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Cast:
ORION: Big, good looking jock. Early twenties.
ELPIS: Thin build, also in early twenties.
PHILOTES: Early twenties female. Should be ultra cute but cookie cutter perfection. Blonde, blue eyed, perfect hair, make-up, etcetera.
SELENE: Early twenties, five feet ten, brown hair with auburn highlights, green eyes, muscular yet feminine form. She sets her own standard for beauty.

Setting:
Two dorm rooms, one stage left and the other stage right. PHILOTES and SELENE are stage right in darkness. They are going about typical Saturday night, pre-date things; talking, checking their phones, getting ready to go out on the town. They should be visible but not a distraction. ELPIS is stage left at a desk with a laptop.

Lights come up on ELPIS who is at keyboard in his room stage left. He alternates between frantic typing and far away musing.

ORION enters- Opening the door without knocking.

ORION: Dude! Sup!?

ELPIS closes laptop.

ELPIS: Nothing; just doing a little writing.

ORION: On Saturday night? Dude, you’re hopeless! It’s party night. You got gas in your car?

ELPIS: Yeah, I’ve got gas. Where are we going?

ORION: Firenze. Riot’s playing.

ELPISs: {Under his breath.} Great.

ORION: You don’t like Riot?

ELPIS: Just a little loud is all.

ORION: That’s the point! Get pumped, grab a babe and party!

ELPIS: Yeah, that’s kind of what I was hoping for, getting a girl I mean. That’s what I was working on when you walked in.

ORION: No shit? What, were you like Skyping her or something?

ELPIS: No, I was writing her a poem.

ORION: You are shitting me.

ELPIS: No. No, I’m not. I really like her and I was trying to come up with the perfect way to tell her.

ORION: She hot?

ELPIS: Unbelievably! She’s in my psych class.

ORION: Oh. So, you ready to go, or what? Philotes’ waiting for us.

ELPIS: I’m trying to decide if I should send her the poem.

ORION: You didn’t send it yet?

ELPIS: No, not yet. I’m a little scared of her.

ORION: That’s bullshit. What’s her name?

ELPIS: Selene.

ORION: Selene what? I’m going to ask Philotes if she knows her.

ELPIS: What!? Why?

ORION: Because she’ll know if this Selene chick is the poetry type. Now, what’s her name?

ELPIS: Almaverde. Selene Almaverde’s her name but don’t tell Philotes why, just ask her if she knows her, okay?

ORION: {ORION texting as he speaks.} No worries, dude. I’m just going to ask her if she knows her.

Lights come up on SELENE and PHILOTES stage right. There is a short electronic trumpet signifying mail on PHILOTES’ phone.

PHILOTES: Oh, hey! It’s Orion now. Hang on. {Reading text.} “Do you know Selene Almavera?”

SELENE: What?! It doesn’t really say that, does it?

PHILOTES: Swear to God! What do you want me to say?

SELENE: Ask him why he wants to know!

PHILOTES: Really?

SELENE: Just do it! I didn’t even know that he knew I existed!

PHILOTES: {Texting.} What does she look like and why do you want to know?

ORION’s phone emits a sharp tone like a referee’s whistle.

ORION: Oh, hey! Here’s her answer: “What does she look like and why do you want to know?” What do you want me to say?

ELPIS: Tell her that she looks like a nymph. That she walks without touching the Earth, that within her eyes you can see beauty, depth and passion the likes of which moved Paris at Troy and that there is no lovelier girl than she.

ORION: Say what!? I’m not going to say all that bullshit. Just tell me what she looks like so Philotes’ll know if she knows her.

ELPIS: You have to! That’s what she looks like, I’m telling you! You can feel her presence without even seeing her, she is magic, she is love personified.

ORION: Fine, I’ll say all that but what does she look like?

ELPIS: {Speaking quickly.} Five foot ten, brown hair with auburn highlights, sculpted body with sinuous muscles gently rippling beneath a thin layer of toned and taut flesh; a goddess, a vision, an earthly delight with a runner’s firm bust-line, generous, sensuous hips that undulate provocatively as she sashays by.

