(I was asked to perform the above monologue for a workshop recently for which I wrote a character study in the “stream of consciousness” style. Therefore it’s a first draft, no editing went into it. )
It is just a gorgeous day outside and much like any other New Yorker who let’s the weather dictate his/her mood, I’m feeling great. I bought this fabulous pair of sunglasses that make me feel fabulous. I slept in late today and I’ve taken Monday i.e. tomorrow off. I’m so excited about staying home on a weekday even though I know that something will come up and I will end up working, albeit from home. Luckily I carried my work computer home so it’s not like I’ll be grasping at straws in case someone calls with a crisis. I like work and I’ve very rarely been involved in office politics. In the 6 years since I started the company, I’ve never been friends with anyone of my employees. No after work drinks, it mixes up the personal and professional, a mess I’m happy to be far away from. I don’t even care what they think of me personally, as long as they produce good work, I’m perfectly all right with the way things are.
The subway ride here was rough, the L train is crowded nearly everyday, even on weekneds. Especially when the weather is nice, everyone wants to step out and over crowd the subways. I have to admit that I think these damn strollers are a fucking nuisance. They pack their children in these re-inforced, high-tech, futuristic prams as if the air will hurt their children. Leave them at home if you’re so concerned Goddammit. New York City is no place to be bringing up children. I had always thought I would move to Westchester or maybe Philadelphia when I have children.
Growing up, it was constantly drilled into our heads how lucky we were. Rosary two times a day was an almost too graphic description of Jesus’s journey to the tip of the hill with his cross. I tell people I’m a recovering Catholic. The last time I went to church was during the “Sex and the City” tour. You know those tours, that will take you to all the places that a T.V show was shot at? It was the St. Francis church from the episode when Samantha tries to seduce a priest. After mom died there was no need to keep up the charade of being holy. Dad didn’t care enough and when I went away to college, I even gave up Sunday mass.
It was dad that pushed me into marrying Steve. I was doing my undergrad at MIT, in Classical language and literature when I met Steve the math major. We kissed in the library stacks at about 3:30 in the morning while we were supposed to be studying for a test on Dante’s “Inferno.” How deliciously ironic. Dad said it would be a good idea. Where would I go after I graduated? The apt. we had called home for years was a rental and we had no relatives who would die and pleasantly surprise us with a very generous will. He said being married would help me save on rent. It seemed like such a good reason to get married, to save on rent. Steve’s father did not spare any expense at the wedding. There was a string of foreign dignitaries, whose names I forgot in seconds of being introduced to them. We spent the entire night giggling like school children, imitating the accent of the Chinese ambassador to Brazil. Our marriage fell apart becasue of several reasons, some so absurd that even in the horrible pain and humiliation that divorce brought with it, I had to laugh.
After the divorce I had a a string of romances, mostly with ex-boyfriends, and one ex-girlfriend. I am single now, and damn happy for it. If I did get into anything with anyone, it would be highly inconvenient.
Caroline called this morning. The last time she had called, 8 yars ago, she said “Veronica, I’m moving dad to a home. He’ll like it there.” Just as I predicted. I was on the phone with a publishing house from Japan. They were desperately trying to position their new line of pornographic manga comics in the American market. He was saying how Japan maybe the birthplace of some strange sexual fetishes, it did not come close to the voracious American appetite for sex. America was puritanical, you see. I agreed with him, told him we didn’t have any plans in place to promote pornographic print in particular, placed him on hold and picked up Caroline’s call. She wanted to see me at L’Express all the way downtown. She said it was urgent. She was married to the toast of the New York art scene, a short, fat balding man who squinted at everything as if he was looking at it for the first time. I ‘ve never seen his work, but I’m quiet sure his creativity is confined to the canvas. I’ve had more enlightening conversations with a doorknob. Now their marriage was falling apart. I made reservations, a table on the sidewalk and pre-ordered a bottle of 1991 Shiraz that I knew she liked.
I slipped into a yellow sun dress and my white pumps. I almost forgot my phone, and had to run back in to get it. The Japanese publisher had hung up or got cut off when I was on the phone with Caroline, he might just call back.
I feel like the sun came out specifically for me today. I’m going to have a great tan if I stay out till at least 2:30 in the afternoon. I know it’s not the way I’m supposed to be thinking, walking towards the story of the destruction of my sister’s marriage. I’m not defending my callousness. It’s going to be a strange meal.