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Written by Sean Pomposello
Sean Pomposello 26 Garthwaite Terrace Maplewood, NJ 07040 firstname.lastname@example.org 973-762-7680
THE DOGHOUSE By Sean Pomposello
CHARACTERS: John: 42 years old David: 42 years old TIME: The current day, early autumn. SETTING: A dark room.
(Two corpulent, middle aged men sit apart from one another on an otherwise darkened stage.) (They each address the audience.) JOHN Wasn’t as if we were pledging or anything... DAVID Frats weren’t in vogue, you know, back then... JOHN But, frankly, more I think of it, wasn’t any different than a frat. You had your upper classmen--you know, big man on campus... DAVID Right, them, those guys could do no wrong. Who was that one guy, the one with the warts, what was his name? JOHN Schwartz. ‘Member, Schwartz got... DAVID (on “Schwartz”) Got warts, yeah, that’s right. That guy...now that guy was a frickin’ terror. JOHN He was the one who started... DAVID Well, hold on, you’re getting ahead of yourself. Back to the beginning... JOHN Right, beginning: We were freshman... DAVID Y’know, it was one of those shit state schools that don’t have enough financing to provide housing. JOHN We were new to the house--only two from The Five Towns. DAVID Nineteen Franklin Street... JOHN Xactly, ‘cross from the Busy Bee. Sorta a dump, hey we were just kids, right? Anyway, it felt good, you know, to get in.
DAVID Well, yeah sure. I mean, the house had this racy reputation. After hours...keggers...theme parties... JOHN You get into nineteen Franklin, you’re sure to, you know, score. (The two men look at one another for a beat, then continue.) DAVID S’anyway, it’s early in the semester... JOHN Really pretty up there that time of year. Ever been up that way? DAVID With the lake effect, you get an early Autumn. JOHN Tree peepers, wasn’t that what they called the people coming for the foliage? DAVID And so...and so...some of the older guys in the house, like, who was it? like Sullie and Buddha... Course Schwartz too... DAVID Yeah, get this brilliant idea. JOHN ‘Member it like it was yesterday: coming back from happy hour on Homecoming weekend, they were ribbing this underclassman... DAVID Kid with all the moles, yeah...uh...Dennis. Dennis Wyman. JOHN Kid had this incredible knack of laying the ugliest chicks on campus. Kid with the stutter, right? DAVID Right, so in his defense Dennis says--we were in Buddha’s VW-something like, “it t...t...t...takes a lotta man to bed down with the kind of d...d...d...dogs I pick up.” JOHN
JOHN I’ll tell ya, everyone just ate that up with a spoon. ‘Fore you knew it, there’s like bets going ‘round to see who can’t screw the most dogs. DAVID Guys all used to call our place The Dog House. JOHN But, funniest thing: not one chick knew the deal. It was just another one of those unspoken things guys never shared with any women. A code. Shit, once I was applying for a library card and this male librarian--like fifty-fucking-years old or something--looks at my application and says to me, “Oh, you must live in The Dog House.” DAVID ‘Member the time down at the...uh...that place near the...uh...muffler shop on Broad. What was that? JOHN Right, next door to the Waffle Shop. Sure I remember handing out the...The mall there, right? DAVID Xactly. Handing out those invitations to our after hours. JOHN Damn if we didn’t put one of them in the hand of every bucktoothed, big-assed, pimply-faced co-ed on campus. DAVID That was it, that was the night... JOHN (on “that was”) Right, that was it, wasn’t it? (The two men pause and give a reticent look at one another and then continue.) JOHN (cont’d) It was sorta late--even for after hours. Brian, one of our housemates... Nice guy... JOHN ...shows up with a couple towny chicks. One of them--I’ll never forget--had this like this completely garish crocheted red sweater. With these ugly-ass pom-pom shits across the front. DAVID
DAVID A complete horror show. The both of them woof material, for sure. JOHN We had this corsage thing we used to do. Buy the whole nursery out on Friday nights. DAVID Dying shit, you know, nothing fresh--get ‘em cheaper that way. Sometimes we’d pick ‘em outta the dumpster behind the place. We’d take turns handing them out at the door. JOHN I’ll tell you, it’s a cake walk after the business with the corsage. DAVID The grog didn’t hurt none either. I had this hill-billy uncle who lived up that way. Ran the AA chapter over in Roscoe and had like this serious distillery out backa his house. How’s that for irony, huh? I used to raid his barn for all the moonshine the guy would cook up. Crates of Skippy jars. Felt like fucking Robert Mitchum jack-assing the shit back to the house for Buddha to spike the punch. Lika fuckin’ chemist, he was. JOHN Anyho, the coupla towny chicks... DAVID Right...right, I digress. JOHN It was one of the more successful parties. All toll, something like eighty people came to the after hours. But like all of ‘em, the crowd thinned pretty early. I...I remember Gobbie spinning the records. Talking Heads...the one with the, uh, that song...the one with uh beat. “Burning Down The House”. That was the big one that semester. But “Swamp”, now that was like the house song. Whatever. So...like...like the lights are turned low. A sea of like dixie cups crushed all over the living room carpet. Damn if every room in the house wasn’t occupied. Do not disturb on every door knob, if you catch my meaning. And I’m left there, alone in the living room... Well, and me... JOHN Right, two of us and the two townies. Everyone else is upstairs getting over. I mean, I was never in that situation. DAVID
