play – SIT-COM by Robert Patrick

above: Michael Martin’s 2001 Chicago production.

a one-act play
by Robert Patrick
for They-Know-Who
c 1994
Robert Patrick
1837 N. Alexandria Ave.
L.A. CA 90027
tel: (323) 360-1469
IML rbrtptrck

SETTING: The living-room of a posh big-city apartment in a big American city other than Chicago. Doors to: a bedroom, a kitchen, a hallway. Outside the hallway are two elevators. A long sofa faces the audience downstage. Downstage of it is an even longer coffee-table. It is important that there be some sort of front on the coffee table so that the characters’ feet cannot be seen.

TIME: Evening, the sexy 1970s.

EZRA is a handsome hunky hustler in appropriate garb. EZRA loves men, loves sex, loves love, and has found hustling a convenient way to combine vocation and avocation. While he can act tough and rugged to please the man of the moment, he is essentially affectionate, sympathetic, sweet, and randy.
RON is an uptight young businessman. he has all the characteristics of a loving, but philandering husband. He loves Doug and will do anything to keep him, but needs other men as well. he is actually quite henpecked.
DOUG is a young businessman, in public relations. His marriage to Ron means more to him than anything else in the world. He is very much a game-player, experimenter, manipulator, and dramatist, but at rock bottom is his love for Ron, and his need for the security of their life together.

(At RISE, articles of clothing lie about the stage. RON’S are yuppy-chic, EZRA’S street-tough. RON’S clothes are nearer the bedroom door. )

(EZRA enters, happy, from bedroom, dresses, lights a Marlboro with a conspicuous lighter from his pocket, leaves cigarette
in ashtray and lighter on table. He rubs his stomach hungrily and exits to the kitchen.)

(While EZRA dresses, RON’s hand from bedroom door gropes for his clothes. As EZRA exits, RON appears, dressed, but shoe less, from bedroom, looks about for EZRA, sighs.)

RON: Thank God he left. And without my even paying him. I wonder if that’s some kind of compliment?

EZRA: (Enters with sandwich on a saucer) So you can still walk, huh? I must be losing my touch.

(EZRA sits on sofa to unwrap sandwich. RON zooms past him, grabbing sandwich and plate as He exits into kitchen.)

RON: Thanks a lot. I had a really good time. You can go now. (Re-enters) Oh, you’re still here.

EZRA: I had fun, too. For another 50 I’ll stay and have it again.

RON: Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. Thanks, really like to, but I have an appointment. (Of EZRA’S cigarette) What brand do you smoke?

EZRA: Marlboros, of course. Want one?

RON: (Stubs out butt, empties ashtray into his pocket) No, thanks. You didn’t leave any butts about, did you? (He starts wiping out ashtray with sleeve)

EZRA: Naw, first rule of my trade. You have to clean up now? Couldn’t you do it when you come back?

RON: Back from where?

EZRA: Your appointment?

RON: Oh My appointment’s here.

EZRA: You got another guy coming over? You’re a beast. Hey, why pay full price when you can get a re-run for half?

RON: Ha-ha-ha-ha-ha. No, my lover’s coming back.

EZRA: Awwwww. You had a fight?

RON: No. From a business trip.

EZRA: Oh, where?

RON: Why do you want to know?

EZRA: Just asking. What business?

RON: None of yours.

EZRA: Forget it.

RON: I’m sorry. Chicago. He’s in publicity.

EZRA: Oh. Well, I guess I’ll be leaving now.

RON: Good. I mean. Good time, I had a good time.

EZRA: Thanks.

RON: (Because EZRA is lingering) Well?

EZRA: You haven’t paid me.

RON: Oh, yes, God. Wait here. (RON exits to bedroom. EZRA sits and leafs through a magazine)

EZRA: (Yells) I’ll do it with both of you for another hundred.

RON: (Off) Ha, ha, ha, ha, ha. (ENTERS with money) Thanks, but no thanks. Here’s your hundred.

EZRA: In cash?

RON: Why not?

EZRA: Nothin’. I’d take a check. I’m trustful.

RON: (Taking magazine, giving money) Oh, no, that wouldn’t do at all.

EZRA: Awwwwwww. He reads your stubs!

RON: (Straightening magazines, emptying ashtrays again) It’s a joint account.

EZRA: Gosh, you two are serious, aren’t you?

RON: Well, yes, sure.

EZRA: Why don’t cha give ‘im a welcome home present?

RON: What do you mean, exactly?

EZRA: Well, you must be pretty worn-out.

RON: Yes, I am.

EZRA: Well, why not take him into the bedroom, and there I’ll be, all spread out.

RON: Oh, no thank you.

EZRA: Prone or supine, as he likes it.

RON: That’s very kind, but I don’t think so.

EZRA: Well, you ain’t in no shape to do much for him.

RON: We don’t do it this late on Wednesday.

EZRA: You gotta schedule?

RON: Well, not a schedule, exactly.

EZRA: Sounds like one.

RON: It’s just – on Wednesdays, earlier, we usually watch Barney Miller.

EZRA: Yeah?

RON: And we both have the hots for Wojo and that usually ends in bed. .

EZRA: At what time?

RON: At about the time you and I were doing it. It’s habit, I guess -but not a schedule.

EZRA: (No sign of leaving) Yeah? I used to have a boyfriend was hot for Lou Grant. I could never understand it, but I reaped the benefits of it, if you know what I mean.

