Category Archives: The Essence of Longing

The Unveiling

ETHAN: Hey, don’t I know you?

FATIMA: I don’t think so.

ETHAN: Sorry, I mean to freak you out.

FATIMA: You don’t freak me out. Do I freak you out?

ETHAN: Why would you freak me out? Weren’t you at the market today?

FATIMA: You noticed me?

ETHAN: Of course I did. Sorry. Am I embarrassing you? I guess it’s a bit of a faux pas to compliment a woman wearing a veil.

FATIMA: Is it?

ETHAN: Well, isn’t it?

FATIMA: Is that what you’re doing? Complimenting?

ETHAN: It’s what I meant. Beauty like yours is hard to miss. Wow, now I sound cheesy on top of being a creep. I’m sorry.

FATIMA: Why is that creepy? Because you don’t know me?

ETHAN: Because you don’t know me.

FATIMA: Who are you?

ETHAN: Um. My name’s Ethan.

FATIMA: Hello, Ethan. I am Fatima. Pleased to meet you.


FATIMA: Now we are not strangers. Is it still creepy?

ETHAN: … Little bit, yeah.

FATIMA: Are you freaked out? Do you think I’m creepy?


FATIMA: Are you sure?

ETHAN: I’m just nervous about how you think of me.

FATIMA: Then why did you come over here to talk?

ETHAN: I don’t know.

FATIMA: You don’t?

ETHAN: I noticed you because… you were walking alone and you turned around real suddenly, and your eyes… I’d never seen eyes like that. Not angry, just… strong.

FATIMA: You liked my eyes?

ETHAN: I know. Like I said. Cheesy.

FATIMA: Why do you think that I wear this?

ETHAN: I mean I know it’s traditional. For muslims.

FATIMA: You assume I am muslim?

ETHAN: Aren’t you?

FATIMA: I am. But that’s not why I wear the Veil. In Saudi Arabia, it’s the law, but I’m not in Saudi Arabia. I’m in America. I don’t have to wear it—in fact, I’m arguably in more danger when I do.

ETHAN: So why do you wear it? Oh, you want me to guess? Are you flirting with me?

FATIMA: What do you think the Veil is for?

ETHAN: I’ve always been told headscarves are to hide your hair because the sight of a woman’s hair drives a man wild—but of course that didn’t stop me.

FATIMA: Which is why you were so awkward.

ETHAN: So is that it? You want to weed out advances from men who are only after your hair?

FATIMA: My hair is really not that impressive.

ETHAN: No, you’re tougher than that. You don’t have to wear the Veil, but if you do… if you do, people will know who you are. What you are. And if they judge you for it—

FATIMA: Now I know who they are. Would you like to have a drink, Ethan?

ETHAN: With you?

FATIMA: I thought that was obvious.

ETHAN: Don’t you have a brother or an uncle or cousin who’ll beat me up if I do.

FATIMA: My brother has bigger things to worry about. And besides, why would they worry? Do you intend to behave shamefully? Or to make me behave shamefully?

ETHAN: Do you want me to be honest? I just feel like honesty is the best defense in a situation like this.

FATIMA: Do you feel under attack?

ETHAN: I’d be lying if I said I didn’t feel…

FATIMA: Threatened?

ETHAN: Uneasy. More like… threatening. And not wanting to be.

FATIMA: I don’t feel threatened.

ETHAN: Maybe you should.

FATIMA: Why? What will you do to me?

ETHAN: Is that your only concern? What I will do?

FATIMA: Why be concerned with anything less? What do you intend to do to me? You promised to be honest.

ETHAN: I wouldn’t say it was my “intentions” I wanted to be honest about.

FATIMA: You want to be dishonest about those?

ETHAN: I don’t intend anything harmful or shameful, so honesty’s not really a factor.

FATIMA: I’m afraid you’ve lost me. Where does the honesty fit in?

ETHAN: Feelings. It’s not about what I will do or in intend to do. It’s about what I want to do.

FATIMA: You want to ravage me—


FATIMA: You want to rip this Veil off my head—

ETHAN: Jeez—

FATIMA: You want to liberate me from my bonds and grant me your Western Freedoms.

ETHAN: Oh, come on.

FATIMA: Then what? What do you want to do to me?

ETHAN: I want to woo you. I want to woo you the way no woman has been woo’d here in the West for fifty years. I want to make you swoon. I want to spin you up in a web of honest truths and make you dizzy. I want those flashing eyes of yours on me and I want to be worthy of their devotion. I want… you. Not for simple carnal purposes. I crave idolatry. What I want is your devotion. There. Have I shocked you yet?

FATIMA: Was that your intention?

ETHAN: I just told you my intention. What is yours?

FATIMA: You spoke of idolatry.

ETHAN: I tend to wax poetic.

FATIMA: Was that because you wanted to shock me? To scare me off? Test my muslim sensibilities?

ETHAN: Have I scared you off?

