ONE ACTS
   By:  Kathryn G. McCarty

a

T H E   S T A R   P O L I S H E R
BY KATHRYN G. McCARTY

This play was originally produced in 2001 by the Onstage Theatre Company.
Directed By:  Dorothea Rastegar
Tessa: Helen Means.

For Emi Marcus, my Wooten.  It’s amazing to see how very poetic one’s life can be.  I am lucky should my life be only ½ as poetic and beautiful as yours.


STARPOLISHER      

Lights up on TESSA upstage right pulling a small metal cart down the Hollywood Walk of Fame.  She walks down  a row of five stars bearing the following names:  Grouch Marx, Edgar Bergen, Burt Lancaster, Joanne Woodward, and Ronald Coleman, lined on a diagonal.  A street planter runs along the upstage diagonal of  the sidewalk.  A few medium sized plants fill the planter, which is surrounded by discarded papers and food containers.  Upstage Left of the planter is a City trash can.

In it, pail, wet and dry rags,  broom and her lunch.   The light is crisp.  The sounds of early morning in the City.    She addresses the stars on the Walk as she moves to JoAnne Woodward.

TESSA
Oh, hello Mr. Marx.  Saw Animal Crackers on the late late movie last night.  (Miming the cigar)  “I never forget a face, but in your case I’ll be glad to make an exception”  You’re as funny as you ever were.
It’s a bitch getting’ old.
Oh, excuse me, Ms. Woodward.
JoAnne Woodward, and me. 1st in the stars on the Walk, she is.  We share the same birthday. Feb. 27, 1930.   Yeah?   Sure it is, Mr. Lancaster.   JoAnne Woodward, and me….   You can believe what you like Mr. Bergen   (looks at JoAnne’s neighbor’s star, then mimes a ventriloquist)  but  If I had her  money, I’d look that good too.
John wasn’t in the best mood this morning.  I think he stayed out too late last night.  Maybe it’s toting an old lady around that bothers him so much.   He’s a good boy, looking after me an’all.
Better than Larry.  Larry’s my second borne.  Won’t even take out my trash. .  Larry’s born in ’56 and John in ‘63.     My husband always thought Larry was named after him.  Truth is…..I named him after Laurence Olivier.  He was in Richard III that year.  The greatest actor of all time.  Least that’s my opinion.
My girl, Grace was born first.  Named her after “Grace Kelly”.    She made quite a wonderful movie that year, “The Country Girl.”    Incredible!  Such a beautiful young woman…  a tragedy.    We lost a couple of them that way.
When something terrible like that comes up, fans come here in droves.   Drop flowers all over the Walk.    Out of respect.
Their spirits come here – when they get all tired of that silence in their countryside graves.    They want to get back to where the action is!
I saw the most elegant lady crying over Lucille Ball the other day.      Standing there with her scarf pulled over her head.  The most delicate whimper.  Almost like somebody was buried here -- like it was a tombstone.   That’s what it’s like for some of them.  That’s the kind of RESPECT most people walk with.
England’s got King’s and Queens.  We Americans, we got Stars.  (Tessa  drifts, it is a moment of confusion.  It is a moment in time that she does not know where she is.)
When I was a girl, every Saturday afternoon we’d go to the movies.   My big  brother Joey’d walk us uptown to the Old Capital.  Double feature, 5 cents.   To me the theatre was like a palace--INDOOR BATHROOMS.
Shirley Temple was my favorite as a kid.   Even had a Shirley Temple Doll.   I slept in pin curls so I would look like her. (Fluffing her hair)   I know, I know, it’s hard to believe, it is.  Shirley’s grown now, and got 3 kids just like me.  Got grandkids even.  Joey hated Shirley Temple.  He loved Loraine Day.
         Joey took us to see  Fantasia  in  ’41.   Boy, that was – racy for those days.  The Hays movie people made Mr. Disney put garland flower bras on the centaurettes.   
Joey and me packed in homemade oatmeal raisin cookies.   They stayed warm the whole way – we walked over a mile, with the smell of mama’s cookies trailing after us.   Joey let me sit on his lap when I got scared.   We watched the soldiers in Movietone News – they showed it before the films – and a cartoon too.
That Winter, Pearl Harbor was bombed.  After that Joey begged Mama to let him sign up.  He wanted to fight something fierce.  He wanted to be like those soldiers.    
(Agitated)  John’s coming soon.  Real soon.    He gets real cranky if I’m not done.….   (She trails off)
I saw “It’s a Wonderful Life” every day at the Capital.    I love Donna Reed!  So beautiful!  That was the year I learned to believe in angels.   I was staying with my Aunt Rae,  she worked the box office at the Capitol.  We stayed with Aunt Rae, because ma was real sick.  She died that year.  I think she died of a broken heart.  She never was the same after we lost Joey.
That  summer I turned 16, my cousin Jeannie and I went to the movies every Saturday night.  We always met up with boys--sometimes they wanted to neck--I was pretty bashful.  Never was too enthused about boys or necking.  I guess I was  a "late bloomer".
I saw Mel Gibson on the walk last week!     Mel Gibson.  Everybody wants to clean him.
Funny how people come down here to peek at their own star.  They walk…casual like -- by it.  Dressed like some regular Joe Schmoe.  But you can tell a star by how- they walk -- and I can spot ‘em anywhere.  I think it brings ‘em down to earth, to see their names.  To see the mark-they-made-on-the-world. 
I mean, maybe you get so famous, you play so many different people -- it’s hard to remember who you are.   Or maybe – just maybe --you’re always thinking you’re somebody you used to be. 
Oh!    Ms. Woodward, you sure know who you are.  You are a star!    And you got that real nice looking husband with those big baby blue eyes…. Mmm-mm.
I came out to California to be a cigarette girl at the Roosevelt Hotel.   Nah, that was just my “Day Job.”   I came to be a Movie Star.
  I was born with good hoofers.    Watch “The Spaniard That Blighted My Life” number in “The Jolson Story”  -- when Larry Parks falls to the ground – those’re my gams he’s looking at!    Course when they panned up for the dance, somebody with more experience stepped in.   I came to California to be a movie star.
You know what they say about the best laid plans?
That summer I met my husband.  Jeannie made me go see “Singing in the Rain”  to meet these two sailors --  Larry and Roy -- she’d waited on them at her diner earlier in the day and they’d tipped her real big.  Larry looked an awful lot like Donald O’Conner.  I think that’s why I married him.   Least I told him so.
.    You know what today is Ms. Woodward?  I mean, I don’t know if you remember or not, but it’s our Anniversary.  26 years today. 
On the job 26 years!    It’s been an honor working with you,  Ms. Woodward.  
Seems like people used to be a lot neater.        I brought the peachy flavor in honor of this special occasion. 
….. The saddest day in the movies was when I took Larry and Grace to see “It’s a Mad, Mad, Mad, Mad World”   Spencer Tracy, Milton Berle, Ms. Ethel Merman….Phil Silvers....oh, and Mickey Rooney.   Oh, God, how we laughed!  The whole room was laughing and clapping!  And then….they turned off the movie,  right in the middle…everything went black…  people booed and stamped their feet…  kids threw popcorn.  The manager came out to the front of the screen, and I noticed he was crying!  Crying!  And he said,      “Ladies and Gentleman President Kennedy has just been assassinated.”
I wanted to shout “Turn the movie back on!  I want to go back inside that screen!!!”
I never did watch the end of that movie.
My youngest was born that December.  We named him John.    Out of respect.
(A pause, she looks upwards)  Look at that morning star hanging on to sunrise.  Ohhh.    It’s burning itself out.  Slowly.
Eternity – that’s – how long we’ll be here.  Nobody’s recycling us,  throwing us  away -- for technology, or people – or malls.    The stars are as constant as they come.   They are what the city is really built on.  What our lives are built on.   We’ve been through a lot Miss Woodward.  We’ve grown!
Now there’s five acres of us.    Hollywood Boulevard from Gower to La Brea, and Vine Street --from Yucca to Sunset.     We built this city.
It’s like – well, like the Lincoln Monument.   You get a star and you get history.
People watch me.    I especially like when they ask me for my autograph.   Or when they want to take pictures with me.
They watch me like I’m someone special.   And I am someone special.
Mayor Grant – he’s such a handsome fella,  keeps real busy.   I asked him  when  I might get myself a star .   First,   I gotta get nominated and have the Committee approve me and then it’ll cost me 15 thousand dollars - then, then I get my star.  (Trails off)
Ms. Woodward – I’ll tell you a secret – when I die,  there’ll be just enough money left over that the kids can cremate me.  Then they’re gonna rent a helicopter and take my ashes up, sprinkle ‘em right over that Hollywood sign!  (Opens the jar of soap)  I want them to open that sucker up and let me rip!
  That’s my last wish.
Oh, Miss Woodward!   Miss Woodward - I gotta hurry.  (Packing up her things)  I told John -- I need to be home by 11.   If he has to wait on me he gets awful cranky.    Guess who I’m visiting with later on?  Butch Cassidy – that handsome husband of yours – we’ve got us a matinee this afternoon.   Sure has  been my pleasure,  Miss Woodward -- yes it has.     I’ll see you tomorrow, bright and early. 
(Rising,  under her breathe)  … Old age.  Old age is a bitch……  (She exits as the lights fade)
 
