by David Smilow

To comment, or for further information, please E-mail Stephen Williamson:

(A circular, windowless chamber. Gunmetal grey walls unrelieved by anything 
but more grey.  An artificial silence is underscored by a faint hum: this 
space seems like a chilly node in a larger machine.  On three equidistantly-
spaced chairs sit two women and a man who will be known as Jill Markowsky, 
Stan Crease, and Marsha Farmer.  Jill -- a waif-like woman-child -- and Stan 
-- slight and pale -- are unconscious, chins dropped to their chests.  Marsha, 
solid, wild-haired and wide awake looks around, then is so terrified she 
moans.  Jill's startled awake and stares at Marsha, scarcely breathing as 
their eyes stay locked for what seems a very long time.)

MARSHA    They took us.

JILL      They did?  (Marsha nods) Who?

MARSHA    Aliens.  The aliens. 

(Jill looks around and suddenly sings the Peter Pan tune.)

JILL      "I'm flying, flying, flying, flying..."

MARSHA    They'll kill us.  (Jill falls silent) We'll get... probed to death.

JILL      Probed.

MARSHA    By some ray.  A beam.  It'll shoot out of a little thing
          somewhere and slice us in half.  Then out'll come our lungs. 
          Livers.  Intestines like wet rope.  Whatever they feel like

JILL      Stop it.

MARSHA    That's what aliens do.

JILL      No.  This has to end now.

MARSHA    You're not dreaming.

JILL      I don't want to--

MARSHA    I said it's not a goddamn dream!  Look where you are.  (Jill
          blinks) Two seconds or two years or however long ago it was
          now -- who the hell knows anything anymore? -- I had a
          forkful of fettucine this far from my mouth.  Now I'm... (looks
          around, distraught)  Jesus Christ.

JILL      Please let it be a dream.

MARSHA    Yours or mine?  'Cause they got both our asses.

JILL      (tears starting) Oh God, no.

MARSHA    What's your name?  (Jill shakes her head) Tell me.  (JILL shakes
          her head again) Elaine?  Jocelyn.  Bitsy.  Corinna.  Jill...

JILL      Jill.

MARSHA    Jill? (Jill nods)  Jill what?  (no reply) Adams.  Baker.  Charles...

JILL      Markowsky.  (starts to cry) Jill Markowsky.  I live at one
          thirty-six West Eleventh Street, New York New York, one
          double-oh one one.  I have two cats and a skylight.

MARSHA    Not anymore.

JILL      This is too a dream.  Nobody'd joke if they were really taken
          away in some... some...

MARSHA    Space ship.  Alien vessel.  Flying saucer.

JILL      You're making this all up!

MARSHA    Listen to me.  I'm... Marsha Farmer.  Christ, you see how they
          get to you?  I almost forgot my own name already.  I'm from
          Burnsville, Minnesota, just outside Minneapolis.  Five five
          three three seven.  No cats.  No skylight.

(Jill stares hard at Marsha who nods as if to confirm it all.  Jill seems to 
go numb and only now notices Stan.)

JILL      Who's he?

MARSHA    I have no idea.  Terry?

JILL      What?

MARSHA    He looks like he could be a Terry.  (Jill gapes at her
          surroundings) Where were you?  Jill?... Jill.  What were you

(Jill battles a fog of incredulity trying to remember.)

JILL      Shaving.

MARSHA    Your legs.

JILL      No.  A...A chocolate bunny.  I love chocolate too much s
          only let myself have a few scrapings at a time.

MARSHA    We were both eating.

JILL      I wasn't.  I didn't have any of it.  I swear.  It was for lunch
          to-- (it all starts to sink in) Tomorrow.

MARSHA    It'll be okay. (bitter humor)  The chocolate.  Not us.

(They look at each other for a longish beat.)

JILL      You like this.

MARSHA    What?  What the hell are you--?

JILL      You're happy.  You're glad this happened.

MARSHA    Oh, sure.  Things were so damn boring among the Earthling
          I prayed to be whisked off their planet.  Where were you
          shaving that bunny, in a padded cell?

JILL      You're enjoying yourself!  That's all I'm saying.

MARSHA    I'm fucking hysterical!  I'm a wreck!

JILL      And it's fun.  (Marsha looks away to hide sudden tears.) 
          What's wrong?  (Marsha chuckles as if to say 'We've been
          abducted by aliens and you ask 'what's wrong?'')  I'm sorry.

MARSHA    Whenever I'm a wreck I look like I'm enjoying myself.  It's
          true.  You're not the first person I've heard it from.  My
          husband says...

(Marsha's stricken silent.)

JILL      Marsha.

MARSHA    Don't.

JILL      I'm sorry.

MARSHA    You said it already. (beat) I'm sorry too.


JILL      Do you really think they'll...?

MARSHA    What.  Probe us?  With a couple of-- excuse me; three humans
          in the bag and God only knows how many light years to kill? 
          What else've they got to do?  Well, all they'll find in me is
          fettucine.  And not even a full portion.

JILL      What color are his eyes?  (Marsha looks to see if Stan's are
          open.) No.  Your husband's.

MARSHA    Oh.  (sad smile) Grey on a grey day.  Gray-green in the sun. 
          That's what he always tells people who ask.

JILL      I love grey eyes.

MARSHA    He's not right.  They're more blue than grey, and they don't
          change at all.

JILL      I love blue eyes too.  (beat)  You know what's funny?  One of
          my cats has one grey eye and one blue one.  Bitsy.

(They look at each other again.)

MARSHA    Why aren't we panicky?

JILL      You said you were hysterical.

MARSHA    But I'm not panicky.  Neither are you.

JILL      No.

MARSHA    How come?

JILL      We could be in shock.

MARSHA    Or denial.

JILL      No.  Shock.

MARSHA    You're right.  That's the only way we'd be talking about eyes.

JILL      I'm in shock a lot.  Sometimes every day.

MARSHA    I could never live in New York.

JILL      Yes you could.

MARSHA    I'd end up in some stink-hole apartment with three hundred
          pigeons and old newspapers stacked to the ceiling.

JILL      See?

(Marsha suddenly sits bolt upright.)

MARSHA    Jesus, did you hear that?

JILL      Stop scaring me.

MARSHA    It was like a-- Christ, they're coming.

JILL      No!  Oh God, no!

MARSHA    The ray!  The probe!  (Jill screams and contracts into a tight
          ball on her chair.  Stan stirs.  Marsha holds her breath
          watching him, relieved when he doesn't wake.)  It's okay. 
          Jill, listen.  It's quiet.

JILL      I don't want to be cut in half!  Why do they have to take us

MARSHA    Maybe they won't.  Maybe I was wrong.  Maybe they want us...
          whole.  Maybe they even like us.

(Jill's soothed a bit)

JILL      I hate this.  Why did it have to happen?

MARSHA    One of those crazy things, I guess.  (She laughs suddenly,
          harshly.  Jill glares at her.)  It's not my fault.  I'm here

JILL      Why?

MARSHA    I don't know.

JILL      Why am I here?

MARSHA    I don't know.

(Jill abruptly turns to Stan.)

JILL      Hello?  Hey.

MARSHA    He's not going to have the answer.  Look at him -- how dull he
          looks.  He could be a moron.

JILL      (to Stan) Terry?

MARSHA    I didn't say he was Terry.  Just that he seemed like one.  He's
          more Howard-y now.

JILL      (to Stan) Howard?

MARSHA    Why don't you leave him alone.

JILL      I want to talk to him.

MARSHA    What for?  He could be a moron.

JILL      I don't have to tell you everything!

MARSHA    Wait.  Shhh!

JILL      What is it?

MARSHA    A growl.  Grinding.  Something.  (a beat) It stopped.  

(Jill's shaken out of her urge to wake Stan.)

JILL      I'm cold.

MARSHA    (nods toward the "outside") It's cold out here.

JILL      Are we really that far away, you think?

MARSHA    Oh yeah. 

(Jill weeps silently.  Marsha whips off her sweater.  Jill quickly looks up.)

JILL      No.

MARSHA    You said you're--

JILL      I don't want it.

MARSHA    But--

JILL      I don't want it!

MARSHA    Fine.  (she disdainfully tosses the sweater on the floor) I'm
          warm enough just like this.

(Jill hugs herself and sneaks a look at the sweater, but realizes Marsha's 
watching her and pointedly looks the other way.  Marsha's annoyance colors her 

MARSHA    What's the other one's name?

JILL      The other what?

MARSHA    Cat.  One's Bitsy.  The other's...?

JILL      I don't feel like talking anymore right now.