FATIMA: No. No, I think you have fascinated me. So how about that drink?

It Ain’t Cheatin’ If The’e Ain’t No Rules

PETE: Dude, use the cheats.

HARRY: Why they call ‘em cheats anyway?

PETE: Are you high?

HARRY: Ain’t no rules in a game like this.

PETE: Fuck you talking about? Course there’s rules.

HARRY: What? Like how fast you run? How high you jump? How hard you wreck a bitch? Those ain’t rules. That’s straight-up mechanics. So a cheat’s not a cheat, dog. That’s some straight-up magic.

PETE: Why don’t you use it?

HARRY: Bitch, do I look like a motherfucking wizard to you? Aw, fuck.

DICK: I gotta talk to you.

HARRY: I ain’t listening to that shit.

PETE: The fuck? What’s going on?

DICK: This here idioting hairball—

HARRY: The fuck you just call me?

DICK: Just broke up with his girlfriend.

PETE: Aw, shit.

HARRY: Yeah, I dumped her cheatin’ ass.

PETE: She was cheating on you?

DICK: Like shit she was.

PETE: With who?

HARRY: Motherfucking Boris.

PETE: What? Nuh-uh.

DICK: You don’t believe it? Good, ‘cause it’s bullshit.

HARRY: I know what I know.

DICK: I am telling you, she is a virgin, for fuck’s sake!

HARRY: And how the fuck you know that? Huh? Oh, wait, wait, wait, no. Oh, no, I know this one. Your girlfriend told you, right? Right? Her cousin told him, see? And it’s not like Trish would lie, right? Not like Claudette would lie to her, right? About being a ho, about how she let some fucking Russian fuck get in and plow—

DICK: What the fuck is your problem?

HARRY: You don’t think I should have a problem with my girlfriend cheating on me?

DICK: I don’t think your girlfriend is cheating on you!

HARRY: Hey, man, weren’t you the one like five minutes ago telling me I shouldn’t be hooking up with bitches only want my money?

PETE: Dude has a point. That was two days ago.

HARRY: Oh, but see now you’re actually out there getting some pussy. Now things is different, huh? Now you’re all nice. See, before, you weren’t out there, so you were all “bitches be hoes”, but now? You got yourself whipped, son.

PETE: How’d you find out, though?

HARRY: Who’s at the damn door?

DICK: Trish.

PETE: Hey, Trish. What’s happening?

TRISH: She’s dead.

HARRY: The fuck?

TRISH: You killed her. Do you hear me, motherfucker? You killed her!

HARRY: Hey, hey! I didn’t do shit!

TRISH: What the fuck did she ever do to you?

HARRY: You know damn well what that bitch did to me—

TRISH: Don’t you dare talk about her that way. I have known that—I knew… that girl… You son of a lying whore.

HARRY: Dick, you best get your bitch outta my face, or I swear to pretty blonde Jesus—

PETE: Uh… Jesus was black?

HARRY: You shut your whore mouth, Pete!

TRISH: No, you listen to me. That girl loved you with all her soul. She lived for you. And then she died for you. And for what? ‘Cause you wanted some booty?

HARRY: I ain’t the only one chasing tail.

TRISH: But you were the only one who caught her. Or you could have.

HARRY: Tell that to motherfucking Boris.

TRISH: Dude, would you stop with the Boris—

HARRY: Hey, look, I’m not saying it ain’t sad she’s dead. But she wasn’t no saint.

TRISH: Why the fuck do you think she slept with Boris? Did Boris tell you?

HARRY: No, man, Johnny told me.

PETE: Hold on, Johnny told you?

HARRY: I mean, yeah.

PETE: And you believed him?

TRISH: You stupid fucking piece of shit.

HARRY: What? He said he caught them!

PETE: Johnny’s just trying to start some shit.

HARRY: Why would Johnny want to start shit?

PETE: ‘Cause he’s a asshole. He’s my brother, I should know.

HARRY: So hold up… you’re sayin’…

PETE: We’re saying you got played, dipshit. And now that poor girl’s dead.

HARRY: But how do you know?

PETE: Bitch, are you oxygen deprived? Holy shit, y’all, this motherfucker—

HARRY: What?

TRISH: Now you want proof she was innocent all along, but did you ask Johnny for proof she was guilty?

HARRY: Aw, shit.

DICK: You’re damn right, aw shit.

HARRY: I killed her. I killed my baby. Claudette… aw, shit, Claudette. No! No! Why? She was my girl, Dick. My girl… what did I do?

DICK: Fucking killed her, Harry.

PETE: Like you handed her the knife yourself.

HARRY: I didn’t want her to do! Shit… my angel… didn’t do nothing wrong, but then… Claudette… Claudette! I’m sorry. I’m so… so sorry…

PETE: How did it happen?

TRISH: How’d what happen?

PETE: Did she kill herself?

TRISH: Oh, no, she’s fine.

HARRY: What?

