a circus

act two

(the music and sounds of a circus carnival are heard. the younger and older men walk up to a lamppost in the middle of the stage. they stand on opposite sides of the pole. the younger man drops his backpack on the ground at the back base of the lamppost. the older man sips coffee from a styrofoam cup. the younger man looks back at the bag nervously as various unassuming folks pass by.)

younger- psst! (being ignored) hey!

older- what?

younger- shouldn’t we go?

older- go where?

younger- anywhere. anywhere else!

older- relax.

younger- but the–

older- hush.

younger- how long till the… you know?

older- long enough.

younger- i want to go now.

older- you do?

younger- yes. i do.

older- alright. we can go.

(they exit together. people continue to pass. it is evidently a busy walkway. we begin to hear their conversations.)

(a mother with her boy who is holding a balloon.)

boy- i won, mommy!

mom- you did, didn’t you!

boy- i did. and did you hear him? he said i did a good job.

mom- well you did do a good job! i’m so proud of you.

(they pass and their voices fade.)

(a young couple arm-in-arm.)

him- what do you want to do next?

her- i don’t care.

him- do you want to ride the log ride? that’s always fun.

her- mmmm.

him- you don’t? well we can do something else.

her- it’s just i don’t really want to get all wet.

him- well we can do something else. you want some cotton candy or something?

her- sure.

him- ok well let’s get some of that then we can check out the bumper cars.

her- mmm.

him- you don’t want to do the bumper cars?

her- well it’s just that i sort of have a headache.

him- you do? well what do you want to do?

her- i told you. i don’t care.

him- ok, well…

(a woman and three girls. the man trails behind on his cell-phone.)

girl 1- mom i want to get my face painted.

girl 2- oooh yeah, mom, i want to get my face painted too!

girl 3- can we all get our faces painted?

mom- we’ll see.

girl 1- i want to get my face painted like a tiger.

girl 2- i want to get my face painted like a giraffe.

girl 3- i’m gonna get a tiger too.

girl 1- you can’t get your face painted like a tiger. that’s what i’m getting.

girl 3- i can too.

mom- girls, please. stop arguing or no one is getting their faces painted.

(looking behind her for her husband. he has leaned against the lamppost to talk.)

man- yes, well did you tell him he doesn’t have a choice?

(the woman looks about and spots what she’s looking for.)

mom- does anyone have to go to the restroom? let’s go to the restroom.

girl 1- but mom i don’t have to go.

girl 3- me either.

mom- let’s just go together girls. your father’s obviously busy.

(she looks at him. he shrugs and points at the phone.)

man- i get it. that’s the kind of sentimental bullshit i’m trying to avoid. i’m not paying for sentimentality. i’m paying for land. does he want our eight million or not? (pause) well get him to take it. (pause) no. no. i don’t care. that’s not your job to tell me that. your job is to tell me that you acquired what i told you to acquire. listen. you have to figure this out. i’m at the fair. and i’m going to have a happy time knowing that you’ve taken care of everything and made us a whole bunch of money. just get it done and call me when you do. and not a minute after. understand. alright. till then.

(he hangs up and looks over toward the restroom. he checks his watch. the girls all come out and he joins them.)

girl 1- daddy can we get our faces painted?

man- well i don’t see why not.

girl 3- can i be the one to get my face painted like a tiger?

girl 1- but that’s my idea! i’m getting the tiger!

man- baby, why don’t you get painted like a fairy or a lion?

girl 1- i just want to be a tiger.

mom- if you all don’t stop arguing, no one is getting anything.

man- ah, don’t be so hard on them.

mom- i’m sorry, have you decided to be my husband again? or are you still away on business? (she turns and starts walking.) let’s go girls!

man- honey, wait. dammit.

(he follows after.)

(two mid-60’s couples. the men walk together up ahead. the women walk together behind.)

man #1- they need to fix it. it’s been tearing up my driveway for too long.

man #2- did you tell anyone up at the council meeting?

man #1- i did. i said i’d cut it down myself if they let it keep digging its roots under my property.

man #2- and what’d they say?

man #1- what do you think? didn’t seem to matter that my taxes pay their salary.

man #2- doubt it did. if you want to cut ‘er down, i got a trailer.

man #1- a trailer and a bad back.

man #2- i didn’t say i was gonna help ya lift nothin’! hahaha.

man #1- yeah laugh it up, ya blockhead.

(focus is shifted to the women passing by the pole.)

woman #1- how’s your knee?

woman #2- it’s feeling better. the physical therapy is paying off.

woman #1- it does. i’m sure it wasn’t easy.

woman #2- it wasn’t, but i did it!

woman #1- you did and you took care of him the whole time!

woman #2- you know he didn’t take care of himself!

(they stop to laugh. one of the men off-stage calls back.)

man #1- will you two keep movin’? otherwise we can call you a cab!

woman #2- oh hush. i’ve got the keys, remember?

woman #1- has he always been this foggy?

woman #2- ha! this is him on a good day!

(a two-man patrol of officers.)

officer #1- so he tells the guy, ‘get your fucking hands where i can see them! right now!’ you know? ‘do it motherfucker!’ that kind of stuff.

officer #2- yeah.

(they stop in front of the lamppost and watch the crowd continue to pass.)

officer #1- yeah, well, he hears the guy saying something but he’s only kind of mumbling it. and so of course he figures the guy is fucked up on something. like he’d stolen the car and then gone and bought himself a case of beer or something to celebrate.

officer #2- yeah.

officer #1- anyway he tells the guy, ‘put your hands where i can see them and get out of the car.’ then the guy says what sounds like, ‘blehblheciaca,’ you know? and then he starts honking the horn. just full on ‘REEEEEEEEEE!’ so davis kinda circles around and looks into the cab. the guys passed out. he can’t even lift his head off the steering wheel. he was shooting up the rest of his heroin while he was in there. knocked himself clean out. the moron. scared the shit out of davis too.

officer #2- jesus. did the guy make it?

officer #1- i don’t know, actually. probably not. sounded like he shot up a lot.

officer #2- that’s fucked up.

officer #1- yeah.

officer #2- hey you see that kid?

officer #1- the one in the sweater?

officer #2- yeah.

officer #1- yeah i see him.

officer #2- he just looked at me weird.

officer #1- huh. now where’s he going?

officer #2- should we follow him?

officer #1- why not? not much else going on. the drunks won’t be out till later.

(start walking off.)

officer #2- you hope.

officer #1- yeah that’s right. i hope. cause by then i’ll be off.

officer #2- shit. got me working a double.

(they leave.)

(a group of four young women.)

girl #1- how was the honeymoon?

girl #2- oh my gosh. amazing!

girl #3- did you two just have the best time ever?

girl #2- we did. he was so sweet. he wanted to carry me into the room and he made sure the hotel changed out my flowers everyday. they weren’t really mine, but he kept calling them mine. he clipped them up one day and made me a crown with them. i’ll show you a picture. (they all stop while she searches her phone for the picture.) he really made me feel special.

girl #4- he’d better! you are special.

girl #2- you’re sweet.

girl #4- no you are. haha.

girl #2- haha, no you are!

girl #1- am i sweet?

girl #4- no. you’re a cunt-whore.

girl #1- girl, fuck you!

girl #4- no fuck you!

girl #1- no fuck you!

girl #2- oh i found the picture!

(all gather round to look.)

girls #1-4 in unison- AWWWWWWW!

(the lights cut out and the sound of a bomb exploding.)

end of act two.


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