At the café…

Characters: Dr. Get-to-the-Point and Lou Bree
Setting: Coffee shop

FRAME 1:
Lou:    Fourteen years of marriage and non-existent dumps me.
Dr.:    Your anger towards non-existent is understandable.

FRAME 2:
Lou:    A teeny pebble has more significance than he does.
Dr.:    The sphere of irrelevance claims another member.

FRAME 3:
Lou:    The sphere of irrelevance can’t even see him, he’s so invisible.
Dr.:    I don’t see him if you don’t see him.

FRAME 4:
Lou:    We’re talking nobody and nothing!
Dr.:    You realize I charge regardless if nobody and nothing occupies our session.

At the café…

Carmen:     My big sister advice?  Accept you were dumped and extract the positive.

Lou:             I’m a new woman with a new found understanding of what to avoid.

Carmen:      New woman avoids womanizers.

Lou:             New woman avoids personality, intelligence, humour, empathy, complexity.

Carmen:      What’s left for new woman?

Lou:              New woman seeks millionaire.

Carmen:      New woman needs to expand her criteria.

Lou:             New woman seeks millionaire in a coma.

A CHANGE

Dear Readers,

Due to the unexpected “take-off” of http://www.checkoutart.org I am fast-forwarding Harold’s life by about six months.  Harold has become a sort of “therapist” who has set up his office at a coffee shop called SoyaLatté.  Most of the characters remain, only they too now meet at Soya Latté.  Short dialogue will substitute for scenarios.  Lou is still in the process of getting a divorce.  In fact, she is Harold’s [who now calls himself Dr. Get-to-the-Point] biggest client.  She and Soc [who  Lou refers to as non-existent] have two sons.  Carmen has two sons as well.  Rosa is still around, back from “vacation”.  Larry, too, comes in once in a while.  Here is the first of the new format, between Lou and the now known “Dr. Get-to-the-Point” Harold.  Hope you like it.  I will be posting Mondays, Wed., Fridays, and Saturdays.

Setting, Soya Latté.  Lou and “Dr.”

Lou:              14 years of marriage and non-existent dumps me.

Dr.:               Your anger towards non-existent is understandable.

Lou:               A teeny pebble has more significance than he does..

Dr.:                The sphere of irrelevance claims another victim.

Lou:               The sphere of irrelevance doesn’t even see him, he’s so invisible.

Dr.:                 I don’t see him if you don’t see him.

Lou:                We’re talking nobody and nothing.

Dr.:                  Just so long as you realize that I charge regardless if it’s nobody and nothing we talk about.

Day 12

Lou is fixing a Martini.  I look outside the kitchen window and see Rosa relaxing by the pool in one of the lounge chairs. It’s mid-October and the steam from the pool is clouding the backyard, Lou’s got the heat on so high. Rosa’s wearing a bright pink bikini (did I mention she was overweight by about fifty pounds?), these super-sized glasses, and a wide brimmed black straw hat.  “What’s Rosa doing?” I ask Lou.  “She’s taking her vacation,” Lou says, “She says if that **** of  a babysitter gets a vacation, so does she.  I was going to close the pool today, but she pumped up the heat.  Think you can take this out to her?  I’ve got to get her sandwich ready.”  I try to tell Lou that this is crazy.  Her eyes are puffy and her usually perfect hair is tied in a loose ponytail.  She says, “Yeah, I know, but at least serving Rosa keeps me busy.”

I carry the Martini over.  Rosa looks up and screams like she’s just seen something awful.  “I was hoping they would send the cabana boy,” she says.  “What cabana boy?” I say.  “The one I was dreaming about in my head,” she answers.  “Wait!” she now says, “I’m going to close my eyes and I’m going to pretend that you are like the cabana boy in my dream.”  She settles back into her chair and reaches out for her drink.  I go to hand it to her, but not before I take a sip.  I mean, she’s got her eyes closed, plus she’s wearing giant sunglasses, plus she’s got her head pointed towards the sun.  “I saw that,” she says.  “Saw what?” I counter.  “You slurped, Harold, so I know you took a sip.  You’re going to have to get me another drink.”

I tell her to get it herself, but Rosa’s on vacation.  “Here,” she says, handing me a dollar tip.  “Thanks,” I say before I can stop myself.  I go back to the kitchen so I can say good bye to Lou because this “representing the family” idea of my mother’s isn’t working out.  “Here,” Lou says as she hands me a sandwich, “Can you take this to Rosa?”