DICK: Hold on—

PETE: I’m sorry—

TRISH: Yeah, no, she started crying, we started talking shit—

HARRY: Motherfucker!

TRISH: Set up a little dart-board for her with your face on it, face is all full of holes now.

HARRY: The fuck you do that for?

PETE: Girl, that is some fucked up shit.

TRISH: You wanna talk fucked up shit? Get your ass in line. I told this motherfucker his ex girlfriend killed herself, less than twenty-four damn hours after he dumped her on her birthday and dude’s like “Not my problem”. Fuck me? Fuck you! And the hotrod motorcycle you rode in on. Hey, Dick, you coming?

DICK: Yeah. Yeah, I’m coming. I’m coming with you, how ‘bout that?

HARRY: Pete?

PETE: Shut the fuck up, Harry.

HARRY: But how was I supposed to—

PETE: Harry? Shut the fuck up.


SEANA: Do you have a crush on me?



JORDAN: Does that surprise you?

SEANA: No… I mean, just that you’re so… I mean, I didn’t expect you to just…

JORDAN: Why should I hide it?

SEANA: Well, I mean, you’ve been hiding it.

JORDAN: Well, I mean, but you obviously know. Now. So.

SEANA: But why were you hiding it before?

JORDAN: I mean, why does anyone hide anything? Embarrassment?

SEANA: You were embarrassed to like me?

JORDAN: I was embarrassed to have a crush on you.


JORDAN: Crushes are embarrassing!


JORDAN: You like someone, they don’t like you…

SEANA: How do you know I don’t like you?

JORDAN: Well, you don’t exactly shower me with… anything. Most of the time, you act like I’m not even there. You hardly even look at me, let alone…

SEANA: And it never occurred to you that maybe that had something to do with me having a crush on you?

JORDAN: … No. Wait, do you have a crush on me?


JORDAN: Then why would you even say that?

SEANA: I don’t know!

JORDAN: Why are you even bringing this up?

SEANA: I don’t know. There’s just… there’s a lot of stuff going on and I’m just trying to figure it all out, you know, put the pieces together. It’s like everyone I know, no one’s really…


SEANA: I don’t know. Why didn’t you tell me?

JORDAN: I didn’t want to get in the way.

SEANA: Doesn’t being around your crush kind of get in your way?

JORDAN: I didn’t want to get in your way. People act different around people who like them, even and maybe especially if they don’t like them back. It makes them uncomfortable. Aren’t you uncomfortable?

SEANA: I guess. But how can you know someone likes you if you don’t ask them?

JORDAN: You know. Well, theoretically. You don’t like me, though. Right?

SEANA: I mean, I like you…

JORDAN: Even knowing what you know?

SEANA: You’re the one with a crush.

JORDAN: Crushes are annoying, though. You’re not annoyed?

SEANA: I don’t know. You’re not really doing anything.

JORDAN: But then how did you know?

SEANA: Keisha told me.

JORDAN: Keisha told you? Oh my God!

SEANA: Don’t be mad!

JORDAN: Why the hell did Keisha tell you?

SEANA: How do I know? We all know she’s a backstabbing bitch.

JORDAN: She’s not a backstabbing—well…

SEANA: See? The more you know. What’s it like for you, though?

JORDAN: What do you mean?

SEANA: Isn’t it hard to be around me? Isn’t that what… what a crush is? Isn’t that why they call it a crush?

JORDAN: I guess so. I don’t know. I guess it’s more a matter of, I know that I like you and I know that you’re not interested, but because I like you, I don’t know. I want you to be happy.

SEANA: You just said I always ignore you.

JORDAN: You don’t always ignore me. Sometimes you smile. Just not…

SEANA: Right.


Having to Choose

TAYLOR: Having fun down here?

JARED: Fuck off, Taylor.

TAYLOR: We need to talk.

JARED: I got nothing to say to you.

TAYLOR: Oh, I’m sure you got plenty to say to me right now.

JARED: Look, just fuck off, okay? You won, don’t know why the fuck you’d be here to begin with. Huh? Shouldn’t you be off celebrating or something? With her?

TAYLOR: Is that how you think of this? Like it’s some kind of competition? I never wanted to fight you for her.

JARED: All right, what the fuck do you want? Huh? You gloating?

TAYLOR: Hell, no. I’m not that guy. Least I try not to be.

JARED: Then what?

TAYLOR: I had a… proposition. I know you… well, I know how you feel—at least, I have some idea. And I know how much Kylie… struggled trying to decide, well, which of us… I just thought maybe there might be a way to make things easier on everyone.

JARED: The fuck are you talking about?

TAYLOR: Why make her choose?

JARED: The fuck?

TAYLOR: Look… I’m not the jealous type. I know jealousy is paradoxically this trait that we value in our society, much as we bad-mouth and pooh-pooh it in our rhetoric, we still have this assumption… I’ve never felt it. I know how Kylie feels about me, I know how Kylie feels about you… And I gotta say, I don’t hate you for it. I actually think you’re pretty decent. Most of the time, anyway.

