Lessons I Teach Myself
Spotlight only on Hope and Mickey.
MICKEY: All right.
HOPE: All right what?
MICKEY: All right I won't feel sorry for you. But don't ask me not to love you, 'cause that? That I just can't do.
HOPE: Why... why are you so sweet to me?
MICKEY: 'Cause for the first time in my life I meet someone, and they see me not as who I should be but as who I truly am. You saw me burning and you saved me. You saw me down and drunken and you stayed. You saw me not as a loser like the rest of 'em, but as a man. And I don't know 'bout you, but I believe angels can come from anywhere. Even a trailer park in Montana.
Mickey kisses Hope. This kiss is more gentle and soft than the passionate ones we've seen before.
MICKEY: Now let's get the fuck out of the desert.
The light expands, revealing the stage is bare. The Burner and his entourage of Burners have all exited.
HOPE: Is it still a dream?
MICKEY: Let's close our eyes and find out.
Hope and Mickey close their eyes and go back to their sides of the stage, to the same spots they fell asleep in. The minute they get to them they instantly 'wake up', and speak the rest of the dialogue to the audience:
HOPE: What the hell?
MICKEY: Was it all a dream... or a--
HOPE: Nightmare. Must have had a nightmare.
MICKEY: It felt so real!
HOPE: My heart is beating so fast.
MICKEY: I must be dehydrated.
HOPE: That was... scary. Where's Mickey?
MICKEY: Woah. Seeing doubles all of the sudden.
HOPE: Mickey? Can you hear me?
MICKEY: My bag is so heavy... Maybe I should sleep some more.
MICKEY: And dream of her again...
HOPE: Mickey! MICKEY!
MICKEY: It's so cold...
HOPE: MICKEY HOLD ON! I'm coming!
Mickey slurps down to the ground, with his dog Steel by his side. Hope puts her skates back on and makes her way back where she came from on her side of the stage/road. She skates fast and calls out "Mickey!" constantly.
Finally she reaches Mickey on his side of the stage.
Mickey doesn't answer.
HOPE: Hey, wake up! Mickey wake up!
HOPE: Shit. Shit! SHIT! It's not funny! Come on, wake up! WAKE UP! I can't... I can't lose you god dammit! I can't fucking lose you.
Hope reaches to her bag - her cans of Guinness are all empty.
She reaches to Mickey's backpack, and pulls out a LARGE HEAVY VASE FULL OF ASHES. She sets it aside. She reaches to the backpack once again - in the bottom is a dusty bottle of WATER. She opens it and begins dripping water down Mickey's throat.
HOPE: Come on. Come on. Come on!
Mickey finally wakes up. Steel barks from joy and Hope lets out a sigh of relief.
HOPE: Oh thank god! Hi.
MICKEY: Hey... You came.
HOPE: Yeah, I... I lost my way, I think. Shouldn't have left you.
MICKEY: I see you met my dad.
HOPE: Hmm-mmm. He's... a lot to hold on to.
MICKEY: Sure is.
HOPE: You were right.
MICKEY: I was?
HOPE: Yeah. This is the right way.
MICKEY: It is?
HOPE: Yeah. Out of the fucking desert.
MICKEY: What about Burning Man?
HOPE: I think I found another home for myself.
HOPE: With you. I wanna be with you, give this... thing we have a real shot. Not run away from a good thing for once in my life. Would you... like that?
MICKEY: Are you kidding? It would be a dream.
MICKEY: There's just one thing....
HOPE: What's that?
MICKEY: I never told you my name.
HOPE: Oh. Nice to meet you, Jack from Benderville.
MICKEY/JACK: Nice to meet you, Hope from Montana.
HOPE: Are you up for some more walking? It will get dark pretty soon.
MICKEY/JACK: I need to do something first.
Mickey/Jack slowly gets up and picks up the VASE.
MICKEY/JACK: (to the audience) My father loved the desert. He used to call it his 'holy land'. He was born in the desert, met my mom in the desert, lead his congregation in the desert, raised sons in the desert, and he also died in the desert. I think, I think He'd want to stay in the desert.
Mickey/Jack gently opens the vase and starts spreading the ashes on the desert's ground.
MICKEY/JACK: Earth to earth. Ashes to ashes. Dust to Dust. "We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trumpet." Amen.
Mickey lingers for a moment, crosses his arms and then turn to Hope:
MICKEY/JACK: I am ready now.
HOPE: As you wish.
They get up and start their journey, holding hands, with the dog Steel by their side.
