Rainbow Sprinkles

Rainbow Sprinkles

                                   

CAST OF CHARACTERS:

 

Lisa, 43, Navy Pilot, Astronaut.

Bill, 43,  Co Pilot , Discovery Space Shuttle. Astronaut.

His Mother, 78, Retired.

Colleen, 30, NASA Engineer.

 

 

(Lisa is behind the wheel of a Ford Escort, speeding.)

 

LISA

Fucking truck.

Fucking goddamn truck. MOVE! If you don’t have the inertia to pass the slower trucks just stay in your goddamn lane! Jesus! If you don’t have the torque- no, the balls- to pass quickly and get the hell out of the way then just sit there in the left lane and let people in real cars with real places to go and real situations to deal with just get the fuck by you and deal with them!

 

(We hear a loud truck horn)

 

Fuck you!

 

(She looks in the rear view mirror as she passes the truck)

 

Asshole.

Okay. Mission Status. Thirteen hundred. Still another ten minutes to Orlando airport. I still got a third of a tank. Let’s see. Critical supplies:

Overcoat. Check.

Wig. Check.

BB gun. Check.

Sledge hammer. Check.

Duct tape. Check

Pepper spray. Where’s the goddamn pepper spray? Oh there it is. Check.

 

My god. I made you that pepper steak exactly how you like it. Exactly! Medium rare on the inside and charred black on the outside. Is she gonna do that for you? And the asparagus I made you. I said I was gonna grill it with some balsamic vinegar and you said you don’t like vinegar in that cute little boy voice you do sometimes and I could just imagine what a finicky eater you must have been when you were a little boy with those big brown eyes of yours and so I said “No Billy, I won’t put any vinegar on Spaceman Billy’s asparagus.” But I did when you weren’t looking and when I served you that pepper steak and those

Rainbow Sprinkles                                                             Ron Campbell         2

soarfeat@gmail.com

 

 

asparagus you loved ‘em. You wolfed them down. You said they were the best vegetables you’d ever had. And you don’t even like vegetables! Would she have done that for you? With her little pixy haircut and her stupid Jeep Cherokee that’s too big for her. You’d see a Jeep Cherokee with nobody driving it coming through the gate at Cape Canaveral. Just two bony hands on the steering wheel. Come on in, Colleen. Go to your stupid little cubicle in engineering, Colleen, while the real people, the people with guts and brains and hearts-

 

 (She almost starts to cry)

 

And purpose get into tin cans attached to one hundred and eighty-six thousand pounds of thrust and do what we were trained to do: Get launched into outer space while you, Colleen, you pathetic, scheming, anorerexic engineer midget, you sit in your little cubicle sharpening your number two pencils and planning ways to steal my man! Well you fucked with the wrong astronaut, Bitch.

 

(Lights up on another part of the stage where BILL and MOM stand separately. BILL is picking up his cell phone.)

 

                                    BILL

Hello Mom.

 

MOM

Well now, how’d you know it was me?

 

BILL

Caller ID, mom.

 

MOM

Oh right. I’ll never get used to these things. Do I have caller ID?

 

BILL

Yes mom, you do. What’s up?

 

MOM

Oh I just called. Can’t a mother call?

 

BILL

Sure you can call mom. It’s just that-

 

MOM

The big astronaut’s too busy to talk to his mother.

Rainbow Sprinkles                                                             Ron Campbell         3

soarfeat@gmail.com

 

BILL

No, its not that. Its just that Colleen’s coming from the airport in a few minutes and I wanted to straighten up the house-

 

MOM

I see.

 

BILL

What? You see what?

 

MOM

I see where your priorities are. That woman. She snaps her fingers and you drop everything.

 

BILL

I’m not dropping anything. I just thought I’d do a little marketing. Get some food in the fridge before she shows up. That’s all.

 

MOM

What’s she going to do with it? She can’t cook. I’ll never forget that thanksgiving turkey. The stuffing-

 

BILL

Mom, that was a year ago. Do we have to-

 

MOM

Inedible. Absolutely inedible.

 

BILL

Mom, not everybody can be the greatest cook in the world.

 

MOM

What about that other girlfriend you had before her? That Lisa. She could cook.

 

BILL

(wearily)

Yes mom, she could.

 

MOM

Whatever happened to her? She was so nice. Level headed. Not like that Colleen. For the life of me I don’t know what you see in her.

 

BILL

Rainbow Sprinkles                                                             Ron Campbell         4

soarfeat@gmail.com

 

 

Mom, I’m forty-three years old. There’s a lot that goes on between a man and a woman-

 

MOM

Oh hush William. I know all about what goes on between a man and a woman. Your father and I- God rest his soul- were married twenty-seven years before the Lord called him on his final mission and-

 

BILL

Mom. Tell me you didn’t call to hassle me about Colleen.

