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 EXCERPT FROM

EVEN

A Full-Length Play

By Stephen Bittrich

CONTACT ME FOR A FULL COPY. 1ST SCENE ONLY.

WARNING - ADULT CONTENT & LANGUAGE.
 

  459 Columbus Avenue, #240
New York, NY 10024
Tel: (212) 579-3015
E-mail:
SBittrich@aol.com

 

Copyright © 2005,
by Stephen Bittrich
(Draft: November, 2006)

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                                    "EVEN"

                                   By Stephen Bittrich

                                   Act I
                                   Scene 1

            SETTING:

                                   A beat down motel room in Arizona off
                                   highway 66.  Late in the afternoon. 
                                   The present.

            AT RISE:

                                   DAISY, a pretty, coltish 17 year old,
                                   sometimes precocious, sometimes
                                   immature, knocks at the screen door. 
                                   (Yes, these motel rooms have screen
                                   doors.)  Like so many teenagers, she
                                   dresses like a total slut.  After a
                                   moment, JOHNNY, 40ish, fond of his
                                   drink and life weary, six foot three
                                   and about 250 pounds of him, wearing an
                                   open robe, loose shorts, and slippers,
                                   meanders to the door tinkling the
                                   remaining ice cubes of a downed scotch.

                                   JOHNNY
            Yeah?

                                   DAISY
            Hi.
                          (JOHNNY takes her in for a long
                           moment)

                                   JOHNNY
            Hi.
                          (HE crunches some ice from his
                           glass)

                                   DAISY
            Hi.  Um, I was just...I brought you some cookies.  Butter
            cookies, right?  I saw you buy them the other day at the
            supermarket.

                                   JOHNNY
                          (a grunt)
            Mm.

                                   DAISY
            And--and some scotch too.  A bottle of Johnny Walker Black,
            right?  They're gifts.

                                   JOHNNY
            Okay.  
                          (beat)
            Do I know you?

                                   DAISY
            No, no, well...I mean, we "met" at the Piggly Wiggly...
            briefly.  Not really met, but you--you like looked at me.

                                   JOHNNY
            Mmm.  Looked at you.

                                   DAISY
            Yeah, in a way which was to say, you know, "What's up?  Like
            to know you better."

                                   JOHNNY
            I said all that.

                                   DAISY
            Yeah...
                          (beat)
            ...you don't remember me?
                          (JOHNNY takes another
                           uncomfortable pause

                                   JOHNNY
            Pepperidge Farm?

                                   DAISY
            What?  Oh, yeah.  Yeah, Pepperidge Farm butter cookies with
            the little chess figures on them.

                                   JOHNNY
            They have a slight...glaze...which is nice.

                                   DAISY
            Really I never ate one in my life.

                                   JOHNNY
            They're tasty.
                          (beat)
            Did you wanna come in?

                                   DAISY
            Yes.
                          (HE opens the screen door, and
                           SHE scoots sideways past him
                           into the room)

                                   JOHNNY
                          (not sorry)
            Sorry about the mess.  Wasn't expecting company.
                          (And how.  The place, a small
                           trashy hotel room with two
                           single beds, an awesome
                           watercolor painting of the Bob
                           Ross variety with plenty of
                           "happy little trees and
                           clouds," once cheerful cheap
                           flaking wallpaper, and a
                           bedroom set from the 70's,
                           looks like it hasn't been
                           cleaned since the 70's)

                                   DAISY
            That's all right.  When people just drop by unannounced, they
            can't exactly expect, um, Martha Stewart.  Right?

                                   JOHNNY
            Mm hm.

                                   DAISY
            I always felt certain types of cleaning were, like,
            completely dumb anyway.  Making the bed?  Whatever, right? 
            You're gonna sleep in it in like fourteen hours anyway.  Does
            it really fuck with your Feng Shui or whatever that bad to
            outweigh how pissed off you feel about making it in the first
            place?  And ironing.  We can send robots to Mars.  Hello? 
            All irons should be shipped off to the museum of pointless
            appliances.  Right...?
                          (beat)
            I'm talking like a geek.  Here.  Here's the scotch and the,
            um, Pepperidge Farm cookies.
                          (SHE hands him the Piggly
                           Wiggly bag)

                                   JOHNNY
            Thanks.  You want some?

