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  • Writer's pictureHina Siddiqui

Two Dimensional Crush

Updated: Jan 25, 2022

2 characters | A play | English



SYNOPSIS:

A and B are friends. Both are 30-something humans living through the pandemic and the numerous lockdowns Indian cities keep imposing.


A lives alone, possibly with some cats. For the past year, they have been coming to terms with their sexuality. They came out as bisexual when Section 377 of the Indian Penal Code was finally struck down. However, they feel guilty about realizing things so late in life. They also feel the need for romance. But not sex. They have a feeling they may also be asexual. But they do want a romantic partner. They have been single for years now.


A’s life currently comprises domestic chores, Zoom calls for work and binge-watching anime on Netflix. Their imagination is consumed by the beautiful characters and sad backstories of these 2-D people. So much so that every waking moment is full of conversations and imagined situations with these characters.


B lives with their mother. The lockdown has meant very little work and too much free time. Because mamma takes care of all the housework and cooking. So B has taken up rigorous exercise regimes, signing up for online fitness training programmes that they can barely afford and ordering gym equipment from Amazon.


B broke up with their long-term girlfriend last year. Since then, they do not, I repeat, DO NOT want a relationship. Relationships suck! But all this free time and physical exertion is making them horny. Very horny. But with a mother nagging in the house and a pandemic raging outside, gratifying any desires becomes problematic.


This play looks at A and B’s lives in isolation - dealing with loneliness, sexuality and desire as they turn to each other for comfort and companionship. Will B replace A’s animated waifus and husbandos? Will A scratch B’s itch even though they feel nothing of the sort? Or will COVID be the death of their friendship?




Year: 2020

Time of Day: Irrelevant

Place: A’s Home


The living room. A enters with a bucket and floor swab, wearing boxers and a tank-top, no underwear. They get on their fours, start to scrub the floor. There is an attempt to clean the corners that are out of reach and mind for most people.


They wear earphones. Listening to Anime OSTs. Perhaps the audience can hear them or something similar as background scores.


While the floor is being cleaned, the fact that there is dust on the window sill and a collection of useless things catches A’s attention. A abandons the bucket and swab. Sits down to clean the window sill. Pieces of paper are discarded. Objects are taken to wash. The entire area is then sprayed and scrubbed.


Then the sofa or the chairs or the cushions become the next target of cleaning. Covers are yanked off, stuff is beaten, and moved around. There is a sort of an urgency to the actions perhaps. But they pause. Pondering. An interesting point in the music perhaps?


They pull the earphones out.


A

Sensei… Of course it’s me, who else would it be?... Why? I came to see you… What kept you? I’ve been here for hours! …


(frowns) Oh wow… Now you’re talking to yourself… You’re talking to yourself… And now you’re berating yourself for talking to yourself… Also, why Sensei? Is he a teacher? Is he a doctor? A scientist maybe? What does he teach? What does he research? I should write this stuff down…


Abandons cleaning, runs to study and retrieves pencil and notebook. Sits down, ignoring the half-cleaned floor. Creates a mindmap of sorts, putting Sensei in the middle and a few words describing the character in their head.


Chews pencil thoughtfully. Goes back in to the imagined scenario in their head.


Yes, of course I was cleaning up, what did you expect? … This place is an absolute pigsty! How did you even… Wait, do you not know how to clean up after yourself? … Are you that used to robots and AI handling all your domestic chores? You never learned how to… Sensei! … Sensei, is… that… is that blood? … Is it yours? … Okay, good… you should go get cleaned up then. I’m about to start making dinner… After a shower Sensei can help me cook!


Scribbles frantically on to paper. Suddenly throws pencil and notebook away. Returns to the bucket and floor swab, starts to clean. Frantic. But slowly easing off. Their expression goes from aggressive and confused to quiet, gentle, like they are looking at someone they love.


A

Sensei? Hey… hey… Sensei… slow down… it’s okay, (shushing noises) I’m not going anywhere… It’s okay Sensei, I’m here…


Silence. Cleaning. A lets out a small, soft moan, like an Ummmm


A

I know… But I’m here now… I can take care of you… Make sure you eat and focus… and clean up after yourself… cleaning is important! (frantic cleaning, again slowly down as focus diverts to the fantasy)… Sensei’s hair is so soft… I’ve always wanted to…


The phone starts screeching. A abandons the fantasy in their head and gets up to answer. Putting in their earphones again, because bluetooth.


It’s B, making a WhatsApp video call, A swipes up.


A

Since when is it okay to make video calls without prior intimation?


B

Since the world went to shit and nothing really matters anymore?


A

Fair point… How’s the apocalypse going for you cookiejar?


They place the phone at an angle and return to swabbing the floor.


B

It’s fine… I’m fine… It’s okay…


A

You don’t sound okay…


B

Does anyone, anymore?


A

Yeah… I guess not… But what can we do?


B

What about you princess?


A

I’m cleaning the house…


B

Really? You look more like you’re humping the floor.


A

Shut up… It’s the first time I’ve gotten up the energy to do this… I mean dust was a great roommate all these years, but I think we’re done now… It’s time for the dust to move out.


B

I am loving the angle you’ve placed the phone at… The view is the most exciting thing I’ve seen all week!