Suddenly, a HONK is heard. A delivery truck drives on stage, with the Burner - dressed as a delivery driver - in the driver's seat. He rolls down his window and:
BURNER: Hey y'all need a ride somewhere?
Hope and Mickey/Jack look at each other, and answer in unison:
HOPE & MICKEY/JACK: To the mountains!
They pick Steel up and together they all hop on the back of the truck.
The truck makes its way out of the bare desert stage with the tune of 'Hit The Road Jack' by Ray Charles playing in the radio...
Back at our dream sequence wedding ceremony...
HOPE: Yeah this is wild. I mean, I don't even believe in marriage. Or God. And now? Look at this.
MICKEY: It's dreamy.
HOPE: Like literally.
MICKEY: And figuratively.
BURNER: Okay okay we get it, you are in love! woohoo! Good for you. Now let's get this thing going all right? I got other dreams to crash today. And some to crush. Parents! Where are the parents!?
HOPE: No way I would invite mine. Even in a dream.
MICKEY: No? Too bad. I'd love to meet the people that made you.
HOPE: No you won't.
MICKEY: I bet they're special.
HOPE: Yeah, no. They're not.
BURNER: Uh-oh girl, you didn't tell him didn't you.
MICKEY: Tell me what?
HOPE: So what if I didn't? Can't I have some secrets left God dammit!
BURNER: Hey I'm right here.
HOPE: Yeah, sorry. No disrespect. Look can we just keep going?
BURNER: Oh girl. Always Go Go Go but never really here. I can relate, believe me. But we gotta sort out the parents thing if we want this train to get to its final stop.
MICKEY: I got parents! I mean, I DID. At some point. They are both deceased so I don't know if ghosts get invitations to these things?
BURNER: Yeah, would be groovy. But no can do. Can't have both God AND ghosts. Too much stimulus on the subconscious ya know?
BURNER: Yeah this may be a shocker to you all but I'm a big psychology buff. And evolution. Pretty much ALL science. I dig it. All that nonsense of me being against all that is just.... so medieval century. Anyways, our bride here needs someone to send her off. It's a tradition perhaps a bit dated...
HOPE: And sexist.
BURNER:...but it's your dream. I don't make the rules.
BURNER: So, let's get your father here to send you off and we can get this show on the road!
Hope crosses her arms and takes a step back.
HOPE: No way. This is bullshit. This isn't a dream, it's a fucking nightmare! I'm so over this. I wanna wake up. I wanna wake up. I wanna wake up!
MICKEY: HEY! Look at me, I'm right here.
HOPE: Leave me alone! I wanna wake up and get the fuck out of the desert!
BURNER: No one's stopping you.
HOPE: Okay, well, I'm out of here! What's the way? Can someone tell me the way? GOD, you're fucking GOD aren't you. Can you show me the way for fuck sake!?
BURNER: Girl, you already know. The only way out is through.
Hope slurps down to the ground and cries. Mickey lowers and holds her in his arms.
MICKEY: Hey hey hey.... shhhh... I'm here, I'm right here.
HOPE: You wanna know where I'm from? I'm from a trailer park in Montana. My family was not just poor, nothing wrong with poor. When you're poor you can only get UN-poor, so that's not so bad. But what WAS bad, is that my... my dad is a fucking psycho, okay? He's in prison for life without parole. In San Quentin. And you know what? I'm the one who put him there. I did. He killed my mom right in front of me. And I stood there in court and pointed to him. He got a life sentence thanks to my testimony. And yeah he fucking deserved it, but that doesn't change the fact that he's my father. And the sad thing... like the saddest thing? I don't miss my mom. She was always tired. Always unhappy. She was dead before she died. I don't miss her at all. It's my dad that I actually miss. So don't feel sorry for me or anything because I don't fucking deserve it.
To be continued...
The Burner ENTERS, dressed like God (The Christian version with a white robe and long beard.) He stands in the center between Hope and Mickey, who are still sleeping. The burners we have seen in Act 1 ENTER and sit in different spots across the stage. They are dressed in suits and cocktail dresses.
BURNER: Dearly beloved, we are gathered here today in the sight of God, ahem - yours truly, to join this man, and this woman in holy matrimony. After days, well - hours, of back and forth flirtation, seduction, push & pull, smooching, bickering and playing games that would shame any romcom, these two realized that they have no choice but get this thing they have wrapped sealed and delivered! Oh, and the fact that they are dying of dehydration is an added factor.
