SCENE: Metro Madrid Subway, Nuevos Ministerios Station
TIME: Post Real Madrid Game, Saturday, approximately 11:30 p.m.
OBSERVING CHARACTERS: Hamatha, Husband, Visiting Brother and Sister-in-law
- Crazy, Wide-Eyed Foreign Man
- Mysterious Ditzy Girl in Red with ornery hair bow
- Dramatic American Woman
- Drunk, Angry Russian
- Flustered, Angry Subway Driver
- Old Spanish Man, A.k.a. “The Opportunistic Complainer”
- Unseen Hooligan Group
Quiet night. Still night. Madrid metro at night. Group of four observers enter the Nuevos Ministerios metro station. Enter train wagon. Sit Down. Train moves. Gentle conversation floats throughout the train.
ENTER SCENE: Sudden, screeching laughs preceed a large dark man passing through the train rapidly. Unsteadily zipping through the train wagon, talking to himself. Crazy Foreign Man’s psychotic toothy smile is only over shadowed by wild and glistening egg-sized eyes.
As he struts through, a collective silent voice runs through each and every passenger’s mind, “Don’t make eye contact. Don’t make eye contact. ”
Crazy Foreign Man continues on his way without incident… fades out of scene.
Train stops suddenly. Calm looks are exchanged and eyes rolled. Trains stop in mid route quite often. Faint sounds can be heard from the far end of the train.
Calm looks turn into semi-concerned, quizzical glances as an acrid, chemical smell enters the train. Dramatic American Woman with heavy NY accent ( sitting next to the brother) starts to make soft, groaning sounds and covers her mouth with scarf. Brother openly mocks woman’s actions by wrapping his entire head in his new Real Madrid scarf and pretending to faint in his seat.
The smell is getting noticeable stronger, but it’s the intense echoed voices from the back of the train that begin to grab everyone’s attention.
ENTER SCENE: Squat Spanish driver slams out of his driver’s post. Short-sleeved, baby-puke-mauve-colored uniform disheveled, sweated and unbuttoned in all of the expected places. Boom, boom, boom as he lumbers to the back of the train, shaking his round head and fleshy red face from side to side.
Noise continues to rise from the back, making a rolling commotion towards our wagon. Additional noise begins to come in from the darkness in the tunnel. Someone or something is outside the train. Lingering chemical smell is getting gradually worse.
ENTER SCENE: Ditzy Girl dressed all in red comes rapidly down the train from the sound of the voices. She’s jittery and oddly dressed, like an adult child competing in a unauthorized back woods beauty contest. Sparkly eyeshadow, red shimmery lips to match her too-tight red two piece skirt combo, shiny pleather red high heels and one very fussy red bow. Holding a phone tightly, she sits in the open seat to my right.
“I don’t know. I don’t know. Someone pulled the emergency break and three boys jumped out. They crazy,” she mumbles.
Brother shouts, “Hey! They’re spray painting the train!” Everyone jumps to their feet, trying to get a glimse of the rogue artists nonchalantly working their spray magic on the outside of the train.
American woman groans loudly. Burrows her head in her own body. Brother openly mocks her once again.
Sweaty, beleaguered Driver is now screaming out the door, “You sons of bitches! The police are on their way! You fucking idiots! You sons of bitches!” COÑO!!!!!!!!!!!
ENTER SCENE: Tall drunk Russian with a bearish presence approaches Ditzy Girl in Red aggresively. She is in the process of picking her fussy bow up the floor for what would be the first in a series of bow attachment failures.
“I SAW YOU! YOU PULLED THE ALARM! YOU ARE WITH THEM!”
“Que dice?”, says Red Girl, shugging her shoulders. Cowers next to me and pretends to be talking on the phone.
Drunk Russian approaches closer and closer to the red girl, staggering as his lifts his bloated sausage finger in her face, “YOU DO THIS! I CALL POLICE!”
I move over just as he bends down and hisses in her face, “DIS IS BULLSHIT!!!” Ditzy Red Girl gets up and moves out of his way. Bow drops on the floor again. She picks it up and attaches it to her ultra-shiny wiglike hair.
Meanwhile, Dramatic American Lady next to Brother is seemingly coming close to actually passing out. Even in her weakened state, however, she becomes just bold enough to scream, “Get me off this death train, please!” before she sticks her stressed face back into her scarf.
Visiting brother and sister-in-law are slack-jawed fascinated at the entire scene. They quietly begin to mock the recent scene between Drunk Russian and Ditzy Red Girl.
(“Dis is bullshit” becomes mantra for the rest of their Spanish visit.)
ENTER SCENE: Driver is aggresively marching his way back to his train control lair when he is stopped by The Old Spanish Man, A.k.a. “The Opportunistic Complainer”:
“JODER! Que vamos ya! JODER! We’ve been here forever! This is a shame! JODER! This country is in shambles! COÑO! It’s always the same: These fuckers run the world while we do nothing! JODER! Where are the police?! JODER!”
Driver: “JODER! What do you want me to do, heh?”
The Opportunistic Complainer gets in the driver’s face. It’s now getting intense between the two older men: “JODER! It’s always the same in this fucking country! Sons of bitches!”
Driver: “JODER! What the fuck are you saying? The police are coming! JODER! We have to wait or we could kill them in the tunnel!”
The Opportunistic Complainer is intrigued at this idea, “JODER! Who the fuck cares!? This country is in shambles! Sons of bitches!”
Frustrated people begin to scream at The Opportunistic Complainer, “Leave the man alone! JODER! He’s trying to do his job! Sons of bitches!”
The Opportunistic Complainer, “JODER! Sons of bitches!”
Noticeably defeated, the tense driver wabbles agressively back through our area. Drunk Russian speaks to him in a slurried English, “That girl pulled the alarm! She’s with them!”
Spanish Driver ain’t got no time for Drunk Russians and Ditzy Red Girls, keeps on walking back to his post at the front of the train. Red Girl is stooping over, once again, to pick up her hair bow off the floor. I have a strong desire to crush it with my foot next time it drops on the floor. Decide against it.
Dramatic American Woman groans louder and louder, “Good God. Somebody please do something!” Brother smiles widely, rolls his eyes, slumps in his seat and silently mocks her, again.
The noxious chemical odor is incredibly strong at this point. All doors open and close. In the scary, dark abiss outside, the grafiteros are still on task, constantly whizzing about with the dexterous movement of experienced hooligans while various passengers harrass them from inside, “Sons of bitches!”
Five more minutes pass before the doors open and close one final time. Train begins to move. Makes it to the next stop. Dramatic American Woman runs out and up the stairs, “This is the last fucking time I take the fucking metro in this goddamn city.”
The four of us depart wagon, remarking on the new green artwork on the side of the train.
And cut … THAT’S A WRAP.