ORION: As she what bys?

ELPIS: Sashays, glides, levitates? Walks by. She is perfection, she is grace-

ORION: Got it! Hang on. {Texting}

ELPIS: Wait! Give me your phone. {Texting} Selene is a goddess of heavenly delight, hers is a luscious vision, perfection of peerless, pale moonlight. She walks in regal splendor befitting her deity, hers is the perfect height at five foot ten you see. Hair the color of richest harvest, bounty without end. Her eyes of gentle spring, her hip’s sway fills me with longing of her fire deep within. No mere man can could ever do her justice in any known art; her beauty without limits has taken hold of my heart.

ORION: Give me back that phone! What the hell kind of shit is that?

ORION grabs phone back.

ELPIS: A pale reflection of the truth. Words that fall far short of what I feel, but true words all the same.

Trumpet herald sounds.

PHILOTES: Here, we go! Uh, let’s see… “Selene is a goddess of heavenly delight, hers is a luscious vision, perfection of-”

SELENE: {SELENE grabs phone from PHILOTES.} What!? Let me see that! “Perfection of peerless pale moonlight. She walks in regal splendor befitting her deity, hers is the perfect height at five foot ten you see. Hair the color of richest harvest, bounty without end. Her eyes of gentle spring, her hip’s sway fills me with longing of her fire deep within. No mere man can could ever do her justice in any known art; her beauty without limits has taken hold of my heart.” This is your friend that I was supposed to meet tonight?! What have you been telling him about me? {SELENE hands phone back to PHILOTES.}

PHILOTES: Nothing, I swear! I didn’t tell him about introducing you two or anything! I didn’t even know that he knew who you are! Do you have a class with him or something?

SELENE: Not that I know of! Do you have a picture of him?

PHILOTES goes through pictures on her phone.

PHILOTES: No, I guess not.

SELENE: What about Facebook?

PHILOTES: Oh, sure! Why didn’t I think of that? {Pulls up Facebook and goes to ORION’s page.} Here he is! He doesn’t have many posts on here does he?

SELENE: No, you’d think that anybody who writes stuff like that in a text describing a girl he doesn’t even know would have pages and pages of musings. He must keep a journal for his really personal stuff. Lots of pictures of him with his shirt off though. He is a pretty thing, isn’t he? Hey, who’s this skinny guy with him? I know that guy!

PHILOTES: Who? Oh, him! That’s his friend Elpis. They come from the some home town. They were best friends when they were little kids and now Orion lets him hang out with him, sort of like a little lap dog. He’s nice and everything but doesn’t do much but study and sleep. He’s our ride.

SELENE: He’s in my child development class; seems nice. How well do you know Orion? I mean, it just seems weird that he could fall for me and I’ve never even met him. He doesn’t look like the kind to fade into the background.

PHILOTES: No, he’s definitely not that. He usually charges right in, grabs what he wants and enjoys himself. I can tell you first hand it’s not just his pecs that are big and hard. He never talked to me the way he writes about you. Are you sure you don’t know him?

SELENE: Positive! Ask him where he knows me from?

PHILOTES texts.

Referee’s whistle.

ORION: Here’s another text: “I might know her. Where do you know her from?” Uh, oh. What do I say?

ELPIS: Hmmmm, let’s see.

ORION texts while ELPIS speaks.

ELPIS: Tell her, I’ve known her from the beginning, she’s always been with me. She is the fifth element along with fire, earth, water and sea. I-

ORION rolls his eyes and thrust his phone at ELPIS.

ORION: Jesus! Just take the phone! And don’t forget to answer her question!

ELPIS takes the phone and quickly reads.

ELPIS: I’ve known her from the beginning, blah, blah…. earth, water and sea. {Slows down as he composes.} I know not when our souls met, when my spark she did ignite, hers is the form I long for in the long, dark, lonely nights. I have seen her from a distance, as a mortal upon Olympians may look, I pray to be honored with her presence and no longer be forsook.

