The scene: The Office, aka spare bedroom, Saturday night circa 8:30 pm. The room is empty except for a small step ladder, paint cans, rollers and drop cloths lining the floor.
Three tall floor lamps illuminate the space, located near our main characters, dressed in worn out jeans and old t-shirts, who are painting the bare walls. One wall has two windows facing the street, which are open to help ventilate. The blinds are raised all the way to the top, offering no privacy. Our female lead does trim work, while the male lead rolls the paint on to the wall. The characters are quietly performing their work with minimal conversation. Suddenly from outside the open windows, our main characters hear excited voices. They briefly stop painting.
Somanna: “Someone must be having a party.”
Beth:”Oh really? Look outside. I wonder who it is.”
Somanna: “Hmmm, I don’t really see anyone out. It’s really dark out there. Kind of hard to see.”
Beth: ” Well it sounds like it’s coming from down the street.” She picks up her brush and resumes painting trim close to the baseboard.
Somanna: ” I really don’t see anyone. It looks like Jeff has a few people over but I don’t see anyone outside. Man it’s really dark tonight. Must be a new moon or something.” He then walks over and rolls his roller in the paint tray.
The characters resume painting. The chattering outside begins to fade just as our characters are finishing the painting. We then follow our female lead as she goes downstairs to wash the soaked paintbrushes.
Along the way, she turns on the hall light, another hall light, the kitchen light, the garage light, and the back stoop light. While she is awkwardly hunched over a plastic bucket washing the paintbrushes with a water hose, Somanna opens the garage door to the back stoop.
Somanna: “Hey I’ve cleaned up the room. I’m going to go ahead and reheat the pizza. Do you need help with anything?”
Beth: “No, I’m almost done with these brushes. It’s just taking longer because I can’t really see that far away from this stoop light.”
Somanna: “I’ll turn on the deck light for you. That way you’ll have more light.”
Beth: “Oh ok, Thanks!”
The Scene: The bedroom circa 11 pm later that same night. Our main characters are in their pajamas. Our leading lady moves about the room, readying for bed and tidying the room. Our main man flips on the tv while waiting for her to finish, to catch the news headlines.
First TV Newscaster, Male: “North Carolinians were asked to turn off all non-essential lighting for one hour Saturday, beginning at 8:30 p.m., as part of Earth Hour. Earth Hour is a worldwide initiative to raise awareness about climate change and energy conservation.”
Second TV Newscaster, Female: “The City of Raleigh joined other governments, businesses and organizations in participating in Earth Hour by turning off non-essential lighting at municipal buildings.
This was the third year of Earth Hour, which attracted more than 80 million participants in the United States. Some locals even elected to have Earth Hour parties. Here’s Anne Smith with our story.”
(TV fades to background)
Somanna, voice slightly raised: “Hey Beth, what time did we finish painting tonight?”
Beth:”Um, somewhere around 8:45 ish. I know I was outside rinsing the brushes around 9:15. Why?”
Somanna, under his breath:”Oh Sh*t.” Then louder, “No reason!”
(Our bad Mother Earth, our bad. But we’ll be sure to catch Earth Hour next year!)