Monthly Archives: March 2017

The Old Man in The Phone Box – A Monologue

 

No. No. NO. NO NO NO NO NO! WHAT? I CAN’T HEAR YOU. I CAN’T UNDERSTAND WHAT YOU ARE SAYING.

Pause.

FUCK YOU!

Beat.

Hello?

Silence.

I’m just trying to find my friend. Hello? … HELLO?

Pause.

She’s got white hair. She’s had white hair since she was fifty-five, never dyed it, pure white, like she got shocked one day. She’s small. Smaller than me, comes up to my chest, top of her head fits into my neck, sit’s like it was designed to slot in there, perfect, tidy.

Silence.

Hello? … She’s been missing since Friday. FRIDAY! WHAT THE FUCK ARE YOU DOING ABOUT IT? … Hello? Hello! … She doesn’t like sweet thing’s, she’s a savory gal. She’ll destroy a pork pie in two bites. I’ve seen her do it. Bloody loves a pork pie. She went out. Friday. She went out. Went to see her friend. She drove. You writing this down? You better be writing it all down. It’s important information. She’s a good driver. WHAT? WHAT DID YOU SAY? NO. NO. NO. NO NO NO NO NO! IT WASN’T MY FAULT.

Pause.

Hello? Hello? Are you there? … She’s seventy-eight. SEVENTY-EIGHT. Her birthday is the tenth of June. We go away. Every year we go away for her birthday. She doesn’t like being at home. Even if it’s just a night in a hotel, Travelodge or Premier Inn, she loves it. Loves being away. HER BIRTHDAY IS TENTH OF JUNE! She likes one big main present. Can’t be doing with lots of little things, she always preferred one big main present. And don’t get her a card. She hates cards, they just go in the bin, she says. No cards. NO CARDS!

Pause.

I’m trying to find my friend.

Silence.

I’m eighty. We’ve been married sixty years. I remember because I was twenty when we married. She was eighteen. She was so pretty. Still is. In the same way too, and that’s not just me, lots of people say it. Say she’s pretty. WHAT? … MY NAME? IT DOESN’T MATTER WHAT MY NAME IS! HER NAME IS CHARLOTTE.

Beat.

CHARLOTTE!

Pause.

She went for a drive, to see her friend.

Pause.

I’ve never had much money. We’re in the bracket people call working class. It’s really British init? Giving people a title what ends in the word class. Working, Middle, upper… Class. It’s a clasp your whole life. She was proper class though, loved people, loved being with other people, friends, family, neighbours, loved a get together. Proper class.

Beat.

We’ve got no other family. No children. It’s just her and me.

Silence.

The nurse said to stop popping by, but I can’t, I can’t find her, she’s been missing since Friday. You can’t call her Charlie, she doesn’t like it, she’ll say, its Charlotte. She liked sounding posh. Charlotte. Mrs. Peter John Myers. Charlotte Myers. Mrs. Myers. My wife. Mrs. Myers. SHE’S BEEN MISSING SINCE FRIDAY! FRIDAY! NO. NO. NO. NO NO NO NO NO! IT WASN’T MY FAULT.

He bangs the handle against the wall. Pause.

I’m trying to find my friend. Please. She’s been missing since Friday. She lives with me, she’s my wife, she went out. Went to see a friend. She drove. She’s a good driver. WHAT? WHAT DID YOU SAY? NO. NO. NO. NO NO NO NO NO! IT WASN’T MY FAULT.

Pause.

What? WHAT? WHERE DO I LIVE? Where I’ve always lived. In my house. I brought it in the eighties, two bed, two garden, which is rare these days, front and back garden, one bath, one toilet, one kitchen, dinning room and living room, but it doesn’t fucking matter! Because she’s not there! She’s fucking missing. Been missing since Friday! WHY AREN’T YOU HELPING ME! WHY AREN’T YOU LISTENING!

He starts banding the handle against the wall again.

SHE’S BEEN MISSING SINCE FRIDAY! FRIDAY! NO. NO. NO. NO NO NO NO NO! IT WASN’T MY FAULT.

The cable isn’t attached to the receiver; it hangs loosely from the phone handle.

She went for a drive, to see her friend. She’s a good driver. Passed her test first time. I was really proud of her. She even knew the mechanics of the car. She was really handy, she worked in the factory, and she picked stuff up, that was what she was like, she just picked stuff up. She would have been fine; I never worried about her driving anywhere. YOU LISTENING! SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN FINE. SHE WOULD HAVE BEEN FINE! NO. NO. NO. NO NO NO NO NO! IT WASN’T MY FAULT. IT WASN’T MY FAULT!

He’s breathing heavily.

She was upset. I’d upset her. Said something. I said something I shouldn’t have. It was the last thing I said to her. SHE’S BEEN MISSING SINCE FRIDAY! The last thing I said? The last thing I said to her… The last thing I said was…

‘There’s some days, that I wish we’d had children.’

Pause.

She lost babies. That was what was happening. She couldn’t take it, I couldn’t take it, so we stopped, stopped planning, stopped hoping, and stopped living for a little while. But we got back to us. You do when its real love. But I shouldn’t have said that. It just came out. I meant it too, but she was seeing her friend’s grandkids and I was thinking of that. Thinking what it must be like to have grandkids. People think men don’t get broody, but we do, I did anyway, would have loved kids, but I loved her more. I loved her more. It probably affected her, me saying that. Probably made her loose her concentration.

He’s calmer, but there are tears of frustration.

Why aren’t you helping me? Way aren’t you listening? She’s been missing since Friday. Friday, she went for a drive, went to see her friend. She was driving a blue Ford, went past Millers Place and pulled out by Tesco’s, she didn’t look, she didn’t check, she wasn’t speeding, but her foot touched the pedal, and there was a lorry…

Beat.

I’m trying to find my friend. She’s been missing since Friday. She went for a drive, went to see a friend.

There’s been a crumpled piece of paper in his hand, he allows his fist to unclench, and it’s a picture of Charlotte, she’s mid fifties, happy, smiling.

Please. I’m just trying to find my friend.

Silence.

Hello?

Silence.

Hello?

HELLO!!!

Silence. He’s clinging on to the phone; the photo slowly disappears in to his clenching fist.

I’m trying to find my friend.

 

 

 

 

 

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