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I'd Rather Eat Glass [Part II]


(Suddenly, elevator music begins to play.)
MADRIGAL. Lauren, please stop. You need to move on. The man is married, and you were mistaken.
MADRIGAL. I beg your pardon!
BILLINGS. Iím sorry. I meant, please be quiet. Listen.
(They listen. Their heads turn up toward the ceiling.)
LAUREN. Music!
MADRIGAL. I believe they call it Muzak.
PAUL. I reckon that means the ílectricityís back on.
BILLINGS. Exactly. Now we can call someone.
LAUREN. But Madrigal already called her agent. Someone should be here any minute.
MADRIGAL. Ah... you may want to call someone.
PAUL. Why?
MADRIGAL. Well, what if my call didnít get through?
BILLINGS. You talked to her.
MADRIGAL. Thatís true. Um... but what if she forgets? Sometimes sheís kind of scatterbrained. Youíd better call her back.
BILLINGS. Whatís her name? Your agent, I mean.
MADRIGAL. Rita.
BILLINGS. Rita what?
MADRIGAL. Um.... Mansfield.
(BILLINGS picks up the elevator phone and listens. There is obviously a dial tone, because he dials.)
BILLINGS. Hello? Information? Could you give me Rita Mansfieldís office, please? Yes, Iíll hold.
PAUL. Tell her weíre stuck in this here elevator.
BILLINGS. Iím getting to that. Sheís put me on hold.
MADRIGAL. Ah, Mr. Billings...
BILLINGS. Yes? Iím still here. What? You donít have a listing for Rita Mansfield? Oh.
(He looks at MADRIGAL.)
Well then, do you have any listings for movie agents? No? Well, thanks. Goodbye.
(He hangs up.)
LAUREN. What are you doing? You just hung up!
BILLINGS. This building is all computer technician and window repair offices. I find that interesting. Donít you, Madrigal?
MADRIGAL. Well, I--
LAUREN. You called information, and you didnít even tell them that weíre trapped in here!
BILLINGS. Why is that, Miss Benchley? Or is that your real name at all?
PAUL. My goodness, whatís this all about?
BILLINGS. Why donít you ask her?
LAUREN. Look. I donít see how you could be stuck in this elevator and forget to tell the people who are your only way out that you are in here! Call them back! Iíll call them back myself!
PAUL. Miss Madrigal, what is this all about?
MADRIGAL. Well...
BILLINGS. Out with it.
MADRIGAL. Okay. Fine. You want to know the truth? Iím not a movie star, or a star at all. Iím seventeen, my name is Martha, and I live in Hackensack, New Jersey. My father is a used car salesman and my mother is a seamstress. Iíve never been out of e country, not even to Canada, and the farthest west Iíve ever been is Ohio. The real reason Iím in this elevator is because my boyfriend works in repair and I was bringing him his lunch. See?
(She pulls a brown paper bag out of her bag.)

Now he doesnít have any lunch and heís going to be mad at me. What do you say to that?
PAUL. Gosh, Miss Madrigal. Why on earth did you tell us such a fib?
MADRIGAL. Well, I... I mean... I guess I was just trying to see if you would believe me. I... I like to get dressed up in costumes when I bring Teddy his lunch.
LAUREN. Teddy?
MADRIGAL. My boyfriend. Like, yesterday I was a clown. And the day before I was a ballerina.
BILLINGS. Why?
MADRIGAL. Itís sort of an exercise. To practice my acting. Because I really do want to be an actress, that part was true.
PAUL. Well, maíam, I think you did a mighty fine job.
MADRIGAL. Really?
PAUL. Certainly. Why, I never wouldíve guessed you werenít exactly who you pretended to be. Would you?
(He looks meaningfully at BILLINGS and LAUREN. LAUREN shakes her head obediently, too eagerly; she obviously had some hint MADRIGAL was not who she seemed, but she wants her to feel better.)
LAUREN. Definitely not. You played the part wonderfully.
MADRIGAL. Why, thank you.
BILLINGS. You can lose the accent now.
PAUL. Mr. Billings, you seem angry.
BILLINGS. For Godís Sakes, man! This woman has lied to us, played with our minds, faked a phone conversation... what else could I be feeling?
LAUREN. You could try feeling some compassion! This poor girl has nothing better to do than to pretend she has a glamorous lifestyle which she may never know. Canít you allow her this small pleasure? Is it really hurting anyone?
MADRIGAL. I would appreciate it if you wouldnít talk about me as if I wasnít here.
BILLINGS. It doesnít make any difference! She lied to us, plain and simple. She told us she was something she wasnít.
LAUREN. Billings, can I ask you something?
BILLINGS. Obviously nothing is going to stop you.
LAUREN. Why do you care?
BILLINGS. Excuse me?
LAUREN. Why does it bother you so much that a perfect stranger has told you a lie?
MADRIGAL. Youíre doing it again.
BILLINGS. Because lying is wrong and she shouldnít have done it!
MADRIGAL. Iím standing right here!
LAUREN. And when exactly did you become the high priest of morals?
PAUL. Ah, if I may cut in here...
BILLINGS/LAUREN. No, you canít!
MADRIGAL. All of you! Shut up!
(A stunned silence.)
Thank you. Now, listen to me. First of all, I lied to you. Deal with it. It was an exercise in acting and I obviously did a pretty good job if you all believed me. Second of all, people lie to you all the time, I bet. In fact, Iím sure of it Youíre pretty oblivious, no offense. So why did you get so ticked off when I did it? Donít answer that. Itís because I admitted it. You got mad at me who actually told the truth, rather than either of these two, who lied to you and didnít tell you.
PAUL. What exactly are you talking about, maíam?
MADRIGAL. Youíre not really married. Youíre not wearing a wedding band.
LAUREN. He isnít?
MADRIGAL. And you arenít really from Boston.
LAUREN. Oh? And how is that?
MADRIGAL. Whatís the name of the major university there?
LAUREN. Harvard.
MADRIGAL. See? You would have pronounced it ďHahvahdĒ.
BILLINGS. That is all very interesting, maíam, but I donít see your point.
MADRIGAL. I think you do.
LAUREN. (to PAUL) Youíre not married?
PAUL. Ah...
LAUREN. (to MADRIGAL) He isnít married?
BILLINGS. Now wait a minute. How do we know that you arenít really some British movie star whoís pretending to be a low-income hick who is pretending to be a movie star?
(Pause.)
MADRIGAL/PAUL/LAUREN. What?
BILLINGS. Let me go over it slowly, so you can understand...
LAUREN. No, donít bother. I think itís time we called somebody.
MADRIGAL. (worried) What? I mean, what I did wasnít that serious. You arenít going to report me or anything, are you? Because, you see, I--
LAUREN. (withering) To get us out.
MADRIGAL. Oh.
PAUL. Lovely idea, Miss Lauren, letís do that right away.
(BILLINGS picks up the phone and dials.)
BILLINGS. Hello? Yes, this is Billings Fairlane. Iím in the elevator. Weíre stuck between the...

