then stop pulling on your shirt.

A
I’m not uncomfortable with women.

B
And fuck you anyway.

A
It’s just social situations that make me uncomfortable.

B
Fuck you for accusing me of…rape-y-ness because I know how to talk to a woman without making everyone in earshot feel sad. You know?

A
“Rape-y-ness”?

B
I’m very respectful. I LIKE women. I like them MORE than men. Hanging out with a woman is usually delightful, I love making them laugh, making them feel beautiful. Every time I hang out with a guy it’s like a slap in the face with a cold wet dick, man. That’s on you. You poop the party, pal, not me, I am consummately GAME. Yeah I try and sleep with them. Have you SEEN them? Who wouldn’t. But she’s not interested, I back the fuck off, because I’m a gentleman. I do not press the issue. I take special care to make her feel like I respect her choice and don’t think any less of her. And you know what man I don’t. I don’t sit there seething and making up stories about what’s wrong with her, for not feeling like she owed me the courtesy of whatever kind of respect I’ve decided I deserve, sound familiar? Hey?

A
What?

B
That sound familiar? That thought pattern?

A
No…

B
Yeah it does.

Beat.

She wasn’t interested. Shitty for me. Moving on. You can go home or whatever. I came here to be delighted. Watch and learn or fuck off. You don’t get to be my judgy little rain cloud.

Starts to exit, leaving A. Comes back.

And women ARE a social situation buddy. Understanding them doesn’t exist outside of having to stand in front of them in your own skin and investigate the phenomenon with only the tools you have. If the phenomenon terrifies you, if you don’t feel equal to it, you probably need to upgrade your tools.

A doesn’t know what to say.

Yeah. Bet you didn’t think this was all philosophical and shit.

Leaves.

Creative Commons License
This work by Ryan F. Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

Thwarted By the Human Body!

Well I seem to have fallen behind!

The 4th, I had a long evening, and I was going to write two on the 5th and backfill.

THEN I got sick. Which normally wouldn’t be a problem, just a little cold, except, sometimes when I get headcolds, my inner ear gets inflamed and I get VERTIGO.

If you’ve never had vertigo, don’t start now. Once you get over the absolute panic of the world suddenly lurching THIS WAY for 30 seconds or so, it’s mostly manageable. If you have a few betahistine pills lying around to quell the nausea, and reduce the spin, so be it. But it’s actually exhausting keeping your head still and moving as slowly as possible, and being conscious of it the whole time, and bracing for the sickening LURCH every time you think you may have moved too quickly. And it makes things that involve a lot of repetitive head movements or changes in direction exceedingly difficult. I’m looking at you, laundry, and dishes aaand WRITING! The laundry and dishes I had to do, but I decided to be kind to myself and give myself a day or two on the writing, which stretched into three days because, though the spins had stopped by yesterday, I still had a general lightheadedness and hadn’t been sleeping well the past couple of days, etc.

So NOW I am in arrears for 4 whole days worth of scenes, and I had this big plan that I’d write two a day for the next four days and back date those entries and GET BACK ON TRACK, but the next week is looking a bit busy with my birthday, and various things, so that might be hard and THAT DOESN’T MATTER YOU FIND THE TIME, YOU SLACKED, YOU GET BACK ON TRACK, and then I started stressing about it, and then the world lurched THIS WAY for half a second.

Nothing huge, just a little tiny aftershock, and I’m not entirely convinced it wasn’t psychsomatic, but it stopped the guilt diatribe for a second, and I realized: YES I plan to stick with this and have actually MISSED writing these scenes over the past few days. And YES I need to get back on track pretty quick here, but you know what? It’s a REALLY LONG TRACK. I have 11 months to sort this shit out. I am not going to take that long, but I don’t have to fill the holes immediately. I’ll just continue on from today, and as I have time to toss off an extra scene, maybe this week, maybe next, I’ll put it back here and slap one of the missing dates on it. That’s not cheating. It’s dealing with unforeseen circumstances. Which is something writers have to do.

I can look at it as having to write something every single day OR ELSE I’M A FAILURE if I want. But that seems like a pretty good way to paralyze myself. I think normally I’m up for that task, but when I’m not, I can look at it as having to write 365 pieces within the space of a year. Same amount of work, same timeline, just a little shuffling of the internal mechanism from time to time as needed. I think that’s fair, and I can do that.

