Written by Joe Janes
179 of 365
(Based on a premise by Val d'Orito and title suggested by Blair Bogin)
Homeless Guy, 50s
(Lights up on Valerie sitting on a park bench nibbling at a sandwich, but clearly having something weighing on her mind. Off behind her is a homeless guy rummaging through a garbage can. William enters, carrying his brown bag lunch. He kisses Valerie on the cheek and sits down.)
WILLIAMSorry, I’m late. The Monday morning staff meeting went longer than it was supposed to, or needed to. (Valerie doesn’t respond.) How are things going at the brokerage firm?
VALERIEOh, you know…
WILLIAMWhat’s wrong, Valerie?
VALERIEBlair didn’t come in to work today.
WILLIAMOh. Everything all right?
VALERIEShe got ruffied over the weekend.
WILLIAMThat’s horrible. Did she know the guy?
VALERIEI didn’t get the details. William, do you know anyone who’s been ruffied?
WILLIAMNot really. In college, I heard about-
VALERIESix of my friends have been ruffied. And now Blair makes seven.
WILLIAMIt’s a fucked up world.
VALERIEWhat’s wrong with me?
WILLIAMNothing. You’re perfect.
VALERIEYou’re just saying that because you love me.
VALERIEAm I not pretty enough? I know I’m conventionally pretty.
VALERIEMaybe it’s not all about looks, though. Maybe I’m too easy. If a guy thinks he can get somewhere with you, he’s not going to waste a ruffie on you.
WILLIAMI’m sure Blair would be happy to trade places with you.
VALERIEFine with me, but the guy who ruffied her would obviously be disappointed.
WILLIAMI’m sorry you’re not more attractive to douche bags.
VALERIEYou don’t know what it’s like.
WILLIAMYou’re right; I don’t know what it’s like to want to be molested.
VALERIEWilliam, I don’t want to be molested. It’s just that, I’ve never been molested. No creepy relative, no over attentive teacher or clergy. No sloppy, pathetic gropes from a nightclub drunk. Not even a closet lesbian college roommate. Jesus Christ, it can mess with a girl. I’ve never even been rubbed up against on a crowded train.
WILLIAMReally? Sheesh, even I’ve had that happen.
VALERIEMan or woman?
WILLIAMBoth. Same train ride.
VALERIEI feel like a virgin that should be tossed into a volcano.
WILLIAMWould you like me to rub up against you?
VALERIEYou don’t count.
VALERIEI want someone to find me so viscerally physically hot they can’t stand it. They just have to touch me. You know me too well. You like me for lots of different reasons. I want to know that I’m so smoking hot it makes someone go into heat and do stupid things, like whip it out on the bus and risk getting kicked off or arrested.
WILLIAMYou really want something like that?
VALERIEAt least once. It’s kind of a compliment.
(William sets his lunch down on the bench and Valerie continues to stare out. He whispers to the homeless guy who nods his head. The homeless guy walks up behind Valerie and sets his junk on her shoulder.)
VALERIE (continuing)That is so sweet.
(William tries to give the man some money, but he waves him off.)
HOMELESS GUYIt’s on me.
VALERIE (noticing it’s not William and jumping up)Ew!