But Mostly Because it’s Raining by David Mauriello


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      LIGHTS UP ON TOM and MIKE

      TOM laughs, switches off a lamp

      MIKE scurries across and turns the lamp back on

      TOM : Oh, youíre the kind that likes to watch ... to see everything.

      He reaches into his back pocket and pulls out a pocketknife

      He clicks the blade open and with a rush pins MIKE to the wall, knife at MIKE’s
      throat

      MIKES freezes, eyes shut

      TOM runs the knife against MIKE’s throat, then down his chest

      Without MIKE knowing it TOM switches hands, pushing a finger down MIKE’s
      chest while holding the knife safely away from MIKE

      Enjoying his game, TOM makes a phony growling sound, then - as he menacingly
      pushes his hand down towards MIKEís crotch - he says “tick, tick, tick…”

      And then exultantly grabs at MIKEís crotch, laughing at MIKEís shock and confusion

      MIKE, seeing he has been the butt of a joke makes a move to TOM

      The two confront each other

      There is a standoff

      Then TOM steps back and sets the knife on the coffee table

      TOM:  Adds a little edge. You can grab for it as well as I can. Time
      to stop dabblin old man. Dabble here, dabble there, like people who
      send care packages, they care enough just to the point where their
      hands don’t get dirty. Like big brothers, takin orphans home for a
      weekend, breathin a sigh of relief when the old bitch from the “home”
      comes to pick the kid up Sunday afternoon. Then they bring back out
      all the good china, take the slip covers off the furniture. Dabble,
      dabble. Old hens trottin around the barnyard shittin liquid shit all
      over the place cause there’s nothin solid inside. Why you lookin at
      the knife? Don’t just look, go for it. DO SOMETHING! MAKE A DECISION!
      TAKE THE FUCKIN PAINT CAN AND SPLASH IT ON THE WALL! (punches the air)
      DO SOMETHIN! Look at me! Touch me! You want to. Donít be like all
      the rest who never do what they want. They just keep playin the game.
      Just say ďI want to eat this guyís ass.Ē Thereís nothing
      fuckin wrong with it. (he leans to MIKE and kisses him on the neck)
      Like havin God come down and make love to you. (MIKE stands stiffly,
      then in a rush of desire embraces TOM hungrily, then pushes away)

      MIKE: Iíve got to make choices. Right choices. We canít just indulge. Iím just not sure.

      TOM: Fuck, youíre sure.

      MIKE: Not about what to do.

      TOM: You wanna wake up tomorrow where you are right now? Running in
      place. You ain’t tellin me you’re for real. Real don’t pick up bums in
      a gay bar and take them home. Hey! Iím just doin what I get paid
      for. Somebodyís gotta pitch, somebodyís gotta catch. YOU THINK I
      LIKE THIS SHIT? (tiredly) Gimme somebody real, like that rain out
      there - it comes down, wet and cold, but ya know what it is, ya know
      what it fuckin is. IÖ(tries another tactic but with little energy)
      Hey, maybe you want me to play, whatís the big word, passive? Huh?
      That it? (curls up on the sofa, in falsetto voice) Oh donít hurt me
      big man. Oh please be gentle. (gets up, angry) Iíve seen hundreds,
      thousands like you just poppin off the conveyor belt. And lifeís so
      easy for them they invent problems. They play games. But when the
      chips are down they donít DO anything. SO WHAT NEXT FUCKER? MOTHER
      FUCKER! Heeyyy, maybe that’s your problem - youíre old man got wise
      to you fuckin your mother.

      MIKE slaps TOMís face. TOM grabs MIKEís wrist in a vise-like hold.

      MIKE: You’re stronger than me. Pick up the knife, use it. Youíd win.
      Your instincts are all jungle. But Iíve already won. I donít want
      you. OK yes, I saw you in the bar, something went click, yes. But now
      that I know whatís under that fancy exterior, no way. I donít want
      you. Has anyone ever wanted you? If someone had you might have a
      little respect for yourself.

      TOM: Who the fuck cares. Thatís my worry right. I owe you for the
      money you spent and the food.

      MIKE: You think I’d touch you? You’ve probably got fungus on your
      teeth and who knows what exotic little things crawl on your body.

      TOM: I got to a clinic once a month. You can check the records. I
      wouldnít pass on any germs.

      MIKE: Arenít we a noble. Now are you ready to leave?

      TOM: Hey! Itís a new ballgame. Tits are out. Cocks are in. All those
      fag designers and photographers and movie stars, what a field day.
      Weíre the sex symbols. Jíever notice in the moves, the cigarette
      ads? CROTCH CLOSEUP. Cock and balls, cock and balls. And then
      thereís you, movin from home, twenty fuckin miles - pardon me,
      twenty-two was it? In his apartment three months, can’t finish paintin
      a wall, never made it with a guy. Hey, gimme a break. I thought I made
      a sale. Look at us Ė you trottin around like an old hen, coffee and
      eggs. Can you see it my way? Can you? Jesus…YOU PICKED ME UP! (takes
      knife out) What if I had used this? You can’t take chances like that!
      Shit. Don’t you read the papers? Guys found strangled with their own
      neckties, smothered in plastic bags. You lucked out. I’m selling but
      it’s a straight deal. Ok, ok, Iíll go. But there’s no way for me to
      pay you back. (he tucks his shirt inside his pants) Ya want some
      advice baby - Go back to Mama and Papa. This way you’re doin nobody no
      good. Nobody. Or else hire a painter. That’s my advice and that’s how
      I pay ya back. (he pauses at door) Just answer me one thing, just one
      simple thing, OK? Person to person, animal to animal, whatever. One
      thing. (they stare) What are you go in do the minute this door closes
      behind me?

