Why do we call “American coffee”?
The third act
The guy – American soldier, 25 years old. He left his troop and came here to drink a cup of coffee.
Edith Piaf – 28 years old. Came to the coffee shop by the theater to take a rest.
Waiter – French guy
Assistant of Piaf
Café Cyrano in preparation to open soon. A guy is arguing against the waiter.
The guy “(bitter face) Hey, I mean, I cannot drink such a bitter coffee”
Waiter “I don’t know much about your country, but it is our coffee in France. Shut up and just drink it. (mutter to himself) what a hell is this guy, rushed in even I’m saying it’s not open yet, and then he complains about my coffee.. ”
The guy “(monologue) I have been dreaming about coffee of Paris. A war happened. I arrived at Paris after drifting for a long time, I finally got it, and what? It’s a bit of dark liquid as hell, in a tiny cup as a toy. My tongue is irritated, my throat as rattlesnake, how can I drink it?
Hey, can you please dilute this a bit? It’s OK if you just pour some hot water. “
ウWaiter “I don’t care how is your country, it IS decent coffee in France. Shut up and just drink it, it’s my best shot. (muter to himself) what a hell is this guy, it’s not open yet…. ”
Edith Piaf comes from the left stage. She looks nervous. She quickly comes in the café, finds their discussion and stops, sighs and comes across their table.
Piaf “(monologue) oh, I hate arguments, here and there, everywhere.. why are you men so obstinate? That should be the reason why you always start wars, foolish! (to the waiter) Pierre, stop quarreling and serve my café latte – with much form. Oh and an ashtray please. ”
Pierre “Oh Ms.Piaf, sorry, I didn’t want to get angry but this American guy started arguing that my espresso with beautiful crema is bitter or he needs hot water or such a thing… “
Piaf “(glances at the guy, and turns round back to the waiter) Give him hot water, is it so difficult? Nonsense. (turns round again to the guy and smiles) but it cannot be for free, Mr., right? You should pay extra I guess”
The guy ” Well… yes”
Piaf “Agreed. Pierre, can you serve him a cup of diluted espresso with hot water, please? Café latte and ashtray for me, and do you have something sweet? “
Pierre “(with respect) certainly, Ms.Piaf “
Pierre leaves from the left stage. Piaf has a seat at the guy’s table.
Piaf “(taking a seat) may I join you? Cigarette? ”
The guy “(embarrassed) no, thank you, I don’t smoke.. ”
Piaf “Oh, ok”
Piaf lights a cigarette. Pierre comes in with ashtray, hand it to her, and quickly leaves again.
Silence. Piaf keeps smoking thinking something.
The guy “.. excuse-moi?” Piaf looks at the guy.
“Thank you, well, how can I say, I mean, I didn’t imagine coffee in the US and Paris are so different. Indeed, so many countries, so many customs.. ”
Piaf “(interested in him a bit) is it the first time to Europe? “
The guy “Yes, only place I know was NY downtown. But now, I’m going through Belgium, heading for Germany”
Piaf “I see. Trip through Europe.. take care and enjoy.
You know, Europe is funny place. We divide such a tiny ground, keep fighting with each other, speaking different languages. Our long long history is nothing because nobody knows how to get along. I don’t know if Germany is evil or France is right, or I don’t care, but it looks people do care about it. For me, I love my sweet Parisian, and kind German soldiers as well, because they are my fan. Am I so wrong?
You came here from far away and got involved in kids’ fight.. I sometimes don’t know if I should say “sorry” or “thank you”.
The guy “(smiles) well, I mean….”
Sudden gunfire of German sub-machinegun from the street. The guy quickly stands up.
The guy ” MP40! (looks back and says) Hide yourself behind the chair! “
Piaf hides herself behind the chair, and then the flower base on the table comes to pieces. The guy runs toward the right stage (out), and come back to the café bringing (or dragging?) a German soldier.
Piaf “Oh, Hans! Bad boy, shooting gun on the street is dangerous! What if I get hurted? (to the guy) He has been coming to my concert, till some days ago. “
The German soldier bows with apologetic gesture.
