Pope Francis I in, "No, YOU Can't Go Home Again," a new one-act play


(The curtain rises to reveal an ante-room in the Vatican. Cardinal Jorge BERGOGLIO hurriedly enters stage right and approaches a grand doorway. He’s wiping his hands on his cassock as he encounters Cardinal Josep PSLYISNITZC, also about to enter.)

BERGOGLIO (sotto voce)
Goddamned air dryers…

 PSLYISNITZC
What’s ‘at, Georgie?

 BERGOGLIO
Hey, Joey, what’s up? (Gestures towards door.)
What’s going on in there?

  PSLYISNITZC
You haven’t heard?

  BERGOGLIO
Well, I’m hearing all kinds of noise now.
So I’m asking, what’s going on?

  PSLYISNITZC
White smoke.

  BERGOGLIO 
White smoke? No.

  PSLYISNITZC
Yeah.

(Col. MURSTRICHT, head of the Swiss Guards, enters, unseen by Bergoglio.)

  BERGOGLIO
Who?

  MURSTRICHT
You.

  BERGOGLIO (wheeling to face him)
Who?

  PSLYISNITZC (gleeful)
I’m sayin’, it’s you, baby!

  BERGOGLIO (wheeling back around, panicked)
Me?

  PSLYISNITZC
Yup.

(Bergoglio, pulls out his phone, makes a call on speed dial, checks his watch.)

 BERGOGLIO
Shit, I gotta get to the airport. There’s a red eye
to B.A. 
leaves in 90 minutes.

 MURSTRICHT
Ha! I. Don’t. Think. So.

  BERGOGLIO
But I gotta get home and pack up my shit.
(to phone) Yeah, is this Vatican Travel?

  MURSTRICHT (Gently but assertively taking phone from Bergoglio)
Nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh nuh, my friend.
We got people that take care of all that shit.

  PSLYISNITZC
Georgie.

  BERGOGLIO (confused)
Wha?

  PSLYISNITZC
Dude, you are home, man.

  BERGOGLIO
But what about Messi?

  MURSTRICHT
What about him? He’s a brilliant football player. 
But you’re now pope!

  PSLYISNITZC
You are, like, the guy.

  BERGOGLIO
Messi, my cat. I gotta get my cat.
And my CDs and shit.

  PSLYISNITZC
Cats? You want cats? There’s a million friggin’
cats out there in St. Peter’s Square, gorging on 
pigeons. Take your pick. This is your place, now.

  MURSTRICHT
Yeah, and after the Sistine Chapel Choir live
from your den, your CDs will sound lame anyway.

 (Bergoglio looks back and forth between the two of them.)

  BERGOGLIO
You fuckers aren’t kidding, are you?

  PSLYISNITZC
No, My Eminence, dude, we are not.

  BERGOGLIO
I really can’t go back and pack up my shit
and get my cat, can I?

  MURSTRICHT (checking his smartphone)
Buenos Aires isn’t scheduled for a papal visit until—
wait, here it is—May 2015. But I think we can scooch
that up a few months, providing the enormous logistical
challenges of moving your papal entourage work out.

 BERGOGLIO (now steamed)
Well, this just blows.

(Pslyisnitzc puts his hand on one of the door handles, Murstricht the other.)

 PSLYISNITZC
You ready?

 BERGOGLIO (mostly to himself)
I had tickets to the opera on Friday night,
I had lunch plans on Saturday…

 MURSTRICHT
After you, Your Eminence?

(Bergoglio pauses for a second, sighs, then nods slightly.)

 BERGOGLIO
Fuck it.

(Pslyisnitzc and Murstricht throw open the doors. A blinding light. The roar of the Cardinals.)

Curtain.