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Overheard at United States Homeland Security, Toronto Pearson Airport...

image: chron.com

A series of mini-dramas based on public conversations, as overheard and rewritten by local playwright/director Aurora Stewart de Peña.

Overheard at United States Homeland Security, Toronto Pearson Airport

Francis, 18, in ripped-up black leggings and boots with salt stains on them, displays her passport and boarding pass to Martin, 52, a security officer.

He examines her passport, frowning. She shifts from foot to foot.

Martin: And the reason for your visit?

Francis: Vacation.

Martin: You’re taking a vacation? 

Pause.

Francis: Yes?

Pause. Martin looks at her passport, he brings it up close to his nose.

Martin: Where are you staying?

Pause.

Francis: A hotel–motel. No, a hotel.

Martin: What’s the name of it?

Francis: (Quickly) Beverly Hills Plaza Hotel.

Pause. Martin looks at Francis. Francis looks at Martin. He takes her boarding pass. He folds it in half. He waves at a group of guards, then points to the top of Francis’ head. The guards approach. Francis tries to smile at them, they don’t smile back. 

Martin: You’re going to go with them.

Francis: What?

Martin: It’s completely random.

Francis: What is?

Martin: We didn’t choose you for any reason other than that you were standing on line where you where.

Francis: Can I have my boarding pass?

Martin: They’ll give it back to you after. 

Francis: After what?

Martin: There’s very little radiation, so you don’t have to worry about that.

Are you pregnant?

Francis: Excuse me?

A Guard: Follow us, Ma’am.

Francis: What is going on?

Another Guard: Come with us, please.

Francis and the Guards leave. Francis looks back at Martin. He folds her boarding pass again, and puts it in his pocket. James, 48, watches. he hugs his backpack. He’s next in line.

Martin: Can I help who’s next, please?

____

Aurora Stewart de Peña is half of the theatre company Birdtown & Swanville (the other half is Nika Mistruzzi). You can follow her on Twitter at @Aurorahhh.

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