Hello and this time we have another play. This play is more focused on a central thought, and is a rather short play. It starts off as simple as it gets with an interaction between two people on a park bench, though one of them holds more burden than he likes to put out. And the other, is just another guy who knows a bit more than life. This piece relies on the idea of carpe diem, which translates to seize the day. Here you go, “Carpe Diem”.
EXT- PARK BENCH – DAY
AUGUST sits on a park bench by himself.
PETER walks up to the park bench, and takes a seat away from August.
August: What’s up with you? Look like you’ve been through hell and back.
AUGUST: If you aren’t talking, I will. Today’s a great day. Nice weather, fine clouds, warm sun. The wind is blowing, the birds are chirping, and the soil beneath feels just right.
AUGUST: Color me crazy, but you can hear me right? Not one of those deaf, or mute people, right? I can’t read sign.
AUGUST: Oh right. If you are, then I have to start waving to you. You see that? HEY!
PETER: I’m not deaf, or mute. And I can’t read sign either.
AUGUST: Good. You speak English.
PETER: I was born in this country.
AUGUST: As expected. So, let me ask you again. Why the doom and gloom?
PETER: None of your business.
AUGUST: Okay. Fair enough. But it’s none of your business to be sitting here either. It’s none of my business whether you’re a serial killer. And it’s none of my business if you’re here to kidnap me.
PETER: What do you want?
AUGUST: It’s not what I want. It’s what you want. And what you want is to tell me why you’re so down.
PETER: Okay. I lost my job, my house, and my family. Three in one.
AUGUST: There we go. Speak your mind, speak your life. It’ll make things easier, I promise.
PETER: I have no source of income. I can’t buy food, I can’t provide, I’m just a homeless parasite. Nothing in my life has ever gone right for me. I’ve always been at the bottom, I’ve always been trailing behind. Nothing has gone right for me.
AUGUST: Keep it coming.
PETER: I’ve been following the trails of those above me. I can’t act or think for myself. I’ve always been taking orders. And because of my nature I can’t say no. I’m practically living in someone else’s life. Always.
AUGUST: You’re almost there. Keep the flow.
PETER: I’ve made so many people proud, and so many more sad. When they see me like this, they’ll never want to be around me. I’m nothing now. I messed up. I got too ahead. I thought I could steer myself forward. I got too arrogant.
AUGUST: Okay. Stop. I think I got it. You lost your job because you made a business mistake. You’re a business man. You see, I’m blind. I don’t see what you got wearing. That doesn’t matter to me. But your story is important. You got laid off because you couldn’t make a deal?
PETER: Yeah. How’d you know?
AUGUST: You were the one who told me. You failed a deal, then you got fired for using up too many company funds. Common story, save the tears.
PETER: And what about you? What’s your story?
AUGUST: My story doesn’t matter. Right now, the spotlight’s on you. I know how you lost your job. I also know how you lost your house. Couldn’t pay mortgage.
PETER: Two out of three, I guess.
AUGUST: Let’s go for broke. Your wife and kid left you because you lost all your funds. Gold digger, vanity over value.
PETER: Nope. Actually, almost right. One detail.
AUGUST: Okay, not bad. Let me guess, no kid.
PETER: Good guess.
AUGUST: You lost your job because you were eager. Your house got swept as collateral, and your wife left you. Okay. I can buy that. Want to know how I see it?
PETER: I don’t see how anyone can look at it differently.
AUGUST: You made a mistake. And you can fix it. Your life isn’t over. This is a turning point. Nothing is as edificial as finding a job. You’ve done it. I’m guessing, a few years? Maybe three.
AUGUST: Four. You’ve had this gig four years of your life. I’m guessing your wife’s been with you four as well?
PETER: Four and a bit.
PETER: Self-employed, she calls it. But I know she’s just drinking.
AUGUST: You made a mistake, and you also got wiser. You were able to free yourself from the holy matrimony of chains. You’re a free man now. You can go and do whatever you want. You have nothing to hold you back. Go live your dreams. This isn’t the time to weep. You’re just on temporary vacation. Go and live. Find something to do. Find someone better.
PETER: And how do you expect–
AUGUST: Seize the day. It’s easy. Just seize the day. Reach for the stars, grab a cloud. Nothing to cry about. Now get off my park bench, and go live your life. Live a better life.
PETER: You really think, I can do that?
AUGUST: No. I don’t think you can do that, because I know you can. Know why?
AUGUST: Because you had the gall to talk about it to a stranger. If that wasn’t a call for help, then this world is flat.
PETER: And If I can’t live a better life?
AUGUST: Then talk about it to another stranger. On another bench, in another park. Try again. Seize the day.
PETER: You know, you still haven’t told me anything about you.
AUGUST: The only thing you need to know about me, is that I’m just another guy. I’m no one special. But at least, I’ve got the sense in me to live my life. And, now you do too.
PETER: Alright. I guess I have no other choice but to listen to this stranger. I guess I’ll try and live my life. Also, this isn’t your bench. This is a public park.
AUGUST: It’s my bench when you get up. Now go. Your life is waiting.