CORONAVIRUS DIARIES CALIFORNIA – ANIMAL PHARM. MAY 1st, 2020 SOCAL.

To begin to even talk about what it is like in the United States right now or in my small beachtown? Well let me get you some links.

It’s going to take me quite some time and I have a great deal to say. I spent 20 years working for the local newspaper before my degree in Depth Psychology, or before I became a published writer under various noms de plume for the web. I really appreciate WordPress in this moment. That’s all I can say. I was a child in Junior High here in Santa Barbara when I read Upton Sinclair’s “The Jungle.”

I have done some research, using Wikipedia about a couple of the meat packing plants. So, I also read Animal Farm by Aldous Huxley at that time. The film Lord of the Flies as well.

The Guardian had a piece up today mentioning Sinclair, and I shall go further.

But first I want to talk about my dog, because I want to talk about how much our lives have changed in two months. He had to go to the vet. The vet who has been treating all the animals over a thirty year period. I want to talk about the experience, of the day, and all the thoughts, because, LIFE AS WE HAVE KNOWN IT? HAS CHANGED FOREVER. HOW DO I KNOW WHAT IS IN HIS DOG FOOD NOW THAT I HAVE READ ABOUT SMITHFIELD AND TYSON?

As you read the Wikipedia articles on these corporate giants, you are going to get the same sick feeling that I have, so do it. When you see the depth of the food chain they penetrate? My god you will throw up. I had to get something to eat for May first at the market, and for the dog. Imagine my horror walking through the supermarket. I’m not kidding. Most Californians have had a brush with vegetarianism, or veganism, but, we do love a barbecue now and then.

NOW WHAT?

This is my rescue, Odin, and we wanted to walk the beach. After the vet. He’s going to be fine, just an ear infection and skin stuff. It’s what was about to happen though around getting his prescriptions and the things I saw out and about on the streets.

CORONAVIRUS DIARIES

Someone did this. That’s the first thought, in the black dawn, after the drops of rain. All the countries are following the same pattern of shutdown. My dog is beside me, and all I can think about is how I am going to get him a giant bag of kibbles, and his cans, and where I am going to do that, today.

The thought occurs, they hoarded this too.

We are all in some kind of lost landscape now. It’s the same. It’s just after six, and I think of my grandmother saying, “It is always darkest before the dawn.” She’s right. The light will make it easier, writing makes it easier. I spent the morning looking at headlines. I could look at the maps. Looking at the maps only makes it worse. Why some places and not others?

I think about sewing a mask, maybe two or three. I’m not sure what to wear when I go out now. I have gloves from Thailand I was able to find. Latex gloves from an Import store, the one I found the toilet paper in. It is hard to adjust to being unfree, to having to wear certain things. At the market, people in the blue paper masks. I wonder where they got them.

To the south of me a city sprawls for miles.

To the north it is the same.

They have stripped the stores.

There are hundreds of videos on how to sew masks, from all over the world. In a box there is fabric, I could try. The last two times I went out I wore a muffler, that I could wrap around my face. I don’t understand the idea of all the people who order online. I like to go out and about, say hello to the people I know in places. It’s this terrible feeling of missing them, just people who own restaurants, people working. The stores are closed. There is the worry of how any of this will ever be able to come back after a few months. How things will look after that.

There are theories. https://www.vox.com/2020/3/4/21156607/how-did-the-coronavirus-get-started-china-wuhan-lab

There are a million questions. Someone knows the answer.

Dawn has broken over the city. I can still hear the owls and the birds. There is the matter of facing the day, facing the speeches, trying to eat. Trying to think of anything that can make this seem normal. At the store there were flowers. They were all on sale, and they are joy. The wildflowers are up. Maybe it is the smallest things, that can feed the soul in so much silence. The very smallest things.

I planted Sweet Peas.

I can work in the garden. I can try and breathe, through the fear. There are youtubes of others and how they are coping. I can make bread. For now I can make some bread.

