‘This Is Our Youth’ (Jessica and the Mistake)

'This is Our Youth' by Kenneth Lonergan

From: Play

Type: Dramatic

Character: Jessica, an "anxiously insightful" fashion student

Gender: Female

Age Range: Teens

Summary: The play takes place in Dennis Ziegler's apartment on the Upper West Side of Manhattan in March 1982. Dennis's friend Warren Straub, a dejected 19-year-old, has just been kicked out of his house and stolen $15,000 from his abusive lingerie-tycoon father. Dennis, the more wily and domineering of the two, spends some of the money on cocaine, hoping to sell it to a friend for much more. Jessica Goldman, an "anxiously insightful" fashion student, comes over and Warren hopes that he can use the money to entice her into bed.

More: Buy the Play

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JESSICA: Well…OK…It’s just – This is getting a little weird now, because when I talked to Valerie, she asked me if anything happened with us last night, and for some reason, I guess I didn’t really tell her that anything did. So now she’s gonna talk to Dennis and I’m gonna look like a total liar to someone I’m just starting to be close friends with and who I really care about!

But honestly, Warren? I really don’t care who you told, or what you told them, because people are gonna think whatever they think and you know what? There’s nothing I can do about it. I should just really listen to my instincts, you know? Because your instincts are never wrong. And it was totally against my instinct to come over here last night, and it was definitely against my instinct to sleep with you, but I did and it’s too late. And now my Mom is totally furious at me, I probably ruined my friendship with Valerie, and now like Dennis thinks I’m like easy pickings or something! And it’s not like I even care what he thinks, OK? Because I don’t actually know him. Or you. Or Valerie for that matter! So it really doesn’t matter! I’ve made new friends before and I can make more new friends now if I have to. So let’s forget the whole thing ever happened, you can chalk one up in your book, or whatever – and I’ll just know better next time! Hopefully. OK?

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