Scenes From a Life

SCENE: A VIETNAMESE RESTAURANT in Chinatown. REJECTIONIST and FRIEND are eating noodles. One wall of the restaurant is mirrored. REJECTIONIST is facing mirror.

REJECTIONIST FRIEND: ...so the premiere of The Next Generation is called "The Encounter at Far Point," and the plot is that Picard is the new captain of the Enterprise, and they go to investigate this, like, space base, Far Point Station...

LADY AT NEIGHBORING TABLE: ...applied to Yaddo, but I'm sure I won't get in--

HER DATE: Oh, you'll totally get in, your novel is so fantastic!

LADY AT NEIGHBORING TABLE: Do you think so?

HER DATE: Absolutely. It's fantastic.

LADY AT NEIGHBORING TABLE: (Bats eyelashes)

(REJECTIONIST perks up, stares at LADY AT NEIGHBORING TABLE and HER DATE in mirror)

FRIEND: Man, this town is fucking lousy with writers. Anyway, it turns out that the aliens on this planet have kidnapped a creature that can turn itself into any shape and they're making it turn itself into a spaceport and the creature's lover comes flying around in space, so the captain releases the space port alien and it turns into like a marine mammal type of thing, or a sting ray I think, and they go off together, it's a romantic kind of ending. I might remember the last line. I think the empathic lady--

REJECTIONIST: Is that Whoopi Goldberg?

FRIEND: No, Counselor Troy. I think she says that she senses joy and gratitude or something. Oh and then there's "Darmok and Jalad at Tanagra"--that one they're trying to make contact with this culture no one has been able to communicate with and Captain Picard gets beamed down to this planet, and he and this alien he can't talk to have to band together to defend themselves against this monster, but then Picard figures out the aliens communicate by referencing stories. That one's really good.

LADY AT NEIGHBORING TABLE: ...I mean I don't want this to be, you know, like a commercial thing--I am just so opposed to that, you know? I mean I just don't want to compromise on anything. I wouldn't feel right. But I think a romantic interest would still be in keeping with my vision, you know? I think romantic intrigue can really create tension. You know, make it so much more salable? (LADY AT NEIGHBORING TABLE stares significantly at HER DATE) I mean, you know what I mean? Romantic intrigue?

HER DATE: Romantic intrigue, yes, yes, I think romantic intrigue is very important. (Stares significantly at LADY AT NEIGHBORING TABLE)

FRIEND: Then of course there's the time when Picard got turned into a Borg, that was a really good one--

REJECTIONIST: (Leaning toward LADY AT NEIGHBORING TABLE and HER DATE, about to fall out of her chair) Mmmmm.

FRIEND: Are you listening?

REJECTIONIST: To them? Yes.

FRIEND: To me. That episode--

REJECTIONIST: SSSSSSHHHHHH

HER DATE: Have you thought about showing your novel to Emily?

LADY AT NEIGHBORING TABLE: Oh god, Emily, you know the trouble with Emily is that she is so fixated on voice. I never show my work to Emily if I can help it.

HER DATE: That was pretty weird in workshop, the other week, when she started in on you--

LADY AT NEIGHBORING TABLE: Emily is a bitch.

REJECTIONIST FRIEND: (Thoughtfully) I used to be sort of closeted about it, but I'm not really embarrassed about my feelings for TNG anymore--

REJECTIONIST: Do you have a pen?

REJECTIONIST FRIEND: What? Why?

REJECTIONIST: I need to write this down! Where is my pen! (Rummages frantically through bag)

REJECTIONIST FRIEND: (Confused) They're all on Netflix, I think. I can tell you the names of the ones you should wa--

REJECTIONIST: SSSSHHHHHHHHHH

FIN