Sunday, April 2, 2017

Monologue Mania Day #1145 Three (one-act) by Janet S. Tiger (c) April 2, 2017

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Monologue Mania Day #1145 Three (one-act) by Janet S. Tiger (c) April 2, 2017                             
                                        (Not)   A monologue by Janet S. Tiger   © all rights reserved 2017
Set – Simple, a home, some chairs

Characters – 2  1 male 1 female

ROSE – 30s attractive (British accent)

            JOHN -  late 30s (American accent) 

               (Rose comes in, she is in her 30s, dressed in a lab coat.  She has a file,
which she holds close to her chest.  A man is watching her from the side of the stage,
shaking his head as she speaks when he disagrees.  This is John, her husband)

ROSE - (British accent, educated, she speaks slowly, thoughtfully)  One, two three.  Granny
ate a flea.  She roasted it, and toasted it and had it for her tea..... Mum used to tell me that when she wanted to make me laugh.  It always worked....until now.

Outside of the Holy Trinity, I cannot think of anything else with three that is prominent, that can take my mind off of this.....

 (She looks at the file, then throws it down)

Three.  Wait.....Three sheets to the wind.....(Smiles) That's how the first came about.....poor thing....

Easy as 1-2-3- well there's a lie for you......Two's company, three's a crowd, well, not when the two are married and want a third.....or maybe just one of the two wants a third.

Genetic defect.  Mitochondria.  It's so funny.  I never liked biology.  Math.  Numbers. From when I was little, I understood numbers.  They friends.  They never lied.  Everywhere I looked there were numbers!  The number of windows in the church, 18. the number of squares on the floor.  400 minus the place where the counter cut in -372.  The number of children in the class.  27.  Even when it got more intricate, pi – always the same ratio!  Then physics, such beautiful symmetry……all based on numbers!  They were always clear and simple.  No matter how difficult, it always comes down to numbers.

            (She looks at the man, almost seeing him)                                                        

ROSE - doesn't.  Not now.  Maybe it never did.

He doesn't want to take a chance with this new technology - and it's funny, he's the biological engineer!  He says he doesn't want someone else's baby, and that's what we'd get - when I tell him it's just the mitochondria, he shakes his head and walks away.

            (He now walks away)

ROSE - Yet he would adopt.  That's all right, because we would get to meet the parents.  That's
all right.  When I say, this would be our baby, his and mine....he says....and a third.  There'd always be....a third.  

It's my fault of course.  Always mine.  The DNA in my mitochondria is....faulty.  

(We now see the man at another point on the stage, holding some framed photos)

JOHN –(American accent. Takes a deep breath)  Leigh's syndrome.  Our first died at three
months.....Elizabeth was her name.  Sweet Beth..... Our second......Angela....Angie she would have been, she made to nine months.   She doesn’t understand that I’m not just worried about the baby, but about her…….

(He hangs his head)

ROSE - (Very hard)  He's worried .....that I might not survive the third....that another loss might
finish me off.  I did go through some postpartum, and having your babies die, well, that can be a bit depressing, but....he just doesn't want to take a chance on the new.  Scientists we are, and yet he won't try the future.  So we will leave the planet without a future for us.....

JOHN -  (Remembering) Future….when we started, we had such a bright one…..maybe we
shouldn’t have waited those extra years…..although they said her mitochondria were probably defective all along….mitochondria…..I remember when I heard that word, it was my science teacher, Mr. Keefer, he was fantastic…..(Imitates)  Mighty Mitochondria!  The power house of the cell!  Without our mighty mitochondria, nothing!  Organelles, that’s tiny organs….(back to himself)  I loved that word organelles!  (Back to being Mr. Keefer)  The ORGANELLES take the nutrients and digest them and make energy rich molecules so that all of you can do the twenty pages of homework for tomorrow!  (Laughs)  But it was only one page, and it was simple, so simple.  Just like everything, it works or it doesn’t…now, why it doesn’t work, that’s another problem…..

(He looks at his wife)

JOHN  - Do we still work?

(She looks at him)

ROSE - What do I do?  I still love the man, but.....I want a child.  My child.  Someone who
will look like me......Unlike numbers, there was something amazingly....real about what grew inside of me!  (Choking up)  I loved those babies, even before they were born.....and now, I have a chance to have another.  Before my time is up.  I won't mind raising a child not born in me....but later, after I have a chance for one to make it....past a year......

But…what do I do with him?  Do I try to convince him?  How long will that take - if
ever?  Do I leave him?  Search for another love?  (Laughs)  It took me 30 years to find him!  Do  I get a donor?  So my baby would be, part me, part stranger, part...strange woman with healthy mitochondria.  

JOHN -  It isn’t that and you know it….if you listened, you would’ve heard.  First, there’s the
odds against it working….as a lover of numbers, you didn’t like those numbers at all.  Yes, others have succeeded, but it took years.  Yes, they just approved it here in England, but will we be chosen?

There are so many questions!

