Monday, September 17, 2018

Monologue Mania Day # 1675 Fortissimo by Janet S. Tiger (c) Sept. 17, 2018

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Monologue Mania Day # 1675 Fortissimo by Janet S. Tiger (c) Sept. 17,  2018
Fortissimo definition: A piece of music that is played fortissimo is played very loudly.

                                                    by Janet S. Tiger
                                             © 2014 all rights reserved

Note – This is the opening scene. The setting of this play is in a basement that has large pillars throughout the room. At curtain rise it is dark, but we can see there are tables and chairs, like in a restaurant or bar, and they are in a style from the 1920s.  Although dark, there are cobwebs, and we can feel that everything is also very, very dusty- nothing has been touched here in a very long time.  
          (An older man comes onstage.  He is dressed impeccably, perfectly tailored, with a white            handkerchief in his lapel.  He has an expensive cane, which he leans on heavily at times.      He is very affected by where he is and what he is about to do.  He goes to a chair, and     starts to sit, then changes his mind, stands holding it instead.  He has a slight Italian             accent.  This is Paul Fortis – originally Paolo Fortissimo, he squares his shoulders and he            is ready.)

This is ……a good place to start.  This is where I started.  Where it all started.  Are you filming yet?  (listens)  Get it right the first time, I am never doing this again.

            (He takes a deep breath and looks around.)

When I say I started here, I mean I was born here, in this very basement.  (Laughs)  Not on a table or behind the bar, but in one of the notorious back rooms, rooms used to make babies, not usually have them.

But my mother, she was wild, and she….(hard words to say)….she got…in the family way with a soldier, and before my family could force them to marry, he shipped out, to be a casualty of World War I- not of a bullet, which would have been an honorable death, but of a tiny enemy, the influenza virus, which wiped out half his platoon that year, the year I was born.

It was a good thing he died of the flu, because had my family found, he would have died in a much less pleasant way.  But as the saying goes, ‘dead is dead.’

So I never knew my real father, and my mother, the only daughter of Alphonso Fortissimo, gave birth in his saloon, which was called, originally enough….Fortissimo’s.

And I was loud, even then.  They said I was a true son of Alphonso, which is how I was raised.  I never knew my mother was not my sister, until her deathbed.

The secrets in this family are deep.  Which is why I have kept this place locked up since 1946.  Everyone wants to know why, I don’t have to tell them.  I don’t have to sell the place.  I pay taxes, I keep the property clean – outside at least, where everyone sees it.

No one needed to know our…..what they used to call ‘dirty laundry.’

And me, why am I telling this now?  Why open this place to you, to finally tell this story?  Because you have signed a paper that you will not release these tapes until I am dead five years, and the property has been sold.  And if you break these rules, then my family will find you and make your life – what will be left of it – very unpleasant.  And by the way, that is not a threat, that is a promise.

I am telling because I am an old man, today is my birthday.  I am 95 years old today.  And I am sick of the secrets – and they have made me sick.  I have the cancer, all throughout my stomach.  And I am ready to die.  I tried to write all this, but my hands have arthritis, and it hurts, and it is better someone else knows.  It is time someone else knows……

So let me begin somewhere near the beginning….with the earth…..

            (He takes a small box from his pocket- opens it shows it to the camera.)

This is …(says it with love)….terra buena….’good earth’ from the Fortissimo property in Italia….a small vineyard in Umbria….brought over by my grandfather in his pocket when he came to this country.  To bring him luck and good fortune.  It must have been cursed, because it brought neither.  This dirt brought pain and sadness wherever it went….perhaps because it had so much blood in it…..

To understand what I will tell you now, you must see this place as it was…….

            (He opens the box and sprinkles a little of the dust.  As he does this……the room begins           to have a rebirth – the lights come on in a blast and now instead of dust,  we see     everything is covered in sparkles.  Loud music is heard as people dance into the room –    along with a bartender, some patrons at tables, drinking wildly.)

You see, I was born at the 11th hour of the 11th day of the 11th month – November 11, 1918 – the end of World War I – the beginning of me…….

            (He throws away the cane and puts on a hat from the times –he is now his own grandfather, Alfonso Fortissimo)

(End of monologue)


first posted  Day #87    (c) 2014   May 10, 2014 


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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