Phonies – The Ross School (2015)
Phonies by Dede Rattray
Click here to watch “Phonies” on YouTube
(RACHEL is sitting in a school library. BECCA enters and walks up to her. They are both twitching and noticeably out of it.)
Becca: Rach, w-what’s up?
Rachel: I. am. in. hell.
Becca: Yeah, that was just to be polite. I know V well how you are feeling. Smart going in the library. It feels like my brain is trying to pop out of my head.
Rachel: Me too. (BECCA starts to scratch her arm, extremely aggressively.) What are you doing, OMFG? You’re going to tear your skin off.
Becca: These fricking spiders, OMG, they keep crawling out of my pores.
Rachel: What are you even talking about.
Becca: You don’t see them?
Rachel: No, you look perf.
Becca: Aw, ILY. (RACHEL’S thumbs are spazzing) Hold up, your thumbs…they’re spazzing.
Rachel: LOL, we’re both a mess. But no, this has been happening since yesterday, day four of my father’s stupid ban. It’s like my fingers don’t know what to do with themselves without my phone.
(As Rachel says “phone,” both tense up and take a deep breath.)
Becca: This school is freezing, OMG.
Rachel: What are you talking about? I’m drenched in sweat. It’s burning.
Becca: No, it’s freezing. My teeth are chattering.
Rachel: And yet I’m sweating.
Becca: Maybe we are simply getting sick.
Rachel: We are worse today than we were yesterday. Don’t you think it’s a bit fishy that we are getting worse the longer we’re w/o our phones? I watched my mom go through withdrawal like this. But you know it never ended well for her.
Becca: Do you know where she is?
Rachel: Probably in a gutter somewhere, getting high.
(Rachel starts violently vibrating.)
Becca: Whoa dude, what’s going on?
Rachel: Ugh, this happened last night when my dad was yelling at me. I guess this is how I react now when I feel emotion.
Becca: Okay, so let’s change the subject before you die of sadness.
Rachel: Probably a good idea.
Becca: I still cannot believe your dad and my mom have to punish us for him ruining their date. I just want my pho–
Rachel: Excuse me. My dad was fine, it was your mom who ruined the date.
Becca: What? (Laughs) My mom said your dad had no manners, IG the apple doesn’t fall far from the tree.
Rachel: Well that’s nowhere near how bad my dad said your mom was. I believe his exact words were “damaged goods.” No wonder your father left you.
Becca: You bitch!!! Your dad thinks my mom is damaged goods just because my father left us? You are pathetic. You are going through withdrawal like an addict for your precious little phone. You are so obsessed with your phone because you can’t connect to anyone face-to-face. It’s why I’m the only one who puts up with you. I feel bad for you.
Rachel: Very funny. You are such a hypocrite. You are the one who is scratching yourself apart because you can’t be happy without your phone. I have plenty of friends, but now I have one less.
Becca: Oh okay, so thirteen years of friendship deleted just because connection is pushing us apart. Do you see that you are at the mercy of a block of metal?
Rachel: No, I don’t see it.
Becca: Well then you are visually impaired.
Rachel: Ooh wow, Becca using big vocab. No abbreviations?
Becca: Shut up.
Rachel: You really have stopped using text lingo.
Becca: What do you mean?
Rachel: I mean that since you started yelling at me, you have stopped saying stupid text lingo.
Becca: You say it too.
Rachel: I know that, but that’s beside the point.
Rachel: So, you also have stopped spazzing and scratching. Are the “spiders” still on you?
Becca: No… and your thumbs are no longer twitching.
Rachel: I guess yelling at you was a stellar distraction from my phone, too.
Becca: And I guess that I’m simply more important than your phone, and it’s clear that your phone is shielding you from it.
Rachel: From what?
Becca: From reality. You clearly were just craving the false sense of connection, which your phone gives you.
Rachel: Yeah. The reason our generation is so indulged in our phones is because we are too afraid of real connection. But standing together, screaming at each other, provides us with real emotions and a real connection that makes our phones irrelevant. When they took away our phones, it forced us to express ourselves, to express ourselves in a real way. It’s just sad it took us this —
Becca: Okay that’s enough, Rach, you’re very deep.
Rachel: Right, sorry. So… you want to go play ‘Age of Empires’ on the school computers?
Becca: Actually, I’m thinking of going cold-turkey for a while. Would you want to maybe just… walk? And… talk?
Rachel: Sure, Bec. That sounds good.
(BECCA and RACHEL exit the library together.)