While I am typically the dumpee rather than the dumper, this post made me think about something that I am going to start re-working for a class.

A while back I took all of the women I had relationships (or just some sort of fleeting connection) with (because I was in that stage of my emotional maturity/writing career) and molded them into one character. I hoped I would make some sort of complex character. While I really liked some of the themes in the first act, I never really worked on it more after that. I tried to turn it into something that I was going through at the time and the two things just never really meshed well to me. Maybe that says a lot on the subject I was trying to relate.

Anyways, I’m starting a play-writing class in March and I really want to develop this particular story of tainted love a little bit. I wouldn’t call it between a story about a boyfriend and a girlfriend. It’s more about a friendship and how it can tend to fade in and out. There are things I have to develop more, but I think there are parts I can work with. You be the judge:

“The Diaries of Hailey Harrison”



Adam Baxter walks to center stage from behind the curtain. He comes out from behind the curtain and addresses the audience.


Adam: I remember the first time I really learned about Hailey. We were working at a gas station in what they now call the international district of Albuquerque, New Mexico. They call it the International district because the “war zone” wasn’t really a property seller. Hailey had just clocked in. She told me to follow her into the walk-in freezer. Evidently she had gotten high the night before and was upset with herself. She said she had regretted what she had done but couldn’t control herself in the situation she was placed in. I asked her why she just didn’t take herself out of that situation. She said it was more complicated than that and walked out of the freezer. We never talked about it again. Hailey was always like that. It’s like she was dealing with repentance for a crime she didn’t commit.


Adam Baxter walks away from the audience off stage right.


Act One; Scene One


The curtain lifts to reveal five streetlights. Only the streetlight closest to stage left is lighted. Adam and Hailey’s voices are heard off stage.


Hailey: Why can’t we just drive?

Adam: Because it’s an adventure.

Hailey: Adventures can be had in cars Adam.

Adam: Come on, It’ll be fun.

Hailey: You always say that.


Hailey and Adam walk from stage left to the lighted streetlight.

Adam begins to walk to the second streetlight but Hailey stands firm underneath the lighted street sign.


Hailey: What are you doing?

Adam: I, I don’t know. I thought you were behind me.


Adam walks back to the first streetlight and stands next to Hailey.


Hailey: You were going to leave me.

Adam: No, I thought you were next to me.

Hailey: I wasn’t.

Adam: I’m sorry. Like I said, I didn’t know.


Hailey takes her hand off the light post and walks downstage.


Hailey: Can’t we stay here awhile? I want to look around.

Adam: But what about our journey?

Hailey: I thought it was an adventure.

Adam: Aren’t they the same thing?

Hailey: (Ignoring his question) Come here.


Adam walks downstage to be next to Hailey.


Hailey: Dance with me.

Adam: But there is no music.


Hailey pulls Adam close to her and Adam puts his hands on her hips.


Hailey: Do you really need music?

Adam: I think I do.

Hailey: What type of music would you like to dance to?

Adam: (thinking) I think I would find a nice samba pleasant.

Hailey: (laughing) A samba? Really?

Adam: Madam, you did not establish any restrictions.

Hailey: Fine.


Hailey adjusts her hands on Adam’s body and begins to hum the first couple of bars of a samba before an actual song can be heard by the audience. The couple dances for about 20 seconds before Adam stops.


Adam: Can you do a power ballad?

Hailey: When did I become a juke box?

Adam: (playfully) Why are you stalling?


Unwilling to lose the challenge, Hailey forcefully pulls Adam close to her and loudly sings the chorus from Foreigner’s “I want to know what love is,” while people walk awkwardly by.


After a moment,[NC1]  Hailey and Adam walk a little further. They reach the second street light and Adam leans down to tie his shoe.


Adam: (leaning down) Hold on.


Hailey stops and turns around to look at Adam.


Hailey: Do you have any regrets?

Adam: {rising) like serious regrets?

Hailey: Just in general.

Adam: I think everyone has some sort of regret in their life; things they wish they could have done differently or things they would do differently, if given the chance.

Hailey: What would you have done differently?


Adam quietly looks downstage. The faint image of a dimly lit apartment becomes clearer.


Adam: It’s silly to think of things like that. Let’s keep going.

Hailey: I’m not going anywhere until you tell me.


Adam slowly walks downstage from the second street lamp. The streetlights fade and the light of apartment becomes brighter, revealing a woman. Adam walks from the shadows and gets into the bed in the middle of the apartment. He lies next to a woman who is not Hailey.


Adam: Fine. I guess the biggest regret I have is, well; let me set the scene.


The lights where Hailey stands fully darken and a faint rain-like nose become audible. Adam sits up in the bed.


Adam: I awake in a building surrounded by serfs to spoons and idolaters to their ecstasy. The gallant grey walls of apartment 124 wither amongst the white window panes. The sleeping woman beside me blacked out over two years ago. Or at least that’s what she claims.


A loud bullet sound occurs.


Adam: The bellowing blast shivers throughout my spine and I glance towards the window. It wasn’t a bullet. Just a car.


Adam’s gaze shifts from the window back to the woman next to him.


