Friday, December 19, 2008

People Who Have Had Their Lives Ruined By Wes Anderson

Here's something you might not know about me. Before I saw Rushmore and had my life ruined for me, I used to write plays.

-Suzette

John vs. Banana Fish vs. his mother



(JOHN and BANANA FISH look enough alike to be brothers. SALEN is JOHN’s mother. She retains a graceful, artistic style. When she isn’t interacting with JOHN or BANANA FISH she stands aside, smokes and looks aloof. When she says “Well, I’ll give you a cut.” she always says it the same way.
Throughout the scene, all three occupy the stage. JOHN and BANANA FISH create the settings through their actions and the energy between them.)

BANANA FISH
He had a fight with his mother. Johan-

JOHN
John.

SALEN
Well, I’ll give you a cut.

JOHN
I don’t want your fucking cut!

BANANA FISH
So John-

JOHN
Shut up! Shut up! Shut up!

BANANA FISH
And his banana fish moved to a sleazy art community on the Upper East Side.
(stepping into his character)
Ugh. This place is slimy.

JOHN
Shut up!

BANANAFISH
(back in narration-mode)
Into a half-bathroom flat decorated in red carpeting, red curtains and a large porn mural of Orphan Annie on the wall.
The first night they were in their new home, John’s banana fish commented on her pupil-less stare.
(stepping into his character)
Fuck. It makes it even worse that she doesn’t have. Y’know. What do you call those?

JOHN
Pupils.

BANANA FISH
Pupils. Right.
(stepping back into narration)
Thus the banana fish cemented his reputation for stating the obvious.

JOHN
God!
(JOHN kicks a paint can over)

BANANA FISH
John began painting over Porno Orphan Annie the following morning. He wanted cream-colored walls. He wanted a project without S&M, without unrealistic penises.

JOHN
(holding up a measuring tape)
REALLY!

BANANA FISH
I was his banana fish back then. I remember what happened. He said-

JOHN
What? You think I’m copping out don’t you?

BANANA FISH
(pauses)
I paused.

JOHN
Don’t you?!!

BANANA FISH
I said… nothing.

JOHN
WHAT?!!

BANANA FISH
Kneeled instead like the little geisha girl I am, placed my hands on my naked thighs and smiled… ever… so… widely.

SALEN
Well, that’s what you get for being a faggot.

JOHN
Shut up! You’re the faggot!

SALEN
Hey. I fuck men. How else is there you?

BANANA FISH
His mother had, from a young age, impressed upon him the importance of controlled panic.

JOHN
This doesn’t have anything to do with men!

BANANA FISH
Angry. Angry. Angry.

SALEN
Well, I said I’d give you a cut.

BANANA FISH
Like his mother.

SALEN
He can’t communicate.

BANANA FISH
I know.

SALEN
So do something about it! You could always talk to him better than me.

BANANA FISH
We started out for the new city.

JOHN
Walking?

BANANA FISH
It’s not so hard to understand.

JOHN
God, I’m dehydrated.

(JOHN approaches a plexi-covered juice booth. Inside, a girl who does not speak English is preparing juices. John proceeds to try to order from her.)

BANANA FISH
That I am a blue and yellow striped fish… strawberry kiwi.

JOHN
(as if he is ordering)
Vertically striped. Blue and yellow.

BANANA FISH
And at the same time a non-descript, effeminate man.

JOHN
(as if he is ordering)
Curly hair.

BANANA FISH
I do have curly hair.
(as if he is ordering)
Strawberry Kiwi.

JOHN
Just give me number four! I want number four! Fouuuuuurrr.

BANANA FISH
Shouting doesn’t break the language barrier.

(the girl in the glass booth raps the glass)

BANANA FISH
Fifty cents.
(she raps again.)

JOHN
Where did I get you? What kind of a pet store sells banana fish?
(the girl raps)

BANANA FISH
Because I am a possession.
(the girl raps)
Fifty cents, John.

JOHN
Oh, I thought they were only three.

BANANA FISH
Your mother gave me to you. When you were young.

JOHN
The juice girl looked at me, trapped inside her indentured juice box.
(the girl raps)

BANANA FISH
She can’t understand what you say. Just give her fifty cents.

SALEN
Well, I said I’d give you a cut.

JOHN
Well, they really should post it somewhere. Oh yeah.
(JOHN deposits the money in the slot.)

BANANA FISH
Well.

SALEN
Well.

JOHN
Well.

BANANA FISH
Well.

JOHN
Silly thing, that juice stand.

SALEN
So silly, that.

BANANA FISH
Safe, though.

JOHN
We should all be so safe.

BANANA FISH
(Shivers)
Do you remember what happened next?

JOHN
I was there wasn’t I?

SALEN
I called you up.

JOHN
Can’t leave me alone for a fucking second-

SALEN
Called you up to say the cancer was back.

BANANA FISH
Oh my god, John. I’m so sorry.

SALEN
Told you your little brother’s fucking cancer was back.

JOHN
Oh, Banana, I’m so sorry.

SALEN
And by back… I meant he didn’t tell us.

BANANA FISH
I didn’t say anything.

SALEN
Just left behind another play. About us.

BANANA FISH
Placed my hands on my naked thighs and smiled… ever… so… widely.

JOHN
And you sold it.

SALEN
Well, I said I’d give you a cut.

JOHN
So I could move to the city.

SALEN
And continue your fantastic pervert murals.

BANANA FISH
Mother, having always resented her son for his sexual freedom.

SALEN
(to John)
Well at least you never-

BANANA FISH
No such thing as Sexually Transmitted Cancer, Mom.

SALEN
There’s just no way to keep your kids safe. Not anymore.

BANANA FISH
Not ever, Mom.

SALEN
And in this space occupied
We arch the bones in our backs
Like wings spreading
Folded hands.

JOHN
Little Banana…

SALEN
Johan

JOHN
John

SALEN
That isn’t your name.

JOHN
I’m not from the north.
(turns forcefully on BANANA FISH)
Are you real?!

BANANA FISH
I’m your friend.

JOHN
(JOHN turns and thrusts his arms around SALEN’s waist, burying his face in her stomach. She drops her cigarette in surprise, and puts her hand on his head.)
But are you real? Mom! What does this mean?!

SALEN
(smoothing his hair soothingly)
It means he loved you.

1 comment:

MeYou said...

Keep writing ...........plays and everything else.