Thursday, February 21, 2008


Body Memoir Politic:


A Play in Ten Scenes


Jennifer Semple Siegel

© 2008


One pill makes you larger

And one pill makes you small

And the ones that Mother gives you

Don’t do anything at all.

Go ask Alice

When she’s 10 feet tall.

–Grace Slick, “White Rabbit”


Scene 2: Body Collision (1958)

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(Music: children singing “Happy Birthday,” slightly off-key, perhaps in a slightly threatening manner. As lights come up, AUNTIE is sitting at a desk in the middle of stage right–as opposed to stage left like in Scene 1–writing a letter. She wears a very flamboyant outfit, decked out in a bright red satin dress with a low neckline, matching high heels and purse, rhinestone necklace and matching bracelets, and rhinestone-studded Harlequin glasses. She is heavily made up: dark eyeshadow, ruby red lipstick, overdone rouge. She has saucy “shimmering” silver hair, styled in the fashion of the time. On the desk is the same framed pictured of the old man, a full martini glass with olive, a pack of cigarettes, silver lighter, ashtray, and the matching purse. On far stage right, slightly behind the desk, is the overstuffed chair and the pipe, suggesting a mirror image of the Scene 1 set.)

(On stage left, SAMANTHA, wearing a pink flouffy dress with a bouncy skirt, with black patent leather shoes, sits on an oversized chair, too high for her feet to touch the ground. Although an adult plays the eight-year-old SAMANTHA, she exhibits the antsy demeanor of a child. An open coloring book sits on her lap, and, with great concentration, colors in it, even as she swings her feet, back and forth. A small table next to her holds a bowl of potato chips or Fritos. From time to time, still continuing to color, she takes a chip and eats it. Some toys are strewn about, mostly dolls and other girl toys. At least one doll, in a toy baby cradle, should be a baby doll, about the same size as a real baby.)


(AUNTIE reads out loud as she writes, assuming a patronizing tone that is often reserved for children:)

Hollywood, California

October 13, 1958

Dear Little Sammy Cuddler,

(AUNTIE pauses. She puts down her pen, picks up the cigarette pack, takes a cigarette out, and lights it up. She stands up and moves toward the audience. As she moves, her body language should convey extreme self-assurance. She addresses the audience directly. As she speaks, she moves about the stage, picking up things and putting them down again. In short, she’s an active person who can’t sit still; in addition, she should come across as a person who always seems to have one foot out the door. In the patronizing tone, AUNTIE continues:)

Happy birthday! So you are eight years old. Such a little lady, I hear. Buy something pretty--not candy--with the enclosed check. You’re my little cuddler, and I want you to be happy.


Are you still fat?

(SAMANTHA pauses and looks up and scowls.)

Your Nana told me she took you to Dr. Noonan for your check-up, and he said you had to lose 10 pounds by Christmas. Sweetheart, that’s only two and a half months away and you know how Santa don’t like to give presents to little fat girls. I’m sure he wants to bring you many pretty dresses but his elves don’t know how to make Lane Bryant sizes. Besides, how would Santa deliver all those big clothes?

(SAMANTHA sticks her tongue out at the audience and resumes coloring.)

Saw Hilda today. Remember her? She went on a crash diet last year and lost 50 pounds in two months. Now she’s gained it all back and then some. So sad.

(AUNTIE goes back to the desk, takes one long drag on her cigarette, and snuffs it out in the ashtray.)

You don’t want to be big like her.

(SAMANTHA rips out the completed page from her coloring book, crushes it into a ball, and tosses it toward the audience.)

I hope you can lose that awful fat by Christmas.

(SAMANTHA starts coloring on a new page, but now she merely scribbles angrily.)

Heard from your Daddy Platts yesterday.

(SAMANTHA stops coloring and looks up.)

Says he misses you and your mama a lot, but that for now it’s best that he and baby Basha move to Texas.

(SAMANTHA hops off the chair and picks up a baby doll from the cradle and holds her close. She kisses the doll and rocks her.)

Your little sister will stay with Daddy’s mother and sister, at least for the next few months.

(SAMANTHA takes the baby doll with her to the chair. As she holds the doll close to her, she resumes coloring.)

Well, must run. Have a brunch date with Vesta and Hilda.

