Fiction, Monologues, Plays & More
By Taylor Ashbrook
She knows what True Love is. Lately, Myrtle finds herself thinking about True Love most of the time. And sex, yes, of course. Sexual Attraction combined with True Love is a powerful and much desired life experience. But the sexual element burns bright and then dies away more often than not. Very tricky and very temporary.
She spends much of her time cataloguing the many different forms (or feelings?) of Love. Firstly examining Sexual Attraction and True Love. She notes these are separate human states of being that sometimes combine to create full-fledged euphoria. Not that she and Freddie ever experienced it.
There are quite a lot of subcategories for both True Love and Sexual Attraction.
Naturally, Sexual Attraction has less variations. But still, sexual attraction for a friend differs from sexual attraction for a stranger. Quite different. The friendly shag with the bartender at your favorite pub isn’t the same as the slightly dangerous and somewhat disgusting quickie in a Porta Potty at a rock music festival.
She wonders if that last scenario ever really happens. She can’t fathom trying to have sex in one of those stuffy, hot, odiferous fiberglass coffins. Not to mention people queuing up outside the door, no doubt desperate to use the facilities for the usual evacuation activities. Horrifying thought.
But back to her current contemplation. There comes a point when Sexual Attraction isn’t the priority in a caring relationship. Love is something deeper. And the need for love? Well, that is forever constant, in some form or other. No one can disagree with that.
She knows love for a particular kind of music or musical artist is real and in the same subcategory as General Celebrity Adoration. Of course, celebrity musicians apparently get a lot of sexual attention due to Groupie Fan Love. So the story goes anyway.
Now, love of books or films closely links with that last but is often born out of life-altering experiences. It’s likely most people remember a song, book or film that blew their mind. Pulled the status quo out from beneath one’s feet, so to speak.
And she knows love for things is real, so she also addresses those variations in her catalogue. Seriously, she can no longer imagine life without her mobile. She loves the feel of it in her hand, the pictures and videos it takes, the repository for so much of her personal information. Yes, she truly loves her cell phone.
And she knows people who love their cars, their boats, their homes, their favorite chairs, the hand print art project from a child grown up long ago. That is a form of Love, though True or not is debatable.
Some love shoes. Some love tattoos. Jewelry. Sports. Neighborhoods. Countries. God.
Sometimes love explodes with violence. Often Love of God and/or Country manages to block Love for Mankind in general. She can’t understand why.
Then there is Familial Love. Sometimes more affection than love perhaps, as with certain friends and acquaintances, but a blurry line so… Well. Love for parents. Grandparents. Uncles, aunts, cousins and such.
Perhaps the strongest love is for one’s own children. Certainly the most revered and exalted love in the culture Myrtle lives in. In all honesty, she’s never much liked children and never felt what mothers, new mothers especially, try to describe to her. Nor has she experienced any ticking of her biological clock. She couldn’t quite understand what previously rational women were talking about.
Until now. Now she has her own precious baby. A beautiful and precocious little boy. There is a slight ache in her heart as she thinks of him, resenting yet again the life obligations that pull her away from him for hours most every day.
Her husband is shocked by her behavior. Her mother thinks she is going a little crazy.
“You might be going overboard a tad, my love. Do you really think you need so many outfits? And the toys? The poor thing must be overwhelmed.”
Her mother has always been a bitch. But Myrtle loves her just the same. Loving her mother is inevitable and undeniable, even when she wants to throttle her.
“Why can’t I have this?” Myrtle asks. “I love the little guy more than I’ve ever loved anyone or anything else. I finally understand what all my friends were trying to tell me when they had kids. I would sacrifice my life for his.”
“It’s not the same, dearest.”
“Why not? I’m smitten! I’ve never felt anything like this before. It matters to me.”
“I know, darling. And he is adorable—”
“Isn’t he the cutest thing you’ve ever seen?”
“I’ll grant you he is movie star cute, but—”
“You think so, too? He’s such a personality already, and everyone loves him. Sometimes I’m frightened by my good fortune. To have this love in my life… I’m so lucky. Freddie is jealous, which is ridiculous. It’s not like I’m having an affair.”
“Yes. I know. But he is your husband.”
“So what? He never made me feel this way. My baby’s smart. And affectionate. Sometimes when I hold him, he cuddles into my neck, right under my chin. And I hum to him. He loves it.”
“Aren’t you afraid you’ll spoil him?”
“Oh bloody hell, so what if I do? It’s not like he’ll turn into a serial killer.”
“No, but he could become a nuisance.”
“He’s just a baby. I’m teaching him. He’s smart, Mother. And I think he has that special quality celebrities possess. The “It” factor. Charisma. He’s such a friendly little guy. Somehow he’s going to be famous, I just know it.”
And she does. Myrtle knows it. No matter what Mother says. No matter that Freddie might freak.
An old John Lennon song loops in her head. Beautiful, beautiful, beautiful boy. Darling, darling, darling… darling Buster…
“But he’s a dog, Myrtle.” Her mother really can’t help herself. Myrtle reigns back her temper before it blows.
After all, what difference does it make what her mother thinks? And screw Freddie. Myrtle is in True Love. Nothing else matters.
She stops a moment to make a note for the catalogue: True Love means nothing else matters.
Taylor Ashbrook’s current favorite quote about writing: “Words are sacred. They deserve respect. If you get the right ones, in the right order, you can nudge the world a little.” By one of her favorite playwrights, Tom Stoppard. A born and bred “Theater Geek,” Taylor aspires to write more than she actually manages to put words down on paper. Having written mostly with partners for live theater projects, she hopes to someday write a novel she would enjoy reading. Currently, she’s working on a dark, full length play – sans partners – just to get it out of her head. Except she takes a lot of breaks to direct, act and produce. Taylor has been a Member of The Eclectic Company Theatre, except for a couple brief years, since 1990.