CURTAIN


TWO VOICES FOR THOMAS

Two Woman.

SHE
I watch him sleeping
stink socks paper strewn beer cans
He farts
SHE AND ME
I watch him sleeping
ME
Moon lights clouds
from behind like the sun
Full moon bright
I can see his face in shadows
on the wall
watch him breathing
SHE
I stand over and watch him sleep
Pray over him no harm
ME
I saw him standing over me
On his right should three birds
large black beaked birds
He took off his shirt
Gave it to me
Left quietly through the window
as he had entered
SHE
At two, three maybe
I remember the first time it happened
he came to me
I smelled her in his hands
Juices fragrance sweet
ME AND SHE
I love him
SHE
He told me of her once
Once I forgave.
What makes me take him again
From lust
to fear
to laziness ME
I continue on. I  continue on from lust to fear to laziness..fear lust laziness
I iron early morning coffee crisp white collars
I wash smell bacon
I cook
I clean
I iron
I wash
I cook
I clean
I iron
I wash
I cook
I clean
ME
I roll over
Sleep
SHE
Fear, lust
laziness
Morning.
ME
Night
I wait for nights
My day is full of waiting
He only wants me because he can't have me
And that makes me want him more.
SHE
Fresh Onions
I've been cutting
all day
Onions
They say the onions,
the odor makes you cry.
Try holding my breath against her.
I thought the answers were clear enough
Till death do
we two part
ME
We two part
SHE
A cathedral of Linen
Communion wafers
on outstretched tongue
For better or for
worse
ME
The worst part is very quietly loving you
Holding on to you
Don't think I'm too serious about this though,
I've been seeing other men
At the back of my mind you stand
Lingering with your bad jokes
We are a cliché
SHE
He is everything to me
ME
He is nothing to me
I painted my nails
the brightest crimson I could fine
Caressed his back with
the softness of knives
left my mark
he refuses to speak
Dick hard forehead lined in concentration
I told her
he says
I told her once
What will I tell her this time?
ME AND SHE
He leaves
SHE
And everything I have ever believed in
ever wanted walks
Silently in his shadow    ME
I thought he was my friend     fear, lust
I though I could trust him laziness
I gave him everything
ME
The first time
I told him I loved him
That was a mistake
Afterwards
I gave him nothing
and wanted everything
SHE
I gave him everything
ME AND SHE
Square jaw broad back hips tight to mine
SHE
For the moment
he makes me
comfortable with his smile
and warm
with laughter
Wet with his touch
he was my first
ME
There are two rug burns on my arm
The day goes by
I touch
Smile
In pain I think of you
Do you have anything to remember me by?
SHE
He was my first.
my first.
In twenty, thirty years
the house of my body
the rose nippled breast
will sag and dip
Bowels will falter
Teeth removed  eyes bifocaled
Forehead lined Hair silvered Womb parched
And through this time
We will grow together
I will have no other
ME
This is the last
This is the last time
I taste him
He had no risks
Knew he would always return
All risks are my own
He falters.  Sleeps.

SHE AND ME
I stand over
and watch him sleep
Pray over him no harm

BREAD BAKING TIME

Characters:    Two Females,   one late teens, one late 20's.

VOICE ONE

Monday, 12:32 a.m., so that's Tuesday really.
Was at Gaye's house when I got a call that Mike was on his way and minutes later he screeched around the corner in the truck and we're here in less than an hour driving 85 or 90 all the way.  Mom's heart stopped around 8, and they did CPR.  She is responding to kisses and words with hand squeezes.

She's on 100% oxygen.  Her pH level will kill her if her heart or lungs don't stop first.  Her heart is beating at 142 beats a minute.

I hugged her and when I looked up there was blood in her mouth.

Last night I washed dishes, exactly how she told me, with her voice in the background.  "This is my house and you'll do it how I want it done."  I also started picking up all her medicine and putting it away.  I looked through the old photo albums and then I looked at her closet and couldn't think of what to do with her clothes.  Then I put lots of dishes away, and I could barely walk I cried so hard.  I think about how I will feel five years from now and if I will still cry this much.

VOICE TWO

My mother used to stand in the kitchen
on early winter mornings and bake bread.
He brow knit hard in concentration,
she'd light the gas pilot.
On the coldest days, she'd throw open
the door and lean in:  waiting.
I though perhaps she'd stay forever,
but she'd always pull out just in time.
With a smile.  Like death visited and revisited.  I will always remember the smell of rising yeast
and warm buttered bread
that roused me out from wool blankets,
feet to cold wooden floor, mouth watering
stomach always yearning

VOICE ONE

There is an odor to mom, a smell I've never smelt before and it makes me sick.

