CKL's HotSheet
What Non-Aardvarks are Pondering

By Curtis C. Chen

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December 27, 1999

One Night Only

Last night, I had a dream that could, in theory, be the beginning of a interesting story. For the moment, I'm calling it One Night Only and treating it like a screenplay. Here's a brief synopsis (first draft) of Act One:

He encounters her at the university library.  He's seen her a few times
before, but this time, they talk long enough for him to tell her she looks
just like _____, the actress.  She laughs and says she gets that a lot.

After a few more conversations, he asks her out.  They start spending more
time together.  She says she's still pretty new in town and asks him to
show her around.

They talk a lot.  She asks him about the history of the university, but is
reticent about her own past.  He gets her to show him around her
workplace, a lab near campus, but she seems uneasy about it.

Finally, they spend a night together at his apartment and have sex.  The
next week, she's gone.  He can't find her anywhere.  He asks at the
library; nobody's seen her.  He goes to her workplace, and they say
they've never heard of anyone by that name.

A few days later, he receives a letter from the woman.  She explains that
she actually is _____, and she had been staying in town and working at the
lab to research a part for her next movie role.  She was essentially
playing a character the whole time, and apologizes for having deceived
him.  She hadn't intended to get involved or stay for so long.

She says that after they slept together, she was suddenly afraid of what
might happen next.  She didn't want him to get into a relationship with
someone who wasn't real, and she didn't know how to break it off, so she
just left.  But now she wants to try to pick up the pieces.

He doesn't write back.  She comes to his apartment and tries to talk to
him, but he's been feeling angry, betrayed, used.  He turns her away.


I'm sure many other movies have already explored this subject matter in some way, but all the ones I can think of (e.g., Notting Hill) are romantic or screwball comedies with sitcom sensibilities and about as much depth. I envision One Night Only as a drama-- closer to a parable or fairy tale-- about the magic, good and bad, that people can manufacture for themselves under the right circumstances.

Nobody forces us to fall in love, but sometimes we force ourselves.

Anyway. I'd rather not speculate about the source of this particular dream. Astute readers will notice the hyperlinks at the bottom of the page and do their own dollar-book Freud analysis. As usual, let me know if you have any notes for the second draft.


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