MARSHA    I think it'd be good for you.  Good for both of us.  (Jill's
          silent) I had a cat once.  Sort of.  It was a boyfriend of
          mine's. Oompah.  (Jill gives her a sharp look) I know: weird
          name for a cat.

JILL      All cats have weird names.

MARSHA    That's not true.

JILL      I think it is.

MARSHA    Bitsy's not weird.  Not at all.  It's a totally normal, sane,

JILL      How about Scotchguard.

MARSHA    Your other cat's named Scotchguard?

JILL      For short.  It's really Butterscotchguardian.  And anyway,
          Bitsy's a male.

MARSHA    Does the skylight have a name?

(Jill furtively eyes the sweater again.  Marsha notices, picks up the sweater 
and silently offers it to Jill.  Jill wavers, then shakes her head.  Marsha's 
about to dump the sweater on the floor again, but reconsiders and moves to 
drape it across the back of Jill's chair.  Jill's warning look stops her.  
Marsha drapes the sweater over Stan's shoulders instead.)

MARSHA    If you want it, it's there.

JILL      He looks better in it than I would.

MARSHA    But he's not cold.

JILL      He might be.  He might be and just not know.  He could be a moron.

(Jill expects a sharp retort, but Marsha smiles warmly.)

MARSHA    I'll bet you do alright in New York, don't you?

JILL      I guess.

MARSHA    Place like that, you really learn how to take care of yourself.

JILL      Nobody else is going to do it for you.

MARSHA    I take it you're not married, then.  (Jill shakes her head)
          Boyfriend? (playfully) Lover?

JILL      I used to have one of each.  (shocked by her brazenness) God,
          Jill.  (sudden laugh) I sound like Eeby.  She's an Israelite. 
          You know, from Israel.  She lives downstairs from me.

MARSHA    Could be a cat's name.

JILL      Eeby's totally wild.  I love her.  You should see the men she
          brings home.  Wow.

MARSHA    Gorgeous?

JILL      Everything.  The most beautiful, best dressed, funniest,
          smartest... (drifts into a pained reverie) I hate men.  You can
          never just shave a little sliver of loving off them when all
          you want's a tiny taste, like you can with chocolate.  You have
          to take the whole thing every time.  It's not fair.

MARSHA    That's never bothered me.

JILL      Good.  Go.  Make fun of me.  Just because I don't like getting
          humped silly every time I press up against a guy! (starts to
          cry) I'm sorry.  I feel like I'm going insane.

MARSHA    It's okay.  You'd be keeping me company.  

(Marsha makes a goofy face.  Jill adds laughter to her tears and Marsha pulls 
out a hanky, offers it.  Jill stiffens.)

JILL      No thank you.  (she noisily wipes her nose on her sleeve and
          notices Marsha's bolt upright again)  What?

MARSHA    I thought I... Never mind.

JILL      What!  (Marsha shakes her head) Marsha, you have to tell me.

MARSHA    I caught a -- at least I thought I saw a flash of light out of
          the corner of my eye.

JILL      (chilled) A ray.

MARSHA    Who the hell knows.

(Both women seem walloped afresh by their situation)

MARSHA    Aliens.  Jesus.  Aliens came and took us off the earth.  Off
          the fucking earth!  We're never going back.  We're gone.  This
          is it.

JILL      I don't want to be gone!  Oh God, don't probe me!

(Stan stirs, murmurs something like 'onions' and lapses into making thick wet 
mouth noises, still not waking up.)

MARSHA    I hate men too.  (beat) Aliens are always men.

JILL      What?

MARSHA    Come on.  Whenever you hear about them or see drawings or
          whatever, they've all got these huge heads and jumpsuity
          uniform things.  Like soldiers.  Or some kind of cadets. 
          They're obviously men.  Male, anyway.  You never even think
          aliens might be female.  Right?  Nobody ever thinks that.

JILL      Marsha...

MARSHA    Shut-up.  It matters.  If it was up to female aliens, we'd
          still be eating fettucine and shaving chocolate.  Hell, maybe
          with them.  But no, these unbelievably advanced civilizations
          beyond the stars?  They always have to send out the boys. 
          With their beams and rays.  'Find a planet, guys.  Do your
          thing.  Go on.  Have fun.'  Take some innocent people who
          never hurt anyone up into space and probe them till there's
          nothing left but scooped-out skin.

JILL      No, no, no!

MARSHA    Christ, maybe the whole damn universe is macho.  What does that say?

(Jill shiver in despair and snatches Marsha's sweater off Stan's shoulders and 
drapes it over her own, rocking miserably.  Marsha's instantly calmed.)

MARSHA    Wrong.  A hundred per cent wrong.  (Jill looks up) It looks
          better on you.  (she indicates the sweater)

JILL      Oh.  Thanks.

MARSHA    You know you've got incredible hair.

JILL      Can we stop talking now?

MARSHA    If you want.  (Jill nods) Alright. 

(They fall silent.  Marsha looks at Jill (who doesn't return the gaze) then 
abruptly stands and takes a stride away.)

JILL      Where are you going? (Marsha just looks at her)  I can't be
          alone here.  I can't.  (Marsha indicates Stan)  I don't know
          him.  (Marsha starts off again)  Marsha!

MARSHA    I'm going to look for someone to talk to.

JILL      Talk to me!  Talk to me!  Come on.  Here we go.  What do you
          want to talk about?  My hair?  It's incredible, isn't it?  It's
          been incredible forever, even when I was totally broke and in
          shock the whole time.  Or do you want to talk about cats?  Or
          lovers.  Or eyes.  Or skylights, even.  It's okay.  Please. 

(Marsha slowly returns to her chair, sits.)

MARSHA    It is cold in here.

JILL      You want your sweater back?

MARSHA    I'll be alright.

JILL      No.  Here.  It's yours.  It knows how to warm you up best.  

(Jill whips off the sweater and holds it out to Marsha, who just looks evenly 
at Jill.  Jill reluctantly scuttles off her chair and awkwardly draping the 
sweater over Marsha's shoulders.)

JILL      Better?  It's better, isn't it.  A little.  Right?

MARSHA    Good enough.  (Jill dives back to her chair, hyper alert for
          any sound.  Marsha suddenly looks straight up, alarmed.) Oh my

JILL      What?

MARSHA    I've never had a skylight.

(Jill blinks, then laughs more from relief than amusement.  Marsha begins to 
laugh too.

MARSHA    I'm not kidding.  (They laugh harder, but fall silent when Stan
          suddenly calls out in his sleep.)

STAN      Nerris!  Nerris fullbull, bull.  (He farts)

MARSHA    Oh, very nice.  Wonder what he was eating.

JILL      I think we should wake him up.

MARSHA    In case he's got a skylight somewhere?  Go ahead if you're
          that desperate to compare notes.

(They lock eyes again.  Jill -- without looking away -- slowly reaches toward 
Stan.  Marsha's look hardens.  Jill drops her arm and turns manic.)

JILL      I'm going to panic.

MARSHA    I don't think so.

JILL      Uh-huh.  It's already coming.

MARSHA    If you can feel it coming you're still only hysterical.  Like me. 
          No, we're not to where we're panicky.

JILL      I can't stand it that you hate me!

MARSHA    Where the hell's this coming from?

JILL      Maybe you always hate people with incredible hair.  With cats.

MARSHA    (colder) I meant where's it coming from in you?

JILL      Look at you! -- the way you look at me.  How you're talking. 
          You wish I was already probe-dead.

MARSHA    Jeez, then I'd have to wake him up.  (She cocks her head at
          Stan, deadpan for a beat, then grins.  Jill's so confused she
          cries again.)  Jill.  Jill, sweetheart.  Oh!, I don't hate you. 
          How could I?  You have incredible hair.  Cats.  A skylight.  And
          you're crying.  You're wonderful.  Just hysterical.  Maybe in
          shock, too.

JILL      (miserable) But not panicky.

MARSHA    When the time comes, we'll panic together.  Fair enough?

(She reaches out her hand to shake.)

JILL      My mother said never make deals with anyone.

MARSHA    You mother was never alienned off the goddamn earth.

JILL      She never even came to New York.

MARSHA    Well then... (She extends her hand further.  Jill begins to
          reach for it, but at the last second clenches her fists, hit by a
          wave of enthusiasm.)

JILL      Hey!  What if this is part of it -- this getting friendly and stuff?

MARSHA    Part of the standard pre-probe.

JILL      No, that's what I mean.  Maybe it won't happen, the... ray
          thing, if we like each other enough quick enough.  What do
          you think, Marsha?  That's how I want it to be.  Don't you? 
          It'd be so perfect!  (In her exuberance, she reaches over and
          squeezes Marsha's hand.  Marsha's surprised.)

