Between Love, Honor and Respect

SATCHEL GREER: Satchel is halfway in the closet and halfway out. He has not told his mother (immediate family) about his sexuality, nor has he told anyone at work. He can only be truly open when at home with his lover or when out with gay friends.

JARRAN STOKES: Jarran leads a completely open life. He works for a Gay shelter as a caseworker. He is out to his family and has a supportive strong relationship with his family. Jarran is very much in love with Satchel, who keeps him anchored from his otherwise wacky life.

*Note to the actors. Satchel and Jarran have been together for 6 years. Next month they are having a commitment ceremony to confess their love to each other among family and friends. It will be their 7-year anniversary. 


The show opens with Satchel and Jarran in bed. An alarm goes off. Satchel gets up and Jarran is fighting getting up.

Alarm goes off.

SATCHEL: (wakes up and pushes Jarran) Get up baby. Time to get ready for work.

JARRAN: (very sluggish) I'm coming. Just give me five more minutes. (Rolls back over and continues to sleep)

SATCHEL: (Goes off stage and returns with brushing his teeth) Come on baby. It's 6:45. You are going make yourself late again.

JARRAN: Just a few more minutes. (Rolls back over and continues to sleep)

SATCHEL: All right baby, I'll come get you after my morning prayers, which you need to be doing with me.

JARRAN: I'll do them on the bus. (Rolls over)

SATCHEL: (exits room rinses mouth. Returns to a corner in the room and kneels.) Dear Heavenly Father, It's me. Satchel again. Lord I want to say thank you for waking me up this morning. Thank you for keeping Jarran and I through the night. Lord you have blessed me so much putting Jarran in my life and I say thank you. Thank you for giving us a house to live in, food to eat and jobs in which we are able to take care of our selves and each other. Lord, I thank you for both families represented here in this home and ask that you keep us safe through the day. Oh and lord, thank you for giving me the sense to marry Jarran next month. In Jesus name, I pray, Amen. (Satchel exits and returns in work clothes. Jogging outfit. His uniform is in his locker at work. When he returns he realizes that Jarran has seriously overslept. He goes to the side of the bed and begins to shake Jarran hard.) BABY!!!! WAKE UP.

JARRAN: STOP!!! I'm up. What time is it?

SATCHEL: 7:15

JARRAN: (hops out of the bed.) Oh shit!! (Runs into the bathroom and begins to brush his teeth and wash his face)

SATCHEL: I'm putting the payment for the jewelers in your bag. Don't forget to pay it on your way home from work. OK?? (He then begins to pick out an outfit for Jarran)

JARRAN: (off stage) I won't. On July 21st, I want a ring on my finger.

SATCHEL: Me too. So don't forget to pay the bill. It's the last payment too.

JARRAN: Satchel. What's the weather supposed to be like today?

SATCHEL: In the high eighties.

JARRAN: (Jarran runs out of the rest room with a towel around his waist looking for something to wear.) What am I going to wear? I put most of my clothes in the cleaners.

SATCHEL: (hands Jarran the outfit that he has picked out) Here you go, baby. This out fit always looks good on you.

JARRAN: Thank you, baby. I don't know what I would do with out you.

SATCHEL: Isn't it good you don't have to find out. (They kiss)

JARRAN: (breaks the kiss) I got get out of here, baby. I don't need distractions. (Jarran begins to get dressed)

SATCHEL: So, now I 'm a distraction.

JARRAN: Yes, but a good one. (He pecks Satchel on the lips and continues to get dressed. He begins to run around looking for his shoes. The shoes are in Satchel's hands.) Where are my shoes??

SATCHEL: (Satchel shows the shoes.) Here they are, baby. But they are going to cost you a kiss apiece. (They kiss twice so Jarran can get the shoes. Once he gets the shoes, he runs out the door leaving his bag and the ring payments. Satchel picks up the bag and waits by the door)

JARRAN: (returns) I forgot my bag. I'll see you this evening baby and you be safe patrolling the streets OK? Thank you baby (checks his watch) See you. I love you. (Jarran runs out of the door)

SATCHEL: I love you too baby. (Satchel returns to getting ready for work.)

He stops and retrieves a pen and paper. Dear Jarran: Baby I know you didn't pray on the bus as usual, so please pray when you get home. A family that prays together stays together. Well, at least we have the pray part right. Love Satch.

Lights fade.

End of Scene 1.

 

Scene 2 begins. Lights come up on bedroom.

(Jarran enters bedroom and begins to change out of work clothes and into seats. He notices the letter on the bed and begins to smile)

JARRAN: Sometimes you know me too well. (Jarran walks over to the corner to pray) Dear Lord I come giving you thanks. Thank you for getting me through yet another day. Lord thank you for all the blessings that you have given me during the day. Thank you for a loving mother and a supportive family. But most of all thank you for sending Satchel into my life. Thank you letting me be able to love and receive love. That has truly been a blessing for me. And thank you for keeping me safely through the day. Lord I ask that you send Satchel home safely. Thank you for all of your blessings and love that you have wished upon my family and Satch's family. Amen. (Jarran begins to continue changing. Satchel enters and is unnerved.)

