Blue Door Ronnie

Pawn Shop.  Counter. Day.

Sylvia: I can’t do it.
Ronnie: Why not?
Sylvia: I just can’t.
Ronnie: I’ve been coming here for months. You can’t let this one squeak by?
Sylvia: My boss will have my ass.
Ronnie: This is bullshit.
Sylvia: I know.
Ronnie: Where’s your boss? Let me speak to your boss?
Sylvia: I wouldn’t suggest that?
Ronnie: Can you just get your boss, please?

Sylvia eyes Ronnie and leaves the counter. A moment goes by and she comes back with a large man. So large in fact that we only see his stomach and chest, which consists of a white buttoned down shirt and red tie.

Ronnie swallows.

Hi, you’re the boss man?
Boss: Yes.
Ronnie: I’d like to get rid of this item.
Boss: No. We don’t take that.
Ronnie: But I’m a valued customer. Can’t you do me this one solid man?
Boss: No. We can’t and we won’t.
Ronnie: Come on, man, please, I really need the money. Give me less for it, I don’t care, just give me something. Anything.
Boss: Anything?
Ronnie: Anything.

A blue door opens.

Boss: Come inside and we’ll straighten you out.
Ronnie: Thank you. You guys, honestly, this is exactly what I need. Some decent people in the world.

Ronnie enters the blue door. It closes. A moment goes by…Ronnie screams wildly. He comes back through the blue door with blood trickling down from his ear.  He tries to escape the room but the door is locked.

Help! Hey! Help! Let me out! I’ll leave. Let me out. Please!

Sylvia stands at the counter.

Sylvia: I told you we don’t take that item.
Ronnie: You could have just told me!
Sylvia: I did.
Ronnie: Can I go now? Forget it. You made your point.
Sylvia: Nope.
Ronnie: What do you mean, NOPE?
Sylvia: You’re with us now.
Ronnie: WHAT?!
Sylvia: Here’s how it works. Some people come in here and they want to get rid of some items. We are always happy to oblige…in most cases. But, there are some cases in which we cannot oblige and in those cases we do our best to reflect our company policies in a diplomatic way. When that doesn’t seem to work, as in your current case, we are forced to push diplomacy to the side and rectify the situation with brute force. Such brute force tactics are techniques that have proven to be effective when encountering hostile people such as yourself.
Ronnie: Hostile? I wasn’t hostile.
Sylvia: In such situations as this, we have no alternative but to bring you into our ship and make you one of us.
Ronnie: I just want to leave. If you don’t want to buy the item it’s fine. I’ll walk away.
Sylvia: You’re missing the point, Ronnie. You can’t leave. You are now a permanent.
Ronnie: Permanent?
Sylvia: You weren’t making it in the outside world, Ronnie. By staying here, you will be given all the attributes and obedience one needs to have a decent life.
Ronnie: What kind of fucking pawn shop is this place? Let me out!
Sylvia: It’s okay, Ronnie. We have a position waiting just for you.
Ronnie: Help!  Help me!!!
Sylvia: Shhh, shhh, shhhh. Shhh, shhh, shhhh…Ronnie. It’s alright. It’s alright, dear. Shhh. Come back inside the blue door and we will fix you up. I promise. Listen to me, you can’t leave now but I promise you with all my heart that if you willingly accept our offer, you will be the happiest man alive on planet Earth. Wouldn’t you like that?
Ronnie: I have a life outside these doors.
Sylvia: Shhh, shhh, Ronnie.  It’s fine.  Come back through the blue door and we will take care of all your needs. You won’t have to worry about paying rent, taking care of your kid, looking for work, hustling, getting consumed with friends and family issues…you will have a clean slate and all your worries are gone. Poof. Just like that. Doesn’t that sound lovely?
Ronnie: There are people out there who will look for me.
Sylvia: Nobody cares, Ronnie. I mean honestly, at the end of the day, nobody really gives a shit. The world keeps spinning.
Ronnie: My ear is cut real good. Bleeding a lot.
Sylvia: Come inside. I’ll personally patch your ear back up.
Ronnie: Am I going to get hurt again?
Sylvia: Not at all.
Ronnie: Why did he cut me?
Sylvia: You gave him no choice. (beat) Come…come back inside.

Ronnie enters the blue door. It closes slowly.

Joseph Arnone

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