MARSHA    Your eyes are on the greenish side themselves.  Kind of a jadey
          thing going on.

JILL      You do like me, don't you?

MARSHA    See, this is what my husband thinks his eyes look like.  He's so off.

JILL      This is the first time I finally feel like me again.  Right this
          second.  God, it's so much better than just being in shock.

MARSHA    It's not as cold now.  (removes her sweater)

JILL      I'm not either!

(There's a sudden, oddly muted sound that could be liquid gurgling -- or 
someone calling out.  Jill and Marsha lock eyes for a beat.  Jill resolutely 
maintains her smile.)

MARSHA    We both heard that.

JILL      I'm keeping my intestines and liver.

MARSHA    Jill.  It's only a matter of time.

JILL      Yeah!  Before we're home and go on television like all those other
          people do when they get home.

MARSHA    After aliens bring them all the way back to Earth even though they
          were already up in the space-wagons [pronounced with the
          Volkswagen 'V'] and halfway to Hideous Major, or wherever the
          Christ they're from.

JILL      I've seen them on television.

MARSHA    With your very own sort-of green eyes.

JILL      You said they might like us.

MARSHA    I said I'd have a glass of chianti with my fettucine, too.  So
          what?  Look at me now.

(Jill stares then laughs almost deliriously.)

JILL      Oh Marsha, you're too funny for this to be real.

MARSHA    Don't you hide behind that dream crap again.  You hear me?! 
          Unless you're ready to dream about a beam of light, too -- a white
          wand brighter than a finger of sun coming closer and closer until
          you have to dream that it's your own belly you smell burning.

JILL      What color are your eyes?!  Did you ever look?  Do you even know?

MARSHA    You always make me the shit.

JILL      What, 'always'?  I've never seen you before.

MARSHA    'Always' now.  Here.  Since they took us.  That's what I meant.

JILL      No you didn't.  You meant regular 'always,' and I have no idea who
          you are.

MARSHA    Doesn't it seem like we've been here forever?  Doesn't it?  Answer me!

JILL      (tortured) Yes!

MARSHA    Then I get to say 'always.'  And you can't say you don't know me.
          (softer) I know you.  You're Jill Markovsky--

JILL      Markowsky!

MARSHA    --who's sweet and scared and stuck with me, a crazy nut from
          Minnesota who's going battier being here.  Not that anyone

(Marsha manages a smile.  Jill looks around, suddenly spent.)

JILL      Aliens.

MARSHA    Tell me about it.

(They look at each other again.)

JILL      We don't know each other.

MARSHA    No, not really.  Only that we're--

JILL      Here.

MARSHA    And not panicky.

JILL      Not yet.

MARSHA    That's something.

(Stan murmurs, whimpers in his sleep.)

JILL      We don't know him either, do we?

MARSHA    Nope.  (Stan belches) And it's probably just as well.

(She and Jill lock eyes, then both crack up.  Jill's hope seems to return.)

JILL      Are you in love with him?  (Marsha looks towards Stan) No, your husband.

MARSHA    My husband?  (puzzled, then snaps to) Jesus.  They don't need a
          goddamn ray.  I'm just sitting here and they're sucking out what's
          in my head.  Draining away all my memories of...(strains, then
          triumphant) Stewart.  (rages) Stewart!  His name's Stewart, you
          bastards!  Stewart, Stewart, Stewart!

JILL      Was he at dinner with you?

MARSHA    Who?

JILL      Stewart.

MARSHA    Thousands of times.  Oh, you mean when they... With the fettucine. 
          No.  I was alone.

(She's suddenly very shaky.)

JILL      If you don't want to talk about it...

MARSHA    I don't.  You see?  I really did start to forget.

JILL      I can't take it, being in love.  There's always someone else around.

MARSHA    (after a beat) Have you ever made love with a god?

JILL      (shrugs) They all thought they were.

MARSHA    What did you think?

JILL      That I'd rather be having chocolate.  Except once.  Once I
          couldn't help not thinking at all about chocolate.  It was in

MARSHA    What's-his-name thought he was a god.  Stewart.  With grey eyes
          that went grey-green in the sun.  Double wrong.

JILL      The snow was grey, with pebbles in it.  Like pepper.  I remember.

MARSHA    Guess they haven't gotten around to sucking your head out yet.

JILL      He was only in town for a week on business.

MARSHA    How long did he end up staying?

JILL      A week.  He never saw a skylight before.

MARSHA    God Almighty, where was he from, Podunk?

JILL      (earnest) I think he was.  It sounded just like that.

MARSHA    So you two clicked.

JILL      You know you can't really tell what time it is from a skylight? 
          We stayed under the one I have for five whole days and never knew
          for sure.

MARSHA    I thought you hated men.

JILL      This one wasn't like men.  He felt like another me.  He knew what
          was good.  Inside.  It was already there.

MARSHA    I was with someone like that, way back when.

BOTH      He had hazel eyes.

(They exchange a quick glance.)

JILL      Hazelly-brown.  Like chocolate.

MARSHA    No.  Kind of khaki colored.  And dark, dark brown hair.

JILL      No.  Grey.  Grey on the grey days.  Grey-bald in the sun.  (wry
          smile) He had a cat back home.

MARSHA    Mine didn't.

JILL      Named Oompah.

(There's a sharp metallic clatter somewhere.)

MARSHA    Shit.

JILL      We shouldn't talk anymore.

MARSHA    It's okay.  We'll just--

JILL      Shh.  Stop.  They'll hear us.

MARSHA    Christ, they know we're here.  We're their goddamn cargo.

JILL      Please.

MARSHA    We have to talk!  It's what you said before.  (Jill's puzzled)
          That friends jazz.  It makes sense to me now.  If we hit it off,
          maybe the big-heads'll leave us be.  A reward for harmony, or
          something.  So keep it rolling.  Come on, chop-chop.  The more we
          talk, the more we'll have in common.

JILL      You don't know that.

MARSHA    Jill--

JILL      You don't know that!

MARSHA    It's already going on.  (enumerates)  We both slept with a goddy
          man once.  We were both eating when the alie--

JILL      I told you I wasn't!  I was shaving and saving, that's all.  (off
          Marsha's look) That's what I call it; 'shaving and saving.'

MARSHA    Food was part of the picture, okay?

JILL      Everybody has food every day.

MARSHA    I'm telling you it's not a coincidence.  Those people on tv
          talking about aliens?  How many of them said they were eating when
          the aliens who took them took them?

JILL      I wasn't eating!

MARSHA    Will you keep it down?!  They'll hear you.

JILL      But you... (She breaks down in confusion)

MARSHA    Jill.  Sweetie.  (Jill shakes her head)  Can I tell you something? 
          We've got to be friends.

JILL      I'd rather have my own sweater.

MARSHA    When did you know you were in love?  In a few minutes?  Hours? 
          (Jill stubbornly keeps mum) The first night?  First morning? 
          Second day?  Second--

JILL      The second day.

MARSHA    And he still left at the end of the week?

JILL      (defensive) How long were you with your Mr. Hazel Eye?

MARSHA    (very softly) One night.

JILL      Come again?

MARSHA    One night.

JILL      Were you in love?

MARSHA    Way before the sun came up.

JILL      But he didn't stay either.


JILL      See?  (Her sense of triumph wanes as Marsha bleakly picks at her
          sweater cuff)  I'm sorry.  (Marsha shrugs) We can keep talking. 
          (no response) I said I was sorry.

MARSHA    You never say my name.

JILL      I've said it.

MARSHA    Only when you're scared.  Or sorry.

JILL      I'm sorry.

MARSHA    I don't think there's much hope for us.

JILL      As friends, you mean.

(Marsha chuckles ominously and fingers her sweater) 

MARSHA    This is a blend.  Think it'll melt or burn?

JILL      You know you're really--

MARSHA    Or maybe...

JILL      Don't.

MARSHA    Maybe they'll strip us nude before they open with the carving ray--

JILL      Stop it!

MARSHA    --so when it's all over all there'll be is a slick of goo and two
          neat little stacks of folded clothes.

(Jill fights terror by speaking with great deliberation.)

JILL      It's so weird: two different cats named Oompah.

MARSHA    (sniffs) It's catchy.

JILL      Do you still think about him?  Or do you only think about Stewart?

MARSHA    Who?  Oh, my...right. (considers) No, it's not like I think about
          him.  But I'll bend a certain way after a bath or smell coffee in
          the air or see the wind riffling a patch of grass and all of a
          sudden he'll be there.  In my body.  And I'll get the feeling that
          he's pretty much here all the time.  (wry) I wonder if he'll come
          out when they fire up the old probe-o-roony.

