I’ve decided to take part 31 Plays/31 Days.
Here is today’s prompt: http://31plays31days.com/post/125598476332/inspiration-day-1
On the Sounder commuter train. Summer. There is a pod of 4 seats (two benches that face each other) with a narrow table between.
Daphne sits down in the up left seat that faces an imaginary window. She takes a moment to catch her breath. It’s been a stressful day. She carefully sets down her cell phone, Starbucks iced green tea, protein box and Judd Apatow’s Sick in the Head in an arrangement that pleases her. She starts eating the contents of the protein box in a methodical way, almost like conducting a scientific experiment.
Over the speakers, we hear a recording announcing:
Doors closing, Doors closing.
Hipster 1 and Hipster 2 enter, sweating and carrying hefty computer bags. (Casting note: the Hipsters are in a whatever/hanging out kind of relationship. Hipster 1 is a woman, Hipster 2 does not have to be.) Hipster 1 looks around, is about to sit across the row from Daphne, when Hipster 2 motions to the table at which Daphne sits. There are plenty of other seats, just none with tables. They crowd in across from Daphne, both taking out their mammoth laptops and placing them on the table, speaking loudly while they type. They do not stop computer-ing throughout.
Daphne adjusts and minimizes the placement of her items, scowling at them.
Hipster 1: God, what a stupid fucking meeting. I mean, it’s like I can’t even. Literally. Just email me your question. Better yet, google your question first and stop having me do your fucking job, ammIrite?
Hipster 2: Which meeting are you talking about, the operations meeting or the–
Hipster 1: The team infrastructure meeting. Meetings are just a waste of time. If you actually take a minute to think about it, going to work is a waste of time. 90% of the things we do, we can do remotely. Why bother coming in? I would rather stay in my pajamas and work from home.
Hipster 2: Well, I think it’s nice to see people at the office and socialize, you know?
Hipster 1: Ugh. (beat) Oh. My. God. Jacqui just posted about Planned Parenthood being attacked by hackers. What. A. Fraud.
Hipster 2: Huh?
Hipster 1: Just last week, at that party, she was saying that the was pro-life. And now she’s saying it’s a tragedy that Planned Parenthood’s website is down. That’s so like her. She’s such a hypocrite.
Hipster 2: I don’t remember her saying she was pro-life.
Hipster 1: Are you kidding me?! I was talking about how much I liked my IUD and she totally rolled her eyes and walked away. That is the equivalent of saying that life begins at conception.
Hipster 2: That’s not…
Hipster 1: I just really–I don’t need this from you right now, ok? I just need your support, like your unequivocal, absolute support. Don’t think I didn’t notice that you didn’t back me up during that meeting today.
Hipster 2: Which meeting?
Hipster 1: (beat) You should know which meeting. If I have to tell you which meeting, it makes it even worse.
Hipster 2: (Looking at 1’s computer) Oh, that’s not how you want to do that.
Hipster 1: EXCUSE ME?!?!
Hipster 2: That’s not how you want to code that.
Hipster 1: Are you seriously criticizing me right now?
Hipster 2: I’m not criticizing you, I’m just making your work better.
Hipster 1: I am trying to have an important conversation with you about abortion and reproductive rights and you are trying to talk to me about coding?! That is so like you, to change the subject.
Hipster 2: (sighs) Ok. Let’s talk about abortion.
Hipster 1: Yes. Thank you.
Hipster 2: What are your thoughts about it?
Hipster 1: Um, I’m pro-choice, obviously. That’s the only way to be. Anyone who isn’t is an idiot and a misogynist.
Hipster 2’s eyes get wide. There is no good way to answer this question. Complete support will make them seem too agreeable. A fight is what Hipster 1 wants and 2 is not up for it.
Daphne has been eating, drinking and angrily texting on her phone about her seatmates this whole time. The computers have slowly kept inching toward her until all of her belongings have ended up in her lap She’s had enough.
Daphne: Would you please move your computers? You’re taking up the entire table.
Hipster 1: What did you just say?
Daphne: (over-articulating) I would like you to move your computers. Your computers have been slowly pushing my belongings into my lap this entire time. You are being loud, rude and unaware. PLEASE. MOVE. YOUR. COMPUTERS.
Hipster 2 takes their computer and back and leaves, looking for another seat in an attempt to escape the inevitable eruption from Hipster 1.
Daphne: (calling over her shoulder) Thank you.
Hipster 1 is revving up to give Daphne a piece of her mind.
Daphne: (leaning forward) Before you say anything, I’m going to suggest that you just don’t. I had a really shitty day at work, an actually shitty day, as opposed to your pseudo shitty day You’re so frustrated that you have to leave your house and go to your job and, gasp, get feedback about your work. At least you have a fucking job, okay? If you could take narcissism down about fifty fucking notches and bring up the self-awareness, it’s going to serve you a lot better in this life.
Hipster 1, stunned, moves over to the DR seat of the pod. Puts headphones on. Continues to work in silence, casting furtive glances toward Daphne occasionally.
Daphne puts her feet up on the newly vacated seat. Sips from her green tea triumphantly and looks out the window.