Rock-Biter

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In a post-apocalyptic NYC, Constance Brickhouse lands her first real job at an ad agency after letting a family friend jerk off in her hair. Her grandmother with whom she lives is disappointed - she can’t die until Constance finds someone else on the planet to love her. In the meantime, a homeless man who lives in the basement of their apartment building and on the run from the cops asks to take refuge with the two women. Love presents itself to Constance in the form of Chernus, a new exec at the agency where Constance is quickly making a name for herself. But can this innocent love survive a culture that conspires to destroy it? Very loosely based on Buchner's Woyzeck.

Read Sample

SCENE IX

Chernus lifts on the light switch and stands in the center of his one-room apartment, Constance following...

Live rats in cages are strewn about the room.

Chernus stands there facing Constance…Who hasn’t fully entered the room.

CHERNUS
So.

So um.

Yeah.

I’m really sorry about the rats.

I um. I live in a shithole?

And uh. I have rats? I don’t want them living with me but what, they shouldn’t live? At first I got traps. Like 2 traps. And I caught them? But then I let them go like outside. And I just felt like the same ones were coming back. Like I was like like I was like, dude, I know that was you here yesterday. So I just bought a couple of cages and I just figure they could stay here so long as they don’t impinge on me.

But things are going to be different soon. Things are gonna change. I’m not gonna get fired for the 7th time. I’m gonna get some money together and change my surroundings. Look at my surroundings, it’s a shit-hole. This is terrible. You shouldn’t be here. This is a shit-hole. It’s unsanitary. You should leave.

CONSTANCE
Do you want to see my portfolio.

CHERNUS
Yeah.

They sit down
Constance pulls out her portfolio.
Chernus is proud to receive it.
He opens it.

CHERNUS
This is cool it’s a woman nursing a baby and stepping on a house.

CONSTANCE
No it’s not it’s an airplane.

He flips.

CHERNUS
This is cool it’s a woman flying and pulling up buildings.

CONSTANCE
It’s abstract.

Flips.

CHERNUS
This is cool. It’s a. Frog?

CONSTANCE
Yeah that’s a frog. It was for a law firm.

CHERNUS
You’re really good at what you do. You should win the award.

CONSTANCE
No.

CHERNUS
Yeah.

CONSTANCE
Nah.

CHERNUS
The most important thing to me right now. Is that I win the award. And that I keep this job. And get out of this shit hole. Those are the most important things in the world to me. Job. Award. Out of shit-hole.
(Re. The portfolio)
What is this?

CONSTANCE
Oh that’s. That’s just Rock-Biter.

CHERNUS
That’s

CONSTANCE
It’s a Rock-Biter. It was for a health insurance company. He’s made of rock.

CHERNUS
He’s scary

CONSTANCE
No he’s not.

CHERNUS
He looks scary

CONSTANCE
He’s not.

CHERNUS
He’s big and

CONSTANCE
No.

CHERNUS
And he’s got like a like a steamroller

CONSTANCE
No not a

CHERNUS
He looks like he’s gonna steamroll

CONSTANCE
Yes but no

CHERNUS
He could be dangerous

CONSTANCE
He’s not dangerous

CHERNUS
But he could be

CONSTANCE
He isn’t

CHERNUS
He’s fucking scary

CONSTANCE
He’s not scary. He’s good.

CHERNUS
He doesn’t look like he’s good

CONSTANCE
He is though he’s nice and good

CHERNUS
With that big mouth

CONSTANCE
And nice. He’s nice. And sweet. And good.

CHERNUS
He seems scar/y

CONSTANCE
Listen. He’s nice and sweet and nice and good. And sweet and good.

CHERNUS
No but he seems//scary

CONSTANCE
Ok. I know she-he seems like scary? But he’s not really scary.

CHERNUS
I don’t think so

CONSTANCE
Yes.

CHERNUS
No.

CONSTANCE
What

CHERNUS
Yes?

CONSTANCE
What?

Chernus is about to say something…

CHERNUS
No.

CONSTANCE
What what what were you going to say

CHERNUS
Nothin

CONSTANCE
But what were you going to say

He’s about to speak…

CHERNUS
No

CONSTANCE
What

He’s about to speak…

CHERNUS
No.

CONSTANCE
What

He’s about to speak…

CHERNUS
No.

CONSTANCE
Tell me

CHERNUS
No

CONSTANCE
What?

CHERNUS
No.

CONSTANCE
Ok.

CHERNUS
What?

CONSTANCE
No

They look at each other.

CHERNUS
I was just going to say that we’re on 37th street. That I live on 37th street. You know.

CHERNUS
And I feel I can take off my suit? When I’m above 14th street.

CONSTANCE
You want me to take off my suit!?

CHERNUS
When I’m above 14th //street

She jumps up and rips off the protective suit.

CHERNUS
I… think… it’s safe… to change….

She stands there...
without her suit…

He looks at her…

There is silence.

He very slowly gets up...

He faces her…

The look at each other.

He looks down at the zipper of his protective suit…

And just as he puts his hand on the zipper…

She rushes into him and kisses him tenderly.

He slowly unzips his suit and steps out of it.

She unbuttons her shirt.
She steps out of her pants.

He pulls off his shirt.
He steps out of his pants.

They make such nice love.

CHERNUS
I don’t care about my job anymore. Or the award anymore. Or even that this is a shithole anymore.

CONSTANCE
Huh?

CHERNUS
I don’t care about my job anymore//or the award

CONSTANCE
I thought you said they were the most important things.

CHERNUS
Yes but No. You should win the award. At the ceremony. It should be you.

CONSTANCE
Yeah?

CHERNUS
Yes.
I love you.

Silence.

I’ve been fired from every job I’ve ever had. Which is why I try not to make any decisions. Every time I make a decision I get fired. When I worked on 57th street I got for being too edgy by now I’m more attentive to the needs of others. But I got fired from my job on 34th street for being a drone so who could make heads or tails of it. When I worked on 112th street I thought I was moving up until I got fired for cracking under pressure which got me to working down on 9th street and but they fired me over there for insubordination and being a pain in the ass so then I worked down on 17th street on the west side but got fired for being a lazy bastard. And then I worked on 96th but got fired for I don’t know. It’s to the point that when I walk into work in the morning I think “I’m going to do something wrong today. I just don’t know what it is yet”. Got fired from my job on the Bowery for bah be di bah. When I worked up 66th got fired for this that and the other thing. Worked in Queens once. They said I was la-di-da. La-di-da.

CONSTANCE
I’m not on any birth control

CHERNUS
What!?

CONSTANCE
I’m sorry.

CHERNUS
It’s ok.

CONSTANCE
Yeah?

CHERNUS
…Yeah it’s ok.

They sit.
CONSTANCE
Are you scared.

CHERNUS
Yeah.

CONSTANCE
I’m sorry.

CHERNUS
But it’s ok.

CONSTANCE.
I love you.

They lay in silence.

CONSTANCE
We can’t afford a baby.

SCENE CONTINUES...

Cast Requirements

6 men
3 women

Environmental Set