                                   DAISY
            No.  No, thanks.

                                   JOHNNY
            Club soda?  Orange juice?

                                   DAISY
            No, thanks.

                                   JOHNNY
            Might have some vodka.

                                   DAISY
            Nope.  Well, maybe just some water if you've got it.

                                   JOHNNY
            Think I might.
                          (DAISY clears some junk off of
                           a chair and sits down while
                           JOHNNY goes into the bathroom. 
                           SHE sits for a moment taking
                           in the scene, a little
                           skittish.  HE returns shortly
                           with a glass of water in a
                           motel glass)

                                   JOHNNY (cont'd)
            Arizona's finest--fresh from the tap.

                                   DAISY
            Thanks.

                                   JOHNNY
            Scuse me while I put on a shirt.

                                   DAISY
            Okay.
                          (JOHNNY picks up a couple of
                           shirts from the bed, smells
                           the pits, until HE decides on
                           a wrinkly Hawaiian number)

                                   JOHNNY
                          (unapologetically)
            Laundry day tomorrow.

                                   DAISY
            Yeah.
                          (HE sits on the bed, opens up
                           the fresh bottle of scotch and
                           pours himself one.  Leans back
                           comfortably, stretching
                           himself out.  HE holds up his
                           motel glass--)

                                   JOHNNY
            Here's to--good timing.

                                   DAISY
            Oh, yeah.  Cheers.
                          (SHE lifts her water and
                           teeters it from side to side,
                           returning the salute)

                                   JOHNNY
            Mmm hmm.  So.  What's your name?

                                   DAISY
            What?  Oh...Nikki.
                          (pause)

                                   JOHNNY
            You know my name?

                                   DAISY
            Yes.

                                   JOHNNY
            So what's the story, Nikki?  You a fan?  You come to catch a
            peak?

                                   DAISY
            No.

                                   JOHNNY
            No?  You a freak show enthusiast?

                                   DAISY
            I mean, I know who you are, but I didn't come here to like
            get your autograph or anything.

                                   JOHNNY
            I usually get the "or anything" girls.

                                   DAISY
            Really?  So girls come here all the time and shit?

                                   JOHNNY
            Not so much lately.  But it happens.
                          (beat)
            I'm incognito these days.

                                   DAISY
            Yeah, for real.  I figured.  This place is like nowhere.  Why
            else would anyone live here unless they were in hiding?

                                   JOHNNY
            So you don't live here?

                                   DAISY
            No.  No, I'm just passing through.

                                   JOHNNY
            Just passing through.  That right.

                                   DAISY
            Yep.

                                   JOHNNY
            So'd you wanna chat?  That what we're doin'?

                                   DAISY
            If you want.

                                   JOHNNY
            Sure.  How old are you?

                                   DAISY
            Um, eighteen.

                                   JOHNNY
            When was your birthday?

                                   DAISY
                          (quickly)
            June 5th, 1988.

                                   JOHNNY
            Damn.  Right on the tip of the tongue.  So you just turned
            eighteen then.

                                   DAISY
            Yep.

                                   JOHNNY
            What's your sign?

                                   DAISY
            Oh...I don't believe in that shit.

                                   JOHNNY
            You don't know your sign?

                                   DAISY
            Nope.  Like Cancer or something?

                                   JOHNNY
            Mmm hmm.
                          (beat)
            So you don't wanna see it?

                                   DAISY
            What?  See what?

                                   JOHNNY
            See what the "or anything" girls come here to see.

                                   DAISY
            No!  No.

                                   JOHNNY
            That's not why you came?

                                   DAISY
            I just wanted to--to talk.

