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The Perfect Life

by WinterGrimm


I thought I'd start off this section with a script I wrote for a playwrite coarse. Oh yes, contains strong language. Most things I write do now that I think about it.

Cameron: Age 20. An Art major at a local college.

Tyler: Age 20. Graduate of the same high school as Cameron..

Aris: Age 19. An energetic young high school graduate.

Scene 1

(Lights come up. The scene is a messy room with a bed, sketch pad and a bookcase. Cameron sits alone on a bed with a sketch pad in his hands, he is busy drawing. Enter Tyler. Cameron is focused on his drawing an does not notice Tyler's entrance.)

Tyler:

What's up, my man?

Cameron:

(startled by his intrusion.)

Holy hell! Don't sneak up on me like that.

Tyler:

Whatcha drawin?

Cameron:

Nothing.

(Closes the sketch pad and hold it away from Tyler.)

Tyler:

Don't be holding out on me, bitch. let me see that.

Cameron:

Its not done yet.

Tyler

C'mon, let me see it.

Cameron:

No!

(Tyler and Cameron fight over the sketch pad and eventually Tyler snatches it from Cameron's hand. He flips though the pages until he comes to the last page.)

Tyler:

(With building curiosity)

Is this Aris?

Cameron:

(Cameron reaches for the picture and Tyler holds it away and continues to move it away from in a taunting manner.)

Give it back.

Tyler:

(Admittedly)

Its good.

Cameron:

Give it back you ass.

Tyler:

(Curiosity building into suspicion)

Kind of strange that you remember how she looks. I mean its been nearly a year since you moved to New York to go to school.

Cameron:

(dreamily looks up)

I guess its been a while. Actually I bumped into her a few days ago. She was grocery shopping with Lisa.

Tyler:

Didn't you and Aris have little thing way back when?

Cameron:

Yeah, we dated for a little while. A lot sooner if I'd had the balls. I thought I was going to college out of state so I dumped her. One of the stupidest things I ever did.

Tyler

Don't be too hard on yourself man. Its almost impossible to keep long distance relationships going.

Cameron

But I didn't fit in when I was in New York. Millions of people who all seem to want to ignore you. All I could think about was home... and her.

Tyler:

And so you're back here, so quit bitching.

Cameron

I can't really be sure, but I think I love her.

Tyler:

(Backs off a little)

Nah, you were just homesick. She's just part of that environment that you missed.

Cameron:

(Sighs)

Maybe so. I've always been a little quick to judge my own emotions.

Tyler:

(Changing the subject)

Yeah I remember when you were in love with your Art teacher Miss Jennings after she bent forward to answer your question in that low cut white blouse of her's.

Cameron:

That was like five years ago. Unlike you, some people grow out of puberty.

Tyler:

Blow me.

Cameron:

(still talking at the sketch pad)

Only if you ask me nice.

Tyler:

Was she your first?

Cameron:

(looks up)

Huh?

Tyler:

First love.

Cameron:

I thought I was in love with her. Her and a few hundred other girls. It just felt different with Aris. Something about her passion for life, her energy. I can't explain it.

Tyler:

(steps over to the side of the room and begins playing with some sort of action figure)

I don't think I believe in love. At least not in the life long sense. Its in the male instinct to spread his seed, not blow it all one potential mate. No pun intended.

Cameron:

You're an idiot, you do know that.

(Cameron shakes his head and goes back to his drawing board. Stops after a few seconds, thinking, then turns back. Gets up walks over to Tyler and takes the figure, putting it back on the shelf)

Then you don't think that guys have any maternal instincts at all?

Tyler

None at all.

Cameron:

What about the basic desire to live on through one's offspring?

Tyler

I know I have no desire to be a father. Just the recreational activity of reproducing.

Cameron:

Well when you put it so poetically, how can I argue?

Tyler

Speaking of which, I haven't spread my seed in way to long.

Cameron

(goes back to drawing.)

