Category Archives: The Essence of Longing

Scarlett Letters

JORDAN: Good morning. Sleep OK?

SCARLETT: What the fuck are you doing here?

JORDAN: Oh, uh… shit. Shit, do you, like… Do you not remember?

SCARLETT: Remember what? Fucking you? Yeah, that I remember.

JORDAN: Oh, thank God.

SCARLETT: What I was asking was, what are you still doing here?

JORDAN: Um… waking up?

SCARLETT: Nope. Uh-uh.

JORDAN: You expect me to still be asleep?

SCARLETT: I expected you to leave in the middle of the night. Have some fucking decency!

JORDAN: I’m sorry, I didn’t know.

SCARLETT: Oh my God, please tell me this wasn’t your first one night stand.

JORDAN: I mean…

SCARLETT: Jesus Fuck!

JORDAN: Sorry, I wasn’t aware there was, like, a protocol.

SCARLETT: Do you ever watch movies? Like, ever? Or even TV?

JORDAN: Uh. Yeah, actually, I do.

SCARLETT: The guy always leaves in the middle of the night. Or the girl, if it’s his place.

JORDAN: Yeah, except then the girl’s always upset, like they’re always complaining, why couldn’t he stick around?

SCARLETT: Are you serious? The fuck kinda movies you been watching? What kind of needy-ass—You know what? I’m over it. I don’t care. You need to leave.

JORDAN: OK, I get it, I’m sorry.

SCARLETT: Don’t be “sorry”, just…

JORDAN: What’s the big hurry, anyway?

SCARLETT: I’d rather not talk. That’s kinda the point.

JORDAN: Wait, you don’t… Is there something I should know about?


JORDAN: No, but like… do you… do you have a boyfriend? I don’t know why I didn’t think to ask last night—

SCARLETT: How is that any of your business?

JORDAN: Because I had sex with you and I need to know—

SCARLETT: Oh, fuck that!

JORDAN: I need to know because—listen to me—if you are trying to keep this a secret from someone—

SCARLETT: I don’t care if he finds out!

JORDAN: So there is someone.

SCARLETT: I told you: it is none of your business.

JORDAN: I did have fun last night—

SCARLETT: I am not sleeping with you again.

JORDAN: Well, I’m sorry.

SCARLETT: Oh my God, that is not what I meant! Look, hold on, no, you don’t just walk out on a line like that!

JORDAN: You want me to stay?

SCARLETT: No, I want—Ugh!


SCARLETT: This isn’t about you!


SCARLETT: Look, last night was fine. You were great, whatever. Was it the best sex I ever had? No. But it was fine. Did I want it to happen? Did I want you to come over? Yes. Was I using you for revenge?… I don’t know, maybe a little bit, but that’s not for you to worry about. I didn’t want you to spend the night, but whatever, it’s not that big of a deal, but I need you to leave now because I cannot handle this kind of emotional labor first thing in the goddamn morning!

JORDAN: I’m not asking you for emotional labor—

SCARLETT: Oh, bullshit!

JORDAN: No, I’m not—

SCARLETT: You and your grandstanding and apologizing for sleeping with me, like you committed some crime—

JORDAN: You seemed upset—

SCARLETT: A one-night stand is not a fucking crime!

JORDAN: Well, I didn’t know that’s what this was! I’ve never done this before. I didn’t want you waking up and… I didn’t want to be that guy. You know.

SCARLETT: Great, so now I’m the bad guy.

JORDAN: That’s not what I meant.

SCARLETT: Isn’t it? I’m the slut. Right?

JORDAN: I don’t blame you for anything you did. I just need to know that we’re on the same page. ‘Cause right now… I’m not even sure we were reading the same book. All right, I’m gonna go. It was nice sleeping with you.

SCARLETT: Yeah, sure. Thanks.

The Theory of Consent

DARRYL: Can you believe Mason Goddard?

LYDIA: Nope.

DARRYL: That guy is a maniac! A maniac!

LYDIA: Are you comfortable?

DARRYL: My stomach is. My head still isn’t sure what’s going on.

LYDIA: How much did you drink?

DARRYL: I’m gonna go with… yes.

LYDIA: Gotcha.

DARRYL: You didn’t drink, did you?

LYDIA: Seventeen, remember?

DARRYL: Oh, like that’s ever really stopped anyone.

LYDIA: I don’t approve of drinking.

DARRYL: Well, excuse the hell out of me.

LYDIA: No, you’re fine. I just don’t approve of me drinking. You’re actually kind of funny when you’re drunk.

DARRYL: As opposed to when I’m sober?

LYDIA: No, you’re funny when you’re sober, too.

DARRYL: Funny, how?

LYDIA: Funny-looking. I’m just kidding.

DARRYL: Hold on, why are you here?

LYDIA: You asked me to come up.

DARRYL: I don’t remember asking you to come up.

LYDIA: Well… you kept talking. Never said goodbye. And I had to make sure you weren’t going to kill yourself on those stairs. Where are your roommates?

DARRYL: I don’t care. Jeffrey’s probably off saving the world or something, and Adrian’s… probably off being Adrian.

LYDIA: Are they likely to interrupt us?

DARRYL: What are you doing?

LYDIA: Seducing you. Why? What does it look like I’m doing?

DARRYL: Se…ducing me? Which is not… a thing that you should be doing… No, no, wait, stop.


DARRYL: Because you’re seventeen.

LYDIA: North Carolina law states that seventeen-year-olds are allowed to give consent as long as the other party is within five years of their age. I checked.

DARRYL: With who?

LYDIA: … Mason Goddard?

DARRYL: You expect a theatre director to be versed in the intricacies of sex law? Fuck, I just said sex in front of the horny seventeen-year-old.

LYDIA: You’re afraid that’s going to make me more horny?