OR ELSE I’M A FAILURE!

October 03 2012 – Complaints and Repairs

Complaints and Repairs

MAN and WOMAN sit under a beautiful tree in a nice park. MAN is holding a wristwatch out in his hand. They both look at it, she admiringly, he less so.

WOMAN
Really nice!

MAN
Mm.

WOMAN
Fancy!

Lucky they couldn’t fix the other one!

‘Cause this seems like an upgrade!

MAN
Took long enough.

WOMAN
Worth the wait, right?

You were obviously excited about getting this watch.

Wouldn’t shut up about it, some days!

MAN
About getting the other one fixed.

WOMAN
Well, I think it’s lovely. I think it’s better.

MAN shrugs.

Come on it’s obviously better. Scientifically.

MAN
I put it on last night and I didn’t feel any different.

This morning the streetcar was still crowded.

Phone was still ringing at work, people on the other end are still idiots.

I waited so long for this watch to be fixed.

My boss is still hopeless.

Nothing is different.

Pause.

WOMAN
Yeah, I hear that’s a real defect with this brand.

MAN
You still don’t love me.

Pause.

My foot still hurts.

WOMAN
I do so love you!

MAN
But not really.

WOMAN (Smiling, smiling)
I put up with this horseshit, don’t I?

MAN (Off his last line)
Not in the way I need.

Not in a way that counts.

Pause. She grows silent.

He puts the watch to his ear.

Can’t even hear it ticking.

Silence. He sighs, puts watch on his wrist.

Well, at least I know what time it is, I guess.

Silence.

WOMAN
I need a new bike.

Creative Commons License
This work by Ryan F. Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

October 01 2012 – The Do Over

The Do Over: Part I

A pantomime. Silent movie piano over everything.

MARCUS and AMELIA. Talking, friendly.

MARCUS tries to kiss AMELIA, she recoils. Regrets the gut reaction, and the hurt it’s caused, but does not relent. She simply doesn’t feel that way about him. He is heartbroken but continues the conversation.

AMELIA bids him goodbye. They hug. He watches her leave.

An unnatural flash of light from the wings toward which she is exiting.

She is met on the other side of the stage by FUTURE MARCUS several years older and much suaver.

She falls for FUTURE MARCUS instantly. It is ridiculous. MARCUS watches, devastated.

FUTURE MARCUS escorts her offstage, hangs back as MARCUS approaches with aggressive intent, reaching into his jacket.

They both instantly pull guns on each other. THE SAME GUN!

FUTURE MARCUS gestures, “be cool”. Produces a folded up piece of paper from his pocket, drops it to the ground. Exits. Unnatural flash of light.

MARCUS picks up and unfolds paper, reads it greedily. On the paper are the plans for a time machine. MARCUS grins, nodding.

Years pass. MARCUS amasses the knowledge, skills, and materials necessary to build a time machine. I suggest a montage here.

Finally when MARCUS has reached the age that FUTURE MARCUS was, his invention is ready. He takes the plans, folds them up. He walks offstage. There is an unnatural flash of light.

He re-enters. On the other side of the stage are AMELIA and PAST MARCUS, who is the same age that MARCUS once was. The sequence from earlier repeats itself, but MARCUS forgets to be ready with the gun this time and is shot by PAST MARCUS. MARCUS sinks to the ground, AMELIA is over him, weeping. She stares daggers at PAST MARCUS, who slinks off, dazed at what he’s done.

Almost dead, MARCUS hands the folded up plans to AMELIA, who takes them, uncomprehendingly.

MARCUS dies. AMELIA weeps, clutches at his body. Feels something in the pocket of his jacket. Reaches in. Pulls out the gun. THE SAME GUN!

She looks off where PAST MARCUS exited. Lays the gun on MARCUS’s body, unfolds the plans and reads. Realization dawns. Looks offstage toward the time machine. Picks up the gun. Nods coldly and exits, gun held aloft in one hand, furiously reading the time machine plans in the other.

An unnatural flash of light.

TO BE CONTINUED!

Creative Commons License
This work by Ryan F. Hughes is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.