Cloud Nine – Monologue (Betty)

cloud 9 - boy and girl strolling through grass with big white clouds behind them

A monologue from the play by Caryl Churchill

Act 2, Scene 4

Betty

I used to think Clive was the one who liked sex. But then I found I missed it. I used to touch myself when I was very little, I thought I’d invented something wonderful.

I used to do it to go to sleep with or to cheer myself up, and one day it was raining and I was under the kitchen table,

and my mother saw me with my hand under my dress rubbing away, and she dragged me out so quickly I hit my head and it bled and I was sick,

and nothing was said, and I never did it again till this year. I thought if Clive wasn’t looking at me there wasn’t a person there.

And one night in bed in my flat I was so frightened I started touching myself. I thought my hand might go through into space.

I touch my face, it was there, my arm, my breast, and my hand sent down where I thought it shouldn’t, and I thought well there is somebody there.

It felt very sweet, it was a feeling from very long ago, it was very soft,

just barely touching and I felt myself gathering together more and more and I felt angry with Clive and angry with my mother and I went on and on defying them,

and there was this vast feeling growing in me and all around me and they couldn’t stop me and no one could stop me and I was there and coming and coming.

Afterwards I thought I’d betrayed Clive. My mother would kill me. But I felt triumphant because I was a separate person from them.

And I cried because I didn’t want to be. But I don’t cry about it any more. Sometimes I do it three times in one night and it really is great fun.

Read the play here

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