A poem by Val Dunn

Self-censorship is the antithesis of masturbation,

A cold calculation of what it costs

To give yourself what you want

But cannot have.

I say have it. Have at it.

 

Have her,

The girl you’ve been eyeing

Against the backdrop of a dingy nowhere.

 

Everywhere; she’ll go there.

And if she won’t,

Make her take her take you bring you here.

Sin is only made of fear.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

For a Price by Val Dunn

The Prostitute’s Proverb, For a Price

I am not a handmaiden of some lord.
I am a handmaiden of what for;

a prologue of a pouting deep darkness

dark like the shadows between and below

lips pouting and legs like the dexterity of raindrops.

 

And I will tell you what I don’t know

and tell you that I do know

that what I don’t know

is better than what you do know

-maybe, I don’t know.

 

My mind is not made up,

but my bed is turned down,

and my head spins round

and round and round with the thought

of you making it up to me.

 

For I am only lost once I am found.

If you cannot see me

can you see me frown?

Do you indulge the gentle pull of my lips?

Indulge and sink into the pool of my lacy white slips.

 

She will only stay white

in the fierce moon glow of night,

they say. I say

what for?

I am only and always a damned good whore.

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Happiness by Maegan Clearwood

I’m happy when I look at my handwriting, the way my jays swoop across a line and curve into a yawning oh. I’m happy when I fish an ant out of my morning coffee and remember that I’m in college and pests are a necessary evil. I smile when I wriggle my head through the head of a just-tumble-dried turtle neck.

Sometimes, when it looks like I’m burrowed in a worry, even when my forehead is wrinkled and my mouth is pouched in a frown, I’m actually happy. Sometimes I’m as worried as I look, but sometimes I like people to worry that I’m worried.

I’m happy when I know I don’t have to be, when I’m alone and no one is around to appreciate my selfish grin. I’m happy when I’m alone and have every right to be unhappy. I’m happy when it’s just me in my room and I’m folded over on my bed and all I can see are my knees. I’m even happier when someone interrupts my muted happiness with a knock on the door and I have to uncurl myself to answer and say hello. I’m happy when my happiness reaches the door before I do.

Hunger makes me happy, the anticipation of food and conversation. Sleepiness makes me happy, too.

I’m happy when someone notices a stray hair or fuzzy on my sweater and takes the time to flick it off for me. I’m even happier when I do the same for someone else.

I smile when I highlight a word document and watch it swell from single to double space and my lost Sunday afternoon suddenly seems worthwhile. I smile when I close my eyes and I smile when I open them and nothing’s changed. I smile when I have nothing better to do.

I’m happy when it’s a contracted happiness, one that’s leeched onto me because I was too close to a contagiously wide-smiled stranger. I’m happy when I touch a doorknob and know that I’ve let some of my own happy germs behind.

I’m happy when I’m about to be sad, when I’m teetering between laughing and crying and I know that I’ll have to settle on one sooner or later, but I can still taste the guilty sweetness of joy on my tongue. Part of me stays happy and watches and smiles while the rest of me slips out of happiness for a little while, and that part of me smiles even wider when that little while is over.

 

 

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Project Runway by Maegan Clearwood

My waist was tiny, but not quite tiny enough.

In fact, according to Kate, few of the numbers she meticulously noted managed to meet the requirements of high fashion modeling. My bust, my hips, my height; my body was suddenly reduced to a handful of numbers, figures which apparently held far more meaning than I ever gave them credit for.

“You’re the closest to fitting the measurements we have so far, though, so you’re probably in,” she said.

I hadn’t wanted to model for the event in the first place. It was called Poetry and Project Runway, and from the sounds of it, it was a desperate attempt to integrate academics with reality television in hopes of convincing a pseudo-celebrity to visit campus. No matter how many times Kate tried to explain its purpose to me, the whole affair sounded like a stretch. But maybe that’s why I’d never considered a career in the fashion industry.

