Jesse and Beatrix

by: Justin G.

a cartoon

Cast : all rabbits!

 

“If you love someone—there is no possible harm in saying so—only you must remember that some people are very shy and sometimes the saying must take that shyness into consideration.”

-John Steinbeck

Act 1: Jesse’s Story

Jesse and Beatrix are at the museum wiping down some tables.

Beatrix:
You don’t seem like you have a problem with generosity.

Jesse: Thanks!

Beatrix:
So you were saying your friend wouldn’t let you give your sweater away?

Jesse:
Right! Which seemed totally crazy to me.

Beatrix:

Totally crazy. Who is this girl again?

Jesse:
Oh, her name’s Monica. We met at a bar a few months ago. And she invited me to this thing, pornographic literary fan-fiction, or something like that. It was fun. But I was really just looking forward to going to my friend Marcos the Time Travelers house.

Beatrix:
Is he really a time traveler?

Jesse:
Who knows. He seems to know a lot about a lot of stuff.

Beatrix: Cool

Jesse:
Yeah, he is. So I was really excited to see him. And I was already meeting my friend Amy there. And I don’t know why, but I thought it would be fun to bring Monica along too. What a mistake. She got so drunk! But, before we left the fan-fiction thing, we met these two great people who actually ended up coming with us. The girl was from India and she was on her first big tour of the US, so she was really curious about everything. I think the guy she was with liked her but he wasn’t doing anything about it. I don’t know. I’m glad they came though. Me and that dude, Andrew I think, bought a bottle of whiskey together. He was so friendly. But Monica! We all go into Marcos’ house and everyone’s pretty into it. drinking and smoking a little, but mostly just talking. Marcos is explaining some lofty idea and Monica starts bellowing about like a jack hammer. She even kept calling me over, but I wouldn’t go. Anyway, they all start to leave. Well, except for Amy who would stay
much later. Later than me even. They all start to go and I like Andrew and the Indian girl, who’s name unfortunately escapes me now, I like their story and I want to send them off the best I can. So I decide to give Andrew the sweater I’m wearing. Its old and my grandma got it for me, but I’ve had it a very long time and I was kind of tired of it. So I offer it, and he’s a little reluctant at first, but recognizes the kind gesture and accepts it. But here comes Monica, who won’t let him take the sweater.

Beatrix:
Its none of her business!

Jesse:
Exactly! But it’s like Marcos says, people right now have a hard time with generosity.

Beatrix: Right.

Jesse:

Even after they left, Andrew with the sweater, Monica insisted that he give it to her so she could return it to me later. She just couldn’t let it go!

Beatrix: Crazy.

Donald:
You guys want to come in for the meeting?

Beatrix and Jesse smile at each other and walk into the other room.

Act 2: The First Party

Jesse walks up to an apartment at night with a 6 pack in hand. He has his headphones on and he’s dancing to himself. Jesse lowers his headphones and knocks on the door at the end of the courtyard. Miles answers the door and greets him warmly. Andy, Miles girlfriend, is on the couch.

Miles:
So, what’s been up, man? I haven’t seen you in awhile.

Jesse:
I can’t get this girl out of my head.

Andy:
Oo! A girl huh? What’s her name?

Jesse: Beatrix Blackerby.

Miles:
That sounds like a made up name.

Jesse:
Yeah! This girl should be made up. She’s driving me crazy.

Andy:
Really? What happened?

Jesse:
You won’t believe it.

Miles: Ok...

Jesse:
Its funny. I didn’t even really notice her until a few weeks ago and now she’s all I can think about. It just kind of started gaining momentum and, well, hm, so, my work was doing this secret santa thing and somehow I actually pulled her name! Well, really my boss Helena pulled it for me, but you know, it was a brilliant stroke of luck. When I saw her name in that email, I nearly fell out of my seat. And the best part is, like last week, we were talking and she mentioned this beer, Pliny the Elder that she really likes and how you can only get it at the ferry building once a week and they only sell one per customer.

Miles:
You know they have it on tap at Toranado, right?.

Jesse:
Dude, whatever. She wanted a bottle. It was perfect. So, I went out to the ferry building on Wednesday at two, right when its released and got a bottle.

