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Fuck Love

By Michael Arduennas

A short theatre piece based on a paper dialogue.

Characters

ONE

TWO

 

ONE. Love me.

TWO. Fuck me.

ONE. Love me.

TWO. Fuck me.

ONE. Love me.

TWO. Fuck me.

ONE. LOVE me.

TWO. FUCK me.

ONE. Love me, love me, love me.

TWO. Fuck me.

ONE. I can not fuck unless I love and am loved.

            TWO. I can not love unless I fuck and am fucked.

ONE. Fuck you.

TWO. Love you.

ONE. Fuck love.



It's gotta get bad before it gets good...

            He sits on the small restaurant’s deck, a cool wind blowing off the bay’s water. Cool enough to make him put on his hoody in order to keep warm despite the fact that it’s midsummer and a reasonably warm day. He credits this to bad circulation from his father’s side; once he’s cold it takes so much to warm up and sitting in the shade with a cool breeze probably doesn’t help. He probably seems slightly odd, however, to the tourists and restaurant staff around him, all mostly in cool summer clothes.

            Not that he minds if cares if other people see him as odd. On this reasonably warm day he was sitting at a seafood restaurant drinking coffee. He’d kind of hoped to be able to order something alcoholic to keep up the short-lived buzz he had from a swig of vodka he’d had before coming to the water-front, but he had limited finances and therefore had settled on a cheap cup of coffee.

            After the second cup the waitress asked if he’d like a third.

            “Is it free refill?” the poor and cheap teenager in him asked as charmingly as he could.

            “It is,” she replied and left to grab the pot.

            When she came back he explained, “I’ve got limited finances,” not that you care, but she chuckled politely as she filled the cup. As soon as she left he began tearing into the sugar packets. He marred the blackness with a 4:1 sugar packet to crème ratio. To his banal delight there were the exact amount of sugar packets left in the paddy, four, after his previous two cups. Twelve packets of sugar divided by three crèmes equal three cups of diluted coffee. The fourth packet was torn a little too low and sugar bounced and danced across the table, into his lap and onto the cover of his book and the wooden deck.

            He’d put down his book when the third cup of coffee had arrived, a Margaret Atwood novel recommended and lent to him by a friend. He’d been reading and drinking coffee for the past couple of hours and could do it no longer, probably because of the jitters from the caffeine. Putting his book in the messenger bag he toted everywhere with him, covered in pins of decorative, political and declarative natures (if the bag could talk, which he kind of wished it could, it would probably introduce itself by saying, “I am a condescending, self-proclaimed artistic teenager teenage-bag who enjoys British trip-hop and an equally condescending Internet celebrity, but I am also closeted at the moment as inside me I have hidden away a homosexual identity along with the June edition of Cosmo UK with a series of nude male celebrity centerfolds.”)

            Pondering on the limited-identity of his pin collecting bag he sipped on his coffee, holding the cup in two shaking hands. Thank goodness some sort of divine, mathematical java god had reduced his sugar and crème resources in perfectly equal proportions, preventing from ordering another caffeine rich drink. He’d already be up all night peeing after two cups. “Cut me off,” he thought.

            He looked around at the tourists milling about the wharf/restaurant/whale watching plaza, his restaurant sat in. Most of the tourists were couples of white men and women ranging from mid-twenties-recently-hitched to gold years-ers. Many of the younger to middle aged couples had hoards of dirty and squinty children following along, licking at ice cream cones or jabbering unintelligibly or both. How some of these mothers retained such fine wastes into middle age after birthing four children was a mystery to him. Since his own mother had popped out three little monsters and hit forty she’d been beyond caring about her weight they must of invented some magical pill or walk in clinic that sucked the fat out of you and had you back to keeping house and working a fulltime job the next day.

            The group of teenagers, the reason he’d chosen this particular restaurant, had long since left their table, chattering stupidly and amicable on their way. He’d more or less followed them and sat a short distance away with his back to them. In all fairness what he had originally been looking for was exactly where they’d led him, a restaurant or café where he could order a cheap alcoholic beverage or even cheaper pop or coffee or whatever, where he could read his book and take in the other human beings living their lives out around him. He’d followed them not because he hoped the teenagers would ask him to sit with them and join in their circle (okay, the faint hope of a hopelessly romantic miracle like that happening still remained, though he’d long since learned people weren’t that caring or aware of others) but moreso because sound of their inane chatter was somehow comforting and consolatory. He was reminded of times he had equally large groups of friends of who he assumed all loved one another as much as he loved each of them (though drama, distance and shifts in personality had long since eroded those friendships to the friends he still kept sniping bitchy comments about one another behind their backs with him in the middle smiling and nodding and more often then not adding into the hateful gossip, hypocrite). He also felt a condescending sense of better-ness about himself by sitting with his backs to the group of friends, a book held high and a thoughtful look on his face.

