Friday, April 15, 2005

or, Down and Out.
(An Urban Tableau in One Act.)

Dramatis Personae:
FLUSTERED-LOOKING MIDDLE-AGED GUY, a possibly vagrant pedestrian.
BUTCH SHE-COP, a San Francisco Police Officer.

SCENE: Thursday, 2:30pm, corner of 3rd and Folsom Streets.

[FLUSTERED-LOOKING MIDDLE-AGED GUY stands on the corner holding a long, narrow cardboard box. A police cruiser turns the corner in front of him and he flags it down. BUTCH SHE-COP is riding on the passenger’s side with her arm out the window.]

GUY: Can you take this? It’s a sword.
COP: Excuse me?
GUY: This is a sword. You want it? I don’t want it.

[COP gets out of the car and walks over to GUY.]

COP: I don’t understand—you want me to throw it away for you? I mean I’m not going to keep it.
GUY: Well, if you want, you can throw it away, I don’t care.
COP: Okay, well, let me see it.

[GUY hands COP the box. She places it on the hood of the car and starts to open it. He starts to walk toward her, and her hand hovers over her holster.]

COP: Just stay over there, okay? Stay over there.

[COP verifies that it is, in fact, a sword.]

COP: So where did you get this?
GUY: I bought it.
COP: Why did you buy it if you didn’t want it?
GUY: I didn’t think I’d be down-and-out, and now I am.

[After inspecting the blade for a moment, COP closes the box, then opens the trunk of the car, places the box inside, and closes the trunk.]

COP: Alright, I’ve got it. I’ll get rid of it for you. Do you want to give us your name or anything?
GUY: I’m just down on my luck.
COP: Okay then.

[COP gets back into car and it drives away. GUY shuffles off down the sidewalk.]