A Triangle Below Canal

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A Triangle Below Canal

  1. 1. A Triangle below Canal by Alex David JimenezAlex David Jimenez4401 Park Ave. #3DUnion City, NJ 07087646-468-1989www.theAjnetwork.net © 2010 All Rights Reserved
  2. 2. Act I: The TriangleSCENE 1: ONE, TWO, THREE, CLANDESTINELY. Morning. 8 am. Split scene: A white bedroom, a red bedroom, and a small clinic exam room. Lights up on white bedroom. An unmade bed. White Sheets. There is a complete stillness about the room, the birds and breeze fighting to break the silence. At the edge of the bed sits our couple, Malcolm and Andrea. They sit opposite each other at either end of the bed. It’s awkward. They aren’t speaking. The state of the room is dull; dust particles are more interesting than these two. Finally, after a long silence Malcolm slowly turns to face Andrea. He speaks nervously, the weight of the world crackling his voice. MALCOLMI...I’m sorry. You don’t have to say anything, I’ll go, I’ll just go.If you want...Andrea, I can’t marry you...I’m gay. Shocking! The dust particles are just as stunned as Andrea is. Her eyes open wide, her mouth hangs half open. She begins to gesture with her mouth as if to say something in return. The words won’t come out. Is she going to scream? Start crying? She finally bursts out- ANDREAOH THANK GOD, SO AM I! They stare at each other, appalled. Bach’s “Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G Major” begins to play. Blackout. Lights up on red bedroom. An occupied bed. Red sheets. As Bach’s cello continues to serenade us, the music is muddled by the sounds of a couple making love in the bed. James and Emily are having morning sex. The birds and the bees are closing in on orgasm.
  3. 3. 2. The blankets tussle against the moaning bodies beneath them. Through heavy breathing we can hear the couple speaking. JAMES EMILYDo that, that, OH Mmm. Oh yeah. Oh GodYEAH! Oh, FUCK, come don’t stop, don’ton baby, yeah. C’mon, stop, don’t! I’mdo that thing, baby, getting close! Oh Godsay it, say, I’m don’t stop, don’t,gonna, YEAH- please don’t, OH GOD MALCOLM!- A brief uncomfortable beat. His name isn’t Malcolm. James sits up and slowly stares at Emily. She lays, oblivious of what happened. JAMESWhat? EMILY(Sits up.) What? JAMESYou just said Malcolm. EMILYWhat are you talking about? JAMESEmily you just said fucking oh God Malcolm! EMILY(Beat.) I’m sorry, I must’ve been...(Grabs James.) C’mon I’m so close,don’t stop now- JAMES(Pulls away.) To be justifiably mistaken for my best friend? Are youkidding me!? EMILY JAMES (CONT’D)James! I’m sorry! People actually doDon’t, hey, please this? Somebody else’sdon’t get soft. name?- JAMES (CONT’D)Look, hey enough with this orgasm bullshit. You just said Malcolm’sname. My wife said Malcolm, (Gestures to his penis.) okay, he may neverbe the same again. Emily sighs heavily and lays back on her pillow. James stares at her a moment, then lays back.
  4. 4. 3. JAMES (CONT’D)Why did you say that? Do you have feelings for him? She sits up and stares at James. After a beat, guilt floods her face. EMILY...Yes. James sits up. They stare at each other, appalled. Blackout. Lights up on small clinic room. Exam room. Dim. Two uncomfortable chairs. It’s a small clinic. The Bach piece is almost over. Wes sits cross-legged and texts furiously on his cell phone. He laughs occasionally at the responses. A petite girl walks into the room. Liz, the resident doctor. She wears a physician’s uniform and holds a folder. Liz sits in front of Wes, her demeanor solemn. WESI feel close to recovery. Did you lock the door? LIZListen, Wes- WESNurse! Doctor will see you now. He approaches her; begins to unbutton her physician’s robe. He kisses her neck. LIZHold on, please sit down. WESNo time nurse, we gotta christen this room before breakfast. LIZI’m a doctor. WES(Grabs her breasts.) You are physical fuckin’ therapy. She’s had enough. She pushes him off.
