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Christina Cordano is an early career playwright living in Los Angeles. She utilizes comedy in her writing to explore social norms relevant to gender and sexuality. Her work has been read and produced by several theatre entities, including Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative, Players Short Theatre Festival, Broke People Play Festival, and NYU’s Gallatin Arts Festival.

Waiting for That Bitch

Christina Cordano

Characters

Sylvia- 25, intense, hipster, a realist.

Reagan- 25, thin veneer of hippy optimism.

The Place

A simple bench outside a brunch spot. Los Angeles.

The Rhythm
/ signifies an overlap in dialogue between two characters.

Lights up. SYLVIA and REAGAN are sitting on a bench, looking at their phones.

SYLVIA

I, uh.... I made it clear how big of a deal this place is, right?

REAGAN

Yeah! You sent that article.

SYLVIA

Exactly! I sent those articles. And the Instagram posts.

REAGAN

Oh right, and it looks even cuter in person.

SYLVIA

Yeah, and it just got #1 in the LA Times Best Restaurants list, which is like crazy because they never rank brunch spots that high. It’s like booked out for months now.

REAGAN

Oh damn, was it hard to get a table?

SYLVIA

Well, I couldn’t get one at first. Then, I ended up commenting on all their Instagram posts. It was just a general cry for help, asking if anyone would give up their reservation. I’d even Venmo them for it. The only reason I got a spot is because some girl’s girlfriend died. Which sucks so bad, but she DM’d me and offered her spot.

REAGAN

Whoa.

SYLVIA

Yeah, I guess I’m going to her memorial. I felt bad.

REAGAN

Whoa...I should take a look at the menu.

They both look at their phones.

REAGAN

Oh sweet, she’ll be here in five. They’ll hold our table, right?

SYLVIA

Oh, well if our party’s not here after fifteen minutes they have a waiting list ready. Look around, these people, they do not have reservations. They are absolute vultures.

REAGAN

She’ll be here before they get the chance.

SYLVIA

Why didn't she come out last night?

REAGAN

I don’t know. She probably had a show or something. She’s getting booked everywhere these days.

SYLVIA

She’s like actually successful, that’s cool I guess.

REAGAN

Yeah... What ended up happening last night anyway?

SYLVIA

We started at Jumbo’s Clown Room. "Under Pressure" came on and we got so excited we jumped on stage and sang along.

REAGAN

Whoa. Were we good?

SYLVIA

We- well- you know. I think we had a lot of heart. You stripped down to your underwear. Even worked the pole in.

REAGAN

I did?! Well, did they give me a job offer?

SYLVIA

They kicked us out. We got into Tenants last night too, they didn't even have a guest list! Oh! And we saw Harry Styles. Please say you remember.

REAGAN

Oh, right! So weird. And then his hair fell off.

SYLVIA

What?! No it did not.

REAGAN

He was wearing a wig. I read about it somewhere. Like on Twitter.

SYLVIA

No, he has a glass eye. It popped out on the dance floor and shattered. He fashioned a makeshift eye patch.

REAGAN

Oh, right! Out of a cocktail napkin and some girl’s headband. You’re right, you’re right.

SYLVIA

Exactly. Oh, also I think you have some lipstick on your cheek.

 

REAGAN quickly tries rubbing it off.

REAGAN

Oh, do I? Is it gone?

SYLVIA

Nope. It’s like a big faded kiss on your cheek. Here, let me help.

SYLVIA wipes it off, roughly. Satisfied.

SYLVIA (CONT'D)

Wait, who kissed you!

REAGAN

Someone kissed me? Huh. Maybe it was that girl who coached me on how to play pool?

SYLVIA

Oh, yeah! You know, you wouldn’t have beat me without her.

REAGAN

She did like that cool trick shot using only the gap between her teeth to hold the pool cue. She was so cute. Wow, she must’ve kissed me.

SYLVIA

No, she wasn’t wearing lipstick. She actually didn’t even have lips.

REAGAN

How do you notice every little detail?

SYLVIA

I live for the nuances. If it wasn’t her, I wonder who kissed you! Damn.

REAGAN

If someone hit on me and no one was sober enough to remember it, did it actually happen?

REAGAN quickly looks at her phone.

REAGAN (CONT'D)

She's looking for parking.

SYLVIA

Wait, she hasn’t parked yet! Parking alone can take fifteen minutes.

REAGAN

Don’t send out that negativity. You have to envision the parking spot for her. Imagine it ten feet ahead. How big it is, if she has to make an illegal U-turn for that beauty.

SYLVIA

Mm, no, not this again.

REAGAN

Positive visualization works, if only you would try it.