I certainly hadn’t been considering it when I pressed delete on the numerous campus-wide emails Kate had issued about auditioning for the event. At 5’8”, I knew I probably fit the height requirement, but I in no way wanted to enter the world of modeling, even on the amateurish college level. My feminist side reared at the idea of being objectified for the sake of something as petty as fashion. Although I wasn’t willing to admit it, a part of me, my secretly-girly, shoe-loving, rom-com-watching side, was enticed.

Everyone was thrilled for me; my mom demanded I post pictures from the event on Facebook as soon as possible, and Kate was elated that she’d managed to find someone even remotely close to Andrae’s stick-figure measurements. My girl friends congratulated me, as if being of above-average height was the highest achievement of my college career.

I detested the good wishes. I have always been ardently opposed to the fashion world and all the superficial ideals it presents. I even wrote an editorial about beauty pageants for my high school newspaper, criticizing the concept of “annually crowning a bleached-blonde stick figure and claiming that she is the perfect representation of America.” My girl-power ideals hadn’t shifted since high school. With every, “Wow, congrats!” I got from a friend, my amateur journalistic words rang true: “It is demeaning towards young women in today’s society to present an airbrushed beauty queen and claim that the most they can do to change the world is smile and wave.”

But I couldn’t suppress my inexplicably and embarrassingly girly alter-ego. She reminded me of all the “Project Runway” episodes I’d eagerly (and yes, hypocritically) watched. She reminded me of my overflowing collection of scarves and cheap jewelry, the guilty rush I felt when I found a cute sweater on sale. She imagined being pampered, having my hair and makeup professionally styled, feeling like a diva and showing it all off.

Eventually, romance won. There I was, a few weeks later, shaking hands with a former Project Runway contestant.

Andrae was wiry, gregarious, and flamboyantly gay enough pull off any style of facial hair without looking like a porn star. Actually, for someone who was about to adjust measuring tape around my crotch and boobs, he made me feel quite at-ease.

Until I saw his designs, at least.

I was anticipating something glamorous, something couture, maybe an asymmetrical dress or a skirt with a billowing train. Instead, Andrae decided to be creative. I think he was taking advantage of our amateurism to display his guilty-pleasure designs, those sketches he’d scrawled in the margins of his design books but knew would never make it on an actual runway.

His concept was vague at best. According to his official website, “one of the organizing principles of this work involves the use of mobius bands. Criticism and response are inexplicably conjoined in the process of making art, and neither can survive without the other. As it is in this relationship, it is in these garments, where sleeve edge is joined to hem, or neckline to armhole in a continuous, mysterious loop.”

In layman’s terms: A bunch of gauzy fabric styled in the most hip-widening way possible.

And it was all lime green.

I quickly transformed from a nervous college student into Andrae’s newest canvas. I stood at attention as he eyeballed me, terrified that he would wave me off, underwhelmed by the averageness of his newest model. To my surprise and relief, however, Andrae squealed with delight as his eyes traveled from my shoulders to toes. My legs, he told me, were the longest of any of the amateur models’, which meant I could display the jewel of his collection: a pair of mile-long, mint-green pants. He handed me a set of emerald tights to wear under them and one of his circular-themed, pouchy tops, then shooed me to the bathroom to change.

From Andrae’s reaction when I came out, I could have won America’s Next Top Model; I felt more like Kermit the Frog with balloon thighs.

He was so ecstatic that I was tall enough to wear his beloved pants, in fact, that I was given the honor of modeling twice, once with the smock-style shirt, another with a sleeveless sheath on top.

I was unfortunately a long way from being allowed to change back into my embarrassingly generic-brand clothes. The fitting took an eternity longer than those on the hour-long Runway episodes. Andrae was in no rush as he tucked and trimmed, measured and re-measured his creation. Initially, I felt like Andrae was a sculptor and I was his block of marble, being chipped away at to discover the masterpiece within. As the fitting continued, however, I began to feel more like a mannequin than a work of art. My arms were lifted and lowered; I walked across the room and turned on his command; I tensed my legs and held my breath while he was prodding the pants’ fabric with a needle.

From the major readjustments he was making, I regretted not being taller, skinnier, something closer to what he wanted his art modeled on. My anxiety must have shown.

“Don’t worry when I get frustrated or I’m not happy with how it looks,” he reassured me.

