Archive for February 9, 2013

Entire contents trademarked TM  and copyrighted (c)  by Ryan Carey, 2013. That means if you want to reproduce or use this material for any reason,  you have to ask me real nice.



LARRY and JUNE have just finished dinner and are walking down the trail by the river toward her house. Both seem a little tipsy but certainly not drunk. LARRY has his hands in pockets slightly loose, while JUNE’s arms hang freely at her side. They are conversing as they walk and we join them in what appears to be mid-conversation.

LARRY : Well, I appreciate you leaving the tip.

JUNE : Sure. Speaking of tips — too bad we didn’t run into Chris before you ordered the salmon.

LARRY : Ennnhhh — it wasn’t really that bad.

JUNE : Or that great?

LARRY : Or that great.

LARRY reaches into his shirt pocket for a cigarette.

LARRY : Mind if I —?

JUNE cuts his off mid-sentence.

JUNE : Go ahead. (pauses) Actually, I’m sorta impressed. That’s your first of the evening.

LARRY lights up, takes a drag, exhales.

LARRY : Don’t be. If these places still had smoking sections like they used to, it’s probably be my fifth or sixth.

JUNE : That all?

LARRY (pauses before speaking) : Okay, I’m being conservative in my estimation.

JUNE : Thought so. When’s the last time you tried to quit?

LARRY stops walking for a moment, pausing to consider.

LARRY : Depends on what you mean.

JUNE : What do you mean, what do I mean?

LARRY resumes walking, quickly trying to catch up with JUNE.

LARRY : Well, the last time I tried to quit, I did.

JUNE : Right. You did try.

LARRY : No, no, I mean it — I did quit. For eight years.

JUNE : No, you stopped for eight years. You didn’t quit. Obviously.

LARRY takes a drag and exhales before speaking.

LARRY : Fair enough.

JUNE : So when did you start again?

LARRY : When? Not why?

JUNE : The why you can tell me if you want to. The when is all I asked for.

LARRY takes a drag and exhales before speaking.

LARRY : Well, let’s see (pausing to consider) — six years ago? Seven? Something like that? I was at a convenience store for —-shit, I dunno, somethin’ else, and they had a 2-for-1 deal goin’ on Winstons, an’ that was my old brand, so —

JUNE cuts him off mid-sentence.

JUNE : And you thought “what the fuck?” and never looked back?

LARRY : Never set out to start again in the first place, I guess, but yeah — never looked back, either.

LARRY takes a drag and exhales.

LARRY CON’T: How about you? When’d you give it up?

JUNE : What makes you think I ever started?

LARRY : Just figgered —most people our age, ya know.

JUNE (gives a mock sigh) : You’re right, you’re right. I quit about the same time I moved here, actually. Was too damn broke at the time to keep it up.

LARRY (chuckling) : I’ve found that to be true about life in general — it helps to be broke sometimes.

JUNE : In retrospect, yeah. It always sucks at the time, though.

LARRY takes a drag and exhales.

LARRY : Hindsight’s 20/20 an’ all.

JUNE (smiling slightly) : yup — you’ve got the free cliche thing down.

LARRY : Whaddaya know? There’s hope for me yet.

JUNE stops in her tracks and LARRY follows her lead.

JUNE : Let’s do that silence thing again. Lemme just look at the river for a minute.

JUNE breathes in deeply and rhythmically as she faces the river, while LARRY alternates between looking at it and looking at her. She closes her eyes for a few seconds, continuing her deep breaths, then reopens them and turns to face LARRY.

JUNE : Believe it or not, I do love living here.

LARRY : Told’ja it wasn’t boring.

JUNE (smiling) : I never said it was. I asked if you were bored here. Big difference.

LARRY drops his cigarette but t to the ground and puts it out with his foot.

LARRY : Well, there’s just less goin’ on in general than I’m used to, but I dunno — I can see the appeal.

JUNE : The days don;t go by too fast. I like that.

LARRY, somewhat clumsily but attempting his best  to be nonchalant about it, gently takes hold of JUNE’s hand as she turns back toward the walking path.

JUNE : Now I’m gonna smell like smoke, too.

LARRY : I can always let go.

JUNE : Nah.

LARRY and JUNE continue walking the path towards JUNE’s house.

