Short Play (No Title Yet)

By Laikaa

I wrote this ages ago following an encounter with a stranger in the park. Some of this, I am ashamed to say, I actually said to the poor man who was minding his own business. I’ve left the characters and setting fairly open for remixing/interpretation. I'm fairly aware that poor Person #1 does a lot of smiling, nodding and shrugging! Thanks for reading :) - Laikaa

***

A park bench. Person #1 is sitting on the bench staring out into the audience holding a camera. Person #2 approaches carrying a newspaper and a sandwich.

Person #2 - “Is anyone sitting here?”

Person #1 shakes head

Person #2 sits down.

Person #2 - “Thanks…you have to ask because you never know eh?”

Person #1 half smiles

Person #2 - “Cold isn’t it?”

Person #1 nods

Person #2 - “I wasn’t going to come out but I can’t resist this park. It’s nice in all weather isn’t it? The trees are amazing here. You could just hug them if you were that way inclined”

Person #1 smiles

Person #2 - “Do you live nearby?”

Person #1 shakes their head

Person #2 - “Me neither. Probably a good thing too. If I didn’t have to travel to here, I’d never leave. I’d sleep beside the ducks if I could. I like it because it’s so quiet… A place to get some peace and to think about everything and nothing. I’ve been coming here for years. I broke my arm falling off that tree over there. Split my head open too. I still have the battle scar see?”

Person #1 looks at the scar and nods as though they are impressed

Person #2 - “So…any scars?”

Person #1 raises an eyebrow and looks uncomfortable


Person #2 - “That was an inappropriate question wasn’t it?”

Person #1 nods

Person #2 - “Sorry, I’m prone to those. I don’t think before I speak. I once asked a woman when she was due and she wasn’t even pregnant. She was just fat. You would think that only happens in movies but I assure you that it does not. I can also tell you that it’s not the best idea to upset a fat woman in a queue in a supermarket because she WILL pick up the heaviest thing in her trolley and she WILL throw it at you”

Person #2 offers Person #1 their newspaper

Person #2 - “Would you like this to read? I’ve read it already. Maybe you can have better luck at the crossword than me. I’m an idiot but I’m sure you’ll find 5 Across easy enough. Something to do with frogs and Hitler. Thankfully it’s cryptic. I can never complete the puzzles in the paper but I like to do them on the bus because it makes me look smart. I frown a lot with a pen in my hand and try to look like I‘m concentrating but I‘ve been told it makes me look constipated. I still don‘t understand Suduko”

Person #1 takes the paper and sets it beside them

Person #2 - “Hey look! Do you see? A squirrel!…

Person #2 points it out to Person #1. Person #1 nods and smiles.

Person #2 - “Oh…It’s a grey one! You have to do something when you see grey squirrels. You have to report them I think but I’m not sure who too.”

Person #1 shrugs.

Person #2 “No. No that’s not it. I think you have to kill them actually. I never do that though well, I never would I mean. Look at the little guy. He has an acorn. He probably has a job and a family and a mortgage. It must be freezing living in a tree. I wonder what a squirrel does for fun. Probably kills a whole bunch of red squirrels. Jesus…it‘s tough being a squirrel.”

Person #1 eyes widen and nods in agreement still staring out into the audience.

[silence]

Person #2 pulls out sandwich and offers it to Person #1

Person #1 person declines

Person #2 - “Wise decision. It has cheese on it. Do you like cheese?”

Person #1 shrugs

Person #2 - “I wish I were indifferent to cheese. Can’t stand the stuff. I hate it for reasons I can’t ever remember. If you want it feel free to take it, I won’t eat it.

Person #1 waves their hand and declines the offer again.

Person #2 - “I lifted the first one I saw and didn’t stop to read the label. Are you allergic to anything?”

Person #1 shakes head

Person #2 - “Sometimes I tell people I’m allergic to cheese to they won’t order it in restaurants. It’s the smell. It smells of piss and hopelessness as far as I’m concerned. That doesn‘t have to make much sense by the way.”

Person #1 scratches their head and looks around.

Person #2 - “You don’t say much do you?”

Person #1 looks at Person #2 smiles and shakes their head

Person #2 - “Well I say too much.”

Person #1 smiles and nods

Person #2 laughs a little.

Person #2 - “Well I suppose I can’t disagree with you there. I…I hate awkward silences you see. I have to talk and talk and talk to fill every corner of the silence. I mean I’m sure if I stopped talking now it wouldn’t be awkward between us because you know how I stand on important issues like cheese. Hell, we’re practically FAMILY. You know the weirdest thing? I don‘t talk much at home. It‘s like I have all the words but I can never put them in the right order do you know what I mean?”

Person #1 thinks and nods smiling.

Person #2 - “Lucky for you I store up the words and let them spill out later to privileged so and so‘s like you. I can say what I want to strangers because hell, I don‘t KNOW you and I‘ll probably never see you again. No offence but you could be anyone. You could be an innocent person taking their dog to the park…you don‘t have a dog do you?”

Person #1 shakes head

Person #2 - “See! That changes everything! You could be some person quietly sitting on a park bench not unlike the one we are sitting on patiently waiting for the right opportunity to stab someone although if that someone is going to be me I’d rather you gave me warning so I can run away. I don’t run quickly…an old knee injury but since we’re now FRIENDS I’d prefer if you gave me a headstart”

Person #1 smiles

Person #2 - “A photographer then are you?”

Person #1 shrugs

Person #2 - “You must be if you have a camera. It’s a very nice one too. You must be being modest. In fact I’m SURE you are being modest.”

Person #1 smiles.

Person #2 looks around, stops at something in the distance and points it out to Person #1.

Person #2 - “If I were you I would take a picture of that dog humping that old woman’s leg over there. Poor woman doesn’t know where to look but the dog, God he‘s having a great time”

Person #1 takes picture of the audience and shows the picture to Person #2

Person #2 - “That’s a keeper. I‘d definitely want a permanent record of that anyway”

Person #1 nods in agreement.

Person #2 - “On your own here?”

Person #1 - “I’m not alone now”

Person #2 - “He speaks!”

Person #1 - “I’m waiting”

Person #2 - “Waiting for what?”

Person #1 shrugs.

Person #1 “I suppose I’m waiting for something amazing to happen”

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Short Play (No Title Yet)

Created: Jan 08, 2010

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