Saturday, August 18, 2007

Public Record

GILLIAN is walking along the Brooklyn-bound platform of the Metropolitan Ave. G Train stop. She hears someone singing on the Queens-bound side and looks up.

BILL: Duh du duh du du du-du duh duh

GILLIAN: Hey! Tee hee! Where do you live?

BILL: Greenpoint.


BILL: Uh, you have further to go.

GILLIAN: Good point.

BILL: So, when are you going to give me a project?

GILLIAN: Next week - I'm off tomorrow and Friday. I'm baking Aaron's wedding cake.

BILL: Aaron's getting married? I didn't know that. When?

GILLIAN: Saturday.

BILL: Will you bake my wedding cake?

GILLIAN: Of course! I told you last year that I would.

BILL: For free?

GILLIAN: Duh, yes. When are you doing that?

BILL: I don't know if I'm ever getting married.

GILLIAN: But I thought you guys... This year? Or next year?

BILL: I don't know what we're doing. I am so afraid of commitment. I don't know what I'm doing next Tuesday.

GILLIAN: I hear you. [pause] I'm getting divorced.

BILL: WHAT? You're joking.

GILLIAN: No, for real.

BILL: Whatever, you're not serious.

GILLIAN: No, I am. [holds up ringless left hand]

BILL: Oh my God! That makes me so sad!

GILLIAN: No, really, I'm OK. It's for the best.

BILL: [looks around, realizes they're yelling to hear each other and there are other passengers on both platforms who can hear the entire conversation] [clasps hands in front of heart] Aw, that sucks! Come over here! I want to hug you!

GILLIAN: [looks at the train tracks and rolls eyes] For real, Bill, I'm OK.

BILL: What? But... But, you just celebrated your one-year anniversary!

GILLIAN: Yeah, but we weren't living together at the time. I moved out earlier this Spring.

BILL: Oh my God! This breaks my heart! How long were you together?

GILLIAN: Almost 6 years.

BILL: [hands still clasped in front of chest, bows dramatically]

GILLIAN: Really, Bill, it's for the best. Trust me. [pause] Also, it's kind of surreal that we're having this conversation across two sets of subway tracks.

BILL: [titters] Yeah, I know! [pause] But, I read your blog! You guys seem so together!

GILLIAN: OK. You know on the right side, the Favourite Posts section? Go read Late Night Blogging Gets Serious.

BILL: I read that!

GILLIAN: Well, read it again. Use your mad reading skillz this time.

BILL: OK OK. So...

GILLIAN: So, I moved out, and in September I'm moving to DUMBO.

BILL: I love DUMBO! It's so different from anywhere I've lived or know. [crosses arms in front of chest]

GILLIAN: Yeah, it's a 3,000 sq. ft. loft shared with 3 other people. I'm psyched.

BILL: Who are you living with?

GILLIAN: Strangers. I met them briefly last week.

BILL: I can't believe you're moving in with people you don't know. What if one of them is crazy?

GILLIAN: Then I'll move out. It's month-to-month.

BILL: Huh. [crosses arms in front of chest]

GILLIAN: [Glances at other passengers on platform] I feel like this is some kind of performance art and we're reading from scripts.

BILL: Totally.

The Queens-bound train pulls into the station at that moment, and Gillian and Bill wave goodbye across the platform. Gillian watches Bill through the moving windows of the train, then watches the train pull out of the station.


JP said...

If this were some other city, I'd say this is bizzare, but since it's nyc, this seems totally normal. Glad I saw you today.

Lisa said...

haha! I can totally picture this happening. I mean even the actual conversation is sort of surreal "I'm afraid of commitment" "I'm getting divorced".

In high school improv competitions, there was one even called The Life Event which was supposed to be "a moment in somebody's life played with honesty and sincerity". So you have to create stakes, right, as to why this moment is being played out on stage. Reasons why the audience cares, reasons why THIS MATTERS. And it was the running joke that all you have to do is either say "BECAUSE MY MOM WANTS ME TO AND SHE HAS CANCER" or "BECAUSE IF I DONT I WONT GET INTO UNIVERSITY" and there were your stakes. I guess the adult version of the life event includes the highlights of this conversation

WTWTG said...

I'm sure we were fodder for some playwright's next big thing. See: "Sexual Perversity in Chicago" & "Barefoot in the Park"