Where’re You Headed?

Where’re You Headed?

Synopsis: When Claire, a spoiled teenager, learns she’s adopted, she decides to fly to California during the Christmas season to visit her birth parents. At the airport, she meets a variety of humorous characters, including 3 homeless bums that help her understand the meaning of family.

Running Time: 60 minutes

Cast:
Gus—A mercenary cab driver
Claire—A spoiled, self-absorbed teenager
Eileen—A single that’s overly preoccupied with marriage
Elaine—An amateur, psychoanalyst
Professor—An airport bum with unresolved pain and emotional detachment.
Roxy—Professor’s younger sister, a bit naïve, yet uncannily insightful
Chigger—A street urchin that hangs with the Professor and Roxy
Inspector Kloos—stereotypical, know-it-all airport detective who is clueless
Finder—Inspector Kloo’s, goofy, assistant sidekick
Sally—Owns a restaurant in the terminal
Flip—Greasy cook at Sally’s restaurant
Martin—Claire’s father, a successful business owner who needs a priority adjustment
Doris—Claire’s mother, a people pleaser
Vic—Trumpet playing Salvation Army volunteer
Executive—Ambitious, career ladder climber
Passenger that wears a wig
Passenger with a dollar bill
Passenger with ice cream cone
Passenger who spills a drink
Passenger going to Nashville
The stage is divided into three areas. The MAIN CONCOURSE, center stage, SALLY’S RESTAURANT, stage right and the TICKET COUNTER, stage left.

(Note: We performed this in a gymnasium using rented portable risers to create individual sections all connected by runway sections that allowed cast members to move between areas.)

LIGHTS UP

To low. MUSIC begins playing: Leaving on a Jet Plane by Peter, Paul & Mary. The CAST enters from the back of the auditorium, passing through the audience in clusters with suitcases like travelers entering the airport. They walk across the stage and EXIT. As the song ends, LIGHTS ON FULL on the Ticket Counter.

SCENE ONE–TICKET COUNTER
Behind the counter at Metro International Airport, EILEEN, an amateur psychoanalyst, reads a book as ELAINE, a single who is overly concerned about marriage, rushes in.

ELAINE: Sorry I’m late. Met a cute guy in loading. There’s just something about men who concentrate in bulk.
EILEEN: No problem. It’s just the Christmas season…busiest time of traveling in the year. I’m glad to do both of our jobs so you can flirt with every single guy in the airport.
ELAINE: Hey, I’m not a flirt. I’m available. And if you’re so busy, why do you have time to read… (reads title) Freud and Modern Psychoanalysis?
EILEEN: Because you missed the early rush. But stick around. Something tells me this day is going to be a real trip.

SCENE TWO–MAIN CONCOURSE
A modern decor is decked out in festive Christmas decorations. In the foreground is airport seating with a couple of floor plants to add warmth. Along the back wall, a small Flight Attendant counter sits between the boarding gate and a large picture window with a view of the Tarmac. The PROFESSOR and ROXY, resident airport bums, are sleeping on the floor and the seats respectively, as GUS, a Cab Driver with a blue collar attitude, enters carrying luggage. He’s followed by CLAIRE, a teenager. Everything about her cries spoiled, rich brat. But there’s something missing that she craves, a discontentment that’s hard to define.

ANNOUNCER: (O.S) Attention please. All flights to Chicago are canceled since O’Hara is closed due to a winter storm. I repeat, all flights to Chicago have been canceled.
GUS: Finding your way isn’t hard when you follow directions. (holds up a Smart Phone) And they’re all right here. But you have to ask. You can’t be too proud to admit you’re lost. (speaks into phone) Siri, where am I right now?

