The Brilliant Artistry of Raegan Payne

Lost in the crowd

 

 

Strange Scene

 

As a last resort, an unemployed man/woman 55+, becomes the Baby-sitter for spoiled kid. Parents are early to mid-40s, and the 1 percent. To entertain the kid the Baby-sitter stages a political debate. All hell breaks loose as politics blends with revenge.

To cut down on confusion the baby-sitter will be described with masculine pronouns.

Character: The Baby-sitter – Man or Woman 55+

Setting: Hipster/Yuppie living room in disarray.

Lights up:

On the Baby-sitter standing mid-stage. He wears a sweater set, underwear, pearl necklace, and earrings. The floor is covered with toilet paper and towels.

Baby-sitter

Well. How prompt of you to be home…now.

This is not at all what it looks like. In fact, it is so educational that you are both going to laugh when I tell you why we are dressed or, in my case, undressed like this.

The good news is the chicken and ferret were not hurt. They were just props. They are our mascots. In the absence of a donkey or pachyderm I borrowed them from your creepy neighbor who claims he’s off the grid. I figured there was nothing much in this living room for them to get comfortable on or tear apart as it is all plastic… Errr steel… Modern? Maybe you prefer to call it retro. I’m sure it’s recycled.

But this is serious. It is. You see this.

This all around you. This is about politics. I was trying to teach your son about the American political process.

You know your son is very precocious. Not at all the kind of child I am use to baby-sitting. They’re usually infants. I have a policy to not start political discussions with infants unless they’re adults. Infants don’t try to debate with you they just cry.

But your son is a… Bright… Errrr… Luminescent… Conflicted…

Charlie, wouldn’t calm down or stop throwing fish sticks, which are disgusting to begin with, the most logical thing to do was stage a political debate. Nothing puts someone to sleep as fast as a political debate.

So I tell him, Charlie, put down the fish stick we’re going to debate. I use to cover debates. You knew that right. I was the paper’s political reporter. Before they downsized. Went to school for it. The writing, not the downsizing. I was a journalist. Unlike a blogger who doesn’t go to school for anything except plagiarism. Why would anyone go to school to become an expert at copy and paste? I expressed this view to Charlie who told me he is excellent at copying his homework.

[Pause] [Stares pointedly.]

Something to think about Mom and Dad.

Jesus, I sound old, don’t I? Older than you both. A lot older. I mean OLD.

That’s the topic we were debating right before you walked in – old people. I posed the question when Charlie was behind his podium-slash-ironic-old- fashioned-butter-churn. I love antiques too. Nothing says, “Look how we don’t really have to work anymore,” like one well placed piece of antiquity to hold umbrellas.

I said, “Charlie, should we continue tohave social security?

Charlie, bright boy that he is asked, “What’s social security?”

I told him it keeps people from starving when they are infirmed and can no longer work.

Then he asks, because he’s not use to debate form, “Why do we have social security?”

So I say, “Charlie you are mistaken. We do not have social security and never will. Our parents are going to use it up because they refuse to die, and will live till their 120-years-old clipping coupons, and driving 20 miles to buy a $5 Happy Meal.”

You two are too hip to cut coupons or eat fast food aren’t you? That’s our parents bag right. We’re more respectable – we use Groupon.

I know what you’re thinking, “Why is he wearing my sweater set with pearls?”

To answer that question, someone had to represent the female perspective in this debate. I respect the female perspective. It’s so simple. Women are in fact still under represented in all forms of media and politics. It’s an issue I care deeply about, but can no longer campaign for, because of the aforementioned sacking.

I also wanted to display the family jewels.

[After a beat reaches up and twirls the pearls around his neck.]

They must have been your mother’s Mrs. Casey. You’re not the kind of woman who wears pearls.

[Pause]

You’re also probably not the kind of woman that goes by your husband’s last name.

Is it Miss? Doesn’t matter to me one way or another. I don’t care for weddings myself. I was telling Charlie that earlier when I taught him the term Bourgeoisie. He’s fond of the word now. He taught me a term, “Asshat.” It’s not at all what you would think. Are you two even married?

So inappropriate to ask when I should be explaining. Right? Because this looks…

[Starts next part of the speech while trying to straighten the room.]

