Wednesday, October 25, 2006

The U-boat Commander's Woman

The fine line between genius and idiocy--what am I going to do next with my play of the randy prof who may as well have written his own version of "The Wrong Box", certainly the wrong place at the wrong time with the wrong people. A bixexual (omnisexual?) husband, a wife like a half-shagged fox in a forest fire and a rogue teacher just plain looking for a lover.

The play could be as tight and evocative as The Glass Menagerie or as crummy as Homo Hotpants, a play an old gay friend once wrote and showed me. He made money. I still hated the play.

At any rate, my professor wants to get away from the funny scenes in Bradford. Takes out an apartment in The Big Smoke and this is the beginning of our Act III, THE FIRE IN BRADFORD.

Act III Scene One

Scene: The Toronto apartment where the professor is settling down, reading something over his kitchen table.

MUSIC IN BG: Ronnie Hawkins' My Baby Sent Me a Letter. Up.
Then fade to BG.

Narrator: I retreated to my apartment in Toronto. She did not have my number threre. I really needed to get away.
But it was not to be so easy. She had somehow gotten my address through another student with whom I'd spent pub time.

Professor (reading):

Dear David,

This letter contains little of importance. If you have other things to do, like cleaning lint off your navel, fixing windows or fixing a steak--you just go ahead and do those things.

Professor (lighting a cigarette) The little vixen. (Goes back to reading):

"Still with me? I thought you would be. Heh.

David,there are things we need to talk about.

The friendship is comfortable, is it not.. The mutual admiration society is as strong as ever. We need to get together for lunch. Your call."

Business: The professor has a final drag on his cigarette, butts in the green glass ashtray, rises, goes to telephone stand and starts dialing.

..........end Scene One, Act III

Scene II, Act III

The professor is standing outside the entrance to the Hart Steakhouse. Celia is late.

But here she appears in something extremely fetching, something like a modified U-Boat kapitanleutnant's uniform, her long blonde hair over her shoulders, heightening the outfit's masculinity.
But she is beautiful. The long hair makes her all woman.
She is clacking, in her stilletoes, towards the professor, who is butting his cigarette into a flower pot at the entrance.

Celia (who has clacked toward him now) Sorry I'm late. Tied up at work.

Professor (turning a way a bit, and sotto vocce)

He faces her full- on, takes both her hands.

Professor: How nice to see you!

LIGHTS: Dim to UP as we are in the interior of the restaurant. Dickensian. High booths on platforms, raised chairs, enormous backrests. Celia and David are having something at it.

Celia: Ooh. I could eat. You hungry, David?

Professor: You betcha. Spent all night over a hot essay. And banging hell out of my guitar.

Celia: You play the guitar? I didn't know that.

Professor: Oh. Ah. Liona Boyd and I ended up at the same fine arts school on time. I watched her a lot. Learned a few things. But I'm really into old Robert Johnson blues.

Celia: Who is Robert Johnson?

Professor: Guy from the Deep South, the father of blus and rock'n'roll. Most cool. Impossible to imitate.
He is the one who expressed the pathos of life as a black man and his tin shack, dumped upon by everybody.

The steak arrives. They make inroads.

The professor observes how prettily she eats. Little Miss Muffet. Mouth pretty as an idyll Sharp elfin teeth.

Celia (elegantly wiping the corner of her mouth with the real linen napkin: I meant to tell you that maybe we could get together again after class next week. Maybe play a little guitar? Hmm?

Professor: But Celia. What about Lief?

Celia: Tuesday Lief won't be back till the wee hours.

Professor: How do you know that?

Celia: There are things going on that maybe you can't see.

Professor: ....Friends?

Celia. Yes friends. Male friends.

Professor: (Taking a second, huge draught out of his brandy glass. He winks at Celia over top of the shnifter):
Omigod. I thought Tuesdays was Lief's night for women!"

Celia (a little more serious know) Lief and I have a warm and happy relationship.
He treats me well. I am in a comfortable situation. He lets me do what I want.

Professor (almost stopped over a mouthful) Umm. Yes. Well.

Celia is nibbling prettily on her salad. She stops, and reaches into her leather-monogrammed purse.

Celia: This is going to be on me, David. I'm the one who asked.

Professor: Oh, no. Really. I'll get it.

And suddenly, appropos of nothing, Celia rises and leaves the table, pauses at the cash, pays the bill, and is gone out the door.

The professor is siting there ruminaing.

Profesor: My, what a lovely control freak.
The outfits she wears.Masculine. U-boat captain. Is she going to submit something to GAY MARINE STORIES? And that outfit she works for. ANAGRAM
.Touch of the cabal. ANAGRAM.
Fata Morgana. Morgan Fay.My, what a pretty witch. And there's nothing poor Lancelot can do about it. I've got a hard-on the size of the CN tower.

..........enc Scene II, Act III


JR's Thumbprints said...

No offense, but I think I'd pass on this type of play. Here in Michigan, there's a Sci-Fi writer who writes a series of novels from the POV of a gay heroine. Her novels sell too! So maybe it's just me.

ivan said...

You are always welcome here.
I am a pro and I can take criticism.
You are not the first to balk at my first two acts and the beginning of the third.
If anyhthing, I really wish that people would be honest and not feed me candy.
I guess, like a politician, I'd say, "You don't like this play?
I got other plays."
Thanks and come again.
Y'hear now?

EA Monroe said...

To each his own, Ivan. Are you having fun? As long as you're having fun and writing and the creative juices are flowing -- go for the gusto! Hey, what kinda candy do you like?

ivan said...


Anonymous said...


F--- the critics. Your current project reads well as a screenplay, I think. The nature of the scenes, the pace, the unspoken communication between the characters, all strike me as elements that could be most effectively captured by a camera. That's my two cents and that said, gotta tell you I am enjoying reading the installments. Puts me in mind of a serial, like back in the day when people actually read for entertainment and enlightenment, before Survivor and Prison Break and The Price Is Right. My telly sits blank and dark most of the time not because I'm a culture snob, but because I honest to God feel as if my brains are being sucked clean out of my head whenever I sit and stare at it (... have to tell you I awoke in my chair in front of the thing early this morning, having fallen dead asleep while watching the World Series. Must be working and aging and everything else that makes it all but impossible for me to remain conscious past 10 o'clock on weeknights.).
For your daily non sequitor, here's this: I am looking at a picture in today's paper of the Dixie Chicks and wondering: What's hotter than a beautiful brunette who plays killer mandolin?


ivan said...

Thanks for the comments.

Coming from a man who makes his entire living from writing, I'm glad you came in at this time.
Hey, you wanna finish this thing for me?
I'm sort of doing the hucklebuck over here twixt play and narrative.
The only way to be?
Difficultgies create art, we hope.



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