Just be sure to clean up after your done.

Tyler:

You know I'd only do that if your mom was home. But seriously, we have got to get out on the town and pick up some chicks. I mean, I'm more than willing, and you just got back in town. This is definitely a time for celebration.

Cameron

Thanks, but not tonight. I have got to finish this new piece if I=m going to try to get that show in Sallah's Café.

Tyler:

Fine then, be a bitch.

( He turns and sits on the foot of Cameron's bed and picks up a magazine and begins reading.)

(A soft knocking is at the door.)

Cameron:

(not paying attention)

Come on in, its unlocked.

(Aris enters. She is dressed casually in jeans and a t-shirt. Her hair is pulled up into a pony-tail. The room is suddenly filled with an uncomfortable silence, until Tyler can no longer bear it.)

Tyler:

Hey, Aris, what are you doing here?

Cameron:

(Cameron=s ears perk as he turns to see Aris.) Oh. Sorry. I thought it was my mom or someone.

Aris

S'ok. You=re mom did tell me you were up here.

(Looks at Tyler and Cameron)

Hi Tyler, hi Cam. I hope I wasn=t interrupting anything.

Cameron:

Oh, no, no, no. Its just... its... I didn't expect you to come over and...

Aris:

I'm sorry.

Cameron:

(smiles and stands up)

It's a good surprise. You're always welcome. Please, have a seat.

(Picks up a few pairs of socks and art supplies.)

Sorry about the mess. So, hi how are you? You look great.

Aris

Thanks. Actually its not bad in here. My room is ten times worse right now. We've been in our new house for six months and I still haven=t unpacked everything.

Cameron

Oh, you guys moved?

Aris

No big deal. Just a little nicer place. Its actually closer to here than my old house.

Cameron

That's cool. Hey, umm... Tyler and I were just talking about going out and catching up on old times. Would you like to come along? I=m sure he won't mind (looks at Tyler and nudges him).

Tyler:

(looking uncomfortable.)

I dunno, I guess.

Aris:

(seeming a little uncomfortable too)

Umm... thanks for the invite, but, I've got a lot stuff to do tonight. Errands and such. I just stopped by to say hi.

Cameron:

(disappointed)

Oh, well, that's ok. You can at least stay for a little while can't you?

Aris:

(nervously)

Yeah, sure. What can a few minutes hurt?

(She smiles nervously and sits down. The three exchange glances saying nothing for a few long seconds.)

Cameron:

Hey! (Jumps up)

Does anyone want something to drink?

Tyler

I'll have a beer.

Cameron

Well, we have lemonade, water, and soda.

Tyler

(mock excited)

Oh, oh, I think I'll have a lemonade!

Cameron

Aris?

Aris

Huh?.... Oh, just water, thanks Cam.

Cameron

Sure. I'll be right back. (Exits out of room)

(Tyler and Aris sit wordless for a few seconds and finally Aris gets up from the chair to stretch. She walks a circle around the room, looking around at things, briefly picks up an action figure and puts it back in the same place. She stops by the sketch book and looks inside, she stops on the last page and sees her portrait.)

(Cameron enters again a few seconds later)

Actually, there is no lemonade left, so I'll have to mix some up.

Tyler

Sure, whatever dude.

Cameron

I'll be back.... again (Exits room again. Aris turns away and continues to look at the sketch book.)

Tyler

What are you lookin' at?

Aris

(Puts the sketch book down.)

Nothing.

Tyler

Ah, I see.

(Stops and thinks, then stands up)

So, what really brings you over here?

Aris

What are you talking about?

Tyler:

The ex comes into town and you=re there the very same....

(Stops himself before says something too offensive.)

I'm being stupid. Its your own damn business why you=re here.

(turns and sits down)

Aris

Yes you are being stupid. I just came by to see an old friend I haven=t seen in a very long time. Not that it matters since we=ve been broken up for two weeks now.

Tyler:

Yeah, I know, I know, You're right. Why did you dump me again?

