Fiction, Monologues, Plays & More
In June 2012, Eclectic Voices produced a completely original monologue play: The Theory of Silence, Details on a Disappearance. It grew out of a writing exercise surrounding the idea of a family mysteriously disappearing from a small town. The show featured monologues from characters in the town, their reactions, theories and experiences about the disappearance.
The synopsis: The Johnsons have suddenly vanished. They’re just gone, nowhere to be found. Did they meet with foul play? If they did, there’s no shortage of potential suspects. There’s the neighborhood watch guy; the garbage hunter; the crazy bag lady; the medium; the man who manipulated his way into the preteen dance class; the disgruntled waitress; and more. Everyone in town has a theory and they’re not shy when it comes to telling you about it. This original mystery monologue show explores the idea of unexplained disappearance, of human evaporation, and how it affects those who witness it.
We are proud to present one of the great monologues from the show, “Lily”, written by Chelsea Sutton. Feel free to take a listen to the actress Abbe Rowlins performing the monologue, or read it below.
LILY: I don’t know why I did it. I mean, I could give you some bullshit about how I was raised and how I had a lousy childhood and all that Catcher in the Rye stuff, but it’s not true. I had a great childhood, my parents were fine, it was all peachy keen, really. They even had The Talk with me when it was time, when most of my friends’ parents didn’t. My parents actually sat me down and said hey, this is sex, this is how it works, this is why you should wait, yada yada, all that jazz, etc etc, do you have any questions? Of course at the time I had no questions, I was too busy being mortified, as any preteen girl who just started bleeding from her vagina would feel. So, I can’t blame any of that for why I started sleeping with Tom Johnson. I could say I was lonely. I mean, that’s true. I was lonely. I work in a fucking greasy diner and the people who come in, the people I wait on are the same people I see every day, and they never get more interesting. Sex is one of those things lonely people use to feel connected, just for a second, so they can feel just a little bit worse, just a little bit lonelier after it’s done. I mean sex without love can be great, sure, but it can be lonely as fuck, you know what I mean? There’s nothing worse than having some great sex with a complete stranger, and knowing when that condom comes off, that’s it, the end, the loneliness is back and its worse than ever because you feel emptied, like you were violated without your permission even though you climbed on top of him, even though he’s the one that started feeling up your thigh and you let him, even though one thing led to another and that’s what happened. It was great, sure, but you have this sinking feeling that there was supposed to be something else behind all that. That you’re missing something. But that’d be a lie, of course. I mean honestly, I don’t like people, can’t stand them, don’t like being around them. Especially when I’m at work, when I’m taking people’s orders and such, there’s always a moment when I have this urge to punch them in the face. Even little old ladies. Especially little old ladies. So it’s not like I’m craving human contact. I get too much of it as is, in my opinion. Then, there’s the other possibility. Self-destruction. Let’s say you’re a girl who doesn’t know what she wants. You get in your car and drive. You drive until you find a town you like and a job waiting tables. You sleep in your car and shower using the cold hose out back behind the diner. There’s a guy in a ballet leotard who comes in every Wednesday for lunch and asks you out and every Wednesday you say no. One day, you spill coffee on him on purpose. Just to see what he’ll do. You don’t give a damn about anything, because there’s nothing that gives a damn about you. And then this married man comes on to you. He’s wearing a suit and a tie and invites you for coffee at his place that afternoon, when the kids are at school and the wife is at work, and you accept, knowing what will happen. You want it to happen because if you fuck up your life here in this town, if you fuck up this guy’s marriage, it’ll give you a reason to get back on the road, to run away and find a different town and a different diner and a different dead end life. Because you know if you stay in one place too long you’ll start to realize that you know exactly what you want and it scares the shit out of you. He asks you back the next day. And on and on. You start crying when you see the report cards taped up on the married guy’s fridge, you smell the bed sheets like they are the last dying flower in the world, you listen to the sprinklers like they’re Mozart. You don’t want to admit that this is the life you want. And you can’t have it. Then, you start getting paranoid. You’re sure everyone knows. One of his friends shows up at your studio apartment late one night, that AA pal of his, drunk off his ass, because he wants to get in on the action, he says. You realize you’re the only one who has kept your secret. These afternoons spent falling for some asshole you can’t have – they are sacred only to you. You’re sure his wife knows. He keeps inviting you over and you keep going…on and on…pictures of his wife staring fire through you while he paws at your skin. And then one day, it’s done. He just disappears. The wife. The kids. Gone. Evaporated. Flushed away. You’re suddenly free, but you’re not. Your self-destruction has just begun. So you continue on, waiting tables at the diner, hating every face you see simply because it’s not his, letting yourself slowly break down, molecule by molecule until there’s nothing left. Nothing left of him. And nothing left of you.
The Theory of Silence: Details on a Disappearance was originally produced by Jeff Folschinsky, Taylor Ashbrook, Chelsea Sutton at The Eclectic Company Theatre in June of 2012; Written by Dana Amromin, Jason Britt, Jeff Folschinsky, Sean Kozma, Chelsea Sutton and Brad Wilcox; Directed by Chelsea Sutton; Sound Design by Jeff Folschinsky; Featuring performances by Paton Ashbrook, Taylor Ashbrook,Mason Hallberg, Eamon Hunt, Daniel Mandel, Meghan McConnell,Wendy Radford, Abbe Rowlins, Brian Smith, Tim Sprague, Elizabeth Southerd, Tyler Tanner, Erin Treanor, and Biff Wiff
Chelsea Sutton holds a BA in Literature from The College of Creative Studies at UC Santa Barbara. Her plays have had readings and productions in Santa Barbara, New York and Los Angeles and she is currently participating in workshops with the Skylight Theatre Playlab and The Vagrancy Writers Group, as well as spearheading ECT’s writers group, Eclectic Voices. Her play The Dead Woman, was recently named a Semifinalist in the Eugene O’Neill Playwrights Conference 2013 and a finalist for the Stanley Drama Award. Her fiction has appeared in The Best of Farmhouse Magazine, The Catalyst, Spectrum, and Fictionade, and is forthcoming in Bourbon Penn and The Cactus Heart, and she was the 2011 Winner of NYC Midnight’s Flash Fiction Contest. Her story The Tick and the Tocking received Honorable Mention in Glimmer Train’s Short Story Award for New Writers. She is a member of the Los Angeles Female Playwrights Initiative. WithCoffeeSpoons.com