He picked the chicken as his mascot. He chose to be a cock. He wanted to put a hat on it. I told him that was animal cruelty much like keeping a ferret and a chicken in a postmodernist duplex. I think he’s scared of the ferret. He looks adorable in your suit Mr. Casey. Charlie. Not the weasel.

I know what you’re thinking. You’re wondering why I’m still baby-sitting at this age?

I worked for the paper. You know that. It became an online paper. I was the political reporter. I said that already. I wasn’t stupid enough to work for a physical paper. I’m not that out of it. Little did I know that writing would be reduced to 140 characters. They didn’t teach us that in school. Kid’s grammar means nothing please try to figure out how to reduce this sentence to symbols.

I was replaced by someone who thought no and know where the same word. Do you know the difference? Pun. Do you know what a… nevermind.

Do you guys know what it’s like when someone was madly in love with you and you wake up one Saturday morning and they’re just not anymore. I hope not. That’s what it felt like.

[Takes off the pearls and clip on earrings.]

It’s hard to find a job now. Everyone

has a degree. Degree inflation they call it. Or maybe there are just too many people. There are just too many people.

Kind of sad applying to jobs everyday and then radio silence. Worse because everyone asks, “How are you doing?” Everyone always asks. And some jobs are dicks and ask for recommendations, which means you have to announce your job search to the few people who didn’t know you were eating popcorn for lunch and dinner. Then people ask, “How did it go?” “Did they call you?” [Pause] No, they didn’t. I have two degrees and I worked for over 25 years, and no they didn’t call.

I use to cover debates. They don’t even debate anymore. People just hashtag it out on the Twitter-sphere. I am not needed.

[Stops shuffling around and looks at feet for at least 20 seconds. Dead silence.]

Why would you hire a baby-sitter my age?

[More quiet]

Charlie lost the debate. As is evident by the fact that he is tarred and feathered. I used honey instead of tar. It’s water- soluble. And tar wasn’t readily available. He just needs to be soaked in a tub. The suit may need to go to the dry- cleaners.

The “tarring” was both for the loss and punishment because he threw a fish stick at me when I told him he lost. The fish stick landed on the ferret cage, who sprayed me. It is unfortunate I was wearing your skirt Mrs… Err… Ms. Casey, or whatever you prefer to be called. I was taking off the skirt when you walked in. I wouldn’t want it to sustain any more damage. Here you go.

[Hands over skirt to an audience member.]

Will you be paying with cash, check or PayPal tonight?

Lost in the darknest

 

 

In a Hole

Three women wait to hear from their loved ones trapped in a mine. What they hear is the truth. Thank God the press is there.

Characters:

REPORTER – Talking head. The Greek chorus. It’s always news to him that the News is about other people.

LUCET – 20s/30s, hot and smart Latin beauty. Believes in love and romance. Heavily accented.

BECKY – 30s, American classic. Brutally honest to the point of brutality.

RONNET – 40s, well worn, hippy. Seeking the right religion. They are all the right religion.

Setting: At the top on a coal mine shaft in Virginia.

Lights up:

On three women standing in a semicircle around a 2×2 wooden barricade with a metal tube sticking out of the middle. All three stare into the center of the barricade. They shuffle and shift uncomfortably. Lucet holds a handkerchief to her face.

A Reporter in a crisp suit steps into a dim spotlight to the left of the assembled ladies.

REPORTER

(Talking to the audienceas if a cameraman)

Are we ready to go? How do I look? Fantastic? SSSS…Sibilance. Sibilance. Testing 1,2,3? Picture a pitcher of beer. Then pick a particular pier… Okay then.

The spotlight brightens around the Reporter. He sighs into the microphone.

REPORTER (CONT’D)

Today, a moment of hope in the 2 day saga of the Virginia General

Mine collapse, as time grows short due to dangerous gas leaks. A shaft has been completed through which relief supplies, as well as notes from family members and loved ones can pass to the trapped miners.

The Reporter indicates the tube.

REPORTER (CONT’D)

You can see, the once shattered,

now hopeful friends and family gathered behind me. They’ve maintained this vigil since mine shaft number two collapsed Thursday, injuring 20 workers and trapping some below the surface. Everyone is waiting for Virginia General to release the names of the men trapped underground, but for the families who haven’t seen their loved ones since that fateful day the results of the collapse are clear.

