Things Allan Wasn’t Allowed to Do
By Sebastian Fortino
Allan & Rick, gay couple, Allan late 20s. Allan is shorter, much shorter. Rick is much taller and Latin, about a decade older. They are sitting on the sofa reading the Sunday paper, having coffee. It’s a sunny morning. There are a pair of casement windows, that open like doors.
Rick [play opens with Rick on sofa, he’s the older/taller of the two]
Good morning dear.
Allan [coming in from bedroom]
Good morning dear.
[Allan goes offstage into kitchen; he returns from kitchen carrying coffee and a plate of biscotti, sits down next to Rick]
Rick [sees biscotti, makes face]
Could you not do that in here.
Allan [bites into cookie, makes face back at him]
You’ll get crumbs all over the sofa and the floor. I told you, you’re not allowed to eat in the living room. Crumbs!
Funny, you say that! If I’m the only one who vacuums why am I not allowed to eat in my own damn living room?
Rick [frowns, sighs]
You know, I don’t like it.
I don’t care. I am a grown-ass man. I have a job. I don’t get told what I can and what I cannot do by my husband.
Rick [shakes head]
When I make more of the money.
Oh yes. You do make more of the money but yet we split the bills evenly. Now, I’ve heard your favorite, Suze Ormon, recommends married people or couples who live together should share the bills based on percentages. So, if you make twenty-five percent more than I do you should pay twenty-five percent more of the bills. Or, maybe you pay…
We’re not doing that.
Speaking of doing — what are we doing today? It’s a beautiful Sunday. I know some of the guys, that nice Robert fellow, are going to the beach.
We live in Portland. There is no beach. I am not driving out to the coast. You’re not allowed to drive to the coast in my car.
Not allowed? I pay for half the lease on that car! Why shouldn’t I be allowed to drive it.
Well, for one, you don’t know how to drive.
Exactly. Why shouldn’t I learn how to drive the car? You know, to drive the car to which I contribute funds?
Because, you’re not allowed.
Well, it just so happens that the guys are not going to the Coast. They are not even driving. They are taking the shuttle to Rooster Rock.
Rick [shakes head, puts down paper]
No. No. No bueno! We’re certainly not taking a shuttle. Too expensive.
It’s five dollars round trip! That’s a ten dollar outing for the two of us. We can make sandwiches and pack the small cooler. Pick up a few bottles of beer and…
I don’t care. We’re not going. You’re not allowed.
Why can’t I go? Why am I allowed, or not allowed to do certain things?
You don’t even have a bathing suit. You’re not allowed to buy a new one. I know you. You’ll intend to get a ten-dollar one at H&M but you’ll just happen to see a Vilebrequin on sale at Nordstrom’s for thirty and…
Why are you laughing?
Well, Vilebrequins start at around two-hundred and thirty bucks!
Well, clearly you ain’t gettin one of those!
Allan [devilish, shiteating grin]
Well, that’s just fine. They’re going to the nude beach. Ya’don’t even need a bathing suit.
Rick [gets up to go into the kitchen]
You are absolutely not allowed to go to a nude beach, especially one populated by naked gay men. As we say in Spanish, punto final. You are not allowed to go.
Allan [fuming, puts head in hands]
And, I — I say you’re not allowed to make a cocktail before ten in the morning. This isn’t vacation, you know.
Rick [from the kitchen]
Ha, you think you can tell me what to do, you little shit?
Allan [sobbing, begging]
Please! I don’t think it’s asking too much to ask you not to be drunk before one in the afternoon.
Oh, I’ll do what I want! No question of that.
Allan [sobbing, begging]
It’s supposed to be a beautiful Sunday. All I want to do is go to the beach and eat a sandwich, and get out of the city for a few hours. Why can’t we go? Please! Please, can we go?
Rick [comes in from kitchen with orange juice and vodka in a pint glass]
No, no, no!
Allan [smiling, happier, a little delirious, he knows he won’t be allowed but still goes on]
Then I shall go alone. Robert and his boyfriend will be at the Gateway Transportation Center and I can pack the cooler for just me. I have some beer in the fridge. All I’ll spend is the five dollars for the shuttle and…
What did I say earlier? Punto final! No, no, no!
Allan [gets up from sofa, angry]
You promised me when we left Florida we could cultivate a social life.
I said that, I said a lot to get you to move here.
Allan [sobbing, then angry]
What does that mean? You manipulated me into moving here? I know you did. I figured that out a long time ago.
You wanted to move here. It was all your idea.
No, I was happy in Florida. I was sick of the summer heat but I could have stayed living there. It was you who begged me. Begged me countless hours in front of my friends, in front of my mother when she came down or we went up North. Everyone knows it. Everybody knows it was you who wanted to move here! You promised me with every new job or every new apartment and now after this move, you once again promised me a social life. Friends.
Go to the bedroom! Close the door. You stay in there for the rest of the day.
I will not be punished for wanting to go to the beach with my friend. With the only friend you’ve let me make.
