Sunday, October 29, 2006

The Professor almost having lunch

Ah, the Aarrghony and Ecckhstasy.

Has it struck you writers out there that each go at a manusctipt is an heroic act, that every time we write it's solving a major problem, and the degree of effort is about the same as rescuing a trapped man from a burning car?

,,,And hardly anybodyever notices?

Perhaps I'm getting carried away with the romance of it all. But now with the shank end of this year, with the wind howling all around, there is something of poor old Snoopy, witing, "It was a dark and stormy night."

Fact is, after a few thousand words, expository (editorial) writing is pretty easy.

But it's the structure, the structure, the raw brains needed for the armature on which the clay shall be puttied.

As for brains, I fear I haven't got any, but I'll try to restructure the narrative part of Act III, Scene 2 and bring it out in play form (There will be some comic relief for those of you easily bored).

Act III, Scene 2

Scene: We are back in the Dickensian restaurant. Celia and the professor are seated, having something at the table. Stage right is a small bar, next to the cash. A woman, alone is having a white wine.

Professor to Celia, who looks stunning in her tight 6O's-style tank pants and velour halter top:
Another white wine?

Celia: Oh, why not. But I'm getting a bit peckish. We'll have to eat later.

They signal to the waitress.

Professor (Observing that Celia is really decked out in war paint, in makeup. Her hair is done in little blonde cornrows.. She is petite and very beautiful): Just noticed. Are you ever pretty.

Celia: Hmmm?

Professor: Hmmm.

Celia: Hmmm!

The waitress brings Heineken beer and the white wine.

Waitress (before she puts down the drinks) Are you Professor Jaworski?

Professor. Why, yes.

Waitress: Therere's a phone call for you. At the bar. Do you want to take it?

Professor. Looks first at the weatress and then at Celia: Oh, I guess I'd better...How did anyone know I was in here?

The professor walks over to the bar, where the lone woman is sitting. She is perched on a very high stool. It is about two feet from the brassy, oakyl bar. The professor wonders how she can reach her drink.

Business: The professor has to get past the woman to get to the phone. He hunches down a bit to get at it.
Suddenly, the woman, who is dressed in a black skirt and high heels, winds her legs around the professor so he can't get at the phone.He turns round to discover panties.

Mysterious woman: You've been doing some hard work, haven't you? I can smell the work and stress.

The professor (untangling himself, one knee at a time. He puts an arm around the woman's right shoulder)
I think you're lovely. It's just that I have some business to attend to right now.

The professor keeps an arm around the woman's shoulder. He reaches for the telephone with his right hand.
There is a dial tone. The caller, probably tired of waiting, had hung up.

He takes his left arm off the mysterious woman, gives her a hug and goes up the little stairway leading to the booths. Celia is there waiting for him He rejoins her.

Professor: The woods are full of funny people.

Celia (A little affected by the wine she has almost finished) Ummm. Wha..

David: I don't know how to tell you this. It really reminds me of a joke, the one about the musician, playing badly all night, complaining over the actions of a disgruntled pervert,who had been doing a Pee-Wee Herman all night, while nobody was watching. "Someone in the audience threw a f*ck at me."

Somebody just threw a f*ck at me.

Celia: David! What are you talking about?

Proessor: Lady at the bar. Almost attacked me.

Celia: You got confidence. That's what it is.

The professor is feeling expansive.

Professor: Did you ever read a book by Frederic Exley, "A Fan's Notes"?

Celia: No. All my reading has been historical novels, Romance. I did read a little Goth once.

Professor: Goethe.

Professor: Anyway, Mr. Exley is disgusted over being a fan all his life, of loving The Gipper, of loving great authors.
But it was always somebody else that was great, never him."

Celia (now draining her glass) Hmm.

Professor: More white wine?

Celia: Oh, why the hell not. I need a mental health day.

The drinks come. Celia and the professor are talking animatedly.

Professor:That's how I feel. Just like all my colleauges. "Why don't you write?" "Woldn't want to sully the crafty with my clumsy scrawls" kind of thing. Well, I want to write, damn it. I want to construct huge sprawling novels.
I have read Tolstoy in the Russian. He is my hero. But I'm only a fan.
I'll always be just a fan. Only a fan.

Celia: Get me another drink and you can be my hero.