The crowd morbidly laughs at that while Hope and Mickey are still sleeping.
BURNER: Bring along the bride and the groom will you?
A few burners wake and carry Hope over to the burner.
HOPE: Wha…Hello. Hey, that tickles!
A few burners wake and carry Mickey over to the burner.
MICKEY: What’s going on? Gentle on my shoulders!
Hope and Mickey are now standing close to the Burner.
BURNER: Not too close now - sleep breath isn’t my thing.
HOPE: (to The Burner) Hey you look like…
MICKEY: Yeah, right? He reminds me of someone too. I can’t quite place it. The outfit, the beard… so familiar.
HOPE: (to Mickey) You can see him too? I must be dreaming.
MICKEY: Well if this looks like what I think it is then you are most definitely in MY dream right now.
BURNER: Guys. Gals. You are both dreaming all the time. What difference does it make if you are sleeping or awake? A dream is a dream is a dream. What’s in a dream? Where there is a dream there is a way. I dream therefore I am. One small dream for man, one giant dream for mankind.
HOPE: I think you got those a little twisted.
BURNER: Have I?
HOPE: I think so.
BURNER: You think?
HOPE: Yeah… like, I THINK therefore I am.
MICKEY: Woah I actually think ‘think’ and ‘dream’ are interchangeable in some of these.
BURNER: Bingo buddy.
MICKEY: Thanks. I am always super smart in my dreams.
HOPE: And I am a smart ass in mine.
BURNER: Yup, sounds like a match made in heaven. Cue music!
A few burners rise up and hum the Wedding March.
MICKEY: I think I'm gonna cry.
HOPE: Wait.... mister.. God is it? Like, do I call you Mister God?
BURNER: God's fine. Thanks for asking.
HOPE: All right, well God since this is a dream and everything - I think I should at least be wearing a dress I can't afford in real life, like a Vera Wang or something.
BURNER: As you wish.
The Burner Taps his fingers and a burner brings a gorgeous dress to Hope.
HOPE: Score. Thanks God.
BURNER: It's what I do.
HOPE: (to Mickey) Don't look!
MICKEY: I'm afraid that if I close my eyes I'll wake up.
HOPE: Turn around then!
BURNER: Listen to the lady buddy. Happy wife happy life.
Mickey turns around while Hope changes into the wedding dress.
HOPE: Okay. You can look now.
Mickey turns to face Hope.
MICKEY: Holy shit. You look...
HOPE: Like this dress is too big on me? Yeah, I know. I guess I like to feel skinnier in my dreams.
MICKEY: ...Stunning. You look stunning. I can't believe I'm about to live the rest of my dream with you.
To be continued...
Hope and Mickey turn to the audience.
HOPE: (to the audience)
So we go our separate ways. Him to the right, me to the left.
I don't think about it too long. Skate away and let him know I'll go find him when I get to the gas station and get some help. I am sure this is the right way to go. I mean the left. But the right one, nonetheless.
MICKEY: (to the audience)
If I know anything about stubbornness, is that it's darn fucking stubborn. So I promise her I'll come to her rescue once I get to the station. I give her a couple of Guinness and see her skate away with her fairy-like flaire and petite physique. I want to yell for her to COME BACK! Stay with ME! Let's get lost TOGETHER! But hell, I'm stubborn too.
HOPE: (to the audience)
I am kinda loving skating in my own pace without some dude trailing behind! Who needs extra weight, ya know? I even do a little dance with my skates. For my audience of cacti! Huh. It's true what they say about the sense of freedom in the desert. The nowhere, the nothingness, it's kinda awesome. A place where no one knows me. A place where I haven't done anything wrong. A place I can disappear in.
MICKEY: (to the audience)
Without the sound of Hope skating away like a blast from the eighties, this road is quiet. I'm sensing that quiet heaviness of the desert once again. A sound I know oh so damn fucking well. Only thing I'm hearing is the rattling from my backpack. A loud shake of my past sitting heavy on my back as I try desperately to get out of this dump. Moments before, at least I had company. Now - with only Steel by my side, I am back to my miserable life wishing I had Hope here with me again.
HOPE: (to the audience)
When I look closely, I see more life in the desert than I first saw. A couple of lizards walking on some rocks. A boulder or two. Each cactus looks different than the other. And the sky is somewhere between day and night, sending flashes of light on the nothingness below. Yeah, I kinda like it here. 'Kinda', because I have this eerie feeling in my stomach that something might happen to Mickey. I mean, the last time he was alone - he nearly was burning up until I came along. I hope he doesn't get lost. I hope he's gonna be okay.
