Not those gummies: monologue for a two-year-old

[Scene: A woman sleeps peacefully in her bed; a clock on her nightstand reads 2:00. The room is pleasantly dark, until a door, stage right, swings open, revealing a toddler wearing only a diaper and a look of evil glee. She enters the room at a full run, jumping onto the bed, and speaks.]

Toddler: Mom! Mom? MOM! It’s time to get up! I know that sounds kind of weird, since usually we get up when the sun gets up? But the sun inside my brain has already come up, and it is time to rise and shine!

Hey big guys! Open your eyes! What do you say? It’s a brand new day! Aren’t you glad you bought me that book? Aren’t you proud of me for remembering all the words? I feel like maybe you didn’t hear me the first three times I said it. Let me say it again, but this time I will also jam my fingers into your eyelids for emphasis.

I want to watch a show, but I don’t know which show I want to watch. Would you mind pointing at every show on Netflix and asking if it’s the one I want? No, not that one. No, Jesus, are you an idiot? Keep pointing. Okay, no. No. No. No. No. No. No. No. No—you know what, just pick me up so I can point at it myself. Yes. This one. The first one you pointed at. That’s the one I want.

It appears you’ve fallen asleep. My show is over. Fix it.

It appears you’ve fallen asleep again. My show is over. Fix it.

Now I need gummies.

Not those gummies.

I know Daddy is sleeping, that’s why I’m talking so loud, because I need him to wake up and get me the proper gummies, as you appear to be too stupid to find them on your own.

The show that I said was all right two hours ago is now unacceptable. I want one about trains. But not Thomas. And not Chuggington. And not Mr. Rogers. And not any show that has the word “train” in the title.

Do you mind if I kangaroo kick you in the face a few times while you’re looking for my train show?

It appears you’ve fallen asleep. While you were out, I took the liberty of removing my diaper and hiding it somewhere in this room. Don’t even bother checking the garbage can, because that would be too easy.

Mommy, this is so fun. We should do this every night. That reminds me, I need more gummies, and also some milk. But not in that cup. I want the bunny cup. Not that bunny cup. Also, I don’t want a lid. No lid. No lid. NO LID. NO—

[Incomprehensible screaming and crying. The alarm clock, now reading 6:30, begins to buzz. The toddler climbs into the bed, still wailing, and almost immediately falls asleep. The woman in the bed stares at the ceiling for a long time, listening to the baby’s snores and the buzzing of the alarm clock, wondering what has become of her life.]

SCENE

Do you think Jon Hamm would like me in real life: Monologue for a brain

[Curtain rises on a stage pitch black except a dim spotlight on a woman in a rumpled but comfortable-looking bed. She leans over and turns on her sound machine—winter wind—and snaps off the small lamp on the nightstand, cocooning herself in the blankets and preparing for sleep. Just as it appears that she is drifting off, a loud, unsettling voice comes over the loudspeaker.]

Brain: Hey, I see you’re almost through with your relaxation routine? Which is cool and everything, but I just thought I’d remind you that one day your parents are going to die. I don’t know if you want to spend a few minutes going over those scenarios, but I’m going to assume that you do, so please watch these horrifying daydreams capturing what it might be like in your parents’ last moments. Enjoy! [A screen descends from the ceiling, displaying silent, flickering images of the woman in the bed crying dramatically while leaves drift past a window streaked with rain.]

I wonder what it would be like to have just like a really big dog. Like comically big, like a Great Dane or some other kind of dog. I wonder if you could ride it like a horse. Why don’t you get up and go get your phone and see if there are any dogs so big that you can ride them like horses? No? Okay. Maybe in the morning.

This pillow is too hot. But the other side of it is too cold. It might help if you flopped around like an electrified fish for a few minutes to get everything just right.

Do you think Jon Hamm would like me in real life? I feel like he would, but then again, I honestly can’t tell, because it seems like he might also be a little bit of a douchebag. Would you like to spend some time fantasizing about a road trip you and Jon Hamm would take together that would mostly consist of you singing along with the radio and him in awe of how fantastic your singing voice is? Yes? I feel like the answer to this one is always yes. [The images on the screen change to the woman in the bed sitting in a car with Jon Hamm, who is smiling at her raptly as she sings along with “Love Will Keep Us Together” by the Captain and Tennille, too lost in the song to notice his look of obvious adoration.]

You know, I want to be thin, but I also want to eat everything.

Are you sure you don’t want to play a few more games of Best Fiends? Because I feel like you’re so close to solving this level. The magic might be gone if you try it again in the morning.

Oh, your kids are also going to die one day, BTW. Just thought you might want to know.

