NOAH (18), a boy who lives for music and tries to be badass.
BIRDIE (16), Noah’s cousin; wants to do something extraordinary.
WALTER (mid-40s), a self-professed mystic who lives under the Langdon Street bridge.
SCENE: Noah’s room. There are various ska/reggae/punk posters on the walls. Reel Big Fish, Bob Marley, Sublime, etc. A guitar sits in the corner.
AT RISE: Noah and Birdie are sitting up against the bed, their chins propped in their hands, each staring off into a different direction. Sublime’s “Santeria” plays quietly in the background.
NOAH (to the air)
I once told a girl she could be in the band…and I said “in,” not “with,” so for once in her life she wouldn’t be the groupie. She had a blue Fender Strat…I remember, because her hair matched her eyes and her eyes matched her guitar. And when she auditioned it was like…Caribbean blue under Halogen light. Her name was Emily, I think, or Emma. Something like that. She got real excited, too, when I told her she was in. We jammed that day. On House of The Rising Sun. There was a line: “it’s been the ruin of many a poor boy,” but she sang, “it’s been the home of many a poor boy.” And then she said, “God, I know, I’m one.” And she just stood there, and played a walk-down from C add 9 to A7 and it just sounded like a sigh. I swear, every inch of her that wasn’t skin was blue. She told me she got an aura reading once, and it was bright poppy red. Just goes to show, I guess. She never joined the band. I never saw her again.
BIRDIE (to the air)
A girl once asked me if light was bad for the eyes. She said her vision improved when she was high. I knew her from somewhere…I think her brother was dating my friend. She used to sing soprano at all the school functions, and the sophomores would try to toss money down the front of her paisley dresses. She’d make them herself—one dress in three hours. She said after awhile she got sick of all the paisley, but after staring at it for so long she started seeing it everywhere. She doesn’t make those dresses anymore. They smelled like patchouli, a little like quarters and a little like clementines, you know, that citrus-y smell, and when she grew she’d let the hems down herself. Her name was Mimi. She detoxed senior year. That summer she got glasses.
“Santeria” plays for a few moments. Lights dim, then rise again, but it’s clearly nighttime. BIRDIE is asleep on NOAH’S shoulder.
NOAH shakes BIRDIE.
What time is it?
Eleven-thirty-ish. We should leave soon. It’s a half-hour walk.
BIRDIE glances at the clock and rubs her eyes.
Did you turn the alarm off?
Shhh! No, I couldn’t find the manual. This’ll work, though.
NOAH unplugs the clock. BIRDIE opens her mouth to say something. NOAH claps his hand over her mouth.
I’ve got everything we need. Every color in the spectrum! We’re ready to go, I think.
NOAH pats a plastic bag next to him. BIRDIE squirms, and NOAH lets go of her mouth.
Are you ready?
I don’t know. I feel…illicit. A little like gold. Illicit gold. Smuggler’s gold.
Illicit? Birdie, you wrote on the walls until…you got to that age where it stopped being cute.
Then get your shoes. We’d better leave before I change my mind.
Or lose it.
BIRDIE sticks her tongue out at NOAH as they lace up Converse. Lights dim.