The Oak Table
(a two act east village pageant)
(from act one)
for hard copy .pdf version download)
Copy of entire play is available
with consent of author and explicit
to half as LAWRENCE kisses ELAINE and pulls her into the bedroom.. Slow sensuous drums. Half motion
dreamlike movements from the characters)
(Shadows appear behind POET'S squat. In
low conversational tones, CARL, CLAIRE, meet AL and CAVE BEAR (LEO). They introduce in slow motion mime, bum a cigarette, AL and
CAVE BEAR (LEO) share it and the four talk in hushed tones)
(POET lets out a maniacal scream from inside her shelter. HOMELESS MAN jumps out in real
time, pulls up his pants and
runs off screaming Crazy! Crazy! Crazy bitch!)
(Pops out of the shelter in a panic shooting her poem at the world)
They are all
(PARK continues in slow "time" under POETS song as she
watches all the people around her. They huddle together and come up with a plan by
looking up toward ELAINE'S window)
streets up and down with attitude!
perfumed street smells greeting them before their eyes touch
lips taste the smoke of the night!
knowing it is the beginning of a decade of voices
in our ears in the darkness of the night.
cold light of the day,
In corners and in lies!!
That settles into truthful wonder.
(AL grabs the new wave couple as they cross, points toward ELAINE'S
window. COUPLE pull out money, hand it to CLAIRE. LAWRENCE and
ELAINE'S embracing shadow is seen in the bedroom)
They all line the streets, and the
hallways, and the rooms
places of living and touching
meandering like snakes on the hunt.
bodies slip past colors, flashing voices,
scares the atmosphere in an unnatural taunt that sings cold and real.
(AL stops second basketball player, points, takes money)
(As POET speaks, PARK in slow time move through building entrance. DRUMMER goes with the crowd using street
items as percussion)
undulating animal moving to the senses, more possessive than desire,
animated by the music of their voices and their sucks
blows of their mouths that cater to the trivial.
the beat of the heat of the night that creeps in and takes over and moves their body into
brown and green halls, back out of the streets that are lined in black and white and black
and black and silver and points and peaks and lips that sing red, red, red.
(In normal time POET follows crowd into building as LAWRENCE quickly
renters the kitchen, goes to his bag, slips out a small manuscript and puts it into
ELAINE'S shelved manuscript folder. Simultaneously
ELAINE is taking down her hair and removing her dress in shadow)
and unclothe the heated movements that slip past wanting,
touching, being aloof, not conforming, being apart, not being affected, the lie.
(CLAIRE directs PARK and DRUMMER onto roof in slow time. They establish a party
party on the roof, supplies sounds, and slow motion sensuous movements. The new wave couple, basketball player, and others
all strike attitude poses, mime conversation, dance, staring out over the park, smoking
whatever, etc. POET is the
only animated movement on the roof. She goes
from person to person and takes potato chips and other food that has been carried in. She collects these things in a large bag,
occasionally eating some)
(CLAIRE leads the way through the hallway door into the kitchen. She puts the ice cream in the table and goes to
get her cognac. AL enters and goes right to
the refrigerator. CARL crosses to the
oak table to pour. Enters CAVE BEAR (LEO)
with toolbox. He crosses into the kitchen,
stands and stares as if in a trance, then sits on his toolbox)
(Loud, to the
to eat in the fridge?
(CAVE BEAR (LEO) glances at her in interest, looks toward the bedroom, pulls out a
cigarette and lighter, holds them, then resumes trancelike state)
were too late to cool things down.
Not if we
leave this open. Be surprised how little time
it takes to cool my apartment down when I keep the fridge door open.
wonder nobody ever thought of that, Al. But,
lets see if the ice cream does the same job first.
(Gets out small
cups and spoons)
(To AL and
somewhat to CAVE BEAR (LEO))
interest you in some cognac?
Hell, yes. Thatd be great!
(Hits CAVE BEAR (LEO) on shoulder)
here is a taxi-driving poet.
(CAVE BEAR (LEO) drops cigarette and lighter, notices how they fall, picks them up,
resumes trancelike stare)
deep as they come.
(CARL pours AL a snifter)
you... find him?
also my super!
snifter from CARL)
see this stuff everyday!
bottle. Pours a hefty amount in snifter)
Yo! Coke!! You
guys sure know how to live it up!
(Drinks it down
in one take. Burps)
Ah! Now thats class!
you, Al, I consider that a compliment.
