The Daily Motions – Eastport South Manor High School (2014)
The Daily Motions by Sean Foster
Setting: Apartment-like room. Table USL. Couch USC. Small table with lamp on the SR side of couch. MICHAEL is at the table dressed in slacks, button-down, sweater and a tie, preparing for work. GARRETT is asleep on the couch dressed in jeans and a dirty shirt.
MICHAEL: (Whistling and getting ready to leave) Alright, time to make some coffee. (Walks to coffee maker) Hmm, decaf of regular? (Holds up both accordingly) Let’s be adventurous! (Puts in regular)
(MICHAEL walks and grabs his briefcase and organizes some papers)
MICHAEL: Garrett, wake up! We have work.
MICHAEL: Garrett!! (Sighs and walks to coffee which as brewed, grabs cup and waves it in front of GARRETT’s face)
GARRETT: (Waking) Is…is that coffee?
MICHAEL: Yup. Its mine. If you get ready now, you’ll have some time to make your own. (Goes to table and puts in cream and sugar)
GARRETT: Alright, alright. (Gets up and squints at the morning light) Oh God what is that?! (Covers face)
MICHAEL: That’s called ‘light’ Garrett. (Makes hand gesture)
GARRETT: (Getting up and groaning)
MICHAEL: Hmm, maybe you shouldn’t have gone out last night.
GARRETT: Yeah, maybe. (Ponders) But it was fun. Perhaps you should have come out Mikey.
(GARRETT walks off SR to change into work clothes)
MICHAEL: (To GARRETT) Yeah no thank you. (To himself and staring off) I’m not one for social interactions.
GARRETT: (From offstage) That’s a shame, that girl was looking for you. What’s her name? Ummm, Rachel or Renee or Rosary or-
MICHAEL: Rebecca! Her name is Rebecca.
GARRETT: (Walking back on with a dress shirt on) Oh yeah. Anyways, Becca was hoping-
GARRETT: (Not stopping from last sentence) –that you came out but sadly, I had to break the news that you stayed in.
MICHAEL: Hmm, what a shame.
GARRETT: Oh don’t give me that. I know you’re into her man. I see the way you get all quiet when she shows up. Well, you also go quiet in any social situation. Or during Game of Thrones. Anyways, don’t go-
MICHAEL: Whatever, it doesn’t really matter. I only see her as a friend and colleague.
(GARRETT gives a “Really?” look to MICHAEL, the audience, and then MICHAEL again)
MICHAEL: Can you put a tie on or something?
GARRETT: Fine. (Throws tie around neck)
MICHAEL: Get your stuff together quickly. If you’re late again, you’ll definitely be fired.
GARRETT: (To himself) I doubt that.
MICHAEL: And then they’ll fire me too for working with you. If were not there for the man upstairs, we’ll be done for.
GARRETT: Calm down. He is not gonna care. He hasn’t stuck with a single idea since February.
MICHAEL: I will not calm down! You have no responsibility for your job. Our job.
GARRETT: Listen to me. It. Is. Going. To. Be. Fine.
MICHAEL: (Walking away and looking at watch) Grab your stuff.
GARRETT: (grabs papers) Got it. (Grabs MICHAEL’s coffee)
(MICHAEL gives a look of annoyance to the audience, sighs and follows SL)
GARRETT: (While walking off SL) We should invest in a trampoline.
MICHAEL: (while exiting SL) We live in an apartment.
Setting: Lights open to the front of the stage with a desk on each side with chairs. SL desk is neat and organized while the SR desk is not so much. MICHAEL and GARRETT walk in from SL and go to their respective desks. MICHAEL’s being SL and GARRETT’s SR.
GARRETT: (While walking on) I’m just saying that a reunion episode of Family Matters would be SO cool.
(MICHAEL and GARRETT wait around in silence for a moment)
MICHAEL: I-I don’t get it.
GARRETT: See? I told you. He’s not even here yet.
MICHAEL: (To himself) Late as always.
