Steve By

Mark Gerrard


Ron Gwiazda

Abrams Artists Agency

275 Seventh Ave. / 26th Floor New York, NY 10001

646-461-9325

ron.gwiazda@abramsartny.com


Characters:

Steven, mid to late 40s, stay-at-home dad

Stephen, late 40s/early 50s, Steven’s partner, lawyer

Carrie, early to mid 40s, Steven’s best friend


Matt, mid to late 40s, Steven’s other best friend Brian, late 40s/early 50s, Matt’s partner

Esteban, mid to late 20s, Argentine Time: Now

Place: Manhattan and The Pines on Fire Island


11-12-15

2.


SCENE ONE


Yeah, so I get it. I don’t.


A dinner table set for five at a fine restaurant. Stephen and Carrie are talking. The conversation is heated.


Carrie wears a scarf around her head. She is sick.

CARRIE STEPHEN

CARRIE

Think about it, Stephen.

STEPHEN

I am. I am thinking about it.

CARRIE

Put yourself in her shoes--

STEPHEN

Crocs? No thank you.

CARRIE

This ain’t what she signed up for.

STEPHEN

But you don’t sign up for things when you --

CARRIE

Really? You don’t sign up / for things --

STEPHEN

OK Yes Carrie You sign up for things. Of course you sign up for things. But when something terrible happens and you’re with someone, you don’t just --

CARRIE

It’s not entirely terrible. In a way, it’s sort of a blessing.


STEPHEN

OK. Sure. But when something -- ... -- difficult happens -- and don’t tell me it’s not difficult--

CARRIE

It’s difficult.

STEPHEN

“For better or for worse.”


11-12-15

3.


CARRIE

Exactly! We’re not married.

STEPHEN

For all intents and --

CARRIE

Nope Wrong. Are you and Steven married?

STEPHEN

For all intents and --

CARRIE

(As in “wrong”) BZZZZZZ. [Well,] you’re not.

STEPHEN

We just haven’t --

CARRIE

It’s a New World, Stephen -- You’re Not.

STEPHEN

But this isn’t about marriage.

CARRIE

You’re the one who brought it up!

STEPHEN

Two people, when they are together, and I mean together

together, married or / otherwise --

CARRIE

And, c’mon, I’m a handful. You know it. I know it. Everyone knows it.


STEPHEN

What are you talking about?

CARRIE

I’m a handful. Everyone’s a handful. “Everyone’s a handful”? Yes.

You’re a handful?


STEPHEN CARRIE STEPHEN CARRIE


11-12-15

4.


STEPHEN

Sure. Absolutely. Absolutely I’m a handful.

CARRIE

How?


STEPHEN

(He’s not)

Well... Steven’s a handful.

CARRIE

Oh my god yes.

STEPHEN

Well there you go, Steven’s a handful, and I’d never--

CARRIE

But you guys are ... -- ... well, you know.

STEPHEN

No. I don’t know. What? What are we?

CARRIE

You’re, you know ... Well -- you’re You Guys.

STEPHEN

What does that even mean?

CARRIE

You’re Steven and Stephen. You’re In the Ad.

STEPHEN

What ad?

CARRIE

The ad where the two of you are with The Kid by the Viking stove in your island kitchen and you’re all, like, barefoot.

STEPHEN

But you and Lisa are -- We’re Not!

Ok no.--

CARRIE STEPHEN CARRIE

And now with the blog blowing up--

STEPHEN

Oh.


11-12-15

5.



--Lisa feels exposed. THAT I get.

CARRIE STEPHEN

CARRIE

But, honestly, I respect her for being brave enough to... --

STEPHEN

Abandon?

CARRIE

Lisa hasn’t abandoned me. She’s just moved out. She’s still in my life. We talk every day.

Almost.


Beat.

STEPHEN

(not easy) Carrie, me and Steven ... it’s not always moonlight and roses.


CARRIE

(”seriously?”) Moonlight and roses?!

STEPHEN

We have...we definitely have... --

CARRIE

(”it’s lovely”) Moonlight and roses!

Steven (mid 40s) enters. STEVEN

Hey!

STEPHEN

“Here he is, boys! Here he is, world! Here’s--”

STEVEN

Jesus Stephen, I thought I’d thrown that tie away.

STEPHEN

“--Steven!” HAPPY BIRTHDAY!

Yes.

CARRIE STEVEN

(Carrie hands Steven a card --) Just what I always wanted. Thank you.


11-12-15

6.


(--which he immediately puts aside)

Sorry. Someone had a meltdown because someone didn’t know his daddies were going out this evening because one of his daddies didn’t tell him this morning at breakfast.

STEPHEN

Crap. Sorry. It was nuts.

(To Carrie)

Zack and I gave Steven the morning off as a birthday present and --

(To Steven)

-- how in the world do you even get him out the door?

STEVEN

With his trombone for one thing.

STEPHEN

Crap. Sorry.


STEVEN

(To Carrie)

You look like shit.


I know.


(He kisses her) CARRIE


STEPHEN


Sorry.


Dying sucks.

(To Steven)

CARRIE STEVEN

You’re not dying. Nice scarf.

CARRIE

You like it? It’s the one I wear when I go out fancy.

STEVEN

How can I be this late and not be last -- where are they?

CARRIE

Probably fucking Steve. What?

Steve?


STEPHEN STEVEN


11-12-15

7.



Steve. Trainer Steve.

CARRIE


STEVEN

Oh right. “Trainer Steve”.

CARRIE

Trainer Steve came to coffee with me and Matt the other day. My god. So sweet. Those thighs!

STEPHEN

Wait. Brian and Matt are fucking Trainer Steve?

CARRIE

I mean, I don’t know, but...

STEVEN

Trainer Steve’s training Stephen now.

STEPHEN

He’s great -- really great -- but do you think / they’re--

CARRIE

Stephen, have you met Brian and Matt?

STEVEN

Stephen wants Trainer Steve to train me -- but who has the time?


CARRIE

You do.

(Off Steven’s look) You don’t have the time?!

STEVEN

Between Zack and my classes in optical art.


Carrie and Stephen laugh. Steven does not.

Someone gets a text. STEVEN

I’d like a drink.


Did you find my phone? Your phone?


Over the following, everyone goes to checks their phones -- Stephen remembering he doesn’t have his.

STEPHEN STEVEN

11-12-15

8.



Lisa says hi.

The text is for Carrie, which brings her down.


STEVEN

What a cunt. Where’s the waiter?

CARRIE

She’s not a cunt. I love her. She loves me. She just --

STEPHEN

That’s love?! Cunt.

She’s not a cunt.

STEVEN CARRIE STEVEN

In what way is she not --

CARRIE

(To Stephen)

And Stephen -- you’re so bourgeois!

STEVEN

(Handing Stephen his phone) Here. Zack had it.


STEPHEN

The little fucker. Did you tell him that --

STEVEN

Stephen, I’m not getting involved. It’s between the two of you.


CARRIE

The kid took your phone?

STEPHEN

He borrows things. Ha!

And I am not bourgeois! Ha!


STEVEN STEPHEN CARRIE


11-12-15

9.


STEPHEN

Listen. This -- what’s the word I’m looking for? -- this --

... -- isn’t a bourgeois notion, it’s more of a --

STEVEN

Loyalty? What?

STEPHEN STEVEN

The word you’re looking for. Loyalty.

STEPHEN

No. It’s-- Trust?

No, not Trust -- Fidelity?

STEVEN STEPHEN STEVEN STEPHEN

Thank you no. Whatever it is -- it’s not bourgeois. Or it’s not uniquely bourgeois, it’s--

STEVEN

Stop saying “bourgeois”.

STEPHEN

It’s -- human -- or humane -- it’s the way a human should behave. Humanely.


CARRIE

Now you’re just projecting your bourgeois --

STEVEN

Oh my god stop!

CARRIE

---and calling them “human”. Or humane. People are people.

STEPHEN

“People are people”?

STEVEN

If I don’t get a drink, I think it’s possible I might die.

CARRIE

Yes, Mr.“Everyone’s a Handful”, people are people.


11-12-15

10.



--might get sick.

STEVEN


CARRIE

And you can’t hold people to impossible standards.

STEVEN

--might blow a gasket.

STEPHEN

It’s not an impossible standard!

CARRIE

According to you.

STEVEN

If I don’t get a drink, I think it’s possible I might blow a gasket.



Archaic.

CARRIE

(To Steven)


STEPHEN

(Still with Carrie)

Fine, Carrie. Feel what you feel, but --

CARRIE

Thank you. I will. I do.

STEPHEN

--feel what you feel, but where I come from, people don’t --

STEVEN

PEOPLE DON’T WHAT STEPHEN? WHAT DON’T PEOPLE DO WHERE YOU COME FROM?


(A waiter, ESTEBAN (20s) enters. He is extremely good-looking and speaks with an accent)

ESTEBAN

Hello! Welcome! I am Esteban. I hope you are having a nice evening. Can I get you some drinks while you are waiting for the rest of your party?



Hola Esteban! Hola!

STEPHEN ESTEBAN

STEPHEN

Where are you from, Esteban? Spain?


11-12-15

11.



Argentina.

ESTEBAN


STEPHEN

Ah Argentina. And are you here studying?

STEVEN

(To Stephen)

Really?

ESTEBAN

Yes. Actually. I am. I study dance.

STEPHEN

Steven was a dancer. Was?

STEVEN STEPHEN

What, “is”?


Was.

(lightly, fun)


STEVEN

(introspective)


ESTEBAN

Oh no! Once a dancer, always a dancer. Yes?

STEVEN

Yes?

CARRIE

Oh god, once a waitress, always a waitress.

STEPHEN

Once a lawyer, always a lawyer.

ESTEBAN

Dancing is like the everything. It is when I know I Am Here. Always, it is when I will know that I Am Here. Even when I am old.

I’m sorry it is a hard thing to say.

STEVEN

It is a hard thing to say.

ESTEBAN

Yes!

[Ah,] here: “If a thing moves, it lives.”


11-12-15

12.



Wow.

CARRIE

(close to home?/loving it)


ESTEBAN

(embarrassed)

Twyla Tharp says this. I’m reading her book about creativity. (To Steven)

As a dancer, you have read it, yes?

STEVEN

(he hasn’t)

Yes.


STEPHEN

(overlapping )

Steven’s not much of a reader.

STEVEN

I read.


What do you read? Playbills.

CARRIE STEPHEN STEVEN

So, Esteban, you must, what, study Modern?

STEPHEN

Tango!

ESTEBAN

I already know how to tango.

CARRIE

I bet you do.

ESTEBAN

I am in New York City, so I study Broadway.

STEPHEN

(Sings) “What’s new Buenos Aires?”

ESTEBAN

I am from a small town in the west.

STEPHEN

It’s a song. From Evita.

ESTEBAN

Ah yes.


11-12-15

13.


CARRIE

“Don’t Cry For Me Argentina”?

ESTEBAN

Of course. Sorry.

STEVEN

Esteban, you’ll have to forgive Stephen, as he comes from a generation that fetishizes the lesser musicals of the early 80s.



Lesser?

