Cell Phone Symphony, I HEAR YOU

Hudson River Line, November 2013

 
A YOUNG WOMAN, EARLY 30s; HER CHILDREN, AGES 3 & 4, SIT NEXT TO HER USING I-PADS:
You have got to get the family portrait. You just do. I mean, it’s an opportunity. And you’ll be glad you have it for memories.

I don’t think I can think of anything that’s not taken care of… Really all of our needs were pretty much met… I mean, could it have been better? …Maybe, if they went around and spritzed the guests. I mean to cool us off, a light little spritz once in a while would have been nice, sure. The beach is okay, I mean it’s ehh.

 
A MAN, PUSHING FORTY, WOOL CAP:
So yeah, I guess I was fired. But not really, because I guess I wasn’t even employed by them. Surprise! Yeah, I was apparently on probation. Who knew? So I went in and they said they don’t need my services and I said Does that mean you are firing me? And they said Well technically, we can’t fire you because we never hired you… So yea…here we go again, right?

 
A WOMAN IN HER SIXTIES, ADDRESS BOOK ON LAP:
(Sigh). It’s Delores. DELORES. Yes. Yes, I am calling with sad news. Aunt Margaret has passed. I SAY SHE’S PASSED. Yes. Twelve- thirty. After lunch. She just sort of expired. Ninety-two. NINETY-TWO. Yes, she had a good long life. Viewing on Saturday, service on Sunday. Saint Augustine’s. At least she didn’t suffer… Okay, I’ll talk with you tomorrow.

 
THE YOUNG WOMAN:
Oh okay, so there are two places for breakfast. One is a buffet and the other one is sit down. Well the buffet is better with the kids, plus opens earlier, but well- it’s inside. But right across the hall is the restaurant which is outside with the view and everything which is the view on the website which is what you’re paying for really. So you might figure this out, but you might not, so I’m just going to tell you. You can get your food at the buffet and then cross the hall and eat outside in the restaurant part. No one is going to tell you that.

THE MAN:
I’m not bitter. I expressively told them that I am not bitter. Not one iota. It wasn’t for me and I knew that… it just WAS NOT for me…

DELORES:
(Sigh). Hello Al? AL? It’s Delores. DELORES. Yes. Yes, I am calling with sad news. Aunt Margaret has passed…

THE YOUNG WOMAN:
There are two concierges. Not two concierges, but two concierge desks. Which sounds redundant but it’s not. I mean the property is so large. So there’s one at the front desk, you know, the grand entrance, and another over by the wave pool- past the Kiddy Kamp entrance. So you can stop by the second concierge on your way back from the beach and make any special requests for diet accommodations for dinner that night before you pick up the kids.

DELORES:
SHE HAD A GOOD LONG LIFE, I SAID.

THE MAN:
I said to them Okay, that is not a problem. I am not earth shattered or whatever. Just wish me luck in my future endeavors, in my employment and career situations. I said Please send good vibes or whatever out to the employment universe that I can pay the bills next month. PAY THE BILLS. Yeah, I said that, but I’m not bitter so don’t worry…

DELORES:
…was down to her last dollar… SHE WAS BROKE…

THE YOUNG WOMAN:
Oh, the kids will love the Kiddy Kamp, they will love it. Well, they have to, right? I mean it’s your vacation, too.

DELORES:
Saint Augustine’s. If you want to see her, go Saturday. If you WANT TO SEE HER, GO SATURDAY.

THE YOUNG WOMAN:
My kids are complainers, so in the beginning drop off was hard, but then I’d pick them up and they’d have dreadlocks with beads- even Charlie. By the end of the week drop off was easy.

DELORES:
I will see you there. Sorry to share such sad news. She didn’t suffer… Thank God for that.

THE MAN:
Oh, yeah, I thought you sounded… distracted. Try “rote”. R-O-T-E. It’s when you memorize something like abcdefghijklmnop- you know. R-O- Oh, then “rite” R-I-T-. Okay, “rape”. I SAID RAPE. Oh. Then forget it.

DELORES:
Hello! Hello Sandy! Can you HEAR ME? She’s dead… Ha! You’re terrible… I’m terrible! Twelve thirty. Yes, I was there, of course I was there. She just sort of expired…

THE MAN:
The “E”s not right. I don’t think you should have an “E” there. GOOGLE IT!!!! That’s what Google is for, isn’t it? Oh, cheat away. Who’s looking?

THE YOUNG WOMAN:
All you can drink but my personal limit was four. I’m petite, so four. They have five very nice options, but at the Mexican place they make the cutest margaritas.

DELORES:
Saint Augustine’s.

YOUNG WOMAN:
Cutest Margaritas.

MAN:
You are addicted to crosswords.

DELORES:
I’m terrible!

YOUNG WOMAN:
I’m petite, so four.

MAN:
The bane of your existence.

DELORES:
She didn’t suffer.

MAN:
I said you are addicted to crosswords! That’s right. I said it. I’ve been waiting for the right time. No, it’s not because I’m in a bad mood, because I AM NOT IN A BAD MOOD.

DELORES:
Ninety-two…

YOUNG WOMAN:
And another thing that you might miss because it’s not well-marked: between the Kiddy Kamp and the disco there is a path –

DELORES:
I don’t know what I am going to do.

MAN:
I’m not bitter. I wish you would stop saying that.

DELORES:
Take a trip, maybe…

YOUNG WOMAN:
-a path that goes into these gardens that are just really well-maintained, manicured really, with tropical flora and fauna, and there’s this little bridge that goes over a little stream and well, the kids loved it. Robbie couldn’t care less about it, but the kids and I would go there everyday after I picked them up from Kiddy Kamp, while he passed out in our room before dinner.

MAN:
Going underground now. Going into the tunnel, so I’m going to lose signal.

YOUNG WOMAN:
Okay, I’m going to lose signal now… Call me after you’ve booked it and I’ll tell you more.

DELORES:
She just sort of expired…

MAN:
I’ll call you from the station. I don’t know what I’m going to do now that I have time on my hands. Wanna catch a movie tonight? Hello? Shit…

DELORES:
Hello? Hello? Oh.

(Quiet.)

YOUNG WOMAN:
Time to put those away. I said time to put your I-pads away, Charlie. Charlie, do not hit your sister. We’re meeting Daddy at his work place, remember? We’re going to see the Rockettes, remember? STOP IT.

CHARLIE:
Owww!

YOUNG WOMAN:
(whispers) Do… you… hear… me??

CHARLIE cries loudly.
DELORES cries quietly.

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