Wednesday, July 4, 2018

Monologue Mania Day # 1601 Osculation (or About Love and Math in the Time of Chemistry) by Janet S. Tiger (c) July 5, 2018

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Monologue Mania Day # 1601 Osculation (or About Love and Math in the Time of Chemistry) by Janet S. Tiger (c) July 5, 2018 

Osculation (or –About Love and Math in the Time of Chemistry)
                      © 2018  all rights reserved


ISAAC – 17 (nice-looking, a little nerdy)

ARIANA – 17 (good-looking - and definitely more mature than Isaac)

SETTING – A schoolroom, now, but it doesn’t need to be fancy – chairs, table

Scene 1

(Isaac  brings chalk onstage - a board is not necessary, as most of the audience will not understand what he is saying.  He wears glasses and is nervous, but is determined to get his points across to Ariana, the student he will be tutoring.  But then Ariana enters the room and she is pretty, and Isaac is a bit stunned)

ISAAC -  Hello, you must be Ariana.

ARIANA -  Must I?

ISAAC -  (smiles)  I’m…I’m Isaac, and I hope we can work together so that our team can
win.  I …I understand you don’t like math.

            ARIANA -  That’s not true.

            ISAAC -  (Encouraged)  Oh?

            ARIANA -  I hate math.

            ISAAC -  (Disappointed)  Oh.

            ARIANA -  And, usually, I hate anyone who likes math, but….maybe you’ll be the one
person in 7 billion who can change that.

            ISAAC -  (Not sure if this is encouraging or not)  I hope so.  Maybe, you know, if you
need extra help, we could, well, go over some this over a Starbucks…..or at McDonalds?

(She laughs and goes over to the chalkboard, starts drawing something very slowly, but it's clear she is drawing a circle)

ARIANA - Let me try to make this clear to you, Mr. Wise Butt.......This is one half.....

                        (She indicates cutting it down the middle)

ARIANA - That is the half a chance you have to go out with any girl....

         (She indicates the other half)

ARIANA - This half is the chance you have of ever getting to go out with any girl and
actually kiss her.....

         (She puts down the chalk and wipes her hands) 

ARIANA - And the third half is the chance you have of ever going out....WITH ME!

ISAAC – (mumbles)

ARIANA - Did I hear you say there's no third half?    I guess you're smarter than I

        (She laughs as she exits.   End of scene)

Scene     2

(The two are working now for awhile, and Isaac is getting irritated)

ISAAC  - Now, Ariana, I know you don’t want to be here, but you do have to focus! 
Now, I am going to go over this again, since you didn't seem to
understand it the first time. 

ARIANA – My name is AH-RIANA,  not AIR – RIANA.

ISAAC -  (Tries)  Ah-riana…..

ARIANA – And…you could go a little slower…..

ISAAC - All right, I'll go a little slower.

ARIANA -  (Suggestive)  Slower is much better…..

           (He hears the note in her voice, is surprised,  but collects himself, draws a circle, then a line through the circle)

ISAAC - A chord of a 
circle is a geometric line segment whose endpoints both lie on the

           ARIANA -  Be clear – a chord is several things – in music, in wood…..

            ISAAC - Okay, in math,  a straight line connecting two points through a circle is called a

                        (Draws a curve and a line)

 ISAAC - And an asymptote of a curve is a line such that the distance between the curve
and the line approaches zero as they tend to infinity.....(quickly) Okay, okay! It's when a curve approaches a line but never reaches it....

         (Listens, starts to get irritated)

(Very slow) And this is a curved line........and this......

         (He draws a circle, but it’s shaky and Ariana is almost laughing)

The point of contact, where these two different mathematical forms have a common called osculation...

    ARIANA -  (Giggles) So is this like…(suggestive)… intersection?

     ISAAC -(Starting to get annoyed)  No, intersection involves either sets or lines!  Look, you
have to get this, because next week's Academic Decathalon is going to focus on just these types of questions!  Maybe you're good at Jane Austen and Moby Dick, but you have to have some of this math, too!

