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“Each of our inner lives is such a jungle of thoughts, feelings, fantasies and impulses that civilization would be impossible if we expressed them all, or if we could all read each other’s minds.”
Thomas Nagel, Professor of Philosophy and Law at New York University London Times Literary Supplement
CAST Amy An attractive and proper young woman. Michael A goodlooking and proper young man. Amy's id An attractive, lustfilled, young woman. Michael's id A goodlooking, lustfilled, young man.
Id – the part of the psyche in which are the inherited instinctive impulses; dominated by the pleasure principle and impulsive wishing
A table and four chairs inside a cafe. A young woman is sitting at the table sipping coffee and reading a book. If preferred, there should be no need for actual eating utensils, coffee cups, tray, etc. The book is fine; all else can most likely be mimicked. A man enters the stage with a tray holding coffee and lunch. He looks around, searching unsuccessfully for a chair. He sees the woman and approaches her table. MICHAEL Excuse me. AMY (looking up) Yes? MICHAEL The cafe is full. I was wondering if I might... (He gestures toward one of the two empty chairs facing her) AMY Of course. MAN Thank you. (As he sits down, the second man (MICHAEL'S id) and second woman (AMY'S id) enter from off stage) (The woman sits next to but slightly behind Amy. The man sits beside but slightly behind Michael. The id's do not eat) (Michael's id stares at Amy. Amy's id stares at Michael. The ids never look at each other until the end) (Amy returns to reading her book while Michael picks up his fork and takes a
bite of food) AMY'S id Oh, God, he's cute. MICHAEL'S id Jesus, what a doll. AMY'S id I hope he's not gay. MICHAEL'S id And look at the size of those kaboobs. MICHAEL Excuse me. (Amy looks up) AMY Yes? MICHAEL'S id I would consider it a personal favor if you would disrobe and allow my lustfilled lips to explore every inch of your beautiful, succulent, curvaceous body. MICHAEL Could you pass the salt? AMY'S id Jesus, you are so unbelievably cute! How about making a pass at me instead? AMY Certainly. (Amy passes the salt. It spills) AMY Oops! Sorry. AMY'S id He looks like he never had a parking ticket in his life. I wonder if he's a virgin.
(Michael gestures as if righting the spilled salt shaker. He picks up some salt between thumb and forefinger and holds it out) MICHAEL That's quite all right. But I forgot. MICHAEL'S id Her lips are so perfect! AMY Forgot what? MICHAEL'S id Maybe she's had collagen injections. AMY'S id I hope he doesn't mean he forget how to do the nasty. MICHAEL Which shoulder do I throw salt over?..For good luck I mean? AMY Oh. Is that the custom when salt spills? MICHAEL'S id Not my custom, honey. My custom is to pour it all over your gorgeous,s creamy, luscious body and slooooowly lick it off. MICHAEL I believe so. MICHAEL'S id Every last minute grain from every last minute crevice. (gestures with his tongue) And then it's time for...the pepper! (He reaches for the pepper; Michael slaps his hand away. Amy notices nothing of this) AMY The right one, I imagine.
