By Karina Cochran
HAROLD (any age, any gender)
FRANK (any age, any gender)
(the names Harold & Frank are placeholders; they never say each other’s names)
SETTING: A small space (chairs, pillows, blocks) all pink, representing a womb.
(HAROLD and FRANK sit in two chairs next to each other. Harold is sitting on top of a chair, his feet resting on the seat. Frank is sitting in the chair with his feet solidly on the ground. Harold is slightly hunched, reaching toward Frank’s body. Frank is leaning over the chair against Harold’s legs. They are each entangled in pink ropes, surrounded and holding pink cushions.)
HAROLD: I love it when she eats macaroni.
FRANK: I love it when she eats chicken legs.
HAROLD: I love it when she eats strawberries.
FRANK: Oh yeah, strawberries. Sometimes she eats the strawberry stems on accident.
HAROLD: I love it when she drinks water.
FRANK: I love it when she drinks cranberry juice.
HAROLD: I love everything about her.
FRANK: I’m so happy.
(Frank starts kicking his feet wildly.)
HAROLD: Me too!
(Harold starts kicking his feet wildly as well.)
FRANK: Hey wait.
FRANK: Oh, never mind. I thought she said something.
HAROLD: It wasn’t a noise. It was her hand. She pressed her hand against us. It made a tiny dent.
(They both look at each other and smile.)
FRANK: I can tell she’s walking, can’t you?
HAROLD: Yes, of course. I can always tell. I can tell everything she does. I can tell when she combs her hair. I can tell when she gets angry. I can tell when she’s crying. I can tell when she’s singing. I can tell when she has to pee. I can tell when she’s asleep. I can tell when she’s climbing the stairs.
FRANK: Gosh, isn’t she beautiful?
HAROLD: I don’t know. I think so.
FRANK: What do you mean, you think? She’s the most perfect thing in the whole wide world!
HAROLD: We’ve never seen her.
FRANK: We’ve seen her uterus.
HAROLD: That’s true.
FRANK: And it’s a really, really great uterus.
HAROLD: Yeah, it’s probably the best uterus in the universe.
FRANK: I’m crammed. Will you scoot over?
(Frank starts kicking Harold. Harold kicks back. Eventually they rearrange very slightly and come to a comfortable position.)
HAROLD: So, I’ve been wanting to ask: is there a light in your head?
HAROLD: A light. A little light.
FRANK: A what?
HAROLD: It’s the opposite of dark. Is there a glow that you can feel? It’s kind of tingly. You can kind of see it but also you can’t.
FRANK: Oh my god. You have that too?
HAROLD: It’s warm and milky. It smells like the beginning of time.
FRANK: Mine doesn’t have a smell. It makes me realize how dark it is in here. It kind of makes me scared.
HAROLD: I know. But at least we’re together.
FRANK: At least we’re together.
HAROLD: I want to only be around the light. I want to always see it, all the time, whenever I want. I hate all this waiting.
FRANK: I’m not waiting. What? Are we waiting?
HAROLD: Just sitting here waiting for something to happen.
FRANK: I’m not waiting for anything. I am going to be happy and warm in here forever.
HAROLD: No, we’re not. We can’t stay here forever. We can’t stay anywhere forever.
FRANK: Nothing’s going to happen to us! We aren’t going to budge. Not one little bit. Or at least I’m not. Aren’t I? I don’t want to be anywhere except here.
(Frank starts turning himself in circles, wrapping the pink ropes around him.)
HAROLD: I think something is going to change. Something is about to happen. Something big. I feel that way when I see the light.
FRANK: No. I don’t want to. I like it here.
HAROLD: But things change. We change.
FRANK: Nu-uh. Never. Never-ever.
HAROLD: We had gills once. We don’t have them anymore.
(Frank touches his neck.)
FRANK: Oh crap, you’re right. Oh crap. Oh crap.
(Frank rolls around the pink rope a few more times.)
HAROLD: Hey, listen.
(They both stop. Frank unravels a few times out of the rope.)
