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Thin -Sarah Roy

CLOVER.               (schreeching) IGGY!  Iggy!  Come back here, goddammit!  Get the hell back here!

IGGY.                    Fuck off, Clover.

CLOVER.               You fucking loser, Iggy, you should’ve seen his goddamn face!

IGGY.                    Give me a break.

CLOVER.               His beautiful face!

IGGY.                    Oh yeah?

CLOVER.               Yeah!

IGGY.                    You wouldn’t know beautiful if it crash-landed on your face –

CLOVER.               Such an asshole –

IGGY.                    – and made a nest there.  Started a beautiful family.

CLOVER.               Bitch!

IGGY.                    What do you care, Clover?

CLOVER.               His face is beautiful.  It’s those wrinkles.  And you’re completely awful to him.

IGGY.                    He’s awful to me.

CLOVER.               No he isn’t!  He hasn’t done a thing to you!

IGGY.                    Says you.

CLOVER.               You sound like such a child.  I’d never say those words to my old man.

IGGY.                    You’re right.  You’d say something worse.

CLOVER.               I’m serious Iggy, you’re really being a little bitch to him.  It’s not his fault, you can’t blame him forever for the stupid problems you invent.

IGGY.                    Maybe I don’t blame anybody.

CLOVER.               You’re infuriating.

IGGY.                    Clover.  I’m being honest.  Run along and play, I want to be alone.

CLOVER.               That’s not how it works.  I’m not your conscience, you can’t just dismiss me.

IGGY.                    (laughs)  If only it were that easy.

CLOVER.               I’m so mad at you I could hang you with that scarf.

IGGY.                    One of these days I might take you seriously –

CLOVER.               Oh, now that would be the day, wouldn’t it?!

IGGY.                    — and file a restraining order.  They’ll lock you up good and tight.

CLOVER.               You think I’m the crazy person?  Seriously?  You think it’s me?

IGGY.                    You wear the perfect costume for crazy.  Green and gentle Clover, who knew you could curse me up a tree?  Neat little Clover, I can’t believe it.

CLOVER.               Shut up, Iggy.

IGGY.                    Careful little Clover, who folds her laundry and recycles.

CLOVER.               Shut up.

IGGY.                    It’s what your Grandma would say.  Then faint down into a wizened old puddle and we’d have to dump her in the lake or Ginger’s water bowl.  Ginger might develop a sudden, lethal taste for stewed prunes.

CLOVER.               (A little bit humored, she can’t help it)  You say the stupidest things.

IGGY.                    I learn from the best.

CLOVER.               I can’t tell if you’re trying to be funny or cruel.

IGGY.                    What do you want me to be?

CLOVER.               (hesitates) Funny.

IGGY.                    Yeah.  You’re good at that.

CLOVER.               Stop touching me.  I’m really mad.  I’ll never be not mad again.

IGGY.                    You’ll never be not mad?

CLOVER.               Never.

IGGY.                    Me either.

CLOVER.               Whatever.

IGGY.                    Your elbow is cold.

CLOVER.               What?

IGGY.                    Your elbow, it’s an icicle.

CLOVER.               So?

IGGY.                    So you’re turning into the ice queen.

CLOVER.               I don’t get you, Iggy, stop rubbing my sweater, you’re going to make it all picked at –

IGGY.                    Soon enough, your blood will freeze and harden to the bone.  The muscle will shrink together and cease to move.  Next the hairs on your skin will stand up and fall off, and you’ll turn real blue.  Then you’ll stab me through the heart with your frosty spear.

CLOVER.               My what?

IGGY.                    Your elbow.  Are you deaf, dear?

CLOVER.               You say the stupidest things.

IGGY.                    You’re killing me.

CLOVER.               Why are we even here, Iggy?

IGGY.                    Ah.  The ever-relevant question.

CLOVER.               I get the impression you’re just fucking with me, as usual.

IGGY.                    We’re all being fucked with.

CLOVER.               Why are we at the lake, Iggy?

IGGY.                    Well, I know why I’m here, but your presence is inexplicable.

CLOVER.               Why’d you run here?

IGGY.                    To this moment?

CLOVER.               To this lake, to this goddamn lake.

IGGY.                    I’m surprised in you, Clover.  I’d imagine even you had a softspot for the lake.

CLOVER.               There’s nothing soft about it.

IGGY.                    That’s one of the most intelligent observations you’ve made all day.

CLOVER.               (ignoring him)  It scares me when it’s iced over, you know that.

IGGY.                    I didn’t exactly send you an invitation.