RON: Oh, God, I didn’t watch Barney tonight.

EZRA: You had me.

RON: Yes, but he’ll want me to tell him what happened.

EZRA: I’ll stay and show him?

RON: No, I mean on Barney.

EZRA: Make it up.

RON: No, his friends at the office will be talking about it tomorrow.

EZRA: You got a whole subculture of Wojo freaks? (EZRA takes out his cigarettes and lighter. RON snatches them away and lays them on table.)

RON: Can you please go now?

EZRA: (As RON shoves him out) Okay. Call me again sometime. You were good.

RON: So were you.

EZRA: I’m supposed to be. Oh, you should check the position of your Vaseline jar. I’m left-handed.

RON: (Starts for bedroom) Oh, God!

EZRA: (Stops him) It’s okay. I put it back the right way. Don’t be nervous. I’ll see ya. Here’s my card.

RON: (As if it were poison) No, thanks.

EZRA: What’s the matter? Awwwwwww.. He goes through your pockets!

RON: No, he does most of the housework and I never know where he’s going to be looking.

EZRA: Well, he’s a lucky guy. ‘Bye. (Steps out, pops back) Call me? (HE barely escapes getting caught as RON slams door)

RON: Whew! (HE hastily finishes dressing while looking up a number in the phone book. Caution: He DOES NOT PUT ON SHOES) Let’s see, what is Clint’s number? God, I’m lucky I didn’t get raped and murdered. Well, murdered. Ah, here. (Finds number, dials it.) Hello? Clint? Ron. Did you and Tex watch Wojo tonight?…Well, they have a TV room at the baths…You were on top of it most of the time. Okay. Did Tex watch it? Tex was on top of you, right. See you both Sunday. Oh, is it your turn to bring the Crisco? ‘Bye. (Hangs up, dials again immediately) Hello? Oh shit. God I hate cute answering machine message: . La-de-da-de-da-dee – Gert? It’s Ron. If you watched Wo jo tonight, call me. Be sure it’s me. Don’t talk to Doug. (Hangs up. Dials again at once.) Fred? Ron. Did you watch Barney Miller tonight? What happened? On the show, I mean….Well, I’m sorry to interrupt you all, but it’s imperative I know. Well, tell him he can use something besides your mouth for a minute; tell me the goddamned plot. (Grabs pencil and notepad) Uh-huh (Scribbles notes) Uh-huh. Barney made Wojo dress in drag – uh-huh -and Wojo looked real good, fine – and Fish came in and thought Wojo was a woman – okay -and Fish took his right shoe off and stuck it up Wojo’s – Oh, thanks a lot, Fred. Eat the phone! (Hangs up) Whole goddamned city’s getting laid!

DOUG: (Off) Honey, I’m home!

RON: (Drops notepad) Doug, dumpling! (DOUG enters. HE is a little younger than RON, dressed in a business suit. They embrace.)
Did you have a good trip?

(DOUG in a whirlwind of energy breaks the embrace, takes off his tie and coat and hangs them on a coat-tree, lays his briefcase on the sofa, kicks his shoes off, and winds up back in an embrace with RON.)

DOUG: She gave five interviews and appeared at the Theatregoer’s Club Luncheon. Her first costume stopped the show. The whole audience left at intermission but they’re sold out for the entire month so who gives a fuck? Poseidon Adventure is playing around the corner so they wouldn’t care if she came on stage and dropped her colostomy bag, they love her. I hate Chicago. I love you. Do you love me?

RON: I love you more than all the men in the world put together.

DOUG: If you really loved me, you’d make me a sandwich and rub my back.

RON: Oh, I don’t know if I love you that much.

DOUG: Okay, I’ll make myself a sandwich and tomorrow morning I’ll lace your Chocolate Crunchies with Ex-Lax. Sit down on the couch. When I come back I want to hear all about Barney. (Exits to kitchen)

RON: (Terrified) Barney who?

DOUG: (Off) Barney Google with the goo-goo-googley eyes, who do you think, you inconsiderate son-of-a-bitch?

(DOUG re-enters with a plate on which there is a sandwich) •- .. Oh, honey. You made me a sandwich.

RON: (Eying sandwich) Son of a bitch! I

DOUG: Sits, starts on sandwich) Hm?

RON: I mean, sure I made you a sandwich. I’d make you prom queen if I could, but (Points at sandwich) that’s my best shot.

DOUG: Oh, honey, when I’m with you I feel like the prom queen and a pin-up girl and the girl most likely to succeed and the Marlboro Man.

RON: Why the Marlboro Man?

DOUG: All right; Miss Rheingold. Teach-me my place.

(DOUG nuzzles RON meaningfully)

RON: What are you so affectionate for? One (checks sandwich) salami sandwich?

DOUG: No. They showed “Eyewitness” on the plane. I’m in love with Bill Hurt. (Puts sandwich aside and embraces RON) Do you want it?

RON: You must be exhausted.

DOUG: No, I’m all worked up. You can’t jerk off in a seat-belt; kills your rhythm. Make love to me.

RON: Right Now?

DOUG: All right. I’ll make love to you. Tell me about Barney – and tell it dirty. What did Wojo wear?

RON: Grabs DOUG) Yes, do let’s make love. Wild, passionate silent love.

DOUG: (Joking) Whoosh. I love you when you’re gentle like this.

