Mind Over Matter (2017)
Corinne Trommer and Brooke Sleavensky in Alaina Johnson’s play “Mind Over Matter”
Mind Over Matter
by Alaina Johnson
Eastport South Manor School
Bedroom setting. There is a bed and a desk. Mind is talking in front of the audience as in she is looking into a mirror, while Body is looking in the mirror as well, primping.
Mind: Okay, first day of ninth grade. (Sounding slightly nervous) Today is going to be great. This is going to be my year. Braces are off, boobs are coming in —
Body: (interrupts) Pfft.
Body: (points to boobs) You call these boobs?
Mind: Braces are off, my hair has finally grown out from… the… the accident.
Mind: Okay. I’m going to be number one in the class. In seventh grade I was third, and last year I was second. If it wasn’t for Brittney Scott, who had quite the wondering eyes (deep breath) but whatever, it’s over. This is my year. Body, we got this.
Body: I don’t know, Mind.
Mind: You don’t know?
Body: (pause) Well, I kinda wanna get a boyfriend…
Mind: No. We don’t have time for that.
Body: Nah, I think I’m gonna get a boyfriend.
Mind: Come on, we have to go to school (starts to drag Body away from primping)
Body: You remember Tyler, right?
Mind: Tyler? We’ve been friends with him since First Grade.
Body: Yeah, I know. It’s just… I’ve been thinking… is it just me, or did he get really hot over the summer?
Mind: (rolls eyes) C’mon, let’s go. (drags Body offstage, while Body slightly refuses)
Lights change, symbolizing a day past.
Mind: OK, so I need to do my math homework, english essay, and study for the history quiz tomorrow.
Body: Is it just me, or has the workload gotten bigger?
Mind: Yeah, but I can manage.
Body: (yawns, stretches) As fun as that sounds and all, I think I need to squeeze in a quick nap.
Mind: We don’t have time.
Body: But… there’s always time for naps.
Mind: We really don’t have time.
Body: I got up at 6 in the morning! (Mind gives Body a death glare) Fine!
Mind: OK, take out the math homework.
Body: (falls limp on the bed) I can’t move.
Mind: I’m not doing this today.
Body: (Audible sleep noises)
Mind: (tries to pick up Body, drags her by her arm) Let’s goooooo!
A phone message dings. Body jumps up and runs over.
Body: Oh my god.
Body: Tyler just texted me!
Mind: Well what did he say?
Body: (giggling like a giddy schoolgirl) “Hi!” What do I say back?
Mind: (condescending and sarcastic) How about you just say “hi” back?
Body: (thinks for a second then types on phone) Nah, I got this.
Mind: Well what did you write?
Body hands phone to Mind.
Mind: (reading) Hey with three “y’s” and a winky face?
Body: Clever, right?
Mind: No…. no.
Body: What? I think it’s OK.
Mind: Yeah, it’s fine. Can we just do the math homework?
Body: Ooh – Tyler just texted back!
Mind: What did he say?
Body: “Do you understand the fourth question on the math homework?” Shit! Where’s the math homework?
Mind: Ugh! (grabs math homework and hands it to Body)
Body: OK, question four! (looks at it for a while, then looks up at Mind with a huge smile) Hey, uh, Mind? Can you help me please?
Mind: (stares at Body, irritated) Fine. (takes notebook) Oh, this isn’t hard at all. (quickly writes down answers, hands it back to Body) OK, time for the next question.
Body: Thanks. (Grabs phone and quickly sends a picture to Tyler)
Mind: That wasn’t for Tyler. It’s for our grade. We need to do well.
Body: Yeah, yeah. (Phone goes off) Ooh! Tyler responded! “Thanks.” What should I say?
Body: (repeats while typing into phone) I…
Mind: Not responsible…
Body: Not responsible…
Mind: For your grade.
Body: Wait a minute. That isn’t funny.
Mind: Tyler isn’t that cute, you know?
Body: (drops phone on desk) What?!
Mind: (slowly, so Body understands) He… isn’t… that… cute.
Body: What would you know?
Mind: Well, you’ve never been the brains of – well, any situation.
Body: Yeah, well I do feel every emotion you know. (In awe) Like when I see him, our heart starts beating faster, and our stomach feels sort of queasy but in a good way…
Mind: He’ll hurt you.
Body: No! He dated Christine for three weeks before breaking up with her.
Body: She stinks! She smells like ear wax!
Mind: (cringes) Can we just finish the homework?
Body: No. I’m going to bed.
Mind: It’s four o’clock.
Mind: Fine. I’m done fighting with you.
Lights change. The next day. Mind and Body are looking into the audience like a mirror.
Mind: Have we gained weight? (Looking for a couple of seconds) Is that… a pimple?
Body: C’mon, we have to go to school.
Mind: You just want to see Tyler.
Mind: We really need to lay off the French Fries.
Body: (walking in, on phone) Tyler hasn’t texted me back yet.
Mind: (walks in shortly after Body, carrying all the books and a backpack. Dramatically drops them all on floor, while Body is sitting texting on the bed) Maybe it’s because you look like a pimply bulldog.
Mind: Can we please just dot he English essay? It’s due tomorrow.
Body: No. I wanna talk about how I’m a “pimply bulldog.”
Mind: I’m just sick of you talking about a guy when we have so much work to do.
Body: I’m sick of you talking about school all the time. “Body do this, body do that.” Sometimes I just want to take a nap.
Mind: You take a 3-hour nap every day after school.
Body: Well, clearly I don’t get enough beauty sleep if I look like a “pimply bulldog.”
Mind: (deep breath) All I want to do is get good grades, and all you can seem to concentrate on his the color of Tyler’s eyes.
Body: They’re great eyes, you know… (in a trance) They’re a beautiful light brown that have a twinkle in…
Mind: They’re brown! Shit brown! There is nothing special about brown eyes!
Body: We have brown eyes.
Mind: Exactly. Just like half the world.
Body: God! I just want to have a good time!
Mind: A good time?
Body: Yeah! I want to be able to have a boyfriend and go to parties and… and…
Body: I don’t know… just do something exciting. Get out of my comfort zone. Stray from routine. We don’t do anything.
Mind: We’ll do stuff in college.
Body: Well, you see, you keep saying that. You said that in elementary school, that we’ll have fun in middle school. And then in middle school, you said high school will be the time, and now we’re here, and…. and…. you won’t even let me talk to a boy.
Mind: OK, I mean it this time. College we can go to a few parties.
Body: Damn it, Mind! You wouldn’t let me play on the playground because you had to finish reading the dictionary!
Mind: It was a good read.
Body: We were in kindergarten.
Mind: I might have been a little controlling.
Body: A little?
Mind: Will you let me finish? I might not have let you do things you wanted to do. I get it. But I only did it so we could get into a good college.
Body: Can we just find a compromise?
Mind: As in?
Body: I’ll do the homework, as long as you let me…(excitedly) go out on a date with Tyler!
Mind: He asked us out?!?!
Body: Yeah! Look… (shows Mind the phone)
Mind: It’s a hangout with three other people.
Body: It’s a start!
Mind: OK. (pause) What should we wear?
Both girls start talking about what they should wear while the lights face and the music comes up.
End of play.