ORION: Forsook? Shouldn’t that be forsaken?

ELPIS: Poetic license. I renewed mine last month.

ORION nods knowingly, not understanding that he is the brunt of the joke.

ORION: Oh, cool. I just don’t want you to get in trouble or anything.

ELPIS still texting.

ELPIS: I have seen her sup on ambrosia, as befits a goddess such as she, I have been blessed to see her float above the ground when with mere mortals she has chosen to be.

ORION: Huh?

ELPIS: I’ve seen her at the union and out walking around.

ORION: Oh! That’s what I thought you said!

Trumpet herald. SELENE and PHILOTES share the phone as they read aloud.

PHILOTES: “I’ve known her from the beginning…”

SELENE: “She is the fifth element…”

PHILOTES: “I know not when our souls met…”

SELENE:” I have seen her from a distance… … forsook.”

PHILOTES: Shouldn’t that be forsaken?

SELENE: Who cares!? This is the guy you wanted to hook me up with?

PHILOTES: I guess so! I mean, it’s his phone! Do you think somebody’s playing a joke on us?

SELENE: Oh! That would be terrible! He seems so dreamy! Who could be so mean?

PHILOTES: I’m going to ask him a question that only he’d know the answer to. What should I ask him?

SELENE: What about that birth mark on your left cheek? He’d know about that wouldn’t he?

PHILOTES rubs her left butt cheek.

PHILOTES: I said something that only he’d know the answer to. What else can we ask him?

SELENE: Something from his childhood? His mother’s maiden name? What about his favorite food?

PHILOTES: I’ll ask him who his best friend was growing up and where he lived. That should work.

SELENE: Are you just going to ask him out of the blue? Won’t that seem odd?

PHILOTES: His best friend is that skinny guy in your what-cha-ma call it class; Elpis. I’ll say that I’m bringing along a friend and that you think you might know Elpis.

SELENE: But you can’t tell him my name! That’ll give everything away!

PHILOTES: Crap! You’re right! I hadn’t thought of that. What should I say!?

SELENE: Just don’t tell him who I am. Say that you’re bringing a friend but don’t say who it is.

PHILOTES: Uhhh, okay?

PHILOTES texting.

PHILOTES: I’m bringing a friend along and I was going to tell her about you and your old best friend from when you were little. What was his name and what was his address?

SELENE: Pretty lame, but send it.
Referee’s whistle.

ORION: “I’m bringing a friend along and I was going to tell her about you and your old best friend from when you were little. What was his name and what was his address?” Ha! I think she’s got somebody lined up for you! You could score tonight, dude!

ELPIS looks at him quizzically, shakes his head slightly, rolls his eyes and turns his hands up so the palms face skyward.

ELPIS: I’m trying to see if I should send my poem to Selene, not get hooked up by your bimbo girlfriend.

ORION: Hey! She’s not a bimbo! She’s nice and she’s really not my girlfriend.

ELPIS: That’s not what it looked like last Saturday.

ORION: Well she’s not. What should I tell her?

ELPIS: Shouldn’t you say me?

ORION: Yeah, yeah, I will. But be nice, she’s a sweet kid.

ELPIS: Okay, Rion, okay.

ORION texting.

ORION: My best friend was Elpis. He lived up the street from me at 910 Birchwood Avenue in Bloomington.

Trumpet herald.

PHILOTES: “My best friend was Elpis… and…. Bloomington.” Well, that’s the answer I expected so it looks like it’s Rion alright.

SELENE: So where does that leave us?

PHILOTES: Should I tell him that I know you and that you adore big, strong poets with big pecs?

SELENE: Maybe just that you know me and you’re sure I like poetry, okay? That’s the truth after all.

PHILOTES: You mean it’s not true that you like big strong poets with big pecs and big-

SELENE: Just tell him that you know me and that I like poetry, please!

PHILOTES: Where do I know you from?

