Buying a shirt

31 Aug

VERONICA and MARTA enter a clothes shop for a spot of impromtu shopping.

There are two other couples in the store.  


The GIRLFRIEND is furiously searching through the racks picking five items at a time to try on and then gain some sort of response from the POOR SCHMUCK.  

The POOR SCHMUCK, having been in the store with the GIRLFRIEND for an extended period of time, has decided to sit cross legged, on the floor, in middle of store in protest of spending his Saturday afternoon in the company of his GIRLFRIEND doing a most mundane task that she could most probably have done herself. 

VERONICA looks upon him with pity, but then smirks when she walks by.  Pity can only go so far when the person has no one but themselves to blame.  

A MOTHER and DAUGHTER make up COUPLE NUMBER 2.  The DAUGHTER is there to buy something for herself with her MOTHER‘s help, however the MOTHER has hijacked the trip entirely and is now only looking at things for herself.  

A striped blue and white shirt catches VERONICA‘s eye and she pulls it off the rack to inspect it.  

MARTA: <eyeing it off alongside her> Oh that’s nice.

VERONICA: Yes, I think so to.

MARTA: Suits you.

VERONICA: I think so too.  <checks the price tag>  I’ll get it.

MARTA: Nice.

VERONICA heads to the counter and grabs two pairs of sunglasses on her way.  In between her trip from clothes rack to the counter VERONICA tackles the following in her way. 

DAUGHTER: <from dressing room> Mum! Oh my god, you just can’t come in here when I’m changing.

MOTHER: Well how am I going to know it’s going to look good on you when I can’t see it?

GIRLFRIEND flies out of the adjoining dressing room and marches towards POOR SCHMUCK.





GIRLFRIEND: What do you think?

POOR SCHMUCK: Yeah, it looks nice.

GIRLFRIEND But is it better than the first one?

POOR SCHMUCK: <pause> I don’t know, I forgot what the first one looked like.

GIRLFRIEND: I’ll go put it on again.

She runs back to the dressing room, POOR SCHMUCK continues to sit cross-legged on the floor with his head in hands.  

VERONICA steps over him to stand behind the MOTHER and DAUGHTER in the line at the register. 

MOTHER: Are you sure you didn’t find anything that you liked?

DAUGHTER: No Mum, there was nothing here that I liked.

MOTHER: What about this scarf?

DAUGHTER: I hate that scarf.

MOTHER: What about the jeans that I’m buying?  Did you like them?  Look, they come with the belt too.

DAUGHTER: No Mum, I don’t like the jeans and even if I did, I wouldn’t be caught dead wearing the same thing as you.

MOTHER: Really?  That’s a shame.  Some people think I’m a really cool mum.

DAUGHTER: Oh my god.

CASHIER 1: <appearing from under the counter> Hi there, how are you?

MOTHER: Fine thank-you, just these please.

CASHIER 1: No problem.  I’ll just pop these through. <inspects jeans> Oh these are so cute.  <to DAUGHTER>  Is your mum buying these for you?

DAUGHTER: No, she’s buying them for herself.

CASHIER 1: Oh, cool mum!

MOTHER smiles to herself.

DAUGHTER: I’m waiting in the car. <storms out of the shop>

GIRLFRIEND: <marching towards POOR SCHMUCK> This is the first one.

POOR SCHMUCK: Looks great.

GIRLFRIEND: So this one’s better than the other one?

POOR SCHMUCK: I–I don’t know?

GIRLFRIEND: So which one? Or should I get both?

POOR SCHMUCK: Would you like to get both?

GIRLFRIEND: Well, I don’t know. Do you think I should?

POOR SCHMUCK: I don’t know, it’s your money.

GIRLFRIEND: <pause> I’m going to look for something else. <looks through the clothes racks>

POOR SCHMUCK stifles a sob. 

CASHIER 1: So, are you a Store Club Member?

MOTHER: Oh yes! I am!

Fumbles through her purse for her card. 

