By Kellie Powell
Jodie, a college student, is being questioned by the police, after her friend Erica disappeared while she and a third friend, Sonya, were exploring a local graveyard while under the influence of psychotropic mushrooms.
Yes, it was my idea to take the mushrooms. But it was not my idea to take them in a graveyard. I tried them before, with my little brother. We just hung out in our living room, watching "Reign of Fire" and hiding behind the couch whenever there were dragons on the screen. I completely believed that the dragons on the TV were going to set me on fire, or stomp on me, or eat me or something, it was great. My opinion is, you should take drugs in a place where you feel safe, with people you can trust.
But Erica... she really wanted to talk to the statue. See, there's like, this urban legend or something, about the statue there. People get high, and they go tell the statue about their problems, and it talks back. People have been doing this since the seventies. Lots of people. My parents told me stories about how they did it when they were my age. I don't think they meant to encourage me to do it, they were all, "Oh, we were so crazy and dumb back then," about it - but they made it sound like kind of a rite of passage. And I figured, if they did it, I could do it. And Erica had done some crazy stuff, she wasn't worried. Sonya was the only one who was kind of scared about it, but I told her, drugs are only as dangerous as the people who do them. Which, you know, I really believed - at the time.
She had trichotillomania, you know. (Again, slower.) Trichotillomania - compulsively pulling your hair out. Erica had it. It's one of the Impulse Control Disorders. Which is kind of funny, since, really, what psychological condition isn't an Impulse Control Disorder? You couldn't tell from far away, but if you got close enough - bald patches on her head. She said that it was unconscious - she said she didn't know she was doing it. But she had to. When you yank out your hair, it hurts. You feel it. She said she didn't know she was doing it. I'd notice her doing it sometimes, when she was at her computer or if we were watching TV... I'd say, "Hey, you're pulling your hair out," or just say, "Hey," and point to her head, by that point, she knew what I meant. She'd say, "Oh, thanks, yeah, I didn't realize." But, I think she did. I don't think it was really so unconscious. But maybe it was so compulsive, that it felt unconscious. Maybe she said she didn't know she was doing it, but what she meant was, she couldn't help it.
What? (Pause.) I never said it was cured. (Pause.) Had. I said "she had" instead of "she has." I used the past-tense. Huh. (Pause.) Isn't that strange?
This monologue is from the short play One Graveyard by Kellie Powell. If you would like to read the entire play, you can purchase and download an electronic (PDF) copy of the script for $6.00.
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