Sunday, June 5, 2011


 I've been working on and off on this for a few weeks. I had fun writing the first scene and I wanted to continue writing (I have no pretensions as a creative writer, but it is nice to indulge those creative impulses every now and then). I realized, though, that the first scene was far too “jokey”--not to mention that the joke was very much one-note and basically beaten into the ground by the end of the scene--so I set about making the rest a little more serious. Anyway, enough hemming and hawing about my “writing process” (I say that like I have one . . .). Here we go:
Scene II

ROOMMATE: Oh, sweet. [Looks past P.E.R.] So you . . . you, uh, went to the store? I don't see any bags or anything.
P.E.R.: [Not listening] Yeah, I went to the store. And I ran into Jesus outside.
ROOMMATE: OK, that's cool. So is there stuff in the car? Do I need to go outside and help you bring it in?
P.E.R.: No, dude. Don't you understand? I saw Jesus outside the store. He was just hanging out there like it was no big thing!
ROOMMATE: [Nodding] I do understand that. I do. But I don't see why seeing Jesus outside the store and getting stuff at the store are mutually exclusive things. They seem sort of like very related activities to me.
P.E.R.: But he was just standing out there. I mean, I went to . . .
ROOMMATE: Because, like, I've been really craving doritos while you've been out, and I told you before you left if you were going out to the store to get me something. So I just don't see why you would come home from the store and not have anything at all to show for it. Kind of doesn't make sense why you'd go out in that case.
P.E.R.: [Waves ROOMMATE quiet] Shut up and listen. Jesus was there and I talked to him. I asked him all about the Rapture thing and how come he didn't show up and was he still planning on taking people up to heaven and all that. And he said no and that he wasn't really into the Rapture but just said he was to be polite to me.
ROOMMATE: [Sits down] OK, yeah, so? I dig that, I mean, it makes sense, sort of.
P.E.R.: [Walks over to where ROOMMATE is sitting] No it doesn't! No it doesn't make sense at all. He just made me look like a huge asshole in front of everyone!
ROOMMATE: Yeah, but look at it from his perspective. I mean, you can be sort of really intense when you're into stuff, right?
P.E.R.: [Shakes head] What are you talking about? What does that have to do with . . .
ROOMMATE: [Holds up hand to silence P.E.R.] Just listen for a sec. So, you can be super intense about stuff. And Jesus, like, he seems like a pretty cool bro. So, I figure that he didn't want to make it a big thing when you said you were into all this Rapture stuff and kind of just went along with it. But then you started making an even bigger deal of it than usual. Like, you called all those newspapers to tell them about it and stuff. I've gotta be honest, it was sort of weird, man.
P.E.R.: [Angrily] How was I being weird? The guy's dad is in charge of the universe, right? He says he can Rapture people. I say that sounds like a good idea, how soon can he do it? He says anytime he wants and I say how about next weekend and he says yeah. I mean, that's a big deal right. [Waves hands around] THE RAPTURE? THE END OF THE WORLD? That's not so weird that I'd be kind of interested if the guy who can make it happen says “Oh yeah, how about we do that next weekend?”
ROOMMATE: No, I get you, man. I do. I see what you're saying and all, but, like, you kind of pressured him into saying it.
P.E.R.: No I didn't, he . . .
ROOMMATE: Hear me out here. It was kind of just a thing he was saying. But then you put him on the spot about it and he felt like he had to like show he could, or something
P.E.R.: He's omnipotent! He didn't have to prove anything. I knew he could do it!
ROOMMATE: Yeah, but the way you put him on the spot it made him, like, feel like he had to. Do you see what I mean?
P.E.R.: [Shaking his head with disbelief] But if he didn't want to do it, why did he make plans with me for this weekend?
ROOMMATE: I don't know. He's a chill guy, maybe he just didn't want to upset you? Maybe he was too embarrassed to say that he already had something going on. You were really into the idea, man.
P.E.R.: I wasn't “really into it.” I just thought it seemed like a good idea. Like it would be kind of cool, you know?
