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Apr. 22, 2014 Day #69 Monologue Mania
Slow Train Coming
(from Book of Teas)
by Janet S. Tiger
© 2014 all rights reserved
(T comes onstage. She is holding a mop. Southern accent, just like in the others)
What does this mop have to do with a slow train coming? Well, I'll tell you, honey, you just set a spell, have some tea, and I'll inform you directly.....
(T mops slowly, very deliberately)
If you have ever been in the South, although I suppose the trains run all over, you will certainly remember having seen a slow train. It is going slowly because the fuel to make it go fast is expensive, and so, because what it is carryin' does not have to be anywhere very fast, the train takes its time, kind of like a cat, who has just eaten and is waitin to find a good place to sleep.
These trains are no less giant, or powerful. They are just as big as other trains, sometimes longer, 50 cars, 100 cars. But they are slow, and deliberate, kind of like how I'm wipin this floor.
(She illustrates, almost like slow brush strokes)
And so, when you hear one comin, far off, with its whistle and the ground startin to shake, you think there is a lot of time to get off the tracks. Now an express, those babies are goin like the wind. You hear one, you know it's time to move. But the slow ones lull you into thinkin you have time.
But they are comin at you, slowly, but surely. Just like this mop, wipin slow but sure. And no matter how long you think you have, it is never enough time.
I always came to the kitchen when I had a decision that I was puttin off. You see, the wipin is quiet, peaceful, kind of like that slow train noise. It doesn't rush you, but, one minute, you start, and there's the whole floor ahead, and the train is far away. Then suddenly you notice, the floor is half done, and that train, chuggin away, is closer, you can hear it round the bend.
People have troubles for two reasons - one, they don't do somethin they should have, like you remember Mr. Tarman, he didn't want to work his fields, like he should have. He wanted to read, and sleep, and chew tobacco. So they lost their farm, because he didn't do what he should have.
Now, others, they do things they shouldn't a been doin - like widow Stubinhall, she shouldn't a been bringin cakes and food to that married man over in the next county when his wife was away, leastwise, not without one of her children to accompany her. But she did, and the results were on the front page, remember? When the wife came back and found them, together, it turns out the wife had been a champion skeet shooter in her youth, and she had not forgotten those skills as an angry, cheated on spouse.
So, some people do not do what they should, others do what they shouldn't. Bad results, both ways.
(She pauses to look at the floor)
Now look a that.....I've only got a few spots left.
(She puts a hand to her ear.)
Is that the train? Is it almost here?
(Leans on the mop)
When you are on the tracks with a person - it doesn't matter whether they did the wrong thing or just didn't do the right thing, if you stay with them on the tracks, you will be squashed, too.
(She takes a final swipe)
Unless, of course,.......
(She pushes the mop as if it were a person)
...... you push the person out of the way, just in time, because they will not get off the tracks!....and you...
(She stands there, arms out, as if a train were about to hit, her mouth open, she screams)
You get runned over, because you want to be some type of hero!
(She leans the mop against the wall)
What is my advice? Go home, my dear daughter, and get yourself a mop and pretend there is a train comin. Because there is a train comin......
(She turns to leave, looks back. )
And when you are done with the moppin, you will find there is an answer, because, if there isn't, at least you will know it's time to jump off the tracks.
(She exits. End of scene)
Janet S. Tiger 858-274-9678
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983
Swedenborg Hall 2006-8