MICKEY: (to the audience)
Hope seems to me like the kind of woman that doesn't look back. When she makes a decision - she stands by it. She's smart. Can handle anything. My old man was like that, that old fuck. Me? I get carried away sometimes, biting more than I can chew. My old man always said that. So now, I try not to chew anything at all. Instead - I drink.
Mickey takes a sip off of a Guinness, and cheers to the heavens. Meanwhile Hope has taken off her skates and is sipping her Guinness as well.
HOPE: (to the audience)
What if he was right and this road is a dead end? He is from the desert, after all. Why did I have to open my big ass know-it-all mouth? I mean I don't know shit! I'm trailer trash raised unemployed homeless with no prospects or a dime to my name! How stupid can I fucking be leaving this sweet guy behind? So fucking dumb. And too proud to ever admit it to him. If I ever see him again, that is. I may just get eaten alive by scorpions or die of dehydration or starve to death. At least then I'll be model skinny. Wait... no - that is just my inner toxic sexist speaking up again. Ew.
MICKEY: (to the audience)
With every step I make my bag is getting heavier and heavier. My feet are killing me. The sweat is dripping off of me as if I was in a sauna and not in a dry desert. Steel is as exhausted as I am. We are both not so young anymore. I could just give it up and wait here. Let Hope come save me again... or let God do whatever he wants to with me. I'm at his mercy and I know it. I think I'll put my head down for a little while. Just a little nap...
HOPE: (to the audience)
It's getting darker and this road is NOT getting any shorter. I must have been wrong. I must have. Mickey is probably back in the gas station figuring out some help to come get me and he'll be here in no time. I might as well just sit here on this rock, rest my eyes for a minute. I mean, he'll probably be here any minute. Any minute...
Hope and Mickey both fall asleep, each in her/his road, and are about to be joined in a mutual DREAM SEQUENCE.
To be continued...
Hope and Mickey are continuing walking/skating ahead.
HOPE: Way I see it, it doesn’t matter WHY we go. If it's God or our survival mechanism, like who cares? We'll never know for sure. We might as well just focus on the going and just... GO.
MICKEY: You never want to stop and ask 'why?' or 'where to?'
HOPE: No way. Won't do me any good. When I was a kid and asked 'why', I'd get a beating. Nothing good ever comes from asking why.
MICKEY: (to the audience) I want to hug her in this moment. Tell her that she doesn't have to go so fast, that I'm here. That we're here. That whatever will happen is as it should be. Or as it would be. I want to tell her she'll be okay even if she stops and asks why. I want to tell her she doesn't need to be scared. I want to tell her I love her. But instead, I just...
Hope and Mickey realize they just got into a fork in the road.
HOPE: I came this way. I think it was... let's see I was driving from.... left! It's gotta be left. I think. Right?
MICKEY: The road on the right looks newer... I don't know, maybe it's a shortcut.
HOPE: Or maybe it's a dead end.
MICKEY: There'd be a sign.
A bird flies above them, in the direction of the road to the left.
HOPE: Is that enough of a sign for you?
MICKEY: Could be... if it was a hawk. But it was just a bird.
HOPE: It was a crow!
MICKEY: Oh no then. Ya know, never trust a crow. Don't they teach that in the city?
HOPE: They teach that in fairytales, I guess. You must have read them too? Or did you only read scriptures as a kid?
MICKEY: Only scriptures.
HOPE: So, fairytales. Like me.
MICKEY: We could split off. You take the left and I'll take the right.
HOPE: Hey! I'm sorry, I... wasn't making fun of you. Maybe a little. I'm sorry.
MICKEY: I'm not upset.
HOPE: No? Oh, so you just want to split off. Just like that.
MICKEY: We could see who gets there first.
HOPE: Like a race? I think I'll win Einstein.
MICKEY: It's not the pace, it's the road that will determine the outcome.
HOPE: Okay Jesus fucking christ, but what if the roads lead to different places!? Which let's face it they probably do.
MICKEY: Probably. Listen, I don't know. Call it a hunch, or intuition. But the right one looks like the right way to me.
HOPE: I say the left.
Mickey takes off his backpack and sits down letting out a big sigh.
MICKEY: I get the feeling you're as stubborn as I am.
HOPE: That's highly likely.
MICKEY: Flip a coin?
HOPE: Or go off our different ways. You get what you want. I get what I want. We're both happy.
