The Air B&B Guest – A Play by Sarah Congress; Act Two Scene I & II (Part 4 of 5)

Running away will never make you free.”

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


Act Two, Scene I

The street.


Charleston, Steve, and Eric pass around a bottle of whiskey in a paper bag. Nobody says a word.

 

Steve: I’m going to go back in. See if anything changed.

 

Steve goes back in.

 

Charleston: Did we do this? Is this somehow our fault?

 

Eric says nothing.

 

Charleston: Odio este pais.

 

Charleston grabs the bag and takes a swig.

 

Charleston: Odio este fucking pais!

 

He smashes the bottle. He goes back inside.

 

Eric pulls out another bottle from his pocket.

 

He drinks.

 

Eric: (Singing to himself) “There’s no earthly way of knowing, which direction we are going. There’s no knowing where we’re rowing, or which way the river’s flowing. Is it raining, is it snowing, is a hurricane a-blowing…”

 

Elise, 28 enters dressed in a slutty vampire costume, enters.

 

Elise: There you are.

 

She kisses him.

 

Elise: So, what’d you think?

 

Eric: Do you want to get married?

 

Elise: Eric, stay on topic. My play. What’d you think?

 

Eric: I’m serious. We could elope and go to Thailand. Start a theatre company slash free stab-wound clinic.

 

Elise: Eric. We’ve been rehearsing this play for months and all you can talk about is Thailand?

 

Eric: Elise.

 

He takes her hand.

 

Elise: We poured our hearts into this production and I told you that this was an important night for me—the Artistic Director from LaMama in the audience tonight—

 

Eric: And you looked great!

 

Elise: It’s not about looking—Eric. This is my craft. This is my life. And you can’t even be present for it—

 

Eric: I have been at the hospital for 72 thousands hours Elise, cut me some slack—

 

Elise: You’re always saying that condescendingly as if what I do doesn’t matter, just because I don’t save lives doesn’t mean I’m not doing work—

 

Eric: When have I ever said that, Elise?

 

Elise: You just said it!

 

Eric: My love, step outside of yourself for a moment, he’s going to fucking win—

 

Elise: Know what, forget it. You’re too fucking high aren’t you? You probably don’t even know where you are right now. My mom was right about you.

 

Eric: ELISE THE COUNTRY IS DYING!

 

Elise: Will you keep your voice down, Eric!

 

Eric: Run away with me.

 

Elise: I’m going back inside. You’re fucking scaring me. He hasn’t even won yet, Eric. And you know what – even if he does win – or even if she wins – you’re still going to be a fucking thirty-year-old kid blaming his coke addiction on fucking medical school.

 

She heads inside.

 

Elise: Grow up, Eric. Take some fucking responsibility for your actions.

 

She exits.

 

He drinks.

 

Silence.

 

He exits.

 

We hear election coverage.

 

Steve enters the street. He is getting drunk. He is on his cell.

 

Steve: You going to pick-up? You going to pick-up? Fucking hell. Rachel. Answer your Goddamn phone.

 

He hangs up.

 

Elise enters with a cigarette.

 

Elise: Do you have a light?

 

Steve: No, sorry I don’t.

 

Elise: That’s okay. Think I’ve got a match somewhere.

 

She lights a match.

 

Elise: You’re Eric’s friend?

 

Steve: Air B&B guest. And friend. Yes. Steve.

 

Elise: Elise.

 

Steve: He talks highly of you.

 

Elise: Did you like the play?

 

Steve: It was interesting.

 

Elise: It’s sci-fi.

 

Silence.

 

Elise: I think the director was going for a kind of Metropolis vibe.

 

Silence.

 

Elise: What did you think?

 

Steve: I’m sorry what?

 

Elise: Of the play. Of it’s theme. Did you like the direction the director went in?

 

Steve: I liked the part when that vampire’s umm her sex slave chamber maid lady had to go to the pope’s court to beg for her son to be released from prison for being a bisexual with that other vampire—

 

Elise: He was actually a werewolf.

