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This is an ongoing collaborative video project entitled “Separation Anxiety”.  The purpose of this project is to re-enact appropriated scenes from movies in popular culture using cyber chat programs.  Press play at any interval of time to make each character say their lines. If you wish to contribute to this project, you can contact me here.  The script is located below.


© Veronica Cianfrano 2012

“Separation Anxiety”

script



Scene 1:

Everyone is standing in a circle (theoretically)  

Yellow is standing in front of a door.

Note: Each color represents a different character

A different font should produce a change in tone and mood.


I’m leaving a lot of the particulars up to the actors for the sake of purposeful inconsistence.  



In this scene, Yellow and Green are oblivious to any other presence in the room.   


                        




To all and to the camera

“You see? That is where my father was born. See this little window here? That’s where I was born.”


To Green- oblivious to blue and red

I’m sorry…I just can’t believe this happened. I never thought he would hit me. Look at me. Look at my nose. He fucking broke my nose that son of a bitch…

(pause)

When I got up from the floor I noticed in one corner, everything I owned was sitting there. He was gone, out of the house. He had all my belongings in the corner like I was some piece of shit. Like I was an animal…

(cries)

I can’t believe this has happened!

I can't...I tried...I really

tried but...I just can't hack it

anymore... 


To Yellow

Sorry to interrupt your

feeling sorry for yourself…


To Green- oblivious to blue and red

I'm a terrible mother!

I'm an awful mother.  I yell at

them all the time.  I have no

patience.  No...No.  they’re better

off without me.


To Blue and the camera

I used to think that she was

purely delusional.

I'm not sure anymore.


To herself

I've got to go...I've got

to go.


To green

You'll be dealing with

a possible psychotic break.


  

To yellow

Where are you going?


To green

You don't wanna do more damage.


to all

I don't know...

Purple (left) and green (right) are sitting on the floor together

When green starts to read the note, red, blue and yellow pop up in green’s place. 


Scene 2:


You just seem to forget about her right away here.  That makes me so confused and enraged and all kinds of stuff.


You got a letter from mom. 


(excited)


When is she coming home?!


It says:

"I have gone away because I must

find some interesting things to

do for myself in the world.

Everybody has to, and so do I.

Being your mom was one thing,

but there are other things and

this is what I have to do.  I

did not get a chance to tell you

this, and that is why I am writing

you now."



I want my mommy...I want my

mommy..


(sobbing)


I want my...mm...ommy...I want

mmmy...mommy...



Tough shit.  You're stuck with me.



Are you...gonna go...away?



I don't think so.



(thoughtfully)


Oh...


Pause


Red storms into the kitchen.


Where is the child?


Green Points to purpl


Good.  I'll see him in there.

Red sits on the floor (left) with purple who is playing with cars on the carpet.

What do you like best about your

daddy?


Playing.


Tell me, does your daddy ever hit

you?



When does he hit you?

In real life when does he hit you?


(laughing)


Why would my dad hit me?


Pause

Red stands up.  They are all in a court room now.  Red is in front of yellow who is on the stand.  When blue and purple interject they take yellow’s place.

can you tell the

court why you are asking for

custody?



I love them.  I know I left my

kids, I know that's a terrible

thing to do. But just because

I'm a woman, don't I have a right

to the same hopes and dreams as a

man?  Don't I have a right to a

life of my own? I don't think my kids

should be punished for that.

They’re only kids.  they need me.

they need me more.

There are times when you don’t belong and you think you’re going to kill yourself. Once I went to a hotel. That night…later that night, I made a plan. Plan was, I would leave my family when my second child was born. Get up in the morning, make breakfast, get on a bus.  I’d get a job in a library in Canada. It would be wonderful to say you regretted it. It would be easy. But what does it mean? What does it mean to regret when you have no choice? It’s what you can bear. There it is. No one is going to forgive me. It was death. I chose life.


To Himself


Oh, Christ!

I lost them?  I lost them?

Oh, no..



Scene 3:


(reading from a piece of paper)

Ordered, adjudged and decreed

that the petitioner be awarded

custody of the minor child,

effective Monday the 23rd of

January.  That the respondent pay

for the maintenance and support

of said child, four hundred

dollars each month.  That the

father shall have the following

rights of visitation: every other

weekend, one night each week to

be mutually agreed upon and one

half of the child's vacation period.


That's it.


(grim)


What if I fight it?


I've got to tell you something.  If you fight this,

You won’t be getting back at her, this time it'll be the kids that pay.


(determined)

I'll take my chances.


Purple red and blue look down in disappointment at the same time



Scene 4: Years LATER_

Green has his back to yellow.


I need some money.


Isn’t that all you ever need from me!?


You haven’t paid child support in years and I just need a little money for the mortgage. Puts her hand on his shoulder in frustration


No damn it! (YELLING) Turns around in anger

That was my house those were my kids that was my life and you sucked all the life out of me, took my house and turned my kids against me.  You think I’m going to give you money now, you’re nuts!  I know the kids will never see a dime of it, you’ll just spend it on Y-


-Fuck you! This is why the kids don’t see you! You just hide like you always do and wait for this shit to pass you by!


