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*****Parent alert - strong language, cursing**********
by Janet S. Tiger
(c) all rights reserved Feb. 23, 2014
(Lights come up slowly, we know the sun is rising, as the rays come through a small window -and we see a prison cell of some kind. On a wall is a hook with a prison uniform. As the scene brightens, we see a youngish man – is he in his twenties, thirties?, lying on a cot. He is already awake, and starts to stir when the light hits his face, as he takes the blanket off. He is physically strong, with tattoos, and is dressed only in his boxer shorts, and he now takes a book from under his pillow, faces the sun coming through the window, and kneels, reading the book and quietly praying.
When finished, he looks around, picking up a stick, a pencil? And holding it up to the sunlight so it casts a shadow.)
Breakfast in about 10 minutes.
God, I…I think I..I’m hungry.
(He looks up at the sunlight.)
What about you, God? Are you hungry in the morning?
Now that I..I’m off that stuff, I…I seem to be a little hungrier. Of course, that’s until I..I see what they bring me. Bologna and eggs, bologna and hot dogs, hot dogs and eggs. Never thought I..I would say this, but it sure would be nice to see some vegetable.
Hey, Ma, didja hear that? I..I actually want to see a vegetable. Now eat one, that might take some time, but hey, I…I got plenty of time.
(Takes a deep breath.)
It’s how many days?
(He looks at a part of the wall.)
Three weeks, twenty one days for the first cloud of withdrawal, then another 16, that’s 37, from 182, (thinks) ……that’s 145 to go.
(He starts to makes a mark on the wall, then stops. )
Hey, God, whaddaya think about this- maybe I..I should wait until the whole day is over before I..I make the mark that the day is over?
Good idea, huh?
I think so, I..I hope you approve.
(He shakes his head, leans his head toward the faint sunlight)
How did I..I think I..I can do this?
(More desperate) Okay, God, you have to listen to me some more, dunno if I…I can do this……man, this is tougher than I…I thought it would be……
(He picks up the Bible and puts it down.)
Hey, God, I..I have something to say to you. I..I mean, I’ve been talking to you for a few days now. Maybe the first few didn’t make that much sense………
(Stops to listen, laughs)
Did you say I..I was babbling? Yeah, that’s a good word for it.
Oh shit! …..can’t believe this! …sorry, God, about the shit, I…I mean about cursing, I..I’m trying to stop…..oh, man…….now I..I’m not only talking to God, I..I’m apologizing when I…I curse…..and even worse…… I..I’m hearing his voice!
Okay, your voice!
(Looks up, shakes head)
I..I know you’ve heard it all before, I…I guess, I…I just want to be more polite, it might make it easier when I…I get outta here.
(Shakes his head, starts to pace)
This is really starting to get to me!
I..I thought being away from the drugs would help, but I…I think I..I’m having what one of those shrinks called a…..what was the fancy word?.....a psychotic break! I..I’m hearing voices!
Real voices, like if you were in the room, God!
Maybe it’s because of this book, huh? I..I mean, I’ve been reading it now for a few weeks…and I…I gotta tell ya, God….I..I dunno if you can take it, I..I mean, had a friend who was a writer back in school, and he did not criticism well, but …..the Bible is boring.
(He cringes, as if someone is about to hit him.)
There I..I said it! I..I’m sorry…..no, that’s not true, I said I..I’d tell the truth, and I..I’m not sorry – you probably know, right? I..I mean just because a lotta people say something is great, doesn’t mean it is, right? Like in school, all those books they try to get you to read, like Moby Dick and The Great Gatsby, they stink. But the Bible, you can’t say the Bible is boring…..but I..I did.
And you didn’t smite me down, dija?
Maybe there’s something in here…..that’s not so boring…I..I’m gonna keep reading, because it’s all I have now…..
(He picks up the Bible and thumbs through it.)
(He holds up the page.)
Oh, I forget, you probably know this part…. (Quoting) Matthew 12:22 ‘Then a demon-oppressed man who was blind and mute was brought to him, and he healed him, so that the man spoke and saw. ‘
How come you don’t have like whole chapters about demons? I mean, they’re a lot more fun than the angels, right?
(He closes the Bible almost violently. He is angry.)
Why are there demons? And I..I don’t mean the devil, I..I mean the people who sell this stuff….(thinks) that would be me, I’m a demon. I..I sold that shit ….sorry…I sold those drugs to people. Does that make me a demon?
(Quoting) “ Demons cannot occupy any place that God has conquered.” What the hell is that supposed to mean? Sorry, is hell a curse, too? I..I forget some of the stuff I heard in Sunday school. And hey, now that I’m reading your book, there’s a lotta stuff in here they never taught us, never talked about.
(He pulls his hair back, and starts to shudder. )
Okay, God, we have to have an understanding. I..I started this so I..I could get out of here in six months, no parole. They can’t say I..I made trouble in here, can’t say I..I started a fight, or took drugs, or sold drugs, or anything. The worst could be if I..I write on the walls, but I..I can erase that stuff, so that’s no problem.
What is the problem? Lemme tell you – I..I want to tell the truth. That’s what I..I promised myself when I..I started this. I..I mean, the only one left to lie to is…me. From what I..I understand, I..I can’t lie to you…..you know everything.
(Laughs) So I..I guess that makes you a know-it-all, right, God? Did anyone ever call you that when you were a kid?
(Laughs, then stops, it’s not funny what he is about to talk about)
So you know that ………(hard to say)…..they took my son away…... his mother is in jail for drugs, too, and I..I may never see him again. He’s a good kid – nothing like me, thank you God for that. But I..I want to be better, maybe one day, get to see him again. Who knows…well, maybe you do….but maybe, we could be a family.
(He is pacing, trying not to break down)
(In anguish) Why am I..I tellin you this? Because I..I think you can help me? But you know what I..I think about you, right? That’s no secret, right? Not only is your dumb Bible boring, but……(almost impossible to say)…but I…I…I don’t believe in you, God!
(He falls to his knees and is trying not to cry.)
How many more days of this can I do!!!!
(He sits rocking, and quiets slowly, then he looks up, hears a noise, he goes to his prison uniform and puts it on quickly. He is now more docile, a prisoner again, then he looks up.)
Well, I..I guess it’s not solitary, if you’re here with me, right God?
(He tilts his head to ‘listen’ and smiles. There is a sound of a key, and he turns to get his food.)
Later, God, later…..
(As we hear food on metal plates moving into his room, lights dim. The end.)
Janet S. Tiger 858-274-9678
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983
Swedenborg Hall 2006-8