Monday, March 12, 2012

angels in america

Act 1, Scene 6

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.

LOUIS: What?

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.

JOE: Sorry...?

LOUIS: Forget it. Look, thanks for asking.

JOE: Well…

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?

JOE: Twice.

LOUIS: Twice? Well, oh boy. A Gay Republican.

JOE: Excuse me?

LOUIS: Nothing.

JOE: I'm not...

Forget it.

LOUIS: Republican? Not Republican? Or…

JOE: What?

LOUIS: What?

JOE: Not gay. I'm not gay.

LOUIS: Oh. Sorry.

(Blows his nose loudly) It’s just…

JOE: Yes?

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…?


Louis: Yes.

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.)

Drawing: Kiki Smith, Silver Bird, 2006 at Brooklyn Museum

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