at the grocery store

INT GROCERY STORE. DAY

LADY IN LINE
(visibly upset, squinting at the People magazine cover
and making sure that everyone sees her grand gestures,
which indicate her extreme disapproval)
Tsk, Tsk . . .
harumph . . .
my, my . . .

ME
(quietly watching)

LADY IN LINE
Oh, my, my, my . . .

OTHER LADY IN LINE
(leans back from her position as
first in line, stops unloading cart,
and has a look. engages in gestures
similar to LADY IN LINE's)
Well, . . . tsk, tsk . . .

ME
(a long, deep-breathing beat,
smiling hopefully)
Portia's dress is beautiful.

Both ladies look at me in horror.

ME
Really, you should see it.
(i gesture toward the magazine, inviting . . .)
I wish my dress had been
that pretty.

LADY IN LINE
(laughs nervously)

ME
Ii mean, whatever you think of it,
you gotta love that dress.

both ladies finish checking out
(duh, in more ways than one).

Comments

k8 said…
That is an amazing dress!
bdegenaro said…
Wow, did the lady really say "my my"? Who says that?! And she gave a harumph too? Jeesh.
well, Bill, i took some creative license. i wanted to characterize her demeanor. it felt very "church-y," if you'll forgive me the negative religious associations (religion, as a whole, not being dissed by moi . . . but, well, . . . Utah and its pervasive gestures and codes and laws and surveillance . . .).

so but her affect, her breathy comment; it felt old-timey, so "my, my" seemed to fit. she was maybe more accurately just sort of grunting and sucking in her breath in a way that publicly registered disapproval but could remain defensible because of how it was sort of quiet and "private."

my studies in camera technique for actors (and *common sense*) told me that she wanted to be seen and heard, even though she wasn't saying anything to anyone in particular, just quietly/not so quietly commenting in the grocery aisle.

it was all about publicly registering her disapproval.

so i had to say something nice that might also point out the mean(ing): "we get it. you are against the marriage (gay marriage, in general)."

i couldn't resist :)
bdegenaro said…
I hear ya. Nothing wrong with a little creative license. Your approach (including saying something "nice") was a good one. I probably would have been completely ineffectual (either staying quiet or saying something way confrontational about how stupid homophobia is.
i had to pause and think carefully (but quickly) about playing the "kill her w/ kindness" game, because i was about to lose it.