Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Tuesday Excerpts

Welcome back to my fifth consecutive Tuesday Excerpt Post!

YAY! Five in a row! I wasn't lying when I said I was going to actually start blogging for real! I rock.

Alrighty, let's get this train wreck a rollin.

For this week, I'm excerpting a bit from the very third bit I wrote for my playwriting class. We were given the exercise to write a dialogue about two people trapped together. I chose the trap to be less mental and also less physical; it's just two people at a nearly empty bus station four hours before their bus is supposed to leave. Enjoy!

===

from Trapped Exercise, January 07

SETTING: A bench at a bus terminal.

AT RISE: Mike and Ellen sit on the bench surrounded by their luggage.

MIKE
Obviously, not that many people traveling to Chicago on Greyhound this morning.

ELLEN
Still the astute observer, huh Mike?
(She digs in her backpack and brings out her ticket)

MIKE
(overly emphatic)
This will be a fun trip, won’t it?

ELLEN
(looking at her ticket)
Hey, Mike, what time does the bus leave?

MIKE
Six sharp, I think.
(checks watch)

ELLEN
You think? Six sharp, you think? Master of details, you are not.
(hands him her ticket, keeping her finger on a part of it. she taps.)

MIKE
What?
(she taps)
What am I supposed to be looking at?
(she taps)
Use your words, Ellen.

ELLEN
(snatching back the ticket)
Ten o’clock. You got me out of bed at this ungodly hour to sit around a bus terminal for four hours? As if facing a fourteen hour bus trip wasn’t enough time to spend with each other?

MIKE
(reaching into his coat pocket for his ticket)
I honestly must have read it wrong.
(scrutinizes his ticket)
Okay, yes, I read it wrong. I apologize.

ELLEN
You read everything wrong, Michael.

MIKE
Ellen-

ELLEN
Perfect.
(she gets up and paces in front of the bench, removing her coat and placing it over her bags)
Perfect.

MIKE
Honest mistake.

ELLEN
Just like forgetting to keep a reading journal in your lit class was an honest mistake? Just like forgetting my fucking birthday was an honest mistake? Just like-

MIKE
(irritated)
I get your point.

ELLEN
Oh, you’re a very honest man, Mike. If it weren’t for so many of your little honest mistakes, you wouldn’t be on academic probation, I could have slept in--I was up until one packing, I almost got three hours of sleep--and maybe you wouldn’t be sitting in a freezing bus station at 6 in the morning with your ex-girlfriend.
(she turns away from him and picks her coat back up, puts it on)

MIKE
Yeah. About that; I was hoping that, while we’re back home, we could maybe--

ELLEN
Fat chance.

MIKE
--give ourselves a chance to--

ELLEN
Fat. Chance.

MIKE
--work things out.

ELLEN
(turns to face him)
Fat. Chance.

MIKE
You want to go back to the dorms? Go.

ELLEN
Yeah, what, if we call your roommate, will he come pick us up? Should I call a cab? Walk the seven miles back in the snow?

MIKE
Well, then, think of something else to do.

ELLEN
You just take whatever comes, roll with the punches, fly by the seat of your pants, and whatever other cliches come your way, huh?

MIKE
You knew that.
(reaches into his other coat pocket and removes a piece of paper)
You used to like it.

ELLEN
Bullshit.

MIKE
(reading)
“Mike, I can’t tell you how much fun I had over fall break. I can’t believe we’ve lived within four miles of each other our entire lives, but we had to move to Boston to find each other.”

ELLEN
What?

MIKE
(continuing)
“Utah was breath-taking. And to think I was going to spend the week watching movies in my dorm. I’ve never been very spontaneous, and I’m glad you forced it on me.”

ELLEN
There’s a big difference between spontaneity and irresponsibility.

MIKE
(looking up from the paper)
Really?
(reading)
“I always thought it was just irresponsibility that made people neglect the status quo for something that seemed on the surface more glamorous, but now I know that it’s better to put life on hold long enough to actually live.”

ELLEN
Let me see that!
(she snatches the paper from him and scans it)
Ah! Nice selective editing.
(reading)
“I always thought it was just irresponsibility that made people neglect the status quo for something that seemed on the surface more glamorous, but now I know that sometimes it’s better to put life on hold long enough to actually live for a moment before returning to our obligations.”
(she tosses the note back at him)

MIKE
It was worth a shot.


===

There you go, another Tuesday, another excerpt. And another missed Monday, for which I apologize. I barely got any sleep Sunday night, just could not fall asleep for whatever reason, and after staying super late at work Monday, I just couldn't keep my eyes open. For real. So, I missed a day. But I had my interview at MasterFile today, and my potential boss is the son of one of the counselors at my old high school. I'm not sure if that helps completely, but hey, it's something, right?

Proofread carefully to see if you any words out. -Author Unknown

2 comments:

Molly said...

Nice bit. Love the quote at the end. Editing so important.

marty/bridget said...

as i always told my kids...there's spellcheck, and then there's momcheck! b.