 

Steve: Oh, couldn’t tell, with the umm outfit—

 

Elise: Well he had fur ears on.

 

Silence.

 

Elise: The werewolves all had fur ears and the vampires all had fangs.

 

Steve: Oh yeah. I did catch that, yeah.

 

Elise: I think the director is brilliant. I have classes with him at NYU. On Tuesdays. After movement. Are you in the arts?

 

Steve: No.

 

Elise puts out her cigarette.

 

Elise: Well have a nice night.

 

Steve: You too, I mean I’ll probably see you back at Eric’s apartment, right, I’m assuming?

 

Elise: I don’t think so.

 

Steve: Oh okay.

 

Elise: You take care Steve. Enjoy your time in New York.

 

She exits.

 

Steve dials.

 

Steve: Rachel. It’s Steve. It’s about 11p.m. He’s gonna fucking win. Pick up your fucking phone.

 

Charleston enters pretty drunk as well.

 

Charleston: Fuck the Midwest.

 

Steve: Fuck Florida.

 

Charleston: Fucking they should fucking just get off our map.

 

Silence.

 

Steve: Should we do something?

 

Charleston: Yo, Valerie’s so upset, she’s been texting me from the restaurant, she’s almost off, just cleaning up the bar.

 

Steve: Should we Google like where the riot will be?

 

Charleston: Bartender inside said they’ll storm Trump tower.

 

Steve: I feel like I’m sleeping on the Megabus, having a nightmare.

 

Charleston: Valerie is the light of my life, Steve.

 

Steve: I keep replaying the debates in my head. How could any self-loving American pick him?

 

Charleston: What if he won’t let us get married? What if we can’t ever get a kid?

 

Steve: Charleston do you think we could go get more baseball?

 

Charleston: You sure, man?

 

Steve: I think I would like just a bit more.

 

Charleston: I’m cool with that. Got $250?

 

Steve: Yeah I just need to stop at an ATM.

 

Charleston: Let’s go get Eric. Then will go to Sammy’s. I’m not gonna have any, but I’m sure Eric will. Then we got to get back to Valerie. I’m sure her mom is very confused. We have a neighbor watching her right now.

 

Charleston and Steve go back in the bar.

 

We hear news coverage.

 

They enter the street.

 

Charleston: Eric!

 

Steve: Eric!

 

Charleston: Give him a call on your phone, I lost mine in the Hudson.

 

Steve: He’s not picking up.

 

Charleston: Elise is in there. Maybe she knows?

 

Steve: I think they’re not good.

 

Charleston: Then you know he might be at Sammy’s anyway.

 

Steve and Charleston exit hand in hand.

 

Lights out.

 


Act Two, Scene II

Sammy’s basement apartment. There is a girl passed out on the floor who occasionally moans.

 

There is a knock at the door. Sammy enters in pajamas, holding a box of Kleenex.

 

She opens the door to Steve and Charleston.

 

Sammy: Hi.

 

Charleston: Hey Sammy.

 

Steve: Hi again.

 

Charleston: Thought you might still be in Brooklyn at that bar garden.

 

She hugs them both.

 

Sammy: I am so happy to see you both.

 

Charleston: You too Sammy. You doing okay?

 

Sammy: Come in, come in, please, make yourself at home. Do you want a bottled water?

 

Steve points to the girl passed out on the floor who is moaning.

 

Steve: Who is uh…

 

Sammy: She’s visiting from Berkley.

 

Charleston: Bad night.

 

Sammy: All my friends are storming Trump tower. I just wanted to come home and reflect.

 

Steve: This little middle-eastern girl today in the bodega predicted that this was going to happen.

 

Sammy: I’m thinking about France.

 

Charleston: Yeah, man, that ISIS shit that happened there was so bad and it could happen here now he’s so unpopular.

 

Sammy: Moving there.

 

Steve: They have good bread.

 

Sammy: Setting up shop as a spiritual guide.