  5. 5. 4. LIZWes! (Beat.) You have to go now. Sorry. I can’t see you anymore. WES(Disappointed) You’re breaking up with me? Why? LIZ(Holds up the folder.)...Because you’re HIV positive. Wes freezes, appalled. Bach’s “Suite for Solo Cello No. 1 in G Major” concludes. The air goes stale. Blackout.SCENE 2: THE INGLORIOUS DISCIPLES OF BASKET-BALLS Same morning. Breakfast. 10 am. Malcolm and Andrea’s kitchen. The space is pristinely maintained much like the bedroom; the unwavering neat-freak characteristics of Malcolm. He dirties the space temporarily, cooking egg whites and turkey sausage. Andrea sits sloughed on the countertop next to him; a lonely coffee mug sits with her. She pours it full of chianti and sips away. MALCOLMNinety-two? ANDREAGood morning for a good year. MALCOLMI was saving that. ANDREAFor tonight? MALCOLMWell... ANDREADid you cheat on me? MALCOLMNo. Did you? ANDREANo. MALCOLMDo you want a sausage?
  6. 6. 5. She stares at him. He hands her a plate of food. She eats the eggs slowly, with her fingers. He mostly plays with his food. MALCOLM (CONT’D)I’m a lark. It’s all so terribly Victor, Victoria. ANDREAYour a west side homo, it’s not any sort of a prank. MALCOLMYou lied to me. ANDREA(Pensive) I strap on a dick, you strap on a bra. You lied to me too. MALCOLMWhy did we do this? ANDREARepublicans. MALCOLMThat’s hardly fair. ANDREAIt’s true. MALCOLMYou want some white wine? ANDREA(Not listening.) White Christian elephant men. MALCOLMI think we have a riesling in the fridge. ANDREAHow did you fuck me? No response. Malcolm pours himself a glass of riesling. He sits next to Andrea. They stare at the floor. MALCOLM...I loved you. You’re my best friend. They stare at each other for a beat. There’s a brash knock at their door. Andrea’s face drops. She swoops off of the counter. ANDREAI’m a cannibal. I’m going back to fucking bed.
  7. 7. 6. She exits. Another knock. Malcolm answers it. Wes strides inside holding a ninety-cent cup of coffee and a bagel with cream cheese. His tie is crooked. WESHey black man. MALCOLM...Hey Wes. WESI spotted a revelation as I was walking here. MALCOLMHang on- WES MALCOLMNo listen this is (To theserious genius- bedroom.) Andy, do you still want your eggs? No response. The walls crack. Wes is confused. WESShe okay? MALCOLMShe’s re-birthing. WESYou guys went out last night? MALCOLMYes. All sorts of out. WESThanks for inviting me. (To Andrea) Hey Winehouse, get up! I got you apresent! MALCOLMShe’s not. It’s useless. WESHuh. Anyway listen, so this guy is selling hot dogs on Hudson, right,and he has one of those umbrella stands. As he expounds he messes his mouth with the overstuffed bagel, speaking through bites. WES (CONT’D)This guy looks terrifying like, I dunno, some sort of Arabic Son ofSam. He’s scary, right? But people are flocking to this guy.
  8. 8. 7.Flocking a line wrapped around a Starbucks. A STARBUCKS! At ten in themorning! So I think what’s the catch here? What is so appealing aboutterrorist hot dog man? MALCOLM(Confused)...People like them. They’re convenient. WESNo it’s even better than that. This guy, unlike the rest, had thehungry colors. Malcolm is completely lost. He shakes his head. A door closes from within the bedroom. Malcolm reacts, wanting to join Andrea and wallow in their relationship-ending secrets. MALCOLM(Distracted) What? WESHungry colors. Discovery Channel and what-not. Three colors when usedtogether can make people hungry. Red, yellow, and green. So dudedecorated his umbrella and put green and red tape all over the yellow.Entrepreneurial frankfurter manifesto! MALCOLMI don’t get your, um...do you want Andy’s eggs? WESMalcolm, step out of her vagina for two seconds and listen to me. It’sthe color scheme for the restaurant. We use yellow, green and red, awin-win! MALCOLM...okay. WES(Impatient) Nevermind. What’s the matter? MALCOLMWhat? WESYou’re dismantled. What’s wrong, did you fight? MALCOLMNothing. Andy comes out from hiding. She goes to grab the bottle of Chianti. Breakfast. WES(To Andrea) Ah, sunshine, wilkommen!