SIRI: (V.O) I don’t know, Gus. I think you’re lost.
Gus smacks on the phone.
GUS: Can’t always get a good connection.
CLAIRE: So even with all your expertise, and your technology, you’re still not always sure where you are.
GUS: We all make a few wrong turns now and then. The point is, you admit it, make a course adjustment, and move on. Running away isn’t the answer.
CLAIRE: Who said I was a running away?
GUS: Look, Kid. You’re not the first runaway I’ve brought to this airport.
CLAIRE: Well, what would you do if you suddenly found out you were adopted?
GUS: Talk to my parents.
CLAIRE: Right. I’m fifteen years old and they never said squat. I’ll talk to them…as soon as I get to California and meet them.
He gives her an admonishing look.
CLAIRE: Well, they are my real parents. It says so in this letter I just happened to stumble on.
GUS: A letter you stumbled on?
CLAIRE: Yes, by accident…in the hidden compartment of a security box… that was inside the locked file cabinet…buried under a pile of clothes in the back of my mother’s closet.
GUS: Boy, you must be really accident prone.
She returns an admonishing look.
GUS: You ask me? The real parents are the ones who’ve raised you and loved you…in spite of your little attitude.
CLAIRE: Then why wouldn’t they tell me? Why do I have to find this letter and say, “Mom, Dad, the secret’s out.” They just sat there and looked at me…and didn’t say a word.
GUS: Maybe you should give them some time to explain.
CLAIRE: Time? They had plenty of time. And they blew it. Now it’s my time. Thanks for all your navigational insight and homespun philosophy. What do I owe you?
GUS: Thirty bucks.
She offers a credit card with a flourish and he frowns.
GUS: That’s thirty bucks…cash.
CLAIRE: Cash? What century are you from? Nobody carries cash. It’s a check or credit card. Take your pick.
GUS: It’s cash or a cop. Take your pick.
CLAIRE: Okay, okay. (hands him cash) Fifteen dollars. And that pretty much cleans me out.
He takes it, resigned to his fate.
GUS: Will there be anything else your highness?
CLAIRE: Excuse me. Are you giving me an attitude? Because I haven’t decided on your tip, yet.
GUS: (sarcastically) Oh, I can hardly wait for that chunk of change.
CLAIRE: I’m a kid. You don’t expect me to understand the intricate nature of capitalism and the inflationary value of money in a global economy do you?
GUS: No. Just cab fare from your house to the airport.
Dramatically offers her hands to be cuffed.
CLAIRE: Go ahead. Arrest me.
He shakes his head in resignation and turns to leave.
CLAIRE: Oh, and don’t forget your tip.
She slaps two quarters in his hand.
GUS: Gee, thanks Mrs. Bill Gates.
He leaves the terminal and crosses over to Sally’s restaurant for breakfast. Claire goes to the ticket counter and purchases a ticket from Elaine.

SCENE THREE–MAIN CONCOURSE
The Professor and Roxy wake up. The Professor is sophisticated, and somewhat aloof, as if slightly disengaged from reality. Roxy is naive, and childlike, but insightful in her observations.
PROFESSOR: Ah, Christmas. The season of glad tidings… (nurses a sore back) comfort and joy.
ROXY: (checks a seat) Comfort, I’m not so sure about. And joy..(shrugs) That’s your choice.
PROFESSOR: It’s only a choice when you have a say in the matter and your decision affects the outcome.
ROXY: This isn’t a choice?
PROFESSOR: This…isn’t what I’m talking about.
ROXY: I know.
PROFESSOR: (looks at the seat) Hmm. Water marks. Roxy, you’re drooling in your sleep again.
ROXY: I’m not the only person who lives here, Professor.
PROFESSOR: And soon we’ll be joined by weary holiday travelers on a journey somewhere, but without meaningful direction. Lost in a seasonal frenzy of seeking the illusive dream of peace and contentment. Like ships stranded in the desert. Like chasing after the wind. Like–
ROXY: (scratching her head) Dandruff trying to get a head.
PROFESSOR: (inspects her hair) And there’s no one more qualified than you to recognize a flake.
ROXY: I’m hungry too. You got any plans for breakfast?
He rummages through a garbage can, tossing its contents carelessly as he searches.
PROFESSOR: Plans? Plans are for those who would dare fate. I on the other hand, live for the moment.
He pulls out the remains of a partially eaten sandwich, takes a huge bite and smiles at her in satisfaction.
ROXY: I guess that’s a no.
PROFESSOR: Roxy, Roxy, my dear little sister. Haven’t I taken good care of you? Have I ever led you astray?
She adjusts her ragged clothes and sweeps her hand in a gesture of futile existence.
PROFESSOR: Okay, never mind.
CHIGGER enters hauling the spoils of thievery. He’s the youngest of the three, a mischievous con artist in the making.
CHIGGER: Hey, Professor, Roxy, check this out. What do you think?
He dumps out a diverse collection of goods.
PROFESSOR: Chigger, what have I told you about going through passenger’s luggage?
CHIGGER: Always be sure to look in every compartment?
PROFESSOR: (proudly) That’s my boy.
Chigger pulls a credit card, swipes it through the air and deftly slips it into his pocket.
CHIGGER: And credit cards are made to be swiped.
PROFESSOR: You’re a credit to worthless bums everywhere.
CHIGGER: (shows an empty wallet) What’s in your wallet?
PROFESSOR: Friends, it’s time to eat.
VIC, a Salvation Army volunteer collector enters. He takes a position and rings a bell for donations.
ROXY: Good, cause I’m so hungry my ears are ringing.
They EXIT.