RON: (Not up to this) That’s a great idea. Let’s be gentle. Put your head in my lap.

DOUG: No, let’s be wild. Put your lap in my head.

RON: (Firmly) Put your head in my lap. (DOUG dives face first into RON’s crotch.) No, the other way around.

DOUG: (Enthusiastically) Okay! (Puts his head under RON, forcing RON to put his feet on the coffee-table. We see that RON has on one red and one green sock.)

RON: No, you retard!
(HE Pulls DOUG out from under him) Now, lie there like a good boy and eat your sandwich.

DOUG: Okay. It’ll give me gas and later I’ll give you such a burp-job. Oh, honey, you just go to pieces when I’m not here, don’t you?

RON: What makes you say that?

DOUG: Well, you used all those towels and just threw them behind the bathroom door –

RON: (Mutters to himself) Behind the bathroom door –

DOUG: Uh-huh. And you’re wearing mismatched socks. I’m so glad you need me. (Pulls RON down to kiss HIM)

RON: (Staring at his own feet) OH, my God.

DOUG: Thank you. And that was just for beginners. Wait til I build my strength up with this sandwich. Hand me my briefcase.

RON: Hands it to DOUG) Oh, sure, uh -‘wasn’t that funny about my socks?

DOUG: (Riffling through briefcase) Yes. I’m going to kill somebody.

RON: Who, for instance?

DOUG: I’m going to kill that goddmaned laundryman. Sending you somebody’s red socks. Didn’t you even notice it when you balled them?

RON: Balled who?

DOUG: The socks. Ah, here it is. (Pulls TV Guide from briefcase)

RON: As if it were a gun) What’s that?

DOUG: TV Guide.

RON: What are you doing with a TV Guide?

DOUG: She was on a talk show in Chicago; you know I save clippings for my scrapbook. (Rips out a page and stuffs it in briefcase, riffles through Guide) Now let’s see, Wednesday –

RON: (Throws himself in DOUG’s arms) Oh, who cares about Barney? Make love to me.

DOUG: Wow, it must have been hot tonight. Let me see –

RON: (Hugging DOUG tightly) To Hell with Wojo. Let me kiss your eyes.

DOUG: (Shakes RON off) No, I have my contacts in. (Gasps) “To Hell with Wojo?” Listen, Mister, I’m broadminded and all that, but there are some things we don’t make jokes about in this house: We don’t joke about Barbra Streisand’s profile, or Jerry Falwell’s philosophy, we don’t joke about the evening we did all those Quaaludes and walked into the P.T.A. meeting, and above all, we don’t make disparaging remarks about Wojo. I believe those were our marriage vows?

RON: Yes, sweetheart. I know. I’m sorry. Come let me make it up to you -somehow or other. Anyhow or other.

DOUG: No, I’m mad. I want to read the summary of Barney.

RON: Doug, this is ridiculous. You’re becoming fetishistic about that fat actor.

DOUG: Wojo is not fat; he’s humpy! And if I’m fetishistic about him, how about you and those opera hose?

RON: Doug!

DOUG: (Finds page he wants) Ah, here it is. (Reads briefly) Okay. (Throws TV Guide aside, grabs RON) Okay, matey; let’s you and me go punish that Beautyrest.

RON: (Relieved) Certainly, dumpling. Ronnie’s sorry he yelled at you.

DOUG: (Very seductively) You know what Dougie wants tonight?

RON: No, funny-buns, what?

DOUG: Doug wants you to put on your leather harness –

RON: Sigh. Certainly, cookie-cock.

DOUG: And he wants you to get out the rubber sheet.

RON: Whatever you say, sugar-shorts.

DOUG: And he wants you to turn on the strobe, and activate the big dildo –

RON: Oh, good, love-lumps, yes, go on –

DOUG: And he wants you to spread yourself out on the sheet with the dildo in your fur jockstrap –

RON: Mmmm-hmmm, motor mouth.

DOUG: And he wants you to chew on your Erik Estrada T-shirt –

RON: And then what do you want, tiny tits?

DOUG: And then once you’re lying there looking like a goddamned idiot, I want you to tell me why you didn’t watch Barney Miller tonight!

RON: Huh?

DOUG: You big louse! There wasn’t any Barney Miller tonight! It was pre-empted! Joanne Woodward and Paul Newman did a special on Angel Dust!

RON: I thought she was Wojo in drag?

DOUG: And don’t tell me they didn’t have it here; it was network!

RON: I had Tex and Clint over! We forgot to watch!

DOUG: Tex and Clint never missed a Wednesday night at the baths in their lives! It’s what holds their marriage together!

RON: I knew that, too.

DOUG: Honestly, honey. I really am almost mad. (DOUG pulls the astonished RON back to the sofa, puts his head on RON’S lap)

RON: Almost?

DOUG: Well, sure. It’s the only thing I ever ask you to do for me, is watch Wojo if I’m out of town.
I’m sorry. Believe me, I will never, ever miss it again.

DOUG: I mean, I don’t think one thing is too much to ask.

RON: I would do anything for you. I’m sorry. I’m sorry. I’m sorry.

DOUG: It’s okay. I forgive you. I love you. (Long, peaceful pause) So, what did you do?

RON: Hm?

DOUG: What did you do tonight? And it better be good. (HE’s only teasing)

RON: Do?

DOUG: Tonight. What did you do?

RON: I – went to bed early.