I feel sad about Facebook, not being able to see my friends. I think right now I am socially isolating even from that, as there is not a way to speak about what we are all going through.

CORONAVIRUS DIARIES

The hardest part of this is the waiting, for any little scrap of information. The only thing I can use to check is Google, on the news for the State. It’s as if we are getting an overview in lots of little broken pieces. From this morning – on Los Angeles. This place reports on the movie business, and today: https://deadline.com/2020/03/coronavirus-los-angeles-county-biggest-single-day-jump-in-new-cases-1202889005/

I am trying to set up tags and categories, as this should not fall under uncategorized, and I can’t see how to do that, anymore, easily, WP has changed so much.

One of the things from yesterday, the hospitals are totally unequipped with gowns and masks and the proper equipment for the nurses, down in Los Angeles they talked about that. Our healthcare system has been so broken in America for so many years, how could this happen now? The tragedy for the doctors and the nurses. In Youtube we can see images of Italy and the other countries. That is what I have had to use for breaking news.

Here is Los Angeles: https://thehill.com/changing-america/well-being/prevention-cures/488660-la-mayor-warns-the-city-is-about-to-be

Here is news on the nurses and the masks they need https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EhkUolbaAaU the N95 mask. They are having to sew their own masks. This is one of the saddest stories I have ever seen. My god. It is said that there are 35 million of these masks already made, but to make them work without the proper medical supplies and outfits? Here in our country? It shows how broken things are.

This shows some information on the masks. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WmdxDsVO7Gc no one has these on the shelves here, or the gloves, r even the hand sanitizers – you cannot find them. The N95 is the one that the nurses need and people probably wish they had them. I do.

From yesterday as the cities decide what to do: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fDObf2AeAP4

This is the site to watch, coming from the President himself about what is being done to address the crisis. https://www.whitehouse.gov/articles/president-trump-actions-to-confront-pandemic/ I feel like there is so much news at this time. Too many talking heads. It is best to listen to the Leader first, and then look to how the news sources are presenting things. This has been the latest tweet on that medicine that was for Malaria, and now to take it with another. I liked that this Medicine had been around for a long time, myself. So here you are: https://twitter.com/realDonaldTrump/status/1241367239900778501?s=20

This is fantastic news – I got this from the President’s tweets on that Malaria drug <blockquote class="twitter-tweet"><p lang="en" dir="ltr">NEW DATA: A French study has demonstrated evidence that the combination of Hydroxychloroquine &amp; Azithromycin are highly effective in treating Covid-19.<br><br>The patients enrolled in the study showed complete viral eradication around the 5th day of treatment. <a href="https://t.co/WnGs5PKOpn">https://t.co/WnGs5PKOpn</a&gt; <a href="https://t.co/JZzZ66w4rL">pic.twitter.com/JZzZ66w4rL</a></p>&mdash; Michael Coudrey (@MichaelCoudrey) <a href="https://twitter.com/MichaelCoudrey/status/1241354642417577986?ref_src=twsrc%5Etfw">March 21, 2020</a></blockquote> https://platform.twitter.com/widgets.js

Watching these maps is the hardest and seeing what is happening. It is the strangest feeling to be so isolated. We can’t go out and so we wait to hear. Only for food and the most basic things, so it feels not like this country. It feels very scary. Three weeks ago, as the news was breaking on this and Wuhan, I asked if the drugstore had the masks? They had been sold out. Then a week later, after seeing the news and seeing people in masks and gloves I asked for the gloves? Sold out. Then we saw the panic. The store shelves emptied of even things like toilet paper. All the paper was gone, and many of the foods that you see were also gone. This has added to the FEAR that people feel.

The news organizations are not reporting the same things, so I am trying to bypass and just find out myself. I do this using Google and Twitter and Youtube and I do a word search on any of these things.

It’s so quiet, only the birds sing.

No one is on the streets, people are inside. We are following the orders. WATCHING THIS now – to see what the President has to say: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=4czayodBQ3o from NBC news. Pence “We are now six days into our 15 days” – but this is NOT what NEWSOM is saying.