  9. 9. 8. ANDREAYour tie is crooked. WESWhat? ANDREAYour tie is never crooked. Never. Something’s wrong, what is it? WESNothing. ANDREA(Swigs the wine.) Liar. Your tie is crooked. MALCOLMAndrea? They stand in uncomfortable silence. What to say? WES...I bought you a gift. ANDREA(Uninterested) Leave it in the mailbox, mack. See you tonight. She exits with the wine bottle. WES(To Malcolm) Your fiance reminds me of a Shih Tzu. MALCOLMYou’re okay then? WESI’m a locomotive. Tunneling. Hurdling. I don’t know, maybe I’m tired ofbeing the sleep-around kid. MALCOLMYou’re kidding. WESI like the new chick to wake up to every morning thing, but then itsthe same ending routine every night. Get to go home to my borough boxand Charlie Gibson is the only one hoping I’ve had a good day. MALCOLMThis isn’t you talking. WESIt is. It’s going too fast.
  10. 10. 9. MALCOLMWhat about that doctor? Weren’t you getting serious? WESShe dumped me. MALCOLMGet the fuck out. WESYes. MALCOLMWhy? WES(Apprehensive)...I was overqualified. MALCOLMHuh? WESNothing...Listen what about you? MALCOLMNo we’re okay...You’ll be there tonight? WESI’m going to the restaurant for a while. I’ll be there later. Oh here,here’s Andrea’s gift. Housewarming. Wes pulls out a crucifix. He gives it to Malcolm. WES (CONT’D)Sorry didn’t wrap it. MALCOLMUm...Andy’s Jewish. WES(Points to the crucifix.) So was that guy. Gotta go. Red, yellow andgreen. Peace black man. Wes exits. Malcolm stands alone and slowly walks to a chair. He sits and buries his head in hands. He begins to cry. Andrea re-enters the room, holding her stomach. ANDREAI’m sick.
  11. 11. 10. MALCOLMI’m sorry, I’m so sorry. ANDREAAre you crying? MALCOLMWallowing. Dying. Aren’t you? ANDREANo, I’m sick. MALCOLMIt’s okay to be upset about this Andy. You can let go. ANDREAI’m relieved. Aren’t you relieved? MALCOLMWhat? ANDREAWe can be us now. Finally. Did you tell him? MALCOLMThere is no more us! We had five years together! It’s gone! ANDREAMalcolm, you were never in love with me. Never. Jesus Christ you weregonna marry me! MALCOLMYou were gonna marry me! ANDREAYou proposed! MALCOLMYou fucking said YES! A beat. They hold on each other in their rage. ANDREA...Did you tell him? MALCOLMNo. ANDREAWhy? MALCOLMI’m not ready.
  12. 12. 11. A beat. Andrea sits. ANDREA(Calmer) I’m not either. I was relieved that you told me first. It’sbeen like this...impending death sentence. A lie so heavy you justdecide to make it fit any way it can, inside of you, until you tellyourself that it’s part of you, the lie is part of you. And you areheavier. And you weigh everything down, everything you touch, its likeyou are breaking everything and everyone you come in contact with. ButI was willing to live with that lie for the rest of my life because Icouldn’t bring myself to be honest...with you. With them...Shit,Malcolm, they’re throwing a god-dam engagement party in our honortonight and it’s all for nothing! Who does this? What the fuck are we? MALCOLMTaboo. We’re weightless. It’s the world that’s heavy, not you. Not us. ANDREARemember Alan Giraldo? MALCOLM (amused)Basket-balls? They laugh. ANDREAThe kid with the boom-box. Fucking Kanye blasting and the StrawberryShortcake stickers... MALCOLMWhat did he used to play at the blacktop? ANDREAOh my God, yeah, it was some...testosterone charged acoustic version ofDancing Queen. They are in hysterics. MALCOLMAnd then...and then he started wearing his jeans low. Gangster. Hestood there trying to impress Emily, he was trying to impress Emily,you know, I don’t know why (Laughing hard.)...and they fell down...hisunderwear...hey Alan... MALCOLM (CONT’D) ANDREA...nice basket-balls! Nice basket-balls! Fall down ROFL laughter. Malcolm imitates as if to have two baskets hanging from his testicles. MALCOLM (CONT’D)(Laughing) They were like...like this...