CLOVER.               When everyone trampled over it on skates and socks and bicycles, I was … petrified, watching them.  They could be gone in an instant.  Like snapping off a light switch.

IGGY.                    Even light switches need a rest.

CLOVER.               It could all go so easily dark.

IGGY.                    What can I say, Clove, that I haven’t said already, during all the seconds of all the days?  What can I say about the cruelty of lakes?

CLOVER.               Nothing, I guess.  I expected you to say something.

IGGY.                    Don’t be afraid.

CLOVER.               It’s like, it’s waiting.  I just get this weird feeling.  It just gives me the creeps.

IGGY.                    It won’t hurt you unless you want it to.

CLOVER.               I want it.  I want dying to hurt.  It would be scarier if it didn’t.  That’s what you’re getting at, isn’t it?

IGGY.                    You think too much of me, love.

CLOVER.               I know.

IGGY.                    You’re not angry at me.

CLOVER.               Yes I am.

IGGY.                    You’re angry at yourself for settling your expectations on me.

CLOVER.               No, Iggy, I’m angry at you.

IGGY.                    No you’re not.

CLOVER.               Yes I am.  You can be better.

IGGY.                    We can all be better, if you think that way.  Go find another project.  I’m tiring.  I’m tired.

CLOVER.               You’re not sensitive.

IGGY.                    Yes I am.

CLOVER.               No—

IGGY.                    Yes.

CLOVER.               (Pause)  Yeah.  I guess you are.

(They sit in silence for a minute.  Clover is endlessly rubbing her arms through her thin sweater and Iggy is turning sticks on their heads in the snow.)

IGGY.                    Wanna hear a story, Clover?

CLOVER.               Is it a long story?

IGGY.                    What does that matter?

CLOVER.               It’s freezing , Iggy.

IGGY.                    Freezing the rain into snow.

CLOVER.               I know how snow works, thanks.  You should just tell me.

IGGY.                    No, it’s not a long story.

CLOVER.               Not that – tell me the story.

IGGY.                    Alright, I will.

(Iggy closes his eyes and says nothing.)

CLOVER.               What are you waiting for…?

IGGY.                    The temperature.

CLOVER.               Huh.

IGGY.                    The right temperature.  This is close.  When I was a kid, I fell asleep here, at the frozen bank.

CLOVER.               Shit!  Are you being serious right now?

IGGY.                    The snow was soft.   The reeds broke under me, snapped around my head.  The sky was grey and wide, like the backs of eyelids.  Maybe that’s where the idea to sleep came from.

CLOVER.               You could’ve died.  You could be dead.  How come you didn’t die?

IGGY.                    Who knows, maybe I am dead.

CLOVER.               Ugh, Iggy, please.

IGGY.                    This is a very simple story.  I fell asleep, and when I woke up, I was different.

CLOVER.               Frostbitten?

IGGY.                    Yes and no.  I had a dream.  In my dream, the image angel appeared.  It gave me a seashell.  It said, “There is another world roaring in the tip and edge of every living thing.  My shell is the skin of every infant.  God saves a teeny, tiny piece, even if you weren’t born, to remember you by.  He loves you.  You came from a beach.  Your eternity was rolling out there in the pores settling in the upturned hourglass that doesn’t rush anyone, and there is no need for suntan lotion, nothing is going to hurt you.”

CLOVER.               I didn’t know you thought that kinda stuff.

IGGY.                    I don’t.  I told you, I dreamed it.

CLOVER.               What the hell is an image angel?

IGGY.                    I dunno.

CLOVER.               And how’d you remember all of that?

IGGY.                    I dunno.  Perhaps that’s my problem.


CLOVER.               (sighs) I suppose this is a loaded place.  I remember the fort we made beneath that outcrop with Greg and Eliza.

IGGY.                    And Greg played it in 6 years later smoking dope and waving his lighter.

CLOVER.               It was fun.  You know it was.  Smiling through tomato sandwiches.  We were cute back then, I guess.

IGGY.                    …yeah.  It’s funny how cuteness can sustain a person.  We were living on a childhood cloud.

CLOVER.               (softening) You’re still pretty cute.  I mean, just a little.

IGGY.                    And you, you’re coming around—I rubbed a smidgeon off, on your elbow, right here, see –

CLOVER.               (laughs and pulls away)  Jesus!  Stop touching me!

IGGY.                    You liked me a lot more back then.

CLOVER.               You liked me a lot more.

