"Just because you actually had a sex life in high school and it didn't work out, that doesn't mean the rest of us have to be miserable, too."
Linc and Ralph are fraternal twin brothers in college out shopping together at the local mall. Linc, though openly gay, has always been more popular in school that his straight brother Ralph. Linc is handsome and gifted at athletics, while Ralph as always been a bit more socially awkward. Ralph spent most of high school in his more popular brother's shadow, including the way they relate to their mutual friend Isobel. Though she knows Linc is gay, Isobel still carries a torch for him, though she'd be the first to deny it. Ralph, meanwhile, harbors a crush on Isobel, but she rarely notices him if Linc is in the room. Linc is recovering from a breakup with his first major boyfriend and is frustrated by his lack of ability to share his feelings with someone, even though those around him are trying to reach him. He feels they don't, that they can't, understand.
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copyright 2001 by Matthew A. Everett
RALPH and LINC appear with a rolling rack full of shirts. They flip through the shirts, pulling out one or two to look at, during the following scene.
RALPHAnd you wonder why you have no one to talk to?
LINCI have no one to talk to you because none of you understand.
LINCYou're not gay.
RALPHThis is true. Still, if I'd been dating someone for over a year, and that someone started pressuring me to have unprotected sex, I'd probably wonder, just like you, where this sudden taste for danger was coming from. And if, like you, I found out this certain someone had gotten into risky behavior while in the company of several members of the swim team skinny-dipping in the deep end, I might start to wonder about a lot of things. And I also might be a little less eager to try experimenting.
LINCIt's called barebacking.
RALPHI know. We boring heterosexuals don't have a special name for it. We just call it "sex without a rubber."
LINCSee, this is what I mean.
RALPHYou dump your sense of humor when you dumped this guy?
LINCNo. I just don't think it's very funny.
RALPHYou're right. It's not. It's scary. But if anyone tells you you were right to break it off with him, then you just start going on about how much you miss him and what a great guy he was - you know, before the swim team.
RALPHWe try to be understanding about how much you miss him, and you start going on about what a faithless jerk he was and how can we stand here defending him. We can't win lately.
LINCI just never banked on doing so much of this alone, that's all.
RALPHWelcome to my world.
LINCWhat's that supposed to mean?
RALPHThat was high school, this is college. Clean slate. There are tons more gay guys here than back home. Just pick one.
LINCOh, like it's that easy.
RALPHFor you, yeah, it is.
LINCPlease don't try to tell me it's harder for straight people. I'll be forced to laugh at you.
RALPHFor some straight people, for this straight person, yeah.
LINCHa. Ha. Ha.
RALPH shoves his latest shirt back on the rack.
RALPHJust because you actually had a sex life in high school and it didn't work out, that doesn't mean the rest of us have to be miserable, too.
LINC shouts after him.
LINC stands, alone. Agitated, he rifles through the shirts on the rack a moment.
Then the light changes to something not quite real.
RALPH and LINC stomp down to opposite sides of the front of the stage, both grunting in frustration.
LINCI emerged from our mother's womb before he did.
RALPHTechnically my older brother.
LINCHe's been following me my whole life!
RALPHMom just wanted to get rid of him first.
LINC and RALPH (cont'd)He has no idea how easy he has it!
LINC (cont'd)Being straight.
RALPHHe was captain of the baseball team.
LINCAll he had to worry about was good grades.
RALPHHe was senior class president.
LINCNobody watching him.
RALPHGuys - and girls - following him everywhere he went.
LINCTime to himself, all the time in the world.
LINCNo pressure to constantly be better.
RALPHEverybody knew who he was.
LINCRoom to fail with no one watching, no one judging.
RALPHIsobel following him around since high school.
LINCIsobel not following him around all the time.
LINC and RALPH (cont'd)Some days, I just wanna be him.
RALPH (cont'd)Except for the gay thing.
LINCExcept for the straight thing.
The frustration ebbs a moment.
RALPHI know he's hurting.
LINCI know he's lonely.
RALPHI wish I could help him.
LINCI wish I could help him.
The frustration returns.
RALPH and LINC (cont'd)He's driving me nuts!
RALPH and LINC stalk off in opposite directions, perhaps crossing paths on stage, but not seeing each other, and disappear into the dark, taking the shirt rack with them.
copyright 2001 by Matthew A. Everett