LYDIA: You’re probably right. It’s probably just that you said sex in front of me, that makes me want to have sex with you, and not the fact that you’re an older male who is not just a sexy dork–

DARRYL: There’s no such thing as a sexy dork–

LYDIA: You don’t get to make that call!

DARRYL: Sorry.

LYDIA: Not just a sexy dork, but one who is kind and respectful and knows Shakespeare better than a lot of the so-called experts in our outdoor-Shakespeare community–

DARRYL: Well, I don’t know about that–

LYDIA: Shut up! I’m speaking. I will tell drunk person when drunk person is allowed to speak again. Now where was I?

DARRYL: Shakespeare?

LYDIA: Right. Because Shakespeare has never, in the history of the world, made a woman swoon and want to have sex with a man that she isn’t supposed to want to have sex with, for whatever reason.

DARRYL: Women aren’t supposed to want to have sex anyway. That’s why “wanton” is derogatational.

LYDIA: Are you aware that you’re talking like Dogberry in Much Ado?

DARRYL: I am an ass.

LYDIA: You’re drunk, I don’t think you get to make that call, either–

DARRYL: Hold on, did you just say you were trying to seduce me? Wait–you kissed me!

LYDIA: Yes, I did.

DARRYL: Are you taking advantage of me?

LYDIA: Isn’t that what you want me to do?

DARRYL: I know I’m drunk, but that still sounded like a loaded question.

LYDIA: You know, for a drunk man, you seem disappointingly un-horny.

DARRYL: That’s because the person trying to seduce me is a seventeen-year-old.

LYDIA: Well, that was unkind.

DARRYL: You’re supposed to be a unkind to seventeen-year-olds who are seducing you. Anything else could give them the wrong idea.

LYDIA: What if she already has the wrong idea?

DARRYL: … I don’t know what that means, I’m drunk and we’re talking too fast.

LYDIA: Then maybe we should stop talking.

DARRYL: Do you have any idea how unethical you’re being?

LYDIA: Seducing a drunk man?


LYDIA: I’m seventeen, I don’t know any better.

DARRYL: Well, I do.

LYDIA: No, you don’t. You’re drunk.

DARRYL: That’s not how it works. Stop it!

LYDIA: No one’s going to press charges. I talked to Patrick.

DARRYL: Your uncle?

LYDIA: He’s my legal guardian. He wouldn’t press charges. Parental consent.

DARRYL: I don’t think that’s… that’s still not…

LYDIA: Do you want to have sex with me? Do you?



DARRYL: No, I don’t want to have sex with you.

LYDIA: Why not?!

DARRYL: Because you’re fat. And ugly. And morally reprehansitive.

LYDIA: I’m sorry, Darryl, but you’re just not that good of an actor.

DARRYL: Get out of my house, Lydia.

LYDIA: You don’t want me to go–

DARRYL: Get out of my house! Thank you for the ride, but you… need to leave now.

LYDIA: Or what?

DARRYL: Or I’ll call the police.

LYDIA: Where’s your phone?

DARRYL: Dammit–Lydia, what did you do with my phone?

LYDIA: You’ll get it back after you have sex with me.

DARRYL: You’re full of shit, it’s right here–Hey!

LYDIA: You’ll get it back after you have sex with me.

DARRYL: Is that really how you want to do this?

LYDIA: Do you really want to keep saying no? Come on, Darryl. I want you.

DARRYL: Stop it.

LYDIA: I want you to be my first.

DARRYL: Oh, God! Oh, fuck, Lydia, if you hadn’t’ve said that!

LYDIA: Does that turn you on?

DARRYL: No, it doesn’t! Listen to me. You don’t want your first time to be with someone who’s drunk, and you also don’t want your first time to be with someone who doesn’t care about you as much as you care about him.

LYDIA: Are you saying you don’t care about me?

DARRYL: Does it look like I care about you as much as you care about me? See, right there, you had to think about it. Which means you’re not really sure, ‘cause I’m drunk and I can still confuse you, ‘cause I’m–‘cause I got ninja skills and stuff.

LYDIA: Shouldn’t it be my decision, though? Shouldn’t I be the one who makes decisions about my own body? Shouldn’t that mean that I’m the one who gets to decide when I’m ready, and who I want to be ready with?

DARRYL: It is your decision. But you need the other guy’s consent, too. And I’m drunk. And you’re still seventeen, and I’m… I’m saying no.

LYDIA: Why does that only make me want to fuck you more?

DARRYL: Because you’re seventeen, and you’re horny, and you’re… smart enough to want the right guy, even if, I don’t know, I guess seventeen-year-olds only like the nice guy when he’s older or something, I’m not sure how that works.

LYDIA: We want someone more mature.

DARRYL: Yeah, sure. You’re still not leaving.

LYDIA: I want to kiss you one more time.

DARRYL: No, you don’t. You want me to kiss you.

LYDIA: I won’t tell anybody–

DARRYL: They’re theatre folks, they already know.

LYDIA: Thank you. So, um… you think maybe sometime when you’re not so drunk. And I’m not so seventeen…

DARRYL: Neither one of us should be making any promises right now. But sure, drunk as I am… If I wasn’t so drunk, and you weren’t so seventeen… I was lying when I said you were ugly.

LYDIA: I know.

DARRYL: And I’m sorry about that.

LYDIA: It’s okay. One more kiss. Thank you.

When You Do Ask a Girl Out

LAURA: Hey, honey. School good?

TONY: Awesome.

LAURA: You okay?

TONY: I’m fine.

LAURA: Are you sure?

TONY: Yes, I’m sure.

LAURA: Well, I’m not.

TONY: You’re not fine?

LAURA: Not sure.

TONY: What’s wrong?

