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Chaste – 2014

Chaste
(c) 2014 Michele Lee
A play in four parts about Asian people and Aboriginal people in
Australia
PART ONE – A MONOLOGUE
Characters
JANE, 21, an Asian-Australian (Vietnamese) actress
Setting
A bare stage
Time
Now
PART TWO – A GRITTY URBAN DRAMA
Characters
BRETT, 15, a Koori kid
DES, 15, a Chinese Timorese kid
REVEREND WENTWORTH, older, an ageing white reverend
NAT, 30s, boisterous Koori woman from the country
SHELLY, 30s, boisterous Koori woman from the country and a friend of
NAT’s
FRANK, 50s, a loud Koori man
HANH, 20s, Vietnamese drug dealer
LAWYER, 20s, white
Setting
Various locations including a church, a train, the streets, jail
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Time
In the recent past, close enough to feel like the present
PART THREE – A CONTEMPORARY LIVINGROOM DRAMA
Characters
[All of these characters are white but played by Asian and Aboriginal
actors]
JULIAN, 25, owns a new apartment
JEN, 25, a long-time high school friend
THEO, 25, a long-time high school friend and used to date JEN
NATASHA, 25, also a long-time high school friend
FRANCINE, 25, an international student from Estonia who is renting from
JULIAN
DAVID, 25, a real estate agent that THEO brings along
MRS WINTER, 50s, JULIAN’s mother
Setting
JULIAN’s new apartment
Time
Now
PART FOUR – A FANTASY TWO-HANDER
Characters
WENDI, 30, Hmong
STEVEN, 50, Aboriginal
TING, 20s, Chinese
FLIGHT ANNOUNCER, speaks in English and Chinese
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Setting
The domestic lounge of an airport
Time
In the near future
PRODUCTION NOTES
The same actors should be used across all parts, including part three
where everyone is playing Anglo roles.
At the end of each part there is a song. In this script there are only lyrics
and no music. I would imagine that a musician would compose original
music for these lyrics.
Part Two should be approached very stylistically, rather than with
naturalism.

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PART ONE – A MONOLOGUE
JANE, a young Asian-Australian (Vietnamese) actress, faces the audience.
JANE:

I’m going to list for you the number of times I have talked with

an Indigenous person. Zero.
I almost talked with Deborah Mailman. She’s in that TV show Offspring.
Not as an ‘Aboriginal’, just as a character called Cherie Butterfield. I was
on Offspring too, last season, in a small role as Medical Intern #1.
Offspring: it’s that TV show set in a paediatric ward and the main
character, this woman, Nina Proudman, she’s a paediatrician and she’s
always having difficult romances. She’s, well, complicated, she’s a
modern woman, she’s humourously anxious. Asher Keddie, the actor
who plays this woman, she is arguably Australia’s most loved TV actress
of our current times, she’s the next Lisa McCune; she’s blonde, not
distractingly beautiful but still above-average in looks, and she’s about
15 years older than me, and about, oh, 150 times more successful, and
she came and ran a class at the VCA. And the main thing I took from her
course was that as a well-regarded TV actress you have to go to a lot of
industry events and spend time avoiding people you don’t want to talk
to.
Sorry, ‘VCA’: ‘Victorian College of the Arts’. I say ‘VCA’ because that’s
what everyone calls it who goes there or who’s in the ‘industry’, but you
wouldn’t call it the ‘VCA’ if you don’t want to be an actor, or a dancer,
or a painter or you’re not in the industry. The VCA is an arts college,
they run an acting degree – well, theatre-making degree – and I was in
it, and I’m now paying off my HECS debt on it – so, hello, I’m for hire;
just contact my agent, who’s in Sydney, yes, but she can cast for
anything anywhere in Australia.
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Anyway. Asher Keddie. Me. Asher. Me. Look, I’d like to say that I was a
standout student but the truth is that I don’t think I’ll ever be Meryl
Streep or Maggie Yeung – she’s an old-school Hong Kong actress who
does comedy and does drama flawlessly – I don’t think I have the timing
these ladies have. I am pretty good, and I am Asian, and I can fill that
niche, I can be the next Maggie Yeung... or maybe Michelle Yeoh, she’s
more mainstream. I guess. I guess it’s a niche, the space that I can fill.
I want to tell you about Deborah Mailman and how I almost talked with
Deborah Mailman. The first time was a brief “Excuse me” sort of
conversation, one coming out of the loos and she was standing in front
of the hand-dryer and I was trying to get to the basin and she was
blocking the loo-to-basin path. Actually, can someone tell Channel Ten
that the ladies toilets on level 5 are particularly cramped?
Asher Keddie has it over me, not only in the amount of work – TV, film –
but that she can say that she has had professional experiences with an
Indigenous person. With Deborah Mailman. We were on break – me,
Asher Keddie, Deborah Mailman – and they were talking and laughing,
they were about this far away from me, across a table, they were
talking about work, about Offspring, I think there was some
conversation about going down to Apollo Bay together, with friends, as
soon as the weather gets better. I was standing by the lunch table. I
was choosing a sandwich to eat – strangely enough I’d had pesto that
morning on toast. Not at a cafe, I don’t have any money for that and I
still live at home by the way. And for some reason there was pesto in
the fridge at home, and I just ate it. So, at lunch, I was looking at the
sandwiches and there was one of those vegetarian rolls with a whole
bunch of roasted vegetables dripping out, and these wedges of brie
cheese. I’m not one of those actresses who watches her weight – maybe
I should be – but even I felt sick. That roll was vomiting out brie cheese.
I looked away for a second, and Asher Keddie and Deborah Mailman
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were chatting on the other side of the lunch table. I’d had a scene as
Medical Intern #1 with Asher Keddie, I suspect that Asher Keddie would
have felt like she was leaving out Deborah Mailman if Asher Keddie had
come around the table to talk to me. So she kept talking to Deborah
Mailman and I picked up that roll, mainly for something to do, and then I
didn’t want to seem wasteful so I ate it.
That was the second time of not speaking with Deborah Mailman.
Did I mention the monologue I used, that I used a monologue from The
Joy Luck Club? For my audition, that is. For VCA. I had to bring a
Shakespeare piece too, so I chose an Ophelia monologue from Hamlet
because I’d done one in Year 12 drama. I also had to bring along
something contemporary, so I chose a Blanche Duboir monologue from
A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams and which I’d also
done in Year 12 drama – thanks Mr Douglas, thanks! The other
monologue, like I said, the other monologue was from The Joy Luck
Club, which my sister Kate had made me watch about five hundred
times growing up. This third monologue was supposed to be self-written
but I figured the VCA staff wouldn’t know I was plagiarising because
they probably wouldn’t have watched The Joy Luck Club five hundred
times. Maybe not even once. Do you know The Joyluck Club? It’s an
Asian film. Well, American. But Asian. It’s about American-born Chinese
women and their relationships with their Chinese-born Chinese mothers.
Now, I’m Vietnamese obviously, not Chinese and obviously I’m not
American. But the whole “I have two cultures, how do I fit in, how do I
honour my history and also take up my new life as a Westerner” thing,
well, everyone can relate to that. Deborah Mailman probably dealt with
that too, being mixed. She’s half Maori, did you know that? She’s two
types of Indigenous.
[Assuming an accent of a Chinese woman.] The old woman
remembered a swan she had bought many years ago in Shanghai for a
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foolish sum. "This bird," boasted the market vendor, "was once a duck
that stretched its neck in hopes of becoming a goose. And now look. It
is too beautiful to eat."
Then the woman and the swan sailed across an ocean, many thousands
of miles wide stretching their necks toward America. On her journey she
cooed to the swan, "In America I will have a daughter just like me. But
over there, nobody will say her worth is measured by the loudness of
her husband's belch. Over there, nobody will look down on her because
I will make her speak only perfect American English. And over there,
she will always be too full to swallow any sorrow. She will know my
meaning because I will give her this swan a creature that became more
than what was hoped for."
But when she arrived in the new country the immigration officials pulled
the swan away from her leaving the woman fluttering her arms and
with only one swan feather for a memory.”
Third time. My third time of almost speaking with Deborah Mailman. We
weren’t in a scene together because her character had nothing to do
with Medical Intern #1 but we both were at afternoon tea, and Deborah
Mailman was standing next to the raspberry slice and I don’t really like
sweet things so I was standing in front of the water bottles. Asher
Keddie came up to Deborah Mailman – she calls her ‘Deb’, of course –
and she said “We’re going to get drinks” and Deb says “When?” and
Asher Keddie says “Around 7, if it’s not too late” and Deb says “That’s
not too late” and Asher says “We won’t stay out late tonight” and Deb
says “Oh that’s what we always say” and Asher Keddie laughed and
Deb laughed too. I was looking at Deborah Mailman and then she took a
bite out of her raspberry slice and I made eye contact with her but I
didn’t say anything because she was eating. In my mind I was saying
“Please invite me, please invite me, please invite me, please invite me.”
Then in my mind I was also saying “Jane, wait! If they don’t invite you
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then you are actually part of the industry, worthy of avoiding.” But then
the other part of me kept saying “Please invite me. Please invite me.”
I have things to say to Deborah Mailman. I’m not sure how I would say
it. Let’s say I was at the drinks, it was after 7 pm, and I’d been invited, I
could have waited for the second drink, until we were alone. Or maybe
the fourth drink, and I could tell her about my time at VCA. Or I could
have cut straight to the point while we were at the bar ordering our first
drink and I could have asked her how she’s gotten so much work. And
she might have said “What do you mean?” And I would say “Being a
niche actor”. And she’d say “Niche?” And I’d say “Yes.” And she’d say
“What does that mean?” And I’d say “The #1 Indigenous actor in
Australia.” And she’d say “Vodka and lemonade”, and she’d start talking
to the bartender and then I’d remember that I don’t drink. I might have
gotten an orange drink, I could have just sat down with the cast with my
orange juice. Later one, after people started leaving, I could have just
talked to Deborah Mailman about being a female actor and what it
might mean for me to get ahead as a female but then why would I ask
her and not Ashie Kedder, also a female actress, and whom I’d shared a
scene with and whom, for the record, did not remember me from the
class at VCA.
“Deborah Mailman, I’m really nervous, I want to say hi, I’ve been
wanting to say it all day, I was even practising it in the toilets, those
cramped toilets on level 5, and my sister, Kate, my sister, she wants to
get me to ask you for tips and I want to ask you too but I keep just
looking at you. When you act, I stare, I try to take it all in, what it might
be to have your skin and your laughing eyes and your upturned nose
and your wide, sparkling smile, and your vast, vast ripe cheeks. You
don’t eat brie sandwiches.”
Kate told me that would’ve been creepy to have said that, and it would
have been kind of racist, and that I wouldn’t have had the Maggie Yeung
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timing to make it endearing. I agree, I told you, I don’t have her timing.
Maggie’s, that is.
I’m not the greatest writer but I sing well, as well as acting well, and
doing several types of Asian accents. That’s all on my CV, and on my
show-reel.
This is for Deborah Mailman. I hope it’s endearing.
Oh baby, my sweet girl, my dear baby
Won’t you lay your pretty skin on mine?
Won’t you put your hand on mine?
Won’t you meld with me and be with me, be without the others?
I wanna be, I wanna be, I wanna be
All that they see and all that they need
I wanna be the things that feel right
And the words they wanna yell
I want to be Australia’s favourite only girl
I wanna be, I wanna be, I wanna be
All that they see and all that they need
I wanna be the things that feel right
And the words they wanna yell
I want to be Australia’s favourite only girl

