Thursday, September 08, 2016

A snippet of "Pigeon Feed" - the play

Been adding dialogue and fleshing out the characters in the extended version of "Pigeon Feed" a.k.a. For the Birds. Always amazed while in the writing process, how some plays (few and far between) write themselves and the characters almost dictate the direction they should take.

Meanwhile, here is a snippet from the opening of the play. The best way to describe it would be a comedy/drama in that as in life, there are elements of comedy mixed with drama. Formatting is strictly to share this excerpt from the play.

AT RISE:  Early afternoon. SYLVIA, dressed in a non-descript, thread-bare raincoat, sits alone on a park bench, feeding pigeons out of a paper bag.
JULIE jogs by SYLVIA, stops, turns around and approaches slowly, still jogging. Talking in short spurts,

 she attempts to catch her breath
SOUNDS: Cooing pigeons. Children at play
(speaking in spurts)
'Scuse me...but have the time? The battery on my watch died on me for a change. I'm Strong...wind! Then again, could be 'cause I gained weight. Neh! Probably just a strong wind
(examines watch, taps watch face, slides watch off her wrist Shakes and hits it repeatedly against her hand)
My former boyfriend gave me this watch for my last birthday, the cheap jerk. Junk is junk is junk. Told me it was a Gucci original. Yeah - sure! Originally for suckers like me who date losers like him. Really cold out! You can smell winter coming, don't you find? (takes tissue from her jacket pocket and wipes nose) The wind is making my nose run. This would be the perfect opportunity for you to jump in and say, 'so go catch it!' (laughs and snorts)  My feeble attempt at humor. Obviously very feeble. Guess I'll be running along. Get it? Running along and I'm jogging? Maybe not that funny. Anywaaaay - that's exactly what I'm gonna do now...
(Takes a few steps. Stops. Turns around and walks back to Sylvia)
Better t'rest for a while. Don't wanna have a heart attack or anything. I mean, go know if anyone passing by would know CPR. A friend of mine? Well...she took a course in CPR and would you believe, one day she hadda save someone having a heart attack. Oh Gawd! Imagine putting your lips on a stranger's lips! Who knows where they've been, if you get my drift. Still, a life's a life and she had a moral and legal obligation. Anyway... D'ya mind if I share this bench with you? If it's a problem I can sit at one end and you can sit at the other. We don't have to talk to each other. Some people are weird about speaking to strangers but not me. Uh-uh! I enjoy the give and taking of sharing ideas with new people. Are you a people person?
(Takes out a package from her jacket pocket)
Here - have some. Not a nut lover, huh? Then wha'cha doin' talkin' to me? (laughs out loud and snorts) Another attempt at humor. You allergic? That it? I absolutely love sunflower seeds and this brand is the best. So where was I now... Anyway, my friend saved the stranger's life but along the way, she somehow broke a few of his ribs. I mean, she's never done real CPR before other than when she took the course, so it's understandable. Right? Had the full media treatment and was treated like a hero. A complete stranger giving the gift of life and all. A month or so later, she receives a lawyer's letter. Would you believe the guy whose life she saved was suing her for breaking his ribs? How's that for gratitude? The guy could have died had she not been there at that right time and place and he sues her!

SOUNDS: Pigeons cooing, flutter of wings

Duck! We're being attacked by pigeon poo! (laughs and snorts) Know what? There's a whole family of pigeons living inside the letters 'B' and 'P' at the supermarket, where I shop. They moved in like the squatters they are Takers - the whole world is full of takers. My finger tips are absolutely numb with cold. Yours?

(Shakes her hands and rubs them together)

I'm Julie, by the way and your name is ? Being that we just met, I should respect your right to privacy. How 'bout this. Let me guess your name and you can tell me if I'm right - only if you want, of course. You look to be a Vicky or maybe Sue-Ann? How about Cheryl? A Constance perhaps? Feel free to speak whenever the urge overcomes you. Sorry - didn't mean to come across sarcastic.

(Sylvia stops feeding pigeons momentarily)

I'm gonna call you, Amy, if that's alright? People should call each other by whatever name they think suits the person and you definitely strike me as an Amy type.

Sylvia. My name is Sylvia.

Seriously? You're a Sylvia? Go figure! Had an aunt Sylvia. Family hated her guts - miserable battle-axe that she was. When she croaked she left us five thousand big one's each. We liked Aunt Sylvia a whole lot better when she was dead (laughs and snorts) C'mon - take some. Share and share alike, I always say

Maybe later...not now

No problem-o. Plenty more where this came from

(excited) have a source for seeds? Where? Is it far away?

It's called a su-per-mar-ket. Sorry - I tend to over-dose on jokes when I have an audience. So - like - you come here every day to feed...them?

Pigeons never forget who their friends are. They always come back

Think so, huh? As long as they get hand outs, they will. Don't get me wrong 'cause I'm a bird liker - well at least I don't hate pigeons but the way I see it, pigeons are flying rats with wings. Their friendship will last as long as the food in your hand. I insist we share these

I don't want any but my feathered friends, here, do

Listen - nothing personal but let 'em find their own food supply, 'kay?

(makes pigeon sounds)
Brrrrrppp. Brrrppp They're so beautiful, don't you find?

Just...darling little things. Not everyone can speak pigeon-eeze. It's a gift for sure


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