Short and sweet. I'm not in a good mood.
Been trying to convert a story I wrote into a radio play monologue. Needs to be about 30 min in length but I only have about 12. Here is a short excerpt of about 4 minutes. Enjoy. It's called The Glass Collector.
Old man speaks alone, reminiscing and extemporising.
I remember the time Polar Bear Mo was tricking the tourists into parting with their money,
using all the oldest in the book.
She had a pocket watch on a chain that was worth more than this house,
and it had one of those automatic winding mechanisms that keep the watch ticking as you move. Those types are normally only fitted to wristwatches and as a result she was late for everything.
(SNIFFS then CHUCKLES)
She used to collect bus journeys; wherever she went she would take the bus away and then back again. She wanted to see the parts of the world worthy enough to warrant public transport. Trams and trains too.
In a slow playful SING-SONG voice:
In those days everyone met up in the entrance doors to twenty-four hour stores. To keep the blood flowing we drank and swapped stories.
(SIPS drink, GULPS and EXHALES)
Anyway, Polar Bear Mo was what some would call a hustler. I called her “unfaithful” behind her back and “my love” to her face. Some days we endured hungry in the rain; others we enjoyed smoking expensive cigars and wining in the warmth.
As he UNSCREWS the lid from a bottle of whisky and pours a large glass:
Collected matchbooks, I did.
OLD MAN (CONT’D)
I always wanted one of them oak-panelled libraries filled to bursting with important leather books, and a box of cigars on my desk.
Probably never get it now.
See, there was a time when I had a future, now the future has got me by my balls. I used to sing and human-trumpet on street corners.
(Vocalises trumpet sounds a la Shooby Taylor, followed by coughing)
Very good I was too, if you like that sort of thing. Most people never got human-trumpeting. See, when you’ve got no trumpet you just scream and whatever comes out, well that’s trumpeting. Can’t do it now like. Too many years passed me, and the body and brain are sort of out of sync now.
Spoken with rapidly with unexpected enthusiasm:
Used to be different. Raking leaves, shoveling snow, tap-dancing, and bare-knuckling; done it all I have. The singing was my real passion but it’s a balance between what you do to live and what you live to do.
Write that down son, that’s a good one, you’ll not get much more like that.
(Sudden burst of LAUGHTER which ends abruptly)
Conceived on a slag heap I was. How’s that for a start? Don’t miss that out. So, born in the north I was, and moved all about this island. Except to Scotland. Never been to Wales either.
(GULP of whisky, hacking COUGH)
OLD MAN (CONT’D)
Big house with a garden; didn’t last long. This fella we called Chicken Legs lived next door with his wife. We called her Chicken Knickers. When I was seven she would give me bread and butter and let me try Chai and Lapsang Suchong with too much sugar. Never had much of a sweet tooth. Pepper and tobacco, that’s my constitution.
(A small SIP of whisky)
I was five, picking up old roll-ups and smoking them. Even liked to light matches and breathe in the smoke. I had a bottle of Guinness when I was about the same age. Never had seen liquid so black before. Thought it looked so special. No one mixed it, I mean missed it, when it was gone. Just used to help myself downstairs. My father kept a well stocked cellar. He had a bottle of Scotch from 1882 in a locked cupboard apparently. Never tried the stuff; one of my biggest regrets.
(Slow SIP of whisky, refills glass, another sip)
Then one day I got a camera. Big square box it was, with the legs attached. You had to hide under the cloak in the dark in order to see what you were pointing it at. I was only about ten, but I became the family’s official photographer. Accounts for why I’m not in any of the family photographs; It’s like I didn’t exist.