Andy: You’re crazy

Jesse:
I know. And
then, I went home, designed a custom label and got it all wrapped up. It was great . I really spent a lot of time on that. But it gets better. Friday, its the office

party. I get all dressed up as much as I can, grab the present from the fridge where its been since Wednesday and off I go. I’m pretty nervous at this point by the way. Though I’m pretty sure Beatrix Blackerby has no idea I even think about her at all. Anyway, I get to the party and of course I’m kind of secretly looking around for her the whole time. I’m not even sure she’s there actually. She mentioned before that she’d been sick all week, so I’m kind of doubtful. I’m doing my best to mingle with everyone, but it is really hard to concentrate. Finally, she like comes out of nowhere wearing this little red dress, and I think I’m going to die. I thought she was nice and friendly before, but when I saw her then, well, that was it. I did my best for awhile playing pool with our accountant Lily and trying to make small talk, but really I was just waiting for the gift exchange. I was getting even more nervous too, because I started to worry that maybe it was too big a gesture for someone I barely know. But the gift exchange came and people started opening their packages. I don’t know where she went and I think I started to black out a little or something, but the next thing I know she’s right there telling everyone how great the gift is. She was like taking pictures of the bottle and everything. She had to go soon after that, but that was all I could handle in one night anyway. She did give me a little hug as she was leaving. Sure, she gave everyone a hug as she was leaving, but of course I imagined the one she gave me had a little something extra to it. I don’t know.

Andy: Wow

Jesse:

I know! ....hey, thanks for the beer, man. I think I gotta go.

Miles:
Really, you just got here...

Jesse:
I know, but, I’m just having a hard time concentrating right now. Sorry.

Act 3: The Second Party

Two dorky high school boys sit at a bus stop in the middle of the night. Jesse approaches from down the street, dancing to unheard music.

Boy 1:
Hey man, how’s it going?

Jesse:
Oh my gosh, so good. I think I’m in love!

Boy 2: Wow. Thats cool.

Jesse:
Oh she’s the best, and so beautiful! We just got out of this great little party. Oh, but its been a crazy day all around.

Boy 2: Yeah?

Jesse:
Yeah! Like earlier at work, we work together, we went out to lunch for the first time. It might have been the best lunch I’ve ever had with someone. Holy crap! You won’t believe it. We work downtown, at the insect museum. Its next to the convention center, you know? So when there’s a big conference, there’s like a million people everywhere. And we only get a half an hour, so like every place we go to is completely packed, lines out the door, the whole thing! We’d been talking about that burger place, Maxwell’s, how they have these really good pickles. She’s so cool. We didn’t even buy anything. We just kind of snuck in and grabbed a couple free trays of those pickles. My stomach gets kind of messed up when I meet really awesome girls, so I wasn’t even hungry. But we went to a few other restaurants, all slammed. We ended up at this crepe place that still took forever. We were at least ten minutes late by the time we were even eating the crepes. Then it starts to really rain and neither of us are really prepared for that so we just get soaked. Crepes and all. But you know what, the way she was laughing and still eating that soggy crepe as we scurried back to the museum, I don’t know, it was really like she was glowing from inside to me. I know that sounds lame, but its true.

Boy 1:
What about the party?

Jesse:
Oh yeah, so that happened later. See, after work we went out for drinks together. I actually expected her to say she was busy or something when I asked her if she wanted to come along. But she didn’t. She was totally into it. So it was me and her, her name’s Beatrix, by the way, the front desk guy Brandon, and our boss Helena. But check this out. We’re all talking at the bar, right? Just about online dating or something, when Helena, my boss, asks Beatrix how her boyfriend is doing? I’m serious, I almost fell out of my chair. Maybe I did. A plane could have crashed into the restaurant at that moment and I might not have noticed. But I was able to shake it off and keep going. Actually, right after that, she gets a text from one of the interns at the museum asking if she wants to come to their party. She said she didn’t really want to go alone, so you can probably guess, I jumped at the chance. Brandon said he wanted to come along too, but I wasn’t even paying attention to that. You can see how crazy this girl has made me already. I’m normally a normal kind of guy. But with her, its totally different. I don’t know. So, we’re on the train to the Sunset where the party is, and thats great too. We’re all just talking about all sorts of things: our families, the museum, people we know, whatever. Anyway, we got off the train and hit the liquor store where we ran into some of the interns going to the same party. Beatrix even managed to buy the beer for us. You gotta remember, this girl is crafty.

