Written by Joe Janes
150 of 365
Katrina’s father, 60s
Fogo de Chao server, 20s
(Lights up on Gabriel and his mother in a coffee shop. Katrina, wearing a yellow bonnet, screams, running by the window behind them. Gabriel sees this. His mother holds out her teacup and saucer to him.)
GABRIELDid you see-?
MOTHERTry this jasmine tea, Gabriel.
GABRIELOh, that’s okay-
MOTHERMy arm is getting tired.
GABRIELOh, okay. (He sips.) That’s nice, Mom.
MOTHERDon’t you want to order one? Go ahead and order one. It’s your birthday.
GABRIELYou just want me to find another reason to talk to the barista.
MOTHERShe’s a cutey pie. Couldn’t you just picture her covered in meringue?
GABRIELYes. I could.
MOTHERAnd I didn’t see a ring on her finger.
GABRIELI’m fine with my soy latte.
MOTHEROkay. Just thought being your birthday and all. Live it up, Gabriel. Oh, that reminds me. Speaking of living it up.
(She reaches under the table and brings out a gift box.)
GABRIELOh, you didn’t have to do that, Mom.
MOTHEROf course, I did. You’re my boy. You’re a man. A fully-grown man. Living alone. With cats. But you’ll always be my boy. Open it.
(He does and he pulls out a black beret.)
GABRIELIt’s a… beret?
MOTHERNot just any beret, Gabriel. That beret belonged to your father. He was wearing it when we met. He looked very dashing in it and you will, too. Try it on.
GABRIELOh, boy. (He reluctantly puts it on) Thanks, Mom.
MOTHER (adjusting it on his head)Oh, my. Look at you. You are going to break a lot of hearts with that beret.
TABITHAYou folks doing all right over here?
MOTHERIt’s Gabriel’s birthday.
TABITHAHappy Birthday, Gabriel. That is the most fantastic beret I have ever seen on a man. May I give you a birthday kiss?
TABITHAIf you say no, I will die.
(Tabitha gets in his lap and gives him a big ol’ kiss. It lasts for a while. Buck, the manager enters.)
BUCKTabitha! This is highly inappropriate.
(Tabitha gets up quickly and adjusts herself.)
TABITHAI’m sorry, Buck. I just couldn’t help myself.
BUCKTurn in your apron, young lady.
(Tabitha takes off her apron.)
TABITHABuck. I need this job-
GABRIELGive her another chance; it’s my fault, really-
BUCKYou, sir! How dare you come into my establishment looking so god damn handsome. (Buck starts kissing Gabriel) It should be against the law.
GABRIELIt might be a health code violation.
TABITHASave some for me, Buck.
(Tabitha tries to get some Gabriel action.)
GABRIELMom! What have you done?
MOTHERNothing, son! It’s just your father’s hat. But you do look quite fetching in it. Meow!
(She starts rubbing Gabriel’s leg. He screams and runs out. We follow him outside the coffee shop in the alley. He takes off the hat and leans against the wall, out of breath. He hears Katrina sobbing softly.)
KATRINAI’m sorry. I just came running out here from the restaurant next door.
GABRIELFogo de Chau?
KATRINAIt’s really way too much meat. I had to get away.
GABRIELWhat’s that you’re holding?
KATRINAIt’s a yellow bonnet that belonged to my grandmother. My father gave it to me. I think it’s cursed.
GABRIELPut it on.
KATRINAYou don’t understand.
GABRIELPut it on.
(She does. Gabriel checks her out.)
GABRIEL (continuing)Wow. It makes your eyes come alive. (He puts on his beret.) This belonged to my father.
KATRINAIt brings out your rugged jaw line. I want to cling to it like I was hanging off the edge of a cliff.
(They kiss. Katrina’s father, Gabriel’s mother, Tabitha, Buck, a Fogo de Chau server with a saber full of meat come into the alley.)
KATRINA’S FATHERThere they are!
(The mob rushes them. They quickly take off their headwear and the crowd suddenly stops as if quickly waking from a hypnotic state. They all wander off, leaving Katrina and Gabriel. Katrina and Gabriel kiss without the hats on. They shyly put the hats back on and kiss passionately. Lights fade.)