  13. 13. 12. ANDREAThat rocked so fucking hard. MALCOLMDid he ever some out? ANDREAI heard it was drenched in cliche. He finally wore a turtleneck andskinny-jeans to Thanksgiving one year and declared himself a Nancy. MALCOLMThat kid was so obvious though. (Beat.) You want a tea-bag, basket-balls? They burst into laughter again. After a moment of smiles+, they are silent, and stare at the floor. Then- MALCOLM...I forgive you. ANDREA(Emotional)...I forgive you too.(Beat) Do we call off the party? MALCOLM...No. No we have to do it. We have to stick by it. ANDREAThe lie? MALCOLMStick by each other. I don’t think we can do this on our own. We needus. We can come out together. ANDREAHuh. What a fucking parade this is. MALCOLMIt’s better this way. ANDREA(Somewhat amused) You wearing skinny jeans tonight? MALCOLMYou wearing a turtleneck? Andrea rises, still holding her stomach. ANDREA (CONT’D)Any other dirty little secrets? Are you in love with someone? A beat. This time its Malcolm who sits down.
  14. 14. 13. MALCOLM...Why, are you? ANDREANo. MALCOLM(Hesitantly)...James. I’m in love with James. Andrea steps back, shocked. She holds her mouth. ANDREAOh God, I’m gonna throw up again. She rushes out of the room. Malcolm begins to cry again. Blackout.SCENE 3: A PREORDAINED RENDEZVOUS (BARBETTA DAYS) TriBeCa. James and Emily’s loft. James is sitting on his couch. He types at his laptop sitting on his coffee table. Emily is pacing behind him, fidgeting, pretending to do something other than ignore the elephant in the room. EMILY...James. He types; ignores her. EMILY (CONT’D)James! JAMESOkay listen...(Reads from computer.) It’s not often that a restaurantoffers the perfect blend of an inviting environment, an innovativemenu, and a broad spectrum of culture in one space. But such is theambitious pursuit of five New York entrepreneurs who believe the greatcity deserves a great new buzz-worthy space where regulars can escapeand unwind. In April of this year, they will be opening ‘blank’,(ToEmily.) that’s where we’ll put the name, (Reads.) on the corner ofFranklin and Hudson Streets in Manhattan’s TriBeCa. (To Emily.) What doyou think so far? EMILY...Can we talk about this? JAMES(Types again, feverishly.) See what I’m doing, Em, is simple. I’mfocusing. I’m working on this, this which is what we love.
  15. 15. 14.This restaurant as a collective idea of something that we are doingtogether with a clear goal in mind. And in doing so, I’m being open-minded. I’m opening my mind to this entire thing. Big gaping, BLEEDINGmind, trying to stay unhinged and not scream at the walls. Because Iwant to try and make myself know that you’re a human, and thereforeimperfect, which means it is okay for you to have feelings - strongsexual say my name, say his name FEELINGS for another man even thoughwe’re married. Just sitting, working, saying that its okay to my brainand that eventually it will make some sort of sense. So, since thatwhat’s I’m doing, and since I need to do it to hold my own composureright now, I’ll ask you again; what the FUCK do you think so far? EMILY(Beat.)...I don’t know about “broad spectrum of culture”. James slams his notebook shut. He rises to face Emily. JAMESDid you fuck him? EMILYNo! JAMESBut you love him. EMILYI don’t...love him. JAMESOkay fine you like him. More than me. EMILYYou’re my husband! JAMESDoesn’t mean you have to like me. EMILYI love you! JAMESOh thank God! You love me enough to wear a ring on your finger, but youlike him enough to scream his name during INTERCOURSE! EMILYYou get so confrontational when you’re mad! JAMESSorry, perhaps instead I’ll go sit in the corner and stick my finger upmy ass!
