Scene: Sporting goods store. Night.
D: Mops the floor. Staggers about. Knocks over large pyramid of soccer balls. They bounce about noisily. Aw shit. Looks around. Puts mop down and begins to re-stack soccer balls. E enters.
E: Shines flashlight at D. Whoa what’s with all the ruckus?
D: Uh nothing. I just — I just bumped the case. I’m fixing it.
E: Whoa! Are you drunk?
D: A beat. No?
E: Come on. Come over here sit, and sober up. Tell me what’s up.
They move towards the front of the store where E stands guard. D slouches onto the ground right next to a chair. Starts to doze.
E: Stay awake! I’m not going to babysit you if you won’t even talk to help keep me awake.
D: Yeah yeah. Repositions slightly on the floor.
E: What’s going on? How do you even get to the point where you’re mopping floors wasted at a sporting good store that gets robbed once a week?
D: I was going to do stuff. I had plans and shit.
E: Right, we all did. Then what?
D: I was going to be an architect. I was good too.
E: Yeah. Right.
D: Okay okay maybe not. But still. I was going to do buildings you know, but now I’m, I’m doing them from the inside. Grabs broom and waves it around. Offers E a giggle for continuing to listen.
E: Gives a disgusted exhale.
D: What about — what about you?
D: Yeah, what about you? How’d you — how’d you end up here? Guarding a sporting goods store? Seems important to me.
E: Hey now, we’re not the same you and I. This is just my day job. Well, night job I guess. I write in my free time. I’m working on my first novel. Puffs up a bit.
D: Heh, and I thought I was in bad shape.
E: Shut up.
D: Whatever you say.
Scene: Inside a small home. Home is mainly full of non-essentials but is generally winning the fight against entropy anyways.
F: Talking to self. That’s it. Should have been back hours ago. No doubt. Cheating. I’m out of here. Pulls out phone and places a call. Hey how are you? Good, good, me too! Well, okay I don’t know why I just said that, not really. Yes, about what we talked about. I was wondering if I could crash with you for a bit. Things just, they’re just not working out here anymore. Yes. Thank you. And it won’t be for long I promise, I’ll start looking for a new place right away. Thank you again. I don’t have a lot of stuff and I’m mostly packed anyways. I can be over in a few hours. Yes, I will see you then. Thank you. Hangs up. A beat. Exhales. Whelp, here we go. Moves off to pack. Steps with a slight spring.
Scene: At a table in prison. Everyone wears orange jumpsuits. D and G are bouncing a ball back and forth.
D: …mouth shut about it.
G: A cop? Keeping quiet?
D: Well, more of a mall cop at best. But I was still there when my boss showed up in the morning. So then I was down to just my place. At least I still had…
G: …heh, yeah, sure. A house and no job and a drinking habit. This is going to be good.
D: Look who’s talking! They are still seated and bouncing the ball off the table towards each other, but with increasing velocity. You robbed a Piggly-Wiggly! And all you got away with was thirty dollars from the cash register before you were caught five feet later!
G: Ha! Small time stuff for sure. I’ve gotten away with much more before that. Plus, I scarfed a bag of grapes before they caught me TWO blocks from the store.
D: Heh, sure, sure. Whatever.
G: So alone, drinking, then what.
D: Well, four or five months later these jackholes at some not even real bank come and try to kick me out of my house. My own house!
G: Would have lost money on that one.
G: Oh, I would have bet three months at most there.
C joins the table. Is also in an orange jumpsuit.
C: What’s going on.
G: Just hearing a life story. Someone thinks they got a specially large dose of screwing from life.
C: Ha! Nice!
G: Back to D. So what’s next?
D: Well, then I bounced around from place to place. You learn who your true friends are you know?
G: In your case I’d bet: none.
C: Hey, hey! Give it up.
G: Sure, sure. So what’s next?
D: Well I bounced around a lot and found myself sleeping in this old abandoned house over on the east side.
G: A crack den for sure.
D: Hey I was just sleeping there!
C: To G Slow down!
G: Let off will you?!
D: Alright, alright so maybe I was there for more than a roof.
G: Told you.
C: Reluctantly passes a pack of cigarettes to G.
D: Doesn’t even notice, keeps talking. So to make ends meet I, I knew this old guy who lived by me, back at my house you know. He was retired and always cashed out his social security check the twelfth of each month. I had a mask so at least he didn’t know it was his old neighbor. With that I barely made it to the next month but next time I hit him I thought I got away clean but there was a cop right around the corner. And now I’m here.
G: Well, now you’re here after spending a week throwing up in medical.
C: So I missed the beginning, what got this whole story off?
D: I used to work in this sports store.
C: Yeah, the one on Old Holly?
D: Yeah, you know it?
C: That’s where I got busted for B and E. How was I supposed to know they’d hired some cop?
D: Mall cop really.
C: No kidding. Was asleep.
C: And I’d almost made it out if not for those damn noisy soccer balls.
Composed January 14, 2014.
Inspiration: Noisy Soccer Balls