DOUG: You? Mister tight schedule? Are you okay?

RON: I’m fine, I’m fine. I was-.just a little tired.

DOUG: Oooooh. Let me get you some chicken soup. And while you eat it, I’ll take your temperature.
(DOUG hops up and is taking sandwich plate to kitchen)

RON: No, really, I’m fine.

DOUG: You don’t want Dougy to take our temperature? He can take it orally -while you eat the chicken soup. (Exits)

RON: (resigned) Oh, well.

DOUG: (Re-enters) You know, Ron, I just realized something.

RON: What, dumpling?

DOUG: I just realized you lied to me.

RON: I did?

DOUG: You lied to me when you said you had Tex and Clint over here. And you didn’t.

RON: Did I say that somewhere along the way?

DOUG: You’ve never lied to me in five years we’ve been together. I’m surprised at you.

RON: Possibly I dreamed it?

DOUG: (Icily calm) Suddenly it all comes clear. You had Tex and Clint over here and you made it with them.

RON: Doug, I –

DOUG: I don t mind your making it with Tex and Clint. God knows we’ve done it often enough. I don’t even mind your making it with them without me. But – (Begins to boil) – here? In our home? Without me?

RON: Dumpling –

DOUG: You know we swore that no matter how many men we might make it with separately, we would never ever ever bring any of them here.

RON: Dougy – please let me explain.

DOUG: I don’t want you to explain; I want you to die. (Lifts phone)

RON: (Ducks) Doug, what are you going to do with that phone?

DOUG: I’m going to call Clint and ask him. And don’t try to stop me.

RON: Doug, please don’t do that.

DOUG: (Starting to dial) Why shouldn’t I?

RON: Because, because, because – (idea) – if you won’t do that, I’ll get out the hammock and put on my dirty 501’s.

DOUG: (Hand poised over the dial) You hate the dirty 501’s.

RON: I’ll do it, though.

DOUG: (Mightily tempted) No! Not even for the dirty 501’s. (Starts to dial)

RON: (last ditch) I’ll let you do the thing with the vacuum cleaner.

DOUG: (Hangs torn for a moment – then) No, no, no, no, no – (Finishes dialing) – Yes, Tex, Hi, Doug! Is Clint there?…Could I speak with him, please?…Thank you. (Waits, his eyes riveted to RON) You wouldn’t really have let me do the thing with the vacuum cleaner, anyway; you’d just talk about it until I got so excited I forgave you, so I don’t care. (Into phone) Clint? Doug..Yes, just now. Clint, I’m going to ask you something and I want you to tell me the truth. My and Ron’s relationship depends on it. Clint, did you and Tex come over here tonight and make it with Ron like he says you did?….I see….Yes…Yes…-Okay…Yes, I see….Really?… Well, that clears everything up. See you Sunday. It’s our turn to supply the licorice whips. (Hangs up) Okay.

RON: What did he say.

DOUG: He says yes, he and Tex came over on their way to the baths, and you all got carried away and made it, and he knows it’s against our rules and he’s sorry and wants me to come over without you some night and make it there to make up for it.

RON: Ah. Oh. Um. Well, there, you see now?

DOUG: And do you know what else he said?

RON: No, what, puppy-fuzz?

DOUG: (With mounting fury) He says what got you all so carried away was it was hot in the police station and Wojo took his plaid shirt off! I hate you, I hate you, I despise you, you lied and lied to me, and Tex and Clint lied to me, and I don’t have any real friends and I want to kill you!

RON: (resigned) What do you want me to wear while you kill me?

DOUG: Oh, don’t talk to me. Don’t try to talk to me ever, ever again. I don’t know what to do. I work so hard and I trust you and I keep house for you and you treat me like some goddamned simple-minded woman!

RON: That was a sexist remark!

DOUG: Well, wait until you hear how I feel about men! What did you really do tonight?

RON: I brought a hustler here and made love with him – on our bed!

DOUG: (dressing ferociously) That’s a lie! I’ll never be able to believe you again. I’m going out and get laid all over town. I’ll show you.

RON: Have fun.

DOUG: I won’t and you can’t make me! I’m going to crawl on my knees through every back room in this burg. I’m going to cork and get corked by total absolute strangers and I’m going to hate every minute of it! And then I’m going to come home and force-fuck you on our collectible chenille cowboy-star bedspread so hard you get up with “Hopalong Cassidy” written backwards across your belly and you won’t be able to take your clothes off with anyone else for a week. (Exits)

RON: Doug, honey, come back.

DOUG: (Returns) You don’t call me “Honey!” I call you “Honey!” You call me “Dumpling!” (Exits)

RON: Dumpling, come back!

DOUG: (Re-enters) Oh, I am! And once I come back, I’m never going to go out again! I’m just going to stay here in this expensive condominium I was stupid enough to buy with you, and hate for the rest of your unnatural life! (Exits for real)

RON: (Trying to find shoes) Honey – I mean, dumpling. Wait. I can explain everything. Wait for me to get into my shoes! Hold that elevator. Please, Dump, hold it! Oh, damn, where’s my shoes? Dumpling, where do I always leave my shoes? Oh, here they are. Damned socks. Goddamit to fucking hell, why do I do these things. What am I talking about? I never did anything like this before. Why? Why did I? Why didn’t I? Why did I now? (Shoes are on) Okay, here I come. (HE starts out. PHONE rings.) Dear God. (Answers) Yes? Gert?…Huh? Oh, I know: Joanne, Paul, Angel Dust,yes, that’s how they hold their marriage together. Thanks, later, ‘bye. (Hangs up) Dumpling, daddy’s coming! (Exits to hall.)
(We HEAR an elevator arrive, doers open and close, elevator descends. Then we HEAR the bell as another elevator arrives on the floor.)

