Friday, October 22, 2010

Gimme What I Want

A one-act play.


THE PROTAGONIST: A man in his early forties.
THE ANTAGONIST: A man in his early forties.
THE WOMAN ON THE TRAIN: A woman in her early thirties, very attractive, dressed in a sexy skirt and knee-high boots.


The present.


The interior of THE PROTAGONIST's apartment, in a sparsely furnished living room. THE PROTAGONIST sits on a couch, fumbling nervously with his cell phone. Finally, he dials a number emphatically, leans back, crosses his legs, and fidgets his foot. Two rings are heard, followed by the faint click of the call getting picked up.

THE ANTAGONIST: (on the other end of the phone) Yeah?

THE PROTAGONIST: (sighs) Hey. It's me. You got it yet?

THE ANTAGONIST: (after a beat or two) No.

THE PROTAGONIST: (sighs more heavily) No? When? When, then? When?

THE ANTAGONIST: Three to five days. Been waiting on something else first. Soon as that's uh, taken care of. Promise.

THE PROTAGONIST: (a tinge of desperation in his voice) Three to five? So four? Probably?

THE ANTAGONIST: Three to five. Days. Thank you for—

THE PROTAGONIST: (whimpering, softly, almost speaking to himself) Three to five fucking days! (He goes limp and sinks deeper into the couch, in a defeated posture.)

THE ANTAGONIST: Thank you for your patience regarding th—

THE PROTAGONIST:  I need it. Bad. (His legs convulse a little and he pounds the couch pillow with the flat of his hand.)

THE ANTAGONIST: (after a beat) I know.

THE PROTAGONIST: (suddenly inert) Business?


THE PROTAGONIST: Business days? What type of days are we talking about?

THE ANTAGONIST: Business. Business days.

(THE PROTAGONIST, eyes squeezed shut, holds his phone high up above his head. The static sound of the line suddenly goes quiet as he presses the button to hang up.)

(Curtain)SCENE TWO

The interior of a New York City subway car, seen from one side. A dozen or so riders are sitting, doing what subway riders typically do: reading the paper, watching their smart phones, staring blankly ahead of them, drifting in and out of sleep. A few are standing and holding poles or railings. The sound of the train moving along the tracks is heard and the riders are sometimes lightly jostled by the motion. THE PROTAGONIST is seated at one end of the car, his eyes fixed on THE WOMAN ON THE TRAIN, who is standing around the middle of the car, holding the railing above the seats.

About a minute passes, during which
THE WOMAN ON THE TRAIN notices that THE PROTAGONIST is staring at her. Her body language and expression indicate that she's becoming progressively more annoyed.

THE WOMAN ON THE TRAIN: (addressing THE PROTAGONIST with a curt nod) Whadda you want?

(The other riders on the train faintly register the commotion. Two or three look up very briefly, then return to their private preoccupations.)THE PROTAGONIST: (startled, indicating himself by pointing to his chest) Me?

THE WOMAN ON THE TRAIN: Yeah you. The fuck do you want?

THE PROTAGONIST: (defensively) I... nothing. Nothing!

THE WOMAN ON THE TRAIN: Bull fucking shit nothing.

(A couple of the other riders on the train look up again and smirk at the unfolding drama, then again turn away.)

THE PROTAGONIST: (shakes his head dismissively, in the manner of someone who is contending with a crazy person, and puts up both his hands) Hey. Seriously. I don't want—

THE WOMAN ON THE TRAIN: You wanna fuck me? That what you want?

(THE PROTAGONIST hangs his head and shakes it softly, offering no reply.)

THE WOMAN ON THE TRAIN: (caustically, venomously) I know what you want.

(THE PROTAGONIST keeps his head down and remains quiet. Again, the attention of several other riders is piqued slightly. They stare dully at the scene.)

THE WOMAN ON THE TRAIN: (barks out a toxic little laugh, then sarcastically) What, you want my pussy? That it?

