Trying something new! Let me know what you think!
(A counter on stage. The barista, Bob, cleans some cups. A TV is stationed above. The news plays:
REPORTER: Two women were found dead last night on the floor of Pen Station. Their killers caught by police claimed to be active members of the New Church. Reports mention the women had been holding hands getting off the train when the two men beat them with wooden bats. Police have…
(The Barista grabs the remote and turns off the TV and goes back to cleaning. A man, Donald, enters the stage in a overcoat and stands near the counter. The barista doesn’t look up, he continues to clean the cups as the man has his back towards him.)
BOB: Can I help you?
DONALD: I’ll take a regular coffee.
BOB: (Surprised by the voice. Doesn’t make a scene out of it) Hot?
DONALD: Of course hot, it’s the middle of winter.
BOB: (While making coffee) You’d be surprised.
(Silence. As he makes the cup he starts to make some small talk)
You doing well?
DONALD: Yeah, Bob, I think so.
BOB: I hope so. I’ve been praying for you. You and Max.
DONALD: (Winces slightly) I appreciate that.
BOB: Big changes around here since you left.
DONALD: (Looking around) Looks the same to me.
BOB: You haven’t had the coffee yet.
(Donald chuckles lightly)
DONALD: Maybe these changes are for the best
BOB: I think these changes are the best for adaptation.
BOB: Nothing, just thinking out loud I guess. How’s Max doing?
DONALD: (Unsure of how to answer) Not well.
BOB: Whys that? If you don’t mind me asking.
DONALD: He’s dead.
BOB: (A hit) What?
DONALD: Max died a few months ago.
BOB: What do you mean he died?
DONALD: I’m sorry this is how you’re finding out.
BOB: You…I…why didn’t you say anything sooner?
DONALD: There wasn’t a funeral
DONALD: I was…I was too afraid
BOB: Where were you?
DONALD: Down south. We were living there for a bit. One day I walked out of the apartment and…
BOB: (Interrupts) You were living in the south?
DONALD: We thought it would be better there. We didn’t go Deep South, just in Virginia.
BOB: Christ. You don’t have to go into details. When did you come back here?
DONALD: Just got back today. As soon as I found him outside, I packed my things and left.
DONALD: I didn’t think it’d be that bad.
BOB: It’s starting to rise over here too.
DONALD (Shocked) In New York?
BOB: I’ve seen it. Signs are being posted on lawns and buildings. “No homos allowed” “America for God.” Some people have been trying to fight it. I’m just afraid it’ll get worse.
DONALD: I’m laying low right now. I was gonna stay here for a couple more days then head up state. Maybe further.
BOB: Have you seen any of your family?
DONALD: None. I can’t let them know I’m here.
BOB: Christ. You can’t even see your family anymore. The world is fucked.
DONALD: It ain’t the world. Just here. “The Land of the Free.”
(There is a pause. Bob gives Donald the coffee.)
BOB: Heres your coffee.
(He sips it. Silence again.)
It’s good to see you, Bob. I didn’t think I’d miss this place.
(Another moment of silence.)
BOB: Stay at my place. We have a guest room you can stay in for a few days.
DONALD: I don’t think I can. I’m taking a risk being so close to home. If it’s as bad as you said, I should probably leave sooner.
BOB: But…(he hesitates to finish.) Maybe you’re right. I can’t imagine it getting worse over…
DONALD: (Interrupts) Is your wife still part of the church?
BOB: Yeah, she is. She’s not crazy like them, but she’s not changing her mind anytime soon. She just doesn’t understand.
(Donald nods. He takes another sip of the coffee.)
DONALD: I hope one day she does. She was nice before she knew.
I should go. Before I run into anyone else.
BOB: Be safe out there, Donald. Give me a call if you need anything.
(Donald rummages through pocket)
It’s on me, don’t worry.
DONALD: (Raises coffee) Thanks. If things die down, I’ll come visit.
(He leaves the room with his head down, not making eye contact with anyone. Bob watches him leave and goes back to cleaning.)