LAURA: Not sure you’re fine. What’s up?

TONY: Oh my God, Mom.

LAURA: She have a name?

TONY: Oh my God!

LAURA: That’s a weird name for a girl. It is a girl? I’m assuming.

TONY: Jesus Christ!

LAURA: Now that would be a whole other story, if you’d changed your mind about that guy!

TONY: Yes, it’s a girl! Holy shit! Jeez, Mom!

LAURA: Language.

TONY: I don’t want to talk about it.

LAURA: Yeah, you do. She know you like her?

TONY: I don’t know.

LAURA: Could be worse. You friends?

TONY: I hope not.

LAURA: OK, now that is the wrong attitude to have.

TONY: Look, I don’t want to be that guy, you know, that guy that she goes to for friendship instead of…

LAURA: Instead of what?

TONY: You know…

LAURA: Look, I’m not going to pretend that there aren’t girls out there who like a bit of danger. But the best relationships, the kind of relationships like your dad and I had? We were friends first.

TONY: What if I don’t want what you and Dad had?

LAURA: Oh, are you gonna tell me that you’re only interested in this girl for her body?

TONY: I don’t know.

LAURA: I know that’s not what you want.

TONY: It’s just that.. we are friends.

LAURA: That’s good. It’s a good start.

TONY: So what if she doesn’t want to be more than that?

LAURA: Well, what if she doesn’t?

TONY: I don’t know what I’d…

LAURA: What you’d what? Are you good with being, with staying, just friends? If not—

TONY: I’m… No. I’m good with that.

LAURA: Are you sure?

TONY: I want her. But… I don’t know, OK?

LAURA: Have you talked to her about it?


LAURA: That might be a good place to start.

TONY: I know.

LAURA: So why don’t you do it?

TONY: Oh, for fuck sake, Mom—

LAURA: Language!

TONY: First you ambush me when I don’t want to talk about this stuff—

LAURA: You have to talk about this stuff.

TONY: I was figuring it out! Look, I don’t want you judging me, that’s why I didn’t come to you!

LAURA: How am I judging you?

TONY: I want to have sex! OK?

LAURA: You’re too young to be having sex…

TONY: See? That’s what I’m talking about!

LAURA: But I wasn’t—

TONY: I didn’t say I was planning to have sex any time soon—

LAURA: But that’s what you—You know what? Maybe you’re right, maybe I don’t want to—

TONY: Oh, no. Oh, no you don’t! You don’t get to open a can of worms like this and then not eat every single one! You wanted to do this? Let’s do this!

LAURA: So you want to have sex with this girl.

TONY: Yes.


TONY: Why… do I want to have sex?

LAURA: With her?

TONY: Because I want to have sex. And I like her.

LAURA: Do you like her because you want to have sex with her?

TONY: What did I just say, mother? I. Like. Her.


TONY: Again with the judging!

LAURA: I’m not judging you!

TONY: Oh, and again with the tone! You know what? Forget it, this was a bad idea—

LAURA: Tony! Wait. I’m sorry. Can we start over?

TONY: From where?

LAURA: There’s this girl that you like?

TONY: Yeah.

LAURA: What’s her name?

TONY: I’m not gonna tell you her name. Not yet.

LAURA: Have you asked her out?

TONY: Not yet. But I think I’m going to.

LAURA: Good.

TONY: Mom?

LAURA: Yeah?

TONY: Do you have any… tips? On how to ask a girl out? Or even, like, where to take her on a date?

LAURA: Oh, honey. Do I ever!

The Choice


MILES: You’re awake.

EMILY: How’d it go?

MILES: The news isn’t good.

EMILY: The baby?

MILES: We need to talk.

EMILY: Miles. Is the baby…

MILES: It’s alive.


MILES: He’s alive. But…

EMILY: Is he in danger?

MILES: You’re in danger.

EMILY: I can take care of myself.

MILES: You’ve been asleep for ten hours, Emily.

EMILY: I can take care of myself!

MILES: This is what we have doctors for. You need…

EMILY: What? No, go on, say it. Say it, Miles, go on. Tell me what I need.

MILES: This pregnancy will kill you.

EMILY: What are my chances, exactly?

MILES: Catastrophic.

EMILY: Oh, boo fucking hoo.

MILES: Emily—

EMILY: I’m not having an abortion.

MILES: Emily—

EMILY: Miles! I am not having an abortion. I will not kill this baby.

MILES: Then this baby will kill you.

EMILY: I cannot imagine a worthier adversary.

MILES: Emily, there are other options.

EMILY: Oh, like what? Adoption?

MILES: Not even that! We can try again! We can—

EMILY: You expect me to carry another child after killing this baby?

MILES: It’s not a baby yet.

EMILY: Yes, he is. Miles, you’ve seen him—

MILES: I saw a speck on a screen! You wanna talk about things I’ve seen? You wanna go there?

EMILY: It’s not your decision.

MILES: He could die, too. Emily, if you don’t do this—

EMILY: I’m strong.

MILES: Emily. You could die for nothing.

EMILY: Might be preferable.

MILES: Have you ever loved me? Did you? Ever? Do you even realize what you’re telling me? You’re telling me death is preferable to you, death would be a better prospect than… We can try again, Emily. It doesn’t have to be this way.

EMILY: Yes. It does. OK, let me tell you how this is going to go. I am going to have this baby. He is going to survive. And I’m not. And I’m okay with that, because you—listen to me! You are going to be an amazing father. You are going to be the best fucking father to our son that the world has ever seen. You’re going to find someone else—let’s be honest, it’ll probably be Ashley—

MILES: Oh, fuck you—

EMILY: And you’re going to be fine. You’re both going to be fine. You’re all going to be fine. Without me.

MILES: I don’t want to do any of that without you.

