Ciel from Crashing, by Jonathan Alexandratos

CIEL is a non-binary character in my play CRASHING. They can also transform into a plane. Here, they talk to their new neighbor, PHOEBE, after a moment of connection.

CIEL.
Okay so.
See this toy airport thing?
I’ve been building this since I was a kid.
It all started because I got this one toy. It was one of those Happy Meal toys,
Y’know, like you get from McDonalds?
I was, like, eight, and they had one of those ones:
Barbie or Hot Wheels. Remember that?
Barbie or Hot Wheels.
And the Barbie was the “girl toy”
And the Hot Wheels was the “boy toy,”
Which, I mean,
What a horrible position you put those poor workers in.
Right?
Like, they work 12-hour shifts for minimum wage,
And now they gotta gender your kid, too?
Anyway of course they couldn’t tell with me
Because I looked somewhere between Chucky and Bride of Chucky,
So that meant I got Hot Wheels.
I sat down,
Opened it up.
My mom was furious.
“How could you get a Hot Wheels!?
“You’re a girl!
“You were supposed to get a Barbie! “
Those damn burger-flippers!
“They can’t see a girl when one’s slappin’ ‘em in the face!”
Thank God this was before the era of the cell phone video
Because this shit woulda been all up on YouTube. Anyway, we were asked to leave the establishment,
And I kept my little Hot Wheels plane.
Which I loved!
It was a plane! I thought Hot Wheels was just cars, but here was a plane!
And this little plane created this whole thing where my mom got all upset maybe because on some level she knew I wasn’t ever gonna look like what she expected me to look like.
But also because it was everything I was, just boiled down into a tiny little thing.
They said “she,” McDonald’s said “no,” now I say “they.”
I got a charge outta that.
So I told this little plane that I’d build ‘em an airport and all sorts of other stuff would fly in and out and they could fly in and out
I did that, and, when it was basically done, something kinda crazy happened:
I transformed into the plane
The little toy plane
It felt like a “thank you,”
Like this little toy plane wanted me to feel how it felt to finally have a place to land So it made me into a toy plane, too
And I flew around my bedroom,
And I felt the lift all around me
Holding me up
I controlled my descent and landed so smoothly I could barely tell I was on the strip of cardboard I laid down as a runway.
And once I came to a halt
I was allowed one last wisp of air to course over my wings
And I unfolded back into a person.
That’s when I knew I was a “them.”
Because if there’s an airplane in here,
I didn’t have to just be one thing anymore.
So if my gender is anything,
It’s this little plane.

More information: https://newplayexchange.org/users/3845/jonathan-alexandratos

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