Playing for Spare Change
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ACT 1

SCENE ONE - STUDIO APARTMENT
Simple decor. Couch rests center stage. Next to the couch,
a small night stand holds a framed picture of a man on a
motorcycle, alarm clock and small light. A crucifix hangs on
the wall. Stage right, a door to the bathroom which has a
mirror attached.
A man, Emmanuel Wolf, early thirties, kneels praying. A
figure in black plays an acoustic guitar, sitting on a stool.
This is Emmanuel Wolf's Shadow/inner self releasing his
feelings through the music, and at work playing for spare
change at Grand Central Terminal. He will remain here for
the duration of the play.

EMMANUEL WOLF
(in child's whisper)
Dear God, I have committed a terrible sin. I...I have found
myself and I cannot stop. Help me Lord. Amen.
The beautiful blonde sitting on the couch, his wife Tracy,
applauds.

TRACY WOLF
Bravo...Bravo...my dear husband. Brilliant performance of
reenacting your childhood prayers.
Wolf gets up and sits next to her.

EMMANUEL WOLF
Thank you Tracy. That's what you get when you ask me how
many times I masturbated as a kid. Too many to count.
Remember a few months back? We were on the horse and buggy
at central park.

TRACY WOLF
Yeah, why?

EMMANUEL WOLF
Do you remember what we talked about?

TRACY WOLF
Your brother.

EMMANUEL WOLF
Tommy would have never eloped the way we did. He always
talked about a huge Catholic wedding with hundreds of people.

TRACY WOLF
Sorry Wolf but you know we couldn't afford it. I would of
liked to have had a huge wedding, but that's not reality.

EMMANUEL WOLF
It just got me thinking. If we would have married in a
church, I wonder if I would have been protected from that
dream last night?

TRACY WOLF
Did your brother actually penetrate you or...? Just because
if a demon does dwell in your lower region, maybe penetration
never existed.

EMMANUEL WOLF
Forget I mentioned it.

TRACY WOLF
I just find it interesting how you keep going back to your
brother for spiritual support when he's the one who brought
on your demons.

EMMANUEL WOLF
He was the only family I ever had.

TRACY WOLF
It's not good to keep things inside, Wolf. Trust me, I know.
I was date raped. Not that it's the same but I know the
feeling of wanting to be close to the ones who hurt you most.

EMMANUEL WOLF
We're both screwed up, Tray, that's why we got married. I
want to thank you for everything you've done for me.

TRACY WOLF
Better set the alarm. You make the most money during rush
hour.
He sets the alarm, takes a swig of the bottle of Whiskey on
the floor.

EMMANUEL WOLF
You know that dream just seemed so real. Sorry I blamed you.

TRACY WOLF
Any person who has dreams of somebody with very sharp nails
scratching the inner walls of their small intestines,
definitely has issues, especially when the other hand of the
invader has his other finger in your mouth. We did elope only
after two months and have been married for four. So bare with
me if I'm still trying to figure you out.

EMMANUEL WOLF
You're just so...

TRACY WOLF
So what?

EMMANUEL WOLF
So blunt about things. I mean, after you told me about your
first time with a chick sticking in a cucumber, I dropped it.
But you love details.

TRACY WOLF
I just like to have things straight in my head. Hauntings
manifest years later if you don't deal with them. You said
it yourself, when you bit down on the demon's finger, the
harder the other finger scratched.

EMMANUEL WOLF
End it! Damn, I can still feel him doing it. Anyway how
does that prove anything?

TRACY WOLF
You blamed me.

EMMANUEL WOLF
I was laying fetal position facing you.

TRACY WOLF
(playfully)
You need to see a psychiatrist. It's just not normal the
things you accuse me of. I don't wake you in the middle of
the night screaming to remove your fingers from my ass.

EMMANUEL WOLF
Now that you mention it. (They both laugh) When you land
Broadway, I'll see a shrink. Until then Jack will do just
fine (taking another swig). I have to wake up in a few and
play. Good night. I love you.

TRACY WOLF
Good night, love you too.
Tracy turns off the light as they curl up on the couch. Wolf
turns the light on.

TRACY WOLF (CONT'D)
What now?

EMMANUEL WOLF
I saw Sky Walk again today.

