Deal Wit It

Setting: The inside of a studio apartment. The backdrop has a small picture window(Stage Right) near the ceiling, which is seven feet high. Stage left is a bathroom sectioned off by a shoji screen, and a large wardrobe sits in the center of the room. There is a door on each side of the studio.

(Laughter and voices can be heard off stage. Stage Right door opens, NALANI enters.)

Nalani: (Looks towards the door) A lot of folks say that, but you’ll get used to it, some of the street names are in English, (Looks at audience) right?

(STAN and AMY enter through the door.)

Stan: Just like the States, I guess.

Nalani: Where are you folks from again?

Amy: Ohio, originally.

Stan: But we were just stationed in California, so we’re used to all that gibberish by now.

Amy: The people here are a lot nicer though, real friendly. (She starts to tour the studio.) What’s the price again?

Nalani: Thirteen (Moves to the large wardrobe) and the landlord even decided to include this beautiful Murphy bed. (She opens it, but the bed does not fall out. She begins to pull on the frame, eventually banging on it, until it crashes to the floor nearly smashing her feet. A cockroach crawls away; Nalani smashes it with a smile.)

Stan: Seems kinda steep.

Nalani: Have you seen the view?

(They walk to the window, get up on their tippy-toes and look through the dirty screen.)

Amy: All I see is a big brick wall.

Nalani: Well the landlord is working on that, and believe me, it’s a beautiful view of what-could-probably-pass-for-a-beach-access entrance. Not to mention it’s close to everything: minutes to the marine base, thirty to Schofield, less than that to Waikiki.

Amy: (Touring the studio again.) I guess it could work, I mean it’s one of the cheaper places we’ve seen, and it’s just for now, right? We’ll be out in two years.

Stan: What about a washer?

(Nalani walks to the opposite side of the room, opens the door stage left.)

Amy: I don’t see anything.

Nalani: If you look just past those houses down the road, you’ll see the Washerette.

Stanley: (Shurgs) I guess it could work.

Amy: It’s kind of cozy.

Nalani: And you can use the rest of your B.A.H. for pizza, movies, a nice night out.

Stanley: We’ll fill out an application.

Nalani: Wonderful. (Hands them a form)

(Lights dim, spotlight on Amy and Stanley.)

Stanley: I just don’t get it, how’s a place like this so damn expensive? Back home, thirteen hundred could get you a three-bedroom house, utilities paid, cable, Internet, and a parking space. For the same price here, you get a closet with a bucket to shit in.

Amy: I thought we were gonna have a beach-house. White sand, blue water, maybe a mai-tai, work on my tan. The way things are looking, I’ll be paler than November come July. But maybe it’ll be okay, it’s only a drive to the beach, and it could be worse.

Amy and Stanley: Just gotta deal with it, right?

(Lights come back on, They exit. Nalani walks around the studio humming to herself.)

Nalani: (Looks at the audience) It really is a decent place; I mean the way the market is nowadays. If they wanted something cheaper, they can go ahead and move into N.H.A. territory, No Haoles Allowed, out in Wai`anae. Maybe twenty-years ago you could get something better, before the Japanese decided to pour their money into real estate and development; they wanted to put a golf course right down the road. Even folks from the mainland are eyeing land I could only imagine affording. But I’m not gonna complain, might not sell a place for a couple months but when I do, wow, what a pay day. A lot of locals complain, but what’re you gonna do, just deal with it, this is how it is nowadays and it’s only going to get worse.

(A knock at the door, Nalani walks over and opens it. JOHN and KAY enter.)

John: Sorry, we’re late, I just got off of work.

Nalani: (Smiles) Where do you work?

Kay: He works at the new hotel out in Waikiki.

John: Side-job for now, I’m trying to start my own business.

Nalani: Wonderful, my Uncle had a landscaping business while he worked at the Hyatt.

John: (Smiles politely) Marketing actually.

(Kay begins to walk around, making faces as she notices stains on the Murphy bed.)

Kay: This looks nothing like the pictures.

Nalani: Well they were actually taken before the tenant moved out.

John: Wasn’t there a bedroom?

Nalani: Maybe you’re confused. This is the 1 bedroom apartment for thirteen-hundred.

Kay: Where’s the bedroom?

(Nalani steps back, extends her arms out.)

John: Seriously?

Nalani: It’s a wonderful location.

John: I know, my parents used to live right down the road.

Nalani: In Ali`i Bluffs? It’s so beautiful there.

John: Nah, wasn’t an association then.

Nalani: (Politely smiles) Oh, when it was still leasehold.

John: My mother kept telling my father to get out of there, but he’s a real hardhead, didn’t want to move outta his family’s home.

Kay: Are you folks negotiable on the price?

Nalani: The price is firm.

John: Seriously, I could maybe see eight-hundred, but thirteen, who’s gonna pay that?

(Amy and Stan walk in and hand Nalani their application.)

John: (Nods at Stan as they walk out.) I think we’re gonna pass.

Nalani: Are you sure, the price is quite reasonable for the location? You can take an application if you like.

Kay: I think we’re okay.

Nalani: (Smiles) You folks have a good day.

(Lights dim, spotlight on Kay and John looking out at the audience.}

Kay: How’re we supposed to live in a place like this? When we moved out of my parent’s house I expected to find what they had found all those years ago, a chance to make something for ourselves, but I can’t even go to college because I have to get a second job to even afford the rent. I mean we could move somewhere else, but this is where we grew up, we don’t want to live in Town: roach traps stacked one on top of the other or ten families to one plot. Everyone keeps saying that this is how it is, deal with it, nothing’s gonna change.

John: But it does, and it will. O`ahu has changed, Maui, Kaua`i’s next, Big Island years down the road. I have relatives on Moloka`i, can’t stand when they see someone from O`ahu, not just Haoles either, locals too, because they know what’s going to happen, they know what they mean when they talk about change; it’s a billion dollar freeway tunneling through their town. Deal wit it, they tell me, but at what point does it become too much? At what point does the concrete overrun the dirt, the skyline cover up the sky, and the hotels over-occupy the oceans? Deal wit it, they tell me, one day, they’re gonna have to deal with it too.

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