Boy 1:
She bought the beer. Man that’s a cool chick huh?

Jesse:
Totally! And at the party, we had so much fun. Pizza, drinks, games, they were very well stocked. Beatrix had this slice of pizza as big as her head. We kind of broke into separate little groups then, but I kept trying to steal little glances when I could. I think she was doing the same, but that’s probably just me being hopeful. But! after awhile, some people at the party started playing dice. They didn’t really know what they were doing, and neither do I, but when they got bored with them, I grabbed the dice and asked Beatrix if she wanted to play. I love to make up games but most people aren’t really into that. Of course Beatrix was. Did I mention how much I love this girl? Oh, and another thing which is kind of hard to describe, but whenever we’re together, there always seem to be these great little coincidences. Like when we were playing dice tonight, I knew I could call whatever she rolled, and do you know what? It happened! I called doubles and she rolled two ones. It wasn’t even that much of a surprise. I knew it would happen. We played for like ten minutes and to me, it was like we were the only ones in the room. Of course eventually people started gathering around, curious about what we were playing so intently, but we couldn’t really explain the rules very well. It sounds weird, but the game we made up relied a lot on our trust in each other. Well, maybe not trust but, well, you know what I mean. Then everyone wanted to play cards against humanity, which I don’t really like that much. It was ok. That was about it

actually. She got up and I just kind of followed her out. I was in such a daze. She got a cab outside, gave Brandon and I a quick hug and she was off.

Boy 2: Cool man.

Boy 1:
And she bought the beer.

Jesse:
I know, right? Oh, here’s my bus. Thanks for listening, guys.

Act 4: The Holidays / The Scarf

Jesse’s room. Its messy. He’s in bed. His phone buzzes or beeps. He rolls over and checks. Its MJ.

(In texts) MJ: bfast?

Jesse: sure! usual spot

MJ: fine.

Jesse waiting in front of the diner. MJ drives up. He takes a while paying the meter. In the restaurant.

Jesse:
So, do you want to hear my plan?

MJ:
About Beatrice Blackberry? No.

Jesse:
You think I talk about her too much?

MJ:
Yeah dude. Way too much.

Jesse:

I guess so.

MJ:
Fine, whats your plan?

Jesse: Bonfire!

MJ: Really?

Jesse:
Yeah. It would be perfect. Right? She could bring her friends or whatever, maybe find some people who want to tag along. You never know. These things can happen.

MJ:
And are you still dancing in the park the next day?

Jesse:
Yeah, hopefully she’ll come out for that too. I still do need a beatbox though.

MJ:
You’re so John Cusack.

Jesse:
I know, I can’t help it.

Jesse’s phone beeps. He checks it quickly. The screen says “Beans.”

Jesse:
Oh hey, its Dinah. Says she needs more boxes.

MJ:
You still have some of her stuff?

Jesse:
Yeah, and she’s got a bunch of mine. I don’t think we’ll ever actually have all our stuff in the right place. But I almost forgot, we hung out at her place last night.

MJ: Who?

Jesse: Beatrix Blackerby

MJ:

Really?

Jesse:
Yeah. I was drinking with my friend Archie at Toronado when she texted me. I wish I hadn’t had so many with Archie, because I was not in tip top shape when I got to her place. I don’t think they really noticed, but it made me shy. They were all nice though. But then they all left and it was just me and Beatrix Blackerby in her living room...

MJ:
Did you kiss her?

Jesse:
Of course not. I mean I sure wanted to. But you know, she’s got her boyfriend and the museum is really important to her. Besides, I doubt she would have wanted to. I don’t know. Anyways, I guess as I was leaving I dropped my scarf. She found it the next morning crumpled in some leaves. Crazy.

MJ: I’m off to the farm. See ya later.

Jesse: Bye!

Jesse is walking the empty streets in the middle of the night. It is about 20 minutes into the new year. He gets a text from his friend Robin who lives in Washington

(In text)
Robin:
Happy New Year! I love you!

Jesse:
Hey Robin. Happy New Year to you too! How’s the party?