DOUG: (Enters) Okay, you dumb dreary liar, I thought of something better to do! Hey, where are you? Come out here and face me! Oh, where the hell are you, you creep!

EZRA: (Enters) Huh? I thought you liked me.

DOUG: Oh. I do. But I don’t know what to do with you now.

EZRA: Well, what you were yelling in the elevator sounded good to me.

DOUG: Well, I know, but we’re all alone.

EZRA: (Notices apartment) Hey, is this your place?

DOUG: Yes, mine and a complete drip’s.

EZRA: He’s out?

DOUG: Yes, he must have gone out to look for me.

EZRA: (Sits, picks up magazine) Boy, this is a busy building. I tricked here earlier this evening, then I met a guy in the lobby and we went back up to his place, and then I meet you in the elevator. I should hang out here more often.

DOUG: You – you made it with two guys already this evening?

EZRA: (Absorbed in magazine) Two guys in this building.

DOUG: (Relieved) Well, then you must be out of commission anyway.

EZRA: Not me. You see, I have this little problem.

DOUG: What’s that?

EZRA: Consitutional satyriasis. I can make it twenty times a day.

DOUG: No one ever satisfies you?

EZRA: They all do. That’s why I do it so much.

DOUG: Oh. That’s what I wanted to do with you.

EZRA: Yeah, I kinda figured that from what you said in the elevator. (Drops magazine.) So, the other guy’s not here?

DOUG: No, so I guess that makes it pointless.

EZRA: You don’t like me?

DOUG: Oh, I don :t like anybody but him. I’m sorry, I mean –

EZRA: Sigh. I know what you mean. You’re his lover?

DOUG: Yes. He’s very lucky.

DOUG: He lied to me.

EZRA: I’m sure.

DOUG: What do you mean?

EZRA: (Covering his slip) Oh, well, they all do. Men are pigs.

DOUG: I’m not.

EZRA: How not?

DOUG: I never make it with anybody else but him. Well, I never make it with anybody unless he’s there. I tell him I do. I tell him I go out and make like a milking machine all over town. But I never really have.

EZRA: For how long?

DOUG: He does. He makes it up one side and down the other. And he tells me he doesn’t. I don’t mind. But he did it here with some low scummy sleaze-pig and that’s what I can’t take. That’s why I wanted you! I wanted to use you to hurt him.

EZRA: (Very interested) How bad did you want to hurt him?

DOUG: Bad enough to bring you into our home. Oh, I’m sorry –

EZRA: That’s all right. Wow. You really love him, huh?

DOUG: Oh, I have a fetish for him.

EZRA: You’re so lucky to have someone to love and to have a permanent relationship. Me, I can never turn anybody down, on any terms. I just like men. Young men, old men, tall men, short, fat, skinny, weak, strong, loving, hating, anyway they like it. I wish I could be like you.

DOUG: I wish I could be like you. I don’t even have one type. Just Ron.

EZRA: Oh, I have a type.

DOUG: You do?

EZRA: Right now I do.

DOUG: Like – what?

EZRA: Oooooh, slick black hair, high intelligent forehead, thin black brows, winsome smile, turned-up nose, and the most beautiful eyelashes in the entire world – (Change to match actor playing DOUG)

DOUG: Oh. You

EZRA: I do, I really do.

DOUG: I bet you say that to all the fellas.

EZRA: I do, I really do.

DOUG: I haven’t had anyone but Ron for five years. I mean – alone.

EZRA: Call me “Ron.”

DOUG: I don’t call him “Ron.”

EZRA: What do you call him?

DOUG: I can’t tell you.

EZRA: Sure you can. You can do anything with me.

DOUG: I can’t….Can I?

EZRA: Anything at all. Tell me what you call him. Whisper it in my ear.

DOUG: (Leans close and whispers) “Honey.”

EZRA: Ooooh, that’s nice. Now whisper it in my other ear.

DOUG: (Into other ear) “Honey”.

EZRA: Now, whisper it into my neck.

DOUG: (Into EZRA’S neck) “Honey.”

EZRA: Now into my right cheek. (DOUG does) My left cheek (DOUG does) . Now, whisper it into my mouth. {THEY kiss, looooong, sloooow, and building.) Now, you give me your hand and follow me into that bedroom, and whisper it everywhere (DOUG is reluctant) . You just come on in and whisper it wherever you want to – and don-‘t you worry – you just whisper it – and no one will hear.

(EZRA gently leads DOUG off into the bedroom. The stage is empty for a moment.)