VOICE TWO

I can smell it in the air now,
fragrance as sweet as mourning rain
On days when you can see your breath
in vapors that fog the windows
I press my face against it, looking at the distorted picture. 
Always seeing you.
Same smile
Same eyes
Same stare

VOICE ONE

Its 5:45 a.m.  I have been in the ICU room since 4.  A while ago I looked down and mom had this thick blood running out of her mouth.  That's twice.  Her G tube (stomach) is full of bloody coffee ground shit.  Her kidneys have stopped so she's swelling because of the water backup and this one lady nurse couldn't draw any blood, only fluid.
Shit.
It won't be long now.

VOICE TWO

It is bread baking time
reaching for your recipe
I have always done it your way,
becoming more like you
with each cup of flour
with the kneading of the bread
Needing you.

VOICE ONE

11:35.  Asked mom if she hurt and she nodded yes.  So got her a shot.  Dad came in.  "The three smartest things I ever did in my life were you her and you and Mike.  I always said I didn't want kids, but secretly I did.  Then you came along and you had two arms and two legs to you, and you were healthy and normal.  And I was happy.  I always wanted a boy though.  I was glad to have you, but I wanted a boy.  That was Mike."

"I'm going to the lounge," my father said.  "I have a headache."

2:16  Her lips are blue-ish and so is her skin tone.  If I touch her with my nail, the imprint stays.  her kidneys stopped so it's fluid build-up.  The cancer is throughout her body.  The whites of her eyes are greenish yellow and her tongue is swollen.  Mike and Dad are sleeping.

Yesterday or night before I could have sworn I heard mom whistle for me.  It was louder than she could talk after she lost her voice.  When I slept in her hospital bed out in the living room, a  million times I thought I heard her call me.  or I saw her standing there watching me.  Her face gets bluer.  I wanna go hold her hand.  She will never see my kids.


VOICE TWO

I kneel beside the oven
Lay my head inside,
wait for the warmth of sleep.  Wait.
Pull out just in time.
Like death visited and revisited.

VOICE ONE

Its 7 and my mother is dead and I have never felt like this before.  I was at the room sleeping and Mike came and we came here and she was almost gone and cold and unconscious and blowing air bubbles like kids do to be annoying.  And we watched the numbers on the machine click to zero.  And I cried in the bathroom in the floor with all the lights out and then I threw up and now they are taking all the tubes out so we can go in and visit with her and something smells really bad and my father is praying and he's never prayed before like that and they're calling people and I'm in the lounge staring at things

VOICE TWO

This is how it is done.
Generation to generation.
Mother to daughter.
And on the bitterest mornings, I rise just before sunrise,
ready to fill this empty belly
Always yearning for more.

F A U L T Y   A N G E L S

Within the human element, we are all capable of being angels.
For Rachel P.

By   Kathryn G. McCarty

Setting:  A beach
Characters:  ROBBY   A boy , almost 19
                 ROBERT   An older gentleman, 69 years old

First produced in 2000 by the Onstage Theatre Company's One Act Festival.  Directed by Rachel Hauser Pergamit, it featured Jared Dager as Robby and John Haggard as Robert.

