Mote: Act Twenty-Two of Angel




Spotlight on Cole: who sits on upper center stage, staring at the hands that lay in his lap. The stage is empty, and endless behind him.


Cole: (Whispering.) Lying with you, my poison hipped angel, is all I ever wanted. Why did you make me fall too?


Front screen drops, house spots down, back lights up, they follow Cole, who stands and crosses to center. He watches a film projected on the screen in front of him. It’s Cole, talking to someone. It looks like an examination process. The screening drops in and out of focus, so we can only make out Cole’s figure and someone else, dressed in a green nurses’ smock.


Cole: When I found out, I got them treated immediately. I was sleeping around a lot then. God, that hole inside was gaping then, and I was sinking. I needed something to plug it quick; my lifeboat didn’t come with a bucket. Being a survivor was harder than I thought. I ran around thinking that I was invincible; that He hadn’t brought me down. In the back of my mind, I knew He was still a shadow looming over me.


The film follows Cole’s description, and then fades to black at “I knew”.


Cole: Problem was, I had them before the people I slept around with. I had them before Him. (Addressing audience.) Fuck you, Jason! (Screen up, house spots on as Cole walks out from under the rising screen.) What shitty luck! It’s funny how life had just given me that pill. ‘Cause, if I hadn’t gotten tested when I did—who knows—I might be dying now. (Back to looking at his hands.) Having been out of a relationship for the better part of half a year, I figured it would be a good idea to get tested again. I’d never had a physical examination for STD’s before. Neither had Jason, apparently, though he told me he was HIV negative; everyone else had, too. The fags who are worried only seem like they’re worried about The Big One, sometimes. That’s because they only want to stay alive for long enough to plug The Big Hole. (Addressing audience.) Like I don’t have a license to criticize my own kind! I never used protection. What can I say, it felt better? I remember when I first got tested, I was so nervous I forgot what “negative” and “positive” meant. I called Jason because he was the only person I still cared enough about to let know. I had reached the breaking point eight months before. Jason was an asshole; he took advantage of me by fucking his new toy in my house. On my bed! (Spits.) But even if I hated him, he was still my first boyfriend. And you can never forget your first.


Fade to black, screen down, projector up.


Cole: When I told Jason, he said that he knew. Jason found out a while ago. I asked him why he hadn’t told me and he sighed and said he didn’t know. Then we hung up. I didn’t want to “catch up.” Half of the guys I’d dated in the past year were suddenly calling me up to see how I was doing. Most of them were looking to get back together. The others were just disappointed that all I wanted to do when I met them again was fuck them. But, honestly, what else did I have in common with most of them? God, I needed to stop fucking people before I started dating them. But I felt closest to them all in bed. It was where I felt most free. The rest of my life was just a hidden, balled up mess of something that I didn’t want to deal with.


Cole: (Crosses to lower left. Directing now, facing upper center stage.) Cut the stage lights and bring up a blue spotlight. Narrow its wide band of light onto a boy laying prone (screen up, lights up on Adam), facing us. Next to him lies another boy, facing away. The first boy lies writhed, in a fetal position. The other lies behind the first, deathly still, stretched out and breathing deeply. We can’t quite see the boy behind him, but we can tell he’s there. From out of the nape of the boy’s neck, a shoulder slopes. The first boy rolls on his back, and so the mystery lover is revealed.


Cole throws his arm out to present Sam and Adam lying on a bed, naked, with a sheet covering them. Soft white and blue lights are cast onto the stage. They dimly set the scene. A window and a beautiful, vast sea of stars drop down behind them. Sam rolls over, facing Adam and drapes his arm over Adam’s chest.


Cole: (Continuing to watch.) Imagine he is as beautiful as any famously known Renaissance sculpture . . . imagine him painfully perfect in every way but the one that matters most.


Sam wakes up and pantomimes asking Adam a question. Adam shakes his head. Sam talks some more and Adam keeps shaking his head. Adam sits up, feet off the bed. Sam touches Adam’s shoulder, but Adam shrugs it off and exits, stage left.


Cole: I couldn’t bear to think that this boy was just looking for something to plug the hole.


Spotlight on Cole fades to black, fade back lights. Blue spotlight up, on Sam, who sits up and rubs his hands through his hair. . . Fade to black.