Fiction

Chemistry

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 FICTION

Chemistry by Wendy MacLeod  


(A chemistry lab. A male college student wearing a lab coat and goggles at work. A woman leans on the counter facing him. It is night. They are in a pool of light from a flourescent tube over his work station.)

WOMAN

I still haven’t seen your eyes. I’ve only seen your goggles.

MAN

I have to wear goggles. I’m working.

WOMAN

No you’re not.

MAN

Safety.

WOMAN

You’re pretending to work. Take them off.

MAN

I’m not a particularly good-looking . . . man.

WOMAN

Why do you hesitate before “man”?

MAN

Because you must . . . I must seem like a boy to you.

WOMAN

You don’t think you’re handsome?

MAN

No, I have . . . my skin is bad. I’m tall and . . . someone once told me I looked like a praying mantis.

WOMAN

I’ve never been attracted to a scientist before and it . . . interests me.

MAN

Like an experiment.

WOMAN

Yes.

Make something explode.

MAN

No.

WOMAN

What kind of chemist are you?

MAN

A responsible one.

WOMAN

A man of science. So rational. Like Spock. Captain Kirk never did it for me. I always wanted the Vulcan. Kiss me.

MAN

Here?

WOMAN

We’re alone.

MAN

I don’t really know what to kiss.

WOMAN

But you must have kissed women before . . .

MAN

Yes, but they were girls.

WOMAN

Girl scientists.

MAN

Mostly.

WOMAN

Were they plain?

MAN

No, they were pretty, they just acted plain.

(He starts to take off his lab coat.)

WOMAN

Don’t.

MAN

I’m done.

WOMAN

Leave it on.

MAN

Why?

WOMAN

I might hate your clothes.

MAN

You mean they might not be cool . . .

WOMAN

Did your mother buy them for you?

MAN

Yes.

WOMAN

I thought so.

MAN

How do you know my mother isn’t cool?

WOMAN

Is she?

MAN

No.

(He leaves the lab coat on.)

WOMAN

Take off the goggles.

MAN

You’ll think I’m ugly.

(He takes the goggles off.)

WOMAN

(disappointed) Oh.

MAN

I knew it!

WOMAN

No, you just look like a . . . student.

MAN

I am a student.

WOMAN

Like any other . . . college student.

MAN

I can’t walk around in goggles and a lab coat all the time!

WOMAN

It’s getting late . . .

(She starts to put her jacket on.)

MAN

What is this? Some kind of fetish?

WOMAN

I have to go . . .

MAN

Wait!

(He puts the goggles back on. She kisses him. She kneels down and begins to unbutton his lab coat from the bottom up.)

What are you doing?

WOMAN

Making something explode.

(She flicks a switch on the counter and turns off the light over his station. Sound of zipper.)



©1999
Wendy MacLeod and Nerve.com