This collection of writing explores themes inspired by the title ‘Totally Addicted To You’.
Scripts written by the playwrights of Write Now and curated by Sonya Hale and Gemma Rogers.
By Ian Sturrock
Today felt like the end of the world, at least I wish that it was. I’m in the mood for any excuse to close the curtains and deadlock the door for a few weeks. A chance to catch up on doing nothing, like watching movies and reading books. A perfect opportunity to let myself reset. I’ll put on 28 days later and convince myself that it’s too dangerous to go outside. That way I can relax and not feel guilty about staying indoors.
I’m trying to stop thinking about the situation but now I can’t. I’ve scared myself stupid watching every disaster movie ever made. The thought of getting out of the front door has become mission impossible. What if I can’t keep control. What if the outside comes in. I get the tape and start to seal the door. Starting with the letterbox I kick the pile of junk mail away from the foot of the door so I can start to cover the crack, then I start making my way up the sides. Sealed off from the rest of the world I begin to feel safe.
As a last resort I get a set of latex gloves and rip away the duct tape from the windows. As I do a pain of square glass comes away and it feels like the cold and heavy air from outside starts to rush in like water flooding a boat. At first I start to panic like it really is water filling up the room, instead of fresh air. As soon as I realise that I’m not drowning, I slowly start to find a sense of balance. I peek out of the window expecting to see carnage and half disappointed that I don’t. I stare back at the stuffy little flat I’ve been cooped up in for weeks on end and I’m hit with a sense of dread. This lonely, gloomy little self-imposed cell has become far more frightening, far more of a nightmare than out there ever could.
I see the pink blossom on the tree contrasting with bright green grass. Bright red buses splattered with interesting words and pictures advertising exciting things. I want to be part of it right away. As I walk across the green to the bus stop a policeman asks me “what I’m doing out”. I say to him “I’m allowed to be outside aren’t I”. He explains actually, no, I’m not. Like some kind of sick joke my delusions and fear have become a reality. What I thought I wanted, my addiction to my own company, I don’t. What I took for granted, what I thought I would always have, freedom, I don’t. But when I get it back, will I take it for granted, no, I won’t.
TOTALLY ADDICTED TO YOU…
By Kelly McEvoy
Therapist: (slow meditational tone) So, now that you’re in your special corridor… I want you to try something different today, Melanie… I want you to turn the key and… slowly… push open that big green door… the big green door that takes you to your quiet place. And as you open that door, I want you to notice that there’s a young girl sitting there…
Melanie: (Stiffens in her seat)
Therapist: Don’t worry. It’s still your quiet place and it’s still just for you, Melanie. Take a look around and notice that nothing has changed in your quiet place. It’s just the same as you left it. Now… I want you to walk slowly towards the girl and I want you to take a seat by her side. I want you to notice that she’s sitting there, all closed up like a fan…and as she looks up to meet your gaze, I want you to see that the young girl is you. It’s Melanie.
Melanie: (lets out a guttural heave)
Therapist: And this Melanie can be any age you want her to be. She could be…
Melanie: She’s fourteen!!! She’s fourteen
Therapist: That’s perfect, Melanie. I can see that you’ve met. I’d like you to tell me a little bit about her. Tell me what you see.
Melanie: Oh my poor girl. She’s so low. She’s so bloody silly. I just want to sweep her up and hold her because she’s so beautiful. She’s sitting there all skinny… and picking at her fingers. She’s so special and she just doesn’t know it. She’s so silly. She’s got her little blue trainers on, the ones she stuck all her fingers together for, sticking buttons on with superglue (laughs).
It’s going to be OK, you know. You’re actually going to come out the other side of this, my darling. You don’t think you’re strong enough but actually you’re going to tell someone and they’re going to make it all stop… You are!
(turning to therapist) She doesn’t even believe me. She’s looking at me like “what the fuck?” I don’t even think she knows it’s me! Can I tell her who I am?
