May 5, 2006

A Play A Day #22

Trailer Date


Setting: A blind date in a restaurant. Marcus is seated at table. Serena enters.

Serena: (liking what she sees, hoping this is her blind date for the evening) Ummm... hello... are you Marcus?

Marcus: (stiffness) Yes. Yes, I am.

S: (relieved and excited, he's hot) Ohhh! Good! I'm Serena... your blind date!

M: (in unnaturally deep tones, as resonant and sonorous as possible, this tone will continue on any cliche lines throughout) Well, today is the first day of the rest of your life.

S: Sounds great to me! (giggles, pause) May I sit down?

M: (unnaturally stiff again) Yes. Yes, you may

S: Thanks! This is quite the place, huh?

M: Everything is not what it seems.

S: What? In the restaurant? Did something crazy happen just before I got here?

M: In a world gone crazy, only the crazy will seem sane.

S: True! True! That's a good way to put it. So what was it that happened?

M: Some secrets should stay secret forever.

S: Oh... uhhh... o.k.... I guess I don't need to know, you know, if, if... you don't want to... ummmm... tell me.

M: Some secrets will haunt you to the grave.

S: Right... yeah... that sounds pretty serious. I guess it's better that I don't know then? Right?

M: What you don't know, can be murder.

S: Ummm.... sure...(long pause) So... should I know; so I don't get murdered, or should I not know; so that I'm not haunted to the grave?

M: And murder can be habit-forming!

S: Uhhh.... Marcus... what are you trying to say? (slight giggle to downplay her uneasiness) I'm getting a little nervous over here... you know... with all this talk of haunting and murder and secrets that, uhhh, I guess, I'm not supposed to know about? Just a little confused, I guess, with what you're saying.

M: Sometimes, all you can hold onto are words.

S: Yes. I...I... can understand that... ummm... what words should I "hold onto"?

M: The words that come from the soul.

S: Ohhh... my... ummm... which words were those... exactly.... I just want to make sure that I'm grabbing for the right ones.

M: The words that tie us together.

S: Right... which would be... ummm... which words again?

M: Can be the same words that tear us apart!

S: Oh! So... it... it... it... probably is better if I.... don't figure out which words those were, huh?

M: When your world is destroyed all you have left is words...

S: Yeah... you said that.

M: ...and memories of better days.

S: (not at all sure any more) I'm sure.... that.... ummm... we'll make many good memories, huh?

M: For a man without a past is always searching for a future.

S: Sure. Sounds reasonable. Ummm... have you seen the waiter yet?

M: A man...

S: Sure. O.K.

M: ...barely alive...

S: Our waiter?!

M: ...rebuilt by technology...

S: Our waiter?

M: ... a technology that no one understood...

S: (trying to humor him) Our waiter is Frankenstein or something?

M: ...that no one could control...

S: Should I get a pitchfork or a torch?

M: ...except one man...

S: (beginning to give up hope, but playing along) Who?

M: ...a man of vision...

S: (looking around, pointing) The busboy!

M: ...a cop...

S: (decides to play the game completely, now that she is pretty sure how Marcus works) Who plays by his own rules!?

M: ...who threw away the rulebook...

S: So close!

M: ... only one week from retirement...

S: Crap! I was just going to say that!

M: ... He was almost out...

S: (clapping excitedly to herself and pointing at Marcus,nodding her head rapidly) .. but they kept pulling him back in!

M: ...but they kept pulling him back in!

S: Two points for me!

(M is silent; S feels that maybe she pushed him too far.)

S: Sorry. (no response, long pause) I'm not sure what game we were playing, but it was kind of fun. (long pause) So what do you do for a living, Marcus? (long pause) I'm in education. I teach. (long pause) I live in town here; just a few blocks from this place, actually. I walked. (long pause, S sighs, then decides to draw M out in a way she knows he'll understand) Where do you live?

M: (looking up quickly, serious face) In a land far away.

S: (content that she's getting something out of him) In a world gone mad.

M: One man thought he had it all.

S: But he was wrong.

M: For he had just met a girl.

S: Who turned everything upside down.

M: Who nearly destroyed him.

S: Who almost took his life.

M: And taught him that sometimes.

S: You have to lose an old life.

M: To find a new love. (He reaches across the table, very sincerely)

S: (Shocked by this move. Reticent at first; she did not think he was capable of human contact. Then, she reaches quickly and grabs his hands. Their eyes lock. Pause.) Ummmm... so... so... what now? (long pause) Marcus? (long pause, she is going to have play the game his way to get this any further) In a world where fantasy and reality are blurred...

M: man...

S: ...and one woman...

M: ...will struggle...

S: (they both stand up and start toward the exit, eyes locked, facing each other, holding hands) ...against all odds...

M: create a new world...

S: ...and leave their old world behind... (They are offstage now. Enter their waiter. It is Frankenstein with a waiter's apron and an order book. He makes a confused Frankenstein noise, then an angry roar, then smashes the table, and walks off as lights fade out.)


No comments: