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Monologue Mania Day #183 by Janet S. Tiger Tipping Point Aug.14, 2014
(Note - This is the midpoint of my year of monologues. Hence, the title. I have gained much with this project, but these past weeks have some good friends who have just lost dear ones....you know who you are...my prayers are with you at this sad time- this one is for you and your families with much love.)
Tipping Point A monologue by Janet S. Tiger © all rights reserved firstname.lastname@example.org
(The actor comes out onstage dressed as a small child, goes to the middle of the stage, and sits as if on a giant seesaw. Goes up and down, then gets off the plank and carefully puts it at the midpoint and turns to the audience)
(Like a child) I just love to play here in this park! And the teeter-totter is my favoritist thing in the whole world!
(With one hand, the actor pushes the 'plank' and jumps back as it rocks back and forth, laughing all the while.)
My older brother says this is really ...(hard to pronounce)...physics in action. Which is another way of saying stuff for old people, but I think it's just fun!
No matter how high it goes.....
...or how low....
It always comes back to the middle.....exactly.
My brother says that when you are playing, the middle, the even part, is when everything is exactly the same on both sides.....but that if you put just one tiny thing on one side, that it tips, and that's called....the tipping point.
I like that! The tipping point! It's kind of like with adults, when you keep doing something you know they hate, like throwing the ball against the garage door, and they ask you to stop, and you keep doing it because it's so much fun!
(The voice becomes more adult now, the childishness is going fast.)
And then, after you are throwing the ball a lot of times, you throw it one more time, and your mother screams! And loud! And that is HER tipping point!
(The actor laughs removes the child's apparel, looks down now at the seesaw.)
Teeter-totter, I used to love this ......teeter-totter. But it has another name, what the hell is it?
I can't believe I forgot it! Maybe if I sit on it for a minute, it'll come back....
(Sits very gingerly and moves slowly down, then slowly up.)
What was the name?
I could play on this for hours, with or without another kid......what did my brother used to say?...he called it.... it was a physics thing, yeah, we knew he always wanted to be a scientist.
Tipping point, one atom too much on one side, and you go down. One atom too little and you go........ up......
(Looks up. Trying not to cry)
One minute a person is..(deep breath)....breathing.... alive, the next.....they're not.....and the thing is, there's no tipping back. No return.
(Gets off the seesaw, pushes hard, watches as it goes up and down, then slowly balance, touching the plank as it is now even, not moving)
And then everything goes back to some strange evenness, and ....even the pain seems to quiet, and then you hear something, or smell something, or think of something and ....
(Pushes the seesaw, head nodding as the plank moves quickly up and down again.)
The pain is back. Loss.
Funny, no one ever talks about losing pain.
Losing your glasses, losing your car keys.....losing your mind.....but everyone is happy when pain is gone......maybe there's a tipping point for pain, and maybe it has to be in the middle of it, because that's when it seems worst, just before everything starts to shift, and suddenly, the pain is slipping away, and being replaced with.....I don't know, happy things?
When will that be, Mom?
(Looks up again.)
You never told me how much it would hurt to lose you. I mean, we had our arguments, but you know I loved you, and I certainly know you loved me.
(Sits on the seesaw and suddenly stops moving.)
I remember! It's called a SEE-SAW!
Momma, what was that rhyme you used to sing when we went up and down?
(Comes back slowly)
See-saw, Margery Daw,Sold her bed and lay on the straw;Sold her bed and lay upon hayAnd pixies came and carried her away.... (Starts laughing) Pixies! I just loved the word pixies! And I made you sing that song to me a million times.....and you did. See-saw, Marjorie, Daw....that's why I walked out here, Momma, you took my hand and led me out here so I would laugh.......maybe, just maybe, this is the tipping point.........
(Stands up, nods, and pushes the plank, watches, then starts to walk off, turns back to watch again.)
I love you, Momma........
(Salutes the toy and exits. The physical end for some of the dearest people I have met, but not for their love for their families. May they rest in peace. And for my dear Mom - I'm so glad you're still here!)
Janet S. Tiger 858-736-6315
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983 Playwright-in-Residence Swedenborg Hall 2006-8