SATCHEL: Hey baby. (Dryly)

JARRAN: Hey baby, how was your day? (They kiss. Jarran initiates the kiss)

SATCHEL: (begins to change) It was all right. What's for dinner?

JARRAN: I don't know. I just got in. We didn't leave anything out to cook so I guess we can order out. Do you have a taste for anything?

SATCHEL: Whatever.

JARRAN: Ok, I'm going just order a pizza from Giordano's.

SATCHEL: (turns up his face) Do we have to eat pizza?

JARRAN: Ok, Well how about barbeque then?

SATCHEL: Do we have to eat out?

JARRAN: What is there ready to cook?

SATCHEL: I don't know go get something.

JARRAN: Wait. I just worked all day and so did you. Now you want me to slave in the kitchen all evening? Naw baby. I'm sorry but I have had a long day and I really don't feel like cooking.

SATCHEL: So have I.

JARRAN: Then it's best to just order out so we can rest.

SATCHEL: Whatever.

JARRAN: (looks at Satchel) Satchel, what's wrong?

SATCHEL: Nothing. (Changing subject) Did you pay for the rings?

JARRAN: Yeah and the jeweler said they would be ready next week. Oh yeah by the way did you send out the invitations?

SATCHEL: yeah.

JARRAN: Did you send one to your mother?

SATCHEL: Why would I waste a stamp when I could just walk it up stairs?

JARRAN: Well, did you walk the invitation upstairs?

SATCHEL: Why are you so worried about my mother's attendance at our wedding?

JARRAN: Because I would like to have both of our parents there. I like your mother and I would like for her to think of me as more than just your friend the roommate. Wouldn't you? What if something were to happen to you. We don't have wills. She could come down here and say I was nothing but a friend and we both no I'm more than that.

SATCHEL: I thought you said you wouldn't push me on this.

JARRAN: No. I said I would give you some space as long as you told her in time or her to attend. But you are cutting it pretty close, baby.

SATCHEL: Everybody can't be like you, Jarran.

JARRAN: What is that supposed to mean? (Silence. They both stare intensely) Look I'm not trying to fight with you. I am here for you baby. But, how can I support you if you won't let me.

SATCHEL: What makes you think I want to tell my mother anyway? Let alone invite her to my gay wedding!

JARRAN: Now, what the hell is that supposed to mean. You proposed to me remember? The wedding was your idea. (Pause) Don't tell me you're changing your mind.

SATCHEL: (alarmed) No! I haven't changed my mind. I just wanted a small ceremony with a few of our closest friends.

JARRAN: And if I'm going to marry anyone, man, woman, or beast I would like my immediate family present. I would think that you would want to share that with your family too.

SATCHEL: Everyone can't be like you.

JARRAN: What are you trying to say?

SATCHEL: Everyone can't be so out like you.

JARRAN: After all these years I know you don't have a problem with that.

SATCHEL: No baby, you are fine just the way are. But everyone can't have jobs that service the gay community. Where it is OK to be out on the job. You know what happened at work today. We were patrolling the neighborhood when we pulled up on another cop who was harassing an openly gay man. I felt bad for him and I was about to get out of the car and try and get Jay to leave the guy alone when my partner jumps in saying , Sissy you on this corner looking for dick ain't you? The guy looked at me like he had clocked me, or something. I could tell he was silently pleading for help. But I couldn't. I wanted too, Jarran but I couldn't. The guy tried to get away but they blocked his path taunting him. Calling him sissy's and faggots. Jarran, as much as I wanted to help. I realized it was him or me. I can't put myself in jeopardy on my job. These same guys watch my back and I watch there's. I don't need them second guessing me or worrying about my man hood because I'm gay. Or setting me as a target because they don't want a sis (stops before he says the word) gay man on the police force.

JARRAN: I understand. No one is telling you to come out on your job. I trust your judgment. I've been with you for 6 years now. I have learned to deal with your distancing in public, because you afraid someone from the force will see you. But you would be surprised. Half of them already know. They aren't saying anything because you haven't. Just like you mother.

SATCHEL: What!

JARRAN: What makes you think she doesn't already know or suspect. She lives above us. She visits often. We live in a one-bedroom apartment. Where would she think I sleep but in the bed with you. Especially since I brought the bed with me. I know you don't think she thinks we have just been lying there for six years. She shops for me like I'm her child. She knows. She's just waiting for you to tell her.

SATCHEL: (pause) I thought you weren't going to force the issue. I about to take a walk.