MICKEY: Or we could be happy walking the same road together.
HOPE: The left?
MICKEY: The right.
HOPE: Looks like we're on a standstill.
MICKEY: Looks about right.
To be continued...
Hope turns to see if the Burner is still on the cabin, he IS. He TAPS on his brain as if to remind her he is merely a figment of her imagination.
HOPE: Let's keep going. There's nothing here anyways.
The two turn back to the road and continue their walking/skating.
HOPE: I've been sort of a... a bitch to you. I'm sorry.
MICKEY: What? No, you haven't.
HOPE: Yes I totally have.
HOPE: YES I have and you don't deserve that. It's not fair that I am taking my shit on you. Being angry and stuff. I mean you've been really nice to me, and sweet. Except when you mansplained to me about your alcohol addiction. But even then, obviously it's a sore subject and I didn't have to be so pushy about it. I'm really sorry. I'm not a bad person. Maybe I am. I don't know. But I don't want to be. Honest to God.
HOPE: What hmmm?
HOPE: "Okay?" What is it... you don't accept my apology?
MICKEY: Oh I accept it. Sure I accept it. I'll accept any apology from anyone even when it's absolutely not necessary. Thing is... I don't believe you. I want to believe you. I do. But you said 'honest to God.'
HOPE: Oh, come on. It's a... figure of speech.
MICKEY: For people that believe in God. Yes.
HOPE: Well maybe I do. Maybe I don't. I don't know. Why does it matter?
MICKEY: You don't know much about addiction, do you? I mean no disrespect.
HOPE: I know some. Not like you.
MICKEY: Okay. Well... the third step in the twelve step program is faith. It's an important step in recovery. Because to make the necessary actions to change, we must first BELIEVE that we can change. And a belief, any belief, isn't seen or proved, it's only felt. Through the process of faith. Like, we don't know if we'll make it to the gas station before we die of dehydration, but we believe we will. That's what keeps us going.
HOPE: You really are a son of a preacher-man.
MICKEY: Guilty as charged.
HOPE: I bet he'd like that. That was... moving. I am almost convinced.
HOPE: Leaving room for doubt. It's there to protect us also, no? I mean, otherwise we'd still be back there, with our blind faith, hoping someone will come to our rescue.
MICKEY: God shows us the way, but we must walk through it.
HOPE: How convenient. For God, I mean.
MICKEY: Are you flirting with me? Or with God? I'm genuinely not sure.
HOPE: Me neither.
To be continued...
Hope leaps to her feet (aka skates) and reaches to Mickey's BACKPACK.
HOPE: Holy shit, that's heavy!
MICKEY: DON'T touch that!
HOPE: What d'you have in there, rocks!?
MICKEY: No. Give it back.
HOPE: What, you have water there? Don't tell me, it's a twelve pack of Guinness!?
MICKEY: It's...PRIVATE. Leave it alone!
Mickey holds on to his backpack for dear life.
HOPE: Okay. Fine. Thought we were... friends.
MICKEY: We are. Friends trust each other.
HOPE: Friends don't keep secrets.
MICKEY: Friends don't leave each other behind.
HOPE: Friends accepts apologies.
MICKEY: Why do you want to burn a man?
HOPE: Why do you want to know?
MICKEY: Why are you answering with a question?
HOPE: Why... are you so fucking annoying all the time!?
MICKEY: Why are you so angry?
HOPE: Aaaahhhh! Why are you so.... Why do you get under my skin like that?
MICKEY: Where are you from? You never said.
HOPE: Why DO YOU KEEP ASKING!?
Hope skates away. Leaving Mickey to trail slowly behind her.
Mickey turns to the audience:
MICKEY: (to the audience) My old man always said God appears like an enigma. Shows up unexpected to restore our faith in him. Some people see it on a toaster, or in a cloud. Some in people. She is no doubt a messenger. Why else would she be so enigmatic? Why would she leave me so confused and stranded, trying to hold on to my mind. I am falling for her. Like, for real. I am falling for her heart. For her secrets. For her anger. For her... freakiness. But how do I stop pushing her away. I don't know. I don't know.
Hope stops in her tracks. She spots something.
HOPE: What the hell? D'you see that? Like, that's for real right? I'm not imagining this little blue cabin in the middle of nowhere...am I?
MICKEY: Must be abandoned.
Hope removes her skates and checks out the cabin. She circles it twice.
HOPE: Where's the door?
MICKEY: In the back?
MICKEY: Huh. No windows?
MICKEY: What about the roof?
