I watch You for Titles


I thought it fair to warn all Eleven of you to watch what you say and do. I am sweet little sponge, stealing your words and cataloguing them in my brain for later usage. Namely, for titles. I never start something until I know what it’s called. It’s natural to want to name things, even things that don’t require names, like Snails and Bikes and um, Sandwiches.

But the problem I get myself into – is that I start with this beautiful group or pair of words in my head that feels to me to be the most profound thing ever- and then I find a story within it. The whole time I’m writing the thing, I refer to it by this title – this random group of words that feels profound. But by the time I’m done with the play – it no longer merits the title. The play has come so far since its nugget of inspiration that the title no longer makes any sense at all – and I don’t want to be one of those writers with irksomely ambiguous titles. Like in college, I had this play ‘Exit Plato.’ What? It was about this ghost woman named Grace haunting her family. I just liked the sound of the words – then made up this story about how the title referred to the fact that ‘all characters are like – driving down this highway – of like life –and like – they see this like exit and like – it doesn’t make any sense -‘…..Profundity, at its best.

My recent failed titles include ‘Torch Number Two,’ ‘I Used to Write on Walls,’ and ‘You May Go Now: A marriage Play.’ I am much more into the titles of my one acts like ‘I Have it’ and ‘Happy Birthday/I’m Dead’ and ‘The Doughnut Emergency.’

But on the flipside, I kind of don’t care, because titles make me really really happy. I wish that I could make a living naming things. What is that? I don’t mean things without names like New Plants and Diseases. I mean people’s art, I think.

Sometimes they punch me in the face like seven at a time, and I walk home in a trance thinking about them. I walk into things and drop my Metrocard and take wrong turns and miss Important Stops.

Titles on the Horizon include (but are not limited to) Snails without Homes, First Dates Forever, The Things I (Unselfishly) Want for Myself, and Falling in Love on the Internet.


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