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Sideways

Novel By: JetBlakk
Humor



OK, OK, I am cheating again. This is another play I wrote a while back that was produced in Australia during the 2002 International Melbourne Fringe Festival, and the 2003 International Melbourne Comedy Festival. It was a real crowd pleaser, if you want to put it on just let me know. Incidently, it was written and produced a couple of years before a film of the same name, just for the record... View table of contents...


Chapters:

1 2 3 4

Submitted:Apr 1, 2007    Reads: 58    Comments: 0    Likes: 0   


SCENE 6

Eddie and Michael are sitting in a restaurant.

EDDIE

Just what you're looking for, classy, elegant, sheek...

MICHAEL Look I know how good it would be, but last time I got a bit carried away, I even injured my lower back.

EDDIE

You don't want to miss out, not on this one, at least have a look.

MICHAEL

But I have to meet my wife later today, sorry I just can't do it.

EDDIE

Later this afternoon then, I'll bring the drawings around to your office; sorry your chambers.

MICHAEL

I know that's why I pay you, but right now you seem more like a sadist than a personal trainer, look I'll call you next week, OK?

EDDIE

A waiter enters the stage pours a glass of wine for Michael and opens a beer for Eddie, he places a menu on the table and exits.

Buying off the plans is a great way to save, an excellent addition to your investment portfolio. Oh it's for your son, (to Michael) it's for his son. (to phone) Still a shrewd investment. No worries, Mr, I mean your err honour, I'll speak to you then.

Eddie hangs his mobile, he looks triumphant.

EDDIE

It's like taking candy off a baby.

MICHAEL

There's gotta be more.

EDDIE

Sorry?

MICHAEL

I want more.

EDDIE

More money?

MICHAEL

No.

EDDIE

Then what?

MICHAEL

I don't know.

EDDIE

Well what ever it is, with the money we make, you can afford it.

MICHAEL

I think that's the whole problem.

EDDIE

What; money?

MICHAEL

Yeah maybe, I don't know.

Silence

We spend so much time making money, we never have enough time to enjoy life.

EDDIE

Eddie summons the waiter, who comes to the table, Eddie orders for both of them.

Are you fucking kidding? We're sitting here eating fifty dollar lunches, drinking eight dollar beers and it's a beautiful day. We drive to work in cars that most people would spend on a house. We travel, twice a year, and stay in five star hotels. We have beautiful looking houses and beautiful looking wives. We have nice things. I don't know about you, but I'd call that enjoying life.

MICHAEL

You're missing the point.

EDDIE

How's that?

MICHAEL

I think it's the stuff that's the problem.

EDDIE

What stuff?

MICHAEL

All the stuff, the cars, the houses, all the things, that stuff. None of it feels real.

EDDIE

I don't know, this seems pretty real to me.

Eddie admires his beer, then drinks in large gulps.

MICHAEL

Why do we need the stuff?

EDDIE

The stuff, as you so aptly put it, makes our lives more comfortable, which in turn makes life more enjoyable.

MICHAEL

How's that?

EDDIE

The waiter returns with the food, who tops up Michael's glass. Eddie then sends him away.

Well, if it's hot, or cold, with the flick of a switch; climate control. Silk shirts that are smooth on your skin, the taste of a well aged wine. A shitty job that's got to be done, you pay someone else to do it. We can have the finer things in life. We can afford to buy what ever we want.

MICHAEL

And that makes you happy?

EDDIE

Eddie starts shoveling down his lunch.

It sure fucking helps.

MICHAEL

Michael listlessly pushes his food around his plate.

What about feeling alive, experiencing the hot, the cold, the discomfort of doing the shitty job, of actually creating the finer things in life?

EDDIE

You're not turning religious on me are ya?

MICHAEL

No, I just want to feel alive.

EDDIE

Well you look alive, if that's any consolation.