It’s not clear how we are 6 days into the 15 days makes any sense. If you were to go out and be exposed to it? It takes two weeks on the symptoms, so you would have to start that count all over again, if you went out for groceries. Pence talking all about prayers and so forth.

FEMA on the testing, he is calm and very clear on this. He is giving a rundown on who should be tested first. No he is talking about STATE MANAGED testing sites. They are saying that the supplies can be gotten THROUGH FEMA for the doctors and nurses and tha these can be ordered from overseas. They have allocated a hundred million to help the states?

Dr. Carson speaking now on HOMES.

We are so broken as a country after 2008. We really were. So many lost everything they had and now are homeless all over the streets in California. There are fears that this virus will travel very fast “on the streets” in this population.

One of the hard things to watch right now is the people losing their jobs. They will lose everything. So we worry that there will be more homeless people. The news on unemployment claims has gone up overnight.

Now the Press Pool is asking questions.

DT “Doing a package, the likes we have never done before.” “I want $$$$ to be used for workers”

DT on masks. PENCE 1/2 billion dollar order on masks, coordinating through FEMA. N95 masks greatly increased in the country. N95 masks will work but did not have liability protection. Industrial N95 can be purchased. Bi-Partisan accomplishment.

DT on sanitizing masks, Fauci on reusing them.

PPE is what they call all the masks and gowns and things that are needed by the doctors. Pence asking people to donate masks, and dentists give the masks to hospitals…

DT the malaria drug, NY is getting it. I have much more faith in DT at this time. Give people something. “We have very sick people” – malaria drug will go to NY and other places. DT wishes China had told us earlier, given advance warning. He is talking about how we saw the problem via the news. That is the truth. How I saw about the problem was on the news via Google and I think that was only about ONE MONTH AGO.

What is so hard is to see the news from all over the world, and the only way to see what is going on? Is to use WORD SEARCHES by country in GOOGLE NEWS. For this story I used Google news on California. https://www.sacbee.com/news/coronavirus/article241383646.html – that is off the Sacramento Bee a well respected newspaper. Seeing a headline like this? Pure fear.

I think we would need to see Newsom speak about THAT? People would rather know, but at the same time see ACTION. I have much respect for President Trump right now.

PENCE “heed your own local government” – why does this make me scared? it is as if all of American is not on one page. That? Is the most frightening thing. This conference is almost over but, what Pence is saying is NO COMFORT. None.

Sharing the LOCAL NEWS from SB Independent https://www.independent.com/2020/03/20/santa-barbara-health-officer-we-now-have-widespread-community-infection/

CORONAVIRUS DIARIES CALIFORNIA

I am watching the Press Release from the President on Twitter, this morning. At this link: https://twitter.com/realdonaldtrump Before the rest of the news breaks today, the SHOCK to the State of California about what NEWSOM has said last night? That 56% of California will contract the virus?

The stark terror of what might happen next?

It’s impossible to even contemplate.

How many will be unemployed as a result of all stores shutting.

I am listening to the President talk about the millions of masks that have been ordered that will be shipped to the states.

As a Californian, and an American I have never been more terrified in my life as this moment.

I took some screenshots and have looked at local news.

I am listening to the President talk about people who will be paid to stay home from work. Except what does this mean for the businesses that will shutter? Half this town has vacancies as it is. Small business in Santa Barbara? Will they be ruined?

This is unprecedented and while we are all worried and staying in now, what will the FUTURE HOLD?

Really glad to hear Pompeo, and truthfully, Pompeo and Trump are the two I feel I can get the straightest info from. Pompeo “listen to what we say and report it actually” – this is SO important and I say this because I spent 20 years working for a Newspaper here in town. One of the problems right now is that people are NOT GETTING the same information. This is because we no longer really have a Press in the USA.

It’s also good to see Spicer in that Press Pool. I always really liked him during the 2016 years and I didn’t like how he was made fun of on SNL. I am sick of the comics frankly, I mean this is not even funny right now. This Fauci guy? It’s not the same as trust I have in the President and Pompeo.