ROBBY runs on.  He is out of breath.  He stops center stage, bends over trying to breath..  Agitated.  He collapses with his hands on his knees.  Then pulls back as he regains  his strength, and he rages into the night.
ROBBY
Why?  Why?  (A beat.  A silver haired man has been standing upstage.  He looks around, unnoticed by the boy) Oh, God, help me! (Collapses)  Where am I?  
ROBERT
That's the Milky Way.
ROBBY
Shit.  I didn't see you.  Sorry.
ROBERT
God.  You are handsome.
ROBBY
Back off old guy! (Beat change)   This must be my lucky night.   I pick the only deserted beach with a pervert!
ROBERT
I just can't remember being so good looking.
ROBBY
In your dreams old man. 
ROBERT
What a great hat! (Reaching for the hat, Robby tries to move away.  Hat falls, Robert picks it up) 
ROBBY
Look, I didn't mean to bother you, okay.  There's lots of beach out here and I'll just go.   You can have the hat.
ROBERT
Good God, the Chicago Bulls.  The Bulls were in Chicago in what?  The late 90's?
ROBBY
World Champions, three year's running--
ROBERT
Ha!  The Chicago Bulls!  Ugh!    They moved to San Jose around 9, 10 - Silicon Valley was so rich they could buy God.  Let me pay you for the hat,  (Reaching) I must have dropped  my wallet in the sand,  do you have a flashlight?
ROBBY
Sure.  Let me look.   Here it is.
ROBERT
I was sitting by that  rock --
ROBBY
Here ya go.  Oh, your pictures fell out (he had been looking for a license)
ROBERT
(Into the night sky)  Okay, Sarah, what do I do now?
ROBBY
Is this your wife?
ROBERT
(To wife) Quick answer.  Yeah.  The one behind her is Tennessee's, my son's,  high school graduation picture.  What?
ROBBY
It's just, he looks kinda like me.
ROBERT
Yeah, I always thought so, but nobody'd believe me.
ROBBY
Tennessee, what a weird name.
ROBERT
Named him after my wife's great uncle.  He's a good boy.  This is my wife.  It was taken a couple years after Rachel was born.
ROBBY
Hey, she's not bad…for an older woman.
ROBERT
No, she was quite a lady.  Beautiful.  She was so  beautiful.
ROBBY
What do you mean, she was beautiful?  What,  did she wrinkle up?  Gain a couple hundred pounds?  One too many kids? 
ROBERT
Died.  6 months ago.
ROBBY
Oh, God - oh, I'm sorry.  How old's your son? 
ROBERT
Son's 35.  Our daughters 38.  How old are you?
ROBBY
19.
ROBERT
Oh, good Lord!  19!  You have so much to learn!
ROBBY
Yeah-I just learned not to introduce the woman I want to my best friend.
ROBERT
19.  19.    Oh, Melissa's just a drop in the bucket
ROBBY
What?
ROBERT
Melissa's  a phase.   A drop in the bucket.
ROBBY
That's a  good shot in the dark, old man.  Melissa-
ROBBY
Melissa!  Hell, I'm Surprised I could remember her name.  Amazing!  I can remember a gal that dropped me 50 years ago and I can't keep my grandkids names straight.
ROBBY
You better sit down.  You been drinking?
ROBERT
Nah.  Name's Robert
ROBBY
What a coincidence.   My real names Robert, but everybody calls me Robby so they don't mix my dad and me up.
ROBERT
Robby. Robby.   I know.  Wait!  Oh my God, what's the date?
ROBBY
October 14.   I think.
ROBERT
There is a girl with Melissa! 
ROBBY
There's a bunch of girls with Melissa.
ROBERT
Who?
ROBBY
I don't know their names.
ROBERT
Sarah…One of them is Sarah!
ROBBY
Yeah, one of them started with an S. 
ROBERT
What's she look like?
ROBBY
Short hair, brunette.  I think.
ROBERT
About 5'5?
ROBBY
Yeah, maybe.
ROBERT
She's wearing a really stupid looking hat?!
ROBBY
Oh, that girl.  Yeah.  She's really quiet.   Wait - is that your daughter or something?
ROBERT
No, no.
ROBBY
Look - there's nothing going on- we're just hanging out - don't get mad or anything.  She hasn't -
ROBERT
My daughter's lives in the Wisconsin with her husband.
ROBBY
She's not your daughter?  Your sure?  This isn't a trick --  Okay.  (Pulling money from his own wallet)  Here, now take this.  It's all I've got, but it'll help you.  If you walk about a mile up the beach and take off through town you'll find the Y, you can clean up, sleep there--  Hey, Gramps, did you hear me?
ROBERT
Would you look at that!  Amazing.
ROBBY
(Sarcastic)  Yeah, it is.
ROBERT
Money.
ROBBY
You got it all down pops.   Look, you need any medication?
ROBERT
This is amazing.
ROBERT
You got that right.  Real amazing.   Just show me your wrists--
ROBERT
What?
ROBBY
Roll your sleeves up.
ROBERT
What are you looking for?
ROBBY
Plastic bracelets.  You shouldn't be out here all alone.
ROBERT
This is amazing.  A twenty dollar bill!  (Explaining)  I haven't seen money in years.
ROBBY
Right.
ROBERT
Look. (He pulls out something that looks like an ATM card)  
ROBBY
An ATM card?
ROBERT
ATM!  Oh, god, I'd almost forgotten about those.  This is sort of like an ATM card, it works with my fingerprint and a TGD - Transfer Generator Device.   All electronic.   Basically, it's a computer.
ROBBY
Let me see that card- (He looks at it, then the mood changes as he realizes what the name says)   What the hell is that all about?  Oh, my God--
ROBERT
Wh- (Realizing)  Robby, give me the card--
ROBBY
Robert Zekial Collins.   What kind of stupid joke is this?
ROBERT
It's my card.  I am Robert Zekial Collins. 
ROBBY
Move out of the way old man.
ROBERT
Stop - talk to me a minute.
ROBBY
Look I don't know what this is about, but I'm warning you-
ROBERT
Robby-Robert - wait.  I'm Robert Zekial Collins.  I mean, you are Robby Zekial Collins.  I am you.  It's just amazing! 
ROBBY
How did this happen?  What's going on?
ROBERT
Believe me, I don't have any better idea of what happened than you do.  I'm trying to piece it all together… I was out walking along the beach…  I paused over there…I was thinking…maybe I dozed off…No!  I didn't fall asleep….then I came charging in….you came charging.
ROBBY
You are telling me that you are me--
ROBERT
Well, do you have a better answer???   What year is it?
ROBBY
2000.
ROBERT
2000.  Well, I'll be damned.  (Pause)
ROBBY
You might just be. 
ROBERT
Unbelievable!
ROBBY
Okay, I'll bite.  What year did you think it was?
ROBERT
The year is 2052. 
ROBBY
Right.
ROBERT
Look at the card!  Check the expiration date.
ROBBY
What is this?  Candid Camera?  A hallucination?  Did I hit my head really hard?  (He begins to hit himself in the head)  Can I get out of it this way too?
ROBERT
There has to be some perfectly reasonable explanation for all this.
ROBBY
Go ahead, tell me, what is your perfectly reasonable explanation for all this?
ROBERT
I don't know.
ROBBY
Sounds reasonable.  I wake up this morning and it's 2000 - the day starts normal, like every---
ROBERT
Right around the turn of the Century, strange things began to happen with time.  Speeding up. It was all over the news.  All the clocks in my house-they were all on different times.  My computer, the clock on the mantel,  the wall --my watch kept stopping, no matter how many times I changed the battery.  I thought it was coinc-
ROBBY
Oh, shit.   My stupid fucking watch!  I must be dead.   Oh, shit, oh, shit.
ROBERT
There's nothing to be frightened of.
ROBBY
Right.   Maybe this has something to do with reincarnation?
ROBERT
Don't you have to be dead for that?            Look,  you're making me really nervous, so why don't you just sit down and try to relax, okay?
