SHE (GRED)

So you liked that book, huh?

 

       HE (SBO)

And I think you would too.

 

SHE

Yeah, and so what would I like about it?

 

HE

Want the cheap and easy answer? Or the troubling and profound one?

 

SHE

You know me. Cheap and easy comes first, but it never lasts, does it?

 

HE

Well, ok then. 

 

SHE

                               (flirtatiously)

Yeah?

 

HE

So there’s a lot of laugh-out-loud moments. Most, but not all, are literary or related to the writing life.

 

SHE

That’s cuz it’s about a kid who schelps from North Hamster to the flatiron plains of the Midwest to do an MFA thing with a bunch of bland white stiffs.

HE

Huh?

SHE

                               (with exaggerated disdain)

I READ the dust jacket, dude. 

HE

Right, G. Right. So, you’ll love this. The best gag concerns Silvia Plath.

SHE

Let me see… Does it start with how many Jews you can squeeze into a London studio apartment?

HE

God, G! No! 

                               (conspiratorially)

…But it does involve an Easy-Bake Oven.

SHE

HAH! 

                               (She grabs her tablet and starts typing and swiping)

This guy’s definitely going places. Marching to a faster pace. Ah ha! Look at that masterful face! 

                               (handing him the tablet)

He’s more furshilten blond and blue eyed than even youse. He could roust me anytime.

HE

Well then, alright already. So much for the humor. It’s a really funny book though, G.

 

SHE

                               (leaning into him with intimidating mock intensity) 

Yeah, ok. I’ll read that. But what’s so profoundly trouble-making about it? Huh?

HE

Yikes. You always make it so hard.

SHE

                               (triumphantly... when will he ever learn?)

And you always have trouble kee–

HE

Drat! Set you up again!

SHE

                               (innocently)

Well, at least you’re a good straight man and not just a double bent second banana.

HE

Gonna let me take that as a compliment and withdraw honorably from the field?

SHE

                               (She just loves it when she’s winning)

Why don't ya just pull out and leave in pieces, Mr. P.

HE

Mr. P, huh?

SHE

                               (jubilantly)

Mr. Peyronies! Gad, dude! You drink enough coffee this morning? 

                               (in her most breathy, seductive, Mamie Van Doren)

Let me warm up your loving cup, son!

                               (SHE leads him into the house to the kitchen. HE follows and so do we.)

HE

Never enough, always too much, I guess. You wanna hear about this book or do you just wanna read it for yourself?

SHE

                               (handing him the refill)

Don’t be such a wuss. Tell me about some troubling profundity. I won’t mess with you. I promise. 

HE

It’s the figs, G. The luscious purple figs in that tree Silvia’s character sat in!

SHE

Yeah, right. In the Bell Jar. Does he get into how she probably lifted that from the Milky Way bit in Ulysses

                               (Dismissively she strides away and back to the veranda porch)

HE

                               (calling out after)

Huh? Oh, the one where they were peeing?

                               (He rushes to join her)

SHE

That’s micturating to you, dude.

HE

Ok, so stop urinating on my parade! She didn’t lift nuthin!

SHE

The book! This book! Get back to his book, whydontcha?

                               (They sit down again and she resumes clipping on her other foot.)

HE

Ok… Well, and I hope you don’t think this is a spoiler, but it turns out they don't know what a fig is. They've never seen a real one! See, neither this girl nor he, the main character, whose name is Flip-

SHE

I like that name. If it was Brad or Josh or Jumbo, I wouldn’t wanna crack it. But what’s the chick’s name? I’m holding my breath.

HE

Uhh, it’s Derzen.

SHE

Oh, that’s just a great name! I’m absolutely idolizing this book already. Just don't tell me he named her Rebecca B. Tulle.

HE

Uh no, Allison. Your aim is not true this time. Her last name is… uh… Draskovich. 

SHE

OH! Love it! But is it Dras Ko Vitch? Or is it Dras kevitch?

HE

It’s either way you want, G. It’s not an audio book. There’s no pronunciation key.

SHE

Ok fine. So, it’s his first novel, right? I’ll cut him some slack for that, and because he’s not you. But whaddya mean, they don’t know what a friggin’ fig is?

HE

It’s symbolic, G. They’re still in grad school and all. OK? 

SHE

My grandfather, my Obby… he had a little fig tree near his driveway.

HE

Really? On Long Island?

 

SHE

Yeah, but you know what? I never saw a real ripe fig on it. I remember them green and hard. I saw them dead and rotting. And, in my head, I still see them black and desiccated. But if I ever saw a perfect ripe fig there or anywhere else, I can’t remember.

 

HE

Is that tree still there? Could be a nice long road trip, G!

 

SHE

Naw, that house was sold when I was still little. Right after my Fat Dad died. Everything was flattened, and now there’s a tacky MacMansion. 

HE

I’ll get you a fig tree! Gred, you can raise it inside if they won’t grow this far north. Or I can do what Flip did: order a fake fruit fig online and say it was from the Smith College Gift Shop. Wanna drive like a Masshole daytripper and hang out some more in NoHo?

SHE

Not this year again. I’m laying low. Gotta be careful, ya know.

HE

Well, read this book, then. It’ll keep you company when I go back to school. Want my copy?

 

SHE

Such a sweetie you are! ...Naw, 

            (a toenail clipping, swirling like a blade,

            arches and splashes into his milky coffee)

I’ll order it online. Alls I gotz to do is click here!

Octopus

EXT. A FRONT PORCH – DAY


 

It’s a sunny morning in late summer or early fall (or whenever figs might be ripe for the picking if they could grow in New Hampshire). GRED and SBO are sitting on a generous veranda–

 

                    GRED

                           It’s a porch, dude! 

 

GRED (just turned 18) and SBO (almost 20) are sitting on an ample porch having their morning coffee. SBO is thumbing through his dogeared copy of MFA THESIS by Ian M Rogers with his cellphone and coffee nearby on a marble topped table. GRED, her foot on the same table, is busy clipping her toenails. The alert viewer might discern that SHE is carefully timing and positioning her snips in the hope that a clipping might somehow achieve the perfect trajectory to land in his mug. Her tablet glows on a side table nearby.
 

MFA.jpg

Are you STILL so undisciplined by the "free market" of Neoliberalism that you are not grateful for the chance to compete for a meaningless job?

The stay away from MFA Thesis Novel!

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