Jul 202012
 

Today I arrived in Dublin for a three-week study abroad course. Sixteen graduate students will arrive on Sunday and begin an in-depth exploration of how Irish arts practitioners engage with various communities in the art-making process. We call this applied theatre or community-engaged theatre, depending on your persuasion. Simply put, I view it as creating theatre with people who may or may not identify as artists in an attempt to explore an issue faced by those people and/or the community in which they live. Others may get more flowery or righteous with their definitions, but I like to keep it practical and real.

The day itself was a bit rocky, as my housing at Trinity College is a mess. As I write this post, my young, French, temporary flatmate is out celebrating her last evening in Dublin with a group of friends. Angelina and I were thrust together unknowingly by the the Accommodations Office for just one nite, and I’ve had the “pleasure” of sharing a bathroom with a young French woman with a lot of bath and shower products. Imagine my delight when I learned this after traveling for many hours and being told (and I triple checked it) that I would be housed alone. And after waiting for five hours for my flat to be ready. It was a challenging day. At 40 years old, I do not expect to be living in a youth hostel type situation with a 20-something young lady.

Then at 5:00pm I met a new colleague, Phil Kingston of the Abbey Theatre, and he was a welcome breath of rationality. Phil will be doing a morning of input for my students, focused on the community-engaged work he is developing through his post at the Abbey Theatre. I found our conversation invigorating, as this is a man working to define what the act of making community-engaged theatre can actually and realistically mean for the national theatre of Ireland. It’s a tall brief, but talking with Phil, I got the distinct sense that he’s more than begun to tackle the challenge in ways that I’m very excited to learn more about on Wednesday.

I ended my day with Jenny MacDonald, one of my Irish teaching colleagues on the course. Jenny has taught with us for four years now, and she’s a great energy. I also appreciate her very grounded way of thinking through what we do as artist-facilitators and how we do it. And what it means for our identities. It’s very easy to get lost in all of it, wondering who we are and why we do what we do. Is it for the money? Does it keep us from pursuing what we really want to be doing? How does working with communities of artists and non-artists inform the individual artist’s process. These questions started percolating in some of the conversation with Phil, and then came to a head with Jenny. And ultimately, it comes back to two central ideas for me, ones that emerged out of each of these conversations.

#1 (with Phil): No matter what kind of work that’s happening and regardless of the context, the artist and her/his aesthetic can’t disappear or be subverted by something else (like an agenda). If artist and aesthetic even begin to fade in importance just slightly, the art will drop away or only weakly emerge, muted and underdeveloped.

#2. (with Jenny): Maybe perfection is embracing the imperfect. Maybe letting people see our work when we’ve reached a natural stopping place could be far healthier than trying to develop something until it’s perfect and lifeless. I think here about the way we develop plays in the United States. What would happen if I just started showing a play every week, having it read out loud to whoever would listen? Maybe even get actors to move around a bit? And just a few people come watch it? In my living room? Is that theatre? According to Eric Bentley it is. Theatre: any live event where A performs B for C. There you have it. Letting my work be what it is, rather than trying so hard to make it perfect. A new goal. Virtually impossible, but I’m gonna try.

I know this post is all over the place. I’m jet lagged, but wide awake. I took an Ambien and it’s done nothing…

I’m going to try to write while I’m leading this course. I’ve fallen off the blogging and play wagon, and I need to get back on. Ireland, the land of literati, has inspired me artistically before, but I’ve never tried to harness it’s magical powers as a more traditional writer. Let’s all stay tuned and see what happens.

Jun 242012
 

Who’s Your Brother-Baby-Daddy?

With special thanks to ScriptWorks for the prompt

 

Lights up on a table at a restaurant.  There are three people sitting at the table, each one is looking at a menu.  There’s silence as JOANNE puts down her menu, picks up a glass of water, and takes sip.  As she does so, JASON lowers his menu and looks at JOANNE.  She smiles and says nothing.  JASON returns to looking at his menu.  JULIE puts her menu on her plate, nervously picks it up again, puts it down, and looks at JOANNE.

JULIE
Joanne?

JOANNE
What?

JULIE
Do you know what you want to order?

JOANNE
I do…

JULIE
What are you getting?

JOANNE
I’ll start with the house salad and then have the red snapper.

JULIE
And?

JOANNE
And what?

JULIE
What are you going to have with the snapper?

JOANNE (looking at the menu)
Uhhh, whatever it comes with?  Rice and a vegetable?  Something like that?

JULIE
Uh huh.

JOANNE looks at JULIE bewildered and then over to MARK.

JOANNE
Mark, what are you having?

MARK
I’m not sure yet.  I hear they have great burgers here, but I’m not sure that I want something that heavy, you know?

JOANNE
I know what you mean.  I had a big lunch, so I don’t need a huge dinner.

JULIE
You really should be eating a lot of protein.

JOANNE
I’m eating protein, Julie, you don’t have to worry.

JULIE
Worry?  Who said I’m worrying?  I’m just saying…

MARK
You’re worrying, Joanne, I can tell.  You’ve got that edge in your voice.

JULIE (sharply)
What edge?

JOANNE and MARK look at each other knowingly.

JULIE (sharply again)
What?

JOANNE and MARK (laughing)
That one.

JULIE
Very funny.

MARK
It is actually.  You are so tense about everything all the sudden.

JOANNE
It’s not all the sudden.  She’s like this all the time.  You just don’t see it cause you’re not around all the time.

JULIE
That’s not true!

JOANNE
OK, I lied.  She’s as cool as a cucumber all the time.

JOANNE and MARK laugh together again.  JULIE fumes.

JULIE
If you two are going to keep having these little “private giggles” together, I’m leaving.

MARK
Private giggles?  We’re giggling right in front of you, Jules!

They laugh again.  JULIE slams her menu down.

JULIE
STOP IT!

There is silence as all three look around as if other restaurant patrons are looking at them.

JOANNE
Why are you being so sensitive about everything?

MARK (trying to calm her)
Yeah, c’mon, we’re just having fun.  This is supposed to be a celebration.

JULIE
Neither of you seem to be taking any of this very seriously, and I’m getting sick of being the only one who’s worried.

JOANNE
Well, maybe you should stop worrying about it.  There’s nothing to worry about.

JULIE
This is how it goes with you, Joanne.  You always act like I’m the one making a big deal out of everything and—

JOANNE
That’s because you usually do.

JULIE
Well, this is a big deal.  You haven’t been eating like the doctor told you to.  And now it may jeopardize the baby and—

JOANNE
Whoa.  Julie.  We don’t even know if there’s a baby to worry about.  There’s no guarantee that it took.

JULIE
But—

JOANNE
And I have been eating the way the doctor suggested.  I lost the weight she suggested, I changed my protein intake like she suggested, and I’ve been exercising to prep for carrying the baby.  What more do you want me to do?

