Eclectic Voices

Fiction, Monologues, Plays & More

The Conversation About The Glass: Part 1

JOHN STILES (20s) walks through a residential neighborhood. He has short, spiky hair and a casual style. He approaches a small duplex and shouts up at the windows.
JOHN: Andrea!

ANDREA MILLER (20s) is young and attractive, wearing a camisole and comfortable pants with a towel around her head. She sits cross-legged on the floor in front of an old framed mirror leaned against the wall, putting on make up.

JOHN (O.S.): Yo, Andrea!

Andrea rolls her eyes and heaves a sigh. She shouts back in the general direction of the open window.

ANDREA: John, is that you?

She gets up and heads downstairs. BLACK SCREEN – TITLE CARD: The Conversation About the Glass

Andrea opens the front door and gives John a look.

ANDREA: The doorbell works just fine, you know.

JOHN: Yeah, I know.

He pushes past her into the apartment.

ANDREA: Hello to you too.

ANDREA: Make yourself a drink or something. I’ll be out in a while.

She enters her bedroom and shuts the door.

John enters and pulls a tall glass out of the cupboard. He pulls a bottle of vodka from the freezer and pours some in the glass. He tops it off with some juice from the fridge.

John walks back into the living room stirring his drink with a spoon. He plops down on the couch, puts his feet up on the coffee table, and turns on the TV with a remote. After a few moments, Andrea emerges from her room, mostly made up. The towel is gone, but her hair is still damp.
When she sees his feet on the table she gives him another look, but he doesn’t notice. He never even looks up from the TV.

ANDREA: What are you doing?

JOHN: Watching a movie.

She stares at him a moment longer before giving up and sitting on the couch next to him. She rummages through a marbled glass bowl under the table looking for her brush.

ANDREA: So are we taking my car or yours?

John is still entranced by the TV.

JOHN: Huh?

ANDREA: Whose car are we taking?

JOHN: Yours.

Andrea looks at him for a moment.

ANDREA: I don’t know where this place is.

JOHN: I’ll drive.

Andrea glares at him. He still hasn’t looked away from the TV.

JOHN (CONT’D): You don’t know where it is.

ANDREA: Where is it?

JOHN: I don’t know, a house in the hills somewhere. I’ll find it.

Andrea gathers her brush and stands.

ANDREA: This is a brilliant plan.

JOHN: I’ll find it.

She heads back into her room.

ANDREA: I hope you’re going to be this much fun all night. I can’t wait.

JOHN: What?

ANDREA: Nothing!
She closes the door. He still hasn’t looked away from the TV.

John drives. Neither of them speaks. She looks bored, he looks apathetic.

A large party fills the house, with many faceless extras milling about, or talking in groups. Music thumps out from another room. John and Andrea sit together on a nice couch, each holding a drink. They watch the party with disinterest. Andrea still looks bored. John breaks the silence.

JOHN: So you’re at a party…

ANDREA: Yes. Yes we are.

JOHN: No, I mean like hypothetically.

ANDREA: Also actually.

JOHN: I’m trying to make conversation.

ANDREA: Oh. Well, please…

JOHN: So you’re at a party and you see a glass.

ANDREA: What kind of party?

JOHN: What?

ANDREA: What kind of party is it?

JOHN: It’s a hypothetical situation, what does that matter?

ANDREA: All sorts of reasons?

JOHN: Such as?

ANDREA: Is it a rave? A kegger? A formal dinner party?

JOHN: I’m just talking about the glass. What difference would the kind of party make?

ANDREA: Well, if you’re just talking about the glass, then I at least need to know if this is a ‘red plastic cup’ party or an ‘actual glass glass’ party.

John gives her a look.

ANDREA (CONT’D): I’m trying to participate in the conversation. I want to picture the glass correctly in my hypothetical mind.

JOHN: Is there anything else you’d like to know?

ANDREA: Is there anybody at this party more interesting than you?

JOHN: Very funny.

ANDREA: Details, man. Details.

JOHN: Fine. It’s an ‘actual glass glass’ kind of party.

ANDREA: Well is it a wine glass? A snifter? A highball? What?

JOHN: Jesus. Look. The glass isn’t really important. It’s what’s in the glass that’s important.