SYLVIA

I did try it! I kept circling block after block and I told myself the same thing: that the universe will find a way. But how do I know that? How do I know that the universe isn’t just gonna fuck me over and taunt me with all those like half-parking spots? You know, the ones that you might even attempt to parallel park because it’s so close, but then halfway in you’re like “fuck I can’t do this!” And you have to embarrassingly pull out and the cars behind you pile up into a mini traffic jam and they watch you and they judge you for having hope. It’s the difference between heaven and hell by six inches.

REAGAN

Okay. It's just a parking spot.

SYLVIA

Is it, though? One day you might just be looking for a spot in K-Town for-EVER. Also, like why do I deserve a spot more than anyone else? Everyone else is trying just as hard. I feel like for one person to have good luck with parking, someone else has to have bad luck.

REAGAN

There’s not a limited supply of luck. Anyone can have luck, it’s like hope or some shit.

SYLVIA

If there’s a limited supply of resources and an unequal distribution of those resources then there must also be like a limited supply of luck. Like that girl’s girlfriend. We’re about to have a monumental brunch because of something awful that happened to her.

REAGAN

monumental brunch? Really?

 

SYLVIA

A precious moment, like brunch, can make you forget about all of the shitty things going on in your life. Let me see if I can get us their signature mimosas. Then you’ll understand.

REAGAN

I drank like five times this week... or six?... every day this week.

SYLVIA

But did any of those drinks have a rose water mist sprayed just above the drink?

 

REAGAN

What does that even do? No, I’m good. You should still get one, though.

 

SYLVIA

Mmm, I’m not drinking alone. That’s sad.

They look at their phones.

REAGAN

I guess I could have just one.

SYLVIA

Oh my god, are you sure, thank you!

SYLVIA exits. REAGAN pulls out a White Claw and drinks it. She calls someone on her phone.

REAGAN

Hey! It’s me. I had a great time last night, but you know, just wanted to see where your head’s at. If you think, like you wanna make this a thing again. Okay, talk to you later I guess.

REAGAN hangs up. SYLVIA enters. REAGAN quickly stashes the White Claw in her jacket. 

SYLVIA

Apparently, it’s illegal to serve guests on the sidewalk.

REAGAN

Well, I guess rules are rules.

SYLVIA

Anyways, the inside is the most stunning place I’ve ever seen. Everything is like made of teak wood, subtle obtuse angels, you know what I’m describing, say it with me now: Mid-century Modern!

REAGAN

Did the food look good?

SYLVIA

You’re not getting it. Also to top it all off, the front of house is like this stunning woman. This gorgeous gatekeeper guarding the gates.

REAGAN

Oooooooh! Did you chat it up with her?

SYLVIA

Yeah, but I think I came off super straight.

REAGAN

Aw, no. How?

SYLVIA

Well. I avoided eye contact.

REAGAN

Oh, that’s not so bad.

SYLVIA

And then I told her my boyfriend and I are still waiting on a friend.

REAGAN

Am I supposed to be your boyfriend? You don’t have a boyfriend.

SYLVIA

I freaked out. I feel like she either wasn’t into me or wasn’t into women? I can never tell.

REAGAN

Isn’t this place like a queer haven? I’m sure she was into you.

 

SYLVIA

Shit, we only have five minutes left. See! See! That couple lurking.

 

SYLVIA points to someone in the audience.

SYLVIA (CONT'D)

I know they don’t have a reservation. They were here before me, just waiting.

REAGAN

Our bad luck, their good luck I suppose.

SYLVIA

Don't say that!

REAGAN

I’m just applying your theory!

SYLVIA

We need to do something.

REAGAN kneels on the ground.

SYLVIA (CONT’D)

What are you doing?

REAGAN

Dear God....

SYLVIA

You’re not religious/ Reagan-

REAGAN

Oh great mathematical algorithm. Please guide our friend safely here as quick as you can and make sure she feels extremely guilty for putting us through this hell of a morning. And watch over Sylvia. We know this means a lot to her. But why does it mean so much to her? Help us find the answers to her bizarre obsession. Thank you.

SYLVIA

While you were doing whatever the hell that was, I came up with a real plan. What if you flirted with the front of house?

REAGAN

You’re the one who thought she was cute.

SYLVIA

Well, you’re the better flirt. With girls at least. You are so smooth with girls. How does that work?

REAGAN

It’s not like it matters, I’ll probably just end up with some straight boy anyway.

SYLVIA

Or you could fall in love with that lovely hustling actress AND maybe also extend our time by ten minutes!

REAGAN

I don’t want to put myself out there. I’m trying to figure out too much about myself: I feel like I switch between queer and straight, but I can’t simultaneously be both. When I’m single, it’s the only time I feel like I can exist as both.

SYLVIA

Yeah... Being bisexual, it’s hard defining what that means to yourself. I get it. I think the best thing you could do right now is...just be gay. For us.

REAGAN

Are you kidding?

SYLVIA

You know of all people I know where you’re coming from. How about we talk about it in depth, but later... over this brunch that is definitely gonna happen.

REAGAN

Okay, whatever.

