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SYNOPSIS:
Present Day. Maximilian returns to D.C. for his father’s funeral and following the burial he and his fellow class of 1979 friend Vesta slip into Rinaldis Pub. The friends are quietly catching up with one another, reminiscing about their youth and telling tales of Max’s father until Max spies bartender Brigid scoop ice from the well with a glass, an irresponsible and dangerous action that causes him to confront the bartender.

CHARACTERS:
MAXIMILIAN: Male. Son of the deceased. Fifty-two years old. Dressed in dark suit.
VESTA: Female. Fifty-three years old. Graduated high school with Maximilian. Dressed in dark clothes.
BRIGID: Female. Bartender. Mid-twenties or younger.

SCENE:
Rinaldi’s Pub, located just outside DC’s Beltway, is slow on a mid-week afternoon in February 2014. Brigid is watching television and checking her phone as Maximilian and Vesta, having just left a funeral, enter.

[MAXIMILIAN holds door for VESTA as they enter Rinaldi’s.] 

MAXIMILIAN:
Wow, Vesta I haven’t been in here since, jeez, 1983? Place hasn’t changed a bit, has it?

VESTA:
Well, some. Music’s different. Crowd’s different. Definitely not as many high schoolers as back in the day.

MAXIMILIAN:
Yeah, well, no surprise there. Glad we slipped by with the old drinking age.

BRIGID:
[Perfunctorily] Hey, folks. Welcome to Rinaldi’s.

MAXIMILIAN:
[To BRIGID] Hey. [Quietly to VESTA] Well there’s one thing that’s changed. I think I have socks older than she is.

VESTA:
Bartenders have always been young here. [VESTA nods at bar.] Bar? [Both sit.] How you holding up, Maxi?

MAXIMILIAN:
Okay. Gosh, thanks so much for coming. Seems we’re to the weddings and funerals stage of life, huh?

VESTA:
Don’t forget class reunions. Thirty-five years this June. Damn we’re old.

BRIGID:
Hey, folks. What can I get you?

MAXIMILIAN:
[Looking at Brigid’s name tag then beer taps] Uhm, Bespoke Blonde please, Brigid?

BRIGID:
Ten or twenty?

MAXIMILIAN:
Pardon?

BRIGID:
Big or little?

MAXIMILIAN:
Oh. Twenty, please.

BRIGID:
Great choice. Ma’am?

VESTA:
Let’s have a coffee amber. Small.

BRIGID:
Perfect. Food?

[MAXIMILIAN and VESTA make eye contact, Shake heads.]

MAXIMILIAN:
No. Just the beers.

BRIGID:
Right back.

VESTA:
You think servers ever do anything but glow over customers’ choices?
You did great with your eulogy by the way.

MAXIMILIAN:
Did I? I can’t judge. Just glad I didn’t break down more than I did.

VESTA:
No. It was perfect. Really good tribute to your dad. I loved the part about Alex Krauss breaking into your house as a joke and your dad walking in on them. How he made them pay for the damage and volunteer at Saint Pete’s but didn’t call the cops? That’s nice. Redemption. Second chances. Good stuff the world needs more of.

MAXIMILIAN:
Thank you. That was Dad alright. Work your way back to salvation. To say nothing of the years of gentle ribbing it provided him whenever Alex came over.

VESTA:
Your brother ever hear from Alex?

MAXIMILIAN:
Yeah, they’re still close and we’re Facebook friends. He just started his second girls school in Kenya. Got a local Realtor who’s really into it to help. Gal by the name of Audrey Forshey?

VESTA:
No. Never heard of her. But that’s great. Redemption, triumph and helping others. Perfect tribute.
Hey? Where’s Maria? Really surprised she wasn’t here?

[BRIGID places two cardboard coasters on the bar before placing the beers on top.]

MAXIMILIAN:
Thanks, Brigid.

VESTA:
Thank you.

[BRIGID nods, smiles and then goes back to watching TV.]