Aris:

(matter of factly)

Because, you're an insensitive prick.

Tyler: (nods)

Oh, yeah.

Aris

You rely too much on that stupid manly ego of yours.

Tyler

I swear, if you go Freudian on me, I'm out of here.

Aris

Well, if I can't use my psychology genius to get unfair insight into the behavior of my friends, then what good is it?

(Tyler smiles a little bit at this and looks up to Aris).

All I'm saying is that maybe you should try being yourself, instead of your ego. You may find that its not so bad.

(She sits down on the bed next to him.)

Tyler

(In a vain attempt at flattery)

You look beautiful today.

Aris:

(Almost buying it)

See? That's not a bad start.

(She smiles)

You're getting warmer.

(Tyler gets a dazed look and his eyes move down and stared at her chest. She takes him by the chin and looks into his eyes). Colder.

Tyler:

I've missed you.

Aris

Warmer.

Tyler

Dumping you was the stupidest thing I ever did.

Aris

Both times?

Tyler

Both times.

(They kiss)

But mostly I missed that

(He kisses her back.)

Aris:

Oh, did you, does that mean you haven't been with any other girls for two whole weeks?

Tyler:

(Nods and smiles)

Though not through lack of trying.

Aris:

(playfully hits him in the face with a pillow.) Well at least it was a honest answer.

Tyler

Damn straight it was. I'm down with honesty.

Aris

Still an idiot though.

Tyler:

I hear that a lot.

(Aris moves toward him and they begin kissing again. After a few seconds Cameron comes in with the drinks. When he sees the two of them he drops the trey on the ground, startling Tyler and Aris.)

Cameron

Should I have knocked first?

Aris

Shit... I...

(Looks at Tyler then at Cameron.)

I... just... I have go.

(She runs out of the room nearly in tears.)

Tyler:

(standing up slowly)

Look, I was meaning to tell you about us but....

Cameron:

(turned away from Tyler fighting back tears.) Just shut up, I don't want to see you right now.

Tyler

I mean I was going to tell you, but we broke up, and never thought that this would....

Cameron

Did it take you a day to start in with Aris after I left? You know I had a crush on her. You were just waiting for the second that we broke up to move in.

Tyler

(Suddenly angry)

You asshole! You were living in New York! How the fuck was I supposed to know you were coming back after one semester of failing!

Cameron

Get the fuck out of my house!

Tyler

(raises his hands in defeat)

Alright, fine. I'll go. You just need some time to calm down. I don't want to have to kick your ass.

(Exits right slamming the door.)

Cameron

(Waits a few more seconds)

I'd like to see you try....

(Cameron walks over and kicks over an easel.)

Damnit!

(He flops down on his bed and feels the sketch pat underneath him. He finds the picture of Aris and rips it out. He stares at the picture for a few moments then crumples the picture and shoves it into the trash. He hits the pillow as hard as he can and slumps into it face first. Lights go out.)

Scene 2

(There is a table set up with two chairs. Cameron and Aris. Cameron goes around her and pulls a chair out for her. She smiles a bit and sits down.)

Aris

I hope you don't mind coming to your work.

Cameron

That's ok, I like the atmosphere. Besides I can't help but think of where I'll hang all my paintings when I get my gallery opening here.

Aris

Hey, Cam. I have to apologize for yesterday.

Cameron

Its ok. I just... I mean, I've we=ve been apart for so long. I reacted to harshly. I just wish Tyler would have told me.

Aris

Well, we aren't together. At least not anymore. I guess I just sort of forgot myself. It was so fucking rude of me to do that to you. I'm so sorry Cam.

Cameron:

(Attempting to make it no big deal)

Eh, its alright.

Aris

So, you're going to have a showing here?

Cameron:

Naw, not yet. But I like being optimistic.

Aris

(Smiles at him)

Ah, I see.

Cameron

So, what's new? I hardly ever spoke with you while I was away.