Robin:
Ok I guess. I’m really really drunk and I think I just kissed about 6 gay guys.

Jesse: Cool.

Robin: How about you?

Jesse:
I couldn’t take it, I left before the countdown.

Robin:
What? Really? What about Beatrix. What about your plan?

Jesse:
Total bust. Still, though, it was a weird night.

Robin:
Mine too. What about the bonfire?

Jesse:
No. I should have known better.

Robin: Sorry

Jesse:
I did see her tonight though...

Robin:
Really? When? At a party?

Jesse:
No, on the bus. It was crazy. I really can’t believe it sometimes.

Robin: No way...

Jesse:
Yeah, I know. I met up with my friend Lila who knew of a few parties and we get on the bus, it goes a few blocks and makes us all get off. So we had to wait for the next one. And boom! there she is, with her roommate!

Robin: What the hell?!

Jesse:
All of these little coincidences just make me nervous. I don’t even remember what we said to each other. We must have said something. Well, she got off the bus and we sat down. I didn’t want to be rude to Lila, but I had to like get my head around seeing her. I was kind of trying not to think about her that night. You know? I just wanted to go to a party, sing some Taylor Swift, and be done with it. But seeing her on that bus really turned me around. I don’t think I got over it all night. Lila’s friends probably think I’m a total goober. I was so distracted. And I was not feeling the karaoke. But Lila’s a sport so we ran out of there and went to this big gay party up on Bernal Hill. It was fun, I guess. But I just couldn’t really get in the spirit. Five minutes before midnight I got up, grabbed some alcohol from the table and walked out. I just couldn’t handle it. So, here I am.

Robin:

Sorry, Jesse.

Jesse:
Its ok. Goodnight.

Robin:
‘night. Happy New Year!

A small alert pops up on Jesse’s phone a moment later.

(In text)
Marcos the Time Traveler:
“When ye have burned all hope, she can be won.”

Act 5: Lands End

Jesse lays on the Stern Grove stage. It is dark and there are trees surrounding him. He seems sick and uncertain. His sketch book is open but there’s just a couple words scattered around the page. There is a mostly uneaten plate of fries near him too. His headphones lie next to him. His phone rumbles. The screen shows “Beans.”

Jesse:
Hey JB! Am I glad to hear from you?!

Dinah: What’s up, poke?

Jesse: I’m so dumb.

Dinah: That’a true.

Jesse: Hey!

Dinah:
Heehee. Anyway, why are you so dumb?

Jesse:
I think I fell in love.

Dinah: Pokey!

Jesse:
I know, and she’s only 23!

Dinah: Rude.

Jesse:
Its not so bad. You might even like her.

Dinah:
Doubtful. So what? What happened? Did you go on a date with her?

Jesse:
Sort of. Just now too. It was so weird!

Dinah: Oh yeah?

Jesse:
Yeah. Well its kind of a long story though.

Dinah: Hmm

Jesse
But not like
super long. I’ll just tell you about tonight.

Fine, go ahead, tell your story. But I might watch some Supernatural while you do.

Jesse:
Thats fine. So, I went all out on this date, or whatever it was that we went on tonight. I’m working on my planning. I even put together a Wes Anderson trail mix. Ha, thats pretty good. Anyway, I brought all sorts of treats too. You would have loved this almond brittle I got at the farmers market.

Dinah: Mmmm

Jesse:
It
was good. So we were gonna walk Lands End at night.

Dinah:
That doesn’t seem so smart.

Jesse:

Anyway, I brought a flashlight, so it was fine. And Beatrix is very brave, so we made it all the way to the cliff house.

Dinah:
Oo, I love the cliff house. Very nice, pokes.

Jesse
Me too, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

Dinah Got it

Jesse
So, we planned this hike for like a week. I’ve been
very excited.

Dinah:
You do enjoy a good walk

Jesse:
Its true. So, here’s a tricky bit. She works at the museum with me.

Dinah: Uh oh.

Jesse:
Yeah, so when we left from work, I had to be extra sneaky while I waited for her to pack up.

Dinah
You aren’t very sneaky, pokes.

Jesse:
Oh, yes I am. But once we got out of work, it was great.

Dinah:
You better be careful!

