TAHITI

by

Bharti N.

 

Characters: Oh-Oh, the orange hibiscus, 18 years old.

Scoop: the iron orange handled hand shovel, 48 years old.

Setting: In the SF Golden Gate Park Botanical Gardens. Frogs and koi fish in a nearby fountain pond, bees buzzing around, fresh dirt, couples and families walking the pathways, children’s high pitched laughter, you hear water sprinklers rotating, smell beautiful floral scents, feel the sharp rays of sun & slight cool breeze.

Time: Thursday at 2p.m.

At rise: In SCOOP and OH-OH’S tropical section of the gardens in the front next to the poppies. SCOOP’S standing in the dirt beside OH-OH. A bee enters and flies up to OH-OH mid-air. OH-OH speaks to the bee.


OH-OH

Tell romeo that tonights the night! I’m gonna go up to the yellow hibiscus’ and tell the rest to

meet up at the fountain tonight!

(Bee buzzes away. SCOOP looks down and begins to speak to the dirt.)

 

SCOOP

(turns & faces down) Sooo Sandy, what are you going to do tonight? …. uh-huh… mhmmm…(turns to OH-OH) How about oh-oh? Where are you off to tonight?

OH-OH

No where…

SCOOP

(rolls eyes) that’s not what I heard, are you going to the hibiscus’ after I told you not too?

OH-OH

Your always telling me what to do and now its my turn to do what I want!

SCOOP

But you know you’re only gonna get angry like you always do. And you know what that leads to!

OH-OH

It’s time for me to stand up for myself.

SCOOP

Especially the yellow hibiscus’! They’re just going to instigate it all even more!

OH-OH

Ha! And you don’t even have faith in me?

 

SCOOP

You are the most absurd flower I’ve seen from our kind, you never have and never will control your anger and me and your mother both know that!

OH-OH

That’s just great… You think I can’t handle myself, you think I’m just gonna blow up and turn yellow!

SCOOP

Well what about all those times you let your anger get to you and you ended up yellow for 5 days! (throws up his grip, handle, tread and blade) Do you know how frightening that was for all of us? You had to be taken away and treated for your discoloration!

OH-OH

I’m tired of being labeled as a Hawaiian flower.

SCOOP

You were so sick!

OH-OH

I can’t help it if my anger gets the best of me.

 

 

 

SCOOP

You were withering away and your petals were drooping! You weren’t even healthy enough for to attract the bees. Do you know how time consuming that was to give you some miracle growth & scoop fresh dirt on you? All because of your anger!

 

OH-OH

You act like as if I wanted to get sick!

 

SCOOP

Why are you even going to the hibiscus’ in the first place?

 

OH-OH

I’m sick of the yellow ones trying to label me! They need to understand I’m not like them.

 

SCOOP

But who cares Oh-Oh? The only flower that should matter is me…

 

OH-OH

(cuts SCOOP off) No dad! It does matter when you see the same people everyday and they keep referring to you as something you’re not. There’s a difference between Hawaii and Tahiti. You should be proud of me for standing up for myself!

 

SCOOP

Not if that means you have to lose yourself because of it!

 

OH-OH

I am losing myself!

 

SCOOP

Keep your stem high.

 

OH-OH

I keep being called a golden poppy.

 

SCOOP

Don’t worry about what they say, just focus on yourself and don’t open your mouth.

 

OH-OH

Golden poppies have no respect!

 

SCOOP

It’s not important.

 

OH-OH

They’re rude, inconsiderate, full of drama!

 

SCOOP

What should it matter what the other flowers say?

 

OH-OH

Us Tahitian flowers are so much more reserved and classy and warm! To hear those thiefs that come in every Thursday night call me a “beautiful golden poppy” is so frightening! What are you going to do if I got mistaken as one tonight and ended up withering away because they couldn’t take proper care of me properly? Because I didn’t get the right amount of water and light? What if they out me in a spot where I get too much shade? I need the sun! Don’t you see! If I stay in the front right along next to the golden poppies then of course I’m going to get mistaken as one of them. I have been pointed out as a beautiful golden poppy by a couple who sneaks in the gardens throughout the night looking for certain flowers to pick.

 

SCOOP

What couple?

 

OH-OH

They’ve been stealing poppies for the last three weeks. They’re gonna strike again tonight.

 

SCOOP

How come nobody told me about this?

