Ask & Tell


Three soldiers back from Iraq.... three wives... six problems.  One counsellor.


 ANDREA
Are you okay, Tam?

TAM
Pliskin.  Private.  Why wouldn’t I be, 'Counsellor'?

ANDREA
You seem to have had a bit of a shock.

TAM
I’ve had worse.

ANDREA
Shocks?  Recently?  

TAM
Listen, doc or miss...

ANDREA
Andrea...

TAM
...or whatever we’re mean’t to call you - I’ve seen babies without heads and dead pregnant women with their wombs hanging out - Seeing a couple of benders kiss ain’t bollocks to me alright?

ANDREA
- Aaron - How about you?

AARON
What about me?

ANDREA
Well, I am sensing a certain discomfort from you.  How do you feel about being here with your... partner..?  Husband?

AARON/WILL
Lover.

(WILL smiles at AARON who does not manage to smile back.)


AARON
Like every other fucker in here feels about being here.  Unnecessary.

ANDREA
Sorry - you feel unnecessary?

AARON
This.  This ain’t necessary, is it?  I mean what are we here for?  To whine about the Hell of War?  Who gives a fuck?

WILL
I give a fuck.

ANGIE
And I give a fuck.

ANDREA
And I give a fuck, And I think Irene gives a fuck - do you give a fuck, Irene?

IRENE
(quietly)
Yes...

ANDREA
Yes?

IRENE
Yes.  I give a fuck.

ANDREA
See, Irene gives a fuck.  So that makes four of us who gives a fuck - I really think we’re getting somewhere - Tam, do you give a fuck?

TAM
Who cares?  If I give a fuck?  We’re all gay now and we’re all happy - Since last fucking week!  Right next door, they’re kissing hello, kissing goodbye - Kissing and shagging and gaying - Right next door - And do I give a fuck?  Who fucking cares?  Who!  Gives!  a fuck!

(TAM storms out.  Silence.)

ANGIE
I’ll see you lot laters, yeah?

(ANGIE grabs her bag and leaves...)

ANDREA
Same time next week, Angie!

(ANGIE has gone.  Silence.)

ANDREA
I’m sorry, Aaron and Will.

AARON
For what?  Least he didn’t bullshit.  

ANDREA
Do you think we’re bullshitting?

AARON
I think everyone bullshits.

ANDREA
So when we say we genuinely do not care about your sexuality, you think we’re bullshitting.

AARON
You’re bullshitting now. Speaking for dumb and dumber here when you have no idea what they think.  Telling us you ‘don’t care’. You fucking care. You fucking love it. ‘Real live homos to play with!’  ‘An honest to goodness fucked-up soldier to pick apart!’ ‘Bonanza!’ ‘Now if I could just get him to talk it’ll be like Christmas come early!’ Only there’s a flaw in your plan - I ain’t got nothing to say.

WILL
Now who’s bullshitting?   You’re bullshitting, Aaron.  Truth is you’re the one that loves it. You’re thrilled that Tam’s a tosser.  You’re glad that he’s turning all the attention to the fact that you’re queer - you’re grateful that’s it’s all kicked off. As long as you’re fighting you don’t have to think about the night sweats and flashbacks and the terrors. That’s why you married the first halfway pretty boy that came along - that’s why you’ve moved me in with a horde of bigoted squaddies. I’m camouflage. ‘Cause it’s better to be a brave queer than a scared soldier.  Now, tell me that’s bullshit.

(Silence.) 

AARON
What do you want me to do?  Fall apart?  Sob?  I’m a soldier.  You married a soldier.

ANDREA
And soldiers don’t cry?

AARON
It’s just like you said yourself, Doc - I’m a professional.(stands up)
I’m going home.

(He walks to the door.)

AARON
You coming?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

"Shut! Up! Fucker! " "Shhh! Can you hear that? That's them, ain't it?" "...and I realise it’s raining - in Iraq - in the middle of August - and I look up and it’s the bodies laced through the branches above us drizzling blood on our faces... So I scream." "I want to see my woman again. I want to fuck her five times, eat her pussy and sleep with my face in her cum-coated tits and I want to stay there til I die a natural death at a hundred and five. " "There ain’t enough love out there, Ange. Not nearly. We’re gonna make all the love we can, if you’re up for it." "What do you want me to do? Fall apart? Sob? I’m a soldier. You married a soldier." "I’ve seen babies without heads - Seeing a couple of benders kiss ain’t bollocks to me alright? " "Why you crying? There’s people watching, babe..." "It’s supposed to be you what’s made safe,‘stead of mothering me all the bloody time." "I wish I could sleep - really sleep just for a minute..."