The Reporter approaches Lucet who waves a handkerchief about and clutches religious medallions against her heaving bosom. The Reporter pushes the microphone in her face.

REPORTER (CONT’D)

Ma’am?

LUCET

Lucet.

 REPORTER

Lucet, you have a loved one trapped in the mine.

LUCET

Mi novio.

The Reporter whispers into the mic like a golf announcer while staring at Lucet.

REPORTER

She just said boyfriend.

LUCET

He was… he is un angel.

Reporter never takes his eyes off Lucet.

REPORTER

(Whispering into mic)

That means angel.

LUCET

Si. Angel.

REPORTER

Our thoughts are with him.

LUCET

Why does God trap angels underground?

The Reporter wraps his arms around Lucet in sympathy. He strokes her back and shoulders. It’s a little sexy.

REPORTER

I don’t know why God traps angels.

The Reporter continues to rub Lucet.

REPORTER(CONT’D)

I’m here for you.

(pause)

After the broadcast.

The Reporter releases Lucet. She staggers and then returns to mourning/doing Hail Marys. The Reporter approaches Becky. As he scoots towards her she backs up until she backs into Ronnet and can’t go any farther.

REPORTER (CONT’D)

And Ma’am…

BECKY

Becky

REPORTER

Becky. May I call you Rebecca?

BECKY

No.

REPORTER

You are waiting for?

BECKY

My husband.

REPORTER

Your husband.

(sigh)

Is there anything you’d like to say to him?

BECKY

(sarcastic)

Nothing that I haven’t already said a million times.

Becky walks away.

REPORTER

Okay.

(golf announcer whisper)

Emotions are high. (he turns to Ronnet)

And what about you Sir… errr… Ma’am?

RONNET

Ron… net.

REPORTER

(repeats slowly)

Ronnet?

RONNET

Yes.

REPORTER

Who are you waiting for?

  RONNET

(pause)

My… lover is trapped underground.

The Reporter takes in Ronnet’s physical appearance and shudders.

RONNET (CONT’D)

I’d like to read him this poem.

REPORTER It’s unfortunate there is no television in the mine.

RONNET

Not even basic cable?

REPORTER

(pseudo-serious)

It’s worse than you thought?

Ronnet and Reporter stare at each other, then a grinding noise rises from the tube.

REPORTER (CONT’D)

The first communication from below. A message of desperation from the trapped miners.

The noise stops and a bell rings. Everyone leans towards the pipe. Lucet looks to the others and then pulls out a letter.

LUCET

I am sure it is from mi amor!

Lucet unfolds the letter.

LUCET (CONT’D)

Oh! Coal on the name!

She rubs the letter furiously against her chest – a mixture of love and utility.

LUCET (CONT’D)

(looking at letter)

Oh, it smudged.

BECKY

Can you read it?

(pause looks at Lucet)

Can you read?

LUCET

Of course I can read. In two languageses. I’m not illegitimate. The letter say, “Sweetheart, I am sorry I cannot be with you right now to comfort you. What a trying time.”

(looks up confused) Why would I be trying the time?

REPORTER

Excuse me Ma’am, may I?

The Reporter doesn’t wait, he rips the letter out of Lucet’s hands. He reads to the audience.

REPORTER (CONT’D)

The letter says, “Please, try not to worry about me. It’s not that bad down here. I’m making the most of it. Spending my time thinking about you. I am sorry for every moment I can’t hug you.”

Lucet wails. Becky sighs. Ronnet raises her arms to heaven.

REPORTER (CONT’D)

“I’m sorry for every moment I can’t  look into your eyes and tell you everything is okay.”

Lucet crosses herself. Becky sniffs. Ronnet waves her arms back and forth like she’s at Woodstock.

REPORTER (CONT’D)

“I’m sorry I can’t be there to roll over and pull you close in the morning.”

Bawling from Lucet.

REPORTER (CONT’D)

“I’m sorry I never told you that I, sometimes, like to have sex with men.”

Lucet stops crying fast.

REPORTER (CONT’D)

“Well, just one man actually. Steve.”

BECKY

I know Steve!

LUCET

Donde esta Steve? Is Steve in the mine?

RONNET

May the Lord be with Steve in the mine.

BECKY

Steve is not in the mine he works at BigLots.

REPORTER

Ladies, please let me finish.