SELENE: Wouldn’t it be easiest to just tell him the truth? That we met in drawing class?

PHILOTES: Really? I guess that makes sense in some weird, twisted, way.

SELENE rolls her eyes.

SELENE: Just tell him that you know me from art class!

PHILOTES: Okay, okay.

PHILOTES points her phone at SELENE.

PHILOTES: Here, smile.

SELENE: What are you doing with that?

PHILOTES is texting as she speaks.

PHILOTES: Taking your picture! I’m sending it with the text.

SELENE: We’re going to tell him that I’m in your room!?

PHILOTES: No! I just want to show him your picture. Smile!

PHILOTES takes the picture and sends the text.

Referee’s whistle.

ORION: “We met in art class and I know that she loves poetry.” Hey, there’s a picture of her. Damn! She is cute!

ELPIS: Let me see! Cute? Cute?! She is a vision beyond compare, her beauty, her form a gift so rare! She is eternal joy and love, our lives entwined, a gift from above!

ORION: Am I supposed to text her that?

ELPIS: Text her what?

ORION: That compare, rare, love, above thing you just rattled off.

ELPIS. No, I was just saying that she’s way more than just cute.

ORION: Cool. So are you going to send her your poem?

ELPIS: Do you think I should?

ORION: Are you shitting me? Why wouldn’t you?

ELPIS: I guess I’m scared.

ORION: Of what!? Winning the heart of the girl you love? Do it!

ELPIS opens his laptop.

ELPIS: Okay, I will. There, it’s sent now. Tell Lottie that that’s her and ask if she’s coming over here or if we need to pick her up.

ORION: You got it.

Trumpet herald.

PHILOTES: “Yeah, that’s the girl. Cool that she likes poetry. Are you coming over or do we need to pick you up?”

SELENE: You said they’re just around the corner, right? Tell him we’ll walk over.

PHILOTES: Okay. {Texting} Walking over. Should be there in less than five.

SELENE’s phone emits a sound like a child’s laugh. She cheeks it, looks quizzical, reads it again.

SELENE: Laughs

PHILOTES: What?

SELENE is having a hard time speaking through her laughter.

SELENE: I’ll tell you when we get there. You told Elpis and Rion that we’re on our way, right?

PHILOTES: Sure.

SELENE hugs her phone, puts it in her purse. She and PHILOTES exit stage right.

Trumpet herald.

ORION: “Walking over. Should be there in five.” Looks like they’re on their way! Hey, don’t let this Selene chick keep us from having a good time tonight, okay? You need to be nice to whoever Lottie brings over.

ELPIS: Yeah, yeah, I will.

ORION: So what did your poem say?

ELPIS: It was kind of personal, you know?

ORION: And all that other stuff you had me text wasn’t? Come on, spill.

ELPIS: So who’s Philotes bringing with her? Do you know?

ORION: Oh, so now you want to know, huh?

ELPIS: Uh, yeah! Ask her what her name is, see if she’ll send us her picture.

ORION: {Texting.} You got it, dude!

Trumpet herald at door as PHILOTES enters followed by SELENE. PHILOTES checks her phone as she answers.

PHILOTES: No need to text boys, we’re here.

ORION: Lottie! You’re here!

ELPIS: {Under his breath.} Excellent observation, Watkins.

PHILOTES: Hi, boys! Orion, Elpis, this is Selene. Selene, Rion and Elpis.

SELENE: Hi.

ORION: Dude, that’s her!

PHILOTES: That’s who? The girl you’re so sweet on that you were writing her poetry? I gotta’ say I’m a little jealous; you never wrote me poetry! Hi, Elpis.

ORION: That I was writing poetry to? Oh, yeah. I get it.

SELENE: {SELENE lays her purse on the computer table and extends her hand to ORION. When he takes it she pulls him close to her so that their hands rest on her breasts.} It is a pleasure to meet you. Those things that you wrote were amazing. I am beyond impressed with your ability to woe a girl. The sensitivity that you showed is beyond words.

