Title: __________________
Series: none
Rating: R
Word Count: 1005
Overall Summary: A ballerina has a stalker. A philosopher, a math prodigy, and a Marine object.
Scene Specific Summary: Evette discusses the nature of reality.
Notes: Fifth and sixth scenes of an as-yet unfinished, untitled play. Rating for extensive profanity. I like these scenes a lot but am very afraid the sixth is overly self-indulgent.



Act II

Scene 5


Late afternoon, the same day. EVETTE, in the kitchen, taking apart a computer that is not hers. Key in lock, LILY and DANTE enter.

EVETTE

How'd it go?

LILY

What in God's name did you do to my computer?

EVETTE

Never mind. What happened?

LILY

Dammit, Evette -

DANTE

Later, Lily. We gave everything to your cousin. He'll go file an action to extend the restraining order to New York tomorrow. He also kept the old phone. One of his secretaries is allegedly going to take messages if anyone doesn't get the e-mail you sent. Is that standard or because of you?

EVETTE

Couldn't say. He's done odder things for the hell of it.

LILY

Evette. Please.

EVETTE

I'm making it better!

LILY

It doesn't - I don't - Okay, fine, what the fuck ever. Make it better. I don't care. I'm going to bed.

LILY exits right.

DANTE

Was this really the time?

EVETTE

Well, I've got to do something. And you know what? Fuck this, too. I'm going to school.

With jacket and bag, she exits. DANTE moves over to the computer, considers it, shakes his head, goes to couch. Lights down as he settles in.

Scene 6

The next night, LILY, on the floor in front of the couch, in her pajamas and robe. Door opens, EVETTE turns on the light, hangs up her things, goes to where she left the computer, looks around, talking to herself. Throughout this scene EVETTE is compartmentalizing: half of her is in teaching mode, trying to explain her concept as clearly as possible for a layperson to understand, while the rest is worrying hysterically. This scene has nothing to do with the nature of reality.

EVETTE

Fucking black hole of despair, sucking, pulling, destroying, shit, all of it, shit, nothing to do with all that Leibniz bullshit, perfect world my kosher cunt, contrary old shitfuck, fucking meaningless, reality is stacked like Ellery Queen is - Lily?

LILY

Hey, Evette. What's Ellery Queen?

EVETTE

Kind of a tool. You okay?

LILY

Why wouldn't I be?

EVETTE

I assume that's a joke.

LILY

What's Ellery Queen got to do with reality's boobs?

EVETTE

Reality's - ? Oh, that. Not stacked like tits. More like - Russian nesting dolls, I guess. I was thinking about it in layers. Do you need anything?

LILY

Come sit with me?

EVETTE

Okay.

Conversation continues as EVETTE takes off her shoes and obeys.

LILY

Why is reality in layers? And what does it have to do with Ellery Queen? And why is he a tool?

EVETTE

Are you actually interested? Because dollars to donuts, I'm talking out my ass.

LILY

Just tell me.

EVETTE

Okay. Okay. I was thinking about reality having layers, kind of inside each other. And overlapping, sometimes, which is where the matryoshka analogy falls apart, so that's where I started thinking about Ellery Queen. In over-lapping layers, kind of. Like, Ellery Queen is a character in a book series. And those books are ostensibly written by Ellery Queen. And the writer Ellery Queen is a separate entity from the character. But the writer is made up of two men, Dannay and Lee, who are using 'Ellery Queen' as a joint pen name. But that's not the end of it either because Dannay and Lee are pen names, too, entities within the larger context of Nathan Daniel and Manford Lepofsky, who are within the context of the rest of our reality. And that's the broadest layer but it gets smaller, too because the character Ellery Queen is also a writer who writes about Ellery Queen so that's another layer. An internal layer. Is any of this making any sense?

LILY

I think so? Is the Ellery in books separate from the Ellery he writes about?

EVETTE

Well, it's complicated. You might as well ask if he's separate from the one who's Dannay and Lee writing together. I think so. But there's an argument to be made either way.

LILY

Tell me what you think.

We have reached the part EVETTE is still trying to work out and she is slowly drawn into it, half-forgetting where she is.

EVETTE

He writes in third person. Or, the books are in third person. The ones in our world? And it's kind of distant third person. We're not, like, riding around in his head. And he never really refers to himself as the writer of the thing you're reading. And it's like - in one books he talks about, kind of. Ellery the character, I mean. He talks about writing the novels and how he gets inspiration from real life and about how he refers to Ellery-in-his-books as 'the great man'. And the books in our world have those references, too. So it's as though this character in the books has written the books. But it is so distant they just seem - separate.

Pause. EVETTE ruminates.

LILY

What does this have to do with your dissertation?

EVETTE

Not a damned thing.

LILY

I talked to your cousin, today.

EVETTE

Yeah? What'd he say?

LILY

A month or six weeks. Until then, be careful.

EVETTE

Be careful.

LILY

Be careful.

EVETTE

We're always careful.

LILY

What I told him.

(as in 'that's what I told him')

EVETTE

Lily?

LILY

He was outside the studio today.

EVETTE

Fuck.

LILY

Across the street. One of the others took a picture. She's e-mailing it. Said I could have the memory card, too.

EVETTE

Fuck.

LILY

I'm sorry.

EVETTE

Don't you dare apologize to me. Don't you dare.

LILY

Fuck.

EVETTE

I will fucking lose it, Lily. I will fucking lose it if you apologize to me.

LILY

Fuck.

EVETTE

Fuck.

LILY

Evette?

EVETTE

Yeah, Lily?

LILY

My computer is better.

EVETTE

Told you it would be. You should listen to me more.

LILY

If I listened to you any more than I do, I'd never hear anything else.

EVETTE

Yeah?

LILY

I'll consider it.

Lights go down on them, on the floor together.
.

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