Monday, July 25, 2005
The Passage of Time (part one)
I have some time to kill re-capturing some footage for my editing project so I thought I'd try something a little different. I perchanced across a blog that had told a story, entry by entry, surfing earlier today. I found the idea quite challenging. I like the thought of free styling a bit with my writing... I'm going to make it a drama play because I don't have a lot of time available. I'll keep each section short so it's not a hassle to read, and I'll try to do it in five parts (or maybe less if it's a pile of shite). I'd like to make it a feature of my blog… to have a little story progressing each week. Anyway, here is the beginning of my off the cuff play: "The Passage of Time." This is my first, so be gentle. They'll get better I promise.
ALANA, a twenty something young woman with dyed green hair is casually dressed in a small T-Shirt and pair of jeans, sitting with her legs crossed in the corner of the patio garden. A lit cigarette is streaming smoke in the ashtray placed in front of her. KELLY, her sister, a few months pregnant, emerges from the house humming a classical melody, serene and at ease. Alana by comparison is restless. Kelly strolls out onto the grass.
KELLY: So what do you think of the place?
Alana pauses in consideration.
ALANA: I think... Mum and Dad would be proud if they were still here.
Kelly glances back and smiles.
KELLY: That's uncharacteristically sweet of you to say.
ALANA: Pu-lease... you were the light of their life, and I was the scourge...
KELLY: You were not.
ALANA: Was too.
KELLY: They loved you, babe.
ALANA: You left the house when you were sixteen, Kelly. That was fifteen years ago.
KELLY: (sighing) I'm beginning to remember why these get togethers between us became so infrequent.
ALANA: Like I said, I'm the scourge.
Kelly returns to the patio and takes a chair in front of Alana.
KELLY: Tell me about what's going on with you?
ALANA: You don't want to know about my life.
KELLY: I asked, didn't I?
ALANA: My life doesn't fit into this neat equation of familial bliss you're creating out here with Robert. My life isn't a picture book fairytale.
KELLY: Stop being a presumptuous little shit... you're my sister, I haven't seen you in months and I'm interested in you.
Alana takes a drag of her cigarette and then puts it out. She nods to herself.
ALANA: Well, let's see... my council flat is infested with cockroaches and that's been a pre-occupation of mine recently. I find them in my kitchen drawers, and under the bathroom sink, and crawling up the ceiling when I wake up in the night. I've been waiting in most afternoons for Pest Control to show up from the council but thus far they haven't seen fit to keep an appointment. My ex-boyfriend is certifiably unstable. Last week he came into my work and demanded I talk to him outside in the car park. I refused and he got into a fight with security. My rent is in arrear. I'm tired. I hate my job... is that what interests you?
KELLY: You know I can give you a loan, sis.
ALANA: I don't want your money. I don't want anybody's money.
KELLY: You can't keep going on like this. Do you ever think about getting out of the city?
ALANA: ...to come and join you in the Twilight Zone?
KELLY: The Twilight Zone?
ALANA: Every house looks the same, every car looks the same, everybody's life is the same. Married, children, dinner at seven, TV from 8-10... it's like Night of the Living Dead.
KELLY: Then what are you going to do?
ALANA: I have options.
KELLY: You're almost thirty.
ALANA (sarcastic): You're kidding? I had NO idea.
KELLY: Where are you going to be when you’re thirty-five, or forty?
ALANA: Where will you be? Dealing with your dysfunctional kids and wondering why your husband can't keep his dick hard. Yes, I won't be wrapped up in a suburban cocoon, changing nappies, and playing housewife, Kelly... is that okay with you?
KELLY: God, I wish Dad was still here. At least Dad could talk to you.
ALANA: Don't you get it? I'm not you. I'm not like you. I've never been like you!
Kelly and Alana are both sitting in front of the TV... Alana’s feet are on the sofa, and her hands are around her knees in a defensive posture. Kelly begins to laugh at something they are watching. Alana can't help but smirk at her sister.
KELLY: Why are you smiling at me?
ALANA: I don't know. It's weird seeing you laugh. It undermines my notion of you as some kind of robot.
KELLY: You know I hate to break it to you Alana, but I do have feelings. And, it hurts me when we argue like we did in the garden.
ALANA: I meant what I said. Mum and Dad would be very proud of you. You've come along way.
KELLY: They'd be proud of you, too.
ALANA: Yeah, right.
Kelly turns around to look directly at her sister.
KELLY: Look at you, look how beautiful you are, it's sick.
ALANA: Okay you're starting to freak me out.
KELLY: It's true. You're smart, you're insightful. And, you can be very charming sometimes... I emphasize SOME of time.
Alana chuckles nervously.
ALANA: For some reason I'm trying to remember the last time I punched you.
KELLY: Y'know, it's okay to receive a compliment, Alana...
ALANA: Okay, that's it...
Alana jumps up from the sofa, shivering a cringe out of her system, grabbing and lighting a cigarette, before walking to the window and gazing out into the darkening night.
ALANA: Are you happy here with Robert? Really.
KELLY: Why do you ask that?
ALANA: When I arrived earlier, and you took me on your little guided tour of the new Shabby Chic furniture, and the beautifully designed garden, and the baby's room to be...
KELLY: And what?
ALANA: And it was weird. It was like he didn't exist...
KELLY: What do you mean?
ALANA: You didn't mention Robert once.
Kelly appears perturbed by Alana’s insight.
KELLY: It's the house. This is my thing. This is what I'm going to be doing for the next six months before the baby arrives.
ALANA: You're bored aren't you?
KELLY: Absolutely not. I love it; I want to make this house our paradise.
ALANA: I mean you're bored by him...
Kelly again takes a moment.
KELLY (vulnerable): I...don't see enough of him to be bored.
Kelly's openness strikes Alana and her face visibly softens. She walks up to Kelly and puts her arms around her. Hugging her tightly. Kelly is taken back, smiling, shocked.
KELLY: What's is this for?
Alana starts to cry.
KELLY: What's wrong?
She is crying hard.
KELLY: Babe, it's okay. Baby. What's wrong?
ALANA: I miss them so much. I miss them soooo much.
KELLY: I know, darling. Me too.
ALANA: Why did they have to go like that? Why!
Kelly rocks Alana back and forth.
I'll try and do part two tomorrow