Burbank, from A Singular They, by Aliza Goldstein

BURBANK. I step into the shed and he’s already there. “Well, hi,” he says, and I say, “Well, hi.” He doesn’t kiss me. He doesn’t touch me. He says: “Take off your shirt.” I do. He stares, and I feel cold. He says, “Wow, your chest looks like a boy’s,” and I say, “Is that okay?” And he says “I kind of like it.” He takes off his pants but leaves his sweater on. His underwear is purple, with white trim and a white waistband. He is staring at my shoes. I step on the backs to take them off. My corduroys hit the ground. There is floral print on my granny panties and I wish I’d worn a different pair. He touches me for the first time, hands on my arms to lay me down on some plastic patio furniture, a cheap Adirondack lounge chair. I feel every bump in the fake wood grain. I kind of want him to kiss me but he doesn’t. “Is everything okay?” he asks, and I lie and say, “yes,” and unclench my hand from around the condom. Trojan. Ribbed for her pleasure. He slides the waistband of his underwear down below his penis and strokes it like a lover – I wish he’d touch me like that instead. I open the condom and he shows me how to put it on him and I think maybe he’ll kiss me now, but he doesn’t. Instead he takes off my underwear and says – “I’ve never been with a girl who doesn’t shave before.” And he spreads my legs, and he stares, and I worry that he’ll be grossed out. Then he says – “Okay.” And I say “Okay,” but I’m not sure anymore, but I remember what Dierdre said and I have to do it. I want him to touch me somehow, but he still doesn’t. Instead he lowers his weight onto me, uses one hand to position himself, and I think about what I want that hand to do but he doesn’t keep it there, he puts it back on the arm of the chair. Then it’s shove-

(Burbank gasps.)

And then a harder shove. Two more times. Then he pulls out, and asks – “Can I stick it in your ass?”


I say no. I get dressed. I look at my phone. Twelve zero five. Happy fucking new year. He goes inside and tells his girlfriend he thinks he’s gay.

Context: From the full-length A Singular They. Monologue occurs around halfway into the play. Burbank’s best friend has arranged for Burbank to lose their virginity with a classmate at a New Year’s party, on the assumption that getting laid will cure Burbank’s teen angst.

More information: leezagoldstein (at) gmail (dot) com

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