TRACY WOLF
Did he give you another five?

EMMANUEL WOLF
No, he spit in my face.

TRACY WOLF
What?

EMMANUEL WOLF
He said he bought himself a ticket to spit in my face, when
he was having a bad day!

TRACY WOLF
What did'ya do?

EMMANUEL WOLF
It's a goddamn inferno down there. It actually felt good.

TRACY WOLF
I can't believe I actually married you, my husband who plays
for spare change and enjoys being spit on by strangers.
Emmanuel Wolf's Shadow plays eerie sounds. Lights fade to
black as Emmanuel Wolf rises from the couch, confronts
himself in the mirror.

EMMANUEL WOLF
You know me as that uncomfortable feeling...of evil. I am.
I have foreseen generations. And now I have grown powerful
enough inside of you to hear me.
Lights fade up. Emmanuel Wolf's shadow plays louder as Wolf
exits through the front door.
Emmanuel Wolf's shadow reaches down and takes a swig of
whiskey.
Tracy mimics a monologue she is working on, stage right.

EMMANUEL WOLF'S SHADOW
(anger rises as he sings)
Sky Walk stay away or I'll kill you this day. You've been
giving me five dollars a day. Then you spit in my face like
I had no say. Freak, stay away.
Wolf's Shadow takes another swig, then continues to play. At
the same time, Tracy is pretending to ride a motorcycle and
is building up momentum like she's about to have an orgasm.

EMMANUEL WOLF'S SHADOW
(sings) (CONT'D)
Oh sweet Cindy Cane. I love those lips, you drive me insane.
If I weren't with Tray, you'd be gettin laid, oh sweet Cindy
Cane, you drive me insane.

Tracy stops before climaxing and freezes.

EMMANUEL WOLF'S SHADOW
(CONT'D)
(sings)
Amazing Grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like
me. I once was lost but now I'm found, was blind but now I
see..
Fade to black on Wolf's Shadow, who leans over and freezes.
Lights on as Tracy who is meditating in front of the couch.
Emmanuel Wolf busts through the front door with a bottle of
whiskey.

EMMANUEL WOLF
What a strange day at work.

TRACY WOLF
Can't you see I'm meditating. It's not everyday I reach the
subconscious level within my present state of awareness.
What happened?

EMMANUEL WOLF
I started singing amazing grace out of nowhere. I don't
think I sang that song since, since I don't know, choir
fourth grade.

TRACY WOLF
Your prayer last night must of worked.

EMMANUEL WOLF
What prayer?

TRACY WOLF
Dear God, I've committed a terrible sin...

EMMANUEL WOLF
I saw Sky Walk again and practically killed'em.

TRACY WOLF
Really?

EMMANUEL WOLF
He apologized...after I threatened him of course.

TRACY WOLF
At least you gained some dignity back.

EMMANUEL WOLF
After the buzz kicked in, I had a moment of enlightenment. I
met Terry Ann Luw Luw. She's been singing gospel from her
wheel chair at Grand Central for ten years. Talk about being
inspired.
She said many people say to her the reason they haven't given
up on life is because of her dedication to the Lord. One
thing led to another and I started telling her my whole life
story. It was weird. She had the most caring understanding
eyes I've ever seen. She had to be an Angel.

TRACY WOLF
What'd you say?

EMMANUEL WOLF
I told her about my tattoo, how two demons are ripping me
open as Christ wards off the subordinate by bleeding a cross
on his forehead. Mary cries a tear of blood in agony, and
St. Michael draws his sword.

TRACY WOLF
(laughing)
That didn't scare her off?

EMMANUEL WOLF
She actually called me a walking dichotomy, as I drank my
whiskey in front of her. I told her about Tommy. And how we,
two lost souls, met in Grand Central and eloped a few weeks
later.

TRACY WOLF
I can't believe you would tell some stranger all of that.

EMMANUEL WOLF
After Tommy died, things did get worse for me, except meeting
you. Funny how life works.

TRACY WOLF
Thanks for grouping me in your downward spiral.

EMMANUEL WOLF
I didn't mean it like that.

TRACY WOLF
Whatever.

EMMANUEL WOLF
How'd your audition go today? Did you get the part of the
motorcycle slut?

