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Apr. 18, 2014 Day #65 Monologue Mania
Peace Out (c)
(for Senior Channel)
by Janet S. Tiger
(c) all rights reserved 2014
(An older man comes out onstage, he is dressed casually, as if he has just finished a long flight.)
For this Senior Channel show, everyone is doing either their own personal rants or their favorite holiday. Well, if I ranted, it would last a lot longer than the few minutes you alot, so I think I'll stick with...holidays.
Now you did birthdays, so I want to nominate.....death days.
We celebrate when people died - JFK, Pearl Harbor, 9/11......I am going to nominate a friend, his name is Jose, and I just came back from burying him in a land far away.
Why did I take back his body to his mother. who is 93, and had to watch another child put in the ground?
Because..... Jose was a good friend.
And the land I buried him in, well..... that's really the story.
You see, when I was young and stupid, I was in the Peace Corps.
Two years. From 21 to 23, right out of college, filled with all kinds of hopes and dreams of helping the underprivileged reach the levels we have here in the United States.
I was miserable the entire two years.
Actually, I think I can honestly say those were the two most miserable years of my life.
I had worked with my father in his construction business, and I spoke some Spanish, so they sent me to a small town in a place in Central America that I will not mention so that your imagination can fill in the blanks.
But it was hot, and humid, and filled with unusual bugs and poisonous things that you could step on, or that could creep or crawl into your bed while you were sleeping.
And yet, nothing was as dangerous as the microscopic parasites......introduced into my system with needlepoint accuracy by a mosquito. Malaria. Yes, there was quinine, and in the sixties, the newer chlorquine...but somehow, over the years, the one that got into me had mutated, and the medicine given to me before I left the relative safety of San Diego, was not useful.
I got sick within the first two weeks, and it was misery.
Slowly, I got better, but then the fevers and chills would return, and I would change, like Jekyll and Hyde, from being able to hammer a nail to being unable to get out of bed.
This went on for months, over a year and a half. But I was young and tough, and I wanted to prove myself.
So I stayed. And as the end of the two years approached, I felt all right. Only two months to go. And then.....it wouldn't let me go. The malaria kept me in bed for weeks...... naturally during the rainiest part of the year, and it was impossible to move me, let alone get me to a hospital.
I slipped into a coma, And I do not remember anything from that point on until I awoke back in San Diego, in a veteran's hospital with guys next to me who had been in Vietnam - and who felt sorry for me.
And now I come to Jose.
In the driving rain, the dangerous horrible roads, Jose took an old broken down truck and drove me over 150 miles to the nearest hospital.....and he saved my life.
He had come with me on the transport back to the States, and brought all my stuff, including....
(He gets a bit emotional about this)
Including .... notes from the villagers thanking me for building them a school and getting running water into their village........
(Pulls himself together)
Anyhow, my family sponsored Jose, and he lived here...until last month, when he died.
And so, on the same roads he brought me back to life,.......I took back his body, to his family.
(He turns to leave, looks back)
When I said those were the two most miserable years of my life, that was true. But, also true, is that all the years after, I had a friend, a good friend. And that is something that is worth honoring with a day of remembrance.
(He exits. The end of one life. May he rest in peace)
Janet S. Tiger 858-274-9678
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983
Swedenborg Hall 2006-8