“You look gorgeous; it’s the garment I’m critiquing, not you.”

Finally, I was released. My homework: To procure a strapless bra and a pair of brown or black heels.

~

I’d always hated the Gibson theater dressing room. One of the unofficial traits of a good drama major is immodesty; before a performance, there are usually scads of girls traipsing around the changing room in nylons and bras, crooning showtunes while jokingly groping and teasing each other . I, on the other hand, aim to spend as little time as possible in the dressing room. I usually arrive earlier than any of the other actors, hair and make-up already done, and scurry to a bathroom stall to change and rush to the green room. I’m not sure where my consistent discomfort with dressing room rituals comes from, but as I settled onto my stool hours before the runway show, I tried to convince myself that this time would be different. This time, I would enjoy, not simply endure, being pampered. After all, the models on Project Runway always seemed to look forward to the L’Oreal hair and makeup session; why shouldn’t I feel the same?

As I arranged my makeup on the dressing table, I was struck by how woefully limited my cosmetic collection appeared. I usually only went lipstick or eye shadow shopping when I had a play coming up, and even then, I just bought whatever happened to be on sale at CVS. My nerves were hardly relieved when Kate wheeled in her towering makeup supply cart. It looked more like she was preparing for surgery than for a makeover from the precision she exacted in setting up her endless supply of hair gels, lip glosses, and eyeliners.

She styled and primped one model at a time. While we waited, Andrae tried to keep us entertained with tales of the glamorous life of the somewhat rich and moderately famous. I was far too nervous to participate in the conversations, and my anxiety infuriated me ; I’d performed in front of an audience more than anyone else in the room. I had clamoroued to be on stage since my second grade debut as a monkey in “Wackadoo Zoo.” I’d been onstage in a purple tutu, sang and danced in a wig and showgirl costume, even orated a commencement speech for a gymnasium of thousands.

Tonight, I had no lines to memorize or steps to remember, but it was the first time my pre-show anxiety was miserable enough to confuse with nausea. For some embarrassingly irrational reason, walking in a circle in heels terrified me more than even the most exhaustive of lead roles.

I avoided as many of the looming mirrors as possible while Kate attacked my hair with a curling iron and colored my face. Instead, I imagined the stoic, composed faces of the Project Runway models as professionals painted their lips and eyelids. I thought there was something almost magical about that part of the show, the way the models disappeared under a cloud of powder and sprays and miraculously reemerged magazine-cover perfect. I hovered in this fantastical mindset while Kate busied herself in the real world. When she was finally finished, a mirror was thrust in front of my face.

“What do you think?” she asked.

I thought I looked fine.

I certainly didn’t look like I’d just stepped out of the L’Oreal makeup room, but I looked fine. Despite Kate’s meticulousness, my skin hadn’t become flawlessly alabaster. My eyes were the same brown they’d always been, even with the mascara and eyeshadow. I was still recognizably and undeniably me.

The transformation was far less dramatic than I’d hoped it would be

After looking at the impossibly endless copies of myself in the wall-to-wall mirrors, I found myself dreading the actual catwalk more than ever, but it was far too late to back out now.

~

Andrae herded us into the blackbox theater to practice The Walk.

There is something eerily stoic about walking into an empty theater right before show time. The blaringly silent space feels as strange as a fresh blanket of snow, and the five of us huddled together, each unwilling to disturb the tranquility.

It was Andrae who made the first leap. He lined us up in order of our appearance, then moved center stage to exemplify The Walk. He swaggered from the curtain to the edge of the stage, paused, struck a lopsided, unnatural pose, then swaggered back.

One at a time, we wobbled across the catwalk for an imaginary audience. Andrae’s notes were as convoluted and deceptively simple as his beloved mobius loops: he told us to slow down, but stay deliberate; our arms could move, but not distractingly so; our pose was supposed to be elegant, yet firm.

It was humiliating. Here I was, a sophomore liberal arts student, being told how to walk. I was in Tawes Theater, a space where I was supposed to feel at ease, where I’d confidently performed monologues, laughed and cried, and used art to tell stories. This time, I had no story to tell.

