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Thursday, January 13, 2011

A Resolution To Love, A Resolution To Write

I didn't make any resolutions this year. I figured, what would I resolve to do that I'm really willing to follow through with? As I started thinking about things I wanted to change, my mind wandered to think about the things I'm thankful for. I realized that I really don't want that much to change during 2011. Sure, this week I reorganized my entire bedroom, actually cooked dinner, and went to the gym a decent amount but it seems that I'm actually a pretty happy person. So as we move into 2011, I am resolving to thank my friends and family more often for their love and support. I resolve to have more dinner dates and play dates and lazy mornings with my roommates where we make banana pancakes and laugh together. As I thought about how happy my friends make me, I started to think about other things that make me happy.

I did a decent amount of writing in college, but I haven't done much in the last year and a half. It makes me happy and I really miss it. So I'm also resolving to write a scene a week. They might not be long. They might not even be good. But I'll take a prompt or an exercise, and just write. And then I'll post them on this blog. Sound good? Great. Here goes. I resolve to give you, dear readers, some fiction to read along with the opinion and the occasional fact. For my first feat, I've taken some song lyrics and incorporated them into the scene. I've been on a major Counting Crows kick lately so I figured, why not start there? I warn you. My pen (or my typing skillz as it were) is very out of shape. It's not deep, but it's what I've got. It's an homage to my friends that I love so dearly. So here we go. Without further ado, I give you...

A Long December

Lights up on the living room of an apartment. The space is well inhabited, and a tad messy. Newspapers and books are precariously stacked on the coffee table and floor. A calendar showing the month of December is nailed on the wall amid reproductions of famous paintings, some recognizable and some obscure. Twilight creeps in through curtains over a window up left. The rest of the room is pretty dark. The sound of a microwave whirring is heard off stage left. A cell phone rings on the coffee table. COURTNEY, 25, dressed in plaid pajamas bottoms, mismatched socks, and an oversized gray hoodie runs into the room. She grabs for the phone, reads the caller ID, and throws it into the couch, disappointed. COURTNEY exits to the kitchen again. The phone rings several more times, then stops. COURTNEY returns with a microwavable meal in hand. COURTNEY contemplates for a moment and then dials her voicemail, leaving it on speaker as she arranges her microwavable meal.

VOICEOVER: You have one new voice message; you have four saved voice messages. To listen to your messages, press one. (She presses one.) First voice message, received today at 9:21 p.m.

VOICEOVER: Ugh. I always forget how generic your voicemail is. Seriously, girl, you need to rerecord that shit. Anyways, it’s me. Todd. Your best friend. I just thought I’d remind your sweet little ass that I even effin exist since you seem to be ignoring all my calls.

COURTNEY glares at the phone.

TODD: I fully expect to see your face tonight.

COURTNEY: (To the phone) I’m busy.

TODD: Before you start in, you are not busy. You are sitting at home. In your pajamas, watching Gossip Girl reruns, and making a Lean Cuisine.

Glaring at the phone, she reaches for a can of breadcrumbs on the table and starts to pour them on top.

TODD: Putting breadcrumbs on that goddamned mac and cheese is not gonna make it taste real, honey. It’s just going to make it fattening fake cheese. Give it up. Get dressed. Get down here. I’m calling back if I don’t see you in twenty. Love you!

COURTNEY flops down on the couch next to the cell phone. She stares at it, sighs, and throws it at the can, knocking it off the table. The doorbell rings. COURTNEY hops up, hopeful. Tries to adjust her hair and her pajamas but realizes it’s a lost cause and goes to the door anyways. TODD, 25, well groomed in designer labels and a black pea coat enters with flair.

TODD: Honey, I’m home.

COURTNEY: (Retreating to the couch.) I thought I had twenty minutes.

TODD: Well, I was going to stand in your hallway for twenty minutes and wait for you to get dressed, but I thought it was trashy to drink this straight from the bottle. (He brandishes a bottle of champagne.)

COURTNEY: (Flopping down on the couch and shoveling her mac and cheese into her mouth defiantly.) Go away!

TODD: Oh, Boo, you are a mess.

COURTNEY: Not helping. Go away, Todd.

TODD: Don’t think so. You need to come out. Come see people. This place would make anyone depressed.

COURTNEY: I’m fine, okay? I’m not thrilled with the situation but I’m not depressed. I just need some time to get over it.

TODD: Your hair isn’t washed.

COURTNEY: Thanks, Mom.

TODD: You didn’t go to work today.

COURTNEY: How do you know that?

TODD stares at her smugly.

COURTNEY: (Starts to smile.) Oh my god. Benny?! I knew you two were going to hook up. I knew it! If you get married, I’m so your maid of honor.

TODD: Back it up, honey. The only thing he’s hooking me up with is information. About you.

COURTNEY: You make it sound like you’re James Bond or something. All you had to do is send one text.

TODD: Just looking out for you. Call me your fairy godmother.

COURTNEY: I’ll call you a fairy all right.

TODD: Ouch. That was harsh. Good thing I have my magic shields up or I would’ve been offended.

COURTNEY: I’m sorry, Todd. I’m sorry. I –

TODD: Baby, coming from you, I am so not offended.

COURTNEY: God, this is so screwed up.

TODD: It’s been a long December, kiddo.

COURTNEY: No kidding.

TODD: (Pause.) You wanna vent?

COURTNEY: Haven’t I done enough of that?

TODD: Eh, I don’t mind. I’m a little buzzed already. Here. (Hands her the bottle.) You start chatting. I’ll get the glasses. (Exits to the kitchen.)

COURTNEY: You really don’t have to do this. (She picks up her phone.)

TODD: (Offstage.) Put down your phone!

COURTNEY: Go back to your party.