(AUNTIE sits down at the desk again, picks up the pen, and resumes writing. As she writes, she picks up the martini, drains it–leaving the olive–and sets down the glass. She smacks her lips. She continues:)

We’re going to the pancake place. I know how you like their Pigs-in-a-Blanket. Maybe if you’re thin next summer, you can come to California and I’ll take you there. And then we can cuddle.

Love to Nana and Pappa

Love, your Auntie.

(AUNTIE picks up the letter, folds it, sticks it in an envelope, addresses the envelope, seals it, and puts a stamp on it. She opens her purse, drops in the letter, and pulls out a mirror. She primps–checking her hair and putting on new lipstick and powder. She picks up her purse and exits stage right. At the same time, SAMANTHA closes her coloring book, drops the crayons to the floor, and, with baby doll in arm, hops off the chair, and exits stage left. Carrousel music: Lights fade until darkness. The carrousel music continues until the next segment.)

(Carrousel music fades as lights come back up–a substantial lighting change indicates a change in character–to reveal the full stage, not split. NANA, who has replaced AUNTIE on stage, is stage center, standing behind a split “sink,” one side filled with dirty dishes and soapy water, the other clear water. A dish drainer is placed on NANA’s right. She is dressed in the stereotypical style of the 1950's, but very plainly, in a disheveled shirtwaist dress, dowdy shoes, no jewelry, horned-rimmed glasses. She wears minimal makeup. From a physical standpoint, there is nothing flamboyant or flashy about her. NANA has dull gray hair; her hair style and demeanor can be described as “frazzled fifties”; she wears an apron and has dishtowel slung over her shoulders. Like AUNTIE, NANA is self-assured, but she carries herself in an awkward sort of way.)

(SAMANTHA enters stage left, still in the pink dress and carrying the baby doll. She also carries a large bowl of popcorn.)


No, you cannot have any more popcorn.

(NANA snatches the bowl from SAMANTHA.)

If you want anything else, there’s celery and carrots in the fridge. I sliced them just for you. If you don’t eat them, I’ll just have to throw them out, and we can’t afford to waste good food. How many times do I have to tell you Pappa don’t make very much on Social Security? You know what Dr. Noonan says: you got to eat vegetables and lean meat and stay away from all that butter, sugar, and starch.

(SAMANTHA looks as though she is about to say something, but appears to be stopped by some unseen force. NANA seems intentionally unaware that SAMANTHA might want to speak, and, so, continues:)

I don’t CARE what Dr. Noonan weighs. He’s a man and it don’t matter what HE weighs. But you’re a girl, and men, even fat ones, don’t like fat girls. And if you don’t lose all that weight, you’ll NEVER catch a husband. And if you get too fat, you’ll get lazy. I see it already. Your room looks like a pigsty. Why, I found all those candy wrappers and sunflower seed shells everywhere. Is that how you spent your birthday money?

(Pause. Perhaps a slight lighting or character position change to suggest a slight change in time.)

Of course your mama still loves you. Maybe the present got lost in the mail. These things happen sometimes. I just think it wouldn’t be a good idea to call her right now.

(SAMANTHA leaves, exiting stage left. NANA shouts after her:)

Auntie says your mama’s been feelin’ a little punk lately and needs her rest.

Maybe at Christmas.

(Pause. Perhaps a slight lighting or character position change to suggest a slight change in time.)

Must you kids always fight?

(NANA points toward stage left. Shouts:)

Danny! you go sit in the swivel chair. SAMANTHA, come here! Sammy, you wash these dishes or else. Sammy! You heard me!

(SAMANTHA reenters stage left. NANA shouts to offstage left:)

Danny! I’m going to send you home if you don’t stop calling your cousin names.


And you, young lady, stop your whining. Danny don’t mean nothin’. He’s just foolin’ you. You take everything so serious. And YOU, shut up! Sammy, get over here!

(Assumes a more gentle tone:) Here, I’ll dry. (Grabs a towel from a rack. Scowls.) Oh, this towel’s soggy. Honey, hand me that one next to you.

(SAMANTHA obeys. As NANA speaks, they do dishes.)

Don’t pay no mind to Danny. Boys will be boys. If he didn’t like you, he wouldn’t say nothin’ to you.

(Emphasizes:) But, you know, he’s just sayin’ what others are thinkin’. (Pauses.) Just because most people don’t say nothin’ doesn’t mean they don’t notice. They got eyes, you know. Don’t you want to grow up and have a nice husband and family? (Picks up a pan to dry.) This pot’s got goo on it; do it over. How many times do I have to tell you about your sloppy ways? I’m just tryin’ to raise you right. Make up for what happened to your Mother. (Pauses.)

