This Scene

Meta-narrative of a writer writing

This scene includes: a man, a chair, a pen and paper.

There is plenty of additional information I am going to try to inject into the scene, but really those details are superfluous. The audience needn’t know that it’s roughly 7:30 on a drizzly Saturday. Nor that the chair is facing toward a window, thus providing optimal viewing of said rain. In the original scene there was a table. Then I realized the table and its objects were distracting: a lamp, a small potted plant, two books, a teapot, a teacup, and a glass of water. So the scene was rid of the table and its objects.

Perhaps this is being perverse, but I am hesitant to say that the glass of water is an unnecessary item in this scene. It may indeed be an essential prop. For how else is the audience to know that this scene is one of comfort? A man, a chair, a pen and paper could be indicative of an entirely scenario. He could be a man on death row — scrawling out a last message. Or a soldier on the front line, granted with a (he drinks) pause in action in which he may register his thoughts in a log.

No, for if it were the first circumstance, the inmate would not be allowed glass. If the glass were to break the sharp object would be a liability (he makes a stabbing gesture.) Should it have been the second circumstance, the soldier would surely be drinking out of a canteen or at least a mess cup.

Yes, lets include the glass of water. It says so much. (he drinks) Perhaps the man is imprisoned after all, but not by any legal means. That is, he is being held hostage against his will, by a sociopath whose crackpot scheme is to torture him with nothing but a pen. The man will be driven to insanity by his own words.

A bit too thriller-esque.

Or maybe he is a social outcast. Who cannot connect with his coworkers and thus spends his lunch break writing lewd letters to penthouse under the pseudonym Shane Biggins.

A bit too perverted.

(he pauses, returns to paper)

No, he is a self indulgent writer, obsessing over the virtues of writer’s block. Wallowing in self-pity as he fantasizes about glamorous alter egos. Yes, this is the man the audience has paid to witness. A pathetic self-obsessed moralist who charges other to come ogle his ‘art’, which he proclaims to be an enlightened glimpse into the human condition.

Yes, he aspires to become part of the audience so he can pity the crudity and self-obsession of the egotistical. So he can mock the writer and demand his money back. He wishes to become so nasty and hostile in his criticism that he is asked to leave while other members of the audience are still trying to appreciate the art. (he laughs)

“Art,” he says. (he spits) “You wouldn’t know art if it slapped you in the face.”

At this point he proceeds to exit, slamming the door behind and leaving the audience agape and silent. (he drinks) Yes, only a glass of water and silence.

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