(pause, then continues to read the letter)

“That’s what I meant on the nights I told you I was going to “play poker” or “watch football” with the guys. Yes, I’ve been with Steve, but you should know you were the only woman I had sex with since 2007.”

Lucet counts on her fingers.

RONNET

Thank God and Buddha.

BECKY

Son of a bitch.

REPORTER

“I’ll never forgive myself for hiding. In these last moments I want to tell the truth.”

(holding up the letter for the audience)

Confessions from the deep. It’s only signed, “With Love.” The signature, now, unreadable.

Becky turns to Lucet.

BECKY

You’re right that’s from your boyfriend. I’d leave him.

LUCET

We must forgive. They are in their last minutos.

(sniffs into hanky) (pause)

Why you assume it is mi boyfriend? Why can’t it be your husband?

BECKY

My husband’s not fruity.

REPORTER

(into the mic)

Ugly prejudicial fears bubble to the surface in these final moments of fresh air at the mine shaft.

LUCET

So he is curioso. So what?

RONNET

I’ve been curious and I’ve explored in my life. There’s nothing wrong with it.

Reporter holds a hanky to his mouth.

LUCET

See.

BECKY

He cheated on you?

 RONNET

With a man.

LUCET

Not with a mujer.

Ronnet and Becky stand puzzled.

REPORTER

(golf whisper into mic)

She just said woman.

BECKY

Semantics! HE STILL HAD SEX with someone else while he was with you. It’s wrong.

LUCET

It’s not symbolic.

(Lucet takes the letter from the reporter)

He said he did it. I believe him.

BECKY

No, not symbolic… semantics.

LUCET

(huge gasp)

Why you attacking Jews?

Ronnet falls to her knees in a deep prayer.

RONNET

Do not insult my religious brethren with antisemitism! I am a Jew!

BECKY

No semantics not… never mind.

REPORTER

(covering the mic)

Our viewers really shouldn’t be subjected to this high level of racism.

BECKY

No. Jesus. Semantics!

RONNET

(crossing herself)

The Lord’s name in vain! My ears bleed.

Lucet falls to her knees in prayer next to Ronnet.

BECKY

Look, it’s fine to be gay, striped, …. pink, whatever tops your tree but…

(to Lucet)

He cheated on you. Unless you’re okay with him sleeping with someone else.

LUCET

No, I am not… but…

BECKY

But?

LUCET

But they are in their final minutos.

Becky and Lucet stare at each other. The grinding noise resumes from the pipe.

Beat.

BECKY

(vulnerable)

My husband’s letter.

Beat

RONNET

Or my love.

The Reporter shutters. The bell goes off and the Reporter jumps in front of everyone to grab the letter.

REPORTER

This letter also starts with only an endearment. “Darling,” it says, “be calm. You’ve spent so much of your life worrying about me. Because of this job.”

Becky tries to take the letter, but the Reporter skips off like a child.

REPORTER (CONT’D)

“Because of the danger. Because we didn’t have enough money.

REPORTER (CONT’D)

“I caused you so much anxiety. I wanted you to be happy, and have nice things. I didn’t want you to want for anything, especially if something happened to me. I didn’t want this moment to happen. That’s why I started the meth lab and didn’t tell you about it. For your security.”

RONNET

Thoughtful.

REPORTER

“After I made the first hundred thousand I should have told you. I needed to pay my first wife’s alimony. I never wanted you to find out, or worry about her. Not your problem. My problem. You were worried about groceries for us. I wanted the money to be a surprise.”

Lucet’s hands drop.

LUCET (to Becky)

That es your husband. We never had dolares.

BECKY

Nope. Everyone turns to Ronnet.

RONNET

My lover steals paper napkins and sugar packets from Dunkin Donuts because he doesn’t want to buy them. Bless him.

REPORTER

(clears throat continues reading the letter)

“If I make it out of here. We’re going on a Disney Cruise.”

LUCET

I want to go on la Disney Cruise!

BECKY

I wanted to go on a Disney Cruise, when I was four.

REPORTER

“Darling, I love you.”

(looks at the audience)

This letter unsigned. The writer, clearly illiterate. Big plans. A Disney Cruise. And no hope.

RONNET

This negativity is affecting my spirit.

Ronnet pulls some crystals out of her pocket and rubs them together, humming.

LUCET

This is my wrongest fear. That he would never come up. I care no for monies.