GARRETT: I wish I could talk to him, you know? Like if he really wants to write a book, he’ll have to sit down and actually write a book.
MICHAEL: Well don’t drill him for it. I’m sure it’s difficult. We’re just here to help.
GARRETT: Help? (Another “really?” look)
MICHAEL: In a way. We-uh-you know what I mean.
GARRETT: Yeah yeah, I know. (Silence) Hey! (Outward) From one procrastinator to another, you aren’t really giving us a good name, you know that? (More silence) Alright, suit yourself.
MICHAEL: Oh quit it.
(Sound of moving papers/supplies and a man sitting down at a desk. A voice is now heard over the stage)
BEN: Alright alright, time to get this started.
GARRETT: Oh, there we go!
BEN: Okay, lets get this done.
GARRETT: What’s that? The hundredth time he’s said that.
MICHAEL: Well, technically speaking, hundred and seventh.
(MICHAEL and GARRETT both cross a little bit center from their desks)
MICHAEL: Hey, but now that he’s finally here, we have to help him get this done. You’re not yourself, remember? You’re whoever he wants you to be. Just not you.
GARRETT: I know I know. This isn’t my first day on the job. You know that? (After a moment) Wait, what’s so bad about me being me?
MICHAEL: Well, A.)-Its your job not to be yourself. And B.)-Well, you-you’re, ummm
GARRETT: No no. Don’t worry. I read you loud and clear. My natural aura of awesomeness cannot be translated onto paper.
MICHAEL: Yeah yeah, sure.
BEN: Okay okay, soooo how does one start this book?
BEN: Setting! Setting setting setting setting. Uhhhhh, suburban household.
(MICHAEL and GARRETT look around)
BEN: More importantly, we need a plot here. Suburbiaaaa. Uhhh, how about…..oh! How about a highly strict father who works in the city and a near-drop out hoodrat of a son who always gets tangled in the wrong crowds. And the story opens up during a huge fight that they are having about coming home really late. The father, getting home from work finds his son sitting around doing nothing and finally flips out on him and everything that he’s been doing wrong.
(As BEN begins to talk abut his story, costume pieces are thrown on from the stage wings via backstage crew. A sweatshirt and snapback hat is thrown to MICHAEL while a suit jacket and briefcase are slid to GARRETT. They both begin to put on the clothes.)
MICHEAL: Really? (Looking up and indicating towards BEN) Really?? I’m the hoodrat son? (Looking at GARRETT) Really?
GARRETT: (Giving “Oh well” gesture) What’re ya gonna do?
BEN: And as the father puts down his briefcase he says-
(MICHAEL and GARRETT immediately snap into the new character they are portraying)
GARRETT: (Speaking as the father) Dammit! I’ve said over and over again, I don’t even care anymore what you’re out doing but just get home by 12:30!
MICHAEL: (As the son) And I’ve said over and over, it doesn’t matter what I’m doing and it doesn’t matter when I’m home!
GARRETT: Under my roof, the roof that I put over your head, those things do matter! I’m not going to have some kid who goes out, does drugs, breaks the law, and comes home whenever to act like he owns the place. I keep you in this house and I can kick you out!
MICHAEL: See you always say that but oh, look! I’m still here! It doesn’t matter what you say, you’re not going to kick me out.
GARRETT: Oh yes I will! I’ve had it up to here with everything you do and I’m completely sick of it.
MICHAEL: Fine!! Do it! I don’t care! I have friends I can stay with. I don’t need this place. I can-
BEN: Nahhhh, nah nah. This isn’t going to work.
(MICHAEL and GARRETT snap back to themselves)
BEN: (sighs) This isn’t going to go anywhere. Too tense of a starting point. It wont go anywhere. (Sound of a sheet of paper being crushed and thrown out)
GARRETT: Ehhh, not one of his best ideas.
(MICHAEL and GARRETT take off the clothes they previously put on)
MICHAEL: (While taking off sweatshirt and hat) Agreed.
