Saturday, April 16, 2011

#SampleSunday: "Thinner Thighs In Thirty Years

(THITY is a monologue that was performed at the Seattle Film Festival and at the Periwinkle Playhouse in Sanibel,Florida. I submitted it to Amazon's "Kindle Singles" They accepted it and it has been on sale since Wednesday. It is selling about 30 copies a day, a heady experience for me.) Below is the opening page.

Constructive Abandonment
(music) If I had to choose just one day, to live my whole life through. It would be the day my darling – the day that I met you.....

In twenty years of marriage, I cooked seven thousand evening meals. It was probably more but I’m ashamed to say how many. Every evening he would look in the kitchen and ask: Do I have time to change before dinner?
You have time to build the freeking Panama Canal. We could skip dinner. You’re the only one who cares about three square meals a day.
What was that?
Nothing. I gave him one chance each night to experience irony. After that I shut up and cooked.

There’s this book, Love, Loss and What I Wore. I don’t remember what I wore for love but it stuns me to remember what I wore for loss. The day I read my father’s will, I burned everything I was wearing - jeans - one of the kid’s souvenir tee shirts. It’s hard to intentionally burn clothing. Matches won’t do it. I had to use lighter fluid. It took a lot of poking.
Mom, have you seen my Bon Jovi tee shirt?
The day I applied to be an airline stewardess, I wore a pink drop-waist dress. It had a huge bow right above my ass. I weighed about thirteen pounds then but how could a dress like that do anyone any good?
When Neil Armstrong walked on the moon I was wearing lilac baby doll pajamas. Whenever I wore those pajamas, I wanted Sister Francisca to see me.

Today I'm driving to Riverhead for my divorce. I bought this divorce dress. Divorce underwear. It's ecru. Something borrowed, something ecru. I'm on PROZAC!
I sound very lah di dah but I can tell you I'm in a cold sweat of remembrance: lost friends - lost love – not doing right and now coping with the consequences. The bottom line? I know without doubt I couldn't have done things any other way.
I'm shocked I can even drive on the Long Island Expressway. Driving and cooking didn't come easy. Cooking was something Sister Mary Joseph did at my old boarding school with a charred wooden spoon. As for driving! I needed a shrink just to enter an expressway. Even dumb people know how to drive, I said. I should, too.

Should? screamed the shrink. I should do this. I should do that. That's the land of shouldhood. And shouldhood leads to shithood – putting yourself down for not doing it. Just drive.
Now I drive with a tape blasting my favorite song: Take Stuff From Work. Take stuff from work. Take a case of White Out. They won't miss it and you might need it some day. Take stuff from work!
There's a hitchhiker on the road. A laid off postal worker going to murder his boss? If I picked him up and he killed me, my husband would get everything as the surviving spouse. At the eleventh hour! It wouldn't occur to him for three weeks that he got everything. It would occur to me in a second and a half. Oh, my God, I get it all!!! Oh, he died.


  1. I love it. I can't wait to read it. A divorce dress and divorce underwear—so perfect.

    It's really interesting to me that this was performed at the Periwinkle Playhouse on Sanibel. Some of my relatives live on Sanibel and my dad used to live there when he was a child. I have many fond childhood memories of visiting the island.

  2. You are really witty! "I gave him one chance each night to experience irony." LOVE that line!

  3. First thing I want to say: this is the first #samplesunday anything I've ever read. I've avoided it, frankly, cause it seemed kind of annoying.

    You've changed my mind.

    Second thing I want to say is LOVE IT! You remind me of Anne Lammot, who I dearly love. This is so fabulous. And how cool that it was selected for the Kindle Singles program! I hope you sell hundreds a day! No, thousands a day!

    And BTW, I "should" be doing laundry as I write this.

    Shana Hammaker

  4. shana, you scamp! What a fabulous comment. Now I'm going to read Anne Lammot.

    Yeah, okay, go do your laundry. That makes you feel good, too.

    You can't imagine how happy you made me.