AMY'S id Mother did warn me that behind every wellpressed tuxedo is an undressed libido. But he seems normal enough. MICHAEL'S id What is it the Chinese used to call the entrance to the vagina? AMY'S id Not like the last loser who sat here. Nothing on his mind but sex. MICHAEL'S id Oh, yeah, the 'jade gate.' AMY I mean, if you're righthanded. MICHAEL I am. OK. The right shoulder it is. (He throws a pinch of salt over his right shoulder) AMY'S id Is this guy going to make a play for me or just screw around with the salt? I shouldn't complain; at least he doesn't seem the pervert type. MICHAEL'S id How about we go to my place and I use my tongue to flick open your jade gate, burrow my way up your passion chamber and not stop until I reach your fallopian tubes? (Michael salts and eats some onion rings) AMY'S id Then again, you can't tell with guys these days. He could be into latex and leather. MICHAEL'S id Then I'll wrap my tongue around those gorgeous fallopian tubes, hold on for dear life, and use them as a chinup bar
to pull myself up and in. Into the area the Chinese call “The Grotto of the White Tiger.” (Actor growls tigerlike) MICHAEL These onion rings are delicious. Help yourself. AMY'S id Onion rings? Sweetie, I’ll bet you’re into nipple rings. MICHAEL'S id In and out. In and out. Three sets of four repetitions. AMY Thank you; I've just eaten. (She continues reading) AMY'S id Nooses and paddles and handcuffs and leashes. MICHAEL'S id Or maybe four sets of three repetitions. (Amy looks up) AMY Well, maybe just one. AMY'S id (starting to like it) Chains and whips and kinky psychodrama and sexual perversions. MICHAEL'S id And when I finish exercising surrounded by your sweet, copious nectar I shall place my lips at one end of those magnificent fallopian tubes and bloooow gently into them. MICHAEL Great! Too many here for me to finish. (Amy takes one) AMY'S id
(liking it) Bondage and crossdressing and sadism and masochism. MICHAEL'S id I bet it would make a deep, bass, reverberant sound like one of those really long Tibetan horns. (The actor imitates the sound) BluuuuuuuuuuuuuP! AMY Thank you. One will do. But they are good. AMY'S id In fact, for all I know, he might be wearing women's panties right now. MICHAEL Best onion rings in the East Village. MICHAEL'S id Or maybe it would sound more like the mournful fog horns Eugene O'Neill used to hear on the Thames River in New London, Connecticut. (The actor imitates the sound) BrrrrrrrrrrP! (Amy smiles and continues reading) AMY'S id (giggles) I bet he'd look cute in lacy red panties and a boner. (Amy also giggles. Michael looks at her) AMY Oh, sorry. Just something I was reading. (Amy returns to her book; Michael eats) MICHAEL'S id Fallopia, Fallopia, wherefore art thou, fair Fallopia? AMY'S id His face is so boyish. He almost looks like Oh, God, how do I know he hasn't had a sex change? That’s it! He might have had gender reassignment surgery! MICHAEL'S id
I suppose if I make a play for her she'll turn me down and if I don't she'll assume I'm a homosexual. Men can't win these days whatever we do. She's probably the type of neurotic who takes out all of her frustrations in life on the guy who dares light up a cigarette within one hundred yards of her precious lungs. Or the type who sits around babbling about: (actor overacts the following three words) Relationships! Commitment! Communication! (actor stands and throws out his arms) RELATIONSHIPS! COMMITMENT! COMMUNICATION! Fastfood philosophy for the feebleminded. The mantra of the new American religion! Or maybe it's the religion itself! Talk about the dumbing down of America! (Leans on the table close to Amy who notices nothing as she reads) Did it ever occur to you that the more someone babbles about RELATIONSHIPS the less they know about them?!...And did it ever occur to you that all those selfhelp books that you no doubt spend hours pouring over are a lot of narcissistic bullshit?! Did it?! Men are from Beijing, Women are from Shanghai – who writes this shit!...And when you sit around with your friends babbling about RELATIONSHIPS and how men JUST DON’T GET IT you think you're being sensitive and perceptive, don't you?! Well, you're not! You're being selfcentered, selfindulgent, selfabsorbed, selfpitying and BOOOOOOOOOORING!!! (He stares at her for a few seconds; gets no reaction; sighs and sits down) AMY'S id I suppose if I suggest we meet again he'll think I'm a brazen slut and if I don't he'll think I'm a lesbian. Women can't win these days whatever we do. He's probably the type of man who sits around with his beerguzzling buddies watching some stupid baseball game babbling about which jock has the most runs batted in during a sevenpointoneonthe Richterscale earthquake; or best earned run average during a solar eclipse or some such pathetic garbage. Probably the type of idiot who actually believes baseball is a metaphor for America. Talk about the dumbing down of America! (actress stands up and leans on the table close to Michael who notices nothing as he continues eating) Well, let me tell you something, dudball: Men with real
lives don't have to live vicariously through goddamn sports! 'Don't do drugs; do sports.' Oh, yeah? Well, did it ever occur to you that for most men watching sports is a drug?! Did it ever occur to you that the average man who worships sports heroes has the IQ just below the level of a dying breadfruit tree? And what about doing libraries instead?! Do you ever read?! Or do you just waste your life watching overpaid, oversexed halfboy, halfman jocks kick big white balls into nets or hit little white balls into manmade gopher holes in an otherwise perfectly green lawn? (actress overacts the following and speaks moronically; imitates chewing gum and punching a base ball glove with one fist) 'Duh, I know we're up against a really good team but coach says if we practice hard and if we really believe we can do it, we can do it! So me and da rest of da guys had a meetin’ and we decided we is gonna go in dere and win one for da gipper! Duuuuuuuh! (actress again leans close to Michael who notices nothing as he eats) You men...are all...MOOOOOOOOOOORONS! (She stares at him for a few seconds; gets no reaction; sighs and sits down) (Michael looks at Amy's book title) MICHAEL 'Advanced Techniques in Installing Computer hardware.' Wow! You must really be into computers. AMY It's my major. I love computers. They're my hobby as well, I guess. MICHAEL That's great. I'm impressed. MICHAEL'S id I wonder if she surfs porn on the web? AMY And your major?