Therapist: Well, If you feel she needs…
Melanie: I’m not sure if you know it’s me, Mel. You’re probably looking at me… looking at my shitty, nice-girl clothes and my square brown bob and thinking “fuck that shit! I’m not going to end up like that!” (laughs) I know. I’m sorry mate. But, listen, I’ve got to tell you a couple of things. I need to tell you it’s alright. Sort of. You’re going to make some really silly decisions, Mel, but…
(in a younger voice, shouting) I am going to fly, actually! I’m going to go to Paris and eat warm croissants and drink hot, tarry black coffee and talk to all the buskers about music and art and I‘m going to DO art…I’m going to do art on the walls and the floors and I’m going to smoke like a lady and laugh loud with my friends and sip red wine…
Melanie: (interrupts, shouting). No, you’re not, Melanie. You’re fucking not! You’re not going to bloody Paris. You’re actually going to Liverpool. Yeah, I know!!! And you’ll be drinking wine with your friends all right but you won’t be sipping it in little cafes, you’ll be staggering along the street with it and you’ll drink so much that you shit yourself on a bad day… and you won’t be eating croissants ‘cos you’ll be necking shitloads of painkillers for breakfast to make it all go away… to make drinking the equivalent of the fucking Mersey in cheap red wine seem like it was all part of the plan.
(Stops suddenly and sits up before leaning in and shifting back to a sympathetic tone) Oh shit. I’m sorry. I’m so sorry, my girl. It wasn’t you. I’m the one who fucked up all your dreams. You didn’t do that, it was me. It was me who never made it to Paris. It was me who couldn’t stop at sipping a cheeky little Beaujolais with proper friends.
(Turns to therapist) She’s just sitting there with her mouth wide open, she’s…
(switches to teenage tone) Did I paint on walls? Did I paint on ceilings and floors and tunnels and trees?
(laughs) Well, yes you did, Mel. You…we…we painted all kinds of shit. That’s one bit I didn’t actually fuck up for you. It didn’t make us rich and famous, like we thought and sometimes we painted some stuff we weren’t supposed to but we did have some laughs getting away with it!
(turns to therapist) Oh my beautiful girl. Oh look at her. She’s OK. She’s put her little hand on my shoulder. (Puts her own hand on her shoulder) I thought I was going to be telling HER that it was all OK. I thought you made me do this thing so I could hug her and hold her and be her big saviour. And she’s got her little hand on my fucking shoulder and she’s letting me know that it’s all good. Oh, she’s so good, bless her. She’s so beautiful. She doesn’t even hate me. I can see it in her face. Oh, my girl. She doesn’t mind. She doesn’t even mind.
By Michael McNamara
(Jasper is a 30 year old recovering alcoholic. He is shy, introverted and isolated in his new flat. Encouraged by his friends, he finally decides to brave the world and seek a partner).
I had no problem chatting up girls when I was drinking. Now, I’ve been sober for two years and I’m terrified. But, I need to get out there and try dating again. My friends say girls don’t come banging on the door. I walk down to the pub on the corner. Nervously, I approach the bar and order a diet coke. The barmaid smiles at me and asks: “Would you like some ice and lemon with that”. After a few more pleasantries, I pluck up some courage and haltingly ask her: “Do you – do you – come here often”?
She looks at me rather pityingly, shrugs and matter-of-factly answers: “Yes, I work here, five days a week”.
A bit daunted, I press on and stutter: “S-o-r-r-y, S-o-r-r-y, what do you do on your days off”?
She starts polishing some glasses and dismisses me with: “I spend time with my husband and kids”.
Sheepishly, I retreat to a corner table. After two more diet cokes, I am feeling a bit bloated, sick and bored. The other tables soon fill up with couples; it seems to be all couples with just one lonely guy like myself slumped over his pint at the bar.
Then the door opens. A girl bounces in. She’s wearing a bright, red mini skirt, boots and a leopard-print coat. It’s Dora, I recognise her from one of the local AA meetings. I haven’t seen her for a while. She was always relapsing. I watch her walk to the bar and disappointedly hear her order a double vodka and lime. So, she’s back on the booze again. She picks up her drink and slowly surveys the room.