Aris

Well, I made it out of high school somehow.

Cameron

I told you, you would.

Aris

Yeah, you always did have the most faith in me.

Aris

Well, what's new with you? I mean, what=s New York like?

Cameron

I=m just marveling at my free time. I mean in school I was working full time and going to classes. New York is actually a beautiful city. Albeit, noisy and very confusing at times. I did have to put up with stupid roommates, though. I can't stand sharing a room, I need a place to call my own.

Aris

I can totally understand that.

Cameron

But, Now that I've got most of my stuff moved in I just have massive amounts of time to work on my paintings.

Aris

That's so cool, Cam. How is your art coming anyway?

Cameron

I'm really feeling confident about my new work. Despite all I complain New York taught me a whole lot about my style and art.

Aris

So, what exactly brought you back here?

Cameron:

I... umm... (looks down) I just couldn=t find any inspiration. I missed... home... and...

Aris

If you don't want to tell me, that's cool. I mean its good to have you back.

Cameron

Really?

Aris

Yeah, you're fun to be around. And I just know that you=ll be successful no matter where you are.

Cameron

That's sweet of you to say. But as far as I've progressed I still feel I could do so much better.

Aris

What happened to being optimistic?

Cameron

That just means I have to work that much harder.

Aris

I'm not kidding you've gotten so much better since you left. I saw the portrait of me that you...

Cameron

I drew that when I was... I mean....

Aris

Its ok, I liked it... a lot. Maybe next time I could model it for you.

Cameron

Well I've always been interested in trying nude still life.

Aris:

Not with me your not.

Cameron:

I was kidding, you know?

Aris

I know.

Cameron:

I've never tried to capture anything that beautiful before.

Aris

Huh?

Cameron

Nothing, never mind.

Cameron and Aris

(After a long silence.)

There's something I have to say to...

Cameron

You go first.

Aris

No, you go ahead.

Cameron

Alright. I... I.... How do I start.

(Plays with his coffee cup and stares down into it. He looks back up tentatively into Aris= eyes)

Ever since I started dating you, no ever since we were friends back in high school... you... you=ve been special to me. When I went out with you I broke it off because I was scared that if I'd... I'd gotten any closer to you... It would have ripped my heart in two when I left. I... I realized all too soon that I was too late.

(Cameron lays his hand on Aris= and she slowly pulls it away.)

Aris

Cam.... I....

Cameron

No. please, let me finish. I moved back because I missed you. You=ve been my inspiration. You are everything to me, and I was nothing without you. I love you.(Waits for a response.)

Aris

(Looks at Cameron, trying to figure out something to say. Finally decides to leave the situation.)

Cameron... I.. I'm sorry... I can=t return you=re feelings.

(Cameron looks at her hurt. She stands up and fumbles through her purse for money she places a few dollars on the table.)

(She gets up and leaves the table, she looks back once then exits. lights go down on Cameron.)

Scene 3

(Lights come up, scene is back in Cameron=s room, three days later. He is sketching in his book, after a while rips the paper out, crumples it up and throws it into the trash.)

Cameron

Why can't I concentrate?

(The door slowly opens and Tyler looks in. He hesitates then enters. Cameron turns to see him this time.)

Hey, what're you doing here?

Tyler

I came to apologize. I fucked up. I guess its fair to say that you=re not the only one with feelings for Aris.

Cameron

I guess. But exactly when were you going to tell me that you=d been dating?

Tyler

I would have. Its just... you started talking about love... and... it just didn=t seem like the time to bring it up. Not like expected her to come over. And I expected even less that she'd take me back.

Cameron

Well she hasn=t taken you back yet.

Tyler

What the hell that supposed to mean?

Cameron

Nothing, nothing.

Tyler

(crosses and sits on the bed.)

You're right of coarse. You were always right.

Cameron

What do you mean?

