3x02 - promposal

CHARLOTTE:
Hey, folks, happy thirty-second day of the apocalypse.
It’s your girl, C-C-L. If you don’t know what that stands for,
think about it for a second. I’ve never been one for those
monogram things that preppy girls have, but, uh, my sister is,
so. Nice. Anne, not Emily. If you couldn’t guess.

Uh. Anyway. Prom’s in two weeks. June first. School year got
extended a week due to—you know. The end of everything. And so
did prom! So, you know. That means more time for every single
straight person to panic over dresses.
I was planning a political performance art piece. I bought a
ticket, because peer pressure, and, uh, I had this idea for, uh,
you now, like—heteropatriarchy created this event written on the
back of a tux jacket. Or something deeper, very Jenny Holzer,
and, uh—

Anyway, Mae said she was excited for it because they don’t have
prom over there, and now I’m rethinking it. I’m also thinking
about promposals? Which, uh, I called “bullshit,” like, two
weeks ago.

And, also, they have a live band this year, which is kinda rad?
I don’t know. I think I just resent this event because I’m tired
of hearing about it, it’s not really a political opposition. I
just claimed that to maintain my rep.
So, why am I talking about this here, on our tapes on which we
talk about sci-fi happenings in real life? Well, because I need
ideas. I already have a few.

It can’t be too showboaty, and it can’t be anything big, because
they’re checking our corporeality at the door at school every
day, which is—a weirdoes sentence that I have somehow gotten
used to saying really quickly. It’s also, like, the coolest
sentence out of context, like, check your corporeality at the
door, asshole, we’re gonna talk holograms. And, anyway, the
checkers don’t like big items in our bags because it’s more for
them to check, and it’s already so goddamn weird for these, uh,
underpaid art teachers who don’t all love me that much, you
know? So, anyway, if any of you have experience in this
department—hit me up. I’m ninety percent sure that the only one
of you who will be useful is Angie, who’s conveniently missing,
but, hey, I can try. Maybe Teresa is more successful with the
ladies than her nerd-ass self lets on.

So, uh, I’m thinking, like, a joke about the end of the world,
but I can’t come up with a good one? Mostly because I don’t know
what’s too close to home for her. And that’s mostly because
she’s related to the cause of this whole situation. And I can’t
judge her based on her family—if I were judged based on
something Emily did, I would hate it, and she’s my sister, not
my grandpa. But, it’s also weird, because—
It just makes things hard to discuss. I understand why she
doesn’t talk about it, but, just—

Ugh.

Uh. Anyway. So. I don’t have any meaningful updates on life in
general, because, uh, we’ve sort of fallen into routine, over in
my boat. My parents are home more often, which is. Weird, to say
the least, but, uh—

Wait, can we break down the last tape, real fast? Teresa, why
the fuck are you letting a stranger in on this shit? I thought
we had a steady agreement that it was significant others only.
You got something to tell us, or?

I’m kidding. Mostly.

Okay, anyway, back to the topic, which is—schedule. My family
dynamic, as some of you know, is, uh, semi-chaotic and weird,
so. That’s fun. Being in a house with four people who are all my
exact opposite, each in their own adorable ways. And by
adorable, I mean it’s bad. And by it’s bad I mean I’m crashing
over at AJ’s place, like, half of the time.

Sorry, AJ. Sorry, Doc David Diggs.

Except, not sorry. You know my issues. Also, uh, there’s a
reason your guest bedroom has had my named carved in its door
for four years, and that reason is that I spent my birthday
money on a pocketknife four years ago. Also, because I rely on
you in a way that we both understand. We all have to rely on
somebody, right? People rely on me, I rely on people, and I—I
don’t like that, but, uh, it—

(text notification noise)

Oh! Uh. Mae just texted me. She says, uh, “just brought prom
ticket smiley emoji” and then “oh i was dictating i meant for
there to be an actual smiley emoji there but it just wrote out
smiley emoji lol.”

Okay, I’m gonna dictate—do you have an outfit? question mark,
send.

