(ENTERING) Mom, Mother…
(OFFSTAGE) Rachel? Wait out there. I’m coming, I’m coming.
Are you still in bed?
(OFFSTAGE) Late night.
It’s ten in the morning!
(OFFSTAGE) I thought you’d be studying for finals right now.
I’m not worried about finals.
(OFFSTAGE) Of course you aren’t. You’ve been acing tests since you were ten years old. (SHE COMES OUT BEDROOM DOOR JUST AS DAUGHTER IS ABOUT TO GO INSIDE. SHE’S WEARING A ROBE.) So, to what do I owe the honor of this early morning visit?
I have something I have to tell you.
Uh-oh. So tell me.
(LONG PAUSE) I… I… decided I’m not going to graduate school.
I know I’ve always been very focused, just powering through college, knowing exactly what I want to do.
And I love that about you! And now you’re about to leave for the graduate program of your dreams.
But I’m not going.
Oh, please, Rachel.
Mom, you’ve been so miserable since Daddy left. I want to stay here to help you through this difficult time.
It’s what I want to do. I can always go to graduate school. You need me now.
Oh Rachel. (HUGS HER) What a wonderful daughter I have. I am so touched. But I’ve been much better lately.
You have been pretty cheerful since you came back from that Buddhist retreat. But who knows how long your good mood will last?
If I get depressed again, I’ll just go to another retreat!
(PAUSE) Did I hear something?
What? I didn’t hear anything!
It sounded like a… like a giggle.
Oh, god, the toilet makes that sound when it’s running. (MAKES SOUND OF GIGGLING TOILET) I have to call the plumber.
It came from your bedroom. There’s no toilet in there.
No, honey, it just sounds like it’s coming from the bedroom. It’s an auditory illusion, you know, like an optical illusion for the ears… (AS RACHEL STARTS TO GO OFFSTAGE) where are you going?
I left a book here last time. I think it might be in your bedroom…
I’ll look for it, honey. (RUSHES OFF, DAUGHTER GOES TO DOOR) No, no, don’t bother coming in. I’ll find it! Here it is!
This isn’t mine.
The Well of Loneliness?
Oh, well. We’ll find your book later. Give that to me.
Wait a minute. What is this about?
Nothing. It wouldn’t interest you.
Don’t tell me you’re reading this!
Me? Of course not! How could I possibly be interested?
Then how did it find its way into your bedroom?
Someone must have left it there.
I mean, I mean… I ordered something else from the library. They must have given me the wrong book. Those librarians. People see them as shy and retiring, but that’s an outdated stereotype. They’re really very… frisky… interesting people… librarians… you wouldn’t think it…
What’s all this talk about librarians? You were never a reader.
Wasn’t I? Well, you know, sweetie, people change. You can change. I can change.
People your age don’t change! I’m going to find my book!
No! Wait! It’s not in there! The room’s a mess. (DAUGHTER PUSHES HER AWAY, GOES OFFSTAGE) I don’t want you to see the mess! Oh, it’s such a mess.
(RETURNING) It certainly is a mess. Your brassiere flung one way and your panties another way.
It’s true. I’ve changed. I like to fling my underwear. Fling it here, fling it there…
Or perhaps you prefer someone else to fling your underwear for you.
Someone else? What are you talking about?
I’m talking about the woman in your bed!
There’s a woman in my bed? (RUSHES OFF TO LOOK, RETURNS) You’re right. There’s a woman in my bed.
Did she fling your underwear, Mother?
Now that you mention it, I think she did.
And did you fling hers?
She doesn’t wear panties or a bra.
And what else did this woman do besides fling your underwear?
Oh, you know, just the usual.
That’s disgusting. How long has this been going on?
Since that meditation retreat.
The meditation retreat! You went there because you were so depressed after Daddy ran off with… (SNORTS)… that receptionist…
Stop calling her… (SNORT)…“that receptionist.” Her name is Inez, and she’s a very nice woman.
…And you came back so happy. I thought the retreat really worked!
And I did meditate that first day. But then, you see, I was just walking with my head down… You know, you’re not supposed to even look at another person on these retreats…
I thought it was the Buddhism…
And suddenly I just felt this compulsion to look up! And she was looking at me, which of course she shouldn’t have been. And she winked! (MOTHER WINKS) Like that! And I had this feeling in my stomach, or maybe it was further down, I’d never felt that before! I couldn’t describe it if I tried!
Don’t try. Please.