Tyler

I wanted her when you had her. But when she dated you, her head was in the clouds. She fell bad for you. I was just waiting for your relationship to end. And unfortunately you're right she never did take me back officially. We were just caught up in a moment. It didn't mean anything.

Cameron:

Who are you trying to convince, me or you?

Tyler

Both of us, I guess. When we dated. Every time we=d become close, you know, serious, we'd get nervous and break up. It may sound stupid, but I felt guilty because I was dating her. I felt like I didn't deserve a perfect girl like her. Like she was doing me some sort of charity by dating me. She never really looked at me the way she did you. She likes me alright. But when you guys dated there was something in her that I could never achieve. We used to talk about you half the time anyway.

Cameron:

I meant to call you earlier. I... just didn=t know what to say. I was so hurt... I still am. Its just...

Tyler:

I understand. If I were you I would have kicked my ass.

Cameron:

You have no idea how close I was.

Tyler:

Well, honestly. I can't blame you.

Cameron:

You know what? We shouldn't let this get between us. I mean we=ve known each other since kindergarten

Tyler

(Smoothing out a still awkward situation as best he can.)

True that. Bros before hoes.

Cameron:

(Smiles and shakes his head)

Bros before hoes.

Tyler:

(Nervously looks at his watch and realizes the time)

Jeez, its almost eight, I've got to get to work. Catch you later man.

Cameron:

Laters.

(Cameron goes to his chair and sits down. He begins sketching in his sketch pad again. He smiles and looks at what he=s drawn so far. Then goes back to working on it. There is a black out to shoe the passage of time. The waste basket near the desk has been filled and Cameron is now working with an inking pen After a few moments Aris cautiously looks into the room and enters. She crosses over to Cameron.)

Aris

(Walks over and begins rubbing his shoulders.)

Hey Cam.

Cameron:

(Startled)

What the?! Umm.. hello.

Aris

I feel terribly how I treated you at the café. I.. I just... I've never had anyone say they loved me, and it scared me. Its kinda hard for me to commit to anything, much less a serious relationship. I... I... think things just may work out with... us.

Cameron

What about Tyler?

Aris

We're not dating anymore. I broke up with him. I told you that. You were supposed to be my starving artist. The silent charmer. That's who I.....

(She falls silent for a few seconds. Then gathers some confidence.)

That's the one who I love.

(She move to him, almost to kiss him.)

Cameron

(Nearly falls into her words, but at the last minute shakes them off, remembering his words to Tyler no more than a few minutes ago.)

No, you were right before. Believe me, saying this goes against every fiber of my heart, but I can't be with you. We shouldn't be together. I can't betray my friend like that.

Aris

Oh.

Cameron:

I'm sorry, I've just been soul searching and that=s what I decided. I still love you, but I'd feel like our relationship would be based on lies, and I can't live a lie. And while Tyler and I both have feelings for you, it will never work out.

Aris

Why? Yesterday you couldn't have cared less than a shit about Tyler's feelings for me. Now that I've muster the courage to throw myself at you, you have a change of heart?

Cameron

Please, don't do this. Its hard enough already. I can't just choose....

Aris

You can't choose is exactly right. Once the decision making gets tough you can't do it. You want to make everyone happy. Well, guess what. It isn't going to happen this time. You can't just go for what=' the easiest for you.

Cameron

Nothing is fucking easy for me. Do you think I want to be here arguing with you. The easy way is to just say yes. Tyler was just here. We talked. Its too soon for you guys.

Aris

Too soon for who?

Cameron

Tyler.

Aris

Why the fuck should you care? I was so lonely after you broke up with me. Do you know how long it took Tyler to ask me out after you were gone? Two days. I wouldn't have even started, but I didn't think I would ever find anyone ever again.

(She stops, and fights off tears)

When we were together, all we did was talk about you. Wondering how you were doing off in the big city. How you would become the next major art scene.

Cameron

I was gone Aris. When I left I had no intention of coming back. You don't want me anyway. I'm not a great artist. I failed. I fucking flunked out of school. Me the artist. You said it yourself, that's who you're in love with.

