SECOND DATE: A PLAY IN THREE ACTS
JUDAH. A man of about 40. Strikingly handsome--almost too handsome to resort to having to use a dating app to meet women.
DAPHNE. A woman of about 30. Pretty, but feels way out of Judah's league.
PIOTR. Server. Age unknown. Background unknown.
RANDOM PATRONS. A flurry of other couples and restaurant patrons that can be scene in the background of most scenes.
TABLEAU. A high-end Brunch restaurant, the kind you would read about in Thrillist or Refinery29.
BLT. A highly-trafficked lunch spot for business-types. Food is serviceable, but it's better for quick business meetings and not much else.
PAPILLAE. A far-too-fancy-for-it's-own-good romantic eatery practicing unique kinds of molecular gastronomy. The kind of place you have to know someone to even know about.
SCENE: TABLEAU. DAPHNE and JUDAH sit at a table together. center stage. The restaurant is cozy, with white wicker furniture and green leaves and vines delicately winding around windows, columns and tables. There are other tables filled with groups of women having brunch or young couples on double dates.
DAPHNE: This is a really nice spot, thank you for inviting me here.
JUDAH: The honor is mine, really. I know brunch is typically reserved for groups of friends but I read about this place and thought you might like it.
DAPHNE: I suppose it's alright.
DAPHNE holds the menu up and studies it while JUDAH studies her movements.
JUDAH: I hear the steak and eggs are to die for.
DAPHNE: Oh, I'm vegetarian, actually.
JUDAH looks at DAPHNE with a mix of confusion and horror.
JUDAH: O-oh? I didn't realize that... I mean, you didn't mention it on your profile...
DAPHNE: It's a recent development. More of a diet exercise, really.
JUDAH: ...not even bacon?
DAPHNE places her MENU down on the table and winks and JUDAH.
DAPHNE: I mean I suppose I could count today as a cheat day. Though it doesn't really work like that...
JUDAH: Good. Piotr!
PIOTR, the waiter, shambles over to them. He does not take out a notepad but instead just listens to their requests.
JUDAH: Two steak and eggs--rare for both. And a large side of bacon.
PIOTR: Very good.
DAPHNE looks baffled as PIOTR shuffles away.
JUDAH: Enjoying your Bloody Mary?
DAPHNE stirs her drink, it's barely been touched.
DAPHNE: I'm more of a Mimosa fan...
JUDAH: I can't hold it in any longer--I really must apologize for how poorly things went last time. I know you value someone who listens...
DAPHNE holds her hand up to stop JUDAH from continuing.
DAPHNE: We don't need to talk about it. We're here now. Let's just enjoy this.
PIOTR returns with their meals. Both plates have a large hunk of steak on them, almost raw. PIOTR walks away.
JUDAH: Dig in.
DAPHNE carefully pokes at the steak while JUDAH watches her every move. Noticing him staring, she cuts a small piece of steak and places it in her mouth. JUDAH nods in approval.
SCENE: BLT. JUDAH and DAPHNE sit center stage in what can only be described as an upscale diner. There are tables with business men holding small meetings and larger groups of yuppy-looking college guys. JUDAH and DAPHNE look out of place.
DAPHNE: You really don't have to do this.
JUDAH: I know it's absurd to have a date extend to both breakfast AND lunch, but I know you didn't really enjoy your breakfast, and I feel I must make it up to you.
DAPHNE: The Waldoff salad looks good.
JUDAH lifts his hand to flag down the waiter. PIOTR walks over, same outfit as before, and takes their order in the same matter.
JUDAH: Two house BLTs. Extra bacon.
PIOTR: Very good.
DAPHNE turns all the way around in her seat, looking at PIOTR in dismay.
DAPHNE: Judah, was that--
JUDAH: Not what you wanted? Yes, I know. But we have to go for the BLTs. It's what this place is known for. I'm afraid nothing else will be quite as satisfying.
PIOTR returns quickly and places the two orders down on the table and walks off.
DAPHNE: That was fast.
JUDAH: Want a protein shake to go with that?
DAPHNE: No, why would I want that?
JUDAH: The sandwich might be too light.
DAPHNE grows annoyed with JUDAH's pestering.
DAPHNE: I'm just fine with seltzer, thanks.
DAPHNE pokes at her sandwich disapprovingly. JUDAH watches her with remorse.