ROBBY
Relax.  Relax.  Okay.  Fine.  I'm on a beach with some old man who claims to be me.  And his advice is relax.  I mean, I can relax - cause what else can go wrong?  This is probably the worst of it, right?  I mean, what else can go wrong, now really.  (Pause)  Okay, old man, why you taking such a long time to answer that?  (Robert laughs hysterically)  Now, that is not the answer I'm looking for.  Great, I grow up and become a loon.  I'm committed right?  (Beat) I'm hallucinating because I am a damn loony bird.   Look, Joe's back at camp and he's gonna start looking for me soon.
ROBERT
Joe Harrison?  Joe!   God, I hadn't thought about Joe in years!  Oh my God! 
ROBBY
Yeah, right.  He's great.  You know Joe.  Great.  Anything you don't know?  (Robert turns away) What's up?  Come on, speak up man.
ROBERT
Joe's been gone over 20 years now.  He and his kids in a boating accident.
ROBBY
No way.  You are a lunatic man.  A complete fucking lunatic!
ROBERT
Joe Harrison died in '25.
ROBBY
This is not happening.
ROBERT
I carried the casket myself. 
ROBBY
I gotta tell him.
ROBERT
I don't know if you can. (Robby walks to the edge of the stage, but can not move.  It's as though the world outside of this beach disappears) What?  Are you allright?
ROBBY
What did you say? (He sits.  A pause.  They continue to watch) Damn!  That moon is huge!  With that halo, it like being stared at with one huge eye.
ROBERT
Look at that seagull! 
ROBBY
Look how much bigger it is than the plane.
ROBERT
Clouds are moving in. 
ROBBY
The moon…gone.
ROBERT
(To a star)   Hey look at that!
ROBBY
I saw it.
ROBERT
What did you wish for Robby?
ROBBY
That no little green aliens abduct me as a research subject for reproductive testing.
ROBERT
What?
ROBBY
My track records a little too warped tonight.  I'm just trying to keep away the rest of the boogie men.  You know, I'm kind of sorry I don't pay a little more attention to the National Enquirer.  Maybe they had a warning against this beach….not reading that paper could have been a real serious mistake.  A biiig mistake.
ROBERT
I been trying limit myself to under 10 mistakes a day.
ROBBY
Whoa-wait--I'm still making mistakes in 50 years? 
ROBERT
Yeah, I just got a parking ticket last week. (A beat)    I just can't fucking believe it.
ROBBY
Good to know I'm still saying fuck in 50 years.
ROBERT
How could such a filthy word crawl into my vocabulary?  It's as common as O.K. or Ain't which were the product of my parent's generation.  And fuck is a product of mine.  I can't stand the soda ads that say Coke is fucking better than Pepsi.
ROBBY
What?  You're kidding right?
ROBERT
But you believed me, didn't you? 
ROBBY
Yeah.  (A pause)   So how long you think we're stuck here?
ROBERT
I don't know.
ROBBY
C'mon.  You know  what's going on.    Just let me in on it.
ROBERT
No, I don't.
ROBBY
They've got time travel in the future?  Did you accidentally warp yourself back here?  Now -- you're afraid if you give me any trade secrets you will change the course of the world--
ROBERT
It's not like Star Trek.  Robbie, I honestly don't know how I got here-
ROBBY
You don't know how you got here or why you're here or how long you're here or what you did to get you here.
ROBERT
I don't have a clue.  (A Beat) I don't feel dead.
ROBBY
You think it's something you could feel?
ROBERT
I don't know.
ROBBY
Do you think you're dead?  I mean - do you think I am dead? Look, I don't want go to heaven still a virgin!    I can't be stuck on a beach for eternity!
ROBERT
Slow down there buddy.
ROBBY
This sucks, this really sucks.
ROBERT
I'm alive!  No doubt about it! I got at least another 10 years left.  I just had a physical - my hearts good, my cholesterol is perfect.
ROBBY
Maybe a truck got you.
ROBERT
Ever the optimist.
ROBBY
What did I do to deserve all this?  Did I invent the cure for cancer?  Did I save the world from destruction?  I must be pretty special.  Am I RICH and FAMOUS?  That's it!  I'm rich and famous!
ROBERT
Define rich and famous?
ROBBY
Forget it.  Just forget it.   (A pause and then) Ahhhhh!!!!!  (A pause, then both of them yell out together.  At the end a sigh of relief) 
ROBERT
God that feels good.
ROBBY
Yeah.....What about Melissa-
ROBERT
Yeah,  I mean, God-Melissa had a great .....
ROBBY
Yeah, she had a great ...
ROBERT
I was sorry to lose her… but I was only 19.  Who could really blame me?
ROBBY
What happens to Melissa?
ROBERT
I haven't talked to her in almost 50 years.
ROBBY
Since tonight?
ROBERT
I lost track of her.
ROBBY
Lost track of her?  What are you talking about?    I love Melissa, even - if -
ROBERT
I don't know.  It's crazy.  I don't know!  (A silence) One minute you are sitting with this girl, holding her, breathing in everything about her.  The entire world, the entire universe revolves around her.  Everything you deem valuable in life is valuable through her.  And then, something - I don't know what,  something -- a fight, a glance of another girl, a perfume, your best friend --  and she slowly disappears, bit by bit.  Soon, you can't even remember the color of her eyes.
ROBBY
No.  I don't believe you!
ROBERT
Someone else comes along and you feel the same way again, like it's meant for this woman to be in your life forever.  How many were there between Melissa and Sarah?  How many loves?  How many first glances?  Rushes.  ReneA, Jen,  Andrea, Wendy,  Jamie - oh, God, I wanted her but she didn't want me,  Four.  That I actually dated. 
ROBBY
What happened to them?
ROBERT
What happened to them?  I don't know.   After I met Sarah they ceased to exist.  Sarah, Sarah was the one that I waited 25 years for.  Sarah is the one that gave me 2 kids and kept our home, that went to boring office parties with me and babysat the grandkids.
ROBBY
Grandkids???III    Oh, God.  I hadn't even thought of that!
ROBERT
  What about the girl with that hat?  Whatdya think?
ROBBY
What about her?
ROBERT
Did you take a good look at her?
ROBBY
No
ROBERT
Yeah, you been staring at Melissa like a mindless idiot all night.  Oh, God, you are going to pay for that! 
ROBBY
What?
ROBERT
If you could just notice her NOW you'd save yourself a lot of years of grief. Easy.  (A pause) It would have been 44 years today.
ROBBY
The…girl with the hat?  Yeah, she was kinda cute…..
ROBERT
She was quiet.  Like Rachel.  Rachel is a lot like her mom.  Tennessee is like me, he speaks his mind.  But Rachel and her mother were cut from the same cloth.
ROBBY
Two kids, God!  This just blows me away.  The girl with the hat.  The girl with the hat, who would'a thought?
ROBERT
Sarah.  Who would have thought? (A moment and the joy turns to sorrow in Robert's body, Robby crosses to him touches his shoulder)
ROBBY
I'm sorry.
ROBERT
