Previous installment: Act I
Act II: The same location as Act I, three years later. Everything looks exactly the same and no one looks any older, but that’s fine – no soprano who’s actually old enough to sing Butterfly would ever be remotely believable as a teenager anyway, so who gives a shit. As the curtain rises, Suzuki can be seen praying and ringing a little bell in front of a shrine to the Buddha, and Butterfly is lying on the floor with her head in her hands.
Butterfly: ... holy shit so hung over...
Suzuki: Yeah, we should probably go easy on the sake bombs from now on. My head is killing me.
Butterfly: If your head hurts so much, you could always stop ringing that goddamn bell.
Suzuki: Nah, I’m good.
[She starts ringing again.]
Suzuki: Dear Japanese Creator Gods:
Please make Butterfly stop being such a cranky bitch all the time.
The Audience: So, wait. She’s sitting at a Buddhist shrine and praying to Shinto gods? How does that make any sense at all?
Puccini: Shinto and Buddhism aren’t the same thing?
The Audience: [facepalm]
Puccini: Meh. All them Eastern religions look alike to me.
Butterfly: THE JAPANESE GODS ARE LAZY ASSHOLES
Butterfly: The American God is so much cooler!
Neil Gaiman: Thanks!
Butterfly: Wasn’t talking to you.
Neil Gaiman: Oh. Sad face.
Suzuki: If the American God is so awesome, why doesn’t he ever answer your prayers?
Butterfly: Well obviously he hasn’t figured out where we live yet because we’re so far from America. Duh.
The Audience: Impeccable logic.
Suzuki: So why don’t you try praying to someone who knows where you live?
Butterfly: Because fuck you, that’s why. How much money do we have left?
[Suzuki opens a small box and takes out a few coins.]
Suzuki: Looks like we’re pretty much broke.
Suzuki: Maybe you could try getting a job or something?
Butterfly: NO I AM GOING TO WAIT FOR MY HUSBAND TO COME BACK AND PROVIDE FOR ME
Suzuki: You mean the husband who left Japan three years ago and hasn’t even written to you since?
Butterfly: Yeah, that one. He knows how to take care of his family.
Suzuki: You and I have very different definitions of “take care.”
Butterfly: Well he made sure that the guy from the American consulate kept paying our rent, so he must be coming back!
Suzuki: Are we sure that Mister Sharpless isn’t paying the rent on his own because he’s a good person and doesn’t want to see us go homeless?
Butterfly: NO GODDAMMIT IT WAS MY HUSBAND’S IDEA
Suzuki: Sure it was.
Butterfly: My darling Pinkerton wants to keep me safe and sound until he returns because he loves me and he always will!
Suzuki: Yeah, about that. When was the last time you heard of an American sailor actually coming back to Japan for his woman?
Butterfly: IF YOU KEEP SASSING ME I’M GONNA CUT OUT YOUR GODDAMN OVARIES AND FEED THEM TO A TANUKI
The Audience: Wow. She seems a little touchy today.
Butterfly: Don't you remember? I asked him when he was coming back and he told me he’d return in the season when the robins build their nests!
Suzuki: Yeah, that’s super specific and it really inspires confidence in his trustworthiness.
Butterfly: Shut the fuck up. I’m telling you, one of these days he’ll just come sailing back into the harbor and walking up this huge fucking mountain to come see me but I’m going to hide and keep him waiting, mostly because I’m a huge cocktease –
The Audience: As demonstrated by the last twenty minutes of Act I...
Butterfly: – but also so I don’t just die when I see him again!
Puccini: Once again... hint hint.
The Audience: GO AWAY ALREADY
Butterfly: And then I’ll run to him and he’ll embrace me and kiss me and tear off my clothes and whip out his huge –
Suzuki: Oooookay, I think I get the idea.
Butterfly: I CAN’T WAIT IT’S GONNA BE SO AWESOME
[Butterfly dismisses Suzuki. Goro and Sharpless appear at the top of the hill. Sharpless approaches the house and knocks. Goro hides near the house so he can eavesdrop because he’s shifty and also an asshole.]
Sharpless: Hello? Mrs. Butterfly?
Butterfly: FOR THE LAST GODDAMN TIME MY NAME IS MRS. PINKERTON
Sharpless: Um. If this is a bad time, I can come back later...