Nice. Okay, so. Need to get a promposal happening, oh my God,
I’ve been on this shitty slideshow article for, like, three
hours, and the internet isn’t even consistent and sometimes
websites get replaced, with, like, test screens, so you can
understand how dedicated I am to this mission.
Oh my God this one is half visible and half covered in
Andrew-Godamn-Corielli’s face, I hate this. Jesus.

Okay, it’s not even funny. It loaded, but it’s not funny, the
pun doesn’t even work, why are people like this. Why are people
not even funny. I swear to—

(interference)

MAE:
 

(no mic)

Okay, so—look, I need you to hear me out. I’m sorry. I’m—please,
just let my—

No, no, I can’t look—

Oh my Gosh. Okay, okay, let’s—

I am not going back. You are.

No, no! That’s bad too, that sounds like a B-Movie badass line—

Okay, so let’s focus on prom instead, Mae, you dumb idiot,
talking to yourself about—

Okay, so—ask her over text. She doesn’t like participating in
this kind of thing, because she thinks it’s stupid. She’s all
about drama until it’s stupid.

God, she’s great. A labyrinth of a woman.

So, okay, I ask her about—

I’ll just write this—

(interference)

CHARLOTTE:
Is my computer fucking broken? Because, uh, if so, I will walk
to Tim Cook’s house, wherever he lives, and—

Whatever. I’m not gonna get mad about it. Okay, so. Here’s where
I’m at, right now, uh—

(text notification sound)

Holy shit, Elaine’s back!

Holy shit.

Okay, so—

(quietly)

Angie updates, Angie updates, Angie updates—

(and back to normal.)

Nope. None of those.

Cool. Love it. Love it, love it, love it, love everything about
this whole scenario, love everything! Everything is so great,
all the time, oh my God, I hate this. I hate it so much, guys,
it’s just fucking stupid.

Ugh.

Ugh, ugh, ugh.

Gross, gross, gross.

Okay, Elaine is back, and she’s unconscious, but she’s
breathing, which is—which is good. And she has some scrapes and
bruises—Teresa says they’re like the ones from New Year’s, which
is... cool, and—

Okay, okay, okay. I’m repeating things in groups of three,
because that’s how rhetoric works, because that’s how we’re
supposed to talk, and I’m nothing if not committed to rhetoric
in everything I do. I commit to every bit. If you can’t, you’re
a coward, and that’s it.

Being mean is how I respond to anxiety. I’m very sorry.

But I’m not, actually, because none of you can commit to a bit.
And thus, you are all cowards. For God’s sake, have some fun,
it’s not like the world’s ending or anything. And that's a good
joke, there, just so you know.

I’m sorry for not dedicating more of this to weird stuff, but
it’s just so constant now that it seems like there’s no real
point, y’know? I’m kinda just—I’m tired. I’m just tired.

Also, I need to talk about letters of recommendation. Some of
you are adults; Robin, you’re a semi-established novelist, any
of y’all wanna write ‘em for me? Because—again, I’m not too
tight with my teachers. And New York schools need letters of rec
or else they don’t accept you, so. And I need to get into New
York schools, or else I’ll—

Also, I’m not applying to Georgetown, Harpers, even if you try
and guilt me into it with your whole other-place experience,
Elaine.

Talk about me in a good way. Say I’m bold, say I take risks, say
I’m good. I am, right?

(beat)

Right?

Whatever, I’m—I’m becoming AJ, which, like—no offense, dude,
isn’t a good sign. More worried about college than dying in the
literal invasion of my hometown. Very sexy, very fun, very cute.
So. Let’s worry about what really matters, which is, of course,
the subject of my various deep-rooted personal issues.

No. I’m not launching into that one, actually, that was a bad
joke that I shouldn’t have let myself fall into the put of. I
know I literally just talked about committing, but, uh,
nevermind. I see where y’all are coming from, now, I guess.