Reporters asking “checks to Americans” – DT wants to protect workers and also the businesses.

Reporters asking now about $1000 check, DT responds “we are doing phases.” You can see that he really cares for the country and the workers.

DT speaking about the supply chains that have broken down. Around the world. 141 countries. Azar speaking about supplies, talking about what he has provided to governors. Pence now speaking 90% of Americans do not test positive for the coronavirus…

Pence – “Every governor needs to reach out to FEMA for the supplies – Regional administrators for FEMA have information. Have Pence and NEWSOM spoken? Maybe need to coordinate CALIFORNIA on the numbers because telling people that 56% of California will get the virus in next 8 weeks?

DT – “VENTILATORS” – now speaking about Carnival Cruises – “if we need ships for helping people, they would be willing. The big hospital ships in CA…. and NY harbor.

REPORTER ASKS “Could everyone be tested, and then those who don’t have it go back to work?” Concept is “Universal Testing” – DT “Not important that everybody be tested, if you feel great.”

END of Press Conference.

Okay so, now we have to wait on Newsom, and read the ledes? Because last night was the most frightening night as a Californian I have ever known, with what he said on 56% – Not kidding. Trump needs to assure California FIRST and NY in tandem that things will be okay. One look at the maps on this thing in Twitter? People are looking at those numbers go up and so scary not possible to even think? REALLY.

Following NOOZHAWK for LOCAL NEWS. This is Bill’s opinion piece: https://www.noozhawk.com/article/bill_macfadyen_coronavirus_crisis_running_roughshod_over_us_20200320

It’s hard not being on Facebook at this time. I think seeing Bill’s face would help in there. So the way I am getting the local headlines is by using Google news, and then Local News. Pretty much we have the Daily Nexus (UCSB) Student Paper, EdHat and the Santa Barbara Independent. But I think all the California papers are important at this time. From Bill’s editorial – “

But as government at all levels — municipal, state and federal — increasingly embraces mandatory lockdowns instead of voluntary isolation, or precise restrictions on those most at risk, we the people will soon be faced with a choice none of us truly wants to make.

As a nation, we Americans are resilient and optimistic, and I put entrepreneurs and small business owners at the tip of that spear. We’ll power through a week, or even two weeks, of hardship because we don’t back down from a challenge.

But our country is nearing the point of no return with the coronavirus’ intersection with the economy and, so far, the government response — at all levels — seems to be one of acceptance.

Wrong answer.

With businesses slashing their operations or shuttering altogether, the unemployment rate skyrocketing and all-too-typical stimulus proposals missing the point, America simply cannot abide or afford a self-inflicted recession, let alone a depression.

The human cost of job losses is about to flip the concern over the health risks of the coronavirus, and reconciling those seemingly incompatible choices must be a prime factor in how we recover as a nation. I don’t know where we go from there, but it’s going to be a perilous trek and there’s no roadmap.”

Something happened yesterday that made me more grateful for WordPress than I have ever been so I plan to talk about that today.

I’m not kidding. It was something Facebook did to me. We seem to be in what Dickens called the best and worst of times, and Facebook was a place where I actually knew real live people from not only my education, but old colleagues that I used to work with in the newspaper industry and I was sharing NEWS ledes, and also talking about my worries in general about what I was seeing happen as regards the terrible time the world is going through. Maybe I just needed to start writing again, because, extroverted and very worried right now just like everyone else is. I had friends I met in Europe too, that I have never really met in life, but would have loved to and since none of us can travel anymore, or? The fact that FB did this to me? I’m putting my thoughts here in WordPress. Also something I saw that Firefox did, I rebooted and now I have that thing where FB can’t track you for advertising purposes. So anyway here is the last post I made in there. Because I did screenshots? Of things that were concerning me I was seeing in the news. Here is the good news on that. If that was my last ever post I can make? Well on my page in there is a link to my old blog and this permanent one, so all that writing isn’t lost. I guess they might be able to click through and find me this way if they wanted. Thank heavens.