HAROLD: I think she’s drinking water.
(Frank unravels again.)
FRANK: Yeah, you’re right. I love it when she drinks water.
HAROLD: There’s something so helpful about water.
FRANK: Hey, move. Move again. I’m all messed up.
(Frank unravels completely. Harold hands Frank a pillow. They shift into a slightly more comfortable position.)
HAROLD: Are we one person?
FRANK: I’m one person.
HAROLD: No, I’m one person.
FRANK: I’m one person!
HAROLD: Wait, wait. I get it. We are two people.
FRANK: I’m two people!
HAROLD: No. No. We are both a single individual person.
FRANK: I think I’m four people.
HAROLD: I didn’t think about that. We could be. I feel like a different person every hour. A strawberry person. A macaroni person. A chicken leg.
FRANK: I’m a white-light person. Then a no-light person. Then a pink-stomach person.
HAROLD: Right?! No. Wait. I think we are each one individual person.
FRANK: What kind of person do you want to be?
HAROLD: I know what I am. I’m sunlight. I’m the moon. I want to grow bones and be bigger than a monsoon.
FRANK: Be big? Be BIG? Are you crazy? I want to be as tiny as I can. I want to absorb into skin. I want to be a water drop.
HAROLD: Then you just stay down there. I’ll keep kicking you around. I’m going to get big. Hey, Mother! I’m hungry! Can you hear me, Mother? I want all the food in the world! I want to eat your teeth.
FRANK: Hey, Mother, can you hear me? AHHHHHHHHHH!
(Harold joins in.)
(They each try to yell over each other.)
FRANK: AHHHH! AHHHHHH!
(They both stop, winded, and catch their breath. Frank turns, addressing the audience instead of Harold.)
FRANK: You may not know it, but you are a million different moments. A hundred nervous bitten fingers. Every cold your mother ever sneezed. Every dress she ever wore.
HAROLD: You are every town your father ever left behind. Every spring and every fall. Every laugh and every tear.
FRANK: Every hesitation. Every surrender.
HAROLD: Every humiliation. Every adventure.
FRANK: You’re the dream of your great-great-grandfather, and the dream that only you can dream, that no one has ever dreamed before.
HAROLD: It’s time to go.
(Harold stands up. Frank paws at him.)
FRANK: Go where? Don’t leave me! You can’t leave! We’re one person.
HAROLD: You can come too, if you want.
FRANK: Noooooooooooo! Stay.
HAROLD: Can’t you feel that it’s time to leave? You can feel her walk, feel her sleep, now I feel something else. It’s time to go.
FRANK: I’m not ready. Let me think about this a little while longer. Let me rest and then I’ll go. Just a little more sleep.
HAROLD: Up here. Come up here.
(Harold reaches toward Frank. They hug. It is clunky to get into, but once they are there it is filled with deep understanding and love. They break apart.)
FRANK: Wait! What if I never see you again?
HAROLD: The light!
(Harold holds the end of one of the pink ropes and walks offstage with the rope trailing behind him. Frank pulls at Harold’s rope.)
FRANK: Hey! Where’d you go? Where’d you go? This isn’t happening. This isn’t happening. La la la la la la la la.
FRANK: Hey! Hey! Come back! What’s going on?
(Frank curls up in a ball on the ground, grabs a pillow, and rocks back and forth.)
FRANK: I’m not ready for this! I’m not ready for this. Come back. Come back. This is a big step, you know! It requires planning.
FRANK: I don’t want to be alone. No. No. No.
(Frank crawls toward where Harold exited. He takes one step.)
FRANK: What’s it like?
(Lights down, a clunky version of the “Happy Birthday” song is played on a recorder.)
Karina Cochran is a tall glass of water from the Midwest. Her plays have been read and performed in various venues across the United States, including FaultLine Theater, Thrown Stone Theater, Hubbard Hall, and Dandelion Theater Company. She recently received her MFA in Dramatic Writing at Carnegie Mellon University. https://www.karinacochran.com/