FLOWERS IN THE DESERT
D. M. Larson
Copyright (c) 2014
All Rights Reserved
For permission to perform the play,
(A light comes up L on a small area with JAMIE who looks upset)
You hate me don't you? I am never good enough for you.
No matter what I do it's not as good as my sister. I always have to hear how she would have done it better. Or how she already did it better.
Why does she want to ruin my life? She just wants to blot me out like I was some sort of mistake... I'm just a copy... A copy of a copy... Not as good as the original... Not as good as you.
(Sarcastic and bitter)
You are so perfect... Everyone around me is so perfect... And there was nothing left over for me... I am the leftover failures... I am the fatty waste you toss to the dogs.
Everyone hates me! Why does everyone think I am so horrible...
(Shakes and tries to hold back the fury)
Probably because I am. A horrible creature doomed to walk this earth and suffer... For you.
(Cries uncontrollably... Struggles to speak)
I'm hurting... Hurting so bad inside. Cut off from everyone ... Punished for some past life wrongs... What did I do in a past life to deserve this...
Or am I paying for the sins of my father... And mother... Am I your sin? Or do I remind you of some sin you want to forget?
Or I am a disappointment that keeps disappointing. I even disappoint myself.
I will never be my sister. I don't want to be her. I hate everything about her!
But I don't want to be me either. Sometimes I want to fade away... Become a shadow... Fading away... Forgotten... Maybe if you forget about me I won't make you so sad anymore.
(Light fades L. A light comes up on a small area of the stage R where SHELLY sits alone doing her hair and looking in a hand mirror)
Beauty and perfection. That's what you are Miss Shelly. Bet those boys back home would be doing a quite a bit of howling if they saw you now. Look at all the wonderful things time has done to you.
And when I get to Hollywood and become a star, they'll wonder where this goddess came from. But my past will be a mystery, because life before this moment ain't worth telling about. After those early years things have only gotten better. Actually I'll bet being born was one of the biggest let-downs of all. I spent all that time wrapped up in that little space in my mama, and for what? I pop out and look around, screaming, wondering if this was such a good idea. Wondering why someone didn't tell me sooner what it was gonna be like those first few years, 'cause if someone had told me, I don't think I woulda come out.
(The light R fades as a light L comes up on PAULA who sits with a baby animal)
I've always loved taking care of animals. Horses, cats, dogs, and especially pigs. Momma Nell, one of my foster mothers, used to call me that, her little piggy. And I did look like a little piggy that's for sure. I was plumper than a Buddha doll. Momma Nell used to dress me in pink too. I love how she let me call her Momma.
And pink still is my favorite color. One time Momma bought me this most beautiful pink dress for a school. It was all sparkly like pink diamonds. Are there pink diamonds? And the dress had these big old puffy shoulders like Cinderella. I felt like a princess for the whole ride there. I shoulda just turned and gone home cause that was the best part...
The boys at the dance said so many mean things to me... they laughed at me... I laughed too... I wanted them to see me laughing... like I wanted to be the joke... I decided piggies shouldn't try to be petunias.
(Smiles, then looks thoughtful and sad)
Momma Nell was the best foster mother I ever had until she got sick. Too sick for me to take care of anymore. I wish they woulda let me try a little longer. I wanted to be there for her like she was for me.
(Puts on a smile)
But I sure know how to take care of animals. That's what I love to do now. I'm like St. Francis of A-sissy.
And I would sure love to be a saint like Francis, then all this suffering would be worthwhile.
(The light fades and comes up R on TINA)
I watch TV and see those happy families with the little baby who's takin' its first steps or saying its first word. Them folks make such a big deal out of those things. They laugh, they cry... all 'cause they love their little hairless baboon.
(Pause. Grows sad)
And I sit there all that time and wonder... who was there when I took my first step? Who was there when I said my first word?
I doubt if my first word was mama or papa. I'm sure it was four letters though.
(She chuckles a little, then sighs)
I don't care about them... And they don't care about me. But who really cares anyway.
(The light fades on come up L on SAMANTHA kissing JIMMY. They stop as light comes on and JIMMY takes off. SAM is smiling from ear to ear)
I've always liked boys, ever since I could remember. And they've always liked me. I played post office and doctor: I loved being the patient. I was always a big hit at every birthday party, at least until I got sent home. I never meant any harm. It was always playing. And nobody has ever minded a little fun.
(The light fades on comes up on MA and SARGE R. SARGE smiles at MA lovingly and MA gives him some gardening stuff and exits)
I took this job at the group home so I could help these girls like nobody helped me. Oh, I had a few people that helped me along the way, but mostly I was left to take care of myself. I wasted a lot of years being bitter and hurting other people who never did nothing to me. I figure this is my chance to make up for it all.
But helping these girls is like trying to grow flowers in the desert and that ain't easy.
(Lights fade. Music)
END OF PROLOGUE
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