[She opens the door.]
Butterfly: Oh, hello! It's so good to see you!
Sharpless: You remember me?
Butterfly: No offense, but I've only ever met, like... two white guys. And since I'm pretty sure you're not my husband, that narrows it down a bit.
Sharpless: Fair enough.
[Butterfly beckons for Sharpless to come inside and claps her hands to call Suzuki.]
Butterfly: Soooo how are all your ancestors doing?
Sharpless: Uh... still dead, last time I checked. But thanks for asking!
[Butterfly and Sharpless kneel on cushions on either side of a small table, and Butterfly giggles at her guest’s obvious discomfort because she’s a huge bitch. Suzuki brings in a tray with a long pipe and some tobacco, while Sharpless removes a letter from his jacket pocket.]
Butterfly: [gesturing to the tray] Care for a smoke?
Sharpless: No thanks, I’m good. Listen, I’ve got to talk to you about –
[Butterfly takes a hit from the pipe.]
Butterfly: Oh man that’s some good shit. You sure you don’t want some?
Sharpless: No, really. I’m fine.
Butterfly: What are you, some kinda narc? Are you wearing a wire?
Sharpless: I have no idea what that means. Can we just –
Butterfly: Maybe you’d like some cigarettes instead? Or some black tar heroin?
Sharpless: WOULD YOU JUST SHUT UP FOR TWO GODDAMN SECONDS
Sharpless: I’m here because I have a letter from your husband.
Butterfly: OHMIGAWD REALLY HOW IS HE
Sharpless: He’s fine.
Butterfly: Well, that’s a relief. Soooo could you tell me when robins build their nests in America?
Me: When they’re adopted by eccentric billionaires who dress up as flying rodents and fight crime.
The Audience: That’s really not as funny as you think it is.
Me: Batman is always funny.
The Audience: Shut up.
Sharpless: Sorry, I’m confused. Why exactly do you need to know this?
Butterfly: My husband said he’d return when the robins make their nests, but they’ve already done that several times now. But there’s no way my beloved Pinkerton would ever lie to me, so maybe American robins don’t make nests as often as they do in Japan?
The Audience: Once again... impeccable logic. And do they even have robins in Japan?
Puccini: How the fuck should I know?
[Goro emerges from his hiding place and starts laughing at Butterfly’s naïveté.]
Goro: ahahahaha oh man you’re a moron
Butterfly: WHO THE FUCK IS LAUGHING AT ME
Butterfly: Oh, it’s this asshole. Get the fuck off my property. [to Sharpless] Can you answer my question now?
Sharpless: Actually, I can’t. I don’t know anything about ornithology.
Sharpless: Ornithology. The study of birds.
Butterfly: Oh. So you don’t know when robins build their nests?
Butterfly: THEN WHAT GODDAMN USE ARE YOU
Sharpless: [indicating Pinkerton’s letter] Look, can we just get back to –
Butterfly: Oh, right. [pointing at Goro] Soooo this douchebag keeps showing up at my house and trying to hook me up with new husbands, even though I keep telling him that I’m already married.
Goro: Bitch, you’re broke as hell, your family has disowned you, and your handsome American husband has totally abandoned you. If you don’t marry someone else, you’re going to starve to death.
Butterfly: I’m comfortable with that. Tell your suitor to find another geisha.
Goro: Wellll he’s already here, so you can tell him yourself! HEY YAMADORI COME ON IN
[Yamadori enters on a sedan chair, carried by several servants.]
Butterfly: Again? Don’t you ever get tired of being rejected?
Yamadori: Hey, baby. I know you must be tired, ‘cause you’ve been meekly shuffling through my mind allllll day.
Goro: Heh. Good one, your highness.
[Goro goes for a high-five. Yamadori ignores him.]
Butterfly: I bet you said that to all the other girls you married... and then divorced.
Yamadori: More or less. But I promise to be true to you!
Butterfly: Fuck off.
Goro: Are you serious? He’s a prince and he’s got a palace and he’s just generally rich as fuck! WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU
Butterfly: I’M ALREADY MARRIED
Yamadori and Sharpless: [facepalm]
Butterfly: DON’T YOU FACEPALM AT ME
Goro: But the law says –
Butterfly: I DON’T GIVE A SHIT ABOUT THE LAW
Goro: – that if a husband abandons his wife, it’s the same thing as getting a divorce.
