Hard Up

Queens. Apartment.

Darnel: We could do it this Saturday.
Bordy: So soon?
Darnel: You made it sound like NOW.
Bordy: No, no, you’re right, it’s good, it’s good.
Darnel: Yeah man, all you gotta do is aim the gun and watch the front door. I’ll grab the ATM.
Bordy: I feel like I should see the place first.
Darnel: No man, that’s the worst thing to do. You don’t want the owner getting any look at you whatsoever. We can drive by though or walk by and casually look over at the place, so you can see how it’s set up but that’s it. I can draw it out on paper too.
Bordy: Forget the drawing. I rather see the place on a look.
Darnel: Sooner we go the better cause it’s good to keep distance.
Bordy: Can we see it today?
Darnel: Yeah man, we can go today, check things out. I’ve been eyeing this place for months so your timing is perfect.
Bordy: Good.
Darnel: They are due for a pickup on Monday so the money is just sitting in there.
Bordy: How much do you think?
Darnel: We’ll hit it for at least ten grand.
Bordy: Yeah?
Darnel: Maybe more, could be thirty grand.
Bordy: No shit.
Darnel: I know at least ten so that’s worth a hit. Damn man, I never knew you’d get in on this shit with me.
Bordy: Eh, yeah…it’s money.
Darnel: I hear ya.
Bordy: This stays between us.
Darnel: Just us.
Bordy: I can’t have Henrietta finding out cause she’ll kill me so…
Darnel: Henrietta won’t know.
Bordy: And what if we get caught?
Darnel: That’s the chance we take man. I mean, we get in, we get out. We shouldn’t be longer than sixty seconds. We enter, I go first cause I’ll have the hand truck, you whip out the gun, tell the guy not to move while I roll behind the counter with the truck. The ATM is at the corner of the counter, okay?  I slam the ATM on and we out. Together we will throw the shit in the side of my van and speed off.  Sixty seconds man.
Bordy: Is the gun gonna be loaded?
Darnel: Of course it’s gonna be loaded man.
Bordy: I don’t wanna shoot nobody though.
Darnel: Well, you won’t really be threatening anybody without bullets, a gun is just a gun but with bullets it’s a killing machine.
Bordy: Yeah but I’m not planning on hurting anybody.
Darnel: Dude, chill, nobody’s hurting anybody. At best you fire a warning shot.
Bordy: Warning shot?
Darnel: Let’s say the guy makes a move for the phone or goes to push one of those security buttons or whatever, you have to fire a warning shot to stop him in his tracks.
Bordy: Fuck that.  I’m not doing that.
Darnel: Bro, you have to.
Bordy: Nah man, I’m not doing that shit. You didn’t say anything about shooting the gun man. I’ll grab the ATM and you do the gun.
Darnel: We can’t.
Bordy: Why not?
Darnel: Cause I know how to handle the ATM, you don’t.  It’s easier to handle the gun.
Bordy: What is there to handle? You just pick the fucking ATM up and slide it on the hand truck.
Darnel: The shit is mad heavy.
Bordy: What do I look like to you?
Darnel: It’s not that, it’s awkward because of the way it’s shaped. I’ve dealt with these things before so I know how to keep time for us.
Bordy: Ah, man. This whole things sounds like shit.
Darnel: Let me handle the ATM. I’ve done this before man.
Bordy: There’s camera’s and shit there too, right?
Darnel: Who cares? We’re gonna wear these masks.

Darnel puts on a clown mask and chucks the other clown mask to Bordy.

(pause.)

Bordy: I don’t know what to say to the guy? What if people are in the store shopping?
Darnel: Well, then it’s bad timing for them, right?
Bordy: Oh, man…
Darnel: Ten grand brother man. Sixty seconds work.
Bordy: It’s really five grand…each.
Darnel: Yeah, it’s fine. Five g’s for 60 seconds. (beat) You don’t have to do it. I’m doing it either way.
Bordy: How you gonna do it alone?
Darnel: I got somebody else that will take your role.
Bordy: What?
Darnel: I’m giving you first dibs since I know you’re hard up. I told my boy.
Bordy: What are you talking about?
Darnel: I been planning it but you know, it’s my idea, I told Oscar about it and everything and we were talking about taking it but he can’t do it without me—
Bordy: So somebody knows.
Darnel: Oscar knows but he won’t say shit.
Bordy: Did you tell him we were doing this?
Darnel: Nah but he ain’t stupid. When the machine is gone, he’s gonna know it was me.
Bordy: So he knows nothing about me then right?
Darnel: Oh no man, you’re good. He don’t know shit about you.
Bordy: Good, good. Just you and me, that’s it.
Darnel: We good, we good.
Bordy: What the fuck do I say…with the gun?
Darnel: Tell a motherfucker not to move.
Bordy: What if there’s other people shopping, like behind me in the store?
Darnel: Then tell all motherfuckers not to move.
Bordy: Right.
Darnel: Remember that crazy ass bitch in that Tarantino movie, the one when they rob the diner?
Bordy: Yeah.
Darnel: Yeah but, the one in the beginning of the movie.
Bordy: Honey Bunny?
Darnel: Yeah man, you gotta Honey Bunny that shit. Remember how crazy she was when she drew her gun?
Bordy: Yeah.
Darnel: That’s how you need to roll.
Bordy: That shits intense man.
Darnel: You need to be a threat.
Bordy: Right.
Darnel: Intimidate. Evoke fear. Make people scared of you.
Bordy: I think the gun alone will scare people.
Darnel: Yeah but you need to let them know you ain’t fucking around.
Bordy: Maybe you can give me some dialogue to use.
Darnel: When you pull out the gun say something like, “Don’t fucking move, I’ll blow your fucking head off!”
Bordy: That’s…(sighs)…that’s uh, I—
Darnel: Try it man. Put on your mask and say, “If anybody moves, I will blow your fucking head off!”  Try it with the mask!

Bordy puts on the clown mask.

Bordy: Why’s it so violent sounding?
Darnel: Try it, try it.
Bordy: Doesn’t feel real to me.
Darnel: What are you talking about?
Bordy: Feels fake.
Darnel: Bro, how else are you supposed to rob a place? This is the shit people say?
Bordy: Is it?
Darnel: Yeah man.
Bordy: Is that the shit you’ve said before?
Darnel: Something like that, yeah.
Bordy: What if I held the gun up and said:

All stage lighting goes off except stage left, which is illuminated as a store counter.

Bordy holds up a gun, aimed at the store owner, behind the counter.

Darnel swivels around the counter with a hand truck. He loads the ATM on top of it and swivels back around. Darnel’s actions move in accordance with Bordy’s dialogue.

Bordy: (to store owner) I don’t want to hurt you. I’m sorry to be aiming my gun at you, this is the last thing I wish to be doing in my life. I don’t have a fucking choice…I can’t get work, I’m struggling…I’m not some crack head druggie from the streets…I’m trying to make good…I have no food to eat, I can’t pay my rent…if I ever get to where I’m going I’ll pay you back…I’m so sorry…please don’t—

By now Darnel has swiveled back opposite side of counter at front door.

Darnel: Yo, let’s go!
Bordy: I’m really sorry about all this.
Darnel: Let’s go!!!
Bordy: This isn’t how I imagined my life being.

The stage lighting resumes the same set up as the apartment prior to the store counter event.

Darnel is on his knees prying open the ATM. Bordy looks on smoking a cigarette and drinking a beer.

Darnel: Yo, help me with this shit man.

Darnel and Bordy pull open the ATM together. Darnel looks inside.

Darnel: Shit!
Bordy: What? What?!
Darnel: It’s empty…

Joseph Arnone

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