I’ve completed the first half! I did it.
Slightly nervous, though, because tomorrow I return to my job and I don’t know how I’ll fit in reading and writing a play every day. I’m thinking the scripts will rapidly decrease in length and quality! But that’s ok, I just want to try to make time to write every day. That’s the goal.
And here’s the script for today; a monologue.
This was my prompt:
And this is what I wrote:
Fay stands in front of us, dressed in a very sensible outfit. Beige cardigan, neutral skirt, pantyhose, spectacles, etc. She carries a carpet bag.
FAY: As a child, I liked fairies and princesses. Not so much mermaids and unicorns; they weren’t so commodified as they are now. And not llamas and sloths – God, who decided they were cute and they needed to be printed on every available surface?
No, when I was a child, it was princesses. Pink tulle and pink satin, pink silk – although mostly it was polyester – but we thought it was silk. Lace and sparkles and plastic jewels. Just pink frothing and bubbling all over us. Decorate me, adorn me, make me sparkle. Electrify me with ultimate femininity and I’ll be chosen and crowned.
Ugh, that sounds a bit passive, doesn’t it? Like a little treasure, waiting to be discovered?
We were treasures, but we demanded attention. It was active, bold, spot-lit.
I had adventures with animal friends, and I was struck by tragedies. We had elaborate funerals with our best jewels and furs, and we defeated evil villains with our newly-invented powers.
Eventually, a handsome prince would find us, see us, be so captivated by our shimmering beauty, that he would fall madly in love. But we were beauties with reckless, buccaneering pasts. I was a maiden who could sparkle in plastic bracelets just as well as I could leap from the top bunk to save my fairy princess daughter.
As I grew older, I … (she laughs) I know what you expect! You expect me to say, I outgrew the princess phase, stopped dressing up, became a moody teenager, sensible adult, exhausted mum. I lost my sense of play, my imagination. The world crushed me. I gave in. Etc.
No, I really didn’t.
She takes out her phone, which is hot pink and glittery. She takes a few selfies and laughs again.
What do you think? Reverend’s wife? Schoolteacher? Sunday School teacher?
I was going for librarian. Convincing? Most of my friends thought it was hilarious.
She puts her phone away and starts removing her shoes and pantyhose.
As I grew older, I did move away from the princess phase… slightly. I think it became more abstract. Less about ‘how can I look like a crowned sovereign’, and more ‘how can I embody the spirit of glittery pink fearlessness?’
From the carpet bag, she brings out a pair of fabulous shoes. They might be pink and sparkly, they might be hand-painted, neon boots. Just something one-of-a-kind.
She puts one shoe on.
Argghhh, yes! See the difference?
She puts one of the old ones on her other foot and demonstrates the difference in her personality. Slumped versus confident. Meek versus flirtatious. Severe versus smiley, etc.
This is the foundation. And even with only one –
(standing on the one colourful shoe only)
I am proud, elegant, and unashamedly a flamingo.
Pink and blush and blossom. Feathers, velvet and frills.
She removes her beige twinset, and underneath is a gorgeous watermelon-themed bra. She takes off her wool skirt and neutral slip, and of course, there are the matching undies.
She poses for a moment or two in her underwear, and then finds the magenta sequin dress in her carpet bag and slips into it. On top of that, she adds a jacket, jewellery and hat/headdress/hair accessory.
The final effect should be one of ostentatious fun from a person who clearly loves and understands fashion. She shouldn’t look silly or cartoonish.
And this is the real me.
I embellish my body with pieces that make me happy; that zing and flutter. Pieces that make bold statements or sometimes coy suggestions. Whatever they are, they declare, unabashedly, that I am deliriously happy being a pink, feminine woman.
I am flamingo, see me prance.
It was fascinating tonight. Dressed like that. Among clowns and cheerleaders, superheroes and zombies, I was mute. Volume turned down. Normal. Everyone else putting on silver sparkles, capes, or thick, colourful makeup, and me… removing it! That was to be expected. I wasn’t shocked. Friends wanting to take my picture because I looked so completely, comedically different – that I suspected might happen.
What I didn’t expect, were the … conversations. Even right to my face.
She takes out her makeup bag, sits, and begins applying her face.
Just starting like a little poke, a prod. References to my costume. Not my Librarian costume. My everyday clothes. Brave. Funny. Silly.
Discussions about their meanings. Symbolism. Subconscious choices. A dissection of colours and fabrics and accessories. Right to my face. No, that’s not right, it wasn’t really, was it? I was there, and I was being questioned, but it wasn’t to my face. They were hitting the ball over my head, having their own volley.
Soft baby pink can look really nice in a crisp office shirt. Paired with a grey pencil skirt. Lipgloss. That’s fine.
Bright pink is great in a summer dress. Something you throw on, wear to the beach or a picnic. But that’s it – nothing else bright. Just very simple accessories. Maybe a gold watch. Must be a breathable fabric. Linen, cotton. Not stretch polyester. God no, horrendous.
Peachy pinks are great – they warm you up. T-shirt, soft cardigan. Maybe a floral summer skirt. Pair it with denim or white, just something neutral.
But that’s about it. We’re too old for magenta, candy pink, hot pink, neon pink – ew, never wear neon. And all of those corals and watermelons are fine, but they’ll be out of style again before you know it.
They stop their volley to look at me.
‘Oh, Fay, you’re beyond all this! We’re not talking about you. We’re talking about us boring normals.’
When you indulge in all this girly stuff, you’re just not serious. It’s a repressed desire for childhood. Princesses. And we all know what princesses are. Empty-brained vessels, waiting to be saved.
It’s just not serious.
You’re not serious.
You can’t be taken seriously.
You’re telling people they don’t have to take you seriously.
And so I put down my pink margarita with the yellow paper umbrella, and I left.
I left the people who need formal invitations before they’ll even think about wearing something brave and funny.
I like to wear a certain colour. I tend to gravitate towards particular fabrics and articles of clothing. All that tells you is what I like. What I LIKE. What makes me happy. Just me. It’s just for me, and that’s fine.
This certain colour and these particular fabrics tell you nothing about my past, my current state of mind, or my future. You can’t tell anything about how I may speak or what my opinions may be. And if you think I’m somehow deserving of less respect because of them, then, frankly, you can kiss my bright pink flamingo ass.
Thanks for reading, and I hope you enjoyed it! If you’re keen to keep up to date with the next 15 short plays, you can subscribe at the link on the right hand side. That way you’ll be notified everytime I post some new writing.