(He looks at the numbers above the door.)
...the fourth and fifth floors. Yes.
(Pause.)
Thereís four of us. Listen, I have a very important meeting Iím supposed to be at right now... could you call up to my office and see if my clients are still there? Oh, you saw them leave. Well, thank you. Please send someone as soon as you ossibly can.
(He hangs up.)
Well, I hope that youíre all quite satisfied. Iíve missed my meeting and probably lost the client.
LAUREN. You hope weíre happy? What is that supposed to mean?
MADRIGAL. I hope you arenít trying to blame this on us.
BILLINGS. Of course Iím going to blame this on you! Who else could I possibly blame?
PAUL. Listen here, all of you. We are going to be out of here in five minutes. Maybe we could leave this elevator on friendly terms.
(Full Stage lights up. TEDDY enters Stage L, carrying a bag of tools. He takes out a hammer and begins trying to pry the doors open. The passengers are unaware of his presence.)
LAUREN. Maybe you could just shut your mouth and stop trying to be so helpful! Iíve had enough of you and your little mind games!
PAUL. Miss Lauren, I believe that is uncalled for.
LAUREN. Do you! Would you mind telling me whether youíre actually married or not? I doubt if you actually know yourself. First you act like you arenít and you flirt with me, then you say you are and ignore me, and now she--
(points to MADRIGAL)
--says you arenít, because youíre not wearing a ring.
PAUL. All right then. Iím not married. Does that satisfy you?
LAUREN. You know, I donít even care anymore!
(By this point, LAUREN is screaming at him.)

MADRIGAL. Why donít you just calm down, now.
BILLINGS. Donít tell her what to do.
MADRIGAL. I didnít ask for your opinion.
PAUL. You know, I donít see what my marital status has to do with anything.
(TEDDY finally begins hitting the wedge harder. The passengers are all yelling at each other and so donít hear him.)
LAUREN. That is so typical! You lead a woman on, and donít even know what it matters if youíre married or not!
MADRIGAL. Itís just a male thing, dear. They all do it.
BILLINGS. And when did you become the authority?
MADRIGAL. Stop yelling at me!
PAUL. Why donít both of you stop yelling?
TEDDY. Bullfrogs!
(All the passengers are immediately silent. After a pause, LAUREN speaks quietly.)
LAUREN. Hello? Is someone there?
TEDDY. Iím the technician. Iím here to get you folks out of the freaking elevator, and if you would stop yelling it would make my job a lot easier!

