ALEXANDRA: I’m worried I’m dead inside.
MICHAEL: We’ve been over this, Alex. You are too young for menopause.
ALEXANDRA: YOU have been over this, mansplainer. Until you have a uterus or medical certification in a gynecological specialty, please refrain from telling me what is or isn’t happening to my body. You aren’t the one feeling these tender breasts…
MICHAEL: If you insist.
ALEXANDRA: Fuck you and your gonads of oppression. Also, perimenopause can last for years. Also, wrong kind of dead inside.
MICHAEL: Well, ok then. What kind of dead inside?
ALEXANDRA: It’s like I gave up emotion for Lent or something. I don’t seem to feel anything anymore. Like when your mom called and said that the Notre Dame fire was probably set by an Arab? Rather than outrage, my first thought was, “More likely a Yellow Vest.” What the shit, me? It’s the Holy Week so BY ALL MEANS let’s cast some aspersions STAT. But not woke aspersions like, “ look how all these old white men can instantly find billions of dollars to rebuild her while Puerto Rico, Haiti, and…” Whatever. I don’t even have enough outrage to finish that sentence.
MICHAEL: Well. That is not the most attractive side of you I’ve ever seen but I’m touched you shared it with me. And I understand.
ALEXANDRA: You do? For real? Or are you saying you’re going to “listen respectfully” and then turnaround and crack jokes at my expense, Joe Biden?
MICHAEL: I’m trying to share here. After you went to bed and I stayed up to watch Game of Thrones…
MICHAEL: LET ME HAVE MY JOY, DAMNIT. It took me twenty minutes to figure out how to turn off the parental settings you set up to block me, bee tee dubs.
ALEXANDRA: For the record, I did that for April Fools. You must be WAY behind on your watch list.
MICHAEL: Don’t change the subject, Alex. I sat through Shrill with you. And Fleabag. AGAIN. The least you can do is not trash talk something I watch while you’re gently snoring and dreaming of savagely castrating anti-choice lawmakers.
ALEXANDRA: Mood swings and irritability, Michael — more symptoms of perimenopause. As you should already know. Further proof you are not qualified to speak on the status of my reproductive system.
MICHAEL: Anyway. I was watching Jon Snow riding the dragon with his auntie — shockingly not a euphemism — and I had a panic attack when I realized I haven’t had a panic attack in months. Have I, too, become apathetic? But then I realized that the sheriff’s kid burning churches of people of color happened only a week ago. Same with the transgender military ban. 45’s inciting violence against Ilhan Omar with 9-11 footage was merely days ago. Each of those events required deep breathing and herbal tea. It’s not that we aren’t outraged anymore, it’s just that it happens so frequently we’ve lost touch with the passing of time.
ALEXANDRA: It’s more than that, Michael. I haven’t called my representatives in weeks. I watched at least nine different videos of Parisians singing hymns while watching their Twin Towers burn.
ALEXANDRA: And nothing. No heart swelling. No eyes brimming. No tight throat yearning to scream in solidarity. Merely an uncharacteristic craving to roast peeps. Holy shit it’s hot in here. Now is that my hormones or global warming? It’s like every single thing that happens could simply be a symptom of menopause or proof of the end of days. Is this short-term memory loss due to hormones or lead in our drinking water thanks to our failing aquifers and outdated delivery systems? Is this migraine about changes in my blood pressure or because our depleted ozone layer no longer shields our eyes from damaging UV?
MICHAEL: Let’s talk about something else and get your mind off things. I’m developing a new dating app…
ALEXANDRA: It’s called Tinder.
MICHAEL: Don’t interrupt, Alex. It’s unbecoming. A dating app for middle-aged liberals with questionable bone density. I’m thinking of calling it “Kindling.” Or maybe “Brittle.”
ALEXANDRA: I just want to hide in a sunny corner of the community garden listening to BTS and reading YA novels while pretending I remember what it feels like to be young and not steeped in regret over the sun damage I inflicted upon my once collagen-rife skin.
MICHAEL: Are you really not going to even respond to me saying your insistence on speaking was unbecoming?
ALEXANDRA: And I’m not talking Angie Thomas #weneeddiversebooks kind of YA, either. I’m talking totally devoid of societal introspection or references to active shooters in schools kind of YA. Even worse, I want dated YA that doesn’t even provide with insight into staying relevant with future tastemakers. I’m talking sparkly vampires and codependent relationships kind of YA.
MICHAEL: Your insides ARE dead. On the plus side, if there’s ever been a week for miraculous resurrections, this one’s been pretty good historically.
MICHAEL: At least her sense of humor lives!
ALEXANDRA: You always manage to awaken ALL the things in me, love. Speaking of resurrections…
MICHAEL: HE IS RISEN.
ALEXANDRA: I am not talking about your penis, Michael. I was going to ask, with Earth Day right around the corner, if you thought there was any hope of resurrecting the New Green Deal. Not that I’m any more interested in it than I am a heavily-redacted Mueller Report.
MICHAEL: Well, I was 100% talking about my penis. Passover doesn’t lend itself as well to erection jokes so LET ME HAVE MY JOY, Alex. Speaking of things that were smaller than expected but can still be used for good, our tax return showed up in the bank account. It’s not enough for a road trip, so maybe we donate to our candidate of choice?
ALEXANDRA: I AM NOT GIVING BERNIE ONE RED — and yes I am fully aware of what that color choice implies — CENT.
MICHAEL: Not to pile on like a president-suggested flying water tanker that would further compromise an already fragile structure but… what if he becomes the nominee?
ALEXANDRA: Then I will suck it up and get on the Bernie train. I’m a woman surviving the patriarchy — I can fake anything. Except pre-menopause hormonal levels.