Saturday, October 28, 2017

Monologue Mania Day # 1353 It's Good to Hear Your Voice by Janet S. Tiger (c) Oct. 28 , 2017

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Monologue Mania Day # 1353 It's Good to Hear Your Voice by Janet S. Tiger (c) Oct. 28 , 2017  

Am about to enter this in a contest, so have edited, shortened and changed a bit - please let me know if it works - thanks for any input!

                                            It's Good to Hear Your Voice                
                                                     a one-act by Janet S. Tiger
                                                     (c) all rights reserved (c) 2017
                                                         

Time – 2017

Characters –

        LAURA -  70s
        AMY   - 70s

Setting -  A bedroom in a senior care facility

         (Laura is sitting, reading, when Amy enters.)

AMY -  Laura?  It's me, Amy.

         (Laura  puts down the book and looks at Amy, not recognizing her)

LAURA -  Hello.  Are you the new nurse?

AMY -  It's Amy, and I have a new idea for this week.......

LAURA -  Is it lunchtime?  I think I'm hungry.

AMY -  I believe lunch is over for today.  We speak every day, Laura, and on the phone, you
seem to remember my voice.....so that's why I brought you this....

          (She hands Laura a phone, Laura looks at it, shakes her head)

LAURA -  I can't use one of these, they call it a smart phone, but I'm not so smart anymore....

AMY -  That's OK, if you hold it and turn this way.....

            (She puts the phone to Laura's ear, and turns her away from Amy, as they speak, Amy
stays away from Laura's field of vision)

AMY-  Ring, ring…..

LAURA -  Hello?

AMY -  Hi, Laura, it's me, Amy....

LAURA -  Hi, Amy, good to hear your voice!

AMY -  Good to hear your voice, how are you today?

LAURA -  Not too bad, I'm reading a good book.

AMY  - Do you remember the name?

LAURA - Rebecca  - I think I might have read it before, but it doesn't matter, I don't remember
the end.  Actually, I don't remember most of it.  Did you ever read it?

AMY -  Yes, I did.  It's good.

LAURA -  How are you doing?  How're the kids?

AMY -  Jesse's fine and the new grand baby's getting through the night...

LAURA -  That's a blessing!  My kids are around here somewhere.....but now that they're
teenagers, I just worry about them coming home at night!

AMY -  (Sighs)  That can be a problem.....

LAURA -  Hey, I got a letter the other day, from that girl we knew back in 6th grade, you know
the bully?

AMY -  Geraldine?

LAURA -  That was it!  Oh, was she mean!

AMY -  Remember how she used to torment you?

LAURA -  You had to go home early, and she would wait until you left, and then she would get
her friends and they would surround me..... and they would stamp their feet and sometimes even pull my hair!  And then one day....

AMY -  You couldn't take it any more.....

LAURA -  And I started punching her, hard!

AMY -  Right in the stomach...

LAURA -  Right in the stomach!  And she just fell over and the other girls got scared and called
for a teacher, and Geraldine had to go to the hospital!  It was one of the best days of my life!

AMY -  And then....

LAURA -  Then she wanted to be friends!  And you didn't want to be friends, but after awhile,
you saw she wasn't so bad, and we stayed friends until now.....except, she doesn't call me anymore, like you call, every day.....

AMY -  She doesn't call because she died three years ago, Laura....a massive heart attack on her
75th birthday.  What a present!

LAURA -  Oh, I forgot that part.  I like to forget the unpleasant things....

AMY -  That's the best way.....

       (Laura suddenly turns to see Amy and is surprised)

LAURA -  Oops, I can't talk anymore, there's someone here.  Someone is always coming in to
check on me, it drives me crazy!  We can talk more tomorrow, bye!

        (Laura looks at the phone, puts it down, looks at Amy)

LAURA -  Who are you?  Is it time for lunch?

AMY -  Lunch is over, but I thought maybe you'd like to take a walk.

LAURA -  That sounds like a good idea.

       (Amy takes Laura's elbow and they head out)

LAURA -  Are you new here?

AMY -  Yes, I am.  Every time......

LAURA -  You'll like it, the people are nice, and the food is very good.  It's almost time for
lunch you know....

AMY -  What would you like?

LAURA -  A new book, I think I've read this one before......

