Act II - Scene 2

Spotlight on Adam sitting on the couch looking through a box of photos. There are loose photos scattered across the trunk, and he's holding one in his hand. Janet enters the apartment stage right.

JANET

Adam? Adam, you home Hon?

(Janet flicks a switch, lights up on the apartment. She sees Adam sitting on the couch. He doesn't acknowledge her entrance.)

There you are. What are you looking at?

ADAM

Old photos.

JANET

(Looking over his shoulder.)

Oh! I remember that one. My parents took me to Disney World for my tenth birthday.

ADAM

You look so happy.... so young.

JANET

Well, duh! A ten-year-old at Disney World? I was ecstatic!

ADAM

I wonder if I ever looked that young.

JANET

What do you mean?

ADAM

You know, when I was in my pod, or chamber, or whatever they used in the lab when I was fabricated.

JANET

(Entering bedroom.)

Everything alright? You've been acting a little weird lately.

ADAM

Did you ever see me, Janet?

JANET

What... Where is this coming from-

ADAM

Or did you just wait for me to be finished? Didn't want to see me until I was exactly what you wanted?

JANET

(Coming back into living room, confused.)

You're... you're not allowed to see your homunculus until it's finished.

ADAM

Your homunculus. I see. Is that all I am to you, Janet, an "it"? Your artificially created puppet? A piece of property?

JANET

No. Adam, please, listen to me-

ADAM

Tell me how it happened. How long did you have to wait?

JANET

(Reluctant.)

Eleven weeks.

ADAM

Just under three months? That's not bad for a life-size doll.

JANET

Adam! You are not a doll. And you're not an "it"!

ADAM

How does it go down? How did you place your order?

JANET

(Retreating, makes way to bedroom.)

I don't understand why you are so fixated on this. What good will it do to know?

ADAM

It'll make it real! My whole life's been made up for me, the least you could do is tell me how it happened!

JANET

How can you say that?

ADAM

Easy, it's the truth. I'm not real; none of this is real. I'm just some girl's depraved daydream in the flesh!

JANET

(Offended, coming out of the bedroom.)

Okay! Fine, you wanna hear all about it? You wanna know how it all goes down? How to place an order?

ADAM

Yes.

JANET

How I sat down with a consultant and designed you? How I picked out each and every detail about you from a list of checkboxes?

ADAM

Like what?

JANET

Oh, everything! Eyes, hair, height, weight range, skin tone, bone structure, character traits, likes, dislikes...

ADAM

(Laughs.)

So you really did design me after one of your fantasies.

JANET

Oh, yes, Adam, you have no idea how many times I've fantasized about this very moment. Explaining how I had to make a boyfriend for myself.

ADAM

Then what?

JANET

And then I was tested. I was examined by the doctors, treated like a lab rat, just like you-

ADAM

Not like me!

JANET

JUST LIKE YOU! I was poked, and prodded, and put through test after test: physical and psychological examinations, personality questionnaires and background checks.

ADAM

Tests... for what?

JANET

For you! So they could know I wasn't crazy and could take care of you. And so they could tailor you to me, based on my list choices and my own personality.

ADAM

Oh.

(Beat.)

I didn't realize you had to do that.

JANET

Exactly. Not as simple as you thought, huh?

ADAM

So, then what happened?

JANET

(Sighs.)

Then I paid, okay? I paid for my order and got the hell out of there.

ADAM

How much?

JANET

Don't you dare ask me that!

ADAM

I deserve to know how much you paid!

JANET

Like hell you d-

ADAM

How much did I cost!?

JANET

Everything! Everything I had, and then some. My entire life's savings, every dime I've ever saved was spent on you.

ADAM

Why?

JANET

What's the point of having a life's savings, if you're not going to spend it on a life?

ADAM

No, not the money. Why make me in the first place?

(Janet is silent, retreats from Adam.)

I've read articles; I know the reasons people commission homunculi.

JANET

(Busying herself with putting the photos back in the box.)

Different people, different reasons.

ADAM

(Watches her as she avoids eye contact.)

I saw on the news today that four men were caught setting up a homunculus whore house.

JANET

(Finally looks at him.)

That's disgusting! The nerve of some people.

ADAM

It gets worse. They can't be charged with anything due to the Artificial Human Act, which prevents legal rights to any non-born human.

JANET

(Stops cleaning.)

Wait, they're just gonna get away with it? How can that be? Can't anyone do something?

ADAM

Whataya gonna do, start a picket? Janet, there's nothing you can do; the homunculi were already deconstructed. It's over.

JANET

They killed them? But they were victims.

ADAM

That's the world we live in.

JANET

It's sickening.

ADAM

Yeah, well... it got me thinking... Why you might have created me.

JANET

(Understanding.)

Adam, no...

ADAM

Is that it? Is that what I'm for?

JANET

Don't be an idiot, you know that's not it. This, what we have, it's more-

ADAM

What we have is fiction. You made it up just like one of your stories. Come on, Janet, what other reason could it be? It's not like you want to have kids.

JANET

Adam, we can't have babies.

ADAM

I know! But even if I could, you still wouldn't, would you? Or maybe you would if I were Billy?!

JANET

What?! Billy? What does he have to do with this?

ADAM

You're really going to play dumb on that one, Janet?

