Wednesday, March 14, 2012

A deleted scene from American Home

So I have this scene that I wrote for my play AMERICAN HOME that just didn't fit into the final draft... it's one of the "babies" I had to kill, so to speak. But I'm unwilling to bury it. I want it to have some life. Which is why I'm sharing it here.

I hope you enjoy. And if you do, I hope you'll share it.
As always, I'd love to hear your thoughts. Thanks!


REST STOP CIGARETTE 
            A scene by Stephanie Alison Walker

                                   JOE (41) sneaks a cigarette at a rest
                                   stop somewhere in Kansas. After a
                                   couple of beats, CINDY (41) appears.
                                   Caught. They lock eyes. Enough said.

                                   CINDY
            Lovely.
                          (no response)
            Better hope the kids don't see you.
                          (no response)
            I can't believe you're smoking. Where'd you even get that?
                          (no response)
            Joe.

                                   JOE
            What?

                                   CINDY
            Where'd you get that cigarette?

                                   JOE
            Machine.

                                   CINDY
            You bought a pack?

                                   JOE
            ---

                                   CINDY
            Joe.

                                   JOE
            Cindy. Please. I'm losing my fucking mind. 

                                   CINDY
            But a whole pack? You couldn't just bum one?

                                   JOE
            Bum one? From who?

                                   CINDY
            I don't know. A trucker. Another driver. There was an old
            lady smoking by the women's bathroom. I'm sure she would've
            given you a smoke.

                                   JOE
            A menthol or Virginia Slim. No thanks.

                                   CINDY
            Fine. But you could've--

                                   JOE
            I didn't want to talk to anyone, okay. I just wanted to smoke
            in peace.

                                   (A few beats. Then...)

                                   CINDY
                          (just can't help herself)
            So you're smoking again.

                                   JOE
            I'm having a smoke.

                                   CINDY
            I'm just trying to get this straight because the kids--

                                   JOE
            Cindy, will you please just lay the fuck off?!

                                   (Silence. JOE takes a few drags.
                                   Relaxes. She watches. Then looks out at
                                   the scenery.)

                                   CINDY
                          (a peace offering)
            It's nice here. Everyone always talks about how ugly it is.
            But I think it's pretty. The wheat fields. They're wheat,
            right?
                          (Joe nods)
            The twins with Matty?
                          (Joe nods)
            Where?

                                   JOE
            He took them to play over in the grass.

                                   CINDY
            In the grass?

                                   JOE
            They're fine. They're with Matty. Running around. Stretching
            their little legs.

                                   CINDY
            That's good.

                                   JOE
            Yep.

                                   CINDY
            How're we doing? Think we'll make it to St. Louis tonight?

                                   JOE
            If the kids sleep.

                                   CINDY
            No guarantee there.

                                   JOE
            I can't take another stretch like the last one. Tell you that
            right now.

                                   CINDY
            Want me to drive? I said I'll drive.

                                   JOE
            I'm fine. It's just the constant noise.

                                   CINDY
            I can't do anything about that.

                                   JOE
            Should've bought that DVD player.

                                   CINDY
            This again.

                                   JOE
            Well.

                                   CINDY
            Joe.

                                   JOE
            What?

                                   CINDY
            Don't.

                                   JOE
            I'm just saying/

                                   CINDY
                          (overlapping)
            We can't afford--

                                   JOE
            It would've been a good investment. Keep me from losing my
            mind.

                                   CINDY
            I said we should have flown. 

                                   JOE
            That we can't afford.

                                   CINDY
            But if it was just--

                                   JOE
            Five plane tickets?

                                   CINDY
            You could have driven by yourself, I said. 

                                   JOE
            We could have rented our own private plane. That would have
            been a much better scenario. Why didn't you suggest that?

                                   CINDY
            Joe. Don't.

                                   JOE
            Or a spaceship. We could colonize the moon while we're at it.

                                   CINDY
                          (after a beat)
            Mars.

                                   JOE
            Mars? Seriously. Mars?

                                   CINDY
            No. You're right. The moon is a much more realistic option. 

                                   JOE
            That's all I'm saying. To the moon. To the moon, Cindy. To
            the moon.

                                   CINDY
            Okay, okay.

                                   (They look at each other. Then laugh
                                   off the tension. Relief.)

                                   CINDY
            I heard Harry tell Matty he misses his bedroom.

                                   JOE
            What did Matty say?

                                   CINDY
            He said something about how great their room at Grandma and
            Grandpa's will be. But, I saw tears.

                                   JOE
            Matty?

                                   CINDY
            Yes.

                                   JOE
            Fuck.

                                   CINDY
            I know.

                                   (CINDY snatches the cigarette from
                                   JOE.)

                                   JOE
            Hey, come on!

                                   (CINDY takes a long drag. Exhales.
                                   Hands it back.)

                                   JOE
            See?

                                   CINDY
            Desperate times.

                                   JOE
            Exactly.

                                   CINDY
            Promise me.

                                   JOE
            What?

                                   CINDY
            It's all just temporary.

                                   JOE
            The smoking?

                                   CINDY
            That. Yes.

                                   JOE
            Yeah.

                                   CINDY
            And the rest?

                                   JOE
            I hope to God it is. I can't live with your parents forever.
            I just can't.

                                   CINDY
            People used to do it. That's how things used to be, you know.
            In other countries that's how they live. Generations under
            one roof.
                          (beat)
            Not that I want to. I'm just saying...
                          (off Joe's look)
            I know. Something will appear. Somehow this will turn out for
            the best. It will.

                                   JOE
            You keep saying that.

                                   CINDY
            I'm sorry if my optimism annoys you.

                                   (JOE takes his last drag, drops the
                                   butt on the ground and steps on it.
                                   Then leaves it there.)

                                   JOE
            It doesn't annoy me...

                                   CINDY
            I know it does. 

                                   JOE
            It's just... 

                                   CINDY
            Look...being a cynical grouch doesn't help anything. So why
            not try a little optimism. At least for the kids.

                                   JOE
            How did we ever get here?

                                   CINDY
            We just did.

                                   JOE
            It's just. If I'd seen it coming...

                                   CINDY
            It doesn't matter how we got here. It only matters how we'll
            get out. And never end up here again. But look... we have a
            place to live, three beautiful and healthy children and...

                                   JOE
            And what?

                                   CINDY
            Each other. That should be enough.
 (C) Copyright 2012
All rights reserved
For information about rights, please contact Stephanie Alison Walker
stephawalker at gmail
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