[A downtown parking lot. Kitty corner to Cold Stone Creamery. Afternoon. ESTHER, sitting on a ledge, is trying to take off her Nike Free Flyknits. She pulls at one with both hands. Enter VLAD.]

ESTHER: (giving up again) It’s too snug.

VLAD: (advancing, with a mustache) I used to think the same thing, but remember they’re a minimal-style running shoe, so they fit differently than you’re used to. The first day I wore mine I had sore calves.

(He scowls, rolls his left foot to stretch his Achilles, and then turns to ESTHER.)

VLAD: So you came.

ESTHER: Why wouldn’t I?

VLAD: I’m glad you made it. I didn’t think I’d know anyone. (He leans in.) Give me a hug.

ESTHER: (patting his back) Good to see you too.

VLAD: What happened to you last night after the party at Fraser’s? Did you end up on a couch somewhere?

ESTHER: No, I went home early and marked assignments for my Fluid Mechanics class.

VLAD: Impressive! Did your housemates make fun of you for doing work so late on a Friday?

ESTHER: No, they were all out at an improv show.

VLAD: Like usual.

ESTHER: Usual? No. Usually they’re at Model Parliament. This comedy obsession has just begun.

VLAD: (points at ESTHER’s legs) What’s with the leg warmers?

ESTHER: What do you mean?

VLAD: I’ve never seen you wear them.

ESTHER: I don’t know what to tell you. They’re warm. Can you help me with this? (With VLAD’s help she succeeds in pulling off her shoe. She turns it upside down and shakes it existentially. A tiny pebble falls to the asphalt.).

VLAD: (weakly) There it is.

ESTHER: Let’s get out of here.

VLAD: We can’t.

ESTHER: Why not?

VLAD: We’re waiting. Flashmob.

ESTHER: Are we sure it was here?

VLAD: The evite said by the ice cream place. (They look in the direction of the ice cream place.) You recognize anyone?

ESTHER: I don’t know. I’m not good with faces.

VLAD: Did you attend the rehearsals?

ESTHER: No. Too busy.

VLAD: Me neither. (He sighs) It should have started by now.

ESTHER: Maybe it’s running late.

VLAD: Was it even today?

ESTHER: We’re both here, aren’t we? I’m sure I have it in my calendar. (She fumbles in her pocket for her iPhone, places her thumb on the fingerprint identity sensor to unlock it, then taps iCal.) See?

VLAD: What if the music never starts? The dancing.

ESTHER: I could text someone.

VLAD: Who?

ESTHER: I know people. Don’t I?

VLAD: (frantically) What if it was yesterday?

ESTHER: Yesterday was Friday. (Pausing) I teach yoga Fridays, so I never would have agreed to be part of it.

VLAD: (wildly) What the hell then?

ESTHER: Relax.

VLAD: Maybe we got the week wrong?

ESTHER: You’re paranoid. It’s today. (She looks around.) It has to be today.

VLAD: What do we do now?

ESTHER: We wait.

VLAD: I should stretch. My quads are tight.

ESTHER: Your whole body is broken. How come?

VLAD: Dodgeball. Two days ago.

ESTHER: You play in a league?

VLAD: Yes. Wednesdays. We go for wings after. I’m mostly in it for the wings. (Yawning) What do we do?


VLAD: Yes, but while waiting?

ESTHER: It’s about to start.

VLAD: You’re so sure? Let’s wait a bit longer, then we’ll jet.

ESTHER: What are we waiting for?

VLAD: Flashmob.

ESTHER: I must admit, I am curious to see how it will play out.

VLAD: Listen!

(They listen, intensely.)

ESTHER: I don’t hear it.

VLAD: Shhhht! (He reaches into his messenger bag on the pavement behind Esther, almost knocking her over. He opens his bag, fishes out his phone and looks with a puzzled expression at Esther.) Is your phone vibrating?

ESTHER: (Grabs her phone out of her back pocket. It vibrates for half a second then stops just before she swipes it.) Cripes!

VLAD: (angrily) Who was it?

ESTHER: (reading the screen) 778-325… I don’t recognize the number.

VLAD: Telemarketer?

ESTHER: I’m on the do-not-call list.

VLAD: Who then? (He puts his hands in his back pockets.)

[Enter PAULA and her bike, LINUS, which is laden with saddlebags strapped down with bungee cords. PAULA and LINUS slow down and stop at a bench nearby.]

VLAD: (under his breath to ESTHER) Is this it?

ESTHER: (to PAULA) Hello?

PAULA: Excuse me?

VLAD: (whispers loudly toward PAULA) Flashmob?

PAULA: (uncertainly) Paula.

ESTHER: Damn. Sorry.

PAULA: You’re doing a Flashmob?

ESTHER: Supposed to be, yeah.

PAULA: This is my lunch bench, where I eat lunch. When do you start?

VLAD: We have no idea.

PAULA: How will you know when it’s on?

ESTHER: We just will.

VLAD: We’ll know it when it happens, I think. Then we’ll join in.

PAULA: I see. Well, would you like something to eat while you wait? I have some pita chips, hummus, sparkling lemonade… (She reaches into her saddlebag.) Carrot sticks.

VLAD: I would love carrots, thanks! I’m starving. I didn’t have breakfast today.

ESTHER: (to VLAD) You’re not a breakfast person—you rarely have breakfast.

PAULA: Help yourself, I have lots.

[Enter BRAD.]

BRAD: (walks timidly toward the group) Are you guys… ?

VLAD: Yes?

BRAD: Flashmob?

ESTHER: Yes! Well? What’s taking so long?

BRAD: It’s not my fault.

VLAD: Have we met?

BRAD: I don’t know.

ESTHER: What do we do now?

BRAD: It’s going to start soon.

ESTHER: That’s all we get?

BRAD: Soon.

[BRAD steps back, turns around and walks toward a food truck across the street where he stands in a surprisingly long line to order a pulled pork sandwich.]

VLAD: Now what?

ESTHER: Should we get out of here?

VLAD: We can’t.

ESTHER: Why not?

VLAD: Flashmob. He said it was starting soon.

ESTHER: (pulling on her Flyknits) It’s not worth it.

VLAD: No, it’s totally not.

ESTHER: Should we get out of here?

VLAD: Totally.

[They do not move.]