Thursday, January 14, 2010

City of Lost Socks






So, I'm going out of town for a couple days. I'm not sure if I'll have internet access. So, I'm going to post a megalong scene instead. It's more of a short play really, made up of a prologue, three scenes and a few interludes. Some of you might recognize it from Java Drama XIV. I thought I had a video of it to tack on, but I'm afraid it's on my old computer.




Enjoy!
City of Lost Socks
Originally starring:
ERIC - Max Wilcox
JULIA - Clare Snodgrass
Directed by Joey Guthman
Premiered at Java Drama XIV, May 2008


Prologue
ERIC NARRATOR stands on the stairwells, alone illuminated.
ERIC NARRATOR
Once upon a time, there was a boy and a girl who went trick or treating together every year. The boy was a bookworm, who would often retreat to the world of Treasure Island and Robinson Crusoe when he wanted adventure. The girl was a prodigy chess player, known for her brave, brilliant, adventurous moves on the board ad off, and her unprecedented love for sophisticated diction and shoes. I was that boy, and Julia was that girl.
Scene 1
JULIA and ERIC stand on the brink of pre-adolescent horror. They are dressed in absolutely adorable Halloween costumes, and each carry a large haul of candy.
JULIA
Eric. Why don’t you go first?
ERIC
Why me?
JULIA
Because you're three inches taller and a whole month older, that's why.
ERIC
That doesn’t seem like a good reason to me.
JULIA
It’s a very good reason.
ERIC
It could bite. Or jump. Or eat me. It could eat me Julia-
JULIA
You coward! You freaking coward! Gosh!
Honestly, we're a full eight years old, we should be able to do this.
ERIC
Then why don’t you go first?
JULIA
Well I'm eight years and six months and you're eight years and seven months and you're a boy so you need to go first.
ERIC
Oh Julia-
JULIA
Don’t you Oh Julia me Eric Harper.
Okay, we go by this house every day. Tonight should be no different.
ERIC
Tonight is Halloween. That makes it bigger and scarier.
JULIA
Only slightly. Oh god. I'll give you a Tootsie Roll if you go first?
ERIC
A Tootsie Roll for my life? No thanks.
JULIA
Well I think that's a very fine offer and I won't go any higher so you can just take it or leave it.
ERIC
I think I’ll leave it.
JULIA
Wow, you’re a real knight in shining armor.
ERIC
Why do I have to go first again?
JULIA
I told you, it's always oldest to youngest. Plus, you have a smaller vocabulary and are therefore more expendable.
ERIC
I am not risking my life over vocabalary.
JULIA
Chicken.
ERIC
I don’t see you going!
JULIA
(beat)
So?
ERIC
You are the pot calling the kettle black.
JULIA
Fine! I’ll go!
(She steps forward, then back.)
Or not.
ERIC
Chicken.
JULIA
Please Eric, please? I have so much to offer the world.
ERIC
(crowing)
Brawk! Brawk!
JULIA
Fine! Fine Eric, fine! Must I always be the brave one?
(She walks forward and knocks)
Trick or treat!
ERIC NARRATOR
It was then that I knew I was in love with Julia. True she had tried to feed me to a monstrous house, but then she had the pluck and courage to brave it herself. Of course, being a boy I didn’t admit it to her. Ever. Years went by and we parted ways. She hung out with other girls just like her – bright, bubbly, and fond of shoes. I ate lunch with the D&D club. Two completely different stratospheres. But every year we’d still go trick or treating with each other. We had an interesting array of costumes, from Superman and Robin to Homicidal Martha Stewart and Menacing Donald Trump to dog trainer, complete with a dog! And one year, Julia decided to be a heartbreaker.
SCENE 2
JULIA
Hey Eric, I can’t do Halloween with you this year.
ERIC
Why not? We do Halloween every year.
JULIA
I kinda have a date.
ERIC
…really.
JULIA
Yeah.
ERIC
Who?
JULIA
Caspar Jones.
ERIC NARRATOR
Caspar Jones is what we guys refer to as “A dog”: a guy that goes through girls like they were rawhide bones, not really caring how many hearts he broke in the process. I’d often had to sit through long locker-room monologues where he described in explicit details his… exploits.
ERIC
Wow you’re stupid.
JULIA
Pardon?
ERIC
