by Candi Bartlett | 11/26/2021
SCENE: - Garage. Night.
Microphones and musical equipment are scattered about. The garage hasn’t seen a car in a long time. It looks like it smells worse, somehow. Four friends gather around their instruments. A dirty plaid couch is covered with coats. A coffee table is buried under cups and take out boxes.
At CURTAIN rise, all members are preparing to play. GRAPE’s arms are in the air, drumsticks in hands.
GRAPE. (cracks sticks together with each word). Two, three, four!
(The band jams for a couple minutes. It’s not bad. It’s not great.)
(The singer, STRAWBERRY, has a beautiful voice, but is obviously annoyed. It gets more obvious as they play. Floppy black hair, almost as black as their leather coat, drips with condensation.)
STRAWBERRY. (waves hands to stop the music) What the hell is that? (points at each band member) You are too fast, you are too slow, and you… (lands on guitarist) I don’t think you’re even playing the same tune.
(The guitarist scoffs. BLUEBERRY has obviously heard this before.)
You’re too loose. Always have been. I need a jam that holds together. Something I can build with.
BLUEBERRY. I am playing exactly what I’m supposed to. (brushes back sandy blonde hair) Have you considered, bro, that you’re the problem?
GRAPE. (visibly upset) Can’t we just make it work? Remember that time I collaborated with peanut butter? No one thought it could happen, but it did. If we can just find our swirl…
(MINT looks over at GRAPE and gives a couple small nods. MINT pulls a lighter out of their pocket, then a joint out of the messy, dry mop of curly grey hair on their lid. The nodding is part of the process.)
(STRAWBERRY’s face gets redder. That’s enough. STRAWBERRY stomps over to BLUEBERRY and pushes them down.)
(BLUEBERRY hits the floor, hard, cracking their jar. Sticky blue mess slowly seeps out.)
(GRAPE stands up, shocked, gripping drumsticks so tightly they shake.)
(BLUEBERRY rolls around, light blue smudges on their guitar. They roll to prop against the couch.)
(MINT goes to BLUEBERRY in a silent smoky haze, joint in mouth. They pull a piece of aluminum foil from their hair and cover BLUEBERRY’s wound. They give BLUEBERRY a little kiss on the lid, nod, and go back to their post.)
GRAPE. What the hell, Straw? Maybe you should go.
BLUEBERRY. Yeah. I think it’s time for you to take a break. Maybe get a piece of toast or something.
STRAWBERRY. Yeah. (suddenly sure about something) Yeah, you’re right. (looks around the room, shakes their lid. Little black seeds fly out.) Screw you. I’m ready for the big time. Brunch, balsamic dipped baguettes… (tightens lid, brushing any lingering seeds away. Licks finger to smooth out the top of their jar. It squeaks with clean perfection.)
You’ll never be more than continental breakfast.
(STRAWBERRY saunters out)
(MINT hits the j)
(BLUEBERRY touches the foil bandage and winces. The foil makes a little crinkle sound.)
GRAPE. So, should we get a pizza?
MINT. I could eat.
END OF ACT