PLAY #339: JET SET (NOV 29)

Washington D.C., 2009.

Georgetown University, a pond.

JAMES (late 20s; Chinese; male) sits on a bench, in a suit.

 

ISAIAH (20s; African-American; male) enters in a tattered military uniform and sits beside JAMES.

 

JAMES

Isaiah!

 

ISAIAH

You didn’t think I’d make the reunion?

 

JAMES

This is…

 

ISAIAH

I was always dead set on being here. Though I didn’t realize how dead set I’d be. You were the one who wasn’t sure if you’d be bothered traveling from China for some half-assed five-year thing where nobody’s changed enough to like them yet.

 

JAMES

Yeah. Guess you beat me on the distance.

 

ISAIAH

Sure did.

 

JAMES

I live here now, actually.

 

ISAIAH

This bench? I had you pegged for bigger things.

 

JAMES

D.C.

 

ISAIAH

Bet your Dad’s not too happy about that.

 

JAMES

Among other things.

 

ISAIAH

You told him?

 

JAMES

Yeah.

 

ISAIAH

Whoa! I wish I could drink to toast something.

 

JAMES

Me too.

 

Pause.

 

ISAIAH

You think they could have stumped up for a statue? All they got is some plaque for me shared with some other sap who was stupid enough to sign up. Not even a scholarship boy. He didn’t get the memo that rich folk aren’t supposed to die in this war.

 

JAMES

You were mentioned. Part of a speech.

 

ISAIAH

Who knew that all I had to was get blown up to make a name for myself around here? Still, at least I got myself a plaque. That’s more than Nick got.

 

JAMES

I guess suicide is not so marketable.

 

Pause.

 

ISAIAH

Who all else is here?

 

JAMES

Not many people I actually want to talk to.

 

ISAIAH

Don’t tell me that all those power-interns are actually running the city now?

 

JAMES

Everything we feared has come to pass.

 

ISAIAH

The jet set have taken over.

 

JAMES

Just about.

 

ISAIAH

Well I got enough miles for all of us. First class ride back here, too: all class for corpses.

 

JAMES

Yeah.

 

ISAIAH

Yaya make it?

 

JAMES

She’s off working at some farm.

 

ISAIAH

Definitely not speech-material. Go mad into debt so that you can grow your own lettuce. However, the scholarship boy who could get himself blown up, that is a story worth spinning!

(beat.)

Any of the gay crew here?

 

JAMES

Not any you’d want to sleep with.

 

ISAIAH

Just as well. Not sure old Brandon would really be up for ghost kink.

 

JAMES

He’s working at the Capitol now, who knows what kink he gets into.

 

ISAIAH

You know where his office is at?

 

JAMES

You’re going to perv on him?

 

ISAIAH

Ghost’s got to have some fun. You seeing somebody?

 

JAMES

Yeah. Actually. An environmental activist.

 

ISAIAH

Your Dad must be really pissed.

 

JAMES

Yeah. He’s a drag queen too.

 

ISAIAH

From coal magnate to screaming queen?

 

JAMES

Josh! Delicious Drag-On.

 

ISAIAH

Sweet. Nice for you to have somebody you’re on the same page with.

 

JAMES

We still find things to fight about.

 

ISAIAH

Not like us though.

 

JAMES

No.

 

ISAIAH

He’s here?

 

JAMES

Not really his scene.

 

ISAIAH

Not ours either.

 

JAMES

No.

 

Pause.

 

ISAIAH

You were right.

 

JAMES

That’s no comfort.

 

ISAIAH

The war was bullshit.

 

JAMES

You remember the protests here? The pro-war group outnumbered us. You weren’t the only one here in support of the war.

 

ISAIAH

Only one here stupid enough to die for it. Or, one of two, not even unique in that.

(beat.)

You were right. Whole war was a dirty scramble for what’s beneath. Something we have no business in getting involved in.

(beat.)

They’re lucky I died. I’d be here too otherwise, setting fire to the plaque or the flag or the endowment or whatever I could ignite. Nothing I believe in now.

 

Pause.

 

JAMES

There’s always friendship. Or hope. Or revenge.

 

ISAIAH

Something.

 

JAMES

Streets are crammed with ghosts. That’s what I like to think in protests: streets are full of spirits on our side.

 

ISAIAH

People don’t believe in ghosts.

 

JAMES

Don’t believe in dragons either. But that’s no good to you when you’re faced with a mouth that’s aflame, is it?

 

ISAIAH

Guess not.

 

Pause.

 

ISAIAH

You should go. Mingle with the jet set.

 

JAMES

I’m happy enough here.

 

ISAIAH

On your own by this dumb pond?

 

JAMES

I always was a freak, right?

 

ISAIAH

Yeah.

 

They sit by the pond for some time before ISAIAH walks off, leaving JAMES on the bench, nothing to jet set off to.

Advertisements