                                   JOHNNY
            Cool.  So talk.
                          (Silence.  SHE gets up and
                           looks around the room, picking
                           up things, looking at all his
                           crap)

                                   DAISY
            So you like live here now?

                                   JOHNNY
            Yep.

                                   DAISY
            Must be really different living here...than LA, I mean. 
            Really different.

                                   JOHNNY
            Mmm hmm.

                                   DAISY
            How do you get food?  No kitchen.  Do you always eat, what,
            take-out?  Or what?
                          (HE points to a box underneath
                           some clothes.  The refrigera
                           tor)

                                   JOHNNY
            I have a 'frigerator.  I have a hot plate.  You can do a lot
            with a hot plate.  Eggs, soup, and I can make a pretty mean
            chili on a hot plate.  The motel bar makes pretty good eats. 
            Sometimes take out...but it pains me to tip the delivery guy. 
            Different at a bar.  Don't mind tipping a good bartender.

                                   DAISY
            Must be lonely out here.

                                   JOHNNY
            Sometimes.  People that run the motel are nice.

                                   DAISY
            I mean, is this place even a town?  Does it have a name?

                                   JOHNNY
            No.  No name.  Just a speck of dust off the highway. 
                          (beat)
            Next question.

                                   DAISY
            Oh, I'm not questioning you.

                                   JOHNNY
            Really?  Seemed a little like a sort of an interview.

                                   DAISY
            No.

                                   JOHNNY
            No?  You don't work for a magazine?

                                   DAISY
            No.

                                   JOHNNY
            You sure?

                                   DAISY
            Yes.

                                   JOHNNY
            I won't be mad.
                          (SHE shrugs)

                                   JOHNNY (cont'd)
            So who are you passing through with?

                                   DAISY
            What?

                                   JOHNNY
            Who are you traveling with?

                                   DAISY
            By myself.

                                   JOHNNY
            Just you.  On your way...?

                                   DAISY
            I dunno.  Maybe Texas.  Maybe even New Orleans.  See what's
            left.  Passing through...destination unknown.

                                   JOHNNY
            Got here yesterday.

                                   DAISY
            Yep.

                                   JOHNNY
            Where'd you sleep?

                                   DAISY
            My car.  Hotel Volkswagon.

                                   JOHNNY
            Wow.

                                   DAISY
            Yeah.

                                   JOHNNY 
            So lemme get this straight.  You're just passing on through
            all by your lonesome.  You stopped by chance...yesterday...at
            the Piggly Wiggly, which is by the way eight miles off the
            main highway, and you just accidentally ran into me.  Cause I
            smiled at you, some shit, you kindly purchased me a couple of
            my main staples, thank you kindly, one with a fake id I'm
            assuming.  Your name is Nikki.  Nikki.  That's your name, you
            say.  And your birthday is June 5th, making you, by the way,
            a Gemini, not a Cancer.  Is that the story?

                                   DAISY
            It's not a story.

                                   JOHNNY
            And you just happened to track down the shitty flea bit motel
            where I live.

                                   DAISY
            Oh, I asked this guy, Mike, at the meat section where you
            lived.  He told me.

                                   JOHNNY
            Mike at the meat section.

                                   DAISY
            Yep.

                                   JOHNNY
            That's some fascinating bullshit.

                                   DAISY
                          (a little edgy suddenly)
            Do you have like trust issues?  Did you screw over some
            people in your past or something?  Is that why you're hiding
            out?
                          (HE rises from the bed, takes a
                           step toward her)

                                   JOHNNY
            Not sure I wanna chat any more, Nikki.  So why don't you get
            to the point, or pass on through?
                          (SHE softens again, picks up a
                           worn photo from the dresser)

                                   DAISY 
            Beautiful girl.  Did you know her?

                                   JOHNNY
            Did I know her?

                                   DAISY
            Yeah.

                                   JOHNNY
            Why else would I have a picture of her...her...on my bureau
            if I didn't know her.

                                   DAISY
            I dunno.

