Happy Kind

In Happy Kind, CHARLOTTE rides her bike along the sidewalk. She passes GABE’S house who also happens to be sitting on his porch.

Charlotte stops and speaks to Gabe while remaining seated on her bike.

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Charlotte: You ain’t in a bad mood?

Gabe: Can’t make no promises.

Charlotte: Not today?

Gabe: Eh.

Charlotte: Why?

Gabe: It is what it is.

Charlotte: So this is your personality?

Gabe: Proud and true.

Charlotte: Do you ever smile?

Gabe: I smile all the time, on the inside.

Charlotte: What about the outside?

Gabe: My facial features don’t lift.

Charlotte: How don’t your facial features not reflect your inner feelings?

Gabe: I’m smiling right now.

Charlotte: No you ain’t.

Gabe: Yes.  Look close.  I’m smiling.

Charlotte: That’s the worst smile I ever did see.

Gabe: Gotta go with what you got.

Charlotte: You’re a strange man Mr. Gabe.

Gabe: You ain’t been alive long enough. You’ll come across more like me.

Charlotte: I don’t want to.

Gabe: We have no control over the people we encounter.

Charlotte: I can stay home all day, never meet anyone.

Gabe: I’m staying home and then you came along.

Charlotte: If you can’t smile, does that mean you can’t laugh?

Gabe: I think laugh.

Charlotte: What’s a think laugh?

Gabe: I’ll think about laughing, then I don’t.

Charlotte: Because you won’t?

Gabe: I can’t.

Charlotte: Right. (beat) Why do you always yell at everybody? I always see you yelling at people.

Gabe: I’m not yelling at you.

Charlotte: I haven’t been here long enough yet.

Gabe: I really don’t know.

Charlotte: Do you like yelling?

Gabe: I yell because people don’t listen.

Charlotte: You ain’t yelling now and I hear you just fine.

Gabe: That’s cause you listening.

Enter Pronto on porch.

Pronto: Mr. Gabe it is time for your—

Gabe: Coffee! Sure! I’ll be in just a second.

Pronto: But you told me to be exactly on time or else—

Gabe: Yes! Yes I know! I just need a minute.

Pronto: I’ve added a few pillows and blankets so it is easier for—

Gabe: Damn it boy, I’m–just give me a Goddamn minute and I will be right there!

Pronto: But you told me you like the coffee to be temperature perfect or else your anus blossoms.

Gabe gives awkward smile to Charlotte.

Gabe: (to Pronto) You see that woman right there?

Pronto notices Charlotte and waves.  Gabe stands up.

Pronto: Hello.

Charlotte: Howdy. You the new coffee maker?

Pronto: (Pronto nods)  (to Gabe) Coffee is getting cold Mr. Gabe.

Gabe: (under his breath) I am gonna whack you with my cane. Get your ass back inside!

Pronto waves goodbye to Charlotte and goes back into house.

Charlotte: New help?

Gabe: Oh, yeah. Well, at my age.

Charlotte: (tauntingly) You sure love your coffee don’t you Mr. Gabe?

Gabe: Coffee’s my thing.

Charlotte: Always thought it was a cologne you used.

Gabe: Oh, well, I’m quite the coffee person.

Gabe makes his way to the front door.

Charlotte: (warning) I’d think twice about yelling at my daughter again next time she passes through here.

Gabe: I’ll try.

Charlotte: Uh, Mr. Gabe. You don’t want people in town knowing how much you love your coffee.  Such obsessions could cause great concern within the community.

Gabe: I understand.

Charlotte: Do you?

Gabe: I do.  I’ll…I’ll be sure to be polite to your daughter if I should ever see her again, passing through these parts.

Charlotte: Good.  That’s good Mr. Gabe.  I’m glad we have this mutual understanding.

Gabe: Agreed upon.

Charlotte: Have an excellent day!

Gabe enters his home and slams his door.


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Joseph Arnone