CAST OF CHARACTERS

JOY, a romantically lost 24-year-old woman.

WILLIAM, an extremely organized 24-year-old man.

SETTINGS

Joy’s bedroom.

SCENE 1

AT RISE, we see JOY and WILLIAM. They are sitting across from each other on JOY’s bed. JOY’s blouse is off while WILLIAM is fully clothed. Their bodies are only lit by the lamp on the bedside table.

JOY
Oh.

WILLIAM
Uhm, yeah.

JOY
I didn’t notice at all.

WILLIAM
Right.

JOY
Well, uh…

WILLIAM
I can show myself out.

JOY
Wait, wait.

WILLIAM
What?

JOY
I’m just-

WILLIAM
Not okay with it.

JOY
No! It’s not like that.

WILLIAM
Okay.

JOY
I didn’t expect it.

WILLIAM
Sure.

JOY
It’s not like you look like you were once… someone else.

WILLIAM
I’ve always been the same person.

JOY
Well, it doesn’t look like you were once a woman. (beat) I’m sorry, I just, I don’t know what to say.

WILLIAM
I can leave, it’s fine.

JOY
Just because I don’t know what to say doesn’t mean that I don’t want to know what to say.

WILLIAM
What?

JOY
I want to say the right things. Just give me a chance.

WILLIAM
Right, well. My… gender history doesn’t make me any less of a guy than any other guy on the street.

JOY
Of course, you’re just a regular guy.

(JOY playfully punches WILLIAM on the shoulder.)

Wow, you have some really strong arms. Like Michelle Obama, fuck, Serena Williams, fuck no not that, I meant The Rock. You know Dwayne Johnson. The really big guy. (JOY flexes her arms and makes herself look tough. A giggle pries out of WILLIAM.) That probably wasn’t right.

WILLIAM
It’s okay. Both comparisons were flattering.

JOY
I wasn’t kissing you because I thought you were born with a… you know.

WILLIAM
Right. I’m sorry, I just haven’t ever done this before.

JOY
What haven’t you done?

WILLIAM
This, between us. My partners usually know… beforehand.

JOY
Then it’s a night of firsts for the both of us. (beat) Do you want coffee or anything?

WILLIAM
Alright, I’ll have some.

JOY
Okay, I’ll go make some.

(JOY stumbles out of the bed and scrambles around to find her top.)

I need to turn the light on.

(JOY walks off stage for a moment. The house lights turn on. Joy comes back on stage. She finds her sweater by the side of bed. She puts it on.)

Alright, I’m going to go do the coffee thing.

WILLIAM nods and JOY walks off stage. WILLIAM is left twiddling his thumbs. He stands up and begins to make the bed. He works slowly and concisely as he lays one blanket over another. He places the pillows symmetrically next to each other and makes sure they’re orderly.

JOY
walks on stage with two coffee mugs and a bottle of whiskey.

WILLIAM
Hi.

JOY
Hi. I’ve never seen my bed this tidy before.

WILLIAM
Yeah, I just thought it would be nice to organize.

JOY
Right, right.

(JOY hands WILLIAM a mug.)

I thought maybe, we would need something stronger.

WILLIAM
Right, well I’m actually in AA.

JOY drops the liquor bottle with a dull thud.

JOY
Oh my god, I’m so sorry.

WILLIAM
It’s fine.

JOY buries her face in her hands.

JOY
I’m an idiot.

WILLIAM
No, it’s fine. (traumatized) It’s really okay. I’ve been sober for five years now.

JOY
That’s a long time. I feel like I need to drink just to get through a conversation with my mom.

WILLIAM
Uhm… It’s manageable.

JOY
That was a dumb thing to say wasn’t it?

WILLIAM
Not dumb, just…

JOY
Really dumb. (beat) I’m glad you’re okay now. You’re okay, right?

WILLIAM
Yes, I’m okay. (beat) It was just dad things or maybe I was just trying to get away from things, or both.

JOY
Yeah, I understand that. I’m proud of you. I know we don’t know each other much but, I’m still proud of you.

WILLIAM
Thank you. (beat) I’m just going to go to the bathroom for a second.

JOY
Go for it, first door on the right.

WILLIAM
Thanks.

WILLIAM walks off stage. JOY reaches for her phone on the night stand. She dials.

JOY
Mandy, I need to talk to you… No, I’m on a date right now, I don’t have time to hear about what you’re watching on the Food Network… A pie in a cake? Really? How’d they do that?… Wait, never mind. I need to talk to you… The guy I’m on a date with just told me he was born as a woman… No, he doesn’t look like a woman at all… He’s nice, he has a job and smells pretty well, he might actually be the only put together man that I’ve ever gone on a date with… He just wasn’t always a man or I guess not outwardly. Should I google the things I shouldn’t say? Honestly… Actually, this probably isn’t even tha-

(WILLIAM walks back on to the stage.)