WordPress is a place I can TALK, on the page.

That’s the thing I have loved most about it since 2007 when I first found it.

I took a screenshot of this:

Censorship at Facebook on Saint Patrick's Day of all things.

I’m not sure if I will ever even go back in there, because, if you look at my last posts it was all news. The way I have been coping with what is happening is to try and share NEWS and I don’t think FB liked it.

The thing is, Facebook has NO IDEA that I used to work for a newspaper, and no idea that I have a Master’s in Depth Psychology. So not only was I looking at the news, but I was making observations based on what I am seeing, as a trained THERAPIST (because I know how) and maybe whatever their little censor is? It was dumber than me.

At any rate. Here in WordPress, I am able to write and to link to the news stories and things in Youtube, and do screenshots or any other old thing I feel like.

I have loved WordPress since the day I found it, by total accident. I think my first post was New Year’s Day 2007? At my old blog Valentine Bonnaire. I should go back and look.

I had thought to myself, that perhaps it might be FB’s finest hour? Because with all these people having to self isolate, my god there was a tool for people to talk to each other. Because it was real. In fact I think I might have even learned about FB because of WP because I don’t think I entered over there until 2009 or something, and at the time I had Twitter too. Well it has been a long haul seeing what censorship looks like for Americans. A very sad thing.

What I can do here?

Is do exactly what I was doing – which is sifting through the news as it breaks daily and trying to help others. So I am grateful, like you cannot believe. Yes, I am. In a way, Bless WordPress. Okay so now for the news ledes. I look at the whole world, and much of what I look at right now is “directions” to stay safe in this time.

I don’t know how we will ever get through this time. I don’t.

I just know I have Saint Patrick and I have my WordPress blog.

The sound and the fury

Of an old year going out, and a new year rushing in, and the redesign of myself as a writer. I do wish all of you the best.

I was looking at what F. Scott Fitzgerald had to say, earlier this morning and it fits so I had that up over in Facebook, and again here. 2019 was a very crummy year, and so… this was a conjunction the other night, very massive, of Venus and the Moon hanging low over my city.

Thinking about Vanilla Suede, and SBWC 2019 a few notes…

First I am so incredibly lucky to have Matt and Anne, because, well Matt and his Phantastic fiction class, and now Anne who is an actress, and has so much depth.  So on the whole Method Acting thing.  These are like my fave actors, this style.  So I recently have been watching some things on that.  For me acting is like magic?  To watch actors in films and in plays.  I have no idea how this is pulled off by them, to inhabit a character.  As a writer, it is very easy for me to understand and know my characters?  But the idea of setting a stage, or an emotional stage for them.  This is the making of a work of art for me.

Anyway that Talent Show, and seeing Matt and all the others up on that stage, the last night of the Conf.  I haven’t always stayed because sometimes so exhausted, but the times I have, it’s just this really beautiful thing that comes together.  I know Vanilla Suede is very poignant, because of the music I wrote it to.  So this is a total rewrite in a sense because edited from the shorty that was just dialogue.  So, music for me is the way I write everything?  My ideas on the songs I have chosen to illustrate the feelings.

4cd5e6baa19633c17e31ff18988d0b94--s-shoes-vintage-shoes

So I printed out the play, but we can make notes to that – this is the cover.  So what the play is about for me – character MARINA, and the longing for love, the sort that was 1929, except that she is in the here and now, of this generation.  It’s not like that for TRENT character.  Let’s assume that TRENT is so broken (backstory) a few pages back, but he has this brave face in the face of this generation, he is a cheerful character, all surface smiles and no one can see the pain?  MARINA is flip, as in the song I played, and yet, in these poems they will chose by themselves, hers, and then the ee?  Well this will be totally improv as an insert.  It isn’t that she is flip, as very wounded and non-trusting.  She lets TRENT lead, but heart is shattered glass, she does not show.  This whole method style is that you pull something up out of your own depths in order to become a CHARACTER.   The characters then, are part of HUMANITY in a kind of transcendence?  I think this is how the audience is moved, and it is so magic to me.  I am the luckiest person on earth right now, and I am smiling as I say it.  I mean the TALENT SHOW!  So this is proving I have some.  Am I ever lucky.

