A one-woman play in three parts.
Trying to balance everything can be a real nightmare.
SCENE 1 The stage is dark; in the center, a woman sleeps on a living-room couch. An alarm goes off. Woman sits up, looks at her phone and groans. NARRATOR: It’s 5:00 a.m. Our friend has just been roused from her only REM sleep of the night. She will not get this opportunity again for another 20 hours. The couch became her solace at 1:00 a.m., when she escaped the brutal confines of the bed she shares with a massive man whose deviated septum created a thunderous, rattling snore, which woke her daughters down the hall. She stumbled through the dark toward the couch, over a minefield of small, nearly invisible Lego bricks and miscellaneous shoes. Two hours into her sleep, she was again awakened, this time by the dog, scratching to be let into the house. The dog preferred to sleep outside every night, except this one. Woman stands up and shuffles into a bathroom, closes the door. NARRATOR: The night of interrupted sleep is behind her, but dangers remain. Walks past scale. Stops. Stares at it. NARRATOR: Our friend has exercised two days in a row—real exercise, like from an aerobics DVD—and had sushi for dinner last night, skipping the fried rice. There is a glimmer of hope that just maybe the scale will reflect her efforts. The jumping jacks in front of the very couch on which she suffered through poor sleep last night. The lifting of light hand weights. The stomach crunches—my God, the stomach crunches! Dropping her robe, she steps onto the scale. She looks down at the number and screams. No one else in the house wakes up. They are all enjoying deep REM sleep. NARRATOR: Our friend has gained 4 pounds. Even though it is still dark, morning has arrived. Woman looks up, alarmed. WOMAN: Tomorrow is my daughter’s birthday! [Starts to hyperventilate.]
I don’t have balloons or a special breakfast for the morning. I have to go to the grocery store … today. [ Screams] Woman sobs softly into her hands, and gets in the shower. SCENE 2 Woman is at an office meeting with four other people.
WOMAN: And those are the 11 initiatives I am currently undertaking. I feel I am at maximum capacity, but with some all-nighters, I think I can get 75 percent of this completed. [Woman leans in and looks at her co-worker speaking. Face grows dark.]
But I … [sputtering] … yes, but I don’t see why it’s a priority
now … [starts to hyperventilate] … if I push everything else aside, divorce my husband and move away from my kids, straight into my office, I suppose I could complete this, but …. [draws a deep breath and screams]. SCENE 3 The stage is again set like Scene 1. The woman is asleep on the couch. A spotlight shines on her, and she sits up, wide awake.
WOMAN: Oh, my goodness [grabs her heart]. What a
nightmare. [Her breathing slows, and she calms down.] Faintly, a man snores. Soon, the snoring crescendos to a deafening level. In between snorts, a dog scratches feverishly at the door, barking occasionally.
Birthday balloons float ominously to one side of her, just catching her peripheral vision.
The alarm on her phone goes off.
Woman draws a deep breath and screams. THE END