Mary

[rough recording on soundcloud]

you know how hard it was for me to keep my big mouth shut; when all i wanted to do was come and kiss you. you know how easy it would have been to keep going on pretending that it was all okay.

Mary, let me ask you today what it is that ails you? Mary, tell me all the ways; all the ways i’ve failed you?

how many times have we listened to the sound; the offbeat drumming of a broken heart? from the beginning we knew this wouldn’t be a simple start. if i had one request- and you know i wouldn’t ask this of you unless i meant it- well, i would want to go away and leave it all, leave it all.

Mary, let me ask you today what it is that ails you? Mary, tell me all the ways; all the ways i’ve failed you?

maybe you’ve moved on. maybe you’ve heard his voice in your ear for far too long.

Mary, let me ask you today what it is that ails you? Mary, tell me all the ways; all the ways I’ve failed you? Mary, keep me in your heart, where it’s safe and warm. for Mary, we will soon depart, remember what i’ve told you- i love you,  i love you, i do. please remember what i’ve told you- i love you, i love you, i do.

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You Are Mine (unfinished)

teach me how to love like that: start to run and don’t look back. talking late and holding hands; you like nothing more than the sound of my voice. teach me how to love like that: how to give no questions asked.

you’re with me and i’m with you and that’s just fine. you’re with me and i’m with you and you are mine.

I Don’t Love You

oh, i never asked for this. it would have been so selfish. and i’d never tell her so, but I promise i’d never tell you no.

cause i don’t love you, and i need to remember that. when you’re with her, i have no right to get mad. you can do whatever it is you want, and if it’s not with me, that’s alright, because i’m not in love with you.

it feels right when you’re with me; it feels like its supposed to be. all these secrets, oh, that i’d never tell, they come right out themselves. you know me so well.

but i don’t love you, and i need to remember that. when you’re with her, i have no right to get mad. you can do whatever it is you want, and if it’s not with me, that’s alright, because i’m not in love with you.

is it wrong to open  that door? is it wrong to think that you’re what i’m looking for, oh. well i’m just not sure.

but i don’t love you, and i need to remember that. when you’re with her, i have no right to get mad. you can do whatever it is you want, and if it’s not with me, that’s alright, because i’m not in love with you. no, i’m not in love with you.

‘How To Find a Man’ – a theatrical short

(Two 18 year old girls CECELIA and KATHRYN crowd around a magazine, each holding one side of it. The stage is dim, with a soft glow illuminating them from where they sit stage left on a pink bed. The bed is attached to a small ‘wall’ with posters and decorations. They are riveted.)

CECELIA

(reading from the magazine)

‘How to Find a Man in Five Easy Steps.’

KATHRYN

I thought it would have at least taken ten.

CECELIA

‘Step One: Dress your best. You want to look natural, but be comfortable in your own skin.’

KATHRYN

‘Step Two: Let him know what you’re looking for. Guys are stupid; you may have to give them a little nudge.’

CECELIA

‘Step Three: Let him buy you something at the store or restaurant. This lets him know you respect him.’

KATHRYN

‘Step Four: When you find him, don’t let him get away.’

CECELIA

‘Step Five: Stop looking. Often when you least expect it is when you actually find a man.’

KATHRYN

(looking at CECELIA with wide eyes.)

Is this really what it takes?  

CECELIA

How are we ever going to do all of these?

(Suddenly, lights flash crazily all over the stage, in different colors. Strange music plays, and the girls gasp, then laugh. The bed is turned around to reveal a door on the other side of the wall, which is painted to look like brick. A single bulb lights the stage from above the door. Before the music stops, CECELIA and KATHRYN come through the door, each dressed fully in detective outfits, both with pipes. A spotlight falls on them and they pose ‘Charlie’s Angels’ style as the music climaxes.)

CECELIA

Well, I guess we’re going to do it in style. Step One: Dress your best.

KATHRYN

Step Two: Let him know what you’re looking for.

(They ponder for a moment, stroking the pipes or their chins. A BUSY MAN walks onto the stage. The girls look at each other excitedly.)

CECELIA

Excuse me sir, we’re looking for an attractive man!

BUSY MAN

Oh?

KATHRYN

Yeah, have you seen any?

(BUSY MAN, offended, walks quickly off the stage. The girls look at each other and shrug.)

CECELIA

Guess not. Step Three: Let him buy something for you.

KATHRYN

(pointing up enthusiastically)

This shows him that you respect him!

(The girls begin walking slowly stage right. As they walk, the door/bedroom wall is rolled off stage left and a new wall is rolled on from stage right. It looks like a store, with a cash register and checkout counter. A man works the cash register. There are a few items displayed above the counter.)

