One Maxim In All

a surrealist realist’s perfect life

by V.R. Bacot-Davis

After heartbreak, Miley is determined to reclaim complete freedom mentally, intellectually, and passionately. Miley, a rebellious actress and former child-star, searches for the meaning of life and true art beyond empty Hollywood superficiality. When photos of Miley’s boyfriend cheating on her are leaked to the tabloids, Miley takes on daring film project after project to expand the limits of her social justice, challenge her feminist ideals, and push the confines of her sexuality.

Prologue

Director

As you see me, and I see you,

A million vacillating points of view

Our fluid world of shadow and dream

Changes, changing, with bourgeoning seam

Reality is beautiful in midst of despair

Seeds promise and potential, only if you dare

Scavengers feed on carrion deceased.

One’s misfortune is another’s feast.

All is beauty and cycle, no matter how it seems

The kaleidoscope turns: find ecstasy between dreams

Who wanders in life? Wherein lie wanders?

What wonders of life? All limitless wonders!

(appears to walk off stage. Loudly argues in whispers with someone off-stage. returns in a state of bemused condolence)

Well, do you want the good new or the bad news first?

The bad news is there is no good news.

The good news is that together

We are about to find out how this play ends,

Because I have no clue.

(takes out a six-sided die and begins to roll in hand)

If I roll one and two,

The ending is a Greek comedy;

Three and four,

A Shakespearean comedy;

Five and six,

A Shakespearean drama.

Spoiler alert!

Everyone might die at the end.

Who says you cannot rebel

Against tradition

While being completely traditional?

Also, I regret to inform you

I have decided to leave

Everything else in the play

Exactly as written,

So feel free to leave.

Although no tickets will be refunded.

Still here then?

Great! We are all in for a surprise,

And just along for the wild ride.

Raise your hand if you believe

Silence is golden.

Now, raise your hand if you believe

Silence is a form of rejection.

Behold, the great joy of misunderstandings

That is life.

Have fun with that during

And after the play.

The other half of you

Are not living at all,

And I hope you get over yourselves

Before every moment

That could have been converted

To joy and wonder,

Ironically, passes you by.

(drops the die)

Interesting, interesting.

Well, at least some of you will enjoy,

And that seems to be the theme in all.

(exits)

 

Girls just want casual fun

Act 1, Scene 1 – Hotel room pornography set

Director

Cut, cut, cut ,cut, cut! Switch places. Miley, I want you to straddle her. I can tell you know what you are doing. Selena, act more interested! I realize your acting is only slightly worse than your horrendous singing career, but no matter how many fans remain loyal from your long-lost decade as a child star, few to none want to watch a corpse! They will just feel frustrated and hateful. Imagine that impact on your already questionable career. Action! Yes, that’s more like it.

(watches scene resume) Cut! Miley, pull up your knee socks, fix your lace garters, and make sure your mini skirt does not reveal too much. We have to pace. This is still art! The money shots come later. Also Miley, when you kiss her, put her hands exactly where you want them to go. You’re in tune with your body. Perhaps you can help Miss Selena find a chord into her own. Selena! This is foreplay, not a silent funeral! Miley, talk to her. Everyone else, take five!

Selena

How do you seem so comfortable with all this? I keep imagining my Abuela’s disapproving eyes. When she caught me discovering myself when I was thirteen, she made me say five hundred Hail Mary’s, and go to confessional the next day.

Miley

I have enjoyed six girlfriends, and many more boyfriends, because boys, for the most part, constantly throw themselves at anything that moves for offers of sex- like a tacky, used car salesman- so statistically, they give more offers I did not want to refuse.

Selena

Six girlfriends, really?

Miley

Few things help a woman discover the great majesties and hideous terrors of the feminine mind, body, and essence, than to explore the depths of another woman. I relished the challenges of discovering every palette and hue.

Selena

That sounds wonderful and beautiful, but I just do not feel sexual lust for the feminine. I know you are alluring on a mental level, just not on the physical one.

Miley

Then just imagine whatever does it for you! I won’t take offense. You can also imagine the paycheck afterward, if that is the kind of thing that helps find your motivation. Money is nice, but I would do this scene for free.

Selena

(laughs)

Director

Miley, I need a private moment. Let’s chat in the next room.

Miley

Sure. (Enters adjacent hotel room. Director closes door behind and locks it)

Director

If you are looking for another paying job…(unzips pants with back facing audience)

Miley

No, thank you, but do you have any other promising leads I may be interested in?

Director

You do not want to fuck?

