Pimp My Lent/Day 29
From my Meisner class buddy John Venable…
INT. BATHROOM – NIGHT
An average bathroom in an average apartment — tub/shower, toilet, sink, tile walls, etc.
Fun/funky MUSIC playing loud somewhere in the house.
The bathroom door opens and JEB, late 20s, clean-cut nice guy in t-shirt and jeans, enters.
There’s a glimpse of the hallway, people talking, beers and loud laughter before he shuts the door.
Jeb locks the door. He unzips, pees. Checks his watch. Finishes, zips up, flushes.
Jeb stops: somebody say something?
JEB: (calling out) Just a second – out in just a minute.
He listens: no response. Jeb turns on sink faucet, washes his hands, checks his look in the mirror, checks his teeth.
There’s something in his teeth – a little piece of something green.
He looks on small shelf over toilet, then opens medicine cabinet and finds dental floss. Quickly flosses his teeth, rinses his mouth, grimaces at himself in the mirror.
Jeb stops. He definitely heard something.
A RAGGED INHALE
And it came from behind the shower curtain.
Jeb slowly, quietly peeks around the curtain, then whips it open. He hollers, surprised.
CANDY, late 40s, smiles at him. She’s sitting sideways in the tub, legs crossed. She is dressed in chic/punk/funk style – and she is drunk. She has a plastic ring holder with four cans of beer. She waves at Jeb.
CANDY: Hi. I didn’t peek. I promise.
JEB: What the hell!
CANDY: I’m hiding.
JEB: You’re hiding.
CANDY: Yes. I’m hiding.
JEB: Okay. You’re hiding. That’s… (Starts to leave) I’ll just leave you to it then.
CANDY: I didn’t peek. That’s not the incentive. …Incentive? What word do I mean, I mean, what I am saying…? (before he can exit) I promise – peeking is not what this is about. It’s about pretending it’s 1983. I am in a bathtub at a party on opening night of “Company of Wayward Saints,” getting face-plant drunk with my friend Billy. My ex – Warr – Warren – My very recently ex-boyfriend Warr brought a girl with him to the party. I am reliving that night. Oh so long ago. I got drunk on bad wine. I smoked some weed in the parking lot with the stoners, then I got choked on a hit. I coughed so hard, I had to get out of the car and I coughed until I threw up in my hand. In my crazy-cool fingerless glove that I was wearing years before Madonna came along. I went into the bathroom to cry about Warr humiliating me with the other girl, and me humiliating myself by throwing up in my hand. Billy followed me, and we sat in the bathtub behind the shower curtain and talked all night. We didn’t peek. That was not the intent. The intent was to be invisible. Be like children. Hiding. Listening. Auditory spies. To see how many people never knew we were there. Being invisible. It has it’s charms. Had it’s charms. Being invisible was charming then. Now, not so much. You never saw me at the party, did you? I’ve been here for over two hours, and I am like beige wallpaper to you and every other man here. I’m wearing fuchsia and sequins on my body, I have these boobs up, out, and on display, and you never saw me. It’s okay. It’s not your fault.
JEB: …Okay, then. Have a good evening.
CANDY: Oh, just sit down a minute. It’s not like you know anybody here. Not like anybody’s talking to you. Theater people, we’re a bunch of closed-circle bitches. You’re not in the club, and you know it, so sit down. …I have beer.
(She holds up plastic ring holder with four cans of beer)
JEB: Thanks, but I should check in with my –
CANDY: You’re here with Gayla. Everybody knows Gayla. And I mean everybody. That is rude. True, but rude. You’re the math major. Gayla said she was into you. Congratulations. Thanks for stopping by. And I promise, I did not peek. Go on. I’ll be through here and then I’m headed home.
(Candy toasts him, drinks. Jeb closes the shower curtain, starts to leave. HEAVY SIGH from behind the curtain)
JEB: Can I…get you some…thing? Maybe you need to find somebody to drive you home. (beat) Is there anybody here that you’d like for me to ask? …Hello? …Are you okay?
CANDY: (O.S.) Go back out there and join the rest of the youngsters. I won’t be here much longer.
(He starts to leave. NOISE behind the shower curtain. Something metal drops against the porcelain. Jeb hurries, opens the curtain. Candy’s punctured the can and is shotgunning the beer. She holds up one finger to him: wait just a minute. She finishes the beer and belches. Opens another can)
CANDY: I am going to talk about myself some more. Warning to you! (laughs) I am almost 50 years old and I’m still playing chorus roles, maids, secretaries, the wife of the guy who shows up late in Act Two. My name should not be Can-dee, it should be Cam-eo. (cracks herself up) My mother named me after Candy Barr the stripper. (drinks) Salute to Mom. No. Switch that. To Billy, square-peg o’ my heart. It’s his birthday. Salute, Billy!
JEB: Is he… Has he passed?
CANDY: Passed? God no, he’s just married. He is my Samantha Stevens, I am his Uncle Arthur. He is my Doris Day, I am his Tony Randall. My Gay best friend is happily married – almost 25 years now – to a white, upright, uptight monkey-market man. Money-market man. They got kids, dogs, a big house outside Fort Worth – and I have a 450 square foot efficiency in Apartment Hell in midtown Dallas. I work temp jobs that I hate so I can spend 80 hours a week designing and constructing costumes for theaters who can’t pay enough to make the rent. I do not have time for relationships, plus I am invisible because I am past prime breeding age and we are all, at our core, animals. What’s your name?
JEB: Jeb. I’m Jeb.
CANDY: Like Jed Clampett?
JEB: Jeb, not Jed.
CANDY: Thank you for listening to me kvetch, Jeb not Jed. I would get up and hug you, but I think I may have displaced a hip sitting like this. Bathtub sitting was not so hazardous in the 1980s.
JEB: Need help getting-
CANDY: NO. No, thank you. Can’t begin to imagine how humiliating that would be. So, no thank you. Just…close the curtain. I’m finishing up this (can of beer) and then I am going home. You don’t need to worry about me driving because I live righ’chere in this-here com-plex complex, with all these young’uns. I am like their mascot. What time is it?
JEB: Eleven forty-four.
CANDY: Sixteen more minutes to go. Good night, Jeb not Jed.
(He starts to go. At the door)
JEB: …It’s your birthday too, isn’t it?
JEB: Well, happy birthday. (she nods) You sure I can’t get somebody –
CANDY: Nope. I’m good. Just close me back up. Go on, young Skywalker.
(Jeb closes the shower curtain)
CANDY (O.S.): Thank you. (as he unlocks/opens the door) Don’t…tell anybody, okay?
JEB: About the bathtub, or the birthday?
CANDY (O.S.): Yes.
JEB: Okay. Nice to meet you, Candy. And for the record? I noticed your cleavage. Before.
CANDY (O.S.) : (laughs) Thanks. Goodnight, Jeb not Jeb.
JEB: …Light on or off?
CANDY (O.S.) Umm, off. No. On. On is better.
(He exits. A few beats. HEAVY SIGH behind the curtain)