JARED: Why are you doing this?

TAYLOR: Because I want her to be happy.

JARED: Uh-huh—why are you really doing this?

TAYLOR: God’s honest?

JARED: If you don’t mind.

TAYLOR: I like you. I don’t want us to be enemies.

JARED: What exactly do you expect us to be? Us both being in love with the same girl?

TAYLOR: All right. I get it. You’re not open to that, and that’s fine.

JARED: What exactly did you expect me to be open to?

TAYLOR: Forget it. Forget it. I apologize. I’ll fuck off now—

JARED: Are you gay?

TAYLOR: Not exactly.

JARED: Are you wanting to… Like, with me?

TAYLOR: The thought had crossed my mind. But I’ll understand if…

JARED: If I don’t want to fuck you while I’m fucking her. If I don’t want you there.

TAYLOR: She’s the one you’re in love with. Right?

JARED: I don’t fucking get you, man.

TAYLOR: It’s OK. Little off the beaten path. I dig. Just… let me know if you ever change your mind. I’ll make you dinner or someting.

JARED: Just fuck off.

But Did You Have Fun?

ELLIOTT: Some night, huh?

JOHN: It was okay.

ELLIOTT: Oh, come on. I saw you. You catch his name or the two of you get too tongue-tied?

JOHN: Gee. You think that one up all by yourself?

ELLIOTT: I know you like him.

JOHN: Pretty observant for a straight guy, aren’t you?

ELLIOTT: I know your type.

JOHN: Oh my God! My type? Are you serious?

ELLIOTT: You’re real quiet, so you’re attracted to loud men—

JOHN: Oh my God!

ELLIOTT: There’s nothing wrong with that!

JOHN: Stop it! What about you, though?

ELLIOTT: What about me?

JOHN: I saw you talking to his friend. Darcy?

ELLIOTT: Who? The stuffy one with the glasses?

JOHN: She’s not stuffy! Not the way Bing tells it.

ELLIOTT: Well, she was pretty damn stuffy with me.

JOHN: Are you upset she wouldn’t dance with you?

ELLIOTT: I’m not upset she wouldn’t dance with me, no. After the way she turned her nose up at me when I asked her, I’m actually kinda relieved she said no.

JOHN: Are you serious?

ELLIOTT: Look, she’s just not my type, OK?

JOHN: You and your types! Bullshit! She is exactly your type!

ELLIOTT: Did you just say “bullshit”?

JOHN: Don’t change the subject, Elliott! She was exactly your type! She’s tall—

ELLIOTT: When have I ever dated a tall—OK, yeah, fine—

JOHN: She’s a brunette—

ELLIOTT: I’ve dated blondes! I have very dated redheads.

JOHN: Not like you’ve dated brunettes, honey. Plus, she’s smart.

ELLIOTT: You forgot funny. Funny is also my type.

JOHN: Not always. Sarah wasn’t funny.

ELLIOTT: No, but at least she was able to take a joke—

JOHN: Until she wasn’t.

ELLIOTT: Which is why it didn’t work out! Sense of humor is important to me, Johnny!

JOHN: Hey! What have talked about.

ELLIOTT: John. Sorry.

JOHN: Accepted. And I still think you two would be really cute together.


JOHN: You could be her henchman—

ELLIOTT: Oh, shove it.

JOHN: What! Our spouses could be each other’s best men! It’d be perfect!

ELLIOTT: Mom was right about you, wasn’t she?

I Know What You Are (part 2)

NICK: Hey.


NICK: What’s this? You uh… you working on a new drag thing?

HARLEY: Not exactly.

NICK: No? Then why’re you wearing a dress? Is it like a… like some kinky “let’s pretend to be a straight couple”… Is that even a thing?

HARLEY: Do you want it to be?

NICK: I mean… if that’s what you’re going for… Maybe a little role-play? I don’t know. It’s not really my—

HARLEY: Well, what if it’s not just roleplay.

NICK: Are you serious? Harvey—

HARLEY: No! No. I’m sorry. My name is Harley now.

NICK: OK, now you’re really starting to freak me out.

HARLEY: This is who I am. Nick. Nicky. This is the real me.

NICK: No. Nuh-uh. This is not—this?

HARLEY: This is me.

NICK: This is not you. OK? I know you, this is not even—that’s not even how you move! You’re all… What is this?

HARLEY: I’m a woman. Nick. I am a woman. I always have been.

NICK: I am not straight!

HARLEY: Are you in love with me? Do you remember what you told me when we first met? Do you remember what you told me when we first met? I said I didn’t get it. The whole gay thing. Do you remember what you said to me? You said if you love someone, what does it matter what’s between their legs?

NICK: How can that not matter?

HARLEY: Wow, Nick. Just… wow.

NICK: I’m sorry, but I like your body. OK? I like your penis. Are you gonna get the operation?