Jesse:
Its funny, thats what
I said to her later on. Anyway, first we went and got some coffee at Blue Bottle for our big outing.

Dinah: Very nice.

Jesse:

Thanks! And so we hopped on the old 38 and headed out. She really is very easy to talk to. About lots of stuff too. She’s kind of like you though, very superstitious.

Dinah:
I’m not
that superstitious!

Jesse
Yes you are. Anyway, we got to the end of the line and had to walk over to the trail. You know how sometimes I get lost and stop right in the middle of the street to figure things out?

Dinah Yes

Jesse:
She does the same thing. So, we get up to the top, to the Legion of Honor. That’s when I start this little playlist I made. First song was that one from Moonrise Kingdom

Dinah:
I still don’t like that they killed that poor pup!

Jesse
It was that one where the kid announces all the instruments. It was cool. So, we’re walking along in the dark talking about all sort of things. There was this one scary dude just sitting on a bench about halfway down the trail.

Dinah Eek!

Jesse
It was ok, we just turned up the music and hurried past. But we ended up at that Harold and Maude spot. And like right when we got to the edge this huge fog bank starts rolling in. It was so cool. And it wasn’t even that cold! So, as the fog is just starting to get to us, we go down to the caves, but its way too dark. This girl, Beatrix, by the way, she wouldn’t even go into the caves. She just stood guard outside. And I was probably in there thirty seconds before I ran out. Anyway, we started going back up. But I remembered I had a little smoke treat in my bag.

Dinah Your favorite!

Jesse
Yup. And she was totally down. I think we talked about Lord of the Rings

Dinah
How old is this girl?

Jesse twenty-three

Dinah Figures

Jesse
So after that, thats when we went up to the cliff house. I guess she used to come down to San Francisco a lot when she was a kid. She’s from Washington. She showed me all of her favorite paintings, then we just kind of sat around a while talking about nothing. I started getting a little nervous, actually, because I never really told her how I felt, and it kind of seemed like I needed to.

Dinah
I guess. So, what happened?

Jesse
Well, we were finally at the bus stop waiting to go home, and, oh geez, this is the bad part.

Dinah Ok...

Jesse:
So she has this boyfriend

Dinah Pokey!

Jesse
I know! I’m trying to be good. But she starts kind of complaining about how she hates when people use pet names with her, and I guess her boyfriend had just sent her a text and called her ‘baby’ or something.

Dinah Weird

Jesse
I know. But her talking about her boyfriend like that got all these things going in my head so I finally say: ‘Blackerby,’ that’s her last name...

Dinah Pretty good

Jesse

I know. I said, ‘Blackerby, I really have to be careful around you.’ And I guess she’d been waiting to talk about all this too because she immediately asks if I’ve been thinking about this a lot and of course I said ‘Yes, tons!’

Dinah
Wow, pokey, thats very brave of you.

Jesse
I thought so. But then we talked about how we can’t really do anything about it because of her boyfriend and work and all this junk.

Dinah I see

Jesse
But THEN! I said, ‘do you want to know what I really think?’

Dinah Uh oh.

Jesse
Yeah. I said ‘ I think it will just have to happen someday.’

Dinah Oh my word.

Jesse
And she responded with this crazy Steinbeck quote. It was like ‘the important thing is not to hurry. Nothing good gets a way.’ Man, bean, I almost lost it. You know me.

Dinah Yes I do.

Jesse
So after that we just got on the bus and went home. I don’t know what to think.

Dinah
Cheer up Poke. You need to focus on your work anyway. Remember, that’s why you moved to San Francisco in the first place.

Jesse
You’re right. I just get so caught up in these things.

Dinah
Poor poke. Well, I gotta get back to my shift.

Jesse Thanks bean.

Dinah
Good night! Love you!

Jesse Love you too.

Jesse hangs up the phone, lays back down on the stage, and laughs.

Thanks & Credits

Written and drawn by Justin G.
Special thanks to Tina Lee, Ryan Gilchrist, Matt Johnson, Mike Voyles, Angela P., Lila Savage, Rachel 500, Everyone at the Children’s Creativity Museum, my parents, HG, Andy, Renae Janetski, and of course Bill Watterson.

“And sometimes its just a good story.”