Tuesday, April 28, 2009

A scene from TRANSFERENCE - Matthew paints a tree


(A baseball game is just finishing on the wide-screen TV. Matt puts aside a braille book he's been reading. Stacks of them around—only one book—so many volumes.)

(He picks up the remote, and points it at the TV, which he is not directly facing.)

(a commercial)

(a movie, only action—a chase scene. So much noise, no dialog for Matt to follow.)

(A romantic scene on soap opera. An amused, provocative look on Matt's face. He puts down the remote and sits back in the sofa, anticipating where it may go. Just then, they break for a commercial. Disappointedly he reaches for the remote.)

And he took the blind man by the hand, and led him out of the village; and when he had spit on his eyes and laid his hands upon him, he asked him, “Do you see anything?” And he looked up and said, “I see men; but they look like trees walking.” Then again he laid his hands upon his eyes; and he looked intently and was restored, and saw everything clearly. And he sent him away to his home, saying, “Do not even enter the village.”

(CAMERA passes behind Matt's head, L - R)

He took him “out of the village!” Out. Out of his “comfort zone.” This my friends is where it happens. Not where everything is familiar and safe. Out of the city. Now, for the blind, the city is safe. There are buildings, and walls, and streets to follow and guide them. But it is there where we become accustomed to our same old, un-seeing self. If we wish for healing,wish to see, if we wish to truly connect, paradoxically, we need to go where we might be uncomfortable--we need to go outside our safety zone, our comfort area. That is where we will truly see. In the open, away from what is familiar,..where it is not safe. A risk, yes...

(Matt flips off the TV)

(Then back on.)

..see men as trees walking? What does this mean? Do we think that Jesus touch was not potent enough? Not quite, for this demonstrates the “process” of healing. The first touch gave the blind man perfect vision, the second merely restored his worldly eyesight.

(CAMERA continues R – L, TV back in view. The Minister has now morphed to Matt's mind's eye—a swami sitting in Lotus position.)

Now, Men are not trees, and trees are not men. But they so have something in common—Life. What we have in common with each other, and all creatures is Life. If we perceive this first, looking past our differences—skin color, status, rank, position, intellects, beauty, most importantly, if we look and see beyond the ego, and identify what we have in common—Life, then we will truly see clearly, and we do not need our eyesight for this. Perhaps the blind man was not in as much need of that second healing touch as we might think, for he was first given a glimpse of spirit...

(Matt turns off the TV.)

(He reaches for the lamp on the table next to him, feels the bulb. He draws back his hand—hot!--almost tipping the lamp—it had been on all afternoon. He turns it off.)
(Hands back to his lap. Then he reaches and turns the lamp back on. Then off. On again. Stops. He then spins the knob around fast—light going on and off rapidly, till the bulb “pops,” but he keeps spinning it.)

(He gets up and moves to a different chair, and resumes reading his braille book.)

(After a moment, he puts it aside.)

(MATT gets up, goes into the kitchen. Takes a bottle of water from the fridge, a sip. Places it back.
He walks back towards living area, and in guiding himself, brushes his hand on one of Romona's paintings hanging on the wall.)

(He touches it, caresses it. Questions it.)

(He turns and moves towards her studio area.
Inside, he gingerly feels her easel, a fresh painting is on it.
Next to the easel is a table, cluttered with her brushes, paints, and other equipment.
He removes a brush from a can. He feels the brush tip, then waves it under his nose, smelling the paint and thinner.
He places it awkwardly in his hand, holding it as he thinks an artist would. Pretends he is painting, and mimes a palette in his other hand.)

Hold still for ze pose, Mademoiselle, or ze portrait will blur! Ah, ze genius is work!

(He begins to dance around in a silly way, air painting.)

Ze artist! Ze artist! (With exaggerated flourishes, painting the air.) I will paint ze world a new coluer!

(He bumps into another easel, full of Romona's work. He gently runs his hands over them, then carefully flips through them, briefly touching each one. One of them is a painting Romona has done of him, he touches it for no longer than the others, oblivious to it's subject. He gently lays them all back, standing in front of the easel, he places both his hands on the top one. He even closes his eyes, almost if somehow he could “read” the artwork. Obviously fighting despair, he takes his hand off the painting, and resumes with the brush in the air.)

(Still with feigned French accent.) I see men as trees walking!...

(He is walking around, slowly, with arms up in air, like a tree...swaying side to side..)

(He stops, quietly standing...)

(with a sudden insight) Ah ha!, I think that I shall never see...

(His fun seems to fade, as he orients himself to where he thinks the easel full of paintings are...)

(In the air he air paints a tree...)

a poem...or picture...of a tree.

(He reaches out towards the paintings, almost as if to draw the images off the canvas.)

(One last attempt at some fun...turning, and using the brush as if to emphasize a point...)

(With gusto,) Do not even go back to ze villaage!

(He finds his way back to the equipment table, and places the brush back in the can, his fingers lingering a moment before releasing the brush tip.)

(He returns to the love seat in the living room, and picks up his book to read.)


(ROMONA comes in. Matt is asleep in the chair. She goes over to the lamp, turns it on, but nothing. Puzzled, she unscrews the bulb and lays it on the table as a reminder to replace it. She lights a candle on the coffee table, then goes over to the chair, and snuggles in, gently waking Matt...)


Mmm, Babe.

(ROMONA surveying the area by coffee table, with foot reaches and inches one of the Braille books away from the candle.)

Wouldn't you rather read on audio?

(Sleepily) mmNo, I like to read myself...better characters...images.

(He nuzzles again into her neck and hair.)

(Suddenly more alert.) Let's go for a walk, it's a beautiful spring day...

it is! Have you been out?

No, but I can smell it in your hair.

(She covers his face in her long, dark hair. Another kiss.)

Aaa, ze L'air du Temp!

Spring Air...where have you picked up French?

I...don't know...

(They kiss.)

How about a walk to the bedroom? We'll bring the evening in to us....

Scene [?] from TRANSFERENCE (in progress)
--Marty Kummetz

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