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Friday, January 13, 2017

Women in the Age of Trump: PENICILLIN, CREEP

PENICILLIN, CREEP by Deborah Yarchun is a semi-finalist for NYCPlaywrights project "Women in the Age of Trump."

DEBORAH YARCHUN is a two time Jerome Fellowship recipient and a graduate of the Iowa Playwrights Workshop where she was an Iowa Arts Fellow. Deborah’s plays include Tectonic Melange, The Aleph Complex, and The Man in the Sukkah. She was the spring 2016 Dorit & Gerald Paul Artist in Residence at Indiana University. DeborahYarchun.com.

Thanks to Deborah Yarchun for allowing NYCPlaywrights to publish this excerpt from her play PENICILLIN, CREEP.

   KATE

And I mean- look at this.

   (She shows him a screenshot on her phone.)

   JOE

Oh, yeah- definitely looks like a rapist. He’s got kind of a Norman Bates thing going, Slicked back hair. Who still slicks back their hair?

   KATE

Right? And it’s an awesome autumn night. The first autumn night you can smell the leaves. And we’re drinking—

   JOE

Penicillins.

   (A moment as they acknowledge their drinks.)

   KATE

And we want to keep talking. So he’s like – “Let’s get another.” And after I’m all: “Water?” And he comes back with water and two more drinks. “It’s on the bartender.”

   JOE

Right.

   KATE

He tipped them a $20 at the top of the night. He was a CEO. Is a CEO.

   JOE

I’m a doctor.

(The following comes out quickly.)

   KATE

Got it. He was in investment sales. And I tell him, he should change his profile. It said “Handsome, racy, and fun.” Which I tell him could read as a red flag. I tell him to change it to “Investment sales, invested in you.” And he’s listening to me.

   JOE

   (Listening intently.)

Uh-huh.

   KATE

And toasting us, “To new beginnings.” “To new beginnings.” I don’t buy it, but I like his confidence. And the conversation’s going as smoothly as the drink. And even though all night – I’m very insistent he sit across from me, not next to me. Somehow he’s in the seat next to me. And even though I told him in advance of the date – this date ends with a kiss on the cheek, he’s making out with me. And I’m pretty sure touching me here – and here- and I’m gone. Next thing I know we’re on the street and he says he’ll cab me home to make sure I get there safe – and we’re at my place now- and he’s like – and it’s the perfect Autumn night. You can smell the leaves. And he’s – “Can I use your bathroom?” And I’m sloshed – and care about him at this point – because we did- we hit it off. Shared intensity, work ethic. And having to pee is the worse, right? I have a small bladder- I would know.

   JOE

Yeah.

   KATE

So I figure –sure. But then he’s in my room. And we’re making out again. And he asks to spend the night. And I say no – but he says we’ll just cuddle. And like my tank of physical affection is on empty. I’m barely running on fumes.

   JOE

Of course.

   KATE

“Just cuddling.” “We’re just cuddling.” And I’m very clear. You can’t touch me here. And you can’t touch me here. Even though maybe in the cab, he already has. And I’m asleep. And it’s 4 am, and his hand is in my pajama bottoms and his finger is – well, you know. It’s funny because like of all the times – for somebody to grab you by the pussy. I should have known earlier in the night when he said he was undecided. Of all the times to have a guy do that.

“And he’s like “Is this good?” “IS this good?” And I’m half-awake now realizing what’s happening and can barely get out “No. No it’s not. No. What?” “I’m sorry, it’s my animal side.” “Get out- You have to go- you can’t be here.” “You’re going to send me out at this hour to take a cab?” “TAKE AN UBER.” So he ubers. To his credit- he doesn’t stick around. “Eleven minutes.” He’s standing there. I’m sitting. Waiting for this uber. This crazy, tense eleven minutes. Nine minutes in. “You must feel so violated,” he says. He’s counting. Six minutes. Five minutes. Four minutes. Two minutes. And at two minutes- he remembers something- he reaches onto the bed – and he finds a condom he stashed. “Better safe, you know- he says – just in case.” And he’s gone. Twenty minutes later I get this text: “Got home safe. Sorry if I overstepped. I had a really nice time.” And later that day: “Can I see you again?” I wrote him:

(She pulls out her phone. He takes it.)   
 
   JOE

   (Reading.)

“Just to be clear- so you understand: what happened last night was not okay.”

   JOE & KATE (She knows it by heart)

“It was sexual assault.”

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