copyright © 2003 Denise Dooley

You Make A Better Door: a Monologue for Candie

By Denise Dooley 9/19/2003

Lights Up

GIRL: We were just sitting around at the Ritt’s house watching the nature channel show about the patagonia toothfish, which is a very popular fish to fish for in south africa. It’s worth a lot of money. One of its nicknames is "white gold".

I had two favorite parts in the show. My first favorite part showed this guy talking, i mean really talking and getting all reved up and jumpy and all, and he was talking about how since even though its not legal to hunt for patagonian toothfish he makes a lot more money now then he did on regular white fish. He did not look like he made a ton of money. He was wearing one of those really small polo shirts african guys on documentaries are always wearing, you know, with the pockets? He thought he made a lot of money. I like to see people look as happy as that guy looked -he had great smile wrinkles and a loud voice- and I turned and said to Kathy, isn’t that guy great? and Kathy kind of picked at the lint in the couch.

We had watched a lot of nature channel that day. No, like a lot. We’d been watching it since three o’clock on Tuesday when we got home from school and it was at least Friday by the time we’d had that conversation and we both had pretty good reasons for not going to school. My reason was that my dad is a totally assmunch anyway so he can shove it up his tight little butt hole for all I care. Kathy’s reason being that her dad is also a total and complete assmunch. Also the fact that we were not allowed to be at the hospital because of her assmunch dad’s assmunchness, so all we could really do was sit on the couch and watch the nature channel and wait for somebody to come home or to call and say something. The nature channel is perfect for that sort of event. say you were watching nick at night and a sitcom came on and they were doing that thing where the two sisters are fighting so they draw a line down the middle of the bedroom and no one can step over the line, but then they make up, and they talk about how they love each other and they might fight but they’re always sisters. Kathy does not want to hear that shit. Right now, Kathy wants a good old patagonian tooth fish.

I don’t even exactly know why they’re at the hospital, to be honest, because Kathy hasn’t talked to me since tuesday. I think its her mom got hurt again, though, cause I don’t think she’d be so pissed even if her dad got dyingly sick. But anyway, she got called from school during sixth hour and I knew that was unusual so i stopped by her house. Her house gives me the creeps anyway, even under normal circumstances, because its usually just her dad sitting there in the green chair like he’s guarding the tv so no one comes in and steals it. And if you come in the front door you have to walk between him and the tv to get to the stairs and he’ll say "You make a better door than a window" and then laugh, even though no one in the world ever, EVER thought that was an actual funny joke. And Kathy’s mom was kind of creepy in her own way too, cause other people mom’s ask how you’re doing and how your parents are and talk about how your friend went to the optometrist. But kathy’s mom would just look at you like if you said "how are you doing today?" she’d shatter into fifty million bits, so you don’t want to talk to her and she definitely doesn’t want to talk to you but she just stands behind the couch and smooths the fabric with her hand over and over again. Creepy.

So here I am, standing on the front steps of the Ritt’s house and when I got up the guts I knocked but no one answered and I was thinking maybe he’s there but just asleep, which was scary to think of but i went in anyway and there was Kathy watching TV — they were running a whole marathon on aquatic life — kathy’s just staring ahead like a dead mannequin and there was a note on the table from her dad that just said "I’m taking your mother to St. Mary’s". so what do you do? I just went ahead and watched some TV with her because she shouldn’t have had to be alone, I guess that’s what you do. But its been a couple of days since then and nobody’s come home and no body’s called and every time I say to Kathy, "You want me to call St. Mary’s or something?" Kathy shakes her head like she doesn’t just mean "No Thanks", she means "No I will Fucking Kill You So Ugly They Won’t Recognize The Corpse You Gutless Traitor".

So we’re sitting there watching TV. My second favorite part of the patagonia toothfish show was where they were talking about how these fishermen were really ingenious and good at making things out of other things. And to make bobbers for their fishing nets, they used cut up bits of old flip flops. And they put bits of old CD’s on as flashy things to attract fish. The smiley guy was saying "we don’t want to buy bobbers. we make them. it is better than buying them" and again I felt really glad that this guy, all he was doing was cutting up old shoes and trying to get fish and that was a pretty crappy thing to do with your life, right? but he was still really happy and he just made me want to give him a mansion or send the Ritts on a fishing trip or something.

And Kathy said "his teeth are disgusting. They should give dental care or something to people like that" and it was basically the first time she’d talked since tuesday. So I tried to be gentle and said "Yeah i guess they should hon" and she said to me "You know, the upstairs bathroom smelled like blood when I got home. there wasn’t any blood you could see, but it smelled like how even after you clean up blood you can smell it. maybe he forced her to kill herself and he hid the body. Or maybe he killed her and he took her to the hospital like it was an accident" and I said "Kathy, shut up." but I guess after three days of nature channel i could see how she was thinking that. But she’d kind of creeped me out, all the same. so I said "i bet it would make that guy really happy if we sent him those giant platform flip flops your mom has."

Kathy looked at me a minute (beat) and she said "yeah".

I went upstairs and got a box and wrote on it "Fishing Guy, South Africa, World" to try and be funny and I put the flip flops in it. And Kathy said "My dad has a lot of CDs" So we went into the bedroom, adn we started in on the cds, thowing them in the box. then Kathy started breaking the cds — (Girl starts cracking and shattering cds, peeling off the shiny parts, etc) and i started breaking the cds- and every time you break a cd — POP- it is a little scary and every time we jumped and imagined her dad coming home and shooting us and cleaning up the blood and we put the broken cds in the box. and the smiley guy would rock out and the south atlantic sea was going to be all full of endangered fish and shards of music. then, Ok, we really, really weren’t expecting this, but kathy’s dad called. and he said he was bringing mrs. ritt home from the hospital, she was fine, just a couple of stitches. and there’s broken cds all over the place, and we’re fucked, we’re really fucked, and kathy starts to cry so i try to make her smile and (at this point Girl starts sticking cd shards into her hair) i start putting them in her hair and i say, kathy, kathy, we’ll make you a halo and we’ll go away, we’ll get a whole cape of real good hope.


Lights Down


[Denise Dooley's website: The Reina Press]

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