September 19, 2006

A Play A Day #159



Setting: In a public library. Lil is searching in the stacks. She is looking frantic and nervous, flipping through books, consulting a small piece of paper in her hand.

Lil: (mumbling but audible) Phobias, phobias, phobias, freeing yourself of, Live Without Fear, Fear Nothing... don't see how that's possible... Claustragorarachna: The fear of being outside inside enclosed spaces filled with spiders... guess that's better than being inside spiders that are outside... think everyone would be afraid of that... Ahhh... where is this... the computer said it was here.... (Sky enters, she notices him, he doesn't see her, she begins whatever sort of manipulations are necessary to make sure that Sky does not see her.) Crap... crap... crap... oh woman, no... no... no... I knew I shouldn't have come out here... I knew this would happen... I knew it... (she continues her attempts at hiding, much nervous adlibbing, she begins constructing a wall of books by rapidly removing all the books off the shelves and stacking them hurriedly in the aisle. When she has pretty much finished this task, but not quite, Sky crosses in front of her aisle, Lil has ducked down behind her wall of books, Sky is pretty intrigued, so he walks over to look at the book towers, as he gets closer he sees Lil hiding behind them, jumps back a little)

Sky: Oh... hey... hi... sorry, didn't see you. (Lil has scurried away from Sky, up the aisle where she stands in a very nervous state. She is pushing backwards against the shelf, staring at Sky in horror, legs pushing, always moving in some way.) Ummm... sorry... I... (long pause, he is wondering what the hell is going on with this woman) Are these all yours? (picks up one of the books from the stack)

Lil: (blurting out, panicky) Dontouchthat!

Sky: (the book flips clumsily out of his hands) Sorry... I... ummm... are you... okay? (she is nodding her head almost painfully fast, in denial) Can I... do you need... some help? (she continues nodding, realizes it, switches to shaking her head very fast) Okay... well... ummmm... my name's Sky... (starts to hold out his hand, realizes that a handshake isn't in the cards, withdraws it.)

Lil: (indicating the books) Please, don't cross the wall. (pause, Lil fumbles in her pocket for a cigarette and a lighter, gets them, starts lighting a cigarette, smoking)

Sky: Ummm... what... you really shouldn't... I mean... you can't smoke in a library... you really should... ummm... listen, I know you don't know me, but... I know this, they will kick you out really fast if they catch you... and they'll smell the smoke right away... I can already... you know, smell the smoke (she continues) Really, uhh... you just can't do that... in here...

Lil: (whose speech patterns and stresses are of a very nervous person) I... have to.

Sky: What? No. Listen, you can smoke outside. Why don't you just do that? It's a nice night... really, put it out... they are not going to look very kindly on this...

Lil: I'll pass out.

Sky: What?

Lil: (the cigarette is calming her down now) The fear. I'll pass out.

Sky: You'll pass out? From... from fear, you'll pass out?

(Lil nods a lot, quickly)

Sky: Can I ask what fear will make you pass out?

Lil: Androphobia.

Sky: Andro... phobia?

Lil: Can you go now?

Sky: I'm sorry... I just was worried when I saw you there and the book stacks, and then you started smoking... and I thought...

Lil: No... I know... but you have to leave.

Sky: Okay... (starts to go, turns back) You know, talking about what you're afraid of is a great way to not be afraid.

Lil: Tried it! Doesn't work!

Sky: Okay, okay, sorry... I'm just saying that if you want...

Lil: I'm going to smoke another cigarette if you don't go.

Sky: That's... well.... that's more of your problem...

Lil: Yes, but you're doing it!

Sky: What? I don't get what...

Lil: (hissing) I already told you: the cigarette keeps me from passing out...

Sky: But what's the fear? I mean, what is it...

Lil: You! Alright?! It's you!

Sky: What? You mean you're afraid of me? So much so that you're going to pass out... if you... if you don't smoke in a public library?

Lil: Yes!

Sky: Do I know you?

Lil: No!

Sky: I haven't done something that harmed you... in... uhhh... some way that I wouldn't necessarily be aware of?

Lil: No!

Sky: Ohhh... do I look like; like someone who was ... uhh... mean to you in the past?

Lil: No! (mumbling again) please... please leave.... go away go away go away (continues under his next line)

Sky: Then why are you so afraid of me? (sniffing himself) Is it like a smell or something?


Sky: (aware of the volume, trying to bring her volume down by quieting his words a lot) A man?

Lil: Yes...

Sky: Well... yeah... I mean... I know I'm a man, but why...

Lil: Androphobia!

Sky: (catches it this time) Fear... the fear of... men?

