THE STORY: Jody is in his forties and runs a map store. Not one for the outside world, he stays in his store all the time. His friend, Carl is in his late thirties and has been bringing chairs of dead friends into Jody’s store and leaving them there. When Jody needs to take an AIDS test, Carl tries to convince him it is not only okay to leave the store but also that he must take responsibility for his life. If he doesn’t, he will join the set of chairs that Carl has taken great pains to place in the right spots around the store. Through their interaction, the two realize how grateful they are to have such a strong lasting friendship. Jody finally leaves the map store to take his HIV test and returns to find Carl sitting in a chair of his own. With this gesture, we know that Carl has joined the many of their friends who have died, but now Jody must take Carl’s place as the caretaker.
This compassionate play reveals friendship and fear in the age of AIDS. “Dietz owns all the tools of a crackerjack writer.” —Newsday (NY).