Day 11

It’s Wednesday, my day off.  My mother calls.  She says, “Go over to Lou’s and see that she’s okay because we need someone to represent the family.”  “Represent the family,” she says, like we’re talking about some United Nations function.  I ask her why she thinks we need representation.   “Because,” my mother says, her voice exasperated.  “That sister of hers is probably already there saying all sorts of things about poor Soc.”  I remind my mother about the 22 year old babysitter my poor brother is banging, but she doesn’t believe any of it.  “Why don’t you represent the family?” I finally say, “Or better still, why doesn’t Soc?”  “Because you’re the only one who has free time,” she says.  I ask her what Soc is so busy with.  I suggest a few things he’s busy with.  I say things like, “and to think she’s only 22”; “and who knows how many others there have been”; “and what kind of man does this sort of thing?”  I wait, curious to see how she’s going to get out of this one.  “Ma,” I say when she doesn’t say anything.  “Ma?”  Okay, now I’m beginning to worry.  I call her name a few more times.  “Harold?” she finally says, “I just had the fright of my life… my heart… I thought I was having a heart attack.  Anyway, I’m okay now.  So what was it you were saying about Soc?”

Day 10

Lou is crying hysterically on the phone because Soc just announced that he’s leaving her for their 22 year old babysitter.  I go over, thinking maybe I can talk to Soc, but Soc is nowhere to be seen.  “The coward left,” she says.  The doorbell rings.  It’s Carmen, Lou’s sister.  Carmen walks right past me as if I’m the invisible man.  She gives Lou a hug.  “I told you not to marry into that loser family,” she says.

I open my mouth to protest, but what’s the use?   Anything I say is going to be shot down by Carmen.  I sit quietly and watch Rosa, their housekeeper, finish making dinner.  She asks Carmen if she’s had dinner.  “What about me?” I say, “Doesn’t anyone care that I’m hungry?”  Rosa gives me a look as she hands Carmen a plate.  She walks past me to get the utensils and gives me a whack on the back of my head. “That’s for letting him do this to Lou,” she says.  “Me?” I say.  “What’s this got to do with me?”  Rosa tells me to stop with the “semantics”.  “Oprah,” she says when I ask her how she knows that word.  Oprah, it seems, is teaching everyone I know English.

Carmen wants to know where that “loser” and that **** of a babysitter are?  Lou doesn’t know where that loser is.  As for that **** of a babysitter, “loser” sent her to the Bahamas until all this blows over.  Rosa hears this and now she’s banging pots like crazy because five years she’s worked here and not once did anyone in this family offer her a vacation.  I say, “Okay, you know what, Rosa?  This is about Lou, not you.”  Rosa walks over and gives me another whack on the side of the head.  “Move over,” she says.  I do and she sits her fat butt down and reaches for the TV Guide.  There’s a picture of the What Husband? cast on the front cover.  “Weren’t you supposed to be on that show?” she says.

I stare straight ahead and try to think of an answer.  Carmen thinks of an answer before I do.  “Yeah, Rosa, he was the husband but then the producer got smart and realized who needs a husband like him.”  I get up to go but Rosa won’t hear of it.  “Get me some wine,” she says, “and I’ll have some of my veal scallopini.”  I look at her.  “Isn’t that your job?” I say.  “I’m on vacation,” she says.  “If that **** of a baysitter can go on vacation, then so can I.”

I look at Lou and Carmen.  “A glass of wine wouldn’t be bad,” Lou says.  “Red, for me,” Carmen says.  Rosa turns on the TV.  Two more hours until the premiere of What Husband?.  Ma calls.  She wants to know what channel What Husband? is on.  I grab the phone from Lou.  “I thought you said you wouldn’t watch that show after what they did to my part,” I say.  “Oh vewy sowy,” she says in a really bad Chinese accent, “I have wong number.  See you.”

Day 9

Tony clears his throat and tells me to take a seat.  “Don’t worry about the customers,” he says, “they can wait for a few minutes because me, I have an announcement to make.”  He waves at me to sit down and then he clears his throat.  “Harold,” he says, “You’re not going to change your life if you don’t do something with it.”  He folds his arms across his chest and looks at me, his brown eyes studying my face to see whether I’ve understood the full depth of his perceptive analysis.  “Yeah,” I say, “I think I got that.  In fact, I think it’s the point I was trying to make on twitter when I tweeted, Trying to change my life.  Remember?  You even tweeted back, That’s wonderful, just don’t forget to show up for work tomorrow.”

Tony slowly shakes his head from side to side.  “You got to start a business,” he says, “It’s the only way your life is going to change.  Just, you can’t start a pizza business.”

I tell him I’m an actor, not a businessman.  He says to forget about the acting.  He says he read somewhere that if an actor doesn’t make it by the age of forty, they may as well hang themselves.  “The way I see it,” he says, “you either have to start a business or you have to kill yourself.  Otherwise, there’s no change.  Now go, serve the customers and don’t forget to smile!”