SCENE FOUR–TICKET COUNTER
Elaine primps as Eileen collects coupons from the newspaper.
ELAINE: Any Christmas bargains?
Eileen hands her a coupon.
EILEEN: This should interest you.
ELAINE: (reads it) Single white male who can bench press my own weight and still loves flowers, walking on the beach and candle light dinners. (an approving nod) Two for one.
She copies information as a MAN enters.
MAN: I’d like to buy a ticket to Los Angeles.
ELAINE: Single?
MAN: Yes.
ELAINE: (alluringly) Me too.
MAN: I…I thought you meant single ticket.
ELAINE: Is “Duh” written on my forehead? Do you think I don’t know the difference between a single person and a single ticket?
MAN: Of course. May I purchase a single ticket to Los Angeles?
ELAINE: Are you single?
MAN: No.
ELAINE: (nods at Eileen) She takes the married guys.
He moves over to Eileen.
MAN: What’s wrong with her?
EILEEN: Single and desperate. Some women can’t establish an identity outside of a relationship.
ELAINE: Thank you Dr. Phyl…iss.
EILEEN: If she was insensitive, be honest. Tell her how you feel.
Elaine takes the man by the arm and steers him back to her side.
ELAINE: Listen to her psychobabble and you’ll end up with a headache. Come on. I’ll sell you a ticket.
Eileen pulls him back.
EILEEN: Whoa, he’s my customer now. (to the Man) You can’t let people push you around.
Elaine grabs him and jerks him this time.
ELAINE: I’m not pushing. I’m pulling.
Eileen jerks him back.
EILEEN: Maybe he’s tired of being pushed and pulled.
MAN: I think–
ELAINE: (to the man) Who asked you? (to Eileen) Okay, Mrs. I wannabe a shrink, you want a piece of me?
Caught in the middle, the man tries to ease the tension.
MAN: Now ladies.
EILEEN: Oh, so you’re going to revert to adolescent, physical intimidation, huh?
MAN: I’m sure she didn’t really mean that, did you?
ELAINE: Yeah I did! (to Eileen) Want to make something of it?
EILEEN: Bring it on!
They close on one another, the man still trapped in between. He finally frees himself and leaves in a huff.
MAN: I think I’ll try the friendly skies.
It’s over as quickly as it started.
ELAINE: What’s his problem?
EILEEN: (shrugs) Probably a repressed memory from his childhood. Men are usually more trouble than they’re worth. You want some coffee?
ELAINE: Yeah, let’s go.
They EXIT and cross to the restaurant.

SCENE FIVE–MAIN CONCOURSE
DORIS and MARTIN, Claire’s wealthy parents enter. Martin, an ambitious executive speaks on a cell phone. Doris, a people pleaser is obviously worried.
MARTIN: (on the phone) I’m at the airport right now. I’m not going anywhere. I’m here because we think our daughter might be running away.
DORIS: Martin, I’m worried. Why didn’t we say something? We just sat there and looked at her. And how in the world did she find that letter?
MARTIN: She didn’t give us a chance to say anything. (into phone) I wasn’t talking to you, I was talking to Doris. (to Doris) And if you ask me, we should have gotten rid of that letter a long time ago. (into phone) No, no. Don’t get rid of that letter. Would you hold on, you’re being ridiculous?
DORIS: I’m ridiculous?
MARTIN: No, not you, Doris.
He indicates the phone and his growing frustration of simultaneously carrying on two different conversations.
MARTIN: I mean…why would Claire run away?
DORIS: You saw the hurt look on her face. And you know how impulsive she is.
Gus enters carrying luggage for a BUSINESS EXECUTIVE. He sets it down, the executive pays him and exits. Gus starts to leave also, but over hears Martin and Doris.
MARTIN: Okay, let’s say she is running away. What makes you think she’d come here?
DORIS: Because I know.
MARTIN: You know? That’s it? You just know?
DORIS: That’s right. Because I’m her mother. And when you know, you know, you know…you know?
MARTIN: (into phone) You know, I’ll have to call you back.
He hangs up and starts to speak when Gus interrupts.
GUS: Excuse me. Are you two looking for a girl?
DORIS: Yes, our daughter, Claire. Have you seen her?
GUS: A teenager, cute, spoiled, and very bossy?
DORIS: A little demanding maybe, but I wouldn’t say bossy.
MARTIN: You mean she’s here?
GUS: I dropped her off earlier. After a very stimulating conversation, she stiffed me half the cab fare.
DORIS: Do you know where she is now?
GUS: No, but I could be persuaded to look. I know this place like the back of my hand.
He holds out his hand and Martin slaps a bill in it.
GUS: Wow. A whole dollar. Your kid all right. I can see the family resemblance.
MARTIN: (to Gus) Show me who’s in charge. I want this entire airport mobilized immediately.
GUS: Well, for a buck I’ll show you to the lost and found. (talks to his phone) Siri, why do people have children?
SIRI: So they have someone who loves them in spite of their stupid questions. But in your case, Gus, I’ll have to suffice.
GUS: Wonderful. No kids, but a phone with an attitude. How lucky can you get?
They all EXIT.

