2013 Monologue Contest Runners-Up
The Following two monologues by Luke Hughes and Diana Mumford placed second and third in the 2013 Summer Monologue contest. Luke’s monologue, Natural Light Vs. Old English, written in response to the prompt, “gravity,” stands out for its unique use of punctuation to convey a moody stream of conscience reminiscent of “The Lost Weekend”. Likewise, Diana’s cheerful and observant prose in “Cleanliness and Godliness,” written in response to the prompt, “the wonders of Bleach,” evokes an easily stained scene, rich in americana.
Natural Light Vs. Old English
-Monologue by Luke Hughes-
The real, reasonable me doesn’t want to make the turn
But some immutable law of nature pulls me in
And here I (I) am greeting these familiar-looking liquor store clerks,
Hitting a different place every night- sometimes going well out of my way-
Because I’m an upstanding citizen dammit and I can’t have these
Complete strangers judging me, thinking I’m an unmitigated alcoholic or whatever.
(“Problem drinker” is what the State says I am and this, I think,
Is a more befitting, indeed, nearly genteel, classification.
I mean it’s not like I’m in a fucking gutter somewhere or
Accosting people for money in parking lots like
That guy who cussed me out at the Shore Stop because I wouldn’t give him
And his bag of 40-ounce bottles of Olde English 800 a ride home or wherever he was going.
Couldn’t he see that I needed to get home with my case of Natural Light?
Anyway, he and I are totally different.)
But what do these shopkeeps know and who cares what they think? (me, clearly)
And anyway it’s a sunny (rainy) summer (winter) afternoon
After a long, hard (short, easy) day at work (on the couch)
And it’s Friday (Tuesday) and I haven’t had a drink in a while (yesterday)
And I’m stressed (blithe) and sad (delighted) and I’m just going to have a few (twenty)
So it’s alright.
-Monologue by Diana Mumford–
After church, souls scrubbed clean, we pile out of the Grand Marquis. Our throats are parched after speaking in tongues. We stop at a vending machine just outside K-mart. My family’s Sunday ritual. I know better than to ask for a can. Cans are dirty. Mouth exposed. Tainted by the touch of other people. And, the kicker, The Free Press ran a story about a man who found a rat sealed in the bottom of his drink. He didn’t know it until he was finished. With a bottle, you can tell what’s in it before you’re done.
Grandma goes in the store. Granddaddy and I return to the car with grape sodas. We wait. It’s just a quick trip every week. I sit in Granddad’s lap and pretend to drive. We’re going to the mountains where they have real snow in the winter. Another quick trip—we’re back in time to pick up Grandma from the sidewalk in front of the store. Her doubled bags are bursting with familiar neon spray bottles.
At home, we’re greeted by a googly-eyed santa with a pom-pom face and yarn hair. He’s the seasonal wreath replacement. Glue on a bleach bottle base. Grandma got the idea from a country crafting magazine. She pushes him aside and enters to fill the shallow basin she keeps by the sink. She dips her hands in. As she scrubs each finger with a tiny brush, the familiar scent of bleach wafts over. I stand still, waiting for baptism.