Archive for the 'Fantasies' Category

A Snippet

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

An exercise from “The Playwright’s Handbook”

TYRONE
I know I’ve left it around here somewhere; it can’t have gone far. Mary! Have you seen that book of mine lying about?

MARY
I’m sorry, dear…?

TYRONE
My book. You know the one, The Kama Sutra in Your Golden Years: A How-To Guide. I know it’s around here somewhere. I was looking through it just a few days ago sitting here on the chesterfield and put it down. It can’t have gone far. I was hoping to try out some of the self-study exercises here on the rug in front of the fire. I’ve thinking about that scene in Women in Love and it just came to me.

MARY
Well I’m afraid I haven’t seen it. I’m sure I would have noticed when I was picking-up yesterday. You’re sure you didn’t leave it somewhere else, your study, perhaps, or out in the toolshed where you seem to be spending so much of your time lately doing who knows what? And speaking of toolshed, did you ever fix that bedroom lamp? You said you would, you know. I’m getting a little tired of fumbling around up there in the dark.

TYRONE
Umm, no, I don’t think so…

MARY
Which one, the book or the lamp?

TYRONE
Both. I’m quite sure I didn’t leave my book out there and, no, I haven’t really had time to look at the lamp. I will this evening. There can’t be much wrong with it. It’s just one of those cheap, simple Ikea things we picked up. Probably a loose connection. That book, though, I would like to get my hands on that right now.

MARY
Well, I really can’t help you, I’m afraid.

TYRONE
So it would seem. Mary…

MARY
Yes, Tyrone?

TYRONE
You don’t mind me having books like that around the house, do you?

MARY
No, Tyrone, of course not. You can read whatever you like. We discussed this, remember? But, really, the ‘On Golden Pond’ position. Who ever heard of such a thing? I’m sure the Robertsons down the road don’t do the On Golden Pond.

TYRONE
Well, I wouldn’t be too hasty in making any assumptions there. Remember that bridge night about six months ago, the one where we got there about half an hour early and there weren’t any lights on downstairs? I’m sure we were interrupting something and it wasn’t CSI Miami Beach. I thought Abigail looked a little light in her loafers when she finally showed up to answer the door. And…

(beat)
… just a minute here, how do you know about the ‘On Golden Pond‘ position? You’ve been reading it, haven’t you? You’ve been squirrelling yourself away somewhere and poring over the illustrations in the Golden Years Kama Sutra. That’s it, isn’t it?

MARY
Oh, Tyrone, don’t be so silly. What possible interest could I have in a book like that filled with those filthy illustrations and all that lewd poetry? Why I…
(hesitating)

TYRONE
Mary?

MARY
Well, I had to have something didn’t I? I mean we’d been rushing about with that silly brother of yours and his boyfriend all weekend… Oh why do they have to show up at the most inconvenient times and it’s not as if they’d ever think about wandering off and amusing themselves, maybe going to one of those flea markets or antiquing or whatever it is middle aged gay accountants and lawyers do on their weekends. Oh no, we have to be there every step of the way making small talk and filling in their time.

TYRONE
Mary, my poor head is beginning to ache. What is it you had to have and what on earth do Gabriel and Paul have to do with it?

MARY
The book club.

TYRONE
The what?

MARY
My Tuesday afternoon book club. I didn’t have time to go out and buy anything, of course. And we’d gone through everything else around the house, The Idiot, that wretched Pi thing, and, of course, The Illustrated Peloponnesian War. Why can’t we have have sensible French novels around the house like everyone else? Anyway, there wasn’t anything else and I was desperate. I saw that Kama Sutra book of yours lying on the coffee table and I took it and put in my bag and off I went.

TYRONE
So let me get this straight. You took my book, The Kama Sutra in Your Golden Years, to your Tuesday afternoon ladies book club.

MARY
Yes, at Dolores MacDonnell’s place.

TYRONE
This is the same Tuesday afternoon book club that found some of the racier bits of The Bridges of Madison County a bit too hot for words as I recall you saying at the time.

MARY
Yes, but Tyrone, you have to understand–

TYRONE
And over the course of this Tuesday afternoon, helped along by pots of camomile tea, macaroons and perhaps a little Chardonnay, the six…?

MARY
Five. Anna-Mae couldn’t make it. That was the day of her husband’s hip replacement and, of course, she had to be there when he came to. You just couldn’t leave him to wake up on his own in one of those cold–

TYRONE
Five. So the five of you spent a Tuesday afternoon giggling through the text and ogling the pictures of my book.

MARY
Well, I think that’s a bit unfair, Tyrone, giggling and ogling. You make it sound as if we’re just a bunch of Catholic school girls hiding under the stairs smoking pinched cigarettes and mooning over pictures of the latest heart-throb in the pages of Teen Beat or whatever it is they read these days. I can tell you here and now that we had a very serious discussion of the philosophy of the Kama Sutra and the possibilities for happiness in one’s later years. It was a very serious discussion. We were all deeply moved.

TYRONE
I’m sure you were.

MARY
And, then, when Dolores brought out her yoga mat–

TYRONE
Hold on, yoga mat?

MARY
Yes, Tyrone, it’s a little mat that you use to–

TYRONE
Mary, I know what a yoga mat is. I’m just trying to figure out what one is doing at a book club meeting on the kama sutra and I admit the mental picture I’m developing is not a pretty one.

MARY
Well, we kept our clothes, Tyrone, what did you expect? We’re not the Bloomsbury Group, you know. But some of the pictures did look interesting and not that difficult and most of it, when it comes right down to it, is just massage so we thought, why not?

TYRONE
So you spent a very pleasant, if a little sapphic, afternoon.

MARY
Well, I’ll ignore the innuendo but, yes, it was a lot of fun. The time just flew by and when we looked at the clock, goodness, it was almost five. And I had to hurry home too. Remember that was the evening we went out for a bite at Tim’s Curry Palace and then off to see that dreadful, dark little Belgian movie — what was it called, The Son?

TYRONE
The Son, yes, I remember.

MARY
So there you have it.

TYRONE
Well, I don’t, actually.

MARY
What?

TYRONE
My book. I don’t have my book.

MARY
Oh that.

TYRONE
Yes, that. And where might be that be, if you don’t mind me asking?

MARY
Well, it’s not here.

TYRONE
Yes…

MARY
Well, if you really must know, after we finished Agathe Mordley asked if she could could borrow it to take home with her to show her husband.

TYRONE
The would be Agathe Mordley, the wife of Tom Mordley, in fact, the Very Reverend Tom Mordley?

MARY
Why, yes, you know them, Tyrone. They’re very nice. I’ve often thought of inviting them over for dinner but I didn’t want to start you on one of your religion rants. You can be so tiresome, you know, when you get going.

TYRONE
So the Mordleys are off with my book somewhere, possible using it as background reference for next Sunday’s sermon on, oh I don’t know, muscular Christianity.

MARY
I don’t see why you have to get disrespectful, Tyrone. The Mordleys are serious people and they’re interested in all kinds of things. And very sophisticated. They’ve been to India, you know.

TYRONE
No doubt. So all of this aside, when can I expect my copy of the The Kama Sutra in Your Golden Years: A How-To Guide? Would the Mordleys be willing to part with it in a week or so, do you think?

MARY
Actually, Agathe said she’d drop it round tomorrow before the church luncheon.

TYRONE
So I may expect my book tomorrow then, a little dog-eared, perhaps, but otherwise none the worse for wear.

MARY
I don’t know why you’re going on about that book. Of course you can have it back… It’s just that Hortense Williams asked if she could borrow it after Agathe and I didn’t think you’d mind so…