Funny Girls Coping with Boys
(FELICE WITH A RECEIVER IN HER HAND.)
FELICE: I was voting. I always vote. I go in, I go up to the lady. She finds my card, I sign my name. It’s primaries so no one’s there, I go right in, pull the little thingy, the curtain closes, I look up at the names — I never heard of anyone. Well, I do. I pay attention to this stuff. I read the little sheets they have on who’s running. But, you see? How all this has made me? I totally forgot you have to know who to vote for. You have to make a decision. I felt myself starting to cry, and I said no. No way. No more crying, no more baking, no more horror videos, no more dark glasses. I can’t believe I did this, but I did. I pushed open the curtain and screamed — who are these people! Yes, my hands were shaking, but I couldn’t stop. I said I don’t know who these people are! Can you tell me who they are?! At first, it was to everyone, then it was to the next person in line. He was standing right there and I had to talk to someone. No, the thing is, would you wait, the thing is, he was laughing at me. Laughing.
(ACROSS STAGE, GARY SLOWLY DIALS HIS PHONE.)
He showed me, yes, he had one of those sheets and we went through it together. Then, we went next door and got a cup of coffee. A-huh, and we discussed the public education system, and the death of the Board of Estimates. God, I’d forgotten, you know? What do you mean, did I get his number? He was married. Yes, married, you’re missing the whole point. Oh shoot, hold on.
(FELICE PRESSES THE RECEIVER.)
FELICE: Oh — god —
GARY: You’re on the other line.
FELICE: Yeh —
GARY: Please don’t hang up.
Dodie: No, you’re not. She and Mark were in love. That’s all that matters.
Margaret: God, I’m so sick of the word love being treated like some precious jewel, a glass bubble that makes everything utopia. I hate it.
Alex: You would.
Margaret: Love is a bunch of gauze.
Alex: You whose major love affairs have been with some Harvard professor and Mr. Griffiths.
Dodie: You had an affair with Mr. Griffiths!?
Margaret: Oh, beautiful.
Dodie: God, isn’t he kinda old – cute, but, we were in high school.
Margaret: Christ, Alex, why’d you –
Alex: Did that have anything to do with love?
Margaret: What if I’m not looking for love? What if I’m looking for lust? Maybe I don’t need it. It would just get in my way.
Alex: That’s right. My pal the iceberg.
Margaret: Don’t start –
Dodie: I know you want love, everyone does. It’s something chemical that your body can’t function normally without – that’s why if you don’t have it you think about it practically every moment and stare at every man who passes you on the street to see if he’s the one – if some instant electrical response joins our eyes and our hands. Cause then, when you have love, you can do anything! Climb the Empire State building with one hand. What you have to do Mags is let that right guy into your life. Let that electrical response happen.
Margaret: What in god’s name do you know about love? You’re just fantasizing what it’s like to have a lover – a husband. Maybe it’s not all fireworks. Maybe it sucks, maybe it’s not enough.
Dodie: I do know what it’s like.
Alex: Didn’t you say you’ve never been touched?
Dodie: I lied.
Margaret: What do you mean you lied?
Dodie: I lied. Someone has touched me. All over.
Alex: This isn’t anything bad – you weren’t –
Dodie: He was an engine major, my lab partner. And a face – god, my whole body shook when he looked at me. Nothing – none of my crushes in high school made me feel like this. I had to do something to make him look at me as more than just his lab partner. Don’t get me wrong, he didn’t think I was a boring braino, we’d have coffee after class, laugh – all that. but I was still Dodie form class. One evening, we were supposed to meet at his apartment to exchange notes. I went to him in an imitation fur coat – and a diaphragm. That’s it.
Margaret: There’s no way this is true.
Dodie: I knocked, walked in…
Margaret: You wouldn’t do this, I wouldn’t do this.
Dodie: …asked if anyone was here or if he was expecting anyone And when he said no, I dropped the coat.
Alex: My god, you really did do this.
Dodie: He was a bit surprised having expected me to hand him a lab book. It was my one seductive act.
Margaret: Never in a million years…
Alex: Don’t just stop. What happened!?
I Can’t Stop Thinking Today
(LIGHTS RISE ON STEPHANIE. SHE IS AT A WORKTABLE WORKING FURIOUSLY WITH A GLUE GUN ON A “DON QUIXOTE” STYLE HELMET. AFTER A FEW MOMENTS, SHE SLOWS DOWN ANDFINALLY STOPS WORKING, PAUSING OVER THE HELMET AS SHE THINKS. SUDDENLY, SHE BREAKS OUT OF IT AND LOOKS OUT AT THE AUDIENCE.)
I can’t stop thinking today. It’s not like on other days I don’t think. Just not like this. Not so I think I’m sick. Or I disgust myself. This morning, rush hour, I was caught in traffic on Flatbush. I forgot the goddamn construction and we’re moving one foot at a time toward the Manhattan Bridge. I look up and there’s the blimp. Not the Goodyear — the Fuji — rising into the sky. I’d never seen a blimp climbing upward. They’re always just there. I don’t know what I thought, people climbed up ropes. Or it sort of floated upward like a hot-air balloon? So I watched this round roll of film ascending. And then, I imagined it exploding — like those old newspapers of the Hindenburg — God, the newspaper — anyway, I explode the blimp, green “F”‘s and “I”‘s fall from the sky and crash about Fulton Market, and there’s screaming and pandemonium. We crawl under our cars so we won’t get burned or crushed but some people panic and run and are cut down by the shower of blimp –
All day it’s been like this. I’m walking down seventh. I picked up this helmet — (INDICATES HELMET) — at a costume house on Broadway. I do costumes now. Props. I used to dance, now I design for dance. Less pain, more shopping. And musicals. I’ve been in a lot of musicals. You name it, I did it, or at least I acted it out by myself in my basement. Anyway, I took the Brooklyn Bridge back. I’m actually feeling pretty good, I got a parking spot on the Tuesday side. I stop and look in at this antique shop. This guy stops and looks also. He’s really my type. I think he’s looking at the same thing I’m looking at — this lamp with a horse head as the base. Very Godfather. That’s pretty neat I think, if we both liked the same thing. Then I imagined us getting married. Then, I imagined him getting cancer, and I sit by his bedside, every night. And I yell at the nurses and doctors when it’s time for his medication and I couldn’t find them, and we talk very late at night about eternity and grace and then he died. I cry silently at his bedside with the moon spilling through the shades. But I’m pregnant, so our story isn’t over, and I’ll raise our child alone, and I’ll be strong. The guy had the good sense to move on. Maybe he was a mind reader. I’d move.
These are some of my published plays.
Funny Girls Coping with Boys
She Speaks is an anthology of five monologues. These pieces were produced at such theaters as Manhattan Class Company, Circle Repertory Company, Ensemble Studio Theatre and starred Allison Janney, Judith Hawking, Betsy Aidem, Jane Addams, among others.
The Drama Bookshop in NYC