CECELIA

Hello! I just wanted to tell you we’re here to let you buy something for us.

KATHRYN

(nodding)

Because we respect you.

CECELIA

It can be for either one of us. Doesn’t matter who.

KATHRYN

Or both of us.

CECELIA

Both would be nice.

CASHIER

(bewildered)

Miss, this is a store…you have to buy something.

CECELIA

(patiently)

But we respect you, that’s why we’re letting you buy us something.

KATHRYN

We could go to a restaurant instead if you’d like that better.

CASHIER

(obviously weirded out)

Is this some sort of weird date thing? Are you trying to ask me out?

CECELIA (ASIDE)

This one just doesn’t get it, does he?

KATHRYN (ASIDE)

We’re just trying to be respectful.

CECELIA (TO CASHIER)

(smacking the counter)

Well, obviously this was a complete failure. Never mind!

(The cashier begins to protest, but the wall is turned around to show the other side. He tries to come out from behind the register but one of the tech hands moving the wall pushes him back behind it. The wall that now shows has the front of a pirate ship, complete with mast, flag and steering wheel.)

KATHRYN

(yelling as if on a real ship while battling to control the steering wheel)

Step Four! When you find him, don’t let him get away!

CECELIA

(pulling out a retractable telescope and extending it, looking around the stage)

It’s been days, and still no spottings!

(The sound of car horns and city life can be heard. Actors start to walk across the stage from all directions, as if on the streets of busy city. They do not notice the ship.) 

KATHRYN

Storms coming soon! We’ll have to find one before long, or we won’t even be able to see!

(CONFUSED MAN breaks from the crowd towards the front of stage right and looks at his watch, then around the stage confusedly.)

CECELIA

(pointing the telescope directly at CONFUSED MAN and also pointing her finger)

Avast! Man ho!  

CONFUSED MAN

(looking back at CECELIA)

Excuse me?

KATHRYN

At last, we found you!

(The girls jump off of the ship and walk through the crowd, which has now dissipated, to stand by CONFUSED MAN. CECELIA puts her telescope in the coat pocket of a man in the crowd as they pass by.)

CECELIA

Nice to meet you, I’m Cecelia.

KATHRYN

Kathryn.

(They both stick out their hands to CONFUSED MAN, who looks at them for a second before setting down his briefcase and shaking both of them at the same time.)

CONFUSED MAN

I’m Doug.

CECELIA

(smiling)

Great. Got anything going on today, Doug?

DOUG

(looking at his watch again)

Um, no, not really.

KATHRYN

Fabulous. Because I’m afraid we can’t let you get away.

DOUG

Let me…get away?

CECELIA

Exactly. We can’t do that. Would you believe all day we’ve been searching for a man?

KATHRYN

And you’re the first one we’ve really found. So, naturally-

CECELIA AND KATHRYN

We can’t let you get away.

(DOUG is silent for a beat. He checks his watch again.)

 DOUG

Actually, now that I think of it, I do have this thing. It’s more of an, uh, emergency type situation.

(DOUG begins to leave.)

CECELIA

Wait, you don’t understand!

KATHRYN

(shrill)

Don’t try and mess with the system, Doug!

(DOUG runs off the stage.)

KATHRYN

(sighing)

I knew he wasn’t going to be the one.

(The girls both plop onto either end of DOUG’s briefcase, which he left onstage in his escape.)

 CECELIA

What kind of a name is ‘Doug’ anyways?

KATHRYN

(getting more shrill by the second)

The name of a no good guy who thinks it’s okay to leave you. Just to get up and leave you, just like that- and he always paid more attention to his stupid watch anyways-

CECELIA

(interrupting)

Kathryn. Get a hold of yourself.

KATHRYN

You’re right. Sorry.

CECELIA

This has all been useless, anyways.

(KATHRYN’s eyes go wide and she looks at CECELIA, who is sitting dejectedly. If CECELIA didn’t know what to do, KATHRYN was certainly lost as well.)

KATHRYN

At least we got these cool bubble blowers.

CECELIA

They’re ‘pipes’, Kathryn.

KATHRYN

Oh. Right.

CECELIA

How could we put all our hope into a magazine? Who even writes those articles?

KATHRYN

For all we know, it could be someone as clueless as we are.

CECELIA

It’s hopeless.

KATHRYN

(teary-eyed)

We’re hopeless.

(A MAN enters stage left and looks around, then see’s the girls and approaches them with recognition. At this point, CECELIA and KATHRYN both look pathetically dejected, so slumped they’re practically not sitting on the briefcase anymore.)

