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Strangers
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The Ironic Side Step

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TITLE (EDIT)
Strangers
DESCRIPTION
A very short satirical play about not knowing someone as well as you thought you did.
[1,134 words]
TITLE KEYWORD
Comedy
AUTHOR
Rita A. Wheeler
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
-
[May 2001]
AUTHOR'S OTHER TITLES (4)
Defeated (Poetry) - [56 words]
Denise (Poetry) A rememberance poem written for my cousin who was killed by her ex-boyfriend. [59 words]
E-Love (Short Stories) A shor-short story about internet love. [1,708 words] [Comedy]
Found (Poetry) - [59 words]
Strangers
Rita A. Wheeler

Strangers
Rita A. Wheeler

Curtain opens to a den. At the computer desk, surfing the Internet, is a woman with her back to the audience. A man walks in, startled by the stranger sitting in his den.

Jack: Uh, excuse me…oh, you must be Fred’s girlfriend? (Pause) Wow, I’m sorry we met without a formal introduction. I’m Jack, Fred’s brother. (Pause-anticipating an answer) Huh, he’s been seeing you for how long…two, three months…and hasn’t brought you around yet? (Pause) Hey, can you tell me when Fred will be back? I need to run a couple of things by him.
Woman (quickly, in high-pitched voice): Dunno.
Jack (jokingly): She speaks. (More seriously) Um, well, what time did he leave?
Woman: Uh, he, uh…well, he…(Woman turns around and makes eye contact with Jack)
Jack: I was beginnin’ to wonder if you were to shy to let me see you. You look familiar…Have we met…(Jack leans in to get a better look, then straightens, eyes huge in disbelief) (Stammering) You kinda…well, you look a lot like…um, you…I mean…
Woman (in a man’s voice): It’s me, Jack.
Jack (stumbling backwards): Holy shit! What the…Fred, shit! I don’t unders…I mean, oh, Jesus!
Fred (getting up): I didn’t expect you to come home this early in the day. I know this is the last thing you expected to find when you walked in. I’m sorry. I know it’s not every day you find your brother dressed like a woman. Just let me explain. I just-
Jack (interrupting): No, it’s ok. (Looking again at Fred in disbelief). Well, it’s not…I mean it’s, I don’t…Why don’t you explain?
Fred: Jack, before you jump to any conclusions, I am not gay. Even though I tend to, you know, I am very heterosexual.
Jack (Sarcastically): Gee, I am so relieved. That just makes everything rosy.
Fred: I don’t know what else to say. I just, well, uh…I enjoy, no, I…hell. Look, remember when we were little and we used to play house with the girl next door?
Jack: Well, yeah, she always made you dress up as her little girl…but I didn’t think…you know…
Fred: Jack, I loved dressing up as the little girl. I love the feel of women’s clothes, I love silk and rayon…they’re so soft, refined. Besides, I think I look damned hot as a woman. (Fred chuckles. Noticing Jack doesn’t crack a smile, Fred drops his head.) OK, look, I’ll just go change. I’m sorry for doing this to you.
Jack: Wait, Fred. You don’t have to. Look I’m not gonna lie to ya. I don’t exactly know how to take this. I don’t really know—But I don’t want you to feel that you have to hide from me. Maybe I just…I just need time to…get used to…this? What about Morgan? Does she know about…uh, you know…
Fred: Yeah, well, we talked about it. She got all freaked out about it, can you imagine that? (Fred chuckles at his sarcasm, but straightens quickly when he notices Jack glaring at him) At any rate, I guess that’s over…we’re done.
Jack: So, how long…how-
Fred: How ling have I been a cross-dresser? (Chuckles) Oh, I don’t know. As long as I can remember it has intrigued me…I have been dressing like this for quite a while.
Jack: Oh. Um, so…why, exactly? I mean, I know you said you like to feel women’s clothes, but why…why this? Why not just go to the lingerie department and put panties on your head, or feel them while another woman is wearing them?
Fred: Honest?
Jack: Well, yeah, I guess.
Fred: I don’t know if you want to hear this, but, well, it’s liberating.
Jack: Liberating?
Fred: Yeah. I can pretend I am someone else. I can be-
Jack (interrupting): A woman.
Fred (defensively): Well, I can be whoever I want. I can be Audrey Hepburn. I can be Madonna. I can be-
Jack (again interrupting): Rupaul? (Fred glares at Jack with irritation) Sorry. So, you don’t like your life and would rather be a woman?
Fred: No! (Getting excited) I love my life. I just, sometimes, I just need an escape. So-
Jack (again interrupting): So you throw on some pantyhose and lipstick.
Fred: Well, I guess. Look, if you can’t deal with this, then let me go change, ok? We can forget this ever happened.
Jack: Oh, no. Far be it for me to keep my baby brother from expressing his feminine side. Ok, look. Maybe I was a little harsh. It’s just, I mean, when I need an escape, I work out, or have sex, or-
Fred: Or something a little more masculine. But, you don’t understand. This makes me comfortable. This makes me relax. Maybe you should try it. You need to loosen up.
Jack: Look, man, you got issues. I got other ways to relax besides tryin’ to look like Madonna. If you need somethin’, I will be in my room. Monica’s comin’ by tomorrow to get her shit. Good riddance. Why don’t you do somethin’ constructive? Go…do whatever it is you do when…when…you’re like…that.
Fred: Fine. I’m gonna take a shower and leave. (Fred leaves the room and running water is heard coming from the next room)
Jack: Fine. Whatever. (Jack lets out an exasperated sigh) Ain’t this some shit? That’s just what it is…shit. (Mockingly effeminate) “Oh, Jack. I love to wear women’s clothes. Thong panties turn me on.” Hell, they turn me on, too, but you don’t see me tryin’ to put my shit in one of those. If I wanted to live with a damned woman, I wouldn’t have dumped Monica. I could be a hot woman if I wanted, but DAMN! That shit’s embarrassing. That’s it…he’s just tryin’ to be better than me at something. It’s all about outdoin’ me! Bastard! I bet I could be better lookin’ than him. I…(Jack is interrupted when Fred walks in the room in shorts and a jersey).
Fred: I’m takin’ off. I’m gonna play ball with the guys. We can talk about this later, ok? I think we just both need a breather.
Jack: Talk my ass. We ain’t talkin’ about shit. Far as I’m concerned, this subject’s closed.
Fred: Fine. Whatever. I’m outta here.
Jack: Don’t forget your handbag! You might need it when you go out for tea later.
Fred: Whatever. (Fred walks out of the room, then out of the house. Jack hears him start his car and pull out of the drive.)
Jack: Man, I don’t need this shit. Tryin’ to be a woman. Crazy shit. Unless…he knows somethin’ I don’t. Why? I don’t understand why? (Jack begins to pick up the den and bathroom, and finds the clothes Fred was wearing earlier, and picks up the pile. Jack looks at the clothes curiously) No, I can’t try this shit on. It’s just wrong…just plain WRONG. (Jack looks around the room sheepishly, then walks to the window to close the curtain. Jack then quickly puts on the dress and wig that Fred was wearing.) See…I am hot.

 

READER'S REVIEWS (1)
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"I like it! Of course women's clothing is the best! :) I like the end, too, how Jack needs to assure himself that he can be better than his brother at anything, even what he thinks is so wrong!" -- Victoria, Colorado.

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COPYRIGHT NOTICE
© 2000 Rita A. Wheeler
STORYMANIA PUBLICATION DATE
May 2001
NUMBER OF TIMES TITLE VIEWED
3329
 

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