A Play by Paul Hagen
Soft light from a window illuminates the silhouette of the NIGHT-OWL, who is lying in a bed with the EARLY-RISER in his arms.
I still remember our first date like it was yesterday:
The chair where you sat next to me, the very shameless way
I swilled martinis as I was so often, then, inclined,
And put my hand on your leg, and you said I didn’t mind.
The first to say “I love you,” that, I’m pretty sure, was you.
But it was kind of soon and I did not know what to do.
So I just kissed you harder, and I firmly hoped you would
Forget I didn’t answer if the sex was really good.
And finally I said it after you had been away,
Abroad to see a cousin’s wedding. You came home that day
We ordered something spicy from that little noodle place,
The chilis and your lips left kisses burned into my face.
The day that we moved in, I was so tired and so glad
It seemed I had a future with you like I’d never had.
And yet that change of life came with its own share of surprises:
‘Cause I liked to stay up all night and you preferred sunrises.
So each of us would wait and let the other get his sleep.
We didn’t keep the same hours; the company: we’d keep.
And soon I started hinting: it was time for the next step
And when that didn’t happen, well, I drank and then I wept,
Gesticulating with a meatball sub how I was feeling.
And that is how we ended up with red sauce on the ceiling.
A few more years and on my birthday, you got on one knee,
And told me you were still in love and asked to marry me.
A few years after that and we wed by a carousel.
And I cried and our mothers cried and it went pretty well.
And since then, we’ve made for ourselves so many memories
We’ve traveled round the world, we’ve crossed most of the seven seas,
Had nieces and had nephews that we’ve both been so proud of,
And on the way, we said goodbye to some people we love.
I don’t know what I’ll do without you now, I’m sure it’s clear.
Who ever thought the day we met that we would end up here?
A NURSE enters and flips a switch, flooding the stage with harsh, fluorescent lighting. It turns out that we are in a hospital room. The NIGHT-OWL has climbed into bed to cradle the EARLY RISER, who has died. The NURSE looks alarmed for a moment but the NIGHT-OWL shakes his head – indicating that it’s too late for anything to be done. The NURSE nods and quietly exits, leaving to NIGHT-OWL to weep and kiss his husband’s hair. He rocks and hums softly to himself as lights fade to black.