SCENE SIX–SALLY’S RESTAURANT
A small cafe in the airport that includes a counter and a small dining area with tables and chairs. A backdoor leads to the kitchen. There’s a sign that reads “Karaoke Every Friday Night.” SALLY, a cynical restaurateur with aspirations of culinary greatness looks through a magazine. Vic enters and Sally pours him a cup of coffee.
VIC: Morning, Sally. Ready for Christmas?
SALLY: I’m ready for customers. How’s your collection going so far, Vic?
VIC: Slow, but it’ll pick up as people get into the spirit of giving.
SALLY: When they do, direct a little of that action my way, will you?
VIC: (savors the coffee) Advertise this and you’ll be swamped.
SALLY: Advertising requires money. Although I have considered standing out in the main terminal and yelling, (imitates stadium vendor) “Hot coffee…get your nice, hot coffee here!” But I’m not sure, what do you think?
VIC: It’s good. What brand is it anyway?
SALLY: (shrugs) Some blend Flip’s concocted. Calls it Flip’s drip.
FLIP, the cook ENTERS. His greasy hair is slicked back and he’s dressed in a grungy t-shirt and wears an emotionless expression of boredom. He sniffs his nose and wipes it on the sleeve of his T-shirt.
SALLY: Might be good to keep the name and the person separate.
Flip pours a cup of coffee and starts to EXIT.
SALLY: Hey, Flip!
Flip looks back with a blank face.
SALLY: What’s the rule about customer service? Happy face, happy face.
Flip forces an exaggerated, phony smile then exits into the kitchen. Claire ENTERS.
SALLY: What can I get you?
CLAIRE: A vanilla latte, please.
SALLY: We only sell our house specialty…Flip’s Drip.
Claire shrugs an okay and Sally pours her a cup.
VIC: Well, got a full day of ringing although I might add a little music to my repertoire, what do you think?
She holds up the empty collection bucket.
SALLY: Go for it. At least you’ll be able to say you raised a few notes. Because at this rate all you’re going to end up with is a sore wrist.
VIC: See you later, Sally.
He slaps a bill on the counter and leaves as the Professor, Roxy, and Chigger enter.
ROXY: (reaches for the bill) People are so giving at Christmas.
SALLY: (snatches it first) Uh, huh. And what is it that you want?
PROFESSOR: Five meals.
ROXY: Starting with breakfast. I’m starving.
SALLY: How much money you got?
Chigger hands her the credit card with a flourish. Sally looks at it and slips it into her pocket.
SALLY: I’m sure Mrs. Hernandez will be glad to get this back.
Chigger dumps his loot on the table.
SALLY: What’s this?
PROFESSOR: Four meals.
SALLY: Professor, this looks like stolen goods.
PROFESSOR: It’s an airport, Sally. You know things get left.
CHIGGER: Right!
The Professor looks peeved at the contradiction and Chigger hastens to explain.
CHIGGER: As in left. You know, you’re right that things get left…uh, behind…uh, never mind.
PROFESSOR: Okay. If you’re going to be miserly about it. Three meals.
CHIGGER: And a snack.
SALLY: I don’t think so.
PROFESSOR: Then just put it on our tab.
SALLY: I’m Sorry, Professor. But this is a business, not a homeless shelter. No money, no legitimate credit, no food.
The Professor pulls Sally aside privately. He takes off a ring.
PROFESSOR: This must be worth something.
Roxy intervenes when she sees what he’s doing.
ROXY: You can’t give that away. It was a gift from–
PROFESSOR: I know. But sentimental value is worthless to an empty stomach.
Roxy takes off a bracelet.
ROXY: Here, Sally.
The Professor stops her.
PROFESSOR: No!
They face one another. Both struggling to express internal feelings but neither able to. Finally, the Professor turns to Sally, forcing a smile and calm exterior.
PROFESSOR: We’ll be back.
He nods to Chigger who returns his stash to the bag and they start to leave. But Claire, who has been watching intervenes.
CLAIRE: Here.
She holds out her credit card to Sally.
CLAIRE: Add it to my bill.
PROFESSOR: Why, thank you young lady.
CLAIRE: (shrugs) What’s the point in a gold card from your parents if you can’t flaunt it?
Chigger offers to shake her hand.
CHIGGER: It’s still really nice of you and–
Claire avoids the hand with disdain.
CLAIRE: Uh…yeah.
Chigger looks at his hand, shrugs and cleans it by wiping it under his arm.
CHIGGER: So, where’re you headed?
CLAIRE: California. To meet my parents.
ROXY: I’m Roxy, this is the Professor and–
CLAIRE: It’s okay…really. And before we have a big group hug, would you three mind cleaning up little?
Chigger starts to reply in anger, but the Professor holds up a hand of reason.
PROFESSOR: You know, she’s right. When’s the last time we had a bath?
ROXY: I don’t know. What year is it?
SALLY: And you three had better be careful of the airport police. They’re out for you.
PROFESSOR: (sarcastic) You mean Inspector Clueless?
CHIGGER: Yeah, he and detective Finder, couldn’t find a 747 parked in the main terminal.
Claire leaves for the concourse as Inspector KLOOS, a Sherlock Holmes wannabe, and his goofy side kick, detective FINDER, enter. The Professor, Roxy, and Chigger quickly hide behind a newspaper as Sally covers for them.
SALLY: Inspector Clueless…I mean Kloos. Fresh coffee?
She pours two cups for Kloos and Finder as the Professor, Roxy and Chigger sneak away.
PROFESSOR: (disguised voice) Well, I…er…we must be on our way.
ROXY: Yes. Our way. The United Way.
CHIGGER: Thanks to you, it works for all of us.
As they slowly edge their way out, Sally enjoys the moment.
SALLY: What about your change, sir?
PROFESSOR: Uh…keep it. Donate it to a worthy cause.
SALLY: Oh, thank you sir.
ROXY: (in a man’s voice) You’re welcome.
Finder watches them suspiciously as they exit while Kloos circumspectly examines a donut.
FINDER: Inspector I thin–
KLOOS: You know Detective, donuts and law enforcement have a long standing tradition.
FINDER: But–
KLOOS: Finder, I’m trying to educate you on the finer points of law enforcement.
FINDER: But that’s–
KLOOS: And today, I’m catching those three no good bums and escorting them to their new residence… (he laughs) The county jail.
He motions it’s time to leave and EXITS. Finder stops next to the microphone at the karaoke stand and delivers an Elvis impersonation.
FINDER: I’ll have a blue Christmas without you–
Kloos returns.
KLOOS: Detective Finder!
FINDER: Thank you. Thank you very much.

