Thursday, May 29, 2008

Excerpt from the play ROUGH DRAFT

THE WRITER is completing the rough draft of a story. At this point the character of RUPERT has returned to his lover CYNTHIA after being away at war.

RUPERT: Cynthia. My love. You’ve changed.

CYNTHIA: Changed, my dearest? I haven’t changed – I have stayed just as you remembered me. It’s you who have changed.

RUPERT: I suppose I have. The war …

CYNTHIA: I know.

RUPERT: What do you know?! Wait – I’m sorry … I was wounded, did I tell you that? How have I changed?

CYNTHIA: In little ways.

RUPERT: It was in the Google …


RUPERT: Where I was wounded.

CYNTHIA: Oh? And where is that … exactly … where …?

RUPERT: About a hundred miles north of Paris.

CYNTHIA: Oh. And … I mean … where does it hurt?

(THE WRITER types.)

RUPERT: In my head.

(THE WRITER types.)

In my arm.

(THE WRITER types.)

In a place I can’t show you at the moment.

CYNTHIA: Oh dear.

RUPERT: Oh dear?

CYNTHIA: I’m sorry you were wounded.

RUPERT: I was wounded?

CYNTHIA: That’s what you just said.

RUPERT: I did?

CYNTHIA: You don’t remember?

RUPERT: Remember what?

CYNTHIA: Being wounded.

RUPERT: I was wounded?

CYNTHIA: In the Google.

RUPERT: A hundred miles north of Paris.


RUPERT: I don’t remember.

CYNTHIA: Nothing? Anything?

RUPERT: It comes and goes. Did I tell you I was wounded?

CYNTHIA: Yes. Beside that, what do you remember?

RUPERT: Clean slate. Nothing.


RUPERT: Why is that?

CYNTHIA: How should I know?

RUPERT: It bothers you, doesn’t it? We know each other, and it bothers you I don’t remember.

CYNTHIA: The important thing is that you get better.

RUPERT: We’ve known each other a long time? We’ve known each other a short time? We do know each other.

(CYNTHIA stares it Rupert,)

Oh-h-h …


RUPERT: We … know, that is, KNOW … and uh, that is, YOU … and you know that … I don’t … I mean I DO, I really do, but I don’t … know … that I do … know. Is this making any sense to you at all?

CYNTHIA: I’m trying.

RUPERT: So I was thinking … that is, you know, I was thinking …


RUPERT: I was thinking, I mean – it occurred to me that, if maybe, maybe we were to uh, that is, if we … knew each other … a little … maybe my memory would come back. Maybe. You know – I think that doing things that are familiar to me … might … it was just a thought.

CYNTHIA: Do you really think that would help?

RUPERT: Cross my heart!

CYNTHIA: I don’t know what to say.

RUPERT: I understand.

CYNTHIA: If you really think that would help …

RUPERT: I do! I do!

THE WRITER: Rupert hesitated, wondering if now was the time …

RUPERT: No no no. Hesitation – bad thing. Bad. Mind your own business!

THE WRITER: … wondering if now was the time to tell her …

RUPERT: Tomorrow! I’ll tell her tomorrow! Promise!

THE WRITER: ... the time to tell her his terrible secret ...

RUPERT: Later tonight. I’ll tell her tonight. Later.

THE WRITER: … this terrible secret he had been keeping …

RUPERT: Fifteen minutes! Please!

THE WRITER: … a secret he could no longer keep alone. A secret he must share with …

RUPERT: Alright! Alright! So what’s this big deal secret? And make it quick.

THE WRITER: Approaching Cynthia, he takes her tenderly in his arms …

RUPERT: That part’s good.

THE WRITER: Looking deep into her eyes, he says …

RUPERT: Darling, there’s something I have to tell you.

CYNTHIA: What is that, my dearest?

RUPERT: I have no idea. What?

THE WRITER: I have an incurable disease.

RUPERT: I’ve got a very bad cold. (HE coughs once.)

THE WRITER: I have a wife and three children in another town.

RUPERT: I have relatives in Outer Mongolia.

CYNTHIA: You do?

RUPERT: So it seems.

CYNTHIA: We’ll have to go visit them sometime.

RUPERT: Yeah sure.

THE WRITER: I’m actually gay.

RUPERT: I’m actually ga … ga …very happy to be here.

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