Monday, September 13, 2010

Jay Walker (Robert "Ellis" Lee)

Ellis Lee
Set: Round table with red, flannel table clothe. Two wooden chairs with bowl of biscuits and two glasses. Polished Frigidaire in background stocked with milk bottles.
Peabody- Fifteen-year-old with striped tee shirt, blue jeans and crew cut. Grass stains on both knees. Southern accent.
Paul- Big-boned and talkative thirteen-year-old with striped tee shirt and blue jeans with torn pockets. Southern accent.
Scene 1
PAUL is sitting in a chair to the left of the table staring at one of his ripped pockets and shaking his head in disapproval. PEABODY enters stage right and walks to the refrigerator and grabs a bottle of milk. PEABODY walks over to the right chair and pours out a glass of milk for himself and then PAUL. PEABODY sits down.
PAUL: Ma said you were gonna take…
PEABODY: …I know, I’ll do it later.
PAUL: You should do it now, (Mock woman voice) “there really is no time to dilly dally.”
PEABODY: Shush up I’ll do it in a second. Did you hear about Jay Walker?
PAUL: You’re changin’ the subject…
PEABODY: Alright.
PEABODY Exits scene left. PAUL sips his milk. Sound of dog barking and laughter followed by stern “NO.” Dog whine. Door slams. PEABODY enters stage right, takes seat to right of table.
PEABODY: Now, did you hear about Jay Walker?
PAUL: Who in the heck is Jay Walker? And why do I care? Does he hang around the Walkers?
PEABODY sips his milk.
PEABODY: No that’s old Nate Archers gang, there over in west Norfolk, I’m talkin’ about Jay Walker, that kid who won the talent show two years back with that cover of that Wildwood flower song. He said it was his, but it sure sounded like an old song to me, way before the likes of us were born, pa said so too. But he might as well have wrote that song cause he did the best damn…
PAUL: Peabody, ma’ll hear…
PEABODY: Now I was sayin’ something and you completely interrupted me, how do you get friends if you don’t let a word in edgewise on their behalf, you got what they call a domineering personality and you’re trying to domineer the wrong person, now let me finish.
PEABODY sips his milk.
PAUL: Alright, I was just trying to look out for you, you cry over the soap way more’n me.
PEABODY: Shush up, you cried for longer’n a Willow last time you swore.
PAUL: Did not.
PAUL sips his milk.
PEABODY: Did too, as I was sayin’ Jay Walker sang this song and he wooed everyone; every girl at the end was reaching up to him like he was the first cherries in July. And he knew it too, he would charm a girls pants off…
PAUL (giggling): Now why’d he do that?
PEABODY: Girls n’ guys do that thing I don’t know how to say it to you but they do a thing that you’ll see soon as you divide your pants size by 2.
PAUL: Shush up!
PEABODY: Stop interruptin’ Jay Walker was walking lightning and he knew it. He would have a girl in his room and then the next night have a different girl and then the night after that another girl. And all these girls were falling head over heels for Jay Walker, but to him they were just notches on his belt.
PAUL: Did he have as many notches as I have?
PAUL lifts shirt to show belt.
PEABODY sips his milk.
PEABODY (smiling): Three times that, only his didn’t count how many salamanders he seen. He would go about takin’ all these girls out then dumping them for the next girl that came around. His manager, pa called him a good man named Foster, told him he had better fall for himself to spare all these girls that were coming in to meet him. Well, then he got on that Dick Clark show and from there he began a national tour, he was pretty big, you sure you ain’t heard of Jay Walker?
PAUL: Nope. I’d tell you if I did.
PEABODY: Alright well he started getting real big and the girls kept coming, and his manager kept getting angriern’ angrier. ‘You better do them all a favor a fall for yourself, you’re leaving your own little trail of tears.’
PAUL: Did he ever get his comeuppance?
PAUL sips his milk.
PEABODY: I’m getting to that, be patient. Well, one day he was in Memphis playing a show and he was getting ready in his room. This next part no one but his manager really knows but this is what pa said. As I was saying, he was getting ready in his room and he started looking at himself. He’s putting on all his flashy music gear with his shiny suit and satin neckerchief and suddenly he’s just taken with himself. Like he was a dog looking at a steak only he was both the steak and the dog. He can’t stop staring and he’s looking good.
PEABODY sips his milk.
PAUL: You don’t never look at yourself in the mirror and get taken, I’m the Green Lantern in front of the mirror every morning.
PEABODY: What…? No. He wasn’t pretending and he wasn’t fooling, he was actually taken with himself. So taken with himself that he had apparently chipped his tooth and broke his nose against the mirror trying to kiss himself. His manager walked in and he was a bloody mess kissing himself, trying to get past the wall and get inside the reflection to be with himself.
PAUL: Nuh uh, there ain’t no way he did that. Why would he cut himself open on his reflection? Why wouldn’t he just kiss his arm or something?
PEABODY: He didn’t want to peck himself he wanted to kiss like a boy does a girl with himself.
PAUL: But he’s not a girl.
PAUL sips his milk.
PEABODY: He was to himself…
PAUL: Maybe he thought that he was a boy and his reflection was a girl, and he thought he was kissing the girl form of himself.
PEABODY sips his milk.
PEABODY: That’s stupid, he’s the same person on both sides of the mirror.
PAUL: Maybe he thought he was the person he actually is and he was trying to kiss the celebrity with all the make up and the glory.
PEABODY sips his milk.
PEABODY: That makes more sense, but I guess we’ll never know, his manager walked in and saw Jay Walker in a mess of himself and called the ambulance. The ambulance people drove him to some nuthouse outside of Murphreesboro. He is forbidden from looking at mirrors so he can’t see himself and now he’s real sad.
PAUL sips his milk.
PAUL: Imagine the girl you thought was real pretty didn’t like you and thought you were real ugly, or worse didn’t notice you at all and they put you in a straight jacket for it. Now imagine that that girl is yourself. That’s one dill of a pickle.
PEABODY: You’re telling me.
PAUL and PEABODY finish their milk.


  1. Notes from Roy:
    This is a fun encounter between two brothers. There's lots of interesting details in the world they live in. And the story that is recounted is strange and dramatic. It also has some resonance in their lives, and speaks strongly about their unfamiliarity with love, and with the world in general.

    They dialogue shows the ongoing conflicts between them, and has a good sense of their relationship.

    There are lots of good details that leave room for further exploration, and that are intriguing to try and figure out. The milk, and the breaks taken to sip it; the nature of their relationship; the place where they are and the culture that they live in; the year in which this scene takes place.


  2. -Polished Frigidaire in background stocked with milk bottles. - One of those details you have to stop and read several time to make sure you read it right. It’s great. It says a lot about the scene and it’s quirky.
    -Stopping to do chores is the kind of moment I love in plays. It adds a level of reality and authenticity to the scene that launching straight into the story may have missed.
    -don’t let a word in edgewise on their behalf - very funny.
    -The milk sipping bit is wonderful. Is it with a straw like a young child, or lips to the glass like two men talking over a pint in the bar?
    -Paul’s justifications at the end of the story are very funny, and again, ring true.
    -It’s a strange cautionary tale. I’m curious to know more about them. It’s a well imagined world, and two wonderful story tellers. It could easily be two men shooting the shit at a bar, having the boys so young keeps it fresh and interesting. Ma and Pa play a big part in the boy’s lives. Keep going with it.