[Quote by my playwriting teacher]
FREE-WRITE: PROMPT I, DRAFT I
[1 & 2 under the bridge. It’s raining.]
1: I’m under a bridge!
2: Yes, I know.
1: You’re under a bridge!
2: Yeah, I am.
1: We bridgin’!!!
[1 rubs a stick between his hands. Only one stick. He’s reminding himself of what it’s like to start a fire. He knows he is not actually starting one. He thinks the reminding/pretending is comforting. (He looks like a caveman.)]
[2 tries not to look at 1. She thinks that he believes that he is actually starting a fire. She can’t help but occasionally glance at him playing with the stick. It makes her angry—to see him doing something so stupid (where something = him fooling himself into thinking that he’s making a fire). She is so annoyed that she can’t help but keep glancing up at him. Her annoyance increases as her efforts to ignore him increase (and, of course, increasingly fail). Finally:]
2: THAT’S NOT GOING TO WORK.
1: Huh? [he looks up in genuine surprise/confusion.]
What’s not gonna work?
[3 & 4 on top of the bridge]
3: Oh George, look at the ducks!
[3 is wearing a sundress. A white one. It looks stupid on such a gray/foggy/rainy day. Why would she wear a sundress?]
4: [He looks far off, at the ducks. He raises his eyebrows.] Hmm.
3: [She is still watching the ducks. She holds his hand. She steps closer to him, so that their arms are also pressed against each other / intertwined.]
Hmm/ahh/ohh (ie. that sound that quaint feminine people make when watching something cute.)
[4 doesn’t seem to really be watching the ducks during all this.]
3: Don’t you like them? Aren’t they cute? George?
[4 pretends to have been watching them. He thinks it’s a little annoying that 3 would act like he hadn’t been watching them (even though he really hadn’t, and he knows that he hadn’t). He answers a little too quickly/curtly.]
4: Yeah, yeah they are.
[3 looks at 4’s face. She wonders for a tiny split second whether or not he had really been watching the ducks. She turns back to the ducks.]
3: They’re so delicate. And fluffy!
[She walks to the opposite side of the bridge, closer to the ducks. She starts acting romantic/feminine/sweet/loving. She thinks she seems really pretty when she’s admiring/appreciating/loving things.]
3: Just so beautiful.
[As she moves/sways, she thinks about how pretty her sundress looks as she’s moving/swaying. She tries to feel as much love/admiration/fascination with the ducks as possible; she wants to see how beautiful she can seem.]
3: Aw. I really…really just love them… So gentle… Harmless. They’re [she can’t find the word she wants. It’s a synonym for “harmless.” This is so annoying, because she knows that this word would be perfect. It would make her look/seem perfect.]
[5, gnarly homeless woman pushing a cart with all her belongings. She pushes the cart past/between 3 & 4.]
5: EXCUSE ME.
[She continues off.]
[5. Sitting. She is holding a stuffed white bird in her hands. It looks like a pigeon, but not gray, and a little smaller/prettier than a pigeon. She’s sort of playing with it.]
5: Doo-dee doo-dee doo-dee doo. Whoo-dee whoo-dee whoo-dee whoo. Whoo-dee pigeon
whoo-dee whoo. Whoo-dee pigeon take my cuff. Whoo-dee pigeon whoo-dee do? Whoo-dee pigeon take my cuff? WHERE MY CUFF GO PIGEON-DOO? WHERE MY CUFF GO WHOO-DEE-WHOO? GIVE MY CUFF BACK, PIGEON-DOO. GIVE MY CUFF BACK. GIVE IT BACK. GIVE IT BACK. YOU HAVE IT. YOU HAVE MY CUFF. HE COME AND TAKE MY CUFF. IT’S MY CUFF. THE PIGEON COME AND TAKE IT BACK. COME BACK. AH! PIGEON! I’M GONNA SQUASH YOU.
[3 & 4 walking down, off of bridge. They are passing by a tiny hill by one side of the bridge. They are on the level that under the bridge is on. The hill has shitty wet grass on it. 5’s stuffed pigeon is lying on the hill’s grass.]
[3 notices the pigeon. 4 does not.]
3: Ooh! What is this?
[4 glances over but does not bother to answer.]
[3 picks up the pigeon.]
I wonder if it’s real.
[4 is just looking around. He don’t give a fuck, but he’s not acting like it. He thinks that looking around, elsewhere, being a little alert to other stuff makes him seem content or not-annoyed or just distracted or just interested in something else.]
[3 is examining the pigeon. Emitting sounds of gushing. Not over-the-top sounds. She feels / thinks that she is beautiful as she looks at the pigeon and makes her eyes starry.]
3: Wow. Just imagine what sort of work went into creating this thing. The stuffing… Well, the careful craft… the [godammit she can’t think of the word again. But maybe there isn’t a word this time. (There was one before.) Maybe this time the only word that she knows really is “taxidermy” but that’s not pretty enough. She urgently, silently tries to imagine a beautiful/pretty/special/caring word for “taxidermy.” She fails, but doesn’t stop thinking/racking/punishing her brain for failing her fairytale.)
[1 & 2 under the bridge. The rain is just clearing up. 2 & 1 have come to silence. They’ve (or at least 2 has) succeeded in ignoring the other.]
[2 looks out from under the bridge. She sees 3 & 4, by the hill where the pigeon was laying. (This is occurring directly after, in time, from the previous scene.) She watches 3 twirling in her dress, acting pretty (3 is acting pretty to herself).]
[2 watches 3. She’s annoyed. (Is it the same sort of annoyance as before, the kind she had with 1?) 1 notices 2 watching something. He lumbers up next to her to see what she’s looking at.]
2: What? [She wants to know what he’s getting at. She thinks he’s thinking something judgemental about her—maybe about her watching the girl in the pretty dress. She thinks 1 is about to be annoying again.]
1: Ehhhh. [high-pitched. A sound of considering, maybe? (I can demonstrate the sound. My foreign dad does it a lot)]
[2 now realizes that he is laughing AT the girl in the dress—that he is judging HER, not 1.]
2: What? [Now, she’s asking out of curiosity/amusement (a sound of excitement). She thinks he’s about to say something funny, maybe mean.]
1: Mehhh… [again, a sound of considering.]
[1 shrugs his shoulders and turns away, beginning to walk back under the bridge.]
…fuckin’ dress in the rain!
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