Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Loud Sunshine

Here's another short scene for the Writing Samples section. I wrote this one around the same time as "The Spy Who Dated Me." Again, I didn't like it after the first draft and didn't appreciate what I wrote until months later. I attribute this to having lofty goals while writing and judging the first rough draft too harshly. It's my foray into writing a surreal scene.


LOUD SUNSHINE
Written by Joe Janes
First draft

CAST:
Old Man
Young Man
Beautiful Woman
Swimmer

(Lights up on a lone man sitting on a chair center stage. He is an older man, slightly unkempt. He wears dark glasses. Sr there are two more chairs. Sl is a single chair. A very well dressed young man enters sr with a briefcase. Soft violin music begins to play offstage. He sits and sets the case next to him. He opens it. Inside the case, all there is standard fare for a sack lunch and a small thermos of milk. It is lunchtime. The young man opens a bag of chips. He then unwraps a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. He opens the sandwich and carefully places chips on it. He smashes the sandwich and begins to nibble on it.)



OLD MAN
How many minutes in yellow?

OLD MAN (continuing)
How many minutes in yellow?

YOUNG MAN
I don’t understand what you’re asking.

OLD MAN
I was told the sun is yellow.

YOUNG MAN
I guess. You could say it’s orange, too.

OLD MAN
In that case, how many oranges does it take to make yellow?


YOUNG MAN
Well, if you’re talking abut the sun, the sun is huge. It would take at least 48 oranges.

OLD MAN
And how many carrots?

YOUNG MAN
Add five.

OLD MAN
I smelled green, today.

YOUNG MAN
What does green smell like?

OLD MAN
Like grass. I heard someone mowing a lawn and I smelled green.

YOUNG MAN
Green can also smell like limes.

OLD MAN
I can feel green, too.

The young man opens his thermos and pours small curd cottage cheese into the cup.


YOUNG MAN
Me, too.

A beautiful woman enters and sits down SL. She is dressed as though she’s about to go to a fancy charity ball. She wears an iPod. She begins to knit. Her yarn is blood red. Both the old man and the young man turn and look at her and then return to looking out.


OLD MAN
How long is black?

YOUNG MAN
Black as night? About ten hours.


OLD MAN
I mean height.

YOUNG MAN
Oh, very tall. About 5’ 8”.

The young man begins to eat a very large dill pickle. Unsliced.


A man dressed in 1920’s swimwear with a bathing cap, goggles and the number 44 painted on h is back enters and walks into the house. He slowly swims laps through the rows of the audience.


OLD MAN
What about the color purple?

YOUNG MAN
What about it?

OLD MAN
I have no idea what it is. Is it like jazz?

YOUNG MAN
No. It’s not that.

OLD MAN
Is it fuzzy?

YOUNG MAN
No, not that.

OLD MAN
Is it like dew on barefeet?

YOUNG MAN
Not that.

OLD MAN
Then what is it?

YOUNG MAN
I’m not sure what it is. Only what it isn’t. I’m quite certain it’s not wet fuzzy jazz on barefeet.

OLD MAN
What kind of sound does purple make?

The young man makes a bleating noise. The beautiful woman sets down her knitting. Takes off her iPod. Looks at the two men. They look at her. Disgusted, she leaves.

The young man has finished his lunch. He closes his briefcase and stands.



YOUNG MAN
It’s more golden than orange or yellow.

OLD MAN
What color is golden?

YOUNG MAN
Yellow.

He exits.

The Old Man rises. As he exits, he sneezes, blows his nose, looks at his handkerchief.


OLD MAN
Golden.

He exits.


The swimmer drowns.


Blackout.



THE BS NEWS QUIZ OF THE DAY


Yesterday, I asked...

"A recent crime spree in South Africa is being blamed on a gang of what?"


10% said "Ex-policemen"
- Plying the tools of their trade, no doubt. Or just "no."

Nobody thought it was "Cult members" or "Soccer players"
- My fault. They are synonymous and cancel each other out.

90% got it right with "Hungry baboons"

According to Sky News, chacma baboons, which live wild in the Cape peninsula, have been raiding people's homes for food and causing thousands of pounds in damage. According to one resident "They get into the kitchens, they know where the fridge is, they open it and take everything, and then they defecate everywhere." Still sounds like soccer players to me.

3 comments:

Paul said...

Surreal, or absurd? More and more, I'm trying to find where that line rests.

Either way, fun scene.

Joe Janes said...

I prefer the term "dramedy."

I think when you start trying to define those lines you're asking for your brain to receive a swift kick in the nuts.

Paul said...

I prefer the term "dramedy."

Too soon.