HARLEY: Not right away. It takes years.

NICK: You’ve really thought about this, haven’t you? When were you gonna tell me?

HARLEY: Well, I’m telling you now! OK? First. You are the first person I’m telling. Because that’s how I feel about you.

NICK: How long have you been planning this?

HARLEY: Planning this?

NICK: Yeah.

HARLEY: What, like it’s some, like, betrayal? Like, I’m getting all the senators together and making sure Mark Antony’s somewhere else?

NICK: I am trying very hard to take this seriously.

HARLEY: Oh? Oh! Wow, Nick. It really shouldn’t be that hard.

NICK: How do you expect me to react? Come home from work and my… my boyfriend’s decided he wants to be a girl?

HARLEY: No, Nick, your girlfriend has decided she wants to stop pretending to be a boy.

NICK: I don’t have girlfriends.

HARLEY: Well, thank you for your honesty, Nick. Give me a call if you decide to get over your cisprivilege.

The Geography of Cheating

GALATEA: Omar? Omar! Omar Bingen!

OMAR: Galatea al’Rachid, as I live and breathe. How have you been? How long has it—

GALATEA: I think we saw each other four years ago, didn’t we?

OMAR: That’s right! You were at my going-away party.

GALATEA: Where are you off to now?

OMAR: Oh, I uh, I have a conference. In Dubai. Very important meeting. What about you? How have you been?

GALATEA: Well, I’m just getting back from vacation.

OMAR: Are you traveling alone?

GALATEA: Perpetually.

OMAR: Oh! I’m so sorry.

GALATEA: Well, aren’t you traveling alone?

OMAR: Well, I’m on business. Don’t you have a… I thought I’d heard you were engaged or something?

GALATEA: A little bit. I was a little bit engaged. For a moment.

OMAR: Oh, dear. Are you trying to decide whether to ask about him?

GALATEA: Should I?

OMAR: You can always ask. I probably do have all of the information you could ever possibly need about him. If you really want to know. Do you?

GALATEA: You’re still friends with him, then?

OMAR: I don’t think I’ll ever stop being friends with him.

GALATEA: Even knowing what he is? How he treats people?

OMAR: You and I have very different perspectives on how he treats people. You of course know him as a man whom you loved who cheated on you. I, on the other hand, know him as the man—the only man whom I trusted—who did not judge me or ridicule me when I was at my most vulnerable. So yes, I will remain his friend.

GALATEA: No matter what he does to women?

OMAR: Were you entirely blameless in that situation?

GALATEA: How can you possibly ask me that!

OMAR: How can you ask me to turn against my friend?

GALATEA: What did he tell you?

OMAR: He told me from the start that he never really loved you. I told him from the start that if he didn’t love you, he shouldn’t be committed to what was doomed to be a long-distance relationship.

GALATEA: Was he ever faithful to me?

OMAR: He tried. A few times.

GALATEA: Did he love any of those other girls?

OMAR: I think you know the answer to that. I think you’ve always known. He only ever loved one woman. And she… well…

GALATEA: You mentioned the distance. Do you think it would have mattered?

OMAR: Do you want me to be frank?

GALATEA: This is the place for it, isn’t it?

OMAR: Oh! Right. The Fort. Yes, of course.

GALATEA: Please just tell me.

OMAR: If you two had managed to live in the same city, I doubt very much that he would have slept with anyone else. I think he would have considered that it would have made his life that much easier, being close to you all the time. So if you are asking me if I think he would have cheated, no, I don’t.

GALATEA: So it was my fault.

OMAR: Your mistake wasn’t staying here when he left. If you’d left with him, you’d have been the woman who left everything behind for a man, and he’d have never allowed that. He knew better. Your mistake wasn’t staying, it was loving him in the first place. Because while he might not have cheated if you had been there, that is not the same as being faithful.

GALATEA: He could have grown to love me.

OMAR: Not like her. No, he’s always been a man of adventure. You have always been an open book with your heart on your sleeve. You made a good sidekick and companion on his adventures, but you never could have been his goal. You never had enough mystery. He never had to unwrap you.

GALATEA: So you do know. You do know what he is.

OMAR: A great deal more than you do. That’s my flight. I should be going. I do hope you find what you’re looking for.

GALATEA: Omar. Is he happy?

OMAR: I do not believe he ever will be. Does that comfort you?


The Ring Cycle

DEXTER: Good morning.


DEXTER: I don’t really spend a whole lot of time out here.

GABRIELLE: I can tell.

DEXTER: Yeah, I’m kind of a fuck-up.

GABRIELLE: I’m sorry.

DEXTER: It’s not you. You’re going back, aren’t you?

GABRIELLE: I’m sorry.

DEXTER: It’s okay. I always knew you were. Honestly, you being here at all, coming here, that was the surprise.

GABRIELLE: You didn’t want me to come?

DEXTER: Of course I wanted you to come, I just never thought you would.