LARRY : Figgered if I didn’t take hold a’ your hand I’d regret it later.

JUNE : Know what my grandpa told me on his deathbed?

LARRY : What’s that?

JUNE : Two things : regrets aren’t worth a damn, an’ when you hit the end of the road, you spend a lot more time regretting everything you didn’t do than the stupid things you did.

LARRY : Sounds like a wise man.

JUNE : Not really. He was a wife-beating lush who damn well should have regretted an awful lotta what he did. (pauses) But he was still right, goddamn ‘im.

LARRY : Guess wisdom from an unwelcome source is still wisdom.

JUNE : Gotta take it where you can find it.

LARRY : ‘Specially since it seems ta be in such short supply these days.

JUNE stops for a moment and LARRY does likewise.

JUNE (smiling) : Awww, please don’t tell me you’re one o’ those old curmudgeons! “Back in my day, we knew the value of a day’s work,” an’ all that.

LARRY and JUNE resume walking.

LARRY : Nah, I know the old days sucked. It’s just that people in general nowdays don’t seem like the brightest bunch, either.

JUNE : Can’t argue with that. But I actually think the overall intelligence level of folks  keeps going up.

LARRY pauses briefly to consider her point before speaking again.

LARRY : It probably does. Sometimes they just hide it well, ya know?

JUNE pauses briefly before resuming speaking.

JUNE : I could be wrong about that, though. Maybe it’s not goin’ up, it’s just gettin’ more specialized.

LARRY : Explain.

JUNE : Well, my grandpa, wife-beating lush that he was, built every house he ever lived in. Wired ’em for electricity, too. How many people can do that anymore?  But if you handed him one o’ these smart phone things, I guarantee he’d be totally fucking lost. (pauses) So he could do the big things, ya know? Big projects. And there wasn’t anything too special about him. Everybody could do that kinda thing back then. But now, what we need to know to get by, it’s less general, more specialized.

LARRY : Well, maybe what it means is not that we’re gettin’ any dumber or that we’re gettin’ any smarter. Maybe it just means us people are an adaptable lot. We have a knack for knowin’ what we need to know in the times that we live in. If that means knowin’ how to build a house 60 years ago or 80 years ago or whatever, then that’s what we did. If it means knowin’ how to upload home videos to our computer now, then that’s what we do. Maybe we really haven’t changed much at all. We just sorta figger out how ta do what it takes to get by in the world we live in, an’ it’s the world itself  that’s changed.

JUNE pauses for a long moment to consider this.

JUNE : That makes real good sense except for one thing.

LARRY : What’s that?

JUNE : We’re the ones who are responsible for the world changing. It doesn’t just happen on its own. Okay, we don’t need to know how to build a house anymore, but that’s because we’ve changed the world, by our actions over time, into one where that kinda knowledge isn’t necessary. And the things we need to know now, computers  an’ tablets an’ iphones an’ whatever  — we need to know all that because we’re the ones who made the world into one where you haveta know that kinda stuff.

LARRY pauses, very briefly, considering her point.

LARRY : Well —somebody did. I don’t remember being a party to the conversation.

JUNE laughs and points up the hill toward her house, now visible in the near.

JUNE : Here we go. I’m home.

JUNE turns to face LARRY.

JUNE CON’T : Now don’t fuck up the moment by getting nervous or fumbling your way through the question or whatever it was you were planning on doing — or   woulda done without naturally without even planning. Just come on up.

Entire contents trademarked TM  and copyrighted (c)  by Ryan Carey, 2013. That means if you want to reproduce or use this material for any reason, you have to ask me real nice.



The restaurant is a modestly upscale place, a bit more on the casual side than perhaps BERT made it sound. It’s fairly busy for a Sunday night, with about half the tables occupied. LARRY and JUNE are seated and have obviously been talking for a little while. There is a bottle of wine open, placed between the two of them, and both their glasses are about half finished. A basket of bread is also in the center of the table and there are a couple of pieces left from what was once presumably a small loaf. Both LARRY and JUNE have small plates in front of them with a few crumbs scattered about them. LARRY’s plate also has a knife and a couple of opened butter packets on it, JUNE’s has neither. We join them in mid-conversation.