And you’re just like your mama, ‘cept she wasn’t fat.

And look where it got her.

Time to change the rinse water. See that soap scum on the top? You don’t want to get all of us sick, do you?

(As NANA starts tipping the dishpan, lights go to dark. Organ music rift. Slight pause.)

(As lights slowly go up, the organ music fades. SAMANTHA and NANA are Stage Center, close to the audience. NANA stands over SAMANTHA, who sits, curled into a ball, rocking back and forth. Throughout the scene, SAMANTHA does not appear to react, although NANA exudes total authority.)

Did you take your pill yet? I don’t CARE if it keeps you up at night. Besides, Dr. Noonan can give you a pill to make you sleep. I’ll call him today. IT IS VERY IMPORTANT YOU TAKE THOSE PILLS. They’ll curb that monstrous appetite of yours.

(Pause. Perhaps a slight lighting change to suggest a slight change in time.)

Don’t forget to write Auntie the “thank you” note. Here it is, only one month ‘til Christmas, and you haven’t even thanked her for your birthday present yet. Whatever is going to become of you?

You have to wait 20 minutes before you can eat. Even lettuce. You have to let the pill work first so you don’t go out of control. Girl, you sure could use some self-control these days. You know, Gluttony is a mortal sin. A CAPITAL sin. The worst kind. Except for LUST, but you’re too young to know about that. You’ll go to Hell for sure if you don’t stop stuffing yourself. I just don’t know what to do about you. If you keep on going the way you’re going, they’ll need a derrick to carry you around. Tsk, tsk.

(Pause. Perhaps a slight lighting change to suggest a slight change in time. NANA’s focus moving away from SAMANTHA and more toward the AUDIENCE. In a very stern and strident voice:)

Take your pill; eat your lettuce; don’t wear that‒it’s too tight‒your belly hangs out; drink your water; no, you can’t have any pop, it’s pure sugar; don’t jiggle your butt like that; do you REALLY think those yellow pants look good on you?; if you insist on eating Chicken Noodle soup all the time, you’ll have to learn how to light the pilot‒I’m tired of washing out the coffee pot after every other meal; you know you can’t buy a boy’s bike‒because the bar might hurt your bubo‒I can’t tell you how, you’re too young‒no, you haven’t done nothin’ wrong; Dr. Noonan says you can’t eat peanut butter until you lose three more pounds; don’t fight with your cousins and don’t tattle on no one‒it don’t look good; always listen to the Sisters, they know what’s best for your soul; by next year, you’ll need a girdle for sure and maybe even a bra; if Father Salvatore says no more black patent leather shoes, then he must have a good reason‒how would I know, you just obey and don’t ask questions; I think it’s time you stopped sleeping with your grandpa‒no, you haven’t done nothin’ wrong, it’s just time you start staying in your own bed at night; go to Mass; go to Confession; say a rosary; say, “now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep, if I should die before I wake, I pray the Lord my soul to take‒there are four corners on my bed, there are four angels overhead‒ Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John, bless this bed that I lay on”; Jesus loves all the little children, even little chubby ones, but he likes the humble ones the best; yes, you are my favorite child‒I always like the one I’m with the best; be careful around your cousins, especially Danny‒no, you haven’t done nothin’ wrong‒no, I can’t tell you what to watch for, you’re too young‒just be careful; don’t eat chocolate, you’ll break out in pimples, maybe not right away, but when you get older; where on earth did you get that peanut butter cup?; for God’s sake, are you EVER going to be thin?

(As the lights slowly dim, carrousel music strikes up. As the stage goes to complete dark, the music stops.)


From Body Memoir Politic: Looking, Copyright 2008, Jennifer Semple Siegel

Wednesday, February 20, 2008

Scene 1: Functional (Late 1953)

Welcome to Body Memoir Politic: Looking
A play in Ten Scenes

(If you have accessed this page directly from a search engine ]Google, Yahoo, MSN], you may want to start at the beginning. Or see the Table of Content Links on the left panel.

(Music: Opening of Verdi’s “Dies Irae” from Requiem. As the music fades out, lights come up, gradually revealing the split stage. On stage right, ROSALYN, in shadow, sits at a desk, writing a letter. A beer bottle, pack of cigarettes, matches, and ashtray are scattered on the desk. At her feet sits SAMANTHA, who wears pink foot-in pajamas, is engrossed in coloring and eating a snack from a bag, perhaps some potato chips. Girls’ toys that were popular in the 1950's are strewn about.

