One Man Show

“I’m thinking about a one-man show. A stage performance. Is that what they call that? A one-man show?”

She shrugged and kept folding laundry. I sat on the bed. “I want the stage all black, and I’ll have a wooden chair set up in the middle. There will be some Vivaldi or something playing very faintly.”

“Did you get the winter tires put on the car?”

“Um, what? Oh.”

“Can you do that this weekend?”

“Sure.” I picked one of my shirts and folded it. I put it on the pile she was making next to me.

“Shit,” she said and put her fingers to her eyes. “Alice has to go to a birthday party on Saturday. What can we get for a seven-year-old boy?”

“How about a gun?” I grinned. She snorted. “That’s a very attractive sound.”

“Kids don’t get toy guns anymore.”

“I meant a real gun.”

She snorted again. “You have the most attractive laugh,” I said.

“Fuck you, dogbreath.”


“You’ll have to take her. The invitation with the address is on the fridge.”

“Ok.” I picked up a pair of her underwear and very neatly tied it in a knot. “I’ll get a pack of smokes and a bottle of whiskey for the lad and put it in a paper bag.”

“Just get Lego or something.”

“Where will you be?”

She looked at me. “I have to take Mom to see Dad. I already told you.”

“I guess I wasn’t listening.” I found a hole in one of my socks and ripped it wide. “These suck.”

“I know. They don’t last.”

I walked to the bathroom and tossed the sock in the garbage. I briefly looked at myself in the mirror. “I need a hair cut.”

“Why don’t you throw the other one out?” she said. A sock flew into the room and hit the wall. It fell straight to the floor like a bird that’s flown into a window.

“I never finished what I was saying, you know.”

“You were saying something?”

I put my hand in the sock and made a puppet. I walked behind her and the puppet started biting her ear. She swat at me and laughed. “Hmph,” said the puppet and fell to the floor.

“About my one man stage show.” I walked around to the other side of the bed. “I want the stage all black, and I want a white wooden chair in the middle of it. Some Saint-Saëns playing –“

“You said Vivaldi. Who is Sansee-Ens?”

“The music just needs to be somewhat familiar and not very exciting. I want the stage lights to rise and show the empty chair in the middle. It’s deserted. The music plays and plays. I have to figure it out, but it should stay that way until the audience gets disturbed by it – restless and eager for something to happen. Maybe 15 minutes.”

“I’d leave.”

“I know. Anyway, after fifteen minutes, I will walk out of the background. I will be dressed all in black. I will have been there the entire time.”

“Creepy.” She folded the last and looked over at me.

“Then, when I know they all see me, I will sit in the chair, point out at the audience and yell ‘You are all wrong!’”


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