Monolog for Teen or early
(free for students & auditions)
"Just trying to be friendly"
from the one act play Conventional Behavior
By G. L. Horton
copyright © 1984,
F.E.: late teens or early 20's, an earnest wallflower. She's
wearing a science fiction T-shirt, a dozen huge buttons with cute
sayings on them, and a silly electrified or propeller beanie.
F.E. Oh, yeah. I'd say a science fiction convention's a good way
to meet people who share your interests-- if you mean people who're
like, weird, in sort of the same way. And there is a writer's workshop--
I've even gone to it. Of course, it doesn't always work. Even though
I felt close to some of those writer people at the time, later on
in the Con they walked right by me. Of course, they could be shy.
I mean, I've always heard that about writers, haven't you? Shy,
but sort of kind; so I figured I'd be comfortable with them, even
though I've only written like six pages of this one story. But--
I love writers! I mean, I almost worship them. From afar. Except
here at the Con, they're not so far, are they? They're walking around
and talking on the panels, they're even dancing. Dancing writers!
Doesn't that freak you out? Last night I actually danced with Larry
Niven! You'd never imagine that Larry Niven would be dancing, would
you? Especially not old fashioned: I mean maybe a fox trot, like
probably that's what he did in high school. Maybe you'd figure he'd
do that. But a Contra Dance? At The Titanic Ball? I was dancing
with this woman dressed as a pirate, doing The Congress Of Vienna,
and we went down the set and changed partners and there I was, holding
hands with Larry Niven! Wow! Can you imagine the thrill?... No,
I see you can't! You're such a Newbie you've probably never heard
of Larry Niven, have you? Yeah, sure: a writer. Terrific deduction--
you could even guess "science fiction writer" without consulting
Google. But what have you read that he's written? ... Fans? Don't
say "fans"! Here, we're "fen". The plural of fan is fen. And it's
not sci-fi, you ignorant jerk! Only Mundanes call it sci-fi! I bet
you just came here to get laid! ... Never mind. It doesn't matter.
Listen, I'm sorry if I hurt your feelings. I know what that's like
. It's not a crime to be a Newbie. That's why I got so upset about
the workshop, where I was a Newbie and those writers let that guy
treat me like a dolt. My name's F.E. Well, it's not a name, it's
Initials. Not Effie, but F period E period. Stands for Four Eyes.
That's what the kids called me in junior high. Cause I wear glasses,
and I read all the time. It started as an insult, but by now I don't
mind. I'm used to F.E. I guess it suits me. After all, having four
eyes ought to be an advantage, shouldn't it? See more, know more.
And I not only read, I want to write. Science fiction writer, that's
my dream! But getting started is so hard. The workshop here at the
Con--. You should go: they could help you. But I can't go back,
at least not this year. The problem was... well, ... I critiqued
this guy's story: I mean it was really well done, I could tell that,
although I didn't know anything about the particular setting, where
it took place in the military. This is after a kind of an alternative
W.W.II, where the Japanese had won and these American airmen were
hiding out on an island, and like, turning into Cannibals-- which
I guess is thematically profound- at least to some people. I told
the writer I thought it was brilliant, but didn't he feel funny
putting himself inside the mind of a guy who would eat people? And
he really took that personally, like I'd insulted him. You know
what he said to me? Right in front of the whole group? I was so
embarrassed! He said, "Don't worry, honey, nobody'd--" O, shit,
why am I telling you this?