for my life still ahead, pity me…
Setting: A raucous costume party at an apartment in San Francisco. Late night in one of the bedrooms.
JEN 20s-30s. Does something artistic. Looking for love, or sex, or attention. Thought it would be clever to come dressed as a historically obscure bisexual opera singer to the costume party.
CHRIS 20s-30s. Brainy, charismatic, no bullshit. She’s a “warm in her sunshine and cold in her shadow” kind of person. Wasn’t looking for love or sex.
DAN 20s-30s. Underdeveloped dude character.
In the blackout George Michael’s “Freedom” plays. We hear party sounds offstage and orgasm noises onstage. Lights up on JEN and CHRIS on a bed, putting themselves back into the costumes they arrived in – JEN as Julie d’Aubigny, CHRIS as Freddie Mercury. It is clear that CHRIS has just treated JEN to an incredible orgasm.
JEN (kissing her) Well, that wasn’t where I expected this evening to go.
CHRIS You have to raise your expectations.
JEN Hey, not all of us go through life looking like Freddie Mercury.
CHRIS Oh, I’m a mild-mannered engineer in real life. Don’t let these tight pants fool you.
JEN Well, they’re working for you, or you’re working them –
They kiss again
CHRIS You’re a great dancer. And a great kisser.
JEN You just like my fancy hat.
CHRIS And your floofy shirt. Who are you supposed to be, again?
JEN I’m um, Julie d’Aubigny, she was this French opera singer from the 17th century who also liked to cross-dress and challenge men to duels. She’s kind of a bisexual icon.
CHRIS Oh, I guess we have that in common!
CHRIS In our iconography at any rate.
JEN Ah, so you’re like, totally gay?
CHRIS I’m more Demi.
JEN Demi-gay? Demi Moore?
CHRIS Demi-sexual, it’s kinda like being asexual except for certain, limited situations and people. And Demi Moore. But only in “Ghost.” Really only that haircut.
JEN Huh, I’ve never heard of that. I guess I should be flattered?
CHRIS I’m being a little facetious. Usually I only can have sex with people I’ve known for a while and am really emotionally connected to. But, like I said, I like your floofy shirt.
JEN So maybe you’re floofy-sexual.
CHRIS Oh, yeah, I’m a total “Floof.”
Chris kisses Jen
JEN Um, I should get a Lyft home, (she pulls her iPhone out of her tall boot) do you want to
split a ride, or…?
CHRIS Oh, I’m good, I can walk home from here.
JEN Oh! Yeah, right, engineer, you can afford SOMA rents.
CHRIS Yeah, with four other roommates –
JEN What do you all work for the same tech firm, take a Google bus to work –
CHRIS Yes, no.
JEN Yes, you all work at the same company? (Chris nods) I couldn’t do that.
CHRIS Well, they provide housing for transplants to the Bay Area, but I actually get along really well with all of them so it’s worked out.
JEN God, I would end up sleeping with two of them and then not be able to face them at work, and then lose my job and –
CHRIS Bisexual problems.
JEN Pan-sexual problems.
JEN Actually a friend accused me of being attention-sexual. Like I’ll have sex with anyone who pays attention to me.
CHRIS (laughing) That’s good. Probably describes a lot of people. And I’ll try not to take offense.
DAN enters, dressed as William Shakespeare.
DAN Oh! Hey… sorry… Chris?
CHRIS Dan, hey, what’s up?
DAN Oh, just, Josie said the bathroom was down the hall –
JEN I think this is a master bedroom, there should be a bathroom through there –
She gestures to another exit.
DAN Cool, thanks, won’t be long, sorry to bother you two –
He exits through the other door, to the “bathroom.”
JEN You know that guy?
CHRIS Yeah, he’s one of the four roommates, Dan.
JEN And he’s your co-worker.
CHRIS That too.
JEN I didn’t know there were so many attractive engineers out there, I think I went into the wrong line of work, for/multiple reasons…
CHRIS You want me to leave, so you can be all “accidentally” alone when he comes out of the bathroom?
JEN …would you mind? I mean, I’ve fucked two roommates before, but not in the same night, and they weren’t also co-workers –
CHRIS Ok, this got weird –
JEN I’m kidding! Of course that’s weird.
Dan re-enters, rubbing his hands
DAN Great loo in there, like three different hand lotions.
JEN Hey Dan, I just noticed we’re all three famous bisexuals!
DAN I’m um, I’m Don Juan.
JEN Oh, you look like William Shakespeare.