JULIE
I want you to take is seriously.

JOANNE
I am taking it seriously.  I’m just not catastrophizing it from the moment of conception.  If there’s even anything conceived.

MARK
Jules, you’ve got to calm down about this.  Less stress will be better all around.

JULIE
I know, but—

MARK
But what?

JULIE
I just don’t know what else to do.  Worrying is really the only contribution I can make.

JOANNE
What’s that supposed to mean?

JULIE
I’m just not feeling very included.

MARK
Jules—

JULIE
Mark, shut up for a second.  You may be the donor and my brother, but this is about me for a second.

JOANNE
We talked about this before we asked Mark.  You said you were fine with your brother being the donor.  You were the one who suggested we ask him.

JULIE
I know I did, and I’m fine with him.  I want our baby to have some of my family DNA, not some random dudes genetic material.

MARK
It is good DNA.

JULIE
Mark, please?

MARK
OK.  Quieting down.  Why don’t I just go to the restroom for a minute and let you two figure this out.

MARK gets up to go, but JOANNE stops him.

JOANNE
No, sit down.  There’s no reason for you to go anywhere.  We’re perfectly fine discussing this with you.

JULIE
I’m not—

JOANNE
OK, Jules. Listen very carefully to what saying to you.  I’ve said it before and you obviously aren’t listening, so I’ll say it again.  We’ve wanted a baby for a long time.

JULIE
Five years.

JOANNA
What did I say?  Yes.  Five years.  You tried for three of those years to get pregnant, and it never took.  You kept insisting that you wanted to be the biological mother, but it’s not in the cards.   This biological DNA compromise was to ask your brother.  And Mark agreed.  He may be your baby brother, but he’s also now potentially the father of this baby.  If there’s even a baby to worry about yet.  But whatever happens, I’m not going to go through with it if you’re going to act like this for nine months and then eighteen years.  I’m not going to raise a child with a jealous person.

JULIE
Jealous person?

JOANNE
You heard what I said.

JULIE
How am I a jealous person?  I’m just trying to make sure that you do the right things for the baby. Do you think this about me being jealous of Mark?  That I’m worrying and nagging because of something else?

JOANNE
I don’t know.  You tell me.

JULIE
Don’t pull all this psycho babble crap on me.  Save it for your patients.

JULIE gets up to go.

MARK
Julie—

JULIE
Mark, shut up.

JOANNE
Don’t talk to him that way.

JULIE (sits back down, angry)
Who are you in this relationship with now?  Him or me?

JOANNE
That’s a stupid question.

JULIE
Is it?  Mark?

MARK
Why would I be in a relationship with Joanne?

JULIE
You certainly seem more interested in her now.

MARK
What are you talking about?

JULIE
You text her to make sure she’s feeling OK.  You kept texting about her temperature.

MARK
I wanted to know when she was ovulating!

JULIE
Why should you even care?

MARK
Uh, I am helping out here.  In kind of a big way.

JULIE
Right, but I thought you were going to be pretty removed.  When we asked you, you said that you didn’t really want much to do with the baby other than providing the sperm.

MARK
Right.

JULIE
That seems to have changed.

MARK
Nothing’s changed, Jules!  You’re the one who invited me to participate.  You’re also the one who invited me to dinner.  Why are you inviting me to these things if you want me to be silent or absent?

There is silence.  JOANNE looks at JULIE.

JOANNE
What’s the answer?

JULIE
What?

JOANNE
Answer your brother’s question.

JULIE
I invited you because I’m trying to include you and thank you.  But it’s really hard.  Harder than I thought.  If this sticks, you two will have something shared that I’ll never have with either of you.  I will always be the outsider.

MARK
What are you talking about?  You and Joanne will be the parents.  I’ll be the uncle.  That’s what we agreed.

JOANNE
Julie…

JULIE
I know, I know.  I know all of that.  But it was easier to say it would be OK and harder to accept it.  Now that it’s a reality.

JOANNE
Might be a reality.

JULIE
Right.

MARK
Maybe it didn’t even work.  Maybe I have bad sperm.

JOANNE
That’s not what the fertility doctor said, but…

MARK
But?

JOANNE
Is that what we should be hoping for?  Julie?

JULIE
What?

MARK
That I have bad sperm?  So that this doesn’t take?

JULIE
No, of course not.

There’s a pause.  JOANNE speaks first.

JOANNE
Are you sure?

JULIE looks at JOANNE then at MARK.  She picks up the menu and goes back to trying to make a choice.

JULIE
I’m really torn between steak and the pasta.  Joanne, what are you having again?

And as MARK and JOANNE stare at JULIE, the lights fade to black.

 

 Posted by at 5:55 pm
Jun 202012
 

So the Huffington Post is reporting that Dan Savage (@fakedansavage) got upset today when a conservative gay group called GOP Proud endorsed Mitt Romney for President. He tweeted the following response to the group’s announcement:

“The GOP’s house faggots grab their ankles, right on cue.”

How is it alright for Savage, a self-proclaimed gay-rights activist, to use this word to describe other people that he disagrees with? He created the “It Gets Better Project” to help young people who are being bullied, yet he uses the word “faggot” in anger to disenfranchise and put down people who don’t agree with his political positions. Isn’t this what kids on the playground do all the time?

I’ve had a lot of respect for Dan Savage. I think he does some good work. This moment is not his finest. It’s disappointing.

I understand that people make mistakes. But if Dan Savage is going to position himself as the watchdog of others, then he needs to watch himself a little more carefully.

Jun 162012
 

 

Big Gay Gradual Release

With special thanks to ScriptWorks for the prompt and to Pearson and Gallagher (1983) for the term.

 

Lights up to find three men standing against a wall.  There is loud music playing and lights flashing.  The guys are each holding a drink.  Two of them, MARK and PAT, are standing close together.  They wear jeans and tight t-shirts, typical NYC gay club uniform.  They are in their early 30s.  Similar looking.  A matched set, if you will.

The third guy, TOM, stands near them.  The three are at the club together.  TOM is looking out into the crowd, searching for someone.  He wears a pair of board shorts and is otherwise bare-chested.  His own t-shirt is tucked into the waistband of the shorts.  He’s also got sunglasses on.  TOM is younger, maybe 25.

PAT
How much longer do we have to stay here?

MARK
As long as we have to, Pat.

PAT (drinking)
I hope you’ve got a lot of cash or a bottomless credit card, cause if we have to stay here much longer, I’m going to have keep drinking.  A lot.

MARK
Would you stop complaining?  We came here all the time.  And if my memory serves me correctly, Mark, you used to love it.

PAT
Right.  Emphasis on “used to.”  This place is so tired.  All these really young guys in here acting like maniacs.  Shirts off.

MARK
Is the shirts off part really such a torture for you?

PAT
Uh, more of an awful reminder that the metabolism slows way down in the 30s.  Waaaay down.  (He drains his drink.)

