Don't Drink That Coffee

This was a play I wrote in 2012. For a few reasons that were not anyone's fault, it was never produced.  Here is a 1st draft of a time traveling love story:


DON'T DRINK THAT COFFEE

At RISE:                                                           
(Lights up on an office break room.  Coffee machine with cups, creamer, sugar and napkins. A table with a chair. A “refrigerator” is plugged into the wall.)



BOB enters with a thick stack of papers and carefully sets them down on the table.  He goes and makes some black coffee. Just as he is about to drink it, Future Time Man FUTURE BOB pops out of the refrigerator.

FUTURE BOB
Don’t drink that coffee!

BOB
What?

FUTURE BOB
Don’t. Drink. That. Coffee.

BOB
Who are you? What are you doing in the break room?

FUTURE BOB
I can’t tell you.

BOB
If you don’t tell me, I’ll drink this coffee.

FUTURE BOB
You’ve got me there.

BOB
(Starts to put coffee to mouth.)

FUTURE BOB
Ok! Ok!  It’s breaking the rules, but if it will keep you from drinking it…. I am you. You, 10 years in the future.

BOB
You look nothing like me.


FUTURE BOB
In the future, science has made it possible that so that fat, short ugly people can change their weight, height and looks.

BOB
What are you insinuating?

FUTURE BOB
Gestures at BOB as is to say, “have you looked at yourself recently?”
Well…

BOB
In the future, does everyone wear Nickelback t-shirts?

FUTURE BOB
No, this is my camouflage for this time period. In the future, Nickelback doesn't exist. They were scrubbed from time.

BOB
The future is sounding pretty good.

FUTURE BOB
No, it’s not.  That’s why I came back here.

BOB
In a refrigerator?

FUTURE BOB
Something to do with the electrical field that cooling compressor puts out. 

BOB
I still don’t believe that you are me or that you are from the future. In every book I've read, the time traveler reveals secrets about his past self.

FUTURE BOB
I don’t really read books.

BOB
I don’t either. That was a test.

FUTURE BOB
Well, I know we both have watched movies about time travel, so go ahead. Ask me anything.


BOB
I… we, were at a party last night.  What did we do?


FUTURE BOB
Dude. I don’t remember what happened at that party.

BOB
Neither do I, I was hoping you could fill in the blanks.

FUTURE BOB
OK. How about this…You love unshelled peanuts…

BOB
Everyone knows that.

FUTURE BOB
… and you stuff them in your nose when you are alone.

BOB
Not everyone knows that.

FUTURE BOB
You cry during most every Cure song.

BOB
That’s a lie…

FUTURE BOB
 Singing
Standing on that dizzy edge I kissed her face…

They both start crying.

BOB
OK, stop.  Stop!  Here’s one no one but me and a future me would ever ever ever know…

FUTURE BOB
In a cow’s butt.

BOB
Oh my god you are me.

FUTURE BOB
Yes.

BOB
Christ…

starts to drink the coffee

FUTURE BOB
Stop that!

BOB
Sorry.  So, what does this coffee have to do with the future?

FUTURE BOB
What they told me is that when we… you try to take that first drink off coffee, you spill it on yourself and that sets up a series of events that creates a horrific future, my present. If we can keep that coffee off your shirt, we think that a new future will open up.

BOB
Well, hasn’t the future already changed by you showing up here?

FUTURE BOB
Not necessarily.  You see, the future is like a series of diverging paths.  But those paths can all come back together when an event pulls them back in.

BOB
What?

FUTURE BOB
Think of it like two stop lights.  You’re at a light with a bunch of other cars behind you and a soon as it turns green you race forward. But the next light is a long red light. And so you sit there and all the other cars catch up. Go slow. Go fast. No matter what you do, that light takes all those possible futures and reigns them back in.

BOB
What if I run the red light?

FUTURE BOB
Yes!

This scares BOB and he almost spills the coffee on himself.

FUTURE BOB
Moves through the steps as he speaks them
Sorry. Right now, we are in between those two stop lights.  If I remember correctly, the spill happened after I got the coffee and sat here to review this presentation.

spills the coffee on himself
Kinda like that.