(Jill works hard to stay away from that subject.)

JILL      That's beautiful, what you just said.  There's so much aliveness
          in you.

MARSHA    We'll see how long that lasts.

JILL      Can't we have hope?

MARSHA    I don't know.  Can we?

JILL      Just because we're... we're--

MARSHA    Getting light-speeded to another galaxy where they probably
          breathe acid...

JILL      It doesn't automatically have to mean anything bad!  I want to
          have hope, Marsha! (beat)  These chairs are nice, aren't they? 
          Look.  They're okay.  And it's cold in here but not that cold.  I
          don't need a sweater anymore.

MARSHA    I bet you looked just like this when you were trying to get him to
          stay.  Am I right?  You were sitting on the-- no, kneeling on the
          bed under the skylight.

(Jill's instantly transported into the story.)

JILL      Holding his hand.

MARSHA    Holding his hand.  In both of yours?  (Jill nods) In both of
          yours, saying 'Oh...'  (gestures for Jill to provide the name.)

JILL      Draber.

MARSHA    Draber?

JILL      His name was Draber.

MARSHA    First or last?

JILL      First.  (Marsha's unsettled) What's wrong?

MARSHA    My guy's name was Draber too. (They're both alarmed, speak
          quickly) But his hair was dark, dark brown.

JILL      And mine's was grey.  And thinning.

MARSHA    And mine never said anything about a cat.  (Jill's troubled) 

JILL      You said he didn't have a cat, before.

MARSHA    Whatever.

JILL      Not saying anything about one's not the same as not having one.

MARSHA    Oh, come on.  Really.  Come on, give me a goddamn break.  If my
          Draber had a cat named Oompah, for Chrissake, don't you think he'd
          tell me?  That's something you tell people you get naked with. 
          Your Draper told you, didn't he?

JILL      I have cats.

MARSHA    Yeah, yeah.  And incredible hair and the famous five-day skylight. 
          I know.  We've been through it all.

JILL      When did you meet--?

MARSHA    Do we really want to know this?

(They look at each other for a beat.)

JILL      I do.

MARSHA    Fine.

JILL      I'm sorry.  I just do.

MARSHA    I said fine.  So go ahead.  (impatiently gestures)

JILL      When did you meet Draber?

MARSHA    My Draber.

JILL      Before you were married, right?

MARSHA    (indignant) Yes, thank you very much.  It was just after I broke
          my ankles.  No.  Just before, making it... nineteen seventy.

JILL      Nineteen seventy?!  I just met him last year!

MARSHA    Your Draber.

(They eye each other again.)

MARSHA    We could stop.

JILL      We have to talk.  We have to be friends.

MARSHA    To save ourselves.  Not really be friends.

JILL      Why do you always make everything so hard!

MARSHA    Ha!  See?

JILL      What?

MARSHA    You say 'always' too.  (The wind goes out of Jill's sails.)
          Listen, you may not want me as a friend.  I'm a nut-job.  Screwy
          kablooey.  Toasted.  Ask the folks back in...

JILL      Minnesota.

MARSHA    Yeah, ask anybody.  I'm not friend material.  Born defective.  A
          day-one doomee.  If I wasn't, would I have been eating fettucine
          alone in the best goddamn Italian joint in town?  Nah, you're
          looking at the cull of culls.  I'm off in my own corner.  Lonered
          forever.  Terminally solo.

JILL      You have Stewart.  (off Marsha's look) Your husband.  (MARSHA
          dismisses the notion with a wave) He loves you.

MARSHA    He lies about his fucking eye color!

(There's sudden high-pitched beeping, not unlike that of a truck backing up.)

JILL      Oh God.

MARSHA    Jesus H. Shit.  Here we go.

JILL      Stay away!

MARSHA    This might be the time to panic.  What do you say? 

JILL      NOOO! 

(Abrupt silence) 

MARSHA    Goddamn it.  I was all set to... (makes a noise to simulate

JILL      You didn't want to...

MARSHA    Flip out?  Pull a foamer?  You better believe it.  Take it from
          one of the leaders in the field: when it feels right, let 'er rip. 
          Don't, and you're going against nature.  Like with sex -- love
          sex: you either let yourself go when it's ready to take you, or
          you may never be gone.

JILL      I know.

(Marsha sizes Jill up.)

MARSHA    Was he the best you ever had? (scoffs at herself) Jesus.  'Was he
          the best?'  Only by a million miles.  He had that way of touching
          you -- rubbing the pad of his middle finger down that groove in
          your skin where the bottom swell of your breast meets the rest of
          you.  Slowly, slowly back and forth.  Over and over.

JILL      That really was like being in a dream.  Someone else's.

MARSHA    Hard to believe anybody could know your body that well.  Stuff you
          didn't even know.

JILL      (nods) No.  I know.

MARSHA    Feeling so...

JILL      Gone.

MARSHA    No.  Well, gone in the body maybe -- dissolved -- but still there
          with the feeling.  As the feeling.  That feeling.

JILL      Yes.

MARSHA    There was nothing else but that.

JILL      No.  Except there was: somewhere someone was saying 'Yes, yes, yes.'

MARSHA    Yes.  And it was you.

JILL      No.  It was him.  He was right, though.

MARSHA    How could you not be in love?

JILL      I thought I was in shock.

MARSHA    I was hysterical.

(They look at each other again.  Jill's suddenly spooked.)

JILL      We haven't talked about your hair at all.

MARSHA    Jill.

JILL      No.  I don't want to anymore.

MARSHA    Finish it! (instantly soft) It'll be alright.  I promise.

(Jill shivers, upset, and indicates Marsha's sweater.)

JILL      Can I...? 

MARSHA    It's yours.  

(Marsha holds out the sweater.  Jill hesitates, but this time takes it.
Marsha's almost smug.  Jill tries to downplay it.)

JILL      Alright.  I met a Draber and so did you.  

MARSHA    Who both just happened to turn us into love-lumps.

JILL      Okay!  But what was his last name?  (sudden skittishness) Wait.
          We'll count to three.  One, two, three...

BOTH      Karshogurian.


JILL      You think it's the same one?  

(Jill bursts into tears and hurls Marsha's sweater on the floor.)

MARSHA    Pick it up.

JILL      No!

MARSHA    (sharp) Pick it up.  It's my sweater.

JILL      Maybe I've had it too!  Maybe we're really the same person and
          just have two chairs.

MARSHA    Don't be stupid.  Look at our hair.  (beat) This isn't bad news, Jill.

JILL      (caustic) No.  I'm inside out of myself, I'm so happy.  Let's
          celebrate.  (Marsha grins) Stop it!

MARSHA    I'd pay money to see you pissed in New York, you know that?  You'd
          be like a razor flashing down the street.  'Out of my way,
          asshole.'  Thip!  'Move!' 'Don't you look at me!'  Thip!  Thip!
          (Jill glances at Marsha's cartoonish rage-face and fights
          smiling.)  'Scum bucket.'  'Slime rag.'  (Rather than let herself
          laugh, Jill snatches up Marsha's sweater and slings it at her.)

JILL      That better?

MARSHA    Oh yeah.  Now we can celebrate.

JILL      (after a beat) Did he say 'yes' to you?

MARSHA    Yes, yes, yes.  (Jill glares.  Marsha holds out her sweater.)  You
          can throw it again if you want.

JILL      Leave me alone.

MARSHA    Everybody's supposed to leave you alone.  Me.  The aliens.  Any
          life forms you're okay with?

JILL      Cats.  (Marsha just nods.)  It's not fair!  He said there was
          nobody like me.  Ever.  And that's what I was thinking.  The whole
          time.  All five days.  (Marsha nods again) He was so different.

MARSHA    Very different.

JILL      I wanted him to only be different with me!  How can he be
          different if he's different for different people?

MARSHA    Sweetheart, it doesn't mean he didn't love you.  Christ, you're
          loveable beyond belief.

JILL      But now I know his finger was in your groove too.

MARSHA    Relax.  It's more like a pita pocket now.

JILL      (acid) Ha ha ha.  This isn't funny.

MARSHA    Why don't you stop it!  (Jill's caught short)  Does it matter who
          he slept with, or who he even loved?  You got yours.

JILL      It was supposed to be special!  The way nothing else would ever
          be, anywhere.

MARSHA    Well wasn't it?!  Think -- they still haven't squeegeed your damn
          brain.  Weren't you there flat on your back with your legs veed up
          at your precious skylight and him inside you moving till the both
          of you disappeared into one blissful fucking ball of light?

JILL      See?!  You know.  He did the same thing with you.