CASHIER 1: That’s really good, because you’re actually elligible for double points today.

MOTHER: Oh that’s exciting.

CASHIER 1: The Store Club Card is saying that you’ve got a ten-dollar voucher to spend on your next purchase.  Do you want me to put these two items together in one transaction and then I can print the $10 voucher for you so you can spend it another time, or would you like me to put these as two separate transactions so that you can put your $10 onto the second transaction, saving you $10?

VERONICA: <under her breath> Fuuuuuuuu—

CASHIER 2: <from other end of the store to CASHIER 1>  Are you ok out there?

CASHIER 1 nods in return.

CASHIER 2: I’m only over here if you need help.

CASHIER 1: I’m ok.

CASHIER 2: Are you sure?  Are there people there?

MARTA: <to VERONICA>She can see us right?

CASHIER 2: I’ll come and help you. <marches across the store> Are there any customers here who need to buy anything?


VERONICA: Um. I just want to buy these?

CASHIER 2: Ok, I can help you with that.

CASHIER 2 takes the shirt and sunglasses from VERONICA and proceeds to stand behind CASHIER 1, who is on the only register in the whole store. 

CASHIER 1: Ok, so what I’ll do is put these as two separate transactions.

CASHIER 2, realising that the help that she’s offered is not actually very helpful, folds and unfolds the blue and white stripped shirt the entire time CASHIER 1 is at the desk. 

CASHIER 1: Ok, so here’s your first purchase, and it’s given you a $10 voucher. So now we’ll put it through with the second transaction.

GIRLFRIEND: <storms out of the dressing room> Come on, we’re leaving.

POOR SCHMUCK: Seriously?


POOR SCHMUCK: But you didn’t buy anything.

GIRLFRIEND: It’s too busy in here, I can’t think clearly.


CASHIER 1: And there we go! $10 off the pants.

MOTHER: Oh I love a bargain. <leaves>

CASHIER 1 disappears under the counter and CASHIER 2 hurriedly goes through VERONICA‘s purchase. 

CASHIER 2: Are you a Store Clu–


CASHIER 2: Would you like to sign up to–


CASHIER 2: Members get exclusive benef–

VERONICA: Sorry, still no.

CASHIER 2: Ok.  Well, here’s your shirt, have a grea–

VERONICA: Thank you.

MARTA: <walking out with VERONICA> Let’s never do this again.




On the way to the writers’ festival

7 Jun

I would like to dedicate this piece to the girl I saw on the tram, on the way to the Emerging Writers’ Festival, who inspired this scene.

A young girl, 18, sits in a crowded tram on a Friday night.  

Oblivious to her surrounds she talks loudly on her phone.

“Yeah, I don’t know what I’m going to do tonight, I mean I was invited to this party in Fitzroy, but then there’s that warehouse party in Northcote, but I really like hanging out in Brunswick but I don’t know what’s going on there.”

Pauses briefly to let her friend on the other line to talk.

“What?  What did you say?

Friend speaks

“No, I can’t hear you.  You need to speak more clearly, you’re mumbling.

Friend speaks

“MUMBLING!  Ugh, never mind. <gasps> OH MY GOD!  I totally forgot to text message this guy today. Hang on, let me text him and we’ll keep talking.”

Begins to text on the phone. 

“Ok.  Ok.  I’m texting now.  Are you still with me?  HELLO? <puts phone to ear> Are you still with me?  Are you still there?  Ok.  Stay with me.  I won’t be long, I just got to send this text message.  <continues to text>  Ok.  I’m almost done.  Stay with me.  I won’t be a second.  Ok.  Ok.  OK….aaaaannnndddd  SEND!”

She puts the phone back to her ear. 

“I did it.  Sometimes I just has to multitask.”

Friend speaks

“No it couldn’t wait, what if I had forgotten?  That would have been so embarrassing.  I really pride myself on getting back to people   IMMEDIATELY.”