I woke up the morning after Sarah died -- Charlie delivered the newspaper and he just went on his way like always;  the kids on the corner came around selling some greeting cards for school, someone called to see if I wanted to change phone companies.  Idiots.  Are you blind?  How could no one feel what I was feeling?    Do you not know she's gone?  Do you not know what a beautiful life just left us?  Left me…I wanted to go first!  I didn't want to lose her.  There's this part, this part of me that feels her in the room with me.  My cells can recall her touch every time I smell Eucalyptus.  I can still hear her - feel the anticipation right before she walks through the door.  But it doesn't open and the anticipation is answered by silence.  The strangest silence you have ever hear.   I'm sorry.  You are so young.  You can't possibly understand that. (A beat)   Maybe this is a sign or something.
ROBBY
Yeah.  Or something. 
ROBERT
We get signs all the time.    I think of someone, they call.  I'm driving down the freeway and every 3rd car I see has a hat in the back window.  Or I find a dime, one dime,  every other day, every 3rd day for 5 months -not one week, not one month - but exactly  5 months. It has to be a sign of some kind!  It has to be.  Otherwise I'd think I was going absolutely nuts.
ROBBY
I can see that happening.
ROBERT
Signs are instructions.
ROBERT
Signs make you do something.  You choose to follow it or not.    Stop.  Hard Hat area.  Mens.  Dimes.  Hats.  Phonecalls. What if it means something other than what I think it means?  Do I get another chance or do I blow it completely?  What if it doesn't work out at all like I planned--
ROBBY
I don't have a clue what you're talking about. 
ROBERT
Okay.  Another example.  I go to Tahoe.  I'm going to do some gambling.   Roulette.  I bet on 17.  I get a - a -- feeling.   I slam down my last 5 bucks on 17, I got this feeling.  It comes up and the lesson is luck.   33 comes up, and the lesson is eat before you gamble.  (They laugh.  There is a beat as they each look out into the night sky.  Thoughtful.  Another beat as Robby approaches the area in which we first saw Robert.  He pauses, sees something)
ROBBY
(Growing noticeably nervous, and exploding.  He picks up a gun)  So, uh,  is this part of the sign?
ROBERT
Just put it down.
ROBBY
Those shows, the X-files its all true, isn't it?  It's all real.  Stay where you are - I'm warning you!   You're drawing me in.  Being my friend.  Who are you? 
ROBERT
You know who I am! 
ROBBY
What are you doing with a gun?
ROBERT
Nothing.
ROBBY
Nothing?  You're walking around the beach with a gun?  You're walking around the beach with my ID with a gun.   What kind of nothing is that?  Back up, okay?   Let me walk past you.  I'm gonna go get in my car and I'm going to leave.  And I'm not taking Melissa or Joe or any chick in a hat with me. That'll solve this little problem.  Don't come any closer, I'm warning you.  Old man - don't--
ROBERT
(Grabbing him)  Look, you little shit,  I could kick your rear end down the beach if I wanted to. (They wrestle for the gun, Robert has it and holds the swinging Robby at bay)
ROBBY
Get your hands off of me - are you nuts?  Don't get so uptight.
ROBERT
Okay, okay, I'm just proving a point.
ROBBY
That you are nuts?
ROBERT
I'm not here to hurt you.
ROBBY
Why are you here?
ROBERT
I don't know.
ROBBY
What were you doing with the gun?  What?  Tell me!  Were you going to shoot someone?
Oh, God.  Oh, God.  No!  Please, no!   You were going to shoot yourself, weren't you?   (No answer) That's it.  You were going to shoot yourself.  Great.  What do I do to deserve this! 
Nothing?  Nothing, right?    I get to live to the ripe old age of 69 because you decide to wander onto a beach and shoot yourself?  Did you lose big time on the stock market?
ROBERT
No.
ROBBY
Then what?
ROBERT
You wouldn't understand.
ROBBY
I  -- I wouldn't understand.  Look if you know - I deserve an answer.   Do you hear me?  I deserve it!  (A beat)  The girl with the hat.
ROBERT
Sarah.
ROBBY
Because of her I'm going to kill myself.  Well, hell that's easy.  Doesn't take a rocket scientist to figure it out.  Thanks.
ROBERT
What?
ROBBY
I won't go back to the cabin.   I won't meet her.  This chick with the hat looks innocent enough, but she's gonna break my heart!  Forget it!  I'm planning on living till some ripe old age drinking pina coladas on some beach Florida watching young girls jiggle by. 
ROBERT
No.   You have to go back!
ROBBY
Forget it.  If that's what true love's about, I'm not biting.
ROBERT
You don have a choice!
ROBBY
I don't?  Watch me old man.  Watch me make my choice!
ROBERT
But the kids - Rachel, Tennessee!
ROBBY
I don't even know them!  My life for theirs.
ROBERT
You're insane!
ROBBY  
Me?  I'm insane?   I am thee sane one here.   Did you meet me wondering around the beach ready to off myself?  50 years?  And I have nothing?!   I go back and continue on with the evening- if I do all that - it's meaningless except for 2 kids I don't know, a house and job, a couple vacations --  and then I get to blow my head off?  That's it? True love can bite my hairy ass as I'm running the other direction. 
ROBERT
I love Sarah-
ROBBY
That's love?  That's the true meaning?  A sign that reads:  Hopeless.   Because that's what you are.  Danger-Do Not Enter.  But, Hey!  Look over there.  It's another sign!  And that one says "U's allowed" so I'm flipping a bitch, okay?
ROBERT
Stop.  I need a minute to figure it out-- 
ROBBY
Look, it ain't so tough to figure out.    I want to live to 105.  Do you understand that?  I don't want to die on some beach.  Is that a terribly difficult concept for you? The girl in the hat must have been a real idiot to put up with you.  I mean if your wuss enough to kill yourself
ROBERT
Shut up-I can't think--
ROBBY
I do not want to become you.  I will not become you.   After 65 years, YEARS, there isn't anything,  anyone worth living for? Why waste the energy, ya know?
ROBERT
You are going back.
ROBBY
Or what?  You'll shoot me?  Shoot yourself?  I'll stand and watch.  And then, maybe, I'll go get in my car and cruise.  Go ahead.  We gotta 50-50 chance here.  Worth the risk?
ROBERT
(overlapping)  This isn't real.  This can't be happening.
ROBBY
Yeah, well maybe it's as real as Sandy-Rachel-whatev-
ROBERT
Sarah.  Her name is Sarah.  Rachel is my daughter.
ROBBY
Well good luck Sarah, cause you can go off and find your little white picket fences with some other schmoe.
ROBERT
I won't lose them-
ROBBY
You pull off this stunt  and you already have.
ROBERT
Look - I don't know which of us is real - I mean, everything seems so real - my - my-my breathing - the air-but you're seem pretty real too. 
ROBBY
I'm not going to stand here and try to find out.   I wish I could say it was nice meeting you.
ROBERT
I understand.
ROBBY
(Taking off his watch and throwing it offstage) I always hate wearing a watch anyway. 
ROBERT
I'm with ya.
ROBBY
I could go out and swim 50 years without finding that thing.  Maybe I'll just have to accept the fact that I've lost my mind.
ROBERT
It might wash up on the beach in the tide.
ROBBY
Yep.  I suppose anything is possible. (He pauses)
ROBERT
Go on.
ROBBY
Yeah, well…see ya - around.  (They walk in opposite directions, moving back to  their original positions.  Yet, before they arrive there, they stop.  They resume a physical position, very similar - but not the same, as their first moments together.  A beat)
ROBERT
That's the Milky Way.