(Pause.)
MADRIGAL. Teddy?
TEDDY. Yes?
MADRIGAL. Teddy, itís me!
TEDDY. Martha?
MADRIGAL. Yes!
TEDDY. Marthy, I didnít know you were in there! Listen, Iím going to go up to the control panel. I think that if I fiddle around with the power a little, I can get it going again.
MADRIGAL. Okay, go ahead. (to others) Heís gone to fix the power.
BILLINGS. We have ears, you know.
(TEDDY begins to exit. ALICIA enters, wearing a business suit. She and TEDDY nearly collide.)
ALICIA. Oh, Iím so-- Ted?
TEDDY. Oh... hello.
ALICIA. (affectionately) Donít play that game with me. Why are you here? Surely itís not to see me.
TEDDY. Actually--
ALICIA. How sweet! I never told you I work here, did I? How did you find out?
TEDDY. Alicia, Iím not here to see you.
ALICIA. Well, then. What are you doing?
TEDDY. I work here. The elevator is broken and I have to fix it.
ALICIA. Oh, goodness! Well, Iím certainly glad I took the stairs this morning. I need to keep my legs in shape, you know.
TEDDY. Your legs look fine to me.
ALICIA. Oh, you! How many people are inside?
TEDDY. Four, I think.
MADRIGAL. Teddy! Teddy?
ALICIA. Whoís that?
TEDDY. Shh! Keep your voice down.
MADRIGAL. (to other passengers) He must have already gone. Itíll only be a few minutes now.
LAUREN. Maybe we should call someone.
BILLINGS. He said heíd come back, didnít he?
LAUREN. I donít know... Iíve learned not to trust any men...
(She looks meaningfully at PAUL.)
...especially if I canít see them.
(TEDDY and ALICIA move farther away from the elevator.)
ALICIA. Whoís that? And why do I have to keep my voice down?
TEDDY. Ah... itís my sister. And, um, I think itís a bad idea if she finds out about... us.
ALICIA. Oh, Teddy! Is there really still an us for her to find out about?
TEDDY. There is if you want there to be.
ALICIA. I do, I do.
(TEDDY leans in and tries to kiss ALICIA, but she stops him.)

TEDDY. What?
ALICIA. Not here.
BILLINGS. Maybe the two of you could just stop fighting. Ever think of that? Why donít you just kiss and make up, or something like that.
LAUREN. Iíd rather eat glass.
MADRIGAL. I donít think thereís any need to call someone. He should be coming soon.
LAUREN. How can you be so sure?
PAUL. (to LAUREN) Well, maybe youíre right. I think we should call somebody.
LAUREN. (surprised) Thank you.
MADRIGAL. Teddy said heíd be back, heíll be back.
TEDDY. Why not?
ALICIA. It makes me nervous. My husband was supposed to come and visit me here... what if he finds out about... us.
TEDDY. He wonít.
ALICIA. But still...
PAUL. Just the same, I think it would be a good idea.
BILLINGS. Well, I am sick of using that blasted phone. Someone else had better call.
TEDDY. What does your husband look like? Maybe Iíve seen him.
ALICIA. (laughing) Heís pretty hard to miss.
TEDDY. What do you mean by that?
ALICIA. I told you heís a lumberjack, didnít I? Picture wool pants, hiking boots, suspenders, and plaid. Lots of plaid.
(This description matches exactly what PAUL is wearing.)
MADRIGAL. Iíll call.
(She picks up the phone and dials.)
Hello? Could you give me the control room, please? Thank you.
TEDDY. Why is someone like you with someone like him?
ALICIA. What can I say? College students do crazy things. So you havenít seen him?
TEDDY. No, I think weíre pretty safe.
MADRIGAL. (to phone) Hello, Teddy? Oh, Iím sorry! Who is this, then? Jared? Well, Jared, could I speak to Teddy, please?
(Pause.)
Oh. Where is he, then? You havenít seen him? Well, listen, Jared, weíre stuck in the elevator still. Is there anything you can do up there?
LAUREN. (to BILLINGS) I told you. He isnít even up there.
BILLINGS. Smugness is extremely unappealing in a woman.
PAUL. I beg your pardon sir, but smugness in unappealing in anyone.
BILLINGS. Thank you for sharing that brilliant theory, sir.
PAUL. Certainly.
ALICIA. I donít know, Teddy. It seems so wrong. Why donít we wait until weíre alone.
TEDDY. We are alone. Just you, me, and a broken elevator.
MADRIGAL. (to phone) Oh, really? I wonder why Teddy didnít tell us that. Let me tell the others. (to other passengers) He says that if you press down the ďdoor openĒ button and the green button, the door should open now that the powerís back.
ALICIA. I suppose so...
TEDDY. Donít be such a chicken.
BILLINGS. What green button?
MADRIGAL. (to phone) What green button? (to others) The one beneath the telephone. Right... there. (to phone) Thanks, Jared. Weíll call back if we need help.
ALICIA. I suppose a kiss canít hurt anything.
(ALICIA and TEDDY kiss just as BILLINGS pushes the buttons and the door opens. All four passengers rush out. They donít immediately notice ALICIA and TEDDY.)
BILLINGS. Thank God!
MADRIGAL. Lauren, itís so good you--
(She stops. She has spotted ALICIA and TEDDY. ALICIAís back is to them, so PAUL doesnít notice it is her.)
Teddy!
(TEDDY looks up and sees MADRIGAL. ALICIA turns to see who it is. She sees PAUL.)
ALICIA. Paul!
(PAUL is stunned, standing there openmouthed.)

LAUREN. Who is she?
PAUL. My wife!

(Cut lights.)

THE END

-MWE


I'd Rather Eat Glass [Part II]