- Los Angeles
- Last Record: 2011-09-29 17:06:00 -1000
- Joined: Sep 29, 2011
About a couple who attend the Fall Formal solo and end up sitting close to each other, so they pretend not to know each other as they discuss the bump in their relationship with each other.
Setting (a theatre, wedged on an, otherwise, unimpressive block somewhere in Downtown Los Angeles. The inside, where columned walls, arched balconies, and sculptured decorations make for its beautiful interior design, is once again illuminated by fixed lights and two, low-hanging chandeliers. Smartly dressed audience members, men donning tuxes and three-piece suits and women wearing formal gowns and casual dresses; a ruckus of aspiring artists, new-age thinkers, and hipsters reemerge from darkness, as the house lights up for Intermission.)
SCENE 1 “A Seat Apart”
Characters: two twenty-somethings seated in the audience, awkwardly waiting for Intermission to end: Brent, an aspiring writer, and Naomi, a self-proclaimed thespian.
NAOMI (stares blankly at the recently unoccupied seat to her left)
BRENT (staring at Naomi, two seats to his right) Hi.
NAOMI (looks to Brent briefly before focusing on the stage, seemingly fascinated by the closed curtains)
BRENT My name is Brent.
NAOMI (slight pause) Hi Brent. My name is Naomi.
BRENT Nice to meet you, Naomi. (reaches over to shake her hand) Think we can bridge the gap between us?
NAOMI It’s worth a try.
(Naomi and Brent shake hands)
BRENT (smiling) So, Naomi…that’s a lovely name.
NAOMI (smiling as well) Thank you. It has different meanings, depending on the origin. In Japanese, it’s a combination of several abstractions: ‘Nao’ meaning “honest, straight”, and ‘mi’ meaning—
NAOMI (nods) Yeah, well… (staring at the stage) It can also be derived from the Hebrew name ‘Na’omiy’, which means “pleasantness”.
NAOMI (stares coldly)…So what does your name mean, Brent?
BRENT It means “hill”. It’s derived from the Celtic word meaning “hill”.
NAOMI Hill? Well, that’s a bit lame, don’t you think?
So what brings you out tonight, Lame Brent?
BRENT (unfazed) Me? I’m here to watch the show, relax a bit, and see where the night takes me.
NAOMI Mm. And who are you here to watch the show, relax a bit, and see where the night takes you with, Lame Brent?
BRENT No one in particular. You?
NAOMI I went stag.
BRENT Or Doe, in your case. You know, you being a girl and everything. A woman, I mean—like an independent woman who’s here alone.
NAOMI Yeah, let’s just stick with stag.
BRENT I can live with that.
So there’s no date I should be keeping my eyes out for, in case he comes back? Or she…?
NAOMI (vaguely amused) Why should you be keeping your eyes out for anyone?
BRENT Do you have a boyfriend…or a girlfriend?
NAOMI I don’t share that kind of information with strangers.
BRENT Come on… Do you?
NAOMI (reluctantly) Yes, I do. Happy? A boyfriend, by the way.
NAOMI Although, I do wonder sometimes.
NAOMI What about you? Have a girlfriend, or boyfriend?
BRENT Would you believe me if I said both?
NAOMI I’d believe you, if you said “Neither”.
BRENT (smiling) I have a girlfriend; a beautiful, wonderful, magnificent girlfriend, by the way.
NAOMI Is that right? A beautiful, wonderful, magnificent girlfriend, and yet here you are chatting up a girl you just met who, for all you know, lied about coming here alone. Like that guy who just got up, the one with the good twenty pounds of muscle on you, I’m sure— He could be my overly possessive, easily provoked, ex-con, biker boyfriend. You don’t know.
BRENT The guy sobbed his way through the last musical number.
NAOMI Did I mention he’s a sensitive soul?
BRENT (laughs) Well, for a girl like you, I’ll always take my chances.
NAOMI (looks anywhere but at Brent, embarrassed for the both of them. Still, she smiles, strangely flattered)
<Ahem> Wow… That was pretty lame.
BRENT (looks away, biting his bottom lip)
Yeah, I could have done better.
NAOMI So tell me more about this beautiful, wonderful, magnificent girlfriend of yours. Why isn’t she here with you?
BRENT (soberly, wringing out the pages of his playbill) She had some business to attend to.
NAOMI (disbelievingly, smirking) Right… What is she, a company executive or something?
BRENT (sighs dramatically) No. Her father died.