 

Charleston: No more psychology?

 

Sammy: Fuck psychology. We need to spread love. Not psychoanalysis.

 

Charleston: Would you steal be uh, dealing, you know, baseball and such?

 

Steve: Speaking of baseball, do you have anymore?

 

Sammy: No.

 

Steve: Oh.

 

Sammy: I wouldn’t be dealing in France. I’d be starting a new life there. Maybe get my yoga certification.

 

Steve: What is it with girls and yoga certifications?

 

Sammy: Oh I’m sorry is healing your soul and helping human kind not a good enough reason to want to be a yoga teacher?

 

Silence.

 

Sammy: But I do have baseball here, yes, if you have cash.

 

Steve hands her money.

 

Sammy: Where’s Eric?

 

Charleston: Where is Eric?

 

Steve: We thought he might be here with you.

 

Sammy: No, he’s not here with me.

 

Charleston: Let me text Valerie. Maybe he’s over at her bar.

 

Sammy: Maybe he went to storm Trump tower?

 

Charleston: That doesn’t sound like Eric. He’s more of the brooding quietly in a corner doing drugs kind of dude. Valerie says he’s not there.

 

Steve: Do you mind if I do a line?

 

Sammy: They’re your drugs now Steve. Do with it what you will.

 

Charleston: I just got to give the house a call make sure Charo is okay.

 

He exits.

 

Sammy: He loves her so much.

 

Steve: Yeah. They seem to be a really good match.

 

He does a line.

 

Steve: Wow.

 

Sammy: How about you? Do you have a really good match going?

 

Steve: I thought I did.

 

Sammy: What happened?

 

Steve: She didn’t want to be in the long haul with me.

 

Sammy: You did?

 

Steve: I did.

 

Sammy: That’s funny. Usually it’s the other way; the girl wants to be in it for the long haul but the guy doesn’t.

 

Steve: What about you?

 

Sammy: What about me?

 

She does a line.

 

Steve: I mean are you seeing anyone? I know you’re probably very desired after.

 

Sammy: I guess some might say that I am desirable.

 

Steve: You are so much softer this time seeing you. You’re much calmer. I would have expected you to be burning the city to the ground right now.

 

Sammy: What would be the point of that? It’s done. He’s won it.

 

Steve: Can I kiss you?

 

They kiss.

 

Steve: I just want to feel something.

 

Sammy: Me too, Steve.

 

They kiss.

 

Steve: I was really afraid of you the first time I met you a few hours ago. But now I think that I really like you.

 

They kiss.

 

Sammy: I’m moving to France.

 

They kiss.

 

Sammy: So don’t fall in love with me.

 

They kiss.

 

Sammy: Unless you want to move to France with me?

 

Steve: They have gyms there. I mean why the hell not.

 

Sammy: I don’t want to revolt anymore. I just want to help heal this world. If his win shows us anything it’s that fighting isn’t the answer.

 

Steve: It’s about love.

 

Sammy: Steve. Do you know how many stars are up there?

 

Steve: No.

 

Sammy: Me neither. And I want to learn. That’s why we have to go to France.

 

Steve: I wonder if it’s hard to get a work visa over there.

 

Sammy: If I sell enough drugs, before we go, we can buy some off the black market.

 

Steve: Maybe that Iranian bodega clerk could help us.

 

Sammy: We can live in a townhouse and make love and heal people.

 

Steve: She smuggled in that bacon ranch; I’m sure she could get us visas too.

 

Sammy: You’re so different Steve.

 

Steve: I am? I always thought that I was tremendously ordinary.

 

Sammy: No, you are simple.

 

Steve: That’s what Rachel always said.

 

Sammy: Natural.

 

Steve: I don’t want to bore you Sammy. You’re so exciting.

 

Sammy: Opposites attract.

 

Steve: Like a magnet.

 

They kiss.

 

He does a line.

 

She does a line, he holds her hair.

 

She takes him by the hand offstage.

 

Lights out.


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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