Monologue: Habit

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Habit, female (though just as easily male for purposes of auditions or classroom work) and an outcast, stands apart, not moving across the stage to help her friend Legolas, who has broken down after the entire contents of his locker have been painted black.
 
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HABIT
I shouldn't be here.
(Beat.)
When my basketball coach died, back when I still played sports, back in sixth grade, I was the only player on the team who didn't go to the funeral.  I had a piano lesson.  My mom has the phone in her hand, and she's dialing my piano teacher, and I swear I almost grab it from her fingers.   I didn't really do that, but I tell her no, I don't know if Mr. McCleary has any other times for my lesson.   And my mom hangs up the phone, and that's that.
(Beat.)
And the day after the funeral, I hear them—all my teammates—talking about it and hugging, and I don't know what to say.  I'm on the outside, and I will never again get back in.
(Beat.)
I want that night back.  I want a do-over.  I want to let my mom make that call.  Maybe things would be different.  Like in those movies when people go back in time, and they change one thing, and when they get home they live in a mansion instead of a one plus one apartment, and their parents are happy and never scream things like "I see how you look at her" or "you're such a bloodsucking bitch."  I quit the piano six months later anyway.
(Beat. Pointing at Legolas:)
I should be there.  But I just can't.  I know if I take one step my insides will start to melt and my lungs will drown and I will end.  I am not ready for the end of the world.  Not yet.
(Beat. Habit exits.)

 

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Did You Know?


Cate Mullen was drawn to theatre and writing in her youth, but took a twenty-year detour as a social worker before returning to creative writing.