On stage left, AUNTIE sits in a straight chair, holding a martini garnished with an olive. She takes delicate sips from it. Next to her is an end table, with a framed picture of an old man, a pack of cigarettes and lighter. Situated far on stage left and slightly behind AUNTIE, is an overstuffed easy chair, with a pipe on the seat. AUNTIE appears to be crying. On her left arm, she wears a black arm band. Otherwise, she is dressed very flamboyantly, with a bright red satin dress with a low neckline, matching high heels and purse, diamond necklace and matching bracelets, and diamond-studded Harlequin glasses. She has steel gray hair, styled in the fashion of the time. ROSALYN stands up and pats SAMANTHA on the head. SAMANTHA continues to play.)


(Reading out loud as she writes):

Long Beach, California

December 15, 1953

Dear Auntie,

(ROSALYN puts down her pen and takes a swig from the beer bottle. She takes a cigarette from the pack, strikes a match, and lights up. She takes a long drag, sets it in the astray, and stands. She moves toward the audience and addresses them directly.)

I hope by the time this reaches you things will have quieted down.

That Unkie is gone seems very remote to me‒It just hasn’t soaked in‒I can’t seem to realize it. Maybe if I were home I would, but when we left he was fine, and I have him pictured that way in my mind.

(As ROSALYN continues to speak, AUNTIE sets down her drink and stands up. She picks up the framed picture, stares at it, and hugs it close to her. Throughout the scene, AUNTIE reacts to ROSALYN in various ways.)

When I got Mom’s wire, I thought it was a mistake. I must have read it 15 times before I realized what it said. It still doesn’t seem final to me, no matter how many times I tell myself. When I talk about it, it seems like I’m talking about someone else...

Believe me, it would be easier if I could accept it, but, Auntie, I can’t seem to see Unkie any place else but sitting in that overstuffed chair in the living room, smoking that Sherlock Holmes pipe of his...

(AUNTIE walks over to the chair, picks up the pipe, examines it, and pats the seat. She brushes the head of the chair, where an indentation of someone’s head is apparent.)

I thought he was getting better and the whole thing has hit like a ton of bricks. I had addressed a Christmas card to him and had written in it, planning to mail it in the morning. Do you want me to send it on to you? Anyway, get a good rest and come see us. We love you very much and want to see you...

(ROSALYN takes another drag from the cigarette and snuffs it out in the ashtray.)

If Ricky is accepted for a second tour, he’ll leave February 1st. He has already submitted his application and is among the first 20 to apply, so there’s a good chance he’ll go. We’re getting along pretty well now.

I’m hoping we can make a go of our marriage, put all that awful time behind us.

(ROSALYN takes another swig from the beer bottle.)

After all, he IS Samantha’s father. Still, I’m a little nervous that I’ll be a whole year alone with Samantha out here. I think it would be pretty wonderful if you could come during that time (Pauses). Last letter I said French Morocco, but I made a mistake; it’s the Marshall Islands in the South Pacific. Again.

Vesta and Dame stopped in. I had been trying to call them but couldn’t get them and was surprised when they stopped in.

(Glares at SAMANTHA, who continues picking at the potato chips.)

Why can’t they just visit, without bringing junk and snacks all the time?


I called Hilda also.

(Sighs and pauses.)

She’s on another diet, nothing but steak and lettuce...


Is there anyone else you want me to call?

(ROSALYN goes over to SAMANTHA and pats her on the head.)

You’ve got to see Samantha. She absolutely turns heads when we go out. Must be all that curly hair and cute smile. Dean Platts, Ricky’s Negro army buddy from Texas, says she could be in the movies when she grows up–


–Though she’s getting a bit roly-poly.

(ROSALYN snatches the potato chip bag from SAMANTHA. To SAMANTHA:)

That’s enough, honey.

(AUNTIE nods her assent. SAMANTHA tries grabbing the snack bag back, but when it’s clear that the bag is out of reach, SAMANTHA begins throwing a tantrum, kicking and stomping her feet and crying. ROSALYN stashes the bag out of sight, perhaps in the desk drawer. ROSALYN to the audience:)

Baby fat, I guess.

(SAMANTHA continues her tantrum throughout the rest of the scene, but her cries become progressively fainter, as if she is losing her voice. Now more of a low-level whine.)

