baguette-20150401.jpg
 

Baguette was first performed at the Newmarket National Play Festival. It was a finalist of the competition. In the play, two men fight over some bread and a third person tries to take it away. 

Baguette

By

Sheung-King

Characters:

GREEN

PINK

AGENT

Time:

Somewhere

Setting:

A Café

Note:

Actors should approach the text in a serious manner.                   

                            PINK is sitting by himself and GREEN enters with a baguette.

GREEN

Sorry for being late! I got you some bread.

PINK

Oh wow. Thank-you.

GREEN

This bread is the best bread I’ve had in a while. You’ll love this bread.

 

PINK

         Great!

 

                            GREEN hands PINK the bread.

PINK

                            Pause.

Actually, you know what? I think I went to the same bakery, just now. It's the one around the corner, right?

GREEN

Yeah! I love that place.

PINK

Yeah – I went in just now, but I didn't get anything.

GREEN

Well, perfect! I got something for you.

 

PIMK

                            Pause.

Yeah…

GREEN 

Is… there a problem?

PINK

I mean, I appreciate the fact that you got me bread, but it's okay – you can keep it. I don't really feel like having bread right now.

GREEN

Come on, I got it for you. Can’t you just save it for later?

PINK

No, I don't think that's a good idea.

GREEN 

Why's that?

PINK

I mean, I could have gotten bread just now, but I decided not to – and now, you're making me take the bread that I didn't want.

GREEN

What?

PINK

You see – if I take the bread, it'll be making me feel like I was too cheap to get the bread myself when I was at the bakery.

GREEN

It's just bread. It cost me three seventy-five. Just take it!

PINK

                Pause.

I'm sorry.

 

                            Pause.

Maybe I'm being too sensitive. I'm a little stressed out. I had to trade in my Rover for an Audi – long story. Anyways, it's really nice of you to bring me bread, but I really don't want bread right now.

GREEN

Come on. Look at this beautiful baguette! My fiancée and I love the baguettes they make. Just smell it. Come on, give it a sniff.

PINK

Well, why don't you just save the bread for her, then?

GREEN

That wouldn't be right.

PINK

What?

GREEN

I mean... I got the bread for you. It won't be very nice if I just give her the bread just because you didn't want it.  

PINK

If she likes the baguettes at that place so much, why would she mind?

GREEN

         It's not about the bread.

PINK

         It’s not about the bread?

 

GREEN

         No, it’s not about the bread.

 

PINK

         What is it about, then?

 

GREEN

I don't like giving her things other people don't want. It makes me feel like she's somehow secondary to me.

 

PINK

         Secondary?

 

GREEN    

         Yeah, secondary. It'll make me feel like she’s somehow less important to me. You get it? And I'll feel guilty for doing that.

PINK

So, I should just take this bread against my will because you'd feel guilty if you saved it for your fiancée?

GREEN

         Well, in a sense.

 

                            Pause.

         Can you just take this bread, please?

PINK

         So, if I eat this bread, I'll be, in a sense, swallowing the guilt that you would have had?

GREEN

         Well... in a sense – 

PINK

         Shut the fuck up!

GREEN

         Hey, what's the big deal? It's just a baguette.

 

PINK

         I'm not swallowing your guilt!

 

GREEN

         It's fresh and warm. Come on – take it home with you.

PINK

         No!

GREEN 

         Then try some of it now!

 

                            Picks up the baguette and puts it next to PINK’s face.

 

PINK

         No! I'm really not feeling this bread right now. Get it out of my face!

 

GREEN

         You’re not feeling this bread?

 

PINK

         Yes, I’m not feeling this bread.

        

GREEN

         What do you mean by "not feeling this bread"?

PINK

         I don't want bread right now!

GREEN

         Why?

PINK

         I told you. If I wanted bread, I would have gotten it for myself.

 

GREEN

         Then why didn't you get it for yourself?

PINK

         I don't know.