  16. 16. 15. EMILYJames, listen to me...don’t look at me like that!- EMILY (CONT’D) JAMESYou are looking at me Well what do youlike I cheated...I expect, Em...You maydon’t...I can’t as well havehandle when you look cheated...I don’tat me with that know what to thinklook...I HAVE NEVER about this...CHEATED ON YOU! EMILY (CONT’D)(Beat.)...I have never cheated on you with anyone. Ever. JAMES...You don’t like me. EMILYWe’re not really fighting right now. JAMESDoctor Phil and I disagree. EMILYYou’re not angry. You want absolution. JAMESFor what? EMILYEmasculation. JAMESOh please. Testicular prowess is not the problem. EMILYYou’re afraid you can’t satisfy me like you used to. JAMESIf that were the problem you wouldn’t have been COMING when you werescreaming Malcolm’s name! EMILYI wasn’t... Beat. Emily has no more excuses. She walks to the couch and sits. She stares at the floor. EMILY (CONT’D)Malcolm took me on a date before you did. One date. He never told youabout it. He was worried about what you would think. I guess I was too.
  17. 17. 16. JAMES(Beat.) Yeah. EMILYHe took me to Barbetta. This was what, six years ago? Jesus...He wasreally sweet. Real nervous. But there was something about him thattugged at the heartstrings. There was something raw and harboring aboutMalcolm, I don’t know what it was, just depth that I found myself lostin and...I was just really attracted to him. JAMESSo you spent the night together? EMILYNo. We went to see a one-man show in the Village. It was terrible. Butit was terribly romantic. I don’t know, I just...I felt like I fell inlove with him. In one night. JAMESThen why did you marry me? EMILYJames, I love you. I didn’t really love him, it was a girlishinfatuation. It was a crush. Besides, he didn’t want to date anymoreafter that night. He said it wasn’t me, he was scared of hurting you.He knew you wanted me too, and he didn’t want to stand in the way ofyour happiness. So you asked me out, and Malcolm and I have remainedfriends. JAMES...Really? Malcolm? EMILYYeah. JAMESYou never slept with him? EMILYNo. JAMESBut you did love him? EMILYI thought I did. JAMESNot good enough Em. That won’t work for me. EMILYWhat?
  18. 18. 17. JAMESIt’s an inkling that sits in the back of your mind and rots. We’rebound for life, but how do I know you’re not always wondering if he isthe one that got away? EMILYThat’s ridiculous. JAMESPeople don’t fall out of love. People endure it. You’ll wear it like abadge. You may love me, but you will always still have loved him. EMILYI’m happy where I am. I’m not wearing any badges. JAMESDenial. EMILYYou’re wrong about that one. JAMESNo I’m not. EMILYThen how many badges are you wearing? JAMES(Beat.) One. EMILYExcuse me? JAMESIt was a high school romance. That doesn’t matter here. EMILYHow doesn’t it? JAMESShe wasn’t one of your best friends. EMILYBut you’re wearing her. You’re still wearing her all over you even now. JAMESDon’t start making this about me! EMILYI’M NOT PERFECT! JAMESYou are like so intense right now, I feel like I need to film this.
  19. 19. 18. EMILYSo help me James if you pull out your camera right now I will YouTubeyou so fast. A beat. A staring contest. James very slowly moves to his bag on the couch. He reaches in, at slow-motion pace, and pulls out a video- camera. EMILYShove it up your ass. JAMES(Filming.) Close up, and...oh yeah, the vein on your forehead gets mehard. EMILY (amused)Fucking Kubrick wannabe. JAMESThis is my wife who successfully cheated on me before we ever met. A beat. Emily is silent and trapped within her own thoughts. James stops filming her. JAMES (CONT’D)...You hurt me. EMILY...I know. JAMES(Beat.) I need a drink. EMILYIt’s eleven-thirty. JAMESBloody-Mary. EMILYDon’t do this, please. Don’t go to that place. You disappear when youdrink. JAMESYou want one? EMILY(Beat.) Yes. James pours two drinks while Emily sits. He joins her at the couch and sits with her.
  20. 20. 19. They drink for a moment, James’ mind obviously racing. Finally he gives a glimpse of conclusion. JAMESOkay here’s what this is. It’s a stain. Its a mole on this canvas. Andwe have to remove it. EMILYWhat? JAMESA bump. You loved Malcolm. You married me. You remembered that youloved Malcolm. You screwed my brains out with his face painted on. She turns away, guilt-stricken. JAMES (CONT’D)So, it’s simple. Malcolm is unfinished business. And he’s our friend.He’s getting married in a week and he has no idea how you once feltabout him. That’s not fair. EMILYFair to him or me? JAMESFair to me...So you’ll tell him. Tonight. EMILYYou’re kidding. JAMESYeah you’re right, I’m kidding. I want a divorce. An uncomfortable beat. JAMES (CONT’D)...Now I’m kidding. Kidding there. EMILY(Stands.) I can’t tell him James. Not now, the man’s about to getmarried. JAMESRight, which is why. What a revelation. EMILYIt’s not right. JAMESWhy?
