Another character study for the short film I’m about to shoot! Handy little exercise before we jump into it I think.
That Can Wait
Connor sits over his laptop, the cool, green glow filling the bags under his eyes with sickly definition.
The screen is blank. A cursor flashes back at Connor’s increasingly lifeless face, mocking him. Mocking his lifestyle choices, mocking his terrible hair, mocking his increasingly lifeless face.
“Fuck you. Fuck you, you little fucking… fuck.” Connor places his finger over the cursor on the screen, blocking it from view, and for a moment he relaxes. Then he unrelaxes – derelaxes? Disrelaxes? Unrelaxes – and searches for a tissue to frantically wipe the greasy fingerprint from the screen. Cleans it, quick, and feels slightly better.
He’ll write that later. He’ll work out what he wants to say, it’ll come to him in a dream, and it will be perfect, and then he’ll write it and send it and it’ll finally be over.
He’s been saying that for months.
But tonight, nothing’s going to change. May as well give in to inevitability’s monolithic, lurching face.
So, instead Connor gets up from the computer and heads out to the back porch. It’s late, quiet all around. Bit cold, but Connor really can’t be fucked going back inside for a jumper. If he goes back inside, he won’t come back out. If he goes back inside, he’s definitely just going to go back to his computer and look up boobs and then go to sleep. And that can wait.
He should go to bed. He has to work tomorrow. His housemates went to bed long ago, because they’re smarter than he is and they actually love their jobs. Connor wonders if maybe he should quit his job. It would certainly be an adventure, and he sometimes thought that he had lacked adventure in his life. He could quit and find something new to do, or just spend more time doing nothing, which was wonderful but strangely exhausting. But if he quit his job, he probably only had enough money for a few more months rent, and if he didn’t get a new job quickly enough he wouldn’t be able to afford Arkham Knight when it came out in a couple of months, and if he didn’t play it quickly enough all of his friends and the internet would spoil it for him, which would just be the worst. Rach definitely seems to like her job, maybe he should ask her about that. It was just a job at a bar but she loves it and finds solace in it and that’s one of the things that Connor definitely likes about…
Connor shakes his head. Puts his foot through that stream of consciousness and cuts it off at the source.
Across the yard, in a small muddy patch of grass, is an old basketball. Slightly flat and stained, grip worn down to furry old leather.
Connor wanders over to it, picks it up. Feels it in his hands. Nods, sagely, enjoys the furry feeling, concentrates on it, tries to forget about everything else.
He wanders over to the concrete driveway, and tries to bounce the basketball.
It hits the cement with a dull plonk, but it still bounces a bit. Connor starts to dribble, slamming his hand into the ball so it will bounce hard enough into the ground to get back up to his hand again. It’s a fight, and it’s tiring, but for a brief moment, it’s all Connor has to think about.
Smack! Smack! Smack!
The sound bounces around the quiet night, ringing nicely around Connor’s ears. It’s just nice to be outside, Connor thinks. I should come outside more often. It’s cold but that’s kind of nice too. It’s nice to feel cold, it feels sort of alive and awakening and invigorating or something and –
Connor looks up. The ball hits his foot, and rolls away, hunting again for its muddy home.
Peering over the fence, Connor’s neighbour’s head juts up over the corrugated iron. Must be standing on a box or a chair or something, cos he’s pretty short. He’s a weird sorta forty five year old guy. He seems to smoke a lot of pot but he’s still always angry about something. He probably needs to smoke way more pot.
“Seriously? It’s 2am mate.”
“Seriously?” Connor is confused. He’s often a bit confused, especially at 2am. “I’m not so sure what’s so serious about that, were you expecting it to be a different…”
“The ball mate. Seriously need to bounce the fucken ball at 2am?”
“Oh,” Connor looks over to the ball, slowly rolling to a stop. “Oh, shit, sorry –”
The neighbour shakes his head, says nothing, and disappears back below the fence.
Connor stands in the driveway for a few moments, not sure where to go.
And so, in the end, he just goes back inside.
He makes his way to his bedroom. Wanders past the laptop. Cursor still beckons. So does the promise of boobs, but suddenly Connor’s not really in the zone for that.
The cursor flicks on. Off. On. Off.
Mocking his increasingly lifeless face.
Connor wonders when he’ll be able to figure out what to write.
For now, that can wait.
Words copyright Matt Vesely. Image copyright David Keen