ANDREA: Fine. What’s in the glass?

JOHN: I don’t know. Beer. Water. Whatever. It’s not important.

ANDREA: Do you have the slightest idea what’s important in this ‘hypothetical situation’?

JOHN: If you would quit interrupting me, we could have been done with this by now.

ANDREA: Please, proceed. Perhaps we might discover a point to all this.

JOHN: The point is the glass is half full.

ANDREA: God. Really?

She rolls her eyes and stirs her drink.

JOHN: Yes. Now some people would say the glass is half full…

ANDREA: Like you did just now.

JOHN: Right. And some people would say the glass is half empty.

ANDREA: Here it comes…

JOHN: So the question is – are you a ‘glass half empty’ or a ‘glass half full’ person?

ANDREA: Well, since you said it was half full in your original description, I’d have to take you at your word and go with that as my answer.

JOHN: No. I mean without any prejudicial from me.

She sighs.

ANDREA: It depends.

JOHN: ‘It depends’? What do you mean, ‘it depends’. Depends on what?

ANDREA: It depends on the extenuating circumstances. The details which you have so carelessly left out.

JOHN: Such as?

ANDREA: Such as, is anyone sitting next to it?

JOHN: What does that have to do with anything?

ANDREA: Well, if someone is sitting next to it, then it’s probably their drink, and thus ‘half empty’.

JOHN: No one is anywhere near the glass.

ANDREA: Does it have any lipstick on it? Are there any smudges? Backwash? Is there a cigarette butt in it? I mean, who even makes half a drink, anyway?

JOHN: Would you just try to focus? There’s no lipstick, no cigarette, no smudges. Just a pristine glass containing fifty percent beverage and fifty percent air. Do you say it’s half full or half empty?

ANDREA: Why, pray tell, would I even care?

JOHN: I don’t know, you might want to drink it.

He drains his drink.

ANDREA: Why wouldn’t I just get my own drink?

JOHN: It’s a hypothetical situation.

ANDREA: It’s a really stupid hypothetical situation.

JOHN: See, I think you’re a ‘glass half empty’ kind of person.

ANDREA: That’s kind of jumping to conclusions, don’t you think?

JOHN: All for your speculations about the glass have been negative. Lipstick, smudges, cigarette butts. Clearly your inclination is to say the glass is half empty.

She pauses, weary of this.

ANDREA: What does any of this even mean, John?

JOHN: What do you mean, ‘what does it mean’.

She turns to face him.

A child could see that this is all meant to reveal some heretofore hidden aspect of my character. Something negative, apparently. So again I ask, what is the point of all this?

He shrugs.

JOHN: I don’t know.

ANDREA: That doesn’t make you look too terribly bright, don’t you think? Getting me to participate in this ludicrous mental exercise without even knowing what my various responses might mean.

JOHN: If you say the glass is half full, you’re an optimist, if you say it’s half empty, you’re a pessimist.

ANDREA: That was your whole point? That I’m a pessimist?

JOHN: I think you would, unprompted, describe the glass as half empty. The facts seem to bear me out on that.

ANDREA: Are you always this charming, or do you occasionally stoop lower than openly insulting me?

To Be Continued…


Sean Kozma is a writer, sound designer, and audio technician living in Los Angeles, and working in professional theatre. He also works behind the camera on independent films as production manager, assistant director, and line producer. Originally hailing from southeast Michigan, he has worked as a dishwasher, a fry cook, a delivery driver, a taxicab driver, a dispatcher, an engraver, and an office drone. He is currently writing a novel, among other projects.

3 comments on “The Conversation About The Glass: Part 1

  1. b00kreader
    September 9, 2013

    I can completely see her face right now 50% disgust 50% agitation. Now I guess I’m the pessimist 🙂

  2. seankozma
    September 10, 2013

    Thanks for your comment! That sounds about right. Wait until you read Andrea’s reaction to the whole conversation, and what happens after, in Part 2.

  3. seankozma
    November 20, 2013

    Reblogged this on Harsh Language and commented:
    Originally part of a larger screenplay that was ultimately not very good. This short section of it was one of the first parts of it I wrote, and one of the few sections I still like.

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This entry was posted on September 9, 2013 by in Playwriting and tagged , , , , , , , , .
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