MARSHA    In nineteen seventy.  Nineteen goddamn seventy.  On one night. 
          One!  You know how long ago and how short that is?  Shit, half the
          time I can't tell anymore whether that little string of perfect
          hours makes me know I've really been alive or wish I'd slashed my
          stinking throat.  So don't you sit there bitching, Miss I-only
          met-him-last-year.  Your god pretty much just left.  Mine went on
          to better and younger things.

JILL      I'm sorry.  (adds, off Marsha's look)  Marsha.

MARSHA    It's okay.  (wry) Like I say, it's not bad news.

JILL      It feels bad.

MARSHA    No kidding.  (beat) Hey.  Hey, come here.  (She opens her arms,
          smiling warmly.)

JILL      It's okay.

MARSHA    (instantly icy) Guess we don't have to be friends after all.  Now
          that we know why we're here.  (Jill's puzzled) You were wondering
          before.  This is why: Draber the K.

JILL      You think?

MARSHA    No, I think it's a complete accident.  A hundred per cent
          coincidence.  Two veterans of quickies with the same guy, who
          weren't ever the same afterwards somehow manage to get taken away
          by aliens at the same time, in the same whatchamacallit -- ship. 
          Sure, they picked us totally at random.

(Jill stares at Marsha, then starts to giggle.)

JILL      You're saying this... this--

MARSHA    Mission, expedition, whatever it is, doesn't have to be about
          aliens trolling for probees.  That's right: no.  It's so obviously
          not!  You want hope?  Try this on: I say all the boys from
          beyond're up for this trip is checking out folks who slept with
          Draber Karshogurian.

(Jill whoops for joy, disturbing Stan's sleep enough for him to call out in 

STAN      Kebbeh, kebbeh!

(Marsha and Jill stare at him, then at each other, then at Stan again who -- 
after a beat -- violently rolls his head, moans and hiccups twice, then is 
still once more.  When Marsha and Jill finally look back at each other, Jill's 
eyes are swimming with tears.)

JILL      I hate men.

MARSHA    Jill...

JILL      They ruin everything.  And so do you.

MARSHA    I'm sorry.  I'm sorry I went out of my way to give you something
          you wanted.  I'm sorry I busted my ass to put all this in a
          different light -- one that wasn't a fucking death ray!

JILL      It's just not fair!

MARSHA    Wow, another thing that isn't fair.  Imagine.

JILL      Oh God.  After the cold and shock and almost panic, it was finally
          all going to be fine.  Then he had to be here.  

(Jill bitterly indicates Stan.  Marsha studies her for a beat.)

MARSHA    What do you do, walk around New York wearing a pair of those
          doohickies they stick on the nags that drag those carriages full
          of suckers around?

JILL      Blinders?

MARSHA    Yeah.  Or no, maybe you just never come out from under that
          skylight at all.

JILL      (puzzled but defensive) I go outside.  Every Tuesday -- at least. 
          For Bitsy and Scotchguard's Yum-Tums.  Seafood Bounty.  And Mixed

MARSHA    Who says it still can't be fine?

JILL      What, this?

MARSHA    This.

JILL      (indignant, re Stan) He's a man.

MARSHA    Yeah...

JILL      He's a man!  And you said we're only here because we were lovers

(It hits home.  Marsha nods, smiling.) 

MARSHA    There's always hope.

(Jill chuckles, then laughs shrilly.)

JILL      You're right.  Wow.  I am hysterical.  (abruptly leans close to
          Stan) Pssst!

MARSHA    Don't.

JILL      Yoo-hoo.

MARSHA    Why bother!  It's done.

JILL      Excuse me.

MARSHA    You know and I know.  What do we need him for?

JILL      I want to hear him say it.

MARSHA    Maybe he won't.  Then what?  You'll be miserable, and he'll be
          lying -- on top of being a moron.

JILL      I want to be sure hoping's okay.  (roughly shakes Stan) Hey,
          Terry.  Howard.  Wake up!  (Stan opens his eyes.)  You're not on
          the Earth anymore.  (Stan gapes at her)  You're not. 

(Stan keeps staring.  Marsha snorts.)

MARSHA    Told you; moron.  (Stan looks at her.)

STAN      What time is it?

MARSHA    (to Jill)  See?

JILL      (to Stan)  We don't know.

MARSHA    He opens his eyes, his... (peers quickly into Stan's face)...
          blah-brown eyes and wants to know the goddamn time.  Not who we
          are or why the hell his butt woke up here.  The time. (to Stan)
          Hoping to catch that Ironsides re-run, were you, Brainiac?

STAN      I'm Stan.

JILL      I'm Jill.  This is Marsha.

STAN      Marsha.

MARSHA    Ring a bell?

STAN      I...I went to Marshall School.

JILL      What's your last name?

STAN      (puzzled) I've always been Stan.

MARSHA    Jesus Christ.  He was sharper sleep-farting.

JILL      Marsha!

MARSHA    I'm sorry.  (Stan looks at her) I'm sorry.

(Stan smiles and nods placidly, then smiles at Jill.)

STAN      Jill?  (Jill nods)  You have beautiful hair.  Boy.  It's like that
          color... You know...Wow.

MARSHA    (half to herself) What am I, Mixed Liver?

(The words seem to jog Stan's memory.)

STAN      Gosh.  Weird.  I was dreaming about a cat.

JILL      Named Oompah?

STAN      (instant paranoia) No!  Why are you saying that?  Why would I be!

MARSHA    You know, Stan.

(Stan looks around wildly.)

STAN      Where the hell am I?  What's going on here!

JILL      (to Marsha)  See?  He's okay.

STAN      I'm going out of this place, right now.  (He jumps up, but JILL      
          grabs his hand.)

JILL      You can't.  There's nowhere to go.

MARSHA    Yeah.  The ship's round.  Okay, maybe cigar-shaped.

STAN      What are you--?

JILL      Shhh!  (A low, syncopated rhythm throbs, then stops abruptly. 
          Jill whispers.)  They have a ray.  A beam that can open your body
          up and make anything inside come out -- probe you till you're an
          empty bag and you die.  But we don't think they're going to use it
          on us.

MARSHA    Not if you're who I say you are.

(Stan blinks at them in horror.)

STAN      You're crazy people.

JILL      Do you know Draber?

MARSHA    Draber Karshogurian.

STAN      I don't know anybody.  Stop talking to me.  I don't want to talk
          to you.

MARSHA    Fine.

JILL      But--

MARSHA    It's fine.  (She gives Jill a firm look.  Jill falls uneasily
          silent.  Stan shivers.)

STAN      You said 'ship.'  I don't hear water.  We're not going up and

JILL      It's a space ship.  I wasn't kidding before.

MARSHA    What'd you used to call space ships when you were a kid?  Space
          ships?  Flying saucers?

STAN      (numb) Flying saucers.

MARSHA    Flying saucer, then.  Forget 'ship.'

JILL      We're really not on the Earth anymore.  The aliens took us.  We're
          gone.  But it's not going to be bad.  It's not going to end up
          like that, with the probe. It's not!  We have hope.

MARSHA    You ever go to gay bars, Stan?  Ever sleep with a god?

STAN      Shut up.

JILL      Stan?  Excuse me.  Stan?  You know what a skylight is, right?

(Stan jumps up and backs away, bug-eyed.)

STAN      I've seen you before!  You're the Devil!  But you won't get me. 
          I'm pure.  I'm white! 

MARSHA    Inside, you're bloody red guts.  You'll see: They'll all come out
          the slit they make right across here.  (She draws her hand blade
          like across her middle.)

STAN      (fervent) 'The Lord is my shepherd, I shall not want...'

JILL      You don't have to pray, Stan.

STAN      '...He maketh me to lie down beside still waters...'

JILL      It's better to talk to us.

STAN      '...He restoreth my...(suddenly confused) still water.'  You made
          me forget it!

MARSHA    (to Jill)  It's them. 

JILL      (to Stan by way of explanation) They can do things without the
          ray, the aliens.  It's already hard for Marsha to remember her
          husband.  (off Marsha's look) Stewart.

MARSHA    But we all remember Draber Karshogurian.

(She looks pointedly at Stan.  Jill looks at him too.)

STAN      I don't.  I swear on the sacred Mother of the Bible.

JILL      But if you're not here because of Draber, we might not be either. 
          And that means--

MARSHA    They'll pop us open like baked potatoes, only with meat in the
          middle.  And you can count on them keeping us alive long enough to
          watch it all, too.  We'll be conscious right up to just this side
          of hollowed-out.  Imagine how that'll feel.

JILL      Stop it!  Why do you keep doing this!