A

(realizes B is referring to their cleavage) Why are you… What has gotten in to you?


B

It’s a lockdown princess…


A

Lockdown is not consent cookiejar.


B

Yeah, but it’s been so bloody loooooong… I mean like, even if this ends, what does that change for me?


A

I don’t know cookiejar, but we’ll find out, won’t we?


B

I don’t think I can last that long.


A

That’s what she said.


B

No, like really, no.


A

What are you up to? Wait… are you outside?


B

Yeah, I just stepped out for a jog.


A

A jog? But we’re not supposed to be outside.


B

Yeah well, being inside sucks… It’s a total shitfest.


A

You’re not even wearing a mask…


B

(disproportionately pissed) Okay, if you’re going to get on my case too, I’m not going to call you

anymore.


A

Okay, okay… breathe cookiejar… I am just concerned about you… It’s dangerous times.


B

Yeah, yeah, I know…


A

Is everything alright? What’s going on with you?


B

You know, the same old shit…


A

Mum?


B

Yeah…


A

What happened this time?


B

Nothing really needs to happen… It’s just how she is.


A

I mean…


B

She gets ticked off about the slightest things… and then she wants to argue about everything… If I don’t wash the dishes, she’ll get ticked off about that… If I wash them, she’ll get ticked off about how I wash them… Whether I clean my room or the side of my house… If I don’t wake up in time to go to the market… The maid comes and she hovers all over the poor woman…


A

You still have a maid coming in?


B

Yeah, why, you don’t?


A

No! I am literally swabbing the floor as we speak.


B

Calm down princess! Our woman just lives down the road. We got her a medical certificate, so she’s allowed to come in… Thank fucking God… Otherwise I would have shot someone by now…


A

You know a lot of counseling services have gone online… If you or your mother want to talk to someone…


B

She’s not going to talk to anyone…


A

What about you?


B

I’m talking to you na? Why should I pay a bloody therapist when I can have my princess for free?


A

That’s what she said.


B: I think being locked up at home has adversely affected your sense of humour.


A

It’s better than talking to imaginary anime bois in your head.


B: Wouldn’t put that past you.


A

You wanna see a picture? No wait… we were talking about your mother.


B

My mother.


A

What did she do this time? Come on, tell your favourite princess everything…


B

So, I got up this morning to find that she had emptied out the entire kitchen? Why? Because she saw a lizard there in the night and I told her, I fucking told her that I’ll get some poison or traps or something… But no… she had to go hunting for it and…


B’s talking turns in to background noise as A drifts off in to the fantasy again.


A

Sensei’s mother was a difficult woman, wasn’t she? She didn’t have a choice… Her husband abandoned her with a young child… No money, no house… She had to do what she had to do… and no one thanked her when she did… because it was expected, I guess… She had soft hair too… once… As a child you loved to comb through it… Helping her dress it up as she went out with all those men you didn’t know… You thought they were her friends… Your mother was so popular… It made you wonder why no one wanted to be your friend… Why they all stayed away from you, laughed at you behind your back…


returns to the present


B

…and then it’s just bloody shouting and screaming… I mean, you ask her to keep her volume down and she’ll scream even louder… and I don’t even know what to say, even if I keep quiet, she just keeps going on and on and then she started throwing the fucking vessels at me man!


A

Did you get hurt?


B

No man… it’s just… (breaks off in frustration)


A

This sounds horrible. It’s not okay.


B

Yeah, that’s why I got out…


A

You know, you could move in with me… for a few days… till this is over. I can cook for you and help you focus…


B

Nah baba…


A

I’ll cuddle you too…


B

In these clothes?


A

If you want…


B

So I can smoosh my face between those…


A

You can stay here and be safe… Smooshing is optional.


B

That’s very sweet of you babe, but I can’t leave her alone.


A

Why not?


B

Because she is my mother…


A

But staying like this isn’t healthy for either of you… There was an article in the newspapers too… about how situations in families are getting tense and domestic abuse is on the rise… Sometimes it helps just to get a little distance…


B

Thanks princess. If things get that bad, I guess I know who to call…


A

I’m here for you.


B

I know…


A

Take care of yourself Sensei…


B

What?


A

Take care of yourself cookiejar.


The call ends. A returns to cleaning the floor. While cleaning, they begin to whisper


A

Hey… hey…


More sounds, like A is trying to hold their volume in. Cleaning continues…


Hey… hey… slow down…


Hey… look at me


Hey… hey… slow down… it’s okay, I’m not going anywhere…


A closes eyes, releases breath in a large sigh, smiles and continues wiping the floor, slowly now




The title has 2 meanings:

The pop-culture term for the romantic feelings or crush one has for a fictional or animated (2-D) character

A physical, numerical value used to calculate the severity of a collision when a vehicle has been in an accident


This play has about 4 more scenes. All of which are heavily based on my personal experiences during lockdown. As such, all similarities to real people are highly deliberate and intentional. Sue me.


To download a printable version of the first draft of this play, please do click here. As always, it would be great if you let me know that you're using the script and perhaps also share what you plan to do with it. Unless you plan to burn it. Then by all means, print and burn away. No need to keep me informed.


Image Credit:

Sen Cross, Hiji and Ryo at Animexx / CC BY-SA (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)





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