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PART TWO – A GRITTY URBAN DRAMA
One – Inner city bible studies at a church for Kooris
REVEREND WENTWORTH delivers a sermon, BRETT is listening, a part of
group.
REVEREND WENTWORTH: Man must be more than just a hungry lusting
mouth. As young men, above all else, you must choose Jesus. Others
may try to deceive you into believing that the constant taste of a
woman’s genitals is what you were raised to devour. Everywhere
everywhere, so many images of vaginas. Tempting you. God did not
create vaginas for you to devour. Remind yourself that in the immortal
life you choose Jesus and in this mortal life you choose to abstain from
sin. For the coloured man, the temptations are stronger. Pleasures are
too often out of our reach. In this mortal world, we coloured men see
this injustice too often, and we name it as injustice, but we do wrong to
try to label what the Lord has placed into our paths. In the afterlife, we
will be all reborn pure and of the same colour, with our lord saviour
there to bless each one of us. [As if addressing a group of individuals.]
Kyle, do you choose Jesus? Jonah? Philip? Atticus? Kane? Miles? Justin?
Joseph? [Turning to BRETT.] Brett?
BRETT is clearly losing faith.
BRETT: [Uncertain, panicked.] I –
REVEREND WENTWORTH: Brett?
BRETT: I – I. I can’t say it. I can’t accept Jesus anymore! I can’t! I can’t.
REVEREND WENTWORTH: See me after class!
Two – After bible studies class, in a room of the church hall

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REVEREND WENTWORTH is having a serious discussion with BRETT,
somewhere private where they can raise their voices.
REVEREND WENTWORTH: You what!?!
BRETT: I can’t go on anymore, Reverend Wentworth! I’m just a kid. I have
my life to live!
REVEREND WENTWORTH: Brett, calm down. You’re speaking loudly and
aggressively, and to be honest you’re being quite petulant. Still, I have
sympathy in my heart for you, my son. I see that my sermon tonight
fired you up.
BRETT: I’m rejecting your church and I’m sick of bible studies three nights
a week. I’m sick of looking through the bible and reading about dead,
white people.
REVEREND WENTWORTH: They were not white. They were Middle Eastern.
Jesus was Middle Eastern as a historical fact. If your mother hadn’t
overdosed that night after she turned up on my church step looking for
salvation, she would be so disappointed in you Brett.
BRETT: I am not a Christian. I am a...I...am...a Koori. I am a Koori kid.
REVEREND WENTWORTH: This is a church for Kooris!
BRETT: Aboriginals don’t have churches! When did we ever have
churches?
REVEREND WENTWORTH: Let me ask you, Brett, what do you know about
what it’s like to be a Koori? What do you think the world can teach you
that this church can’t? You want to understand your wretched history,
as if it were somehow miraculously annexed from Jesus’ fate?
REVEREND WENTWORTH is shaking BRETT passionately.
BRETT: Get off me! Get off me!
REVEREND WENTWORTH: Go then, sinner, go and be gone!
Three – Brett leaves the church and ventures into the world

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BRETT is on the Sydenham train. An older Koori man, FRANK, is yelling at
passengers.
FRANK: Respect. I’m talking about getting some fucking respect in this
train.
There are two Koori women, NAT and SHELLY, on the train too. They are
laughing and having a good time. BRETT is looking bewildered and staring
at FRANK. NAT and SHELLY see BRETT looking astonished, the women are
highly entertained.
SHELLY: [To BRETT.] Oi. Psst!
BRETT: Er –
NAT: Hey brother, stop gawking at the old blackfella.
BRETT: He’s loud. He’s loud. He’s so loud.
SHELLY: He’s angry. He’s possessed with anger. He’s got questions just
spitting outta him! Look at that fire in his belly!
FRANK: [In the background.] ARGH!
BRETT: Oh man! Is he drunk or something?
SHELLY: Where you from, kid? Eh? Where you from?
BRETT: Here. Braybrook.
NAT: City boy, eh?
SHELLY: Ooh! City boy!
BRETT: Er. Yes. Er.
SHELLY: Me and Nat are from Shep. You want to see some angry
blackfellas, you come up and visit our mob there – we’re the Daly’s. You
know where Shepparton is?
BRETT: No. Not really.
NAT: Our mob goes back thousands of years, before we were Daly’s we
were just plain ol’ Yorta Yorta. Come winter time, the Yorta Yorta used to
move out of the valley and come closer into this country here. These
days, me and Shelly are city slickers. Just like you. Oi. What you looking
so surprised for, kid, eh?
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BRETT: How do you know what your mob was doing thousands of years
ago?
SHELLY: We’re Koori! We got special ways of knowing history just as we got
special ways of knowing what time the V Line to Shep comes!
BRETT: [To NAT.] You’re pregnant. You should be at home.
NAT: Oi, cheeky! Look at him! Known him for just one little minute and
already he’s bossing me around like an aunty!
FRANK: [In the background.] ARGH!
BRETT: Oh man! That old guy is LOUD!
SHELLY: Oi! Kid! Calm down and stop gawking! It’s gonna get you into
trouble if you look like that. Fair enough we got whitefellas keeping tabs
on how loud we are. But another blackfella? Stop gawking at him eh?
BRETT: I haven’t ever had Aboriginal women around me. I haven’t ever
had ‘aunties’.
NAT: You stick with me and Shelly, we’ll sort you out.
Four – Brett and Shelly and Nat go on a trip to Footscray
NAT, SHELLY and BRETT are walking the streets.
BRETT: What are we doing in this place? It’s full of drug addicts and thugs!
NAT: Welcome to Footscray!
SHELLY: We’re hunting dealers, kid.
NAT: Fucking disease, drugs are a fucking disease and dealers get people
infected. City living, cheap gear. The city life, it’s fucking everyone up,
eh?
BRETT: What do you mean?
SHELLY: Kid, look around you. Black, yellow, white. All fucked up. You think
people are born this way? Me and Nat, we’re doctors for the city life.
We’re cleaning it up.
NAT: You’re gonna help us. [Spotting a dealer.] Shelly, he’s selling.
SHELLY: Deadly!
NAT: Deadly! Kid, you got cash?
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SHELLY: Kid, you got cash?
BRETT: Why?
SHELLY: Drug-bait. Gotta fool them first. Pretend you’re a Koori with a
Centrelink cheque and a drug addiction, do the deal, take the drugs,
then Shelly and I swoop in with a citizen’s arrest. Bam!
BRETT: We’re going to trick people?
NAT: Kid, it’s a fucking war. It’s gotta be done.
BRETT: I can’t fool people. I’m bad at lying.
SHELLY: Kid, trust us, we Kooris don’t have to try hard to fool people into
thinking the worst of us.
Five – Brett meets Des, the local Chinese Timorese drug dealer on
a particular corner in Footscray
BRETT is on a mission pretending to be a drug addict. DES, a young
Chinese Timorese drug dealer, is on a corner.
DES: You looking to score?
BRETT: Yeah. I’ve got a drug addiction.
DES: You’ve come to right corner. I’ve got excellent gear.
BRETT: I’ll have ten.
DES: Ten what?
BRETT: Ten gears.
DES: [Cautious.] Hey. You used to go to that church in Braybrook!
BRETT: What church?
DES: My name’s Des, I used to go to the Timorese Chinese church across
the road. With Reverend Chung. And you had Reverend Wentworth.
[Pause.] I always noticed you.
BRETT: Me?
DES: You looked friendly. And really honest.
BRETT: Well I’ve quit that life! I’ve quit the church. I’m just a kid, there was
too much brainwashing and I didn’t want that imprinting into my brain

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for the rest of my life, I didn’t want to be phony, I want to...I just want to
be a kid free to make my own choices and discover my own destiny.
DES: I left church too. And it turns out blood isn’t thicker than water. I got
kicked out onto the streets, man, by my own godforsaken family, and
I’ve been working this corner solo since, trying to undercut all the
Vietnamese around here.
BRETT: You’re not Vietnamese?
DES: Timorese Chinese. Weren’t you listening?
BRETT: Sorry.
DES: You’re Aboriginal. You went to the Aboriginal church.
BRETT: Yes. Not anymore. Now I’m a... drug addict.
DES: What drugs are you addicted to?
BRETT: Um. All of them.
DES: You’re a cop!
BRETT: I’m not. I’m only 15.
DES: Me too.
BRETT: I’m new at this. Give me a chance. I have money. I’ll buy whatever
you have.
DES: Ok.
BRETT buys drugs.
DES: Take the drugs now. So I can trust you.
BRETT takes the drugs.
Six – Brett and Des have a night out, which is sort of like a date,
at an African restaurant
Some time has passed. BRETT and DES are closer.

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BRETT: Well I’ve been doing a lot of thinking lately so I feel very intense.
Also, I feel a bit weird after that third stash you gave me. I’m getting
addicted to gear.
DES: Well that’s the point.
BRETT: Do you think we can still be friends though?
DES: We make a good couple. I have something you want.
BRETT: There’s more than that. I like talking to you.
DES: I like talking to you.
BRETT: It’s not just the drugs.
DES: Yeah?
BRETT: Honest. It’s good to meet someone who’s also... well, left the
church. I try to talk to my Koori friends about it but these friends don’t
get it. They never had a church to leave.
DES: Are you enjoying the food here? It’s my favourite place to eat. I
never eat in Asian places anymore. I vowed not to eat in an Asian
restaurant until a year had gone by from the date my parents booted
me from their lives. It’s been 13 months but now I’m addicted eating
African food. Even if they put zebra into it.
BRETT: What?!!?!??!!? Zebra!??!!??!
DES: I’m joking.
BRETT: Oh. Ok. Ha ha ha ha.
DES: Ha ha ha ha. Hey. Don’t Aboriginals eat dingoes and wallabies
anyway?
BRETT: I’ve never eaten anything like that. I’ll have to ask my friends.
They’re from the country.
DES: You’re really... what’s that word they used to say in church? You’re
‘chaste’. You’re pure, Brett.
BRETT: I’m a drug addict.
DES: Even so.
BRETT starts crying.
DES: What’s wrong, Brett?
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BRETT: You’re a drug dealer from Timor who hates his family, who hates
his own kind!
DES: The streets have hardened me. But sometimes I miss my family so
much, even if they decided to be brainwashed. I still miss them. Do you
miss your family?
BRETT: I don’t know who to miss. I’m a Koori kid who had his mob cut off
from him. It’s complicated, more complicated than being Chinese
Timorese without a mob.
DES: Bullshit.
BRETT: Bullshit to you.
DES: Just when I think you might like me, you make a point that we’re
different. But my people were killed too! My people had to come here!
BRETT: I’m so confused. I don’t have my head screwed on straight. Who
am I? Who are you? What am I doing here? ARGH!
BRETT flees the restaurant.

