(One scene from something that, someday, will be longer. Maybe.)
(also: play form and HTML don't mix. If you have any suggestions, I'd love to hear them)
Lights up on the bedroom of a young married couple, late twenties.
DAN is boyish and soft and slightly juvenile
(though he doesn't see it) and Kim is more...comfortable, I guess.
KIM is sitting up in bed, tucked in, feet pointing down towards the audience,
reading something. A laptop perched on her lap would fit the image, but yeah, budgets and all.
A nice, unidentifiable but severe-looking book would do fine.
Reading glasses, too. The whole bit. If possible, the bed should be built in such a way
that the downstage legs are significantly shorter that the upstage ones and the headboard should be of
a dark, imposing wood so that, in some respects, she would look like she was a judge in a
courtroom. She mustn't move much, and my physicist friends tell me that gravity might cause her
to slide a bit. Strap her in (invisibly) if you have to. It should look both dignified and slightly ridiculous.
Only slightly - she should, in all respects, look larger than life but still human.
DAN is at the window, stage right, peering out into the night through a pair of binoculars.
BIG binoculars. Not cartoonishly large, not quite, but obviously bought for this particular purpose.
Think military issue over bird-watching.
They're at it again. That's, like, the third time this week. I can't imagine how her legs don't give out.
They must've called in a carpenter. A priest, too, to give out some kind of special dispensation from
the diocese for gymnastically inclined nymphomaniacs to keep the lines short at the confessionals on a Monday morning.
DAN continues to stare, enraptured.
She's dressed like a maid, too. I thought that cliché had finally kicked its last.
(not looking up from her work) Maybe it's not a cliché. Maybe she is the maid.
Well. A maid. Probably not their maid.
Real maids don't have legs like that. Legs like that would be wasted behind a Hoover.
Hell, legs like that wouldn't know how to turn the damn thing on.
Besides, how many maids do you know who wear four-inch red patent-leather heels to work?
How many maids do you know who fuck their employers? In real life, I mean?
You could swim in a cliche that deep. For that matter, how many maids do you know?
(Playfully defensive) A few. From, you know, around.
Oh, have many maids walk into the store of a Tuesday afternoon, do you?
When they're not practicing their yoga on their employer's faces?
(lowers the binoculars so that they're hanging by a strap from his neck, though he keeps looking out the window)
On the bus. I seem them on the bus on my way home, sometimes. They practice their English in groups in the back.
But none of them look like that.
(she knows the answer to this question, but.) Come to bed.
In a minute.
(all sexy-like; almost obviously kidding. Almost.) You know, Kim, this place is a bit much for us to take care of.
But we could really use-
But she feels like a part of the family, almost.
(This gets a laugh out of her) Dan, if that were really the case our dinner table would be surrounded
by disgruntled 80's cartoon characters and late night talk show hosts every Thanksgiving.
Papa Smurf wouldn't make me sit at the kids' table.
Only your mother would have the balls to arrange the seating chronologically every year.
It's our house, Dan. Sit wherever you damn well please.
She brings placecards! First thing she does every year after she sweeps in
and drops a vat of cranberry sauce on the kitchen counter is whip out the fucking placecards.
Which reminds me, we need to throw the vat from last year away, I think it's evolving into something.
(Dismissively) She's harmless. Next year, do something about it. It's your turkey.
And your mother and her radioactive cranberry sauce. I swear, it glows in the dark.
It's a nitelite.
Come to bed.
In a minute.
You would've liked my mom, you know.
Everybody says that about their dead parents.
Die a young mother and all of a sudden your children lose all sense of perspective.
(she's so engrossed in her work she doesn't realize how much that hurt him;
she breezily continues without a hint of...there's a word for how she's speaking, but I can't think of it right now)
One minute you're making your kid clean his room and dragging him home by the ear,
and the next you're handing out popsicles or hiding Easter eggs. Everyone's kind in the past...
(She trails off, going back to her work, completely oblivious.)
(looking at her, now; very quietly.) My mother was a drunk.
(His tone gets her attention)
She used to fill the ice cube trays with vodka in the summer so she could
drop them into her lemonade and sit under the plum tree in our backyard with a stack
of trashy romance novels and the cordless phone,just in case she needed
my father to pick up more on his way in.
She would give me what she called 'mystery boxes' to keep me entertained. She pulled them down from the attic.
They were filled with old photos and knickknacks, usually. Once the sun was too low to read she'd come in and sit with me,
tell me why none of those people called anymore. Usually it was because of me for all sorts of reasons:
because she disappeared one summer in college to dry out, get married and give birth and didn't go back.
Because carrying me to term was a brutal affair and pretty much killed any chance for her to have the large family she always wanted.
According to her, I clawed my way out of her like a parasite.
(KIM tries not to wince.)
Because I was expensive. Because I was draining. Because I never clung to her the way she wanted. All sorts of reasons.
She never laid a finger on me, but I would've taken being belted every once in a while if she'd held my hand crossing the street.
She wasn't anything to me. But that doesn't mean you wouldn't've liked her.
(he moves to the door)
(even quieter) I'm going to clean out the fridge before I forget.
(He exits. She watches him go.)