Friend speaks

“Yeah, I know, it’s a rare quality that sets me a apart from everyone else.  Anyway, what was I talking to you about before?  Oh yeah, I remember.  So this writer that I was telling you about, he’s amazing.  I read his stuff, and I’m, like, oh my god, I totally relate to what he is saaaaaaaayyyyyyiiiinnnngggg.”

Friend begins to speak but the young girl interrupts

“Do you know, the interesting thing with him is, that he was, like, hated by the Nazi’s and stuff, but the law that he was arrested for was the same law that Oscar Wilde was arrested for?”

Friend speaks

“What?  You don’t know who Oscar Wilde is?  Oh. My. God. You don’t know who Oscar Wilde is?  HOW CAN YOU NOT KNOW WHO OSCAR WILDE IS!?”

Friend speaks

“Oh god, he, like, is such a huge writer, he wrote Dorian Gray and…like…other stuff.  But he wrote Dorian Gray!  The picture or portrait or painting of Dorian Gray or something.  And so much other stuff.  You know the quote that goes, like, um, ‘don’t take life seriously’ or whatever?  He said that!  He wrote that.”

Friend speaks

“Oh my god, I just can’t believe it.  I just can’t believe that you don’t know who Oscar Wilde is.  You know, you really need to make it your mission to be more knowledgable about obvious people like that.  Stimulate your, inte– I’m mean intra– I mean, like, mental senses.”

Friend speaks. 

“Yeah, whatever.  I got to go.  I just can’t get over this. Go and learn something, and then I’ll speak to you.”

The young girl hangs up the phone and sits in silence.  The silence only lasts a mere half a minute before the young girl picks her phone up again and calls her friend. 

“Yeah, hi, it’s me again…I’ll forgive you for the Oscar Wilde if you tell me what you’re doing tonight.”


Something I’ve been working on

28 May

Hey there people!  Long time no speak.  There’s been a lot happening with me these past few months.  Lots of life changes, ect ect ect.  Recently I’ve been locked away in my own thoughts trying to make sense of some ideas that I’ve been working on.  It’s been a long process, and more often than not one finds themselves stuck in a hall of mirrors.  In short, I’m sorry that I don’t have many snippets and scenes from recent happenings, however I’d like to share a short piece of something I’ve been working on.  

I’ll have some scenes in the coming days, but I just wanted to put out there what’s been taking up my time. 


A small snippet from something that is yet to be titled. 

Sometimes you just feel so incredibly lonely that it is unbearable. It doesn’t get any easier, the longer you’re alone, the more painful it is.

It’s worse when you experience a connection. This happens more than you would like to admit to.

There are various people who will come into you life with whom you’ll experience an unexplainable connection.

When that first spark happens, it’s alluring. It’s playful. Your heart all of a sudden, jumps alive. At first, it’s hard to recognise the feeling. You get this strange nagging in your head. You begin to question things: “What is this, why am I feeling this way? Who is this person? What are they to me? Why have they come to me now?”

You begin to explore this connection further. You exchange glances, you draw yourself closer to them, physically and emotionally. You begin to crave intimate details of their life, and you want to divulge yours. You want to know what this person was like as a child, how they interact with their friends and family. You want to know what makes them smile, what makes them burst out laughing, you wonder what they’re thinking about when they have a furrowed brow. When they’re stressed you want to know why, and you want to make it better. You begin to wonder if they would do the same for you. They begin to ask you more questions about your life, they begin to enquire more about you. You start to wonder why they want to know so much about you.  No one has ever wanted to know so much about you before. They court you, in a subtle way.

Suddenly it gets to a point where you crave them everyday, not in a sexual way, but a tender way. Your day isn’t the same unless you catch a glimpse of them in some way, at lunch, at dinner, through a text message. This goes on everyday for what seems like years, but it’s only really been a matter of months. It gets to a point where you begin to question this new found connection. Things have progressed so quickly…where are they progressing to? Should you ask? Perhaps you shouldn’t. Perhaps this is all in your head, as it has been so many times before. It’s really nothing that you want to push, these things can’t be forced after all. But this connection is getting painful, you’re afraid it could be something more that you feel for them. That you care for them deeply, or even worse, that you love them. You begin to realise just how much you fear, it makes you feel weak and vulnerable. You begin to resent this, but at the same time you feel hope.

