Bed of Roses
(Readers, I hope you have some patience for a ten-minute play)
This is entirely fictional and is the product of the author’s own imagination. Any resemblance to actual people, places and events is purely coincidental.
Ray – 22 years old. Gay theatre arts student. Had a fling with Daniel.
Daniel – 22 years old. Straight engineering major.
PJ – 23 years old. Straight. Female. Physical Education major. On-and-off relationship with Ramon.
Ramon – 23 years old. Straight. A graduate of information technology
The play is located in a bedroom of a typical male college student. It is messy. The bed is covered by a (relatively) dirty bedsheet — it is white (but no longer white because of the dirt) with red roses printed on it. There are cabinets on the left and a study table with a laptop on the right. The main lights of the room are out — they have been broken prior to this encounter. There are windows to the back and to the side and — and this is very important — they are covered by venetian blinds and the venetian blinds are also covered by bedsheets. In one blind, the bedsheet has fallen. The lighting comes from either the balcony or through peripheral lights at the side (side table lamp, closet lights) or from the laptop.
Ray and Daniel are onstage. They are still fully clothed. Daniel is trying to put the fallen bedsheet over the closed venetian blinds. Ray is smoking downstage, not looking at him.
Unless stated otherwise, all characters (except PJ) will be continuously smoking NEAR the balcony. Smoking is not allowed within the room itself. PJ does not smoke.
DANIEL: A little help, please.
RAY: In a while.
DANIEL: C’mon, someone might see.
RAY: It’s a venetian blind. Blind. B-L-I-N-D. Who can see through venetian blinds?
DANIEL: I’d be more comfortable if it were covered. (beat) oh and close the balcony door.
RAY: (exasperated) No one can see you.
DANIEL (the corner of the bedsheet has fallen): Got tape?
RAY: Study table.
DANIEL: Can you get it?
RAY: (pause) Get it yourself.
DANIEL: You’re mad.
RAY: I’m not. If you want tape, there’s tape over there. I’m not stopping you.
DANIEL: (goes down and finds the tape) You’re mad and you don’t think I can tell.
RAY: It doesn’t matter if you can tell or not.
DANIEL: What time is PJ coming?
RAY: In a while.
RAY: In a while.
DANIEL: Why are you pissed? This was your idea.
RAY: I’m not pissed, Daniel.
DANIEL: I just, is it too much to ask to help me cover these blinds? I mean, you’re fucking me, all I want is to at least be comfortable with the idea and make sure no one can see me —
RAY: No one can see you through the blinds!
DANIEL: Okay, you know what, I’ll just do it myself. I’ll hang these bedsheets all by myself even if it’s so hard.
DANIEL: Don’t have to get all mad about it.
RAY: I’m not mad, Daniel, I’m…I’m sorry.
DANIEL: You know I’m ashamed to be here.
RAY: You mean you’re ashamed of me.
DANIEL: No (beat) Of me.
RAY: God, if that’s such a big a deal, then why do we still fucking do it?
DANIEL: It’s fine. I’m open to it.
RAY: And you assume me to be?
DANIEL: I like it just the way it is. It’s fine, it’s fine. I have no problem with that.
RAY: You mean you like how I suck your dick? How I lick your balls? How I fuck your ass?
DANIEL: Not so loud.
RAY: It was just as much as pleasurable for you as it was for me.
DANIEL: But you’re gay!
RAY: And you still think you’re not.
DANIEL: A penis is a penis, regardless of whose mouth is on it.
RAY: Keep telling yourself that. (beat) Your girlfriend’s mouth’s not good enough.
DANIEL: That’s what this is about. You’re jealous. You feel something for me and you want me to feel something back. (beat) I’m straight.
RAY: Then why are you here?
DANIEL: When a guy cheats, they either always blame him or blame the other woman. They villify the other woman without thinking — it’s actually a big compliment for her. Actually, it’s the fault of the first girlfriend — she has something missing, something the other woman has. So, can you just feel flattered?