STEPHEN


STEVEN

It’s Andrew Lloyd Weber.

STEPHEN

And it was the 70s. And it was the 80s. The concept album--

STEVEN STEPHEN STEVEN

Don’t remember. Too young.

ESTEBAN

I know of the movie. With Madonna. But in --

STEPHEN

The movie sucked.

STEVEN

The movie was fantastic.

STEPHEN

She can’t sing.

STEVEN

Evita’s not about the singing.

STEPHEN

Really? You wouldn’t shut up about Elena Roger.

STEVEN

That was fraud!

CARRIE

(Topping them)

Esteban, I’ll have water. No ice. Plain New York City drinking water. I can’t drink as I’m dying.


11-12-15

14.



You’re not dying.

STEVEN


STEPHEN

I will also have water, as I can’t drink as I don’t drink.

STEVEN

And, as I can drink, and do, I’ll have a ... Vodka Stinger.

(Beat.) CARRIE

A Vodka Stinger?


Yes. A Vodka Stinger.


STEVEN

(not sharp) Thank you very much, Esteban, and if you could get right on that...



It is my pleasure.

ESTEBAN


(Beat.)

Eva Peron is not a hero to everyone in Argentina.

(He exits). (Beat) CARRIE

(takes out a notebook, makes note)

What was that Twyla Tharp thing? If something moves ...

STEVEN

If a thing moves, it lives.

STEPHEN

Evita’s not about the singing--

STEVEN

THE FILM STEPHEN. THE FILM. IT’S FILMIC. THE STAGE IS A COMPLETELY DIFFERENT MEDIUM.

(Beat.) CARRIE

Are you ok?


Filmic?!


I just want my drink.


STEPHEN STEVEN

11-12-15

15.



Steven!


And Stephen! Oh god.

What? Brian! Matt!

Hey old friend.

Matt and his partner Brian enter. Matt is singing “It’s Today” from Mame.

BRIAN MATT STEVEN CARRIE STEPHEN STEVEN MATT

STEVEN

(warm/happy to see him) Hey older friend.

STEPHEN

It’s great to see you guys!

BRIAN

Sorry we’re late.


Yeah, sorry we’re late.


MATT

(They were fucking Steve) We were...at the gym.

CARRIE

(To Stephen/Steven) What did I say?! / What did I say!

STEPHEN

Yeah, well--

BRIAN

What did you say about what, stud?

CARRIE

Never you mind, baby girl.

BRIAN

Don’t you bat those brown eyes at me or I don’t know what I’ll do.


11-12-15

16.


MATT

GET A ROOM!

Care! You look like a million bucks.

STEPHEN

Doesn’t she?

CARRIE

It’s my dress scarf. I’m getting tons of compliments.

BRIAN

(Handing Steven a card) Steven, from us.


STEVEN

(Immediately putting it aside) I hope it fits.



It’s a 30 waist. Then it will.

If this were 1997.

MATT STEVEN MATT

STEPHEN

(To Steven) You had a 30 inch waist?

BRIAN

Carebear, we read about Lisa on the blog.

MATT

(”you weren’t supposed to say anything”) Brian!

BRIAN

What?

MATT

(To Carrie, in re: Brian) Sorry.

BRIAN

She blogged it! You blogged it? (To Steven) Yeah. I told you!


STEVEN CARRIE STEPHEN

11-12-15

17.


CARRIE

(To Matt) It’s all good.

(to Brian) And Lisa’s still around.

BRIAN

You know, I always liked Lisa.

CARRIE

She’s not dead! Or sick.

Will you stop?

STEPHEN CARRIE BRIAN

[Actually,] I always kind of really liked her.

MATT

Me too. Really really. Cunt!

STEVEN CARRIE

Will you stop?

(To Steven)


MATT

Carrie, Lisa was -- Is!

CARRIE MATT

Lisa is -- a little cunt-y.

BRIAN

But that’s always been part of her charm, right?

MATT

True. True. True. True.


STEPHEN STEVEN CARRIE


11-12-15

18.


BRIAN

And is our bouncing baby boy having a good birthday so far?

STEVEN

Yes Brian. Best Ever. Thank You.

BRIAN

Fasten your seat belts...

MATT

And how’s my godson?

CARRIE


The Kid!

(Really not her favorite topic)


STEPHEN

(To Carrie)

He worships you. Not my problem. Zack’s fine.

CARRIE STEPHEN STEVEN

--when he’s not stealing.

STEPHEN

Steven!


He steals? Since when? Borrows.

Very Bess Myerson. Or Winona Ryder.

MATT STEPHEN BRIAN CARRIE MATT

Or Lindsay Lohan, for the young people.

STEVEN

What young people? He’s stressed.


STEPHEN


11-12-15

19.



How would you know? First week of school.

STEVEN STEPHEN

STEVEN

(”oh, you did know”) Yes.

MATT

What does he borrow? He’s pretty eclectic. Shiny objects?

Sometimes food --

STEPHEN MATT STEPHEN STEVEN

--which he hides and which is gross.

STEPHEN

But it seems, in a brand new development, personal electronics.



Personal electronics?

MATT


STEVEN

Yes. Today he “borrowed” Stephen’s iPhone.

BRIAN

Zack had your phone?

MATT

What does he do with it?

STEPHEN

He calls our moms.

MATT

That’s sweet. And how are Susan and Miriam?

STEPHEN

My mom is fine, and Miriam is...

STEVEN

Miriam.


And he calls Carrie.


STEPHEN


11-12-15

20.


CARRIE

Yeah we have to talk about that.

MATT

Omigod he calls you I’m jealous.

CARRIE

I can’t understand a word he says.

MATT

You just have to concentrate.

STEVEN

(To Stephen) Speech therapy!

STEPHEN

Relax. I grew out of my lisp.

MATT

You sure?

STEPHEN

(it’s fun) Hey! Oh and he loves to take pictures of the cat.

CARRIE

(Again, really not her favorite topic)

That Cat!

STEPHEN

I think the feeling is mutual.

MATT

What kind of lesbian are you?

BRIAN

So Zack had your phone?

MATT

Does he text? -- I mean he’s too young to, right?

BRIAN

Text? When? Today? Not too young.

STEPHEN STEVEN

He’s behind verbally. And his motor-skills leave, / the less said...


STEPHEN

He was a premie. He’s catching up. He scores off the charts on the empathy tests --


11-12-15

21.



They test “empathy”?

CARRIE


MATT

(in re Zack’s empathy) I can so see that.


BRIAN

So he had your phone today?

STEVEN

YES BRIAN. YES. ZACK HAD STEPHEN’S PHONE ALL DAY.

(Beat.) CARRIE

Why do you keep doing that?

STEVEN

Doing what?

(Esteban returns with the drinks)

Hola Esteban. Everyone, this is Esteban. He’s from Argentina and he dances. Broadway style.

MATT

(Sings)

“A New Argentina / The chains of the masses untied --”

CARRIE

Ixnay on the Evitay.


(BUSINESS: Steven desperately wants his drink, which Esteban delivers last of all)

BRIAN

Esteban, I can see you’re a dancer.

ESTEBAN

I hope that’s a compliment.

BRIAN

Oh it is.


(NOTE: A translation of the Spanish is projected on the back wall)

MATT

Hola! Soy Matt y este es mi compañero Brian. Me imagino que ya conoces a Steven, Stephen y Carrie.

[Hello! I’m Matt and this is my partner Brian. And I guess you already know Steven, Stephen and Carrie.]


11-12-15

22.


ESTEBAN

Un placer. Me llamo Esteban.

[It’s a pleasure to meet all of you. I’m Esteban.]


(Once she gets her water, Carrie takes out a pill container with various compartments. She carefully selects pills and starts taking them.)

MATT

Por supuesto que hablas con el “sza” de Argentina.

[You do that funny Argentinean thing with your double ls.]

ESTEBAN

Obvio.

[Obvs!]

BRIAN

(To Matt) You getting his email?

MATT

Ignoralo. [Ignore him.]

ESTEBAN

Y no le voy a dar bola. Tu Castellano es muy bueno. [And I will. Your Spanish is excellent.]

MATT

Por un año interpreté el papel de un arriero en una producción teatral de El Hombre de la Mancha en un crucero con sede en Barcelona.

[I was a muleteer in a production of Man of La Mancha for a year on a cruise ship based in Barcelona.]

ESTEBAN

Mira Vos! Sos un artista tambien!

[Ahh, you are a performer, too?]

MATT

Hace un millón de años. Ahora trabajo en bienes raíces. Brian es un banquero.

[A million years ago. Now, I’m in Real Estate. Brian is a banker.]


STEPHEN

This is like that terrible West Side Story a couple of years ago.



Silencio.

MATT

(To Stephen)

(Back to Esteban)


11-12-15

23.


Bueno, de todos modos, nos traes a Brian y a mi una copa de vino a cada uno. Danos la sorpresa de un vino con cuerpo Argentino.

[Anyway, Brian and I will have each have a glass of red. Why not surprise us with something full-bodied and Argentine?]

ESTEBAN

Bueh, ya vamos a ver. [I’ll see what I can do.]

(Steven finally gets his drink)

And one Vodka Stinger.

STEVEN

AAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA I’ll drink to that.

(Esteban exits) BRIAN

A Vodka Stinger?


What about it?


STEVEN

(He toasts) Happy Birthday to me.

(He takes a swig and it’s terrible)

MATT

(If the drink takes a while) Drink your juice, Shelby.

STEVEN

But you know it’s an interesting question.

STEPHEN

What is?

Whether Zack texts. The Kid.

STEVEN CARRIE

(Changing the subject) Hey, remember when the three of us did shots with -- fuck, what was her name?

STEPHEN

We know he doesn’t text.

CARRIE

Oh my god, actress, British, hoarse voice.

MATT

He was a premie. He’ll catch up.


11-12-15

24.


CARRIE

Matt, you remember, at the restaurant. After our shift.

MATT

I’ve blocked out those years.

STEVEN

But maybe Zack’s taken a great leap forward!

CARRIE

(upset that he’s blocked out those years) Matt!

MATT

(Not entirely sure) Glynis Johns?

CARRIE

Glynis Johns!

STEVEN

Let’s check. Stephen, gimme your phone.

STEPHEN

(handing over the phone, but talking to Carrie) Glynis Johns? Why don’t I remember this?

CARRIE

(in re Stephen and Brian) Way before you, and you.

STEVEN

Stephen! [Gimmie your phone]--

BRIAN

Matt was kidding. About Glynis Johns? Zack texting.

How is that kidding? That was a broad!

MATT BRIAN MATT CARRIE STEVEN

Or maybe Zack called someone. Oh this’ll be fun. Stephen, your phone.


CARRIE

Or was it Jean Simmons?


11-12-15

25.



Stephen! Sure.

STEVEN STEPHEN

(Stephen takes out his phone. As Steven is about to take it, Brian leaps to grab it)

BRIAN

You have the 6S? Let me see that.

STEVEN

(Grabbing it back)

In a second, Brian. Let’s see what Zack was up to first.

BRIAN

(Grabbing it back) There’s an app for that.

STEVEN

(Grabbing it back) No there isn’t.



Sure there is.