HOPE: Sealed shut.
Hope TAPS on the cabin. There's an ECHO of the tapping sound.
HOPE: What the hell is this thing? Isn't this area 51!? Is this covering some spaceship or something? Or is this like a portal to another dimension? Or a time travel machine, holy fuck!
MICKEY: So... you don't believe in God but you believe in UFOs and time travel?
HOPE: NOT the same thing.
MICKEY: You either believe in what you don't see, or you don't.
HOPE: Okay, well I believe... I don't know. Okay? All I know is that we are in the middle of nowhere and some cabin or whatever this is shows up out of the blue without any way to access it. So it must be hiding something inside it or it's some UNIDENTIFIED OBJECT or I'm losing my mind completely.
The Burner, dressed this time in an Alien costume, appears suddenly, seated on the unidentified cabin.
BURNER: Yoo-hoo! You called?
HOPE: For fuck sake you scared me! What, why are YOU here?
BURNER: Ask yourself. You summoned me. I am entirely YOUR doing. And this whole thing is getting quite old, if you ask me.
HOPE: So ask YOU or ask MYSELF!?
BURNER: Now you are confusing me. Oh, I get it. You must be confused right now. That's why I'm here. To get some clarity in that thick of head of yours. SO HERE YA GO BEFORE I'M GETTING ROASTED IN THIS HEAT AND THIS OUTFIT: You are not losing your mind. But you are gonna lose that sweet man behind you if you keep being a fucking bitch to him.
HOPE: Do you have to use a sexist word?
BURNER: I'm in your mind remember? You might be more sexist than you think. Personally I prefer 'jerk' or 'dummy', but 'bitch' its what you ordered, so 'bitch' it is!
HOPE: He's following me like a puppy, nothing I will do will make him dislike me.
BURNER: You sure about that? You sure you know what is in that head of his? He is hiding something in his backpack, you know. He must be hiding other things. And he's following you because he wants to get out of here as badly as you do. But who says he'd stick around once you get to town? He and his dog may go off and leave you all alone to figure out how to get to Burning Man without a truck and without a penny to your name.
HOPE: I can fix the truck. He said it can be fixed.
BURNER: And who's gonna pay for it?
Mickey comes closer to Hope.
MICKEY: This could be an art installation or somethin' like that. Every once in a while some artists from Hollywood drive over here and do their 'art' things in the desert. I don't know the point but it seems to be a thing for those people.
HOPE: Yeah, that could be it. Totally. You're right.
BURNER: Now THAT'S a much better way to talk to a man.
HOPE: (to The Burner) Did you really just say that?
BURNER: Told you. You are a sexist bitch.
HOPE: (to the burner) FINE!
MICKEY: What's that?
HOPE: Nothing. I was just talking to myself.
To Be Continued...
Hope and Mickey sit staring at the stars. Times moves fast in desert.
MICKEY: You know, before... when you got in the truck. You were gonna leave, right? I know you were.
Why did you lie about it?
HOPE: I... I didn't want to hurt your feelings, I guess. I know it was rude. It was fucked up of me! I know it was. But I don't know, I was just scared. I was scared.
MICKEY: Of me?
HOPE: You could be a bad guy, I don't know.
MICKEY: So could you.
HOPE: Who says I'm not?
MICKEY: I do. I could tell you're a good person when you stopped and saved my life. You went so close to the fire, to save ME. No way a bad person would do that. No way.
HOPE: Did you see that!? A shooting star! I swear that was a shooting star! Holy fuck I haven't seen one since I was like sixteen or somethin'. They must be rare!
MICKEY: I see them all the time. In the desert you see them all the time.
HOPE: Make a wish! Make a wish.
MICKEY: You're funny. Nothing else I could wish for, I swear to God.
Hope closes her eyes, 'makes a wish.'
MICKEY: You're adorable. But lemme ask you somethin'... who is the wish for if you don't believe in God?
My old man always said: 'A wish to the stars is a wish to the heavens.' And the man knew what he was sayin'. He was a... man of God.
HOPE: Don't tell me he was a priest...
MICKEY: And his dad before him.
HOPE: So you come from a long line of Jesus freaks huh?
Oh gosh, I'm sorry. That was insensitive. I'm a freak too! Who's NOT a freak, ya know?
MICKEY: It's okay. Heard that all my life from people like you. Hippies stopping by my town on their way to 'Burning Man.' Doin' drugs and orgies.
HOPE: I don't... I mean, not orgies. Maybe some people go there for that, but not me.