TOM
You want another?

PAT
Yeah, I–

MARK
In a few minutes.  Pace yourself, Tiger.  It’s gonna be a bumpy night.

TOM
Hey!  I know that line!  It’s from The Women, right?

PAT
No.  Not quite.

MARK
Right actress, wrong movie.  It was actually All About Eve.

TOM
Right.  Crap.  Sorry.  Still learning the lingo.

PAT (to MARK)
Lingo?

MARK
Just humor him, please?

TOM
If you guys don’t want anything, I’m gonna go get another drink from the bar.

MARK
Sounds good.  We’ll wait here.

PAT
Yeah, we’ll just be hear against the wall, watching the world dance by.

TOM
Is that a song lyric?

PAT
No, but it should’ve been.

TOM goes off to get his drink.  PAT and MARK stand silently for a moment.

MARK
Thanks for coming out with me.  I know you hate this place now.

PAT
I don’t hate it, Mark.  I just don’t like how old it makes me feel.  It’s like I’m everyone’s old uncle in here.  And it’s hard not stare and then I get caught and I feel like some kind of troll.

MARK
Trolls are much older, Pat.  You’re no wheres near being a troll.  You’ve got like 20 years or so left before you get that designation.

PAT
Thanks.  Very comforting.  Why did he want to come here again?

MARK
He said that he’s been reading about this place ever since he came out, and he wanted his big brother to bring him to his first gay club in the city.

PAT
I still can’t believe that you’re brother’s gay, Mark.  I never once suspected any of it, and I have really good Gay-Dar.

MARK
Gay-Dar is good but not flawless.

PAT
I know, but—

MARK
Remember what happened in Amsterdam?

PAT
Please don’t bring that up.

MARK
That Russian guy nearly decked you.

PAT
He looked like one of those East European porn guys!  I thought for sure it was him.  I just wanted an autograph.

MARK
But asking for one by grabbing his ass at the bar proved to be not the best approach.

PAT
It was Amsterdam for Christ’s sake!  Everyone’s supposed to be “sooo open” in Amsterdam.

MARK
“Sooo open” doesn’t mean it’s a “Please Touch Museum.”

PAT
Well, I’m just glad you took Russian in college.  Your quick thinking saved my face.  What did you say to him anyway?  You wouldn’t tell me.  Said I was too drunk to remember what you said anyway.

MARK
I told him that you had some disease that caused you to have involuntary spasms.

PAT
You did not.

MARK
I did.

PAT
You knew how to say that?  After two semesters of Russian?

MARK
I had a creative teacher for Russian.  He liked to teach us alternative phrases.  One who class was dedicated to bar pick up lines, embarrassing excuses, and apologies.

PAT
And that was one of them?

MARK
Yeah.  I think my teacher might have been gay and a little bit of a perv.  He was from Spain—

PAT
Teaching Russian?

MARK
Yeah, and his wife taught Chemistry.

PAT
Very weird.

MARK
Anyway, I would always bump into him on the street, and he’d always ask me when I was going to come swimming at the gym.

PAT
Creepy.

MARK
Big time.  He was kind of handsome, in a teacher kind of way, but he definitely creeped me out a bit.  But you owe your face, so we shouldn’t be too catty about him.

TOM returns with another drink.

MARK
Are you having a good time, Baby Bro?

TOM
Maarrrkkk, please don’t call me “Baby Bro” when we’re out in public like this.  How am I ever gonna meet a guy if you call me “Baby Bro.”

PAT
You oughta let some of these guys here him call you that.  It might be your express ticket to getting laid.

MARK
Pat!

TOM
Very funny.

PAT
It’s the truth!  Guys like this Bro thing, and I’m sure some of these older guys are looking for younger bro types for no strings fun.

MARK
You sound like a craigslist ad.

PAT
In my line of work, it’s important to know the language of the people.

TOM
You work in a costume shop.  How is Craigslist the language of those people?

PAT
Listen, honey.  I do fittings with every tight-bodied chorus boy in this city.  I’ve seen more dance-belted ass crack than I care to remember.  Every one of those boys has zero percent body fat, and all they do is piss and moan about how they never have time for a date.  They’re soooo busy all the time.  Dancing, performing,  whooping it up, smoking outside the stage door.  Whatever.  So I know a thing or two about what some of these guys are looking for.  Don’t question your brother-in-law’s knowledge base about fag language.

TOM
OK.  Sorry—

MARK
Pat–?

PAT
For someone who’s only been out for three months, you’ve got a lot to say about how things work.

MARK
That’s enough, Pat.

TOM
I barely said—

PAT
And another thing.  Why don’t you put your goddamned shirt back on?

MARK
Pat, that’s enough.

TOM
It’s hot in here, Pat. Lay off.

MARK
Pat, you need to relax.

PAT
I don’t know why he wore that ridiculous pair of board shorts.  He looks like a fucking Hawaiian Punch commercial.  Or an episode of Jersey Shore.

TOM
Why are you being such a dick all the sudden?  Three hours ago you couldn’t wait to come here.  You can just go if you don’t want to be here.  Mark, just go.

MARK
We’re not going.

PAT
Why are we staying here?  He just said we could go.

MARK
I’m not leaving him in this club by himself.

PAT
Why not?

TOM
Yeah, why not?

MARK
Because you’ve only been out for three months.

TOM
So?

MARK
Somebody needs to watch out for you.

TOM
Why?  I’m a big boy, Mark.

MARK
You may be a big boy, but there are shitty people in places like this.

TOM
I’ve been to gay bars before.  Just because I’m out for three months doesn’t mean I’ve only been going to these places for three months.

PAT
Right.

MARK
Shut up, Pat.

TOM
You need to let me figure this out, Mark.  I’m not going to figure it out if you hold my hand through it.

MARK
But you said you wanted to go to this club for the first time with me.

TOM
Yeah, just like we went to a baseball game together or an amusement park.  You didn’t have to hold my hand when we did that, did you?

MARK
No, but—

PAT
He’s got a point, Mark.

MARK
I said to stay out of this!

PAT
I’m not going to stay out of this!  I’ve been standing here with you all night.  You keep watching over him like a hawk, he wants to meet people.  He needs to be here a along, Mark.  We walked him in, we showed him around, you two gay brothers have been here together–

TOM
–which is what I wanted–

PAT
–and now it’s time for us to let him figure the rest out himself.  Do you have a key?

MARK
But–

PAT
And you know how to get back to the apartment?

TOM
3 blocks north and 2 long blocks east.

PAT
Exactly.

MARK
We can’t–

TOM
Yes, you can.

PAT
Yes, we can.

TOM
Thanks.

PAT
If you meet someone, bring him to our place so you won’t go somewhere alone.  It might upset your brother to hear you getting it on, so keep the noise down a bit.  And there are condoms in the nightstand next to the bed in the guestroom.