DAN (nods awkwardly) Well, see ya. (to Chris) You gonna be up in time for the blini making contest tomorrow morning?
CHRIS Not sure yet.
DAN Cool, cool, well goodnight ladies. I mean guys. I mean friends?
CHRIS Good night, Dan.
CHRIS Were you just flirting with him?
JEN What? No, I just thought it was a funny coincidence.
CHRIS (nonchalantly) Well, this has been fun, I’m gonna make my way home…
JEN Hey, I want you to know that the whole “attention-sexual” thing doesn’t apply to this situation. I definitely noticed you early on. I’m a huge Queen fan, and you make a dead sexy Freddie Mercury.
CHRIS Do you know the song 39?
CHRIS Not that “huge” of a Queen fan.
CHRIS It’s ok, it’s, it’s a really great song about these space explorers who go on a year long voyage, but when they come back all this time has past due to special relativity and time dilation. All their loved ones are dead, but they’re the same age. So I think there’s this hope that in the future they’ll be able to manipulate time again to come back together.
Jen is using her phone, Chris thinks she’s getting that Lyft.
Sorry, I should let you get that Lyft.
“39” starts playing on Jen’s phone, Jen smiles.
That’s the song.
They listen for a bit.
So it’s not Freddie Mercury singing on this track, it’s actually the Queen lead guitarist Brian May, who was also an astrophysicist. When you get to the last line it’s the most tragic, he says: “For my life still ahead, pity me.”
JEN (considers the line) Do you ever feel like you’re actually in someone else’s parallel universe? Like the real you is in some other time and space doing real stuff and you’re just kind of like an awkward echo out here?
CHRIS (laughing) Your concept of the multiverse might need a little fine-tuning, but yeah there’s some evidence for that feeling.
JEN Alright, Ms. Rocket Scientist.
Chris looks at her.
JEN Holy shit, you’re a rocket scientist!
CHRIS I work with fruit flies.
CHRIS We send them into space. Because they reproduce so quickly we can study the effects of space travel across multiple generations.
JEN Wow, just like the song. So does like relativity – or what did you call it, time dilation? – fuck them up, too?
CHRIS It does! Fruit fly genetics are actually pretty similar to ours, so we look at the various degenerative diseases that happen during space travel. As far as their personal lives, well that’s still beyond what the scope of science can measure.
JEN Maybe we’re in some kind of crazy time dilation right now, with Mademoiselle d’Aubigny and Freddie Mercury having hot Demi-sexual sex in San Francisco in 2018?
CHRIS I do think these two would have been into each other –
JEN Your science talk is turning me on –
Jen and Chris start making out again, until interrupted by Dan again.
DAN Hey, sorry, I left my “doubloons” in the bathroom –
He goes into the bathroom again.
JEN I think that was an inter-dimensional cock-block!
Dan quickly reemerges with an old-timey coin purse.
DAN So, was Shakespeare actually bisexual?
JEN Oh, yeah, totally, his one-hundred-twenty-six sonnets addressed to the “fair youth?” His many sad gay sailor characters, all named Antonio?
DAN Maybe he was just gay?
JEN Well, there was still Anne Hathaway/who he had
DAN Not the actress –
JEN and CHRIS Not the actress –
JEN She was his wife, and they had three kids before he moved to London to become famous and sleep with a bunch of people of all genders.
CHRIS Maybe he was attention sexual?
DAN Maybe all guys are?
JEN …Dude, did you just make up a new hashtag MAGA?
DAN Maybe…all…guys…heh, yeah I did.
CHRIS Maybe All Guys Are Attention Sexual. Hashtag MAGAAS (pronounced Mag-Ass)
JEN It’s an improvement. And I wouldn’t be surprised if Shakespeare was. He must have had an ego on him. God, I bet he never imagined where we would be now –
DAN Yeah, just a bunch of crazy bisexuals, hanging out –
He tries to sit on the bed and make a move
JEN Pan-sexuals –
CHRIS (pushing him off the bed) Demi-sexuals –
JEN (pulls out her plastic sword and waves it in his direction) Intergalactic-sexuals!
Chris shoves him out the door
CHRIS See you Monday morning, Dan!
DAN (off) Great costumes!
Chris and Jen look at each other, Chris moves seductively to Jen.
Lights up on JULIE D’AUBIGNY, singing “39” operatically.
Don’t you hear my call though you’re many years away
Don’t you hear me calling you
Write your letters in the sand
For the day I take your hand
In the land that our grandchildren knew
End of play.