February 2010 - Comments Off

Part I : Tristan’s Proclamation For Lemon Poppy

Faith Griffiths '11


Scene One: The Restaurant Kitchen.

Tristan and Lorena are in the otherwise empty kitchen of the restaurant where they both work. Tristan is sitting, shaping cookie dough, while Lorena stands, fidgeting, in the doorway. Kitchen sounds and yells are in the background so both characters must shout.


LORENA

I’m sorry Tristan, but I’m leaving you.

Tristan drops the pan of warm cookies he is holding.


TRISTAN

What?


LORENA

I said, I’m leaving! Look, I’ve fallen in love with Antonio, and-


TRISTAN

The new sous chef?!?! What, are his knives sharper than a measly baker’s? Is it because he has a perfect dice? Because he smells like garlic and liver and onions? You like that, Lorena?


LORENA

Antonio is nice, he’s good looking, he has a normal SLEEP PATTERN! I can’t do this anymore, Tristan. I can’t be with a baker. I mean, you’re a professional baker. A man who bakes. Who makes cookies and cakes all day. I need someone more…more… (quieter) serious.


TRISTAN

Serious? Serious? You think I just play little dessert games all day? Fine! Go be with the handsome, serious chef. See if I care! You never appreciated me! You never respected my profession! Just go!


Lorena slams the door, leaving Tristan alone in the bakeshop. He stares at the crumbled cookies on the floor. He takes deep breaths, an attempt to be tough. He fails, sinking to the floor and starts crying in his hands. (Fades.)


Scene Two: The Grocery Store.

Tristan is sadly moping around the aisles, every so often (seemingly at random) picking up baking ingredients and dropping them carelessly into his basket.. He is continuously sniffling and occasionally right out sobbing (pretty exaggerated and a little embarrassing for him, but he cannot help it). Other customers are giving him either strange, embarrassed looks or very sad, sympathetic looks. During this:


NARRATOR

Tristan, usually a rather happy, go-lucky man (but serious when he needed to be, certainly), was a baker. He had been for many, many years. He knew he wanted to for as long as he could remember. He still used the recipe he’d created as a boy for his very first cake – German chocolate with thick chocolate butter cream frosting. Tristan had worked hard in baking school and in all the restaurants and bakeries throughout the years, putting in 110% to his craft and climbing the ladder to get to be head pastry chef at the prestigious restaurant of the preceding scene. He’d been dating Lorena practically since he’d arrived at the restaurant, half a year ago, when he’d won the job over 14 other very good bakers. Lorena had begun flirting with him almost immediately. She’d idle around the bakeshop, asking him questions about baking, trying samples; seeming genuinely interested in him and his art. Tristan had been delighted and soon the two began dating. Now, in his despair, Tristan realized how deceptive it all had been, how Lorena had only been interested because of his title, and now so quickly won over by new prestige. Even so, he sobbed and sobbed, heart-broken and hurt. Bakers are sensitive people after all, even if they can be serious when they need to be.


TRISTAN

(mumbling not-so-quietly to himself) I can’t believe it, I just can’t believe it! After all we had together! All the soufflés I baked for her! The marzipan roses! The heart-shaped cupcakes! She told me she loved-


Tristan stops dead in his tracks, frozen. A hearty and silent pause before narrator starts up.


NARRATOR

The reason for Tristan suddenly freezing in his latest lament was because, right then and there in the produce aisle, he saw her. Rather, he saw her basket. He didn’t even see her yet. It was as if she was blurred, but the basket, well, the basket was crystal clear.

We see the blurry figure of a woman (a large pane of crystal glass is in front of her, but there is a hole and we can see the basket quite clearly – light is shining brightly on it – it is glorious.)

This basket, friends, was filled with-


TRISTAN (in a sort of daze)

-granulated sugar, all-purpose flour, baking powder, sour cream, butter, eggs, and poppy seeds. And-


NARRATOR

-The blurry figure was bent over the shelf of lemons, clearly intent on finding the three most perfect lemons. Obviously, she had-


TRISTAN

-ALL THE INGREDIENTS TO MAKE LEMON POPPY SEED MUFFINS. MY-


NARRATOR

-absolute favorite dessert. (pause) Tristan finally forced himself to look up from the basket, at the woman herself. He barely needed to, though. For he was perfectly certain that he had just found-


TRISTAN

-the love of my life.


The glass is slowly wheeled away from the woman. She is holding up a lemon to the light, trying to gauge any flaws. She and the lemon are both quite beautiful.


NARRATOR

Tristan gulped loudly. (gulps loudly) And he could not help but burst out grandly with the music of his brimming heart:


(bring light on Tristan)


TRISTAN (with musical troupe)

Let me be the lemon to your poppy seed

I will give you everything you’ll ever need

We’ll share flour, butter, and sour cream

For your sugar I will have an endless greed.

We’ll make heart-shaped muffins

Baked to golden brown

And when we wed,

You’ll wear a lemon-colored gown.

A lemon-colored gown.

(with Lemon chorus) Ohhhhhh, Lemons! Lemons! Lemons! Lemons!

Poppy Seeds! Poppy Seeds! Poppy Seeds! Poppy Seeds! (repeats 3 or 4 times)

Let me be the lemon to your poppy seed

I will give you everything you’ll ever need

We’ll share flour, butter, and sour cream

For your sugar I will have an endless greed.

Let me be your poppy seed.


(When the “Ohhhhhhh, Lemons!” section arrives, the chorus comes out and stands behind Tristan, playing instruments and singing along with him for the rest of the song. They also dance around the woman, who is oblivious to the entire number as she continues to focus on finding the last lemons. As the last line finishes, the stage lights go off and the chorus members slink off quickly. Normal lighting comes back on quickly and Tristan remains in his last pose, hands raised and reaching for the woman, who is now rummaging through her basket.)


NARRATOR

Well, the music was just in his head. Don’t you wish people really proclaimed their love like this in real life? Tristan did, too.


TRISTAN

(turns around, breathing heavily and trying to muster his courage)

(to himself) Okay, okay, I’m just going to walk over, and say “hi”. No that’s stupid – maybe, “Oh, are those lemons you’re choosing? I may be mistaken, but I do believe those are the ingredients for…” No way. How about, “My, do I love lemons… Oh – you too?” Okay, okay… that’s good, okay…

(Woman has left behind a shelf during his mustering – she walks through the audience and out of the theater)

(Tristan turns and says) MY, DO I LOVE LEM- oh. She’s gone.

(Tristan crazily searches around the aisles of the stage, into the audience.)

Hello? Uh, miss? Uh, Lemon Lady? Hello?


NARRATOR

“The Lemon Lady” was gone. In and out of his life, in an instant. But it didn’t matter. Tristan just knew that he would find her! And when he did, he would profess his love to her for real. And then they would make muffins together.


TRISTAN

(in the middle of the audience) I just know I’ll find her! And when I do, I’ll profess my love to her for real! And then we’ll make muffins together.


(Exits through audience.)

Published by: in Prose, Volume 66, Volume 66: Issue 1

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