MARK
Why are there condoms in that nightstand?

PAT
Guests get laid too, honey, not just you.

TOM
T-M-I

MARK
Ditto on that.

PAT
Oh, c’mon.  Who are you trying to kid?  Do you really expect anyone to believe otherwise?

MARK
I can’t believe that you’re–

TOM
OK, boys.  Why don’t you two continue this on the walk home.  I’ll be here for another couple of hours, so there’s plenty of time for you to fight it out then fuck it out and be sound asleep when I get home.

PAT
Fight it out then fuck it out.  That’s a good one.  I’m going to use that if you don’t mind.

TOM
Not mine, so feel free.

MARK
Are you sure you want us to leave?

PAT
He’s sure.

TOM
I’m sure.  Thanks for bringing me.  I won’t forget being here with you.

MARK
Be careful.

TOM
I will.

PAT
Let’s go, Auntie Em.  We have to fight it out on the way home.  And then follow your baby brother’s advise when we get into the apartment.

PAT kisses MARK on the forehead and leads him out of the club.  TOM watches them go, then turns back to look into the club as the music and lights come back up to full.  After a moment, he makes eye contact with someone, points to his chest and mouths “Me?” then smiles broadly, downs his drink and heads out into the dance floor as the lights black out.

 Posted by at 2:31 pm
Jun 122012
 

LZ Granderson comments on a commencement speech at a high school graduation entitled “You Are Not Special.”  Here’s the link to Granderson’s commentary.

I need to listen to the speech, but based on what Granderson is saying in his piece, the high school English teacher hit something on the head: we need to stop telling everyone how great they are, and start playing in the Reality Sand Box.  As someone who teaches students after they come out of 13 years of being told they can do no wrong, it’s refreshing to know that at least this class of high school graduates got a bit of a reality check before traipsing out into the world.

Jun 102012
 

Very Vanilla

With special thanks to ScriptWorks for the prompt.

For Nicole

 

Lights up to find JANICE, a young woman of 26, with a clothespin clipped to her nose.  She is wearing bright yellow rubber gloves, and she holds an aerosol can and a toilet brush.

Do you ever wonder what would happen if the whole world smelled the same?  Like you know, Pine Fresh Scent, maybe?  Life would be so much easier.  Or even just the bathroom.  Maybe that would be helpful.  Like no matter what anyone did in there, it would ALWAYS smell like Apple and Cinnamon.  Wouldn’t that be a dream?  Or the locker room at the gym.  What if no matter how many sweaty bras and wet towels there were laying around, it always smelled like Grandmother’s Potpourri?  Or the cat’s litter box!  What if no matter how long I waited to scoop it, it always smelled like—

JANICE looks down at the can in her hand and reads the label.

JANICE
“Very Vanilla.”  Aaahhhhhh!   Ahhhh!  Ugh!  Ack!

JANICE drops the can like it’s 120 degrees.  The lights fill in and a large kitchen is revealed.  Small table, two chairs, and cabinets.  JERRY runs in from another room.  He has on soccer shorts and a t-shirt. He’s the same age as JANICE, handsome, tan.  JANICE is still screaming, making dry heaving sounds.

JERRY
Janice!  JANICE!  What’s wrong?  Can you breathe?

JANICE (pointing at the can on the floor, between heaves)
Very Vanilla?

JERRY
What?

JANICE
VERY VANILLA?

JERRY (picking up the can)
Very Vanilla.  So?

JANICE
I’ve told you before about vanilla, Jerry.

JERRY
What are you talking about?

JANICE
I can’t have vanilla in the apartment.  I’ve told you before.  When I smell vanilla it makes me, you know— (she heaves again)

JERRY
No, actually you told me that when you eat vanilla foods that you throw up.  You never said anything about smelling vanilla.  Since when is it about the smell too.

JANICE
Eat, smell, what’s the difference?

JERRY
Uh, there’s a big difference as far as I can tell.  Mouth.  Nose.

JANICE
The sense of taste is closely linked to smell, Jerry, so I can’t have vanilla anything in the apartment.

JERRY
Does that include the vanilla-flavored lube I have in my room?

JANICE
That’s disgusting.

JERRY
Maybe, but it makes life a whole lot easier sometimes.  Trust me.  (He looks at the can, takes off the top)  Does this stuff really smell like vanilla?  (He goes to spray it)

JANICE
DON’T YOU DARE!  I just told you that I can’t smell vanilla.  I’ll throw up immediately and be sick for the rest of the day.

JERRY puts the top back on the can, sets the can down on the floor and slowly backs away, as if it’s some kind of toxic chemical.

JERRY
Better?

JANICE
Yes.  But why are you leaving it on the floor?  Can’t you just take it out to the garbage?

JERRY
I just bought that can at the grocery store.  I’m not throwing it away.

JANICE
But it’s going to make me sick.

JERRY
You’re wearing rubber gloves and a clothespin on your nose.  How’s it going to even come in contact with you?  And what were you doing anyway?

JANICE
Cleaning the bathroom.

JERRY
Again?

JANICE
Yes, again.  It’s disgusting.

JERRY
You just cleaned it yesterday.  And then again the day before that.  I can barely breathe in there because the it smells so “clean.”  You clean again, and the EPA will be over here testing our bathtub drain for chemical run off.

JANICE
Well, if you would wipe up your dribbles after you finished peeing, maybe I wouldn’t have to clean all the time.  Or rinsed the sink out after you shaved.  Or—

JERRY
I do rinse the sink out after I shave.

JANICE
Well you don’t do it carefully enough.  I found a whisker in there again this morning.

JERRY
A whisker? Did you get your magnifying glass out?

JANICE
Stop making fun of me.

JERRY
I’m not making fun of you.  I just can’t believe that you’ve suddenly turned into some kind of bionic woman when it comes to spotting my whiskers and pee dribbles.

JANICE
Just throw it away, please?

JERRY
What?

JANICE (pointing)
The can of vanilla.

JERRY
I’m not going to waste $2.99 because you’re crazy.

JANICE
I AM NOT CRAZY.  I HAVE A HEALTH CONDITION.

JERRY
Who diagnosed the health condition?

JANICE
I did.

JERRY
How?

JANICE
Online.

JERRY
You diagnosed yourself online?

JANICE
Yes.

JERRY
Now I’m really not throwing it away.

JANICE
I looked at a lot of sites, and they all confirmed that I have an allergy to vanilla tastes and scents.  If you don’t believe me, fine.  But if you wake up one day and find me dead, you’ll know the cause, especially if you spray that aerosol can.

JERRY
I’ll take this and keep it in my room, and use it in my space if I need to.  How about that?  With no air conditioning in this new apartment that we’ve moved into, it’s bound to get a little smelly at times.

JANICE
But if you spray it in your room, it’ll still make me sick.