RON: (Re-enters) Dumpling? Dumpling? Double dumpling daddy’s darling Doug? Ah, shit. He really means it. He’s always saying he makes it with other people, but he never really does. And now tonight I’ve driven him to it. Finally driven him to really do it. I am a card-carrying son-of-a-bitch. Where can he be? Where would he go? (Starts to light cigarette with EZRA’S lighter /from table, sees printing on it.) The Swishbuckler? That’s impossible. He’d never go there. Well, tonight he might, but he certainly hasn’t had time to go there and get back. And besides, he doesn’t smoke. Smoke! This must belong to that terrible Marlboro Man. Jesus Christ, he’ll come back for it! I’ve got to stay here and wait for him. Oh, well, I’d never find Doug anyway. And I wouldn’t really want to. Find Doug under some scummy sleaze bag, doing some dreadful thing. Without me. I’ll just wait here. (HE lies on sofa. A VACUUM CLEANER is heard offstage) Jesus Christ, who’s vacuuming at this hour? (Lies down. Suddenly sits up, looks toward bedroom.) Naw, it couldn’t possibly be. (Lies back down, drowsy.) Oh, sweet Dougy-poo loves his vacuum-cleaner. I always fall asleep Saturday afternoon while darling dumpling dougy-pants vacuums our home. (HE falls asleep.)

(The VACUUM CLEANER continues for a bit, then sighs to a stop. RON snores. The bedroom door opens and E2RA backs out, not seeing RON. EZRA speaks to DOUG, offstage.)

EZRA: ‘Bye. It was great…Jesus, you’re asleep already. Well, I’m not surprised. I never knew that was possible for two adults. (Closes door, turns, and sees RON) Oh, Jesus!

RON: (Pops up awake) Huh? What? Oh! Thank God you’re here.

EZRA: Really?

RON: Yes.

EZRA: Oh, good.

RON: Yes. You’ve got to get out.

EZRA: I agree.

RON: Here’s your lighter. You go.

EZRA: You’re being swell.

RON: Yes, go, before my lover comes in.

EZRA: Ah…You didn’t see him?

RON: He was here and left. But he’ll be back. Raring to fight.

EZRA: I doubt that.

RON: Oh, you don t know him. So you’ll just leave, okay?

EZRA: 0h – yeah – sure – uh – say, where did he go, do you think?

RON: Out whoring. We had a fight.

EZRA: Well, I have a good idea, let’s us go look for him.

RON: Why? It’s hopeless.

EZRA: Mister, if there’s one thing I can do, it’s find a man. Come on. You’re a nice guy, I’ll help you.

RON: That’s very kind of you.

EZRA: Come on, come with me. What we’ll do, we’ll go down in the elevator – I mean, descend via the elevator – although the other sounds like fun – no, no, later – and at the door of your building, I’ll give you a list of places to the right, and I’ll go to the left, and we’ll meet you back here at your building in an hour, all right?

RON: Okay. Sure. But why don’t we look together?

EZRA: Faster this way.

RON: Right. Let’s go. You know, I don’t know why I’m so worried. He hasn’t made it on his own in five years. Why, he won’t even know how. (Laughs)

EZRA: Right. (Laughs) Well, we’ll save him. Come on.

(THEY exit. Elevator noises, and then DOUG enters from bedroom.)

DOUG: Oh, God, he’s skipped out. Did he take anything? (Checks room) God, yes, he took Ron’s new Swishbuckler lighter. Well, I don’t care. I don’t care about anything. It was wonderful. I was wonderful. I made it with another man and no help and it was fantastic. I had a tremendous time. I never had a better time in my life. I wish I was dead!

EZRA: (Enters, anxious) Ah, you’re up!

DOUG: Oh, it’s you! Why did you take Ron’s lighter?

EZRA: Huh? Oh.

DOUG: Give me back Ron’s tacky Swishbuckler lighter.

EZRA: (Hands it over) Right. Sure.

DOUG: Oh, you were just using it, probably.

EZRA: Whatever you say.

DOUG: I’m sorry I misjudged you. You better go, though. He’ll be back soon.

EZRA: I don t think so.

DOUG: Oh, he will. He’s a whiz. He’ll check the bars in no time.

EZRA: You love him a lot, don’t you?

DOUG: Sure I do – but I don’t know if marriage between two men can ever work out. No matter how you try, one sex partner just isn’t enough. A man always wants somebody else.

EZRA: You don’t.

DOUG: Yes, I do. I do now. I found that out with you. I just want any brute sex I can get.

EZRA: Maybe not.

DOUG: Yes, I do, otherwise I wouldn’t have enjoyed it with you.

EZRA: Well, maybe you like me, too. Not all other men, just me, too.

DOUG: Do you think so?

EZRA: That’s what it felt like. I’ve had brute sex, believe me, and it was very, very different with you.

DOUG: You’re sure it wasn’t just the Electrolux?

EZRA: I swear, it was you.

DOUG: Oh, my God: I love you!

EZRA: Yeah. Doesn’t that make it better?

DOUG: That’s awful! That’s even worse! I’m the marrying type. Now I have to marry you.

EZRA: You’re really real sweet, you know that? You’re as rare as I am. I want ’em all, you just want one – or two. We should get together.

DOUG: We did.

EZRA: I mean, regular. Maybe it’s true that opposites attract. I got a feelin’ for you like I never had for anyone before.

DOUG: But how could we get together?

EZRA: You name it.

DOUG: Are you trying to take me away from Ron? You better go.

EZRA: I thought you wanted him to find me here.

DOUG: I did when you were just a vengeance fuck. Now that I like you as a person I feel ashamed.

EZRA: Yeah, I wanted to skip out when I thought I was just revenge meat. But now that we like each other I want to stay.

DOUG: No, no, no, no, no! I can’t stand all these feelings. Love. Duplicity. Anger. Lust. Rage. Revenge. Guilt.