Seven – Brett has developed a drug addiction
BRETT is wandering around a park, drug-fucked. NAT and SHELLY show
up.
NAT: Holy shit, kid! Where the fuck have you been for the last few weeks?
We’ve been arresting dealers left, right, and bloody centre all the way
up ‘n’ down Barkly Street.
SHELLY: You should have seen us!
NAT: We’re two scary bitches when we’re on a mission.
SHELLY: And meanwhile, Nat’s given birth!
NAT: To twins!
SHELLY: Popped ‘em out and then I was back here, on the street, healing
the scum off it.
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NAT: Shelly’s been down the cop shop, making sure all the cops don’t let
the dealers out.
SHELLY: They’re closer mates than you think. Fucking city life, eh.
BRETT starts oozing with a dreaminess.
SHELLY: Oh kid! Kid, you fucked up this one, didn’t ya?
NAT: We told you not to use the gear. Just to buy it.
BRETT: Leave me alone. You never gave me rules! I had to be street-smart
on my own! And now I’m on a high.
NAT: [To each other.] We gotta get him to detox.
SHELLY: Take him out to Shep.
BRETT: I can hear you! I’m not going out to the country!
NAT: You’re not staying here like that.
BRETT runs away, giggling maniacally, while NAT and SHELLY chase him.
NAT: Come ‘ere!
SHELLY: Come ‘ere! We gotta detox you!
BRETT giggles.
BRETT: No way! WEE! I’m feeling good.
SHELLY: He’s fast.
NAT: Come ‘ere.
BRETT is laughing.
BRETT: I’m too far away for you girls, I’m too far gone! I feel amazing. I’m
soaring above you all, up in the clouds, and I’m not worried, I’m not
feeling guilty, I’m not feeling lost, I’m not feeling like something is
missing, that I’m not whole.

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BRETT keeps running and running, and leaves NAT and SHELLY behind.
BRETT runs for hours and then suddenly, BRETT stops.
BRETT: Nat? Shelly? I’m down, I’ve come down now. Oh shit, oh shit.
Eight – The drug addiction takes a turn for the worst and there is
a clash on the streets of Footscray
DES is anxious, he is there with HANH, Vietnamese [DES’s boss]. BRETT is
pretty anxious for a hit. BRETT has gotten a lot worse.
DES: Brett. Have you got the money? I really need the money, Brett.
BRETT: Listen, Des, bro, listen, I’m good for it. You gimme a stash for now
and gimme another stash for later, I’ll sell this stuff and we’ll call it
even.
DES: No deal, Brett. I’m the dealer, not you.
BRETT: [Laughs]. No deal! No deal! Just like The price is right!
DES: Brett, I’m serious! I need cash!
BRETT: Chill out!
DES: I need my cash, you drug-fucked junkie! You used me, you dumb...
ABO!
BRETT: Dumb chink. You dumb chink! You’re the one who sold me this
deadly gear so calm down, Des.
DES: [Pause.] I got someone on my ass. He’s pissed that I’ve been too
generous with you.
BRETT: I didn’t ask you for your generosity!
DES: Well you wanted more than the drugs! You tricked me! And now I’m
in shit and he’s breathing down my neck.
BRETT: Who? What breath? I thought you said you worked solo.
DES: This is Hanh, he’s my boss. He’s Vietnamese. He’s the scariest
motherfucker.
HANH steps forward, menacing and with a weapon.
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BRETT: Oh shit! Um! Ok just give me another day. We’ll get the money.
HANH: In case Des didn’t make things clear you better pay me or I’m
going to cut you up. I’m gonna cut you up and no-one’s every gonna
recognise you again, you little drug-fucked junkie.
SHELLY and NAT rush in.
SHELLY: You fucking watch your mouth, son. Have some respect around
your elders.
DES: Who are you guys?
NAT: Brett’s mob. Who the fuck are you? Middle-rung dealer?
SHELLY: [To BRETT.] Brett, get out of here, now. We’ll handle this.
BRETT: I’m in over my head, I’m so over my head. How did my life end up
like this?
HANH: What the fuck, who are these junkie bitches?
SHELLY: You’ll be calling us bitches by the time we’re done with you.
HANH: I’m not scared of you two old bags.
NAT: Yep, we’re fucking ancient and that means trouble.
HANH: Well, sorry ladies, this is a business deal between my associates
and my junkie clients, so get the fuck out of my way ‘cause you may be
ancient but I’m pissed off.
BRETT: I’m not a junkie. I’m not a junkie! We’re not junkies! FUCK! I’m just
a kid.
BRETT flies into a rage and starts attacking HANH.
HANH: What the – Get off me, get off.
DES: Oh man! Oh shit! Get off him, Brett!
BRETT: Where are you fuckers from? FUCK FUCK! Where did you come
from you stupid drug dealer? Which country did you come from? Who is
your mother? Who raised you? What has life given you that it didn’t
give me? FUCK!
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HANH: Get off. Ow. Get off. Please! Stop! STOP!
DES: Brett! You’re going psycho!
NAT: Brett! Hang on!
SHELLY: Kid! Calm down!
HANH: ARGH!
BRETT: ARGH! YOU HAVE A KNIFE, I HAVE FIRE IN MY BELLY!
Nine – Brett ends up in juvenile justice
BRETT is sombre in his cell. His LAWYER is trying to get through to him.
LAWYER: Brett. Do you have anything you want to say to the magistrate?
Brett? Speak to me, I’m your lawyer, speak to me. Brett.
BRETT: No. I have nothing to say.
LAWYER: It’s your last chance before you get locked up in juvenile justice.
If you tell them about your hard life, you might get out sooner and not
end up in adult prison where you’ll be the toyboy for all the horny older
men.
BRETT: Shut up shut up!
LAWYER: Sorry I meant to say, if you tell them about your hard life, you
might get out sooner and not end up for as long in adult prison where
you’ll be the toyboy for all the horny older men.
BRETT: If you’re trying to scare me, it’s not working. Can’t you see that I’m
sorry and I mucked up? What else is there for me to say and do? I have
no fear and no hope left in my body now.
The LAWYER goes. REVEREND WENTWORTH arrives.
REVEREND WENTWORTH: Brett. It’s me. Reverend Wentworth. I’m so
disappointed. I want to help you. Let me help you get your life back on
track. Brett? Brett!
BRETT: I don’t need your help. I’m too far gone for help. I’m resigned to
my life as it is right now, and that is giving me comfort.
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REVEREND WENTWORTH: Rescind, son. Turn away from this sloth-like
resignation. Son? Brett? Let me save you. Let Jesus save you.
BRETT: You don’t understand. I tried so hard. As a kid growing up, with you
as my father and without a mother, I listened and I prayed. I tried to
take in your words.
REVEREND WENTWORTH: [Pause.] Your mother is still alive.
BRETT: You’re lying. You liar!
REVEREND WENTWORTH: Yes. I lied to you once, it’s true. But your mother
is still alive but only God knows where she ended up. When I told you
she was a junkie and died of an overdose, I did it to protect you. When
she first showed up, with a babe in her arms – you in her arms – and she
told me she had to keep wandering, she was going to take you with her
while she wandered about. I told her a child needed a home, a child
needs a stable home, a stable shelter. I had no idea you’d end up like
this, trying to follow in her path, trying to go wild. I’m sorry. I’m sorry,
Brett.
BRETT: I don’t know if you mean that. Go away. I’m done with you. Go!
Ten – Brett gets moved to the adult prison
Time has passed. BRETT has grown up. So has DES.
DES: Brett, it’s me. It’s Des.
BRETT: Who?
DES: From the streets of Footscray. From the church across the street. I
used to see you, I used to look forward to seeing you. Remember me?
BRETT stares.
BRETT: I got nothing to say. Jail’s hardened me.
DES: I’ve done some fucked up things in here.
BRETT: Me too.
DES: Guess you and me took the same path.
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BRETT: I don’t have a path. I was taken from my mother, brought up in a
church and after I left I tried to do good but I met you and this is where I
ended up. That’s my story. I’m just a story for you to tell.
DES: I don’t think you’re a story.
BRETT: [Pause.] You broke my heart.
BRETT and DES kiss.
DES: I always wanted to do that.
BRETT: Reverend Wentworth used to say that life is full of temptations.
DES: That’s not a bad thing.
BRETT: I learnt that the hard way.
DES: I’m out in 35 days. I’m gonna fix my shit up, I’m out, I’m getting out
and I’ll see you on the other side.
Eleven – Brett leaves adult prison
It is a joyous occasion. BRETT is celebrating with NAT.
BRETT: And so after being in there for a couple of years, I started to think
about my life and my path and what I might do with it. At first I joined
the football program at the adult prison. It turns out I’m a natural. I’m a
fit young kid with a bad history but a good kick and the football always
goes soaring between the posts! Then I decided I’d take up art classes
in prison, and I joined a painting class and turns out I’m a natural at that
too. Dots, stripes, cubes, people. But then, you know, my true calling
has always been to cook. I’m gonna open up my own restaurant and
hire single mothers to work for me.
NAT: Wow, you’re a real inspiration, kid. Brett, I mean.
BRETT: Thanks for calling me by my name.
NAT: Oi, you should come up and see us in Shep when you’ve got the
time. You could do with a bit of country sunshine and relaxing. Meet my
twins.
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BRETT: That would be brilliant, Nat.
NAT: When you can fit it in, of course.
BRETT: Yes. I get to go to charity functions in the city now. I have lunch
with the President of the Un. I get offers to endorse products and I even
get to go on TV, on talk shows, on the Ellen De Generes show! I can’t
believe it, I wake up and I still can’t believe it.
NAT: You made it Brett. You made it!
NAT leaves.
DES enters. BRETT looks at him and smiles.
Everyone assembles on the stage and starts to sing.
BRETT: I’m chaste, Jesus is my man
The Bible teaches us that we are all equal but we are all God’s
subjects
We should see ourselves as all equal, chaste and pure
We should be the same and be fearful, we’ll be chaste
EVERYONE: We’ll be chaste, Jesus is my man
Hold my hand my brother
Let’s walk to the holy land
BRETT: I’m so pure, I’m Heaven-ready
I choose Jesus and I become redeemed, I lose my dark sins
I am the same as any fellow Christian man, I am equal
I m humble, I am a servant, I am pure and trusting
EVERYONE: We’ll be chaste, Jesus is my man
Hold my hand my brother
Let’s walk to the holy land
Singing and dancing.
Quiet.
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BRETT: I’m not chaste, but I am my own man
Life taught me that we are all equal, we are all good and bad
We should see ourselves as all equal, good and bad
We should be the same and not be fearful, good and bad