REAGAN exits. SYLVIA takes deep breaths. She stands up and struggles to do a complicated yoga pose. REAGAN enters. 

REAGAN

What are you doing?

SYLVIA

Trying to become a different person. It didn't work.

(beat)

So?

REAGAN

She can’t move our time back. Her manager keeps a close watch, I guess.

SYLVIA

Shit, that means we only have three minutes. Where is she? Can you call her?

REAGAN makes a call on her phone.

SYLVIA (CONT’D)

Did you get the server's number at least?

REAGAN

Sorta. She gave me her address. I’m supposed to write to her.

SYLVIA

But she lives in L.A..

REAGAN

Yes.

SYLVIA

And she knows you live in L.A.?

REAGAN

Yeah.

SYLVIA

Soooo. She doesn’t have a phone?

REAGAN

I think she does have a phone, but she doesn’t think meaningful connections happen through text.

SYLVIA

Oh. Weird. So are you gonna write to your new pen pal?

REAGAN

Probably not.

(into phone)

Hey, it’s me again. Hoping you’re close! We’re waiting, I think they might give up the seat.

REAGAN hangs up.

SYLVIA

What if we just say our reservation changed for two?

REAGAN

She'd be bummed if we ditched her. We can always come back another time.

SYLVIA

No, we’ll never get a reservation again. This is our chance. I’ll talk to the front of house, see if they’d even let us change it.

SYLVIA gets up. REAGAN pulls her back down.

REAGAN

You'll feel bad about this later.

SYLVIA

No, I will not. We haven’t seen her in like a month. She keeps ghosting us. It’s what she deserves. Now let me go!

SYLVIA tries to get away from REAGAN. Somehow the White Claw falls out of REAGAN's coat.

SYLVIA (CONT''D)

What is that? Is that a White Claw?

REAGAN

Oh. That’s trash from last night. I don’t know why that’s there.

REAGAN looks at the can, then SYLVIA. A pause.

SYLVIA

You're fucking her, aren't you?

REAGAN

Who? What, no.

SYLVIA

You didn’t want me to know but/

REAGAN

I already said I am very much single. I can assure you whatever weird interpretation you’re going to make about a completely insignificant moment, you’re wrong for once.

SYLVIA

You used to think alcoholic seltzers were so dumb!

(beat)

And then you started dating her and suddenly it was all you were drinking. Remember when we went to that IPA craft beer place and you asked for a White Claw? They almost kicked you out for asking such an inane

question. And then like, when she broke up with you, you gave me all those seltzers I didn’t want and you said you never liked them anyway but I knew that the real reason was because they reminded you of her and I didn’t say anything because I’m a good friend but now you’ve forced me to freaking explain myself like I’m fucking Sherlock HOLMES just to prove I’m right.

SYLVIA picks up the can. She shakes it.

REAGAN

Stop, give it back.

SYLVIA

Why? There weren’t any White Claws in your fridge last night. There’s still like a third left.

SYLVIA drinks all of it.

And fizzy? Wait, did you start drinking this at her place? Is that why you have lipstick on your cheek? That’s why you’re siding with her! Because you’re dating her again.

REAGAN

Okay, fine. We're back together.

SYLVIA

Ha!

REAGAN

But that doesn’t mean I’m siding with her. I honestly don’t see why this brunch is a big deal.

SYLVIA

Wow, just...Wow.

REAGAN

Every weekend is the same. I forgot what we did last month, last weekend. Even last night. And there’s always the next movie, or speakeasy, or a brunch that promises a fucking personality change, but it doesn’t change anything. I’m still me and I’m still not happy.

SYLVIA 

You’re not having an existential crisis. I don’t buy it. This is about her. And are you sure you’re not going back to her because it’s, well, comfortable?

REAGAN

//I’m not settling.

SYLVIA

Well you haven’t tried dating other people, since you broke up.

REAGAN

Yeah, well. Dating other people sucks!

SYLVIA

I get that, but let me remind you I’ve known her much longer and honestly I don’t understand it. She’s vapid.

REAGAN

Then why are you friends with her?

SYLVIA

No, she’s fine as a friend but as a girlfriend? You can do better. There are so many better people. And if this is about that fear like, what if you date a straight boy. That doesn’t make you straight, you’re always bi, no matter what.

REAGAN

Really? But when I was flirting with the front of house I wasn’t bi?

SYLVIA

What? Dude, I was of course kidding.

REAGAN

Why do you care anyway? Does this have something to do with you and me or?

SYLVIA

What? No, I'm just giving advice.

REAGAN

I’m just saying that even if I wasn’t with her, I wouldn’t date you, okay?

SYLVIA

Sure, okay.

Silence.

REAGAN 

Sorry.

They look at their phones.

REAGAN (CONT'D)

She's probably not coming.

SYLVIA

Yeah. So. What d’you think we should do?

A moment. Lights.