MARSHA    So we know what's gonna--

JILL      We know!  We know it ten times over!

MARSHA    I should just shut up then, is that it?

STAN      Yeah.  Shut up.

JILL      Stan, it's okay.  Sit down, okay?  These chairs are nice.  See? 
          They're okay.  Come on.  Sit.

(Stan reluctantly sits, eyes Marsha.  He shivers again.)

STAN      It's freezing in here.

(Jill looks to Marsha, who looks away, but finally peels off her sweater and 
offers it to Stan.)

STAN      That's a girl's sweater.

MARSHA    Oh, excuse fucking me.  You want it or not?

STAN      No!

MARSHA    Fine.  (She pointedly puts it back on) Men.  Shit.

JILL      No, no, it's not supposed to be like this!  We have to be friends.

MARSHA    Wrong.  We have to be Draber's friends.  Right?

(Jill's sobered by this and turns to Stan.)

JILL      Where do you live, Stan?  (Stan's puzzled) Where are you from?

STAN      (sudden alarm) I don't remember.

MARSHA    (smug nod) Aliens.

STAN      I don't remember where I'm from!

JILL      Shh.  It doesn't matter.

STAN      Where am I from?!

MARSHA    Sacramento.  California.

(Stan blinks at Marsha for a beat.)

STAN      Do you know that?

JILL      She's guessing.

MARSHA    The hell I am.  I say he's from Sacramento.

STAN      Sacramento.

MARSHA    Sound like home?

STAN      No.

MARSHA    Don't be too sure.  Draber used to live in Sacramento.  His father
          was a state senator.  Senator Karshogurian.

STAN      It's so cold.

JILL      Space is.  There's no heat in it.

STAN      We're really there?  Here?  (Jill nods)  Where are we going?

JILL      Well... Away.

MARSHA    In a big hurry.

(Stan slumps in his seat shivering as it all sinks in.  Jill implores Marsha 
with her eyes.)

MARSHA    Forget it.

JILL      Please?  Please, Marsha? 

(Marsha begrudgingly takes off her sweater again.  Jill takes it from her and 
drapes if over Stan's shoulders.)

STAN      (numb protest) It's for a girl.

MARSHA    She thinks it looks good on you.

JILL      I know you're sad.  We have hope, though.  Remember I told you? 
          It can all be fine.  Stan?  (he looks up)  It can all be fine.

MARSHA    Just tell us how it happened.  (Stan looks at her)  With Draber.

STAN      I don't know any Drabers.  And I don't know where I'm from!

MARSHA    Well you come from someplace even if you can't remember it.  Just
          like not remembering Draber right this second doesn't make you two
          swapping juices in some stanky bungalow that night any less what
          went on.  (off Stan's horror) Unless it was a nooner.

STAN      Nothing went on.  Nothing ever happened!

JILL      Oh God.

MARSHA    Oh honey.  (She rises to join Jill, but Jill stiffens.  Marsha
          sits back down, tart.) I told you not to mess with him.  I knew
          he'd crap things up.

STAN      I didn't do anything!  I just don't remember it.

JILL      You said nothing happened.  That's not the same as not

STAN      I... I don't remember what I said.

(Hope gone, Jill despairs.)

MARSHA    Okay Stanny boy, sorry to have bothered you.  You can go back to
          sleep now.  Go on.  (Stan actually starts to) We'll wake you up in
          time to see the ray lay open Jill's sweet little tummy.

(Jill bends over, arms wrapped around herself, her voice a quaver.)

JILL      "I'm flying, flying, flying, flying..."

STAN      Don't cry.

MARSHA    No, we call this singing.  Or don't you remember?

STAN      Shut up.  I hate you.

MARSHA    Jill?  Jill.  (Jill looks up)  Are you cold?  (Jill nods.  MARSHA 
          looks pointedly at Stan, who's puzzled.) She's cold.

(Stan blinks then seems to get it.)

STAN      Oh.  Oh!  (beat) Is there another sweater?

MARSHA    No. (sotto voce) Maybe you could give her this one.  She'd like that.

(Stan eagerly takes off the sweater and clumsily drapes it over Jill's 
shoulders.  She touches his hand in thanks, which Marsha sourly notes.)

MARSHA    What'd I tell you?

JILL      (utterly bleak) I guess that's the end.

MARSHA    It may be.

(They hold each other's gaze.  Stan notices.)

STAN      What are you doing?

JILL      I'm sorry.

MARSHA    What the hell.  We tried.  I did, anyway. (sighs)  But yeah, I'm
          sorry too.


STAN      I don't remember seeing lights or anything flashing.  I just...
          closed my eyes and then I was here.

MARSHA    That's pretty much how they work it. (beat) Did you happen to be
          eating or playing with a cat at the time?  (Stan's oblivious,
          intent on Jill.)  Useless.

STAN      Your hair.  It's incredibly beautiful.  Honest.

JILL      Thank you.

MARSHA    Enjoy it now.  Shit, ask her if you can run your nose through it. 
          Why hold back?  We're all dead.

JILL      And gone.  Gone.

MARSHA    So handsome, how's it feel to pull the plug on the last hope a
          girl with incredible hair has?

STAN      I said for you to shut up.

MARSHA    (to Jill) Don't you love how guys take charge?

STAN      You're sad now.

JILL      I wanted to go home again.  And be on television.  And lie under
          the skylight and play with my cats like I never went anywhere.

STAN      You have a skylight?  (Jill nods) I knew someone who had a cat.  I
          knew the cat, too.

JILL      Is there any way it might have been called Oompah?  Please? 
          Couldn't that have been its name?

STAN      I kind of wish it was.

(He looks deeply into Jill's eyes.  Jill and Marsha swap a quick look.)

MARSHA    But you don't remember.

STAN      I'm not talking to you.

JILL      You don't remember the cat's name?

STAN      No.  Wait a minute!... No.

(There's sharp squealing and deep rumbling, as if something sizeable was 
moving on balky wheels.  Jill reflexively slides off her chair and clings 
tightly to Stan's arm.  Marsha notices.  The sound stops.)

MARSHA    Listen, if that sweater's not doing the trick, give it back.

JILL      (petrified drone) That was a machine.  Some giant machine being
          moved.  Or moving itself.  Coming closer, so they can use it.  A
          big, heavy, metal machine with shiny sides-- no, black sides.  And
          a thing like a nipple near the top where a... a ray could come
          out.  The probe.  Oh God.  I don't want to be awake when they do
          it.  I don't want to see the beam burn me open!

STAN      It's... It's okay.

MARSHA    How?  Tell her how.  Tell both of us.

STAN      Why don't you ever shut up!

JILL      I wish there was a window.

MARSHA    You up on your constellations?

JILL      We'd be able to see the Earth.  It'd still be big enough.  And blue.

(Marsha waggles her hand in a skeptical 'eh.')

STAN      You rotten turd.  Leave her alone!

MARSHA    She was happy before.  You should've seen her.  Billion buck grin,
          Christmas morning eyes, all that incredible hair.  But the hope
          part's over now: You're awake.

STAN      (to Jill) I didn't--

MARSHA    You missed it 'cause you nixed it.

STAN      I didn't do anything!

MARSHA    Yeah, you keep saying that.

STAN      (to Jill) I didn't do anything.

MARSHA    Too bad.

JILL      Cats always have weird names.

(She sobs.  Marsha gives Stan a 'nice work' gesture.  Stan's agonized. Pause.)

STAN      It was grey, I think.  The cat.

JILL      No.  Yellow.  "Brassy as a tuba" he used to say.

STAN      Yellow?

MARSHA    Nobody'd call a grey cat Oompah.

(Stan's suddenly fidgety.)

STAN      It might've been a little yellow.  Maybe.  Grey with yellow. 
          (Jill looks up sharply.)  And a... a collar.

(He looks to Jill, hoping he's made a favorable impression.)

JILL      A red one.

MARSHA    With a little...

STAN      Bell.  A little bell on it.


JILL      (to Marsha, alert) You said you didn't know about him.

MARSHA    So the man never got around to yapping about the frigging cat.  So
          what?  It was one night.  You had a whole week.

JILL      Five days.  (To Stan) Do you think Oompah's a weird name?

MARSHA    Did you think so when you first heard it from Draber?

STAN      (faltering) That's a funny name too.

JILL      Except you knew him.  You did know him.

STAN      No!  I... I just saw a picture.

MARSHA    Of Draber.

STAN      (shaking his head) The cat.

MARSHA    But who showed you the picture?

JILL      (soft; a plea) Draber.  Draber.  Draber.

(Stan seems hypnotized by Jill's desire and nods.  Jill's hope is rekindled 
and no sooner glances at Marsha than Stan's spooked.)