You don’t get to have friends. Punto final!
Allan [turns away from him]
I am going to the beach! I am going to get dressed and make some sandwiches and go. You can’t stop me.
Rick [gets up, puts down drink]
Oh yes, yes I can! You come here.
[Allan turns around and sees Rick begin to come at him, he tries to throw an armchair in his path, Rick stops it, he grabs Allan by the hair and neck and he strangles him]
Allan [while being strangled, he’s now facing the audience]
Stop it Rick, please!
You get in that room, now!
Allan [while being strangled]
You’re gonna bruise my neck!
Rick [drags Allan to bedroom, pushes him in, closes door, pulls a key out from his pocket]
I know! I know, I will. That way, that way you won’t want to show your fat little body at the nude beach. You won’t want to go anywhere, if I can help it.
Allan [crying from behind bedroom door]
Fat? I lost twenty pounds. I’m no longer fat. I can do what I want. I’m an adult. Unlock the door.
Rick [sitting on sofa]
Shut your fat mouth. Punto final. You don’t ever get to do what you want. If I want to do something we do it. You don’t tell me you want to, because then I won’t want to. You stay in there until I tell you to come out.
— stage goes dark, all we hear is Allan sobbing —
Rick [passed out on sofa, an empty bottle of vodka, some takeout boxes, he wakes up, yawning, he looks at his watch; needless to say he is very drunk]
Where is the little shit?
I’m in here. You locked me in four hours ago. Let me out.
Have you learned your lesson?
I am not your child. I don’t have to learn any lessons.
You wanna stay in there the rest of the day?
Allan [sighs through door]
No, I want to go out and do something.
Rick [smiles, picks up Allan’s wallet off of the coffee table, pulls out money and cards, puts them in his own wallet which he has in his pocket, he then goes to open the locked door]
Sure. All right! You can go and get the shuttle to Rooster Rock. I think your friend is already there. I’ll just stay home by myself.
Allan [coming out of bedroom, his neck is bruised]
Oh, really! Can I? Can I really go, please?
Rick [sucks down vodka orange]
Absolutely! Just because I wanna stay home, doesn’t mean you have to stay with me, honey.
[Allan jumps up to hug Rick, he kisses him on the cheek, then smiles, then kisses him on the lips, he pulls back at the taste of the orange juice and vodka]
Oh, thank you honey! Thank you. I’ll just go and get dressed. You’re right. It’s only one o’clock. The shuttles runs back to town until just after six. I’ll just go out there on my own.
[Allan goes back into the bedroom, we hear drawers open and close; he chatters about tank tops and flip flops and sunscreen, ad lib it; Rick goes to sit on the sofa; he’s holding back laughter, he pulls out another bottle of vodka from a paper bag, and makes a drink on the coffee table]
He won’t wanna go when he sees that neck. He won’t be able to go when he sees his wallet is empty.
Allan [comes out of bedroom, drawstring shorts, tank top, flip flops, sunglasses, etc., tote bag]
Thanks for being so understanding honey.
Don’t, don’t you wanna brush your teeth before you go?
Oh, good idea, honey!
[he goes offstage in another direction, the idea is there is no mirror in the bedroom/the bathroom isn’t in the bedroom, so Allan hasn’t seen the bruising around his neck]
Allan [shreeks, pouts, sobs]
Oh no, you left my neck so bruised. So bruised! I can’t go today.
Rick [cruel laughing, stumbling, he’s wasted]
Oh, sorry hon. I said punto final, and punto final I meant.
And, and I told you not to be wasted before one o’clock.
It’s after one.
Allan [picks up empty vodka bottle, points to full one]
Clearly, clearly you were wasted before.
And so what’s it matter? I do what I want.
Allan [picks up wallet off of coffee table]
Well, you can do what you want. I can do what I want! I — I’ll tell them I was mugged last night.
No, you were mugged this afternoon.
What — what do you mean?
Rick [cruel laughter]
Check your wallet. Your cards and your cash are gone. I mugged you. You ain’t goin anywhere, punto final.
Allan [crushed, he accepts the fact he can’t win, he sits on sofa]
That’s not fair.
Life’s not fair, shithead.
[Allan cries again]
Rick [starts checking out Allan]
You know, you know…you really did lose twenty pounds. I haven’t seen you wear those shorts in well over two years.
Yes! You actually noticed. Thanks honey!
In fact, you look pretty damn good.
Oh, thank you honey. May I make myself a drink?
Of course you can, especially since you asked so nicely.
[Allan goes into the kitchen, Rick takes off his shirt and his pants, he’s wearing ugly underwear, boxer briefs, he has an erection]
Oh, Allan, I got something special for you.
Allan [making drink in kitchen, he comes out at the end of his line]
Oh, what’s that? I’ll be right with you.
Rick [rubbing a dildo under the underwear, unless he can get hard]
You know what it is…
Oh no, not now honey. Not now.
Rick [coming towards Allan]
It’s a medical need. It’s not about passion. It’s about being backed up down there.