BEN: Hmmm, I need something more interesting.
(GARRETT walks over to MICHAEL and puts his arm around him)
GARRETT: (Obviously mocking the characters just played by the two) You know son, I really want you to-
MICHAEL: Oh stop it! (Shoving his arm off)
BEN: Ah! How about everyday life of Chicago.
(MICHAEL and GARRETT walk to their spots)
BEN: The sun rises over a snow-covered city and there is a small house among the suburbs. A plain looking man gets ready for another monotonous, boring, and uneventful day at work.
(While BEN is speaking, an overcoat and suitcase are slid to MICHAEL)
GARRETT: Oh wow! This sounds just like you! You’re gonna do great!!
(MICHAEL gives an annoyed look to GARRETT and then to the audience)
BEN: Another man appears out of another room in the house.
(GARRETT is thrown a hardhat and clipboard)
BEN: The man walking in is a construction contractor working in the basement.
GARRETT: (Walking towards MICHAEL as the contractor) So, like I said before, you’re most likely-
(MICHAEL and GARRETT freeze and GARRETT drops his clipboard in fright. They both stare up and around in silence)
BEN: (After some silence) Damn paper cuts.
(MICHAEL and GARRETT realize the low severity of the situation and calm down)
BEN: So the contractor says-
GARRETT: You’re going to need a couple cross beams along the ceiling downstairs.
MICHAEL: (As the office worker) Why so? When I bought the house, the relater said that everything was in tip-top shape.
GARRETT: Well, they say that. But these old houses weren’t made to accommodate for modern day appliances on the ground floor.
MICHAEL: So you’re saying that I just need more structural support in the basement?
GARRETT: Yeah, I’d say that at least.
MICHAEL: Okay well I know I will be out of town next week so if your crew would like to come-
(MICHAEL and GARRETT stop)
BEN: This is boring. No one will want to read this ever.
(MICHAEL and GARRETT begin to take of their costumes)
BEN: Dammit Ben. You need to get yourself together man. You’ve been living off Ramen and Kool-Aid for 3 months now. You need write something that’ll get yourself out of minimum wage living. You’re never going to make it anywhere like this. (sighs) Dad was right. I should’ve just become a mechanic like him or something.
(There is a prolonged silence. MICHAEL and GARRETT stand awkwardly after hearing BEN rant. Similar to that of when you’re over a friend’s house and their parents are fighting or something)
BEN: Whatever. (Waits a moment) What is something that interests people? What is popular today? Uhhhh. I’ll Google it!
GARRETT: Oh, he’s Googling something!
MICHAEL: Soooo, that means he will probably be lead to Youtube which means he’ll probably spend a nearly criminal amount of time watching videos.
GARRETT: Soooo, break?
MICHEAL: (In agreement) Break.
(MICHAEL and GARRETT go to their desks and sit down. GARRETT gets on his phone and begins to text while MICHAEL starts writing on paper)
(There is silence and then the sound of rustling papers and BEN sitting down)
BEN: Alright, alright.
(GARRETT and MICHAEL give their attention)
GARRETT: Wait wait, what?
MICHAEL: That was a pretty short Googling session. He must’ve actually stayed focused.
GARRETT: Yeah, funny joke.
BEN: So we open in a far off medieval land.
MICHAEL: (hurried) Ah whatever, just get ready.
(Both go to center stage spots)
BEN: A noble knight is exploring the vast wilderness.
(a cape and sword* is thrown to GARRETT)
MICHAEL: (with face lighting up) Ohh, like Game of Thrones. Am I gonna be some evil knight or sorcerer or something?
BEN: The knight traverses a rocky valley to come across a makeshift house and finds a fair maiden tending to crops outside.
(A long-haired wig is thrown to MICHAEL)
BEN: The Knight walks to the woman a grabs the her attention.
GARRETT: (As the knight) Hello my mistress of peasantry.
