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Wednesday, May 14, 2014

Future Conversations Past

Setting: Stage looks like an office. A desk with an old fashioned typewriter sits on one side of the stage, there’s a door on the other side.


Characters
Glenn
Theresa


Glenn sits at the desk, looking at a yellow legal pad and typing away furiously at the typewriter. As he reads and types he says what he’s reading out loud.

Glenn – Theresa, whatcha up to? Glenn, working on an idea for a play. Theresa, since when? Glenn, I don’t know, maybe four…five years now. Theresa, how have I never heard anything about this? Glenn, ‘cause it ain’t finished yet. Theresa, what’s it gonna be about? Glenn, well, this ain’t the play, this the build-up. Theresa, you been working on a play for four or five years and you haven’t actually started the play?

Theresa walks in through the door at the side of the stage.

Glenn – Glenn, yup…

Theresa – Whatcha up to?

Glenn – Working on an idea for a play?

Theresa – Since when?

Glenn – I don’t know, maybe four…five years now.

Theresa – How have I never heard anything about this?

Glenn – ‘Cause it ain’t finished yet.

Theresa – What’s it gonna be about?

Glenn – Well, this ain’t the play, this the build-up.

Theresa – You been working on a play for four or five years, and you haven’t actually started the play?

Glenn – Yup. (Turns his attention back to the yellow legal pad and starts typing away again.) Theresa, wait, are you writing about us? Glenn, yup. Theresa, what about us? Was it something we done before? Glenn, this ain’t about what was or what is, but what it will be soon. Theresa, I don’t get it. Glenn, see, I found a way to kinda see what…

Theresa – Wait, are you writing about us?

Glenn – Yup.

Theresa – What about us? Was it something we done before?

Glenn – This ain’t about what was or what is, but what it will be soon.

Theresa – I don’t get it.

Glenn – See, I found a way to kinda see (starts typing again as he speaks) what’s gonna happen.

Continues typing as Theresa talks.

Theresa – So you think you writin’ ‘bout the future?

Glenn – I don’t think it, I know it. (Looks down at legal pad.) Theresa, but that’s impossible. Glenn, no it’s not, I been doin’ it.

Theresa – But that’s impossible.

Glenn – No it’s not, I been doin’ it. (Looks down at legal pad.) Theresa, wait, are you writin’ this conversation? Glenn, yup. Theresa, but that ain’t the future, that’s the now. Glenn, it was the future when I wrote it.

Theresa – Wait, are you writin’ this conversation?

Glenn – Yup.

Theresa – But that ain’t the future, that’s the now!

Glenn – It was the future when I wrote it. (Types while he’s talking.) I already done wrote this part, (stops typing and holds up legal pad for Theresa to see) on this pad. (Places pad back on desk and continues typing.) I’m just typin’ it up now, this conversation just happens to take place while I’m typin’. (Looks down at legal pad.) Theresa, you got to be out yo damn mind.

Theresa – You got to be out yo damn mind.

Glenn – (Typing away) Naw, I just figured shit out, that’s all. (Looking at legal pad.) Theresa, how’d you figure this…dammit will you stop that.

Theresa – How’d you figure this…dammit will you stop that!

Glenn – I can’t tell you that, if everyone knew how to do this then I ain’t gonna be able to sell my play. And I can’t stop, this has already been written. (Looks down at legal pad.) Theresa, if you ain’t gonna stop then I’mma just stop talkin’. Whatcha gonna do then?

Theresa – If you ain’t gonna stop then I’mma just stop talkin’. Whatcha gonna do then?

Glenn – Either, that would prove that I ain’t seein’ shit into the future, or I already wrote it with you walkin’ out. (Looks down at legal pad) Theresa…

Glenn and Theresa – So which is it?

Glenn – I ain’t gonna tell you that! If I told you, it might change how you act and what I done seen goes to shit. If I don’t, you act natural. Natural’s what I need. (Looks down at legal pad) Theresa…

Glenn and Theresa – I don’t wanna act natural if that means you know my every move before I make it. Goddammit, cut that shit out! I’m serious! You make me so damn mad sometimes! Why can’t you just live in the now like every other normal person?

Glenn – I am living in the now, and I already lived in the now. I lived in the now when I wrote this in the past when it was the future. Now I’m living it in the present while I type my notes up from the past when I saw it in the future. I ain’t just livin’ the present, I’m livin’ the past, present and the future. (Looks down at the legal pad) Glenn as Theresa, that ain’t right though. Glenn, why not? Glenn as Theresa, it just ain’t. Glenn, but the past informs the present which leads to the future. I can see all three clearly, so why not live them all? Glenn as Theresa, you’re not living any of them though, you just write the future down in the past, type it up in the present, and you don’t live any of it. Glenn, if I ain’t livin’ the present, then how am I present in this conversation? Theresa…

Theresa – You’re not present in the conversation…

Glenn and Theresa - …if you were, you wouldn’t have just had a conversation with yourself…

Theresa - …as me. You don’t really know what the conversation is about, you just know…

Glenn – Glenn as Theresa, …that it happens because you saw the conversation happen before. Theresa…

Theresa – But that doesn’t mean that you actually live any of it.

Glenn and Theresa – Your mind ain’t right.

Theresa – Are you gettin’ any of this?

Glenn – Glenn as Theresa, or do you think you got it because you already wrote it down? Glenn, of course, I got it. I wrote it didn’t I? Theresa…

Theresa – Boy, I’m about to come over there and slap you upside your damn head.

Glenn – (Describing and typing the actions as they happen) Theresa walks over to Glenn and raises her hand as if she’s about to bitchslap him from here to eternity. Glenn continues typing, seemingly unaware of what is about to occur, and unconcerned with his surroundings. As Theresa looks at him, hearing the descriptions of what is happening as they are happening, she puts down her hand and shakes her head. Theresa…

Theresa – I would try to knock some sense into ya, if I thought I could.

Glenn and Theresa – But you too far gone.

Theresa – I gotta get outta here…

Glenn – Glenn as Theresa, …before I do something you’re gonna regret. (Describing and typing the actions as they happen) Theresa walks out of the office shaking her head as she goes. Before she leaves the room she gives Glenn one last look, and shakes her head in pity as she walks out the door. Glenn sits at his desk typing away at his typewriter. Not only has Theresa left him, but so has the past. The present tries to keep him company, but Glenn really wants to make friends with the future. But in waiting for the future, he waits…alone.

Glenn stops typing and looks around the office, then at the audience.

End

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