Adam: She doesn’t move. She stays silent in the gallows of her sleep.


Hailey: (from the darkness) Who is she?

Adam: (to Hailey) are you going to let me tell my story?


Hailey rescinds and Adam continues.


Adam: The TV flickers back on. A sadly executed commercial about a pointless product hooks me for the moment. An old man and a young woman talk with long glaring looks about life insurance policies.

Anna stirs, she realizes I’m awake. She rolls over and puts a hand on my back. “Hold me” are the simple words she breathes into the nape of my neck. My hand gropes the left side of the bed, rifling for the remote.

The TV powers off and I slide my arm over Anna’s slender waist. Her fingers find my hands and she makes tight little circles on the top of my palm with her ring finger. Slowly the frequency decreases as she succumbs to slumber once more.

I lay here. I live here.

Her body drives life into my chest and her presence is the only thing keeping me in this room. This room, situated in this run-down apartment, nestled in this no-where neighborhood, forgotten to the fast paced world.


Hailey: (from the darkness) So it was about the girl?

Adam: (to Hailey) No, I’m not there yet.


Adam: Leave or love-in-limbo is the dispute adulterating the molecules of my mind. It is the exhausting battle I perpetually endure. Days are spent deliberating of ways to kneel beside bedposts in the embargoed night. The only moment I have to breathe is the simple seconds spent holding Anna in the early hours of the morning.

The sounds of the parking lot score the intimate scene; the howl of the cool wind, the hum of a quiet car. Everything works together to tempt the tensions of our ill-fated resistances.

I don’t sleep. I hide from it. The times I have counted the DVD’s along the wall in the light of darkness are innumerable. I paint plastered pictures of people along the withering white walls; I escape in the little bits of breaths exchanged while the clock counts upward.


Hailey begins to giggle.


Adam: Anna tenses. She must be dreaming. She speaks sonnets about situations centuries ago. I lustfully listen to every lingering syllable, awaiting answers to each professed antiquity.

While I want, whistle and willfully yearn for the days when each facet of my faltering life is to be fulfilled, there is a comfort in the complacency of each caress that I could have never calculated. I know, in this moment, something, but not everything, is right.


Hailey stops giggling.


Adam: The myth of the moment, however, is that it is remembered. Moments fade and the memories eventually converge into maligned mistruths. They die, disfigured in the dalliances of a true connection.

Will this die? Will there be a time of day when I don’t laugh at the way she wiggles her nose before she sneezes? Will I not find solace in a mid-morning text; just to meander, even if neither of us has the time?

It is impossible. It is improbable.

Sleep begins to seduce what’s left of my strengths. Before I close my eyes I look one last time at Anna. She stays still, immortalized in the seconds it will be before I speak to her again.


The light dims on the apartment and the lights of the street begin to brighten. Adam exits the bed and walks back to Hailey.


Adam: It’s not solely about the situation or the girl; it’s about the fact I never had both at the same time. Eventually I got scared that I was fine with just one of them.


Hailey jumps up and inquisitively looks Adam in the eyes.


Adam: What are you doing?

Hailey: Hold on.


Hailey searches for something in Adam’s posture.


Hailey: Ha!

Adam: What?

Hailey: (While walking to the next lamppost) You’re kinda fucked up in the head, aren’t you?

Adam: (slowly walking to catch up to Hailey) At least I gave you an honest answer. Don’t I get to ask you something now?


Hailey swings around the middle lamppost with one arm.


Hailey: Hmmm. I don’t know.

Adam: It’s only fair.

Hailey: Well, what do you want to know?


Adam walks back and forth for a moment, doing his best to think of a quality question. After a moment, his body straightens and he turns to Hailey.


Adam: Tell me about how you two met.


Hailey’s head turns quickly.


Hailey: You don’t want to know about that.

Adam: Why would I ask if I didn’t want to know?

Hailey: You just don’t Adam. And I don’t want to talk about it. Let it be.


Adam chuckles. Hailey rolls her eyes in an apparent angst and walks to the fifth streetlight. After a moment Adam recomposes and follows.


Hailey leans up against the fifth light.


Hailey: I’m pregnant.

Adam: (Puzzled) Again?

Hailey: Yeah, again.


Adam walks beside Hailey and sits on the ground. After a moment Hailey sits down next to him.


Adam: Well, have you told him?

Hailey: No.

Adam: Why?

Hailey: I don’t know.

Adam: are you going to?

Hailey: Eventually.


Hailey and Adam sit in silence for a moment.


Hailey: I’m tired.

Adam: But we are almost there.

Hailey: I don’t think I’m up for it tonight Adam. I think I’m just going to go home.


Hailey stands up and walks toward stage left. Each light turns on as Hailey passes. Adam rises to his feet just as she is about to leave the stage.


Adam: Are you sure you’re ok?

Hailey: (leaving) I’m fine. I’ll talk to you tomorrow.


Hailey exits stage left and Adam watches her leave. He walks toward her for a moment but the lights don’t flick on as he walks. Eventually he is left in the dark in the middle of the stage.


The curtains close.

(Check out what these people wrote for their “Tainted Love” post)

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8 Comment on “Kinda Sorta Not Really

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