They order more liquor. Grand Marnier this time.

Celia: Hey David. Which one of us is going to drive? I promised you dinner. Think we'd better get going.

Business: They leave the restaurant. It is Celia who pays the bill. The little Greek owner says to Celia:
Where are the others? You're usually in here with a whole lot of other people from the university.

Celia to Greek owner: "Ah, this time the professor has me all to himself." She the Greek. He does not wink or smile back.

They leave the restaurant.

..............end Act III, scene 2


Josie said...

Hey... you were a cool dude. And you've led a very interesting life.


ivan said...

Thanks, Josie. So have you. Really.
...from your writing.

EA Monroe said...

Good evening, Ivan,
I hope you are writing all this in Word and not just writing it in Blogger. You know what a nasty habit blogger has for eating stuff! Josie's right. You've had an interesting life! And lots of stuff to write and teach all the rest of us!

ivan said...

Thanks so much, Liz.
There is a format to plays that I am not entirely following.
It's like me learning word...I am not entirely following.
My son is telling me,learn word, Dad!
But I shoemake my way through, typos and all (I guess you noticed).
...Practical things are so hard to learn when you're in the middle of speed and fury.
Sieur de Montaigne: "It is difficult to square the circle while perched atop your wife." LOL.

Anonymous said...

On the right side of manholes

How silly can political correctness be?

The new metro Toronto works department is now changing the name of manholes.

I never thought that a manhole cover could be thrown at me, personally. However, if someone should be offended, that the access to sewage pipes are called “manholes”, these might be men, not women.
Did any man complain? Indeed, did any woman ever feel offended?

But in this new world, re-definition of terms has become a show of intelligence of bureaucratic brains.
Voila’, we’ll call them “utility hole”, so that a utility “person” can access the sewage pipes getting dirty, yes, emasculated, may be, but never ever even thinking that he could be sexist in doing so.

The underground pipe system in Toronto is now a “culture” with its own exhibit and web pages. Very nice and sophisticated, but why normal people do not have time to rename objects and build new sub-urban culture web sites, while Toronto bureaucrats do?
(on the light side)

Giuseppe Gori

ivan said...

Thank you, Giuseppe.

I know it's the silly season and you're leader of the Family Coalition Party, but this sort of struck the old funnybone.


ivan said...

Old Air Force background coming up:
Why did they call it a cockpit?

Josie said...

Ivan, I just popped by to say I won't be blogging anymore. I really enjoyed "meeting" you. You're a lot of fun.

Take care,

ivan said...

You are leaving us?

First my nine "wives", then Liona Boyd, then even Doubting Thomas, who rarely comes to doubt any more.
I've seriously got to look to my deodrant!
I checked your blog and you were indeed gone.
You are surely going to be missed.
Intelligent, simpatico commentator, with much life experience.
Tell me who the bounder is.
I'll kill him.
I know when I taught college and freelanced for the magazines at the same time, it wasn't "publish or perish"--the petty bastards looked down on some English teacher who could actually do it! It was "publish AND perish."

...You can sneak back anonymous, or with a different avatar.


Josie said...

Ivan, I love blogging. It was fun. My daughter stumbled onto my blog and gave me such flack about it, I just deleted it. I should say, she knew I had a blog and she went looking for it.

My private life is private, but she seems to think otherwise, so.....

Dare I to intrude on her private life, though, and I would be drawn and quartered. At dawn.

I am going to miss everyone very much. It's a very real community and I had lots of fun.

Take good care,


ivan said...

Ah well.
Emotions are at a rollercoaster
when people separate. I remember when I went through it, I punched out my best friend (he was 6'4" and I had to jump up in the air to do it). Banty rooster.
At least now I know what happened.

You are always welcome on this blog. Should you want to run a guest blog, I would be happy to take it here and put it right up on top.
We are courted these days as literary agents...don't know why;hadn't sold a book in years.
Even an old publisher who once rejected me wants in.
Crappo. Good friends always leave when you're in the middle of a success.
You will be missed, Josie. You so did remind me of somebody from the past...And vice versa?
Omigod. Kleenex.
Come back when the chips settle.
You can put your stuff here annonymous or with your full name.


Josie said...


I will be lurking... hah. Who knows what the future will bring.


ivan said...