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Internal Monologue for One Performer Taking One Step, Slowly

This text was written for SLOW, an anthology of writings edited and published by Ian Abbott in 2007.

Directions for reading:

Please stand and take one step while reading this monologue. You should not have finished taking the step until you have finished reading the text.

Note: you will need to move slowly to make the duration of the movement match the duration of the text. Edit Text

I happened to be passing by your home last night I noticed that your bedroom window was open. I was wondering if it gets cold in that room when you are asleep, if it does I was wondering if in the middle of the night when you wake up you put on your slippers and walk across the floor to turn of the blue humming television, if you do I was wondering if you go straight back to bed. If you do go back can you feel the indenture in the sheets, the place where your body made its mark while sleeping, is the bed still warm? If it is, do you find it hard to fall back to sleep? If you do I was wondering if you put your slippers back on and walk out of the bedroom? And if you do, do you go into the kitchen? If you do, I was wondering if you open the refrigerator door and look inside? And when you look inside do you look for the milk, and when you find the milk is it at the back of the refrigerator. If it is I was wondering, do you reach for the carton without moving all that is in front of it? And if you do, when bringing it towards you do you knock over the leftover applesauce from dinner? If you do, do you leave it there and promise yourself that you will clean it up tomorrow morning before anyone sees it? Do you now begin to drink straight from the carton of milk, chugging quickly? If you do I was wondering if it takes a few moments for you to feel the milk filling up your stomach? Does it take just as long for it to come back up when you see a spider crawling across the ceiling? If it does do you promise yourself that you will clean up the milk with the applesauce? If you do, do you take a chair from the kitchen table to get a closer look at the spider? And if you do, do you take a good long look at the spider? Do you look into its eyes and see not only your reflection but also that of your family, friends, co-workers, ex-lovers, teachers, pets, plants and acquaintances. And if you do, do you get lost in the thought? And if you do, does it take a few moments for you to fall to the floor landing in a puddle of milk and loosing your left slipper? If it does, does it take you a few minutes to regain consciousness? And if it does, do you have unconscious dreams that include: clouds that look like you, trees that look like you, mown lawns whose pattern is in your likeness, and crashing waves that sound like your name whispered? And if you do, does your consciousness return slowly, like tea soaking into a crisp madeline cookie? And if it does, do you quickly see six memories of childhood as you slowly get up off the ground? Do you take a minute to regroup, while putting your slipper back on, trying your hardest not to look up. If you do, do you start to make your way back to the bedroom leaving traces of milk on the carpet? And if you do, do you stop to turn off the lamp in the living room, which is next to the couch, which is next to the bookshelf, which is next to the picture of your mother, which is next to the throw rug, which is next to the thin tall plant whose shadow keeps time on the throw rug's stripes when the sun is out? And if you do, I was wondering if you find a quilt lying on the ground. And if you do, do you take time to fold it before you turn out the light? And if you do, I was wondering if you swear to yourself that you had done this before you went to bed? And if you do, do you turn out the light and imagine the quilt on the couch is dancing? And do you quickly turn the light on to find the quilt just as you left it? If you do, do you turn the light off and head back down the hall towards your bedroom? When you get back to the room do you now undress and lay back in the place where your body once lay motionless. And if you do, I was wondering are the sheets still warm? Or have they grown cold from the open window? And if they have, do you try and distract yourself by closing your eyes and imagining energy ribbons in the sky above your room? And if you do, do you imagine building a catapult that would throw you through your roof into the energy ribbons? And if you do, do you imagine soaring through space in the energy ribbon while reaching for the map of the solar system you brought along?