MAN

Hello, miss?

CECELIA

(blasé)

What?    

 (MAN brings out the telescope from his pocket and holds it out to her.)

MAN

I think you lost this. Doesn’t seem like you’d be able to find what you’re looking for without it.

KATHRYN

(wide eyed whisper)

Step Five.

CECELIA

Oh. Thank you.

KATHRYN

We have been a little lost.

MAN

(smiling)

Well, hopefully not anymore. Anyways, have a good day.

(MAN begins to leave stage left. The girls’ heads whip towards each other, and they scramble off the briefcase after him, yelling almost incoherently besides the occasional ‘We finally found you’, ‘This is just like it said’, ‘Stop running’, and ‘Your name’s not Doug, right?’ The stage lights begin to dim as the curtain begins to lower. It lowers almost completely but pools on top of the briefcase, which is in the way. DOUG pokes his head out onto stage, looking around with scared eyes for the girls. When he sees they’re not onstage, he runs out quickly and grabs the briefcase, sprinting back offstage. Blackout.)

THE END

To Whom it May Concern (short)

“Yes, I’ll hold,” she spoke, propping the phone up with her shoulder as she sorted through the mail in front of her. Bills, bills, more bills, and a personal letter. Her eyes caught on the return address; the name was unfamiliar. While the elevator ‘hold’ music played in her ear, she sat at the small round table in her kitchen and tore open the letter messily.

Inside were several sheets of lined paper folded into together. They resisted being opened, as if they had been folded for a long time.

To whom it may concern,    

                        This may seem strange. In fact, it is quite strange. We are not acquainted yet, but I’ve been instructed to write you this memo from the big wigs in the fiftieth floor. It’s all about this old-aged time travel nonsense. Supposedly we’re supposed to write letters every other week now and hold a pen pal relationship with someone from the past. So I guess I’m stuck with you- just kidding. I’m sure you’re quite a normal person. Hopefully not so normal that this just seems like a prank or something to you. I promise it’s quite real. I’m writing this at my post in the Fetzner building right now in New York. It’s about thirty years in the future- we can’t tell exact dates because they weren’t sure which years these would get sent to. Apparently time travel can be a little tricky sometimes. Anyways, just wanted to let you know what’s going on and that I really hope you try and respond so I can at least get a little enjoyment out of this. Try not to be too boring, okay?

P.S. No, we do not have hover boards. They’ve incredibly                           Sincerely,

 inefficient and frankly, they just look stupid.                                                  Al Sinpar

P.P.S. No, that’s not my real name. Did you really think

Someone would name their kid that anyway? We’re not

allowed to disclose our real names for obvious reasons.

Sorry.”

 

            “What?” she whispered to herself. Suddenly, the elevator music stopped and a voice crackled to life.

“Hello Miss, what can I do for you?” It was a man, fairly young by the sound of his voice.

“Actually, I was calling about- ”

“Is this in reference to your bulk order of envelopes and stamps? I’m afraid we’re out of stock in the butterfly stamps that you selected. May I interest you in puppy stamps? Perhaps koala stamps?”

She blinked. “My bulk order of envelopes and stamps?”

“So the puppy stamps then?”

“Well, I seriously don’t know- what kind of puppies are they?” she found herself asking.

“Golden retrievers. Terribly cute. I’m putting you down for twelve sheets of frolicking puppy stamps. One of our most popular choices, I might add.”

She set the letter down on the table, switching the phone to her other ear. “But sir, I didn’t-”

“Fabulous. Your order will arrive no later than noon on Wednesday. Have a wonderful evening, Miss.”

She stuttered, looking at the phone in confusion as the line went dead. Noon on Wednesday? Envelopes and stamps? Her eyes flicked up to clock on her wall. 11:59.

It was Wednesday.

She set the phone down and ran to the front door and opened it to see a cardboard box lying on her doorstep. There was no label, simply ‘New York’ written across the top. She brought it inside and tore it open on top of the table.

Envelopes and stamps. Twelve sheets of stamps to be exact, each stamp filled with the face of a golden retriever puppy.

After about a minute of confusion, she shrugged and looked around. “I guess I should find some paper, then.”

Leave Me Be (unfinished)

i meant to ask all those years ago, but the words never left their place deep in my chest; where you used to keep all your secrets and lock them away until you found a new hiding place.

and i meant to ask you if she keeps them as well as i did?

and when you hold her is it closer to a perfect fit?

and how did you know that i wasn’t the one? cause i’m still left in the place where we’d just begun, oh. leave me be.