SCENE 7–MAIN CONCOURSE
Claire is seated as Kloos and Finder enter looking around.
KLOOS: (to Finder) Got an APB on a runaway somewhere in the airport. Here’s a picture.
Kloos hands Finder a picture. Finder looks at it and scans the room.
KLOOS: A kid like that could be anywhere. And as professionals, our job is part intellect… (smacks his stomach) Part gut instinct.
Finder looks at the picture, then Claire.
FINDER: (points at Claire) You know, Inspector, that looks like her right there.
Annoyed at Finder’s obvious incompetence, Kloos raps him on the head with his knuckles.
KLOOS: Use your head, Finder. Nobody would be that obvious. She’d be wearing a disguise. That’s obviously just somebody who bears a close resemblance. (points elsewhere) Look. That girl with the chocolate bar. C’mon.
Inspector Kloos jerks Finder along and he drops the picture on the floor. As they’re leaving, Roxy and Chigger lead the Professor in like a blind man. Noticing the picture on the floor, the Professor stops, picks it up and glances at it. He then quickly resumes his role of a blind beggar as Roxy and Chigger approach a PASSENGER.
CHIGGER: Excuse me. I’m collecting money so my big brother can have an operation. The doctors say it will bring back his vision.
PASSENGER: I don’t think so.
CHIGGER: Oh, please. Just a few bills…some loose change.
The passenger pauses, then grows artificially sympathetic and dangles a bill in the air.
PASSENGER: I’m afraid all I have to offer is this one hundred dollar bill.
The passenger hands it to the Professor who subtly looks at it then…
PROFESSOR: That’s only a dollar. (realizing his mistake) I mean…I…I can see…Hallelujah!
CHIGGER: It’s a miracle!
ROXY: This calls for a celebration.
The Professor returns the dollar.
PROFESSOR: Yes…let’s celebrate…somewhere else.
As they hurry away, Kloos and Finder enter and begin talking and gesturing towards Claire. The three bums stop to watch. When Kloos and Finder move towards Claire, the Professor grabs a long coat and hat from a seat, puts them on and intercepts them.
PROFESSOR: Kloos, Finder. I’m chief Nabber from Metro P.D. I need your help to apprehend a runaway over in terminal C.
FINDER: But that’s her right there.
He raps Finder on the head with his knuckles.
PROFESSOR: Think, man. Nobody would be that obvious. She’d be in disguise. That’s just someone who resembles our girl.
KLOOS: That’s what I said.
PROFESSOR: And why you’re the inspector and he’s the detective.
KLOOS: (gloating) Told ya.
PROFESSOR: Let’s go men. There’s not a moment to loose.
He leads them away with a subtle smile and salute to Claire. Roxy and Chigger both appear from hiding, smile, wave, and leave.

