Tuesday, July 10, 2007

You Can't Always Get What You Want

Lone Grey Squirrel, a scientist who happens to be a writer, has, in his current blog, introduced a story.

It is a triangle, the most basic of all plots.

But the triangle turns bloody as the husband (don't they always come back?) is possessed with rage and jealousy and almost literally cuts his wife's ghostly lover into little pieces with a hunting knife.


LGS' story has triggered something in me.

It made me think of a play I have been fashioning.

I had been writing the play to give myself a catharsis, so that I too wouldn't go out and cut some poor bloke into little pieces...Or be myself skewered.

Some of you have seen snippets of my play before.

But it seems somehow fitting that now, after reading LGS' piece, I realize that the agony stemming from a love triangle can sometimes be vented by a play.

So here goes (again):


A play in twelve acts

Act IV
Scene 1

Interior: We are back at the professor's apartment. He has the stereo on, while massaging the inside of his left arm. Song on the stereo is You Can't Always get What You Want, by Keith Richards and Mick Jagger.

Music: I saw her at the reception
In her glass there was a footlose man
She was practise at the art of deception
I could tell by her bloodstained hands

Music.Fade to:


I spent a few days in a fog. A fog in my head, right among the pillars. Deadly fog. On the edge of my consciousness, armies were gathering. A vampire fell from the sky. What in hell did she do to me, vampire?
The only time I'm happy now is when I'm with her. Without her, I go through withdrawal. Bleeding man at the bottom of her glass.

Stage business: The professor moves from the couch he had been siting on, drink in hand and goes to the stereo again.

Music. Stones song from the beginning. UP

I saw her at the reception
A glass of wine in her hand
I knew she was gonna make her connection
In her glass there was a bleeding man.

Music: FADE

Professor (in soliloque): God damn Lief and Celia. Thank God I had those tranquillizers from my last dry-out. Didn't know what hit me.

Sound: The telephone is trilling.

Professor picks up phone: Hello.

Voice at other end is Celia.

Celia: Hi David. You still alive after last night? Lief and I had to pour you into the truck and drive you home.
I hope you're all right.

Professor: I'm uh, all right. You?

Celia: Fine. Hey, can we scrape enough together for lunch? There are things we need to talk about.

The professor pauses.

Celia. Come on David. Let's get together.

Professor: When?

Celia: How about in two hours?

LIGHTS: Down to black.

Scene 2

Celia is waiting for David at the restaurant.

David approaches her booth. She stands. On the ring finger of her hand there is an engaement ring and a wedding band. He goes to kiss her, but she draws away a little.

Celia: You'd think you hadn't seen me for a couple of months!

Professor: It's the way I feel.
Celia: I know how you feel. I know you better than you know yourself.

The professor does a slight double take and sits down.

Professor: This is getting a little hard-edged.

Celia: Is it?

The waitress approaches. They order drinks.

Celia (over her glass of wine): David, I don't want you to think I'm a loose woman. I think we should start seeing other people, at least start going out with the class, the class that you teach. Again.

The professor: Un voyage d'aller et retour. Where are we going with this?

Celia: You think you're the only one? This isn't easy for me.

Professor: Well, I'd say this whole situation is getting close to intolerable. What does your husband say about all this?

Celia: Lief understands. But if we want to keep going out together, I'm going to have to bring Lief along. (She gives a flash of rings).

The professor quietly drinks his beer.

MUSIC: from "You Can't Always Get What You want again. UP.

to: Fadeout.

.................End act IV , scene 2

Ah. The hanging man in the tarot.

Adlultery kills. Never mind the trendy wife swappers. Adultery kills slowly or straight-off. But it kills all the same.

At least so it seemed to me as I was writing this play.

In a comedic twist, the sheer thoughtfulness off all the pariticants in the play from real life--somehow saved them all from mayhem and murder.

Is Lionel Trilling right?

The way out of tragedy is intelligence and right intention?




Donnetta Lee said...

I think intelligence and right intention definately help avoid tragedy. But, oh my, there are so many forms of tragedy. Tragic acts of the universe. Some people are tragic acts on their own and they have super-intelligence and thought they meant well. Well, I'll ponder over this some more today. Nice script writing by the way!

Josie said...

You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
You can't always get what you want
But if you try sometimes you just might find
You just might find
You get what you need

Or... in my case, you make some really bad choices and end up with ...nothing.

http://www.creativewriting.ca said...


How right you are.

Take old Albert Einstein.

So saddened was he about the awful goings-on in W.W. II Europe that he offered his equations--which ould be applied to make the Atomic Bomb--
to President Harry S. Truman.