GABRIELLE: I’m sorry if I’ve made you feel unwanted—

DEXTER: Hey, no. Don’t do that. You don’t owe me anything.

GABRIELLE: I do, though. For me. Because I… I don’t know, I’ve always…

DEXTER: Please don’t.

GABRIELLE: Just a little bit.

DEXTER: That’s not exactly what I want to hear.


DEXTER: You just said. You’re leaving.

GABRIELLE: Isn’t it better to have loved and lost?

DEXTER: It’s better not to lose at all. Just to keep on loving. I mean, I get it. I’m a fuck-up.

GABRIELLE: Stop saying that, you’re not a fuck-up—

DEXTER: Well, then—I’m sorry, maybe you just don’t—I need to be a fuck-up. I need that. Because if I’m not…


DEXTER: Being a fuck-up is my only excuse for not winning.

GABRIELLE: Don’t think of it as winning.

DEXTER: That is not up to you.


DEXTER: What’s this?

GABRIELLE: What’s it look like?

DEXTER: Why would you give me your engagement ring?

GABRIELLE: I lost it. I went away for the weekend, ‘cause I had to get away… and I lost it.

DEXTER: That makes no sense at all to me.

GABRIELLE: It doesn’t have to. I don’t care.

DEXTER: What do you expect me to do with it?

GABRIELLE: I better get going. Don’t wanna be late for my own wedding, right?

Irreconcilable Compromise

SHARONA: Hey, babe.

DEREK: Hey. Welcome home. Happy anniversary.

SHARONA: Anniversa—oh, shit, that’s right! I’m sorry—

DEREK: It’s okay.

SHARONA: No, I was thinking about this for a while, I had this whole thing that I wanted to do with like candles—

DEREK: Ooh, candles.

SHARONA: Yeah, and like this whole romantic dinner.


SHARONA: Hold on, you know what? I bet we still could.

DEREK: Yeah?

SHARONA: Yeah, it won’t be, like, all-out with the steak and stuff, but I bet I could whip up that pasta thing—

DEREK: Yay! Pasta!

SHARONA: We could both slip into something nice.


SHARONA: And then later maybe we could… you know.. slip out of something nice.


SHARONA: What? What is it? What’s up?

DEREK: Nothing, I just…

SHARONA: You don’t want to? It’s been a hot minute. Hey. Is something wrong? Derek.

DEREK: It’s just…

SHARONA: Look, I don’t want to pressure you or anything, but… Is something wrong?

DEREK: No. No, it’s just… I don’t want to. Is that okay?

SHARONA: Yeah, no, that’s fair. That’s fair, you’re not, you know, you’re not in the mood or whatever, maybe you’re just not… in that space.

DEREK: Sharona. That’s not it.

SHARONA: What? What is it?

DEREK: OK, so… now don’t take this the wrong way, I don’t want you to be, like… This is not about you, OK?


DEREK: I think I… don’t actually like sex. Please, don’t think like, that’s not a reflection on you, I mean you’re not the only person I’ve had sex with, right? I’ve tried, enough though I, I mean it was more just curiosity, I think, than lust, and then it just became more about expectations, you know, and about I want to make this person happy. And I do. I do want to make you happy. But it’s just, I don’t actually get anything out of it for myself and that makes it…

SHARONA: It’s not fair to you. That’s what you’re saying. Yeah, no, that’s… I’m sorry.

DEREK: Hey, you don’t have to be sorry—

SHARONA: You’ve never, like…

DEREK: And I’m not saying that, like, that I didn’t want to? Like, not that I didn’t want to, you know? Just because I didn’t… I know that you like it.

SHARONA: And I mean, you’re not bad at it. Like, at all.

DEREK: I picked up some tricks. You know. I paid attention. Tried to.

SHARONA: Did you ever… I mean… It just, it always seemed to me like you enjoyed it.

DEREK: And I did. I did. Just not… It’s not me.

SHARONA: What, like it was some other person enjoying it?

DEREK: Like I was putting on a—no, that’s not—

SHARONA: So it wasn’t really you enjoying it?

DEREK: That’s not what I—

SHARONA: You never actually wanted to have sex with me.

DEREK: I did. I did want to have sex with you. I just never wanted to have sex. As me. But now… I’m just, I don’t know, I’ve been starting to realize… I need to be me. And part of that is, you know, cutting back on the parts of my life that are not… me.

SHARONA: Well, you picked a hell of a time to bring this up.

DEREK: I’m sorry.

SHARONA: I guess if I’d actually gone all the way and done the candle-light dinner beforehand, this would be…

DEREK: I mean, we still could. I’d still like a candle-light dinner, just not…

SHARONA: So you’re saying the romantic stuff is fine, you just don’t want the sex?

DEREK: I like the romantic stuff. But yeah.

SHARONA: So hold on. Let me get this straight. You’re not actually breaking up with me?

DEREK: What? No! On our anniversary?

SHARONA: Wait, wait, so… You want a relationship, just not the sex.