MICHAEL: (Facing audience and shaking his head)
GARRETT: (obviously GARRETT but pretending to fit the part) I said helloooo my mistress of peasantry.
(MICHAEL stares at GARRETT shaking his head)
GARRETT: (Still trying to fit the character) Helloooo? Hey! (As himself) Dude!
GARRETT: What happened to “Don’t be yourself” and “Were here to help him”?
MICHAEL: I’m drawing the line here. This (Holds up wig) is not happening.
GARRETT: But then what is he gonna write-
BEN: Ah, what the hell?
(MICHAEL and GARRETT look upwards and around with concern on their faces)
BEN: I thought that was going good. Ahhh, this is a complete mental blank. (Grunts in frustration) And I felt like it was going somewhere too.
(GARRETT gives a “Look what you did” look to MICHAEL)
BEN: You know what? This won’t stop me. I’ll just keep rolling. (After a moment) The knight stumbles upon a war-hardened ranger seeking vengeance for his brother’s death.
(A sword* and rug sack are thrown to MICHAEL)
MICHAEL: Alright, this is something I can roll with.
BEN: The ranger approaches the knight quickly, and with anger in his voice, he begins to say-
MICHAEL: (Snapping into character) You! You and your clan hath killed my brother. Mine own flesh and blood!
GARRETT: (Also in character) I tell you my good sir, my “clan” that you refer to is that which keeps order in this kingdom.
MICHAEL: Don’t you try me for a fool! The “order” that is kept in this land is nothing more than the tyrannical law and rule by those above you. Alas, ignorance seems to be your strongest trait.
GARRETT: I am beyond aware of the motives of His Majesty and his high council. Peace and order must be sustained throughout the land. There must be no time or patience for rebels like yourself.
MICHAEL: This rebellion was more than an attack on the crown. It shall bring change in the minds of the proletariat and peasantry. It shall spark hope in the eyes of the children to rise up and strike down their oppressors.
GARRETT: You, your brother, and all that fell aside him were no more than the pawns in a feeble attempt to overthrow the king.
MICHAEL: I may not kill the king, but I shall achieve the same satisfaction from cutting you down!
GARRETT: Then you shall join your brother among the dead!
(A small battle sequence erupts between MICHAEL and GARRETT’s characters. After a short time of fighting, they stop in mid motion. They stand there, frozen looking around with only their eyes. Then they relax a bit, but still holding the general shape of their scene, they stand, looking up and outward)
GARRETT: (After a moment) whaaa…(Trailing off)
MICHAEL: (Clearly annoyed) I-I don’t understand. Why’d he stop?
(They both relax completely)
MICHAEL: (Becoming more angered that progress has halted) What’s the problem? That was pretty good. He was making progress. We were making progress.
GARRETT: I-Uh, I don’t know.
(GARRETT gives a motion and look of “perfect” [sarcastically speaking] and MICHAEL stands in place looking not only devastated but also livid. GARRETT takes off the cape and places it down with the sword on his desk. MICHAEL rips the rugsack off and throws but the bag and sword at his desk which grabs GARRETT’s attention)
GARRETT: Whoa dude!
MICHAEL: (Furious) Sleeping! He is sleeping! While we sit spending our time doing jack shit!
GARRETT: Calm down, he’ll wake up.
MICHAEL: No! I’m not talking about just now. I’m talking about all the time! For almost a year now, we’ve been coming into work and doing what? Stupid, frivolous activities that he writes down.
(GARRETT now seems slightly frightened at the way MICHAEL is acting)
GARRETT: (softer-spoken) But, like you said, w-were helping him.
MICHAEL: We are not helping ANYONE. Helping implies that something better is happing but we have made ZERO progress towards anything with him (points upward) He wouldn’t stick with a single damn idea if his life depended on it.
GARRETT: (even more cautious) Mikey, you gotta cut him some slack. He’s only-
MICHAEL: (not even paying attention to what GARRETT is saying and trying to speak directly to BEN) Hey asshole! You can’t do this! You know that?! You can’t keep us sitting around and doing whatever you want forever and expect us to keep our sanity! (After a moment) I’m leaving.
