Adam Stone

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PLAY 010/0620-19


The shower is intimate. Or rather, it’s small. There’s not a lot of room in the shower, especially not for more than one person. Still, though, we—the audience—have managed to make enough room for ourselves and one another.

It doesn’t take long for the dry shower head to start seeming threatening to us; not violently, but like a potential annoying prank. It would be unpleasant for it to turn on right now. The way it’s positioned we would almost certainly get wet. So we’re just staring down the multiple barrels because it feels like if we remain vigilant in our gaze we can hold at bay what by now seems inevitable. The imminence is real. We’ve been here long enough without anything else happening that now we’re simply bracing ourselves against the impending wet. It’s a relatively nice temperature in the theater, so warm or cold, the water isn’t going to be pleasant. Already we can feel it, and even the sound of the running shower is a perceptible echo of a future certainty.

We’re still staring into those shower head barrels when suddenly the plastic curtain to our right is swiped across the curtain rod by an arm which is followed into the shower by BILLY (it was BILLY’s arm, which is, yes, attached to BILLY).

BILLY is nude and pays us no mind. He shuts the shower curtain, reaches up to the shower head turning it down toward the tile floor, steps to the side (it’s a tight fit between the soon-to-be-running water and the curtain), and then he reaches to turn on the shower. The water, of course, does not come anywhere near to spraying us.

BILLY puts his hand in the stream of water and adjusts the temperature with his other hand. He turns to us as he does so.

I’m tempted. I am. But then aren’t we all. I’m only twenty-four. I don’t know what it means; to be twenty-four and to know I’m unclean. I don’t mean that literally. I mean I’m unclean like a sinner. If I’m being totally honest, which I think is appropriate in this context, I’m sinning right now. I’m telling you because I want you to know that I know and that I’m working on it. I know the confession doesn’t usually go directly to the “sinned against”, but I want to tell you direct because it’s you I’m thinking sexy thoughts about. It’s you, audience, who I’m guilty of objectifying in my desire. I know we’re all the main character of our own show, and everyone alive is having the same depth of experience, but also you’re here in the shower with me and I’m naked and it feels sexy and I’m worried about the cleanliness of my soul.

BILLY looks down for a moment, feeling the temperature of the water. He opens his mouth to say something more, but then simply steps into the water faced away from us. He washes himself, beginning with his head, then working his way down from there.

SHARON enters from the same side, pushing the curtain open just a little to do so. She pulls off the towel slung over her shoulder (which wasn’t serving to cover her nakedness) and hangs it on the curtain rod, shutting the curtain behind her.

Neither SHARON nor BILLY acknowledge one another. The choreography of their washing is so perfect they seem to never come into contact with one another while both accomplishing a full wash.

BILLY eventually lies down on his back, putting his feet in the air to feel the water on the bottoms of them and SHARON keeps on with her wash, stepping through and around the BILLY obstacle.

Breaking waves. A new kind of cup and forever the thing stays silent.

I wish I was in bed.

For now, enjoy the water. I can’t untangle anything ‘til we get out, and unfortunately we’re not getting any older no matter how hard we try to carry one another into adulthood. You’re a child, love.

I’m pregnant.

Shut up.

Frequently now (and the frequency has been increasing throughout their dialogue), BILLY puts a washcloth over the drain and then removes it. Water moves toward our feet and then back away when he lifts the makeshift plug.

Finally, SHARON sits on BILLY’s stomach, facing us, and BILLY puts his feet and legs fully on the floor.

My beautiful Billy. Pressure says nothing of how tender I know him to be. Billy breathes and I breathe and there’s something about you I don’t trust. I’m sorry. That’s cruel. You’re vulnerable here and I’m naked.

SHARON pauses, then looks around at BILLY’s face behind her, his head back against the floor. Her smile informs us of his smile.

(turning back toward us, but talking to BILLY)
I believe you, you know.

I know.

SHARON is holding BILLY’s foot in her hands, idly rubbing it. One of his hands rests just around her side, tucked under a breast.

The water continues to run as the lights go out, the sound then continuing on its own throughout our eventual applause and exit.