Wednesday, October 6, 2010

The Island In The Hills (Susan Monologue) BY: Andi Smith

Susan tells the girls she is headed out to see her esthetician for a waxing. However in the next scene, we see her sitting on a leather sofa ranting to her shrink, Dr. Gawken.

I told Richard he has to take the girls on his next trip to the Bahamas. The money just isn’t enough to keep them happy, as much as it is for me-- I’m just concerned they need more of a tangible investment from him, like actually being a father.
I can’t imagine being up against his whiny wife. That whiny, skinny, demented, childlike doll figure, oh god it just makes me nauseous….
And while I’m on the subject of sickening disappointments- Annabelle is kissing girls and Paige doesn’t do anything but stay home and read… Sometimes on the patio though… Paige will read in the sun and peel tangerines. And I look at Paige’s life, so normal, or how she manages to appear so normal- as she deals with her obnoxiously vein and unfair mother1 … but who doesn’t to some degree? My mom stayed home most of my life, very ill, while I shed sweat and tears caring for her, and then she left me- she took her own life and I hate her for that.
So unless I suddenly decide to kill myself from this island of riches, I’d say I’ve done a damn good job for my girls. I don’t know though, there are times when I catch Paige looking at me, looking into me like she really could kill me…and it’s as if she knows Richard isn’t her father- that I’ve been lying to her all this time, time stops and I feel that lump of guilt I’ve been telling you about…. swelling in my throat.

I always worry if I look right at her, she’ll read it all over my face…

And I guess I could shut my mouth and stop embarrassing her… but shit…I talk the way I talk because she needs to hear it, just like anyone deserves to know the pain before the blind-sided crash. Life isn’t peachy out there for anyone. She acts all smart and proper, and calm, rolling her eyes at our dysfunctional family, when really – that “functional” family she thinks is out there...Ya, that family doesn’t exist.
It’s just me, that’s all she’s got! And Richard, the one she says she most relates to, well all be damned- good for her. And I’ll really be damned if he ever finds out about this.
Lucky for me the biological father doesn’t have a clue and could be dead for all I know, so that leaves the only other known resource to be … own relentless conscience. And I really just wish it would let me fucking sleep- that reminds me, I’m here because I need a re-fill on my Ambien…

By: Andi Smith


  1. I think it is really interesting that you have the mom defending herself and what she does to the shrink, yet she knows some of what she does isn't perfect or very motherly. I also think it says a lot that she tells her daughters she is getting a wax when really she is seeing a shrink. There were three surprising moments for me 1)to hear the mother talk about having to take care of her own sick mother, since she doesn't seem fully committed to caring for her two daughters, 2) when she admitted that Richard isn't the biological father, and 3) when she started looking at Paige and how "normal" she seems, the mother sounded almost resentful or jealous. I also really liked how the monologue started out as a seemingly small rant - about the Bahamas and Richard's wife, dipped into what is most serious in the mother's life, and then pulled back into her regular shallow voice by complaining about her lack of sleep.

  2. Notes from Roy:
    Very revealing and emotional rant, with a good sense of dramatic structure and rising action. The Susan's opening about her unfaithful husband and his new woman transitions quickly and strongly into her daughters. The fact that her main complaint is not money, but emotional investment from the father is telling about her. Her thoughts about Annabelle contrast strongly with the way she treats/enables Annabelle and are surprising. Her jealousy of her daughters and the things that haven't happened to them yet to embitter them are a good window on the heart of a parent losing control of her children as they get older, and the difficulties of dealing with that.

    The thoughts and facts about Paige are also really involving, and suggest lots of avenues to explore with these characters. Susan's outward and inward personalities are starkly contrasting, and that makes her wonderfully complex and interesting.