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PART THREE – A CONTEMPORARY LIVINGROOM DRAMA
A new inner-city apartment with modern fittings and a big plasma TV. And
at the back of the stage, a big window that looks out onto a courtyard,
where there is new outdoor furniture, a BBQ and a potted apple tree.
JEN, in the living area, on the large suede L-shaped couch, is sitting in
front of an array of food on a big coffee table.
There is a kitchen off to the side, and the hallway on the other side that
leads to the front door.
JEN: [Calling out to the kitchen.] It’s ok, really. Jules, I’ll just eat the
crudités. I’ll be fine.
JULIAN: [Off stage, in the kitchen.] You’ll be starving. Jen, don’t worry, it’s
no problem.
JEN: [Calling out.] She won’t mind?
JULIAN: [Off stage, in the kitchen.] She loves visiting my new apartment. It
gives her a reason to brag to her friends about me! As if she needs
another reason! Ha ha!
JULIAN enters from the kitchen with bowls of salad.
JULIAN: Ok salad, I’ll put your fine ass on the side-board. [Placing the tray
on the side-board. And then to JEN.] It makes sense here. People will
only want entrees on the coffee table. I’ll just get some side-plates.
[Leaving for the kitchen.] I made the salad un-dressed, so it’s glutenfree. You can eat that.
JEN: I’ll be so full. Your mother doesn’t need to make any more food, really.
JULIAN: [Off stage, in the kitchen.] Bitch, shut up. She’s already put the
oven on. She’ll be here soon. Well, if she avoids going down Hoddle.
JULIAN’s iPhone beeps on the coffee table.
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JULIAN: [Off stage, in the kitchen.] Hey, Jen, read that text. It’ll be Mum
texting me the exact ingredients for your pizza bases.
JEN: [Picking up the phone, reading.] Yes, it all looks fine. I’ll text her back
ok?
JEN texts. JULIAN re-enters with side-plates.
JULIAN: [Putting down the side-plates.] Oh it’s so fucked!
JEN: What? What’s the matter?
JULIAN: It’s so fucked that the BBQ’s not working. You know?
JEN: I can run out and get some new gas. Is there a petrol station in the
city?
JULIAN: It’s not out of gas. I had my bottle filled up and all ready to go.
JEN: What if I visit my parents and get their BBQ? It always works.
JULIAN: They’re in Mt Eliza.
JEN: It’ll be no trouble.
JULIAN: That’s a 2.5 hour round trip. You’ll miss the whole lunch. Which,
I’m guessing, you won’t mind. Right?
JEN: What do you mean?
JULIAN: One word: ‘Theo’. I checked with both of you this week and you
both said it’d be ok. Yesterday I double-checked and you both said it
was no problem. Is there a problem? Jen, are you getting anxious about
seeing him?
JEN: No.
JULIAN: It’s so fucking fucked, my BBQ is fucking fucked. It cost hundreds
and I’ve only used it, well, fucking never. Maybe I put it together wrong.
I’m usually excellent at putting this sort of stuff together. One day I’ll
make the greatest house husband!
JEN: We can get Theo to check the BBQ when he arrives?
JULIAN: Do I have to be the one to point out that it’s a bit sexist that he
got the BBQ?
JEN: I got the TV!
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JULIAN: For all that Masterchef you never saw me on?
JEN: I don’t like watching reality TV.
JULIAN: You are a mutant.
JEN: Everyone is so mean to each other. Am I the only one in this country
who doesn’t want to sit around watching other people sitting around
being mean to each other?
JULIAN: No-one on Masterchef is ‘sitting around’ and definitely not ‘sitting
around being mean to each other’. I never saw that happen. If there’s
any conflict, it’s just the natural result from the fast pace of the
competition in a catering-standard kitchen. Some of my closest friends I
made are from Masterchef.
JEN: Are they coming today?
JULIAN: No. They’re busy. Besides, I don’t want to have other celebrities
here. I’m over being a celebrity, actually, and I’m so fucking over
having a big fuss. Today I want to spend time with my real friends.
Reality TV friends are one thing, but real high school friends, well, that’s
priceless. I don’t care if you and Theo aren’t together anymore, you’re
both my friends and that’s what counts. Even if you didn’t watch me
when I was on TV. But it’s fine, I have all the episodes recorded!
JEN: Ok ok. Let’s make a date and I’ll do a Masterchef marathon with you,
and let you cook all the yummy food that you cooked on the show.
JULIAN’s iPhone beeps.
JULIAN: [Reading.] My dear mother asks me to ask you if buckwheat is
okay?
JEN: She needs to check the packet. If it says ‘gluten free’ it should be
fine. Oh, and I just thought of something – her yeast, she’ll need to
check that too.
JULIAN: She’s got the right yeast, she’s made a point of saying she has the
right yeast. [JULIAN texts.] So I will just text her back and say that she
won’t be killing my dear high school friend Jen if she brings buckwheat
bases.
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JULIAN pauses, laughing.
JEN: What?
JULIAN: My mum’s got the right yeast.
JEN: I don’t want to think about your mum’s yeast.
Pause.
JEN smiles.
JULIAN: What?
JEN: Congratulations for being the first one of us to buy a place. You
should be so proud, this is such a great apartment. And you can hardly
hear the city outside, it’s almost soundproof on this floor. I love the
courtyard too. When that apple tree grows, it’s going to give beautiful
shade and you can sit under there when it gets too hot indoors. You’re
grown-up, Julian, you’re officially the most grown-up one of us.
JULIAN: Oh God! Is that a compliment? I don’t know! Should I take it as a
compliment?
JEN: Of course it is and of course you should! The rest of us are as clueless
as we were ten years ago, but you’re so clear-minded about your life.
FRANCINE: [From off-stage, from the front door.] Hello? Is everyone here
now?
JULIAN: Come in, Francine. It’s just me and my friend Jen, no-one else has
arrived.
FRANCINE: [Entering.] Good afternoon. Hello!
JEN: Hi, nice to meet you. I’m Jen.
FRANCINE: Hello Jen! Nice to meet you too, I’ve bought some pastries.
[Coming over to the coffee table.] I’ll put them on this plate and we eat?
JEN: Oh, I don’t eat – ah, it’s ok. You eat them. It’s just that I don’t eat,
well, can’t eat wheat.
FRANCINE: Pardon me?
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JULIAN: Jen’s celiac. She can’t have any gluten. I forget about it because
when we were in high school all she ever ate was Tip Top bread and
battered potato cakes. [To JEN.] And now you’re celiac and really skinny.
She’s vegetarian too.
FRANCINE: What do you mean ‘gluten’?
JEN: I can’t eat bread or pastries, and a bunch of other stuff. It’s fine
though, you go ahead and enjoy them. Mmm, yum, wow, they look very
good! Tasty!
FRANCINE: It is very strange in Australia. So many people are vegans.
JEN: [Gesturing.] Is this a Danish pastry? Wow.
FRANCINE: Yes this one has sour cherries. Can you eat the cherries?
JEN: No, really, I’d rather not. It looks delicious but I’m fine. And I might
move the crudités over here, away from all this gluten. The dip’s ok,
isn’t it, Jules?
JULIAN: Francine bought it. [To FRANCINE.] There’s no gluten in it, is there?
JEN: I better check the packet, if that’s ok.
FRANCINE: Oh you can’t, I’m sorry, I brought it home like this from work.
There is no packet for you to check.
JEN: Oh, no worries, I’ll just eat the crudités, it’s fine. [Pause.] Julian says
you work in a cafe down on Collins Street?
FRANCINE: Oh it’s true, it’s so funny. All the people I work with are so
funny. My boss is an old Italian man and he is, well, he is one day happy
and one moment ok, the next day boom! A proper Italian! He’s yelling
at you, getting grumpy, yelling at the businessmen who buy coffees.
Then the next moment he gives you free dips. It’s tasty. Try.
JEN: Oh, I can’t. Really. I’m sure it’s tasty. It looks great.
FRANCINE: I brought home cheese too. I bought from the Victoria Markets.
Here, let me slice it.
FRANCINE exits to the kitchen.
JEN: [Calling out.] Francine, I haven’t met anyone from Estonia before. I
like your accent, it’s really nice.
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FRANCINE: [Calling back.] Thank-you! I like my accent too!
JEN: [Calling out.] Julian says you’re studying ‘community arts’ at RMIT.
That sounds really interesting.
FRANCINE: [Calling back.] At the RMIT, yes, it’s so funny where I am
studying. My professors are so funny. They must all be crazy.
JEN: [Calling out.] How do you mean?
FRANCINE: [Calling back.] The assignments that they give to me, they are
all crazy and ask us to do crazy things.
FRANCINE re-enters with a cleaver.
FRANCINE: This will have to do! I could not find a cheese knife!
FRANCINE comes to the coffee table and chops the cheese.
FRANCINE: It’s crazy, they have asked for us to research into refugee
people and refugee artists!
JEN: How interesting. I wouldn’t know where to start. Are you having
trouble finding refugees to interview? I would.
FRANCINE: Of course I am! Here I am, I live in the city, where do I find
refugees? That’s my first problem, and then if I find the refugee, can
you tell me, what refugee wants to talk about art? They’re too busy with
everything else!
JULIAN: Hey! What about that show? Go back to where you came from?
You should get in touch with someone who does that show.
FRANCINE: I will google this show. I’ll see.
JULIAN: Did you watch it Jen?
JEN: No.
JULIAN: It’s really good reality TV, no one ‘being mean to each
other’...well, only being mean but for good reasons. The show was all
about, you know, Australia’s relationship with people from other
countries. It made me feel so sad about this whole refugee issue. Come
over another night Jen and you can watch it, with Francine, and then
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watch me on Masterchef. I can’t believe I lost! My beef cheeks were so
tender and my celeriac mash was – well, I can’t even describe it! That’s
it! You’re coming for dinner and TV tomorrow night. [To FRANCINE.] And
you, my dear housemate, are invited too.
FRANCINE: Ha ha! Maybe I’ll bring a refugee to dinner!
Everyone laughs.
A knock at the door.
JULIAN: [Calling out.]Come in, it’s open! We’re open for lunch and dinner!
NATASHA: [Calling out.] Yo bitches!
THEO enters with DAVID and NATASHA.
DAVID: [Entering.] Wow, great courtyard.
NATASHA: [To DAVID.] He’s paying this place off by himself, with the help
of an international student.
FRANCINE: That’s me!
NATASHA: Oh fuck, I’m sorry. I didn’t realise you’d be joining us. It’s
Francine, right? Julian’s told us all about you. I’m Nat.
FRANCINE: He’s been gossiping about me, I bet. Ha ha! I’m a terrible
housemate! I’m always doing cheeky things! [To NATASHA, THEO and
DAVID.] Yes, I’m Francine.
THEO: Hi. I’m Theo. Nice to meet you.
FRANCINE: Nice to meet you.
DAVID: I’m David. [To JULIAN.] You must be Julian? Hi, I’m an extra guest. I
hope that’s / not –
THEO: It’s fine.
JULIAN: [To THEO.] A text about this could have helped.
JEN: We’ve got enough food, Jules, it’ll be fine.
DAVID: And we picked up extra.
THEO: So it’s fine.
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JULIAN: A tour anyone? [Exiting.] This way...
DAVID and NATASHA follow. JULIAN, DAVID and NATASHA exit. THEO stays.
THEO: I’ve seen the place. I looked at it online when he bought it. There
were a dozen photos.
FRANCINE: What a very happy house-warming! So much delicious food for
us, Julian is a true Masterchef. He’s been cooking all the morning. You
must be very special friends.
THEO: That, and Julian loves to show off.
FRANCINE: Theo, you are not vegan?
THEO: [To FRANCINE.] If it walks, flies, crawls, swims, I’ll eat it.
FRANCINE: How funny! You’re like my boss at the cafe. Anything if it
moves, he’ll chop it up and eat it. Cheese, you must try the cheese first.
THEO: Thanks. Sure.
FRANCINE passes the cheese, and THEO nibbles.
THEO: Hey. It’s good.
FRANCINE: Of course. Special cheese. [To JEN.] Jen?
JEN: No, really. I’m fine, Francine. I can’t eat it.
Quiet. THEO eats the cheese.
JEN: Julian’s BBQ is ‘fucked’.
FRANCINE: Ah! Of course, the cursed BBQ. And so much meat in the
fridge. Poor Julian.
JEN: [To THEO.] Tragedy strikes. It’s out there, brand new, and he can’t get
it working.
THEO: [Looking out into the courtyard.] An apple tree? It’s going to cramp
the space.
FRANCINE: Theo, do you know any refugees?
JEN: She’s doing an assignment on refugees.
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FRANCINE: Yes, authentic refugees.
THEO: Sure, come out to where I live. I haven’t ever talked to any. But just
go into one of their shops and I’m sure they’d be able to.... what do you
want from them?
FRANCINE: Something very important...to make a connection, to have a
conversation, to do my research, of course!
THEO: [Looking out into the courtyard.] I could have brought mine – well,
ours – over.
FRANCINE: ‘Ours’?
JEN: Our BBQ.
FRANCINE: You share a BBQ?
JEN: We used to.
FRANCINE: You were flat-mates?
JEN: Sort of.
FRANCINE: Theo, where do you live now?
THEO: With my parents. I’m saving money. I’m catching up to Julian.
FRANCINE: Catching what?
THEO: A deposit, so I can get my own place too. Personally, I wouldn’t
invest in an apartment and in the city, you might as well pour money
down the drain. But, to Julian’s credit, he got a good deal and he did it
before me.
FRANCINE: It is like a competition.
THEO: It’s independence. Being financially independent...does that term
make sense? Look, it’s mumbo jumbo lingo talk, true, but my
generation, we need our own assets and we should have them at an
early age. Other people my age are travelling around the world and
building up memories as their assets – memories don’t appreciate, they
don’t gain value, they can’t be sold and bought. That’s fine, personal
choices are personal choices. But, personally, I’d rather be 25 with
concrete assets that I can call my own than to be 25 with just a scabby
backpack and set of travel stories. And me and Julian – well, we share
the same views on this – and we always wanted to be independent at