GREEN

         You don't know?

PINK

         Yeah, I don't know.

GREEN

         Did you eat?

PINK

         I had breakfast this morning.

GREEN

         Was it filling?

PINK

         Kind of, I guess.

GREEN 

         Are you hungry now?

PINK

         No.

GREEN 

         Are you full, then?

PINK

         Not really.

GREEN

         You're neither hungry nor full?

PINK

         Yes.

 

GREEN

         Yes, what?

 

PINK

         Yes, I’m neither hungry nor full right now.

GREEN 

Are you in some kind of meditational state? Is your body somehow immune to hunger and fullness?

 

PINK

         Fuck you!

GREEN 

         If I had given you something else, would you have eaten it?

PINK

         Depends.

GREEN 

         Do you usually eat bread?

PINK

         Yes, I eat bread. I eat bread all the time! I just don't want any bread right now.

GREEN 

Why?

PINK

I told you – I DON'T KNOW!

GREEN

Did I do something that pissed you off somehow?

PINK

Yeah, a moment ago you were forcing me to smell your bread!

GREEN

That's it?

PINK

Yeah, that's it.

 

GREEN 

Don't think that you can just take your anger out on me like that! It's not my fault you have to drive an Audi now.

PINK

Hey! I was fine a moment ago, and then you came in with your stupid ass bread and –

GREEN 

I was trying to be nice. You're the one pissing me off!

PINK

How? How am I, the person who just doesn't want any bread, pissing you off?

GREEN

That's exactly how you’re pissing me off! By not wanting my bread – the bread I bought you!

 

Rips off a piece of the baguette and manages to shove some of the bread into PINK’s mouth.

 

         How’s the bread?

 

PINK

                            Spits out the bread.

         You know what?

 

GREEN

         What?

 

PINK

         You’ve changed.

 

GREEN

         I’ve changed?

 

PINK

         Yes, you’ve changed.

 

GREEN

         How have I changed?

 

PINK

         You never would have done this before.

 

GREEN

         When’s before?

 

PINK

         Before this happened.

 

GREEN

         Of course I wouldn’t have done this before this happened. It’s still happening!

PINK

         I know what you’re doing.

 

GREEN              

         What am I doing?

 

PINK

         I think you don’t love your fiancé.

 

GREEN

         What makes you say that?

 

PINK

         That’s why you want me to take the bread.

 

GREEN

         Stop making shit up—

PINK

 

Grabs the baguette and tries to shove the entire baguette into GREEN's mouth.

 

GREEN

         Wait, stop!

 

PINK

          What?

 

GREEN

         I see what you mean.

 

PINK

         What do I mean?

 

GREEN

         Haven’t we done this before?

 

PINK

         Done what?

 

GREEN

         This whole bread thing.

 

PINK

         We have?

 

GREEN

         We have.

 

PINK

         When?

 

GREEN

         Before this happened.

 

PINK

         What are you talking about?

 

GREEN

         I’m starting to see a pattern.

 

PINK

         What pattern?

 

                            Ready to shove the baguette in GREEN’s mouth.

 

GREEN

         What were you going to do with that?

 

PINK

         Shove it in your mouth.

 

GREEN

         Why?

 

PINK

         I want you to eat your own guilt.

 

GREEN

         The guilt that I would have had?

 

PINK

         Yes, the guilt that you would have had.

 

                            Tries to shove the bread in GREEN’s mouth, again.

 

GREEN

         Wait, wait! If I eat my own guilt, I won’t have it anymore, right?

 

PINK

         No, you’d still have it. It’d be inside you.

 

                            Tries to shove the bread in GREEN’s mouth once more.

 

GREEN

         Wait, wait!

 

PINK

         What?

 

GREEN

         Why do you think I feel like this has happened before?

 

PINK

         I don’t think that.

 

GREEN

         No! Why do you think I think that?

 

PINK

         You know what I think?

 

GREEN

         What?