Perhaps this it, perhaps this connection is the end to this loneliness and you’ve finally found a kindred. Someone who understands you, who’s got your back. Your team player, your partner in crime.

And then they begin to pull away.

Not immediately. But slowly, they begin to pull away. The open way in which they once spoke with you is closed off. There’s a distance in their eye, and they are short with you, abrupt. You don’t want this to bother you. You don’t want to show them that this bothers you, and so you pretend not to notice.

But you do, and this begins to hurt you.

Every time they look through you rather than at you. Everytime they ignore you when you say something. Everytime they look anywhere else rather than at you.

They leave you.

And slowly, but surely, they leave you alone.

Again you are alone.

You have many friends, and they’re great friends, but there’s no connection shared with them in the same way, and there’s an emptiness where the void was once filled.

You are alone again. Once again. Alone. And this is what you resign yourself to.

And it will continue to hurt, until the concrete sets again.

What’s in a name?

24 Mar

VERONICA is staring at her computer screen and getting frustrated.  She has tried 5 times to access her user account at work and can’t seem to get her password right. 

MS. M, a work colleague who sits at the desk behind her, is slightly amused. 

VERONICA: Oh come on!

MS. M: Everything alright? 

VERONICA: I just can’t get my bloody password right. 

MS. M: Did you change it? 

VERONICA: Yes, but that was last week, and I’ve been able to get on since then.  Just not now. 

MS. M: Hmmmm. 

VERONICA: Caps Lock?  Not on.  Ok.  Concentrating now. 

She types her password in one letter at a time, slowly and carefully.  

VERONICA: No access. What’s going on!? 

She stares at the screen and catches sight of her user name. 

VERONICA: Oh crap. 

MS. M: What’s the matter? 

VERONICA: You know I’ve had a long day when I can’t even spell my surname correctly. 

MS. M: Don’t worry Cybulski, no one can spell your surname. 


She yes, then she’s no…

18 Mar

MUM comes home from her trip to Sorrento.  My SISTER had moved out and her room is empty.  MUM passes the empty room and stifles a sob. 

VERONICA:  Are you alright? 

MUM: I’m fine. 

VERONICA: (looks into the empty room) It’s pretty big without all the furniture. 

MUM: I can’t believe she’s actually moved out. 

VERONICA: Really? You didn’t see this coming?

MUM: I didn’t think that it would happen so fast. 


MUM: And then you’ll be going soon.  I don’t know how I’ll–

VERONICA:  Are you going to be ok mum? 

MUM: Yes!  Yes I’ll be fine, I want you to go. 


MUM:  But this house is so big with just me in it 

VERONICA: Well, you’ll finally be able to bring home some men. 

MUM: I’ll sell the house and move closer to the city. 

VERONICA: Closer to us? 

MUM: Maybe.  I need something smaller. 

VERONICA: When will this happen? 

MUM: Not for a while. 

VERONICA: What will you do with our rooms in the meantime?  

MUM: Nothing!  They stay as they are, in case you come back. 

VERONICA:  I don’t think that’s going to happen. 

MUM: Good, I don’t want it to happen.  I’m glad you’re leaving. 


MUM: But I’ll be all alone. 

VERONICA: We’re not far. 

MUM: I know.  But you need to start living your own life. 

VERONICA: I know. 

MUM: But I don’t want you to leave me. 

VERONICA: Mum.  We’re not leaving you, we’re just moving out.  We all have phones, computers and cars.  You’ll come visit us, and we’ll come visit you.  You’ll call us and we will even Skype. 

MUM: Oh yes.  Lets do the Skyping.  

VERONICA: There we go. 

They hug

MUM: I’m glad your leaving, but I’m sad you’ll be gone.