Sunday, January 17, 2016

Monologue Mania Day # 705 Dis Pair (in honor of MLK Day) by Janet S. Tiger Jan. 17, 2016

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Monologue Mania Day # 705  Dis Pair (in honor of MLK Day) by Janet S. Tiger Jan. 17, 2016
        This monologue was originally posted on  Day# 257     Oct. 27, 2014  - and today I post it in honor of Martin Luther King - may the dream continue!

                                                     Dis Pair
                             A monologue by Janet S. Tiger   © all rights reserved

               (A well-dressed black man enters, he holds a bag with a box in it.  He has a slight Southern drawl.)

Son, on the wondrous event of your twentieth birthday, I am truly concerned about you....

            (Raises his hands)

No, don't try to argue.  You can deny it, but 'de- nile- is not just a river in Egypt.'  Sorry, you know I love these awful puns, it is a curse and a blessin'......I think it's genetic.......

Now I understand that bein' a young man in these times is not easy.  And bein' a black young man is even more difficult.....

So, on this day of your birthday, early, before anyone else is up to start huggin' and handin' over gifts you really don't need, I am gonna give you a present my daddy gave to me when I was twenty, and his daddy gave to him when he was twenty, and his before him, all told, eight generations of the Mason family.  Over one hundred  and fifty years.  An heirloom.  Truly special.

It is a gift which I feel has stood our men well over these many years, held us together when times got tough, and boy, they have been tough.  I only hope you can pass this along to your son when he turns twenty, because chances are good, he will need it, too.

So, without further ado, I give you.......dis pair.....  And I hope dis pair will change your life forever...

           (He removes a box from the bag, which he opens to show his son)

Dis pair....get it?  Dis pair....of shoes!  Oh, how we love these silly puns!

          (Holds up the box)

Dis pair will help you know the truth about life, about other people, and how to be a man.....


That's right, I'm talkin' about dis pair.......of old shoes....but not just any old pair of shoes, no, this pair is THE pair of shoes that was worn by your great-great-great-great- and five more greats but you know what I mean......your truly great grandfather on the day he was freed from slavery, at the end of the Civil War.

Pretty ugly, huh, dis pair......but lemme tell you, they were even uglier when he wore them as a slave. get to wear them.  One mile you get to walk in these shoes before we put them back into the box so they stay nice and dry for your son one day.  One mile so that you can feel what it felt like to be a slave.... and then free.

           (Listens, nods head) 

When my daddy did this for me, I thought he was nuts, too, but I put on dis pair, and he and we walked together for one mile down by the creek.  We can do the same thing if you want, or we can go into town, or take a ride on the bus or train, whatever mile you want, son, it's your choice, because you are a free man.  

And these shoes are for rememberin' that we weren't always free, and that it is our job, each of us, to keep that freedom so many have died to get.

When I walked in these shoes for that mile, I was just twenty, and I had just come back to visit after I had been had they put it so politely?.....asked to leave college.  Kicked out.  Full scholarship and I had blown it, just as you are about to do now with those friends of yours, those friends who go to college, too, but waste their time smokin' and drinkin' and playin' those stupid video games.  Not that I didn't play those games back a few years ago, but these shoes are no game.  Life is no game.....

And you have your whole life ahead of you, and I want you to know what life could have you might re-think some of your choices.  Now just like you are thinkin' right at this minute, I thought my daddy was nuttier than that cashew tree, but somethin' happens when you walk in... dis pair....

           (He walks slowly around the stage, head bowed)'s almost as if you are back in that time, that you can feel the chains on your soul, the whip on your back........

           (He shudders as he moves)

We finished our walk and I put away the shoes, and got into my car and drove back to college and begged the dean for one last chance.  I said I wanted to be outta my fraternity, away from all the temptations!  I would live anywhere else, on the dean's back porch, I would wash his car, but I would cut out all the crap and finish college.  And I did.  And the next year was the year our team got to the Final Four...first and only time we ever did......because of ....dis pair........and because I was seen by millions on TV, I got dozens of offers of jobs, and I have had a good life, just like you can, if you take what you learn to heart.    And to soul….(smiles)  especially the soles of your feet!

            (He holds out the shoes)

I have faith you can do this, son......let's go, it's time for us to take a walk.

          (He turns to leave, stops, looks back) 

Dis pair.  The best mile you will ever walk is in...dis pair.......

          (He laughs as exits...not in despair)

Janet S. Tiger    858-736-6315
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983
Swedenborg Hall 2006-8

Note: A few words about 'free' -  all these monologues are protected under copyright law and are free to read, free to perform and video as long as no money is charged. Once you charge admission or a donation, or include my work in an anthology, you need to contact me for royalty info.

1 comment:

Jennifer Silva Redmond said...

Beautiful. A perfect day for it!