EZRA: Baby, baby. Everyone’s got those feelings. They only hurt if you hide them.

DOUG: But feelings mess up your love life.

EZRA: Baby, there’s nowhere better to take them out than in your love-life. In there – (Points to bedroom) – there’s no feeling that can’t be transmutated into fun. Hate, worship, anger, boredom, happiness, frustration, confusion – on that little theatre called a bed, they can all play out. In a living-room we’re each of us one person -but in there we can each of us be a million different men – and that’s why love lasts.

DOUG: Love doesn’t last.

EZRA: That’s because most people don’t let it go in there, like you do. They lock themselves up into being the same person all the time.

DOUG: You mean – schedules and things? But you re right. It’s in there with all our silly games and guises that Ron and I are lovers.

EZRA: That we are lovers, you and I.

DOUG: But you – you need a million men.

EZRA: Not if I can find ’em all in one guy.

DOUG: Like me?

EZRA: Maybe.

DOUG: But I need Ron.

EZRA: He’s a swell guy – I would imagine.

DOUG: He’s not. He’s a rat.

EZRA: Why?

DOUG: I don’t know. He did something while I was gone that he doesn’t want me to know, and I can’t stand that.

EZRA: Why? What – what did he do?

DOUG: I don’t know. And I don’t care. It’s just that he lied to me.

EZRA: Is that all?

DOUG: That’s enough.

EZRA: But you lied to him for five years.

DOUG: I didn’t.

EZRA: About making it with other guys.

DOUG: Oh, that. But that just turned him on. That’s what holds our marriage together. There’s no harm in that. No, there’s nothing Ron could do that would ever really make me mad, if he told me.

EZRA: Nothing? That’s incredible. That’s so enviable. Tell me more about that. (EZRA puts his feet up on the coffee table. HE is wearing one green and one red sock. DOUG notices and stands silent.) Well, come on; tell me: there’s nothing he could do to make you mad?

DOUG: I guess I was wrong. I guess there is one thing.

EZRA: Yeah? And if he did it?

DOUG: He did do it.

EZRA: If he did it, what would you want to do? You can tell me.

DOUG: Tell you? Oh, no, it’s too awful. I can’t tell you.

EZRA: Of course you can.

DOUG: No, I cannot tell you. (Grabs EZRA’S hand.) But I can sure as hell show you!

(DOUG drags the delighted EZRA off to bed again)

EZRA: (As THEY exit) Okay!

(Stage is bare for a moment. ELEVATOR sounds. RON enters, weary.)

RON: It doesn’t take any well-organized person and hour to check ten bars. (Dials phone) Clint? Ron…What?…Yes, I know he did…Yes, I know you did. Thank you – I suppose. Clint, I think I’m leaving Doug, tonight, before he gets back and fucks me to death…No, literally…Of course I’m afraid of him; I’m no fool….Well, yes, I am; I’ve had the best deal a man ever had, for five years I’ve had t the devotion of the sweetest swellest man in the world, and I’ve blown it in one night for the sake of a hunk that was nothing to me but a hole and a pole…Oh, he was okay, in fact he was a nice guy. But he wasn’t worth losing my Doug…-No, Doug doesn’t know, but it’s wrecked things between us, anyway. So, we won’t be having you over Sunday. In fact, what I called about was could I move in with you two for a week or two until I find a new place?…Thanks, I’ll be over right away. I just have to go down and tell our doorman not to let a certain person back in the building. Then I’ll come . back and pack and be over in a while…Thanks. Oh, listen: while I’m living there with you two, can we still ball? Thanks, Clint; that’ll help – a little. ‘Bye.
(HE hangs up and; exits wearily to the hall. Elevator sounds)

EZRA: Enters from bedroom in stocking feet) That was him.

DOUG: (Enters, in stocking feet. Coyly) How did you know?

EZRA: Uh, well, I figured it was.

DOUG: Listen. It’s okay. I know you were with him.

EZRA: How did you know?

DOUG: Your socks.

EZRA: Puzzled) Socks?

DOUG: (Very much in control) Never mind. Let’s get dressed; he’ll be right back up.

EZRA: What – what are you going to do to him?

DOUG: The worst. You’ll see. Come on. (THEY exit into bedroom)

RON: (Re-enters) Sigh. That’ll take care of that. Okay. Pack. Time to pack. What’ll I pack first? My lighter. I – oh, my God. His lighter! He left it again. No, he didn’t. I made him take it away. My God, he’s back! Oh, no, he’s insatiable. He wants me again. Oh, be serious; he must he going to blackmail me. Oh, Jesus. (Shouts toward bedroom) Come out of there! Come out of there, you s-.s eming seductress, and I’ll give you another hundred dollars. .

DOUG: (Off, astonished) A hundred dollars? (Laughs like a fool)

RON: (Recognizing the voice) Dumpling?

DOUG: (Enters, shod) A hundred dollars? Really?

RON: Dumpling you’re….here.

DOUG: Yes. Where else would I be? This is our home, isn’t it?

RON: Where did you go? I’ve been looking for you.

DOUG: I didn’t go anywhere. I’ve been here all along.

RON: What? You were in there asleep?

DOUG: I was in bed, yes.

RON: Oh, really? You – you must have been tired, not to wake up.

DOUG: Oh, I’m wide awake now. A hundred dollars, huh?

RON: I never said it. I was kidding when I said it. I was drunk?.

