WRITING LOG
Mar 2012

Life in the City

turkey

After many, many requests—one, at least—here, at long last, is my submission for the Dramaturkey (Worst Play of the Year) competition. I expect to win.


LIFE IN THE CITY
a Dramaturkey play submission by Adam Kelly Morton

Set: A backdrop painting of a city landscape. Music: Comfortably Numb by Pink Floyd.
A set of prison bars is lowered to the floor. A bearded man walks onstage, and looks longingly through the bars. He takes off his t-shirt and mimes slitting his wrists.

MAN
Noooooooooooooooooooooooooooo!
(He dies, then slowly rises and walks offstage.)

NARRATOR
It was an ordinary town in an ordinary city, where things went on as normal.

Enter HUSBAND AND WIFE, miming eating breakfast.

WIFE
So, did you sleep well dear?

HUSBAND
I did. And you?

WIFE
I slept very well. Though I had a dream.

HUSBAND
What was it about?

WIFE
In my dream I was walking along a long white corridor, and there were people on all sides of me, one of them was my grandfather, well it looked like him but it wasn’t really him. And then there was this blinding flash of light, and I woke up in a cold sweat.

HUSBAND
Honey, are you all right? Let me know if you have any more of these dreams.

WIFE
I will.

HUSBAND leaves.

WIFE (speaking to no one)
Ever since I had the abortion, I’ve felt a terrible loss. My sense of self has changed, and now, I’m not the woman I used to be. Now, everything has changed.

WIFE exits, enter SON, who was the man in the first scene, now with no beard. He is smoking a cigarette. Music plays: Comfortably Numb. A screen is lowered in.

SON (to audience)
You think I wanted to be a killer? No. It’s something that is inside you, it bubbles up from deep inside you… and then… it explodes. Now, I don’t feel anything. I’m numb inside. There’s this song by Pink Floyd. It’s called Comfortably Numb. And that’s exactly how I feel. Comfortably numb.
(A film is projected on the screen. Scenes of a boy running away from the camera.)
My father was cruel to me as a boy. He used to beat me for the smallest of trivialities. I had no friends. Who needs friends? I am alone. Like a lone wolf. I’m not angry anymore like I used to be. No. Now I’m like that Pink Floyd song. Just comfortably numb.

He exits. Enter GIRL, miming putting on makeup in a mirror facing stage left

GIRL
You’re going to be beautiful. All of the boys are going to wish they could be with you. Food is the enemy. It tries to get inside you. But you can’t let it win. If it does, just one trip to the washroom. Cleansing. I am clean inside. Inside and out. And all the boys will love you. I’m not starving myself. I’M NOT STARVING MYSELF!!!

Enter WIFE. Her and the girl do an interpretive dance to Sarah McLachlan’s “I Will Remember You”. They exit. Stage hands bring on large desk with telephone.

NARRATOR
Yes, it was an ordinary day in an ordinary city. Until things start to come… undone.

Sound of telephone ringing. Enter HUSBAND who picks up telephone.

HUSBAND
Hello HZW Enterprises how can I help you? Oh, hi Gerry, yes I’m at work. What’s that? You think the client might foreclose? Gerry we made a deal with him he- oh, I see. He’s going with the competition. All right. I’ll talk to you later.

He exits. Desk is turned and telephone removed. Desk is now a bed. Enter GIRL and SON. They are miming making out passionately. A television is brought onstage.

GIRL
No, don’t Adam. I want my first time to be special. And you know I love you.

SON
Ok, cool. Respect, yo.

GIRL
Respect.

SON
Hey you want to kick back and watch some tube instead?
(He points at the television.)

GIRL
Yes. (
They sit on the floor and he mimes changing the channels. We hear a news report.)

NEWS
And finally, all citizens of the town are being asked to beware of the deranged killer who escaped from the maximum security prison just outside of town. Very little is known about the killer, but he is considered armed and extremely dangerous. (
He turns it off.)

GIRL
Hey, why did you turn that off. I was watching that.
(She points at the television.)

SON
Because, you can’t believe everything you hear in the news, yo. Hey, Should we go in the kitchen and make some popcorn, yo?

GIRL
Cool.

Girl walks off. Son watches her go… ominously. Looks back at the Tv. He throws the remote control away and exits after her. Blackout. Lights up. WIFE enters, now setting the table/desk with dinner items. She hums to herself. Enter HUSBAND, drunk.

