On Board #46

Details here. Send yours here. As you can see by today’s setting, these things are flexible.

Jan. 28, 2009, 7:32 p.m.
Starbucks – Union Square

Three people are talking loudly on a row of stools. On the far end is DENISE, a black woman, in her early-30s, glasses, hair pulled back in corn rows. There’s an open seat, and then VERONICA, a younger white woman, 28, with diamond earrings and a Burberry scarf. In voice and appearance, she could be cast in a slightly-higher-class Jersey Shore. She is doing most of the arguing with JASON, an younger black man, 23 or so, doo rag’d. He is reflexively spinning his cell phone on the counter, but giving his full attention to VERONICA.

ACT I

VERONICA
He was good, but he wasn’t always good. He was half-assed.

JASON
So, you think you’re gonna get married to anyone and not get half-assed?

VERONICA
No, but he wasn’t good enough.

JASON
You shouldn’t have broken up with him.

VERONICA
If he wants me. He’ll come back. If a man wants you, he’ll find you even of you’re hiding under, under, under the table. If you walk into an art museum, and they have a beautiful piece of art, they’re not gonna sell it right away. Right? They’re gonna wait for the right price.

DENISE and JASON give each other a confused look.

JASON [to Denise]
Look, all I’m saying is she needs to…

VERONICA
If you’re gonna sit here and talk through me, don’t talk at all.

An Asian woman returns from the bathroom. SHARON is heavy-set, around the same age as DENISE, and speaks clear English with a heavy accent.

JASON
I’m trying to…look, is commitment not one of the biggest part of a relationship?

DENISE
Of course.

SHARON
Mmmmm hmmmm.

VERONICA
Definitely. Definitely.

JASON
Well after a year of dating, he didnt cheat on you and you broke up with him…but you say you still love him?

VERONICA

But, look at this (holds up ringless left hand). Beyonce wrote a song about this. Put a ring on it. Have you heard it? iTune it…what’s it called? YouTube it, yeah, YouTube it.

JASON
You’re making me noxious. It was only a year and a half! And then you broke up with him!

VERONICA
You’re a writer. You said you can read a book and know someone’s soul?

JASON
Yeah, sure.

VERONICA
That takes, what, like an hour? Then you should be able to figure a person out in a year.

JASON looks out the window, then down at his phone, still spinning on the counter. He’s stumped.

DENISE and SHARON
Ohhhhhh.

SHARON
She wants to be with this guy, she wants to be married to this guy, she want this guy to commit. What’s so wrong with that?

VERONICA
He’s been eatin’ the cake, and gettin’ it for free.

JASON
Then you better move on.

VERONICA’S phone rings, playing Taylor Swift’s “Love Story.” She answers.

VERONICA
Hey babe…I’m in Starbucks…in Union Square…are you here?…OK, I’ll leave now and meet you there…OK, bye bye.

VERONICA closes her phone and sighs. She looks flustered.

VERONICA
It was really nice meeting you. I gotta go…I dunno what I’m gonna do. But I know if he loves me, he’ll come back.

SHARON, to VERONICA
That was good, girl. You’ll be alright.

VERONICA collects her things and turns, noticing for the first time that the half-dozen people seated at the tables nearby have been watching the animated conversation. She is not embarassed in the slightest.

VERONICA
We all just met. Seriously.

VERONICA exits. The curtain closes as the others stare off at her in silence, wandering into the unkonwn outside.

ACT II

SHARON, JASON, AND DENISE are still at the three stools. SHARON and DENISE have started packing up their purses and surround JASON.

SHARON
This girl. She’s confused the fuck up. All she knows is she just wants to get married.

JASON
But you all told her she was doing the right thing?

SHARON
She is doing the right thing because she’s out there getting what she wants from the beginning. At least she’s not waiting around to get hurt. That was like an Oprah session here. She was getting mad because she didn’t want to here the truth. People don’t want to hear the truth.

DENISE
You want to explore a woman’s mind, but you have no idea. Your book will be better once you understand a woman’s mind. You need to gather information by observing.

SHARON
That’s the only thing to do, to take your information from different places.  And learn from it. All these people fighting for these stupid reasons: “I want this, I want that.” Before you get all that shit, you dead. So why not get what you want, now?

DENISE
A lot of people have love, a lot of people have trust, but if you don’t have understanding you’ll be in trouble.

SHARON
That’s the problem with the younger generation. They don’t take the time to get to know each other. If she knew what She wants, she wouldn’t sit here for there hours talking with us. She screwed up my workout hour. Buy if we helped her, we did our good deed for the day.

DENISE
If I were her, I’d bounce over to Barnes and Noble and get a self-help book.

The three strangers shake hands and depart, going in separate directions. This time, the bemused faces of the other customers follow them out, wondering where they are headed.

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One response to “On Board #46

  1. you’ve taken things to a whole new level here

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