Butterfly: Welllll Japanese law no longer applies to me because I'M AN AMERICAN CITIZEN NOW
Sharpless: That’s... not really how it works.
Butterfly: If someone wants to get divorced in Japan, all they have to do is kick the wife out of the house and that’s bullshit. But in America, anyone who tries to get a divorce is immediately thrown in prison and spends the next twenty years getting sodomized by burly men covered with scars and tattoos!
Sharpless: Your understanding of the American legal system is rudimentary at best.
Butterfly: Suzuki, bring some tea for our guests!
[Butterfly and Suzuki busy themselves with the tea while the men-folk converse.]
Yamadori: That’s not actually how it works, right?
Sharpless: No. She’s a moron.
Goro: But Pinkerton’s ship has almost arrived!
Yamadori: Wait. He’s actually coming back for her?
Sharpless: Hell no. He doesn’t actually want to see her, but he sent me to tell her because he’s too much of a pussy to do it himself.
Yamadori: Wow. What a little bitch.
The Audience: I know, right?
[Butterfly approaches and hands Sharpless a cup of tea.]
Butterfly: Here you go, Mister Sharpless! Those other two assholes can wait.
Yamadori: Aaaand that’s my cue to leave.
Butterfly: Your cue to leave was at least four pages ago, but you ignored it.
Yamadori: Charming, as always. If you ever decide to stop being such a frigid bitch, give me a call.
Butterfly: Not gonna happen.
Yamadori: Okay, have fun starving to death. Yamadori out.
[He and his servants exit, followed by Goro.]
Sharpless: Okay, they’re gone. Can we please read this letter now?
Butterfly: Oh, right! I had forgotten all about it. Have I mentioned that you’re the best person in the world for reading me this love letter from my adoring husband?
The Audience: Womp womp.
Sharpless: I’m just gonna ignore that and start reading.
The Audience: Probably a good idea.
Sharpless: Ahem. “Dear Sharpless,
I’d like you to go find that hot piece of ass I married – ”
Butterfly: He really says that? How romantic!
Sharpless: Yes. Now shut up.
“ – and read her this letter. Three years have passed since we were together – ”
Butterfly: He’s been counting the days too! He misses me!
Sharpless: “ – and maybe Butterfly doesn’t remember me anymore – ”
Butterfly: How could I ever forget him? He’s my soul mate!
Sharpless: “ – but if she still loves me and is still waiting for me – ”
Butterfly: I LOVE HIM SO MUUUUUCH
Sharpless: “ – then I’d really appreciate it if you’d tell her that – ”
Butterfly: OHMIGAAAWD HE’S COMING BACK ISN’T HE THAT’S WHY HE SENT THE LETTER AHHHHH I’M SO EXCITED
Sharpless: [aside] Oh, for fuck’s sake. Pinkerton, you’re an asshole. [putting the letter away] Look. Speaking from an entirely hypothetical point of view... what would you do if you were to find out that maaaaybe your husband might never actually come back to you at all?
Butterfly: Oh, that’s easy. I could either go back to being a geisha, or – and this is my preferred option – I could FUCKING KILL MYSELF BECAUSE I WOULDN’T WANT TO LIVE WITHOUT HIM
Sharpless: Oh. Wow. Have you considered that maybe it would be better to just marry Yamadori and let him provide for you?
Butterfly: FUCK NO IT’S EITHER GEISHA-ING OR SUICIDE
Butterfly: I ALSO DON’T APPRECIATE THE INSINUATION THAT MY HUSBAND DOESN’T LOVE ME ANYMORE SO PLEASE GET THE FUCK OUT OF MY HOUSE
Sharpless: Yeah, I think it might be best if I left.
Butterfly: NOOO I DIDN’T MEAN IT PLEASE STAY
Sharpless: Getting mixed signals here.
Butterfly: It’s just that your words hurt me so much that I thought I might literally die.
Butterfly: But I’m okay now. [taking a deep breath] So that motherfucker’s forgotten me, huh?
Sharpless: Well, not exactly...