      There is silence. The rain is louder.

      MIKE: I didn’t finish painting the wall because I couldn’t move. Like
      you laying there on the sidewalk and the rain coming down. Your eyes
      were closed but they still blinked every time the rain hit them and I
      knew you couldnít move either (hunches over, barely breathing the
      words) I was so lonely.

      TOM: Yaí never did it?

      MIKE: Not with a man. I could have with Brete, he works with me. We
      work at a bank. He, I told him how confused I was and he started
      taking me out so I could get my bearings but…

      TOM: But you must’ve known years and years ago.

      MIKE: Will you stop saying years and years.

      TOM: I just meant you must’ve known.

      MIKE: When there’s hot apple pie on the table and you’re told it’s for
      the church supper you don’t touch, you wait. And life becomes waiting.
      You’re alive but not one hundred percent. You’re always outside the
      playing field, never making contact, just drifting from high school,
      college, doing what’s expected, dating girls, hobbies, work, but
      everything is mechanical, nothing joyful. So one day I make this
      miserable attempt to take control. I get just so far and then I can’t
      finish painting a wall. I fill up with doubt and guilt, the dominoes
      start falling, you donít invite parents over because they represent
      a past you trying to get away from, you can’t meet people, your range
      of activity grows more and more narrow. Suddenly, you’re older and you
      wake up at night filled with terror, the terror of never being loved
      and you realize that thereís nothing between you and destruction but
      God and the one thing you want, he disapproves of.  So you get
      “prissy” you’d call it. Making special coffee, keeping a diary, “today
      is a blue day, my fourth in a row. ‘’

      TOM: I liked your coffee, you need a little work on the eggs but I
      liked your coffee.

      MIKE: Yes that was fun.

      TOM: Why donít you just say it? Iím gay. Go ahead say it.

      MIKE: Why don’t you get a job. Start working towards something. A
      goal. Give yourself a goal.

      TOM: Hey. fuck you. Iím doin fine. It’s you who is all clogged up
      with this shit in your system.

      MIKE: Donít be crude. Donít you know your language affects your
      thoughts. AND YOU ARE NOT DOING FINE you stupid street-walking fool
      (stiffens, moves towards bathroom) I canít say it. I CANíT SAY IT!
      (exits into bathroom on the run)

      TOM: HEY! (crosses to bathroom door) You sick?? Shit. Then OK. If you
      can’t say it puke it out. (He listens) Jesus he’s puking, he is
      actually puking. (shrugs, walks aimlessly but hovering near bathroom)
      Hey yaí know who cares if the customers donít want me right. I
      donít want them, just their money. But someone wanted me. My old man
      see. But he was like you. Didn’t DO anything.  So when the judge asked
      him if he wanted his son my old man just stayed quiet and other people
      decided for him. See thatís what happens
      .
      MIKE suddenly exits bathroom, scurries to bedroom door, slams door
      closed behind him.

      HEY! (crosses to bedroom door, listens, paces, listens at door again)
      Looks like Iím leaviní (he crosses to front door, glancing back at
      bedroom door now and then, grabs for knob of front door) Ah fuck.

      MIKE: (bursts from bedroom, a towel at his mouth) Where are you going?

      TOM: What?

      MIKE: Where are you going?

      TOM: Hey like Iím leavin man.

      MIKE: That was a simple interrogative.

      TOM: Inter…what?

      MIKE: Question. I didnít ask what are you doing. I can see that. What is your
      destination?

      TOM: Wherever my work ends me up.

      MIKE: Oh is that so? You want me to say it but you just continue on
      your merry old way

      TOM: Hey get off my ass. You’ re just backiní away from being
      honest.

      MIKE: And you’re not? Stay here tonight.

      TOM: Huh?

      MIKE: Yes or no.

      TOM: Yuh, now youíre makiní sense.

      MIKE: You can take a shower but donít be long. I get up early (turns
      to bedroom, TOM follows, MIKE stops and turns, they collide) Where are
      you going?

      TOM: Whattayamean? In there.

      MIKE: OH no. Iím getting some blankets. (he goes to bedroom, returns
      with blankets) You sleep on the sofa.

      TOM: I sleep where?

      MIKE: Sofa…couchÖsofa.

      TOM: Hey look MeekyÖ

      MIKE: WHAT?  What did you call me?

      TOM: Meeky. Yaí know Mike, Meeky.

      TOM: No, NO Meeky. And you sleep there.

      TOM: I sleep in there or I go (turns to door. They stare at each
      other, then TOM shrugs) See yaí Meeky.

      MIKE: How do you know your Father wouldíve said yes?

      TOM: What? (approaches MIKE threateningly, MIKE holds his ground)

      MIKE: When the judge asked him if he wanted you. Sometimes when things
      are too painful, people remain silent but he might have said no.

      MIKE drops the blankets onto the sofa. TOM starts to cross to front
      door, MIKE to bedroom door. They stop and look at each other, continue
      to cross. Now TOM is at front door, MIKE at bedroom door, they look at
      each other. MIKE exits. TOM stares into space as lights come down.


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