Friday, September 10, 2010

Mosquito & Blue Balloon (Beth)

Beth Bauler
CW 602

A Blue Balloon


I hate this time of the day. 4:47p.m. It’s when my office starts to slow down. When lights and computer screens are shut off, the constant hum of the printers growing louder in the silence. When co-worker’s feet shuffle along the muted green carpet and startle me, breaking my concentration. It is at this time, when my workday stops, that I’m reminded of the world back home I must return to. A world of bills and doctors and hands – needy little hands, small and delicate, grasping at me as I enter the front door, as I pull a beer from the fridge, and as I try to watch t.v. and fade into a world of carefully selected voices, images, and people that can take me away.
I just want to be taken away. I don’t want to have to think about all the medical bills, the appointments – those hands. I just want a strong wind to blow me away, lift me up, so far above everything until it’s just a blur.
That’s what I want. I want to feel weightless. Nothing tying me down, nothing holding me back. I want to be a balloon, a little blue balloon, but without the string that could get caught on a fence or tied to a pole or held by a hand. A grasping hand, holding onto the string tightly cause it’s all she has.
That string is all I have holding me down, weighing me back to earth. And though I know it is wrong, it is evil and horrible and wrong of me to think this . . . but honestly, sometimes I wish that string could be cut.



I let a mosquito bite me today. It was early this morning; the sky was still growing lighter as it turned into day. I couldn’t sleep and was sitting by my window, watching the world slowly wake up. That’s when I noticed him, this little mosquito that was flying at my room’s window. He was hovering there, rising and falling, running into the glass, trying to break through it. His little wings were flapping so fast they looked like a sheer veil, with six little sticks for legs jutting out, scrambling madly.
I kept wondering why he was doing this to himself. Fighting so hard to get in. And what did he really want? Was he trying to get inside where it was warm? Or perhaps he was attacking his reflection, the way I’d seen birds do in pet shops with mirrors. Or maybe he was undergoing some brilliant mosquito epiphany, realizing that this odd thing, this invisible force field could stop him from entering an open place so easily. That this thing that didn’t appear to be there, could block him from getting to the one thing he really wanted?
I kept thinking how sadly pathetic he was. Fighting so hard to get through solid glass. I even giggled quietly to myself about it. I mean, how pathetic! A little mosquito against such a thick piece of glass!
I continued to watch him struggle. He refused to give up, wouldn’t even stop to rest, just tried different spots along the window, as though one section would give way to his little body. That’s when I started to feel kind of bad. I slid open the window, and stuck my arm out to him. After a few more tries at the window, he knocked into my hand and clumsily landed on me. He rested a while before flying along my arm, turning it into a runway, bobbing up and down, selecting a spot that was to his liking before he stopped and began to dine.
After he finished, he stayed perched, resting on me a while longer. And even though I was tired because I couldn’t sleep, and the cold air was starting to bite and numb my fingers, I didn’t mind. I figured I could’ve given him all the time in the world. We have to help one another, those of us who are similar. Those who just want a decent meal, a warm arm to rest against, or a chance at being let in. Those of us who aren’t always wanted have to be there for each other when we need it.


  1. Notes from Roy:
    Both of these monologues speak quietly and simply of a strong inner desperation. Each one takes a commonplace image and gives it a greater sense of resonance and drama by infusing it with some silent and deeply repressed emotion. In each piece we get the sense of someone who may live in a crowd, but within feel themselves deeply alone.

    There's a great sense of drama in that which leaves many dramatic questions: What is the actual situation? What is the nature of the aloneness? Is escape a possibility? Is this the same character or two different ones looking at the same situation from different perspectives?


  2. -The man just wants escape from his life. I want to know what, exactly, he is running from. It’s hinted at with the doctor’s bills, which are mentioned twice. I imagine it’s a sick child because he mentions the “needy little hands, small and delicate, grasping at me as I enter the front door.” The resentment he feels is very real. And the guilt weighs him down as much as that string. Quite a beautiful image. Balloons are associated with children, so nice touch with that. This is a very dark place you are going, cutting the string: does that mean abandonment, hoping for a dead child? Some of the most compelling drama written lives in those shadows you are entering here. Don’t be afraid to go further.
    -The specificity of the time people start sneaking out of work is nice. Funny and true.
    -fade into a world of carefully selected voices, images, and people - this line felt like a ton of bricks. It’s not just anything to pull him out of his word, it’s carefully selected. Leads me to believe he actually hates the people he lives as well as the situation. Or hates them because of his situation.
    -Very moving. Very understated. And deep sadness.