Scene Detail

"There are days I wish I hadn't picked up that phone the second time and just ended up on his doorstep. See what happened."

From: the Thirst collection
3 Characters
Gender Age Character Name
Male Adult: Any Age SCOTTY
Male Adult: Any Age KIP
Female Adult: Any Age ROZ
 
Setup:
This is the beginning of the play.

(If you want to see the previous outing for Roz, Kip and Scotty, that's available in the Thirst collection via the quote link, "He's broken - literally - just about every bone in his body.")

**********************************************

The full scripts of the plays "Invisible," "Dents," "Template," and "Head Above Water" from "The Thirst Collection" are available for purchase as part of "Short Plays, Volume 2" (in hard copy or download form) at

http://www.lulu.com/content/paperback-book/short-plays-volume-2/1402397

Part of Matthew's online script store

http://stores.lulu.com/matthewaeverett
 

Scene

copyright 2004 by Matthew A. Everett



DENTS



ROZ, a waitress.

KIP, a waiter.

SCOTTY, a restaurant patron, seated at a table.


KIP

I have to admit, right after the election, I was a little depressed.

SCOTTY

My first major accident was right here --

SCOTTY points to a place on his chin.


ROZ

I've come to the conclusion that I must be some kind of a human starter kit for guys on the verge of being ready to commit to a serious relationship.

SCOTTY

It's the first time I remember seeing my own blood.

ROZ

Right after I moved here, there was this guy. Doug. We had everything in common. Same sense of humor. Partners in crime. Completely compatible. He made the transition easier. I spent more nights at his apartment that I did in my own. My place just seemed foreign to me, not like any home I'd had before. His place at least seemed lived in, like it had a history. It was safe. He was safe.

SCOTTY

And it wasn't really an accident, I guess. My little brother and I were playing with those wooden alphabet blocks. I was four or five, he was maybe, God, one, if that. This was when we all realized he was gonna be a handful.

ROZ

The one thing he neglected to tell me was that about the same time he met me, he also met someone else.

SCOTTY

So we were playing, well, I was trying to build something and he kept grabbing the blocks and knocking things over and I was getting pretty fed up.

ROZ

It's not like we were monogamous or anything. We were both free to screw around. Sometimes we did. But more often than not, I'd just be arranging my free time around him. Thing was, he didn't talk about her. That should have been my first clue that something was up, that she was important. Complicated. Not a one-nighter that could be packaged into a little amusing story over dinner and forgotten about.

SCOTTY

So I started to move everything out of his reach, 'cause I could stand up and he really couldn't, not totally yet. And, OK, maybe I was taunting him a little. But he was ticking me off. I was trying to express myself and all he wanted to do was screw around, or screw up what I was trying to do. Well, that's when he decided to express himself.

ROZ

Sure I was kidding myself. I just figured if I hung around long enough, if he let me hang around long enough, he'd realize I was as essential to his life as he'd become to mine. But he didn't. I was important. Just not important enough. Ultimately I just became some kind of last hurrah, a nod to the old life he planned to leave behind. A reminder of all the things that used to be that didn't work for him anymore.

SCOTTY

He got a hold of one of the last blocks on the floor. A "T." And he hauled off and chucked it at me. All I can say is it's a good thing his aim was off because even then he had a good pitching arm. I could have lost an eye.

ROZ

I tried to be a good sport. But I could never remember her name. Just kept calling her "the photographer" - So, how are you and the photographer doing? I was trying to be devil-may-care about it all but it always ended up sounding bitter.

SCOTTY

But he clocked me in the chin instead. And at first I started laughing at him. "Ha, ha, dummy. I got the last block now." Then I look down and realize that I'm getting blood all over the block in my hands, my clothes, the carpet.

ROZ

And the sex and the friendship had been so intertwined right from the beginning that being friends without it, it was sort of like missing an arm or a foot. This constant feeling of something lost and incomplete. Friendship everywhere but the bedroom, which used to be so comfortable, was just awkward. Plus, I got the distinct feeling that he hadn't told her about me - not how long it had gone on or how involved it had been the whole time he'd also been seeing her.

SCOTTY

My little brother starts to cry, because he knows somehow this means he's in trouble. I know this isn't normal so I started running around and yelling for mom and did a pretty complete circuit of the first floor of the house before she catches up to me. There was a fair amount of cleanup to be done after I finished running laps.

ROZ

I got invited to parties for a few years at Christmas time, got the year-end holiday letter full of their life together - even though they only lived a couple of blocks away from me, in a house they bought together shortly after we broke up. Then finally that stopped, too.

SCOTTY

After that, my brother got his own set of blocks, foam ones, and it was made very clear that there was to be no throwing of anything in the house, most of all not at family members. I needed a couple of stitches.

ROZ

I see her work sometimes around town, the photographer - coffee shops, local newspapers and magazines, the occasional gallery. I keep thinking I'm going to run into him, or them. Probably best that I don't.

SCOTTY

To this day, there's this tiny little sliver where I don't grow any whiskers. You have to get right up close to see it, but it's there. This one place on my chin where I never grew up, so I don't need to shave.

ROZ

I was using him, too. He helped me settle into a new city. I just thought we were settling into something else, too.

SCOTTY

Or maybe I got that wrong. Are scars dead tissue? Is this the first little part of me to die?

ROZ

Then there was Morgan. My lusty young art student.

SCOTTY

My brother says he doesn't remember any of this. I'm not entirely sure I believe him.

KIP

But every cloud does indeed have a silver lining because I suddenly realized - I am a dangerous man. I am scary.

ROZ

That was just plain fun. And I needed that after Doug and the photographer. Best sex I ever had.

KIP

I've never been dangerous before. It's kind of a kick. I feel sort of powerful almost.