FADE TO BLACK
All Materials ©  Kathryn G. McCarty   Permission for All Public Performance must be obtained by Playwright.
V I R G I N  S A C R I F I C E S

CHARACTERS
SHADOW    A Pleasant 30 something woman
MAN 1    20-50 
MAN 2    20-50
YOUNG MAN   11-13    On the brink of manhood
THE MAN

MAN 1, 2 AND YOUNG MAN  play multiple diverse characters.
Originally Produced by the Onstage Theatre Company.  Directed by Kathryn G. McCarty.  Featuring Katrina Baumgartner as Shadow, Will Southard, Brian Turley & Alex Farquhar as the Men.

LIGHTS UP.   Man #1, dressed as the waiter,  is UL of a small round DSR restaurant table (set for two), at which sits a pleasant looking 30 something's woman, Shadow.  A cell phone is on the table.   Man #2, an accordion player stands playing,usl,  facing  up stage left.

MAN 1
You're order?
SHADOW
I'm waiting for someone to join me.
MAN 1
A KITCHEN BELL   Yes ma'am.  (He exits.  Shado  checks her phone.    Man 1, as the Waiter re-enters quickly, and stands dsr, leering at her.  She notices and looks at him.  He looks away.  He looks again, and when she looks, he looks away.  The third time, the waiter is caught and smiles cockily as we hear A KITCHEN BELL.   He brings out her salad.)
MAN 1
Pepper?
SHADOW
No.  (He begins to churn a over-sized  pepper grinder.   Suddenly, another ding and the waiter returns to the kitchen.  A BOY, about 11, enters stage left.  He is winded.   He runs to her table and takes Shadow's glass of water  then runs off.  A KITCHEN BELL AND LIGHTS    as Man 2 turns and begins to play the accordion and sing.)
MAN 2
When the moon hits your eye, like a big pizza pie - That's Amore!  When the moon hits your eye-  (Shadow takes a bite of bread, he stops.  She lowers the bread, he continues to sing the same bit of the song again.  Each time she raises her bread to her mouth, he stops. It's a game.  Shadow, in an attempt to hush him begins stuffing the bread in her mouth, as well as throwing her bread in his face.  The phone rings.  He exits.  She looks around quizzically)
SHADOW
(Jumping on the phone)  Hweomm - hwemoom?  Ss membonyer?  Hweom!!  (She hangs up and dials O) Operator, someone just called and I couldn't get to the phone.  Can you dial back to that number?  ( KITCHEN BELL As she continues speaking, the waiter re-enters with a water pitcher. He pours the water where the glass was.   Looks at her, then pulls a glass from behind his back, pours her water while leaning towards her,  staring into her eyes .  KITCHEN BELL and he exits.) I don't know the number.  If I knew the number, I'd dial the number.  That number takes no return calls?  What was your name again?  Now, look Bob,  I understand - I really do.  I could be some psycho or something.  But. Bob, look -- you can't dial back the number for me - but could you call him and tell him to call me back?  You could talk to him.  Fine!  (She hangs up as Young man runs in, grabbing her glass) You!
YOUNG MAN
Oh, hey Shadow!  How's it going? 
SHADOW
Is a thank you too much to ask?  After all - that is the 2nd one.
YOUNG MAN
Thanks.
SHADOW
You know, if it weren't for you, none of this would be happening.  You are not irresistable.  You are rotten.
YOUNG MAN
But you love me.
SHADOW
Know the difference in waiting by the phone when you are 11 and waiting by the phone when you are 31?   Practice.
YOUNG MAN
Hey, don't tell me you've hooked up with another Finnish sheep farmer who speaks no English, and has 8 kids.
SHADOW
An Afgan pig farmer who became a Finnish Immigrant.  Oh, and he's a widower. (He swoons)  Watch it short stuff.
YOUNG MAN
You're choosing him over me?
SHADOW
What did I ever see in you anyway?
YOUNG MAN
Same thing every other 11 year old girl saw. I missed you.
SHADOW
Really?
YOUNG MAN
No.  (She slugs him)   Hey!  Watch it!  I'm a kid!  We could have been soo happy.  (KITCHEN BELL   LIGHTS CHANGE TO EXOTIC, SEDUCTIVE.  MUSIC -MALE STRIP MUSIC) 
MAN 1
Hey baby, I know what you want-
SHADOW
A piece of - mind.  Peace of Mind!  (Lights up on Man 1 as an exotic dancer.  He on a block, gyrating  dancing.   Jumps up, lands, crawls across the stage to her lap.  Slides under her legs through her chair behind her)
YOUNG MAN
Want your radicchio?
SHADOW
Mmm-mh. 
MAN 1
You've come a long way since juvenile hall boy.  What did you see in him?
YOUNG MAN
I'm cute!
MAN 1
Get lost kid. (Pulling at Shadow, kissing her hand)  Let me show you what a real man is.
YOUNG MAN
(Pulling the other way) I might be only 11,  but I love you like I'm 19!
MAN 1
Go play in traffic kid.
YOUNG MAN
Gimme a break!  You know what it's like always being 11?  I never get to -  (He imitates a piece of the Man's dance, then exits)
SHADOW
Cut it out.  (The phone rings, she springs on it like a cat.)   Get out of my way!  Hello!  Talk louder, you sound like you're underwater.   Hello?  Something's wrong with my phone. (She beats it on the table).  Hello?  Is that bet-ter….. (KITCHEN BELL   LIGHT CHANGE…MUSIC SWELLS SOAP OPERA STYLE, A Time For Us.  Man 2 comes up behind her, wraps his arms around her)
MAN 2
We have no regrets.
YOUNG MAN
(Entering with baseball shirt and hat on)  Ha!  Such a sucker line.
MAN 1
Sucker!
MAN 2
I love you, I've always loved you.
YOUNG MAN
What a bullshitter, huh? Come on, lets go bat some balls around.
MAN 2
(Pulling Shadow into him and dipping her, kissing her)
YOUNG MAN
Remember the Alamo! 
MAN 2
I must have you back.
SHADOW
He must have me back!  (Man 2 pulls her in for another dipped kiss)
MAN 1
He'll just break your heart again!
MAN 2
I must have you back!
SHADOW
(To Young Man)  He must have me back.  
MAN 2
We are different people now!
SHADOW
(Swinging out of dip to Young Man) I'm a different person.  I have different expectations.
YOUNG MAN
Yeah, they're much lower.
MAN 2
(Fists up)  Hey, watch yourself freak!   
YOUNG MAN
You can't threaten me!
MAN 1
So, does bribery work? (Waves a $5 bill at him and leads him offstage)
YOUNG MAN
Catch ya later Shadow.
SHADOW
Would you --
MAN 2
Don't finish that sentence-
SHADOW
Allright.
MAN 2
My heart sunk squarely under the wheels of her volkswagon.  As cold as your dark, dark brown brown eyes.
SHADOW
I have green eyes.
MAN 2
Poetry is perfect!
SHADOW
Oh.
MAN 2
Don't speak!  (He massages her head, she drops to the ground)  How could you think that?
SHADOW
Think - ugh -
MAN 2
A break?  You want your freedom?  To fly on your own?  You wanted Time!  Time!  Let me tell you something.  The predatory animal  captures it's prey's  eye and beats, beats, beats its head into the ground. But why?  Whyyyyy?  (He starts to exit, then hesitates dramatically)   I …I will  remember you, always!  Mon Cheri!  (Exits)
SHADOW
Actually I was going to ask you if you wanted to have dinner with me --- Stop.  Stop thinking like this.  I am fully aware and ready to move forward with my life.  I am fully aware…I am fully aware and ready to.  I am full – (Kitchen Bell, Light Change, the men dance/sing across the stage)
Just my imagination!  Running away with me.
Just my imagination, Running away with me.
(Shadow sits, with paper bag, trying not to hyperventilate.  The men exit))  Batteries good. (Kitchen Bell.  Man 2,  enters with Dance Club music.  He scopes the room with her.
MAN 2
There!  7 o'clock!  Don't be so obvious.  Circle slowly.  Look at him.  Hot, hot, hot.
SHADOW
Not my type.
MAN 2
How did you go from "caring and secure family man" to "must ride in on Harley and wear leather?"  Look!  Look!  3:15!  You're gonna love that one.