MICKEY: Why go then?
HOPE: To burn a man.
MICKEY: Jesus Christ.
HOPE: Let's keep going. We have a long way to go.
MICKEY: You ARE a freak.
Okay. As you wish...
To be continued...
HOPE: (to the audience) So we take whatever shit we need. My sunscreen, his dog, Guinness, smokes, my phone, some cash, my hat, his hat. And we start walking out of here. Well, HE is walking. I'm skating my way as if I am an eight year old again. My dad would take me to this skating ring. Everyone else would skateboard, or rollerblade. But I had my retro skates on. The first time there, I bitched about it or something. I was a "brat" according to my dad. So he made me get back home in the skates rolling behind his car, trying to catch up. And now Mickey is trying to catch up with me. He isn't much of a runner, this guy. Poor guy. He's trying so hard.
Hope is skating while Mickey is running behind her.
HOPE: We can take a break if you need it.
MICKEY: No. Maybe... oh lord...maybe this way we can get there before sunset.
HOPE: You're an optimist.
HOPE: Other times you're a pessimist?
MICKEY: Aren't you?
HOPE: I don't know what I am anymore.
Hey, let's stop. Take a breath. We'll have to sustain some energy if we want to get to that gas station before we exhaust ourselves to death. And your dog is...drooling.
HOPE: Take a long inhale. Hold it. Now exhale... keep it long. Okay, again. Good. Better?
MICKEY: Thanks, I.... I'm not a twenty year old anymore.
HOPE: The smoke and the booze won't make you younger either.
MICKEY: Hmmm... except they kinda do. Up here.
HOPE: They just help you forget, is all.
But your body remembers. Always does.
MICKEY: Are you a shrink or something?
HOPE: No. But I know what it's like to want to escape.
MICKEY: Who said I want to escape?
HOPE: You didn't. Sorry...The heat is getting to me I don't even know what I'm saying anymore.
They continue walking/skating in a slower pace now.
MICKEY: You know, if this was night, we'd see a million stars. They're there now but we just don't see them. The sun hides them out, but they're there.
HOPE: I think I see one! It's the moon. Right there. Can you see?
MICKEY: Oh yeah. It's an onion peel.
HOPE: A tiny banana.
MICKEY: So tiny. It's barely there at all.
HOPE: Where were you going when your car set on fire? It's okay if you don't wanna say.
MICKEY: No... I was going away.
MICKEY: Where the car was gonna take me. I dunno. I was finally getting out. Out of the desert. Was gonna break free! Been livin' out in the desert my whole life. Shitty lil' town, you don't know it. Benderville. Never moved away once. But then my pops... my pops passed away so I, I didn't need to take care of him no more. So I left. Was gonna get to the mountains, my buddy could get me a job out there, but then... the fire showed up. I thought I had it all figured out, but God had other plans for me. He always does.
HOPE: I'm sorry.
MICKEY: What for?
HOPE: Your dad.
MICKEY: Yeah. Thanks. He was a piece of work, my old man. Taught me everything I know. And taught me I don't know anything at all. He was like... the best teacher and the worst teacher, ya know?
MICKEY: I miss him though. The old fucker. He's be laughing so hard right now if he'd saw me.
What about you? Got a family?
HOPE: Sort of.
MICKEY: What - a husband and five kids somewhere?
HOPE: I don't think I'm that type.
MICKEY: Everyone wants family.
HOPE: Do they?
MICKEY: I do.
HOPE: Is that a star? Or a plane?
MICKEY: Oh yeah that one is called 'Sirius'. It's the brightest star.
HOPE: Imagine being on it.
MICKEY: You'd get burned. It's twenty five times brighter than the sun.
HOPE: Oh. Still. I'd like to be on it. See what earth looks like from there. Tiny, probably.
MICKEY: So tiny, I doubt you could see it at all.
HOPE: Aim for the stars, right?
MICKEY: What's that?
HOPE: Never mind. I'm delirious. Don't mind me. I'm weird, I know I'm weird. I'm so fucking weird.
MICKEY: You're not weird. You're....awesome.
HOPE: It's okay really! I'm not fishing for compliments or anything. I like being weird. Too many normal people out there you know? Someone has to be weird so it might as well be me.
MICKEY: I like weird. Maybe I'm weird too!
HOPE: No. You're... kind. Good hearted. Sweet. Not weird at all.
MICKEY: That's the nicest thing anyone has ever said to me.
HOPE: Really!? Now THAT'S weird.