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25, to buy our first property before 25 and then a second one before 30.
I’m not too far behind him.
FRANCINE: I am 32, and you know what? I don’t give a fuck about
property! Who cares? My family, we have one family house. One day I
might have to go back and live in the family house, I don’t mind, if I live
there until I am 55, 65, 80.
THEO: Well, that’s your choice. It’s different for me.
FRANCINE: Jen? You feel the same?
THEO: No, she doesn’t.
JEN: I don’t want my own place yet but I don’t hold it against anyone if
they do.
FRANCINE: Theo, you have strong goals.
THEO: David’s a real estate agent. I went to an auction this morning, just
to look. David was the real estate agent. He said he wasn’t doing
anything and he wanted to check out what a property in the city looks
like.
FRANCINE: This is a wonderful way to make friends.
THEO: I don’t want to be his friend.
JULIAN, DAVID and NATASHA enter.
NATASHA: Julian! Oh my God! MY GOD! I’m going to go home and slash
my wrists for not going on Masterchef and making a ton of money like
you did. I am a better cook than you after all!
JULIAN: As if, bitch! I cook like a gay man!
NATASHA: And dress like one, and act like one...
JULIAN: And, slut, please, you don’t make ‘tons of money’ from being on
Masterchef. Not even those photo-spreads that you do. You don’t get
even get to keep any of the clothes. I’m serious. That’s all in the
contract – no fucking G-Star freebies.
NATASHA: Aw look at you. You have a brand-new studio apartment but
Masterchef didn’t give the poor man a free G-Star shirt.
JEN: [Giggling.] Don’t tease, Tash. He might bite us.
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NATASHA: Poor Julian went on Masterchef and a Muslim woman beat him.
JULIAN: Did anyone ever tell you you’re a cow?
NATASHA: A cow with a fat ass and I should go on The Biggest Loser? Your
words, I believe.
JULIAN: Fatima didn’t beat me, cow. The judges are PC, what can I say.
Really, for fuck’s sake, I have to gay it up to get any sympathy. If you’re
straight and white like us, life is hard.
THEO: [To DAVID.] Julian was in Masterchef, in case he hadn’t told you in
the first 30 seconds of meeting you.
DAVID: Ah –
JULIAN: I told him because he didn’t identify who I was within those first
30 seconds.
DAVID: I don’t have a TV.
JULIAN: So anticipating mutants like this, I have my magazines and photo
shoots laid out so guests will ask me if, yes, I was on Masterchef.
FRANCINE: Julian! Show for them your Master sauce!
NATASHA: His what now?
FRANCINE: His hot Master sauce!
NATASHA: Can we not? I’m hung-over.
JULIAN: Francine. Shh! Way to steal my thunder, bitch.
FRANCINE: What’s wrong?
JULIAN: [Grabbing sauce bottles from under the coffee table and
presenting them to the group.] Ladies and gentleman, Coles
Supermarkets presents exclusive second runner up’s Julian Winter’s Hot
Sauce range. Gluten-free and vegan, baby!
The group laugh and clap. JULIAN passes around the sauce bottles.
DAVID: Congratulations, Julian.
FRANCINE: Amazing!
THEO: [About the sauces.] Is this sauce stuff for real? Hot sauce isn’t a
cash cow. What else have they got in the pipes for you?

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JULIAN: Nothing in my pipes except for hot sauce, Theo. I can’t have my
face on everything, that would be very tacky and the Australian public
wouldn’t like it.
THEO: A cook book?
JULIAN: I didn’t win the show, Theo. I came third, well, fourth if you count
Danni’s win as legitimate. For the runners up like us, we don’t get book
deals.
THEO: How much are the sauces going to bring you, say, per year?
JULIAN: I’m in IT, Theo, not finance.
THEO: Look, I’m only asking these questions because you have a tendency
to be short-sighted about your future, about your goals. You had a very
good opportunity by going on that show, and you and I both know it
wasn’t about cooking.
NATASHA: Oh God, don’t let him start. Theo’s about to give us one of his
life coaching lectures he learnt off the internet! Theo, what’s the site
where you got those books?
DAVID: I thought you said you worked in a call centre.
JULIAN: Life coach?
JULIAN bursts out laughing.
THEO: Shut up Natasha!
NATASHA: He did a life coaching course but they told him to come back
when he got more experience with life.
JEN: Tash, come on, don’t tease.
NATASHA: But it’s true! And ever since you guys broke up, Theo comes
and offloads everything on me. I’m the new girlfriend but without the
sex. Although, no offense Theo, I’m happy with that arrangement.
JULIAN: Life coach. Life coach. Coaching lives. Coacher of life. Life in need
of coaching.
NATASHA: You should see the business cards.
JULIAN: Oh God, you’re not serious. This is the best house-warming ever.
THEO: Tash, shut the fuck up you dumb cow.
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NATASHA: [Moving to the sofa.] Is anyone sitting here? I have to lie down.
Make way.
NATASHA lies down on the sofa.
JULIAN: [To THEO.] Coach, show me... your cards.
JEN: Julian. Come on, leave him alone.
JULIAN: You can’t protect him from the big bad world now. He’s a big boy
who lives at home and can look after himself.
THEO: I am not living at home, I am saving a deposit.
DAVID: I might have a drink. Does anyone else want a lemonade?
FRANCINE: [Gesturing with the knife.] Cheese? This is very tasty. Does
anyone want to try it? It’s so good. Natasha? Julian? David?
NATASHA: Can you not wave that knife around, please. I’m trying to rest.
FRANCINE: To me, there is no difference between this knife and a smaller
knife. The smaller knife is smaller but it is still a knife, just as this
[about the cleaver] is a knife.
NATASHA: No what you have is a cleaver. That cuts through bones.
FRANCINE: A cleaver. What’s that?
JEN: A type of knife. [Pointing specifically.] That knife.
NATASHA: Ugh, stop waving it around! Julian, do something about your
housemate.
FRANCINE: Julian, please, you must do something about me!
Instead of coming over, JULIAN leaves and exits to the kitchen. FRANCINE
puts the knife down.
NATASHA: [Calling out after JULIAN.] Thanks a lot! I know who my friends
are. And thanks for not asking me, Julian, why I’m hung-over. I only had
to mention it as many times as you mention Masterchef. [To the rest of
the group.] I’ve bored Theo and David about what I did last night. Julian
usually likes the stories. But he’s become so responsible now.