JERRY
I’m not talking about fumigating the place, Janice.  Jesus!  It’s air freshener!

JANICE
Can’t you just throw it out?  I’ll pay you for the can.

JERRY
I’m not throwing out the can!   How many times do I have to tell you?  I’m taking it to my room (he picks up the can), and I’ll use it in my space if I need to.  And I’ll make sure that I only use it if the window is open and my door is shut.  Fair?

JANICE glowers at him.

JANICE
Fine.  It’s not FAIR, but that’s beside the point.  You don’t care about me.  Fine!  Just pee all over the toilet rim, stink up the place, and make messes all the time. FINE!  YOU’RE A JERK!!!

JANICE stomps off to her room, and a door slams.

JERRY turns to the audience.

JERRY
Do you ever wonder what would happen if roommates never argued?  You know?  Like the cable bill was always paid on time so it never got shut off?  Wouldn’t that be great?  Or you wouldn’t have to listen to your roommate having sex with her boyfriend at all hours of the night, especially when she’s a yeller?  Or how about never having to worry about finding her hair wrapped around your comb because she has no control over where it lands when she brushes it?  And how about…

As JERRY speaks the above lines, the lights begin to fade slowly, until finally, black out.

 Posted by at 7:03 pm
Jun 032012
 

The Power of Johnny

With special thanks to ScriptWorks for the prompt.

For the Wombats

 

SALLY and GINGER are two secretaries.  They are sitting at desks that face one another.  Each desk has a telephone and a computer.  The chairs at the desks swivel, allowing for the actresses to adjust for the audience and sightlines.  Each desk is backed by a cubicle wall.  GINGER’s cubicle wall is bare, save for one picture of Johnny Depp, from the “21 Jump Street” era.  GINGER is 45, brunette, and loud, both vocally and in her clothing choices.  She also likes to chew gum.  SALLY’s cubicle wall is full of decorations.  She’s got a Boston Celtics pennant, images of London and the Royal Family, including William and Kate, and Star Wars characters.  SALLY is about 28, quiet, bookish, blonde, with glasses, and her hair is pulled back tightly.

As the lights come up, the boss, MARCUS, is standing over SALLY’s desk.  MARCUS is 33, dark hair, piercing eyes, handsome.  He is talking quietly to SALLY, who giggles nervously.  MARCUS is dressed in business attire, but his shirt sleeves are rolled up, and he clearly has a tattoo on his right arm.  He references it in quiet comments to SALLY.  While all of this is going on, GINGER is filing her nails.

MARCUS
And so that’s the story.  It was a dare, I was drunk, and I barely remember.  Kappa Delta Rho was a wild time, Sally.

SALLY (nervously)
It must have been so cool though.  President of the fraternity and all.

MARCUS
Well, that was only for one year, but yeah, it was cool.  So when were you there?

SALLY
Oh, I was never there.  I didn’t go to frat parties.

MARCUS
No, I mean when were you at U of M?

SALLY
Ooohhh.  (giggles nervously)  I was there from 2002 to 2006.

MARCUS
Ah, so you missed us.  That was the year after we got kicked off campus.

SALLY (taken aback)
Oh?

MARCUS
Huge misunderstanding.  Guys and girls kiss all the time.   Richard Dawson never asked any of those women on “Family Feud” for permission to kiss them.

SALLY
Excuse me?

GINGER’s phone rings.  She does not answer it and keeps filing her nails.  The phone keeps ringing.

MARCUS
The university made a big deal out of that one girl claiming–  Hey, (to GINGER) are you going to answer that?

GINGER
I was waiting to hear that end of your fraternity story.

MARCUS
Actually, I wasn’t talking to you, Ginger.

GINGER
There are no walls in this office, Mr. Gaines, so everything you say to Sally, you say to me.

MARCUS looks at SALLY who nervously shrugs her shoulders and smiles weakly.

MARCUS
Fine.  Please answer the phone, and if it’s for me, go ahead and transfer it to my office.  (to SALLY)  I’ll finish talking to you later.

SALLY
OK.  Mr. Gaines.

MARCUS
Call me Marcus.

MARCUS winks and walks off.  GINGER flicks MARCUS the bird behind his back.

SALLY
Ginger!

GINGER
Please.  (she picks up the phone)  Gaines Law Offices. …  This is Ginger.  Who’s this?… Oh yeah.  He said he was expecting a call from you.  Hold on.  (She transfers the call and hangs up.)  (to SALLY)  Mrs. Postorivy.  (She whispers loudly)  That’s the mistress.

SALLY
Ginger, please.  It’s not good to spread rumors like that.

GINGER
It ain’t no rumor, Sally.  I’ve seen how the two of them talk real close to each other when she comes in for a “consult.”  Kinda like he was just talking to you.

SALLY (offended and flustered)
Are you implying that—

GINGER
I’m not implying anything.  I wasn’t born yesterday, you know.  I’ve had my share of leeayzawns.  I know what they look like from the inside.  (She goes back to filing her nails.)  You better be careful.

SALLY
And what do you mean by that?

GINGER
Exactly what I said.

SALLY
I have no idea what you’re talking about.  Marcus is just being nice.  He likes Star Wars, and he noticed my visual homage to episodes 4, 5, and 6.  He told me that Princess Leia is really just misunderstood, and I couldn’t agree more. We’re just talking about fan stuff.  Nothing else.

GINGER
Yeah, well fan stuff leads to other stuff.

SALLY
Like what?

GINGER
“Like what” she says.  (She looks up at Johnny Depp on her cubicle wall)  Can you believe this broad?

SALLY
You don’t have an answer because there is no “other stuff.”  It’s just fan stuff.

GINGER
Listen.  Fan stuff leads to other stuff.  Trust me.  Other stuff is like let’s-go-to-a-movie-stuff then let’s-go-have-a-night-cap-stuff, and oh-my-wife’s-out-of-town-visiting-her-mother-stuff, so let’s-have-another-drink-stuff, and before you know it, he’s taken you to see Battleship, and you end up with his torpedo in your hull and there’s nobody to answer the distress call.

SALLY gasps.  GINGER shrugs, cracks her gum, and goes back to filing her nails.

SALLY (mortified)
I can’t believe that you would insinuate that—

GINGER
I’m just sayin’

There is silence between the two of them.  SALLY looks up at her.

SALLY
I really don’t think that–

GINGER
Listen, sweetheart.  How long you been here?

SALLY
Two months.

GINGER
Right.  How long I been here?

SALLY
I don’t know, a long time?

GINGER
Since I was 22.  That’s 23 years.  I’ve known Marcus since he was 10 years old.  And I’ve known every woman who’s sat in your chair.  Mr. Gaines, Sr. has deep sixed every one of them, but that’s only after he’s played hide-the-weeney with each and every one of them.  And now Mr. Gaines, Jr. is following in the old man’s footsteps.

SALLY
What are you saying?