STAN      But I don't remember how.  When.  Nothing.

MARSHA    We'll give you a hand.

STAN      No.  I'm tired.  I want to sleep again.

JILL      Stan...

STAN      Let me go back to sleep!

JILL      Please.  Not yet.  Please.  Come on.

(She takes both of Stan's hands in hers.)

STAN      Would you kiss me?

MARSHA    Goddamn pig.  Just tell the fucking--!

(She's cut off by Jill leaning forward to awkwardly nuzzle Stan's cheek.  His 
mouth flops open in stunned pleasure.  Jill pecks at his cheek, chin, then 
covers his mouth with a wildly sloppy kiss.  Stan moans.)

MARSHA    Okay, okay.  Jesus.

(Jill pulls back, whispering.)

JILL      Like that?  Was that good kissing?  (Stan nods) Good.

(She glances urgently at Marsha for help.)

MARSHA    Close your eyes.

(Stan's suspicious.)

JILL      Close your eyes. 

(Jill gently blows air across Stan's eyes.  He closes them.)

MARSHA    But don't fall asleep or I'll--!  (off Jill's look) Just don't go to

STAN      Touch me.

MARSHA    Christ.

(Jill considers, then leans her forehead against Stan's temple and rests both 
hands on his shoulders: a prayerful attitude.)

STAN      I like you so much, Jill.

JILL      Thank you.

MARSHA    You liked Draber too.  And just as fast.  You clicked like that.

(She snaps her fingers.)

STAN      I don't...

MARSHA    He was tall.  (off Jill's look) But no giant.  With dark, dark
          brown hair--

JILL      That turned grey and got thin.

MARSHA    You weren't looking for him.  Or anybody else.  But there he was,
          smack in front of you with that knock-out smile.

JILL      And crinkle-fans at the corners of his eyes.  Like Santa Claus.

MARSHA    Like anybody with something to give you.  With big-time gifts. 

STAN      No.

MARSHA    Come on, quit bullshitting!  He looked straight at you and it was
          like you were the only person in the world worth looking at and he
          said 'Hi there--'

JILL      'My friend.'

MARSHA    '--I'm Draber Karshogurian.  With a 'K' as in Krispy Kreme. 
          Nothing's silent.'  (Stan chuckles)  That's right, you laughed! 
          Because he was so damned--

STAN      Nice.

MARSHA    Nice and drop-dead gorgeous and--

JILL      Right there, really right there in front of you like out of a
          dream you had.

MARSHA    About God swinging down to say hey.

JILL      What was he wearing?  Did he have on that white shirt with the
          snaps?  He did, didn't he?  I bet he did!

(She tightens her grip on Stan's shoulder, excited breath in his ear.  Stan's 

STAN      A white shirt.

MARSHA    With snaps up the front.

JILL      And on both pockets.

STAN      Snaps.

JILL      Instead of buttons.  It didn't have buttons.

STAN      I don't remember.
(Jill rhythmically kneads Stan's shoulders, rocking a bit.)

JILL      Try.  Try.  Come on.  Come on.

STAN      Yes.  Yes.  Yes.

JILL      Snaps?

STAN      Yes.

JILL      Oh God, I love you.

MARSHA    Jesus, let him breathe, for Chrissake.

(Jill pulls back but Stan clutches her hand and opens his eyes.)

MARSHA    Cut it out!  We're getting to the filet, here.  (Stan closes his
          eyes again)  When did you meet him? 

JILL      Winter?  Was there snow on the ground with pebbles in it like pepper?

MARSHA    No.  It was probably Spring.  A miserable drippy day.  And foggy. 
          Hell, you couldn't see past your own damn eyelashes half the time.

STAN      I don't remember seeing anything.

MARSHA    Like I say: killer fog.

JILL      You were out in it?

STAN      It could have been.

MARSHA    Out walking.  In a sweater.

STAN      Yeah.  Yeah, that's what it was.  Only I couldn't see anything. 
          For a long time.

MARSHA    And then...?  (Stan strains to recall) Did you stumble on some
          funky little roadhouse or something -- some weird-ass old tavern
          you'd never seen before?  Did it pop out of the fog like a good
          idea, with the windows glowy and cozy-looking in all that dark wet

STAN      (slowly nods) There was music inside.  A jukebox.

JILL      Eeby has a jukebox.  (Stan opens his eyes) She lives downstairs from me.

MARSHA    You must've gone in, then.  If you know it's a jukebox.

JILL      It's so perfect!  Finding a warm, nice place on a foggy day and
          it's dry in there and everybody's friendly and wearing sweaters. 
          And there's a fire going -- with a cat asleep in front of it.

STAN      No!  No cat.  But that fire.  It smelled like... like...  (closes
          his eyes to concentrate)

MARSHA    Apple.  Cherry.  Cedar.

STAN      Something.  And boy, there were some big logs in there, let me tell you. 

JILL      So you stayed.  You sat at a table.

MARSHA    (shaking her head) Found a seat at the bar.

JILL      And took off your sweater.

STAN      Uh-huh, uh-huh.

MARSHA    You started drinking...

(Stan licks his lips as if to taste the answer.)

STAN      Rum!  God, yes.  Captain O'Horgan's.

MARSHA    With coffee.

STAN      In coffee.  A gigantimus mug of it.

JILL      I wish I could be there right now!

(An insistent electronic burring sounds -- like a phone ringer, but distorted 
by distance -- and just as quickly ends.  Jill's shaken.)

JILL      I do.

MARSHA    So you're in the Seafarer Lounge drinking your groggy java -- You
          did say the joint was called the Seafarer Lounge, right?

STAN      No.

MARSHA    I thought you did.

STAN      No!  But it might've been. (sudden flash) No!  It was the Fair Sea
          Lodge.  That's it.  The Fair Sea Lodge.

JILL      People could stay there?
MARSHA    In bungalows out back.

STAN      (nods vigorously) There were eight of them, all the same.  (hoots)
          We laughed like crazy when we saw these eight bitty things lined
          up like giant-size doll houses.

MARSHA    You and Draber.  (Stan's mystified)  You said 'we' laughed like

STAN      (opens his eyes) I did not.

MARSHA    You sure did.

STAN      I did not!

JILL      Yes.  I heard it too.

STAN      I don't remember.

(The burring begins again, this time followed by a droning burble that could 
be speech, and what might be a sudden laugh.)

STAN      I said I'm tired.  I want to go back to sleep.

JILL      You can't!

STAN      This is stupid.  Devil stuff!  Devil stuff!

JILL      You can save us, Stan.

MARSHA    Or nod off and fart again.

STAN      Shut up!

(Jill desperately flings her arms around Stan's neck and urgently whispers in 
his ear.)

JILL      I want to make love again.  The special love -- with the special
          man, in me and on me.  Everywhere.  Everything.  Tongue.  Legs. 
          Hips.  Throat.  I want the mouth and the finger so the waves come
          and come and lift me away.

MARSHA    Ditto. (leans in to Stan) What the hell doesn't come down to that,
          huh Stan?  Tell us.

(Stan's big-eyed with desire and fear.)

STAN      It wasn't my idea.

MARSHA    No.  God always comes up with it.  A god.
JILL      You were just there when it happened.  At the bar.

STAN      Not doing anything!  Looking at the fire.

JILL      And...?  (imploring) And...?

STAN      This voice says, 'A fire this nice oughta have a cat in front of
          it.  Sleeping.'  I looked up and...and...

MARSHA    He was right smack in front of you.

JILL      Draber.

STAN      He called me 'friend' right off.

MARSHA    That's our man.

STAN      (spooked) But nobody calls me 'friend!'  What was he doing
          grinning at me like that like some kind of faggot?

JILL      You smiled back.

STAN      I didn't want to!  I swear to the Holy Fathers of Heaven.

MARSHA    But there you are, two guys grinning at each other in the Fair
          Sea.  So you talk.

STAN      (defensive) A little.  About cats.  Maybe.  (loosens up) Then
          about other fires.  Other places.

JILL      Far away beautiful ones.  Like in dreams.

STAN      (nods) He knew all about everywhere.  Green carpet forest in all
          directions.  Cities made of bone.  He kept telling things.  Then I
          looked up and it was night and... (spooked again) I said I had to
          go and I went.

MARSHA    My ass you did.

STAN      Got up and walked straight out the door.  (holds his hand up,
          swearing) As the saints had souls.  That was the end of it.

(There's the sound of a door quickly opening and closing.)

JILL      Oh no.

MARSHA    You son of a bitch.

(Footsteps.  Jill whimpers.  The footsteps stop.)

