Adam Szymkowicz Monologues

Snow (From Five Short Plays) (Sara)

Sara says

I’ve been careful, always very careful. Sure there are people who leave the house more than I do.

They take strolls, they cross streets in the midst of traffic. They get on airplanes and fly halfway across the world. And I say good for them. If they want to risk their lives daily, let em. But don’t ask me to. I’m fine how I am. It is true I have not left my apartment in three years. Everyone delivers in New York. Everyone. My mother says I would meet more people if I left my apartment … but I have my college friends I still call and email and of course there is a large online community waiting to hear my every word. Anyway, people die when they take risks. I’ve seen it happen.

Mercy (Orville)

Orville says

(ORVILLE talking to the ba who is in a bassinet or carrier)

It’s a good idea, they say, to talk to you, even though you don’t know what I’m saying. I wish you would cry. It’s not right. People tell me I’m lucky that you’re not crying all night and all day, but still, it’s not natural not to cry at all. The doctors say there’s nothing wrong with you but I don’t trust doctors anymore and you shouldn’t either.

You could say something. Tell me when you’re wet or hungry. Just say, ‚ÄúHey!‚Äù Can you say that? Hey! Hey. Say, ‚ÄúHey!‚Äù Hey. Hey. Hey. Hey. Just say it. Like me. Hey. Hey. Hey. Or, you know, something else. I don’t have to control you. You could say ‚ÄúDad.‚Äù Da-da. Da-da. Dad. Dad. Da-da.

Okay, well, whenever you’re ready. Just don’t, I mean you don’t have to hold back on my account. Too many people are not being themselves around me anymore. Feel free to cry and scream and just let go. Neighbors be damned.

No one expected you to live. You’re a miracle, you know that? And you’re fine. They say everything is fine. So go ahead and cry your lungs out. God knows you have reason enough. (pause) No?

(He begins to cry, at first modeling behavior for the ba and then really getting into it.)




Incendiary (Elise)

Elise says

I want to stop. I really do. I’m trying. I really am. But I don’t think you understand. A fire is the most beautiful thing ever created. I dare you to show me a work of art that can rival a five alarm fire. You couldn’t do it. You just couldn’t. And I like art as much as the next person but I wonder always when I see a Van Gogh or a Rembrant–I imagine, as I’m sure you do, what it would look like on fire. That second before the painting caves in, that would be . . . it would be . . . incomparable. But sadly, I don’t think any of us will live to see it. We could burn prints, I suppose, cheap gift store prints, but it would just be paper. No melting paint, no disintegrating wood. It’s a waste.

There is nothing in this world like fire. At first it’s just a match, an idea, a spark, a little yellow flame, and it need nurturing to grow to an inferno. Those oranges, those yellows, those cores of blue don’t just happen themselves. They take planning. They take skill. They take love. I am not some Zippo-flicking fourteen year old -no. I am an artist. I can light a fire so precise all that’s left of the building is dust while the rest of the block is miraculously untouched. And of course, me and the boys are always around to come and put it out in case anything should happen.

Fat Cat Killers (Steve)

Steve says

I would like to call on the leniency of the jury. Not because I didn’t know what I was doing. I knew what I was doing. Although please keep in mind that it wasn’t actually me who killed Dave. I didn’t shoot at anyone or anything. I just helped with the kidnapping. I may be an accessory to murder, but a minor accessory like . . . what’s a minor accessory? Like a barrette. It’s true I helped keep him hostage, but I had a good reason for all my actions. Revenge. Revenge is, I believe, a good reason to do things. It may get you arrested but my hope is that you, my peers, understand and appreciate the importance of revenge and will be lenient on me. Because when it comes down to it, all of my actions were motivated revenge. When you take away a man’s ability to support himself, don’t you expect him to fight back? And so I did. Murder might have been too strong a way to fight back, but I hope you will understand my impulses, if not the severity of my actions.

Thank you.

Also, I would like to say to those who try to copycat me and kidnap CEOs–I would not do that. I think it is a bad idea despite the manifesto I wrote saying it was a good idea. I no longer believe this manifesto. I am penitent and see the errors I have made in the past.

But I was trapped. The system is against us. That much is clear. It is against you whether or not you break the law. It is just against you. I think this is bad for a system.

Thank you. Please be lenient. Cool. Thanks.

Elsewhere (Celia)

Celia says

It’s best, I think, to just assume that everything you do will work out. If you think too much about details, it’ll only make things more complicated. Just do what you do. Everything can be justified if you think hard enough. And once you have your justification, well, you can just hold onto it. It’s yours. It’s there to help you. Who cares if it’s true? As long as it makes you feel better. I feel the same way about love. Don’t you?

