Episode 9: “Impressions” – Transcript

MonkeyTales – Episode 9 – “Impressions”
by Evan Tess Murray

Listen to the Episode Here

FADE IN: EXT. CITY STREETS AT NIGHT

We are in a small city, a brick alleyway. We hear traffic go by outside the alley occasionally, a splash as a car drives through a puddle. Maybe a crosswalk sign, the sound of a flickering streetlight. An occasional roll of thunder in the distance; the rain has only just stopped.


We hear a distant shout, then two sets of footsteps on wet pavement and splashing through a puddle as TALI and TREY run into the alley.


TREY

Here – this way –

They duck into a doorway and lean against the wall, breathing hard for a moment. Their breaths slow.


TALI

Will they – those men – will they follow us here?


TREY

No. I don’t think so.


TALI

Why – why not? There are enough of them…


TREY

It would require actual effort. They don’t care that much.


TALI

So that was, what, an attack of opportunity? We were just convenient targets?


TREY

Something like that. Uh…  this isn’t my first rodeo.


TALI

This is a shitty rodeo.


TREY

Welcome to my world.


TREY lights a cigarette.


TREY

Mind if I smoke?


TALI laughs bitterly.


TALI

Do you really think I’m worried about that right now?


TREY

Just thought I’d check.


TALI

Here, give me a drag.


TREY

You smoke?


TALI

No. You do?

TREY

Not really. Just for camouflage.


TALI

I…  kind of hate that you have to think about that.


TREY

I mean, they don’t usually go in for actual assault. Tonight was special.


TALI

I guess that’s something.


TREY

Listen, I’m sorry. It was just supposed to be dinner, drinks, maybe –


TALI

I did say I liked trying new things.


TREY

Hey. I can tell you’re trying to be okay with this. You don’t have to be.


TALI

…I can still feel my heart in my throat.


TREY

Yeah, that’s a good thing. You want to be alive.


TALI

You, um. You don’t look scared.


TREY

You get used to it, after a while.


TALI

Do you really?


TREY

Or maybe I’m just always afraid? Could be either.


TALI

That’s…  grim.


TREY

I just figure one of these days will be the time they get me. You can’t panic forever, you know?

TALI

Tell that to my heart rate.

TREY

You are the final result of a million years of evolutionary ancestors whose hearts raced in terror and who managed to hide from danger and survive.

TALI

That’s…  actually kind of reassuring.

TREY

Yeah, it’s what I tell myself.

TREY coughs. A car door slams nearby and TALI jumps.

TALI
Oy! Dio mio!

We hear laughter and footsteps

TREY

Tranquila! It’s not them.

TALI

Sorry. I know, I know. I guess I’m still on edge.

TREY

Yeah. It’s okay. I’m sorry – I didn’t know you spoke Spanish.
 

We hear a roll of thunder and the rain picks up.

TALI

I’m glad we picked this doorway – at least it’s dry.

TREY

Looks like we either sit here a while or get pretty wet.

TALI

(with a sudden grin)

…did you do that on purpose?

TREY

What? Fuck. No! It’s – rain – water…  water is wet!

TALI laughs openly at TREY’s sputtering. We hear them both sit down on the steps as it continues to rain.

TREY

Hey, Tali?

TALI

Yeah?

TREY

I really was enjoying our date.

TALI laughs.

TALI

Is now the time?

TREY

I mean, I kind of assumed this was my only chance.

TALI

(disbelieving)

You’re really asking if I want to go out again?

TREY

Fuck no. I’m telling you I like you and I’m sorry this is how…  things go sometimes.

TALI

Trey, you’re really cool and interesting and if I wasn’t still pretty scared I’d probably enjoy being huddled in a doorway with you hiding from, like, the rain.

TALI

That’s not what we’re hiding from.

TREY

It is now. They won’t be back.

TALI

I’m trying to trust you but this is new territory for me.

An uncomfortable moment.

TREY

Listen, it’s just a little rain, we won’t melt. I’ll walk you home and bounce.

TALI

No no no – I didn’t say –

TREY

I get it. This is my reality. It doesn’t have to be yours.

TALI

It should be. It’s not fair, that I’ve been able to just – hide. I’ve been hiding a long time.

