Fiction, Monologues, Plays & More
a monologue by Ken Patton
A lone, square or rectangular café table sits onstage. Four chairs surround the table, and our actor, MALE, mid-30’s or older, sits at the chair facing the audience. He glances at his watch a couple of times, looking around as if he is waiting for someone, before starting. Three cocktails sit on the table – one in front of our actor, and one at each of the place settings on either side of him.
MALE ACTOR: They should be here anytime time… I can’t believe that we let this much time go by, AGAIN, without seeing each other. But that doesn’t matter – not really. Lots of people say that when you’re with a really good friend that you haven’t seen for a while, it’s like no time at all has passed; well, I don’t know about them, but that really rings true with the three of us. Man, I miss those girls. I still can’t believe that I’ve known the two of them for over 20 years… 20 years! Wow – it seems like just yesterday we were eating lunch together on the football field… AnnaMae would tease Lynn that her cheerleading skirt was way too short, and Lynn would tease AnnaMae about her more than amble boobs – teasing, with just a hint of jealousy. And I’d just laugh. I’m sure AnnaMae will get here first – cause trust me, Lynn is ALWAYS late… always! I’m just glad that they had the time to meet a bit on the early side today, after all, the last time the three of us got together, we met at 8, and ended up closing the place down… I’m sure that no one wants to drive home at 3am this time around – especially since AnnaMae kids are teenagers now… teenagers; really… where does the time go? I can still remember the first time we met – all three of us were in the same homeroom, then we found out as the day wore on that except for 1 period, we shared ALL of the same classes together – no one else had matching schedules like that in our class… it was just the three of us. We found that we were assigned to the same AP and gifted classes, and we would laugh as each new period started, we’d walk into the classroom and see each other and must smile a big ole smile. Most people would have compared schedules after a class or two to see just how many classes they had in common, but we wanted that repeated surprise… that surprise that ended up not being a surprise. In fact, the surprise ended up being the one period that we didn’t share together. But I was a boy, and Lynn was a cheerleader, so we all had P.E. at the same time, but in different places. But even that ended up changing after a week or so, once AnnaMae and I joined marching band. Then lo and behold – we were all together once again. It was like it was destiny or something, us being thrown together day after day – period after period. We were inseparable. And after a while, people started calling us the Three Musketeers, cause no matter what we did, no matter where we went, you wouldn’t see one of us without the other two. It was always just the three of us.
We were lucky to find each other – truly. We each had our strengths… and together we sorta completed each other – you know what I mean? Lynn was the fire – fierce, spontaneous, quick to anger, quick to love… quick to hate. Emotional, and driven. If she wanted something, watch out – and get out of her way. And if she loved you, she loved you deeply, and passionately. And there was nothing that she wouldn’t do for you. Being in her orbit was exciting, and a little scary – for you never knew what was going to happen next. And then there’s AnnaMae – as down to earth as they come… full of heart, full of love… full of trust. If I had to pick one word to describe her, it would be nurturer. The Mistress and the Wife. But those girls… sorry, they are women now – those WOMEN… well, they were my life; they are my heart. There is nothing I wouldn’t do for them, and there is nothing they wouldn’t do for me. And really – how often can a person say that in their lives?
We’ve been through a lot, the three of us. Love… loss… lots of loss. Poor AnnaMae – I can’t wait to see her, but I really don’t know what to say to her. What do you say to a person who has had so much death in her life? First her husband… suicide. Then her Mother – cancer. Then her father… suicide. Then her oldest son – suicide, turns out he was full of guilt, cause he was convinced that he was the cause of his father’s death. I am amazed that AnnaMae can even get out of bed each morning, but she does – because there are others in her life that need her. Now, that’s AnnaMae. I talked to Lynn for hours yesterday, mapping out a gameplan for how we were going to talk to AnnaMae today, for she may not think she needs any help, but trust me – she does need help. Wouldn’t you if all of that happened to you? She always stands so tall… so strong… I’m just afraid that sooner rather than later she’ll fall… and when she does, I want to be there, to catch her, like she has caught me, so many times before.
We always felt like we’d always be in each other’s lives… when we were in high school, I dated Lynn for a hot second… but it only took one date to realize that her role in my life was as a friend – not a girlfriend. Of course, if you were to ask my Mother back then, she would have taken great pains to convince you that AnnaMae was the one destined to be my wife. So imagine her surprise when I discovered that I was gay – did it break our friendship? No. Did it surprise my friends? Nope. It was just one more crossroad… one more occurrence in that shared thing the three of us called life. My lifestyle became yet another gameplan… we had gameplans for everything. Lynn’s first marriage. Lynn’s first divorce.
Lynn’s second marriage. AnnaMae’s marriage. AnnaMae’s pregnancies. Lynn’s miscarriage. Lynn’s second divorce. Even a path for fatherhood for me. Once I mentioned that I dreamed of becoming a father, what should emerge but yet another gameplan, as the two of them stepped forward for me once again – Lynn would provide the egg; AnnaMae would provide the womb. And both of them would supply the love. That situation… that problem… all problems could, and would always be tackled, for all we needed was just the three of us.
And now – with AnnaMae dealing with four deaths in a 6 month period, and with both AnnaMae and Lynn dealing with the loss of their jobs, we find ourselves coming together again… three friends who mean the world to each other – three friends who always know what to say to each other… three friends who would do whatever it takes for each other… together, they would find a way… we will find a way to get through this, like we’ve gotten through everything else.
Soon we’ll have everything we need, right here at this table, on this patio, at this restaurant. It’ll take hours, more than likely. My heart aches for my AnnaMae; and no amount of hugs, no proclamations of love, or loyalty could ever serve to fill the hole… the emptiness that death on that scale must bring. But that doesn’t mean that we won’t try. For tonight, the Three Musketeers will rise once again. And we’ll have everything that we’ll need right here.
Our actor raises his glass, and toasts the air in front of him.
For all that we need… all that we’ll ever need is just the three of us.
Just the Three of Us was performed by Fuz Edwards in the January 2013 Eclectic Voices monologue show We’re No Heroes at The Eclectic Company Theatre.
Born in Dayton, Ohio and raised in New York and California, Ken Patton has been passionate about words, theatre and music from an early age. Upon graduating from the University of California, Los Angeles with a BFA in Theatre, Ken continued his career in the Entertainment by spending the next 3 years at Columbia Pictures Television participating in their now defunct on-site talent training program, learning the various aspects of Television production. Ken has been known to serve as a Producer and Story Consultant for various independent features. Ken also works freelance as a Production Manager, Event Manager, and Consultant. Currently, Ken is working on the book and lyrics for an original, contemporary musical Dirty Martini. Workshop performances for Dirty Martini are slated for later this year.