Shaking his head in disappointment

You should be ashamed of yourself, I hope you’re happy with what you’re doing to us all. 


I don’t want to see you around here again.  Goodbye. Walks away abruptly


Scene 5:

Blue and purple are sitting next to each other on a couch watching their lives unfold on T.V.


To Purple

My mother went to work. She sewed tents. We got poorer and poorer Soon there was nothing except the house that we lived in.


To Blue

It was fun growing up in Bridgeport though. I remember as a child that every time they wanted to put on a show and they needed something they would say, ‘Hey go do the tarantella or go sing this,’ and I would do it. I wouldn’t know what I was doing but I faked it good.


Purple Changes the channel

Pause


Blue is following yellow completely unnoticed when green pops up. 


What are you doing here?


What are you doing here?


I need a favor.  I want to spend some

time with you and the children.


Are you crazy? Starts walking away.


Now, hold on, dammit. Follows her


Stop following me.


I want my family back.


Stops and turns around Well, you can’t have it.  I’m sorry for you, but it’s too late. Walks away


green hesitates


I’m dying, baby.


Yellow stops and turns around in shock


I’m sick as a dog.  I’ll be dead in six

weeks.  I’m dying.



What are you talking about?


Green stares at her blankly.  He nods.


Concerned and beginning to cry

What happened?


-------------------------

Green is sitting at the dining room table, purple, red and blue are wandering around the room avoiding direct eye contact. 


I hear you’re dying.


So they tell me.


I’m sorry.



(shrugs)

I had a good run.


You don’t look so sick, Dad. Earnest


Thank you.


What’ve you got? Skeptical


I’ve got a pretty bad case of cancer.


(yawning)

How long are you going to last?


Not long.


A month?  A year?

About six weeks.


Purple laughs quietly. Everyone else looks down


But let me get to the point here.  The

three of you and your mother are all

I’ve got, and I love you more than

anything

Green looks around


You think you could start forgiving me?


All Look up Why should I? In unison


Because you’re hurting me.


Everyone leaves the room but green.  Green looks around and follows them.


Pause


Time has passed.  Green is lying in bed. The children surround him.





You know, kids, this illness, this

closeness to death.  It’s been very

profound for me.  I feel like a

different person.  I really do.


Dad.  You were never dying.


yeah But I’m going to live.


Right.

I don't believe it        

You're turning God into

a telephone operator.



(smiles) (excited)


blue shakes his head.  He turns away


Everyone’s against me.


You can’t blame them!


Sits up

I know!  But, dammit, I want to be loved

By this family!



Dad, you're like Santa Claus and the Easter Bunny combined... you're just as charming, and just as fake. 


Green stands up and begins to pack

Fed up

I wanted to be a violinist.  Bet you never knew that?  That’s right, me, a guy with monster hands and lack of sensitivity wanted to play the violin.   You know, I don’t regret one day, giving up the violin for my children but I did not live my life the way I lived it, to be treated the way you all are treating me.  I am your father, the hierarchy of this family!  Just because I’m an old man now, does not mean that I should be treated as an infant



And I feel lousy about that. I feel lousy about the pain that I've caused my wife and my kids. I feel guilty and conscience-stricken and all of those things that you think sentimental but which my generation called simple human decency. And I miss my home because I'm beginning to get scared shittless. Because all of a sudden, it's closer to the end than it is to the beginning, and death is suddenly a perceptible thing to me - with definable features. You're dealing with a man that has primal doubts, and you've got to cope with it. I'm not some guy discussing male menopause on the Barbara Walters show. I'm the man that you presumably love. I'm part of your life. I live here. I'm real. You can't switch to another station...I just want you to love me. I just want you to love me, primal doubts and all. You understand that, don't you?")

Long pause


You know, you never got me a promotion. And you never got me a raise. But what you did do is gave me a character. It gave me the pioneering spirit you had.


Well, I don't know if you'd be particularly interested in hearing anything about me. My life, I mean... Most of it doesn't add up to much... that I could relate as a way of life that you'd approve of...I'd like to be able to tell you why, but I don't really...I mean...My feeling is, that even if you could communicate with me, we probably still wouldn't be talking. That's pretty much how it got to be before... I left...Are you all right? I don't know what to say... I think we've got...some understanding to reach...She totally denies the fact that we were never that comfortable with each other to begin with...The best that I can do, is apologize. We both know that neither one ofus were ever really that good at it. anyway...I'm sorry it didn't work out




Mama and Papa, their dreams of pious glory.  They turn you into what they wish at the time. You can't defend yourself against their fantasies. All I ever really had any belief in was their image of me.  Now that’s all over.  All that’s left are all the other images of me. 



Blue

Red

Yellow

Purple

Green

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