Despite our wobbliness, Andrae continued to drill us. Apparently, The Walk isn’t something one learns; it is something a true model is born with. He coaxed us through practice walk after practice walk but eventually gave up any hope of bringing out our inner beauty queens. Instead, he gathered us backstage for the pep talk of a lifetime.

“Now girls, you look beautiful, you look sexy. I want you to feel it. You need to show the audience,” he said. “Here’s what I want you to be thinking while you’re walking down that catwalk: ‘You wanna fuck me? Well you can’t.’ That’s the face you need to have.”

That did it. I knew the face he was describing, the elusive “look” that the models are supposed to replicate on the runway. Apparently, they’re not supposed to be daydreaming about their next shopping spree or trying to remember how many calories were in their last meal; they’re supposed to tell a story. Admittedly, “Fuck me now” wasn’t a story I wanted to tell, but at least it was just another role. The Runway Model was no Blanche Dubois, but she was my character, and I was already cast.

I never remember much from performances. Show nights blur together in my memory, and the most I can usually recall are cloudy stage lights and dark faces looking back at me. Project Runway turned out to be just another play. I know I attempted The Walk and Fuck Me face, but that’s only because I’ve seen pictures since. If it weren’t for the photographic evidence, I don’t think I would believe I’d pulled off that role.

The Runway Model is a character I never want to play again. She is supposed to look sassy, sexy and sure, but she’s more three-dimensional than that. Like any complex role, she has her secrets. The model knows The Walk, but no one sees her after she scrubs off her foundation and combs out the hair-spray snarls. In the dressing room, the model has a very different story to tell .

Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Love, According to Larry Stahl by Will Malkus

“Treat each one as if it’s fully functional and loaded,”

he says.

And that’s my biggest problem

because I know what an empty chamber feels like.

It’s metal-cold and there’s too much room,

but on the other hand, you can’t hurt anyone

and I’m grateful for that.

 

“Never point it at anyone that you’re not prepared to shoot,”

he insists.

“Common sense,” the whole room thinks.

And, you know, I haven’t.

Except maybe once.

She said she never wanted to see me again

which worked out, I suppose, in the end.

 

“This is the shell,”

he says, and he points to my chest.

“Inside is the bullet.

That’s the part that can kill.”

So now I know what it means

When I can feel the piece of lead in my chest pound

Making it hard to breathe.

 

“When you pull the trigger

the hammer strikes the cap, and it explodes,”

he looks at her when he says it.

Maybe he knows what her smile does to me.

The way he describes being shot, it sounds like most mornings,

because when you open your eyes, I get tunnel vision

and I’d swear I can feel them looking right through me.

 

Did you know,

That when you finally let me see your face,

I feel holy?

 

“If they see you with it and stop you;

One: Do nothing quickly.

And two: Do nothing, quickly.”

But, sir, I don’t mean to be disrespectful,

I’m just so fucking sick of freezing when I see her.

So I’m going to spin it around my finger

Give her a John Wayne smile

And tell her to draw, pilgrim.

 

See, the thing is, sir,

I know I’m being unsafe

and your advice is great, don’t get me wrong,

but the thing is,

and I don’t know about you,

but when I find myself staring down the barrel

I get a split second to weigh my options,

pros and cons,

gain versus loss,

and, well, it may not be safe,

but we wouldn’t play with guns

if they didn’t make us feel so damn alive,

would we?

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

When I Am Drunk I Am an Indian by Will Malkus

I am a warrior.

And I am poisoned

Just like all great warriors.

My stomach is full of the tears

That were shed

Or weren’t shed

On a long walk

My blood is thick with ink

Or names, or both

But because there are no names in my blood

I am full of poison

My ears are ringing with bloody, ululating pride

And when I slam my feet into the ground

They scream at me

To run faster

 

I am a warrior.

Unstoppable

I am a warrior.

I can do no wrong

I will never bow my head

I will never cut my hair

As long as I am poisoned

Or alive

I will wear a lopsided smile

As my warpaint

And when I am poisoned

I will never stop fighting

 

I am a warrior.