                                   JOHNNY
            What makes you think I don't still know her?

                                   DAISY
            Looks like an old picture.  Like from the 80's or something.

                                   JOHNNY
            Mmm hmm.  Yeah, it's a fuckin' antique.

                                   DAISY
            She's pretty.  Who was she?

                                   JOHNNY
            Somebody I knew...in the 80's.

                                   DAISY
            Where is she now?

                                   JOHNNY
            What, you want it outta my lips?
                          (pause)

                                   DAISY
            Y-Yes.

                                   JOHNNY
            Okay, Nikki, Nikki.  She's wearin' a pair of angel wings
            'bout now.
                          (DAISY skits away from the
                           dresser, away from him, and
                           stands in the bathroom
                           doorway)

                                   DAISY
            That's poetic.  How you put it.  Sounds like you care.

                                   JOHNNY
            I don't care about much...Nikki...but I did care about her.

                                   DAISY
            Really?

                                   JOHNNY
            That's the truth.  Cross my heart...
                          (beat)
            ...and hope ta...hope ta die.
                          (HE crosses back to the bed,
                           loosing his balance and
                           bracing himself for a moment
                           on the bed on the way.  HE
                           pours himself another scotch)

                                   DAISY
            You okay?

                                   JOHNNY
            Yeah...yeah...and you ain't no damn Gemini.

                                   DAISY
            What, like you know about signs and shit?

                                   JOHNNY
            As a matter of fact....

                                   DAISY
            So if I don't fit the profile, the Gemini profile...what is
            the Gemini profile?  Is it like schizo or something?  Dual
            personality.  They're twins right?  Am I not schizo enough?

                                   JOHNNY
            Gemini's are communicative, charming, observant, they like
            lively conversation...

                                   DAISY
            Sounds just like me.  Aren't I charming and communicative
            enough?

                                   JOHNNY
            At worst, they're fickle, crafty, talk to much.  And if I
            believed the bullshit you were peddling, then I might could
            buy that you were a Gemini.

                                   DAISY
            So what sign am I then...according to you?

                                   JOHNNY
            I dunno.  But no damn Gemini.
                          (beat)
            Maybe a Leo.

                                   DAISY
            Yeah, why's that?  

                                   JOHNNY
            I got a feelin' you like the limelight.

                                   DAISY
            Yeah?  Kinda like you.

                                   JOHNNY
            Oh, I don't like the limelight.  Can't you see?  I like to
            lay low.  

                                   DAISY
            Yeah, but you used to like the limelight.  You used to be,
            like, one of those people that wants everybody to look at
            them...what's that, like a, a narcissist or something...an
            exhibitionist.

                                   JOHNNY
            Mmm.  So you know who I am...

                                   DAISY 
            Yeah.

                                   JOHNNY
            And nobody sent you here.

                                   DAISY
            No.

                                   JOHNNY
            I could get upset if I find out later somebody sent you.

                                   DAISY
            Nobody sent me.

                                   JOHNNY
            So which of my movies did you see?

                                   DAISY
            I dunno.  The titles are all kinda dumb.

                                   JOHNNY
            Mmm hmm.

                                   DAISY
            You look a lot different than your movies.

                                   JOHNNY
            That's because I'm fat now.  Incognito, remember?  It's all a
            parta my plan.

                                   DAISY
            You're not fat.

                                   JOHNNY
            Nice of you to say.

                                   DAISY
            I've seen fatter.

                                   JOHNNY
            Hoo ha!  She giveth, then she taketh away.

                                   DAISY
            How many movies did you do?

                                   JOHNNY
            A lot.

                                   DAISY
            I mean, do you even remember them all?  Johnny Payload...
            something...Johnny Payload, All for the Ladies.  I think that
            was it.  That's the one I saw.  
                          (beat)
            She was in it.
                          (pointing to the picture on the
                           dresser)
            Her.

                                   JOHNNY
            Yeah, I remember that one.  That was the first one she did.

     END OF EXCERPT.

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