IGGY.                    You were quite charming, fists do have a way with words.  (Clover punches his shoulder) Ouch.  You were my champion.

CLOVER.               Nah.

IGGY.                    Champion rock-skipper.  I resented you so much, you were so good at it.

CLOVER.               I still am, and you still resent me.

IGGY.                    These small dependencies.

CLOVER.               Think I can skip one on the ice?

IGGY.                    No, but I think you will.

CLOVER.               Huh!  You’ll see.

(Clover beings searching for a stone.)

IGGY.                    Hey Clover?

CLOVER.               Yeah?

IGGY.                    If you make it, I’ll give you this.  (pulls a small red-wrapped box out from underneath his jacket)

CLOVER.               What’s that?

IGGY.                    Christmas present.  Skip it and I’ll give it to you early.  If not, it goes back in my pocket till tree-time.

CLOVER.               Aww, Iggy, you got me a gift, I want it… I’m so excited!…let me find a rock… I don’t want to break it though – the ice – it’s too perfect…

IGGY.                    It’s too thick.  None of those rocks will make a dent.

CLOVER.               Okay, here… found one, here it goes!

(Clover concentrates and flicks the rock far enough that it slides off-stage)

IGGY.                    Not quite as elegant as youth.

CLOVER.               Jerk.  Wow, it really flew, all the way out there… Hey, what is… Oh my god, look at that!

IGGY.                    What?

CLOVER.               That!  That brown thing!

IGGY.                    Where?

CLOVER.               There – there – no, there – look – god!  It – it’s a bird –

IGGY.                    It’s a duck.

CLOVER.               That’s a bird… I mean, look at it…

IGGY.                    Frozen into the ice.

CLOVER.               Jesus Christ, it’s still alive.

IGGY.                    Wing is snapped.  He must’ve broken it and landed here.  Look, Clove, look at the gesture of its body.  The bizarre way in which it’s trapped.  Nature’s petrified him in that position, as if it were always on the verge of leaving.  That’s how these moments are.. the rich ones, small and quick.  I wish I had my camera with me…

CLOVER.               What a disgusting statement.

IGGY.                    The water refroze around him recently.  What a strange feeling it must’ve been.  Dissolving?  Disintegration?  Betrayal?

CLOVER.               Take your hand off me, I’m not some tourist on your fucking nature walk.

IGGY.                    Appreciate it.  It’s endearing.

CLOVER.               Are you nuts?  This is the saddest fucking sight I have ever seen.

IGGY.                    Maybe I’m nuts.

CLOVER.               I’m about to cry.  I’m honestly going to cry.

IGGY.                    It’s a moving sight.  I can imagine a lot of meaning into it.  It feels nice.

CLOVER.               Fuck you and your sick feelings!

IGGY.                    It’s what everyone does, Clover.  I’m not strange.  You’re imagining it means something sad.

CLOVER.               What do we do?!

IGGY.                    Pardon?

CLOVER.               We have to help it somehow, even if we can’t save it – we’ve gotta –

IGGY.                    Why do you think that?

CLOVER.               Think what?

IGGY.                    Think that we’re responsible for it.  That we have to ‘save’ it.

CLOVER.               What is wrong with you?

(Clover looks at Iggy as if she’s seeing him for the first time, but she is not surprised; there is more horror than surprise.)

IGGY.                    It doesn’t matter.  Nature put that duck there; it’ll grow another duck inside another duck on that same place in the spring.  We’re not supposed to ‘do’ anything about it.

CLOVER.               That’s just horrible.

IGGY.                    Your reaction is media, society; not nature.  Nature would let it die.

CLOVER.               You’re the most insensitive person –

IGGY.                    I’m hypersensitive.

CLOVER.               — the worst words come out of your mouth, I don’t’ understand it, no one’s done anything wrong to you –

IGGY.                    You can shoot it, if you really want.

CLOVER.               I’m not going to shoot it, you psycho, what kind of shit thing to do is that

IGGY.                    If you shoot it, it suffers less.  But you take on some of that suffering instead.

CLOVER.               I’m not going to shoot it.  I can’t do that.  You’re upsetting me, honest-to-God you are –

IGGY.                    Of course you won’t.  What’re you always waiting for, Clover?

CLOVER.               You’re so sick.

IGGY.                    If you’re not going to pull the trigger, then calm down and accept what’s in front of you.

CLOVER.               You want me to watch it, buried alive in cold?

IGGY.                    No, I want you to shoot it.  You don’t like power.  Not your own, not nature’s.

