“Banned from Club P”: A Tragedy

Scene 1

Curtains rise. Old Larry’s parking lot, an unseasonably humid evening in October. The weather matches the fervid excitement of the line outside: Youth wait excitedly afront the objectively shitty bar. Muffled music comes through the onyx fake-brick walls of the bar.

Enter Mark and his friends.

MARK: Showing slight signs of intoxication.

…ahhhh, this line is crazy.

BOUNCER: His commanding voice is heard from offstage.

We are over capacity! You guys need to back up! Back up!

MARK: Jokingly to his friends.

Maaaaan, this guy is a narc!

He revels in his own obnoxious behaviour. Louder now.

Don’t listen to him everyone! He’s a narc! Fuck this!

Enter Bouncer.

BOUNCER: Irritated. Shoots a steely eyed glare at Mark.

Hey!

MARK: Notices the attention of Bouncer. Cautiously continues his roguish behaviour, louder this time.

Naahhhh, this guy is a narc!

BOUNCER: Anger flashes, fiery in his eyes. Testosterone courses through the veins on his brow.

Alright buddy.

He steps forward, grabs Mark by the shoulders and shoves him violently several times to the door.

MARK: Jokingly, but with an undercurrent of resentment.

Agh! Are you being for real right now, are you joking…

Laughs nervously during altercation. Friends get involved, stepping between the two gladiators.

BOUNCER: Unreasonably irate – testily. Flexing.

Get the fuck out of here. Leave!

MARK

What the fuck… haha what did I even do? It was a joke buddy, c’mon.

BOUNCER

Just leave…Go. JUST GO.

Mark laughs nervously with his pals.

Exit Mark and friends.

End Scene 1

Scene 2

Curtains rise. The scene is like before, though the line has thinned considerably. Ten minutes have passed. The Bouncer is seen under fluorescent lighting, continuing to diligently check IDs.

Enter Mark and friends.

MARK: Hopeful and smug in his approach.

Hey man, it’s cool if I come in now?

BOUNCER: With a sudden look of contemptuous hostility.

No. Nope. You can’t come in.

MARK:

Why though? I literally did nothing—

BOUNCER: Obstinately.

No, fucking leave.

MARK:

Haha, this is bullshit! You have no reason—

BOUNCER: Power-tripping. Aroused slightly by his dominance in the situation.

Alright—

Steps forward quickly. Grabbing Mark’s throat, he throttles and pushes him across the parking lot. They are close enough to kiss. Friends and strangers leap into action to pull him off.

MARK: Shocked. Suddenly tense. Crotch swells.

What the hell!

Shaking, voice quivering.

You can’t just grab people like that. What authority do you have?

BOUNCER: Breathing heavily. Pleased with his show of strength.

What authority do YOU have?

MARK: Now aware of a growing audience, stands up straighter. Deepens voice.

Oh fuck off, look at this guy, the bouncer for “Club P”—

BOUNCER: Interrupting. His vanity piqued – confidently. Straight-faced.

At least I have a job!

Folds arms, visibly proud of his masculinity.

MARK: With a hearty confidence. Smiling.

Holy shit. Hahahaha. You actually just said “at least I have a job.” Are you for real?

Looks desperately for approval amongst his friends.

Let’s get out of here.

Exit Mark.

End Scene 2

Scene 3

Mark and friends exit bar. It is clear that Mark has found a way into the club undetected. His demeanor smug and pleased as he walks past his aggressor. The bouncer follows him outside.

BOUNCER: Twiddles green sharpie with a macho sensibility.

You’re on the ban list. You can’t come back.

MARK: Laughing. Sarcastic.

Oh no, what will I do…

Aside

Hmm. Don’t you cry. Goddammit, don’t you cry! Don’t let him see you cry.

Inflicts a blow against his own arm, hoping to stifle his sadness.

I don’t even think I wanted to go into that shitty bar. Was my virtue simply folly? He did violate my personal space, yes. But what difference in character do I have from this brute before me? Under different circumstances, he could have been friend, not foe. Maybe even more than friends…

Quietly.

Perhaps he is as broken as I am inside.

His head hangs, kicks at asphalt. He is aware of his aloneness. The parking lot is now empty. Walks slowly away, across parking lot. Looks back longingly at the Bouncer. Opens mouth as if to speak. The words do not come. Sighs, then continues into the darkness alone.

Exit Mark. Lights fade.

Mark Cruz