I am covered in scars

My head is full of the white man’s bullets

And they know everything

They teach me how to fill my belly

With unshed tears

But early in the morning

Before battle, before we walk forever

And forget war

I am whole

And there is no ink in my blood

And there is no poison in my blood

But I am only a great warrior.

When I am poisoned

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized

The Perfect Marriage by Val Dunn

ACT I

Scene 1: A Wedding Reception

A woman nearing thirty sits alone at table decorated with the gaudiness of a wedding reception.  She smokes, picks her nails, or some action that indicates the severity of her discomfort. From time to time, she sneaks glances at the bride.

A man walks over from the bar with two glasses of champagne and a nervous disposition. He stands behind a chair, exhales heavily.

Ben: Weddings, huh?

Miranda: Marriage, huh.

Ben: Huh?

Miranda: Marriage. (A pause) I’ve heard weddings lead to marriage.

Ben: Only heard? You aren’t married, a pretty girl like you?

Miranda: (Mocking Ben) Do you come here often?

Ben: Sorry, that was rough. No more lines, I promise.

Miranda: Mmm.

Ben: Have a drink?

Miranda: Are you always this charming with women?

Ben: Does that mean you’re not married?

Miranda: Married?  God, no. No, I’m not married.

Ben: (A wheezy exhale) Thank God. (Ben collapses into the seat next to Miranda.) Cheers.

He clinks his glass against hers.

Miranda: I’m a lesbian.

Ben chokes quietly on the drink he has just swallowed. Miranda misses this, however, as she is gazing across the dance floor once more.

Ben: (Recovering) Are you always this open?

Miranda: Tonight I am.

Ben: Oh.

Miranda: What? You weren’t hitting on me, were you?

Ben: On you? God, no.

Miranda: Good. Because if you were, you’ve had a pretty lame start.

Ben: You couldn’t pay me to like you.

Miranda: You can’t buy love.

Ben: I said like, I didn’t say love. You can certainly buy like.

Miranda: Is that so?

Miranda’s attention is drifting away from Ben as the Bride glows happier and happier with her new husband. Until-

Ben: So you like girls?

Miranda: Women. I like women. Girls are monsters in ponytails.

Ben: I’ve heard women aren’t much better.

Miranda: You’re pretty insightful, aren’t you?

Ben: I can’t tell if you’ve been mocking me this entire time, or if you’re really just that-

Miranda: Honest?

Ben: I was going to say blunt, but sure.

Miranda: People aren’t honest anymore, are they?

Ben: Well. I guess it depends on your version of honesty.

Miranda: There can’t be more than one version of honesty.

Ben: Ok, then what are you?

Miranda: I already told you, a lesbian.

Ben: No, I mean. Are you mocking me?

Miranda: You brought me champagne, why would I mock you?

Ben: It’s comments like that-

Miranda: I don’t even know your name. How can I possibly mock you if I don’t know your name?

Ben: Ben.

Miranda: Benny.

Ben: No, just Ben. (A pause) So. Which one of those hideous bridesmaid gowns belongs to your lover?

Miranda: All of them.

Ben: What?

Miranda: I’m teasing you, Benny.

Ben: Oh.

Miranda: Do I have to have a lover to attend a wedding?

Ben: No, but. There’s something in your eyes and I don’t think it’s the champagne.

Miranda: She’s not my lover.

Ben: But she used to be?

Miranda: Yes, I thought so. (A pained smile to fill the pause) Are you still waiting for an answer?

Ben: Will you tell me if I say yes?

Miranda gives Ben a look.

Ben: You don’t have to tell me her name, just the dress will be enough.

Miranda: That one. (Miranda points to the twirling bride.) The beautiful white gown worshiping the exquisite bride.

Ben: Oh. Hey, I’m really sorry.

Miranda: Thanks.

Ben: I didn’t mean to pry.

Miranda: No, it’s ok. Like I said, tonight I’m open.

Ben: You aren’t usually?

Miranda: No. I’m afraid not.

Ben: Don’t blame you; society’s a bitch.

Miranda: Just my family. Just people like our lovely bride.

Ben: Ah. Been there before.

Miranda: How do you mean?