DEREK: I have to be true to myself. And… I do love you. I want to be with you.

SHARONA: Just not physically.

DEREK: Sharona.

SHARONA: Well, I do like sex.

DEREK: I know.

SHARONA: I really like sex with you.

DEREK: Thank you. And I mean, maybe I could…


DEREK: I don’t know.

SHARONA: I thought you just said you wouldn’t.

DEREK: Well, I don’t know. Maybe, like…

SHARONA: I like sex. Derek. You know me. I like sex, I like it often, I like it rough, I like it sensual, I like variety. I like doing it with the person that, you know. What are you actually asking of me?

DEREK: I’m not asking anything—

SHARONA: No. No, you are. Because you say you want a relationship. But you don’t want sex. You want me to be celibate.

DEREK: That’s not really the same thing.

SHARONA: It is to me. I love you, but—

DEREK: But you love sex more.

SHARONA: Hey! That is not fair!

DEREK: Isn’t it, though?

SHARONA: You’re asking me to compromise in a way that… I mean, I shouldn’t have to make that kind of… Do you want me to have sex with other people? Is that it?

DEREK: Oh, is that what you want? You can’t get your sex inside the relationship, so you use that as an excuse to—

SHARONA: What excuse? I wouldn’t be doing it if you didn’t—

DEREK: If I didn’t what? Force you to sleep with other people?

SHARONA: Why is it more virtuous not to have sex?

DEREK: That’s not what I’m saying.

SHARONA: Yes, you are. I like sex. You don’t like sex. You want to be in a relationship with me, an exclusive relationship with me, but you don’t want to have sex. You want me to compromise my values—

DEREK: That’s not fair—

SHARONA: I’m not judging. Not yet. Just wait, I’ll get there. This is an assessment. Having sex is a value for me. In my value system, sex is a good thing. It is a way of connecting, it is a way of enjoying someone’s company, and tehre is nothing wrong with wanting it and wanting it a lot. Those are my values.

DEREK: What about being with me? How does that factor into your “values”?

SHARONA: You don’t value sex. Obviously. Sex is not important to you. That means we have a different value system. I do love you. But for you to expect me to give up sex to be with you—

DEREK: I mean, now and then, sure—

SHARONA: But you just said you don’t enjoy it! Do you ever enjoy it? Why would I want to have sex with someone who isn’t enjoying having sex with me? That’s not fair to you because it’s not really consent, and it’s not fair to me because, I mean, what does that make me? What does that say about me, having sex with someone who doesn’t really want to have sex? But if I can’t have sex… How is that fair to me?

DEREK: Are you breaking up with me? Is that what’s happening here? I… God, I can’t believe it, I can’t believe you’re breaking up with me because I don’t want to have sex with you.

SHARONA: I want to have sex, Derek. Consenting, adult sex. What’s wrong with that?

DEREK: Can we still have romantic dinners? Long walks on the beach?

SHARONA: Derek… You need to be with someone—


SHARONA: —who appreciates—

DEREK: No! Stop it! I love you! Don’t you love me?

SHARONA: What does that mean? To you, I mean? I mean, I know what it means to me.

DEREK: What does it mean to you? That you want to have sex with me? Is that it?

SHARONA: That is part of it. If I was having sex with you and not doing all the gooey stuff, yeah, no, that wouldn’t be love, either. But without the sex…

DEREK: What’s the point?

SHARONA: There’s something missing.

DEREK: That’s still a shitty attitude.

SHARONA: And pretending to want sex just to be with me isn’t? Look, I’m not saying there’s anything wrong with not wanting to have sex. You’re just… you’re not the person I thought you were. Just do me a favor. Next time you… when you do find someone. To date. To be romantic. Don’t pretend you like sex just to—

DEREK: I won’t.


DEREK: Do you think that…


DEREK: Do you think I’ll find someone?

SHARONA: Someone else who wants romance but not sex? I don’t know. But in this day and age… I guess we know they’re out there.


LYDIA: Do you know how to use that?

DARRYL: What, this?

LYDIA: It’s a fine weapon you have there.

DARRYL: Are you supposed to be holding that one? Isn’t that somebody’s prop?

LYDIA: I’m the prop-master. Well, assistant prop-master. Well, I was. On a different show. I know what I’m doing.

DARRYL: Well, OK. I guess that excuses your holding it—although I’m not convinced. But should you really be waving it around like that?

LYDIA: I’m not just “waving it around”. I’m testing the weight.

DARRYL: Is that even a thing?

LYDIA: Of course it’s a thing. You’ve got to know how it’s weighted if you’re going to be waving it around.

DARRYL: I thought you just said—

LYDIA: I know what I just said! I’m testing the weight.

DARRYL: Got it.

LYDIA: How’s yours?

DARRYL: I don’t know. I haven’t tested it.

LYDIA: I don’t believe you.

DARRYL: It’s fine.

LYDIA: Is it?

