The following one-minute mouth-off monologues
are suitable for younger people of varying ages. Some of the monologues
may eventually find their way into a play, but for now I've shaped
them into monologues that challenge the actors to fill in the
missing details from their own imaginations: who, what, where,
when, why, how?
This symbol means this monologue has been recorded. Click on the triangle to listen.
Yesterday something happened that may change my life, and definitely in the
direction of happiness. Now, I have a pretty good life; a great family, good school...
But some time around sixth grade I started having what I guess are anxiety attacks.
Fears, especially of being underground, and particularly in tunnels. I don't remember
when it started, or what caused it-- just suddenly the feelings of fright were
there, and over time they got worse. I make some excuse when my friends go to
a certain sub shop, because it's a basement, and down a dark flight of stairs. I
never ride on the subway. I skipped my last class trip, to an amusement park--
you can image why-- and I made arrangements to visit my cousin for Thanksgiving
rather than drive with my Mom and Dad to Grandma's, through a 2 mile tunnel. But
yesterday, my cousin and I were running around in a maze. The maze itself was
mildly scary-- narrow green leafy walls-- but I could look up and see the sky,
so I was ok. Then, in the very middle of the maze, there was this 40 foot tube.
Just wide enough for one person. My cousin jumped right in, and called for me
to follow him. I knelt down on the ground, next to the tube, and I began to shake:
that familiar cold creeping over me. I was about to get up and yell that I would
meet him at the other end, but I decided--not this time. Give it a try. On my
belly, reaching with my elbows, I began to wriggle through. Half way I started
to panic. I'd get stuck, black out, be alone in the dark. But I knew my cousin
was right ahead, so I took some deep breaths and kept on. I made it! I was jumping
with joy! Laughing, crying, rolling around on the ground. My cousin thought I'd
gone nuts, but he's great. We went back together and crawled through 5 times more.
I can't tell you what a relief this is. How free I feel. Right now, it's like
I'm ready to take on the world.
Last Halloween Mom dressed my little sister up as a bag of candy. Mom took
a big clear plastic garbage bag, the kind with a drawstring, and cut out holes
for Tina's legs. We stuffed it with about fifty little round balloons that looked
like sour balls, or maybe peanut M&Ms. Blowing up the balloons was my job. Mom
made a glossy red label that said "Sweet Stuff" for the front and Tina wore a
round red hat that looked like one of the balloon candy pieces. We put clown makeup
on her-- like a cartoon. I took her around trick or treating, Mom in the background.
I was dressed as a cop. Like anyone noticed me! Every house we went to, the grownups
went crazy. They thought my sister was just the cutest thing ever-- so creative!
They'd call people from the back of the house to come see, give her extra handfuls
of candy. First Prize for Best of Show! Some would say, like it was brilliant:
"How about giving me some of your candy, Sweet Stuff?" and when I'd help my sister
dig out a balloon to give them, they'd go into ecstasy. My sister: Queen of Halloween
-- for about a dollar plus a half hour's work. Mom's dollar and mostly my work. So
this year, I decided that I should be the one. Center of Attention. Emperor with
a New Bag. The label and the hat and most of the gross of balloons we still had:
all I had to do was blow up some balloons and reap the rewards. Boy, was I wrong!
I guess what's cute on a seven year old looks really stupid when you're a few
years older. The first houses I went to were bored. They barely opened the door,
did a quick dump of the standard hand out. Big deal-- a walking garbage bag! Halfway
down the street a gang of teens ran up and ripped me open, kicking all my balloons
down the street, laughing and shouting insults about sweet stuff and sour balls.
I started chasing down the lost balloons-- but then it downed on me: "Why? Why
am I making a fool of myself like this? I don't even like candy." Next year maybe
I'll just stay home.
Click on the triangle to listen:
I think my rabbit is bored. Either
that or he hates me. He just sits around or sometimes he eats--
but when I come in he stops eating and just freezes. When I go
to play with him he runs to the other side of the cage. When Mom
and I go to the pet shop I look for rabbit toys for him to play
with but they only have treats and medicine-type stuff. Every
day his ears look droopier to me. But I don't think he's really
sick. He's just maybe depressed. They don't sell medicine for
depression. Not for rabbits. I got him some treats but he won't
eat out of my hand-- he ignores it. And me. If I go out of the
room I guess he eats it, cause the treat's gone when I come back.
