Personalized Monologues

from The Sham

Do you think I’m stupid, Mom? You
think I don’t know all that? --
Okay, I was a little lost in
being... a rich....bitch. I DID
make a bet that I could have sex
with any celebrity they chose. And
I DID try to win the bet by
seducing Henry because they said he
was a famous composer and pianist,
but I was....drunk.....and full of
myself... and I WAS trying to show
off because they could tell that I
really don’t have much experience
with anything like that. And I’m
ashamed of myself, Mom. I’m
ashamed of how I met Henry, but
Mom, he really IS a pioneer of
music. Don’t laugh, Mom. He
really is brave and adventurous and
excitingly new and youthful in his
music-- MOM! Don’t laugh. I mean
And I’ve got a good metaphor going
here. So, let me say it. Henry is
everything you taught me to respect
and love and cherish and look for
in a man. Henry is brave -- he
could play pretty music if he chose
to like staying home where it’s
warm and safe, but he chooses to
head out there where the wild
animals are. Henry is adventurous
and lives on a dangerous edge. His
music is ALWAYS on some uncharted
mountain top where, with one false
move, he could tumble into chaos.
Henry is tenacious. He’s an OLD
loser and an old lover because he
never gave up on his music, just
like he would NEVER give up on me.
Mom, Henry is on the very cutting
edge of the avant garde and, I know
this sounds silly, but the way you
can tell his music is youthful and
new is that EVERYBODY hates it.
EVERYBODY says it’s awful.
EVERYBODY knows it’s bad, but it
still survives as music.
And maybe I’m the first person in
the world that recognizes that
beauty and that makes ME feel like
I haven’t wasted my time or my
education, because I DO recognize
art. Yes, Mom, ART == Great art.
Henry is out there where the wild
birds and winds are harmonizing
with the sounds of his soul’s
longing and I’m there with them,
I’m like a bird soaring with them.
I float on the emotional tornado
that is his music and I’m free, in
a free world of free expression
where my own freedom is possible
because he is SO FAR OUT there on
the frontiers of human expression
and, in spite of disdain from his
own friends and community, he is
FREE to play that music and that is
GOOD. And that makes his music
good. And because I seem to be the
only one around here who can see
all that, it makes ME feel good and
free and full of love and energy
and life. I want to buy a covered
wagon and ride off as his wife.
Can’t you give me SOME credit for
growing up because of all this? I’m
ashamed I was such a spoiled brat.
I’m ashamed I wasted all those
years wrapped up in my own vapid
insecurities, but Mom, I’m not
ashamed of Henry. I’m not ashamed
that I used all your music contacts
to get him a hearing. I’m not
afraid that he’s using me, even if
he DID lie to me. I don’t CARE if
the WHOLE WORLD thinks he made a
fool of me and of himself by
playing in tomorrow night’s
concert. I have faith! And, Mom,
even more beautiful, I have hope.
Hope for his success, hope for a
free world of free expression, hope
that I have had some small hand in
making the world a better place. I
don’t care if he loves me. I don’t
care that he lied to me. I don’t
care if he finds the pacific ocean
or falls off the edge of the world.
Henry helped me become a worthwhile
woman and I love him for that.

(to her daughter)
Of COURSE, I believe in love,
honey. Of COURSE, you have a right
to make your own mistakes. Of
COURSE, I’ve never met him, so why
don’t I like him? Why don’t I like
him?...It’s not the usual ‘NO young
man is good enough for my daughter’
thing’ He’s not young....and he’s
not good enough...for a crack
addicted, toothless, infected,
infested, ingrown toenail of a
woman with unusual odors and eating my opinion, just my
opinion, you know, I get a feeling
about the guy from what you’ve told
me about him.-- No! You asked. You
asked and I’ve been biting my
tongue for too long, so let me
TALK. I need to get this off my
chest. He’s no good. He’s just no
good. You say he’s a great
composer and pianist, so why
haven’t I ever heard of him? Why
hasn’t ANYone I checked with --of
course, I checked-- You’re my
daughter. I had to-- and, and NO
ONE knows anything about this guy.
If he’s such a famous composer, how
come it took YOU to get him
interviewed on t.v. and in the
Post? And what was that craziness,
“my music tries to go beyond
trivial melody and repetitious
dance rhythms, shaking up your
expectations, falling off the beat,
like a stumble off a cliff” What
kind of music has no melody and no
rhythm? What does that leave?
Variations in loudness and timbre?
You think I spent twenty years
playing parlor piano, you think I
minored in music in college to be
told that noise can be music? When
he makes a fart you call it art? --
No, No!
I can tell by the way you’re
looking at me that you’re going to
say it’s really great masterpiece
music, that it’s the new frontier,
that it’s MORE obnoxious than ANY
NOISE EVER WAS justified as music
ever BEFORE and that his ANGER has
been expressed as art sooooo purely
that you can’t separate the anger
from the art. But, baby..... You
think you know everything. I tried
to make you into a forceful,
assertive, powerful, woman who says
what she knows. But you’re
young... and you started to be
assertive about things you didn’t
know. And I let you -- No, Listen!--
I let you become a bitch and a boor
and a bully and a braggart about
what you knew and what you’d seen
and done and you.... got trapped
into this...-- please hear me out --
you REALLY got trapped into
thinking Henry was famous and rich
and worthwhile. And, forgive me,
but I’m your mom and I had to find
out what was going on, so I ask
your friends and they told me.
They’re laughing at you, honey.
They think you deserve to fall in
love with this loser because you
lied to them. Don’t look at me
like that-- It’s absolutely true
that they fooled you. He was fired
as the Maitre’d at the restaurant
where you were bragging about
having sex with famous people. And
that bet you made -- I’d be ashamed
of you if it hadn’t gone so
terribly wrong....He’s not worth
your time. Get away from him
before the whole town is laughing
at you, before you lose more than
your pride. Please, honey, I’m
begging you. Come home with Mama
and leave this man to his noise and
delusion. Please.
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