Grand Central Winter
The Heroism of Failure
The Disappearing Disease
Waiting on the Z Train
I met this girl...
Falling to Heaven
Smoke & Mirrors
Other plays
NYC Residency
Sample script

Columbus - introvert, sensitive, 25
Madison, his sister - streetwise, practical, 35
Hudson, his buddy - aggressive, selfish, 35

December, 2004

Manhattan, New York City

A loft apartment in Midtown.  The upstage wall is made entirely of glass, giving a spectacular but dominating view of the Manhattan skyline beyond.  The apartment is sparsely, though stylishly, furnished. 

Scene Two

MADISON:     Cloud hangs low over the city.  Enclosing.  Protecting.  Suffocating.  Everything above fifty stories is hidden from view.  The tops of the skyscrapers, the very buildings that define our city, appear to have been lopped off and carted away.  Gone forever?

    The city bulbs gently illuminate the belly of the cloud, which, from underneath, appears as a soft cotton sheet draped carefully over the intricate structures that surround us.  We are captured within our own city.

    The light pollution that we usually inflict on the rest of the world is, itself, trapped by the enveloping cloud.  The luminosity cannot escape.  Our radiance is subdued.

Scene Three

Thursday, December 16, 2004

    HUDSON enters through the front door, letting himself in.  The apartment appears to be empty.  He goes to the kitchen and returns, having helped himself to a cinnamon roll.

HUDSON:     [calling]  Colum.  You here?

COLUMBUS:     [off]  Hey, Hudson.  Be right there.

    HUDSON sits on the couch, turns on the TV, picks up the TV guide and starts reading it.  He obviously feels at home.

    COLUMBUS enters from his bedroom.

COLUMBUS:     Hey.

HUDSON:     [barely looking up from his magazine]  Hey.

COLUMBUS:     You didn't come by last night.

HUDSON:     No.

COLUMBUS:     You said you would.

HUDSON:     Did I?

COLUMBUS:     I waited in for you.

HUDSON:     No you didn't.  You weren't going anyplace.


HUDSON:     Something came up.

COLUMBUS:     Like what?

HUDSON:     Just something.  Okay?

COLUMBUS:     Okay.

    HUDSON continues to read the TV guide, switching channel from time to time.

    COLUMBUS does nothing.

COLUMBUS:     You wanna get in something to eat?

HUDSON:     I just got something.

    HUDSON continues to read.

COLUMBUS:     I got through a day already.

HUDSON:     You did?

COLUMBUS:     No problems.

HUDSON:     That's good.

COLUMBUS:     No problems at all.

HUDSON:     Uh-uh.

    HUDSON continues to read.

COLUMBUS:     I finished my book last night.

HUDSON:     Yeah?

COLUMBUS:     'Invisible Man'.

HUDSON:     They made a movie of that.  Why didn't you just watch the movie?  Would've saved you a whole lotta time.

COLUMBUS:     Not that 'Invisible Man'.  This is about a guy in New York in the 50s and he

HUDSON:     If I wanted to know what it was about I'd read it myself.

COLUMBUS:     But you don't read.

HUDSON:     I'm not reading right now?

COLUMBUS:     But that's just the TV guide.

HUDSON:     But I'm reading, so why don't you just be quiet and read something too.

COLUMBUS:     Okay.

    They sit in silence for a few moments.

COLUMBUS:     Madison came by yesterday.

HUDSON:     What?

COLUMBUS:     Sure.

HUDSON:     What did she want?

COLUMBUS:     Just to see me.

HUDSON:     Yeah, right.

COLUMBUS:     Sure.

HUDSON:     Why now?  After all this time?

COLUMBUS:     I told her mom was gonna be away.

HUDSON:     You told her that?  What on earth possessed you to tell her that?

COLUMBUS:     Is that a problem?

HUDSON:     Is that a problem?

COLUMBUS:     She's my sister.

HUDSON:     And you're a fool.

COLUMBUS:     Am not.

HUDSON:     I see.  She waits for her opportunity.  The one time your Mom goes away and then she launches herself back on the scene.  After, what, ten years?

COLUMBUS:     It was good to see her.

HUDSON:     Yeah right.  She must've wanted something.

COLUMBUS:     She wanted nothing.

HUDSON:     I don't believe that.

COLUMBUS:     Why not?

HUDSON:     Just you wait and see.  You'll see I'm right.  I'm always right.  Hey, she's not planning on coming over again today is she?