GINGER
I’m saying you need your job, right?

SALLY
Yes, but—

GINGER
You told me you got a ton of student loan debt, right?

SALLY
Right, and I’m working on it, so why—

GINGER
I’m just sayin’.  Be careful of Junior’s libido.  If you think you can handle him, that’s one thing, but based on what I’ve been hearing from you these last two months, it doesn’t sound like you’ve got too much experience.

SALLY (righteously)
I have experience.

GINGER
How many guys you slept with?

SALLY
That is a very personal question.

GINGER
You a virgin?

SALLY
I should say not!  Huh.

GINGER
Well, then answer the question.

Silence.  SALLY is trying to keep it together, but she’s getting more and more upset as the silence continues.

GINGER
It’s just us girls, honey.  I ain’t gonna tell nobody.  I’ve got my own past to deal with.  Yours is child’s play, I’m sure.

SALLY (weakly)
Two

GINGER
Two?

SALLY (holding up two fingers)
Two.

GINGER
OK. Two is more double what I thought we were dealing with.  OK.  This is good.  Recently?

SALLY
Awhile ago.

GINGER
So you’re kinda really wantin’ some, huh?

SALLY
Please!  Don’t be so vulgar!

GINGER
It’s alright to want it, sweetheart.  Please!  I want it all the time.  But I’ve learned that wanting it and getting it from a good source is like two different things.  You see, sex from a good source is like getting good weed.  If the origin is good, the high is much much better.  If the origin of the sex is no good, like Mr. Marcus and his torpedo, your Big O won’t be so big. (She picks up her nail file and starts filing again.) I’ve heard it’s all about him, sweetie.

SALLY
All about him?

GINGER
Yeah.  And his hair.  He’s afraid to mess up his hair when he’s doing it, so it’s real awkward.  Last girl in your chair pulled a bunch of muscles because he made her get into all sorts of weird configurations so that his hair wouldn’t get messy.

SALLY (holding her head in her hands)
Dear God.

GINGER
Yeah.  He has no skills when it comes to pleasuring his partner.

SALLY
Ughhhh.

GINGER
It’s OK.  Now you know.

SALLY
Yeah.  Now I know.  But I told him that I’d see the 3D Star Wars movie with him tomorrow night.

GINGER
Oh.

SALLY
His said his wife is—

GINGER
out of town visiting her mother.

SALLY
Actually going on a yoga retreat.

GINGER
Huh.  That’s a new one.  Good for him for getting creative.

SALLY
What do I do?

GINGER
Up to you, cupcake.

SALLY
What would you do?

GINGER
Are you asking me for advice now?

SALLY
Yes, Ginger.  I’m asking you for advice.

GINGER (speaking to Johnny Depp again)
My, how things change so quickly around here.

SALLY
Why do you always talk to that picture?

GINGER
Johnny Depp has been my confidante since he tried to escape from prison in those damp tighty whiteys in Cry Baby back in 1990.  I watched that movie and swooned through that whole scene.  Since then, Johnny’s my boy.  Any guy that can look that good in briefs like that deserves to be consulted about all of life’s mysteries.

SALLY
OK?  So what do you and Johnny think I should do?

GINGER
Well, you’re feeling like a little play, right?

SALLY (embarrassed)
Yes, but—

GINGER
But you don’t want to enter into a vacuous affair with your boss. (She stops, surprised) Listen to me with the fancy words.  Va-cu-ous.  Huh.  Anyway, you run the risk of getting canned, and you need the dough for the loan debt.

SALLY
Yes, and—

GINGER
And, now that your friend Ginger has told you all there is to know about the Gaines boys, you’re convinced that it would be pretty silly to get involved with Junior.

There’s silence for a moment as SALLY takes all of this in.  She looks up at GINGER and smiles.

SALLY
Yes, and—

GINGER
What else is there to say?

SALLY
And my friend Ginger would be a great alternative partner for the 3D Star Wars movie tomorrow night.  You said you were my friend, so come to the movie with me.

GINGER
Not a chance.  I stayed away from those flicks the first time around.

SALLY
C’mon.  It’ll be fun.  They’re really kind of funny if you don’t take them too seriously.

GINGER
But I thought you were some nutso fan.

SALLY
I like them alright.  But I’ve learned that the boys like them more. (SALLY winks at GINGER. It takes GINGER a second, but then she gets it.)

GINGER
Uh huh.  You’re sneaky.  I should maybe try a little of that.  The only boys who come talk to me are the gay ones.

SALLY
Duh!  (She points at GINGER’s cubicle wall.) Because of Johnny.

GINGER
Because of Johnny?  Ooooh!  Of course!  You know, that explains so much.  I always wondered why Jerry across the hall always wanted to hear that story about the tighty whiteys. Over and over again.  And he always starts sweating and touching his mouth lips when I tell it.  Now I get it.  Thanks, honey!

SALLY’s phone rings.  She looks down at the caller ID.

SALLY (whispers)
It’s him.

GINGER (picking up her nail file)
You know what to do.

SALLY takes a deep breath and answers the phone.

SALLY
Yes, Mr. Gaines.  OK.  Marcus.  I uh.  Well, Marcus, I meant to talk to you about tomorrow night when you were out here before…  No, everything’s fine, but I think I need to uh–  Well, yes, I need to cancel.   I know.  I’m sorry.  It’s just that–  A good friend of mine is in town at the last minute, and she asked if we could have dinner. …  Right.  Well, she’s only in town for the one night on business, and I haven’t seen her in a long–  Right.  OK.  Well, right.  I see.  OK.  Well, it’s good to know that Mrs. Postorivy can use the ticket instead.  She’s a “lovely” woman, and I’m sure you two will have a “wonderful” time….Yes.  I’ll have that memo for you by 3:00pm, Mr. Gaines.  Right away.  Goodbye.

SALLY
What a—

GINGER
Jackass?

SALLY
Yes.  A complete…jackass.

GINGER
You made the right choice, cupcake.

SALLY
I know.

Silence

SALLY
Ginger?

GINGER
Yeah?

SALLY
Thanks.

GINGER
Don’t thank me.  Thank Johnny.  I learned everything I know about men from him.

SALLY
Thanks, Johnny.

GINGER
He’s says, “You’re welcome.”

GINGER looks up from her nail filing and winks.  SALLY smiles and the lights fade to black.

Jun 022012
 

Where Charity and Love Prevail

With thanks to ScriptWorks for the prompt.


Lights up on a cubicle in a hospital emergency room.  WOMAN is wearing workout clothes, hair pulled back in a pony tail.  MAN is sitting on a gurney.  He is dressed in casual clothes, but they are disheveled and dirty.  He’s pretty banged up.  Scrapes on his face, and his right ankle is wrapped.  Shoes sit to the side of the gurney, and a coat is draped over a chair.  The coat is dirty as well.

MAN
Hey thanks.  I mean really.  Thanks a lot.

