Touch Me Real
by Gabrielle Lennon

The Live One-Woman Show

What is it really like when someone gets schizophrenia?
What’s schizophrenia really like?
What’s it like for those who love the victim?
What do they all have to lose?

Carrie and Mike, college students and best friends, tell their most intimate secrets to each other, and share the same unique sense of humor. They fall in love with each other as well, but Carrie is too terrified to let herself go with these feelings. Since the pair is so emotionally intimate, being physically intimate as well feels terrifying to her. Their friendship deepens through the years, as does their buried love.

When they graduate, Carrie moves to a yoga ashram for six months, then to her own apartment in a separate city from Mike. She realizes she can’t shove her feelings under the rug anymore, and invites Mike to visit her. During the visit, Mike confides that while they were apart, he attempted suicide, the doctors put him on a lot of medication – none of which he needs – and he’s taken himself off of it because it makes his hands shake, his music-writing impossible, and his sex drive nonexistent.

Carrie and Mike briefly get together, but as the visit progresses and the medication leaves Mike’s system, he becomes more and more psychotic, until he has a full-blown psychotic episode. Carrie discovers that Mike has been diagnosed with sudden onset paranoid schizophrenia, and that they will never be able to have the relationship they had secretly wanted all those years, but were too afraid to really go for.

Touch Me Real is about telling those we love that we love them – because we never know how much time we really have. It’s also about friendship, love, terror, mental illness, and truly touching someone in the deepest ways.


Gabrielle Lennon graduated from Northwestern University with a degree in Performance Studies, and Creative Writing. At Northwestern, she was in the honors Creative Writing for the Media program, and studied with, among other wonderful people, Edgar-Award-winner, Stuart Kaminski and Tony-Award-winner, Frank Galati. Her work focused on analysis, interpretation, and performance of prose, poetry, and drama, and on creative writing in all genres. She has two books published – Touch Me Real and Other Stories and After Midnight: A Book of Poetry. Lennon also writes professionally for magazines, newspapers, newsletters, journals, and the theater.

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