RAY: I have a dick and your girlfriend doesn’t. Wow.
DANIEL: You’re overthinking.
RAY: You’re right. It’s always my fault. Jesus.
DANIEL: Aren’t you having fun with me? Isn’t this just…chill?
DANIEL: (beat) You don’t trust me.
RAY: Neither do you.
DANIEL: (pause) You know, I always have a gun.
RAY: And you’re telling this me now.
DANIEL: No, no. This is coming out wrong. Not like that.
RAY: Where is it?
DANIEL: I won’t tell.
RAY: Because you’re planning to use it?
DANIEL: Because I don’t tell anyone.
RAY: That seems fair. And very practical. (Beat) I have a knife hidden somewhere in this room. You never what asshole I bring here.
DANIEL: So what time is PJ coming?
RAY: They’re on their way. Might be in just a bit.
DANIEL: Did you really text her?
RAY: (throws his phone at Daniel) You’re doubting me again? Go. Read.
DANIEL: Relax. You wanted to do this.
RAY: No. You wanted to do this. I wanted you happy.
DANIEL: Is PJ alone?
RAY: No. Ramon is with her.
DANIEL: Who is Ramon?
RAY: An ex, an on-off-thing, honestly, I don’t know. Something like that. Complicated. (beat) You’ll like him. He’s a junkie too.
DANIEL: I’m not an addict.
RAY: Sure. (beat) Move over.
RAY: I’m going to change the bedspread.
DANIEL: This is already fine.
RAY: It’s dirty. It might’ve passed for you but I know PJ. She wouldn’t even want to touch this.
DANIEL: Ray, stop. We already talked about this. You know how I feel. You know what I can give and what I can’t.
RAY: And I told you what I felt.
DANIEL: No. No, you didn’t. You hid it under masks of pretensions and insecurities. You haven’t been honest.
RAY: Why are you so fucking insightful all of a sudden?
Ray’s phone rings.
RAY: She’s downstairs. (at the balcony) Peej? I’m on the way down.
Ray exits. While he is gone, Daniel takes off his shirt and sprays some body spray on. He continues smoking.
PJ (offstage): So, did you clean?
RAY (offstage): A bit.
PJ (offstage): How much?
RAY (offstage): Honestly, not a lot.
Ray enters with PJ and Ramon.
RAY: Daniel, this is PJ, Ramon. Guys, Daniel.
PJ: Hi, Daniel.
RAMON: Yo, what’s up?
DANIEL: Nothing much, bro. You?
PJ (spotting the bedsheet): Ewww. Can you change this?
RAY: Sorry, yes I will. In a while.
PJ: I’m not sitting there. (sits on the floor)
RAMON: So, bro, PJ says that you like doing it.
RAMON: You know. (blank) Drugs.
DANIEL: Every now and then. To get into the mood.
RAMON: Isn’t this one of those times?
DANIEL: You got one?
RAMON: Just bought some before meeting PJ.
PJ: Eww. So that’s why you took so long.
RAY: Boys and their toys.
RAMON: You game?
Daniel and Ramon will proceed to take shaboo. Daniel gets his bag and takes out a small kit. Inside the kit are two lighters, some foil, a pen and a pair of scissors. Ramon sits in front of Daniel and takes out a small plastic with shaboo in it. Think around 2,000php worth. While the following scene is going on, they will (1) proceed to cut three strips of foil, a long one to put the rocks in and two shorter ones to (a) insert into the lighter and (b) to inhale the drugs, (2) open one lighter and put the shorter foil there, (3) put the drugs in the longer strip of foil and (4) proceed to snort the drugs using the shorter strip.
DANIEL: Where were you able to buy this?
RAMON: I got a guy.
RAMON: In Manila. You?
DANIEL: Just here in Quezon City.
RAMON: You’re also from UP?
RAMON: I’m the odd one out here.
DANIEL: Wow, you’re fast. (Re: speed of assembling the paraphernalia)
PJ: Of course. Expert.