BRIAN

(Grabbing it back)


STEVEN

Give me the fucking phone.


(Brian and Steven start wrestling for the phone. General adlibs can include overlapping lines like the following).

MATT

Bri, don’t you have the same phone? /

STEPHEN

What’s your problem? Give him the phone!/

CARRIE

Glynis Johns? Jean Simmons? / Careful! My pills!

BRIAN

Trainer Steve has an instagram account/


STEVEN LET - GO - OF - THE - FUCKING --


(Steven emerges with the phone, but knocks things off the table.)

PHONE!


11-12-15

26.



HAH!

(He holds the phone above his head triumphantly)


STEPHEN

Steven, what are you doing?

STEVEN

I don’t know, Stephen, what am I doing?

BRIAN

(To Stephen) Stephen... (To Steven) What?!

(To Stephen) Stephen! What?!


Oh shit.


STEPHEN BRIAN STEPHEN

(Stephen and Brian’s eyes meet. Stephen gets it.)

STEPHEN


(Steven looks at Stephen.) CARRIE

(To Matt)

Did something go off with my meds or did things just get weird?



Things just got weird.

MATT


STEPHEN

Can I have my phone back?

STEVEN

I don’t know. Can you?


It’s not what it-- It isn’t?


(Beat.) STEPHEN


STEVEN


11-12-15

27.



No it’s not.


I think we should go.

STEPHEN BRIAN

MATT

What? Why? We just got here. And here’s Esteban with the wine.


(Esteban enters with the wine.)

ESTEBAN

Bodega Catena Zapata 2006.


(Esteban notices the wreckage on the table).

What happened?


What happened? What happened? Steven, please--


STEVEN

(Beat.) STEPHEN STEVEN

(Grandly “Into the Woods”) ONCE UPON A TIME...

CARRIE

“I wish!” Oh god.

What?


Steven, please don’t.

BRIAN MATT STEPHEN STEVEN

ONCE UPON A TIME ... or more specifically: once upon some time this morning, Crown Prince Zack, our 8 year old son, “borrowed” the latest generation iPhone of my partner Stephen

-- say “Buenos Dias” Stephen. Zack “borrows” things. We have no idea why. We hope it’s a phase. “What’s the matter with kids today”, huh?


11-12-15

28.


Anyway, this afternoon, in the course of my lonely parental duties extracting said iPhone from Zachary’s sticky-fingered clutches -- sticky-fingered both metaphorically and literally because god knows what he was eating -- I was greeted with a series of little surprises, little nuggets, that “twinkled and shimmered and buzzed” at regular intervals over the adorable screenshot of our son and his cat, Elphaba.


These virtual haiku. These cyber tone poems? They were chock full -- no cock-full -- of rather ambitious assignments for Stephen, my partner of 16 years, to perform upon or with or into (or whatever) the ass / mouth / dick / ears nose throat

/ oh and this was a surprise, FEET -- of Brian, the Significant God-Knows-What of my oldest friend in the world Matt. Hey Matt! SURPRISE, right?! It’s always been our dream for Brian and Stephen to get along better and look: NOW THEY DO!


So, Esteban, what happened was that after an agonizing afternoon of excruciating indecision -- I came tonight, to this, my birthday party, determined to, I don’t know what. But I came. Determined. Because I like a good party, and because Matt and Carrie and I, we always do our birthdays, and then, let’s see, I ordered a Vodka Stinger and would like another when you have a chance please, and then after enduring some vaguely-amusing pleasantries and a spirited round of “Ooo What a Hot Foreign Waiter!” (and own it, Esteban, because it fades), for reasons that I hope are now clear, things starting spinning a little out of control and so what happened was that I could not stand this bullshit for even one more millisecond and that your well-appointed table became collateral damage IN STEPHEN’S COMPLETE AND TOTAL ANNIHILATION OF WHAT WAS ONCE BUT WILL NEVER BE AGAIN OUR PICTURE-PERFECT STORYBOOK FAIRY TALE EXISTENCE.


(After a beat, the lights shift. Esteban exits.)


NOTE TO ACTORS: We’re jumping back in time.

CARRIE

(To Matt)

Did something go off with my meds or did things just get weird?



Things just got weird.

MATT


STEPHEN

Can I have my phone back?


11-12-15

29.



I don’t know. Can you?


It’s not-- It isn’t?

No it’s not.


I think we should go.

STEVEN


(Beat.) STEPHEN


STEVEN STEPHEN BRIAN

MATT

What? Why? We just got here. And here’s Esteban with the wine.


(Esteban enters with the wine.)

ESTEBAN

Bodega Catena Zapata 2006.


(Esteban notices the wreckage on the table).

What happened?


What happened? What happened? Steven, please -- ONCE UPON A TIME...


STEVEN


(Beat.) STEPHEN STEVEN



“I wish!” Oh god.

What?

CARRIE BRIAN MATT


11-12-15

30.



Steven, please don’t.

STEPHEN


(Beat.) STEVEN

Once upon a time... five little piggies went to a restaurant and had so much fun playing iphone-iphone-who’s-got-the- iphone that they made a little mess for which they were a little sorry and then, after asking a charming Argentine prince to hear the specials, they went wee wee wee all the way home where they lived happily ever after.

He sits.

CARRIE

I wish.


SCENE TWO


Lights out.


Steven and Carrie are in a coffee shop. Carrie’s pill container is in front of her, and she’s taking pills.

STEVEN

He says they were texting. Sorry no, he says they were “just” texting.



Sexting. What?

Sexting. Yuck!

It’s a word. Seriously?

CARRIE STEVEN CARRIE STEVEN CARRIE STEVEN

CARRIE

Do you live under a rock?

STEVEN

Yeah, with an 8 year old. Just “sexting” then. It’s like looking at porn, right?


11-12-15

31.



Absolutely.

CARRIE


STEVEN

[I mean,] you can tell, can’t you?

CARRIE

What?

STEVEN

An affair. I mean I know Stephen, right?

CARRIE

You didn’t know he sexted.

STEVEN

He’s so ethical. You know we pay social security taxes for Claudia?



Is she even legal? It doesn’t matter.

I didn’t know that.

CARRIE STEVEN

CARRIE

(Offering him a pill) Want a Percocet?


STEVEN

Thanks. Don’t you need water? I need water.

CARRIE

You get good with practice.

STEVEN

Isn’t it bad for you without water?

CARRIE

Yes I might die. You’re not dying.

STEVEN CARRIE

“Ev’ry day a little death...”

STEVEN

OMIGOD EXACTLY. I could murder him right now!

CARRIE

I was referring to my actual death, not your metaphorical one.


11-12-15

32.


(Steven rolls his eyes and then signals for water to an offstage waiter)

STEVEN

He says it started at the beach house. Memorial Day. As a joke. He says. Brian texted a picture of his ass and things just took off from there. Very Brian. What a pig. It’s been going on “every now and then” for months.

CARRIE

He’s got a nice ass. Brian?

Yes.


No he doesn’t.


Eye of the beholder.

STEVEN CARRIE STEVEN CARRIE STEVEN

I thought we were all at the beach having a great time. Like we always do. You know, as a family. A family where certain members were occasionally drunk and sometimes high, sure -- but a family. And was it all a little manic? Ok. Yes. Four middle-aged men, and our occasional lady visitor, desperately interested in the slightest recognition that we’re still sexually desirable to the sexually desirable -- or even to the almost-sexually desirable -- secretly afraid that we’re

not, but bravely clinging to the illusion -- and each other -- like a jaunty gay Raft of the Medusa. Only it was a lie.

Brian and Stephen were on a different raft. A secret raft. A sexy raft. A secret sexy raft.

CARRIE

But still desperate.

STEVEN

Yes. But a different raft. A raft without me and Matt. A raft without me.

It feels like an affair.

CARRIE

What does Matt say?


11-12-15

33.



Nothing.


Does he know?

STEVEN CARRIE

STEVEN

I haven’t said anything. Has he said anything to you?

CARRIE

No.

STEVEN

I mean he must not know, right? Or he’d, I don’t know ...

CARRIE

What?

STEVEN

Do something. Say something. Wouldn’t you?

CARRIE

You haven’t said anything to him.

STEVEN

I’m afraid. Of what?

CARRIE STEVEN

(He tries to get the waiter’s attention again for the water)

What the fuck--? Does anyone work here? And now Stephen. All tears all the time. I’m the hysterical one.

CARRIE

I know.

STEVEN

I’m not even sure I’ve seen Stephen cry before. Or really really cry. He got misty-eyed when Zack was born, but not like, you know, tear tears.


Once. On a plane. Heaving body sobs. People stared. That movie where Laurence Fishburne teaches that little black girl to spell--



--with Angela Bassett--

CARRIE


STEVEN

-- but now he won’t stop. It’s like living with Christine Lahti.


11-12-15

34.



He’s sorry, Steven.


Um yeah. He should be.

CARRIE STEVEN

(The waiter comes with water. It’s Esteban).

ESTEBAN

Here is some water, sorry --

CARRIE

Hey! Esteban, right? Hola.


ESTEBAN


(Steven takes his pill.) CARRIE

Steven, it’s Esteban! From you birthday.

STEVEN

Hath not a half-jew eyes? Hola Esteban.

ESTEBAN

It’s really good to see you again, my dancing friend.

CARRIE

You work here too?

ESTEBAN

I do. A boy has to, how do you say, make ends meet.

CARRIE

What a boy!


And what an end!

STEVEN ESTEBAN

Thank you. I’ve been told it is my best feature.

(Steven gets a text) STEVEN

Ugh. Stephen.


Coffee?

ESTEBAN CARRIE

I wish. Can I just get some hot water? Medicinal tea.


11-12-15

35.


STEVEN

(He speak into the phone)

Text Stephen: “I don’t know go fuck yourself.” (Indicating phone)

My new phone. Stephen bought it for me out of guilt. And yes, the irony of it is lost on him.

ESTEBAN

And for you?

STEVEN

Americano skim. And one of those artisanal donuts, por favor.

CARRIE

Steven!

STEVEN

They’re made by artisans.

ESTEBAN

Hah! They are sinful. Sinning artisans!

The best kind.

STEVEN CARRIE ESTEBAN

Did you have a nice birthday?

STEVEN

What?

ESTEBAN

Did you have a nice birthday?

STEVEN

No I did not. But you’re completely lovely for asking.

(Steven gets a another text) ESTEBAN

You were very generous.

STEVEN

(as he reads the text) Jesus Christ, Stephen.


CARRIE

(To Esteban)

We waited tables, I mean, I still wait tables or god, (excited, it’s good)

maybe now it’s I waited tables--


11-12-15

36.



You’re on sabbatical.

STEVEN


CARRIE

-- but, way back when, me and Steven and Matt, we all used to wait together. --



You were the baby!

STEVEN


CARRIE

--we bought a fake ID so I could serve drinks--

STEVEN

Serve?

CARRIE

You remember, Matt? He spoke Spanish --

ESTEBAN

And I thought such a tip was because of my excellent service.

CARRIE

It was!

STEVEN

Text Stephen: try the front closet go fuck yourself.


(He looks to see how it rendered, before pressing send).

