(Car Scene: male is driving, female in passenger seat)
Him: Why do you always have to do that?
Her: What are you talking about?
Him: You, that man, asking for directions. I could have just punched the address into my phone and let the GPS figure it out, but no, you just have to talk to people. Talk, talk, talk, all the time. What’s wrong with you? You can’t stand in a grocery line-up or sit in a coffee shop without opening your trap, can you?
Her: (Looking into her lap at the note she’d hastily scribbled.) I – I just thought, well, he was right there, and he was cutting the grass so obviously he lives here and knows the area. (pause) And why is it wrong to want to make human connections? Why do you get furious every time I talk to someone? (Looks at him, sees he is red-faced, fuming.) And I like to write things down. I need to write some things down. When someone gives me directions it’s like hearing algebraic equations or Sudanese … I can’t remember them, can’t process them. I need to see them.
Him: You’re crazy, you know that? I am in a car with a crazy woman.
(They approach a traffic light.)
Her: The light’s yellow.
Him: So now you’re telling me how to drive, too!
(He speeds up, then violently slams on the brakes for the red light. She almost hits her head on the windshield. She seems in shock for a moment, then she surreptitiously turns the note over, writes on the back of it. She opens the car door, sticks one leg out, throws the note at him.
Her: (Looking right into his eyes) Sometimes I need to write things down.
Him: What the ….? (Looks at the wrinkled note on the seat beside him. Camera closes in on the scribbled words: Fuck you!)
Shelley A. Leedahl is a multi-genre writer in Ladysmith, BC. She frequently presents across Canada and also works as an editor, writing instructor, and freelancer. Her most recent books are I Wasn’t Always Like This (essays, Signature Editions, 2014); Listen, Honey (stories, DC Books, 2012); and Wretched Beast (poetry, BuschekBooks, 2011). An illustrated children’s book is forthcoming with Red Deer Press. See www.writersunion.ca/member/shelleya-leedahl