Just—look, listen, I don’t want to talk about the apocalypse. I
mostly just want to make sure that—

(she takes a beat, makes sure she doesn’t sound like she cares
too much, but she fails at being blasé, and veers straight into
emotional)

That all of you fuckers are, uh. Okay. And safe, and alive, and
not being—trapped in that other place, because it’s bad over
there, and most of you know that by now, but I’m just—everything
Mae’s said, that’s not stuff that you’ve told me, Teresa, that’s
not what any of you who have been there have told me. I don’t—
It’s hard to trust you when you say that you’re okay. I’m guilty
of this too, to a lesser degree, but—

You’re allowed to admit that—

(she stops. takes a breath. realizes she’s getting emotional.
oops.)

I’m not doing this. I’m not—this is for science, for—whatever,
for journalism, or a good story, or—

It’s not my goddamn diary, it’s not supposed to be that. It’s a
place where we talk about the end of the world.

But, hey, none of us listen to that rule, Teresa had a damn
conversation last time, so. Nothing matters. Call me young
Nietzsche, or whatever. Was that Nietzsche’s thing? I never took
the philosophy elective, I just quizzed Phoebe Davis’ during
tech week one time because she needed help. She’s nice, y’all’d
like her. Senior, head of the GSA, had green hair but it faded
so now it’s gray but she pulls it off.

She got taken, you know? Like—she’s supposed to graduate, but
she’s in another universe, which is—difficult to think about.

She got into a New York school, forget which one. I think
Barnard?

Yeah, yeah, Barnard. Gender Studies and Psych, double major.

I hope she’s okay. Nobody’s heard anything from her. She was
really excited about, uh. About prom, and graduation, and, uh.
She and the theater seniors were gonna go to Disney together,
they’d been planning it for months, and—

(beat, more fear of emotion)

Okay, okay, whatever, no need to wax poetic. Or whatever. She’ll
be fine. We’re all gonna be fine. There is no need to—

(a phone rings. Charlotte picks it up almost immediately.)

CHARLOTTE:

Oh! God! Hey, Mae! I’m gonna, uh. Put you on speaker.

MAE:
 

Yeah, yeah, speaker’s—cool, uh. Okay, um. I’m gonna say
something, and you can’t interrupt me. So. Uh. Listen. I really
like you. Um. A lot. And—uh. That big—prom. It’s happening. Yes.
And. Um, look, okay, so, I googled what people do for this, and
I don’t think you want something corny, so—

(an inhale.)

Look, I just wanna ask you, uh, plain and simple, uh—

Prom? With me?

CHARLOTTE:

Oh my God, I was gonna do something big for you. Uh. Yeah!
Definitely! Definitely, uh--okay!

MAE:

Nice! Nice! Thanks! Okay, I’m very nervous for some reason, so
I’m gonna hang up, and, uh, I’ll—drop by later? Love you, bye!

CHARLOTTE:

Love you—

(hang-up noise)

Too.

(she sounds happier, to say the least.)

Okay, so! Uh. That’s one thing off of my plate, which is... cool.
Okay, uh. where—where was I?

Um. So. Basically. I, uh—

So, life is actually okay, right? As far as, you know. Days go.

That’s pretty cool. So. Elaine’s back, Mae’s—Mae, and, uh, we’re
all—

I just, uh. I have a good feeling about stuff. And I never feel
good about, uh, anything, so. That’s a sign that I’m right.
Or maybe it’s adrenaline? I don’t know. Can’t be too optimistic,
the world is kind of ending. Well, not the world. But you get
the point. We all overuse world when it’s just town, but a town
ending doesn’t make sense out of the context of world, so. Hm.
Semantics are weird, in this situation, and I don’t care enough
to think about it, you know? It’s just, like, whatever. Not
really important to consider, when we all get the point.
Emily and Anne keep asking me if I’m taking a boy to prom, even
though they know I’m gay. It’s not that—that’s not the most
important thing to know about, but I need to say it out loud.
Uh. Just so you know. just so we don’t have to, uh—

Anne doesn’t know better. She just follows what Emily does. I
just—it’s hard to deal with along with everything else. I’m glad
I have a response, now, you know? That something is actually
happening.

And maybe it’s good to have things to worry about aside from all
of this. Maybe it’s for the best, you know? Something worth
thinking about.

I’ll see y’all at the Harper Household later. I’ll bring snacks.

Bye for now.