First week of November. In the men’s room in the offices of the Brooklyn Federal Court of Appeals. Louis is crying over the sink. Joe enters.
JOE: Oh, um...Morning.
LOUIS: Good morning, Counselor.
JOE (He watches Louis cry): Sorry, I...I don't know your name.
LOUIS. Don't bother. A word processor. The lowest of the low.
JOE (Holding out hand): Joe Pitt. I'm with Justice Wilson.
LOUIS: Oh, I know that. Counselor Pitt. Chief Clerk.
JOE: Were you...are you OK?
LOUIS: Oh, yeah. Thanks. What a nice man.
JOE: Not so nice.
JOE: Not so nice. Nothing. You sure you’re...
LOUIS: Life sucks shit. Life...just sucks shit.
JOE: What’s wrong.
LOUIS: Run in my nylons.
LOUIS: Forget it. Look, thanks for asking.
LOUIS: I mean, it really is nice of you.
(He starts crying again)
Sorry. Sick friend…
JOE: Oh, I'm sorry.
LOUIS: Yeah, yeah, well, that’s sweet.
Three of your colleagues have preceded you to this baleful sight and
and you're the first one to ask. The others just opened the door, saw me, and fled. I hope they had to pee real bad.
JOE (Handing him a wad of toilet paper): They just didn't want to intrude.
LOUIS: Hah. Reaganite heartless macho asshole lawyers.
JOE: Oh, that's unfair.
LOUIS: What is? Heartless? Macho? Reaganite? Lawyer?
JOE: I voted for Reagan.
LOUIS: You did?
LOUIS: Twice? Well, oh boy. A Gay Republican.
JOE: Excuse me?
JOE: I'm not...
LOUIS: Republican? Not Republican? Or…
JOE: Not gay. I'm not gay.
LOUIS: Oh. Sorry.
(Blows his nose loudly) It’s just…
LOUIS: Well, Sometimes you can tell from the way a person sounds that...I mean you sound like a …
JOE: No I don’t. Like what?
LOUIS: Like a Republican.
(Little pause. Joe knows he’s being teased; Louis knows he knows. Joe decides to be a little brave)
JOE (Making sure no one is around): Do I? Sound like a…?
LOUIS: What? Like a…? Republican, or…? Do I?
JOE: Do you what?
LOUIS: Sound like a…?
JOE: Like a…?
My name is Louis. But all my friends call me Louise.
I work in Word Processing. Thanks for the toilet paper.
(Louis offers Joe his hand, Joe reaches, Louis feints and pecks Joe on the cheek, then exits.)