(Naomi glares at Brent, arms crossed)
She skipped town for a couple of days, to attend the funeral.
(Brent, eventually, loses his somber resolve, unable to keep from grinning for very long)
NAOMI That isn’t funny.
BRENT You should see the look on your face.
NAOMI You’re terrible. I don’t blame her, for not coming here with you.
BRENT Nah. It was me; I chose not to come here with her.
BRENT It’s the truth. She called me a very nasty name.
NAOMI An idiot?
BRENT (disbelievingly) How did you know?
NAOMI Lucky guess.
BRENT (sober once more, looking up towards the stage) We had a tiff.
We had this stupid, pointless fight, and now here I am, all on my lonesome. There were words…(furrows brow)…I don’t know, a lot of words. Something on the lines of I don’t listen enough, I don’t take the time to consider her feelings and what she’s doing with her life—she’s an actress, by the way. Performs with some company out in Studio City.
NAOMI (nodding enthusiastically) An actress? Sounds like a difficult career choice, to follow a passion like that. It takes a lot of ambition, a lot of discipline, and, most importantly, (looks to Brent pointedly) a lot of support.
BRENT So she keeps telling me. (reaches down to rummage through the messenger bag lying at his feet)
NAOMI (indifferent to Brent’s movements) I can see where your girlfriend’s coming from. A girl like that needs stability, someone to lift her spirits after a particularly crappy day.
BRENT (pauses) I haven’t even told you what kind of girl she is.
NAOMI Acting isn’t easy, you know. There’s some crazy competition out there, and don’t even get me started on what people are looking for!
BRENT Oh, I won’t.
NAOMI (going into what people are looking for) So what if she doesn’t have that certain classic beauty. So what if her knees are too knobby, or-or her eyes are too big, or that her nose is so pointy it pokes her would-be, onscreen love interest in the eye every time they lean in to kiss for audition readings?
BRENT (mutters to himself) I feel worse for the would-be, onscreen love interest.
NAOMI So what if she has unmanageable hair and a gap tooth? Her breats are phenomenal!
BRENT I’ll say. Water?
(dangles a recently retrieved water bottle over the empty seat between them)
NAOMI (grabs the bottle without a second glance, turning the cap aggressively and taking a swig)
I mean, things are hard enough for her, I’m sure. She doesn’t have much going for her. There’s this ridiculous career choice, the parents who said she’s gonna move to Tinseltown and fall flat on her face for pursuing a ridiculous career choice, not to mention she keeps forgetting to purchase a bus pass.
BRENT (raises brow, confused as to how all that came together)
NAOMI I mean, the one facet of her life that she thought she wouldn’t have any problems in was her love life. She met a guy and said, “That’s it! That’s the one. He seems… manageable.”
NAOMI He’s an artist, I’m an artist. He’ll understand.”
(meanwhile, Brent is rummaging through his messenger bag again, seemingly indifferent to Naomi’s hypothesis)
Turns out he’s the biggest jerk she’s ever met, and he’s too wrapped up in his own mess to care about anyone else’s feelings. He’s a writer, you see, and I don’t know if that explains why he’s so closed off or why he’s so insufferably sarcastic, but I’m sure it’s not helping.
BRENT (reemerges, dangling a brightly colored package of toffee peanuts over the armrest)
NAOMI (stares at Brent, overtly annoyed) You didn’t listen to a thing I just said, did you?
BRENT Sure I did: the life of a struggling artist is hard, my boyfriend sucks—life’s a bitch.
NAOMI Would you believe it? Her boyfriend might have said the same thing.
BRENT Might I have? (throws back a handful of toffee peanuts) I sound like a pretty smart guy.
NAOMI Not really. You sound like a downright idiot, actually. I mean, not that I would know. I’m guessing that’s what she would think.
BRENT (with a strained smile) She would only think that, if she didn’t know all the trouble I go through. You know? Does she ever think of that? I work a lousy job, day in and day out, then I come home and sit in front of a desk, waiting for a miracle. Meanwhile, I pinch myself every morning when I wake up and see her, because I just can’t believe that this passionate and ambitious, amazing person is with me.
NAOMI Maybe you’re focusing on the wrong miracle.
BRENT Really? Then again, what would I know? I’m just a downright idiot, after all.
NAOMI I didn’t mean—
BRENT (petulantly) Love is hard! It’s like wandering through the woods, in the dark, where you’re blind and someone keeps shooting you in the back with a crossbow.
NAOMI How poetic.