BECKY

I knew this day would come.

(to herself)

No. Nope. We never had money…

(shakes head)

Nope. We didn’t. He didn’t. I loved him without the money.

LUCET

You a good woman. Same for me.

BECKY

I didn’t need anything… except him. I thought.

(smiles)

He use to kiss me like our ship was going down.

LUCET

You were on a ship that…

BECKY

No. Shhhhh…

(Patting Lucet’s back)

I just meant he kissed me, like he meant it. Like it was our last moment on earth. Like that last moment was in me and he wanted it. I knew that was rare. I never felt that before. I loved it.

LUCET

I know I love to be kissed when they mean it…

BECKY

But maybe…

REPORTER

Stories of lust, greed, crime, and gluttony just pouring forth from this little… tiny… remote… desperate… poor… hove… haven. These women, married off, most likely at a young, impressionable age to men they don’t know. Having no concept of sex, or home, or commitment. Ladies and gentlemen, just remember, you heard it here first. One of the miners is using the communications tube as a last confessional. Probably only hours away from suffocation.

BECKY

The tube indicates they have air.

REPORTER

(pause)

Or starvation, a poor trapped miner clearing his soul…

The Reporter points the mic towards Becky.

REPORTER (CONT’D)

Care to comment.

(grin) Becky slaps the mic away.

REPORTER (CONT’D)

Hey!

BECKY

You’re being a dick.

REPORTER

I’m just reporting the truth.

BECKY

You’re reporting the problems.

REPORTER

It’s called the news.

Reporter picks up the mic, wipes in gently, and smoothes his hair.

REPORTER (CONT’D)

(looks Becky up and down)

And if problems are all I see…

Becky steps towards the Reporter, but Ronnet steps between them. Becky yells over Ronnet.

BECKY

Why don’t you help people? Help fix one problem! Instead of exacerbating it!

REPORTER

Hey! This is my job!

(pause)

“Exacerbates” that’s a big word for you?

Ronnet has to hold Becky back. Lucet, agitated, waves her arms and bounces up and down with her hanky.

LUCET

Paz. Paz. Paz. Paz! Paz! Paz!

Everyone notices she looks sexy jiggling everywhere.

LUCET (CONT’D)

Paz! Paz! Paz!

Becky stops fighting Ronnet.

BECKY

Damn it. Just say peace!

LUCET

Peace. Please. Everyone.

RONNET

The only thing we should all be concentrating our energy on is locating the miners.

Lucet points to the hole. She’s proud of herself. Ronnet pats her on the shoulder.

BECKY

Unbelievable.

LUCET

Que?

BECKY

You’re not even worried.

 LUCET

The letters mean they are alive. No matter… You are so scared. You think they are from your husband and that he lied to you.

BECKY

I’m scared because my husband worked a shitty job and is trapped underground. Now I have to worry that he might be a criminal who’s been sleeping with Steve.

(pause)

Who is gross.

Ronnet and Lucet nod in agreement.

BECKY(CONT’D)

Let me worry!

RONNET

You might not have to worry about Steve. They may never come up.

Everyone is silent for a minute.

RONNET(CONT’D)

Can I lead us in a moment of peace, reflection and prayer?

Lucet runs up and grabs Ronnet’s hand. The Reporter shrugs and grabs Ronnet’s hand. Lucet waves for Becky to come over. Becky resists and then reluctantly puts out her hand.

RONNET (CONT’D)

I’m only sorry that this prayer, according to the beliefs of my church, cannot be heard by God because I’m a woman.

REPORTER

Amen.

Becky drops Lucet’s hand and stares at Ronnet. Lucet gently pulls Becky back into the semicircle. Everyone bows their heads.

RONNET

Dear God, our heavenly father. A god of power. A god of light, power and the oceans. A god that sat under the Bodhi tree. A god who is reflective and peaceful except to infidels. A god who celebrates love, joy and laughter. Father that punishes the wicked with powerful power. Our heavenly father who is all good and seeing…

BECKY

(interrupting)

He knows who he is.

RONNET

(without missing a beat)

We’d like you to pray over our men. Our healthy men. Free from all diseases and addictions. Meth. May they come into the light. But not that bright white heavenly light at the end of the hallway, but the light on the surface of the ground. Where we are standing. Right now. Give us the power to overcome this pain, if we’re suppose to. If we’re suppose to suffer. Then… alright. That sucks… But… We will take your cosmic spankings gladly. We ask that you watch over… Watch over… Sorry what are your men’s names?