       (Laura turns to exit, but Amy runs back to get the phone)

LAURA -  Oh, don't forget that!  My friend will be calling any minute now.  She calls me every
day, we went to school together, her name is.....what is her name?

AMY -  Amy, her name is Amy.

LAURA -  You're right!  How did you know?

AMY  -  Because my name is Amy.

LAURA -  What a coincidence!  Her name is Amy, too.  We went to school together when we
were younger.....

AMY -  Laura, what if I told you that....I was Amy.....

LAURA -  (Laughs)  You're so funny!  I know I get confused, but you're not Amy!  

AMY - How do you know?

LAURA -  It's simple - Amy is much younger!

AMY -  And how old is that?

LAURA -  Oh, that's tough, 26, 27?  Same as me! It's so wonderful to have a friend you've
known since you were little......

AMY -  Yes, I know.......it is a gift......

         (Lights dim as they exit.)


Scene Two                                                      

 (A table with two chairs.  Amy, in her 50s, is reading a book, making some notes as Laura rushes in, with shopping bags.  They hug)

LAURA -  I'm so sorry!  Everything took so much time!  Can you forgive me?

AMY -  Never!

LAURA -  Good!  Then I won't have to ask again!

AMY -  It's so good to see you!

LAURA -  Are we really doing this?  I mean, how long did it take for us to get together this
time?


AMY -  Only two years, I think.....thank God for the telephone!

LAURA -  And I just got this newfangled thing....take a look!

          (She brings out an original cellphone, very large and Amy looks in awe)

AMY -  Don't those cost, like, a million dollars?

LAURA -  Two million- but it's worth every penny.....this way, the nurse who's with my Mom
can call me anytime...

AMY -  That sounds like a good thing, but is it?

LAURA -  You'll see..... in a few years everyone will have one!

AMY -  Didn't they say that about the Edsel?

            (They laugh and Laura looks at Amy)

LAURA -  You look wonderful......it's so good to see you!

AMY -  You look great, too....

LAURA -  That proves it.....

AMY -  Proves what?

LAURA -  That you're either a liar....

            (Amy shakes her head, laughing)

LAURA -  Or you need glasses!

AMY -  (Less convincing) You do look good!           

          (Laura gives her a look)

AMY -  Okay, maybe a little tired.....

LAURA -  A little?  I think my Mom's losing it....

AMY -  What do you mean?

LAURA -  You know what I mean......there's been a few clues along the way....

AMY -  Everyone starts forgetting things as they get older....

LAURA -  Like wearing a blouse?   In public?   Like a movie you saw...last week?  No, this is
not going to end well, my friend...

AMY -  I'm sorry, I always liked your Mom...

LAURA -  Me, too, but, it's like....I dunno, like a Polaroid, in reverse...... rather than fading in,
more like, fading out.....

AMY -  Whoa....that's tough.

LAURA -  And my brothers are out of town, I mean they send money to help, which is nice,
but...

AMY -  It's all on your shoulders....

LAURA -  Yup......and I guess, well, I can tell you.....a lot of things bother me about this, the
being tired, the worry if she's gonnna wonder off, like a child, but not as cute.....but the worst thing is......what if it's contagious?  I mean, what if....I get it?

AMY -  I don't think this is contagious, but here's a promise, if you ever start wandering off......or
going out in public without pants.......even if you're not by a phone!......I'll still call every day....

LAURA -  Thanks, Amy, I needed that....

AMY -  What it really looks like is that you need a drink, where is a waiter, anyhow?  I told him
you'd be here soon!

           (Looking around)

LAURA -  We'll have to send up a flare, don't you know?  He didn't even see me come in and sit
down!  Because, in the last couple of years, I'm sorry to say it, but.....we've become invisible!

AMY -  You're crazy!

LAURA -  No, not really.  And it gets worse, but.....what holds me together is another odd
thought from Gerry....Geraldine...you remember her?

AMY/LAURA (Together)-  Geraldine......the bully!



AMY -  So did she have a revelation?

LAURA -  She told about talking with an older friend.... about getting older of course, and the
friend said....don't complain....in fifteen years, you'll be begging to get this face back!

          (The two laugh)

AMY -  Terrible!  

LAURA -  But true, which of course is why it's so terrible......

AMY -  Wait, there's the waiter.....