MAXIMILIAN:
Oh, God. She’s fine. I literally got the call from my sister at like eight thirty? Just got home from dropping Maria off at RDU- Raleigh airport? She was headed for the Philippines and I wasn’t sure what to do. I texted her and asked her to call me when she got the message and she calls back around three-thirty from Seattle. Asked me if I wanted her to turn around and come home but I told her no. I mean, it’s not like we didn’t know it was coming, right? She was able to change her return flight so she’ll land at Dulles Friday. I’m going to hang here with my brother and drive us back this weekend.

VESTA:
God, Max. She’ll be a zombie.

MAXIMILIAN:
Yeah. Just moral support. It’s not a bad drive down to Raleigh. Wouldn’t want Dad haunting me from the grave, would I?

VESTA:
Pardon?

MAXIMILIAN:
For unsafe driving. He wrote our drivers ed textbook. You knew that!

VESTA:
That’s right! I forgot. He did, didn’t he?

MAXIMILIAN:
Yep. Have I never told you this story? Dad made a promise to God. A death bed promise that if God would save him he would become a doctor and dedicate his life to saving others.

VESTA:
Deathbed? So, what? Recently?

MAXIMILIAN:
Oh, hell no. Back in the late fifties when he was in service. He was mortally injured- injured, not wounded -while on board ship. Got a Purple Heart. Ripped open his insides and they thought he wasn’t going to make it. Flew him home and he recuperated in Key West for months. Flew him! Big deal back in the day.

VESTA:
So your father was a physician too?

MAXIMILIAN:
Nope. After he recuperated he went to college- GI Bill? -but he couldn’t pass organic chemistry. Instead he went into Drivers Safety, an emerging field. Probably saved thousands of more lives doing what he did than he would have as a doctor.

VESTA:
Huh. How’s the beer?

MAXIMILIAN:
Good. Just so long as it doesn’t taste of cloves. Cloves? Whoever came up with the idea that cloves belong in beer? Yuck! How’s yours?

VESTA:
Tasty. I’ve had this before. So your dad was injured in service? How’d that happen?

MAXIMILIAN:
Long story. Junior officer ordered him to do something unsafe-

BRIGID:
How is everything? Change your mind about some food?

MAXIMILIAN:
No. We just came from a reception. Beer’s good. Uh, may I have a water? Twenty ounce?

BRIGID:
Sure. Ma’am?

VESTA:
Yes please.

[BRIGID walks away to get water.]

VESTA:
“Ma’am.” How I hate being called ma’am. Reminder of how old we are. Something unsafe? What does that mean?

[Brigid grabs two glasses and uses them to scoop ice before filling them with water.]

MAXIMILIAN:
Oh. Big storm, Dad was a RADAR technician and-. Wait! Did, did Brigid just scoop ice with a glass? I. I can’t believe that. My dad was also hospitalized while in service when a big chunk of glass ripped open his urethra and that’s exactly how that happens. People use glasses for scoops, chip falls off, lands in the ice and winds up in somebody’s drink. This shit kills people. It’s illegal!

[BRIGID places water in front of MAXIMILIAN and VESTA.]

MAXIMILIAN:
Uhm, hey?! Did you just scoop ice with a glass glass?

BRIGID:
What? No. That’s not allowed.

MAXIMILIAN:
Yeah, I know it’s not allowed! That shit almost killed my dad, and yes, Brigid, you did! We just came from his funeral. What the hell!

BRIGID:
Sir, lower your voice or you’re going to have to leave.

MAXIMILIAN:
“Lower my voice!” Really? There’s no one else here and you just endangered the lives of anyone who gets ice from that well! What is wrong with you!?

BRIGID:
[BRIGID takes out her phone and begins recording.]Listen, you either need to calm down or I’m calling the cops.

MAXIMILIAN:
Or you’re calling the cops? Don’t O. Henry me. Yes! Why don’t you call a policeman? That’d be great! Save me from having to do it. Vesta, you saw her! Hey, record this, won’t you?

VESTA:
Max. Calm down. It’s okay. No one was injured. [Vesta does not film event.]

BRIGID:
Look! There’s no chips out of you glasses!