TODD: (Entering with two champagne flutes.) Fairy godmother, remember? It’s my job to get your ready for the ball. Then I can get trashed and make bad decisions. (While she is talking, he pops the cork and pours two glasses. He sips from his but she leaves hers untouched on the table throughout.)

COURTNEY: Fine. What do you want from me? I’m miserable. I’m sitting home alone on New Year’s Eve.

TODD: Were sitting home alone. Now you’ve got a date. Get dressed. Everyone is expecting us.

COURTNEY: I can’t show my face at that party.

TODD: It’s the hair that I’m concerned with, not your face.


TODD: It’s fine. Grunge will probably be in again in 2011. You’re ahead of the curve. Continue.

COURTNEY: I got dumped!

TODD: We’ve all been dumped.

COURTNEY: Not like this. This is…

TODD: I know.

COURTNEY: I keep waiting for the apology call.

TODD: Stop.

COURTNEY: Stop obsessing because he’ll come to his senses or stop because he’s never going to call? (Pause.) I thought you were him. At the door before. I just thought, maybe… God, there were no romantic gestures while we were dating why would there be now? He’s not going to call, is he?

TODD: I don’t know, Boo. I’m not him. I wouldn’t get my hopes up though.

COURTNEY: That’s encouraging.

TODD: You didn’t let me finish. Your hopes aren’t worth it. Hope on something good. Something special. Don’t hope on Adam.

COURTNEY: All I want is Adam.

TODD: Not what you need though. Okay, Court. It’s midnight somewhere.

COURTNEY: (Looking at her phone.) It’s 9:30.

TODD: It’s midnight thirty somewhere. Time for a resolution.


TODD: (Standing, holding his glass in his hand.) I, Courtney James –


TODD: I, Courtney James.

COURTNEY: I, Courtney James.

TODD: Resolve to live 2011 for me. Not for some boy, not even my fabo best friend, Todd Silver.

COURTNEY: Resolve to live 2011 for me. Even though I’m being fed these lines by my lamo best friend, Todd Silver.

TODD: Ugh. How long have we been friends?

COURTNEY: How long ago was third grade?

TODD: Exactly. We’ve seen a lot of breakups together. And we always get through them. After awhile we even laugh at them. Mostly mine, I’ll admit, but seriously how many of these do you think we’ve been through?

COURTNEY: Too many.

TODD: Remember my first broken heart?

COURTNEY: I don’t want to play this game. (She takes a sip of champagne.)

TODD: Lauren Engel. Fourth grade.

COURTNEY: She broke up with you because you told her stirrup pants were out. Little did we know, that was you coming out.

TODD: I was devastated! But, yes, that was a huge flashing, glittery sign right there. Too bad no one pointed it out to Lauren.

COURTNEY: (Laughing.) Whatever, I ran into her when I was home for Thanksgiving. Girl still can’t dress herself.

TODD: See. Sixteen years later and we’re still laughing. Darren Reynolds, eighth grade.

COURTNEY: Oh god. I still maintain that I broke up with him!

TODD: I will admit that you ran out of Seven Minutes in Heaven first, however, I vividly remember him telling Scottie whats-his-face to tell me to tell you that it was over!

COURTNEY: I had too much orange soda. Should have peed before I went in. He had Dorito breath anyways. Oh god. Remember Sam Langley?

TODD: Do I remember Sam Langley? Honey, we ate more pints of ice cream that week than ever before. This (he motions up and down at her current state) is nothing compared to Sam Langley.

COURTNEY: Ah! It was right before prom and I so almost didn’t fit into that dress afterwards.

TODD: Oh, shut up. We both looked fierce that night.

COURTNEY: And here we are, almost 2011. You’re still my date and I’m still a sobbing mess. We’ve just graduated from Ben and Jerry’s. (She raises her glass to him and drains it.)

TODD: No tears tonight.

COURTNEY: Should’ve shown up around four.

TODD: Good. We’ve gotten it out for the day. Now, you’ve got exactly seven minutes to find something shiny to wear before we head out for the night. Go. Move.

COURTNEY: Todd, I really appreciate the cheering up, but I’m really not in the mood. You won’t have any fun with me –

TODD: Court. We’ve been friends for more than half our lives. We’ve been through it all. Bad breakups. Your parents’ divorce. The two months my dad couldn’t sit at the same dinner table as me because I brought a boyfriend home from college. I don’t care about tonight. We can sit on this goddamned couch in your ugly sweatshirt and celebrate it together. I care about you and I hate seeing you like this. I love you too fucking much to let you be alone right now. And not because it’s New Year’s but because you’re hurting. But if tonight’s for starting fresh, I wanna start fresh together. Okay?

COURTNEY lunges at him for a bear hug before he can even get the last words out. They stay like this in silence for a few moments.

COURTNEY: I love you.

TODD: Love you back.

COURTNEY: Who would’ve thought the only man in my life to really love me doesn’t even like women?

TODD: To be fair, I like you. I just don’t want to do you.

COURTNEY: (Standing up.) Okay.

TODD: Okay?

COURTNEY: If you’re actually my fairy godmother, you’ll find something in that closet to dress me in for tonight. (TODD raises an eyebrow at her.) What? You love New Year’s Eve. I’m not going to let you harp on this for the next sixteen years as the night we sat on my couch and ate cold mac and cheese.

TODD: Fake mac and cheese.

COURTNEY: Go. 2011 is in two hours.

TODD: (Grabbing his champagne flute.) To 2011, may it bring us both new beginnings…

COURTNEY: Maybe this year will be better than the last.

TODD: I think it should.

They toast.



  1. Oh, and in case anyone's craving a listen: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1D5PtyrewSs

  2. I'm so glad you've resolved to write things and share them! This is lovely, and I'm looking forward to reading more of your work as the year continues.