JUDAH: The bacon is some of the best I've had since--
DAPHNE interrupts him.
DAPHNE: An hour ago?
JUDAH gets annoyed.
JUDAH: Don't take that tone with me.
DAPHNE stands, outraged.
DAPHNE: I've had just about enough of your domineering attitude today, Judah. I think our date ends here.
DAPHNE marches out. A few business bros laugh at JUDAH and he looks around at them, upset.
SCENE: PAPILLAE. A dimly-lit, romantic, high-end restaurant. JUDAH and DAPHNE appear to be the only two people in the whole place.
JUDAH holds DAPHNE's hand from across the table, but she seems less than thrilled. She's wearing a sexy red dress but she doesn't look like she wants to be there. She avoids any eye contact with JUDAH as he speaks.
JUDAH: My behavior was wildly inappropriate.
DAPHNE: Just like last time.
JUDAH: Yes. Just like last time. But your willingness to give me a second and third chance--twice in just one day--leads me to believe that maybe, just maybe, you do see *something* in me.
DAPHNE: I must be crazy.
JUDAH: Let's try to make the best of this. What do YOU want to order.
DAPHNE looks at the menu, a small slip of paper.
DAPHNE: Judah, there's no descriptions of any of the menu items. They're all just numbers...
JUDAH: Well then, trust your instincts.
Before DAPHNE has time to ask any questions, PIOTR arrives at their table. Same drill as before. This time, JUDAH lets DAPHNE order for herself. He motions his hand to her to speak first.
DAPHNE: I'll have number 2 please...
PIOTR: Very good.
PIOTR shuffles off and DAPHNE looks at JUDAH in dismay.
DAPHNE: What the Hell is going on here...
Faster than ever, PIOTR arrives back at the table with two large silver trays with covers on them. He places them in front of DAPHNE and JUDAH and swiftly removes both covers before disappearing. On each plate is a bed of lettuce and two human fingers. DAPHNE gasps and covers her mouth.
JUDAH: These are delectable...
JUDAH picks up a finger and, just as he gets it near his mouth, DAPHNE pushes her chair away from the table and runs toward the door. JUDAH follows quickly after her. He grabs her arm and she struggles to pull it out of his grasp.
DAPHNE: Get away!
JUDAH: No. I've chased you all over this damn city and watched you barely touch perfectly good meals all day. Now you'll enjoy this meal so I can indulge in my dessert...
JUDAH: Stop fighting this--
DAPHNE produces a SMALL HANDGUN from her PURSE and points it at JUDAH. There is a large BANG and the stage goes dark.
When the lights go back up we see DAPHNE, center stage, kneeling over a the bloodied body of JUDAH. DAPHNE has blood all over her mouth and some of his entrails in her hands. She looks straight ahead and smiles.
DAPHNE: I tried to tell him I was on a diet.
DAPHNE: That's what he gets for not being a good listener.
The curtain closes.
Where oh where did days 4 and 5 go? For anyone taking bets on when I'd fall off, looks like whoever had after a measly 3 days was the winner. Here's the deal though, I'm fine with that. Saturday I had a fabulous day attending a female-focused arts and music DIY festival that left me incredibly inspired--but also beat from spending hours in the sun. I thought I'd go home and create, but my bed was calling to me louder. Then Sunday family obligations took up a good chunk of my day. My plan was to catch up Sunday night and double up, do days 4 and 5 just to get them out there and give off the illusion of having my sh*t together.
What's the sense in that? I realized it would be silly to put an intense amount of pressure on myself to scramble to complete these self-imposed projects and, likely, half-ass them at that. So what if I fall off here and there? Even if I don't create 31 plays for all 31 days, by the end of this I'll still have created more plays--and, in all honesty, more writing in general that's just for me than I have in years. This whole challenge is about growing pains, and not just in my writing styles and abilities, but on me personally, as well. I refuse to beat myself up when things don't get done the way I hoped. Instead, I'll hop back on every time and keep pushing forward. Self-loathing only creates a blockage, and I won't allow for that.
So maybe at the end of this 31 days will look more like 29. Or 20. Or maybe even 10, though I hope not, but that's ok. Because in the end this should be reinvigorating, not completely emotionally draining. Writing is my outlet, NOT the bane of my existence, and I'm going to make sure it stays that way.
That said, I'll see you tomorrow for Day 7 ;).