MAXIMILIAN:
Wait. What? “There’s no chips out of our glasses?!” So you admit that you used the glass as a scoop!

BRIGID:
I did not say that!

MAXIMILIAN:
You just recorded yourself saying that!

BRIGID:
I did not say that I used a glass as a scoop!

VESTA:
Max, let it go. It’s not worth getting in trouble for. What would your dad say? Second chances.

MAXIMILIAN:
“Getting in trouble?” It’s worth getting in trouble if it saves lives. And why would there be chips out of our glasses if she hadn’t used the glass as a scoop?! Good God, if you can’t do the right thing then at least admit when you made a mistake!

BRIGID:
My manager is coming right back! You should leave before she gets here!

VESTA:
Max, we should go.

MAXIMILIAN:
What? Why?! She’s endangering lives. I’d love to talk to her manager. Or to the cops. Brigid, I’ll be glad to sit tight and wait for your manager. You bet!

BRIGID:
Get out! Or I’m calling the cops!

MAXIMILIAN:
For what? Asking you not to kill your customers?! Wow. Talk about callous.

VESTA:
Max, this is getting us nowhere. Call the BBB, call the department of health, I don’t know, take a picture and put it on Facebook but let’s just go. She’s not worth the trouble.

MAXIMILIAN:
Well my dad is. He dedicated his life to helping people, to saving lives and not two hours after his funeral I’m supposed to let some miscreant who doesn’t care if she endangers people, a woman who lies about what she’s done, just skate? No. No!

BRIGID:
[BRIGID lowers her phone as she stops filming.]And if I did do it? If I admitted to a mistake and said I’ll never do it again? Then what, huh? Will you go then?!

MAXIMILIAN:
And why should I trust you? You lied to us, you threatened us and now you’re contrite? Reformed? Please! What is wrong with you?

BRIGID:
I made a mistake, okay!? I’m sorry. I won’t do it again. What do I have to do to convince you?

MAXIMILIAN:
I don’t know. Seem like you care about something other than getting in trouble?

VESTA:
Max, cut her some slack? She said she wouldn’t do it again. What would your dad do here? How would he handle it? Come on!

MAXIMILIAN:
And you trust her? Just like that? First she’s a lying, callous killer and then she’s Mother Theresa? I don’t like it!

BRIGID:
I’m not lying, okay? I did it, alright? I used the glasses and I was wrong. What do I have to do now? Admit it on the internet? Lose my job? There’s no place for redemption with you?

MAXIMILIAN:
Melt the ice.

BRIGID:
What?

MAXIMILIAN:
Melt. The. Ice. You don’t know if there’s glass in there so scoop out all the ice that’s in  the bin, pour hot water on what’s left and then we’ll make sure there’s no glass shards.

BRIGID:
There’s not.

MAXIMILIAN:
Wow! Just wow! You don’t know! There’s no one else in here so you’ve got plenty of time. Provide me with some sign, some measure that shows you’re trustworthy. Sheesh!

VESTA:
Do it, Brigid. Do the right thing. He’s right. You endangered people. You endangered us! Now show us that you’re adult enough to do this little thing. Make it right.

BRIGID:
Fine! Fine. You’re right, okay. Here, I’m scooping out the ice. [BRIGID performs these actions as she speaks.] I’m pouring hot water on what’s left. I’m cleaning everything out with a towel and throwing it away. Satisfied?

VESTA:
Yes.

MAXIMILIAN:
No. Mollified, not satisfied. It’ll do but I don’t like it.

BRIGID:
I told you I won’t do it again.

VESTA:
Let it go, Max. Move on. Redemption. Change of attitude, change of action?

MAXIMILIAN:
Fine. I’ll move on. I hope you keep your word.

[MAXIMILIAN finishes his beer and he and VESTA start to leave.]

BRIGID:
You owe me eleven-sixty-six.

MAXIMILIAN:
For real? Okay. Fairs fair. Here’s twelve dollars. Keep the change, you almost earned it. And keep your word.

[MAXIMILIAN and VESTA exit. BRIGID remains, looking defeated and contrite.]
LIGHTS DOWN