Aha!

This one is just titled AHA! in my docs… So that’s its title!

Aha!

By Tiel Kinsner

Melanie: Hey Tom… You up?? Wake up! I need to talk to you.

Tom: Wuzzgoinon??

Melanie: Put some pants on and come out and talk to me!

Tom: Gimme a sec. Geez.

Melanie: Hurry!

Tom: Where’s the fire, Mel? It’s only like eight. God, you look like hell!

Melanie: I feel like the loser of a cock fight.

Tom: Ah! Is that what you need to talk about then?

Melanie: Um. Yes, actually.

Tom: Who is he?

Melanie: Well…

Tom: Melanie Ann! Not again?!

Melanie: I know! I know… At least last time I remembered coming home with someone. This one… is a surprise.

Tom: How do you find yourself in these messes? Isn’t it always better to go to the man’s place? I’d give you that courtesy. It’s what a real lady does you know. And when did you get in?

Melanie: Feels like ten minutes ago.

Tom: Yeah, I bet. Need a beer?

Melanie: So badly. Thanks.

(Tom exits and returns with two beers)

Tom: So what happened??

Melanie: I remember sitting at the bar at Joanie’s when this blonde approached me.

Tom: Was he good or did you have beer goggles on?

Melanie: You know that my beer goggles make me more picky rather than less.

Tom: Thank God for small favors, right?

Melanie: So, we got to talking and I remember thinking, “Wow, this is awkward. I’m not taking you home,” but as we sat there and talked more I just… must have changed my mind.

Tom: Well, duh. So he isn’t your usual beach body, so what? I bet he was thrilled at his good fortune. And the conversation was good so he has a brain. Well done. Maybe you should get his name this time and actually try going on a date or two before you hit the sheets again.

Melanie: Shut up! God, you don’t even know! I’m so embarrassed!!

Tom: You’re a real piece of work. Just because a man can’t model underwear doesn’t mean he’s worthless.

Melanie: I know that!

Tom: Prove it! See this guy again!

Melanie: I don’t think I can.

Tom: Why the hell not?! He’s married?

Melanie: No.

Tom: He’s reaaaaallly big? Too Big? No, He’s small? Like really short? You know what I’m talking about.

Melanie: No.

Tom: He’s disfigured? No wait, he’s a big queen and after a few too many thought you were a boy? Can I have his number?

Melanie: No! God!

Tom: Well then what?! You’re so secretive! When do you ever make me pull teeth like this? Wait… is he still here??

Melanie: YES!

Tom: Shhhhhhh!!!!!

Melanie: Oh god!

Tom: He’s up!

(The bedroom door opens and a woman enters)

Woman: Which way to the facilities?

(Melanie points toward the bathroom without looking at Woman and Woman exits)

Tom: What the f-

Melanie: AHHHH!

Tom: You came home with a chick?!

Melanie: I was flattered!! I just didn’t think it would go that far!

Tom: This is so frikkin-

Melanie: Messed up?

Tom: No, I was going to say awesome.

Melanie: What?!

Tom: I thought it would happen eventually, the way you go through men like they’re so much old newspaper. Now you have to spill it all!

Melanie: Wait, what?

Tom: Details! I want them, you have them. Give it up, Ellen!

Melanie: You think… I’m g…. A le…. That I like….

Tom: Fish tacos? Dirty pillows? Ham wallets? Going down into town for the all you can eat sea food?

Melanie: Stop! Stop! Stop!

Tom: What was it like? Not that I really want to know, because we both know how I feel about sex with women, but tell me anyway and I’ll pretend not to be grossed out.

Melanie: That’s the worst part! I can’t remember anything!! I could have completely clammed up-

Tom: PFFFFFT!!!

Melanie: Oh, Grow up. And I wouldn’t know! I kind of want to ask, but I’m terrified of talking to her.

Tom: Ok. All vagina jokes aside, I’m surprised at you. We’ve been best friends for how long now and all of a sudden you’re, what, afraid of gay people?

Melanie: No! Of course not!

Tom: What then? You’re ok with gay men, but a lesbian is suddenly some different and hostile species? People are just people, Melly.

Melanie: No! No! No!! It’s just that if I talk to her and she tells me…

Tom: That you went downtow-

Melanie: Then I won’t know where to go from there. I’ll know… you know?

Tom: And what exactly will you know? A little more about yourself?

(Melanie shrugs. Woman enters again)

Woman: Mind if I shower?

Tom: Be our guest! Towels are under the sink.

Woman: Thanks.

(Woman exits left)

Tom: Um… there is no logical reason why you shouldn’t give her the courtesy of a word or two, you know.

Melanie: I’m being ridiculous. I know it. But what if I assume we did… you know… and we didn’t? I’d make a total ass of myself. I could have just offered a drunken stranger a bed for the night… or something.

Tom: A bed that you slept in too?

Melanie: Yeah… or something?

Tom: How much clothing did you both have on respectively when you woke up?

Melanie: Well maybe we decided that it was too hot to sleep with clothes on.

Tom: Wow, I think you can almost touch those clouds out there if you keep reaching like that.