Ben: I’m gay.

Miranda: This is an open night.

Ben: No joking.

Miranda: Sorry. I get insensitive when I have champagne and watch my ex dance with a man she’s going to very shortly be fu-

Ben: Why did you come to the wedding?

Miranda is silent.

Miranda: (Quietly) I don’t know. Wouldn’t you?

Ben: Why did she send you an invitation?

Miranda: I think it was because she was afraid. While we were dating, she went around telling everybody I was her best friend. So, wouldn’t people wonder if I wasn’t at her wedding? Bit of a scandal, don’t you think, Benny?

Ben: Sorry.

Miranda: It’s not a big deal, not really. We just… I was really serious about her. And I thought it went both ways. But looking back, it seems I was just an experiment for her.

Ben: That’s rough.

Miranda: I mean, keep in mind I’m not exactly open about this sort of thing when I’m not sulking around weddings. You’re in an exclusive club now, Benny.

Ben: Let me assure you, you’re part of an even more exclusive club.

Miranda: Oh, gosh. Am I, I mean you never, did you just come out?

Ben: Well, not really, but almost just.

Miranda: Huh. I’d give you a pep talk, Benny, but I’ll need a little more champagne before I feel like pepping anything.

Ben smiles, takes her empty glass, and waltzes back to the bar. In his absence, Miranda checks her phone. Seeing that her mom has called, she dials a number.

Miranda: (Waiting for the other line to pick up) Hello? Mom? Hey, you called- the wedding’s fine, no- no I didn’t catch the… Yes, Mom, I’ll keep that in mind. Mhmm. What? Mom, we’re losing connection. What? Mom. Mom?

Ben arrives with the full glasses as Miranda hangs up her phone.

Ben: Everything ok?

Miranda: Yeah. (A pause) No. Um. It’s just my mom. I think I have to run back to her house.

Ben: But you’re just starting to have a good time.

Miranda: This is a good time?

Ben: Well, don’t leave me here alone. What if I told you I love the groom.

Miranda: You don’t.

Ben: That’s a hefty assumption from a girl-on-girl kind of girl.

Miranda: Women.

Ben: Women-on-women.

Miranda: You’re kind of insensitive, yourself.

Ben: Does champagne always make you so aggressive?

Miranda: Oh, forgive me if I’m a bit irritable while I watch the girl I love-

Ben: Woman. The woman you love.

Miranda: Fuck you.

Ben: I only want to take care of you and I don’t think a night with your mother is going to make you feel better when your mommy doesn’t even know that you’d like to trade places with that stiff-neck of a groom. But you and me, we’re in the same boat here. And I just want you to be happy. Or at least not miserable. And I don’t even know your name.

Miranda: My mother is sick, you bastard. I don’t care if she’s going to make me feel better. I want her to feel better.

Miranda grabs her purse and stomps from the table.

Ben: What’s your name, Cinderella?

Miranda: Wouldn’t you prefer Prince Charming?

Ben: I’d prefer your name.

Miranda: Miranda.

Ben: Miranda, that’s a lovely name, Miranda. Now sit down and listen to my problems.

Miranda: I don’t think I like you. And I definitely don’t want to listen to your problems.

Ben: But I feel like I can talk to you.

Miranda: I knew there was a reason I hate gay men.

Ben: You can’t hate gays.

Miranda: Don’t tell me what I can and can’t do.

By this time, Miranda and Ben have created a small spectacle. As a dance number ends, the Bride excuses herself from the dance floor and approaches the bickering people.

Bride: Look at you two, bickering like an old married couple.

Miranda: That’s funny.

Ben: We’re not bickering.

Miranda: Don’t let us ruin your evening.

Bride: Not at all. I’m so happy you came, Randy. Well, mostly surprised. I’ll be honest, when I sent out the invitations I was sure you would feed it to your cat, or something-

Miranda: My cat would choke on all that lace.

Bride: Like I said, so glad you came.

Miranda: Is that why you sent me an invitation? Because you didn’t think I’d come to your wedding?

Bride: Don’t mince my words.