RAMON: Not really. My brother taught me.
DANIEL: I had trouble first time I tried it at home. I always did it at…my guy’s place.
RAMON: It’s not that hard. Practice.
DANIEL: I don’t want to get in it too deep.
RAMON: I’m not an addict.
DANIEL: Yes, neither am I!
RAMON: Let’s shake on that. (they shake hands)
DANIEL: Users but can control.
RAMON: And functional.
DANIEL: Very functional.
PJ and Ray exchange glances and sighs of frustration.
RAMON: Hey, you two, wanna try?
PJ: No, thank you.
RAY: I don’t do that.
DANIEL: You don’t trust me to do this? It won’t hurt you. Promise, it’s just enough.
RAY: I already told you before, no.
DANIEL: I wasn’t talking to you.
PJ: Thanks, Daniel, but, no, thank you.
RAMON: She’s a good girl.
PJ: (laughs) I’m a good girl. I’m a virgin.
RAMON: I already asked her before but she refused.
PJ: Yes, I don’t do stuff like that. I don’t drink anymore.
RAY: Good for you.
DANIEL: So, bro, let’s do this.
PJ: Ay, Ray, let’s watch something first while they do it.
PJ: Not gay porn. No. Not porn at all.
RAY: I don’t watch porn.
Ray gets the laptop and puts it on the bed and both he and PJ browse through the movies.
RAY: Battle Royale?
PJ: We just watched that.
DANIEL: So you and PJ are together?
RAMON: No. Just friends.
RAMON: She’s my ex.
RAY: You choose. I love this — Rules of Attraction.
PJ: No, I saw that already.
RAMON: You and Ray are boyfriends?
DANIEL: I’m straight.
DANIEL: So, no.
Ray glances over the laptop to where Daniel is. Pissed.
PJ: Oooh. Toy Story 3! Let’s play that. (No response from Ray)
RAMON: But you guys…have you done it?
DANIEL: There’s no point in hiding it, surely PJ already told you.
RAMON: You told PJ?
DANIEL: No. Ray’s such a blabbermouth and told her.
PJ: Let’s play Borat. We already saw it together but it’s funny. (no reply from Ray)
RAMON: So…you fucked him?
DANIEL: He fucked me. (beat) I only fuck girls.
RAY: Okay, okay. Peej, let’s just play music. You two are almost done, can we just get this thing started? I want to end early.
RAMON: I got work tomorrow.
RAY: Still at TechnoHub?
RAMON: No. I quit, it’s too far. Just nearer my place. Anyway, game.
PJ: I’m not game. Can I just watch?
RAMON: PJ, game!
PJ: I don’t know. Ray, you know…
RAY: I am not more comfortable about this as you are.
RAY: Ground rules. For this swing, one couple has to take the bed, the other the floor. I got a mat there to cover the floor so it wouldn’t be so rough.
PJ: Can I take the floor? The bed is so dirty. Is the mat clean?
RAY: Yes, the mat’s clean. Anyway, if switching occurs, then just find an empty spot and do it there.
PJ: Which part of your room is clean?
RAY: (beat) You’re better off not knowing. What else? Yes, condoms are on the table other there. There is also some lube. Guys, anything that goes anywhere has to be protected. That is a rule.
PJ: But you and Daniel didn’t use protection.
DANIEL: You told her that?
PJ: Oops, sorry.
RAY: But we’re using it now.
DANIEL: What’s the point of me covering up the windows through layers of blankets when you just go and tell everyone?
RAY: Daniel, Daniel, relax.
RAMON: I’m game with that rule.
RAY: Alright. Let’s agree on a safe word that means total stop. I go for ‘Scahdenfreude’.
RAMON: Lemon pie.
RAY: You’re no fun. Fine. What else? No kissing above the neck. Daniel doesn’t like that.
PJ: That’s okay.
DANIEL: No, I’d love to kiss PJ. (beat) It’s only with you I don’t want to kiss on the lips.
