Excerpt from “Intensifying Hearts & Dreams” – season 16, episode 1

IHD4.png

Int: the Intensifying Hearts Club & Leisure Centre, in the women’s bathroom.

The women of the town – SALINA the rooster, MARCIA the mental case, MONICA the lovestruck fool, PENELOPE the betrayed lover, MADAME MORGANNA the matriarch, EDITOR the complainer, and a number of unnamed ones – are gathered in the bathroom. All of the women except for MADAME MORGANNA are in full histrionic meltdown.

PENELOPE

A new girl? A new girl in our town?

 

MONICA

That’s right. A beautiful one, too.

 

PENELOPE

PAULETTE…. Her name is.. PAULETTE!!?

 

MONICA

It is, I’m afraid. She is PAULETTE, the new girl who just arrived to our town a few hours ago.

 

A collective gasp ripples through the women except for MADAME MORGANNA, who rolls her eyes.

MADAME MORGANNA

Oh, dear girls. Bring your womanly minds in order.

 

SALINA

How you can say that, MADAME? Don’t you get what a big threat is coming to our way?

 

PENELOPE

If it is true that a beautiful girl has come to town, all our glamorous love lives are in jeopardy. All my work in convincing the love of my life, JEAN-PIERRE, just how good for him I would be, could be undone in an instant.

 

SALINA

SALINA is totally worried that my angel, ANGÉL, will be stolen away!!! This is big crisis!

 

MONICA

While I am a strong, independent woman who considers petty jealousy and infighting very opposed to my feminist ideals, I can’t help but be instinctively worried. I am also trying to win a fine man, but I can’t… Talk about it…

 

She glances at SALINA.

MADAME MORGANNA

Ah, having it both ways… The stratagem of today’s girl.

 

MARCIA

Wait, what was happening? A newcomer that we all are talking about… Is she come from the interior to snatch away my love PJALTUR again?

 

EDITOR

Try to relax, dear. Don’t worry about PJALTUR for now. I think everyone who is listening is slightly sick of your constant going on about that man. He hasn’t been seen for quite a while; maybe it’s time to move on? It doesn’t make sense for you to still be hung up on this.

 

MARCIA

Buh whah?

 

EDITOR

In any case, I agree with MONICA. It is silly to squabble over someone moving to town. I mean, I am scared too. But realistically, the addition of one person, no matter how lovely, isn’t really that likely to have much of an impact on us personally.

 

MADAME MORGANNA

It is good to hear at least one of you young ladies speaking sense. Why EDITOR, for some reason I didn’t even realize that you were a woman.

 

EDITOR

I don’t parade my womanly charms around. I’m really more interested in continuity, keeping people on track, making sure we all stay sensible people in a sensible town. There is no need for metaphysical thinking or trying to be something we’re not. All this fretting borders on self-parody.

 

SALINA

Stuff of nonsense!! Pretty girl is coming and we gotta PROTECT OURSELF’S!

 

PENELOPE

I think the best thing to do would be to round up all the men, and put them in some sort of locked hangar or pen, and let the women take turns in keeping watch. We could give the men a couple of magazines and maybe a toy car to entertain them. And we could perhaps get them food from the club…

 

EDITOR

I don’t know you, for instance. I think you’re in the wrong place.

 

MADAME MORGANNA

Really now, girls. This is all most dreadfully unbecoming and unladylike. Why don’t we all go back to the bar, and MADAME MORGANNA will buy you all some colourful drinkies?

 

PENELOPE

And then we could corner this new “beautiful girl”, perhaps in a dark alley, and see if she’s really all that.

 

PAULETTE (off camera)

Oh I am indeed all that… And more! You can be sure of that.

 

All the women whirl around to face the doorway. There stands PAULETTE JING – a petite but self-assured woman. She is wearing pants instead of a skirt, but she is still quite womanly indeed. She has the air of a newcomer who just this instant arrived in the place where she is – maybe this is circumstantial, maybe that is how she always seems – with her black, short trenchcoat and her quite chique red scarf. She is of asian-white mixed genetical descent. She has black hair, freckles, and a red velvet eyepatch over her right eyesocket. She wears an amused facial expression and immediately seems to catch MADAME MORGANNA’s discerning and sarcastical eye.

EDITOR

No no no. This is all wrong. This woman is clearly not right for our town.

 

MONICA

You are PASTOR JING’s niece, PAULETTE JING?

 

PAULETTE

Indeed I am. I don’t know who you are, and I don’t suppose it will matter in the end. My dear uncle kindly asked me to return from the interior to join him in making some business deals on a high, luxury level.

 

MARCIA

The interior….! This woman is dangerous. Where are you PJALTUR oh dear god come to me now. Where is love and happiness? Where are those special things?

 

MADAME MORGANNA

(To herself)

I don’t know what the girls were worried about, this young lady seems to be delightful.

 

PAULETTE

I like this town and its quaint little club. I imagine I shall stay for at least a while. From what I gather, uncle is embroiled in a complex political plot – how I’ve been waiting to set my teeth into some juicy small town drama!

 

MONICA

You better stay away from the men, or bad things will come your way!

 

MADAME MORGANNA

Be quiet, you silly child. You are making us all out to be foolish. Don’t embarrass the womanhood of this town in front of an interesting newcomer!

 

EDITOR

Too self-aware in being ”interesting” by far. Pretentious. Rewrite.

 

MADAME MORGANNA

I at least would like to welcome you. I have known your uncle for any number of years, and I could give you some pointers as to the goings on behind the scenes as well. Shall we take our leave of these hysterical, jealous little girls?

 

PAULETTE

(Laughs)

Well, why not, I suppose. Never did I imagine that I would be hit on by the local matriarch mere hours after arriving. My oh my, PAULETTE, what have you got yourself into this time? It reminds me of the time I solved the LUXURY CLAM CRISIS in the Middle Americas. Just another chapter in my life of throwing myself head-first into whatever silly old adventure comes my way.