EMILY: You don’t have a choice.

The Philosophy of Concessions

WILL: Why do you think they call it the “Concessions Stand”?

NATTIE: I don’t know. Make up for all the bad movies we show?

WILL: How does that work?

NATTIE: I don’t know. Made sense in my head, though.

WILL: I think it’s because they know working back here is the most miserable job in the theatre. But oh, well, we have to do it, right?

NATTIE: You know, we don’t make any money off the tickets.

WILL: What, none at all?

NATTIE: Not for the first, like, four or five weeks or something. And after that, it’s just an increasing percentage thing.

WILL: So you’re telling me it’s only concessions that actually makes money?

NATTIE: We’re earning not just our pay, but box and door’s, too.

WILL: Thankless twats–

NATTIE: Careful what you say about twats, there, straight boy.

WILL: Like Jeffrey up at the door–the fuck was that about this morning? He’s too good for concessions now?

NATTIE: Wasn’t willing to make concessions.

WILL: Aw, snap–so he who whines loudest gets his way, is that it?

NATTIE: Yeah, or the manager’s pets.

WILL: I thought we were the manager’s pets.

NATTIE: We were. But Logan totally has a crush on Jeffrey, now.

WILL: That’s great, except for how Logan isn’t gay.

NATTIE: Says the straight boy.

WILL: Oh, please.

NATTIE: Who thought “Rue Paul” was a street in downtown Paris?

WILL: It’s what I get for taking French in high school. Even if he is, though, he’s never gonna get anywhere with Jeffrey!

NATTIE: Oh, you’re telling me the Waltzing Belgian is straight?

WILL: He’s European. He doesn’t have to be gay. Just weird. One thing I will say for concession stand:

NATTIE: Checking out chicks?

WILL: Hell, yeah.

NATTIE: Right there with you, cuz.

WILL: So, like, when you look at a chick, do you, like, compare her in your mind to yourself, like, in the mirror? Like, sizing her up?

NATTIE: Ew. Are we doing this? Seriously?

WILL: What? I think it’s a valid question. I’m… curious.

NATTIE: About lesbians? Shock and awe.

WILL: I just feel like… we can talk about this stuff, you know. Like if we weren’t already cousins, this would be weird.

NATTIE: Funny, I think it’s weirder because we’re cousins.

WILL: You see that?

NATTIE: Guess she doesn’t have to make concessions.

WILL: I know, right?

NATTIE: Grin that wipe off your face, man. Also, drool.

WILL: What? Look, but don’t touch, that’s a thing, right?

NATTIE: How ‘bout “look, but don’t salivate”?

WILL: How can you–I mean, that girl was–

NATTIE: Totally mine.

WILL: Wait, what?

NATTIE: Lesbian. For sure.

WILL: Dressed like that? Ow! Hey!

NATTIE: Hands off.

WILL: Nuh-uh.

NATTIE: You really wanna go there? You really want to embarrass yourself like you did that time with Suzie whatserface?

WILL: Mathis, and she wasn’t gay, she just wouldn’t date me ‘cause I’m not a LaCrosse player.

NATTIE: Keep telling yourself that, breeder.

WILL: Oh, so, you wanna make this a bet?

NATTIE: No, I wanna make that girl a bet.

WILL: That’s what I meant.


WILL: I say she’s straight.

NATTIE: I say I can seduce her before you can.

WILL: Wait, what?

NATTIE: Mine’s more fun. Also, even if she is “straight”, girls are easy.

WILL: I’d like to point out that, in this instance, it’s not just the girl but the avid hardcore lesbian who’s objectifying women. Treating them like sex-objects–

NATTIE: Oh, I’m sure she has a personality, too. I’m just looking forward to, you know, getting to know the whole package.

WILL: I’d also like to point out that one of us was recently in a very intense and not-so-comfortable relationship that ended… rhymes with “madly”? And it’s not the one of us who currently has a penis.

NATTIE: OK, first of all, ew. And second–


NATTIE: I told you never to say her name.

WILL: Which I didn’t.

NATTIE: Which means: don’t ever fucking bring her up. Ever. Especially when it comes to, you know, talking about someone who could… help me get over it.

WILL: Yeah, OK. Guess I’m…

NATTIE: Being a dick?

WILL: Well, not being a gentleman, anyway.

NATTIE: You know, a real gentleman wouldn’t even make a bet.

WILL: What you talking about? Gentlemen totally make bets. they just make them on horse-races and cricket.

NATTIE: A real gentleman wouldn’t need to make a bet, because he would let the damsel in distress be the knight in shining armor to the hot chick who just walked in.

WILL: Aw, you sneaky burrito. I totally fell for it, too. Yeah, I’m not a gentleman, forget it. Man has needs.

NATTIE: Man has testicles, too. Seem to remember that from biology class a million years ago.

WILL: Bet that girl’s a biology major.

NATTIE: Yeah, still gay, though.

WILL: Yeah, whatevs.

The Passion of Hate

LILLY: So how did it go?

TOMMY: How did what go?

LILLY: Your date.

TOMMY: What date?

LILLY: Oh, don’t be coy.

TOMMY: I don’t know what you’re talking about.

LILLY: I know you had a date with that new girl, Kirstie.

TOMMY: Kirsten.

LILLY: See? You care.

TOMMY: It wasn’t a date. She came over to my house.

LILLY: To “study”?

TOMMY: Yeah.


TOMMY: Why do you care?

LILLY: I’m just curious.


LILLY: Because I like to keep tabs.

TOMMY: Is that supposed to not creep me out?


TOMMY: Good job, then.

LILLY: So how did it go?

TOMMY: I’m not going to tell you.

LILLY: That badly, huh?

TOMMY: How does that mean it was bad?

LILLY: If it went well, you would gloat.

