Poet Streets – Play in Progress
Setting: An old 1920’s theater- Present Day or adapted to any era-
Narrator: (Speaking from a tree)
The harbor of her heart rested in the theater. She fanned her breast and gave a tug on the piano players sleeve to continue with the song even though Leah was weary, she sought the company of a soft refrain. The evenings rehearsal had been a dreary parade of interrupted stops. The Barker was hoarse with laryngitis. The Director was hung over and every little whisper in the wings sent him shouting, “Stop the noise or you will be thrown out of the play.” It was a long day of tight fitting prop shoes and smoldering stares from the stage manager. The occasional piano music from Bart seemed to be the only thread to what was left of her muse. She had long since forgotten why she got into this business to begin with. Her thoughts drifted with the immaculate sensitivity of Bart’s classical reprieve, bending the corners of modern day back into centuries long ago where masters walked and women wore hats and carried parasols, where they were read poetry and courted, and spilled out into meadows like elegant birds in a soft parade. The promenade of fair women, and the sweetest diligence to their well bred gait took my breath away back then. Leah remembers this too, she surrenders to the notes the way a feather lets the wind carry it where it may. I could sit here for hours and simply watch her as she listens to the peeling piano notes.
Leah: That was lovely Bart- Thank You, I have forgotten how melodic Beethoven can be.
Bart: you are welcome Miss Leah, nothing but the best for a reprieve from the rattle of the boards so close to opening. It gets hectic, but it will fall into place.
Leah: Yes, I know, it’s always like this. The roar of the crowd and the smell of the greasepaint though has lost a little of it’s flavor with me this time round. (patting him on the back) I am going to go to the diner now, you want to join me?
Bart: I still have a song to work out with Rene. You go, and I will see you tomorrow.
Leah: Don’t take to long getting out of her. This life will swallow you up and spit you out , turn you into a stand up placard in someone’s apartment.
Bart: Oh I won’t, I don’t look very good in cardboard, besides there is a late night show at Bindi’s, the band Orangelo is playing. Not like Beethoven, rather a jazz classical group. They have a flair for the poetic melody of a lingering returning refrain that’s pretty interesting; it’s like a twist of lemon in a glass of exotic wine from a remote village.
Leah: OK, till then. (she kisses his head, walks out the side theater door. She passes by windows with tableau’s of people talking and laughing, she passes by a street dancer performing, a couple holding hands, an old woman walking slowly, and opens up her umbrella as it begins to thunder and lighting as she nears the diner door.)
Waitress: Nice bird… that’s very pretty. What are going to have tonight?
Leah: I will have coffee and ginger bread with whipped cream with a tossed garden salad. Hey, has that man from the agency come in lately?
Waitress: Oh you mean the tall dark and quiet one?
Leah: Yeah I hadn’t thought of it that way, but ya, that guy.
Waitress: He was in for afternoon coffee. He looked a little preoccupied, like he had something on his mind. You know that kind of faraway, not paying much to his surroundings look.
Leah: Yes, I do that one myself. He is usually very talkative. He might just be busy.
Waitress: Maybe so. I’ll get that order right up to you. What kind of dressing do you want?
Leah: Very blue cheese, I am feeling rather melancholy. (Leah Laughs)
Waitress: That’s coming right up. (pours her coffee exits)
Leah: (stirring her coffee)
(Behind her in the window, a man is peering through, seemingly searching for someone. He sees her and enters in then speaks to her.)
M. Middleton: Excuse me is anyone sitting here?
Leah: No, have a seat. (looking at him and then to the right where there are empty seats further down, wondering why he didn’t take one of those. The waitress returns to serve him.)
Waitress: Good evening Mr. Middleton what will it be?
M. Middleton: Coffee and a slice of that lemon meringue pie if you please. That is the the best dinner tonight.
Waitress: No vegetable, meat or potato?
M. Middleton: Had that for breakfast. (he laughs)
Waitress: alright…It’s your belly. (She winks at him)