I wrote this monologue for Play & Screenwriting. I had planned on composing something completely different- a not-so-great experience from my life that caused me to make a few choices I still hold fast to today. However, as I was writing it, I realised that, though it had actually happened to me, it sounded convoluted and over-dramatic. Plus, I thought I would be okay with people reading it, but in the end, it was too personal.
So in the end, I wrote this. It's kind of surprising to me that I did because, as an actor, I LOATHE monologues like this- where the delivering character is listening to someone who's not there. There are other parts that I like though, so I'm all right with that.
HANNAH: I was actually on time for class, Mrs. Collins, but honestly, I’m lucky to have made it here at all. See, this day has just been terrible. I mean, awful. It’s like that- that thing you were talking about a couple of classes ago, the whatsit… some guy’s law about things going wrong. (Beat) Yeah, Murphy’s Law, exactly. Well, it’s been like that.
I got up this morning and things immediately went downhill as soon as I looked in the mirror. I don’t really consider myself a vain person, Mrs. Collins, but seriously, this morning, my hair decided to stage a mutiny. I won’t bore you with the sordid details, but suffice it to say that scissors and an excessive amount of gel were used. It wasn’t pretty.
I knew I was running late so I literally ran to my car because there is nothing more important to me than your English class, as shown by the hours I spent finishing up that essay last night. (Beat) Well, I don’t actually have it on me… that Murphy thing again, it’ll kill you, right? (Laughs, but gets no response) Anyway, I ran to my car, turn the key and what do you know, the battery was dead. Unbelievable, right? I thought so, too. Luckily, after a good twenty minutes- that believe me, Mrs. Collins, were spent in tears on my part, I was so distressed- my dad found some jumper cables and brought good old Sammy the Saturn back to life. (Beat)
Well, yes, you would think that that would have been it, but as I was racing here, I realized that I hadn’t had any breakfast. You may not understand this, Mrs. Collins, due to your slender frame and will of iron, but when my stomach asks for something, I have to oblige. Otherwise, things get ugly. Plus, you know by my outstanding academic record that I am nothing if not a rule-follower, and I would not want to cross the United States Department of Agriculture if they found out I had skipped the most important meal of the day.
But did I stop at my favorite café for a delicious croissant and fragrant cup of coffee? No I did not. Because making it to your class is worth the health risk of fast food. Unfortunately, today McDonald’s seemed to be operating under a… oh, that thing you talked about when we were reading A Tale of Two Cities… a paradox! Am I using that right? Well, anyway, what I’m trying to say is that today, it was slow food. I mean, how long does it take to make a freaking breakfast sandwich?
Eventually they finally coughed up my food- not literally of course, that would be gross, and then I would have had to wait for another sandwich. So then I jumped back into my car, pulled back onto the road, thinking I was going to sneak in right on time… but I hit every single traffic light. Like, all fifteen. (Beat) Well, I might be exaggerating a little bit, but I’m not lying when I say I hit all of them. (Beat) Okay, I hit both of them. Then I pull into the parking lot, stumble out of my car, race into the building and I’m practically to your classroom when Principal Harris demands to see me in his office. Can you believe him? Denying me the pleasure of attending your class to have an impromptu talk with me? And the subject of the discussion was completely ridiculous- he claims that my file includes several more tardy arrivals. I told him I resented the slander to my reputation, but he just kept talking.
He finally let me leave, but when I got out of the office, I saw that the janitor had just washed the floor, and I don’t believe in disrespecting our maintenance staff by traipsing across the spotless floor and undoing all of their hard work. So I had to go down the language wing and then up the mathematics wing, and that was slow going because numbers make me dizzy and I was concerned that I might faint and then not make it to class at all.
So Mrs. Collins, I just wanted to return this detention slip to you because not only do I believe it’s unnecessary due to the unforeseen circumstances that prevented me from arriving to your class in a timely manner, but the thought of a tree dying for a mistaken gives me a pain in my heart… although that may be the breakfast sandwich. So here you go. I’ll turn in my essay tomorrow.
There are a few changes to be made- my class gave me some awesome suggestions.
In related news, I got permission to write the complete adaptation of my Peter Pan prequel. My teacher's a little skeptical about whether my main character (Mrs. Darling as a child) is interesting enough, but nevertheless, I'm jazzed that he's allowing me to explore that- in a full script. I've got what accumulates to about half of it (40 pages), but I think he wants me to write the first act first... eep! I'm not a linear writer at all! Thankfully, I have the advantage of knowing my project pretty well already.
Hm... I think someone's smoking under my window... gross.