I’m just so lucky because for me I am going to see the words come to LIFE?  I can’t explan how much that means for me to see that.  It’s everything, so anyway this is what I am watching this morning and I am really glad Carmen and Walter can be like the directors because they both come from that tradition, as does Anne, so Matt has nothing to worry about.  So anyway, I am watching this today Method Acting a little – so excited!  Just know that, there are not RULES, just words on a page for the actors.  So, the theme:  Love conquers all, even death.  My image for this is that, we have to keep going, in life.  We keep going, and so MARINA and TRENT are doing this.  Yesterday I walked down by the harbor and spent some time talking to a man about Odin my dog.  He was walking and we started to talk about the country at this time, and he said he was a quadriplegic.  He has walked himself out of that. It was very moving to me, and so think of it like that.  Two characters with the woundings that this generation has lived, in the soul.  And then, when they dance, and she says: “I’m afraid” this is where TRENT takes the lead.  I know it will be so beautiful.  Sigh.  Yeah. No way to be able to thank the two of you but the Rose Peeps?  I think I can give you the prettiest gift.  Actually those.  But you two are the gift to me.

 

Finished Play Vanilla Suede

4cd5e6baa19633c17e31ff18988d0b94--s-shoes-vintage-shoes

VANILLA SUEDE

a play by Adrienne D. Wilson

for

Walter Dallenbach

copywright SBWC 2019

based on her short story Vanilla Suede first published at ERWA c. 2013

 

CAST OF CHARACTERS

THE MOURNERS                       an assorted group of people at a funeral

TRENT                                         a man in his 50’s, divorced

MARINA                                      a woman in her 50’s, divorced

CORE THEME:  Love conquers all, even death

SCENE

A temporal space on a black stage

An apartment, a balcony, moonlight

TIME

The present

STYLE OF ACTING FOR VANILLA SUEDE = METHOD ACTING

 

VANILLA SUEDE

SCENE ONE, ACT ONE

SETTING: We are at a funeral attended by several mourners. They are all friends who have known the deceased. The stage is PITCH DARK BLACK. These are the MOURNERS and all of them form a circle around a capstone laid flat on the floor. ONE WHITE CANDLE sits near the capstone on the grave. Each MOURNER carries a FLOWER to represent taking flowers to a grave. EACH MOURNER PRESENTS THE EMOTION OF SADNESS IN DEAD SILENCE almost as a PANTOMIME.

AT RISE: We see the lights slowly come on to illuminate a group of people. In silence and slowly one by one while doing a pantomime style set of grief actions similar to Marcel Marceau audience watches them each in turn place a flower near the candle. They will show grief as EXPRESSION on faces and BODY. At the LAST MOURNER we hear the words, “TAKEN TOO SOON.” THE MOURNERS HAVE WALKED SLOWLY UPSTAGE INTO COMPLETE DARKNESS TO EXIT IN TURN STAGE RIGHT AND LEFT. Characters TRENT and MARINA are the only two left on stage. The LIGHTS move to their faces and TRENT is the first to speak, after a long audible sigh.

TRENT

(letting out long and deep sad sigh)

Sometimes you just need to be held.

(he looks at MARINA, as he says this – lights illuminate their faces only)

MARINA

(looking sadly up at him)

What do you mean?

TRENT

It helps, especially when life throws you curve balls

MARINA

Maybe you’re right

TRENT

I am

MARINA

What about the ghosts of the past

(she moves away from him, looks off into space as if she is remembering all the ghosts of people and her marriage, that ended very sadly)

TRENT

Forget ’em

MARINA

What if I can’t?