THE PROTAGONIST: (raises his head, and earnestly) Come on. No.

THE WOMAN ON THE TRAIN: (with smoldering anger) You fucking little liar. You fucking little man. Sitting on the train staring at me like I don't know what you're fucking thinking!

(THE PROTAGONIST again shakes his head.)

THE WOMAN ON THE TRAIN: (slowly approaching THE PROTAGONIST) You gonna go home and jerk off your little cock now?

(A guffaw is heard from the gallery of riders.)

THE WOMAN ON THE TRAIN: (now only about six feet away from THE PROTAGONIST) Why don't you do it now, fucker? In front of everybody.

(THE PROTAGONIST fidgets and looks left and right, seeking some kind of escape.)

THE WOMAN ON THE TRAIN: (She brusquely lifts up her skirt, revealing sexy, lace panties.) This is what you want if I'm not mistaken. Asshole.

(THE PROTAGONIST stands up and backs away from THE WOMAN ON THE TRAIN.)

THE WOMAN ON THE TRAIN: Whip out your tiny fucking cock and jerk it off. You fucking loser.

(Most of the other riders are watching with mild amusement now, though several remain completely oblivious. The train sound winds down as the train arrives in a station. The chirpy voice of the prerecorded station announcement is heard, ending with the warning to "stand clear of the closing doors, please." THE WOMAN ON THE TRAIN keeps approaching and THE PROTAGONIST keeps backing up until his only option is to flee the car. He exits just before the doors close. Inside the train, THE WOMAN ON THE TRAIN lets her skirt drop and turns around as though nothing has just occurred.)



The interior of THE ANTAGONIST's apartment, which is nearly identical to THE PROTAGONIST's apartment except that the couch is a different color and the incidental furnishings (end tables, rug, etc.) vary slightly and are arrayed differently. THE ANTAGONIST is sitting on the couch reading a copy of Field & Stream magazine.

The doorbell rings.
THE ANTAGONIST throws aside his magazine, walks over to the door and peers through the peephole. He backs away with a start and stands still for a moment, dismayed, wondering what to do. The bell rings again, followed immediately by an urgent knock. THE ANTAGONIST looks at the door, his body tense like a prey with nowhere to turn.

THE PROTAGONIST: (from the other side of the door) I know you're fucking in there! Open the fucking door!

THE ANTAGONIST: (pauses a beat, then trepidatiously) I don't have it!


THE ANTAGONIST: I don't have it yet. I will have it soon. I promise.

THE PROTAGONIST: Let me the fuck in! Open the fucking door!

(A few seconds pass as THE ANTAGONIST, his chest heaving, stands pondering. Suddenly, a loud thud is heard as THE PROTAGONIST kicks the door, hard. THE ANTAGONIST immediately opens the door.)


THE PROTAGONIST: (barges in and staggers around wildly, then breathlessly) You gotta! You gotta give it to me, man!

THE ANTAGONIST: (imploringly) Listen, I just told you, I—

THE PROTAGONIST: Gimme something! Gimme something, at least!

THE ANTAGONIST: I would if I could. I swear.

THE PROTAGONIST: You said three to five days!

THE ANTAGONIST: Business. Business days.

THE PROTAGONIST: (holding up his hand, five fingers splayed) This is day five, motherfucker! Business day five!

THE ANTAGONIST: I need another day.

THE PROTAGONIST: (shouting) I can't wait another day!

THE ANTAGONIST: (with exaggerated calm) You have been very patient, and I apprec—

THE PROTAGONIST: (livid) Gimme what I want!!

(THE ANTAGONIST suddenly pulls a handgun out of the front of his waistband and shoots THE PROTAGONIST in the chest. THE PROTAGONIST falls back hard against the door and collapses, dead. THE ANTAGONIST sits back down on the couch and picks up his copy of Field & Stream, shaking his head slightly as he leafs through the pages to find his place.)

(Final curtain)