MICHAEL'S id It wouldn't surprise me if the little hussy is a porn star. MICHAEL Chinese language studies. AMY Wow! Now I'm impressed. AMY'S id Oh, no! Not one of those guys who hungers after Oriental women. Maybe he just sees me as a changeofpace. MICHAEL'S id She's impressed! All right, now's the time to follow up with some cryptic Chinese quotation. How about, 'Where there is no wind, the grass does not move.' Ah, perfect. But what the hell does it mean? AMY'S id Anyway, I should say something intelligent to impress him. Let's see: Hong Kong went back to China, right? Or was it the other way around? AMY Do you have hobbies, too? MICHAEL'S id You mean, other than mentally undressing ravishing wenches like yourself? Well MICHAEL No, not really. I guess my major is my hobby as well. I mean, there are about one point three billion Chinese in the world, so I thought it would be nice to be able to communicate with them in their own language. MICHAEL'S id Not to mention having an edge in seducing innocent Chinese women in remote villages with no experience in dealing with horny, oversexed Western men from big cities. AMY Actually, I saw some of them on campus already.
MICHAEL Excuse me? AMY Chinese. MICHAEL Oh. Yes, I see. AMY'S id Oh God, did I really say something so stupid?! (Michael gestures toward her book) MICHAEL Well, I've seen a few of them on campus, too. AMY Them? MICHAEL Computers! AMY Oh! Yes, of course. MICHAEL'S id Jesus Christ, did I really say something so stupid?! MICHAEL So much porn on the web these days. AMY'S id/MICHAEL'S id (immediately addressed to Michael)
You should know!
AMY I know. It's a shame. Computers can be such wonderful tools. MICHAEL'S id Right you are, child, so how about I use my overheated web browser to explore your underused website?
MICHAEL People have to find a way to protect their kids, don't you think? AMY'S id People have to find a way to protect themselves from having kids, don't you think, Dudball? AMY Yes. As long as it doesn't smack of censorship. MICHAEL'S id How about we cut to the chase and you put those collagen filled lips to good use by configuring my toolbar? MICHAEL Exactly. AMY Because a lot of people use their kids' vulnerability as an excuse to censor what they themselves don't like. MICHAEL I couldn't agree more. (Amy returns to her book; Michael to his eating) MICHAEL'S id How about I download my harddrive and we let the Pentium chips fall where they may? (chuckles) (For the first time, Amy's id turns directly to Michael's id) AMY'S id You're not funny! MICHAEL'S id (stunned) Did you say something to me?! AMY'S id
Yes! I said you're not funny! You're disgusting! MICHAEL'S id Are you crazy?! We're not supposed to address each other. We don't know each other! We can never know each other! That's the whole point! AMY'S id I don't care! You are crude as hell and I hope she sees the real you. MICHAEL'S id You?! Are calling me crude?! What about you?! AMY'S id What about me? MICHAEL'S id You want it as much as I do. So stop being a hypocritical bitch. (AMY's id gets up) AMY'S id What did you call me?! (MICHAEL'S id gets up) MICHAEL'S id You heard me! You want it as much as I do. (The id's rush around the table. AMY'S id attacks MICHAEL'S id. They begin grappling on their knees at the end of the table on the floor in front of the audience) (Although they are using all their strength, they move about very little as they are quite evenly matched) (They might bump the table, even knocking something over, but AMY and MICHAEL notice nothing of this desperate struggle)