JANET

You know, the jealousy thing was cute at first, but now it's getting a little old.

ADAM

Oh, I'm sorry, am I not living up to your fantasy?

JANET

Stop it.

ADAM

(Kicks of shoes.)

Here, let me be more your style.

JANET

Adam, don't...

ADAM

(Unbuttons shirt.)

Don't worry, baby, this one's on the house. No need to pay again.

JANET

Please stop.

ADAM

(Unbuckles belt.)

This is what you want, right? A fucking sex toy!?

JANET

Enough!

(Stops his undressing.)

Enough.

ADAM

(As Adam speaks, Janet moves about the apartment away from him. Adam follows, yelling.)

Then what am I for? Tell me, Janet, because I can't understand it. Why does a young, beautiful, successful woman need to make a man? Why am I here? What do you want me for? God damn it, Janet, talk to me! Why am I here!?

JANET

(Explodes.)

BECAUSE I WON'T BE!

ADAM

(Long pause.)

Whataya mean...

JANET

Oh come on Adam, I made you smart. I know you've seen the Doctor's bills.

ADAM

I don't... no... no, I don't understand.

(Retreats from Janet.)

JANET

Yes, you do, you just don't want to. Compassion, that's another box I checked off.

ADAM

Stop.

JANET

What, you wanted the truth, to know everything, and now you decide you don't want to hear it, now that it's upsetting you? You asked for it, baby.

ADAM

Janet, you can't be...

JANET

Go on, say it.

(Beat.)

Out loud. I want to hear you say it.

ADAM

What... what will that do?

JANET

(Mimicking Adam.)

Make it real.

ADAM

(Beat.)

You're... dying?

JANET

I'm dying.

ADAM

What... What's wro-

JANET

Cancer. Inoperable brain tumor. It's aggressive. The Doctors gave me ten months. Seven months ago.

ADAM

Janet, I'm-

JANET

So that's why. That's why I had you made. And... I'm sorry.

ADAM

But that makes no sense. Why spend all your money on me, when you're just going to die?

JANET

I told you, for a life.

(Adam still doesn't appear to understand.)

Adam, I've lived more with you these past few months than I have my whole life. I had no one before you came along; no family, no friends. It felt wrong, but I just needed-

ADAM

A companion. Someone to die with.

JANET

(Visibly relieved.)

Adam, showing you the world... watching as you experienced everything for the first time, everything I've come to take for granted, it was like I was given a second chance, a second life.

ADAM

But it came with an end date.

JANET

Every life does.

(Adam walks away from Janet. After a moment, Janet approaches him cautiously.)

Do you remember the first time we went to ride bikes?

ADAM

Stop changing the subject, Janet.

JANET

(Ignoring him.)

You were so upset because, you... you knew how to ride a bike, they had programmed it into your head, but you just, you couldn't get it to work.

ADAM

(Smiles unwillingly.)

Yeah, you kept offering me training wheels.

JANET

And then... you crashed into the pond, almost drowned...

ADAM

(Turns to face her.)

And that duck chased us all the way through the park.

JANET

(Beat.)

That was the day... I knew I made the right decision. That was the day I knew I was made for you, just as much as you were made for me.

ADAM

But did you ever think about how this would affect me?

JANET

Adam...

ADAM

No. You created me, made me to your liking, made me love you from the start, with no choice, just so you could go off and die on me?

JANET

I know, it was stupid, I didn't think it through at first. I was so focused on getting what I wanted out of life, I never stopped to think about what you might want. Or maybe I just didn't care. Maybe I was just lying to myself, making it okay in my head. Like, if I didn't think about the end it wouldn't be real.

ADAM

None of this is real... for you. But it is for me. It's all I know! And now you're telling me it's all for nothing? I'm just some made up... I don't have a box full of childhood memories, Janet. I have manufactured directions. Everything I need to make you happy, to live a life with you. But you made it all up. I'm not real!

JANET

Oh, Adam, you are real.

ADAM

I'm not human.

JANET

You're more human than most of the people I know.

ADAM

Well, that's not saying much, you just said you have no friends.

JANET

Just because you're a homunculus, doesn't mean this isn't real. You may have been created in a lab, but what I feel for you wasn't. That's real. You can't deny that. You know I love you, don't you?

ADAM

(Considers her for a moment.)

Yes. And I love you, but how can I kno-

JANET

Shh...

(Places his hand over his heart.)

Right here, what you feel here, there's no faking that. That's how you know you're real. What's inside you.

ADAM

Janet...

(Kisses her passionately.)

How am I ever going to live without you?

(Janet stiffens.)

What? Is something wrong?

JANET

Adam... You don't... I thought you knew?

ADAM

Knew what?

JANET

(Retreats from his arms, horrified.)

Oh, my God.

ADAM

(Grabs her roughly.)

Janet! Tell me.

JANET

Adam... each commission, each homunculus made... they're made for one person. They're nontransferable. You can't even inherit one.

ADAM

What are you saying?

JANET

Adam, when I die... the lab will recall you. They'll take you back for deconstruction.

ADAM

You mean...

(Pushes her away slowly.)

Your end date, is my end date?

JANET

Adam, I'm so sorry, I thought you knew.

ADAM

(Walks away from her.)

I'm... dying?

Lights slowly fade out.