"Dont worry. Im just as dead as I was yesterday."
|From: The Morning After He Killed Himself|
Greg killed himself yesterday.
But he's still on his friend Will's mind.
So this morning, when Will wakes up, Greg is there at his bedside, with half his face blown off, ready to have a little chat.
Oddly enough, Will finds this visit comforting.
Among other things, they discuss how growing older as a gay man is no picnic.
Race, disability " completely open - please feel free to mix it up. It's not an all white world anymore, let the stage reflect that.
In fact, if you want to change the names and gender and make it two women instead of two men, Im OK with that, too (although I'm not sure the AIDS reference towards the end translates as well).
Have at it.
The following is the full ten minute play.
Copyright 2017 by Matthew A. Everett
WILL is asleep in bed.
GREG sits on the edge of the bed, looking at WILL and smiling.
WILL stirs a little but doesn't wake.
GREG rises and crosses to the other side of the bed.
It is then that the audience can see that the other half of Greg's face is a nightmare. As if that side of his head had been blown off by a shotgun blast.
Because it has been.
WILL wakes, stares at GREG.
GREGDon't worry. I'm just as dead as I was yesterday.
WILLSo you withdraw from all your friends for six months.
You kill yourself.
*Then* you decide to visit me.
GREGHey, this is all in your head, buddy. Your subconscious, your guilt. Don't ask me to explain.
WILLSo I'm still asleep.
GREGOr I'm haunting you. Or you're just flat out hallucinating. Wouldn't that be fun?
GREGWell, that is our tribe's primary trait.
WILLYou look like hell, by the way.
GREGLocation, location, location.
WILLI don't mean you *are* in hell, currently.
GREGMy sisters think so.
WILLNo, they don't.
GREGWill. You've met them.
WILLWell, not *all* of them think you're in hell right now.
GREGI'll grant you Alice. She was always a soft touch.
WILLI'm sure they're all rethinking their notions of eternal punishment right now.
GREGIt would be nice to think so. The day after.
WILLYou'd think "the day before," even "the day of" might have been more useful.
GREGCoulda woulda shoulda...
WILLSo how'd I do? Conjuring you?
GREGI don't really look like this.
Blew my head clean off with a shotgun.
I'd go all "headless horseman" on you but if we're gonna a talk, I need to have a mouth.
I hated my stupid face at the end anyway. You would have, too.
WILLNot that you let any of us see it.
GREGOh, so it's all about you. No closure. Your feelings are hurt. I'm dead.
WILLYou wanted to be dead.
Looks like you're the only one in this scenario who got what he wanted.
You didn't need to perform for us. You didn't need to hide.
GREGYou really think it was somehow about the rest of you?
WILLWell, if I'm torturing myself -
GREGI was torturing myself.
WILLBy staying alive.
GREGYou don't know what it's like living with pain. You're so relentlessly hopeful.
WILLYou used to be.
GREGI got over it. I woke up.
WILLYou checked out.
GREGYup. Don't have to give a crap about anything or anybody anymore.
WILLAny chance you're gonna cough up a reason?
GREGI'm sure you can conjure some. It's all you've been thinking about since yesterday when you heard.
GREGDig a little deeper.
WILLBroke up with your boyfriend.
GREGBoyfriend broke up with me. But c'mon, it's never all about a man. I had plenty of other reasons to hate myself.
GREGDing ding ding, points on the board for you.
WILLEverybody has H.I.V. these days.
GREGDon't be cute.
WILLNo, really, have you looked at the websites, the apps?
GREGOnline dating. There's another good reason to kill yourself.
WILLIt seems like all the really hot guys have something.
GREGYeah, because they're stupid and careless, just like I was.
WILLBe fair now.
GREGLike life is fair.
(his interior monologue from years ago, pre-virus)It won't happen to me. It can't touch me. Nothing can touch me.
(back in the present)Self-indulgent, probably self-loathing, delusional bullshit.
WILLH.I.V. is manageable now.
GREGEasy for you to say, you don't have it.
WILLWere the side effects of the drugs that bad?
GREGThey weren't the high point of my day, no.
WILLYour job. You worked with kids. Didn't that help?
GREGSure. It helped me feel old.
WILLCome on. You weren't old.
GREGAnd now, I guess, I never will be.
WILLPeople stopped looking, didn't they?
WILLPeople stopped looking. You got used to people looking at you first, or at least not looking away when you looked first.
GREGThat sucked, yeah.
WILLSo? You have to do a little more work?
GREGI used to be graceful. I used to be able to move. My body started to fight me.
WILLThat's not just you. That's everybody.
GREGThe weight gain.
WILLWelcome to "Your Metabolism Changes After Age 25."
Hitting your 30s and 40s isn't for sissies.
GREGWhat's your point?
WILLI keep going back to the kids.
GREGOh I just thought about what they're all in for eventually when the world starts knocking them around, or all the things they still have time to do that I don't anymore.
WILLYou think this is setting a good example?
GREGScrew role models.
WILLDoubly bad news for the gay boys.
GREGWell, they need to learn to sack up and be their own role model, don't they? Did we have role models when we were their age?
WILLWe're supposed to make it better for the next generation.
GREGDon't you find that exhausting?
GREGBe honest. It's just you and your subconscious right now, after all.
WILLIt's not easy, no. But nothing worthwhile ever is.
GREGI'm showing kids they have a way out.
WILLThey don't need anyone else romanticizing suicide for them.
GREGYou're not getting any younger either.
You're older that I am. Was.
WILLI don't have your issues.
GREGGot a man of your own yet?
WILLI'm not afraid of living alone, like you were.
WILLIt's not indefinite.
GREGWell, they're not exactly lining up, are they? Haven't held onto anyone yet, have you? Never got in my pants.
WILLDon't flatter yourself.
GREGDon't have to, you already did.
WILLBack when we met, years ago.
GREGStill wouldn't have you. Even when you were younger and cuter.
WILLYou were involved with someone at the time. Besides, we were friends.
GREGDidn't stop you from following me around like a lovesick puppy.
WILLI got over it.
GREGThe guy hasn't shown up yet. What makes you think he's going to, at this late date?
WILLI haven't been looking. And it's not that late. I just need to apply myself. He's out there.
GREGKeep telling yourself that.
WILLI don't define myself by someone else.
GREGGood thing, Captain Dry Spell.
WILLWe didn't have role models, you're right. We lost the whole generation ahead of us to the virus. We gay men don't know how to grow older. Society doesn't know how to deal with us either. There's work to be done.
GREGBy somebody else.
WILLBecause you're not getting older.
GREGNope. Not anymore. What's the point?
WILLYou'll never know.
GREGOh, like you've got so much to look forward to.
WILLI can look forward to you going away.
GREGNot yet, buddy. You're stuck with me for a while.
WILLWhat you did, what you were thinking? You're wrong.
GREGYou hang onto that thought, buddy. After all, if I'm right, why get out of bed in the morning.
WILLI'm getting out of bed.
GREGGood for you.
WILLAre you gonna hang around while I shower and get dressed?
GREGYou should be so lucky.
WILLYou staying for breakfast?
GREGHow else can I make fun of what you eat?
WILLYou're scary and a pain in the ass, but I also don't want you to go.
GREGI'm already gone.
GREGI'm gonna be on your peripheral vision all day, for a lot of days. Don't worry. You can't shake me that easily.
WILL heads off to the bathroom.
WILLWhy do I find that comforting right now?
GREGBeats the hell out of me, buddy.
Offstage, we hear the sound of the shower water starting to run.
GREG waits. Patiently.
Copyright 2017 by Matthew A. Everett