Aris

I didn't know. I...

Cameron

You wondered why I came home. Its because I had my tail between my legs. I cowered away from the real world.

Aris

(Crosses to him)

That really doesn't matter to me and you know it.

Cameron

I thought that I could just come back and take up my old life. I was wrong. Things have changed too much.

Aris

(Reaching for his hand.)

I still feel the same way about you.

Cameron

(Holds her hands and looks into her eyes.)

I used to think that just loving someone is enough for anything to happen. But it doesn't always work like that. I love you, but I also love Tyler. He's like my brother. He can=t say it, but he loves you too.

(Lets go of her hand and backs up)

Aris

But Cam....

(She moves to him and tries to entangle her hands in his.)

Cameron

(Holding back tears of his own.)

Please. We... I need some time. I can't do this right now. Not right after I told my best friend that I wouldn't.

Aris

You're incredibly loyal. You're a better friend than he deserves.

Cameron

I'd like us still to be friends.

Aris

I don't think its going to work like that Cam. I can't put aside my feelings and I don't think you can either.

(Looks at her watch)

I have to go, but you are welcome to call me if you change your mind.

(She leans over and kisses him on the cheek)

At least we'll always have that summer.

(Aris turns and exits out of the room. Cameron slumps down onto his bed and lights go out.)


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685 Reviews


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Tue Mar 15, 2005 7:51 pm
Rei wrote a review...



I dunno. I just thought it went way to quickly. Give us time to really get to know your characters. Take your time. The dialogue could be adjusted too, so it could sound more realistic. There were also far too many stage directions for my taste. This is coming from an actors perspective, though. We like to be able to make our own decisions, and are told to cross out stage directions anyway. Besides, in most published plays, the directions that are published are not written by the playwright, but by the stage manager for the first professional production.




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Wed Jan 05, 2005 12:43 am
Incandescence wrote a review...



This was very good for a play. My only criticism is the title of the play. It sounds so far-fetched that I almost didn't read it. Of course, you're not supposed to judge a book by it's cover (or so they say), so I decided to sit down and read it. In short, I was glad I did. It's nowhere near perfect though. This could use a lot of remodeling and restructuring. The plot was good, but it seemed to lack some transitional things. Of course, if you had to conform it to so many words or so that it would fit into an hour, I can see why they would be lacking. But as a script, I think it needs more meat to it. The dialogue is excellent and really personifies the college scene. All in all, I liked it, but there's always room for improvement. I look forward to seeing some other scripts by you too. So don't think you are off the hook, cause you are not off the hook, sir.




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Fri Dec 17, 2004 5:46 pm
justadreamer wrote a review...



I really liked it. It started at the beginning as a story I didn't think I could relate to, because I'm still in high school and not a college student. But then as I read, the story relates to all ages, not just 19 year olds. I thought it was a very good story and must have took a lot of thought. I hope you write another one. If you do, let me know. I love to critique plays.




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Sun Dec 12, 2004 8:53 am
WinterGrimm says...



I feel kind of silly that that was still in there. This play has been perfromed in not one but two of my classes.




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Sun Dec 12, 2004 7:34 am
Crysi wrote a review...



Excellent.. wow.

Interesting.. I was in Tyler's position once. Very scary.

One thing I want to comment on..

(Aris moves toward him and they begin kissing again. After a few seconds Tyler comes in with the drinks. When he sees the two of them he drops the trey on the ground, startling Tyler and Aris.)


I think you meant "After a few seconds Cameron comes in with the drinks.."

Other than that, it's excellent. Great job.




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Sat Dec 04, 2004 9:37 pm
Tessitore says...



Interesting. Very interesting. I need to think about it for a while, let it settle in, then I'll give you a critique. Spiffy? yeah...





"When a body moves, it's the most revealing thing. Dance for me a minute, and I'll tell you who you are."
— Mikhail Baryshnikov