Without thinking, I raise my hand and wave at her. She saunters over and sits down.
“Do you mind if I join you. It’s Jasper, isn’t it”?
My heart begins to palpitate, she remembers my name.
“Well Jasper, I didn’t expect to see you in here. Are you still going to all those meetings”?
I mumble: “Now – now – and again”.
“I’m ok now” she trills “I only drink at weekends”.
She must have had a few. It’s only Wednesday. We chat for a while. Then, I ask her hesitantly:
“Are you – are you – still with John”?
“No, I finished with him months ago. He’s finally found religion, he lives in those bloody meetings, he even wanted us to get married – said we were living in sin. What an eejit? I’ve been on me own now for ages, I’m thinking of joining one of them dating sites. Have you ever been on one”?
“No” I splutter. I must seize this opportunity. I look at her appealingly:
“Would you – would you – like to go on a date with me”?
She looks at me and smiles: “We can call this a date if you like”.
She drains her drink, licks her lips, stands up, looks at me boldly and asks:
“Would you like a vodka to go with that coke”?
I think I’ve got this.
By Kelly McEvoy
I think I’ve got this. How hard can it be? I used to fly in my dreams. Okay, maybe I never actually flew, I took the odd soaring leap…but I definitely never flew. But I thought I had … and it was only my old mate Lizzie, who woke me up to… sorry, excuse the pun… well… even in my dreams, I never got to fly. Not really.
Lizzie talked about flying as though she really had soared, over the houses, over forests and field and over everybody else. She would just take a long run up through the school playground, spread her arms and take off like it was nothing. If it weren’t for the laws of physics, the bastards, I wouldn’t have doubted for a minute that Lizzie had actually been skybound. I was amazed.
And she was amazed that any of it was amazing to me. She thought everybody flew! Shit! I thought I flew! We laughed at my bad luck… the fact that I was destined to be a grounded bird. Up to that point, I’d been amazed by the odd nocturnal gift I’d been granted… gliding over rooftops, leaping effortlessly over buildings… always buildings by the way, never canyons or forests or fields of fucking barley!
So, until Lizzie pissed on my bonfire, I would wake up from my night flights with a sense of wonder, a sense of endless possibilities. I knew what it felt like to fly! Then Lizzie brought me back down to earth and let me know that my wings had been well and truly clipped. Christ! Even when I was sleeping, I was missing out on stuff that other people were getting.
But anyway, I’m talking about a different kind of flying now, the kind that gets you into trouble, the kind that gives you grand ideas then takes away the fucking floor while you were up there being all, “Yay! The sky’s the limit”. I’m bloody great at that kind of flying now. I’m a real master, thanks to you. But the floor has gone, and I’ve got to keep circling like a 747 that’s being given the runaround by some sweaty air traffic controller who’s bored with his job. I can’t land and he’s got my fate in his hands… like a shitty feathered sibling who’s fatted himself up on daddy’s worms and left you well and truly elbowed from the nest.
So I’m tired now. I’ve done all my circling. I’ve gone from place to place with you at my side and it was you, who always that made the floor appear … for the briefest of moments, through the low laying fog. Okay, let’s get real. They weren’t always moments. Sometimes the floor was there…and I was on it… for week-long benders but that doesn’t sound as poetic as a moment. And the moments, when they stayed as moments, were the best… when the floor came into sight and the people around me felt like mine and I felt theirs.
But I only touched base when you were there. Letting me shed my leaden skin to be the “me” that they had picked for me. Letting me flow and grow and shine and share. You did that. You made me fly but you let me land. You made me lose myself and find myself. Made me feel lost… and home.
God, I miss you so much it hurts. I don’t know where to land without you. There’s no floor that looks solid from this piece of sky.
Running low on fuel without you, mate. I’m soaring and I’m circling and I need you. But I know you’ll make me crash… and I don’t want to hit the floor that way. Not any more. So let me fly solo okay? I’ve got this… I’m ready.