Close enough.

CARRIE

We were singing waiters. Showtunes. Steven and I used to do “Poor Jud is Dead”. I sang Jud.

STEVEN

Your voice is lower. Elaine’s Stardust?

A precursor. We’re old.

I wish I could sing. I wish I could dance.


ESTEBAN CARRIE STEVEN ESTEBAN CARRIE

11-12-15

37.


STEVEN

“I wish a lot of things.”

CARRIE

Steven met his partner there.

STEVEN

Can we not? Stephen!

You remember?


Well, you are both -- Yes.

“Steven and Stephen”. Steven and Stephen.

ESTEBAN STEVEN ESTEBAN STEVEN CARRIE ESTEBAN CARRIE

Fuck it was so romantic.

STEVEN

C’mon--

CARRIE

Stephen -- other Stephen -- started showing up regularly -- and we never had regulars, because, you know, the food was disgusting. But Stephen? -- other Stephen -- like clockwork. And he would sit at his table and sort of stare at Steven -- this Steven -- while trying really hard to look like he was, you know, not staring at Steven. It was so adorable. He was so adorable. He used to wear those glasses, remember?

STEVEN

Fucking lasik.

CARRIE

Stephen--other Stephen--was too frightened to initiate an actual conversation --


STEVEN

Matt used to call him “Blue Roses”.


11-12-15

38.


CARRIE

But Stephen -- other Stephen -- once a night -- would ask me or Matt to give Steven a song request. And he’d watch Steven’s performance. And I mean watch. Then he’d race out, leaving an outrageous tip. We loved that.

STEVEN

We pooled. So unfair.

CARRIE

And it was genius. A love letter written in slow motion with the Broadway Song Book. But Steven played hard to get.

STEVEN

We needed the tips. I understand.

ESTEBAN CARRIE

“Hey There” nothing, “Not a Day Goes By” nothing, “You’re the Top”--



And are you? Um ...

ESTEBAN STEVEN

CARRIE

-- on and on and on and on [etc.] -- all fine performances, technically proficient, yet somehow cold and heartless.

STEVEN

Like Kristin Chenoweth.

CARRIE

Then one night, Steven -- ... -- relented. I’d never seen a performance like it. I nearly orgasmed.

STEVEN

“I Don’t Know How to Love Him”. Prescient.


(Steven gets a text.)

CARRIE

Jesus Christ Superstar, Steven, for a dancer, you could belt.

STEVEN

A unmarketable skill for a man as it turns out.

CARRIE

Matt and I, we cried and cried.


11-12-15

39.



Wow. Fantastic. Sexy. It was.

ESTEBAN CARRIE

STEVEN

Text Stephen: You’re welcome go fuck yourself.

CARRIE

You’re sexting!

STEVEN

Just giving my man what he wants.

ESTEBAN

That’s important. Is it?

It is for me. Ok.

STEVEN ESTEBAN STEVEN ESTEBAN

(To Carrie) So I want to thank you --

CARRIE

It wasn’t my money and like I said--

ESTEBAN

No no not the tip, you were so nice -- flattering? -- about me on the blog. Thank you.

CARRIE

Believe me, it’s a good day when I can blog about great waiting AND Twyla Tharp and you read my blog?

ESTEBAN

My friend at the restaurant recognized you from your Buzzfeed video, and I was interested, so I googled.

CARRIE

Now I’m flattered. No one reads blogs anymore, except it seems mine.


ESTEBAN

So congratulations, if that is appropriate.


11-12-15

40.



I’ll take it. What?

Jennifer Lawrence! I’m more flattered. Why? What?

CARRIE STEVEN ESTEBAN CARRIE STEVEN

ESTEBAN

Guapa, I will get you hot water. And you, guapo, I will get you your coffee and your sinning donut.

(Beat.) CARRIE

It’s nothing.


Guapo?

STEVEN CARRIE

Just an option on the blog. My “story.”

STEVEN

Did you hear that? What?

He called me guapo.

CARRIE STEVEN CARRIE

I mean the money’s welcome, but there’s no real money until --

STEVEN

And he said it with a frisson.

CARRIE

--until they actually make the movie--

STEVEN

Or the Spanish equivalent of a frisson.

CARRIE

--which may never happen--


11-12-15

41.


STEVEN

El frisson? Uno frisson?

CARRIE

--or at least not during my lifetime.

STEVEN

Frisson is a word, right?

CARRIE

And in the comments people are--

STEVEN

Am I high already? How strong are those pills?

CARRIE

Steven!


Sorry. Go ahead.

STEVEN CARRIE

And in the comments people are suggesting who should play me in the movie.



Oh my god, really? I blogged it!

STEVEN CARRIE

STEVEN

Stephen reads things for me, you know that. And we’re not exactly --



Lisa arranged it.


Wow.


I know. OK.

I know.

CARRIE


(Beat.) STEVEN


CARRIE STEVEN CARRIE

(Beat.)


11-12-15

42.


STEVEN

I guess that makes her slightly less of a cunt.

CARRIE

She’s been in the Hamptons doing Kate Capshaw’s cabinets. They got to talking and, well, who knew that dying would be the best --



You’re not dying. Steven--

You’re not.

STEVEN CARRIE STEVEN

CARRIE

I had an appointment on Friday. Matt took me. It was --

STEVEN

Stop it.


Honey, it’s true. Nope.

Steven!


You’re not dying. I’m dying.

Not dying. Dying.

Not dying.


Steven. I’m dying. No you’re not.


CARRIE STEVEN CARRIE STEVEN CARRIE STEVEN CARRIE STEVEN CARRIE STEVEN


11-12-15

43.


CARRIE

Steven, seriously, I am.

STEVEN

Seriously, you’re not. Seriously.


Seriously. Seriously. Seriously. Seriously.


CARRIE


(Growing in intensity -- she wants to get through to him, but he’ll have none of it).

STEVEN CARRIE STEVEN CARRIE

STEVEN

Are we on the same pill?


CARRIE Steven I’M FUCKING DYING!

STEVEN

(the punchline) WELL YOU’RE KILLING ME!!

(Steven starts laughing) CARRIE

I’M GOING TO KILL YOU.


(She starts hitting him, playfully at first and then not.)

STEVEN

(Laughing really hard by now) Stop it! Stop it.



Steven, so help me --

CARRIE


(Carrie breaks down.) (Beat)


11-12-15

44.


CARRIE

She won’t talk to me. Just emails. Or texts. She has the dog. I’m never going to have sex again.

STEVEN

Me either. I’m serious. Me too.


CARRIE STEVEN

(Now Steven breaks down.)

CARRIE

Fuck you Steven. This isn’t about you.

STEVEN

I can’t remember the last time I had sex.

CARRIE

Me either.

STEVEN

Really? But you guys were -- God, you never said--

CARRIE

Neither did you --.

STEVEN

Well it’s -- I don’t know.

CARRIE

It was -- god -- my birthday maybe -- at the beach.

STEVEN

I don’t even -- god -- how old is Zack?

CARRIE

(to herself) God.

STEVEN

-- how could I not notice?

(Beat.) CARRIE

But for you, honey, there’s still hope.

STEVEN

Hope?


11-12-15

45.



Well, time.

CARRIE


STEVEN

Carrie, you’re not [dying] --

CARRIE

No, Steven, you’re not.


Yes. I’m not.


(Beat.) STEVEN

You know I would fuck you if I could.

CARRIE

And I you.


(Beat, where perhaps Esteban crosses) CARRIE

You could fuck that waiter.

STEVEN

I could fuck that waiter?

CARRIE

Yes, guapo, you could fuck that waiter.

STEVEN

Guapo.

(as in: “No way, he’d never”) No!

CARRIE

Guapo.


(Beat.) STEVEN

I could fuck that waiter.


(Something passes between Steven and Carrie)

I’m going to fuck that waiter.

(Esteban enters with order) ESTEBAN

Guapos!

STEVEN

Esteban. Tell me. What time do you get off?


11-12-15

46.



SCENE THREE


[Boo!] [Ha ha]

[happy halloween stud!] [ditto]

(Lights out.)


Brian is at the gym and Stephen is in office -- we see them text and read the words via a projection. [Brackets indicate projected texts] When the lights come up -- Stephen is restless. After a moment, he texts.

STEPHEN BRIAN STEPHEN BRIAN

(Beat.)

STEPHEN

[stuck at work. waiting on Japan. U?]

BRIAN

[gym. waiting 4 Steve. training]

STEPHEN

[say hi] [k]


[hot guys?] [?]

[gym]


[fuck yeah!!]


BRIAN


(Beat.) STEPHEN


BRIAN STEPHEN BRIAN

(Beat.)


11-12-15

47.


STEPHEN

[since bday. Haven’t heard from u]

BRIAN

[u got busted] [tell me about it] [sorry]

[4 being soooo hot?] [Ha ha]


[Zck good?]


[trick or treating]


STEPHEN BRIAN STEPHEN BRIAN

(Beat.) BRIAN


STEPHEN

[zombie dinosaur astronaut] [with wolf paws]

[and trombone]



[Awwwwwwww cute!]

BRIAN


STEPHEN

[i’m dressed like a lawyer]

(Beat.)

[hot right?] [ha ha] [u?]

[gym clothes] [jock?] [behave]


BRIAN STEPHEN BRIAN STEPHEN BRIAN


11-12-15

48.



[or what?] [ha ha]


[ha ha]


[Gotta go Steve’s here]

STEPHEN BRIAN

(Beat.) STEPHEN


(Beat.) BRIAN

(Brian exits.) STEPHEN

[is Steve wearing a jock?]



[Hi Steve!]


(Beat.)

(The phone rings.)



[Japan calling.] [Sayanora!]


Ozawa-san, talk to me.


SCENE FOUR


Beat.


He picks up the phone.


Steven and Matt in a hospital cafeteria. Mid-fight. Steven has a tray full of food.

STEVEN

Why are you being such a dick about this?

MATT

I’m not being a dick!

STEVEN

What are you talking about? You’re being a complete dick.


11-12-15

49.


MATT

And you’re getting hysterical -- calm the fuck down!

STEVEN

Fuck you! This food is disgusting.

MATT

It’s hospital food. And stop deflecting! And I hate it when you do that.



What? Deflect?

STEVEN


MATT

No -- I mean Yes I hate it when you deflect -- but the “dick” thing. I hate the way I’m a dick, because I won’t do exactly what you want.


STEVEN

Well I hate the way you call me hysterical when I’m just being emphatic.


MATT

You have a very hysterical way of being emphatic.

STEVEN

Dick.


Now you’re deflecting! DICK!

MATT STEVEN MATT

And that’s not hysterical?!

STEVEN

(conceding)

No.

I’m just hungry. Sorry. And depressed. Oh god this is depressing.



You want a protein bar?

MATT


STEVEN

You carry them around? Gross.

MATT

(Indicating the tray) Grosser than that?


11-12-15

50.


STEVEN

No. Gimme. Do you no longer eat human food?

MATT

Five small meals a day. Protein bars when I’m still hungry.

STEVEN

(As he devours the bar)

Yuck. You look fantastic, by they way, if I haven’t said. Sorry.


