October 3, 2006

A Play A Day #173

Memories Of Beaches


Setting: Ocean beach, night, two large towels

Paula: (gets dreamier in tone throughout) I think it's beautiful.

Nuva: (gets more and more frightened throughout) Too scary; we should have left an hour ago.

P: The sand starts cooling down. You can feel it.

N: No, I'd rather not.

P: Hold your hands out, c'mon, Nuva. Feel it.

N: I just want to go.

P: I know, but feel it, the top is cold...

N: Right. Paula, can we please...

P: Underneath, it's hot.

N: I know... I just don't like it out here.

P: As the night goes on, the sand forgets more and more of the sun.

N: Bad things happen....

P: You have to dig deeper and deeper into the sand...

N: No one knows where we are...

P: To find its memory of the sun...

N: Crazy people come out here.

P: Except if you dig too deep, you get to the place that the sun doesn't heat.

N: There aren't even streetlights.

P: So there's a line within the sand, a line that marks where the sand has forgotten the sun and where it never knew.

N: We're sort of trapped in a way.

P: But, I think you can tell which is which, even if they are the same temperature.

N: If we're quiet maybe no one will know we're here.

P: You can always tell where memory has left, and where there's no memory at all.

N: But then we aren't going anywhere.

P: The difference between never and not any more.

N: Which means we're stuck...

P: You face the ocean, the wind shifts at night.

N: So we have to make a run for it.

P: It comes off the land, to the ocean.

N: The wind is at our backs.

P: But the waves still roll forward, into the wind.

N: We'll have to move quickly, attack will come from the ocean.

P: So you smell the land cooling down.

N: Our assailants will always position themselves downwind.

P: But you're too close to the ocean to not smell it.

N: That way they can smell us...

P: I love the smell of the ocean at night.

N: ... but we won't be able to smell them.

P: So much cleaner, crisper.

N: We should run directly into the wind to escape.

P: The animals are sleeping.

N: That way we put as much distance between them and us as fast as we can.

P: It's as quiet as the edge of the ocean can be.

N: What if they have guns!? Ohhh...

P: You can slip into the constant shuffle of waves.

N: One shot, and I'm gone. I'd never hear them over the damn waves.

P: Sleep the night in the sand next to sliding water.

N: They'd probably want to assault me first.

P: Giving your body up to the beach and its memories of the sun, the animals, the people.

N: Especially me.

P: The moon, if you're lucky, the moon shows itself.

N: I'm always attracting... that... kind of attention.

P: Like tonight. Just enough light...

N: Guys rubbing up against me in school, stores...

P: To draw out details...

N: Copping a feel...

P: Not enough to show it all...

N: What are they so excited about?

P: Leaving the mystery of the night in tact.

N: (tone changes for the remainder of the play) I guess I'm good-looking, nice breasts, and all that...

P: You never want to know too much about the night.

N: It's a mystery to me, though...

P: Everyone loves the mystery of it all...

N: I don't like the aggressive ones, but its nice to be looked at.

P: The daylight solves the mysteries of the night.

N: No one can see me at night.

P: (tone changes for the remainder of the play) Then, the mysteries reappear the next night.

N: So maybe we're okay in this dark.

P: The mystery never really disappears.

N: We'll make it.

P: It swallows up everyone.

N: We're strong; we're smart.

P: It alters perceptions.

N: We've done this before, when we were younger.

P: Turns people into feral creatures.

N: We know the people around here.

P: They sniff, howl, and hunt.

N: We've lived here our whole lives.

P: Looking for someone to claim.

N: The beach is like a second home.

P: To drag away in the night.

N: It's nature's doorway to the ocean, to the land.

P: To be locked away, in the ocean, left to die.

N: The night waves pushing one way on the door, the wind pushing the other.

P: Cold. Cold in the dark.

N: Neighbors, friends. One needs the other to live.

P: Can we go now?

N: Why?

P: I'm cold.

N: Want my sweater?

P: No, let's go.

N: Alright. Alright.

(they pick up their stuff, start exiting)

P: It always feels like someone's watching me on the beach.

N: Yeah? I don't mind the attention.

(lights out)


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