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JULIAN enters with a cheese knife.
JULIAN: I lied. There were some freebies on Masterchef. [Gesturing to the
cheese knife.] A proper cheese knife. Here we go, girls, no cleavers
needed. And, Tash, I am not ‘so responsible’.
NATASHA: You’re boring.
JULIAN: Tell me about last night.
NATASHA: It’ll bore everyone. They’ve heard it and David’s already feeling
weird.
DAVID: Oh, no I’m not. Not at all. Not really.
JEN: [To NATASHA.] I haven’t heard your story, boo, I’d like to hear it.
NATASHA: You only like stories with happy endings.
THEO: You get scared watching TAC ads.
JEN: That’s another reason why I don’t like TV. It’s all about gore these
days.
NATASHA: Aw, every group has to have a sensible person and that’s you.
JEN: I was saying that I haven’t heard your story and I would like to. That’s
not being sensible, that’s being curious and friendly.
FRANCINE: [To NATASHA.] I haven’t heard your beautiful story. I’d like to
hear it too.
NATASHA: It’s not beautiful, you weird woman. Oh my God, you are a
classic.
FRANCINE: ‘Classic’ what? What does that mean?
NATASHA: Just give me some cheese.
FRANCINE: [Cutting the cheese.] Anyone else? Jen? Cheese?
JEN: I’m fine, really.
Everyone gathers around the coffee table and eats the cheese, except for
JEN. FRANCINE is not eating either, just sharing it out.
DAVID: This is good.
THEO: I know.
NATASHA: It’s really...
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FRANCINE: Creamy, yes?
JULIAN: This is amazing.
FRANCINE: It’s brand new. From the Queen Victoria Markets.
THEO: It’s really good. Jen, you’re missing out.
FRANCINE: Poor Jen.
The group eat more cheese. It’s very good. FRANCINE is beaming.
NATASHA: So I fucked Lil Wayne for four hours in the toilets at Boutique
and his security guards kept everyone out for the whole time and, no, I
wasn’t on any drugs because since last year I don’t do drugs again. I
wasn’t on any drugs and I stayed up for four hours having hot toilet sex.
I haven’t been to sleep, I haven’t even showered.
FRANCINE: What? Who is Wayne?
JEN: [To NATASHA.] Can’t you be discreet? People don’t want to know
about your sex-life.
NATASHA: What planet are you on?
JULIAN: [To JEN.] You’re a mutant.
JEN: If you ask anyone, and if they’re honest, they don’t care about other
people’s sex lives. You know what’s sexier than sex? Non-sex.
DAVID: ‘Non-sex’?
JEN: Well, yes. I mean ....is that the opposite of...? –
FRANCINE: ‘Non... sex’...
JEN: I don’t know, ‘non-sex’: it’s the opposite of ‘too much sex’. I don’t
know. There could be a better word for it but you know what I mean.
NATASHA: You are dying to know who Lil Wayne is. You want to know in
detail. You secretly wish you had been there, mentally filming it. So
you’ll go home today and do research on him, and then you’ll call me
up and tell me everything I don’t need to know because I have already
done Lil Wayne. [To FRANCINE.] He’s a rap star.
FRANCINE: Artists! Refugee artists?
JEN: She’s doing an assignment on refugee artists and she needs to
interview one.
40

Chaste – 2014

NATASHA: Why?
FRANCINE: For knowledge!
NATASHA: Lil Wayne is not a refugee and even if he was, it’d be weird if
you tried to interview him because he’s famous. He’s from America. I
mean, he is black, he’s African, but he’s American, he’s not a refugee.
Don’t you know any refugees back home you could email or Skype?
FRANCINE: There are no refugees in Estonia! No-one wants to come to
Estonia. Just a few Russians.
Pause.
JULIAN: Sex with a rap star, Tash. That’s pretty good, even for you.
NATASHA: Let’s go out tonight.
JULIAN: With Lil Wayne?
NATASHA: With me! I’ll shout you too, tight-arse. I know you don’t want to
tell Theo that you have about zero dollars and that’s why you never go
out.
JULIAN: Tash, shut the eff up.
THEO: She’s already told me about your budget problems. It’s ok. We
brought some extra food and you can keep it if we don’t get through it.
DAVID: I did too.
JULIAN: Do I look like a homeless person?
THEO: [About JULIAN’S designer distressed jeans.] Is that a trick question?
JULIAN: This jeans cost $400, fucktard, they’re Tsubi. And there’s enough
food here, so take your Aldi chips when you go, that’s fine.
NATASHA: Julian, come and have fun tonight.
JULIAN: Fix my BBQ. That will be fun.
NATASHA: Boring! Fine. To all of you, fine. Ugh. I have to lie down again, let
me lie down.
JEN: Do you want a drink of water, boo?
NATASHA: Yes please. With ice, please. I’m sorry I was mean to you.
JEN: I understand. I’ll get you something to drink.

41

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JEN exits to the kitchen.
DAVID: He’s Kenyan. I mean, that’s where his family traces back to. Lil
Wayne.
THEO: How do you know this?
DAVID: I read it somewhere. Probably in the MX.
FRANCINE: When did his family come from Kenya? One hundred, two
hundred years?
DAVID: I’d say more. Hundreds more.
FRANCINE: Damn!
THEO: [To DAVID.] Do you want a seat? You’ve been standing this whole
time. I should have offered you a seat. Julian, planning to get extra
seating any time soon?
JULIAN: What’s with the extra guest? [To DAVID.] No offense, David.
DAVID: I’m fine, I can stand. I like standing.
NATASHA: I’m staying here.
FRANCINE: David! Ah, such a polite man. Do you know any refugees?
DAVID: I’m afraid I don’t. Sorry. [Thinks.] No, sorry.
FRANCINE: Cheese?
The group eats more cheese.
DAVID: [To JULIAN and FRANCINE.] I was telling Theo and Natasha that,
yes, I am currently in the real estate business but it’s a temporary thing.
I shouldn’t be embarrassed about it but, well, being a real estate isn’t
usually something that makes you friends. I guess I just got lucky today!
Ha ha. I’m only doing it because my dad has a company and I wanted to
help him out. But he’s selling it. I feel sorry for Dad, it’s hard for him to
stay in business because you’re competing against the chains. Or, you
have to speak another language and tap into clients that way. Anyway,
I’m just, well, ever since uni I’ve worked with him and helped him out,
but now uni’s ended, well, I dropped out of uni... So I had time to help
Dad before he sells the business.
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THEO: I hate hearing about people our parents’ age out of work.
NATASHA: People our parents’ ages are rich. [To DAVID.] Seriously, is your
Dad going to go on the dole, or is he going to retire?
DAVID: Dad’s not poor, you’re right. He’ll be retiring soon if he can’t find
other work.
THEO: What are you going to do?
FRANCINE: A scientist!
DAVID: Pardon?
FRANCINE: To me, I think you might study to become a scientist.
DAVID: Really?
FRANCINE: I can see you in a lab!
DAVID: I actually studied environmental science.
FRANCINE: I have a good sense with randoms.
DAVID: But then I dropped out. I was, well, to be honest, I was actually
quite depressed in my final year so I had to drop out. What am I going
to do with my life? I’ve been thinking about travelling, and maybe that
will make things, well, I don’t know. I’m not really sure. But why be lost
in Australia, why not be lost in, I don’t know, Vietnam or Brazil?
Actually, I’ve heard about these rock formations over in Brazil where the
moss is as used by the locals as material for clothing.
FRANCINE: Imagine we had moss clothes!
DAVID: It’d be pretty cool. Moss pants...
FRANCINE: Moss three-piece suit!
JULIAN: Poor Theo. He’s wondering how his new best friend just went from
being a hot ticket real estate agent to wanting to make moss clothing.
THEO: What?
JULIAN: The only reason you’ve brought David along is to show off.
THEO: To you?
JULIAN: [To THEO.] What about you say “Congratulations” to me on my
fucking amazing apartment?
THEO: I’m just holding onto my congratulations for when you go on The
Block and renovate this shit-box depreciating investment time-bomb.

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JULIAN: That’s not even how it works. Going on The Block, it doesn’t work
like that.
JEN enters with glasses and a jug.
JEN: [To NATASHA.] Here’s your water, boo. Does anyone else want a
glass? I brought a jug in so I’m ready to serve.
DAVID: Thank-you.
JEN: [Going over to DAVID to pour.] Jules? Theo?
THEO: No. I’m fine.
JEN: Jules?
JULIAN: I’m fine.
JEN: Jules, your fridge ice maker isn’t making ice so I couldn’t add ice into
the water. I think it’s broken. Actually, your house seems to be a bit
broken. Ha ha.
JULIAN: It’s not. It’s the BBQ and the fridge, bitch.
JEN: Ok. [To FRANCINE.] Water?
FRANCINE nods, JEN pours.
FRANCINE: Everyone, please eat the cheese. There is so much, let’s eat.
There is pastries too; and Julian has made many things for today. He
spent a lot of time last night cooking for you, for his best friends. And
such wonderful salads coming up. And the meat, the BBQ. If we can get
it working, what a wonderful lunch.
JULIAN: Oh shut up Francine. Clearly this isn’t a wonderful lunch. [To
THEO.] Go on.
THEO: What?
JULIAN: Mention the hot sauce. Mention how if I sold something better
than hot sauce I wouldn’t have a fucked fridge and a fucked BBQ.
THEO: I wasn’t going to say anything about Julian Winter’s hot sauce.
JULIAN: Fine. Great. Let’s eat.