MOM

No son, I didn’t. I called to talk to you. To tell you something. Something your father, if he were here today would tell you too.

 

BILL

Tell me what, mom?

 

MOM

I know you have that launch coming up on Discovery next month.

 

BILL

Yes I do.

 

MOM

And I want you to do something for me. I want you to be careful.

 

BILL

Of course, Mom.

(By rote:) You know Mission Control has taken every precaution to minimize the risks. It’s a routine flight. We’re doing two little repairs to the vacuum seals. We’ll be back from the space station in eight days. Piece of cake.

 

MOM

I’m not talking about the mission.

 

BILL

You’re not?

 

MOM

I’m talking about after.

 

Rainbow Sprinkles                                                             Ron Campbell         5

soarfeat@gmail.com

 

 

BILL

After?

 

MOM

After you’ve been up there and looked down at this.

 

BILL

What do you mean this?

 

MOM

All of this. Everything. The cars and shops and the schools and the dandelions and the old folks homes and the ocean liners and the bugs and all the other stuff. When you’ve looked down on Earth.

 

BILL

Mom, we’ve all seen the pictures. Besides, this isn’t my first mission. Psych gave me a clean bill of health. I’ll be fine. Now I really got to-

 

MOM

Don’t get me wrong son. I’m proud of you. And I know your father, if he were alive today would be proud of you too. But this experience you’re having. This being an astronaut and all. It can make a person think they’re superior. That the rules down here on the ground don’t apply to them. That they’re no longer part of the world. They’re above the world looking down.

 

BILL

Mom, I am not “above the world”.

 

MOM

But son, you are. You always have been. You must feel it. From your colleagues. I’ve seen the way they look at you. How when you walk into a room the air changes. It’s like you’re from another planet.

 

BILL

Oh great, now I’m an alien!

 

MOM

Son. You know I love you. I’ve watched you through all your phases. I may not be able to work the damn computer but I remember things. Things about you. Things when you was a my little boy. How you liked chocolate sprinkles on white buttered bread for an afternoon snack. I ran out of chocolate sprinkles and I tried

 

Rainbow Sprinkles                                                             Ron Campbell         6

soarfeat@gmail.com

 

 

to substitute rainbow sprinkles and you said “Oh no, I don’t like them rainbow sprinkles”.

 

BILL

(Like a little boy:)

I don’t like them rainbow sprinkles!

 

MOM

And darling this is what I’m getting at. You were always separate. Removed. And you liked it that way.

I’ll never forget one summer afternoon. We were having a barbeque. Your father was the “Commander of the Grill” snapping those tongs of his- Your father’s buddies from Annapolis were there, diving in the pool.  Suddenly I realize you’re nowhere to be seen. You couldn’t have been no more than five years old. Where is he? We’re looking around. I start to get a little panicked.
And that’s when I see you. On the roof of the garage. Somehow- I’ve now idea- you’ve climbed up there. The laws of gravity never seemed to apply to you- And there you stand, gazing down on all of us. Framed in the setting sun. Standing there like a sapling in that golden light. I remember thinking: He. Is. Perfection.

 

When we asked you why you climbed up there you said you was just trying to look down on everything. You wanted to see the whole party. Well you got your wish. Just be careful William. The rules down here on Earth still apply to you.

 

 

(Lights up on LISA in her car)

 

LISA

No U turn? Whaddaya mean no U turn? How’m  I supposed to get over to the terminals without making a goddamn U turn? Fucking Florida. You drive three thousand miles stopping only for gas and beef jerky, you cross the country in a day and a half with a broken radio and only one Billy Ray Cyrus cassette to keep you company, you dodge big rigs and mobile homes and tumbleweeds and when you finally get to Florida they won’t let you make a goddamn U turn! Fuck it. I don’t need to make a U turn. I’ll just drive over the meridian. I’m a goddamn NASA astronaut, not some twittery little conniving engineer chick in her Jeep Cherokee with her French tipped nails and no breasts.

 

Let’s see… Departures… Arrivals… Ah. Short term parking.  Jeep Cherokee. Jeep Cherokee. Jeep Cherokee. There it is!. NASA license plate frame. That’s gotta be hers. I did it. I made it on time. And that goddamn navy psychologist said I suffer from delusions of grandeur. But can you really call that suffering? I

Rainbow Sprinkles                                                             Ron Campbell         7

soarfeat@gmail.com

 

mean, it’s fantastic!  Oh shit. There she is. Okay. Final approach. Look at her. Oblivious.

 

(She is putting on a bad wig and the overcoat.)

 

Time to go extra vehicular.

 

(Lights fade on LISA, We see COLLEEN in a pool of light, speaking at a press conference, perky.)

 

COLLEEN

I . . . observed her out of the corner of my eye meandering through the parking lot. I quickly cut into row 21, found my car and threw my bag in the back seat. I heard running footsteps towards me so I very quickly got into my car and locked the door.