MATT

Been working hard. It’s mostly diet. And Trainer Steve is a drill sergeant.


STEVEN

I’ve been cancelling on him.

MATT

I know.


You do? How? Steve tells me.

Steve talks about me? Sure.


STEVEN MATT STEVEN MATT

(Over the following, Matt gets a text, which he answers.)

STEVEN

Doesn’t seem like it’s your business -- whether or not I cancel my training sessions.

MATT

It’s not like he’s a therapist --

(Indicating text) Steve. Speak of the devil.

STEVEN

He texts you? Yeah.

MATT STEVEN

He doesn’t text us. Or he doesn’t text me. Lord knows he probably texts Stephen.


11-12-15

51.



What does that mean?

MATT


STEVEN

Nothing. If I’m cancelling, isn’t that more of a reason to text me?



Why?

MATT


STEVEN

I don’t know. To urge me not to cancel. Or to tell me not to eat wheat.



He’s not your mother.

MATT


(Matt laughs at the text) STEVEN

(he’s finished with the bar) Ok, I feel better. Thank you.

Where were we?


MATT

You were doing that thing where you call anyone who won’t do what you want a dick.


STEVEN

Ah yes. Thank you. You’re a dick. Look, you guys don’t have a child.

MATT

Yes we do not have a child.

STEVEN

And you have the bigger apartment.

MATT

You have three bedrooms, we have two.

STEVEN

Square footage! Barely.

MATT STEVEN

And you have that extra bathroom.

MATT

Half-bath. It’s stupid. I keep my comics there.


11-12-15

52.



Still.

STEVEN


MATT

And Zack’s a plus, not a minus. How great for Carrie to have him there!


STEVEN

She hates him. And the cat.

MATT

That’s just schtick! Zack’s a delightful healing presence--

STEVEN

Really?

MATT

No. But it will be good for him too. Experience.

STEVEN

Isn’t it a goal to protect children from that kind of experience?


MATT

Doesn’t Harry Potter like die in Harry Potter?

STEVEN

No!

MATT

You know when Larry died, it was ... I mean I was glad I was there to ... witness...?

STEVEN

Matt, when Larry died, yes you were a child, but you weren’t, you know, actually a child, [I mean] you dated.

MATT

Larry still shows up in my dreams. Giving advice.

STEVEN

From the grave. Very Larry.

MATT

Last night I dreamed that Brian and I were going to the opening night of a revival of My Fair Lady starring Audra McDonald.



As who? Henry Higgins?

STEVEN


MATT

Carrie and Lisa were there. Larry was in the apartment helping us get dressed.


11-12-15

53.



What about me? You weren’t there.

STEVEN MATT

STEVEN

You invited Lisa and not me?

MATT

You hate Audra McDonald. And My Fair Lady.

STEVEN

Too many Tonys. Which?

Both.

MATT STEVEN MATT

Larry wanted me to wear high-tops with my tux.

STEVEN

He did die in the 80s...

(Beat.) MATT

We’re older now than he ever was.

STEVEN

And he was like the oldest person we knew. By a lot.

MATT

Do you know he saw Barbra in I Can Get it for you Wholesale?

(Matt gets a text)

Sorry.


Steve? What?

Trainer Steve?


(He laughs harder at this text and responds)

STEVEN MATT STEVEN


11-12-15

54.



Yes.

MATT


(Steven checks his phone) STEVEN

How is it you’re getting reception? Fucking AT&T.

MATT

(Done texting) Sorry. I’ll turn it off.

OK.


STEVEN

OK.

We don’t have the extra room anymore, because I’ve moved into it.



Why?


It doesn’t matter why. Yes it does.

No it doesn’t. What happened?

MATT STEVEN MATT STEVEN MATT

STEVEN

I don’t want to talk about it.

MATT

Steven-- Please. C’mon--

STEVEN MATT STEVEN

Stephen did something to upset me.

(Beat.) MATT

What?


11-12-15

55.



What?


What did he do?

STEVEN MATT

STEVEN

I hardly remember. I don’t know. It doesn’t matter. I don’t want to talk about it.

MATT

When?

STEVEN

It’s been a couple of months. Since my birthday.

MATT

That you’ve been living in the spare room?

STEVEN

No. I’ve been in the spare room -- I don’t know -- a few weeks. It got to the point where Stephen’s breathing made me angry.


MATT

You didn’t say anything. Why didn’t you say anything? This is -- big.


STEVEN

I haven’t seen that much of you -- my fault sorry -- and when I have, we’ve been dealing with Carrie -- and I don’t like to be messy.


MATT

Since when? You’ve always led your life like “Act II: Walpurgisnacht.”


STEVEN

I don’t want to talk about it. Not now. OK?

MATT

God. I’m shocked. You two are like...Ricky and Lucy.

STEVEN

I’m Lucy?

What do you think? They got divorced! Not on the show.


MATT STEVEN MATT

11-12-15

56.



Does Carrie know?

MATT


STEVEN

Carrie? I figured she’s got enough going on.

MATT

Yeah.

STEVEN

So it’s not a great time for us. And, as far as the spare room -- you know I’d figure out a way to make it work if there was only the one way, but, Matt, there’s not only the one way -- so ok, OK?


(Beat.)

MATT

We don’t have the extra room anymore either.

STEVEN

Why not? Because. Because--?

MATT STEVEN MATT

Because Steve has moved in.

STEVEN

Steve? Steve. Steve. Steve.

Trainer Steve? Yes.

Oh.


MATT STEVEN MATT STEVEN MATT STEVEN

He needed a place to live?


11-12-15

57.


MATT

Well. No. We invited him to move in.

STEVEN

You guys take your fitness very seriously.

MATT

Yes.


I feel small. You’re not.

STEVEN MATT STEVEN

(He feels his arms) Really?

MATT

I’ve seen you bigger.


When?


(Slight Beat) STEVEN


MATT

It’s the holidays, so it’s hard to --

STEVEN

No! When did Steve move in?

MATT

A couple of weeks ago. I’m surprised he hasn’t said.

STEVEN

Doesn’t that cost a fortune? Even for you guys. I mean does Oprah have a live-in fitness instructor?

MATT

She probably has a chef.

STEVEN

Did Rachel Ray live with her?

MATT

I don’t know.

STEVEN

Steve doesn’t cook, does he?

MATT

God no.


11-12-15

58.


STEVEN

Ok.

Isn’t it weird having -- ... -- “staff” living with you?

MATT

You had Claudia.

STEVEN

When Zack was a baby. And she’s a nanny. That’s normal. So.



What?


Ask him to leave.

MATT STEVEN

MATT

We can’t ask him to leave.

STEVEN

Why not?


He just moved in.

MATT STEVEN

Our best friend needs a home to die in. He’ll understand.

What?


MATT

Ummm. Ummm.

He hasn’t moved in to be a trainer per se. He’s more moved in moved in.

And you know--it’s-- We’re trying--

All of us, Brian and me and Steve-- We’re trying -- Something --

Something.


(Beat.)

STEVEN

Why the fuck don’t hospitals have bars?

MATT

Yeah, wild, right?

It just happened. One minute you’re working out at the gym, then the next you’re --...

STEVEN

Sister Wives!


11-12-15

59.


MATT

It’s not like that. You make it sound--

STEVEN

How is it not like that?

MATT

I knew you were going to be an asshole about this. That’s why I didn’t want / to tell you --

STEVEN

Swear to god, I’m not being an asshole. I’m just trying to understand.


MATT

We’re trying it out. I’m excited. Well, “excited and scared”.



Yeah.

STEVEN


MATT

And Steve’s great. We just love him.

STEVEN

You love him? Sure. We love him. Love love?

Love love? In love!

MATT STEVEN MATT STEVEN MATT

We’re not getting married!

STEVEN

You’re not getting married.

MATT

No. Of course not. It’s more like... It’s -- wow it’s hard to actually -- umm - OK: we’ve stumbled onto something interesting -- really interesting that...makes...everything else...not seem...so hard. That’s good, right?

(Beat.)


11-12-15

60.



No. No?!

STEVEN MATT

STEVEN

No. I don’t think this is you.

MATT

What do you mean?

STEVEN

This isn’t you. You wouldn’t do this.

MATT

I am, right? I’m doing it, so it’s me.

STEVEN

No it’s not. You are not this person. You are not ...this.

MATT

You’re being hysterical. It’s not that big of a deal.

STEVEN

Not that big of a deal? Isn’t it -- isn’t it -- kind of a big deal?


MATT

We’re trying not to overthink it.

STEVEN

Clearly.

MATT

Why are you getting hysterical?

STEVEN

Stop calling me hysterical.

MATT

Will you calm down? This is Brian.

Here we go.

STEVEN MATT STEVEN

No no no this is Brian, isn’t it?

MATT

What has he ever done to you?


11-12-15

61.



Umm-


You’ve never liked him! Not true. Not true.

C’mon.

STEVEN MATT STEVEN MATT

STEVEN

Ok true. But I’ve always been really good about pretending.

MATT

I don’t know why you find this so hard to understand.

STEVEN

You -- you -- want this? Seriously? You seriously want this child --



Steve’s not a child.

MATT


STEVEN

He’s not not a child. He says “Dude.”

MATT

You say “Dude”.


Ironically!

Ok ok ok ok ok. Ok.

Breathe. OK.


STEVEN


MATT STEVEN

Ok. It’s one thing to have the odd three-way. Who hasn’t?

MATT

You haven’t. True.

STEVEN MATT

Because you’re fucked up about sex.

STEVEN

What?


11-12-15

62.


MATT

You’re fucked up about sex. You always have been.

STEVEN

I’m fucked up about sex?

MATT

God yes!

STEVEN

What are you talking about?

MATT

You couldn’t get hard with Stephen because you liked him.

STEVEN

I never liked anyone before, it was confusing.

MATT

And c’mon -- what kind of gay man has never had a three way? That’s fucked up.


STEVEN

I’ve always had trouble multi-tasking. You know that. And fuck you, you’re fucked up! You’ve hired a live-in prostitute!



He’s not a prostitute. Is he paying rent?

MATT STEVEN

MATT

He’s saving for law school.

STEVEN

You are two middle-aged men. He can’t be more than 20.

MATT

He’s 24.

STEVEN

As a 24 year old, you wanted to fuck 50 year olds?

MATT

Larry!


--was 33!

STEVEN MATT

And fuck you Steven, we’re hot!


11-12-15

63.


STEVEN

Hot? Hot? You’re a successful man in the prime of your life --

MATT

Exactly.

STEVEN

You’re in the prime of your life and you’re hot?

MATT

Yes I am. Congratulations. Thank you.

You’re welcome.

STEVEN MATT STEVEN MATT

And you know what Steven? Steve’s not a child. He’s a man. A hot man. Like me. Like Brian. You’re the one with a child. How’s that working out for you, huh? How’s the prime of your life? How’s everything going in the spare room?


STEVEN OH MY GOD WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU?

MATT

WHO THE FUCK ARE YOU?


(Esteban enters carrying a tray.) STEVEN

Oh god. No fucking way.


(Steven slumps down in his chair, but Esteban spots him)

ESTEBAN

Guapo!! Esteban! Hola!