(Goes to dirty
dishes and picks at leftovers)
Yo! Elaine’s famous pasta! Got anymore of this stuff?
Uh, well, I
think you should wait and ask Elaine?
she? She here?
You said she was here with your friend.
(Goes to bedroom
in there? ! You think shes in there
with that guy? Elaine!!
(ELAINE hastily gets dressed. LAWRENCE
is unable to move just yet)
couldnt wait for the ice cream and stepped out.
Shes probably not in there, Al. Youre
wasting your voice.
If I were a
betting man, and I am...
I thought you were a little more discreet than that.
getting laid, isnt she!!!
I think thats
as discreet as he gets, Claire.
hurry up! Youve got guests!
I could get
real bent outta shape about this, you know.
imagine... why. She never was your...
I got dibs
on her. We live across the park from each
other and I got dibs on her first.
(ELAINE abruptly opens the door, enters, and slams it behind her)
Why Al, I
didnt know you were invited to this party?
Not just me. Theres a whole bunch others on the roof. Claire said you were having a rent party.
Hands her money)
the street wanted to help out.
everybody. This should cover
costs when my landlord finds out.
least part of one month.
got people stomping all over his new roofing.
My idea! Great, huh?!
I have rent parties all the time. Only
way I make ends meet. I dont think Ive
paid rent in two years.
How are you,
guess. Who you got in there?
Look, uh, I
know a woman without a man gets urges, especially when youre used to having a guy
around, so, look, I figured when Scotty left...
Was asked to
whatever, that you and me...
Carl, is my
glass over there?
what you said, right?
Certainly. Needs a little topper.
remember, Claire, a few years back..
A few years
be so nice.
Try to be
more specific, Al. When?
(Sees CAVE BEAR
Who is that?
It was here,
a few years back...
super, Cave bear.
One night me
and Scotty was having supper
So I WASN'T
He hasnt said word one since hes
I like that
in some men. .
eating supper and I said
and yells at the bathroom door)
are one lucky son-of-a-bitch to have a woman that works, brings home the food, cooks,
cleans up and dont say nothing about you not getting a job.
something quite elegant about how he stares off like that.
picked up that frying pan over there
(CAVE BEAR (LEO)
drops cigarette and lighter)
swung that thing right at my head.
of the trancelike state certain shaman have after being bitten by a cobra.
has that thing.
They have to
die before they are reborn as a shaman.
If I hadn't
a new life.
dead right now.
happens to us all at turning points in our lives.
chased us out the door. Hey, Elaine, you
remember what you said? Elaine?!
I said, dont
come back into my house until youve lost fifty pounds and learned some manners.
at those cross roads right now. And Lawrence is not the best road sign.
And I did. And Im here.
So why didnt
you trust me to help you out, instead of... all this?
that guy in there?
Who says its
bathroom, wiping mouth with tissue)
three throwups today.
the ice cream?
CAVE BEAR (LEO)
guy was one smart dude.
CAVE BEAR (LEO)
(Has been holding a cigarette in one hand and a lighter in the other)
this cigarette and this lighter and drop em at the same time and...
They land at
the same time.
got to use your bathroom.
him a small piece of paper)
instead of the lighter.
exits to bathroom. (CAVE BEAR (LEO) does,
is stumped. Continues to work on the problem)
to the bedroom)
Is he alive?
herself some ice cream)
cream! My favorite.
A little to
the left, please.
kisses him on the lips, lightly)
wanted to taste if it was good enough for you. And
if I have some more cognac?
shower comes on)
he doing in there?
across the park? Cant he wait until he
Not a man
enters with towel around waist. CLAIRE is
Elaine? Wheres that scented stuff?
soap. The stuff you girls use. All I see here is Ivory. Anybody can use Ivory.
to the bedroom)
it for him? ... Or her?
Why are you
taking a shower in my house at one in the morning?
Got to. Cave bear here cant get the water turned on
in my building.
We was on
the way to the all night hardware store when we run into you guys. Hell, I hadnt
been able to take a shit in my place for a week.
surprised you let a little thing like water get in your way.
want to know anymore. Just use whats
there, Al, then put your clothes on and leave. Please. And take the roof with you!
CAVE BEAR (LEO)
Oh. I get it!
exits into bathroom)
head back out door)
Can I crash
at your place tonight?
back into bathroom, then sticks his head out, questioning look)