To be continued...
Mickey takes another sip off his Guinness.
MICKEY: Know what? It's gonna sound crazy but for some reason that doesn't scare me. Dying.
HOPE: No shit. For a car mechanic, you're pretty zen.
MICKEY: Well I don't know 'bout that. But dying here with you...wouldn't be so bad, you know?
HOPE: Okay 'ROMEO' I'll take the compliment. But still - we have to find a way to get outta here. I'm not done with my life yet.
MICKEY: You have... hope and dreams still?
HOPE: Don't you?
MICKEY: I think I just found them.
HOPE: Okay.... now look. I don't know how to say it, but you are making me nervous. You don't know me. And I would appreciate it if you keep to yourself all the.... the sweet stuff. Okay?
Mickey turns to the audience -
MICKEY: (to the audience) Here I go. I push and push and push right to the edge until they all just run away from me. I mean how can I blame them? Who the fuck wants to be MY savior? It's a lousy job. And I'm no dummy. I know exactly what I'm doing. I get my whole inner psychoanalysis or whatever. Wasn't born yesterday. And yeah I've read all those self help books and the youtubes. I've done my research. My self examination. Basically I put so much on them so I don't have to look at myself. 'Cause I don't make mistakes. So when they leave me it's all their fault. See? I got this psychology thing. I got it down. And this one... she's falling right to it. Right to my twisted self destructive bullshit. I can't help myself. It's an addiction, really. And I know a thing or two about that.
HOPE: Listen, you are a pretty cool guy, and I... like you.
MICKEY: So what's the problem then?
HOPE: See, that! Too...forward. Too direct. Can you try that again? But make it more subtle.
MICKEY: Okay... Well, thank you for saying that. I... like you too. Much more than LIKE you actually----
HOPE: AHHHH stop! You had it in "I like you too". That was good. No need for the extra mushiness.
MICKEY: But it's the truth.
HOPE: I get it. But I'm not ready for 'the truth.' I need... some space.
MICKEY: Okay. I'm sorry.
HOPE: No need to... It's not you it's me. Oh God I can't believe I just said that, such a cliche..
MICKEY: Nothing I haven't heard before.
HOPE: But it's a banal thing to say. Seriously.
MICKEY: Hey, if it's your truth come out and say it.
Hope turns to the audience -
HOPE: (to the audience) I'm being a total dick to this guy and he still understands me!? What's going on. Did I get a concussion? Am I hallucinating from the heat? Am I dead already!? If I don't get the fuck outta here I may just FALL IN LOVE WITH HIM. And I can't imagine anything worse! I mean... look at him. He's.... he's.....he's.... I got nothing. He's hot. He's charming. He's sensitive. He's perfect. The problem really IS me.
MICKEY: (to the audience) She wants space! We're not even in a relationship and she wants space! My method, UNFORTUNATELY, works like a charm. Fuck me. Okay well, she wants space I'll give her space.
We could just start walking to the nearest gas station you know?
HOPE: Forty miles!?
MICKEY: Maybe we'll get lucky and someone will pass us on the way.
HOPE: And if we don't?
MICKEY: It will be hard.... and long. We'll be exausted, but I don't think we'll die from walking.
I bet it would be the heat that kills us.
HOPE: That sounds morbid. And also - our only plan. So let's do it. Let's go off to the desert and walk forty miles!
MICKEY: All right! I love the spirit! Sorry if I'm being too sweet.
HOPE: Yeah, how dare you.
MICKEY: I know, I should be locked up.
MICKEY: Is that your only shoes?
HOPE: Yes. And they're fabulous.
HOPE: You don't like them?
MICKEY: No I LOVE them. It just may be hard to walk on them. For forty miles.
Hope rushes in to the truck and comes back with something in her hands.
HOPE: I have THESE!
Hope reveals a pair of roller-skates. And they are cute AF.
MICKEY: Oh my lord.
(to the audience)
If she only knew how hard I am restraining myself right now. My goddess also roller-skates!? I mean, stop it. Stop it right now. It's too much to handle. Too much. This...SHE.... will destroy me.
Mickey turns to see Hope in her skates. His jaw drops.
To be continued...
Tamar Pelzig pledged to write something every day, even if it's only a word, so she welcomed to the world a daily blog that may, or may not be, of any significance to anyone other than herself. If you found her lil' life lessons, stories, poems and blurbs meaningful to you, well that's f**ing amazing! Comment and share so she can pat herself in the back - she doesn't do that nearly enough. Cheers.