Something I’ve been thinking about working on this week. It’s an unfinished first draft so go easy.

Terminal Baggage.

 [Scene 1; Airport Lounge:]

P. Oh my god Josh, is that you – holy shit, it is you. My god, Josh (Josh and Peter hug)

J. It’s been so long; what, must be seven years. (Look into each other’s eyes smiling broadly – then step back but still holding each others elbows) Wow – you’re looking good. I see you’ve put on a bit of weight – (laughs) Hey, I’m married now –a year and a half. Holly’s everything I dreamed about and we’ve got a beautiful son Aaron who’s 4 months. Can you believe it?

P. You always were a player. (They stand back from each other)

J. Well, you know – there always were women around…how about you?

P. I guess I never really found the right girl.

J. What about…um…what’s her name. Jenny?

P. That’s right, what’s her name. She left when the money ran out.

J. What de’ yah mean the money ran out?

P. I got sick a couple of years ago – it’s chronic now.  I’m diabetic: type 1. The bills kept running up and I had to go on long term care. It took a while to diagnose and the job was having layoffs anyway, so I was on unemployment that ran out after six months.  It was a real rollercoaster for a while.

J. Oh no, that’s terrible.

P. Yeah, so things got more strained between us and Jenny left. She took the dog.

J. So what are you doing now?

P. Still looking for work, hard to find a job as a bureaucrat these days – no skills really (chuckles.)

J. Wow (too emphatically)

P. Yeh…wow. It’s ironic that I’m still getting a government cheque though (chuckles again. Josh doesn’t laugh)

j. So…?

P. Yeah…so.

J. So what else… how’s your mom and stuff?

P. Fine, fine. Everyone’s fine I guess. What about you?

J. Who me? Everyone’s great! Mom and Dad spend most of their time at the cottage. Dad’s got a hobby shed where he’s fixin’ up an old Chevy – He can’t stop talking about it. Holly says it’s his second lover. Mom does the usual – walks the dog, and reads n’ bakes.

P. Sarah died four years ago.

J. What?

P. Cancer. Came as a surprise and took her in three months. Never smoked, was a lot healthier than most of us, right to her brain. She lost a lot of weight by the end – didn’t look like her at all.

J. Peter, I’m so sorry. That’s terrible.

P. Yeah. I think it took Dad the hardest. Sometimes he just sits in that Lazyboy and stares out the window – I think he’s imagining Sarah getting off the bus and running up the driveway like she was ten. She was 37 when she passed but she was always his favourite, probably because she never had kids. Just like me I guess. He’d rather think she never grew up or something.

J. That’s sad.

P. Not really – if you can’t live with the present, at least you have the memories of a better past.

J. I guess so.

P. Seven years. Wow man, it’s good to see you. It’s really good to see you. What are you doing now?

J. Well that’s why I’m here actually – I’m a regional sales manager for the Southwest, took me only three years with Michigan tire and auto. Here, here’s my card.

P. Michigan tire – wow. (Sings jingle) We’re more than just tires; we’re Michigan tire and Auto.

J. That’s right.

P. (Quickly) got any Jobs?

J. Well, not really. Most of our work is technical unless we hire college kids with no skills. No, I didn’t mean that. That’s not what I meant. Hey sorry.

P. It’s O.K; I can’t see myself in red polyester anyway. (Both laugh – nervously.)

J. Listen, that’s my boarding call. Well, the first one anyway. I have to pick something up for Aaron and Holly before I get on. Give me your number. We should get together some time and really catch up.

P. Yeh, sure. Here you go (searches for pen.)

J. Here’s one of ours…

P. We’re more than just tires…

J. Yeah, that’s right. Keep it. It has my number on it.

P. Here

J. Thanks.

P. Well, I guess this is goodbye.

J. For now.

P. See you later then?

J. Sure. (Josh picks up his overnight and starts to walk away, and turns back) Hey Peter?

P. Yeah?

J. Aeron was born 12 weeks prematurely.

P. I’m sorry is he ok?

J. He is now. It was touch and go. I stayed with Holly for two weeks in the hospital sleeping there nearly every night. She lost a lot of blood at first. They almost fired me at work because I missed so much time – came really close.

P. Josh. That’s terrible.

J. Yeah. Never felt so scared and alone in my life.

P. Funny that.

J. Yeah tell me about it. It’s O.K. now. Hey, listen. What are you doing later this month?

P. Let me check my calendar (looks up at the ceiling) – nothing, why?

J. I’d like to have you over and meet Holly and the little guy; time to pick up where we left off?

P. You know we don’t have to

J. Yes we do.

P. I’d like that.

J. Let’s make it a date. Give me a call and we’ll set it up.

P. Yeah, I sure will.

J. Good to see you again.

P. Thanks.


[Scene 2; Newstand]

P. Can I check my numbers here (Peter waves his lottery ticket)

A. Yes you can. Let me get them for you sir [Armand reaches out to take the lottery tickets for scanning]

P. Give me a Times as well….

A. Sorry you have no winning ticket sir. The paper is two-fifty

P.  What do you mean two-fifty, it says one-twenty-five on the cover/

A. I am sorry sir; I do not set the prices. Don’t you know that things are more expensive in airports, especially when there is no where else to go. I am very sorry.

P. Somehow being honest doesn’t make it any better. Here, here’s your two-fifty. It’s going to cost me an arm and a leg to get a job these days.

A. Thank you sir and have a nice day

P. Sure, easy for you to say [Peter ambles off, opening up his paper as he goes.)

[A small door opens up in the back of the newsstand – it is Armand’s wife, Ileana]

I. Armand (whispering loudly.) Where is that boy Sanjay, he is supposed to be here by now. I only have half an hour left for lunch and I have to go over to Arrivals and start on the toilets.

A. Ileana you know he’s always late. Sometimes I think he does it on purpose because he knows we meet for lunch on Tuesdays and I have nowhere to run off to.

I. that’s not fair. Oh look, here he comes now.

A. Sanjay, where have you been – you know my wife and I have lunch together on Tuesdays and Thursdays – why do you come late.

S.  Sorry Armand. I’ll try and not let it happen again.

A. One of these days I’m going to report you to the boss and then you’ll see. You won’t be around to be late any more.

S.  Sorry Armand. Don’t tell Carlos – I’m really sorry.

A.  Well then, you better be more responsible in the future.

I.  Hurry up, don’t waste time with him, he doesn’t understand responsibility. (Armand takes his lunch box and together He and Ileana begin to walk towards a table) There is something I want to tell you.

A. I hope it isn’t your boss hitting on you again – the way he looks at you it makes me sick.

I. Remember how before we came here we used to lie awake at night and dream about all the things we were going to do once we were here?

A. Yes – and that was two years ago and look at us. We can barely afford the rent.

I. Armand, there’s something I have to tell you.


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