WOMAN
It’s nothing.  Really.

MAN
No. Seriously.  I mean it was so nice of you.

WOMAN
I’m not really sure what I did.

MAN
What?  Not sure what you did?   How could you even think that?  What you did was so…was so—

WOMAN
It was nothing.  Now cut it out.  (She lightly punches him on the arm.)

MAN
Ow!  Ooooooowwwwww (holding his arm; he appears to black out for a second, like something happens to him, then he shakes it off) That wasn’t necessary!

WOMAN
It was just a tap.

MAN
That was a pretty hard tap!  I think I have a bruise now.  Why did you do that?

WOMAN
It was just—a gesture.

MAN
A gesture?  What’s that supposed to mean?  A gesture?  Punching a total stranger in the arm is “just a—gesture”?

WOMAN
How am I a total stranger now?

MAN
Well, I don’t even know you.  How did we even meet?

WOMAN
Uh, remember the accident?  Just a few minutes ago?

MAN
What are you talking about?

WOMAN looks at him and something dawns on her.

WOMAN
Do you know where you are?

MAN
Uh, duh.  DUuuuuuhhhhh!  I’m at the hospital.

WOMAN
Yes.  Do you know why?

MAN pauses for a second.  Looks confused.  Then tries to pretend that he does know why he’s there.

MAN
Of course I do.

WOMAN
Why then?

(Long pause)

MAN
OK, fine.  I’m not entirely sure why I’m here, but I know I’m about to get out of here, away from people who “like to make gestures” that include punching people in the arm.

MAN gets up to go in a huff, jumps off the gurney, and yowls with pain.

MAN
OOOooooowwwwwww!

MAN hops up and down on one foot until WOMAN can get him back up on the gurney.

WOMAN
Now do you remember?

MAN (slowly, as if remembering the details one by one)
A little bit.  The last thing I remember I was buying Hormel chili, peanut butter, bread, and milk at the corner store.  I paid, picked up the bag, walked out of the store and BOOM!  Then next think I know I’m in this room with you, punching me in the arm.

WOMAN
You must have hit your head really hard.  I bet get the nurse.

MAN
Then why does my foot hurt so bad.

WOMAN
Because when you fell, you hurt your ankle.  That’s why it’s wrapped.  And swollen.

MAN looks down at his foot.  Then looks at her.

MAN
What?  What are you saying happened to me?

WOMAN
You left the corner store at the same time a guy robbing the jewelry store up the street was trying to escape.  He came running down the block and plowed into you.  You never even saw him coming.

MAN just looks at her.

WOMAN
I was across the street and saw the whole thing.

MAN
And then what happened.

WOMAN
I called the cops.  They were already on their way because the alarm from the jewelry store had gone off, so the guy actually ran right into the cop car after he ran you down.  They caught him.

MAN
Uh huh.  Then what happened to me?

WOMAN
I came across the street, and you were unconscious.  The police called an ambulance, and I rode here with you.  They checked you out wrapped your ankle, and then said that I could say hello.

MAN just looks at her again.  He seems to be getting more and more confused by the minute.

WOMAN (holding out her hand)
Hello?  I’m Janet.

MAN hesitantly shakes her hand.

MAN
Hi.

JANET
Uh.  OK.  Do you have a name?   (He doesn’t respond.)  Do you know your name?

MAN
Yes, I know my name!  Would you just leave me alone?  My head hurts and my foot hurts and I just want to go home.

JANET
OK.  OK.  Do you want any help?

MAN
No, thank you.  I think I can handle it myself.

JANET
Do you want me to get you a cab?  Is there someone I can call to come pick you up?

MAN
No, I live alone.  Just go, you’ve done plenty already.  Thank you.

JANET
Are you sure?

MAN
I’M SURE!  Just leave me alone.

JANET
Alright.

JANET gathers her things to leave.

JANET
Your coat is over there.  The paramedics said that they put your wallet back in your pocket.

MAN
Why did they have my wallet?

JANET
Because you were unconscious and they needed to know who you were.

MAN
And they didn’t tell you?

JANET
Not allowed to they said.  Something about privacy.

MAN
Huh…

JANET
Well, please be careful.  Don’t get hit by any more runaway robbers.

MAN is not amused.  JANET goes to exit the room.  MAN stops her with his voice.

MAN
Hey.  Thanks.  I mean really.  Thanks a lot.

JANET
It was nothing.  Really.

MAN
No, seriously.  I mean it was very nice of you.

JANET (she comes back towards him)
I’m not really sure what I did.

MAN
What?  Not sure what you did?   How could you even think that?  What you did was so…was so—

JANET
It was nothing.  Now cut it out.

JANET pulls back in slow motion again to lightly punch MAN in the arm.  And the lights bump to black.

 Posted by at 10:43 pm
Jun 022012
 

M Squared in the Kitchen

With special thanks to ScriptWorks for the prompt.

For Marilyn Monroe, on the occasion of what would have been her 86th birthday, June 1, 2012.

Lights up on a living room in a small, cluttered apartment.  Stacks of books and magazines are on a coffee table.  There’s an open lap top among them, and the glow of a TV lights up the mostly dark room.  CHAD is sitting on the couch, sort of watching the television, trying to eat a bag of chips, but he’s also falling asleep.  The television is playing an old movie musical, not quite recognizable.  It’s late, like 2:00am.  CHAD is dressed in boxer shorts and a wife beater.  He’s an average guy.  Cute and wholesome, maybe a little stocky.  CHAD eventually falls completely asleep.  The bag of chips drops out of his hands and the chips spill down the front of him.  He does not wake up.

Suddenly from the doorway upstage right, sound begins to grow.  It’s the doorway to CHAD’s kitchen.  It sounds like something is trying to rise up out of the kitchen sink.  There’s a grinding noise, like metal against metal, like the sound of subway wheels grinding to a stop.  It gets louder and louder until there’s the sound of an explosion and bright lights flash from the kitchen.  CHAD jumps up, the spilled chips fly everywhere, and he reacts to what’s happening.  Smoke begins to come out of the kitchen.  CHAD goes towards the doorway, sees the smoke, and stops.

CHAD
What the fuck?

CHAD peers into the smoke-filled kitchen as a woman’s voice begins to sing.

WOMAN (offstage)
Happy Birthday to you
Happy Birthday to you

CHAD (fanning at the smoke, still trying to see)
Who’s there?

WOMAN
Happy Birthday, Mr. President

CHAD
Jesus Christ!

The WOMAN enters.  It’s MARILYN MONROE, dressed in the classic gown that she had to be sewed into.

MARILYN
Happy Birthday to you!

CHAD
Uh…  What the hell is going on?  Who are you?  Is this some kind of joke?

MARILYN
Oh, Jackie, don’t be silly.  Let me finish.

CHAD
Jackie?  My name is Chad.

