Scene 1

All right, this is the first scene of the play I’m writing. The format is a little weird because I copied and pasted it. Please comment and tell me what you think! Suggestions and constructive criticisms are always welcome.

ACT 1

Scene 1

SETTING:             A guy’s bedroom. Movie posters decorate the walls: The Big Lebowski, Scarface, Fight Club, Casablanca, Pulp Fiction, The Blues Brothers, Rear Window. A bed is CS.

AT RISE:             ELOISE HARPER, 22, pretty and thin with curly brown hair, wearing a dress, sits on the bed. Enter OLIVER JENNINGS, 23, handsome and tall with shaggy dark hair. OLIVER sits next to ELOISE.

ELOISE

What’d you think of the movie?

OLIVER

It was crap. The cinematography was mediocre at best. The storyline was contrived. I half expected it to end with one of the characters running through the airport to confess their everlasting love for the other. There wasn’t even an ounce of imagination or creativity.

ELOISE

Can’t you just watch a movie and enjoy it without thinking so much about it?

OLIVER

You mean mindlessly accept the shit Hollywood tries to pass off as film? Just turn my brain off and forget about all the cinematic masterpieces I’ve seen over the years and try to tell myself that what I’m watching is good? Just because the general public enjoys it and it grosses far more than anything that might actually cause viewers to think?

ELOISE

Now I remember why I don’t like going to the movies with you.

OLIVER

I’m sorry, El. I just don’t understand how you could like that movie. You’re so much smarter than that.

ELOISE

Are you saying that smart people can’t go to the movies purely for entertainment purposes? That every movie a person watches has to be intelligent and thought provoking and, well, dull?

OLIVER

Dull? You think films like Through A Glass Darkly and Midnight in Paris and 8½ are dull?

ELOISE

Just drop it, all right? I don’t want to do this now. Not tonight. We’ve already established that we have differing opinions when it comes to film. Can we just enjoy ourselves? It’s my last night.

OLIVER

I’m sorry. Was I doing it again? Being a dick? You know I can’t tell. You’ve got to just outright say it or I’ll end up going on for hours about it and—

ELOISE

It’s okay baby. I know you don’t mean to.

OLIVER

What time do you have to be at the airport?

ELOISE

Five A.M. Bright and early.

OLIVER

I can drive you.

ELOISE

No. We talked about this already. I’m just going to take a taxi.

OLIVER

I don’t want you to take a taxi. Haven’t you seen the Scorsese film Taxi Driver?

ELOISE

Yep. That was our second date, remember?

OLIVER

I remember. I talked through the whole thing and didn’t realize until after that I was being rude. I don’t know why you put up with me. (A beat.) I’m driving you and that’s that. Unless you’ve changed your mind about leaving.

ELOISE

You know I haven’t.

OLIVER

I know. I just thought I’d give it a shot.

ELOISE

I’m sorry.

OLIVER

Don’t be. This internship is a fantastic opportunity for you. It’s what you’ve always dreamed about. It’s your way into the fashion industry. While I don’t quite understand why you’d want to get into the fashion industry, I know that it’s what you want. If I got an internship in Hollywood working with one of my favorite directors, I’d leave and never look back.

ELOISE

Would you?

OLIVER

Yep.

ELOISE

You wouldn’t even miss me?

OLIVER

I’d probably drag you along with me. You know I don’t do well on my own. New places, new people, new things in general. I’m a creature of habit. I’d need you to take care of me. To tell me when I’m being an asshole.

ELOISE

Oliver, would you—

OLIVER

Stop it.

ELOISE

Why, though? You just said that if you got an internship, you’d take me with you.

OLIVER

It’s different.

ELOISE

How is it different? (A beat.) Look, just think about it. You could be packed up and on a plane in a few days. It’s summer. You can come back in the fall when classes start.

OLIVER

El, I can’t.

ELOISE

Why can’t you? Is this about money? It’s a paid internship. You can find a job in New York. It doesn’t have to be anything grand. We can live like the starving artists we were meant to be.

OLIVER

It’s not about money.

ELOISE

Then what? Are you afraid you’ll get sick of me if we live together?

OLIVER

If anything, you’d get sick of me.

ELOISE

It’s been nearly three years and I still haven’t gotten sick of you.

OLIVER

I just can’t go with you.

ELOISE

But why? If you got an internship you’d want me to come with you. What’s the difference? (A beat.) What, it’d be okay for me to pick up my entire life and follow you to California but you couldn’t do the same for me? Am I not important enough to you? Does your life here matter more to you than I do?

OLIVER

You know that’s not true, El. I just—

ELOISE

You just what? Just say it, Oliver. I can take it.

OLIVER

I’d be holding you back. I’d bring you to California with me because you make me better. I bring you down. We both know it.

ELOISE

That’s not true.

OLIVER

Really? Have you forgotten what happened when you told me you were applying for the internship?

ELOISE

That wasn’t—

OLIVER

I went to your apartment and I found your application and I ripped it up.

ELOISE

You were just upset.

OLIVER

I tried to stop you from going. But I’m not going to do that anymore. I’m not going to hold you back or be a burden. I’m not like most people, Eloise. I know that. But that doesn’t mean that I need to be babysat by you all the time.

ELOISE

That’s not why I want you to come!

OLIVER

I know. But that’s what will end up happening. We’d go to New York and you’d start your internship and you’d have to come running every time I needed you. I’d piss off the wrong people and get into a fight and end up arrested. I’d end up having panic attacks on the subway. And no one would hire me; even if they did, I’d get fired within a week.

ELOISE

You’re not that bad, baby. You’ve improved so much since the day I met you.

OLIVER

I have. And it’s because of you. When I’m with you, I don’t feel like a freak with Asperger’s. I feel normal. And I love that. I love you. But I can’t come with you. For three years you’ve taken care of me. You’ve helped me. You’ve taught me how to deal with being around people. You know, when I was a kid, my mom wouldn’t take me places unless she absolutely had to. She kept me in my room, alone, all the time. She told me it was because I wasn’t like the other kids. I was stupid and she didn’t want me talking to anyone. She was embarrassed by me. I didn’t understand because I’ve never been embarrassed. I’ve never cared what anyone thought of me. So I sat in my room and I watched movies. Any movie I could get my hands on. I started reading about movies. All I talked about was movies. I was never in the world. I just watched it. And then I met you.

ELOISE

Oliver. (A beat.) Please. Come with me.

OLIVER

I can’t. Not because I don’t want to, because that’s all I want. But I can’t do that to you. You need some time to be you. And I need some time to figure out who I am in the world apart from you. You know, if this happened two years ago, I’d go with you without any hesitation. I wouldn’t think about how it would affect you at all. I’d only think of myself and what I want. But not anymore. You did this, Ellie. You made me more of a person. And I’m never going to forget that. And I’m always going to love you. You’ll be back in Augustx and if you haven’t found someone else, I’ll be here. It’s only three months.

ELOISE

I won’t find someone else. There is no one else for me.

OLIVER

If that’s true, I’ll see you in August and we can pick up where we left off. But I don’t want you to hold back up there, all right? Live fully and don’t think about me so much. Have the greatest experience of your life. Promise me that you’ll try?

ELOISE

I promise. I love you.

(LIGHTS FADE)

(END OF SCENE)

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One thought on “Scene 1

  1. Pingback: Goals and Boys | I Love Gypsy Life

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