(Lil nods vigorously)

Sky: So, I'm making you smoke, because I'm a man (she continues nodding) and you fear men... all men... (she continues nodding, stubs out what's left of her first cigarette, searches in her pocket for more) I'm... really... sorry. I didn't know... I would have left a lot... (she frantically searches for another cigarette, she is coming up empty) Ohhh... I... I guess I'm not helping at all, am I? I'll just... ummm... I meant it, what I said about talking about your fears... so... if... well... good-bye. I'm really sorry about all the... uhhh... well... (starts walking away)

Lil: (giving up her cigarette search) Stay!

Sky: (turning slowly, stepping back toward her wall of books) What? Stay?

(she nods)

Sky: Ummm... okay... (long pause) Did... did... you want to talk... about your ... ummm... fear?

(she shakes her head)

Sky: Uhhh... so what's... ummm... what... why do you want me... to stay?

Lil: (quietly) I'm out of cigarettes.

Sky: Right... okay... Ohhh! I get it... do I have one? No. I don't smoke, never have actually.

Lil: That's... that's not what I meant. I don't have any more cigarettes.

Sky: Okay... yeah... I get that... but, what?

Lil: I smoke the cigarettes when my anxiety gets too high. It calms me down.

Sky: Sure... I gathered that... (long pause) Is that it?

Lil: No... no... I... need something else to calm me down...

Sky: Right... I was leaving so you wouldn't have more anxiety...

Lil: No! I need... love...

Sky: Love?

Lil: Physical... love.

Sky: Uhhh... sex?

Lil: Yes.

Sky: So you're a lesbian?

Lil: What?

Sky: Well, I'm not female, so I don't...

Lil: I'm straight.

Sky: What?

Lil: I love men.

Sky: Men?

Lil: All men.

Sky: How... how is, uhhh... well, just how?

Lil: I have a compulsive sex drive.

Sky: Okay... but you're terrified of men.

Lil: Yes. That's what makes it so great.

Sky: How? I don't...

Lil: If I'm with a man, my anxiety climbs to outrageous levels, I control the anxiety through smoking, if I'm out of cigarettes, my anxiety runs right through me, unabated, which feeds my sex drive, almost makes me pass out, and leaves me with the most amazing orgasms known to womankind.

Sky: Is this... are you a nymphomaniac?

Lil: Would you like to find out?

Sky: I don't think this is really healthy... for you... or for me.

Lil: How would you know?

Sky: I just mean, why don't you masturbate or something?

Lil: The anxiety isn't there then. No anxiety, no drive; no drive, no sex.

Sky: Well, I'm not sure I want to be just another one of your anxiety... ummm... encounters.

Lil: What you mean? You think I do this all the time? I hardly ever run out of cigarettes!

Sky: Well, but you've done it before.

Lil: Yes, a number of times, but I'm careful. I get tested. Condoms are always used.

Sky: Listen, I wish I could say I'm flattered, but being used just to satisfy your sexual desires doesn't seem right.

Lil: Why else do two people have sex?

Sky: Love.

Lil: Ohh... don't give me that...

Sky: What? Love? C'mon... I don't even know your name.

Lil: (getting very antsy) It's Lil. Now do you want to fuck?

Sky: No...

Lil: Okay... then could you please go, because right now, you're feeding my anxiety with no promise of release.

Sky: Welll... okay... but... would we be able to talk after?

Lil: After what?

Sky: The sex.

Lil: I don't know. Usually, I leave very quickly.

Sky: So... this sex would be at my place?

Lil: I don't like the presence of a man in my living space.

Sky: So, only sex?

Lil: Probably.

Sky: Wow.

Lil: I'm just being honest.

Sky: Yes, I can tell.

Lil: I need to know now.

Sky: No strings attached?

Lil: Sorry, there can't be.

Sky: (thinks) I can't do it.

Lil: Okay. Best lay you never had, Sky.

Sky: Can I... just get your phone number?

Lil: What for?

Sky: So we can talk... about your fear of men, maybe.

Lil: I don't think that's a good idea. I can't get nervous if you're not there, and I can't fuck you on the phone.

Sky: So... this is it, then?

Lil: Listen... if I fell in love with you, I wouldn't be afraid of you; so we'd never have sex anyway.

Sky: Alright. Good enough. (holds out his hand toward her) Good-bye, Lil.

(Lights start fading, his arm is extended, she looks at him, then looks at her own arm in surprise, she starts slowly raising her arm, lights out as both arms are fully extended and their fingers are only a couple inches apart, they are staring at each other longingly)


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