SCREEN: Black letters on white background. "DECEMBER 20, 1990" SETTING: Lights crossfade DSR to a spotlight large enough to house two people. AT RISE: DAVID and JEREMY stand together in the funeral home.
DAVID His parents hung up on me. His uncle Frank is here with his friend Jeff. Matthew and I had dinner with them once. It was great. Two generations of Italian and Irish fags snarfing down gnocchis and garlic bread and tossing back all this wine. I wish we'd done it more often.
JEREMY I keep remembering when Matthew joined our group for young Catholics coming out. I was shocked. He always seemed so normal in school. He got along with everybody: the whole "Breakfast Club." The girls would dismember each other's ponytails to get a shot at him. I don't think I told you about this: but one time I walked in on him necking with Bonnie Polito. I just stared at them wishing, God, why couldn't that be me instead of that disco-floozie-wannabe. Then, he opened his eyes and looked right into mine. I almost died. Then he nibbled her ear, so she started kissing his neck. And he smiled at me. With all those teeth. I think my mouth shattered against the floor. He just closed his eyes and started kissing her again. He could be such a cocktease. The first time he spoke to me was a week later. Lance Prewett was going to beat me up for being a sissy and Brian flattened him - without warning, right there on the playground. I said, "Thanks." He pat me on the shoulder and said, "Sure." Who's going to fight my battles for me, now?
DAVID He loved defending you. In fact, he was too proud of that incident when he beat up your boyfriend-beast-thing. It was never healthy. Where did you manage to find a man named Malek Terso? Where do you find any of these assholes?
JEREMY Usually, at a bar when I'm blind drunk. Maybe I should try a different mating ritual. I need someone like Matthew.
DAVID You knew him forever; you had your chance. In a way, I envy you. What we had was so small by comparison. I met him on Labor Day, 1982. We said our first "I love yous" on Valentine's Day, 1983. He died December 18, 1990. I knew
DAVID (cont'd) him eight years, three months and twelve days. Give or take a few hours. It's amazing how many events can be crammed into such a short span of time.
JEREMY Or how few.
DAVID If your life were so uneventful, you wouldn't be in so many support groups.
JEREMY If it were so full, I wouldn't have time to attend them. Maybe you should look into one.
DAVID I'd rather grieve privately. I keep wondering if the responsible party is going to secretly show up. I keep looking at their faces. Have I met that one? If so, then where? If not, then was it you? I think Matthew would have preferred not having a service at all. He always called himself an Ex-Catholic. Of course, he also prayed every now and then. He figured, if he kept his mind open about God, God might do the same for him. But he was afraid people might be offended, if there wasn't any service. I'm kind of offended, actually. I see all these people who wouldn't give him the time of day before he was embalmed. Apparently it doesn't preserve well in formaldehyde. At least his parents are consistent. He'd have hated this. I remember, near the end, he was joking. He said, "I'm so pale and I have these purple splotches all over me. I'm not going to die because I'm sick. I'm going to die because I clash."
JEREMY Life is something, isn't it? You can admire a boy as you watch his shoulders broaden, and pity the same man as you see them narrow. I have to wonder for a moment what's worse: living it or watching it. Either way, you can't close your eyes and turn it off. Am I becoming maudlin
DAVID Insanely. (DAVID and JEREMY embrace.) I miss him. (END OF SCENE)