(she looks back at him across a great void on the black dark stage, light illuminates her expression, which is of a lost thing)

TRENT

You have to

MARINA

I can’t

TRENT

You have to

(he looks off into distance, across the great black void of space and we see him turn back to face her)

TRENT

Going to that Halloween Party tomorrow?

MARINA

I might

TRENT

Let’s go together

(he puts his arm around her, as a friend would, after the sadness of the funeral – not romantically, as a friend.  They begin to walk a little, lights are on the two of them, as full bodies now)

TRENT

What are you going to wear?

MARINA

I thought I might go like the 1920’s. I saw some shoes.

(says this wistfully)

TRENT

What kind?

(he perks up out of sadness, gives a little smile at her)

MARINA

Vanilla suede with a tiny strap,.  My grandmother would have worn shoes like that, while the moon shimmered off the surface of the lake.  My grandfather would have taken her in his arms.

TRENT

A different time I guess

MARINA

It was

TRENT

People fell in love

MARINA

I guess they did

 

END SCENE – STAGE FADES TO DARKNESS AGAIN

 

VANILLA SUEDE

ACT ONE,  SCENE TWO

“Moonlight Serenade”

SETTING:  TRENT APARTMENT

Look:  EMPTY STAGE, only a table with a portable record player.  There is an opened wine bottle and two empty glasses.  Trent has invited MARINA over before they are both about to go to Halloween Party together, for a drink.  This will be liquid courage for Trent.  He has invited her in friendship.

AT RISE:

TRENT paces around his empty apartment nervously awaiting MARINA’S arrival.  This is shown in PANTOMIME perhaps with “Sugar Mountain” playing. For instance he could MIME himself as brushing his hair, he keeps checking his looks in the mirror.  Both TRENT and MARINA live in a small town, and so some of the MOURNERS will also be at the PARTY they plan to go to.  They have been friends in the way that they have known each other across many years and even in their marriages at parties and social events.  They had not seen each other in many years, until the funeral.  Now they are both divorced.

I love the imagery in this one for TRENT inner state.

WE HEAR A KNOCK AT THE DOOR (sound of knocking)

MARINA

Trent I’m here

TRENT

Just a second, I’ll be right there Marina

MARINA

(entering from stage left)

TRENT

(warmly)

You look beautiful

MARINA

(smiles softly, turning to show him a tilt of her new shoes)

TRENT

(smiling)

Let’s have a glass of wine, shall we?

MARINA

(glances around apartment and heads over to bookshelf – this can be pantomime and she says)

I can’t believe you have read e.e. cummings, he is one of my favorites

TRENT

I have a favorite one

MARINA

(smiles softly at Trent)

So do I

TRENT

Another glass?

MARINA

(nods, smiling, hands her glass to him so he can refill it)

TRENT

(Pantomimes looking through records til he finds it)

Moonlight Serenade have you ever heard that?

MARINA

I don’t think I have

TRENT

I’ve got it around here somewhere

MARINA

(to opening of the song)

It’s beautiful

TRENT

Want to dance?

MARINA

I’m not sure I know how

TRENT

You just relax and let me lead

MARINA

What if I trip you?

TRENT

You won’t

TRENT

(very gently and softly, with great male confidence, places her hands into a position for a slow dance to Moonlight Serenade, they begin to move every slowly)

My hand goes here and yours goes there, now we’ll just sway a little in place before we start moving

MARINA

(slowly starting to relax, in a slow whisper)

That’s nice, like this

TRENT

(nodding softly against her)

Your hair smells so wonderful

MARINA

Does it?

TRENT

You’ve always smelled like that

MARINA

I’m afraid

TRENT

Of what?

MARINA

The past and the future

TRENT

Don’t be.

MARINA

I can’t take any more death

TRENT

This is the worst decade isn’t it?

MARINA

I think it is

TRENT

You know what we have to do?

MARINA

(spoken very softly, against him, she almost exhales at the word and the feeling of relief as she says)

No

TRENT

Try and love

MARINA

What if that’s not possible?

TRENT

It is.  Put your head on my shoulder

MARINA

You’re so warm

TRENT

Am I?