Miley

Just because I am an ethical slut does not mean I fuck everything, or always get the ethics quite right, for that matter, but if you have a friend with a similar offer, I might be interested

Director

I guess I learn something new everyday. (zips pants) Actually, I do have a friend looking to complete a very daring and groundbreaking project. It is so out there though, that every agent has turned him down, but if you agreed to be cast as the lead, it might actually go somewhere. You might even enjoy fucking him before you get started.

Miley

How does he look? Is he attractive?

Director

We went to high school together, and actually, played on the varsity football team. He was quarterback. (takes a photo out of wallet )

Miley

How big?

Director

How big is his dick?

Miley

No, well, that too, but I initially meant weight. I can tell you used Photo-shop on this. Who goes around carrying their high school picture by the way? But the chances of him still looking this good after, forty years or so, are slim to none. Does he do porn?

Director

No.

Miley

Lucky for you and your friend, I am obsessed with comedies and silver foxes at the moment. If his project is not one, then he seems like the other. Send my agent the information, and we will be in touch. Now if that kind, but just not right for me offer is all you had in mind, time is money and money is time. I am booked for a French project next month, so the sooner we finish this, the happier we will all be. Well, not you, but a camera girl can help you with that, as flattered as I truly am.

Director

No worries. Your loss. I am the best lover you never had.

Miley

I am sure you are. (unlocks door and exits)

A worthy project

Act 1, Scene 2 – Miley with Director’s friend, Sean, in Les Deux Magots café, Paris, France

Miley

(sitting down at the coffee table) I saw the most bizarre thing on my run along the Seine this morning. There was a family of ducks, or geese? Are geese a specific type of duck? Families of ducks were flapping and diving into the water as if they were sub bathing, or had forgotten how to cross the river. Can you imagine watching a grown bird forget how to fly and swim at the same time? That is exactly what I saw. (laughs)

Sean

Geese are ducks. Most waterfowl belong to the Anatidae family. Geese tend to have longer necks though, which sets them apart, in addition to swans. Perhaps it was a section of the bank no one could cross, not even ducks? They probably were not fashionable enough for the La Rive Droite.

Miley

La Rive Gauche is where are the cool people are anyway, to all intents, constructions, and purposes.

Sean

It used to be that way, perhaps, when I was your age. (laughs) La Rive Gauche invented bohemian and counterculture, before modern hipsters ruined it, that is, non-original, 1920s hipsters. Although, hipsters of both eras seem really good at appropriating African-American culture, at the same time ninety-percent socially ostracize them. The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Miley

That is why I wanted to meet. Thank you for agreeing to fly here. I could not get away, with this crazy filming schedule.

Sean

Been there, done that. I understand, and I do not really need any excuse to visit Paris. It still remains one of the most beautiful cities in the entire world.

Miley

I especially love that your project challenges the idea that a white savior is the answer to all the problems facing communities of color. That is not the popular opinion in the media of the shifting sands of blame. A film that emphasizes giving communities of color their own agency, and challenging them to question pernicious cultural standards that actually harm, is completely empowering!

Sean

I appreciate that you see what I am trying to do. Truly. You would not believe how many people in the industry have lost perspective. It is not about art anymore, or changing the world for the better. It is only about sex- not that sex is bad- but emphasizing sex, superficial human connections, and discarding people like replaceable refuse, as the only lifestyle for happiness, is a sad reality we find ourselves dealing with in the current era. We all seek something profound, with a deep and untamable yearning. Superficiality leaves us more hungry and dissatisfied than before the feast, like junkies looking for another quick fix, when the answer is just to go deeper, wrestle the discomfort, fear of self, and find the briefest utopia that is always there, has always been there, and try to never completely lose sight of it again.

Miley

Nothing is wrong with untamed sexuality, as long as everyone is informed and consents. I actually find liberated female sexuality as empowering as educational and social equality. It is my duty to enjoy rights hard fought for by my foremothers, yes, some who threw women of color under the bus, but it is part of my mission to rectify those past wrongs, and your screenplay is so perfect! It does not gloss over the ugly histories, or the discrimination against women of color or transgender people in the feminist movement. It actually rallies against the continued whitewashing of history. Honestly, it gave me the best evening of reading ecstasy I have enjoyed in many a long night.

Sean

(laughs) I feel honored to oblige, especially in such a way.

Miley

And to think a month ago, I was asking about your size. With vision like that, you could get the job well done in only a glance. I have ideas about whom I want for my co-star. Let’s go back to my hotel and get cozy. (finishes coffee and stands) What? Problem?

Sean

(stands) Not at all. It is just, for someone so young, you have a surprisingly mature and vast world view. You are nothing like I expected.