 

MADAME MORGANNA

Well then, dear. Shall we? There are fruity, neon-coloured drinks with our names on them.

 

SALINA

You gonna to sell us all out, MADAME!? What this is, you don’t have loyalty?

 

SALINA waves her arms around and jumps up and down.

PAULETTE

(Under her breath)

Is that girl quite all right?

 

MADAME MORGANNA

Oh, don’t worry about SALINA. She is a sports journalist.

 

PAULETTE

Aha.

 

MADAME MORGANNA puts an arm around PAULETTE’s shoulders. They leave the bathroom together.

PENELOPE

I didn’t dare to speak at all. I’m so dumbfounded.

 

EDITOR

Someone will have to have a word with the Committee about this. Steps will have to be taken, plans put in motion…

 

MARCIA

(Pathetic sniffling and whimpering)

 

Int: the Intensifying Hearts Club & Leisure Centre, in the lobby.

MADAME MORGANNA and PAULETTE exit into the bustling lobby and walk towards the entrance to the bar room. They have to cross a small, rudimentary bridge over the gaping chasm where the SPIRIT VOID tore the Club asunder during FRANK’s experiment.

MADAME MORGANNA

(Conspiratorially)

As I’m sure you will have noticed, dearie, this town has its peculiarities. The thing to understand is the three main seats of power here. You have a man called DADDY on one side. He runs many aspects of life in this town, including this Club, and is under the protection of FRANK himself. This is the faction your uncle belongs to. Then on the other hand you have the Committee. They are the de facto government of this town, they serve Big Lord God and they have their own rituals and laws. A bloated, ancient organisation, they move slowly and are prevented from really staying on top of things by their insular and bureaucratical nature. Finally, THE MAYOR. Merely a decorative office without real power. Instead of working in the open, he runs a secret society called MYSTERY MASK which does his bidding. Many people are under the delusion that this criminal organisation is a person, but MADAME MORGANNA worked out the truth quite a while ago. And just when you speak of the sweet Satan…

 

They have reached the door to the bar room, and find themselves face-to-face with THE MAYOR himself.

THE MAYOR

Hell on wheels, what do we have here? I do believe I’ve found myself a sweet chica!

 

PAULETTE

(Laughs)

What the everloving fuck are you supposed to be?

 

THE MAYOR

Well excuse an old compadre stricken with the railroad fever! I have the distinction of being mayor and top dog of this here desert town, see.

 

PAULETTE

Your lingo needs some sprucing up, my little friend. The cowboy fetish is cute, but you need to work on your authenticity.

 

THE MAYOR

Well, bambina, a little birdie once sang these words into mine ears: authenticity is the crutch of literal-minded non-surrealists and political prisoners.

 

MADAME MORGANNA

MAYOR, go forth and leave us be, if you would be so kind. We have urgent business with some fine refreshments in yon bar. I do believe FRANK told me you are banned from the Club, in any case.

 

THE MAYOR

I was just here discussing terms of the Club’s surrender to THE MAYOR’S MUNCH HOUSE. It’s just a matter of time until I strike the gold vein on this whole culinary business. I hope to see you take up my standing invitation, by the way, MADAME! And please bring your stunning friend.

 

MADAME MORGANNA

This is PAULETTE. And I will take up your invitation the day you start serving actual food that exists in reality, you shuddering dolt. Come, dear, we will be stuck here all evening if we don’t put the lad out of his misery. Ciao!

 

THE MAYOR

Bah I say.

 

PAULETTE

(Laughs)

Well, bye! Nice meeting you I guess…

 

They walk through the double doors to the bar room.

Int: the Intensifying Hearts Club & Leisure Centre, at the bar

They enter the bar room and walk up to the bar.

PAULETTE

So which faction do you belong to yourself, MADAME?

 

MADAME MORGANNA

I like to think of myself as a retired hairdresser, far out of the reach of ludicrous men and their gossip. Now, dear, I am quite opposed to DADDY’s gang of corrupt shamans, but I don’t at all mind your uncle. In fact, if you and I were to put our shrewd female minds together, I am sure we can gain some influence over important matters through the good PASTOR. In order to do this…

 

Their conversation continues in whispers as they sit down at the bar. On the TV display above the bar, the soap opera ”Modern Love” is playing. The arch villain is in the middle of a dramatic monologue.

HENRY (On TV)

…and soon, leadership of the bakery will be in my grasp at last!

 

He strikes a pose and raises his fist dramatically.

HENRY (On TV)

Never again will my deeds be impeded by that dastardly JEAN-PIERRE! I have his parents’ inheritance, I have all but gained hold of the bakery itself, no way could the Socialist Board of Culinary Safety Standards and Pastry Practices get in my way again! The Food Government itself will soon be in reach! I AM ALL AND ANY THING THERE IS!!! BY MY FIST SHALL THE FIRMAMENTS CRUMBLE AND THE ECONOMY OF BAKED GOODS SOAR!!! THE WORLD IS MINE!!! ALL IS MINE!!! I SHALL BE ALL!!! ALL SHALL BE ME!!!

 

As HENRY continues ranting on screen, the camera pans away from the TV and up towards the ceiling of the Club. Hidden among the rafters and electrical wires above, a multitude of MYSTERY MASKS are hanging upside down, wrapped in their black cloaks, some sleeping, some diligently observing the goings on at the Club…

(CONT)

Advertisements

One thought on “Excerpt from “Intensifying Hearts & Dreams” – season 16, episode 1

  1. Pingback: Excerpt from “Intensifying Hearts & Dreams” – season 15, episode 100 | a truth called nothing

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s