Wednesday, September 05, 2007

Your daily dose of high culture

Here's a one-act play I wrote a few years ago. I am still looking for a venue and two actors capable of bringing my vision to life.

Welcome to the House of Tao:
A Mirror on the Condition of Man

Setting: Park. Mid afternoon. Blue skies. It is a Tuesday. Two men cross paths.

Man #1: {Said with a seething hatred compounded by a guilty awareness of the role of class conflict in this instant dislike. He is from a broken home. Destitute, ever hungry, he was beaten daily with a souvenir hula dancer table lamp purchased in a Kahului drug store during a five day six night vacation in Maui and Oahu when he was seven. He was not allowed to go.} Hello.

Man #2: {With embarrassment over his transparent attempt to appear humble and streetwise. Born into affluence, he has always felt uncomfortable around people who were clearly less fortunate. He buys the Wall Street Journal every morning instead of having it delivered so that passersby would not see mark of his high socio-economic standing the sitting there on the doorstep, even though he would save over 57% off the cover price with a subscription. He has a slight itch in his left nostril.} Hi.

Man #1: {Silent as he imagines stealing the man's shoes, not out of need or even want, but because of an outbreak of shoe thefts in the neighborhood northwest of his old apartment building. That only involved sneakers, but in the weeks since he read the story in the Times he had become fascinated by the idea of stealing of shoes. Loafers at first, now even wingtips. He would never do such a thing, though, due to a mixture of two parts morality for one part fear.}

Man #2: {Looks up to the sky. Feels tears welling up but conceals them completely. He smells like turpentine and olive oil. Perhaps his defining characteristic, it permeates his very essence.} Nice weather we're having.

Man #1: {Exhibiting an ennui that defies his youth. Can it be that his soul is forty years older than his corporeal body? No.} Supposed to rain tomorrow.

Man #2: {His hands are cold. He recalls the new gloves he purchased at an upscale department store. He had them for no more than a week and now they are gone. Gone! Where have they gone? Maybe he left them somewhere in the closet, maybe on the subway. Yes, he must have lost them on the subway. Damn.} Yeah.

Man #1: {Choked with rage, though it instantly melts into passive distrust. This in turn gives way to a mild amusement, then bemusement. Then he gets tired and tries to ignore his conflicting emotions towards this man. And yet, he cannot.} Nice day, though.

Man #2: {He is tired, it is obvious although he doesn't show it in his posture, alertness or speech. He was up until 3:30 the night prior fixing the bathtub drain that was leaking through a crack in the ceiling onto his commemorative Civil War chess set. In the end he still had to call a plumber.} A bit cold, but a nice day.

Man #1: {Nodding, turns around and walks off in a way that would be wistful is not for the fact that he doesn't know Man #2}


Man #2: {Is thinking of a number from one to ten. It is a seven.}

6 comments:

Carl Spackler said...

i'd gladly play either role.

miss kendra said...

this received rave reviews from the guy in the girl pants and white belt waiting for his PBR.

slappy said...

Carl: Okay, the casting is half-completed. Next stop, conceptual YouTube video!

Kendra: That happens to be one of our top demographics.

Lee Ann said...

I'm tired Slappy!

Ɯbermilf said...

I would volunteer, but there isn't enough angst here for me.

slappy said...

Lee Ann: Like we've said before, workplaces need scheduled siesta/naptime.

Ubie: It's important for an actress to know her range. Next time we write a role needing angst, we'll ring your agent.