Erin had tried heroin for the first time a month ago. She had liked doing drugs since high school. She thought the word “heroin” sounded a lot like her first name, so she figured that was a good enough reason to do it. She soon discovered that heroin made her extremely happy, and she enjoyed being an addict. At that moment, though, she was pissed. Her downtown hot dog stand cart was out of ketchup and mustard, and she was out of Camel cigarettes. That is when Sam the Bike Messenger rode up, stage right. Erin, who had an angelic-looking face and naturally curly blonde hair, addressed Sam the Bike Messenger before he had a chance to say anything.
ERIN: I told you before I’m not looking to be rescued.
Sam the Bike Messenger, who had a sensitive yet masculine-looking face with several Celtic tattoos on both of his arms, was hoping she did. He had a thing for Erin.
Before Sam the Bike Messenger could think of anything clever or witty to say, Erin’s friend Trixie came running over from her hot dog stand cart to share some news with Erin.
TRIXIE: I scored us a gig tonight.
“Gig” was a code word for “we’ll be providing several creepy businessmen with blowjobs.” Erin did not particularly enjoy providing creepy businessmen with blowjobs, but drugs cost money.
Before going back to her cart, Trixie, who was wearing a tight black T-shirt emblazoned with the word “FLIRT” in bold, colorful letters, extended the tongs she was holding towards Sam’s genital area.
TRIXIE: You’re cute!
TRIXIE EXITS STAGE LEFT
ERIN – YELLING: Bring me a cigarette when you come back!
As Erin started stirring some chili, Sam the Bike Messenger gave her a gift wrapped package. This made her smile. She jokingly put it to her ear for a moment.
ERIN: It’s not ticking.
SAM THE BIKE MESSENGER – SMILING: Can you speed things up? I do have other deliveries to make.
He had finally thought of something clever and witty to say. He then looked at his watch to maximize the comedic effect.
Erin laughed briefly before finally opening the gift wrapped package. It was a watercolor painting kit. She was confused.
ERIN: What do you want from me?
SAM THE BIKE MESSENGER: Something beautiful.
Erin watched Sam the Bike Messenger ride off, stage right, into the painted sunset like a mysterious gunslinger in a spaghetti western, except he was on a fancy blue mountain bike with big tires instead of a horse. Trixie came in right on cue to deliver her lines.
TRIXIE: Shit, I forgot to bring you a cigarette. (SLIGHT PAUSE) I’ll be by at seven to pick you up.
Erin explained to Trixie that she was not going to be providing creepy businessmen with blowjobs tonight or any other night for that matter. She had fallen in love with Sam, she was going to stop doing heroin and other drugs, and she was going to paint a picture of a sunflower for him. After that, she was going to become a graffiti artist. Her tag would be a playfully aggressive “E,” and her gritty, urban, jazz-inspired style would catch the eye of an influential art critic. The art critic would eventually track her down and write stories about her. He would then help her get her own shows where she could display her gigantic oil and acrylic paintings on canvas in trendy art galleries. Her paintings would eventually be purchased for large sums of money by pretentious art dealers and collectors, and she would never have to work at a hot dog stand cart again.
All of this made the redheaded Trixie extremely angry, so she went to her cart and got a gun. She sprinted back to Erin’s cart with her prop in her right hand and pointed it directly at Erin. As soon as Erin saw the gun, she screamed and started running in circles around the stage with Trixie in hot pursuit.
*CUE MADCAP CHASE MUSIC AND INNOCENT BYSTANDERS*
Trixie fired a couple of quick shots but missed. Even though the stage was filled with people, hardly anyone noticed what was happening. Erin was trying so hard to get away that she almost ran over a little girl who was holding a balloon in one hand and her soccer mom’s hand with the other. That slight delay enabled Trixie to catch up to Erin, and when she did, she started squeezing the trigger over and over. This time she did not miss. Erin screamed several times. The back of her white Old Navy tank top was soaked by the high-powered water gun.
ERIN – LAUGHING: I was only kidding about not going tonight!
TRIXIE: That’s right, bitch!
They both agreed that heroin was a lot more fun than painting. Trixie agreed to let Erin borrow some ketchup and mustard from her cart, and Erin was so out of breath that she decided to quit smoking for the rest of afternoon.
Chris Stucchio is a freelance writer and editor living in Buffalo, New York. His non-fiction writing has been published in the Buffalo News, Buffalo Spree Magazine, and the New York Law Journal. In addition, his one-act play I Want Candy was staged at Rust Belt Theatre in Buffalo in January 2007. He can be reached by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.