 

PINK

         I think you should be feeling guilty.

 

GREEN

         Guilty for what?

 

PINK

         For being late.

                            Puts down the baguette.

 

GREEN

         Why?

 

PINK

         Do you feel guilty for being late?

 

GREEN

         No.

 

PINK

         Why?

 

GREEN

         ’Cause, I was getting you bread.

 

PINK

         That’s not a reason to be late.

 

GREEN

         Yes, it is.

 

PINK

         You should have come earlier if you wanted to get me bread.

 

GREEN

         Why?

 

PINK

         How did you get here?

 

GREEN

         I walked.

 

PINK

         You should have taken a cab.

 

GREEN

         Why should I have taken a cab?

 

PINK

         To save time.

 

GREEN

         To save time?

 

PINK

         Yes, to save time.

 

GREEN

         What did you say?

 

PINK

         To save time.

 

GREEN

                            Pause.

         Save

 

                            Pause.

          time.

 

PINK

         Yes, save time.

 

GREEN

         Where does that time go?

 

PINK

         What?

 

GREEN

         If I had taken a cab, and saved time, where would that time go?

 

PINK

         It’d go towards buying bread.

 

GREEN

         Where do I save it?

 

PINK

                            Pause.

         In the cab.

 

GREEN

         The time I saved would be in the cab?     

PINK

                            Pause.

         Or nowhere. I don’t know, maybe it remains wherever it was before.

 

GREEN

         If it just remains wherever it was before, then why would I bother saving it?

 

PINK

         So I wouldn’t be waiting!

 

GREEN

         So by not saving my time just now, did I somehow take away your time?

 

                            Silence.      

 

PINK

                            Sighs.

 

GREEN

         What happens to it?

 

PINK

                            (Tired)

         What happens to what?

 

GREEN

         The time I save, what happens to it?

 

PINK

         I don’t know! I don’t know! I don’t know!

 

GREEN

         Why are you mad?

 

PINK

         I don’t know!

 

GREEN

         ’Cause you have an Audi now?

 

PINK

         No.

 

GREEN

         ’Cause I didn’t take a cab?

 

PINK

         No.

 

GREEN

         ’Cause I got you bread?

 

PINK

         No.

 

GREEN

                            Sighs.

 

                            Silence.

                  

                            Picks up the baguette.

         Look at this –

 

PINK

         Stop talking!

 

GREEN

                            Pause.

 

                            Sighs.

 

                            Beat.

 

PINK

                            (Trying to be patient.)

         I think it adds up.

 

GREEN

         What adds up?

 

PINK

         The time you save – it doesn’t go anywhere. It adds up.     

        

GREEN

                            Jumps on PINK and tries to choke PINK.

         So what? What are we saving time for?

 

PINK

                            (Struggling to speak)

         You’ve changed.

 

GREEN

                            (Still choking PINK)

         I see a pattern!

 

PINK

                            (Struggling to speak)

         What pattern?

 

GREEN

         How have I changed?

        

                            AGENT enters and picks up the baguette.

 

AGENT

Excuse me.  I found this baguette lying near your table and was wondering if it belonged to anyone?

                                    

PINK

                            (Struggling to speak)

         It’s not mine.

 

GREEN

         It’s not mine either.

 

AGENT

         In that case, would it be alright if I take it?

 

GREEN

         Um…

 

PINK

                            (Struggling to speak)

         Why would you want to take it?

 

AGENT

This bread is still fresh and warm. I’ve run out of bread at home, so if I take this bread, it’ll save me a trip to the bakery.

 

                            GREEN stops choking PINK.

 

PINK

                            (Coughing)

         And what exactly would you be saving?

 

AGENT

         Well…time and money, I guess.

 

GREEN

         How much time and how much money?

 

AGENT

                            Pause.

         Well, maybe around ten minutes and approximately three dollars.

 

                            AGENT tries to exit.