BECKY

John.

LUCET

Juan.

The Reporter looks up.

REPORTER

That’s funny. Juan is the Spanish translation of John? Right?

Lucet looks up chipper.

LUCET

Oh no, his name is not Juan. I just call him that. His name is John.

Lucet looks back down in prayer.

.RONNET

God, watch over the two Johns in one hole.

BECKY

His name is John too?

LUCET

Si, we are so alike. Two mens in a holes. Both named the John.

BECKY

Yeah.

LUCET

My John has the most beautiful blue eyes. He looked like an angel. I don’t know if I will ever see them again.

Lucet cries.

REPORTER

Kind of uncommon. Blue eyes in a Juan.

RONNET

Ladies and gentlemen… the prayer?

BECKY

My husband has blue eyes too.

The grinding noise begins.

RONNET

Where was I God? Oh yes… blessed are the two John’s in a hole…

BECKY

My husband has worked in the mine for 12 years.

LUCET

(gasp)

Mi…

Lucet and Becky lock eyes with new understanding.

The bell goes off and the Reporter goes to grab the letter, but Becky grabs it first. Lucet snatches it from her. Becky smacks her arm and grabs it back. Lucet grabs at Becky, and a scuffle erupts. The Reporter tries to pull them apart.

REPORTER

Ladies. Ladies!

Soon the Reporter notices that this is kinda hot and kneels to the level of the fight so that the camera can follow the shot.

REPORTER (CONT’D)

(completely flat, not persuasive)

Ladies, you have got to stop. This is so… so… wrong. Like animals… cats… scratch… errrr… meow…

Reporter stares.

RONNET

Oh no! Buddha says no violence.

Ronnet jumps into the match swinging her arms and flipping her hair around. It’s very unattractive and awkward. The Reporter is repulsed. He turns away. Then his hand jumps to his ear. He turns to the audience and speaks into the “camera.”

REPORTER

Ladies and gentlemen an update.

The women stop fighting and listen. The Reporter puts his finger to his ear and nods his head.

REPORTER (CONT’D)

Virginia General is announcing, after doing a thorough count of all the men in the hospital, and identifying the men lost, they have determined…

(pause)

Something we already know… There is one man in the mine. Just one man. John Malcolm.

Lucet covers her mouth. Becky hangs her head. The Reporter approaches Lucet.

REPORTER (CONT’D)

Thoughts? No.

 LUCET

No.

REPORTER

No, I mean do you want to say anything… about John.

BECKY

She knows what you meant.

Ronnet approaches Lucet and Becky and puts her arms around them.

RONNET

I think we should take a moment to meditate. Two women with the same taste in men would naturally be friends. It’s a sign.

Beat.

Becky pulls herself away and stares at Ronnet.

BECKY

What’s your lover’s name?

Ronnet stops, sees everyone is watching, and straightens her shirt.

RONNET

What?

BECKY

What’s your lover’s name?

LUCET

What’s his eye color?

RONNET

My…..

BECKY

Yeah. Your lover. Trapped in the hole.

RONNET

His name. His name is…

BECKY

Easy question.

LUCET

Si, because there is only one man in the hole.

RONNET

His name.

BECKY

Yeah.

LUCET

And eye color?

The Reporter gently puts a hand on Lucet’s shoulder and rubs it to make her shut up. Ronnet looks around the group. No one is on her side.

RONNET

(quietly)

He’s not in this hole. He’s not in any hole.

BECKY

You don’t have anyone down there.

REPORTER

That’s disgusting.

(turning to the audience)

A scavenger…

RONNET

This has happened before. I lost someone too.

LUCET

(interrupting)

Oh my god your lover was trapped in a mine?!

(pause)

This is the second time.

(pause)

She’s like the omen.

BECKY

No, sweetheart, there wasn’t a first time.

RONNET

No, he wasn’t buried alive. I said I lost him. July 5th, 2000. There was an accident. But they never found his body. They found everyone else. He hadn’t been there or he escaped. He just took the opportunity to leave.

LUCET

(quiet)

Dios mio.

RONNET

But I’m better now I have found anew purpose. Helping others through the mysticism of God.

