Coffee Shop Scribe
Iris- 17 years old, wears jeans and a simple black long-sleeved shirt
Miles- 18 years old, works at the coffee shop, wears jeans and polo shirt under an apron with a nametag.
Two women- customers at the coffee shop, about 20 years old, one has a large engagement ring
Business man- middle aged, in a white dress shirt and tie, and black pants, working on a laptop
The setting is outside the front of a coffee shop. Spread across the stage are patio-style tables and chairs. IRIS is sitting alone at a table, just right of the coffee shop door, facing left, writing in a notebook. There is a take-out cup of coffee sitting on the table in front of her. TWO WOMEN are sitting to the left the door, pantomiming talking animatedly as one shows off a new engagement ring. BUSINESS MAN is sitting to IRISs back, working on his laptop.
IRIS writes for a few seconds, humming to herself. She goes to take a drink of her coffee but she cranes her neck backward and it is apparent that her cup is empty. Sighing, she sets it down and continues writing. MILES walks out from the coffee shop and picks up her cup.
MILES: You want another one of these?
IRIS: (Looking up) Oh, yes please.
MILES: (Smiling as if he knows a secret) Same thing as before?
IRIS: (Smiling) Yes, that would be great, thanks.
MILES walks back inside and IRIS goes back to writing. She begins to read aloud what shes writing, glancing periodically up at the two women talking.
IRIS: (Slowly as she writes) She came to the coffee shop today to tell her friend the big news. Cindy, Tommy proposed last night! she exclaimed. She held out her left hand to show off her new three-stone engagement ring. Erin was simply glowing with-
IRIS cuts off short as MILES walks back outside and sets the coffee cup back on her table.
MILES: Here you go.
IRIS: (Smiling) Thanks.
IRIS goes back to writing for a bit until she realizes that MILES is still standing there, watching her. She looks up.
She reaches into her pocket, pulling out a dollar and holding it out to him.
MILES: (Waving away the dollar) Oh, no, I
(She puts the dollar back in her pocket.)
MILES: Can I
ask you a question?
IRIS: (Surprised) Sure.
MILES: (Quickly) Well, you come here every day, except for Thursday and Sunday, but I dont work on Thursday, so I dont know. Anyway, you come here almost every day at 8:35. You walk in and order a vanilla-caramel steamer with low-fat milk. And then you take it out here to this same table, every day, or if its raining, you sit inside at the table by the window. And you drink your steamer as you write in that notebook. Then after an hour and two steamers, you leave. But if its raining, you have three steamers and stay for an hour and forty-five minutes
IRIS nods and waits for him to continue.
MILES: Why do you do all that?
IRIS: (She puts down her notebook and pen, laughing.) Well, this is going to sound silly but Ive always wanted to have a place to go every day where eventually all Id have to do would be walk up to the counter and say, The usual, and get my order.
MILES: (Smiling) No, that doesnt sound silly, but what I really want to know is, what do you write? Oh, do you mind if I
(He gestures to the other chair at the table.)
IRIS: Oh, no, go ahead.
MILES: (He sits down.) Im Miles, by the way.
IRIS: Im Iris. So, why do I come here every day? Well, I want to be a writer, you know, get my work published. So I use this as practice. I come here and write short stories about the other customers.
MILES: Really? Thats neat. What are the stories like?
IRIS: (She leans forward conspiratorially and lowers her voice.) Well, those two girls over there
(MILES starts to turn to look.) No, dont look! The girl with the ring was proposed to last night. Her fiancés name is Tommy and her name is Erin. He took her to a lakeside restaurant and popped the question as a full moon shone over the water. So today, shes here to tell her best friend since the fifth grade, Cindy, about the engagement. But Cindy is secretly jealous because shes had a crush on Tommy ever since high school.
MILES: Wow, so you just
came up with that?
IRIS: (She smiles timidly, tilting her head to the side.) Well, yeah. I mean, I saw them looking at her engagement ring and I just got that idea.
MILES: (Smiling) Thats really cool. Will you tell me more?
IRIS: (She laughs a little bit.) Sure. (She takes her notebook and flips it back a page, skims the page and then looks at MILES.) So, you see that guy sitting behind me? (She nods backwards to the BUSINESS MAN. MILES nods.) His name is Jonathan; he works for an advertising company. Hes on a business trip right now, and in three days, hell be going home to Florida. He just made great money on an ad he put together, but when he gets home, hes going to find out that his son has dropped out of law school to be a tattoo artist. (She shakes her head.) Hes going to be so angry. (She looks at MILES and shrugs her shoulders, shaking her head, and both laugh.)
MILES: Thats awesome. (He leans back in his chair, relaxing.) So, youve been doing this every day?
(She toys with the cover of her notebook.) I write other things too.
MILES: Like what?
IRIS: Poetry mostly. I write poetry all the time. In fact, most of this (She holds up the notebook.)poems.
MILES: Can I read some?
IRIS: (She pulls her notebook close to her chest, embarrassed.) Oh, no, no, no. No ones allowed to read my poetry.
MILES: (Laughing) Aw, why not?
I dont know. Im just not ready to show the world yet.
MILES: (Coyly) Oh, am I the whole world?
IRIS: (A little embarrassed) I just dont want anyone but me to see it. Not yet.
MILES: (Smiling) Ok, ok, not yet. But some day? I mean, Im not scaring you away from your daily routine here, am I?
IRIS: (Laughing) No, youre not. Some day, Ill show you.
MILES: Ok, can I ask you one more question?
IRIS: Sure, of course.
MILES: Why do you write?
have you heard of Sylvia Plath?
MILES: (He thinks for a moment.) Oh, yeah I think I have.
IRIS: Well I cant really put it any better than she did: I write only because there is a voice within me that will not be still. I guess, the way I see it, I
am words. Words are me. Writing is what I do. (She laughs at herself.) Did that make any sense at all?
MILES: (Smiling) Yeah, definitely. Writing is your calling, thats awesome. So
can I have your autograph when you get famous?
IRIS: (Laughing) Sure, if you want.
MILES: Then when I see your name in the paper Ill be able to say, Hey, I used to make her coffee drinks every day! (As IRIS laughs, MILES takes hold of her coffee cup.) Speaking of which, your steamer got cold. Do you want another drink?
IRIS: (Smiling) Yeah, that would be great.
MILES: (He stands up and walks back over to the door.) The usual?
IRIS: (Beaming) The usual.
MILES walks back into the coffee shop and IRIS takes up her pen again, narrating as she writes.
IRIS: Miles didnt expect to meet the girl he saw at the coffee shop every day.
Lights dim as the curtains close and IRIS can still be heard, fading out.
IRIS: But he had always been curious about what she wrote in her notebook