MICHAEL

All the stuff, it's all a big distraction. We work all the time, for what?� To buy bigger houses in better suburbs, more cars, more things. Spend so much time working for the stuff, maintaining the stuff, improving the stuff, we will never have enough stuff. It feels like it is all cluttering up my brain. We worship the stuff, it's like our bloody religion. Bow down to the holy stuff. It's not about where you end up in life, or about what you acquire. It's about the journey on the way.

EDDIE

Jesus, you are turning religious!

MICHAEL

No, I just need some clarity. I need passion.

EDDIE

Sound's like you need an affair. A bit on the side.

MICHAEL

No, that's just more stuff, more distractions.

EDDIE

Well what then?

MICHAEL

I don't know, I just feel like my life is in a rut, nose to the grindstone.

EDDIE

Well take a vacation then, some time to get your clarity back.

MICHAEL

Sitting in a five star hotel is not going to give me clarity.

EDDIE

Mate, you are starting to do my head in.

MICHAEL

I want to break out. I think I want to be radical.

EDDIE

We are fucking radicals, we are soldiers of fortune riding on top of the system, we are the cream of the crop. We aren't in a rut, it's not our noses on the grindstone, we are on top of the shit heap. We are fucking revolutionaries.

MICHAEL

We sell real estate mate.

EDDIE

It pays for all the stuff, the fifty dollar lunches and the eight dollar beers.

MICHAEL

Exactly my point.

Eddie nods, thinking they are both in agreement. He starts to eat his lunch again.

MICHAEL

An artist, now there's someone that would really feel alive, experience the full range of emotions. The complete human experience.

EDDIE

Eddie sighs, and puts down his knife and fork again.

Yeah OK, I see your point. However lots of artists often end up, hungry, alone and miserable.

� MICHAEL

They say you have to suffer for your art. Maybe that's the key, hardship. Like that philosopher Nietsche.

EDDIE

Who... what... You reckon that if they had the choice, that those artists wouldn't rather live more like us?

MICHAEL

Of course they would, but they probably wouldn't create great works of art.

EDDIE

Nah, that's bullshit. There's plenty of great artists who have done good shit after they have become rich, like that Ken Done bloke.

MICHAEL

I suppose.

Eddie picks up his knife and fork and resumes eating.

MICHAEL

Still, I want more.

EDDIE

More fucking what?

MICHAEL

I don't know.

EDDIE

You don't want a holiday, you don't want more nice things, you don't want more money, you don't even want more sex.

MICHAEL

I never said I don't want more sex!

EDDIE

I'm glad to hear it.

MICHAEL

And of course I want more money, who wouldn't. I was just saying that all the stuff in our lives feels like a burden to carry, a big distraction.

EDDIE

From feeling alive?

MICHAEL

Exactly.

EDDIE

What you need is some excitement.

MICHAEL

Maybe, I don't know. I feel like I want to... to rebel.

EDDIE

Eddie puts his knife and fork down, wipes his mouth and signals for the waiter, as he lights up a cigarette. The waiter arrives and brings the bill and starts clearing the plates.

So you want to rebel, get out of a rut, be radical, and be creative.

MICHAEL

Yes, exactly.

EDDIE

I think I have the answer.

MICHAEL

You do?

EDDIE

Yep.

Eddie produces a small plastic bag containing a white powder from his top pocket and shakes it in front of Michael.

MICHAEL

What's that?

EDDIE

What's it look like?

MICHAEL

Where did you get it?

EDDIE

Let's just say it was payment for services rendered.

MICHAEL

What?...� Look, that's not really what I had in mind.

EDDIE

Eddie has a snort.

No, this is just to get us in the mood, put a different angle on things.

MICHAEL

I don't know...

EDDIE

What you need to do is break all the rules.

MICHAEL

Go on, I'm listening.

EDDIE

We'll go and commit a crime.

Eddie uses a credit card to remove a little of the white powder and snorts it. He presses his palm into his forehead, he looks as though he is pain. Eddie then removes a little more and passes it to Michael, who nervously declines. Eddie shrugs his shoulders and tips it into Michael's still half full wine glass, when he isn't looking.

