August 2016. First semester at UT. Saw an ad on campus for something called “Once Upon a Week”, a theater project where you write, rehearse, and perform a play within one week with a group of strangers. I decided, why the hell not… and ended up having a helluva good time. I couldn’t find the shaky, grainy footage I took of the performance, but the transcript is below.
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[Scene starts with Miranda driving along a road with Beyoncé’s Formation playing. Kevin comes onto the scene right in front of Miranda, waving his hands. She hits him accidentally]
Miranda: Oh my god!!!
[Miranda gets out of her car and comes over to Kevin, who is on the ground]
Miranda: Are you ok?!?!
Kevin: [Getting up] Do I look OK?! You just hit me with your stupid Honda.
Miranda: You’re the one who ran in front of a moving vehicle. Are you insane?
Kevin: Classic victim blaming!
Miranda: Yeah, if the victim is an idiot!
Kevin: You know what, I don’t think I broke more than 3 ribs, the least you can do is drive me home. It’s freaking cold out here.
[They both get inside]
Miranda: So, what are you doing out in the middle of a blizzard?
Kevin: I would tell you, but I have to kill you first.
Miranda: Oh my god, what?! I’m calling the police.
Kevin: No, no! I was just kidding. Don’t call the police, I promise I’m not dangerous… though these guns might be [Kevin flexes his arm, painfully] Ow.
Miranda: I don’t know… Can’t say I’m used to having suicidal sarcastic hobos in my car.
Kevin: How about this… I know it sounds ridiculous, but I’m not just a homeless person without anything to his name.
Miranda: OK, DELUSIONAL suicidal sarcastic hobos.
Kevin: I’m not delusional! Have you ever had a long weekend with good ol’ Ben and Jerry and neglected yourself so unapologetically you started to look like me?
Miranda: You have a point. Yeah, there was that one time after Jake dumped me, and I wanted to pee in his shampoo bottle but –
Kevin: That sounds creatively sadistic, but frankly my dear, I don’t give a damn.
Miranda: Woah, you’re quite rude to the person who took you in.
Kevin: You’re not much nicer to a person you ran over.
Miranda: Well, what do we do now, mysterious rich but strange looking man?
Kevin: Can you just drive? I need something to drink.
Miranda: Alright. Buckle up.
[Miranda starts to drive, puts back on Beyoncé’s formation. Miranda starts dancing to the song]
Kevin: Where did you get those moves? The third grade?
Miranda: How dare you make fun of the Queen Bee.
Kevin: You still think she’s the Queen? There’s a 7-11 over there, can you please pull in?
Miranda: Sure, but I ain’t getting inside with you.
Kevin: Dang it, I was hoping I could seduce you with some Doritos and we could get it on in the bath –
Miranda: Get out!
Kevin: Roar. Fierce. I like it.
Miranda: Get out or I’ll break three more of your sorry ribs.
[Kevin chuckles then gets out and heads towards the store]
Kevin: So typical of her.
[Inside, David is standing at the cashier. In the car, Miranda fiddles with her phone]
Kevin: [To David] Hey man.
[David does not respond but keeps his eyes on Kevin, who walks around, picks up some items and approaches the register.]
David: Just these?
Kevin: Yeah. By the way, I noticed you eyeing me while I was walking around. It’s really messed up that you did that.
David: To be honest, we have all kinds of folks walk in here, and you didn’t exactly –
Kevin: Look, I understand. But just for your information, I’m worth more than your whole store is.
David: [Laughs] Yeah, ok.
Kevin: Look out there. You see that girl sitting in the red Honda playing with her phone? [David nods] That’s the assistant I hired specifically to pick out my ties.
David: She’s hot. You really wasted that opportunity on stupid ties.
Kevin: You are on hell of a misogynist. Just take this, I’m thirsty.
David: Yeah man. We all thirsty. [Kevin shakes his head, hands David a bill] Is that a… is that a Cleveland?! They stopped making those in ’69!
Kevin: You mean a thousand-dollar bill? You peasants and your nicknames for money. So I’m guessing now you believe me?