JARRAN: See it's not them. It's you. Every time we bring this up you run from the issue.

SATCHEL: I'm not running. I'm just not ready.

JARRAN: So when are you ready. Fuck it let's put all the cards on the table. When are you going to be ready to be gay?

SATCHEL: What are you talking about? I am gay.

JARRAN: No. Have you come out and accepted to yourself? Or are you gay when it's safe. I mean, did you wake up one morning and just decide that no matter who clocks you or what people say about you. You will still be a proud gay man not afraid of what society says or does. That boy today. He looked at you for back-up. For you to at least give him a knowing nod or look of understanding. You know to let him know that he wasn't alone. He understood that being as flaming as he is had its draw -backs but he accepted it. He didn't conform. He continued to be himself. Baby, You don't have to be out like him. But it's an inner peace that you obtain. I can't explain it or give to you but it's there.

SATCHEL: When my parents divorced I was all she had. I was the man of the house. The men at the church tried to show what the definition of a man was. I was eager to learn. I was a small awkward boy. I was ready to grow -up and be a man. But when one of the men from the church tried to get too close. I stopped going to church because I understood that, that wasn't what a man did. I knew what they called me in whispers. I was the funny boy, the sissy, and the church faggot. It wasn't until I got older before I returned to a church. All I have ever wanted to be was an upstanding citizen. A man in the eyes of society. And I am. I am a man in my mothers eyes and a man in the eyes of society. I'm a police officer! I am a man. (Pause) Everyone can't be like you.

JARRAN: What am I? But a man who loves men. Are you that? I'm not going to sit around here and baby you because you are scared.

SATCHEL: I'm not.

JARRAN: We are all scared. But we go on. But the stronger man is defined by how he deals with his fear. Do you attack it head on? Or do you hide behind mommy.

SATCHEL: Look baby I am not going to change over night. I have grown over time and I continue to grow. But if you are going to try to change me. Then maybe we should just…

JARRAN: Maybe we should what? Break up?? You and I both know you couldn't handle that. (Pause. Both men are standing there ground. Jarran becomes a little nervous) Satch. Don't resort to idle threats.

SATCHEL: Who said it was a threat!! I make promises.

JARRAN: (pause. He is shocked and scared) How did we get here? We started with your inviting your mother to our wedding. Now you are promising to leave me. (laughs) I guess if running is that important that you will leave me after six years. Do it then. Go ahead. Run man in mommy's eyes. You can't even a man in your own eyes. Go ahead run! (Jarran begins to walk away. Satchel grabs his arm and pulls him to violently and draws back to swing) Go ahead hit me!! Go ahead! Get it out! If you need to hit somebody, hit me. But then go upstairs and talk to your mother.

SATCHEL: (Satchel is shocked and flustered at his actions) Baby, I …

JARRAN: It's not about that. It's about you, being true to who you are. Before we get married. You need to honest to yourself. Our vows and those rings, they won't represent anything until you represent and tell the world who you are. (pause) Who we are!

SATCHEL: Baby, we are…I am a police man. I am a ma…. (pause) Jarran, I don't know how. I've wanted to walk up those stairs and say ma, I need to talk to you. But I would get up the stairs to her door and I would break out in a cold sweat. My stomach would tie up in knots. I just couldn't. My mouth would get dry. I'm just not ready. I know I need to be. I want to be. I wish I could be a man about it. But baby, I'm scared. I am terrified that my mom will not love or respect me for being a gay man.

JARRAN: (puts his hand in Satchels hand) I will go with you. That's why I am here to help hold you up when you think you can't stand. I love you.

SATCHEL: Thank you baby. I love you. I don't know what I would do without you.

JARRAN: Aren't you glad you don't have to find out.

SATCHEL: (Satchel faces Jarran) I Satchel Greer take you Jarran Javonte' Stokes my one true love to cherish respect and honor, during our special moments and our hard times. I promise to protect and respect you as well as myself. Our love shall keep us loving each other always , till death do us part. I love you Jarran.

JARRAN: I Jarran Javonte' Stokes take you Satchel Greer my love sent from heaven, to love honor and respect. Remembering that our love is a bond that will carry us through the easy days and the not so easy days. Because loving you has never been hard. I promise to love honor and respect you as well as myself. Loving you and you always, until we are called to our father in heaven. I will always love you. (they hug and kiss. There is a pause while the two enjoy the silence)

SATCHEL: You hungry

JARRAN: yeah

SATCHEL: Let's go to eat. Pizza. My treat. But first lets go see my mother.( They look at each other giving looks of strength. Jarran gives his hand to Satchel and they head out the door)

The end.

CHRISTOPHER MCMORRIS
Copyright 2001

The author can be reached at broadwaynhollywood@excite.com 

All rights are reserved. This piece is protected under U.S. copyright law.

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