CLOVER.               (shrieks)  This is all it’ll have, this is it!  Iggy –!  You only get one life!

IGGY.                    All is one.

CLOVER.               I’m going to ask your dad.

IGGY.                    You’re under the impression my dad will trek way out here to shoot a duck?  Ha.  Haha.  (suddenly tired-sounding) My uncle has the hunting rifles this weekend.  There’s nothing to do about it.

CLOVER.               I’m not going to ask him to kill it.  I’m going to ask him to save it.

IGGY.                    Why don’t you hike on out there yourself if you love it so much, Clover?               You think you love every goddamn thing but then you never lift your ass for it.

CLOVER.               Why do you have to make me hate you?  Why can’t you show some fucking empathy?!

(Iggy stands; Clover is already standing.  Their fists are clenched and Clover is breathing hard.  Iggy is angry now, too.)

IGGY.                    So this is about me?  It’s not even about the animal?  You just want me to want to save it.

CLOVER.               It wants to live!

IGGY.                    It doesn’t know what it wants!

CLOVER.               Fuck you!  You want to know what’s a real drag?  Even the things you lift your ass for don’t matter to you.  You’re a mean person.  And you’re a cold person.  And really – truly, at the heart of it – I know why you want to be alone.  I can see you there, I can see your curled shoulders, that tightness around your eyes.  That hunch.  That quiver.  You decided to knot your scarf even though you weren’t cold.  You want to be alone because you want to be sad.  And being sad gives you an excuse to not care, and not caring gives you an excuse to do whatever the hell you want.  You wanted me to follow you – you wanted me to be your audience and clap at the end at every show.  That’s why you came out here.  Well to hell with you, I’ll hold my applause.

IGGY.                    Very dramatic.  Very nice, Clover.  Very funny.

CLOVER.               It’s not.

(Silence.  They gaze at one another, knowing each others’ weaknesses.  Eventually the tension in Clover collapses.  She stares guiltily off-stage, towards the duck.  She doesn’t meet Iggy’s eyes and her voice is strained.  )

CLOVER.               Hey, Iggy.  Did you really mean all of that you said before?

IGGY.                    I don’t mean anything.

CLOVER.               All I want is for you to like me.

IGGY.                    Who sounds like a child now?

CLOVER.               Or for you to like yourself.


CLOVER.               I’m going to get your dad.

(Clover exits where they entered.  Iggy collapses back onto the snow.  He sits for a while.)

IGGY.                    That’s my problem.  I have a problem.  You hear me out there?  Do you hear me?  Don’t leave this world with any foolish preconceptions.  Everything is going to hurt you.

(Iggy gazes for a moment more.  Then he rises and walks slowly out onto the ice, off stage.  There is a long pause once he’s out of view.  A large ‘crack’ and the slosh of water is heard.)


CLOVER.          (shouting from a distance) He says he can’t, the ice is too thin this year, happy now?  You get to watch it rot!

CLOVER.               Ginger, knock it off – don’t walk on the ice!  You can get a drink inside!  C’mere.  Ginger!  Ginger, you stupid dog – come back –  IGGY, CALL HER!

CLOVER.               (running up, out of breath) Ginger!  Iggy?  … Iggy?  Where’s the…?  That huge hole… where’s the duck?  Did you throw a rock, Iggy?  You bastard, were – were you – throwing rocks at the duck… a-and my present, too…  Did you throw that in there?

(shouting) Iggy, you dick!

I’ve never thrown away a thing of yours!


It’s sinking …


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The Perfect Marriage by Val Dunn


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.

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Untitled Play by Will Malkus

(Lights up on an apartment, with a worn couch and an easy chair center stage. Some posters may be up on the back walls, and a small kitchenette stage right, just a sink and an oven, very simple. An end table may be next to the couch, with a lamp and a telephone on it. The stairwell and front door are stage left exits, the bedrooms are stage right exits. Trevor enters stage left, very obviously agitated. He leaps over the couch and scans the room carefully.)

Trevor: Jesus Christ. Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ, Jesus Christ!

Mark: (From far offstage.) Shut UP, Trevor!

Trevor: Mark, your hysterics aren’t helping anyone!

(Trevor sits down on the couch, then abruptly drops to his hands and knees to check under it. Still on hands and knees, he quickly crawls towards the easy chair and does the same thing.)

Mark: (Still from offstage, but closer now.) Would you mind helping me, maybe?

Trevor: Calm DOWN, Mark! (He exits stage left, and reenters with Mark, a black trash bag in the rough shape of a body carried between them. It’s clearly fairly heavy, and Mark is out of breath from having to haul it up the stairs. They deposit it on the couch, then both stare at in silence for a moment.)