MICHAEL

So it's we now.

EDDIE

Yeah what the hell, it'll be fun. Anyway you'll need someone who knows what he's doing. Let's go to a house and break in. We'll rip the joint off.

MICHAEL

Sounds like you have done this before.

EDDIE

Shit yeah, all the time, makes me feel alive.

MICHAEL

But what if we get caught?

EDDIE

We won't get caught, trust me, when you wear a suit you can get away with anything. It makes you invisible.

MICHAEL

You really are a psychopath aren't you?

EDDIE

Prefer to think of myself as a radical. Come on drink up, want not waste not.

Eddie skulls the rest of his beer.

So what do you reckon then ah?

MICHAEL

He skulls the rest of his wine, oblivious it has been spiked. Stands up and throws some money on the table.

I don't know

EDDIE

Come on, what have you got to lose?

Waiter clears the rest of the table.

Lights fade to black.

SCENE 7

Sounds of wood breaking. Eddie enters the stage carrying a small crow bar; he appears to be alone.

EDDIE

Eddie walks to the centre of stage, soaking up the ambiance.

There's nothing quite like this feeling, the adrenaline pumping through your veins heightening your senses, the smell of some one's home. This is some one's sanctuary and we are invading it. What a rush eh?

MICHAEL

Michael enters behind Eddie, he looks wired and pre-occupied, he is loosening his tie and undoing the top two shirt buttons. He looks clammy and sweaty, Eddie starts pacing back and forth across the stage.

Burning up. (Fingers his collar). It it's like my mind is going faster than my...racing, so fast I...� It's almost like I'm awakening for the first, something happened at lunch, going through a transition, have you heard of Saturn Return, can't put my finger on it, I feel like I'm on the brink of something big, crossroads, if only I knew what it was I was...

EDDIE Ignoring Michael Eddie holds his ground

I think the most exciting thing is the prospect of getting caught, this is really pushing the envelope, shit like this really makes you feel alive don't it. Almost as good as closing a sale, but still quite different, unique.

MICHAEL

There has to be a greater meaning to life, its like it's been welling up inside of me for years it's...

Michael becomes preoccupied and frustrated by his tie and yanks it off.

EDDIE

Some great memories for me doing this, it has I certain history for me.

MICHAEL Michael sees a TV guide on the couch. He grabs it and starts flicking through it.

Wow cable TV, I love cable, you got cable Eddie, we have, it's fantastic, entertaining and educational like...

EDDIE

When I was a young bloke, just starting out, I'd often take a girl to a nice house, leave her in the car while I kicked in a door or a window, then I'd bring her inside and tell her that it was my pad. It would impress the pants off them, literally.

MICHAEL

Michael sits down excitedly.

The comedy channel, music, and the documentaries love the documentaries.

EDDIE

I remember one time I was with this chick...

MICHAEL

I remember this one about some guy...

EDDIE

Picked her up in some nightclub...

MICHAEL

He was a, oh something, anyway he was there in the mountains...

EDDIE

Told her a heap of bullshit.

MICHAEL

The Himalayas, Eddie, it looked so beautiful...

EDDIE

Anyway I took her to some really flash house, nice suburb.

MICHAEL

Nothing but him, his back pack and his camera...

EDDIE

We fucked like bunnies.

MICHAEL

Solo, alone, commentating, like a journal, he was just hiking...

EDDIE

I fucked her in the hallway, on the dining table...

MICHAEL

No, no he was on a motorbike, cruising through the mountains...

EDDIE

In the Jacuzzi...

MICHAEL

No it was cycling on a pushbike, yes, I remember now; he was definitely cycling through the mountains...

EDDIE

Then after we did it in the master bedroom, two more times, (grabs his crouch) I popped down stairs, to grab some nibbles, (Eddie rubs his stomach in pain) and see if I couldn't find a nice bottle of wine, those houses always had a good wine cellar...

