Anna Massey

Moving: a monologue

(2nd draft)

[An array of boxes,crumpled paper and bin liners on a table set the scene. Rosie, a woman in her forties, is sealing up a large cardboard box.]

Well, thatís the glasses done and itís only seven-o-clock. I should be done by ten at this rate.


[Pushes box aside to start another]


And Iím going to be very rash. I refuse to take all my rubbish from one house to another. Whereís that bin liner? Iíll need it for this lot.


[Refers to label on box - Ďmiscellaneousí]


Miscellaneous! And we all know what that means! Strange word - mis cell ane e ous - Ancient Greek I should think. I bet old Sophocles didnít hang about when he was packing. Right letís see. What have we got here? Two egg coddlers and four Irish coffee glasses....Iíd better keep them - you never know when you might need to coddle a couple of eggs! And theyíve got such a lovely design on them - too nice to coddle eggs in really. Thatís probably why I didnít use them .


[Puts them in large box]


Okay, next . Oh no, this has got to go.


[Holding it in hands]


I mean, do I look like a blue glass ash tray sort of person? I detest smoking....


[Shakes head]


Wouldnít you think people could do a bit more research before buying gifts? Sorry, I sound ungrateful and I donít mean to.


[Puts ash tray in bin liner and then rummages in box again]


Oh God!




- if thereís anything worse than a blue glass ash tray


[Holding up object]


- itís a fucking pink glass ash tray!!


[Puts it in bin liner with the other one
then liftís out small box labelled Ďchildrens giftsí!]


Ahh - where would we be without our children? Donít you just love the presents they bring you from school trips or on Mothers Day.


[Holds up a small Ďnaffí object]


How could I throw that away and anyway I donít want to be responsible for causing my children psychological problems through feelings of rejection - Iíll just hang on to them until theyíre about twenty-five and married.


[Puts childrens gifts in large box and looks at watch]


Oh dear is that the time already? Come on Rosie get a move on. What else have we got in here?


[Picks out African table cloth]


Yes, Iíll have that.


[Puts it in box and picks out African carving]


Yes, Iíll have that!


[Puts it in box and picks out African mask]


Oh yes, Iíll have that.


[Holds up mask to face, then moves it away]


Mmmmmm....memories of Africa.


[Stands still and stares for a moment]


The heat the colours; the richness.


[Realises sheís day-dreaming]


Get on with it.


[Goes back to box, digs deep and brings out a dish]


One large serving dish - no - itís got a crack in it and Iím having nothing chipped or cracked in that new house.


[Puts it in bin liner and reaches into box again]


Nearly finished - oh...I know what this is.


[Picks out wrapped parcel and takes deep breath]


Aunt Maryís coffee pot, I did love her. I just couldnít bear to make coffee in this. Anyway - I might break it. Itís so delicate.


[Opens wrapper and lifts lid gently peering more closely inside]


What on Earth? Oh God!


[Pulls out old letter, sighs heavily and looks serious]


So thatís where I put it.


[Opens letter slowly and reads aloud]


"My darling Katya, you are the only woman I have ever loved. I want to be with you always and canít wait until we are together. Iím not in love with Rosie, Iím in love with you. Remember that. All my love, Bill."




It didnít last. She went the same way as Maria and Anne and......but it was the first time I saw it written down.


[Silence - half-smile]


It doesnít hurt so much. Time has mellowed it like Aunt Maryís coffee. Now it can go where pink glass fucking ash trays go.


[Rips letter up into little pieces and lets it fall slowly into bin liner]


I donít want anything chipped or broken anymore.


[Man's voice calls "Rosie are you nearly finished there?"]


Rosie: Yes Bill, coming.



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