Baby Seals and Fucking Trees
By Vivian Martinez
RUNNER: woman late 20’s fit
READER: male late 20’s goofy but cute
Scene takes place outside of a Pete’s Coffee.
Lights up and we see RUNNER run by READER who notices her go by, as she passes she sees him and looks away. He looks up at her again and when she turns around to come back he gets nervous and hides behind his book.
RUNNER Hey (He ignores her)
RUNNER Hey (She stops and jogs in place near him) Listen man… (Pointing at him and the book) I know what’s up. I know what’s goin’ on here.
Reader still ignores her
RUNNER HEY… (She stops running and grabs book)
READER Wh- Excuse me? What are you doing? Are you crazy?
RUNNER You gotta be kiddin me, I’m crazy… me? (Shakes the book)
READER Yes, you. YOU are crazy, I don’t know you… you just, you came over here- take my book… what the hell!? Who are yo- no I don’t even want to know. This is ridiculous, I’m trying to read and just, you know, have some coffee and relax and you aren’t helping, now… gimmie my book back (Grabs for the book)
RUNNER OooOOOOOooooh no you don’t… I’m not giving this back until you admit it.
READER (Pauses a little flabbergasted) Y- wh- …it’s my book, give it to me!
READER Give it to me! (Lunges for it again) seriously, I’m going to punch you in the face. (Laughs uncomfortably, thinking “is she joking?”) Give-me… my book (Reaches for it, she pulls it away). You are starting to annoy me missy. You’re wasti-
RUNNER You’ve been annoying the shit outta ME for the past 2 months!
READER Wh- two months… how did you? Have you- (Looks around himself paranoid) have you been watching me?
RUNNER (Gives him a “are you fucking joking me?” look)
READER Ok, this is getting fucked up… (Nervous now) Just keep the book (Fidgeting in his chair) I got it for free anyway. You’re scary, right now… you know that? (Lame attempt at humor, but it is sweet) I wouldn’t want to come across you in a dark alley with a book in your hand (Tries to laugh it off) A hard cover… haha… no? Tough crowd…
RUNNER I bet you recycle too…
READER Excuse me?
RUNNER Yeah that’s what I said, re-cy-cle.
READER Well of course I recy- don’t you? (Trying to make light of the situation) I mean we live in LA, we have to.
RUNNER (Sits in chair opposite) Come on man… you’re not foolin’ anybody.
READER Who? Who’s ‘anybody?’ What do you me- (Brings his voice down) Are you high? (Beat) Do I recycle? Am I on a game show… who are you?
RUNNER You’re not really reading this book (shakes book at him)
READER What?… wha- you mean- what are you talking about?
RUNNER You are just pretending to read because you think it makes you look smart.
READER (Long beat) You’re-
RUNNER (Quickly, accusing but not bitter) Come on, you’re not foolin’ me. Are you trying to pick up women or some dumb shit like that?
RUNNER (Sing-songy) Bullshit!
READER How do you even know? (Stumbling over his words) We’ve, when I- I’ve never seen you eh, here… before…
RUNNER Well I see you. All the time. At this Pete’s coffee.
READER They have good coff-
RUNNER Oh cut the shit you just want to look smart because it’s what’s “cool now.”
READER Can I have my book now?
RUNNER No, I’m sick of you. I run down this block every Tuesday and Thursday and you are always here! Is it cause the yoga class is across the street? It is isn’t it? Ugh you make me sick. I can’t believe you, sitting here every day waiting for them to come out and look like (notices the title) you’re reading, the lovely BONES!? Really? Jesus… hold on I’ll be right back.
READER Wait, hey give me my bo- (He trails off as she gets up and goes inside with his book, he sits in an uncomfortable state… improvise some physical comedy involving awkwardness until she comes out, maybe he gets up at one point and sits down again… practices saying hello to her and asking her name)
RUNNER Here (hands him a water) truce. (It’s not a question)
READER Oh thanks, that was fast.
RUNNER Huh? Oh, yeah I know the guy, I mean… I live around here.
READER Yeah I know I see you run by all the time. (Takes his time) I mean, I see you too (clears his throat) you know.
RUNNER Oh fuck off.
RUNNER Stop hitting on me! You think I’m gonna fall in love with you cause you fucking READ? That’s such bullshit. All you people make me sick… I see it everyday you know? When I run by these shops with all their “save the planet” shirts or the, “I EFFIN love trees” handbag made out of baby seal… it’s so pretentious and you, you jerk, are the last straw.. I mea… pretending to read? Come on man.
READER How do you know I’m pretending?
RUNNER (Sighs) you’ve been reading the same shit for 2 months now. It took me like 3 weeks to read Lovely Bones, back in 1992, or whenever that book came out. (Thinks) 2004, yeah 2004.
READER Well I just got it…eh, I’m a slow reader.
RUNNER You’re fucking joking me… I’m not dumb! If you enjoy reading SOO much then you wouldn’t wait to drive all the way to the nearest Pete’s coffee that happens to have a lot of foot traffic due to a yoga studio being across the street… (Raises an eyebrow at him) right?
READER Ok ok ok
RUNNER HA I knew it!!
READER I’m not reading it. Not really anyway, some parts are ok. But usually I just watch the people that go by. I’m shy! Gimmie a fuckin break!
