Lipstick

by DRM

Old Fashioned Diner

We look into a luncheonette, somewhere in a big city. The door from the street is stage left, flanked by large glass windows. An opening to the back is stage left. The counter runs across the stage, with four tattered chrome stools bolted to the floor. Pastry displays clutter the diner top; glass refrigeration cases are behind. Upstage there are three two-top tables, with chrome diner chairs on either side.

PADDY:

(Enters the diner from the street and sits at the counter. HE wears a clown suit and carries a red wig in his hand. He wears no makeup. His earlobes are stretched out to the size of silver dollars by ebony African ear extenders. HE sits with his back to us)

SELMA:

(Enters from the opening to the back. SHE sees PADDY and smiles brightly. SHE crosses the stage slowly. PADDY doesn’t take notice. SELMA goes to the register, looks at PADDY. Waits. Hits the No Sale button. The register bell rings. No reaction from PADDY. SHE hits the sale button, the drawer springs open and smacks her in the chest. SHE falls back against the wall. Still nothing. Hugging herself, she shuffles back to the nearest table, pulls the chair out and sits down with a groan)

Do those hurt?

PADDY:

(Turns and looks at her)

SELMA:

I pierced my ears for my 80th birthday. That hurt.

PADDY:

Do you wear lipstick?

SELMA:

(Shakes her head)

PADDY:

(Stands and walks out the back exit, leaving the red wig on the counter)

SELMA:

(Watches PADDY leave. SHE reaches into her house coat and rummages in her pockets. SHE retrieves a thick tube and rolls the bright red lipstick out as far as it can go. SHE puts the lipstick to her face and draws a clown smile, big and messy, on her wrinkled lips. SHE reaches up and smooths her silver hair, then lifts it up. SHE puts her wig on the table. Her hair is wispy, like a baby. SHE smiles.)

LIGHTS DOWN