I’m working on this new play. It’s called hippopotamus. Here is a monologue from Glory, who is the stay-at-home mom in a two mom family. She’s an artist, but has put her work on hold for the time being.
To set the scene, this is somewhere in Act 2 I think. I didn’t mean to write a two act play, but the scope is big enough for it, so I’m riding the wave of pages. Anyway, to set the scene, Glory’s just got her two pre-K age sons to bed, her wife isn’t home yet, and she’s exhausted.
(Honestly, I have no idea what it feels like to have daily dinner take four hours. Ours always comes in at three hours fifty.)
Glory at home. The ice cream is gone. She looks at her phone. She considers masturbation. She eats another slice of pizza.
Dinner takes four hours. It’s not a thing I like to talk about. It’s not a thing I like to acknowledge. It just takes four hours. Between deciding and making and redeciding and pulling together a smoothie real quick instead and Holden freaking out over textures and colors and foods touching and Scout eating off the floor and lapping at his water like a puppy.
(wailing in imitation of Scout imitating a wild puppy)
Me pushing this plate of crudite with multiple dipping sauces, begging them to eat even just a berry, “a berry, you love berries!” Turns out he doens’t like berries where you can see the seeds. I explain that if you can’t see the seeds well then that’s not a berry-
Scout drapes the veggie spaghetti across his face like a set of dog’s whiskers.
We negotiate dessert. Cucumber slices and creme fresh. A single square of organic dark chocolate a piece.
By the time they clear their places, creme fresh making a soggy mess of everything it touches, screaming about who got a bigger piece of chocolate.
Get them in the tub, try to get them scrubbed while telling them to stop flooding the bathroom, teeth, jammies, stories, bed… clean the kitchen.
There’s no break.
It doesn’t ever stop.
Every single day.
Each day that happens contains within it dinner that takes four hours.
Every day. There’s not a day that happens wherein there is not a dinner that takes four hours.
Two courses. Two children. Four hours.
It’s just, it’s mind boggling. It’s near unfathomable that for each spin of the Earth’s axis I am involved in a situation where dinner takes four hours. Three and a half maybe, if I order gluten-free pizza.
I think let ’em run. Let ’em run loose in the house: see what happens. I will sit there while they tear the place apart.
(yelling suddenly, and violently, it’s an imitation of Holden, but she really crosses the line)
My carrots are touching! My carrots are touching!
(shrieking, stomping all over that line)
He’s touching me! He’s touching me!