(A woman enters wearing a large white t-shirt and an old robe. She carries a magazine and sips on a homemade green juice concoction. She plops down on her sofa and then removes her headscarf, revealing a bald head. After flipping through her magazine for a few moments, she takes one long, last gulp of her juice. )
Yuck! Good God, I need a margarita…..Oh, how I miss margaritas. (She begins to flip through the magazine again.) “How To Lose Twenty Pounds in Three Weeks?” Shoot! I could write that article: Get cancer. Take chemo then become an unhappy vegan. “How to Find the Man of Your Dreams?” Shit! Can write that one, too: STAY SLEEP. (She laughs out loud.) Why, Oh why do I continue to read this trash?!
(She tosses the magazine. Her cellphone rings. She looks at the caller ID, rolls her eyes and then picks up.)
Momma, I just spoke to you fifteen minutes ago…. I’m fine. I’m bored and a little lonely somebody, but I’m fine….I promise…I’m doing everything right..I am….I’m resting, juicing…please don’t worry…..momma….I’ll die of boredom before anything else…I’m kidding….yes, momma…I know….I love you, too….
(She tosses the phone.)
Oh, to be loved – by somebody other than my mother.
(She reaches for the remote control, and then spends a few moments clicking through channels.)
Daytime t.v., (sigh) Let's see, let's see....Judge show, infomercial, judge show, infomercial, Chuck Norris, spanish gameshow, Jerry Springer, infomercial…
(Switching through a few more channels.)
AHA! There you are Project Runway! I can never go wrong with you. Make it work! (She smiles and watches for a moment.) Aww, Tim Gunn, you are so sweet. You’re like a fairy Godmother..father….mother. Whatever. Whatever you choose, sweet, kind, dapper man. I’ll call you whatever you like. (beat) Lord, what is she making? It’s not runway worthy! Tell her, Tim. (She leans in to the t.v., watching intently.) Good for her. She heard you. The truth will set you free and save the runway, sweetie. “Make it work!”
Oh, Tim Gunn, will you be my life coach? I’M MAKING IT WORK! Juicing three times a day? Check! Cut out sugar and dairy? Check! Meditation, rest, and Tai-Chi? Check, check and check! Got my brand new body (sticks her chest out). They’re not as voluptuous as the originals, but they’ll do. Shooooot, I’m even making it work at work, Tim! Well…when I go back to work. I’m going to use my vacation time AND personal days, leave no later than 6 o’clock, and I won’t be taking on any extra anything. I’m going to do what I’m paid to do…do it well and nothing more. I’m not breaking my back for Corporate America anymore. Oh, and guess what, Mr. Gunn? I’ve learned to say “no”. I know, SHOCKING isn’t it?! Me, Ms. Yes’m? That’s what they call me behind my back – “Yes’m.” “Tina, honey, can you go to the moon and bring us back some cheese for our VIP reception? – “Yes’m”…Tina, will you shoulder this entire campaign on your pretty little back? – “Yes’m”. Tina, sweetheart, can you manage the China and Thailand accounts, on top of ALL you’re doing right now, with a smile and with perfection? –“Hell no!” That’s my new name! (She laughs out loud again.) That’s right, no more pleasing everybody. I’m going to please myself. I’m going to live it up, fairy Godfather! I won’t squander my second chance.
Life is my runway now, Mr. Gunn, bald head and all.
(She rises from the couch and begins to strut.)
Naomi Campbell and Heidi Klum ain’t got nothing on me! Pick me, Tim Gunn. Pick me!
(She laughs and struts around a little more. She’s good at it, too. She starts to make up a song as she struts to the tune of “I’m Too Sexy.”)
I’m too sexy for this couch, too sexy for this house, too sexy for a wig! I’m too sexy for some meat, no, that I will not eat, I’m too sexy! I’m too sexy for cancer, yessir, I know you concur, I’m waaaay too sexy for CANCER!
(She smiles and struts around a bit more.)
Look at me, Tim Gunn! Look at – (She stops abruptly, grabbing her chest.) Oh, Mr. Gu... Oh, Lord. (She starts breathing heavily. Long silence and attempts to steady herself, falling on one knee) Not now, Lord! (beat) Really, God? A heart attack? After ALL OF THIS….ALL I’ve been through. No, no, no. Not like this. Not like this! (She continues to breathe heavily and makes her way back to the couch.) I made it through chemo. I made it through the double mastectomy. No, no, no. NOT LIKE THIS. (beat) I don’t want them to find me like this. Oh, Lord! Not in this old, ugly robe I’ve had for twenty years…not in this dingy t-shirt…I haven’t even bathed today or brushed my teeth in two days….no, no, no! PLEASE, LORD! Not like this. Don’t take me now – like this. My dirty dishes are still in the sink. I haven’t recycled. I smell like…like…DAMN VEGETABLES!
Please. Please! I don’t want to go this way. (beat) But…but if this is YOUR will…if you need me now…(breathing slowly, crying)…well, then….I guess…I won’t protest. (beat) I just would have preferred to die with a bit of dignity, Lord. Just a bit. This dingy robe AIN’T dignified. My breath…oh, Lord! What will my mother say! Oh, and Cynthia, Regina and their circle of friends – I can hear them now. “Did you hear how they found her? You know she was always sharp, but not on her last day. Girl, they found her in this raggedy-ass robe, bald as can be – poor thing – and her breath. She reeked of KALE!" You know how stinky kale is Lord, you made it!
I beg of you. Just…just…please don’t take me now. You can take me tonight after I shower and put on my pretty satin purple pajamas, wrap my head in a matching scarf, and spray a little Chanel on my wrists and neck…just…just…not now. PLEASE! (holding her chest) I love you, Lord. I do. I want to be o-be-dient. I really do. You’ve brought me so far. So far. (beat) Can you hear me? Oh, just give me a sign that I’m going to be alright. I WANT TO BE ALRIGHT, Lord. Please….please!
(A pain shoots through her chest again and she grabs it even tighter. After a moment, she releases the loudest belch and gas. It sounds like an explosion. After it passes, she sits up startled. Relieved. long pause)
DAMN KALE! (she bursts into laughter and tears.) Thank you, God. Oh, thank you. (beat) And excuse me!