It’s supposed to be about passion, it’s not supposed to be about a medical need. Now, I think, I think…
I don’t care what you fucking think! I make the decisions around here! Now, get into the bedroom. I am fucking you now!
Allan [sips drink deeply]
No, no you will not.
Rick [chases Allan around coffee table, Allan sloshes his drink, he drops it, and slips, conveniently falls on his stomach, he pins him to the floor, laughs evilly]
Oh, I won’t huh? Oh, well, I will! I do what I want. Even if you don’t want my dick, you get my dick!
[he pulls off Allan’s shorts, we hear muffled sobs as he holds a pillow from the sofa over Allan’s head, pushing his head into the floor/carpet, stage goes dark, we hear him spit]
That’s it, you’ll take it and like it.
Allan is on the sofa. He has his legs drawn up to his chest. It’s still daytime, late afternoon He looks, damaged, raped. Rick is pointing a TV remote into the audience, flipping channels, he’s completely wasted now. A text message comes to Allan’s phone on the coffee table. He picks it up. He smiles. The casement window is open.
Oh, Rick, since we didn’t do anything today, can I go downstairs and have Sunday happy hour with Robert and his boyfriend? They’re at the rooftop bar right next door. They can see our apartment from their table.
Not with that neck you can’t.
It’s just cool enough that I can wear a button-up shirt, with short sleeves. The look right now is to button all the way up. Nobody will see.
Well, I don’t wanna go. How do I know they’re really down there? How do I know it’s them you’re going to see…and you’re not just trying to get away from me? From your loving husband that just fucked you good!
Allan [rolls eyes, smiles]
Well, why don’t you go to the window! They said they’ll wave at us when they see us at the window.
Rick [gets up, stumbles]
OK. If I see them down there, you’re allowed to go. Only if I see them, though. I wanna make sure you’re within my sight for the whole half-hour you’re allowed to go have a drink. One drink? OK.
Allan [smiles agreeably]
Ok. That’s fine. I won’t even order an appetizer.
Rick [turns towards window, back to Allan]
You’re getting one five dollar bill for a four dollar beer, tip outta that.
Oh, that’s fine then. Thank you.
[Rick moves drunkenly to the window, he sticks his head out, he waves wildly; stealthily Allan moves behind him]
Rick [suddenly turns around]
You know, I don’t see Robert. He’s sort of tall, like me, right? Very blond?
Allan [goes to open window next to open one by Ricky]
Yes, that’s right. Tall, blond. Oh, don’t you see them, dear? Oh, I see them. I see them! Hey Robert!
I still don’t see them.
[Allan pulls away from his closed window goes next to Rick at open one]
Oh, just — maybe if you lean out just a little bit more. I see them still. Keep looking.
[Allan pulls back from window, he crouches down behind Rick]
I just don’t see them. I think they’re pulling your leg.
No dear, just, just look a little bit more, lean out a little bit more towards your right. I am sure you’ll see them now.
Oh, I think I see Robert waving.
Allan [begins to bend down, arms extended, making contact with Rick’s rear end, he pulls out his cash and cards from Rick’s back pocket]
See, I told you you’d see them now!
[At “now” he pushes Rick out of the open casement window. We hear Rick screaming as he falls out of the window. We hear a thud on the ground. The phone rings a few seconds later. He is careful not to be seen at the window.]
Hello. Yes, yes this is apartment six-oh-seven, this is the apartment manager, isn’t it. What can I help you with? Oh, what’s that! He fell out the window! What! Oh no, I was — you see, I was in the bathroom! [pretends to panic, runs to window, looks down] Oh no, I do see him there! My god, the blood, the blood. [we hear an ambulance in the distance] I was just telling him to look for our friends at the rooftop bar nextdoor. Oh my god, I’ll be right downstairs.
Allan [phone rings again]
Robert, yes, it’s him! Yeah, it was Rick, he was just waving to you. I am coming down right now. The building manager called me first. I — I have to go! I guess I’ll see you down there. Oh, thank you, you’re such a friend. I just have to go to the bathroom because if I don’t now I might piss myself downstairs. OK. OK. Thank you!
[Allan sits down on sofa; he returns his cash and his cards to his wallet; he pulls a bunch of tissues from a box on the coffee table; he wipes off the bruise makeup from around his neck; he smiles at the audience]
Allan [pulls compact out from his pocket]
Well, he did strangle me. It’s not my fault it didn’t leave a bruise. He’s left a bruise before. At first I just wanted to make him feel guilty, but he never does. One thing he allows me, Halloween with my friends. I have plenty of makeup in the bedroom. Even if he hates — well, hated — mirrors except in the bathroom I still have a compact for when I do dress up. But, we don’t want the police or the EMTs asking why my neck was bruised, or in my case, covered in makeup. Now, do we?
One thing Rick never said I wasn’t allowed to do was push him out the window. So, I pushed him out the window. [he smiles, he exits stage]