If Statements: Jennifer

Jennifer is standing center stage. She wears the costume of a bumble bee. She’s red in the face. She holds a briefcase. She is 36, confused and late to pick up her kids.

JENNIFER
If I started blogging today, I’d definitely begin with the antiseptic. Which, I forgot. Now my eldest is being held underneath the jungle gym in the Northwest play quadrant. The authorities don’t look too kindly on non-sterilized 6th graders. So, if I were to start blogging today, I’d post words about that, and a picture. And I’d be mean. I mean MEAN.

She sneezes and drops the briefcase.

JENNIFER
My GOD! I’ve dropped the briefcase!! Everybody, STAND BACK!!!

She clears the area, sweeping her arms and backing away from case. No one else is in the vicinity.

JENNIFER
Wait a minute. No one else is in the vicinity. If I were to start blogging today, I’d definitely post that. I’d bemoan the lack of medicine, the dearth of commuters and, and –

The suitcase jumps up an inch. She squeals.

JENNIFER
Ha! My 8 year old was right: this IS her briefcase. I will never doubt her again.

ENTER a train conductor, winding his watch. He’s startled by the case more than a lady dressed as a bumble bee. It’s as if he’s speaking to the case:

CONDUCTOR
Jane. Jane?

JENNIFER
It’s Jen. Not Jane.

CONDUCTOR
What?

JENNIFER
It’s Jen. Jennifer. Over here.

CONDUCTOR
I know that, Jen.

JENNIFER
Yeah, well. I was wondering.

CONDUCTOR
Are you going to destroy the case, or should I?

JENNIFER
Why all this destruction?

CONDUCTOR
It was your decision to take a train.

JENNIFER
I’m trying to get back to my kids.

CONDUCTOR
They’re scattered to the winds, now. You know that. It’s as it should be.

JENNIFER
I’m going to blog this. The thing will write itself.

CONDUCTOR
I started a blog today.

JENNIFER
Did you?

CONDUCTOR
It’s about misappropriation.

JENNIFER
Sounds kind of boring.

CONDUCTOR
Misappropriation as in theft.

JENNIFER
Ah. Am I still sweating? I mean, am I red?

CONDUCTOR
Yes. Just like 9th grade.

JENNIFER picks up suitcase.

JENNIFER
Well, I’m off. I’ll detonate the case, snatch the infected child, start a blog and hit the dry cleaner’s.

CONDUCTOR
Don’t hit the dry cleaner, you did that yesterday.

JENNIFER
Right. But I didn’t start a blog.

CONDUCTOR
No, I did. Train.

The loud whistle of a train arriving. Jennifer and the Conductor stand and wait for it.

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