She's a very kinky girl
The kind you don't take home to mother
She will never let your spirits down
Once yo get her off the street, ow girl



 

Michelle appears possessed. She drips with sweat. It bathes her sides in rivulets, sprinkles the crowd. She lip-syncs, as she dances, repeating over and over the music's second line. This is her third number, seventh set. It is almost closing time. The bar is packed with hangers-on. Die-hards ring the stage, their arms raised like stakes. Michelle ignores them—she is preoccupied; Chris has spelled out how to return his favor.

"Just a party. No big deal." Just a party, shit; he means an orgy. Finally found his calling. "You're a pimp," I said. He slapped me. Slapped me much too hard; must have pricked his conscience. Pricked the prick.

Outwardly, Michelle continues mouthing the selfsame lyric—THE KIND YOU DON'T TAKE HOME TO MOTHER—while inwardly, her long-range plan takes shape.

It's money, though, real money, as in five hundred dollars—each. Me and Cindy only are the two girls Chris invited. Guess his so-called "clients" are not just rich, they're choosey, too.

Her face hangs upside-down, her capsized bosom bulging chin-ward. Beads of perspiration trickle in reverse.

She's a very kinky girl
The kind you won't take home to mother
Mother
Mother
Mother
Mother

LAURA

          "Mother."

JACOB

          "Father."

MONICA

          "Murder."

RICHARD

          "Sssssssssssex is..."

MONICA

          "Murder."

LAURA

          "Sex is."

MONICA

          "Murder."

JACOB

          "Sex is."

MONICA

          "STOP!"

The revolve halts... as does the music... as do the actors—each of whom stands fixed, unnaturally still... while Monica, in a strained slow-motion, elevates her arms... her dress, thereby, uplifted... naked ankles... calves... now knees are, inch by inch, exposed... until she lets the hemline drop—at which point she escapes the scathing spotlight.

MONICA

          "It's okay."

The stage returns to normal. The audience wants to applaud; the actress will not let them, having stepped from her dizzying spin in utter control, her subtext reading explicitly, 'sit still and listen.' 

Monica moves down right toward a section of the stage heretofore unused. It is a jutting square of floor bordered by a low, barred railing. She steps within its confines (changing, as she does, appearing younger). Spreading her dress like a parasol, she settles among its folds. She pats flat pockets of air (regressing even further) looking into the house with (childish) curiosity. She makes a church-and-steeple with her waiflike hands. In a voice pitched high (ingenuous) she ventures to speak—accompanied by a tune that coos like a lullaby.

MONICA

          "Now I lay me down to sleep, I pray the Lord my soul to keep..."
She interrupts her prayer to acknowledge the audience. She addresses them directly.
          "... Once upon a time there was a pretty married lady who lived in a nice house, in a nice neighborhood, with a nice husband. She was very happy. Her husband bought her a car and a dishwasher and a microwave oven and subscriptions to all the latest magazines. On holidays and other special occasions he bought her flowers—yellow roses, her favorite color and her favorite kind. She bought him neck ties. She also bought him underwear and socks and J.C. Penny shirts and men's cologne and aftershave. The pretty married lady wanted to have babies but the babies wouldn't come. She did everything you are supposed to do in order to get a baby but nothing worked. Then one day she found out that her nice husband had gotten an operation that made babies impossible. She grew sad, and very mad at him for not having told her—though she didn't say so. Instead, she made herself forget about babies, and got happy again. But then another day came when the pretty married lady found her nice husband pretending to get babies with a different married lady. She grew sad again, and mad again, and this time she could not make herself get happy."
The synthesizer shifts keys, major to minor, but otherwise plays the melody uninterrupted. Monica begins to run her index finger along the low railing—-absent-mindedly. Her thoughtful tone, however, remains unchanged.
          "So she got thirsty. And the pretty married lady started drinking pretty drinks, with lots of fruity flavors and pastel colors. Then one night she went out to drink her pretty drinks. That was when she met some friendly men. They laughed a lot and paid her way and asked her to go home with them, but she said no, she didn't think she could. Instead, she finished her drinks, then went home alone... except they followed her."
The lullaby distorts. Monica grows more fidgety. Phantom-like, the men emerge off-stage. Three; her darting eyes count them. The biggest rocks from side to side (unseen—though he and his two accomplices cast hulking shadows)...

...blocking Bridget from the sunshine, a boy of eight (dressed in blue jeans and a striped T-shirt) looks down menacingly. A second boy (smaller, red-haired, with pasty skin and orange freckles) comes up behind, evidently scheming to play some sort of trick. To his left, a third boy rolls up his sleeves (in a childish imitation of machismo). Bridget cranes her neck, casts a frown, then scrambles to her feet. The biggest boy smirks. She tries to pass him, but he steps into her path, making her stop. Michelle, parked near the playground, watches from her car, squeezing the steering wheel anxiously as the biggest boy gives a signal. The red-head drops to all fours behind Bridget, as the boy with rolled-up sleeves gives her a shove. Backward Bridget topples. A car horn sounds! Skirt turned topsy-turvy, Bridget's undies are exposed. Laughing, pointing their fingers, the three boys tease—until they notice a grown-up heading in their direction. Michelle arrives on the scene as the pranksters flee.

"Are you hurt? Did those boys hurt you? Are you bleeding anywhere, sweetie? Ooo, you've skinned your elbow. Let me see."

The girl appears more frightened of Michelle—a total stranger, than she was of her assailants.

"Don't be scared; I'm here to help. I saw those three gang up on you as I drove by in my car."

Michelle removes a Kleenex from her pocket, licks it moist, then dabs at Bridget's wound with tender-loving care.

"My name's Michelle. What's yours?"

Bridget will not answer—though does allow her arm to be attended. Michelle is gentle. The Kleenex now bears two smears—one of lipstick, one of blood. On Mrs. Sloat's approach, the child relaxes.

"Someone have an accident?"

"Dougie and his friends come pushed me down. Look."

Bridget presents her elbow as evidence.

"Tsk, tsk; did they do that?"

"Uh huh."

"Well, they're in trouble."

Michelle, still crouched protectively, addresses Bridget's teacher.

"Good; they really gave this child a nasty scrape."

"You saw, then?"

"Yes; from my car. I thought she might be hurt so I came to see."

"How very kind." She turns to her pupil. "Bridget?"

"Yes, ma'am?"

"Nurse."

"Oh, but it's okay; this lady fixed it."

"Nurse. Unless..." She addresses Michelle. "...you have some disinfectant?"

"'Fraid not."

"Nurse, then, Bridget. Off you go. Hurry; I think the bell's about to ring."

Bridget lingers a moment, staring at Michelle—who smiles. The child extends her finger, pointing at her cheek.

"Look; you gots a dimple just like me."

Bridget then runs off. Michelle preserves the tissue.

 

 

we are cycles...

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