     ARIANA -  Maybe if you put it in terms I can understand!  Like…..say, English?

     ISAAC -  Okay, maybe I can give you some eytomology..... ....asymptote is from the Greek, 
asumptōtos which means "not falling together", and osculation is from the Latin.....ōsculātiō -a kissing,

 (Starts to realize what he is saying, she is also moving closer while he speaks, so he starts backing away)
     ISAAC – (Sweating)...... from osculor -I kiss-......
             (Getting nervous, takes off glasses and wipes them, she stands even closer)

     ISAAC - Do you have to stand so close......

              (He is up against the wall and it is obvious what is about to happen, he wriggles away to   
leave, stops, looks back.)

     ISAAC - I think this is a good time to end this lesson!

         (He goes to exit......then stops and turns back and Ariana kisses him, he stumbles off,
glasses askew, but he is smiling

ISAAC -  I guess, there is a third half!

            ( Lights down.  End of scene)

Scene 3

(Ariana and Isaac are working hard and she holds up her hand.)

ARIANA -  That's enough!  Time for a break...

ISAAC - But we still have a lot to go over....

         (She sits and offers him something from her purse, he takes it and starts to eat)

ARIANA -  I've been thinking about Newton's laws.....

ISAAC -  I thought we were taking a break.

ARIANA -  Can still think......anyhow, not the math part....but, how they relate to English....and

ISAAC -  His laws were about physics - you do know, right?  We just talked about this...

ARIANA -  (Quoting, a little bit mocking)  An object at rest stays at rest and an object in motion
stays in motion with the same speed and in the same direction unless acted upon by an unbalanced force.  Right?

ISAAC -  Very good......

ARIANA -  Did you ever think that one word describes that?

ISAAC -  One, I have not thought about that.

ARIANA -  Still.

ISAAC - (Listens, then realizes she is done)  Still what?

ARIANA -  Still.  That's the word.  An object at rest is still...but an object in motion is also
still...still moving.  Get it?

ISAAC -  And this is what you think about?

ARIANA -  All the time.  What is enough to get something to move?  To get something to stop

ISAAC -  I really doubt they're going to be asking that at the decathalon...

ARIANA - But the answer is nothing, because nothing stops moving....I mean, even if I set this
pencil's still moving through outer space on this planet, right?

ISAAC -  This is existential philosophy.....

ARIANA - And it never really is moving if everything is everything is relative, and
that brings us to Einstein.....

ISAAC - The connectivity of science is not the focal point of this contest.....

ARIANA -  Of course, not ...the point is winning....

ISAAC -  Well, yeah.

ARIANA -  How much do you need me to win?

ISAAC -  Well, if you remember all this stuff that's been stuffed into your brain....

ARIANA -  And if I don't...remember that is....if I don't remember, how do we win?

ISAAC -   We don't.

ARIANA -  That simple?

ISAAC -  What are you saying, exactly?  That there's another way to win?  As in....cheating?

ARIANA -  Cheating is such a negative word....I prefer, getting help.  Getting help is what the whole field of psychology is about, isn't it?

          (Isaac looks at her and she smiles)

ARIANA -  You know that guy, Carson?

ISAAC -  You mean that weirdo Jimmy?

ARIANA-  Thought his first name was Carson.

ISAAC - Did he also tell you his folks named him Carson because he was conceived during
some old late TV show?

ARIANA -  Yeah!

ISAAC -  He just likes to screw with people......

ARIANA -  But he's smart, and he told me, he could get, how should I call it....a preview of the

ISAAC -  Incredible!  He actually would do that just to get close to you!

ARIANA -  You are so cynical, but, yes.....

ISAAC - And you said......

ARIANA -  Nothing yet, I wanted to talk to you first.....because I figure, you're in it with me...

ISAAC -  I am not!  I don't wanna win that bad!

ARIANA -  But you'll sleep only two hours a night and tutor me and.....what else are you
planning...just to win?