MICHAEL Michael stands and starting pacing around the room.

I think he was cycling all through Asia, yes that was it, with a different place each week.

EDDIE

Eddie grimaces; he looks unwell, rubbing his stomach, starts walking around, trying to walk it off.

Anyway on the way back upstairs I hear the owners open the front door.

MICHAEL

I think it took him a couple of years.

EDDIE

I just about shat myself, dropped the wine and the food, and ran out the back door, over the back fence, completely fucking starkers.

MICHAEL

A real journey into the soul.

EDDIE

The poor bitch I'd been screwing was still lying in bed.

MICHAEL

Maybe that's what it was called.

EDDIE

Imagine the surprise on the owner's faces when they saw her there.

MICHAEL

That's what I'm searching for. A pilgrimage.

EDDIE

Eddie is still rubbing his stomach, the pain is increasing and he is almost hunched over.

Geese that last prawn at lunch didn't go down to well, I feel really bloated, I going to find the shitter, just stay here a minute, make you self at home, enjoy yourself.

Eddie exits stage.

MICHAEL

Standing still Michael has his back to where Eddie was.

My whole life I've never spoken my mind, always towed the line, team player. TEAM; together, everyone, achieves, more, that's what was drummed into me at those sales motivational weekends. No I in team, but there is in individual, well maybe its time to break convention, hold a mirror up to my self, see the real... actually there's two, no three I's in individual, wow, that's amazing, maybe one for id, ego and superego? I am scared if I don't address my inner voice that it may manifest itself in a ... (turns around and realizes he is alone)...� Eddie?

Michael says to himself.

This is important, I should take notes.

Michael produces an organizer from his coat pocket and starts furiously tapping into it.

Mad Dog enters, he is wearing a badly fitting suit and is eating a sandwich, he has a VCR under one arm, he frozen with shock when he sees Michael. Michael talks to himself.

MICHEAL

Still looking down at his organizer.

Id, ego, super ego. Pilgrimage, mountains, religion. Together everyone achieves more.� assets, repress, thought. Advocate, righteous, theology. Adversity, reveals, truth.

Speaking slower.

Adversity, reveals, truth

Mad Dog is staring at Michael as he slowly backs away, morbidly fascinated. He drops the VCR. It bangs loudly on the floor.

MICHAEL

Ah Eddie, I think I'm on to some...

Michael turns to see Mad Dog. They both stare at each other.

Oh, I, I, um...

MAD DOG

I was um...

MICHAEL / MAD DOG

Both speak at the same time.

(Michael) We are hear to do the appraisal on the house, if now is not a good time�

(Mad Dog) �I'm doing a free evaluation, are you the owner, I didn't mean to disturb...

MICHAEL / MAD DOG

What?

MAD DOG

Free evaluations in the area so...

Michael looks confused.

MICHAEL

(Interrupts). Yes, yes that's it the complimentary assessment of your property, look we'll get out of your way...

MAD DOG

No really I have finished; I'll go now

MICHAEL

You've finished!

MAD DOG

Yes the um, property evaluation.

MICHAEL

So you are a real estate agent.

MAD DOG

Um, yeah I guess, so who are you?

MICHAEL

I am a real estate agent too; sorry I didn't catch your name?

MAD DOG

So you are a real estate agent as well, how about that then, so which firm, I mean are you from?

� MICHAEL

Oh I'm from.... From the other side of town.

Awkward pause.

So, um, what was your evaluation? What did you think?

MAD DOG

Me, oh I um, think it was, good, I guess, yeah.

Another awkward pause.

MICHAEL

So how much, the high 300's

MAD DOG

Ah? ... yeah, no, Oh maybe, the low 400's.

MICHAEL

Right.

Awkward silence.

MAD DOG

Yeah um the kitchen is, err, good, and the bathroom is, um, clean and, and these walls are really solid.

