I am… I am but the star dust that tumbles I am but the twig that snaps beneath your umbels…

Waitin’ on the Star of Bethlehem

photo by ana traina ~ 2011~

Waitin’ on the Star of Bethlehem
a one-act play by
Anastasia Traina

In honor of January 6th, the Epiphany, I thought, I would share this excerpt of my play that was produced at the Westbeth Theater Center, in New York City, in 1996. Scott Cohen originated the role of Jason and Myra Lucretia Taylor, the role of Seraphina Rose.

Nearly nightfall. A bus station somewhere upstate ~ It’s small, almost homey with only some dimming Christmas decorations surrounding it. There is a TAXI STAND to the left of the bus station. There are no lights on there, except for a small neon light flashing,“Taxi”.

Jason stumbles in, he takes a bottle of TEQUILA out of his overcoat pocket and takes a long swig. He then reaches into his pocket for something and pulls out a black yarmulke. He looks at it for a while, presses it into his hand and then his head. He quizzically looks at the yarmulke . A wind picks it up and whisks it away in what seems like slow motion. A SOUND of deep concern is faintly heard. He reaches into his pocket again this time he is looking for his mobile phone.

JASON
Shit….

He checks all his pockets.

JASON (cont’d)
Oohhh FUCK! My fucking phone! Fuck me!! Fuck it!! Fuck phones!!(He starts to laugh when something hits him in the head) Ow!

Jason whizzes around and sees a young black woman dressed in rags. She is throwing a stale loaf of bread against the bus station door.

SERAPHINA ROSE
Stay back hunger! I say stay back.

She goes to pick up what’s left of her bread.

SERAPHINA ROSE (cont’d)
You hear me hunger? Uh…Don’t come near this door anymore!

Jason starts to walk away, Seraphina throws the bread once more, it flies, hitting Jason again.

SERAPHINA ROSE (cont’d)
Excuse me.

Jason stares at the woman briefly and then takes another swig of his tequila.

SERAPHINA ROSE (cont’d)
I’s looking for to find the star of Bethlehem…..

JASON
Yeah, we’re all looking for something.

SERAPHINA ROSE
If you could just point to it. As so I can eat.

JASON
Eat?

SERAPHINA ROSE
I’m sorry, but if you could just point to the Star of Bethlehem, I’ll be goin’.

Jason looks out to the sky and randomly points up.

JASON
There. I think it’s that one.

SERAPHINA ROSE
You sure? It looks mighty pitiful to me to be the Star of Bethlehem.

JASON
Then maybe it’s that one or that one or that one! Just leave me the fuck alone!!!

Jason starts to walk away again. He searches the ground for his phone as he goes… Then with a sudden burst of violence he kicks a garbage can. He beats it to a pulp. Seraphina Rose just watches as Jason finally rounds down to the ground in hopelessness.

SERAPHINA ROSE
Mama was afraid to let him have the B.B. gun…cause she be afraid he shoot his eyes out, both o’ them….She be afraid he run away from home lookin’ for power and trouble. She be afraid he shoot hisself while cleanin’ the gun…

Seraphina Rose starts to sing a hymn as she stares up at the stars.

SERAPHINA ROSE (cont’d)
How still we see thee lie
Above thy deep and dreamless sleep
The silent stars go by
Yet in thy dark shineth…

SERAPHINA ROSE (cont’d)
Let me ask you one more time. You sure…

JASON
Yes, I’m sure.

Jason continues to peer out into the night.

SERAPHINA ROSE
Well, if you’re sure, you’re sure.

JASON
(not paying attention to her)
Yeah.

Seraphina reaches into her pocket and takes out a brown paper bag. She reaches in the bag and pulls out a turkey sandwich.

SERAPHINA ROSE
Bein’ I’s pure now, I can eat. Yup, I’m waitin’ for the bus to come and take me to see the baby Jesus.

JASON
That’s nice.

SERAPHINA ROSE
And after I have my visit with the baby Jesus I’m goin’ home to the shelter and have me a Christmas feast. Yes, a Christmas feast is what I’m goin’ to have. With mash potatoes and cranberry sauce and wild mushrooms and some mince pie and pumpkin pie and…coconut custard pie AND egg nog…Halleluhia the Savior has come.

JASON
My bones are freezing.

He takes out the tequila again. The worm is just staring straight up at him.

SERAPHINA ROSE
You look just like my Daddy. He was always fightin with the blue devils. He had heart sores. Big ol’ heart sores. No, I can never say I saw him smile.

She reaches into her pocket and pulls out a piece of cake with white frosting topped with a sprig of holly.

SERAPHINA ROSE (cont’d)
I gotta piece of Father Christmas cake. You want some? But better beware of them little red berries cause they is poisonous.

Jason gets up and pushes Seraphina aside. He runs around to the back of the station.

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2 responses

  1. I really enjoyed this, Ana! Thank you for sharing. 🙂

    January 6, 2012 at 7:28 pm

  2. So glad you enjoyed! 🙂

    January 6, 2012 at 8:41 pm

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