The Lights Shine Bright

BUTCH and CAROLINA sit in the office of a strip club.  It’s 4:30 am.  Butch isn’t too happy with the way Carolina has been performing and working the stage.

Butch takes a bite out of a banana and tosses the rest in a trashcan.

Butch: You see, the thing about it is, I don’t like the way you’ve been shaking your ass on stage.
Carolina: What’s it to you how I shake my ass?
Butch: It’s my club! You shake your ass the way you’re supposed to.
Carolina: Has anyone complained?
Butch: I’m complaining. You’re doing too much of that shit and you look like you’re in la la land up there. I can’t have you flopping all over the stage. It makes my place look unprofessional.
Carolina: I do what I need to do.
Butch: Tone things down.
Carolina: Or what? You’re gonna fire me big shot? Fire me! See if I care what you do. Your place stinks, anyway. Complete shithole. I don’t even know why I’m working for you.
Butch: That’s enough. Just go.
Carolina: Go where? Am I fired?
Butch: You’re not fired but you’re getting there.
Carolina: So, fire me then.
Butch: I’m not firing you.
Carolina: Why? Why won’t you fire me?
Butch: Just get out of here. Go. Before I change my mind.
Carolina: You know I’m the hottest piece of ass this place has ever seen. I keep your customers coming back for more!
Butch: Carolina? (beat) Listen, I don’t want this going on anymore.
Carolina: Piss off.
Butch: Alright. That’s how you want it to be?
Carolina: You SHIT!
Butch: Can you leave? Take yourself out of the chair and go.
Carolina: You won’t have any business without me.
Butch: I’m not firing you. I just want you to leave my office, please.
Carolina: I’ll shake my ass any which way I want. It’s my ass and I can shake it this way or that way because the lights shine bright all over it and they throw money at me…Bitch.
Butch: What?
Carolina: Don’t tell me, Bitch—
Butch: Carolina, I’ll have Freddy drive you home and—
Carolina: Where’s Freddy? Get Freddy. He’s not a bitch like you. (calling) Freddy? Where’s…FREDDY?
Butch: Stay here. I’ll get him.

Butch leaves the room.

Carolina: (to herself out-loud) Stop telling me how to shake my ass. It’s my ass. I shake it this way, I shake it that way, I “shake, shake, shake…shake, shake, shake”…shake it till I make it. Ha ha ha.

Butch and Freddy Ferrara enter the office.

Butch: (to Carolina) Freddy’s gonna take you home.
Carolina: Freddy, my baby boy…muah, muah, muah…

Freddy helps Carolina stand up from her chair.

You’re gonna take me home?
Freddy: Of course.
Carolina: You know the way?
Freddy: (clears his throat) I remember.
Butch: Alright. Come on. Take her home.
Carolina: Wait! (to Butch) You’re an asshole with your rusty, rotting sign outside, your place stinks of balls and your stage has holes so it’s YOU, YOU don’t take care of your business…it’s not me shaking my—
Freddy: Come on, Carolina. Don’t worry.
Carolina: I’m right, you know.
Freddy: It’s fine. Let me get you home safe.
Carolina: Death. This is the house of death.
Butch: Freddy, get her out of here already! Grab her and take her out!
Carolina: He’s gentle. Freddy’s a gentleman. He’s not a bitch.
Butch: I swear to God I’m gonna go crazy in another second. Fred, take her arm and walk her out.

Freddy gently takes Carolina’s arm and escorts her toward the door.

Carolina: Freddy?  Ffff-Freddy, you’re so nice to me.  Why you so nice to me?
Freddy: Cause I like you, Carolina.
Carolina: You’re kind to me.
Freddy: Yeah.
Carolina: Why you so kind to me?
Freddy: Cause you’re a good person.
Carolina: Ha! Am I?
Freddy: One hundred percent.
Carolina: One hundred percent. (beat) Butch, you see? I’m one hundred percent good. I’m not bad, like you.
Butch: Okay. That’s good Carolina. See you tomorrow.
Carolina: Pfff! (to Freddy) Okay, Freddy baby boy…take me home.

Joseph Arnone

CREATE