STEVEN ESTEBAN STEVEN

Hola! You remember my friend Matt?


11-12-15

64.



Of course! Hey.

ESTEBAN MATT

ESTEBAN

¡Che!, que bueno verte! Guau! Mirá vos! - Te ves re-bien.

You’re looking totally hot!

[It’s great to see you. Wow. You’re looking really ripped.]

MATT

Gracias.

[Thank you.]

STEVEN

Please don’t say you work here too.

ESTEBAN

Oh. No. Not at all. Thank god.

STEVEN ESTEBAN

Very funny. You’re very funny. I’m a volunteer.



You volunteer?!

STEVEN


ESTEBAN

I translate in the pediatrics oncology unit clinic.

(By way of explanation) Twyla Tharp speaks of a truth in action. Words can lie, but movements do not, cannot. And this truth is, I think, what makes dance the most special of the arts. And,for me, as a dancer, there is often too much thinking, too many words in my head in the way of the truth, so when I am dancing, I am always saying: “Esteban, do not think, act”. Twyla Tharp she is speaking only of dance, but for me, you cannot take the dancer away from the person in the world, so in the world I also say “Esteban, do not think..” So when an opportunity comes, like here at the hospital, and it is difficult, it is too much, and first my mind goes “NO”, I stop and remember and ...[I] ”Act!”. And it is great! A beautiful true movement. And maybe sometimes I get into trouble with this “Don’t think”, but that is also a form of learning. Yes?



Yes.

A stunned Matt turns to a stunned Steven. Beat.

STEVEN


11-12-15

65.


ESTEBAN

Sorry, I was here all night.

(To Steven) And now I am still ...wired. So I thought to grab breakfast with my friends before I go home.

STEVEN

Good idea.

I live very close. It’s been a while. Huh?


ESTEBAN


Beat.


STEVEN

Yes, well, it’s been kind of crazy.

ESTEBAN

Are you OK? Yes.

STEVEN ESTEBAN

I mean is something wrong? Are you sick?

STEVEN

Oh. No no no. It’s our friend. Carrie. You remember? With the scarf?


ESTEBAN

Of course. She has not posted for a few days.

STEVEN

Things have gotten -- well, you know. Things have progressed.


ESTEBAN

Is she still -- I don’t know the word --

MATT

Lucid? Aware? Yes.

STEVEN

Just weak. And a little looped out on the medicine.

ESTEBAN

You should let her know that her people are thinking of her. Maybe you should post an update.

STEVEN

That’s a great idea. I will.


11-12-15

66.


(Beat.)

ESTEBAN

Ok, my friends are waving.

STEVEN

Ah.


ESTEBAN

(To Matt)

Good to see you again, Matt. I hope you have a nice Thanksgiving. And Steven--if you need to...--.

STEVEN

Yes. Take Care. Ciao.


ESTEBAN


(Esteban exits) MATT

I didn’t realize you two were so close.

STEVEN

We’re not.


(Beat.) MATT

We better get back upstairs.

STEVEN

Matt? Yeah?

MATT STEVEN

We can take Carrie. I can sleep in Zack’s room on the trundle.



Thank you.

(Beat.) MATT


STEVEN

You go ahead. I’ll be right up. There’s -- um. Esteban, I should --


MATT

Sure. OK.


11-12-15

67.



I’ll be up in a second. SCENE FIVE

STEVEN


The living room in Stephen and Steven’s apartment. Xmas time. Stephen is listening in on the land line. During the course of the scene, he uses his mobile phone to text various people.

We can see the texts--both incoming and outgoing--projected on the wall.


[Dramaturgical Note: Carrie has moved into Stephen and Steven’s and is in the spare room.]

STEPHEN

Zack, I know you love talking to your Grandma Miriam on the phone, but I’m sure that she has things to do.

Stephen texts Steven: Steven where r u?

Well then Zack, you have things you need to do--

For one thing you have to get out of our bedroom and go to yours, and for another you need to change into your pjs and then you--


(yelling offstage) Zack, get off the phone and get out of my room and get ready for bed!

(back on phone) Miriam, is he off?

No! You are not sleeping in my room tonight. And if I find anything missing from my bed table --

Nothing Miriam, don’t worry about it.

Yes, you’re still going to get ice cream when Daddy Steven gets back with it, but you have to be in your pjs.

Miriam, it’s his birthday. A little ice cream isn’t going to-- Zack, Grandma Miriam misspoke, she doesn’t think you’re fat, she’s worried about your getting fat.

That’s a great question. Miriam, do you eat a lot of ice cream?

Miriam we’re just teasing-- Miriam, you’re not fat!

Zack, say goodnight to your grandma.

Stephen texts Steven: Steven ?

Huh?

Yes, you can say goodnight to Carrie, but only if she’s awake. But get in your pjs first -- and no watching TV in her room. And don’t let the cat in.

Don’t be silly, she doesn’t hate the cat.


11-12-15

68.


Top Gear jammys sure. One second Miriam.


Stephen texts Carrie: Zack’s coming 4 goodnight ok? -- no pjs no goodnight. no tv!!


No Miriam, Steven’s out getting ice cream for dessert. Yes still!

I don’t know. Not very far. You can call him on his cell.

Text from Carrie: fascist


You’ll have to ask him. Yes he can be.


Stephen texts Carrie: no kidding no tv!!


You’re welcome to visit, you just can’t stay with us because of Carrie. We’ll put you up at--

No no no no no, Zachary would love to see you. I would also love to see you.

You should call him on his cell and ask him, and then ask him about what’s taking him so long with the ice cream.

Miriam -- kidding.

Stephen texts Steven: Steven ???


I don’t know why Steven doesn’t call you more often, maybe it’s because he’s busy.

Raising a kid is work. I know you worked.

And you were on your own.

Stephen texts Steven: Steven, have you died? And I’m sure you did find time for your mother. Text from Carrie: In pjs.

Miriam, this kind of thing is really between you and Steven. Text from Carrie: Told him he can stay here til ice cream. You’re putting me in the middle--

Text from Carrie: I want some.


Miriam.

Miriam.


Text from Brian: Hey Stud.


11-12-15

69.


Miriam. Miriam.


(Stephen puts down phone for a moment to text)

Stephen texts Brian: Long time no hear


(He picks up the phone, listens for a second, puts it down)

Stephen texts Brian: Way way long time

(He picks up the phone.)


Miriam.

Text from Carrie: Watching tv don’t hate

Miriam.

Miriam, that’s -- OK. Sure, but-- Miriam.

Text from Brian: crazy times with my boys

Miriam, Steven doesn’t really talk to me about his father.

Stephen texts Brian: so i hear!!!

No, I’m not a saint.

Text from Carrie: i love mythbusters the girl is so hot.

Really I’m not.

You’re really sweet, but I’m not. Look, I need to--

Text from Carrie: Ice cream? Zack asking


Uh-huh.

Uh-huh.


Text from Carrie: Not me

Uh-huh.

If you want Steven to phone into your therapy appointment, you should ask him.

Stephen texts Steven: STEVEN WTF?


Right, I’m not going to ask him. Still I’m not going to ask him.

Text from Brian: SO hard. Want pic?


11-12-15

70.


I’m not saying he won’t --

(Call waiting sound)

Miriam.

Hold on. I have another call.

Miriam. I have another call. Hold on.

(He puts Miriam on call waiting) Hello? Oh hey Mom. One sec.

Stephen texts Brian: Mr. 3-way? You can still get hard?

Mom, I’m back.

She’s OK, surprisingly, but like she says in the blog--

right, so you know---

Text from Brian: 3-way! <TONGUE EMOJI> <TONGUE EMOJI>!


He hasn’t gone to bed yet. Hang on, Mom. I’ll tell Zack to pick up.


(He puts his mom on call waiting)


Miriam, I have to go, it’s my Mom. She wants to wish Zachary happy birthday. She hasn’t--

Can you just call her after Zack has--

The ice cream. Yes, you’re right. Hang on.

(He puts Miriam on call waiting)


Mom, I have Miriam on the line. Miriam wants to say hi. I’m going to conf--

She got him a remote helicopter, I don’t know about Christmas.

Stephen texts Carrie: Put Zack on extension. My mom.


Same price as your game. No I didn’t see a receipt!

Hold on. I’m going conference you in.

(He does so)

Mom? Miriam?


Jesus god.


(He puts the receiver down)


Text from Brian: Steve’s hung like a <horse emoji>.



(He picks up the receiver)

Is Zack--? Good.


11-12-15

71.


I will bring you the ice cream the very second it arrives. Yeah, well whining isn’t going to make it come any faster--

Text from Brian: 10 hot uncut inches Zack, thank Granny Susan for the game.

You didn’t like the helicopter better -- you liked it differently.

Text from Brian: not as big as me ;)

Miriam: not helping.

Text from Steven: Sorry. Almost home. Ran into someone

Mom, that’s not really helpful either. Stephen (accidentally) texts Brian: who Stephen texts Steven: who

Zachary, say goodnight to your grandmas.

Text from Brian: Steve! Text from Steven: A friend.

That’s very sweet, Zack. Ladies, it’s been a pleasure.

Text from Brian: Do math. Steve=10” me>Steve


Miriam, I’m not going to ask him about the therapy appointment! -- but I will tell him to call you if he ever gets back!

Text from Brian: 2 giant cocks + your mouth = <HOT EMOJI>.

Bye Miriam.

Mom: Sorry about the game, he loves it and I’m not just being--

Text from Brian: wanna get double fucked?

Mom, I gotta run.

I’m fine. Why do you think something’s wrong? You don’t always know.


Text from Brian: 20+ inches --> yr hole Text from Carrie: We want ice cream.

Everything is --

Text from Brian: sweet cum ---> yr hole.


11-12-15

72.


I don’t know. Everything has been -- well it’s been harder than we thought with Carrie.

Text from Carrie: WE WANT ICE CREAM.

I mean we’re really grateful for the extra time.

Text from Brian: dripping from yr hole

And to see her and Zack together has been--

(Steven enters)

Hang on mom. Hang on.

(to Steven) Where the fuck have you been?

STEVEN

I ran into a friend. Who?

What?


Who did you run into?


STEPHEN STEVEN STEPHEN

(Beat)

STEVEN

That waiter. You know. From my Birthday. Argentine.

Text from Brian: <eggplant emoji><fountain emoji>


It’s the funniest thing, I keep running into him. Like everywhere I go. I haven’t said? It’s so weird.

Text from Carrie: WE WANT ICE CREAM!!!!!

(Beat). STEPHEN

Where’s the ice cream?


The ice cream? The ice cream. I forgot.


STEVEN STEPHEN STEVEN

11-12-15

73.


STEPHEN

You forgot?


Text from Brian: Lick it up

You tell him.


(Steven starts to exit) NO WONDER HE HIDES HIS FOOD.

STEVEN

I’m-


Can you just --? He’s in with Carrie.


Text from Brian: Yt?


STEPHEN


Steven exits.


Text from Carrie: You there?

Text from Brian: Your phone covered in <party hat emoji>?

Stephen turns off his cell. He picks up the landline.

