|Age Range(s)||Young Adult (20-35), Adult (36-50), Senior (>50)|
|Type of monologue / Character is||Talking to the audience, Reminiscing life story/Telling a story|
|Description||Mary Margaret - Brett has just been hired as a relief worker for the overnight shift at a halfway house run by the Mental Health Association.|
|Details||"The Psych Halfway House" Middle of the Book|
Brett has just been hired as a relief worker for the overnight shift at a halfway house run by the Mental Health Association.
Written by Jass Richards
|One of the midnight duties was to get the morning meds ready. This meant making sure the right number of pinks and whites and blues and yellows were in the proper dispensers labelled for whoever got said pinks and whites and blues and yellows. Once I played musical chairs with everyone's meds for a week. Oddly enough, there was no noticeable difference in anyone's behaviour.|
So, seeking an alternative to pharmaceutical therapy, and just plain curious, I wondered what would happen if I acted crazier than the residents. One day I served everyone a slice of cake batter. Another day I posted signs written in my own private language, Wittgenese.
Regular staff didnt agree, but I say that did result in an improvement if only because of a general increase in self-esteem: I mean, compared to me, they figured they were doing pretty good. They weren't stupid, after all; they were just sick.
Or they were Mary Margaret. She heard a voice in her head. It was God. So the staff thought she was crazy. I thought they were jealous. Or just as crazy. And I told them so at the next staff meeting.
"You all believe in God?" I asked, by way of explanation.
Of course. Nods and murmurs of assent all round.
"And you pray?"
Yes, indeed they did.
"But none of you hears voices, none of you hears God."
No, we do not, of course not.
"So you spend your time some of you, your life talking to a god that doesn't ever talk back. And, continued, “you don't really expect him to."
Mary Margaret lay down naked in the middle of the road one day because God asked her to. She assumed she had been chosen as a sacrifice because at forty, she was still a virgin.
"Why didn't you just go have sex instead?" I asked her, when we were sitting in the tv room one night.
She gave me the oddest look and walked away. Silently. Solemnly.
The next time I was in, I was told she'd been out to the bars every night soliciting men. Apparently she'd had sex with over two dozen in the last week alone. Staff was concerned with this further decline into depravity.
"You know, you only have to do it once to not be a virgin anymore," I told her when, again, we were sitting in the tv room. "I don't think God will choose you to be a sacrifice anymore. Or you can do it with yourself," I added. "That counts."
She looked surprised, confused, relieved, and pleased though not necessarily in that order.
The following weekend, I was informed that not only had she stopped going out, but she had started going to bed rather early. The staff was relieved and surprised, pleased, and confused.
"So," I plopped myself down on the couch in the tv room. She was sitting in the chair, her chair, across from me. "Heard from God lately?"
"No," she said with some anxiety, "and I'm a bit worried about what He'll ask me to do next."
"Hm." I thought for a moment. "I have a confession to make." She raised her eyebrows. "God talks to me too. But I don't think it's the same god."
Her eyes widened. She didn't say anything. Clearly she was torn between the possibility that God might speak to someone else and the possibility that there might be another God.
"Every Tuesday at 11:00," I said. "I think that's my appointment time."
Her eyes widened further. "What does he say?" she eventually asked, genuinely interested.
"Oh, lots of stuff," I said casually. "'Be kind.' 'Be happy.' 'Always wear blue." Again her eyebrows raised. I pointed to my jeans.
"One time he told me to put my paycheques straight into the bank and only take out so much in cash so I'd always have enough for rent and food. That way I'd always have a safe place of my own, a home. That was real good advice."
Mary Margaret was thinking hard. Very hard.
"But I don't think it's the same god that talks to you," I continued.
"Oh. She seemed sad. “Why?"
"Well he says his name is 'Godd' he really emphasizes the 'd' at the end, so I think he spells his name G-o-d-d. How does your god spell his name?"
"He's never said." And until now that wasn't a problem.
I nodded. Wisely.
"Why don't you switch?" I asked.
"What?" Wow. Another possibility to ponder.
"Why don't you switch gods?"
"I didn't know you could do that."
"Oh sure. It's like those long-distance carriers, you know, for phone calls. You just have to call and say you'd like to switch."
So we went into the office and I helped her find the number for Primus, or maybe it was Sprint. And she called right then and there. It was 2:00 in the morning. And the customer rep at the other end, bless her, not only let her switch from God with one 'd' to Godd with two 'ds', but also gave her an appointment time of Fridays at 10:00 p.m.
I saw Mary Margaret at the mall a couple months later. She had moved out of the house and into her own apartment. And she had on the cutest baby blue polyester pantsuit I'd seen since the 70s.