SCREEN: Black letters on white background. "December 18, 1990" SETTING: Lights up on hospital room, USR, consisting of a bed and a chair. AT RISE: Matthew lies in a hospital bed. He is under covers so all the audience can see are his head, which is very pale, and his arms which look thin in the billowy hospital gown. He is covered with Kaposi's Sarcoma lesions. David is at his side.
DAVID Jeremy'll be by later. He had to take his sister to his Battered Wives encounter thing. She's in pretty rough shape, emotionally speaking-- (Matthew starts coughing horribly. David immediately grabs his hand and reaches for the nurse's pager. The coughing subsides.) Are you okay? Are you sure? Okay.
MATTHEW Don't look so pale. That's my job. Oh, lighten up, will you? I don't want the rest of my days to seem like an Ingmar Bergman movie. You don't look good.
DAVID I haven't been sleeping. Jeremy gave me this caffeine-free sedative tea, but it doesn't seem to be working.
MATTHEW (laughing) Jeremy, the homeopathic homo. Anyway, about Christmas: please, go out. I'd hate to think I quarantined you here.
DAVID If I wanted to leave, I would. I've even made arrangements to bring in a special Holiday dinner. Dinty Moore beef stew. I know you prefer the chili, but the staff feel you're in bad enough shape.
MATTHEW That's so sweet. My turn. You told me my Christmas gift, so I'm giving you yours. It's under my pillow. (David reaches under the pillow and pulls out a small wrapped package.) Don't save it. Break with tradition. (David opens it. It's a small, purse-like plastic dispenser. He reaches in and pulls out a paper product. It turns out to be a paper toilet seat cover.)
MATTHEW I asked if they had designer patterns. I had hoped for a line of ducklings following their mama into a pond, but this was all they had. One of the nurses swiped it for me.
DAVID I like it. What it lacks in finesse, it compensates for with style. Also, it serves as an emblem of the concern and security you've always given me. Thank you so much.
MATTHEW You'll never catch anything from a toilet seat. I strongly suspect that's how all this started.
DAVID Matthew What the hell. Why be tactful now?
MATTHEW I don't plan on kicking anytime soon. But just in case my last words are "more Jell-O," I want something official ready and waiting. I'm making my formal last request. I request that you be happy. And I mean, sincerely happy. Don't think just because I'm gone, I won't know. I will. It's all I've ever wanted for you anyway, so I don't think it's too much to ask now. I take it you'll grant me this.
DAVID I love you.
MATTHEW Say it like you mean it.
DAVID (rises and embraces Matthew.) I. Love. You. (kisses Matthew long on the cheek. Matthew holds on to him. MATTHEW yawns.)
MATTHEW I've been talking too much. I'm gonna take a nap. You should too.
DAVID Make you a deal. I'll go test pilot your gift. When I come back, I'll tuck you in. Then, I'll go home and sleep. I promise. How about that? (David kisses Matthew quickly on the cheek again. David crosses to the exit he turns, waves the toilet seat cover at Matthew, and exits. Matthew closes his eyes.) (BLACKOUT) (A long, steady tone sounds in the darkness. It eventually fades as well.) (END OF SCENE)