 

PINK

         Do you think time and money are equal?

 

AGENT

         Excuse me?

 

PINK

The way you said it just now. You said “ten minutes and three dollars.” It sounded like time and money were one thing, calculated in one unit.

 

AGENT

         Well, I guess depending on what you do, time and money can be one thing.

 

PINK

         And what is it that you do?

 

AGENT

         I’m a real estate agent.

 

GREEN

         And to you, time and money are one?

 

AGENT

Well, sometimes.

                            Tries to exit, again.

 

PINK

         When?

 

AGENT

Well, to me, space and money are more aligned than time and money. The larger the apartment I sell, the more money it’s worth and, therefore, the more I earn in commission.

 

GREEN

         Sir—

 

AGENT

         Sorry, I really do need to go. Thanks for the bread.

 

PINK

         Wait!

 

AGENT

         Yes?

 

PINK

         If you don’t mind me asking – do you take cabs?

 

AGENT

         Occasionally, I take cabs.

 

GREEN

         What would the reason behind you taking a cab be?

 

AGENT

         Well, there are many reasons to take a cab.

 

PINK

         Would one of those reasons be to save time?

 

AGENT

         Yes, one of the reasons I sometimes take cabs would be to save time.

 

PINK

         What other reasons are there?

 

AGENT

         Sorry – I’m looking for someone. I really need to get going.

 

PINK

         For who?

 

AGENT

         Excuse me?

 

GREEN

         Who are you looking for?

 

AGENT

         Sorry, I really need to get going –

 

GREEN

         Can you please answer the question?

 

PINK

         Why do you take cabs, sir?

 

AGENT

         I…

 

                            Pause.

         You know what, you can have the bread back.

 

PINK

         We don’t want it back.

 

AGENT

         Well then, I’ll get going. Thanks.

 

GREEN

         Wait!

 

AGENT

         What?

 

GREEN

         Sir, just now you said that there were other reasons for taking a cab.

 

PINK

         Yes, what are they?

 

AGENT

Well, I sell luxury apartments for a living, so I wear a suit all the time –

 

GREEN

         Sir, sorry to interrupt, but what does selling space have to do with wearing suits?

 

AGENT

         Well, it requires me to look more professional, I guess.

                            Tries to exit.

 

GREEN

         To look –

                           

                            Pause.

         more professional.

 

PINK

         Sorry, please hold on for a second, sir.

 

GREEN

         What do you mean by looking more professional?

 

AGENT                     

         I wear suits to work so I look like I know what I’m doing, I guess. If you’re wearing a nicely fitted suit, you can’t look like you don’t know what you’re doing.

                        Tries to exit.

 

PINK

         Does the person you’re looking for have anything to do with space?

 

AGENT

         Space?

 

PINK

         You said you sell spaces to people, right?

 

AGENT

         Yes.

 

PINK

         So, are you looking for someone to sell space to?

 

AGENT

         No. That would be much easier.

 

GREEN

         Do you think saving time can help you find that person?

 

AGENT

                        Pause.

         I’m… not sure.

 

PINK

         Do you think wearing a suit can help you find the person?

 

AGENT

         No, I don’t think so.

 

                        Silence.

GREEN

         Then why do you want to leave so badly?

 

AGENT

         I need to find my someone; it’s really important.

 

PINK

         Who are you looking for?

 

AGENT

         Someone –

        

                        Pause.

         important.

 

                        AGENT stands still and stares into space.

 

PINK

         Sir, are you alright?

 

AGENT

         May I please just take this bread and leave?

 

GREEN

         Please answer our question first. Why do you take cabs?

 

PINK

         Why do you take cabs, sir? Why?

 

AGENT

When I take a cab, I eliminate walking. So then I won’t sweat in my suit!

 

                            Beat.

PINK

         I think we should just give this guy the bread.

 

GREEN

                            Pause.

         Yeah, I think we should give this guy the bread.

 

                                    The lights fade.