Mandy, listen, I’m sorry you have to put your dog down but I’m sure that it’s in pain and that it’s going to a better place. I know you remember the movie All Dogs Go To Heaven? That was all fact. She’ll be okay. Okay, bye, Mandy. I hope you have a nice night.

(JOY hangs up the phone quickly and puts it back on the bedside table.) Sorry, about that. My friend called.

WILLIAM
It’s okay. I’m sorry about her dog.

JOY
Her dog?

(WILLIAM motions towards the phone.)

Right, right. Her dog… It’s so sad.

WILLIAM
Yes, I’m sorry.

JOY
I’m sure she’ll be fine. (beat) So, you have had sex with women, right?

WILLIAM
Yes, I have.

JOY
Were they… lesbians?

WILLIAM
No, they were women who were attracted to men.

JOY
I’m attracted to men, you know, I fit right in with them. I’m no different.

WILLIAM
Do I fit in with your sexual partners?

JOY
Not really, a lot of them were either entrepreneurs or unemployed, which I’m starting to figure out is the same thing. I was actually happy when you said where you were employed and then you bought me those crab legs. What a dream.

(WILLIAM laughs.)

WILLIAM
It was my pleasure to pay for dinner.

JOY
Sorry, I’m kind of oversharing.

WILLIAM
It’s okay.

JOY
So, how do you… do it?

WILLIAM
The same.

JOY
But you don’t have…

WILLIAM
I mean, I have something.

JOY
What?

(WILLIAM takes JOY’s hand and places it on his pelvic region.)

Oh, okay. Never mind.

(WILLIAM laughs nervously.)

Can I see it, maybe?

WILLIAM
Uh, yeah.

WILLIAM undoes his pants and takes out his prosthetic silicone penis.

JOY
It’s so clean.

WILLIAM
Yeah, it’s good to clean it.

JOY
I mean, spread the word. (beat) Can I touch it?
WILLIAM nods, JOY sticks out her index finger and pokes the prosthetic tentatively.

WILLIAM
It’s not going to bite you.

JOY
Sorry… It’s almost like I’m at summer camp all over. (JOY holds the prosthetic with her whole palm.)
It’s so… real. I mean, obviously it’s real. I’m sorry. I’m not saying it’s not real.

WILLIAM
It’s okay.

JOY
It’s really the nicest penis I’ve ever seen. (beat) It has a hole too and everything, is that… usable?

WILLIAM
Yes, I pee through it.

JOY
Right, duh. (beat) So, you used this to pee? Like just now?

WILLIAM
Yes.

JOY
Is it scary?

WILLIAM
To pee? Not really.

JOY
I didn’t mean it like that, I meant like when you’re in a public bathroom.

WILLIAM
At first, it was a little scary but I got used to it.

JOY
That’s good that you’re not scared.

WILLIAM
I’m sure you’d do the same.

JOY
Yeah, I guess it’s just a matter of… adapting.

(JOY looks at WILLIAM deeply in the eyes.)

I’m just gonna turn these lights off, they’re sort of intense.

(She gets up from the bed and goes off stage. The house lights turn off and it’s dark. You hear the sounds of JOY’s clunky footsteps as she walks back on stage. She turns on the lamp on the night stand.)

WILLIAM
Was looking at it too much for you?

JOY
No, no. I just thought this could be more intimate.

WILLIAM
Okay.

JOY
So…

(JOY grabs on to the prosthetic and rubs it downwards.)

Is this okay?

WILLIAM
Stop.

(JOY lets go of WILLIAM’s prosthetic penis.)

Sorry, I didn’t mean to yell.

JOY
It’s fine.

WILLIAM
Is this what you want?

JOY
What?

WILLIAM
Is this what you actually want or are you just doing this to… experiment?

JOY
Experiment? What am I? A virgin?

WILLIAM
No, are you just doing this to tell your friends or something?

JOY
No, listen, I’ve experimented with a lot of things. I had sex with a guy who had athlete’s foot once. I mean in my defense, it was loud and I thought that he was telling me he was an athlete not that he had athlete’s foot, anyway. I had dinner with a homeless man just because I wanted to hang out with his dog-

WILLIAM
You listing the oddities doesn’t make me feel better?

JOY
I don’t mean it like that. I just- I have a habit of dating men who suck because I convince myself to settle but you shower and you probably don’t procrastinate on your taxes and I’ve never been with someone like that before and I deserve to be with someone like that. I want you because I deserve it not because of some horrible sexual adventure.

WILLIAM
It’s easy.

JOY
What?

WILLIAM
Taxes. It’s just a few forms.

JOY
Yeah and you probably regularly do your laundry.

WILLIAM
Every Sunday.

FADE OUT

Isabela Quintero’s one-act play, “The First Night,” won third prize in the Fourth Annual School of Visual Arts Writing Program Contest. Isabela is a sophomore Film Honors major. She was born in Colombia: “I spent half my life in Spanish, and the other half in English.”