February 14 & 15: Helena Andrade

February 14 & 15: Portrait of a Petro-family

Helena Andrade

CHARACTERS:

TG: Teenage Girl
Dad: 40ish Male

Portrait of a Petro-family

Teenage Girl: Dad, why do work for the pipeline company?

Dad: To pay for your braces.

TG: Aren’t there more ethical ways to earn that money?

Dad: Have you been reading that hippie shit?

TG: Dad, don’t be a loser. There aren’t any hippies anymore. I just want to know why you’re comfortable building pipelines.

Dad: Because it’s a fucking job. That’s why.

TG: Is it a choice between no job and the pipelines?

Dad: Hold on.

Dad starts texting.

TG: Could you put your phone away so we can have a real conversation for once!

Dad: I can do both.

TG: I want us to communicate without devices getting in the way.

Dad: Girl, you need to adapt to this century. I’m a busy man. What’s on your mind?

TG: I want to talk about ethics. Your ethics. And why you feel its okay to fuck future life on this planet.

Dad: You sound like your mother.

His phone rings.

TG: Don’t answer it!

Dad: Alright. You’ve got my full attention.

TG: Have you noticed that three of our neighbours have died of cancer in the last year and half? Do you notice anything going on around you, other than Canucks games?

Dad: Hey, that’s not fair. I fulfill my responsibilities as a father and taxpayer. If you want me to behave like Gandhi, you’re asking too much of me.

TG: I don’t think Gandhi was the only person who ever had ethics.

Dad: What does me working on the pipeline have to do with the neighbours’ cancer? Nothing.

TG: Dad, the environment is poisoning people. There’s a direct connection between petroleum and cancer. I wish you had a different job.

Dad: You mean you wish I was a different person.

TG: Maybe. I wish you gave a shit.

Dad: Oh Christ! Next your gonna say I should quit eating meat! I am who I am. You’re stuck with me.

TG: Dad, it’s time for you to evolve.

Dad: I like myself. I’m not changing. Your time’s up.

Dad starts texting.

TG: I’m going to Jen’s. Being here is like being stuck in a time warp.

Dad: Be home before dark.

TG: You are a walking cliché! Get real!

Dad: You heard me!

TG: The age of oil is over, Dad! You have no authority anymore!

Dad: No more allowance for you! You’re cut off! Fend for yourself from now on, kid!

TG’s phone buzzes. She texts.

TG: I’ll be at Jen’s. Have a good life.

They both retreat into separate spaces.

END.