As Queer as a Nine-Bob Note
By Anaís Fernández & Kayla Thurber
The inner dialogue of two people who want the same thing.
(Teacher, Kai, Kyle, Kyla and several other students are onstage. Kai is passing a note in class, but it gets intercepted by Teacher.)
Teacher: Well, well, well, what’s this, Kai?
(She unfolds the note and clears her throat.)
“Meet me tonight after the volleyball game. I have a surprise for you!”
Hmm… well, it looks like you won’t be meeting anyone tonight after all.
(Teacher pantomimes teaching in the background. Kai and students pantomime taking notes. Lights dim on Teacher, Kai and other students. Spotlight on Kyle and Kyla.)
Kyle & Kyla (in unison): Was that note for me? It had to be for me.
Kyle: She passed it to Emilia, and from there, the only obvious course of action is for her to give it to Marcus, who would give it to Caitlin, who would hand it to me. Also,
Kyle & Kyla (in unison): She’s been giving me that look.
(Lights fade to black on Teacher, Kai and other students.)
Kyla: You know, this look.
(Kyla makes a knowing, mischievous glance.)
Every day since the first day of school!
Kyle: I know I’m the only one she looks at that way. When we were lab partners last month, she kept blushing and looking away from me.
Kyle & Kyla (in unison): Everyone knows what that means.
Kyla: It means she’s obviously gay and obviously in love with me. I think?
Kyle & Kyla (in unison): Or could it just be the hopeless romantic in me acting up again…?
Kyle: Rani says she’s obviously gay, according to her “gaydar” or whatever. But she also said that about me, and I’m obviously not gay.
Kyle & Kyla (in unison): So.
Kyla: Maybe I’m just daydreaming. But a surprise after the volleyball game? Sounds like a major makeout sesh to me.
Kyle: She knows I’m not gay, right?
Kyla: Plus she would never even know I’m a lesbian. I don’t dress “gay” enough for her to realize that. Even though Marco says there’s such a thing as “lipstick lesbians,” I’m not buying it.
Kyle: Maybe she’s bisexual or something. Rani says it’s her flannels that give it away.
Kyle & Kyla (in unison): Is there, like, a code for this sort of thing?
Kyla: I just have zero idea about how to figure this out. Mom always says that if guys tease you, they like you, but does that apply to girls?
Kyle & Kyla (in unison): God knows I’ve barely even talked to her.
Kyle: Wait, what if there is a code? Rani told me that she thought I was gay because I was the lead in Pippin… Oh my God, Kai saw that.
Kyla: But the least I could do is dress a little more butch. Maybe cuff my jeans and wear a flannel one day…
Kyle: Oh my God, what if Kai thinks I’m gay? Oh my God, what if everyone thinks I’m gay?
Kyle & Kyla turn to each other.
Kyle & Kyla (in unison): Do you think I look gay?
It all started because Anaís and I both love theatre and wanted to try out playwriting. Anaís had read a few plays that included overlapping lines between two characters. We didn’t want to go into playwriting blindly, so we decided we would use the style of overlapping dialogue in our scene. Next, we chose some themes we wanted to represent, which included gender identity, gender norms and sexuality. From there, we made a shared Google doc and each pretended to be one character, switching off who would write the “both” parts, and voila—a scene was born. –Kayla
Anaís Fernández is a second-year Girls Write Now mentee and a high school senior currently applying to college creative writing programs. When she is not writing poetry, prose or random snippets living in her head, she is making music, acting or reading. If she had to eat one thing for the rest of her life, it would be rice.
Kayla Thurber is a second-year Girls Write Now mentor who is excited to work again with her mentee, Anaís Fernández! She recently moved to Arizona where she is earning her master’s degree in secondary education to become a high school English teacher. She formerly worked at Scholastic Book Clubs as a copy editor and copywriter. She loves cooking, reading and spending time with her three favorite pets and people: Edith, Scrabble and Chica.