Two men are at the laundromat, Clarence folding clothes at the drier, the Doctor at a washer.
Clarence: Cool fedora.
Doctor: That means so much to me.
Clarence: Here, wanna Slim Jim?
Doctor: I have just eaten a slim Jim. Quite messy, actually.
Clarence: Yeah, man, I feel ya. All I had clean was this swimming suit and my girl friend’s tee shirt. Barbie in Paris – pretty lame, huh?
Doctor: Love the suit.
Clarence: Good thing it’s so late, huh? Hardly anyone around. Guess I look pretty faggy.
Clarence: Yeah, well, I spotted up my last pair of clean pants with meat sauce, so here I am, lookin’ like Daisy Duke.
Doctor: I commiserate. I too have had difficulty with meat sauce. Even now I have some towels with troublesome protein stains.
Clarence: Ha ha. I know what you’ve been doin’, huh?
Doctor: You thrill me with your perspicacity. Allow me to reciprocate. (sniffs) You wear Brut aftershave, and you use Gold Bond Foot Power. (sniffing) You have ejaculated today. (sniffing) Twice. With — (sniffing) — a French woman. She bathed Tuesday last.
Clarence: She’s Belgian.
Doctor: That is your first lie to me. How sad.
Clarence: (beat) Sure was hot today. Great beach weather though. I just got back from Zuma. Man, caught some gnarly tubes.
Doctor: No no, this stupid attempt is oafish and bores me. It won’t do. At all.
Clarence: Yeah, well, that’s cool, but nice weather though, right?
Doctor: A girl scout once commended the weather to me, trying to sell me her macaroons. I told her it was a very bad day and ate all her Caramel deLite cookies. (sluuurp)
Clarence: Right. Whatever, dude. So where you from? You English or somethin’ gay like that?
Doctor: No no, do you think you could have me sing to that paltry little jingle? But I do bet you just loooove the beach, the balmy weather, the hot chicks admiring your waxed chest and your bulging Speedos. I hope you’ve enjoyed your stay on Scabies Island.
Clarence: Hey dude, chill.
Doctor: You’re a tough one, aren’t you. Very well, I will “chill” – if you tell me your worst memory of childhood.
Clarence: Fuck that, man.
Doctor: Yes, of course, you would be afraid.
Clarence: I ain’t afraid of nothin’, dude.
Doctor: No, not at all, except – vulnerability.
Clarence: Sssss. (beat) It was probably when my pet died.
Doctor: “Pet.” That is an odd way to say it. And what was the little boy’s “pet”?
Clarence: I wasn’t a little boy. I was seventeen. (looks down)
Doctor: I don’t imagine the answer is in those spandex trunks, Clarence.
Clarence: Anyway, that’s it.
Doctor: No, that’s not it. Tell it all.
Clarence: (beat) So I was into marine biology, OK? And I had a tank, like a tide pool – you know, sea urchins, sand dollars, crabs—
Doctor: Sounds really rad.
Clarence: And I really liked them, you know? But then one day I came home and one of them, my favorite, was missing.
Doctor: One of your pieces of coral was missing? How moving.
Clarence: No! It was worse! Shut up! I don’t want to talk about it anymore!
Doctor: But one of your crustaceans had disappeared. You still do love the beach, don’t you, Clarence. The tugging of the tide, sand between your toes, the guitar strumming of an evening, the fire cracking, embers flying into the effervescent sky – weenies roasting, clams abaking. Ah— They were having a clam bake, your little teeny-bopper prankster friends.
Clarence: (hysterical) Yes! Yes! And there he was! It was Freckles, my favorite clam! There, on my plate, dead, smothered in spicy shrimp sauce! (weeping) Oh, the steam – rising from the jelly of his flesh – the steam, the horrible steam —
Doctor: You still wake up sometimes, don't you Clarence? Wake up in the dark, with the terrifying memory of your dear oyster Freckles, his spotted little half-shell open to you like a pleading hand?
Clarence: (weeping silently)
Doctor: And do you think if you can get out those spots at the laundromat, those horrid freckle-like meat spots now staining your dungarees, your polychromatic FUBU leggings, that you won’t wake up in the dark, ever again, to that terrible vision? Do you?
Clarence: Yes! No! I don’t know!
Doctor: (beat, then a shuddering breath) Thank you, Clarence. That was very – sweet. I do prefer savoury, but—
Clarence: (beat) Yeah. (beat) Anyways, I – I gotta go get some Snuggles.
Doctor: And do buy some soap for your malodorous French doxy.
Clarence: Fuck you, dude.
Doctor: But tell me, before you go. After all these years, in the deep of the night as you lay abed, now, in your memory, Clarence, in your dreams, have the clams stopped steaming?
Clarence: You are one insensitive dick. Freak.