After the bombing of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, Einstein was reported to say, "I wish now I'd never sent that letter.
"Obviously, I can't take it back.
"It haunts me to this day that you can't gauge the consequences of your own actions."

On intelligence and right intention as a way out of tragedy:

After mulling it over for thirty years it seems that instinct, intuition and sheer blind luck can get your through more often than not.


Anonymous said...

Ah well.

From a philaderer's point of view, you get what you need--finally.
It's just all those trips to the doctor.
"Since I met your lovely daughter,
I've had trouble passing water."

And then my poor unfortunate friend:
I finally got it together, stopped being an a**hole and got hold of $40,000.
"I spent $40,000 to get AIDS.



http://www.creativewriting.ca said...


I really feel for you.
Crummy things can certainly happen to good people.

I find, as usual, that the most profound questions are more often than not aswered with humour.

remeber old Jules Pfeiffer the cartoonist?

He had a strip, in Playboy, I think, where this lovely, talented, intelligent woman with "lots to give"--suddenly found herself unwanted and alone.
None of the studmuffins were interested.
She finally let herself go completely, turned into an alcoholic crack Ho, and said to herself: "I have nothing to give."

"Come here, baby," all the studs were suddenly saying.

A tad crude, I know.

But I think the rococo Pfeiffer knew a little about life.


http://www.creativewriting.ca said...

p.s. to Josie,

You are a real person.

Gail Sheehy has a little book on it.

I too, once tried to be a real person. I picked up Gail Sheehy's book, "How to be a real person."

Lost the damn book. :)


Anonymous said...

In democracies we can take jokes about the leaders and still feel good about things. So we can handle this.

Unless, of course, you're seeing this on an Apple computer….

Weak Grin,

John MacGregor


Josie said...

Ivan, that is absolutely wonderful. I love it.....!



Josie said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Josie said...

Ivan, Lone Grey Squirrel has tagged you with with a great meme.


He has a great post. It's fun to find out how interesting all you guys are :-)

(That was me - that deleted comment. I tried to put the link and it goofed up, so now I have tried again, and it worked...)

http://www.creativewritng.ca said...



Norman Mailier, in his high italic style, might say they are a "sapping of creative rage."
The way it came out for him one day, (through a lazy typesetter) was
"slapping of creative ragee",which sounds sort of gay.
Like in that guy eating the icecream cone in LGS's sidebar.
Very likely, LGS is too nice a person to even realize the little animated cartoon could be fodder for the prurient.
Ah well. We'll see what we can do.


ivan@creativewriting.ca said...


The link.

As they used to say in downtown Newmarket, before the yuppies put up the carriage trade stores: "You are a clever critter."

Actually, I may need your help with the meme should I have to put in a link too.


Josie said...

Ivan, I would be glad to help. Yes, I am clever, but it's the best kept secret. :-)


Anonymous said...

Hi, Ivan. I'm delighted to see you have posted more scenes from your play. (I liked "Stage Business.")

I haven't blogged or written anything about it, but a friend and co-worker tried to commit suicide (on my birthday!) because of mixed up relationship crap. He said it wasn't spur of the moment, but a very low point and "tunnel vision."

That was a tragic act that didn't succeed. Thank goodness.

Josie: How did you get the "link" to work in your comment??

EAMonroe said...

Ho! That was me, Ivan! ~ Liz
Blogger doesn't like me when I visit you!

http://www.creativewriting.ca said...


But you know that I know. :)


http://www.creativewriting.ca said...

Hi Liz,

I've been meaning for years to google for an example of a proper film script, but for some reason I never got around to it.
So when I have people moving around, I just say "stage business".
Sienna (Pam) has directed me to a site where scriptwriting is "taught", but I haven't had a look at that either.
The speed and fury of the attack, I say! Clerical minutae just seems to slow one down.

And yet, and yet...Josie, when you show Liz how to highlight, can you show me too? :)


Josie said...

Ivan, I will e-mail all of you the instructions to put a link in a comment.


ivan@creativewriting.ca said...




Anonymous said...

To no one in particular:

I was wondering why I was trying to prepare jellied pork hocks for
a midnight snack later.
Probably all that electrolyte gone from my poor brain.

...I will never watch that Wet Girls site again.

Local cops probably having a good laugh watching Ivan watch Wet Girls.
Ah, beer break in any event.

Cheers all,


Donnetta Lee said...

Oh, my goodness. Are those wet girls causing you trouble? Well, who needs 'em anyway????

ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Heaven forbid I should drown while surfing! :)


Josie said...

Ivan, Ivan, Ivan...


Josie said...

I have sent you guys an e-mail on how to put a link in a comment box. Here is a link to YouTube:


ivan@creativewriting.ca said...

Thanks, doll.