Life During Wartime
by Keith Reddin
Synopsis: Tommy, a young security systems salesman, made his first sale to Gale, a divorced mother of a teenage son. Gales is older than he is, but that doesn’t keep them from falling deeply in love and planning to marry. After Tommy makes a few good sales, his boss tells him about the company’s sideline: robbing the homes in which they’ve installed security systems. The boss offers Tommy a piece of the action and he replies that he needs some time to think about it. A short while later, Tommy learns that Gale and her son have been murdered as they walked in on a burglary in their home. In the next scene, Tommy is in a bar talking to Richie, a total stranger.
TOMMY: This one time, I brought over this bottle of champagne, we were celebrating … I don’t know, I’d made two or three sales in a row and I was feeling hot, like I could do anything and we sat at the kitchen table, in her kitchen and we drank this champagne and … we drank it pretty fast it was so cold and it was good champagne, it was a bottle of really good champagne and we drank it fast and we got drunk and we were laughing, laughing at anything either of us said, and I was sort of sliding out of my chair and then I said the floor looks really good, why don’t I just lie on the floor and I did, I was lying on the kitchen tiles and they were cold and I said Gale join me on the kitchen floor and she did and we were both so drunk and laughing and the floor was sort of spinning as we lay on it, like we were lying in this boat on the waves and we lay on the floor and looked up at the ceiling of the kitchen and we held each other and I loved her so much and I said that, I said I love you so much and I wanted to say on the kitchen floor for the rest of my life, holding her, holding this beautiful woman that I loved, but of course you can’t. You can’t lie on the tile for too long, because … I’m sorry I forgot your name…
Timed to 50 seconds:
TOMMY: We were sitting at her kitchen table and we drank this champagne and … we drank it pretty fast and we got drunk and we were laughing at anything either of us said, and I was sort of sliding out of my chair and then I said the floor looks really good, why don’t I just lie on the floor and I did, I was lying on the kitchen tiles and they were cold and I said Gale join me and she did and we were both so drunk and laughing and the floor was sort of spinning as we lay on it, like we were lying in this boat on the waves and we looked up at the ceiling of the kitchen and we held each other and I loved her so much and I said I love you so much and I wanted to say on the kitchen floor for the rest of my life holding this beautiful woman that I loved, but of course you can’t. You can’t lie on the tile for too long, because … I’m sorry I forgot your name…
From the Book: More Monologues They Haven’t Heard
Description: Stewart, a young, terminal AIDS patient, unloads his anger.
Yes, I’m bitter. And why shouldn’t I be? How would you feel? How would you like to give it up, all of this…your life? Christ I haven’t even lived. Death is something that happens to other people, not you. You don’t consider it; it’s out of the question, an abstract thing.
I don’t want to die. I don’t want to leave you and the sky, the trees…people. You think about all this, you know. You think about how it’ll be without you around and how things will be still going on like always and how you’re not going to be part of it. That’s one of the tragedies of it. You’re gone and you’re nothing but an occasional memory or an old photo in a shoebox in someone’s closet.
You know you’re the first to die. You know this, and it makes sense. And you know there’s nothing you can do anyway. You repeat this logic to yourself over and over, try to sell yourself. But you don’t buy it.
Right now, I don’t know if I’ll be able to face death with dignity or not. Right not I’m afraid. And I’m damned mad.
Book: The Princess Bride
Author: William Goldman
Description: Domingo Montoya, Inigo’s father, explains to his friend, a fellow sword-maker, why he refuses to help him out by making a sword for some Italian noble.
Domingo: Why? My fat friend asks me why? He sits there on his world-class ass and has the nerve to ask me why? Yeste. Come to me sometime with a challenge. Once, just once, ride up and say, “Domingo, I need a sword for an eighty-year-old man to fight a duel,” and I would embrace you and cry, “Yes!” Because to make a sword for an eighty-year-old man to survive a duel, that would be something. Because the sword would have to be strong enough to win, yet light enough not to tire his weary arm. I would have to use my all to perhaps find an unknown metal, strong but very light, or devise a different formula for a known one, mix some bronze with some iron and some air in a way ignored for a thousand years. I would kiss your smelly feet for an opportunity like that, fat Yeste. But to make a stupid sword with stupid jewels in the form of stupid initials so some stupid Italian can thrill his stupid mistress, no. That, I will not do.
Director: Danny Boyle
Author: Irvine Welsh
TOMMY: Doesn’t it make you proud to be Scottish?
RENTON: I hate being Scottish. We’re the lowest of the fucking low, the scum of the earth, the most wretched, servile, miserable, pathetic trash that was ever shat into civilization. Some people hate the English, but I don’t. They’re just wankers. We, on the other hand, are colonized by wankers. We can’t even pick a decent culture to be colonized by. We are ruled by effete arseholes. It’s a shite state of affaires and all the fresh air in the world will not make any fucking difference.
Title: The Child
Author: Anthony Giardina
Description: Thomas, twenty-seven, an idealistic man who drives a milk truck, and his wife Leah, twenty-three, a first-year medical student, struggle to decide whether to have the baby which is growing inside of Leah or to abort it. They finally decide to have an abortion, mainly on Thomas’s insistence. In this monologue, Thomas discusses a recurring dream of his in which he meets the child that they going to name Tonio.
THOMAS: I keep having this dream.
Can I tell you this dream?
I know you must not like me much just now, but can I tell you this dream I keep having?
We have a little boy, Leah.
You’re not in it.
Just me and this boy. In my dream he looks like a little Indian.
So wild I don’t know where he comes from.
We’re up in the mountains, hiking, I guess.
We see this bird.
And the boy, Tonio, can’t get over this bird, cannot take his eye off it.
So I sit down on a rock to get out this book I have. This bird book, Birds of North America. I want to find this bird so I can explain everything to Tonio. His markings, his mating habits, where he lives.
When I find it, I look up to tell him.
He’s far away from me.
On the edge of the mountain.
Making like a bird.
Flapping his arms.
Then he jumps.
I watch him jump, it’s too quick for me to say anything.
I sit there with an open book, but I’m not afraid.
Because I expect to see him any minute.
Flying above me.
With the markings and the mating habits of a thing I have to look up in books to find out about.
So I sit on this rock. Waiting.
And finally he flies up. Like I knew he would.
And I smile to see him, Tonio, in the trees, branch to branch.
Tonio over the mountain.
Then he swoops down over me.
He says, “Come on, Dad. Jump. It’s fun.”
So I go to the edge.
I stand there.
I can see right down to the bottom.
I’m holding a bird book.
I know everything there is to know about birds from the book.
I know I’m not a bird.
I feel so scared.
I look up.
No. Christ. No.
I want you.
I want you.
I want you. Please don’t leave me here, Tonio. Come back. I’ll jump. I swear. Just come back. You’ll see me, arms spread, legs out, one golden image of your father I’ll give you?
Forgive me. Forgive me. Forgive me.