DOUG: You don’t drink.

RON: Why don’t I?

DOUG: (Really enjoying toying with RON) A hundred dollars? Insatiable? What were you talking about?

RON: Doug. I love you. I’ve always loved you. But I’ve got to tell you something. I’m no good.

DOUG: That’s not what I_ hear.

RON: It’s true. I’ve always cheated on you. Not just with Tex and Clint. Not just when you were around. I make it with men. Lots of men.

DOUG: (Serious and tender) Ron, do you really need that?

RON: I don’t know. I guess I do. I must, to cheat on a perfect mate like you. I guess I need variety. I’m an animal. Help me. Kill me.

DOUG: But would that be enough for you? Variety? If you could get it at home?

RON: I can’t follow that.

DOUG: It’s your home. It should have what you need in it. Maybe I’m not enough for you. Maybe it’s my fault.

RON: It’s not a fault, darling, it’s just – oh, you wouldn’t understand.

DOUG: Maybe I would. Let’s sit down and talk about it. (THEY sit on sofa.)

RON: You – how could you understand me? You’re so good and kind and faithful.

DOUG: Maybe I’m not. Maybe I’m a lowdown cheating liar.

RON: You’re not.

DOUG: I lied to you about having other guys.

RON: Oh, I knew that. You could never do anything like that. You love me too much.

DOUG: (Slightly stung) Maybe it’s time you really got to know me.

RON: What do you mean? What’s there to know?

DOUG: Kiss me and I’ll tell you.

RON: Kiss?

DOUG: Me and I’ll tell you.

(THEY kiss. DOUG makes it an involved one. HE signals EZRA to come out of the/bedroom and go out into hall while RON is blinded in his arms. Once EZRA is out, HE comes in again.

DOUG: (Breaks kiss.) Hey, who’s this?

RON: (Sees EZRA) Oh, dear God.

EZRA: Hi, Ron!

RON: What are you doing here? What do you want?

EZRA: You know what I want.

RON: You can’t find ‘it here!

EZRA: Boy, have you got a lot to learn.

RON: Doug, I can explain.

DOUG: No need. Would you like to sit down, Mister – why, I don’t know your name.

EZRA: Sure, there’s an article here I’d like to finish. (Sits and picks up magazine) And the name’s “Ezra.”

DOUG: Hm. I hear guys named “Ezra” get a lot.

EZRA: There aren’t any other guys named “Ezra.”

DOUG: Must be you I heard about.

EZRA: Must be. But if guys named “Ezra” can find real satisfaction in one place, they might be very happy there.

RON: (Sitting between the two, unbelieving) What are you two talking about?

DOUG: Honey, you’re a person who needs a little variety. Ezra’s a person who needs a lot. I’m a person who needs to love in many different ways. Does that suggest anything to you?

RON: But I hate all that trashing around! I do! It’s ridiculous for a grown-up businessman. It takes time, it takes effort, it erodes relationships.

DOUG: No one suggested running around.

RON: Will you please tell me what you’re talking about? (To EZRA) And will you please go home?

DOUG: He’s what I’m talking about. And we’re talking about his coming home.

RON: Huh?

DOUG: Here.

RON: Here?

DOUG: Here.

EZRA: Hear, hear!

RON: You’re kidding. That isn’t like you!

DOUG: You don’t know what I’m like.

RON: (Looking back and forth) The three of us?

EZRA: Stability and adventure all at once. What could be better for three grown men?

RON: (To DOUG) But honey, even if I said, “Yes,” you couldn’t do that. You know you’d never be happy with anyone but me.

DOUG: (Miffed) And you need one other thing: you need to be a little less sure of yourself. Let’s put our feet up and talk about it.

RON: (Rises) No, I’m leaving.

DOUG: (Shoves RON down) Put your feet up, Ron.

RON: No, I won’t.

DOUG: Ezra?

EZRA: Yes, Doug?

DOUG: Might I borrow your lighter?

EZRA: Hands lighter over RON) Why, certainly, Doug.

DOUG: (Puts lighter to RON’s feet) Now put your feet up, you bastard! (RON does, showing his green and red socks. DOUG hands lighter to EZRA.) Thank you, Ezra.

EZRA: You’re more than welcome, Doug.

DOUG: (Indicates coffee-table) Ezra? (EZRA puts his feet up, revealing one red sock and one yellow.) Thank you, Ezra. (DOUG puts up his feet, revealing one green sock and one yellow.)

(RON looks at the three pair of mix-and-match feet on the table, looks disbelievingly at DOUG and EZRA, who nod, grinning. RON starts to laugh. DOUG puts a foot over RON’S. EZRA puts a foot over DOUG’S. RON puts his other foot up. DOUG puts his other one up. EZRA puts his other one up. A Xmas tree of Green, red, and yellow socks towers on the coffee table as RON laughs harder and harder.)

DOUG: Honey, what are you laughing at?

EZRA: Yes, honey, what?

RON: I was just thinking –

DOUG and EZRA: What?

RON: Wait till next Sunday. Tex and Clint will shit!

(ALL burst into laughter.)


2 Responses to “play – SIT-COM by Robert Patrick”

  1. RESUME/Links to Online Works « Robert Patrick's Personal Blog Says:

    […] SIT-COM – A Play For Three Men […]


    […] SIT-COM – A Play For Three Men THE IDOL – A Play For Three Men […]

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