Melanie: Ok. I, ok. When she comes out, I’m going to talk to her. I’m just going to say, “……..…” Crap.

Tom: Now that’s a way to start a conversation.

Melanie: No! I don’t remember her name.

Tom: Mildly problematic but I do think you can avoid using proper nouns this once.

Melanie: I’ll just say, “Thanks for the great evening! There’s the door!”

Tom: No wonder you can’t keep a man.

Melanie: Ok then, instead I’ll say, “Woman-that-I-slept-with-without-bothering-to-remember-your-name, I’m going to go into the kitchen with my beer since I’m uncomfortable with you being here because I’ve never had sex with a woman before and now my roommate is telling me he’s thought I was a lesbian for some time without telling me so would you like some toast?”

Tom: Breathe honey, breathe! What’s really the cause of all this panic? It’s not the first stranger you’ve woken up with.

Melanie: Just the first female stranger.

Tom: Once again, not a different species. She isn’t a horse. You’d have remembered that.

Melanie: I know, I know – wait, what?

Tom: All I’m saying is that your panties are in a wad because there’s something you’re not willing to look at here. Any ideas?

Melanie: I did have a kind of amazing talk with her at the bar last night. She reads. And draws, I remember that. She’s smart. And she’s kinda pretty.

Tom: Your toes are peeking out, lets see if we can’t work on the rest of you. I think you’re afraid to talk to her because she may have seen something in you that you’ve been avoiding. Seen it from across the room… Through the smoky air… Didn’t you feel the weight of her stare?

Melanie: Moving on.

Tom: I’m serious! You need to face this if you ever want to be at peace with yourself. Take it from someone who knows. Believe me, I dated my share of girls, but it was never satisfying. I mean, just how many serious relationships have you had with men?

Melanie: Um…

Tom: Exactly.

Melanie: You’re one to talk, Mr. I’m Still Looking For Mr. Right.

Tom: Yes, but I am looking for Mr. Right. What are you so afraid of? How is this situation any different than all the other times you’ve woken up with strangers, apart from a couple of inches? I want love, and friendship, and passion, and family. I’m looking. Are you? Or are you just looking for a good time? What was the name of the last man, who wasn’t gay, that you had a conversation like the one you had with Miss Sings In The Shower in there?

Melanie: Wow… Ok. I’ll talk to her.

(Tom looks at Melanie with disbelief)

Melanie: Really.

Tom: Oh, my little lesbian birdie. Spread your wings and fly.

Melanie: I swear to God! I’m going to punch you.

Tom: No! Steps backwards!! Please, always forward, if never straight.

Melanie: I hate you.

Tom: I hate you too, here she comes.

(Woman enters toweling her hair. Melanie is fidgety and visibly disturbed.)

Woman: Thanks. Melanie, do you have –

Melanie: A hairdryer? It’s in the cabinet with the towels.

Woman: No, I meant –

Melanie: A beer?

Woman: No thanks –

Melanie: Oh, coffee! Yeah, no. But I’ll go get some, ok?

Woman: Actually, that wasn’t –

(Melanie grabs her purse and runs toward the door)

Melanie: Back in a bit!

Woman: Wow.

Tom: (sighs) Yeah. I’m Tom, by the way.

(They shake hands)

Woman: I’m Lynn. She’s um…

Tom: A total idiot, yes. But, she’s also sweet and caring and my best friend, so give her a chance. I’m really glad you two met actually.

Lynn: She’s not coming back, is she?

Tom: Not a chance.

Lynn: Figures. Why are the pretty one’s always so flighty? Can I leave my number?

(Lynn writes her info down on the note pad on the end table. Fadeout to black)

Scene 2

(Fade in on a bar. Music is loud and Melanie is pounding back shots in a slutty outfit. Various men approach and she throws herself at each. Enter Lynn who locks eyes with Melanie for an uncomfortable moment. As she starts to approach, Melanie takes a step toward her then panics, whispers to one random guy and grabs her purse to leave. Melanie and strange man exit together. Lynn is left with the crowd of men looking dejected. One approaches and she gives him the finger. Fade out.)

Scene 3

(Fade in blue on the apartment that night. Tom is on the couch with popcorn and a remote control. Enter stumbling Melanie, very drunk and with a strange man)

Melanie: Shh sh sh… Donnn wake up Tom… He’s gon be pissed ame.

(Tom stands up and turns on the lights)

Tom: Too late.

Melanie: Toooommm! I love you!

(Melanie hangs on Tom’s shoulder)

Tom: Um. That’s nice. Dude, leave.

Man: Hey! Hey. Hey. The lady din ax me to.

Tom: The word is ask, and she’s so drunk it’d be date rape. Piss off. Now.

Man: Hell wit choo bof. Kiss my –

Tom: Yeah, no thanks.

(Slams door in Man’s face. Melanie stumbles toward the couch)

Melanie: That was Brine… Or Matt…

Tom: Or Jim, or Scott, yes, I get it. Be a good girl now and come sit down.

(Melanie sprawls on the couch, Tom sits on the back)

Melanie: Wha’s on?