SHADOW
Are we looking for me or you?
MAN 2
Desperation is so unattractive dear.
SHADOW
Better?
MAN 2
The problem is - you have no taste.  9 O'CLOCK!  Oh, God!  Hit the Deck!  Throw me the life jacket, this must be fate!  Oh, God!  He's beautiful.  Start my air hose because I'm going in deep!  (He exits, as Shadow sits down again, trying to shake it all off)
MAN 1
You must be Shadow? (Hands her a rose.)
SHADOW
Uh, ugh.
MAN 1
What is it?
SHADOW
Most people who give me flowers are related to me.
MAN 1
I also brought the rings, the license and my mother is waiting in the car.
SHADOW
Pardon?
MAN 1
No  time to spare!  We need to get those eggs fertilized!  You're no spring chicken you know!
SHADOW
Look,  I -
MAN 1
As the Future Father of your children, your husband, mechanic, accountant and psychiatrist, I think you should relax.  Should I call mother?
SHADOW
That's not necessary --
MAN 1
(Freudian like, pulling her back, laying her down on the two chairs)  So, tell me, What is your problem!?
SHADOW
I don't know.
MAN 1
Listen to your mind.  Listen closely.  Something must be wrong with you!!!   Emphintigo?  Boreshead Disease?  Syphillis?
SHADOW
No!!!!
MAN 1
You're possessed!  (Pulls out holy water and chants, she tries to get his attention)
SHADOW
Hey!!!  I feel fine.   I think.
MAN 1
Menopause!   Are your hormones in overdrive?.
SHADOW
No.
MAN 1
HAVE YOU EVER HAD PHOBIAS ABOUT FISH, Robert Maplethorpe,  Poptarts? Was second grade difficult?  Did you have a crush on the science teacher?  Do you find it difficult to pee in the woods?
SHADOW
Yes, no, yes, yes, no and maybe. 
MAN 1
You answer too quickly. 
SHADOW
I'm naturally fast.   Okay, if it will make you feel any better, why don't you read the questions to me again.
MAN 1
You'll just get 'em wrong.
SHADOW
You're saying I don't know my own mind-
MAN 1
You are too difficult a patient.  I'm going to quit.
SHADOW
Quit?  You can't quit!
MAN 1
I can quit if I want to.  I just don't understand you. 
SHADOW
I just a normal person!
MAN 1
In examining several sides of an issue, one is bound to find a problem.  
SHADOW
I'm terrified of Poptarts!  Really!  I never pee in the woods - never!
MAN 1
Liar!   It's a good thing I never introduced you to mother.  (He exits.  Kitchen bell)
MAN 2
(Rushing in, with accent and flair.  Painter)   You need  someone to bring your inner beauty - uh - out.  Lift your heel a bit. (Moving her as a contortionist)  Sit up straight, stomach in.  Left elbow up.  Head tilted right.  Tilt the chin a bit more.   Now cross your legs.  More, more.  Raise your skirt a bit, lean back  Pose.  You are a woman.  A wommman.  Hair back.  Tilt your head.  Smile.  Why do you squint like that.  Do you need glasses?  Open your eyes.  Right arm back. (She is totally entangled.) Now smile. (She grits her teeth) Is that comfortable?  (She motions no.)   Is that comfortable?  How about that? 
SHADOW
Mmmmn.….
MAN 1
Point one.
SHADOW
Sorry?
MAN 1
You just won a point.
SHADOW
Won a point?
MAN 1
10 points I'll go out again with you- Raise your arm.  Higher. 
SHADOW
How exactly do I get these points?
MAN 1
You do as I ask.   Another 10 points and we can have sex.  Stop squinting.
SHADOW
I don't like this game.   (KITCHEN BELL  LIGHT CHANGE.  Puts her head down on table as the mood suddenly changes)
YOUNG MAN
(The are wearing medical garb and examine her rather roughly, man 1 passes a doctor coat and mask to Man 2)  WHAT'S WRONG WITH HER?
MAN 1
She's had a headache for 2 weeks
MAN 2
Maybe it's an aneurysm
MAN 1
If she had an aneurysm, she'd be dead.  Sounds more like a tumor. (A simulateneous gasp)
SHADOW
I feel fine --
MAN 1
It's stress.
MAN 2
Stress.
YOUNG MAN
Stress.
MAN 1
Stress.
MAN 2
What do you suggest?
MAN 1
Total removal of the brain. 
MAN 2
She's so young.
MAN 1
A shame.
YOUNG MAN
At least she has a cute doctor.
SHADOW
Just my imagination, just my imagination running away with me….
MAN 2
I want to be the exotic dancer!  (He grinds towards her) But I just don't have it.
MAN 1
(Removes socks stuffed in his pants)   Here, take mine.
SHADOW
Do you want me to stab you right now, or would you rather wait so it can be a really big surprise?   I just need to breathe.  To breath.  Calm my brain.  (The men talk at once, and suddenly go silent, and fade into the darkness as she regains her composure).  For God's sake, it's just a first date.  The past is the past.  I am fully aware and ready to move forward with my life. I am fully aware and ready -
YOUNG MAN
You really think you'll really get married and it will be happily ever after?
SHADOW
I'll be middle aged when I start!
YOUNG MAN
Your odds are better with me.
SHADOW
I'll be widowed before I'm divorced.  Believe me.
YOUNG MAN
Play it safe and wait for me to grow up.
SHADOW
You liked Cathy Churchfield more than you liked me.  You're not supposed to be in 6th grade with a set like that. 
YOUNG MAN
Let's look at your ass - ets!  You got a great right hook.
SHADOW
Thanks.
YOUNG MAN
You know, I really miss you - maybe we should try again?  (Shadow begins her mantra again, repeats it until he disappears.  She picks up the phone) Operator, I'm just trying to check and see if this line --  Are you sure?  Yes, I have better things to do with my time - wait!  How did you  -- is this Bob the operator?  Bob the same Bob that I talked to before?  How is that possible?  You know, if you would have just called back that number, my world would be a better place!  No - No, I don't need the police (Kitchen bell, repeatedly.  Then a siren..  Then, an operator recording repeatedly plays.  " If you'd like to make a call, please hang up and try again.  If you need help, please hang up and call the operator.)   No, no - I don't need any help!  Stop!  I am…I am fully…I am fully dressed and ready to move forward in my life.  I am fully aware and ready to move forward in my life.  (KITCHEN BELL She regains composure, silently mouthing her mantra, in a very pained way.  The three men sneak on usl, dressed in togas with halos, wings and arrows,  Young man douses Shadow, she screams.)
MAN 2
That wasn't fairy dust!
YOUNG MAN
I couldn't find the fairy dust --
MAN 2
What'd you use?
YOUNG MAN
Insect repellent.
MAN 1 & 2
Marone!
SHADOW
You're trying to kill me!
MAN 1
Not unless you're a mosquito!
(Suddenly, a handsome man walks in.  It is Shadows date.  He looks around the restaurant)
MAN 2
Is that him?
MAN 1
He's not her type.
YOUNG MAN
I'm cuter than he will ever be.
MAN 1
I have a better hair line.
MAN 2
He doesn't look like he can dance. 
YOUNG MAN
Why are we standing here like idiots?  Get rid of him! 
MEN
Hrrrrrgggr! (They run like football players downstage-all looking in different directions, then 3 stooge like they run into each other, center.  Again, they move for him, but they run right past him - as though he's a ghost.)
YOUNG MAN
(Stomping the man's foot)  You stay away from her!
MAN 1
It's impossible  to live without me baby!
MAN 2
Let me take you away!
THE MAN
Shadow? (She nods)  Sorry I'm late -I tried to call – batteries dead.

The lights upstage fade away, and with them, THE MEN, leaving SHADOW and HER DATE at the table alone.  SOUND: Jimmy Durante singing:

Give me a kiss
To build a dream on
In my imagination

Table of Contents
The Star Polisher     1F    60's  
Two Voices For Thomas    2 F
Bread Baking Time   2 F    1 20's, 1 30's
Faulty Angels   2 M    1 late 60's, 1 early 20's
Virgin Sacrifices   1F/4 M