The Service Industry

A MAN and a WOMAN, waiting for a bus. It's dark, and it's damn cold. There could be a bench, or not, but neither one would use it. You know LeRoy Jones' "Dutchman"? Like that. Their conversation should be relatively flat and...bored. Not like 'bored socialite at the dance' bored, more like 'Sigourney Weaver in "The Ice Storm"' bored. It's important that both of the performers look absolutely like normal people, not sick or odd or addled in any way.

MAN (looking at her, maybe a bit too eagerly): Can I light your cigarette? (He fishes for a cigarette lighter)
WOMAN: I'm not smoking a cigarette.
MAN: Oh. Would you like a cigarette? (he fumbles around again)
WOMAN: I don't smoke cigarettes.
MAN: (after a brief pause): Would you like to learn? It's quite easy.
WOMAN: This is very strange.
MAN: I'm sorry?
WOMAN: This conversation is very strange.
MAN: It'll be good for you to unwind a little.
WOMAN: With a blast of Kool Menthol Flavor?
Man (eager again): If you like, sure.
WOMAN: I'm sorry, but no.
Man: Oh. (pause) Well. Can I shine your shoes? (he pulls a rag from his back pocket and holds it out to her)

Scene Out