MICHAEL'S id Wait! Listen to me, will you!? There's nothing wrong with us wanting sex all the time! (The id's are still grasping one another's shoulders as they speak. But they are panting. Amy's id stops struggling and, still embraced, looks at Michael's id) AMY'S id There isn't? MICHAEL'S id No! We're not egos or superegos; we're id's, for God sakes! Having lustfilled sexual fantasies is what we were made for! AMY'S id It is? MICHAEL'S id Yes! Desire, lust, eroticism, sensuality, carnality, debauchery, lechery: all the things that make life worth living! And that's not only what we're made for. That's what we're made of. AMY’S id We are? MICHAEL’S id Yes! And according to the Chinese master TungHsuan there are nine ways of moving the jade stalk and six ways of penetration. AMY’S id The jade stalk? MICHAEL’S id Yes. Such as pushing the jade stalk down and letting it move to and fro over the lute strings like a saw. AMY’S id
Wow! What about the six ways of penetration? MICHAEL’S id Well, for example, ‘wailing monkey embracing a tree,’ ‘phoenix sporting in the cinnabar crevice,’ ‘donkeys in the third moon of spring’ AMY’S id Oh, wow! You are so romantic! MICHAEL’S id Thank you, doll. I try to be. AMY'S id So...it's not wrong for us to be dominated by the pleasure principle and to fantasize bizarre sexual encounters and to want to screw our brains out every second of every day? MICHAEL'S id Of course not. It's why we're here. Michael and Amy couldn't function the way they do unless we function the way we do! (They stare at each other for several seconds, then suddenly they kiss passionately and their hands are all over each other. MICHAEL'S id begins undoing AMY'S id's blouse; AMY'S id begins unbuckling MICHAEL'S id's belt) (MICHAEL'S id finishes unbuttoning AMY'S id's blouse and starts taking down his trousers. AMY's id begins removing her blouse. All of this is done in the heat of passion and kissing; as furious as was their fighting) AMY (closing her book) Well, I think I'd better get back. (The id's stop suddenly; shocked) AMY'S id What?!
MICHAEL'S id Now?! (MICHAEL'S id frantically pulls up and zips up his trousers; AMY's id frantically begins buttoning her blouse, smoothing down her creased dress, fixing her hair, etc.) MICHAEL It's been nice talking with you. AMY (rising) Yes. I've enjoyed it. MICHAEL'S id (angrily) Just once I wish they would say what they mean! AMY'S id (resignedly) I suppose they can't escape what they are anymore than we can escape what we are. MICHAEL'S id Yes, but just think how boring they would be without us. AMY'S id Just think how much fun we could have without them. (The ids get up and start to walk toward their respective persons. They turn and look at one another) MICHAEL'S id I'll never forget you, you luscious, voluptuous, erotic creature. AMY'S id Nor I you, you wellhung sexual fantasy. (Michael's id again sits in his chair) (Just as Amy followed by Amy's
id is nearing the door, Michael speaks up) MICHAEL Um... (They all turn to look at him with hope and expectation) AMY Yes? MICHAEL Um...have a nice day. (Both ids hang their head in defeat) AMY Thank you. And you. (Amy and her id take two or three more steps then all four actors throw back their heads in resignation) AMY/MICHAEL/AMY'S id/MICHAEL'S id I swear I can't take another day like this! BLACKOUT THE END
Copyright 2009 Dean Barrett
Interiors has been staged in nine countries. No part of this
play may be performed or published without written permission from the playwright. For information contact: email@example.com.
Dean Barrett is a novelist and playwright and has been a New York board member of Mystery Writers of America and a librettist/lyricist with BMI. His musical, Fragrant Harbour, (Music: Ed Linderman) was selected by the National Alliance for Musical Theater to be staged for directors and producers on 42nd
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