ROOMMATE: So, your idea of thinking something is a “good idea” and “kind of cool” is to write in to newspapers and go on national television to talk about it?
P.E.R.: Uh . . .
ROOMMATE: Like, I'm not trying to be critical here. I'm just calling it the way I see it. You came off as kind of weird and creepy about all this, dude.
P.E.R.: So, great. Now, on top of being a stupid asshole who was wrong, I'm weird and creepy.
ROOMMATE: [Smiles] Nah, it's all good. You're a decent guy, you're just really intense about the stuff you're into sometimes.
P.E.R.: And that's probably why Jesus said he was having people over tonight. Because he wanted to let me know I was being weird and creepy about this and normal people just have relaxing Saturday nights.
ROOMMATE: [Looks up at P.E.R.] Wait, he said he was having people over? That's kind of cold. But that probably explains it all. He must have just got the days mixed up. Maybe he thought the Rapture was tomorrow or next week or something?
P.E.R.: How do you mix up the dates on the END OF THE WORLD?!
ROOMMATE: To be honest, man, I kind of forgot it was supposed to be today, too. I mean, I know you'd been talking about it a lot lately, but I just sort of tuned it out, I guess.
P.E.R.: I left a note on the refrigerator! [Walks over and points to note]
ROOMMATE: Yeah, and I thought that was strange. I guess it seemed like some passive-aggressive thing about the electric bill or something. Like stop watching TV so much or something. I don't know.
P.E.R.: [Points to note again] It says “REPENT. THE END IS NIGH.” in big block letters!
ROOMMATE: So you see what I mean? That's ambiguous, right?
P.E.R.: How is that ambiguous? It's a general command! Everyone is supposed to repent when the Rapture is coming!
ROOMMATE: Yeah, see, that's what I mean. That's, like, the whole passive-aggressive part. You're trying to boss me around, but you're being kind of sneaky about it.
P.E.R.: [Under his breath] Idiot. [Out loud] Anyway, what am I supposed to do now? Jesus made me look like an asshole.
ROOMMATE: Whatever, man. I'm telling you, it's not like anyone cared or remembered about this thing other than you.
P.E.R.: [Desperately] People cared! They remembered! I was in the newspapers! I went on television!
ROOMMATE: [Smiles and chuckles] Heh, right. Yeah, you're pretty much screwed. You probably look like a crazy bastard.
P.E.R.: You're not helping right now.
ROOMMATE: Well, whatever. Look on the bright side. Uh, you're famous now?
P.E.R.: Famous for being the crazy guy who said the world was going to end and then it didn't.
ROOMMATE: Hey, it worked for Nostradamus. I mean, the Weekly World News used to print his stuff all the time, and no one made fun of him.
P.E.R.: Nostradamus lived in the sixteenth century. He wasn't alive when all his predictions failed to come true. Also, the Weekly World News wasn't a real newspaper. It was a tabloid printed for entertainment. Plus, tons of people make fun of him all the time.
ROOMMATE: Oh, I guess that explains why they kept printing him. Like that weather guy on the radio. I can't figure out how he keeps his job because he always gets the weather wrong and he said this weekend was going to be rainy, so I stayed in, but it's been sunny all day, so I don't know.
P.E.R.: [Holds up his hand to silence ROOMMATE] Did you ever actually look at the Nostradamus articles in the Weekly World News?
ROOMMATE: To be honest, I never read the articles, I just saw them in the checkout lines. But they usually put them next to, like, some magazine with a picture of some bangin' chick on the cover or something, and I'd get distracted.
P.E.R.: I never would have guessed.
ROOMMATE: C'mon, man. Don't be like that. Anyway, I'm starving and since you didn't bring back anything from the store, I need to get food. You wanna come? I think I'm going to hit up Denny's or something.
P.E.R.: No thanks. I'm just going to sit here and think about what a colossal idiot I look like to the rest of the world.
ROOMMATE: OK . . . well, don't wait up, I guess. See ya.
P.E.R.: Yeah, see ya.
P.E.R.: [Shakes head] Man, I can't believe he said I get too into stuff. I don't get too into stuff. I wasn't being creepy and weird. It was the END OF THE WORLD. I'm not crazy, right? That's a legitimately big deal. Like, anyone would be kind of excited about it, right? [Sighs] Whatever. No Rapture, and now I'm stuck by myself on a Saturday night again.
[Exit P.E.R.]

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