TOMMY: I don’t gloat.

LILLY: You would, when it comes to me.

TOMMY: When have I ever gloated at you?

LILLY: That little league game when we were ten.

TOMMY: Seriously?

LILLY: There have been other times since, but that’s the one I remember because it hurt the most. See? Right there, I said that it hurt me and that made you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, didn’t it? You gloat. And you’d have gloated if she’d gone for you, too.

TOMMY: Why do you hate me so much?

LILLY: I don’t.

TOMMY: You’ve always hated me.

LILLY: You’ve always hated me.

TOMMY: Because you were always a jerk to me.

LILLY: Because you were always a jerk to me. Is this one of those things where the boy picks on the girl because he actually, secretly likes her?

TOMMY: Boys don’t do that.

LILLY: Boys totally do that.

TOMMY: Jerks do that. I don’t.

LILLY: So you do genuinely hate me.

TOMMY: You’ve never treated me with anything but contempt.

LILLY: You started it!

TOMMY: Do you…

LILLY: What?

TOMMY: Do you, like, like me or something?

LILLY: … No.

TOMMY: Then why are you doing this? If it’s not ‘cause you like me, and it’s not ‘cause you hate me.

LILLY: I never said I didn’t hate you.

TOMMY: Oh. OK, good.

LILLY: I said you hated me. Don’t you?

TOMMY: You annoy me.

LILLY: No. Nuh-unh, I’m not buying that. We have known each other too long, we have been through too much, I refuse to believe that your feelings for me are less than pure, unadulterated rage.

TOMMY: I’m so sorry to disappoint you, really.

LILLY: See? Sarcasm. Not something we get every day from Tommy Ingle. It must be hate. Say you hate me.

TOMMY: Why is this so important to you?

LILLY: Wow. You are a lot better at this than I’ve given you credit for. Kudos.

TOMMY: Why do you hate me?

LILLY: I don’t know. Is hate the kind of thing that can be defined? Do you have to know someone intimately, or even at all, to hate them?

TOMMY: Can you ever hate someone, if you truly know them?

LILLY: Oh, yeah. Oh, definitely, that’s not even a question.

TOMMY: I do hate you.


TOMMY: But I know the reason. It’s because you’re callous and manipulative and you always assume the worst about people. I think you’re a terrible person.

LILLY: And I think you’re self-righteous. You think you’re above it all, like this… You think that not being a terrible person gives you certain inalienable rights. But you’re not as good as you think you are. Because there’s no such thing as “good” and “bad”, and the fact that you think there is makes you absolutely insufferable.

Reclaiming Romance



MICHELLE: There you are.

DARRYL: You looking for me?

MICHELLE: Um. Yes, actually.

DARRYL: Shoot.

MICHELLE: Are you busy? I mean, am I…

DARRYL: Interrupting?

MICHELLE: Am I going to be too distracting?

DARRYL: That depends. What do you need?

MICHELLE: I just… I wanted to talk to you about…


MICHELLE: I heard you have a girlfriend.

DARRYL: Did you. And where did you hear that?

MICHELLE: Does it matter who I heard it from?

DARRYL: Was it Amber?

MICHELLE: No, actually.

DARRYL: Was it Jeffrey?

MICHELLE: It was Rachel. Rachel told me that you have a girlfriend.

DARRYL: OK. Not sure how Rachel knows, but what else did she tell you?

MICHELLE: Is it true she’s only fifteen?

DARRYL: What??

MICHELLE: Oh, good. So she’s not?

DARRYL: No! She’s seventeen.


DARRYL: What? What?

MICHELLE: I’m just… I’m worried about you.


MICHELLE: Seriously?

DARRYL: Seriously. ‘Cause I can think of a lot of reasons why a person might be worried, and I want to know which one you think applies.

MICHELLE: She’s seventeen.

DARRYL: I noticed. And?

MICHELLE: And you’re not.

DARRYL: I am aware.

MICHELLE: So… it’s illegal.

DARRYL: First of all, the laws are different in North Carolina.

MICHELLE: I’m sorry—what?

DARRYL: Yep. Look it up. North Carolina age of consent is sixteen.

MICHELLE: You have got to be kidding me.


MICHELLE: And you think that—


MICHELLE: You think that makes it okay?

DARRYL: Why is this upsetting to you?

MICHELLE: Because you’re my friend!

DARRYL: I’m not in any danger. I’m not doing anything illegal. I’m not going to be getting into trouble. Not even with her parents. They like me. So.


DARRYL: What? You think it’s sketchy?

MICHELLE: I didn’t say that!

DARRYL: You didn’t have to.

MICHELLE: Is it… is it that girl from this summer?

DARRYL: Lydia. Yes.

MICHELLE: How do you… How do you feel about her?

DARRYL: I like her a lot.

MICHELLE: That’s good. Look, I didn’t mean to—

DARRYL: I’m not having sex with her.


DARRYL: We are dating. We are not having sex.

MICHELLE: Why not?

DARRYL: Seriously?

MICHELLE: I’m just, I’m sorry, I’m just not sure, you know, what to do with, where to put that, you know?

DARRYL: Why do you, of all people, have to put it anywhere?

MICHELLE: Why did you even bring it up?

DARRYL: Because you seemed… concerned.



MICHELLE: I… I don’t know, I guess just ‘cause I didn’t realize—how is it sixteen? How is that even—

DARRYL: I don’t know. I wasn’t consulted.

MICHELLE: But you’re good, though? You’re fine with…

DARRYL: What? Not having sex? Why would that bother me? I wasn’t having sex when I didn’t have a girlfriend. At least now, well… I have a girlfriend.

MICHELLE: Who’s seventeen.

DARRYL: You keep coming back to that.

MICHELLE: Isn’t it weird?