So if he won't play with me and he sits around miserable all day,
what should I do? I feel really bad for him. I was going to get
another rabbit for him to play with and be friends, but that was
when I thought he was a she. Then I found out he's a he, so Mom
says I can't get a boy or they would fight and I can't get a girl
or they would breed. Fighting or breeding sounds better than sitting
around to me, but Mom says absolutely no. Getting this pet rabbit
was supposed make it so I wouldn't be bored or lonesome any more,
but now--? It's not just me, it's the two of us.
I'm basically a good person, and my friends
are too, basically. I don't hang out with a bad crowd. A few of
my friends do things that my Mom would consider "going too far",
but that's not me. I don't do those things. Still, if my Mom knew
about the drinking and stuff that goes on, she would freak. She'd
ground me till I graduate! This is so unfair. Every teenager deserves
to have some fun, don't they? Why does my Mom have to be so old
fashioned? So far I'm dealing with this by lying to her. What
else can I do? My friend Sarah says I should tell her the truth,
or at least some of it, while making it clear that I don't approve.
Sarah says if Mom ever catches me in a lie our whole relationship
could explode! But really, telling's not a good idea. I lie to
Mom because the truth is more than she can handle. I'm responsible
enough to make my own decisions-- really, I am. I need to get
out and experience life, set limits for myself. I won't drive
drunk, or get myself into a state where I don't have the moral
fiber to say "no". It makes no sense to stay her little girl till
I turn 18, then suddenly have to handle complete and total freedom.
I'll be as open and honest with Mom as possible and do my best
to keep a trusting relationship. But friends and fun and responsibility
are too important to just give up on.
Click on the triangle to listen:
I had this big black cat named Damian, who came and went as he pleased.
One day he went out and didn't come back. Days went by, and I
went up and down the street, calling, "Damian, Damian!" I
put up signs and knocked on doors and stopped cars, waved 'em
right down--"Have you seen a big black cat?" I was crying all
the time-- which shocked me. I didn't realize I loved this cat!
He wasn't cuddly. He walked around with an attitude, like: "oh,
yeah. I own this place. You're my person." But he was absolutely
silent. No meows or howls or little noises to carry on a conversation.
No interest in petting, or rubbing up against your ankles. After
more than a week of frantic looking and calling my neighbor said,
"Maybe it's my imagination, but I think I caught a glimpse of
Damian in my house." We searched all up and down, basement to
attic, calling him. But of course the cat won't answer. Then up
in the attic I'm looking around with the flashlight and I catch
the gleam of a yellow-green eye! We had to pry up the boards and
lure him out with tuna, and when he came he was so covered with
ground-in insulation he looked pure white! Brushings and bathing
and more brushings, he was still a thin gray ghost of himself
for weeks afterwards.
The rest of the family took off this weekend, leaving me "In
Charge". I woke up to the sound of rain, and pitiful mewings from
Alice the cat. Checked on the leak in the roof. It was dripping:
I put a bucket under it. The rug wasn't wet, so I must have caught
it early. Now, Alice is the family cat, not my cat. I'm more of
a dog person. But Alice is pretty dog-like. Rolls over to be scritched,
follows me around. No Siamese superiorities. Except-- Alice has
a so-called a "delicate stomach". Meaning: give her too much
cat meat she'll wolf it down and barf it up. Not nice. But she
was friendly and I was sort of lonesome so I fed her first. Then
I fed the fish. Fed the birds. Fed myself. Brushed my teeth. Read
my email. I'm still in my socks and pajamas so I go to check the
time and see if I'd better dress, when -- yuk! I step in something
wet. Wet and nasty. Can't bear to look-- I figured Alice had hurled.
Not the case, thank God. But the rug's wet, very wet. Darn Alice
dumped the drip bucket! When I go to find the cat to tell her
what I think of her, she's up on her hind paws with her head in
the toilet. All right. I get the point. I fill up her empty water
bowl. But I'm not going to take the rap for the wet rug! The rug
is HER FAULT!