 

OH-OH

The prettiest roses are already gone because they keep picking them. They make their rounds during the week. Monday nights they pick roses. Tuesday nights gardenias. Wednesday nights they take the lilies. They steal the golden poppies on Thursday nights. Fridays they don’t come. I guess they go out. I don’t wanna get picked by those thieves and end up dying. That’s why we need to get to the hibiscus’ and have them understand I need to get in the back of their plot (section) that’s the whole main reason I’m doing this. I know I can get to them if I try.

 

SCOOP

No. I don’t want you to do this. Just stand still and be quiet and everything will be fine.

 

OH-OH

I’m planted right up front, right beside the golden poppies. I’m orange. In the dark, the couple thinks I look just like them.

 

SCOOP

Just be quiet and nobody will notice you.

 

OH-OH

If I talk to the hibiscus’ and convince them to let me get in the middle of their section then—

 

 

SCOOP

You can’t seem to explain yourself without getting angry. Stay quiet.

 

OH-OH

No, Dad. I’ve figured it out.

 

SCOOP

Do you really think you can control yourself? Your anger?

 

OH-OH

Yes.

 

SCOOP

Why?

 

OH-OH

Because I know I can do it now.

 

SCOOP

Why?

 

OH-OH

I’m not letting my anger get the best of me anymore. Every time I feel the heat creeping up my stem I’ll count to ten and remember my goal. I can handle myself! I’ve done it for 2 months!

 

SCOOP

You said that before you went to go confront Romeo the rose about him cheating with the lily and you ended up stranded on the side of the fountain withering and yellow. You told me you’d handle yourself then too but I ended up having to find you and bring you home at 4am and scoop fresh dirt & miracle growth on you every 3 hours.

 

OH-OH

Well, before it gets dark I need to practice what I’m gonna say to the hibiscus’ so I can save myself. I’m not like mom who speaks up for herself but never does anything about it.

 

SCOOP

Don’t speak that way about your mother. All she did for you, changing herself so you could have a good life.

 

OH-OH

That’s her and I’m me.

 

            (OH-OH begins to practice her speech to the hibiscus’.)

 

SCOOP

I know you’re going to get angry, so if you mess this up I’m not going to look for ya!

 

OH-OH

I’m always gonna do what I feel is right.

 

SCOOP

You say you wanna be known as the Tahitian flower you’re so proud of being but no good Tahitian flower speaks the way you do! Orange hibiscus’ are known to be good Quiet flowers. And here you are starting a commotion. I don’t know where you got this rebellious streak from.

 

OH-OH

Well its great to know you don’t think I’m a good flower dad!

 

SCOOP

Because you don’t LISTEN! You always say whatever first comes to your head! All you do is run your mouth. That mouth of yours is what got you yellow last time! And last time you turned yellow you couldn’t talk.

 

OH-OH

But dad—

 

SCOOP

No listen! You couldn’t even talk! What if that happens again and I come to try to look for you and you look just like all the other yellow hibiscus’? I won’t be able to tell you from the others. But what you don’t know is I’m afraid of losing you. If you turn yellow you most definitely going to die. I don’t want to lose my only daughter to a bunch of yellow hibiscus’ where I’ll never find you! I will spend my whole life looking for you and me and your mom will never see Tahiti again and be in search of you. We can’t lose you.

 

OH-OH

I’m doing this to save myself.

 

(SCOOP begins to cry.)

 

OH-OH

Why are you crying? Dad?

 

SCOOP

It just hurts to know that my daughter doesn’t see all I’ve done for her. You think I’m just trying to stop you from reaching out but what about your old man? I just want to take my beautiful flower and sandy wife to Tahiti so we can just relax and be together for the rest of my retirement.

 

OH-OH

(Aside) I can’t believe my dad just cried… he’s always been the hard iron spade. These are probably the first tears he’s cried in his whole life. He never cries. (To SCOOP) I love you dad. I never meant to hurt you. You’ve never listened is the problem. I just wanted to be heard. Like right now you don’t hear me. I just don’t want to be captured by those thieves. I don’t wanna lose you either!

 

SCOOP

Don’t worry about losing me. I have a plan. I’m gonna scoop you up and take you to the hibiscuses when they fall asleep. To the back of the pot.

 

OH-OH

That’s a good idea, Dad. But what about when they wake up?

 

SCOOP

Well, by the time they wake up it wouldn’t matter what they say. We’re leaving Friday afternoon. A Tahitian couple had their eye on you and they’re gonna take us back to Tahiti. What I didn’t say was that all f this was a surprise for your birthday.

 

(OH-OH hugs SCOOP.)


TO BE CONTINUED

 

Share this:


back