Well, I’ll tell you something. Consider it a parting gift. Love is . . . What love is, really, when it comes down to it, it’s the thing that makes the day bearable. It doesn’t matter if it abides other people’s rules. It doesn’t matter if it involves a certain amount of sex or a certain amount of kissing or if someone gets hit. It doesn’t matter what the actual mechanics of the relationship are. At the end of the day, if it makes you feel better, then you should do it, everyone else be damned.

East Haddam (Julie)

Julie says

Hi. I’m Julie. This is my town. It’s the greatest . . . no. It’s the most . . . no. It’s . . . uh

. . . unique. You’ll see. It’s uniquely unique in its uniqueness. Which is not to say it is

all I want it to be. I could move away one day. To somewhere else. Somewhere flatter

or with more buildings. Somewhere with a bigger sky or closer to the ocean. I might do

that. I’ve been talking about it for years. But here I am still. And now you’re here too. I

don’t know. It has its charm. I meant to move away for college but instead I commuted

and then I got my own place and then I got a job here, so . . . I teach, um, I teach English

over at the high school. Mostly freshmen. It’s okay. I might not be good at it. No one

notices. Don’t tell. I’m looking for um . . . something. I’m not really sure. Love? Or

maybe just like one good verbal exchange every day. Is that weird? This town is pretty

weird. No, really. You’ll see. I hope you’ll be able to handle it. It might be . . . a little

tricky at first. But I’m glad you’re here. Don’t pity me for my little life. Please. You

don’t have everything. Do you? No. Do you? No. No one does.

East Haddam (Sam)

Sam says

This never should have happened. Sometimes I get lonely and I miss being touched and I

make stupid choices and then I drink and I make stupid choices. This is stupider than

usual. This is betrayal. I’m the worst. Literally. This never should have happened. Can

we pretend this never happened? You’ll never speak of it. I’ll never speak of it. If

anyone asks, I never saw your birthmark and I don’t know what your smell is like or what

noises you make during sex. Okay? It never happened?

Alcott (Violet)

Violet says

My name’s not Violet. My name has never been Violet. I always introduce myself as Elizabeth. It’s my name. It’s always been my name. Meredith called me Shrinking Violet once during my freshman year and ever since then, everyone thinks my name is Violet. My name is not Violet. It’s been fourteen years. Stop fucking calling me Violet!

(PRAGUE: Relax, Honey.)

I will not relax. You know, I’ve expended so much energy over the years trying to get you to notice me. All of you. Why do I care what you think? How is it I think about you when you aren’t there? Still. All the time. All of you? You’re not that special. You never were. No one cares about you. No one knows who you are. You’ve built this wind tunnel around you that celebrates your cult. It’s not a real thing. Theater isn’t even a real thing. My mother thinks I open curtains during Lion King. And you! All the things you do are insignificant. You are selfish and you are oblivious and you are all terrible people.

Where You Can’t Follow (Matt)

Matt says

I guess I haven’t done as well as I wanted. In life. My time is ending.

And I didn’t mean to be an asshole. It just sort of happened. But I don’t want to die an asshole.

So I want to apologize. I’m sorry for living such a stupid wasteful useless life. I’m sorry for being selfish and for the all the times I didn’t care about other people. I’m sorry for not appreciating the good things in front of me. I’m sorry I didn’t go after what I wanted. There were no good reasons. I was just afraid and it’s stupid to live your life afraid. I’m sorry for the times I was mean and petty. I’m sorry for lying for so long to myself and to other people. I wasted my life not ever really being alive. She made me live finally. And I should have told her right away. Of course I should have. It was cowardly. It was selfish. I just wanted her. And I didn’t think she felt how I felt. But I guess she did, didn’t she? And now, it’s too late.

Where You Can’t Follow (Matt)

Matt says

Hey! (They ignore him.) Hey! Hey! You! You two! Why are you kissing?

Why do you get to kiss each other?! I don’t get to kiss anyone.

Everyone wants me to go away. I’ll be dead soon. I’ll be away for good then. Will that make you happy? Hey! I said, will you be happy when I’m dead? Don’t stop talking to me. This was good. It was a conversation.

Are you in love? Hey! Are you in love? Hey! Hey! What’s your name? Hey, there! Hi! Hey! Are you in love? Are you in love? Are you in love?

I was in love.

I’m dying! Hey everyone! I’m dying! Are you going to hit a dying man?

You’re a tough guy. I could have been a tough guy. But then I wasn’t. I should have been a tough guy.

You gonna hit me? You gonna hit me?

You don’t know anything. You don’t have some kind of secret. You’re just fucking each other. That’s easy.

That wasn’t love.

Thank me.

You’re welcome.