  21. 21. 20. EMILYWe’re celebrating him here tonight. We’re not barreling confessions athim. What will Andrea think? JAMESAndrea is a big girl. I think she can handle it. EMILYI’ll tell him. After the wedding. Not tonight. JAMESTonight. It’s perfect. EMILYNo! JAMES...You have to. Because I want you to. And you owe me, darling. Big. EMILY(Beat.) You’re such a sadist! She exits to another room. JAMESI’m a masochist, sweetheart. Somehow you think this is fun for me! James sits alone for a beat. He rises and picks up the telephone, dialing a number. They answer. JAMES (CONT’D)...Hi, can I order some flowers to be delivered tonight?...How late doyou deliver?...Um, okay, yeah that’s fine...Yeah, in fact the later thebetter, could you deliver at eight?...Tonight...Right...Um, you have anice bouquet of roses?...Yeah that’s fine...Yes please...Say, um...say“To my wife. I’m sorry. This will bring us closer. I love you.”...Canyou, can you read that back?...No, closer. C-L-O-S-E-R...Yes...No, noname, she’ll know it’s me...Can your delivery boy leave them at thedoorstep?...The doorstep...Well, if I pay with my credit card rightnow, can I leave his tip right now?...Is that okay?...Great...Okaygreat, hold on...(Looks for his wallet.) Oh shit, my wallet’s in mycar, can I call you back, I’m sorry...Yeah, my name’s James, if you canmake the order, I’ll call you right back...yeah that’s me, is thisCrystal?...Yeah, how are you, I didn’t even recognize you...Yeah Istill have your number memorized, need flowers again...Cause I’m a fuck-up, ya know? I’m a newlywed...Okay I’ll call you right back...Bye. He hangs up. He exits the room. A beat. Emily enters. She looks for James, and then picks up the phone, dialing a number. They answer.
  22. 22. 21. EMILY...Hi, is Doctor McCallum in?...Emily...Yeah, thanks...(Beat. Shepaces, nervously.) Liz? Hey, it’s Em...Um, I think I need to make anappointment...No, I missed my period...Yes...Okay thanks...Yeah that’sfine...Two o’clock?...Okay...I should?...Well which one is a goodone?...First response?...I pee on it and I’ll know...okay...(HearsJames coming.) Okay, I gotta go, thanks Liz, bye. She hangs up. James enters. They stare at each other. Beat. JAMESWell? EMILY...I’m going to the bistro, you need anything? JAMES...Don’t run away. EMILYI’m coming back. JAMESYou look really pretty. EMILYI look pretty guilty. JAMESYou’re glowing. EMILY(Apprehensive) You still want me to tell him? JAMESYes. EMILY(Beat.) I’ll be back. She exits. James grabs the phone and begins to dial. Blackout.SCENE 4: IMMUNODEFISHES Small clinic Exam room. Elevenish. Doctor Liz McCallum is sitting quietly reviewing some papers. Wes barges into the room. He is anxious, sweating, panting.
  23. 23. 22. WESI don’t believe you. LIZWhat is this? WESI am not viral. LIZThis isn’t healthy. WESThere are a million reasons why I shouldn’t be this guy. I’m not theone who gets sick. LIZAnd who is? WESI am not a brand of plague. I’m on the good side. I’m wool-coat, suitand tie, four-dollar coffee America, Liz. I’m part of the engine, notthe affliction! LIZSit down Wes. WESI don’t believe you! LIZ(Quietly Stern) Sit...the fuck...down. He sits. A beat. WESYou’re going to talk about the stages now. I know it. The shock, thedenial, the depression, the fear... LIZI just want you calm. WESThe night-sweats, the vomiting, the lesions, the fever- Liz slaps Wes across the face. WES(Beat.) Um, thank you? LIZI’m really optimistic that you’re here because you’re freaking out andnot because you want sympathetic get-back-together sex.