LARRY : —so anyway, yeah, Joe’s one of those guys who’s just kinda good about hiring people who used to have a thing going in show business. (pauses) Or almost did.  Or who never did but tried.

JUNE takes a sip of wine.

JUNE : Sounds like he’s got his fingers in a lotta pies.

LARRY : Absolutely. Besides the two restaurants and this karaoke thing he owns — I dunno — four, five apartment buildings and I think a few duplexes. Plus he’s got some kind of booking agency thing for comedians and stuff. But when I first knew ‘im he was just a guy who booked eight, maybe ten bands around town.

Their WAITRESS stops by at the table.

WAITRESS : Food shouldn’t be too much longer, everything okay here?

LARRY (to WAITRESS) : Could I get a glass of water, please?

WAITRESS : Sure thing, comin’ right up.

The WAITRESS turns her head to address JUNE.

WAITRESS (now addressing JUNE) CON’T : Anything else fer you right now, hon?

JUNE (to WAITRESS) : Christine’s not working tonight by any chance, is she? Been looking around but I haven’t seen ‘er.

WAITRESS(to JUNE) : Ya know what? One of the other gals called in and I think Chris picked up her shift. She’ll prob’ly be here in a few. I’ll send ‘er by yer table if you don’t happen ta see ‘er first.

JUNE(to WAITRESS) : Thanks, yer a doll.

The WAITRESS makes her way to another table and LARRY and JUNE continue conversing with each other.

JUNE (now addressing LARRY) : Ya know, for a stand-offish guy you’re not too put off by answering questions.

LARRY (chuckles slightly) : Well, the wine helps.

JUNE : But you don’t ask many.

LARRY pauses, as usual a bit unsure as to how to proceed.

LARRY : Still gettin’ the lay of the land, I guess. Seems like you’re the kind’a person that’ll volunteer whatever ya want me ta know and keep the rest to yerself until ya want me ta know it.

JUNE makes a mock “oh, my” gesture with her hands as she resumes speaking.

JUNE : Mmmmmm — got me figured out that way, you figure, huh?

LARRY : Not in the least. (pauses) Which is why I’m avoiding the polite version of givin’ you the third degree.

JUNE takes another sip of wine before speaking again.

JUNE : Actually — (now in a mock whisper) shhhh — I sort of appreciate it.

LARRY : Don’t want the restaurant-going public of Split Rock ta see you in an accidental moment of gratitude?

JUNE takes another sip of wine.

JUNE : Hey — got an image to maintain.

LARRY chuckles slightly.

JUNE CON’T : Honestly, though, I don’t wanna seem off-putting, I just —

LARRY takes a sip of wine.

LARRY : You just —?

JUNE : Ehhh — can we just leave it at that for now?

LARRY : Of course. But it means I get a point for reading you right.

JUNE : If keepin’ score’s your thing, go ahead.

LARRY pauses semi-awkwardly again.

LARRY : No, it’s really —

JUNE reaches across the table and taps his hand.

JUNE : Relax, killer. I’m just havin’ a little fun messin’ with your head again. I swear, you make it so easy.

The WAITRESS returns to the table with LARRY’s water.

WAITRESS (to LARRY) : Here ya go, darlin’.

LARRY (to WAITRESS): Thank you, my good woman.

JUNE :Whatever happened to just gettin’ water at your table first thing no matter what?

LARRY takes a sip of his water.

LARRY : Welcome to the new reality. It’s all a la carte now. Notice the menu?

JUNE : Yeah, but — they gave us bread.

LARRY : They’re just gettin’ the hang of it here. Give ’em another year or two, that’ll be separate, too. That’s how every place back in the Cities operates now.

JUNE : Sounds like a rip-off to me.

LARRY takes another sip of water, then one of wine.

LARRY : Wait’ll small plates make their way here. Then it’s all over.

JUNE : I believe it. (pauses to take a sip of wine) I do admit — I miss the way the town used to be. (pauses again in brief reminiscence) Well — not the way it really used to be, I wasn’t around back then, but the way it was when I first moved here.

LARRY : You were one of the first of the artists, or artisans, or whatever to hit town, I take it?

JUNE : Yeah. This was the late 80s. The whole yuppie-weekend-getaway thing was just gettin’ started.

LARRY : Locals treat you like some dastardly outsider?

