Someone Said That The World’s A Stage
Because tourists gathered on the long pier that reached out into the Atlantic, Elvin was always there when the weather was good. Today the sky was blue, the benches along the wharf crowded. As the gulls circled overhead, diving down to grab any food that hit the wood planks, Elvin began his own scavenging.
Elvin moved to New York wanting to be an actor. Like thousands of others he was on a cycle of small roles and auditioning. This gig kept him from resorting to one of those passive servant jobs, notorious for those in his chosen profession, for paying the rent. He hyperbolized his behavior as Performance Panhandling.
The vacationing audiences were ever-changing so the creation of new storylines and adjustments of character were really just for his own exhilaration. Bottom-line trick was to catch their eye in a way that deactivated their ability to make him invisible.
He was getting his next mark in sight, a couple with a child, a situation he knew how to genially guilt, when he heard a voice from behind call his name.
It was Stephen, who a week ago had arrived back from San Francisco, having spent a year in a number of small, quite successful, productions. The string of luck ran out so a return to NYC, with surprisingly little cash and no place to stay.
So wonderful to see you Stephen. I do have a couple auditions coming up but in the meantime, yep, I’m still here daily bleeding the pier.
Wait — I just got an idea. You did Matt in The Fantasticks out there, right? — where the two fathers argue as a ploy to trick their kids into falling in love.
Run with me on this — let’s work together for a minute. Look presentably tourist, and vehemently answer with No! The more abusive the better. After I get the money just walk away annoyed. I’ll meet you at the Ten Degrees tonight. I’ll split the day’s take with you. And, you can stay at my place. Glad you’re back.
Sir I need twenty dollars to pay my rent this month.
— No! Fuck off!
Any amount would help, I just need twenty.
— Get away from me you vermin!
And so on and so forth, a small crowd gathering the louder and nastier it got. After five minutes of their overacting, a man stepped up, scolded Stephen for his abusive language, handed Elvin two twenties and walked away. Stephen, head bowed, also walked away. Elvin went back for a couple more hours of improvisation.
On his way to the subway, towards Ten Degrees and home, his pockets filled to bursting with change, he stopped at the food cart vendor near the street to hopefully trade some coins for paper bills. During their exchange Elvin discovered that Jason, the vendor, was also an aspiring actor.
Here, Jason smiled, have a hot dog on me; adding, who other than the tourists in this town is not an aspiring actor trying to make ends meet.
Twenty-five of thirty-one stories — 500 words or less, written one-per-day during December 2018 — The Hunt & Peck Parables PatchWord Quilt™©.
© AleXander Hirka 2020. All Rights Reserved.