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!

 

[dramatically]

 

- 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."

 

[Silence]

 

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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