Miley

Do not let appearances fool you. I might have been a child star, but I always saw through the fake glamour of Hollywood.

Sean

You are ahead of most.

Miley

Like with most other things. I am sure you can keep up with me though, silver fox.

(both exit café) 

Speak easy, tread lightly

Act 1, Scene 3 – South Carolina, Southern USA modern Speak-easy

Doorman

Password?

Da’Shaun

Just Jive and Carolina Shag. (enter Speak-easy)

Vincent

You should just forget about her. She chose him over you. Accept it. Her loss right?

Da’Shaun

But I love her!

Vincent

I know you love her, but she does not love you! Come on man!

Da’Shaun

Women can be cruel.

Vincent

That particular woman was especially cruel. I bet she bathes in male tears. I told you she was a cougar. She ate you up and spit you out!

Da’Shaun

When she told me we could not be together, I thought it was for a tragically romantic reason, like a part of her would always love me, but she just needed to follow her career aspirations with complete freedom. I imagined we would write each other, date other people, but ultimately find our way back again, because we each found the ultimate person that made us better, and want to be better.

Vincent

She did all that for you? It looks likes several guys were doing that for her, and you were low on the totem pole. Hey, you’re free now, right? She enjoyed her freedom. You enjoy yours.

Da’Shaun

The thought of being with anyone else makes me sick.

Vincent

That is why I called these two. (Da’Shaun and Vincent sit at a table with two women: Jenna and Allison)

Allison

I do not know what awful whiskeys they make you drink up in Canada, but now that you are back home, I bought two rounds of Honey Jack, just like the old days! I know it is your favorite!

Da’Shaun

It still is. Some things never change.

Jenna

I still cannot believe you are home! Remember the first night we came here? We were so young, practically babies, just looking to take off our pants for the next attractive face, and have a good time.

Da’Shaun

Yeah. I live in a student dominated area of downtown Montréal, right near McGill. Every weekend, I hear drunken frat boys and girls yelling and screaming for absolutely no reason, when all I want to do is sleep!

Allison

That used to be us!

Da’Shaun

I know. That is the only reason I do not call the cops, that, and my French still needs work.

Jenna

Shots! Welcome home Da’Shaun!

Vincent

How long are you in town?

Da’Shaun

I took two weeks off. Everyone will steal my chemical reagents if I am gone too long. Canadians are ruthless, I tell you! On my first road trip through the South, when I was six or so, even the most racist places would serve me stacks after stack of pancakes and grits, with happy, smiling faces. Whatever hatred lie underneath the delicious food, they thankfully saved for after I left. Walking down L’Avenue Mont Royal the other weekend, a guy literally saw me, and made the Heil Hitler sign, in the most obvious and intimidating way possible. No one cared. I kid you not. I grew up not fifteen miles away from Sone Mountain, Georgia, where the revival of the KKK took place in 1915, yet the very first time I see a Heil Hitler in person, is in Montréal. That says it all, really, no matter who doesn’t like that truth.

Vincent

Let’s talk about something besides hateful people. They are not going to ruin our night, and most people in the world are actually kind and considerate, for the most part. We all have harmful preconceptions to work past, which haunt us. To getting over ourselves! Shots! (stands to go to bar)

Jenna

Did you know there is a celebration this evening? They almost never have festivities here anymore. It’s like, during our time, we were the life of this place. I do not know where the young people go nowadays.

Da’Shaun

What about your burlesque troupe? You do not perform for young, impressionable frat boys?

Jenna

No. My burlesque troop, like the Moulin Rouge, only book men willing to pay at least one hundred for dinner and a show.

Da’Shaun

Smart woman.

Vincent

(returns from bar with more shots) Did you know there is an event tonight? It is a wedding anniversary. They are all upstairs in the private lounge.

Allison

Yeah, we were just saying how this place is nothing like when we were young. Well, Da’Shaun could go back to getting drunk every evening, and living in the Speak-easy basement. It was never a long walk home, right?

Da’Shaun

Do not tempt me! The grits and southern hospitality alone might make me re-think even the best Canadian maple syrup, public transportation, and healthcare. No, never mind. The healthcare still wins.

Vincent

(yells to bartender) Hey, do you know whose wedding anniversary celebration is upstairs?

Bartender

Yeah, two random Canadians. I don’t even know how they heard of this place. I guess they know someone. A piano player named Pierce and his wife, Bashanti. He’s a jazz musician. They and their friends are having a jam session right now.

Allison

Wait, Da’Saun, wasn’t the woman you were seeing named Bashanti? What a coincidence!

