BOOK OF DAYS – Monologue (Martha)

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A monologue from the play by Lanford Wilson

MARTHA (About fifty)

Martha is an ex-sixties radical who teaches at the local college. She is very sardonic about the legacy of sixties “liberation” and what the new generation of young people has done with it.

I can’t for the life of me understand what the hell is going on with these kids today, I just saw a girl walking out of the pharmacy with her body pierced and stapled in every possible —

rows of silver rings and studs through her lip, her cheek, her eyebrow, on her neck, her nose, her belly button — You know damn well she’s got one on her cl*t . . . I’d like to see her drop that in a dish at airport security.

And I’ll bet you a dollar she’ll be in my Freshman English Composition class this fall. Still they’re not as bad as — I swear half my kids don’t know they’re alive. They live a calm, sexless denial of every human impulse.

What is that? In the sixties we — well the late sixties, we rejoiced in our bodies, but the option now seems to be between self-mutilation and total denial of your existence. (Mocking.)

And after all the indiscriminate sex and the endless ingestion of drugs we endured to set them free. We didn’t put ourselves through those perilous experiments for ourselves. We did it for them.

For our children. And our children’s children . . . Good. Slopping barefoot and naked through the rain and mud at Woodstock. For what? Liberation! To make our country free!

And look at what the Perforated Generation has done with it. I’ve got to get myself another story. I have thoroughly worn out Woodstock, haven’t I?

Read the play here

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