SCENE 8–TICKET COUNTER
A PASSENGER approaches Eileen at the ticket counter.
PASSENGER: (to Eileen) I’m looking for some help.
EILEEN: Certainly. But it may take a few sessions before we see any real progress.
PASSENGER: (growing indignant) What’s your name please?
Eileen leans to the side.
EILEEN: Eileen.
The Passenger matches her lean.
PASSENGER: Eileen?
Eileen lulls into a hypnotic, sing song chant.
EILEEN: Yes, and how may I help you?
She slowly begins to sway from side to side and the passenger matches her, captured by her hypnotic power.
PASSENGER: I’ve been changing flights all day and lost my bearings. What state am I in?
EILEEN: What state did you originate from?
PASSENGER: Oregon.
Elaine joins Eileen in a matching sway and tone of voice.
ELAINE: And what’s your final destination?
PASSENGER: Louisiana.
EILEEN: And you’re disoriented.
The Passenger nods in a slow, trance-like state.
ELAINE: And perplexed. Like forever circling the airport and never landing.
PASSENGER: Ye…Yessss.
EILEEN: Well, based on what you know…
ELAINE: And what you don’t know.
EILEEN: You’re currently in…
ELAINE & EILEEN: A state of confusion!
The Passenger is startled awake and EXITS in a huff. They laugh and exchange Hi Fives.
ELAINE: Enjoy your trip!
EILEEN: And come back any time you’re mixed up.
ELAINE: You know, straightening people out is exhausting work.
EILEEN: Agreed. I think we need a break.
ELAINE: I’m with you.
The EXIT together.

SCENE NINE–SALLY’S RESTAURANT
Flip cleans the counter as a successful BUSINESS EXECUTIVE enters and sits at a table.
FLIP: Coffee?
EXECUTIVE: Please.
Flip pours a cup and leaves it on the counter.
FLIP: There you go.
Annoyed it wasn’t served to him, the Executive rises from the table, grabs the cup off the counter, and takes a sip. His aggravation changes to pleasure at the taste.
EXECUTIVE: Hmm, Starbucks?
FLIP: Flip’s Drip.
Sally pokes her head through the back door.
SALLY: Made with the finest ingredients to insure excellence.
EXECUTIVE: Excellence is necessary to achieve success.
FLIP: And success is necessary to achieve a sense of importance.
EXECUTIVE: Absolutely. I’m about to clinch my third promotion this year.
Flip busies himself cleaning and putting things in order, like the whole conversation is almost an afterthought. He disappears behind the counter searching for something, then pops up.
FLIP: And then?
EXECUTIVE: Partner. Where I’ll enjoy the level of income that success deserves.
FLIP: And after that?
EXECUTIVE: Raise a family. And advance in my career to secure a high standard of living.
FLIP: Then what?
EXECUTIVE: Well, I have a diversified portfolio so I expect to enjoy a comfortable retirement. I plan to end life on a high note and go out in style.
There’s a quiet pause as they both seem lost in reflection.
FLIP: What then?
EXECUTIVE: Well, then I…I…I think I’ll have some more of that coffee.
Flip refills his cup and the man drinks with an uneasy, contemplative look as lights FADE OUT.

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