DARRYL: Yes. Which is why I haven’t been advertising it.


DARRYL: Look. I like her. A lot. We’re… compatible.

MICHELLE: Compatible?

DARRYL: Yes. She lets me be…

MICHELLE: Yourself?

DARRYL: Romantic. I can… gaze at her and have it not be weird, she’ll even reward me with a smile if she catches me at it. I can bring her flowers. I can write her really bad poems and recite them to her. I can smell her hair and listen to her breathing while she’s asleep and… she won’t judge me for it. Hell, she won’t even mock me.

MICHELLE: And you don’t think it’s—

DARRYL: Yes. I do. But when it’s just me and her, that doesn’t matter.

MICHELLE: But isn’t it like… I mean, she’s only seventeen!

DARRYL: Go on.

MICHELLE: Those things are supposed to come off as romantic when you’re seventeen!

DARRYL: Are they? That’s weird. No one seemed to think that when I was seventeen. Least of all you—

MICHELLE: You know what I mean—

DARRYL: Yes, I do know what you mean: what you mean is that those things are only creepy when they’re coming from someone that you aren’t in love with. And then you’re implying—or at least it sounds like you’re implying—that the only reason she’s in love with me is because she’s only seventeen. Well, thank you for that. As though that wasn’t exactly the ledge I’ve been trying to talk myself down from. But whatever this is, I am enjoying it. I am. And if you were really my friend, you would let me enjoy it.

MICHELLE: That’s not fair.

DARRYL: Isn’t it? Have you ever actually seen me happy?

MICHELLE: Haven’t I?

DARRYL: What do you think?

MICHELLE: You have been avoiding me, haven’t you?

DARRYL: Is that how it feels to you? Because I haven’t been seeking you out?

MICHELLE: So you were still…

DARRYL: In love with you? Yes. I mean, you know, take that word “love” with as much salt as you need to make it palatable. But yeah, I was. I have been.

MICHELLE: But why didn’t you—

DARRYL: I did!


DARRYL: Did I ever tell you I wasn’t? That I’d gotten over it? Did I ever tell you I’d stopped? What, you just thoguht you would say “Let’s be friends instead” and I’d stop having feelings for you? Just because you didn’t reciprocate—in what world would that mean I’d… There is only one cure for a broken heart, Michelle. It can’t be fixed. It has to be replaced.

MICHELLE: So you’re… saying that I broke your heart, and now this Lydia girl’s brought you a new one?

DARRYL: Until she breaks that one, too. She’s too good for me, I have no illusions about that.

MICHELLE: You’re pretty good, though. All right, well. Um. Good luck, I guess.

DARRYL: Michelle?


DARRYL: Thank you. For your concern.

The Porn Identity

CARL: Hey, don’t I know you from somewhere?


CARL: Are you sure? We haven’t met? You look so familiar.


CARL: You’ve never seen me before?


CARL: That’s so weird–have you, like… Wait, have you ever been on TV?


CARL: Yeah.

SAMANTHA: Can’t say that I have.

CARL: Really? Wait, but what about…


CARL: Oh my God.

SAMANTHA: I’m… late for class–

CARL: Holy shit, it’s you!

SAMANTHA: I don’t know what you’re talking about.

CARL: You’re her, you’re… Hannah Havelock!

SAMANTHA: Never heard of her.

CARL: Hey, it may have taken me a while to recognize you with all your clothes on, but I never forget a face, especially, like… damn!

SAMANTHA: What do you want?

CARL: Fuck, I was right. Hey–

SAMANTHA: I don’t do that kind of stuff anymore. OK? My name is Samantha and I… I just want to go to college and… Please don’t tell anyone?

CARL: You’re a porn star.

SAMANTHA: Yes! OK, yes, I was a fucking porn star, can you keep your voice down?

CARL: Maybe…

SAMANTHA: I have a boyfriend.

CARL: Does he know about you? God damn! Did you really think just because you changed your hair-color, no one would recognize Hannah fucking Havelock?

SAMANTHA: Do not use that name!

CARL: Would you rather I called you Samantha? When I’m talking about your career in porn?

SAMANTHA: I’d rather you not talk about my career in porn at all.

CARL: Do you really have a boyfriend? Does he go here? Hey–one email blast, and I can tell everyone at this school who you really are. Is it so much to ask?

SAMANTHA: Is it so much to ask what?

CARL: You’re a porn star. You’ve fucked uglier guys than me. I know, ‘cause I’ve seen it. Is it ‘cause you expect me to pay you?

SAMANTHA: It’s because you’re a dick.

CARL: Never fucked one of those before?

SAMANTHA: What do you think porn is? What kind of stuff do you think we do there? You think the guys just get to go around doing whatever or whoever they want? Well, not anymore. Not the way we were doing it. When I worked in porn, I made sure that I met every single guy I ever worked with beforehand. That they respected me. I fucked them because I liked them, not because they goddamn blackmailed me. And I let them film it because it was my job. But it’s not anymore.

CARL: You don’t just stop being a star. Not without going nova.

SAMANTHA: You’re despicable.

CARL: You’re adorable. And I’m gonna tell your boyfriend if you don’t fuck me.

The Foundations of Decadence, part 2

MICHELLE: Are you sure you’re okay?

JEFFREY: I am good.

MICHELLE: Can I get you some water or anything?

JEFFREY: I make it a habit to chase every drink with a glass of water. Keeps the hangovers to a minimum.


JEFFREY: Hm. Dehydration. That’s the cause of most hangovers.

MICHELLE: I did not know that.

JEFFREY: Thank you.

MICHELLE: Are we gonna talk about it?

JEFFREY: You first.

MICHELLE: I think I’m in love with you.