ISAAC -  (Getting upset)  You're talking about something that's not only illegal, but immoral! 
And we, I mean you, could get caught, and then, realistically, there are a lot of bad things that can happen!

ARIANA -  Morality is a very strange animal......and reality, well, that's a real buzzkill...but
winning, that could be real......don't tell me you haven't thought about it....

          (He shakes his head, she stares at him)

ARIANA -  (Smiling)  You haven't!

ISAAC - No, I figured, if we  work hard and we win, we win.

ARIANA - But winning is important to you, be honest, this award means nothing, it doesn't help
you get into college, you're already in!  So it's just ego, right?

ISAAC -  You know you end a lot of your sentences with a question....right?  Surprising how
you ask if something is right, but you know the answer.....

              (Lights down.  End of scene.)

Scene 4
          (It is a few minutes before the decathalon begins, and Isaac has pulled Ariana into an
empty classroom.)

ISAAC -  You asked me to think about something, something I didn't ever want to consider....

ARIANA-  And you've thought about it?

ISAAC -  Yes.  All night....I couldn't sleep....

ARIANA -  I'm sorry....

ISAAC -  Are you really?

            (She bristles, turns away)

ISAAC -  I have one last thing to share before we start.....

ARIANA -  From the look on your face, I imagine it has something to do with math....

ISAAC -  Geometry.

ARIANA -  As if there's a difference!

ISAAC -  You offered me something, and I.....was tempted to because......winning is tempting.

ARIANA - So I guess the answer is no....good guess, huh?

ISAAC -  Geometry is based on lines.....and a line is .....

ARIANA -..... straight....has no thickness and extends in both directions without end......see, I did
learn something.....

ISAAC -  Infinity.  But have a line the sand......and it has....a beginning
and an end, right where you put down your foot, where you make your stand....this is where I have to make my stand......and I'm not sorry....

          (She shakes her head, turns to leave, stops looks back)

ARIANA -  You missed a good chance, my friend.....see you at the winner's table.....

           (She exits, and he watches)

ISAAC -  But I am sorry.....for you.....

           (Lights down, end of scene)

Scene 5
 (There is the sound of an audience, clapping, quiet, then cheering and applause.  The sounds die out, and there is a quiet, almost awed silence.  Lights up as a door closes as someone is leaving.  Isaac watches the person in disbelief, shaking his head.  Ariana looks at Isaac.  She smiles, a little sad)

ARIANA - I'm pretty good at reading people, Isaac.  If you're really honest, you know....that you
thought I was going to cheat.

        (Isaac starts to protest, she holds up a hand and stops him)

ARIANA  -  Please, leave us a little dignity!  I know you wanted to believe I wouldn't use the
cheat sheets.....just like I know you didn't rat me out.....but I also didn't trust me.....and that's ok.  You see, it just shows I did a good job.  That I convinced you......that's what I had to do.....just like Carson.....he bought it......and so, I got the job the end, that's all that matters......isn't it?

ISAAC -  Was anything you told me the truth?

ARIANA -  Wasn't that one of the questions?  Under philosophy?  You can memorize and
analyze and study......but me.... I prefer thinking about the truth not from the Greek view, but of the Steven Spielberg angle- which way is the camera pointing?  One way, it looks like the big man is shooting the little man, but you turn around.....

         (She spins and points a finger)

ARIANA - And from another angle.....we see that the dwarf is going to be killed by the
Russian.....all done with cameras and angles.....just like what was done today......

ISAAC -  So everything....done for show.....

ARIANA -  Not asked me about whether I ever told the truth.....the truth is a
fluid's some......when I was about ten, I was in an airport, heading out to visit my grandparents.  My folks were sitting, talking to some other old hippies they'd, I was just hanging out.....and this man came walking past, and I took a  look at him and I knew something was wrong.....and he looked around and then he ran into a bathroom.  I watched and a few moments later, some police ran up, with this one guy in a suit.

And I knew, just like I knew about the guy, I knew the guy in the suit was someone I went over to the guy in the suit and said 'he went in there' and I pointed at the bathroom.

