Scene 1- Anticipation Of The Trip (Su)
Anticipation Of The Trip (Su)
Su is an aging, attractive, short haired blonde woman of German descent who struggles with her weight. She enjoys spending time away from her daily life at her favorite vacationing spot, Sanibel Island, renowned for its shelling beaches, white sand and tranquility. Wearily awakening and sitting on the edge of the bed this morning, she winces a bit, as the collapsed vertebrae in her back crack and pop.
“Sanibel at last! One more day in hell”, she says. She looks over her shoulder at her boyfriend John, a night owl who is snoring in his weird popping snore and smiles. Thank you for not waking me up.
She heads for the bathroom, going through her morning hygiene routine, then takes her very old and ailing dog Lucky out for his morning pee. “Come on ol’ gray face.”
Lucky limps to the front door pausing at the door stoop, slowly stepping down onto the porch, Su puts his leash on him and gives him a few gentle pets on his butt so as not to hurt him. They slowly make their way out the privacy fence gate, Lucky sways a bit trying to take a pee in the uncut grass. Su becomes frightened and wonders how much time he has left. “Come on back in old man before you hurt yourself.”
Lucky lifts his nose, and sniffs the air. The hair on his back stands up like a mane, he’s caught the scent of something and begins to growl.
“Oh no you don’t … come on before you hurt yourself again…” Su gives Lucky a little tug and Lucky tries to tug back, heading in the direction of a cat on one side of the house. Su tugs a little harder to get Lucky’s attention. Ignoring her, he sniffs the ground, looks around and back in the direction of the cat then gimps back towards the gate. Su says to Lucky, “Good boy, you got’em, he’s a good boy.”
Closing the gate and unhooking his leash Su opens the door following Lucky back into the house. She fills Lucky’s food bowl with his breakfast . Su says, “There you go buddy. Mom’s gotta get ready for work.”
Su smokes her morning cigarette while making a pot of weak coffee and prepares her lunch bag with a bag of ice, her favorite drink, soda, some bagel chips and an apple. She then drives to work where she does payroll for the county all day with a bad back that she regularly receives therapy for. Today she can’t wait to get back home to start packing for the trip.
She arrives in the parking lot of her office building and sees the night guard making his rounds near the entrance door. Knowing “security” are the only people who have the authority to unlock the building and the only people allowed to have the keys, she gathers her lunch bag, purse and cup of coffee from the car, locks and sets the alarm, then tries to quickly make her way to the elevator before the guard finishes his rounds on that floor and moves to the next floor.
When she gets to the elevator it has an “Out Of Service” sign on the door. Su says, “Crap! This is not how I wanted to start this day, it really isn’t.”
Su looks up at the guard and notices he still has a ways to go before she will miss him.
She starts trekking up the stairs, limping and groaning all the way to the third floor. Stepping onto the third floor breezeway floor Su says, “Finally!” as she bends over trying to catch her breath. The thin dark haired Hispanic guard wearing a well fitted guard uniform walks in her direction and right past her, as if ignoring her.
“Could you let me in?” Su asks. The guard looks at her in a strange manner and twirls his ring of keys that has many keys on it. “Not until 6:30.” he replies. Su looks at him with tired eyes and says “But it’s 6:20”. “I have my orders,” he says.
With a confused look on her face Su says, “You’ve seen me here every workday since you started working here, 2 years now, you know who I am.” The guard smirks and says, “Yes, I know who you are. I have my orders.” The guard turns on his heel and walks down the exterior concrete corridor.
Su refrains from saying anything and proceeds to make her way back down the stairs to her car to wait. Halfway across the parking lot, almost to the car, she hears the guard open her office door at 6:25.
Su says “Are you kidding me!?” as she shakes her head and counts to 10. Something her job psychologist taught her to do, to calm down when someone gets under her skin. The psychologist also taught her to write someone’s name on the bottom of her shoe and when they make her mad, to stomp and rub their name into the ground. Her back hurts too bad to do this now and doesn’t think she has any more room left on her shoes for another name.
Being upset people are like this, she smokes her cigarette and waits for the guard to move out of the area to avoid any possible confrontation.
Su opens her car door, puts her cigarette out in the ashtray and locks the car, setting the alarm with her keychain remote.
Su says, “Here we go again.” She limps up the three flights of stairs picks up her belongings and enters the office.
Sitting in front of her computer at her desk, she begins daydreaming of walking on the soft sugar sand of Sanibel beach with the ocean breeze flowing over her whole body and the hot sun on her skin, while doing the Sanibel Stoop. The Sanibel Stoop, as it is called, refers to the position most people are in while they spend time on Sanibel beaches. They are typically stooping over picking up seashells.
