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To better understand today's monologue, please read the first part of this scene on Jam Day #51, the yesterday's Tea Leaves Day #52
(Another monologue with T is on Day # 15 Lost and Profound)
(This continues from Day #52 and Day #51)
Monologue Mania Day #53 – -Apr. 6, 2014
Tea Leaves (cont.)
from THE BOOK OF TEAS (c)
by Janet S. Tiger
(c) all rights reserved 2014
(T touches her daughter’s arm, and gently pulls her to sit down.)
T- (Quiet but strong) You want to know when to leave, do you? And you think that is an easy question for anyone to help you with?
My dear daughter, that is the question of all time – from the minute you are conceived! That’s right, from the moment those two cells meet, they can hardly wait to leave your belly. Sometimes, they try to leave too early, with disastrous results. Too soon, and there is no chance to survive. But when is the right time? Is eight months enough? Now it usually is, when I was a little girl, eight months meant oven time – that baby was put into the oven and kept on a low flame until it was fully cooked…..until the hospitals had incubators, that is.
Now, I have heard about babies of six months survivin, but the real issue is always, when do they leave that womb?
And then, once they are out, when do they..... just leave?
I remember when your brother was born, I asked my mother, how do you leave them alone, a baby is so helpless?
And she said to me, ‘oh, don’t worry, T, it’ll happen, in fact, before you know it, he’ll be runnin away…..’ And he was. And you were…..walkin, then runnin, then off to school, and before you know it, leavin home to go to college, or the Army, or get married……it’s all leavin, and at the end of it all, and that’s what you face when you get older….
(She turns away, this is harder)
……you have to look at leavin this world for the next.
When is it the right time? When do you stop fightin to see the next sunrise? When do you say, enough? Do you really have a choice? I don’t know – I think it is one of those questions with two answers – yes, you have a choice, and no, at some time, you don’t.
But which is that time?
I think there is a time to show your children and grandchildren how to fight, to keep at it, and then, there is another time, like when my Uncle passed. I was with him, you know, Uncle……., he was in the hospital waitin……and the nurse’s ran in and they started poking him and one asked me to find out if it was ok to give him a needle of something, and I asked him if it was ok, and he grabbed my hand, real tight, like this…..
(She illustrates by grabbing her daughter’s hand)
And he looked deep into my eyes, and it was a very peaceful look, a happy look, as if he had seen the other side, and it was nice, and he said, ‘T, it’s….O..K……’
And the nurses shooed me outta there, and he died, but I knew he was OK, because he told me so, and even though I cried, I was never really afraid of death again.
Now, you, right now, are facin a death of a different kind – the death of a dream, the end of an era….and there will be pain. If you leave him, and it’s the right thing, it will be the beginning of a good era, but just like all changes of the tide, there will be churning of the sands.
And if you decide to be the patient peach jam….well, that is a decision, too. You have young children.
Will it be better to have a runaround husband as an example to them? To keep the peace, to keep a father in the house? Your father was many annoying things, but he never cheated. That I knew, just like I knew your man was a cheater….and don’t ask me how I knew, I think every woman knows. You knew. From the time at the weddin rehearsal when you caught him with one of your cousins. His excuse of bein drunk was accepted by you, but everyone on earth knew that was just the beginning.
So is this the end? Is this enough? Only you know honey. And there will be pain if you stay – a pain you know, and maybe that’s easier.
Nothing is without pain – birth has pain, life has pain, death has pain – isn’t that what the Orientals say? Or is it the Buddhists? I never remember all those foreign religions….. But I do know that whole thing about turnin the other cheek may be good on paper in the Bible, but in real life, it just gets you some sore cheeks…..
(She hugs her daughter)
There. (Takes a deep breath) So you asked me and that is my answer – for whatever it’s worth.
Funny, I’ve been thinkin about this conversation ever since the day you married him. Sometimes the future is just so clear, and yet, for the other person, it’s as if they have on a blindfold.
I suppose, you just saw your children in his eyes…..and that, my dear daughter, is all that matters. And …..whatever else you decide, we both know those children won’t be young forever.
(Lights down. End of scene)