ROZ

We'd keep planning to go out to the movies, or a play, or even dinner, and never make it out of the apartment. The thought of maybe meeting in public never occurred to us, thank God.

KIP

Why, you might ask? 'Cause I'm the new Willie Horton, baby!

SCOTTY points out a spot on his forearm.


SCOTTY

This one - pitching off my bike, right after I learned to ride without training wheels.

ROZ

But then his course of study - Art, Museum Exhibition and Installation - got discontinued at the university's city campus. It was a state school, so they had branches all over the state. Unfortunately, if he wanted to continue his major there, and he really couldn't afford to go to another school, he'd have to follow his scholarship clear over to the opposite end of the state. Which he did.

SCOTTY points out a spot on his ankle.


SCOTTY

Falling out of a tree - the first time.

KIP

I mean, I'm not even dating anyone at the moment. I'm barely even mingling. But thousands, tens of thousands, hundreds of thousands of people, in eleven states, over twenty percent of the country, were so afraid I might want to marry another guy that they flooded the polls to say, "No, not in my state, Mary!" Which might have tipped the balance of the presidential election. Now that's scary.

ROZ

Suddenly this fling, which had been slowly evolving into something else, got dragged out into the sunlight and we had to analyze, you know, whether the long-distance thing was worth it.

KIP

See, now the trick is to be like the superheroes and find a way to use my powers only for good, not evil.

ROZ

I mean, it was just fun, right? But we'd started having all these feelings that weren't fully formed yet. And now it seemed like a hassle.

KIP

If I could scare people into voting the way I wanted them to, rather than against me, now that would be powerful.

SCOTTY points out a spot on his shoulder.


SCOTTY

Barbed wire fence.

ROZ

Neither of us wanted to be the first to admit we were getting attached to each other.

KIP

I'm just not sure how to do that yet.

ROZ

So we said our goodbyes.

KIP

Of course there's always reverse psychology, "Oh, please, whatever you do, please don't vote for gay marriage!" But somehow I think we need to be a little craftier than that.

SCOTTY points out a spot on his other arm.


SCOTTY

Skiing downhill too fast.

ROZ

I called him once, way out there in the middle of nowhere.

KIP

Some kind of bait and switch routine,

ROZ

It'd be a six-hour drive with no stopping but I was just about out the door, when he called me back and told me not to go to all that trouble.

KIP

or some really clever wording, so that people think they're voting for one thing when they're actually voting for the opposite.

ROZ

There are days I wish I hadn't picked up that phone the second time and just ended up on his doorstep.

KIP

You know, some judiciously placed double negatives or something.

ROZ

See what happened.

KIP

Clever use of the English language is something my people are very good at.

SCOTTY points out a spot on his other leg.


SCOTTY

Hockey game. Other guy wound up in the penalty box. I wound up in traction.

ROZ

After that, I got busy and then the address and the phone I had for him didn't work anymore, and the trail went cold.

KIP

There isn't a strategy that's been all worked out yet or anything but we've got a year or two.

ROZ

He's got a goofy last name, so I Google him sometimes, see if some trace of him has surfaced somewhere.

KIP

Anything could happen in a year.

ROZ

He was a sculptor. Is a sculptor. I still remember his hands.

KIP

Anything at all.

ROZ

And the thought of running my hands down into the small of his back still gives me chills.

SCOTTY parts his hair in an odd place.


SCOTTY

Clocked by my surfboard on a particularly spectacular wipeout.

KIP

Speaking of my people, we have a lot of other weapons at our disposal. There's always the anti-Lysistrata approach - rather than threaten to withhold sex, we threaten to keep on having sex until we, too, can get into mind-numbing but state-sanctioned monogamous relationships and lose all interest in sex just like most good old-fashioned married couples do. But of course that just plays into two stereotypes for the price of one, so that doesn't help anybody.

ROZ

So I'm this great transition person. I get them all primed and ready. People meet me right before something or someone big is about to happen to them, and I make it easy to let the magic happen. I used to call it "The Curse of Prince Charming."

KIP

Probably our most effective weapon would be to refuse to provide you with any more entertainment.

ROZ

Now I just try to avoid talking about it. You give the jinx a name, you give it air time, it's like summoning it down on your head all over again.

KIP

Start with no more drag queens or male strippers for your bridal showers. Scared of the freaks? OK, fine, no more freak shows for you then.

ROZ

I used to think it was a funny story to use when dating. All it really seemed to do was make guys wonder if there might not be someone just over my shoulder they should be looking out for instead.

KIP

Check musical theater off the list. Well, just theater in general.

ROZ

I'm not sure I trust myself anymore.

KIP

And dance - classical and modern.

ROZ

Don't get me wrong, I'm grateful I haven't had the bad luck some of my friends have had.

KIP

Then add on movies

ROZ

Abusive relationships,

KIP

and TV shows

ROZ

addictive relationships,

KIP

at least the intelligent and funny ones.

ROZ

charming trips to the free clinic.

KIP

Popular music will be reduced to just rap, country, Christian rock, and really bland new agey stuff, so if you're fine with that, I guess you're set.

ROZ

In terms of serious consequences, I've gotten off easy.

KIP

Books, don't get me started. The really fun magazines? Forget it.

ROZ

After awhile, though, when the only common denominator in all your failed relationship attempts is you, well, you start to wonder --

KIP

Oh, and while you're at it, let's not forget who's handling the food you eat. I'm just sayin'.

ROZ

I miss it though. The anticipation. The all-consuming infatuation. Scary as it is, it's fun. To be that hopeful.

SCOTTY turns to KIP.


SCOTTY

You wanna go out sometime?

KIP

Excuse me?




(there's more, but the conclusion to the story isn't available for viewing on this website)

copyright 2004 by Matthew A. Everett

© Matthew A Everett
matthewaeverett.com