I haven’t heard from you in months. Don’t you think it’s time to put all that bitterness behind us?

(AUNTIE shrugs and sighs.)

What’s done is done.

I wish I could take it all back, but I can’t. I’m ashamed at what I did.

I swear, I’ll never steal from you again.

(AUNTIE places her hand on her hips, as if she’s about to give ROSALYN a major piece of her mind, but then simply shakes her finger at the audience.)

I’d do anything to change things back to the way they were. All I can do is look ahead. Besides, Samantha needs you, needs to know you’ll always love her, no matter about me.

I’m trying my best to turn over a new leaf and stay sober.

(ROSALYN drains the rest of the beer bottle; SAMANTHA intensifies her tantrum–feet kicking and stomping–but without sound, for SAMANTHA now has no voice.)

Well, I have to go now; Samantha is awfully naughty today and cried the better part of the night. Don’t know what I’m going to do with her. She’s teething right now.

Please write us soon, Auntie.

Love, Rosalyn, Ricky, and Samantha

(Lights fade out, "Dies Irae," from Requiem strikes up. Darkness and silence.)



From Body Memoir Politic: Looking, Copyright 2008, Jennifer Semple Siegel. May not be used without permission.

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

XL Portal: Body Memoir (October 13, 1950, midnight)


(Music: David Rose’s “The Stripper” plays as lights come up to reveal only stage right–stage left is blacked out–where ROSALYN, in shadow, is centered on stage right, curled up in a ball. A small round table, with a full beer bottle, a book of matches, an ashtray, and a pack of cigarettes, has been placed down stage center, between the two stage halves. As ROSALYN, remaining in shadow, rises to her feet, she appears to be naked and it is obvious that she is very pregnant, about to give birth at any time. In fact, she is in labor throughout the scene, each contraction getting stronger as the scene progresses. She remains in shadow throughout the scene. She rubs her belly and begins doing the moves of a stripper, and continues this routine awkwardly for about 30 seconds. The music stops abruptly.)


(Goes stage center and stands next to the table with the beer bottle and other items. As she strokes her belly, she addresses the audience.)

My cue.

I know you’re a girl; I sense your femininity oozing through me. So I’ll call you Samantha...I give you this one gift, a Hebrew name, meaning “name of God,” or, in Aramaic, “listener.” Yes, I like that meaning the best.


I don’t have much else to offer you, only advice. Once you’re born, I don’t know how I’ll care for you or what will become of you.

And I don’t know exactly where your Daddy is right now.

The Marshall Islands, the last I heard.

(Pause. Then she bends over in obvious pain, both physical and emotional. She recovers her composure and continues:)

Ha! (Ironically.) Join the Army. Just another way of running away.

I’m just not ready to be a mother, but I suppose it’s too late to dwell on that now.

Our time together grows short.

(Another contraction. Then she continues:)

Very short.

Men. They never pull out in time, and, for God’s sake, it’s 1950, you’d think medical science would invent a reliable pill...

Never mind that now.


I want to warn you about our family secret:


(She picks up the full beer bottle and drains it completely. With authority, sets the bottle back on the table. )


Don’t be fooled by all your skinny relatives. Fat is the family curse, and we all fight it.

So, here’s my warning:

(Picks up the cigarette pack and matches, pulls out a cigarette, and lights up. Smokes as she talks.)

You’ll first became aware of your fat when you’re about two. Yes, I think that awareness will come first, that moment when a blob of fat jiggles into memory, unblocking Jungian canals of prehistory.

It’s only after fat-consciousness that you’ll became aware of yourself as an individual entity. In an instant, you’ll go from nothingness to a wiggling amoeba to a suddenly complete human being, sitting on a horse on a merry-go-round.

(A pause, perhaps a slight change in ROSALYN’s position, movement, and lighting to indicate a minute change in focus.)

Your breath catches you by surprise, almost as if someone jumps from behind and frightens you into existence.

(The switch from future to present tense is intentional, and continues throughout the rest of the scene.)

Now, what?

Colors, sounds, smells, touch, and taste flooding your body. Feelings–wild and random and terrifying, like a sea of voices screaming in tongues, pushing you under.

(Stubs out the cigarette in the ashtray. Clutches her throat.)

Oh, God, I can’t breathe! Ahhhhhhhhhh..... AIR! Ahhhhhhhhhhhhhh...!