DAVID Yeah, there’s usually a couple guys who wouldn’t get so lucky, you know. Guys with the mangled raps. Not so embarrassing when you got company... JOHN This time though, it’s just the two of us and the two, I mean, ugliest girls I’ve ever seen. Well, not two... JOHN Right, the one like abandons her girlfriend. The less fat of the two. I mean, the girl comes back from the john and she’s like alone with us. And, well, everything woulda been, you know like okay. ‘Cept... DAVID She was really whacked... JOHN Right..right...but everything woulda been just fine if Schwartz hadn’t come out for a beer. He comes downstairs... comes out and like starts laying into us. “C’mon you fucking pussies,” he starts yelling. “Whaddya goddamn queers?” Pushing me into her. Tearing at her sweater. That horrible sweater. Ripping it offa her. She starts to like scream and he puts his hand over her mouth. I’m...I mean...we’re like going along..hoping, like, that you know something...someone will interrupt...get us off the hook. Get us outta that place. Let her go home. ‘Fore I know it we got our pants at our ankles and he’s, you know, got her down on the...with her stuff all ripped off...she’s struggling...And it’s like, “C’mon fag...C’mon fag....C’MON YOU TWO FUCKING FAGS! (Pause. John looks to David who tries his best to avoid looking him in the eye.) JOHN (cont’d) Finally...after we like...when we were finished, Schwartz has the whole house down. While they’re like whooping it up and high fiving each other, she...the girl...darts for the door and just like makes a bee-line for home. DAVID We all made sure we had our stories straight...case the cops showed up... JOHN But they never did...I was happy ‘bout that. DAVID
DAVID That whole next week, every time the bus let me off in town I found myself scanning the street... JOHN You too? Thinking maybe you might catch a glimpse of her somewhere. You know, maybe having a beer at Red’s or like shopping at CVS. DAVID Not that I wanted to, mind you. I was happy to put that little chapter behind me. JOHN Me too. And you know, I pretty much did. Soon as we... JOHN Right, well we moved out. The two of us. I’d like to say that I put my foot down, but to tell the truth, I moved out on accounta... DAVID We both got girlfriends... JOHN And, well, the Dog House ain’t the sorta place you bring your girl home to. DAVID Got this place all the way ‘cross town. Over by Mister Donut on Grove. Rent was a little stiff, place stunk like popcorn for some reason, but we were able to put that...that business behind us. (Long pause.) Till...uh... JOHN (overlapping) We... Oh, go ahead... JOHN No, it’s okay, you go... DAVID DAVID (cont’d) DAVID
It’s okay, go... JOHN So, there’s like this cake of an elective: Media and Communication. Hundred level class, or something. Didn’t even hafta show up for it, just do the assignments and do good on the open book tests. We both took it... DAVID Maybe we showed up three times the whole semester... JOHN Early on, must a been like maybe the fourth class, the professor gives out this assignment... DAVID We had to scour the paper and find typos, or some shit. JOHN The local paper, “The Evening Post” was a total goldmine for typos. Proof department must be like filled with narcoleptics. So, I’m like cutting out some typos sitting on the living room floor. Dave here’s with me, pasting them onto this loose-leaf page when this picture... DAVID The article was kinda butchered from all the cutting... JOHN But the picture...in the picture...clear as day...floating in the Housatonic River...that hideous sweater...with the red...the crocheted pom-poms... ...Dead... Drowned in the river. DAVID Apparent suicide, Coroner said. Pause. We never said nothing. DAVID Yeah, kept it to ourselves. All these years later. JOHN JOHN JOHN DAVID
DAVID What, I don’t know, sixteen...? Seventeen years. DAVID Seventeen years later. (Pause) I mean, marriages, kids, houses, jobs, all that shit behind us. But, still--not a soul...no one knows. JOHN Who you gonna tell such a thing, right? DAVID M’wife would leave me, for chrisakes. JOHN But there are days like this...days when the sun hits on that angle, you know...when the leaves start to change and ground gets dusted with frost in the morning. Days like this I tend to look in on my daughters. While they’re asleep... You too? Nights or mornings... Sometimes both. JOHN Take a big, long look at them. Make sure they’re safe under their comforters. Their little faces peeking from beneath, y’know? Yeah. JOHN Sometimes I just sit there and pray. Pray to God. With everything I got. Pray they grow up pretty, you know...pretty... (John nods weakly over to Dave. Beat.) (Lights go down slowly.) THE END DAVID DAVID JOHN DAVID JOHN
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