WIFE
Hello Honey, how was your day at work?

HUSBAND
Harrgaagrar blaggga barg barg. Bad day. Lost a contract. Hurrumph.

WIFE
Oh my God, you’re drunk.

HUSBAND
I’m fine now. Listen, I have to talk to you about this, because all the way home it was just burning up inside me. I guess I shouldn’t have driven home. That was dangerous.

WIFE
You should never drink and drive. Now what is it?

HUSBAND
Please sit down.
(She sits down. He kneels in front of her.)Now you know I love you, and I’ll do anything to make sure you and Adam, our son, are taken care of. But, I’m afraid we might have a bit of hardship ahead.

WIFE
Honey, you know I’ll stand by you, through thick and thin. I love you.

HUSBAND
As long as I know that, everything is going to be okay. Hey, where’s Adam?

WIFE
He went over to Suzy’s house.

HUSBAND
Come on, let’s find some of his old pictures of when he was a baby.

WIFE
He is such a good boy.

Dark music plays, like from “Welcome to the Machine” by Pink Floyd. They exit.

NARRATOR
But things aren’t always what they seem to be… on the surface.

Enter SON and GIRL miming eating popcorn. The girl now carries a live pet ferret.

GIRL
Yo dawg, this is the best popcorn I ever had.

SON
Do you really think so? My mother taught me how to make it. I love her very deeply.

GIRL
Hey, why are you looking at me like that?

SON
I’m not. Don’t criticize me. Now put down Slinky.

GIRL
Ok. (
She places the ferret down.) Give me a kiss.

SON
FUCK your kiss! (Comfortably Numb plays.)

GIRL
Hey, Adam, what’s happening to you?

SON
I’m never good enough for you. For my father. I’m not going to take it anymore!
(He flips over the table sending all the plates and dishes crashing.)

GIRL
What are you doing? Those were my mom’s precious China collection.

SON
I’m sick of all this. What’s this system we live in? Well, the system is fucked. Like Shakespeare said: “To be or not to be, that is the question.” And now someone has to pay.
(He moves towards her to kill her as Sarah McLachlan’s “Possession” is played.)

GIRL
No! NO! NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!
(They do an interpretive dance, ending with the Son jumping on her and strangling her. She dies quickly and painlessly. He looks around, and starts cleaning up the plates. In slow motion he looks up and sees the audience. Lights flash. Police sirens.)

NARRATOR (as police)
You are under arrest. Put your hands up. You have the right to remain silent…

SON breaks down crying. Blackout. Stage hands clean up stage and place telephone on floor. Enter HUSBAND AND WIFE on knees looking through picture book.

HUSBAND
And there’s one of him laughing.

WIFE
He was always laughing as a baby. Never cried once.

HUSBAND
You’re right. He never cries. I’m so proud of our son. I’ll get it.
(The telephone rings)
Hello? This is Mr. Cooper. No I haven’t been watching the news, why what the Hell is going on? What? Our son is what? Oh my god! (He drops the telephone)

WIFE
What? What is it, Neil?

HUSBAND
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

NARRATOR
Yes it was an ordinary town with ordinary people. But even in a town like this, you never know when an ordinary day might take a turn… for the worst.

(Blackout. Lights up. Guitar solo from Comfortably Numb plays. Curtain call: Husband and wife run out: he bows, she curtsies. The girl runs out and waves to the audience. The stage hands come out and bow. Now, all together, they form two clapping sides as ADAM runs down the middle and takes a huge bow. Now they all bow together. Then ADAM bows alone one last time, with the rest of the cast clapping behind him. They all run off. Repeat for the encores.)

FIN


© Adam Kelly Morton
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Freelance


Here’s a little poem about career choices—written a few years ago…

freelance


Freelance

at age thirty-seven
i now know people in
 
Law
Medicine
Finance
Architecture
Dentistry
Trade
Upper Management
Engineering
Tenure-Track Education
Science
Office Work
Pharmaceuticals
Unionized Labour
Business
Specialized Trade
Financial Planning
Sales
and Service
 
and whenever i tell them i am a freelance
 
actor
writer
teacher
director
producer
screenwriter
playwright
consultant
creator
coach
artist
 
They always ask the same thing:
How do you make any money doing that?
 
then i walk in the rain on a monday mid-morning
and i close the pub on a tuesday night
and on friday and saturday when everyone’s out and about
i stay home in my little apartment and i
write  

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