COLUMBUS:     I don't think so.

HUDSON:     Are you sure?

COLUMBUS:     She didn't say anything about it.

HUDSON:     But do you think she will?

COLUMBUS:     I doubt it.

HUDSON:     Okay.  So what did she have to say for herself?

COLUMBUS:     Not a lot really.

HUDSON:     I guessed as much.

COLUMBUS:     She asked me to go over to Coney Island.

HUDSON:     You're not gonna go.

COLUMBUS:     I don't know.  I don't think so.

HUDSON:     Best idea.

COLUMBUS:     She said she wants me to meet Alex.

HUDSON:     To meet Alex?  Trust me, you do not wanna meet Alex.

COLUMBUS:     Do you know Alex?

HUDSON:     Alex is bad for her.

COLUMBUS:     How do you know?

HUDSON:     I know.

    HUDSON resumes reading his magazine.
    COLUMBUS does nothing.

COLUMBUS:     Hey, wanna watch a movie?

HUDSON:     Yeah, maybe we could.

COLUMBUS:     Great.

HUDSON:     You got any better DVDs in yet?

COLUMBUS:     Sure, I got 'Taxi Driver' the other day.

HUDSON:     I saw it already.

COLUMBUS:     The special boxed Collectors Edition?

HUDSON:     I told you, I saw it already.

COLUMBUS:     Me too.  A hundred times.  But I could watch it a hundred more.

HUDSON:     Yeah?  I've seen it twice.  And twice was enough for me.

COLUMBUS:     But didn't you think it was amazing? 

HUDSON:     It was good, sure.

COLUMBUS:     Just 'good'?  You must wanna see it again?

HUDSON:     No, I do not wanna see it again.

COLUMBUS:     I'll go get it from my room.

HUDSON:     What else you got?

COLUMBUS:     'Goodfellas', 'Mean Streets', 'Gangs of New York'

HUDSON:     I thought you'd gotten over your Scorsese obsession.

COLUMBUS:     It's not an obsession.  I just can't stop watching his movies.

HUDSON:     Do you have anything by anyone else?

COLUMBUS:     '25th Hour', 'Requiem for a Dream'

HUDSON:     Seen them all.  Why don't you go rent something new?

COLUMBUS:     I guess I could.

HUDSON:     Choose something I'm gonna like.

COLUMBUS:     Like what?

HUDSON:     I don't know.  Just make sure you get it right.

COLUMBUS:     You gotta give me a better idea.

HUDSON:     I haven't gotta do anything.  For God's sake, you can't be left to do a simple thing by yourself.  Tell you what, I'll go.  Otherwise I don't know what shit you'll come back with.  You fix some food while I'm gone.

COLUMBUS:     Fix some food?  I don't know what to do.  You could pick up some pizza on your way back.

HUDSON:     You fix something here.  It'll do you good to try.

COLUMBUS:     But what am I supposed to do?

HUDSON:     I don't know.  Use your imagination.

COLUMBUS:     But I don't know what to do.

HUDSON:     I'm outa here.  Back in fifteen.
    HUDSON exits

    COLUMBUS stands mindlessly for a few seconds, then goes to the phone and dials a number from memory.

COLUMBUS:     Hey yeah.  This is Apartment 1523, 527 East 45th.  Can I get two Supreme twelve inchers plus two portions of pepperoni bread sticks.  Soon as.

    He puts the phone down and stands still for a few seconds.  The he goes to his bedroom and returns with the 'Taxi Driver' DVD, which he puts into the player.  He sits on the couch.

COLUMBUS:     One day I'm gonna write a screenplay as good as this.

    He watches and listens intently as the title music starts.  As the dialogue begins he mouths the words, in perfect unison with the actors.

    After a few seconds of dialogue he uses the remote to skip to a different chapter, again he mouths the words in perfect unison.  He skips to yet another chapter and again mouths the words.  He knows the exact dialogue no matter which chapter he skips to.  He is lost in the world of the movie, the isolation of the lead character.

    A buzz on the intercom interrupts.  He jumps up to answer it.

COLUMBUS:     Yeah?

PIZZA GUY:    [off]  Pizza.

COLUMBUS:     Okay, bring it up.

    He sits back down to continue watching the TV.

    There is a knock on the front door.  He sighs then gets up and opens the door.

    MADISON enters

(c) Sean Tyler 2016