DANIEL: Veto that rule if I’m with PJ.
RAY: Fuck you.
DANIEL: I’m straight.
RAY: Fuck you, I’ve fucking fucked you and you couldn’t kiss me but you’re willing to kiss her?
RAMON: Hey, I agree with Ray’s rule. (beat) No kissing above the neck. No offense, Ray, I don’t want to kiss you.
RAMON: I’m straight.
RAY: What the fuck did you think we were going to do?
RAMON: Honestly, just blow me, maybe I’d fuck you if it feels right. But no romantic shit.
RAY: Fuck you. Then why did you agree to come here?
RAMON: I wanted to give PJ a thrill.
PJ: A thrill? You think I want this?
RAMON: You’ve been so distant, I thought this would reconnect us.
PJ: By you sleeping with one of my closest friends?
RAMON: I wouldn’t enjoy it.
PJ: (slaps him) And you think I’d enjoy sleeping with him (points at Daniel). No offense.
RAY: Wait, excuse me, fuck you. What am I to you, Ramon? Something to prove?
RAMON: Hey, Ray, we’re friends, come on.
RAY: Fuck you!
DANIEL: So, PJ, game?
RAY: Fuck you too!
DANIEL: The only reason I stayed this long was because you told me PJ was coming. If PJ weren’t coming then there’s no reason for me to stick by any longer.
RAY: You stayed with me because you wanted to fuck my friend.
DANIEL: No, don’t take it that way. (beat) I stayed with you because I wanted to fuck pussy.
PJ: Fuck you!
Ray storms to the bookshelf and picks up a knife hidden inside his copy of Ibsen’s A Doll House.
RAY: Get the fuck out of my house, assholes!
RAMON: Ray, calm down.
RAY: You are not excempted from this, you fucking asshole. I don’t need your fucking pity sex — I can fuck any guy I want and here you are thinking you’re doing me a favor by being this cute guy but all the while just to earn points for her?
DANIEL: Put the knife down.
RAY: Don’t get me started on you. You used me, you — how dare you use me!
In a fit of rage, Ray advances towards Daniel with the knife WITH THE INTENT OF JUST SCARING HIM. Ramon gets in between Ray and Daniel and gets stabbed.
RAMON: What? Ouch, Peej…I love you. (dies)
PJ: No, no. (covers Ramon) Ray, how…how…how could you!
RAY: This isn’t….(horrified)
DANIEL (gets his gun out his bag and points it at Ray): Stay back. Stay back.
RAY: No, no, I’m sorry.
DANIEL: Stay the fuck back.
RAY: No, I’m sorry, please.
DANIEL: Put the knife down.
RAY (lunges at Daniel): This is your fucking fault!
Daniel shoots Ray. Ray dies.
DANIEL: We have to get out story straight. That shot is bound to wake people and policemen up.
PJ: Ramon, Ramon, Ray, what…what?
DANIEL: C’mon. (beat) We can stay at this motel for a while. Let’s just clean up and go. They wouldn’t find any evidence here.
PJ: You cum all over the place.
DANIEL: C’mon. Let’s stay at a motel. I’ll protect you. I’ll fucking protect you. (turns around starts packing)
PJ (gets the knife from Ray’s hand): No! (stabs Daniel at the back.)
DANIEL: We could’ve gotten away. (dies)
PJ shuffles out to the balcony. She doesn’t look at what has happened inside. She shivers and cries. With her bloody hand, she picks up a stick of cigarette and a lighter. She sits down on the bed of roses and lights her very first cigarette and take her very first bum.
THIS IS THE TAROT CHALLENGE, a 78-day writing challenge where everyday I pick out a random card from my tarot deck and write something about, against, inspired by, based on the card by the day’s end. The works can range from poetry to fiction to drama. When the card is from the major arcana, the title of the work should be the card name. When the card is from the minor arcana, the title can be different but the card drawn should be revealed at the end.