MARSHA    Look at her.  Look at her! -- thinking that beam's as good as
          humming through her innards.  (acid) And you like her so much.

STAN      What do you want me to say!  That I was out in the fog and all of
          a sudden he was there with his finger on my sweater arm asking
          something too sick to use words for!

MARSHA    Sure.

(Stan's fearful.  Jill looks at him, scarcely breathing.)

STAN      It's like I stopped being me.

JILL      (enthusiastic) A dream.

STAN      There was the fog and the lights with halos around them, then
          there wasn't.  We were in the, uh...

MARSHA    The bungalow.  One of the eight.

STAN      (slowly nods) He was next to me.  I could feel it in the dark. 
          And he was feeling me.  'Cause his finger was back.  On my
          sweater.  Under it.

JILL      Along here, like this?

(She strokes her breast-torso groove.  Stan fights panic.)

STAN      Devil stuff!  Devil stuff!  I knew.  God knew, but he didn't care. 
          The great throned Lord King himself let that finger stay!  I kept
          thinking Devil stuff anyway, only it was only a sound in my head. 
          Then there were real sounds -- bed bodies breathing bouncing. 
          Everything was moving.  Turning, moving.  And a light started.

JILL      I remember that.

STAN      Where'd it come from?  There wasn't one before.  There wasn't
          anything!  But it got brighter and pushed harder till it was going
          all through me and he said 'Yes, yes, yes.' in my ear -- a guy, a
          man! -- and I didn't want it to -- I prayed to Heaven Almighty for
          it not to -- but the light took me and it was me and I couldn't
          breathe anymore and everything went white in all Creation!

MARSHA    In other words, you came.

STAN      Shut up, shut up!

MARSHA    Let me get this straight: you took a stroll in the fog and wound
          up with your business end up Draber Karshogurian's wazoo, is that

(Stan lets out a tormented bleat and slumps over, shattered.  Jill and Marsha 
look at each other for a beat, then Jill jumps up bursting into song and 

JILL      "I'm flying, flying, flying, flying...!" 

MARSHA    Legs like those, you ought to be in tights.  Green ones.

JILL      No.  I don't need anything now!

MARSHA    We're not home yet.

JILL      Yes, yes, yes we are.

MARSHA    Sweety...

JILL      We are!

MARSHA    Then this calls for congratulations.

(Marsha stands and opens her arms; a demand for an embrace.  Jill playfully 
bows instead.)

JILL      To you. (bows to Stan) And you.  (bows to a point on the ceiling)
          And you.  You guys sure found us!  (to Marsha)  You said they're
          always guys.

MARSHA    Why don't you sit down.

JILL      You know, look: these are really incredible chairs.

(But she doesn't sit.  Marsha smiles through her stungness.)

MARSHA    Personally, I wouldn't feel safe till I had the goddamn knife back
          in my hand.  (off Jill's look) That you were shaving the bunny

JILL      I use the edge of my pencil box cover.  It's a ruler, too. 
          (kneels next to Stan) Stan.  Are you warm enough?  (STAN
          doesn't react)

MARSHA    He's in shock. (half to herself) The moron.

(Jill's heard and locks eyes with Marsha.)

JILL      You don't want to go home, do you?  Do you!

MARSHA    Home.  The Shit-Head Nebula.  What the hell's the difference?  I
          can be alone anywhere.

JILL      (earnest) Marsha, when you feel sorry for yourself it's really

MARSHA    No "I'm sorry" tacked onto that one?  (beat) You're so sure you're
          going back to your skylight.

JILL      I'll get spray stuff and a big roll of paper towels and stand on
          my bed and--

MARSHA    Little Miss Hopeful New York.

JILL      You're never happy.

MARSHA    'Always.'  'Never.'  You're hitting them all.

JILL      You leave my words alone!  We're going home -- all of us are. 
          Because we all slept with Draber and that makes everything okay. 
          We said so!  We're a team.  A united unit together.  What happened
          to every one of us happened to everyone, so--

MARSHA    Whatever happens now's going to happen to all of us too, right?

JILL      Yes.  That's what I say.

(Marsha slowly matches Jill's defiant smile then a panel in the wall suddenly 
swings open -- a previously invisible door.  A Uniformed Male (UM) enters in a 
tunic-like smock.  Jill gasps and dives to her chair.  The UM sizes up the 
situation with cold, if patient professionalism.)

MARSHA    I'd say pull up a chair -- but we're running short.

UM        (to Stan) Mr. Crease.

(Stan doesn't react.  Jill whispers nervously to Marsha.)

JILL      Who is he?

MARSHA    Take a wild guess.

JILL      Oh my God.  Draber?

MARSHA    Hell no.  Jesus, does that look like something that'd have a cat?

UM        What happened to Stan?

JILL      (whispers to Marsha) He knows his name!  How does he already know
          his name!

MARSHA    He's one of the tour directors.  (off Jill's look) He's a fucking

JILL      He is not.

MARSHA    Jill...

JILL      He's not!  (to UM) You slept with Draber too, didn't y--?

MARSHA    For Chrissake, open you goddamn greenies.  Look at him!  Look at
          the size of that head.  The color of that skin.  He's got the
          jumpsuit thing going, he came out of the goddamn wall...  He's

(Jill gapes at the UM, who's overheard this and smiles patiently.)

MARSHA    See?  Look at that face.  That's not human.

JILL      Oh my God.  

(Jill screws up her courage and speaks loudly to the UM, as if to a deaf 

JILL      Hello.  On Earth I'm Jill.

UM        Hello Jill.

MARSHA    I'm Marsha.  Marsha... (trying to recall)

JILL      Farmer.

MARSHA    If you didn't know.

(The UM nods and steps up to Stan.)

UM        Mr. Crease.  Stan.  Time to go.

(Stan looks up blank-faced.)

JILL      We're all going.

UM        Yes you are.

JILL      Marsha and me and Stan.

UM        That's right.

JILL      (to Marsha) Told you!

MARSHA    (to UM) Tell Jill how far from home we are.  No, better yet, tell
          her how soon she'll be back in her apartment in New York City. 
          She's got a skylight, you know.

(The UM gives Marsha a quick look, and slips his hands under Stan's armpits.)

UM        Come on, Mr. Crease.  They're waiting for you upstairs.

JILL      Upstairs?  There's an upstairs?

(As the UM hoists Stan to his feet, Stan snaps to, alarmed.)

STAN      It wasn't my idea!

UM        It's alright.

JILL      What's upstairs?

(The UM starts to lead Stan toward the door.)

STAN      No.  No.

UM        We're going to see Dr. Felsman.

MARSHA    (caustic) Yeah, sure.

JILL      So there is another one of us.

MARSHA    It's a fucking lie.

UM        Marsha.

MARSHA    There's no 'Dr. Felsman.'  It's cosmic bullshit.  The great inter
          galactic euphemism for a trip to the probe chamber!

JILL      What?!  You said--!

STAN      The thing?  The ray?!  (panics, begins to struggle)

UM        Stan!

MARSHA    A blue-white flash, a smell like bacon, and you'll be staring up
          your own asshole!

UM        Quiet!

JILL      My God, my God!

STAN      Mother of sweet Jesus!

UM        Calm down!

STAN      Let me go!  Get off!  Help, help!

(The UM gets a vise-like grip on Stan, gives Marsha a withering look and drags 
Stan through the door, slamming it behind them.  There's sounds of struggle 
o.s. followed by a horrific scream that's cut-off in mid-wail by a metallic 
thud and a brief whirring.  Then oppressive silence.  Jill's numb, and only 
slowly looks up to meet Marsha's gaze.)

JILL      He said we're all going.

MARSHA    I guess you were right.  (tries to smile) We're not gone yet,

JILL      Marsha...

MARSHA    I know.  I know, sweetie.  I'm sorry.

JILL      (fighting rising panic)  Maybe now.  Or real soon we'll panic.

MARSHA    Any time you want.  I'm with you.

(There are tears in her eyes -- real ones.  Jill stares at her, then takes a 
step closer.  Marsha nods.  Jill comes closer, closer.  Marsha opens her arms 
and offers her bravest, most genuine smile.  Jill hesitates at Marsha's side, 
then sits in her lap, laying her head against Marsha's breast.  With a great 
sigh, Marsha enfolds Jill in her arms and in a beat begins to sing softly -- a 

MARSHA    "Over bed.  Over chair.  Duck your head.  Clear the air./Oh what
          lovely fun.  Watch me everyone./Take a look at me and see how
          easily it's done./I'm flying..."

(She notices Jill's closed her eyes, and squeezes a little tighter, blissful.  
The lights slowly fade on this pieta.)