MARINA

Strong.  You feel so strong.  Stronger than me.

TRENT

Maybe

MARINA

What did you do after Janine?

TRENT

Rambled

TRENT

(pauses for some time, softly says)

What did you do after Evan?

MARINA

Folded up

TRENT

You don’t seem folded to me

MARINA

I don’t?

TRENT

No

MARINA

Our grandparents, they lived in such a different time

TRENT

1929

MARINA

All those years they were together

TRENT

Yes, mine too

MARINA

They knew about love

TRENT

(nods, slowly, pressing her more tightly)

They did.  I’ve made so many mistakes

MARINA

I feel like that too at times.  Maybe it’s this era we have lived

TRENT

Shhhhhhhhh

MARINA

That feels good Trent.  Having your arms around me.

TRENT

Good

MARINA

You’re warm.  It’s like you are solid

TRENT

(rubs his stomach)

I’m solid, as solid as can be.  Feel

MARINA

You big silly.  I wasn’t expecting a washboard

TRENT

Yes you were

MARINA

No, I wasn’t

TRENT

Let me hold you?

MARINA

What do you mean?

TRENT

It’s been years since I’ve touched anyone

MARINA

Trent?

TRENT

It would feel good Marina

MARINA

I haven’t since Evan

TRENT

Janine cut me off at the end

MARINA

She did?

TRENT

The last ten years.  It’s been so long

MARINA

I can barely remember Evan, Trent.  I never thought I could go fifteen years without sex, you know?

TRENT

Me neither

MARINA

How did we do it?

TRENT

I don’t know.  Love’s a funny thing

MARINA

After marriage?

TRENT

Yeah.  Let me put that song back on.

MARINA

Okay

END SCENE FADE TO BLACK

VANILLA SUEDE

ACT ONE, SCENE THREE

SETTING:  TRENT’S Apartment, BALCONY SCENE

AT RISE:  In soft light, we see MARINA and TRENT a little giddy from the wine, having danced away the sadness of the funeral of their old friend.

TRENT

Which one of the poems is your favorite, can you read it to me?

MARINA

It’s somewhere I have never traveled, gladly beyond.

TRENT

I don’t think I know that one

MARINA

(clearing her throat a little)

begins to read https://poets.org/poem/somewhere-i-have-never-travelledgladly-beyond

TRENT

Did you see the moon tonight?

MARINA

No

TRENT

Take my hand, let’s go see

MARINA

(puts her hand in his, he leads her to the balcony)

Funny old moon

TRENT

Ever see the face, I did once

MARINA

Really?

TRENT

I’ll never forget it

MARINA

I don’t want to say anything

TRENT

Me either

MARINA

What if our lips

TRENT

Met?

MARINA

I don’t know

TRENT

Let me make love to you

MARINA

Must be the moon or that song or?

TRENT

It’s you

MARINA

We’ve always been friends

TRENT

(kisses her on her neck)

MARINA

If you keep that up I might melt

TRENT

You look so beautiful in this moonlight

MARINA

So do you

TRENT

I think we should lie down

MARINA

On this balcony?

TRENT

We can use my jacket and make our bed out of moonlight.  I just want to hold you.  It’s been so long since I felt a woman underneath me.

MARINA

Starts to cry a little

TRENT

It’s okay if you cry Marina, I understand

MARINA

It’s been so long

TRENT

Do you know how I want this to be Marina?  Like the Moonlight Serenade neither of us ever had in our marriages.

MARINA

I thought I’d be rusty

TRENT

I guess it’s the kind of thing you never forget

MARINA

You’re crying

TRENT

Must be the magic

MARINA

Must be the moonlight

TRENT

Must be you

MARINA

Must be you Trent

TRENT

Put your head on my shoulder

MARINA

But Janine was

TRENT

Forget it.  Life can be Heaven or Hell here on earth.

MARINA

Your eyes are twinkling

TRENT

Stars, I saw them for the first time

MARINA

I did, too.

 

END FADE TO BLACK