Sam's Little Larks
SCENE: Reed 105. S--T TOGETHER SAM is neatly seated with a notebook and pencil. A KAF beverage steams in his eco-friendly, washable and reusable BPA-free mug. His hair looks clean, and his outfit is on fleek. CALAMITY SAM careens into the room. He is bleary-eyed and attempting to swallow a Novack bagel whole.
CALAMITY SAM: Where’s the prof?
S--T TOGETHER SAM: Not here yet.
CALAMITY: Thank god. I’ve been an absolute bag of smash today. You know how it goes.
S--T TOGETHER: I can’t say I do.
CALAMITY: No prof, no class, right? Let’s go.
S--T TOGETHER: (Checking his watch) She has another 19 minutes.
CALAMITY: Who does?
S--T TOGETHER: Our prof. If she’s not here in 19 minutes, we can leave.
CALAMITY: No way. Fifteen minute rule, which has expired.
S--T TOGETHER: Thirty minutes, minimum. It’s only polite.
CALAMITY: That’s bonkers. A cancelled class is like, the best thing in the world.
S--T TOGETHER: That’s a horrible thing to say. What in the world would you rather be doing than sitting in class on a beautiful fall day?
CALAMITY: Oh, it’s not what I’d rather do, it’s all the stuff that could be done but I don’t have time to do. Like, I could go for a run! Or clean my room! Or go to Rauner and look at pictures of hot lumberjacks who went to Dartmouth in the 1950s!
S--T TOGETHER: We are here to learn.
CALAMITY: Of course we are, but there’s a lot of other stuff we have to do, too. And a cancelled class is an hour when you can do anything.
S--T TOGETHER: You could start next week’s reading.
CALAMITY: I should finish today’s first.
S--T TOGETHER: You didn’t do the reading???
CALAMITY: I skimmed. Most of it.
S--T TOGETHER: There’s no excuse for not doing the reading.
CALAMITY: It’s been a real beast of a week. I lost my water bottle.
S--T TOGETHER: What does that have to do with your homework?
CALAMITY: I had it on Friday night, and when I woke up Saturday it had disappeared. Like, vanished. Maybe my room ate it, or someone took it or I put it somewhere while I was sleepwalking. But it’s been torturing me — everywhere I look I think I see it. I’ve been checking in the most ridiculous places: in potted plants and cupboards I’ve never opened before, just in case it’s there.
S--T TOGETHER: I’m sorry. I can’t imagine what it would be like to lose something.
CALAMITY: You’ve never lost something?
S--T TOGETHER: Never.
CALAMITY: Never nothing?
S--T TOGETHER: Never nothing.
CALAMITY: A single sock?
S--T TOGETHER: Nope.
CALAMITY: Your temper?
S--T TOGETHER: No.
CALAMITY: Your cell phone in your bed?
S--T TOGETHER: I literally don’t understand how that’s possible.
CALAMITY: Don’t get me wrong — I’m not the kind of person who loses things. Or I didn’t use to be. Ever since I came to Dartmouth, though, things seem to disappear. Usually I can get over it. Like, if I lose a shirt or a fracket, I just hope someone else finds it and loves it as much as I did. But my water bottle is different. It’s a part of me. I just hope that if anyone finds a white opaque Nalgene covered in stickers with an orange shoelace leash, they’ll turn it in to the Collis info desk so I can get it back. I keep looking in the same places, under my chair and where I thought I last had it, closing my eyes real tight *He closes his eyes real tight* and willing it to appear right here right away.
*He opens his eyes to reveal SAM’S LOST WATER BOTTLE shimmering, mirage-like, on the table before them.*
SAM’S LOST WATER BOTTLE: Hey, Sam.
CALAMITY: Hey, bottle buddy.
SAM’S LOST WATER BOTTLE: Miss me?
CALAMITY: Stupid amounts.
SAM’S LOST WATER BOTTLE: We’ve had some good times together, haven’t we?
CALAMITY: We did everything together.
SAM’S LOST WATER BOTTLE: I carried water…
CALAMITY: And I carried you.
SAM’S LOST WATER BOTTLE: You’re never gonna have another bottle like me.
CALAMITY: I only want you! I only want you forever!
SAM’S LOST WATER BOTTLE: Later, loser.
CALAMITY: What? Come back!
SAM’S LOST WATER BOTTLE: You lost me, loser. I’m out.
CALAMITY: But I want you! I need you!
A CHORUS OF LOST WATER BOTTLES: He’s one of us now, Sam. He’s never coming back.
CALAMITY: Come on, bottle buddy! Don’t do this!
SAM’S LOST WATER BOTTLE: I’m sorry, Sam. I’m one of them now. And once something is lost…
A CHORUS OF LOST WATER BOTTLES: It’s never coming back.
*They roll away together, laughing.*
S--T TOGETHER: Wow. That was rude.
CALAMITY: You think you know a guy…
S--T TOGETHER: Tell me about it. *Pause. They think about all the water bottles they’ve ever sipped from. Where are they now?* The prof’s only got another minute. She needs to come.
CALAMITY: It’s chill, dude. I hope she doesn’t schedule an x-hour.
S--T TOGETHER: No it’s really not “chill.” This can’t be the first.
CALAMITY: First what?
S--T TOGETHER: I’m only a freshman! This isn’t fair!
CALAMITY: Settle down, dude.
S--T TOGETHER: It’s approaching! It’s here!!
A LOST LEARNING OPPORTUNITY: Which one of you thinks they have their S--T together?
S--T TOGETHER: I do! I promise! That’s who I am!
A LOST LEARNING OPPORTUNITY: Well I’m here to say… Later, loser!
S--T TOGETHER: No! I’m not a loser!
A LOST LEARNING OPPORTUNITY: That’s what they all say. But once something is lost…
A CHORUS OF LOST LEARNING OPPORTUNITIES: It’s never coming back.
S--T TOGETHER: *Crying hysterically* No!
CALAMITY: Hey, hey it’ll be okay.
S--T TOGETHER: Is this what Dartmouth feels like?
CALAMITY: Yeah, but only sometimes. Let’s go jump in the river.