JUNE : Oh, sure (pauses) But in a weird way I sorta respected them for it. Once they saw what we did with the house, they warmed up pretty quick.

LARRY takes a sip of water.

JUNE : George was living at home at the time. Yeah, he was just a kid, but he was a big help. Christ, that place was such an eyesore.

LARRY : My turn to give out a free cliche — “you’d never know it lookin’ at it now.” (pauses) Still, it’s true.

JUNE : Thanks. (pauses) And you’re right. And if you’re a normal human being, at this point you’re wondering if and when I was ever married.

LARRY gives a mock-sheepish grin as he speaks.

LARRY : Well — yeah.

JUNE : Well, it’s all a long goddamn story, but by the time I moved here from Milwaukee, I was single.

LARRY : Milwaukee, huh? Didn’t know that’s where you were originally from.

LARRY pauses and has another sip of water.

LARRY CON’T : By the way, if I were less a gentleman, this is when I’d say “see, you proved my point.”

JUNE : Meaning what, exactly?

LARRY : That you’re the kinda person that volunteers whatever information you want, whenever you want to do it.

JUNE pauses, considering for a moment before speaking.

JUNE (grinning) : Actually — I volunteered an awful lot in the last couple minutes, didn’t I?

LARRY (in a mock whisper) : Shhhh — you got an image to maintain, remember?

JUNE suddenly tugs at the side of an apron of another waitress passing by their table, her friend CHRISTINE, who stops in her tracks to speak with her.

CHRISTINE (to JUNE) : Junie! You finally decided to give this dive a whirl, huh?

CHRISTINE turns and addresses LARRY.

CHRISTINE (now to LARRY) CON’T : And who’s yer friend?

CHRISTINE reaches her hand down toward LARRY’s first, and he reaches his up to meet hers and give it a friendly shake.

JUNE (to CHRISTINE) : Larry, this is Chris — Chris, Larry.

LARRY (to CHRISTINE) : A pleasure. Any friend of June’s is a friend of mine.

CHRISTINE (to LARRY) : Told him about the free cliches, huh? Well, likewise, Larry, likewise.

LARRY and CHRISTINE politely cease shaking hands. CHRISTINE taps her pen against her pad of order tickets in mock confusion.

CHRISTINE (to JUNE) : Let’s see now, what’s my line here again? (pauses)  Oh yeah —

CHRISTINE( now to LARRY, bt pointing her pen at JUNE) CON’T :  — “ya gotta watch out fer this one.”

LARRY (grinning slightly,speaking to CHRISTINE but looking at JUNE as he does so) : I had that much figured out already.

JUNE (to CHRISTINE ) : Larry’s the guy Ronnie brought in from Minneapolis to turn his joynt into a karaoke lounge. (pauses, continuing to address CHRISTINE but now looking at LARRY) At least for the weekend.

CHRISTINE (to LARRY) : Oh yeah? And how’d all that go, then?

LARRY (to CHRISTINE) : Seemed okay to me. Jury’s still out, though, I guess.

CHRISTINE (to JUNE) : Probably in more ways than one, hmmm? (now addressing them both) Well, you two have a good night, hope ya didn’t order the salmon special. (now to JUNE) I’ll call ya sometime tomorrow ‘r the next day, Junie, okay?

JUNE : Sounds good. Don’t let these hooligans give ya too rough a time.

CHRISTINE : You know me babe, I got it covered.

CHRISTINE moves along to another table, just as LARRY and JUNE’s WAITRESS finally approaches theirs, serving tray in hand, with their orders.

WAITRESS (to both LARRY and JUNE) : Sorry ’bout the little wait there, we’re short a guy in the kitchen tonight.

LARRY (to WAITRESS) : Not a problem.

The WAITRESS looks at her tray for a moment before beginning to place the food down.

WAITRESS (to JUNE) CON’T : So let’s see, we’ve got the sea scallop salad for the lady —

The WAITRESS places JUNE’s plate in front of her at the table.

JUNE (to WAITRESS) : Thank you.

The WAITRESS turns to face LARRY.

WAITRESS (to LARRY) : And the salmon special for the gentleman.

The WAITRESS sets LARRY’s plate in front of him at the table.

LARRY (to WAITRESS) : Thank you so much.