Saturday, October 31, 2009

Week 41, Day 286 - "Hotel Room"

“Hotel Room”

Written by Joe Janes

10/31/09

286 of 365

Cast:

Lorelei, 20s

Stu, 30s

(Lights up on Lorelei sitting on the edge of the bed in a small hotel room. Two packed suitcases are near the foot of the bed. One is a man’s satchel and the other is a simple case likely belonging to her. A fancy lady’s hat sits on the tall dresser. Her shoes lie unsettled on the floor. Her dress is draped across a chair. She is in a shoulderless or spaghetti-strapped red teddy. She is holding a creased letter open and lengthwise. The phone rings. And it rings. And it rings. And it stops. Silence. Lorelei stands. Looks around the room. She isn’t sure which way she needs to go. She sits back down. There is a knock at the door.)

LOREILI

John?

STU (through the door)

It’s the day manager, ma’am.

LOREILI

Oh.

(Pause)

STU (through door)

Could you open the door, please, ma’am?

LOREILI

I’m not a ma’am. Please stop calling me that.

STU (through door)

Sorry…miss.

LOREILI

I have a name and it’s Lorelei. Lorelei Candini. I’m from Ohio.

STU (through door)

Miss Candini? Can I come in?

LOREILI

No, you may not come in. I am not decent.

STU (through door)

Mr. Stover would like his satchel.

LOREILI

What?

STU (through door)

Mr. Stover, the man who leased this room, would like me to retrieve his satchel. (Lorelei picks up the satchel) If you don’t mind, you could just pass it through the door. Won’t take a moment. And I promise to shut my eyes.

(She opens the satchel and pulls out a stethoscope and a bottle of pills.)

LOREILI

If he wants it, he can come get it himself.

STU (through door)

I don’t think he can. He’s not here in person. He sent a messenger.

(She puts the stethoscope back, but keeps the pills. She rattles the bottle and listens to it.)

LOREILI

Does the messenger have a message for me?

STU (through the door)

Just that Mr. Stover would like his satchel. And that he’s here to get it for him. (Pause) So, can I get-

(She opens the door. She stands there hold the satchel. Stu looks at her wide-eyed and surprised. She throws the satchel to him.)

LOREILI

Here.

STU

Thank you.

LOREILI

His name’s not Stover. And he’s not a mister he’s a doctor.

STU

I will take that into account.

LOREILI

Is there anything else?

STU

I can’t think of anything. No. Yes. The room. Will you be staying? You only have it until 11.

LOREILI

Where am I going to go?

STU

I don’t know.

LOREILI

I don’t know, either. I moved out of the boarding house yesterday. I quit my job at the cinema last week. Mel liked me, though. He’d hire me back, wouldn’t he?

STU

I see absolutely no reason why not.

LOREILI

I can’t go back to Ohio. I can’t. I just can’t.

STU

I know. I’m from Toledo.

(She nods. She becomes aware that Stu is staring at her body. Embarrassed, she folds her arms in front of her. Stu clamps his hand over his eyes.)

STU (continuing)

I am so sorry.

(She quickly shuts the door.)

STU (continuing, through the door)

Miss Candini, you have the room until 11. But if you want to stay, you’ll have to come down to the front desk and re-register. The room’s in Mr. Stover’s name and he checked out. And you need to pay in advance for however long you want to stay. Okay? Did you hear me?

(She looks at the pills.)

LOREILI

I heard you.

STU (through door)

Okay, then. I’m going to give this bag to the messenger. If you need anything else, call down to the front desk. My name is Stuart, but it’s all right to call me Stu.

(Pause)

LOREILI

Are you still there, Stu?

STU (through door)

Yes.

(She nods to herself. Then shakes her head. Puts the pills on the dresser. She stands there for a moment. Lights fade.)

4 comments:

Cassandra said...

Tip of the iceberg. So many questions!

Chris Othic said...

Joe, is it possible for you to maybe put a link in the comments section to the Hopper picture you are using? Just thought it would be fun to look at the painting.

I'm really looking forward to this show. It will be fun to see how the other writers are using the paintings to inspire them.

Aly said...

It would be cool to see the painting, but I can imagine it, too.

Joe Janes said...

Thanks, y'all. The pieces I have written based on Hopper paintings are all titled after the painting. Easy to find on-line.

Here's a link to "Hotel Room"

http://www.artst.org/albums/edward_hopper/hopper.hotel-room-full.jpg

What's interesting, is that I always thought she was voraciously reading a thick book. But look closer, it's not a book.