Monday, January 11, 2010
Considering lilies, Scene 2
Our scene is set in January of 1930 in a Seattle gardening Conservatory. It is the height of prohibition, just after the market crash of 1929; a time which will later be referred to as The Great depression.
Anne Hibbert- The Conservatory curator and AVID plants woman. She is no more than 24 years old. She tends to the displays at the conservatory and teaches gardening lectures to the public. She is intelligent, quick witted, and has a style reminiscent of the nineteen teens; that is to say, her dress and demeanor are somewhat conservative and classic in comparison to the popular and more provocative, "flappers" of the era
Daniel Lavery- An Irish born bootlegger in his late twenties. He is a swarthy young man with a cool demeanor and dark eyes. He could easily pose as a model for a cigarette add
James Watkins- A finance man, he runs the business aspect of the conservatory. A closet alcoholic, he often receives the “goods” from Mr. Lavery at the conservatory
Scene at rise:
During Anne’s conclusion portion of a late afternoon lecture, Daniel walks into the room. He is no doubt here to see James for liquor drop off. Having arrived early, he catches the last of Anne’s lecture, just for fun.
They have met before, briefly, yet long enough to have established that one is oil and the other, water. He revels in teasing her somewhat serious nature. She believes drinking is immoral, and therefore irritated by his presence at her place of work.
He leans against the back wall casually, with the brim of his cap pulled down over his brow, hiding his eyes.
Though she takes notice of his presence, she continues her lecture on a subject which she has titled, ‘The Poetry of Flowers’
Anne: So in conclusion, the gardener has the pleasure of observing the language of the garden; the way it speaks to him uniquely, according to his own experience of the world around him.
For example: In the garden, as in the world, the gardener can feel bored by a common specimen who requires very little care and therefore does not challenge his skills.
Or contrary, the gardener can find herself frustrated by a stubborn or elusive plant, much the way that a lover may feel mastered by a conquest who shows no response to her affections, causing her…or him, to lust after her all the more.
The ability the garden has on the gardener to stir emotion, which is seemingly reserved between humans, can be profound. So allow yourself a few foolish musings as you work.
I pray you all good evening and happy gardening.
(As the room clears, all but Daniel leave. He is still leaning against the wall.)
Anne: (As she packs her things she addresses him, not necessarily looking at him)
I don’t suppose you’re here to hear my lecture Mr. Lavery. I’m sure James will be here shortly.
Daniel: (Ignoring her remark)
I never would have fancied you as a poet Miss Anne!
Anne: (with a laugh)
What exactly do you know about poetry?
Daniel: (Now walking toward her, grinning)
You’re asking an Irishman what he knows about poetry?
Anne: I’m asking a rum running, whiskey drinking, lazy, womanizing, half wit what he knows about poetry!
(Daniel smiles at her as she insults him.)
What are you grinning at?
Daniel: (Moving all the closer, now accross the desk from her.)
Just thinking about your lecture and what you said about lovers. (Removing his hat, running his hand through his dark shoulder length hair.)
Is there someone in particular whom you feel…oh how did you put it…”mastered by”?
(He raises his eyebrow in a sugestive, semi-flirtatious, flash.)
Anne: I was merely making an illustration. It was a strictly hypothetical suggestion,Mr. Lavery, I assure you.
Daniel: Ah yes! A vivid illustration it was indeed! Think I may come down here with the lads and sit in for some more of those “illustrations” of yours.
(winks, and chuckles)
If it’s all right by you of course Miss Anne.
Anne: Lectures are for members only Mr. Lavery. So you and your rabble can continue telling your penny poetry to the “ladies” you meet down at the tavern you frequent.
Daniel: Oh come on now… You were saying that all flowers have personalities, just like people, right?
So, if I were a flower what would I be?
Anne: (Thinking a moment, packing her things. She grins.)
Taxacarum erythrospermum I would imagine.
Daniel: That sounds interesting.
(Trying to hide his pleasure, he is delighted she is playing along.)
Anne: Unfortunately Mr. Lavery it’s not in the least bit interesting. Taxacarum erythrospermum is the botanical name for the common Dandelion. It is a member of a grouping of plants considered to be a weed worldwide. It is collectively agreed upon that it is most un-interesting and actually, an invasive noosensence.
(James walks in. Daniel winks at Anne, to show he is unfased by her jab.)
James: Ah Daniel, Anne I’m not interrupting anything am I?
Anne: Oh no I was just informing Mr. Lavery here of the attributes of that Taxacarum erythrospermum.
(Unaware of their exchange James adds, pretentiously.)
James: Ah yes, a gardeners nightmare! You know in France it is referred to as ‘pissenlit’, which in translation means, “piss in bed". In Italian ‘Piscan’ meaning “Dog Pisses”, most likely because they are as common as dog pisses on the side of the road.
Did you know that Anne?
Anne: Oh yes I was aware of that James!
(She turns her attention back to Daniel)
Had you heard that Mr. Lavery
(She winks at Daniel. Still smirking, Daniel only shakes his head.)
James: (Claps hands together as if prompting Anne to leave)
At any rate Anne, good of you to keep Mr. Lavery company...
Daniel: Yes Miss many thanks for the company. You have a fine way of leaving a man feel like a cat must feel, having been petted in the wrong direction.
Anne: (Picking up her bag, she moves around the desk, facing Daniel.)
Well perhaps the cat should have looked elsewhere to have been stroked in the first place.
Daniel: (Putting his cap back on)
Perhaps the cat wasn’t looking to be stroked and merely came in to do his bidding and leave.
Anne: Well considering the bidding that the cat does, I suppose he had better get used to being unpleasantly stroked since not everyone inside is in favor of his bidding and therefore annoyed by his presence.
Good day Gentlemen.
(With that she turns and walks away, both men watch her walk down the corridor.
James: Please forgive her Daniel. Sometimes I have no idea what she’s talking about. She is both passionate and creative. In our little horticultural community, she is considered quite a novelty.
(Both men are left staring at her ‘novelties’ as she continues to walk away)
Daniel: (Almost mumbling)
Quite the novelty indeed.