"All the time I'm not writing I feel like a criminal." -Fran Lebowitz

Tuesday, August 14, 2012

I Don't Like Parties

...where I listen to three songs on the “70s Classic Rock Party” radio station, and imagine that I’m a guest at that party...

(BILL walks to the buffet table, and begins to fix a plate of potato salad. The HOST approaches with STEVE.)
HOST: Hey, Bill. Thanks for coming.
BILL: No problem. Thanks for having me.
HOST: Bill, meet Steve. (walks away)
BILL: (to Steve) Nice to meet you.
STEVE: Some people call me the “Space Cowboy”.
BILL: Oh. Okay.
STEVE: Yea-uh. Some call me the “Gangster of Love”.
BILL: Wait, what? No way, dude.
STEVE: Some people call me Maurice-
BILL: He just said your name was Steve-
STEVE: -‘cause I speak of the pompitous of love.
BILL: Hmm. Huh. I don’t think pompitous is a word.
STEVE: People talk about me, baby-
BILL: Yeah, well, you know, you’re kinda all over the-
STEVE: -say I’m doin’ you wrong,
BILL: -place-
STEVE: -doin’ you wrong.
BILL: If you’re like this with everyone, they would talk-
STEVE: Well, don’t you worry, baby, don’t worry-
BILL: Who said I was worried?
STEVE: ‘cause I’m right here, right here, right here at home.
BILL: (pointing) I thought this was Hugh’s house. And don’t call me “baby”.
STEVE: ‘Cause I’m a picker-
BILL: -pompitous-
STEVE: I’m a grinner-
BILL: isn’t a word-
STEVE: I’m a lover-
BILL: You’d get the red line under-
STEVE: -and I’m a sinner-
BILL: -it. And by the way-
STEVE: I play my music in the sun...
BILL: Name one person who’s called you a “Gangster of Love”.
STEVE: I’m a joker-
BILL: Nice to-
STEVE: I’m a smoker-
BILL: -meet you-
STEVE: I’m a midnight toker-
BILL: Ha. Who coulda guessed?
STEVE: I get my lovin’ on the run...
BILL: And you’re bragging about that?
STEVE: Oooh-ooh-ooh-ooh.
BILL: Nice to meet you.
STEVE: Oooh-ooh-ooh-ooh.
BILL: Jesus.
(Bill walks away. Instrumental.)

(Bill is examining the books on Hugh’s shelves. PINK approaches and stares at Bill. Pause for 1:35.)
BILL: Okay.  Hi. How’re you doing? (points at shelves) He’s gotta a lot of Clive Cussler, don’cha think?
BILL: Uh. (echoes) So.
PINK: So you think you can tell?
BILL: Uh. Tell what?
PINK: Heaven from Hell.
BILL: Yeah, sure. That’s fuckin’ child’s play. I mean-
PINK: Blue skies from pain.
BILL: That. That is nonsensical.
PINK: -Can you tell a green field-
BILL: From a blue field? Sure, two different colors-
PINK: From a cold steel rail?
BILL: Rail? Or rain?
PINK: A smile from a veil?
BILL: Even metaphorically, those things don’t match.
PINK: Do you think you can tell?
BILL: And why are you so challenging about it? This is supposed to be a party.
PINK: Did they get you to trade-
BILL: I should’ve stayed home-
PINK: Your heroes for ghosts?
BILL: Who’s “they”? (pointing) Hugh?
PINK: Hot ashes for trees?
BILL: Random, man!
PINK: Hot air for a cool breeze?
BILL: Finally! That works.
PINK: Cold comfort for change?
BILL: Those could be considered equal-
PINK: Did you exchange-
BILL: You know what, I need another gimlet-
PINK: -a walk-on part in the war-
BILL: I’ll put my answers in an email, okay?
PINK: -for a lead role in a cage?
BILL: Rude.
(Bill walks away. Instrumental.)

(Bill leans against the wall outside the bathroom, trying to avoid eye contact with Pink in front of him. WHEELER takes a place behind him. They look at each other.)
WHEELER: Well, I don’t know why I came here tonight.
BILL: Me either, man.
(Steve takes his place behind Wheeler on the line. Bill looks away.)
WHEELER: I got a feeling that something ain’t right.
BILL: I know, right? Hugh’s got some fucked up friends.
WHEELER: (points ahead) I’m so scared in case I fall off my chair.
BILL: (thinks) You mean toilet?
WHEELER: And I’m wonderin’ how I’ll get down the stairs.
BILL: You’re not driving, are you?
WHEELER: Clowns to the left of me-
BILL: Hey-
WHEELER: Joker’s to the right.
BILL: (re: Steve) Yeah.
WHEELER: Here I am.
BILL: Here you are.
WHEELER: Stuck in the middle with you.
BILL: Yeah-
WHEELER: -Yes, I’m stuck in the middle with you.
BILL: I’m not thrilled about it either, dude.
WHEELER: And I’m wonderin’ what it is I should do.
BILL: It’s a little late for potty training, no?
WHEELER: It’s so hard to keep this smile from my face-
BILL: -makes you look kinda sketchy-
WHEELER: ‘Cause I’m showin’ up all over the place-
BILL: Hugh didn’t invite you?
WHEELER: Clowns to the left of me-
BILL: Screw this. (pushes off wall) I’ll try the 80s party. (Bill exits.)