RUNNER I was right, ha! I knew I was right… you fuckin people and your fake fakey-ness. This is just perfect in our world, of course you are just being fake in this fake-ass world- People pretending to have devotions to the newest band wagon trend. Fucking green shit, Occupy the whatever the fuck. Oh I care… UGH. No one actually does anything about anything anymore. Apathy is like our new flu virus.
READER I’m not apathetic! I recycle!
RUNNER (Laughs) way to go man… Way. To. Go. (She stands to leave)
READER Well wait a second. What about you? Miss “I jog in a high pedestrian area in little clothes to stay in shape” yeah right! You just wanna show off your ass, I see you run by here every Tuesday and Thursday, and sometimes on Friday if you don’t go on Thursday.
RUNNER Fuck you! (Starts to walk off but stops)
READER Oh good one! Did you read that one in the paper today? Which you must read front to back everyday because you are so high and mighty, what do you ride your bike to work- your little Nalgene bottle with the “vegans do it better” sticker on it, tucked into your little eco friendly basket woven by fuckin’ ex-homeless people who lived under the 101 but now have their own internet start-up Downtown? (Beat) You know what, fuck you! (Begins to walk away backwards slowly) YOU are the pretentious one, you’re the one who parades around this, no- MY Pete’s coffee in… trampy clothes!
RUNNER (She is a little speechless, she find this a little funny but doesn’t want him to know, she calls out to him) Oh yeah! Well The Lovely Bones is for fags! (Throws book at him)
READER Hey! You crazy bitch! You’re fat!
RUNNER (She walks up to him) If I’m so fat then why are you constantly staring at my BIG fat ass?!
READER Cause I’m such a FAG (stereotypical gay voice) I can’t wait ‘til they have those shorts in my size!
RUNNER What? Couldn’t find them at “douche bags-R-US?” Did you miss the sale cause you were too busy watching “Hollywood’s Wettest Boobs” marathon on Spike TV? (They are shouting in each others faces)
READER Listen “compost heap in mah backyard,” don’t judge me. (Beat) I’m sorry I called you trampy.
RUNNER I’m sorry I called you a fag.
READER That’s ok, you’re kinda right. I mean I’m not… I like girls… but, you know what I mean.
RUNNER (Laughs) Internet start-up… that was a good one, touché.
READER (Laughs too) Sorry I was caught up in the moment, I mean… you gave me a lotta grief there… I had to rep my shit yo (Throws up some lame gang sign)
RUNNER (Can’t help laughing) You’re so lame. But oddly sharp with you’re humor, you’re funny.
READER Well I hope so, I’m a comedian. Well I mean, I’m trying to be… you know, a comedian.
RUNNER Really? Shy huh? Liar… (Laughs it off, and it starts to get a bit awkwardly cute)
READER Around attractive girls, yeah.
RUNNER What, you only play to all ugly crowds? Is there a sign outside (Indicates imaginary sign) “Ugly Woman Only”
READER Yeah, I think your sister was there last night.
RUNNER (Laughs) I’m only laughing cause Syl would find that funny too, not because she’s ugly.
READER Sill? Like window?
RUNNER Like Sylvia… dumb ass.
READER Oh ha, right. I like that name it’s classy sounding. So, your parents follow through with your name?
RUNNER It’s Nora.
READER Oh that’s nice too.
READER Is that with an A or an AH?
RUNNER With an A… why?
READER I dunno, I only thought that far.
READER Well, I didn’t think of anything else to say to you after I asked you your name… I mean, I imagined you ask me what mine was and we went from there but you didn’t ask me, you selfish bitch (He is joking)
RUNNER Sigh… and now you’re getting all smoothy smooth romantic comedy on me?
READER Oh come on! Please don’t be all domineering “I am woman here me roar.” I’m just a guy trying to ask a girl on a date. I don’t sit out here pretending to read to get yoga girls’ attentions… I sit out here and pretend to read The Lovely whatever because I see YOU run by here all the time. I live close too ya know and I just moved here so please don’t give me a hard time; please. You girls all think it’s so hard to meet a nice guy (Mimicks a girls voice in an annoying way) “All men are dicks! Woman are smarter! Weh!” But it’s really not. You just scare the shit out of us! I mean, I was just sitting here reading, putting out my “please talk to me vibe” and what did it get me? Two months of wasted time, you calling me a fag, and throwing a book at my head. I mean I’m all for equal rights and shit, but sometimes you gotta let a guy appreciate your hot ass- and by ass I mean “personality” and by hot I mean “I respect you.” (Beat) No you know what, fuck it. I meant hot ass… you have, a hot, sexy ass. There I said it. (Quickly) My name is Roger, and I think you have a hot sexy ass.
RUNNER (Doesn’t know what to say, sort of half smiling, READER looks scared to death, waiting for her to say something, but she says nothing and goes inside again)
READER Wha- (Shakes his head) “Hot sexy ass?” She probably thinks I’m a moron. (Gets up and picks up his book, looks back for her but she doesn’t come out, starts to walk inside then stops) No no, just go man. (He turns and walks quickly away)
RUNNER Hey, wait! Roger! (He is delighted that she says his name, he turns) I went and got a pen. (Smiles)
READER So I can-
READER So we can-
READER And maybe after the second date we can-
READER Oh fuck yeah. (Tosses book and briskly walks to her)