Out of the thousand guys at our high school, you had to choose him?
JULIA
Every time I talk to Caspar I get these goosebumps running up and down my arms… That has to mean something.
ERIC
It means the block of ice where his heart should be lowers the temperature of the surrounding room.
JULIA
Excuse me.
ERIC
You shouldn’t be with him.
JULIA
Why not?
ERIC
He’s too short.
JULIA
Too short.
ERIC
You can practically look him in the eye. You ought to go out with someone who is at least a whole head
JULIA
Eric…
ERIC
He’s no good.
JULIA
Can’t you trust my judgment?
ERIC
No.
JULIA swivels and exits
ERIC NARRATOR
She stopped speaking to me. Julia had a lot of pride and to even suggest that anything she said was wrong was basically friendship suicide. Needless to say, she went on ahead and agreed to sell her soul to the charming scumbag. I suppose he saw some of the worth in her, because come next Halloween, they were still together and she was still not talking to me. We didn’t make plans and I prepared for a lonely Halloween all by myself.
SCENE 3
(ERIC’s house. ERIC sits on the couch, reading. There is a knock at the door. He sighs, then gets up and cautiously opens the door, peeking through the crack. A look of recognition crosses his face, and he opens the door all the way to reveal JULIA standing there, purse over shoulders and lacking shoes.)
ERIC
Hey.
JULIA
Hi. Um, can I come in?
ERIC
Oh, yeah. Come on in.
JULIA
(Walking in awkwardly)
You need to be reminded to invite a lady in my God Eric, where are your manners?
ERIC
Maybe the same place as your shoes.
JULIA
Oh. Right.
She sits on the couch. Beat.
ERIC
Where are you shoes?
JULIA
In the City of Lost Socks.
ERIC
I don’t mean to be inhospitable--
JULIA
Then don’t.
ERIC
--But what the hell are you doing here?
JULIA
Just passing through the neighborhood.
ERIC
Searching for your shoes?
JULIA
Yes, we have established that I am not wearing shoes, so can we just grow up and drop the subject?
ERIC
Fine, fine.
(He sits down next to her. She averts his gaze)
I just happen to find it highly improbable that you would just be passing though this neighborhood at this hour sans shoes with no justification. There’re no stores, no malls...
JULIA
So the only reason I would be in any neighborhood would be to shop? Wow, I didn’t realize you held me in such high regard.
(quickly)
I’m sorry, that was completely uncalled for. PMS, that’s all.
(beat)
Is your mom asleep already? I thought she was even more of a night owl than I.
ERIC
She’s on a business trip.
JULIA
I see. Dammit.
ERIC
What?
JULIA
Well, I was going to ask if I could spend the night, but with your mom out and us all alone that would undoubtedly propagate all sorts of nasty slander.
ERIC
Just passing through and decided...
JULIA
You caught me. I needed to get out of the house. Don’t you ever have days like that?
ERIC
Why didn’t you go to Caspar’s?
JULIA
Caspar and I broke up.
ERIC
Really? Why?
JULIA
I could just dish all night about the scandal but I ought to find a place to spend the night.
ERIC
You can spend the night here if you want.
JULIA
Thanks.
She looks him in the eye and smiles. He peers over.
ERIC
Were you crying?
(she hesitates, then nods apologetically)
Your eyeliners running a bit. Here, I got it.
(he licks his thumb and wipes)
JULIA
Ew, just rub your spit all over me.
ERIC
Sorry. There, all better.
JULIA
Thanks.
ERIC
You shouldn’t let Caspar get to you like that. He’s an egotistical jerk who doesn’t deserve to breath.
JULIA
Honey, you’re preaching to the choir. I dumped him.
ERIC
Always knew you had a brain.
JULIA
There existed some doubt in your mind?
The PHONE rings. ERIC stands up to get it.
ERIC
(answering)
Hello? Oh hi Carol...
(JULIA mouths “Don’t tell”)
No, my mom’s not here... yeah, San Francisco, I think. No, I haven’t heard from Julia, why? ... Did you try her cell? ... Oh, I see.... Well, if I hear from her, I’ll be sure to tell her you were looking for her.
(hangs up)
JULIA
Thanks. And thank you for letting me stay.
ERIC
No problem.
(Awkward silence)
JULIA
I feel like dancing.
ERIC
What?
JULIA
I feel like dancing.
ERIC
What would you like to listen to?
JULIA
