October 30, 2006

A Play A Day #200



Setting: Coffeeshop or deli, interior

(Irina sits at a small table, sipping coffee, reading. Enter Kevin who slowly looks over the coffeeshop, sits at a table on the other side of the room but in direct line with Irina. He puts down a book and notebook, looks at Irina several times while doing this. Then he stares for a while, Irina looks up toward him, he quickly turns and walks off stage, Irina shakes her head, goes back to her book. Kevin reenters with a muffin, looking at Irina the whole time. He sits in his chair, slowly eats while watching her. She glances at him and then turns her body away. Kevin leaves his food and walks to another table holding his notebook and a pen. He sits, continues staring at Irina, opens the notebook and starts to write, looking up frequently. He stalls, then gets up, moves to yet another seat, sits, opens notebook and starts to write, frequently looking at Irina. He stops, pauses, thinks for a while, then gets up, walks to his original table and takes a bite of his muffin. Inspiration hits! He runs to yet another chair, sits, begins writing more quickly and without looking down, only at Irina. Irina gets more and more annoyed as Kevin's actions become more and more intrusive and obvious. He gets up again and sits in a new chair that is quite close to Irina, he sits, his back is to her, he writes very quickly, looking over his shoulder repeatedly at Irina. Irina snaps.)

Irina: What do you think you're doing?

Kevin: (still writing) Hmmm?

Irina: I asked you what you think you're doing?

Kevin: (holding his non-writing hand up to hush her) Shhh... I'm writing!

Irina: Yeah. Thanks.

Kevin: (making the "just a moment" gesture) Sorry, got a really good paragraph going here.... and... that... about ... does... it! There! (admiring what he wrote for a while) I think that will work....

Irina: Can you please not stare at me anymore?

Kevin: (holding up his hand again) Ohhh... hold on... (changes something in his writing) Yeah... ohhh... yeah... that's a lot better... much cleaner! (admires his writing for a while, then turns to face Irina) Sorry... Hi! I'm Kevin.

Irina: (doesn't shake his offered hand) Well, Kevin, can you please stop staring at me?

Kevin: Stop staring?

Irina: Yes! You've been walking around here and sitting all over the place and staring at me; your little pen scribbling away some sort of garbage about me.

Kevin: I don't think I was staring at you.

Irina: What?! You've been doing nothing but staring at me since you walked in.

Kevin: How do you know?

Irina: I saw you doing it.

Kevin: So, you were watching me the whole time?

Irina: Yes... no, just.... I saw you.

Kevin: Why were you staring at me?

Irina: I wasn't... you were doing it... (pointing at the various places he sat) There and there and there and there and even when you first came in!

Kevin: Sounds like you were doing most of the staring to me.

Irina: No! Listen, people can just tell when other people are staring at them... especially women.

Kevin: I'm a man.

Irina: Women can tell when men are staring at them, especially men they don't know, especially men they probably don't want to know.

Kevin: Really?

Irina: Yes, really; believe me, I have to put up with it all the time.

Kevin: With strangers... male strangers... staring at you?

Irina: All the time.

Kevin: Well, I think men are naturally attracted to humility.

Irina: Ha! Don't give me that! You know what I mean.

Kevin: Not particularly, but I'll go along for the ride.

Irina: Nice word choice... can you please leave me alone now... you got your eyeful... you wrote about me in your sick little story... now just...

Kevin: Sick?

Irina: Ohhh... right... I'm sure you were writing about my intellect?

Kevin: Your intellect? No, I was...

Irina: So you think I appreciate a stranger staring at me and writing perverted stories about me and not even attempting to hide it from me?!

Kevin: Who's doing that?

Irina: You know you are!

Kevin: I don't even know your name.

Irina: You don't need to know my name to write about having sex with me, or raping me, or whatever the hell...

Kevin: Whoa! Whoa! Listen. I'm not writing about raping you... or having sex...

Irina: Right! Whatever! It's rude and incredibly creepy to stare at someone and write about them... I'm not just free to be used like that.

Kevin: Okay. What do you charge then?

Irina: You asshole! How can you sit there and continue to insult me?

Kevin: Well, you haven't left yet.

Irina: You're horrible; how do you...

Kevin: Okay, sorry, sorry for being a little too precious... but you should know that I'm not writing about you at all.

Irina: Like I'm supposed to believe that?

Kevin: It's true whether you believe it or not.

