Eclectic Voices

Fiction, Monologues, Plays & More

The Weight of Words: Part 3

stockvault-rocks-in-the-water135719a play by Laura Lee Bahr
The continuation of ACT1, Scene 1: Mercy and The Dress of Eleanora Duse
(CLICK HERE to read The Weight of Words: Part 1)
(CLICK HERE to read The Weight of Words: Part 2)

The AUTHOR has wandered over to a stack of stones, placed in the corner near the entrance of the store.

AUTHOR: A pile of rocks-

LINDA: Not just any rocks- but the very ones Virginia Woolf put in her pocket to… These are the very rocks she… you know… with…

AUTHOR: Oh my God- I was just talking about these rocks to the fourth wall!

PRICILLA: Ah- again with the fourth wall… (she looks out to the audience, and becomes mesmerized. As if in a daze, she walks forward as all freezes behind her.) Hello, fourth wall. So much better than the second wall, with the peeling yellow paper that I have to sit and stare at, day in and day out as I sit here at Herstory… But I can talk to you about anything. Anything I want. So let me talk about love, because I am in love- and he’s the real deal- a real Hero. Maybe you think I’m hard on him, because I won’t sleep with him, even though we’re engaged. But it all makes perfect sense. I’ve been dumped and used and abused and treated like a piece of filth for the last time, let me tell you something… Who do these guys think that they are? What are women doing these days? Everybody’s divorced and single, and trying to find people on the internet, and getting drunk and going down on random dudes they met in bar and why? For what? I want to get married. I want to wear a white dress. I want a white cake and all my friends there and my family. I want a house. I want kids. I want to be able to say- Look at me. Look at what I have. I have a family. I have a man that respects me. I am not a piece of trash. I am not a napkin for you to do your duty on and discard. I am not fucking around. No. You respect me, you want me, you put a ring on my finger and tell God and everybody I love the same thing. I just want the words “I love you” to mean something. Today, it’s I love chocolate and I love Hello Kitty and I love this youtubevideo and oh, yeah, I love you too. What is that? What has happened to us? I’m not even old, I’m just bitter, because it used to be- being a woman meant something- you were something to possess, you had worth- you had stock- in your femininity. Look at this mess- what am worth here to these men? We’ve all been duped- into giving away what makes us valuable. I won’t be tricked. The rest of you can go around thinking you’re getting your kicks when your getting used, but I’ve got a ring on my finger that is a promise made of an investment of money in me and my future. I’m wearing it. And he gets nothing until he delivers in full his end of the bargain. The words, “I do” with the weight of the state behind it. That’s how I’m going to make love. I’m going to make it matter.

PRICILLA moves back to behind the counter and adjusts the radio.
The Georgia Satellites song “Hands to Yerself” has come on. She switches it off.

AUTHOR: (putting down the rock) The weight. Dostoevsky was granted a reprieve. Absurdity, too much and too little time. Paid by the word. If you want talk about the weight of words…

PRICILLA: We don’t. Besides. This is Herstory, not Dostoevsky.

DOCTOR: (looking at the second wall at an object hanging there) Why do you have a gun on the wall?

LINDA: It’s safe. It’s encased in glass.

AUTHOR: How does that make it safe? Everyone can see it.

LINDA: It’s for show- it’s safe.

AUTHOR: We can’t be safe- you know that rule in theater- from Chekhov.

LINDA: I’m afraid I don’t.

AUTHOR: Oh no! Oh no! If you see a gun in the First Act it’s guaranteed to go off some time in the Third.

DOCTOR: I never heard of that rule.

AUTHOR: it’s true. Just ask Chekhov.

PRICILLA: You mean from Star Trek?

AUTHOR: No, the playwright.

LINDA: Well, this gun has nothing to do with Chekhov. This gun belonged to William S. Burrows, and he accidentally killed his wife with it.

DOCTOR: You can’t have that gun!

LINDA: I can! I do! That’s the sort of store this is.

DOCTOR: You are lying! That gun would be a piece of evidence-

AUTHOR: Hm- if the gun’s already killed someone maybe it changes the rules- How did he kill her?

LINDA: This is the way I heard the story. William S. Burroughs was at a party with his wife. They were drunk- he said he would perform a William Tell-

DOCTOR: William Tell?

AUTHOR: (a phrase of the overture) duh-duh-duh, duh-duh- duh, duh-duh duh duh duh

PRICILLA: The Lone Ranger.

DOCTOR: I know the William Tell Overture. Obviously. I’m an educated woman. A Doctor. I meant perform what William Tell, the overture or the apple.

LINDA: The apple.

AUTHOR: Eve.

PRICILLA: What?

AUTHOR: Just riffing-

PRICILLA: Well, stop. She’s telling the story, not you –

LINDA: William Tell. Shot an apple off his wife’s head. So Burroughs, he places the wife’s glass on her head and he goes across the room and shoots. He misses.

AUTHOR: That’s terrible. He shot his wife in the head trying to be William Tell.

PRICILLA: Maybe she was flirting with someone else. Maybe he did it on purpose.

LINDA: It was an accident.

PRICILLA: Sure, sure it was.

DOCTOR: He was acquitted?

LINDA: I don’t think he was tried. It was an accident.

DOCTOR: That gun is evidence. You could get sued.

PRICILLA: So sue her.

LINDA: So sue me.

DOCTOR: I’m a Doctor, not a lawyer. I’ll have my lawyer friend come in. She’ll sue you.

The Doctor leaves.

LINDA: (to the author) Is there a rule that if a lawyer is introduced in the first act someone gets sued in the third?

AUTHOR: I don’t know about that. Better make sure no lawyers come in – just to be sure.
____________________________________________
Laura Lee Bahr is the author of the short stories Happy Hour and The Liar (available in the anthologies DEMONS, winner of the Bram Stoker award and PSYCHOS, edited by John Skipp and published by Black Dog & Leventhal). She is the award-winning screenwriter of the feature films Jesus Freak and the little Death. Her first novel, HAUNT, received the Wonderland Book Award.

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2 comments on “The Weight of Words: Part 3

  1. The Lotus War
    September 3, 2013

    Cool way to play with the format of a play and nice sentiments expressed.

    Its funny because feminism teaches women not to be possessed by a man but to possess ourselves… yet your character turned that around because possessions are valued. I was talking about a similar theme with a friend recently – that its healthy to view our bodies as objects in space.

    Anyways, if I’m off the mark ignore me haha

  2. Laura Lee Bahr
    September 3, 2013

    Thanks for your comment!
    Not off the mark at all! In fact, it is all about how we as women assign value to ourselves as women and other women in a culture of commodification.– as for viewing bodies as objects in space (and space/time!)–I agree that it is healthy! We must! Much more on bodies in space to come in the next installment, in fact!

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