Time left you in the streets

Sent this to my sister after reading some of her old stuff. Kinda like it.

You aren’t what I remembered: the cascading beauty that I always longed for. My memory decided it was better to not know you completely. My memory was right.

I read those words again–the beautiful ones… the ones that were always on the tip of my tongue… never written… except by you. But you stopped and I started where you left off. But. It will never be you. It won’t be as good and as beautiful. It won’t be those short snippets of fireflies and truck bed dates. It’ll just be… me. A little rhetorical. Mostly holding up parallels hoping that someone else might find them interesting. But most will just laugh at the repetition. The apparent desperation for a certain point to be recognized. It’ll never be the words you wrote. It’ll never be the pretty snippets all creatively timed. It’ll just be me. And I imagine you reading “me” and cringing at some of it. I imagine you laughing at other parts. I imagine you crying at most. Because that’s you. And it wouldn’t even have anything to do with how your words form those perfect bits that I just dream of… it would just be the same reaction you always have to me and those same things I write… just the same as how your beautiful snippets inspire a despair in my soul because those snippets were only of despair.

We wrote everything different; you were praised by English teachers, and I was praised by Calculus teachers. I never wanted to step on your toes. And I never do. And I never will.

Sometimes here I think how I’m alright and you’re alright both in our own rights. Right now is irrelevant because this doesn’t even make sense. But, mostly, I look at some of both of ours writing and I think how different it is. How… how different… so you can’t really scale it. But personally. I think you’re way better.

Especially right now. I don’t have much on the side of creativity. I just have lists and facts and a book split into perfect seasons. There’s a main event each season, and, sometime, I’ll invite you to sit and watch, but, mostly, I’m thinking how the random snippets you have are what I wish I could send out.

And there’s that feeling. When your words are read, there’s that cascading. We fall, fall, fall into each new word and sentence and fragment until the sudden stop. But it’s always a perfect stop.

And I know if you read my snippets you’d say the same and you’d say how you hated all your endings or non-endings… but most of all you’d say how you hated that blank page you left on your nightstand when the pen was too heavy and the words wouldn’t come.

I’ll tell you how the words aren’t coming and it is awful and you’ll read the pieces that are full of cliches and laugh how I laughed when I buried them away. And then we’ll grow quiet cause we both know that when we started burying those awful cliche filled snippets we started burying creativity along with it. We started holding out for the right moment, the right feeling, the right words when we know we aren’t supposed to. We know we’re supposed to write everyday and write what you know and write… bird by bird. But we stopped looking out the window at the birds and became too absorbed in the inexpressible, all-consuming (and often irrelevant) emotion behind everything.

So. I imagine us in silence and I imagine all this and our un-had conversations when I put down the drafting pencil for a pen, CADD for Word, and I imagine how I pick up that pen again and I write about the cliche and I write every cliche and I write about the birds and their obvious colors and behaviors that everyone knows and I write the dialogue we’ve all had and I write and write and write, never feeling inspired or creative and I look back towards you… I look back towards you and you have a daughter who’s writing, a son who’s building, and a baby who’s listening… and I see that your heart came alive in a way our words never will and in a way our words never even could.

Conversations With The Naive

Madeline
Madeline — Click to see more by Little Blue Bird Photography

In my creative writing class, we had this assignment due a week and one day ago:

Create an opening scene for a movie (no more than 12 pages). What is the conflict for your intended movie? What is at risk? What has happened in moments prior to the action that begins your story? There should be at least two primary characters but no more than three. In the scene, what do each of these characters desire?

Or

Create a short script (no more than 12 pages) that surrounds a single event, in which at least two primary characters (but no more than three) should have significant interaction. Consider the relationship between the two characters. Incorporate the techniques learned about dialogue and character, particularly subtext.

This was my first attempt at a script and I really enjoyed it. I took various pieces of reality from my life, dramatized them, and added some extra imagined flare to create a short script that I guess surrounds a single event. It doesn’t work as an opening scene as it closes nicely, so I suppose I followed the second prompt. Thank you for reading and I hope you enjoy it!

You can download the script in the nice “official” layout here: Conversations With The Naive

Or read it in the incorrect format below:

CONVERSATIONS WITH THE NAIVE

Written By:

Katherine M. Zellmer

FADE IN:

INT. HOUSE – LIVING ROOM. MORNING.

Sound of a child crying echoes through the hall. KONSTANTINE, a girl, in twenties, with long, blonde hair sits up on the couch and looks towards the sound.

Konstantine walks to the sound and opens the door.

INT. MADELINE’S ROOM.

MADELINE, a few months before her third birthday, is sitting in her bed, pink toys strewn about, crying.

KONSTANTINE (with concern): You okay, Madeline?

MADELINE (looking up from her hands): KAY, me wants to play wit da baby mouse.

KONSTANTINE: He’s asleep right now. Did you have a scary dream?

MADELINE: (climbing off of bed) Oh. (confused) No, me has no dreams.

KONSTANTINE (kneeling to Madeline’s level): Wanna go in the living room and wait for MIMI to get up?

Madeline nods.

INT. LIVING ROOM

Konstantine relaxes back on the couch where she was. Madeline stands beside the couch.

MADELINE: Why is da baby mouse sleeping?

KONSTANTINE: He’s nocturnal. (observes Madeline’s confused look) … Umm… He sleeps during the day and is up at night.

MADELINE (after consideration): Baby mouse likes da moon, me likes da sun.

KONSTANTINE (smiling ecstatically): That’s right, Madeline! You are so smart.

Madeline smiles. The two play for a little bit, Konstantine tickling Madeline and playfully throwing her onto the couch.

MADELINE: Kay, are you staying wit me all today?