Da’Shaun

It isn’t. I talked about this place all the time. I promised to bring her here once she left her husband. I suppose it was not her only offer to whisk her away from her martial discontent, although the continents changed. She likely found South America more intriguing. She did a superb job acting, at least. I heard she reunited with her husband, even though she just said she was getting serious with someone else. I guess I refused to believe she would do it here, of all places in the entire world? Is she insane? She might as well take my scrotum too.

Vincent

You pretty much already gift wrapped it and presented it to her for safekeeping. I hope you learned your lesson. Only trust you with your balls. Not any woman, and not even me.

(upstairs door opens. Live Jazz music can be heard)

Da’Shaun

The worst thing about it is that Pierce is the most rigid, uptight, old, white bread, Canadian you could ever meet! She chose the crypt keeper over me! I work out every day. I am nothing but lean and hard muscle. I am smart, kind, caring, giving, creative, arguably a genius, dancer—I am a black Adonis.

Jenna

OK, black Adonis. Full of yourself, much? Forget about her Da’Shaun. You will find the right person for you. You had no problem meeting women before, if memory serves, and you will not after.

Da’Shaun

You and Allison both turned me down.

Allison

Yes, because I’m a lesbian, crazy boy!

Da’Shaun

True. I did enjoy many a night watching you make out with various girlfriends. What was your excuse Jenna?

Jenna

You were so serious back then. You are much different now, and I love it. Our timing is off, that is all.

Da’Shaun

Thank you for your honesty. Now, I need your complete honest on one more thing: Pierce is a horrible pianist, right? He could at least play black music well, if he must play it at all. Is that too much to ask, for misappropriated art to at least be performed well, as intended? I guess that is too much?

Vincent

This is getting too serious. More shots! Distract him, ladies. (rises and goes to bar)

Allison

You did not really love her, Da’Shaun. You love the idea of her. It is almost impossible to really love someone who does not love you. That is not love.

Jenna

Yes, you have known real love before. Truth and loyalty are the two most important things you value in the world, and you had those with your exes. You deserve someone like those women, not that…

Allison

Being to have compassion for.

Jenna

Allison, you can be so fair sometimes when we all just need you to be a hater, if only for a minute or two.

Vincent

(returns with tray of shots)

Da’Shaun

(stands and does all the shots by himself before anyone can stop him)

Bartender

(comes with a tray of PBR beers) Courtesy of the happily married couple for the entire Speak-easy. (hands everyone a glass of beer)

Da’Shaun

(gulps entire glass of beer)

Vincent

Take it easy, Da’Shaun. You have the entire evening, and arguably a lifetime if you are kinder to your liver.

Da’Shaun

Why is she here? She was constantly insulting American whiskey like a Floridian pretending to be part of the real South. Why isn’t she enjoying all those snowbirds with her fossil husband? I exchanged my Canadian to US dollars to get away from her, yet here she is, haunting me in my own home? I did not consent to this!

Vincent

Slow down, drunky!

Da’Shaun

(jumps and rushes upstairs to the private reception room playing Jazz music. turns over a table) Sorry, not sorry, to interrupt this farce of a wedding anniversary!

Bashanti

(stands from the reception table) Da’Shaun! What are you doing here?

Da’Shaun

What the hell are you doing here is the question, Bashanti? You took the last sacred thing we had between just us two, and you defecated on it. This place is my home, my shrine, and now I have to suffer through your husband’s god awful Jazz music on top of it? My ancestors are rolling in their graves in agony. If he played well, that would be a different story.

Pierce

I am going to have to ask you to leave.

Da’Shaun

(mocks) I am going to have to ask…you cannot tell me what do, old man and the sea! If she did this to me, she will find a way to take everything you cherish, and smash it to bits, you just wait, if she has not already! (gets in Pierces face) I dare you to try to tell me what to do. or where to be. (raises hand, as if to punch, but holds it in the air in hesitation)

Bashanti

Da’Shaun, don’t! I will call the cops, I do not care! I chose him! Get over it!

Vincent

I apologize everyone! (grabs Da’Shaun) The Speak-easy has insurance for occurrences just like this, and to all, a good night. (drags Da’Shaun out of the room and back downstairs)

Allison

What on earth happened!

Vincent

It actually could have been much worse. (to Allison and Jenna) We are going to walk along the train track until he calms down, and then I will bring him back to apologize to the owner and help clean up at the end of the night.

Allison

No, we will take care of it. If you have loved and lost, you can understand how insane that makes you. Good idea about walking along the tracks. Da’Shaun used to go with his father as a boy. It was one of the few times they actually connected.

Da’Shaun

You know, I am drunk, but I am still here!

Allison

Have fun you two.

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