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This is Day # 365- April Fools! Have a great day!
April 1, 2014 Day #47 Monologue Mania by Janet S. Tiger © all rights reserved firstname.lastname@example.org
Possibilities - For Donut Diaries original title -
Coffee Shop of Fools (c)
by Janet S. Tiger
© April 1, 2004 all rights reserved
(from an idea by William Schechter)
(The stage will have no curtain, and will be set up to show a very typical coffee shop with one area inside and a division to show outside seating: tables, chairs, people having coffee, donuts, etc. There is one area for the cashier, a cash register is optional as the object of the set is not complete reality, but true reality, the reality that sits in our brains and hearts much longer than the specifics ever do.
While the audience is being seated, the cast will occupy the seats and have coffee and conversations that are heard, but not completely understood, muffled by the distance and time. There are mostly older clients, men and women in their sixties, seventies, eighties. They wear pants, hats, shirts, blouses of an indeterminate era – although the play is set in 2004, you’d be hard-pressed to tell what year it is – except for the use of cell phones and laptop computers that a few of the patrons have. Also, there is no smoking in the coffee shop, so it can’t be in the forties or fifties or sixties, but since most of these people were alive in those years, the coffee shop is about those years also.
As the house lights go down, and the stage lights are now the only ones on, a young man comes into a spotlight that follows him through the audience. He is a handsome fellow, in his prime, maybe 30, 32, strong, a full head of dark hair, virile, intelligent, sharp, young, but not wet behind the ears. He is wearing a shirt that shows off the muscles in his arms. He goes over to a few of the audience members, greets them, shakes hands, says ‘hi’. The audience is very much a part of this coffee shop.
Finally, he makes it to the stage and he smiles happily at the audience. He is glad to be alive.)
Hello, I’m glad you could be here tonight. Before we get started, I have to ask you, how old do you think I am?
(Audience members call out numbers, 28, 35, 31, etc. He shakes his head ‘no’ to all of them)
I am eighty years old. (Waits for the reaction, then smiles again) You don’t believe me, do you? But I am. Eighty years old. (Waits again until the laughter stops) Now if that guy over there ……
(He points to one of the men sitting at a nearby table)
If he told you he was eighty, you wouldn’t laugh.
(An older man stands up and waves at the audience.)
You know why you don’t laugh – because he could be eighty. Actually, he is eighty. How do I know? Because that guy over there …..is me. Yeah, he’s eighty, but inside, this is who he is. Inside, he never grows over 180 pounds, never drops below six foot tall, never loses hair and is always able to lift a table over his head….
(To illustrate, Willy takes a table and lifts it effortlessly)
Inside, I am he. Or, more accurately, on the outside, he is me. Now when I was 35 for real, I never thought about being one year old. No one wants to stay one year old forever. Just the way no one wants to be old. That’s right, babies and old people have a lot in common, and I’m not talking about the drool and diapers, either.
That’s the easy similarities – I’m talking about the real world, and for babies and old people the real world is confusing. Other people are always telling you what to do, and you can’t do a lot of things for yourself, like tie your shoes or make breakfast. You can’t walk that well, and running, well, that’s just a dream for most babies and old people. You eat a lot of stuff you can’t identify while other people eat stuff that smells really good. You have to depend on other people to do a lot of things for you. And if you try to do something fun, someone is always telling you to stop. You don’t always sleep through the night. And everything moves so fast! (Pause) And if you’re a boy, you know those girls are great, but you’re not sure what for.
So that’s why, inside, we’re all like this, in our prime, able to do anything, and knowing that anything is possible.
And the best part is, when we think back to the years when we looked like this, you know what, all the bad things about those years, you know, the things like having five kids to feed and no money and your wife nagging you to death….when you think back…it’s all the good stuff. The bad stuff (he leans over conspiratorially) you can’t remember!
(He cocks his ear as if to listen to a question.)
What’s that? You want to know why all the others look old and not me? That’s easy…it’s because this is MY PLAY!
(Lights fade on Willy.)