44

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Everyone sits and eats the food, the pastries, the cheese, except for JEN,
who can only eat crudités, and FRANCINE, who sips on her water.
The eating goes on.
Silence.
DAVID: I think we should do a meditation.
Pause.
FRANCINE: Beautiful.
NATASHA: I’m not doing a meditation. I’m hung-over.
THEO: I’m not hung-over but I don’t meditate.
JULIAN: I’m feeling too pissed off to meditate.
JEN: Maybe a meditation will be good for you. You wanted this to be a
special day.
JULIAN: You wanted it to be special.
JEN: For you.
THEO: [To JULIAN.] You wanted to show off.
JEN: Theo, come on.
JULIAN: Oh for fuck’s sake, Jen. You make me want to punch you
sometimes.
JEN: What have I done wrong? Don’t say things like that to me!
JULIAN: Jen, you are so fucked up! You still look at Theo and see the 10%
good things about him and you’ve always ignored the 90% of him that’s
mean and competitive and, yes, sexist. Very sexist. Your ex-boyfriend,
for as long as I’ve known him, has always been this BIG DUMB APE, on
so many levels, it’s like he thinks life is the Olympics. Everything’s a
contest to him.
THEO: You’re the one who went on a reality competition show!
JULIAN: I’ve got the guts to do something with my normal levels of
competitiveness whereas you’re the most bitter 25 year-old I know.
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You’re a failure for your age, and you take it out on everyone else. You
fucked a 16-year-old at a gig, Jen still doesn’t know it. You’re a mean,
sexist guy and the sweetest people around you are fooled, or mentally
retarded.
JEN: Excuse me, Julian.
THEO: I did have sex with someone else. Yes. I did. Ok? Everyone, I had
sex with a 16-year-old. Who I thought was older. And when she said she
had to go to school, I was really embarrassed. I fucked up, I was
ashamed, I have never been so ashamed. I confided in Julian and he
told me not to say anything to anyone, and he would cover me, he
would keep my back like a real man would do for his real friends.
JULIAN: Bull-fucking-shit I said any of that.
DAVID: FOR FUCK’S SAKE, CAN EVERYONE JUST SHUT THE FUCK UP AND
DO SOME FUCKING MEDITATION AND CHILL THE FUCK OUT.
Beat.
DAVID: I was having a bad day today selling a ‘shit-box depreciating
investment time-bomb’ out on Ballarat Road and then this guy
[gesturing to THEO] turns up, is actually genuinely friendly to me, and I
thought I’d do something different and out of my comfort zone and
hang out for the afternoon with strangers. But then we pick up Tash –
and no offense Tash –
TASH: None taken, for whatever you’re about to say.
DAVID: We pick up Tash, and she’s the most insecure loudmouth I’ve ever
met. As soon as she’s in the car she’s yelling her stories at us, getting
on her phone and yelling her stories at someone else, practically rolling
down the car window and yelling her stories at everyone passing by.
TASH: Point taken.
DAVID: Then I’m invited up for what I hope will be a pleasant afternoon
party with old high school friends but you all just sit around being
CUNTS TO ONE ANOTHER.
JEN: I’m not a cunt, am I?
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DAVID: OF COURSE YOU’RE A CUNT TOO.
Beat.
DAVID: So can we please do some meditation?
Everyone sits down.
DAVID: Thank-you. Fucking thank-you.
Beat.
DAVID: Ok. No more being cunts. Let’s meditate. Ok? Find a comfortable
spot.
Everyone assumes a meditation position.
When they’re done, DAVID sits too and closes his eyes.
DAVID: Ok. Let’s just relax. Please. Get your bodies into a comfortable
position. Close your eyes. Just breathe, please, try not to think. All of
you, do not think. Not about the new apartment, not about how big your
mortgage is, not about the broken fridge, not about Masterchef, not
about casual sex in toilets, not about American rap-stars, not about who
you cheated with. Nothing. Please. Nothing. Clear your mind. Breathe
in, breathe out.
DAVID starts to calm down.
Everyone is breathing, actually listening to DAVID, calming down.
DAVID: Inhale. Exhale. There is nothing at all, on your mind, at this point in
time.
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The group keep breathing, everyone is serene, calm. Everyone begins to
get really sleep, into a trance.
But then the meditation starts to warp.
Shortly, JULIAN, THEO, NATASHA and DAVID begin to slump. They then
collapse on the floor.
FRANCINE opens her eyes.
JEN does too. JEN looks around and sees her friends un-conscious. JEN
looks panicked.
JEN: Francine, what’s happening?
JEN gets up and checks everyone’s pulses.
FRANCINE does nothing.
JEN: Come on, wake up! [Grabbing THEO.] Come on, Theo. Wake up! I miss
you, I hate you, I love you, I forgive you! Come on! You’ve got a deposit
to save, without me, I know that you didn’t like that, but get up, come
on! [Grabbing NATASHA.] Tash! Boo! You can be so catty! But I like it,
you’re right, I like it when you’re mean and I like to be disgusted by the
things you say! I’ll come out with you tonight, wake up! [Grabbing
JULIAN.] Come on Mr Know-it-all! I want to eat your salad, I want you to
tell me in detail how you made it! I WANT YOU TO DO THAT FASHION
PARADE THING WHERE YOU TRY ON YOUR NEW EBAY CLOTHES AND
MAKE ME TELL YOU WHAT LOOKS GOOD.
FRANCINE: And for David? What you going to say?
JEN: [Grabbing DAVID.] I don’t know... ‘non sex’ wasn’t a very good word.
And, please, go to Vietnam and Brazil, they’re great things to do with
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your life right now. [To FRANCINE.] What’s wrong with them? Francine?
FRANCINE?!?!?!
FRANCINE: [Pointing to the cheese.] It’s too bad they are not vegan.
JEN: I am a celiac, for fuck’s sake, I am celiac and I am a vegetarian!
FRANCINE: It’s too bad, yes.
JEN: What’s in that cheese?
FRANCINE: Try.
JEN: What the fuck is wrong with you? What the fuck is wrong with you,
you psycho! Is this one of your weird tricks Julian was telling me about,
and, yes, he does gossip about you a lot but so what? Is this a trick
you’re playing? What’s going on? What did you put in that fucking
cheese?
FRANCINE: I play tricks, yes. I am actually, like I say, a bit crazy! Ha ha!
And for David, poor David...you know, Jen, for me I hate to do
meditation and all that sort of alternative therapy shit, I hate it more
than I hate to hear about Masterchef, and the sex, and TV, and the
fridge and the BBQ, and to hear from Julian all about his most special
friends. Blah blah blah. Here there is so much blah blah.
The buzzer on the intercom rings. FRANCINE goes over to it.
FRANCINE: Hello? Hi? It’s Francine. Hello?
JEN: You don’t have to say hello three times, the other person can hear
you the first time.
MRS WINTER: [In the intercom.] Oh, Francine darling! Hi, it’s Mrs Winter.
Can you do that buzzy thing, dear, so I can come up? I’ve brought some
yummy things. And Jen can eat them too!
FRANCINE: Oh I’m so sorry Mrs Winter. I’m sorry you came out to the city,
the party has finished now.
MRS WINTER: But Francine –
The buzzer cuts out.

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FRANCINE looks at JEN.
JULIAN’s iPhone rings.
No-one answers it.
Pause.
JEN: You don’t have to say hello three times.
Beat.
Everyone rises. They sing.
JEN: Hey, lover, go back to where you came from.
JULIAN: Go back to where you came from.
NATASHA: Where’d you come from, what things did you see, what’s that
you want to tell me, what’s that you are asking me to see?
FRANCINE: I have things to say, I have things to show you.
EVERYONE: Say them and go back to where you came from, lover
Where’d you come from? Why’d you leave? Why’d you fly here to be
with me?
Why’d you fly here, why’d you cross the seas?
DAVID: Go back to where you came from, lover, go back and stay away
from me.
THEO: Someone sent a postcard from where you came from.
JEN: They signed it, they stamped it, I read it when it came in the mail. I
read about your other life from where you came from.
FRANCINE: I have things to give, I have mistakes to make.
EVERYONE: Make them where you came from, lover, make them away
from me.
Where on earth did you come from? What satellite can show me where
you came from?
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Why’d you come here and make fun of me? Why’d you cross the sea to
make fun of me?
Please go back to where you came from
Please take your things, the things you gave to me, and go back to
where you came from.

51

Chaste – 2014

PART FOUR – A FANTASY TWO-HANDER
At a departure lounge in the domestic area of the airport.
WENDI, Hmong, and STEVEN, Aboriginal, are in a cafe in the airport. They
are drinking coffee and eating muffins.
TING, a CHINESE lady, works at the cafe and is cleaning tables around
WENDI and STEVEN.
STEVEN has in his hands two novels he bought from a shop at the airport.
FLIGHT ANNOUNCER: [Voice-over.]Passengers boarding for Mildura, please
make your way to Gate 18.
STEVEN: [Reading the back cover of one of the books.] The New York
Observer says that this is a searing account, a gripping story of a rookie
detective working on Chicago’s biggest cover-up in police history.
FLIGHT ANNOUNCER: [In Chinese.] Passengers boarding for Mildura,
please make your way to Gate 18.
STEVEN: Not to be missed. Wendi, do not miss this.
WENDI: [About the muffin wrapper.] Here, give me that.
STEVEN passes it to her. She puts the wrapper into her mouth and scrapes
the leftover muffin off the inside of the wrapper.
STEVEN: If you’d like, I can buy you another one if you’re hungry.
WENDI: I’m not hungry. The muffin crumbs are the best bit.
WENDI eats. Then she drinks from her coffee.
WENDI: This is so going to keep me up.
STEVEN: I’ll call you later.
WENDI: Why?
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FLIGHT ANNOUNCER: Passengers for Broome, your flight will now be
departing from Gate 7 and not Gate 20. [In Chinese.] Passengers for
Broome, your flight will now be departing from Gate 7 and not Gate 20.
STEVEN: I’ll call you only if you can’t sleep and only if you text me. I would
advise that you use the other phone I bought you.
WENDI: My ‘secret’ phone. I don’t have it charged. I forget, because it’s so
secret.
STEVEN: Charge it when you get home. Can you do that, Wendi? [Reading
the other back cover of the other book.] “A memoir with genuine heart.
My daughter lived with leukaemia too, this memoir says it all. Miranda
Kerr.” She was a human rights commissioner, Wendi.
WENDI: And a supermodel. I saw her on TV talking about how she used to
be an underwear model, before she became the human rights thingy.
STEVEN: How old is your female child?
WENDI: She’s 12.
STEVEN: Miranda Kerr’s daughter died when she was sweet 16. ‘Lived’.
She used the word ‘lived’ with leukaemia.
WENDI: You do live with it, before it kills you.
STEVEN: Her daughter had a troubled life.
WENDI: Did you know her?
STEVEN: I met them once. When Miranda adopted her. She really started
the trend.
WENDI: [About the books.] You didn’t have to buy these.
STEVEN: Why don’t you take credit for them? You can say that you bought
these books as gifts.
WENDI: They’d ask me why I was bringing home books and I would say
I’m not sure. You know, my kids don’t exactly spend a lot of time
reading books. Steven, I don’t read books.
STEVE: Try to on the plane.
WENDI: I like to look at the magazine. I like pictures of other cities.
STEVEN: How about Chicago? Chicago’s where it’s at. [About the first
book.] According to the back cover, this book is about Chicago. Have
you ever wanted to go there?
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TING comes by and picks up the coffee cups and clears the table.
WENDI: [Passing TING her muffin wrapper.] Sorry, it’s a bit gross.
TING: Thank-you.
TING keeps sweeping.
Beat.
STEVEN: Come here. Let’s hug.
WENDI: Always with the skin-touching business.
WENDI and STEVE hug.
They let go.
STEVEN: I’d like to tell you something.
WENDI: Oh God, please don’t tell me that you love me.
STEVEN: I’ve enjoyed every hour I’ve ever spent with you. I think we’re
good friends. It brings me great joy to spend time with a good friend. It
is a real pleasure. The end.
WENDI: Are you sure you’re not going to visit me? I’m seeing this
confident glint in your eyes. Like a big wad of trouble’s about to hit.
STEVEN: I promise I’ll never visit. I am a busy guy. I only make time for
you because you’re very courteous and give me plenty of time to
prepare for our weekends.
WENDI: You wouldn’t know where to find me.
STEVEN: Cairns isn’t that big, I could walk the streets calling out your
name.
WENDI: I might have lied about my name.
STEVEN: And you might have lied about having kids. And teenage kids at
that. A young woman like you, with teenage kids.
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WENDI: An old man like you with no kids? We’re both liars then.
STEVEN: Why don’t you move here?
WENDI: To the airport?
STEVEN: I’ll buy this shop and give you all a job. I’m not sure what the
laws say about your children working but you can certainly sell coffee
and serve panini.
WENDI: Are my kids coming then?
STEVEN: You don’t want to leave them with their father, do you?
WENDI: I suppose not. [Pointing.] Do I really have to work in the cafe?
STEVEN: Yes.
WENDI: [Pause.] Why does a Chinese cafe serve panini?
STEVEN: And muffins. And coffee.
WENDI: And pizza.
STEVEN: By the slice. I like how they chop up the slice into little bits for
you to eat. Would you like to try it, try a slice? We could order one.
WENDI: No, thanks. My plane’s about to come. Any minute, buster. Dirty
weekend, over.
STEVEN: [About TING.] Do you think she works here, or own the place?
WENDI: She doesn’t look like a boss. She’s looks like a servant.
STEVEN: We could ask her. If she’s a servant, that is.
WENDI: My Chinese is rotten, that would offend her more than the
question.
STEVEN: She speaks good English.
WENDI: You talk to her then.
STEVEN: My Chinese is rotten-er.
WENDI: Any minute, any minute.
STEVEN: I hope your plane is delayed.
WENDI: Don’t jinx me.
STEVEN: I hope it’s delayed. And then stops working altogether. Then
you’d have a good reason to stay here and be my panini concubine. I
hope the planes stay grounded for weeks, do you remember when that
happened?

