Sunday, June 1, 2008

Excerpt from the play VOLLEYS

VOLLEYS is a series of sketches depicting the relationships between men and women. Some volleys are playful (Volley for serve.) Some are more serious, as in cannon volleys in wartime. Nothing in this play is made up. It’s bits of conversations I’ve heard (or at least to which I’ve been a party.) The following monologue is almost word for word as it was given to me in a Dance Hall on a Friday evening. By the end of the evening, a variation on this practiced speech had been duplicated to everyone in the place. I included it in the play because I suspected sad people like this actually existed, but I had never personally met one before.

AMY: See that woman over there? The one in the black dress? No! Don’t turn around. See her, now? That’s Jill Forrest. She hates me. I don’t know why. Jealous, I guess. I’m younger, prettier … I only mention it because she’s talking to Mike. Look how bored he is. Mike and I are getting married, did you know that? We haven’t formalized anything, he hasn’t even asked me yet. But he will. That’s why I came over to talk to you. You’re his friend. May I ask you something personal? Does Mike talk to you about me? What does he say? You can be honest. I can take it. Here he comes. Hi darling! Did you see that? Did you see how he smiled? He does love me, he just hates to show public affection. Shy. We’re going to be so happy – just the two of us. Once we get married and I get him away from that crowd he runs around with. I know they’re telling him bad things about me. I don’t mean you, of course. Who’s he talking to, now? I don’t know that woman. Do you? I don’t think I like her – her type. Would you do me a big favor? Go over and talk to him. And somewhere in the conversation – casually – ask him why he never says he loves me. But make it seem like it’s your idea. Tell him that I’m a person, I like to hear it, too. He does love me, you know. We’re getting married. Soon. We have to – I’m thirty years old, I don’t have that many child bearing years left. My sister is five years younger than I am, she already has two little girls. There he is- tell him! Tell him he has to marry me! Tell him I’ve saved myself, I don’t want to be alone any longer …

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