Mad Dog walks over to the wall and start tapping them. Eddie enters from stage left doing up his trousers, still with the crowbar under his arm, freezes stunned at seeing Mad Dog who has his back turned to Eddie. So does Michael.

MICHAEL

Eddie walks up behind Mad Dog and Michael, he looks pissed off. Michael is unaware that Eddie is behind him.

Have you ever considered getting out of the business, I have, maybe it's time to move on. My colleague, Eddie thinks I need more excitement. Do drugs, he does drugs, I never knew that, he did them right in the restaurant at lunch today, he reckons breaking the law and such behavior will lead to enlightenment. I don't think it's the answer though. I think it lies in the struggle of life itself, being creative, bucking against the system, ... adversity, reveals truth. To subvert the dominant paradigm to...

MAD DOG

I hear ya man, self expression, why just the other day I...

Mad Dog turns around and sees Eddie at the doorway.

(To Eddie)� I... I... I didn't see you there.

MICHAEL

Michael walks up to Eddie

(To Eddie) Ah Eddy I was just saying how you...

EDDIE

Eddie looks pissed off at Michael's loose lips.

I heard what the fuck you said. Don't you think you've said enough now Michael?

(To Mad Dog) �Don't I know you from somewhere?

MICHAEL

Michael looks excited, he has forgotten the potential danger of his situation.

He's a real estate agent like us.

EDDIE

Yeah right and I'm Mother fucking Teresa,

(To Mad Dog) I can't quite place you; your face looks familiar...

MAD DOG

Looks uncomfortable as he addresses Eddie.

Um, maybe we met at a, um, convention or....

MICHAEL

(To Eddie).

It's uncanny Eddy but we were talking about, well I was, Look I think I have worked it out, it's something to do with...(checks his organizer again, and starts to walk to stage right)

MAD DOG

(To Eddie)

Look I really should be leaving.

EDDIE

Mad Dog starts to leave, when Eddie blocks his path with the crowbar.

What's the hurry mate, stay awhile, lets chew the fat, compare notes, you know, like what's your biggest contract to date, huh

MICHAEL

Michael is reading out loud from his organizer.

Adversity reveals truth, I'm so close, I just know it, Eddie, it does have something to do with suffering, and being creative, it's it's...

MAD DOG

I, I've got a really important client to see, really I'm running late.

EDDIE

Eddie forces Mad Dog to sit down.

Gee you really are sweating there buddy, what's up you don't look so good, maybe you should sit down and rest up?

MAD DOG

No really I must...

MICHAEL

Adversity,

EDDIE

Hey flash suit, where did ya get it? Out of a fucking Salvo's bin?

MICHAEL

Reveals,

MAD DOG

Look, I don't want any trouble?

MICHAEL

Truth.

EDDIE

Well you should have thought of that before you broke into this house, shouldn't you?

MICHAEL

A, R, T.

MAD DOG

I didn't honestly I...

MICHAEL

Art.

EDDIE

Don't bullshit me you little maggot, I can see right through you.

MICHAEL

(To himself) It's all about art.

MAD DOG

Please, just let me go I promise I'll...

MICHAEL

(To himself) It's all about art.

EDDIE

Let you go, well, I'm not sure I can do that 'cos you know too...

MICHAEL

Michael turns to Eddie.

Eddie, it's all about art,

Michael grabs Eddie, who looks confused.

IT IS ALL ABOUT ART,

DON'T YOU SEE?

Michael turns to Mad Dog and grabs him by the ears and kisses him on the forehead. Mad Dog looks shocked.

Thank you so much, you have been a wonderful help.

Michael takes a step back and addresses both Eddie and Mad Dog

I have got to go now. I understand. My Grandmother always said; Yesterday's history. Tomorrows a mystery. And today is a gift and that's why it's called the present.

Michael runs off stage, Eddie raises his crow bar, Mad Dog screams.

Lights fade to black.





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