A Story about a Boy and a Girl, Who are Not Us (Obviously) : A Play in 2 Acts
Scene: Small, untidy, sparsely-furnished city studio apartment. Upstage, a closet spills laundry onto the floor. There is a small kitchenette with dishes stacked haphazardly. A discarded cookie bag sticks out of a trashcan. Stage right is a closed door that opens into an unseen hallway or stairwell. Stage left is an unmade bed and windows that filter in late-afternoon sunlight.
SHE stands, fussing with a back zipper in a non-descript sun dress. It catches, and she sighs. She pinches at the fat of her abdomen; there’s not much, but what is there seems to disgust her. She tries the zipper again, and it goes up. The dress fits. She tests the jiggliness of her arms, first by waving one, then my flexing it and stabbing at it with her finger. When she flexes, there is no jiggle. She poses and examines herself before unzipping the dress. The zipper catches again in the same place before going down, and she removes one arm.
There is the loud. sound of a key in the deadbolt, and SHE clutches the dress back to her chest. HE enters, dressed in work clothes, tie loosened and shirt partially untucked. There is a magazine, folded, in his back pocket.
SHE [dropping the dress to the floor, stands in panties, arms outstretched]: I’ll be ready soon, I promise. I hate all my clothes.
HE: You do not hate all your clothes. [He pats her thigh and kisses her on the temple.] Hi.
SHE: Hi. [She kisses him then slings the sundress away with her foot.] There are things here I’ve never even seen before. [She motions abstractly at the closet.] I’ve never seen them, but I hate them. [Holding up a blue halter-top.] Like this.
HE: Well, wear that.
SHE: It’s not true. I have seen that. [She flings the shirt away.] It has an unflattering neck-line.
HE: You like that blue cardigan and that orange shirt that’s kind of bohemian. You wear those a lot.
SHE: I wear them a lot, so I don’t like them.
HE: What about those new things? Those dresses and things. . . .
SHE: I hate those, too. That’s not true, but I don’t want to wear them today.
HE stretches out on the bed, looks at his phone, flips through the magazine. SHE contemplates the pile of laundry, then leans over and lifts an armful of it before dropping it again. She does this several times.
SHE: [whining] I hate it all.
HE: Did you eat anything?
SHE: Well. . . a snack. Some strawberries and some cheese and some of those chocolate cookies. [She glances quickly at the trash can toward HE before slumping over again, this time contemplating her naked belly.] Which I shouldn’t have done. I’m so fat.
HE: I am pretty sure you are not fat.
SHE: I am! I’m so fat.
SHE: My stomach spills over my pants. And I have thunder thighs.
HE: Yeah. . . and birthing hips. . . .
SHE: [Standing up straight and looks at him, possibly for the first time.] What?
HE: Um. . . [He stands up and takes a few steps in her direction before stopping.]
SHE: Don’t say that! I’m sensitive about my hips. Do you really think I have wide hips?
HE: Um. . . Ah. . . .
SHE: Say I have the sort of hips that will require C-sections. Say my hips are too narrow to allow the passage of a baby’s head!
HE: That sounds. . . unhealthy.
SHE: Unhealthy is good! Unhealthy is pretty. Do you really think I have birthing hips?
HE: I don’t know. I mean, I don’t really pay attention to hips. I’d have to have a lineup of the spectrum of hips. . . .
SHE: Don’t say that! Say you love my hips, they’re prefect hips, they’re the only hips you like. How long do we have? I guess I’ll wear what I was already wearing today.
The lights dim as SHE takes a bra from the pile on the floor and puts it on.
It is nighttime. HE and SHE are on a downtown corner. They are standing on the sidewalk in front of a graffiti-ed brick wall and a deli/bodega.
HE: What do you want to eat?
SHE: Well, obviously I want something big and bad for me, like spaghetti.
HE: I think I have pasta at home.
SHE: I don’t really want that. What about pizza? [She motions into the distance.]
HE: This might be the most unmanly thing I’ve ever said, but that might be a little heavy for me.
SHE: Oh. . . .
HE: What else?
SHE: I’m not really hungry. I’m kind of queasy.
HE: I know what that means. . . You need to eat.
SHE: [defensively] You do not know everything about me. . . .
HE: Maybe not, but I know enough, and I know this.
SHE: How about tacos?
Holding hands, they exit stage left.