Written by Joe Janes
120 of 365
(Lights up on a pawnshop. Leonard, late 50s sits behind a counter reading a paperback novel. Something cheap, tawdry and well leafed. Jack enters. He carries an old paper shopping bag with handles. It is late at night. He stands in the doorway and takes in the place.)
LEONARDIn or out, Pal.
JACK (entering further)Sorry.
LEONARDBuying or selling?
JACKUh, selling. Selling.
LEONARDBring it over here. I don’t bite.
JACKSure. I’ve never done this before.
LEONARDYou came to the right place, then. Most guys are going to try to screw you. Me? I’ll give you a fair deal. Leonard.
JACK (holds hand out)Jack.
LEONARDI don’t touch people. Nothing personal. (Leonard puts on a pair of gloves.) Now, show me what you got.
JACK (pulls small box out of bag)I’ve got this. An engagement ring. I bought it at the mall and they said they don’t take ‘em back. Weird, hunh?
LEONARDThey don’t take it back because it’s not worth anywhere near what they sold it to you for. How much did you pay for this bauble?
(Leonard whistles in astonishment.)
LEONARDI’m going to do you a favor. I’ll give you three hundred for it.
JACKThat’s a favor?
LEONARDWhat’s the ring made out of?
JACKTitanium. I meant, titanium.
LEONARDMay as well be made out of saltine crackers. It’s worthless. The rock is what, half a karat?
JACKThree-quarters of a karat. And I have the certificate and receipt, too.
LEONARDThree hundred dollars. You shop it around and see if anyone will give you more than three for it. You find a better deal, take it. You don’t, come back. What else you got?
(Leonard hands the ring back to Jack who puts it in his shirt pocket.)
JACKA bunch of CDs.
(He hands Leonard a small stack.)
LEONARDAni DeFranco, Annie Lennox, the musical “Annie”… How much you going to give me to take these off your hands?
LEONARDI don’t need them. Nobody buys CDs anymore. Take ‘em and burn ‘em for the heat or something.
(He hands them back.)
JACKI’m not doing to well, here.
LEONARDTimes are tough. Got anything else?
(He hands Leonard a box. Leonard opens it, but the audience is unable to see inside of it. Leonard whistles, again.)
LEONARDHow old is it?
LEONARD38? Looks older. Looks like it’s been through the ringer.
JACKIt has. But, it’s still got to be worth something, right?
LEONARD (puts on one of those jeweler eye thingies)Maybe. Maybe. Is it broken?
JACKNo. It still works, I think. Just banged up a bit.
LEONARDWhy would you want to pawn this?
JACKI don’t need it anymore. I’m done with it. Maybe there’s someone out there who knows how to work one of those things.
LEONARDNobody I know. It’s hard to find replacement parts for these. Besides, and don’t you dare tell any other pawn shop owner that I told you this, I can’t afford to pay you what it’s really worth.
JACKWhat should I do?
LEONARD (closing box and handing it back)You hang on to this. I know a way to do some repair work on it. Give me that ring. I’m going to give you six hundred for it.
JACK (handing Leonard ring)Okay. You sure?
LEONARDI’ve had this shop thirty years. It ain’t gonna break me. You want cash or you want trade?
JACKI never thought about trade. You’ve got a lot of musical instruments here. What can I get for six hundred?
LEONARDYou can get that amp and electric guitar, that saxophone or the keytar.
JACKCan I get the amp and the keytar?
LEONARDToday, you can.
(Jack straps on the keytar and picks up the amp, along with his shopping bag.)
LEONARDTake care of what’s in that box. And I don’t want to see you back here.
(Jack nods and exits out the door. Leonard picks up the phone and dials.)
LEONARD (on phone)Hey, Manny… you looking for any engagement rings? Got one, titanium, ¾ karat, certified… two grand, I’ll let it go for eighteen hundred… okay. I’ll hang on to it for you.
(He hangs up and goes back to reading. He rubs his chest just lightly as if bothered by a bit of indigestion. Lights fade.)