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Chaste – 2014

WENDI: Yes, it was in the news. Along with Miranda Kerr’s adopted
Aboriginal daughter’s funeral.
STEVEN: That was very very sad. Someone so young.
WENDI: Well, you can only live with a disease for so long.
STEVEN: Do you know once I waited for half a day because someone died
on the plane?
WENDI: They would’ve put you on another plane so you wouldn’t have
waited.
STEVEN: I chose to wait.
WENDI: Weird.
STEVEN: I’m at peace with death. What do they say about death in your
culture?
WENDI: What do you mean?
STEVEN: Are people in your culture afraid of death?
WENDI: I’m not the expert on my culture, on any culture. Not even
Australian culture.
STEVEN: I don’t expect you to be an expert. But you must have some idea.
WENDI: I’m nervous about the end of things. And that must come from
somewhere.
FLIGHT ANNOUNCER: Passengers.... your flight will now be departing...
Beat.
STEVEN: You should stay another night.
WENDI: Sure. Not.
STEVEN: Why do you say ‘not’ like that? It’s a funny way for a grown
woman to speak.
WENDI: I might not be completely grown then.
STEVEN: You are probably the most immature person I know.
WENDI: How many people do you know? I mean, really, not just in a loose
way but in a solid way, in a way where if you had a final dinner, you’d
invite them along.
STEVEN: I have a very large family, if that counts.
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Chaste – 2014

WENDI: I have a large family too but I wouldn’t invite them to my final
dinner.
STEVEN: Would you come to my final dinner?
WENDI: I’d show up and say [In bad English] Me for you, you hire me for
you. Ha ha ha. I sucky you before you die.
STEVEN: I think you’re being very rude with that accent. I think Ting can
understand you and she might think you’re making fun of her.
WENDI: Who?
STEVEN: Ting. Her name is ‘Ting’. The worker, or the boss, perhaps.
WENDI: That’s not her name.
STEVEN: It’s on her badge.
WENDI: You’ve been looking at her badge?
STEVEN: I notice people’s names; in my work, it’s necessary.
WENDI: Well if Ting’s her name, and if Ting can understand English, I’m
sure she’ll understand sarcasm.
STEVEN: Even if I knew everyone, everyone in Cairns, you would still be
the most immature person I know. That’s why we would never be a
good couple.
FLIGHT ANNOUNCER: Passengers...
WENDI: You’re getting ahead of yourself.
STEVEN: I’m saying what you’re thinking.
WENDI: And I’m thinking...?
STEVEN: [Pause.] Italian food, that people want Italian cafe food at the
airport, not Chinese food.
WENDI: Well you’d prefer KFC, actually –
STEVEN: I love KFC, it’s true. It’s so nostalgic.
WENDI: It’s not even chicken anymore. I saw that on the news.
STEVEN: I’m not very representative of the population.
WENDI: You over-compensate, to show the ‘man’ that you’re just as hardworking as the next guy, right?
STEVEN: Not.
WENDI: [Pause.] This is the part in our dirty sex weekend when we start to
act like an actual couple. [Pause.] Any minute.
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Chaste – 2014

FLIGHT ANNOUNCER: [In Chinese.] Flights for Cairns will be departing in
any minute.
STEVEN: [Catching TING’s attention, in Mandarin.] I’m sorry for my friend,
she’s impolite.
TING smiles.
WENDI: [Pause.] I do try to get my children studying Chinese but they just
want to play computer games. And the computer games are all made in
China, but try telling that to my kids, they don’t care. They won’t read
your books, they don’t even watch TV.
STEVEN: [Pause.] I’ll miss you, Wendi.
WENDI: We both fetishise each other. We fetishise each other’s brains out.
STEVEN: [Whispering.] I’m going to have sex with someone tomorrow
night, yes. She’s from the internet. She wants to meet at a construction
site in the new Docklands and have me strangle her in the dark before
having sex with her.
WENDI: She what?
STEVEN: She wants to meet at a construction site and have me strangle
her in the dark before having sex with her.
WENDI: Louder. Ting can’t hear.
STEVEN: [Pause.] Oh. You’re kidding with me.
WENDI laughs.
WENY: [Pause.] Does this woman have a fantasy about being raped by an
Aboriginal?
STEVEN: Possibly. She is Chinese. They do have interesting fascinations
with Australia.
WENDI: Oh. She’s Chinese Chinese?
STEVEN: She’s a Chinese businesswoman. She’s flying in this afternoon on
the 3:50 Qantas, for 24 hours, and she has a list of fantasies for me to

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Chaste – 2014

fulfil. I’ll go over to the international lounge to pick her up, after your
plane comes. Afterwards, she and I might stay in a nice hotel in the city.
WENDI: You never put me into a hotel.
STEVEN: You’re not an international guest.
WENDI: I thought rich men had much dirtier fantasies. Sometimes, when
I’m at home, I think about you – only sometimes, don’t grin like that –
and I think that if I turned my head at that moment you’d pop up on the
TV in some business report on the news where they’re reporting on the
top five wealthiest people in the country.
STEVEN: I have money, yes.
WENDI: Are you the richest Aboriginal in Australia? Holy shit, you are,
aren’t you? Ting, are you hearing this? I’m sitting next to the richest
Aboriginal in Australia.
TING keeps sweeping.
STEVEN: Cathy Freeman was a quarter Chinese.
WENDI: Who?
STEVEN: An athlete.
WENDI: Steven, I’m not Chinese. We’re not all Chinese.
STEVEN: Well, most of you started there.
WENDI: Well, you probably started there before you came here.
STEVEN: I told you we’re not dissimilar. [Pause.] The other night I was
thinking about you – this was a few days before you arrived – and I had
that thought I sometimes have about you. I thought that you might
decide not to come after all. And I felt determined to let you know that I
have developed a love for you, so that when the moment comes that is
our last moment, you’ll have that gift. And it is a gift. To be loved is a
gift, that’s what it says on the back of this adult-like book, which I got
for your female child. I can’t remember her name. Well, I’m sure you
once told me in an email or a text.
WENDI: Her English name is Charlotte, her Hmong name is Shua.
STEVEN: What’s her Chinese name?
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Chaste – 2014

WENDI: Shut up, you douche, she doesn’t have one.
STEVEN: [Tender.] You’re a douche.
WENDI: Don’t be tender, Steven.
STEVEN: But I called you a douche.
WENDI: [Pause.] Do you know that my mother named me after Wendi
Deng? She was a Chinese woman. Do you know who she was?
STEVEN: Of course I do.
WENDI: You probably met her too, I suppose?
STEVEN: Once, or twice.
WENDI: Maybe I was supposed to be destined for greater things, to be the
Hmong Wendi Deng, married to someone white and rich, not some
refugee’s grand-daughter, child bride by 17, uni drop-out, living on
welfare, a young wife, selling bananas at a market in the tropics. That’s
my life, Steven. I might as well be back in a village. I didn’t realise the
migrant lifestyle skipped a generation. Maybe my two brats will actually
amount to much greater things than me, I’m pretty clueless after all.
Maybe I should get them reading your books.
STEVEN: [Passing the books to WENDI.] The Miranda Kerr one has pictures
in the middle, like a magazine. So if you don’t want to read it, you can
look at the pictures.
FLIGHT ANNOUNCER: Passengers for Cairns, you need to leave now. You’re
going far north. The weather is tropical, you’re heading towards the
equator, where you came from.
WENDI: You’re kind to me, you always make me feel welcome here.
FLIGHT ANNOUNCER: [In Chinese.] Passengers for Cairns, you need to
leave now...
STEVEN: I do care for you. You’re a pleasure. Thanks for coming.
WENDI: Whatever.
STEVEN: Not.
FLIGHT ANNOUNCER: [In Chinese.] You’re going far north...
WENDI: Bye.
STEVEN: Bye.

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Chaste – 2014

FLIGHT ANNOUNCER: [In Chinese.] The weather is tropical, you’re heading
towards the equator...
WENDI: Bye. Again.
FLIGHT ANNOUNCER: [In Chinese.] Where you came from.
STEVEN: Let’s hug. Again.
They hug.
And let go.
WENDI: Do things skip a generation in your culture? Did it skip in mine?
STEVEN: Any minute, any minute. You better go.
She leaves.
STEVEN waits, and outside the planes zip by.
He leaves.
TING keeps cleaning.
FLIGHT ANNOUNCER: You’re going far north.
The weather’s tropical.
You’ll eat bananas
On every day
Oh, the equator, where times are so fun.
Come to the equator, and join sun
Let me take, let me take, I’m gonna take you to join the sun.
La la la la
Da da da da da
La la la la
La la la la
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Chaste – 2014

Equator, la la la
You’re going far north
Don’t stay down south
You’ll just keep freezing
On every day
Come to the topics
Eat fresh bananas
Eat ten mangoes
Bake and tan under the sun
Oh, the equator, the big equator
You hot heartbreaker
I’ll take you to the sun
I’ll take you to
The
Sun.

The end.

62