The Linguist (Scene 2)

For reference, see character thumbnails.


[lights come up on stage left; NELL walks into her bedroom, stops to fluff her pillow, then climbs into bed, pulls out a volume of an encyclopedia from her bedside table drawer, and begins to read]

NELL:     “Monachopsis,” noun, meaning the subtle but persistent feeling of being out of place.

[she lays the book on her chest and looks around her room, which is neat and tidy; she smoothes the comforter over her legs; she picks the book back up]

NELL:     “Monacco,” officially the Principality of Monaco, is a sovereign city-state and microstate, located on the French Riviera in Western Europe. France borders the country on three sides—

[meanwhile, lights come up on stage right to illuminate REESE in her own bedroom; the lights are dimmer than in NELL’s room because REESE’s husband is asleep and snoring next to her; REESE is typing and re-typing a text message, her anxious face cast in the blue light of the screen; stage left, NELL’s phone chimes; NELL looks as if something very rude has just happened; she puts her book aside and looks at her phone]

REESE:     I’m sorry about earlier. I didn’t mean to be late.     

[whoosing sound of a sent text message]

REESE:     Norah puked all over herself in carpool and it was a fiasco trying to get her to wear something from the lost and found bin at school. She’s so particular these days. Has a mind of her own, that one. Kinda reminds me of you some days.

[whoosh]

REESE:     [looking up from her phone, clearly not typing this] Which is terrifying half the time.

NELL:     [responding] It’s fine. I understand.

[whoosh]

NELL:     [to herself]     Both of which are lies, but are socially required niceties.

REESE:     [typing] Thank you. I know it’s hard for you.

[whoosh]

REESE:     Look, I know mom wants to see you anyway, so can’t we all just put our differences aside for an hour? I mean—

[NELL’s alarm clock goes off; REESE freezes midsentence; NELL places her bookmark between the pages, places it inside the bedside table drawer again, and puts down her phone; only then does she turn off the alarm]

NELL:     [turning out her light]     Bedtime.

REESE:     [resuming typing]     It would be nice to have a little cushion since Eliza broke her leg and won’t be getting that soccer scholarship. She asks about you, you know.

[whoosh]

REESE:     [to the audience]     She doesn’t.

[NELL’s phone chimes and lights up; she rolls over; REESE stares at her phone screen, waiting for a response, as the curtain closes]

—End Scene—

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