I've Got Friends In High Places

Had lunch with one of my favorite people in the world, HH. We went to the same salad place as last time. I believe both of us are of the mind that if it's not broken, keep eating there. They have a great salad bar so you can have everything from an egg roll to pasta to strawberries and grapes. Then I met Padhraig later at a coffee house that was chockful of badly tattooed teensters all wearing furred hoodies and angst filled expressions. Tomorrow, I will go to my playwriting class and turn in this somewhat half-assed piece I wrote today. I really really like writing dialogue though. The assignment was to put together two people in a public place who are fighting. One of them gets a headache and they must ask a stranger for an aspirin. The stranger either gives it to them or not. Here's what I wrote:

Scene: A deserted bus station. A couple stands swaying together in the center of the waiting room; another guy sits behind them in one of the benches, reading a newspaper.

JoAnne: (trying to disentangle herself from the hug): Okay, Darren. I’ve got to go. The bus is loading.

Darren: (not letting her go): All right, darling, I’ll miss you.

JoAnne: It’s only two days.

Darren: Stay safe.

JoAnne: The interview is in Boise, Idaho. I think I’ll be fairly safe there. Can you just let go, please? I’ll be back in two days.

Darren: Okay, no, I know.

JoAnne: I thought you were working with your therapist on the separation anxiety.

Darren: Yes, but she just left for an extended vacation. It’s very hard. “Is that a dagger I see before me?”

JoAnne: You did Lady MacBeth?

Darren: I memorized all of the lines. It was a professional theater company.

JoAnne: Yes, I know.

Darren: Break a leg, honey. (He cups her face in his hands).

JoAnne: Your hands are freezing.

Darren: One last kiss (he tries to kiss her as she pulls away. Their faces collide).

JoAnne: Ow! God, your nose hit me right in the eye!

Darren: Are you okay? Sorry about that. I’ve got to work on my good-byes.

JoAnne: Oh, damnit, you knocked out one of my contacts!

Darren: Really? Oh.

JoAnne: (blinking rapidly) Yes, really. Shit. I can’t see anything. You and your gigantic nose. Jesus.

Darren: Hold still. It might be on your face. Don’t panic. Let me look.

JoAnne: I can’t see!

Darren: What color is it?

JoAnne: What do you mean what color is it? It’s nude. It’s a blank color. Natural.

Darren: Well, some have a tinge. Does yours have a tinge?

JoAnne: Blue. It’s bluish. You’re breathing on me.

Darren: Oh, wait, there’s—

JoAnne: You got it?

Darren: No, but I see what you were saying about the lines around your eyes. Just here—the beginning of crow’s feet. Hardly noticeable.

JoAnne: Oh, God, how am I going to go to an interview like this? They’ll think I have a nervous tick. I’ll run into a wall and fall over. They’ll think I’m drunk.

Darren: Let’s check your clothes. It might be stuck on your shirt (he runs his hands over her clothes).

JoAnne: You’re feeling me up in public.

Darren: Is it soft or hard?

JoAnne: You’re doing it a little hard, actually.

Darren: No, the contact.

JoAnne: Don’t move around too much. You’ll crush it. It’s crunchy. It’s the crunchy kind.

Darren: Crunchy?

JoAnne: Hard! Hard! It’s the hard kind.

Darren: Settle down.

JoAnne: Why did you have to do that? Why can’t you say goodbye like a normal person instead of like someone auditioning for From Here to Eternity? From now on, we’re shaking hands good-bye. That’s it.

Darren: From Here to Eternity is a movie, not a play. Are they making it into a play now?

JoAnne: You do the same thing in bed. You over act. You’re an over actor.

Darren: That is not acting.

JoAnne: Take off your shoes. We need to take off our shoes and look for it on the ground. Hurry up!

Darren: I can’t help the way I feel.

JoAnne: Your damaging the psyche of the neighbor kids with your historonics. It’s unnecessary. The parents have complained to me more than once.

Darren: Maybe we could get you an eye patch or something.

Joanne: I am not waltzing into an interview with an eye patch, for God’s sake. Made out of what? A pair of underwear?

Darren: A Band-Aid then. Just explain the situation. They’ll understand.

JoAnne: I’ll just tell him that my boyfriend with the freakishly huge nose poked me in the eye.

Darren: Here, look, I’m taking off my shoes now. It can’t have disappeared.

JoAnne: I’m getting a head-ache (They both remove their shoes). Don’t walk around too much. (She blinks at him). Are you wearing my socks again?

Darren: No.

JoAnne: Yes, you are. I asked you not to do that. It’s gross.

Darren: No grosser than you using my toothbrush.

JoAnne: I did that once. Once in an emergency.

Darren: Be careful of stepping on gum. (They both get on their hands and knees and start crawling around).

JoAnne: Buy your own girl socks.

Darren: Hey, a quarter!

JoAnne: Wait, I think I found…No, that’s not it. What is that?

Darren: Maybe this is a sign. Maybe this job isn’t meant to be.

JoAnne: God, my head! Do you think you could’ve knocked it back into my brain somehow? (The man with the newspaper stands up, folds the newspaper, begins to walk toward them). No, no, no, wait, sir! I need you to step away.

Man: Excuse me?

Darren: Her contact bounced out of her eye.

JoAnne: Was bounced out. Was forcibly bounced.

Man: Oh, okay.

JoAnne (sits up, puts her hands to her eyes): I can’t believe this. My head is pounding. I need to lie down. I think I’m getting a migraine. I’m nauseous (she lays down on her back). Forget it. Just forget it. I’ll have to cancel.

Darren (to the stranger): Do you have an aspirin or a Band-Aid or something?

JoAnne: Or an eye patch?

Man: I have some codeine. I just got out of surgery recently.

Darren: Oh, I’m sorry to hear that.

Man: Nothing serious. It was my gall bladder. They gave it to me to take home in a jar. I’m not sure why.

JoAnne: Yes, give me the codeine. I’ll take it. I’ll take anything. Smack. Score me some smack.

Man (pulls out a vial from his pocket and shakes out two pills): You’re supposed to take this with food though. (Hands the pills to Darren who is still on the floor).

Darren: Thanks. (Offers him the quarter he has found).

Man: No, don’t worry about it. Just don’t sue me. I think this might be illegal. I’m not sure. Good luck with your eye. (He exits).

Darren: Wait a second. Here, what’s this? Ha!

JoAnne (sits up): Another quarter?

Darren: No, I think this is it. Is this it? (He hands her the contact).

JoAnne: Oh, my God, thank God! Thank you! You’re brilliant. You’re an idiot, but you’re brilliant.

Darren: Thanks, honey. Sorry about that.

JoAnne: Maybe I over-reacted. I’ve got to go though. (They both stand).

Darren: (begins to try to hug her again). Okay, well—

JoAnne: Stay! Keep your nose to yourself. Just…(she holds out her hand). I’ll call you when I get back.

Darren: Do you want the codeine?

JoAnne: No forget it. Shake my hand, for God’s sake. (They shake hands).

Darren: Parting is such sweet sorrow.

JoAnne: Okay. Take care of yourself.

Darren: That I should like to stay and say goodbye…(She leaves). ’Til it be morrow.

The ending is weak. I have a hard time bringing things to a close.

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