A Perfect Match

Make Me A Perfect (Asperger’s) Match
a play by Garret Mathews
Act 1, Scene 1 Reprinted here with permission of the author

ACT 1, Scene 1 – Inside Max’s living room.

MAX sits nervously on a chair. HE wears nerdy clothes and a rubber wristband. On the adjoining table is a cell phone, the sports section of the newspaper, a hand towel and a stack of white index cards. MAX arranges and rearranges these items to make sure they are in perfect order. MAX bites off a fingernail and carefully puts it on the arm of his chair.

MAX, looking at his watch: 6:56. Four minutes until I ring her up. I want to go on a date. Deep breath. I don’t want to go on a date. Deep breath. What to do.

MAX picks up the index cards.

MAX: Note to self. Trust the cards. They’ll get me through it. Beat. Maybe.

MAX picks up the cards and reads the one on top.

MAX: Conversational topics, icebreakers. I have dry hands. Do you have dry hands?

MAX puts this card at the bottom of the stack and reads the next one.

MAX: Will the two Koreas ever unite, or will there always be a demilitarized zone?

MAX puts this card at the bottom of the stack and reads the next one.

MAX: Conversational topic if she is having her menstrual cycle? I had cramps once in gym class, and, boy, did that hurt.

MAX puts this card at the bottom of the stack and reads the next one.

MAX: Conversational topic if she is losing interest. I’m just not myself today. I expect my goldfish to die at any moment.

Still holding the index cards, MAX reaches for the hand towel and wipes perspiration from his forehead.

MAX: I’m as ready as I’m ever going to be. When HE finishes wiping the sweat, HE carefully places the hand towel exactly where it was on the table.

MAX, to himself in doubting fashion: Female companionship… I don’t know. Maybe I should stick to what I’m good at…being alone.

Suddenly MAX takes a leap forward. This signals the intervention of MAX’s confident ALTER EGO.

ALTER EGO, in strong voice: This is your Alter Ego speaking. Buck up. Ask Victoria out.

Leap backward. This signals the return of doubting MAX.

MAX, in weak voice: I don’t know what to say.

Leap forward. This signals the return of MAX’s confident ALTER EGO.

ALTER EGO, in strong voice: You work the drive-through at McDonald’s. You talk to people all the time. “Whatcha craving for today?” Beat. “Wanna try an egg white delight?” Beat. “Sorry, but we don’t take American Express.” You’ve got this. Piece of cake.

Leap backward. This signals the return of doubting MAX.

MAX, in weak voice: It’s different with girls.

Leap forward. Return of confident ALTER EGO.

ALTER EGO, in strong voice: Nonsense. You and Victoria are members of the same online matchmaker service, Love, Asperger’s Style. You’re an Aspie. She’s an Aspie. You asked to be paired up. She asked to be paired up. Go for it.

MAX, timidly: She won’t like me.

Leap forward. Return of confident ALTER EGO.

ALTER EGO, in strong voice: Yes, she will.

Leap backward. Return of doubting MAX.

MAX, timidly: No, she won’t.

Leap forward. Return of confident ALTER EGO.

ALTER EGO, in strong voice: Look. The computer did its thing. Victoria’s name came up on your radar and your profile came up on hers. You remember filling out the questionnaire. Are you scared of the dark? Do you have zero common sense? Do you try to make a friend, but give up because it feels like there’s a layer of Plexiglass between the two of you? Our main man Max answered yes, yes and yes, did he not?

Leap backward. Return of doubting MAX.

 MAX nods timidly.

 Leap forward. Return of confident ALTER EGO.

ALTER EGO: Victoria filled out the same form. Need a night light? Check. Have the common sense of a farm animal? Check. Have no friends? Check. It’s a match made in heaven. Beat. Or at least Central Indiana.

**********

Will Max contact Victoria? What comes next? For answers to these and other questions, you need to see the play, coming soon to the Merrimack Valley. We will keep you posted.