The Orchestra: ALLEGRO MODERATO, MOLTO VIBRATO
Anyone Who Has Fallen Asleep: HOLY SHIT WHAT'S GOING ON
[Butterfly exits and re-enters a few measures later, carrying a child who’s approximately two years and three months old.]
The Audience: Wait, what the shit?
Butterfly: AND HAS HE FORGOTTEN HIS CHILD TOO
The Audience: There’s been a kid at the house this whole time, and we never saw him running around and playing or even heard him crying? Either that's the most well-behaved child in the world, or he’s been tied up and gagged in a closet since the beginning of the act.
Sharpless: Sooo Pinkerton knocked you up?
Butterfly: You bet your white ass he did. Check it out – he even has blonde hair and blue eyes!
The Audience: Wait. Blonde hair and blue eyes on a half-Japanese child? Aren’t both of those genetic traits recessive?
Puccini: Fuck off.
Sharpless: Damn. Does Pinkerton know?
Butterfly: Nnnnope. I didn’t start showing until after he went back to America.
Sharpless: Okay, well... he can’t actually forget his child if he doesn’t actually know it exists.
Butterfly: Huh. Good point.
Butterfly: Well, you can write to Pinkerton and tell him that he has a beautiful son! That will definitely get him to come back.
The Audience: Yeah, because he cares about family so much.
Butterfly: [to her son] Do you want to know what this gentleman told me I should do?
The Audience: D'awwwww he's the cutest thing ever.
Butterfly: He said that I should take you in my arms and wander through the mud and the rain and beg for alms on the side of the road!
Sharpless: Uh... I never said that.
Butterfly: And that I should call out for people to listen as I sang my song in front of an unfeeling, pitiless crowd!
Sharpless: You're just making shit up.
Butterfly: WELL I'M NEVER GOING TO SING OR DANCE LIKE A GEISHA AGAIN
Sharpless: I didn't ask you to!
Butterfly: I WOULD RATHER DIE FIRST
[Butterfly embraces her son, sobbing.]
The Audience: Wow. She's pretty crazy, but for some reason we can't stop crying now.
Sharpless: I know, right?
Puccini: That's how I roll, motherfuckers.
Sharpless: Okay, well. I hate to ruin the moment, but I have to go. Sorry for ruining your day and whatnot.
Butterfly: It's all right. [to her son] Say goodbye to Mister Sharpless!
Sharpless: He's so cute! What's his name?
Butterfly: Wellll his name is Sorrow at the moment, but when my baby-daddy comes home, his name will be Joy!
The Audience: It says in the program that his name is Trouble.
Me: Yeah, that's stupid. He's not a blues singer or a song-and-dance number from a Meredith Willson musical, so there's no good reason to call him that.
The Audience: But “Trouble with a capital T and that rhymes with P and that stands for Pinkerton” does have certain ring to it...
Sharpless: I'll tell his father, I promise.
[Sharpless bids Butterfly goodbye and leaves. Suzuki enters a few moments later, dragging Goro behind her.]
Suzuki: SAY THAT ONE MORE TIME
Goro: But – but –
Suzuki: I DARE YOU – I DOUBLE DARE YOU MOTHERFUCKER
Butterfly: What's going on?
Suzuki: THIS ASSHOLE HAS BEEN SPREADING RUMORS IN TOWN THAT NO ONE KNOWS WHO YOUR BABY-DADDY IS
Butterfly: Oh no he DIDN'T
Goro: Look, I was only saying – since you love America so much – that if he were to actually live in America, he would be a social outcast!
The Audience: Yeah, because that's so much better.
[Butterfly grabs her dad's seppuku knife, throws Goro on the floor, and puts the blade to his throat.]
Butterfly: MOTHERFUCKER IF YOU EVER SAY THAT AGAIN I WILL KILL YOU AND DUMP YOUR BODY OFF A CLIFF
Suzuki: Oookay, maybe we should all calm down before someone actually gets murdered.
[Butterfly releases Goro, who flees offstage and is never seen again. Butterfly puts the knife down and turns back to Sorrow.]
Butterfly: Sorry about all the yelling. But just wait – your dad's going to come home and we're going to be one big happy family again!
[A cannon sounds offstage.]
Suzuki: The cannon in the harbor! There's a ship coming in!
Butterfly: I can see it! It's a white ship, and it's flying an American flag!