Irina: You wouldn't stare at me and write without needing to include me in what you're writing... I'm like a model for one of the characters or something.

Kevin: No, not really... say, do you know where the bathroom is in this place?

Irina: That way, past the counter.

Kevin: Thanks. (he exits)

(Irina looks after him, still fuming a bit, then notices his notebook is still there, she pauses, thinks, then picks it up and starts to read, she does so for about a minute, then sees Kevin approaching, puts it down quickly, tries to look inconspicuous. Kevin goes to his original table, sits down, starts eating his muffin, without looking up, he says)

Kevin: So what did you think?

Irina: Hmm?

Kevin: Of the story, what did you think of the story?

Irina: Huh? Story?

Kevin: You read it while I was in the bathroom. The story in my notebook.

Irina: (quickly and guiltily, condemning herself the more she goes on) No, I didn't! Grow up... why would I do something like that? I mean, give me a break, you are so arrogant; you think I would just do something like that, because you were gone and the notebook was close to me, and you think I'd just pick it up and read it because I could? You're so arrogant, I wouldn't just do something like that!

Kevin: (lets the pause settle for a moment) A writer can tell when people are reading his stories. He just can.

Irina: (fuming, defiantly confessing) Fine! So what! So I read it?!

Kevin: Yeah, so what did you think?

Irina: It's stupid.

Kevin: Because it's not about you?

Irina: (she is hurt that he wasn't writing about her) No! (laughter which does a poor job of hiding her disappointment)

Kevin: I write fantasy stories for middle-school-aged kids... you know, about ten to fourteen.

Irina: (disappointment really rears its head) It about a unicorn!

Kevin: Yeah... I just started it a couple days ago... it's a unicorn who has been ostracized by everyone because he has two horns, one right under the other. So, he's considered a freak, gets picked on, leads to a life where he doubts himself, eventually he runs away from home, sort of the Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer syndrome.

Irina: (scoffs) Whatever.

Kevin: Eventually, he's going to find a female unicorn who believes in him and sees his deformity as a sign of strength.. sort of a standard story, I guess, but I don't have the full idea plotted out yet, these are just sort of rough chapters.

Irina: I'll agree with you there, very rough.

Kevin: I don't have it fully formed yet, but that's how I encourage the ideas - writing without a goal, usually more and more ideas come out while I'm doing that.

Irina: So, okay, you're not writing about me.

Kevin: Correct.

Irina: Okay... bizarre, but I guess... I guess that... I owe you an apology.

Kevin: No, no, no, no! I was acting weird. Truth is, I do get inspiration from looking to beauty.

Irina: (flattered) Ohh... well, thank you. Where did you get the main idea for this story? You must read a lot of fantasy books.

Kevin: Yeah, I do, but this book... well, it comes directly from my own personal experience. I'm even considering calling the unicorn Kevin.

(Kevin starts gathering up his stuff, then walks over to retrieve the notebook. Irina finally gets it. She holds out her hand.)

Irina: Hi, Kevin! My name's Irina.

Kevin: (shaking her hand) That's a beautiful name. Can I use it in my story?

Irina: (quickly gathering her things, grabs Kevin's hand, and they start walking out) I sure hope so.

(lights out quickly)



Circe said...

Can you tell when someone is reading your work? Because I've read your plays for the last two days! Yesterday's was creepy and a little too spot on. This one is on the other end of the spectrum. Still sassy, but sweet. I really like this one...maybe because of the Unicorn...named Kevin! Ok, so my comments are lame. Lame! Lame! But at least I'm responding.

Brendon Etter said...

Thanks! Person-whose-identity-must-remain-anonymous! Actually! I could tell you were typing! in a comment!! even when the comment!! wasn't here! Amazing!

(okay so I'm lying, but I do like comments, if only more people did it...)

I find this particular play to be irredeemably offensive... yay for me...

My diplomatic ties with the unicorns may be irreparably damaged.

Question is, would you date a bicorn?

- Bleeet


ShOI said...

No, the question is, would you date a eunuch-corn?

Brendon Etter said...

Once again, shoi outbleeets the bleeet! Curse his full metal wit! I was thinking of calling this play "Hornholing", but thought that was a bit much, kind of gave it away too.

What does "corn" have to do with those creatures anyway?

I could have called it "Unique Horn" too... that works.

- Bleeet


Circe said...

And then there's always my idea of pimping out a unicorn. Could be done...for fun and profit!