            “I’m reading a book and expanding my mind. What are you doing with your lives?”

            Making real, human, social connections.

            Having fun.

            One child of a tourist’s family had beamed at him earlier in the evening. He’d smiled back and the child shook it’s hand at him in a mimic of an adult wave and called out “Hoooooi!”

            “Hi,” he replied, friendly as he could. The father moved the child away, apologizing for the child bothering him. From what? A bloody book and a stupid cup of coffee? Why’d he even bother trying to be nice to other people? The father probably assumed, like most adults do, that a teenage boy showing any attention to a child was a pedophile or something. “Well I wouldn’t be attracted to your squinty little girl, if that is indeed a daughter and not a son, for your information I’d be more likely to molest your sons if I was interested in children at all,” which he was not in the least, thanks. “Keep your children so tightly on their leash and they’ll grow up to be just as untrusting and scared of the world and everyone in it as you.” He hoped the little girl-thing turned out to be a lesbian when she grew up, just to give the overly protective and sheltering parents trouble.

            If it was actually a boy he hoped it grew up to be a big ol’ tranny, just to piss the parents off more.

            Wishing bad things on people he was only making assumptions about wasn’t a good thing to be doing, but it made him feel better about the reality he was constantly forced to deal with.

            What reality was that, though? To him the horizon he studied across the bay looked like a bad back drop. How messed up was his perception to think that instead of simply taking in the beauty of the view? And he pretended he sincerely cared about all the people around him, but he knew that if someone dropped dead in front of him at that moment, like mostly people he’d be mildly horrified, followed by an interest in the removal of the immediate reality of a dead person in front of him by getting rid of the body, followed by a not-as-guilty-as-one-should-be-better-them-than-me.

            And who was he to judge other people’s dealing with reality when he himself manipulated it so readily. With his bleach-blonde and obsessively straightened hair, his cover-up-ed face, mascara-ed eyelashes and sunset-color-painted nails, all in an effort to manipulate some ounce of beauty out of his tired and insecure body. And he changed himself emotionally whenever necessary, manipulating others in order to gain some scrap of love he desperately craved. And did he ever find said scrap? Rarely, if not ever.

            He manipulated himself and others to think and act and feel one way, presentably human, when on the inside all he usually felt was numbness with a throbbing lonliness. He smiled and laughed often enough, and cried every once and awhile (though usually by himself), and became emotionally invested in certain things, or angry (though always fleetingly, anger was hard work), but this was all to distract himself from the two rooted emotional constants. Those were his reality, not the fake smiles or the bad backdrops or the I’m-better-than-you-because-I-read or the mean friends or the cheap, free refill coffee.

            He was being asked to leave, not verbally but it was close to closing time and the waitresses were hovering, adjusting chairs or cleaning tables or other closing duties, making sure he saw. He paid his bill, apologizing for using debit on the small bill, but leaving a tip that almost amounted to what he paid for the coffe. An 80% tip made him feel like he had money, which was another altogether constantly false reality.

            He was shivering now, glad he’d put on his hoody earlier. The sun was quickly setting and his hands were freezing. Or maybe that was another effect of the caffeine. Jittery and freezing.

            He slung the messenger bag around his shoulders and departed from the restaurant deck. He’d find a bathroom, as the coffee was already murdering his bladder, then he’d take a walk out onto the wharf, moreso to walk off the caffeine than any other reason. He put his headphones on and pretended he had a soundtrack playing to accompany his life.

 

Gotta get bad before it gets good,

Its gotta get bad before it gets good,

Its gotta get bad before it gets good,

I want it good now,

But it's gotta get bad before it gets good,

That's what you say,

Its gotta get bad before it gets good,

You say stick with me,

You know that you should,

'Cause its gotta get bad before it gets good,

 

You tell me lies,

But you do it with style,

Saying 'it'll come good,

In a little while,

 

You keep on spining your words,

That beguile,

Then you break your promises,

With a film star smile…

 

“Ah, to escape the boredom or reality…”

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A delicate boy in the hysterical realm

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