  24. 24. 23. WESI’m not opting for the latter, but the latter sounds therapeutic. LIZYou’re not gonna die, Wes. You’re too pretentious. WESNot fair. My modesty is my pride and joy. LIZOh please, you’d fuck a cow if it flirted with you. WESI did flirt with a cow once...wait, you mean a real cow? LIZWhy are you here? WESSympathetic get-back-together sex. LIZGet lost. I have patients to see. WES(Sternly) I’m a patient! A beat. Liz can see now that Wes is there for support. WESSee me. I need a little...patience. LIZI need you to try and understand that this disease is far easier tomaintain than it used to be. WESI don’t maintain. I get and I release; indulge and then vamoose. LIZ(Sarcastic) Trust me I know. WESThis is forever. Without choice. I don’t like that. LIZNothing is without choice. How many girls have you been with? WESOne hundred and twenty-seven. And possibly one guy. And one cow.
  25. 25. 24. LIZI can’t date you anymore, like I said. And it’s not because of yourdisease. I’m not that shallow. I just don’t like the idea of beingcommitted when number one hundred twenty-eight comes along. WES(Nodding.) You think I got issues? LIZI think you’ve got a virus that’s trying to own you. And you’re gonnahave to make some changes if you want to own it instead. WESThis is like therapy at this point isn’t it? My fingernails areoutrageous mongrels that want to dig across a chalkboard and make youhear the screeching I can’t stop hearing... LIZYou need time. WESI need sex. LIZStop joking. WESWho’s joking? LIZYou are the most vicious kind of vicious circle anyone has ever spun,you know that? WESYou’re the only one who can make me feel better right now. LIZThen get serious. WESMongrels, Lizzy! Mongrels - MONGRELS! LIZFine! You want it? HIV, Human Immunodeficiency Virus, a lentivirus thatwithin the course of breakdown of its host leads to AcquiredImmunodeficiency Syndrome, or AIDS. The immune system begins todeteriorate which opens the floodgates to a spectrum of deadlyinfectious diseases. The immune system becomes essentially obsolete forthe individual and opportunistic infections or malignancies easily leadto death. HIV is spread by transmission by way of blood, semen,needles, breast milk and transmission from a mother to her newbornbaby. The host often develops flu-like symptoms two to four weeks aftertransmission during the acute HIV infection.
  26. 26. 25.The virus then enters the clinical latency stage lasting anywhere fromtwo weeks to twenty years where it is highly active within the lymphoidorgans - thymus, spleen, lymph nodes, and becomes concentrated withinthe follicular dendritic cells. The virus roams freely as well aswithin the body’s T-helper cells. How are ya feeling? Beat. Wes is frozen in silence. LIZ (CONT’D)The disease originated in primates and was transferred to humanssometime during the early twentieth century. It was declared anepidemic on June fifth, nineteen eighty-one. It was officially namedHIV in nineteen eighty-six by the International Committee on Taxonomyof Viruses. The virus is terminal and has been deemed one of the mostsignificant pandemics in our lifetime. The progression of untreated HIVto full-blown AIDS is on average nine to ten years and after infectionof the latter the patient usually expires after only nine months... LIZ (CONT’D) WESHowever...However, in Oh this is fuckingnineteen ninety-six great Liz! I’m gonnacombinations of go take a nap now,highly active I’m so fuckingretroviral therapies relaxed...How am Iwere introduced and supposed to take thisadministered to and...and walk awaypatients, greatly from here living withimproving the life- it? You’re giving meexpectancies of HIV science and numberspatients. Further and immunodefishesstudies are also and what-not...Oh mybeing developed to God, oh God...Holyfind a indisputable shit you cock-suckingcure for the disease God!...altogether. Wes? WES! A beat. WES...How long? Today? LIZThirty-two plus. WESWhat? LIZThirty-two plus years. With treatment starting now. A sullen moment for James. He lets the number set in.
  27. 27. 26. JAMESI wanted to be a perverted old grandpa. LIZWes, I- JAMESWhat about you? Jesus, you were the last- LIZI’m negative. I tested right away. There’s no solid way of playingdetective with the origin of this thing. JAMESSo what’s next? LIZCocktails. JAMESMy place? LIZDrug cocktails. WES...Your place then? LIZI’m gonna get you started on drugs right away...And I’m gonna see youthrough this. WESThanks. Beat. Liz writes on a clipboard. Wes stares at her. WES (CONT’D)You wanna get lunch? LIZNo. WESYou wanna get married? LIZYou know what a memory T-cell is, Wes? WESIs that a maybe?
