The Air B&B Guest – A Play by Sarah Congress; Act Two Scene III & IV (Part 5 of 5)

Running away will never make you free.”

—Kenny Loggins

Editor’s note: the previous installment (Act Two, Scene I & II) is here, also check out the first installment (Act One, Scene I) which features character backgrounds.

Time/Place: Tuesday, November 8, 2016—NYC.

Note about the Set: Less is always more. Don’t you think?


 

Act Two, Scene III

Charleston and Valerie’s basement apartment.

 

Charo sits on the sofa eating malomars. Valerie watches the news coverage of the election…he’s won at this point.

 

Charo: Who is that?

 

Valerie: Our new president mama.

 

Charo: Why is his face orange?

 

Charleston and Steve enter.

 

Charleston: Valerie.

 

Valerie: Charleston. What are we going to do?

 

They hug intensely.

 

Charo: Who are you?

 

Steve: Hi, I’m Steve.

 

Charo: Do you want a cookie?

 

Steve: I do.

 

He eats cookies with her.

 

Steve: I take it Eric isn’t here?

 

Valerie: No, why would he be here?

 

Charleston: He got into a fight with Elise.

 

Valerie: What else is fucking new?

 

Charo: Hija! Language.

 

Steve: Maybe they made up and he’s back at her place?

 

Valerie: Maybe he went to protest?

 

Charo: Who is that?

 

Steve: That’s Donald Trump. He’s our new president.

 

Charo: Why is he orange?

 

Charleston: Fuck 2017 man. This shit blows.

 

Valerie: You haven’t done more blow, have you?

 

Charleston: Not since this afternoon, no.

 

Valerie: Charleston!

 

Charo: Steve. Did I ever tell you about my brother Pedro?

 

Steve: No I don’t think you ever have.

 

Charleston: Do you want to go storm Trump tower? A lot of people are going.

 

Valerie: I do, but I want to stay with mama. And I honestly don’t have the energy.

 

Charo: He was a carpenter. In Madrid. Where we were from.

 

Steve: Why did you leave Madrid?

 

Charo: What now?

 

Steve: Why did you leave Spain? Why did you come here?

 

Charo: I fell in love.

 

Steve: Awe, with Valerie’s dad?

 

Charo: No. With my first husband. Michael. He was in the navy. He had strong hands. I liked him a lot.

 

Charleston: It’s all somehow going to be okay Valerie.

 

Valerie: I’m scared babe.

 

Steve: What happened to Michael?

 

Charo: He died of cancer.

 

Charleston: I know babe, I know.

 

Steve: I’m so sorry.

 

Charo: It was very sad. He left me with terrible debt. That’s why I married Valerie’s father.

 

Steve: Oh I see.

 

Charo: Are you married?

 

Steve: No.

 

Charo: Good.

 

She pats him on the thigh.

 

Charo: I’m ready for bed now.

 

Valerie: Okay mama, let’s get you to bed.

 

Charo: It’s so nice to have all of you here today.

 

Charleston: Well we love you, Charo.

 

Valerie: Everybody loves you mama.

 

Charo: Is it a holiday today?

 

They all stare at each other.

 

Steve: No.

 

Charo: Oh.

 

She eats a cookie.

 

Charo: Who is that orange man on the television?

 

Valerie: Let’s get you to bed ma.

 

Valerie exits with Charo.

 

Charleston: You in love now?

 

Steve: No.

 

Charleston: She’s very sexy. I get it. Don’t tell Valerie I said that. Good for you bro. Good for you.

 

Steve: I think I have to start doing things differently. From now on.

 

Charleston: I think we all do.

 

Lights fade. We hear Trump’s acceptance speech.

 

Lights out.

 


 

Act Two, Scene IV

Eric’s apartment; only this time it’s spotless.

Eric is cleaning the table with an old hospital scrub.

He listens to Cole Porter.

 

There is a knock at the door.

Eric opens the door to Steve.

 

Eric: Hello old friend.

