You write for the screen, right? I write for myself, to help me make sense of the world, of situations I’ve lived through and couldn’t quite wrap my head around. They rarely end with a satisfactory outcome, but by that point I’m distracted enough that there’s no more worrying to be done. This one is a series of interactions between a guy named Rob and his local baker. Now Rob can be a bit of a mutton. When a stranger speaks to him, even when he’s expecting it, Rob is inevitably caught off-guard and comes across as rude, then regrets the interaction all day.
Rob wakes up at 7:20am, as his alarm sounds, and groggily throws his clothes on, not noticing his shirt is inside out. He needs to make it to the neighbourhood bakery by 7:30am, the exact time at which they run out of tasty croissants every day.
Rob (still half asleep, walking into the bakery): Good morning.
Baker (somehow chipper): Hey man, how’s it going?
Baker (confused look as to why conversation isn’t progressing): Alrighttt… so what can I get you today?
Rob: I’ll have two of (pointing towards some direction) those things.
Baker: You mean bagels? What kind?
Rob (forgetting what he came here for): Oh, the kind with the white things on it.
Baker: You mean see-same seeds?
Baker: Seh-sah-me seeds?
Rob: Yeah, yeah, those ones.
Baker: Alright man. (sighing, putting bagels into a bag) Anything else?
Rob: Do you guys sell coffee?
Baker: Yes we do.
Rob: Cool. (pauses, thinking) Just the bagels, thanks.
Baker: Okayyy, see you later buddy.
The baker rolls his eyes and laughs as Rob leaves.
Rob is now outside the bakery, alone on the sidewalk, saddened, shaking his head, and cursing unintelligibly, and then he wanders off.
The very next day, Rob wakes up at 6:45am, as his alarm sounds, and he determinedly bounds out of bed. He showers and then puts on a crisp suit.
Rob (in front of the bathroom mirror, fixing his tie): “Hello and good morning! It’s very nice to see you. Could I please have one poppyseed bagel, one chocolate croissant (said in very French accent), and a loaf of marble rye, sliced regular. Also, a large coffee, black. You know, coffee was actually discovered by an Ethiopian goatherd named Kaldi around the 800th year of our lord and saviour.”
Rob winks and smile to himself.
Rob (walking out of his house): “Unique New York. Unique New York. Red leather backpack. Hello and good morning. It’s -”
Rob strides confidently into the bakery. A woman behind the counter, the baker’s assistant, is the only employee.
[Editor’s note: This note isn’t too relevant, but you should know that there’s a new sign on the back wall that says “Mourning Coffin special – Coffee and a muffin for $3 – before 9am only.]
Rob (dejected, hoping for Baker to be there): Oh, hi.
Baker’s Assistant: Hai, how’s it –
Rob (interrupting): Hey, sorry. Where’s the guy who was working here yesterday?
Baker’s Assistant: Oh, that’s Todd. He has the day off tod –
Rob is already on his way out the door. He goes up to first person he sees.
Rob: Where does Todd live?
Rob (exasperated): Todd, the baker. I need him.
Passerby: Ah, I think he’s over on Morrow somewhere.
Rob sighs and walks away. He sees a street sign saying “Morrow” and his eyes light up. He knocks on the first door he sees, and an elderly woman answers.
Rob (desperate now): Where’s Todd?
The old woman points to a nearby house then goes back to her stories. Rob runs across the street and knocks on that door. Todd answers, groggy and yawning, just waking up.
Rob (relieved, smiling): Hello and good morning! It’s very nice to see you. Could I please have one poppyseed bagel, one chocolate (said in a spot-on French accent) croissant, and a large coffee, black. Just how Kaldi first made it!
Todd initially looks confused, but almost immediately his face begins showing that he’s impressed. He turns to the side and picks up a tray containing Rob’s complete order and hands it to him. They shake hands as if they just completed a mutually-profitable business deal.
[Author’s note: It’s possible that the two high-five at the end, but that would require Rob to have sufficient dexterity to complete that action while also holding the tray. The actor’s ability would determine whether or not this alternate ending is used.]