Act One, Scene One
James Duncan , 22 years old gay man
Ivan, Matuszak 20 years old gay man
Stage Manager, Trevor Hailey
Young man, early twenties
Tommy, tall blond in his 30s
Bartender about 23
The stage manager wears a top hat, an old Army jacket and carries a flashlight. She moves around the stage as she identifies properties. The bartender is dressed in black. The young man has campaign buttons on his shirt. Ivan and James are first seen wearing jeans and T-shirts.
The audience sees an empty stage in half-light. Unseen are a platform eight feet off the stage on one side and another slightly lower on the other side.
A spot lights the stage manager.
The sun is just setting behind Twin Peaks on June 19th, 1977 and my name is Trevor.. I’ve been a lesbian since forever and so in love with this fantastic city I give tours as much for my own enjoyment as for the enjoyment of those who join me as we meander the hills of this magical neighborhood.
My tour does not include the Golden Gate Bridge and Chinatown, so it you’ve here for those this would be a good time for you to get on Muni up at the corner with the Bank of America.
We are standing at 18th and Castro. That’s Star Pharmacy with the flashing neon behind me and the woman with big hair at the cash register is called Jackie Star and she knows all the boys by name. Up the street is Toad Hall. It’s the busiest gay bar in town with a line around the corner on Sundays. The Midnight Sun is another gay bar up the street the other way. Last year at Christmas the competition between with each doing spectacular holiday productions with sleighs and nutcrackers put Macy’s holiday windows to shame. My gay friends just did my apartment in a style they call early thrift store.
The place where you’re standing was once called Eureka Valley, and it was where the Irish Catholic families who worshipped at Holy Redeemer over yonder shopped. They left a couple years ago for the two car garages and pools of San Mateo County to the south and gay men have been arriving by the thousand every month. Be careful as we move around on the tour because the men in hooded sweatshirts and denim jackets are so busy getting to know each other they take up a lot of space on the sidewalks. The smiles on their races are from them coming out simultaneously and for the first time in their life having sex with a man and feeling no shame. See those two over there? They’re holding hands something they could never do back in East Lansing.
Tonight you’re going to meet Ivan and James and you’ll meet a some of their friends later. James got here last year after dropping out of junior college in Wisconsin His best friend Ivan arrived this morning after serving his country in Viet Nam. You will see both of them fall in and out of love and surprise you..
Up there Paperback Traffic with the big front steps is the heart and brains of the neighborhood and there you’ll find Shakespeare’s play Romeo and Juliet and gay playwright Thornton Wilder’s play Our Town. I’ve seen men cozy up to a bookcase with a friend and read all day. Further up Castro Street is Harvey Milk’s camera store. He’s thinking of running for Supervisor. Over there Tommy is putting flowers back in his shop.
Tommy pantomimes picking up buckets of flowers
opening a door and moving them into his imaginary shop
He’ll put them back in the morning. I see James is coming home from work.
Spotlight on James and Ivan
I’m glad you’re finally here. You’re going to love it. I was going to start you out with a trip to the coast but you showed up two days early. You looked awful when I picked you up at the airport. Did you finally get some rest?
After two years of Nam’s steamy jungles I couldn’t stand another day of the fucking snow in Wisconsin. You have a nice bed. I slept like a dog.
Over at Toad Hall they’re lighting candles
A bartender lights votive candles
and places them in
Young man crosses the stage handing out
Light back on Ivan and James
On high platform in white cotton briefs
Hurry up. I made last minute reservations.
Why all these hankies?
They’re a code so we can tell each other what we’re into.
You mean for the sex you’re all excited about?
We can do it without someone snickering and everyone’s jumping in. With more men every day hankies make hooking up a lot easier.
You mean all those men I saw today are gay? Does everyone of them have a favorite color?
They were all gay men but they don’t all have colors. Today I’m wearing blue on the left.
What the fuck does blue mean? On the left what? Is there a right?
When I wear a blue hankie in my left back pocket it means I want to fuck.
You fuck in public? You’re an idiot. This town gets crazier every second.
I won’t lie, guys have sex in doorways and just about anywhere, but I wear a hankie when I go out so men know what I’m into. Then if I go to someone’s home or he comes home with me there aren’t any embarrassing situations.
You’ve got a drawer full if colors. Are they replacing your Barbie dolls?
If I ever hear you repeat that I’ll have you on a plane back to Wisconsin faster than you say the word sorry. When I wear it on the right it means I want to get fucked.
You do Both? I can’t imagine you being fucked by a man. They only do that in prisons.
Your only gay experience was the night we went to the bar outside of town that’s only gay after midnight and all you did was watch. I wasn’t sure you’d be ready and that’s why I wanted to start you out at the coast.
You promised to be my big brother but you won’t tell me what a simple hankie color means? That’s a stupid friend and I’m not a wimp. I’ll be twenty-one in six months and I almost died in Nam.
OK. Here goes. I have been fucked and loved it. Lately, I’ve just felt like topping.
So you switch back and forth? What’s wrong with these people? Can’t anyone figure out what to do? I don’t need a map to suck a dick
This will shock you but your anus is packed with sensitive skin and when a man who knows what he’s doing fucks you he’ll make your ass sing.
Pastor Good Lord will blast that over town faster than a speeding bullet. He hasn’t stopped his rants about why our evil lifestyle that he loves to hate so much dooms us to an eternity in his Hell.
I think I’ll leave at that. You’re smart enough to pick up the rest on your own.
Wait a minute. I don’t get this fucking. What happens to all the shit?
I use the hose in the shower to clean myself if I’m going to get fucked.
Hold on! I’m having real trouble picturing you with a hose up your ass.
Get dressed. Friends are eager to meet you at Hamburger Mary’s. You’ll love their burgers.