          (As she waves futilely at the waiter, a beeping noise comes out of the cell phone.  Laura
answers)


LAURA -  Yes, yes, it's me, Laura, Mrs. Danforth.....I can hear you just fine.  Yes, aren't these
modern contraptions just wonderful.  ....yes...yes......(sighs heavily)...okay, I'll be there in 15 minutes.....if you think you have to, call 911.......

           (Amy watches, then hugs her friend)

LAURA -  I'm sorry!  If I hadn't been late, at least we might've had a drink together....

AMY -  Don't even think about it.....

           (As Laura gets up and collects the bags, Amy helps)

AMY -  I'll walk you to your car....

LAURA -  (starts laughing)

AMY -  What's so funny about that?

LAURA -  If I can remember where I parked!

          (They exit laughing.  Lights dim)






Scene 3

(Amy and Laura are now in their 30s - one on either side of the stage, they will be talking
to each other on land lines, as it is in the 1960s, and that's how primitive life was like then. At curtain, Amy is calling Laura, who stops what she is doing to run for the phone.  While they talk, they will be mostly sitting, but interspersed with chores that can be done on the phone within a few feet)

AMY -  Come on, Laura, I think they start charging when the phone rings, or do they?  I guess
I'll have to check, that's three, four....

          (Laura picks up, a little breathless.)

LAURA -  Amy?  Is that you?

AMY -  Seeing as we agreed to call at exactly 7pm your time, I would say, 'yes, it's me' and how
come it takes you so long to pick up the phone?  This is costing like $100 a minute!

LAURA -   Or maybe more!  Oh, it's so good to hear your voice! 

AMY -  It's good to hear your voice, too!  How are you?  Can you hear me?

LAURA -  Loud and clear!  I think they put in good phone lines for all us Navy wives....

AMY -  Well, at least that's one advantage, at least if something happens to Danny  you can hear
clearly...

LAURA - (Horrified) What did you say?  You do know they send a special person to tell you,
right?  And Danny volunteered for another two years in Nam, right?  Or is it that you have to make snarky comments on this VERY expensive call to get your money's worth, right?

AMY -  I'm sorry...that came out wrong, you know how I feel about the war....

LAURA -  Well, I'm not so crazy about it myself, my hey, my whole family has been Democrat
since FDR, we trust the Democratic Party.....wait a minute, are we wasting precious time talking about politics?

AMY -  How does that happen?  Election coming up, people coming home wounded, is Danny
OK?  I am worried about him.

LAURA -   He's fine, how's your gang?

AMY -  Tammy is good, and Sophia is going on a date next week, can you believe it?  
Remember our first dates?

LAURA -  With those two Army guys from Nebraska!  How could I forget!  The tall one's car
broke down, what was his name?

AMY -  It was your date, how am I supposed to remember?  Peter?  Jack?

LAURA -  Something like that!  We had to help them push it to get started - and it went downhill
from there!

AMY -  I think it was uphill, but that's just a technicality!

LAURA -  Oh, I've missed you, Amy, how's everyone in your house?

AMY -  Clark just got a promotion, and the kids are great, everyone's well, I mean, my folks are
getting older, but that's probably gonna happen to us, too, right?

LAURA -  Us get old?  Are you crazy?  We're in our prime......

AMY -  Prime rib maybe.... speaking of ribs, remember that girl who used to tease you?

LAURA -  Gerry?

AMY -  That's the one, she wanted your number, I think she wants to get in touch, she just got
back from the Peace Corps!  

LAURA -  Holy Moly!  I'll bet she has stories - and new ways to torment me!

         (They laugh)

LAURA -  I miss you, Amy, I mean I have friends here, but there's something about people
who've known you since you were little.....

AMY -  And still like you!

         (There is a crash offstage - both sides)

LAURA /AMY -  What was that?

LAURA/AMY -  Gotta go!

AMY -  Good talking to you!

LAURA -  I'll call next time, this probably cost you your first-born...and I'll be coming in two
months- we can celebrate your birthday together!

AMY -  Sounds like a plan....

LAURA -  Be well, love ya!

AMY - Love you too - see you soon!

LAURA -  Not if I see you first.....

           (They laugh, lights dim.  The end…..or was it the beginning?)
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Janet S. Tiger    858-736-6315                CaregiversAnon.org
Member Dramatists Guild since 1983
Playwright-in-Residence
Swedenborg Hall 2006-8