The guy “(to the German soldier) Hey, you may get away from here, but I looks it’s quite difficult for you German guys to escape from Paris, so I think you’d better not resist and be prisoner, how do you think? “
German soldier nods. The guy recommends him to take seat.
The guy “(Here, it is the best chair made in your country. Just a moment, you need a coffee. (to the waiter) Pierre, can you please give another cup for him? A cup of authentic French coffee, please”
Pierre “(Showing his face from the kitchen counter) hey, I have no coffee for German bastard, you idiot! ”
Piaf “(interrupting Pierre) Pierre!!”
Pierre “But, Ms.Piaf…. dammit, OK, OK… “
Pierre goes back to the counter and prepares drinks, complaining. The guy, Piaf and German soldier, at the table. Piaf smokes the cigarette again. Silence for a while.
The guy “Following what we were talking..”
Piaf “What were we talking about?”
The guy “About kids’ fight”
Piaf “Yeah, right”
Pierre shows up with drinks.
Pierre “Here it is, Café Latte, and preserved orange peel covered with chocolate. I made this for you, Ms.Piaf.”
Piaf “Oh, thanks, Pierre. I will try it”
Pierre “(to the guy) This is for you. Espresso, diluted in double with hot water. Try it ”
The guy “Thanks. I will pay twice”
Pierre “(to German soldier) I bet you don’t say this is too bitter or strong. French roasted beans, ground very fine, extracted by 9 bar. You know, it is so rare, so drink carefully”
German soldier nods. Pierre goes back to the counter.
The guy starts speaking again.
The guy “I mean, I would never talk with you, or never be with a guy with whom I battled against just now, in the middle of Paris, sitting down on a German stool, drinking coffee, if I had not involved in this kids’ fight. (the guy sips his coffee) Oh, good! (to the counter) Pierre, this is good one! “
Pierre nods in silence.
The guy “(turns round toward Piaf) A German soldier, I met him in Rouen and had nice chat with him, he told me I should go to Moulin Rouge, then I’m here. How can I say, fighting is not good, of course, but it may be possible to get along during a fight, hm, no that’s not, I mean, there definitely should be a way to manage the intercourse, putting this as this or that as that. Germany and France, now you are in crucial point, but I believe you will find a way to live together, with reconciliation of all kinds of regret. ”
Piaf “..are we reconciled with all regret…?”
German soldier nods. Piaf drinks up, turns of the cigarette and stands up.
Piaf “Thank you. What’s your name? ”
The guy “Fred”
Piaf “Fred, you are cool as your name tells, thank you. I think my concern is a bit clear now, too. I will sing that song for the last of today’s show. I have to convince that old man.. Fred, do you have any plan for tonight? I will sing at Moulin Rouge, so how about coming? (to German soldier) I would love to invite you, too, but it seems impossible.. what a pity..”
German soldier shrugs his shoulders. Fred stands up and shakes hands with Piaf.
Fred “Thank you very much, sure!”
Piaf’s assistant runs into the café from the left stage.
Assistant “Ms. Piaf, I finally find you! The reharsal is starting now! Mr.Francis is getting angry!”
Piaf “Oh, I should go. (pointing toward Fred) Marie, can you arrange an invitation ticket for the gentleman? (to Fred) so, see you later!”
Piaf and Assistant leave from the left stage. 2 Military Police guys run into from the right stage.
MP “(to Fred) we got info that a German soldier is caught, is he? “
Fred “Ja, thanks. (to German soldier) I do look forward seeing you in somewhere. ”
German soldier nods. He and 2 MP leave from the right stage. Fred sits down again.
Fred “Many things happen today… (drinks up his coffee) Yes, nice. Pierre, can you please give me another cup? (monologue, reading the menu card) I think American guys love this week coffee. ”
Pierre “(preparing coffee) oh dear, so shall I add on our menu? The name should be “American coffee”. Beloved by Americans, deliberately weakened coffee. ”
Fred “American coffee, not bad! Yeah and rewrite the signboard, US soldiers will rush in! Wait, I will do that ”
Fred stands up and leaves from the right stage.
Pierre ” (to leaving Fred) Hey, can you add “US dollar OK” too, please! ”