What follows is one of two monologues from Lisa Soland’s hit play Truth Be Told. The other, “Freewheelin' with Bob Dylan," can be found at her Web site: http://lisasoland.com/Monologue-Freewheelin.htm.
THE KIND THAT DOESN’T BUDGE
Man (late 20’s to 40’s)
MAN is sensitive and usually private. His friend has just asked him if he’s afraid of commitment and has suggested that maybe this is why he is still unmarried. MAN’S honest and heartfelt response surprises even his friend.
No, No. It’s not the commitment thing. Come on, man. You know me. I’m committed in a lot of areas of my life. It’s not that. It’s just well…
When I was in second grade I had this teacher – Mrs. Moore. I didn’t have a crush on her or anything. It wasn’t like that. She was just…amazing.
She was plain but smart. Man, she never forgot a thing. And we all wanted to please her for some reason. Just make her happy somehow.
She had this long, black hair. Beautiful, shiny, sort of bluish, you know? — when the light hit it just right. And she always wore it up, in a tight bun. Always. Every day. This perfect, round bun, neatly gathered above her neck.
Mrs. Moore had a son, Danny, and he was in the second grade too but he couldn’t be in her class with me, because he was her son, so he was in the other second grade. He was my buddy and we would go to each other’s houses a lot, you know – hang out. Play, I guess.
One time I was over there and we were getting ready for bed, brushing our teeth and I walk down the hall to the bathroom and pass by his mother’s room. The door was open. It was just a quick look, you know – a glance, but I saw her sitting at this table with a mirror in front of her and she had her hair, her beautiful hair down, brushing it with one of those, you know, those old fashioned brushes with the ivory handles. She was wearing a robe, a blue robe and her hair fell all the way down to her waist.
Brushing. Just brushing.
I was speechless. Couldn’t talk for days. For days. My mom took me to the doctor. They thought something was wrong with me.
(Shakes his head)
Well, a couple of months ago I went back for my high school reunion and got together with Danny. Hadn’t seen him since…graduation. He couldn’t go to the reunion. He was back living with his mother in that same house. His Dad had passed away a while ago and his mom, my second grade teacher had Alzheimer’s. Has Alzheimer’s. Danny has to keep the doors locked and stuff cause she forgets where she is and runs out, all the time. Just runs out. I noticed all the padlocks are up high, out of reach. And he’s got to make sure they’re always locked.
She didn’t remember me. I guess something inside of me hoped she would. But she didn’t. And her long, black hair was still long but gray — kinky, worn, and pulled into some sort of tangled mess in the back. It looked like it hadn’t been brushed in weeks. But still long. I sat there at the kitchen table and watched them; the two of them fight down her lunch. She wouldn’t eat. Danny had fixed her a sandwich — two slices of plain bread with a chunk of cheese in the middle and he tried to…force her, really. He tried to force her to eat it. But she sat there and kept spitting it back up. She’d push it out with her tongue and say things that didn’t make any sense. It was pretty tough to watch, me, an outsider, but Danny sat there. He sat there getting food spit all over him and he didn’t budge. He didn’t budge.
It’s not that I want a woman like that, with long hair or anything. I just remember that kind of…commitment. That kind of love. The kind that doesn’t budge. That’s what I want. That’s what I’m waiting for.
“The Kind That Doesn’t Budge” from Truth Be Told by Lisa Soland © 2008. All rights reserved. Contact the author at: Lisa Soland, P.O. Box 33081, Granada Hills, CA 91394; Lisasoland@aol.com; Visit her Web site: http://lisasoland.com/index.htm.
(Lisa Soland’s work is included in One on One: The Best Men’s Monologues for the 21st Century, One on One: The Best Women’s Monologues for the 21st Century, and the forthcoming DUO!: The Best Scenes for Two for the 21st Century—all from Applause Theatre & Cinema Books.)