The Appearance of Things

In the drama monologue The Appearance of Things, Charles brings in a small business competitor in order to buy him out for good.

Charles:  Sit down young man, sit down, sit down…thank you for meeting me this very fine evening, I must say…I see that you are in a situation…it appears as though you are slipping at the seams.  Splitting!  I meant splitting at the seams.  (he smiles)

Well, there have been rumors but I don’t ever really chime into them because they are what they are…rumors.  However, I did happen to pass by your area and I must say that from the outside things look impeccable, absolutely impeccable.

But I know as well as you know, that is only the appearance of things…we are all illusionists, so no need to pretend…I know as well as you know what the inner workings currently are…hmm, there does seem to be a state of affairs you are in…

I can tell by the smell of it, you little shit.  (smiles)  You filthy, little, shit.  But I must confess I do like your heart.  Such bravado when you entered the room..where does this eccentric masculinity come from?

Please, don’t get offended, that isn’t my aim, that isn’t why I’ve asked you to come.


I have a different agenda and it is quite simple, I’m afraid.  I am to buy you out, this evening.  I want all of your equipment, land, workers, contracts…the whole shebang.  I will pay you handsomely but you have until now to decide.   And before you do, I wish to warn you because I care, I do–do care…this work of ours…someone must see it stand firm, all this lopsided business isn’t good for any of us…wouldn’t you agree?

Well, it will be corrected by me and my associates, you can be assured that.

Now!  If you do not take my offer, I will be most saddened because a young man such as yourself really does have a bright future but it’s the small steps along one’s way that factor out the most.  The decisions that are made, that build one’s life into legacy or nothingness…

You will be punished.  This industry is unforgiving…many men fall along the waste side in utter shambles but you, you have this magnificent opportunity because I’ve singled you out.

Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy…(singing)  What will he do?  (smiles)

(pulls out a pen)

Sign this contract…it takes less than two whole seconds…and you will be forever rewarded.

Sign it…

Joseph Arnone


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