Going

Play 4 of “Watercloset,” a collection of short plays in bathrooms

a teenage boy “A”
an older boy “B”
a teenage girl “C”

A rest stop bathroom off of a major freeway somewhere in America.

It is the middle of the night, and it is cold outside.

“A” and “B” enter.
There is only one urinal.
“B” pees first.

A
You sure you didn’t see a gas station out there?

B
I thought there would be one here. But it’s just the bathroom and that sign for free coffee.

A
Do you think there’s really free coffee?

B
Do you want free coffee from here?

A
Well, it would be nice to know that there is some kind of sustenance available, or maybe at least someone whose job it is to refill the coffee and so when he gets here we could use his phone. You know, if we’re stuck.

B
We’re not stuck. And if we don’t have service, neither will the free coffee guy.

A
Do they have soap in here?

B
Guess not.

A
Listen. Before we go back out there, I need to ask you something. And I don’t want you to think that I’m freaking out because I’m not freaking out, I just want to know if we’re doing a stupid thing.

B
What do you mean?

A
If this is stupid. If we’re making a mistake.

B
We’re fine. We’ll find a gas station. We’re not empty yet.

A
No, it’s not about the gas.

B
Okay. What is it?

A
I don’t know. It’s cold out here.

B
It’s November.

A
I didn’t think it’d be this cold.

B
Yeah.

A
But what are we doing?

B
We’re fine. Let’s get back in the car.

A
Can we wait a minute? That car’s so small. And it smells weird. I don’t know, it’s making me nauseous.

B
It smells worse in here.

A
I don’t mind it.

B
It smells like death in here.

A
You don’t know what death smells like, and no it can’t smell like that because it smells like bleach.

B
It’s freezing in here.

A
I need a minute okay? I need to think about something.

B
Think faster.

A
Where are we?

B
I don’t know.

A
What state are we in?

B
I don’t know. Somewhere southwest I think.

A
How much longer ‘til we get there?

B
Get where?

A
Where we’re going.

B
Where are we going?

A
I thought you knew where we were going.

B
I never said I knew where we were going.

A
But isn’t the point to go somewhere?

B
I wasn’t aware that we had a point.

A
So we’re just going.

B
Yeah. We’ve just been going.

A
But where?

B
I don’t know.

A
But –

Long pause.
“A” stares at “B”

B
Mexico?

A
Mexico?

B
California? I don’t know. Does it matter right now? The point is not where we’re going, the point is that we’re going, that we’re doing it, that we’re finally doing it. We’re just going.

A
Right.

B
Do you think anybody’s going to come in here?

A
There’s nobody out here.

B
Cool.

“B” pulls out a small bag of weed and begins to roll a joint.

A
Do you think she’ll be mad?

B
She won’t know.

A
It’s her weed.

B
She won’t know. And it’s our weed.

A
Yeah. Yeah. Do you think I look too clean? Do you think that I look like well-cared for and too hair-cutted? I mean, do I look like a poser? Do I look like somebody who someone might want to beat up?

B
Yeah.

A
Because I’m really afraid that I look, I don’t know, unauthentic. I know that’s stupid but listen, I’m afraid that people will think I’m dumb, that I’m pathetic, that I’m some rich kid who never had to work hard for anything even though it’s not true. I want people to know who I am. I want them to know that I can work hard and that I don’t want to be that kid who didn’t have to work. I don’t want to have to prove anything to them, I want them to just know.

B
Who’s them?

A
I don’t know. Future people. People we’ll meet in the future. Even you. Do you think I’m dumb?

B
No. Ready?

A
Yeah.

They light up.

A
Do you think she trusts me?

B
She wouldn’t have come with us if she didn’t.

A
But do you think that she’s right to trust me?

B
I don’t know.

A
I wonder how close the nearest gas station could be.

B
Don’t know.

A
I wonder if they’ll even be open.

B
Don’t know.

A
We should make a plan.

B
No plan.

A
We should have a plan. We’ve been gone, what, twenty hours and already we’re stuck.

B
We’re not stuck.

A
We don’t know what we’re doing, we should just go back, we should just turn around and go back. We can apologize. Maybe they didn’t even notice that we’re gone. Maybe they haven’t missed us yet. When we get back we’d have been gone for, what, two days. Two days. We’ve been gone for longer than two days before haven’t we? Yeah, only two days.

B
I’m not driving back. It’s like we said when we left, the only way forward is to get out, the only way to move forward is to move, to just move and go. We can’t go forward if we don’t go.

A
But there’s nowhere to go.

B
There’s everywhere to go.

A
But we have nowhere to go.

B
We’re out to conquer the world. We’re out to find ourselves. We’re going to sleep outside and climb mountains. We’re going to work at weird places and steal food. We’re going to meet all sorts of people and get in fights and get stuck and we’re going to see things and meet more people and experience things and we’re going to do things, we’re going to actually do things so that once we’ve done things we can write songs about them and stories about them and poems about them because if we want to do anything, if we want to be human beings, we have to go forward because it’s the only place to go.

A
I don’t know.

Enter “C”
She looks like she has just been asleep.
She is cold and angry.

C
What the hell.

A
Hey.

C
What the fucking hell.

“B” takes a final drag on the joint before putting it out.

A
You woke up.

C
Where the fuck are we?

A
We don’t know.

C
Do you know what it’s like to wake up alone in a car in the middle of nowhere while there’s a fucking blizzard going on outside and it’s pitch black and oh yeah you are fucking alone in a car freezing to death?

A
It’s snowing?

C
And then, do you know what it’s like to have to try to find your shoes underneath a pile of fucking garbage in the back of your disgusting car, and then when you find your shoes you see that there covered in fucking ketchup from the french fries that you threw into the backseat. I hate ketchup! I fucking hate ketchup! And what the hell are you guys doing in this bathroom?

A
Peeing.

C
You’re smoking my weed.

A
Our weed.

C
Excuse me?

A
Your weed.

C
It smells in here.

A
Like weed?

C
No, like – I don’t know.

A
Sit down.

C
Let’s go back to the car.

B
Do you want to smoke with us?

C
Let’s go back to the car. I hate rest stops.

B
We’re almost out of gas.

C
What?

B
Yeah, it’s on empty. I thought there’d be a gas station here, but there isn’t. Wouldn’t make that much of a difference. I only have ten bucks with me.

“B” exits.
“A” and “C” stare at each other.

C
There’s nothing out there. It’s so dark. There’s no lights. It’s so dark and quiet and cold. I hope he’s lying about the gas. I don’t want to get stuck here.

A
We won’t.

C
My family and I used to drive across the country every summer. We’d drive from Wisconsin to Florida to visit my grandma. My dad would wake us up at three in the morning to leave. No traffic that way. He could really go fast on the freeway. And we only stopped when we were about to run out of gas. We would cook quesadillas on the engine while the tank filled up and that’s how we always did it. But one time I had to pee so bad, and I couldn’t hold it and we still had a quarter of a tank. My dad only stopped when I started crying. But when I went into the bathroom there was a dead woman. I’d never seen a dead person before but I figured that was what it looked like. Now I always get it mixed up, the smell of bathrooms and death. I can’t tell the difference. Let’s go.
“B” reenters.

B
The car won’t start. I think we’re out of gas.

Long pause.

B
It’s so quiet out there. And dark. It’s really dark.

End.