GARRETT: (Alarmed) But Mikey! You can’t leave! We can’t leave until he’s done.
MICHAEL: (Coldly) Like you’ve ever cared about this job.
GARRETT: Showing up late is one thing but leaving?! You-you’ll be fired!
MICHAEL: I don’t care. Because I quit!
MICHAEL: I don’t know how you can sit around and wake up in the morning and do the same thing over and over again and be fine with it. I know I’m not.
(MICHAEL goes to his desk. GARRETT tries to stop him but is at a loss for words. Pausing before grabbing his things, MICHAEL turns out)
MICHAEL: You here me?! Do you hear me you miserable excuse for a writer?! Where do you think this will take you? Where do you think all of these trashed ideas and failed books will bring you? Nowhere!! You’re not going anywhere! You’re getting up in the morning and repeating the same process daily. (He begins to get quieter) Your routine stays the same and you’re expecting your life to take off somehow. How can anyone live like that? (He gets quieter in realization that he is speaking about himself) You have a dead end job that you don’t even enjoy and a small, sad apartment. You’ve got no social life and not even enough guts to ask out a girl who’s clearly into you. (Stands, staring out)
MICHAEL: You were right. I am just a boring guy with a completely uneventful life.
GARRETT: No, no man, I didn’t mean that! I was just joking.
MICHAEL: I have no life beyond work and home. If you eliminate those things, I’m literally nothing. I have barely any friends.
GARRETT: You got me.
(MICHAEL looks at GARRETT)
GARRETT: And you’ve got way more than that! You’re hands down the smartest guy I know. And you’re neat and organized. Hell, if you weren’t around, the apartment would more of a disaster than Ben Affleck as Batman. (No offense Ben Affleck)
GARRETT: (Smiling) There we go. And you’ve got plenty of friends. You just don’t see them at all.
(MICHAEL looks confused)
GARRETT: Whenever I go out, all I hear is “Where is Michael?” or “Why didn’t Mikey come out?”.
GARRETT: Yes, really. So personally, I’d advise that you come out next time.
MICHAEL: (Jokingly) I’ll think about it.
(GARRETT smiles. MICHAEL’s cell phone rings as if receiving a text. He then removes it from his pocket)
MICHAEL: (In disbelief) It’s Rebecca! H-How did she get my number?
(MICHAEL looks at GARRETT and GARRETT gives an “I don’t know” look. MICHAEL looks back to his phone)
GARRETT: b(To audience and pretending to whisper) It was me!
MICHAEL: She wants me to come out and get dinner with her tonight.
GARRETT: That’s great!
MICHAEL: (Looks at watch and excited) Yeah yeah, I’ll have enough time.
MICHAEL: I’m picking her up at 8! Wait, what should I wear?
GARRETT: How about clothes!
MICHAEL: (sighs) Really? Ah, is this fine? (Indicates towards present clothing)
GARRETT: Yes, yes. You look fine. Don’t worry.
MICHAEL: How do I talk to her? Like what do I say? Do I pay for her?
GARRETT: Yes you have to pay for her. You’re a guy, that’s you’re job. And just focus on small talk, get to know each other. You know, the normal stuff.
(MICHAEL and GARRETT continue to talk but their voices fade. The lights shift slightly and BEN’s voice is heard)
BEN: Michael and Garrett soon went home and prepared for Mike’s date. Michael and Rebecca hit it off and are now going steady. Garrett has starting making efforts to clean up after himself or as he likes to call it, “being a square”. Michael and Garrett still live together and also work together. The only difference is that they both received some well-deserved promotions. Michael now enjoys his job and going out with his new friends once and a while. It seems that the endless hallway that Michael saw his life as had a door at the end that led to an open room of infinite possibilities. (Waits a moment) Oh, and yes. They did invest in that trampoline. The End.