Just before lunch hour, Frank, a tall skinny blonde flamboyant homosexual payroll secretary walks over to Su’s desk smirkily. “Is that report ready yet?” Frank asks. “Which report is that Frank? I have a hundred of them…” Frank says, “I need that overtime report I queried about for Loni Clark.”
Fingering through a stack of files Su says, “Oh yeah, here ya go.” Frank places one hand on his hip, “If it were up to me this little bitch would just get straight time.” Looking up at Frank with as straight a face as she can posture Su says, “Thank goodness, it’s not up to you. Besides, it would be illegal. Just pay the woman what she earned and forget about it.” Su hands him the file with a sarcastic smile.
Looking at her with his head cocked to one side and his one hand still on his hip he slowly takes the file. With a slight lisp, Frank says, “Well then!” Quickly turning around, he slowly walks back into his office wagging his ass.
Looking up as if talking to God, Su exclaims just above a whisper, “Just one day left until Sanibel! Thank god!”. Su shakes her head.
Maria, her boss a shapely Latin woman in her mid thirties walks up to her desk. “Ready for lunch?” Su lifts her lunch bag and shrugs. Maria says, “Let’s go to that Thai restaurant, the one where all them good looking businessmen and police officers go.” Su says, “I’ve got a lot of work to do.” With a smile Maria says, “Busboys, my treat!” Looking around her desk, Su says, “Oh, since you twisted my arm, alright.” Su smiles standing up, being mindful of her back.
Over lunch, Su and Maria discuss a few issues about work that Maria needs to take care of while Su is on vacation in Sanibel. Maria notices Su staring off into space. Touching Su lightly on her arm, Maria says, “Hey girl, you there?” Su takes a breath and looks at Maria with a smile. “Yeah, I was just daydreaming about being on the beach and finding a Junonia on Sanibel, sorry.” Maria smiles and gets up from her seat, Su follows and they drive back to the office.
At 2:30 Maria tells Su to go home. Without argument and a big smile on her face, Su logs out of her networking program, waves goodbye and heads to her car. Sometime during the day they fixed the elevator and she is relieved to find she doesn’t have to climb back down all those flights of stairs for the fourth time today. She farts in the elevator because no one is with her and is relieved when no one is there when the door opens. She smiles and makes her way to her car.
On the way home she is filled with excitement and tries to get home in a hurry. Driving down the road from work just over the speed limit, there are no cars in front of her when a raccoon starts running across the asphalt from a patch of woods alongside the one way road and out in front of the car. Su swerves and slams on the breaks sliding off the road, barely missing the hunch back , gray and black striped, masked critter, scaring her half to death. Su yells, “Oh God, no! Thank God I didn’t hit you.” She takes a minute to calm down from the close call and sees the raccoon scurry off into some brush across the street. Shaking her head Su says, “Fat thing you… What are you doing out here in the day time…”
Cautiously getting back on the road, she stops at a store along the way to stockpile up on her soda for the 10 days she’ll be away and to pick up a few groceries for the cooler to make the half day trip across the state to her little piece of heaven on earth.
Pulling into her parking space at home, leaving her soda in the car and placing the rest of the groceries into her light weight cart with wheels, she pushes it up the long walkway passed the tall yellow leafed sunflowers and purple topped Thai basil plants John is growing just outside the fence and makes her way through the privacy fence gate to the front door.
Lucky greets her at the door wagging his thick heavy tail, as John gets up from the computer giving her a coming home kiss. Su smiles lovingly at both of them. With a slight smile, John says, “Hey baby, gimme that.”
Su lets go of the four wheeled cart with a sigh of relief and John pulls it into the house over the tall terracotta colored tiled door stoop, rolling it toward the dining room table, where he starts to unload the groceries onto the fawn colored , clothed dining room table.
Su takes Lucky outside for his “after work pee” and makes mention to him that he’s such a “creature of habit”. Lucky will have just gone out to pee, but when mom comes home, he expects her to take him out anyway.
She heads back inside, gives Lucky his “after pee” treats and makes her way to the bedroom to get out of her work clothes. Lucky follows her hitting the walls of the hall with his wagging tail making a thump, thump, thump sound all the way to the bedroom that echoes through the wall of kitchen into the dining room.
John puts away the groceries that need to be refrigerated, leaving the dry goods on the table in their bags, then walks down the hallway to the bedroom to greet Su again.
Copyright © 2012 by John Edward Petersen