MARILYN proceeds to sing a verse of “Thanks for the Memory,” but with different lyrics.  She’s very proud of herself.

MARILYN
Thanks, Mr. President
For all the things you’ve done
The battles that you’ve won
The way you deal with U.S. Steel
And our problems by the ton
We thank you so much.

MARILYN finishes and looks around.  Sees CHAD and how he’s dressed.

MARILYN
Jackie, why don’t you have any pants on?

CHAD
I said I’m not Jackie.  I’m Chad.

MARILYN
Chad?  Who’s Chad?  Isn’t this Madison Square Garden.

CHAD
Uh.  No.  We’re just south of Madison Square Park on 21st Street and 5thAvenue. Does this look like Madison Square Garden?

MARILYN looks around very confused.

CHAD
And who are you?

MARILYN
Who am I?  Well, that’s a silly question, Jackie.

CHAD
CHAD!

MARILYN
Whatever.

CHAD
Who are you and how did you get into my kitchen?  There are bars on the window.

MARILYN
Silly!  I didn’t climb in through the window.  Marilyn Monroe does not climb in through windows.  Unless it’s at Camp David.  (She laughs all over herself.)

CHAD (completely perplexed)
Who did you say you were?

MARILYN (losing her patience)
Are you some kind of idiot?  MARILYN MONROE.  I’m Marilyn Monroe.  You know, Gentlemen Prefer BlondesSeven Year Itch?  Whoooooo!

MARILYN mimics that moment when her skirt blows up.

CHAD
You’ve got to be shitting me.

MARILYN
Uh, could you cut it with the crass language.  I’m a lady, not a truck driver.

CHAD
Right, sorry.

MARILYN
Now.  Can you tell me how to get to Madison Square Garden?  I was backstage there just a second ago, waiting to go on and finally sing.  I was really late, and I knew Jackie was expecting me.  I went wandering out of the green room and took one of my dolls to help calm the nerves.  I have horrible stage fright.  Next thing I know, here I am.

CHAD
Uh…

MARILYN
Do you have a ladies?

CHAD
A what?

MARILYN
A ladies?  A ladies room?  A TOILET?  I need to check my face.

CHAD
Uh, yeah, uh, it’s right through there.  (He points offstage left)

MARILYN
Be right back, Jackie!

MARILYN skitters off in the very tight dress.

CHAD watches her go and rubs his eyes. Slaps his face, makes sure he’s really awake.  Goes to the kitchen doorway and sees the mess that MARILYN’s arrival has created.  He runs back to the coffee table and begins searching for his cell phone.  He finds it, calls a number, and begins a conversation.

CHAD
Yo, man, you are not going to believe this. … It’s Chad. … Dude, I know it’s the middle of the night. … Yo, would you just listen to me for a second? … NO, no , no don’t hang up.  I promise it’s worth. …  You there?  OK.  Dude. Marilyn Monroe is in my apartment. … No, I’m serious.  Marilyn Fucking Monroe is my bathroom right now. … No, I am not crazy.  She showed up in my kitchen….  Dude, I am not drunk. …  NO, I DID NOT EAT TWO DOZEN HOT WINGS BEFORE I WENT TO BED AGAIN.  I swear to God, she’s here.  …  I know she’s dead. … No, I don’t think it’s an impersonator.  … How the fuck do I know?  She keeps asking about Madison Square Garden and calling me Jackie. … Dude, I am so not lying. …  Fine.  Fuck you. … Yeah, well I …  Hello?  Hello?  HELLO?

CHAD throws the cell phone on the coffee table.  His back is to the “bathroom” and MARILYN enters.  She speaks; he jumps.

MARILYN
Bobby, I really should—

CHAD (startled)
Shit!

MARILYN
Language!

CHAD
Sorry.

MARILYN
I really should be getting over to Madison Square Garden.  I don’t want to keep your brother waiting any longer.

CHAD
Brother?

MARILYN
It’s your brother’s birthday, Bobby.  Don’t tell me you forgot again!

CHAD
Now you think I’m Bobby Kennedy?

MARILYN
Well, who else would you be if you’re not Jackie?

CHAD
I—dunno?

MARILYN
I mean who else’s apartment would I be in with him in his underwear?

CHAD
Don’t know.

MARILYN
So?  I rest my case.  (She dabs her lips with a tissue and adjusts her cleavage.) Now, can I just get a taxi out front?

CHAD
I’m not sure that’s such a good idea.

MARILYN
Nonsense.  I’m a big girl, and I can handle a little taxi ride.  Only problem is that I need a little money to get there, Bobby.  Nowhere to carry anything.  (She holds out her arms and CHAD sees just how curvaceous she actually is.)

CHAD (distracted by her figure, fumbling for his wallet on the coffee table)
Uh, sure.  I must have some cash here.  What the hell am I doing?  Giving cash to Marilyn Monroe…

MARILYN
I won’t forget it, Bobby.  And after I sing for Jackie, I might just come back to see you.

MARILYN winks at CHAD and runs her fingers through his hair.  He hands her a 20 dollar bill.

MARILYN (shocked)

What?  Are we in Massachusetts or something?  This is way too much, Bobby.

CHAD
Trust me.  Just keep the change.

MARILYN
OK!  Whatever you say, Bobby!

CHAD walks MARILYN to the door of the apartment, which is adjacent to the kitchen doorway.  They stand at the door for a moment.

CHAD
What did you say your name was again?

MARILYN
Oh, stop playing these games, Bobby!  You know exactly who I am.  (The last line is in a baby talk voice, and she gets very close to his face and touches his nose.)  You know all about me.

MARILYN leans in and kisses CHAD.  It’s a very good kiss.  CHAD is a speechless as MARILYN turns and opens the door to go.

MARILYN
One question.  Do you know if the First Lady is at Madison Square Garden?

CHAD (coming out of his daze)
What?  Who?

MARILYN
Jackie’s wife?  Mrs. Kennedy?  Is she there?  At the party?

CHAD
I dunno what you’re talking about.

MARILYN
She’s your sister-in-law, for Pete’s sake.  Oh, you’re no help at all. It’s fine if she’s there.  She always gives me dirty looks, but that’s ok.  I know what side the bread is buttered on.  Not to worry.

MARILYN taps CHAD on the forehead with her finger, and then she’s gone.  Disappeared as quickly as she arrived.  CHAD stands at the open door, looking out, but there’s nothing there.  He goes back to the kitchen; nothing there, not even evidence of her arrival.  Slowly, the sound from the television begins to return to the room.  It’s the sound of Marilyn Monroe singing “Diamonds are a Girl’s Best Friend” from Gentlemen Prefer Blondes.  CHAD shakes his head, trying to clear his head or re-activate the memory.  But he can’t.  She doesn’t come back.  The song from the television gets louder as the lights fade with CHAD standing at the entrance to his kitchen.  Bewildered.