TRACY WOLF
No, some chick walked in after me with a full sleeve.

EMMANUEL WOLF
Only in New York. What was the tat?

TRACY WOLF
This naked demon chick twisted around her arm starting at her
wrist. Her elbow was earth and her upper arm, heaven.
Angels flying in the clouds. Sort of like yours, but
different.

EMMANUEL WOLF
The cycle of life. I'll bet she paid a pretty penny.

TRACY WOLF
The art work was as good as yours. Anyway, the director had
each girl get on this motorcycle, center stage, and get off
on it as it vibrated between our legs. He said any girl who
makes it look real will get the part.

EMMANUEL WOLF
I'm in the wrong industry.

TRACY WOLF
Just as I'm about to climax, a flash image of my mother, I'm
talking tight close up, freaks me out. She's giving me the
evil eye, like, you better not cum girl! I lost all
momentum.

EMMANUEL WOLF
You should've blown'em like all the rest of the directors.

TRACY WOLF
You're such a jerk. That's when the chick with the tattoo
voodoo came prancin in.

EMMANUEL WOLF
I almost forgot to tell you.

TRACY WOLF
What?

EMMANUEL WOLF
So you know those moments in the station when it's dead
quiet. It happens for a brief moment like the twilight zone,
then it's gone.

TRACY WOLF
Yeah...yeah, go on.

EMMANUEL WOLF
Today it happened again, but this time an old man appeared
(imitating the old man)"You play like you have no sympathy
for the devil young man." I take off my shirt, show him my
back. The man literally has a heart attack right in front of
me. I look around, panic for a moment, then lift him by the
neck and say "Walk man of little faith". He gets up and
walks away, like nothing happened.

TRACY WOLF
Why do you lie just to try and get a rise out of me?

EMMANUEL WOLF
I'm serious, the only other time this happened was when I was
a little boy. I got into a fight with another kid named
Emmanuel, how weird is that? I was losing so I freaked out,
threw him to the ground and stepped on his throat. He gasped
for air holding his neck. I'll never forget the sound
(reenacting it). I got scared. But it passed. I knew he'd
never bother me again.

TRACY WOLF
You compared almost killing a kid to performing some crazy
miracle at grand central? I don't get it.

EMMANUEL WOLF
Each time at the moment of death, I prayed begging God not to
take them. Each time He let them live.

TRACY WOLF
Listen, Dickie's coming over.

EMMANUEL WOLF
Dickie?! Why the hell is Dickie coming over?

TRACY WOLF
Because, he wanted to go over lines with me before the
theater group meets tomorrow. And by the way, I told them
they could have it here.

EMMANUEL WOLF
HERE! Have what here?
Wolf downs a quarter of the bottle of whiskey in one huge
gulp, then shakes it off.

TRACY WOLF
...since, Sunshine couldn't have it at her house. It's only
fair.

EMMANUEL WOLF
(staggering)
You know how I feel about that, cancel it.

TRACY WOLF
No, I'm not cancelling it.

EMMANUEL WOLF
I said cancel the fuckin meeting.
There is a knock at the door. Wolf runs over, knocking her
to the ground before she can answer it.

TRACY WOLF
Asshole!
Wolf answers the door.

EMMANUEL WOLF
(shouts out slovenly drunk) Tracy ain't here! Go home and
play with your own little dickie.
He slams the door shut and throws her up against he wall.

EMMANUEL WOLF (CONT'D)
Take off your clothes.

TRACY WOLF
What's wrong with you!
He rips her shirt open.

EMMANUEL WOLF
I said take off your clothes. You want to invite people over
without permission, then I'm gonna invite myself in without
permission.
They fall behind the couch. She tries to fight him off but
cannot. He's too powerful, possessed.
Wolf's Shadow plays sad tunes from his guitar.

TRACY WOLF
(crying out)
Stop Wolf, STOOOOOOOP!
Wolf finishes the job, gets up, pulls up his pants, slams the
door behind him. Tracy's sobs can be heard.
Black out. Wolf's shadow plays a low eerie sound. Spot
light on Wolf in front of the mirror as he plays both God and
the devil. His voice changes as if he is really possessing
the spirit of these two characters.