BOB
So what is so terrible about this future?

FUTURE BOB
That, I cannot tell you.

BOB
(Threatens to spill on himself.)
Spill, spill, spill!

FUTURE BOB
No, I can’t. My memory has been blocked.  I cannot remember anything past about an hour from now plus anything they told me before I left. It’s all hazy. I just remember the regret…

BOB
That’s stupid.  How are you supposed to convince me to do something without some specific dire threat?  Am I the father of the next Hitler? Do I invent some horrible weapon?

FUTURE BOB
 You make up paint color names for a living. I don’t think the guy who created a color called “Cotton Candy Sea Foam” is going to make a doomsday weapon.

BOB
You try and make a name for something that is pink and green.

FUTURE BOB
I did.  I called it “Cotton Candy Sea Foam.”

BOB
Look I…

A woman walks out of the refrigerator.

(BOB and FUTURE BOB together)
Who are you?

FUTURE BOB AS A WOMAN
I’m you and you.

(BOB and FUTURE BOB together)
But you’re a…

FUTURE BOB AS A WOMAN
Yes, in the future it’s much easier to change your looks and get a sex change.

FUTURE BOB
How do I, we know…

FUTURE BOB AS A WOMAN
Cow’s butt.

They both shrug.

BOB
You look familiar? Like someone I work with.

FUTURE BOB AS A WOMAN
Yes, Lisa… that’s a long story of regret and lost opportunity…

FUTURE BOB
That’s right! That’s the last memory I have is running into her outside this door…

FUTURE BOB AS A WOMAN
Look. We screwed up.  We sent you back in time to stop you from spilling the coffee. But that didn’t fix anything .  It made them worse.

BOB
So what am I do to?

FUTURE BOB AS A WOMAN
First, you, get back in the time machine. You are done here.

FUTURE BOB
See you buddy! Hey, Future me as a woman… if things don’t work out here, you know when to find me.

FUTURE BOB steps into the refrigerator.

BOB
Future me is fucked up.

FUTURE BOB AS A WOMAN
I know. That’s why I’m here.  Now, carefully. Add one creamer.

BOB
You’re kidding. How is this…

FUTURE BOB AS A WOMAN
Add the creamer!!

He pours in the creamer.
FUTURE BOB comes out of the time machine disheveled and panicked.

FUTURE BOB
Oh GOD it’s terrible! The future! Use two creamers!
He runs back in the time machine.

FUTURE BOB AS A WOMAN
Try two creamers.
BOB pours in a second creamer.  FUTURE BOB comes out of the refrigerator acting completely feminine with a boa.

FUTURE BOB
The future is fabulous!
FUTURE BOB Returns back in the machine.

FUTURE BOB AS A WOMAN
Um, try adding a sugar.

BOB
Am I supposed to drink this?

FUTURE BOB AS A WOMAN
Just do it.
No one comes out of the refrigerator.
There… I think that did it.  Now. Go to your meeting. Give your report. Drink the whole coffee.

FUTURE BOB comes out in a robot mask and in a robot voice.
FUTURE BOB
DRINK ONLY HALF!
FUTURE BOB goes back in the refrigerator.

FUTURE BOB AS A WOMAN
…drink only half
Both look at the machine and nothing comes out.

FUTURE BOB AS A WOMAN
Good-bye past life me. I hope things work out for you. Us.

She steps in the time machine and is gone.
BOB takes the coffee and picks up the report and thinks for a moment.  He goes to the refrigerator and unplugs it.  He then puts his creamer/sugar coffee back and pours a cup of black.  On the way to the door, he purposefully spills it on himself. Just then, LISA walks in.

LISA
Oh! You’ve got coffee all over you. Here…
She wipes it up a bit with a napkin.
LISA
There.
Their eyes meet for a moment and there is almost a something, but then it is gone and LISA begins to walk off and so does BOB. BOB turns around after a moment of hesitation.

BOB
Hey… you… um… you want to do something tonight?
LISA
Um, OK. Coffee?

BOB
Sure. It’s on me! Oh, God I can’t believe I just said that…

LISA
You’re funny. I like that. Pick me up at 6:30.

They walk off.

(Lights down.)


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