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Monologue from

mad maenads

(wives)

CHARACTERS:

TONYA:
Good-looking, 38ish, well-dressed, sexy

MIRELLA:
A could-be good-looking woman, 35-37, looks older. Possibly Italian/American Has let her appearance go somewhat, her clothes are definitely not sexy; shapeless and black or jeans, big sweater, scuffed boots

WAITER:
Young, sexy, good-looking, probably Italian

MIRELLA
You really want to know?

TONYA
Of course I really want to know.

MIRELLA
You won't laugh? Ok, you can laugh but...

TONYA
Tell me Mirella.

MIRELLA
Well. Okaaaay. As you may or may not remember, I recently got into crystals. Remember when I went and housesat for Stewart and Michael? They have those birds, you know. Earl had to go to Atlantic City for two weeks. So I spent a week in Topanga Canyon, this little house filled with sunshine and crystals. Crystals in white sand by the windows, huge crystals on either side of the bed, crystals all around the bathtub. In the living room they had a black coffin. (gestures ‘don't ask me!’)
So then, I started buying books on crystals and books on being a warrior. ‘Pain and depression’ being great 'source materials for transformation’. I had a goldmine there.
Meanwhile I was receiving this newsletter from two women who own this crystal shop--I don't know how they got my address or name. Maybe I bought a book there...anyway....during this extreme period of anxiety, pain and depression, I decide to take one of their workshops called: 'Meet Your Self in Your Past Life'.

TONYA
No. Like, wow.

MIRELLA
Mmm... Of course , I'd often thought about this like everyone else, for about two minutes. I'd see myself in Egypt, riding camels swathed in red silk. Lying back on satin pillows at Roman banquets...surrounded by cherubini feeding me oysters and caviar, pomegranates and zabaglione. The courts of Paris where painters begged to replicate my soft white body.
So.
I found myself at this workshop and with the help of Dolores and Mindy, and this very tall man with a long beard, I found out that in my former life...I was... ta daaaaaaaaaa....

(progressively going into a northern English accent)

...a big huge dirty foul-mouthed coal miner in northern England in the late 1800s.
Fascinating hmmm?
The more we worked on me the more it all started coming back. The stroll home at night wi' me mates, laughin' and rippin' apart them tight-arsed Tories. Scrubbin' and scrubbin' the black from hands and face an hour every night so's the wife would serve the supper without complainin'. All the whingin' she made me listen to because I was too tired on Saturday nights for anything but a few lagers with the lads down at the Cock and Pheasant. And that afternoon down the shaft when Andy McPherson and I got carried away. Well. It was all there. I found out everything.
So. Now I have this...new knowledge...this sort of solid support instead of all those dreams about being a leader of fashion in the Imperial courts of Prussia, decked out in sparkling emeralds, rubies, opals and amethysts, Rasputin waiting outside my door... Alfred was me name. Alfred Dunnock.

© 1993 Victoria Charkut