The Audience: Damn, she's got good eyesight.
[Suzuki brings Butterfly a telescope so she can read the name of the ship.]
Butterfly: HOLY SHIT IT'S THE U.S.S. ABRAHAM LINCOLN THAT'S HIS SHIP
Suzuki: … wow. Looks like you were right all along.
Butterfly: EVERYONE THOUGHT I WAS CRAZY TO WAIT FOR HIM BUT WHO'S LAUGHING NOW
Suzuki: Yeah, about that. My bad.
Butterfly: MY HUSBAND'S COMING HOME AND LOVE HAS TRIUMPHED
Pinkerton: [somewhere in the harbor] Boy, I'm sure glad I had Sharpless tell Butterfly that I don't love her anymore! It's such a relief to know that I won't have to deal with some ridiculous drama on my return visit to Japan.
The Audience: [facepalm]
Butterfly: QUICK SUZUKI GET SOME CHERRY BLOSSOMS I WANT TO MAKE THE PLACE LOOK ALL PRETTY
Suzuki: … are you crying?
Butterfly: I'M JUST SO HAPPY
Suzuki: Okay. Well, it'll take him at least a couple hours to get here, so we have time to make the house look pretty.
Butterfly: Let's pick ALL THE FLOWERS
Suzuki: Sounds like a plan!
[They run around the garden picking flowers and singing.]
Suzuki: I'm so glad that you're not going to be a whiny bitch anymore!
Butterfly: I know, right?
Suzuki: Okay, we've pretty much cleaned out the garden. What now?
Butterfly: Now we scatter the flowers everywhere!
Suzuki: The flowers were already all over the place. Couldn't we have just left them where they were?
Butterfly: NOOO MY WAY IS BETTER
Butterfly: And also we're gonna sing about it.
[They start tossing flowers around the house.]
Butterfly and Suzuki: SOUS LE DÔME ÉPAIS
OÙ LE BLANC JASMIN
The Audience: Wrong flower duet, guys.
Butterfly and Suzuki: LET'S MAKE THE HOUSE SMELL LIKE SPRINGTIME
BY THROWING FLOWERS EVERYWHEEEERE
[They eventually run out of flowers.]
Butterfly: Now bring me my son and help me get dressed!
[Suzuki exits. Butterfly looks in a mirror.]
Butterfly: Oh man, I look so old.
The Audience: Yuuuuup.
Butterfly: Shut the fuck up. I've had a rough three years.
[Suzuki comes back in with Sorrow.]
Butterfly: Put some makeup on my face!
Suzuki: Can't you do it yourself?
Butterfly: Nnnnope. And also put some rouge on Sorrow's cheeks; I want him to look fabulous when his dad gets here!
[Suzuki touches up Butterfly’s makeup and starts brushing her hair.]
Suzuki: Hold still, goddammit.
Butterfly: I can't wait to rub this in my family's stupid faces. Especially my uncle, that stupid stupidhead of a Bonze.
Suzuki: There. Finished.
Butterfly: And also bring me my wedding robe.
Suzuki: FOR THE LOVE OF GOD JUST DO ONE THING YOURSELF
Butterfly: I don't pay you to complain.
Suzuki: You don't pay me at all anymore because you're broke as fuck. I'm only here because I love you like a sister!
Butterfly: Aww, that's so sweet. Now bring me my fucking robe.
Suzuki: grumble grumble
Butterfly: And Sorrow's robe too, please.
[Suzuki brings the clothes out, helping Butterfly and Sorrow get dressed.]
Butterfly: I want to look just like I did on the day of our wedding!
The Audience: That's convenient, because you look exactly the same.
[Suzuki finishes Butterfly's outfit by putting a poppy in her hair.]
Butterfly: Wonderful! And now we play the waiting game.
[They sit down and wait for Pinkerton to arrive. And wait. Aaaaand wait.]
The Chorus: [offstage] HEY HOW DO YOU LIKE OUR HUMMING
The Audience: It's very pretty.
The Chorus: THAAAAANKS
[Butterfly, Suzuki, and Sorrow keep waiting. The sky turns dark.]
Sorrow: But I hafta peeeeeeee
Butterfly: Shut up and sit still.
[End of Act II.]
Next installment: Act III