Anything is fine. Actually, I’d like a waltz. I ought to learn to ballroom dance and I think now would be the perfect opportunity.
ERIC
I don’t think we own any ballroom music.
JULIA
Well then, we’ll just have to do without. We’ll go by the rhythm of our souls.
ERIC
Aren’t we being avant garde.
JULIA
It does sound rather ridiculous. But I think it’d be fun.
(She stands up)
Now grab my waist and I’ll grab your shoulder. And we have to hold hands
ERIC
Alrighty then.
JULIA
(Dancing)
One two three. One two three. Bum, bumbum.. Bum bumbum…
She begins to hum. A drum beat under this next bit is nice.
ERIC
Are you all right?
JULIA
Of course I’m all right, never been better. I’m dancing.
ERIC
You appear in the middle of the night, you don’t have shoes, you ask to spend the night, you don’t want your mother to know you’re here and now we’re ballroom dancing.
JULIA
You know, your mother wanted us to take cotillion together so that someday we’d be a perfect little lady and gentleman? My mom told me so. My friend had told me stories of cotillion so I immediately balked. Oh, the horrors of dancing with a boy!
ERIC
Julia, I know something’s wrong.
JULIA spirals away from him
JULIA
Let’s play chess.
ERIC
Julia, you’re just distracting...
JULIA
No I’m not. Dancing has cleared my head and I’d like to play chess. That’s what I’m good at, right? Child prodigy! Chess and shopping. And school. And being charming. And using elaborate diction. And completing my schoolwork with absolute perfection. And knowing what to wear and what to do and where to go and how to live and by god, I have it all planned out don’t I? Like one big life-sized chess game.
ERIC
Shh shh, you’re all right here...
JULIA
Of course I’m all right! How could anything be wrong? Everything is perfectly in order. My mascara’s in the side pocket next to the lipstick case, which is holding my tinted chapstick, and my glasses cleaner is in its little case just like it ought to be and my wallet is perfectly in order. My ID is in the slot, the gift cards are arranged in alphabetical order and the money chronologically. And my library card... oh dear Lord, where did I put my library card?
ERIC
Julia, Julia calm down.
JULIA
I need to know where it is! I have a fine for $5.25 and if I don’t have my card I can’t pay the fee and restore my perfect record!
ERIC
Julia...
JULIA
I need it!
ERIC
Julia, you’re going into hysterics…
JULIA
You don’t understand!
ERIC
Julia, you need to...
JULIA
He attacked me.
ERIC
Who?
JULIA
Caspar! I was at his house and we supposed to go to this party, but he had to do some stupid English paper first, and he just couldn’t do it. I tried to help, but whenever I threw out suggestions he rebukes them, no, they’re stupid, they’re gay, I can’t write that. Then he tells me to write it for him. No, I say, it’s your assignment; I’m not doing it for you. Then he accuses me of not helping him at all when all I’m trying to do is just that. And of course that leeways into the tried and true, You don’t love me Julia tantrum. You don’t love me, I’m the worst thing that’s ever happened to you, it’s just because I’m stupid, isn’t it? And this just escalates and escalates until next thing I know, we were working at the kitchen counter and he turns around and pulls this knife out of the knifeblock, and I didn’t understand at all, I... I just grabbed my purse and ran. I couldn’t go home, my parents love Caspar, they’d call it a Halloween joke… I had to go somewhere. Somewhere far far away. Wasn’t really thinking where I was going. Just kinda went.
ERICx
Never thought Caspar would do something that extreme...
JULIA
Yeah well, he would and he did.
She sobs. He sits down next to her and gives her a big hug, pulling her close.
ERIC
Shh shh, you’re here now. You’re safe here. I’ll keep you safe, don’t worry.
JULIA
Thank you Eric.
He gently kisses the top of her head.
ERIC NARRATOR
Back when we were eight years old, when Julia let herself be brave, I found out that I loved her. Eight years later, when she let me be brave, I found out that she loved me too.

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