Thursday, January 5, 2012

Truth and Cigs 01

Scene: Homeless person (HOM) on the street with a backpack and a sign. Pedestrian (PED) walks by. As PED nearly passes he/she turns around and walks up to HOM.

PED: (clears throat loudly, long pause, clears throat again)

HOM: Can I help you?

PED: Maybe. What do you like? I mean, is it cigarrettes, coffee, money, food?

HOM: (suspiciously and with a bit of annoyance) what do you mean, what do I like?

PED: Well, I’ve been thinking about this a lot. And what it comes down to is that I want some honest answers. I want the truth uninhibited. (pauses, looks for a response, seeing none, PED continues). I thought the only way I could do that was by asking a complete stranger; someone who doesn’t care what they say to me. And I thought that a...erm...what would do you people call yourselves?

HOM: People? What do you mean?

PED: I meant...your...um...occupation.

HOM: Occup--listen kid, just call me Jamie and ‘us people’ are known as homeless; don’t break yourself trying to be nice, I know I sleep near steaming grates in the winter to keep warm.

PED: (slightly uncomfortable) Yeah. That’s what I’m talking about. I thought that a homeless person would be the best person to get a real honest opinion from. I mean; what do they have to lose?

HOM: You’re right, I have nothing to lose.

PED: (realizes what he said) I mean...(long pause). Listen, the idea was to get some answers from you and in exchange I would get you something you wanted. What do you want?

HOM: (looks at PED) How old are you kid?

PED: 16.

HOM: (pauses and turns to look at change cup; nearly mumbles) I like cigarrettes.

PED: (looks relieved) Thank god, I have cigarettes. (Pulls out a pack of cigarettes) Here, have em.

HOM: (looks at them) they aren’t menthols.

PED: I’m sorry. It was my first time buying cigarettes. I had to use my cousin’s ID to get them.

HOM: (shrugs and tamps down the pack; unwraps it and pulls one out. Pulls out a quirky lighter and takes a drag) So; what do you want to know?