JEFFREY: You’re right, I should’ve gone first. Look, Michelle–

MICHELLE: Look, no, I’m… I know that this is… I know that I’m the one who’s being naive here–

JEFFREY: You’re being idealistic. Romantic. That’s not the same thing.

MICHELLE: Kiss me?

JEFFREY: I’m sorry, I don’t know why I did that.

MICHELLE: I asked you to–

JEFFREY: I know, but I didn’t–

MICHELLE: Shhh. Do you like me?

JEFFREY: I do. But not in the way that you mean.

MICHELLE: Could’ve fooled me.

JEFFREY: Michelle, what are you doing?

MICHELLE: What does it feel like I’m doing?

JEFFREY: Please stop.


JEFFREY: I just told you. Because I don’t want you that way.

MICHELLE: Feels like your body disagrees.

JEFFREY: My body isn’t in control. Or shouldn’t be—

MICHELLE: Then why don’t you stop me?

JEFFREY: I don’t know. Michelle, I’m drunk.

MICHELLE: You’re not that drunk.

JEFFREY: That shouldn’t matter. Why are you doing this?

MICHELLE: Because I want you to be my first.


MICHELLE: Does there have to be a reason?

JEFFREY: I don’t love you.

MICHELLE: I know. But I trust you.

JEFFREY: Darryl loves you.

MICHELLE: Is that what this is about?

JEFFREY: Partly. You don’t love him. You don’t want him. I think you two would be perfect for each other, but then, it’s not up to me, is it?

MICHELLE: Don’t you want to have sex?

JEFFREY: No. Not right now.

MICHELLE: I think you do.

JEFFREY: Opinions are a dime a dozen.

MICHELLE: Are you seriously going to fight me on this?

JEFFREY: The way things are right now… I don’t know why, but I don’t seem to have much choice in the matter.


JEFFREY: Normally, considering your virgin status, there are… certain steps I would take to try to make it more comfortable for you. But under the circumstances, the fact that I’m performing this service under duress…

MICHELLE: Just shut up and fuck me.

Withering Violet

JORDAN: I just had the weirdest fucking thing happen.

MALLORY: You and your weird-ass fucking things.

JORDAN: Can I talk about it? You got time to kinda…

MALLORY: Perform emotional labor?

JORDAN: Now why you gotta be like that? I do the same for you.

MALLORY: I do. Fine. What’s up.

JORDAN: OK, so… Oh, God. So, like.

MALLORY: Take your time, white boy.

JORDAN: So like a week ago, I’m at this party, right?

MALLORY: That party I told you not to go to ‘cause it’d be skeezy as shit?

JORDAN: Fuck. You did tell me that.


JORDAN: Well, it actually wasn’t that bad.

MALLORY: Mmm-hm.

JORDAN: At least, I didn’t think so at the time.

MALLORY: What happened?

JORDAN: OK, so there was this girl there.

MALLORY: All right, now I’m gonna stop you right there. Did you have sex with this girl at this dank-ass party?

JORDAN: You know exactly how long it has been since I’ve had sex.

MALLORY: That is not an excuse.

JORDAN: That wasn’t—that’s not what I meant: no, I did not have sex with the girl at the party.

MALLORY: OK, please continue.

JORDAN: I was a perfect gentleman at that party.

MALLORY: You were not a perfect gentleman at that dank-ass rave.

JORDAN: I was, I—

MALLORY: Jordan? I know you. You were polite and considerate. Polite and considerate people do not go to these dank-ass raves. Were you polite and considerate?

JORDAN: Well, I was trying to be!

MALLORY: And those bitch-ass dankheads wouldn’t let you, would they?

JORDAN: God dammit, Mallory.

MALLORY: You watch your language, boy, you in the South.

JORDAN: Sorry.

MALLORY: They thought you were punk-ass bitch, didn’t they?

JORDAN: A lot of them did, but this one girl…

MALLORY: Was she “different”, Jordan?

JORDAN: Well, that’s what I thought, anyway.

MALLORY: What did she do?

JORDAN: Laughed at my jokes?

MALLORY: Lawdy, lawdy.

JORDAN: Come on, you know how hard it can be to laugh at my jokes—I mean, to find people who’ll laugh at my jokes.

MALLORY: Remind me, you did not have sex with this girl?

JORDAN: She was really drunk.


JORDAN: But my God, was she hitting on me!

MALLORY: You at least get her number?

JORDAN: Got her name. Added her on Facebook. She didn’t get me back.

MALLORY: You try Instagram? You know nobody uses damn Facebook anymore.

JORDAN: You know I’m not good with technology.

MALLORY: Well, you best good with technology. You know how folks always saying you gots to get good with the Lord? Well, you know technology’s the Lord now!

JORDAN: Yeah, thanks.

MALLORY: So what did happen with this girl?

JORDAN: She pulled me into a room, a bedroom, not sure whose, don’t think it was hers, though. She kept trying to get me to make out, she took off her clothes, I kinda like, you know, looked away and stuff.

MALLORY: And stuff?

JORDAN: And shit. Sorry.

MALLORY: So you just looked away and shit?

JORDAN: That’s about when she threw up.

MALLORY: So you high-tailed it?

JORDAN: Well, I helped her clean up first.

MALLORY: You did not.

JORDAN: Should I have not?

MALLORY: Lawdy, lawdy.

JORDAN: Anyway, so yeah, I kinda tucked her in, what was left of her, and… well, I debated about turning the light on, but I didn’t.

MALLORY: That’s it? That’s the whole story?

JORDAN: No, that’s the part of the story that happened a week ago.

MALLORY: That’s what I thought. You see her again?

JORDAN: Oh my God, it was awkward.