DARRYL: Why exactly are you testing the weight?

LYDIA: To fight you.

DARRYL: Oh. Of course. How silly of me.

LYDIA: Don’t you want to fight me?

DARRYL: I mean…

LYDIA: What? Is it because I’m a girl?

DARRYL: I think it’s more because I’m an actor and I’m trying to be conscious and aware of the fact that this is my prop, and I haven’t been trained in how not to hurt people when I’m using it.

LYDIA: So it is because I’m a girl. You assume you’ll be the one hurting me if anything goes wrong?

DARRYL: Yeah, OK, there might be a little bit of ohmychristshesgonnakickmyass going on here.

LYDIA: Hm. Honesty. From a male. How refreshing.

DARRYL: I do try.

LYDIA: Well, you’ll have to try harder, soon. Defend yourself!

DARRYL: You’re Lydia, right?

LYDIA: I am.

DARRYL: Kelly was so disappointed you were coming back. She’s been enjoying understudying for you.

LYDIA: Kelly isn’t as good of an actress as I am.

DARRYL: Well, she’s certainly not near as assertive. Well done.

LYDIA: Thank you.

DARRYL: We still shouldn’t be doing this.

LYDIA: Why ever not?

DARRYL: It’s not appropriate.

LYDIA: Oh, pish.


LYDIA: Pish and piffle.

DARRYL: That doesn’t sound very nice.

LYDIA: People overestimate how nice I am.

DARRYL: Noted.

LYDIA: You’re Darryl, aren’t you?


LYDIA: Benvolio, isn’t it?

DARRYL: Whenever I can.

LYDIA: How on Earth don’t you have any fight scenes?

DARRYL: I mean, I draw my sword, but… I don’t know. They cut them out. Benvolio is supposed to be like the peacekeeper. It’s a Latin thing.

LYDIA: A Latin thing?

DARRYL: The name. “Benvolio”. “Ben” means “good” and the “volio” has to do with like wanting, like “benevolent”? Same root.

LYDIA: Huh. So you’re a pretty smart guy?

DARRYL: I mean… I’m in college.

LYDIA: I’m in high school.

DARRYL: So I gathered.

LYDIA: Are you a Freshman?

DARRYL: Rising Junior.

LYDIA: So am I. I mean, I’m old for a sophomore, ‘cause of circumstances, but…

DARRYL: You liking it?

LYDIA: School? No. Hell, no.

DARRYL: Going to college?

LYDIA: M-m. No.

DARRYL: ‘Cause you don’t like school?

LYDIA: That, and it’s expensive.

DARRYL: That is true.

LYDIA: I figure the people who should be going to college are the people who actually want to go to college. I’m not gonna be a doctor or a teacher or anything like that, so… It’s kinda wasted on me.

DARRYL: There are other reasons to go to college.

LYDIA: Like what?

DARRYL: Learning.

LYDIA: Learning what?

DARRYL: Anything.

LYDIA: If I really want to learn anything, I can hang out at the library, read it for myself. Not to mention, there’s the Internet?

DARRYL: There’s something about… college, though.

LYDIA: What is it?

DARRYL: I don’t know. Maybe you have to be into it. Hey, I thought we were done fighting.

LYDIA: Now we have something to fight about!

DARRYL: Oh, yeah? What are we fighting about?

LYDIA: Truth! Knowledge! Justice! I say that true knowledge isn’t found in books, it’s found in the human heart!

DARRYL: Well, then let’s cut out your heart and find out!

LYDIA: Oh, ew!

DARRYL: Was that too much? Hey!

LYDIA: Ha-ha! A hit! A very powerful hit!

DARRYL: Palpable hit.

LYDIA: Palatable hit!

DARRYL: That, too.

LYDIA: Are you getting distracted? Ow!

DARRYL: Oh, shit! Are you okay? Ow!

LYDIA: Ha-ha! I got you again!

DARRYL: No, seriously, though, are you all right? It looked like I got you in the eye.

LYDIA: I’ll survive!

DARRYL: I think we should stop now.

LYDIA: Coward!

DARRYL: I’d rather be branded a coward than actually skewer you.

LYDIA: I could skewer you first!

DARRYL: Lydia. Let me see. Oh, shit, that’s an actual scratch.

LYDIA: I’m okay. It didn’t actually break the skin.

DARRYL: You’ll be okay.

LYDIA: Do you have a crush on Sophia James?

DARRYL: Say what?

LYDIA: Do you?

DARRYL: Is it that obvious, or did Michelle blab?

LYDIA: I could blame it on Michelle, sure. I don’t know if it’s obvious, but… I noticed.

DARRYL: Does she know?

LYDIA: Do you want her to know?

DARRYL: Do you think it would do me any good?

LYDIA: I could find out for you, if you want.


LYDIA: You look like you’d be cute together. Do you think it’ll get infected?

DARRYL: I actually can’t even see it anymore.

LYDIA: Good. Until we meet again, villain!