Iâ€™m Not Perfect (a character vignette) by Heather Lawson
INT. LUXURY CAR
In the rearview mirror, perfectly manicured hands line lips in bright red. The lips "pop", and a fuller picture reveals DONNA at the wheel. Everything on her is done. Oprah wishes she could be Donna. She abruptly switches lanes. She mouths "sorry" to an angry motorist. It’s a weak apology. In the rearview mirror, she spots us. DONNA I’m not perfect. Distant yelling from the driver. She flips him off, and speeds ahead. DONNA I make mistakes. The car pulls up to a large complex, with a giant cross. It’s the sexiest megachurch you’ve ever seen. Donna parks next to a tiny, smart car, and dings the small car’s door as she exits. She feigns an "ooof" as she flippantly inspects the door. DONNA Like this? Oops, mistake. She pulls out a business card, and proceeds to write on the back. DONNA What’s important is how you respond to those mistakes. Donna places the card on the windshield, revealing "NEXT TIME, PARK ON THE BIKE RACK, ASSHOLE." BEGIN LONG TRACKING SHOT DONNA We’re all just human beings being humans. Animal brains in animal bodies. I mean, do I regret some things, sometimes? Sure, I’m vulnerable. But regret, shame, guilt- like my first husband- is useless. She walks and talks towards the entrance, stepping out in front of cars, the elderly, toddlers. Nothing stands in her way.
2. DONNA Look, I took my nephew to the zoo. A monkey threw shit at us. I didn’t blame the monkey. It’s a monkey.
The entrance is huge. DONNA Maybe, we’re all living in a zoo, in our own little exhibits. Aliens support us with their tax dollars. And I must be an endangered species. Like, the snow leopard. Because, frankly, I’ve never seen anyone like me. She passes a young woman struggling with a pyramid of coffee cups. Donna opens the door, and lets it close behind her. Drinks topple, but Donna doesn’t hesitate. The young woman collapses and cries in a blurry distance. DONNA It’s my cross to bear. I do hope someone out there- (she points to the sky)- is having fundraiser drives for my kind. An elevator door pings open. She gets in. A large man runs for the elevator. Donna presses the button for the top floor and then, "door close." DONNA I should know what’s worth saving. I’m in the business of saving. He labors, out of breath, as the door closes. The elevator dings for every floor, and seemingly, louder/faster as it rises to the top. DONNA And now that I have your undivided attention, I should tell you I know what you are thinking. You think you’re thinking- "Wow, she’s awful." Nope. I mean, yeah, maybe I am. But, that’s not it. That’s the surface thought. Below, underneath, where it’s icky, and where it counts: you’re really thinking "I’m better than her." That. That is truly awful. In fact, it is the cruelest thing that’s happened since the beginning of this script. (tsk tsk) Animal brains... (CONTINUED)
The door opens and she walks down the hallway of a stunning, modern office- tosses her coat at someone, and another is waiting for her with a cup of tea. As we follow her, everyone steps out of our way. DONNA You don’t know me, but I’m going to save you today. I’ve already made you feel better about yourself. Then, worse. And now, I’m going to bring you closer to God. I can’t promise I’ll be polite about it. I admit, I can be bitch. But, as they say, it all has a reason. At the end of the hallway, in front of a billion dollar door, she turns. She tidys her crisp white collar, revealing a chunky necklace with a sparkly cross. DONNA Bitches don’t get forgotten. (epiphany) Maybe, God is a- hmm. It’s something to discuss. She looks us up and down. DONNA You don’t say much, do you? (rolls her eyes, sighs) Bless yourShe shuts the door behind her. The name on the door: THE REVEREND DR. DONNA BELL. END LONG TRACKING SHOT