KONSTANTINE (tiredly): Yes, I am staying here again. (considering) Do you want to watch TV?

MADELINE: Yes! Akyudees!

KONSTANTINE (confused): What? I couldn’t understand you.

MADELINE: Da black monster and red monster and blue monster.

KONSTANTINE (as she turns on the TV): Monsters? What monsters?

MADELINE: Black and red and blue.

KONSTANTINE: Where are the monsters? Are they in your room?

MADELINE (flustered): No monsters in mine room. DADDY keeps monsters away wit gun.

KONSTANTINE (covering her face as she laughs): That’s right. DADDY protects you, MIMI, and Baby JUDE. (pause) Madeline, what do the monsters do?

MADELINE: Blue one makes everything blue. Black one big.

KONSTANTINE: Can he turn you blue? Can he turn the house blue?

MADELINE: No. Red monster turns blue. Mines green house stays green.

KONSTANTINE (sifting through children’s shows and movies on Netflix): I’m really not sure what you are talking about.

MADELINE (turns away from Konstantine to view TV): Dere!! AKYUDEES!

Konstantine follows Madeline’s excited eyes and finds that “Hercules” has just appeared on the screen.

KONSTANTINE: Oh! HER-KYU-LEES.

Konstantine starts the movie.

Konstantine looks up to see her sister, KIERSTEN, enter the room. Kiersten’s hair is disheveled and she dons a warm-looking argyle bathrobe.

MADELINE: MIMI! Me is watching Akyudees!

KIERSTEN (falling into the recliner and smiling, exhausted): I see that.

KONSTANTINE: How many times did Jude wake up last night?

KIERSTEN: I have no idea.

KONSTANTINE: I guess mother nature was kicking in cause I think I woke up whenever he cried.

KIERSTEN: Sorry, dude.

KONSTANTINE: No worries.

KIERSTEN (concerned): How are you doing today?

Konstantine lifts her left arm to display scabbed, but still tender, cuts along her wrists.

KONSTANTINE (apathetic): I guess it was a bad night…

Konstantine replaces her wrist onto the couch.

KONSTANTINE (smiles slightly): Not feeling suicidal though!

KIERSTEN (concerned, to slightly irritated, back to concerned): You should’ve come and woken me up… I’m here to talk to! … Love you, sis. Chill here however long you need to.

A baby’s cry can be heard down the hall.

KIERSTEN: … though I don’t know how relaxing this is.

Kiersten walks down the hall and disappears into another room. Konstantine notices as Pain and Panic appear on the TV.

MADELINE: Look, Kay! Da blue monster and da red monster.

KONSTANTINE: Oh! I see.

Kiersten returns with baby Jude in one hand and a spoon and baby food in the other. She places him in Madeline’s old pink baby exerciser.

KONSTANTINE: Madeline said some of the cutest things before you came in here! She is so smart!

Konstantine recounts the recent events to Kiersten.

KIERSTEN: We only watched Hercules for the first time yesterday. I am impressed that she remembered that about the titans! Cause the ice one turns everything to ice, but it is blue.

KONSTANTINE: Oh, yeah! I forgot about that. I haven’t seen this movie in forever. (considering) Reminds me of being a kid… before responsibilities and before shit mattered.

At the swear word, Kiersten looks to Madeline’s back that is absorbed into another world and back at Konstantine with slight irritation.

KONSTANTINE: Anyway… I’m really thankful for you letting me stay here.

KIERSTEN: No problem, dude.

KONSTANTINE: Like, seriously, Madeline has helped me a ton. Just seeing how bright she is and how when things are explained to her just right, she just lights up… (gesturing aimlessly) This all… gives me hope.

Konstantine closes her eyes for a moment.

INT. SMALL ONE BEDROOM APARTMENT – KITCHEN. NIGHT.

A drained Konstantine frantically cleans the kitchen counters. The timer on the oven sounds and she rushes to grab the food.

KONSTANTINE (hitting the top of her hand on inside of the oven): Shit!

She repositions her ovenmit and pulls out delicious looking lasagna, enough for at least four people. After placing the lasagna atop the stove, she continues cleaning.

KONSTANTINE: Dammit, if I would have just woken up from my nap when my alarm went off I wouldn’t have been so rushed and stressed! Doesn’t help anything!

She finishes cleaning and sits on a bar stool in the corner of the kitchen. The deadbolt of the apartment door turns.

KONSTANTINE (strained smile): Hey, honey! Welcome home! How was work?

DILAN: (carelessly throws keys on counter as he enters kitchen): Sucked. It was a long, exhausting day. Whadya make? What’s all this lasagna?

KONSTANTINE: Oh, it’s for us and JOHN and MARK.

DILAN (turning towards Konstantine): They are coming over next Friday, not today. God, you’re fucking stupid. I’ve told you every damn day this week, and you still mess it up and now we are going to waste all this fucking food and it’s all your damn fault. Stupid bitch.

KONSTANTINE (standing and backing away): I’m sorry, I’m really sorry, I must have just forgotten.

Dilan approaches Konstantine as the scene fades.

INT. QUAINT HOUSE – LIVING ROOM. DAY.

MADELINE: Kay, kay, did you have a dream?

Konstantine stirs and opens her eyes to see Madeline in front of her, Hercules still playing in the back.

KONSTANTINE: Yeah, somethin’ like that.

MADELINE: Was it a scary dream?

Konstantine looks into Madeline’s beautiful blue eyes and considers her messy light brown hair that curls cutely at the ends.

Konstantine sees Jude excitedly pound his hands on the edge of the exerciser as he impatiently waits for Kiersten to feed him another spoonful.

KONSTANTINE (genuinely smiling at Madeline): No, it wasn’t anything that can scare me anymore.

                   FADE OUT.

THE END