EMMANUEL WOLF
(as God)
You've released Incubus.

EMMANUEL WOLF (CONT'D)
(as Devil)
Emmanuel Wolf released Incubus. The freedom of choice you
have given humanity, results in my will being done.

EMMANUEL WOLF (CONT'D)
(as God)
Faith within prayer for peace from a tortured soul, heals the
wounds. You will lose Emmanuel Wolf's soul for releasing the
demon of rape, Incubus, upon the innocent.

EMMANUEL WOLF (CONT'D)
(as Devil)
Innocent? He welcomed my spirit when his brother made him
swear on the Bible he would never tell.

EMMANUEL WOLF (CONT'D)
(fiercely as God)
He is MY CHILD! You used incest to destroy the innocent. He
was eight. Tommy, thirteen.

EMMANUEL WOLF (CONT'D)
(as Devil)
Freedom of choice has its consequences.

EMMANUEL WOLF (CONT'D)
(as God)
Freedom of choice has its reward. Emmanuel Wolf has a gift.
His confirmation Saint, Dominic Savio, director of the
Angelic choir, has repeatedly prayed for his talent to
manifest. I always grant my children their desires when they
are aligned with mine.

EMMANUEL WOLF (CONT'D)
(as Devil)
You will lose Emmanuel Wolf to your own gift in which you
gave to him. The music he plays is for me. Listen to it, it
makes skin crawl.

EMMANUEL WOLF (CONT'D)
(as God)
He will repent. His passion far exceeds you.

EMMANUEL WOLF (CONT'D)
(as Devil)
Not this time. My claws are in too deep.

EMMANUEL WOLF (CONT'D)
(as God)
When he realizes your grip will no longer have power over his
soul, his demons will flee.

EMMANUEL WOLF (CONT'D)
(as Devil)
My sweet captives will never give up.

EMMANUEL WOLF (CONT'D)
(as God)
You have until winter to prove yourself.
The lights fade to black as music stops.
Lights fade in.
Wolf enters through the front door with a dozen roses. He
sees Tracy in the same position he left her.

EMMANUEL WOLF (CONT'D)
I'm sorry Tracy. I love you. I bought you these (handing
her the roses).
She does not respond.

EMMANUEL WOLF (CONT'D)
I don't know what came over me. Ever since Tommy....(breaks
down)...he was everything to me. He taught me how to play
guitar. He went to mass every Sunday. I admired that
quality in him. That's the reason I spent the money he left
me on my back. A constant reminder of faith and truth. The
struggle we go through confronting our demons on a daily
basis. I grew up Catholic, got confirmed. It's just...after
he died, I had no one. I had a hard life growing up in a
foster home. Tommy was all I knew.

TRACY WOLF
(quickly)
He fuckin rape you! Now you raped me.

EMMANUEL WOLF
I didn't rape you Tracy, you're my wife.
She throws the flowers at him.

TRACY WOLF
It's been a year since he died. Get over it. You're killing
us both. You used to be a teacher for Christ's sake. Why
don't you get back into that? At least it kept you normal.

EMMANUEL WOLF
I'm not going back. Don't judge me.

TRACY WOLF
Don't judge you? You fuckin raped me you bastard!

EMMANUEL WOLF
I'm sorry. When we met, you knew my state of mind.

TRACY WOLF
I also believed you'd come back. I feel like I'm living
through the seasons of the abyss.

EMMANUEL WOLF
Sometimes I feel you married me so you could pursue theater
and have someone pay the bills. (long silence) Prostitution
weighs heavily on the soul.

TRACY WOLF
Don't scrutinize me, turning this around, calling me a
prostitute for marrying you. I wish you wouldn't come home
drunk every night. I know losing your brother was the worst
thing that ever happened to you. But you gave up a career
you worked so hard to get. Now you're a walking zombie who
plays music. At least before you were teaching your craft,
but now, you're own talent has consumed you.

EMMANUEL WOLF
I'm tired. I don't want to keep talking about this.
She nods her head and walks over to the couch.

TRACY WOLF
I don't know how much longer I can do this Wolf.

EMMANUEL WOLF
Do you know I can actually hear God and the devil fighting
for my soul?