ORION: {Looks back and forth between ELPISE, PHILOTES and SELEN.} Uh, yeah. How about that!? I’m glad you liked them?

PHILOTES: Liked them? Her panties are dripping for god’s sake!

SELENE: Lottie! A little decorum if you please! You know Lottie, always finds an interesting way to express herself! Hey! Don’t I know you? Aren’t you in one of my classes?

ELPIS: I think so. Child development, right?

SELENE: Is that the one? You look vaguely familiar.

PHILOTES: Well, are we going out or am I stuck with Elpis here while you two delve the depths of one another, so to speak?

ORION: Oh, we’re going out! For sure! Right, Elpis? So you two have a class together, huh? Small world! You probably have a lot in common!

PHILOTES: These two? Nothing personal, Elpis but I think Selene does more than just study, sleep and eat.

ELPIS: I’m sure. I don’t know that I want to go, I’m really not feeling very well.

PHILOTES: What? You’ve got to go! You’re our ride! You’re not going to make us take the cam-bus downtown are you? Yuck!

SELENE: Wow. You really don’t look too good. Maybe you should stay home. Do you think we should just make it a threesome and take the bus?

PHILOTES: The threesome part doesn’t sound too… {SELENE backhands one of PHILOTES arms while ORION backhands the other.} Hey! Take it easy, I was just joking! Sorry you’re not feeling well, Elpis. Maybe next time. You guys ready?

ORION: Elp, you should come. I really want you to come along, man!

ELPIS: Not tonight. Sorry. You guys go, we’ll talk tomorrow, okay?

ORION: Alright. I hate to leave you like this but we can’t both bow out, can we? I’ll be back early, I swear!

PHILOTES: We’ll see what Selene has to say about that! Hope you feel better.

SELENE: It was nice to meet you. Sorry you’re not feeling well. Maybe another time.

ORION, PHILOTES and SELENE exit. SELENE’s purse remains on the table.

ELPIS slumps in the chair without moving for a few seconds, then opens his laptop, closes it and stares off into spaces. SELENE enters without knocking and Elpis does not acknowledge her.

SELENE: Sorry. I left my purse.
{She picks up her purse, pulls out her phone and reads from it.}

“From the moment you walked into my life
Soul awakened at your glorious sight
Eros slashed more deeply than any knife
All other stars retreated from your light
The gods in their heavens sent you to earth
Ambrosia and nectar flow from your grace
Mortal beings pay homage to your worth
Life’s greatest joy gazing upon your face
Dare I touch the glory that is sweet you?
Mere mortals burn with the heat of your flame
Polaris never steered with light more true
I offer all I am; my heart, soul, name
Sweetest light graced the earth when you took form
In your splendor my world has been reborn”

It was you who wrote all those texts earlier, wasn’t it?

ELPIS looks up.

ELPIS: How did you know?

SELENE: Well, I don’t want to be mean to Lottie or Rion but they’re really not the poetry types, are they?

ELPIS: No. No, they’re not. Are you?

SELENE: Words of admiration offered sincerely always interest me. Were your words sincere?

ELPIS: Ever word, every syllable, every phoneme. When did you know it was me who wrote the texts?

SELENE: Well, I got your email with the sonnet before we left Lottie’s room, so I knew something was up. And we’d already creeped on Rion’s Facebook page and there was no way he could have been writing those texts to her. I was pretty sure I knew what was going on when she introduced us and I saw your face go from bright and expectant to you lost your last friend. Orion was trying to tell us that it was you the whole time but Lottie’s still confused. If you’re feeling better they’re waiting down in the lobby for us. Feel up to Firenze’s and Riot?

ELPIS: With you? I think I’m up for anything!

SELENE: Well, don’t get your hopes too high, I mean we hardly know each other, but I like the way you write.

ELPIS: Oh, yeah? Maybe we can find some things to inspire me.

SELENE: Maybe we can. Grab your keys, I hate the cam-bus!

Exit Selene and Elpis left.

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