scene from an untitled thing in which i leave.

JEFFREY

I was at the photocopier. At my job. With a company. What company? I don’t really know. What was my job? I don’t know that either. All I know is that I was photocopying a hundred packets of something for some meeting and when I got halfway through, I discovered that I’d accidentally copied the double-sided pages upside down, so that when you opened them, the packets went like THIS…

(He demonstrates with some
stapled pages.)

…instead of like THIS. Meanwhile, the damn thing was running out of toner, my phone was ringing off the hook, the meeting was in 20 minutes, I hadn’t eaten since, I don’t know, my bar mitzvah, and I had a pounding headache the size of an adorably large puppy, you know, like the one in the movie about the adorably large puppy who accidentally breaks a lot of shit and eats one of the family’s kids but they love it anyway? That one? Well, so, I kicked the shit out of the photocopier.

(He kicks the shit out
of the photocopier.)

Then it started to chase me.

(The photocopier turns
on him and he backs away,
fending it off with a
stapler as a weapon.
There are demonic whirring
sounds as the photocopier
attacks. He shouts over
the noise.)

Now you might think that this was a psychotic episode but it actually happened all the time! We had a mailroom guy wind up in the hospital with a broken clavicle for four months! Get the fuck away from me, you demonic piece of shit!

(Thinking quickly, he yanks
the plug and the photocopier
stops dead.)

I hated my stupid life and my stupid job so much that I used to have vivid daydreams of taking a dump on my boss’s desk and walking out. Well, I took a raincheck on the bowel movement and just walked out. Left my ID badge on my desk, took a vanilla yogurt out of the break-room fridge, and walked out of the building without saying a word to anyone. I didn’t know if those stupid fucking packets ever got finished. I didn’t know if my supervisor sent anyone to look for me. I didn’t even know whose yogurt it was. I didn’t care.

(The photocopier rolls away.
A duffel bag flies in.
Then, there is a cow.)

Somewhere in the middle of Pennsylvania, I finally threw away my cell phone. The battery had run out three days earlier but I was holding onto it out of some sense of security. But as I walked through miles and miles of dairy farms, I had an epiphany. The cows didn’t have cell phones. And they seemed perfectly fine. So now my phone is somewhere at the bottom of the Susquehanna River. It’s sort of poetic but not really, when you think about it.

(The St. Louis Gateway Arch
drops in from above.)

You know, I’d never even seen the Midwest. Can you believe it? Well, dammit, here was America! Here was the real world! And I was in it for the first time. In St. Louis, I realized something very important. My feet were tired. And airlines take credit cards.

(The Arch disappears and
is replaced by the Santa
Monica Pier.)

The Santa Monica Pier. To me, this was the end of the world. Land, land, land… and then, blue. Big, empty, open blue. Water. Wind. Sand. Fish.

(Booths roll in. Booths
with t-shirts, novelty items,
fishing gear, tacky tourist
trap stuff.)

And crap. Lots and lots of crap. You know what a Googlemap doesn’t really show you? Tourist traps. T-shirts and trucker hats, novelty sunglasses, ridiculously overpriced fried clams, an arcade with a wall of broken skee-ball machines, a 75-year-old hippie burnout selling spin-art, and on and on and on and on.

(It all rolls away except
for one booth with fishing
gear.)

But I didn’t care. I know it’s a tourist trap. Well, I didn’t know ahead of time, but I found out. You know what else I found out? Walk to the end. Walk all the way to the end. Go down the steps. Turn right. Go down the other steps. Now you’re under it, really. You’re under the pier.

(He grabs a fishing rod.)

I bought a fishing rod. I cast my line. It was just me. And the water. And the fish. And several Mexicans.

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