  28. 28. 27. LIZIt’s my favorite part of the human body. The single-nucleonic decisionmaker. See, the memory T-cell is the one that recognizes antigens thathave previously infected you. You get infected by something that yourecover from, and your body will remember it. These cells particularlywill remember it. If the sickness returns, see, the T-cells will createan army of defense even before it has a chance to start its demise...Sowhile the other cells in the body will roam around aimlessly andconstantly careening into the same old dangerous, damaging life-forms,these cells make a judgement call. They remember. They remember thatthe last time they ran into a pathogen like this one, it was only thereto use them and cause damage and pain. They remember that the last timethey saw a pathogen like this one it tried to use them for its ownsurvival, but in doing so it left a big gaping hole. Theyremember...which ones are good...and which ones unfortunately arenot...No, Wes. I’ll keep you alive, but I most certainly will not marryyou. A beat. Wes has no response. Finally- LIZ (CONT’D)I have patients... She holds out an envelope for Wes to take. He hesitantly takes it, then exits. Liz stands alone and stares at the floor. Blackout.
  29. 29. 28. Act II: BelowSCENE 1: “” The restaurant. A large barren space. Two small tables. Three chairs. Noon. Malcolm is pacing back and forth. He holds a tape recorder in his hand. After moments of deep thought, he turns the recorder on and places it on a table. He speaks. MALCOLMA philanthropic endeavor. Bending will. Men seeking men... A beat. Malcolm thinks. MALCOLMEasy street...I’m like the last carpenter bee standing in the hive. Thehive is giving me hives. We all know what it’s like to be so itchy allof the time with a scab-laden rash of secrets here, secrets there...Ipull the skin up above my eyelids and leave a piece...peace...pieces ofit I think I thought you saw under my fingernail, when I pointed youout among the other ruby encrusted my-little-fucking-ponies. Don’t makeit out to be some earth shattering surprise. I’ve got a stomachache,and its your fault. You told me not to be the pot calling the kettle un-American, smoking and smoldering at the right hand of the...prism.Until, of course, in these events of unbridled happenstance, Jack theRipper dressed as an androgenous lady liberty tells you your rainbow istoo fucking bright and has been keeping him up at night. Close theshutters then, dude, pull the wool over your wolf eyes. I’m notpoisoning the God part of your brain here. That’s been your job. Thisis no philanthropic endeavor on my part, it’s candy for the vegetable-gorged child. It’s induction. We can’t all be one to taper off thepiece of our finger that turned green. There was gold there once. Fake,camouflaging gold, but gold with good intentions. Don’t step on eachother’s toes unless you are ready to stop running. Don’t fake theorgasm unless you are ready to stop coming...I don’t pretend not to bea conformist. Please sit properly in the assigned seat and order willfind you a place in the sea of worry-free mediocrity. It never gets anymore interesting, but at least it never gets any harder. Just do as youare told. Everything in it’s right place. Bending will. The grand oldparty. Monuments of industrialists, entrepreneurs anddisestablishmentarians. Monuments of marble slab and leather pants.Sticky pieces, dried and crusted in their belly buttons, so nobody cansee. I’m like the ratio of the geographic united states thatilluminates its major pieces; I’m a statistic. I’m a number in anumber; one through fifty inside one through three-hundred million. Onedoesn’t matter. Shouldn’t one fucking matter? It only takes a singleparasite to sink the big blue whale. Pay attention, okay, it’s in ourbest interest. We are matched against paper walls of one another asmore than just cock, ass, twat and jugs. It’s deeper and more profoundthan simply men seeking women seeking women seeking men seeking men.
  30. 30. 29.I guess its still too early to tell which chromosomes are nothing butbig giant mistakes. A fumbling of question marks...We can’t seeanymore. No one has a clue anymore. The front door opens: it’s Andrea. They stare at each other. MALCOLMThat’s all. ANDREABrainstorming? MALCOLMI wanna get one in today. ANDREAYou’re the only person I know who brainstorms for a Blog. ---SCRIPT IN PRODUCTION--
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