OMG I JUST THOUGHT OF A COMEBACK TO THE SHITTY THING THAT WOMAN SAID TO YOU AT WORK TODAY. Here are several versions of how it could have played out if you had actually gotten to use this, instead of just blinking back tears until you got into your office and then sobbing like a wussy babyperson. All versions are highly satisfying, but I think you’ll especially enjoy the one where everyone around stands up and slow claps after you deliver your devastating retort and disappear into your office. [The images on the screen transition now to a scene in a maze of cubicles, each with a person’s head visible over the top. First one person, far from the action, claps once, almost sarcastically, but soon enough, everyone has joined in, and the shitty woman, chastened, runs away, crying so hard that tears shoot straight out of her eye sockets with the intensity of a garden hose.]

Wouldn’t it be cool to just, like, walk across the whole United States? I bet you’d be so thin at the end. And have so many wise revelations. You could write a book about it. Never mind that you can only walk for like five miles at a time before your legs turn into rubber bands and then you walk around like someone broke your kneecaps with a hammer for the rest of the day.

How do they make cheese? Isn’t cheese just, like, spoiled milk? I don’t understand cheese, and I don’t like it.

Holy shit, it is 2:00 in the morning. What is your problem? You blew it.

[SCENE]

The weight of a kangaroo tail: Monologue for a middle-aged man

[The scene opens in a sparsely decorated DMV. Every seat is filled, but the spotlight is trained on one chair in particular, occupied by a silver-haired man with tiny eyes made even tinier by his metal-framed glasses. Most of his monologue is directed not at the audience, but at the bored-looking teenage girl seated beside him.]

Man: See, this is what happens when we don’t get up early. Gotta get up early if you want to beat the lines. But you had to stay up late last night playing with your phone, huh? Insta-chatting with your girlfriends.

I’ve seen a couple of people come in here and grab a number and then go back outside to sit in their car. That’s stupid. It’s like, do they think the ladies behind the counter are going to go outside and summon them when it’s their turn? Then they come back in here and are all mad when they’ve missed their number and have to start over from the beginning. And then they do the same thing again. It’s lunacy.

[Nudges teen girl with elbow, juts chin at incoming man. Says, loudly:] Ohhhh, no. Here comes trouble. Am I right? Here comes trouble. Here comes– oh. Never mind. I don’t know that guy.

Kayla is going to New York City for spring break, huh? You tell Kayla that’s the most godforsaken city in America. If you’re looking for good shopping, you go to Vegas. Vegas has the best mall in America.

You know, I read somewhere that if you lift up a kangaroo’s tail, it wouldn’t be able to jump. But have you ever tried to lift up a kangaroo’s tail? It’s basically impossible. It weighs like eighty pounds.

Huh. Those guys in line just said that Lenny died. I wonder who Lenny is. I hope his family is okay.

No, we’re not getting coffee after this. Did you know there are eight teaspoons of sugar in a caramel macchiato? I might as well let you drink a two-liter of Pepsi then. Probably be better for your stomach.

[The man’s number is called. He rises and approaches the desk.] I am an illegal. My driver’s license is out of date. [Leans in to hear what the woman has to say.] No, I don’t want to take off my glasses for the vision test. I need my glasses to see? What kind of stunt are you trying to pull?

[SCENE]

My Purple Highlights: Monologue For a Young Blonde

[The stage is empty save one salon chair and vanity mirror, lit with a bright spotlight. A young blonde woman enters stage right, wearing a red and black buffalo check flannel shirt and black-and-tan leather boots, and stations herself wearily in the chair. She sort of looks like she just got done hunting? Like you half-expect her to have a bugle and be followed by a pack of hounds? But her hair is full of foil strips that catch the spotlight and dazzle. Once comfortably settled in her hydraulic lift throne, she speaks. ]

Woman: Where’s the nearest Chipotle? God, I love Chipotle. I know it’s killing people or whatever. But I only eat the sofritas? Because I fucking love tofu. Tofu is my weakness. And I feel like the sofritas are not going to have the colic. Right? Colic? Is that– collie? Colic? Whatever. The poops. You’re not going to get the poops from tofu.

I heard that they had the colic at the Chipotle at Legacy Village and I was like, oh em gee, I just ate the sofritas at the Chipotle at Legacy Village, and I could have died. It really teaches you something, you know? About life? When you almost die?

Speaking of dying. Did you see the new OJ Simpson movie? With the guy who won the Oscar for Radio? I think it was Radio. And Kris Kardashian is in it. I was like, whoa, time warp, I didn’t even know they had Kardashians in the 80s, too funny. I don’t know if Kris was like, with OJ at the time, or what– she really has some fucked-up taste in men, amirite?

You are a genius for giving me these purple highlights. I fucking love my purple highlights. Because you can’t even tell they’re in there. They’re like an optical illusion. They just, like, highlight the blonde.

[beat]

Oh my God.

[beat]

I get why they call them highlights.

SCENE