BRENT I’m there for her, in my own way, and maybe I miss the odd audition, but then I think, “Does she really need me?” And I don’t mean that to say she’s needy or anything, but…if she really needs me to hold her hand, then what is she doing there?
(he rolls up the bag of toffee peanuts and tosses it into the empty seat)
And acting’s hard? Writing’s no easy feat either.
NAOMI (stares at Brent but says nothing. She reaches into the empty seat, taking the toffee peanuts for herself)
BRENT What about you? Why aren’t you here with your boyfriend?
NAOMI (sighs) Because he really is an idiot, who doesn’t listen to me or take time to consider my feelings or what I’m doing with my life, and, for a writer, is always confused by my words.
BRENT Maybe he’s writing everything down, in romantic stories of the two of you.
NAOMI You think?
BRENT Yeah, no. He probably only writes sci-fi.
<house lights flash on and off, an indication that Intermission will end in five minutes>
NAOMI (couldn’t be more annoyed now. She takes a handful of toffee peanuts and stuffs it in her face, chasing it down with the last of Brent’s water. While Brent’s looking around and watching people return to their seats, she throws the empty bottle at him. It hits him square on the head)
BRENT OW! (dramatically rubs his head)
NAOMI (tosses the toffee peanuts into Brent’s lap) I don’t think you’re supposed to be eating in here, anyway.
BRENT (winces) Right.
(He picks up the toffee peanuts and the bottle and stuffs them in his bag. He looks right, left, all around, and gives an ill smile to those giving him and Naomi odd looks)
So, where’s your boyfriend now?
NAOMI He’s around... I wanted him to come with me, but he decided to hold up in his room and stare at his computer monitor again. So I left without him. That’s what he does, by the way. He shuts off from the entire world for days on end. His “workstation” smells like dead skin and deer carcass.
BRENT (raises a brow)
NAOMI The benefits of being born in middle-of-nowhere Syracuse, New York. I know the smell of game and how to hunt it. I also know how to use a gun.
BRENT You’d think your boyfriend would know better than to get on your bad side then.
NAOMI We’ve already established that he’s the dumbest piece of idiot to grace this mortal planet.
BRENT (leafs through the playbill on his lap)
NAOMI When we first started dating, I remember thinking, “I can fix this. He’s a great guy, I love the hell out of him, and if I can get him to just venture outside and meet people, live a little...” I mean, how can you write when you have nothing to write about?
(looks towards the magnificent chandelier hanging over their heads)
I thought that bringing him here, amongst likeminded people, might inspire him.
BRENT I’m sure he got the message. And who knows? He probably turned up on his own, hoping to surprise you.
NAOMI That would be a miracle.
BRENT (stares at his lap, reading his playbill but not reading his playbill)
And if your boyfriend showed up and said, “Naomi, you’re right. I’m an idiot, and you probably could do better, but don’t get any ideas. I can’t say much about my life of solitary confinement or th-the…the smell, but I promise to be more supportive, to tell you how much I adore your knobby knees and gap tooth, and the millions of other things you think are imperfect about you that I don’t because I think you’re perfect.”
(leans over, looking fondly at Naomi)
What would you say?
NAOMI (leaning over as well, moved but smirking slightly)
I’d say, “Who are you, and what have you done with my boyfriend’s body? His mom’s going to want something to bury.
BRENT Would you forgive him?
NAOMI I think I would.
(sits back in her seat. Brent does the same.
As long as he sticks to writing science-fiction.
BRENT I can live with that.
NAOMI Love is like wandering in the woods, and you’re blind, and its dark, and—How did the rest of that go? (chuckles) I’m totally tweeting that.
(pulls out phone)
BRENT (watches Naomi as she tweets his lame love analogy. Having nothing left to say, he simply smiles at her, satisfied with the answer she’s given him)
NAOMI (looks up, sensing Brent’s gaze on her) What?
BRENT (shrugs happily) Nothing.
(Naomi and Brent pause to stare at each other affectionately)
Think we can bridge the gap between us?
NAOMI It’s worth a try.
(Naomi and Brent lean over, in anticipation for a kiss)
<ENTER a husky man wearing red flannel, a black bowtie, and thick-rimmed glasses; Theoretical Boyfriend, returning to his seat. He sits down, disrupting the couples’ almost-kiss in the process>
(Naomi and Brent arch their heads back to smile at each other, as the house lights dim to darkness once more and the show resumes for the second act).
<fade to black>
Note: I hope people like it. I thought it was short and sweet and witty (all very arguable opinions).