Excerpt from MILK by Emily DeVoti

MATT
Have you ever seen it? You know, MTV?

VERONICA
Oh, that… Yeah. Sure.

MATT
You have? What’s it like?

VERONICA
You know, music, videos. It’s…I don’t know, you listen to the song and then you see stuff. Which one?

MATT
“I Wanna New Drug,” Huey Lewis.

VERONICA
Uck.

MATT
What?

VERONICA
Why do you want to know?

MATT
I—guess I want to know what I’m supposed to see
when I hear it. I mean, I listen to it, all the time, but—

VERONICA
Well, what do YOU see?

MATT
Uh…

VERONICA
Everyone’s supposed to see something different,
inside, when they hear it, that’s the point—that’s
what music’s about.

MATT
Then why did they make a music video, duh?

VERONICA
Because—Oh, okay, fine. But I don’t think I can
remember that one.

MATT
I’ll sing it for you. “I wanna new drug, one that won’t make me sick, one that won’t make me talk too much, or,” (he mumbles something, can’t quite get the words) “I wanna new dru-ug—”

VERONICA
(laughing)
Ok, you know what. That’s actually kind of not
inspiring? I remember. So—The music, you hear that, IN YOUR HEAD, and then—you see him singing.

MATT
What’s he look like?

VERONICA
Pale, skinny, dark hair, white t-shirt, black
leather jacket… He’s on the tape jacket, you know
what he looks like.

MATT
I just thought— Okay, whatever. Then what?

VERONICA
He’s in his apartment, somewhere kind of skuzzy, you know, “downtown,” “cool”… some closet, bare white walls, roaches, rust in the water. Got it? And it’s his face, and he’s singing, and then he’s, you know, kind of thrashing through his bare refrigerator looking for drugs—but all he finds are ice cubes—so he throws them in a sink full of water, and sticks his face in it, and then it’s like this underwater point of view—his face, it’s in the water, it’s in the camera, but—it’s like he’s singing
at YOU, TO YOU: “one that don’t make me crazy,
wondering what to do—”

VERONICA and MATT
“One that makes me feel like I feel when I’m
with you…I’m alone with you, I’m alone with—”

MATT
“You, ba-by…”

HE doesn’t stop, and ends up soloing, badly. HE blushes. THEY crack up.

VERONICA
And then, he walks from his kitchen,
through a hallway, and suddenly he’s
like “onstage at his own concert!”—
that’s weird—and then…it’s over.
(defensively) It’s not like I’ve ever
actually watched it, you know—it just…
comes on. There’s not many of them. The
same one runs like every hour.

Contributor

Emily DeVoti

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