A girl sits in a dimly lit chapel, writing in a thick notebook with
a blue and green pen. There are other adolescents her age around
her, but she does not seem to notice them. She wears low cut, tight
pants, but is not sitting uncomfortably, a tie-dyed shirt, mostly
pink, purple, and blue, a white sports bra showing above the scoop
of the shirt’s neck. On her feet are blue sandals, her toenails
painted with pink polish, but chipped. She is blonde, her hair tied
back in a disheveled knot at the back of her head, wispy pieces
falling in her eyes, which she ignores in her concentration. She is
pale, wearing no makeup. Tall, her legs are bent high in as she
leans back in the wooden chair, one foot on back of the chair in
front of her. She is not a small girl, apart from her bony, narrow
shoulders and little hands, but because of these two features, the
way she folds the arm not writing over her body as if to protect
herself, and some sort of aura around her, she seems frail.
(Wide shot of chapel interior, girl in left bottom corner. Cut to
close up of girl, writing, biting the corner of her lip.)
Girl (speaking at comfortable volume as she writes, but no one in
the chapel seems to hear. She has no distinct accent, but has
slightly trouble pronouncing vowel-“r” sound):
I have been writing my screenplay since the day I was born.
I was originally
convinced it was a play
there is no room for mistakes,
everything must be calculated.
I know no technical terms, no true
format, but even as I sit here,
in the middle of Connecticut,
only about one hundred people maximum even knowing I am here,
I can hear the cameras whirring.
It comforts me,
“love, you are wanted, someone is watching, someone
you are not some ant a little kid will step on
forgotten for eternity.”
Eternity is a scary concept.
Sometimes, it happens less often these years,
but sometimes I’ll stay awake
trying to understand infinity.
But the camera can stop, eventually,
and when the camera stops,
it does not go on.
Though I may no longer continue living,
if nothing but the remains of film
I have not necessarily stopped being.
(The girl stops. She bites the end of her pen, a new, disgusting
habit. She runs the pointed end along the metal binding of her
notebook and shifts, the wood beginning to hurt her tail bone.)
But I sound entirely crazy.
I’m really quite
We’re all acting in this movie, it’s cliché because it’s true.
I just need to write the script first,
attempting to show the audience
the character is.
(As if to prove this point, another student scrambles over to the
girl, excited to show her something in a notebook. The girl smiles,
takes the notebook, and reads it fairly quickly, smiles again. The
two girls converse excitedly, but we cannot hear anything they say.
The camera cuts to the individual faces of the other kids, and then
back to the other girls, who are finishing up their conversation,
still no sound heard. The girls hands back the notebook to the
other student, who then walks back to her seat. The girl settles
back into her seat with her pen, writing, seeming to descend back
into concentration in an instant.)
I have had two goals for the screenplay
establishing the character
and finding a consistent supporting
The cast is slightly less
because the problem is easier to identify,
if not to solve.
The family has, for fourteen years, been unchanging.
Mother, father, brother, dog.
There have been two dogs,
and once there were fish, maybe
even a frog.
But it has been mostly consistent.
However, the brother
is only home for one more year and how regular of a presence he will
because a twist is always inevitable.
The parents are not yet older,
but eventually they will be.
The friends have been consistently
played by different actors and actresses.
There is the rebellious friend,
the flower that blooms too early
and dies before the spring comes.
The boy with the unconditional love
whose hugs turn
into something malicious,
that she, I, do not like to think about.
But they are always played
by different actors and actresses,
and make it difficult to write the next scene when I don’t know who
will still be there.
A love interest
is always welcome in a screen play,
but as many times as I write it in
the actor does not cooperate,
and the roses,
the mix tape of love songs,
the gentle kiss,
turn into another monologue
to fill up time,
and attempt not to cry.
Casting is still in progress,
(The girl looks up, camera zooms to altar. The teacher
approaches a student sleeping on the altar. We cannot hear what
they say, but he stands up, moves himself to the stairs leading up
to the altar, and falls back to sleep. The teacher walks back. The
girl goes back to the notebook, twisting a curl of her hair around
her finger absentmindedly.)
The main character is obviously
defined by the people around her.
Being my movie, I’m pretty sure I am the main character.
I have been confused about this before.
With one “boyfriend,” I became convinced this was
movie and I was to be the elusive girl with the golden hair
then the girlfriend
then his girl
But this has been cleared up.
pitifully pathetically painful,
but I am responsible for my screenplay alone.
This helped to develop the definition of the main character,
what I was speaking of before.
It became evident that I could not write her
the passive one
the easy to love one.
She would need to be fiercely
stopping at no lengths,
She is by nature
flirtatious, this has been clear from the beginning.
Yet I wrote in a hard shell,
and only later,
the dramatic removal of this.
This character gives me such trouble still.
I have been working on her for fourteen years,
and everyday I am further
from knowing what I want to do.
(The camera zooms out slightly, the teacher stands up.)
Teacher: Okay, class, we’re done for today. See you tomorrow.
(All of the kids, including the girl, begin to stand up and pack.
After taking a few steps toward the door, however, the girl stops
and juts something down quickly. The other children are shouting to
each other, but there is no sound other than the girl.)
Sometimes it occurs to me that
is the only film I’ll ever have,
and I am busy writing its screenplay
as it rolls.
However, like infinity,
I prefer not to think about it.
(She shuts the book, and normal, boisterous sound returns.)
Girl: Matti! Matti! Wait up!