(Takes a deep breath)  And what if, what it goes wrong?

(Lights are on Rose now as John goes offstage.  She is talking to the audience as if a friend was there)

ROSE -  I’m so glad you could come to help out……I guess you didn't know, did you?  That's
what happens when you go away across the pond for a few years!  After the second baby with Leigh's syndrome, we did some checking.  No one in my family had it, never, all babies born strong and healthy!  My Mum had a great deal of pride in that, she did.  But that was my family.... that raised me..(takes a deep breath) real family now they had problems....a bunch of dead babies......and me, I was the lucky one who lived and was healthy.....and given up for adoption because no one wanted to see if I turn up dead in a few months.....after all that work of giving birth.....and feeding they left me with the church.....

Was lucky I suppose .....that when we went to find my biological family one of the sisters remembered the name...and where to find the secrets come out.  The sins of the fathers and all that....but in this case, it was....the sins of the mother's ...mitochondria.

I knew my Mum loved me.....but had she told me the truth, maybe.....well, things would've been different.  She was a proud woman, proud of her ignorance, and yet proud I was unlike the others in the brood.  How she kept them all from ever telling me, I still don't know.  Sheer force of will I imagine.  How I wish that will had seeped into me, because I do need it now.....

          (She nods at the audience)

Sorry to hit you with all this in one shot, but. you tell me, my friend - what should I do? 

          (Listens, shakes head.)

No answers?  Not surprised!

          (Turns to leave, stops, looks back)

Funny, I always loved ....the power of, is the third time a charm?  Or is it just.....three strikes and we're all out....

           (She exits, end of scene)
Scene 2  
(John enters, holding a briefcase, and some files in his hand.  He sits heavily.  Rose enters and they do not kiss.  He hands the papers to her)
JOHN -  They seem in order.  I’ll sign them when I get the strength.
ROSE -  You make it sound so ominous, it’s not like divorce papers, it’s just the….
JOHN – I know what it is, it’s us asking for something……
ROSE -  Asking for a baby…..
JOHN -  No, that would have been the adoption papers, this is different.  This is laboratories, and petrie dishes, and the centrifuging of our future baby into some other woman’s DNA….
ROSE -  Just the mitochondrial DNA….
JOHN -  How can we be sure?
ROSE – You’re the biology expert!  You should know!
JOHN -  I was fifteen and it my first laboratory.  My mother had a friend, and they let me use the
spectrophotometer, and the autoclave, and I was in heaven!  And I got to know all of the
other real scientists!  I was so happy…..and then….I was working late, and I saw Peterson carrying a tray of petrie dishes, and….he dropped them, and they fell, and it was awful…..and I felt terrible for him….and I went to help him clean up and he said…..’how about if we keep this our little secret?’  And I watched him put the dishes back on the tray, and he put it into the refrigerator……and I never told.  But I learned something about science that day…..

ROSE -  That numbers are better?  That’s what I’ve always said!

JOHN -  That – in biology – you never know!   Whether the person told the truth about the
results, whether they were accurate….that’s why I believe in the proving and reproving of experimental results…..before you try something new…..

ROSE -  Before you try something new on humans…..animals you can experiment all day and
night, but that’s ok, right?

JOHN -  This isn’t an animal!

ROSE -  We are all animals!  And we want to have our own progeny – just like any moth or
Monkey!  We want our own!  Something that looks like us! And sounds like us – and
smells like us!  Not another moth or monkey – but our own individual smell!  Your eyes
my skin….your love of biology, my love of music…..

JOHN -  Love……are you saying you couldn’t love a child we adopted?

ROSE -  I could and I will…..but not now!  Not while I still have a chance! 

JOHN – And if this chance…..doesn’t work?

ROSE -  I’ll still love you…..

            (She takes the papers from him, goes to sign.  He takes the pen from her hand.  Blackout)

Scene 3

            (Lights up on  John – now with a basinet in the room.  John looks into the
Basinet, then goes and takes a suitcase.  Rose enters.  He hands a file to her)

JOHN -  I think everything is signed in the right place.

ROSE -  I wish you didn’t have to go. 

JOHN -  As I recall, this is your choice.

ROSE -  It’s biology, you should understand.

JOHN -  I haven’t understood very much in years, have I?  But you got what you wanted, didn’t

ROSE -  Three – I wanted it to be three.  And there’s still only two.

JOHN -  You got to be famous with this.  Forcing me to help you have the baby you wanted.  A court case, a landmark decision.  Everything you wanted.  How is that biology?

ROSE -  Survival of the fittest – in this world, the fittest need good lawyers.

JOHN -  Thank you for letting me see our girl as she grows up……

ROSE -  Thank you for your part in this…..

            (He leaves, and she goes to the basinet, smiles)

ROSE -  So much for numbers, I guess it’s just the two of us…..and of course, your other contributor…..

            (She turns to the audience)

ROSE -  Who would know we’d fall in love?  And over something so simple as a baby?

            (She exits….to a brave new world)

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

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