David: Dude… I’d quench your thirst myself if –
Kevin: NOPE not interested, thanks. I can use your help with something else though… but you’d have to wait for your payment… I just handed you my last “Cleveland”.
David: Yeah, anything man.
Kevin: Honestly I’ll owe you big time. Now, I just need you to do one thing. Do you have a pen and a paper?
David: Yeah. [David gets the supplies from under the desk]
Kevin: Great. Call this… number… [He scribbles on the paper] Ok? Call this number about 10 minutes from now.
David: Is that the Becky with the good hair’s number?
Kevin: Becky is not her name, but yes.
David: Mad props, yo. You look like you waltzed out of a garbage truck this morning, how did you get her number?
Kevin: Just call the number ok? When she picks up, say “this is the sign.” She might start crying, don’t be alarmed, just hang up.
David: You’re hella weird, dude. Whatever, as long as I get those sweet, sweet Clevelands.
Kevin: Alright, I’ll send a check to this address. In the meantime, I suggest you try to be a little more of a gentleman. Bitches love gentlemen.
David: You the man.
[Kevin walks back to the car]
Miranda: What took you so long? I don’t wanna be out in these creepy woods for longer than I have to be.
Kevin: You have me, I’ll protect you.
Miranda: You’re the creepy part!
Kevin: Alright, well here… I got you some Sour Patch Kids.
Miranda: These are my favorite! How did you know?
Kevin: A hunch. Let’s get going.
[They both buckle up; Miranda starts to drive]
Kevin: I have to tell you something.
Miranda: I swear to god, if you’re trying to come on to –
Kevin: No, no. It’s not like that. I’m not who you think I am.
Miranda: Then who are you?
Kevin: Do you think you can pull over? We can’t have this conversation like this. I need to see you.
Miranda: Ok. But just so you know, I carry.
Kevin: I already know that.
[Miranda stops the car]
Miranda: How could you possibly know that?
Kevin: I told you, I’m not who you think I am. I know more about you than you think I know. I know that you were born in Kentucky to a single mother, who died when you were 19. I know you moved to New York shortly after. I know you became a wildly successful Journalist by the time you turned 23. I know that you probably don’t remember any of this since your accident.
Miranda: [Visibly shaken] How did you…? Oh my god…
[Miranda walks out to get some air]
Kevin: I’m so sorry… [Kevin follows her out] I always throw everything at you all at once. I never learn.
Miranda: What do you mean always?! Are you suggesting you’ve done this to me before?
Kevin: I’m from your future, sweetie. I’m your husband.
Miranda: [Nervously laughing] You’ve gotta be kidding me. Are you crazy?
Kevin: I’m not, and the proof is in a couple minutes you’ll get a phone call from me from four years from now. You just wait.
Miranda: Get the hell away from me. You’re insane.
Kevin: No, please! I swear, I’m not a stranger! You have to –
Miranda: Yes you are! You need to leave right –
[Phone rings. Miranda stares at the screen, puzzled, looks at Kevin. Kevin looks to her empathetically. Miranda picks up, starts sobbing.]
Kevin: Hey, hey… It’s alright. [Approaches her slowly] I know it’s been hard for you these last couple of years. But I promise, I’m here to help.
Miranda: It’s just… the sour patch kids. They’re so good.
Kevin: [Laughing] I know, I know. They’ve always had a strong impact on you emotionally, but compose yourself, woman!
Miranda: If you’re really my husband, why don’t I know who you are?
Kevin: I’ve known you since we were kids, but after your accident you forgot most of your past, including everyone you ever knew. But I wasn’t going to let you slip into a lonely bubble, no matter how many times I had to travel back and remind you who I am.
Miranda: I can’t believe… all these years, I kept forgetting who you were. How could you put up with that?
Kevin: Listen, love is not about doing what’s convenient. It isn’t about romance, either. Every time I have to meet you again, I realize how much I can’t live without you. I love you not because you’re beautiful, or smart, or because you have a hilariously adorable reaction to Sour Patch Kids… I love you because you’re all I’ve ever needed.
Miranda: It’s the 7-11 guy that called me, isn’t it?