(Takes a deep breath and relaxes. She continues:)

Something–someone?–moving through the canals of your brain–organizing, filing, and deleting.

You don’t feel dizzy as the merry-go-round spins around and your horse pumps up and down, like a wave ebbing and flowing and ebbing and flowing....Carrousel music! David Rose’s “The Stripper.”

(A few bars of “The Stripper” play and then fade.)

Yes, I’m quite sure of the Da-Da-Dah, DAH, Dah, Da, da! The memory knows what it knows.

(Carrousel music for a few seconds, and then it fades out.)

Around and around and around you go, and something comfortable, a huge pink amoeba, with fiery red hair and three chins that jiggle, laughs, leaps onto the carrousel, latches onto a pole, and hops side-saddle onto a horned horse.

(Another contraction. She recovers and continues:)

The platform sags and groan, but, still, you keep whirling around and around–

(She mimics the whirling motion.)

–This new presence singing from the depth of its guts, its words grooving into your memory,

“You can’t love me, I’m big and fat,” to the carrousel music.

(She stops the whirling motion.)

The amoeba climbs off the horse, and leaps from the platform, disappearing beyond.

(Looks all around.)

Where’s the fat lady?


Oh, well. She’s around, hiding.

It’s almost as if the merry-go-round is stationary and the rest of the world spins out of control; all you see on the outside is a spin-art menage of people, tents, balloons, vivid colors curving around and around, enfolding you.

More color! Yet that blur is confusing, your world is HERE, and you’re not yet ready for the beyond.

Perhaps, someday, you’ll find IT.

Your fat lady.

You barely own language, but you need only one word:


You remember the awe of touching your cheek and feeling something elastic there, something soft and warm, something giving way gently to your fingers, something that, in turn, mirrors your touch.


Then you notice your legs. Again, a warm, elastic surface, but when you touch your leg, you can see, for an instant, a white circle as the pink gives way to your finger. You see a fold in your leg, just below the thigh. Just a curiosity, a place where you can poke your finger, a place where the skin holds the tip of your finger captive.

You like this place, it feels real, somewhere you can hold onto without pinching and hurting, for the flat places of your new self pinches when you try holding onto them.

This fold, then, becomes your comfort spot.

And then you notice a surface unlike the pink one: your sunsuit. The suit, yellow with brown and purple dots, balloons at the belly. You pat this surface, but it’s different; indifferent might be a better word, for it feels rough, flimsy, cool, and it doesn’t mirror your touch–no you on you. Yet, it’s obviously a part of you, and it too has folds like the ones in your leg.

Very puzzling.

(Another contraction, this one very hard. She recovers and continues:)

Then you notice the horse beneath you.

“Is this me?”

What are you, anyway?

When you touch the creases in the horse’s head, you recoil: it is inelastic, cool, uncomfortable. Not you.


You begin to get an inkling that when you touch some things, they do not feel back, that some surfaces exist independently of you, and you are afraid. Then you notice something familiar sitting in a sidecar next to your horse, its hands in its lap.


(Clutches her stomach. The contractions are getting progressively harder. Groans, and continues with great pain.)

Your mother.

I wear black. My hair blows stiffly in the wind.

You keep your eyes on me.

One other in an ocean of otherness.

(Another contraction. She screams:)


(Pauses before continuing.)

I am now your other, an other who might stand up and walk away from you. You start to cry. I coo something back to you, you feel a little better, but not entirely. You still have a vague fear–not totally unfounded–I will leave you on the horse, for–since you can’t remember getting on–you have no idea how to get off the merry-go-round.

(Another contraction.)


(Recovers from the contraction. Pats her belly, and makes some soothing sounds toward it.)

When you’re sure your other isn’t going to leave you, you want to know more about this other otherness, to know why you are.

For an eternity, you spin around and around and around and around, fat-consciousness coursing through prehistorical tributaries, your other now a certainty.

(With great emphasis and a shake of her fist, she continues:)

The last fucking certainty you’ll ever know.

(Pause. Grabs her stomach and moans loudly. This time, she curls over and sits on the floor, assuming a ball-like position. She rocks back and forth.)

VOICE OVER (Male voice):


(ROSALYN screams. her screams eventually fade out; lights gradually fade out until total darkness. A sudden flash of strobe, accompanied by newborn’s cry, lights up the entire stage; the crying stops abruptly, and the stage goes dark.)



From Body Memoir Politic: Looking, Copyright 2008, Jennifer Semple Siegel