October 17, 2020
Continued from Smiling, A New Day Dawns.
Act 1. Scene 1. The setting: A bookstore in a slightly seedy section of downtown where artists and poets meet to argue the meaning of life. A well lit university library.
Act 1. Scene 1. “Other People’s Words”
The setting: A ‘hole in the wall’ bookstore where some broken souls go to find pieces of their missing selves in other people’s words.
She: A plain but pretty young woman of about 20 years old wearing a thick gray oversized sweater (reminiscent of a cocoon) and a black fedora hat. She sits cross legged on the floor somewhere between the “Self-Help” and “Eastern Philosophy” aisle. On her lap is a selection of books from which she reads the tables of contents. While she minds her own business, at the same time she watches the comings and goings.
He: Also a plain, handsome and slightly melancholic young man; he enters from stage left wearing a dark trench coat.. He is quickly scanning the shelves looking for a particular book that he can’t seem to find. Rounding the corner, absorbed in his mission—he nearly trips over her.
He: (With surprise) “Oh hey, I didn’t see you there! I almost fell over you!”
She: (Looking up noticing the color of his blue/green eyes, she smiles) “Hi.”
He: (Awkwardly regaining his composure, looking down at her lap, pointing to the book on top) “What a strange coincidence. You have the book I’ve been looking for!”
Falling Down the Mountain: Yoga in the 21st Century by NZain.
She: (Without averting her eyes, hands him said book and for a brief moment—they touch.)
Her thoughts: (Inwardly) Something in him just touched something in me as I felt his fingers brush against mine. Something electrifying…or perhaps he just touched a nerve? I am curious about this stranger. He seems so familiar.
He: (Now gazing at her intensely) “Thank you. That’s very kind of you…seem so familiar to me. Have we met before?”
And then from the “Politics and Religion” aisle, several voices (two females and a male) could be heard shouting and making violent accusations.
He: (Turning in the direction of the shouting and then back to her) “Would you like get a cup of coffee? (Hand to his heart) My treat.”
She: (Nodding, leaving her books behind, she rises to meet his outstretched hand)
Together, she and the stranger, exit the bookstore. He instinctively puts a protective arm around her shoulder as they cross the busy street.
Act 1. Scene 2. “The Cafe Across the Street.”
The setting: A bustling cafe with large armchairs and an even larger pastry selection.
She: (Stepping up to the counter) “Cappuccino, please.”
He: “Two. And a slice of your dark chocolate salted caramel pie…two forks?” (turning towards her shrugging his shoulders with a boyish grin) “I have a sweet tooth.”
She: (Blushing) “Me too.”
Her thoughts: In this light his eyes appear gray…
They spy two vacant armchairs by the front window over-looking the busy street. As they begin to make their way, the stranger’s cell-phone rings. He nearly drops his cappuccino. She watches him intently. Is that a bead of sweat on his forehead? She surmises the caller must either be a woman or a bill collector.
He: (Putting his cappuccino down on the table and with a nervous smile) “Will you excuse me for just a moment? I need to take this call. (with a reassuring look) I’ll be right back.”
He moves to the far window and looking around, puts the phone to his ear and tucks into his trench coat collar.
She sinks into the oversized chair while a cafe server places an oversized slice of pie on the table.
Sever: (Attempting humor) “We call this the ‘Addict’s Crack’ pie. Enjoy!”
She glances up from under her fedora at the stranger. He sees her, nods and turns away. It’s then she notices, as he brushes his hand through his tousled hair, he is wearing a mood ring the same color as his hazel eyes.
Her thoughts: How odd and sweet. A mood ring. I should probably leave now, but…there’s just something about him I need to know more.
He: (Making a point to turn off his phone) “I’m sorry about that. My EX calling to let me know–”
She: “Is she pretty?”
He: (With a sigh of relief) “Before the relapse. Yes. She was very pretty, but meth is an ugly drug.”
She: “And it’s hard for you to let her go?”
He: “Incredible. You seem to understand me so well and I don’t even know your name! (nervous laughter) “It must be fate that brought you and I together…”
He continues to talk about this and that while she slowly and methodically moves a forkful of pie to her mouth.
He: “…so tell me about you. What’s your name?”
She: (WAKE UP! WAKE UP! WAKE UP!) “Mmm…this is really good pie.”
She awakes with a start. “Where am I?” Allowing her eyes a moment to adjust to the pale moonlight shining on her new surroundings, “I’ve been writing in my sleep again and my bladder is full. Now… (she looks around) where is the bathroom?”
Thank you for reading. Your thoughtful comments are always welcomed and appreciated.