TREY

Nothing wrong with that. It’s a shitty world. Sometimes.

TALI

How often is sometimes?

TREY

Usually it’s smaller – a few shouted words, slammed doors. Disgusted looks. They cover their kids’ eyes. Nothing serious.

TALI

Fuck.

TREY

I mean… nothing dangerous. (beat) Listen. I get what they see when they look at me. I see it too.

TALI

What – what do you mean?

TREY

I don’t fit. I never will. So it’s easy for them to see me as not quite a person. (beat) Sometimes I agree with them on that. (beat) It’s okay if you don’t get it.

TALI

I…  probably get it better than you think.

TREY

Yeah?

TALI

I mean, this isn’t first-date stuff.

TREY

Is this still a first date?

TALI

I guess we could say the date ended around the time that guy grabbed you.

TREY

Definitely ruined the mood.

TALI

How can you joke about this?

TREY

Sorry. So…  you wanted to tell me something?

TALI

Never mind. It’s not the same.

TREY

Doesn’t have to be.

TALI

But…  I know what people see when they look at me, too.

TREY

I… I don’t think I understand.

TALI

Well, I’m pretty. Small. Quiet. I wear just enough makeup that no one tells me I’d be prettier if I wore makeup.

TREY

That’s…  a different tightrope.

TALI

I used to work in a bar where the restrooms were labeled “predators” and “prey.”

TREY

What. The. Fuck.

TALI

Yep.

TREY

I mean there’s never a bathroom for me but.

TALI

Yeah. The prey tipped better.

TREY

Why were you – never mind, none of my business.

TALI

(suddenly less feminine; more wry)

Working in a piece of shit dive bar that made its money as an advertisement for date rape?

TREY

Yeah, that.

TALI

I burned some bridges, had to make rent.

TREY

That’s real.

TALI

That’s where I learned to go unnoticed.

TREY

I noticed you.

TALI

I wanted you to. Which is, frankly, new. And terrifying.

TREY

Guess I just come with terror on all sides.

TALI

Not what I meant. But anyway, yeah. Staying safe meant women’s clothes, but not too revealing. A man on my arm, just possessive enough that the others stayed away. Hair that was fashionable and on trend but still professional. Heels and highlights.

TREY

It’s…  armor.

TALI

Yeah. Pretty much. I kind of hate it.

TREY

Whoa. So – wait, can I even ask about this right now?

TALI

I wouldn’t have brought it up, if…

TREY

If this – if this isn’t how you want to look out in the world, what is?

TALI

You know, I have no idea. More makeup? Less? Shave my head? Shit-kicking boots?  Or is that just different armor?

TREY

Hey, there’s nothing wrong with being pretty, if you want to be.

TALI

That’s what I used to tell my daughter.

TREY

Wait, what?

TALI

That pretty is a thing you choose. So sometimes people decide they want to be pretty.

TREY

I got that part. I didn’t know you had a kid.

TALI

Had.

TREY

Oh.

TALI

Yeah. Not first-date stuff.

TREY

This isn’t a first date. But seriously – don’t tell me your life just because we went through something dangerous together.

TALI

It’s called trauma bonding.

TREY

Is it.

TALI

Yeah, and you’re absolutely right. We should save the huge personal revelations for the next date.

TREY

The next date?

TALI

Listen, I’m not saying this is the beginning of a beautiful romance.

TREY

Okay.

TALI

But you’re going to walk me home now, and then you’re going to show up on…  Sunday. Let’s say Sunday.

TREY

I can be free on Sunday.

TALI

And we’re going to have brunch at my place like people whose first date wasn’t ruined by half a dozen bigoted assholes.

TREY

I like this part where you order me around.

TALI

I think I might also be descended from a long line of ancestors who knew what they wanted.

TREY

Hey, Tali?

TALI

Yeah Trey?

TREY

I like this plan a lot.

TALI

You mean the plan where we don’t let them win? I like it too.

TREY

Vamos?

TALI

I mean this doorway is pretty much home now but – yeah, I have the real kind.

TREY
Legit.

TALI
This way.  Well?


TALI leads the way as they head out of the alley. We hear them walk away; our point of view stays in the alley, and the last thing we hear is their laughter, distant.

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