Thursday, April 22, 2010


Response to Berkeley Rep's "Girlfriend", an awkward boy-meets-boy rock musical romance.

"Good day, my lady," said Sir Edward with turkey grease matted into his beard as he plopped onto Sorcerer Belfrin's recently vacated stool. "What is a lady like you doing with pretty boy Belfrin."

"I ain't a lady," said Squire Will wondering whether Sir Edward had had too much ale. Sir Edward had staggered across the Stompen Hen Tavern as he grasped at patron's shoulders and the knife-notched corners of tables to keep himself on his feet, but the rumors said he had a bad knee and Will judged that Edward's eyes weren't bloodshot enough.

"Well, you're too good a wench for him. You deserve a real man. I have a pitcher of Stompen's best ale in the booth over in the corner -- "

A pitcher of ale levitated down to the table settling with a thump that shook the table. Belfrin's pointy jade hat bobbed behind Edward and the sorcerer's immaculate finger poked a dimple into Edward's shoulder. "I believe you're in my chair and unless you'd like to return to your booth the same way your former pitcher of ale came to our table, you'll leave the happy couple alone."

Edwards stumbled away as Belfrin reclaimed his seat and refilled the two mugs on the table. Belfrin said, "Don't mind him."

"He called me a lady." Belfrin's eyes dilated for just a moment. Will had a sinking feeling that Belfrin had cast a glamour upon Will. The king's renowned sorcerer was a striped snake, too scared of rumors.

"Too much drink." When Will didn't respond, Belfrin continued, "You don't think --"

"That you're too ashamed to be seen with me in public. I don't have to think it, you're obvious."

"I didn't do anything." Belfrin crossed his hands over his chest as the table bobbled with his leg uncharacteristically shaking with a nervous twitch.

"No? I could ask the patrons in the tavern. One of them must be sober."

Belfrin fidgeted, running a finger along one of the notches in the table. "Okay, you're right. But, I see the real you with your thin arms, long like a spider's legs, and your hair flopping over your kissable ears."

"Look," Will leaned forward blowing that flopping hair out of his eyes, "don't try to flatter me. It's wrong. You can't hide who you are."

"But you're the best squire at court, and the rumors about you almost cost you your sponsor."

"I get to be myself. Look at you hiding it. Someone will find out your --"

"No, don't say it. Someone will overhear."

"So, the king won't care. He needs you."

"But they'll talk."

Will stood up. "I guess they won't," said Will. "Sir Edward was right, I could use a real man."

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