TRACY WOLF
It's not my fault if this marriage doesn't last.
Lights fade out.
Wolf's Shadow plays guitar, takes swigs while playing. The
lights fade in.

EMMANUEL WOLF'S SHADOW
(sings) A woman came up to me today and said, I'm the
president of Aristocrat Records...She handed me a contract,
said sign on the dotted line, cause that damn song you sang
yesterday, made me feel just fine...You know what lady, I
told her, I don't need this from you...cause all I need is my
whiskey, one shot maybe two...she stared me down and said are
you sure? You're really not gonna sign for more...I tore the
contract up, polished off my bottle and...well, goodbye.
Emmanuel Wolf busts through the door totally wasted.

EMMANUEL WOLF
To be drunk or not to be, that is the question(waving the
half empty bottle of Jack). You're a liar Tracy.

TRACY WOLF
A liar, Wolf?

EMMANUEL WOLF
Actors lie for a living. At least what I do is honest. I
play from my heart.

TRACY WOLF
Don't come barging into my home, wasted, cutting down my
craft, calling me a liar.

EMMANUEL WOLF
Your house?

TRACY WOLF
It never ends with you. Don't you ever learn?

EMMANUEL WOLF
I just had (holding up the bottle) two of these. I sang my
best song yet.
He hands her the torn up contract.

TRACY WOLF
What's this?
She puts the pieces together and starts to read.

EMMANUEL WOLF
I made three hundred bucks today.

TRACY WOLF
Really? You would have made three hundred thousand if you
weren't too drunk to realize.
Emmanuel Wolf pulls out a wad of money.

EMMANUEL WOLF
What are ya talkin about?

TRACY WOLF
This contract is from Aristocrat Records. This was your
dream Wolf and you just threw it away.

EMMANUEL WOLF
Let me see (grabbing it from her hands). This is real? I
thought she was kidding.
She grabs her purse and heads towards the door.

EMMANUEL WOLF (CONT'D)
Where you going?

TRACY WOLF
To find a lawyer.

EMMANUEL WOLF
You go girl, fight for your hubby. You'll get me that record
deal back.

TRACY WOLF
No Wolf, I'm filing for divorce.
She walks out, slams the door. Emmanuel stands in front of
the mirror and acts out the two voices.

EMMANUEL WOLF
(as God)
I can work through any situation. Love conquers all.

EMMANUEL WOLF (CONT'D)
(as Devil)
Love of destruction.

EMMANUEL WOLF (CONT'D)
(as God)
I never give up on my children.

EMMANUEL WOLF (CONT'D)
(laughing as Devil)
He gave up on you. You handed him a golden opportunity and
he passed it up. And now he will lose his wife. Looks like
I hold the Ace.
Lights fade to black.
The lights fade in as Emmanuel Wolf passed out on the couch.
Tracy opens the door, turns on the lights.

TRACY WOLF
Wake up. Wolf wake up. We need to talk.
Emmanuel Wolf wakes up in a daze. She throws a pack of
papers on his chest.

TRACY WOLF (CONT'D)
It's done. All you need to do is sign.

EMMANUEL WOLF
What are you talking about?

TRACY WOLF
I don't want anything. You can take it all including the
apartment. I just want out.

EMMANUEL WOLF
Tracy don't do this to me.

TRACY WOLF
You did it to yourself, Wolf.

EMMANUEL WOLF
There's gotta be something I can do to change your mind.
Please, don't leave me. I'm sorry, Tracy. (tears swell) I'm
sorry for not loving you the way I should. I'm sorry for
drinking so much, I'll stop.

TRACY WOLF
It's too late.

EMMANUEL WOLF
It's never too late! Tommy said it's never too late for
change.

TRACY WOLF
Tommy was wrong.

EMMANUEL WOLF
Tracy, I love you. Don't leave me, please, I don't know what
I'm gonna do without you.

TRACY WOLF
You'll figure it out. I'll stop by tomorrow to pick up my
stuff. Go through the papers, sign them. I made copies so
don't think you can just throw them away.

EMMANUEL WOLF
Where are you going?

TRACY WOLF
Dickie's.

