“An Evening with Young Mitt Romney,” A Play in Three Acts

“An Evening with Young Mitt Romney,” A Play in Three Acts

Act 1

Young Mitt Romney, or “The Mitt” to friends and family, stands aboard a speedboat zipping into the blood-orange, half-circle setting sun on the western horizon. Miami is in the distance. The wind blows his hair back (but not too back). There are two other passengers: Chip, his stockbroker buddy in Bermuda shorts and expensive shades (Chip has nothing of relevance to say…ever) and a woman—not his wife—blonde, beautiful, straddling a fruit basket in the boat’s front seat. The year is 1981. The Mitt is young (single), rich, handsome in a Northeast-prep school sorta way, and appears confident, as if God himself had just whispered into Mitt’s ears when no one was looking: “you’ve fucking got this, Mitt.” A cigar is in his pocket, too. Purely decorative.

Chip (C): Why ya even bother with it, Mitt?

The Mitt (M): Aww, come on, Chip! The first million by 30. The second million on the cab ride home from the first, huh?

C: I just don’t want to see you, ya know, waste this. (Chip gestures to the open water. He then swigs a craft beer.)

The Blonde (B): Chip, shut up. He’ll own this someday. He’ll own you. Isn’t that right, Mitt?

M: That might not be the only thing I’ll own (He gives her oneofthoselooks).

The boat party approaches its destination, a white yacht, where a dinner party seems to be commencing.

B: Did you RSVP for me? She asks, leaning on his broad shoulders with both hands.

M: (whispering) That shouldn’t be a problem. You come to expect a little more with me.

C: So I’m covered, too?

B and M together: Shut up, Chip.

Act 2

A string of lights rings the yacht’s deck, and a jazz-fusion band plays (Donald Fagen on vocals, Michael McDonald on keys, and Boz Scaggs on guitar). Approximately 30 people—all filthy rich or beautiful—mill around talking politics, money, and power. No one speaks of race or religion. There is one black man. He is tending bar. The women all wear plunging necklines, the men are dressed casually in khaki and polos. A few Croakies are spotted. The Mitt and The Blonde have engaged three others, a Brunette, an elderly gentlemen with a beard intended to hide his true age and virility, and a flamboyant homosexual. The flamboyant homosexual is the son of somebody there, liberal, and not afraid to slosh his drink around when lecturing about quantitative easing. Chip is at the bar doing Jag Bombs by himself.

The Flamboyant Homosexual (FH): So you were an English major in college, that right, Mitt?

M: I was known to pick up a book or two. He raises his eyebrows at The Blonde, gently elbows the Elderly Guy, as though some silent joke had passed that was neither funny, nor actually shared.

FH: So, indulge me, then Mitt, who’s your favorite?

M: Favorite, what? Book? Team? Cocktail? Give me a leg here, scholar!

FH: Well, DUUUHHHHHH!! (He quickly drinks the waiter’s latest offering and makes movement to indicate more of the same will be required.)

The Elderly Gentleman: I think what our, spirited friend here is saying, Young Mitt, is who do you read? Shakespeare? Tolstoy? Whitman? Ahh, literature can give a man’s soul wings!

M: Well, let’s see here, there is old… Mitt looks nervously to the Blonde.

B: (whispers) Go on, Mitt, tell him a good one.

FH: Too many good ones to name, there bud?! Gotta reach for your baseball cards?

M: Hah very funny, but no, I just love…um…what’s the one about the spider, he’s German right?

Chip approaches, nay, barges into the circle with a platter of fancy-time lil smokies.

C: They get these things SO SMALL anymore! Oh sorry, did I ruin the conver-sating?

FH: (Annoyed) We were just discussing books.

C: Book?! For reading?! Shit, I just love the Hardy Boys series. In fact, in the Arctic Patrol Mystery

M: That’s enough, Chip. Why don’t we take you downstairs, huh?

B: Idiot.

Act 3

Deep in the bowels of the priceless yacht, The Blonde has languidly draped herself across The Mitt’s lap; they appear to be sharing intimacies. Both are fully clothed. Like, fully. Chip has departed somewhere to puke, yell, puke some more, and frighten the guests. Consternation furrows across Young Mitt’s brow, provoking questions from The Blonde. The Mitt seems on the precipice of something BIG. But, he’s hesitant and needs guidance.

B: (Stroking his face) Not even bother with Harvard? Why would you throw it all away!?

M: Because I’m not sure, god damnit! (His normally imperturbable chin quivers.)

B: Sure about what, baby?

M: Sure about this. About Wall Street. Ya know, what’s wrong with literature? What’s wrong with maybe traveling a bit, writing down my thoughts?

The Blonde sits up immediately.

B: You mean be a poet?!

M: Now come on, don’t say it like that.

The Blonde points at her necklace and shapely ass.

B: You don’t get these being some poet.

M: But, baby, I’m young, we can do whatever we want to do.

B: Stocks, Mitt! You goon! It’s stocks, or I’m out. You’re not cut out for anything else. Not with that hair. Not with that jaw-line. Not with this, this tailor (She struggles to pull at his collar line, checking the Italianate inscription).

Mitt leans back against the bed. This is not the answer he expected, but it’s the one he’s prepared to honor. Facing what he senses is a major career decision, he reaches for the Blonde.

M: You’re right. I’m fine. It’s fine.  Let’s just sit here. And enjoy this. I didn’t mean to spoil things.

The Blonde wipes tears from her eyes.

B: You fucking scared me, Mitt.

M: It’s okay. Screw that MFA application. I’ll burn it first thing when we get home.

Chip enters, completely nude.

C: MITTSTER, I need yer money! I did sompen bad. But when you gotta go, don’t make two shakes whether it’s a urinal or a Rembrandt, amIright?

M: With friends like you, Chip, huh?

And at that, Mitt and The Blonde arise, good-naturedly to make vague legal threats to the off-stage, enraged host of the party. Outtro music is Steely Dan’s “Do It Again.” Curtains fade. And the audience is left wondering if Young Mitt will ever seriously consider opening himself up to another woman again. Or if he’ll just keep on getting filthy rich. Actually it’s not really a question at all. And they’ll hop in the speedboat and watch as Chip tries to pop water-wheelies the whole way home.

The End

Chris Vondracek

Photos courtesy fiskfisk, wOOkie, InterContinental Hong Kong