Ash, from Poltergeist, by Alika Magas

ASH: Shift supervisor at a gay bar; an awesome kick-ass non-binary individual who knows a solid thing or two about the way the world really works. Very mature while somehow utterly inarticulate. They/Them/Theirs.

ASH. Hey Kitt, it’s me. Obviously. Hey, I, uh, well I just wanted to call and see how the

(HEAVY air quotes on this one, even if it’s not with their fingers.)

“hang out” is going. I still think you’re an idiot for doing this, so I don’t know if silence is a good thing or a bad thing and I’m not trying to like be a total queer dad-mom-parent-whatever about this or anything, I’m really not, you’re a big boy, you got this and shit like that. But. You’re always texting updates when you’re like this– Jeez. Sorry. Look at me, getting over involved in my friends again. Wow. Okay. Well, call me or text me or something? Just don’t do anything I’d tell you not to or regret or– goddamn it there I go again. I’m gonna hang up before it gets worse or the voicemail lady cuts me off. Okay. Call me back or something. Bye.

 

ASH. I’m so so sorry, Henry–

(A long beat. Relive the warning, the attempt, the long night in the hospital afterwards.)

–you were my regular for almost longer than Kitt’s worked there, and I– I should have known. Fuck, I was pouring that beer and… something was up, you’re always jittery but not like that and I didn’t do anything I just let you walk out of that fucking bar while I told my story and all I wanted was to get to the end. How messed up is that? You were sitting there, red flags might as well been on fire, and all I can think to myself is: damn, I hope he doesn’t make some dry joke or interrupts, he really needs to hear the end. I really need him to hear the end. But does it matter?

(Another beat.)

What matters is I was thinking that and you were…

(Beat.)

Can we talk about something else?

 

ASH. Hey Kitt, it’s me. Obviously. Y’all are probably still in the air. Lucky fuckers. Still love you though, any way, I just wanted to know if y’all had a safe flight so call me when you land or something and jesus I’m doing the queer dad mom parent thing again and I still really need to learn to stop with that don’t I? I guess, guess we both do actually. Don’t tell Henry I said this, he’d probably get all defensive and stuff, kid couldn’t take a compliment even if I wrote it into a screamo song, jesus christ, but I’m proud of you two. Like a lot. My two little babies are growing up. Okay that one was intentional, I’m not that bad. I’d like to think I’m not. But… uh… yeah. So remember to do some fun things while you’re out there, kay? I’ve heard Casa Bonita is actually a real place so maybe track that shit down and send me a few pictures or something. We could video chat on the Face time maybe? Okay that is like the single most old-person parent thing that’s ever come out of my mouth so I’m just gonna hang up now before I say anything else or the stupid voicemail lady cuts me off. But, really. Have a good break, smoke a joint, don’t let Henry get too angsty and–

(The voicemail lady cuts them off)

Goddamnit.

 

More info: alikamagas (at) gmail (dot) com

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