SCREEN: White letters on black background "DECEMBER 18, 1991" SETTING: Lights up on David's house, USC. AT RISE: DAVID and JEREMY sit underneath quilts sipping out of mugs.
DAVID It goes on the market officially after the first of the year. It'll be a tough sell, but I'm not in as big a hurry as I thought. Arthur's asking for eighty thousand. We're hoping to break even at sixty.
JEREMY I talked to his Uncle Frank and Jeff today. They've invited us over for dinner.
DAVID Great. Let's go. They don't think we're.
JEREMY No. They asked, but I got so offended they knew they'd make a mistake. Jeff couldn't apologize enough. Lorenz asked me about them. Then, he'd ask me about Matthew. He practically wanted a signed affidavit stating I never slept with him. Matthew, that is.
DAVID Did you? Matthew never said.
JEREMY If we had, do you think I'd still be this uptight?
DAVID I was thinking it might be the reason you were so uptight.
JEREMY Would that bother you?
DAVID No. I don't think so. It probably would have, you know, while we were still together. But, I don't thinkЧ
JEREMY You can't say it, can you? "When he was alive."
DAVID Jeremy, I know he's dead. I have no problem grasping that. Therefore, I don't need to refer to his state of being every time I talk about him. I find it horrifyingly redundant.
JEREMY Well, just so you know, I never slept with him. I wanted to. You of all people can understand that. But, we just never. We were friends.
DAVID I know. I hope I'm not this cranky every time this day rolls by. I can't believe a year has passed. I'm almost ashamed of it. I started out with no clue whatsoever as to how to go on. Then, in this great blur, I discover I have. I'm able to make it. I know it's exactly what I'm supposed to do, but it still feels wrong. I'm probably being punished. Pretty sick, huh?
JEREMY I've started doing this thing. In the past few months. No, since this summer. I've started calling old lovers on a fairly regular but random basis, at least once every six weeks per person, to see if they're still alive. Most of them are fine. Some of them aren't. It's something I put myself through whenever the shock wears off. I remember when Walter died. Matthew told you about him, didn't he?
DAVID A little. He sounded like a very nice person.
JEREMY He was wonderful. A saint. I used to call him "Patron Saint of Morally Pristine Buggerers." He was a serious bottom man. But, I digress. When Walter died, I called everyone I knew. I asked people about their cousins, because as Jane-the-nebbish-divorcee-who-thinks-its-chic-to-know-gay-people says, "Queer cousins are like tongues and assholes, everybody's got one and they're trying to get together."
DAVID Is it any wonder I get an overwhelming urge to stab that woman in the face with a rake every time I get within a four-block radius of her? Anyway, I don't think the phone calls are weird. You're expressing concern to your community.
JEREMY I haven't slept with the whole community; just the butch weirdos who hate their mothers - of whom I seem to remind them all - and the gamut of closeted ex-Marines. Have you ever done anything like that?
DAVID Well, this ARMY ROTC guy and I jerked each other off once after a kegger back inЧ
JEREMY No, I mean like making those kind of phone calls.
DAVID I've thought about doing it. I check the obituaries regularly, but not as much as I used to. Before you came over, I got Matthew's out. I was actually listed as his "longtime companion." It's like the English language that I love, worship and derive my livelihood from, has conspired against me. There's no word for what I was to him.
JEREMY How about "Manly Pork Pole." Too butch? Just follow the rule: if it sounds to macho, add the word "thang" to it.
DAVID "Surviving Matthew Tamboro was David Foraker, his Manly Pork Pole Thang." Instead of struggling for dignity, are you trying to eradicate it altogether?
JEREMY Hell, where has dignity gotten us so far?
DAVID Who's tried it? Thanks, Jeremy. You know, for coming over. Making sure I could make it through the day.
JEREMY Thanks for inviting me.
DAVID From now on, just assume you don't need one. So what should we talk about, now?
JEREMY Military men. You got me going with that ROTC thing. Let's start with that. (BLACKOUT) (END OF SCENE)