They went in, and a couple minutes later, out they come, with the guy, in handcuffs, and the suit guy comes over to me, and he says, 'thank you' - and he gave me a card and told me, if I ever needed help, give a call.  And that's when I started writing the letters.  And after a few years, I got letters back, and then calls, and then.......the man in the suit came to visit me one the library.....and told me about Carson.  How dangerous what he was doing was.....not just for schools, but for I made friends with a kid at my old school, got him to change my grades.  Then I got 'caught' but I didn't rat him out, so he was a good contact.  And I transferred here, got into the decathalon, and made friends with him.....

ISAAC -  Friends?

ARIANA -  Can I help it if smart guys like me?  Anyhow, I had to go along, to get the
proof.....I'm sorry hurt you.

         (Isaac looks at a card in his hand.)

ISAAC-  Agent Harrison....

ARIANA -  Not the same guy as my suit, but they know each other.....

ISAAC -  Like one big strange family...

ARIANA -  Something like that.....  when I graduate, I get to join that family....

ISAAC -  So you're not going to Stanford....

ARIANA -  Not really.....but I never was.....

ISAAC -  Amazing!  And I did trust you...

          (She looks at him, shakes her head)

ISAAC - I mean .....except for not trusting you....

ARIANA -  But I trust you....not to tell this....

ISAAC -  And if I did?  Would I disappear?

ARIANA -  Don't be'll never tell......that's why I can tell you.....I'm a good judge of
character.....something that can't be taught actually......maybe enhanced, but it's something you're born math, I guess....

ISAAC -  Character.  Interesting word.  So none of what happened today is gonna be public?

ARIANA - Why would it have to be?  

ISAAC -  What happens to your other boyfriend, Carson?  Does he go to jail for this?  I mean, hacking the SAT and ACT, that's pretty radical stuff.

ARIANA -  He's smart enough to get into bigger stuff than, I doubt if jail is in his

ISAAC -  (Horrified, stunned)  Wait a minute, so, he's gonna work for........

ARIANA -  Our side?  Us?  I hope so.  That's what this game is all about.  It's much more than
winning some high school academic league decathalon!  How did you think they got Werner von Braun to make rockets for us?  By offering some fresh socks after the war?  Some ice cream?  For a smart guy.....

ISAAC -  Maybe I'm not so smart....

ARIANA -  You said it......the world is a very big place, and the future is in computers, and in
people who know and understand them, what they can do, what they can't.......Carson might be just good enough to stop a war, or win one....who knows?  I'm not the judge.

ISAAC -  So, far would you go to your job?

ARIANA -  (Thinking)  I don't know.....I guess I'm gonna find out......

            (She turns to leave, stops, looks back)

ARIANA -  You said none of this would be public....but there is one thing....the press will want
to interview us because the fact is...... we won.  

ISAAC -  And you didn't

ARIANA -  Maybe you're a good teacher.  One thing, Isaac, when you speak of this one day, and
you will, maybe in guarded terms, but you will, please know ......I did like learning from you......and of all the things you thought you taught favorite was.....can you guess?

          (She walks over quickly and kisses him, then pulls away just as quickly)

ARIANA -  Osculation!

(She leaves as he watches her go.  Then he puts on a jacket, some glasses, he is older, and he goes to the chalkboard and starts to make some notes......)

ISAAC -  And this my dear students, is one you may be able to remember with a simple pnemonic device......

           (He draws two curves as the lights start to dim)

ISAAC -  There is a term in geometry that describes the place where two curves or surfaces come into contact, or where their common tangent exists. It's almost as if the two curved lines are...... kissing. The term is.....osculation.....

          (Spotlight on the curved lines, then blackout.  The end.)

Note: A few words about 'free' -  all these monologues are protected under copyright law and are free to read, free to perform and video as long as no money is charged. Once you charge admission or a donation, or include my work in an anthology, you need to contact me for royalty 

Janet S. Tiger    858-736-6315      
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983

Swedenborg Hall 2006-8

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