The lady in the trench coat slapped at the window with her hands and tried to open the car door. I put my keys in the ignition. She said

 

LISA

Can you help me please. My boyfriend was supposed to pick me up and he’s not here. I’ve been traveling and it’s late. Can you give me a ride to the parking office?

 

COLLEEN

I said, “No, if you need help, I’ll send someone to help you.” She said,

 

LISA

Can’t I use your phone . . . to call him?

 

COLLEEN

 

I said, “No, I’m sorry, the battery is dead. I started the car. Then she started to cry and begged me to help her.  
I cracked my window open about 2 inches and told her I’d send someone to help her and that she should wait there. She started spraying something from a skinny black can into my window. I turned my head, closed the window, held my breath and threw the car into reverse. I peaked in front of me and noticed no one was parked in front of me so I threw the car into drive and hit the gas.

 

It smelled really bad in the car so I put down the windows as I sped toward the parking gate. Only the E-Pass lane had a green light, and I don’t have

 

an E-pass. I pulled up to a bus next to the parking gate told the driver that I was just attacked by a lady in the parking lot. I asked him how do I get out of here? He told me to back up and pull into the E-Pass lane. He said there is someone in the booth. I backed up and pulled into the E-pass lane. I told the lady at the booth that someone had attacked me.. My eyes started to burn to point that I couldn’t keep them open. They watered and my nose started running.

 

The police arrived. I wanted to call Billy- er Commander Oefelein to tell him what had happened but my cell phone was dead.
I told the police officer that a lady in a tan trench coat with black hair and blue jeans attacked me and sprayed something like pepper spray into my car. I want to press charges, and I will be a witness. Can I use your phone? I need to call my boyfriend.

 

 

(Lights come up on BILL and MOM)

 

MOM

Are you eating? You looked skinny on TV the other day. You can’t have all of your meals out of a microwave, you know. Why don’t you come over? I’ll make you a grilled cheese. That Colleen isn’t taking care of you is she?

 

BILL

Mom Colleen is taking care of me fine. In fact I’m learning a lot from her.

 

MOM

What could that skinny minny teach you; how to forget to call your mother on her birthday?

 

BILL

Mom, we’ve already gone over that. I said I was sorry. You gotta understand I was in briefings all that day. Now listen mom you gotta hear this: Colleen and I are together. I don’t know how long it will last but for right now she’s the one. She loves me. I’m learning a lot about my feelings.

 

MOM

Feelings? You’re talking about feelings now? If your father could hear you he’d-

 

BILL

Yes, mom. Feelings. With Colleen’s help I’m learning about them. How they can have weight. How they can lift you. How they can crack you open and how they can give you perspective. And believe it or not mom that is what I’m still looking for: perspective. I’m tired, mom. I’m tired of looking in the mirror every morning and wondering who the hell that is looking back at me. Who inhabits this body. The astronaut? The navy cadet? The boyfriend? The lover? I’m sorry mom, I’m tired of bouncing around from one guise to another. Just floating around in the ether. I want to land.

 

MOM

So you landed with that Colleen woman.

 

BILL

Mom I’m gonna ask you not to speak of her like that.

 

MOM

Like what? I didn’t say anything.

 

BILL

You know what I’m saying.

 

MOM

Fine. I won’t say another word.

(Pause)

Does she clean the house like that Lisa did? Spic and span?

 

BILL

Mom!

 

MOM

Allright. No need to get your feelings all in a huff. I just worry sometimes that you’re not being taken care of  and-

 

BILL

Hold on mom. I’m getting another call. It’s probably Colleen- though I don’t recognize the number. Hold on.

(He presses a button on the cell.)

Hello? Hi. I was just-  What?… Who? She what?… Oh God. Okay. I’ll be right there.

(He works the cell again.)

Mom I gotta go. Something’s happened at the airport with Colleen. I’ll call you later.

 

(Lights up on LISA, Alone in the airport detention room.)

                           LISA

So they say I’m dyslexic and I’m paranoid. So I’m convinced I’m following someone. Well fuck them with their diplomas and couches and pills. I’m a national treasure. And I deserve him. I earned him. He’s just confused. Deceived. Misled. He knows, deep down, that I’m the one for him. The only one. We connected at a very high level. A high longitude. Canada. At that cold temperature endurance training in Alberta. We were of the same breed . A rare species. We were fearless. We were astronauts. And then she came along. With her peter pan haircut and her timex watch with the plastic band. Well your time is coming Coleen. You’re gonna get up close and personal with fear. Fear like you’ve never known. By the time I have you duct taped to a chair with a sledge hammer hovering over those slutty French tipped nails you’ll wish you never even heard of U.S. Navy Commander William A. Oefelein. You’re gonna wish you never fucked with somebody who’s real. With real feelings. Someone like me Lisa Nowak. Astronaut.

 

 

END OF PLAY

 

 

 

 

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