STEPHEN

Hey Mom. Mom? Can I come over?


SCENE SIX


Hey.


Hey.


(Lights out.)


The living room in Stephen and Steven’s apartment. If there were Xmas decorations, they’re gone. Steven sits alone lost in thought. After a moment, Carrie enters. She looks great.

STEVEN CARRIE

STEVEN

Wow. Looking pretty good.

CARRIE

Thanks.


11-12-15

74.



Wow.


I know, right? So--

STEVEN CARRIE


STEVEN

I was just sitting here over my cup of Maxwell House thinking about what I’m going to miss most about your being here.

CARRIE

I want to play! Excellent.

My painkillers?

STEVEN CARRIE STEVEN

God no. I’ve been skimming off the top the whole time. I’m set for years.


CARRIE

My good looks? I haven’t exactly looked my best--

STEVEN

Definitely not your good looks.

CARRIE

I’ve been called handsome--

STEVEN

By who? What kind of person would say that to a woman? Even a lesbian.



My biting wit? Like a rottweiler!

Rottweilers are witty? No rottweilers bite.

CARRIE STEVEN CARRIE STEVEN

CARRIE

I’m better looking than a rottweiler!

STEVEN

They are a handsome breed.


11-12-15

75.



No they’re not!

CARRIE


STEVEN

No they’re not. Bad metaphor.

CARRIE

Vague. Lax.

STEVEN

Well, everything’s vague and lax at the moment -- so it’s of a piece.



Stephen here? No.

CARRIE STEVEN

CARRIE

I thought maybe he’d come.

STEVEN

Yeah. I thought maybe he’d come too, but --. Yeah.

CARRIE

The Kid?

STEVEN

He’s with Stephen at Grandma Susan’s for the weekend.

CARRIE

I get it. Don’t worry about it.

STEVEN

Since Stephen left, I’ve missed camping out in Zack’s room and hearing him scream in his sleep. Children are such a comfort.



He’s a good kid.


The ice queen melteth.

CARRIE STEVEN

CARRIE

Don’t tell him I said that.

STEVEN

I slept in Zack’s room last night. Like a rock, but then I always sleep like a rock.


11-12-15

76.


CARRIE

Your ability to sleep under any circumstances is probably your greatest talent.


STEVEN

You don’t think it’s my ability to turn Just Enough into Not Quite Enough?



What are you on?

CARRIE


STEVEN

Not all that much. Thank god I don’t have an addictive personality.



Thank god.

CARRIE


STEVEN

It’s just that your impending departure has put me in a philosophical mood.


CARRIE

“You’re not a kid anymore, Robby. I don’t think you’ll ever be a kid again, kiddo.”


STEVEN

Hah! No one can “ruin my sleep,” though.

CARRIE

But you’re crowded with love.

STEVEN

Yeah well, a little less crowded lately. A lot less crowded. Matt is crowded with love.

CARRIE

You need to get over that.

STEVEN

It can’t last. What can’t?

Malcolm in the middle.

CARRIE STEVEN CARRIE

Why do you care so much?

STEVEN

Why don’t you?


11-12-15

77.



Not an answer.


Also not an answer.

CARRIE STEVEN

CARRIE

But I’m not the one being an asshole to my oldest friend.

STEVEN

It’s just that Matt thinks Brian is so fucking perfect.

CARRIE

So?


He’s not!

STEVEN CARRIE

Why do you care so much?

STEVEN

Why don’t you? Not an answer.

Also not an answer.

CARRIE STEVEN CARRIE

Didn’t we just / do this?

STEVEN

Yeah.


I thought so.

CARRIE STEVEN

This! This is what I’ll miss most.

CARRIE

What is?


This. Really?! Really!


STEVEN

(Indicating their banter)


CARRIE STEVEN

11-12-15

78.


CARRIE

I don’t know. Don’t you ever think it’s just noise?

STEVEN

Noise?

CARRIE

Yeah, that all this has been a giant waste of time that’s kept you and me from ever actually accomplishing anything?

STEVEN

Sound and fury -- Exactly.

CARRIE STEVEN

Hmm. I think I’ve accomplished a lot for a failed chorus boy thank you very much.

Let’s see: I’m fun at parties.

CARRIE

If you haven’t been drinking.

STEVEN

What? Then I’m more fun.

CARRIE

Oh yeah.

STEVEN

And I’ve grown very political in my old age.

CARRIE

How?

STEVEN

I’ve given away cartloads of Stephen’s money.

CARRIE

To what?


Worthy causes.


(Vaguely)


STEVEN


CARRIE

And there’s the kid!

STEVEN

Yeah! He’s going to grow up to be the star I never was, even if I have to kill him in the process.


11-12-15

79.



Me on the other hand...

CARRIE


STEVEN

Are you kidding? You’re a celebrity!

CARRIE

Look at how.


Ok.


STEVEN

You’re an amazing waitress.

CARRIE

Please. you’re...[um] See?


STEVEN

(Beat.) STEVEN

Stop. I’m just organizing in my head. Your cabaret show!


CARRIE

Yeah. I was good, right?

STEVEN

You were fantastic! Fuck Backstage!

CARRIE STEVEN

Fuck Backstage! And you’ve had a lot of sex!

CARRIE

I’ve had a lot of sex. A lot. I’ve had a lot of sex.

STEVEN

And you’ve been in love.

CARRIE

I’ve been in love? Lisa!

STEVEN CARRIE

(mabye it wasn’t love?) Lisa! What a cunt.


11-12-15

80.



Yes. Thank you.


Vicki Wodowski, maybe. And...

See? This is so sad.

STEVEN CARRIE STEVEN CARRIE

STEVEN

...--and you’re a good friend.

CARRIE

Thank you.

STEVEN

A very good friend. The Best. And, don’t yell at me for this--



Don’t. It doesn’t-- Zack!

The kid doesn’t count. Sure he does!

CARRIE STEVEN CARRIE STEVEN

CARRIE

It was nothing -- a couple of hormone shots and an outpatient procedure, which took -- what? -- all of an hour. And you guys had to drag me kicking and screaming.

STEVEN

Like Jessica Lange in Frances.

CARRIE

If it makes you feel better, I’m no longer ambivalent about it.



Let me tell Zack. No.

Please.

STEVEN CARRIE STEVEN

11-12-15

81.



Nope, never! Why?

CARRIE STEVEN

CARRIE

Because that was the deal.

STEVEN

You’re so rigid. One day he’s going to wonder why he turned out so handsome -- what am I going to tell him?

CARRIE

He got that from you.

STEVEN

But the extra handsomeness. And fuck you. I am going to miss this most. And I don’t think it’s a waste of time. I mean, even with everything to do--

CARRIE

And what is it you do exactly?

STEVEN

Shut up. Even with everything, there’s still a lot of time to fill, and doesn’t it seem a waste to fill it with...--

CARRIE

Silence?


Fuck silence. Steven--


Beat.

STEVEN


CARRIE


STEVEN

My behavior, god my behavior... well Stephen’s been a pig. And Brian is the definition of a pig and Matt’s --

CARRIE

But you -- you’re --

STEVEN

(Overlapping)

Let me finish. I was going to say that my behavior has been -

- well, it’s been a confusing time.

CARRIE

Vague and lax?


11-12-15

82.


STEVEN

My behavior or the time?

CARRIE

Either/or.

STEVEN

I only slept with Esteban when I ran into him.

CARRIE

You ran into him a lot.

STEVEN

He gets around. And it’s all your fault.

CARRIE

How?

STEVEN

You practically threw me at him.

CARRIE

“A child for warmth and a baker for bread and a prince - for whatever.”


STEVEN

You quote Sondheim like a man.

(Beat.) CARRIE

You know Steven--


Uh-oh.

STEVEN CARRIE

Maybe Just Enough might be ... not quite enough.

STEVEN

But what’s the alternative?

CARRIE

“White. A blank page or canvas” --

STEVEN

THAT’S BULLSHIT. A blank canvas? My canvas has so much shit on it. There’s so much shit on it, it’s -- I don’t know -- it’s 3D. It’s Van Gogh. It’s practically a sculpture! Made of shit. And tears. And spit and sweat and cum and cast albums and pokemon trading cards and food and personal electronics and god knows what else and it’s just a complete mess. How will it ever come clean?


11-12-15

83.


CARRIE

I think the idea is that you get a new, blank, canvas.

STEVEN

Oh. A new canvas. Huh. Fuck that! I’m 43--


47.


CARRIE STEVEN

47--where am I supposed to get a blank canvas?

CARRIE

Good question.

STEVEN

And what if I don’t want to get a new canvas?

CARRIE

That’s an even better one.

STEVEN

Fuck you. I liked you better before you turned into the Buddha.



Namaste asshole.


Uber. Ok.

CARRIE


Carrie’s phone goes off. CARRIE


She turns to go.


STEVEN

Wait a minute. One sec.

CARRIE

Steven, I gotta-- Wait a minute!

Steven, I don’t--

STEVEN CARRIE STEVEN

Give me a minute. Can you give me one minute? I just have to ask you something.


11-12-15

84.


CARRIE

OK, but make it snappy. I have places to go. Things to see. People to do. What?



OK.

What happened? What happened?

Yeah. What happened?

Why isn’t Stephen here?

STEVEN


CARRIE STEVEN

Why hasn’t he come crawling back?

And why did I make him request all those songs when I loved him right from “Some Enchanted Evening”? How could I have been so cruel?


And where is my son? Why isn’t he here? And why does he steal? And why does he scream in his sleep?

And why in the world did he pick the trombone?

And why did I sleep with Esteban?

And why did I sleep with Esteban again -- and why did I sleep with Esteban again after that?

And how does he manage to hold down a hundred thousand jobs

and volunteer?


Why isn’t being a mother everything I thought it would be? And how am I going to find a job? Doing what? What in the world am I qualified to do?


And why did my father leave? Was it because I cried when he gave me the fishing rod? Or did I scare him off with my one boy version of the Pacific Overtures cast album?


And why, god help me, do I like Stephen’s mom so much better than mine?


And why have I found Brian so unbelievably attractive from the moment I met him?

Why didn’t he sext me?


And why am I still miffed that Tammy Grimes -- and it was Tammy Grimes, my love, vomiting all over the restaurant that magical night, not Jean Simmons not Glynnis Johns -- why did Tammy Grimes only want to sing with you?


And how can I hate you, because I do, for getting sick? And then for moving in? And now for … leaving? Could I be a bigger asshole?


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85.


And why do I hate Stephen so much? All he’s done is give me everything I’ve ever him asked for. And love me ... I guess... in his way.

Why am I so angry?

AND WHAT KIND OF GOD WOULD ALLOW THE MOVIE VERSION OF MAME?!!

Why am I going on like this? What’s my problem?

What do I do?


CARRIE

Can I ask you something?

STEVEN

Sure.


Pacific Overtures?


(laughing) Yes.


Ok.


Carrie, what am I--


CARRIE


And she laughs. STEVEN

And soon they’re really really laughing.

CARRIE


She goes up to him kisses him on the forehead. A benediction.

STEVEN


CARRIE

(As in: Be quiet) Steven!

STEVEN

But Carrie --!