And that was it for meditation! Oh, we were so bad. We didn’t know what to do with ourselves. We should have just left, but we kept telling each other we were going to stop and go back to meditating. Every day we made a vow. You know in Buddhism you make vows?
Oh, you know all about Buddhism now, don’t you?
But I think that made it better, you know, the secrecy, you know, sometimes in her room, sometimes in mine, once behind the hedgerow…
You went there to find enlightenment!
I had my very first orgasm. That’s got to count for something!
Too much information! T.M.I!
And I was sure, when I got home from the retreat, Lorraine would fade to a pleasant memory.
I was wrong.
And she’s been flinging your underwear ever since?
But you’re not a lesbian!
Of course not! I’m just going through a phase!
At your age?
Would you stop saying “at your age, at your age.” Yes, at my age.
How can you have time to be my mother and be a lesbian?
Sweetie, even though I’m not a lesbian, and it’s just a phase, I think I have time to be both. Especially since Daddy left.
You’re happy he left! Admit it!
Let’s just say you never know when you’re having good luck.
He probably only took up with that… (SNORT)… receptionist…
Her name is Inez.
… Because he knew you couldn’t stand him. You hate men, don’t you?
I don’t hate men. I do hate Daddy.
What you really wanted all along was a librarian without underwear!
Now, don’t say “librarian” like it’s a swear word. Where would we be without librarians?
You mean, where would you be!
And let’s keep the chronology straight. Daddy left me first.
Oh, Mommy, how could you?
I could and I did. Would you like to meet her? (MOTHER GOES TO DOOR)
No! Please! Not now! Not ever!
Okay, okay. (TALKING TO OFFSTAGE) No, Lorraine. Not now. She doesn’t want to. No, you’d better not. (VERY PLAYFUL) You’re being very naughty. You might be a very good librarian, but you’re a very naughty girl!
(TO SELF) I’m going to throw up.
(TALKING TO OFFSTAGE) All right, Pookie. If you promise to be good, I promise to treat you like the naughtiest librarian in the world!
(TO SELF) I was wrong. I’m not going to throw up. I’m going to kill myself.
(TO DAUGHTER) Crisis averted. Lorraine will stay in the bedroom.
You mean Pookie?
I call her Pookie and she calls me White Fang.
(INARTICULATE SOUNDS OF INCOMPREHENSION)
It’s too complicated to explain.
Pookie… White Fang… I’m going to throw up and then I’m going to kill myself!
Aren’t you just a tiny bit happy for me?
You know I’m uncomfortable around lesbians.
I’m not a lesbian. I told you. I never understood what you have against lesbians. You’re so open-minded toward everyone else.
There’s something about lesbians that just… they give me the creeps.
And Lorraine isn’t a lesbian either! Admittedly, it’s a very long phase for her. But we’re not lesbians. We’re… Phasians! Sometimes a phase lasts so long that you die while it’s still going on. That can happen.
Why the fuck doesn’t she at least wear underpants?
There’s no need for language like that.
Why the fucking hell goddam it to shit doesn’t she wear underpants?
She’s just … kind of wild, in so many ways.
(STAGGERS TO CHAIR) You really never had an orgasm with Daddy?
Oh, that’s ancient history.
Ancient history! Isn’t there a chance that you and Daddy might get back together someday?
I don’t think so.
So you’re not sure! It is a possibility.
Listen, sweetie, I’m having the time of my life! I’m in love! Have you ever been in love?
I don’t know.
Well, if you don’t know, then you haven’t. How does that song go? “Girls just want to have fun.”
You’re not a girl. You’re a mature woman.
I’m mature. I’m not dead. Rachel, don’t you think you need to start packing, so you can leave for graduate school on Friday, like you were planning?
I guess a woman called White Fang by her new lover doesn’t really need her DAUGHTER around to comfort her.
It is so precious to me that you were willing to give up graduate school for me.
Maybe you could come visit me there.
Of course! I bet you’re going to meet someone there and fall in love.
Oh Mother, I’ll be too busy in the lab for that.
Nobody knows the future!
MOTHER, I picked this graduate school because they take women scientists seriously and I intend to focus on my work. No romance for me! Besides, there are hardly any boys around. I’m going to Smith College!
I guess you want me to leave now, so you can get back to Pookie. (MOTHER IS SILENT) Okay, White Fang.
(VERY SEXY) Grrrr … Grrrrrr …
(SHUDDERING WITH REVULSION) Don’t don’t don’t don’t don’t. (SHE GRABS HER KNAPSACK AND FLEES.)
(EXITING TOWARD BEDROOM) Grrrrr… Grrrrr…
END OF SCENE