The Attendant


Scene One opens on an elevator.  An attendant in a black suit is inside and steps to the side to allow a
short, gray-haired man wearing a business suit aboard.

Gray-haired man enters the elevator and turns around to face the door.  He does not look at the
attendant, only says:  “I want to go the basement.”

Attendant:  “Certainly.”

Gray-haired man:  “Some kind of weather, huh?”

Attendant:  “Yes, Mr. Blake, and I hear it’s only going to get hotter.”

Mr. Blake continues to face forward, the attendant looks over at him, studying him with an amused look.

Mr. Blake, looking overhead:  “That was my floor.  That was the basement.”

Now the attendant faces forward while Mr. Blake’s body language becomes irritated.  He looks at the
attendant, pointing overhead. 

Mr. Blake:  (forcefully) “Why are we still moving?  Take me to the basement.  I have to be somewhere.”

Attendant:  “Yes, I know… you have an appointment.”

Mr. Blake:  (increasingly agitated voice and movements)  “What are you, psycho or something?  Let me
off.  Now!”

Attendant:  (becoming more amused, uses a condescending voice, as if talking to a child)   “Temper,
temper, Mr. Blake.  Wasn’t it your temper that landed you here?"

Mr. Blake:  “I don’t know who you think you are but I’m a powerful man, and I want off this elevator, Now!”

Attendant:  (walking around Blake, assessing him with his eyes) “You were a powerful man Mr. Blake. 
Were.  Let me ask you a question.  What were you doing right before you got on this elevator? 
Because you know that you have a meeting…but do you really know what kind of a meeting?  Before
you got on this elevator, were you getting ready for it?  (voice is raising, tone is much like a lawyer’s
when cross-examining someone)  Or were you, in fact, in your living room, Mr. Blake?  Weren’t you
experiencing some pain in your chest?  Didn’t you feel a little nauseated?  (Blake looks at him,
disoriented, as if remembering.  The attendant leans over his shoulder, lowers his voice and speaks in
his ear, almost seductively.)  Don’t you remember being drenched in sweat?  Grabbing your chest and
falling to the floor?”

Mr. Blake:  (Voice is frightened.  He takes a step back)  “Where am I going?”

Attendant:  (triumphant)  “Finally!  The questions are always my favorite part.”

Mr. Blake:  “Favorite part of what?  Why are we moving?  Where am I going?”

Attendant:  (matter of fact voice)  “You’re on your way to court.  (now gets gossipy and takes a
confidential tone)  Guess who was riding this very elevator before you?  Some people call him “The
Juice.”  I swear to you, he peed his pants like a little boy before we arrived.  (Lets out an exhilarant 
sigh)  The man who got off this elevator was a changed man, but of course, it was too late.  (Walks
around Blake again, laughs maniacally and yells)  If the glove don’t fit, you must acquit!   (impatiently) 
That man has taken up a lot of our time.  First, we had to try all the jurors, before we could even make it
to the defendant.” 

Mr. Blake:  (appears confused)  “What kind of court…what is this about?”

Attendant:  (voice and manner is overly animated, somewhat crazy)  “It’s a higher court, Mr. Blake.  You
see, someone (air quotes) important said that you weren’t guilty.  (throws his hands out and screams) 
LIE! (continues in a shouting voice, cross-examining again)  That wasn’t true, was it Mr. Blake?  You
killed your wife.  Sometimes, men kill their wives, don’t they, Mr. Blake?  Sometimes, the lower courts
let them get away with it.  (Spins around, appears to be talking to himself)  Why do they always think
they can get away with it?  (Turns around and sticks a finger in Blake’s face)  You thought you got away
with it, too.  (Becomes amused again)  This is a special court for all those who abuse the legal system. 
The wheels of justice turn slowly, even down here.  Poor Bonnie filed her case years ago.  You got to
live all those extra years because we’ve been backlogged.”

Mr. Blake:  (realization is setting in, and he becomes defensive)  “You should have seen her, how she
acted.  She wanted to take the baby.  She was a horrible person, out for all she could get.”

Attendant:  (mimicking)   “She wanted to take the baby.  She was a horrible person… (voice changes,
becomes sarcastic, gets in Blake’s face, screaming)  Of course she wanted the baby, she was its
mother!  Just remember this: She’s not the one on trial, buddy, you are!  (A red light comes on at the
top of the elevator. At once, the attendant’s manner becomes cordial and polite.)  I can see the judge is
ready for you, Mr. Blake, we’ll be slowing down, now.  That was a very short ride for you, sir.”

Mr. Blake:  (Loosens his necktie, looks at the attendant)  “It’s warm in here.”

Lights out; End of Scene


Scene Two opens with the same elevator and attendant.  A blond, middle-aged man enters with a
briefcase.

Man:  (abrupt)  “Basement.”

Attendant:  “Certainly.”

Man: (not looking at the attendant)  “Some kind of weather, huh?”

Attendant:  "Yes, Mr. Schiavo, and I hear it’s only going to get hotter.”

Lights out, End.


                                                                       By April
                                                           Copyright 2005
                                         Do not use or reproduce without permission