Steven! Shhhhhhhhh!!!!


CARRIE


They listen to the silence.


11-12-15

86.



Steven? Steven! Huh?

Matt enters. MATT


Carrie turns to go. STEVEN

MATT

You better come. Her breathing is... Carrie’s ready to go.


Steven looks back to where Carrie was, but she’s gone.

STEVEN

OK.


(”Let’s do this.”) OK.


He looks out, takes a deep breath. (Lights out.)


SCENE SEVEN


Nicely sung. I know.


Outside of Brian and Matt’s Fire Island house on the bay. It’s getting close to twilight. There is a raucous party going on in the background, but where we are, it’s quiet. Steven is alone sitting with an urn next to him. After a moment, Stephen enters.

STEPHEN STEVEN

STEPHEN

Fire Island has never seen the like. You still have it. It was great to behold.



Thank you. And Matt too.

STEVEN STEPHEN


11-12-15

87.


STEVEN

“We were professionals. For a time.”

STEPHEN

And Trainer Steve!

STEVEN


Yes.

(Begrudgingly)


STEPHEN

I didn’t know he could sing.

STEVEN

Neither did I.


He was really good. I know.

Such a surprise! “Surprise!”

I didn’t expect such-- He’s not Adele!

STEPHEN STEVEN STEPHEN STEVEN STEPHEN STEVEN STEPHEN

“And I am Telling You I’m Not Going”

STEVEN

“And I am Telling You I’m Not Going” at a memorial.

(They share a laugh.) STEPHEN

And I am telling you I have never seen “And I am Telling You” performed as a trio.


STEVEN

Nor will you again. Carrie, Matt and I devised it ourselves and used to perplex the tourists with it at the Slop and Sing. We used to do it every night. The manager eventually asked us to stop. He said it was racist.

Are you having a nice summer?


11-12-15

88.


STEPHEN

I’ve had better summers. You?

STEVEN

I’ve also had better summers.

STEPHEN

Zack says you’re working.

STEVEN

Part time receptionist at Matt’s office. I wear headphones.

STEPHEN

Very Judy Holiday. You’ve lost weight.

STEVEN STEPHEN

That was winter. This is summer.

STEVEN

Zack told me you were fat.

STEPHEN

He wants to please his dad.

STEVEN

And he did.


He’s been so good.


I know, and it’s awful.


Where did he go?

STEPHEN STEVEN STEPHEN STEVEN

Claudia took him over to John and Andrew’s for the sleep-over with Max. He didn’t say good-bye? He promised to find you before he left.


STEPHEN

It’s fine. I just spent the week with him. And I can stop by on my way back to the ferry.

Hey -- who knew how great Imagine could sound on a trombone?

STEVEN

That was Imagine?


Steven, you can’t --


STEPHEN


11-12-15

89.


STEVEN

I’m kidding! He was very very brave. Our Zack is not by nature a soloist.


STEPHEN

(in re himself) Like father, like son.

STEVEN

And I guess we’ve found out what happened to Carrie’s scarf.

STEPHEN

I let him wear it. It didn’t seem right to make a big thing about it. Matt said he looked like Steven Van Zandt. I think he looked like Carrie.


STEVEN

Who looked a little like Steven Van Zandt!

(Small Beat.) STEPHEN

Wasn’t that Kate Capshaw with Brian?

STEVEN

Yes! Matt thinks she looks amazing, but with all that money, don’t you think she should look better?

STEPHEN

Ha!

STEVEN

Kate’s very serious about making the moving pic-cha. They are out to Amy Adams.



Oh.

STEPHEN


STEVEN

I know. We’ve all been feigning enthusiasm. Have you read my emails?

STEPHEN

Yes. They were long.

STEVEN

Real estate slows down in August. I have a lot of time at the front desk. You haven’t responded.

STEPHEN

I didn’t think email was the right forum.

STEVEN

And what would be the right forum?


11-12-15

90.


STEPHEN

You know, a funny thing happened...

STEVEN

How is this for a forum?

STEPHEN

Lovely, “absolutely lovely”.

STEVEN

A Comedy Tonight? Send in the Clowns. Frederick!

Desiree!

STEPHEN STEVEN STEPHEN

Desiree, isn’t that your Argentine waiter I noticed over there?



Where?

STEVEN


STEVEN

By the bushes. Talking to Trainer Steve.

(Small beat) STEVEN

You’re not going to believe this --

STEPHEN

I don’t.

STEVEN

--but he just turned up.

STEPHEN

Did he!

STEVEN

Seriously. Popped out of nowhere without any warning. As he is wont to do.



Is he now.

STEPHEN


STEVEN

Turns out Esteban is a great friend of Trainer Steve’s and Steve invited him out -- weird, right? It’s been slightly awkward all week.


11-12-15

91.


But there hasn’t been anything, you know, untoward. And I wouldn’t have. Even if he asked.

Which he hasn’t. I swear.

Stephen, I swear.


(Steven picks up the urn).

Stephen. Look. I’m swearing.

STEPHEN

Nice staging! Oh.

What? Oh.


(Stephen sees something offstage). STEVEN

STEPHEN

It seems that Trainer Steve and that Argentine waiter are

very good friends.



Oh dear. Oh my. And --

--...into the woods.

STEVEN STEPHEN

STEVEN/STEPHEN


STEPHEN

There might be poison oak in there. Should we say something?

STEVEN

I’m not sure that would stop them.

(Beat.) STEPHEN

You know I didn’t, right? I didn’t. I swear.

STEVEN

You want the urn? Steven, I didn’t.

You told me you didn’t.


You did though.


STEPHEN STEVEN STEPHEN


11-12-15

92.



Yes I did. Once.


Steven... Stephen! Stevenses!


Hey! / Matt!


It’s nice to see you.

STEVEN

(Steven puts the urn down). (Beat.)

MATT


STEVEN/STEPHEN STEPHEN

MATT

It’s nice to see you two. I mean, it’s nice to see you two -- in the same place. Together. But it’s also nice to see you, too -- also. My god, what was in that punch?

(to Steven) Did you...[try it?]?

STEVEN

No.

MATT

(To Stephen, taking him in) You good?

STEPHEN

I’m fine.

MATT

“I’m the hostess with the mostes’ on the ball”

STEPHEN

You sure are.

MATT

Carrie would have liked it. Hot chicks.

STEPHEN

Absolutely.

MATT

Though I think it would be best for all concerned if we got Mrs. Spielberg out of here sooner rather than later, before she has a Sapphic accident.

STEPHEN

Great job on the number.


11-12-15

93.


MATT

I know. And what about Trainer Steve?

STEPHEN

What a voice!


He’s like an angel!

MATT STEVEN

Somewhat like an angel, yes.

MATT

Have you seen him? Who?

Steve. Steve?

STEPHEN MATT STEPHEN MATT

He seems to have disappeared.

STEVEN

Nope.


We haven’t. Definitely not.

STEPHEN STEVEN MATT

Where can that boy have got to? You can never find him when you need him. It’s like having a child.

STEPHEN

Almost exactly like that.

(Matt sees the urn) MATT

And that’s where you’ve got to. Hey old friend, I was afraid you’d wandered off.


STEVEN

She wanted to see the sunset.


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94.


BRIAN

(Entering) YO COCKSUCKERS!


MATT

Could that be my beloved?

(They all greet him) BRIAN

What are you cocksuckers doing back here?

MATT

It is. It is my beloved!

BRIAN

You’re missing all the fun. This is fucking fantastic. Hey, I came this close to making out with The Most Beautiful Boy in the kitchen who turned out to be The Most Beautiful Girl. And maybe we made out a little anyway.

MATT

Poor Brian. It’s confusing. None of us are used to partying with lesbians.



Hey look at us. What?

It’s all of us. So it is.

ALL FOUR OF US.


It is.


Aramis, Porthos, etc.! Maxine, Patti, etc.!

BRIAN STEVEN BRIAN STEPHEN BRIAN MATT BRIAN STEVEN

STEPHEN

There are only three Andrews sisters.

STEVEN

Did you learn nothing from the performance today?


11-12-15

95.



I stand corrected.

STEPHEN


BRIAN

When was the last time? The four of us?

STEPHEN

Ages.


The funeral?

MATT BRIAN

I mean the four of us NOT AT A FUNERAL. FUCK YOU FUNERAL.

STEPHEN

This is a funeral. THIS IS NOT A FUNERAL.

It’s funeral adjacent. With a pool and a deck!

BRIAN MATT STEVEN BRIAN

(seeing the urn)

FIVE!! IT’S FIVE. FUCK FOUR. IT’S ALL FIVE OF US. IT’S A PARTY OF FIVE.



Like the Jacksons! Or the Dionnes!

STEVEN MATT

BRIAN

(to the urn)

Hello handsome. Thank you for the nice party.

MATT

Brian, my love, have you seen Steve? He is lost and I am on a quest to find him.



Steve? Yeah!

Fuck Steve.

BRIAN MATT BRIAN

11-12-15

96.



What?


Fuck Steve! But --

MATT BRIAN MATT

BRIAN

(To Matt)

Come hither wench. But --

MATT BRIAN

Shut the fuck up and give us a kiss.

MATT

What?

BRIAN

Shut the fuck up and give us a kiss!

MATT

How can I refuse you when you talk so sweet?


(Matt and Brian share a passionate kiss).

BRIAN

Excuse us, cocksuckers, will you? We need a moment.


As they start to leave, Brian grabs Matt’s pants from behind.

MATT

[I’m the] Coppertone baby!

(They exit.) STEPHEN

I hope they’re not planning on the bushes. Oh, they are!

STEVEN

I don’t need to see that.

(Beat) STEPHEN

Thank god we were never that dysfunctional.


11-12-15

97.



Yeah.

STEVEN


(They laugh)



Do you want to get a plate?

STEPHEN

No.

STEVEN

Then how about a roll in the bushes? It’s what all the cool kids are doing.



With you? Who else?

STEPHEN STEVEN

STEPHEN

There seem to be a wide range of options in there.

STEVEN

True. Poison oak.

STEPHEN STEVEN

Maybe. Maybe there’s poison oak.

STEPHEN

Are you willing to take that risk?

(Small beat) STEVEN

No.


Me either. Steven?

Yes Stephen?


Hello.


STEPHEN


(Beat) STEVEN

(Beat) STEPHEN


11-12-15

98.



Hello.

STEVEN


(Beat) STEPHEN

Can I -- [say something]?

STEVEN

Please.

STEPHEN

Do you think it would it be different?

STEVEN

What? Oh, if we...[got back together]

STEPHEN

Yeah.


Yes.

I don’t know. Does it matter?


Yes.

I don’t know. Fuck.


STEVEN


STEPHEN

(He starts to lose it) Fuck. Fuck--

STEVEN

Stephen --

STEPHEN

Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck. Fuck.

STEVEN

Stephen, give me your hand. Give me your hand.

STEPHEN

Why? Why?! Why?

STEVEN STEPHEN STEVEN

I don’t know. Just give me your hand.


(Steven reaches out to him and after a moment they tentatively join hands.)


11-12-15

99.



There.

(Beat)


(Lights out) End of play.



11-12-15