Conversations by A Well

[The story focuses on three individuals with three different mindsets. Each notice a well missing a brick in the vicinity where their friend is standing leading them into a monologue about what that missing brick represents.]

The Players:

MR. X: A character strikingly similar to the comic strip character Andy Capp. He wears a trench coat and cap that covers his eyes and is constantly chewing a straw. He listens to each of his three friends without saying a word.

MRS. X: The wife of MR. X who wonders what wisdom he has to dispense on the missing brick. She wears hair curlers and seems rather prude.

MR. P: A positive thinking man who always views the glass as half full and life as grand.

MS. C: A cynical woman who views the world through a negative window. She sees the missing brick as representative of the void in life.

MR. N: A man who is relatively neutral towards life. He views the glass as neither half empty or half full, it just is.

SCENE I

EXT. LOCATION WISHING WELL

[The scene is set up next to a wishing well located in front of some trees and behind a brick wall of some sort. Leaning on this wall is a man wearing a trench coat and a green cap drawn across the brow of his eyes making it difficult to see where he is looking.

The man shall be called MR. X. He leans casually and chews on a straw. Behind him and stage left is the wishing well.

A brick is missing from the top row of the wishing well. Several seconds pass before a friend of his comes walking by stage right. He shall be called MR. P, since he is a man of positive mindset.

The man seems happy as he walks and then sees his friend leaning on the wall. Mr. P slows down to greet his friend who glances at him but continues to chew his straw looking out at nothing.]

Mr. P: Hey, man. How's it going? Beautiful day out today, isn't it?

[Mr. P leans against the wall too.]

You know, it's funny the things a man will think. I was?just?looking?at the well behind you and realized it was missing a?brick.

[Mr. X barely glances towards the well.]

Truth be told, I've walked by several times before and realized it was missing that brick. It's almost an allegory for life, you know?

Think about it, we all try to find out just what life is all about, right? So what does it all mean? Is it possible that that one missing brick represents everything that we endeavor to achieve in life? Is it feasible to conclude that that missing brick is the basis for hope in our existence? I think it just may be. I think that blank space there is representative of everything we hope to achieve in life. It means hope, that this well isn't finished. No matter how much damage it may receive, it will always have the hope of being complete, of finding that missing piece that will make it whole again.

That's what we're all fighting for. We fight for that chance to complete ourselves, whether it's through a solid career, or attaining a personal goal, or even by finding that perfect romance–that one person who will fill our existence with pure love and understanding.

It's so romantic. So clear. That space, that missing brick is the chance for our future, the opportunity to be renewed.

[Mr. P looks down at his friend and smiles.]

Well, that's what it seems like to me, you know? Have you wondered about that missing brick? About life in general?

[This is tag one of three for the final scene.]

So, what do you think it means?

[Mr. X stares out to the camera for 2 seconds then turns to Mr. P for 2 seconds. He stares back to the camera for a second and then exits stage left still chewing on his straw.]

SCENE II

EXT. WISHING WELL

[Just as before, Mr. X is standing by the brick wall in front of the wishing well with the missing brick. He chews his straw and doesn't seem to be deep in the? contemplation of anything. Another one of his friends walks near him from stage left. She pauses seeing the well.

She will be called MS. C, as her view towards life is one of deep cynicism. She sighs heavily and leans against the brick wall where her friend remains saying nothing.]

Ms. C: Hey, what's up? Don't you just look happy. Standing here staring at nothing, engulfed in your own little world, completely oblivious to the frivolous banality of human existence.

[She looks forward with an expression of sorrow and near despair.]

I don't get how everyone can just walk around so blase'. Life is too brutal for that, too anxious to meet extinction. It's like that hole in the well over there, where some brick used to be. Probably crushed into a thousand shards of splintered concrete only to be reduced to brittle dust beneath the boot of humanity.

You probably didn't even notice.

That's why I like you. You realize that the void in our lives is all encompassing, that no matter what we do, we cannot ever possibly hope to overcome our self-destructive behavior. There is no hope. What was once constructed, just like that well, starts to immediately fall apart at the hands of an uncaring society. What good does it do to provide something allegedly beneficial to the world when the only thing they're going to do is destroy it anyhow?

What's the point in struggling to make something of ourselves, to "fulfill" our lives with some haphazard attempt to find meaning in just being when the only thing we have to look forward to is the absolute death and finality of eternity? There's nothing beyond this life, only the all encompassing darkness that looms over us as the guillotine master awaiting his prize. And that's exactly what that missing brick represents. One day, that well will be gone. Just like all of us. There is no hope, only oblivion.

[Ms. C looks at her friend who just stares ahead vacantly.]

Of course, that's just what I think.

[The 2nd of three tags for final scene starts here.]

So, what do you think it means?

[Mr. X stares out to the camera for 2 seconds then turns to Ms. C for 2 seconds. He stares back to the camera for a second and then exits stage right still chewing on his straw.]

SCENE III

EXT. WISHING WELL

[Mr. X continues leaning against the wall, or at least finds himself there again. Shortly, another of his friends shows up. MR. N approaches from stage left and notices the missing brick as he walks closer to his friend. He stands for a moment and then looks to his friend.]

Mr. N: Well, what a surprise. To find you hanging out by the bridge...again.

I am beginning to think that this is the only thing you do.

[He leans against the bridge/wall.]

But that's ok, I figure you have some things going on in your head that are deep and thought provoking.

Maybe you're thinking about that well over there. It seems to be missing a brick. I know it's just a blank space now, but undoubtedly someone, somewhere may be comparing this blank space to some thoughtful philosophical consideration.

Maybe they think the glass is half-full or perhaps they view it as half-empty. I say it just doesn't matter. Look at it. It's an empty space. It is neither full nor empty. Just like the partially filled glass of water, it just is.

To suggest that that blank space represents the absence of life or the presence of chaos is utterly ridiculous. It can't represent either of those interpretations if it isn't destroyed and isn't in the process of being built.

If you're thirsty and drink from the glass but it isn't full enough, then go and fill it or go and get a fresh glass. If you find that there is too much in the glass, then pour it out. People make too much out of small things while ignoring what is truly important.

Who knows what comes after this life. We need to worry about the present and deal with what we're given.

The point is, life is what you make of it. It has no good or bad endings, it just exists in a constant everlasting flow, unrelenting in its forward momentum.

But that's just what I think. I could be wrong.

[He looks at his friend who just purses his lips. The 3rd tag of three for end finale.]

So, what do you think it means?

[Mr. X stares out to the camera for 2 seconds then turns to Mr. N for 2 seconds. He stares back to the camera for a second and then exits stage right still chewing on his straw.]

SCENE IV

EXT. WISHING WELL

[A collage of the three tags plays out here?showing the three friends talking to their one friend. The view shows three small screens of each of them side by side with them all asking simultaneously:]

3 Friends: So, what do you think it means?

[In unison, the three viewings of Mr. X exit the screens. One screen has him exiting stage left while the two others depict him exiting stage right.]

SCENE V

EXT WISHING WELL

[The only thing seen for a few seconds is the wishing well and the wall. Then Mr. X and his wife MRS. X walk on screen and approach the well from stage right.? Mr. X pauses in front of it with his left side towards the camera's view. Mrs. X crosses her arms. She looks a little angry. The look is augmented by the curlers in her hair.]

Mrs. X: So tell me, ole wise guru, what does it mean to you?

[Mr. X stands for a second and then pulls a brick out of his coat pocket and places it inside the blank space along the edge of the well.]

Mr. X: Have brick, will travel.

[Mrs. X rolls her eyes as the two of them walk off screen stage left. Screen fades to black.]

~Fin

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