 

Steve: Hi.

 

Steve enters.

 

Steve: Wow.

 

Eric: I had a bit of a post-coked out cleaning frenzy.

 

Steve: I didn’t know there was a rug in here.

 

Eric: Ikea.

 

Steve: Nice.

 

Eric: It’s over, isn’t it?

 

Steve: Yeah.

 

Eric: I can’t bring myself to turn on the news.

 

Steve: It’s over with Rachel, too.

 

Eric: I’m sorry old friend.

 

Steve: I slept with Sammy.

 

Eric: You slept with Sammy Huang?!

 

Steve: I did.

 

Eric: Good God she’s terrifying.

 

Steve: It was an experience that I don’t necessarily need to repeat.

 

Eric: Old friend. Perhaps we should clean up our own corners of the world first, before embarking on tragic romances.

 

Steve: I think you’re right.

 

Eric: Our country needs us right now.

 

He gets his duffle bag.

 

Steve: You’re right, Eric.

 

Eric: Where are you going?

 

Steve: I should go home.

 

Eric: It’s almost 3a.m. Wait till the morning. Till later in the morning, at least.

 

Steve: There’s a 5a.m. bus.

 

Eric: Whatever you think best, old friend.

 

Steve: I need to stop running away.

 

Eric: Me too.

 

Steve: I have to go home.

 

Eric: Maybe this is what this is? A wake-up call?

 

Steve: It must be.

 

Eric: Kombucha?

 

Steve: Still hate it.

 

Eric: Popcorn?

 

Steve: Yes.

 

They sit and eat popcorn.

 

Steve: Charo told me her whole life story.

 

Eric: It’s such a debilitating disease.

 

Steve: Really? She seemed to be the happiest one in the room. Maybe being a millennial is the most debilitating disease.

 

Eric: That is such an obnoxiously millennial thing to say.

 

Steve: Yeah. We’re also just a bit too old, aren’t we?

 

Eric: Yes, old friend. We’re a bit too old for all of this.

 

Steve: Thank you. For the room, Eric.

 

Eric: I do hope you’ll write me a nice review.

 

Steve: Six out of five stars.

 

Eric: My first and last review.

 

Steve: Well, I should get going.

 

Eric: Let me walk you out.

 

They head to the door.

 

Eric: You know it really is a shame that you didn’t see the MET. Their Egypt room really is outstanding.

 

Steve: Yeah. And I wanted to see that bull, too. The Wall Street bull.

 

Eric: Plus you’ve already taken the time off of work.

 

Steve: Don’t you have to be at the hospital?

 

Eric: Yes, but only for half the day.

 

Steve: Well, can I have that key?

 

Eric: Yes, old friend.

 

He pulls out the key.

 

Eric: Welcome to Chinatown. You’re going to love it.

 

Steve: You’ve shown me one hell of a night already.

 

Eric: Come. Let’s get you a pork bun.

 

Steve: I really need to eat clean tomorrow, though, I’m gonna loose all my muscle mass.

 

Eric: You look ravishing Steve. Simply ravishing.

Steve: I can hear them. Down the street, open your window! Open it up—

 

Eric opens the window.

 

We hear protestors shout: “Not my President! Not my President! Not my President!” / “This is what democracy looks like! This is what Democracy looks like!”

 

Lights out.

 

End of play.

 


Sarah Congress graduated in 2013 with a BFA in Dramatic Writing from the Conservatory at SUNY Purchase College. She spent a year working as the Literary Manager of the New Jersey Repertory Company before moving to New York City to pursue her playwriting career. Her plays The Legal SecretaryMaster Matthew, and The Death Play…or What is Brad Doing in the Supply Room Closet? have all been published on the indie theatre now website (http://www.indietheaternow.com/Playwright/sarah-congress) as well as received productions and readings at New York City off-off broadway theaters. She has been working since the Fall of 2015 as the Executive Assistant to the Deans at Columbia University School of the Arts and lives in Washington Heights.

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