Everyone stares at her not speaking.

RONNET (CONT’D)

I never said anything. You assumed.

LUCET

You lied.

RONNET

He left me.

LUCET

You lied to me. I felt bad for you.

RONNET

He left and I had to wait 9 days thinking he was dead. Watching everyone else being supported. I needed that too.

LUCET

I am tired of being lied to.

RONNET

I just wanted to support you…

BECKY

(interrupting)

You can’t steal other people’s moments! My husband is… maybe not my husband after all. Maybe he was with her. And never with me. And now he’s dying. And you can’t have that! You can’t!

RONNET

I thought it would feel nice for everyone to be part of something.

Lucet starts bawling and Becky wraps her arms around her.

BECKY

(to Ronnet)

Go join a club.

The Reporter slowly turns to the audience as the three women all turn away from the mine. Lucet cries softly. Becky holds her.The Reporter puts his finger to his ear and nods his head. Becky steps back from Lucet, dusts off her pants, and starts to walk off stage. Lucet turns to her.

LUCET

You can’t leave someone in their moment of need.

BECKY

I can’t stand here and care about someone who clearly never cared about me. He risked my health, my freedom, my children, my home… He did the same to you, you know. Now his health is at risk and I’d say… nothing is fair. I gave him too many chances already. I’m tired of being around liars.

LUCET

I wasn’t talking about the two Juans, I was talking about us. We need you.

RONNET

Forgiveness is divine.

BECKY

Forgiveness is divine?

(pause)

You’re right. I knew something was wrong. Could feel it. In my bones I knew he was lying. Every time I gave him a chance, forgave him, I thought he would appreciate me more. See what a nice good forgiving girl I am. But I was wrong? By giving him a chance I let him think it was okay to behave like that.

(pause)

But its not okay. No one should ever feel… .

RONNET

Unwanted

LUCET

I need you to stay. He needs you.

BECKY If he needed me he wouldn’t have been with you.

BECKY (CONT’D)

(Becky cries)

I’m sorry. I’m so sorry. Becky walks towards the edge of the stage in tears.

RONNET

She didn’t love him.

LUCET

She loved him too much.

The Reporter turns towards the audience and unfolds the final letter.

REPORTER

(to Becky)

Ma’am? Don’t you want to hear the final letter?

BECKY

It doesn’t matter.

REPORTER

(to the audience)

An eventful night at the mine. Evidently three is company.

The Reporter reads the final letter.

REPORTER (CONT’D)

The letter says,

“Honey, There are so many things I’m sorry for. Mostly that I couldn’t find enough paper to send all of this at once. I’m sorry there is nothing but sorry at the end. I’m sorry I voted for the Nader in 2000. I’m sorry that I might or might not have one, possibly two children out there in the world. Certainly no more than 3… 5 max. I’m sorry that I gave you crabs and told you the dog brought in human fleas. I’m sorry about the dog. I’m sorry I hated that blue dress you wore and never told you, honestly, it really did make your legs look fat. But now, I would look at you everyday in that dress if I could just be with you again. I don’t know what they’ve told you up there. They’re probably saying everything’s fine. It’s not. There’s smoke and the air smells like gas  I’m laying here in a puddle ’cause I’m dizzy. But, this feels right. Me being down here alone. Since I was scared to be alone so often. It doesn’t hurt. My rescue tank ran out. I’m trying to remember the best stuff. The first time we met, when I wanted to be like you and you wanted to be like me so that we fit together. And we did. But not perfect. You were always better than me. I lucked out. There was only you, deep in my chest, you filled that hole where everything is quiet and still. You gave me peace. I gave you heartache. And now all I want to see are your beautiful eyes and I want to smell your hair. And I want you to be loved more than I ever could because you deserve it. That’s my last request. I don’t deserve anything. But I want that. I’m sorry Becky. Please be in peace. Because I am knowing that you’re up there. With all the love that I ever possessed.

(sighs legit)

John.

Becky turns and walks up to the Reporter. She holds out her hand and he passes her the letter, which she folds and puts in her jeans.

Becky then turns to Lucet, she gives her a hug and then, holding her hand, leads her off stage.

Ronnet walks up to the Reporter, who looks distressed, and wraps her arm around him. At first he resists. Then he collapses into a bawling mess in Ronnet’s arms.

Lights down.

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