Kait, 28

 

Kait knocks at the door. They crack the door.

Hey, uh... Hi. 

Kait enters and closes the door to the bedroom behind them. 

Thank you for having me over. 

I've never really done this before.

I'm not usually the kind of person who...

But this is not a hook-up and... 

You're a professional so if-

If I cross a boundary or you want to stop...

Just... Let me know. 

So 

Do we just? 

I'm sorry. 

I'm nervous. 

Can we talk first? 

A noise of relief. 

Okay... Umm... 

I want you to know why I 

Why I pursued all of... 

This. 

I guess. 

C-can I sit? 

They pull up a chair next to the listener.

I've never been good at beginnings. 

I'm just gonna start where I start. 

Do- Do you use Tinder? 

I was swiping through Tinder the other day. 

Yeah. 

Tinder. 

I know. 

But it's- It doesn't feel like no one uses it like Bumble or-

Anyway. 

I was swiping. 

Left. 

Left. 

Left. 

Left... 

I came across this guy's picture. 

Some nondescript white guy. 

Strong jawline. 

Broad shoulders. 

Cropped hair. 

A face that could have a full beard if he wanted. And eyes. 

Eyes that are staring straight into mine even though his first picture is a candid and he couldn't possibly know or care that he's looking at me.

Looking through me. 

A silence that lets that seep in. 

Left. 

I can't handle that. 

Left. 

I don't want to 

Left. 

Well, I do, actually, I want to handle all of that but 

I don't think I could. 

And not because I'm... incapable or 

Or anything 

But because I've had this... this realization.

Something I've known for a very long time but never felt comfortable admitting. 

A beat of struggle. 

I feel very unlovable a lot of the time. 

And I know that's not true, but I... 

It feels like I'm going into battle with myself

And the enemy has a gun or 

A bigass sword 

Or literally any viable weapon. 

And I 

I get a stick. 

Or a pebble. 

Or a feather. 

No real weapon or tool to fight back with. 

Just this overwhelming sense that I 

I am unlovable. 

Sometimes I think it's because I'm too in my head for my own good. 

Other times I blame my parents. 

Their lack of vulnerability and empathy. 

Most times I think it's because I want to be held and  I don't want to have to ask for that. 

I should just... 

Have it? 

A silence filled with shame. 

I guess that's part of it too. 

Because some days it's not the shit I say 

Or the clothes I wear 

Or the color of my hair... 

Sometimes it's just this feeling that I don't have space 

I don't have the space within me to hold onto another  person 

Whether that's romantically, platonically, or momentarily. 

I just can't find it within me. 

Some days. 

Wait... I- Did I? No. 

Maybe I should introduce myself. 

An awkward beat. The kind that tries to sum up one's whole self in a tiny infinity. 

Hi. My name's Kait. 

I... am 28 years old. 

I identify as nonbinary. 

I have a sweet tooth. 

I'm terrified of bugs, especially the ones that randomly appear in my room.

My favorite color changes constantly, but right now  I'm really feeling teal. 

My parents haven't really spoken to me--the real me-- since I was maybe thirteen. 

I have a best friend. 

Their name is [insert actor's best friend's name here]. 

I work in [insert actor's day job here] to pay the bills. 

I love poetry. Writing it. Reading it. Falling back on it. 

Whole nine yards. 

Should I share some? 

Yeah? 

Okay! 

A clearing of the throat. A different, more assured vocal quality: 

Never in my life has someone held me 

like they 

might forget the exact shape of my shoulder blade on their wrist like they 

want me to remember their heartbeat as it was transcribed on my  collarbone 

like they 

may never touch me again. 

A silence that betrays the amount of anxiety coursing through one's veins. 

Ya know 

In retrospect  

this whole thing is fucking terrifying and I'm really questioning my life choices. 

But here we are so 

Huh? 

Oh. 

Uhh... 

Yeah. I've- I've got more. 

Okay. 

one day you'll spin

 

all of your frustration into gold. 

Right now it's only more of the same. 

One day will come. 

Believe it. 

A vocal tick that embodies searching for something less vulnerable than this moment. 

I tried to get on the school volleyball team in junior high. 

I don't know why I just said that. 

I guess... 

Okay. No. I'm just gonna tell you. 

I grew up in the Southeast. 

And at the time I didn't identify as 

I presented 

So... 

They only had a women's volleyball team at my school. The principal told me that I couldn't play because I was a male. 

I would have an unfair advantage. 

I wonder if that was the first time I started questioning my identity. 

My gender identity specifically, 

But my identity nonetheless. 

I think that maybe 

Just maybe 

That was the first moment I knew. 

I just didn't have the words for it. 

I still don't sometimes. 

I'm constantly searching. 

Scanning the internet 

And library books 

Dating profiles 

And podcasts

For the words that are accurate to my lived experience

And make it clear for everyone else 

What that lived experience is. 

The words that are just... 

Right. 

It's so romantic when it's in your head. 

To say something and for people to just 

I don't know 

Get you 

On some deeper emotional level. 

But that's some rom-com level 

I'm talking grade A, 

Premium, 

Wasted sorority girl hanging onto you while you're in  the line at Moes on a Friday night because she wants  to talk your ear off 

Level of bullshit. 

Because 

I'm completely uncharted. 

Not only that but no one has even had the thought to try and make a map! 

Is that because no one cares? 

Is it because I'm supposed to make one myself? If that's the answer then... 

How? 

Because there are no rules for that and it really feels to me like there ought to be. 

I guess I'm looking for that. 

Because 

I like things that are concrete. 

A half-hearted laugh. Mostly to themself. 

I know 

Silly 

A poet that wants something tangible. 

But it's true. 

So... Just so I'm clear: 

I don't want this to be sexual. 

I know you said it doesn't have to be but 

I just want you to hold me

And I want you to tell me that 

One day 

Everything will be alright. 

Can 

Can you do that? 

A noise of real relief. Relief felt all the way down through bones and blood and soul. 

Okay. 

So... 

They climb into bed with the listener

A moment of getting comfortable. 

You're...  

warm. 

I like that. 

A sigh. Content. The kind of sigh that feels like being seen. 

Silence and breathing. 

End of Play.