JORDAN: Yeah, we did this thing where, like, I was looking at her, ‘cause like, I recognized her, but then she didn’t recognize me, so then I looked away, but then she did look at me and she did recognize me, so she came up to me all like—

MALLORY: “Why the fuck did you leave me alone and unconscious at a dank-ass rave?”

JORDAN: That was not the first thing she said.


JORDAN: The first thing was trying to remember who the fuck I was. She needed some, like, well, some, you know.

MALLORY: Needed some help with that one?

JORDAN: Yeah, so like, I told her and she remembered and she was all like “That’s right! Didn’t we have sex at that party?”

MALLORY: But you did not have sex with her at that party. Right?

JORDAN: Like I keep saying, no, I did not have sex with the… skank? Can I say skank? I probably shouldn’t—

MALLORY: Sounds pretty damn fair, though.

JORDAN: Anyway, no, I did not have sex with her, and I told her that, and she wouldn’t believe me!

MALLORY: Just ain’t enough gentlemen in the world, is there?

JORDAN: Right?

MALLORY: So was that the end of the story?


MALLORY: Oh, boy.

JORDAN: Because then the next thing was her being like “But then who the fuck did have sex with me at that party?”

MALLORY: Lawdy, lawdy.

JORDAN: So that’s when I put all the pieces together and I realize, holy shit, I’m not some gentleman, I’m the asshole who put her in a dark room, where she could be…

MALLORY: You gonna say it?

JORDAN: No, I’m not.

MALLORY: You’re not gonna even say it.

JORDAN: No, I’m not, and I’m gonna tell you why.


JORDAN: ‘Cause the next thing was, I start apologizing, and then she starts being like “Bitch, what the hell you apologizing to me for?” And so I explain, like, what’s upsetting me, and what I assume must be upsetting her? And she goes “Nuh-uh, you missed the fuck you, playa!”

MALLORY: She did not say that.

JORDAN: I don’t remember the words, but she was, like, she was angry with me for trying to apologize for leaving her in a dark room to be—and that’s when she said it, but then all like angry and shit.

MALLORY: Angry at you?

JORDAN: Angry at me, yeah, for apologizing. For thinking that I needed to, like…

MALLORY: Angry that you thought she needed protecting.

JORDAN: Angry that it hadn’t been me in that room.

MALLORY: Is that what she said?

JORDAN: I don’t know if she meant it, she was too charged up by that point, but yeah, that’s pretty much what she said. “Why wasn’t it you?” Why’d it have to be a stranger in the middle of the night and not the guy she’d been flirting with all evening? Like, am I missing something here? Like, it sounded like I should’ve stayed, right?

MALLORY: Probably shoulda called her a cab. Unless it was her place?

JORDAN: I couldn’t get a straight answer out of her on that count by that point, let alone an address. She seemed pretty confident in that room, though, that’s probably why I… well… Excuses.

MALLORY: You definitely should not have had sex with her.

JORDAN: Why would she have wanted me to?

MALLORY: She didn’t.

JORDAN: Are you sure, ‘cause, like, it really sounded like—

MALLORY: White boy, stop. You said she was unconscious?

JORDAN: Not that unconscious, she knew something happened later on.

MALLORY: She was unconscious.

JORDAN: Yeah, I wasn’t gonna… I wasn’t ever gonna.

MALLORY: Did you tell anybody about her?


MALLORY: Why not?

JORDAN: I didn’t really know anybody at the party. At least not anybody I…

MALLORY: Trusted?

JORDAN: I should’ve done more. I could’ve… maybe… But what could I do?

MALLORY: Hooked her up with a friend? A girl?

JORDAN: Right, ‘cause a girl couldn’t… It’s just, it sounded like… She made it sound like she wanted it to happen.

MALLORY: Don’t even go there.

JORDAN: I’m not, but like—

MALLORY: No, listen to yourself. What are you trying to justify?

JORDAN: I’m not trying to justify anything. I’m not saying how I would have done things differently, I don’t know what I should have done differently, other than, yeah, maybe trying to find someone who knew her before I left the party. But mainly, I’m just trying to understand… did she want something to happen?


JORDAN: Are you sure, ‘cause she made it sound like—

MALLORY: No. She did not want something to happen. That’s how you gotta see it, white boy. There are two possibilties here: either she had some kind of abusive pattern making her want things she shouldn’t, things that are gonna be bad for her in the long run, right? In which case, giving her those things she thinks she wants but doesn’t, that just makes you complicit in her derangement. That’s wrong from the get.

JORDAN: Right.

MALLORY: So what’s the other possibility? Well, the other possibility, however far-fetched it may be, was that she actually did genuinely want somebody to fuck her while she was unconscious in that dank-ass room. So let me ask you this: did you want to be the guy to fuck her in that dank-ass room while she was unconscious?


MALLORY: You didn’t? Well, why the hell not? Was it because you didn’t want to run the risk of it being the first option and you being the asshole who added to her self-destructive behavior?

JORDAN: I guess that’s part of it, maybe.

MALLORY: What’s the other part? Could it be that maybe, just maybe, you just didn’t want to be the guy having sex with an unconscious woman you just met at some dank-ass bitch of a house party?

JORDAN: Yeah, that just… I don’t think of that as… I just wouldn’t even think of that.

MALLORY: You would be uncomfortable. Sex should not be uncomfortable, though, so why would you even ask if that’s what you should’ve done?

JORDAN: Because I’m a pathetic shithead?

MALLORY: Is that why it didn’t even occur to you that it was the right thing to do until she brought it up?

JORDAN: I don’t know what the right answer is here.

MALLORY: You should’ve found someone there who knew her. Told enough people she was there they could’ve policed each other. Women, especially. Gone from there.

JORDAN: … Should I have gotten her number?

MALLORY: Girl didn’t remember who you were and thought she’d had sex with you. No, you should not have gotten her number.