Ben: Hey, I don’t care if this is your wedding. I’ll ask that you don’t talk to my girlfriend like that.

Bride: (With the attitude of a person knocked down a few notches) Oh. I didn’t know it was like that.

Miranda: (Catching on) Yeah. It’s like that.

Miranda steps a little closer to Ben, she slides his hand around her waist.

Bride: Well, I’m glad you’ve found some happiness. I was so worried, I heard that you were having trouble moving on, and the last thing I wanted between us was hard feelings.

Miranda: Yup. Completely moved on. You couldn’t pay me to like you. (A beat) Your present is on the table.

Bride: How sweet of you to get us something. Mark will be so ple-

Miranda: There was a gift registry. Besides, it’s not for your husband.

Bride: I’m sure it’s lovely.

Ben: Have a nice evening.

The Bride, slightly affronted, returns to the arms of her husband. Miranda turns to Ben.

Miranda: Have a nice evening?

Ben: Randy?

Miranda: Gosh, I’m not over her.

Ben: That bitch?

Miranda: You’re a friend of the groom, I suppose?

Ben: Distantly.

Miranda: My mother-

Ben: -can wait.

Ben leads her back to the table, forces the flute of champagne into her hand.

Ben: I have an idea.

Miranda: Let me finish this glass first.

She does, he hands her his.

Ben: More like a proposal.

Miranda: Shoot.

Ben: Will you marry me, Miranda?

Miranda: What?

Ben: You heard me.

Miranda: Benny, you’re gay. I’m gay.

Ben: It’s legal in New York.

Miranda: That’s not what I meant.

Ben: Think about it Miranda. This night aside, we’re both snuggled into our closets. If your family is anything like mine, you’re running out of excuses, Miranda; you’ve got to be thirty-

Miranda: Twenty-Nine.

Ben: Twenty-Nine and you have yet to bring home an eligible bachelor for your father’s approval. Meanwhile, you have to be extra careful when you do see another woman because your parents are starting to get worried. What’s the one thing that would cancel out any suspicion regarding your sexuality?

Miranda: Marriage, but…

Ben: Exactly. It’s the ultimate cover-up.

Miranda: People have tried it before and it doesn’t work.

Ben: But those people, the husband and wife weren’t both gay. It was a sordid, secret affair. Not us!

Miranda: But not us. Because we would both know.

Ben: You’re catching on.

Miranda: Don’t think I haven’t thought of this before tonight.

Ben: But have you ever found someone so willing? Miranda, Miranda. We’d be home free! You could bring in any number of women to our home, and I would not care. Because I’ll be fucking every boy I can in our spare bedroom.

Miranda: The same bedroom my mother uses when she visits?

Ben: Right, save the spare bedroom for your mother. We’ll do our dirty deeds in the living room then.

Miranda: But marriage is so…

Ben: Conventional?

Miranda: Yeah.

Ben: And we could be beacons of conventionality.

Miranda: This wouldn’t work.

Ben: Why not?

Miranda: We might be OK with having affairs outside our ‘marriage’, but what about our lovers? Do you think they’ll want to have an affair with a married person?

Ben: We don’t have to wear our rings in public. Only around our parents.

Miranda: So many things could go wrong. And I don’t like diamonds.

Ben: Emeralds?

Miranda: You can’t buy love.

Ben: You can buy like.

Miranda: What if I want a divorce?

Ben: We’ll burn that bridge when we need to.

Miranda: This is the stupidest thing I’ve ever heard.

Ben: But you agree that it could work.

Miranda: There’s a less than ten percent chance that this could work.

Ben: Do you have a better chance with your lovely lady in white?

Miranda: Fuck you.

Ben: Only on our honeymoon. Just to make things official.

Miranda: Only if I’m fuller of champagne than I am now.

Ben: We’ll save no expense on our nuptials.

Miranda: I want to go to Spain.

Ben: Well I want Paris, so we’ll go to both.

Miranda: You’re a romantic.

Ben: Call me gay.

Miranda: Call me a lesbian, but I think it’s stupid.

Ben: But you’re falling in love with the idea.

Miranda: I’ll think about it.

1 Comment

Filed under Uncategorized