Untitled play about maybe getting rid of a bed

With The Bread From One’s Own Mouth.

XX & XY in bed, lying. Both moderately tall, attractive moderately dark-haired people, roughly 22-26 years old. 

Enter Z, a moderately tall, attractive dark-haired man, roughly 26-years old. He walks to the foot of the bed.

Z: Why are you in this bed?

XY sits up.

XY: Good question, I really have no idea. (to no one) Why do we even have it?

XX: (to Z) Why are you in this room? Fuck you.

Z: What!? Why wouldn’t I be? It’s so easy!

XX: (sits up, smiling suddenly) Oh yeah, it’s so obvious! We should just get rid of the bed!

XY: We should definitely get rid of it right now. It’s so obvious.

XX: It’s so easy.

XY: Okay, great. Let’s get rid of it right now.

XX: What should we do with it? (lays back down, solemnly) I hate this bed. I just want to get it out of here. This bed does nothing for me.

XY: It’s so obvious. Let’s just put it on the roof. Then we wouldn’t even have to see it!

XX: But what about when we go on the roof? Then there’d be this dumb bed just staring at us. And when we’re not on the roof, I feel like we’d feel it’s presence coming through the ceiling or something. No, we can’t put it on the roof.

XY: Yeah, there is no reason to do that. That would be the dumbest thing.

XX: Let’s just put a really hard surface on top of the bed. Let’s negate the bedness of the bed.

XY: Yeah, it’s so obvious! Wait, no it’s not. It’d be so hard to find a hard surface.

XX: Yeah, that’d be such a pain in the ass. Granite weighs so much. It’s so stupid.

XY: Yeah, it’s so obvious! Let’s just move out.

XX: Like, abandon the bed? Yeah, that is definitely so obvious!

XY: Yeah, it would be so easy to leave right now. You can basically leave anywhere you want at any time.

XX: But I never want to see a bed ever again. There are going to be beds anywhere we go. I want to completely escape the bed as both a physical object and as a paradigm of bourgeois comfort and pacification.

XY: Really? Are there beds everywhere? I feel like there are never any beds anywhere. Just awake bourgeois people.

XX: Where is a place where there are no beds and no bourgeois people? Let’s go there. It’s so obvious.

XY: I feel like the bed idea is just an excuse to express and present ourselves and to also spend time together doing something “productive,” I think it’s sad we need the bed for that, so we should burn it to prove we don’t need it to write a play.

XY: Feel like “burning the bed” has been a funny/cool idea but just now got a really strong flash of a feeling that I think if you agreed I would maybe literally, really truly light it on fire in my room and maybe burn the house down accidentally. Really, actually felt for one second that I would definitely do that.

XX: Into burning the bed, turning it into an effigy to all the shit that we do not need, the feeling of ‘doing it anyway’ in the face of perhaps not immediately being able to. Re: the bed, we do not need it for the things that we do. Let’s burn it. Really, truly, let’s burn this goddamn bed.



XY: I think I have 6 Word documents open, all of which I just started. I am so glad you are not in my room, but I am so glad that you are alive. I am so glad that you are a breathing, pulsing, desiring, knowing and unknowing being who is not in my room this minute but is aliving.

XX: I think the number of tabs I have open on my computer is directly related to the number of drugs I have taken that day.

XY: I feel like, uh, the little pink block with your name in it is a symbol of your, uh, heart beating.

XX: That’s because it is. We got to know each other as pixels, after all. Although my heart is probably beating much faster than the little pink block. Because of the adderall.

XY: I think this is how rich people feel by default and that’s why they get rich. I’m really glad I’m not like this by default, but instead only get like this when I’m poor and so become rich only in feelings and ideas and non-monetized digital productivity.

XX: I feel like Jesus said something along those lines. Right? That our richness is not measured by how much money we have, etc etc. Jesus was so radical. Maybe this is why heart attacks are so prevalent amongst businesspeople. Their hearts are beating this fast all the fucking time!

XY: Yea and amphetamines make people talk past each other full speed ahead—which we are even kind of doing right now, but which is totally OK because I know you genuinely care about my thoughts and feelings, you’re just overflowing with your own and I want you to do that. And I want to do that too, although I just wanted to register that a certain frantic, selfish insensitivity to the ideas or thoughts of others is possessing me right now. Like we are two really really fast speedboats zooming around a lake right now, which is OK and really fun but you also still make me so tender and I just want to register that. Uh, ok, I’m just going to keep going.

We had a couchsurfer from France once, he was an art history PhD student, actually, I’m glad you weren’t here because he was very handsome and I would have felt scared because I’m still a little boy probably—but he told me something that I really appreciated, and that I think in my life plan I am going to really, really sort of double-down on. His dissertation focused on American Pop Art and he said the truth is that Andy Warhol only gets so much credit for the very simple and mundane fact that he archived things better than anyone else at the time. That it’s really only about keeping good records, leaving behind a lot. Kind of like what I talk about when I talk about intensity as the only thing that matters, if you just do every single thing and record it then you’re a world historical genius. So easy. Feel like we should only ever write to each other on one Google Word Doc for the rest of our lives. We could maybe, truly, literally, write the most epic, uh, I wanna say “love letter” but you know, not trying to pack too much into that lol, just like, as a genre or something.

XX: Listen —

XX: Free bird —

XX: You are a fucking free fucking bird and so am I and we should like, fly around together but totally stick to own trajectories. And when we intersect, on occasion, it’ll be a cool thing and we can catch each other up on our flights.

