Choir Trip, Washington DC, 1992

The van did not come. Three college girls with tired legs. The van did not come. There is more than one mall in the city and there is no more grass to tread. The van did not come. A guy with a sharp part down the middle of his hair stops his car and flashes a wad of cash through his window. The van did not come. The man on a park bench bends back his neck as a teen girl’s head hovers and pulses rhythmically. The van did not come. It is getting dark. We go into a building marked “Technology Solutions.” A security guard is kind and lets us sit down. The van did not come. It is dark and the police are called. The van did not come; we are lost for five hours. We sit on the lobby floor as our quadriceps shake and we split the security guard’s lunch. She has a kind dark face. Red and blue lights flicker. A woman with two teeth asks the cop for a light. The flame glows in the dark. We are lost but calm now. The guard makes us laugh, tells us to hide fish in the van. The officer talks to dispatch and garbled voices say that we are not lost, the van is coming. The guard says, “You are never lost when people know to look for you.”

Janette Schafer is a playwright, poet, and opera singer from Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. She is a 2017 awardee of the Maenad Fellowship in writing through Chatham University and a 2015 awardee of the Arts MODE Fellowship through New Sun Rising LLC for playwriting and experimental theater. Recent and upcoming publications appear in Zany Zygote ReviewEyedrum Periodically, Nasty Woman & Bad Hombre Anthology, The Woman Inc., B. E. Literary Journal, Big Lit International Writing Festival, and Chatham University broadsides.

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