EMMANUEL WOLF
Unbelievable.
Emmanuel Wolf, defeated, shuffles over to the couch and curls
up in fetal position.
Tracy leaves grabbing her purse. Silence.
Emmanuel Wolf starts to cry. His back against the audience.
He cries harder and harder, not being able to control his
emotions.

EMMANUEL WOLF (CONT'D)
God, what's wrong with me!
He throws the empty bottle of Jack against the ground, it
shatters. He reaches for a full bottle, opens it, starts
gulping it down.
Fade to black.
The lights fade in. Emmanuel Wolf passed out on the floor,
slowly wakes up, knocks over the empty bottle and crawls to
the bathroom door, getting sick before entering.

EMMANUEL WOLF (CONT'D)
I can't do this. HELP ME!
The phone rings. He walks over, picks it up.

EMMANUEL WOLF (CONT'D)
Hello...hey Tray...did you change your mind. No, I didn't
get a chance to sign them. I thought...whatever. Fine I'll
sign the damn papers. I shoulda fucked Cindy Cane when I had
the chance. Nothing. You know, when I started showing up to
work drunk. No, teaching, at first, it was great, cause the
kids didn't bother me as much. But it got progressively
worse with each passing day. I started saying things that I
never would have said and many students made comments that I
smelled like alcohol. I'm telling you this because...Again
my words have slipped away. The day I met you at grand
central, I had planned that night to kill myself. You saved
me. A pillar of light once again shined in my life. The
light has burned out again. No you don't have to worry about
me taking my life. I'm already dead. I'll sign the divorce
papers and leave them on the table. I don't blame you Tracy.
I couldn't stay married to me either. Bye.
He hangs up the phone, grabs a new bottle of Jack.

EMMANUEL WOLF (CONT'D)
You're born alone. You live alone. You die alone.
He walks into the bathroom. We can hear the sound of the
bath tub filling with water.
He walks back into the room, grabs a pen, signs the papers
and places them on the table.
He walks over to the crucifix hanging on the wall, grabs it,
brings it center stage, stares at it for a long moment. He
kisses Christ hanging on the cross, then places it in front
of him on the ground.

EMMANUEL WOLF (CONT'D)
Forgive me Lord, for what I'm about to do.
He stretches out his arms, places one foot over the other,
posing as Jesus Christ hanging from the cross.
Emmanuel Wolf's Shadow plays a depressing song as he watches
himself go through this mental torment.
He keeps this position then drops his head, like he died.
Lights fade to black as we still hear the running water.
Lights up. Guitar is still heard.
Emmanuel Wolf walks from stage left to stage right, very
slowly, staring down at a butcher's knife in his hands.
Emmanuel Wolf enters the bathroom, closing the door.
Lights out. Running water stops.
Music continues. Lights up.
Tracy Wolf walks through the front door.

TRACY WOLF
Wolf, Wolf...I'm here to pick up the papers.
She sees the broken glass on the floor, bends down and picks
a piece up, cutting her finger. She drops it.

TRACY WOLF (CONT'D)
Owe (quickly bringing her finger to her mouth).
She picks up the crucifix and hangs it back on the wall. She
looks at the papers, holding them for a long time, then rips
them up.

TRACY WOLF (CONT'D)
How do I tell him? He's probably working.
She looks at her watch.

TRACY WOLF (CONT'D)
He should be home any minute.
She takes a seat.

TRACY WOLF (CONT'D)
Well, if it's a boy, I'm sure he'll want a Junior. But if
it's a girl, I like Elizabeth. My God, I have to go to the
bathroom every two seconds.
Tracy gets up and walks to the bathroom. She opens the door.

TRACY WOLF(CONT'D)
(SCREAMS HORRORFIED)
NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO, Oh my God, Oh my God.
She drops to her knees.

TRACY WOLF (CONT'D)
Not my baby, no Wolf, no (tears flow). You were gonna be a
daddy. It's all my fault (breaks down further and further).
You were gonna be a daddy.
She drops her head to her knees, sobbing like a baby.
Emmanuel Wolf's Shadow gets up from his stool, places his
guitar against the wall and slowly walks over to Tracy,
putting his arm around her.
He gives her one last embrace, then walks forever out the
front door.
Tracy Wolf is left crying in front of the open bathroom door.
Lights fade to black.