Trevor: Ohh my god. Oh my god.

Mark: Shut up, Trevor! Shut up.

Trevor: (In a despairing monotone.) Court. Trial. Jail. Death.

Mark: Trevor! Shut. Up.

Trevor: (Panicked) Okay! (He paces to the other side of the sofa) Oh god.

Mark: I’m trying to think.

Trevor: This is bad, this is so, so bad. This can’t happen, Mark. How does this happen?! Who does this happen to? Terrible people! We aren’t terrible people! (He pauses for a second to look at Mark more critically.) Well, I’m not, I guess I don’t really know what you do in your free time. But this didn’t happen, right? I mean, it doesn’t. It doesn’t do that.

Mark: (Trying to pacify him.) It’s okay.

Trevor: It’s okay?!

Mark: It’s okay.

Trevor: (Calmer.) It’s okay?

Mark: (Distracted.) Yes.

Trevor: Good. Okay, good. (Takes a deep breath.) It’s okay.

(They both resume silently staring at the plastic bag.)

Mark: They ran out in front of us.

Trevor: “They?!” How many people do you think we hit?!

Mark: Look, I don’t know if it was a man or a woman!

Trevor: (Applauds sarcastically in Mark’s direction. As he does so, Mark balls his hands up into fists, closes his eyes, or gives some other outward sign of exasperation.) Oh, well done, Mark! When the police show up, we’ll just tell them-

Mark: There aren’t going to be any cops.

Trevor: (Catches his drift. Disbelieving gasp.) Mark.

Mark: I just mean…there might not be cops. I mean, it was dark, right? Night time. Night time is dark.

Trevor: Not on Commonwealth at ten o’clock!

Mark: All I’m saying is there might not be cops.

Trevor: What are you TALKING about? Of course there are going to be cops! We freaking HIT someone!

Mark: Okay, THEY ran out in front of us! We didn’t do anything wrong. We were driving home, and this maniac (He nudges at the trash bag with his toe.) jumped out in front of an oncoming vehicle.

Trevor: (Screams.) Don’t do that!

Mark: (Jumping back in surprise.) Jesus! Don’t do what?!

Trevor: Don’t…kick him!

Mark: “Him?” Oh, what the fuck, Trevor-

Trevor: Look, we (Looks around furtively as if making sure they’re alone still. His voice drops slightly.) killed the poor bastard, the least we can do is assign him a gender!

Mark: It was his fault!

Trevor: I just-(Pauses.) Okay, not to split hairs, but I’m glad you agree that he’s a “he.”

Mark: Fuck your fucking gender, Trevor!

Trevor: It’s not MY gender on the table here, Mark.

Mark: You’re losing it, man. You have to pull yourself together!

Trevor: There is a BODY. On the couch. That YOU stole.

Mark: (Stares at Trevor wonderingly.) I don’t even…what the hell is wrong with you, Trevor? Seriously.

Trevor: I’m guilty of caring too much, Mark. If anything, I’m guilty of caring too much.

Mark: I’m not listening to this. (Moves to exit stage left.)

Trevor: Where are you going?!

Mark: Out. I just remembered why we’re not friends.

Trevor: You can’t leave now! What are we going to do about…(Gestures frantically at the body.) this?

Mark: (Stops and turns around.) Well I’ll tell you what we’re not going to do, okay? We’re not going to tell anyone about this, we’re not going to let anyone into the apartment, and we’re definitely, absolutely, NOT going to open the bag. Right? (Trevor gives some outward sign of acquiescence.) Good. (Mark exits stage left.)

Trevor: (Quietly.) Worried about germs on your stolen furniture.

Mark: (Reenters quickly, his ire returned full force.) For the last fucking time, it was on the sidewalk. Someone was trying to get rid of it.

Trevor: You don’t know that. What if they were moving in and just set it down for a second?

Mark: I was…you don’t even…why are you talking about our couch?!

Trevor: Your couch. I don’t want anything to do with it.

Mark: Do you maybe think the dead guy is just slightly more pressing than a misappropriated piece of furniture?!

Trevor: I’m not your accomplice.

Mark: (Pauses.) Trevor.

Trevor: Hmm?

Mark: Body.

Trevor: What’s your point?

Mark: We are accomplices. Jesus, we are.

(They both let that sink in and stare at the body. It mirrors where they stood at the beginning of the scene.)

Trevor: Does that mean we’re friends?


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