XX: I like the idea of legacy but I find it unsatisfactory. Perhaps patriarchal. Because my legacy will be and already is intricately connected to the people around me, shit is relational, it is constituted by others, which is why I like what we are doing, simultaneously, constituting this relationship & each other’s legacies in the process. I am going to go smoke a cigarette and maybe inhale deeply and slowly, but I am glad that you are out there somewhere - - not just somewhere, but somewhere that I have been, which is fucking cool, that we have occupied the same spaces for once in our fucking lives - -

XX: fly free, bird.

XY: Maybe good point about the desire for legacy being patriarchal. Yea, I think that’s right. It’s narcissistic and really a desire to dominate. I’d say I only want to dominate the dominators, but I don’t know if that’s OK. In the opposite direction, after our conversation last night I feel very comfortable right now sharing the silliest little micro-insecurities, because I’m prepared to release all fear of being a pathetic mess of ugly nerve endings. So I just want to tell you that in your last paragraph the last two lines made me feel really sad, actually, not for too long or anything but they really kinda made me happiness and ecstatic energy sink low very suddenly because you used the past tense and the word “once.” Those last two lines make me scared you are going to leave me.

XY: Also feel like I want to intersect more than “on occasion,” maybe felt tiny sad when you wrote “occasion.” Feel like I intersect with my family “on occasion” and I don’t really ever want to hang out with them that much. These few things make me scared you are going to leave me, they really feel shitty and scary. Trying not to act tough.

XX: Don’t act tough, toughness is stupid. It’s so obvious. I’m scared you’re going to leave too - when I went outside to smoke I thought about how great all of this is but how absolutely terrifying. I keep telling people that I came here to fail, which I find kind of funny, but of course affirming the possibility of failure is very different than affirming the failure itself. But, for what it is worth, my heart is ‘soaring’ (more bird/flight imagery) when I think about what has happened & will continue. I do find it interesting that I am choosing to use flight imagery, but less maybe to point out the leaving and maybe moreso to point to the ‘touching down.’ The taking a breath, which is a really important part of flying but isn’t really talked about, taking a rest and then, maybe most beautifully, the deep breath before the next take-off. With you I am taking breaths! It’s such a cool thing to share with someone. In any case, I feel super positive about you —- wow positive is such a silly word but I won’t delete it — and I am really excited/terrified.

XX: Also, you know, I feel insecure all of the time. And not in the sense that all the time I am in a state of insecurity, which is obviously not true, but that, you know, I carry them with me. They are like kids screaming on the back of a school bus, and I’m like the driver, and getting them to shut up is a lot harder than just arriving at a stop and making them get off.

XX: “Get off my bus, you punks.”

XX: <3

XX: lol

XY: Aria can you just not use the past tense talking about me or us? Like, unless it’s past.

XX: okay. I won’t.

XX: I won’t. I am wont to want you.

XY: What scares me is that this sort of high speed stream of consciousness dialogue maybe reveals things we might not reveal consciously—so it’s sad you used the past tense. And diminutives such as “on occasion.” It’s ok, of course! It’s just that I feel more like I’m soaring and want to keep soaring and not really breathe or stop or intersect with you but just like we’re both soaring, so simple to me, so obvious and amazing heh.


XX: You know, lovebirds got their name because they actually cannot psychologically exist without another around. A friend of mine had a single lovebird and one day it started puking up its food — in any case it created a little puke-statue dovebird that it hung out with. I don’t know why I bring this up except maybe to say that if you weren’t around I might make a puke statue to you. This is my way of showing affection, heh.

XY: I’m not worried about becoming attached like lovebirds, because I have been feeling exactly as happy when you are in my physical presence as when you’re not—and we’re both rad independent ambitious folks so i’m just not worried on that front. because i’m not worried on that front, i want to only use the fucking realest most courageous and scary but beautiful language toward you and with you and about you. i want to not be afraid to feel and say crazy shit that’s only real and big and awesome. and if it’s not intense then i don’t want to say feel or do it, or something. feel like that is how we are powerful, or how we can become the kind of powerful we have alluded to before, like i think that’s the only way we can take over the world—didn’t that come up, taking over the world or something?

XX: OK, another random micro-insecurity: things will not always be so intense, arent’ there lulls and landings and breaths in every relationship? What if it is not so intense anymore? Or for a while? Taking over the world did come up. I feel like I can do that w you.

XY: Exactament! Uh, I think you’re totally right of course that lulls and landings come up, for sure! But they’ll come whether we want them or not—so I guess I’d rather just formally declare war on them, anyway. Might as well. Like I don’t want to produce more of them then are necessary just because we know they’re inescapable—with you Aria I want to destroy all lulls, landings, bores, bourgeois, breaths, parties, hangouts, cheap talk, small talk, fluff flarther furthings and even fun—to hell with it all, I just want to be, like, real, and intense and insane and beautiful and truthful, and if you want to with me then I will try to do that so hard, yea.

XX: Destroy all parties. The only way we’ll get there I think is by being honest. After our conversation last night I similarly feel ready to really open up to you. I really want to do that with you, I want it so badly and I am prepared to put every bit of myself towards it. Like, really, I am, yes I say yes I will yes.

XX: Let’s burn the fucking bed.

XY: (Lights match.)

XX: (Pours….kerosene? Gas? Olive oil!)

XY: Fin?

XY: Go do something beautiful, yea? We can talk plenty later!

XX: Okay. you do the same. Meet u in the sky.


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Murphy, Justin. 2012. "Untitled play about maybe getting rid of a bed," https://jmrphy.net/blog/2012/09/06/31012223438/ (December 14, 2018).