Tom: Oh, you know the one about the stupid girl that tries to solve all her problems by drinking and having sex with strangers. It’s on all the time around here.

(Melanie begins throwing popcorn at Tom)

Melanie: You pissant piece of-

Tom: Shut up and listen. You’re behaving like a child and I’m sick of watching you wreck yourself like this.

Melanie: If this is about… I’m, I’m not gonna talk about her. I’m, I’m gonna go to bed. I’m not –

Tom: I’m moving out.

Melanie: Wha? No! You can’t.

Tom: Mel, it’s too much.

Melanie: This is about some woman?

Tom: This is about you, Mel. You’re a mess and it’s getting pretty unbearable to watch. This morning, I told myself if you actually came back with coffee we might have something to talk about, but I know you too well. I just hoped you’d surprise me and do something decent. Her name is Lynn by the way. But you’d have known that if you didn’t always run away from the real things in your life.

Melanie: Can we talk about this in the morning? The room’s doin’ funny stuff…

Tom: Sure. You can call me. I won’t be here.

(Melanie begins to sob and Tom calms down and puts his arms around her)

Tom: (sighs) You’re such a bitch.

Melanie: Bitch yerself.

Tom: What am I going to do with you?

Melanie: Don be mad ame…

Tom: For some idiotic reason, I’m not.

Melanie: Good…

Tom: You know, I’ve been messed up before too. I get it. I do.

Melanie: Shuddup. When dijou ever screw up yer life?

Tom: Please. While I wasn’t exactly sleeping around, I was doing everything in my power to forget how crappy I felt inside about being me. I don’t drink anymore for a reason.

Melanie: Pffft.

Tom: I didn’t choose to be gay, and I never would have chosen to disappoint my family if it wasn’t just who I was. It hurt so much when my mom told me she’d given up on having grandkids because it wouldn’t be right. Like something would be wrong with me having children and raising them with a man that I love. I didn’t know what to say to her then, but I know now that her judgment wouldn’t make me a bad parent and it wasn’t any reason for me to dislike myself.

Melanie: Mm.

Tom: You’re confused, everything you thought you knew about who you were is kinda up in the air. You’re scared of being yourself because you’re terrified of being responsible for your own happiness. This could mean big changes, and that makes you cling desperately to what’s familiar.

Melanie: (Sleepily) Mm.

Tom: You drink to forget how rotten that feeling is. You’re terribly lonely and can’t figure out what’s missing. Sleeping around makes you feel wanted by someone, anyone, but it’s hollow and you know it. Real connections are scary. What if you’re not good enough? What if you’re damaged goods? Who would want you with missing pieces? So the bargain bin hunters at the bar are all you feel like you’ve got left.

Melanie: (mumbling) I hate the dollar store…

Tom: But Mel, you’re not missing pieces or damaged. You’re great. You’re witty and fun to be around. You’re creative and hard working and anyone would be lucky to have you in their life. I’m lucky to have you in my life, even if you make me crazy, and I’ll back you up. I’ll be there for you while you sort this mess. You can figure things out. It’ll take time and probably some failures, but you can. Maybe, meeting Lynn was the wake up call you needed. Maybe, it’ll help you find what you’ve lacked and maybe it won’t, but we both know that this way you’ve been living isn’t right for you… Mel?

(Melanie is asleep and has begun to snore on Tom’s shoulder. Tom sighs)

Tom: Pearls before swine.

(Tom lays her down on the couch, spreads a blanket over her, and kisses her head.)

Tom: Goodnight Melly.

(Tom goes to exit but turns back)

Tom: Just in case.

(Tom picks up the paper off the end table that Lynn wrote on and slips it into one of Melanie’s hands and exits. Melanie wakes herself up with a snore. She sleepily rubs her face with the paper in her hand, then looks at it. She pulls out her phone and drunk dials Lynn. It goes straight to voicemail)

Melanie: Voicemail… Um, yeah, hi. It’s Melanie from, um yeah. So, sorry about what happened with the coffee thing. I was going to, well, no I wasn’t. See the thing is, what if you hate me? You probably do, right? But you hate me ’cause I was a bitch, not because I suck. Wait I mean I don’t suck, I just, you know, have issues. We all have issues, I just, you know have them too. And what if you thought mine were really bad? Not that they are so very bad, but… Shit! And it cut me off…

(Melanie calls again)

Melanie: Yeah, um Mel again. Sorry. It hung up and I hadn’t made my point yet. It’s taking me a long time to get to it, I know, and I can’t believe I’ve got the balls enough to even call… twice, but here I am, calling you. I’m calling you because you’re great. Well, I think you are. I don’t know. I have to be honest, I don’t remember a whole lot about the other night. I drank way too much, but I wish I remembered, because our talk started nice. It could have ended up… Again with the beep…

(Melanie calls again)

Melanie: Ok, last call, I promise. I’m trying to say… I’m… I like you. I want to get to know you. So please, forget how stupid I was and give me a chance. I’d like that. You might not like me, but I’ll risk it. I like you… So yeah, maybe call me back. (hangs up) Fuck me.

(lights out)

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